Thursday, 9th November, 2017

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Thursday, 9th November, 2017

 

The House met at 1430 hours

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

NATIONAL ANTHEM

 

PRAYER

 

____­­__

 

PERSONAL STATEMENT

 

APOLOGY BY HER HONOUR THE VICE-PRESIDENT, MRS I. M. WINA

 

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, hon. Members, you will recall that yesterday, Wednesday, 8th November, 2017, the House considered a Private Member’s Motion moved by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP and seconded by the hon. Member for Roan, Dr C. Kambwili, MP, urging the Government to expedite the payment of terminal benefits to all former Government employees who retired prior to 5th January, 2016.

 

At the close of the debate, the Motion was put to a vote. The voting was undertaken electronically and the results of the vote are as indicated on Division List No. 3, which list has been distributed as required by Standing Order No.16.

 

Sir, hon. Members, Standing Order No. 16 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2016, provides as follows:

 

                  “16(1)     The Clerk shall record the votes and proceedings of the Assembly or a Committee of the Whole House and the record shall be reproduced as the Votes and Proceedings and distributed to Members daily when the House is sitting.

 

                  (2)           The Votes and Proceedings shall be signed by The Speaker and shall constitute the official daily record of proceedings of the Assembly.

 

                  (3)           The Clerk shall have the custody of all Votes and Proceedings, records and other documents belonging to the Assembly.

 

Mr Speaker, hon. Members, the Division List No.3, which has been circulated, correctly shows that I voted along with the “Ayes”.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, hon. Members, in order to avert possible speculation and dissention regarding my vote, I would like to place it on record and inform the House and the public at large that I inadvertently voted with the “Ayes”.

 

Mr Speaker, I wish to apologise to the Right for unintentionally reducing the figures.

 

Laughter

 

The Vice-President: Additionally, I apologise to the Left for inflating the figures unnecessarily.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Vice-President: This was indeed an electronically induced mishap.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, since this is a personal statement by Her Honour the Vice-President, there will be no follow-up questions. 

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: It is now time for Questions for Oral Answer.

 

____

 

QUESTIONS FOR ORAL ANSWER

 

THE DEMISE OF MR MATHEW NDEMBELE KANJINDO

 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Her Honour the Vice-President for voting with us, nevertheless.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

80. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

 

  1. whether the Government was aware of the death of Mr Mathew Ndembele Kanjindo that occurred during the visit by His Excellency, the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to Kabompo District on 4th November, 2017;

 

  1. if so, under what circumstances he died;

 

  1. whether the perpetrators had been arrested; and

 

  1. if so, who the perpetrators were.  

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that indeed, the Government is aware of the sudden death of the Mr Mathews Ndebele Kanjindo, which was reported to Kabompo Police Station on the 3rd November, 2017, at 1700 hours. However, it should be noted that the death of Mr Methews Ndebele Kanjindo did not occur during the visit of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to Kabompo on the 4th November, 2017.

 

Sir, the deceased, Mr Methews Ndebele Kanjindo was found dead outside his sister’s house around 0600 hours at Chizihingezhinge Compound near Chidikumbidi Lodge, where the Patriotic Front (PF) provincial conference was scheduled to be held on the 4th November, 2017. The brief facts regarding the death of Mr Kanjindo are as follows:

 

  1.  the deceased left home on the 2nd November, 2017, at an unknown time and was not seen up to the time the family went to sleep;

 

  1. at around 0200 hours, the elder sister, Fostina Kanjindo, who was also the owner of the house heard some noise of someone falling in the house. The elder sister concluded that her brother had come back home. Since the gentle man had a history of mental illness and drunkenness, she did not bother to check and continued sleeping;

 

  1. upon waking up around 0600 hours, the elder sister observed faecal matter in the house.  When she followed the trail of the faecal matter outside the house, she then found her brother lying down with blood coming out of his mouth. The cloths were dry and intact, but muddy and the ground was wet and slippery; and

 

  1.  after this incident, the sister reported the matter to Kabompo Police Station, whose officers visited the scene and equally observed that blood was dripping from the mouth of Mr Kanjindo. They also noted that his tongue was slightly bitten. It is like the deceased was trying to go the toilet, which is outside the house.

 

Mr Speaker, the police officers did not suspect any foul play and did not object to the family’s intention to bury the body of Mr Kanjindo without postmortem. Accordingly, the body of Mr Kanjindo was handed over to the family for burial on the same day.

 

Sir, there are, therefore, no suspected perpetrators and no arrests have been made. As I have already indicated, there are no suspected perpetrators.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Her Honour the Vice-President for voting with us, nevertheless.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Mazoka: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Mrs Mazoka: Mr Speaker, like Her Honour the Vice-President made a statement on the voting pattern, which took place yesterday, I would also like to make a personal statement in the sense that I voted with the Ayes, but my name does not appear on the list for the Ayes.

 

I thank you, Sir. 

 

Mr Speaker: Noted.

 

Laughter

 

Let me also point out that in addition to what has been circulated, there is what is referred to as ‘vote detailed results.’ Therefore, I will undertake to check on that and I will revert to you, hon. Member, and ensure that these matters are properly put to rest.

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like thank you for the opportunity to follow-up on the statement that has been issued by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

 

Sir, there is a common African saying and I am sure each and every one of us knows it. It does not matter from which part of Zambia one comes from.

 

Mr Speaker, in my language it goes as follows:

 

         “ Kashina kazhi mukufwa. Chimbungu Mwanyela Zhivwi. Iya namuhyi.”

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker, I will explain the meaning of this saying.

 

Sir, Kashina Kazhi is an old person in a village, who suddenly disappears. From nowhere, the hyena defecates grey hair. Therefore, who has eaten that old man?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lufuma: Definitely, it must be the hyena.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Lufuma: Sir, this goes to show what happened in Kabompo. The advance party …

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

Hon. Member, let me just provide some guidance because I can sense from the language of your statement that you are trying to provide an explanation as to what happened. This is not the reason I have given you an opportunity to address the House. The opportunity I have given you is to clarify the statement made by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. Please, bear that in mind. In that sense, I am not conducting an inquisition. The hon. Minister has made a statement in response to your question and he has provided an answer. Therefore, if you would like to seek clarification, do so.

 

You may continue.

 

Mr Lufuma: Sir, I would like to thank you for your guidance.

 

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why …

 

Mr Musonda: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 

Before that, let me just say something because we are now getting stuck. I will allow that point of order, but beyond that one, I will not allow points of order until we conclude this business.

 

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity. My sincere apologies to the previous speaker, who was on the Floor for disturbing his thought.

 

Sir, I rise on a very serious point of order on the Chief Whip.

 

Mr Speaker: On who?

 

Mr Musonda: The Chief Whip.

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, maybe, I will allow you to finish your point of order.

 

Mr Musonda: I rise on a point of order on the Chief Whip for calling my act of having abstained in yesterday’s vote as childish and calling me childish.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

 

Mr Speaker: Order!

 

You can pose there and take your seat.

 

Points of order relate to proceedings that are taking place at a particular time. This is why over the years, as a test, I have insisted that points of order should be contemporaneous and generally relate to the proceedings. I used the word ‘generally’ advisedly because I do permit points of order relating to compelling issues of an urgent nature.

 

If you have a complaint relating to your privilege as an hon. Member of Parliament, there avenues available to pursue such a complaint. You may want to approach senior hon. Members of the House for counsel. They will advise you how you proceed with that matter. If I were to allow points of order of this sort, they would be endless. We heard things like, last night at the motel, this is what happened.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Was he in order to do this? When we are in the restaurant, this is what he said.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, this is why we limit points of order to the proceedings of the House and events of a national character. I believe I have made myself absolutely clear. Hon. Member for Kabompo, see if you can complete your business now.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in his statement said that the gentleman, who was murdered in cold blood, was found outside his home with blooding oozing from his mouth. What explanation is there for the broken neck, arm and spin, which according to us are the cause of death?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to say that I have got very high regard for the hon. Member for Kabompo and I want to caution him that …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

 

Mr Kampyongo: … matters of this nature must not be trivialised. I also want to say that because of his alarming statements earlier, I have a report from Kabompo Police Station. I do not know where he saw the broken neck himself. That can only be determined after a postmortem. Due to his alarming statements, we have dispatched a pathologist to go and discuss with the family of the deceased, which adopted to bury the person without a postmortem. However, they should allow the pathologist to make sure that the matter the hon. Member is raising is put to rest.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, Mathew Kanjindo was buried on Monday without an autopsy. The hon. Minister just said that a pathologist has been sent to go and discuss with the family. In a case such as this one, which is similar to the case of the death of Mapenzi Chibulo, who was killed by the police, the police are now suspects in this matter. Therefore, they cannot adjudicate in their own case.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Exactly!

 

Mr Nkombo: Is the hon. Minister comfortable for us to send an independent pathologist, get an inquest, exhume the body of Kanjindo and come up with a clear autopsy report? Further, since the police are suspects in this matter, is he comfortable to get another independent forensic operator to go and establish from those who live around Kanjindo’s residence to know whether or not the hon. Minister is shielding the police, the way he has shielded the police over the death of Mapenzi Chibulo?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me provide guidance.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

 

Mr Speaker: That is my job. How can you stop me?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: It is not possible. You just listen in silence.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I know this matter is sensitive. There is a loss of life and I think we need to approach it with the solemnity which it deserves. I would also want to urge both hon. Members who would like to ask questions and indeed the hon. Minister of Finance that let us maintain an appropriate temperament around this discourse.

 

Mr Lusambo: It is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

 

Mr Speaker: Yes, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and not Finance. Hon. Member, thank you for that. Let us have self control and deal with this matter calmly. I am talking to both sides. That is a mark of leadership. This is the counsel you were objecting to, surprisingly, before it was heard. Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, you may respond to the question.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we appreciate your counsel. First of all, the police are not suspects in this matter. I want to say that these are matters that the police deal with almost on a daily basis and the procedures are very well known. I have indicated that because of the alarming statement we got, we decided that a pathologist should go and do some work so that we can put this matter to rest.

 

Sir, this matter was reported to the police by the sister to the deceased. If there are hon. Members who have more information regarding this matter, the only thing they can do is to avail this information to the police because there is no one else who will deal with it at the end of the day. Therefore, I do not have to start looking at other people that could have died. We are dealing with this matter in the manner we feel is appropriate to ensure that we conclude it to the expectations of the people.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I am surprised. Even before investigations are done, the police have been excluded from the list of suspects. Who will determine the suspects if you already start excluding possibilities? What we are saying is basically that anybody can be considered as a suspect. Why did the hon. Minister remove the police or cadres from the suspect list?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I am equally surprised. Just the day before, when the hon. Member rose on a point of order, he was basically making weird accusations about cadres being dressed in police uniforms. That is what he said.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: That already shows you how much this matter is being trivialised. He was not there himself when this incident happened and, therefore, I am wondering where he has gotten this information. I am still insisting that if he has got further information than what we have gotten from the Zambia Police, he is free to avail that information. That is the only way he can do it and not throwing accusations that he cannot even substantiate. It does not work that way.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we are hon. Members in this House and when we are discussing matters like this, as you have guided, we need to be somber and above board.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Speaker, any death in this Republic or in any part of the world is a very sad occurrence. Suspicious, unnatural, instantaneous or any mysterious death should be attended to by a pathologist. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs going to provide a policy statement to law enforcement agents that they should not bury bodies of people who died in such cases without being attended to by a pathologist?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, ideally, we would want such cases to be attended to by pathologists before the victims are put to rest. However, you also know that there are times when families request to put their beloved to rest without the pathologist having attended to the deceased. I think going forward and in order to avoid occurrences such as the one we are going through, it will be prudent to provide that policy. Should need arise, we will provide that policy guidance to the law enforcement agencies.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, ...

 

Mr Kafwaya: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Hon. Members: Ah!

 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it is known that police have at times,

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Liuwa, just pause for a moment.

 

Mr Speaker: Who is raising a point of order?

 

Mr Kafwaya: On a point of order, Sir.

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, ...

 

Laughter

 

Mr Speaker: Just a while ago, I guided that we need to finish this segment without points of order. No point of order, means, no point of order.

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: There is no qualification. I think the leadership should consider a workshop sooner than later.

 

The hon. Member for Liuwa may continue.

 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the police in this country has sometimes been known to be associated with crime. A few months ago, the police was implicated in the murder of a person from the Zambia Air Force (ZAF).

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Speaker: Order on the right!

 

Dr Musokotwane: Hence, it is not totally surprising for the people of Kabompo to be suspicious that the police could have been involved in the killing of this person. In light of that, did the police ask for a statement from the family of the deceased in which the family stated very clearly that they were prepared to bury the body without a pathologist working on it? Did the police get such a document to lay fears aside that there was no hanky-panky?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we know that behind the police uniforms, the police officers are human beings. As the police execute their duties, they know that they are not above the law. When our officers have been found wanting, the law has been applied, just like any other citizen. The hon. Member made reference to an issue which we dealt with adequately and he knows that the matter is active in court. The circumstances are different.

 

As to whether there is a document which the family members signed, that might be neither here nor there. The statement and facts I gave were recorded from the family members who reported the matter to the police. More so, the person who was looking after the deceased person said the deceased person was known to be mentally disturbed.

 

The decision to bury the deceased was equally made by the family. I have made it very clear, unless Hon. Dr Musokotwane wants me to avail the document that could have been signed. We have made the decision that the pathologist is going to do his work, and the nation will be informed by the Zambia Police on what will be found.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Jere (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that officers had gone to the scene to investigate this matter. I want to find out whether these are the same officers carrying out investigations now or a new team of officers was sent to do the investigations. After the investigations are done, will he report the results to this august House and the nation at large?

 

Mr Kampyongo: If the hon. Member had cared to follow my response, he would have known that I indicated that when the report was received by the police in Kabompo, officers were dispatched to go and visit the scene. They did their work and came to the conclusion that there was no foul play. They agreed with the family to put the deceased to rest.

 

I also made it clear that because of the alarming statement that was brought to this august House, the Ministry of Home Affairs, together with the police command, has decided to dispatch a pathologist to Kabompo. When they come back, the Zambia Police will inform the nation on what will be found.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to be very categorical pertaining to the instructions that were given to the pathologist. Earlier, he had indicated that the pathologist was sent to discuss with the family. Sir, what I know is that the pathologist is supposed to do a professional job. After exhuming the body, he does not speak or discuss with the family. Can he tell us whether the body will be exhumed and the pathologist will do a professional job and present a report pertaining to the cause of death?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate that follow-up question from the Member of Parliament for Monze. I mentioned that the pathologist has been dispatched to the area, but certainly not to talk to the family. Obviously, the police will let the family know that their decision to bury that deceased person without postmortem will be overturned by the State and therefore, the body will be exhumed so that the pathologist can do his job. That is how it is.

 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Thank you, Mr Speaker …

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: I feel nice to be back.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kalobo: Ee parliament iyi!

 

Mr Ngulube: First of all, I would like to thank you for having allowed me yesterday to go and rest a bit.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: I am now refreshed.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Sir, I am aware that whenever there is a death of a human being, we call it homicide. Where there is a dispute to the cause of death, there is what we call an inquest where members of the family or public or like the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo can apply to a Magistrate Court so that the Magistrate can conduct an inquest to determine the cause of death. Here, what appears to be in contention is that it looks like the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo already knows the cause of death. Even when the pathologist has been dispatched to Kabompo, it appears as though the verdict has already been passed. My question is: Is the hon. Minister considering encouraging the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo to call for an inquest so that every person who has knowledge of how this person met his death can actually go and tell the court. The court will determine whether this was murder, suicide or it was death by misadventure or probably the cause of death is not known. What appears to be coming out so far is that …

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe, I think you have asked your question.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central and welcome him back to the Chamber.

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: I think he has adequately discussed his question and I agree with him that what remains now is for the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo to consider applying for an inquest since he seems to be concerned as he is showing it in here. I equally do not where he is getting this information.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kampyongo: He seems to have his own facts.

 

Mr Lufuma: What are relatives for!

 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo, you know very well that we do not communicate in that manner …

 

Mr Lufuma: But, Sir …

 

Mr Speaker: No, hon. Member the Speaker is speaking.

 

Mr Ngulube: Mutamfyeni!

