Friday, 3rd March, 2017

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Friday, 3rd March, 2017

 

The House met at 0900 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

_______

 

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

 

The Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the business it will consider next week.

 

Sir, on Tuesday, 7th March, 2017, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.

 

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 9th March, 2017, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will, then, consider the Second Reading of the following Bills:

 

  1. The Refugee Bill, 2017; and

 

  1. The Agricultural Institute of Zambia Bill, 2017.

 

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 10th March, 2017, the Business of the House will begin with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, consider the Second Reading of the following Bills:

 

  1. The Compulsory Standards Bill, 2017;

 

  1. The Standards Bill, 2017;

 

  1. The National Technical Regulation Bill, 2017; and

 

  1. The Metrology Bill, 2017

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

____

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

 

WASHAWAYS ON BATOKA/MAAMBA AND LUANGWA BRIDGE/ FEIRA ROADS

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you, most sincerely, for giving me the opportunity to render a ministerial statement on the wash aways experienced on D775, Batoka/Maamba Road, in the Southern Province, and on the damaged section on D145, Luangwa Bridge/Feira Road in Lusaka Province.

 

Sir, the Government has prioritised roads as key to national development. Accordingly, it is heavily investing in the construction, upgrading, rehabilitation and maintenance of the road infrastructure across the country. This commitment is demonstrated through the implementation of various road infrastructure projects being undertaken in the country under the Road Development Agency (RDA).

 

Mr Speaker, the RDA was established by the Public Roads Act No.2 of 2002 for the purpose of providing care, maintenance, construction of all public roads in Zambia and to regulate the maximum weights permissible for transmission on our roads.

 

Mr Speaker, in September, last year, the Government, through the Ministry of Transport and Communication, through a press release, indicated that the country was likely to receive normal to above normal rainfall in the 2016/2017 Rainy Season, with a possibility of flash floods. Institutions responsible for disaster management were requested to prepare for any eventuality that could arise during the period.

 

Indeed, in January and February, 2017, the country received normal to above normal rainfall, which has exerted pressure on the road drainage system across the country. On 7th February, 2017, a report was received from Sinazongwe District Administration that the D775 Batoka/Mamba Road had been washed away at Sikanungu Village, approximately 43 km from Batoka. The RDA immediately dispatched engineers to assess the damage. At the same time, Bailey bridge components were mobilised from Central and the Western provinces. In the interim, a temporal solution to facilitate the movement of traffic was arrived at with the help of Maamba Collieries Ltd, which provided the waste rock to fill up the washed away section.

 

Sir, the mobilisation of the Bailey bridge components to the site has been completed and the Zambia Army is today, 3rd March, 2017, mobilising to site to start the installation of the Bailey bridges. This activity is expected to take twenty-five working days.

 

Sir, it should be noted that the installation of the Bailey bridges is also at another point, approximately 30 km from the Batoka, which was equally assessed by the RDA to be a weak point, (a near wash away). Therefore, instead of one installation, there are now two points on the road that need to be worked on. The fund required for the exercise is amounting to K1,084,000 million and it has already been released to the RDA Regional Office in Choma, Southern Province.

 

Mr Speaker, in the case of the D145 Luangwa Bridge/Feira Road, the Luangwa District Administration reported that a suspected mountain movement had occurred at approximately 4 km from the junction of D145 with the Great East Road (T4) on Monday afternoon, 13th February, 2017. My ministry, with the help the Zambia Police Service, managed to cross the road to the public and dispatched engineers to carry out the assessment on the damaged portion.

 

Sir, on 14th February, 2017, I directed my Permanent Secretary (PS), in the company of the RDA Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to visit the site to appreciate the extent and the possible cause of the damage in order to find a solution to the problem. After the assessment, it was established that, indeed, the road was severely damaged by what appeared to be the movement in the mountain, which caused the road pavement to buckle.

 

Mr Speaker, the road was declared unsafe for the passage of traffic and was immediately closed to the public. During this closure, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) was requested to facilitate the movement of goods and people across the Luangwa River using boats. The DMMU responded accordingly and moved on time.

 

Sir, after it was confirmed by my ministry that what triggered the failure of the road was a movement in the mountain, the Geological Survey Department, under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, was then engaged to investigate the matter further. Indeed, the preliminary report by the Geological Survey Department confirmed that the D145/ Luangwa Bridge/ Feira Road at approximately 4 km from the Luangwa Bridge failed due to differential stress of the earth material that lost cohesion and moved downwards on hill slope. The cause is a natural geo hazard as the rocks weathered and pushed through by water saturation due to the rains. According to geologists, this mass movement is a form of land slide called a sluff.

 

Mr Speaker, currently, my ministry, through the RDA, has engaged a contractor called China Geo Corporation (CGC), who has managed to treat the land slide by cutting to spoil unwanted material, creating the platform and benchmarking of the slope. The intervention includes the full reinstatement of the road pavement which is estimated to cost approximately K10 million once it is completed. Following the creation of a safe passage on the damaged section, the road has partially been opened to traffic through the intervals during the day between 0600 hours to 0700 hours in the morning and 1200 hours to 1330 hours in the afternoon. This partial opening of the road is to allow the movement of goods and people across the damaged section at the same time providing the contractor with adequate time to work.

 

Sir, allow me to conclude by reaffirming that the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development, through the RDA, will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that roads of good quality are constructed in our quest to transform Zambia from being a land locked to a land linked country. I wish to also take this opportunity to thank the DMMU, under the Office of the Vice-President, and the men and women in uniform under the ministries of Defence and Home Affairs for coming to our aid in this time of an emergency.

 

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 ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure.

 

Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his self-explanatory statement.

 

Sir, does the hon. Minister think that the washing away of the Zambian roads, such as the one cited in Maamba, is attributed to poor workmanship which has led this Government to spend colossal sums of money at the expense of the poor Zambians who pay high taxes? What is the Government doing to cage, especially the Chinese contractors, whom we trust so much?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, towards the conclusion of my statement, I stated that we will ensure that Zambians are given value for money by ensuring that quality comes first. The wash away of the Maamba/Batoka Road happened at a point where there is a stream, which was blocked because of the agricultural activities that are happening there. As a result, when it rained, it poured to the extent that the road got affected. I need to stress that water is an enemy of any infrastructure whether a road be made to the best standards because it weakens the base.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Princess Mwape (Mkushi North): Mr Speaker, we know that road destruction becomes a norm during the rainy season like what happened on the Batoka/Maamba Road. What is the long-term measure that the Government will put in place to avoid these occurrences, especially on the newly-constructed roads.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the long-term measure is to ensure that the road is constructed with all the required pavements by creating a passage for water so that it does not stagnate on roads. We have to ensure that the drainages that we are creating have water passages to allow the free flow of water. Thirdly, we have to ensure that we get value for the money by ensuring that the roads that are constructed meet international standards.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, before I ask my question, let me thank the hon. Minister of Home Affairs for having allowed us, as hon. Members of Parliament, to drive behind his motorcade as we went to watch the football match.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, we moved honourably because there was so much congestion. That is how it should be.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, my question to the hon. Minister is very simple. I just want to find out from him if there are types of roads that can be constructed in the mountainous areas like Luangwa. 

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, of course, roads are constructed according to the geographical make up of an area. After the assessment of an area, engineers make recommendations to the contractor. Before any road project is embarked on, an engineering technical study is conducted to have an understanding of the type of road to be constructed. For example, the road that can be constructed in the Southern Province will differ from the road that can be constructed in the Western Province or in Lusaka. All this is due to the geographical information and position of the various regions of Zambia.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, my question is actually an addition to what the hon. Member for Chitambo asked on the type of roads that the Road Development Agency (RDA) constructs, depending on the geographical location of an area. All over the world, we have seen that depending on the geographical location, standardisation is observed for both housing and roads. Are the experts at the RDA and whoever is involved in construction advised on the need to ensure that various parts of the country have roads with varied specifications because we have seen earthquakes all over Zambia?

 

Mr Speaker: Did you ask a question?

