Tuesday, 7th December, 2021

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Tuesday, 7th December, 2021


The House met at 1430 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I have received communication to the effect that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other national duties, the hon. Minister of Defence, Mr Ambrose Lufuma, MP, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday, 7th December, 2021, until further notice. 








Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Tuesday, 23rd November, 2021, when the House was considering the ministerial statement presented by Hon. Eng. C. Milupi, MP, Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, on the state of the Chibuluma Central Road, and Mr L. Lubozha, Hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu Constituency, was on the Floor, Dr A. Katakwe, Hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi East Constituency, raised a point of order premised on Article 73(4) of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap 1 of the Laws of Zambia, as read with Order No. 239 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021.


Article 73(4) of the Constitution provides as follows:


“A Member of Parliament whose election is petitioned shall hold the seat in the National Assembly pending the determination of the election petition.”


Standing Order No. 239, on the other hand, provides as follows:


“239. (1) Where a procedural question arises on a matter that is not expressly provided for by these Standing Orders or by other Orders of the House, the Speaker shall decide the question.


“(2) A decision made in paragraph (1) of this Standing Order shall be based on the Constitution of Zambia, statute law and the usages, precedents, customs, procedures, traditions and practices of the Parliament of Zambia and other jurisdictions.”


Hon. Members, in his point of order, Hon. Dr A. Katakwe, MP, raised a concern regarding the continued attendance of Sittings of the House by Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, despite the nullification of the Kabushi Parliamentary Constituency seat by the High Court. In her immediate response, the Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker reserved her ruling in order to study the matter, since the point of order raised a constitutional matter. The matter has since been reviewed, and I will now render the ruling.


Hon. Members, the point of order raises the issue of whether a Member of Parliament whose seat has been nullified by the High Court can continue to attend the Sittings of the House pending the outcome of an appeal to the Constitutional Court.


The background to the matter is that Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, was declared winner of the Kabushi Parliamentary Constituency election following the 12th August, 2021, General Election. Following that election, Mr Bernard Kanengo petitioned the election of Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, in the High Court under Cause Number 2021/HN/EP/001. On 19th November, 2021, the High Court nullified the Kabushi Parliamentary Constituency election. However, on 22nd November, 2021, Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, appealed against the High Court’s decision to the Constitutional Court, and the matter is yet to be heard. Meanwhile, Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, has continued to attend and participate in Parliamentary proceedings. It is in this regard that Hon. Dr A. Katakwe, MP, raised his point of order.


Hon. Members, Standing Order No. 239, which I have already cited, lays the foundation on how matters that are not provided for in the Standing Orders should be dealt with by the Speaker.  In that regard, I will now consider the provisions of the Constitution that form the basis of the point of order.


Article 73 of the Constitution has to be considered in order to understand the intention of the Legislature with regard to election petitions. The Article provides as follows:


“73. (1) A person may file an election petition with the High Court to challenge the election of a Member of Parliament.


“(2) An election petition shall be heard within ninety days of the filing of the petition.


“(3) A person may appeal against the decision of the High Court to the Constitutional Court.”

“(4) A Member of Parliament whose election is petitioned shall hold the seat in the National Assembly pending the determination of the election petition.”


A reading of Article 73 reveals that once an election petition is filed, it must be heard by the High Court and determined within ninety days. Further, once the High Court renders its decision on the matter, an aggrieved party may appeal against that decision to the Constitutional Court. Lastly, pending the decision of the High Court, which has the jurisdiction to hear and determine the petition, a Member shall continue to hold the seat in the National Assembly.


Hon. Members, the above provisions present two scenarios as follows:


  1. where the High Court nullifies an election and the aggrieved party does not appeal the decision to the Constitutional Court; and
  2. where the High Court nullifies an election and the aggrieved party appeals to the Constitutional Court.


I will deal with the two scenarios seriatim;


Where the High Court Nullifies an Election and the Aggrieved Party Does not Appeal the Decision to the Constitutional Court


In this scenario, the Member whose seat is successfully petitioned ceases to be a Member of Parliament from the date of the decision of the High Court and, consequently, is precluded from taking part in Parliamentary business. At this point, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) proceeds to organise a by-election.


Where the High Court Nullifies an Election and the Aggrieved Party Appeals to the Constitutional Court


In the second scenario, when the petition is determined by the High Court and a seat is nullified, a Member shall cease to hold the seat and shall not take part in any Parliamentary business unless and until the Constitutional Court overturns the decision of the High Court. In this scenario, the ECZ does not proceed to hold by-elections until the decision of the Constitutional Court.


Hon. Members, the ramifications of the Constitutional provisions cited is that once the High Court has heard and determined a petition, the privilege given to a Member to continue to hold his or her seat ceases. Holding the seat means to continue to enjoy the privileges of being a Member of Parliament, which include attending the Sittings of the House and receiving emoluments in that regard.


The application of the law as espoused above ensures that a Member does not draw benefits of being a Member after a court of competent jurisdiction has nullified his or her seat. For a Member to do so would inevitably amount to unjust enrichment. By the same token, in the event that the Constitutional Court, on appeal, reverses the decision of the High Court to nullify his or her seat, a Member will be entitled to be paid emoluments he or she could have earned during the period he or she was waiting for the appeal to be considered. This is a more practical application of the law rather than following up a Member of Parliament for emoluments he or she would have earned from the time of the decision of the High Court to the time of the decision on the appeal by the Constitutional Court in the event that the appeal is unsuccessful. In short, the determination of a petition as envisaged in Article 73(4) of the Constitution is the determination by the High Court, which applies to situations where an aggrieved party appeals or does not appeal to the Constitutional Court.


In view of the foregoing, it is my considered view that Hon. B. C. Lusambo, MP, is out of order to remain in the House after the nullification of his election by the High Court. Further, in view of my ruling, all hon. Members of Parliament whose elections were nullified by decisions of the High Court, whether or not such decisions have been appealed against, shall forthwith not take part in any Parliamentary business. Only those who will be successful in their appeals in the Constitutional Court will be allowed back in the House and take part in Parliamentary business.  


I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Member: Lusambo, tiye.


Mr Lusambo left the Assembly Chamber.


Hon. PF Members left the Assembly Chamber.








The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): I thank you for according me this opportunity, Madam Speaker. This afternoon, I will update the House on the discussions between the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding the possibility of Zambia obtaining support from the latter.


Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, our predecessors, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, had been making efforts to reach an understanding with the IMF as far back as 2016. That was upon realising that the country was headed for a serious financial crisis caused mainly by excessive borrowing. Up to the point the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government came into office, success had not been achieved in the negotiations. It is against that background that from the outset, President Hichilema and his Government set out to ensure that the negotiations succeeded.


Madam Speaker, my statement to the august House this afternoon is a confirmation of the fact that the negotiations have succeeded, and this success comes within 100 days of our coming into office.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, let me provide answers to, among other questions, the following: What is the IMF? Why did we need to negotiate with it? Where are we with the negotiations? What does Zambia hope to gain from an agreement with the IMF? What are the key terms of the expected agreements with the IMF? 


Madam Speaker, the IMF is an international lending institution. It is structured like a co-operative credit union in which members contribute funds into a common pool for lending to one another if need arises. Obviously, only governments can borrow.


Madam Speaker, most countries in the world, including Zambia, are members of the IMF. Typically, governments borrow from the IMF because they are facing an international financial crisis, meaning that they do not have sufficient foreign exchange (forex) resources to meet their critical requirements. A crisis brought about by excessive foreign borrowing is a common reason for governments to approach the IMF for financial support. Indeed, this is the situation that Zambia finds herself in today.


Madam Speaker, the heavy debt burden that Zambia carries is at the core of some of the serious socio-economic problems witnessed in Zambia in the last few years, that is, the weakening of the Kwacha, from less than K5 to US$1 ten years ago to more than K20 to US$1 at some point; the rise in inflation to double-digit numbers; and closure of some businesses due to a lack of demand, among other outcomes. Those were all consequences of excessive borrowing.


Madam Speaker, excessive external debt servicing drains money away from Zambia, leading to a failure to hire teachers and provide sufficient money for our education and health services, and other challenges. In other words, external debt has also had serious consequences on the Budget. In the 2022 Budget, for example, the amount of money required to pay the salaries of public workers and service external debt exceeds the revenue that the Government collects. In other words, the tax that we collect is not enough to pay our salaries and service debts. This means that to fully meet the two Budget items alone, the Government must borrow. It also means that for any development expenditure to be financed, the Government must first borrow. You will agree with me that this situation is unsatisfactory and extremely dangerous.


Madam Speaker, it is clear that Zambia cannot make headway in reviving her economy without first dealing with the debt crisis that she faces. Presently, the exchange rate is relatively stable and inflation is gradually coming down. This, however, should not deceive us into thinking that the problems associated with excessive borrowing are over. The reason is simply that we are defaulting in paying most of the loans that we borrowed, in line with the Formalised International Understanding on Debt Service Suspension. This is a temporary arrangement. If we do nothing, the problem of the ever-depreciating exchange rate will resume with even stronger force and will lead to higher prices. Further, the Treasury risks running out of resources for even basic things like paying salaries of public workers and, lastly, the objective of creating jobs for the youths will become a pipe dream because investors stay away from a country that is bankrupt. Doing nothing is not an option at all because the consequences will be very severe. So, to prevent these risks from materialising, we need to work with the IMF.


Madam Speaker, in order to get relief on her debt, Zambia must negotiate with her creditors to re-arrange the debt. An example of debt re-arrangement is that of stretching the repayment period so that what is paid per year is reduced. The goal is to arrive at a new debt profile, such that after spending on debt servicing, Zambia will still have adequate money to spend on essential developments. However, the creditors will not accept to re-arrange the debt unless they are convinced that the exercise will be worthwhile. Specifically, they want an assurance that after getting debt relief, Zambia will manage the economy properly so that no new debt is accumulated and that, in general, the economy will become stronger in the future so that the servicing of the debt can resume.


Madam Speaker, moreover, the creditors want an independent economic institution that will give feedback at all times to confirm that the economy is being run well. That independent body is the IMF. In other words, Zambia needs to have a programme with the IMF to convince the creditors that she is responsible enough to be engaged with on matters of debt re-arrangement. On top of that, the IMF provides cheap and long-term financing to the country as it transits an excessive debt burden to normal levels. In short, for Zambia to make real progress and return to sustainable debt, we need to have an economic programme with the IMF. In this regard, last week, Zambia reached a Staff Level Agreement (SLA) with the IMF, which marked an important milestone in our journey and commitment to our economic recovery and growth agenda.


Madam Speaker, the SLA is an understanding between the IMF and the Government on the economic and financial policies and reforms the Government will make over time. The reforms are aimed at restoring price stability, bringing the debt situation under control and achieving higher economic growth.


Madam Speaker, reaching an SLA does not automatically put Zambia on an IMF programme because at present, Zambia is considered to be under financial stress and, therefore, unlikely to pay back any loan extended to her, including any loan that the IMF might wish to give to her, and IMF rules prohibit lending to a borrower known to be a likely defaulter. However, the SLA is an important milestone because it opens the way for our Government to enter into discussions with our creditors regarding the re-profiling of what they are owed so that the repayments are affordable. Once that understanding is reached, Zambia can be put on a formal programme supported by financial assistance from the IMF.


Madam Speaker, below are the benefits we expect from the IMF programme:


  1. Zambia will receive international support in negotiating with creditors for a more affordable debt service arrangement;
  2. with a more affordable debt service plan, more money will be available for the Government to spend on its people;
  3. Zambia will access cheaper and long-term financing, as compared to the expensive commercial loans on our books right now;
  4. Zambia will be better placed to have a stable exchange rate because the outflow of foreign exchange to service debt will reduce, and prices will be stable; and
  5. there will be greater confidence among investors to come to Zambia and assist in creating jobs.


