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Monday, 3 October 2011

How can the new government cut waste?

The new PF Government is committed to cutting wasteful expenditure. So that money can be channel to poverty reduction.

Zambian Economist wants to get your ideas on how you think Government can cut waste.

We will put together a short policy paper and submit it to the new administration as soon as possible.

Please provide your ideas below.

Please be as specific as possible - not general ideas like "cut corruption". We want specific ideas like "abolish District Commissioners" with an explanation of how such ideas will eliminate waste (where possible how much can be saved).


  1. 0. Reduce cabinet to 15. One deputy per ministry.
    1. Abolish the post of District Commissioner.
    2. Standardise motor vehicle models and buy smaller engined models.
    3. Revise MPs emoluments downwards.
    4. Long term: resist the impulse to increase the number of MPs as proposed in the NCC's draft constitution.

  2. 1. Cut down on the number of missions abroad. And cut civil servants attached to the missions. Encourage Zambians in Diaspora to volunteer to perform certain tasks at these missions.
    2. Re-organise local government admin. Abolish DA. Make the Town Clerk CEO of each town. Enhanced role for elected mayors.
    3. Abolish ZNS. It has no legitimate purpose anymore.
    4. Review allowances paid to government staff for attneding workshops and conferences. At the same time review policy for holding conferences/workshops/seminars.
    5. Cut fringe benefits for cabinet. Do they need 2-3 drivers, 3-4 servants, mobiles and utilities paid for by the state?

  3. I have a suggestion for cutting wasteful expenditure. No medical treatment abroad to be borne by taxpayers.

  4. Implement proper procedure for Procurement of goods & services, with regular audits.

  5. Always act on the Auditor General's report regardless of which of the president's favourites may fall out of favour.

  6. More coming. But for now, stop deliverying newspapers to senior civil servants' and politicians' homes on weekends. Stpo paying housing allowance, establish GRZ per diem charts that applies to everyone, no personal to holder vehicles, no servants, people in a manner that they cantake care of these things by themselves.

  7. Capital projects such road construction need to be evaluated and properly managed. Some of the work is below standard or of very poor quality. Alot of money has been lost in this area

  8. I like some of these ideas but some are out of touch with the reality. Why do you expect leaders to work for nothing or have no perks. They need perks but these need to be reasonable and transparent. Expecting leaders to work for nothing breeds corruption.

  9. Better targeting of subsidies. Agriculture has been targetted since Mwanawasa rule and positive results have been achieved. But this is mainly with maize production. Is this cost effective and is there no end date for this. Surely if maize production is self sustainable subsidies cannot be a permanet feature

  10. This is just absurd:

    "I like some of these ideas but some are out of touch with the reality. Why do you expect leaders to work for nothing or have no perks. They need perks but these need to be reasonable and transparent. Expecting leaders to work for nothing breeds corruption."

    Most tax payers get no perks, I see why they should fund perks for somebody who makes more than they do.

  11. ZRA revenue collection is great but more could be raised. Anti corruption fight should target this institution and its operations at offices, ports and systems.

  12. Life has always been absurd and unfair. This is a fact of life and has been for years. Name a progressive economy where politicians work for nothing. (Cuba and Venezuela??)

    "This is just absurd:

    I like some of these ideas but some are out of touch with the reality. Why do you expect leaders to work for nothing or have no perks. They need perks but these need to be reasonable and transparent. Expecting leaders to work for nothing breeds corruption.

    Most tax payers get no perks, I see why they should fund perks for somebody who makes more than they do".

  13. National Housing Authority is a drain. It has the potential to be financialy self sustaining and to be truly national. Since inception it has manifested itself in Lusaka and Copperbelt only. It is largely a pseudo government department, highly politicised and lacks the corporate clout to plan, organise or position itself strategically. This is an opportunity to review this and give it a kick

  14. Stop the rot of appointing party cadres to run vital and strategic institutions. They are a big cost because of lack of skills, competency, etc.

  15. Why is being inefficient inherent in many government processes and services? Be it applying for a passport, driving licence, NRC, title deeds, tax administration, car registration, etc. The inefficiencies are a huge cost to citizens and government in general.

  16. Being in IT gives me tunnel vision, I'm afraid, so please forgive my blinkered focus on communications and data processing.

    The government has had some good work done on investigating the standardisation of IT infrastructure and systems among the ministries. However, there is still a lot of fragmentation among them, with each making their own IT purchases, implementing their preferred operating systems, and paying their own separate bills for internet access and IT consultancy, for example.

    It's possible to consolidate the whole government's ICT requirements, buy one platform, connect all government offices via VPN and dedicated fibre links, and have just a few super-big pipes to the internet. One main government website would suffice, with branches for different ministries.

    A private fibre network would allow Voice over IP telephony (like Skype), bypassing Zamtel landlines and cellphones. Aggregating all internet access would yield economies because bulk buying is cheaper than each ministry creating its account with disparate ISPs.