 

Mr Speaker: You may continue hon. Minister.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it would be prudent for him really to be part of the team that will be doing the work especially that he has shown concern. So that those who have been giving information to him can easily avail that same information to the team, may be they would be free when he is around. I would indeed encourage the hon. Member to be part of the team. I am sure the police command in North-Western Division will be willing to work him so that there is transparency and this matter is put to rest.

 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s report, may he clarify as to who is saying the deceased was mentally disturbed. Is it the relatives? How did he know about his mental state? Did he use any medical doctor to ascertain …

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutelo: … the mental condition of the person whom he is saying was insane? Sir, the blood of Mr Kanjindo will haunt the murderer.

 

Mr Speaker: I am sure by mentality you meant mental condition.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I think I have repeatedly answered that question and I do not know how many times I am supposed to repeat the same facts that have been availed to us. I said that this gentleman was being looked after by the elder sister. The report and all the facts including the mental condition were also reported to the police by the family, the elder sister in particular. I am sure even the hon. Member would know amongst his constituents those that are not mentally sound. It is common knowledge. In the community people will inform him that that one is mentally retarded and they are known by the way they live. Therefore, the onus should not be on the doctor alone to determine the condition of a mentally challenged person. We all live in communities and we know what happens. This information was gotten from the family members.

Thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is mandatory or optional to carry out postmortem for such a death to establish the cause of death?

 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it depends really on the condition and the circumstances surrounding a particular death. We know that when a person dies, they have families that have got a say. If the police feel that there are no suspicions that would warrant a postmortem, it can be an option.

 

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

 

Mr Speaker: Before I retreat, and in response to the issue raised by Hon. Mazoka, about recourse to the voting result details, electronically generated. You were recorded ‘Not present’. You are recorded not present even though you were physically present because you did not press the button ‘Present’. If you do not press the button ‘Present’, you cannot vote. That is what the system has recorded.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Speaker: In last ruling, we went over this and I think we should have another mock run on the system so that we master this system. I must say to the credit of the House that unlike the other experience we had earlier on, yesterday’s voting was well done.

 

Ms Lubezhi: It was well done.

 

Mr Speaker: Well done!

 

Laughter

 

_________

 

COMMITTEE OF SUPPLY

 

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

VOTE 26 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – K125,201,480)

 

(Consideration resumed)

 

Mr A. Mumba (Kantanshi): Mr Chairperson, as I started my debate yesterday, I emphasised that I fully support the Budget of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. I also mentioned that the ministry plays a multi-sectoral role in our economy because it speaks to all the sectors and is a building block ...

 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. However, I hope points of order will not continue because we will not make progress.

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your permission. Allow me to also apologise to Hon. Mumba for disturbing his line of thought.

 

Mr Chairperson, my point of order is pursuant to the Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia at part 4, Section 23, which addresses offences of people who interfere with the functions of hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa rose on a point of order in the segment where hon. Mr Speaker had advised that he would not accept any points of order. Hon. Mr Speaker advised him to seek guidance from senior hon. Members. Being a senior hon. Member in this House and also as Whip, I have volunteered, without him even seeking guidance from me, to rise on a point of order.

 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to quote Section 23 of the Immunities and Privileges Act, which states:

 

“Any person shall be guilty of an offence who - (a) assaults, obstructs or insults any member or officer going to or from the precincts of the Assembly Chamber; or (b) endeavours to compel, either directly or indirectly, any member by force, insult or menace to declare himself in favour of, or against, any Bill, resolution, matter, rule or thing submitted to, or intended to be submitted to, the Assembly”.

 

In his point of order that was aborted, the hon. Member indicated that the Chief Whip, Hon. Richard Musukwa, accosted him for abstaining from the vote yesterday, which amounts to interference of the hon. Member’s duty according to the dictates of this statute. I am well aware that we have a three line Whip system which can only be admitted away from this House, maybe at the secretariat or wherever parties meet. Is the hon. Chief Whip,  who is my friend and brother, in order to accost his colleague while failing to accost Her Honour the Vice-President who did not abstain, but simply voted against the Patriotic Front (PF) yesterday?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, taking advantage of the fact that I am on the Floor, we would like take note of the withdrawal statement by Her Honour the Vice-President of her vote yesterday. Since we had given an overwhelming response to her vote by congratulating her, we would also now take the official position of withdrawing our congratulations from her for what we thought was voting above partisan lines. I seek your ruling on that matter.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: I reserve the ruling. I will return later next week with the ruling.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Ruling adjourned.

 

Mr A. Mumba: Mr Chairperson, I was explaining that as hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi, I am supporting the Budget because I believe that there are some unprecedented and progressive announcements that were made by the hon. Minister when she presented her policy statement. Examples include digital migration, the rehabilitation of the various studios and the rolling out of a programme to reach out the rural population, which many a time lacks information. This Budget is worth supporting if the ministry is going to carry out its business in a way that no one will be left behind.

 

Mr Chairperson, I am also conversant of the fact we have seen tremendous growth in the broadcasting sector in terms of the various players who are coming on board. This is a clear indication that the sector is able to contribute positively to our economy especially that we are expecting 60 per cent of our domestic revenue to be generated domestically. It is clear that there has been an increase in the number of TV and radio stations which is a clear demonstration that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is growing at a very fast rate.

 

Mr Chairperson, I have also observed that as this sector continues to grow, the major player, which is the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), has this joint venture agreement with Top Star ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: He is reading.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, I think it is important that we stick to the rules of the House. You are supposed to debate and only refer to your talking points if you have any prepared.

 

Mr A. C. Mumba: Mr Chairperson, I will be referring to them. I just wanted to make sure that I am on point. I was referring to a joint venture agreement between ZNBC and Top Star which is meant to ensure that ZNBC improves its operations and provide better coverage. The bouquets are for K30 right up to K99. I wanted the hon. Minister to come out clearly and explain to us whether ZNBC is benefiting from these fees that will be paid, especially that I am one of the people who do not believe that a K5 television levy is supposed to be paid to ZNBC when it has streams of revenue. The first one is through Go TV, where it holds about 70 per cent of shares. The second one is through the Digital Satellite Television (DSTV) where it has about 21 per cent shares. The third one is through this joint venture agreement with Top Star. Therefore, I wanted more clarity on why we should continue paying the K5 television levy to ZNBC.

 

Mr Chairperson, I also wanted to know the makeup of the joint venture agreement. We have noticed that all the private television stations which were basically free to air will now in the process, have to be paying various fees to ZNBC and Top Star for them to provide services in various locations. We can simply put it this way, when a television station such as Ulster Television (UTV) would like to show its content maybe in Kitwe, it will have to pay specifically for Kitwe. If it wants to show in Chingola, it has to pay a fee specifically for that particular area. If it wants to show content countrywide, it has to pay a fee for that.

 

Sir, I, therefore, wanted more clarity in terms of how this new joint venture is going to ensure that the private sector, which has been growing under information and broadcasting, owing to all these televisions stations and all these jobs that have been created for journalists and advertisers, which are the major beneficiaries to this sector is going to play out. I also wanted to seek more clarification in terms of the local filming industry. The local filming industry has been pronounced in the policy statement, but we all know that we do not have any training facilities for filming. I know that for countries such as South Africa or indeed, Nigeria, their contribution in terms of the filming industry has been almost 10 per cent towards their gross domestic product (GDP) average.

 

Sir, for us in Zambia, we started off well when we had the days of Play Circle and Chintobentobe. These channels used to make people glued to their televisions and have oneness within the families. This also promoted values. In this particular case, even if we are talking about building our local film industry, there are certain structures that we need to put in place. We need to obviously provide tax breaks, rightful training and proper infrastructure. I also wanted the hon. Minister to also share more light on that because as it stands write now, for a local content to be made, on average, the television companies are paying close to US$2,500, whereas when they are buying all these channels such as Telemundo and Zee World which we are watching, they are spending close to US$100 to US$500.

 

Mr Chairperson, I wanted the hon. Minister to explain a little bit more on how these companies are going to remain in business when on the other hand, it is so expensive to produce the local content. We do not have any university in Zambia today that is providing filming training courses. With those few observations Mr Chairman, I would like to support the Budget for this ministry.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the earmarked appropriation for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Of course, I will be debating in support of it.

 

Mr Chairperson, the importance of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting cannot be overemphasised. This ministry is so important that it influences the opinion of Zambians on all topical issues. Therefore, it has to be considered as one of those extremely key functions of the Government.

 

Mr Chairperson, I will divide this earmarked appropriation in two themes.  Firstly, I will talk about what people say about this ministry. Secondly, I will also talk about what I think of this ministry. It is also important for me to make it clear that as I talk about these two issues, I link them to purposes objectives of the ministry. I have had a chance to look at mission statements and objectives and I think it is important to contextualise these issues.

 

Sir, what do I hear people talk about when they make reference to this ministry? When people are particularly referring to ZNBC, they say that this institution only shows the President, the Vice-President, Ministers and Government Officials to the exclusion of other players specifically, the Opposition political players. To some extent, this is true, but I ask the question, “why should the Opposition political players want to dominate ZNBC when in fact, they do not carry the Government policy?

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, the purpose of ZNBC is to show the Zambian people what the Government is doing for them. The purpose for ZNBC is to communicate to the Zambian people the programmes of the Government and not for the PF.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, I am saying the programme of PF because there has to be a difference between PF and Government programmes. I am saying so because PF is a political party which formed Government. A few members of PF are part of the Government and others are not. When I say the Government, I am referring to the Executive because we are all members of the Government including the Opposition.

 

Sir, I am talking about is the Executive. We have to contextualise debates and this is the issue which I want to emphasise. If we say that everyone must have the same share, we will be hearing things such as, “There is a Presidential petition in court on ZNBC.” People will be going to ZNBC to say there is an active Presidential Petition in court when in fact, there is nothing. This is all about politics. For some, it is about misleading others. That is what we have seen in this country. For someone to go to an international platform to tell the world that in Zambia, there is a Presidential Petition in court is misleading. Where is the Presidential Petition?

 

Mr Mung’andu: Nowhere!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, there is no Presidential Petition anywhere in this country. This is not what we want to see on ZNBC. On ZNBC, we want to see how the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) is looking like right now. Yesterday when I went to UTH, I was so impressed with what I saw and for the first time, I took a selfie.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Having worked at UTH, I know how it was just a few years ago. Yesterday, when I walked there, I was proud to have been part of that undertaking. It looks so nice. This is what ZNBC must be showing.

 

Let the Zambian people begin to know that long ago the people of Mporokoso took eight hours to get to Kasama, but now they take less than two hours.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: These are the things ZNBC must be showing to let the people know.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, ZNBC is an institution for the Government and not an institution for the Opposition.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kafwaya: Therefore, ZNBC must promote the activities of the Government. Those who say they must have a fair share, it is a dream that I do not see being fulfilled unless the purpose of ZNBC changes. The mandate of ZNBC is clear that is to promote information on social, cultural and economic development. What economic development will you get from an Opposition party?

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: What social advances are you going to get from the Opposition? Therefore, if you want to bring the Opposition Members and line them up on ZNBC then we are saying we are not promoting what the actual purpose of ZNBC is.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Michelo: Shame!

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: It is very disappointing to see people debating out of context. At least read the mission statement of the ministry. It is there on the internet.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kafwaya: Read the objectives of the ministry. They are there on the internet.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Yes!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Internet is free here at Parliament. You can just login and read. There is nowhere where it is written that ZNBC must promote Opposition party policies.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kafwaya: By the way, in this country to talk about Opposition is to really just talk about the UPND which is unfortunate because in a diversified political dispensation, we are supposed to have many political parties. Sadly, yesterday, the UPND Members spoke to the PF Manifesto because they do not have one. It is one sheet of paper.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kafwaya: One sheet of paper.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Ten points.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kafwaya: Is that what you want to take to ZNBC? What will you show on one sheet of paper, ten points?

Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

 

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, what do I think about the ministry that is run by sister, Hon. Mulenga? I think it is an important ministry. I think that this ministry must ensure that we are given information as it stands so that the Zambian people can make proper decisions. I think the ministry must also conclude the digital migration. My sister, Hon. Mulenga, I think you are doing great because other leaders who have been there before failed to do the switch over which you are on course.

 

Laughter

 

Dr Kambwili: Finshi alelanda uyu?

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: We are going to make sure that the switch over is achieved.

Interruptions

 

Mr Kafwaya: What else do I think about the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting? I think that the ministry is important in as far as the promotion of skills development is concerned. The budget which was unveiled by my elder brother, Hon. Mutati, is speaking about a lot of activities that will be done in 2018. That means that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting must begin to promote skills that are going to be relevant to the activities that will be undertaken under the budget. I think that when the ministry considers it relevance, it is myopic or indecent for anyone to fail to support it. It means they will be saying that they do not want the Zambian people to know what President Lungu’s Government is doing for them. I would not be very surprised because we are in an era of misleading people so that we sway support. I do think that decent people will always say the truth. The truth is that President Lungu’s Government is developing this country.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kafwaya: I thank you.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mrs Simukoko): Mr Chairperson, I stand to support the budget.

 

Mr Chairperson, I know there are institutions under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting like the Times of Zambia, Daily Mail and Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). I will talk about ZNBC.

 

Sir, it is not a secret that the workers at ZNBC have gone through a lot of trouble with regard to conditions of service, not only for their person emoluments, but they also have had difficulties with the equipment. There are so many frustrations at ZNBC and we all know that the workers at ZNBC would do better if they are given an opportunity, skills, equipment, and are able to travel around the country to get news and so on and so forth. We have a background of a troubled ZNBC. It is not a strange thing for we all know that. Members of staff are committed, but are not able to deliver because of poor tools at the institution. This is our broadcaster. I think, sometimes, we should be patriotic and support a good cause. It does not mean that when we are in the Opposition, whatever the Government is doing is wrong. After all, I am sure you would want to find a country that has made some progress even if, by accident, you took over the ruling of the country.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Simukoko: Instead of opposing everything that comes here. Let us support something that is progressive. One of such troubled institutions I know is ZNBC. I have interacted with ZNBC staff from the time I was a labour leader. I know the challenges they have been facing, but they are very patriotic and they have suffered a lot. Therefore, we need to support this budget and especially with what has been done so far. We all know that the Government has done a lot. We are now planning of having television stations in all provinces going down to districts. If people have bothered to read, they would know the plans we have to cover the whole country. People have a right to information.

 

Mr Chairperson, I know that when TV levy, which was spearheaded by us in the labour movement was introduced, there was an outcry. People think we can have quality information without supporting the institution that disseminates information financially. We always admire Cable News Network (CNN), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and so on and so forth. However, we do not know that for the countries we are admiring to reach where they are, they put in money into the institutions. Money does not drop from heaven. It has to be through us to make the institutions perform. Shamelessly, we are always queuing to support foreign television stations. We pay K3 TV levy, but are shamelessly paying those I will not mention K1,000 and yet you are complaining to pay K3. When are we going to be patriotic?

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Katuta: ZNBC is just a shareholder.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Some of you, we do not know whether you are Zambians or not.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Michelo: Is this your country?

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Simukoko: We do not know.

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Simukoko: That is why I am encouraging…

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member.

 

Interruptions

 

Mrs Simukoko: The Ministry of Home Affairs…

 

Mrs Katuta: What are you telling us?

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members…

 

Ms Siliya: Wait and debate that point kaili.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: I think…

 

Mrs Katuta: Top Star is running the show. ZNBC is just a shareholder.

 

Mr Michelo stood up.

 

Mr Michelo: This is not your country, it belongs us.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, take your seats.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister on the Floor, could you debate the budget for the ministry. What is important …

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Katuta: ZNBC balisenda kuli ba Topstar, finshi winganjeba.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member for Chienge, I will not allow that.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Are we in a tavern?

 

Ms Siliya: Keep quiet!

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, resume your seat.

 

Mrs Simukoko resumed her seat.