Madam Speaker, while we have reached the SLA, the formal programme is expected to be approved by the IMF sometime in 2022, depending on how quickly we can agree with the creditors on the restructuring of Zambia’s debt. After the Board of the IMF gives approval, the IMF will be able to make available concessional financing amounting to US$1.4 billion on a longer term. That money will be disbursed over a period of three years, hopefully starting from 2022.


Madam Speaker, like any other lender who is rescuing a client at risk of getting bankrupt, the IMF financial support comes with reforms that the borrowing Governments must undertake. The reforms, which are intended to correct some of the weaknesses that contributed to the creation of the crisis in the first instance, are negotiated with the borrower Government.


Madam, the key policy reforms that will be made in the medium term with the support of the IMF are aimed at:


  1. increasing the checks and balances on Government borrowing. Obviously, this is because we are where we are now because there were no checks and balances in the last ten years; and
  2. increasing revenue mobilisation and shifting the utilisation of public finances from less critical areas to more important ones.


Madam Speaker, on the revenue side, the programme is geared towards increasing domestic revenue mobilisation. Medium-term revenue targets will be supported by a comprehensive revenue strategy based on tax policy and administration measures. This will result in increased collection of Valued Added Tax (VAT), Customs and Excise duties, and Income Tax. On the expenditure side, the reforms are aimed at shifting public expenditure away from areas we consider less critical. Specifically, and already in the 2022 Budget, which is under consideration, the utilisation of money will shift towards investment in people, particularly the youth. An example of areas where expenditure will be reduced is the subsidy on petroleum products. For years, the Government has sold fuel at pump prices lower than the cost of bringing it in the country. This, obviously, has been in an effort to keep prices artificially low for political reasons. However, the Government has not even been paying for the difference, but has merely been accumulating unpaid bills that amounted to US$506 million at the end of September, 2021.


Madam Speaker, beyond the arrears, the Government presently spends US$67.4 million every month subsidising fuel prices, broken down into US$26 million spent on the price differential and US$41.4 million in foregone taxes. On an annual basis, the Treasury spends US$809 million on fuel subsidies. That is what has kept fuel pump prices artificially lower.


Madam Speaker, the money spent on subsidising fuel, US$809 million per year, is really enormous, and the UPND Government has made a conscious decision to reduce expenditure on some subsidies, such as those on fuel, and shift the money to what we consider better expenditure areas. The money is not being shifted to paying for guns or what we call less important items. Specifically, the UPND Government is of the firm conviction that the money must be spent on youths, as their education is a worthy cause than fuel subsidies. That being the case, the 2022 Budget has no provision for subsidising fuel prices, and the money saved by eliminating the subsidies has been re-allocated to more needy areas. The areas that have benefited from the removal of the subsidies on petroleum products in the 2022 Budget are:


  1. enhanced allocation to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), meaning that more schools, desks, clinics, water boreholes, et cetera will be available for rural communities;
  2. paying of all outstanding pension arrears. Some people have been waiting for several years for their retirement benefits;
  3. hiring of 30,000 teachers and 11,200 medical staff;
  4. offering of bursaries to young people; and
  5. abolition of school fees from secondary school education.


Madam Speaker, all these changes, which favour the poor of the poorest, have been made possible through the shifting of money from some subsidies like those on fuel. Moreover, as we go into the IMF Programme and negotiate debt relief with creditors, it is very likely that new savings will be realised. Therefore, we intend to present a Supplementary Budget to Parliament later in 2022 that will be financed by the savings that will be realised through the re-arrangement of debt servicing. With those savings, this Government will propose the reintroduction of meal allowances for college students, which were suspended by the PF Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I repeat: With the savings that we will realise from our debt being re-arranged with support from the IMF, we will propose the reintroduction of meal allowances for college students, which were suspended by the PF Government.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: We also plan to put more money into secondary school bursaries on top of what I announced in the 2022 Budget.


Madam Speaker, the arguments above can be advanced for other areas where there is scope for making subsidies more efficient.


Madam Speaker, another area of reform that we have agreed with the IMF on is improving economic governance and transparency to entrench medium-term sustainability. Key legislative reforms that will be made include the repeal and replacement of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act to enhance public oversight, and enhancement of public-private partnership (PPP) legislation and regulations to address current weaknesses in the law. These efforts are essential to restoring the credibility of the Budget, improving the efficiency of public expenditure and supporting private sector-led growth by halting the accumulation of arrears and dismantling the existing stock. Further, monetary and financial stability remains a priority area for the Government. To ensure the Central Bank’s autonomy and operational independence and, thereby, enhance the credibility of monetary policy, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Act will be revised.


Madam Speaker, the reform agenda will also be matched with policies and strategies for enhancing growth, as outlined in my Budget Address in October.


Madam Speaker, let me address the fears expressed by some citizens that life under an IMF programme will be harsh. That, of course, will depend on who you are. If you are a rural dweller, life is likely to be better for you because the increased CDF money, free education and availability of teachers will be better for you. If you are a citizen who drives, however, of course, the cost of fuel will be slightly higher, and I emphasise that the cost will be only slightly higher, not out of this world. In any case, maintaining the status quo is not an option because doing nothing will mean that the exchange rate will get worse, prices will escalate and poverty will get out of hand while taking the measures that I have outlined will help to sustain the exchange rate stability, attract investment into the country and, in a few years, raise income levels and jobs.


Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I assure Zambians that our thoughts and actions are with them all the time and that we intend to deliver a much better economy and better living conditions for the average citizen than they are experiencing now. Zambia is in safe hands, as the President has selected well-trained and experienced managers in the economic institutions, and they will deliver. So, there is no need to be fearful of the IMF economic programme.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Hon. Government 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 of Finance and National Planning.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning a question on a point of clarification.


Madam Speaker, the general populous of Zambia is apprehensive at the mere mention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. This, obviously, emanates from the knowledge gap that exists between the hon. Minister’s office and the general populous. The apprehension seems to be growing and it might not be dispelled immediately by this well elaborated ministerial statement. Has the ministry put in place any specific measures to re-assure those who are exhibiting signs of apprehension that the Government has safety nets in place to insulate the poor from the effects of the austerity measures that are likely to be occasioned by the IMF programme?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi East for this question.


Madam Speaker, Let me start by saying that this is not the first time that Zambia is going through an IMF programme. I think, those of us who are a little older recall that from the 1990s until 2010, Zambia was implementing a series of IMF programmes, and the economic conditions were probably harsher that time than they are now. However, through those economic reforms, by 2010 or 2011, the economy of Zambia had more or less been mended, shortages of foreign exchange had disappeared and a middle class was beginning to emerge, as can be seen from the growth of many new compounds with better houses than those then in Chilenje and Matero. So, contrary to the fear that is sometimes there, many of us have seen an IMF programme improve the status of this economy, and I have no doubt, whatsoever, that going forward, our economy is going to be better. 


Madam Speaker, the IMF programmes of today are not same as those of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. In the programmes of those days, we heard a lot about austerity measures. However, the only austerity measure we are talking about here is the removal of the subsidy on fuel. Those days, it would have been the removal of subsidies on a number of products, say, on sugar, fuel and many other things. Further, in programmes of those days, we used to hear about retrenchments, but we are not talking about that now. To the contrary, the Government will hire more people 41,000 people under this economic restructuring programme. Contrary to what I sometimes read on social media; that jobs will be lost, jobs are being created.


Madam Speaker, the other fear that I sometimes hear about is that there will be a wage freeze. Well, has anyone heard me talk about a wage freeze? They have not, and I re-assure the people of Zambia that the removal of subsidies is like what would be done by a doctor to somebody with an injury on a leg; the doctor would operate on the leg and, after the operation, the leg would get better, and so would the person. So, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that in the next three to five years, the people of Zambia who are expressing these fears will realise that the only thing they had to fear is fear itself. Otherwise, the economy is going to be better.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and congratulate him on the milestone he has reached. I think, three of his predecessors could not reach the stage he has reached. So, I think that –


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mumba: Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister talk about Value Added Tax (VAT) reforms. That has been a thorny issue in the mining sector, which is the backbone of our economy, and where we have a lot of debt. What exactly is the hon. Minister going to do to ensure that we change the status quo in which we collect revenue and hit the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) target only to pay that revenue back to the mining sector, leaving the Treasury empty


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I want to thank hon. Member for Kantanshi for this question. The tax that he is talking about, I presume, is Value Added Tax (VAT). If he is talking about other taxes, such as Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the mining houses that are properly run do pay PAYE, the tax on income. I think, the only tax on which they get refunds is VAT.


Madam Speaker, it so happens that in Zambia, there is no VAT on exported commodities, and this is standard practice elsewhere in the world. If you talk to the people who export mealie meal, meat and vegetables to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), they will tell you that they do not pay VAT on the exports. However, there is a problem in that there is an element of dishonesty among some people who supply to the mines. In other words, they collect the VAT, but they do not pass it on to the Government. So, obviously, it is not the problem of the mines, but of the suppliers because they do not transmit the VAT they collect to the ZRA. Of course, that is very serious and unfortunate, and the team at ZRA is delving into the details to make sure that the issue is resolved.


Madam Chairperson, talking broadly about the mining sector, there are some members of the mining community we have problems with and, I think, the hon. Member is fully aware that in the constituency he comes from, there is a problem involving Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) because it under liquidation, and we want to work as quickly as possible to resolve the issues around it so that the mine can get into full production. Similarly, I think, there was a problem with Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), but that mine seems to be in better shape and picking up. That is the way we are handling the issues.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, kudos to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for what he has achieved on the US$1.4 billion. However, I have an issue that I need him to clarify.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed the country that he spends about US$64 million every month on subsidising fuel, which is a gross amount of money. However, he has forgotten to tell the nation something that would make us appreciate the reason he wants to remove the subsidy. Could he tell the nation the price at which we buy fuel, either per cubic metre or per barrel. If he explains that to the nation, the people are going to understand, not when he just comes here and issues a ministerial statement without all the details. 


Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister must know that the people are agitated a bit about the conditions of International Monetary Fund (IMF).  So, we need to know how much it costs us to land the fuel in this country, either by barrel or per cubic metre. 


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, obviously, I do not have the precise figure for the cost of a barrel of fuel on my fingertips, but I can tell the hon. Member that the price has been increasing over time and that if he went on the Internet to find out what is happening to the price of oil, he would discover that it has been rising just like the prices of other commodities like copper. That said, it is a fact that the fuel is sold at a cheaper price than the cost the Government pays for it. So, the Government loses money every time somebody goes to put fuel in their car. That is the situation.




Dr Musokotwane: I must also add that we have done an audit of the price at which fuel was being imported into the country in the past few years, and it is clear from the audit that the prices were higher compared with those in other countries were paying. This issue is being pursued further. However, even if we pushed hard to start paying what others are paying, I am afraid, the difference would not be enough to make us maintain the current price of fuel. In other words, even if we removed the corruption and inefficiencies in the procurement of fuel, the money saved would not be enough to justify the current prices; the prices would still be too low. Therefore, we need to adjust.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member should remember what I said; the money that is being saved is going to be wasted. Instead, it is the money that makes it possible for us to make education free for our children, hire the teachers and nurses or pay the retirees who have been waiting for their money for years. That is the import of this exercise. We make savings and immediately pass on the savings to areas that we consider very important.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for a well-articulated ministerial statement and congratulate him on the milestone.