    Imagine a seamless system where immigration is linked to citizenship and passport data to pension records; tax administration to company registration to land and building information, etc. It's not so far out of reach.

    Quantification is hard, but let's say, whatever the cost is right now, it can be cut down by two thirds for comms and 30% for equipment and maintenance. The cost of training in IT would also come down as standards take root across all government operations. Yum.

  17. Avoid formulating mickey mouse solutions to macro level problems e.g. mobile hospitals and hearses. Wastage like this does not inspire confidence in leaders.

  18. Government should review and abolish some traditional semi quasi NGOs like Village Industry Service. What is their purpose and what have they achieved since inception but most importantly at what cost. Experience of liaising with these organisations is that they are not accountable, have poor governance, are wasteful and have very porous systems.


  20. I say my young master government reforms begins with justice...

    The government should start by removing visible human political waste...i.e....reclaim some of the stolen assets and monies from the bwezanist regime..allow justice to be served and then build the country.

    Cutting other waste

    Downsize and reform where appropriate i.e some ministries need to be amalgamated and streamline government processes.. bureaucracy is a development killer...have independent civil service...get the monkey to pee on the Zambian Public Procurement Authority...reorganise the Financial Services Authority, education and health ministries and systems need to be looked at critically, independent media...establish an independent media and communication watchdog...restructure the ECZ and justice system in Zambia...get the whole head of Buffalos and cows to stampede and pee on the Zambian Development has failed in both its operation and has been a conduit of dodgy deals..restructure the damn thing.... ...Get rid of District Commissioners...they are a waste of resources...renegotiate some mining deals and taxes...the Chinese will not leave ..they need copper and raw materials.. besides Zambia and China has had a long bilateral relationship they care less who comes in power...its all business, strengthen democratic institutions, restructure and reform the ministries of finance, trade and commerce...have a bunch of Independent help the government ministries..i dont mean government or political cadres.. The zambian environment agency is a joke...perhaps those who run it have been overwhelmed and been victims of climate change or global warming... surely that the only way to explain their restructure and change the damn thing to make it more is because of this that mines can get away with environmental pollution...I will send my detailed views latter

    allow justice to be served government reform should be top of the agenda and theid could be done I will forward you the details...

  21. Musaba for Sykes:

    I like your comment and vision. I understand you clearly. May be we can compare notes.

    ZE you raise a good quetion but some responses are from a poverty perspective. I think the issue in Zambia is not just big government but a lower budget as a consequence of a tiny GDP. I prefer ideas that are going to create wealth more. This is not to say there is no waste but we need to identify real waste.

    For example can a town like Mufulira and Luashya bring in $20-$30 million a year from minining tourism and fee paying hospitals?


  22. Reduce/Limit the number of Presidential trips abroad. It is cheaper to send a minister than a president to some international meeting.

    Tap in to e-governance use technology to increase efficiency in govt operations.

    Investors and corporations should mandated to employ 80% Zambians

    Promote public- private partnerships and use the business approach to increase and raise govt revenue.

    Use college students and promote trainee and staff development by paying form of wages to students

    Do no procure vehicles for MPs and ministers.

    Ministers should not use govt vehicles outside official duties.

    Use virtual conference tools to cut on seating allowances for civil servants and cancel things like entertainment allowance, personal to holder vehicles and hotel accommodations.

  23. I thought this might be useful to some in crafting their ideas: The chart on page 17 provides a nice summary overview of the current budget breakdown.

  24. Removing workshop sitting allowances, the duties of attending worshops should be part of the regular job, in the western countries you don't find such perks. Secondly paying civil servants by the hour no work no pay. God bless Zambia

  25. simply remove the posts of deputy minister and if there is such a post as deputy permanent secretary. all mps must use UTH for medical check ups and if its beyond UTH, the person has to get a loan in addition to the insurance such a person has in order to be evacuated. up to now i dont understand the duty of district commissioners, the name changed from the infamous DA to DC but if this can be done in such a way that this post be either scrapped or be advertized with the recommendations mwanawasa wanted, degree holders and 2 terms only.

  26. streamline the missions abroad. too much laziness and inefficiency has crippled these important offices. too many positions on political scene must be scrapped.

