Wednesday, 22nd March, 2017

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Wednesday, 22ndMarch, 2017

 

The House met at 1430 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

________

 

 

PRAYER

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

 

ZAMBIA’S MEMBERSHIP TO THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

 

The Minister of Justice (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I am grateful for giving me the opportunity to render a ministerial statement on Zambia’s membership to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

Sir, the ICC is established under Article 1 of the Rome Statute which is an international treaty which established a permanent court that has the power to exercise jurisdiction over persons who commit serious crimes within member states.

 

Mr Speaker, as of 3rd December, 2016, a total of 124 states had ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute. Zambia signed the Rome Statute on 17th February, 1998, and ratified it on 13th November, 2002. The Rome Statute entered into force on 1st February, 2003.

 

Sir, the ICC was established in order to deter atrocities such as massive killings, torture of targeted groups, apartheid, recruitment of children as soldiers, enslavement and many others. The ICC imposes criminal liability on individuals for crimes committed in times of war and peace. It supplements national criminal systems, as it only assumes jurisdiction if the national criminal system fails to prosecute individuals who commit crime on a large scale. The jurisdiction of the ICC covers the following crimes as listed in Article 5 of the Rome Statute:

 

  1. genocide;

 

  1. crimes against humanity;

 

  1. war crimes; and

 

  1. crimes of aggression.

 

Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that there are limited circumstances under which a matter may be referred to the ICC. Essentially, the only instances when the ICC can assume jurisdiction over a matter are:

 

  1. referral by the state party to the ICC;

 

  1. referral by the United Nations (UN) Security Council; and

 

  1. where the prosecutor of the ICC has initiated an investigation.

 

Sir, there have been concerns raised by member states regarding the impartiality of the ICC. This has prompted debate amongst member states on whether they should withdraw or retain their membership to the ICC. Proponents for the withdrawal such as Burundi, Kenya and South Africa have argued that the ICC unfairly targets African states. They argued that since its establishment in 2002, nine of the ten cases that the ICC has investigated relate to African states, namely the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the Republic of Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Republic of Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Côte d'Ivoire and Mali. Georgia is the only country outside Africa facing an ICC investigation.

 

Mr Speaker, they further argued that some practices of the ICC are incompatible with domestic and international norms, citing the immunity of a Head of State as an example. They also argued that indicting a sitting president of a country is equivalent to indicting the country itself, yet Sub-Article 1 of Article 25 of the Statute states that:

 

         “The court shall have jurisdiction over natural persons pursuant to the Statute.”

 

Sir, in addition, those in support of the withdrawal from the ICC have argued that the indictments against sitting presidents interfere with the on-going peace processes to mediate conflict situations and that there are legal mechanisms at national, regional and continental levels that can handle African cases. They have also contended that the ICC was meant to be a court of last resort.

 

Mr Speaker, another argument in support of the withdrawal from the ICC is that the jurisdiction of the ICC is futile, as some of the states which are responsible for violating international criminal law are not members of the court. It is argued that some of the countries have not signed the Rome Statute so as to render themselves unreachable to international justice, yet they are part of the UN Security Council, which can refer matters to the ICC.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Sorry, hon. Minister. Your colleagues on your right are rather loud in their consultations.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, like I said earlier.

 

It is argued that some countries have rendered themselves out of reach of international justice by not signing the Rome Statute, yet they are part of the UN Security Council which refers matters to the ICC.

 

Mr Speaker, I have outlined the arguments that have been put forward in favour of withdrawal from the. Let me now summarise the arguments presented against the withdrawal from the ICC. Botswana, Cape Verde, Nigeria and Senegal have argued that there are good reasons most of the investigations by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC have been on Africa. They have also argued that the jurisdiction of the ICC is limited to specific crimes. The ICC supplements national criminal systems because it only assumes jurisdiction if a national criminal system fails to prosecute individuals who commit international crimes.

 

Their further argument is that investigations into African situations have been instituted at the request or with the support of African states themselves. Five of the African cases under investigation were self-referred while two were referred by the UN Security Council and the last two upon request by the ICC Prosecutor.

 

Mr Speaker, the five cases were referred to the ICC by: 

 

  1. Uganda;

 

  1. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC);

 

  1. Central African Republic;

 

  1. Mali; and

 

  1. Central African Republic.

 

Countries that were referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council are Sudan and Libya while those that were brought proprio motu, that is, by request of the prosecutor, are Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire. In addition, those against the withdrawal from the ICC, opine that cases under investigations or prosecutions in Africa are distinguished by the gravity of crimes perpetrated in Africa and an unwillingness or inability on the part of the states concerned to investigate or prosecute crimes of such magnitude. To the contrary, those against withdrawal from the ICC argue that the ICC is necessary in order to hold leaders accountable and afford justice to many victims of war crimes and genocide worldwide.

 

Mr Speaker, at the 28th Summit of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) that was held in Addis Abba, Ethiopia, from 30th to 31st January, 2017, member states made a non-binding resolution for African states to withdraw from the ICC, citing the impartiality of the court as the reason for the withdrawal. In keeping with the tenets of good governance espoused in an inspiring speech delivered to this honourable House on Friday last week, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu has decided that the people of Zambia be consulted on this matter before Zambia commits itself to this debate, as it is of both national and international concern.

 

Sir, like all the other member states of the AU, Zambia is expected to give her position on the matter during the 29th Summit of the Assembly of the AU scheduled for June/July, 2017. In this regard, the Cabinet, at its sitting on Monday, 13th February, 2017, authorised the hon. Minister of Justice to initiate and spearhead a countrywide consultation process regarding Zambia’s position on its membership to the ICC. Thereafter, prepare a report on the findings which will affirm Zambia’s position at the June/July Summit of the AU.

 

The consultations will commence on 27th March, 2017, and are expected to be concluded by 31st May, 2017. The consultative process will be conducted through public hearings in thirty districts where members of the public would be invited to make oral and written submissions on the matter. A detailed schedule, indicating the dates and locations for the hearings will be publicised in the print and electronic media. Further, the Ministry of Justice has invited members of the public to make written submissions through the offices of the district commissioners by 20th April, 2017, particularly in districts where there will be no public hearings.

 

Sir, may I use this opportunity to call upon all the Zambians in all the ten provinces to turn up in large numbers and make submissions during this important national exercise. I particularly implore hon. Members of this august House to make written and oral submissions on this matter and encourage members of their constituencies and the general public to do likewise.

 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude my statement, I wish to emphasise that currently, there is no formal complaint which has been referred to the ICC on Zambia or by Zambia. Further, there is no formal complaint admitted by the ICC against any Zambian national. Therefore, the Government of His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu is embarking on this consultative process with clean hands.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Let me end by imploring all the hon. Members of this honourable House to do as is expected of them. That is, to provide leadership on this important matter.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now fee to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister of Justice.

 

Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate the hon. Minister of Justice …

 

Mr Mutale: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I have never risen on a point of order in this House.

 

Firstly, I would like to apologise to Hon. Daka for disturbing his thought of line.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutale: Sorry, Sir. Actually, I wanted to say his line of thought.

 

Mr Speaker, my point of order is in line with what is happening in this nation. I, therefore, wish to draw you back by asking you to give me a bit of time and patience so as to enable you make a precise judgment on my point of order.

Sir, in 2016, Zambia went for General Elections and elected a President and all the hon. Members seated in this House to their respective constituencies. However, Parliament could not convene because the President-elect was not sworn in due to the court matter against the United Party for National Development (UPND).

 

 Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, I am sorry. The matter was filed in by the UPND against the President of the Patriotic Front (PF). The courts ruled in favour of the PF because of the fourteen days ultimatum which the UPND failed to abide by.

 

Mr Speaker, this House could not convene until the President-elect had been sworn in, after which each hon. Member of Parliament seated here took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance. I do not remember any hon. Member of Parliament refusing to take the Oath of Allegiance. It is from this issue that I derive my point of order.

                                                            

Mr Speaker, we all know that for Parliament to exist there should be a Republic President in office.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: In short, there can be no hon. Members of Parliament without a Republican President in office.

 

Sir, all of us in this House belong to a particular political party. Hon. Members on your left belong to the UPND. However, some hon. Members from the UPND have elected not to acknowledge the Republic President. By so doing, they have rendered irrelevant their presence in this House.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

 Mr Mutale: Sir, hon. Members of Parliament on your left took the Oath of Allegiance to the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and to uphold the Constitution of Zambia.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, the conduct of the Members from the UPND implies that they have not accepted that there is a Republican President in office.

 

Sir, I am aware that this matter is before the courts of law. We all also know that not until judgment is passed can anyone determine the consequences of the court.

 

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, as far as we are concerned, the court has not ruled on this matter. This means that …

 

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

 Mr Mutale: … His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is the Republican President.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

 Mr Mutale: Sir, is the Chief Whip, who is also Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, in order to allow the hon. Members from the UPND ...

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutale: … to continue coming to Parliament when they have failed to acknowledge the President of the Republic of Zambia.

 

I need your serious ruling.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

I will reserve my ruling. However, as I do so, I wish to provide guidance.

 

 Yesterday, we spent a lot of time generally on this subject, and there were numerous points of order relating to it. As stated yesterday, I wish to assure the entire House that I will consider and address all the points of order that were raised yesterday and the issues related, especially to the events of last Friday, 17th March, 2017. Therefore, having spent so much time on this subject yesterday, I anticipate that from today onwards, we shall focus on our core business.

 

 Mr Kambita: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

 Hon. Members, we need to focus on our core business. These issues have been deposited with me and I will attend to them. Rulings will be rendered and all the issues will be addressed. So, there is no point in repeating them.

 

 Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Yesterday, we spent a lot of time on the same issue. I also asked you, hon. Members, to give me space to attend to this issue in accordance with the law and rules of the House. I have more than sufficient material before me. I acknowledge that it was a challenging issue, but I will attend to it. All of us have an obligation to the Zambian public.

 

Laughter

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

 I have more than sufficient material.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: It is bountiful.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

 My plate is full.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Let me digest the material. In the meantime, let us move on, hon. Members, and serve the people of Zambia. For avoidance of doubt, this point of order has not been discarded, but joined the other points of orders ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

 Mr Speaker: … that were raised yesterday. I earnestly hope that we can now move on with our order of proceedings in the usual manner.

 

We are a multi-party dispensation.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

We are a multiparty system of Government. That is what we elected to be.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

May the hon. Member for Msanzala continue, please.  

 

Mr Daka: Mr Speaker, what is criminal about an election petition? As a new learned counsel, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether an election petition is a criminal matter for it to end up at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I will refer the hon. Member for Msanzala to crimes that are admissible under Article 5 of the Rome Statute, namely:

 

  1. genocide;

 

  1. crimes against humanity;
  2. war crimes; and

 

  1. crimes of aggression.

 

These are the four criminal offences that are admissible by the International Criminal Court (ICC). There is no mention here of elections and the conduct of elections. This question should be referred to those who are talking about matters of elections having been presented to the ICC. If you asked me if anybody has made such a statement, I would say that they are playing to the gallery because the ICC would not tolerate a presentation of that nature because it is not amongst the crimes that are provided for in the Rome Statute.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Justice for what I think is a comprehensive statement and for explaining the process regarding the taking of cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Most of the proponents of democracy are actually culprits of crimes against humanity, as has been seen in countries like Iraq, Syria and Libya. So, there is genuine cause for concern. The hon. Minister has rightly mentioned that when the African Heads of State met, they made a nonbinding resolution not to belong to the ICC. During the deliberations of the Heads of State, did the African Union (AU) ever consider having a continental criminal court other than the ICC?

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, that is one of the arguments that have been presented by those who are propagating the idea of African States leaving the ICC. They have proposed that an alternative court system could be established, one that is continental or an African court. However, those who are in favour of continued membership to the ICC have also said that we have had regional and continental courts which, unfortunately, have not lived up to the expectations of the citizens of Africa. This is the debate that is raging on.

