Tuesday, 14th December, 2021

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Tuesday, 14th December, 2021


The House met at 0900 hours


[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]












104. Ms Chisenga (Mambilima) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:


  1. when the construction of the Kasomeno/Mwenda Bridge in Mambilima Parliamentary Constituency will commence;
  2. what the cause of the delay in commencing the project is;
  3. what the estimated cost of the project is; and
  4. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is.


The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, the construction of the Kasomeno/Mwenda Bridge will commence after financial closure of the Kasomeno/Mwenda Road Project.


Madam Speaker, the delay is due to the non-attainment of the financial closure.


Madam Speaker, the estimated cost of the bridge is US$40.5 million while the actual cost will be known only after a contractor is procured.


Madam Speaker, the project is scheduled to be completed in thirty-six months from the date of commencement.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Ms Chisenga: Madam Speaker, looking at the project, I believe it also needs energy because it is immense. I do not know whether the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development has had a discussion with the hon. Minister of Energy to co-operate on this situation. In the previous Government, there was a commissioning of a 5 MW to 10 MW project. I do not know what the current regime thinks about the need for power as this huge project commences.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I am struggling to understand what the question really is, especially as it relates to the Kasomeno/Mwenda Bridge project; what the question has to do with power. Maybe, this is a separate question. Let me take her back to the question that she asked, which is relevant to the Kasomeno/Mwenda Bridge, because I believe that her interest is in the bridge, and that is why she asked this question, which had nothing to do with power. Although relevant, that might be a separate thing.


Madam Speaker, on 5th August, 2016, the Road Development Agency (RDA) signed a concession agreement with Messrs Groupe Europeen De Development (GED) Projects Africa Zambia Limited to finance, design, build, operate, maintain and toll approximately 85 km of the Kasomeno/Mwenda Road, including a one-stop-border post and a bridge across the Luapula River, at an estimated cost of US$180 million. The concession period is twenty-five years. So, the bridge is part of the Kasomeno/Mwenda Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project. The full scope includes the construction of a road and associated border controls and toll plazas between Kasomeno in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mwenda in Zambia. Key elements of the project include:


  1. 182 km of new single carriageway road;
  2. 94 km of road situated in the DRC; and
  3. 92 km in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, going back to our major interest, the project, it includes the following:


  1. construction of a 345 m cable-stayed bridge across the Luapula River;
  2. construction of a one-stop border post on either side of the bridge, with associated parking and warehouse facilities;
  3. construction of toll plazas on both sides of the bridge;
  4. construction of four satellite toll plazas; and
  5. construction of access road to the proposed airport at Kasenga.


Madam Speaker, it is envisaged that financial closure on the project will be attained before the end of the first quarter of 2022.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development for his aptly put response.


Madam Speaker, the Kasomeno/Mwenda Road Project is very important because it will open up trade between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Further, a few weeks ago, our Republican President, being the chief marketer of our country, was in the DRC, and it is in the interest of the people of Mambilima and Zambia at large for them to know whether this road project was discussed during that visit. Could the hon. Minister state whether the project was discussed by the two Heads of State.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika for his question and interest in the project.


Madam Speaker, the Kasomeno/Mwenda Project in its totality is uppermost in terms of priority setting in this New Dawn Administration. However, what His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) discussed during their bilateral meeting is probably not part of this question, as disclosure of such information is the preserve of the President and the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation who was with them. All I can state is that this is a priority project and that it is being implemented under a PPP.


Madam Speaker, I can inform the House that the Zambian Government is very keen on this project. I can also inform the House that since the project links our two countries, the DRC Government is also very keen on it.


Madam Speaker, we have taken certain measures. When we came in as a new Government, there were certain issues that had held up the project in the previous Government and needed to be sorted out. Now, I can inform the House that those issues have been cleared and that we are moving expeditiously to get financial closure on the project. The financial closure will determine the full cost of the project while the cost will determine the concession period, even though I mentioned that in the original scope, we envisaged a twenty-five-year concession period.


Madam Speaker, we are having discussions and, as of last Friday, which was a few days ago, the main investor in the project was due to be in the country to hold discussions with us, including State House. However, the trip was postponed on account of the issues related to the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19), and we will set up another date for the investor to come so that the process of working towards financial closure is gone through as quickly as possible.


Madam Speaker, the house may wish to reflect on what I have said on the Floor of this House time after time; that it is a priority of the New Dawn Government to embark on PPP projects where possible because the finances of the country are strained. We over-borrowed, as a State, yet we still require infrastructure development to open up our country for commerce and trade. This project will probably be the first PPP will be implemented in this country by this Government. So, let us be patient. We are pushing for the project and, very soon, the country will see action.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: I notice that we are opening this question to broadly. Let us stick to what it is about.


Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the discourse on this question. I also thank the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development for the answers he has given.


Madam Speaker, part of the road is in Chipili Constituency. So, I wanted to ask the hon. Minister whether the Government would construct the road through a public-private partnership (PPP), but he has already explained. So, I just want to know when the ground-breaking is going to take palace so that my people have confidence that the road is going to be constructed.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I think that in my answer, I articulated a position that answers his concern.


Madam Speaker, before one breaks ground, there are certain procedures and processes that you need to be undertaken, and those are the ones we are undertaking. One of the first is to meet with the main investor in the project, who was due to be with us last Friday, but was not able to under the circumstances of COVID-19. However, in the very near future, before Christmas, we hope that he will be here, and that will lead into the financial closure I talked about. After that, there will be ground-breaking and the project will start. We must understand that the project involves two countries and that as a result, we have to do everything to ensure that things are done correctly.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, my question has ably been addressed through the responses that the hon. Minister has given. We, the people of Nkana, are particularly interested in the project, as we were told that the road will cut the about 300 km that truckers from Tanzania to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) cover via the Copperbelt Province. Because of the dilapidated infrastructure in Kitwe district, which is the result of the heavy cargo that is moved on our road, we are anxious to see the project completed, and our wish was to know whether the Government was committed to expediting the process. I think that the hon. Minister has ably answered that.


