Friday, 16th December, 2016

Friday, 16th December, 2016

 

The House met at 0900 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

 

______

 

THE VICE-PRESIDENT’S QUESTION TIME

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President when the twenty households in Katuba Constituency and Chibebe Village in particular will be helped by her office following the illegal demolition of their houses by one person on the 23rd November, 2016.

 

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina):  Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question from the hon. Member for Katuba, I would once again like to express my condolences to the family of the late, Hon. Mkhondo Lungu. Indeed, being the National day of mourning and as expressed before, on behalf of the whole country, I would like to express our condolences on the untimely demise of Hon. Mkhondo Lungu. May His Soul Rest In Internal Peace.

 

Sir, coming back to the question from the hon. Member for Katuba, I would like to urge the hon. member  to report this matter to the police and also to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources because I do not know where the instructions came from and the case has not been brought to my office.

 

I thank you, you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwewa (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, Yesterday, we witnessed the worst barbaric behaviour by the United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres.

 

Mr Mwiinga: Question!

 

Mr Mwewa: Sir, for the first time, I saw the UPND cadres storm the Judiciary and the High court in particular and started stoning windows, police officers and they even smashed cars outside the High Court.

 

Mr Speaker, we know very well that the UPND President has failed to concede defeat after the 11th August, 2016 General Elections. Of course, these utterances have been a recipe for that uncalled for behaviour that has manifested among the UPND cadres.

 

Sir, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what this Government is going to do in order to punish such perpetrators of violence like the UPND leadership who are coercing those cadres to violate and just bring anarchy in this country.

 

Mr Mwiinga: Question!

 

Mr Speaker: Order on the left!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, for any doubting Thomas’s, it should be known that there is a legitimate Government in place in this country.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President:  Sir, no Government will condone lawlessness in the country whether that lawlessness emanates from the Opposition political cadres or even from the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, it cannot be allowed. There cannot be a situation, where political cadres want to take decisions on behalf of the Judiciary and even to decide where a case should be heard.

 

Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable and the highest degree of lawlessness. The Judiciary decides where a case should be heard, whether in camera or in open court. It is not the duty of cadres to decide or even to stone the Judiciary. How far can we go to enforce law in this country if cadres behave in this manner?

 

Mr Speaker, the party in charge of those cadres has a duty to discipline their cadre because that behaviour will not take them anywhere. When they get arrested, they again come to this House and make noise in the media that they are being victimised. This is unacceptable. The Government will not sit there and watch this situation deteriorates.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, today is 16th December, 2016, but farmers in the North Western Province and Solwezi West Constituency in particular have not received the farm inputs. I understand that the problem is the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System, which is not working effectively. Is there any other way the Government can consider to ensure that our people or farmers receive the inputs so that the food security in the province is not affected.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) system has nothing to do with the delivery of agricultural inputs because the system only empowers the farmer to make a choice of where to access the inputs. I believe the delivery of inputs to the North-Western Province is being done like in other provinces. So the hon. Member should wait for the delivery to be done by the ministry to the farmers. The hon. Minister of Finance had released some funds last week so that all the farmers can receive their inputs for this farming season because we are getting late by the day.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Chabi (Chipili): Mr Speaker, during the August, 2016 General Elections, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) hired transporters in different districts countrywide to transport election materials, including in Chipili District. It is now four months and these transporters have not been paid their money. Can Her Honour the Vice-President share with the nation, especially the transporters and their families and particularly those with school going children, why the Government has delayed in paying them their monies.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the Government regrets the late payment to transporters who transported election materials in the August, 2016 General Elections, but I am sure that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is in discussions currently with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the transporters for the election materials are paid. That also goes for the transporters of agricultural inputs.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the spread of non-communicable diseases in the country is on the rise due to risk factors like uncontrolled use of alcohol, unhealthy diets and tobacco. The particular concern that I have is on the harmful use of alcohol in the country, despite the existence of the Liquor Licensing Act of 2011. There is just too much beer drinking in the country. What is the Government doing about this problem?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, controlling social behaviours is a hard thing to do, but this Government is determined to ensure that its population lives in good health.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order on the right!

 

The Vice-President: We want to ensure that the people of this country enjoy good health because we know what excessive alcohol drinking does to the body, especially to the liver. So we are concerned, but these are habits that should be stopped by all of us through sensitisation, starting from our families and into the communities. That is why we have brought in a new ministry that critically looks at the morals and values in our country. This is the Ministry of Religious Affairs and National Guidance. I believe it will help us to curb some of these vices that are eating away the health of our people.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, the water reticulation project in Chinsali has taken unnecessarily long to complete. Right now, I think there are some funds that have been released to the Ministry of Local Government for this project. Now, when I inquired with the Office of the Ministry of Local Government, I was told that the ministry will not manage to pay everything to the contractor that has submitted an Interim Payment Certificate (IPC). As at now, the project is at about 87 per cent complete. So I want to find out if there is any way the Government can help in funding the contractor fully so that the completion of the project for the water reticulation in Chinsali can be expedited.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the water project in Chinsali is huge and requires enormous resources, but I believe it is on course because the works are at 87 per cent of completion. This means that the slow pace has been necessitated perhaps by slowness of the release of funds to the project. I am sure that the project will be commissioned very soon.

 

Secondly, Mr Speaker, when issues of this nature are observed, it would be in the best interest of the hon. Member of Parliament to come to the offices of the Ministry of Local Government to ascertain the reasons why the programme of works is not going according to the planned project implementation. So I hope that the hon. Member will learn to liaise with the concerned ministries, not only on this water project, but other projects in the constituency.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, the physically challenged people across the country are complaining that they are being segregated on the empowerment programmes that the Government is undertaking. What is the position of the Government on this very important matter?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this is the first Government that has really actualised the Disability Act because we believe that no one should be left behind when it comes to development, including people with disabilities. That is why the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) has been accelerated and the funds increased to include disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our society that may be conditioned to issues of poverty. So the disabled people in the area where the hon. Member is referring to are being catered for and, in fact, throughout the country, people with disabilities have been considered by the Government under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Can we have some silence on the right, especially at the back bench please.

 

Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, in recent weeks in our country we have seen a new version of Gender Based Violence (GBV). The weaker have become stronger and the stronger have become weaker. The contributing factor to this barbaric behaviour can be beer drinking by the new Muhammad Ali. What is the Government doing to deter these women who are terrorising their husbands?

 

Laughter

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the law does not segregate between women and men. If a woman is found wanting and acted contrary to the law, the law will deal with that woman. If it is a man, it will be the same. As for the people that the hon. Member for Senanga has referred to as the new Muhammad Ali, I do not know who those people are.

 

Laughter

 

The Vice-President: But as it has been said before, the stories of women battering their husbands or spouses has been sensationalised in the newspapers more than when a man kills a wife. This has been the case in the past. Now that more and more stories of Gender Based Violence (GBV) are coming out in the media, it looks as though the men are now at the receiving end of this violence. It may not be so. I think GBV is still continuing on the lines of men abusing their wives. It is only that sometimes, wives do not report these matters. I think I will take this opportunity to urge women to report matters of GBV to the relevant authorities. Even the men who are being victimised by their wives or their friends or spouses should be magnanimous enough to approach the relevant authorities to report these cases of abuse before they get killed. It is very important for men to swallow that pill of machoism of thinking that if they report a case to the police, they will be stigmatised or branded as weak or the weaker sex. It is not true. I think before they meet their waterloo, it is better they report to the police.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the nation was promised to get the full details on what caused the power failure in the five provinces about a month ago when the power line between Kabwe and Pensulo power transmission line was damaged. If investigations into this matter have been concluded, may we know what exactly caused that problem?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the House may recall that there was a ministerial statement issued on this matter of the power outage in the five provinces and an investigation has since been constituted by the investigation wings. When the report is out, the House will be informed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, we are a Christian nation and our values are so prescribed. Where the police is found using live ammunition to quell any social unrest, what disciplinary measures are taken when such an incident is reported?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, where the law has been abrogated, whether by the police of civilians, the law usually takes its course. Only recently, it was reported that a policeman was sentenced to death for abusing someone who was in custody of the police. So, you can see that even the police is acting under the law. If a police officer is found wanting, definitely, he will face the law like everyone else.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President what the Government is doing about Konkola Copper Mine PLC in Chingola. It is clear that the price of copper has now reached US$6,000 per tonne. All mining companies are now breaking even, but this investor is failing to pay the workers and has not paid suppliers for the past eight months, making it clear that he has completely failed to run the mine. What are we doing to save the economy of the Copperbelt and Chingola in particular?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are on-going consultations between the Government and the mines concerned. However, let me also point out that immediately the price of copper rises, it is not automatic that the money is realised there and then. However, if this was the excuse given by the mine, that it cannot pay its workers sufficiently and recruit workers, time has come for the mining companies to dialogue with the Ministry and Minerals Development so   that our workers are not disadvantaged.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, has the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) started responding to hunger stricken areas such as Luano and Mkushi South? If so, do we have enough food stocks to manage this crisis?

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, disasters happen so constantly that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) cannot go to sleep even for one day. So, distribution of relief maize in Luano has been on-going. As a matter of fact, the coordinator of this activity was briefing me last Monday that some trucks were being sourced to get relief maize to Luano. So, the people in Mkushi and other areas that were affected by the food shortages in the last season are receiving relief food at the moment.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nakonde (Siwanzi): Mr Speaker, is Her Honour the Vice-President aware that three classroom blocks at Nakonde High School had their roofs blown off by torrential rains? If she is aware, the people of Nakonde want to know what plans she has, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), to repair the roofs.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I want to inform the House that there are Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) committees in all the districts. The first line of reporting is the office of the district commissioner in that district, then, information is transmitted to the province and then the national disaster unit in Lusaka. This calamity happened last week and it is only recently or maybe even two days ago that the DMMU received the report from Nakonde and action is being taken.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, in 1996, Government initiated the Presidential Housing Imitative (PHI), I would like to find out from Her Honour the Vice-President when Government will complete the exercise for the following areas in our constituency, Kabwe General Hospital Compound, David Lamusho Teachers houses, Iris Flats, Zambia Railways Complex and Mwashi Teachers Compound.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we cannot isolate housing units throughout the country because they are many. Many institutions of Government have deplorable houses, like in education, Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), health and others. The new Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development will bring to the House a detailed report of a policy which is being taken by Government to address issues of government housing stock that is scattered in the country.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms P. Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, looking at the incidences of fires that were taking place, before, during and after elections, may the nation be informed how far you have gone with the investigations as government on the same issue.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is true that there was evidence of violence before, during and after the General Elections in some parts of the country. This is what prompted the Head of State to compose a Commission of Inquiry to look into this matter. This Commission has just started receiving evidence from the affected areas. When the Commission has ended its work, a report will be presented to the President and the matter will be made known to the nation.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

                                                                    _________

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

TALENT IDENTIFICATION PROGRAMME IN KANCHIBIYA

 

57. Dr M. Malama (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development:

 

  1. whether the Government had any plans to conduct talent identification programmes in the following sport disciplines in Kanchibiya Parliamentary Constituency:

 

  1. football;
  2. netball;
  3. volleyball; and
  4. athletics;

 

  1. if so, when the plans would be implemented; and

 

  1. if there were no such plans, why.

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale) (on behalf of the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mawere): Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to conduct talent identification programmes in Kanchibiya Constituency in the following sports disciplines:

  1. football;
  2. netball;
  3. volleyball; and
  4. athletics.

The hon. Member may wish to note, however, that the ministry facilitates talent identification programmes in various sports disciplines through the provision of sports equipment, construction and rehabilitation of sports infrastructure under the Grassroots Sports Development Programme.

 

Sir, the hon. Member may further wish to note that the ministry also conducts talent identification programmes through the National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) which ensures that National Sports Associates undertake sports programmes that promote talent identification and development. Individual Sports Federations also conduct talent identification programmes throughout the country. In schools, talent identification is conducted by the Zambia Schools Sports Association.

 

In 2017, the ministry will scale-up the implementation of the Grassroots Sports Development Programme by establishing Community Safe Spaces, provision of basic sports equipment and training for community sports facilitators to facilitate talent identification and development. This programme will be implemented in all constituencies of the country including Kanchibiya Constituency, subject to the availability of funds. Further, the hon. Member may wish to note that individual sports federations and sports associations will also implement talent identification plans according to their calendar and annual work plans, subject to availability of financial resources and part of question (c) is above.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr M. Malama: Mr Speaker, I note the levels of unemployment …

 

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a very serious point of order which borders on contempt of the House by way of misrepresentation of facts.

 

Sir, yesterday, when I was just about to wind up debate on the Ministry of Lands, Hon. Lusambo interjected by shouting that I had grabbed and sold land at Luanshya Golf Club. In my immediate response I said, “let me warn that boy.”

 

Today, in the Daily Nation Newspaper, has decided to misrepresent the facts with impunity. Portraying a picture that I wanted to beat Hon. Lusambo and that I was restrained and walked out of the House. I verbally abused him, which facts are neither here nor there. The Verbatim Report is very clear that I only said, “Let me warn that boy”.

 

According to this newspaper, they said that a number of Patriotic Front (PF) Members of Parliament were interjecting while Mr Lusambo was outside the House and that because I have a grudge against him, I mentioned him when he was not in the House. When in actual fact he was in the House and he was the only one who interjected going by the Verbatim Official Report.

 

Mr Speaker, let me quote what this newspaper has written. I am sure with approval from some quarters:

 

“Chishimba Kambwili yesterday went vile in Parliament and openly threatened to physically beat Copperbelt Minister Bowman Lusambo in the presence of Deputy Speaker of the National Catherine Namugala.

 

The incident happened when the Roan PF Member of Parliament was debating on ex-miners Promised land on the Copperbelt.

 

Some unidentified PF law makers were heard heckling Mr Kambwili for alleged selling the Luanshya Golf Club land on the Copperbelt as the former Information and broadcasting Services Minister was winding up his debate.

 

Unidentified PF Parliamentarians were heard shouting: ‘You (Kambwili) sold golf land in Luanshya.’

 

As Mr Lusambo who was at the time not in the House walked in and took his seat while Mr Kambwili was on the Floor debating the land promised to the former miners in the House walked in as Mr Kambwili was on the Floor.

 

Immediately after seeing Mr Lusambo, Mr Kambwili who seemed to have had a grudge against the Kabushi Parliamentarian lashed at Mr Lusambo and threatened to beat him up.

 

Mr Kambwili verbally abused Mr Lusambo denigrating him as a small boy who was not a Member of PF.”

 

Sir, let me just jump and go to the other important issue on page 4, it goes to say that:

 

“ ‘I want to warn that boy to stop playing around with me … I will beat him up,’ Mr Kambwili said. Ms Namugala immediately curtailed Mr Kambwili’s debate as he started advancing towards where Mr Lusambo was seated. Mr Kambwili was seen out of the House by Mazabuka Member of Parliament and UPND Chief Whip Gary Nkombo as they restrained him from beating Mr Lusambo.”

 

Mr Speaker, this is a total fabrication and the rules of this House entail that everyone, including hon. Members of Parliament, speak nothing but the truth. Is the Chief Whip in order not to cite the Daily Nation Newspaper for contempt of the House and refer them to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services? I seek your serious ruling and I will lay both the verbatim report and the newspaper on the Table.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili laid the paper on the Table

 

Mr Speaker: I will reserve my ruling because I want to peruse both the paper as well as the verbatim record so that I make an informed ruling.

 

Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, noting the levels of unemployment, particularly amongst our young people, and noting that mining accounts for 1.9 per cent of employment while over 50 per cent comes from the agriculture sector, is the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development targeting the engagement of our youth in sporting activities with the aim of growing them from amateurs into professionals?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the answer is yes. We are doing that through the National Sports Council in the various sports associations that are affiliated with the council. The hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development yesterday ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Mwale: ... outlined a number of programmes which the Government is involved in to enable young people to engage in sporting activities. The Government is trying to bring on board all young people that are not doing anything at the moment to participate in sports through the programmes that we highlighted yesterday.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just said the Government is engaging all young people to join sports. How is he engaging them given that the ministry does not run any teams that go round to recruit them? He has just said that talent identification is done by various sporting associations, but he is aware that these sporting associations are unable to conduct talent identification because they have no money. In the past, we had companies sponsoring various sporting disciplines like volleyball, for instance. I remember that the Bank of Zambia sponsored a very successful volleyball team which went winning all over the region, but that is no longer happening. What is the Government, through the engagement he is talking about, doing to ensure that the massive talent around the country does not go to rot?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, these matters were discussed conclusively by the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development. I think that he outlined what the Government is doing to make sure that companies come on board to sponsor these sports programmes and pump money into sports associations like the volleyball association that the hon. Member belongs to. All those programmes that were pronounced by the hon. Minister are in force. The Government is trying to speak to companies in order to come up with a way of incentivising those companies that will put money in sport so that more can be encouraged to do so.

 

Mr Speaker, we are revising our sports policy. We have experts who are helping us review our sports policy which will take into account the incentives that will be given to companies and institutions that would pump money into the sponsorship of tournaments or talent identification. That policy will give us the strategic direction to take. The Government is actively trying to engage the corporate world to come in and assist.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, talent identification is one thing while the availability of facilities is another. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development announced that it wants to replicate facilities like the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) in all provinces. The people of Kanchibiya would like to have such a facility. Is there a plan to take the OYDC to Kanchibiya?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the facilities that we have at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) are used by over 11,000 young people every week to improve their talents. We need such kind of facilities in all districts. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development has come up with an infrastructure plan to replicate what is at the OYDC in all districts. This plan is going to take years to implement because it requires massive investment. For now, we are doing one in Chinsali in Muchinga District while another one is planned to be constructed in Mufumbwe. Land has already been allocated and the programme will be starting soon. For now, we will focus on having replicas of the OYDC in Chinsali and Mufumbwe and then we will think of extending to other provinces.

 

Mr Speaker, we cannot put one in Kanchibiya right now, but after we finish the one in Chinsali we will think about going there. We have a robust plan to do that in the rest of the country.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, football continues to gobble the largest share of resources that go to sports in this country. Apart from Government resources, football receives aid from the corporate world by way of sponsorships and from also directly from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Why does the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ), which runs football, not run a reserve league which, in my opinion, together with academies, will serve as a pool for talent?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I understand that that is the way that the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) is going to do. In fact, there is a rule from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) that all clubs ought to have reserve teams and come up with academies. FIFA will also make some financial contributions towards that.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Next question, hon. Member for Lumezi.

 

Ms P. Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I was a bit worried that the previous question was the last one.

 

Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister not think it would be more logical to construct youth development centres in provincial centres ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lumezi, before I called you, I said, ‘Next question.” I am following the order of proceedings. The question from the hon. Member for Lukulu East was the last one.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Now, we are going to the next question on the order of proceedings.

 

Mrs Jere: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance. I am sorry for that. It is just that I had a supplementary question.

 

Mr Speaker: Yes, I noticed you but I still made a decision. The last question was from the hon. Member for Lukulu East.

 

Laughter

 

REHABILITATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN LUMEZI

 

58. Mrs Jere asked the Minister of General Education:

  1. when rehabilitation of the following primary schools in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency, whose roofs were blown off, would commence:

 

  1. Mwimba;

 

  1. Kangobe;

 

  1. Kapongolo;

 

  1. Nkhanyu; and

 

  1. Lumezi; and

 

  1. what had caused the delay in rehabilitating the schools.

 

The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Mwimba, Kangobe, Kapongolo, Nkhanya and Lumezi Primary Schools had their roofs blown off. However, the rehabilitation of these schools will be undertaken once funds are available. In the meantime, the district education authorities have been exploring modalities for engaging the local communities to undertake the repair of these blown off roofs in the short term while permanent solutions are being awaited.

 

Mr Speaker, let me report on the progress made. Out of the five schools, Lumezi Primary School has been roofed. Mwimba, Kangobe, Kapongolo and Nkhanu Primary Schools are yet to be roofed. In the mean time, the District Education Office (DEO) is working with the Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) of these schools to have them temporarily roofed. I should also inform the Member of Parliament for Lumezi that the Ministry of General Education, in the 2017 Budget, has allocated a sum of K90,340,127…

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order on the left!

 

Dr Wanchinga: …for infrastructure at primary school level. Of this amount, some of the money will be used for the repair of blown off roofs.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mrs Jere: Mr Speaker, there are so many schools whose roofs have been blown off in this country and we are only remaining with three weeks for the schools to open. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that pupils will be able to continue learning when schools open?

 

Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, damage is a matter of scale. Indeed, if the damage is very extensive, it can be attended to by the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Office of the Vice-President. If it is minor, it is a matter that can be handed by the Ministry of General Education. In this particular case, we are working with our colleagues at the district offices to ensure that we secure some tents and make temporal shelter where lessons can take place.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

_______

 

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

 

[THE FIRST DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

VOTE 06 – (Civil Service CommissionOffice of the President – K9,614,028).

 

(Consideration resumed)

 

The Minister of National Development and Planning (Mr Mulusa): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for noticing my attempt to contribute to this Vote. Indeed, I would like to add my voice to that of Her Honour the Vice-President in her request to this House that we give support to this Vote. The enactment of the Service Commission Act No. 10 of 2016 and a subsequent signing of the Service Commission Act, commencement order by His Excellency the President through Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 75 of 2016, was really a noble act to enable our civil service help us reach the levels we intend to reach in terms of national development.

 

Madam Chairperson, indeed, the commission is implementing a very huge task, in terms of human resources reform programme whose major component is the provision of a principle and value based decentralised human resources management system for the public service. This is a noble act by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to assist achieve decentralisation, diversification of the economy and shared growth.

 

Madam Chairperson, in this country, we have a well-educated civil service whose clarity of thought is very impressive. Most of them have been to excellent universities throughout the world. When you look at their output, you can really be impressed. We tend to apply breaks as politicians, in terms of the Civil Service achieving its best levels of output.

 

Madam Chairperson, without mentioning names, I want to say that a particular political party has infiltrated the Civil Service.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

 

Mr Mulusa: I never mentioned names.

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, this is the kind of debate that makes it very difficult for the House to conduct its business in a progressive manner. There is no need for that.

 

Mr Mulusa: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance.

 

Madam, a Civil Service that stops to perform its duties professionally costs the Government and the general public colossal sums of money. During my stay at State House as Special Assistant to the President for Project Implementation and Monitoring, I noted that a unifying theme in the Civil Service was procrastination. There were a lot of unnecessary project delays by some Civil Servants who wanted the Government of the day to appear to fail so that maybe it could be removed from power.

 

Ms Katuta: Kokolenipo!

 

Mr Mulusa: Madam Chairperson, the reason I am raising this point is the huge cost to the economy. For example, we were and still are faced with an energy crisis. The private sector moved in and started to create the Maamba Collieries Thermal Power Plant. All that we needed to do from our side, through our Civil Servants, was the production of the Sovereign Guarantee, the ESCO Account, the Power Purchase Agreement and authorisation from the Attorney-General’s Chambers. Just this act was delayed by almost a year until these private investors lost all their funders.

 

Madam Chairperson, when our office was approached and moved in, we managed to get all that done in under a week. All we did was visit each civil Servant that was supposed to their part, but was not doing it. These are Civil Servants who knew that this Government was spending, during that particular period, almost a billion United States dollars in imports of power. For a year, we delayed the actualisation of 300 MW of power. When we moved in, they did that within a week and we had that 300 MW of power, but then again, it could not be evacuated because someone had just neglected to upgrade the grid. These are the issues that this new commission, through implementation of a changed Civil Service, will try and avoid for our country to move forward.

 

Madam Chairperson, the other delayed projects involve donor funding to the tune of US$1 billion for about eleven projects. Four of them have been delayed to an extent of two years which is 24 months for a single letter. Our Civil Service has delayed this letter for 24 months.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mulusa: Madam Chairperson, this commission will save this nation quite a lot of money and enable us move forward.

 

Lastly, I wish to implore all the ministries to partner with this commission, especially in the rolling out of the Performance Management System (PMS) which will assist arrest the behaviour of delayed output from our Civil Service.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Members who have contributed to the Motion.

 

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Jere emphasised the need to establish standards to serve in the commission. The other emphasis was on the supervisory role of the commission. Hon. Mbangweta also touched on the recruitment of commissioners and performance management issues.

 

Madam Chairperson, on the promotion of serving officers in existing positions, I want to inform the House that the commission has developed a succession plan in which it has created a database for capturing latest acquired qualifications for all serving officers with the aim of promoting and placing them in the right jobs. Job descriptions have been developed for each existing job in the Public Service to ensure that others understand the required qualifications for each job. The submission of latest acquired qualifications is requested bi-annually through the Permanent Secretaries (PSs).

 

Madam Chairperson, you can see that each public worker’s performance is followed and assessed and the qualifications gained along the way are also taken into consideration.

 

The disciplinary codes and the terms of conditions for Civil Servants are currently being reviewed with various stakeholders in order to make them more responsive to the needs within the Public Service.

 

As regards performance management, the Public Service already has in place an operational Manual Performance Appraisal, an Appraisal System (APAS). This is linked to the Instrumental Strategic Plan, departmental plans and individual plans. The APAS is expected to link the PSs through performance contracts and the Strategic Plan is also a reflection of the National Development Plan.

 

Madam Chairperson, there was emphasis on the appointment of commissioners and I want to inform the House that the appointment of commissioners is a preserve of the President of the republic and the terms and conditions are currently being reviewed to meet the expectations of the Public Service.

 

Madam, it is very important, therefore, for the House to support the Budget for the Public Service Commission to enable it do its work effectively.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you

 

Vote 06/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/01 – (Office of the Auditor- General – Headquarters – K104,450,936).

 

Her Honour the Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Chairperson, it is my pleasure to present the 2017 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General. The Office of the Auditor-General was established under Article 249 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, No.2 of 2016. This Office is mandated to audit accounts of state organs, state institutions, provincial administrations and local authorities and institutions financed from public funds including the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The Office of the Auditor-General promotes accountability and transparency in the management of public resources appropriated by Parliament hence it’s reporting to this august House through the Public Accounts Committee and other sector committees.

 

Madam Chairperson, the reports of the Auditor-General are critical in that they bring out important and significant findings on how economically, efficiently and effectively public resources are being utilised for the benefit of society. Therefore, in recognising the importance of this institution, my Government is determined to ensure that the Office undertakes its work unhindered. We shall facilitate the implementation of the recently enacted Public Audit and State Audit Commission Act.

 

Madam Chairperson, in general, 2016 has been particularly a difficult year in terms of budget performance for the Government as a whole. In this regard, out of the approved budget of K88,545,861 for the Office, K62,752,954 has so far been disbursed representing 71 percent. Further, the Auditor-General had to comply with the provisions of the amended Constitution which now requires the Office to submit its report to Parliament by 30th September as opposed to 31st December of each year.