 

The Deputy Chairperson:I will not allow any assistance from any hon. Member of Parliament. It must be noted that I am in charge.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister on the Floor, please, as you respond, ensure that you bring out issues which were raised by the hon. Members on my left. I will not allow you to bring issues which do not sit well with the hon. Members of Parliament on both my right and left. Therefore, you may continue bearing in mind the topic on the Floor.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members, we cannot proceed in this manner.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members on my left, I have guided the hon. Minister who is debating to move away from what she said.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members that is my ruling. Continue hon. Minister.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Mr Chairperson, as Zambians, we should continue protecting ZNBC and ensure that we support it financially so that it can match the status of foreign media institutions such as British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Cable News Network (CNN). It is wrong for us to support other institutions that charge a monthly subscription of K1,000 at the expense of our own institution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Simukoko: Therefore, if some people are not happy, then, I do not know who they are.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. UPND Members and Mr Kambwili left the Assembly Chamber.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hammer, hammer!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, walk out of the Chamber in silence.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Mr Chairperson, members of staff at ZNBC go through …

 

Mr Kambwili interjected.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member for Roan, you have decided to walk out. Do so in silence.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Mr Chairperson, those who work for ZNBC face a number of challenges. We all know that when they want to cover an event, they have no transport and sometimes move in taxis or ask the people they cover to assist them with transport.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members on my left, I expect total silence.

 

Mrs Simukoko: However, they have the capacity to provide a good service like those in advanced countries such as the United States of America (USA) and Britain do, but for the lack of financial muscle. We can retrain them because journalism is dynamic and they can keep abreast of the happenings of any country or society.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Simukoko: Mr Chairperson, if we do not support the budget, should we then close down the institution?

 

Ms Siliya: Are we patriotic?

 

Mrs Simukoko: Mr Chairperson, we will not do that because we have to support it. We know that ZNBC has had a lot of challenges since the 1970s. Why are we pretending? In this regard, we need to support it financially so that we can make progress, ensure that it disseminates information to all the people in this country and have coverage in all the districts. Therefore, let us be patriotic. This is our country. Some people who were in the Government left no legacy and they should not disregard what we are saying. We shall support ZNBC and ensure that it performs in a manner accepted by society.

 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Ms Mulenga): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank those who opposed and supported the Vote of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Votes 26/01, 26/02, 26/03 and 26/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Vote 26/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

VOTE 12 – (Office of the Public Protector – K9,846,980).

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Cockroaches!

 

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, ...

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Did I hear someone mention cockroaches in here?

 

Ms Siliya: (pointing at the hon. Opposition Members) bamene aba.

Hon. Government Members: Get the verbatim.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Alright, the records will show. May her Honour the Vice-President, continue.

 

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I wish to express my gratitude for according me this opportunity to present the 2018 Budget Estimates for the Office of the Public Protector. The Office of the Public Protector draws its mandate from Article 243 of the Amended Constitution of Zambia and the Public Protector Act No. 15 of 2016, of the laws of Zambia.

 

Mr Chairperson, the specific functions of the Office of the Public Protector include the following:

 

  1. to redress grievances of maladministration in public institutions;

 

  1. to advise the Government on the required measures for matters relating to maladministration and abuse of office or authority;

 

  1. to ensure that social justice and fair treatment is given to members of the public by public institutions;
  2. investigate an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken by a state institution in the performance of an administrative function;

 

  1. bring an action before a court;

 

  1. hear an appeal by a person relating to an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken in respect of that person; and

 

  1. make a decision on an action to be taken against a public officer or constitutional officer holder, which decision shall be implemented by an appropriate authority.

 

Sir, the Budget Estimates for 2018, have been prepared in line with the 7th NDP. As you may be aware, the Office of the Public Protector is an oversight institution which falls under the sphere of good governance. In the 7th NDP, this office is linked under Strategic Objective No. 11. (2) Chapter 11, which emphasises on creating a conducive governance environment for a diversified and inclusive economy by strengthening transparency and accountability mechanisms, promote platform for citizen engagement and participation in governance.

 

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to know that the Office of the Public Protector is not without challenges. The following are some of the pertinent challenges that the office is faced with:

 

  1. the non-operationalisation of the new structure;

 

  1. inadequate budgetary allocation; and

 

  1. office is grappling with an old fleet of vehicles making it expensive to maintain.

 

Mr Chairperson, for 2017, the Office of the Public Protector performed its functions with a Budget of K7,221,446. The funds were used to achieve the following activities:

 

  1. undertake on the spot, systematic and own initiative investigations in six provinces, which resulted in the conclusion of 227 cases;

 

  1. staff development programmes;

 

  1. undertaking of public awareness activities; and

 

  1. general office administration.

 

Sir, I now present the Budget Estimates for 2018, amounting to K9,846,980, which translates to a 12 per cent increase as compared to the Budget for the year ended 2017. These funds will support the functions of the Office of the Public Protector in our continued efforts to redress and curb maladministration in public institutions.

 

I, therefore, urge this august House to support this Budget, as presented.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me the opportunity to support the Vote pertaining to the Office of the Public Protector. As I rise to support this particular Vote, I would like to take note of the contents of Section 6 (2) of the Public Protector Act, which states:

 

“Despite the generality of subsection (1), the functions of the Public Protector are to:

 

  1. consider the administrative actions, practices and procedures of State institutions and make recommendations to the State institutions –

 

(i)         appropriate ways of addressing the effects of inappropriate administrative actions; and

 

                     (ii)        for the improvement of the practices and procedures

 

(b)        prevent and take necessary and effective measures for the prevention of maladministration in State institutions, in particular measures for:

 

(i)         examining the practices and procedures of State institutions in order to facilitate the discovery of opportunities of maladministration and secure the revision of methods of work or procedures which in the opinion of the Public Protector may be prone or conducive to maladministration.”

 

Sir, the maladministration and bad practices and influences exist in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. I want to call upon the Public Protector to investigate the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting pertaining to the maladministration that has been obtaining for a long time now. I want her to investigate why members of the Opposition and members of the public are not allowed access to Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: ... Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail. I want the Public Protector to take appropriate action against those who are in charge of these specific ministries. I want her to take appropriate action against those in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security who are agitating for the segregation of members of the Opposition pertaining to issues of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: We want her to take appropriate action. It is her responsibility as per the Constitution of Zambia.

 

Mr Chairperson, we want her to take appropriate action against those people in the Ministry of Home Affairs who are abusing the Public Order Act. This is her responsibility.

 

Ms Mwashingwele: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: We want her to take appropriate action against the maladministration that is obtaining in so many ministries where corruption has taken root. She has the responsibility to ensure that law and order in the administration of various Government Ministries is followed. This is her responsibility.

 

We want to ensure that this particular vote is used to follow up on erring people who are in-charge of the Zambia Daily Mail, the Times of Zambia and the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and bring them to book. They should follow the law as provided by this country and Parliament. They should not abuse the powers of administration conferred on them by this august House.

 

The Public Protector should assure us that this vote, which will be passed this afternoon, which we protested against, is not used for the benefit of the Patriotic Front (PF). We want to ensure that hon. Members of Parliament who are propagating discrimination in this country are censored. This is her responsibility. She should not follow hon. Members of Parliament who debate on the Floor of this august House. 

 

It is neither normal nor correct for ZNBC to abuse the law and discriminate against Zambians. She should ensure that these people are followed up. We should ensure that any maladministration in each ministry is followed-up. Particularly, we want her to ensure that state resources are not used for the benefit of PF, as has been said on the Floor of this august House.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mwiimbu: This is why we are proudly supporting this vote. 

 

Mr Chairperson, because the Public Protector is answerable to Parliament, we expect that when she makes a report, all those that have been abusing state resources for their own benefit would have been brought to book. 

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta (Chienge): Mr Chairperson, I stand to support this vote. Unfortunately, this office, which needs to protect the people of Chienge and all Zambians at large, has not been very active in this country.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector has not been really advertised, for lack of a better term, to the general public. This is an office where the voice of the voiceless should be channeled to, if not through this august House. When people complain about corruption in Government, they should run to this office.

 

For instance, former Public Protector in South Africa, Thuli Madonsela, executed her duties without fear or favour even though she was appointed by the Head of State. She has left a good legacy, which I expect the Public Protector in this country to emulate .Unfortunately, when people want to complain about the violation of their rights, they have no idea where to turn to. When they want to protest or demonstrate, ask or question the Government about certain procurements, they do not know where to go. I want to urge this office to go out there and tell the people that they have a right to know how their money is being spent.

 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: Taxpayers’ money cannot be spent on things that do not benefit Zambians. 

 

Mr Chairperson, I want to add that TopStar has brought a lot of misery to the workers at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: As we speak, staff is in salary arrears. TopStar is doing things that do not even …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Member, if you are trying to go the way of Hon. Mwiimbu’s debate, I will not allow you.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Clearly, you are now debating the ministry that we have just passed. Continue.

 

Interruptions

 

Ms Katuta: I thank you, Sir. However, I would like to bring it to the attention of this House and nation that we are talking about the Office of the Public Protector and her duties. Things are happening at ZNBC. The Times of Zambia staff has been in salary arrears for nine months.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: There are so many things that are happening in this country that we need to bring to the attention of the Public Protector so that she intervenes and helps the voiceless.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: I once heard the Public Protector talk about her role on ZNBC television. She spoke about how someone who has been denied a national registration card (NRC) can go to her office and yet there are more pressing issues.

 

People should know that this is the only office that Zambians, as the real custodians of this country, can run to. They can run to this office to question the $42 million. When hon. Members of Parliament question or petition, they should not be intimidated or be told that they cannot get a project because of the petition.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Katuta: The Office of the Public Protector should not draw lines with respect to Government officials or the executive. The office should execute its duties without fear. I will support this vote even though I expected more money to be allocated. This is another office which can speak on behalf of those who cannot stand up and speak for themselves.  However, it is lagging behind. It needs a lot of help. With these few words, I support the vote.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to add my voice in support of this vote.

 

Sir, it is high time that this office was equipped with all the necessary tools and resources to save this country from some people who think that they have to be rich when they become Ministers...

 

Laughter

 

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: …or form Government.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: This is the right office. However, I urge that the President stops appointing the Public Protector.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: The Public Protector must be nominated by the Judiciary and ratified by Parliament.

 

With respect to politics in this country, if the holder of this office continues to be nominated by the President, the office will end up like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). The ACC is always asking for evidence and yet there are so many mal decisions that have been made in order for individuals to enrich themselves. It is very sad that some people can pilfer from Government coffers and continue to appear in this august House as if they were innocent.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: This office needs to take action. We have given so much evidence with respect to corruption, but still nothing has happened.

 

Sir, surely, why would somebody ask for evidence? For instance, an ambulance at Toyota Zambia is going at US $74,000. I physically went to Toyota Zambia on the price and found that an ambulance is going at US $74,000, but instead the Ministry of Health went to buy the same vehicle from Savenda, who is importing it from elsewhere at US $288,000.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

 

Dr Kambwili: How can somebody even stand on the Floor of this august House and say bring evidence? They should stop thinking that the people of Zambia are useless or that they do not think because these things are now getting out of hand.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Kambwili: Sir, we thought that when we spoke about the cost of the fire engines, people were going to learn lessons, but I think the people of Zambia are being taken for a ride. I am going to report issues of the fire engines tomorrow, Ndola/Kitwe Dual Carriage Way and the ambulances to this office. I want to see action being taken on some people. Some of them are still in this august House after being plunderers and kabwalalas.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!  

 

You cannot say that, hon. Member. You need to withdraw that statement.

 

Dr Kambwili: No! I will not withdraw, Mr Chairman. There is nothing wrong with that. Is there anything wrong by saying that some people have stolen? I am not going to withdraw.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Then, I will not allow you to continue debating.

 

Dr Kambwili interjected.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

If you cannot continue debating, just listen to other hon. Members

 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central) Mr Chairperson, today, I have seen more misconduct than yesterday. Therefore, I was hoping that one or two hon. Members were going to go home.

 

Laughter

 

The Chairperson: Order

Hon. Member, you are again risking to be sent out …

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: … because the Chair saw it fit that you needed to be sent out. Therefore, if you start referring to the issues, which are taking place today, you might risk to be sent out again.

 

You may continue with your debate. 

 

Mr Ngulube: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for that wise counsel.

 

Sir, allow me to add a professional voice to the debate on the Public Protector (PP). Most people have misunderstood the core-functions of the office of the PP. I hope that I will not be sent out.

 

Interruptions

 

 Mr Ngulube: Stop answering me.

 

Sir, I am aware that the office of the PP is created by the Republican Constitution in Article 243. Further, this office has limitations. In as much as people might say the PP is not doing this and that, allow me to quote from Article 245 of the Republican Constitution for the benefits of my brothers and sisters in Chinsali and Chipili, who might not have had a chance to look at this provision. It says:

 

         “The Public Protector shall not investigate a matter which:

 

  1. is before a court, court marshal or a quasai judicial body;

 

  1.  relates to an officer in the Parliamentary service or judicial service;

 

  1. involves the relations or dealings between the Government and foreign Governments or an international organisation;

 

  1. relates to the exercise for the prerogative of mercy; or

 

  1. is criminal in nature.

 

Therefore, the PP has no power whatsoever to investigate criminal matters by Article 245. People who think that PP will now become the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) might not have actually understood the concept of this office very well.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Ngulube: Sir, allow me also to add another lecture …

 

Mrs Simukoko: Thank you!

 

Mr Ngulube: … to the topic about the office of the PP.

 

Mr Chairperson, Article 244 states the functions of this office:

 

“The Pubic Protector may investigate an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken by a state institution in the performance of an administrative function.”

 

Sir, underline administrative function. Tell your neighbour ‘administrative function.’

 

Laughter

 

Mr Ngulube: Sir, for the purpose of Clause 1, an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken is an action or a decision which:

  1.  unfair, unreasonable or illegal; and

 

  1.  2(b) not compliant to the rules of natural justice; and

 

Mr Chairperson, for the purposes of Clauses 1 and 2, the Public Protector may:

 

  1.  bring an action before a court; and 
  2. hear an appeal by a person relating to an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken in respect of that person.

 

Mr Chairperson, I am sure the writing is on the wall. The National character of the Office of the PP deals with administrative functions. This office cannot, therefore, investigate allegations of corruption.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Tell them!

 

Mr Ngulube: The office of the PP cannot substitute decisions of Government with theirs. Therefore, the office of the PP deals with matters as the Constitution has empowered it to do.

 

Sir, since I always want to speak for less than five minutes, I want to conclude by saying that since everybody both from the left and right supports this vote, who am I to refuse to support it?  I am also supporting it.

 

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, I would like to support this vote. Whilst I would like to support it, I want to look at the various issues that are not dealt with, but are in the public interest.

 

Sir, this office used to be called the Investigator General’s office. Actually, this office is completely shunned and has been put in the corner. Its functions are not known or elaborate. Since it is now a Constitution matter and it is looking at the interest of the public, it has also drawn my interest.

 

Sir, we should empower this institution handsomely so that it can adequately deal with the complaints concerning transfers, retirements and all allegations that are in the public interest.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Government bulldozes issues. This is an institution that is supposed to stand up in the interest of the nation. When there is an outcry anywhere, the PP is supposed to come in, investigate the matter and bring it out.

 

Sir, the issues that people are talking about are in the public interest. This institution is being starved with in terms of the allocation of resources? How do you expect it to go to Kaputa, Chama or Muyombe? This institution is supposed to be mobile in order for them to interview, investigate and listen to the interest of the people. There are a lot issues that are happening in the interest of the public, but the Government has completely closed its doors to this institution. In my view, this institution is critical. All the issues that we are talking about such a accusing each other are supposed to be sorted out by this institution. For instance, the PP office is supposed to look into the issues of transferring married women from Luanshya to Chilubi Island, but leaving their husband in Luanshya.

 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, public workers need to be protected. They should be able to have a voice without fear of being fired, as is the case today. They have nowhere to complain to. Therefore, this institution should stand for the people who have no voice in the civil service. There are a lot of atrocities that are taking place at the moment against public workers. We need this institution to be very active in protecting public workers because this is why it was created in the first place.

 

Sir, we do not want to be creating institutions that are completely idle. When we create public institutions, we should use them to the fullest extent for the intended purpose. Therefore, the Office of the Public Protector should be given all the required resources. It needs to carry out its mandate and fulfill its terms of reference, which is not the case at the moment for some public institutions.

 

Mr Chairperson, I know this institution is formerly the Commission for Investigation. The relevance of the latter was not well known. Therefore, this new institution must not be managed in the same way that the Commission for Investigation was managed. The creation of the Office of the Public Protector has been necessitated by constitutional provisions. We must know the extent we are going to make use of it.

 

Sir, as I have said, this is a very important institution that deserves proper financing and recognition, just like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) or Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). These are institutions that we need to support so that they are able to address some of the difficulties that the public is facing. There are so many complaints among workers in government departments, ministries and other public institutions that are not being addressed.