Ms Chisenga: Madam Speaker, I am obliged. As to the responses by the hon. Minister, I wish to see development in line with them.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


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


Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in position to share with the House and the country at large who the investor is, and the socio-economic benefits to the country of the agreement the Government will sign with him, considering the project will be a public-private partnership (PPP)?


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I think, I have been generous in answering the original question by extending it and going into the details of who the investor is, which is, probably, not part of this question because the question was about a bridge. If the hon. Member wants to know those details, he can file in a separate question or come to the ministry. We operate an open-door policy. So, he is free to come so that we discuss the details.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: I also urge hon. Members to engage the hon. Minister for any further clarifications on the matter.








Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I beg to movethatthis House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters on the Petition to Repeal and Replace the Sale of Goods Act of 1893, for the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 8th December, 2021.


Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?


Mr B. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, the vice-chairperson is just walking up to second the Motion. She was delayed in traffic. If I may, I ask that you be patient with us for a minute.




Madam Speaker: Is there any other member of the Committee who can second the Motion? I know we were not supposed to sit at this time today and that the traffic situation is a challenge.


Ms Sefulo entered the Assembly Chamber.


Madam Speaker: She is just walking in now. We can bear with our lady.


Ms Sefulo (Mwandi): (Out of breath) Madam Speaker, good morning. I am sorry.


Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.




Hon. Member: Drink some water!


Madam Speaker: I can see there is some joy in the House today.




Mr B. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, in October, this year, a private citizen, Mr George ChintankwaMalipilo, petitioned the National Assembly of Zambia, pursuant to Article 88(1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 and Order No.123(1) of the National Assembly Standing Orders of 2021. The petition requested the National Assembly to initiate the repeal of the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 and to enact new sale of goods legislation reflective of the current modern commercial sector in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, under Order No. 125(2) of the National Assembly Standing Orders of 2021, a petition that has been laid on the Table of the House shall be referred to an appropriate Committee for consideration. The Committee, therefore, was mandated to receive submissions on the petition and make recommendations to the House.


Madam Speaker, the Committee supports the petition, and it was delighted that a private citizen had taken the step to petition the National Assembly of Zambia on the Sale of Goods Act of 1893.


Madam Speaker, the Committee received insightful and well-articulated submissions from various stakeholders and thoroughly reviewed them in order to arrive at the decision to support the petition. Allow me, therefore, to briefly acquaint the House with some of the submissions made by the stakeholders and recommendations made by the Committee. I am very confident that all hon. Members have had a chance to read the Committee’s report and, in this regard, I will not delve into its contents.


Madam Speaker, like in most common jurisdictions, the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 is a cornerstone of the sale of goods in Zambia. The law relating to the sale of goods in Zambia was codified in the 1893 Sale of Goods Act, and has been in force in Zambia since then. Post-Independence, its application was extended by the English Law Extent of Application Act, Chapter 11 of the Laws of Zambia, which stipulates that certain statutes that were in force in England on 17th August, 1911, are enforceable in Zambia.


Madam Speaker, most stakeholders who appeared before the Committee reiterated the petitioner’s position that the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 went into effect in the United Kingdom (UK) at a time the commercial sector was biased towards the sale of goods. Now, the economic and commercial sector has grown and advanced. Consequently, the Act is no longer adequate to address the advancements. However, a number of stakeholders also submitted that while there were some weaknesses in the Act, there has not been any indication from any segment of society that it needed urgent attention and that, therefore, it could either be repealed or left to operate as it was.


Madam Speaker, interestingly, one stakeholder strongly opposed the basis for the petition, stating that the Act was relevant and adequate, and that, consequently, there was no need for its complete overhaul. Instead, aspects of consumer rights could be addressed through other legislative interventions. The Committee supports the views of the stakeholders who called for the repeal and replacement of the Act.


Madam Speaker, the Committee was informed that in today’s world, the sale of goods does not only consist in physical transactions, as is proposed for in the Act; it also extends to electronic transactions involving the buying and selling of goods online markets, among other channels. The Committee was further informed that a comprehensive law on the sale of goods would take into consideration various modes of the selling and buying of goods and services in Zambia where, like in most jurisdictions, there has been a steady rise in online platforms for the sale of goods. However, the Act does not take into account the various types of transactions.


Madam Speaker, the Committee was informed that the law relating to the sale of goods was not limited to the Sale of Goods Act, as there were various local statutes and international treaties to which Zambia was party that were applicable to the sale of goods in Zambia. Examples included the Competition and Consumer Protection Act No. 24 of 2010, which provides for, among other things, the protection of consumers against unfair trade practices, and the Electronic Communication and Transaction Act No. 4 of 2021, which governs, inter alia, certain consumer rights and protections in respect of goods and services that are offered by a supplier on electronic media platforms.


Madam Speaker, from the various submissions received, the Committee is cognisant of the fact that in terms of applicability, the Act mainly affects transactions of individuals because corporate entities have the capacity to engage lawyers whenever they enter into buying and selling transactions and, as a result, their transactions are backed by well-drafted contracts. In light of this, the technical and complex terms used in the Act make it difficult for an ordinary person to understand it. In addition, the interpretation section does not comprehensively define all the relevant terms and phrases in the Act. There is, therefore, a need for an Act that is drafted using simpler language that will be easily understood. 


Madam Speaker, the Committee observes that the Act is 128 years old and that although the Act has a significant level of relevance, it might not be fully relevant, as some of its provisions do not address the demands of the current economic environment. The Committee further observes that a number of countries have repealed the 1893 Act and enacted indigenous legislation pertaining to the sale of goods. The Committee recommends that the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, initiates the process of repealing the Act and replacing it with home-grown sale of goods legislation that will address modern economic trends while taking into consideration the foundation laid by the Act.


Madam Speaker, the Committee takes cognisance of the role of the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC), which has the statutory mandate of studying laws and making recommendations for the upgrading of laws that are not suitable to our changed circumstances. The Committee further takes cognisance of the fact that there are many old laws whose relevance to the prevailing circumstances in Zambia may require review. In this regard, a holistic approach should be adopted to studying them and making recommendations for either their repeal and replacement, or retention. The Committee further recommends that the ZLDC be so adequately resourced as to be able to effectively carry out its mandate.


