Jesuit Scholars in Zambia Call for Legal, Economic Reforms, “concrete roadmap” in New Year

Credit: JCTR

Members of the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection (JCTR) are calling for economic, agricultural, and legal reforms in Zambia in 2023. 

In a statement titled “A Brief JCTR 2022 Analysis and 2023 Expectations”, officials of the Zambia-based institution say their expectations for the new year are attainable, and call upon the government of the Southern African nation to provide “a concrete roadmap” on reforms relating to the country’s constitution.

“In 2023, we look forward to the enactment of a new and progressive public order law. We are also looking forward to the enactment of progressive access to information law in Zambia. In 2023, we expect to be presented with a concrete roadmap on the constitutional reforms,” JCTR officials say in the statement published Sunday, January 1.

Officials of the Institute, which engages in research, advocacy, education, and consultancy on social issues also expect to see “reforms around an electoral process that take into consideration key recommendations from various stakeholders that monitored the 2021 General Elections to continue guaranteeing free, fair and credible electoral process in Zambia. We expect to see regulation of political parties and campaign funding.”

They further say that the Southern African nation needs legislation that compels political parties to state their source of funding to limit incidents of state capture or political paybacks in the post-election period. 


“In 2023 we expect to see real gains in arresting corruption across the board and in recovering assets. We would like to see the teething procedural challenges of the courts of economic and financial crimes quickly overcome,” JCTR officials say.

They add, “We also would like to see a piece of legislation requiring mandatory asset declaration with a proper verification system overseen by the Anti-Corruption Commission.”

Officials of the Jesuit entity further say the Anti-Corruption Commission also needs to be mandated to conduct periodic lifestyle audits of public office holders and civil service employees.

They go on to laud the Zambian government for managing to stabilize the economy “by taming its own’s appetite to borrow as a way of addressing the fiscal deficit.”

“Zambia leveraged on the international community, donor, investor, and market confidence to stabilize the Kwacha and drive down the inflation,” JCTR officials say, adding that the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) provided by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “worked very well as an icing on the cake in turning the economy around.”

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They also expect the debt restructuring negotiations under the G20 Common Framework to be completed in 2023 “to accord our country a new lease of life on a path of debt sustainability.”  

In their statement published January 1, the Jesuit scholars call upon Zambia’s government to put more effort into strengthening the agricultural sector, saying it “remains very critical potential for economic growth and development.”

“We expect to see a very well-developed pathway or vehicle that will help farmers to systematically graduate within selected agricultural value chains following a sustainable financial model within a stipulated timeframe,” they say.

In the mining and tourism sector, JCTR officials say they expect to see the creation of enabling environment for Artisanal Small Scale Mining (ASM).

“We expect to see the creation of enabling environment for the ASM ranging from removal of barriers to licensing to increasing access to finance, market and technology and strengthening backward and forward linkages and value chains,” the Jesuit scholars say.


Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.