Madam Speaker, the issue of the fuel subsidy is being extensively discussed, including on social media and in the central business district (CBD). The removal of the subsidy is well understood and it is agreed that there are certain sectors that need the resources more. My question is: When the unsubsidised prices kick in, will they be commensurate with those obtaining in other countries in the region that do not subsidise fuel?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for understanding the situation. For me, this subject is close to the heart.


Madam Speaker, I hear hon. Members of Parliament complain about the state of their primary schools, which look like cattle ‘dens’, as I was saying the other day. They also complain about how the women in villages walk 40 km to 50 km to go and give birth. How can those of us who drive be happy to receive so much money and leave that child in Nalolo to fail to go to Form Five because he or she cannot pay the fees because the Government is subsidising fuel? How can we have children sit on dusty floors because the Government is unable to provide money for desks, yet it is providing money for us, hon. Members of Parliament and other people, to drive beautiful cars? I think, that is immoral. So, if anyone who says we are Christian country does things like that, should just keep quiet.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, coming specifically to the question, yes, the desire and plan is that when we are done with the reviews, Zambians buy fuel at more or less the same price as the prices obtaining in  other countries without the subsidy. The way that will be achieved is, firstly, by making the procurement of fuel transparent and efficient. If there is any element of corruption or anything like that, it must not arise, going forward. Secondly, I think, the hon. Minister of Energy has said before that the unfortunate thing is that the moment someone procured fuel through the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited, he or she must accept that the price of that fuel is going to be more expensive than the international prices because the fuel that we get from the refinery must be refined twice. When it is bought, it is as finished products then it is commingled. Apart from the refining process, the fuel has to be transported to Ndola where it is refined for the second time or, more technically speaking, separated. 


Madam Speaker, like I said, the fuel from the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited is always going to be more expensive, and that is why we are saying that we can take care of the employees of the company, who are about 300 or 400, in other ways. For example, some of them can be redeployed to Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline Limited while those who are nearing retirement can be allowed to move on into retirement. It is easier to take care of 300 to 400 people than to allow the whole country to suffer high fuel prices because that makes airlines and transporters uncompetitive. So, when we are done with the review, and have a more efficient procurement and transportation system for the fuel – The cheapest way of transporting fuel is by the pipeline; it is one-third cheaper than transporting it on tankers. So, we want cheaper fuel, and have to be efficient in the manner we import and transport it. Ultimately, the goal is what we have said;  to get the price fuel to be as close as possible to what everyone else is paying.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, my little experience as a young politician tells me that when making critical decisions that affect people, one must engage them. However, there seems to be serious apprehension among almost all the stakeholders over the hon. Minister’s seeming lone journey to  the International Monetary Fund (IMF). How much engagement has the hon. Minister done on this journey, and with whom has he been engaging? It looks like he is on his own, and that is bringing apprehension. He should remember that he is borrowing on our behalf.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I am not sure that I am alone in this issue because other than my colleagues here, the hon. Member’s colleagues in the PF courting the IMF a long time ago, and I can give him verbatim statements from this Parliament from 2016 in which they said they were going to pursue an IMF Programme. The only reason that did not work out is that no one trusted them.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Musokotwane: There was no confidence in them. So, they realised what the problem was, and that problem was actually caused by them. Remember, I said that Zambia had graduated from the IMF. In 2010 or 2011, we agreed that we did not need the IMF because we were out of the woods. However, the excessive borrowing that they introduced has brought us where we are.


Madam Speaker, in terms of engagement, I do not know what the hon. Member expects to be done. Surely, he knows that Zambia is in a debt crisis. So, what is the solution? If nothing is done, those things I have said – A few months ago, every other day, the exchange rate changed due to excessive borrowing. The ministry was considering which creditors to pay every day; whether Germany, Italy or China, and the money that was flowing out of the country was driving the exchange rate fluctuations. For now, however, most of the creditors have told us to not pay them. Instead, they want us to come up with a programme with the IMF, and to sit down and agree with them on how to pay them in a more sustainable manner.


Madam Speaker, the hon. Member said that we did not engage the people, but he knows that we are in a serious debt crisis and that something must be done. Folding our arms and pretending that all is well will not help us. As I explained, with these measures, we are not taking money to sustain or please ourselves, or buy an aircraft; we are giving the money back to the poorest people in the villages. So, hon. Members of Parliament who think that this not right should go and ask their people in the constituencies what the better option is for them between having an increased CDF, hiring teachers and building clinics, on the one hand, and not doing these things and putting the money into fuel subsidies. Let us hear what the voters will say.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!








102. Mr Mapani (Namwala) asked the Minister of Agriculture:


  1. whether the Government has any plans to start distributing farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to depots instead of district centres;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. if there are no such plans, why.


The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Chikote) (on behalf of The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Mtolo)): Madam Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to start distributing farming inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to depots instead of district centres.


Madam Speaker, the House and the nation at large will be informed of the implementation timelines whenever such plans are put in place.


Madam Speaker, you may recall that I informed this House that FISP is currently undergoing a review. So, the recommendations that will be born out of that process will inform the redesigning of the frameworks as well as modalities for distributing inputs to beneficiary farmers.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The hon. Member for Nyimba delayed in indicating.


Madam Speaker: I see no supplementary questions. So, we make progress.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Sorry, Madam Speaker. Sometimes, the gadget freezes because of where I am.


Madam Speaker, I am worried for some areas in constituencies. Let me give the example of my constituency, Nyimba, where in the last distribution of fertiliser, farmers in some areas had to collect their fertiliser from Petauke, which is about 60 km to 70 km from Nyimba, because of the way the distribution was done. The fertiliser was taken to Nyimba and then taken back to areas like Mtilizi, which is 30 km from Petauke. Why should we waste money in such a way? In short, what is the Government going to do to ensure that, as a country, we do not waste money by taking farming inputs to wrong places instead of the right areas?


Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, like I said in my response, this Government is determined to help our farmers, hence my assuring the hon. Member that we are in the process of reviewing FISP and that we are trying to correct the mess that we found. Some district centres were not selected in the right way, but we are reviewing FISP, and the outcome will be communicated, going forward. So, we are committed to addressing the challenges that our farmers have been going through.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Let us make progress.









(Consideration resumed)


VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture – K7,336,328,903).


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for the opportunity to continue with the debate on Vote 89 – Ministry of Agriculture.


Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I state that there seems to be a positive paradigm shift in the way of doing things in the Budget we are considering. I take note of the fact that the 2022 allocation of K7.3 billion will definitely help us achieve more. However, as much as we are excited about the milestones we have achieved so far, it is important for me to make the suggestions that follow.


Madam Chairperson, we take note of the fact that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) provides six bags of fertiliser to each beneficiary, but we want that to be increased, subject to availability of resources.


Madam Chairperson, as much as we appreciate FISP, we have our reservations because despite the programme being allocated colossal sums of money, it has not achieved much in terms of increasing productivity, which has almost stagnated, owing to various factors that affect the agricultural sector, including the state of feeder roads. Zambezi East, which is a rural area, and many other rural parts of Zambia need better feeder roads. In the previous regime, there was very little attention paid to feeder roads, which are an integral factor in improving the agricultural sector. In Zambezi East, the constituency I represent in this august House, we still have challenges in accessing areas like Nyakulenga and Mpidi, whose feeder roads have not received any attention since time immemorial and must be looked at. Therefore, as we debate the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture, we should debate it in collaboration with what is provided for under the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, so that the infrastructure required to improve agriculture is developed.


Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about the challenges faced in delivering extension services.


Madam Chairperson, extension services are the only means by which our farmers in rural areas will be helped to have knowledge on the latest agricultural methods, including new methods of enhancing productivity. However, look at the structures that exist in rural areas? The office of the District Agricultural Co-ordinator (DACO) does not even have adequate transport. So, the ministry should ensure that extension services are respected and given the resources they need so that we enhance productivity in rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, the marketing of products, especially maize, has been pathetic, especially given the fact that it is highly regulated insofar as selling the products outside the country is concerned. The inhibitive export rules are hampering progress. Therefore, even when people invest in the sector and get an output that could improve their lives, they end up getting a paltry amount of income from their labour. That stagnates the realisation of the potential that we have in the sector. So, we need to relook at this.


Madam Chairperson, I am glad that in his policy statement, the hon. Minister mentioned the removal of the 10 per cent duty on the export of maize. That is remarkable. However, the inconsistencies that exist in allowing exports and imports of the same product make us fail to plan very well. We want a clear way of putting in place rules so that the private sector, which should complement what the Government is already putting in the agricultural sector, can willingly come in when their returns on investment in the sector are predictable. The way things stands now, we see too much regulation of the export of products, especially maize.


Madam Chairperson, in most years, we have excess production, especially of maize. If , the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) holds 1.2 million metric tonnes of maize, for instance, but we require only 300,000 metric tonnes, the excess must be bought by the private sector and exported. However, because of the stringent rules in the sector, the excess ends up remaining with the FRA and decreases the agency’s capacity to continue buying from the farmers, meaning that we end up having the maize without gaining anything from it. Let us liberalise this sector a bit and untie all the bottlenecks that cause us to not gain much from it so that we can increase our gross domestic product (GDP). To contribute to our GDP, we need to flex the rules around agriculture.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I remind you that we started considering this Vote on Friday and that a good number of hon. Members on the right have debated it. So, I will allow only three more hon. Members to debate.


Mr Simuzingili (Gwembe): Thank you, Madam Chairperson, for this opportunity to register the voice of the people of Gwembe on this budget.


Madam Chairperson, the budget is exciting because we are already seeing the transformation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). Further, in the budget, we see an increase in the Government’s contribution from K1700 to K3600. This means more fertiliser for our farmers. I also note that there is a provision for the purchase of strategic reserves to the value of K960 million. This is good planning and forward looking. At the moment, our farmers have not been paid because there was no planning. Now, with this kind of planning, we expect that come next year, our farmers will be paid on time due to the transformation of FISP.


Madam Chairman, the hon. Minister must note that – 


The Chairperson: Order!


Hon. Member, kindly address me as ‘Madam Chairperson’.


Mr Simuzingili: Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for the correction.


Madam Chairperson, I was saying that the hon. Minister of Agriculture should note that the changes we have made this year, that is, to give farmers across the board six bags of fertiliser and one bag of seed, is commendable. However, we have put our small-scale businessmen, the agro dealers, out of business. We want to believe that come next year, that will be looked into. As it is now, our farmers get the inputs from a centrally located place while in the past, the collection points used to be nearer their homes. We want to believe that our New Dawn Government will revert to that system to make FISP more profitable and accessible to our farmers.


Madam Chairperson, there is no rainfall currently, yet we are in December. What are the strategic plans of the New Dawn Government in the absence of rainfall? In places like Gwembe, which is a valley and a dry area, if rainfall does not come by 15th December, we are doomed. My submission is that the Government thinks outside the box and that there should be a paradigm shift so that we start looking at irrigation and growing winter maize. It was done under the New Deal Government of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). So, we can do it as well. In Gwembe, there is plenty of water and land.


Madam Chairperson, beyond this period, if rainfall does not come, we expect a really unpalatable situation because we know that if the Rainy Season delays to come in our areas, we will not have any harvest. So, my appeal to the hon. Minister is that we think outside the box. We cannot depend on rain-fed agriculture. With the current weather conditions, it is a possibility that we will not have adequate rainfall. If that will be the case, what happens to areas like Gwembe? Let us invest in irrigation, which is a sure way of ensuring food security, because we have the land and the water. That is one way of improving our agricultural sector.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Chairperson, I support the budget for the agricultural sector with a bit of difficulty because the agricultural policy in this country has put emphasis on maize, and that seems to also be the current trajectory. We talk of reviving the textiles industry, but there is no discussion on cotton farming. Instead, all the talk is about maize, and what makes things worse is the fact that the Government wants to be involved in the whole process, which creates serious inefficiency.