Madam Speaker, the Committee agrees with the petitioner that the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 is an archaic piece of legislation that needs to be removed from the Zambian statute books. The repeal and replacement of the Act will be a welcome development, as it will introduce a number of progressive provisions that will better regulate the sale of goods in Zambia. The Committee is confident that the enactment of new legislation on the sale of goods will have far-reaching implications that will significantly change the manner in which transactions involving the sale of goods are conducted.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?


Ms Sefulo: Now, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to second the Motion moved by the Chairperson that this House do adopt the report of the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters, on the Petition by Mr George ChintankwaMalipilo to Initiate the Repealing of the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, and Enact New Legislation on the Sale of Goods, for the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 14th December, 2021.


Madam Speaker, in seconding this Motion, let me take this opportunity, on behalf of the Committee and, indeed, on my own behalf, to thank the chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which he presided over the Committee’s deliberation.


Madam Speaker, the Committee supports the petition, acknowledges and commends the petitioner for taking the step to petition the National Assembly. I echo the sentiment of most of the stakeholders to the effect that the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 is old; it is 128 years old, having been inherited from Britain, which has moved on, having repealed it in 1979. Meanwhile, Zambia still uses the Act sixty seven after attaining its Independence. For these reasons, among others advanced by both the petitioner and the stakeholders, a probe in to the relevance of the Act is welcomed by the Committee.


Madam Speaker, in arriving at the decision to support the Motion, the Committee took cognisance of is the fact that the Act, old as it is, was enacted on a good foundation. However, many Commonwealth jurisdictions that previously used it have since repealed and replaced it with indigenous legislation. Examples are Kenya, Uganda and India. The Committee also takes cognisance of the fact that the Act deals with only the sale of goods; it does not make provisions for services, which are widely sold in the modern era. Other countries have recognised this important aspect. Uganda, for example, enacted the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act in 2017, which has provisions relating to the supply of services.


Madam Speaker, arising from its interaction with various stakeholders, the Committee recommends that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry initiates the process of repealing the Act and replacing it with home-grown sale of goods legislation that will address modern economic trends while taking into consideration the foundation laid by the 1893 Act.


Madam Speaker, as I conclude, let me take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for according your Committee an opportunity to consider the petition by Mr George Malipilo to initiate the repeal of the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, and to enactment of legislation on the sale of goods. Allow me to also join the Chairperson in thanking all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee for their valuable contributions. Last, but not least, your Committee also express its gratitude to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered to it during its deliberations.


Madam Speaker, we support the repealing of the Sale of Goods Act and urge other hon. Members to do the same.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House and the report of the Committee chaired by my hon. Colleague from Nkana Constituency and ably seconded by my hon. Colleague from Mwandi Constituency.


Madam Speaker, from the report that has been given this morning, I, first of all, want to acknowledge that it is evidence that our people have an opportunity to help this House to initiate change in. There is the perception that you have to be a Member of Parliament to initiate legislative processes but, from this Motion, I think it is very clear that is not the case, and I urge other members of the public who may have progressive ideas on pieces of legislation that need to be changed to bring them forward because they have an opportunity to do so. Today, we have an opportunity to debate an issue that came through a member of the public. Once again, this debate proves that Zambia’s democracy has grown to the extent that members of the public are at liberty to initiate processes that lead to our debating such important matters.


Madam Speaker, secondly, to me, it does not matter how long the law has been in existence; what matters is what the law intends to achieve and whether the objectives will be achieved under the law. I am happy that the Committee interrogated the relevance of this very important legislation and has already prescribed, through very detailed proposals, what should happen next.


Madam Speaker, I agree that we need to repeal this law and introduce legislation to be call the ‘Goods and Services Act’ because, now, it is not only goods that are sold; we also sell services. So, I totally agree with the seconder and the mover of the Motion that we need to expand the scope of this piece of legislation, and the only way we can do that is by identifying what is relevant to society today. It is, therefore, important that as we introduce the new legislation, which I will support on the Floor of this House, the component of services is ably handled, and I hope we will do that.


Madam Speaker, there was talk about ‘indigenous legislation’ that should be adopted. This phrase sounds very interesting and, I think, it is important that the right road map for capturing the indigeneity of legislation is crafted. We may agree here that we need new legislation but, two weeks later, we hear of a Committee travelling to the United Kingdom (UK) to learn how that country has managed to implement indigenous legislation. How indigenous would the resulting legislation be? If we are calling for indigenous legislation, it will be important for the chairperson and members of the Committee to create the right platform for local stakeholders to have the opportunity to influence the legislation. I think, the local stakeholders are known. For example, there is the Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM), the ministry in charge of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and another ministry in charge of commerce, ably chaired, in terms of policy, by the hon. Minister, Mr Chipoka Mulenga. The cry in this Motion is for indigenous legislation, which imply means that the legislation must be home-grown.


Madam Speaker, I hope that when the time to start getting submissions from our people comes, the Committee responsible, the ministry responsible and other stakeholders will be given the right platform to meet the local people; the people of Zambia who should drive this agenda. I hope, this objective will be achieved.


Madam Speaker, lastly, the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) that has been referred to in the report has the mandate to guide on other pieces of legislation that we need to review, going forward. I hope, once again, that the process of consultation will involve the commission to ensure that the impact of the legislation is finally on the people of Zambia and commerce can happen faster so that the local people can have the opportunity to sell their goods faster.


Madam Speaker, I want to put it on record that I support the recommendations of the Committee and that I hope that other hon. Members will find it prudent that we quickly make the necessary changes; whether it is repealing or amending. Ultimately, we need to come up with better legislation.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.        


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing the people of Chilubi’s voice to be heard on the petition on the Sale of Goods Act, which came through the Committee.


Madam Speaker, the commercial environment has largely changed from the time that the Act was put in place, and this proposal has come at a time our economy has been liberalised. Apart from that, Zambia’s interaction with the outside world when it was called Northern Rhodesia, including the events of 1911 and 1924, are not provided for in the Act, meaning that the Act is very archaic or obsolete.


Madam Speaker, let me address issues that pertain to consumer rights.