 

Sir, that is one of the proposals that were made and being advanced by some countries. That is the reason in his wisdom, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, chose not to make a decision on this matter before consulting the Zambians. So, the Zambians are the ones who should decide what position the country shall take.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister of Justice for that well-articulated statement, which clearly exemplifies the enhanced democracy that is at play in Zambia. That notwithstanding, I would like to find out the criterion used to arrive at the thirty districts earmarked to host the consultative meetings and if there are any logistical arrangements put in place for people from non-host districts who may be willing to go and make submissions.

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I shall launch the process after the approval of the House tomorrow. The selection of the districts was based on a number of factors such as the population size. We are targeting districts that have the largest number of people. We also selected three districts per province so that no province is left out.

 

Sir, with regard to people from districts outside the catchment areas, I indicated earlier that we shall make a provision for them to make written submissions through the District Commissioners (DCs) offices. So, there is no need whatsoever for anyone who wants to make a submission to go outside their district. This can be done through the DC’s office. This also includes hon. Members of this honourable House. Those who are from districts where there will be no public hearings can make their submissions through the offices of the DCs.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, my question is on the eligibility of one to take a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC).  In the case of Zambia, for instance, can an individual take a case to ICC other than the State? I asked bearing in mind what happened after the last General Elections when a law firm called Lewis Nathan Advocates claimed to have written to the ICC concerning the incident in Namwala. What is the position regarding this matter?

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the Rome Statute is clear about the jurisdiction of the ICC. Earlier on, I indicated that there are three avenues through which a case may be registered with the ICC. The first one is through a member state and not a citizen of the member state. I also indicated that of the nine cases that are before the ICC emanating from Africa, five of them were referred to it by the member states, some of which are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Mali and Uganda that referred cases of crimes committed by individuals within their jurisdictions.

 

Sir, the second avenue is by reference by the United Nations (UN) Security Council. The third one is by a request by the ICC Prosecutor who makes a request to the court, giving reasons he/she thinks there is sufficient grounds to conduct an investigation. I hope that clarifies the matter. So, if someone laid a case before the ICC he/she should convince the prosecutor who will then request the court to give permission to go and conduct an investigation. Otherwise, individuals are not amenable to the process.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwewa (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, after the General Elections in 2016, the President of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema (HH), and his Vice-President, Mr Geoffrey Mwamba, launched a complaint to the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Ruling Party relating to the 2016 General Elections. The hon. Minister has come here, ...

 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I was somewhat reluctant to rise on a point of order. You have counselled hon. Members of this House before that the Standing Orders dictate that when you make an allegation such as the one the hon. Member Floor has made, it ought to be backed by facts. I hope my point of order has not pre-empted what his laying on the Table documents in support of his allegation. Nonetheless, I would like to find out whether he is in order to bring a falsehood here? As the Whip of the United Party for National Development (UPND), I am not privy to the allegation that he has made that our party President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and his Vice-President complained to the International Criminal Court (ICC) about an election. Also, none of the hon. Members from my party are privy to that assertion.

 

Sir, I need your ruling.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

As you have rightly indicated, I am also not sure whether he is going to lay any document on the Table. Maybe, we should give him an opportunity to exhaust his contribution, notwithstanding the practice that we have rigorously pursued in our proceedings, that is, to avoid, as far as possible, especially in the absence of cogent evidence, reference to individuals. The reason is for this very simple, that is, the individuals whom we mention here do not have an opportunity to respond. Worse still for them and for the benefit of the House, the proceedings of this House are privileged. That privilege means that no legal action can be taken against an hon. Member of Parliament in connection with the proceedings of this House. So, in all fairness, we, the Presiding Officers, discourage reference to individuals.

 

You can still ask the hon. Minister of Justice a question without reference to specific individuals and risking a situation where you may not have cogent evidence before you. The hon. Minister will still respond.

 

The hon. Minister has been lucid in his statement. As far as I see it, he is being compelled to repeat himself. So, let us follow what he has said. He has laid many of the issues in a lucid way.

 

You may continue, hon. Member for Mwansabombwe.

 

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance.

 

Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, thank you. Sorry to my brother, the hon. Member for Mwansabombwe, for interrupting his debate.

 

Sir, my point of order is on Hon. Garry Nkombo. Is he in order to pretend that he is not aware that his Secretary-General, Mr Stephen Katuka, wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police on 20th September, 2016, indicating that his party needed permission to march in order to compel his the President of his party, Mr Hakainde Hichilima, to present a case to the International Criminal Court (ICC)?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, is he in order to pretend that his party did not make such a request?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Let us have some order. The hon. Member for Mazabuka Central earlier expressed ignorance on this matter. Your point of order is essentially seeking me to make a ruling on whether or not what he said is true.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: I am not able to make a ruling on that ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: ... because you are contesting factual matters.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: I will now allow the hon. Member for Mwansabombwe to complete his contribution without interference. We cannot go on this way.

 

Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister trying to shoot down the allegations that were levelled against my party by presenting a ministerial statement on the Floor of the House?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: How?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: I do not think we are being fair to the hon. Minister.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

The hon. Minister has come with a specific purpose of explaining the Government’s position and roadmap on the subject. That is all. I do not think I will allow him to answer that question.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, before Zambia appended its signature to the protocols of the International Criminal Court (ICC), there must have been fundamental guidelines that were given. I appreciate that the hon. Minister has outlined matters which are permissible by the ICC. There are times when a matter can be taken to the ICC by an individual or a party which has no lucus standi when the country could have resolved the matter within its jurisdiction of civility. Is the hon. Minister in a position to give us fundamental guidelines from the ICC so that we tread on the same wavelength?

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, again, at the expense of repeating myself, ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: ... I indicated the three methods through which a matter can be laid before the International Criminal Court (ICC). One of them is what I referred to as proprio motu.

 

Mr Speaker: You may have to translate that.

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, this means that it is handled by the prosecutor without reference by a member state or the United Nations Security Council.

 

Mr Speaker, I also explained that, firstly, an individual ought to exhaust the domestic or local criminal system before the prosecutor can even entertain his/her letter. So, any letters that are being flown by night, purporting to have been received by the ICC would simply be considered irrelevant.

 

Sir, I further stated that in the case of Zambia, before President Edgar Lungu decided on this course of action, he called for an inquiry at the ICC to find out whether there was any matter there that involved Zambia. The reason for that is that he did not want to entangle himself in this matter or make it look as though Zambia was debating this issue because there is a matter before the ICC. So, we got confirmation that there is not a single matter before the ICC that affects Zambia.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Lubinda: There is not one.

 

Sir, let me also state that the Government is aware about the press statements that had been issued in September, October and November, 2016. I am sure that if I am given time, I can lay on the Table of this House the numerous newspaper articles saying that some people had taken a matter relating to Patriotic Front (PF) and the Government to the ICC. It was at that time that the Government took interest in the matter.

 

Sir, for the sake of those who may be misinformed, let me say in no uncertain terms that all those who claim that they have taken a matter relating to the PF to the ICC …

 

Ms Kapata: Balebepa fye. Baloba ilya uma!

 

Mr Lubinda: … are simply playing on the minds of the people.

 

Ms Kapata: Baloba ilya uma!

 

Mr Lubinda: There is not a single person who took a matter relating to the PF or the Zambian Government to the ICC. Whoever has made such claims did so in order to gain cheap political mileage.

 

Ms Kapata: Booza!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: It is not true. There is no such case before the ICC. I hope that this rests the matter. There is not a single matter before the ICC relating to Zambia. So, those who protested on anthills are making false claims.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Chibanda (Mufulira): Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema doctor, aya!

 

Dr Chibanda: I also wish to thank the hon. Minister for his elaborate statement.

 

My question is in regard to the sittings that will be held in the thirty districts. What is the composition of the committee that will be sitting? What is the age of the people who will make submissions? Is there a threshold of the Zambian population that he has in mind to ascertain that this is the will of the people and what is the financial cost that will be incurred after the whole exercise?

 

Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister responds, please, let us restrict ourselves to a single question because that is the practice and not a litany of questions.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mirage!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the teams that will go to the provinces to receive submissions will be drawn from the Ministry of Justice. The hearings are open to any Zambian citizen who is eligible to vote. Certainly, no children will be entertained. We shall restrict this to those who are considered adults …

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … as provided for by the Laws of Zambia.

 

Sir, we are cautious about the cost of the exercise. This is the reason we cannot cover the whole country, but only picked thirty sample districts. We hope to conclude the exercise within reasonable costs.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister for the ministerial statement. My question is: Since he is saying that Zambia has got clean hands and no one has complained about anything in this country, why are we planning to spend money and not just let the sleeping dogs lie?

 

Ms Chonya: Yes!

 

Mr Jamba: Why are we going to spend money on an issue that nobody has raised?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Member very clearly. His question is: Why start a matter that is not an issue?

 

Ms Chonya: Yes!

 

Mr Lubinda: I have heard one hon. Member of Parliament say, “Yes.”

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: For madness!

 

Mr Lubinda: Sir, this is an important issue that is known. I just reported that at the 28th Summit of the African Union (UN), member states passed a non-binding resolution that African countries should leave the International Criminal Court (ICC). My hon. Colleague will remember that when this matter was raised, there is a section of our society that said President Edgar Lungu wants Zambia to leave the ICC because he is afraid of being tried.

 

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

 

Mr Lubinda: President Edgar Lungu knows that very well because he had a discussion with me over this matter. He told me that some people were saying that he wants Zambia to leave the ICC because he is running away from something. That is not the case.

 

Sir, I can draw inference from the Republic of South Africa. The Government of South Africa thought that as a Government, it had the power to decide on this matter and pronounced that South Africa was leaving the ICC, but the citizens of the Republic of South Africa took the matter to court and it ruled that the Government had no power to do so. The Government had to consult Parliament which decided against the withdrawal from the ICC.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: South Africa has now reached an impasse, as it cannot withdraw from the ICC. However, President Edgar Lungu being a democratic and consultative leader that he is, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … always consults his Cabinet and does not compel them to take a particular action. He consults them all the time through regular Cabinet meetings. So, when he consulted them on this issue, he told them that their views alone were not enough. He wanted them to get the views of the Zambians. This is the reason we have embarked on this process so that every Zambian who wants to speak to the matter can be heard so that before a decision is made on whether or not to leave the ICC.

 

My dear colleague, I wish to assure you that the Patriotic Front (PF) is consultative. When we say that we are taking a matter before Parliament, we consult each other. It is not one person who dictates. We are a democratic party running a democratic, listening and consultative Government.

 

So, the hon. Member should go and encourage the people in his constituency to take part in this process. He should also encourage those who were claiming that President Lungu wants to leave the ICC because there is something he is hiding to participate. Tell them to campaign the same way that you and I campaigned for the enhancement of the Bill of Rights. We campaigned in favour of it, but those who campaigned against it are swallowing their vomit today and calling for the enhancement of the Bill of Rights.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: That is being treacherous.

 

Ms Kapata: Yes!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: That is why we are trying to ensure that we consult. I can assure the hon. Member that some people will not take part in this process, but will go and sing on top of anthills that they did not agree to the withdrawal. We are giving everyone an opportunity to participate, …

 

Ms Kapata: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lubinda: … including those with dictatorial tendencies of governance. Here is an opportunity for to make submissions.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

___________

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

GAME MANAGEMENT AREA BETWEEN IMUSHO WARD AND SIOMA NGWEZI NATIONAL PARK

 

204. Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:

 

  1. whether the Government was aware that the absence of a game management area (GMA) between Imusho Ward and the Sioma Ngwezi National Park in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency had led to human-animal conflict;
  2. if so, when a GMA would be created in the area to avert the conflict.

