CABINET has approved, in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal and replace the Public-Private Partnership Act No. 14 of 2009 in order to address some weaknesses in the legal framework.
And Cabinet has approved the establishment of the East and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) Secretariat in Zambia.
In a statement, Wednesday, Chief Government Spokesperson Chushi Kasanda stated that Cabinet indicated during a meeting held on Monday that it was in the government’s interest to realise the critical role that PPPs play in the provision of infrastructure and services in the wake of constrained fiscal space.
“His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia Mr. Hakainde Hichilema called for the 4th Cabinet Meeting in the Year 2022, held on Monday, 7th March, to discuss policy and legislative matters aimed at developing the Nation for the good of the people. The following are the issues deliberated upon by Cabinet: (i) The Public-Private Partnership (Repeal and Replacement) Bill, 2022. Cabinet approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal and replace the Public-Private Partnership Act No. 14 of 2009 in order to address the current weaknesses in the legal framework, which include but not limited to weak institutional mandate and functions; lack of clarity and inconsistencies in the law; weak governance structures and processes; inadequate resources to support the developmental phase of projects; lack of feasibility studies; weak enforcement and sanctions mechanisms; and inadequate local participation in public private partnerships,” she stated.
“Cabinet indicated that it is in the interest of Government to realise the critical role that the Public-Private Partnerships play in the provision of infrastructure and services in the wake of constrained fiscal space, thereby, delivering economic transformation. Therefore, the successful implementation of public-private partnerships calls for putting in place supportive and effective legal, regulatory and institutional framework that takes into account international best practices.”
Kasanda stated that during the same meeting, Cabinet also approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Small Claims Court Act so as to enhance the jurisdiction and operations of the Court.
“During the same Meeting, Cabinet also approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Small Claims Court Act so as to enhance the jurisdiction and operations of the Court in line with the current prevailing economic and social needs of the country. Currently, the Small Claims Court is limited to hearing cases whose claim does not exceed Twenty Thousand Kwacha (K20,000). Cabinet is of the view that such low limit of the amount for the claim at the Small Claims Court, results in the Subordinate Court having a backlog of cases that can properly be dealt with by the Small Claims Court. The proposed amendment will, therefore, address the matter accordingly,” she stated.
And Kasanda said Cabinet further approved the establishment of the East and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) Secretariat in Zambia.
“During the same Meeting, Cabinet approved the establishment of the East and Southern African Association of Accountants General (ESAAG) Secretariat in Zambia. The ESAAG is an association made up of Accountants Generals from 15 member countries namely; Botswana, Eswatini, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Association was established in 1995 in Arusha Tanzania with the main objectives of establishing cooperation between countries in the region in the area of government accounting, providing a forum for participants to review and discuss comparative experiences, and to encourage the development of government accounting personnel and trainers through implementation of a regional programme of attachment and production of a number of comparative case studies,” she stated.
“Cabinet resolved that there is need for Zambia to facilitate the hosting of a number of regional and international organisations’ secretariats as a way of creating employment for the citizens and that at the same time, Zambia should, going forward, host many international meetings and conferences for economic benefit.”
Meanwhile, Kasanda said Cabinet deliberated on the upcoming mid-year coordination meeting between the Bureau of the African Union Assembly and the Chairpersons of Regional Economic Communities (Mid-Year Summit) and the Budget Session of the Executive Council.
“Cabinet also deliberated on the upcoming 4th Mid-Year Coordination meeting of the Bureau of the African Union Assembly with the Chairpersons of Regional Economic Communities and the Budget Session of the African Union Executive Council to be held from the 14th to 17th of July, 2022, which will be hosted by Zambia. The African Union Mid-Year Summit Conference is attended by thirteen (13) Heads of State and Government of the Member States, of which five (5) represent the Bureau of the Assembly of the Union and eight (8) represent the Regional Economic Communities (RECs). The Mid-Year Summit is convened once every year in June/July. Cabinet stressed government’s commitment to hosting the Summit as such events placed the country on the world map including the promotion of tourism,” stated Kasanda.