  27. i forgot provincial deputy ministers, nothing is done except politicking. abash such duplication posts min of agric must be headed by one person not two

  28. I support the abolition of district commissioners and provincial ministers; definitely tighten up workshops and per diems - and why on earth is one paid a sitting allowance for attending a meeting or conference DURING NORMAL WORKING HOURS AS PART OF ONE'S JOB? Combine the airforce with the army as a flying wing - we do not need to pay for a big Merc for some air force general who has 3 or 4 functioning planes and who refuses to even let the helicopter(s?) help the police look for criminals? Make departments run efficiently as that saves money - thye Lands Dept can never find anything and officers are being consulkted all the time because of lost documents isntead of getting on with teh immense workload they have. Forget all the donor imposed regulations and procedures which snarl up the systems worked fine before - the Americans are the worst at this, look at what they ahve done to Lands and Companies with smart customer service centres but no proper registries or systems working behind the customer service people (I knwo of many companies who print outs from Companies have remained completley incorrect for years and the original files ahve been lost in the re-organsiation so nothing can be rectified now). No filing of actual paper recors is done in Lands so if docs are lost after resgistration so we cannot collect our copies, one cannot go to the Registry file for their copy. When it comes to writing legislation and donors "assist" then the revision must be in conformity with Zambian legal system not Norwegian or Swiss or something who have a different system entirely.

  29. Historical experiences of sustained economic find their enabling conditions in a rich set of complementary institutions, shared behavioural norms and public policies. hence the new government should:
    1. Develop and Strengthen institutions(rules of the game) and will include political rules(constitution, Regulations), contracts, economic rules(property rights)
    2. Strengthen the Anti-corruption commission in order to bring about accountability
    3. Reduce bureacracy and enhance governance
    4. Reduce the size of the government and please do away with the DC's(they dont serve any purpose)
    5. Reduce the number of vechles attached to Ministers( some of them hard 4 cars each!)

  30. First and foremost congrats to all Zambians who participated in the elections. Reforms needed;

    1. Strengthen labor laws to ensure casualization is reduced drastically. This will automatically chase away dubious investors.

    2. increase the minimum wage from the current 480,000 to about a million..

    3. Reduce tax on petroleum products, this will automatically reduce tax across the board for all products and services

  31. 1. Cut out borrowing from commercial banks. This would eliminate interest payments and by removing their biggest customer, force the banks to lend to the private sector.
    2. Do away with DC's. they duplicate local council functions.
    3. No government employee should receive an allowance for attending a meeting during working hours. (What is their salary for?)
    4. Remove all extras on salaries and instead increase basic pay. A decent salary is better than a poor salary with housing allowance, education allowance, transport allowance lunch allowance etc etc.
    5. Official phone calls should use a land line wherever possible. It's a lot cheaper but went out of fashion due to mismanagement. (Failure to pay the bill or control use)
    6. Make FRA self sustaining. Salaries to be paid from the difference between purchase price and sale price. Otherwise close it down.

  32. Reduce presidential motorcade.
    Lease out the presidential challenger to private airlines.
    Abolish office of District commissioner with the new fleet of vehicles(landrovers) that were purchased given to rural clinics.
    Abolish position of provincial ministries and then strengthen provincial PS office.
    Reduce the number of ministers to 15 and therefore its fleet,ban all government vehicles from moving at weekends.
    Reduce personal emoluments for ministers by 18%
    Reduce import tax on fuel by 35% and increase tax by mines.
    Reduce number of missions abroad especially in Africa by 50%
    Reduce the frequency of presidential trips..
    Reduce funding for Zambia Secret Intelligence Service by 50%
    Reduce size of the Army,ZAF and ZNS and freeze on military equipment PURCHASE these personnel must be used in road construction, damns and housing.

  33. Kindly look at bringing investment in the film and tv industry. Am currently a film maker and believe it or not the nigerian movie industry brings in over 500 million in revenue a year. Yes we might have a large population but it can a point of growth to the economy. Also put in place incentives for international film makers, Zambia has some historical and breath taking sights which make it a viable destination for international film makers.

  34. To cut waste, the new govt leader pointed out tht it will reduce th size of cabinat, i totally agree to tht and can only point out a few things on how they can do it.
    1. they should eliminate all depute ministers in cabinet coz they r irrelevant. a depute minister cannot even act as minister even when ministers r not available.
    2. Should avoid holding unnecessary workshops and meetings/trips. ths will help in raising public funds for other developmental projects.
    3. High tax charges such as P.A.Y.E which is now at 35% are been charged on poor Zambian employees where as their employers are paying less tax, more warse they even removed windfall tax which could hv helped in increasing income for the country. this shud be vice versa, more tax to be payed by our employers for they r reaping huge profits from their investment.

  35. 1. reduce the size of cabinet to 15
    2. Remove the position of deputy ministers since they do not come act when the minister is out
    3. Abolish the District Commmissioner position and replace it with a populaly elected mayor
    4. Abolish the position of pronvincial minister and let the PS be in charge
    5. close missions abroad which are not very strategic
    6. reduce the size of the army to a lean robust one
    7. privitize parastatals like ZSIC, ZESCO, Workers compensation and the like
    8. Commercialize ZNBC, Times of Zambia and Daily Mail
    8. Implement the decentralization policy to cut down on the waste of doing business in Lusaka even for simple things which districts can handle at provincial levels
    9. Remove personal to holder vehicles from all senior government workers and Ministers. They should only have utility vehicles to use for official duties and those with no personal vehicles should be helped to access car loans from the banks
    10. remove bursaries from university students and replace them with merit based scholarships and student loans which students in colleges and private universities can access