 

Dr Chanda: Sir, my question is: Do the experts at the RDA advise contractors to construct specific types of buildings or roads depending on their geographical location in the country?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I thought I had responded to that issue when it was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo. I said that the Bills of Quantities (BOQs) and technical studies are given to the contractors as they bid for the construction of the roads. In those technical studies, there are different specifications according to the geographical position of the area where these roads are to be constructed. That is why even the cost varies from one region to another.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, this year, the rainfall has been above normal and many roads have been cut-off and passages are becoming impassable. I heard the hon. Minister talk about Bailey bridges that have been moved from the Western Province to somewhere else. Is he aware that surface transportation between Kalabo and Lukulu, through Mitete, which is very important to the people of the Western Province, has been cut-off because the Lwamutu, Sakalungu, Ng’ombe and Lwandilu streams and Lwandinda River have all been flooded? At the moment, it is not even possible to go to Liuwa, Mitete and Kalabo. What is the ministry doing about this situation? Will some of the Bailey bridges in the Western Province be deployed there?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I understand the region and geographical information of the Western Province that the hon. Member is referring to. This region is like Lunga in Luapula Province. The floods he mentioned could be as a result of canals being blocked, hence water not flowing, thereby affecting the livelihoods of the people in the surrounding areas. I, however, want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa that besides the construction of roads, the Government has procured forty-two dredging machines that have been delivered to Zambia. The regions that will benefit from this are the Western Province, Luapula Province and part of the Southern province. We want to open up canals so that we avoid the flooding that is happening in these regions.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member for Liuwa has said, this year is a bit unique in that there is a lot of rain and, therefore, several wash aways, including the route to Kabompo Secondary School. Now, critics have indicated that the main reason for the roads being washed away is primarily due to substandard works being done by contractors. As the saying goes, “Cheap is expensive.” I think the main cause of this state of affairs is, first of all, the desire by the Government to show that it is making progress in the infrastructure sector. In other words, populism verses reality is at play.

 

Mr Sikazwe: Question!

 

Mr Lufuma: Just hold on. Take it easy. Secondly, corruption in the construction sector is rampant. Therefore, money meant to work on good roads is taken away through corruption and we end up with cheap roads. The third reason is that the placement of the Road Development Agency (RDA) under State House has done away with the necessary supervision that is supposed to be undertaken. Now, my question is: What measures is the ministry instituting in order to ensure that these concerns are addressed?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, let me put it on record that perception is stronger than reality and if you chose to live in perception and denial, you reject realism. That is the problem some people tend to suffer from. In the road construction sector, there are three or four types of roads, depending on the traffic flow for which the road is being constructed. There are roads that are constructed through the chip and spray seal method. We sometimes use this method because it would be very expensive for this Government to construct asphalt roads in an area where, maybe, only three or four vehicles pass per day. We use this method in areas with low traffic flow. For a layman who may not know the consideration taken into account when constructing roads, it may seem like we just prefer to use a cheap method. So, the traffic flow is a key factor in this regard.

 

Other methods in road construction are double seal, paving and asphalt. Asphalt roads are constructed in areas where there is a high turnover of traffic. As I said, a layman may think that certain road works are substandard or cheap when it is just the method that was used in constructing the road. 

 

Mr Speaker, the other notion that I must dispel is that the Road Development Agency (RDA) is under State House. The agency is under the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. That is why I am in charge of that department. I even dissolved the board of directors of the RDA after its mandate expired. So, the mandate to appoint and supervise the RDA board is vested in the ministry responsible for housing and infrastructure development. I remember the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, saying that for quicker implementation of projects, the RDA would be supervised by State House. That did not mean that the controlling function of the RDA moved to State House.

 

Sir, as regard the perception of corruption in the construction sector, I have been in the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development for almost six months now and I have not seen what some people have alleged about this sector. It is just that people want to politicise the issue of road construction. I can give an example of the construction of the Kalabo/Mongu Road. This project was done under the Engineering, Procurement and Construction plus Finance model, which is known as EPC+F. A contractor sourced the money in China, came to work in Zambia and the money was paid in China. I do not understand where corruption comes in for someone to say the Zambian Government is comprised. That is why I am saying it is the perception which is stronger than reality. The people who talk about corruption in this sector are the very ones who are calling for Zambians to be involved in the construction sector so that the money which is being spent on important infrastructure development stays in Zambia. Therefore, I repeat, perception is stronger than reality in this regard.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that statement and for clarifying the chip and spray issue. I want to speak about the Maamba Road. I would like to imagine that had the road curved in at a point a point when a bus was using it, human life would have been lost. Do we have any way of taking legal action against contractors who carry out shoddy works? Is it embedded in their contracts that they are protected when such a thing happens on a road?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, let me clarify on the Maamba/Batoka Road. As I read in my statement, the RDA was created by an Act of Parliament in 2002 and it came into effect in 2006. Before that, we had the Road Department and the Maamba/Batoka Road was constructed eleven or twelve years ago. I stated that the failure on the part of this road was caused by excessive rainfall. For any contract that we sign with a road contractor, we provide for a one year defect liability period. If a road fails within a period of twelve months after a contractor has handed it over to the Government, that contractor is liable to return to amend the failure of the road.

 

The Maamba/Batoka Road was constructed twelve years ago before the birth of the RDA. However, that does not mean that the Government should shirk the responsibility of dealing with such instances. As I stated, the drainage was blocked due to farming activities and when it poured, the water started building up. As a result, it pushed out at the weakest point, hence damaging the road. We regretted that and quickly moved on the site. We blocked the road and engaged a company called Maamba Collieries Limited, which provided us with the way stroke so that we could make a temporal crossing for the people between Maamba and Batoka.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiinga (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, why are our roads being damaged within a space of two years or so of their construction? Is it that the Road Development Agency (RDA) is not doing its best or are contractors using underhand methods when constructing these roads?

 

Mr Speaker: We have run into the old problem of repetition.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I have a challenge answering that question. I just stated that the Maamba/Batoka Road was built twelve years ago. The failure of the road along Luangwa Bridge was as a result of the movement on the earth. It does not suggest shoddy works.  This was caused by a natural calamity which can even happen here where we are sitting. It has nothing to do with shoddy works.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, as we continue, let us avoid repetition. Follow the responses from the hon. Minister.

 

Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the Batoka/Maamba Road is in a deplorable state. Does the Government have an immediate plan of working on the entire stretch?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the road has been earmarked for routine maintenance.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, asphalt roads have proved to not be conducive for African weather. Since it is hot, there is contraction and expansion and these roads fail just after four years. Countries in North and West Africa have stopped using asphalt roads. Here in Zambia, almost all the asphalt roads that were constructed have formed folds and will start collecting water after four years. Why are we still spending money on the asphalt system that has failed in other jurisdictions?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, a new technology has been sold to us. There is a company from Europe and Australia which has come with a different mechanism for constructing roads which is being tested. The Government wants to ensure that when we abandon the system that we have been applying in Zambia, we will not revert to it and regret having moved away from using it. We, as a Government, are considering changing the system we use and there is a suggestion that the method which is being applied in Spain and Australia in road construction is even cheaper than the asphalt system. So, we have engaged the National Council for Construction (NCC) and the Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) to ensure that we are certain of the new method so that when we make a policy pronouncement, it will be based on scientific evidence.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mrs Mulyata (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, we have a crisis in Rufunsa. Most of the bridges and roads in the area have been washed away. As a result, vehicles are failing to cross certain areas. About two months ago, this was reported to the Road Development Agency (RDA) and the officers from there came to check, but have not returned to the area. The most worrying road is the Great East Road. There is a point in Chinyunyu, about 86 km from Lusaka called Kapute, where most accidents happen. Before you get to Kapute, there is a little bridge which is getting worn out and the road there is very narrow. I am afraid that some calamities might happen there. What is the Government doing about this? This is an emergency.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, my ministerial statement was on the Batoka/Maamba Road and the road to Feira. However, the passionate appeal by the hon. Member of Parliament for Rufunsa on the Great East Road has touched me. During the N’cwala Ceremony, engineers from the RDA and the Permanent Secretary (PS) drove through the road to assess its weak points which require emergency works to avoid a calamity, as the hon. Member suggested. We are in control of things and have taken note of the weak point which the hon. Member mentioned. The engineers are working around the clock to ensure that if there are works required on that portion, China Geo Engineering Corporation (CGC) comes to work on it.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in response to one of the questions regarding corruption, the hon. Minister said that it is a perception that there are corrupt practices in his Government. We all know that you, as a Government, are corrupt.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, take your seat.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Lubinda: Sit down!

 

Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.

 

Mr Speaker: Let us have order in the House!

 

Hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I do not think it is fair and proper to make that kind of assertion because it is conclusive. Now, before you reach a conclusive state, obviously, there must be evidence. Also, to make it in a carte blanche fashion is unfair. We know the challenge in question, but I do not think we should characterise, especially colleagues in that fashion. I would urge the hon. Member to withdraw that statement.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I have difficulties withdrawing my statement. I would rather just forego the question because His Excellency the President of the Republic …

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Nkombo: … of Zambia said that the Patriotic Front (PF) Ministers are corrupt.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Point of order.

 

Mr Nkombo: I would rather withdraw the whole question in respect of your counsel, but it is true that we know that they are corrupt.

 

Mr Speaker: Can you sit down, please.

 

Mr Nkombo resumed his seat.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Let us not debate a ruling. I have made a ruling and directive. I have given you a directive, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, painstakingly, I withdraw the statement which was made by His Excellency the President of the Republic …

 

Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: No, let us not drag His Excellency the President into this.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Just speak for yourself.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Sit down.

