Sylvia Tembo Masebo
Sylvia Tembo Masebo Biography
BornSylvia Murambiwa
(1963-03-07) March 7, 1963 (age 59)
  • Politician
EmployerGovernment of Zambia
Term8 September 2021-Present
Political partyUnited Party for National Development
Spouse(s)Dick Masebo (m. 1986-2015)

Sylvia Tembo Masebo is a Zambian politician and entrepreneur. Masebo was appointed Minister of Health in September 2021 by Hakainde Hichilema.


Masebo was reportedly born Sylvia Murambiwa in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and went to Zambia in the 1980s with her late mum and her mother's brother.

Her mother became a best friend to Mukamambo Nkomesha a chieftainess and left Sylvia Murambiwa Tembo in her hands.

Tembo is the name of Sylvia's foster father who married her mother upon arrival in Zambia.[1]


Masebo was born on March 7, 1963.


Sylvia was married to a businessman Dick Masebo. The couple was lawfully married on October 4 1986 at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Lusaka.

In filing for divorce in 2015, Dick Masebo told the court that their marriage had broken down irretrievably because they had lived apart from August 26 1997 to the time he filed a divorce petition.[2]


Sylvia Tembo Masebo and her ex-husband have one son.[2]


She holds a degree in Banking and Finance.

Political Career

She was first elected Chongwe Member of Parliament in 2001 as a representative of the Zambian Republican Party (ZRP) and then later, MMD in 2003. Sylvia Tembo Masebo came into prominence in the 1990s as Deputy Mayor of Lusaka and MMD Deputy Treasurer.

Before the mass defections from the MMD in response to Fredrick Chiluba’s third-term ambitions, Masebo led a large group of dissatisfied MMD members out of the party. By the time of the 2001 elections, she had joined the newly established Zambian Republican Party (ZRP), headed by former Minister of Defence Ben Mwila.

In 2003, Masebo was one of the opposition parliamentarians who were co-opted by President Levy Mwanawasa into Cabinet, becoming Minister for Local Government and Housing.

In August 2005, she was transferred to Health to succeed Brigadier General Brian Chituwo. Masebo was instrumental in politically defending the reversal of the health reforms in Parliament. Her tenure, however, was cut short when she decided to formally cross over to the MMD, forcing her to vacate her seat in Parliament and her ministerial position. She defended her parliamentary seat on an MMD ticket in the 2006 elections.

Following the elections, she returned to her old post as Minister of Local Government, which she held until Rupiah Banda came to power in 2008. She failed to be appointed minister for opposing Banda's succession of Mwanawasa. She then joined Michael Sata's PF and played an instrumental role in campaigning for regime change.

During Sata's tenure, she served as Minister of Tourism and Arts until March 20, 2014. She later joined the UPND where she was appointed Chairperson in charge of Strategy and Mobilisation.

Abuse Of Office Charge

In July 2015, the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested Masebo and charged her with two counts of abuse of authority of office when she served as minister of Tourism and Arts.

In the first count, it was alleged that Masebo cancelled the procurement of a tender process of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) hunting concession.

In the second count, Masebo was said to have abused her authority of office by terminating contracts of employment of some senior ZAWA officers.

In both counts, Masebo allegedly disregarded the laid down procedures, an act against the Republic of Zambia and the people.

In July 2016, Lusaka Magistrate Ireen Wishimanga said Masebo had a case to answer in a matter in which she was charged with abuse of authority relating to the cancellation of wildlife hunting concessions.

She was however acquitted of one charge of abuse of authority in connection with the sacking of five Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) top officials.

In 2017, Masebo was acquitted in a case in which she was alleged to have illegally cancelled hunting concessions at the Zambia Wild Life Authority when she was Tourism Minister.

Delivering her ruling, Magistrate Wishimanga said she found that the prosecution had failed to prove the case beyond any reasonable doubt.

She added that the state did not bring witnesses to prove that the offence was committed.

Magistrate Wishimanga also expressed concern that there were gaps in the evidence presented to court and had no choice but to acquit Sylvia Tembo Masebo.[3]


  1. Masebo was born Sylvia Murambiwa in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), Zambian Watchdog, Published: March 22, 2013, Retrieved: September 13, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 Masebo Agrees To Divorce Hubby, Tumfweko, Published: March 12, 2015, Retrieved: September 13, 2021
  3. Court Acquits Former Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo on Charges of Abuse of Authority, Lusaka Times, Published: July 14, 2017, Retrieved: Seotember 13, 2021