William Harrington should be charged with a criminal offence-Masebo
TOURISM and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo says former communication and transport minister, William Harrington should be charged with a criminal offence for allegations made before the Tribunal probing her conduct in the dissolution of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) board.
Ms Masebo in her final submissions to the Tribunal said Mr Harrington’s allegations were malicious and that from his previous experience, the matter was not fit for investigation under the Code of Conduct Act.
She said people like Mr Harrington were abusing the Act by evoking to conduct general inquiries into minister’s decisions which in some cases was being used to wedge personal wars by certain interest groups including cartels.
She said Mr Harrington should be charged for his malicious conduct knowing from his previous experience during former communications and transport minister Dora Siliya’s Tribunal hearing where his allegations were not fit for investigation under the Act.
She said Mr Harrington’s invitation to the tribunal to make recommendations against her should be refused.
Ms Masebo said that section 14 (8) did not give the tribunal, unfettered discretion to make recommendations on anything just because it was raised in a complaint.
” It is our prayer that the complainant will now be charged with a criminal offence under section 17 of the Code of Conduct Act, as he clearly brought these allegations maliciously and knowing from his previous experience that they were not fit for investigation under the Code of Conduct Act” Ms Masebo said.
She said in her submissions prepared by her lawyers Simeza, Sangwa and Associates, Ellis and Company and Mulenga Mundashi and Company that Mr Harrington was not strange to the Act as he had instituted similar petitions against another minister and was aware of the outcome which was not in his favour.
Ms Masebo said the fact that he decided to raise the complaints in total disregard of the decision of the Supreme Court was clear evidence of malice on his part.
She said that most of the evidence from Mr Harrington’s witnesses bordered on differences of opinion on how officials from ZAWA would have wanted the tender process to run unabated through her lawyers.
Ms Masebo said that the complaints by Mr Harrington appeared to have been unfocussed and at large because he made far reaching allegations outside the scope of section (4) of the Act.
She said that the allegations by Mr Harrington that Ms Masebo abused the authority of her office or cancellation of the tender process whether in breach of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) or other statute did not violate part II of the Act.
“Unfortunately a great deal of time and energy was spent listening to witnesses trying to prove that the minister did interfere with the tender process and that she did cancel the tender which was still in train”
On the termination of the five ZAWA top managers, Ms Masebo said the issue could not be brought before the tribunal because the affected persons were not public servants as they were not appointed by the public service commission but had specific written.