 

Mr Speaker: Let us not drag His Excellency the President into our business.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I withdraw both the question and the assertion by the Head of State, which I have …

 

Mr Speaker: No, no!

 

Mr Nkombo: Yes!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: No, it is not acceptable.

 

Mr Ngulube: That is arrogance!

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order!

 

Mr Speaker: Can you sit down.

 

Just conclude. This is a simple issue. His Excellency the President is not involved here now. We do not want to go to what he said.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Can we have order on my right, please!

 

The hon. Member may proceed. I want us to finish this business first.

 

Mr Nkombo: Painstakingly, I withdraw …

 

Mr Kampyongo rose.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Nkombo: … the fact that the hon. PF Government Ministers are corrupt.

 

Mr Sikazwe: Thank you.

 

Mr Speaker: You may proceed with the question as well.

 

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I have also withdrawn the question just to please everyone.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government cannot bring back Phoenix Contractors, a European contractor which seems to understand the weather in Africa as it relates to road construction.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, road construction is business.

 

Hon. UPND Members left the Assembly Chamber.

 

Mr Chitotela: As a Government, we do not choose …

 

Hon. Government Members: Fumeni!

 

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members on the right!

 

Mr Chitotela: … who to conduct business with.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Chitotela: There are primary requirements for which a contractor must qualify during a bid. We advertise these projects in the public media and then companies are encouraged to bid. Whichever company bids favourably is awarded the contract.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Sikazwe: Kabiyeni!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members on the right!

 

Mr Kabanda: … the hon. Minister how many roads we have offloaded on a “build-operate transfer” arrangement and at what cost.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the ministerial statement was on wash aways and not on “build-operate transfer” roads. So, I have no details to give on particular roads and how much they cost. I was issuing a statement to clarify on the wash away between Batoka and Maamba and between the Great East Road and Luangwa/Feira Road.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, after your counsel, I do not want to go the corruption way, but tagging on the question by hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa concerning Bailey bridges, the answer by hon. Minister came as clearing canals. However, what he meant was putting Bailey bridges on streams in the Western Province. Is the Government not considering putting the Bailey bridges on streams or rivers in the Western Province?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member for that question and inform the House that the Bailey Bridges that were procured were to be installed between Mongu and Kalabo before the road was constructed. The Western Province has a number of Bailey Bridges. So, we will speak to the region engineer and see if there are other crossings in the province, other than what was intended to be put between Mongu and Kalabo, where we can put some of the Bailey bridges. Other Bailey bridges will obviously be moved to other regions.

 

Sir, I thank you.

 

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, not to throw the baby with the water, corruption is a cancer to any development.

 

Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Malama: Therefore, the statement that corruption is a perception, coming from a responsible Government, is something I have great difficulty to fathom.

 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Malama: Will the hon. Minister revise that statement and accord the fight against corruption its due standing in this era?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Ema hon. Members aya!

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, corruption is perception until it is proven. I supervise the RDA, as the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development and I have constituted an integrity committee within the ministry. If there is anybody with tangible evidence that there are staff members of the RDA who are corrupt, then, he or she should come through and we will take necessary action. For as long as corruption is being spoken about from the top of the mountain, I will consider it a perception because I have not been give tangible evidence. No one has come forward to say that they have been corrupted or been asked to corrupt staff. I will always condemn corruption and will not condone it as an integral part of doing business. Those who have information, but do not come forward I qualify as speculators.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mulenga (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, new hon. Members of Parliament are trying to learn the proceedings of this House, but the only thing we are seeing from the Opposition is arrogance and bitterness ...

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, are you still engaging the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development?

 

Mr Mulenga: Yes, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Please, do so.

 

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.

 

Mr Miyutu left the Assembly Chamber.

 

Ms Kapata: Do not come back!

 

Mr Ngulube: Go home!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that Luangwa/Feira Road was ...

 

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a procedural point of order.

 

Sir, the rules of this House are well-known, as prescribed in the Standing Orders. The decorum of this House is of paramount importance and we would not want to see this House degenerate into the mayhem that we have witnessed in other jurisdictions.

 

Mr Speaker, we know that losing an election is bitter, ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: ... but democracy demands that those that lose live for another day.

 

Mr Speaker, our rules stipulate that no hon. Member should storm out of the Chamber after a ruling of the Speaker. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central ...

 

Hon. UPND Members entered the Assembly Chamber.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kampyongo: ... in order to storm out of the Chamber ...

 

Mr Nkombo: I am back!

 

Mr Kampyongo: ... in defiance of your ruling? I seek your serious ruling on this matter.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: My ruling is reserved.

 

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that what caused the damage to Luangwa/Feira Road was a movement in the mountain. He also said that the cost of rehabilitating this road would be K10 million, which is not budgeted for, thereby causing pressure on the Treasury. We have many such roads within Zambia, especially in the Chirundu area. Therefore, is the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development planning for these unforeseen damages to our roads?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, indeed, earth movement due to excessive rain and the waste rock on top of the mountain is what caused the damage to Luangwa\Feira Road. The Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development, through the RDA, provides for contingency funds in case of emergencies. That portion of the road is being repaired using money from the Budget under emergency works.

 

Sir, we have also released K1.1 million for Mamba\Batoka Road, which was provided for in the emergency funds in the event that we had a crisis. The rains have brought numerous challenges and have caused various crossing points to be washed away. However, we will seek a Supplementary Budget from the Ministry of Finance so that we ensure that roads and crossing points are taken care of.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Speaker, these calamities occur almost every year. Is the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), equipping itself for emergency response to such calamities?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, it is. The ministry has released emergency funds to the North-Western Province to the tune of K5.6 million for 2017. We have competent men and women under the RDA who are monitoring these emergencies.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

UPGRADING OF COUNCILS AND ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW ONES

 

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

 

Sir, I wish to submit a statement on the Floor of the House on four issues which are the following:

  1. the proclamation of Chipata as a city;

 

  1. upgrading of Chongwe Town as a municipality;

 

  1. establishment of three new districts; and

 

  1. criteria for upgrading the status of councils.

 

Proclamation of Chipata as a City

 

Mr Speaker, before I dwell on the matter at hand, many developments which have taken place in Chipata District in the last few years have raised its economic profile and given it a competitive edge, not only in the province, but also across our borders as well.

 

Sir, the House may wish to know that Chipata District is among the districts in the nation that have taken advantage of the enabling environment created by Government policies and programmes to improve its local economy and the welfare of its residents. As a result, this put Chipata Municipal Council in a better position to request consideration to be upgraded to city status by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia.

 

Mr Speaker, the fact that Chipata is among the provincial capitals that are proactively striving to improve their local economies and living standards of their people does not surprise the Government. The effort the district is making demonstrates visionary leadership and a willingness to experiment and innovate.

 

Sir, it is no wonder that after receiving petitions and appeals that Chipata District be upgraded to city status, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, ...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: ... undertook wide consultations and interrogations to determine whether or not to grant Chipata city status. After these consultations, His Excellency the President did not hesitate to upgrade Chipata Municipal Council to city status.

 

Mr Speaker, as the House and the nation may be aware, in exercise of his powers contained under Section 3 and 4 of the Local Government Act, Cap. 281 of the Laws of Zambia, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia proclaimed that the status of a city be conferred on the Municipality of Chipata and that it be known by the name of the City of Chipata. This proclamation came into operation on 25th February, 2017, in accordance with Statutory Instrument No. 13 of 2017, the City of Chipata Proclamation, 2017 issued under the President’s hand.

 

Mr Speaker, in view of the above, the City of Chipata joins the other four cities, namely Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone, bringing the number of cities in the country to five.

 

Upgrading of Chongwe as a Municipality

 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Chongwe is amongst the town councils that demonstrated excellence in proactively striving to improve the living standards of the residents. Suffice it to mention that the efforts the district is making exhibits visionary leadership and willingness to experiment and innovate.

 

Mr Speaker, Chongwe has witnessed massive development, especially in the Western part of the district, which is closer to the capital city of our country. However, development is a process and the Government wishes to develop the entire district.

 

Sir, Chongwe District houses the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, which the Government is currently expanding and refurbishing to international standard. The airport handles 1.2 million passengers per year and this number is anticipated to increase tremendously once expansion works are completed. The expansion of the airport includes a shopping mall, two hotels, a new fire station and a new terminal building, amongst others.

 

Mr Speaker, a number of residential areas have been developed in the district in the recent past. These include places such as Meanwood Ndeke, Meanwood Kwamwena, Vorna Valley, Silverest, Meanwood Ibex, Madido and Obama, which can be classified between low and high density areas. With this stratification of residential areas, I am aware that the district boasts of having 15,295 properties on the 2014 approved Valuation Roll. However, this figure is a down play of a present housing stock in the district, which is currently approximately, 35,000. This is by far more than that of Livingstone, Kafue and Kabwe districts. Chongwe District has, in the recent past, witnessed development through implementation of various public and private investments.

