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The Finance Minister Does Not Need Any Parliamentary Approval To Procure Public Debt

The State has submitted before the Constitutional Court that Finance Minister Dr. Bwalya Ng’andu and the Attorney General do not need any parliamentary approval to procure public debt for Zambia.

This submission was made by Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa in response to a petition filed by former Commerce minister and UPND member Dipak Patel in which he has challenged government’s move to procure public debt, saying it was done without the approval of the National Assembly and therefore illegal.

Constitutional Court judge Anne Sitali has since set April 16 for status conference.

The petition by Mr. Patel has raised constitutional matters touching on the interpretation of, among others, Article 63 of the Constitution of Zambia on public borrowing by the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr. Patel is represented by Mulambo Haimbe of Malambo and Company and Jeah Madiaka of J and M Advocates in this matter where he has cited Dr Ng’andu and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka, who are represented by the Attorney General’s Chambers.

Mr. Patel is seeking an order that public debt, whether local or foreign, sought to be contracted on behalf of government, must be presented to the National Assembly for prior approval.

However, the Solicitor General has stated that Mr. Patel is not entitled to any reliefs he is seeking and the petition should be dismissed with costs.

He explained that sections three and seven of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act chapter 366 of the Laws of Zambia do not require the Attorney General and Dr. Ng’andu to obtain any form of approval from National Assembly as is being claimed by Mr. Patel.

“There has been no failure, neglect or refusal by the first and second respondents to obtain prior approval from the National Assembly as the law requiring the same has not yet come into effect,” Mr. Mwansa stated.

He stated that he was denying Mr. Patel’s statement to the extent that it is alleged that in the correct scheme of the law, prior approval of the National Assembly is required before local or foreign debt may be contracted by the State.

He also denied that Dr. Ng’andu ought to be signing bills for presentation to Parliament for purposes of scrutiny before any debt is contracted by the government.

Mr. Mwansa explained that the proper and correct legislation required and in use for purposes of procuring loans by the government is the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act, Chapter 366 of the Laws of Zambia.

He stated that this is until the provisions of the Constitution referred to comes into effect through an Act of Parliament.

Copyright © 2020 ZR.

7 Comments

  1. Truth man

    When I was working in government some time back I remember reading parliamentary debates and publications where the ministers of finance took loan requests to parliament for approval before any loan is accessed whether local or foreign. Maybe, that law was amended I don’t know! Let the constitutional court give us its rulling.

    • D'Kap

      There has never been such a law, and there should never be.
      The Executive should be allowed to do whatever possible to run the country without undue hindrance.
      However, the National Assembly should hold them accountable by offering checks and balances and informing the public of the Executive’s failures and short comings.
      Depending on their good or poor performance as highlighted by Parliament, the Executive will be retained as good stewards or removed as the case myabe by the voters.

  2. DR SEER 2020

    IN ZAMBIA WE HAVEN’T PROPER FINANCE MINISTER.
    ECONOMY TOTALY DIES.

    EDGAR LUNGU AND HIS LIDERSHIP FAILED TO CONTROL OUR CURRENCY TO INFLATIONS. WHERE IS FORMER FINANCE MINISTETLR THE TIME OF THE LATE MWANAWASA ( G MAGANDE ). SURE FROM THE LATE SATA WAS KWACHA RATE LEFT S1 TO K6. NOW LUNGU $1 TO K19 WHAT IS ECONOMIES THIS? NO !!!

  3. Jms

    No warder why,foreigners, corruption, criminals are hiding in Zambia.imagine even sugar, salad, flour etc all these things are being hiked daily due to incompetence of the govt, mind you if neglect other people it means stealing. And no matter colour /tribe a person is as long is capable to

  4. Jms

    No warder why,foreigners, corruption, criminals are hiding in Zambia.imagine even sugar, salad, flour etc all these things are being hiked daily due to incompetence of the govt, mind you if neglect other people it means stealing. And no matter colour /tribe a person is as long is capable to help the country from wrong dids is welcome.

  5. Jms

    For a country to develop it needs young people, now how to empower them is a very big problem. I tell you if you concentrate to some knowledge which these young people have

  6. Jms

    For a country to develop it needs young people, now how to empower them is a very big problem. I tell you if you concentrate to some knowledge which these young people have you can make our own industries which may even employ other who knew that a stove etc can be seen made in Zambia. If this is introduced Zambia will have cheaper affordable things.its unfair to say that a G12 have good thinking better than any below, if you say a G12 is better now why is their too much corruption, stealing etc.

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