Kabwata member of Parliament Given Lubinda has named Vice-President Guy Scott and Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba as being behind the unilateral dismissal of former Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) director general Edwin Matokwani along with his four subordinate directors.
And former zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) director General Matokwani has revealed that Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo lied when she alleged that foriegn aircrafts were violating Zambians airspace and lifting zambian wildlife to some unknown destination.
In the continued hearing of the Masebo Tribunal probing corruption allegations against the Tourism minister chaired by Supreme Court Judge Rhoyda Kaoma it has been revealed that Dr Scott and Kabimba orchestrated the dismissal of Matokwani and other four directors from ZAWA.
Testifying before the Judge Kaoma yesterday Lubinda submitted that Dr Scott had instructed him to fire the ZAWA directors on the basis that they were appointed by the MMD, the former ruling party.
Masebo has also been accused by former Transport minister William Harrington of breaching the State Security Act as well as corruption.
Harrington is being represented by lawyers Makebi Zulu, Keith Mweemba and Gilbert Phiri while Masebo is being represented by Bonaventure Mutale, Robert Simeza and Michael Mundashe.
Lubinda, who was at pains to name the Vice-President when asked to confirm that he had instructions from Dr Scott to get rid of ZAWA directors on the perception that they were MMD sympathizers pleaded with the Tribunal to spare him from mentioning names of people in his testimony.
The former Foreign Affairs Minister had difficulties to name Kabimba who was present in the court room.
But the Tribunal ruled him out and was compelled to come out clear that Kabimba before he was appointed Justice Minister had instructed him to dismiss Matokwani as ZAWA director and his subordinate directors, Melody Zeko, Rose Chivunga and Taulino Banda.
Soon after Lubinda revealed to the Tribunal that Kabimba had asked him to fire Matokwani and other directors at ZAWA, the PF secretary general was seen shaking his head in glee and immediately stormed out of the court room as a number of journalists rushed for him hoping to get a comment on the loss of the PF in Katuba.
And while outside, Kabimba was not in any mood to take questions from the journalists but was only heard saying Lubinda allegedly wanted to take bribes from some of the bidders of the cancelled 19 ZAWA hunting concession.
Lubinda said he had declined to effect the instructions from Dr Scott and Kabimba because he did not see where he could draw such authority from because such action could only be taken by a board.
He told Justice Kaoma sitting with High Court Judges Chalwe Muchenga and Livingstone High Court in-charge Judge Ernest Mukulamutiyo as members that the day-to-day administration of ZAWA was the sole responsibility of the board of directors and its management.
He said the Minister did not have authority to discipline any officer at ZAWA because the director general was appointed by the board of directors who in turn appointed his subordinate directors.
Lubinda submitted that at the time he was facing pressure from Dr Scott and Kabimba to dismiss the ZAWA directors, the authority did not have a board and that he had advised the Vice President and the PF secretary general to wait until a board of directors was constituted.
He said after the names of the prospective members of the board were presented to him, he sought the approval of cabinet that allowed him to announce its members.
“Yes, I do recall the Vice-President telling me to fire Matokwani because he was appointed by the MMD. But I told him that I had no authority under the ZAWA Act to take any action against any officer at ZAWA. I told him (Dr Scott) that such action would only be taken by the board and that it would have to await the appointment of the board. I do recall also that Kabimba told me to fire the directors but I had maintained my position,” Lubinda said.The Kabwata Parliamentarian said it was wrong for any minister to interfere with the procurement process in any department and that it was important to seek the legal advice of the Attorney General. Lubinda told the Tribunal that the ZAWA board he had appointed did not last as it was dissolved by Masebo who latter appointed an interim management.Lubinda said he did not last long at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under which was the department of tourism fell because he was dismissed from his job.He also revealed that soon after he lost his ministerial job, he had prepared some handover notes but Masebo did not give him chance to do so and that he never talked to her from the time she was appointed minister. Lubinda also said the minister had no authority to authorize the hunting of animals in the Game Management Areas without a special licence and that such an action was equivalent to poaching which was a criminal offence.