 

Madam Chairperson, I wish to congratulate the Office of the Auditor-General for complying with this provision by submitting the report for this year on 30th September, 2016 as required by law despite the financial challenges that I alluded to earlier. The Government wishes to also appreciate the support from our co-operating partners in supplementing the Office’s budget and thereby making it possible to conduct most of the prioritised planned audits for 2016.

 

Madam Chairperson, in undertaking its 2017 work programme, the Office will take into account the Government’s objective to restore macro-economic stability and budget credibility. In doing so, the Office will prioritise its work based on risk assessment to cover areas most prone to mismanagement. Further, the budget will focus on auditing the ongoing projects and programmes such as infrastructure development. And in view of the new mandate to audit local authorities, the Office will aim to audit as many local authorities as resources permit. To assist the Government in mobilising domestic resources, the Office will also audit revenue collection agencies including funds collected through the new tollgates introduced in the sector.

 

Madam Chairperson, I wish to inform the House that the Office is finalising its strategic plan which will assist in coming up with a revised structure to take into account the added responsibilities of auditing local authorities as per the amended Republican Constitution. In 2017, a total of K104,450,936 has been provided to the Office of the Auditor-General to facilitate its work of auditing the financial year ended 2016 and other programmes of enhancing the Office’s capacity. In alleviating the challenges the Office may face, my Government will endeavour to release funds for operations on a timely basis to ensure that audits are conducted within the planned timeframe.

 

In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, I wish to state that our resolve is to pursue economic and social emancipation through prudent utilisation of resources in order for the Government to attain its objective of restoring macro-economic stability and budget credibility. My Government therefore, places a lot of reliance on the work of the Auditor-General in the promotion of accountability and transparency in the management of public resources. I therefore, seek the support of this august House to pass the 2017 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for according me the opportunity to ventilate a few ideas on the Motion or vote of the Office of the Auditor-General.

 

Madam Chairperson, I will be very brief because I realise that I have to give chance to my colleagues also to contribute. I wanted to begin my discourse by being cognisant of the Constitutional provision in terms of Article 234 which creates that the State Audit Commission needs to be put in place to supervise the operations of the Office of the Auditor-General which has not been put in place. The State Audit Commission amongst it functions, I believe, is to recommend who should be Auditor-General and to operationalise or bring into place this State Audit Commission. The Public Audit Act has to be passed by this august House.

 

Madam Chairperson, from the time amendments were made to the Constitution, no cognisable effort has been put in place towards the realisation of the provisions of the Office of the Auditor-General as elucidated by Her Honour the Vice-President. We all know that there is no substantive Auditor-General because the previous one retired last year. Therefore, the vacancy which is obtaining in the Office of the Auditor-General is compromising its work because no one has the mandate to exercise its authority. Furthermore, those who are currently manning the office, like any other human beings, are playing it safe in order to be considered for appointment. It is high time the State Audit Commission is put in place to ensure that a substantive Auditor-General who shall enjoy the immunity of security of tenure as provided for by the Constitution is appointed in order to give the Office of the Auditor-General full efficacy in terms of its operations especially that there is a rise in the levels of abuse of public resources by state organs.

 

Madam Chairperson, the second point I would like to deliberate on relates to the other mandate that the constitutional amendments have brought on the Office of the Auditor-General. You may realise that the mandate of the Office of the Auditor-General has not doubled, but it has tripled. However, the funding to this office has only risen by 10 per cent from the provisions of 2016. This means that the provisions of the Constitution may not be realisable because the 10 per cent increase just represents an amount that will take account of fiscal distortions such as inflation. Therefore, in real terms, there has been no increase to the 2017 Budget of the Office of the Auditor-General compared to the amount that was put aside in 2016.

 

Madam Chairperson, the scope of work for the Office of the Auditor-General has increased. Her Honour the Vice-President stated that they will now have to audit the revenue generated through the newly introduced toll gates. That is part of their work load, but their biggest work load comes from their mandate to audit revenue generated by local authorities and not just funds from the central Government. This is a huge task considering that we have 105 local authorities dotted around the country.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Constitution provides that the Office of the Auditor-General shall be present not only at provincial level, but in every district. As I speak, the Office of the Auditor-General is only present in six districts out of 105, yet they are required to audit 105 local authorities or districts. Therefore, this is a huge undertaking by the office considering that according to the law they are required to release a report on the expenditure of that preceding year by 30th September. Today I do not want to be political. They needed to consider the mandate of the Office of the Auditor-General in coming up with the figure that is allocated to it. There is more reasonable justification to have given the Office of the Auditor-General more money.

 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about financial prudence as one of the pillars of restoring economic stability in the country. There shall be no financial prudence without strengthening the Office of the Auditor-General. From what we have seen this far, financial abuse within the Government is actually inherent and it is linked to local authorities. When the time to audit comes, the internal auditors are absent. Ministries do not have sufficient internal auditors and that is the same case with the councils that were created for political expediency. To date, some of them operate under trees, as a result, internal controls cannot detect public resource abuse. Therefore, the scope of work for the Office of the Auditor-General is too huge and one would have expected its funding to be adequate in order for it to undertake the work that the Constitution has prescribed upon it.

                                                                                                                                     

Madam Chairperson, with those few words very divorced from politics, I thank you.

 

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Madam Chairperson, I do not intend to debate for too long except that I just want to emphasise what my colleague the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central has alluded to.

 

Madam Chairperson, the 2017National Budget is K64.5 billion. The Office of the Auditor-General is mandated to audit every amount allocated to the ministries and spending agencies. I support the vote, but let me point out straight away that the funds that have been allocated to the Office of the Auditor-General are far from being sufficient for it to carry out its mandate effectively. The 2017 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General is K104,450,936 away from this year’s budget of K88,546,178. As my colleague the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central said, the mandate of the Office of the Auditor-General has increased.

 

Madam Chairperson, next year, the Office of the Auditor-General will be required to audit four district councils across the country meaning that they are going to audit forty district councils. However, the provision for transport is only K86,000 and I do not know how they are going to do that. Furthermore, as the hon. Member for Choma Central said, a law was put in place for the Office of the Auditor-General to provide audited accounts to this House which in turn should be submitted before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in order for it to effectively offer an oversight role of what has been going on.

                                                                                                       

Madam Chairperson, K5,000 has been allocated for local training in the Office of the Auditor-General.

 

Madam Chairperson, there is also a provision for K190,000, rounded off, for foreign training. What foreign training could the Office of the Auditor-General carryout, effectively, with this amount? I do not know which country the officers will go to.

 

Further, the Office of the Auditor-General has embraced performance audits. These audits are very costly and yet of high value to the Government, as a tool to provide sufficient information that can lead to forensic auditing. Personnel in Office of the Auditor-General are required to meet some international standards which change from time to time and so they need to invest in modern tools in order to meet those standards.

 

Madam Chairperson, because the Office of the Auditor-General will be carrying out certain forensic investigations or audits, there will be need to employ specialist personnel such as lawyers, engineers and social scientists. For example, if the Social Cash Transfer Audit Report is in a mess, social scientists will be able to assist. I want, therefore, to urge the Government to perhaps consider, if possible, playing around with figures and try and allocate a little bit more to this important office. Yes, it takes money to make money, but it also takes money to look after money.

 

Madam Chairperson, I want to urge Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Minister of Finance to reconsider the position on the budgeted funds for this important Office.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

The First Chairperson: That was very good. I only hope that the others will emulate the two hon. Members that have just debated. Any further debate?

 

Hon. Kamboni, you have the Floor.

 

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you very much for the opportunity to debate the Vote for the Office of the Auditor-General. 

 

At a time when the economy of the country is limping, every ngwee that the Government has matters a lot and must be used wisely. In the past three years, the country has lost about K1.7 billion from misappropriations. In simple terms, people that are supposed to be protecting this money have been stealing it.

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Kamboni …

 

Mr Kamboni: Yes, please.

 

The First Chairperson: Can you withdraw the word “stealing?”

 

Mr Kamboni: I will withdraw the word “stealing” and replace it with misappropriating. 

 

Madam Chairperson, in 2013, the country lost about K266,900,000. In 2014, the amount increased to K549,900,000. In 2015, the amount increased, again, to K882 million. All these colossal sums of monies have gone into the drain. There is need for any Government running the affairs of the people to be very concerned with such magnitude of losses.

 

Madam Chairperson, the capacity of the Office of the Auditor-General to work effectively is not enough. Those who are mandated to capacitate the Office sufficiently have deliberately turned a blind eye. We need to give the Office of the Auditor-General the capacity to do its work effectively and efficiently. To support what I am saying, I will quote from the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2015. This is on page 3 and I quote:

 

“Although the staffing position in the Office has over the years been improving, staffing levels are still not commensurate with the number of Government programmes being undertaken throughout the country. As of August, 2016, out of a total establishment of 639,541 positions, ten were vacant with eighty-eight staff positions frozen.

 

With the new legal requirements to audit local authorities effective January, 2016, the Office will require additional staff to adequately carryout this mandate.”

 

Madam Chairperson, we need to pay attention to the capacity of this Office, which can improve a lot of lives in this country. We could have used the lost K1.7 billion to buy computers or improve the water reticulation system in Lusaka. It is a sad state of affairs if the city has no water and yet Kafue River is only 70 km away. We could even have re-investment this money in the agricultural sector. We need to do something to stop this loss of money. We need to protect it. 

 

Madam Chairperson, what surprises me further is the lack of seriousness pertaining to these issues. For instance, the Government gave someone a tender to supply 48,809 metric tonnes of fertiliser at contract price of K278,924,685. The supplier failed to supply 5,086 metric tonnes, costing K9,696,240 even though he was paid in full. However, the Government went ahead to give him another tender for the following farming season. What does that mean? It means that when the tender is being offered, there is sharing of the loot. If there was no sharing, this would come to a stop. To support what I am saying, I want to quote, again, from the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2015.

 

“During the 2013/14 farming season, the ministry engaged Nyiombo Investment to supply 48,809.5 metric tonnes of fertiliser at contract price of K278,924,685. However, Nyiombo Investment did not supply 5,086.8 metric tonnes, costing K9,696,240 although the supplier was paid in full.

 

Despite Nyiombo’s failure to deliver all the fertiliser for the 2013/14 farming season, the ministry engaged the company to supply fertiliser in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 farming seasons.”

 

Madam Chairperson, this entails lack of leadership and political will. Someone who has misappropriated money to a tune of K9 million is supposed to be in jail. However, we have given him a tender again. We should change the way we do business. A lot of people are suffering in country and this money that goes to waste could serve the country elsewhere.

 

Madam Chairperson, I still have burning issues in the Office of the Auditor-General that I want address. Some time back, it was agreed that the state would form an Audit Commission. This commission has not been formed to-date. I wonder why it has not been formed. Hon. Minister, may it be done as soon as possible since it was already approved.

 

Further, some staff members in the Office of the Auditor-General do not qualify. We need to place qualified citizens in this Office. As Hon. Kasonso said, times have changed. The Office needs new technology to carryout work. Can we ensure that we employ staff that is qualified?

 

Furthermore, salaries for auditors are too low and, as such, when they are offered the dangling carrot, they are tempted to have a bite. To avoid this, we need to pay the officers well. If we do not pay them well, they will move to other institutions or companies and record-keeping becomes very difficult in such cases. We need to be serious with this Office because it will save K1.7 billion from going to waste.

 

Madam Chairperson, the other comment which I have is that the recommendations that the Auditor General’s Officer gives to the Executive are not taken seriously in the sense that the Executive chooses who to charge and sometimes, they chose to ignore them, which is very discouraging for the people who do the work. Could we come up with the mechanism that will be very efficient and ensure that those who found wanting can be charged accordingly.

 

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: Madam, the other area that I want to look at is that the Auditor General’s Office has a memorandum of understanding with the Ati-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). Suffice to say that the memorandum of understanding is only centered at the top leadership and yet, the people who carry out the investigations are not connected to the memorandum of understanding and they do not collaborate well. For these officers to operate efficiently, there is need for the officers at the bottom to collaborate with the top management to enable them do their work properly and help one another in case one is limping.

 

Madam Chairperson, the funding of this office is sporadic and sometimes, it comes very late. We are setting bets, but the funding comes very late. How would they work without funding? Apart from that, the allocation for this vote is not enough. Therefore, we need to change the way we do things because if they are funded the on time, they would be able to do their work properly. It is for this reason that we are still considering the budget when in fact, we would have been winding up or finished by now. We were supposed to start considering this budget somewhere in September or October, but we did not because of the delays in funding. I would like to appeal to those in charge of finances to ensure that the funding is done on time.

 

Madam, as I conclude, I want to say that running a country especially these days is like running a business. When a country is properly run, it is supposed to make profits and benefit the citizens. We cannot be in Government feeling comfortable when money is going to a few and same individuals and yet, they are not charged. I would like to recommend that this House must add or change some laws which will enable the Audit General’s Office have the teeth to bite. Currently, we have deliberately left them without teeth to bite those who are in the habit of looting, and have continued to do that with impunity. We need to change this state of affairs.

 

Madam, I have worked in countries like Botswana, where auditors would come today and if you are found wanting, they would ensure that the following week, you are in court. This is the way it should be. Why should they have to go and see the Director of Pubic Prosecution (DPP) to seek permission for the culprits to be taken to court? It is important that we make laws that would give this office powers to charge anyone within the shortest possible time. If we did that, then, this office will make more sense. Otherwise, the way things are, it is just like a white elephant, which is just there to tell us how much revenue the nation has lost. It also looks like nobody cares and everybody does whatever they feel like and it is a business as usual. For instance, if I want given this kind of money for Kalomo Central Constituency, it would become another London.

 

Mr Ngulube: Question

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: We need to change the way we carry out our business.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, in summary, I would like suggest that more resources should be given to this vote and expand its capacity to do their work. Thirdly, their salaries should up so that they are not attracted to dangling carrots. The fourth one is that the collaboration should be done more often, and the last one is that we should ensure that we give this office more powers. I know that it will be difficult because those who are supposed to give them powers are part of the problem and this is where we are.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: Madam Chairperson, with these few words, I would like to thank you and the House at large.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Government Member: Muntanga has left a problem. He cannot fit in Muntanga’s shoes.

 

Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, I think everything has been covered.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

The First Chairperson: You do not want to debate.

 

Mr Mumba: Madam, I was saying that everything seems to have been covered.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Musonda (Kanfinsa): Madam Chairperson, a lot has been said on the Auditor General’s Vote. I want t start by out rightly indicating that I support the vote and if I had a way, I would be saying that I even further support the total vote of the budget. Why do I say so?

 

Madam, a lot of work as been expended into collecting the submissions, compiling them and then, coming up with the Yellow Book. Actually, the technocrats have done a lot of work. We are also doing a lot of work. I, therefore, want to thank all those that have contributed to the budget process. This is the more reason, I want to support the vote.

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

               

 

 [THE FIRST CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

Mr Musonda: Madam Chairperson, before we went for break, I was saying that a lot of work has been expended into the budget process thus far.  Therefore, I want to commend all those that participated included ourselves.

 

Madam, in my view, the budget process’s critical component is that of implementation. If the implementation of the budget is not done in the manner it is intended, then, that will render all the efforts of the work expended into putting together with the budget worthless. This is why the Office of the Auditor General and some Parliamentary Committees are appointed to assist in ensuring that the budget is implemented effectively to see that the K1 that was budgeted to be spent in Kanfinsa ends up in Kanfinsa at the end of the day.

      

I, therefore, want to appeal to all the spending authorities that once this budget has been approved, they should assist the Auditor-General’s office and make the work of the Auditor-General a little easier by ensuring that they adhere to the provisions of how their budgets are supposed to expended. In this regard, I also want to appeal to various government institutions and hon. Members of Parliament to be very vigilant and assist the Auditor-General’s office. I want to see a situation whereby the Auditor-General’s report for 2017 has reduced, or none at all, instances of misapplications, misappropriations, unaccounted for expenditures and unretired imprest. If that reduces in next year’s report, then this House and the spending authorities of this country will be said to be making a move forward.

 

With these few words, I want to thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, allow me to thank the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Vote. I thank them for commiserating with the Auditor-General’s office for the Treasury to allocate more resources to the office.

 

Madam Chairperson, regarding Hon. Mweetwa’s comments on why the audit commission is not in place to audit the Auditor-General’s office, I think it is a well known fact that many commissions were created by the amended Republican Constitution. We are all aware also that this is the Budget Session and in the next Sitting of Parliament, most of the newly created commissions will be discussed. In addition to being considered, they will be operationalised. Additionally, my statement was very clear as it indicated that the State Audit Commission Act and Public Audit Act will be operationalised soon. We are also aware that these Acts were recently enacted.

 

Madam, Hon. Kasonso lamented on the limited resources allocated to the Auditor-General’s office, especially in view of the increased mandate of the office. Other hon. Members, of course, expressed their concern over the same. However, the House should know that some of the audit work is outsourced by the office of the Auditor-General and this is allowed by law.

 

Hon. Kamboni bemoaned the high numbers of audit queries as well as shortage of staff. A number of training programmes for staff at the Auditor-General’s office will be supported by cooperating partners, in addition to the local training continuously being undertaken by the Government. Again, on the power of the commission, the new Public Audit Act has given more powers to the Auditor-General’s office. For example, there is power to surcharge and power of disallowing. This will assist in preserving government resources.

 

Madam Chairperson, the concern to empower the Auditor-General’s office has been expressed by every contributor to this Vote and the Government will do everything possible to ensure that that empowerment is effected so that the office of the Auditor-General, a very critical institution in our governance system, is strengthened. So I beg hon. Members to support the budget of this institution.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Vote 07/01, 07/02 and 07/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 07/04 – (Office of the Auditor-GeneralNdola Provincial Office – K2,909,710).

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment Under 07 Provincial Appropriation Audit Unit, Programme 3000 Personal Emoluments, Activity 001 Salaries Division I, by the deletion of K1,516,842 and the substitution therefore of K1,224,342, and Under 07 Provincial Appropriation Audit Unit, Programme 3000 Personal Emoluments, Activity 003 Salaries Division III, by the insertion of K292,500.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3000, Activity 003, − Salaries Division III. Why is there no allocation for this activity in 2017?

 

The Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Ms Chalikosa): Madam Chairperson, this activity has an addendum requesting the Ministry of Finance to consider the omitted amount, that it be re-instated. So, it is being handled by the Ministry of Finance.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Lihefu, the amendment we have just passed to Vote 07/04 deals with this activity.

 

Vote 07/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 07/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

 

Vote 07/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 54 – (Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development – K167,976,677).

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to give the policy statement on the budget for the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development for 2017.

 

Madam Chairperson, at the beginning of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu announced the creation of new ministries and the realignment of others in a bid to streamline the Government’s operations and improve service delivery to the people of Zambia. These ministries were later approved by this House. I was truly given the opportunity by His Excellency the President to provide policy direction for the new Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. We need to ensure that we deliver quality infrastructure to the country in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

 

Madam Chairperson, before I outline the priority programmes for 2017, allow me to highlight some of the key achievements for 2016. In 2016, we all recall that some of the functions of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development were executed by the Ministry of Works and Supply which I was given an opportunity to lead in this Parliament. The budget appropriated for the Ministry of Works and Supply for 2016 was K217,325,542. This budget was supported with additional funds from Vote 21 which facilitates various infrastructure development projects across the country. The period 2015/2016 recorded an unprecedented level of development that the country had ever witnessed under the able leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and leader of the Patriotic Front (PF). These developments include, but are not limited to the following:

 

  1. completion of the construction and official launch of the Mongu/Kalabo Road and the Sioma Bridge both in the Western Province;

 

  1. completion of the construction and official launch of the Mfuchani Bridge in Kitwe on the Copperbelt Province;

 

  1. commencement and on-going construction of the Kazungula Bridge in the Southern Province;

 

  1. on-going infrastructure development in new districts that include staff houses, office blocks, schools and other support services;
  2. completion of 703 km of roads under the Link 8,000 km Road Project, 6.25 km of roads, 23,491 Sq. m of open spaces under the Pave Zambia 2,000 km Road Project, 358 km of roads under the L400 and 320 km of urban roads across the country;  and

 

  1. announcement of the beginning of the construction of the C400 and other urban road projects in the country.

 

Madam Chairperson, I wish to firmly put on record that these projects would not have been efficiently executed without the constructive criticism and the support provided by the hon. Members of this august House and indeed, the general public who are the key stakeholders and users across the country.  I thank them all for their relentless input in the quest to achieve a better Zambia for all.

 

Madam Chairperson, allow me now to focus on the budget proposals for 2017 under specific infrastructure development themes.

 

Madam Chairperson, as we may all be aware, this ministry retained the sole mandate of developing policy and constructing public infrastructure across the country. With this in mind, I am now announcing that the infrastructure units and the human resource under the Ministry of General Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Transport and Communication that are currently involved in infrastructure development should hence forth be budgeted for under my ministry which carries this specific portfolio function. Further, the Dredging Unit which was under the Ministry of Transport and Communication was hived off to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development without the matching resources. If not addressed, this will cause the water transport sector to continue lagging behind in development. An appeal has already been made to the Ministry of Finance through the office of the Permanent Secretary, Budget and Economic Affairs for a positive consideration of this matter and I trust that it will be resolved. 

 

Madam Chairperson, the activities in the construction sector across Zambia have been on the rise particularly with regard to the ongoing construction activities in the new districts. Government through the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development will continue to facilitate the construction of various infrastructures which include the office blocks to house government ministries, departments and housing units for the members of staff.

 

Madam, these unprecedented levels of development in the areas of construction across the country, quality assurance is critical to ensure that standards are adhered and that tenets of value for money are achieved. Therefore, in order to effective implementation, my ministry shall continue with the effective project monitoring both at provincial and district level.

 

Madam Chairperson, you may wish to note that at the time my ministry was created, the budget preparation had already advanced. In this regard despite some funds for the infrastructure development being approved under various ministries budgets such as for Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Home Affairs, it is important to state that at the time of implementation, my ministry whose portfolio functions are policy and construction of a public infrastructure should be allowed to spearhead and utilise the money to achieve the intended goal.

 

In order to promote a diverse economy, with the inclusion of the rural part of the country, Government will continue to implement the Link Zambia 8000 to ensure that the trade linkages through roads are developed and promoted. Further, other road works such as the Pave Zambia 2000, Lusaka 400 (L400) Phase II, Copperbelt 400 (C400) and other urban and rural roads projects shall continue to be implemented in the 2017 and beyond. These projects include bridge construction on various river crossing points in the country.

 

Madam Chairperson, as a resource requirement to undertake these projects continue to rise, the Government, through my ministry will actively engage the private sector through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative on some road projects. This will increase participation of the various development partners in the economy of our country. This will be strengthened by improving and sustaining capacity at the Road Development Agency (RDA), National Council for Construction (NCC) and the National Housing Authority (NHA) including streamlining Government capacity to provide effective supervision to all the projects.

 

Madam Chairperson, Government investment with regard to the road development will be eroded if other modes of transport are not promoted and fully improved. In order to sustain these road development, there is need to invest and revitalise the railway sector including the focus on Greenfields Railways.

 

I wish to state that investment in the rehabilitation and development of new lines will ensure sustainability of roads by transferring some of the cargo to the rail. The development of the rail in the country shall also have to be utilised under the PPP strategy in order to leverage the scarce resources.

 

Madam, the water transport sector in Zambia has remained undeveloped thus negatively affecting the utilisation of water ways as transport mode. My ministry shall improving on the existing waterways and developing new ones particularly those serving areas that entirely depend on water transport of goods and services and our people. Areas like Liuwa and Lunga districts.

 

Madam Chairperson, the harbour infrastructure remains a challenge for most inland harbours. Even as we move towards devolution of functions under the tenets of decentralisation, my ministry shall invest in new harbour infrastructure that will support improvement development and utilisation of waterways in the water transport sector. We will also focus and remain to improve the water canals and building other support infrastructure such as the terminal buildings, landing jetties and good storage sheds among others.

 

Madam, Zambia is strategically positioned and has the potential to claim its status as the region trade and transport hub. This will be more beneficial if the country can consistently invest and promote the transport intermodal system by sustaining and supporting all transport modes. In this regard, my ministry shall continue to construct and invest in the modernisation of new and old airports across the country. This will improve and promote accessibility to air transport and will contribute to reduced travel costs and time including reduced costs of doing business in Zambia as well as increasing the number of both local and international tourists.

 

In conclusion, Madam Chairperson, I sincerely expect that this august House will support the budget for the new ministry in the year 2017. Let me state that we will not have comparison why the increase or why the decrease because it is a new ministry …

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: … hence I do not expect such questions. Those that have not been provided for, I have already mentioned in the Policy Statement that they are sitting in various ministries, come January 1, we will continue implementing and working as one Government.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. This ministry is as hot as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in this country. Unfortunately, I will have to draw comparisons because the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development is the same hon. Minister who was in charge of the Minister of Works and Supply. This ministry has a very big task and we will support this Budget on the condition that the ministry becomes efficient and effective. The ministry was created to promote effectiveness and efficiency, but if that is not seen then it is misplaced.

Madam Chairperson, we have had a problem with the maintenance of schools. The Ministry of Generation Education came up with a policy that it would only construct schools on green space and that it would not attend to the old school buildings. As a result of this, most of the infrastructure was left in a dilapidated state. Today, most of the old school buildings are falling apart because the Ministry of General Education was not attending to them.

 

Madam Chairperson, not even the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has the capacity to fix the schools in the North-Western Province, particularly in my constituency. Some schools are completely broken while others had their roofs blown off. Nothing has been attended to for the six years that the Patriotic Front (PF) has been in power. In effect, the Government is killing the initiative of the children who are supposed to be going to school. They have no capacity to learn because the PF Government has neglected infrastructure in our society.

Madam Chairperson, this money does not belong to a party. This is tax payers’ money which belongs to all the citizens of Zambia. There is no need for us to plead for this money because it belongs to us and we all deserve a share in every budget. We need this money to touch every corner of Zambia.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Address the Chair!

 

Mr Muchima: It does not matter, the Chairperson is listening.

 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

 

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, we need the hon. Minister to inspect these schools ...

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Muchima, you are addressing the Chair, but you are facing the opposite direction.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Muchima: Let me reposition myself.

        

Madam Chairperson, we have a terrible situation in the North-Western Province where it rains heavily. Most of the buildings have collapsed while the roofs of others have been blown away. There is confusion between the DMMU and the Ministry of Works and Supply over who should undertake these works. As a result, most pupils are suffering without classrooms because of the Government’s policy that they can only build on new space and not attend to old buildings. I am urging the hon. Minister to go and reconstruct and maintain old buildings.