 

Mr Speaker, after receiving petitions and appeals, I undertook wide consultations and interrogations to determine whether Chongwe must be granted a municipal status. After these consultations, I did not hesitate to upgrade Chongwe Township. I am proud to inform the House that in exercising my powers contained under Section III of the Local Government Act, Cap. 281 of the Laws of Zambia, I upgraded Chongwe District to a municipality status by the establishment of a municipal council. The council shall be called Chongwe Municipal Council, in accordance with Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 14 of 2017, the Local Government Establishment of Councils Order, 2017, dated 17th February, 2017, issued by the Minister of Local Government.

 

Mr Speaker, the Government hopes that the attainment of city and municipal statuses by Chipata and Chongwe respectively, will motivate other districts and local authorities to strive and realise their dreams. However, the Government urges the two local authorities to not relent, but endeavour to provide improved service delivery to the aspirations of the Local Government and also to the people they serve. Therefore, I challenge Chipata City, Chongwe Municipal Council and, indeed all councils in the Republic of Zambia to continuously improve if human and sustainable development is to be realised at local level.

 

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity, once again, to congratulate the people of Chipata and Chongwe.

 

Establishment of Three New Districts

 

Mr Speaker, let me reiterate that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has placed a lot of importance in the role played by local authorities. This has been demonstrated by the Government’s determination to address the challenges faced by the councils through implementation of the decentralisation policy. This process will enable councils to start generating their own resources. It will encourage councils not to relay on the Government grants for them to provide service delivery at local level.

 

Mr Speaker, as part of the implementation of decentralisation process and an effort to take services closer to the people of Zambia as a way of fulfilling the campaign promises, His Excellence, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: … in exercising his powers contained in Section II of the Provincial and District Boundaries, Cap. 286, declared the establishment of Lunte District in Mporokoso District and Kanchibiya and Luvushimanda Districts in Mpika by issuance of SI, No. 9 of 2017 under the Provincial and District Boundaries (Division) (Amendment) Order, 2017. The establishment of these three new districts was done as a way of fulfilling what His Excellency the President promised the people of Lunte and Mpika districts during the run-up to the elections in 2016. He promised that Mpika would be split into three districts. 

 

Mr Speaker, the potential that these new districts have is to create human, socio-economic and sustainable development. This cannot be over-emphasised because it has been appreciated by residents in those newly created districts from 2011 to date.

 

Criteria for Upgrading the Status of Councils

 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that following the requests by some local authorities to be upgraded to city or municipal statuses, the ministry embarked on broader consultations with various stakeholders to develop criteria that could guide the upgrading of these councils. This is in order to enhance meaningful human, social-economic and sustainable development at local level. In fact, I must thank Hon. Kampyongo for starting this process.

 

Sir, to this effect, I wish to inform the House that a strategy has now been fully developed. In view of the above, the House is advised that the threshold required for the conferment of higher status on a council in Zambia, in accordance with Section III and IV of the Local Government Act, Cap. 281 of the Laws of Zambia shall be provided in the attachment schedule. In addition, the following guidance has been provided to local authorities:

  1. any local authority meeting the set out criteria stipulated in the schedule may apply in writing to the Minister of Local Government for conferment of higher status of its council;

 

  1. as part of the consultation process, the minister shall appoint an assessment commit to assess the council, which shall make recommendations to the minister on application to upgrade to higher status;

 

  1. upon receiving the application, the assessment report for conferment of higher status, the minister may recommend to the President, in cases of application relating to city status, that such a council meets a set out criteria. The municipality status will be determined by the minister;

 

  1. upon receipt of that recommendation from the minister, the President may or may not grant the status of city applied for and may refer back to the minister who shall communicate in writing to the local authority. Similarly, the minister may or may not grant the higher status of a municipality and the concerned district will be informed accordingly.

Mr Speaker, this entails that going forward, all councils aspiring to be upgraded will be required to meet the set out criteria. Therefore, all districts are advised to put themselves in a position of continuous and never ending improvement to stand a better chance of attaining a higher status of either municipality or city, as a case may be.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

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.

 

Ms Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, it was among the election promises to the people of Kafue that our town would be upgraded and declared a municipal council. Is it that the people of Kafue voted for the Opposition that they are now being punished?

 

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I stated that all councils are encouraged to apply for assessment.  Accordingly, the Government will decide whether it is necessary to make the change. I, therefore, encourage Kafue to apply.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why Chilubi, the main land, has not been made into a district because one of the campaign promises was that the people of Chilubi would have a second district and a constituency. As you know, Chilubi is vast and is one of the biggest constituencies with twenty-two wards.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we will await the application by Chilubi. We will, then, assess whether it is necessary to declare another district. The hon. Member seems to have a good case. We will see what happens once the application comes through.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, moving forward, we should not make these applications on the Floor of the House.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngo’nga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister referred to a schedule of conditions that are supposed to be fulfilled in order for councils to be upgraded to higher status. Would he be kind enough to make it available to the hon. Members of Parliament because the improvement of district councils is paramount to all of us?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we can make it available in the pigeon holes by Wednesday, next week.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, there was a promise of Lupososhi Constituency in Luwingu District being upgraded. The application was made and stakeholders’ meetings and everything else was done. Is the hon. Minister in a position to state to this House and the people of Lupososhi and Luwingu District, in particular, whether this application has reached his desk?

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I appreciate the interest that this segment of the statement has generated. However, can we deal with individual applications off the Floor. Let us deal with the policy issues here.

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, as you can see, each constituency would like to be upgraded into a district. Therefore, why can we not be a bit more systematic by having a complete assessment, as it pertains now, vis-à-vis the process of turning some constituencies into districts? This means that you set the criteria and let a team go through the whole country and re-demarcate the districts so that we can have a new pattern of districts instead of relying on individuals to apply.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we are not relying on individual applications to create new districts. What has to be applied for is the uplifting of the status of councils. So, for new districts, we are putting in place an approach underwhich we will look at the entire country and see where it is necessary to establish districts. We will work with His Excellency the President who has the powers to create new districts and advise him. He would like the ministry to be proactive in advising him on which areas should emerge as new districts.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Dr Malama: Mr Speaker, the people of Kanchibiya and Lavushi Manda in Muchinga are grateful to this Government for the gesture. Is there a time frame in which the councils will be established in these places?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we have been informed by the Ministry of Justice that by the end of the day, we should have all the paper work done for the hon. Minister of Local Government to sign to establish councils in the newly-created districts. So, once the papers are published, say, by the end of next week, we will have those districts established as councils within the next seven or eight days.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mrs Phiri (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, it is the desire of the people of Kanyama to have the constituency upgraded into a municipal council.

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Phiri: What help is the Government giving to Kanyama to achieve its desire?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: I will take that to be a light moment.

 

Mr Kundoti (Luena): Mr Speaker, we have seen the creation of many new districts in the country, which is a good thing as it has already been pronounced that this is one way of taking development closer to the people. In most of these newly-created districts, we have a challenge of infrastructure construction not being completed. We have been told many times in this House that the challenge of stalled infrastructure in newly-created districts is as a result of finances. Limulunga District in Luena Constituency is one such district. Now, there is the creation of three more new districts. From where will finances come to put up the needed infrastructure in these three newly-created districts when there is a challenge in the already created districts of incomplete infrastructure?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there will always be a start. If we say that we do not have enough resources to put up infrastructure in new districts, it means that, we might as well forget about having new districts because needs will always be there. However, there has to be some determination that we will do this even though our resources, at the moment, do not permit because we think that, in future, we will have the resources to put up infrastructure.

 

Mr Speaker, in my statement, I stated that the people in the newly-created districts have appreciated the gesture. There was resentment towards the creation of new districts when it just began, but now people are appreciating that services have gone closer to them. Some of these places do not have infrastructure while others are using old and dilapidated infrastructure, but services are being provided. We think that it is good to start because we will get there someday when the economy improves, as it is doing now.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I thought that I could give comfort to the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama who asked a question ...

 

Mr Speaker: I have a difficulty in allowing that.

 

Mr Mwale: Okay, Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Ms Chisangano (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the people of Mpika are very happy to have three new districts.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chisangano: May we know the major reasons for creating three new districts in Mpika alone and what is left of Mpika District?

 

Mr Speaker: Before you proceed, hon. Minister, if you want to refer to the three-tier system within the boundaries of the city, I will give you the liberty. I suppose that is want you want to address?

 

Mr Mwale indicated assent.

 

Mr Speaker: Very well. You can do so as you respond to the hon. Member for Gwembe.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the new Local Government Act empowers councils to create administrative centres within the district or a city. So, it is very true that we could consider Matero to have its own administrative centre as well as Kanyama, but feeding into the greater City of Lusaka. That consideration could be made. I think that is an internal matter within the Lusaka City Council which is able to determine where it wants to have satellite administrative centres.

