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Constitution Matters: Secretaries to cabinet and treasury

[By Simon Kalolo Kabanda]

What is a constitutional office?

A constitutional office means an office that is established by or under the Constitution. A constitutional office means the office held by a constitutional office holder.

Both the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Secretary to the Treasury are constitutional office holders.

According to Article 266 of the Zambian Constitution, “Constitutional office” means the office of the Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, Director of Public Prosecutions, Public Protector, Auditor-General, Secretary to the Cabinet, Secretary to the Treasury and Permanent Secretary. And “Constitutional office holder” means a person holding or acting in a Constitutional office.

Secretary to Cabinet

Article 176 outlines as follows:

‘’(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Cabinet who shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Civil Service Commission, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

(2) The Secretary to the Cabinet shall—

(a) be chief advisor to the President on the management of the public service;

(b) be the head of the public service and responsible to the President for securing the general efficiency and effectiveness of the public service;

(c) ensure that public services are delivered to the public efficiently;

(d) in accordance with instructions of the President—

(i) arrange the affairs of Cabinet;

(ii) attend meetings of Cabinet;

(iii) cause to be written and kept minutes of meetings of Cabinet; and

(iv) convey decisions made by Cabinet to appropriate authorities;

(e) monitor the implementation of Government policies and Cabinet decisions; and

(f) perform other functions as prescribed.

(3) A person qualifies to be appointed as Secretary to the Cabinet if that person has or had at least ten years experience as a permanent secretary or equivalent rank.

(4) The term of office of the Secretary to the Cabinet shall be five years, subject to renewal for further terms.

(5) The Secretary to the Cabinet may resign from office by giving three months’ notice, in writing, to the President.”

Secretary to the treasury

Article 183 outlines the following:

‘’(1) There shall be a Secretary to the Treasury who shall be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Civil Service Commission, subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

(2) The Secretary to the Treasury shall be the chief controlling officer of the Government.

(3) The Secretary to the Treasury shall—

(a) be responsible and accountable for—

(i) the proper financial management and expenditure of public monies appropriated to a State organ, Province, local authority, State institution or other prescribed body; and

(ii) monies raised from sources within or outside Zambia by a Province, local authority, State institution or other prescribed body;

(b) oversee the formulation and implementation of the macroeconomic frameworks and socio-economic plans of the Republic;

(c) provide a regulatory framework for sound financial management;

(d) cause to be prepared annual estimates of revenue and expenditure, supplementary estimates of expenditure and the budget; and

(e) carry out other prescribed functions.

(4) A person qualifies to be appointed as Secretary to the Treasury if that person qualifies for appointment as Governor of the Bank of Zambia.

(5) The term of office of the Secretary to the Treasury shall be five years, subject to renewal for further terms.

(6) The Secretary to the Treasury may resign from office by three months’ notice, in writing, to the President.”

If you have any question or issue regarding the Constitution and/or related matters that you would like this column to discuss, kindly send a message to me either through SMS, WhatsApp: +260-761-206353, or email: shimwenya@yahoo.com.

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