 

Therefore, Mr Chairperson, if we do not support an institution such as this one financially, then nothing will get done. I do not even know the ministry which the Office of the Public Protector will fall under. Is not under Parliament? If it will fall under Parliament, then the onus is on us to enhance its operations. I reiterate that this institution is very important and requires the full attention of the Government.

 

With these few words, I support the Vote and thank you, Sir.

 

The Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Ms Chalikosa): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank all the people who debated the policy statement for this Vote. I would like to inform the House that the Office of the Public Protector only attends to issues that have been reported. Therefore, if an issue has not been reported, it will not attend to it, even if there is public outcry. An issue needs to be reported because there is need to have details of where the complaint is coming from.

 

Mr Chairperson, as I am speaking, there has been no complaint on any maladministration in public media houses. Therefore, those who have issues about the way these media houses are being conducted are encouraged to go and take their complaints to the Office of the Public Protector and then investigations will be instituted.

 

Sir, on the issue of political parties having access to the media, I wish to inform the House that there is a window for political parties to access political adverts and interviews upon payment of a fee. So it is not true that opposition political parties are being denied access to the public media.

 

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Tutwa has educated us on the constitutional provisions …

 

Mr Ngulube: It is Hon. Ngulube!

 

Ms Chalikosa: … to better understand the functions of the Office of the Public Protector. It has its limitations in its operations, but its main function is to provide oversight in terms of promoting good governance. It is true that this office is very important, hence the budget allocation that we are supporting.

 

Sir, on the issue of corruption, I think it is quite obvious to everyone in this august House that where a Cabinet hon. Minister is not following the Cabinet Code of Conduct, the President does not hesitate to act. There are examples of hon. Ministers that have been dropped, who have also debated this Vote, because of the issue of corruption.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Chalikosa: Therefore, it is not true to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is not acting when it comes to the issue of corruption.

 

With those few words, I wish to thank you, Sir.

 

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

 

VOTE 12/01 – (Office of the Public Protector (formerly Commission for Investigation) – Human Resource and Administration Department – K7,858,320).

 

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 9000, Activity 001 − Preparations of Annual Budget, Activity 002 – Annual Reports and Activity 003 – Strategic Planning. Why is that all these activities do not have allocations for 2018?

                                                                                                                                      

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, Activity 001− Preparations of Annual Budget has been moved to Unit 02, Programme 4010, Activity 025 – Budget Preparations – K200,000. Activity 002 – Annual Reports has been moved to Unit 07, Programme 4137, Activity 002 – Annual Reports – K55,000. Lastly, Activity 003 – Strategic Planning has also moved to Unit 07, Programme 4137, Activity 003 – Strategic Planning – K210,000.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Vote 12/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 12/02 – (Office of the Public Protector (formerly Commission for Investigation) – Office of the Registrar Department – K1,482,720).

 

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I seek clarification on Unit 01, Programme 4020, Activity 001 – On the Spot Investigations, Activity 002 – Inspections Assignment, Activity 003 – Joint Investigations, Activity 004 − Provincial Sittings, Activity 005 – Public Hearing and Activity 006 – Alternative Dispute Resolutions. Why do all these activities not have allocations for 2018?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, I am sorry, I did not hear the question.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Can you just repeat your question.

Mr Kamboni: Sir, I will repeat myself and I hope will be heard this time. I seek clarification on Unit 01, Programme 4020, Activity 001 – On the Spot Investigations, Activity 002 – Inspections Assignment, Activity 003 – Joint Investigations, Activity 004 − Provincial Sittings, Activity 005 – Public Hearing and Activity 006 – Alternative Dispute Resolutions. Why do all these activities not have allocations for 2018?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the explanation is similar to what I had responded earlier. This is due to the movement of activities from this particular programme to other programmes. Activity 001 – On the Spot Investigations has been moved to Programme 4107, Activity 003 – On the Spot Investigations – K302,72. Activity 002 – Inspections Assignment has been moved to Programme 4107, Activity 008 – Inspection Assignments – K80,000. Activity 003 – Joint Investigations has been moved to Programme 4107, Activity 003 – On the Spot Investigations – K302,72. The same goes for Activity 004 − Provincial Sittings, which has been moved to Programme 4107, Activity 010 − Provincial Sittings – K245,000. Activity 005 – Public Hearings has also moved to Programme 4107, Activity 011 – Public Hearings – K100,000. Finally, Activity 006 …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

 

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

 Chair]

 

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 4109, Activity 002 – Subscriptions to International & Regional Bodies IOI & AOMA – K30,000. In 2017, there was an allocation of K50,000 to this Activity. May Her Honour the Vice-President justify the reduction in 2018?

 

Ms Chalikosa: Mr Chairperson, the variance is due to the reduction in the subscription.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Votes 12/02, 12/03 and 12/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

 

VOTE 11 – (Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs – K1,391,746,230), VOTE 15 – (Ministry of Home Affairs – K563,768,030) and VOTE 16 – (Drug Enforcement Commission – K83,933,420).

 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Chairperson, I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity to present the policy statement on the 2018 budget Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Sir, the Ministry is charged with the responsibility of maintaining internal security to ensure an environment where peace, stability and justice prevail to provide for sustainable socio-economic development for the people of Zambia.

 

My Ministry carries this mandate through the following institutions and departments: Zambia Police Service, Zambia Correctional Service, Drug Enforcement Commission, Department of Immigration, Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, Registrar of Societies, National Archives of Zambia, Human Resource and Administration, and Home Affairs Research, Planning and Information Department. Further, the Ministry has the following grant-aided institutions: Office of the Commissioner for Refugees, Police Public Complaints Commission, National Forensic Science Authority, and National Anti-Terrorism Centre.

 

Sir, to effectively undertake the portfolio functions, the Ministry has three expenditure Heads namely: Head 11 – Zambia Police, Head 15 – Ministry of Home Affairs and Head 15 – Drug Enforcement Commission. In this regard, I will be presenting all the three Heads in one statement, as guided by the Chairperson.

 

Mr Chairperson, let me start by commending the hon. Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mutati, MP, for delivering a comprehensive 2018 Budget Speech on 29th September, 2017. The Speech addressed a number of issues which form the core mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

The Ministry has also taken into account the provisions of the recently launched 7th NDP in the proposed allocation of resources in the 2018 National Budget. The thrust of the Ministry in 2018 is to embark on an outcome based approach that will focus on contributing to some pillars and objectives of the 7th NDP among them are: the creation of a conducive environment for a diversified economy, enhanced human development and reduction in development inequalities.

 

2017 Budget Performance

 

Mr Chairperson, let me assure this august House that the Ministry has remained resolute in maintaining Zambia’s status as an oasis of peace. Further, the evocating of Article 31 of the Constitution by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on the Threatened State of Emergency complemented the Government’s effort in maintaining peace. This is against the backdrop of the general elections which were held in 2016. It is only in peace that all citizens can enjoy human rights.

 

It is only in peace that socio-economic development is guaranteed for the country. It is our collective responsibility to safeguard peace in this country.

 

The ministry will continue making a safe haven for all, by upholding peace and security in the country.

 

Mr Chairperson, in consistent with theme “Moving Towards a Prosperous Zambia in Peace and Tranquility Without Leaving Anyone Behind”, espoused by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, during the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, I would like to submit that the performance of the ministry in the first half of 2017, was generally satisfactory.

 

Sir, let me mention here that drug trafficking and abuse are vices that contribute to the lack of peace. During the period under review, a total of 2,943 both Zambians and foreign nationals were arrested for illicit drug trafficking and money laundering. Further, the ministry through the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) reported an increase in crimes of counterfeit currencies. The Commission managed to burst some syndicates that the total sum of K1,704,840 and US $354,400 counterfeit currencies into the financial system.

 

Mr Chairperson, with regard to infrastructure development, the ministry had an outstanding amount of K425,585,354.75 for ongoing construction and rehabilitation projects of which to date, only K132,110,028.84 has been paid leaving a balance of K293,243,281.79. The projects include construction and rehabilitation of office blocks, correctional facilities and housing units for the security wings.

 

Sir, during the first half of 2017, the ministry continued to amend some pieces of legislation under its jurisdiction in order to align them with the amended Constitution of Zambia. The repeal and review of the Refugee (Control) Act of 1970, Cap 120 was passed by Parliament, and the drafting and publication of the Statutory Instrument No. 44 of 2016, to allow new forms and decentralised certification of births and deaths was done. Further, the Citizenship Act was reviewed and the Statutory Instrument No. 50 of 2017, was gazetted which prescribes the procedures on how to actual dual citizenship.

 

In addition, the Statutory Instrument No. 66 of 201,7 on the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2007, (United Nations Resolutions Implementation) Regulations was also gazetted.

 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry through the Immigration Department continued to facilitate, regulate and control migration in Zambia in order to contribute to internal security. Zambia has made major strides in implementing activities in line with the regional integration through the establishment and deployment of the electronic border management information system. The New Zambia Immigration Management System (N-ZIMS) has been installed in twenty offices out of ninety-eight offices across the country.

 

Challenges faced in the Year 2017

 

Despite the achievements, the ministry faced a number of challenges during the period under review. These challenges include among others:

  1. erratic and inadequate funding that resulted in most of the projects not being completed as scheduled;

 

  1. inadequate office and housing accommodation;

 

  1. inadequate modern equipment for crime prevention, detection and investigation;

 

  1. infrastructure information technology infrastructure at provincial and district levels; and

 

  1. partial restructuring of the ministry leading to low staffing levels. This has posed a huge operational challenge considering that most of the departments and agencies under the ministry are currently centralised despite the growing clientele across the country.

 

The 2018 Budget Focus

 

Head 11 – Zambia Police

 

The proposed budget allocation for Zambia Police Service is K1,391,746,230 as compared to K1,301,433,962 in 2017. This represents an increase of K90, 312,268, which is about 6.9 per cent increase.

 

Sir, crime prevention will remain top priority for Zambia Police as this is the core function of the institution. This will be augmented by the planned recruitment of about 1,000 police officers at a total cost of K1,200,900. However, these positions are not adequate due to the fact that recruitment has not been conducted since the year 2015 and this is compounded by the movement of 400 Zambia police prosecutors to the National Prosecution Authority.

Mr Chairperson, the proposed allocation to infrastructure development and rehabilitation is K6,700,000 in the 2018 Budget compared to K6,000,000 in the 2017 Budget. There are currently twenty-four ongoing projects under Zambia Police Service across the country. The major infrastructure development programmes are the construction of Muchinga Police Headquarters and Limulunga Police Post in Western Province. In line with Government policy of completing the ongoing infrastructure programme before embarking on new ones, the 2018 Budget is designed for completion of the ongoing projects.

 

Sir, to supplement ground patrols and effectively enforce law and order in the country, the Zambia Police Service is establishing an air wing. The proposed allocation for the establishing support infrastructure for the air wing is about K2,300,000 in the 2018 Budget compared to K2,000,000 in the 2017 Budget.

 

Sir, criminals are now sophisticated managers of technology and talent. To effectively deal with modern forms of crime, the total sum of K25,000,000 has been allocated for the procurement of specialised equipment to modernalise operations of Zambia Police Service. Part of this allocation will be used to procure the Automated Finger Prints Information Management System (AFIS) equipment. This is system is expected to be rolled out to all provincial headquarters and it is also expected to increase non tax revenue for the Government.

 

As it is now, people have to travel from all corners of the country to Lusaka to have their finger prints captured.

 

Mr Chairperson, further, to enhance peace and security and internal and external operations, there is a proposed allocation of K7,546,530 in 2018 out of which a total of K1,674,990 has been allocated to public order maintenance.

 

Head 15 – Ministry of Home Affairs

 

Mr Chairperson, the proposed total allocation for the Head 15 in the 2018 Budget is K563,768,030 compared to K452,771,529 in 2017. There is an increase of K117,437,471 translating into a 25. 9 per cent increase. The proposed allocation has increased owing to outstanding infrastructure development and rehabilitation projects.

 

Mr Chairperson, the proposed allocation in 2018, for infrastructure development has increased to K30,025,730 from K8,413,621 in 2017. Further, the proposed allocation for infrastructure rehabilitation has increased to K4,768,430 from K1,712,474 in 2017. The major infrastructure programmes to be undertaken are the construction of the Ministry of Home Affairs headquarters, construction of the Commission for Refugees headquarters and the National Archives building extension, among others. Further, rehabilitation will include refugee camps and offices and the construction of correctional facilities, national registration passport and citizenship offices, immigration offices and border posts across the country.

 

Mr Chairperson, the proposed allocation to granted aided institutions has increased to K12,548,710 from K11,703,153 in 2017. It should be noted that all these granted aided institutions have now been established by Acts of Parliament. The proposed allocation, though not adequate, will enable the grant aided institutions to perform their mandate.

 

Head 16 – Drug Enforcement Commission

 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry is proposing a total budgetary allocation for the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) of K83,933,420 in the 2018 Budget compared to K72,878,557 in 2017. This translates into an overall allocation increase of K11,054,863 which represents a 15.2 per cent increase.

 

Mr Chairperson, drug trafficking, drug abuse and money laundering are direct threats to national development. The focus of the DEC will, therefore, be to penetrate drug syndicates and hunt the kingpins so that they can be brought to justice. This effort will promote national security and a conducive environment for the small-scale business sector to thrive hence contributing to a diversified economy.

 

Mr Chairperson, the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering will remain one the ministry’s top priorities. Hon. Members of this august House may attest that officers under the DEC are doing everything possible to address drug trafficking, money laundering and other vices. The ministry will, therefore, continue to support the commission by strengthening its capacity to deal with drug problems.

 

Mr Chairperson, the proposed allocation of K10,008,000 is for operations aimed at penetrating drug syndicates compared to K6,823,638 in 2017. Further, the proposed allocation of K700,930 is meant for addressing money laundering and awareness programmes compared to K605,927 in 2017.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Home Affairs Budget Estimates for the year beginning 1st January to 31st December, 2018, is K2,039,447,680 representing an increase of 11.6 per cent compared to K1,827,084,048 approved in 2017. The 2018 proposed allocation of K2,039,447,680 is allocated as follows:

 

  1. Head 11 – Zambia Police has been K1,391,746,230. Programme funding has been allocated K243,888,690, while personal emoluments accounted for K1,149,857,540;

 

  1. Head 15 proposed allocation is K563,768,030 out of which K272,668,250 is for personnel emoluments and K291,099,780 for programme funding; and

 

  1. Head 16 – Drug Enforcement Commission has a proposed allocation is K83,993,420 which is broken into K49,396,380 for personnel emoluments and K34,536,590 for programme funding.

 

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, let me hasten to mention that the preservation of peace and security in the country cannot be left to the Government alone. It is indeed the responsibility of hon. Members of this august House, the church, Civil Society organisations, traditional leaders and the general public to uphold peace in the country. It should, therefore, be our collective resolve as a people to individually and severally guard the peace the country has been enjoying since independence in 1964.

 

Mr Chairperson, let me assure this august House that the 2018 proposed allocations will enable the ministry maintain peace and security in the country. I, therefore, seek favourable consideration for the proposed 2018 Budget by the hon. Members of this august House.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: I have a list of Members of Parliament who wish to debate on this vote. I can only try as much as possible to accommodate everyone provided you just deliver your points.   

 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add the voice of the people of Choma and indeed, the United Party for National Development (UPND) on this very important debate on the Floor of the House.

 

Mr Chairperson, I rarely debate nowadays, but today, I have been compelled to stand and add my voice to the debate on this very important ministry, which is the Ministry of Home Affairs. Allow me to begin my deliberations by declaring interest in talking about the Ministry of Home Affairs, in particular, Head 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs, which, we, on your left, have serious issues about. I am a former Senior Police Officer and I have passion about issues which are affecting the police and also, how the police conduct their business.

 

Mr Chairperson, allow me to take note and remind ourselves that the role of the police is known by all. It is to enforce law and order in the country. In any democracy, the police have expected duties to perform and these are, to promote, respect, uphold and defend human rights.

 

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, it is from that angle that I rise to state that it is with a very heavy, saddened and sorrowful heart that with the authority of the Leader of the Opposition, I must lead this debate by stating that we, on your left unfortunately, have decided not to support Head 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, it is for the reasons that I am going to endeavour to ventilate so that my brother, the Minister of Home Affairs will know that I am simply performing my ministerial functions, as a representative of the people of Zambia in this august House to ensure that we stand on the right side of what is happening.