 

Mr Speaker, in answering the question on Mpika District, I want to bring it to the attention of the hon. Member that Mpika District was, until the creation of two more districts within it, geographically the biggest district in this country. Mpika was bigger than Luxembourg in Europe and very close to the entire Belgium. It was a huge district and I think it was necessary …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: … that two districts were created out of Mpika. There is still a lot of land and administrative areas left within Mpika. In fact, if His Excellency the President wanted, he could have created five more districts from that huge Mpika District.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed us that he is in the process of developing a blue print to look at how to map the entire country and identify which sites will eventually qualify for districts. The hon. Minister mentioned that he will advise His Excellency the President in that regard. As an adviser, may the hon. Minister share with us what criterion he will advise His Excellency the President as the basis on which a site will qualify to district status.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we are still carrying out consultations. We are bringing on board the Electoral Commission of Zambia and councils that are already established. We do not have the criterion, at the moment, but once it is done, we will find a way of sharing that information with hon. Members of Parliament.

 

I thank you Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is a limit to the number of districts to be created and whether there is a maximum number of cities to be created.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there is no limit. The only limiting factor are finances. I think that creating cities means incurring more costs because there will be a need to employ more people and disburse more grants. I think it is a cost to those councils that have been elevated. At the moment, finances are the only limiting factor. If we were developed to levels whereby the whole country would have all its districts elevated to cities, we would do that easily, but finances are the limiting factor.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has created three new districts; did he budget for them in the 2017 National Budget? If not, where will he get the money to fund them?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, these areas are already fully serviced by the Government. They are part of the already established districts. For example, Lunte is part of Mporokoso District. There are schools, teachers and nurses who are on Government payroll working in Lunte. So, their service delivery is already budgeted for. The councils that will be created are the only ones that will be a cost, but they will keep levying people who live in the areas in which they will be domiciled and then share that revenue with already established districts. For example, Mporokoso District will have to split the levies it will collect. Under this year’s Equalisation Fund, yes, we did budget for new districts. In fact, I want to confirm here that the Equalisation Fund for Lunte for January and February has already been dispatched and …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: ... it is being kept in Mporokoso. When Lunte is an established council by next week, it will have to hold elections for the mayor or council chairperson. It will find that it already has some resources because we budgeted for it in the Equalisation Fund.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema Government aya.

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what his ministry is doing to ensure that it triggers the process of amplifying these districts and councils to a higher status. What kind of enabling environment is the hon. Minister extending to these councils and districts.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, like I said in my previous statement, the Equalisation Fund has been raised for all the councils. So, they have extra income, some of which can be used to provide for what is required for a council to be elevated. The Government is already developing infrastructure through line ministries in all the districts. I think that infrastructure development triggers the elevation by providing that enabling environment. This infrastructure development is done in a concerted manner where all other ministries are involved. For example, all ministries are involved when the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development puts up a stadium.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, …

 

Ms Chonya: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Ms Chonya: Mr Speaker, I was listening, with interest, to the response given by the hon. Minister of Local Government that the newly-created districts such as Lunte were budgeted for. Was the Government in order not to have given us the policy statement towards that major undertaking when the Budget was being presented late last year?

 

Mr Speaker: Did you ask a question earlier on?

 

Ms Chonya: This was a point of order.

.

Mr Speaker: Anyway, I have been advised by the Clerk at the Table. Please, find somebody amongst your colleagues who can help you.

 

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the people of the Eastern Province are so grateful to His Excellency the President for declaring Chipata a city. Since Chipata is the provincial headquarters, which town will take up this responsibility or will it take up both responsibilities?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, Chipata is a city and will continue to be the provincial headquarters of the Eastern Province.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, my question is a follow up to the one asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena Constituency. It is true that to date, some officers in the newly-created districts still operate under trees because infrastructure has not yet been completed. After learning from experience, will District Commissioners (DCs) and other officers be deployed to newly-created districts before infrastructure has been put up first or will infrastructure be put up first? In some instances, the DC is appointed, but does not live in a given district.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we can learn something from other newly-created districts which were created without civic centers and District Commissioners (DC’s) offices or Bomas, as they are called. However, those appointed found alternative infrastructure in those districts. Therefore, we will take the same approach. There is infrastructure that is habitable in the newly-created districts and the new DCs, Council Chairpersons and other officers can use it at the moment.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke Central): Mr Speaker, are there any economic or financial viability tests carried out before the declaration of areas as districts? Devolution or decentralisation should lead to some form of self-sufficiency at district level. Are the newly-created districts sustainable economic units?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, this relates to the case of which comes first between an egg and a chicken. When some areas become districts and infrastructure is provided, they become economic units. Some areas have potential which once explored will turn them into of economic units. So, it depends on a particular situation, but what is paramount is to take services closer to the people of a certain area although it is, sometimes, done at the expense of the State.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mukumbuta: Mr Speaker, I am happy to hear that Chipata is now a city. Chipata, like Mongu, has been progressing. What could be missing in Mongu, the provincial headquarters of the Western Province, that inhibits it from attaining city status like Chipata?

 

Mr Ngulube: Nikavotedwe!

 

Mr Speaker: I know you are trying to get round my guidance.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, once the authorities in Mongu apply, we will send a team to assess the town and we will know what is missing.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

__________

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

NSANJA/CHIFWILE/FIKONKONTA FEEDER ROAD REHABILITATION

 

138. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

  1. when the rehabilitation of the feeder road from Nsanja to Chifwile via Fikonkonta in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency would be completed;

 

  1. how much money had been paid to the contractor so far;

 

  1. what the balance of the contract sum was; and

 

  1. when the balance would be paid.

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the feeder road from Nsanja to Chifwile via Fikonkonta in Lupososhi Constituency is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017.

 

Sir, the initial contract of this project was awarded to Fumakila Zambia Ltd, but due to non performance, it was terminated in November, 2015. An initial contract sum was paid and the contractor only managed to achieve 10 per cent work progress. After termination, the contract was awarded to the current contractor, Infasim Construction and General Suppliers, in January 2016, at a contract sum of K38,484,042.65. The contractor claimed for advance payment and he was given.

 

Mr Speaker, the new contract amount is K38,484,042.65 and an advance payment was made.

 

Sir, the balance will be paid once the funds are secured.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, …

 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious constitutional point of order pertaining to the management of this country by the Executive. I would also like to state that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we swear to protect the Constitution of Zambia. I am aware that the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) has been holding Cabinet meetings attended by hon. Provincial Ministers.

 

Mr Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of this House the composition of the Cabinet. The Cabinet in this country …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.

 

[MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was quoting from Article 113 of the Constitution of Zambia, as amended, the composition of the Cabinet. According to Article 113, Cabinet comprises the President, the Vice-President, Ministers and the Attorney-General as ex officio.

 

Madam Speaker, Article 266 gives a definition of ‘Minister’ and ‘Cabinet Minister’. For ease of reference, I would like to quote from Article 266, which defines ‘Minister’. According to the Constitution, ‘Minister’ is a Cabinet Minister. It also defines ‘Provincial Minister’ as a minister who is in charge of a province.

 

Madam Speaker, I have noted, with concern, that the Government of the Republic of Zambia has allowed non members of the Cabinet to sit in the Cabinet, contrary to the Constitution of Zambia. I am also aware that the draft Bill, which the Government rejected, had a provision where hon. Provincial Ministers were supposed to sit as ex-officios. I am also aware of the provision that relates to the number of ministers that must be appointed by the President. We passed an act of Parliament prescribing the number of ministers. It, therefore, follows that these others who are sitting in the Cabinet are strangers. They are not supposed to sit there.

 

Madam Speaker, the danger is that if we allow this illegality to continue, one day, we will have a President who will allow party cadres to sit in the Cabinet.

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

                      

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, that cannot be allowed to continue. Is this Government in order to allow, with impunity, members who are not prescribed by the Constitution to continue sitting in the Cabinet and making decisions on behalf of the people of Zambia when they are not supposed to be members of the Cabinet? Is it in order to abrogate the Constitution of Zambia with impunity and allow such illegality to continue? Taking into account the fact that we have all sworn to defend and protect the Constitution of Zambia, is Her Honour the Vice-President, on behalf of the President of the Republic of Zambia, in order to breach the Constitution of Zambia with impunity?

 

I need your ruling, Madam.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: The ruling of the Chair is that it is true that the Constitution of Zambia, as amended, in Article 113, does give the composition of Cabinet. It is also true that the same Constitution, in Article 115(6) clearly states that:

 

“The President may, in consultation with the Secretary to the Cabinet, invite a person whose presence is desirable to attend and participate in the deliberations of a meeting of Cabinet, but that person shall have no vote.”

 

Therefore, in responding to the point of order, my ruling is that this is not an illegality.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ema lawyers aya. Not iwe former lawyer. Long live the Chair!