The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mr C. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Imusho Ward is located inside Sioma Ngwezi National Park No. 16. This was declared a national park on 1st February, 1971. Following this, the Government entered into an agreement with the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE) to allow the few settlements that existed in the area at the time to remain in the park. The park is 5276 sq. km and the Lower West Zambezi Game Management Area is 19,371 sq. km. These are strategically positioned as wildlife dispersal areas, which are also known as wildlife corridors. They complete the circuit movement of wildlife from Angola, Namibia, Botswana and Zambia.

 

Sir, the location of Imusho Ward inside the national park, which is an area reserved for the conservation and protection of wildlife, is the cause of the human-wildlife conflicts. The increase in human-wildlife conflicts in Imusho Ward is as a result of the increase in human population. The Lack of permanent water bodies in the area has also contributed to the human-wildlife conflicts, especially in the dry season. However, at the time of the establishment of the national park, the levels of human-wildlife conflicts were very low as the human population was equally low.

 

Mr Speaker, to protect wildlife and minimise loss of human life and property, wildlife camps have been established at Imusho Base Camp and Imusho Border Post manned by wildlife police officers to attend to human-wildlife conflicts and other wildlife-related matters.

 

Sir, other measures put in place, in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature Zambia (WWF), are the establishment of village action groups that monitor and co-ordinate communication in wildlife matters such as poaching, human-wildlife conflicts and development of settlements. A crocodile fence wire has also been installed on the Kwando River, in collaboration with the Namibian Government, under the establishment of the Imusho-Kwando Forum.

 

Mr Speaker, sensitisation meetings on human-wildlife conflicts are ongoing and the people of Imusho have appreciated the importance of not settling on wildlife corridors. For instance, some families in Malombe Village in Imusho have voluntarily shifted from the wildlife corridor where they had settled in order to avoid human-wildlife conflict.

 

Sir, a new GMA cannot be created in an area because it is already a national park. A national park is of a higher protection category than a GMA. Creating a GMA in Imusho Ward would entail degazetting the Sioma Ngwezi National Park.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Mr Speaker, it is a fact that people lived in that area even before the national park was established in 1971. Secondly, there is a game management area (GMA) on the other side of the same national park which is parallel to the Sesheke/Sioma/Senanga Road. Why are game management areas established? They are established in order to minimise...

 

Mr Ngulube: You are answering the question.

 

Mr Kufakwandi: ... human/animal conflict.

Sir, the population of people and animals has increased in the area. Is it not desirable, in the interest of our people, to establish a GMA?

 

Mr Ngulube: You have answered the question!

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, the answer to this question is straightforward. The ward is in a national park and negotiations took place at the time the park was established to try to get people to leave the national park. However, some people were allowed to stay on because of the intervention of the BRE on the understanding that they were not going to expand the settlement. We wish to appeal to them to abide by the law. We do not allow extensions of settlements which are located in national parks. We have alternative where people can settle. If they comply, then, there will be no human-wildlife conflict.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the creation of game management areas (GMA) alone will not prevent human-animal conflicts. The entire district in which my constituency falls is a GMA and we have serious human-animal conflict. Does the ministry have any plans to ensure that people, particularly those who lose their crops to wild animals, are assisted?

 

Mr Ngulube: Fireworks!

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, we engage people in such areas and offer them alternative areas to settle in order to avoid human-wildlife conflicts. However, in most cases, people do not seem to appreciate that the Government is trying to help save lives by moving them out of those areas and resettling them in areas where human-wildlife conflict can be avoided. We can only assist them by designating them alternative areas where there are no human-animal conflicts.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the point by the hon. Member for Chama South is that the whole district, large as it is, is a game management area (GMA). How are you to assist in that regard?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, there are areas which have been earmarked for settlement. The Government has taken measures to ensure that people who settle in such areas are protected. However, people have opted not to go for that option.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, we are losing animals almost on a daily basis on account of over-speeding by motorists. When is the Government going to ensure that speed humps are built in all the game management areas (GMA)?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, we have embarked on a programme to put up speed humps in various areas of the country.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, we are aware that Chama, where I come from, is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: My apologies Mr Speaker. I meant a game management area (GMA).

 

Mr Speaker: It was a slip of the tongue.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: It was a slip of the tongue, Mr Speaker.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Sir, I know that on the eastern side, where Zambia borders Malawi, there is Vwaza National Park and, on the left-hand side, the whole of Chama District is a GMA. Further west, there is the North-Luangwa National Park. Are there plans to de-gazette Chama District from a GMA to an ordinary district in order to reduce the human/animal conflict and allow development to flourish?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, there are no such plans of de-gazetting Chama District. Nevertheless, there are areas that have been earmarked for the settlement of people and we know that they will be safe in those areas.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the people living in this park have been offered alternative places to settle, yet he is aware that many of the villagers have lived in those areas for centuries. These people are now fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers. Has the Government been specific in terms of where the people are going, the repatriation costs, which can be surmountable for the villagers and the settlement costs? Has the Government made these arrangements or it just wants the people to leave those areas?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, we are a listening Government and we are not going to cause misery to the people unnecessarily. We have put in place measures to ensure that when people are repatriated, the Government comes in to assist. The important issue is for the people to be willing to move.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, let me place on record my gratitude to the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts for the courteous and professional manner in which he has responded to questions ...

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … that have been presented to him. This is how things ought to be.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has acknowledged that there is serious animal/human conflict in Imusho and that part of that emanates from the scarcity of water, especially during the drought season. Can the hon. Minister inform the House the measures that his ministry has taken to address that aspect of the animal/human conflict emanating from the shortage of water in Imusho?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, the measures are already in place. We want people to be willing to move from the national park to the designated areas where the Government can provide services such as clean water for consumption.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

SQUATTERS IN ISANGANO NATIONAL PARK

 

205. Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts:

 

  1. what the progress on the relocation of squatters from Isangano National Park was; and

 

  1. what progress had been made in restocking the National Park with wild animals.

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, there is gradual progress in the relocation of squatters from Isangano National Park. Recent visits by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), together with the Office of the District Commissioner of Luwingu District, have indicated that encroachment levels are high and the establishment of new settlements has continued. However, efforts to evict the squatters stalled due to some disagreements on whether to evict them forcefully or allow them to continue squatting in the national park. The DNPW intends to sensitise the communities on the regulations governing encroachments in a protected area immediately after the rainy season. This is in an effort to trigger voluntary resettlement from the national park. Once funds are made available to the department, a plan will be drawn in collaboration with other Government departments and wings such as the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to relocate the illegal settlers from the national park. Further, it is worth mentioning that some stakeholders should be advised against putting up infrastructure in protected areas.

Mr Speaker, only after the squatters have been evicted from the national park will the plans of restocking it be drawn and implemented. As it is now, number of Wildlife Police Officers in the national park is inadequate and any animals that may be introduced or restocked can be poached due to insufficient protection. The presence of communities inside the park would also limit the ability of restocked animals to adapt and breed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, before Muchinga Province was created, there were a number of national parks in the Northern Province, namely Nsumbu in Nabwalya Area, Isangano and one in Kabinga Area in Mpika. In the national parks were a lot of animals, but they have started depleting because the Government has not taken measures to protect them from people who started settling in the national parks. I recall that sometime back, there was a matter in court relating to settlers. The court ruled that the settlers be evicted from the national park, but the ministry has not made an effort to do so. The people of Lubansenshi in Chief Shimumbi area are complaining, as they are supposed to benefit from the restocking of the national park. When is the Government going to attend to their complaints?

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, the Government does not encourage illegal settlements. I wish to appeal to my colleagues, the politicians, to support the Government when it asks people to vacate game management areas (GMAs) or national parks. To some extent, they are to blame for the illegal settlements as they are the ones who encourage the illegal settlers to stay on and promise that they would fight for them. We are aware of this. So, we, the politicians, should work together with the Ministry of Tourism and Arts in ensuring that GMAs and national parks are restocked with animals. This concerted effort is required.

 

Sir, I also wish to take this opportunity to appeal not only to the hon. Member who has asked the question, but also everyone who comes from areas where game is managed not to discourage people from vacating the areas. Instead, let us encourage them to leave the areas so that the programmes for the conservation and protection of wildlife can succeed. For as long as we continue with the attitude to discourage people from vacating the areas, the restocking programme shall neither succeed nor yield positive results.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi Island): Mr Speaker, ...

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema aunt, aya!

 

Laughter

 

Mrs Fundanga: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his good advice and intervention whenever we consult him, especially in Chisangano Game Park which borders Chilubi and Luwingu.

 

There have been several disputes relating to the game park but, like the hon. Minister pointed out, what matters is how we are going to move the people from the game park and not when. The chief who was alleged to have encouraged people to live in the game park was allegedly beaten up and left for dead in 2006. Fortunately,  the good people from the Jehovah’s Witness Faith came to his rescue.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema good Samaritans, aya!

 

Mrs Fundanga: Sir, at the moment, the chief is still in bad shape.

 

Mr Ngulube: Balyuma!

 

Mrs Fundanga: In November last year, the chief was threatened with a beating. Honestly, is it the responsibility of the chief to find a lasting solution to this problem? I approached the hon. Minister over this matter and would like to ask him if the programme is still going on because my hon. Brother from Luwingu is equally concerned the state of the game park which should be of economic value to the people. We have been assured that the ministry would work on the boundary between the game park and where the people have settled. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if this programme is still on.

 

Mr C. Banda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is very right. We have been dealing with this issue for quite some time now and numerous solutions have been offered over time. The programme is still on. All that we are asking for is co-operation from all our colleagues and stakeholders.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

KAPATA ROAD CONNECTING SAMFYA TO LUNGA

 

206. Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

(a)        whether the Government had any plans to tar the Kaputa Road connecting Samfya District to Lunga District;

 

(b)        if so, when the plans would be implemented; and

 

(c)        if there were no such plans, why.

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the Government of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has long-term plans to upgrade the Mpata Road connecting Samfya District to Mpata in Lunga District under Phase III of the Link Zambia 8000 km Road Project. The Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), will come up with a detailed engineering design of the Samfya to Lunga via Mpata Road in 2017. MJoney has been provided in this year’s Budget to carry out the feasibility studies.

 

Mr Speaker, works will commence when the designs have been completed and the Government has secured funding for the project.

 

Sir, the Government has plans to upgrade the Mpata Road connecting Lunga.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, ...

 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, my point of order is compelling.

 

Lately, we have been complaining on the Floor of this House about what we deem to be extra-judicial killings by the Zambia Police Service.

 

Sir, a month-and-a-half ago, there was a riot in Kabushi Constituency in Ndola which was triggered by the killing of a Zambian citizen by the Zambia Police Service who followed him to his house after an altercation at a bar.

 

Not long thereafter, a police officer in Choma was arrested by the Patriotic Front police – Oh! Zambia Police. I beg your pardon, Sir.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. PF Member: Question!

 

Mr Nkombo: He was brutalised to a point of near death and was admitted to Choma General Hospital for two weeks.

 

Last week, another Zambian citizen was killed at Landless Corner Police in Kabwe and we have been waiting to see what the Government is going to say about this and whether or not the situation will improve.

 

Sir, recently, an officer from the Zambia Air force (ZAF) was killed ...

 

Hon. PF Member interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member. Please, do not respond to commentaries.

 

Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Sir.

 

 A ZAF officer, Sergeant Mark Chongwa, was killed in police custody. We have been told, through an official statement, that he had been killed by inmates. Yesterday, we were told that the Head of State, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, issued a statement that there shall be no sacred cows if the seven police officers are suspected to be behind the heinous crime.

 

Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to remain silent and not update the House on the killings so that we know whether our suspicion of what we have been calling extra judicial killings by the Zambia Police Service is true.

 

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs will be at liberty to make a statement upon completion of the investigations. I do not think it will be fair and appropriate for us to begin debating this matter whilst the investigations are ongoing.

 

That is my ruling.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema Speaker, aya!