Madam Speaker, given the current practices, the Sale of Goods Act will be handy, especially since in Zambia, goods are sold over the counter and outside the shop, and we are talking about wholesale and retail transactions. There are also other transactions that the Committee distinctly pointed out. For example, it brought up an issue of lawyers facilitating sales, and I want to speak to that point.


Madam Speaker, not every Zambian will have access to a lawyer when selling goods like a plots, because a plot is also a good. So, I propose that the Act be not called the ‘Sale of Goods Act’. Instead, the name must include a reference to services because consumers, by and large, get a raw deal in trade because of the gaps that the Committee has highlighted.


Madam Speaker, when we look at the sale of goods, we will find that it largely involves citizens. At some point, there was talk of Zambia having 20 per cent rich people and 80 per cent poor people. I think, that has changed only slightly. That means we do not pay much attention to standards in terms of what we buy. We also do not pay much attention to quality. This Act, directly or indirectly, is linked to issues relating to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA), the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and many other standards agencies. So, I call for a repeal, not just an amendment, of the Act.


Madam Speaker, when an opportunity comes to repeal the legislation, we need to envisage a situation in which the people of Zambia can find room to benefit. For instance, if, today, I am sold expired sour milk from a particular chain store and I need to return the sour milk so that I can be compensated in one way or another, the Sale of Goods Act should cover me. The Committee rightly scanned the environment, as we are part of the global village, and there has been a revolution in the area of trade, which is now digitalised, meaning that today, many of the aspects that would have been adequate in the facilitation of trade in the past are not relevant. Therefore, it will be a colonial hangover to hold on to this Act.


Madam Speaker, the people of Chilubi support the repeal, not amendment, of the Sale of Goods Act. However, when the opportunity comes, I think, the law should also extend to services because people trade in services. In the current Act, this aspect is silence. Further, currently, in this liberalised economy, we receive services that may need legal redress, for example, telecommunication services. So, this proposal could not have come at a better time than this one, and the people of Chilubi rally behind the repeal, I emphasise, not amendment, of the Sales of Goods Act, 1893.


Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Lukashya an opportunity to also support of this Motion.


Madam Speaker, like other hon. Members who have debated, I pay glowing tribute to the petitioner, who is a private citizen, for the level of civic awareness he has exhibited by asking Parliament to enact this important piece of legislation.


Madam Speaker, many reasons can be advanced in support of this Motion. However, I will just mention a few of them. The most important one is that the United Kingdom (UK), from which we inherited the statute at Independence, has amended it. So, I also support the idea that it is now time for us to repeal and replace the Sale of Goods Act of 1893 and have a statute that speaks to the level of commercial development that we have reached as a nation. It is a well-known fact that commerce has advanced and even transcended traditional transactions into electronic commerce (e-Commerce), which the Act does not apply to. So, it is very important to update statutes to ensure that the transactions currently taking place in the economic and commercial sector are also reflected in our laws.


Madam Speaker, another important aspect is for us to embrace international best practices and domesticate the various commerce and trade treaties to which Zambia is party. It is well known that we are party to various international treaties, both on the continental and at the global levels, and a statute that only applies to the sale of goods as conceived in the 1800s cannot respond to international trends.


Madam Speaker, I want to add that to it will also be very important when undertaking this very important national assignment to include not only the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC), but also the academicians. Since there are various statutes, like it has been mentioned in the report, that apply to both commerce and trade, if we are going to restrict the undertaking of the amendments to particular stakeholders, we are going to achieve very little. However, if we involve others, especially the law schools and stakeholders who ply their trade in both the commerce and trade arenas, we will end up with a statute that addresses most of the important aspects that have developed since advent of Independence.


Madam Speaker, the people of Lukashya are elated that we have responded to this initiative, and they support the report that has been tabled before the House.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr E. Tembo (Feira): Madam Speaker, I am indebted to the Committee for the good job done. I also thank the petitioner because the issue he has raised is very important to this country and to the growth of the legal system as well as the Judiciary’s ability to respond to the needs of the people of Zambia. That said, the people of Feira want to make just a brief submission because my brothers, especially my learned elder brothers, said some of the things that I wanted to say.


Madam Speaker, the question before this House is very important because it makes us realise that, as Parliament, we have a big job to do. We cannot repeal the Sale of Goods Act because it is not a Zambian law, as already pointed out. What is important is that it became operational in Zambia by virtue of the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Extension Act, which enables certain laws to apply in other countries despite their no longer being operational in the UK or Britain. My worry, really, and the records will show that I have always belaboured these issues, is that in 1964, when we got our Independence, we did not put in place a robust system for changing Zambian laws so that they were more responsive to the Zambia system. Instead, what we had were colonial education, legal and administrative systems, and most of things remained intact. That being the case, in my view, which is very strong, that has brought problems and, year in and year out, we discuss the same issues when we go out. If we had laws that were responsive to Zambians needs, they would stabilise this country, and we would make progress and develop, because the legal structure is connected to the development of this country. So, if we have laws that are outlawed in other countries, and which were made by other people because of the conditions that prevailed, I think that we will be going around in circles as, a country.


Madam Speaker, this petition and the report that has been given to this House is a clear indicator of how this First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly should not indigenise only the Sale of Goods Act, but also many other acts. Having said that, I am of the opinion that we should not leave that. Immediately, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry must look at other issues. I take note of the fact that we can learn a few things already and, at least, apply them to our situation. In fact, the Sale of Goods Act has created some authorities in the legal system at the moment, which we rely on. We will be able to come up with a law that makes a lot of sense.


Madam Speaker, at the end of this Parliament, I want to see a legal system that is fully Zambian and one that is responsive to the needs of Zambian businesses. Of course, I take note of the international common aspects of doing business. However, all in all, I think that we need to take care of our own situation.


Thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr B. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Committee, to take note of the supportive contributions that we have got from hon. Members, and emphasise the commitment of the committee ensuring that the petition is attended to.


Hon. Members, we have been given a situation that requires all of us to begin thinking outside the box. Whereas I take note of the submission from Hon. Kang’ombe, members of the public may look at us as having the sole authority to enact laws. Here is an example of an opportunity for members of the public to also initiate processes leading to the changing of aspects of laws that do not please them. To me,  this gives us an opportunity not only to repeal and, perhaps, replace the Sale of Goods Act, but also to delve into all the other laws that have outlived their usefulness. Therefore, I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Committee, to thank my hon. Colleagues who have responded positively to the report we laid on the table of the House.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: I made a mistake. I should have called on the Vice-President earlier, since the hon. Minister is not here.


