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BRRA Directs Chililabombwe Municipal and Sesheke Town Councils to Suspend New Fees

The Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA) has issued a directive to the Chililabombwe Municipal Council and the Sesheke Town Council, instructing them to immediately halt the implementation of fee increments and the introduction of new charges.

This directive comes in response to the councils’ failure to comply with the guidelines stipulated in the Business Regulatory Act, No. 3 of 2014.

The Chililabombwe Municipal Council recently raised the truck levy from ZMW 350 to ZMW 500, effective January 2024, while the Sesheke Town Council planned to impose a new entrance fee of ZMW 100 on all trucks entering the border post, starting from March 1, 2024.

BRRA’s Executive Director, Sharon Sichilongo, emphasized that the directive was issued due to the councils’ non-compliance with Section 6 of the Business Regulatory Act, which mandates the completion of a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) and stakeholder consultations before implementing any fee adjustments.

Additionally, the councils were found to have violated Section 26 of the Local Government Act, No. 2 of 2019, which requires proposed by-laws or council resolutions regarding licenses, permits, or certificates to adhere to the licensing procedures outlined in the Business Regulatory Act of 2014.

Sichilongo commended proactive engagement from entities such as the Truckers Association of Zambia, who promptly raised concerns with the BRRA following the councils’ unilateral fee hikes, highlighting the importance of adherence to regulatory procedures.

Furthermore, Sichilongo cautioned all regulatory agencies and public bodies against unilaterally introducing measures aimed at regulating business activities without prior approval from the BRRA. Such actions, she warned, could impose undue burdens on businesses and hinder economic growth.

In light of the directive, businesses operating within the jurisdictions of Chililabombwe and Sesheke are expected to benefit from a temporary suspension of the proposed fee increments until the councils fulfill the necessary regulatory requirements outlined by the BRRA.

The BRRA’s stance underscores its commitment to fostering a conducive business environment through transparent and consultative regulatory processes, ultimately safeguarding the interests of businesses and promoting sustainable economic development.

For further inquiries, the Public Relations Officer of the Business Regulatory Review Agency, Masiye M. Mulenga (Mrs), can be reached for comments and clarification on this matter.

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