Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

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Wednesday, 22nd February, 2017

 

The House met at 1430 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

 

__________

 

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

 

MANAGEMENT OF MARKETS AND BUS STATIONS COUNTRYWIDE

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, the issue of the management of markets and bus stations has been a topical issue in this country for some time now and more so in the recent past. As the Minister in charge of local authorities, which are mandated to manage these public facilities, I thought it wise to update the House on the measures we, as a ministry, intend to take to address the concerns that have been raised.

 

Sir, as you rightly observed, I sought permission to present this ministerial statement even before a point of order was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central yesterday.

 

Mr Speaker, all markets and bus stations in the country are under the control and management of the local authority having jurisdiction in the area in which it is situated, as stipulated in the Markets and Bus Stations Act No. 7 of 2007. Clause 5(2) of the Markets and Bus Stations Act specifically states that markets and bus stations can be managed either by a local authority directly or through a management board.

 

Sir, as can be seen from the foregoing, there are two options which local authorities can employ to manage markets and bus stations. From the inception of this law, local authorities have opted to directly manage these facilities themselves. However, most of these local authorities have not executed this function, as provided for in the law to the expectation of the general public. This is because, inter alia, the markets and bus stations have, for some time now been, used as political battle grounds where various political players flex their muscles in their quest to unduly establish dominance.

 

Mr Speaker, to cure this malaise, the Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, has embarked on a programme to appoint management boards which will, in turn, manage and control markets and bus stations in line with Clause 3(1) of the Markets and Bus Stations Act. This intervention is envisaged to eliminate undesirable influence of various political troops in the management of markets and bus stations. The interventions will also ensure adequate revenue collection for local authorities. We intend to pilot this intervention in a few selected local authorities initially, especially those along the line of rail where these undesirable political infiltrations in the management of markets and bus stations are more pronounced.

 

Sir, we expect the management boards in these selected areas to be in place by June, 2017. However, let me hasten to state that even where a particular market or bus station will be managed by a management board, the overall responsibility and control lies with the local authority having jurisdiction in the area in which it is situated. In accordance with the provisions of the Markets and Bus Station Act, the management boards report to local authorities which are the owners of these facilities. Consequently, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, in consultation with these selected authorities, shall establish management boards for the effective and efficient running of the markets and bus stations.

 

Mr Speaker, I am happy to report that this process has already commenced and is expected to be concluded within the next three months.

 

Sir, as the House may be aware, there are a few bus stations in private hands. Let me seize this opportunity, therefore, to sound an early warning to those involved in this adventure by reminding them that the law does not permit any entity or individual to establish and operate a bus station, except in partnership with a local authority and with the approval of the hon. Minister of Local Government. This is in accordance with Clause 6(1) of the Markets and Bus Stations Act No. 7 of 2007. I, therefore, invite all private operators who are in contravention of this provision to regularise their operations with the respective local authorities in the spirit of the private-public partnerships (PPP).

 

Mr Speaker, there are several challenges and constraints being experienced in planning, resource mobilisation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of market and bus station projects. Some of the major constraints include the following:

 

  1. most local authorities are not financially viable and still require project funding to enable them to carry out their mandate of providing markets and bus stations;

 

  1. there has been limited funding towards construction and maintenance of markets and bus stations, particularly those in rural and peri-urban areas;

 

  1. delays in payments of interim payment certificates is hindering progress in completion of some of the projects;

 

  1. a number of markets in the country have not been worked on, upgraded and rehabilitated for a long time, thereby creating a huge backlog of works that require urgent attention against the limited national resource envelop and the increasing number of marketeers;

 

  1. inadequate enforcement of trading regulations coupled with inadequate market places have created yet another problem of alarming high levels of street vending; and

 

  1. there has been little interest from the private sector in infrastructure development towards investing in the markets and bus stations development sector, thereby leaving the financial burden of markets and bus station development to the Government.

 

Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government attaches great importance to markets and bus stations in the country. In order to respond to the challenges of inadequate and inappropriate market places to support a healthy environment for trading and clear street vending, the Ministry of Local Government, as provided for in the Markets and Bus Stations Act, has commenced the process to establish a National Markets and Bus Station Development Fund in order to assist in the raising of sufficient funds for the markets and bus stations.

 

Mr Speaker, these are intended for the development of markets and bus stations, in terms of construction of new ones, rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of old ones. In this regard, I am in the process of issuing a Statutory Instrument (SI) to give effect to this intervention. It is our hope that this fund will be in place by the end of August, 2017.

 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to seize this opportunity to assure the House and, through it, the nation, that the PF Government, under the very able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is fully committed to addressing the challenges in the management of markets and bus station facilities. This commitment is aimed at ensuring that users of these facilities have access to descent and sustainable facilities.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

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

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, before I ask my follow up question, I would like to find out if this is the same statement you referred to yesterday when you directed the hon. Minister of Local Government to address my point of order regarding the Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary-General. If it is, then, I will ask my substantive question.

 

Mr Speaker: It is the same one. Proceed.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Minister has not addressed …

 

Mr Speaker: Well, if you have no question, then, we will give the chance to the next person.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this is a procedural House and you directed yesterday …

 

Mr Speaker: Do you have a question?

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I do have a question.

 

Mr Speaker: Proceed.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the PF Secretary-General, who in my view is much more powerful than the hon. Minister of Local Government, as has been proven by how he watered-down his counterpart’s, the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, statement on the Copperbelt, has said that PF cadres must take over markets and bus stations. Is the hon. Minister able to do me a favour by bringing a statement, as you directed him to, with regard to the point of order which I raised yesterday?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have stated in this statement that management of markets and bus stations is a preserve of local authorities. The Ministry of Local Government supervises these local authorities. Whatever prevails in the bus stations and markets is based on what the Ministry of Local Government says. There are so many statements that have been issued out there by the Zambia Democratic Congress (ZADECO), the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the PF, the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). However, the stance of the Government is what I have issued in the statement.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, how will the Government handle the issue of those who own private bus stations, in view of the fact that the hon. Minister has clearly stated that nobody is, by law, allowed to own these properties unless through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode? There are certain stations which are privately-owned and only buses of the proprietors are allowed to load from those bus stations. This has been created in order to avoid congestion at places such as the Intercity Bus Terminus. How will such issues be handled? Will the privately-owned bus stations, under the PPP arrangement, allow other bus operators to load from their stations?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, indeed, the law does not allow any private entity to own a bus station or a market. A private entity can only do so either with the permission of the hon. Minister of Local Government or if it is in partnership with the council. Those that own these private bus stations, as I have said in the speech, are invited to talk to us so that we can allow them to do so. We could also ask them to allow other private operators to be able to use their facilities. That would be dictated by what would be prevailing in the local authority. If there are enough facilities in a particular local authority, such that we would not need a privately-owned bus station to open up to others, we may take it as such. If the private entity and the local authority are in partnership and they see the need to open their facility to others, they can go ahead and do so. This will be dictated by the prevailing circumstances in particular districts.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, I have a concern on the management of markets with regard to garbage collection. Marketeers are paying levies daily, but the councils are failing to collect garbage. In my constituency, this applies to a number of markets. What is the ministry doing to make garbage collection efficient? Is the ministry considering engaging private partners such as Clean Fast Limited to collect this garbage in view of the levies the marketeers are paying?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I have notified the Clerk’s Office on my intention to come to the House, next week, with a comprehensive statement on the issue of garbage collection and the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign” in general. There are many things that we have to put in place to ensure that local authorities actually own-up with regard to the issue of garbage collection. The problem that we have in this country is that of not being able to collect some contributions from residences and those operating in bus stations and markets that can go towards garbage collection. We are trying to make sure that this is done because it is the only way we can have a sustainable programme. For example, the Lusaka City Council is coming up with an innovation to add a garbage collection levy to the water bill within the Central Business District (CBD). This will compel all those that pay water bills to also pay for garbage collection. When this is done, we will, then, contract a privately-owned company to efficiently clean up these areas. We are trying to pilot this so that we see how it will work. It is one of the things that I will talk about in this House. There are many programmes that have been lined up for different provinces. There are talks with our councils to ensure that there is efficiency in the area of garbage collection.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, it is clear that Zambians are paying for these services in these councils. Can the hon. Minister clarify to the people of Chama South who is currently running these markets? We know how much the Intercity Bus Terminus and City Market are making per month.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, as stated in my statement, local authorities are running these facilities.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I said that the Act only has two avenues. Both the local authority and management boards can run the markets. Currently, it is the local authorities that are running these facilities. We are trying to migrate to the other avenue.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the manner in which the hon. Minister spoke on the issue of privately-owned bus stops was more like a threat. The tone was unappreciative and many investors are likely to take it that way. In my view, he should have thanked private investors for providing a facility which the Government has failed to do over many years.

 

Sir, in order to encourage many other investors, would the hon. Minister now like to change the tone of his statement on investors and welcome them because the Government is unable to provide bus stops. I know that in Kalabo, for example, the council is unable to provide a bus stop because it is unable to provide even a canoe for river crossing. So, would he like to change his statement and encourage dialogue with investors so that many more can come forth?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, to encourage people to invest and privately-own bus stations and markets is one thing and to allow them to do it illegally is another.

 

Mr Speaker, I have sounded the warning to those who are aware of the Markets and Bus Stations Act, but have gone ahead to come up with their own bus stations without following regulations. I have gone further to invite them to regularise their operations. So, we have provided for both. We want people to invest in bus stations and markets, but they must not do it illegally.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he spoke about the lack of space in markets. However, I would like to find out from him whether he has done his homework to ascertain that the markets are empty because marketeers have gone onto the streets and the Ministry of Local Government is not doing anything about it. Could he, please, explain this.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, when I spoke about markets, I stated two things. The first one was the lack of space in the markets and the second one was the lack of enforcement of the trading regulations. In some cases, it is the lack of space in markets that we have street vendors while in others, the lack of enforcement of regulations, that is, despite the availability of space in markets, people decide to go to the streets. Therefore, this question applies differently in different areas.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the underlying policy principle in the hon. Minister’s statement is that political infiltration of markets and bus stations is undesirable and I agree with him. So, when will see the pulling down of political flags that are hoisted in the markets and at bus stations?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, markets were run by local authorities and all sorts of things from fliers to flags were placed there. Maybe, the idea of local authorities running markets has not worked, hence it has been decided that boards be introduced. It will now be up to the boards to decide how they run markets and ensure that all undesirable elements are dealt with. The boards will be able to handle these issues. We just need to allow for space to bring them into being.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear! Aleyasuka bwino umwana wakwa mwenye.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister sure that by the mere formation of boards sanity will prevail in the markets? The Lusaka City Market and the Intercity Bus Terminus are run by boards, but party cadres have taken over these institutions. What measures are being put in place to ensure that the boards, which report to councils, operate independently?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, these boards are independent. Their composition is that of members of the community in which the markets are situated, marketeers, bus operators and independent people. As regards why they have let a particular group of party cadres take over is something that we have to find out because we have followed the law in putting up independent boards. What arrangements and agreements may exist we may need to understand, but we have done our very best to put up independent boards to run the market and the bus terminus.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, on behalf of the people of Kaputa, the Government’s position on the sanitation condition and the dilapidated state of most rural markets. I will not address myself to urban markets. With no adequate revenue available to local authorities, is there any other avenue they can be allowed to access so that they improve facilities because some rural markets do not even have toilet facilities for marketeers to use?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I used this statement to announce to the nation on the creation of the Bus Stations and Markets Fund which is like the National Road Fund (NRF). The reason is to deal with this problem. The Bus Stations and Markets Act provides for this. So, all the markets and bus stations throughout the country will give a little percentage of the revenue they collect to the fund. The Government will also contribute some money towards it. This fund will then be used to ensure that there are proper facilities by rehabilitating old markets and creating new ones. So, this fund will attend to the problems raised by the hon. Member.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what kind of incentives have been put in place to motivate performance by the boards.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we hope that the boards will be able to motivate themselves.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the boards will be composed of people who have vested interest in the running of the markets and bus stations. They will ensure that these markets and bus stations are in good shape. We are talking about operators, marketeers, the community and commuters. I think that the motivation is that they will be able to dialogue and bring about change to help themselves. I think that it is enough motivation that the Government has given them this leeway to help themselves.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mrs Phiri (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, I will talk about the major ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Ask!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanyama, what is your question?

 

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, City Market is the second biggest bus station from Intercity Bus Terminus. However, it only has one space for entry and exit which causes a lot of congestion to the extent that public service bus drivers load from outside the station. Now that the Ministry of Local Government is handing over this bus station to a board, what guarantee do we have that the board will have the capacity to open the gates and close the drainages?