Madam Chairperson, I commend the increased investment in research and development (R&D) in the budget. Perhaps, when there is more R&D, we will be able to understand that the diversification of agriculture is important and that we must stop looking at maize as the only main cash crop. We understand that there is the issue of food security, but it is important that we look at crops like soya beans and sunflower. The price of cooking oil keeps going up, yet the two crops are locally grown. So, the hon. Minister of Agriculture must look at that other crops as well rather than focusing on maize only. 


Madam Chairperson, perhaps, the increase in the allocation to R&D can enhance agricultural diversification, although a lot of research has already been done that shows that there is a lot of potential.


Madam Chairperson, when I look also at the decrease in the allocation to marketing, I do not understand why because the marketing of our agricultural products has been a thorn in the flesh. For example, there has been a lot of emphasis on the cashew industry in the Western Province without any consideration of what the market is. If one says a kilogramme of cashew is more expensive that of copper, what market is one targeting, and what modalities is one looking at? So, the policy direction on agriculture needs to be relooked at critically in the next Budget so that we can realise proper benefits from the sector.


Madam Chairperson, when you look at the fertiliser distribution system, you will see that it is not responsive to the climatic conditions of each province. For example, if you want to send so much fertiliser to the Western Province, what is the main farming activity there? It is rice farming. So, is the type of fertiliser sent there appropriate for the soil conditions of that province? There is a need to contextualise the approach to fertiliser distribution. For areas like the Western Province, which are very sandy, there is a need for climate-smart and bio-degradable fertiliser. The fertiliser currently sent to the Western Province is not really benefitting the people there because I do not see huge harvests of anything there other than rice.


Madam Chairperson, I am support this budget with many reservations on the current policy trajectory, which looks mainly at the commercial farmers. What is in this budget for a peasant farmer? There is completely nothing, as the farming blocks that we are talking about are for commercial farmers. So, what happens to that farmer who grow crops, such as tomatoes, at a small scale? 


Madam Chairperson, if we brought back the old model, in which there was had proper marketing of agricultural products at a national level, we would compete favourably with other countries in the region, such as Zimbabwe, in exports. So, I think there is a need to relook at the agricultural policy.


Madam Chairperson, the direction of agriculture being centred on maize and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is a totally wrong. I appeal to the New Dawn Government to recognise the huge potential for agriculture in this country. If we could have a renewed policy direction in that area, we would definitely achieve better results. At the end of the day, the dependence on mining is not sustainable. One day, copper will run out. Already, we are saying that we should mine 3 million metric tonnes. So, what really is clear to me in this budget on agriculture is that there is very little consideration for departing from the systemic approach of focusing solely on maize.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Chikote: Madam Chairperson, I thank my hon. Colleagues who debated on this Vote. Hon. Mumba, thank you very much for your input. Indeed, our Government is committed to reviewing how the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is going to address some of these challenges that he highlighted, and we are in the process of doing so. I also thank Hon. Malambo for his support of this Vote. Indeed, the New Dawn Government is determined to pay attention to research, especially given the fact that the cotton industry needs more attention. Further, I thank Hon. Nyambose, Member of Parliament for Chasefu, who highlighted issues around the production of legumes and distribution of inputs. This New Dawn Government has settled and will start distributing the inputs to our farmers.


Mr Sing’ombe: We have already started.


Mr Chikote: Thank you very much.


Finally, I thank Hon. Kambita, who spoke very well in support of this Vote. Indeed, like we mentioned, FISP is under review. The process is on-going, and we are going to design the programme in such a way that our farmers get the right response from us.


Madam Chairperson, the issues around diversifying production in the ministry are also very important, and we are going to address them. Further, as we try to develop the agricultural sector, we are also trying to address the state of rural roads and extension services. If you check the allocation, you will see that it shows that this Government is determined to improve extension services in order to help our farmers.


Madam Chairperson, indeed, there are some challenges in terms of marketing and regulation of exports, but that is also being addressed. As you can see, already, the Government has given a go-ahead for most of our private partners to export the extra maize that we have. So, an environment in which our private partners can start exporting maize is being created by the ministry. In fact, even as at now, we encourage citizens to come on board and export maize.


Madam Chairperson, I also thank Hon. Simuzingili for supporting this Vote and appreciating the increase in this budget. Going forward, we know he raised the issue of our agro dealers. Like I stated, we are busy trying to review some of the mess created by the previous regime and help the agro dealers in this nation. Further, we are going address issues around irrigation in areas like Gwembe about which the hon. Member worried. You can see that even just from the allocation.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you and my hon. Colleagues who supported this budget.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 89 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 52 – (Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation – K2,199,693,903)


The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation (Mr Mposha): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the 2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation under Vote 52.


Madam Chairperson, as you are aware, water is a basic need. It is also a critical resource that supports all sectors of our economy; it forms the foundation and backbone for all development processes of our economy. It is, therefore, gratifying to note that during the opening of the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, reiterated the Government’s commitment to improving water supply in order to accelerate socio-economic development in Zambia. To that effect, my ministry is constructing and rehabilitating water infrastructure to ensure the availability of water in order to enhance national water security, as espoused under Vision 2030. Equally in line with Vision 2030, my ministry is implementing infrastructure projects across the country to ensure universal access to clean water and good sanitation.


Madam Chairperson, the policy statement I am rendering today will highlight the mandate of the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, performance of the 2021 budget and challenges encountered in implementing activities in 2021. It will further highlight the key activities earmarked for implementation in 2022, some of the challenges to implementation of activities in 2022 and mitigation measures.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry’s portfolio functions, as outlined in Government Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 24th September, 2021, are:


  1. water policy;
  2. water resources development and management; and
  3. water supply and sanitation.


Madam Chairperson, the implementation of ministerial programmes is anchored on two policy frameworks, namely the 2010 National Water Policy, and the National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy of 2020. The National Water Policy seeks to harness water resources for efficient and sustainable utilisation in order to enhance economic productivity and poverty reduction. The National Water Supply and Sanitation Policy, on the other hand, envisions equitable access to water and sanitation services. In terms of legislation, the Water Supply and Sanitation Act No. 28 of 1997 regulates the provision of water and sanitation services while the Water Resources Management Act No. 21 of 2011 regulates the usage of water resources.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of the performance of the 2021 Budget, out of the K2.168 billion allocated to the ministry, K642 million was released, representing a 30 per cent disbursement, and various programmes were implemented, including the on-going review of the 2010 National Water Policy, and the Water Supply and Sanction Act No. 28 of 1997. In order to respond to emerging developments, the ministry is also implementing various projects that are at different stages across the country, including the following:


  1. Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project;
  2. Kafulafuta Water Supply System Project;
  3. Mufumbwe Water Supply Project;
  4. Zambia Water Supply and Sanitation Project;
  5. Transforming Rural Livelihoods in Western Zambia; and
  6. Integrated Small Towns Water Supply Project, in selected districts of the Northern, Luapula, Western and Muchinga provinces.


Madam Chairperson, once completed, these and other projects under implementation with support from our co-operating partners will benefit over 3.3 million people through improved access to clean water, and sanitation services.


Madam Chairperson, progress has also been made in the implementation of some specific projects, which include the following:


  1. 884 boreholes were constructed and 1,141 rehabilitated in rural areas across the country, resulting in 506,250 people accessing clean and safe water;
  2. 214 sanitation facilities were constructed in public institutions, such as markets, bus stations, schools and health facilities; and
  3. piped water schemes were constructed, resulting in 78,000 people accessing clean and safe water.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry also maintained ten dams in eight provinces to ensure adequate water storage and promote economic activities in our communities. Further, through the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), it has, so far, registered about 35,000 boreholes to enhance national water resources planning and promote equitable allocation of water.


Madam Chairperson, the water sector, just like many other sectors in the country, has also been hit by various challenges due to the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The pandemic has caused revenues of water utility companies to decline. It has also caused disruptions in the supply of treatment chemicals due to restricted movements. Water users are also not able to meet payments for their licences to WARMA due to reductions in their revenues. Despite all these challenges, the Treasury provided grants to cushion the operations of water utility companies. Through my ministry, water utility companies also received support from co-operating partners in form of water treatment chemicals worth over US$2 million. The ministry also supported WARMA and the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) with their operational grants.


Madam Chairperson, in 2022, my ministry has placed priority on finalisation of the review of the 2010 National Water Policy and the Water Supply and Sanitation Act No. 28 of 1997 to make the operational environment more conducive for service delivery. Priority will also be given to construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of dams. Catchment delineation and protection will also be given priority to ensure protection and conservation of water resources. Further, my ministry will scale up the implementation of water supply and sanitation projects across the country.


Madam Chairperson, the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to have an impact on the water sector. To mitigate the effects of the pandemic, the ministry intends to work closely with partners to mobilise resources and cushion the operations of water utilities in order to ensure smooth service delivery.


Madam Chairperson, under the 2022 Budget, K2,199,693,903 has been allocated to various programmes and projects to enhance national water security, and improve access to clean water and sanitation. The programmes are Water Resources Management and Development, Water Supply and Sanitation Infrastructure, and Management and Support Services.


Madam Chairperson, under the leadership of His Excellency the President the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, water remains top of the agenda. In this regard, I assure the people of Zambia that the Government remains committed to ensuring universal access to water and sanitation services, and making increased national water security a reality.


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity. I also thank the hon. Minister for that good policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I appreciate and recognise the two policies that the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation has had, that is, the 2010 and the 2020 policies. Of course, my emphasis is on the 2020 policy, which stresses equitable access to water supply.


Madam Chairperson, there is the adage that ‘water is life’, and it is in that vein that I encourage the hon. Minister to ensure that every citizen of Zambia has clean water regardless of whether they are in the urban or rural areas. Further, my constituency, Roan, has been predominantly a mining town where facilities were constructed way back when the mine there was discovered in 1928 or in the 1930s.


Madam Chairperson, having heard the hon. Minister talk about rehabilitating both sanitation and water supply infrastructure, I urge him to go flat out and look into the two aspects, as my constituency is grappling with many sanitation challenges. You will agree with me that in the olden days, there were areas that were constructed for bankungulume or unmarried people, and the facilities were created to cater for a limited number of the people I have mentioned. Coming from the mining town of Luanshya, I agree with the hon. Minister of Energy that there are many areas where there are such small houses. Today, however, the facilities that were created to cater for a limited number of people cater for hundreds not only in my constituency, but also in many other areas, meaning that the infrastructure, especially the sewerage network, is failing to cope. Today, a house that is supposed to accommodate two individuals accommodates a huge family and, in this vein, I urge the hon. Minister to look into this issue according to what has been apportioned to infrastructure.


Madam Chairperson, we usually do not have favourable rainfall in our country. So, it is just prudent that when we have enough of it, we harvest rain water. It must start learning how to do that. Instead of allowing that wonderful resource to pass through our country into the oceans, it is high time we started harvesting this much-needed resource. Just as the hon. Minister has stated, for us to harvest water, we need to construct dams that are going to act as reservoirs.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to inform the hon. Minster that there are areas, especially in my constituency, where water pipes go through people’s yards, but the houses do not have access to the water running through the pipes. An example is an area called Tofyo in my constituency. As a result, people are being forced to vandalise the infrastructure by punching holes into it so that they can draw water from the leaks. Please, let us consider such areas when it comes to infrastructure development.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister may wish to note that although there have been challenges people not receiving water of most of the time, the people have been receiving water and sanitation bills. Can the hon. Minister consider helping us to start on a clean slate. Why can he not, if it is within the realm of his office, cancel the bills until the Kafulafuta Water Dam is operational, since we have been told that when the project is completed, problems of water will be a thing of the past? Then no one will have any excuse for not paying their bills. Today, people receive bills even when they do not have sanitation facilities in their yards.