  36. Sorry I haven't read all that others have already said above. But here are mine:
    1. Abolish office of DCs and never think of recreating it under a new name.
    2. Reduce size of cabinet by combining some ministries. This will automatically reduce the number of PSs and Directors.
    3. Encourage open tenders for all contracts handled by contracts committees that have police, NGOs and churches sitting on.
    4. Decentralise quickly and introduce pool vehicles for all departments in all districts. This will mean retiring all all underperforming individuals, especially in councils and replacing them with well qualified and committeed individuals.
    5. Stop use of cell phones on GRZ expenditure. Only land phones should be supported by GRZ in offices. Those using cell phones should mind their own talk time.
    6. Revise retirement packages for former presidents. They are not doing active government work,therefore, they should have minimum packages. Less servants, less workers and less money. Their lives are the same like those of other retired civil servants.
    7. No car loans to returning MPs. within 10 years. They shouldbe able to buy cash on their own from their gratuity.

  37. My proposal for the new government in order to cut waste is as follows:
    1.The District Commissioner's office must be abolished because it does not save any purpose.
    2.Each Ministry should only have a Minister and no deputy since there is a permanent secretary.
    3.The Agriculture Ministry should incorperate Live Stock and Fisheries as one Ministry.
    4.Trips outside the country should be reduced and when necessary to travel, the entourage should be of a small number of ministers.

  38. have RB and teammates behind bars

  39. 1. Fully equip local hospitals especially UTH and stop VIPs from treking to 'Morningside Clinic' for treatment
    2. No Deputy ministers. The Permanent Secretaries should not be political appointees. They are the CEOs of ministries.
    3. Abolish the post of District Commissioners. The head of the Local Authority will be the head of the district.
    4. Abolish use to 4 x 4 vehicles for daily use unless officers are going out of their duty stations
    5. Ministers should only be advisors to the president ensure ministries are implementing policies unlike having permanent offices in the ministries. Permanent Secretaries can run the ministries effectively and be there to give speeches at various fora. Ministers should be out there engaging with the people.

  40. 1. Ministry of tourism should be divided into three ministries. It is too big for one minister to administer effectively. ( ministry of tourism ( tourist industry), ministry of forestry(timber industry) , ministry of environment)
    2. Abolish all deputies in Ministries
    3. Abolish Ministry of gender. It can merge with Ministry of justice
    4. All govt officials should fly economy
    5. Make NAPSA investments like the 401K in America.
    6. Reduce secretaries in the offices

  41. Stop government officials, ministers, permanent secretaries... the list goes on from going to see off and welcome the President at the various airports (Lusaka, Ndola.. ) whenever he makes a trip outside Lusaka. Apart from the costs associated with the airport drive,there is also loss in productivity. Added to that is the inconvenience to other citizens from the long motorcades.

  42. i don't how this one will go down with this gov. Gov should stop paying for everybody's health care.they need to create a system that allows those employed to pay for themselves. employers must be [persuaded legally or otherwise to give medical cover to all their employees.this with the current 750 000 people employed in zambia will translate into over 20% of the population with medical cover of some sort. this means gov is relieved form covering around 3.5million people.

  43. 1. Reduce the # of ministers by merging certain ministries and # of deputy ministers.
    2. Abolish the position of DC as it is a political position in the name of civil servants.
    3. No first class planes when GRZ official travel abroad.
    4. Reduce on MP's emoluments. Over 700 million kwacha for five years is beyond reach.

  44. One way to reduce the size of central government, and massively increase the democratic accountability of government, is to shift tasks from central government to local government.

    This way the government would become much more service oriented, and freed to deliver healthcare, education, security, utilities, and administration (no more having to travel to the capital to get local or national licenses - those should be collectable at your local council office).

    Also, an increase in local government resources allows development decisions to be made locally, avoiding the white elephant projects, like the $53 million for mobile hospitals. Local people would have prioritized local clinics, roads or other forms of healthcare like draining standing pools to eliminate a source for malaria, or paving a road to prevent respiratory illnesses from dust during the dry season.

    The PF has already talked about decentralisation of government, and I would like to see them have a public debate about this very important issue. I would like to echo Thomas Jefferson, and advocate decentralisation to the ward level of government, below district level. This would help prevent favouritism based on tribe, and prevent the replacement of a national ruling elite by a local ruling elite.

  45. The kabwe mine is going to be reopened within the next few weeks, a british company has secured the mine and tailings dumps and will bring jobs to the locals as well as cleaning up the town. Berkeley mineral rescources are working closely with contessa to help build schools to educate the children of kabwe.

    Big things are about to happen in kabwe good luck.