                                                                                                                          

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, those problems of markets and bus stations are the more reason boards need to be in place. The bus drivers who want the second gate to be opened and a proper drainage system at City Market Bus Station will be members of the board. The second gate already exists, but it is closed. This is the more reason we want all of them to be part of the board rather the Town Clerk or the hon. Minister of Local Government dictating what should happen from their offices. We want the people themselves that feel the pinch when things are bad at the station or the market to be able to run their own affairs. So, the answer is, yes, the board will be able to look into those matters affecting the operations at City Market for they are the people that will benefit from the decisions of the board.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I am interested in the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign.” Hon. Minister, I think many programmes fail because of their wrong design. I just want to find out if this programme is our local product, for it if is, I would suggest that it becomes “Make Zambia Clean” before it can graduate to keeping Zambia clean.

 

Mr Speaker: That is not part of the subject of the ministerial statement.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister has said that his ministry has the desire to accommodate the public-private partnership (PPP). The standards of all these stations from Livingstone to Chililabombwe and Shang’ombo to Nakonde are pathetic. Will the hon. Minister, at any point, put measures in place to send technical staff that oversees markets and bus stations in the country for some exposure outside the country? For example, when you go to some countries like South Africa, you find that the stations …

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kwacha, you have asked your question.

 

May the hon. Minister, respond.

 

Mr Malanji: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, maybe, we need to get to the bottom of the issue and check where the real problem lies. The problem may not be that we do not know what is happening in South Africa and Zimbabwe; but that we may be mismanaging the resources raised from markets and bus stations by not re-investing. I think that with the boards in place, they will be a new look at how we resolve issues and how the money should be spent. If that fails, we can begin to think about other best practices. However, I think it is not really the lack of exposure to what is happening in other countries that is the problem, the problem lies within us and how we manage these markets and bus stations.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Let me remind hon. Members. This is an opportunity to seek clarification on the statement made if it was not sufficiently clear. It is not time for submissions …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: … or, indeed, debate.

 

Mr E. Mulenga (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, what is the economical rationale of putting boards in place? I see it as an expense. What auditing facilities have been put in place to make sure that public funds are put to good use?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, it depends on how we look at the issue at hand. With the councils running the markets, there were a lot of leakages of funds. We are hoping that with boards in place, which actually do not require over heads for they are ordinary boards members like any other board, we may come up with good ideas that will seal those leakages that currently exist. So, with boards in place, we may see improved resource mobilisation from markets and stations. That is the way we look at the matter, as a ministry.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister not consider soliciting the help of the hon. Minister of Defence in sorting out the challenges being faced in the markets and at bus stations.

 

Mr Mwale laughed.

 

Mr Speaker, I do not understand the question. However, should there be a problem that requires law enforcement officers; I think we work very well with the Ministry of Home Affairs …

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Try Ministry of Defence!

 

Mr Mwale: … and it has always been at our disposal. I do not know if we have to go as far as the Ministry of Defence to help manage markets and bus stations.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Ba Police akangiwa!

 

Mr Mwale: If there is a need for law enforcers to be engaged, the police have always been available.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that the laws are there, but the challenge we have is enforcing them. Each time that the council would like to carry out an effective operation, it needs to involve State police because the council police is incapacitated. What plans does the hon. Minister have to build capacity in councils?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, plans are there to build capacity in councils, but I think that they have to be backed by resources which may have to come from the same bus stations and markets. So, let us see to it that we mobilise resources and the issue of capacity will be dealt with. If you think that council police is not capable of handling these matters of markets and bus stations, the Ministry of Home Affairs has been very helpful and the police have come in to help us where need arises.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the composition of these boards. Party cadres are infiltrating markets and bus stations such that most people who are currently working there are politically inclined.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member wants to know the composition of the board, I actually have the Act with me here. I can share that information with her when business is suspended and she will be able to check who should be on the board.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that he intends to introduce boards to manage markets and bus stations. Is this not a sneaky way of formalising what is currently happening whereby Patriotic Front (PF) cadres have taken over the running of markets and bus stations?

 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 

Mrs Mazoka: How inclusive will the boards be ...

 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mazoka: … seeing that, currently, no other members of the public are allowed to operate from these bus stations apart from PF cadres?

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Mazoka: How inclusive will the boards be?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Livune: Zambians are Zambians.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thought that we have had complaints on how these markets and bus stations have been run in the past because local authorities have been overpowered by party officials from various political parties. We are now saying that to get away from this situation, we need to put in place independent boards. These boards were created by this House. So, we must have faith in them. The boards’ composition will be as has been stipulated in the Act that we, in this House, put up.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, the issue before us is very sensitive. If we follow the history of the management of bus stations, I think that we have been through the route that the hon. Minister is proposing. The people of Serenje Central Constituency are worried about the reduced revenue base for the local authority and poor service delivery. That being the case, could the hon. Minister assure this House that the route we will take, this time around, will broaden the councils’ revenue base by way of reducing the leakages of funds and improve service delivery in our local authorities. Otherwise, …

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me repeat what I said. Indeed, the reason we want to put boards in place is that some people would benefit from the markets by not remitting monies collected to the local authorities. That, in turn, provided us with bad facilities because there was no money coming in to reinvest. The boards will have interest in these matters and will come up with innovations of ensuring that the funds raised are also reinvested.

 

Sir, the question of who will be in the board has been asked many times and if you allow me, I can cite what the Markets and Bus Stations’ Act states.

 

Mr Speaker: Go ahead, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Act says:

 

“14(1)    A management board shall consist of not less than eight and not more than eleven members appointed by the Minister.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions                

 

Mr Speaker: The Act was passed by the House.

 

Continue, hon. Minister.

 

Mr Mwale:

 

(2)The members referred to in subsection (1) shall include –   

 

(a)one person representing the ministry responsible for local government and housing;

 

(b)one person representing the ministry responsible for communication and transport, in the case of a bus station management board;

 

(c)three persons representing the marketeers in the market or operators of bus services in a bus station, elected by the marketeers or operators of bus services, as the case may be;

 

(d)one person representing the local authority in which the market or bus station is situated;

 

(e)one consumer or commuter from an association relevant to markets or bus stations in the area in which the market or bus station is situated; and

 

(f)one person from the community in the area in which the market or bus station is situated.”

Sir, that is the composition of the people who will be in the board. Obviously, they will ensure that they collect all the revenue due to the bus stations and will reinvest the money and uplift the facilities.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr C. M. Zulu (Luangeni): Mr Speaker, people are not ready to pay for the solid waste management service. What is the ministry doing to ensure that people pay for this service and does it have any plans to work with the Ministry of Energy to turn the waste into energy?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, yes, we have many plans. Like I said, I will come back with another statement on solid waste management and the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign.” The private sector has shown interest and would like to turn the solid waste into energy or recycle it. However, there are certain things we first need to put in place. Otherwise, we have a lot of plans that I will avail at an appropriate time.    

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, what is the time frame the hon. Minister has put in place in which to remove the undesirable elements from the markets and bus stations?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in the statement I said that by June, we will have boards in place. Therefore, that matter will be handled by the boards that will be put in place.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.           

 

Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the warning that the hon. Minister has issued especially that the people of Mumbwa have had a challenge to operate from Lumumba Bus-stop. This is because the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres …

 

Hon. PF Members: Question!        

 

Mr Nanjuwa: … do not allow them to load. Only two buses out of twenty buses from Mumbwa are allowed to load in a day. Will that warning ensure that the cadres are removed from the bus stop?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the boards will take care of all the problems that are being faced in the markets. Bus operators will represent themselves in the boards and if there are challenges of loading, they will resolve such matters.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, my question is on the flags that have been hoisted in the markets as well as bus stations. It was asked, but it was not adequately answered. The hon. Minister said that he would like to remove the politicisation of the markets, which is good. One of the aspects of politicisation, according to me, is the flags being hoisted because they give jurisdiction and, therefore, exclusiveness and this is why we have problems of Patriotic Front (PF) cadres excluding other citizens. Is the hon. Minister able to give a directive either tomorrow or the day after to the boards or PF cadres to remove the flags with immediate effect? I know he has the power to do that.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, what I have said is that these markets and bus stations are being run by the local authorities found in the localities where these markets and bus stations are situated. The local authorities consist of council chairpersons, councillors and many other people. These directives have always been there and are issued from time to time. I have admitted that, indeed, we have had challenges in trying to get rid of the undesirable elements in these markets. In our effort to deal with this challenge, we are now switching to the boards. These boards are composed of users of these markets and it is our hope that this problem will he handled. It is not just Lusaka City Market that is being talked about. We also have other political parties with flags hoisted in these markets and bus stations. It is not only flags that are placed in market places and bus stations, but I have mentioned them because they are easily seen. Other political parties are putting brochures and party material. There are a lot of political activities taking place in the markets, but with the coming of boards, we will ensure that we clean them up.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, ...

 

Hon. Members: Mazhandu! Mazhandu!

 

Mr Ngulube: ... thank you for that Mazhandu name.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, I want to find out why the local authorities, like the Kabwe Municipal Council, are charging market traders trading licence fees as if there are shops in those markets. Those who own shops pay K3,800 as licence fees for the whole year. The council is now going round markets asking marketeers to pay the same amount of money as that paid by shop owners if they are to conduct their businesses in the markets. These traders are now running away from the markets because they cannot afford to pay these fees. Instead, they are vending on the streets. What measures are being put in place to ensure that the people return to the markets and conduct their businesses there, as opposed to trading on the streets?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, my thinking is that local authorities represent the people in those areas. They must, therefore, listen to the people and make decisions that advance the people’s livelihoods. If there is a challenge in that area, and the residents are not in favour of something, it is in the interest of the councillors in Kabwe to legislate against that which the people are against and do the right thing. However, if the hon. Member of Parliament thinks that the council has been detached from the wishes of the people and that it is not attending to people’s problems, he has the right to come to the ministry and discuss the matter with us. As a Government, we can, then, engage the council on the matter.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Mukumbuta (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement is self-explanatory and authoritative. When will the Government, on behalf of the Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary-General, apologise to the people of this country for misleading PF cadres whom were told that they had power to take over markets and bus stations?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we should separate matters of the Government from those of political parties or partisan activities that are taking place in the country. There are many things that have been said by different political parties. Do I have to go through all those things and bring them out in my statement and apologise on behalf of ZADECO or the MMD for having allowed ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Mwale: Sir, UNIP also had its way of doing things. So, should we go through all that and begin to make apologies? The Government has given its position on the mandate to run bus stations and markets in the country. What has been said is what will prevail.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Minister on this matter. Cadres, today, especially those belonging to the Patriotic Front (PF), have become stronger and more powerful than the police. They have become so strong that they are feared even by the hon. Ministers. How effective will these boards that will be put in place? If hon. Ministers and the councils have failed to run the markets and bus stations, how will these boards manage to remove these lunatics from these markets?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, the word “lunatic” is unparliamentary.

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I was misled by the tongue.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Could you redirect your tongue.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Muchima: Sir, the problem is that the tongue and the teeth bite each other despite living together. Let me put it this way: How effective will these boards be in the running of these markets which have been dominated by political hooligans who neither fear nor anybody? How will the Government protect these boards so that the markets and bus stations are clean for Zambians to operate freely?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, we all live together and we shall see the effectiveness of these boards. However, let me correct the perspective that even hon. Ministers fear cadres. I have come here with a statement, ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Minister, just hold on a bit. Let us have some order, please. He wants to explain.

 

Hon. Minister, go ahead and explain yourself.

 

Mr Mwale: Sir, a statement like the one I have just delivered would not come from a Minister or hon. Ministers who fear cadres. This statement has said that boards will now be in charge of the markets regardless of who is running whichever market. This shows that hon. Ministers are not only in charge, but are also in control of what is happening in this nation.

 

Mr Speaker, these boards will be effective because I have stated that the people who from them benefit from what happens in these markets and bus stations. It is in their interest to see to it that these boards function to improve the affairs of the markets and bus stations. That is why I have faith in them.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I understand and believe that the Act which the hon. Minister referred to is older than the Patriotic Front (PF). I do not know if the hon. Minister will get me.

 

Mr Speaker: Try.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Miyutu: Sir, when the PF came into power, that Act was already in existence. What new measure will the hon. Minister employ to empower these boards and ensure that the Act is enforced, seeing that it has not been effective all these years? Is this not a continuation of the PF indirect rule, especially in Kalabo where I am from?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, what I make of the hon. Member’s question is that he wants to know if this law, which was not enacted by the PF, will actually apply to the PF as well. I think that there are many laws in this country that were enacted by UNIP or whichever other party has ruled this country and the PF Government has respected them. Those that needed to be improved upon, have been improved. The PF has respected all the old laws that have been in existence. Therefore, I see no reason this one should be an exception.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to be very clear. Will political party diehards, who have positions in their respective parties, be allowed to sit on these management boards?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I am very blind to those diehards.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Mwale: I do not know what they are.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwale: However, I want to state that the law is bigger than all of us.

