The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has come up with a mortgage financing initiative that will enable Zambian missions abroad to acquire mortgages in respective host countries for the construction or acquisition of properties in order to cut the high cost rentals challenges.
In an effort to reduce expenditure in Zambian missions abroad, Cabinet at its 18th meeting held in July 2015 accepted the recommendation by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and of Finance to acquire mortgages for the construction or acquisition of properties in missions abroad.
Foreign Affairs Public Relations Officer Dorcas Chileshe disclosed in a press statement released to ZANIS in Lusaka today that an inter-ministerial committee comprising experts drawn from different ministries has since been constituted.
Mrs. Chileshe said the committee has finalised the guiding principles and terms of reference and is currently working on the mortgage financing document.
She further said the initiative covers various options including construction and purchasing of chanceries and houses for diplomatic staff.
She said the initiative would be piloted in a number of missions some of which have already advanced in terms of negotiations with financial institutions that offer mortgages in host countries.
Mrs. Chileshe added that the programme will then be rolled out to other missions.
“It is expected that the initiative will relieve stress on the treasury in terms of paying rentals and generate savings for the country which can be used for other developmental programmes,” Mrs. Chileshe explained.
Meanwhile, government spent K14, 713, 566.13 on rentals alone in the first quarter of 2015.
At the opening of the second session of the eleventh National Assembly on 19th September 2015, President Edgar Lungu directed that the operations of missions abroad be one of the areas on which cost saving measures should be instituted.