 

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for assuring the people of Bangweulu that the Government has plans to tar the Kapata/Lunga Road. Sometime last year, funds were released to the Road Development Agency (RDA) for gravelling the road. The RDA carried out some works, but later withdrew its equipment. I would like the hon. Minister to inform the people of Bangweulu what might have lead to the withdrawal of the equipment for gravelling the road.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Regional Manager for Luapula Province has latitude to decide when and where to work when the need arises. The road was graded, but when the funds that were allocated for the road finished, the equipment had to be moved to Chienge in the area near the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where similar works were required. However, I wish to assure the people of Bangweulu and Lunga that the Government takes seriously the development of the area. That is the more reason funds have been provided in this year’s Budget for this project. We want to carry out a study so that we ascertain whether it is feasible to connect Lunga District to the Zambian road network via Mpanta so that people can have access to a broader network. This will also ease the transaction of business and travel.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

CONSTRUCTION OF LIBUYU AND MALONI BRIDGES

 

207. Mr Jere asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. when the following bridges in Livingstone Parliamentary Constituency would be constructed:

 

  1. Libuyu; and

 

  1. Maloni;

 

(b)        what the cost of constructing each bridge was; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the construction of each bridge was.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the construction of Libuyu and Maloni bridges in Livingstone Parliamentary Constituency has not been included in the 2017 Road Sector Annual Work plan …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: … owing to budgetary constraints.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: The bridges will be constructed once funds are made available.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: The cost of constructing the bridge will only be established once the designs have been worked on.

 

Mr Speaker, the time frame for the projects will be known once the designs have been completed and funding secured.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere: Mr Speaker is the hon. Minister aware that Maloni Bridge collapsed two years ago and that the area is cut off from the rest of the town?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I am not aware.

 

Thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, …

 

Mr Ngulube: Cho chiise!

 

Mr Muchima: I am compelled to seek an answer from the hon. Minister. I was Minister of the Province before …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Muchima: … and I know the status of the two bridges.

 

Mr Ngulube: Why did you not fix them?

 

Mr Muchima: The bridges are a death trap. The hon. Minister is in Government which is responsible for the welfare of the people of Zambia …

 

Hon. Government Members: Where?

 

Mr Muchima: … irrespective of where they belong.

 

Mr Ngulube: HH will fix them!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, if the Government really cares …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Muchima: Have the bridges been inspected to see what state they are in for them not to be given the much needed attention?

 

Mr M. K. Tembo: Question!

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, in my response to part “b” of the Question, I said that the cost of constructing a bridge will only be established once the designs have been completed.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: That entails that we have not yet worked on the designs for the two bridges.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema Minister, aya!

 

Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister …

 

Ms Tambatamba: The money is not yours. It is ours.

 

Mr Jere: … stated that the construction of Libuyu Bridge will be constructed once feasibility studies have been conducted. The hon. Minister has visited this place on several occasions and he knows that the bridge gets flooded year in and year out. This bridge leads to an area where some schools like St Mary’s Secondary School are located. So, it has always been a challenge for pupils to cross the bridge. At times, pupils have to miss school on account of the bridge being flooded. When is the Government going to conduct a feasibility study and come up with a Bill of Quantities (BoQ)?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, a feasibility study can only be undertaken once funds are made available. I stated that a feasibility study will be conducted once funds are made available. Then, people will be informed about the total cost of putting up the bridge.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, there is an observation that is increasingly bothering me. I would like to get a response from the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development.

When hon. Members from the Patriotic Front (PF) ask questions, the responses are such that money is available.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Mr Lufuma: However, when it comes to projects that are in areas that are represented by Members from the United Party for National Development (UPND), money is never available.

 

Mr Muchima: Yes!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Mr Lufuma: May I know why the hon. Minister is doing this. The PF was elected into office as a Government for the people.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lufuma: Yes!

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lufuma: Yes!

 

The money is not yours.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabompo, take a seat.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order.

 

Let us have some order.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, that perception is not right.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

 

Mr Chitotela: The Mwinilunga/Jimbe Road passes through Ikeleng’i and connects to Jimbe and Angola. The hon. Members of Parliament for Mwinilunga and Ikeleng’i are in this House on the United Party for National Development (UPND) ticket, yet the Government is spending K1.1 billion on that road project. So, it is not true that the Government does not have money when it comes to projects in UPND strongholds. The Government is constructing the Chingola/Solwezi Road, yet the hon. Members of Parliament for Solwezi East and Solwezi Central are not from the Patriotic Front (PF). The Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu was elected by the majority of Zambians.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, a democratic process of governance recognises a person who is elected by the majority.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: In similar vein, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was elected by the majority of Zambians so that he can take development to every part of Zambia.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the Government is constructing township roads in Mwinilunga. However, funds were not provided in the 2017 National Budget for the construction of the bridges because there is no money.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema answer, aya!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

SAMFYA HARBOUR IN BANGWEULU

 

208. Mr Kasandwe asked the Minister of Transport and Communication:

 

  1. why the construction of Samfya Harbour in Bangweulu Parliamentary Constituency had stalled;

 

  1. when the construction works would resume;

 

  1. who the contractor for the project was; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the completion of the remaining works was.

 

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, construction works at Samfya Harbour have stalled due to the non-payment of outstanding certificates submitted by the contractor so far.

 

Sir, the project will resume as soon as funds are made available.

 

Mr Speaker, the contractors engaged to rehabilitate Samfya Harbour are Messrs Angel Construction Ltd and Kawanzane Construction Ltd.

 

Sir, the period for the construction of the landing jetties in Chilubi Island, Samfya and Nchelenge was twenty-nine months, starting from 9th March, 2015. On the other hand, the rehabilitation of the harbour-supporting infrastructure was supposed to have been completed within four months, starting in February, 2015, and was expected to be completed by June, 2015. The completion date was extended to December, 2015. However, as earlier stated, the project has stalled due to non-payment of outstanding certificates

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the workers from the local community who were engaged to carry out some work have not been paid? If so, does the Government have any plans to clear the outstanding payments due to the workers?

 

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, yes, the ministry is aware of the outstanding payments due to the workers. In fact, two weeks ago, I engaged the affected people. I would like to inform the hon. Member that the ministry has prioritised the dismantling of the debt and has since engaged the Ministry of Finance to see how it can dismantle it and pay the outstanding certificates so that the works can be completed for the benefit of the people of Bangweulu.

 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Chonya: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: You cannot raise a point of order in those circumstances.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chonya: Thank you.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Chonya: It is on a different matter. I will come back.

 

______

 

MOTIONS

 

PROVISION OF LOANS TO UNIVERSITY OF ZAMBIA STUDENTS

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that in terms of Section 16 and 21 of the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Act No. 31 of 2016, this House urges the Government to provide loans to all eligible University of Zambia (UNZA) students who applied for loans for the 2016/2017 academic year and are already attending class.

 

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, thank you for according me the opportunity to move a Private Member’s Motion. I feel duty bound to move this Motion on behalf of the vulnerable students from UNZA who have not been given loans. They are already attending class, but are traumatised because they may be excluded from the university for failing to pay tuition and other fees.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Ngulube: HH will fix that!

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, in the current academic year, 5,439 eligible students applied for academic loans. Initially, only 2,009 applications were successful but, after appealing, a about 500 were considered. The rest are still in limbo, but attending class.

 

Sir, this Motion is pursuant to many provisions of the law which include the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia and other subsidiary laws such as the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Act No. 31 of 2016. Article 63(1),(2)(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) of the Constitution spells out the legislative authority as follows:

 

  1. Parliament shall enact legislation through Bills passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.

 

  1. The National Assembly shall oversee the performance of the executive functions by:

 

  1. ensuring equity distribution of national resources amongst the people of Zambia;

 

  1. appropriating funds for expenditure by State organs, State institutions, provincial administration, local authorities and other bodies;

 

  1. scrutinising public expenditure, including defence, constitutional and special expenditure;

 

Mr Speaker, the interesting feature about this Motion is that it has been accepted by your office. This entails that it is very important. It is, therefore, my wish that the students, some of whom are in the Public Gallery – by the way, ...

 

Hon. Government Members interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, please, take a seat.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Let us have order. Our rules do not permit what you are doing. You are not allowed to address people in the gallery.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I apologise for that mishap. I wish you could protect me from Hon. Kalima because I am capable of doing anything.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just take a seat.

 

We have convened to transact business. That is why we are seated here. Otherwise, we would be elsewhere.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I was saying that this Motion is of a national character because it is crosscutting. As I continue with my discourse, you will observe that it truly is of a national character. This is because the people who are affected are not only those who have not been able to get student loans, but also their royal highnesses, churches, hon. Members of Parliament, ...

 

Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just pause for a moment. This is the second time this is being raised.

 

Hon. Member for Kabwe Central the rules do not permit what you are trying to do.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: You should consult your colleagues.

 

Hon. Nkombo, you may continue.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank you and I forgive the hon. Member.

 

Mr Speaker: Just continue.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Ema forgiveness, aya!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Minister of Higher Education, ...

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

... you are going to have an opportunity to debate. I will ensure that you express yourself, but not before the Motion is presented.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr Speaker, this is a non-controversial Motion that can only invoke one type of emotion in somebody if he/she is perfectly normal. That is, sympathy.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the issue that I am dealing with relates to the future of the would-be human resources of this country. These are the vulnerable first year students at UNZA who have been attending class since January.

 

Sir, I would like to put on record the fact that I am a product of the issue at hand. I was fortunate, as the Government of the day at the time gave 100 per cent bursaries. I am aware that over time, resources have been scarce and the number of students has outstripped the available classrooms.

 

In the last Parliament, the then Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Dr Michael Kaingu, gave a ministerial statement on 9th February, 2016, on the closure of UNZA and Copperbelt University (CBU). He is on record as having said:

 

“The education sector is the Government’s priority. In order to increase access to university education, the Government will support vulnerable students to pursue studies at UNZA and CBU.

 

“As the establishment of the Loans Board is being finalised, vulnerable students will be supported through payment of tuition and accommodation fees, refunds for students who are not accommodated by the two universities and pay meal, book and project allowances.”

 

Sir, a month later on 9th March, 2016, on the occasion of the re-opening of both institutions, Hon. Dr Michael Kaingu said the following ij another ministerial statement:

 

“I wish to inform the House that the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Bill has now been finalised and will be brought to the House for adoption. Our intention is to operationalise the Loans Board by January, 2017. The Government will continue to pay tuition, accommodation and project allowances to students until the Student Loans Scholarship Scheme is in place.”

 

Mr Speaker, on 13th October, 2016, in a ministerial statement to update the House on the establishment of the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board, the Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo, made the following assurances:

 

“The need to establish The Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board arose from the realisation that the proportion of school leavers who access university education was very low. It is common knowledge to all of us that there has been disenchantment with the support provided by the Bursaries Committee. The Higher Education and Scholarship Act will enable more students from vulnerable homes to enter universities and colleges.

 

“The Government will ensure that the support targets are all vulnerable students. I will put my energies into the operationalisation of the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board. I have initiated the process of appointing members of the board so that this important body can start its work before the end of 2016. The Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board will start its work before the end of 2016.”

 

Mr Speaker, I would like to know if this body has been established. The hon. Minister further said: 

 

“The Government will continue to provide meal, project, accommodation allowances and refunds to students until the revolving fund is sufficiently built and other administrative procedures have been finalised to facilitate smooth transition from the current system to the new one.”

 

Sir, these are but a few of the promises that this Government has made to the people of Zambia. I thank it most sincerely for the pronouncements and undertakings. However, my gratitude to it will remain an emotion in vain if the assurances and promises are not actualised. We must walk the talk.

 

Mr Ngulube: Like Edgar Lungu!

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I urge the Government to act on the promises, especially that this House has already passed the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Bill, 2016.

