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Economist, Haabazoka, calls for amendment of public financial management act, others


Economist, Dr Lubinda Haabazoka, has called for the urgent amendment of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act and other government financial laws.

Haabazoka said this was in order to differentiate mainstream civil service and public companies in terms of corporate governance and financial regulations.

The former Economic Association of Zambia, president, said this in a statement issued in Lusaka on Sunday.

He said the laws were designed by technocrats without considering their implications on the competitiveness of parastatals versus private companies.

“These laws are so archaic that they even make our civil service very slow in decision making,” Haabazoka noted.

He stated that the companies were competing with private sector companies and as such, the same rules obtaining in private companies should also prevail in parastatals.

Haabazoka wondered how parastatals could develop when the country has never had any law reforms that are aimed at making the parastatals very competitive and innovative.

Read More: Accountancy body invests on public financial management research to explore sustainable performance

“A very unfair case is that of what happened at a certain parastatal. Money comes in for a government project. The money is just sitting idle,” he said.

Haabazoka does not agree that Zambian parastatals can not perform as insuated by certain quarters of society, saying they are hindered by several factors that included the law.

He added tha if the National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and workers compensation were able to fund Ndola dual carriageway for over US$500m, they can easily fund Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani under ZCCM IH.

“Then we would need even FDI in Mopani. That way, we have the leverage to make decisions on output and other issues of the mine,” Haabazoka said.

He stated that appointments to parastatals were supposed to come on merit and that the staff should be allowed to grow from accountant to Chief Financial Officer, from Managers to Director.

Haabazoka added that appointments on merit and performance based contracts were the secrets to parastatal company performance.

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