Thursday, 11th November, 2021

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Thursday, 11th November, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the Association of Family Physicians has been authorised to conduct a two-day screening exercise for non-communicable diseases on hon. Members of Parliament and staff. The exercise, which commenced today, 11th November, 2021, is aimed at promoting good health through early detection of chronic conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and cancers.


All interested hon. Members are encouraged to visit the medical practitioners today before 1700 hours or tomorrow, Friday, 12th November, 2021, from 0900 hours to 1300 hours, at the Main Reception area, here, at Parliament Main Buildings.


I thank you.




Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, as the House is aware, the primary business for the current Meeting is consideration of the 2022 National Budget. Accordingly, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning moved the Motion of Supply on Friday, 29th October, 2021. Currently, and in line with Order No. 157(6) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, the House is debating general policies contained in the hon. Minister’s Budget Address. The debate on the general policies is expected to be concluded on 23rd November, 2021.


Hon. Members, in order to ensure that the available parliamentary time is fully utilised and that the consideration of the National Budget is done effectively, the period between now and 23rd November, 2021, has been divided as follows:


  1. the period between now and Wednesday, 17th November, 2021, has been allocated to hon. Members of the Backbench; and
  2. the last three days, that is, from Thursday, 18th to Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021, have been allocated to hon. Cabinet Ministers. This is to enable the hon. Members of the Frontbench to respond to the various issues raised by other hon. Members during their debates.


I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of the Backbench who have not yet debated to come forth and debate the Motion currently on the Floor so that the House fully utilises the time allocated to this very important segment of the Budgeting process.


I thank you.








Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, I raise a point of order on Standing Order 134 –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kabushi!


On whom is that point of order raised?


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, the point of order is on the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. If he is not there, then, it is on the Leader of Government Business in the House, who is the Vice-President.


Madam Speaker: When did this breach supposedly occur and when did you notice it?


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, I would have –


Madam Speaker: Maybe, let me just help you. You are rising on a matter of urgent public importance, not a point of order. Is that what you intend to do?


Mr Lusambo: Yes, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Then proceed and raise your matter of urgent public importance.


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance. I am ready to proceed now.


Madam Speaker, two weeks ago, we received very saddening information of two Zambia Correctional Service officers having died between Kabwe and Lusaka while escorting the Zambia Correctional Service Commissioner-General. Before that, there was another accident involving the same officer. We lost two young officers, namely Mwenja Tembo, who was A Chief Inspector, and Kennedy Sikaonga, who was a Sub-Inspector, in that fatal accident.


Madam Speaker, officers have been escorting the Commissioner-General for the Zambia Correctional Service because after being appointed, the Commissioner-General has been commuting between Lusaka and Kabwe, putting the lives of not only the officers who have been escorting him, but also those of other motorists between Lusaka and Kabwe. Is the Vice-President in order to keep quiet when the Government has failed to provide accommodation for the Commissioner-General, who has been appointed to work in Kabwe –


Hon. Member: That is not urgent.


Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, I need this Government to give its position on whether it has failed to provide accommodation and, by doing so, cost us the lives of two young officers. Who knows, those young lives officers who died may have been the next Commissioners of prisons.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Indeed, it is in the public domain that there was an accident about two weeks or so ago that involved the escort of the Commissioner of the Zambia Correctional Service as he was commuting between Kabwe and Lusaka. I read that in the newspapers.


Hon. Members, the matter of preserving life is, of course, important. Further, the commutation of the Commissioner between Lusaka and Kabwe has continued, and there is no guarantee that we will not experience another accident. So, I direct the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to issue a ministerial statement to the House on that issue and the measures that are being taken to ensure that the commutation between Kabwe and Lusaka is brought to an end by finding accommodation for the Commissioner. I do not know why it has to be in Kabwe, but I believe the headquarters of the Zambia Correctional Service are in Kabwe, while Lusaka is the national capital. So, maybe, the hon. Minister can just shed some light on the matter. Today being Thursday, he can issue the statement to the House on Wednesday, next week.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!








The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Madam Speaker, I thank you sincerely for according me this opportunity to deliver a ministerial statement to this House and through this House, to the nation at large, on an issue of great importance and interest to the New Dawn Government and the people of Zambian at large, the forestry sector.


Madam Speaker, forests are one of the most important natural resources from which citizens enhance their livelihoods through the provision of various products, such as wood fuel and timber, within the boundaries of the law. They provide several ecological benefits cardinal to our attainment of sustainable socio-economic development, including the following:


  1. watershed protection, which is key in the provision of safe and clean water supply;
  2. nurturing the soil and protecting it from soil erosion, which is important for a highly agricultural country like Zambia; and
  3. sequestering and storing carbon dioxide, which is one of the main greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.


Madam Speaker, it is for these reasons that the hon. Members of this House will appreciate the provisions of the Forest Act No. 4 of 2015, which provides for:


  1. the security of forest resources for the benefit of current and future generations;
  2. conservation and protection of ecosystems, particularly land, wildlife and water supplies of strategic importance;
  3. improved forest resource management and sustainable utilisation of forest resources at both the national and local levels;
  4. the management of major water catchments and headwaters; and
  5. meeting the social, cultural and economic needs of local communities.


Madam Speaker, notwithstanding the above, the Government has observed with great concern high levels of illegalities in relation to the country’s forestry resources, including the following:


  1. the mushrooming of settlements in protected forest areas, including watershed areas, resulting in the loss of 33 per cent of forest cover across the country;
  2. the uncontrolled harvest, trade and export of indigenous valuable timber species, such as mukula;
  3. the increased and illegal cutting down of trees for charcoal production; and
  4. quarrying, sand mining, and mining for manganese and other minerals.


Madam Speaker, as a result of these illegal activities, almost all the 470 forest reserves, including water catchment areas, have been encroached upon. This unfortunate situation needs to be halted if our country is to develop and become the middle-income nation that we aspire it to be. I, therefore, take this opportunity to inform this House and the general public that encroachment on forest reserves and the undertaking of various activities without permits or licences issued by the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment are illegal and offenders will be prosecuted.


Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government was voted into office to deliver development, but that can only be done if we all do things within the confines of the law. I want to categorically state that no development can take place in the midst of lawlessness. In this regard, the ministry will soon take definitive measures to protect forest reserves and mitigate their loss. Therefore, I urge all entities or individuals who have encroached on forests to move out immediately so that we do not have to resort to issuance of eviction notices. While it is noted that such directives that have been given before by previous Governments have yielded nothing, I assure this House that the New Dawn Government means business. This is a national issue, and all must take heed and abide by the law.


Madam Speaker, in this noble cause, the ministry will collaborate with other Government agencies, including the ministries of Defence, Home Affairs and Internal Security, and Tourism, to ensure that the rule of law is adhered to.


Madam Speaker, allow me to address other forestry-related issues, such as the high rate of deforestation, the potential of the forestry sector to create jobs and wealth, and the state of the Forestry Department.


Madam Speaker, the country loses about 270,000 ha of forest cover per year. This is attributed to various factors that include unsustainable timber harvesting practices, unsustainable agricultural practices, late forest fires and infrastructure development.


Madam Speaker, deforestation on account of the indiscriminate cutting down of trees contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in extreme weather conditions evidenced by the frequency of droughts, floods and unpredictable rainy seasons. These conditions threaten the health and stability of ecosystems, ultimately slowing down the country’s economic growth. It is quite evident that these effects of climate change have not spared Zambia.


Madam Speaker, a study titled “Benefits of Forest Ecosystems in Zambia and the Role of Redd + in a Green Economy Transformation” revealed that forests are important for the reasons outlined below:


  1. the value of wood production (industrial round wood and fuel wood) is estimated at K6.8 billion per annum;
  2. the value of non-wood forest products is estimated at an average of K2.3 billion per annum;
  3. potential for Redd + projects, in terms of carbon, can also be valued in terms of its market value estimated at an average of K171 per tonne. Depending on location, carbon stocks in Zambian forests are potentially worth about K2,561 per ha on average, but range up to K12,000 per ha for intact forests. Annual values of sequestration in degraded areas are about K273 to K500 ha per year.


Therefore, Madam Speaker, preserving our forests can be viewed as another avenue for generating the much-needed revenue for the growth of our economy.


Madam Speaker, forests are estimated to directly contribute about 5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) or K16 billion per annum. When the multiplier effects of forestry and tourism-related activities and other sectors are considered, the overall or economy-wide contribution of forests is estimated at, at least, 6 per cent of GDP or K21 billion per annum.


Madam Speaker, forests provide, at least, 1.4 million jobs, supporting 60 per cent of rural households, which are heavily dependent on the use of natural resources to supplement or sustain their livelihoods. Further, forests contribute approximately 20 per cent of rural household incomes, including the market value of subsistence production.


Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government is aware of the fact that previous Governments did not pay much attention to the forestry sector. Consequently, the Forestry Department, which is mandated to superintend over the sustainable management of forests, has been left to grapple with a myriad of challenges that hinder effective service delivery. The challenges include:


  1. inadequate capacity to protect and manage forests, resulting in increased encroachments and illegal harvesting of timber for charcoal production and export;
  2. inadequate support to plantation establishment and management;
  3. inadequate human resources and poor infrastructure, resulting in failure to manage forest reserves;
  4. limited and poor tools and equipment for sustainable forest management, resulting in failure to conduct periodic forest assessments;
  5. inadequate subsidiary legislation to support the provisions of the Forests Act No. 4 of 2015; and
  6. inadequate financial resources to effectively manage forests.


Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government is committed to addressing these challenges in order to turn around the fortunes of the forestry sector and make the sector contribute to job and wealth creation for the benefit of our citizens. In this regard, the Government will do the following:


  1. ensure that harvesting and trade in valuable indigenous species are done sustainably to reduce deforestation, considering Zambia’s commitments, through the nationally determined goals (NDGs), which are aimed at reducing carbon emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change in line with international agreements like the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC);
  2. extend the ban on mukula harvesting and continue the ongoing audit of all timber permits;
  3. review the National Forestry Policy of 2014 and amend the Forest Act No. 4 of 2015 in order to provide for stiffer penalties to deter would-be offenders;
  4. carry out a thorough phased assessment of valuable indigenous timber species, starting with mukula stocks, in the country to  determine quantities, establish the true value and determine the potential of a thriving timber industry, with emphasis on value addition, and job and wealth creation;
  5. develop and put in place mechanisms that will be fair, inclusive and equitable to all Zambians, including women and youths. This will entail the economic empowerment of youths and many Zambians, as opposed to enriching a few, as was witnessed in the previous regime;
  6. review relevant subsidiary legislation in order to ensure that all Zambians eligible to trade in timber can obtain maximum benefits from the timber industry without any form of discrimination;
  7. through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, provide start-up capital to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) engaged in the timber value chain that have high potential for growth, and job and wealth creation;
  8. invest in afforestation, catchment area conservation and improvement in landscape management at the local level;
  9. enhance the implementation of the Community Forestry Management Regulations of 2018 to ensure that local communities that are dependent on forest resources around them obtain maximum benefits from those resources through initiatives like carbon trading;
  10. operationalise the Forestry Development Fund in order to broaden resources of funding for sustainable forest management;
  11. strengthen the capacity of the Forestry Department through increased funding and human resource for the effective implementation of policies and legislation;
  12. considerably reduce issuance of permits for cutting down of trees for charcoal burning and review all existing concession licences;
  13. completely ban the occupation of forests by citizens and stop all illegal mining activities and, finally; and
  14. recommend the re-gazetting of forests that were degazetted and shared among politically-exposed persons (PEPs) in the previous regimes without due consideration for environment sustainability.

Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, issues of forest protection, environmental sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions, which are factors in climate change, are non-partisan. I, therefore, call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to support this cause.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement issued by the hon. Minister.


The hon. Member for Bwacha.


Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister –


Madam Speaker: Oh, sorry. Kwacha. ‘Kwacha’ and ‘Bwacha’ are similar.


Amb. Malanji: The hon. Member for Bwacha is behind me.


Madam Speaker, I know it is the duty of the Government to preserve forests. At the same time, the Government needs to increase the avenues from which it can get revenue. Is the Government going to come up with an initiative through which it will encourage, for example, people who are cultivating mukula to plant a number of trees for every tree that is cut, as a way of reducing deforestation? That way, for every tree cut, including mukula species, there will be others in the next four years to replace it. Of course, it will have to be trees that will suit the environment of the trees cut.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, in the Budget that we will be debating, there is a provision for afforestation. We are also encouraging carbon trading, that is, Zambians keeping trees for a fee. So, that will be done. Further, during our meeting in Glasgow, His Excellency the President managed to get a lot of funding for climate change activities, including afforestation. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is committed to supporting this venture in a very big way.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, I followed the hon. Minister’s statement very well. First of all, the Former President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, fought very hard to ensure that we stopped deforestation by planting new trees where deforestation had taken place.  We also put climate change on the agenda of Zambia by coming to –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kabushi!


 This segment is for asking questions on points of clarification on the hon. Minister’s statement, not for debating. So, you can start with a few remarks and then ask a question on a point of clarification.




Mr Lusambo: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for your guidance.


Madam Speaker, we know some people who have encroached on forests. The former hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Madam Jean Kapata, visited Namwala and found that tracts of forest land had been encroached upon by well-known people. One of them was the leader of an opposition party and is, today, the President of the Republic of Zambia. What is the Government doing about that?




PF hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: Order!


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member agrees with me that there were many illegalities in the forestry sector in the previous Government. We need to put an end to that.


Madam Speaker, in my statement, I was very clear in stating that we are studying the degazetting of many forests. We lost many forests in the previous regime, some unnecessarily so. So, we are studying the issue and, where the applicable laws were violated, we are recommending for the regazetting of the forests.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


You are not allowed to debate whilst seated. Let us have some order.


Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, the levels of illegal logging in this nation, especially in border towns, are alarming. It is very clear that those areas have been left unattended to. Is the ministry equipping the District Forestry Officers sufficiently to stop that illegal activity?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I truly believe the hon. Member is speaking as Leader of the Opposition of the Republic of Zambia. The indications are that he is joining the fight to stop illegal logging, and I am happy about that. I assure him that this Government will do everything possible to curtail the illegal practice. He may note that in the Budget, there is a provision for employing and training more forestry officers. Further, currently, there is a programme to train the forestry officers in all the districts and provide them with the necessary equipment.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister for his elaborate statement.


Madam Speaker, we have been very proactive in the issue of afforestation. If you go to Shiwang’andu, the thing that will greet you are new plantations that we set up in order to deal with the historical deforestation that we have had, and we want support in that area. The greatest challenge the hon. Minister needs to pay attention to is the substitute for livelihoods, especially when it comes to charcoal burning, as charcoal burning is not only a livelihood for some people, but charcoal is also a source of energy. So, even if pronouncements are made and there is zeal to stop charcoal burning, if this challenge is not addressed, all efforts will amount to nothing. How much resources has the Government deliberately set aside to deal with the aspect of alternative sources of energy and livelihoods for the people involved in charcoal burning?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I totally agree that our people’s livelihoods are highly dependent on forests. However, the hon. Member may wish to note that a few weeks ago, the hon. Minister of Agriculture announced in this House the increment in the packs for our farmers. We want to improve agriculture as a substitute to charcoal burning. That is one way this Government will wean our people off the wanton destruction of forests.


Madam Speaker, indeed, charcoal is a very important source of energy for some people, especially those in urban areas. In this light, we are encouraging the use of renewable energy sources. In the Budget that was presented by Hon. Dr Musokotwane, there is a reduction in the tax on solar systems. So, we are encouraging the use of renewable sources as much as we can, as we intend to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the forestry industry from destruction.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, I seek clarification on the cutting of trees, especially the endangered species like mukula and mulombwa. When will the Government issue permits to people with massive pieces of land where there are such trees species to clear their land and venture into commercial farming?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, that question has already been dealt with. In the Budget, there is an allocation for the establishment of new farming blocks, and I am sure the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources will issue a statement to the House and elaborate on specifics.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, it is on record that in terms of deforestation, Zambia is ranked first in Africa and firth in the world, a situation that is very bad and unfortunate. Further, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the causes of deforestation is charcoal burning and that some people have licences to engage in that activity. What specific measures has the Government put in place to deal with the majority charcoal burners, who do not have licences to trade in charcoal?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, in this House, we all agree that deforestation has reached alarming levels and that something has to be done about it. The House may wish to note that the Forest Act No.4 of 2015 allows only people issued with permits to engage in charcoal burning. So, all charcoal burners must have permits. We have effected a ban on charcoal burning, and all charcoal burners without permits will be prosecuted. We need to reduce charcoal burning as much as we can.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Emmanuel M. Musonda (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister catalogued a series of interventions meant to save our forests, and I am happy he stated that the Government intends to employ additional forestry staff. How many forestry staff does the New Dawn Government intend to employ in 2022 to successfully implement the interventions catalogued?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I do not have the number of forestry officers we will employ, but we have provided a Budget line for the exercise. When we have the number, I will share it with the House.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister discourage charcoal burning and cooking using charcoal in his statement. However, it is said that when you take something dangerous from a baby, you should give the baby an alternative toy. What alternative to charcoal burning is the hon. Minister proposing for the people currently engaged in that activity as a source of livelihood? Even here, in urban areas, with the unreliable services from ZESCO Limited, most residents use charcoal to cook. What is the alternative, bearing in mind that gas is expensive and not readily available?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member, with whom I planted some trees in his constituency, Matero.


Madam Speaker, indeed, charcoal burning has become quite destructive. You may be aware that most large-scale charcoal burners produce the charcoal for customers in Lusaka for a living. One of the ways the New Dawn Government will wean such people off charcoal burning is supporting them in their agricultural activities so that they can sustain their livelihoods.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I saw the hon. Minister some two or three weeks ago in Kafue, which is one of the areas with the most encroachment on forests, and I admired his passion and drive, and wished him success in his endeavours. My question is related to the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge’s.


Madam Speaker, there are individuals across the country whose farms may have high-value trees, and they may have paid the necessary fees to harvest the trees on their private properties in line with the Forest Act No. 4 of 2015. However, the Government suspended timber harvesting after it had already collected the fees and levies. Will the Government consider compensating individuals who may have suffered loss?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I receive the good will for my success from my good friend, the hon. Member for Pambashe. However, success can only be achieved with his assistance.


Madam Speaker, indeed, many of our people spread across the length and breadth of the country have permits. However, the biggest challenge we have in this industry are the illegal activities, such as the use of the same concession licences many times over, the lack of revenue collection by the Government and the abuse of our people by foreigners. As you may be aware, in the last few years, this country did not realise any meaningful revenue from the timber industry despite Zambia being endowed with rich timber reserves. Reports in foreign media confirmed a lot of revenue being realised from Zambia whilst in Zambia, there was absolutely no revenue. Such illegal activities are making it very difficult for us to regulate this industry properly and ensure that it contributes to the economic development of the country.


Madam Speaker, we are auditing all permits and stocks in the country because there are people who obtained permits illegally while many more have been trading without licences. Soon and very soon, we will issue the necessary directives.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika Central): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this perfect elaboration.


Madam Speaker, the Government has allowed the transiting of mukula logs through Zambia –


Mr Chitotela: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Chitotela: I thank you, Madam Speaker, and apologise to the hon. Member for Mpika Central.


Madam Speaker, I bring to your attention Standing Order No. 65. I am looking at the precise quotation.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has avoided my question. My question was: What is the New Dawn Government doing about its having inconvenienced private individuals who have private farms and followed the procedure; paid the necessary fees before harvesting high-value trees. This suspension is inconveniencing people who legally harvested timber on their land. What is the Government’s position? Is it going to compensate such people for the lost time or will it allow Zambians who follow the law to lose out because there are people who commit illegalities? Is my brother, Hon. Collins Nzovu, the Minister of Green Economy and Environment, in order to not answer my question?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Pambashe, maybe, you can assist me. Which particular Standing Order has been breached?


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: A quick review of Standing Order 65 does not cover the point of order that you have raised.


Anyway, if the hon. Member for Pambashe is not satisfied with the answer, I advise the two hon. Members to meet and have a chat on how they can assist each other.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Speaker, in the past few weeks, there have been reports of illegal export of the mukula tree. In the same vein, the Government has allowed the transiting of the mukula from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through Zambia. Will that not give room for the illegal export of our mukula by people purporting that it is coming from the DRC? Why has the hon. Minister allowed the transiting of the mukula through our country?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, the Zambian Government committed itself to ensuring that mukula from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) transits through Zambia as required by international law. However, before allowing that, we ensured that the necessary security measures on the border were improved and enhanced. So, whilst there is a chance that unscrupulous people will try to take advantage of the move, the security systems and officials in this country will ensure that does not happen. Our borders are being manned twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, and we will ensure that only the mukula emanating from the DRC is allowed to pass through Zambia.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I know that the ministry is quite new, but I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware of the hullabaloo around Forest Reserve No.27. How far has the Government gone in addressing the issues around that forest reserve?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, the tale of illegalities in the forestry sector would take us 365 degrees to elaborate and understand. Indeed, the illegalities where entrenched, and we need to work together to stop those illegalities. The wanton de-gazetting of forests went far too far, and Forest Reserve No. 27, like many others in the country, has been lost. Our recommendation on forests that were de-gazetted illegally and unnecessarily is that they be re-gazetted.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Eng. Nzovu: As regards the matter of Forest Reserve No.27 specifically, the hon. Ministers of Lands and Natural Resources, and Tourism are actively pursuing it. We have recommended, as I said in the statement, that many other forests that were shared by PEPs, some of whom are in this House, be repossessed.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Madam Speaker: Order!


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, –


Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order citing Standing Order No. 65(b).


Madam Speaker, the Standing Orders provide that information brought to this House must be factual and verifiable. Further, it is against the norms of this august House for hon. Members to debate themselves. According to the hon. Minister for Green Economy and Environment, he is only going to deal with those areas that were illegally de-gazetted.




Madam Speaker: Order!


Mr Kampyongo: Is he in order to insinuate that there are hon. Members in this august House who were engaged in illegalities when he cannot lay that proof on the Table?


I seek your serious ruling because we are a House of rules and –




Mr Kampyongo: These greenhorns who are making noise, Madam Speaker, I need your protection from them.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, do you want to be in my Chair or what? Can we observe the decorum and dignity of the House?


Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, proceed.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we are a House of rules, and the decorum of this House entails that we conduct ourselves according to the rules we set for ourselves. Is the hon. Minister in order to make such broad allegations against his fellow hon. Members of this august House?