Madam Chairperson, money was appropriated for the Kanongesha/Milambo Road. Money was allocated in the Yellow Book, but when it reached the provincial headquarters it was diverted. To date, nobody uses that bridge. We have appealed to the DMMU to construct a new bridge several times, but nothing has been done. That is why people are complaining and why they vote they vote the way they do. They know that there is no need to vote for a person who does not attend to them. If you cry for food and your mother does not give it to you, you will forsake her and go  o look for food elsewhere.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, the ministry has achieved very little in 2016. We were told that 20 km of Jimbe road, under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, would be tarred from Mwinilunga Boma, but nothing has been done. They just uprooted some trees, but nothing else has been done. The portion we need is the stretch from Kaleni to Jimbe because it is impassable. All hon. Ministers, including Provincial Ministers, fail to reach Jimbe. We do not mind not having tarmac because all we need is for the road to be passable. That is a border area and anything can happen at the border. We need a road that is passable. We are appealing to the Government to consider the poor people of the North-Western Province. If Government wants the support of the people they must do things for them.

 

Madam Chairperson, I always refer to the late President Mwanawasa who did not get a vote in Luapula, but he had to put up the Mwanawasa Bridge ...

 

Ms Katuta interjected.

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Muchima, it is not correct to say the late President Mwanawasa did not get a vote in Luapula. Withdraw that or maybe change the statement all together.

 

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, let me put it this way, he did not get the desired votes from that area ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Withdraw!

 

Mr Muchima: I meant it in the context that the votes he got were not sufficient ...

 

Mr Ngulube: Withdraw!

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Muchima, I guided. Withdraw the earlier statement and find a more suitable way of putting the point you want put across.

 

Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I withdrew my statement and that is why I changed it.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Budget should not segregate. Let us pay attention to priority areas. We have seen that there are no priorities on how money is going to be used after we appropriate it in this House. First and foremost, we supposed to attend to areas of economic interest. For example, the T5 is a serious economic road. Most roads are import routes, but this is one is facilitating exports because it feeds Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Government should attend to that road as soon as possible. Even though the Government is doing this through private partnership, at the end of the day the Government will have to pay some money. I have seen some money in this Yellow Book which means some Government money will be attached to that road. The hon. Minister needs to go supervise and inspect that road.

 

Madam Chairperson, ever since that contractor moved on site, no hon. Minister has gone to inspect the road. I am appealing that the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, the hon. Provincial Minister, my fellow hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga and I go and see if the money is being applied accordingly.

Madam Chairperson, we need to monitor these projects effectively. This can be done by the performance audit which we talked about previously. The Government is supposed to account for the money which it is spending. There is too much corruption in the allocation of road and infrastructure contracts in this country. It is like going to draw water using a basket. A lot of money is pumped into this sector but nothing is achieved. How can we construct a tar mark today and tomorrow, it is full of potholes? How possible is that? The Kapiri/Kasama Road was done by Italians and it is still strong. We do not expect potholes on that road. The roads that have been constructed by the Chinese are draining our resources. We are spending so much money on shoddy works.

 

Madam Chairperson, we need to know the distinction between the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure. Where is the boundary? Today, the hon. Minister of General Education said that there are five schools whose roofs were blown off in Eastern Province and they are waiting for the community to do something about it. This is the time when this ministry is supposed to attend to that immediately because this is an emergency. 

 

Madam Chairperson, I have not heard anything about the construction of township roads in Ikeleng’i.  I am wondering why the C400 cannot reach my constituency. Why is it in North Western Province? I urge the Government to effect the promises that they made during the campaign otherwise, people will never trust them. Infrastructure development can make a country progress. Road infrastructure is key because it enhances communication. We are not asking this Government for more than that. I have been asking for an international road but nothing is happening. We need to see performance by this PF Government in North Western Province because that is where more money is coming from.

 

Madam Chairperson, I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister for North Western Province. He needs to know that we have to work as a team in order for us to deliver development in that area. We are going to back him as long as we see change in that province.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure for his presentation. First and foremost, I would like to say that I support that Budget totally …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Mwashingwele: …but with the following observations. The hon. Minister has stated that this is a new ministry and there will be nothing to add or subtract. That is fair enough but personally, I think I would want to start with is the issue road infrastructure. The first place I would like to talk about is Katuba Constituency, especially when we talk about the Link 4,000 km and Link 8,000 km Road Projects. Mungule road, which is linking Keembe and Katuba is in a deplorable state. We have had two contractors on board in the past three months since August but nothing has been done up to now. I do not know whether that was a political gimmick or not. The bridges that were on that road were uprooted and now, the road has completely been washed away by the rains. If the hon. Minister drove on that road, he would prove that it is now worse than it was before August. Barely, this is only two months of the rains. With regards to infrastructure development, if we cannot move from point A to B, then I think the ministry really, will not be doing us a lot of service.

 

Madam Chairperson, Chikumbi Road is famously known for our freedom fighters...

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! 

 

Ms Mwashingwele: …but for us, it is actually a developmental road because we have Bokomo Zambia Limited there. Most of the people do not even know that some cornflakes we are eating are produced in Katuba.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Madam Chairperson, the road that is leading to Bokomo Zambia Limited has been washed away and it is threatening to pull out. I therefore, ask the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure to really consider those two roads in Katuba. If upgrading those roads to bituminous standard is expensive, they can make cement roads. We have seen it happen in developing countries. Other countries use cement to make roads. Why can we not adopt that in Zambia? If those who are coming to make our roads with bituminous have done it in their countries before, why can we not do it especially for the rural roads? This will be cheaper and the roads will last longer. I would really beg the hon. Minister to consider that.

 

Madam Chairperson, let me just quickly talk about housing in this country. Most of the houses that have been built under the National Housing Authority (NHA) are actually going to waste, for lack of a better term, because they are not being occupied. I am talking about the Houses on Kasangula Road. Those houses have been there for two to three years now. Why is the ministry in charge of those houses not allocating them to our civil servants? We have many teachers, nurses and doctors in the public service who can occupy those houses. Immediately they are employed, they can be attached to those houses. During the time they will actually be serving in their ministries, they should be able to pay for their accommodation. This will empower them. This will enable the stay longer in our ministries. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure, being a new ministry, must be more creative and sensitive to the needs of the civil servants. Our civil servants get so little but this can sustain them over a period of twenty years if those houses are given to them. If you pass near those houses, you will find that weeds have even over grown. You will actually find that ants are actually building around the houses. The money we spent to build those houses is actually going to waste.

 

Madam Chairperson, if these small things that I have mentioned are put together and that there are no politics under this new ministry, I believe that we will go a long way in making Zambia a better place, especially for our civil servants.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Chairperson, I think this ministry has become too big. The hon. Minister talked about roads, railway lines, canals and water ways, school buildings, airports, hospitals and houses. I suspect that departments where these sectors came from have very little work now. Therefore, this ministry will be overwhelmed by both bureaucracy and the sheer volume of work. Personally, I do not think this ministry has been structured properly.

 

Madam Chairperson, my second point is on the roads, specifically, the Lusaka/Mongu Road. On this road, there is a section in the newly created Nkeyema District, which has been in disrepair for the past five years. We see contractors on site but nothing is happening. Why is this road not being repaired? In Liuwa Constituency, there is absolutely no single gazetted road.

 

This constituency is traversed by three rivers, namely, the Luanginga in the west, the Luambimba in the middle and the Zambezi on the Eastern side. This means that although we do not have gazetted roads, we have water transport which is very critical for us and I believe that if it was properly harnessed, even inter district travel say, between Lukulu and Mongu which a distance of about 150 km could be covered instead of the 400 km by road which is very expensive.

 

Madam Chairperson, even though the hon. Minister has a lot of responsibility, I urge him to explore the possibility of making water transport accessible to the Western Province, especially in Liuwa, Luena and Zambezi West and Zambezi East. Water transportation is very important. We want to hear what plans he has in place to improve water transportation.

 

Madam Chairperson, canals are very important for us. I know that the Ministry of Defence has equipment for making roads. Where is the equipment for making canals? I know that it is very limited and spread here and there. However, even where equipment exists, there is no diesel to utilise the equipment for clearing canals and rivers, where they are infested by reeds and papyrus.

 

Madam Chairperson, currently, part of Liuwa and Sikongo have a serious problem. The people in those areas depend on water ways to travel to their homes and all the way into Angola. Right now, the so called Makoma Canal is totally dry. As a result, a bag of mealie meal in that part of the country now costs between K150 to K200. Their transportation mode is totally broken down. The canal is dry and it is difficult to transport commodities in the area.

 

Madam, we do not have roads and, therefore, I would like an aggressive and ambitious statement on what is going to happen on water ways in the same manner you talk about roads.

 

Madam Chairperson, I want to spend the next few minutes on railway lines. As everyone has stated, railway lines are very important because, ordinarily, they are the cheapest way of transporting things and, when they operate efficiently, preserve the roads because all the heavy loads go on the railway line.

Madam Chairperson, I listened carefully to the hon. Minister to hear what plan there is for railway lines, but I am afraid I have not heard much and, the little that I have heard does not satisfy me.

 

Madam Chairperson, today, the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) is just as bad and inefficient as it was five years ago and yet we know that about four years ago, US$120 million of the Euro Bond was allocated to revamp it. Nothing has happened to date. According to statistics produced by the Central Statistical Office (CSO), for every tone of cargo transported by the railway systems of Zambia, forty tonnes are transported by trucks.  This means that railways are almost doing nothing. They are not doing anything. Could the hon. Minister explain what happened to that colossal sum of money, the US$120 million from the Euro Bond that was given to ZRL? In spite of that money, ZRL is hardly transporting anything. What has happened?

 

Madam Chairperson, further, I want to ask about the Government’s strategic view of the railway lines. As I said, we have the ZRL and the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA). Which one is your priority railway system?  Rehabilitating railways is obviously expensive. So, I would have thought that they would have strategically asked themselves which of the railways is most urgently required or most critical and how much money should be allocated to it so that at the minimum, they know that the imports and exports can move. I have not heard that discussion from their side. On the contrary, what I have heard are strange things.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the Budget address, we were told that US$2 billion will be borrowed to do the rail line from Chipata to Pensulo. This is a lot of money. Now, there are two systems that are already existent, but hardly functional. Surely, in my thinking, it would have been cheaper to utilise, perhaps, even US$500 million or half of that to ensure that the ZRL and TAZARA are up and running. Instead, the Government will abandon systems that are already existent and spend US$2 billion on a new project. Where is the strategic vision in all this? I do not see it. This is very strange.

 

Madam Chairperson, for all that, I hear that the system in Malawi and Mozambique where this railway will traverse is broken down. It means that if they do their system here, there is no guarantee that their cargo will move in Malawi and Mozambique. Furthermore, we hear that the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) is back to business ...

 

Laughter

 

Dr Musokotwane: ... attacking infrastructure. So, if you construct this rail line, it will most likely be targeted by RENAMO and what are we going to achieve? I am perplexed by this kind of thinking.

 

Madam Chairperson, even if we did this railway line, the major cargo is from the Copperbelt going to the sea ports. In the meantime, the railway system from the Copperbelt to Pensulo is not functioning properly. If it was, we would see most of this cargo going to Kapiri Mposhi from the Copperbelt and to Dar es Salaam. The fact that this is not happening means that there is something wrong. So, even if we did a railway line from Pensulo to Nakala, but there is nothing from the Copperbelt to Pensulo, I can assure you that no mining company is going to agree to load on the Copperbelt and go to Kapiri Mposhi to offload because it is too expensive.

 

Madam Chairperson, my final point on the railway systems is that there is a concept that is called natural monopolies or oligopolies which means that for certain type of businesses, you can only have so many frames. To have too many is a recipe to ensure that one or more fail. Madam Chairperson you have to note that most of our cargo comes from South Africa, but we want to ignore the railway line which should carry most of the cargo. We want to create another line that obviously will not carry these imports which come from South Africa.

 

Madam, the point I am trying to make is that we have ZRL and TAZARA, but we want to create this new railway line. We are also sponsoring the North-Western line from Chingola into Angola. Those are four railway systems. How much of copper are these to carry? Even if we said 1 million tonnes on four of them, which would be 250 thousand tonnes each, I can tell you right from the beginning that one of these will be a white elephant because there is not much business to carry for all these four railways lines.

 

Hon. Minister, these railways lines are a very expensive infrastructure, we should think about them critically and strategically so that we know exactly which one or two railways systems that we can focus on that will have enough business and will be critical to our imports and exports. We should not invest huge amounts of money without thinking of the implications of the line going to Chipata or to the North-Western Province. One of these railway lines is definitely going to be a white elephant and it will be money wasted. You might as well give us that money in Liuwa so that we can make use of it to make canals and clearing the Zambezi and Luanginga rivers. That way money will be better utilised than what you are proposing.

 

I thank you, madam Chairperson.

 

Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Chairperson, to start with I would like to say that I fully support the budget for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing. In addition, I would like to congratulate Hon. Chitotela for being the first Minister in that new ministry and also to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Lungu, for coming up with this new ministry and trying to realign infrastructure development projects of this country.

 

Madam Chairperson, I have carefully listened to the hon. Minister’s policy statement and I must hasten to congratulate the Patriotic Front (PF) that I think in the history of this country they will be known for the road infrastructure development that they have highly invested in.

 

However, Madam Chairperson, within this infrastructure development, housing has come on board but I did not hear the hon. Minister talk about how he intends to increase housing units. Yesterday, there were lamentations coming from various contributors in relation to civil servants not being given cheaper plots to build houses. I think your ministry; hon. Minister, is a strategic position to provide housing for civil servants and to also enhance our mortgage system which could contribute to the financial stability of our country. I know that you have the National Housing Authority which is in dire financial need and they will certainly be need for you to look at how you can find new financial partners in the area of housing. Looking at housing and the deficit that we have which currently stands at about 2 million houses, should be a very serious concern not only to you, hon. Minister, but also to the Government as a whole.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would want to focus a little bit on building the Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) which are supposed to be the life blood of any growing and surviving economy. If anything the SMEs should act as a lubricant to the stimulation of our economy. I could see that in your policy statement, hon. Minister, I thought you could have given us an indication on the amount of strength your ministry is going to add to this sector. For the last five years that the PF have been carrying out these infrastructure projects, the projects have not only created jobs but have exerted extreme pressure on our exchange rate especially that 80 percent of the projects that have been carried out in this country have been by companies that are not registered in Zambia. Yes, as a country we are encouraging foreign direct investment, we do not want to limit any company that comes into our country but we need to start building capacity and technological transfer to the SMEs for us to actually take over these contracts because we have lost out, so far as a country, in almost all the sectors of our economy, it foreign companies that are doing our projects. This new budget creates a platform for us to rethink about how we are really going to grow the economy from bottom up for the benefit of the common Zambian. It will not be just for the people that are able to walk into your office, hon. Minister, but it will be for those who do not need to know or see. We need a policy to be put in place to create opportunities for our citizens

 

I would like to take this opportunity to actually thank the new Commissioner General for Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) for making it very clear that Zambian registered companies which are tax compliant will be given a Reservation Scheme so that really contribution of our taxes is not just from these companies that come from abroad but also small companies. Many a time these small companies are not even paid on time and yet they contribute taxes to ZRA. I will not quote the Statutory Instrument, you have got enough members of staff who can interpret this for you, hon. Minister, so that you have a Reservation Scheme even the 20 percent that you have given for sub-contracting for Zambians, we are now five years on through the introduction of road construction by the PF so some of these sub-contractors or SMEs have now grown, so we need to move to a higher percentage so that come another five years, Zambians will actually be the ones constructing these roads.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would also want to urge the hon. Minister to critically look at the monitoring and evaluation team under the Road Development Agency (RDA) so that when a road is constructed with all those processes of consultants being hired do feasibility studies which in many cases, I believe that it is just a waste of our money. The ministry can critically look at the reason why we need to hire a consultant to first do a feasibility study which goes to RDA, RDA advertises the works, and then a contractor is identified. We all know what has been happening with some of these consultants who have these road constructing companies, they move the figure which they create in the consultancy work to their construction company and they have been making so much money. No wonder the Government is suffering these huge losses. You know that Auditor-General’s office does not have civil engineers to check on what has been happening when they go on site. I would like your ministry to critically look at the issue of quality roads. When you do a road it should at least last for a long period of time. We have seen roads going to the Copperbelt, in Kapiri Mposhi, even you, hon. Minster, as you go to your constituency, have seen what is happening on our roads. It simply means that at RDA somebody is not doing his job which we are paying for.

 

Madam Chairperson, there is need for the hon. Minister to critically look at RDA when it tests and certifies that the road is now ready to paid even when a contractor has not done his job well. I would encourage you, hon. Minister, to also relook at the contracts. Some of these controversial clauses have made it difficult for the Ministry of Finance to pay these contractors on time, for example, the famous clause of interest rates for any invoice that is not paid within 30 days to be charged at 40 percent. If for example, you take a Chinese company, which gets a loan from EXIM Bank at 2 percent and then sits pretty here in Zambia because you have not paid his invoice for 30 days, he sits pretty and is getting 40 percent and you say Zambians are giving us pressure, the Chinese are not giving us pressure. As a Government we have not made use of the Development Bank of Zambia properly. The DBZ can also have value addition services. For example, invoice discounts on Government contracts so that the Secretary to the Treasury does not have so much pressure in a month that he does not have money for the DBZ will be able to discount an invoice and the company involved is able to pay taxes, NAPSA contributions, workers on time and the heart beat of the economy will continue to be consistent, therefore, we will continue to grow the economy.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would like to end by just urging the ministry to relook at the cost of constructing a road per kilometre. I think that this has been a thorny issue.

 

When Dangote Cement Ltd was opened, I remember very well that His Excellency the President directed the Road Development Agency (RDA) to reconsider the construction cost of a 1 km stretch of road especially that the cost of cement had dropped. I am sure you are aware that I had issues with Lafarge Cement Zambia Plc because at onetime they sold cement at K85. However, when Dangote Cement Ltd opened, it dropped to K55. They reduced the price of cement within a week, yet they had convinced the Government that they were barely surviving when it was K85 and no penalties came through the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

 

Madam Chairperson, I would like to urge the Government to be very careful with Public Private Partnerships (PPP). Once one PPP project goes wrong, then they rest will go wrong. Zambians should be considered first and they can get concessional loans from the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) so that they are awarded contracts. That way, we shall consider the creation of 1 million jobs as a very simple task. This is because under infrastructure, direct and indirect jobs and businesses are created. When you construct a stretch of road or build property, there are other services that spring up. For example, under the Zambia Army L85 Project, a shopping mall will be constructed and other services will come up and that is the direction we should be taking. Therefore, PPP should not only benefit our colleagues who are able to access loans at 2 per cent. The DBZ should be given enough resources and it should also try to be responsive to the new opportunities and challenges that this country faces. We need to take ownership of our Budget and ensure that money is spent properly as opposed to the losses that we have been making. Under a period of three years, K1.7 million is a lot of money that could be used properly.

 

Madam Chairperson, controlling officers must have a positive attitude. They should not be tired and think that they own the ministries. They are there to offer a service because after a period of time, they will leave and new people will come in. Therefore, we should inculcate good behaviour in the controlling officers. With those few words, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister and I wish him all the best.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity on behalf of the people of Kaputa to add my voice on this important vote of the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development.

 

Madam Chairperson, to start with, I agree with Hon. Musokotwane that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development has a lot of responsibilities. Considering the budget for the ministry, the hon. Minister has to work hard in order to ensure that the Zambians get the maximum benefit out of the ministry. Even if some programmes and construction projects are prioritised, there is need to align some departments in other ministries to the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development in order to achieve its objective.

 

Madam Chairperson, the main focus of my debate will be on the Link 8,000 Road Project. This project started in 2011 and the people of Kaputa looked forward to it because Kaputa would be joined to the rest of the country. The construction of roads in Kasama, Mporokoso, Nsama, Kaputa, Nchelenge, Munenga, Chienge and Lambwe Chomba was in Phase I and we were very grateful that the province would be opened up to the country. Five years has now passed and the Government has not fulfilled their promise. However, we are mindful that engineering designs have been done and the contractors were mobilised and what remains is the commencement of the road works. The people of Kaputa do not want to ask for many things …

                                                                                                                          

Interruptions

 

Mr Ng’onga: I am telling you. The people of Kaputa would want the Government to construct schools, water facilities and hospitals, but they would rather it prioritised the construction of a road from Mporokoso to Nsama and Kaputa. When it is constructed, all the other things will be added unto them. I am not just saying this as a representative of the people of Kaputa, but they presented this message to the President more than twice. If that is done, the province will be opened up to the rest of country and other projects can be undertaken. Therefore, the Link 8,000 km Road Project brought a lot of joy to the people of Kaputa.

 

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the aspect of roads being of economic importance. Kaputa is a border town bordering Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC is a huge market for Zambia. However, there is no infrastructure leading from Kaputa to DRC. Therefore, as a country, we have ignored the enormous potential in terms of the economic benefits. The officers at Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) would probably not go to Kaputa because as far as they are concerned small towns have no economic importance.

 

However, there is economic potential in Nsumbu in Nsama and until we open up such areas, we will not realise what lies in those particular areas. For example, Nsumbu and Kasaba Bays are economic areas that need to be tapped and I know that hon. Members debated about the northern tourism circuit. Goods from Tanzania are transported from Kashiba to DRC using a road that passes through Mwenda and people think the shortest route is through Mpulungu, Kasama and Luwingu. The shortest route will be from Nsumbu through Mporokoso and Kawambwa and finally DRC. These are not social areas, but economic areas that definitely should be opened up. Even within the Budget, the people of Kaputa, Nsama, Nchelenge and Chienge should not be left out and I will justify this.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Ng’onga: Madam Chairperson, goods are transported from Mansa and Nchelenge into DRC. Also, copper is transported from there to the Copperbelt for processing. Therefore, that is an important road and we do not need to justify its importance because we stay in an economic area. Let us have a fair share of the resources so that our areas can be developed as well. When this road is constructed, it will create employment for the people of Kaputa, Nsama and Chienge.

 

Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ng’onga: It will open up our market as well because we are a good rice producing area. Statistically, there is more rice produced in Kaputa than the Chambeshi Plains.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ng’onga: However, this is not data that is captured because the rice is bought by small businessmen, who take it to the Copperbelt and other areas. The rice produced in Kaputa is yawning to get to the market, which we want a fair share of. 

 

Madam Chairperson, I now want to talk about one water infrastructure required in Kaputa, Nsama and Mununga. Hon. Minister, Lake Mweru, which is an in-land lake, is drying up. What is required, basically, is to open up the tributaries that feed into this lake. So, for us, dredgers become very important. We need to open up these water canals, which are the main source of water that feeds into this lake. The canals were done in the 1930s by the colonial masters who wanted to stop the locusts from breeding in those areas. Lake Mweru is a very important resource for the people of Kaputa, Nsama and Mununga because it provides not only the fisheries but also their livelihood as their life is centred on this lake. 

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ng’onga: Back in the day, there was a place called Kampinda and everyone who grew up on the Copperbelt or Lusaka knew the place. This is where fish came from. However, this fish is no longer there because the water in this lake has almost dried-up. If this programme is done, the people of that part of the country will be very happy.

 

Madam Chairperson, there are a number of things that I can talk about. However, I just want to say that my brother, Hon. Chitotela, has a mammoth task at hand. The expectations of the people are very high and we pray for him to be equal to the task and consider these other regions.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure, wind up debate in less than eight minutes.

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Chairperson, I recognise the mammoth task that has been placed upon the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure and, of course the trust that His Excellency the President has placed upon me to superintend this big ministry. 

 

Hon. Muchima talked about schools. I want to bring it to his attention that we have streamlined the operations of the ministry and now maintenance is a department in the Ministry of Works and Supply. We have a ministry specifically dedicated to maintaining Government infrastructure. So, if there is any infrastructure that requires maintenance, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply will undertake that duty.

 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i also raised the issue of the Jimbe/Mwinilunga Road. The contract for this road has been signed by this Government not as a Public Private Partnership but on an Engineering-Procurement-Construction (EPC) basis at a cost of US$105 million. Right now, the contractor is working. The only challenge that I have is that the contractor begun works from Mwinilunga and Hon. Muchima contends that the contractor should have started from Ikeleng’i up to the border. My question is: Why, when even the people of Mwinilunga also need this road? We will let the contractor start from where he has started off and at the end of the project he can reach Jimbe. After all, it is one and the same road.

 

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Muchima also talked about township roads. Part of the 10 km of the contract is township roads in Ikeleng’i District.  All these roads, therefore, have been provided for in the contract. Of course, I did not hear the hon. Member talk about the Chingola/Solwezi Road and yet he said that the people of the province where my wife comes from have not been voting very well.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Chitotela: We have done extremely well on the Chingola/Solwezi Road. There are three contractors on the road, two Zambian and one foreigner. This Government has paid 100 percent of the International Projects Consultancy Services (IPCs).

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Chitotela: We do not owe them anything. The foreign contractor has been paid almost 70 per cent of the total for the works done on the road. So, when the Government is doing well, hon. Members should acknowledge and say thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: Hon. Members need to appreciate and say job well done.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: Hon. Dr Musokotwane, I understand that the mammoth task of this ministry is not insurmountable. We will manage it. The hon. Member talked about the maintenance of the Lusaka/Mongu Road. We have signed a new contract. We cancelled the contract we had signed earlier because we wanted to make sure that the people of the Western Province get value for money. Wastage is not part of us.

 

The officers in my ministry have shared a vision that we need to be prudent in the utilisation of public funds. Efficiency and Effectiveness will be our driving force because one can be efficient and not be effective. We need to give value for money and I want to assure the people of the Western Province that this Government, just a day before yesterday, signed a contract to the tune of K959 million for the construction of a brand new Kalabo/Sikongo/Angola Border Road with Stefanutty Stocks, who is the leader contractor, and the Consolidated Contractors of Kuwait (CCC), so that the connectivity from Lusaka to Angola is not disturbed.  I am happy to announce that the hon. Member of Parliament for Sikongo is ready to accompany me for the launch of this road.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Chairperson, I just had a chat with the hon. Member of Parliament for Katuba and the contract for the road she referred to was signed. As Government, we have taken keen interest to ensure that the road is completed within time. We will look for finances and continue to pay contractors.

 

Hon. Dr Musokotwane also asked how the Eurobond was utilised. The Eurobond improved infrastructure in terms of rail tracks. Tracks were repaired and locomotives and wagons bought. Now, Zambians are able to use refurbished and new locomotives, popularly referred to as Michael Chilufya Sata. All of us have seen these. We have also signed a contract with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to construct a Greenfield Rail Line from Chipata to Serenje via Petauke at a cost of US$2.3 billion.

 

We want to avert the investment that we have been putting in the road sector. Hon. Members cannot say that if we put up so many rail lines, others will not be used and will be white elephants. There is no area in Zambia which is has no potential. Every area in this country has economic potential to grow. What the people lack in most of these areas are social amenities. We need to connect these areas so that economic activities can start to take place. 