  46. Curb foreign exchange flight by instituting more rigorous expatriate screening and issuance of work permits. There are alot of expensive expatraiates doing jobs that Zambians are capable of doing. There are alot of options open to government such as taxation, fees, penalties to discourage companies overlooking local talent and expertise

  47. With a booming housing and construction industry government should do more to regulate this and enforce planning. But most importantly this sector is a big revenue stream for councils and central government not only from rates but also other off shoot services - water, sewarage, waste disposal and provision of specialist services. The government should not only focus on reaping from taxes and charges; they should in turn provide necessary and essential services.

  48. Cut waste is a good idea but to me these are cheeseparing economies compared to others issues

    priorities are :

    - honest justice : appeal Application in Chiluba's London Judgment : regina chiluba must pay back $46 million

    - recovering money or shareholding from assets sold for a song eg zamtel

    - reforming the task force on corruption with Maxwell Nkole eg $100 million swindled from former ZCCM, the former govt knew where the money is and who played this dirty trick but nothing was done since 2008 because Banda the crook disbanded the task force...

    APA - Port Louis (Mauritius) Zambia and Mauritius, within the framework of the Mutual Assistance Programme are working to retrieve 100 million dollars alleged swindled from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), APA learnt here.
    The Zambian government holds 85 percent of shares in the ZCCM.
    A high level delegation of the Zambian Task Force on Corruption, Tuesday arrived in Mauritius to pursue the matter.
    Rama Valayden, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to reporters Wednesday in the capital, Port Louis, that he will hold a working session in the evening with the Zambian delegation to discuss the follow up of the case which implicates offshore companies incorporated in Mauritius.
    He said about 100 million dollars have been transferred through the Bank of Butterfield Account in London, before being invested in the banking system in Mauritius and said the suspects in the scam are known by Zambian and Mauritian authorities.
    At the beginning of the year, at the request of the Zambian government, the Mauritius Supreme Court issued an ’Attachment and Freezing Order’ to several banks here on the accounts of the suspects, Mr Bernard Mungulude, Mr Kazhi Kateke and the Laxi diamond company.
    The duty of the Zambian Task Force on Corruption now was to seek to identify the local agents and representatives of the suspects so as to be able to recover and repatriate the money.
    Hence, local banks have been assigned to submit documentary evidence to expose the criminal gang, or else the banks will face dire consequences, Valayden said.

  49. ----------

    - pressure on foreign mines : Kansanshi Mining (FQM) owes ZCCM-ih $ 440 million but gave only crumbs ($24 million) despite of huge profits

    - eradicate tax evasion through tax heavens eg glencore/mopani

    Congolese state expelled FQM from DRC because of tax fraud and embezzlement one year ago and ... sold the licences to ENRC !!

    Why Congolese politicians can do it and the new govt wont be able to expel Glencore from Zed or nationalize Mopani ??? plunderers OUT !!

    According to NGOs in its pilot audit by Grant Thornton, Zambia and Econ Poyry, Zambia lost an estimated income of USD 175 million in tax revenue between 2003 and 2008 from tax avoidance practices’ by Glencore AG International owned Mopani Copper Mines.
    Moreover, in the report by Action Aid, which Mopani has described as flawed and incomplete draft added that the Zambian government (ZCCM-ih) , may probably be losing USD 50 million annually on dividend payments from its 10% stake in Mopani Copper Mines.

    copper from Mopani is sold under a contract with copper in one instance being sold at 25 per cent of official prices at LME. In other words, they are not paying taxes over 75% of the copper sold to Glencore.

    and FQM

    Mopani Copper Mines plc is majority owned by Carlisa Investments Corporation, which is incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Carlisa Investments Corporation is jointly owned by Glencore Finance (Bermuda) Limited (81.2%), a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore International AG; and Skyblue Enterprise Incorporated (18.8%), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Quantum Minerals Limited


    Chiluba embezzlement $ 46 m
    kansanshi (zccm-ih‘s minority interests) $440 m
    mopani tax lost $175 m
    zccm dividend lost (mopani) : at least $300 m

    embezzlement $100 m

    $1.061 billion AT LEAST !! without zamtel, minority interest from KCM and other mines, other embezzlements...

    $1.061 billion for the PF manifesto

  50. 1. Remove the office of the District Commissioner

    2. Remove Deputy Ministers from each Ministry

    3. Let each Ministry only only have one Permanent

    4. Cut down on number of trips abroad and let most trips be undertaken by either the Minister of Foreign Affairs or the Vice President. Of course, the president should only attend very important meetings with multilateral and bilateral organisations

    5. Reduce number of Ministries .... Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives should be re-merged with Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ministry of Lands should be merged with Ministry of Tourism Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Gender should just be a department under cabinet office,functions of the Ministry of Sport should be shared among Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare

  51. Daniels

    My suggestions include
    1. Devolve power to local authorities after capacity building them that will reduce cost of delivering services.
    2. Abolish position of District Commissioner and Deputy Minister.
    3. Allow local companies that can employ youths supply strong desks to schools unlike importing weak ones from abroad.
    4. Use the Army, ZNS and Airforce personnel to construct and rehabilitate infrastructure unlike awarding expensive contracts all the time.
    5. Stop buying poor quality vehicles that are expensive to maintain e.g. Keep Zambia clean and hearses from China
    6. Revamp the railway network in order to reduce the bulk of heavy goods on our roads that require us to maintain the roads regularly. I end here for now.