Madam Speaker: Indeed, the rules of the House very clearly provide that hon. Members should not debate themselves. If there are any illegalities that are alleged to have been done, the people who committed them can be dealt with by the police outside this House. When we come to the House, let us avoid specifying or mentioning other fellow hon. Members in our debates. However, that does not stop the law from taking its course. As the President has said, we are a country of laws.


Hon. Member: Hear, hear!




Madam Speaker: Continue, hon. Member for Bweengwa, sorry, Kalabo Central. It is because of too much noise that I am burdened.




Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate answers. However, is still did not hear the Government’s position on forest guards. There used to be Government workers and community members involved in forest protection. What is the position of the Government on the community members? Has the Government any plans to put in place substantive measures to engage communities to assist in the protection of forests?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, there is a lot we should be doing to ensure that our forests are protected. The first in line is the employment of District Foresters. As regards forest guards and community workers, they will be catered for in the next Budget. So, the hon. Member is informed that everything is being done to improve forest management.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: I know that there has been a lot of interest in this matter, but we have to manage our time. I will call three more hon. Members to ask questions on this matter and then we will move on.


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I have two concerns. There are two groups of people who are cutting down our trees in this country. There is a group from a clique of criminals and a group of vulnerable people who are in the charcoal-burning business. I am only interested in the vulnerable people, not those from the clique.


Madam Speaker, what incentive has the ministry put in place for the people who are cutting down our trees?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, as I said before, the illegalities in this industry were deep-rooted and will have to be rooted out. Further, I have also heard of the clique, which was well-funded and organised. It also did not leave a penny in this country, and it must be stopped.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, the clique denied –


Mr Chitotela: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Pambashe, just give me a moment. I will deal with that issue.


Before the hon. Minister continues, I missed something, but the use of the word ‘criminals’ in the context in which it is being used is not allowed. In this House, we are dealing with hon. Members; we are not discussing criminals. Equally, the context in which the word ‘clique’ is being used is becoming unparliamentary. The issue here is that if there is anybody who has committed an offence, please, let the law visit them. I think the people of Zambia are tired of people just talking. Let the people who have committed offences be arrested and taken to court so that they can answer to charges.


Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: The hon. Minister may proceed.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member that the vulnerable people of our country were completely kept out of this system. While the vulnerable were suffering due to a lack of medicines and being supplied with defective condoms, mukula, a very valuable commodity that should have brought money into Government coffers to cater for them, was being harvested by a few groups with a certain name.


Madam Speaker, as already stated, we want to empower our vulnerable people through the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. Zambians and Zambians only will be encouraged to trade in our timber. We will also encourage them to engage in value addition activities, as that will ensure job creation and improve the livelihoods of Zambians.


Madam Speaker, this is a non-partisan issue, and our comrades on the left must come to the table and work with us so that the lives of the vulnerable people of Zambia are improved.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!


There are no comrades in the House; there are only hon. Members. So, maybe, you could withdraw the word “comrades.”


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word “comrades” and call them partners in development as they come towards this side.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mulebwa (Kafulafuta): Madam Speaker, my question has been asked in part by the hon. Member for Mpika Central, who asked what would be done to those who would bring in mukula from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). My question is: What measures have been put in place to protect members of my constituency who get their charcoal from the DRC? I see that happening all the time. People get charcoal from the DRC, but they are victimised when they cross into Zambia. What measures has the hon. Minister put in place to ensure that products from the DRC do not get confiscated in Zambia?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, the benefits of the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be seen very soon. For example, we met the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation (NORAD), and the agency promised to be giving us free satellite images. That is one form of technology we will manage our forests with. For example, we will be able to know the origin or location of charcoal. We will have equipment to determine, to a large extent, the source of the charcoal. So, the hon. Member should rest assured that this Government, which was led to COP26 by His Excellency, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, Commander of the Armed Forces, will come out with maximum benefits and ensure that forests are protected.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, I am very happy that the hon. Minister has issued this statement on the status of our forests, as Nyimba is one of the beneficiaries of carbon sales through the protection of forests. However, I have a challenge in the statement.


Madam Speaker, in Nyimba Constituency, while we are protecting the forests, there is a group of people –and I will not use the word you have asked to be withdrawn – which has taken over the frontage of Luangwa River and displaced the people who were in the open area. As a result, a good number of the people have encroached on Mvuvye West Forest, and this is a fact. It is not their wish to encroach on the forest; they have done that because people with money have pushed them from the open area, which had been gazetted for people to settle in. How is the ministry going to handle this case? Those people cannot move to where they are supposed to be, and we may have to chase them from where they are, as alluded to in the statement. What is the position of the hon. Minister on this issue?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, issues of encroachment are with us, and they must be dealt with.


Madam Speaker, I have engaged the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, and the matter the hon. Member of Parliament has referred to is under intensive investigations.


Madam Speaker, on the issue of carbon trading, married to the fact that hon. Members here have engaged heavily in the forestry sector, my call to all of them is that they educate our people on the positive results expected from managing our forestry sector well. Members of the public can gain a lot of revenue from carbon trading, and this is a matter we need to explain to our people. These matters also border on climate change, and issues of climate change are with us. It is the reason we are doing everything possible to protect our forests. Deforestation in Zambia is one of the main causes of global warming leading to climate change. Already, in the past few days, we have experienced heat waves, weather events that were not common and were not of this intensity when they occurred. These are signs of climate change, and we must come together to enhance mitigation and adaptation measures.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, I was just praying that you would give me this opportunity.


Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister and the Government for the stance taken. I hope and pray that whatever the hon. Minister has said will be implemented. We will thank the Government when it does something good.


Madam Speaker, currently, there are Tanzanians with machines in the Luangwa Valley, particularly in my constituency. They move in around November and move out around March with trucks taking our indigenous timber to Tanzania, and the main culprits are the forest officers, who work with traditional leaders. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife wrote letters to cancel the licences. Alas –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, let me be brief. I know I should be.


Madam Speaker: Thank you.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that the civil servants who are involved in the wrongdoings with our traditional leaders are brought to book? What measures have been put in place to stop the civil servants who are depleting our forests and biodiversity in the Luangwa Valley?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, we have said many things. However, implementation depends on all of us; it depends on hon. Members of Parliament and the security institutions of our nation. So, we call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to educate our people and traditional leaders, because it has been discovered that traditional leaders give our people land in forest reserves, which is illegal and a practice that must be stopped.


Madam Speaker, the question of foreigners taking our timber in the night is a matter of great security concern, and I have brought them to the attention of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, who is actively pursuing them.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) Madam Speaker, I sincerely appreciate your giving me an opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a follow-up question.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is an appointee of the President. So, he cannot demote the President to the rank of “Commander of Armed Forces”. Our President is the ‘Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force’.


PF hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kafwaya: That said, I am very concerned about the hon. Minister’s other utterances. I think it has become fashionable for hon. Ministers like him to refer to the previous regime in a very bad way. In his statement, he said forests were de-gazetted without due regard to environmental sustainability. Does he think that standing on a red carpet and issuing a ministerial statement like the one he just delivered makes the United Party for National Development (UPND) better than the Patriotic Front (PF)?


Madam Speaker: What is the point of clarification?


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, the point of clarification is: Does the hon. Minister think that standing on the red carpet and issuing a ministerial statement like he has done today makes the UPND better than the PF?


Madam Speaker: I am a bit uncomfortable with that question on comparisons. However, the hon. Minister is here. I will let him answer, but bear in mind that the questions you ask attract certain answers.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, as an engineer, I can only sympathise with my fellow hon. Member of Parliament for showing such lack of understanding.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I am also aware that issues of deforestation resulting into climate change are very complicated to explain. However, at the ministry, we have a deliberate policy to educate some hon. Members of Parliament who may not understand some of these very complex issues. Further, I am also very hesitant to bring the political side of things into this because my view is that this is a very non-partisan issue, as our very lives depend on ensuring that the Forestry Department is protected. So, I call upon the hon. Member to be sober and come to the table of development. Issues of promoting a Head of State are bygones. These issues call on hon. Member to leave his ways of politicking for better ways if he is to have any chance of getting back into power. Otherwise, his party might not come to power in the next sixty years.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: On that emotive note, I think we have exhausted the questions on points of clarification. However, I encourage hon. Members to liaise with the hon. Minister of Green Environment, and assist him if they have any useful ideas on how we can continue to protect our environment.




Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!


We need to respect one another. This idea of making comments that do not uphold the dignity of this House is not welcome. If I hear any hon. Member shout or say anything in a way degrading to another hon. Member, I will have to ask him or her to go and debate from outside.




The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to render my first ministerial statement in the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly. My statement is on enhancing the digital transformation and economic progress through science and technology, and the role of the Ministry of Technology and Science in that.


Madam Speaker, from the outset, allow me to express my deep appreciation to the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, for conferring on me the privilege of serving the people of Zambia as Minister of Technology and Science, a task I intend to execute to the best of my ability. In the same spirit, I congratulate His Excellency the President on the incisive speech he delivered to this august House on Friday, 10th September, 2021, a speech that ably unbundled his Government’s transformational vision for the country for the next five years. Indeed, this country retains immense potential in every sector, but it is only under an able leadership that the potential can be realized for the benefit of our people.


Madam Speaker, I would be remiss if I did not also congratulate you heartily on your election as the first ever female Speaker of the National Assembly of Zambia.


Madam, in his address to Parliament, the President was categorical when he said, and I quote:


“We will also place a premium on science and technology to promote innovation and contribute to sustainable development. We will increase investments in science, research and technology. Government will also encourage investments from the private sector in science, research and technology.”


Madam Speaker, the President’s speech fully recognised the major strategy for enhancing technology, science and innovation for social and economic development. In fact, that emphatic pronouncement was followed by the creation of the Ministry of Technology and Science.


Madam Speaker, following the establishment of the Ministry of Technology and Science, my team and I have been undertaking a visioning exercise to ensure that all programmes in technology, science, research and development (R&D), electronic Government, communication technologies and innovations are aligned with the United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto. This rethinking will facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for a digital economy, as we have also undertaken extensive stakeholder mapping and engagements.


Madam Speaker, Zambia’s transformational agenda should be anchored on a solid foundation of technology, science, research and innovation, and skills development. In addition, it should see all these turned into solutions for our people in order to create happiness; they should spur transformation and create business opportunities at all levels. It is for this reason that I assert that my ministry will be at the centre of enhancing the digital transformation and economic progress through science and technology in order for us to attain the much-needed sustainable development. It is, therefore, our resolve, as a ministry, to ensure that the digital transformation and all programmes implemented improve the livelihoods of the people of Zambia in all the economic and social sectors. We intend to make full profit from current technologies in order to reduce the gaps that hold back inclusive and sustainable development.


Madam Speaker, it is not a secret that our citizens demand an improved quality of life. In order to satisfy the people’s hopes for quality lives, my ministry intends to build a path underpinned by technology, science, R&D and innovation. We intend to deliver by underpinning our strategy on five key pillars.


Madam, let me now share the five key pillars of our strategic focus.


An Enabling Environment


Madam Speaker, the ministry will create an enabling environment by putting in place a policy and legal framework that will support a digital economy. This will include a review of policies like the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy and Postal Services Policy, as well as the Electronic Government Act, Science and Technology Act and Skills Development Act, among others.