 

Mr Kambwili: We have one here!

 

Mr Mwale: There is this law in place and the Government expects all Zambians to respect it.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

 

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, I have listened very attentively to the hon. Minister’s eloquent explanation.

 

Sir, I notice that …

 

Mr Kambwili interjected

 

Mr Jamba: … we are trying to run away from the problem. I know that we are aware of the problems in Livingstone, Choma, Chingola and Lusaka. Why did the ministry not sort out the mess before thinking of handing over …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, that word is not allowed.

 

Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, I misled myself.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Jamba: I would like to redirect myself.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, we know about the problems that exist in stations. Some people are controlling these stations with impunity, yet we want to run away from this problem and shove it on other people to control. Why did we not, as people with authority, boma ni boma, control this situation before coming up with management boards? Why are we running away from our responsibility?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwembezhi, what do you mean by “boma ni boma”?

 

Mr Jamba: Mr Speaker, “boma ni boma” is simply, the Government is the Government …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Jamba: … and it has authority. It has the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Army to …

 

Mr Kambwili interjected.

 

Mr Jamba: … deal with these people who are cantankerous.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Jamba: Why shift the responsibility to others?

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me first clear the perception that the Ministry of Local Government should have been micro managing these bus stations and markets. Bus stations and markets are supposed to be managed and run by local authorities, who are the people themselves. These local authorities have councillors whom they elect to represent their views. The councillors are supposed to sit and engage the people to improve matters. We have let this happen at the lower level because there is no need for a Minister, who is in Lusaka, to bulldoze. If we do, we will kill the spirit of having local government in place. 

 

Sir, what we are saying now is that if this has failed, why do we not get the people in localities, who are in the same spirit, to manage their own affairs as a way of curing this problem? This is not running away from responsibility. If the people who use these facilities and are concerned about them run their own affairs, they will manage them better. We think that this must be given a chance to prove itself.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

UPDATE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF FISP FOR 2016/2017 AGRICULTURAL SEASON

 

The Minister of Agriculture (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to update the House on the implementation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2016/2017 Agricultural Season.

 

Mr Speaker, you may recall that in November, 2016, I informed the House that FISP would be implemented using both the conventional and Electronic (e)-voucher systems in the 2016/2017 Agricultural Season. The conventional system was implemented in sixty-four districts while the e-voucher system was implemented in thirty-nine districts. A total of 1,609,187 were targeted to benefit from FISP this season. Out of this figure, 1,006,666 farmers were under the conventional system in the sixty-four districts while the remaining 602,521 farmers in thirty-nine districts …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 

Ms Siliya: … were under the e-voucher system.

 

At the start of the 2016/2017 Agriculture Season, 233,689 farmers already had the e-voucher cards while 368,832 were targeted to receive new cards for the twenty-six newly-added districts as well as new farmers being introduced into the e-voucher system in the districts from the first thirteen districts.

 

Mr Speaker, under the conventional FISP system, the Government procured 95,813.92 metric tonnes of D-Compound Fertiliser and 87,036.85 metric tonnes of Urea Fertiliser at a total cost of K1.73 billion. Under the conventional FISP system, the Government also procured 11,055.39 metric tonnes of seed for nine different crops, including maize, rice, sorghum, groundnuts, soya beans, sunflower, cotton, beans and orange maize. The total cost of the seed is K341.85 million.

 

Mr Speaker, under the conventional FISP system, farmers were able to access the following input packs:

 

(a)the white maize pack was 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser, 2 x 50kg bags of top dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 10kg bag of seed valued at K 400;

 

(b)in the sorghum pack, the farmer received 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser, a 1 x 50kg bag of top dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 5kg bag of sorghum seed valued at K280;

 

(c)in the rice pack, the farmer received a 1 x 50kg bag of basal dressing fertiliser, a 1 x 50kg bag of top dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 10kg bag of rice seed valued at K220;

 

(d)in the groundnuts pack, the farmer received a 1 x 50kg bag of basal dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 20kg bag of groundnut seed valued at K210;

 

(e)in the orange maize pack, the farmer was given 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser, 2 x 50kg bags of top dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 10kg bag of seed valued at K400;

 

(f)in the soya beans pack, the farmer received 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser, a 1 x 50kg bag of soya seed and 25g of inoculums valued at K330;

 

(g)in the cotton pack, the farmer was given 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser and a 1 x 10kg bag cotton seed valued at K195;

 

(h)in the beans pack, the farmer received 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser and a 1x 30kg bag of beans seed valued at K400; and

 

(i)in the sunflower pack, the farmer received 2 x 50kg bags of basal dressing fertiliser, a 1 x 50kg bag of top dressing fertiliser and 1 x 4kg bag of sunflower seed valued at K280.

 

Sir, as at 20th February, 2016, a total of 93,227 metric tonnes of D-Compound Fertiliser had been distributed to all districts under the conventional FISP. This represents 97 per cent of the targeted 95,813.92 metric tonnes. In addition, 76,984.85 metric tonnes of Urea Fertiliser had been distributed. This represents 88 per cent of the planned 87,036.85 metric tonnes. Further, 10,705.50 metric tonnes of seed were distributed out of 11,055.39 metric tonnes that were procured.

 

Mr Speaker, the distribution of seed, under the conventional FISP, came to a close in mid-January, 2017. Looking at the time to the season, the delivery of fertiliser is also expected to come to a close soon. However, farmers with e-voucher cards are still able to access inputs from various agro dealers.

 

Sir, the delays in the distribution of inputs, under the conventional FISP, have been due to the late release of funds for the programme. Subsequently, this resulted in delayed payments to seed and fertiliser suppliers as well as transporters for inputs and services provided during the 2015/16 Agriculture Season. The supply and delivery of inputs, under the conventional FISP, could not commence until the 2014/15 arrears had been settled. In addition, the major suppliers of fertilisers ran out of the commodity for districts both under the conventional and e-voucher systems. The fertiliser demand for the 2016/17 Agriculture Season had been underestimated by major suppliers. The total fertiliser demand for the country for both basal and top dressing is estimated at 400,000 metric tonnes per annum.

 

Mr Speaker, other challenges that contributed to the delays in completion of the delivery fertiliser include the following:

 

(a)transportation challenges for the suppliers; and

 

(b) inadequate storage facilities for fertiliser in some districts.

 

Sir, for the 2016/17 Agriculture season, the amounts still owing to fertiliser suppliers, seed companies and transporters stands at K2 billion. This amount is broken down as follows:

 

(a)fertiliser suppliers are owed K1.67 billion;

 

(b)seed suppliers are owed K332.9 million; and

 

(c)transporters are owed K8.4 billion.

 

Mr Speaker, under the e-voucher system, a total of K803.7 has been disbursed for implementation of the e-voucher system out of the K1.026 billion required.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Ms Siliya: Thus, of the 602.521 cards in the system, 513,786 have been sent for activation. For the hon. Members’ clarification, I shall repeat.

 

Sir, under the e-voucher system, a total of K803.7 million has been disbursed for the implementation of the e-voucher system out of the K1.026 billion required. Thus, of the K602,521 cards in the system, 513,786 cards have been sent for activation.

 

Mr Speaker, as at 20th February, 2017, a total of 434,762 cards had been activated, with the amount disbursed so far. This leaves a balance of K260.1 million for activation of the cards already distributed to the farmers. A further K5.9 million is owed to the five participating banks for the production of the e-voucher cards.

 

Mr Speaker, during the implementation of the e-voucher system, in the 2016/17 Agriculture Season, several operational challenges were encountered. These include the following:

 

(a)delays in the release of funds;

 

(b)late production and distribution of cards;

 

(c)arbitrary increase of fertiliser prices by agro dealers;

 

(d)running out of inputs by some agro dealers;

 

(e)forgetting of passwords by some farmers, thus, having their cards blocked; and

 

(f)surrendering of cards to farmers’ group leaders by some farmers, thereby compromising the implementation of the programme.

 

Sir, the Government is working tirelessly to find solutions to these challenges that have affected the implementation of FISP, especially the e-voucher system. To this effect, the Government is planning for a stakeholder meeting to be held soon. This meeting is meant to comprehensively review the performance of FISP, share experiences and to improve the performance of the programme in the coming season.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister.

 

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what will happen to the farmers who have not received the inputs to date. I am aware that some of the farmers have already planted local maize because they did not receive seed on time and their maize has actually been destroyed because of the lack of fertiliser. What will happen to those farmers? Is the Government thinking of any compensation to them or what will happen to ensure food security at household level?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, firstly, it is clear that we had challenges in the distribution of inputs, both at conventional and at e-voucher level and that we concede. That being the case, we have said that we have to review the whole value chain of distribution so that we avoid these problems.

 

Secondly, in my statement, I stated that out of the total cards distributed for activation, at least, the total cards sent for activation were 513,786. If you look at the difference, only 434,762 were activated, which leaves a balance of 79,024. As such, over K200 million is owed in terms of the e-voucher cards remaining to be activated.

 

Sir, our decision, as a Government, is to go ahead to release these funds because we know that there are some farmers who will continue to plant winter maize and will, therefore, need the fertiliser.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

 

Ms Siliya: Secondly, in the interest of diversification and earning more income, we also know that some of these farmers would want to get into other crops like growing tomatoes and other vegetables apart from the usual maize …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Ms Siliya: … and they will need this fertiliser. Therefore, we have listened to what the farmers are telling us because they are the ones we are interested in the most because they are the ones who are directly affected. We have had discussions with the stakeholders on whether we should bring the e-voucher system to a close now, considering that the time is late for the application of Urea, but the farmers have responded that they would like their cards to be activated because they want to have access to this fertiliser. I believe that in some parts of the Western Province, where there are floods, some farmers will still continue to use this fertiliser. Others have told us that they want to practice other forms of agriculture like horticulture and grow other crops such as vegetables. So, we will respond to what the stakeholders would like.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I recall that when the Electronic (e)-Voucher System was piloted in the Southern, Lusaka and Central provinces, we raised a number of issues before the hon. Minister of Agriculture. When we did that, we were called all sorts of names. On the Floor of this House, the then hon. Minister of Agriculture told this House that the e-Voucher system was so perfect that the Government wanted to replicate it elsewhere, but we indicated that this was a recipe for disaster. Arising from the experiences the ministry has had this particular farming season, what measures are being taken to ensure that this particular scenario does not repeat itself?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I said that we want to review the whole distribution of inputs in this country beyond the e-Voucher system because this farming season, we had challenges even with the conventional system. We also know that the biggest problem in input distribution has, firstly, been farmer identification. Sometimes, the current guidelines do not seem to work with regard to which farmers should receive the inputs under FISP.

 

Sir, it is important to note that the initial plan was for beneficiaries to be weaned off FISP after some time. Alas, that has not been happening. I have met farmers who have said that they have been receiving inputs under FISP for ten years and are still complaining. So, clearly there is a failure in that regard.

 

Mr Speaker, let me come to the specific issue of the e-Voucher system. Indeed, the programme was piloted in thirteen districts. There were few districts then and, of course, the release of funds was on time. However, for a number of reasons in the 2016/2017 Farming Season we were not able to have the resources on time. The e-Voucher cards were not produced on time and because the number of beneficiaries increased, the agro-dealers were found wanting because most of them actually ran out of fertiliser.

 

Sir, I, therefore, agree with the hon. Member that yes, we have experienced some challenges, but that does not mean that the whole programme has totally been found wanting. What we need to do is look at the whole e-Voucher system from the point of selection of farmers, the agro-dealers and banks participating in the programme up to the platform by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) in order to see what is working and what is not. We have had instances in some places whereby members of one family, which are the parents and children, have all registered with a co-operative. It so happens that when the e-Voucher cards have been distributed, they have just been given to that one family, as many as ten, while other members of the co-operative have been ignored. All these are challenges.

 

Sir, the objective of the e-Voucher system is good because it aims at giving the farmer a choice. The programme aims at including private sector participation. The programme also attempts to remove the burden of the Government subsidising agriculture so that it frees up resources for other areas in need. Clearly, the implementation of the new system has challenges and in that sense, I agree with the hon. Member. Therefore, a thorough review of what works and what does not work needs to be carried out.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I think the information the information that the madam availed in her statement is useful. In this farming season …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!           

 

Hon. Member, we have a conventional way of addressing each other in this House. Please, let us uphold the convention.

