The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has set July 14 as judgment date in a case where Sylvia Masebo is alleged to have illegally canceled hunting concessions at the Zambia Wild Life Authority when she was Tourism Minister.
Resident magistrate Ireen Wishimanga set the judgment date following the close of Masebo’s defence.
In closing defence, Masebo’s witness; Ackim Musonda, told court that Tourism Minister Jean Kapata had revealed that it was the government which suspended the safari hunting concessions but later lifted the ban in a ministerial statement in 2015.
Musonda, who is chief editor of ‘The Hansard’; an authentic and official verbatim report of daily parliamentary debates, said Kapata addressed Parliament on the lifting of the ban on wild cut hunting and the suspension of safari hunting in nineteen blocks.
According to the verbatim report, Kapata told Parliament that the suspension of the safari hunting licenses in the nineteen hunting blocks in 2013 was due to, among other reasons, depletion of habitats for lions, declining lion population in some areas and weak regulatory mechanism.
The report was tendered in court as part of Masebo’s evidence.
Defence lawyer Robert Simeza is expected to file written submissions on April 26 whilst Anti-Corruption Commission prosecutor Boniface Chiwala is expected to file his on May 12.