  52. Fire every corrupt minister and corrupt employee.

    Take seriously every report concerning corruption from every patriotic Zambian.

    Create a whistle blowing line direct to the president especially on zero tolerance corruption alertness.

    Sensor jobs that can be done by Zambians and ensure that they are not done by expartriates.

    Improve nurses' conditions of service to attract all those nurses in diasphora.

  53. Monitor beer smugling from botswana to Zambia at Kazungula boarder from the pontoon to canoes on the Zambezi river while every one watches stripping the nation of revenue.

  54. Privatize or make public media autonomous so they can criticize government constructively. Prioritize projects by having constituencies or wards decide what developmental projects they want to see in their community. Employ civil servants on merit and have them practice excellent service delivery and customer service (e.g passport office, traffic police, etc) digitize or computerize NRCs into a national database similar to how passports have barcodes. Change pensions from lump sums to income for the retired (e.g 60% of your salary at time of retirement for the rest of your life) invest in infrastructure (freeways, bridges, schools, public libraries, public parks and recreation center, health centers, etc) In short people should see their money at work. I pay taxes now and I don't complain because I can see my money at work when I drive on good roads and their are sufficient public goods around me.

  55. excellent posts,does the government have access to this? I have personally learned a lot.@sykes,good observations,I'm in the same field as well.I have been involved with the government systems a bit and I believe we can share a lot on that under another topic.

    One of the ways I strongly believe has to be worked on is foreign missions. I believe we should have regional offices rather than having embassies in each country. For example,South America,North America,EU,Asia,North Africa,Central Africa,Southern Africa should each be assigned a single office. The costs of running foreign mission is massive and we don't get businesses from each of the countries we have full presence in.

  56. ‎1. Let him reduce size of cabinet
    2. He shd minimise his entourage if he goes for meetings abroad

  57. Reduce da namber of ministerz nd reduce gvmnt oficials at district district comisioner.

  58. Eliminate provincial ministers

  59. He needs to abolish the convoys of cars filled with carders to "dance" for his excellence to & from nationl duties at the airports.

  60. make sure quality service delivery by investing quality in all areas. This will lead to longer lasting goods. Make sure value for money for all good and services. This will reduce recurrent expenditure on frequently replaced items

  61. I have a completely different& possibly radical view of things. The solution is NOT to reduce the size of cabinet --that only solves less than half of your problems.
    My hypothesis is that an ultimate solution would result by appointing highly qualified individuals to head those roles.
    1. Appoint skilled& qualified individuals to run the ministries.
    2. Segregation of duties improves efficiency --assuming #1 is followed.
    3. I not too sure how much of reporting is done in Government because I have never worked in the Government sector, but reporting is key. One of the things I have been doing over the past couple of weeks is going through documentation from the Ministry of Education& quite frankly speaking, the latest reports they have are from as far back as 2008 --how do you assess progress like that.
    4. Approval processes should be strict. I have been monitoring the National Council for Scientific Research& it appears they just dish out money. I am into Information Technology& came across some research projects that have been allocated funding& yet nothing is going on.

  62. remove if possible all involvement of cadre from the running of govt to maintain objectivity. Let civil service be so. Not politic.

  63. Reduce on luxury vehicles if anything buy buses & introduce pool vehicles to reduce on excessive fuel consumption & maintenance costs; reduce on standalone office utilities encourage shared hubs of resources, reduce unnecessary workshops, yes eliminate provincial ministers, also @ BOZ the Governor shudn't be a Board chairperson (red flag); unnecessary sub-committees & agencies especially in fuel this increases fuel prices,

  64. 0)District secretaries be merged with DC to become one.
    .0) Reduce travels and seminars for civil servants- use technology instead to disseminate info(Teleconferences, Skype, mobile phones etc)
    .05) reduce councils red tape and wastefulness and staffing.e.g (why keep non performing engineers&surveyors when we have yearly drainage issues at kafue round about and other parts of Zambia, look at the compounds&poor structures where are the surveyors&country &city planners?)- better to out-source such services.
    **FOR MOST JOBS(Community and otherwise),USE PRISONERS than paying to companies,eg. Sweeping streets &markets,Civic duties,that is a drain on govt confers.... better to use the available" free" resources & also tar pavements than sweeping the roads

    1.Govt must increase or broaden revenue base e.g having an organized society and organized properties-for easy traceability& collection of taxes, levy,ground rates etc.(compound and many un planned settlement be reviewed)
    2.All landlords must pay tax on their rentals regardless of location or property size from compounds to Holdings..
    3. Tax Businesses, (from marketers, Tuntembas to corporate) every K1 in a population of 13mil people and businesses means a lot. Channel that cash to new housing,tar roads,sewarage/drainage etc
    4) A well organized community is easy to manage,Zambia now is disorganized (compounds ,bus stations, markets, transport sector etc) But organized society has to start somewhere for a better Zambia with the 7th generation in mind.
    ***More people on share lower taxes is better than few people ,high taxes as the situation is now.
    More later.....

  65. Lyk most ov em hv mentiond,abolish thngs lyk deputyz in all minisitrial positionz cz i thnk they get 2mch money 4omst no wrk at al.alowances gvn r 2mch nd combine sum positionz.they mst oso introduce a law wer evryhous alng a road must hv a drainage of so mch mtrz made esp in compoundz ths wil reduce expenditur on construction companiz 4whol proces.

  66. With respect to above suggestions, i don't think abolition of the posts of DC and provincial minister will be the answer. This will only increase the unemployment level. We need to create more jobs (a good number of youths voted for PF due to this). The only solution is to put more productive people (youths) in these positions and this will ultimately increase output and hence reduce costs. The other way for E.G. is to go by what the PF Veep Dr. Scott said "all clinics (hospitals) should operate 24hours. This entails same number of people but doubled output. For let me end here.......

  67. It shud b mandatory for foreign & well establishd local companies over a turnover of K300million to establish a Group Life insurance scheme, funeral policy insurance, medical insurance policy & a pension scheme with a local insurance company. This will improve the insurance industry wich provides most revenue to the gov't through TBs, Bonds

  68. With specific ref to office of DC, my opinion is that its role is not clearly defined and as such seems irrelevant, so maybe to abolish it would serve right. Broadening the tax base would really help. Like others have said, tax on rentals and income from bus operators based on profits, and build capacity in councils so they can collect taxes from marketeers and parking fees in an efficient manner. Office of deputy minister should be abolished only in some ministries. Then lastly like the president said we need a small cabinet. Review how govt buys motor vehicles

  69. One way to reduce waste would be to reduce fuel usage and transport related maintenance costs by (1) deliberately ensuring all ministries only use diesel vehicles (2) introducing remote vehicle tracking for ministries with large fleet of vehicles. Some private firms have implemented these measures successfuly to control transport costs.

  70. 1) govt vehicles must be packed by 1800hrs to reduce on abuse with exception of ambulances and others related. personal to holder vehicles among managers must be reduced.what must be encouraged is for these workers to own their own vehicles through loans.
    2) in the ministry of health all doctors who are practicing administrative work must go back to the wards and theatres to do what they have been trained-saving life.govt is spending money on foreign doctors wen ours are doing work which can be done by business administrators.

  71. A) The fight against corruption must be initiated, but if as in Lat Pres.Mwanawasa's time the cost of recovery via the task force results in more expenses it must be reorganized. This could be by using the org. already available to us e.g Anti Corruption Office, Auditor General office

    B) Gratuities, Allowances etc offered to government officials and purchase of government luxury products e.g luxury cars etc must be slashed and temporarily frozen. The world economy is rapidly approaching another recession with America, Europe and now even Asia is falling in. We MUST begin cutting our budget deficit if we are to survive the time the world won't be able to afford to give us debt.

    C) Bursaries offered to UNZA and CBU students are excellent. But a program has to be initiated on how to recover the same. This should be such that it will form a common pool that will eventually sponsor other students coming in

    D) Lastly, the government must have a plan in which our borrowing will be reduced to if possible 10% of our budget in a period of 10 to 15 years. This will lower interest government pays and eventually lower expenses.

  72. 1. Expand roads to open bottlenecks - this is cost the nation, not to mention the government, a lot of money.
    2. Unbundle ZESCO - a. generation, b. transmission, and c. distribution; and sell them off.
    3. ERB recalibration to include reduction of allowances

  73. There have been several comments about increased leverage of ICT platforms and improved efficiency. The South African government have made some progress in this area. It may be worth taking advice from Gauteng Province's Shared Service Centre in this regard.

  74. Waste wasted!
    Cho you said don't be general but I'll risk your wrath! Our state structure is built on top-down reductionist thinking from an London -run era long gone. If we take a more holistic view we find for example, that managing forests, fish, wildlife, soils, fire, water etc is complex and interconnected. Rural people get this easily and integrated development programs in their communities reflect their desire to manage their environment as a whole instead of in stove-pipe civil fashion. Govt is out of tune with nature!
    With PF's program to de-centralise, devolve and build from the bottom I see the central admin reducing to a small muscular regulator manned by experts and everything else happening at regional, local govt and CBI (community based institutions).
    Most successful societies have structured themselves as PF proposes- we just got used to authoritarianism! The right way up, govt begins to reflect the needs of citizens and the question of waste diminishes- empowered local communities simply don't tolerate their hard earned contributions being wasted.