 

Sir, we are not supporting Head 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs because we have seen the deterioration in the professional standards and conduct of the Zambia Police. In short, there is lack of professionalism. This can be exemplified by looking at a few incidents. The first one is the drunk and disorderly behaviour by police officers on duty.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, it is common knowledge that on social media, several times, people will post videos of police officers behaving in a manner that is unacceptable to the standard behaviour of a police officer who went through what I went through, which promotes discipline.

 

Sir, not too long ago, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka, underwent public ridicule by some Patriotic Front (PF) members, who condemned him in his interaction or altercation with a drunk and disorderly police officer, who was armed with a fire arm in Chilanga. The police service sought to embarrass the Member of Parliament further by asking him to apologise and that in future, he behaves better because his life was at stake.

 

Mr Chairperson, that was not going to be settled because the PF using the Government media, their Dead NBC, went to scandalise the Member of Parliament for Mazabuka until the matter was taken to the Police Public Complaints Commission. Not too long ago, this commission rendered their decision on that particular complaint, wherein, they found that at page 13 of their judgment, the police officer in issue was drunk on duty, which is contrary to Section 31 of the Zambia Police Act.

 

Mr Muchima: Shame!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, they also found that the police officer acted in a disorderly manner which was likely to bring the Zambia Police into disrepute, although I do not agree with this contraction. The police officer actually brought the Zambia Police into public odium and disrepute already. It was also found that the police officer was uncivil in the manner he behaved towards the complainant. How then can we support a vote to such kind of a department? This department, last week, on 27th October, 2017, went to search the UPND Secretariat for no probable cause other than what we can suspect was politically motivated and instigated by that PF on your right. Wherein, after an hour of search, they wrote this report which I have, to indicate that they had gone to the UPND Secretariat to search for dangerous and offensive weapons ...

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mweetwa: …and that they found none.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, is it not shameful for a state police such as the Zambia Police to undertake a search when they do not have credible leading information as to what they are going to conduct the search about? This is eroding the confidence that members of the public have in the police service.

 

Mr Chairperson, we have also seen the rise in cadreism among the police. We have seen photos of police officers drunk and clad in some t-shirts with some portrait, written “Lungu for President.” We have not seen any action from the police. We have seen police officers dancing and waving PF symbols. I know that all police officers are Zambians. Like any other Zambian, they have a political party of preference but it does not have to be brought to public in the manner that it has done to shame the Police Command. We expected the Police Command to exonerate themselves on that kind of misconduct.

 

Sir, the fourth reason why we are not supporting this vote is the arbitrary arrests, many of them leading to nolle prosequis because the police now have submitted to what I can call political prosecution, where they are allowing themselves to submit to political intrusion by that PF Government. This is very painful. If you go right away to Choma Prison, which they are now calling Choma Correctional Service, you will find young people who were arrested from Namwala rotting in that prison for almost a year now without a charge.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Those people have been labeled as ring leaders for the Namwala violence wherein, they have been preferred for a charge of aggravated robbery so that they are not given a police bond or bail.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

 

Mr Mweetwa: For almost a year, the police are not taking them to appear before the courts of law for the due process to take its course. How can we support this kind of an inept and perceived politically inclined department? How do you expect us to support that?

Mr Chairperson, only yesterday, Hon. Kambwili was acquitted on a frivolous charge of committing traffic offences. It shows another level of political intransigence. If he was still the man that they wanted him to be, supporting wrong doing by PF, he would not have seen the walls of court. Since he has elected to speak out, saying yes, I am PF, but when wrong things are done. I have to say no.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Let us stop corruption, stealing and plundering public resources. That is what he has elected …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: The word stealing hon. Member is unparliamentary.

 

Mr Mulenga: So, he was stealing?

 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw it, but stealing is in Section 265 of the Penal Code which passed by this House. I will proceed to indicate that the police have to exonerate themselves.

 

Mr Chairperson, on the introduction of Article 31, of the threatened state of emergency, they went to arrest youths from Livingstone whom they brought to Lusaka and their relatives had no access to them, after many days in custody without food and access from family members they were discharged without a charge. In the cells where they were held, just like those held in Namwala, they could contract diseases and die, all because of that PF (pointing at the Front Bench).

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame, shame!

 

Mr Mweetwa: The political hegemony which they want to introduce in this country by using state apparatus to maintain themselves in power even when they lost credibility to continue to govern this country.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, you saw the arrest of Hakainde Hichilema (HH) not too long ago. Where a battalion of police officers went to surround HH and smoke him out of his house when on more than ten occasions the police needed HH, they wrote a call-out and he presented himself accordingly. What barbaric behavior is this that this PF is promoting?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: I know that we could be condemning the police. The police are just being abused by those people who realised that the only way to maintain power is by abusing state apparatus, abusing police, intimidating people and brutalise them, so that against the wishes of the people of this country, they remain holding on to power.

 

Mr Muchima: Yes!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, how can we have a ministry and a department that should be frontline defenders and protectors of human rights being the number one violators of those rights? Look at how they used to swam the courts with dangerous dogs, some of them I have never seen them.

 

Mr Muchima: Dogs with rabies.

 

Mr Mweetwa: There were innocent harmless defenseless citizens at the courts who wanted to listen to HH’s case, meanwhile in the night in Chalala and in other compounds, criminals are terrorizing citizens. However, there is enough man power and brutalise innocent people with dogs. Hon. Kampyongo, you can do better. I know you can do better.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Our days in these offices we hold, are numbered.

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, as I wind up, the failure by the police to judiciously apply the Public Order Act is a serious indictment on the police leaders. The hon. Minister of Home Affairs on 12th March, 2016 did indicate that the problem with the Public Order Act is the failure by the police to administer it properly. That is the word from the hon. Minister. Therefore, the police have a job to do.

 

Lastly, Sir, I was shocked by the police partisan nature when City Market was burnt. An Inspector-General of the Police standing before a politician, who is making baseless statements as to the occurrence because that is the speciality of the police…

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: …unfounded baseless statements to say, we know the people who have done this, these are our political… insinuating UPND were the cause of the fire.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweetwa: The IG is clapping behind this politician who is making political and baseless statements.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mweeetwa: Mr Chairperson that is very shameful. If I had time, I wanted to talk about the conditions of service which are very poor for the police leading them to be number one corrupt institution in this country according to TIZ. With the coming of UPND in power all these failures.

 

Hon. PF Members: Question!

 

Mr Mweetwa: ... Mr Chairperson, we are going to address them to ensure that the police once more become professional and have the dignity they deserve from the citizens and serve the nation in accordance with expectations of the people of Zambia.

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: I am really happy at the manner, the Executive have picked the points from the hon. member who has just debated.  Expect the same…

 

Mr Michelo: Ah! Ba Chairman!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: … when hon. Ministers begin to respond. This is serious.

 

Dr Kambwili (Roan): I thank you Mr Chairperson for according me this opportunity to add my voice on the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Mr Chairperson, I will say that I have a different view all together from the debater who has just debated although I take most of his debate as my own. However, I will not do a disservice by not supporting the budget of the people that look after our security. I know for sure that people have said that the police are unprofessional. I can rest assure you, having been in the Opposition, in Government and now at the back bench, you that the police want to be as professional as they could, but there is a lot of political interference.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: There is a lot of political interference. Anybody can stand here and say the police work independently and that would be an excellent lie marked with a red pen. Today, the police work under instructions from politicians. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to know this. It is just putting one and one together and you will find the answer. When I was in Government, I was assaulted. When I reported the matter for assault within few minutes the suspect was apprehended without even waiting for me to do a medical report, the suspect was behind bars. I did not interfere unfortunately, but I know that some offices somewhere might have interfered.

 

I was assaulted here at parliament…

 

Mr Kafwaya: Here?

 

Dr Kambwili: It is now two months since I reported the matter to the police.

 

Mr Muchima: Shame!

 

Dr Kambwili: The police have not even come back to me…

 

Mr Mulenga: Question!

 

Dr Kambwili: …and the suspect continues walking freely and coming to Parliament.

 

Interruptions

 

Dr Kambwili: Walking freely and continue coming to Parliament without the police calling him even for…I tell you that I am a very different breed of person, because where I come from they say umulandu taubola.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: For me, that particular individual, whether he is free today, unless I die…

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: ... he will definitely dance for slapping me like a small boy.

 

Laughter

 

Dr Kambwili: I know today, they cannot do anything to him because he is untouchable, but I want to tell him that I will never rub that incident from my diary. Unless I die today, he will face the wrath of the law ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Kambwili: ... so that people can learn not to take advantage …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, I think that matter you are debating is before the Privileges, Absences and Support Services Committee.

 

Mr Mwiimbu: No!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Therefore, it is better we move to another point.

 

Dr Kambwili: Ebwafya!

 

Anyway, let me leave that issue.

 

Zambia Police conditions of service are terrible. The police officers can only attend to you if you have money, otherwise you would spend the whole day at the police station. However, it would be very unfair to blame them. They do not belong to a union and cannot go on strike and Governments have taken advantage of this fact. We need to put a human face onto this issue and ensure that the people who protect us also live a decent life.

 

Mr Chairperson, poverty can even be seen on the door steps of the police officers’ houses. Aparticular individual, who I do not want to mention, had gone to a police camp and over heard a police officer’s child say awe ifwe tatunwa tea, pantu batata tababomba ku traffic.

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning!

 

Mr Kambwili: The child was saying that they do not drink tea because his dad does not work for the Traffic Department. This, therefore, means that certain things happen at the Traffic Department and this could be caused by lack of better conditions of service for the men in uniform. I have been in and outside Government. Therefore, I am in a better position to advice although when you are inside the Government, sometimes you do not see what happens outside. However, power is sweet, but it must be checked. We need to look after the police officers.  They risk their lives and some of them die as a result of the exchange of fire, yet they are paid little money. Posterity will judge us very harshly. Some of their uniforms are torn because the Government cannot afford to buy them new ones and when they salute, dust comes out of their shoes.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kambwili:It is a shame. Therefore, the Government needs to do something about their conditions of service.

 

Mr Chairperson, it is extremely difficult for the police to operate without transport. In developed countries such as South Africa, three quarters of Government vehicles are for the police and Hon. Mutati would agree with me. In our country, it is very rare to see a police vehicle, lusengo lwa mbwa. Some people even get surprised when they see one because they are so few. Also, the quality of the vehicles that are bought leaves much to be desired. The Government needs to empower the police and give it vehicles and requisite equipment so that they can execute their job.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to housing, the Government has done very well and has built houses for the police offices.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambwili:It has shown political will in as far as building houses for the police is concerned. However, more money should be spent on this project because some of them can easily be blown off and are not well maintained. I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to create a maintenance crew to maintain the police officers’ houses. This is because they use their meager salaries to maintain their houses. Therefore, the hon. Minister should establish a permanent maintenance crew at all the police camps so that the men in uniform can live decent lives.

 

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the Public Order Act. When we were in the Opposition, we ended up going to court so we could be allowed to assemble. However, what is currently going on is not pleasing. They can do better and should allow people to assemble. Some people become popular even when they are not supposed to be. Last weekend, Mr Mwenye Musenge applied for a permit to hold a political meeting at the show grounds. After he was told that he could not hold it there, he found another venue, but was told to reapply for a permit. Surely, that is a very small administrative issue and one cannot be told to reapply for a permit for changing the venue. Such issues sadden the people of Zambia. How we felt when we were in the Opposition is exactly the same way the others are feeling today. When you put yourselves in their shoes, you can do better.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambwili: Zambia chose to be a multiparty state. In such a state, the most important thing is to allow people to assemble, have peaceful demonstrations and hold political rallies. When people are stifled, the end result is bad. They find a way to react and when they do, other people get injured in the process. The Movement for Multi-party for Democracy (MMD) Government would not issue out permits to us, but I will rate them at 60 per cent. However, I will rate the Patriotic Front (PF) Government at 0.1 per cent.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, previously, I would freely address the people in my constituency. I may hold a different view with my party, …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kambwili: … but I am not allowed to even meet the people in my constituency.

 

Mr Chairperson, people must be allowed to meet and discuss and a Member of Parliament should not be asked to get a police permit.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kambwili: Excuse me. I am being disturbed, Mr Chairperson.

 

Mr Chairperson, hon. Members of Parliament should be allowed to visit their constituencies without police permits. A Member of Parliament does not need a police permit …

 

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambwili: … to address people in his constituency. When the MMD Government was in power, I never applied for any police permit, yet I addressed so many meetings. What has changed? PF is a good political party and I do not have a problem with it. However, some leaders have fear of the unknown and want to be in power in perpetuity. Whether they like it or not, one day they will be out …

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: … and it may not be in 2021 or 2026.

 

The Government has fear and it thinks that if other people are allowed to hold meetings, they will become more popular. The PF Government fears that if other people become more popular than it, then those people will be voted for and the Government will lose elections. By thinking like that, the Government is not only wasting its time, but it is also exhibiting cowardice. It is losing its popularity by behaving that way. If I was in the Opposition and the police refused to give me a permit to hold a meeting, I would go on an anthill and factorise the Government to Kampobolity.

 

Laughter

 

Dr Kambwili: I would reduce it to that small ball known as icimpombwa, which children play with. Therefore, the onus is on us, as the PF, to improve on this score of giving people the freedom to hold meetings.

 

Sir, the other time, some people wanted to stage a protest against the Government’s acquisition of fire tenders. There were just seven people who took to the streets with placards. These people were not even armed, but the police stopped them from staging that protest. Two weeks later, some PF members brought a petition to the Speaker of the House asking him to take Kambwili to the doctor and have his mental status checked, and those were allowed. What picture is the police showing?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

 

Dr Kambwili: Sir, could we please do the right thing. Leadership is about providing a service to the people. However, if the Government members think that they can be unfair to others, other people will also come and exhibit that unfairness to them. ‘He who laughs last, laughs the loudest.’ I have tasted the power, and now I am on the left side of the House. I can tell you, colleague, that the actions that we take against our friends are very painful. I have held so many press briefings, which have been covered by ZNBC. However, ZNBC does not show any clip of my press briefings on television, and the Government expects me to pay K5. Nshakalipile.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima (Chirundu): Mr Chairperson, in debating this Vote, I would like to agree with what the previous debaters have said. I want to state that the Zambia Police in its current form, ...

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Hon. Members, let me just remind the House that we have combined a number of Heads. Therefore, as you stand to debate, remember to consider Votes for the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Zambia Police and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). You may continue.

 

Mr Syakalima: Mr Chairperson, we are selecting what Votes we want to debate, and the most critical of all these is the Zambia Police Vote. I say so because the Zambia Police is supposed to add to constitutionalism in this country. You cannot have constitutionalism in a country where the police themselves are not helping.

 

Sir, in its current state, the Zambia Police is a difficult institution to describe. I must state that we have had so many administrations starting from 1964, when this country was a multiparty state. Police officers never behaved the way they are behaving today. For twenty-seven years, we were under a one party state, and under a state of emergency. However, the police service was not behaving the way it is behaving. The behaviour of any police, not only in this country, but in Africa as well, mostly depends on what administration is in office at the time. To a larger extent, it is about the minister in charge of it at a particular time.

 

Mr Chairperson, I want to agree with my colleague, who said the police could have been trained to be professional, but that the system that has been created in the last five or six years by the PF, has abused the police. How does one account for a police officer who just wakes up and goes to storm into the House of the Lord and chases God from his own house? This is exactly what the police did the day they went to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross where prayers were supposed to be held. We could hear the Lusaka command asking the hon. Minister on the phone and it was evident the Lusaka Command was saying the decision to chase people from that church gathering was not his, but that of the hon. Minister. What that means is that ministers are the ones who influence police actions. What an abomination!

 

Mr Chairperson, it does not auger well for the police to go to a place of worship with guns and dogs and chase people who want to pray. Even those police officers who went there should know that when the time comes for all of us to exculpate ourselves before the Lord, no one will say they were working under instructions. Everyone will be asked under whose instructions they were. Each one will have to speak on their own. No one will speak on anybody’s behalf. I hope that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is listening to me.

 

Mr Nkombo: He is a pagan.

