FORMER Minister of Tourism and Arts Sylvia Masebo was a careless Minister and now Government has to suffer from her illegal actions by compensating four former Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) directors she illegally fired, Patriotic Front Secretary General Davis Chama has said.
Commenting on the matter where government has been ordered to compensate Edwin Matokwani, the former ZAWA director general and three directors – Melody Zeko, Andrew Sampa and Taulino Banda K3.5 million as compensation after they won the case in the Industrial Relations Court , Mr. Chama said Ms. Masebo was a careless Minister and she should be pursued in order for her to account for her action.
He said there was no way Government could lose such huge sums of money because of an illegal act by Ms Masebo s and advised that government should find a way of recovering the K3.5 million from the former minister.
“Masebo was a careless Minister and because of her carelessness, Government may lose such colossal sums of money. The judgment actually has exposed how Masebo abused her office by acting and making illegal decisions which were not backed by the law. This is how bad this has become,” Mr. Chama said.
Mr. Chama said if there was a way Government could recover the money, Ms. Masebo should be made to pay back because her actions were not only illegal but also irrational and highly irresponsible.
He said people in leadership positions including Ministers should be made to account for their actions and the decisions they made on behalf of Zambians. “She must be pursued in her individual capacity. We need that money as a country. If I had a way I could have allowed the bailiffs to grab her property to recover the money,” said Mr. Chama.
The Treasury may be obliged to pay the quartet whose contracts were illegally terminated after Ms Masebo dissolved the ZAWA board of directors.
In a judgment delivered in July this year by deputy chairperson of the Industrial Relations Court Mwamba Chanda, the court ruled that it was clear that the decision by Ms Masebo to terminate the contracts of the four ZAWA directors at a press briefing without subjecting them to any disciplinary process was oppressive, arbitrary and unfair.
The judge established that the letters of termination of contracts of employment which were authored by the permanent secretary for Tourism and Arts ministry and the three months’ salary in lieu of notice to be paid to the quartet did not in any way regularize the unfair and wrongful dismissal of the ZAWA former directors.