Madam Chairperson, it is sad that in my constituency, people have now started constructing soakaways behind their yards because the sanitation facilities have collapsed. I want to emphasise the issue of infrastructure because it is only after the hon. Minister has worked on the infrastructure that we are we going to have the needed revenue because people will be receiving the commodity and using the services. So, everyone will be forced to pay. Otherwise, the lack of proper infrastructure will be a challenge to the ministry.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks made, I want to proudly say to the hon. Minister that I am going to support his budget of K2,199,693,903 so that we can take clean water closer to the people, and not only in urban areas, as we also want to see clean water in rural areas. We want to see boreholes. If it is within the hon. Minister’s realm, he should ensure we have boreholes equipped with submersible pumps so that people can have a sense of belonging to this great nation called Zambia.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Chairperson, …


Mr Nanjuwa: Hammer, vuna cuundu!




Mr Michelo: … I am very grateful to be given this wonderful opportunity to debate this Vote. I also thank the hon. Minister for his wonderful policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, we are coming from the dark days when some of us, especially in Bweengwa Constituency, did not see a single borehole sank by the previous regime. However, I ask the hon. Minister to not start treating Zambians the way the Patriotic Front (PF) Government treated them; we request that the hon. Minister takes development even to areas where we did not get enough support and to places where we do not have Members of Parliament. We should go there and give the people of Zambia boreholes because they are also Zambians. We do not want a scenario in which areas not represented by United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament get no development; we want to see development all over the country.


Madam Chairperson, Bweengwa Constituency is a cattle belt; there are many animals, but there is not enough drinking water, and our animals cover long distances to drink water. For instance, the distance from Bweengwa Constituency to Kafue River, where most of our farmers drive their animals to drink water, is between 14 km and 25 km, and that is not good in this era. We have had dams in the constituency, but most of them have collapsed walls. Hence, those reservoirs can no longer hold water. So, I request the hon. Minister to go around the country so that he can the dams that need rehabilitation.


Madam Chairperson, I want to ride on the previous speaker’s statement to the effect that merely drilling boreholes is not enough. In our neighbouring countries like Botswana, people in rural areas have access to tap water. Our request to the hon. Minister is that when the ministry drills boreholes, it should install submersible pumps powered by solar so that our people can also feel that they are in Zambia.


Madam Chairperson, you know that there are places where when you move with your children, the children feel like they are not in Zambia. Some of them even ask you where they are and wonder whether they are still in Zambia. Some people do not live in Zambia despite being in Zambia because of the problems they are facing. Sometimes, when you take children for a walk, they think the people in other areas are not Zambians. In Gwembe, there are good rivers on which we can build big enough dams for water harvestings o that we can have water all over. We cannot allow water to go to the Atlantic or Indian oceans all the time.


Madam Chairperson, the Kafue River is a source of the hydro-electricity used by many people in this country, as can be seen from the hydro-power stations on it that generate a lot of hydro power. We also have ‘waterbelt’ provinces like Luapula from which we can channel water through a canal into the Kafue River. Our brothers and sisters on that side have a lot of water that can be utilised in areas that lack water. Since we no longer get enough rainfall in the southern part of this country, especially, we can tap water from Kafue River to feed small-scale farmers so that we can have green maize throughout the year through enhanced irrigation. In Monze District, where I come from, there is not enough water, and we depend only on Hachanga Dam, which is not big enough to cater for the growing population of the district. It is a well-known fact that in Southern Province, Monze is the fastest growing and most populous district, yet it does not have enough water. However, once we start tapping water from the Kafue River, we will manage to provide the people of Monze with clean drinking water.


Madam Chairperson, I support the budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his well-articulated presentation of the budget, which I support, although I can only give him the benefit of doubt on the K143,476,639 that he has set aside for infrastructure development. I hope that in the 2023 Budget, he is going to do better. My cry is for the rural parts of this country, where I belong.


Madam Chairperson, a lot of water is being wasted because as a country, we do not have the capacity to harvest rainwater. In constituencies like Nyimba, animals move long distances to find water and eventually, they end up not looking that good, and get weak. The situation has also brought about a lot of theft of our animals. Our request is not only for Nyimba, but also for the country at large. We need to start constructing dams, and we need to increase the allocation for dam construction in the next Budget so that more dams are constructed.


Madam Chairperson, the population of Nyimba Constituency has grown. We would have to add up some small districts just to make Nyimba District, and the struggle we go through just to have enough water for our animals is worrying. Imagine, Nyimba Constituency only has one dam that needs rehabilitation. The worst part is that we do not provide money for rehabilitations in the Budget. After construction, we leave the dams to their fates until they are destroyed. Today, if we ask, the ministry would say that Nyimba has two or three dams. However, the other two are already gone. There are just rivers, in fact, streams, in the constituency. So, our plea is that we start constructing dams and providing money for their rehabilitation so that we reduce the expenses on constructing new dams.


Madam Chairperson, new districts and townships are coming up in our country, yet little thought is given to the establishment of sewage ponds in those districts. In my district, Nyimba, if we do not come up with sewerage systems in the next ten to twenty years, all the underground water will be contaminated with faecal matter from pit latrines. So, it is my plea that next year, the hon. Minister will factor that into the budget. Yes, we understand that it is expensive but, again, the hon. Minister is very capable, and I know that he can source the money so that we start constructing sewer ponds in the districts where they do not exist, and we are going to start with Nyimba because the population there has grown too much.


Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the fact that the hon. Minister has started the idea of rehabilitating boreholes because there are many boreholes in our constituencies that do not work. We keep digging boreholes, forgetting to repair the damaged ones. It is my plea to the hon. Minster that in next year’s budget, we look at repairing boreholes that are not working, which will be more helpful than to keep digging borehole after borehole; it is cheaper to repair a borehole than to dig a new one.


Madam Chairperson, as a country, we cannot continue to let our people and animals suffer, and the construction of dams should not be looked at as being necessary for domestic consumption water only, but also for irrigation farming. Today, we import vegetables because we cannot sustain ourselves as we only expect God-given water to sustain our gardens. That is not helping us. So, it is my plea to the hon. Minster that next year, we increase the allocation to the construction of dams and sewer ponds. The hon. Minister will agree with me that all the companies under his ministry only engage in water projects, not sewer ones. How does he think we will survive in the next ten years? 


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Chairperson, the people of Kafue also thought of adding a word or two to the strong case that has already been made on the need for water in our communities, and thereby support the budget.


Madam Chairperson, in Kafue, there was a bulk water project that many people mistook to have been meant to supply water to Kafue. Unfortunately, Kafue is not even a beneficiary of a project named after it because it was meant to supply water to Meanwood and other places in Lusaka. This situation has left Kafue residents very miserable because they just see water pipes passing through their town and going into Lusaka while they continue to suffer from water shortages in their different communities.


Madam Chairperson, if you went to Kasengele or Chawama, which are adjacent to the water project, you would see that the pipe just goes through the areas without benefitting the people there. So, my appeal to the hon. Minister is that as he considers Phase II of the project, which I understand is under way, he finds a way of making Kafue residents benefit from the project. All the residents have, including those who worked tirelessly on the previous project, are memories, having gone away without even any form of the gratuity that the previous Government had promised to look into. So, like other people have said –


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended 1640 hours until 1700 hours.





Mrs Chonya: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was agreeing with my hon. Colleagues who had debated earlier in saying that there is a lot that we need to do in the water and sanitation sector. As my colleagues had already said, the sanitation infrastructure has become old. In Kafue, there are places like Nangongwe where, literally, the sanitation pipes have collapsed and blocked the whole system, and the residents no longer use flushable toilets like it was originally designed to be the case. So, the whole system needs an overhaul for people to enjoy the facilities as originally intended.


Madam Chairperson, it is good that the New Dawn Government is looking at sharing the national cake equitably, and I believe that will also happen in the water sector. According to the hon. Minister, 884 boreholes were dug last time, but I can attest here that Kafue was not a beneficiary of any of those boreholes. We only managed to sink five boreholes from the little Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that the constituency received over the last five years, yet we had been promised that each constituency countrywide was going to get, at least, ten boreholes. So, it will be good if the little that this Government will put in place is shared equitably among the different parts of the country.


Madam Chairperson, two days ago, I was admiring an initiative supported by private partners in Katuba, where some water kiosk has been put up with some kind of modern facilities to support that. I invite the hon. Minister to try that model in Kafue and see what it will cost the Government, and, probably, replicate that in many other townships where there are serious water challenges. Even if we had to go to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and ask to be supported in such a venture, I think the people of Zambia would welcome that because water is life and we would be borrowing for a very good reason not, for instance, borrowing for roads that we saw only ending up in residences of people who were in the last Government.


Madam Chairperson, even in Chiawa, where the confluence of the Kafue River and the Zambezi River is, with a lot of water going into Zimbabwe and up to the ocean, water is still a problem. So, like my hon. Colleague from Bweengwa has stated, there is a need to harvest water and channel it to areas that have critical shortages of water.


Madam Chairperson, there is a place called Mulangwa in Chiawa where people really suffer in getting water, and they hope and pray that one day, the Government will put in place a piped water system to respond to that challenge. Lives have been lost in Chiawa as people try to draw water from the river; every now and then, we hear of instances of people having been attacked by elephants. So, we need to move away from the traditional ways of getting water and think of modern ways of taking this very important resource closer to the people. Gone are the days when it was normal for people to walk 10 km in search of water. Since we are now talking productivity, the time spent looking for water can be invested in attending to other issues that will improve the lives of the people, including of our girl children because they would be in school instead of spending long hours and walking long distances to fetch water.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mposha: Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who added their good voices to the debate on Vote 52. I take note of the issues raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan and agree with him that water is life and that people must have access to clean and safe water. I further agree with him that owing to population growth, the capacity of our sanitation network has obviously been overstretched and that there is a need to rehabilitate and expand the network so that we can capture more households in the townships. This is why in my statement, I said that we are working towards rehabilitating a number of water and sanitation infrastructure. Resources allowing, we are also planning to expand the networks. I must say that once the Kafulafuta Water Project is completed, we will be able to address the water challenges in Roan Constituency and the surrounding areas.


Madam Chairperson, I also thank my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa. I hear him on the need to avoid tricking the people of Zambia, and I assure him that the New Dawn Government is here to genuinely serve the people of Zambia, not to trick them. Where we will have challenges, we will report to this House and our people. I also take note of his plea for us to consider providing piped water in his constituency and townships using solar pumps. I think that is another method of water supply we want to encourage, but it is costlier than harvesting ground water using boreholes equipped with hand pumps. So, we will require a lot of money to take that route. However, resources allowing, I think we would want to take that route.


Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba for supporting the budget. I agree with him that in many constituencies, including Nyimba, people are suffering in that they either do not have dams where their animals can access water or they have dams that have not been rehabilitated for a long time. My ministry, as I indicated in the policy statement, will escalate rehabilitation programmes to ensure that the existing facilities are rehabilitated from time to time.


Madam Chairperson, I also agree with the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue and take note of the water challenges in Kafue. So, I assure her that we shall explore the possibility of installing tap-offs in townships in which our network passes so that the residents do not become mere spectators of the network; those people must benefit.