 

Mr Kafwaya: Thank you for that guidance, Mr Speaker. Let me thank the hon. Minister again for that statement.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: As I said, I think it is a very important update. I just want to indicate that learning and experience can add value if well managed. To that effect, I would like to find out what the hon. Minister considers to have been the most significant challenge during this farming season and what is being done about it to ensure it does not recur in the next farming seasons.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I have stated, at various for a, that one of the biggest challenges we had in the implementation of FISP in general and the e-voucher system in particular was the late release of funds. In order for the e-Voucher system to be efficient, the cards need to be ready on time. Had the cards been ready on time, as it happened during the pilot period, we would have been able to correct some of the challenges that we found along the way. Clearly, however, some of the cards were only being distributed even as late as January. This means that we were working in crisis mode to try to address the challenges as they happened. This did not give us enough time to correct the situation.

 

Nonetheless, Sir, I think once resources are released in time, the whole input support programme will work efficiently. If we are to have a green revolution in this country and restore normality in the agriculture sector, in future, we need a dedicated financing programme for a number of years so that the sector takes off. For now, all that FISP needs is dedicated financing so that we do not experience these challenges of late financing. These are thoughts that we, as a Government, particularly in the Cabinet, are exploring and sooner or later, I will take the necessary memos to indulge my colleagues in the Cabinet on where we should go from now.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister for that update.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Are you are questioning the hon. Member’s thanking the hon. Minister? That is his prerogative.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister rightly stated that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) was designed in such a manner that after three years, if I recall correctly, farmers are to be weaned off the programme. Initially, beneficiaries of FISP were given a package of eight 50 kg bags consisting of four basal and four top-dressing fertiliser. This package translated into, at least, a hectare of maize. According to calculations by agriculturists, this was sustainable. In other words, it was a worthwhile investment because there would be returns. Therefore, after three years, enough savings would have accrued for the farmer to be weaned off.

 

Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came on the scene, it reduced this package from eight bags of fertiliser to four, but expected the same results. Do you see the dilemma? The PF …

 

Hon. PF Members: Stop lying.

 

Mr Lufuma: It is not lying. You are giving …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, can you get to your question. In any case, there is no need to engage anybody. That is my problem.

 

Mr Lufuma: Alright, I appreciate, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Ask your question, please.

 

Mr Lufuma: Sir, given the fact that the package, under FISP, has been reduced from eight to four bags of fertiliser per farmer, does the hon. Minister honestly believe this is an economic programme which is sustainable or should she not reclassify it to a social programme?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think the successive Government listened to what was coming from the farmers for us to arrive at the present situation. I recall that there was a lot of crying from farmers on why there were very few farmers accessing fertiliser under FISP in the past. When eight bags of fertiliser were being given per person, the number of beneficiaries moved from just about 250,000 to 500,000 farmers in the country. The cry from the farmers was that this must be widespread and so we saw a quantitative leak in terms of distribution of FISP. As of now, it is at 1.6 million farmers in the country.

 

However, Sir, clearly, we have issues on the quality side and we need to address that now. One of those issues is the yields. Today, I met some people from South America and they were telling me that they do not produce five tonnes of maize per hectare. For them, it is as high as fifteen tonnes per hectare. In Zambia, the national average is two tonnes per hectare. So, we seriously have yield challenges.

 

Further, we have a problem of weaning farmers off FISP. We have seen an increase in the number of farmers being supported by FISP from 250,000, when this programme began in 2003, to 1.6 million today. There are people who have been on this programme for ten years, but have not really gained any wealth. Thirdly, who should FISP target? Should it address social issues of vulnerable farmers who need food and deal differently with the business aspect of agriculture or those farmers who have an opportunity to actually gain wealth out of agriculture? I think it is time for us to answer these questions. We must deal with the problem of food production among the vulnerable farmers differently from those farmers, especially emerging farmers, who have the potential to create wealth and jobs. The response from the Government has been very clear. There are the Emerging Farmers’ and the Mechanisation funds. However, there are still issues with FISP that must be concluded. There is a need to separate social issues from the business aspect of agriculture. In that regard, I agree with the hon. Member.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, I sympathise with the hon. Minister because I realise that there is a lot of theorising in the concept of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The hon. Minister spoke about the seed providers and transporters. Is she able to candidly tell this House that the seed providers and transporters have not been paid for the services they provided during the 2015/2016 Farming Season and that being the reason the distribution of supplies was so slow?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think that was the cornerstone of my statement. We had slow releases of finances from the Government because of the challenges in our economy and worldwide. These challenges were not a secret to the whole country.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: We had economic shocks last year and everybody understood that. These shocks were not unique to Zambia. They were international. We saw the copper price fall tremendously and this meant that our revenue was very low and our capacity to manage our social and economic programmes was challenged. One might be a cynic, but I think it is fair for us to understand that elections cost money. No money was released to the Ministry of Agriculture from May to November, last year, because the commitment went to elections, which are a constitutional requirement. After the elections, there was a vacuum in the Government for a month because of the presidential petition.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Ms Siliya: By the time we began to talk about paying the farmers, from whom the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) had bought food, it was November. It was asked in this House when farmers would be paid. As a result, I had numerous meetings with the hon. Minister of Finance whom I told about the many problems that were being faced, but emphasised on the need to pay the farmers first. The farmers were paid. The Government, then, saw the need to prepare for the new farming season by paying the seed companies. However, the seed companies informed the Government about the transporters not having been paid for the work they did for the 2014/2015 Farming Season. As such, it decided to prioritise paying the transporters so that they could agree to transport the seed. What about the fertiliser suppliers? The Government had to negotiate with them. They were asked to supply fertiliser, but were told that they could not be paid for the 2016/2017 Farming Season, but for the services provided in the 2014/2015 Farming Season. These negotiations were concluded almost at the beginning of December and then we, as a Government, started thinking of printing the e-voucher cards.

 

Mr Speaker, the banks needed to be paid so much money for the cards to be printed. That is why some people were getting their cards in January. These are realities. When the economy experiences shocks, all of us are affected. It was not the wish of this Government to have those shocks we had last year. It was not the wish of those of us in the Government nor mine, as the Minister of Agriculture, to delay the supply of services for the farming season. There were realities on the ground which caused this situation and I have tried to share them so that we all understand where we are coming from. We should all be positive now because if we continue to be negative, we will just create a continued lack of investor confidence and continue to have these same problems affecting our people. I think it is time we all began to have confidence that the worst is over and we are about to take off.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, in Kalomo, fertiliser is K290 per pocket if you are buying cash. However, the farmers under Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are buying it at K325 per pocket. I would like to find out whether the ministry guided the agro-dealers on the price of fertiliser.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, again, this is a situation in which we experienced market failure. The Government tried to withdraw from the sector to give an opportunity to the private sector, agro-dealers in particular, to participate in FISP and make money. However, we saw that in some districts, three or four agro-dealers would come together to collude on the price of fertiliser so that they could take advantage of the poor farmers. My solution to that is to carry out more work at selection level of agro-dealers to participate in the coming season and blacklist those who want to make a quick gain. I even know that some of these agro-dealers are not in the business of agro-dealership. They just register companies in November to participate in FISP because, maybe, their friends participate. After they get paid, they shut their shops down and cease to be agro-dealers anymore. Some of them made a minimal investment because that is not their line business. So, they ran out of the commodity.

 

Mr Speaker, these are real teething problems that we have to address. We have to identify actual agro-dealers who are in the business of agro-dealership so that they can support the farmers all year round. Agro-dealer shops should not open just when it is time for FISP to be implemented. They should be open the whole year round because we expect farmers to engage in agricultural activities the whole year. Again, I commiserate with the farmers. This is something that was very heartbreaking. First of all, the suppliers of fertiliser did not bring enough of it in the country. Of course, they too were affected by the political and economic situation in the country. Most of the fertiliser suppliers did not bring enough fertiliser in the country because they were not sure when the Government would begin to prepare for the farming season. As a result, we found ourselves with a shortfall. However, that did not give the agro-dealers the right to take advantage of the farmers. This is an issue that the ministry is aware of and we will try to address it.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kakubo (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, the stark reality in my constituency is that our farmers have missed a very serious opportunity in not taking advantage of the good rains. It is very clear from the hon. Minister’s statement, this afternoon, that we have serious systemic problems in the dispensation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Even in situations where people received the Electronic (e)-Voucher cards on time, they did not have financial backing. I had the opportunity to interact with the hon. Minister’s Permanent Secretary (PS) a few times and there were a number of things on which we could not conclude. Is the hon. Minister in a position to consider rescheduling her international travels outside ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kakubo: ... the critical farming season so that we, as hon. Members of Parliament, can reach her during these times?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Mulenga interjected.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, please, I do not expect that from you.

 

The hon. Minister of Agriculture may answer.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Member of Parliament is trying to draw me into light banter. The serious situation is that our people are in the field and the forecast is that we will have a good crop. Obviously, we cannot determine the extent of our harvest until the exercise is complete, but the good Lord has been good to us. We have sufficient rains.

 

Sir, despite the challenges of army worms, threats of the red locust and FISP, farmers responded favourably. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the farmers for truly responding to His Excellency the President’s call of making this country undergo a green revolution.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: This is why my colleagues and I in the ministry will ensure that we continue learning best farming practices. This weekend, we will travel to Israel to learn the miracles of that country.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Should the hon. Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi look for me, as he rightly put it, he can see my Permanent Secretary whom he has seen many times. He is welcome to go back to the ministry to see him. When I come back, I am inviting him for a cup of tea.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, in October, last year, I had asked a question concerning 6,235 farmers from Kalomo District whose cards were not activated, yet they had deposited K400 each for the Electronic (e)-Voucher facility. This implies that the Government did not do its part. To date, these people have not been paid. Today, I passed through the Zambia Farmers’ Union (ZFU) and it was confirmed that these farmers have not yet been paid. When will these farmers be paid?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am not so sure that I have understood the hon. Member’s question. However, what I know is that Kalomo District is one of the districts that are on the e-Voucher system. As far as my ministry and I are concerned, we are aware that some e-Voucher transactions took place there, reflecting that farmers had deposited their contribution of K400. However, if the hon. Member is referring to farmers not being paid for the last farming season after selling their crops to the FRA, I would find that surprising because at the close of December 2016, we had paid all the farmers in this country. The only balance of about K9 million is owed to the Zambia National Service (ZNS). All the farmers in our books were actually paid. I can confirm this because it is an issue I took personally as we anticipated that farmers would go into the new farming season and they needed to have cash. So, I would find that information worrisome because as far as I am concerned, all the farmers were paid and the only money remaining is K9 million for the ZNS.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for the explanation she has given to the House over the distribution of the farming inputs. I am aware that the Government has tried very hard to distribute fertiliser in Chitambo. However, there are certain parts of Chitambo and other parts of the Central Province where farmers are still under the conventional FISP who have not yet received farming inputs. Consequently, farmers feel like there has been a selective kind of distribution. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when Nyiombo will complete the distribution of fertiliser in Chitambo, Central Province, and other parts where farmers are under the conventional FISP?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, indeed, we had challenges with one supplier in the distribution of fertiliser under the conventional FISP this farming season. This affected, particularly, parts of Central, Luapula and North-Western provinces. The ministry and all stakeholders have engaged the suppliers in ensuring that they complete this exercise. We have been pushing them a lot, especially in the last two weeks, because we had hoped that they would have completed this exercise by now. By last week, they were just trying to complete the very last round of distribution. These are issues we will review because we do not want Chitambo to suffer again in the next farming season.

 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I note that the nature of the subject is such that we are given to lament. Of course, the hon. Minister has made her position very clear to that extent. Notwithstanding, can we get straight to the clarifications and minimise on lamentation.

 

Mr A. B. Malama (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has clarified the question that I had.

 

Mr Chiteme (Nkana): Mr Speaker, the small-scale farmers union has bemoaned the distribution exercise of farming inputs as being slow. According to the hon. Minister’s response to Hon. Kambwili’s question, farmers will be able to use these implements in winter. I would like to find out whether her ministry will provide the irrigation system that is needed to practise winter farming?

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, clearly, my ministry has responded to the farmers’ cry. Beyond just using the fertiliser for maize during the rainy season, they can also use these inputs to grow other crops like vegetables or engage in horticulture. Some of them have access to flooded water and others to dams and streams. So, the situation we are encouraging is for people to grow more of other crops through the irrigation system beyond the rainy season. This way, even if the fertiliser is late and the maize season has ended, they can still ask for fertiliser to grow tomatoes. For example, in Petauke, we have what we call dimbas which are like small dams or streams that are used for irrigation purposes in farming. Like I said earlier, we are merely responding to what the people want.

 

This is why my ministry will ensure that the very last run of fertiliser distribution of over K200 million is completed and farmers use this fertiliser to grow other crops. Some of them may use it to grow maize because they might be in areas which flood. So, we are merely responding to what the farmers would like.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, we appreciate the efforts the hon. Minister is putting in place to make sure that loopholes are sealed, hence the migration to the Electronic (e)-Voucher System. However, looking at the beneficiaries, we have got nakulu Ngosa and amayi Abelesi.