Access to Digital Infrastructure and Services


Madam Speaker, we will put in place measures that will promote affordable access to digital infrastructure through enhanced connectivity, smart gadgets and service quality. This will be realised by expanding the broadband fibre infrastructure across the county, and gadgets to reduce the costs of connectivity and access.


Digitised Government Systems


Madam Speaker, Government services will be digitised in order to promoted convenience, reduce transaction costs and eliminate wastage of resources in the delivery and accessing of public services. We will place particular emphasis on digitising the national registration system, which will, in turn, integrate all Government services, such as the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), Social Cash Transfer and other empowerment programmes.


Up-Skilling of Citizens


Madam Speaker, we will up-skill citizens in order to have digital-friendly citizens, through a number of measures that will include a review of curricula, training of trainers and creation of digital hubs.


Protection of People, Data and Infrastructure


Madam Speaker, the protection of people, data and infrastructure will also be prioritised to ensure that people are happy with the services


Madam Speaker, through the five pillars, it is our hope that we will realise a digital transformation for the people of Zambia in all the economic and social sectors. We intend to make full profit from emerging technologies to reduce the gaps that hold back inclusive and sustainable development. In this regard, my ministry is determined to harness the services of talented scientists and innovators, especially among the youth, in cultivating technological innovations and ideas that will be turned into enterprises for not only employment creation, but also overall economic growth. This will be implemented within various ecosystems for youth innovators.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to reiterate our commitment to leveraging technology, science, research and innovation for transformation of our country into a digital economy. It is my conviction that will bring happiness to the people Zambia through cost-effective, efficient and transparent service delivery from an open Government that puts the needs  and aspirations of our people first.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Hon Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Technology and Science.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for outlining the state of affairs well on the Floor of the House.


Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister talk about the strategic approach of scaling up the use of technology in this country and how he envisages a situation in which Government operations are digitalised. However, I am alive to the fact that most of the senior people working in Government offices are the so-called BBCs (born before computers), and most of them are computer illiterate. This situation stems from a historical background of not having emphasised computer literacy right from primary education.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Zambezi East!


Pleases, ask a question on a point of clarification. You are now debating.


UPND hon. Member: Hammer!


Mr Kambita: Madam Speaker, I treasure your guidance. I was only providing the background to my question.


Madam Speaker, I am thinking about schools. If you want to know the confusion in schools, go there around this time and in December, when there are examinations. Schools are now having practical examinations in computer studies, but they do not have the infrastructure, and the trainers are ill-equipped and ill-trained. What strategy does the ministry have for ensuring that the basic requirement for effective teaching of computer lessons in all our schools regardless of where they are located, that is, including in rural areas like Katoti in Zambezi, so that what he has just said in his presentation is achieved?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Zambezi East for the good question.


Madam Speaker, I think we have a two-pronged strategy for enhancing the skills of our teachers, in particular. The first thing we are doing is providing 10,000 computers to schools across Zambia under the Universal Access Funds. So, from an infrastructural perspective, we will have the computers.


UPND hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: Secondly, the various teachers in our schools are being enrolled for short-term training, some of them on-site and others through our various training institutions, to enhance their skills so that they can teach properly.


I must emphasise, Madam Speaker, that whilst Zambia is doing fairly well with regard to digital infrastructure and platforms, one of the limitations that we have is in the area of skills development. Currently, the ratio of computers to pupils is one computer to more than 120 pupils, and we need to bridge this gap.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I have taken note of the five pillars on which the ministry will anchor digital transformation. One of the pillars has to do with the setting up of innovation centres and hubs. Before I ask my question, I want to indicate that Kamfinsa Constituency is ready to provide land for hosting one of the innovation centres that will be set up by the Government of the Republic of Zambia.


Madam Speaker, my question is: In the next five years, how many jobs does the ministry intend to create as a result of these important steps that will be taken? Do we have those projections in the strategic plan?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kamfinsa for this good question.


Madam Speaker, only last week, we hosted what we called a National Innovation Competition. That competition resulted in over 3,100 innovations being received from all the provinces of Zambia. The entries were later scaled down to 419 and, eventually, to forty-five.


Madam Speaker, one thing that was very obvious about the competition was the amazing talent, particularly of young Zambians, in coming up with very critical innovations that focus on creating solutions to local problems. What we are doing, on the job issue, and starting with these forty-five innovators, is putting innovators on what we are calling the Business Incubation Initiative.


Madam Speaker, we have realised that there is a gap between being an innovator and being a business person. So, to fill up that gap, we have come up with a business acceleration programme that will do a number of things, among them, teaching innovators business skills, including straightforward things like constructing an income statement, distinguishing between profit and capital, packaging a product for market readiness and mentorship. The innovators will be on the programme for three months, at the end of which they will be assisted in terms of connections into industry and business.


Madam Speaker, we believe that the creation of jobs starts with turning innovations into market-ready products. For those that are not market-ready, we have come up with a programme, using the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA), to secure them through intellectual property rights protection. The potential of the forty-five to create a number of jobs is immerse.


Later this evening, Madam Speaker, we are going to be dealing with approximately ten innovators who are already beyond being start-ups, as they are at the point of being connected with telephone operators and other finance technology companies (FinTechs). They, too, are creating jobs.


There is an amazing story, Madam Speaker, of a young innovator called Mark Moono from Choma, Mutanda Village. The young man is a school dropout, but he has come up with an innovation that uses human waste in a pit latrine to create electricity for his house. When I asked him how he came up with the idea, he said that in 2008, he tried to pick up something that had fallen in a pit latrine and felt tremendous heat. He then realised that the heat could be used to turn a turbine, and he had been experimenting on that until a few months ago when he created a plant that generates power. He sold the plant at K5,000, and says that capital will enable him to set up more plant. So, one answer to one of the concerns of my colleague, the hon. Minister for Green Economy and Environment, is local solutions are part of the solution. For example, there are many pit latrines, particularly in rural areas of Zambia. So, we can set up isolated power generation plants using the invention of Moono, a chap who has not gone far in school, but has the tenacity and ability to make a change by creating employment in his local area.


Madam Speaker, there are many things that the ministry is doing, and the talent of the young people who come to the ministry day in and day out is amazing. There is a lot that such people can do to change this country. Moono’s last words to me were that there is nothing more potent than creating a local solution to a local problem.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, the ministry is very important, and I believe that technology cuts across all other ministries and sectors. However, there are secondary schools that are supposed to offer Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a subject and have functioning laboratories, but they have no electricity. Since the hon. Minister talked about creating an environment that will support a digital economy, how will the ministry create that enabling environment in schools that are not connected to electricity?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, indeed, electricity is one of the main constraints. Another one is Internet connectivity for the various schools. Therefore, we have to think outside the box on how to lower the cost of taking power, particularly to schools. The model we have used thus far, that of using the national grid, is expensive, in terms of delivering connectivity to our schools. The most practical means of doing that is the use off-grid solutions, such as solar power and what Moono created in Mutanda Village. So, we have to look at cheaper ways of taking power to areas, particularly the rural ones. We are investigating this as a matter of priority, and we are happy to learn from the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment that Zambia will be a beneficiary of the financing that will be made available for climate change control. I am sure that part of those funds will be used to enhance power connectivity in our schools.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, in the statement, the hon. Minister indicated that the ministry has come up with five pillars for actualising its dream. I followed the statement and heard that the five pillars are an enabling environment; access to digital infrastructure and services; digitised Government services; up-skilling of citizens; and protection of people, data and infrastructure. Is there any timeframe for actualising the five pillars and up-scaling science and technology for our people in this republic?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, thus far, we have identified the critical things that we need to do in the first 100 days. One of them is stakeholder engagement in the development of a strategy and path that will lead us into a digital or cashless economy. The stakeholder engagement is supposed to create greater ownership of the digital economy by the people of Zambia.  After the stakeholder engagement, which will take place before the end of this year, we shall come up with a roadmap with clear annual signposts on all the five pillars and what will be delivered. For example, on the first pillar, which is an enabling environment, firstly, we will undertake a review of various policies, some of which are implemented by other ministries, to see how we can have one harmonised policy on technology and science. Secondly, we will review the legal frameworks relevant to that policy in order to allow for effective delivery. Thirdly, we will come up with regulations that will underpin the process. So, we hope to present the reviewed legal framework to Parliament sometime next year, as it is important that we do not carry forward fragmented pieces of legislation. We need to have only one legal framework on the digital economy to drive the economy.


 Madam Speaker, regarding the pillar of digitised Government systems, we intend to digitise Government services in order to make service delivery efficient, transparent and accountable as a means for creating trust among citizens. So far, we have handled sixty-three or sixty-four of the services and need to handle about 330 more, which will take us, at least, twelve months. So, for each of the pillars, the timeframes are different depending on the depth and extent of the work that needs to be done.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I followed the statement, and it has really excited the people of Lubansenshi and me to hear that the ministry will use five pillars to actualise its objectives and add value to the economy of this country. However, ‘science’ and ‘technology’ are terminologies I have been hearing since the time I was in Grade 1. What specific measures will the ministry put in place to create an enabling environment and, at the same time, to (inaudible) the same principle he has outlined in terms of manufacturing of drugs? I am convinced that currently, most of the drugs we consume in this country are imported at the expense of the research departments or sections of the various universities. What is so difficult about us producing drugs and reducing the cost on the Government?


Madam speaker, the issue of –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


How many questions on points of clarification do you have? You are only allowed to ask one question, and we are running out of time. Just ask one question and, please, shorten your question.  Do not debate; just ask the question. You can make opening remarks, but do not debate because other hon. Members also want to ask questions.


Mr Chewe: Madam Speaker, what measures is the ministry going to put in place to create an enabling environment for the creation of jobs that will benefit the people of Lubansenshi?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I have already said that our youths have creative minds and that they are innovators. If they can generate electricity, I am sure that they can also formulate and make drugs.


Madam speaker, in terms of the pillar on up-skilling, we will use, for example, Kasama Trades Training Institute (KTTI) to go into the constituencies, such as Lubansenshi, and train the constituents in basic skills like bricklaying, carpentry and plumbing so when the hon. Member gets the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) next year, he will have a cadre of competent people who can implement various projects and thereby create jobs.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, looking at the time, I see that we have overshot the time for this segment, which we should have finished at 1640 hours. So, I will allow only one more question.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the statement issued by the hon. Minister. That said, I must also say that a lot of work has already been done insofar as digitalising Government platforms to improve service delivery is concerned. For example, the Smart Zambia Institute was created to co-ordinate the development of information and communication technology (ICT) platforms by Government units and departments. Today, we are able to use different gadgets to log in and do our parliamentary work from wherever we are because so much work has already been done. How differently does the Government intend to proceed in that regard, considering the infrastructure that has already been established and the co-ordination that has been done by the Smart Zambia Institute? The reason the institute was pitched that highly in the Government system was to ensure total compliance, since some people have the propensity to develop their own systems in the same Government.


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, we will not do things differently. All we will do is make the current platforms more output-oriented. Indeed, the Smart Zambia Institute has done commendable work since it was established. What has happened, thus far, is that if you took FISP, for example, there is a solution that creates the ideal output for the programme as a vertical pillar. The SCT and other empowerment programmes have equally been established patently as vertical programmes. Unfortunately, vertical systems allow space for double dipping because systems do not talk to one another. For example, the same person can take from FISP, SCT and other empowerment programmes. So, the next level is horizontal integration of systems so that they are able to interconnect and we end up having a one-Government system. For example, if you go to the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to pay for your disc, the system there should be able to connect with the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) system and check whether duty has already been paid. Now, there are multiple Government systems called the Government Bus, and there are mini-buses that will feed into it. However, the mini-buses have not yet been connected to the Government Bus. So, we will connect them, and that will be the differential.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: The issue of technology is very interesting. So, many hon. Members want to ask questions.


