Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

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Tuesday, 28th February, 2017

 

The House met at 1430 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

_________

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS BY MR SPEAKER

 

ACTING LEADER OF GOVERNMENT IN THE HOUSE

 

Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government Business, the hon. Chief Whip, Mr Richard Musukwa, MP, has been appointed acting leader of Government Business in the House …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: … from today, Tuesday, 28th February, 2017 until further notice.

 

I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

DELEGATION FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF BURUNDI

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of Parliament and staff from the Burundi:

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chabi: Bujumbura!

 

Mr Speaker:

 

Rt. Hon. Pascal Nyabenda, MP, Speaker − Leader of the Delegation

 

Hon. Remegie Bazirahomponyoye, MP

 

Hon. Fabien Banciryanino, MP

 

Hon. Gloriose Ndayizeye, MP

 

Mr Jean Nepos Nicimpaye − Chief of Protocol

 

Mr Dieudonne Niyonzima − Security Officer

 

Mr Richard Ndayisenga − Communication Advisor

 

Mr Venuste Havyarimana – Master

 

Mr Apoppinaire Niyirora – Journalist

 

Mr Jean Bosco Hakizimana – Cameraman

 

Mr Sylvere Bavugamenshi − Political Advisor

 

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly, to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them to Zambia.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

DELEGATION FROM THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF KENYA

 

Mr Speaker: Thirdly, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of Parliament of the Committee on Delegated Legislation from the Parliament of Kenya:

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker:

 

Hon. Joseph Gachoki Gitari, MP − Leader of the Delegation

 

 Hon. Jon Murrithi Waiganjo, MP

 

Hon. Augustino Neto Oyugi, MP

 

Hon. Daniel Kitonga Maanzo, MP

 

Hon. Eusilah Ngeny, MP

 

Hon. Elisha Busienei, MP

 

Mr George Gazemba − Senior Clerk Assistant and Secretary to the Delegation

 

Mr Wilson Dima − Legal Counsel of the Committee

 

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly, to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.

 

I thank you.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

_____________

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

 

 TAKEOVER OF INTERMARKET BANK BY THE BANK OF ZAMBIA

 

The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, on 1st December, 2016, I addressed this august House on the repossession of Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (IBC). This was pursuant to Section 81 of the Banking and Financial Services Act, Cap. 387 of the laws of Zambia, which empowers the Central Bank to take possession of a financial service provider which is insolvent, unable to meet its financial obligation and consequently, posing a threat to financial systems stability.

 

Mr Speaker, following the repossession of the IBC, the Bank of Zambia, as required by law, prepared a statement of affairs of the assets and liabilities of the IBC within ninety days and engaged the shareholders to explore modalities for the restoration of the bank’s solvency. I am pleased to inform the august House that the Bank of Zambia has accepted the proposal submitted by shareholders, as providing a viable basis for a substantive restructuring of the bank. This should lead to the resumption of its operations.

 

Mr Speaker, consequently, the IBC is now taking steps to implement the restructuring plan, as approved by the Bank of Zambia. During the restructuring period, the Bank of Zambia will closely monitor the activities of the bank and the public will be informed in due course regarding the timing of the resumption of its operation. In short, the bank will not be liquidated, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutati: … but is being restructured so that it meets its obligation, including its capital requirement.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

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

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for updating the Zambians on the plight of the bank. Does he not think that the bank’s name has been tarnished and has caused a scare among its customers, who will not trust it anymore? What measures will be put in place to sustain its operations?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the option of liquidation would have entailed the customers of the bank literally losing all their deposits. In the new arrangement, we are restructuring the shareholding, injecting in capital and bringing back to life the bank in terms of operations and it will be able to take in deposits and give withdrawals. Provided it resumes normal operations and the customers are given their money, the issue of its name will be secondary because it would be back in business.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated the reason behind the suspension of the operations of the Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited. Is he aware that the Government and Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA)’s decision to require bank account holders to have a Taxpayers Identification Number (TPIN) might affect their deposits, which they intend to withdraw from the banks? What measures will the Government put in place to ensure that this measure does not affect the operations of banks in Zambia?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, a Taxpayers Identification Number (TPIN) is a mere identification of a customer. I will issue a comprehensive ministerial statement to outline the advantages of having this number in due course.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for updating the House on the status of the bank. In his last statement concerning the bank, he indicated that the Bank of Zambia had met with the shareholders of the bank on several occasions and they rendered various proposals on how to save the bank. However, none of them were deemed credible and acceptable. Could the hon. Minister tell the house the key ingredients the shareholders have put on the table to convince the management of the Bank of Zambia such that when the bank reopens, its customers will be confident to deposit money and not rush to withdraw it?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, indeed, I had informed the House in December, 2016, that various proposals were rendered by the shareholders and because they did not materialise, the Bank of Zambia took possession of the bank. That meant that the liabilities of the bank were in excess of its assets. Therefore, it was insolvent. In the restructuring exercise that has been undertaken, firstly, the existing shareholders will be in the minority position. Secondly, fresh capital has been injected into the bank for those who may wish to withdraw their money. Thirdly, the new shareholders will tackle the issue of management.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr A. C. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to the fact that the bank’s survival will only be sustained if there is continuous cash flow in the economy. Currently, the cash flow is quite limited because suppliers are not paid on time, and when they are, it is not the actual amounts meaning the money deposited in the bank will not be enough. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that financial institutions such as the Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (IBC) are able to weather their sales through this difficult situation?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I have indicated on the Floor of the House that the Government has been dismantling the arrears to suppliers of goods and services, including contractors. So far, it has paid over K3 billion. That in part has eased the liquidity, but beyond that, last week, the Central Bank made policy announcements. Firstly, the liquidity ratio was reduced from 18 per cent to 15 per cent to allow for liquidity. Secondly, the policy rate was moved downwards from 15.5 per cent to 14 per cent. Thirdly, the overnight lending rates were moved downwards from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. The aim of this move was to increase the circulation of cash in the economy not only for the IBC, but also all the financial institutions.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Minister for the statement which I suppose will put small smiles on the faces of the many depositors whose monies have been held for such a long time. The hon. Minister mentioned the probable restructuring exercise which will take place in the bank. The depositors have been waiting for a long time now. So, I would like to find out how long this exercise will take.

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to thank the depositors for the patience that they have exercised in the last ninety days that the bank has been under the possession of the Central Bank. With the restructuring programme, within thirty days, the doors of the bank will be opened to customers to deal in the normal banking activities, which include depositing and withdrawing money. Customers will also be able to have the issue of the TPIN, which is not a tax, addressed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, a year or so ago, the Central Bank had revised the Statutory Reserve Deposit by all banks. In view of what has happened to the Intermarket Bank Corporation Zambia Limited, have all the banks adhered to the new status quo?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the reserve ratio has been revised from 18 per cent to 15 per cent. The policy rate has also been revised from 15.5 per cent to 14 per cent. These are directives from the Central Bank, which is continuing to engage the banks so that this benefit can be passed on to the customers by way of reduction in the cost of money.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement and the debate arising on the Floor of the House, I note that the Government is generating options to solve problems, which is a good management practice. Does the Government think that the financial legislation is sufficient to manage the sector so that other banks do not find themselves in the same situation as Intermarket Bank Corporation Zambia Limited (IBC)?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we will bring, before this House, amendments to the Banking and Financial Services Act to take into account the very issues that have been raised. This is aimed at strengthening the financial sector stability and prudential management of customers’ deposits, among others.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Mbulakulima (Milengi): Mr Speaker, the major shareholders of the bank in issue were basically from one country. Following the restructuring that the hon. Minister has mentioned, how diverse is the shareholding? Will Zambians be allowed to participate in the shareholding?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the Bank of Zambia will announce the composition of the new shareholders of the bank within thirty days.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the closure of any bank raises the issue of credibility, and that is what is exercising the minds of the people. Should we have to wait for thirty days before being told who the majority shareholders are and what the level of capital injection into the bank is? Why can this not be done as soon as possible?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Professor for that deep question. Credibility will be driven by creating credible solutions to the problem. What we have placed on the table is a credible solution to the plight of the bank as well as its customers. On the journey for credibility, we want the Central Bank to make a comprehensive statement on the composition of the shareholders, levels of new capital investment and the governance structure so that credibility is enhanced. Thirty days is the upper limit. It may be done earlier than that because, at the moment, the bank is solvent.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm if Zambia’s financial sector has not been tarnished by this decision. Could he also confirm whether the Central Bank was, in some way, negligent in the manner it monitored this bank. Lastly, could the hon. Minister confirm if the customers will be compensated for their failure to have access to their cash during the period that the bank was under the possession of the Central Bank?

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I would like to remind you that you are only limited to one question. Please, let us observe the practice.

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, on 1st December, last year, I indicated that the size of the bank, relative to the financial sector, was .01 per cent and, therefore, insignificant within the context of the financial sector. The Bank of Zambia took possession of the bank, having worked with the shareholders who committed themselves to creating sensible solutions which did not happen. For that reason, the Bank of Zambia took possession of the bank. As regards the operations and monies held in the ninety days, the normal banking operations will apply when the bank reopens.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the problem that led to the Central Bank taking over Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Ltd was insolvency. If I got the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the solution that could keep the bank’s doors open was restructuring of the shareholding.

 

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether, by implication, the old structure of the shareholding was the cause of the insolvency. Further, now that there has been a restructuring, does it mean that certain shareholders have been evacuated from the operations of the bank and were there any criminal elements in the old structure?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, indeed, the bank was closed because of insolvency. Simply put, the assets of the bank were less than the liabilities. The restructuring of the shareholding means that the current shareholders will become the minority and not the majority. This is what I indicated in my statement.