 

I agree with Hon. A. Mumba. This Government wants to be prudent in the utilisation of funds. We want to make sure that contracts are value for money and not over priced. The hon. Member talked about PPP. We are very cautious in the manner that we move because we do not want to have a PPP arrangement that will fail.

 

He also referred to the 20 per cent sub-contraction to Zambians.  In short period I have been in the ministry I have learnt one sad thing. When Zambians are given 20 per cent of the sub-contracts, they go back to the foreign contractor, sell him the contract then go home and sit. How do we build capacity this way? This has to do with mindset. It must begin with the Zambian people. When they are given this 20 per cent, their interest should not be on the money but on building capacity and knowledge and skills transfer that they can get from executing these jobs.

 

Hon. Ng’onga, you are knocking on an open door. I have driven on this road and I understand that the people of Kaputa require the road. In the 2017 Budget, we have provided for this road and as you are aware, priority has been placed on the road sector. After the rains, we will ensure that the roads that are of economic importance and potential areas for growth are given due attention. The people of Kaputa can rest assured that this Government will ensure that the contractor quickly mobilises and begins to work this road that connects Kaputa to Chienge and Nchelenge.  The hon. Member for Kaputa also raised the issue of the in-land Lake and dredgers. I want to assure him that the canals are ready.

 

Madam Chairperson, with regard to Housing, I would like to announce that from 2017, this hon. Minister and his Government will have a symposium in Zambia that will attract private developers in terms of infrastructure development and His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu will be the guest of honour.

 

Madam, we want make sure that we reduce the housing deficit the Zambians are facing in both the urban and rural areas. It is not prudent for us to build single storey houses on the prime land. Therefore, we need to begin negotiating so that we start putting up high rising flats so that a number of people are accommodated have access to social amenities like people who live in Mtendere, Mandevu and outside Lusaka. We need to spread the housing units across the country.

 

Madam Chairperson, in fact, one of the agendas that my ministry is going to focus on is to raise Petauke into a main district while we elevate other provincial centers into full cities. My plan is to have all the ten provincial centers improve from being municipal center into cities so that we can create opportunities for the people of Zambia.

 

Madam, as I conclude, I want to state that 70 per cent of the housing units along Kasangula Road, people were referring to belong to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). Since, I am hon. Minister responsible for housing, I will sit down with my counterpart at the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to make sure that those houses do not go to worst. Zambians and the civil servant in particular must be given the priority even on the rent arrangement …

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, Hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: … for a longer term.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you, and all hon. Members who have debated.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Votes, 54/01, 54/02 ordered to stand part for the Estimates.

 

VOTE 54/03 – (Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure DevelopmentPublic Infrastructure Department – (K12,388,806).

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1002, Activities 001 – African Freedom Day – K5,000, Activity 015 – Independence Day Celebration – K4,000, Activity 019 – International Women’s Day – K16,000, Activity 020 – Labour Day – K22,000, Activity 032 – Public Service Day – K9,500, Activity 034 – Secretaries Day – K29,500,  Activity 038 – World Aids Day – K7,500, Activity 044 – Youth Day Celebrations – K7,500, Activity 051 – Voluntary Counseling Day − K12,500, Activity 056 – 16 Days of Gender Activism – K14,500 and Activity 063 – Disability Day – K3,700.

 

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 02 Architectural Unit, Programme 1012 Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. Activity 248 Improvement of Water Supply around Government Area, by the deletion of K100,000; and

 

  1. Activity 393 Improvement of Water Supply at Government Complex (Kamwala), by the deletion of K500,000; and

   

  1.       Under 02 Architectural Unit, Programme 1093 Inspections:

 

  1. Activity 048 Inspection of Missions Abroad, by the deletion of K150,000; and

 

  1. Activity 059 Inspection and Coordination of the Construction of GRZ Building Infrastructure, by the deletion of K150,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 54/03, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 54/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 64 – (Ministry of Works and SupplyHuman Resource and Administration Department – K69,376,223).

 

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Nkhuwa): Madam Chairperson, I would also like to take this opportunity to pass my condolences to the family of the late former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mkhondo Lungu.

 

Madam, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to present to this august House the Budget Policy Statement for the Ministry of Works and Supply with regard to the 2017-2019 Medium Terms Expenditure Framework. As this august House will recall, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, at the opening of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly created new ministries and reconfigured others.

 

Madam Chairperson, I am privileged to be heading the Ministry of Works and Supply, which is one of the reconfigured ministries with a fresh vision and mandate. The realignment of the ministry is to make the institution more responsive to the current development trends and facilitate effective and efficient delivery of public services.

 

Madam, following the realignment, ministry is charged with the following portfolio functions in accordance with Gazette No. 836 of 18th November, 2016:

 

  1. prevention maintenance policy;

 

  1. control of Government transport;

 

  1. valuation of Government property;

 

  1. Government housing policy;

 

  1. Government printing and gazetting;

 

  1. insurance of Government property;

 

  1. office accommodation and maintenance services; and

 

  1. state functions.

 

Madam Chairperson, in order to enable my ministry execute its mandate, I wish to propose an expenditure of K69,376,223 for the period beginning 1st January to 31st December, 2017. The priority programmes for the 2017 financial year will include the following:

 

  1. re-organisation of the ministry to make it responsive to the new developments thereby ensuring that it operates efficiently and effectively in public service delivery;

 

  1. establishing a comprehensive asset register of Government properties to facilitate effective administration and maintenance;

 

  1. determining the real value of Government immoveable and moveable assets;

 

  1. developing a comprehensive plan for maintenance, rehabilitation and re-development of Government buildings as the case may require; and

 

  1. contributing to revenue generation through improved service provision by the Government Printing Department and the valuation of properties in line with the mandate of the Government Valuation Department.

 

Madam Chairperson, allow me now to share with the House the planned programme for 2017 financial year in detail, which will be as follows:

 

My ministry’s priority in the first quarter of 2017 will be to ensure that all the departments are realigned and they have common vision for the new ministry. To this end, we have to embark on an evaluation exercise and development of new structures to enable the ministry achieve its mandate. The ministry will also commence the process of formulating a strategic plan to ensure that a clear vision and goals for the next five year are in place.

 

The ministry of Works and Supply remains a custodian of government movable and immovable assets such as buildings, plants and equipment. In order to perform this function to the satisfaction of the Government and general public, my ministry will conduct a comprehensive data gathering exercise which will lead to the development of an up to date government asset register and database. These assets as a resource for Government and I will ensure that we have up to date information as this will enable the ministry administer and maintain these very important assets in a more systematic and organised manner.

 

Madam Chairperson, for a long time, the focus of the Ministry of Works and Supply was to add new infrastructure stock and to this ended, the issues related to the maintenance of old Government buildings were overshadowed. With the refocusing of the ministry, the maintenance of Government buildings and other assets will be its major preoccupation, a situation which will ultimately ensure that buildings do not deteriorate to unmanageable states like the case has been in the past.

 

Consequently, my ministry will embark on major rehabilitation works on various old buildings across government ministries and departments which are in deplorable conditions. For those buildings which cannot be rehabilitated, the Government will enter into partnership with the private sector to redevelop these into modern structures. You will agree with me that there are many such buildings and most of them are sitting on prime land in the various cities and towns. We will not let these resources go to waste, neither shall we continue to put the lives of our citizens at risk by letting them operate in unsafe working environments.

 

My ministry will ensure that these structures are put to good use by engaging the private sector through the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative. Through this initiative, the Government will be in a position to redevelop the dilapidated infrastructure on agreed terms with the financiers. Once these structures are redeveloped, we will not only earn revenues, but also have access to office accommodation for various government departments and institutions. In short, this will be a win-win situation. I must emphasise here that the Government through my ministry will develop and implement a comprehensive policy to guide the rehabilitation and maintenance of all government assets. We will also devise strategies which will ensure that the policy is adhered to and implemented.

 

Madam Chairperson, in order to ensure that the net worth of the property that the Government owns is known, it is critical that valuation of all buildings is undertaken across the provinces, ministries and departments, including missions abroad. To this end, my ministry through the Government Valuation Department shall continue to conduct assessments to determine the values of the different properties that the Government owns. The Government Valuation Department will also provide advice on transactions relating to sale purchase, lease and acquisition of property by the Government.

 

Madam, in many cases, government ministries, departments and statutory bodies do not employ the services of the Government Valuation Department and, consequently, they end up paying overvalued prices for respective properties. My ministry will shall ensure that the services of this department are effectively utilised and that, by so doing, the Government’s resources are effectively utilised and that the Government obtains value for money. In addition, the Government Valuation Department shall continue to implement and provide guidance on government policy regarding real estates.

 

My ministry through the Government Printing Department shall continue to facilitate printing and production of Government Gazettes, National Assembly Bills, Bills for signature (Presidential Assents), Acts of Parliament, statutory instruments, legislative documents and other state publications. The Government Printing Department has not been operating at the optimal level due to various reasons which, among others, include limited availability of financial resources to procure equipment and other necessary inputs.

 

During the 2017 financial year, the ministry will review the performance of the Government Printing Department with a view of finding lasting solutions. We will consider different innovative approaches to ensure that the Government Printing Department becomes the printer of choice. The department has a lot of potential to perform large works as well as contribute to increased revenue generation for the Government.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkhuwa: I am aware that in the recent past the Treasury has provided resources to commence the recapitalisation of the department in an effort to boost productivity. My ministry will work extra hard to ensure that this programme is accelerated and completed ahead of schedule so that we can once again begin to print all security documents for the state and neighbouring countries, such as examination papers.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Government Transport Control Unit will continue to play its role of maintaining and regulating the acquisition, usage and disposal of government vehicles to ensure cost effectiveness in the utilisation of government resources. The unit will also continue to be responsible for registration and disposal of government transport and related plant and equipment.

 

I wish to mention here that the Government Transport Control Unit will be strengthened to ensure that it effectively supervises the use of government vehicles. The ministry will also ensure that all government vehicles are used for public service delivery and not personal errands. I want assure this august House that the scourge of misuse of government vehicles shall be curbed as we institute new measures in managing this vital government resource. Such measures will include, but not limited to, the reintroduction of motor vehicle log books, installation of vehicle tracking systems as well as ensuring that vehicles are driven by authorised officers only. All those who are fond of abusing government vehicles are hereby fore-warned.

 

It is my sincere hope that hon. Members of this august House will support the budget proposals submitted by my ministry.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkhuwa: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank this august House for supporting my ministry’s Budget.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

VOTE 64/01 − (Ministry of Works and SupplyHuman Resource and Administration Department – K29,821,681).

 

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 01 Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1001 General Administration, Activity 003 Office Administration, by the deletion of K1,640,000 and the substitution therefore of K1,190,000; and

 

  1. Under 01 Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1007 Dismantling of Arrears, Activity 007 Personal Related Arrears, by the deletion of K3,000,000 and the substitution therefore of K1,000,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 64/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

As we are just about to get to 1255 hours, I want to remind hon. Members that we suspended Standing Orders. So today’s Sitting will adjourn at 1955 hours so that we can deal with the business on the Order Paper.

 

Business was suspended from 1255 hours until 1430 hours.

 

[THE FIRST CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

Vote 64/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 64/07 − (Ministry of Works and SupplyPreventive Maintenance Department –K6,771,070).

 

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 02 Architectural Unit, Programme 1012 Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. Activity 248 Improvement of Water Supply Around Government Area, by the insertion of K100,000; and

 

  1. Activity 393 Improvement of Water Supply at Government Complex (Kamwala), by the insertion of K500,000;

 

  1. Under 02 Architectural Unit, programme 1093 Inspections:

 

  1. Activity 048 Inspection of Missions Abroad, by the Insertion of K150,000; and

 

  1. Activity 059 Inspection and Coordination of the Construction of GRZ Buildings Infrastructure, the insertion of K150,000;

 

  1. Under 02 Architectural Unit, Programme 1115 Maintenance of VIP and other Leader’s Houses, Activity 014 Rehabilitation and Maintenance of VIP and Other Government Leaders’ Houses, by the insertion of K1,000,000;

 

  1. Under 02 Architectural Unit, Programme 1142, Infrastructure Management, Activity 006 Infrastructure Maintenance, by the insertion of K1,000,000; and

 

  1. Under 05 Horticultural Unit, Programme 1001, General Administration, Activity 003 Office Administration, by the insertion of K450,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 64/07, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 64/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 64/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 64/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 51 − (Ministry of Transport and Communication – K297,651,210).

 

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Madam Chairperson, before I start my policy statement. Allow me to convey my condolences on the passing of Hon. Mkhondo Lungu who is being put to rest today. He was a gallant son of the soil who ran his race. May his soul rest in peace.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is my honour and rare privilege to take the Floor and I wish to thank you most sincerely for according me the opportunity to address this august House on the policy direction of the Ministry of Transport and Communication for 2017. This being the first time I stand to address the House, allow me to deliver a shortened maiden speech and I will start by congratulating you, the Speaker, and the Second Deputy Speaker on the deserved elections to the respective offices.

 

Madam Chairperson, I know you will preside over the affairs of this House in the most able manner. I would also like to congratulate His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia and his running mate, Her Honour the Vice-President, Madam Inonge Mutukwa Wina for an impressive and well deserved victory in the August elections. At this juncture in the history of our nation, I cannot think of a more suitable person than His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu …

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Mushimba: … to lead us to the future we aspire to as Zambians. I am confident that the trust placed in His Excellency by the citizens of our country will propel him to continue promoting unity in our country and leading us to prosperity, furthering the well being and security of our people.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to take this opportunity to officially congratulate all hon. Members of this august House on their respective election victories. If their story is anything like mine, I know it was not easy. Congratulations, honourables.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, allow me to extend my profound gratitude to the Patriotic Front (PF) for adopting me as its candidate in Kankoyo in the August elections.

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, how long is your maiden speech segment?

 

Mr Mushimba: It will go on for another minute or so.

 

The First Chairperson: Okay.

 

Mr Mushimba: Thank you very much. I understand that we are behind time and we need to move as fast as we can.

 

In this regard, the trust put in me by the party for having adopted me from the lowest structure to the highest will not be betrayed, but rewarded with total loyalty to the President, the party and the agenda of the party.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would also like to thank the people of Kankoyo for overwhelmingly re-electing His Excellency the President and for electing me as their hon. Member of Parliament.

 

Madam Chairperson, my sincere appreciation is also due to His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu for appointing me Minister of Transport and Communications. I wish to assure him and the people of Zambia that I will execute the work bestowed upon me to the best of my ability and I will neither let him down nor the people of this great nation.

 

My task now is to ensure that the vision of the PF Government and the vision of the His Excellency in transforming this country into a transport and communications hub to take advantage our central location and our continued political stability and security is achieved.

 

Madam, the people of Zambia entrusted our late father, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, (MHSRIP) and the PF party with running the affairs of our nation. They trusted that we would fulfill the goals we set and make our country a better place for all. Under the leadership of His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, and indeed, under the leadership of our esteemed President Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who took over office and carried on with the delivering of the promises made to the people. The PF Government has made numerous strides to improve the well being of our people.

 

In five years, there have been numerous achievements under the PF Government in the fields of health, education, transport, communication, and energy are there for all to see and appreciate.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: This is why our campaign slogan in the just ended elections was appropriate “Sonta epo wa bomba”.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Under difficult situations, we delivered to the people’s expectation and they have since rehired us for another five years.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, allow me to take this opportunity to commend the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mutati, MP and his staff for presenting a progressive 2017 Government Budget under difficult domestic and global economic environment.

 

In order to implement the priority programmes in 2017, my ministry proposes to spend K297,651,210. A 7 per cent increase from this year’s budget. In so doing, my ministry estimates to raise revenues amounting to K1,290,789,031 through its various revenue collection points in various agencies and parastatals. In purely business terms, my ministry therefore, is projected to report a surplus of K993,137,821, an increase of 53 per cent revenue collection over the previous year.

 

Madam Chairperson, allow me to state from the outset that the priority programmes for the ministry, are derived from the speech given by His Excellency the President when he opened the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly the medium term expenditure framework for the years 2017 to 2019 as well as the Seventh National Development Plan.

 

Madam Chairperson, my ministry is charged with a responsibility to administer policies and strategies in transport and communication sectors in order to contribute to the sustainable socio- economic development of our country. Transport and communications are both economic development catalyst that can unlock the free economic potential of a country. Our goal is therefore, to ensure that all the four modes of transport, namely; road, rail, air and waterways are optimally planned for and developed in an efficient and sustainable manner meeting international standards to serve the interest of our people as well as the vision of becoming the regional hub and to also ensure universal access to telecommunication services countrywide.

 

Before I outline the priority programmes for 2017, allow me to highlight some of the key achievements of the ministry for the year 2016.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the civil aviation sub-sector, my ministry through this House enacted the Civil Aviation Act No. 5 of 2016 which facilitated the lifting of the European Union Ban on Zambia certified aircraft from entering the European air space. Today, Madam Chairperson, Zambian airspace means the international standards for safety set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

 

Madam, my ministry also successful installed aviation radars at our two busiest international airports in Lusaka and Livingstone. This project has enhanced aviation security and improved revenue collection in the aviation sector. In addition, my ministry embarked on the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport and has continued working selected airports across the country.

 

I am also glad to announce that the contractor for the construction of the Copperbelt International Airport has been mobilised and ground working ceremonies will be held very soon.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the railway sub-sector, Government signed a Chipata/Petauke/Serenje Rail Project Agreement and works will commence as soon as the financing process is finalised. The Mpulungu/Nseluka Rail Project is just concluding the feasibility studies and detailed engineering in readiness for tendering.

 

Further, the Zambia and Tanzanian Governments intervened in Tanzania-Zambia Railways (TAZARA) and the operations of TAZARA have since improved. Despite not being able to make a profit yet, there is a positive trajectory in market growth and increased volume of cargo being transported right now by TAZARA. The same interventions are being planned for with Zambia Railway to improve the operations and service delivery.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sub-sector, the implementation of Smart Zambia Phase I proceeded as scheduled. The ICT centre of excellence in Ndola was completed, tele-presence in government has been installed while the third component of the project, the National Data Centre is at 80 per cent completion.

 

Government completed Telecommunications Towers Phase I project which involved construction and installation of 204 communication towers across the country and also signed the Telecommunications Towers Project Phase 2 agreement, whose objective is to increase ICT coverage in the country and improve the quality of service in under-served and unserved areas. In Phase 1 of Telecommunication Towers Projects, that is 204 communications towers installed, twenty-six of the towers are currently not operational for various reasons including vandalism. As I speak, Madam Chairperson, ZICTA has dispatched a team of technicians to repair and resolve the various challenges on these towers.

 

Phase II of the towers will see a difference set of engineering and specification being rolled out and a wider coverage radius of 10 kilometers per tower that will carry even stronger signal strengths. A total of 1,009 towers will be constructed and rehabilitated across the country in Phase II in unserved and under-served areas countrywide. The maps showing the location of these towers has already been laid before this House.

 

My ministry also issued the Postal and Courier Regulations in 2016. The regulations provide rules for licensing of operators and tariffs to be applied in the sector.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the Meteorology sub-sector, my ministry installed twenty-six automated weather stations and procured a Weather Radar System to improve weather and climate data capture analysis and forecasting.

 

For all these successes, Madam Chairperson, I wish to thank my predecessors Hon. Kapembwa Simbao, MP, the staff of the ministry and hon. Members of Parliament for their leadership, expertise and for having supported our budget for 2016 which enabled the ministry to successfully implement the highlighted successes. I am looking forward to the same support from Members of this august House in approving the 2017 Budget proposal for my ministry that I present today.

 

Madam Chairperson, notwithstanding the various achievements in the ministry, 2016 had challenges as well. Notable among them were the increased number of road traffic accidents and fatalities and the low competition levels resulting costly services in the ICT sub-sector.

 

Madam, in the 2017 Budget, my ministry intends to continue asserting itself as an enabler of the accelerated development agenda of this Government with the enhancement of a legislative and policy environment in transport and communication sector. With clear and consistent policies and business friendly regulations governing the sectors in question, will aim to attract more players, more investment, facilitate creation of more jobs, and be highly responsive to the changing economic and social atmosphere. To ensure equitable and sustainable growth and improve deficiency in the sub-sectors, my ministry will also undertake institutional reforms to ensure that the transport and communication sectors are truly catalytic in supporting and efficient economy and diversification agenda into agriculture, tourism and industrialisation.

 

Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communication will focus on the development of the 2017-2021 Ministry Strategic Plan and thereafter embark on the restructuring process of the ministry to support the new strategic plan. The ministry finalised the National Transport Policy which will promote sustainable development of the four modes of transport. In addition, the ministry will develop a National Transport Master Plan and the National Communications Master Plan to clearly define the path to efficient and integrated transport and communications future that Zambia needs to attain. These master plans will ensure Zambia develops the sectors to internationally acceptable standards befitting the future we all deserve and desire.

Madam Chairperson, in the recent past, emphasis was placed on the road sub-sector. In 2017, and for the next few years, we shall expand this forecast to include the rail sub-sector through the development of the Rail Development Strategy. The aim will be to make rail transportation efficient, cost effective and, consequently, turn into the most preferred mode of transportation particularly for the movement of bulk and heavy cargo. This is intended to ease pressure of the roads, reduce wear and tear of our roads, lower maintenance costs and extend the life of our roads. This will also in turn enhance road safety and reduce the number of accidents which are a major concern today.

 

Madam Chairperson, the rail sub-sector will be enhanced by investing in the modernisation, expansion and rehabilitation of Zambia Railways and TAZARA Permanent Way and the reconstruction of the inter-mine rail lines. The ministry is currently conducting feasibility studies which are aimed at the modernisation of TAZARA and Zambia Railways. In addition, the ministry will focus on the establishment of a Rail Development Authority to drive the Rail Development Agenda through separation of rail, infrastructure development and rail operation services. This will open up access to rail lines by the private sector and encourage their participation.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Transport and Communication also intends to expand the rail network through the development of new railways. Some of the Greenfield rail projects that the Government will focus on in 2017 include the Chipata/Petauke/Serenje Rail, the North-Western Rail, Nseluka/Mpulungu Rail, the Livingstone/Sesheke Rail and the Kafue/Lion’s Den Rail line. These rail lines, once completed, will lead to improved rail transport and network connectivity and contribute to the development of an integrated, reliable and efficient transport systems to leverage Zambia’s central location and political stability.

Madam Chairperson, in the aviation sub-sector, the Ministry of Transport and Communication will develop a Civil Aviation Strategy which will include the re-establishment of a national airline in order to support the growth of tourism, industrialisation and further diversification into agriculture. The strategy will include the expansion and modernisation of our cargo handling facilities in order to increase high value exports. Being a regional hub will also entail the upgrading and rehabilitation of provincial and tourism airports and the revamping of  the Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI) into a regional centre of excellence for aviation capacity building.

 

Madam Chairperson, the aspect of safety in our four modes of transport is of great importance to the Government. We shall continue to focus on road safety and also develop a National Road Safety Strategy in order to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities. Further, the Innovative Traffic Intelligence System will be introduced to monitor and change undesirable behaviour on our roads and improve road safety. More technology will be deployed in driver licensing, including the use of simulators to test drivers while simulating different road conditions and deploy the automatic vehicle road worthiness testing equipment. This will enhance our safety on the roads and slowly start closing the revenue loopholes and corruption in the issuance of driver licenses as well as vehicle certification processes.

 

Madam Chairperson, information and communications technology (ICT) is both an economic enabler and very important sector especially now when we are talking about smart Zambia and e-Government. The ICT sector has been recognised as a critical element in advancing and simulating social economic growth in the country as it is envisaged to improve efficiency, transparency, effective service delivery as well as enhance revenue collection and increase access to high speed broad band facilities for all. The ministry’s aim is to expand and modernise the ICT backbone infrastructure so as to develop high capacity connection and ensure universal access and connectivity nationwide.

 

Madam Chairperson, in addition, the Ministry of Transport and Communication will develop a new licensing framework which will include a revised ICT tariff system whose main objective will be to reduce the cost of using ICTs in the country and to further increase the mobile penetration rate under the Universal Access Programme. The ministry will continue with the rollout of the Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication towers, Phase II, as I have mentioned. The implementation of this project will result in the increase of ICT coverage to 92 per cent countrywide.

 

Madam Chairperson, in 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communication operationalised the Zambia Telecommunications Traffic Monitoring System (ZTTMS). The ZTTMS is multifaceted system encompassing, among other components, the ascertaining of traffic volumes and billings of international domestic telecommunication traffic and the detection and elimination of international connection bypass frauds. The implementation of these systems is critical as it will provide revenue assurance and a likely increase in expected revenue for the Government from the communications sector.

Madam Chairperson, the Zambia National Data Centre was formed to oversee and operate the three data centres which are key deliverables of the Smart Zambia Phase I project. The data centres are aimed at improving public service delivery by offering data storage space for the Government and private sectors, enabling effective provision of cloud services, IP telephony (Internet Protocol telephony) and tele-presence of video conferencing services. This initiative is at 80 per cent complete and will be 100 per cent complete in 2017.

 

Madam Chairperson, the National Home Addressing System will endeavour to name every street and number very housing unit in the country. This is expected to be of great benefit not only to the delivery of postal and carrier services that are regulated by ZICTA, but it will also positively impact the response to emergencies by various wings of the Government. This project will be commissioned in 2017.

Madam Chairperson, in some parts of the country water transport plays a critical role in the movement of passengers and cargo especially in the wetland regions of Luapula, Northern, North-Western and Western Provinces. In 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communication will focus on revising the legislation and institutional framework, including, establishing an inland water transport authority to drive the Water Transport Development Agenda.

 

Madam Chairperson, the project for the modernisation of Mpulungu Port is on course and the feasibility study will be ready by the first quarter of 2017...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mushimba: Thereafter, we shall engage in resource mobilisation to implement the project.

Madam Chairperson, the provision of accurate and timely weather and climate information across all socio-economic sectors is very significant for use in planning and decision making. In 2017, the Ministry of Transport and Communication will focus on the implementation of the Early Warning System through the installation of a weather radar, an early warning system and automated weather stations. This is largely aimed at improving the quality of climate information to be made available to the Zambian Public. In order to operationalise the National Meteorological Policy, the ministry will ensure that the Meteorological Bill is tabled before this august House for enactment.