Madam Chairperson, again, I thank all the hon. Members who supported this budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Vote 52 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 66 – (Ministry of Technology and Science – K716, 848,372)


The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me the privilege to present to this august House the policy statement of the Ministry of Technology and Science in support of the ministry’s 2022 budget. I am delighted to deliver my first policy statement as Minister of Technology and Science, as the responsibility conferred on me by His Excellency is a privilege, and I intend to execute it to the best of my abilities.


Madam Chairperson, the Budget delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was transformational and realistic, and did not underestimate the challenges we face, as a nation, in improving the lives of our people. I also commend the hon. Minister and his team for achieving the Staff Level Agreement (SLA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which is a great milestone.


Madam Chairperson, my ministry is mandated to formulate and implement policies on technology, science, innovation, skills development, communication and electronic Government (e-Government), as stipulated in Government Gazette Notice No. 90 and 1123 of 2021. In 2022, my ministry will aim to discharge this mandate through the implementation of the following five key programmes:


  1. Skills Development;
  2. Science, Research and Development;
  3. Technology and Innovation;
  4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT), including e-Government; and
  5. Management and Support Services.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has been allocated K716,848,372, representing an 18 per cent increase on the allocation for 2021. It is important to note that K42.8 million of this amount will be donor financed and will go to, among other projects, the construction of centres of excellence.


Skills Development


Madam Chairperson, in 2022, Skills Development will work to deliver enhanced human capital by increasing access to quality and equitable training. The focus will be on meeting the national skills needs, equitable skills provision, infrastructure development, curriculum development and review, upgrading of lecturers and provision of training equipment. The ministry will also prioritise the implementation of entrepreneur development and enhancement of collaboration between the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA), on the one hand, and the private sector and other key stakeholders, on the other. Further, the development of the digital skills needed to support the country’s digital transformation agenda will be key for the ministry. To realise that, business incubators will be established in three Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) institutions to support digital entrepreneurship training. To actualise these interventions, K301,727,673 has been allocated to skills development, of which K199 million will be financed through the Skills Development Fund. I commend the private sector for its continued support in this regard.


Science, Technology and Innovation


Madam Chairperson, the Government has placed a high premium on technology, science, research and innovation in order to contribute to sustainable development. To attain our aspirations in that regard, in 2022, my ministry will continue to focus on innovation, and research and development (R&D) that enhance the utilisation of locally-available resources through technological improvements and value addition. The priority areas for the ministry in science, technology and innovation will be:


  1. enhanced co-ordination through institutional and legal reorganisation;
  2. development, commercialisation and adoption of transformational technologies;
  3. full establishment and operationalisation of the ground receiving station;
  4. establishment of incubation centres to support start-up businesses and technologies;
  5. upgrading of the skills and competences for scientists and researchers at the Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) levels;
  6. enhancement of the role of industry and the private sector in science, technology and innovation; and
  7. an enhancement of the capacity to exploit nuclear science.


Science, Research and Development


Madam Chairperson, the Science, Research and Development programme will focus on the conduct of R&D to increase the development of products and services. The programme will also continue with the development of scientists with an emphasis on mainstreaming Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the value chain of our education system.


Madam Chairperson, to enhance the impact of R&D, in particular, applied research, my ministry intends to support the development of laboratories and other research facilities. In this regard, K62.8 million will go to the completion of infrastructure, of which K40.8 million will go to the construction of centres of excellence while the remaining K22.8 million will be earmarked for the completion of the ground receiving station for the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), which is critical to the National Space Science Programme.


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will continue to create a critical mass of scientists through training and development at both the Master of Science (MSc.) and Ph.D. levels to contribute to the production of R&D products. In 2022, the ministry will, therefore, target the training of fifty MSc. and twenty Ph.D. students.


Madam Chairperson, the co-ordination of science, research and development is critical to its successful application and utilisation, and one of the key aspects of co-ordination is a well-structured institutional framework. In this regard, in 2022, my ministry plans to review the entire science institutional and operational framework to align it to the aspirations of the new mandate of the ministry.


Technology and Innovation


Madam Chairperson, my ministry has allocated K68 million to technology and innovation, out of which K46 million has been allocated to technology commercialisation while infrastructure development has been allocated K22 million. The allocation to technology and innovation infrastructure will cater for the establishment of innovation hubs and incubation centres. In order to promote youth inventiveness for wealth and job creation, and enhance youth employment, my ministry has allocated K6 million to the Science and Technology Innovation Fund.


ICT Development


Madam Chairperson, in 2022, the ICT Development programme will focus on the expansion of broadband infrastructure and ICT coverage, and review and development of ICT policies and regulations. In order to improve the ICT sector, my ministry will continue with the construction of communication towers, covering districts with high-speed optic fibre and capacitating post offices with ICT equipment.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude my address to this august House, I appeal to all hon. Members to support our budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for that policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I do not have much to say. However, since this is a new ministry, I am sure the people of Chienge and the rest of the country are hearing of it for the first time and, because of that, I support its budget line.


Madam Chairperson, talking about technology in our country, I expected to hear more from the ministry on how technology and innovation will be implemented in primary and secondary schools. In South Africa, a child in Grade 3 already learns about technology and innovation. In Chienge, we are lagging behind in terms of technology because we have not got much from successive Governments. How will a child in Chienge be part of the technological revolution that the Government is talking about when there is no proper communication in Chienge? For example, Lambwe Chomba is completely cut off; there are no communication towers, yet there are secondary and primary schools, and other government institutions. How will the Smart Zambia Institute work for the people in Chienge and other rural areas? The hon. Minister should have told us about that. Yes, the policy statement is good, but how is it beneficial to the people in rural areas, in particular, Chienge?


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to hear how the science and technology programme will be implemented in secondary schools. Currently, nothing is being done about in this regard, and some of our children only get to know about computers through cellular phones or from their colleagues. The implementation of this programme should start in primary schools, not tertiary institutions, so that our children can be exposed to technology early. For example, in China, a three-year or four-year old child is able to assemble an engine while In India, a child is able to invent software for computers. So, I expected to hear how the Government will implement this programme in order for us to support the amount the hon. Minister talked about in the budget.


Madam Chairperson, as I mentioned earlier, this is a new ministry and I support its budget. However, I want to hear more from it. The hon. Minister should be more convincing to all hon. Members of Parliament so that we can carry the right information to our people. For example, the people in urban areas have heard of the Smart Zambia Institute, but it is like we, the people in rural areas, are not Zambians, because we do not know what is happening in terms of technology. The people of Chienge, for example, are completely cut off from the science we are talking about. So, what I expected to hear about is what the ministry will do vis-à-vis the people in rural areas like Chienge, and it is my prayer that those people will soon be exposed to the science and technology that the hon. Minister has talked about.


Madam Chairperson, the policy statement is good and I support this budget. However, we want to see the implementation of what has been said in the policy statement so that come 2026, the people of Chienge would have seen what they were promised and what was explained to them by their area Member of Parliament realised.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Rev. Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I expect the ministry to work with the Ministry of Energy because we do not have power in Chienge. How do we implement science and technology? We need to have power and to be connected so that when we talk about science and technology, and the Smart Zambia Institute, we are on the same page with those in urban areas.


With those few words, Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for the well-articulated policy statement for the Ministry of Technology and Science.


Madam Chairperson, to hit the nail right on the head, I say that the New Dawn Government has come up with this ministry to deal with the mind of the human being. Science cannot be separated from the life of a human being. We talk about the advancements in Europe and are becoming followers of other people’s minds. So, we thank the Government for creating this ministry.


Madam Chairperson, communication towers are very important tools of communication that leads to development. In rural areas, we used to walk to the post office just to send a message to someone in town. That should be part of the history we tell our grandchildren about.


Madam Chairperson, the first challenge with communication towers is the strength of the signal. The people are complaining that the network is not very good. When in Ñuma, about 120 km from Kalabo Boma, one does not have Internet connectivity. So, while there is continued construction of towers, there is a need to improve the quality of the service they render. The towers are also limited to about 15 km in coverage. Would it not be better if the towers covered about 25 km, which would reduce the number of towers to be installed in a given area.


Madam Chairperson, I have seen allocations to sectors like skills development and trades schools. This is a welcome move because trades schools are the breeding centres for up-coming scientists. So, when they are well funded, they buy equipment, and students do not face a shortage of what to use.


Madam Chairperson, science cannot be academic; it must be practical. For example, when students are learning about an engine, they need to actually see an engine; the pistons, rings and crankshaft, so that they become matured right there in college. By the time they graduate, they should have a bit of knowledge of what such things are, and the skills. If our youths are not skilled, even if the Government wanted to empower them with money, the empowerment would not yield any good fruit because applying the money profitably and positively would be a challenge.


Madam Chairperson, post offices must be capacitated, like I have seen in the budget, so that we can move away from posting letters. Instead, the post offices should have Internet cafés because that is the modern technology, and the skills we are talking about. One should not have to buy postage stamps and envelopes because that is an old method of communication.


Madam Chairperson, post offices must be viewed as centres for information and communications technology (ICT). Whatever the hubs being talked about are, the post offices, which are located in most districts of Zambia, must be used to the equitable benefit of the youths in the communities so that when the youths are empowered financially, they are able to apply the resources in Internet cafés in post offices. Currently, most workers in post offices almost have no work. Previously, they were involved in the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) programme, but there were scandals and the programme was withdrawn from them. So, this is the right time to make use of the post office in other ways.


Madam Chairperson, finally, do you remember we used to have the Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS) in schools? That was the starting point for science, like Hon. Rev. Given Katuta has mentioned. The technicians must start from lower grades and grow with their disciplines. When people start studying things when they are already old, it becomes a mere academic exercise, and they will just be wondering what this and that is. So, it is better we take science back to what it was through the clubs that existed at every primary and secondary school so that when children get to tertiary schools, they already have an idea of what we are talking about.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to express the views of the people of Kalabo Central.


Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Technology and Science can do a lot to solve Zambia’s problems; it is the ministry where the answers to all our problems are. Some countries survive on science and technology. Through inverting things, their citizens are able to live good lives, and countries like Singapore and others called the Asian Tigers have all developed using education, technology and science.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister’s policy statement is very good, and the hon. Minister is doing a good job. However, I am still very worried about science institutions in the country, especially the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR). The institute, which is located in Lusaka on the way to the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA), is almost dead, and we need to resuscitate it.


Madam Chairperson, science is in phases. There is short-term science, which is useful and involves activities like modifying seeds so that they can behave in a certain way and prolonging the shelf life of products. However, in Zambia currently, we lack major scientific ventures in which we can start a project that could take fifteen years and, when completed, change the course of the whole nation. We need to allocate money to that kind of science, in which we can select one or two topics and research them for fifteen years or so like other countries do. When we do that invention, we will change the course of science in the country. Unlike the currently, when we are just end users of our friends’ discoveries, we can also discover things.


Madam Chairperson, currently, there is the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and some countries are trying to find the solution through making medicines. I do not know how far we have gone in that area. Even on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), some countries, even in Africa, are conducting a lot of research. We had the Sondashi Formula (SF 2000), which was formulated by an individual after putting in his money into it, and it went all the way to South Africa for tests and the South Africans said it could work. Here, just to build a laboratory in Kitwe has taken many years, and the project is almost dead. I think there is a need to resuscitate the SF 2000 because it comes from a plant that is plentiful where the Zambezi starts from, in Mwinilunga. I would love to see SF 2000 brought back so that the research can be completed.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to hear of a package that can promote our natural scientists who did not really go to school because that is very important. Like I have always said, the Airtel Money, Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Mobile Money and Zoona platforms that we use were inverted in Kenya by children on the streets because in that country, there is a system for supporting and promoting gifted scientists who are not necessarily schooled. Last time, we talked of a boy in Mapanza who discovered how to generate electricity from a pit latrine, and I would have loved to hear that the ministry helped him to develop his science further, research more and make it available to the country for use. 