The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I thank the chairperson of the Committee that looked at the Reportof the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters on the Petition to Repeal and Replace the Sale of Goods Act. I also thank the petitioner who raised this issue.


Madam Speaker, looking at how old the Act is, truly, it is clear that relevance is something we need to look at. Therefore, I appreciate the points that have been raised by the hon. Members of this House. It is important that we keep talking about the sale of goods and services. To protect people involved in these transactions, we need to look at this old law and see whether we really need to repeal it or simply amend it. I think, what is important is that we come up with a law that is relevant to the current situation.


Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Members who have debated. The Government has taken note of their submissions, and it sees the importance of the report.


I thank you, Madam Speaker.


 Question put and agreed to.









The Chairperson: When business was interrupted on Friday, 10th December, 2021, the Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Year 1st January to 31st December, 2022, presented to the National Assembly in October, 2021, was considering Vote 25 – Local Government Service Commission, and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development was presenting a policy statement. However, due to a prior arrangement, we will come back to Vote 25 at a later stage. We now move to Vote 05 – Electoral Commission of Zambia.


VOTE 05 – (Electoral Commission of Zambia – K181,520,115).


The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to present the 2022 Budget for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ is an autonomous constitutional body established under Article 229, Cap. 1, of the Constitution of Zambia. Since its establishment, the commission has successfully conducted credible elections as follows:


  1. six general elections in 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021;
  2. two Presidential elections in 2008 and 2015;
  3. several National Assembly and local government by-elections; and
  4. a referendum.


Madam Chairperson, Article 229 of the Constitution mandates the commission to carry out the following constitutional functions:


  1.  implementation of the electoral process;
  2. conduct of elections and referenda;
  3. registration of voters;
  4. settling of minor electoral disputes as prescribed;
  5. regulation of the conduct of voters and candidates;
  6. accreditation of observers and election agents as prescribed;
  7. delimitation of electoral boundaries; and
  8. discharge of such other functions as may be prescribed.


Further, the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of the 2016 empowers the commission to perform the following statutory functions:


  1. making of regulations providing for the registration of voters and for the manner of conducting elections;
  2. constitution of conflict management committees and appointment of conflict management officers for the purpose of resolving electoral disputes;
  3. administration and enforcement of the Electoral Process Act and the Electoral Code of Conduct;
  4. correction of mistakes made by electoral officers in the tabulation of results within seven days of the declaration of such results;
  5. disqualification of political parties or candidates in breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct; and
  6. voter education.


Madam Chairperson, the commission’s vision is “To be a Model Electoral Management Body that Meets the Aspirations of the Zambian People”. This vision provides a clear sense of direction and responsibility for the institution in the eyes of its many local and international stakeholders.


Madam Chairperson, the mission statement for the ECZ is “To Effectively Manage the Electoral Process to Deliver Credible Elections”. This mission statement expresses the fundamental purpose of the commission’s existence and provides the framework within which it operates in contributing to the democratic governance of the country.


Overview of 2021 Operations


Madam Chairperson, during 2021, the commission conducted a general election and a number of by-elections. In this vein, the commission has, to date, successfully done the following:


  1. compiled a new register for voters with enhanced biometric features;
  2. certification of a voters register with 7,023,499 voters, comprising 3,751,040 females, which is 53.41 per cent, and 3,273,459 males, which is 46.59 per cent;
  3. conducted nominations for Presidential, National Assembly, Mayoral, Council Chairpersons and Councillors elections;
  4. accredited local monitors and international observers in all the 116 districts; and
  5. conducted a general election on 12th August, 2021.


Madam Chairperson, in the process of conducting the various elections mentioned, the commission carried out voter education, engaged in conflict management activities and discharged other applicable statutory and constitutional functions.


Madam Chairperson, the Treasury has, to date, funded the commission to the tune of 94.9 per cent of the amount of K1.595 billion required to conduct the 2021 General Elections. In addition, the commission required K42 million for the Voter Inspection Exercise, of which the Treasury released 95 per cent.


Budget Estimates for 2022


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ’s budget estimates for 2022 stand at K181 million, and are based on four strategic focus areas of the 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, as follows:


  1. to enhance efficiency in the management of elections through the effective implementation of the electoral process;
  2. to enhance stakeholder confidence and participation in the electoral process through regular engagements and awareness programmes;
  3. to enhance the commission’s corporate image through the implementation of programmes aimed at improving stakeholder relations; and
  4. to continuously enhance skills, systems, governance and management structures to achieve operational efficiency and effectiveness.


Madam Chairperson, the estimates before the House will enable the ECZ to implement programmes necessary to achieving the foregoing strategic objectives. The following are the main programmes and sub-programmes that the commission requires to implement in 2022:


  1. decentralisation to all the provinces in accordance with the Republican Constitution and the Government’s agenda to take services closer to the people. This will enhance efficiency in the implementation of electoral processes;
  2. registration of voters, as per Section 7 of the Electoral Process Act and Article 229 of the Constitution. In this regard, the commission will register voters in the ten provincial centres across the country to capture new voters and provide for transfers and replacements of lost voters cards;
  3. intensification of targeted stakeholder engagement and enhancement of stakeholder participation and confidence, with particular focus on grassroot communities and areas with high levels of voter apathy;
  4. enhancement of corporate image building efforts through various initiatives, including the innovative use of digital communication technologies to proactively engage with the electorates;
  5. participation in national and local events to carry out publicity and voter education activities, and work with other institutions to reach out to grassroot communities;
  6. review of electoral laws and procedures in order to harmonise them with the Republican Constitution, and enhance efficiency and effectiveness in the electoral process;
  7. stakeholder engagements in preparation for piloting of electronic voting in readiness for the 2026 General Elections; and
  8. conduct of by-elections that may arise from various causes, as outlined in the law.


These programmes, Madam Chairperson, are critical and in conformity with the commission’s mandate as provided for by the Laws of Zambia.