 

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, it is my sincere hope that this august House will consider the proposed 2017 Budget for the Ministry of Transport and Communication and unanimously support it.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, I stand to support the Budget of the Ministry of Transport and Communication. Having had to work in that ministry, I know that this is a very important ministry. This is the logistics ministry of the Government. As the logistics ministry, it has the whole task of ensuring that our transport and communication system is properly coordinated, sufficient, effective and clearly networked. It also has the task of ensuring that it has the greatest impact on economic growth and development of the country. Therefore, there is no doubt that this is a very critical ministry to the development of the country. The various areas which the ministry is dealing with such as the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), rail, roads, marine and aviation are very important areas. They are the life blood of economic growth and development in the country. However, I will make a few comments which I think are very important to the ministry.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the area of ICT, we should have made a lot of headway. We should have been the regional hub of ICT development in the country by facilitating optic fibre connectivity and our linkage to the undersea cables in the Eastern, Southern and Western part of the country. That project has been on-going for a long time but we have not made very serious headway in that direction. I only hope that the hon. Minister will take it upon himself to ensure that we facilitate the optic fibre infrastructure backbone because that is very critical to the development of the country. I have not heard for example, how well we are doing in terms of all our connectivity to the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSY), to other undersea cables and how that ought to make Zambia as the nerve centre of ICT development in the region.

 

Madam Chairperson, one biggest problem which I think we have is that we have not seriously addressed the issue of equity, especially in the area of tower connectivity in the country.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, I remember that way back in 2010, there was a survey which was conducted to show the tower network or distribution connectivity. Among the six predominantly rural regions of our country, we had the lowest of 22 per cent, 36 per cent, 47 per cent and 57 per cent coverage. Of course, the development of tower distributional connectivity should critically look at those disparities in the area of network connectivity, taking into account the disparities in coverage among the regions.

 

Madam Chairperson, in 2010, we found that Western Province was the lowest in terms of network coverage followed by North Western Province. The highest was of course, Eastern Province at 57 per cent followed by Northern Province at 46 per cent. As the ministry looks at the mobile tower distribution or connectivity, they should demand on equitable coverage. It is very important that a guide is provided. Even on the map, some areas are white and this means that there is no connectivity. This is a very clear sign that the tower distribution must be done in an equitable policy direction.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, for example, if we look at the entire Sesheke and Shang’ombo Districts, which are bordering with Angola and Namibia, it is very clear that that area has not been touched by our network connectivity. From a policy point of view, that is a very clear guide to think of what should be done to ensure that that particular area which is so clear on the map is connected. The urban areas are densely covered.

 

Madam Chairperson, at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), it was agreed globally that there should be money specifically set aside in order to provide connectivity to the unserved and underserved regions of each country. That money was to be collected from all the service providers and put in an account. This money was specifically to meet the unserved and underserved provisions. Of course, the mistake which was made after 2011 is that that money was collected and put into Account 99. I think the hon. Minister of Finance has a challenge in ensuring that the money collected for the purpose of meeting unserved and underserved areas of our country is ring-fenced. This would have enabled the Minister of Transport and Communication to clearly report to ITU that they are using the money prudently and that they have the money at their disposal to actually meet the globally agreed challenge of meeting the underserved and unserved areas in the country.

 

To put this money into Account 99 may not necessarily do a service to this particular globally agreed policy direction in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development. This is why the hon. Minister has given us an amount of K1,290,789,031 as money collected. However, the question is, ‘will that money go to meet the challenge of serving under and unserved areas? The answer may not be positive. This is the kind of money which must be ring fenced specifically for this important purpose. 

 

Madam Chairperson, another important area is that we have not done much to tap into the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund. I did not hear this from the policy statement.  There is a fund that is available to facilitate ICT, ports and various other infrastructure developments on the continent. Our country has not been very aggressive in tapping into this available continental fund to promote ICT development in the country. I think that we should be aggressive and tap into this fund.

 

Madam Chairperson, also important is the supervision of the ICT and transport providers such as the Zambia Railways Limited (ZR). Go to Kamwala and see what happens on the railway line. People trade on it and when the train comes, they run away. This is unacceptable.

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: It does not happen anywhere else. This is as a result of the lack of supervision. This is where the ministry comes in. We might end up losing lives. I do not think that it is correct to allow trading on the railway line like the way it is happening in Kamwala. This is definitely an indication of the lack of supervision.

 

Madam Chairperson, even various ICT providers are not being effectively supervised. This is the challenge of the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA). I can tell you that in my constituency, there is a tower erected by Airtel at Namengo which has not been operational for two years. This is not the only example as there are many others where towers have been erected, but are dysfunctional for months and years.

 

Madam Chairperson, the problem is that the ministry’s supervision of ZICTA is very weak. It is important for ICT directorate to ensure that ZICTA does its work. It is equally important for ZICTA to be facilitated with resources in order for it to effectively monitor the goings on.

 

Madam Chairperson, the lack of supervision by ZICTA could probably be the result of the fact that the money that it collects does not go to facilitate its work. I think this is a policy question. This is where the hon. Minister comes in to impress upon his colleagues that ZICTA needs the money. The resource is collected. This is a very big revenue collecting ministry and those resources must go to facilitate the operations of various ICT providers.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is very important for the development of our country to look into the critical areas of efficiency, effectiveness, resource allocation and proper coordination of this logistics ministry.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Dr Imakando (Mongu Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate this Budget. Before I do, I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the Mkhondo Lungu family.

 

Madam Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Minister for a well articulated policy statement. I think that he used two words that are very important in his ministry. He used the words ‘enabler’ and ‘catalyst’. I could not agree more with him. His ministry is, indeed, one that enables and, if it malfunctions, we can always say that whatever must be enabled will be disabled. We could also say that his ministry is a catalyst and, as such, if not added to a reaction, nothing will take place. So, it is a very important ministry.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is also a very important ministry because it could well easily isolate people and, goods and services from people. You hear of people that are cut off by communication complain that they do not seem to be part and parcel of the rest of the country. Why do they say so? It is because they are isolated by the lack of transport and communication system. It is a very important ministry that makes Zambians feel they are together.

 

Madam Chairperson, private sector development depends on this ministry. The diversification we yearn so much for depends on this ministry. It is this ministry that will help reduce transaction costs or let me simply say, that will reduce the cost of doing business. Therefore, it must be supported.

 

Madam Chairperson, this is the ministry that will ensure that people arrive at their destinations in one piece, sound and, that goods that are transported over a long distance arrive in good quality and can be sold.

 

Madam Chairperson, this is the ministry that can add value to locations. By placing towers in certain locations, the value will simply go up.  By placing certain transportation facilities, investors will be attracted to those places. So, it is, indeed, a very important ministry that must be supported not only in word, but by budgetary allocations.

 

When I look at the Budget, I am tempted to say that it needs to be increased because this ministry is an enabler and a catalyst. If we want development to be accelerated, this is the ministry that we must support.

 

Madam Chairperson, let me say that we look for competition because we believe that competition causes the best to come out and reduces cost. When there is good communication and transportation, competition will be enhanced. When competition is enhanced one is likely to enjoy the benefits of competition. I must say that there are a few challenges simple as they might be that we need to pay attention to. When you drive on our trunk roads you will be faced with so many speed humps on the roads and some of those humps are so high that small vehicles get damaged.

 

Madam Chairperson, we need to review our policy on how we erect these speed humps and where to erect them. If you are on a main road, the business you want to do is to travel, you want to go and arrive but you must not be stopped every so often by unnecessary humps. In fact, at this stage, let me thank the hon. Minister of Home Affairs for removing the unnecessary roadblocks...

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Imakando: …that chocked the economy of this country.

 

Mr Muchima: They have come back.

 

Dr Imakando: They have come back?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Interruptions

 

Dr Imakando: Hon. Minister, have the roadblocks come back?

 

Laughter

 

Dr Imakando: Madam Chairperson, when a transporter is on the main road, the want to go and deliver the goods and come back. What happens is that when you delay these transporters they transfer those inefficiencies into the price of goods and at the end of the day we end up paying for these inefficiencies ourselves. So, it does not help us much to have these speed humps. These humps are unnecessary in many places and we need to review placement of these humps.

 

Madam Chairperson, I still hear people talking about a national carrier. In a strained economy like ours, and when we look around the region, you will see that many airlines are failing but we keep on harping the song that we need a national airline. This is something that we need to be very careful about because we may end up just wasting resources and failing to compete on the international market…

 

Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Imakando: …and as a result we may just lose our resources.

 

Madam Chairperson, understand that we want to build a big airport in Ndola at a cost of about US$500 million. This is something that we need to look into carefully. In my view, we could just simply expand the Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport and make it a modern terminal. There is no need to take on all these expensive projects …

 

Mr Muchima: Ya, why!

 

Dr Imakando: … when we can improve upon what we have particularly when we do not have the resources.

 

Madam Chairperson, I must talk a little bit about the Metrological Department, which has received very little support in the past and yet we depend upon it even for rainfall forecasts for our agricultural sector. We depend on this department to plan what we want to plant in our agricultural fields. It is my view that such important departments need resources. They need resources because we have agreed that they are catalysts and enablers. We need to give more resources to departments like the Metrological Department.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the Western Province there is a concern regarding the communication towers.

 

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Imakando: I believe that this is a concern that affects the North-Western Province as well.

 

Mr Muchima: Yes!

 

Dr Imakando: Madam Chairperson, equity is a word that the hon. Minister of Finance used again and again when he was presenting the 2017 Budget. Let us see equity in the distribution of these towers.

 

Madam Chairperson, provincial and district airport infrastructure much of it is in bad shape. There is need to facelift these airports.

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Aerodromes!

 

Dr Imakando: Madam Chairperson, as I conclude I want to say that the policy statement seems to be spot on, the strategies seem to be okay, implementation will be compromised by lack of resources and perhaps human resource but I want to say that this is a ministry that will help accelerate the development of this country.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the vote of the Ministry of Works and Supply.

 

Mr Mukosa: It is not works and supply but transport and communication.

 

Mr Kabanda: The speech by the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication was very well articulated and as the previous speaker has said, the policy statement is spot on except probably the implementation stage. For me, I think that even the implementation may not give us a lot of problems if we observed certain tenets.

 

Madam Chairperson, I want first to talk about the Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) which appears to be stifled. This particular industry has not been performing to the expected standards. It is also gratifying to learn that the ministry has intentions of establishing a Railway Development Authority through which perhaps TAZARA will be revamped. I think that TAZARA requires a lot of deliberate support so much so that we are able to distinguish which goods should go by air or by road. There is no urgency in transporting copper, for instance, by road. Copper is too heavy and therefore, requires railway transportation so that we can serve the life of our roads which are becoming too costly to maintain.

 

Mr Ngulube: End of quote!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kabanda: We have the Kalulushi South Downs Aerodrome, I think, that facility together with other facilities need to be unbundled on a concessionary arrangement probably on a build, operate, and transfer arrangement so that the Government can get some revenue. We can take advantage of our landlockedness to turn our fortunes around. The Kalulushi South Downs Airport can actually be advertised to the private sector along with other aerodromes in provincial centres.

 

Madam Chairperson, I always want to be thrift with my presentations in the interest of time.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I thank you and I wish to congratulate the hon. Minister of Communication and Transport for the well-articulated presentation of the policy statement.

 

Madam Chairperson, I will not take much time. I would like to raise some concerns and suggestions to the ministry. As muchas we know that the ban of buses moving at night has affected the economy in some way, I think life is precious. It used to be a hazard for us who drive at night going to our constituencies because the bus drivers would put full beam and a lot of lives were lost. However, since the ban was effected, we have not heard of any fatal accident.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!        

 

Ms Katuta: That is a fact. Therefore, I encourage the Cabinet not to rescind that decision because life is precious and we cannot compare life to money. I would also like to suggest that we increase night patrols because there are law breakers in the night. Sometimes in the night around 0100 hours, truck drivers from other countries misbehave on the road. The Government should thus increase night patrols and they should also be banned them from driving in the night especially along the Great East Road.

 

Madam Chairperson, obtaining a driver’s license is quite cumbersome. That is the reason there is corruption because people do not want to go through the normal procedure. Therefore, most of the people who get drivers’ licenses in a crooked way only know how to start and stop a vehicle, but they do not read the Highway Code. It is unfortunate that the Highway Code in Zambia is only written in English. I, therefore, appeal to the Government to produce the Highway Code in vernacular languages. For example, in rural areas like Chienge, most of the people can read the local language, but not English. Therefore, it would be easy for them to read the Highway Code in vernacular languages.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) ensures that vehicles are roadworthy. However, some trucks that carry charcoal overload and are not roadworthy and one wonders how they were considered roadworthy. Some of them breakdown at dangerous spots like highways and are stationed there for two days. However, in urban areas, when a vehicle breaks down, the RTSA quickly tows that vehicle away. Therefore, I would urge the ministry to seriously look into that issue.

 

Mr Ngulube: Seriously.

 

Ms Katuta: Yes, of course, seriously.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: Madam Chairperson, in the past, the ZamPost Boat, commonly referred to as the Chombo, would ferry passengers on Lake Mweru in Chienge. That kind of water transport must be reintroduced because it was cheaper. People now pay K200 to travel from Chienge to Kashikishi because of the state of road. Still on transportation, the Government should introduce flights to Mansa because it is far. With those few suggestions, I support this budget.

 

I thank you, Madam.                                        

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Communication and Transport has done very well in the recent past and it has scored a lot of achievements. The number of road accidents has reduced by way of the ministry investing in RTSA, additional night patrols, increased speed traps and other measures. However, when some members of the public and hon. Members of Parliament are driving and see a speed trap, usually they do not reduce their speed. When they are stopped, they complain beyond normal complaining. It is not in good faith to note that most of the road accidents are caused by negligence. Even when some drivers seethe speed limit sign, they ignore it and over speed.

 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that the ministry has scored a lot of achievements. However, they need to work on the road markings and signage in certain areas for the benefit of the public. The hon. Minister should also ensure that the traffic lights are installed with solar energy in view of the power outages that we experience from time to time. That way, we will reduce on accidents and congestion on the roads when we have power outages. The road signs in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region or neighbouring countries, for example, Zimbabwe and South Africa are well designed. Therefore, we need to copy and implement such ideas in Zambia.

 

Madam Chairperson, under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we have scored a lot in terms of communication.

 

Mr Belemu: Question!

 

Mr Mutale: Since 2000, we have communication towers in most areas in the country. 

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Mutale: The challenge is that most of these towers are situated in the remotest areas where diesel or electricity is not available. It is important, therefore, that we go green in powering our towers.

 

In the recent past, mobile service providers, in most parts of the country, are using solar energy on most of their towers. It is good to note that the ministry has worked very hard to bring these mobile service providers together. Most of these towers are private-owned. So, when a mobile service provider installs a tower, the Government encourages its counterparts to also do the same. This has been advantageous to the consumers of these services in terms of cost. The cost of airtime is reduced because these operators do not spend more money to construct more towers but instead use few towers and more operators on the towers. 

 

Madam Chairperson, I would like the hon. Minister to see to it that the decentralisation that the ministry has embarked on, in terms of road licencing, is encouraged. Road licencing has now gone rural. One can licence his or her motor vehicle in any part of the country that has a post or bank.   I would also like to encourage the ministry to look into road fitness for vehicles. There is need to decentralise this component so that even my people in Chitambo can able to get their road fitness near their homes.

 

Madam Chairperson, this ministry plays a vital role in this economy. Without its commitment, our economy would not be where it is today. The ministry has also done very well in terms of internet connectivity. As I speak today, we have 4G connectivity in our homes, which was not there in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) era. This is why I want to reiterate that the PF Government has scored in terms of communication.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: We may recall that under the MMD regime, under President Chiluba, most of companies were sold to private hands. This PF Government has brought back most companies and they are able to run on their own and we are managing them very well.

 

With these few words, Madam, I would like to support the budget for this ministry but add that in next year’s Budget, the hon. Minister should increase the allocation to this ministry because it is very important.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Communication and Transport, can you wind up debate in less than eight minutes.

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank all hon. Members that have contributed to the policy statement. I appreciate the support that they have given. I also want to appreciate many of them that said that this ministry needs additional funds because of its critical importance to this economy and the country at large, especially to the PF agenda of opening up this country to bring wealth to the people.

 

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa talked about the optic fibre. I wish to let him know that we are not doing too badly in that category. The development of the optic fibre has continued under this Government. Currently, we are sitting at over 13,000 km of optic fibre under different organisations such as the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and Zambia Telecommunication Services Ltd (Zamtel). 

 

We have three other projects actively being pursued that will extend the optic fibre network that we need to create the redundancies that we need so that if one wing is not working, we can get to another. The fibre connection to the undersea is being done on the eastern and western parts of the continent.

 

Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa also talked about equity in distribution of communication towers. I want to assure him that this Government has the commitment to take resources and distribute them equitably throughout the country. There is no need to question this commitment which we have exhibited. If you look at the distribution and spread of all the capital projects we have taken under the PF Government, we have cut across.

 

I mentioned in my policy debate that by the end of the Phase II Communications Tower Project, we would have 92 percent coverage across the country. I would like to share with you the distribution of the 469 towers in this phase that we are starting, province by province, so that you can put that your concerns, especially for the Western and North-Western Provinces, to rest. The distribution is as follows:

 

Province                                No. of Towers

 

Copperbelt                             07

 

Lusaka                                   11

 

Central                                   28

 

Luapula                                  35

 

Southern                                52

 

Eastern                                   60

 

North-Western                       65

 

Northern                                72

 

Western                                 83

 

Total                                       469

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, this demonstrates the Government commitment to ensuring that based on the studies carried out, the spread covers all the areas so that the universal access that we are talking about is achieved. Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, the other comments you made have been noted.

 

Hon. Dr Imakando, I appreciate your support and indeed we are a ministry that will play a catalytic role to grow this economy. I have taken note of the fact that you do not want the humps on roads. However, some of them are key in saving lives, especially in the inner-city.

 

Mrs Simukoko: And the children’s lives!

 

Mr Mushimba: We want to make sure that we break speed before we kill our children.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Exactly!

 

Mr Mushimba: We will certainly review the policy to make sure that they are standardised and in areas where they need to be.

 

Hon. Dr Imakando also touched on the national airline. As a ministry, we feel that this is a very good project for us to do. We know why we want to do it. There has to be a strategic intent to undertake such a project. Many countries would actually rather have a national airline that is loss making for other strategic advantages that the national airline brings such as opening up tourism and growing other industries that need to be supported by having direct flights in and out.   

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: We want to make sure that Zambia is not left behind. We are investing massively in the aviation sector.  So far, almost, K2 billion worth of investment has been invested in this segment. We do not want to have a situation where we have the modern airports and infrastructure, but we do not have a National Airline. It is similar to building a brand new carport at your house because you want your neighbours’s car to be parking in your carport. It does not make a lot of sense.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Or without a car.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, we have taken note of Dr Imakando’s sentiment that he does not want the Government to build a new airport in Ndola, but instead, the Government should extend the one which is already there. The truth is that the Government does not want to build a new airport in Ndola and extend the one that is there. I wish to let him know that there are limitations that exist in building airports in terms of land and the runway that we need especially for the bigger planes that we need to be landing there. We have done a lot studies to come up with the most optimal way to do this and came to the conclusion that building a new airport, which will handle two million passengers per year is a solution.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam, I totally agree with him on the other points, which he made.

 

Madam Chairperson, I appreciate Hon. Kabanda’s contribution on The Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA), which I have already spoken about. The truth is that Government feels that opening up all modes of transport is critically important to give people options in terms of which mode of transport they need to take, and railway is one of those. Therefore, revamping the existing is important as well as the Greenfields projects that I talked about. Therefore, the TAZRRA is receiving a lot of attention from the two Governments of Zambia and Tanzania. Recently, our Republican President was in Tanzania and there were good discussions between the countries to ensure that the life of the TAZARA is injected back.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam, we have seen recent trajectory that are showing positive trends in terms of the operations of this company and we will not stop there, but to continue supporting it to make sure that we achieve the targets that we have set for them.

 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. for Chienge debated on the banning of night driving. I agree with her, but considering the information at hand, Government felt that this was a necessary stop gap measure to make sure that we stop the killing of our children, mothers, brothers …

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: … in those hours that we have restricted. For your own information, the ministry through the agency, we are making sure that we roll out other measures and initiatives to enhance road safety. Those measures will include fatigue management among Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers, where an operator will be asked to place drivers in locations so that when a bus leaves Lusaka and if fatigue management requires after three or four hours, they switch drivers, this bus will drive and after three or four hours, it will stop. Then, the driver will get off and the new driver will get on.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam, we are also looking at the implementation of some technology in terms of speed limit on the PSVs drivers. This will include the alcohol testing and more punishing violator of some of these measures. We also want to ensure that the engineering and construction of the roads has long term of all safety measures in place to make sure that these roads remain safe for us to use them.

 

Madam Chairperson, I spoke about obtaining of driver’s licenses and road worthiness activities. We want to ensure that we tighten the loop that anyone who gets on the road and has the privilege to drive, has the right training, understands their responsibility and will make sure that they carry out the responsibility of driving on our roads in a safe manner.

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

You have succeeded the eight minutes that I gave you to wind up debate.

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, I just want to thank all hon. Members for the support they have given to my policy statement. I hope that as we go through the line items, it will also be easy and approve the budget.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Votes 51/01 – (Ministry of Transport and CommunicationsHuman Resources and Administration  Department – K258,767,886).

 

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 01, Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1133 Policy Formulation and Development, Activity 006 Survey and Registration of Vessels, by the deletion of K100,000; and

 

  1. Under 01, Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1386 Navigation Safety Management, by the insertion of Activity 001 Survey and Registration of Vessels, K100,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 51/01 as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 51/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Votes 51/04 – (Ministry of Transport and CommunicationsMaritime and Inland Waterways Department – K7,156,401).

 

Mr Mutati:  Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 01, Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1133 Policy Formulation and Development, Activity 066 Survey and Registration of Vessels, by the deletion of k100,000; and

 

  1. Under 01, Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 1386 Navigation Safety Management, by the insertion of Activity 001 Survey and Registration of Vessels, K100,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 51/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 51/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

 

Votes 51/06 – (Ministry of Transport and CommunicationsDepartment of Transport – K5,621,618).

 

Mr Mutati:  Madam Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment:

 

  1. Under 01, Administration Unit, Programme 1139 Programme Coordination, Activity 084 Government Inspector of Railways, by the deletion of K500,00 and substitution therefore of K400,000;

 

  1. Under 01, Administration Unit, Programme 1142 Infrastructure Management, Activity 202 Aerodromes Administration, by the insertion of K50,000; and

 

  1. Under 01, Administration Unit, Programme1142 Infrastructure Management, Activity 207 Support to Provincial Aerodrome Offices, by the insertion of K50,000.

 

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

 

Vote 51/06, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 51/10 – (Ministry of Transport and CommunicationsPlanning and monitoring – K6,730,547).

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1553, Activity 001 – Accident/incidence Investigations – Nil and Activity 002 – Inquiry Reports – Nil.

 

The Minister of Transport and Communications (Mr Mushimba): Madam Chairperson, the activities in question have been realigned to the Civil Aviation Authority which is an agency under the ministry.

 

 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1002, Activity 019 – International Women’s Day – K100,000.

 

Mr Mushimba: Madam Chairperson, individual ministries also take part in these activities, hence, the provision of this allocation.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

   Vote 51/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – K431,290,735).

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, let me first register my personal and my family’s condolences to the family of Hon. Mkhondo Lungu on his demise. He really was a unifier and very active hon. Members of this House. The country and this House shall dearly miss him.

 

Madam Chairperson, I now have the honour to present the estimates of expenditure of one of the three arms of Government; the Judiciary. The Judiciary’s mission is to provide effective and efficient administration of justice accessible to all people in Zambia through impartial and timely adjudication without fear or favour. Its vision is to be a totally autonomous Judiciary that is independent, impartial, efficient, effective, reliable and that dispenses timely justice to all without discrimination, inspiring public confidence through applying the highest standards of integrity and morality. The Judiciary’s court structure comprises the following:

 

  1. Supreme Court

 

  1. Constitutional Court;

 

  1. Court of Appeal;

 

  1. High Court;

 

  1. Subordinate Court;

 

  1. Small Claims Court;

 

  1. local courts; and

 

  1. the Sherriff of Zambia.

 

Madam, there are a number of challenges that the institution faces that affect its levels of efficiency and effectiveness. I will take the opportunity on behalf of the Judiciary to highlight some of these.

 

Madam Chairperson, the current court infrastructure is inadequate to support the Judiciary’s functions. This alone affects the rate at which matters are heard and adjudicated upon. For instance, the Supreme Court circuits Ndola and Kabwe for two weeks and one week respectively. For the period the Supreme Court is sitting at either Ndola or Kabwe, the High Courts have to suspend their business. On average, the Supreme Court circuits these two places seven times in a year. The situation will be worse in 2017 as both the Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal will also circuit Ndola and Kabwe. On average, these courts will circuit the two places eight times in the year. This means that the High Courts will further need to suspend their sittings when the two courts circuit.

 

In view of the above, the Ndola High Court shall have to pave way for the sitting of the superior courts (namely the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal) that will hear matters for a period of thirty weeks in 2017, out of the total of fifty-two weeks. This means that the High Court in these two places will only sit for the balance of twenty-two weeks.

 

At Lusaka, the Supreme Court building was meant to accommodate five judges. Currently, the building is accommodating thirteen judges, resulting in a shortfall of eight chambers. The Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal both do not have court buildings of their own and are currently housed in the Supreme Court building and High Court respectively. The office accommodation issue is dire, as some of the judges sit in conference rooms. Therefore, there is need to build court buildings for the new courts as well as for the High Court at provincial centres.

 

In addition, there is need to build more local courts. There should at least be a local court in every chiefdom. It is worth mentioning that the local courts generate revenue that helps in the administration of the Zambian court system. Therefore, on behalf of the Judiciary and Zambian people, I would like to appeal to my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to consider applying part of their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) towards the construction of these courts in our respective constituencies.

 

Madam Chairperson, honourable judges do not have reliable transport. These vehicles that I am speaking about are the ones that judges ought to use to circuit other provincial centres. Further, the institution does not have adequate transport to be used by magistrate and local courts to serve court processes and inspect revenue collection.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Judiciary in the recent past introduced the Total Records Information Management System (TRIM). This programme is meant to assist the court system in managing its case flow. However, due to inadequate funding, this project has not been rolled out fully to other provincial centres.

 

Madam, over the years, the number of remandees has increased steadily. The courts still have challenges in hearing their cases on time. This is because of infrastructure challenges and other factors that relate to other players in the justice sector. However, you will be happy to learn that the Judiciary is taking measures to resolve this problem by increasing the number of prison visits by judges and magistrates. The Judiciary has also taken measures to quicken the pace at which case records are processed for appeal. This is evidenced by the amount of funds that have been allocated towards court document preparation.

 

Madam Chairperson, in spite of these challenges, the Judiciary has made a number of strides to improve justice delivery, such as the recruitment of research advocates, real time court reports, magistrates and data entry clerks to scan court records from the Treasury authority it was granted during the 2016 financial year.

