Ex-Zambia tourism minister in court for abuse of office

By: MICHAEL CHAWE

Former Zambia Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo has been arraigned for abuse of office.

She is accused of flouting procedure for cancelling game hunting licences and illegally terminating jobs in the Wildlife Department.

Ms Masebo said she revoked tenders soon after her Patriotic Front Party won elections in 2011 because she heard complaints about the manner in which the hunting bids were awarded.

She was a member of President Michael Sata’s cabinet but was dismissed.

The court adjourned her case until mid August.

“I’m not surprised. I knew as far back as February that the Anti-Corruption Commission would be hunting for me. There is a time for everything,” she told journalists outside the court in Lusaka.

She said President Edgar Lungu’s administration was attempting to intimidate her.

The former minister was accompanied by a large group of sympathisers and supporters of the opposition United Party for National Development. She has shown support for its leader Hakainde Hichilema.

Mr Hichilema narrowly lost the presidential election to Mr Lungu .

Ms Masebo was sponsored to parliament by the ruling Patriotic Front Party.

Zambia’s tourism sector is beset with allegations of corruption and mismanagement.