YALI Calls on Attorney General and LAZ to help Govt Interpret Provisions of ZAWA Act

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
For Immediate Release

THE Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) is calling upon the Attorney General and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to help Government interpret provisions of the ZAWA Act No. 12 of 1998 in the way and capacities members of the ZAWA Board are appointed as this borders on the government is able to uphold the law. YALI is not surprised that Mr. Kabimba tasked his party functionary responsible for Media and Publicity Director to clarify matters that boarder on operations of his Ministry as most of these cadres do not need to take time to read the law before statements that ordinarily would not be issued by qualified personnel from the Ministry. The Attorney General and other professionals from the Ministry are better placed to give advice and discuss the current appointment of Mr. Kabimba to the ZAWA Board if that appointment is indeed for the representation of any member from his Ministry.

YALI maintains that the ZAWA Act does not provide for appointment of proxy members such as the Ministry of Justice as an institution to the ZAWA Board. The powers vested in the Minister of Tourism under Part 1 of the Schedule, Section 1(1) must be read together with provisions of Section 3(2) on how the office of a ZAWA Board member becomes vacant. There is no doubt that the Ministry of Justice as an institution cannot die, cannot be adjudged bankrupt, cannot mentally or physically become incapable of performing duties nor can the Ministry be convicted of an offence. In effect, Ms. Masebo seemed to have been on firm grounds that she appointed Mr. Wynter Kabimba, the PF Secretary General “as a member to represent the party in order to influence the PF vision in ZAWA as he is a lawyer in wildlife policy and law.”

We wish to remind the PF Media and Publicity Director of provisions of Section 4(1) of the Schedule for a nominated member, in this case Hon. Kabimba, to nominate another person from the Ministry when he is unavailable to represent him in his stead as a member and not necessarily the Ministry of Justice to attend the meeting of the Authority. Section 4(1) of the Act provides reads:
“Where a member if for any reasonable cause unable to attend any meeting of the Authority (ZAWA Board), the member may, in writing, nominate another person from the same organization to attend such meeting in that member’s stead and such person shall be deemed to be a member for the purpose of such meeting”

Notwithstanding provisions of Section 4(1), the ZAWA Board can, by provisions of Section 5 of the Schedule invite or appoint any persons who are or are not members of the Board to perform functions it deems fit whenever a certain level of expertise and input is needed.

YALI therefore maintains that it is Mr. Kabimba who has been appointed to the ZAWA Board with an ability to contest the Vice-Chairmanship at ZAWA in line with the ZAWA Act and to also nominate another person from the Ministry of Justice to attend the meeting when he is unavailable.

If indeed the position of the PF Media and Publicity Director Chanda Mfula remains the position of Government, then YALI wonders why President Sata must retain Ms. Masebo as his Minister when she could lie to the nation about this appointment. President Sata must be worried that either Ms. Masebo or Mr. Kabimba is lying about the appointment of the Justice Minister to the ZAWA Board who, as a matter of hierarchy, is able superior to the Tourism Minister.

We wish to clearly state that as an organization that we remain totally opposed to Ministers and Members of Parliament being appointed to statutory bodies such as ZAWA, National Sports Council of Zambia, Zamtel, ERB, etc as these ministers and MPs will have conflict of interest when Cabinet and Parliament are to supervise, scrutinize and debate operations of these bodies. We believe President Sata has the capacity to turn the tide around where MPs and Ministers are being appointed to various bodies.

Isaac Mwanza
Governance Advisor
Young African Leaders Initiative