PARLIAMENT yesterday unanimously approved a request by President Edgar Lungu for K2, 119, 700, 000 warrant authorized expenditure to pay for emergency power imports.

Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates, Highvie Hamududu, said the consideration of the President’s warrant of authorised expenditure by the committee on estimates was in conformity with the provisions of Article 203, sub Article 4, 5 and 6 of the Constitution. “Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, in terms of Article 203 of the Constitution, this House do adopt the report of the committee on estimates on the supplementary provision of warrant no. 1 of 2016,” he said.

He said Article 203 of the Constitution of Zambia stated that where there was an urgent need to incur expenditure for a purpose that has not been approved under the Appropriation Act for that financial year and it would not be in the public interest to delay the appropriation of the expenditure until a supplementary estimate is approved by the National Assembly, in accordance with Clauses (2) and (3), the President may, subject to Article 204, issue a warrant authorizing the expenditure and withdrawal from the national Consolidated Fund.

Mr Hamududu said after carefully weighing the merits and demerits of the warrant signed by the Head of State, the estimates committee was of the view that it would not be in the public interest to oppose the proposed purchase of power.

“In light of this, your committee approved the supplementary provision Warrant no. 1 of 2016 dated 14th January, 2016, authorising the expenditure for emergency electricity power imports,” he said.

Justifying the supplementary expenditure as proposed by President Lungu’s warrant no. 1 of 2016, Mr Hamududu told Parliament that as regard the energy sector, the committee observed that electricity generation in Zambia was predominantly hydro, making it vulnerable to adverse weather patterns.

Mr Hamududu recommended that Government should provide incentives for investment in alternative energy such as solar, thermal and wind energy.

“Let me place on record your committee’s indebtedness to you, Mr Speaker, for according it the opportunity to consider the supplementary provision warrant no. 1 of 2016 under the revised public financial management legal framework,” he said.