Mr Mufalali (Nominated): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for this elaborate statement.


Madam Speaker, the previous regime got US$700,000 and US$7 million from the Universal Access Fund. The US$700,000 was used to buy the Ministry of Transport and Communications building, which used to be that Canadian House, while the US$7 million was used to buy the traffic monitoring system. What is the Government doing to recover that money, which was supposed to benefit a child in the village in Shangombo and Mitete, so that the universal access and up-skilling of citizens that we are talking about can be achieved?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, that was simply a debit and credit transaction; one Government department is debited while another is credited. As of yesterday, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning had given K31 million back to the Universal Access Fund, and that process will continue until we rebuild. So, the money could have been misapplied, but it has not been lost.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Madam Speaker: Order!


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his answers given thus far. My question is on simply to the chicken and egg paradox. What comes first between the two?


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister spoke about Pillar No. 2, which he said is on access to digital equipment, and I was thinking about the fact that in our Budget for 2022, there is no mention of tax relief on digital equipment, that is, computers to all the other items we are talking about. How is the Government going to achieve what the hon. Minister has talked about if the basic equipment will continue to be expensive on the market because of the Government’s not providing any tax relief on it?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, we positive that despite the limitation on the resources we have, particularly for 2022, we will think of other ways of dealing with the challenge we face. For example, we are already in constructive discussions with one of the local investors who wants to begin assembling computers and cellular phones locally. The beauty of that is that 50 per cent of the cost of any laptop that one buys is for the brand. The heart is the same for most laptops. Therefore, we think that we are going to save significantly by assembling laptops locally than we would do by tinkering with the tax regime. That is the practical step we have taken to address the question the hon. Member has asked. 


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: The last question will come from the hon. Member for Chilubi.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I appreciate the sober and logical manner in which the hon. Minister is answering questions. In Bemba, it is said that iciweme ciilombela umucele, meaning that we need to appreciate and give credit where it is due. I hope other hon. Minister will emulate him.


Madam Speaker, given that the hon. Minister intends to build human capacity in his ministry through training, I have in mind a project under his ministry called the Green People’s Energy (GPE), which is funded by the Germany Corporation for International Development (GIZ). How many off-grid solar installation technicians were capacity-built under the project in 2020 and 2021?


Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member is referring to a project that we are implementing in Lundazi under called the Lundazi Green Village (LGV) Project.


Madam Speaker, in terms of the number of people who have been trained, there are three categories, involving the training of the local people in various physical activities regarding construction and other activities. There, we are creating jobs. In terms of the exact number of skilled people, I will have to find out. I cannot tell the hon. Member off-the-cuff.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: This is an interesting discussion, but I encourage hon. Members to continue engaging the hon. Minister of Technology and Science off the Floor on the issues that were raised in the ministerial statement.








84. Rev. Katuta (Chienge) asked the Minister of Energy:


  1. when electrification of villages and schools under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP) in Chienge District will commence;
  2. how many villages and schools are earmarked for electrification; and
  3. what the estimated cost of the project is.


The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Madam Speaker, the following areas were scheduled to be electrified in 2014 and 2018, respectively:


2014                                                       2018


Puta                                                   Chienge


Kalobwa                              Lambwe Chomba


Kalembwe                                           Lupiya


Mukunta                                              Kazembe


Kafulwe                                              Mwabu




Madam Speaker, all the areas above were electrified by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), with the latest being Lambwe Chomba, where electrification commenced in 2018 and was completed in 2021.


Madam Speaker, with reference to the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP), the areas listed above are the only ones that were earmarked for electrification. Therefore, no other projects have been planned for in the district. However, should there be any other areas that will need to be electrified, they will need to be communicated to the authority in order for them to be considered in future plans, subject to the availability of funds.


Madam Speaker, since there is no project planned for in the district, there is no estimated cost for it.


Madam Speaker, let me give additional information for the benefit of other hon. Members who may be in a similar situation.


Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Energy is encouraging the private sector to invest in various rural electrification solutions. As such, we have set up an off-grid task force in the ministry, a mechanism bringing together the Government, its agencies, the co-operating partners, the private sector, civil society organisations (CSOs) and academia to address off-grid market challenges. Some of the members of the task force, working with my ministry, have implemented the programmes set out below.


The Beyond Grid Zambia Programme


Madam Speaker, this is an ambitious multi-year programme aimed at increasing access to energy, improving livelihoods and catalysing economic activity in rural and peri-urban areas. The programme is aimed at taking modern energy services to, at least, 167,000 households, translating into 1 million Zambians, by the end of this year. So far, it has benefitted over 100,000 beneficiaries.


Setting Up of the Africa Mini-Grid Developers Association 


Madam Speaker, some of the members of the Africa Minigrid Developers Association  (AMDA) already operate mini grids in Zambia and have plans to set up more across the country to complement the Government’s efforts of scaling up access to electricity services.


Madam Speaker, the ministry recognises that there are many demographic and economic factors that –


Madam Speaker: Order!


Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.






The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Mr Speaker, the ministry recognises that many demographic and economic factors ...


Mr Kapala ran out of breath.


Rev. Katuta: Water!


Mr Kapala: ... have changed since the REMP was developed in 2008. Therefore, we are in the process of developing a new national electrification strategy that is expected to be finalised in 2022. The strategy will envision the use of new technologies, such as Geospatial Least-Cost Electrification Planning, to ensure optimal utilisation of resources in the rural electrification agenda. It will also capture new areas of electrification that were not included in the REMP 2008.


Sir, I wish to lay on the Table of the House the list of electrification projects earmarked for implementation in 2022 and 2023 for the benefit of the hon. Members of this august House.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kapala laid the paper on the Table.


Rev. Katuta: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answer. I also thank God that he has now been given a glass of water.


Mr Speaker, I bring to the attention of the House and the Executive the fact that the technocrats are not doing them a favour. In other words, they have not been truthful because no village has been electrified by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in Chienge. Only a survey was conducted, and this is the reason I posed this question to the Executive.


Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell the people of Chienge when the villages in question, and Museka Secondary and other schools, of which I have a list, will be electrified? May I, again, ask the hon. Minister to give us an answer? I repeat that no village has been electrified by REA and that only a survey was conducted.


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, I have laid the master plan prepared by REA on the Table of the House for all hon. Members interested in looking at the programme of electrification in their areas.


I thank you, Sir.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, is the master plan that the hon. Minister has shared with us a revised one or the same one that did not seem to have equitably distributed rural electrification projects to different areas?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, the master plan I laid on the Table of the House will run from 2022 to 2023. If there are any concerns that hon. Members need to clarify or comment on, my office is open to them; they can come and discuss their areas of concern with us.


I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, my question is based on the answer that the hon. Minister gave.


Sir, I have a problem because I feel the hon. Minister has not answered the question that the hon. Member for Chienge asked, which was on whether some villages were electrified. My question is based on the electrification of Lambwe Chomba and Lambwe Chikwama –


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, you should be precise and go to the question, rather than debating.


Mr Fube: I am not debating. I am indicating the difficulties I have.


Hon. Government Member: Do not engage the Speaker!




Mr Fube: Can we speak through the Speaker? I do not know when this kind of circus will end.


Ba –


Mr Speaker, what I was saying –


Hon. Government Member: ‘Mr’!


Mr Fube: Let me ask my question.


Sir, my question was supposed go like this: Since the hon. Minister said that Lambwe Chomba is among the villages that have been electrified, –


Mr Haimbe: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Haimbe: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 65 and the other relevant Standing Orders, including Standing Order No. 131.


Sir, the hon. Member who is debating on the Floor of the House has used very unparliamentary language by referring to the proceedings of this House as a “circus”. Is he in order to do so? If not, I believe that he needs to be reprimanded for using such language. 


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilubi, go through your question again.


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether I am supposed to withdraw. I indicated earlier that my question had been overtaken by events, but I will explain.


Mr Speaker, in responding to the question on how many villages and schools are earmarked for electrification, the hon. Minister said that Lambwe Chomba is one of the villages. However, the hon. Member for Chienge has said that there is no school or village that has been electrified and that only a survey had been conducted. Further, I indicated that my question was based on the villages and schools that were identified. Now that the hon. Minister has presented a master plan without answering her question, I find it difficult to ask a follow-up question. That is what I was indicating.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, resume your seat.


Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, I do not know if you are getting me.


Mr Fube: On a point of order, Sir.


Sir, I am sorry that I have inconvenienced the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabushi.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Hon. Members of the House, if you raise a point of order, you are not supposed to speak before you are recognised. You do not just say, “Point of order” and then start speaking. You must wait until you are recognised.


Hon. Member for Kabushi, you may continue.


Mr Lusambo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. Knowing very well that –


Mr Fube: On appoint of order, Sir.


Mr Lusambo: Mr Speaker, should I continue?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Yes, continue.


Mr Lusambo: Mr Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister of Energy is –


Mr Kapyanga: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Lusambo: Mr Speaker, should I continue?


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Yes, continue.


Mr Lusambo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Energy has confirmed that the previous Government invested a lot in rural electrification and that the master plan the Government is using right now was prepared by the technocrats under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu to make sure that areas like Bweengwa and Kasempa, and many villages without electricity were electrified. He has also said that the Government was going to encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs) in rural electrification. Has the Government advertised to the general populous so that Zambian companies can come forth and bid for PPP programmes?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, I cannot remember where I mentioned public-private partnerships (PPP) in rural electrification. What I mentioned was the setting up of the AMDA, an independent organisation that is spearheading mini-grid development in rural areas.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilubi, you can ask your question, but you should first withdraw the word “circus”.


Mr Fube: Mr Speaker, it is not a question, but a point of order. I withdraw the word “circus.”


Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order under Standing Order 202(4), which states as follows:


“A member who alleges that his or her privilege is being or has been denied in the House may as soon as the illegal denial occurs raise a point of order.”


Mr Speaker, this is also in line with parliamentary privileges.


Sir, going by this point of order, I am convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the question I was referring to, which was asked by the hon. Member for Chienge – She expressed a concern. For instance, the hon. Minister presented what I may call ‘things that are not facts’; that those villages are electrified, but the hon. Member insisted that the villages are not electrified. The hon. Minister did not answer her when she said that the villages mentioned were not electrified because she is physically on the ground.


Sir, the places have not been electrified, but in his answer, the hon. Minister –


Mr Sing’ombe: What is your question?


Mr Fube: Excuse me, I do not deal with your dullness.


Sir, the hon. Minister, in answer, presented a master plan instead of responding to what she raised as the main issue. Now, we have gone away from the question on the Order Paper.


Mr Sing’ombe: Question!


Mr Fube: Shut up!


PF hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Fube: Sir, the hon. Minister said there was a master plan instead of saying whether the areas are electrified or not. The hon. Member for Chienge had a very valid point. So, as far as I am concerned, this Standing Order has been breached.