 

Therefore, in 2017, the Judiciary’s budget shall focus on the core function of adjudication in terms of resource allocation and other activities such as the strengthening of TRIM, completion of ongoing projects, and in some instances, renting office accommodation. In addition, the Judiciary shall finance some of its programmes and activities from the revenue it generates from court fees. Therefore, the 2017 Budget has recognised this expenditure as provided for under Vote 18/01, Unit 09 −Administration of Court Fees.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Judiciary’s budget has taken into account the introduction of new superior courts, namely; the Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal. Therefore, a budget provision has been made to facilitate sittings of the two courts to hear matters before them. This is in addition to the already existing courts. The courts will further circuit other places where the lower courts do not have jurisdiction. Therefore, the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal shall circuit Kabwe and Ndola at different times. At the same time, the High Courts will continue to circuit provincial centres.

 

In order to increase the public’s confidence in the court system and rule of law, the Judiciary shall continue with the process of improving case flow management to provide a prompt means of resolution of cases that are filed in court. To this end, the Judiciary has made a budget provision to cater for the procurement of scanners and it desires to strengthen its case management system at the High Courts, especially on the Copperbelt.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Judiciary shall continue to prioritise the improvement of court infrastructure. As I said earlier, currently, the court buildings are inadequate to accommodate the new courts. As such, in the 2017 budget, the institution has made a provision to complete on-going projects such as the rehabilitation of the former National Housing Authority (NHA) building along Chilufya Mulenga Road to accommodate some of its members of staff. Additionally, the budget will cater for the completion of court buildings at local court and subordinate court level. In the interim, the Judiciary has made a budget provision to rent office accommodation where the institution does not have court buildings and offices.

 

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I would like to inform you that it is the hope of one arm of the Government, the Judiciary, that within the foreseeable future, there shall be the presence of High Courts at all provincial centres and that there shall be court facilities for superior courts built across the country. Further, it is our sincere hope that the 2017 budget for the Judiciary shall receive the unanimous support of all hon. Members of this House.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Madam Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the Judiciary, I have a few observations to make.

 

I think I will start from where the hon. Minister ended. The hon. Minister lamented that the Judiciary has no transport and that its funding is quite inadequate for it to do a lot of its functions. He also talked about lack of court space as well as offices and that some of the judges are using conference rooms to do their work. I did not want him to say that because it is me who should have said that. However, he helped me. I wanted him to respond to the questions he asked. So, I am at a loss because now I have to appear as if I am the hon. Minister.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: I will help him. In future, he should not come here to tell us that he has problems because his Government is failing to give the Judiciary transport. His Government has failed to fund the Judiciary adequately for it to function properly. The hon. Minister’s Government is dangerously failing on infrastructure development. Since he has admitted that he is now rolling over High Courts and other superior courts to provincial centres, I think that I will request the hon. Minister of Justice to report to me and the rest of us here in 2018 that the hon. Minister of Finance has appropriated money adequately. The Executive should not come here to tell us the things that we have to tell them. However, since the hon. Minister of Justice was frank enough to say that his Government has failed, I will just promise him that when he brings the budget next time, we shall unanimously pass the Vote, just like we shall do this afternoon, in its inadequate form. I am sorry that we have to do that for the Judiciary. It is a pity, but we shall unanimously pass the Budget ...

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

 

[THE FIRST CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

Mr Syakalima: Madam Chairperson, the Judiciary is one of the three arms of the Government. It is the fountain of Justice. I would like the Judiciary to remain independent, as the hon. Minister of Justice stated. The citizens must perceive that the Judiciary is an independent arm of the Government. Unfortunately, of late, and in the past years, according to the citizens, their perception of the Judiciary is that it is not independent.

 

When citizens feel unjustly mistreated they are supposed to turn to the police. However, in a situation where citizens are running away from those who are supposed to keep law and order like the police, the only institution to run to is the judiciary.

 

Madam Chairperson, you may recall that last week, I mentioned that the Patriotic Front Government (PF) has managed to destroy the institutions of the state. As a result, very few institutions are operating as the Constitution dictates. Of late, they are slowly permeating into the judiciary as well, almost killing this institution of the state.

 

Ms Kapata: Talk about UPND who were throwing stones at High Court!

 

Mr Syakalima: She has reminded me now that that was the only place the police had not sprayed tear gas. All the places including the police stations have been tear-gassed by the police. Now, for this fountain of justice, only the walls were remaining for the police, but yesterday was the last straw that we saw the walls of being perfumed by tear gas.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

 

Mr Syakalima: It is very unfortunate. We all know this.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Syakalima: The blame game must not be there.

 

Madam Chairperson, I can assure you that my colleagues know very well that according to some conventions that talk about tear gas, you can never spray tear gas in an enclosure.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

 

Mr Syakalima: It is just as simple as that.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Yes!

 

Mr Syakalima: No matter what the problem is. This is the reason why it is important for our police officers to learn community policing. And so, the blame game should even be there. If a police officer realises that a person has committed crime, arrest them and let them be arraigned in the courts. It is not right to do that.

 

It is not right to have injustice inside the fountain of justice. So, the blame game should not be there. If people have transgressed the law, let them be arraigned. It is as simple as that.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: Nobody runs away from that. Even with that, it must be justified. This brings me to what I was reading about something that happened in the Philippines, the President has vowed to fighting drugs and over one million people have been killed. A senator called the President and told him that since he has pledged to kill three million people, he must arraign them to the judiciary …

 

The First Chairperson: The Head is Judiciary.

 

Mr Syakalima: I am saying that the senator said the judiciary must also be arraigned and taken to court. I am implying that even the wildest offender must go to the fountain of justice. That is what I am trying to say.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: According to the senate in the Philippines, even if you were a president, they are saying you have killed more than one million people in the name of fighting drugs let them be referred to the fountain of justice which are the courts. You cannot fight crime without using the fountain of justice. It is better to arraign everybody to go and face justice.

 

Madam Chairperson, it was only yesterday that I was saying when I was arrested in Livingstone and put in a holding cell for four days, I sought for justice. I made it a point that even if the wheels of justice are grinding slowly, I had to get it after four years, from 2014 to 2016 in May. The judiciary must be seen as fountains of justice.

 

I know of a political party when they came to power …

 

Hon. Government Members: What is the name?

 

Mr Syakalima: I do not know.

 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

 

Mr Syakalima: What are you called?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: PF

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: You may recall that when PF came into power, they immediately started attacking the judiciary like no man’s business. They would say that the judiciary is rotten and it is corrupt. Yes, you can comment on what the judiciary does but you cannot put a blanket issue and say that it is this way. Any institution, no matter how bad that institution is, there still remains elements who still believe they can save society.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: No matter how bad things are.

 

Even though I have said that they have actually destroyed all the institutions of the state, there are still people within those institutions who still stand tall to help society.

 

Mr Ngulube: How tall?

 

Mr Syakalima: Taller than you!

 

Madam Chairperson, it is for this reason that I would like to appeal to the leaders who head institutions, including the judiciary, to always fight for legacy. People will ask at the time that you were leader of this institution what you did so that your legacy still remains. Sometimes you are not judged there and then, but when you leave.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Or when you are fired!

 

Mr Syakalima: I can give you an example, Madam Chairperson, if you allow me.

 

The former Auditor General is a woman of velour. She ran the Auditor-General institution efficiently that toady, every time you meet her you want to greet her because of the legacy she left at that institution. Now, I am appealing to all those who head institutions including the judiciary, to fight for legacy.

 

This brings me to the time when I was congratulating you on your appointment, Madam Chairperson, if you may recall, I wished you God’s good guidance and I said “I am positive that history will assess your individual contributions to society as an example of elevated understanding of duty and authentic dignity.” I was referring to legacy.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Syakalima: So, I am appealing to all those heading institutions including the judiciary, to fight for the legacy.

 

With these few words, I am squarely accepting to pass this Vote. However, with a caution that you must promise that in future, probably in 2018, with the help of the Minister of Finance, you will improve this fountain of justice.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Haajere!

 

Mr Jere: … for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice to this Vote – the Judiciary, which is one of the arms of Government.

 

Madam Chairperson, let me state from the onset that I do support this Vote.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere: However, I wish to state that in a society composed of different people, with different backgrounds, of different characteristics, some tall, some short, some weak and others strong conflicts are unavoidable. Many are times when these conflicts arise, people would disagree to an extent that they would wish to seek for justice and the only place that the rush to are the courts of law.

 

Madam Chairperson, I have admired the judicial system in America for many years. What makes the American system inspiring is that judges in America serve for life ...

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!

 

Mr Jere: ... in order for them to serve freely. However, they have got the choice to resign or retire as the wish. One of the reasons for the length of their tenure is to give them immunity from political pressure. There is a lot interference in the Judiciary ....

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere: ... coming from invisible hands and as a result they are unable to dispense justice accordingly. The other reason for the length of the tenure is that they want to put the judges at a level where they would be able to resolve conflicts between the Executive and the Legislature with impartiality. The last reason is that it would protect them to be from public attacks.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the Zambian context, the Zambian Constitution provides that the Judiciary shall be independent, autonomous and impartial. The Judiciary has tried its best for many years, but of late the public is slowly losing confidence in it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, the duties of the Judiciary include interpreting the law, deciding on matters that are brought before it and determining sentences. What has transpired in the country of late is an indication that we at a crossroads. This Parliament enacted a Constitution in January and the people feel that the Constitution should be simple enough for an average citizen to understand. In an event that a person fails to understand these Articles, they go to the courts of law for interpretation. However, sadly, what we see is that there is no clarity on so many Articles that have been taken to court for interpretation.

 

Madam Chairperson, one such example pertains to petitions. The Constitutional Court will make a judgement and the following day will go against its own judgement.

 

Mr Ngulube: Fourteen days is fourteen days!

 

Mr Jere: It is setting a bad precedent seeing as it is the highest court in the land. I believe that judgments that are made today will be referred to by future generations who should appreciate that the judges took their time and made judgements based on law and facts. However, at the moment that does not seem to be the case.

 

Madam Chairperson, I totally agree with the hon. Minister that it has become expensive for people to access justice. We saw how people were moved thousands of kilometres from the North-Western Province to Lusaka in order for them to access justice on account of the fact that there are no High Courts in their areas. It is sad that fifty-three years after Independence witnesses are moved in trucks from the North-Western Province to Lusaka in order for them to appear before the High Court. People were also moved from Sikongo to Livingstone and had to wait for many days ...

 

Ms Kapata: You are the petitioners!

 

Mr Jere: ... for these cases to be disposed of. We need to ensure that High Courts are established at provincial level or even at district level. If you look at the South Province, for example, the High Court was in Livingstone, but now the provincial headquarters has moved to Choma which means that if the courts move from Livingstone to Choma we will have to High Court in Livingstone. This will mean people will have to travel from Livingstone to Choma which is a very sad situation.

 

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister said that justice should be given to all without discrimination.

 

Mr Ngulube: In conclusion!

Mr Jere: The law is said to be blind, but of late it seems that there are some people who are above the law. Not long ago, a policy maker hit and killed a person and he was only charged K2,500. Shame!

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Jere: Can you compare K2,500 to life? It is not fair. The law should to take its course regardless of who has committed an offence. We should be able to dispense justice fairly across all sections of society in this country.

 

Madam Speaker, another issue is that justice in this country is delayed to the extent that some people have ended up dying without getting judgments. That has been a source of worry. People prefer to withdraw cases because they spend too much money travelling to courts only to be told that the matter has been adjourned. Some people have ended up losing vital evidence that the court relies upon while some witnesses die.

 

Madam Chairperson, the other issue is inconsistencies in the judicial system. A lot of petitions were made recently, but surprisingly, awarding of cost was at the discretion of the judge, which is not supposed to be the case ...

 

The First Chairperson: Do not go there. Hon. Jere, you are not here to pass judgment on the judgements passed by the judiciary.

 

Mr Jere: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for that guidance. They say, “Justice delayed is justice denied.” The way forward is to ensure that we build more courts in this country. We all know that it is the preserve of the President to appoint Judges but, we should make sure that we ratify credible men and women who will be able to dispense justice in this country.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I applaud the hon. Minister of Justice for his flamboyant delivery of a policy statement. I would like to talk about how the people in my constituency acquire judicial services. Mwansabombwe is one of the newly formed districts in Zambia. I therefore, request the Minister of Justice to seriously look at how the people of Mwansabombwe, who do not have magistrate courts can acquire judicial services. This Government should consider coming up with magistrate courts so that our people do not travel all the way from Mwansabombwe to Kawambwa, where they are exposed to accommodation and food expenses. The reason why we have these districts is for judicial services to be accessed easily.

 

Madam Chairperson, considering time, I will be very brief in my debate. We witnessed the Presidential petition in this country and what surprised me is how certain officers of court behaved whilst in court. This is where I saw one officer of court literally shouting at the Judges. She was allowed to disrespect her own Judges in court.

 

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

 

The First Chairperson: And when you say, “officers of court” I want to believe you are referring to lawyers.

 

Mr Mwewa: Yes, Madam Chairperson. Officers of court are lawyers. I will mention the officer of court who did that. I think that where we come from …

 

The First Chairperson: No, you may not mention people who are not able to come here and have the privilege like you do, to defend themselves.  You can speak generally but please, do not mention names.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, thank you for your guidance. This officer of court I am referring to had the guts of telling the court that it was incompetent. She was even shouting on top of her voice. How can someone tell the court that it is incompetent?

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I expected the President of that court to cite her for contempt of court but nothing happened. She was instead referred to the Legal Practitioner’s Committee. The Legal Practitioners Committee is under the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ). In public domain, LAZ has demonstrated that it is partisan.

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Mwewa, you are creating a difficulty for the Chair. I do not think that it is fair for you to come here and brand the Law Association of Zambia as being partisan. I think that is not factually correct and you have no evidence to substantiate that. I will therefore, ask that you withdraw that statement. Please, proceed to debate the policy statement of the Judiciary.

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I take that guidance.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Withdraw!

 

The First Chairperson: Withdraw the statement that LAZ is partisan.

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw that statement.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I almost said that LAZ is now a political party but I am withdrawing that.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, LAZ should be an independent body which is supposed to neither support the ruling party nor the Opposition. It is supposed to be above board. LAZ is an advisory body which promotes the improvement and reform of the judiciary. To my surprise, up to now, that lawyer in question has not been charged.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, that leaves much to be desired. Let me also talk about the safety of our Judges in court. Yesterday, we witnessed cadres who ran amok. This is where United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres started smashing windows at the court. They went ahead and started smashing cars and beating police officers.

 

Ms Mulenga: Shame!

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I think it is important that we protect our judges in this country.  I therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs …

 

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwewa: …and the hon. Minister of Justice to work together to protect these innocent people. People are supposed to be able to execute their duties in a free and peaceful environment.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwewa: Is that what we are giving them?

 

Hon. Government Members: No!

 

Mr Mwewa: Do they expect the judges to give sound judgement when they have threatened their lives? Their concentration will be on the preservation of their lives because every person thinks about their life. They cannot be inside the court house and people are throwing stones. It is sad that we can come to Parliament and try to protect those thugs who wanted to stone judges.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwewa: As I was sitting here, I was wondering what we are doing. What is wrong is wrong. We have to call a spade a spade and a hoe a hoe. This is being an hon. Member of Parliament.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ng’onga: Lack of leadership.

 

Mr Mwewa: Did they want the judges to be stoned? The police had to use teargas to disperse those who wanted to kill the judges and they come here and blame them? Come on man, let us be real.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. PF Members: Hammer, hammer!

 

Mr Mwale: Ema Americans aya!

 

Hon. PF Members: Bwekeshinipo!

 

Mr Mwewa: Madam Chairperson, I ask my able Government to protect the judges because we need them. These are my words. I support the hon. Minister, earnestly.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Kampyongo: Your advice is taken.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Justice, wind up debate within eight minutes.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I shall endeavour to wind up debate in that time.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is good to exercise some sarcasm in Parliament, but we must always bear in mind that it also has a cost. We cannot afford to be sarcastic over matters of such importance.

 

Madam Chairperson, in moving the motion, I indicated that I was doing it for and on behalf of another arm of the Government. I was not doing it on behalf of the Executive, but the Judiciary which has a right, like the Executive and the legislature, to come to this Parliament and present its reasons for tax payers’ money to be appropriated to its performance. I cannot do that without indicating the needs and challenges that it is confronted with. If anyone takes trouble with that, I would like them to first of all go and understand what a Budget is.

 

Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: It is an allocation of resources to meet specific needs and challenges to allow efficient operations of a system. I had to present the challenges that the Judiciary is working under so that when my colleagues look at the Budget proposal, they will understand why it is asking for that money. To say anything outside this is to trivialise the matter and I am sure that the people out there know exactly who has the sarcastic words and that they do not add any value.

 

Madam Chairperson, I would like to go to the substantial issues raised by my colleagues and leave out this issue about me lamenting.

 

Madam Chairperson, as regards the issue of the Fountain of Justice, I indicated that the Judiciary considers itself as an important institution that should dispense justice in a very efficient, effective and impartial manner. I also talked about the independence of the judiciary. However, I would like to caution all of us that the independence of the Judiciary does not only mean independence from other wings of the Government, but any influence, including the influence that we have seen exerted on it by politicians.

 

Madam Chairperson, one of my colleagues spoke about people being above the law. In many countries, including examples that were given here, Presidents are considered to be above the law. In this county, we have one President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Her Honour the Vice-President, the two people who, even after being declared winners, agreed to stay away from obtaining office for one month because of their respect for the law.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: What more would you expect of a Government to show you that it is being led by men and women who respect the law?

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I also want to say that he who goes to equity must go with clean hands.

 

Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: They cannot come to Parliament and portray themselves as though they are the champions of the Judiciary. When they go out there, they are the first ones to insult the members of the Judiciary and call them thieves under wigs.

 

The First Chairperson: Please, withdraw that, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw that quotation, but I am sure that everyone in the House knows that it was made against the members of the Judiciary by people who are here trying to portray themselves as though they are the best friends of the Judiciary.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, my dear colleague, Hon. Mwewa, spoke about yesterday’s attack on the Judiciary. A statement was issued by the Chief Administrator of the court in which she stated exactly what happened at court and, any leader, worth their salt, would have apologised today.

 

Hon. PF Members: hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: They should have been heard to reprimand their cadres for that uncalled for and uncouth behaviour, but they come here and say that the Judiciary must be independent. Yes, it must be independent of any kind of political influence.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, we saw, at the conclusion of the petition before the Constitutional Court, how, even after the judges had passed their ruling, some politicians, against all procedures of court, went without lawyers and cried out loud exerting pressure on the judges to an extent that the judges had to retreat and come back with another judgement. This is political influence on the Judiciary which must be condemned.

 

Hon. PF Members:

 

Hon. PF Member: Syakalima wahwa?

 

Mr Lubinda: I would like to say to my friend, Hon. Jere, that I know that this is his first sitting in Parliament. I would like to suggest to my dear brother, that whenever he wants to quote me, he should do it in context. Never should he put words in my mouth. This is timely advice.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

The First Chairperson: Order! Your statement ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: I will come to that, Madam Chairperson. My statement ...

 

The First Chairperson: Order hon. Members on my left! Order, hon. Minister!

 

I do not remember Mr Jere quoting you, hon. Minister and, if he did, he did not mention your name.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

The First Chairperson: I think that in order for us to proceed as we have done so far, you should withdraw that because in a way, it is a veiled threat on the hon. Member for Livingstone. Please, withdraw.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, verbatim will show and I quote Hon. Jere:

 

“I agree with the hon. Minister when he said that it has become expensive for people to access justice.”

 

These words were attributed to me. He said that he agreed with me in saying that it had become expensive for people to access justice. There is nowhere in my statement that I said this.

 

That is the reason I am saying to him, I would like him to become a prolific Member of Parliament. In advising him to become one, he must learn to quote people in the right context…

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … and not put words in people’s mouths.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I did not at any time say that justice for Zambians has become expensive. I have not said that. What I said was that the judiciary were concerned by the fact that it is becoming difficult for them to dispense of justice to the people, not for the people to access justice.

 

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: That is the reason why they have come to this House to ask this Parliament to allocate the budget as they have requested.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: So that they can ensure that going forward, the people can access justice. That is the context…

 

The First Chairperson: Okay, hon. Minister, in that regard, in your advice to Hon. Jere, you have to do it through the Chair without necessarily directly pointing at him.

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: That is going to help us have harmony and there will be no reaction. Please advise him through the Chair.

 

Mr Ngulube: Point at him through the Chair.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I will take your guidance and as you know I always respect your counsel and guidance. Through you Madam Chairperson, I would like to advise my good brother Hon. Jere…

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lubinda: … that I would like him to become a prolific member of Parliament one day and in so being I would like to advise him that if he is going to quote people, he must quote them correctly and not put words in their mouths.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Point at him!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, you asked me to wind up within eight minutes, let me wind up by also saying to Hon. Jere …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Lubinda: …that Hon. Jere…

 

The First Chairperson: Through the Chair.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, Hon. Jere lamented that now that the provincial headquarters has moved from Livingstone to Choma, therefore, the High Court in Livingstone will be shut. I would like to allay his fears. As a matter of fact, I would like to say the Southern and the Copperbelt Provinces are blessed to have two High Courts. Southern Province has one High Court at Livingstone and there is another one in Choma which will become operational very soon. All the other provinces do not have High Courts. So, Hon. Jere, through you, Madam Chairperson, can go and tell the people of Livingstone that the Judiciary is asking for support from this Parliament for them to make sure that they have High Courts at every provincial headquarters …

 

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: So that even if Southern Province has two High Courts, at least the other provinces should have one. That is the idea of the Judiciary.

 

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, having said that, let me conclude by saying thank you, Hon. Jere, through you, Madam Chairperson, and Hon. Douglas Syakalima for your total support of the Judiciary. I am sure that from this, all of us, whether in this House or outside, shall allow the Judiciary to operate without undue political and cadre pressure. I am happy that my colleague Hon. Syakalima did indicate to us how impartial the court system is.

 

Madam Chairperson, he just indicated that not too long ago, after a while of waiting, a matter was ruled in Hon. Syakalima’s favour. That shows that the court system in Zambia is indeed face blind. It does not look at faces. This is the reason why Hon. Syakalima, today is smiling that his matter was acquitted and actually, he was compensated. Well done for winning you case Hon. Syakalima but it is because of the free, fair and impartial judicial system.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lubinda: So, please we will do well to support the Judiciary and allocating the resources they requested.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

INDIVIDUAL ITEMS

 

Vote 18/01 – (Judiciary – Headquarters – K98,175,345).

 

The First Chairperson: Let me guide the House.

 

This particular head has got thirty-six sub-heads and if we are going to start asking questions unnecessarily, for every activity, I am afraid we will not finish this Head. I will be very reluctant to allow unnecessary interventions.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4003, Activity 026 – Short Term/Long Term Training – K29,010 and Activity 041 – Training – nil. Activity 026 has been reduced drastically and for training there is provision yet capacity building is extremely important. Can the hon. Minister justify that trend in the Judiciary?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, the reduction is because some resources meant for capacity building shall be financed by another unity.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, I see on Programme 4002, Activity 011 – Ceremonial Opening of Parliament – K120,416 what type of ceremonial opening which has necessitated the amount to increase.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, let me inform my hon. colleague that the Official Opening of Parliament that all of us attended when His Excellency the President came to open Parliament that happens every year. So, even in 2017, His Excellency the President will play us guest and members of the Judiciary will also be in attendance. The reason for the increase Madam Chairperson, is as a result of the increase in the number of Courts and the number of Judges. So there will be more Judges than they were in 2016. I hope that clarifies the issue.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4009, Activity 008 – Audit Operations – K20,000, why this drastic reduction?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to rest the fear of my hon. colleague. Audit operations shall take place only that the Judiciary has decided to rationalise the cost centre. The money that has been moved from this vote has instead been allocated at Unit 9 Programme 4105, Activity 001. There are many others changes. Where you will see decreases it is not because they are slashing down, it is because they are transposing the allocations to another vote particularly Unit 9, Programme 4105, Activity 001.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Lihefu: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4000, Activity 005 – Other Emoluments – K43,456,848. There is an increase of K12,328,048 for this activity. What necessitated this increase?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, Programme 4000, Activity 005 – Other Emoluments – K43,456,848. I indicated in my policy statement that the number of courts has increased. We now have the Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. The number of Judges has also increased. When Judges increase, support staff also increase. That is the reason the allocation to Activity 005 has increased by 40 per cent.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Votes 18/01, 18/02, 18/03, 18/04, 18/05, 18/06, 18/07, 18/08, 18/10, 18/11, 18/12, 18/13, 18/14, 18/15, 18/16, 18/17, 18/18, 18/19, 18/20, 18/21,

 

Votes 18/22, 18/23, 18/24, 18/25 and 18/26 ordered to stand part of the estimates

 

VOTE 18/27 – (JudiciarySubordinate CourtNorth-Western Province – K4,855,412).

 

Mr Lihefu: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4105, Activity 001 – Revenue Inspection – Nil. There is no allocation under this activity in 2017.

 

The First Chairperson: On what page are you, Hon. Lihefu?

 

Mr Lihefu: Page 360.

 

The First Chairperson: We are not on page 360 yet. Hold your fire.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: That is the problem with dozing!

 

Votes 18/27 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 18/28 – (JudiciaryLocal CourtsNorth-Western Province – K14,042,570).

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Lihefu, you can now ask your question.

 

Mr Lihefu: Madam Chairperson, …

 

Mr Ngulube: And avoid dozing!

 

Mr Lihefu: … may I have clarification on Programme 4105 …

 

Mr Chabi: And the word “enconomy”!

 

Mr Lihefu: Can you keep quiet?

 

When you are asking questions, do I interrupt you?

 

Mr Ngulube: Order!

 

The First Chairperson: Ask your question.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lihefu: Be careful. You cannot fight me.

 

The First Chairperson: Sit down, Hon. Lihefu.

 

Votes 18/28 and 18/29 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 18/30 – (JudiciarySubordinate CourtWestern Province – K4,549,410).

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4008, Activity 010 – HIV/AIDS Awareness and Food Supplements – Nil. I have noted that throughout the Judiciary budget, this particular activity has not been funded in 2017. Can the hon. Minister explain why this particular activity has been neglected in 2017?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to inform Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa that his concern is well catered for. I probably did not make myself clear when I said that a number of activities had been moved and their monies allocated centrally at headquarters under Unit 09 – Administration of Court Fees and this particular activity is at programme 4001, Activity 003.

 

So, most activities that do not have allocations have had their monies transposed to administration at headquarters. The activities, however, shall certainly be undertaken.

 

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Votes 18/30, 18/31, 18/32, 18/33, 18/34 and 18/35 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 18/36 – (JudiciaryLocal CourtsMuchinga Province – K4,970,569).

 

Ms Lubezhi: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4010, Activity 001 – Bank Charges – K1,000. I have noticed that this amount has drastically dropped and yet bank charges have gone up.

 

The First Chairperson: The question is: Why has the amount dropped?