Madam Speaker, I now seek the support of the House in approving the commission’s budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Chilubi an opportunity to add their voice to the debate on this very important Vote.


Madam Chairperson, the people of Chilubi support the allocation to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) with reservations.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ is a creature of the Constitution, and Article 229 tabulates its duties. However, I am more interested in Article 229(1), which establishes the commission and mandates it to have a presence countrywide through offices in the provinces and, progressively, in the districts.


Madam Chairperson, the budget is divided into two main components. The first component is election management, which is K44.7 per cent, while the second is management and support services, which is 55.3 per cent. In view of the article in the Constitution I referred to, the breakdown of the budget does not speak to the progressive establishment of the commission’s presence at the district level. The word “progressive” means that every Government that comes in power should add impetus to this proclamation of the Constitution. In this case, whenever the commission conducts elections, it recruits personnel who manage the elections. I am of the idea that it would be cheaper if permanent offices were established at the district and provincial levels. However, that can only be done if the allocation to the commission is increased. The setting up of offices in districts and province, among other outcomes, will help the commission to attend to election-related disputes, which is a constitutional mandate of the commission.


Madam Chairperson, allow me, at this point, to address the attitudinal problem that the commission finds itself in. The commission –


The Chairperson: Meaning?


Mr Fube: I said “attitudinal” from the word ‘attitude’, which is an English word.


Madam Chairperson, the attitudinal problem mainly comes from us, the politicians. The commission is only trusted by the people are in power; those in the Opposition do not trust it, and we have seen this.


Madam Chairperson, when presenting the policy statement, Her Honourthe Vice-President talked about how the commission has conducted different elections since 1996. However, the commission has also received different punches from politicians that, I think, it does not deserve. Even during the 2021 Elections, we saw it receive all sorts of punches, meaning we need to graduate from that negative zone to the positive one.


Madam Chairperson, it is our job to give the commission the integrity that it deserves. According to Article 229, we are all creatures of the commission because we passed through the processes it administers to be hon. Members of Parliament and Ministers. The same goes for the President. So, we need to ascribe a status to the commission that goes with integrity because for it to achieve the objectives from a to h, there is a need for integrity to become the foundation on which it operates so that everything that follows from its operations is respected.


Mr Mwene: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwene: Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for giving the people of Mangango the opportunity to raise this point of order under Standing Order No. 65(1)(b).


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member on the Floor said that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is receiving punches. Is he in order to say that when, instead, it is the people of Zambia who received punches from the Patriotic Front (PF) Government? During the registration of voters, the people of the Western, Southern and Central provinces, and other provinces, …


Hon. Government Member: And the North-Western Province.


Mr Mwene: … including the North-Western Province, did not receive National Registration Cards (NRCs) and did not register as voters. For example, in Mangango, in 2016, there were 22,000 registered voters.


Mr Fube: He is debating the point of order. This is not a point of order.


Mr Mwene: However, in 2021, there were 16,000 registered voters. Meanwhile, there were many people who had attained the age to have NRCs and voter’s cards.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: My guide to the hon. Member who is debating is, first of all, can he, please, confine himself to the Vote or the policy statement made by Her Honour the Vice-President. Secondly, can he make sure that the information he is giving out to the Zambian public is correct.


With that guide in mind, can the hon. Member, Mr Fube, please, be factual so that we do not mislead Zambians.


Mr Fube: I am shocked!


The Chairperson: You may continue with your debate.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, I oblige, although reluctantly because what I referred to is in the public domain; it is in video and many other formats. Maybe, to clarify, what I meant was that the ECZ has been mistrusted.


Madam Chairperson, I think, it is within the parameters of constitutional requirements that the ECZ be allowed to conduct its business autonomously, and that has been a missing link. Let us take the mistrust that has surrounded the elections that the Vice-President tabulated, for example. That is what I was referring to. Maybe, I just used an unparliamentary word, “punches”. I should have used ‘victimisation’, which we have seen in every election. Just in the neighbourhood here, at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre (MICC), where elections are conducted, we have seen officers harassed. I think, this is in the public domain and it is a fact. So, I will stick to it; I will not withdraw the fact that the ECZ has been harassed, and we saw it being harassed even in the 2021 elections.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


We did not ask you, at any point, to withdraw. I just gave the guidance that you be cautious of some of the issues that you are raising on the Floor.


You can continue.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, before my brother disturbed me, I was supposed to address the issue of delimitation, which is a budget issue because we are talking about the Budget here, although the hon. Member raised many issues that are not even in the Budget.


Madam Chairperson, when you look at the Constitution, you will see that delimitation is in ambit where the ECZ operates. However, looking at the components that have been tabulated in the budget, delimitation has not received much attention, yet the people of Chilubi are waiting for their constituency to be delimitated or divided into two or even three constituencies at some point before the 2026 elections because it is too big. Going forward, and progressively, we would like to see the spirit of dividing constituencies. I know that Kasempa and many other constituencies need to be delimitated in some way. So, starting from the 2022 Budget going forward, we want to see delimitation factored into the Budget as we talk about these issues so that the ECZ is allowed to fulfil its mandate given to it by Article 229.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Vote for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). From the outset, I state that I support the provisions made for the commission.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ plays a very important role in our democratic dispensation, and I commend it for the work that its officers have been doing in the many elections that it has presided over. I believe that the officers have done a very wonderful job and that we all must commend them for that. That commendation should be made even when we lose elections, not only when we win.; we must always give credit where it is due. I think that the ECZ has conducted very credible elections. As the Patriotic Front (PF), we lost the 2021 Elections, …


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mundubile: … but I know that the ECZ did a wonderful job under very difficult circumstances. I also know that the commission did a wonderful job in 2016 when the United Party for National Development (UPND) lost. So, we are advising both parties that we have to be gracious losers all the time. I think that our friends have now learnt something from us. On the streets, we say, ‘Do not be lousy losers’. People must lose with honour and grace.