 

Sir, for avoidance of any doubt, and just to legitimise this Motion, the Act states in Section 16(1):

 

“There is established a Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Fund to provide loans and scholarships to students who require financial assistance or are recognised for academic excellence.”

 

Despite the generality of Section 16(1), the fund shall provide at:

 

  •  

 

  1. scholarships to assist students to pursue higher education within or outside Zambia.”

 

Mr Speaker, line 3 of the Act states that the fund shall consist of:

 

  •  

 

  1.       such monies as are received by way of grants, gifts, endowments, fees, loan repayments, interest and donations;

 

  1. monies that may vest in or accrue to the fund;

 

  1. charges and fees for services provided by the board; and

 

  1. subject to approval of the minister, monies raised by way of loans or interest accrued from any investment made by the board.”

 

Mr Speaker, Section 21(1) states that a student is eligible for consideration for a loan if the student:

 

  •  

 

  1. satisfies such other conditions as the minister may prescribe by Statutory Instrument.”

 

Sir, I wish to confirm the fact that the students have been attending class for the last three months. They have got letters of acceptance, hence they are eligible for admission. However, the challenge is how to find resources. This is why this Motion seeks to ask the hon. Minister of Finance to create some innovative ways and means of raising money to assist the hon. Minister of Higher Education to actualise the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Fund.

 

In simpler terms, we are basically asking the hon. Minister of Finance to find more innovative ways of actualising the …

 

Ms Kalima interjected.

 

Mr Nkombo: There is a greenhorn that is making noise, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

 Hon. Member for Mazabuka, I have repeatedly stated …

 

Mr Nkombo: Mazabuka Central, Sir.

 

She is disturbing me, but you are not helping me.

 

Mr Speaker: I am speaking.

 

Interruptions

Mr Ngulube: Uza onongela bafana bola, iwe!

 

Ms Chonya: Iti bola!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

The function of controlling what goes on here is mine.

 

Continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I am sure that the hon. Minister of Finance, whom I believe is a gentleman, will actually digest what I am saying. I am urging him to come up with innovative ways of finding money to ensure that the students who have been left out of the …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended at 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

Sir, when business was suspended, I was about to say that if the Government acted swiftly in operationalising the Act, we would not have found ourselves in the situation that is obtaining at the University of Zambia (UNZA). In fact, the Act justifies the inevitability of the university student’s loans. Higher education is a profitable private investment offering graduates higher returns in the form of job opportunities and higher lifetime earnings. Further, it goes without saying that loans give potential students from poor families, who otherwise would be denied access to education on grounds of poverty, an opportunity to study an opportunity to study. Fortunately, poverty does not discriminate because one can be wealthy while a sibling is suffering from poverty. Therefore, we need to invest in the future of students by providing them with financial aid whenever it is needed and allow them to repay the loans when they can afford to do so.

 

Mr Speaker, this is further augmented by the human capital argument that education is an investment and that like all other investments, it creates costs in the present, but has definite dividends in the future and, sometimes, lifelong dividends.

 

Sir, while students are in school, they incur expenses. These include both direct costs such as tuition books and opportunity costs. Future benefits include increased earnings, improved health and longer life. One of the reasons life expectancy in Zambia is low is a lack of education, which is a direct ‘descendant’ of poverty.

 

Mr Speaker, the need to give students loans has been recognised the world over. For instance, in Rwanda, which is not so far from here, the Government has allowed universities to involve the Development Bank of Rwanda (DBR) in the provision of support to students in the universities. The Rwandan Government, which is also called “The Neverland”, has acknowledged that it is the Government’s responsibility and not anyone’s to ensure that no student who is eligible for admission to a university is denied access to education due to a lack of means.

 

Sir, in October, 2015, the Government of Rwanda gave the mandate to the Department of Studies, Loans and Bursaries Management of the DBR to take over the management function of the students loans and bursaries in order to bring about efficiency in the management of disbursements and recoveries of loans with a focus to attaining long-term financial self-sustainability.

 

Mr Speaker, the Government heard that it will provide the funding until the loan scheme could sustain itself in the long run. If we adopt the move from this end, it is expected to achieve the following:

 

  1. efficient management of disbursement of recoveries;

 

  1. establishment of an education savings scheme; and

 

  1. education investments.

 

Sir, loans may also take several forms with varying degrees of subsidies and methods. Currently, there is 100, 75 and 50 per cent bursary for vulnerable students.

 

Mr Speaker, the repayment mode has always been of serious concern in this country. The investment needed to develop our children academically should not be trivialised, as they have a lot of potential. I, therefore, wish to urge all the hon. Members to support the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that is, the Minister of Finance, Hon. Mutati, to find some innovative means of financing this non-partisan scheme.

 

Sir, like in football or soccer, as some people call it, there is a need for this country to come together on this Motion. As for me, my children are nearly done with their university education. However, I am speaking on behalf others who may have been disadvantaged by attrition, death or poverty.

 

I will lay on the Table a copy of the Grade 12 Examination results of a girl whom I will not name. She got seven distinctions and two merits. There was no credit, satisfactory or failure. This is no mean achievement. However, she is still battling to get a place at university. What wasted brains!

 

Mr Ngulube: Let her see me!

 

Mr Nkombo: I had said earlier on that this is a crosscutting issue. I also have with me a copy of a letter from Senior Chief Kalindawalo, which I will also lay on the Table, recommending another child, whom I will not name, for a student loan. I also have a letter from the Royal Establishment of Chief Chanje, recommending vulnerable children for assistance from the Government.

 

Mr Lusambo: Which Government?

 

Nr Nkombo: The Government of the Republic of Zambia, if it pleases the one who is asking ...

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, take a seat. There are too many speakers. Please, wind up.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker …

 

Prof. Luo: Alefumako bululu wesu ku United Party for National Development (UPND)!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Members, let us avoid making running commentaries.

 

Mr Nkombo: I am definitely winding up, Sir. I am just doing my job.

 

Finally, I also have with me a letter signed by an hon. Member of Parliament, seeking the same kind of gesture from the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board. I am sure that when the time comes, he will vote accordingly because I can see which direction this discussion is going. This letter is written by a benevolent hon. Member of this august House, whom I think has a heart for the children we are talking about. It was written by the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero and I will also lay it on the Table.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I also have with me a folder containing application forms for the consideration …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, my concern is that we can go on and on. You have moved a Motion. Please, wind up.

 

Mr Nkombo: I am going to wind up, Sir. I want to lay the documents I am piling up in front of me on the Table for your consideration. This folder has statements of appeal from many children whose parents I am sure are either non-partisan, members of the Patriotic Front (PF) or any other political party. I also have more statements (lifting up a box file). All these are the same.

 

Mr Speaker, the problem may not be a lack of money, …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Let us have some order!

 

Mr Nkombo: ... but competing needs across various sectors. It may also be lack of prioritisation. Sadly, earlier today, I could not ask the hon. Minister of Justice any question because I knew that this Motion was coming. However, instead of the proposed public hearings for Zambia to exit the International Criminal Court (ICC), which will cost money, can we not consider …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, I think you are better off confining yourself to the Motion.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir …

 

Mr Speaker: Let me finish. There are too many speakers. The hon. Minister was here and you should have asked that question then. Let us not mix the subjects. Please, wind up.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, there are ways and means of achieving what I am trying to …

 

Prof. Luo: In which capacity are you making that suggestion?

 

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

 

Mr Nkombo: This is my job. I have said that the Government should look for innovative ways of finding money for student loans. I have also said that the Government should look to some philanthropists, the church and institutions such as the Bill and Melinda Gates and Clinton foundations for some money to help vulnerable students.

 

Mr Ngulube: Even the United Party for National Development (UPND)!

 

Mr Nkombo: I have also said that for ease of recovery of student loans, since we are talking about children of excellence, we could tie their student identification and national registration card (NRC) numbers to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) or Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) databases. In so doing, we would ensure that the moment they complete their studies and get employed, they automatically start contributing towards NAPSA and repaying their student loans. This can run for fifteen years. This would also ensure that the loans do not become a sunken cost. Some of the statutory institutions can assist to get the Higher Education Loans and Scholarship Board perform its function properly.

 

Sir, there is another way we can find money for this purpose. Now that we have heard that someone from the Commonwealth Secretariat gave a seal of approval to the electoral process for the last General Election, we might as well disband the commission that is investigating the so-called political violence because it is gobbling money.

 

Mr Ngulube: In what capacity are you calling for that?

 

Mr Nkombo: We can find the money for student loans in many ways. We cannot have our cake and eat it. One moment we are buoyant and saying everything was alright during the elections and the next moment we are appointing commissions that are going to investigate something that is non-existent. I am simply talking about prudential management of government affairs.

 

Ms Kapata: Uleposa fye inshita!

Mr Nkombo: Finally, Sir, I wish to appeal to the heart of hearts of all the hon. Members of Parliament who are here, including those who are saying, “Uleposa fye inshita” …

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Just conclude, hon. Member!

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, some of them are saying, “Uleposa fye inshita.” I need your protection.

 

I beg you, Sir, I need your protection.

 

Mr Speaker: My guidance to you is that do not factor running commentaries into your speech.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Much obliged, Sir. I am sure you know that when others are talking, I am the quietest.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Mr Nkombo: From where you are sitting, I am sure you have seen that I never interject when another hon. Member is speaking. That I can speak for myself, if you cannot. So, I expect reciprocal behaviour from colleagues.

 

Mr Speaker: Please, conclude, hon. Member.

 

Mr Nkombo: I know we have issues in this country, but this is an apolitical issue. This matter has to do with our children.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Mr Nkombo: I am saying we must adopt the spirit of mwana wa munzako, ni wako.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Give me space. I am a seasoned hon. Member of Parliament, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: What is the interpretation?

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I need some space from you. I am saying we need to have the spirit of mwana wa munzako, ni wako. Umwana wa munobe, wobe. Mwana mulikana hao, ki wa hao. Mwana ka mukwenu, mwaneheyi.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, we may not be biological parents of the children we are talking but, in simple English, all the above-mentioned phrases mean that your friend’s child, is your own. In Tonga, we have a saying that goes, mwana wamwehinyoko, mukowawako.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Nkombo: So, as I wind up, I would like the hon. Members to search their heart of hearts in order to understand the issues I have raised in this Motion. 

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, you advised me not to respond to running commentaries, ...

 

Mr Speaker: Are you done?

 

Mr Nkombo: ... but I have got ears and I get easily distracted. That is why I am taking long to finish. You had asked the Chief Whip to assist, I am also a whip. So, maybe, I should also assist you.                                                                               

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to second this Private Member’s Motion.

 

Sir, I should mention that I take Hon. Nkombo’s words as mine. Education for every human being, regardless of age, is a human right. Education is an equaliser because it gives an opportunity to all, even those who think they are greater than others in this House. As such, higher education is of central importance to the economic and social development of the country. So, the need for education loans for students at the University of Zambia (UNZA)   is of great importance. This has been clearly realised by every government by putting in place correct policies. Unfortunately, it is the implementation that seems to be a challenge for the Ministry of Higher Education. I say so because the law has been enacted, but the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board has not been put in place. It is an ad hoc committee that has been selecting students for the current bursary offers to the students at UNZA. The secretariat has only attached officers from the former Bursaries Committee. As a result, names of some students have appeared twice or thrice while others have been left out. UNZA gave only 2,563 loans, 1,021 of which were given to female students and 1,542 went to male students. There were more than 5,000 applications, meaning more than half were left out.

 

Sir, education is a productive investment. I urge the Ministry of Higher Education to seek the help of banking institutions in this noble task so as to have efficiency and effectiveness in the management of education loans. It is traumatising for the students not to know fate when the first term of the academic year is almost coming to an end. The education policy of “Educating Our Future” should be implemented at university level. It should be one of our passionate duties to implement it because the future of our country depends on them.