Sir, I seek your guidance.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi, you raised a point of order without citing what was breached. I, therefore, advise you to resume your seat because what you cited, Standing Order 202, is contrary to what you perceived to have been breached. It was contravening, because you were talking about your privileges.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Energy for not only responding to the questions raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge, but also for allowing the rest of us to benefit from the additional information he has provided.


Mr Speaker, based on the additional information that the hon. Minister has provided, are the areas classified as peri-urban also going to benefit from the electrification programme that is being implemented by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA)? I have in mind places like the Kamfinsa Farming Block, which is a peri-unban place, but it is not on the ZESCO Limited grid.


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, currently, REA is mandated to provide electricity to rural areas only. The electrification of peri-urban areas is the responsibility of ZESCO Limited.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Speaker, just in case my question will not be answered by the master plan, is there a chronological order to the master plan in terms of resuming the projects that were started a bit earlier? Just like in Chienge, in Itezhi-Tezhi, poles were planted in the past six years, but we are not seeing any progress. Will the old projects be given priority before the Government starts thinking about new installations?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, the master plan I have laid before the House was developed almost a year ago. Further, I have invited hon. Members representing rural constituencies to my office so that we can prioritise areas that need urgent supply of electricity.


I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the invitation to us, hon. Members for rural constituencies, to have a conversation with him on the matter of rural electrification. I also appreciate the hon. Member for Chienge for asking this question, which has benefitted many of us.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has laid a master plan on the Table. Further, when he responded to the question asked by the hon. Member for Chienge, he cited areas that he said were electrified. However, the hon. Member for Chienge has said that the areas were not actually electrified. Are all those areas the hon. Minister mentioned indicated as having been electrified in the master? I am confused because the hon. Member said that those areas are not electrified while the master plan says they are. Which is the correct position?


Mr Sing’ombe: When was she last in her constituency?


Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I do not know how many Speakers we have here. I am getting some clarifications from this side. So, I need your protection.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Let us avoid disturbing hon. Members on the Floor.


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, the information I have presented is as obtained from REA.


I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, it appears we have too many complaints. It also appears there is too much demand for rural electrification, going by the question asked by the hon. Member for Chienge and the follow-up questions asked on behalf of various constituencies, Zambezi East included.


Mr Speaker, we realise that the hon. Minister has done a lot of work so far and given us a master plan. However, has he done a needs assessment for the next five years and compared the needs with the resource basket so that we can assess how much work we will do and how much progress we will make each year for the next five years? That knowledge will help me to campaign in Zambezi East by telling the people how much I will be able to do.


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, I have given the master plan for 2022 and 2023. I have not yet given any that goes beyond 2023. I have also indicated that the Government has an ambitious programme called Beyond Grid Zambia (BGZ), which I have already highlighted. Hon. Members of Parliament should get involved in this programme and contact AMDA. We can provide information on how the hon. Members can contact the association so that we can work together to take electricity to the constituencies.


I thank you, Sir.


Rev. Katuta: Mr Speaker, I think I did not get the hon. Minister when he responded to part (c) of the question, which is on what the estimated cost of the project is. The hon. Minister did not respond to that. What is the estimated cost of electrifying the schools and villages in Chienge?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, in answer to part (c) of the question, I read out the following: “There is no estimated cost for the project, as there are no projects planned in the district”.


I thank you, Sir.


Amb. Kalimi (Malole): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me and the people of Malole this opportunity to ask a question. I also thank the hon. Minister of Energy for providing adequate answers that are benefitting us, as they are giving us insight.


Sir, there is a crisis at the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) because all the directors were sent on forced leave. So, I do not know how we are going to implement the master plan. When is the ministry going to bring back those directors or recruit new ones?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, the sending of staff on leave at REA is an administrative matter. We will soon constitute a new board, and everything will come back to normal.


I thank you, Sir.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, it is important that the hon. Minister of Energy has outlined how the ministry is going to electrify rural areas through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). My question is: When does the ministry intend to distribute the master plan so that as the area Member of Parliament, I can tell the people of Lubansenshi when they will have electricity in their area, taking into consideration the fact that the constituency is a rural area?


Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, we intend to send a soft copy of the master plan to this august House for distribution to hon. Members of Parliament who are interested in looking at it.


I thank you, Sir.








(Debate resumed)


Mr Simunji (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me time to debate on the Motion of Supply. From the beginning, I have to state that I support the Budget Speech, and the reasons are that it is in line with the President’s Speech during the Official Opening of Parliament. My debate will focus on foreign debt.


Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, when the Patriotic Front (PF) took over power, Zambia’s foreign debt was about US$500 million. However, within ten years, it rose to close to US$13 billion. The debt was composed of money from multilateral and bilateral suppliers, and commercial debt from the capital markets. Over time, the Government was not able to pay interest on the debts and, eventually, even the principal amount. The main aim of borrowing the money was to take development to the rural areas by constructing roads, schools and clinics. Unfortunately, in Nalikwanda, not even an inch of gravel road or a mini hospital was built. I do not believe that any school was constructed in Nalikwanda either.


Mr Speaker, because of the PF’s failure to pay the debts, the international community degraded our status on the market and, as a result, for now, I do not think we can borrow on the capital markets.


Mr Speaker, in the New Dawn Government, if you go to the Budget Speech, you will see that the K51 billion has been allocated to paying the principal debt and interest on the arrears on the principal debt. We have budgeted to pay the one that is maturing next year, which should have been done even in the previous Administration. Our colleagues were supposed to create a sinking fund from which they were supposed to be taking money to pay debts off as they matured. Another way was to amortise the debt; to pay the principal and the interest at regular intervals. However, they never did that.


Mr Speaker, the effect of paying the debt is that our debt stock will be reduced and, as a result, our debt ranking will go up. If need be, we can go onto the international market and borrow. However, we are not going to go to those areas. What we are going to do is what the hon. Minister stated; we will go to our clubs, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). That is where the PF could have gone. Unfortunately, it was not able to do that because of its poor governance. It went to the international market, the IMF and the World Bank to borrow. How long did the negotiations take? Up to the time we had the elections, it had failed to reach an agreement with the IMF.


Mr Speaker, I am now very happy that we have think-tanks in Government who are able to decide what to do for the nation. As a result, we are now going to employ 30,000 teachers and 11,200 health workers, and construct 120 schools throughout the country, unlike our colleagues who borrowed money on the international market and constructed roads in selected areas only. Go to other areas and see the roads and mini hospitals that have been constructed there. then go to Mangango, Luampa, Nalikwanda and Luena, and you will see that those things are not there. That is the reason some of those people on your left are where they are.


Hon. Member: Correct! They are going to hell.


Mr Speaker, our colleagues are now asking us what will happen when the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) facility is exhausted. The answer is that we shall go back to the international community, the World Bank and the IMF to borrow, not for consumption, but for production and investment. So, in case they win after 2042, they should use our principles of investing rather than doing what they were doing.


Sir, what did our colleagues do with the money? People were buying military equipment to oppress the Opposition. Was that okay? This is a peaceful country, and everybody should enjoy life. Our colleagues failed even to follow the people who tear-gassed people throughout the country.


Mr Simumba: Debate the Budget.


Mr Simunji: Exactly, yes, but that is where they took the money.


Mr Speaker, for me, this Budget is very good, and I support it fully.


Thank you very much, Sir.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Mr Speaker, I have listened to so many debates, even the time I was in Kawambwa, and one thing I have realised is that this is a very technical topic; it is above many intelligent quotients (IQs). However, we need to speak to the Budget. For example, I have a lot of admiration and respect for Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, who is a macroeconomist, and I could imagine him sitting amidst the politicians and the politicians telling him what to do against his beliefs in fundamental economics.


Mr Speaker, after going through the Budget, I realised that our colleagues may ruin Hon. Dr Musokotwane’s professional career because in 2023, we may fail to pay salaries.


Sir, Hon. Dr Musokotwane is a very competent Minister. To demonstrate that, I went back and picked the Budget Speech he presented on Friday, 30th January, 2009, in which he said the following:


 “Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do resolve into Committees of Supply.


“I am the bearer of the message from His Excellency the President recommending the favourable consideration –”


Sir, he was allowed to lay the Motion on the Table.


Mr Speaker, in in his Budget Address on 30th January, 2009, Hon. Dr Musokotwane began by applauding the macroeconomic and other achievements of his predecessors, Mr Emmanuel Kasonde and Mr Ng’andu Magande, who had served in the ministry before him. I believed that before he became an hon. Minister, he had been Secretary to the Treasury, the Chief Financial Officer for the country.


Sir, in the address I have already referred to, Hon. Dr Musokotwane explained the policies he wanted to implement, and allocated money to Kasaba Bay. Again, on 8th October, 2010, he presented another Budget where he recommended favourable taxes measures in the mining sector. He said:


“This is a mining sector tax that is going to benefit a lot of Zambians.”


At that time, our friends in the United Party for National Development were calling for a windfall tax, but he rejected that and stuck to a tax regime that would benefit Zambians.


Sir, reading the 2022 Budget Speech, eleven years after his last Budget Speech, I was wondering whether it was Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane who made the Budget or whether he believed in it, because he could have advised. Being superior among equals, he should not be shy to advise his colleagues on economic matters because he is in charge of the monetary and economic policies of this country. Others are in charge of politics.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Sir, he is superior among the equal. I shudder at the fact that we are recruiting 44,000 workers, thereby creating a sinkhole in a troubled economy. The hon. Minister knows what I am talking about. He is creating a cost centre, and those who have done production and operations management (POM) will understand this. Of course, donors will give him money to pay the salaries for 2022. However, after 2022, how is he going to manage the workers? Are we going to continue borrowing? The hon. Minister should not listen to the politicians. Have we created the economic capacity to support the sinkhole that has been created?




The Second Deputy Speaker: Order! 


When an hon. Member is on the Floor of the House, let us maintain order.


You can continue, hon. Member for Pambashe.


Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stood there and said he was struggling with the total domestic revenue to meet public debt obligations and pay public workers’ salaries. Unfortunately, he has increased the wage bill by over K3 billion because K4,000 is the minimum pay for a civil servant. When you multiply that by the number of the people we are going to employ, it comes to almost K2 billion. Then there will be doctors among those be employed, and their pay will be more than K4,000. The hon. Minister is engaging 44,000 workers in a year, and 2026 is a politically-charged year. Is the hon. Doctor going to sustain that?


Government hon. Members: Yes!


Mr Chitotela: Sir, the hon. Minister’s statement is a very good political statement on the expenditure side, but it is not supported by the revenue side. Hon. Dr Musokotwane has lost K3.2 billion from the mineral tax. He is taxing poor Zambians to the tune of K17 billion and then asking the mines to pay K12 billion. How much money is he going to give the mines in terms of VAT refunds? It may be above K12 billion. So poor Zambians will keep this country going and support the economy.


Mr Speaker, when coming up with a Budget speech, the hon. Minister is not respond to social media critics or be a favourite of the political pundits. Instead, he is expected to stand on firm ground and say what needs to be said because if he fails to pay salaries in 2023 and 2024, it is his reputation will be dented internationally, not that of the politicians who are saying, “Go and say this to impress the masses.” We must be able to say ‘No’, as that is the right thing for us to do.