 

Mr Bwalya: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his answer concerning the Nsanjya/Chifwile via Fikonkonta Road. The contract that was signed earlier with Fumakila Zambia Limited, which was terminated, was not very clear on the river crossings. This road has about three or four river crossings that need bridging, as it is being constructed. I would like to find out whether the new contract that has been awarded to Infasim Construction and General Suppliers has taken into consideration the construction of bridges on these four river crossings?

 

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I can confirm that the new contract includes the rehabilitation of bridges that were not in the initial contract. As you can see, the initial contract cost was K17 million because it was just for spot improvement. However, the new contract costs K38 million because it has taken into account the bridges that have to be rehabilitated and worked on. Therefore, I can confirm that the construction of bridges is part of the work to be undertaken.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, the Nsanjya/Fikonkonta/Chifwile Road is very busy. Currently, the road is impassable because of the river crossing point where the culverts have been destroyed. Is it possible to speed up the process so that the bridge is installed and the road made passable again?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the only problem that …

 

Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker!

 

Mr Mwale: I beg your pardon.

 

Madam Speaker, the only problem, at the moment, is the rain. The contractor, who has been given a part payment, is capable of dealing with these urgent matters. He has not mobilised simply because of the rains. The contractor wants to carry out a good, and immediately the rains stop, he will be on site.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mukata (Chilanga): Madam Speaker, I notice that there is a plethora of questions regarding …

 

Mr C. M. Zulu: On a point of order, Madam.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr C. M. Zulu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. My apologies go to Hon. Mukata for disturbing his line of thought.

 

Madam, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Constitution is tolerant to lesbianism and homosexuality or gayism. On the other hand, the Zambian Constitution is not tolerant of these acts. This puts the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in a very awkward position. Is the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development in order to keep quiet and not clear the air on this situation?

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the rules of the House are very clear. I would like to advise that you all take time to read the Handbook and Standing Orders in order to understand what constitutes a point of order. The hon. Member for Luangeni should be aware that that does not constitute a point of order and should, therefore, file a question to the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development so that he can get an appropriate answer.

 

Hon. Minister of Local Government, were you the one on the Floor?

 

Mr Mwale: No, Madam.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: No, it was the hon. Member for Chilanga. Continue.

 

Mr Ngulube: But they look alike!

 

Laughter 

 

Mr Mukata: Madam Speaker, I notice that there are many questions on grading and upgrading of roads under the local government across the districts in Zambia. Is it possible that, perhaps, we could have an infrastructure development plan that can put us up to speed on when, for instance, the roads in Chilanga or any other district will be worked on to avoid generation of similar questions?

 

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, we are already putting up an infrastructure development plan to know which bridges and roads will be attended to by the Government in the next three years. We will soon avail this plan to hon. Members of Parliament.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

MUKONKOTO JUNCTION/CHIEF MUKUPA KATANDULA/KAPASHA VILLAGE ROAD GRADING

 

139. Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) (on behalf of Mr Ng’onga) (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

  1. whether the Government had any plans to grade the Mukonkoto Junction/Chief Mukupa Katandula/Kapasha Village Road in 2017; and

 

  1. if not, when the road would be graded.

 

Mr Samakayi: On a point of order, Madam.

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: First and foremost, there is no one on the Floor on whom you are raising a point of order.

 

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, Question 139.

 

Mr Samakayi: On a point of order, Madam. 

 

Laughter

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: I will not allow that point of order. So, do not bother to rise again. Clearly, you need to do a bit more reading so that you understand when to raise a point of order. Hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development, you may respond.

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, in 2017, the Government has plans to grade the Katandula/Kapasha Village Road under the emergency works. To this effect, the condition survey was undertaken by the Road Development Agency (RDA) in November, 2016, and a cost estimate has since been submitted for possible funding. The commencement of works awaits release of funds.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga): Madam Speaker, this very important road links Nchelenge, Chienge, Nsama and Kaputa districts. As at now, it is impassable. During the course of 2017, are there any plans to grade the road and build bridges where they have been washed away?

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, there are plans to grade the road within this year. Funds were released for emergency works for Kaputa District and the provincial administration chose to begin grading the road between Kaputa and Nsama districts. So, the balance of K2.4 million, which is yet to be released, will go to the grading of this road.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to thank you for the ruling you made earlier when you categorically indicated that hon. Provincial Ministers are not members of the Cabinet …

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

 

We have passed that stage, hon. Leader of Opposition. Please, ask your follow-up question on Question 139.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: I am just thanking you, Madam Speaker, for a good ruling.

 

Laughter

 

Madam Deputy Speaker: Yes, but we have passed that stage.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I have noted, with concern, that there appears to be an overlap of responsibilities between the hon. Minister of Local Government and the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development with regards to the rehabilitation of roads in rural areas.

 

Madam Speaker, you may recall that there was a question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lupososhi concerning feeder roads, which was answered by the hon. Minister of Local Government. Now, we have another question concerning another feeder road in another constituency being answered by the hon. Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development.

 

Hon. Minister, is there no way that the operations of these institutions that grade feeder roads in our constituencies can be harmonised so that we are not confused by the way answers are being given or the way the roads are being funded?

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I would like make it crystal clear that according to the Public Road Act No. 12 of 2002, the Road Development Agency (RDA) is in charge of all public roads. Suffice to say that the RDA has appointed local authorities in various municipalities as road managers.

 

Sir, the ministry has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Zambia National Service (ZNS), under the Ministry of Defence, to assist the grading and taking care of the feeder roads. That does not suggest any contradiction. If anything, we are one Government. When the Ministry of Local Government awards a contract, it will not execute that without working in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Infrastructure Development. As I stated earlier, we have signed a memorandum of understanding with the ZNS, under the Ministry of Defence, to take care of some of the feeder roads. Therefore, there is no contradiction because we are one Government.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mukata: Madam Speaker, I hope the hon. Minister will be attentive to my question.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mukata: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that his ministry has given agency functions to institutions such as the Zambia National Service (ZNS). He also stated that the Government operates as one institution. Yes, I would agree with that, but I would like to find out why the ZNS is charging district councils to grade roads. For example, just for the patching up of potholes on Pambamano Road, the ZNS charged the local authority K400,000. Why is the ZNS doing if it is an arm the Government?

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, in the memorandum of understating that was signed with the ZNS, powers have been given to it to commercialise. Councils that have the financial capacity can even engage or subcontract a private company for them to raise money for diesel if it is a challenge to them. The council can also provide for a specific road project. In my view, I think the Ministry of Defence is in order to engage the ZNS to carry out some works. With reference to how much they charge, that is the decision to be arrived by the Ministry of Defence with the client. Therefore, my ministry will not interfere with the Ministry of Defence since there is already a memorandum of understanding with it that outlines specific powers and functions to maintain the feeder roads.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Ndalamei (Sikongo): Madam Speaker, if the ZNS is a profit-making agency, why did the ministry give it the equipment which was bought for the local authority.

 

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, in no uncertain term did I suggest, in my statement, that the ZNS is a profit-making venture. I have not said that. Of course, it could be that it charges to enable it to buy diesel for use to grade the roads. So, it can enter into a partnership with various local authorities. If there is anything contrary to that, hon. Members of Parliament are free to engage the hon. Minister of Defence for further clarification.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I am most grateful.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lufuma: Madam, I would just like to make a follow up on a question that was raised by the hon. Member for Kafue …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lufuma: … Chilanga.

 

Mr Lufuma laughed.

 

Mr Ngulube: Ema bosses aya!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the Government decentralised the Rural Road Unity (RRU) following a change in Government policy. The Government has further decentralised the maintenance of roads by giving this contract to the Ministry of Defence. The equipment that was provided for under the RRU was supposed to be at the district councils but, at the moment, that is not the case. Could the hon. Minister explain why the Zambia National Service (ZNS) continues to charge district councils for the services that were essentially offered free to the local authorities in the beginning?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, what I have deduced from the questions is that the Ministry of Defence and the ZNS, in particular, may be charging the councils for operations in case they need fuel or allowances for members of staff that are working. I do not think that is commercialisation, but if that is the position, then, we need to engage the hon. Minister of Defence to seek clarification on what has led to the commercialisation of the services rendered to the local authorities.

 

Sir, the idea behind my ministry entering into a memorandum of understanding was because our colleagues from the Defence forces are more committed, dedicated and put more of their time into improving the feeder roads. Therefore, we will sit down with the Ministry of Defence to find out whether it is true that councils are being charged at the commercial rate.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

BRIDGE COSNTRUCTION AT PLACES ACROSS LUNDAZI RIVER

 

140. Mr Nyirenda (Lundazi Central) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development when the Government would construct bridges at the following place across the Lundazi Parliamentary Constituency:

 

  1. Kanele, connecting Mpamba to Lundazi Township; and

 

  1. Chimutyulu, connecting Islamic Township to Chimutyulu Township.

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) shall carry out an assessment on the Kanele and Chimutyulu crossing points during the second quarter of 2017 and come up with the cost estimate for the necessary intervention for the two crossing points. The RDA may include the two crossing points in 2017 under emergencies, funds permitting.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

MUFUMBWE DAY SECONDARY SCHOOL LABORATORY

 

141. Mr Kamondo (Mufumbwe) asked the Minister of General Education:

 

  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a laboratory at Mufumbwe Day Secondary School in Mufumbwe District;

 

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

 

  1. if there were no such plans, why.