 

Secondly, fresh capital has been injected into the bank to ensure that it is no longer insolvent. As we speak, the bank is in surplus in terms of cash.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: There was the aspect of criminality to the question, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the issue of negligence, whether criminal or otherwise, will be dealt with within the context of the Banking and Financial Services Act.

 

I thank you.

 

Mr Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated, in one of his answers, that the Government has to date, liquidated about K3 billion from the debt stock that it has with suppliers and contractors of roads. Is he able to share with us what percentage representation is K3 billion to the total debt stock so that we know how well we are moving?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, our debt levels in terms of arrears to contractors and suppliers is in excess of K12 billion. So, what has been paid is 25 per cent of the arrears and we will continue to pay out.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that capital has been injected into Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Ltd. Any credible solution to a banker is to withdraw the money immediately the doors are open ...

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!

 

Mr Jamba: … and not deposit anymore. What has been done to ensure that this does not happen to keep the bank from running out of money immediately the doors open?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, simply put, crossing over to solvency means that assets are greater than liabilities. So, even if people withdraw their money, the bank’s position will still be positive. We are not worried about people withdrawing their money. However, we also expect that people, who have dealt with the bank, will continue to deposit their money.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Mutati: Should they decide to withdraw their money, there will still be no insolvency.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kakubo (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, my concern is about the staff complement of the Intermarket Banking Corporation Zambia Ltd.  In his statement, the hon. Minister mentioned that the bank will resume operations soon. Is he in a position to confirm whether there are any expected job losses or will the entire staff complement report for work and operate normally?

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, our first task, which has been accomplished, was to open the bank. The second task is for the shareholders to put in place management and this will be done within thirty days. The third task will be for management to operate the bank. As a Government, we do not indulge in physical operations. Our task is simply to create solutions, which include opening the bank.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, it is very clear that the reserve ratio was just too high. I am glad that it has now been revised to 15 per cent, which I still think is too high.

 

Hon. Minister, I expect a bank run once the doors to the bank are opened. Even though the hon. Minister has explained the situation, going by the question asked by the hon. Member for Mwembezhi, I still believe that he needs to explain further on how he intends to …

 

Mr Ngulube: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to rise on a point of order. My point of order is on the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development. Is the hon. Minister in order to remain quiet on why the people of Zambia, who were promised to watch the on-going Confederation of African Football (CAF) Under-20 Championship on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), are not watching the games live?

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that I will give the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development an opportunity to respond to that point of order, not later than Thursday, this week.

 

Hon. Member for Zambezi East, you may proceed.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambita: Mr Speaker, owing to the reputation of the bank, it is expected that there will be a bank run on the day the bank will open its doors to the public, for obvious reasons. I would like to find out the measures the Government has put in place to attract further deposits into the bank under such circumstances.

 

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, perhaps, let me say that we should not be skeptical and cause alarm. I have already said that there is enough money. Therefore, there is no need to run on the bank because the money is available. I would like to call upon the depositors and other clients that have transactions with the bank to support the bank to run. I, therefore, do not anticipate a run on bank because we have sufficient money in the bank.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Members, I have also permitted the hon. Minister of Local Government to render a ministerial statement.

 

Mr Mwale rose.

 

Hon. Members: CDF, CDF!

 

 IMPLEMENTATION OF ‘THE KEEP ZAMBIA CLEAN CAMPAIGN’ AND STATE OF DRAINAGE SYSTEM IN CITIES

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to, again, render a ministerial statement.

 

 

Sir, I wish to submit the progress report regarding the implementation of the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’ …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: … and the challenges that have been faced. Further, I will also comment on the state of the drainage system in the cities in Zambia.

 

Hon. Members: Aah!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Proceed, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I will first deal with the progress on remedial measures in the ‘Keep Zambia Campaign’. The progress on the various clean-up activities being undertaken as part of the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’ in the immediate term are as follows:

 

  1.  my ministry, through the local authorities, has continued to enforce a Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 100 of 2011 which compels residents and institutions to take responsibility for the waste they produce;

 

  1. using the 2017 National Budget, the Government is procuring seven skip loader trucks and forty-nine skip bins valued at about K7.2 million for cities and municipalities. In addition, local authorities, particularly cities and big municipalities, procured additional refuse collection equipment at an estimated cost of K4.3 million from their own budgets;

 

  1. following the directive to observe the national cleaning days in 2016, with the help of the private sector, my ministry is ensuring that every afternoon of the first Friday of every month is reserved for community work for cleaning our premises and surroundings;

 

  1. through the local authorities, my ministry has continued to increase the involvement of the private sector in supporting flagship campaigns. For instance, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) on the Copperbelt donated bins to Chililabombwe Municipal Council, which, help in the cleaning up of the activities. Zambia breweries, working with the Lusaka City Council, has started a community initiative recycling project called ‘Manja Pamodzi’ in helping to clean up post consumer packaging waste. The initiative will be rolled out to all districts in the council;

 

  1. my ministry, working with the councils and other key stakeholders such as the United Street Venders Foundation, Marketeers and Community Structures, is relocating street venders to designated market and trading areas in order to improve cabbage collections and general cleanliness of their surroundings. This strategy is initially being applied in Livingstone, Kitwe, Ndola and Chililabombwe towns and will later be extended to other affected towns;

 

  1. in implementing this campaign, local authorities, particularly on the Copperbelt, working with the Zambia National Service (ZNS) and the Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS), stepped up the removal of accumulated waste and unblocking of drainages in the communities;

 

  1. my ministry is developing a public media awareness campaign to sensitise Zambian citizenry on the responsible waste management and cleaning of premises at work places and community surroundings. The programme was supposed to commence airing on the Zambia national broadcaster, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), in the second quarter of 2016, but will now air in the second quarter of 2017; and

 

  1. my ministry, working with the Ministry of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection, is formulating a National Water Supply Sanitation and Solid Waste Policy to strengthen the legal and institutional frameworks for efficient and effective provision of water supply, sanitation and solid waste management in Zambia. The development process or the policy has now reached an advanced stage; and

 

  1. my ministry, working with the Lusaka City Council (LCC), is seeking to establish waste-to-energy plant under the public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement in Lusaka to ensure a clean and healthy environment and contribute to minimising the energy deficit. The process of engaging a developer is at a procurement stage. This will later be scaled up to the Copperbelt, where the process of undertaking a feasibility study has started using a grant from a Finish private sector development amounting to US$300,000.

 

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to the challenges in the implementation of the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’, which are as follows:

 

  1.  inadequate enforcement of statutes that govern the implementation of solid waste management;

 

  1. increasing waste generation and complexity of waste streams associated with urbanisation, economic growth and increased affluence. This requires more investment in the sector for local authorities to manage waste efficiently;

 

  1. inadequate waste management equipment and infrastructure such as engineered sanitary landfills for final disposal and treatment of solid waste;

 

  1. inadequate private sector involvement and financing in the sub-sector;

 

  1. inadequate human and financial capacities in local authorities to provide solid waste management service delivery;

 

  1. weak institutional framework for solid waste that is characterised by the absence of waste management units with the exception of major cities;

 

  1. poor adherence by people to responsible waste management disposal practices; and

 

  1. lack of wiliness or ability by waste producers (citizens) to pay for waste collection services in areas where both the local authorities and private companies operate.

 

Mr Speaker, let me now highlight some of the measures my ministry will put in place in the near future to adequately deal with the issues of solid waste management in the country. These are the following:

 

  1. as I said, my ministry is developing public media awareness campaign to sensitise Zambians in cleaning premises and surrounding at work place areas and communities. Subject to the availability of funds, my ministry desires to flood the media with the campaign messages and sustain this to achieve behavioral change;

 

  1. develop a sustained financing mechanism to ensure that there is a pool of finances set aside for solid waste management. This can be done through tariff bundling with other utility bills. It will ensure efficient and effective solid waste management services. Other means can be done through a waste tax. Discussions will be held to come with the most user-friendly mechanism. This is in line with the-polluter-pays principle highlighted in the Environmental Management Act;

 

  1. encourage the implementation of new technologies like generation of energy to waste;

 

  1. along with the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), finalise development of the extended producer responsibility regulations to ensure that all entities that import or manufacture materials are held accountable for the environmental liabilities their product may cause;

 

  1. the ministry will endeavour to build capacity in its implementing agencies to improve service delivery. Further, the ministry will develop strategies to deal with the emerging issues of electronic waste;

 

  1. my ministry will issue a new instrument on the matters of making Zambia clean and solid waste management to all authorities to direct them to develop by-laws and enforce State laws that govern waste management in their area of jurisdiction; and

 

  1. my ministry will leverage support form cross-cutting matters like climate change, as poor solid waste management contributes to climate change.

 

The challenges and opportunities faced by the campaign cannot be addressed without a collective approach and involvement of a broad range of stakeholders in the implementation. In this respect, we will continue strengthening public sensitisation, inspections, enforcements and partnerships with the private sector and civil society organisations. I wish to urge my fellow Parliamentarians to each help spread the message in their constituencies on the need for each constituent to take responsibility for the waste he/she generates and ensure that it is reduced, reused, recycled or disposed of in a proper manner.

