Zambia – Annual Report 2022

Strategic Framework

The political situation in Zambia is viewed as predominantly stable in a regional comparison. As a presidential democracy, the political system strongly focuses on the office of the president, who is both head of state and head of government. The ruling UPND party is considered socially liberal.

Hakainde Hichilema was elected president in August 2021, replacing his predecessor Chagwa Lungu. Hichilema’s election campaign was based on reform promises to boost the economy, restore the rule of law, improve living conditions and put an end to corruption. Already in his inaugural speech, President Hichilema announced democratic reforms, policies to attract investors, an improved debt management and a resolute crackdown on corruption.

Zambia faces extremely high inflation and debt. The government also struggles to promote the country’s development, including social inequality, widespread poverty, malnutrition and corruption. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated its economic woes. Reconstruction of the economy, job creation and the assurance of basic necessities for the population are among Hichilema’s priorities.

Zambia negotiated a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund in December 2022 under which it will receive loans of around US$1.3 billion. In return, the country is committed to implement strict economic reforms, including the abolition of government subsidies. The president also plans to strengthen the private sector and create an investor-friendly environment.

In addition, President Hichilema has also been campaigning since his election for the return to freedom of expression and freedom of the press, which the government had seriously curtailed during the tenure of his predecessor. This includes the abolition of the criminal offence of defaming the president in 2021.

Legal Policy Starting Point

The new government’s Minister of Justice, Mulambo Haimbe, announced a legislative and constitutional reform process after his appointment. Zambia abolished the death penalty in December 2022 as part of these reforms. The appointment of a respected chief justice as president of the Supreme Court at the end of 2021 was welcomed as another significant step towards much-needed judicial reforms.

Zambia has made progress in combatting corruption. The government strengthened the legal and institutional framework for policy to combat corruption and made efforts to eliminate red tape, streamline bureaucratic procedures and investigate and prosecute cases of corruption. Despite this progress, corruption remains a serious problem in Zambia, which severely affects the lives of the population and their access to public services. IRZ has prioritised activities in this area.

Focus of Activity in 2022

Project funded by the European Union: Twinning project “Peer-to-Peer institutional support to the ­Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia”

IRZ has been implementing a project for the benefit of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in Zambia since August 2021 in cooperation with the lead partner HAUS (Finnish Institute of Public Management). The project is scheduled to run for 36 months in total and is endowed with €2 million in funding.

The primary objective of this project is to expand the capacity of the Anti-Corruption Commission in Zambia and in doing so to improve accountability, transparency and effectiveness in the management of public resources. Furthermore, the project aims to strengthen the work of the Anti-Corruption Commission’s management and its technical capacities, as well as to optimise cooperation with other institutions involved in combatting corruption.

Since the beginning of the project, analyses of current laws and the legislative framework as part of various project activities in support of the Anti-Corruption Commission have been drafted.

In addition, IRZ experts worked on further components during project implementation in 2022. This included performing a security analysis of the ACC website with proposals for corrections. An IRZ expert prepared recommendations for the ACC website to present them in a workshop.

The current system for receiving and processing corruption cases was analysed and recommendations for its improvement were prepared. Moreover, a SWOT analysis was conducted on the procedures for the detection of corruption, along with an analysis of current systems for the protection of witnesses and whistleblowers. Recommendations for optimisation were issued in all cases in line with the needs of the legal framework of the ACC.

Existing ACC Memoranda of Understanding were also analysed and suggestions for improving the wording and practices were put forward in the form of expert opinions to be presented in workshops.


For 2023, IRZ aims to continue EU-funded activities in the area of policy to combat corruption and to implement further projects in other legal areas within the framework of bilateral cooperation.

Please find the Annual Report 2022 here: Media centre – Annual reports.