Citizen economic empowerement law in Zambia: Its relevance and applicability

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Zulu, lungisani
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Citizen economic empowerment has been a common theme for government officials in the recent past. The 2008 budget theme was styled 'Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation' aimed at engaging Zambians in productive activities. Earlier in 2006, the government enacted the Citizen Economic Empowerment Act in 2006 aimed at empowering citizens. This work traces citizen empowerment law in Zambia before and up to the enactment of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Act in 2006. It starts with citizen economic empowerment through Nationalisation and Zambianisation policies of the UNIP government and how those policies fared in empowering citizens. It examines how through the transfer of means of production from private to public hands government hoped to empower citizens. It further examines other Zambianisation measures aimed at empowering citizens such as limiting certain business sectors, certain business areas and local borrowing to local entrepreneurs as well as employment positions in parastatals and private companies. It also looks at the privatisation programme of the MMD government and how it fared in empowering citizens. It looks the various facets of empowerment in the privatisation such as wide share ownership by citizens, home ownership and skills development and their efficacy in empowering citizens. The paper then analyses the various provisions of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Act, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. Some of the pertinent provisions examined include the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission, Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund and broad-based empowerment measures under the Act. After highlighting the weaknesses, some recommendations are rendered. These include the need to adequately fund the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission to discharge the numerous functions under the Act, to develop appropriate measures to identify the beneficiaries under the Act and the to ensure that the Citizen Economic Empowerment Fund is effectively and efficiently administered.
Zambia --Economic policy --Citizen participation.