OFFICIALS at the Ministry of Tourism and Arts have revealed that Sylvia Masebo lied to the nation when she stated that there was corruption in the manner the tenders for safari hunting were conducted.
Revealing the procedure to the Daily Nation, officials in the Ministry said that Ms. Masebo and other PF officials were interested parties in the tenders but could not meet the standards and qualification for them to be awarded the tenders.
The officials explained that the alleged corruption were among the PF ministers and politicians who wanted to take advantage of the system’s incumbency and influence the way the tenders were going to be awarded.
The officials said that the tender committee which was comprised of people from the Office of the President, PF officials, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts and the Anti-Corruption Commission, and many other security wings of government can attest to that fact.
And Vice president Dr. Guy Scott has been challenged to reveal the nature of corruption in the manner both the Ministry of Tourism and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) handled the tenders.
The officials told the Daily Nation after the consultative meeting held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre that, “We advised the minister on the matter. We told her that she had no authority to cancel the tenders at the level or stage the process had reached and sounded as if she took our advice but to our surprise we just watched on TV that she had cancelled the tenders.”
The officials said that the Ministry informed the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) about the development which they also urged the Minister not to go ahead because it would be abuse of the office.
The source said that her statement had put pressure on the governance system with respect to the office of the President whose officials did not report any corruption allegations to have taken place in the manner the tenders were being handled.
“The procedure was not followed by Ms. Masebo, she acted out of emotions. And this ban on hunting is unjustifiable because it is different from the records that we have. This is not a small thing where Ms. Masebo can just wake up and cancel the 19 safari hunting tenders in the manner she did. There are some big people involved to allow this even us as officials’ technocrats we have little powers to do like she did,” they said.
And ZAWA officials have revealed that a report of PF members who expressed interest in the safari hunting tenders were submitted to the office of the President.
The source said that all firms that participated were submitted to the OP but wondered why Vice president Dr. Scott supported the move when he was privy to the names of the companies the PF officials were using as fronts to get the tenders.
Efforts to get a comment from Ms. Masebo proved futile as her phone went answered by press time.