At its 18th Meeting held today at State House, Cabinet discussed five(5) substantive Agenda Items and the following is summary of the decisions made:
1. 51st Independence Day Anniversary
Under this item, Cabinet approved celebration of this year’s Independence as a special celebration following the attainment of 50 years of independence last year. The 51st Independence Anniversary will, therefore, be celebrated under the theme: “Laying the foundation for a SMART Zambia, finding forgiveness, repentance, compassion and Love in God which is based on the Scriptures 1 Corinthians 13 Vs 1-13 and 1John 14:16 Vs 19-20.
2. Construction of Prisons through Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode
Under this Item, Cabinet approved construction of prisons on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. This is necessary in order to ensure participation of the private sector in infrastructure development in line with Government policy. Government believes the Public Private Sector partnership is one way to enhance infrastructure development in the country and supplement the efforts by Government.
3. Traditional, Complementary & Alternative Medicines (TCAM) Bill, 2015
Under this item, Cabinet approved in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to provide for the promotion, control and regulation of the practice of the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines (TCAM) Practitioners.
It is necessary to introduce a Bill in Parliament to protect the Zambian citizens from dangerous practices offered by some traditional healers and also protect the Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines Health Practitioners from litigation.
The Zambian society also needs to be protected from fake and fraudulent Traditional Health Practitioners and ensure that the traditional practitioners themselves are regulated and equally protected by law.
4. Declaration of National Health Week
Under this item, Cabinet approved declaration of the week preceding Independence Day, as the National Health Week to be commemorated annually commencing in 2015.
It is necessary for the Government to declare a National Health Week as this will help draw public attention to areas for health action and promotion activities to improve health and programmes by highlighting issues that are vital to improving health.
A number of health activities promoting healthy living among Zambians shall be undertaken. These will include seminars or briefings on health-related skills, First Aid, conduct of clinical services such as testing for different cancers, screening for blood pressure and diabetes, voluntary testing for HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
5. Construction and Purchase of Mission Abroad Properties through mortgage financing
Under this item, Cabinet approved Missions Abroad to acquire mortgages for the purchase and construction of Mission Properties.
Through this decision, Government intends to gradually reduce the current colossal expenditure of Government on rented property for Chanceries and Residences of the Heads of Mission and other diplomatic staff.
The Government has been spending a lot of money in rentals and acquiring permanent Government buildings for use by our Missions Abroad is indeed cardinal as the resources saved shall now be targeted at other equally important sectors such as roads, education and health.
6. Additional Items:
(a) Cabinet reviewed the power shortage situation in respect of intervention measures that were recently approved. I wish to announce that ZESCO will tomorrow, Tuesday start the importation of 148 mega watts of power.
(b) The Minister of Energy has briefed Cabinet on the progress that has been made on the ongoing rehabilitation works on the critical sections of the Kariba Dam to enhance its integrity and extend its lifespan. Cabinet took note of the good progress that the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) and the two power utilities for Zambia and Zimbabwe were making in this regard.
Hon. Vincent Mwale
ACTING GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON