More scandals are being reported at the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) as Director General Zen Vlahakis is reported to have paid himself a huge gratuity before his contract ends. A source from within the Ministry of Tourism and Arts has disclosed that Mr. Vlahakis contract expires on April 21,2014 but has already paid himself the gratuity.
The source said Vlahakis had a meeting with former Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo and ZAWA board chairperson Guy Robinson at which it was agreed that the ZAWA Director General who was single sourced by Masebo pays himself the gratuity because the new Minister of Tourism Jean Kapata may not accept Vlahakis to renew his contract.
The source said the development comes at a time when several ZAWA retirees have not been paid terminal benefits. The source said the latest Zawa Audit report indicates that fifteen former ZAWA employees have not been paid terminal benefits.
“This is a very sad development because there a number of former ZAWA employees I think totaling fifteen who have not been paid their terminal benefits and for the Director General who was not even transparently recruited to pay himself gratuity is unfortunate,” the source said.
The source said even most board members especially the Board chairperson Guy Robinson is not sure whether the new Minister of Tourism will maintain them.
“No one among the people appointed by Masebo is certain about his or her position because they suspect Jean Kapata may appoint her own people and it is likely especially that Masebo and Kapata do not see eye to eye as you know Kapata supported GBM(Former Defense Minister) and Masebo supported wynter Kabimb (Justice Minister) during the intra party struggle,” the source said.