By Wilson Mulinda

Cabinet has approved the first-ever National Refugee Policy aimed at ensuring that all matters related to refugees are effectively managed and coordinated.

The decision by Cabinet comes on the premise that Zambia has been hosting and protecting persons of concern from neighbouring countries and beyond since the 1940s.

Acting Chief Government Spokesperson, MIKE MPOSHA says the country has been welcoming and providing refuge, care and resources for the welfare of asylum seekers, refugees and former refugees in places such as Meheba, Mayukwayukwa and Mantapala, as well as urban areas.

Mr. MPOSHA who is also Water, Development and Sanitation Minister said this in a statement released to ZNBC News on the resolutions of the 13th Cabinet meeting on Monday August 14, 2023 called by President HAKAINDE HICHILEMA.

And Mr. MPOSHA said cabinet has also approved the first-ever National Policy on Drug and Substance Control, in order to provide policy direction and guidance for the development and implementation of measures aimed at reducing the supply and demand for illicit drugs and substances in the country.

He said the Policy seeks to strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks, as well as mechanisms on countering illicit drugs and substance abuse as they continue to endanger public health.

Mr. MPOSHA said cabinet has also approved in principle the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the Printed Publications Act, Chapter 161 of the Laws of Zambia in order to strengthen its administration and enforcement mechanisms as well as address new and emerging issues.

He said cabinet approved in principle, the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the Societies Act Chapter 119 of the Laws of Zambia, in order to provide for the inclusion of provisions that will strengthen the registration and regulatory mechanism.

Mr. MPOSHA disclosed that cabinet also approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the Pension Scheme Regulation Act Number 28 of 1996, in order to align reforms in the pensions sector with policy directive.

Cabinet also approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal the Mines and Minerals Development Act Number 11 of 2015, in order to establish the Minerals Regulation Commission and put in place a legal framework to guide geological mapping and mineral resource exploration as well as investment by Government in the mining sector.

Mr. MPOSHA said it is in the interest of Government to establish an effective and responsive institution to regulate the mining sector, as well as put in place a legal framework that will stimulate investment in geological mapping and mineral exploration.

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