Vice-president Guy Scott and tourism minister Sylvia Masebo have been linked to corrupt activities in connection with awarding hunting concessions for the current season.
The duo are said to be wielding influence on the toothless ZAWA board, which was constituted a few months ago. The two ‘lovers’ Scott and Masebo have imposed Rolf Shenton as Director General of ZAWA and will soon be announced.
The nine-member board, chaired by businessman Larry Kalala includes Chieftainess Mwape and Chieftainess Mbwanjikana of Nyimba and Senanga respectively, Chasiya Kazembe, Andrew Nkunika, Ambassador Peter Kasanka, Hannah Barron, Eunice Metre and Mark O’Donnell.
Scott and Masebo are said to be commandeering the selection of their favourite bidders who do not even qualify to submit bids. Bid evaluations are currently underway.
Sources said most prominent bidders are those that have held areas for the last 10 years.
“How can these safari operators think they can get away with all this, as if Guy Scott and Sylvia Masebo are in those positions forever? We ask the president to ban all hunting and stop his corrupt Vice President and Minister of Tourism,” a source said.
By ZAWA regulation, the companies that have not produced audited accounts are not eligible to even bid.
“Almost all previous safari concession owners have not produced their audited accounts, yet they are most likely to retake their concessions,” sources said.
Chifunda concession owned by Luangwa Crocodile and Safaris, Keith Asherwood and Ian Asherwood are earmarked to have their areas back allegedly at the instruction of Scott and Masebo.
Adrian Carr’s Luwawata Conservancy and Mumbwa West of Swanepoel and Scandrol Safaris are other examples.
“How can Swanepoel and Scandrol even be allowed to apply? These guys are banned by Dallas Safari Club for not paying Government trophy fees. They cheat the Government and ZAWA. They have also not shipped trophies for a client and have a judgement given against them by a Texan court for $45,000 plus attorney fees,” sources said.
A check with the Dallas Safari Club found that a client, Wilson Stout, has successfully sued safari operator Doug Scandrol of SwanScan Africa Holdings, LLC and Swanepoel & Scandrol Safaris.
Scandrol was banned from Dallas Safari Club for life when Stout complained that Scandrol had not paid government trophy fees on two separate safaris. The second safari was actually a make-up hunt brokered by the Dallas Safari Club when Stout filed an ethics complaint against Scandrol for not paying trophy fees on a 2008 Tanzania safari.
The judgment issued against Scandrol by a Texas court shows that Stout was awarded $45,512, plus attorney’s fees.
Ten top areas of the 19 concessions that were bidded for including Nyampala, Upper Lupande, Lower Lupande, and those mentioned above have predetermined winners, according to sources.
“Some of these operators have applied in multiple areas on multiple company names, again with indigenous Zambians as fronts. The whole process without ZAWA Board stinks of corruption,” sources said.