 

Laughter

 

Amb. Malanji: The hon. Minister said that some people have forgotten the numbers which they are supposed to use to activate the cards for engagement. Is there a mechanism in the data system that is being used to allow old people to use their thumb prints to activate the machines through fingers and image intensifiers?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I stated earlier that the intentions of the e-Voucher System are very good because the Government wants to ensure that farmers are given a choice. It also wants to ensure that the exercise targets and gets to its intended beneficiaries. However, there have been problems along the way.

 

Sir, for example, in Chipata, the Eastern Province, there is no real explanation why one farmer is part of FISP while the other is not. It is almost a game of Russian Roulette. However, when I actually read the e-Voucher System guidelines, I saw why this happens. The guidelines are very specific. In order for a farmer to benefit from the programme, he or she must meet certain minimum requirements in relation to the types and numbers of animals he or she keeps. The programme targets farmers who have some assets and offers them an opportunity grow. However, implementation on the ground is different.

 

Mr Speaker, it seems co-operatives or groups of farmers are allowed to join the programme depending on the inclinations of the District Agriculture Coordinating Officer (DACO). I saw no real reason one farmer can be on FISIP while another one is not. Those are some of the issues that we have to address in order to separate the needs of the vulnerable from the business aspect of agriculture.

 

Sir, we need to ask ourselves if FISP is achieving its intended purpose of supporting farmers with opportunities to grow and then weaning them off. We also need to ask ourselves if the issues of food for vulnerable people should be dealt with under FISP.

 

Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President is also of the view that we need to sit down with stakeholders and discuss what needs to be done. The idea is good, but we want it to be implemented in a manner that will make sense to all of us.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the Government has placed agriculture as a priority on its agenda. One of the challenges that the hon. Minister mentioned is the delay in the disbursement of funds. I now know that the key players in this exercise are the banks, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture. Where exactly was the challenge? Was it due to lack of funding from the Ministry of Finance, a problem with the Ministry of Agriculture or a problem with the banks?

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, as we progress, let us pay attention to the answers. If your intended question has already been covered, the most gracious thing to do is just to let it pass. We need to be efficient in the manner in which we use our time.

 

At the risk of repetition, hon. Minister, you may respond.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier on, there were a couple of challenges. Some were on the side of the Treasury while others were on the side of the banks. For example, one bank had challenges in printing cards because it decided to change the supplier halfway through the process. This delayed the printing and distribution of the cards. Other challenges arose when the money came to the Ministry of Agriculture, which had to prioritise, as there were so many competing needs.

 

Mr Speaker, you are right. I have answered these questions already.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, there has been an outcry by the illiterate members of society who have been swindled by agro-dealers. What measures are in place for the illiterate farmer who may not know how to handle the Electronic (e)-Voucher System? Most farmers have been crying that they have been swindled while others have not accessed fertiliser even after activating their cards.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, to the contrary, the reports I have received reveal that where the money has been availed and the cards activated, the e-Voucher System has worked very well. In those instances, farmers have been very happy that they can access various inputs depending on their preference.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Ms Siliya: There are some old women and other people who do not know how to swipe. In many instances, we have advised that the DACO be present to verify transactions that are being done at the agro-dealers’ shops. Challenges may persist, but we will continue to look at them.

 

Sir, this is only the second year of the e-Voucher System so it obviously cannot work at 100 per cent. It may have teething problems, but I still believe that the intention of the Government to allow farmers to choose the inputs they would like to purchase as well as help them in terms of targeting them is a good thing. We just need to work at solving the challenges that we find along the way.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Katuta: Mr Speaker, when will the Electronic (e)-Voucher System be introduced in Chienge?

 

Ms Siliya: The hon. Member of Parliament may recall that I stated in a number of ministerial statements as well as in the Budget debate that the target for this year was to ensure that we have 100 per cent coverage. When that is achieved, it would include the hon. Member of Parliament’s constituency. I have also stated that following the challenges we have experienced in this current season, we will have a stakeholders meeting very soon that should provide some guidance.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, we have been told that the Electronic (e)-Voucher System has been running for two years. Knowing that the e-Voucher System has had its shortfalls, what necessitated its replication elsewhere if it had not worked before?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the e-Voucher System worked very well when it was first introduced in thirteen districts. There was adequate preparation and timely release of funds. The difference with the 2016/2017 e-Voucher System is that we had very late releases of funds which hindered preparing on time. That was also as a result of other factors external to the Ministry of Agriculture, including the economic situation in the country, the holding of elections and the vacuum in the Government for a while.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Ms Siliya: Sir, we may choose to be cynical, but need to know the problems in order to find solutions. One problem we know is that late financing, which was exacerbated by the economic environment in the country, led to us to preparing late. That is a fact.

 

Sir, I think, in future, we also need to consider dedicated financing so that agriculture can truly take off if, indeed, we agree, as a nation, on the need to diversify and find more jobs and wealth for our children in agriculture. This worked well in the first instance because of adequate preparation in the thirteen districts that we had. Last year, the whole preparation was challenged because most of the Treasury support went to financing the elections. It is a reality. We all know that elections cost money.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you have actually, on a number of issues, already explained yourself. Do not belabour the point.

 

Mr Machila (Magoye): Mr Speaker, I am taken aback because the hon. Minister has explained that the 2014/2015 period was chaotic. It appears as though the Ministry of Agriculture is not learning from experience.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister deny the fact that the Ministry of Agriculture lacks foresight …

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Machila: … by ignoring valuable pieces of advice? Can the hon. Minister deny the fact that starting the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) as early as June can be a good move and that the issue of delayed payments to farmers is actually a lack of commitment by the Government?

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, at the risk of repeating myself, I wish to state, again, that 2016 was a unique year. This country has been running agriculture programmes since it gained Independence and even before it was structured. The country has continued to be food secure. Even in 2016, when this country had elections, political uncertainty and economic challenges, it was able to support its neighbours in terms of food. I think that we have to be fair to ourselves. As a country, we have done the best that we can. We should now be able to move from point A to B. Let us not allow agriculture to be an inward-looking activity, which is just about food. It should be an activity that should add value in terms of exports so that people can make money out of it. I think that agriculture is part of the Government. This Government has foresight and that is why it is talking about agriculture today. The foresight I am talking about is what has made this Government declare diversification and wanting the hoe …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on left and right.

 

Ms Siliya: … to be relegated to the museum. The Government’s foresight is reflected in the K50 million Emergent Fund for farmers. It is also reflected in the meeting which our hon. Minister of Finance had with the Africa Development Bank (ABD) in Côte d'Ivoire, in Ivory Coast to discuss agriculture support. The Government’s foresight is reflected in trying to introduce the Agriculture Institute Bill in order to bring professionalism in agriculture. It is also reflected by the 258 per cent and above support that we have given to the agriculture budget for 2017. I believe that if eyes are to see, they will see the foresight that I am talking about. If they are blind, you will be lost. Trust me.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, in November, the hon. Minister of Agriculture had come here to issue a ministerial statement on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). During that discussion, we had pointed out that what was being suggested could not work, but everything was put aside. I am surprised that, today, we are being told by the hon. Minister, who made a commitment through the ministerial statement, that there were delays in sourcing funds. So, on what basis was the hon. Minister making that ministerial statement that time? Today, we are being told that they were late …

 

Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, you now seem to be summarising …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: … what the hon. Minister has been saying. What is your question?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, allow me to just put it in context. What I am trying to say is in relation to what I consider to be management problems. In my mind, we would have been facilitated if we were given answers. For example, one of the management problems the hon. Minister has given is that farmers are forgetting their passwords. What I expected to understand was why the farmers are forgetting their passwords. I also want to find out what measures the ministry will put in place to make sure that this does not recur. This is a simple management problem to do with training as part of the implementation of the system.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: The problem is that you have not asked the question.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mbangweta: Mr Speaker, if a significant number of farmers are forgetting their passwords, what will the ministry do next year to ensure that people do not encounter this problem?

 

Mr Speaker: That could have been said in the first place.

 

Laughter

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member of Parliament referred to the ministerial statements that were delivered last year. If he listened carefully to my ministerial statements, he would agree with me that I was very categorical. I stated that we were having challenges in paying the farmers last year. We were only paying them in November, 2016 because of challenges in terms of funds. In many follow up statements, including the ones I delivered in December, 2016, I stated that we were quite late in preparing for the season. 

 

Mr Speaker, if, indeed, the hon. Member’s concern is barely to do with farmers who forget their passwords, I was, again, very clear. There have been incidents where we are told that old women aged seventy-five forget their passwords. There are two things that we need to take into consideration. The first issue is to know if this program is targeted at those women who are vulnerable in terms of food, who probably should be on the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Scheme and not on the e-Voucher System. The other one is to know if we should target farmers who have a chance of becoming big farmers, in future, and would support this country. I hope that the hon. Member of Parliament from now on will pay much more attention when statements are being given so that he can actually follow.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, we have taken note of what has been said. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister for the fertiliser that the people of Ikeleng’i received last week. We have had these problems for some time now, even after having different hon. Ministers in this sector. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been promising to do better than the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). Agriculture is important because everybody wants, including those in bus stops.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Muchima: What will the hon. Minister promise us today that she will not tell us again in a statement? Is she getting the necessary support from her friends in the Cabinet with regards to issues of release of funds for these problems to be solved?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture does not operate in isolation. It is very much part of this Patriotic Front (PF) Government. The expression that agriculture should be a cornerstone of the economy is not only for the Ministry of Agriculture, but the Government under the leadership of His Excellency the President. One of the things that we want to do, in future, is to actually disrupt the status quo because we realise that we cannot do things the way we have been doing them. Agriculture cannot be a way of life. It has to be a business. We have to invest in research. This means that we have to give attention to the research centre and provide the laboratories. We need the necessary funding for that work to happen. Before any agriculture can take place, seeds are the starting point. In this country, we have to make sure that seed production, both for local use and export is up to date. We also need to have varieties that are good for this climate so that we can increase on yields. We also have to …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

 

[THE SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just making a point in response to the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i on whether the Ministry of Agriculture will continue to come back to the House with excuses and whether the Ministry of Agriculture was receiving support from the rest of the Cabinet. I was saying that the Ministry of Agriculture does not operate in isolation. It is part of this Government. Besides, agriculture needs a lot of enablers. To engage in agriculture, water, energy, education and infrastructure are needed. It is a ministry that needs many enablers and cannot operate in a silo. It is why my attitude has always been to call upon my colleagues in order to solve some of the problems in agriculture quickly. 

 

Mr Speaker, earlier on, I was making a point that we have been looking at agriculture in a very inward manner. To export, we need the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. To resolve financing challenges, we need to ensure that there is dedicated shelf space for local products in some of the supermarkets and the argument that the standards are poor does not stand because we are the same Zambians who eat this very food. It should be able to be in a supermarket for us to buy it.

 

Mr Speaker, we want to take quantum leaps. We know what needs to be done. It will not be resolved in one Budget season. We know that we need to create a data base of who particularly are the farmers in this country and where we want them to be. We need data to inform our decision-making. We need to invest in research and extension services.

 

Mr Speaker, I talked about mechanisation and irrigation, but all this will not help if we do not deal with the basics, particularly research of soils, fertilisers and seed and provide the farmers with the opportunity to be able to diversify truly because they have access to good seed and, of course, crop production. All this must be linked to business, particularly acquisition of access to foreign markets.

 

Mr Speaker, we know what needs to be done. We are not saying that the Ministry of Agriculture or the Government has the preserve of all wisdom. We have to work with everybody. I intend to visit the hon. Member’s constituency so that we see what crops work best there in the manner that we responded in Western Province where we learnt that maize was not the best crop to be grown there except in Kaoma and Nkeyema. This is why we started the Cashew nut programme. We, as a Government want to disrupt the current way of thinking and do things differently, but are not saying that we have the preserve of all wisdom.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, my question will be a follow-up to the one asked by the hon. Member for Kalomo Central on the 6,235 farmers. These farmers actually deposited K400 each under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and not the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), but their cards were not activated last year. They were assured that they need not deposit this year because the Government would activate their cards this season, but have lost out. What will the Government do for these farmers?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for clarifying this question because initially, I was not sure whether we were talking about FISP or the FRA. I find it very difficult that they deposited their money, whether this season or the season before. If it is this season, I can only promise that I will get back with the facts because we have activated the cards in the majority of places. I said that there were about 79,000 cards nationwide that were not activated, but 6,000 in one district would be too much and I would have to come back to the hon. Member of Parliament. Maybe, we can speak after this presentation so that I get the actual details and give him a proper answer.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, most farmers in Mkaika and Katete districts were not included on the Electronic (e)-Voucher System. I do not know what criterion was used to select farmers. I would also like find out whether the farmers that were left out would be included in the programme in the near future.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, what was the criterion for leaving out people?

