CHONGWE Member of Parliament (MP) Sylvia Masebo has denied owing Ndozo Lodge any money, saying at no time did she hire the services either in her personal capacity or as an agent for the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).
The former Tourism minister has since submitted to the Lusaka magistrates’ court that the lodge should resolve the matter with ZAWA as she had no interest in the matter or its outcome.
Ndozo Lodge has dragged Ms Masebo to court for failure to pay more than K68,000 accumulated by witnesses she allegedly invited to testify in a tribunal that was constituted to probe her.
However, in her reply, Ms Masebo denied the allegations, saying ZAWA was the contracting party to the services offered by Ndozo Lodge and not her.
Ms Masebo said as minister of Tourism then, she was not privy to the arrangement between ZAWA and the lodge, and, as such, she could not be held responsible.
“Whether or not the director general of the Zambia Wild Life Authority acknowledged, its indebtedness to the plaintiff in a letter dated 20th April 2015 as indicated in the statement of claim, are a matter within the peculiar knowledge of the plaintiff,” Ms Masebo said.
She said she was shocked when she was served with the summons because at no time did Ndozo Lodge contact her to demand for payment for the alleged services.
Ms Masebo said she was unable to see why she had been joined as a party to the action when she had no interest in the matter or its outcome.
Ndozo Lodge, which has sued Ms Masebo and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka as a second defendant, is asking the Lusaka High Court to order the two to pay it K68,718.98 for the services it rendered to Ms Masebo’s guests.
Ms Masebo served as minister of Tourism and Arts in 2014 which was in charge of ZAWA.
Ndozo Lodge claims that on February 22, 2014 Ms Masebo, acting together with Andrew Izias Phiri, as agents of ZAWA took a number of guests to the guest house.
According to the lodge, the guests were believed to be witnesses organised to come and testify in the tribunal which was constituted to probe Ms Masebo.