Zambia acceded to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in May 2008 and is involved in developing comprehensive Tobacco and Nicotine Products Control legislation. A multisectoral committee, comprised of government line ministries, government departments, civil society and academia is in place to develop the legislation.
The challenge is that since 2010 when the Bill was presented to Cabinet, there has been backward and forward movement of the Bill, hence the 10-year lapse. This is a very clear indication of tobacco industry interference, through scuttling, delaying and frustration of the consultative process.
Media reports have been given of the tobacco industry building clinics and schools, sinking boreholes and building maternity annexes. The tobacco industry has also enhanced publication of feature articles glamorizing tobacco in national print media and privately-owned newspapers.
The Government of the Republic of Zambia has opened a multifacility economic zone and two new cigarette manufacturing plants were opened in these facilities. One is owned by British American Tobacco (BAT) Zambia, while the other one is owned by Roland Imperial Tobacco. For setting up these plants, the government has offered a five-year tax incentive at 0%. The plants have a capacity of producing over 5 million cigarettes per day. Forty percent of the cigarettes produced in these factories are destined for the local market.
There are also policy pronouncements from the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry in support of the manufacturing of tobacco.
In November 2019, the Finance Minister of Zambia, Dr. Bwalya N’gandu, opened a cigarette manufacturing plant owned by BAT and further urged more investment in the sector.
There is no publicly available information on the government accepting offers of assistance from the tobacco industry or enforcement such as contact raid on tobacco smuggling.
The Zambian government has not put in place a procedure to disclose its meetings with the industry. However, this requirement is already proposed in an upcoming tobacco products and nicotine products control bill.
In Zambia, there is no registry for tobacco industry-affiliated organizations or individuals acting on their behalf such as lobbyists.
The Zambian government does not prohibit contributions from the tobacco industry.
However, there is no evidence of retired government officials being part of the tobacco industry, or current government officials and their relatives holding positions in the tobacco industry. It should be noted that lack of such evidence does not warranty absence of such members.
The government has not put in place a procedure for disclosing the records of the interaction with the tobacco industry and its representatives; neither has the government formulated, adopted or implemented a code of conduct for public officials, prescribing the standards with which they should comply in their dealings with the tobacco industry. In addition, the government does not require the tobacco industry to periodically submit information on tobacco production, manufacture, market share, marketing expenditures, revenues and any other activity, including lobbying, philanthropy, political contributions and all other activities.
- Expedite the 2018 Tobacco Products and Nicotine Products Control Bill. An FCTC Article 5.3 provision in the draft Bill should be maintained.
- Ban all tobacco-related CSR activities.
- Adopt a code of conduct for all public officials to guide them when interacting with the tobacco industry which should be limited to only when strictly necessary.
- Build capacity of civil society organizations to monitor and expose tobacco industry interference in tobacco control policies at all levels.
Learn more about tobacco industry interference in this country.Download a Country Fact Sheet