 

Mr Syakalima: Sir, I want to urge the hon. Minister that it is very important to be a bit humane when you are in a position of authority. I see my colleagues there who laugh when people are being abused by the police. So many citizens have been maimed. Some still have bullets stuck in their flesh and others are killed. That young girl, Chibulo Mapenzi, who was killed by the police, left a small boy of about six years. That child will hate humanity because as he grows up, he will be told that his mother was shot dead by the PF police as she was going for a rally. He will also be told who the Minister of Home Affairs was when that happened. These are the things that catch up with us. We may not be there then, and that child may not be friends with your children, but the PF will have to account for that death. This is because questions of who was on duty when the mother was shot will arise and police officers will be pointing at each other. Questions of who shot who at the High Court will also arise and fingers will be pointed. All those people who were arrested that day were acquitted just like in other similar cases. This means that the police just go and effect arrests without investigating their cases first. If our people had the means to go to court, the Government would be losing a lot of money compensating them. Therefore, it is not a good idea to abuse the police.

 

Mr Chairperson, I took the dictionary and looked up the words terrorist and terrorism. According to the dictionary, terror is the use of extreme fear to intimidate people, especially for political reasons.

 

Mr Nkombo: Like the PF.

 

Hon. UPND Members: They are terrorists.

 

Mr Syakalima: Sir, the Government wants to use state terrorism to intimidate people in order to stay in power in perpetuity.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

 

Mr Syakalima: Mr Chairperson, that will never happen. Unlike the defence forces, police officers behave according to who is the minister at the time or which administration is in charge. In the defence forces, that is very rare. It does not matter which minister is in office or which administration is in charge, the behaviour is the same. It is standard behaviour because there is discipline. The police can also do that. Let me now ask the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to consider introducing community policing in the training of police officers. That way, the police and the public can trust each other. I have traversed this country and I only came across one officer in charge who was deeply trained in community policing. This country would do well to train police officers in this field. That way, they would know that the public trusts the police. Today, every Zambian views the police as their enemies, yet it is not supposed to be that way. Again, this falls on the Government. Her Honour the Vice-President will agree with me because we were both around during the days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). Even when the country transited into a multi-party state, the behaviour of the police was not like this. If you belong to the Opposition and then you go to file a report at the police, ...

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Business was suspended from 1810 hours until 1830 hours.

 

[THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON OF COMMITTEES in the

Chair]

 

Mr Syakalima: Mr Chairperson, before Business was suspended, I was advancing a point on one other thing that we have observed.

 

Currently, when the Opposition members go to the police to complain over harassment by the PF, they want to arrest us instead of the culprit. This type of behaviour is only being seen in the PF Government.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Syakalima: Sometimes, the police totally refuse to take the complaint. For example, when Mrs Hakainde Hichilema …

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members on my right!

 

Mr Syakalima: ...went to complain at Woodlands Police Station, the police refused to take her complaint. She felt harassed. Her house was damaged by the police and when she went to complain, the police refused to take her complaint. To-date, they have not taken the complaint.

 

It does not matter whether or not the complaint is about a police officer. If the police break the law, they must be arrested. They must arrest themselves.

 

Mr Nkombo: Yes!

Mr Syakalima: This must be looked into.

 

Mr Chairperson, on top of bad behaviour, the police have bad conditions of service. Whether this is the reason for their bad behaviour, I do not know. I am mindful, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, that many of these police officers do not get rations. Sometimes the only ration that they get is samp. Do you think a police officer will be happy with that? Therefore, because they cannot beat you, they come to beat us. This is what is called an ego defensive mechanism in Psychology. A person rationalises so that if he cannot beat his employer or manager, he goes to beat the wife.

 

This is exactly how the police behave and it must stop by midnight, tonight.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Ms Lubezhi: Midnight!

 

Mr Syakalima: When police officers go for operations, they are gone for a long time. To make matters worse, they are not given the allowances after their operations. Sometimes it takes a long time to give them their dues. This is unacceptable. Therefore, coupled with the bad behaviour are bad conditions. Let us balance this out. Perhaps if you improve their conditions of service, they will be well-behaved. 

 

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I would like to appeal to our colleagues on the right to make friends. It is not us to make friends with you. This is because the next time you are out of Government, you will require friends. I am tired of protecting former leaders. Many of you know how much we protected former leaders of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). Some of you, from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), know very well who protected you when you lost power. I am tired of protecting former leaders.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Siwanzi: Dr Musokotwane!

 

Mr Syakalima: I may not be there for you.

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: I have done this before. Everybody knows that when Dr Kaunda was being harassed in the MMD era, some of us stood up for him.

 

Ms Lubezhi: Exactly!

 

Mr Syakalima: Therefore, I want you to know now...

 

Mr Belemu: Even RB!

 

Mr Syakalima: This is what I said even during the MMD era. When a person is no longer in power, people that used to hang around him or her run away.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: I have experienced this. When those who were in authority in UNIP were being harassed, no one came to their aid. I pride myself that I did. When Dr Chiluba left power, many people left him. When RB left power, many people ran away from him. Some of us still helped at a time they were hopeless and helpless. I helped at a time that they could not give me anything. People run around for leaders because there is something that they want. I have told someone in power already that I may not be there to help.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Syakalima: Heed my word. This is some very serious advice. I like doing this so that when the time comes, I am able to say I told you so my friends. Therefore, take the advice or leave it. Getting out of power is neigh. Very soon you will be out and others will pick up the task. Make friends.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and the Drug Enforcement Commission. I will be very specific in my debate. Like many other debaters before me, I will focus on the Zambia Police. I acknowledge the debates of many of those who debated before me as my own.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Police Service has been reduced to a police force, one that is not equal to the kind of force that was there during the dictatorship era of UNIP. I wish to first and foremost sympathise with our police men and women with respect to the poor conditions under which they work. They really work under very difficult conditions.

 

For example, there are many professional men out there. If anything, those that know the Civil Service very well, particularly the Police Service will realise that most of our police officers, especially those holding senior positions, are quite qualified. Most of them are Degree holders. These are professional men and women, except that they are working under the influence of politicians. As a result, most of the decisions that they make are influenced by the same political leaders.

 

 Mr Mung’andu: Question!

 

Mr Kambita: Sir, the culprits are not very far from us. They are the men and women on your right hand side. These are the people, who have made the police service to deteriorate to the level where it is today.

 

Mr Chairperson, in the recent days of the Patriotic Front (PF) Regime, the Zambia Police Service is enforcing laws with personal interests instead of maintaining law and order.  Let me cite some examples.

 

Recently, the Opposition political party President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema was arrested under the circumstances, where the police broke the law. In fact, we have evidence that some police officers lied in some of the cases, which were heard before the courts of law. They literally lied and gave false evidence.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order

 

The word ‘lie’ is unparliamentary.

 

Mr Kambita: Mr Chairperson, I wish to withdraw and replace it with ‘cheating.’

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order

 

The word ‘cheating’ is equally not allowed.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kambita: Sir, I wish to withdraw it and replace it with ‘not telling the truth in a categorical way.

 

Mr Chairperson, I will explain this a little bit further.

 

Sir, there are classic examples, where policemen arrested someone without investigating the matter.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

 

Mr Kambita: Sir, these cases were actually heard in the courts of law and judgments were delivered. The police officers who did not tell the truth have since been counseled in terms of how they to proceed with the cases. As a result, there has been a proliferation of nolle prosequis because of the unprofessional conduct of the police.

 

Sir, I want to qualify this point and state that the police officers are not unprofessional. It is the politicians, who are making them behave in that manner. We should, therefore, understand them because it is not their fault. Actually, the nation must know that it is those men and women on your right hand side, who have put the Zambia Police in its current situation. Although it is meant to protect all Zambians, the Zambia Police is being abused.

 

Hon. Government Members: Give examples!

 

Mr Kambita: I am going to give the House a classic example.

 

Sir, not too long ago, there was a by-election in my constituency, Mpidi Ward to be specific. As area hon. Member of Parliament, I was fully involved in the by-election. The most unfortunate thing, which happened, was that the men on your right hand side sent thirteen district commissioners (DC) to come and campaign for their candidate. The twelve DCs gathered in Zambezi East, Mpidi Ward to be specific. They all came to campaign for their councilor candidate. There was also one DC from Western Province, which increased the number to thirteen. We have pictures of what transpired. Even if the DCs pretend to be civil servants, in essence they are not. They came to Solwezi East to cause confusion. This happened with the full knowledge of the police. Nevertheless, there was an incident, which happened.

 

Sir, I am the area Member of Parliament for Zambezi East. In fact, we all know that we are hon. Members of Parliament. Can you imagine a situation where an hon. Member was assaulted by a cadre, who was sent by the DC. I was injured to say the least.

 

Sir, I am aware that we are not supposed to debate ourselves, but this is a classic issue, which I want to point out so that the police know that we are aware and we are watching what is happening. Whilst they are making efforts to be professional, their work is being spoiled by the influence of the politicians.

 

Mr Chairperson, a vehicle which was used to block us during the campaign belongs to the DC for Solwezi.  Somebody was specifically instructed to come and assault me so that the campaign could be frustrated. This is the kind of situation we found ourselves in. When the assault matter was reported to the police, hon. Members, you can guess what happened. Instead of assisting the victim, the police assisted the person who assaulted me to collect a fake medical report to enable him file in a counter claim against me in the assault case. This is the kind of police service that we are breeding.

 

Sir, I have lost respect for the police service. However, not all hope is lost because I know that one day, those men and women will stop having the power that they have now because the power belongs to the Zambian people. Once they leave those seats, the police will get back to professionalism.

 

Mr Chairperson, I do not want to bore the House much with such kind of information. All I wanted to stress is that the Zambia Police Service consists of professional men and women and they are qualified personnel. Therefore, politicians should desist from what they are doing. At the moment, I have no better word to describe it, but just to say the system is completely rotten.

 

Mr Mung’andu: Question!

 

Mr Kambita: Sir, this also extends to who is in leadership. The biggest question we should ask ourselves is who is at the helm of making the police behave in that manner.

 

Mr Chairperson, not too long ago, we had a similar situation in Kabwe. What goes around comes around. We have a situation where, the police have reached a stage, where they can no longer be controlled except when they get instructions from the politicians. They ended up roughing up their own hon. Member of Parliament in Kabwe.

 

Hon. Government Members:  Question!

 

Mr Kambita: If this trend continues, it is will be like the proverb of a rat that was complaining about the traps set in the house. When the rat complained about it, other animals thought that the problem was only for the rat. The moment the rat was caught, other animals died because of the same problem. Although this problem might look like it only affects hon. Opposition Members, it will soon catch up with them. It might not be very far before it catches up with them.

 

Sir, my counsel to them is to develop a professional Zambia Police Service, which will protect the citizens of Zambia because if you do that, you will add value to our lives and to your lives as well. Ignoring this fact has got its own time. Otherwise, this adage will catch up with them very soon.

 

Mr Chairperson, this is a timely warning. Although we keep warning them, they seem to ignore it because they are drowned in power. By so doing, they think they can cast the police on us in order to threaten us or intimidate us so that we can stop what we want to do. I want to tell them that they will not intimidate us. We will continue telling the Zambian people about their wrong doing so that they know what is happening. When that time comes, they will choose correctly.

 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank your giving me this opportunity to say something on the Motion of the Police and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Sir, before I begin to debate, I would to counteract what the hon. Minister said in his policy statement. He said:

 

“The police in Zambia are there to create peace and stability.” This is a mockery because it is not true.

 

Mr Chairperson, at the moment, the Zambia Police Service is being used to create instability in the country. This is the job they are doing at the moment. The hon. Minister went on to say that crime prevention has remained their main object. This is not true because the Zambia Police Service is being used to brutilised hon. Members of the Opposition political parties.

 

Sir, let me come back to what I was talking about earlier. The way the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is using the police is equivalent to the last kicks of a dying donkey. In history, all those regimes that have used the police to brutalise their own citizens have ended in a very bad way. The excuse by the police that they are acting on instructions of politicians and, therefore, they cannot act otherwise about a situation should come to an end. Professional workers must have integrity and should choose not to follow wrong orders.

 

Sir, the job of the police is to enforce the law. The police should not follow orders from the wrong people. However, what we have seen under the PF Government is that the Zambia Police is now even getting orders from party cadres. We have seen beyond any reasonable doubt where even the Inspector-General of Police is instructed by a PF cadre to do something that he is not supposed to. Where is the professionalism?

 

Mr Chairperson, let me inform you on how children view the police in this country. I went over some past papers over the weekend at home in my constituency. There were questions for Grade 5. In one question, pupils were asked to circle a letter for the answer that fully described the Zambia Police. Among the answers, letter (b) was that police were brutal, violent and corrupt and a kid got it right.

 

Laughter

Mr Kamboni: Another question asked the pupils the other name of the Zambia Police. One of the answers was ‘tollgate’ and a kid circled that answer. This is because the police get money in a corrupt way. They are now called ‘tollgates’ in this country.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, how can there be development in the country when the agents of development like hon. Members of Parliament are not allowed to have meetings in their own constituencies without getting a police permit? Where else does that happen in the whole world? Even in countries where there are dictatorships, hon. Members of Parliament are allowed to meet their own people. There was a time when eleven youths came to visit me at my house. The police phoned me and asked what these youths were doing there. I cannot meet people in my own constituency.

 

Mr Mwale: Mwana nichikopo uyo!

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, we have talked about the Public Order Act, which has been with us for a long time. Many Inspector-Generals of Police and hon. Ministers of Home Affairs have come and gone and the Public Order Act has been used prudently. How come now it is no longer being used prudently? It is because that is the policy of the PF. The main principles of the PF are violence, corruption and all the bad things. This is why its members do all sorts of bad things.

 

Sir, let me now come to issues that I want to speak about. As I said earlier, the police are supposed to enforce the law. However, when the police are in the forefront of breaking the law, all hell breaks loose. If a fish rots from the head, you throw away the whole fish. In Zambia, we have witnessed incidences when the police have broken the law. I will cite these incidences one by one. Firstly, there was the arrest of Mr Hakainde Hichilema, popularly known as HH. When the police went to arrest him, they broke into his house without a search warrant. They went in the night wearing masks and in huge numbers. They even defecated on his bed.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kamboni: Surely, is that professionalism? Secondly, let me mention …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kamboni: These are clear examples I am giving. There was an order …

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, we may not allow that statement because there is no evidence which you can avail for us to believe that indeed that act did take place. Therefore, I will ask you to withdraw that statement.

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, I will withdraw that statement, but I will still bring the evidence here later and it is graphic. Another clear example is when there was a court order for the police to release HH’s vehicles. The police defied that order, when they are supposed to be the ones enforcing and defending the law. Another incident of the police breaking the law is when the court ordered that HH must remain at Chimbokaila Prison. The police got HH and took him to Mukobeko Prison.

 

In this regard, I have questions for the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. Could the money that was spent on hiring helicopters to go back and forth to Mukobeko Prison not been spent on building houses in Sikanze Camp for the police?

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: The houses for the police in this camp are in very deplorable conditions. That money could also have been used to improve working conditions for the police.

 

Mr Chairperson, the PF Government has hatred for certain groups of people. When the City Market was burnt, the police from Lusaka went all the way to Livingstone, blindfolded some young men and carried them in a helicopter. How much money was spent on that trip? In the end, there was no charge that was leveled against these people.

 

Sir, this is the way the money now is spent. It is taxpayers’ money and not for the PF. It is from poor Zambian people. The money the Government is spending unnecessarily could be used to improve police men and women’s welfare, such as increasing their salaries and giving them vehicles. Right now, the police do not have covered vehicles, such as in Kalomo Constituency. Criminals even jump off a moving vehicle from prison to court because the police vehicles are not closed up, but there is money for other things. When the Ruling Party wants to harass opposition politicians, money is found. When there are criminal activities, however, the police have no fuel or money. How can we live like that?

 

Mr Livune: Kampyongo!

 

Mr Kamboni: Therefore, why should I support such a budget?

 

Mr Chairperson, there are now political party cadres in the Zambia Police. We have now begun to see the Katondo Street way of doing things in the police force. What I mean is that jungle law has now come into the police and yet, the police are supposed to protect the law. I ask again, how and why should I support such a Vote? The police are now making injustice the order of the day in this country. Who is going to stop this?

