The Provincial headquarters of Southern Province is in Choma District. Choma District forms the heart of Southern Province. It shares boundaries with five other Districts in the Province namely: Namwala in the North- West, Monze, Pemba and Gwembe in the North -East, Sinazongwe in the South-East and Kalomo in the South-West.
A large part of the district population is found in rural areas (80%) as compared to urban areas (20%). However, there is a high concentration of the population along the line of Rail where most of the economic activities take place.
Most of the district lies at 1400 meters above sea level. The District is found on the central African high plateau in the central part of Southern Province. Choma’s temperatures range between 20c and 280c. The highest temperatures occur between the beginning of October and the end of December. The lowest temperatures are recorded in June and July.
There is an average rainfall of 800mm, of which 369mm, fall between January and February. There are, however, variations in total rainfall and rainfall patterns from year to year. These variations do have a major impact on crop yield in the different ecological zones of the district.
The principal economic activity is Agriculture. Commercial crops such as cotton, oilseeds and tobacco are grown by both commercial and emergent farmers. Food crops such as maize and sorghum are also grown by both commercial and peasant farmers. Livestock is also an important activity by both commercial and peasant farmers. Over the last decade, the headcount of cattle owned by peasant farmers has been low due to livestock diseases. The picture is slowly changing as a result of the control of animal diseases and the restocking exercise.
According to the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act, No 2 of 2016, the mandate of the Provincial Administration is to be the Provincial Secretariat which has an overall responsibility of the Province and performs other responsibility as prescribed.
OFFICE OF THE PROVINCIAL MINISTER
This office spearheads political, economic and social mobilisation for development in the Province as a whole.
OFFICE OF THE PROVINCIAL PERMANENT SECRETARY
The Provincial Permanent Secretary is the head of administration and the Civil Service in the Province. This office is supported by the following departments:
- Human Resource Management and Development
- Procurement and Supplies Unit
- Provincial Accounting and Control Unit
- Internal audit
- Planning Unit
- Guidance and Religious Affairs
1.1 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
The HRM Department manages and develops human resources in the Province and its functions includes:-
- Processing appointments of Public service staff, confirmations, discipline, retirements, and leave management
- Other functions include processing Long Service Bonus which has since been abolished
- Processing terminal benefits
- Payroll management functions and
- Interpretation of the terms and conditions of the service for the Public Service and the code of ethics for the Public Services.ADMINISTRATION
The Department provides Administrative and supports services, which include protocol and public events management for the Provincial Administration.PROVINCIAL ACCOUNTING CONTROL UNIT (PACU) The Provincial Accounting Control Unit (PACU) deals with the following functions:-
- Yellow book – contains an approved budget and authorized funding limits
- Payment voucher commitment requisition and support documents
This involves the payment process for all stages, that is from approval to cheque cutting
- Cheque book and backing sheet – that is the End product of the payment process
- Financial regulations – laws and rules that govern what accounting officers and what other stakeholders can do (minimum standards)
In the Government, it is a discipline that works on behalf of management and stakeholders to improve and add value to risk management, control, and governance procedures.
- Internal Auditors: they have a broad focus that requires them to examine and appraise controls, financial performance with laws and regulations and operational performance for their effectiveness. As internal auditors, we are employees of government and we are concerned with preventing or detecting errors, inefficiencies, irregularities including fraud that impact an organization’s ability to accomplish its objectives with regard to financial materiality.As internal auditors, we are independent of the internal organizational functions that we audit. We exercise no management duties over the areas that we audit and remain ready to respond to requests from management.Internal auditing – is an independent, objective, assurance and consulting activity designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations. The dept helps an organization accomplish its objective by being a systematic disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes.
The Internal Audit department is a department, or division that provides independent, objective assurance designed to add value and improve an organization’s operations.
PROCUREMENT AND SUPPLIES UNIT
- Procurement system is currently in place at the Provincial administration in Southern Province.LOW-VALUE PURCHASES
- User department confirms the availability of funds with accounts office
- Authority to procure is sought from the Controlling Officer
- The user department requests for goods through a purchase requisition
- Procurement units obtain quotations for the goods
- Procurement raises a purchase order for the goods
- The Controlling Officer or other Senior officer’s authorises the purchase order according to their thresholds.
- The purchase order is given to the supplier to supply and another copy is sent to accounts for payments
- Goods are supplied and delivery by the supplier and procurement staff.
- Stores receive and receipt vouchers
- Stores issues out the goods to the user department using stores requisitions immediately
- User department disposes of out to themselves using the bin cards.
- Request from the end user to the Controlling Officer.
- Preparation of bidding documents.
- Advertisement on the media/requesting for quotations.
- Evaluation of Bids by an evaluation committee.
- Provincial Procurement Committee approvals and awards.
- Confirmation of receipt of contract award.
- Clearance of contract by the attorney general.
- Procurement rises a purchase order/contracts.
- Monitoring and evaluation by projects monitoring team
- Closer and handover by buildings departments.
- PROVINCIAL PLANNING UNIT (PPU)
- To coordinate provincial planning with all sectors in the province through PDCC forum
- To prepare and consolidate a provincial development/ strategic plan
- To prepare a provincial annual budget and annual work plans and ensure their implementation through monthly and quarterly profiting
- Conduct monitoring and evaluation of capital projects in the province
- Assess the performance of sector-specific policy implementation in the province.
3.0 NATIONAL GUIDANCE AND RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS
The Ministry has the following mandate in accordance with Government Gazette No.6532, Vol. LII, No.82 dated 7th December 2016:
- Facilitate the actualization and translation of the declaration of Zambia as a Christian Nation into practical, workable and realistic interventions;
- Provide overall policy and legal framework on matters pertaining to Christian and Religious Affairs;
Provide guidance on the promotion of National Values, Principles and Ethics;
- Facilitate the mainstreaming of Christian values in government, education, family, media, arts and entertainment and business;
- Provide a platform for dialogue and collaboration between the State and Church Religious Organizations as well as other stakeholders;
- Coordination of Public Religious Celebrations;
- Preparation of annual and other reports on issues of national unity, national symbols, good morals, social justice and good governance;
- Preservation of Christian and Religious sites as well as other worthwhile customs and traditions; and
- Promote interdenominational dialogue.
- To prepare and consolidate a provincial development
The Mission Statement for the Ministry is “To propagate Christian and national values and principles for social transformation and a prosperous nation”