The Bank of Zambia has said the proposal to reintroduce deputy ministers would lead to government incurring huge costs.
In a submission on the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 to the parliamentary Select Committee, the BoZ said bringing back deputy minister will be at a huge cost to the running of government and a drain on revenues.
Section 38 of the controversial Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019, there is a proposal to amend the law by the insertion of a new Article 117A, which gives power to the Republican President to appoint Deputy Ministers, a position that was abolished by president Michael Sata.
“It is also not clear how the current arrangement has prevented government’s ability to function effectively and efficiently. We firmly believe that efforts towards efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery must target the technocrats, who are the implementers of government policy,” the BoZ submitted.
And the Bank of Zambia has stated the stark lessons learned from various constitutional processes that have taken place all over the world were that the process of adopting the Constitution is as important as its substance.
“…and the process must be legitimate for it to be acceptable to all stakeholders. In order for the process to be legitimate, it must be inclusive. No party, whatsoever, should control it. A constitution should be the product of the integration of ideas from ALL stakeholders in the country, including political parties, both within and outside Parliament, civil society, and individuals in society. We firmly believe the Constitution should be a long-term document for successive governments. It should, therefore, create strong institutions,” it stated.
And on Section 69 of the Bill that proposes to amend Article 193 (1) of the Constitution Act by providing for the establishment of the Anti-Drugs, Economic and Financial Crimes Agency, the central bank said current law was adequate to deal with such criminal acts.
“We note that the specific roles of the Anti-Drugs, Economic and Financial Crimes Agency have not been stated as is the case for all others created by the same Article, such as, the Zambia Police Service (Article 193 (2), Zambia Security Intelligence Service (Article 193 (3), and the Zambia Correctional Service (Article 193(4)). It is our considered view that in the absence of clearly stated mandate of this Agency, there is likely to be operational interference with the existing Drug Enforcement Commission and the Financial Intelligence Centre, which have been recognized internationally as doing good work for the country,” stated BoZ.