2 January 2013

Zambia: Police Seal Off Zawa Office

POLICE have sealed off the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) head office in Chilanga where director general Edwin Matokwani and four other senior officials were dropped for alleged corrupt practices.

A check yesterday showed that armed police officers were not allowing anyone to get into the premises.

"We are not allowing anyone to enter. From Sunday, no person has been allowed to enter," said one of the officers.

Tourism and Arts Minister Sylvia Masebo on Sunday dismissed Mr Matokwani and four other senior officials for alleged corruption in awarding Safari hunting concessions.

Acting Director Conservation Melody Zeko, acting commercial director Rose Chivumba, acting director finance Andrew Sampa and head of procurement Taulino Banda are other senior officers who were dismissed.

Ms Masebo said it was wrong for management to have handpicked companies without consultation with the Community Resource Boards (CRBS) and chiefs.

On December 26, 2012, Mr Matokwani and his team presented to Ms Masebo a list of companies for publication as successful bidders for 19 hunting blocks in various game management areas as re-advertised.

The minister has since advised law enforcement officers to investigate the matter and possibly prosecute culprits.

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