  75. Here in USA, the Zambian embassy is not efficient, it took me 2 yrs to get passport. I complained million times, in Feb 2009 we drove from Boston, MA to Washingtn DC just to go and explain my situation. My 8 - 9 hrs of driving was in vain. Finall they sent my passport this yr in June.
    Now imagine having all these problems in USA, what more so for you folks in Zambia? It is a shame how these missions work. They are so lazzy, don`t reply emails, don`t know how to answer people on the phones, don`t update their website.

    Back home;
    If I buy a commercial truck and send it home I should in writing receive or pay no import tax because am investing back home. That is what the missions/embassies are telling us to do, invest in your country. Her excellency ambassador Siwale said that when she came to Woburn, Massachussetts. Before I send any equipment missions/embassies must give in writing to all Zambian abroad a note which say that you are investing home and should have some relief in terms of import tax or other taxs.

    I agree with other writers that positions of Distric Administrators, Deputy Minisers, Deputy Provincial Minister, number of stuff in missions/embassies must be cut off to save public funds.
    10 -15 Ministers only.
    Vice President should run Mnistry of Legal affairs + Ministry of labour assisted by permanent secretary.
    Merge ministry of education + ministry of science and technology.
    Merge Ministry of Lands + Ministry of naturall resuorces & tourism.
    Merge Ministry of sport youth development + Ministry of Gender & Community.
    Merge Ministry of Transport + Communications.
    Merge Ministry Mines + Ministry of energy.
    Zambia National Services split it and have some guys join Zambia Police to accommodate villages or rural areas to provide more security. Every Zambian need security.
    Zambia Army let them spend money on constructing dams and other projects. In most cases these guys just drink beers in barracks and don`t look health.
    Merge Zambia Daily Mail + Times of Zambia + Zambia Nationa services. Fix it and sale the whole as an entity. Make sure employees own 15% -30% shares.
    Zambia National Broadcasting Corperation - fix and sale it and make sure employees own 10% -30% shares. That way they can report responsibly without favouring current Government.

    The President like here in the USA should pay taxes and build their own houses when they retire, NO public funds should be used to build a house, please. They have already earned enough and they can afford to build a better house. USA President Obama makes $400,000/yr and yet pay all taxes, so why not poor Zambia? If a mini bus conductor can build a house why not a President who make more money. Give me a break.

    Mines should pay more in taxes, re-introduce windfall tax to generate enough revenue.
    Informal sector is very weak, Governemnt don`t get any revenue from these guys. Decentralize Government and fix it so that everyone can pay a share.
    If you or company make more than K200 - K500 Billions, pay more in health insurance for your employees to Insurance companies, they in return (Insurance Co) can make more money and create jobs at the time. Less than K200 Billions pay less.

    I will post more comments later. Thanks for this chance. Let us wait and see what Sata would do. Forget about Barotseland, Barotseland is about 75% of Zambian land.

    Oscar, Boston.

  76. 1 spend more on communication infrastructure
    2 Reduce legal requirements for setting up new businesses
    3 Lower taxes to encourage compliance
    4 Reduce powers of the president
    5 Promote independence of legislative and judicial arms
    6 Honor payments to contractors promptly.
    ... basically... concentrating on the right things will lead to reduction in expenses. At times it is best to spend on the right things in order to reduce costs. A good example is using energy saver lamps compared with the ordinary bulb. Good roads means lower vehicle maintenance costs and less money spent on importing parts. Trimming presidential powers and allowing other arms to operate freely will lead to reduced corruption which in turn reduces cost of doing business. Concentrate on systems which will stretch the kwacha further and then make sure undeclared taxes due to the treasury are collected efficiently.

  77. I'm in France and our embassy has 8 diplomats.The Ambassador,his deputy,five first secretaries,and the ambassador's secretary.In my honest opinion the ambassador does not need a deputy,who earns about 10,000 euros a month,that multiplied by 12months will give you 120,000 euros a year.In kwacha terms,multiply that by K6300=k756,000,000.That would be a great saving indeed.Another position that could be scrapped is that of first secretary administration,this position was not there but was created to cater a an mmd cadre who cannot discharge his duties.We need to clean up our missions,this is only France,i do not know about other missions.This can certainly save and help our beloved Zanbia.

  78. Even as you all thinking of cuts in this cuts in that in terms of should remember that the informal sector in zambia is too big already and government has to create more formal jobs inorder to reduce think of solutions that will benefit everyone in zambia and dont be too selfish...

  79. The sooner the Kabwe mine opens the better. It will bring much needed income to this area. Relieving some of the poverty and therefore bring prosperity, not just to the people that will work there, but to the whole community.

    Is there any further news on this ?


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