 

Sir, for now, our colleagues on your right might think this is alright. However, let me warn them. I love most of my colleagues in here very much, but when the PF loses power, they must know that the ministry that made them lose power is the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: This is because the police have made the PF Government very unpopular and unwanted. If today I was driving my car and found a Zambian policeman and a soldier, who do I give a lift? I am going to give a soldier a lift and leave the policeman because I do not know who he is. I will help the soldier because the Ministry of Defence is doing its job prudently and well. I feel very safe near a soldier and not a policeman.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, the Zambia Police is supposed to be a service. What does this mean? The police are supposed to work with the citizens to investigate, find culprits and take them to court. However, what is happening is different. Ours is a police force and not a police service. I know that when those on your right come to talk about these matters, they will try to defend most of these things because they always defend wrongdoing. They will just continue saying blah, blah, blah.

 

 Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: Let us love this country.

 

Mr Livune: Blah, blah, blah!

 

Mr Kamboni: Why come here to say this and that when you know what is happening is wrong? How does it feel to stand in a suit and say what is not right? Why say something that every Zambian knows that it is not correct? How does that feel?

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: This country belongs to all of us. The Zambia Police even uses dogs on fellow citizens. I saw a boy being bitten by a German Shepherd belonging to the police. I never thought that after the colonial masters had left, the Zambian Government could still use dogs on its own citizens. This is why we chased the colonialists. What a shame that nothing has changed. Why should the same people who are giving the Government money be treated like this? That is being ungrateful. The people give the Government money through taxes so it can even manage to have a police force and yet, the Government uses the same police against the people.

 

 Mr Chairperson, why have so many police cases been thrown out of court? Why has the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) entered so many nolle prosequis in recent years? The Government should account for the money that has been spent on such failed cases. How much money has been spent on these failed cases through nolle prosequis or being thrown out of court? The Zambia Police do not even know what a robbery case is. Police officers cannot even define it. Mr Mwaliteta was put in prison for one year for simply standing near a certain building. What happened? He was acquitted.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: This shows how unprofessional the police are.

 

Mr Livune: That is right!

 

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, another problem that has arisen is that because party cadres have been included in the police force, when the police come …

 

Mr Kabanda: Reduce the volume!

 

Mr Kamboni: You can leave the room. There is a door right here behind me and it is open.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: We have not come here to joke. When the police came to arrest four citizens in Kalomo, they were even using tribal remarks. They told one boy that since he was not Tonga, he was one of them and, therefore, they would leave him alone. That boy told me this. The police went on to arrest people and blindfolded them all the way from Kalomo to Lusaka. Why can suspects not be called to the police?

 

Why not take them to the courts in a normal way because the system here says that you are innocent until proven guilty? If I may ask a question: By brutalising Hakainde Hichilema (HH), have you now finished him of? He is actually now stronger than he was. You are using the police to harass the Roan hon. Member of Parliament. Have you made him weaker? He is now stronger than he was. You do not seem to be learning any lesson. Continue with this system and see where you will end. You will remember what Hon. Syakalima said.

 

All I am saying is that the police should not be used. The police should not follow whatever the Government says. They have a choice. They can follow integrity. If you are not happy at your place of work, you can resign and do something else. Those are the principles we should follow.  We should not all be driven by money to just follow blindly what is wrong. You can decide to follow what is right, and that is what professionalism is. If today, no matter who it is, came to tell me to murder somebody, ...

 

Mr Kabanda stood and said the hon. Member debating was shouting.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

 

Sit down.

 

Mr Kamboni: When you get money through a wrong way, that is what happens; you lose morals.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Mr Kamboni: You should work hard to be promoted. You should not use bad means. Just work very hard, where you are. If you do not want to listen to what I am saying, there are options here.

 

Laughter

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, I protected you. He stood to speak. If I wanted, I could have allowed him to speak what he wanted to say. It is wrong for you to go back to what I ruled.

 

Continue, you are protected.

 

Mr Kamboni: Those who are in charge of the police should pull up their socks. They are a letdown. The police in this country is very corrupt. You must take it seriously when I call police officers “tollgates.” There are countries where the police do their work diligently, but the Zambian police is corrupt to levels that you cannot imagine. Files go missing. They do all sorts of bad things with impunity. Police officers are only promoted when they arrest politicians, and this is why they do what they do.

 

All we want now in this country is that there should be no political interference in the police. This is what we shall do as the United Party for National Development (UPND) when we come to power I think, very soon.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kamboni: When we come to power as UPND, this is what we are going to do. We will believe in separation of powers. We will give time for the police to act professionally. We will keep the police well. We will give them proper houses and we will do well. We will not do what the Patriotic Front (PF) do. This is why they should now join us.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Mr Chairperson, the Public Order Act will not be there when UPND comes to power.  Zambians will be allowed to meet the way they want because we believe in democracy.

The other suggestion I want to ...

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Kamboni: I do not know why some people find my voice - Most people find it very romantic actually.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Kamboni: The other suggestion I want to make is that we should invest in structures. The office of the Inspector General (IG) of Police should change. The IG should not be appointed by the President because this has been highly abused. The IG ends up not doing his work properly because of political interference. Do not use the police to sort out your political opponents. Come to us live.  Do not use the police. We will face you at the ballot.

 

Mr Chairperson, thank you very much. Those who do not like my voice can now open their ears.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!            

 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to render support to the budget provisions of the Zambia Police, Ministry of Home Affairs and Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). 

 

Sir, I want to start with DEC. This is a very important institution in the governance of this country. Its importance is derived from the fact that it was created by an Act of Parliament. The Ministry of Home Affairs which controls or oversees the functions of DEC needs to pay particular attention to ensure that this Commission is looked after well. It must have modern equipment to match the current trend of sophisticated crimes ...

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Bwalya: ... that go with drugs. Drug traffickers are quite sophisticated these days. It is only right that we appropriate as much funds as possible so that the Commission can buy modern equipment so that we can protect our youths especially from drug abuse.

 

Mr Chairperson, not too long ago, I was watching the Cable News Network (CNN). The President of the United States was lamenting the drug problem in that country and was trying to bring measures to stop it and save the youths of that country from drug abuse. This scourge is quite serious and if we do not do anything about it as a country, we may end up ...

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order on my left!

 

Mr Bwalya: ... with a youth group that may not contribute positively to the economic development of this country.

 

Sir, I also want to comment on the Public Order Act. I feel very sad that the hon. Member who has just debated alluded to the fact that when a certain political party comes into power, in the most unlikely event that it comes to power, ...

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Bwalya: ... there will be no Public Order Act.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Public Order Act is a very, very good law. It is a very good law. All we need as a country is to stand up and look at the issues that do not match the current democratic dispensation. The Government of the Patriotic Front (PF) has accepted that we need to review this law.

 

It is on the Floor of this House where the hon. Minister of Justice issued a ministerial statement that they had called for submissions from members of the public and those who are aggrieved to see how best we can tailor the Public Order Act, but alas, very few made submissions. I know that the submissions received border on the timeframe, that is, how long it takes for people to notify the police.

 

The point is that the Public Order Act is needed, and I think you will agree with me, Mr Chairperson, that you will not be happy to wake up in the morning and find that a certain political party is holding a political rally at Parliament. Surely, there should be order in every country. We need that law. If we have anything to change, let us point it out. Be very specific about the provision you want to change in the Public Order Act ...

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Bwalya: ... as opposed to just talking generally because you are confusing the Zambian people.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Bwalya: Be very specific on what is wrong in the Public Order Act. If it is management or administration of the law, say so. Then, we will be able to talk to the police service to see how best they can apply this law. It is a good law. It is a necessary law and we need it as a country. There shall be order in this Republic.

 

Mr Chairperson, I do know that there are certain things that happen within the precincts of Parliament. I am also aware that the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act again is very specific to issues that happen within the precincts of Parliament. Therefore, there is no need for us to drag the police into issues that are beyond them. This is because they cannot come in Parliament precincts and arrest anyone. All hon. Members know this fact.

 

We adjudicate on issues as long as they are within the Parliament grounds. What happens is that Parliament adjudicates. This is enshrined in Article 28 of the Powers and Privileges Act. It is there and written. Therefore, why do we not follow the law which we ourselves enacted as opposed to complaining?

 

Mr Chairperson, we are aware that the police have jurisdictions to which they can apply themselves. Even if an issue happens at National Assembly Motel, no police officer will come and arrest any Member of Parliament. Why? It is because it clearly states so in our Standing Orders and in the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act. Unless the Speaker refers that issue to the police then the police will be drawn into such an issue. These laws are written and the people of Zambia need to get the truth.

 

Therefore, if any of us hon. Members have a grievance the best we can do is to explore what is provided for in the Standing Orders, first and foremost, and what it is provided for in the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act.

 

Mr Chairperson, on the question of Constitutionalism, I wish to state that it is the duty of the police to preserve the Constitution at the same time maintains the law and order. It is only right that even as we expect them to be as professional as possible, it is expected from every citizen of this country to be responsible and not to provoke the police.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: How?

 

Mr Bwalya: I know. Mr Chairperson, I am sure most of us in here saw the clip on social media on how a police officer was provoked to some extent, …

 

Mr Ng’onga: Even the Mongu trip.

 

Mr Bwalya: … including the Mongu trip where the President was not given way. We all saw these clips because they were in public domain.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, if you go anywhere in the world, it is a standard practice that if the Presidential motorcade is on its way, whether one likes it or not, whether they like the President or not, they have to pull over and let the President pass.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kampyongo: Yes!

 

Mr Bwalya: That is the law. Why are we crying and grumbling over things that are straightforward and enshrined in our Constitution. Article 91 of the Republican Constitution clearly states:

 

         “There shall be the President, who shall be the Head of State and Government”.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: Therefore, if we talk about the head of Government it simply means that the legislature is part of Government. There are three wings of Government and all of them are at par. There is no wing of Government which is bigger or more powerful than the other.

 

Mr Livune: Awe!

 

Mr Bwalya: Therefore, getting back to the clips shown on social media, some of them were very provocative. I watched the one that was referred to by the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma …

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: … where one of our own Members of Parliament was asked to be searched by a police office. I watched that clip on social media. The police officer was even trying to move away, but he was provoked and if they are provoked, obviously, they are only human.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Kalobo: They are human beings!

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: They are only human.

 

Sir, it is enshrined in the Constitution and the laws of Zambia that the police can search anyone at any road block any time without any notice. They can ask them to open their vehicle because they have that mandate.

 

Ms Kapata: Yes, it is the law!

 

Mr Bwalya: Again, we should recall that this law was enacted by ourselves in this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: If there is anything or maybe we have problems with the law, it is in our own powers. We can change the law as opposed for us to be blaming those that are implementing the law. The other problem I have also is that when they do not implement the law we accuse them of being complacent and not performing their duties.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: Therefore, can we be fair as we ask them to be professional …

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: … as we ask them to work very hard.

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mr Bwalya: Hon. Members should not forget that tomorrow or the other day or many days from now they might need the same police service they are demonising. The same Zambian people will be the ones who will be in the police service.

 

Mr Livune: We are going to fire them!

 

Mr Bwalya: They will be the same people who will be in the Ministry of Home Affairs. Can we kindly first and foremost, respect the law ourselves? After that, then we can ask those that we have employed to be professional. I feel for them.

 

Mr Chairperson, the conditions of service may not be good, but I want to believe that every Zambian in this country knows how small the Zambian economy is. We may want to give good conditions of service to our men and women in uniform including the rest of the Zambians who are in the Civil Service, but can our economy absorb that.

 

Mr Livune: In buying fire tenders!

 

Mr Bwalya: Can we do the analysis of the economy before we can start talking of certain issues.

 

Yes, we want certain political mileage we agree, but I think the Zambian people are very reasonable, they are very intelligent and they understand where we are coming from. It is under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government that we gave the Civil Service almost 300 per cent salary increase in 2011/2012.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Bwalya: It is under this Government that even the chiefs have started getting something from the Government. Previously they never used to. This Government wants to ensure that the Zambian people get their share of …

 

Mr Livune: What about the police

 

Mr Bwalya: … of the economy we are spreading the benefits.

 

Mr Livune: Did you give them what they asked for?

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

I think I was very clear in my guidance to the House. I need to be helped by hon. Members by keeping quiet during deliberations. I do not want to be labeled a bad person. I was very clear.

 

You may continue.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your protection. It is always good to have information on the tip of your fingers and you can be able to cross check.

 

Sir, I was listening to British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Mr Chairperson where some politician had difficulties …

 

Mr Mukumbuta: You want us to keep quiet!

 

Mr Bwalya: … to answer questions on Hard Talk. All these things show that if one does not have the facts, they must accept that for sure they were wrong and the law that is supposed to be implemented by the law enforcement agencies and Zambia Police being one of them. It is the law that caught up with certain individuals our own senior citizens.

 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear

 

Mr Bwalya: Therefore, Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, we need to accept that the law is there and it is there to preserve the peace of this country, but at the same time, ensure to protect the lives and the properties of every citizens of his country.

 

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, in supporting these Votes on the Zambia Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs, I just want to state from the outset that the most important job or duty of any Government on earth is to protect its citizens. If it fails to protect its citizens then it is not fit to be called a Government. Therefore, I wish to remind both the Members on the left and right of the Chair that the first duty of the only Government in the country, which is the PF Government led by His Excellency the President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is to protect all of us.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: Therefore, there is no need to demonise the police, like some Members have already alluded to, these are professionals.

 

Mr Chairperson, I confidently speak as a son of former policeman. I was born to a policeman in Masala Police Camp in 1972, and, therefore, I am very acquainted with police issues.

 

Mr Mukumbuta: Question!

 

Dr Chanda: If you make noise I will call Steven Saka.

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: As I was saying, Mr Chairperson, the first duty of the Government is to protect us. In fact if one went to countries like the United States of America (USA) or Europe, they call the police homeland security. It is a very important job because the first line of security is the police. In this case, the Zambia Police keep our peace today.

 

Sir, I have noted that we have been taking peace for granted because in Zambia, we have not seen any destabilisation.

 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: If one went to countries like Somalia, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) then they will understand how much premium people keep on homeland security. Once peace and security is lost, then everything is lost. Let us not make light of this very important issue.

 

Mr Chairperson, secondly, there is no economic development that can be sustained without peace and security. There is no price too high to pay for peace. In the United States of America, the largest chunk of the Budget is always spent on national security while everything else is secondary. I am very happy that we have a very progressive hon. Minister of Home Affairs who has highlighted how to transform the police.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: This is the 21st century and we do not want our police operating like they are in the Stone Age. We do not want a situation where the police fail to catch a thief who runs into an area like Kabwata because they do not have technology. This PF Government is actually prioritising modernisation and increased support to the Zambia Police Service.

 

Mr Chairperson, not long ago, there was the invocation Article 31 when there was domestic terrorism in the country. There were fires and the people who were always at the front line were the Zambia Police. While most of us were enjoying our sleep, the men and women in uniform were protecting this country and they continue to do so. The police need much more support than we are giving them. The debate in the House should be about how much more support we need to add.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: Mr Chairperson, for example, if you go to countries which prioritise security, police forces have air services and the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has alluded to that. High speed chases of cartels and criminals need helicopters. We cannot be chasing them with cars in case they run into the bush. We need to give them more support because once we lose this security we have, we are going to lose everything. I, therefore, urge that we consider more support to this Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: Mr Chairperson, I have been engaging with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs very closely. Bwana Mkubwa Constituency, in Ndola, needs more police stations. We should be supporting the hon. Minister of Home Affairs even more, not only using Government resources, but also cooperate and donor resources to provide security for our people. People will never appreciate how much security means until they are attacked. It is only when you suffer loss of security that you will understand that security is the most important thing you need in your life.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: Mr Chairperson, I know our colleagues will always cite issues of public order not being kept and the conduct of the police, but one of the reasons the police resort to some of those methods is that they are not well equipped to handle crowd control in a modern manner. Look at countries where we have G20 meetings. There are always huge protests, but the police in those countries have all these high pressure water pipes and other modern combat gear. If you are a police man in the line of duty and then some threatening cadre is about to kill you, do you lose your life to that cadre or do you protect yourself? We need to support the police with modern riot gear and crowd control equipment. That is what we should be talking about.

