THE Government has called on the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to ensure speedy implementation of the new law that seeks to give preference to Zambians to run contractual jobs instead of foreigners.
Finance Deputy Minister Miles Sampa said the statutory instrument on preferential procurement treatment for Zambians must be implemented quickly to allow Zambians engage in viable projects in the public sector.
The minister was speaking when he toured ZPPA offices in Lusaka on Thursday.
He said this would help resolve the longstanding complaints that some minor jobs that were suitable for Zambians were usually taken by foreigners, thereby leaving access to wealth in the hands of foreign firms.
Mr Sampa said citizens engaged in small to medium-scale businesses were complaining that some minor public works were still being done by foreign firms.
He said the development had continued even when the law clearly stipulated circumstances and dimensions of public works in which foreign firms could take part.
He said ZPPA should intensify sensitisation programmes to cover all parts of the country to minimise misunderstanding of the matter.
Mr Sampa said ZPPA should not only protect jobs in companies owned by local people, but also help them to grow by treating them as priority beneficiaries of certain contracts as prescribed in the statutory instrument on preferential procurement.
ZPPA director-general Danes Chisenda said Mr Sampa's assurance about the non-political interference in the operations of ZPPA was a welcome move as it had renewed the authority's energy to perform its mandate professionally, transparently, effectively and efficiently.
"The autonomy we have been given will enable us perform professionally and do what the law says we should do," he said.