 

The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa) (on behalf of the Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has plans to refurbish the laboratory at Mufumbwe Day Secondary in Mufumbwe District to replace the one which was gutted by fire three years ago.

 

Madam, plans to carry out the refurbishment are expected to be implemented in 2017. The Government has plans to refurbish and, therefore, this has been answered by part (b) of the question, as I earlier said.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, I am sure that the people of Mufumbwe are listening and are very happy.

 

Madam, would the hon. Minister kindly give me the time frame within which this laboratory will be constructed because pupils will sit for examinations in November, 2017.

 

Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, I do not know the specific time frame, but it will be before the end of the year.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Kamondo: Madam Speaker, in an event that this construction is not done by November, 2017, is the ministry putting in place measures for a mobile laboratory to be sent to Mufumbwe Secondary School?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Madam Speaker, yes, there are plans to set up a mobile laboratory. I was under the impression that this is already the case. However, if there is no laboratory in place, then, definitely the Ministry of General Education will consider that as an option.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

2017 MUMBWA CONSTITUENCY FEEDER ROADS REHABILITATION PROGRAMME

 

142. Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

(a)what the total number of feeder roads earmarked for rehabilitation in 2017 in Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency was;

 

(b)when the rehabilitation works would commence; and

 

(c)what the names of the feeder roads above were.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, there are currently no feeder road projects earmarked for rehabilitation in 2017 in Mumbwa Parliamentary Constituency due to budgetary constraints. It is the policy of the Government to rehabilitate all feeder roads which are in a deplorable state in conjunction with all local authorities, including Mumbwa District Council. However, this is dependent on the availability of funds and submission of priority roads that need to be worked on by the concerned local authority.

 

The rehabilitation works are scheduled to commence in 2018, as soon as funds are made available. There are no names of feeder roads because the ministry is yet to receive the priority list of roads from the Mumbwa District Council to be considered for rehabilitation.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Nanjuwa: Madam Speaker, due to the heavy rains in the district and constituency, many of the feeder roads are impassable and bridges have been washed away. Those are the roads that farmers use to take their products to the market. What measures will be put in place so that this challenge is solved in the constituency?

 

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, we are considering working on the roads in 2018, subject to availability of funds. However, between now and 2018, I think the district council, using its own local resources, can do something about this. We will encourage the local authority to look into this to ensure that the roads are passable until we have full rehabilitations.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

AREAS IN CHIEF KIKOLA’S CHIEFDOM NOT COVERED DURING THE MOBILE ISSUANCE OF NRCS IN 2015

 

143. Mr Kintu (Solwezi East) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

 

(a)whether the Government was aware that the following areas in Chief Kikola’s Chiefdom in Solwezi East Parliamentary Constituency were not covered during the mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) exercise in 2015:

 

(i)Luamfula;  

 

(ii)Maponde; and

 

(iii)Kapako; and

 

(b)if so, what measures had been taken to ensure that the people in the areas above obtained NRCs.

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, indeed, the Government is aware that Luamfula, Maponde and Kapako in Chief Kikola’s chiefdom in Solwezi East Constituency were not covered during the 2015/2016 Mobile Issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). The reason for that was due to the rainy season and poor road network. However, a team of officers has seen been identified within the province to undertake a mini-mobile registration exercise so that the people in this area can be issued with NRCs after the rainy season.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kintu: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the last issuance of NRCs in this area was done in 2004? Most of the people there are now of eligible age to obtain NRCs and are probably between twenty and thirty years old. What is the ministry doing to ensure that even old people can now obtain their NRCs?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I am not aware that there are people that could be over age and without NRCs in that area. Between 2004 and 2016 is a surprisingly long period. The issuance of NRCs is a service that is offered daily by my ministry. Therefore, people should not just wait for the mobile exercise to obtain NRCs. There are established permanent offices from which people can obtain NRCs and the hon. Member should encourage them to not only wait for the mobile registration in order to access the services of national registration. It is a requirement by law that citizens who attain the age of sixteen years and above get to access national identity cards and get registered as citizens. I, therefore, repeat that the hon. Member should encourage people in his area not to only wait for the mobile registration in order for them to obtain this important national document.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kintu: Madam Speaker, maybe, I should repeat my question. The issue is that most of the people are now …

 

Mr Ngulube: Do the Standing Orders permit repetition?

 

Mr Kintu: Most of them are now old people. How are will we assist them so that they are not deemed to be Congolese?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, if my honourable colleague had paid attention to my response, I did say, and I repeat, that we have identified a team which will move into the area after the rainy season for that exercise. So, he should just prepare the people so that when the team gets to the area, they do not miss this chance.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker. 

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Madam Speaker, there are instances whereby one National Registration Card (NRC) number is given to two individuals. What measures would the ministry put in place to ensure that such does not occur?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, one NRC number is only given to one citizen. I think in the course of next week, I will come to inform this House on what we are doing in order to improve our registration system because we are now digitalising. We are moving away from the manual way of keeping our registers and registering of our people so that the system can immediately pick some of those errors that the hon. Member is raising.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

SENIOR CHIEF SHIMUMBI AND CHIEF MATIPA BOUNDARY DISPUTE

 

144. Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:

 

  1. whether the boundary dispute between Chief Matipa and Senior Chief Shimumbi in Luwingu District had been resolved;

 

  1. if not, when the dispute would be resolved; and

 

  1. whether the Government had availed and interpreted the 1958 Chiefdom Boundary Map to the traditional leaders involved in the dispute.

 

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Sichalwe): Madam Speaker, the boundary dispute between Chief Matipa and Senior Chief Shimumbi in Luwingu District has not yet been resolved. The ministry met the two chiefs involved in the boundary dispute at their respective palaces in April, 2016. What came out of the meeting was evidently clear that the two chiefs have their own interpretation of the boundary between the two chiefdoms. The meeting was not aimed at resolving the boundary dispute, but establishing the existence of the dispute.

 

Madam Speaker, the ministry has provided K574,247 in the 2017 Budget, underVote13/04, Programme 5117, Activity 002 – Printing of 1958 Boundary and Topographical Maps −574,247 for the printing of the 1958 boundary and topographical map for all the chiefdoms in the country. Once the chiefdom boundary and topographical maps are printed, the ministry, in conjunction with the office of the Surveyor-General and other relevant institutions, will meet with the two royal highnesses and interpret the map indicating the chiefdom boundary between the two chiefdoms.

 

Madam Speaker, the Government has not yet availed or interpreted the 1958 Chiefdom Boundary Map because it is yet to be printed.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister explained that an amount of money has been set aside to print the boundary maps so that they can be given to the chiefs. When will that be done since, as has been said, the money is already in place?

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, the ministry is awaiting release of the funds by the Treasury. As soon as the funds are received, we will engage the Surveyor-General’s Office so that it can do the needful.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Madam Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister said that Chief Shimumbi and the other chief have their own interpretation of their boundaries. Then, the Government has its own interpretation based on the 1958 Chiefdom Boundary Map. He went on to say that money has been allocated to print these boundary maps with a view to assisting the Chiefs. Before this money to print the maps is released, does the ministry not have one copy of the 1958 Boundary Map which it can use to assist the two chiefs to harmonise their different interpretations?

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, we have the 1958 Boundary Map, but as I said, each chief is interpreting it differently. The same map is being interpreted differently. The only way we can resolve the dispute is to have a map that has topographical features. Topography features are features such as hills. For example, where Hon. Garry Nkombo comes from, the Munali Hills can be the boundary between two places. That is what is missing on the 1958 Boundary Map. We would like the Surveyor-General to bring in those topographical features so that we harmonise the dispute.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Daka (Msanzala): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister working hand in hand with the hon. Minister of Local Government and the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure that boundary disputes that are all over the country between chiefs are eliminated once and for all? It is not only the chiefs who have been mentioned who have a boundary dispute. With the creation of new districts, are we realigning chiefs’ boundaries, constituencies and districts?

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, if the hon. Member had taken keen interest to follow my response, he would have known that I said that once the Office of the Surveyor-General has done its part, we will involve other relevant institutions, which he has referred to as the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mukata: Madam Speaker, if even after the scientific process is undertaken and one chief still insists that according to his ancestors, the ministry’s interpretation of the boundary is wrong, what recourse will that chief have?