Sir, the questions I am asking are simple. How are we going to compensate for the K3.2 billion loss in the mineral royalty tax?  How are we going to cater for the continuous payment of salaries of the civil servants that we are employing? I know Hon. Dr Musokotwane will respond to these questions because he knows what I am talking about.  I describe the Budget Speech, with a lot of respect to the hon. Minister, as a motivational speech that lacks support from the revenue side because when you hear it, it is very exciting in terms of the expenditure side.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chitotela: I would want all my sisters and everybody in Zambia to be employed, but do we have the capacity to sustain that as a country?


Government hon. Members: Yes!


Mr Chitotela: Where? The capacity to borrow?


Sir, the hon. Minister needs to invest more in production and things that are going to help him to generate revenue to sustain this economy, and I want those who are asking me questions to help the hon. Minister tell us how we are going to compensate for the revenue lost from the mineral royalty tax. Where are going to get it from? Those are the questions we need to ask. Zambians have been asked to pay K17 billion in taxes next year, but we are asking for only K12 billion from the mines, and we shall give the same mines more than K12 billion in VAT refunds. So, they will be trading free of charge. There is also an issue of transfer of pricing.


The Second Deputy Speaker: Order!  


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this chance to make my maiden speech. I had to heal first. Otherwise, the first things would have been these plunderers, thieves, destroyers –


Opposition hon. Members: Which ones?


The Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


You are a very experienced hon. Member of Parliament. I think you are in your third or fourth term. So, you understand very well that such language is inappropriate. Withdraw your words.


Mr Mutelo: I have healed. So, I withdraw the words “these thieves who ruled Zambia for ten years”. I withdraw that.




Mr Mutelo:  I do not want to say ‘plunderers’. I do not want.


Allow me, Mr Speaker, to start by congratulating the United Party for National Development (UPND) and President Hakainde Hichilema, the Seventh President. The number ‘seven’ has a meaning; it comes with resting and peace. Further, this year is 2021, and the ‘-21’ also has a meaning. We have answers from heaven. One the 21st day, someone received the answer; Zambia has received the answer now.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Where there was bad wine, now, there is good wine, and I say, ‘Congratulations!’ However, that should only be for the good of Zambia and Zambians.


Mr Speaker, I congratulate Madam Vice-President after she endured a lot of suffering. Some people once threw stones at the chopper she was in. Now, there is now good governance. For example, today, students can protest without anyone discharging teargas. Further, because of the civil war in Ethiopia, the President chartered a plane for Zambian families in that country to come back home. That was a first of its kind.


Sir, our President is the seventh President, just like the seventh day.


Congratulations to you, Mr Speaker. I also congratulate Madam Speaker, the first ever female Speaker, and the First Deputy Speaker.




Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


Mr Mutelo: We have had a female Chief Justice before, but we now have a female Speaker, too. We are yet to finish the cycle. One day, we shall have a female President.


Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the Almighty God for this privilege. Indeed, like you said, I have been around.


Sir, on 11th August, 2021, I was arrested and charged. I was only saved by a police bond I was given, and that was not tribal. The case was only concluded on 2nd November, 2021, and I needed to heal. No one said that was tribal, but when others were arrested and charged after me, it became tribal. How?


Mr Speaker, we are very thankful to the people of Mitete for this privilege to serve them. I also thank my wife, Mrs Pauline Limata Mutelo; Mr Raymond Kamona; Mr Adamson Kasongo or ‘Dr Kasongo’ as we call him; Madam Mundia; Lydia; and Namvula. I further thank my family and friends, and the people of Zambia for their prayers.


Sir, I began my political journey in 1996 with the late Mr Dean Namulya Mung’omba, and I have been in the Opposition for twenty-five years or until 2021. I salute Mr Mung’omba posthumously and the United Party for National Development (UPND). I am now on the right of the House, but I know what it means to be on the left, especially having done so under the past regime.


Mr Speaker, in the past years, our friends did not attend to the Tateyoyo/Katunda/Lukulu/ Watopa/Mumbeji Road, and the works in Mitete District have stalled for ten years. Further, there are no communication towers there because we were side-lined, as was Mitete Boarding School.


Mr Speaker, three provinces were put ku wire, as it is commonly said these days, …




Mr Mutelo: … but our colleagues say we are ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.


PF hon. Members: What is ‘ku wire’?


Mr Mutelo: ‘Ku wire’ means ‘cast aside’.


Mr Speaker, the true ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ is being reflected now by the UPND. We are united for national development.


Sir, there was a smooth transition of leadership, not power, from the United National Independence Party (UNIP) to the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), from the MMD to the Patriotic Front (PF) and from the PF to the UPND. That is good for Zambia’s democracy, and we should maintain the peace that Zambians have enjoyed over the past years. The New Dawn Government is now reflecting the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ motto.


Mr Speaker, I now expect the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa/Mumbeji Road to be worked on because there is a new dawn.


Ms Sefulo: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, like the hon. Member for Pambashe, I also looked for the 2011 Budget Address by Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.


Mr Kapyanga: Balemoneka kwati bali equipped kanshi iyo.



Ms Sefulo: Order, hon. Member!


Mr Mutelo: On page 4, he said the following:


“Mr Speaker, after a sharp slowdown in 2009, money supply grew strongly in 2010”.


Mr Kapyanga: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order under the mandate of Standing Order No. 204(g), which provides as follows:


         “A member shall listen in silence to the debates in the House;”


Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi in order to shout “Order!”? Has she assumed the role of the Speaker?


Hon. Member: You were making noise.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Let us avoid passing comments when someone is on the Floor of the House.


May the hon. Member for Mitete continue with his debate on the Budget estimates.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, in the 2011 Budget Address, Hon. Dr Musokotwane said that in 1964, things had been okay. In 1984, things had been very bad and, in 2010, when the 2011 Budget was being presented on the Floor of the House, Zambia was advancing towards being the middle-income country that it had been in 1964, together with Thailand, South Korea and Botswana. The hon. Minister said that three times in the 2011 Budget Address. So, our colleagues in the PF inherited an economy that was advancing towards being a middle-income one.




Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, in the Budget that was presented last year, ...


Mr Fube: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutelo: … Bo Ng’andu said that we were in trouble due to a heavy debt burden. In conclusion, he said:


“Sir, allow me to also quote an African proverb which says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone’”.


That was said last year, and our colleagues have gone alone, leaving the debts to Zambians.




Mr Mutelo: They have gone alone as prophesised.


Sir, there is now another prophecy of a seed of prosperity; that there will be growth and jobs, and that development will be taken closer to the people. So, firstly, there will be growth and the growth will sustain whatever the Government does. The Government intends to employ 30,000 teachers and 11,200 health workers, yes, and that will sustained. If our colleagues failed, they failed.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, our colleagues should read page 37 of the Budget Speech, which says that the Government will create a minimum of 44,000 jobs, meaning the number of jobs that will actually be created can be more than 44,000. So, workers will also be employed in other departments. Did our colleagues read that part or are they just debating?




Hon. Member: They did not read.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the children in rural areas are the target because even President Hichilema did not have shoes in Grade 1 ...


Hon. Members: Standard one.


Mr Mutelo: ... or standard one. Neither did Hon. Dr Musokotwane. So, the two are mindful of such things.


Mr Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) amount has been raised to K25.7 million, and this is unprecedented. Our colleagues are saying this is not good, but they should wait and see what good it will accomplish. There is also hope of raising the CDF even further in the 2023 Budget.


Sir, some people are saying that we should not listen to politicians. President Hakainde Hichilema is not a politician; he is an economist.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Do some people not know the wealth of this country; that President Hichilema is an economist? Which country do such people live in? We have an economist, not a politician, at the helm of the country, yet they are saying that we should not listen to him. We may have had politicians, but we now have a leader with a vision.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Maybe, we had leaders with no vision, but we now have a leader and a team with a vision.




Mr Mutelo: The problem is that we have been living with people with no vision. When one is led by a blind person, one will fall into a ditch, and Zambia has fallen into a pit of debt. Had Madam Speaker not ruled that we should not use the word ‘clique’, I would have said ‘this clique’. However, I will not say that because I am a seasoned Member of Parliament.


Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Hon. Member for Mitete, you have been cautioned for using many words that are unparliamentary. So, avoid that to preserve order, ...


Mr Chilangwa: Send him out.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: … and withdraw the word immediately.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the statement that members of the PF are a clique. I want them to be citizens of Zambia, which we all are. There is only one tribe that I want to know –


Mr Mwanza: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I am a first termer in this House and I expected to find a House in which there is decorum. So, I am very shocked to see a seasoned hon. Member abuse this House. Is the hon. Member in order to repeat the words that he is not supposed to use in this House?


Government hon. Members: Which Standing Orders?


Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I rise on this point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 65.


Sir, is the hon. Member of Parliament in order to continue insulting the decorum of this House?


I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Mitete is not in order to use such language. Therefore, I order him to withdraw the word he used and apologise.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I apologise and withdraw the word ‘clique’ because I am a seasoned Member who has been in this House for three terms.


Mr Speaker, thank you very much.


UPND hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Amb. Malanji (Kwacha): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for allowing me to comment on the 2022 National Budget.


Mr Speaker, I know that almost every hon. Member of Parliament who has debated has commented on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). At the expense of sounding monotonous, allow me to also say that the proposed increase in the CDF in the Budget is most welcome. The problem is in the manner in which the money is supposed to be applied; we have been given the software without the hardware.


Mr Speaker, we have to look at the constituencies vis-à-vis what has been put in this Budget for the CDF. There is an hon. Member of Parliament who comes from a constituency where, probably, only ten or thirty people at the maximum will need bursaries and another from a constituency like Livingstone or Kwacha, where thousands of people will need bursaries. Further, some of the programmes that have been put under the CDF need technical expertise. Even for the bursaries, if you go to Kitwe, for example, the Social Welfare Department is almost non-existent because there are only two officials there. If we say that applicants for bursaries will be considered on a first-come-first-serve basis, that will be a different scenario.


Mr Speaker, when I look at this Budget, I do not see fundamental pointers that give hope to the youths who are eager to have jobs. Further, I see a reluctance to improve services at our refinery in Ndola. We all came here as hon. Members of Parliament and made many promises in our various constituencies. So, I think that in the process of performing our legislative functions, we will have to create a line for an act of modus vivendi. Looking look at the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited, if the Government made a decision to sell it in a management buy-out today, it would still work out. I remember that it was one of the few parastatals that paid dividends to the Government. There are a number of products that come from the comingled crude that is processed at Indeni. In this regard, I think that for the New Dawn Government to create enough jobs, it should be looking at how to do so. Indeni produces Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), kerosene, Jet A1, petrol, diesel, HA4, bitumen and other products, and maintaining a company like that will give us hope of creating employment because from those products – We know that we buy LPG from South Africa twice more than we would if we got some of it from Indeni.


Mr Speaker, we can actually create power from Kerosene, since the Government has said that it wants to promote the use of renewable energies. If we look at what Indeni is capable of doing, already, from the HA4, there is electricity being generated, and that is the route we are supposed to take, and see how best we can improve that facility which, after the fire in the early 1990s, is now a modern refinery worth not less than US$600 million. Further, apart from the 350 permanent jobs in Ndola, there are a good number of jobs that is anchored on it. So, the best that we can do is improve it.


Sir, we know that in other sectors of energy, we will have to improve on bitumen. So, for argument’s sake, if we can extend companies to the companies that can be formed out of the by-products, we know that even from the interconnector grid that will be put up between Zambia and East African countries, such as Tanzania and Kenya, we will be able to make enough resources for our Treasury. After we add the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Station to the other electricity generating points, it is very easy for Zambia to be superior in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) power pool. Even just from the wheeling charges, we will be getting good money into our Treasury. However, if we abandon the refinery, just for the dead stock in the pipeline, we are talking of 90,000 metric tonnes of gasoline before we put in any feedstock.