Madam Chairperson, there is a need for the country, through this ministry, to invest more in research. The research that we conduct currently in Zambia is determined by foreigners; the money comes from outside of the country and we are told what to research on. We need to localise our research because when we research according to the needs of our society, we can create employment. For example, in agriculture, our products’ shelf life is short. So, if we put our tomato on the shelf in Shoprite, it does not last as long as the tomato from other countries. Even the pineapples from Mwinilunga rot in five days of being on the shelf. So, we need science to come in and improve the shelf life so that our products can also be sold by retail shops. For that to happen, the ministry to which the hon. Minister has been taken has a lot of work to do.


Madam Chairperson, NISIR is literally dead; it is like a graveyard, and we need to resuscitate it, as it can be the engine for science. We also want to see a centre where nuclear science can be studied and researched. Why can we not have a model like the one in Rwanda, which they call the Knowledge Laboratory (kLab), where computers and other equipment are provided so that young people who have ideas can go there, write business proposals and come up with research topics, and the ministry helps them to complete their research, regardless of whether it takes ten years or twenty. That can help the country.


Madam Chairperson, if we just narrow our science to utility science, the science of systems in computers, which is information and communication technology (ICT), and leave the major science, then our science will not necessarily improve the course of the country. We need to improve research. South Africa has about 500 scientists engaged in research while Zambia, by 2019/2020, had only two scientists behind research at NISIR, and both were in administration.


Madam Chairperson, we also need to attract many scientists to come in and conduct serious research, and offer solutions to the problems of the country. We cannot always be lagging behind, as others were saying. Even on some of the problems we have, such as diseases, we can sponsor a good research team that can come up with remedies. For COVID-19, we can discover our own remedy instead of waiting for remedies from the West where, when there is any variant, they close their airspace.


Madam Chairperson, I wish the hon. Minister all the best and thank him.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, I am thankful for the contributions from Hon. Rev. Katuta, Member of Parliament for Chienge; Hon. Miyutu, Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central; and Hon. ‘Komboni’ from Kalomo Central.




Rev. Katuta: He is Hon. Kamboni. 


Mr Mutati: ‘Hon. Kamboni’. Thank you for the correction.


Madam Chairperson, what Hon. Rev. Katuta said in respect of Chienge is a common problem across most rural constituencies, and one of our key approaches is to address issues around the digital infrastructure; the issues of connectivity, coverage and continuous availability.


Madam Chairperson, one of the limitations we found, particularly in rural areas, is the non-availability of Internet connectivity, which is crucial to the use of devices for learning in various schools. So far, we have distributed about 500 computers to schools, but we know is insufficient, and we are going to do more. So, we have a dual approach, namely Internet connectivity and devices. Further, we are focusing on STEM. In this regard, we are upgrading the skills of teachers so that they are able to deliver STEM. In addition, we are creating youth innovation hubs, including in rural areas. Also. the Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS) clubs are back in schools to provoke the imagination of our young people.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutati: Madam Chairperson, in terms of communication towers, in 2022, we have allocated K35 million for them. In addition to that, we are mapping the country to find empty spaces and deal with issues of optimisation of towers. So, we shall come up with a strategy on how to fill the empty spaces for connectivity.


Madam Chairperson, as regards the post offices and post boxes, the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) is being transformed into electronic post (e-Post); we will no longer have the boxes that we know. Instead, we will have virtual ones, and the post offices will be business centres where people can use the Internet and carry out other business activities. For that, we have provided K12 million. If you take Zambezi, for example, the old post office has been renovated into a modern business centre that even houses Atlas Mara Bank Zambia Limited. That is the direction we are taking.


Madam Chairperson, in terms of skills development, which is Hon Miyutu’s concern, we have a dual approach because some of the youths went only as far as Grade 9 while others completed Grade 12. However, there are also youths who have not had any education, but have the brain power and capability to open and repair an engine. For example, in Kitwe, out of the 500 youths we are recruiting, 40 per cent will be recruited just for sheer ability. If one has the physical and intellectual ability, what issue is there about an engine? This is being done so that we can give such youths an opportunity to move forward. This strategy is proving quite effective. When I visited the Kitwe Business and Technical College (KBTC), I was surprised to see a seventeen-year-old girl who was able to handle a Caterpillar engine although she could not speak English. It is amazing the talent that Zambia has. So, let us not be biased only towards those who go to school.


Madam Chairperson, as regards the Sondashi Formula (SF 2000) and research scientists, only on Saturday, I was amazed to see how many scientists we have because I met over 100 of them with various scientific formulations, innovations, et cetera. So, our focus, as a country, should be on integration. Currently, there are cases in which Lusaka Apex Medical University (LAMU), Mulungushi University (MU) and the University of Zambia (UNZA) are doing the same at different stages. So, we are dispersing the energy rather than concentrating it so that we are able to accelerate output –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired


Vote 66 – ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 85 – (Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources – K130,172,519).


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Muchima): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to present a policy statement in support of the 2022 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. The programmes for whose budget I seek consideration and approval are aligned to Zambia’s Vision 2030, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto 2021-2026, the 2020-2023 Economic Recovery Programme and the Draft Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).


Madam Chairperson, the mandate of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is to administer land and manage natural resources for sustainable use. In line with its new mandate, the ministry will focus on providing security of tenure to land owners, putting in place a robust information system, re-affirming Zambia’s international boundaries and providing policy guidance on the sustainable management of natural resources. The ministry will also implement strategies to enhance the collection of non-tax revenue using innovative information and communication technology (ICT), subsequently contributing to the National Treasury.


Madam Chairperson, my address to this august House will focus on performance of the 2021 Budget and outlook for 2022.


Review of Performance in 2021


Madam Chairperson, the ceiling for the ministry in 2021 was K217,893,293, compared with K130,172,519 in 2022. With the funds released, my ministry was able to achieve the following:


  1. as at 30th September, 2021, the ministry had collected K197,973,997 in revenue, compared with the K189,849,364 collected in 2020, representing a 4.3 increment;
  2. Under the National Land Titling Programme (NLTP), 14,376 certificates of title had been issues by 31st October, 2021;
  3. the National Lands Policy was approved by the Cabinet and launched on 12th May, 2021;
  4. the Lands and Deeds Registry Act and the Land Survey Act were amended to provide for electronic registration and use of modern survey techniques;
  5. the ministry disbursed K20,701,832.08 to twelve councils under the Land Development Fund (LDF) for survey works, electrification, access roads and water reticulation; and
  6. the ministry undertook sensitisation of people living on the common borders between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Further, boundary beacons were erected on the aforementioned border, specifically between Lake Mweru and Lake Tanganyika, except for the area covering Kipimbi Mountain due to the lack of agreement on the clause that defines the boundary line. Boundary reaffirmation between Zambia and Mozambique was completed in terms of field survey activities and mapping for the land area. Following that, a boundary treaty between the two countries was drafted and is yet to be agreed and signed by the two countries.


Outlook for 2022


Madam Chairperson, in 2022, the programmes and activities in my ministry will be aligned to the priorities and targets outlined in Zambia’s Vision 2030, the Economic Recovery Programme, 2020 to 2023, aspirations of the 8NDP and the UPND Manifesto, 2021 – 2026.


The ministry will focus on three major programmes, namely:


  1. Land Administration and Regulation;
  2. Natural Resources Management; and
  3. Management and Support Services.


Madam Chairperson, 2022 budget ceiling for the ministry is K130,172,519. My ministry is fully committed to delivering on its mandate with the resources provided. The activities to be undertaken are as set out below.


Revenue Collection


Madam Chairperson, the ministry has projected to raise K344,600,000 in 2022. In order to achieve this, my ministry will ensure that all its payments are done electronically on the Government Service Bus (GSB) Payment Gateway and other media.


National Land Titling Programme


Madam Chairperson, the budget for the NLTP in 2022 is K26 million. The ministry will work with MEDICI Land Governance (MLG) to title an estimated 250,000 properties under state land. Further, the ministry will intensify the updating of land information in terms of land use change, which has been taking place.


National Resource Management


Madam Chairperson, under this programme, my ministry will focus on mobilising our co-operating partners to support the implementation of the Lukanga Swamps Conservation Plan and assessment of the status of another wetland to facilitate the development of a conservation plan.


Legislation and Policy Formulation


During the 2022 to 2024 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), my ministry will endeavour to undertake a comprehensive review of land-related legislation following the approval of the National Land Policy.


Land Development Fund


Madam Chairperson, the ministry will continue to administer the Land Development Fund, whose allocation for 2022 is K23 million.


International Boundaries


Madam Chairperson, reaffirmation of international boundaries has been allocated K20 million. This amount will be used to work on the Zambia/Malawi, Zambia/Tanzania and Zambia/Congo (DRC) boundaries, and to commence works on the Zambia/Namibia, Zambia/Zimbabwe and Zambia/Angola boundaries.




Madam Chairperson, with those remarks, I urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the estimates for the programmes in my ministry in the 2022 Budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kangombe (Sesheke Central): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. From the outset, I support the statement by the hon. Minister made on the Floor of this House.


Madam Chairperson, mine is just one very brief and humble appeal, which has stalled for quite some time now, namely the disputed boundary between Zambia and Angola, to be very specific, at a place called Imusho. This matter has been there for some time and our people in Imusho are finding it very difficult because our colleagues from Angola have actually put beacons on Zambian soil; they have crossed the Kwandu River and the plain to put beacons right at Imusho Basic School, a situation that is quite unfortunate because our people cannot take their animals for grazing in the plains. Otherwise, Angolan soldiers will capture and arrest them on the Angolan side.


Madam Chairpersons, our people cannot do fishing, either. As you may be aware, people in the villages often go to the river to fish and collect fruits, which is only normal, for them to have some income. However, they are unable to do that now because of the situation I mentioned. My humble appeal to the hon. Minister is that for once, let him make the people of Imusho feel fully part of this country by resolving that matter and ending incidences of people being captured and our people failing to find suitable grazing land for their animals.


I submit, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Katakwe (Zambezi East): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his elaborate policy statement. From the outset, I put it on record that I am in support of the budget, especially since the hon. Minister has outlined a number of objectives in his ministry’s budget vis-à-vis the administration of land management and natural resources for sustainable land use, implementation of land reforms, a land audit, land surveys, land mapping, property boundary demarcation, land management information system, land titling and issuance of title deeds, and improvement of natural resource management and biodiversity and its implementation.


Madam Chairperson, we, the people of Mushindamo District or Solwezi East Constituency, are very happy about the budget for land administration, especially the allocation to land mapping and beacon setting on the border lines. I come from a corridor bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and, if you go through Chililabombwe and Konkola to Kipushi, there is a place on the DRC side called Lumata, where the mines on the DRC side heap the earth they excavate on the Zambian side; they have shifted the boundary by moving onto the Zambian side. So, the hon. Minister’s talk of land mapping and international boundary beaconing gives me hope, especially if the ministry will work together with the ministries of Home Affairs and Internal Security, and Defence. The area in question is so vast and endowed with natural resources that it can actually enhance land use sustainability. The Zambia National Service (ZNS) can do a lot of agriculture there, and the border is just near the area, thereby guaranteeing a ready market. So, that gives us a lot of hope.


Madam Chairperson, in a nutshell, I support these estimates of revenue and expenditure.


