Response to COVID-19

Chapter: Zambia | Project range: National | Year: 2020

Chapter details

About the chapter:
Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) is a local chapter of the global movement Transparency International. It is dedicated to fighting corruption and promoting good governance. TI-Z is a non-for-profit and non-governmental organization with a registered office in Lusaka and was established in June 2000.

CPI Score: 35

CPI Rank: 105

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Theory of Change

Policy & Insititutional Change
Improved enforcement of policies
Behaviour Change
Anti-Corruption Activism
Change Type:



Since March 2020, Zambia introduced a series of measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including the shutdown of three international airports, closure of all schools, movement restrictions and closure of non-essential businesses as well as a ban on public gatherings to curb the transmission rate. However, international land borders remained open, including movement of commercial border crossing, to avoid negative impact on trade and the economy. Restrictions have been eased since May 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding at a time in which the country is already struggling with recent drought and flood disasters, which have increased food insecurity in more than 58 districts over the past two seasons. In addition, Zambia’s health system is ill-equipped to tackle the pandemic, and channelling its limited human resources, essential health commodities and supplies into fighting COVID-19 can put at risk other vulnerable population groups, such as pregnant and lactating women (Zambia has the highest fertility rate in Africa).

Zambia has been a recipient of international aid to support its COVID-19 response. A treasury statement released by Ministry Spokesman Chileshe Kandeta in April 2020 stated that the United States, United Kingdom, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank had agreed to provide K2.7 billion to the Government of Zambia in the fight against the pandemic. However, the statement failed to disclose a grant of over US$6 million which the government received from the Global Fund to tackle Covid-19.

Corruption in Zambia’s healthcare sector is pervasive, which raises concerns for potential mismanagement of COVID-19 resources. On 24 June 2020, the Minister of Health was arrested over allegations of having stolen around US$2,5 million from his ministry. He was released on bail immediately after questioning, and is expected to appear before the Court of Lusaka on July 9, 2020.


  1. Tracking all public donations made to the Ministry of Health and the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit to ensure accountability and transparency.
    Monitoring & evaluation
  2. Statement issued on Zambia’s COVID-19 response. The statement also provided recommendations to government.
    AdvocacyAwareness raising
  3. Online webinar-based training for journalists and CSOs on procurement corruption, data use, open contracting and COVID-19, with approximately 40+ journalists attending.
    Awareness raising