President Michael Sata has assented to the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Bill which gives powers to the central bank to monitor transactions of investors locally and abroad.
Deputy Minister of Finance Miles Sampa disclosed this on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s Sunday Interview.
He said the Bill went through Parliament during its last sitting and was assented to last week and is now law.
“The BoZ Bill that went through Parliament was signed by the President last week, so it is now law,” he said.
Mr Sampa said the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will now be empowered to work with the central bank in monitoring investors’ activities in the country.
He assured investors that the central bank will not abuse its powers because its mandate will just be to check on the monetary and financial policy.
Mr Sampa said following the assent to the Bill, Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda will issue a Statutory Instrument that will stipulate guidelines.
He said the enactment of the new law is not an exchange control measure but will ensure investors use local bank accounts in all their transactions.
“What we are saying is that you [investors] should use your bank accounts in Zambia. Why do you want to use accounts abroad, what are you trying to hide?
“Do your business in Zambia; this is where you are digging gold; this is where you are digging copper; we want to see finances in Zambia,” Mr Sampa said.
He said investors should always inform the central bank each time they want to externalise profits and give genuine reasons for doing so.
Mr Sampa said under the BoZ Act, investors that evade tax and externalise profits illegally can face a jail term of up to 10 years.
“If you are found taking money out of Zambia or taking goods out of Zambia without declaring, and if the law catches up with you, you could be jailed up to 10 years,” he said.
Mr Sampa said all genuine investors in Zambia should not have any problem with the new regulation and that Government has engaged them to ensure that they understand the new law.
He said investors that have always been transparent and have been doing everything legally will not have problems allowing Government to check their books of accounts.