Madam Chairperson, like I said earlier, it is very important that, first of all, we respect the democracy that we chose for ourselves, and the ECZ is at the centre of that democracy. So, we must look at the provisions under Article 229 of our Constitution and the Electoral Process Act. One of the recent developments under our laws has been to raise the threshold for nullifying an election. What we saw in the past was that people came up with frivolous reasons to have elections nullified. Look at what goes into an election; the time, costs and effort. Therefore, we must develop legislation that strengthens the position of the ECZ and the electoral processes that we believe in. We also call upon the Judiciary to frown upon efforts to dilute the laws that we have crafted for ourselves, and make it difficult to nullify elections. In the recent past, attempts have been made to dilute the laws that were enacted to ensure that each time we have elections, we create durable systems that protect our democracy. I have in mind Section 97 of the Electoral Process Act. It will be very unfortunate if we go ahead and begin to dilute –


Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order, which is procedural, and based on the precedents of this House and the guidance you have given on several occasions on matters that are in court.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Leader of the Opposition is discussing a matter that is to be presided over by the Constitutional Court. He is aware of that, being party to the proceedings. Is he in order to raise an issue on the Floor of the House that he should be raising in court? Should he be bringing the matter here?


The Chairperson: Indeed, if this issue is in court, we are not supposed to bring it to the Floor of this House. So, I ask the hon. Member debating to withdraw the statement relating to the issues that are in court and then continue with his debate.


Mr Mundubile: Madam Chairperson, thank you. I am well guided, and I withdraw the statement that referred to Section 97 of the Electoral Process Act in saying connections with some parties attempting to dilute the strength of some laws.


Madam Chairperson, I still wish to put it on record that we have to protect this democracy that we chose for ourselves and that any institution that strengthens our democracy must be protected. In this case, the ECZ is at the centre of our democracy. So, we pray that in the near future, it will continue to come to this House with new legislation to make us strengthen its position as it superintends over elections and ensure that the democracy that we chose is, indeed, protected.


Madam Chairperson, the ECZ needs more support. If we had our way, we would actually propose that its budget is revised upwards because we think it goes through many challenges in conducting elections. At the same time, I must be quick to mention that we should not deliberately bring about by-elections. We know that when Her Honour the Vice-President was in the Opposition, she took a very strong position against by-elections, saying that they were very costly and that the money spent on them could be properly applied elsewhere. However, what we have seen in the recent past is an insatiable appetite by the Government to cause by-elections, ...


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mundubile: ... as demonstrated by the many results that it has petitioned in the courts from the last election. The UPND’s earlier position of discouraging by-elections was clearly well supported by the people and the legislation that revolved around elections. I will not go into specifics. Hon. Mwiimbu is out of the House now. Otherwise, I know that he would have jumped to raise a point of order.


Madam Chairperson, one of the efforts that have been made in trying to ensure that we do not have by-elections time and again was the strengthening of legislation. My submission, therefore, is that the spirit that the UPND had of frowning upon by-elections should continue. We should not, as a country, continue to electioneer right through the five-year election cycle. There must come a time when the nation heals and moves forward, and elections must be won at the ballot and in the booth. We do not want elections to be won in the courts or to be questioned. So, if we think that there is something we can do to strengthen the ECZ, this is the time to do it so that we do not have many petitions after 2026. I know that it will not be easy for the Government, and that the 2026 elections will be very tough. We, the people on the left, are coming very strongly, and there is no doubt that we will be on the other side and that when we do so, we will ensure that the ECZ is strengthened.


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


Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, thank you for allowing the voice of Chienge to be heard on this very important Budget line. I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the well-articulated policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is a very important institution if left to operate without any political interference. I saw and experienced many things as a new-comer on the political stage, and my past five years have been quite interesting. Let me just say that we must leave the ECZ alone to operate independently. I say this because I heard Her Honour the Vice-President mention electronic voting in her policy statement, if I did not hear her wrongly, as I am using Zoom. If, indeed, she said that in her statement, I ask the Government to halt the plan immediately because we must know that electronic voting is the easiest way any political party in power can manipulate or rig elections. Zambians are okay with voting by secret ballot; going into the booth and voting for whomever they want. I saw what happened in the elections in the United States of America (USA) during the time of George Bush Jr and Trump’s exit. We know exactly what goes on in electronic voting is used. I urge the Government not to take that route. We, Zambians, not the policy makers or the political party in Government, should make rules for ourselves. I stand on behalf of all Zambians in saying ‘No’ to electronic voting. We will go ahead with voting by secret ballot because that is the most transparent way of giving the people of Chienge the right to choose whom they want to be their leaders.


Madam Chairperson, I also want to talk about delimitation. We missed the chance to delimitate the constituencies, which are too large. For example, it is not an easy thing for me to go around Chienge in a week and come back. So, I urge the Government, through the Vice-President’s Office, to look into this and work closely with the ECZ so that delimitation is implemented without fail, and both the Ruling Party and the Opposition should support delimitation because we need our constituencies to be delimitated. If anything, delimitation will us, hon. Members, an advantage. Some people are afraid that if there is delimitation, they might lose grip on their constituencies, but it is the only way the people in large constituencies can be represented well. In Chienge, it is a huge challenge to reach Lambwe Chomba, and Her Honour the Vice-President knows what I am talking about. It is like the people of that area are part of neither Kaputa nor Chienge. So, we need to delimitate the Chienge so that the people in that area are well represented, and the same applies to the people of Mununga; they do not know whether to ask for help from Nchelenge or Chienge. So, I earnestly appeal to the Government and this House to take the issue of delimitation seriously before the next elections in 2026.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I wanted to add my voice. Indeed, the department needs a lot of support.


The Chairperson: Order!  


Business was suspended from 1030 hours until 1100 hours.





Rev. Katuta: Madam Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was asking all of us, hon. Members, to look into the issue of delimitation because it is for the good of the people who have given us this mandate. It is not good for the Ruling Party or the Opposition only, but for all the people.


Madam Chairperson, as I wind up my debate on this issue, I want to emphasise that we should reject electronic voting and defend democracy at all costs regardless of our political affiliation. What we are doing now is for the future. If we – (inaudible).


The Chairperson: It is like we have lost her. We move on.


Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for this chance to add the voice of the people of Mitete to the debate on this Vote. In the first place, must say that I support the budget for the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). If we were able to, we would have liked the budget to be raised a little more because its job is stressful.