 

Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, flooding in our cities has been a topical issue, especially in the current rainy season. The Ministry of Local Government, through delegated functions to local authorities, is charged with the task of managing urban and feeder roads in the country. This also includes associated road infrastructure such as drainages. The cities of Ndola, Lusaka, Kitwe, Livingstone and now Chipata have ongoing drainage related works. Drainage has mainly become a problem during the rainy season with most affected areas being in the city of Lusaka. The budgetary constraints over the years have made it difficult for cities to adequately deal with the drainage problems, which leads to some areas flooding.

 

Sir, drainage works are at different stages and the following are the ongoing projects and activities within the cities:

 

  1. Lusaka

 

In Lusaka, there is the Chawama drainage which is from Chawama Clinic to Kuku Market, including installation of two major crossings and seven minor access points. The progress of this project is at 66 per cent. We have also embarked on the improvement of drainage channels from the National Heroes Stadium to Chunga River. This is an ongoing annual routine maintenance programme. There is the improvement of drainage channels in Chamba Valley, Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and Hybrid areas, which are all north of Kaunda Square, and Chainda Compound. This is an ongoing annual routine maintenance programme.

 

There is also the Lusaka Water Supply, Sanitation and Drainage Project. This is a 30 km-primary drainage network feeding into Ngwerere stream and the draining channels from Libala, Kabwata, Kamwala, Fairview, Northmead, Garden, Chipata and Mazyopa residential areas and is sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). The progress on this project is at 40 per cent. Other routine maintenance works are ongoing on road side drainages throughout the city.

 

  1. Ndola

 

the city council is currently carrying out drainage clearing activities in wards on a very small-scale due to insufficient funds. The council is also attending to drainages in the Central Business District (CBD) and other critical areas around the city. Under the Copperbelt 400 km Road Project (C 400), the council intends to redesign most of the drainages in the city and within the CBD, in particular.

 

  1. Kitwe

 

the council has currently engaged workers in all the twenty-eight wards to de-silt the drainage system. Further, community engagement has been done in each ward using the Ward Development Fund (WDF) to de-silt the drains. In Livingstone, the council is carrying out routine maintenance works on drainages in the city, but with very constrained budget provisions.

 

Mr Speaker, the challenges all the cities are facing on drainage are similar. Most common are the following:

 

  1. structures, mainly illegal, have been built on top of drains;

 

  1. most of the drainages in the CBDs are underground and usually pause a challenge to councils due to a lack of appropriate equipment for cleaning such as pressure jets;

 

  1. cities have grown in population whilst the infrastructure development has not grown at the same rate; and

 

  1. garbage collection is still a challenge with residents and business areas indiscriminately dumping garbage into the drainage structures.

 

Mr Speaker, lastly, my ministry is addressing the challenges being faced by the ‘Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign’ and poor drainage systems in the cities with a view to realising the vision of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, of ensuring that our cities and towns join the league of smart cities of the world within the next five to ten years. In line with His Excellency the President’s vision, my ministry is resolutely committed to promoting and maintaining a clean and healthy environment for all Zambians.

 

Mr Speaker, it is our hope that when constituencies begin to get their Constituency Development Fund (CDF), once the Bill is tabled, hon. Members will help us attend to some of these problems. The said Bill will probably be tabled next week or so.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ndiye ma Minister aya.

 

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

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister spoke about the Environmental Management Act and, if I heard him correctly, he also spoke about solid waste being reused, recycled or ably managed. Is the hon. Minister expecting this to be done at individual household level or is it the responsibility of the Government to see to it that recycling is actually being done properly?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of the Government to create an enabling environment so that the private sector and even individuals who have the capacity and capability can engage in recycling without difficulties. At the moment, the Government is in talks with many companies from many different countries that are interested in setting up plants to recycle a lot of waste that we are disposing of.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister make pronouncements pertaining to the assistance and measures that are being put in place in cities and municipalities. The hon. Minister must be aware that city and municipal councils are supposed to be financially sound and able to provide public services. However, I have not heard the hon. Minister mention the measures being put in place to ensure that other district councils are assisted in the same way that city and municipal councils are being assisted.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Central Government will endeavour to ensure that all councils across the country, which are 106 now, receive support from it. One way in which this is being done is by increasing the allocation to the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF), which is sent to the councils. This has been done this year and, in fact, I just received feedback from some councils this morning and they confirmed that their allocation has gone up.

 

Mr Speaker, we, as a Government, will continue to give this kind of support, but you will agree with me that this problem is bigger in cities than in other municipalities. We want to deal with this problem in the cities before we could get down to other municipalities that are equally faced with this challenge. However, we will model the help that we give to other municipalities on what we will do within the cities. We cannot direct all our resources to smaller councils with a smaller problem before we can deal with the huge challenge we have within Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, Livingstone and other major towns. I, however, emphasise that the Government is giving support to all the councils through the LGEF.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, in 2013, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) zoned Lusaka District into ten areas for the purposes of managing waste. Some contractors were given this responsibility on behalf of the local government. However, despite contracts being awarded to about seven companies to manage waste in Lusaka District, we see that the town is still dirty. Would the hon. Minister, therefore, say whether this programme has achieved its objective or not?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we are not satisfied and I cannot say that we achieved the objective of the programme. There have never been finances dedicated towards solid waste management in the country. Countries that have succeeded in dealing with waste have done it in such a way that the waste disposal programme brings revenue, which is used to deal with the same programme. There has to be some levy that has to deal with this issue. As I highlighted in my statement, the LCC is thinking about different ways in which it can raise money. For instance, it is thinking of introducing a talk time levy or a tariff that can be bundled with water bills. Once it comes up with one final idea, we will use it to raise money which will be invested in the solid waste management programme. In the past, this programme has not succeeded because there was no revenue dedicated towards it.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement has not given me much hope. I believe that you cannot climb a tree by the leaves. You have to go on a trunk to climb a tree. In his statement, the hon. Minister spoke about the lack of engineered landfills and his Government’s intention to buy support equipment for refuse collection. In his heart of hearts, does he not think he will score a first if he provided these municipalities and cities with engineered landfills? It becomes easy to recycle garbage when it is put in designated landfills. The only landfill we have in Chunga has now stopped functioning and refuse is now finding itself back into the community.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, maybe, this is a question of which comes first, an egg or a chicken? At the moment, we seem to have landfills that are not properly engineered. In future, we should try to set up proper landfills. Having a proper landfill is not just about having bare land for refuse disposal. There is a difference between a dump site and a landfill. A dump site is where you dispose of rubbish and it should not be there for too long because if it is, the fluids contained therein will contaminate the underground water. A proper landfill is supposed to be rubberised. However, that has not been done with the existing landfills. In future, we should endeavour to do that. However, this should not stop us from using the landfills that are in place, at the moment, because they already exist. What we need to do is think of how we can empty those landfills. Maybe, we can burn that refuse and generate electricity from it or recycle a part of it to come up with paper or plastic. In short, we have to use the landfills that are in existence by emptying and re-engineering them to acceptable standards. When we create new ones, we will take mechanisation into consideration.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Phiri (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, Kanyama seems not to have benefitted from the drainages which are being built in the city. I heard the hon. Minister mention the areas where the Millennium Challenge Account programme is working on some drainages. Why is Kanyama not a beneficiary when it is part of the city?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in the current phase, Kanyama has not been catered for, but the council still has the responsibility to provide drainages in Kanyama. The Millennium Challenge Account is a programme being financed by our co-operating partner, the American Government, and we agreed on where these drainages were to be provided. There is a chance that the American Government may render further assistance, but I think I cannot talk about that for now. The council is capable of providing drainages that are required in Kanyama and we can explore that avenue.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’ is a misnomer and is totally inaccurate because it is an urban problem. This programme does not apply to areas such as Chipangali, Kanchibiya, Kalabo, Nalikwanda and many other rural constituencies. Our towns are filthy. They are dirty. They are unacceptably unpleasant because of the people in the urban areas. That is the way the people in the rural areas we represent look at the urban problems, which are gobbling billions of money at their expense. When will the hon. Minister change this misnomer and focus more on keeping our cities and towns clean? When will the hon. Minister make the local authorities in the urban areas, which are incompetent as far as cleanliness of their environments is concerned, address this problem which is specific to urban areas and not rural areas?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that is why, as regard the Lusaka CBD, I talked about tariff bundling and the need to include a levy for collection of garbage in the water bills ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Mwale: ... so that someone in Chipangali will not have to pay that levy because solid waste in the CBD of Lusaka is not his/her problem. We will apportion this punishment, if we can call that, to those who generate waste. I also said, in my statement, that we will push the responsibility of disposing of waste to companies like the Zambian Breweries and others which manufacture bottles so that these things that are non-biodegradable and can survive fifty years in our soil without decomposing are taken care of by these companies. These companies must be part of the solution. On Monday mornings, most of the bins in Northmead and Kabwata, among others, are full of Mosi, Castle and Black Label bottles and that is why Zambian Breweries must be part of the solution. We are pushing this back to those who are part of this problem.

 

However, Sir, let us not be too comfortable in thinking that this is an urban problem because an area like Chipangali, in a rural area, is now developing. Therefore, as a Government, we must ensure that we put mechanisms in place that ensure that people have a system of dealing with solid waste as this area gets urbanised.

