YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
ZAMBIA has assented the Anti-Terrorism Amendment Act, which seeks to establish the national counter terrorism centre in the country.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila said Government assented to the anti-terrorism amendment act No. 2 of 2015 on August 14, this year.
The minister said Government is now in the process of establishing the centre.
Mr Mwila disclosed this in South Africa on Friday during the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group Council of ministers meeting in Boksburg.
The minister was giving the countryâ€™s status update following observations made by the council of ministers meeting in March, this year that Zambia had not made adequate progress in addressing the key deficiencies identified.
Mr Mwila was accompanied to the meeting by Deputy Minister of Finance Christopher Mvunga and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka.
This is according to a statement released yesterday by press secretary at the Zambian mission in South Africa Nicky Shabolyo.
â€œThe next step is now to establish the centre. I wish to state that we have the money for this project in this yearâ€™s budget and we will also have a budget line in the 2016 budget so that we can fully implement this programme,â€ Mr Mwila said.
The minister is also optimistic that amendments to the Financial Intelligence Centre Act of 2010 will be completed soon and the act assented to by December, this year.
The law is meant to adequately provide for the legal autonomy and operational independence of the Financial Intelligence Centre.
Mr Mwila further disclosed that Zambia has ratified four out of nine Conventions related to Anti-Money laundering/ countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).
The outstanding five conventions will be ratified before March next year.
He said development of programmes to facilitate AML/ CFT supervision and monitoring compliance was addressed through the financial intelligence centre amendment bill and that the bill would be enacted into law before March next year.
The minister said Government is also expected to issue regulations to implement United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1267 and 1373, and the respective successor resolutions by March, 2016.
UNSCR 1267 (1999) and its successor resolutions require countries to immediately freeze funds, financial assets and or economic resources of individuals and entities who are designated by the United Nations Security Council based on such personâ€™s/entityâ€™s connections with terrorism and terrorist financing.
Further, countries should ensure that no funds, financial assets and or economic resources are made available to and or for the benefit of such designated persons or entities or their beneficiaries.
UNSCR 1373 (2001) and its successor resolutions refer to designating individuals and entities related to terrorism and terrorist financing at national level.
YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka