Former Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo has been saved from losing her Parliamentary seat because the Patriotic Front (PF) has realized that it would be politically suicidal to cause a by-election in Lusaka after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of the opposition in Katuba constituency, Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) president Frank Bwalya has observed.
Fr Bwalya said it was clear from the findings of the Tribunal that Masebo was wrong in almost all her actions when dealing with Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) 19 Safari hunting concessions tendering process.
Fr Bwalya said President Michael Sata fired Masebo before he received a report from the Tribunal because the Chongwe Member of Parliament had used the name of the Head of State to defend her wrong actions.
The ABZ leader said the Judge Kaoma Tribunal had found Masebo wanting on many counts and that it was incorrect for some sections of the media to insinuate that the former minister had been cleared of the corruption and abuse of authority allegations.
Fr Bwalya explained that the tribunal had found Masebo guilty of violating the Zambia Public Procurement Act (ZPPA) and the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Act stating that it should be made clear that the former minister had not been found innocent.
“Mr Sata fired Sylvia Masebo long before he was handed the report by the tribunal because there was a prima facie case that was established against her by the Tribunal. But the PF realized that it would be politically suicidal for them to call for a by-election in Lusaka or any constituency near the city had the Tribunal established that she gained pecuniary advantage in her actions,” Fr Bwalya said.
Fr Bwalya has charged that the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct was ambiguous because it had failed to define what constituted pecuniary advantage.
He said some pieces of Zambia’s legislation were archaic and that one such law was the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct that had failed to deliver justice and was frustrating corruption fight among ministers serving in government.
Fr Bwalya said the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct was highly retrogressive because it was not helping citizens hold ministers accountable for violating the code.
He said the Tribunal had decided to clear Masebo on the allegation of the breach of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct because the ruling party had realized that such a finding was going to create a by-election in Chongwe.
He said should Masebo have been found guilty of breaching the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct’ she was going to lose her Parliamentary seat and that was going to call for a by-election in Chongwe.
Fr Bwalya has called on Zambians to begin demanding for the repeal of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct because the fight against corruption among ministers because they would easily escape sanctions by frivolous technicalities such as lack of evidence.