 

Mr Speaker, let me also take advantage of this opportunity to mention that there is also a component of electronic waste that we may be ignoring at the moment. For instance, in Chipangali, there are many people who have small cellular phones. When the batteries of these phones die, they are disposed of anyhow, yet these have capabilities of causing cancer. Therefore, we are also trying to think of solutions for both rural and urban areas. Nevertheless, I agree with the hon. Member that this is an urban problem and we have to find solutions that suit urban areas and that is exactly what we are doing.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, year in and year out, we experience blockages of drainages and manholes mainly because of the usage of plastics. If one goes to another country, there is a cost attached to the plastic bag. Does the hon. Minister have any plans of formulating a policy to compel traders to use paper bags instead of plastic bags?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I think that issue was pronounced by His Excellency the President when he addressed Parliament. I wish to inform the House that processes are actually in place to make sure that this Government bans the use of plastics.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister made reference to the usage of the Ward Development Fund (WDF) that the city of Kitwe is using to deal with certain issues as regard the drainage and sanitation. Is the hon. Minister in a position to inform the House and, indeed, the nation at large the last time the WDF was disbursed?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to answer that question, but I am aware that Kitwe City Council uses some of its revenue to disburse as the Ward Development Fund (WDF). Maybe, the question should have been asked in a different context that is, how much of the CDF will go towards the WDF? I do not know that which is coming from the council. I am not in a position to tell, but I can avail the House with an answer at some point.

 

Mr Kintu (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister admitted that one of the weakest areas of the local authorities is enforcement of laws. I know that this country has very good laws, but the problem has been enforcement. We would not talk about local authorities if enforcement of laws was being done. What are the strategies that the Government has put in place to ensure that these good laws work for the councils?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, a problem to enforce some of the laws that we, as hon. Members, make. As I highlighted in my statement, one of the things that we intend to do is conduct sensitisation programmes. Sometimes, people do not follow these laws because they are not aware of them. We want to make sure that we intensify on campaigns, through the media, of the laws that we tell people about. For example, it is not allowed to leave a heap of solid waste in front of one’s house or office or let the grass grow in front of one’s house or office. If people are fully aware of this law, because of the campaigns we will do, then we will achieve something. Similarly, we will also use other means within the councils to ensure that this happens.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, our nation is a Christian nation and cleanliness moves in tandem with that status. The question is: Since Lusaka is a grown city, are there any plans to subdivide it into smaller districts so that each component is made a point for cleaning?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, yes, that is very possible and it is also in line with the new Local Government Act which is yet to be enacted by this House. There is a provision which allows for cities like Lusaka to be subdivided and have, for example, Matero as a municipality taking care of its own issues within the city. This is in line with the Act which I am sure will soon be tabled in this House. We will take that route.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I also wish to thank the hon. Minister for the statement delivered. Indeed, cleanliness is very important like the practical approach that the hon. Minister is taking. Now, to continue in practical ways, could he assure the people of Liuwa that he will release their Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because it is flooded now?

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Musokotwane: When it is flooded, people have to deal with issues of waste management in water logged situations. Can the hon. Minister release the CDF next week?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have been assured by the Minister of Finance that funds for the CDF are available to be released, but we have one technicality. We first have to pass the law, a Bill in this House. Otherwise, doing so now would be illegal …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: … because this fund was established through the Constitution, hence disbursement and management has to be prescribed and done by an Act of Parliament. That Act is just awaiting one last stage, to be confirmed by the Cabinet. I am sure that at the next sitting of Cabinet, this will be done and the Bill will come to this Parliament to be approved. Then, the hon. Minister of Finance can release the money.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, what is the Ministry of Local Government doing to stop the flooding of Main Street in Ibex Hill and also in Avondale which has gone for months on? This can lead to a cholera outbreak, as is the case in the compounds because the fecal matter is getting mixed with the main water system. What are the ministries of Local Government and Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection doing about this?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I agree with Hon. Daka that Ibex and Avondale have a huge challenge when it comes to drainages. This is something that the council will begin to work on once the rainy season is over.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Miti (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, there are some districts, like Vubwi, which do not even have bins to manage waste. Such districts receive the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) on a monthly basis, but I am not sure if it is being used for its intended purpose. Are there measures that the Government has put in place to monitor the use of the fund in rural districts like Vubwi?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the LGEF is a public fund just like any other public fund and is monitored, evaluated and also audited by the Office of the Auditor-General. The fund can actually be used to procure the bins within Vubwi District that the hon. Member is talking about. It is sad to hear that the hon. Member of Parliament doubts whether that fund is being utilised properly. We will keep an eye on her behalf and give her feedback.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, Rwanda, which is the cleanest country in Africa, has done what the hon. Minister intends to do. Apart from making pronouncements, Rwanda has set performance targets for its local authorities. Does the hon. Minister have any plans to give performance targets to Town Clerks, Mayors and Directors of Public Health so that people are held accountable? We do not want to go back to the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’ next year.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is spot on. Even line ministries are being monitored and supervised closely by his Excellency the President. Every quarter, we are expected to appear before him to answer some questions in his quest to ensure that we are delivering on our promises. Likewise, we will set performance targets to ensure that all these councils have service delivery charters.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, Kanyama is cholera-prone and a disease high risk area. Why would the Government turn a blind eye and shift responsibility to the council which it said does not have capacity to carry out this kind of work? Could the hon. Minister assure the people of Kanyama that this issue of drainages will be dealt with because they are part of Lusaka City.

 

Mr Mutale: Question!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I assure the hon. Member for Chienge, the hon. Member of Kanyama and rest of the nation that the Government has not turned a blind eye to the people of Kanyama. I have stated that the council is capable of dealing with the drainage problem in Kanyama and it will attend to it.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, why has the hon. Minister not targeted the polluters as opposed to passing blanket legislation which dictates that everyone should pay waste management levy?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it would be difficult to determine who is polluting in the CBD of Lusaka, for example. If we impose a levy on those operating within the CBD, my assumption is that they will all take measures to ensure that they do not pollute. I believe this is the best approach and I hope we can learn lessons from it before we can replicate it in other areas.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, in February, 2016, Hon. Steven Kampyongo issued a ministerial statement on the implementation of the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’. In his statement, he said that his ministry, in apparent reference to the Ministry of Local Government, had directed all local authorities and provincial administrations to identify the cleanest premises such as households, schools, health facilities, markets, bus stops and business trading areas. His Excellency the President was then to personally award certificates of excellence every year to those deserving. Have any premises been identified and awarded these certificates?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that programme will be implemented this year. I am sure most are aware that we had challenges last year as a result of the elections. So, a few things changed. However, this year, that well-intended programme will be implemented.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, every time we pass through Addis Ababa Road, we see that the drainage system is in a deplorable state. One would not imagine that it is one of the roads that are used by the Head of State as he goes to the airport or by visitors when they come to our country. When will the Addis Ababa Road drainage be worked on?

 

Sir, secondly, there is the issue of the Millennium Challenge Account that the hon. Minister talked about. There is an insinuation that after three or four years when this drainage is fully functional, Lusaka will be starved of underground water causing all the boreholes to not have water. Could the hon. Minister kindly deny or confirm that assertion.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, on the issue of Addis Ababa, there is programme that will soon be implemented which I am sure the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development referred to in this House at some point. It is known as ‘Decongesting Lusaka’ and millions of dollars will be spent to ensure that we expand our roads. That programme will also deal with the issues of drainage systems, including the ones on Addis Ababa Road.

 

Sir, as regards the issue of water being contaminated underground, I need a bit more time to check the reports available regarding that in case I mislead the House.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, some of the key strategies in the promotion of a clean and healthy environment lie in the implementation of urban renewal programmes, which include the upgrading of already existing residential areas by way of providing improved and decent housing, streets and street lighting, drainages and the sensitisation of the citizens.

 

Sometime in 2012, as a member of the Committee on Delegated Legislation, I recall visiting Kanyama and Chibolya in particular, in an attempt to assess the possibilities of implementing urban renewal programmes for the city of Lusaka. What happened to that programme?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, that programme has not been abandoned. Before implementing important programmes such as this one, there are always stages that must be followed. Therefore, I wish to assure the hon. Member that very soon, he will see something happening.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister agree with me that solid waste management will be practically impossible under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government due to poor workmanship on the newly-constructed roads in terms of drainages and its policy on street vendors, who are the major contributors to street littering?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would not agree with the hon. Member. I have said in my statement that we are actually working with the street vendors on how we can ensure that the environment in which they operate is clean. As long as that levy is paid, they are very willing to partner with us in as far as cleaning of the streets is concerned. I cannot say that the failure to collect garbage is due to the so-called poor drainages that have been constructed under this Government. There is no proof to the effect that the PF Government has engaged contactors who have not provided proper drainages. The fact is that we have not been able to raise money to pump into garbage collection. If there was some stream of financing, we would be telling a different story. At the moment, the issue is about tariff bundling.

 

I thank you, Sir

 

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, in response to the question which was raised by Hon. Mwiimbu, the hon. Minister spoke about the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF). I would like to find out how much the fund was before the increment and at how much it stands today.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the amount of money which each council receives depends on whether it is a city, municipality or district council. All of us in this House collectively passed the Budget which had an increment of above K100 million. That amount is being shared amongst all the councils in the country. All councils can confirm that their LGEF has gone up this year.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, Choma was relatively clean until the Government engaged a contractor who actually came to disturb the drainage system. This contractor abandoned the works and has actually left a lot of heaps of soil on the roads in Choma Town. It appears that this contractor has demobilised. In a case where other towns may have been affected like Choma, will the hon. Minister provide any funds under the ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’, if the municipality so requires, for remedial works to unblock the areas that may have been blocked by the works of the contractors?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we expect that the municipalities are innovative enough to raise their own resources to deal with such issues. 

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Government is giving very good support through the LGEF. We, therefore, expect the council in Choma to be more innovative so that it can finds means of raising funds to deal with the issue which the hon. Member has referred to.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ng’ambi (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, in the statement, the hon. Minister indicated that cities have been growing much faster than the services. For example, in Ndola, we have new areas that have opened up, such as Mitengo, where the council has not provided services such as water, sewerages and roads. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that this gap is reduced?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, one of the measures is to increase on the LGEF, just as we have done. We also need to ensure that the capacity in these councils is increased and that the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) appoints qualified staff who will be able to deal with such matters. We expect that the council in Ndola will find ways in which to provide those services to the residents.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, we have been talking about the, ‘Keep Zambia Clean Campaign’ since 2006, yet very little has been achieved. What the hon. Minister has stated, today, does not come close to the issue of eradicating waste in our cities.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, the proposal to infuse the refuse levy into water bills and to compel all the brewery companies in Zambia to pay this levy is a welcome move. We need to have a more ...

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, can you get to your question.

 

Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, I am coming to my question. I was backing my …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: You are now debating.

 

Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I believe that ...

 

Laughter

 

Mr Samakayi: ... waste management has negative external effects. This means that if there is cholera in Lusaka, it can actually spread to Mwinilunga or Mapatizya.

 

Hon. Government Members: Ask your Question!

 

Mr Samakayi: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister agree with me that this Government should engage a company that can help remove the backlog of uncollected garbage that has besieged our cities in this country? Is my question clear?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I understood the question.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Sir, the best guarantee that we can offer is to ensure that there are enough resources to deal with that issue. There is no institution in the private sector that will show interest in the management of solid waste if it does not get anything in return. The best guarantee they have been looking for is for the Government to secure resources to deal with this matter.

 

Mr Speaker, I can confirm that since the talks about solid waste management tariffs came up, so many companies have approached the ministry selling different technologies that can actually deal with solid waste.

 

Some companies have indicated that they have bins which when full signal, can send signal their readiness to be emptied. Now that people have heard that a levy to deal with solid waste will be collected, they are talking about all sorts of innovations and technologies from all over the world. So, the levy is the guarantee we can offer the private sector.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, Windhoek is one of the cleanest towns in southern Africa. One of the tools that were used to achieve this status was the impartation of knowledge in schools. Does the hon. Minister have an allocation in his budget for sensitisation on garbage management, especially in schools and radio programmes, to promote cleanliness?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I stated that we should have started media campaigns in the second quarter of last year, but will start in the second quarter of this year. I agree with the hon. Member about Windhoek, but also want to say that the entire population of Namibia is less than the population of Lusaka. So, we may need to do more than just educate and sensitise. We have to provide help such as bins in order to deal with this matter comprehensively.

 

Ms Kucheka (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, my initial question has been overtaken, but I will try something else.

 

Laughter

 

Ms Kucheka: Mr Speaker, I did not hear the hon. Minister mention Lusaka. Does he not think that it is important for the cleaning programmes to start there so as to set an example for the whole country?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have repeated myself on how we want to start with the Lusaka CBD in particular and model it for the rest of the country. I even said that the bundling of water bills and waste management levy will begin in the Lusaka CBD. When it succeeds, we will replicate it in the rest of the town. I mentioned all the constituencies in Lusaka District. Maybe, the hon. Member missed it.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) in certain district councils. I have observed that despite the availability of the LGEF, waste management is still a challenge. Is there a prescribed percentage of the fund assigned to waste management?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there is no percentage of the fund that is assigned to waste management. However, after the re-launch of this campaign, local authorities will be encouraged to ensure that some significant amount of money goes towards waste management. The hon. Member is right state that despite the LGEF, there has not been much happening. So, councils will be encouraged to do more.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

_________

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

ADDITIONAL BENEFICIARIES OF THE SOCIAL CASH TRANSFER SCHEME IN CHINSALI

 

113. Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) asked the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare:

 

(a)     whether additional beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Chinsali had been identified;

 

(b)     if so, what the total number of the additional beneficiaries was; and

 

(c)     when disbursement of money to the additional beneficiaries would commence.

 

The Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare has begun the process of identifying additional beneficiaries on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Chinsali District.

 

The district is currently undertaking sensitisation programmes in the communities, especially the Community Welfare Assistance Committees, which assist in the implementation of the programme. In this regard, additional beneficiaries of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in Chinsali District are expected to be identified in the first quarter of 2017.

 

Mr Speaker, currently, Chinsali District has a total of 3,609 beneficiary households on the programme. The projected additional beneficiaries are 1,559 households. The total number of beneficiaries will, then, increase to 5,168 beneficiary households by the end of 2017.

 

Mr Speaker, it is expected that the additional 1,559 beneficiaries will receive their first transfers during the May/June, 2017 bi-monthly payments.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chinsali, do you have another question?

 

Mr Mukosa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was clear.

 

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the question that the hon. Member for Chinsali raised is common to some parts of the country. Will the process that is going on in Chinsali be replicated in the rest of the country?

 

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the response I have given is specific to Chinsali. However, I would like to mention to this august House that what is happening in Chinsali is happening everywhere. The number of beneficiaries is being increased everywhere and the programme is being rolled out to other parts of the country that were not included before.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is a very important instrument for addressing issues of poverty in rural areas. Can the hon. Minister clarify the criteria for the identification of beneficiaries because we are getting increasingly concerned that in some areas, some District Commissioners (DCs) are taking this programme as a means of settling scores with those who do not belong to certain parties.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that very important question. The criterion used when selecting beneficiaries is now all-inclusive because we do not want to leave anybody behind. On the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, we have the aged, the disabled, terminally ill and also child-headed or widowed households where the dependency ratio is very high.

 

However, Sir, I would like to refute claims that the District Commissioners (DCs) are trying to use the scheme to seek revenge or gain political mileage. The people who identify beneficiaries are chosen by the communities in which they are operate. The DCs or my officers are not involved in selecting beneficiaries, but are there to monitor and implement the programme.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the Government is putting measures in place to increase the number of beneficiaries on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. While a programme like it could be beneficial in the short-term, it may also have the negative attribute of creating a dependency mentality. Is there anything that the ministry is doing to ensure that the beneficiaries of this Social Cash Transfer Scheme are weaned off the programme and engage in some economic activity that will assure long-term sustainability in terms of income generation?

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I would not agree with what the hon. Member for Chembe is saying. The Social Cash Transfer Scheme does not promote dependency. The families are weaned off after three years of being on the programme when it is assessed that they are able to participate in income generating activities. However, the aged, the disabled and the terminally ill remain on the programme probably until their death. To help people come out of that situation where they need the Social Cash Transfer support, the Government is engaging them in programmes which reduce inter-generational transfer of poverty by making sure that those households which are beneficiaries of the programme are also put on other programmes. For example, this year, the Government has started sponsoring the girl child to school in beneficiary homes. That is to make sure that we have an educated person from that vulnerable household who will, in turn, assist in improving the livelihood of that household. This programme of sponsoring the girl child is running in sixteen districts where we are targeting 16,000 adolescent girls. We are sponsoring the girls from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mukata (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, my question is almost on the same lines as Hon. Kopulande’s question. I did not hear the hon. Minister come out clearly on the strategies that are being put in place to sustainably wean off certain groups from the Social Cash Transfer Programme. For instance, you have people like the terminally ill patients who have relatives who can be empowered within the communities. Is it possible for that to be done? It is obvious that this requires a multi-sectoral approach, for example, under some funding, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry would come in. What mechanisms are in place to help inform people to lock in and tap into such empowerment programmes? What is done to wean off people? Yes, there are terminally ill, but can their family members, like a brother, not be empowered to take care of them? Clearly, the programme will be unsustainable.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for the question. I think the hon. Member did not get me right. What I said is that we are targeting the same households where they are terminally ill people by getting a girl child into school. You know when you educate a girl child, you educate a nation.

 

Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kabanshi: We take that girl to school until she completes Grade 12. From there, we will recommend the girl for sponsorship …

 

Mr Mwale: Mwaona manje!

 

Ms Kabanshi: … because she comes from a vulnerable home so that she can acquire a skill.

 

Mr Mutale: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kabanshi: When she graduates with a skill, she will be able to earn more than the parents were earning through the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. Then, the family will be able to graduate from the scheme.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kabanshi: There are many things that we, the working Government, are working on at the moment.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kabanshi: We want to see to it that the poverty levels reduce. We are engaging the co-operating partners so that we do not only empower these households through the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, but also additional programmes that will help families become economically viable and enable them to participate in the economic development of the country. That is how we will deal with the issue of weaning off people from the Social Cash Transfer Programme. We have started in sixteen districts. We hope that people will come on board so that we implement programmes together so that more families can be weaned off the Social Cash Transfer Programme.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, age is one of the factors considered when recruiting people on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. What is the minimum age for one to benefit from the Social Cash Transfer Programme so that I can tell all my parents in Senanga, who are not benefitting from the programme, to come and get money?

 

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the minimum age is sixty-five years old. However, on this programme, we will not only have the aged. What we want is to have an inclusive programme so that no one is left behind. So, the beneficiaries will include the disabled, terminally ill and the youth who are highly dependent, such as those in child-headed homes, and widows.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I understand the hon. Minister’s position of not being aware of the negative interventions which the District Commissioners (DCs) exert on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that the immediate supervisor to the DC is the Provincial Permanent Secretary, from whom they receive instructions and not the hon. Minister. Those of us who are on the ground are aware of this protocol. Is the hon. Minister willing to spare a moment to find out if the DCs intervene in the selection of beneficiaries of the ‘quack’?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Miyutu: Is the hon. Minister able to put in her effort?

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the Permanent Secretary (PS) for the province and other officers in the district supervise the Community Welfare Assistant Committees (CWAC). I was in the Western Province not too long ago and that concern was not raised.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Kabanshi: So, the next time I go to Kalabo, I hope I will find Hon. Miyutu so that we can sort out that problem.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, there are complaints from my constituents that this particular programme has been put on ice for the past six months. Could the hon. Minister confirm this report.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I do not even know what he means by “put on ice”, but I will guess.

 

Mr Kabanda: It was paused.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, it was not paused. The ministry delayed disbursing funds to the districts because it had problems. However, payments were made for June, July, August and September. The outstanding funds are for November and December which will also be paid.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister be kind enough to inform us the names of the sixteen districts which she has just referred to?

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I do not have that information, but the hon. Minister can file in a question and I can provide an answer at an appropriate time.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the articulate answers.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Chisopa: We know that the Social Cash Transfer Scheme has benefitted a lot of people, especially the old and disabled. In Mukushi Constituency, the aged are paid differently from the disabled. I would like to find out if there are instances when all beneficiaries are paid the same amount.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, it is true that such incidents happen and sometimes, one may be paid less or more. We need to work together to sort out this problem so that we can also help the people that we serve in our constituencies.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, …

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear! Ema accent aya!

 

Laughter

 

Ms Katuta: … during the parliamentary recess, I believe the hon. Minister visited Chienge Constituency and informed the people that a number of girl children would benefit from a programme that the Government has embarked on. How many girls will benefit from this programme?

 

Ms Lubezhi: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare in order not to answer my simple question? I would like to find out the names of only sixteen districts which her ministry will give money. How possible is it that she knows that they are sixteen districts, but does not know their names?

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, Question 113 focuses on Chinsali and we are now dealing with supplementary questions. Of course, there are occasions when certain hon. Ministers have some information at the back of their hand and also they may not because they would be concentrating on the question. So, there is nothing extraordinary. First of all, she was gracious enough to admit that she does not have the information. So, how can I insist that she produces it when she does not have it?

 

Laughter

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member wants to know the number of girls being sponsored in Chienge. However, the question is about Chinsali and not Chienge.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Kabanshi: Nonetheless, I can give her a bonus answer. That programme will not be undertaken in Chienge, but I was just informing the hon. Members that it will be implemented in sixteen districts. However, if the hon. Member wants to know the names of the districts, she can file in a question and I can provide the answer at an appropriate time.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister talk about the girl child. What about the boy child …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was expressing gratitude for the efforts being made to educate the girl child in Chinsali. However, I am concerned about the boy child. Later on in life, the boy child in Chinsali will marry the girl child.

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, families usually spend money on boy children and not girl children. When there is a crisis in a home, a family would rather stop the girl from going to school because they believe that she will get married, and instead choose to educate the boy child. However, as a Government, we are not leaving anyone behind. This programme is aimed at bridging the gap between the education of the boy child and that of the girl child. However, the boy child is also being catered for under the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme which has been in existence for a very long time.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that when the girl child is educated, the whole nation is educated. When one or all of us educate the boy child, what do we educate?

 

Laughter

 

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, indeed, when we educate the girl child, we educate the nation. However, when we educate the boy child, we educate only a family.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

UPGRADING OF SCHOOLS IN CHIENGE DISTRICT

 

114. Ms Katuta asked the Minister of General Education:

 

  1. when the following schools in Chienge District would be upgraded to secondary schools:

 

  1. Lambwe Chomba;

 

  1. Lambwe Chikwama; and

 

  1. Musake;

 

  1. when the construction of science and computer laboratories at the schools would commence; and

 

  1. whether the Government had any plans to construct additional classroom blocks at the schools.

 

The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa) (on behalf of the Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, the upgrading of primary schools to secondary status is an on-going programme of the Government until such a time when distances between schools is reduced to 5km.

 

Sir, in Chienge District, among the primary schools being upgraded to secondary school status are Lambwe Chomba II, which was upgraded in 2014 and runs from Grade 1 to Grade 12, and Musake, which was upgraded in 2013 and runs from Grade 8 to Grade 12.

 

Mr Speaker, Lambwe Chikwama will be considered for upgrading to secondary status when the Government mobilises resources for construction of additional infrastructure such as specialised rooms and staff houses. Currently, the district has ten secondary schools out of which eight have been upgraded.

 

Sir, the construction of science and computer laboratories at the above mentioned schools will commence as soon as funds are available. It is the Government’s intention to construct additional classrooms at all schools because the school going population has been growing. However, this will only depend on the availability of funds and it will be done in phases.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister the fact that Lambwe Chomba II was, indeed, upgraded to a secondary school. However, the problem is that when pupils reach Grade 10, they normally have to travel 65 km to Chienge Boma. That is quite disturbing, especially for the girl children who end up renting houses close to the school and this has resulted in a lot of bad things happening to the girls. I know that the hon. Minister has indicated that the upgrading of schools will be done when funds are available. However, is it not possible for the Government to do with Lambwe Chomba II School what it did to the school in Mansa or hand it over to a missionary to run it so that girls do not have to travel 65km to get to Pande?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the Government is in the process of constructing a 1 x 3 classroom block and one teachers’ staff house under Phase I. Therefore, the construction of classroom blocks is on-going. If the hon. Member and the community have suggestions regarding the school, the ministry is willing to take those suggestions on board. The hon. Member is welcome to visit the Ministry of General Education to discuss further beyond what the Government has prepared.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, has the ministry developed the Infrastructure Operational Plan for 2017 to guide the various construction works that the ministry would like to undertake as mentioned by the hon. Minister?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Speaker, yes, the plan is available. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has an intention to upgrade 510 pole-and-mud and grass thatched Government and community schools into fully-fledged primary schools. The details are available at the Ministry of General Education. As I said earlier, if the hon. Members have an interest, they are welcome to visit the Ministry of General Education for further details.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

LAND RESERVED FOR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN MUSHILI AND CHICHELE

 

115. Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

  1. whether the Government was aware that the land reserved for public infrastructure in Mushili and Chichele townships in Bwana Mkubwa Parliamentary Constituency had been allocated to private investors by the Ndola City Council;

 

  1. why the council decided to change the land usage; and

 

  1. whether the Government would repossess the land and use it for its initially intended purposes.

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that the pieces of land in Mushili and Chichele townships, which were designated for school development, were given to private investors to build schools. However, let me hasten to clarify that these pieces of land were not reserved for public infrastructure per se, but rather for schools in general, whether private or public.

 

Sir, the Ndola City Council has not changed the land usage, as it has still maintained its user clause, and that is educational purposes. So, there is no need for the Government to repossess the land as it is being used for the intended purpose.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Chanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to bring to attention of the hon. Minister some issues concerning the land in Chichele and Mushili townships. At the moment, there is an individual who has built a house on land proposed for a referral hospital. The plot for the hospital was 12 Ha, but now it is 6 Ha. Further, this person is demanding compensation from the Government and I.

 

Mr Speaker, secondly, Bonano Primary School, a Government-owned school, had a huge piece of land reserved, since there are only blocks. Now, private bars and churches have been built on this land. Furthermore, there are Somalis in my constituency who are being given title deeds by the council.

 

I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when he will come to Bwana Mkubwa Constituency to verify these issues so that those structures that have been built on land such as the one meant for the referral hospital can be demolished. We need law and order in this country. Lastly, hon. Minister, as you go, I am available to accompany you.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the extra information by the hon. Member. However, I note that it does not relate to Mushili and Chichele townships, specifically, and that the hon. Member is generally talking about land reserved for development.

 

Sir, I am willing to travel to Bwana Mkubwa and see for myself what the hon. Member is talking about. Soon, I will undertake a tour of all newly-created districts and, on my way, I will pass through Ndola to deal with this issue.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, there was an incident in Ndola where houses were built, but only to be demolished. How effective is the ministry’s inspectorate team?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there has been a problem of councillors allocating land where that they should not. They do not allow planners to plan before they can sit, as councils, to allocate the land. However, we have put measures in place to ensure that we take care of this. We are taking charge and controlling these kinds of situations. We do not expect this to happen again in future.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

 

NAMES OF CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS IN CHIPILI DISTRICT

 

116. Mr Chabi (Chipili) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. what the names of the contractors for the following construction projects in Chipili District were:

 

  1. civic centre;

 

  1. ten low cost council houses;

 

  1. police station; and

 

  1. district administration block;

 

  1. when the works on each project commenced;

 

  1. what the total cost for each project was; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the completion of each project was.

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the contractors for the projects in Chipili District are as follows:

 

Project                                                   Name of Contractor

 

District Civic Centre                             C. Muc Investments

 

Ten Medium cost houses                       African Contractors Ltd        

                                                              

Police Station                                        Horizon Properties Ltd

 

District Admin Block                            Woodrock Construction Ltd

 

Twenty Low Cost Houses                     African Contractors               

 

Sir, the works for Chipili District projects commenced on the following dates:

 

Project                                                   Date of commencement

 

District Civic Centre                             17/02/2015

 

Ten Medium cost houses                       01/12/2014

 

Police Station                                        01/12/2014     

 

District Admin Block                            01/12/2014

Twenty Low Cost Houses                     01/12/2014

 

Sir, the total cost for each of the above project is as follows:

 

Project                                                   Cost (K)

 

District Civic Centre                               6,411,168.84

 

Ten Medium Cost Houses                      9,091,329.40

 

Police Station                                        13,496,299.02

 

District Admin Block                             6,491,081.02

 

Twenty Low Cost Houses                     11,632,264.24

 

Mr Speaker, the time frames for completion of each of the Chipili projects are as follows:

 

Project                                                   Time frame (weeks)

 

District Civic Centre                             26

 

Ten Medium Cost Houses                     36

 

Police Station                                        32

 

District Admin Block                            20

 

Twenty Low Cost Houses                     32

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Chabi: Mr Speaker, clearly, the completion period for all these projects is beyond schedule. These projects were supposed to be completed way before 2017. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the completion of the projects has delayed.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the delay in the completion of the projects is as a result of the Treasury constraints. As a nation, we have had a number of capital projects and costly programmes carried out. We should bear in mind that Zambia is the only country is the Southern African Region which has conducted five general elections in the past ten years. This cost money, but we had to spend because it is a constitutional requirement. So, that and other projects resulted in the delay of completion of a number of projects within a specified period as signed in the contracts agreed upon with the contractors in Chipili. 

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

MUFUMBWE DISTRICT POLICE OFFICERS’ STAFF HOUSES

 

116. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

 

  1. whether the Government had any plans to construct:

 

  1. staff houses for police officers in Mufumbwe District; and

 

  1. a prison in the district;

 

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

 

  1. if there were no such plans, why.

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct staff houses for police officers in Mufumbwe District. The houses are earmarked to be constructed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, under Phase II, by Avic International Corporations.

 

Sir, at the moment, the Government has no plans to build a conventional correctional centre (prison) in Mufumbwe. For the information of the hon. Member, we are no longer calling our facilities ‘prisons’. There are now called ‘correctional facilities.’ At the moment, we are relying on the open air correctional centre, where agriculture activities are taking place.

 

Mr Speaker, the plans of building staff houses will be implemented when the contractor mobilises resources and moves to the identified site in Mufumbwe District. While there are no such plans to build a conventional correction centre due to a lack of resources, there are plans to carry out some expansion and rehabilitation to the current open air facility in Mufumbwe.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kamondo: Mr Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister that the situation of not having police houses is actually a big problem in Mufumbwe. As the hon. Minister may be aware, the few houses that are there are located about 4 km from town, which has also contributed to this problem. Police officers find it very difficult to mobilise when a crime is committed in town. Two weeks ago, a suspected wizard was shot dead, but up to now, the culprits have not been arrested because it took time for the police to get to the scene. What immediate measures is the Government putting in place to ease the operations of police officers in Mufumbwe?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Member that, indeed, the Government, and my ministry in particular, is fully aware of the challenges our officers are facing in Mufumbwe, hence the construction of houses under phase II. Mind you, hon. Member, we have not seen the accommodation of our officers in Mufumbwe addressed for so many years from the time it was declared a district. Our officers and the people of Mufumbwe should have hope that this time around, the contractor will move on site to construct some houses for them before the end of the year.

 

Sir, it is unfortunate and regrettable that a life was lost. Nevertheless, we are trying to see how our officers can scale up by improving their mobility for them to react to some of the incidents in good time. Unfortunately, we cannot perform any magic to ameliorate the housing problem. We have to rely on the project which is coming up in order for us to assist our officers.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, how possible is it that the Government is able to perform some magic by taking police officers to peaceful areas like Namwala, Choma, Mazabuka and Monze, yet cannot carry do the same to accommodate police officers in Mufumbwe?

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

I am not following you, hon. Member. What do you mean by ‘magic’?

 

Laughter

 

Ms Lubezhi: Sir, I have used the terminology, which the hon. Minister used.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Well, I want to find out what the question is.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that he cannot perform magic to accommodate police officers in Mufumbwe. My question, therefore, is: How come the Government has performed magic in the Southern Province by deploying more officers than is needed at the stations there?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Maybe, the hon. Minister has understood the question.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, that question is certainly off tangent and is not related to the substantive question posed by the hon. Member for Mufumbwe.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how many police officers are stationed at Mufumbwe Police Station and how many are accommodated by the ministry.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, certainly, I appreciate the concern by the hon. Member for Mapatizya. Unfortunately, I do not have the numbers off-hand of exactly how many officers are in Mufumbwe and how many are accommodated in police houses. I may come back to the hon. Member for Mapatizya and share with him how many officers are at Mufumbwe police Station. However, I am sure that the hon. Member is fully aware of how many officers are in the district.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Miti (Vubwi): Mr Speaker, Mufumbwe District has old houses just like many other districts which are being occupied by our police officers. Does the Government have a programme in place to rehabilitate old houses while we await the construction of the new houses?

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is true that the houses in Mufumbwe are extremely old and are dilapidated. We have deemed it prudent to first of all put up new housing units and later on rehabilitate the old infrastructure. We just have to raze some of them and reconstruct new ones because they are in such a state of disrepair. It may be costly to work on an old house than to build a new one. So, we have opted to start with the construction of new houses and then later on work on the old ones that could be repairable.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how long the contractor will take to mobilise resources to move on site in Mufumbwe.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, due to the fact that the contractor will deal with many other sites in the North-Western Province, we shall only know when he will move to Mufumbwe District to commence works when he presents the schedule of his works. At that juncture, I will come back to inform the hon. Member and the people of Mufumbwe when exactly the contractor will be on site.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Mr Speaker, I have taken note of the hon. Minister’s position on building new houses and later on coming back to rehabilitate the dilapidated ones.

 

Sir, police stations in both Sesheke and Katima have been condemned to not being suitable for human habitation. Does the ministry have any emergency plans to improve such areas because the officers are really suffering? There is no sanitation and the outbreak of diseases is quite imminent.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I only focused on Mufumbwe because that is what the hon. Member for the area asked about. I know that there are different challenges in the areas where every hon. Member in here comes from. However, for now, I would rather address the issue of Mufumbwe than to start giving wrong answers to hon. Members.

 

I thank you, Sir.          

 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, in an earlier response, the hon. Minister indicated that the programme for the construction of staff houses is in phases. This means that since there is Phase I, it will be followed by Phase II. Is this an indication that phase I was completed and the Government is embarking on the next phases?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, Phase I has already commenced and, I think, you have seen some of the houses that we have handed over to our officers in some places. Phase I is restricted to certain areas while Phase II is also meant for different areas. In short, there are some houses that have been completed under phase I in places like Sikanze Police Camp and Chelstone. There are others on the Copperbelt that have already been completed and many more are still coming on board under the first phase. So, Phase I is ongoing, but Phase II is meant for other areas which were not catered for under Phase I.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, in one of the follow up questions that the hon. Minister was asked about concerning the programme of work of the contractor, namely AVIC International Limited, he indicated that his office was waiting for the contractor to furnish the ministry with it. We have, indeed, seen him and his friends on television commissioning these residential areas for the police and immigration officers constructed by the said contractor. Has the ministry not found it prudent to also engage Zambian contractors to build these houses because we have many who are qualified to carry out the same job? This would be serving two purposes by, first of all, fast tracking the work and, secondly, empowering our own people.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, ideally we would have loved as many Zambian contractors as possible to undertake this work. However, this is a special contract which has come with a funding component. It is structured in such a way that the contractor executing the project came with their own funding, unlike other contracts whereby we get the funding straight from the Treasury.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mufumbwe is concerned because the population in his area is growing big and most of the police officers squat in villages, which makes it difficult for them to execute their duties. Therefore, he is asking why the Government is delaying to construct staff houses for police officers in Mufumbwe.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the concern of the hon. Member for Mufumbwe is the same as that of the Government. For so many years we have been increasing the number of officers we send to Mufumbwe, yet there was no provision of housing to accommodate these officers. The population of Mufumbwe is, indeed, growing. That is why this proactive and hardworking Patriotic Front (PF) Government …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, gear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kampyongo: … has decided to walk the talk by ensuring that it provides houses for its officers in Mufumbwe District. The Government will do that because it is very committed and concerned about its officers who are working under difficult conditions.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Jere: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that this is a special project. Does it mean that the contractor will use his own funds to construct this project?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, at the expense of repeating myself, yes.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

BOREHOLE SINKING IN KALOMO CENTRAL

 

118. Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central) asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:

 

  1. when the thirty boreholes which were planned for in 2015 in Kalomo Central Parliamentary Constituency would be sunk;

 

  1. what had caused the delay in commencing the project; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project was.

 

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Mulenga) (on behalf of the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection) (Mr Kaziya): Mr Speaker, the Government, in 2015, planned to sink thirty boreholes in Kalomo District. However, due to insufficient funds, the Government has procured a contractor to sink the first twenty boreholes in Kalomo District under the 2017 Work Plan. Out of these, eleven will be sunk in Kalomo Central Constituency.

 

Sir, the delay has been caused by insufficient funds to implement the project and late release of the funds from the Treasury. The time frame for the completion of the project is six months, once the funds are released from the Treasury.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, it is gratifying to hear that some work regarding the sinking of boreholes will happen in Kalomo this year. What is the unit cost for each borehole since the hon. Minister indicated that a contractor has already been procured?

 

Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I might not know the total cost for sinking each borehole, but the total cost for all the 2,700 boreholes that will be sunk in 2017 by the ministry is K148 million. The Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) will provide K57 million while the co-operating partners will provide K92 million out of the total cost.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central wanted to know the cost for sinking each borehole, but the hon. Minister gave us the total cost for the 2,700 boreholes. Why is she failing to give us the unit cost?

 

Hon. PF Members: Just divide.

 

Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, I think simple arithmetic of division will give out the total cost of one borehole.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Mulenga: However, for clarification’s sake, it is K55,000 per borehole.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the most expensive commercial rate of sinking a borehole as of today in Zambia is K18,000. How has the ministry arrived at K55,000 per borehole?

 

Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, we are looking at the total cost of sinking a borehole. Of course, as a Government, we do not want to do sub-standard work.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, certainly, the cost of K55,000 for one borehole is very astronomical. Is this the reason the hon. Minister was reluctant to disclose the amount when we asked for the unit cost of sinking a each borehole?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chonya: Could she not have done the division herself?

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, it is not just sinking a borehole. There is also the aspect of the pump. There is also the issue of mobilisation of materials and the distance of where the borehole is to be sank.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala has just given us an indication that the total cost of sinking a complete borehole is about K18,000. The hon. Minister has said that the total cost of sinking a borehole with all the parts is K55,000. Can the hon. Minister tell us what parts were missing from the amount given by the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala for her to come to K55,000?

 

Ms Mulenga: Mr Speaker, of course, there are variations in terms of distances where boreholes are sank. This amount depends on where the borehole is to be sank. We have put into account mobilisation of materials, distance and the pump. Like I said, the Government does not want to do sub-standard work.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

SERENJE DISTRICT TOWNSHIP ROADS REHABILITATION

 

119. Mr Kabanda (Serenje) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

  1. why the rehabilitation of township roads in Serenje District had stalled;

 

  1. when the project would resume; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project was.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, rehabilitation works of Serenje township roads have stalled due to delayed payments.

 

Sir, construction works will resume once the contractor is paid the outstanding balance.

 

Mr Speaker, it is hoped that the completion of the project will be ten months after the contractor resumes works.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, how much is the outstanding balance?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the outstanding amount is K4.7 million.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

WHO’S RANKING OF ZAMBIA’S MALNUTRITION PREVALENCE

 

120.  Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Health:

 

  1. what the ranking of Zambia by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in terms of malnutrition currently was;

 

  1. what criteria were used to determine the ranking; and

 

  1. what measures the Government had taken to improve the ranking.

 

The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not rank countries by categories according to severity of the problem. It puts them by category of the type of measurement that malnutrition may fall under. For example, it may do it by stunting. The countries with the highest levels of stunting are at 40 per cent for children below the age of fifty-nine months or 54 per cent for children below twenty-four months or 14 per cent for children below six months. Zambia falls under the medium, which is 20 per cent to 29 per cent for children below fifty-nine months, twenty-four months and six months. The other way it measures is by looking at the underweight of the child and countries where they are rated as very high, the children are above 30 per cent. Zambia is still at medium because the children are underweight between 10 per cent and 19 per cent. In fact for Zambia, between twenty-four to fifty-nine months, we are at 15 per cent. The other way measurement is done is by using wasting and Zambia still falls under medium, which is 5 per cent to 9 per cent and we stand at 6 per cent for below fifty-nine months and 6.1 per cent below twenty-four months. This situation is serious and calls for interventions that will reduce the levels of malnutrition in the country.

 

Sir, the Government has taken the following measures to improve the nutrition status of our population:

 

  1. review the Food and Nutrition Act to take care of emerging issues in nutrition, the National Food and Nutrition Strategic Plan and the legislation on the Marketing of breast milk substitutes;

 

  1. the Government has put in place a 1,000 most critical days programme which needs to be scaled up to the rest of the country. The programme aims at reducing under-nutrition with a major focus on reducing stunting;

 

  1. the Government has continued with other interventions such as promoting breast feeding and complementary feeding, promotion of maternal, infant and young child feeding and counselling, control of micronutrient deficiencies, which is conducted through supplementation, food diversification and food fortification currently through sugar and salt fortification; and

 

  1. nutrition care for people living with the human immuno-deficiency virus-acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), developing nutrition emergency programmes and nutrition education and counselling. 

 

Sir, all these programmes are implemented with the support of a well-co-ordinated and effective strategy for growth monitoring and promotion. This will assist programme providers to identify malnutrition cases early enough for early intervention.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I want to make a follow up on the 1,000 days programme, which is very important as far as nutrition of young ones is concerned. What measures have been put in place for our mothers in the rural areas to understand this programme, which is meant to improve nutrition for our young ones?

 

Prof Luo: Mr Speaker, let me repeat what I had said last week. The Ministry of Health has rethought its delivery framework for health in this country. This is why it has put up teams across all communities, some at implementation stage and others at programming stage so that health is addressed from the communities and at home front. Therefore, this 1,000 Days Programme is part of the effort our ministry is making so that our public health teams, which consist of public health experts, community health nurses and nutritionists, will explain what we need to do at home front. Nutrition will be an important programme because it is very critical to the promotion of good health.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I will start by commending the ministry for supporting the Mbala Office of the Nutrition Co-ordinator. It is a very active office. However, most stakeholders have argued that the Nutrition Commission, which is the co-ordinator of nutritional activities in the country, is wrongly placed in the Ministry of Health. Since it is a multi-sectoral commission, it should have best been placed under the Office of the Vice-President or Ministry for National Development and Planning, but I have not heard any objection even from most Government ministries about this proposal. How far are we, as a Government, in implementing this initiative of relocating the Nutrition Commission from being a small unit in the Ministry of Health to being an important department under the Office of the Vice-President or Ministry of National Development and Planning?

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, it depends on how one understands nutrition. Earlier, I said that the Ministry of Health has rethought the way it wants to deliver health, and nutrition is actually the backbone of health care delivery. What goes into someone’s body is critical for his/her total development in terms of immune response, which is very critical in protecting him/her from infectious diseases. The micro elements build on cells. So, if we do not see what this component will do in the suggestions that have been made, we will miss a point. At the time when we have discovered that delivering health by building hospitals is not the best, but to be able to put these programmes at home front so that people realise how important nutrition is. The affluent think that when they have a lot of money the best thing is to drink Fanta or Coca Cola. When they are given food as a proper complement, they turn it down and say they just want nshima, yet we all know that there is no food value in nshima apart from starch. Many of them say that they cannot eat millet or sorghum because it is food for the poor, yet we know that there is more food value in them. So, I think, the Nutrition Commission is well placed. The question we should ask is: How do we move it so that the people that have been appointed to constitute it do their job and not sleep?

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that the levels of stunted growth in Zambia amongst the under-fives are extremely high …

 

Mr Livune: Especially in Luapula!

 

Ms Chisangano: … and have been standing at 40 per cent for a very long time now. May we find out why it has taken so long for the ministry to reduce the levels of malnutrition among the under-fives. What are some of the challenges that the ministry is facing?

 

Prof Luo: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons is the way maize has been politicised that it should be the basis of our food in this country. I did say earlier that all there is in maize is starch, especially if a person is eating breakfast meal. When they remove the husks where there are some vitamins, then, the maize is left with nothing, but starch. So, we need to ensure that people start appreciating the importance of balancing food. I even mentioned earlier that people tend to shun food stuffs like beans. They think by eating beans, they are poor, yet it is a very important source of protein. If one cannot afford meat, the alternative is beans.

 

So, Sir, it is a matter of us, as country, getting down to the drawing board and starting to appreciate which foods have the right food values and eat them.

 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Chaatila: Mr Speaker, may I find out whether the problem of malnutrition is just across the country or are there some provinces whose nutrition levels are a bit higher so that other provinces can learn from them?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I would request the hon. Member to file in a question so that I can give them the correct information.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Prof. Luo: However, I do know that there are certain parts of this country where apart from eating wrongly, at least, they promote drinking of milk because it is in abundance.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Mabisi!

 

Prof. Luo: So, it may be possible that those provinces may probably do better than others. However, I would like to come back to this House and give hon. Members the correct answer.

 

NANJILI BRIDGE REHABILITATION

 

121. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. when the rehabilitation of Nanjili Bridge between Nangoma Mission Hospital and Nangoma Primary School would commence; and

 

  1. what the cause of the delay in rehabilitating the bridge was.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the budget for the construction of Nanjili Bridge between Nangoma Mission Hospital and Nangoma Primary School is not in the 2017 Road Sector Budget owing to ceiling limits. The bridge may be considered for construction in 2018.

 

However, Sir, after having talked to the hon. Member of Parliament for Moomba, he expressed the need for the Government to work on this bridge. We agreed that we need to quickly dispatch our regional engineers to access the extent of the damage on this bridge so that we can look at it and see if there are emergency works that are required to be done so that the movement of our people between the primary school and the mission hospital is not disrupted.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

FEIRA CONSTITUENCY TOWNSHIP ROADS REHABILITATION

 

Mr Miti (Feira) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

  1. when the tarring of township roads in Feira Parliamentary Constituency would commence; and

 

  1. what the time frame for the completion of the project was.

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the ministry is planning for the upgrading of township roads to bituminous standards in Feira Parliamentary Constituency under the 2020 Annual Work Plan, subject to availability of funds.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: Sir, the ministry has adopted a phased approach in the implementation of road projects. There are too many projects being handled at the moment.

 

Sir, the project is intended to have a completion period of twenty-four months from the date of commencement.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

LOCAL FUNDING FOR HIV\AIDS PROGRAMMES

 

(Debate resumed)

112   Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Health:

 

  1. what measures the Government had taken to mobilise funds locally for the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus/Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (HIV\AIDS) programmes in Zambia; and

 

  1. why Zambia was not a priority destination for researchers of HIV\AIDS vaccines.

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, there have been several attempts to set up this National Aids Fund. Like I said, it will come through health insurance as well as levies such as the airtime levy.

 

I thank you, Sir.

_____________

 

MOTION

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

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.

 

The House adjourned at 1802 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 1stMarch, 2017.