 

Laughter

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, Katete is one of the new districts that got on to the e-Voucher System this year. I am aware that in Katete, about 26,859 cards were printed and given out and about 21,485 were activated. However, this does not capture all the farmers in Katete. In my response to an earlier question, I stated that it is very challenging to see clarity in the manner in which farmers are selected to be on these programmes, whether the conventional FISP or the e-Voucher System. I stated that it is almost like playing Russian roulette where you say you are in and you are out. We need to find a system that makes sense. In doing so, we need to call all stakeholders and agree on who should be on FISP and how we should select the farmers so that we avoid these issues where co-operatives are just Mr Banda and family or just part-time farmers participating. I think that we have challenges and I conceded to the fact that we have to do much more work.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Zimba (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that agro-dealers were colluding to increase the floor price of fertiliser. Does this not constitute a criminality and will the same thing not happen in the coming season? So, what measures have been put in place to ensure that we have the right agro-dealers and the colluding does not recur?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, first of all, there is no flow price for fertiliser because the fertiliser market is liberal. There are two ways in which farmers access fertiliser, either through the conventional FISP where the Government procures the fertiliser and distributes it or through the e-Voucher system where the Government shares the cost on the e-voucher card with the farmer. The farmer can choose which agro-dealer he/she wants to access his/her fertiliser from in the district, especially if there are a number of agro-dealers there. What we saw this year was that there was underestimation by fertiliser suppliers for there were not enough quantities in the country. Fertiliser ran out and this resulted in some agro-dealers, not all of them, wanting to take advantage and increase prices arbitrary so that they could make a quick gain.

 

Mr Speaker, in future, we have said we want to, firstly, scrutinise the agro-dealers so that we work with those in the true business of agro products. Secondly, I think, we also have to ensure that, as a country, we have sufficient supply of fertiliser. We know that we need about 400,000 or 500,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, at the moment, but these numbers could increase because we have seen a huge response from farmers. So, in future, those bad agro-dealers will crowd themselves out because those that want long-term business from farmers will offer the right price and build confidence. As more and more farmers take ownership of buying fertiliser by themselves, they will know whom to go to, who is an honest dealer and will avoid those unscrupulous ones who want to take advantage of them.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr E. Musonda (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I want to commend the hon. Minister for honourably coming out on the Floor of the House to concede that the roll out of the e-Voucher system faced a lot of challenges. In the same vein, I would like to ask the hon. Minister if she would consider apologising to the so many farmers who had a lot of hope, especially, in the midst of e-Voucher system and further assure them that with the challenges faced this year and the experiences learnt, the next farming season will see a smooth roll-out of the e-Voucher system.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I did say that as far as the D-Compound Fertiliser was concerned, 92 per cent of it had been distributed while about 88 per cent of Urea Fertiliser had been distributed. These numbers keep increasing. So; we have not done badly at all. Otherwise, we would not forecast a bumper harvest.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Ms Siliya: We would not forecast a bumper harvest.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, with these rains, our forecast is to get a good crop in spite of the challenges I have shared. It is important that hon. Members understand that we have set very high standards for ourselves and we want to meet. It does not mean that the situation has been that dire. What we want to do is share with hon. Members all the issues happening step by step so that they appreciate. Otherwise, they will expect us to make an apology for holding elections as the reason we were not able to prepare for the farming season.

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: Those are Constitutional matters.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: I think let us separate our sharing of information on the challenges and what is actually happening in the agriculture sector. In spite of the challenges faced, we have managed to get large quantities of fertiliser to the farmers.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: That is why our people are telling us that we should expect a good crop.

 

I thank you Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, my question is a follow up on what the hon. Minister talked about. In the first place, when the e-Voucher system was introduced here in Zambia, thirteen districts were targeted. She said that the targeted districts performed very well. According to my experience, for I am coming from a farming background, the e-voucher system has been a failure from inception. What is the hon. Minister’s assurance to the people of Bweengwa that come next year, the problem of not activating the e-voucher cards will not be there?

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the principle input in the e-Voucher system is that funds must be available for the card to be activated.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: The challenges of financing in 2016 were unique. However, I also know and have received reports that there are people on the ground who are deliberately trying to sabotage the programme.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: We do know that there are people who have been gaining from the conventional FISP. We know that there are people who stand to gain if we continue in the manner in which we do not identify farmers clearly. As a Government, we are saying that we accept that there are challenges in implementing the e-Voucher system, and think that, working together, we have the capacity to overcome them.

 

Mr Speaker, what the e-Voucher system does is give an opportunity to the private sector to participate and make money at the level of agro-dealership. The e-Voucher system relieves the Government to enable it to have resources to deal with the many outstanding problems. In this House, we hear lamentations such as the lack of boreholes, poorly maintained feeder roads and washed away bridges. The Government is saying that instead of anchoring the distribution of inputs totally. It can share the risk with the private sector. That does not mean that there are no problems, no. There are some teething problems. What we are saying is that whenever you have these teething problems, let us not wait for the Floor of this House to make political capital out of it. Let us talk to each other and correct the problems.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Yes!

 

Ms Siliya: When we correct the mistakes, it is the people of Bweengwa who will benefit. It is the people in Dundumwezi, Chienge ...

 

Mrs Simukoko: Shang’ombo!

 

Ms Siliya: … and everywhere else who will benefit. What we want to address is clear. We had problems with the conventional FISP which have been going on for so many years. Albert Einstein said:

 

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

 

Sir, we are saying that we have been trying to do the same thing over and over again. Now, it is time to do it differently by trying to ensure that we embrace technology, which is the e-voucher card. It might not work 100 per cent, but we are determined to make it work with your support.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Nanjuwa (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the people of Mumbwa really suffered with the challenges that came with the Electronic (e) -voucher system, especially that Mumbwa is one of the districts that migrated completely to the system. I just want to find out if there were adequate implementing officers of the new system because we had a lot of challenges such as cards were distributed, but had to be sent back to Lusaka because of certain errors and a lot of time was lost.

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think sometimes we are exaggerating the problem. I have here statistics showing that in Mumbwa, the total number of farmers who are beneficiaries under FISP was about 16, 925 and 11, 590 farmers had their cards activated. I did concede that there were some cards that were not activated, but if you look at those numbers, it means that the majority of the farmers were actually able to access their cards

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Siliya: When I said we still have a balance today of over 200,000, it is because we chose the path to share the information with the House. It does not mean that the situation is as dire as it sounds. I think we are exaggerating. Numbers do not lie. That is why we bring them to share with the House. If 80 per cent of the people accessed inputs in our first time roll out to new areas, it means that we had a decent success rate. However, we, as a Government, are saying we are not happy with ourselves because we need to do better so that we get a 100 per cent success rate.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Fungulwe (Lufwanyama): Mr Speaker, on several occasions I have heard the hon. Minister refer to the holding of elections as the problem which caused the delay in delivering farming inputs. I remember that we had previous Governments which used to hold elections as well, but these farming inputs were distributed on time.

 

Mr Ngulube: Question!

 

Mr Fungulwe: Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the problem really was that caused the delay in delivering farming inputs?

 

Laughter

 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I will attempt to provide more clarification on this matter. Firstly, I did not say that there is a problem with holding elections. I think let us be very clear on that. I said that in an election year, there were a lot of competing needs in the agriculture sector and other sectors, including the holding of elections. Since elections are a constitutional matter, and the Government had to avail the resources, the reality is that the Ministry of Agriculture did not receive any disbursements from May to November, 2016. The Treasury committed all the resources to managing the elections. The Treasury also found itself hampered because apart from holding elections, the country and global economy experienced economic shocks. With that background, we had a number of challenges which we have tried to manage.

 

Mr Speaker, in future, we can have dedicated financing for agriculture and prepare earlier. There will be no elections in this season. So, we expect that most of the challenges that were experienced last year, particularly committing resources to a very expensive election, are gone. Therefore, there is no problem with holding elections, but they were held when the economy of Zambia had shrunk and the resources had to be shared among a lot of competing needs. I hope that I have now provided the necessary clarification.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Actually, there will be no need for further clarification because it was the last question.

__________

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

HEALTH POST CONSTRUCTION IN LUNTE CONSTITUENCY

 

83. Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) asked the Minister of Health:      

 

(a)whether the Government had any plans to construct health posts at the following places in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency:

 

  1. Sambala;

 

  1. Muyembe; and

 

  1. Chibelushi.

 

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

 

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

 

The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo)(on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct health posts at Sambala, Muyembe and Chibelushi in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency.

 

Sir, the health posts at Sambala and Chibelushi are part of the 650 health posts being constructed under the India Line of Credit. The construction of these two health posts has delayed due to the termination of the contract with Angelique International Ltd, the contractor which was assigned to build health posts in the Northern, Muchinga, Luapula and North-Western provinces. The construction of these health posts will commence as soon as the financing arrangements have been resolved with the Indian Government and a new contract is sourced.

 

Mr Speaker, the construction of a health post at Muyembe is planned for within the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for 2017 to 2019 and it has been included in the 2017 Budget.

 

Sir, as indicated above, the Government has plans to construct the three health posts in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the construction of a health post in Muyembe has been budgeted for in the 2017 Budget. Why then would financing arrangements from the Indian Government be awaited?

 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, as I was providing the response, I separated Muyembe from Sambala and Chibelushi. I said that the construction of health posts in Sambala and Chibelushi will commence when the financing arrangements between the Indian and Zambian Governments are resolved. However, the resources for the construction of a health post in Muyembe have been provided for in the 2017 Budget. Therefore, it will be done as such.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

LUANGWA DISTRICT’S CONNECTION TO THE NATIONAL GRID

 

84. Mr S. Miti (Feira) asked the Minister of Energy:

 

(a)what had caused the delay in completing the works of connecting Luangwa District to the national electricity grid;

 

(b)how much works, in percentage terms, were still outstanding;

 

(c)when the works would resume; and

 

(d)what the time frame for the completion of the outstanding works was.

 

The Minister of Energy (Mr Mabumba):Mr Speaker, the delay in the project delivery on the Luangwa Electrification Project has been caused by poor performance by the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor – PME Power Solutions Ltd of India. The project was financed through a loan facility from the Exim Bank of India. Therefore, the contractor was from India.

                                             

Sir, the current overall project implementation status stands at 51 per cent, distributed as follows:

 

(a)sub-stations at 13.3 per cent;

 

(b)132kV transmission line   at 31.8 per cent;

 

(c)distribution network at 4.1 per cent; and

 

(d)staff houses and offices at1.9 per cent.

 

This translates into 49 per cent of the works as still outstanding.

 

Mr Speaker, the process for the procurement of contractors to complete the remainder of the works on the project was concluded in 2016. The contract with PME Power Solutions Ltd of India was terminated and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has since awarded contracts to two contractors from India. One of them will be in charge of sub-station works and the other transmission line works. The site works are expected to resume in the second quarter of 2017.

 

Sir, it is expected that the entire project to connect Luangwa District to the national grid shall be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

 

I thank you, Sir.            

 

FEEDER ROAD REHABILITATION IN LUMEZI CONSTITUENCY

 

85. Mrs P. Jere (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Local Government:

 

(a)when the rehabilitation of the following feeder roads in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

 

  1. Chieftainess MwaseMphangwe Turn-off along Chipata/Lundazi Road via Thebulo, Mlandabanthu and Ng’ambu/Ng’ambu to Katunula School;

 

  1. Lumamba School Turn-off along Chipata/Lundazi Road via Chamkoma to Kasinde;

 

  1. Katube Open Prison Turn-off along Chipata/Lundazi Road via Katube Open Prison to Kangobe;

 

  1. Sikatengwa Primary School Turn-off along Chipata/Lundazi Road via Chaomba School to Chief Zimwanda’s Palace; and

 

  1. Luamphamba School Turn-off along Chipata/Lundazi Road via Kalungambeba School to Chitungulu Road;

 

(b)what the time frame for the completion of the project was; and

 

(c)what the total cost of the project was.

 

The Minister of Local Government (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, the ministry will be able to commence the rehabilitation works for feeder roads in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency once funds are secured. The roads in question are among priority roads that have been earmarked to be worked on in the 2018 Annual Work Plan and Budget.

 

Sir, the time frame for the completion will only be determined after the completion of the feasibility studies and signing of the contract. The total cost is currently unknown and will only be known when the feasibility studies are conducted.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

LIVINGSTONE/SESHEKE RAILWAY LINE

 

86. Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Transport and Communication:

 

(a)when the construction of the Livingstone/Sesheke Railway Line would commence;

 

(b)who the financiers of the project were;

 

(c)whether the railway line would be constructed using the public-private partnership (PPP) model; and

 

(d)whether the Government had any plans to link the Livingstone/Sesheke Railway Line to the Namibian Railway Line network.

