STATE APPEALS HIGH COURT JUDGEMENT ON HUNTING CONCESSIONS
The Attorney Attorney General has appealed against the judgement of the Lusaka High Court to quash the decision of the Ministry of Tourism Permanent Secretary Evans Muhanga to cancel the tender for the granting of the Safari hunting/Photographic Tourism concessions in 19 hunting blocks in various Game Management Areas.
The state has raised seven grounds of appeal.
Among the grounds, the state claims that the court below erred in law and fact in holding that it was the Permanent Secretary of tourism that made the decision and went so far in saying that he had no jurisdiction to do so to cancel the tender process for the grant of the hunting concessions when the Permanent Secretary merely conveyed the Ministerial Procurement Committee.
The appellant says the court erred in law and fact by stating that the PS held no jurisdiction when he is the controlling officer under section 26 of the public procurement Act, 2020, charged with the duty and responsibility of ensuring that the procurement process is done in accordance with the public procurement act.
In this matter, the Zambia Community Resources Board Association Limited, Mopane Safaris Limited, Kwalata Safaris Limited,MVU Safaris Limited and Ntengu Safaris Limited had sued the Attorney General, seeking judicial review of Mr Muhanga’ s decision to cancel the tender for the granting of hunting tourism concessions in 19 hunting blocks on November 13,2020 and closed on December 30,2020.
They submitted that the PS violated section 69(1) of the Public Procurement Act no.8 of 2020 which permits a procuring entity to cancel or terminate procurement proceedings at any stage prior to notification of the contract award.
And in passing Judgement, High Court Judge Sharon Newa, quashed the said decision by the Permanent Secretary dated May 4,2022.
Justice Newa also ordered the Attorney General to facilitate the performance of its Statutory Instrument function of executing the hunting concession agreements with the aggrieved parties.
She issued an order of Prohibition preventing the Ministry of Tourism and Arts from re-advertising the tender saying the applicants had followed the law and regulations governing the procurement of the hunting concession tender.
By Darius Choonya