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Rev. Katuta: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources for his policy statement. I also want to add the voice of the people of Chienge on the issue of the land audit.


Madam Chairperson, in Chienge, the previous Government had started asking people to register their farmlands and other properties so that they could be given titles, if I am not mistaken, and that was very worrisome because in rural areas like Chienge, we inherit land from our forefathers and the land is passed on through the families. However, suddenly, we heard of the land audit issue, and my understanding of it was that the land that seemed to not be owned by anyone would be given to would-be investors. I would like the New Dawn Government to take seriously the people, who are main shareholders of the business of running this country, especially those in Chienge; the people should not be taken for granted because they own the land. For them to be asked to account for what they own, to me, is unfair because those people may not even understand what it means to have a title deed. We live as our forefathers lived but, suddenly, we are asked, or dictated to, to inform the Government about the land on which we far and the one on which we live in the name of being given title deeds. In Chienge, as long as the chief knows that I own a given piece of land, that is more than enough. So, I urge the Government to correct the perception we have in Chienge and other rural areas.


Madam Chairperson, I am fully aware that traditional land belongs to traditional rulers. So, I look forward to hearing that the land audit by the ministry is aimed at ensuring that the traditional rulers do not give out land anyhow. For land to be given to any investor, the people of the area must agree to that and benefit from it. We have seen investors, such as miners, including those who come to mine lime, manufacture cement or mine minerals like copper, come but, when you look around, you will see that the indigenous people do not benefit from the investments, except the so-called royal family. So, the ministry should present to this House a law or issue a statutory instrument (SI) to help the villagers to be the main shareholders of whatever takes place in their areas.


Madam Chairperson, we do not want to see the Government just come in, give 10,000 ha to an investor and ask the local people to move out just because the land belongs to the State. In Chienge, the Copperbelt University (CBU) and the University of Zambia (UNZA) have acquired land where people have lived for a long time, and the people are crying because their grandparents left that land for them and they are old. I have faith that the New Dawn Government will help the people of Chienge to reclaim their land.


Madam Chairperson, I would also like to speak on behalf of many rural areas where the chiefs have taken advantage of their people by asking the ministry to be firm not only on the officers in the ministry, but also on the chiefs, by stopping them from giving away land anyhow. Zambians in many places are crying. For example, Kansaka was given away by somebody who felt that he was a chief, and that should be stopped immediately as the land audit is on-going because Zambia will never be recreated. This is the only country we have. In the future, our children, just like me who, having lived in the Diaspora, has come back home, will want to come back home. However, what will they find if all the land is given to the so-called investors? So, when the land audit is undertaken, that should be taken into consideration.


Madam Chairperson, let me talk about international boundaries. In Chienge, there is the itchy issue of Mpweto, or should I just say the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Chienge. Like the hon. Member for Sesheke mentioned, our Congolese colleagues have even put beacons in Zambia, taking away Zambian schools that belong to the Government and people’s farms. I plead with the hon. Minister to help us to get back our land. We also believe that the Surveyor-General should do better because when giving the beacons or co-ordinates, what was he thinking in letting the Congolese come and put beacons in our country? The hon. Minister should help the people of Chienge, who are crying for their land to be realigned back to Zambia or for the original beacons to be followed.


Madam Chairperson, lastly, we will never have mukula again, yet we need it. I know many politicians are involved in selling it, and they may pretend, but that should also come to an end. We want the people of Chienge and other rural areas where the trees come from to benefit. We, the hon. Members of Parliament, must form co-operatives and help our youths to benefit from the exploitation of those tree species.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his elaborate policy statement, and I fully support this budget because issues pertaining to land are very serious.


Madam chairperson, my message to the hon. Minister is that since the budget is being approved, we want to see the issues concerning forests dealt with. For example, the issues around Kawena Forest in Mwembezhi Constituency are a thorn in the flesh, and people are being killed over it because the past regime of the Patriotic Front (PF) got the land and shared it among PF members, thereby denying the local people the right to have land. We want to see that issue resolved expeditiously. We know that the hon. Minister is looking into this matter, but the earlier we sorted it out the sooner we will have fewer problems.


Madam Chairperson, as Member of Parliament for Mwembezhi, I say that the ministry is like a muddy pond because if you look at the list of the people who were originally given land in many areas, you will notice that they are employees of the ministry. The first time I asked the Permanent Secretary (PS) why the officers owned the land when the people of Zambia could not, he asked me whether the officers were not entitled. However, why should the officer in charge of running that ministry be in the forefront of people having five to six plots in Zambia? Where do they think other people will get land from? The hon. Minister should check what is happening in that ministry and sort out the mess there.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister is aware that the ministry is supposed to regulate private surveyors so that they do their jobs well. One of the worst things that is happening is that the ministry is competing with private surveyors. Let me give an example so that people can understand. The Bank of Zambia (BoZ) regulates banks in Zambia, and an ordinary person cannot have an account with BoZ, the regulator. Why do surveyors in ministry, who are supposed to monitor private surveyors, provide private surveying services? The hon. Minister must sort this issue out with the Surveyor Control Board of Zambia and the surveyors. The Government surveyors must not fight with private surveyors for jobs that are supposed to be for private surveyors, and the ministry is supposed to monitor what is happening. Instead of going to the country’s border areas and sorting out boundary issues, officers in the ministry are busy fighting with private surveyors for plots to survey in Lusaka. That must be taken care of.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue that we have seen with dismay is that people are told that their titles are about to be ready and that they should take certain documents to the ministry. However, after taking the documents, they are told to wait for, maybe, three or four weeks, yet they may have come all the way from the Northern Province. Worse still, at the appointed time, when they go to check, they are just told that the file has gone missing. Surely, how can someone spend money to come all the way from Kasama and wait in Lusaka for two weeks just to be told that the file has gone missing? That should be a thing of the past given the investments we have been making towards the digital transformation of our country. If you remember, in 2016, the ministry introduced the Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS). Today, it is saying that the system’s software is not good enough and wants to shift to another system. I do not know which application it is going to use. Meanwhile, the files are not being uploaded so that they are kept in digital format.


Madam Chairperson, the practice of always trying to make the ministry a muddy pond where files cannot be found because they were taken to the PS or are still with the clerks should come to an end; that way of working should come to an end. We have to go digital so that a file that is moving from a clerk to the hon. Minister’s or PS’s office can be tracked digitally. That way, people will not be spending money to come all the way from Mongu just to be told that their file is missing. Otherwise, the hon. Minster is doing commendable job, and we thank him. Therefore, we shall support him, and we support the budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Mulebwa (Kafulafuta): Madam Chairperson, I stand in total support of the budget, as I happened to come from a rural constituency where I have seen many injustices, including the removal of villagers from where they had settled for many years by the so-called investors. I have also seen some traditional rulers who believe that the land belongs to them. 


Madam Chairperson, I think traditional rulers are custodians of land, which means they keep the land in trust for somebody, and that somebody are definitely the people in the area. However, like I said in my maiden speech, we have seen a situation in which some traditional rulers have decided to completely ignore the people under them because they believe that land belongs to them, not the citizens, and those of us who live in rural areas seem to live at their discretion. 


Madam Chairperson, I want to say to the hon. Minister that the people in rural area need his protection. I think this is the best we can do for our country. If there is any clique of people – Pardon me if ‘clique’ is unparliamentary. I am referring to a group of people who need to be protected, namely the poor.




Mr Mulebwa: Madam Chairperson, if we trample on the rights of the poor because they have nothing and they cannot fight back, I think, we will bring a curse on our nation, which is not good. So, I want to see a situation in which the local people participate in the distribution of land. If an investor goes in an area, we should see the local people get actively involved in giving him or her land. Sometimes, even the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) does not seem to do what it is supposed to do in engaging people on land distribution. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that when land is being given to either an investor or whoever, the local people are involved because their contribution is needed. A traditional ruler is a custodian of land that belongs to the people, not to himself or herself. We do not to lose our tradition and culture by allowing people to be displaced anyhow.


Madam Chairperson, the last thing I wish to talk about is that looking at our traditional law, the allocation of customary land should be initiated by the headmen and escalated upwards. However, in the past few years, as a person from a rural area, I have seen headmen put aside when it comes to the issuance of land, as the so-called chief’s indunas are the ones giving out land. I ask the hon. Minister to look into this matter and bring normality into how land is distributed in rural areas.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: Madam Chairperson, I thank the various hon. Members who have contributed to this debate and supported this Vote, namely Hon. Muleba, the last one; Hon. Jamba; Hon. Katuta; and Hon. Kangombe.


Madam Chairperson, let me be very quick. As regards the issues Hon. Kangombe raised, I mentioned in my speech that we have money for border reaffirmation, and Imusho is one area we will look at very quickly because the original beacons have not been completely destroyed. So, it is very easy to deal with that issue. The situation is different on the border Hon. Katuta talked about. We recognise that, and the Head of State has engaged his colleague at the bilateral level and there is an understanding. So, the hon. Member must wait and see what will come out of that engagement, and my colleague in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation will elaborate on this. We also enjoying very good bilateral relations with Angola. So, these issues will be resolved. The same goes for Zimbabwe. We are in control of the border reaffirmation. So, hon. Members should not worry about that.


Madam Chairperson, I thank to Hon. Dr Katakwe for the issue that he has brought to our attention. We shall visit his place very soon, and all the issues there will be resolved.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Dr Katakwe also talked about traditional land. However, land titling is limited to State land. That said, the local people should also take advantage because owning land is an empowerment and helps them to access financing.


Madam Chairperson, unfortunately, issues of mukula are no longer with our ministry; they are with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment. However, as a bonus answer, let me say that the people of Zambia will take precedence in its exploitation, and that is why harvesting it was halted when the function was still in my ministry.


Madam Chairperson, coming to Hon. Jamba’s concerns, the issues at Kawena are receiving attention; we understand the situation and are taking some steps. The same goes for the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27. One thing that should be known is that our colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF) were very greedy. If they were degazetting pieces of land –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!


The word “greedy” is unparliamentary.


Mr Muchima: Ati?


Hon. Government Members: They were selfish.


Mr Muchima: They were greedy or selfish.




Mr Muchima: I do not know what word I can replace it with.


Madam Chairperson, our colleagues’ appetite was so much that in every piece of land that was degazetted, they put their personal interests before the interests of the country at large. We are investigating and isolating the matters, and we know that some of them were using other people as fronts. We have heard that we are too slow, but we are not. We are looking at the law because they used the President’s powers and some people are innocent. If we rush, there will be many casualties. So, we are not going to be rushed. Instead, we are going to follow the law, and hon. Members must just watch the space and see what is going to happen to those who looted Government institutions and took advantage of the fact that the institutions had no title deeds. My ministry is moving in, and it will recover most of the land that was taken away from the people of Zambia.


Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member for Mwembezhi talked about missing files. Yes, we have limited space at the ministry ...


Mr Sing’ombe: Masholi!


Mr Muchima: ... and, for that, my brother, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, has allocated some money for us to start with and has promised to support us so that we can put our records in order. So, we hope that this coming year, we will put up a building to safeguard our registry so that data does not go missing.  


Madam Chairperson, ZILMIS has became too porous, and people have been going in and out of it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: So, to us, this system does not safeguard your interests. Instead, it has become a window for corruption. As such, the Smart Zambia Institute, under the Ministry of Technology and Science headed by Hon. Mutati, is coming up with a different system that will help us seal the loopholes.


Madam Chairperson, Zambia belongs to the people of Zambia, and its land belongs to Zambians first.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Vote 85 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.






[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


(Progress reported)






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


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1832 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday 8th December, 2021.