Masebo’s real corrupt reasons for cancelling hunting safari exposed, her partners did not win

Masebo’s real corrupt reasons for cancelling hunting safari exposed, her partners did not win

maseboThe cancellation of hunting safari tenders and subsequent sacking of five top officials at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) by Tourism minister Sylvia Masebo was done for her personal gains because the companies that she has interest were not successful in obtaining the licenses.
The companies that Masebo was supporting for the hunting safaris are Chimbwi Safaris, Mangomba Safaris, Matopi Safaris Muchinga Adventures and Luangwa Crocodiles were all not successful in being given hunting areas resulting into the minister claiming that there was corruption in allocating areas.
“In order to justify her action, she decided to fire the top the top management of ZAWA on corruption allegation but this is without any proof. She was in a hurry to cancel the tender because the results were about to be announced. All the allegations made so far have not borne of any truth,” said sources in ZAWA.
According to the Zambia Public  Procurement Authority (ZPPA) Act the minister does not have powers to cancel tenders as that amounts to interference in the procurement process.
“If Masebo suspected corrupt activities, the right procedure would have been to report the matter to ZPPA. That would have been the right thing to do because ZPPA is the regulatory body that regulates all tenders. The cancellation of safari tender by Masebo is illegal as it is not backed by any law,” said the source.
The sources at ZAWA also hinted that the sacking of the top official at the authority has created discomfort among civil servants as they now fear that they could be sacked at any time without committing any offence.
“With regard to our colleagues that were fired, their career has been dented and these  people have been humiliated. What is worrying is that up to now no evidence has been found regarding all that Masebo has been claiming. The unsuccessful bidders have used their relationship with Masebo to mislead her and the entire government,” said that source.
As a result, investor confidence particularly in the tourism industry and especially in the wildlife sector has now been lost. Further, traditional leaders and Community Resource Boards have complained that as a result of the cancelation of the tenders, their entire survival would be affected.
They  complained that as a result of the cancellation, there would be no income in the community.
“There will be no employment and no payment of village scouts. Poaching will be high in the hunting blocks without the presence of safari operators since they make a significant contribution to ant poaching activities. Community members have expressed concern with the way tenders were cancelled because community participation was present and there was even an evaluation committee which even had representation from security wings like ACC, DEC and office of the President,” the source said.
Additionally, the evaluation committee had representation from Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) as well as CRB. By cancelling the  tenders, Masebo has declared all these agencies corrupt.
“One thing that you should not forget is that the reason for excluding chiefs from the evaluation process was because Royal Zambezi Safaris had partnered with chieftainesss Chiawa  and that would have resulted in conflict of interest during the evaluation process.” said the saource.
The source further explained that the cancelation was a day before the announcement of the successful bidders. The source said that Masebo refused to accept the result and labeled all committee members as corrupt and even asked them to leave her office.
The sources said that the bidding documents which Masebo claimed had flaws was prepared by ZAWA. The ZAWA bidding document was perfect but the sources wondered why Masebo decided to prepare her own bidding document.
“The committee that she appointed to prepare her bidding document comprises of Keith Asherwwod, Timothy Mushibwe, Yousuf Zumla, Johny Duploy, Bell Cross and Willie Nsanda who runs Chimbwi Safaris working in conjunction with Rasheed Randera. The bid document prepared by Masebo’s team gave the people preparing it an upper had as they all had interest,” he said.
Regrettably, the sources said that Masebo’s team did not put up a competitive business plan as well as financial proposal.
“The evaluation committee constituted by the sacked management was objective and shortlisted companies that met the evaluation criteria. News that Masebo’s companies or those that she had interest in did not make and this resulted in the cancellation . This tender was cancelled in bad faith,” he said.

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