 

Sir, in 1964, we had a lot of energy and a clear vision of where we were going and where we wanted our country to go pertaining to university education. The education reforms of 1977 and “Educating Our Future” of 1996 are precise and concise on university education and its implementation and funding.

 

Mr Speaker, as I have already stated, education is a right for each individual and it is also a means of enhancing the wellbeing and quality of life for the entire society. Orphans and vulnerable children, not children of those parents who can afford to pay tuition fees and other fees, must be given priority when awarding education loans. The Government should, therefore, seek to create, promote and support the conditions within which education can realise its potential in society.

 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, the liberal market economy in which internal and external competition are central values is dependent on the knowledge and skills that we give to our children through education. As such, investment in more than 2,000 students at UNZA is of real concern in the strongly competitive climate of our modern world. The orphans and vulnerable children are also part of our future as a country and we cannot pay a blind eye. Regardless of our different political affiliations, we all have the responsibility to educate our youths because they are our future.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, as a former student of the University of Zambia (UNZA), who benefitted greatly from the Bursary Scheme, I know that the Motion itself is valid. However, the only problem we have is that the mover of the Motion has not come with good intentions.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, ...

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, we do not debate ourselves. If you have misgivings about the Motion, you simply say so. We do not debate ourselves, especially in that fashion.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance and wisdom. Sorry to Hon. Garry Nkombo for that reference.

 

Mr Nkombo: You are forgiven.

 

Mr Ngulube: I am forgiven. Thank you, Hon. Nkombo.

 

Mr Speaker, I am aware that UNZA is situated in Munali Constituency and the hon. Member of Parliament for Munali is also the Minister of Higher Education.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: My question is: Why did the students not raise this matter through the hon. Member of Parliament?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: They chose to bypass their hon. Member of Parliament and went to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I would have supported the Motion ...

 

Mr Nkombo: We are national leaders!

 

Mr Ngulube: ... had it not been maliciously couched. What comes to mind is that this is either a sponsored Motion or probably the people alleged to be students are not students at all.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: So, I am simply saying ...

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kabwe Central, ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Sit down!

 

Mr Speaker: Let us debate substance.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Mr Speaker: You either agree or disagree.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, thank you. Let me be brief and be honest in my intentions. I think I do not support this Motion. 

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Sit down!

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Thank you, Mr Speaker, I fully agree with the Motion.

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: I would like to commend the mover and seconder of the Motion. Indeed, this House urges the Government to provide loans to all eligible University of Zambia (UNZA) students who applied for loans in the 2016/17 Academic Year and are already attending class.

 

Ms Kapata: Ba Professor balayumfwa kwati katwishi!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, this is a very important Motion because it appeals to our conscience as leaders in this country and any leader of conscience should definitely pay special attention to the plight of the UNZA students who have not accessed loans.

 

Sir, it is as a result of moral concerns and consciousness of the leadership of our time that we were afforded an opportunity to access university education.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Yes!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I have with me here my private document, that is, the agreement which I signed with the Bursaries Committee …

 

Ms Kapata: When?

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: In 1972.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: To be precise, on 8th June, 1972.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: It is as a result of the commitment and concern of our leadership from 1964 that some of us were able to go to UNZA.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Interruption

 

Ms Kapata: But you were Minister of Education!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: We managed to attend UNZA, yet our parents could not afford to pay fees as little as K400 per year, demanded by UNZA.

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: As a result of the commitment of the leadership of that time, we were afforded the opportunity …

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … to go to UNZA. This is a matter …

 

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, just wait. I cannot hear you. I have to secure some silence.

 

Ms Kapata: Ndetekanya sana!

 

Mr Speaker: Let her proceed. It is quiet now.

 

Mr Mushanga: Nweniko na menshi!

 

Laughter

 

Ms Kapata: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to rise on a very serious point of order on the Member who is debating on the Floor, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, …

 

Mr Mushanga: Former quality!

 

Ms Kapata: … who should debate truthfully in this House because this is an honourable House. He was Minister of Education.

 

Hon. Government Members: Oh!

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kapata: So, let him tell us what he did when he was Minister. In addition, he is on record as having denied a child that he sired. So, where is the passion coming from?

 

Laughter

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kapata: Where is the passion coming from?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order, Hon. Minister!

 

Ms Kapata: Is he, therefore, in order, Mr Speaker, to speak like a hypocrite when he has denied his own children?

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us have some silence and order in the House.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Government Members: Shame!

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

I think we are proceeding in a most inappropriate fashion.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Wait. I am not through yet. The hon. Minister is certainly out of order.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Hold on!

 

The issue, which the hon. Minister has raised, has nothing to do with our proceedings.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Let us confine ourselves to the issue under debate.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

May the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda continue, please.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This is an honourable House.

 

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: So, when debating matters of seriousness, we must exercise the highest level of soberness and maturity.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda, I have already made a ruling and I do not think you should address the issue further.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: I am getting a sense that we are not able to debate this Motion.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Let us try.

 

Could the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda continue.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Clearly, Mr Speaker, …

 

Ms Kalima: Eba posa abana aba!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … the difference among African nations will be dictated by how much they pay attention to children who are in university in particular.

 

Mr Speaker, at the moment, the fees for the first year who are in art-based programmes at UNZA are K19,950 per year and for those who are in the science and medical fields, the fees are K23,950 per year.

 

Sir, there are very few students from very poor homes who can afford such fees.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hammer! Hammer!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Hence, it is important that the loans and scholarship funding …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … in higher education pays attention to the plight of students who cannot afford such fees.

 

Sir, there are three reasons for the introduction of student loans worldwide. The first one is that no student, regardless of how poor his/her family is, should be denied an opportunity to receive higher education because of the poverty of the family.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: A student should be able to get a loan and repay it …

 

Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order.

 

Sir, I know that you have already ruled on this matter. However, I am of the view that Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa is straying. You have already guided that we need to stick to the Motion on the Floor.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Mr Ngulube: Is Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa in order to pretend that he now loves children, …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: … yet when he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia he used to chase students for not paying schools fees?

 

I need your ruling, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kalima: Ema point of order, aya!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

As far as I have followed his debate, the hon. Member was not straying.

 

Hon. UPND Member: You see!

 

Mr Speaker: However, you will have an opportunity to debate whatever issues you may have in relation to the past and so on and so forth.

 

Mr Livune: He failed!

Mr Speaker: In fact, you were given an opportunity to debate. So, do not debate through points of order.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: For the sake of order, that is if we will manage to secure it, there will be no more points of order until tomorrow.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the rationale behind student loans is that no student, regardless of how poor his/her family is, should be denied an opportunity to attain higher education.

 

Ms Mulenga interjected.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This is the imperative of intergenerational equity. Intergenerational equity states that inequities in the current generation should be addressed so that there is equity in the next generation. Therefore, the student loans can be used to ensure intergenerational equity.

 

Sir, serious leaders on the African Continent ...

 

Mr Syakalima: They are unstoppable.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: ... ensure that students from vulnerable homes are afforded an opportunity to access higher education. There are many ways in which we can assist students from vulnerable homes. Firstly, a leader with a conscience should realise that money that i spent on any trip that he/she makes within or outside the country can put several students through university.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, K19,000 ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Wait, hon. Member. Take a seat.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa resumed his seat.

 

Hon. Government Members: You went to South Africa!

 

Mr Chilangwa interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, if we are leaders of conscience, we should realise that the trips we make can put fifty students in university.

 

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This is one of the things that leaders on the continent of Africa are doing.

 

Mr Mwamba interjected.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: They are making introspection ...

 

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Take a seat.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa resumed his seat.

 

Mr Speaker: I have already made an announcement, hon. Member. Where you present?

 

Mr Chilangwa: Elo abwela uyu nomba line (pointing at Hon. Lungwangwa).

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Maybe we should stop?

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Let us have some order. Hon. Member, please, focus on the Motion as you continue.

 

Mr Ngulube interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, student funding is an issue that has to do with the Budget.

 

Ms Mulenga interjected

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: If we are leaders of conscience, we will assess the allocations we make to some activities in the Budget. We should assess our expenditure so that money can be allocated to students who cannot afford the tuition fees.

 

Mr Mutale interjected.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, for instance, if K1 million could be allocated to a minister’s office, that same money can support fifty students in university

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, take a seat.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa resumed his seat

 

Mr Lusambo interjected.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

I ruled earlier on that we do not debate ourselves. Let us focus on the Motion.

 

Mr Ngulube: Umwana nakula ichisungu!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, this Motion is about finding money to assist students who are in a desperate situation. My point is that we should look at possible sources of funding to support the students.

 

Sir, as leaders of this country, it is not too late to challenge ourselves. We should sit down and address the plight of vulnerable children whose parents cannot afford to raise K19,950 or K23,950 for tuition. That money can easily be found.

 

Mr Ngulube: Southand!

 

Mr Sichone: Where?

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: All that is required is moral consciousness ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: ... and sacrifice ...

 

Interruptions

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, take your seat.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa resumed his seat.

 

Mr Speaker: We, as a House, are fairing badly. The proceedings are televised across the length and breadth of the country.

 

Hon. Government Member: So?

 

Mr Speaker: Did somebody say, “So”? This is very embracing. We are here at taxpayers’ expense.

 

Mr Shabula: Correct!

 

Mr Mutale: Walk out!

 

Mr Speaker: I do not think we should continue this way. We are not exhibiting our best behaviour. We are all national leaders. It does not matter where we come from. Recent events do not change the fact that we are still representing our constituencies.

 

Ms Chonya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: I know where the spirit is coming from. This is unusual. I mentioned earlier on that all those materials have been deposited here. I will deal with them.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: I urged early in the afternoon that we should move on. We cannot proceed this way. We are national leaders who hold important portfolios. What impression are we giving? Is it that we cannot manage ourselves? We cannot continue this way. Whips, you have a function to perform.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member may continue.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, let me shed light on a policy perspective. Worldwide, student loan schemes are determined on the basis that the life earnings of students who get loans should be able to pay off the loan. If a student gets a loan to university tuition fees and graduates at the age of twenty-three or twenty-four, all things being equal, that student should be able to work for thirty-years or so. Within those thirty years, the student should be able to repay the loan. That is the economic rationale for loans. Clearly, no student should be denied an opportunity to acquire higher education at a university. Every possible source of funding for a revolving fund for university student loans should be explored.

 

Mr Speaker, worldwide, loan schemes state that there must be a mini-test to determine the eligibility for a loan so that only students whose parents cannot afford tuition fees are given preference. Loans should be reserved for students from vulnerable homes and whose parents cannot afford to tuition fees. That being the case, it is an indictment on the part of the leadership to ensure that it pays attention to the policy principle of equity so that any student who is in the university or qualifies to enter the university, but whose parents are not able to pay tuition fees have access to loans. This will enable them to get the education that will enable them to participate effectively in their respective society.

 

Mr Speaker, those who manage education and have the conscience to the principle of equity should pay attention to the globally understood principle that education is a great equaliser of opportunities in life. If it were not for the attention of the previous leaders in this country to that principle, many of us would not be here.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, since our forefathers paid attention to the principle of education as a great equaliser, we managed to enter the university not only at the first degree but also at the post graduate and PhD levels. This is because there was that moral imperative to create opportunities for those who were not able to pay. We must search our consciences and find a way in which money can be sourced to ensure that students who are looking up to us for assistance continue with their studies. You can imagine the trauma, depression and psychological impact that the lack of access to loans and eventual dismissal from the universities has had on the students who are currently studying. What would we have done to the future and lives of the students?

 

Mr Speaker, it is within the means of those who are controlling the resources to find money and address the plight of the students. This is not a matter of personalisation, but one of national survival and development. It is a challenge. Agenda 2063 of Africa dictates that each country should find resources to educate its sons and daughters in the universities.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, Agenda 2063 states that as we move towards 2063, the difference among African countries will be the degree to which they pay attention to the education of their sons and daughters. This is a challenge and we should all come together to support this Motion. Not doing so is actually denial of the future of this country.