 

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Mushimba): Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the construction of the Livingstone/Sesheke Railway Line spur will commence once the detailed engineering designs are completed and resources mobilised. Currently, the Government has completed the pre-feasibility studies which were funded by the African Development Bank (ADB), as of December, 2016.

 

Sir, the financier will only be identified once the detailed feasibility studies and engineering designs are concluded. This is the phase which we are in now. We are currently soliciting the help of and looking for co-operating partners to carry out the detailed feasibility studies on this project.

 

Mr Speaker, the Government encourages public-private partnerships (PPPs) in order to leverage private sector financing. In the event that the Government is unable to get the partners on a PPP basis, it will source for funds to make sure that this railway line is completed.

 

Sir, yes, the railway line will be linked to the Namibian Railway Line at Katima Mulilo so as to have access to Walvis Bay in Namibia. This is the ultimate object of the project. We want to make sure we open this corridor from Livingstone, through Kazungula, Sesheke, Katima Mulilo, all the way to Walvis Bay.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Mr Speaker, what I really want to find out is whether this work will begin in the next five years with all the feasibility studies and resource mobilisation challenges.

 

Mr Mushimba: Mr Speaker, the timing will be determined by the Government’s commitment and focus on opening the transport corridors that we are speaking about. We know of the Nacala Corridor Project, which is about to start. A contract for a new railway line from Serenje to Petauke, Chipata, Muchinji to Nacala has been signed. Nseluka Mpulungu whose feasibility studies have just been concluded with the ADB is being looked at. The Government is also supporting the North-Western Railway Line Project which will open the Lobito Corridor. It is also looking at the Livingstone/Kazungula/Sesheke Railway Line. These are priority projects because we feel there is a need to open up the country and start transitioning it into the transport hub that it needs to be owing to its regional location and the existing political stability and security.

 

Mr Speaker, the Government will continue focusing on these projects by ensuring that it mobilises resources as efficiently as it can. That is why, as soon as the feasibility studies had been completed, we, as a Government, commenced discussions with partners to see how we could start working on detailed engineering designs as soon as possible. This way, we know how much it will cost to implement this project as well as to tender and pick a company to work with. We hope that we will make measurable progress on this railway spur within five years.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

BAILA DAM REHABILITATION

 

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

 

(a)when the Baila Dam in Kalomo District would be rehabilitated;

 

(b)what had caused the delay in rehabilitating the dam, considering that all the water had since escaped;

 

(c)whether a contractor for the project had been identified;

 

(d)if so, what the name of the contractor was; and

 

(e)what the cost of rehabilitating the dam was.

 

The Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection (Mr Kaziya): Mr Speaker, it is the Government’s responsibility to provide access to safe and clean water for communities. Therefore, in the 2017 Work Plan, the Government, through the Department of Water Resources Development (DWRD), has plans to carry out assessments on the Baila Dam to ascertain the possibilities of rehabilitating the dam. Note that the scope of assessment shall border on the rehabilitation of the dam wall only.

 

Sir, the rehabilitation plan for the Baila Dam had not been previously included in the Government’s work plan, but it has been taken note of and the dam has been included for assessment in the 2017 Work Plan. No contractor has been identified since the detailed assessments of the dam are yet to be concluded.

 

Mr Speaker, the contractor shall only be identified after the detailed assessments of the dam and production of associated designs are done, coupled with the availability of funds for implementation. The cost of implementation shall only be determined after assessments are made, corrective measures identified and supplementary designs put in place.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, I wanted to draw to the attention of the hon. Minister the fact that this dam used to provide water to the entire Kalomo Town. Currently, the whole town’s only source of water is a white man’s dam. The day he decides to kick us, ...

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, what is your question?

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, I wanted to give the background to this issue before asking the question. The state of the Baila Dam needs urgent attention. It used to feed the entire Kalomo, but that is not the case at the moment. So, I would like the hon. Minister to consider this an emergency and not an issue to be dealt with in the long-term. Can he confirm that it will be considered as such or that it will be dealt with in the long-term plan which he has outlined here?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member must bear in mind that all water bodies in the country are vested in the President. Therefore, no one can dictate on the dams. We still have access to the private dam that has been built.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, this is according to Act No 21 of 2011. No one can own a dam because all dams are in the hands of the Government. Therefore, the Government has control over the dams in the country.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question was that in view of whatever situation, what is the strategy of the Government in ameliorating the situation?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, we still have access to other private water resources in Kalomo and will continue to do so. Rehabilitation of this dam has been planned for in the 2017 Annual Work Plan.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is any plan by the Government to secure funds to complete the Kasamba and Kashima dams in Manyinga and Kashima constituencies, which were started by the Government, but later abandoned.

 

Mr Speaker: Quite frankly, that is not a supplementary question, but a new one. Hon. Member for Dundumwezi, you may ask your supplementary question.

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the Government would do in the event that this private dam, which feeds Kalomo Town, runs dry as a result of the owner using it for irrigation.

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Dundumwezi must be mindful of the fact that we have taken all measures into consideration. Even though we have been blessed with abundant rainfall this year, we will still take this into consideration because the Government has interest in these dams. We will help the people of Kalomo with the rehabilitation of this dam in due course.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question has not been answered. If this water, for one reason or the other, is not available, …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Mr Speaker: … what will be done?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, we have drilling rigs in most provincial headquarters. So, in such an event, we will fall back on industrial boreholes to provide water for the community.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Kalima: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Daka (Msanzala): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he has alerted the Office of the Vice-President on the need to ensure that, under this circumstance, measures are taken to block the water in, seeing as this dam is in a critical state.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, we do liaise with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) where emergency funding is concerned. Wherever we have an emergency situation, we fall back on the DMMU.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I think that this question is very simple. What we want to know, clearly, are the plans that the Government is putting in place in case an emergency situation arises. Kalomo depends on this dam and the Government cannot talk about how we have been blessed with abundant rainfall.

 

Mr Speaker, this problem has been presented to the hon. Minister. What measures are being put in place in case an emergency arises because this water is running down? What immediate plans are being put in place to ensure that we do not lose all the water that is running down?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, there are intentions to rehabilitate this dam. The people of Kalomo have been assured that the rehabilitation of this dam is in the ministry’s work plan for 2017.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

CASSAVA VALUE ADDITION CHAIN

 

88. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

 

(a)what measures the Government had taken to promote the cassava value addition chain in the country;

 

(b)in which provinces the cassava value addition chain was being implemented; and

 

(c)what the requirements for introducing the cassava value addition chain in any area were.

 

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, the following are the measures being put in place by this Government to support the cassava value addition chain:

 

  1. Provision of Loans: The Government, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF), is providing loans to viable businesses along the cassava value addition chain.

 

The Government has also secured support from the African Development Bank (ADB) to complement the efforts being undertaken through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), under the Skills Development and Entrepreneurship Project – Supporting Women and Youth Projects − which include support for value addition, access to finance, market linkages and business development services;

 

  1. Skills Development and Entrepreneurship: The Government, through the CEEC, is providing business and entrepreneurship skills to projects that receive the CEEF to add value to raw materials. This is part of ensuring that the applicants’ businesses are successful;

 

  1. Promotion of Private Sector Participation: The Government is promoting private sector participation into different commodity value chains, including the promotion of business linkages between farmers and agro-processing firms. For example, Premiercon Starch Company has been linked to supply starch to Kalumbila Mine in Solwezi, in the North-Western Province;

 

  1. Promotion of co-operatives formation on cassava value chains; and

 

  1. Plant materials development, which is working in conjunction with the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI), to provide high yield disease-free cuttings for cassava to the tune of US$4 million.

 

Mr Speaker, the cassava value addition chain is being promoted in Central, Luapula, the Western, the North-Western, the Northern, Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces. In order to assess the requirements for introducing the cassava value addition chain in an area, the area must support the production of cassava by way of resource endowment, suitability of soil and availability of healthy planting materials, amongst others. The area should also have a considerable number of smallholder farmers and households which grow cassava and can be arranged into out-grower schemes.

 

Further, the following are taken into consideration when the Government is facilitating cassava value addition chain development:

 

(a)good road network;

 

(b)access to and availability of markets;

 

(c)seed or cuttings suppliers;

 

(d)producers who are farmers growing cassava crop;

 

(e)middlemen and traders who buy cassava from farmers at farm gate prices;

 

(f)transporters;

 

(g)processors; and

 

(h)consumers or buyers.

 

All of the people who participate in any part of the value chain are known as value chain actors. There is no barrier to entry at any point of the cassava value addition chain. However, the value chain actors depend on each other and some can be eliminated. For example, if a cassava processing plant is located in the production area, processors may eliminate the transporters and middlemen by buying the cassava directly from producers.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, cassava production is part of the livelihood of the people of Kaputa. Cassava is not a crop that one would teach the people of Kaputa to grow because they have been growing it all their life. Further, these people meet all the requirements for the introduction of the cassava value addition chain. On behalf of the people of Kaputa, I would like to find out when we will see the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry support the people of this area in ensuring that they also benefit from the programmes and loans that are available in the promotion of cassava production.

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, it is clear that there are certain areas of the country that would want to access this fund that has been received from the AFDB. This is a new value chain development that we are embarking on in cassava. It is starting now and will end in 2018. Therefore, this is also a very good learning point for us. However, clearly, we believe that this is a chain that can produce more wealth beyond just growing the cassava. So, we will contact Kaputa and ensure that, in future, it becomes part of the value chain development programme.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, SABMiller invested in Luapula Province in order to produce alcohol from the cassava production. Ideally, when we look at the value chain, we expect the lives of the local people to become better or the investment to economically contribute more to our economy. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether she is satisfied with our farmers in Luapula Province.

 

Ms Katuta: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, we are not satisfied at all. At the moment, we are looking at about 1,200 out growers in that area that are growing cassava for SABMiller to produce Eagle Beer. Therefore, we are working closely with them to ensure a lot more out growers are taken on board.

 

Secondly, the type of cassava that is being grown in that province is very low yielding. Therefore, what we have decided with SABMiller is to come up with cuttings that are much higher yielding, which will give the people of Luapula a lot more money in their pockets. So, we are continuing to learn in this sector and will ensure that a lot more out growers come on board and get a much better yield in cassava.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, my question is on SABMiller, which has announced its intention to participate in the cassava value chain by promoting the out growers schemes and trying to buy as much of this cassava for the production of alcohol.

 

Sir, promoting alcohol and its harmful use is at the centre of non-communicable diseases, which is a threat to this country.

 

Laughter

 

Dr Kalila: Sir, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister should really encourage SABMiller in this undertaking or, indeed, put in some obstacles so that we do not actually promote alcohol and alcoholism in this country.

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Sir, I do not think that it is my job to discourage SABMiller from deciding on what it is to sell. I believe that it is not only my job, but all of us here present in this House to sensitise our farmers, especially our farmers in the rural areas, to ensure that they grow and become part of this value.

 

Mr Speaker, Ndola SABMiller Brewery is doing very well and is getting the cassava from our farmers in the rural areas. Does the hon. Member want the farmers to turn down that offer? I do not think that is the job of the Government to compel the farmers to do that. We, as a Government, are not encouraging our people to drink more alcohol, but SABMillers’s job. We are encouraging our people to grow cassava as an input into the Ndola plant and now into the plant in Luapula and Mansa in particular.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how well she has been informed on areas where cassava is grown, such as Luapula. I think Luapula is the highest producer of cassava. So, I do not agree with the hon. Minister when she says that the type of cassava produced in Luapula is low yielding. However, I would like to find out from her how well she has informed the people of Luapula about the low yield of the cassava? If you look at the standard of living of those people, it is so poor despite them growing so much cassava in the area. They remain poor, yet SABMiller is busy collecting the cassava from there. I would like the hon. Minister to inform the nation, especially the people of Luapula, and Chienge in particular, where they should take their cassava and if it is really going to be beneficial to them.

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, we have carried out a lot of work in this area and will continue to carry out a lot of research. This is why we partnered with ZARI to make sure that we keep improving on the crop.

 

Sir, I know that Luapula Province is a cassava growing area, but when we brought the University of Sheffield to Mansa to take stock of that cassava type that is being grown, it was clear that it can be improved. This is why we are now producing the seedlings to supply to the rural farmers so that they get more cassava, whether its leaves or tubers, from their plant. Yes, it is cassava, but there is high grade cassava and low grade cassava. It is not just in Luapula where this test is being carried out. We will continue carrying it out in other areas as well. In some areas, the yield is much higher while it is lower in others. Therefore, I want to believe that the same will be done in these provinces with the 429 applications that have been received. We will ensure that those areas that need the cuttings get them while those that do not need them do not get them.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mecha (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I am a bit confused.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mecha: Sir, I am aware that the Agriculture Research Institute (ARI) responsible for developing high yielding cassava cultivars is domiciled in Mansa. It has developed a number of cultivars in Mweru and Bangweulu. How does the hon. Minister help me in the justification of low productivity and production in the context of that back ground?