 

Mr Chairperson, I do not want to talk for too long, therefore, I will end on one critical issue in the Ministry of Home Affairs, which is the Immigration Department. We appreciate that this country is surrounded by eight neighbouring countries. If I am not mistaken, Zambia is the only country in the world which has eight neighbours so we are actually very vulnerable. We may be an oasis of peace, but that also makes our borders porous. We have a lot of work to do to secure our borders. Historically, whenever there has been a war or liberation movements in Africa, people found it easy to run to Zambia because it can be accessed from the east, west, north and south. That is how easy it is to access this country.

 

Mr Chairperson, that being said, I urge the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to consider a policy shift in our immigration policy. Our immigration policy has been so open ended for a long time. The historical reasons it has been like that include the fact that we were harbouring liberation movements and everyone came here. However, I think in the 21 century, especially where we are talking about economic diversification and adding value to the economy, can we move from open ended immigration to a high skills based immigration systems or merit based immigration systems.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Dr Chanda: Mr Chairperson, where I live in Bwana Mkubwa Constituency, I am one of the recipients of a lot of the people entering the country. It is actually annoying that someone can arrive in a container with no skills and tomorrow they have a huge of land and are basically masters in your country. I think we need to move towards a high-skill based immigration policy so that we only admit people who have the skills to contribute to the economy. We can make exceptions, of course, in terms of war. When there is war we have to apply humanitarian reasons, but all things being equal, what the Latin call ceteris paribas, let us not have an open ended immigration. It will be a burden on the country. There will be more like consumers on an already strained economy.

 

Mr Chairperson, can the immigration department ensure that they do not just give citizenship anyhow. It has become so easy for people to get national registration cards (NRCs) and passports in places like Ndola. I am not sure whether those are dual citizens or just foreigners who arrived. We have no means of verification. What I am saying is that citizenship was purchased at a very high price. Our fore fathers fought for this country and shed blood, let us not give away citizenship cheaply. When you come in as a foreigner, you are coming at our mercy. You do not have the same rights as a citizen and that actually applies to ownership in everything. Citizens have the sovereign right to be the major participants in this economy. I would like to urge that we strengthen the immigration department in terms of not only policing our borders, but also making sure that those bad elements that are tarnishing the name of the Government are brought under control so that they do not just issue NRCs and passports anyhow.

 

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, there is no price too high to secure national security. That is the number one priority. Every country needs national security. You may have quality leadership and good policies, but once security is lost, everything is lost.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Chairperson: We have saved six minutes, which is very good.

 

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on the three heads. It seems the elephant in the room is the police and so I will also try and talk about the police.

 

Mr Chairperson, I am very happy to note that there are people who can talk ill about the police. I am happy in the sense that they are living in fear. Even when they see the police who are there to protect them, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are Patriotic Front (PF) cadres ...

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

 

Mr Mutale: ... when it is merely the police carrying out their duties.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: I am very happy to note that these people who have this fear have gone a step further by bringing a campaign to try and discredit the police.

 

Prof. Luo: But they cannot!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, as a Zambian citizen, I have seen the way the police have worked. Article 31 was invoked and doomsayers were saying that the police would take the law into their own hands, but the police restrained themselves and conducted themselves in a professional manner. They deserve to be appreciated for that.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, I thought that hon. Members from your left would have been advocating for better salaries and emoluments for the police ...

 

Ms Lubezhi: Aah!

 

Mr Mutale: ... but what they have brought to this august House is all shame. The police today are operating in a very tempting environment because ...

 

Mr Sing’ombe: Because of the PF.

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutale: This PF that the Opposition talk about, which gives them sleepless nights, has been in the Opposition before ...

 

Prof. Luo: Especially Jack Mwiimbu.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Mr Mutale:  You saw how the PF conducted themselves in the Opposition.

 

It is during the time of this Opposition that markets are being burnt and people expect the police to sit and watch. It is only this Opposition which can go to race with the Republican President and expect the police to watch. It is only this Opposition which cannot offer solutions to the many challenges this country is facing.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, when we were in Opposition, we could criticise and offer solutions. We could even go a step further to advise the Head of State. This time around, there is nothing like that. All what the Opposition is doing is to fight the police when they do wrong things. When the police go for the wrong doers, they think the police are working against them. I want to tell them today that the police work very independently because they have the Constitution which guides them. 

 

Sir, in this country today, we have alarmists who are trying to show or deceive Zambians that there is rampant corruption. The police are watching and I would like to submit that they should go for these people because if they are left like that, they will destabilise this nation by purporting that there is too much corruption, which they cannot prove. We have challenged them so many times on the Floor of the House. They should prove that there is corruption so that the people involved can be arrested. As at now, these are just speculations. Something must be done to these alarmists. Some people have gone beyond our borders to talk ill about this country.

 

Mr Nkombo: Question!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, I, therefore, request the hon. Minister to revoke the passports for these people...

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: …so that they can be put where they belong.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, it is shameful for someone to paint a wrong picture of his country. People should have facts of what they talk about.

 

Mr Mulenga: Tell them!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, these passports should only be given to people with decent standing in this society. These people deserve to bring back our passports.

 

Hon. UPND Members: Your passports?

 

Laughter

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, we should also limit their movements. 

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, one time in my life I lived in Chama. In Chama, there is big frog which is called a chesi. This frog lives in water.

 

Mr Ngulube: It is relish!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, when this frog grows fully, it comes out of water to live on land. The only bad thing about it is that, when it is out of the water, it starts to insult the fish and crocodiles it lived with in the water. It forgets that living on land, it is actually exposing itself to people who can easily pick it for consumption.

 

Sir, there are certain politicians who are behaving in that manner. Not long ago, an hon. Member told this august House that if someone throws a stone, it will definitely land on the development that the Patriotic Front (PF) is implementing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: We were told that in this same House. Today, that person has turned around to say that the same development he referred to is done through corruption.

 

Mr Mulenga: Alikwisa chesi?

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, that person is forgetting that he was actually part of the river. Now, if people are saying that the development that the PF is implementing today is done through corruption, then they are corrupt as well. We, therefore, invite the police to visit them.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, we all know what happened under their leadership. We saw the ninety day swimming pool. We know about all these things and we shall investigate how the procedures went for that ninety day swimming pool. Currently, these people are talking about things which they do not even know. The police should not just watch these alarmists because they will turn this country into chaosi.

 

Laughter

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Chaosi!

 

Mr Mulenga: Musungu uyu!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, there is so much advocacy in this country. We all know that we are very far away from elections. For their own information, as PF, we shall follow the law. Not until we get to 2021, shall we induce the elections that they want. We have heard them calling for snap elections and we do not see the purpose for that. They must be happy to be living in a nation where there is peace. The police have worked very hard for this country to be peaceful. We are seated in this House wearing neck ties and suits because of the police.

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: The police deserve to be respected. I wonder why people are even saying that when Mr Hakainde becomes President, he will change this nation. Mr Hakainde has failed elections five times.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: When will he become President?

 

Mr Mulenga: Kabwalala ulya!

 

Mr Mutale: I started politics way beyond him.

 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

 

Mr Mutale: He is overambitious. I, therefore, want to tell the UPND Members of Parliament that someone cannot become the President by speaking ill about the police. People need to be …

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, please, sit down. During the previous debates, I listened very carefully and I have not heard anything wrong with what the hon. Member on the Floor is saying.

 

Hon. Government Members: Imagine!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: The name of a political leader was mentioned on the Floor of this House several times, that when he becomes a President, he will do this and that. Hon. Member, continue.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for protecting me.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Chaosi!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, if someone loses elections five times, it is better he retires because the dynamics of politics are changing every day. We need leaders who are upright. We have got a President who has shown clear and true leadership.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, the police have been taken care of very well. So many are times we have continued to see the hon. Minister of Home Affairs launching houses for our police men and women. The police today are boasting about it.  They are able to drive because they have access to Government loans. Today, the police are not even corrupt. The people who are corrupt are those who want to corrupt the police. 

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Sir, when someone gets to a roadblock and he is told that his car is defective, instead of following the law, the offers the police money. That will not be accepted in this country. I am aware that very soon there will be laws where money will never be given to the police. We shall then see the wrong doers, who want to race with our Republican President, if they shall be spared.

 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, may I not go beyond this…

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Landa pa privatisation.

 

Mr Mutale: ... but what I know is …

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Privatisation

 

Mr Mutale: …if you are found on certain lists…

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Yes

 

Mr Mutale: …the paradise list…

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: …and you want to boast that…

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Ba kabwalala

 

Mr Mutale: …it is okay to be there…

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: ...and you think you can come and rule this country…

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Nothing

 

Mr Michelo: What are you talking about iwe!

 

Mr Mutale: … and make the police look to be more than what they are today…

 

Mr Michelo: You do not know business.

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Kabwalala!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: I leave it to the people of Zambia to judge.

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Kabwalala!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: I doubt such kind of leaders.

 

Interruptions

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: Let us not…

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members.

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Woo!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: We have a better way of questioning…

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: … a Member on the Floor.

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Hammer boyi!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: May the hon. Member continue with his debate.

 

Interruptions

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, the police in Zambia deserve a lot of respect.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: The police in Zambia deserve to be taken to higher heights.

 

Mrs Katuka: Yes

 

Mr Mutale: The only party I see to be doing so is the PF.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: We have proved this.

 

Mr Michelo: Yaba!

 

Mr Mutale: Today, the police are smiling.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

 

Mr Mutale: We found a police which had a lot of challenges when came into power.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: Look at their salaries today. You would not compare them to anyone.

 

Mr Michelo: Why?

 

Mr Muchima: Ha!

 

Mr Mutale: Mr Chairperson, what I am trying to say is that we have a happy police who are able to do their work diligently.

 

Ms Siliya: Hear, hear!

 

Mr A. B. Malama: Hmmm!

 

Mr Mutale: It is only under the PF that we have seen sophisticated equipment being bought for the police.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

Mr Mutale: People forget. I know it is deliberate because they want to show as if we have neglected the police, but that is not true. We shall not relent. We shall work hand in hand with the police to ensure that this country is governed very well.

 

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Only one person had served some minutes because of that, I will only allow two debaters.

 

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, can you remember?

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Mrs Katuta and the last one will be Dr Malama.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Katuta (Chienge): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for the opportunity. I would also like to thank the hon. Minister of Home Affairs …

 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Katuta: I would like to say, I am here to support the vote for the budget…

 

Mr Livune: Question!

 

Mrs Katuta: … for one particular reason. I have been in great pain when I look at the police, in particular. The police are men and women in uniform who are just like those in the air force, Zambian National Service and the army. When I look at the way the police have been treated, in terms of salaries, I think the Government needs to do more for the police. This seems to be the only department which on a daily basis keeps the peace or protects the Zambian citizens.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Katuta: When you look at the way the police have been neglected, there is more to be done.

 

Mrs Simukoko: Hear, hear!

 

Mrs Katuta: When you look at the police uniform, sometimes you question whether it is a Government uniform the policeman is wearing.

 

Mr Muchima: Oh, yeah!

 

Mrs Katuta: That uniform may make a policeman not earn respect from the members of the public. If I remember, sometime back, when I was young, a policeman would command a group of up to ten people and arrest them, but now they have lost that command. This is because of the way their appearance. The reason most of the police are drunk on duty is because they are frustrated. How do you have a policeman walking with a gun instead of being driven? I always give an example of South Africa or Zimbabwe, where policemen are given proper transport.

 

In Chienge, they only have one land cruiser. We usually have trouble with refugees. How then do they curb such problems or what happens when the young ones riot? It is high time they were recognised for the work they do and they would change. At one time, a policeman who stopped me for using a wrong lane was asking for money. However, I do not blame him because they get low salaries. Previously, they were given an increment of K300 and I am aware of this because my daughter works for Zambia Police. Furthermore, the police officers’ houses in Sikanze Police Camp are a terrible state. That said, one does not expect them to execute their duties properly because they are frustrated. However, those who work for Zambia National Service and Zambia Army Force have vehicles and are well taken care of unlike the police officers who risk their lives on a daily basis.

 

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Home Affairs should consider increasing the police officers’ salaries in order for them to execute their duties properly. When the citizens see a policeman, they know that apa zabwino palibe, and all they need to do is give him any amount of money.

 

Interruptions

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

Ms Katuta: This just shows that they get low salaries. Therefore, the Government needs to empower the police officers, especially those in the rural and border areas because they are at risk. Refugees easily come to Chienge because of lack of manpower to handle this problem. Also, most police stations are in pathetic conditions. I could not even use the toilet at Longacres Police Post because it was dirty. In this regard, it is high time the police officers were recognised and given better perks.

 

Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about the police service. The Zambia Army has the Maina Soko Hospital. However, when a policeman is injured, he is taken to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and is made to lie down at the reception of the casualty ward near dirty toilets. The police officers are demotivated and that is why they easily accept money from anybody. It is high time they were all provided with proper accommodation. I know that some of them have been provided with accommodation in Chelston. Even those in Chienge deserve decent accommodation because they work on a daily basis unlike those in other departments. Previously, they had social clubs and, maybe, in Sikanze Police Camp they still have some. However, there is need to look at the welfare of the police officers. Since they get low salaries, any Government takes advantage of them and they carry out their duties in an unprofessional manner.

 

It is high time the police, especially those in rural areas, were allocated more money for uniforms, perks and allowances.

 

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to add my voice to the issue of equipment. I have heard some of my colleagues saying that the police have been given equipment. Which equipment have the police been given? There was a time I told a police officer that a certain person was drunk and the police officer told me that he did not have a breathalyser to prove that. This shows that the police have not been given equipment. How then do you expect them to work? A person is drunk and they actually look drunk, but they cannot be taken to court just by looking drunk. Someone should be tested using a breathalyser before they are charged with the appropriate offence. How do you expect the police to do that when they do not have the equipment to conduct the test? Even the horses that we used to see when we were younger are not there anymore. Maybe there are only here in Lusaka. There is need for the police service to be serious.

 

Sir, I would also like to talk about the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC). Since Mukutulu Sinyani left, I do not hear about DEC. Now drugs are found all over including in some schools where our children go. When I say our children, I do not mean my biological children, but I am speaking as a mother. We recently heard of a house where children were found engaging in bad activities and all that is because of drugs. What is DEC doing about it? Should DEC only run after politicians? There is also too much money laundering and what is DEC doing about it? DEC is no longer heard as it was in the past. It needs to be revamped and be put back on top of things.

 

Mr Chairperson, my colleague has already taken my point regarding the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs). I would like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister the fact that in Chiengi, a person from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was issued with an NRC. Where can this irregularity be reported? I ask this because even if this matter was reported to the police, they would not do much. If people were really motivated, then they would put their country first. However, as things stand, everyone says it is none of their business. It is about time we took the issuance of NRCs very seriously.

 

Sir, in South Africa, one does not get an Identification Card anyhow. However, in Zambia we have foreigners with pink NRCs as long as they have married a Zambian. It is time this ministry took the issuance of NRCs seriously. We should protect our motherland by putting certain conditions, such as not issuing foreigners with NRCs, but instead, they should be issued with permanent resident permits.

 

Mr Chairperson, with these words, I support the Budget for this Vote.

 

I thank you, Sir.

 

Dr Malama (Kanchibiya): Mr Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, I would like to talk about the National Archives of Zambia. We need to organise the records and the history that we have as a nation so that it can be well kept. I am aware that the National Archives was keeping some of its records in the old Bank of Zambia building. The National Archives of Zambia does not have a proper place where to keep national records. I want to urge my colleagues to support the Budget that we are passing so that the records can be well kept for both the current generation and the ones to come. This is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

 

Sir, I want to thank the employees of the National Archives of Zambia for having salvaged some of these records. However, there is a lot more that needs to be salvaged. We did lose some of our records during the federation struggle to Salisbury. We need to follow this up so that Zambia’s records, together with the Northern Rhodesia records are kept properly.

 

Mr Chairperson, let me now come to the Passports and National Registration Office. It is gratifying to note that there is a lot of technological advancement that is going on. There is a one stop shop and the Ministry of Home Affairs requires a lot of support. I am grateful to note that unlike in the past, people no longer wait for a long time to acquire an NRC and passport. I think that that should be encouraged. Therefore, we need to capacitate the National Registration Office and the Passport Office sufficiently. That way, the two offices will be able to serve our population efficiently. Our population is growing and so, we should position the Ministry of Home Affairs, ...

 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 

(Debate adjourned)

 

HOUSE RESUMED

 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

 

(Progress reported)

 

_____

 

The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 10thNovember, 2017.