 

Mr Ngulube: Dinayau!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: We are denying a great number of our children future opportunities.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mwanana uhulile!

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: This should not be allowed in our consciousness.

 

Mr Speaker, I fully support this Motion without any reservations. It is my sincere hope that the statements I have made on the Floor of this House will contribute to self-searching amongst my hon. Colleagues here so that we all come together and address the plight of our children.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, I will not take long on this Motion even though I feel duty bound to take my time. I wish to start by declaring that I once served as Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Education, in case I am asked about what I did in the past.

 

Hon. Government Members: You were fired!

 

Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I have a long history of engagement in education advocacy. The issue of student loans was dealt with under the Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC) when I joined that organisation close to fifteen years ago. It means that the issue we are talking about today has been on the table for much longer than that. I take it as an emotive issue especially when I am reminded of a student by the name of Munsaka Makwamba who committed suicide because he could not access a bursary.

 

Ms Chonya paused.

 

Ms Chonya: I am sorry I am getting a bit emotional, but …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Laughter

 

Hon. UPND Member: Just say I took a moment of silence.

 

Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I took that moment of silence so that I could stabilise.

 

Mr Speaker: If you are not able to debate, let me give the Floor to somebody ...

 

Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I will continue.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Chonya: I wish to ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Ms Chonya: ... debate the Motion which is urging the Government to provide loans for students because as we have heard from those who have debated before, the least that we can do for any human being is to provide him/her with an opportunity for education.

 

Mr Speaker, I said that I served as PS in the PF Government and I am aware that it has a very good manifesto that talks about providing education opportunity, especially at university level. 

 

Mr Speaker, my appeal this afternoon is to my colleagues on the other side to walk the talk and prove to the nation and everybody else that they are consistent and can be trusted in the things that are laid out in that manifesto that this Government is implementing.

 

Mr Speaker, this issue is non-contentious. I did not expect us to have variant views when discussing the plight and future of our children that need to access education. Many reasons have been given from the moral and human rights perspectives. I am yet to look at the Draft Seventh National Development Plan. However, I am sure that the Vision 2030 talks about skills development that will transform Zambia into a middle-income country.

 

 So, if we do not support our children to get bursaries so that they acquire the necessary skills, how are we going to realise this national vision and become that middle-income country that we aspire to be? Let us put our politics aside because we are discussing the future of our children. Posterity will judge us harshly if we do not do the right thing to help them access education.

 

Mr Speaker, the biggest challenge of the education sector is that, as my former boss would say, we have a pyramidal system where we would start off with many children at the bottom who fail to access opportunities at the top because of various factors, including failure to access education support.

 

Mr Speaker, I also strongly appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to find money somewhere in our Budget to fund the bursaries. I can imagine that at any point, even during the time of Dr Kaunda when everybody here accessed that support, it has never been that easy. Resources have never been that readily available but, as pointed out, it is a matter of prioritising and putting our resources where they should be spent. I do not want to repeat the aspect of the urgency of the matter that I also noted. Before it was pointed out, I was also wondering and wishing that we could treat the matter of mobilising resources for our students the same way that we are quickly going to mobilise resources to determine whether Zambia should stay in the International criminal Court (ICC) or whatever that is. Let us set out priorities right as a country.

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!

 

Ms Chonya: I feel for these children. As you have heard, they have been in school. They have been attending class since January. How will it be tomorrow if they are told that they cannot continue with their studies  and they must go back home. I think that will be the worst form of injustice to this group of children.

 

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that this is a group of students that had waited for some time to get in to university. They completed Grade 12 some three years ago and were waiting all this time to get into university. Tomorrow, they should be sent back home because money has not been found.

 

Surely, all of us in here can think better where the money is supposed to come from to support education. Like I have said, it is because people set their priorities right at the time they were given an opportunity to govern at different times that money was found to provide bursaries to all the students without exception. I do not believe that this time around, things are any different apart from that we just need to set our priorities right and put the money where the mouth is.

 

We are a Christian nation.

 

Mr Ngulube: Christian today?

 

Ms Chonya: We are a Christian nation and we have sympathies and values. We were talking about values. If education is not one of the values that we are going to invest in to build a nation of values, then, what do we want to spend our money on?

 

So, Mr Speaker, I promised that I would not speak long, but I just wanted to remind my colleagues in the PF Government that their manifesto speaks very well on the need to support education. Today, I do not think that the hon. Men and Women who are sitting on the other side will depart from what their party manifesto talks about.

 

I wish to urge all of us to bury our political differences for once ...

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Chonya: ... the same way we ...

 

Hon. PF Members: Question!

 

Ms Chonya: ... unanimously agreed on the Motion for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This is what I would want to see happen this afternoon.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kasune (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Abasungu!

 

Ms Kasune: As someone ...

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Ms Kasune: ... from a vulnerable background who has benefitted from a loan to complete my education, it will be disheartening to me if this issue is not treated as one that should unite us. I speak as someone who is really concerned about the welfare of our children. Education is the playing field for our children. Without education, our children will continue to be vulnerable.

 

Mr Speaker, if I may share that not long ago, some United Nations (UN) statistics showed that Zambia is one of the countries with high illiteracy levels. If some of our children have managed to get to the university and for some reasons have been left out of the loan scheme, it is only important that we put our heads together to find funds so that they can also benefit from the loan scheme.

 

Mr Speaker, in my understanding, a student loan id not free money. It is money that is lent to students at the university and that they should pay back. Can we, as a House, strategise, think and exert our energies towards finding ways of how they will pay back if they are given the loans? I think that is better debate that fighting over who cannot be given.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, if students are able to access this loan, they will contribute to the development of this country. I do not see any hon. Member of Parliament who would disagree with the importance of developing our human resource.

 

Interruption

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hammer!

 

Ms Kasune: That is why this Motion is critical to all of us here. We need to articulate issues relating to the loan without personalising them.

 

Mr Speaker, we are in this House to represent the people who are less privileged.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

Ms Kasune: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that as Members of Parliament, we should put our heads together to find ways of financing university students. Many of us do know that there is a saying that goes, “You will tell a country by how it takes care of its youths”.

 

If not by means of educating the youths, then, which other means? Many of us in this House already know that education levels the playing field for every child regardless of where they come from.

 

Mr Speaker, as stated earlier on, I was a double orphan at the age of seventeen and dropped out of school in the eleventh grade. I managed to attend university at the post graduate level because of loans. I wish to personalise the issue under discussion and ask that all of us in this House be mindful and passionate about the welfare of our children. One of the challenges that I think we have as a country is the pyramidal system of our education system. We have programmes in place to support children at the primary to secondary school where it is much cheaper. However, is it not more imperative to give scholarships or loans to students who are in university because that is where it matters most? It is after this that they will be able to break off the vicious cycle of poverty and illiteracy.

 

Mr Speaker, our children have proved that they are intelligent. The argument at hand is that we brainstorm on how to put more resources at their disposal. If not, how can we ensure that the loans given to them are paid back so that other children can also benefit. My fellow hon. Members of Parliament, this is a Motion that should beckon our hearts as parents whether or not we have given birth biologically. This is an issue that touches the very fabric of our nation.

 

Sir, I am Lenje, but I learnt Bemba in school. In Bemba, there is a saying that goes, “Imiti ikula, empanga.”  This means that small trees eventually grow into a forest. So, if we cannot nurture the youths now, how do they become the leaders that we expect them to become? Education is not just a human right, but a right for the country because intellectual property will never be harnessed if our children do not further their education.

 

Mr Speaker, many hon. Members here do know that given the global village we live in, being a university graduate does not guarantee success. However, we, as law makers, have a responsibility to support the top cream of our country, who are the youths, irrespective of our political affiliation and constituencies.

 

I felt compelled to contribute to the debate on this Motion because it is one that cuts across the House.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kasune: The most vulnerable youths should be given 100 per cent consideration in the loan scheme. Those who are less vulnerable should get 75 to 50 per cent. Youths from privileged families can be given bursaries up to 25 per cent. I stand to be corrected, but some of the complaints were that some students who are capable of paying for university education were given preference in accessing loans compared to those who are more vulnerable.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kasune: So, can we investigate if privileged students are also being given bursaries. If there is no truth, then, let us do the right thing for our children and nation because without children, this nation cannot continue. In today’s world, we know that when children are not well equipped through education, we will lag behind as a country in terms of development.

 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to say that Zambia is a beautiful country. We all know that we are aging and one day we will need those children. Again, one Bemba proverb that I am very familiar with goes, “Mayo mpapa, naine kakupapa”, …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kasune: … meaning that if we take care of our children today, they will take care of us in our old age.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kasune: In this sense, I wish to say that I support the Motion …

 

Mr Ndalamei: Hammer, hammer!

 

Ms Kasune: … and ask all of us to search our moral campuses so that we do what is right for our children …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kasune: … and the future of our country.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this rare opportunity to …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Luo: … contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor.

 

Mr Speaker, before I wind up, please, permit me to say that I hold the title of Minister of Higher Education. I did not come with this title from Chinsali, but was appointed by the President of the Republic of Zambia, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Sikazwe: Umwaume!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, …

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr walk the talk!

 

Prof. Luo: … some people have hidden agendas of inciting …

 

Dr Wanchinga: Children!

 

Prof. Luo: … youths from the streets. I do not believe that the young people up there are university students.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education, …

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Luo: I would not like to believe that …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, take your seat.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: Namulanda kale mayo, natumfwa!

 

Mr Speaker: Earlier on this evening, I addressed that point. I cannot remember exactly who was on the Floor, but I did address that point. Let us focus on the issue at hand. It has been a very difficult afternoon and evening. Let us not exacerbate the situation.

 

Give your position as hon. Minister.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Minister, please, continue.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Hammer!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance. I am simply giving a preamble to my debate.

 

For a long time now, students from the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Copperbelt University (CBU) have been incited to riot …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … and people’s properties and university infrastructure have been destroyed at great cost. Only two weeks ago, some people went to incite the students to riot, yet a university student is supposed to appreciate grievance procedures. My office has an open-door policy. So anybody can walks into my, even a woman with no shoes on.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I have addressed the students and told them the position on the student loans. Therefore, it is totally unacceptable for some of them to sit in the gallery.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the Motion on the Floor has not been moved in good faith, but for political expediency.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: If the hon. UPND Members had respect for the Government, they would have been here last Friday.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: … take a seat.

 

Prof. Luo resumed her seat.

 

Hon. Government Members: Ema Professor, aya!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education, I know you have a lot to say on policy issues. I have no doubt about that. I urge you to just go straight into the Motion.

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. However, the debate …

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Luo: Excuse me, you are not the Speaker.

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the debate was political. So, I want to give them a political response.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Just pause there. Let me give further guidance. I have no difficulty with you giving a political response. You see, politics is the very nature of the business for which we are all here.

 

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: However, the point I am trying to make is that we should depersonalise the debate. That is all I am asking. All these issues relate to politics, the distribution of resources …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: … and so on and so forth. All these are political questions.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: There is nothing wrong in addressing them in that fashion, but let us depersonalise the debate. Otherwise, we will not make progress.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me respond to those who talked passionately about children and the obligation we have towards them. Charity begins at home.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, all my life, I have spoken for children and women. I even have charities.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I have also paid for education for over 20,000 people.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: So, I take great exception to anybody talking as if we are not passionate about the welfare of children.

 

Somebody talked about the issue of trips, yet some hon. Members were in South Africa for two weeks for a meeting at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: They should have given up that trip. However, they want to play to the gallery.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education. Earlier on, I urged the hon. Member for Nalikwanda to move away from the issue of trips. I still believe that you are ready to address policy issues.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: She is not ready!

 

Mr Speaker: I am very confident about that. Please, proceed.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, our debates are televised. It is important for those who do not take care of their children to do so before they can advise Prof. Luo.