Mr Speaker, if we consulted companies like Total Energy, which has supply lines for finished products, we would find out that even if we had aerial surveillance from here to Dar-es-Salaam, it would not be easy to manage such a facility. We would feed people on the supply line with diesel, petrol or whatever finished product that would be conveyed on that line. At the end of the day, we would find that to use the pipeline for carrying a finished product is a non-starter. So, the best that we can do is to maintain the status quo and see how best we can improve the services with the by-products from the refinery.


I thank you, Sir.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simuzingili (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add the voice of the peaceful and good people of Gwembe to the debate on the Motion.


Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for presenting a well-balanced Budget. What we are debating is the speech or the pronouncements in the Budget, but hon. Members have been given the Yellow Book, and they are very excited to see that the Budget is balanced.




Mr Simuzingili: Mr Speaker, the people of Gwembe are excited about the pronouncement on education because education is the greatest equaliser, and the New Dawn Government has brought free education. I remember that when I was just two days old in this Parliament, my colleagues on the left were all shouting, “Free education!”, “Free education!”, because they thought it was a pipe dream. Today, it is a reality; there will be no more examination fees, Parent Teachers Association (PTA) fees or tuition fees, and the New Dawn Government has increased operational grants to schools to ameliorate the abolished loss in school revenues resulting from the abolition fees.


Mr Speaker, I give credit to the Patriotic Front (PF) for training 55,000 teachers.


Opposition hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simuzingili: That is in the Budget. However, hon. Colleagues, you should not have become ‘cimbwi no plan’, meaning, someone with no plan. You trained 55,000 teachers and threw them in the wilderness; on the streets to do nothing. 




Government hon. Members: Shame!


Mr Simuzingili: Look at what the New Dawn Government has said in the Budget. It is going to employ 30,000 teachers.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simuzingili: That is aimed at improving the quality of education, hon. Colleagues. That is meant to reduce the teacher-pupil ratio in the classroom, and that is where learning takes place.




Mr Simuzingili: Mr Speaker, the people of Gwembe are also very excited about agriculture, as the Budget indicates that the New Dawn Government will transform the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) so that there is equity and equality, unlike what our colleagues, the clique on the other side, used to do. I am using the word ‘clique’ in the context that it is a group of individuals with like minds. It is not an insult.


Government hon. Members: Yes!


Mr Simuzingili: What our colleagues did was to divide Zambia. It became one Zambia, one side, as they gave out six bags of fertiliser on one side while in Gwembe and other areas, they gave out three bags. Is that ‘One Zambia, One Nation’?


Government hon. Members: No!


Mr Simuzingili: That is ‘one Zambia, one side’.


Sir, look at what this economic manager in State House has done. Today, as I speak, throughout the country, all the farmers are getting six bags of fertiliser and one bag of seed regardless of whether they are in Shangombo, Kawambwa, Chienge or Vubwi. That is what we mean when we say ‘One Zambia, One Nation’; that is what we mean by uniting the country, not ‘one Zambia, one side’. It does not work like that. We have a manager now.


Mr Speaker, our President consistently said that what was lacking in Zambia was leadership. Today, we have a prudent leader, and he has demonstrated his prudence, using a Patriotic Front (PF) Budget, by giving everybody the same number of bags of fertiliser. What was lacking was leadership and vision.


Government hon. Members: Yes.


Mr Simuzingili: Sir, on aquaculture, the people of Gwembe are very excited. Gwembe is where Lake Kariba is, by the way, and the constituency has many farmers. So, I am excited that about the Budget pronouncement about increasing fingerling and fish feed production because my farmers will be able to get fingerlings. My hon. Colleagues in the PF gave some loans and grants to my farmers in Gwembe. Those farmers harvested their fish, but they cannot get fingerlings or feed anywhere, and all the cages there have turned into white elephants. Is that planning? Fortunately, we now have an economic manager in State House, and the people of Gwembe will be elated about this Budget, which will be implemented come 2022.


Mr Speaker, on livestock, there is the pronouncement that there will be stocking and restocking. Further, on decentralisation, this is the first President since Independence who has walked the talk. Instead of mere structural adjustments in the functions of the Central Government, he has taken positions as well as the monies to the local authorities by increasing the allocation to the Constituency Development Fund from K1.6 million to K25.7 million per constituency.


Sir, I am elated that in this Budget, there is talk about exploration. Gwembe is one of the areas that have not been explored because of the disadvantage of a  historical reason that Zambia is so proud about; the liberation movement, and it is where landmines were planted. However, there is oil there, for the information of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Our colleagues got samples two years ago but, to date, the results  are not there, and this is gross incompetence. I hope my Government will explore the possibilities of drilling for the plentiful oil in Gwembe.


Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that the people of Gwembe are very excited about this Budget. We are very happy that rural development will start now because monies have been taken to rural constituencies instead of being taken to building those humps that we see in Lusaka. Were those humps built in our constituencies, all the roads in Gwembe would have been done.


I thank you, Sir.


Opposition hon. Member: Point of order, Mr Speaker.


Government hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for allowing the people of Chembe to add their voice to the debate on this important document.


Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about this document, but we are saying that we should avoid looking at its face value. Otherwise, definitely, we are not going to achieve the meaningful development that we need to achieve.


Mr Speaker, a lot has been said about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Yes, the CDF is one of the cornerstones of development, especially in rural constituencies. However, the conditions, as I may call them, that have been attached to the fund are not sustainable, especially when you refer to the responsibilities.


Mr Speaker, when you go to page ...


Mr Kapyanga: On point of order, Sir.


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised. 


Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order citing Standing Order 204(g), which provides as follows :


“A member shall listen in silence to the debates in the House.”


Sir, is the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts in order to debate whilst seated and deny himself the chance to listen to the quality debate of the hon. Member on the Floor?


UPND hon. Members: Question!


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister and other hon. Members, let us keep order in the House.


Hon. Member for Chembe, you can continue.


Mr C. Mpundu: Mr Speaker, thank you for the protection.


Sir, I was talking about the responsibilities that have been put under the CDF in reference to page 34 of the Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Those responsibilities have broadened the span of control, which cannot bring the efficiency that we are talking about. At the same time, the responsibilities do not have guidelines on what is supposed to be done. We need to know whether the CDF – What I know is that the CDF was initially meant to supplement the other sectors. Now, portfolio functions, for example, those of the District Commissioner (DC) and the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), have been thrown to the local authorities through the CDF. This does not point to positive achievements in terms of the development that we are looking for, especially in rural constituencies. In addition, our colleagues are saying the CDF is going to be controlled by the local authorities. Among the controlling people are the Councillors and Council Chairpersons. However, in this Budget, there is no remuneration for those officers, who have been saddled with many responsibilities in terms of developing their areas. How can you give somebody money who is not remunerated? That is why we are asking that we do not look at the face value of this Budget. Otherwise, we will mislead ourselves.


Sir, there have been pronouncements about there being equity. However, when I look at the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), I see some constituencies like Chembe and Lufubu that are at an infant stage; there is no proper development there, as they are just starting to develop. At the same time, there are different levels of poverty in each constituency. Some have acute poverty, some have absolute poverty while others have relative poverty, and we do not know the measure the Government used to come up with the amount of K25.7 million for each constituency. Where is the equity? There are many competing needs in the constituencies, especially the rural ones like Chembe, Lufubu and Dundumwezi, and it is for this reason that we are saying that looking at the face value of this document will not help us, considering the functions that have been lumped on the CDF.


Mr Speaker, energy is the lifeblood of any economic activity. However, this Budget is proposing the introduction of cost-reflective electricity tariffs by reviewing the current ones. This points to tariff increases, which will impair the progress, in terms of economic activity, of a barbershop, a salon or restaurant owner. So, where is the growth we are talking about? This proposal will have an adverse impact on the people in those sectors. It is for this reason that instead of talking about cost-reflective tariffs, we should be talking about scaling up connectivity at the domestic level so that the people at that level can enjoy –


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Speaker, the people of Kafue were among the first to commend this very progressive Budget when it was presented on 29th October, 2021, and I am just here to share a few perspectives on it.


Mr Speaker, I must start by appreciating the principle of equity in the Budget, which my friend, the hon. Member who just debated, looked at in a different way. For the people of Kafue, the K25.7 million they have been given translates into almost K1.4 million per ward when divided by our eighteen wards, and this is very progressive compared with the K1.6 million that was previously meant to be shared among all the wards in the constituency. So, I think we should not be shy to give credit to this Budget for the gigantic step that has been taken towards fiscal decentralisation. We may not achieve all the aspirations in this Budget but, certainly, this is a signal of good things to come.


Sir, I also like the emphasis on empowerment and job creation, especially for our youths, because, across the country, we have been crying about a lack of job opportunities. Now, here is a Budget that has created not only jobs, but also more opportunities for our youths, women and even men to be empowered through various financial resources that have been availed for implementing projects from which people will earn a living instead of seeking white-colour jobs all the time.


Mr Speaker, as far as the people of Kafue are concerned, this Budget lives to its theme ofGrowth, Jobs and Taking Development Closer to the People”. If you look at the proposals in the sectors, you will see that they are very encouraging. In the agricultural sector, for instance, we are talking about stocking of livestock and empowering women and youths through the same. There are also proposals relating to farming blocks and reform of the Farmer Input support Programme (FISP) and the Food Security Pack (FSP) which, by the way, I was privileged to flag off last week and learn that only 300 vulnerable farmers had been benefiting from the FSP in previous years. Now, this New Dawn Government has made it possible, in the first year of its coming into office, to give that pack to 2,500 farmers. Look at this increase in the number of beneficiaries. On FISP, somebody has already talked about the six bags of fertiliser that our farmers will receive to support their agricultural endeavours. What could be better than that?


Mr Speaker, on the youths, I would want our hon. Minister to support the youths not only in Kafue, but across Zambia. In Kafue, we have a Youth Resource Centre that has been under construction for almost ten years now. Putting money into that facility would be a sure way of equipping the youths with the skills that they need to benefit from the empowerment programmes for which monies have been availed. Otherwise, Government resources will go to waste because everybody will try to be a bricklayer or farmer even when they do not have the requisite skills. It is in the same vein that I also want our local authorities to be looked at in terms of further capacity building so that they can handle the colossal amounts of money that are at their disposal. When I checked with our local authority on why we were delaying in implementing some Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects, one of the reasons I was given is that we did not have a quantity surveyor to do the costing and come up with bankable plans that we could implement. Such is the capacity that our councils will need to be able to handle these monies prudently instead of wasting them.


Sir, the CDF gives a lot of relief to all of us, hon. Members of Parliament, because it gives us something to work with at the local level. In the past, we have been accused of not having done much. No wonder, the turnover rate of Members of Parliament is high; we were expected to take development without any resources at our disposal. So, this is good, especially since it is also provides for the award of bursaries for our youths.


Mr Speaker, the people of Kafue have heard the intention of the Government to dismantle arrears, and the former workers of the Kafue Textile Zambia (KTZ) have also risen to the occasion –


Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Order!


(Debate adjourned)




The House adjourned at 1840 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 12th November, 2021.