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, it will be a law. The hon. Member may wish to be enlightened, although he comes from the law fraternity. Such a chief may seek legal redress with the relevant map and it will be interpreted through the courts of law.

 

I thank you, Madam.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, from the explanation that the hon. Minister has given pertaining to the 1958 Boundary Map, which he wants to reproduce, it appears the ministry wants to change it substantially. What will be the relevance of reproducing that map instead of coming up with a different map with the necessary demarcation requirements?

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, basically, we are not changing the 1958 Map. If we were to change it, we would change the cultures and customs that have been written. What we are seeking to do is redefine or make it clearer with the insertion of topographical features.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that in the villages, we use the same topographical features to determine boundaries? This means that even the two Chiefs in question do have those topographical measures. Does the hon. Minister still need a scientist to interrupt them? Why can he not use the maps present to show him about this river, that mountain or tree? I guess that is what they have.

 

Madam Speaker: Hon. Minister, clarify what you mean on how you intend to enhance the 1958 Map.

 

Mr Sichalwe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is just confirming why there is different interpretation of the same map. We have one map, but it is being interpreted differently because of these features. As the hon. Member of Parliament for Mitete says, one will have his topographical features, which are not there on the map, the other one will also have his own topographical features which are also not on the map. So, the Surveyor-General will include those topographical features on the map so that we all have the same understanding.

 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

 

NAMATAMA/NATEBE ROAD REHABILITATION

 

145. Mr Jere asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

  1. when the rehabilitation of the Namatama/Natebe Road in Livingstone would commence;

 

  1. what had caused the delay in commencing the project, considering that it was budgeted for in 2015; and

 

  1. what the time frame for completing the project was.

 

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, the ministry will commence rehabilitation works for Namatama/Natebe Feeder Road in Livingstone District, once funds are secured.

 

Madam, the none availability of funds caused the delays. Therefore, the time frame for completing the project will only be known once the contract is signed.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that funds were released and diverted by certain officers at provincial level? If so, what action has he taken or will he take against those officers?

 

Mr Mwale: I need to verify that information. With your indulgence, Madam, I would like to invite the hon. Member of Parliament for Livingstone to come to the ministry so that we can check the records together. If, indeed, funds were diverted from this road to something else, that is normal in the Government. There are procedures that exist that allow for that to happen. If this was done and it led to this action, then, we will provide that information.

 

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s answer, he indicated that this road will be attended to as and when funds will be available. The availability of funds is a function of budgeting. Can he confirm here and now that this road has been budgeted for under the 2017 Budget?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, not all roads that are being constructed have …

 

Ms Katuta: Madam Speaker!

 

Mr Mwale: I beg your pardon, Madam Speaker.

 

Madam Speaker, not all roads that are being constructed have specific budget lines in the 2017 Budget. Some of them fall under provisions that have been made for roads. Some are constructed using the Equalisation Fund, were 20 per cent is reserved for capital projects, which are not specifically outlined. Other roads are funded by donors, like we have the World Bank (WB) now coming in with about US$50 million to deal with roads in areas dominated by agricultural activities. This is external financial support that is coming. When the money is rolled out, we will identify which roads are to be worked on. Some of the major roads are identified prior to budgeting. However, for this one, I will have to check if it is one of those roads that were budgeted for or one which will fall under other categories.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Mukata: Madam Speaker, I am a bit concerned because it appears that there is no overall infrastructure development plan in as far as the ministry, whether it be the Ministry of Defence or the Ministry of Local Government, is concerned. The issue of resource of mobilisation obviously will dovetail into this plan. How does the hon. Minister co-ordinate if choosing of road infrastructure to be worked on is done in hodgepodge fashion and there is no plan which everybody can sing into?

 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Madam Speaker, as provided for in the laws, there is a subcommittee of the Cabinet that had been constituted to look into these matters on which we will get together and co-ordinate. This subcommittee has already begun sitting so that we begin talk to engage. This is now happening.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

ADDITIONAL CLASSROOM BLOCK CONSTRUCTION AT KASALU SECONDARY SCHOOL

 

146. Mr Chansa (on behalf of Mr Hamusonde) (Nangoma) asked the Minister of General Education:

  1. whether the Government had any plans to construct additional classroom blocks at Kasalu Secondary School in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency;

 

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

 

  1. if there are no such plans, why.

Ms Chalikosa on behalf of the Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has no immediate plans to construct additional classroom blocks at Kasalu Secondary School in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency in 2017.

 

Madam Speaker, additional infrastructure at Kasalu Secondary School will be considered next in 2018.

 

Madam, due to financial limitation for this year, the Government is not embarking on construction of new projects, but focusing on completing existing ones.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

MEASURES TAKEN TO BENEFIT WOMEN IN STATUTORY AND CUSTOMARY LAND ALLOCATION

 

147. Ms Chisangano (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources:

  1. what measures the Government was taking to ensure that women benefit from the statutory and customary land allocation programmes countrywide;

 

  1. whether the Government had conducted awareness programmes to sensitise the traditional leaders on the need to consider women when allocating land;

 

  1. how many women in Gwembe District had been issued with title deeds between January, 2011 and October, 2016.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Ms Kapata): Madam Speaker, the key measures that the Government is taking to ensure that women benefit from the statutory and customary land allocation are:

  1. the Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, issued a circular in 2010 to all local authorities across the country to ensure that, at least, 30 per cent of available land for allocation is reserved specifically for women. This measure is aimed at ensuring that women are given preference in land allocation. The remaining 70 per cent is considered for allocation to both men and women. The ministry has proposed the revision of the percentage upward in the Draft Land Policy in line with the various protocols, including the South African Development Community (SADC), to which Zambia is party;

 

  1. the ministry has also been collaborating with various civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as the Zambia Land Alliance (ZLA) in sensitising communities on the need for both men and women to access land;

 

  1. the ministry has further been collaborating with other line ministries, more importantly the Ministry of Gender, in developing strategies that will enlighten women on access and rights on land ownership. In addition, the ministry has delegated the land allocation function to local authorities across the country, in accordance with the administrative circular No.1 of 1985, to ensure services are brought near to the people, especially the vulnerable groups, which include women;

 

  1. the Government has embarked on the development of the National Land Policy in consultation with key stakeholders who include the traditional leaders. The policy will ensure increased access to land by women. It will also ensure that there is equal representation in bodies involved in land allocation to ensure gender parity;

 

  1. the Government is in the process of coming up with a Customary Land Administration Bill which shall be finalised after consultation with traditional leaders. This legislation, once enacted, will strengthen tenure security within the customary system thereby promoting access to customary land by women; and
  2. Zambia has ratified a number of conventions and protocols pertaining to women empowerment. In this regard, the Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, ensures that the interests of all Zambian’s, including those of women, youth and differently abled persons, are in line with various protocols and conventions and are taken into account when alienating land. These include the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, the African Union Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). These protocols promote equal access to land and guaranteed right to property.

 

Madam Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, conducted consultative meetings in all ten provinces with key stakeholders, including the traditional leaders, during the land policy consultative meetings. During these meetings, traditional leaders were engaged, generally, on the land allocation process. The ministry is currently planning on engaging the House of Chiefs to sensitise them on a number of issues pertaining to land administration, including access to land by women.

 

Madam Speaker, the ministry is currently unable to give an accurate figure of the number of women in Gwembe District who were issued with certificates of title between January, 2011 and October, 2016, as the ministry is cleaning the data base following the migration of data from the old information system to a current one. 

 

Madam Speaker, in order to ensure accurate data for land ownership across the country, the ministry will need to complete the implementation of the National Land Audit Programme which involves an inventory of land parcels across the country. Data and information collected through the land audit programme will be used to clean and update information on the land information system, which will subsequently give accurate data and information on land ownership, including information on land ownership by women in Gwembe District.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Chisangano: Madam Speaker, when will the Land Policy be finalised?

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, like I said, the Land Policy is being looked at. We still need further consultation with traditional leaders because there are some areas which they are not comfortable with.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

Mr Jere: Madam Speaker, indeed, access to land by women is still a challenge. The hon. Minister indicated that she issued a circular to local authorities to ensure that 30 per cent of parcels of land are given to women. Are there officers from the ministry that sit on these committees when awarding plots to ensure that 30 per cent is given to women?

 

Ms Kapata: Madam Speaker, I will take you through the process of land acquisition. First of all, the council advertises land, if there is any. After that, people apply for it and then interviews are conducted. The minutes of the council are recommended to the Commissioner of Lands. Once the Commissioner of Lands gets that recommendation, he then invites people to treaty after which they are given a letter of offer.

 

Madam Speaker, our officers do not sit on those committees as the councils are able to do it on their own, but there are regulations to guide them on how to give land. 30 per cent of the land should go to women and we are thinking of raising the percentage to 50 per cent so that women can benefit more.

 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 

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MOTION

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

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

 

Question put and agreed to.

 

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The House adjourned at 1210 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 7th March, 2017.