 

Hon. Minister of Justice, you may respond.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, Programme 4010, Activity 001 – Bank Charges – K1,000 will be cushioned by the interest that will be earned since the Judiciary are allowed to earn and retain interest on their bank accounts. So the amount here is just a net income.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Vote 18/36 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 31 – (Ministry of Justice Headquarters – K275,480,112).

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to share with this august House the Government’s policy on the Ministry of Justice. It is my sincere hope that the policy and the implementation of the programmes and the activities that have been earmarked for the 2017-2019 Medium Term period will contribute to the realisation of the aspirations of the Zambian people of improved dispensation of justice and delivery of legal services and increased adherence to good governance, principles in our country.

 

Madam, my statement is in five parts. Part one is an introduction, part two provides a reflection on the implementation of programmes under the Ministry of Justice, part three will give a policy framework for the ministry and part four will summarise the planned interventions and I will present a conclusion in part five.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Justice is mandated with the responsibility of facilitating the administration of justice and the promotion of the observance of the rule of law. Its goal is to achieve improved dispensation of justice and delivery of legal services and increased adherence to good governance principles. In this regard, the Ministry of Justice has continued implementing initiatives aimed and actualising its mandate.

 

Madam, among the major responsibility of the Ministry of Justice is the administration of the estates of the deceased persons as well and management of companies under receivership in line with Intestate Succession Act, the Wills and Administration of the Estate Act as well as the Bankruptcy Act respectively.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is the ministry’s desire to sensitise the public on this critical mandate. My ministry is appealing to all hon. Members of Parliament to spearhead sensitisation in their constituencies regarding the important matters such as the preparation of Wills.

 

Madam, during the period under review, my ministry continues implementing interventions in line with the ministry’s strategic plan, the revised 6th National Plan, the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto and the general Government policy on matters related to governance.

 

Madam Chairperson, the ministry was allocated to K130.7 million for programme implementation in 2014, K188.5 million in 2015 and K223.9 million in 2006. The major programmes implemented during this period include:

 

  1. facilitating the Constitutional Review Process which commenced in 2011 and culminate into the amendment of the Constitution early this year.

 

  1. commencement of the Legal Justice Sector Reforms in 2014. The commission had been to undertake a comprehensive review into the state of the legal and justice sector in Zambia in order to development strategies and mechanisms to facilitate its transformation and modernisation;

 

The commission has far heard public sittings in eight provinces. The remaining    activities include; holding public sitting in Luapula and North Western provinces, carrying out research and  verification activities and the compilation of the report findings and recommendations;

 

(c)        Implementation of the access to justice programme with the support of        partners led by the European Union (EU). The Government greatly values the contribution of the cooperating in uplifting the livelihoods of Zambians.

 

Madam Chairperson, this programme was key in enhancing the capacity of governance institutions in the country such as the judiciary, the prisons service, the police, the Ministry of Justice, among others. 

 

Madam, the other interventions implemented during this period include:

 

  1. decentralisation of the National Prosecution Authority to provinces. Currently, the authority has a presence in four provinces namely; Central Copperbelt, Lusaka and Southern. The authority will open offices in the remaining six provinces soon;

 

  1. enhancing the capacity of  the Legal Aid Board. As you might be aware, the board has opened provincial offices in Chinsali and Choma. The Legal Aid Board now has now has a present in all provinces in the country. This has helped to increased access to justice and legal services by the indigent. It has gone further to reducing the cost of access  to justice by Zambians;

 

  1. implementation of the case from management system to improve coordination amongst legal and justice sector institutions such as the Judiciary, the National Prosecution Authority and the Correction Service under the Ministry of Home Affairs;

 

  1. review of the ministry Strategic Plan for 2011-2015 and the commencement of the preparation of the Ministerial Strategic Plan  for 2017-2021; and

 

  1.  preparation of the first country progress report on the implementation of the National Programme of Action for the African Peer Review Mechanism.

 

Part III: Policy Framework,

 

Madam Chairperson, the key policy intervention areas for my ministry includes the following:

 

Madam, in 2011, soon after coming into power, the PF Government under the visionary and dynamic leadership of the His Excellency, the late President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Micheal Chilufya Sata, May His Soul Rest in Peace, embarked on the Constitutional Review process. The Government under the dynamic and able leadership of his successor, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu …

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Lubinda: For the sake of the one who is doubting, let me repeat this.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lubinda: The Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … the one and only Republican President of Zambia …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … concluded this process by amending the Constitution in January, 2016. Following the amendment of the Republican Constitution as earlier alluded to, any Zambians from across society have voiced their concerns and demanded that the Government should facilitate the review of the Constitution following the gaps that have been identified.

 

Madam Chairperson, you will recall that a Motion to commence this process was passed in the affirmative by all of us gathered in this august House during the current sitting. The Government has since commenced stakeholder consultations on the proposed amendments. Whilst it is important to respect divergence views from across society on this process, the Government has a responsibility to ensure the methodological issues and sectoral interests do not derail the good intention to amend the Republican Constitution to address the various lacunae in the document.

 

Madam, I wish to implore hon. Members of this august House both on your right and left to put aside our partisan interests …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … and full support this process. I wish to particularly request all hon. Members of Parliament including Hon. Livune to urge people to in our constituencies to factitively participate in this process by making submissions through we, their elected representatives, us, hon. Members of Parliament.

 

Madam Chairperson, in view of this, my ministry will continue to provide the necessary policy oversight and technical support to the process of reviewing the Constitution of Zambia. The provisional budget of K6.7 million has been earmarked for this process in 2017. So far, the ministry has written to Her Honour the Vice-President, Her Ladyship, the Chief justice, the Director, Zambia Law Development Commission, all ministries and to all political parties with the presentation in Parliament seeking their input on the matter. It is expected that the inputs will be submitted in good time.

 

Madam, the second issue is the review of the Public Order Act. The Government is fully aware of the numerous concerns raised by stakeholders with regard to enforcement of the Public Order Act. It is against this background that His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President to the Republic of Zambia directed my ministry to facilitate the review of the Public Order Act.           

 

The ministry is actively working on the review of the Public Order Act. All stakeholders are encouraged to fully participate in the process by making submissions of their observations and recommendations on the review of the Act. I just want to remind all of us that this was actually a request made initially in the last Sitting of Parliament by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Davies Mwila at the time

 

Madam Chairperson, the Government is committed to the reform process of the legal and justice sector so as to address various challenges, such as the lengthy pre-trial detention periods of suspects, high congestion in prisons and long distances to courts, especially in rural areas. The reforms, which we commenced in 2014, are expected to be concluded soon.

 

You may wish to know that the reform commission, which comprises twenty commissioners, was tasked to examine all aspects relating to the delivery of justice. The Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission has so far held public sittings in eight provinces. The remaining activities include holding public sittings in Luapula and the North-Western Province respectively, carrying out research and verification activities and compilation of its final report. The ministry, therefore, allocated a total of K1.4 million in the 2017 budget to facilitate completion of the programme of work of the commission.

 

 

 

Madam Chairperson, this is one of the important programmes in the Ministry of Justice and its purpose is to improve access to justice for all through a series of interventions, including strengthening the coordination and cooperation among justice institutions. To this end, the ministry is working in collaboration with civil society organisations and other justice institutions to ensure that access to justice becomes a reality. Currently, the European Union (EU), through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Zambia, is supporting this cause through the Programme for Legal Empowerment and Enhanced Justice Delivery (PLEED). This programme is anchored in the Ministry of Justice to improve legal empowerment of the indigents in the country.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Government remains committed to enhancing the capacity of the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) in order to facilitate the efficient and effective discharge of prosecutorial services. In 2016, the Government facilitated the recruitment of 111 members of staff, with a view of improving the staff complement of the authority.

 

The activities in the 2017 to 2019 medium term period will include scaling up the decentralisation of the operations of the authority to provinces and districts. Further, the authority will incorporate 158 public prosecutors into its structures in 2017. This is intended to enhance efficiency in the management of criminal cases, especially that all matters of prosecution fall under the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). An allocation of K36.7 million has been made in the 2017 budget to facilitate the implementation of this key intervention.

 

Madam Chairperson, in the 2017 to 2019 medium term period, the ministry envisages to fully implement the harmonised conditions of service of this institution’s employees and dismantle the accrued salary arrears from September, 2013 to 2016. This is an attempt by the Government to continue building the capacity of the Legal Aid Board by progressively improving the working conditions so as to attract and retain technical staff. This would help provide effective services to the indigent, who by law have the right to legal representation.

 

Madam Chairperson, further, the ministry will finalise the process of reviewing the Legal Aid Board Policy so as to respond to the challenges such as methods of delivering legal aid and inconsistencies within the legal aid policy to enable the board to discharge its mandate more efficiently and effectively.

 

My ministry is very concerned about the poor pass rate of advocates at this institution, which concern has been raised also by various sectors of our society. This has had an impact on the number of advocates that are admitted to the bar. My ministry will endeavour to establish the causes for this worrying pass rate. It is the vision of the ministry that ZIALE will continue to expand so that more legal practitioners are admitted to the bar. This is why the institution has embarked on the construction of a new campus at Silverest along the Great East Road.

 

 

 

Madam Chairperson, the ministry is overwhelmed with the high number of contracts and draft legislation forwarded from client ministries for clearance. The ministry is also overwhelmed with the number of cases forwarded for defence in the courts of law. At the moment, there is a ratio of 400 contracts and litigation per advocate in the ministry, which is far too high. The creation of new courts such as the Court of Appeal, following the amendment of the Republican Constitution this year, is expected to increase the workload per advocate. These challenges are attributed to the critical shortage of legal personnel in the ministry due to inappropriate staff establishment and high staff turnover arising from varying remuneration among state advocates within the public service.

 

Madam Chairperson, I am presenting these challenges again so that hon. Members of Parliament may support the request of the Ministry of Justice to have its budget allocation increased. In addressing these challenges, the ministry will in 2017 enhance the capacity of the Attorney-General’s chambers by recruiting at least thirty-one state advocates during the 2017 financial year. A total of K3.67 million has been allocated for that purpose. Further, the ministry intends to expand and improve its structure. In addition, the ministry will continue to engage the various authorities within the Government so that there is harmonisation of salaries among state advocate

 

Madam Chairperson, a matter that is deeply spoken about in the Ministry of Justice is the responsibility of debt collection. The Ministry of Justice is mandated to collect debt owed to the Government, which may either be through direct monetary transactions or as a result of other successful civil actions in courts where the state is aggrieved. The ministry is committed to progressively improving its capacity in terms of human and financial resources to collect debt as this will increase revenue for the Government.

 

The Government is concerned with the emerging culture of political intolerance amongst political players in the country.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Lubinda: This could be partly attributed to lack of an effective mechanism to facilitate dialogue amongst key political players. The Government, under President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is committed to the promotion of the rule of law and good political governance.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Mr Lubinda: In view of this, the Government will continue supporting the ZCID in order for it to discharge its functions of promoting good governance. To this effect, a total of K1 million has been proposed in the 2017 ministerial budget.

 

On behalf of the Government, the ministry would like to earnestly appeal to all political parties to support the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue (ZCID) and to contribute to its operational budget. After all, this is a platform that was established not by the Government, but by the various political parties of Zambia. It is an institution of political parties to which the Government wishes to render support because we hold their responsibility as an important function to hold us together as a people. I would like to appeal to all of us not to look upon this institution as a Government institution because it is an institution of political parties.

 

Madam Chairperson, according to Article 60 of the Constitution, political parties have various rights and duties conferred and imposed on them. In order to enhance the representativeness of our democracy, the Ministry of Home Affairs in conjunction with my ministry, is in the process of implementing a legislative framework for the establishment of the Political Parties Fund and the provisions for governance and financial accountability and democracy within political parties. It is the desire of the Ministry of Justice for political parties to enhance intra-party democracy including holding conventions as stipulated in our political party constitutions and in our Republican Constitution ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: ... which states:

 

“A political party shall promote and practice democracy through regular free and fair elections within the party.”

 

Madam Chairperson, the African Peer Review Mechanism was acceded to on the 22nd of January 2006. After fulfilling all the requirements, Zambia was peer reviewed in January, 2013. The country’s peer review report was launched in March, 2014. Zambia is expected to undergo the second peer review in 2019. Prior to the second peer review, the country is expected to prepare at least two progress report to be submitted and presented to the Forum of Heads of State and Government. The Government, through the National Governing Council, has prepared the first progress report which is scheduled to be submitted and presented in 2017.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Government is committed to improve good governance in the country, as I said earlier. In 2017, the Government will commence the production of the State of Governance report. The report is extremely important as it is a barometer of the state of governance in the country. The Government is committed to producing the State of Governance report every four years and I would like to state that we shall start the process in the coming year. The last report on the State of Governance was produced in 2010. The idea is that every report should be disseminated to all stakeholders that is, the Government, Civil Society organisations, statutory bodies and political parties.

 

Madam Chairperson, I now wish to turn my attention to the key programmes to be addressed next year which are as follows:

 

  1. amendment of the Republic Constitution;

 

  1. law revision such as the review of the Public Order Act;

 

  1. finalising the legal and justice sector reforms;

 

  1. incorporation of the 158 prosecutors from other law enforcement agencies into the national prosecution structure;

 

  1. scaling up activities of the Legal Aid Board;

 

  1. court operations and legal advisory;

 

  1.  African Peer Review Mechanism;

 

 

  1. development of the strategic plan for the Ministry of Justice for the period 2017 to 2021; and

 

  1.  preparation of the governance sector implementation plan of the Seventh National Development Plan (7thNDP) (2017-2021) and the sector performance framework.

 

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, I wish to emphasise that during the 2017/2019 medium term period, the ministry has prioritised allocating of funds to programmes whose implementation would contribute to the attainment of the core mandate of the ministry as outlined in the strategy plan and other Government supporting documents. It is therefore my very humble and sincere hope is that this august House will support the approval of the proposed Estimates of Expenditure for 2017 for the Ministry of Justice.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much. I will be very brief.

 

I would like to put it before the hon. Minister of Justice that we have a very big challenge in this ministry, and I am speaking as an ordinary hon. Member of Parliament representing a rural constituency. I think that my sentiments will cater for people across the country, especially hon. Members of Parliament representing our people from the countryside.

 

One of the programmes of the Ministry of Justice is access to justice. In the countryside, we have a big problem in terms of access to justice. In most of our rural constituencies, especially in the Western Province, Nalikwanda in particular, there has not been any major appreciable change to justice provision, especially establishment of local courts which the poor villagers have to access. I am speaking as an ordinary villager. In the case of Nalikwanda, for example, we have four local courts which were established way back in the colonial days and these are the ones still serving the people. Many ordinary poor villagers have to walk long distances, sometimes, they have to walk for 30 km, 40 km or even 60 km to get to a local court. If they have witnesses, they have to look after those witnesses. They have to find accommodation within the local court premises for the witnesses and they have to feed them. I would like the hon. Minister to put himself in the shoes of such an ordinary poor villager. So, the most important point here is that our court system in the villages is still in the colonial legacy. Very little has been done to change our local court system in the countryside and our people are suffering as they are failing to access justice.

 

Madam Chairperson, that aside, we still have a problem of staffing in these very few local courts available. If you go to the countryside, you will find that in some of these courts, there are no court justices. Some of these local courts are not operational because of lack of staff. A very good example is from Sikongo. My colleague here was telling me that they have six courts in Sikongo, but three are not operational because staffing is a big problem. We have the same problem in Nalikwanda.

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

 

[THE FIRST CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Thank you, Madam Chairperson, when business was suspended, during tea break a number of colleagues told me that I was actually speaking on their behalf.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This is because the situation I was describing affects all of us even in Shiwag'andu.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … as the hon. Minister is acknowledging. So, I was advised to reiterate some of the issues.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, in many parts of our country, access to justice such as the rural areas is still as it was in the colonial period. For example, in Liuwa, there is one functioning local court for the entire Liuwa Constituency. In Dundumwezi, there is also one functioning local court …

 

Mr Sing’ombe: … in the entire Dundumwezi Constituency. The situation is the same everywhere. Even in Lunte, there are very few local courts.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: There is only one!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: People have to walk long distances. In a situation where, for example, there has been a case requiring the attention of the local court justices, people end up taking justice in their own hands. It is very unfortunate.

 

Staffing is also a problem including infrastructure so much that in many parts of this country, justice in the local courts is being dispensed under the trees.

 

A number of Members of Parliament here are struggling to construct local court infrastructure under very difficult circumstances. So, the point is that let us find a way of ensuring that access to justice in the rural areas is accorded to our people because this is important.

 

In the villages the hardships are astronomically high and difficult. Let us break the colonial legacy and ensure that in our constituencies in the rural areas in particular we build a local court infrastructure. I am speaking like village boy …

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … coming from a village. Let us find a way of ensuring that at least in each and every ward there is a local court so that we narrow the distance people have to travel to access justice. That is very important.

 

Madam Chairperson, in terms of policy and management, could we have an infrastructure development plan addressing the challenges of access to justice in the rural areas. Of course, when you are a Member of Parliament in the urban area, you do not see these problems and you do not appreciate them.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Those of you who are Members of Parliament in the urban areas you do not appreciate them because you do not know what it is to walk 60 kilo metres in Muchinga to access justice. You do not know.

 

If there has been a problem of adultery in your family, you just fight.

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: What is the point of walking 100 kilometers then you have feed the witnesses, find accommodation and when you go there you do not find any court justice …

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … you have to stay for one or two weeks sometimes go back again so, what do you do? You just fight.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This is what is happening.

 

Another aspect, I would like to talk about is that here is a young student who has just finished a law degree at the university then goes to Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) where I believe they are taking eleven subjects. If that student fails in two or three or four, subjects, they have to repeat all the subjects and then they have to pay for that. What is that?

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Ki masholi!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: At the university we have what you call arrears. If you have failed a course, it is an arrear, and you carry it forward. You do not have to repeat the entire programme. It really does not make sense. I have been conceptualizing to see any academic justification for that and I think it is not justifiable. You cannot justify it. From any academic philosophical stand point, …

 

Mr Ngulube: But you were in government!

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Iwe shut up!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … it is not justifiable. Probably it is just a way of making money out of poor students.

 

Hon. Opposition Member: That is right!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Therefore, the policy reforms must address that. I do think it is academically or professionally sound. Let the students carry their arrears instead of repeating all eleven courses. Does that make sense? It does not.

 

Mr Ngulube: Professor you were failing students at UNZA!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Madam Chairperson, people treat our legal aid offices as a training ground. They do not stay in our legal aid office which means that we do not have a cadre of professionals who can assist in enabling accessibility to justice, especially in the rural areas. That is a problem. Can there be a way of improving the conditions of service in the legal aid so that we have many professionals who can be deployed in the countryside and can assist our people to access justice. The Legal Aid Department is only a training ground. People do their part and when they finish they go and enter a private firm or establish their own, but I do not think that is the way the Legal Aid Department should operate. Those are issues the hon. Minister should address in his policy reforms.

 

Madam Chairperson, since I still have a bit of time ...

 

Laughter

Mr Ngulube: Bushe kupwisha?

Ms Lubezhi: Continue!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Let us move away from the comfort of our offices in Lusaka and go to the typical countryside and see how our people suffer to access justice. The staff at the ministry should go deep into the countryside and interview people to hear how they are suffering to access justice because this is the only way that we will have a meaningful justice system serving the ordinary poor person throughout the country. Let us transform our legal system from the bottom up in order for justice to prevail for the poor villager who has to walk long distances in Lunte. Make money available for more local courts.

I thank you, Madam.

Laughter

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement. In response to it, as usual, we support the Budget because the country has to fire on all cylinders. The first step in ensuring this happens is that we support the Budget, but support will not go without a few comments. The Vote we are dealing with is very important because its sits right in the centre of human rights and freedoms.

Madam Chairperson, the nomenclature ‘justice’ can be explained as the use of power, as appointed by law, honor or standard, to support the fair treatment of individuals and to give due reward. Reward can stem from issues of litigation which may result in compensation.

Madam Chairperson, I am sure the hon. Minister agrees that the administration of justice requires level headedness even in difficult times. The trouble that we have is that we adopted a style of governance in democracy that promotes development if it is adhered to strictly. Democracy is one of the pillars for the development of a society and it should be the preserve of everyone. No citizen, be it from the most rural or most urban part of the country, should be left at the way side. They should jump on the bandwagon and justice must be availed to them whenever they seek it. Justice is normally administered by the Judiciary, whose vote we just finished discussing.

Madam Chairperson, the functions of the Ministry of Justice are diverse. They include the administration of estates, arbitration, bankruptcy, debt recovery, domestication of international treaties, human rights and governance and constitutionalism, inter alia. I will try to confine my debate to two or three of those beginning with constitutionalism.

Madam Chairperson, from the day the hon. Minister was appointed as Minister of Justice, one of his maiden pronouncements was that he was going to embark on constitutional amendments. We from this side of the divide agree that we need constitutional amendments because there are many lacunas in the Constitution. In order to understand the present you cannot ignore the past and therefore it is important for the hon. Minister to understand that his position is transitory. There was someone before him and there shall be someone after him.

 

Madam Chairperson, what I am trying to say is that there is reason to believe that one of the greatest attributes an individual, set of people or organisation can have is contrition. Simply put, this is the ability to recognise that we are humans and we make mistakes. Once mistakes are made and there is admission of that, then society can move together. We want to support these amendments, but we should agree to we collectively hold the Patriotic Front (PF) responsible. Even the new PF Member must shoulder the blame of having brought a haphazard Constitution by virtue of the fact that they belong to the party.

Mr Ngulube: Question!

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, it is not fair to say the law is dynamic and that it must change from time to time. The American Constitution has not changed in many years.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: What I am trying to say to the hon. Minister, with no sarcasm whatsoever because he is my friend, is that he should learn from his colleague’s past mistakes.

They are lessons because experience is the best teacher. They cannot be like ostriches for them to bury their heads in the sand simply because they crossed the Rubicon of an election, whichever way they did it. They should have humility by being able to accept that they made mistakes. What I pick from the executive is that each time they want to talk about the flaws and the lacunas in the new Constitution as amended, is that we are all collectively responsible here for making a law.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hee!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, my mother told me that empty tins make a lot of noise.

 

Laughter

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Nkombo, there is no empty tin here. Everyone sitting here is an elected Member of Parliament and deserves the respect from each one of us. You are belabouring the point of the Constitution and the amendments that were done by this House. The Government brought the amends and this House passed them. You cannot say that the Patriotic Front (PF) made that Constitution. It was passed by this House and this ruling is on record. So, please, refrain from blaming from blaming PF because this House did its part in amending that Constitution. You may continue.

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I follow your advice very religiously. This House lapsed on the same record that we are referring to, as indelible. We cannot erase it from annals of history. Questions are put in this House and we have the ‘ayes’ and the ‘noes.’ So, posterity will judge us as and when the time comes. So, I take the blame for being on the weak side. The voice of reason that we brought from this end of the divide was ignored and this is precisely the point where I am standing now. As the Minister of Justice, it is always good to have humility. I have never been a minister. The minister then came and said, “I have brought a Draft Constitution that is going to stand a test of time.” We were all witnesses to that. Can we say that seven months is a definition of a test time?

 

Hon. UPND Members: No!

 

Mr Nkombo: The answer is no. I think we should be fair with one another by agreeing that every Government is led by a certain type of people. This particular time that I am speaking, whether I like or not, the Government is led by PF. They are the ones in the driving seat. By using that word which I have always been asked never to use, the “arrogance” of numbers, …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Nkombo: …we lost the argument. Therefore, in order to move this country forward, it is always good to advise each other to say, “Hon. Minister, simply writing letters to all the people you think are interested parties, is beneath your stature.” This is what he said in his statement that he wants submissions for Constitutional amendments. That is what I think. What I think is above his stature. It is for him to say, “let us sit together and discuss because we are the law makers.” Even if they do not feel contrite to the public, at least they can say here, on camera that they made mistakes because to make mistakes is human.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: If there were no mistakes, why then are we going through this process of Constitutional amendments? I think we should swallow the pride. That is all I am trying to say to the minister. He should learn from his colleague’s past mistakes. He should consult. Opportunities are there for us to move this country in unison so that we look back and say, “There were great men and women who sat together in the midst of the political divergence, who converged for the interest of a common man.” That is all I am saying. I am not saying anything complicated. There is no rocket science here. I am simply saying that they should not take the attitude of “the winner takes all” because they will make mistakes again.

 

Madam Chairperson, hon. Minister talked about the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue ZCID. I think that we should not put money in ZCID and I will explain why I think like that. Let us not have a talking show. Let us sit together and agree because we are the ones who can determine the destiny of this country. Right now, we stand very privileged to do so. This Government has put a K1 billion for people to have tea and speak the language that the PF speaks but unfortunately, they always do the exact opposite. That is the doctrine in PF. It started with don’t kubeba, which means, “Do not tell them. Just deceive them.”

 

The First Chairperson: Withdraw the word, “deceive.”

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I will withdraw. It means, “Just tell them anything but do the right opposite.”

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Then now, we have the Dununa Reverse. That song sounded good while dancing to it but I must confess that time has come for us to sit together for the betterment of a society that is going to outlive all of us.

 

Madam Chairperson, I also want to address the issue of compensation because that sits right in the centre of this ministry. We passed the Compensation Bill in this House. Truth should be spoken. Hon. Lubinda should ensure that the suspicion that some of us have had for the jostle of where this compensation fund should be domiciled, between the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice, should not be confirmed because our thinking is to host this particular fund for pecuniary benefit. Let it be on First Come, First Save basis. People have died and have been compensated posthumously. What is the value of compensating a person when he is dead and buried? Let us respect our citizens. As they are compensating people who win claims, they should take the First Come First Save basis.

 

Madam Chairperson, by the way, I did a study that there is a straight coloration between the functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in terms of compensations, inadequacies, haste to arrest without establishing prima facie, …

 

The First Chairperson: You mean Home Affairs?

 

Mr Nkombo: …getting acquittals and in certain cases, quickly sliding into a nolle prosequis in order to circumvent the issue of compensation. Nolle prosequis is a colonial hegemony law which as we deal with the issue of amending the laws, we should try as much as possible to make sure that the state does not abuse it. It has been used from time in memorial as a tool of oppression. Six years have passed and I have been on nolle prosequis because I am supposed to have killed someone.  No one is telling me anything.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: My friend here sought justice and he went and obtained that. I am trying to explain to Hon. Lubinda that, the Easterners say, “Chapita chamunzako,‘ baamba hi?’ …”

 

The First Chairperson: Explain to him through the Chair.

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, the Easterners say, “Chaona munzako chapita, mailo chilipali iwe” Hon. Lubinda.

 

The First Chairperson: What does that mean, Hon. Nkombo?

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, every dog has its own day. 

 

The First Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member’s time has expired.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, allow me to add my voice in support of the vote for the Ministry of Justice.

