16 November 2012

Zambia: Parley Nods K41.4 Billion Dec Budget

PARLIAMENT has approved K41.4 billion allocation to the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) in the 2013 national Budget.

The House also approved K6.3 billion allocated to the Commission for Investigations under Office of the President (OP).

Members of Parliament (MPs) during debate on Wednesday night, appealed to the Government to decentralise the Commission for Investigation's operations.

Vice-President Guy Scott moved the motion in the House to approve the estimates and expenditure of the Commission for Investigations.

Dr Scott said the commission played an important role in investigating complaints against maladministration perpetuated by Government and parastatal institutions.

"The commission plays a significant role and its 2013 Budget allocation, will help to strengthen its legal framework," he said.

The commission also receives complaints on local authorities and regulators of utilities.

Its mission statement is "To ensure fairness and promote social justice in the administration of public institutions in order to facilitate the efficient and effective delivery of service to people."

MMD Mpongwe MP Gabriel Namulambe said most people had no idea on the operations of the commission hence the need to expand its operational offices countrywide.

"Mr Chairman, many people don't know about this commission. People should be sensitised on its operations because it plays a key role in dealing with maladministration cases," Mr Namulambe said.

UPND Kalomo MP Request Muntanga said the commission was taking long to prosecute cases of maladministration and other complaints.

"I would urge the commission's officers to be sent out in all provinces to listen and hear complaints from people and prosecute them," he said.

MMD Solwezi Central MP Lucky Mulusa said the commission's operations should be strengthened while his Senga Hill counterpart Kapembwa Simbao called for increased funding to the commission.

Parliamentarians also approved K41.4 billion allocation to DEC whose motion on estimates and expenditure was moved last week by then acting Home Affairs Minister Kennedy Sakeni.

Mr Sakeni said DEC would continue to explore systematic measures of combating drug cultivation, trafficking, abuse and money laundering that were on the rise.

He said plans were underway to establish a modern rehabilitation centre to reintegrate drug dependant persons back into their communities.

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