Interruptions

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the hon. UPND Members are urging the Government to give loans to UNZA students. However, I am wondering which Government they are referring to because they were not here when the President came to address Parliament.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, take a seat again.

 

Prof. Luo resumed her seat.

 

Mr Speaker: I will give the Chief Whip a few minutes to consult the hon. Minister.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Musukwa consulted Hon. Prof. Luo.

 

Mr Speaker: For avoidance of doubt, there were several rulings on the subject that you are addressing. Please, give me an opportunity to deal with that matter.  It will be dealt with. In the meantime, let us deal with the business on the order of proceedings. I do not know how many points of order were raised. So, why should we go back to them? I have given you an opportunity to outline the Government’s position on the Motion. That is what I am looking forward to hearing from you.

 

You may continue.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, my ministry would like to respond to the issue of rights. Early last year, the Patriotic Front (PF) decided to hold a Referendum on the Bill of Rights. The hon. Opposition Members de-campaigned it until it failed.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, should they now advise my ministry on issues of human rights? Who is guilty of denying the university students their rights?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Is it the PF, the Ministry of Higher Education or the United Party for National Development (UPND)? Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, let them me to run the Ministry of Higher Education accordingly.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we came up with the idea of student loans, not the Opposition.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: We wrought our brains to come up with the loan scheme. If you do not understand English, ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Prof. Luo: ... I issued a ministerial statement in this House to the effect that the loan scheme will be implemented in 2018.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

I want to secure some silence for you to continue, hon. Minister.

 

You may continue.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, for the sake of those who did not hear, I said, in that statement, that a piece of paper called a legislation is not enough. You need systems in place.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: You need an implementation strategy.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I also said that we shall spend most of this year doing that. So, it not matter whether you talk from the rooftop, I am going to be steadfast and will run my ministry according to the brief that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: ... Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, gave me. It is not up to you to tell me what to do. Let me tell this august House and the nation that there shall be discipline at UNZA.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, there will be no sacred cows. When students misbehave, they will find their way to the streets, markets or bus stations where people who exhibit such behaviour are.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, UNZA is, ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Order!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, universities are centres of knowledge. That is where you find intellectuals. Intellectuals will not be incited by anybody and come to this House. Intellectuals are at the university studying at the moment. That is what the university is about. If I was talking to the French I would say, that is where you find le crème de la crème.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, ...

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, translate that.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it means the cream of the cream.

 

Mr Ngulube: Not mabisi!

 

Laughter

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me also ask another question.

 

Interruptions

.

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Luo: Loan schemes or bursaries are not just for UNZA students.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Continue, hon. Minister.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me also use this august House to send a warning to the staff in the Ministry of Higher Education. It takes time for someone to sit and photocopy a file. The papers that were brought to this House are meant for the Ministry of Higher Education Bursaries Committee.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: How did they find themselves in this House?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: How did they find themselves in this House?

 

Mr Speaker, I want to send a warning.

 

Hon. Government Members: Fire them!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Luo: There shall be discipline in the Ministry of Higher Education.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Confidential information is supposed to be a preserve of the ministry.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: For someone to take papers and give them to the Opposition for political expediency is unacceptable.  So, I am instituting an investigation, starting tonight,  …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … to find out who leaked this information.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Prof. Luo: Thereafter, we shall take appropriate action.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I do not want anybody to raise a point of order …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Prof. Luo: … that we are collecting …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Just a moment, hon. Minister.

 

Hon. Members on my left, you know very well that this is unacceptable. That is not how you question anybody. There are traditions around these issues.

 

Hon. Minister, our goal is to see if we can put this Motion to bed. As you know, today is Wednesday and the furthest our proceedings can go is 1915 hours and the time now is 1858 hours.

You may continue.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, this culture that has crept into Zambia were members of staff, who are supposed to be doing Government work, steal documents from ministries, is unacceptable.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, please, withdraw the word “stealing”.

 

Prof. Luo: I replace it with pinching or pilfering. This trend is unacceptable.

 

Mr Speaker, I would like to take some time to put things into perspective and correct some notions of the hon. Members from the Opposition because this debate is televised and people are listening to some of the lies. 

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Lies?

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, withdraw the word “lies”.

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, I would like to correct the misleading information that has been given.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, there is no loan scheme in the Ministry of Higher in 2017. 

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I informed this House that we shall continue with the Bursary Scheme. Therefore, this Motion, which is talking about loans, is misplaced.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: However, let me spend some time to educate my colleagues that UNZA admitted over 6,000 students. Those of you who take interest to walk around the institution and look at the facilities and not just incite the students to riot, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … may have observed that there is no lecture theatre that can accommodate 6,000 students.

 

Sir, when we cleaned up the data on students who had applied we found that some of them had cheated …

 

 

 Mr Speaker: Order:

Withdraw the word “cheated”, hon. Minister.

 

Prof. Luo: Some of the students had misled the institution because they had failed in other schools and reapplied in other schools, but UNZA did not clean them out of the system.

 

 Mr Ngulube: Ema professor, aya!

 

 Prof Luo: So, nobody shall compel me to do that which is wrong. I want to ensure that only elligible applicants are admitted to UNZA.

 

Mr Mung’andu: Ema professor, aya!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, secondly, some people who had applied for loans at the Copperbelt University (CBU) had also applied for loans at UNZA. For the sake of my colleagues who may not know how the ministry operates, I wish to inform them that we pay the money directly into the students’ accounts. So, there is a possibility of them being awarded two bursaries. So, we had to clean up the system ...

 

 Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … so that only students who are eligible are given loans. Furthermore, …

 

Mr Ngulube: Retire them!

 

Prof. Luo: … there are students who have thirteen or twelve points, but they were not awarded bursaries. So, when awarding bursaries, we had to look at the points that the students acquired. We also looked at the courses that the students had applied for. Therefore, the information given in this august House about 5,000 students being denied bursaries was a lie.

 

 Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

 Substitute the word “lie”, hon. Minister.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Withdraw it!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it was a joke.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, you have told us many times that we must give factual information in this House.

 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

 Prof. Luo: So, I do not know where the 5,000 students have come from. We had no choice, but to remove those who had double dealings and those who had failed, but wanted to get into UNZA again using the back door.

 Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I wish to urge my colleagues that next time they bring a Motion on the Ministry of Higher Education, they should consult and bring information that is correct because the Zambian people would like to hear the truth.

 

Mr Mung’andu: Ema professor, aya!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, this is the price people pay for taking and using data that is not theirs …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … because they do not understand it. They do not know the work other people have done but, because they want to be the Lord Almighty, the omnipotent …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, you were debating so well on policy issues. Please, wind up. I have already talked about the time limit.

 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

 

 Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, university education is expensive. University education is a privilege and requires thinking through. It is not about being passionate. Those of us who have gone through university education should know better.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!             

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, those of us who held high positions at UNZA should know better.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by saying that this Motion is misplaced and has no room in the Ministry of Higher Education because we are on course. I also wish to remind the House that I am an academician and I know exactly what needs to be done.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Sir, there shall be discipline at UNZA. Anybody who is admitted to UNZA should behave. I have already set a precedent regarding the three students who were organising a riot last Friday by removed them from the Bursary Scheme.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: I do not want people from the streets at UNZA. I want the university to reclaim its position in the world. It was one of the celebrated institutions in the world, but certain individuals destroyed it when they became Deputy Vice-Chancellors.

 

Interruptions

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Let us have some order!

 

I believe the hon. Minister has finished her remarks.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I would like to conclude by saying four things. The first one is that there will be discipline at UNZA. From today onwards, I want the students to know that UNZA is not a place for any political party to incite the students. Otherwise, they will join the others on the street.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Secondly, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, led by ‘Mr walk the talk’, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: … is on course, as it knows exactly what it wants to do. Thirdly, I would like UNZA CBU to claim their places in the world. When some of us were at UNZA, it was rated highly. However, certain things need rectification.

 

Lastly, those who had denied their children should go and claim them back.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central comes to conclude debate on the Motion, let me give some guidance. The time is now 1908 hours. This is time to wind up the Motion and you know the tradition of this House. It is not time for responses. So, I urge the hon. Member to do likewise.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am truly grateful to everybody who debated this Motion. I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance is back in the House. I am sure he will follow the deliberations. All we are asking for is to find innovative ways of financing student loans. For now, however, because we only have six minutes to do what we have to do, I have just one thing to say. That is, what you see is what you get.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members called for a division.

 

Question that this House urges the Government to provide loans to all eligible University of Zambia (UNZA) students who applied for loans for the 2016/2017 Academic Year and are already attending class, put and the House voted.

 

Ayes - (53)

 

Mr Belemu

Mr Bulaya

Mr Chaatila

Mr Chikote

Ms Chisangano

Ms Chonya

Mr Fungulwe

Dr Imakando

Mr Jere

Dr Kalila

Mr Kambita

Mr Kamboni

Mr Kamondo

Ms Kasanda

Mr Kasonso

Ms Kasune

Mr Kintu

Princess Kucheka

Mr Kufwakwandi

Mr Kundoti

Mr Lihefu

Mr Livune

Ms Lubezhi

Mr Lufuma

Mr Lumayi

Prof. Lungwangwa

Mr Machila

Mr Mandumbwa

Mrs Mazoka

Mr Mbangweta

Mr Michelo

Mr Miyanda

Mr Miyutu

Mr Mubika

Mr Muchima

Mr Mukumbuta

Mr Mulunda

Mr Mulusa

Mrs Mulyata

Mr Mutaba

Ms Mwashingwele

Mr Mweetwa

Mr Mwene

Mr Mwiinga

Mr Nanjuwa

Mr Ndalamei

Mr Nkombo

Mr Samakayi

Mr Sialubalo

Mr Sing’ombe

Gen. Sitwala

Mr Syakalima

Ms Tambatamba

 

Noes – (87)

 

Mr C. R. Banda

Mr W. Banda

Mr Chabi

Mr Chali

Ms Chalikosa

Dr Chanda

Mr Chansa

Mr Chibanda

Mr Chilangwa

Mr Chisopa

Mr Chiteme

Mr Chitotela

Mr Chiyalika

Mr Chungu

Mr Daka

Mrs Fundanga

Mr Jamba

Mrs Jere

Mr Kabamba

Mr Kabanda

Mrs Kabanshi

Mr Kafwaya

Mr Kalaba

Ms Kalima

Mr Kalobo

Ms Kapata

Mr Kapita

Mr Kasandwe

Mr Katambo

Ms Katuta

Prof. Luo

Mr Lusambo

Mr Mabumba

Dr Malama

Mr Malama

Mr Malanji

Mr Mawere

Mr Mecha

Mr Miti

Ms Miti

Mr Mubukwanu

Mr Mukosa

Mr Mulenga

Ms Mulenga

Mr A. Mumba

Mr D. Mumba

Mr Mundubile

Mr Mung’andu

Mr Munkonge

Mr Mushanga

Mr Mushimba

Mr Musonda

Mr Musukwa

Mr Mutale

Mr Mutati

Mr Mwakalombe

Mr Mwale

Mr Mwamba

Princess Mwape

Mr Mwewa

Mr Mwila

Mr Ng’ambi

Mr Ng’onga

Mr Ngulube

Mr Nkhuwa

Mr Nyirenda

Mr Phiri

Ms E. Phiri

Ms O. Phiri

Mr Sampa

Mr Sichalwe

Mr Sichone

Mr Sikazwe

Ms Siliya

Mr Simbao

Mrs Simukoko

Mr Siwale

Mr Siwanzi

Ms Subulwa

Mr L. N. Tembo

Mr M. K. Tembo

Mr S. Tembo

Dr Wanchinga

Mr Yaluma

Mr Zimba

Mr C. M. Zulu

Mr M. Zulu

 

Abstention – (01)

 

Mr Imbuwa

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

 

Question put and agreed to.

 

_____________________

 

The House adjourned at 1916 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 23rd March, 2017.