 

Madam Chairperson, I know that the ministry of Justice is one of the biggest and busiest ministries, but I have my own concerns regarding the operations of certain departments. I will speak about them in seriatim.

 

Madam Chairperson, let me start with the Legal Aid Board. I am aware that the Legal Aid Board has offices in almost all provincial centres. However, this department appears to be understaffed. The Ministry of Justice comprises the Legal Aid Board, the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Chambers. The Legal Aid Board is empowered to represent people either without charge or at a very minimal administrative cost.

 

Madam Chairperson, what we have on the ground is that sometimes when people go to the Legal Aid Board to seek representation, they do not find the advocates that run the centres because they have either gone before a circuit high court session or a subordinate court. I wish to propose the strengthening of the Legal Aid Board in terms of numbers so that our advocates are able to attend to the challenges that the communities face.

 

Madam Chairperson, I also know that we have instances where some advocates from the Legal Aid Board have been accused of charging for services rendered. It appears that the restrictions on taking commercial cases have not been properly enforced such that private lawyers and the Legal Aid Board fight for clients. There is need to strengthen the restrictions as to what type of cases the Legal Aid Board can pursue.

 

Madam Chairperson, as regards the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), I propose the strengthening the operations of the offices of the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) so that our prosecutors do not unnecessarily adjourn cases. What we have is a situation where it takes two years of adjournments before trial can start after plea has been taken. We hope that this will reduce under the current DPP and expect cases to move very fast. If the State is not ready to prosecute, it should not be in a hurry to arrest.

Madam Chairperson, we also have cases where suspects appear in court for many years, but once a magistrate is transferred and a new one takes up the case, a fresh plea has to be taken and the matter has to be restarted.  I believe that this should be looked into.

 

Madam Chairperson, as regards the challenges that the courts face, we are aware that due to the understaffing levels in the Ministry of Justice, most cases do not progress. We get cases where a State advocate is unable to appear before court for what is termed as logistical problems. As a lawyer, I am aware that we need motivation and facilities.

 

Madam Chairperson, we have a situation where our State advocates will only work in the Government for three years and, thereafter, run away to join private practice because their colleagues are earn more money and live better lives. I wish to urge the hon. Minister to raise the standard or improve the conditions of service for State Advocates so that we do not have lawyers passing through the Ministry of Justice as a training ground.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Justice trains lawyers in Legislative Drafting, which is the most expensive course at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), who leave the ministry after working for a very short period of time to become private lawyers. The Government is losing a lot of money in training lawyers that eventually leave the ministry.

 

Madam Chairperson, as a private lawyer, I also know that the courts only operate effectively if they have effective representation from the State. I am aware that in most cases, the Attorney-General is dragged into proceedings because there is a civil servant, like a policeman, involved. The Ministry of Justice must take keen interest in ensuring that it reduces the abuse that we have seen perpetrated by public servants. For example, I know that the police have a very bad attitude of thinking that they will be represented by the State. Some openly dare people to sue them saying that the Attorney-General will represent them, after all.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I want to state that the Government should save such kinds of colossal sums of money spent on compensating victims of human rights violations or abuse and divert it into areas that the hon. Minister identified.

 

Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Professor Lungwangwa talked about justice in rural areas. We know that local courts need these resources to expand. So, if we can cut on the expenses that the Government takes towards compensating people, we can use this money to build local courts.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I also know that Professor Lungwangwa was an hon. Minister during the reign of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). At that time, we also hoped that he did better in the building of local courts.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Katuta: Minister of ZIALE!

 

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, there have been complaints about the pass rate ZIALE. I want to speak as a person who has passed through it and who lives in society. When there was only the University of Zambia (UNZA) training lawyers, it was easy to regulate the qualifications and quality of legal services. ZIALE has been in existence from the seventies. Now, people think that they can abandon their professions after committing unbearable offences and simply jump on another horse and become a lawyer the following day.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: ZIALE is meant to screen the quality of lawyers and the type of legal education that they are getting. This is why when you train as a lawyer anywhere, including the United Kingdom (UK) the United States of America or Iraq, you have to pass through the grinding mill of ZIALE so that we can see what type of lawyer you are.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Lawyers are entrusted not only with representing clients, but also holding monies on their behalf. So, if you get a thief ... sorry I withdraw thief. If you get a man with long fingers and give him a practicing certificate, clients will be at risk of being hammered left, right and centre the following day.

 

Madam Chairperson, the issue of the pass rate at ZIALE is not a new one. Even during our time, not everybody passed. We know very well that we need to support ZIALE. We should not force it to pass people simply because they have attempted examinations. Professor was a lecturer at UNZA during my time and he failed a lot people.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: We did not say that people should not ...

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

Professor Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Madam.

 

The First Chairperson: Professor, sit down, please.

 

Hon. Ngulube, can you withdraw that statement?

 

Mr Ngulube: I withdraw the statement that professor was a lecturer and failed students.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, let me conclude ...

 

Hon. Members: What do you replace it with?

 

Mr Ngulube: I replace it with ‘lecturers in all colleges in the world have a way of ensuring that the crème de la crème is released to society.’

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I replace it with lecturers in almost all the colleges of the world have a way of making sure that only the cream dela cream are released to society.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Madam Chairperson, the PF Government has clearly demonstrated that here is need to enhance the capacity of the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) by improving the autonomy of that body which is now operational. We are also aware that the PF Government has also decentralised the NPA to districts. We say this is commendable and it has only happened in the PF Government. Now you can go to Kasama and you will find there are state advocates there. You do not need to get a lawyer driving from Lusaka to Kasama. You will find NPA operating in Kabwe, Livingstone, Kitwe, Ndola as well as other provincial centres like Mongu and Kasama.

 

Madam Chairperson, we are also aware that in Chipata, the legal Aid Board, NPA and Attorney-General’s Chambers are helping the communities there in setting up justice factors. The PF Government has also commenced legal and justice sectoral reforms to address challenges in that sector and it is only through such reforms that we expect the people of Zambia to receive what is due to them in form of justice. We are also aware that the Government has also amended the Constitution and this Constitution has increased the staffing levels and number of adjudicators in our courts. We have seen the introduction of the Court of Appeal, between the High Court and The Supreme Court. We have the Constitutional court also. We have also seen a Specialised High Court which was the Industrial Relations Court. So, we know that the Judiciary now, needs a lot of funding and support so that this institution can give us what we want.

 

I have very serious doubts that the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government will perform much better than what the PF has done so far.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I know that everything they have talked about or they want to talk about, the PF Government is already implementing it.

 

Madam Chairperson, I wish to conclude by condemning those that attacked our courts yesterday. We expected some leaders of certain political parties to been in the forefront condemning their cadres because this Judiciary they are attacking is the same one they rushed to when they lose elections.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: So, can we condemn in the greatest sense…

 

Mr Lihefu: You are not a Minister!

 

Mr Ngulube: You can hackle even if I am not a not a Minister, I am a Minister in waiting…

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: You will not the change the fact that the Judiciary must be independent.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Ngulube: I am not educated, I am learned…

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Ngulube: … and my opinion is that the UPND should respect the courts.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Only when you begin to respect the courts will you get the quality of justice that you want.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I also know that the UPND is not coming into power sometime soon.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Order in the House.

 

Hon. Minister of Justice wind up debate within eight minutes.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, let me start by just responding to a few issues that have been raised. I will start with the Minister in waiting…

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: I would like to say that thank you for reiterating the matters that I addressed in my policy statement but just to emphasise that indeed, unfortunately for a long time, the civil service, which includes the Ministry of Justice, has been used as training ground for many professionals. The trend came to change only after the PF came into Government in 2011 when conditions of service for the civil servants were improved drastically.

 

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: That is the time when we saw a migration of professionals from the private sector to the civil service. I have already stated that we are concerned in the Ministry of Justice by the small number of advocates. This can be attributed to Government’s loss of many court cases.

 

Madam Chairperson, I did indicated that as we speak, the work load for your fellow learned counsel, Minister in waiting, the case load for advocates in the Ministry of Justice is somewhere like 400 cases per advocate. I also indicated that this Government realising this challenge is asking Parliament today, to allocate additional resources so that we can employ more advocates to reduce the rate at which we are losing cases, through which we are paying huge amounts of public resources.

 

Madam Chairperson, the issue of the pass rate at Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), I am sure that learned counsel who has gone through ZIALE, drives a lot of pride when they see that very few people are coming through the mill because it shows that they are the top cream but certainly as none lawyer myself and a person superintending over this ministry, I want to say to you, that I share the sentiments of many members of society who are asking whether indeed the low pass rate is not also a reflection of those who are teaching at ZIALE. How could you explain where out of 330 students, only sixteen qualify? Even if you are looking for the cream, which is it too thin a margin. I did indicate that we are looking into this matter at ZIALE.

 

Madam Chairperson, you may recall that a few years ago a Committee of Parliament actually interrogated this matter of the pass rate at ZIALE and made a very informative report. We need to look at this matter at ZIALE and change it. We cannot afford to see all our children leaving the universities failing at ZIALE and being thrown out into the street and not qualify as lawyers.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: We have people looming around with law degrees but cannot practice.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: We have been talking about access to justice. I also spoke about the need for the provision of Legal Aid to people. How will you provide Legal Aid if there are only a few lawyers and all of them are going for hefty jobs? So, Hon. Ngulube, I am determined together with my colleagues in the Ministry of Justice and the people at ZIALE, to look at what is causing this poor pass rate so that we can improve the situation for our lawyers.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, very quickly let me move to what Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa talked about. Prof. Lungwangwa, I agree with you entirely. I did indicate in my policy statement for the Judiciary that the Judiciary are concerned with few court houses in the country. This is not only for superior courts and the high court but also and especially for the local courts. So, us it is not a question of villagers, it is a question of access to justice for every citizen. At the moment, Prof. Lungwangwa, there are 501 local courts in Zambia. Obviously, I do not have to put myself in the shoes of those people who cannot access justice. I too, when I want justice, and I find a long queue at the Local Court here in Lusaka, I am denied justice. So, access to justice is for every Zambian. This is the reason why we agree with the Judiciary and we in the ministry are also endeavouring to work through our Plead Project and the programme of access to justice, to increase the number of courtrooms. I appeal to all of you hon. colleagues to who speak so passionately about these matters and I salute you but let us move beyond rhetoric. When you receive your Constituency Development Fund (CDF), can we, each one of us, contribute something towards construction of Local Courts?

 

Mr Mwamba: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: What I would like to see, is that there is a Local Court in every ward. If we can achieve that then we can be saying we are giving access to justice to our people to avoid the situation he described where because of the absence of justice system, people start to sitting under trees and fight as a way of resolving conflicts. That has to be stopped.

 

Mr Lubinda:  I would also like to see a local court in every ward. If we can achieve that, we would give access to justice to our people and avoid a situation where in the absence of a justice system, they sit under trees and fight as a way of resolving conflict. That has to be stopped. I do not want to go into the history and Hon. Lungwangwa said that this trend is a carry on from the colonial days. Therefore, it is trend that has been passed on from the colonial masters, first, second and third Governments, and even our predecessor Government. However, we are determined to work towards it and, please, support the ministry by approving this budget.

 

Madam Chairperson, I agree with Hon. Garry …

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Nkombo.

 

Mr Lubinda: I agree with Hon. Garry Nkombo Chief that there is need for contrition. However, it is on either side. When we were debating the Motion on the amendments, I indicated that there was no need for us to make history become a yoke around our necks and hold us back in time. We ought to break the history and move on. I indicated that there was no reason for me to go through a myriad of things that happened and apportion blame on anyone. I indicated then that it was not in the interest of society for me to find out who earned money from taking part in the Constitution Conference. That is behind us and we are here as a country.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: It is beneath me to suggest that people should make submissions if they have noticed any lacunas in the Constitution. That is unfair and we should not be saying such things to each other. It is beneath me to call for a meeting with political parties before telling them what we need to discuss. It is only magnanimous for me to ask all of them to bring any lacunas they would have identified in the Constitution. Once we would have received those submissions from all other players, then we can make progress. However, I do not appreciate how that becomes a source of chagrin against me.

 

Madam Chairperson, it is wrong to use this House for innuendo and I think the Standing Orders are clear. It is beneath any hon. Member of Parliament to create an impression that there are people who are jostling to handle the Compensation Fund because they have peculiar interest. We all know that this Parliament should not be used for such innuendo. That matter was debated in here. A Bill was passed and it is now an Act of Parliament. Hon. Nkombo raised that matter and he was answered in Committee and also on the Floor of this House. Therefore, we must learn to accept when we lose a matter. There was a personal issue about me, chaona muzako chapita mawa chili pa iwe….

 

Hon. UPND Members: Meaning!

 

Mr Lubinda:… meaning what has befallen me shall befall you tomorrow. Let me also use a Tonga saying that mwanokwesu choolwe chamwehinyoko tachoonenwi anze pe

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … meaning the fact that Hon. Douglas Syakalima was compensated, another must not complain.

 

Mr Syakalima: On a point of order, Madam.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, he indicated that his friend sought justice and received it, but he has a nolle prosequis. Choolwe chamwehinyoko tachoonenwi anze pe. The fact that I am Minister does not mean that Hon. Garry Nkombo must fight with me. Choolwe changu musa utone anze pe.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, the board of the Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue (ZCID) has members from various parties including the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) and it applied for a contribution from the Government. I hear one member of the ZCID is actually against that fund. I want to state that even after Parliament has passed a vote, I will request the hon. Minister of Finance to withhold that money until after the board indicates that indeed the UPND are also party to it. If the UPND are resigned to the ZCID and think it is unnecessary, and if I continue to be Minister of Justice, I will only be too happy to come and report to this House that the K1 million that we allocated to ZCID was not released. Like I said, that money is not for the Government, but for a platform that was created by especially UPND members (pointing at Hon. UPND Members). When I was a member of that party, I was in the forefront encouraging the establishment of the ZCID.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

 

Mr Nkombo rose.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Nkombo, sit down!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: He should not point at me.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Nkombo, sit down, and for once you are right that the hon. Minister must not point at you. Hon. Minister, I said you must wind up the debate in eight minutes and it has passed. I am afraid that the debate now is degenerating. Could you, please, wind up debate and address the Chairperson.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I want to assure the House that all the resources that are being requested for by the Ministry of Justice will be put to good use and the K1 million that is earmarked for the ZCID shall be put in an escrow account to await confirmation by the ZCID Board that indeed that money is required by all the parties to the ZCID. If not, it shall not be released. I want to end by appealing to hon. Members of the House to support the vote for the Ministry of Justice.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Ema debate aya.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Opposition Members rose.

 

The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Members! There are too many movements in the House. Why are you standing?

 

VOTE31/01 – (Ministry of JusticeHeadquarters – K142,949,577).

 

Mr Lihefu: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4005, Activity 028 – Legal Aid Board-case Flow Management – Nil. Why is there no allocation to this activity?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, Programme 4005, Activity 028 – Legal Aid Board-case Flow Management – Nil was completed this year. Therefore, there is no need for us to allocate funds to it next year.

 

Thank you, Madam.

 

Ms Lubezhi: May I have clarification on Programme 4005, Activity 099 – Zambia Centre for Inter-party Dialogue – K1,000,000. In his policy debate, the hon. Minister said that they were still in consultation. So, why was such a colossal amount allocated to an activity which has not been concretised?  

 

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

 

The First Chairperson: The hon. Minister will not answer because there is no question. 

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K600,000. In 2016, K200,000 was allocated. In 2017, this amount has doubled. May I know why this amount has gone up this high? 

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, Programme 4001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K600,000 has increased from K200,000 because the ministry is now occupying new office space and will require additional activities with regards to administering the new office building. This amount has increased from K200,000 to K600,000. That is not colossal. 

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Nkombo indicated to speak.

 

The First Chairperson: I said that I would allow three hon. Members to speak and I am only allowing three. Please, Hon. Nkombo, sit down.

 

Hon. UPND Members called for a division.

 

Mr Nkombo indicated to speak.

 

The First Chairperson: What is it, Hon. Nkombo? A division has already been called. You called for a division and we are waiting to vote. Please, sit down.

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam, please …

 

The First Chairperson: There can be no interventions at this point. 

 

Mr Nkombo: Please, recognise me because there is a malfunction on one of the machines. For the past one week, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mangango has been recorded as absent when we vote. I reported this to the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department …

 

Mr Ngulube interjected.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: I wish Hon. Ngulube could give me a chance.

 

The First Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!

 

Let him finish what he is saying.

 

Mr Nkombo: Thank you, Madam.

 

Madam Chairperson, the stations for the hon. Members of Parliament for Mangango and Mwandi are not working. I have reported this to the ICT department, in the spirit of saving time; it appears that it has not happened up to now. Is it possible then that we can …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam, there is a female greenhorn talking.

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Nkombo, you have made your point. I am consulting the secretariat. They will give us the position. The position as of now regarding the complaints you have raised, Hon Nkombo, is that the problem has been resolved. So, let the hon. Members vote and we will see how it will turn out.

 

Question that Vote 31/01 – Ministry of Justice – Headquarters – K142,949,577 be amended put and the House voted.

 

Ayes – (75)

 

Mr Banda

Mr Chabi

Mr Chali

Ms Chalikosa

Mr Chama

Dr Chanda

Mr Chansa

Mr Chibanda

Mr Chilangwa

Dr Chilufya

Mr Chisopa

Mr Chiteme

Mr Chiyalika

Mr Daka

Dr Hamukale

Mrs Jere

Mr Kabanda

Mrs Kabanshi

Mr Kafwaya

Ms Kalima

Mr Kalobo

Mr Kampyongo

Ms Kapata

Mr Kapita

Mr Kasandwe

Mr Katambo

Ms Katuta

Mr Kaziya

Mr Lubinda

Prof. Luo

Mr Lusambo

Dr Malama

Mr Malama

Mr Malanji

Mr Mecha

Mr Miti

Ms Miti

Mr Mubukwanu

Mr Mukosa

Mr Mulenga

Mr Mulusa

Mr D. Mumba

Mr A. C. Mumba

Mr Mundubile

Mr Mung`andu

Mr Mushimba

Mr Musonda

Mr Musukwa

Mr Mutale

Mr Mutati

Mr Mwale

Mr Mwamba

Mr Mwila

Mr Ng’ambi

Mr Ng’onga

Mr Ngulube

Mr Nyirenda

Ms Phiri

Mr Phiri

Mr Sampa

Mr Sichone

Mr Sikazwe

Ms Siliya

Mr Simbao

Mrs Simukoko

Mr Siwale

Mr Siwanzi

Rev Sumaili

Mr S. Tembo

Mr L. N. Tembo

Dr Wanchinga

Mrs Wina

Mr Zimba

Mr M. Zulu

Mr C. M. Zulu

 

Noes – (43)

 

Mr Belemu

Mr Chaatila

Mr Chikote

Ms Chisangano

Ms Chonya

Mr Jere

Mr Kakubo

Dr Kalila

Mr Kambita

Mr Kamboni

Mr Kamondo

Ms Kasanda

Mr Kintu

Princess Kucheka

Mr Kufakwandi

Mr Kundoti

Mr Lihefu

Mr Livune

Ms Lubezhi

Mr Lumayi

Prof. Lungwangwa

Mr Machila

Mr Mbangweta

Mr Michelo

Mr Miyanda

Mr Mubika

Mr Mukumbuta

Mr Mulusa

Dr Musokotwane

Mr Mutaba

Mr Mutelo

Ms Mwashingwele

Mr Mwene

Mr Nanjuwa

Mr Ndalamei

Mr Nkombo

Mr Samakayi

Evangelist Shabula

Mr Sing'ombe

Gen. Sitwala

Mr Syakalima

Ms Tambatamba

 

Abstentions – (0

 

Question accordingly agreed to.

 

Vote 31/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 31/02 – (Ministry of JusticeAttorney-General’s Chambers – K123,128,645).

Ms Lubezhi: Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4033, Activity 021 – Constitution Reforms – K 6,700,000. I have seen a drastic reduction on this activity from K22,696,932 to K6,700,000. Why such a huge reduction and yet …

 

The First Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Justice, you may respond.

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda):  Madam Chairperson, I am sure that anyone who follows what is happening in Zambia will know that next year, we will not under any Constitutional reforms to the extent of the processes we under went in 2015/16, and that is the reason there is such a reduction.

 

Madam, I can hear somebody saying ‘common.’

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Hon. UPND Members called for a division.

 

Question that Vote 31/02 − Ministry of Justice Attorney General’s Chambers − K123,128,645 be ordered to stand part of the Estimates put and the House voted

 

Ayes – (78)

 

Mr W. Banda

Mr Chabi

Mr Chali

Ms Chalikosa

Mr Chama

Dr Chanda

Mr Chansa

Mr Chibanda

Mr Chilangwa

Dr Chilufya

Mr Chisopa

Mr Chiteme

Mr Chitotela

Mr Chiyalika

Mr Daka

Mrs Fundanga

Dr Hamukale

Mrs Jere

Mr Kabamba

Ms Kabanshi

Mr Kafwaya

Ms Kalima

Mr Kalobo

Mr Kampyongo

Ms Kapata

Mr Kapita

Mr Kasandwe

Mr Katambo

Ms Katuta

Mr Kaziya

Mr Lubinda

Prof. Luo

Mr Lusambo

Dr Malama

Mr Malama

Mr Malanji

Mr Mecha

Ms Miti

Mr Miti

Mr Mubukwanu

Mr Mukosa

Mr Mulenga

Mr Mulusa

Mr A. C. Mumba

Mr D. Mumba

Mr Mundubile

Mr Mung’andu

Mr Mushanga

Mr Mushimba

Mr Musonda

Mr Musukwa

Mr Mutale

Mr Mutati

Mr Mwale

Mr Mwamba

Princess Mwape

Mr Mwila

Mr Ng’ambi

Mr Ng’onga

Mr Ngulube

Mr Nyirenda

Ms O. M. Phiri

Mr Sampa

Mr Sichalwe

Mr Sichone

Mr Sikazwe

Ms Siliya

Mr Simbao

Mrs Simukoko

Mr Siwale

Mr Siwanzi

Mr M. K.  Tembo

Mr S. Tembo

Dr Wanchinga

Mrs Wina

Mr Zimba

Mr C. M. Zulu

Mr M. Zulu

 

Noes − (39)

 

Mr Belemu

Mr Chaatila

Mr Chikote

Ms Chisangano

Ms Chonya

Mr Jere

Mr Kakubo

Dr Kalila

Mr Kambita

Mr Kamboni

Mr Kamondo

Ms Kasanda

Mr Kintu

Princess Kucheka

Mr Kufakwandi

Mr Kundoti

Mr Lihefu

Mr Livune

Ms Lubezhi

Mr Lumayi

Prof. Lungwangwa

Mr Machila

Mr Mbangweta

Mr Michelo

Mr Miyanda

Dr Musokotwane

Mr Mutaba

Mr Mutelo

Ms Mwashingwele

Mr Mwene

Mr Mwiinga

Mr Nanjuwa

Mr Ndalamei

Mr Nkombo

Mr Samakayi

Mr Sing’ombe

Gen. Sitwala

Mr Syakalima

Ms Tambatamba

 

Interruptions

 

The First Chairperson: Order, on my right! Order!

 

Question accordingly agreed to.

 

Vote 31/02 ordered to stand to part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 31/03− (Ministry of JusticeAdministrator General’s Chambers – K3,398,203).

 

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Madam Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4015, Activity 027 – Court Document Preparations – K96,000. In 2016, there was an allocation of K10,426 for this activity and now we see a huge increment up to K96,000 for 2017. What kind of court document preparations is the ministry going to be doing next year to warrant this huge increment?

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam Chairperson, I did indicate in my statement earlier that there are huge caseloads in the Attorney-General’s and Administrator General’s chambers and we would like to try and clear these backlogs. That is the reason why we are requesting this increase to K96,000 for this activity.

 

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam, is it possible for the hon. Minister to educate us on whether this particular allocation will demolish the entire debt on this particular Vote?

 

The First Chairperson: Demolish the debt? The issue is about court document preparations.

 

Mr Nkombo: I beg your pardon. I meant the backlog in the Administrator General’s chambers.

 

Mr Lubinda: Madam, ideally, our intent is to try and clear the entire backlog, but I cannot say with certainty that we will do that. Therefore, we at least want to provide for additional resources than we have had this year to try and catch up. If we do manage, I will report to the House and if we do not, again, I will come to the House and ask for more money.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Vote 31/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 31/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

VOTE 78 – (Zambia Security Intelligence ServiceOffice of the President – K685,796,472).

 

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Chairperson, I wish to express my gratitude for this honour and privilege to address this august Hose on the occasion of presenting Estimates of Expenditure in respect of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service for 2017.

 

Madam Chairperson, the Zambia Security Intelligence Service has the mandate of preserving Zambia’s peace, security and stability. In this regard, it is incumbent upon this august House to give this institution the necessary support to enable it to deliver its mandate in line with the aspirations of the people of the Republic of Zambia to which it owes allegiance. The august House may wish to be reminded that it is only through its support that this institution will carry out this mandate effectively.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, as enshrined in the Republican Constitution, it is the responsibility of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service to protect the Republic of Zambia and its people against threats that are inimical to the security interest of the country. This responsibility requires adequate and timely flow of resources to facilitate the effective and efficient running of this key institution. We have the duty to ensure enough resources, limited as they may be, are availed to this institution to match the new dimension of operational challenges.

 

Madam Chairperson, allow me to state that the peace our nation continues to enjoy is as a result of the collective efforts by our defence and security institutions to which the Zambia Security Intelligence Service is an integral part. The institution has over the years proven to be the country’s reliable first line of defence mainly due to the support it has continued to receive from this House. It is against this background that I wish to appeal to all hon. Members to be supportive in debating the Estimates of Expenditure. It is also my appeal to the hon. Members to embrace a spirit of patriotism and responsibility. Let us develop a sense of ownership of this institution as we debate these estimates.

 

Madam Chairperson, in considering the budget estimates, we should be weary of the ever growing threat to national security including espionage, terrorism, sabotage, cyber crime, corruption as well as human and drug trafficking which not only affect our country, but the continent and the world at large. It should be stressed that no nation can manage threats of this nature in isolation. It is therefore imperative that as a country, we explore collaborative avenues with the rest of the world to counter these threats. As Government, we reaffirm our commitment to ensure that we have in place, an efficient and processional intelligence service that will meet the people’s expectations. To this end, we pledge to support this noble institution through the continued provision of sufficient resources to facilitate effective and efficient operations. I am also hopeful and confident ...

 

The First Chairperson: Order!

 

(Debate adjourned)

 

_________

 

HOUSE RESUMED

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

(Progress reported)

 

_________

 

The House adjourned at 1958 hours until 0900 hours on Tuesday, 20th December, 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

Publication Date: 
Friday, December 16, 2016
Order Paper: 
Friday, 16th December, 2016