The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released a diagnostic report on governance and corruption in Zambia, which was handed over to President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA on Wednesday. The report was prepared at the request of President Hichilema and focuses on identifying governance weaknesses and corruption vulnerabilities in key areas such as anti-corruption, fiscal governance, and financial sector oversight.
During a virtual handover event, President Hichilema emphasized the importance of the fight against corruption in his administration’s economic transformation program and highlighted ongoing legal reforms aimed at strengthening anti-corruption efforts. These reforms include the Securities and Exchange Act, which addresses money laundering and funding of terrorism, and the Public Debt Management Act, which aims to increase transparency in debt management and enhance parliamentary oversight.
The President also mentioned the new Bank of Zambia Act, which will enhance the operational autonomy of the central bank, and the review and amendment of laws such as the Penal Code to remove outdated provisions.
In addition to these measures, President Hichilema emphasized the importance of maintaining the independence of governance and law enforcement agencies, as well as the separation of powers, in the fight against corruption. He also stressed the need to enhance access to information as a vital tool in the fight against corruption.
Finance and National Planning Minister Dr. SITUMBEKO MUSOKOTWANE joined the President in reaffirming the government’s commitment to combating corruption and thanked the IMF for producing the report. The IMF Resident Representative, Ms. PREYA SHARMA, delivered the report on behalf of the IMF Mission Chief, Ms. TINA BURJALIANI.
The Governance Diagnostic Report is intended to support continued reform and progress in establishing effective governance arrangements and the rule of law in Zambia. The assessment focused on five critical priority areas, including anti-corruption and anti-money laundering, fiscal governance, enforcement of contracts and protection of property rights, central bank governance and operations, and financial sector oversight.
The release of the report coincides with President Hichilema’s continued efforts to combat corruption and improve governance in the country. In November 2021, he requested the IMF to prepare the report as part of his administration’s efforts to strengthen the rule of law and improve transparency.
Overall, the report is a valuable resource for the government and other stakeholders as they work to address governance weaknesses and corruption vulnerabilities in Zambia. It is hoped that the report will serve as a catalyst for continued reform and progress in the fight against corruption in the country.