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, really, I do not want to be responsible for confusing the hon. Member at all.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Sir, I would like to believe that this is such an important value chain that any research institute will be brought on board. We have desirably just taken one research institute and we have given it quite a bit of money, which is about U S $4 million, to carry out this work. So, if there are others that would want to come on board, we are happy to take them on, but we really do not want confusion. This is a very important value chain because we are producing starch, cassava flour, cassava chips and all sorts of things.

 

Mr Speaker, Kalumbila is producing 30,000 metric tonnes per annum at its peak. You can imagine that is ten folding the value in money that somebody gets from selling cassava. So, this is truly a value chain that is worth supporting. Therefore, I will welcome anyone who is willing to come on board with any further support. It is for this reason that I would like to encourage all of you, hon. Members, to truly take this upon yourselves and help me to really sensitise our people because they can benefit from this value chain.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Fundanga (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, I applaud the hon. Minister’s broad-based approach on the issue of cassava and its value chain. However, my concern is whether the ministry is also considering mechanising the labour intensive process that women in rural areas are using to produce cassava for consumption?

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: The answer to that very important question by the hon. Member for Chilubi Island is that yes, we, as a ministry, are considering making their jobs easier, faster and more efficient by setting up bulk processing centres at fifteen locations. We are also considering setting up warehouses at three centres in these provinces to ensure that people are not walking long distances should they need to process or transport their produce to the market. We will get to the women in rural areas and this is why one component of our approach is training people in entrepreneurial skills and business development. So, we are ensuring that we impart mechanisation skills as well as offer equipment support.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Kopulande (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I am following up on the question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

 

Mr Kopulande: … for Chifunabuli who stated that, as a matter of fact, a research institute on the production of cassava is domiciled in Mansa in Luapula Province, which is the province well-known for cassava. In the words of the hon. Minister just here, “Luapula is cassava”. I am concerned that despite the existence of that institute in the ‘cassava province’, another institute has been funded to the tune of US$4 million to research cassava production in Luapula Province where another institute exists. What criterion was used to take an institution, probably from Lusaka, to research on cassava production in Luapula Province?

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, I am just recalling on the work that we did towards entering into this value chain and I have just remembered that, in fact, that institute in Mansa is a sister institute to the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). So, in fact, they are working together.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

TEACHERS’ HOUSING IN LUNTE CONSTITUENCY

 

89. Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) asked the Minister of General Education how many teachers’ houses were earmarked for construction in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency in 2017.

 

The Minister of General Education (Dr Wanchinga): Mr Speaker, there are no new teachers’ houses that have been earmarked for construction in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency in 2017. As you may be aware, the focus of the Government is to complete all outstanding projects before embarking on new ones. However, let me hasten to add that within Mporokoso District, the Government is constructing Lunte Girls Technical Boarding High School and this project will include teachers’ houses.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Speaker, yesterday, I thanked this Government for upgrading three schools in Lunte Parliamentary Constituency. By implication, this upgrade means that additional teachers’ houses are required in the constituency. Where then does the Ministry of General Education think the new teachers will be accomodated?

 

Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, every teacher employed by the Ministry of General Education is entitled to housing allowance. So, the new teachers will be able to rent houses. However, I have also said on the Floor of this House that let us look at this problem of teachers’ houses as an opportunity for hon. Members of Parliament and the general public to invest in housing in the areas we come from. We can build low cost houses which the teachers can rent.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that teachers are entitled to housing allowance which they can use to rent houses. Is the hon. Minister aware that in a rural constituency like Lunte, there are no houses that teachers can rent even if they have housing allowances?

 

Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, development is dynamic. We are expecting that in the years to come, these areas will be transformed from being typical rural areas into places which will be full of houses for rent.

 

Hon. Government Houses: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Dr Wanchinga: I know we are referring to the current situation, but I am assuring this House that the areas we are calling rural areas now will be transformed in the very near future and teachers will have houses to rent.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Dr Wanchinga: Secondly, Mr Speaker, I am repeating what I said earlier. Hon. Members of Parliament should see this problem as an opportunity for investment. We should call upon the local businessmen and women in our constituencies to invest in these areas and provide low cost houses which teachers can rent. In the same vein, we can solve the problem of our children who are renting houses in the villages. By the same token, we can also build low cost boarding houses for our children.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the problem of housing for teachers is very serious. I think this is a problem that should not wait for fifty years from now to be sorted out.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 

Dr Kalila: The answers from the hon. Minister certainly paint a picture that suggests that there is no immediate plan by the ministry to solve the problem of housing for teachers. The hon. Minister has thrown a challenge to us to see this as an opportunity to make money. However, can he indicate to me what plans the ministry has, in the meantime, to look after the teachers so that I can explain to the teachers in my constituency, as we are thinking of plans to construct the houses from which we can make money out of the situation.

 

Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, it appears the hon. Member is expanding the bandwagon.

 

Interruptions

 

Dr Wanchinga: The issue we are addressing is the challenge of teachers’ housing in Lunte.

 

Mr Mwale: Mwaona manje.

 

Dr Wanchinga: Mr Speaker, Lunte was recently declared a district. Therefore, there will be a lot of infrastructure coming up in the area. Many people will build houses in that area. So, this problem is very temporal and will be addressed soon.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

M Speaker: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

SHANDYONGO BRIDGE

 

90. Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba) asked the Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development:

 

(a)when the construction of the Shandyongo Bridge across the Chunga River connecting Chipeso to Namayani in Muchenje Ward in Katuba Parliamentary Constituency would commence;

 

(b)what had caused the delay in commencing the project, considering that it had already been funded;

 

(c)who the contractor for the project was;

 

(d)what the time frame for the completion of the project was; and

 

(e)what the total cost of the project was.

 

The Minister of Housing and Infrastructure Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, no funds have been allocated in the 2017 Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP) for the construction of the Shandyongo Bridge across the Chunga River connecting Chipeso to Namayani in Muchenje Ward in Katuba Parliamentary Constituency. This is due to the limited funding available for 2017. The project will be considered next year.

 

Sir, the delay in commencing the project is due to a lack of funds. No contractor has been engaged for the project. There is no project in place. Therefore, there is no completion period.

 

Mr Speaker, the cost of the project can only be determined when the design for the project has been completed.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that funds for the construction of Shandyongo Bridge were allocated in 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the local government and Chibombo General Dealers was the contractor?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that the district council in Chibombo decided to fund the construction of the bridge. I will make a follow up with my counterparts in the Ministry of Local Government to find out whether the bridge was funded by the local authority. If it was, this is a commendable initiative by the local authority.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Mr Speaker, would it not be in order to arrest the contractor because he was funded three times, but did not finish the project? He should not be allowed to go scot free.

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I think the project could have been funded through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by the hon. Member’s initiative. That is why I said that I will make a follow up to ascertain whether the project was funded. If the project was funded and the job was not carried out, appropriate measures will be taken.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the ministry was unable to construct the bridge under the ministry due to a lack of funds. This is the Government which said, through the hon. Minister of Finance, that it has excess funds. Why is it having problems funding this bridge when it has excess funds?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the project was not budgeted for in the Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP) for 2017. This does not imply that the Government does not have money. It has other projects that it is implementing this year.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, this is a very important crossing point for the people of Muchenje Ward. Does the hon. Minister not think it is advisable for him to allocate one of the Bailey bridges which have been procured to that bridge?

 

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, that is a good suggestion. We will dispatch our engineers to assess whether the conditions of the bridge can support the Bailey bridge.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

DAM CONSTRUCTION IN SESHEKE CONSTITUENCY

 

91. Mr Kufakwandi asked the Minister of Water Development, Sanitation and Environmental Protection:

 

(a)whether the Government had any plans to construct dams in the following areas in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency which are facing a critical shortage of water:

 

  1. Imusho;

 

  1. Katongo;

 

  1. Maondo; and

 

(iv)    Lilonga;

 

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

 

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

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the proposed answer is that the Government has no plans to construct dams in Imusho, Katongo, Maondo and Lilonga.

 

Mr Speaker, the areas in question do not have topographic characteristics which are suitable for dam construction. The hon. Member of Parliament may be aware that a reconnaissance survey was conducted in the constituency in order to identify good and suitable sites for dam construction. However, it was found that the area was not suitable for dam construction.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I am concerned. Was that the proposed answer or actual answer?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, this is a remedial answer for the time being.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kaziya: I want to add that the topographic features of this area do not support water logging. This is the actual answer.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Mr Speaker, it is very surprising that this area is now being …

 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank for allowing me to raise this point of order. Is it procedural for an hon. Minister to not answer the questions that were raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke and that instead of answering, he has given a proposal and a remedial answer to the questions that have been raised?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mwiimbu: Would it be procedural for him to make a follow-up answer when there has not been an answer given?

 

Mr Speaker: Well, I am sure you followed that I was also concerned.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Eventually, he said that that was the actual answer.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: It is not procedurally correct to make proposals in form of answers.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: An answer must be an answer.

 

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

 

Mr Kufakwandi: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by that point of order, I was saying that it is surprising that the hon. Minister is informing this House that these particular areas, are technically not suitable for dam construction. Only a few years ago, the same areas were identified for dam construction by a programme that was supported by the Government of Namibia. So, it is very surprising to me that the same engineers of the Government at that time were able to ascertain that these areas were suitable for dam construction but today, we are being informed that they are actually not suitable for dam construction. I suggest that these areas be revisited once more.

 

Mr Speaker: I expected you to ask a question and not give a suggestion.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kufakwandi: My question is: When will these areas be reassessed to give us the technical data that justifies their being unsuitable for dam construction?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, my ministry will look into this issue and revisit the sites for future constructions.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that according to the Zambian studies and surveys, it was found that the topographical features of Sesheke are not suitable for dam construction. From the Minister’s point of view, what does he think a dam is  …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Miyutu: … such that that function cannot be facilitated in Sesheke?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister must be mindful that when constructing a dam …

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Member!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Mr Kaziya: I am trying to answer the question. The topographic features for Sesheke do not support construction of dams because it is a sandy area and this technical information is coming from the experts.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Well, the question was: What is a dam?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Anyway, we will make progress.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, a dam is a facility that we dig in the soil to hold water.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: I do not think we are making progress. I will move on to the next question.

 

Laughter

 

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, following the challenge by the hon. Member who disagrees with the experts’ information that these areas are not suitable for dam construction, which has led to the hon. Minister conceding and stating that he will go back to revisit these areas …

 

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 

Dr Kalila: … instead of defending the actual technical information that he got, is that implying that his experts misled him, therefore, making him go back? Will he censure them or take any action?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I was not mislead by my technical team. They were stating facts that Sesheke cannot support the construction of dams.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said that it is not possible to construct dams in Sesheke because of the sandy soils. I am aware of three dams that have been constructed in Kaoma. One is at Kalale, the other one at Lui and another one at a place I cannot remember. Meanwhile, the soils in Kaoma and Sesheke are both sandy soils. Can the hon. Minister explain why it has been possible to construct those three dams in Kaoma with sandy soils and why it is impossible to do so in Sesheke, which also has sandy soils, especially when another Government, the Namibian Government, had indicated willingness earlier on to construct those dams in the same sandy soils?

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, I think the technical team in the ministry will revisit this case and see if there are possibilities of constructing the dams.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, whilst the action of revisiting this area is being considered and in the wisdom of his technical staff, what would be the recommended substitute to damming in that particular area?

 

Hon. Government Member: Question!

 

Mr Kaziya: Mr Speaker, the substitute to damming is obstructing water from the Zambezi River. In the case of a failure to construct a dam, we can obstruct water from the Zambezi River.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

FEEDER ROAD REHABILITATION IN GWEMBE CONSTITUENCY

 

92. Ms Chisangano (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Local Government when the following feeder roads in Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

 

(a)Shampande/Nakasika;

 

(b)Lukonde Nyangwe/Chivuli;

 

(c)Nakasika/Kalelezyi;

 

(d)Nakasika/Dibwa;

 

(e)Lukonde/Hakazembwe;

 

(f)Nakasika/Kkole;

 

(g)Bbondo/Ntanga;

 

(h)Nakasika/Henga;

 

(i)Shampande/Hamatuba; and

 

(j)Munyumbwe/Machechete.

 

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government will commence rehabilitation works for feeder roads in Gwembe Constituency once funds are secured.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Mwale: The roads listed in the question are among the priority roads that have been submitted by the local authority to be worked on in the 2018 Annual Work Plan. When the roads will be worked on or how much they will cost cannot be determined until funds are made available.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

__________

 

MOTION

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Her Honour the Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

 

Question put and agreed to.

 

__________

 

 

The House adjourned at 1851 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday 23rd February, 2017.