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Civil Society for Poverty Reduction - October 2001

3.4 Governance
The PRSP Draft does recognize the broad canvas of issues that hamper good governance in Zambia and there is acknowledgement in the draft of the need to promote good governance in the management of private and public affairs as a mechanism for poverty industry. There are notable gaps however in the thrust of the programmes and these are outlined as follows:

Objective 1 — Ensure decision-making through wider uses of the consultative process

  1. The measures are more focused on improving institutional capacity and linkages at local government level. However, there is an apparent need to strengthen the consultative process even at the legislature. The on-going Parliamentary reforms should therefore be broadened to include wider participation of the citizens in the life and work of Parliament.

  2. The proposed strengthening of the local government system should be holistic and the measures outlined in the draft are merely subsets of major measures that are supposed to be undertaken. Civil Society, therefore proposes that broad based Local Government Reforms be instituted with a focus on Organizational Development of local authorities among other issues. The Decentralization Policy should be implemented immediately as part of the Reform Programme.

  3. The rights of individuals should be broadened and protected, and an appropriate measure suggested is to widen and strengthen the scope of the Bill of Rights to include economic, social and cultural rights.

  4. A broad based consultative process should continue as a 'hallmark' of the PRSP process a Poverty Reduction Council is proposed to provide a platform for all stakeholders in the implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation of the PRSP.

Objective 2 — Ensure efficient, equitable and transparent Management of public resources

  1. The offices of the Auditor General and Accountant General should include decentralized to ensure a countrywide presence.

  2. The measures proposed on corruption are rather mild and do not reflect the seriousness of corruption and how corruption has become 'institutionalized'. There is need therefore to decentralize the Anti-Corruption Commission, and further, the office of the Director of Public Prosecution should be made autonomous and a Directorate of Public Prosecution established independent of the Police Service. Additionally, the DPP's power to refuse consent to prosecute should be subject to petition by interested parties.

  3. The draft PRSP does not address the issue of procurement and it is civil society's contention that the composition of the National Tender Board should be changed and include a cross section of people from society, while the Board should also be provided with adequate funding to enhance its capacity.

Objective 3 — Guaranteed Justice for all

  1. In order to fully develop a rights culture in the country, it is proposed that the Human Rights Commission be granted the powers to prosecute offences and to award compensation to aggrieved parties.

  2. The creation and operationalizing of a Police Complaints Authority is welcome and long overdue. However, there are other important pre-requisites and one of these is that of the appointment of the Inspector General of Police - who, civil society are proposing should be appointed by the Public Service Commission, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

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