Madam Chairperson, I congratulate the ECZ on having handled this year’s general election well, which has brought about a new Government, new hon. Members of Parliament, new thinking and new everything. Congratulations to it!


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: Difficult as the situation was, came through it.


Madam Chairperson, I heard the Leader of the Opposition say, “The UPND spoke of this, now it –” The United Party for National Development (UPND) was losing elections in the Opposition for twenty-three years and accepting the outcomes. When it felt that it needed to go to court, it went to court. For twenty-three years, ‘mum’ – Were it like other political parties, such as the Patriotic Front (PF), we would have put this country on fire. By the way, we do not advise the PF to do that.


Mr Fube: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament on the Floor said, “For twenty-years, mum –” Is the word “mum” parliamentary? Is he in order to use that word?


I seek your serious ruling, Madam Chairperson.




The Chairperson: Hon. Member on the Floor, please, address me as ‘Madam Chairperson’.


You may continue.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, even in court, people say ‘mum’. However, for his sake, I will say ‘Madam Chairperson’.


Madam Chairperson, if an opposition political party that continuously loses elections for twenty-three years does not take the interests of the people and the country at heart, it will go into the bush. However, the UPND did not do that, and I thank it for having kept the peace of the country after every painful election until 2021.


The Vice-Presidentindicated assent.


Mr Mutelo: Madam Chairperson, the ECZ has the mandate to register voters, but what we saw this year was something else. How does one give a National Registration Card (NRC) and Voter’s Card to a ten-year-old child? Going forward, we do not want to see such things. How, under sun, could Mitete, which registered  14,000 voters in 2016, register a lower number in 2021? Does it mean that the population in Mitete did not grow between 2016 and 2021? If it were up to me, I would scrap the current voters register now and compile a new one the normal and right way. The commission should register the right people and do so in an equitable and fair manner in all the parts of Zambia. That is my request, and that is how things are supposed to be done. From 1964 to date, through the ECZ’s work, we have remained what we are; a peaceful nation, and I would love us to continue being a peaceful nation.


Madam Chairperson, on by-elections, I have seen a lot. For example, I have been voted for, taken to court, had my seat nullified and went into a by-election. In the past five years, I have also seen people taken to court. I was taken to court twice. One person would be petitioned in Lusaka and another in Ndola. The UPND will not do that. After I went through that, the Councillor in Mitete also went through it three times. Those moves were deliberate, and were a wastage of resources. That will not happen in the UPND. The by-election coming in Kabwata on 20th January, 2022, is because of nature. That is the UPND for you. If someone is taken to court like I was and their seat is nullified, what is wrong with that? We have to follow the rules that we have set for ourselves. Our colleagues are saying, “The UPND is doing this.” What is the UPND doing? How many of the seats the UPND petitioned have been nullified? We give kudos to the courts because, had they been arm-twisted, I am pretty sure, all the seats that were petitioned would have been nullified, but that has not happened. So, we should not bring the courts into these issues or blame this one and that one. All we should do is do things according to the law, finish!


Madam Chairperson, anyone who did something wrong will be taken as such. I do not want to say that Hon. Kangombe, Member for Sesheke, handled things fairly, but his election was petitioned, or that Hon. Kang’ombe, Member for Kamfinsa, did this or that. He is here. People should not just do things for the sake of doing them. Instead, we should do things according to the rules that we have set for ourselves.


Madam chairperson, to the ECZ, I say, ‘Thank you very much’. Going forward, it must do what is right, and I remind Her Honour the Vice-President that the current register is not good for Zambia. If it is possible, she should do something about it.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members who have debated the policy statement on the ECZ for their debates, which I find enriching. I may have read the policy statement a little too fast, but a number of things that have come out are already captured in the plans of the ECZ for next year.


Madam Chairperson, the first point, which was made by Hon. Fube, is on the presence of the ECZ on the ground in the districts, constituencies and as low as it can go. That is already captured in the statement, and according to the ECZ’s mandate under Article 229 and the policy of the New Dawn Government. I think, the hon. Member has noted that we have been talking about decentralisation. That is why even the difference in the Budget is not that big. This was an election year. Therefore, the commission needed a lot of money to carry out many activities. However, the reduction in next year’s budget is minimal because the activities must continue. Decentralisation goes on, and the ECZ will go down to the provinces, and we hope that in time, it will go farther down. That is important, and we realise that we must do that if we are to undertake continuous registration and other activities.


Madam Chairperson, the other point is on the attitude that Hon. Fube talked about, I do know what he called it, but it is about the mistrust. I think, we should admit that there is mistrust, which come in with the political interference that another hon. Member, the hon. Member for Chienge Rev. Katuta, talked about. So, we, the politicians, need to be disciplined enough to let the institutions that we have put in place govern and do what they ought to do. The first part of the statement I read was about the mandates of the commission, but under autonomy. The institution is autonomous. Because we do not respect its autonomy, or we seemingly do not, even when we go into by-elections, our hon. Colleagues on the left may start saying the Government has a hand in the commission. However, this New Dawn Administration will not have a hand in the ECZ because that is not what we want.


Madam Chairperson, on the by-elections, on which Hon. Mundubile debated, one cannot just say that there will be no by-elections when the laws are contrarily to that. That is why, because we mean it when we said we did not like by-elections, the President has also said that he does not like them, and that they will be reduced. So, we have to work on the Constitution and provide for not having by-elections, if possible. The laws must be clear enough on matters like what happens in case of an act of God that takes one of us or when somebody does something. So, we are looking at the law. We want to reduce on by-elections because their number has been unprecedented, but not because of the ECZ. The people who create by-elections are here, and they do it by either buying off hon. Members from the other side or petitions that are planned. We want to do away with that. So, hon. Members, this concern will definitely be dealt with.


Madam Chairperson, as regards delimitation, I mentioned in the statement that there is a portion of the estimates that is meant for delimitation. Remember that, generally, delimitation was done. What is needed is implementation. There were also some constituencies where there were differences, particularly quarrels between chiefdoms. The commission has promised to work on such issues and see how they can be cleaned up before we go to delimitation.


Madam Chairperson, the other point was on nullification of elections. I think, this is generally to do with the law. We cannot stop people from going to court if the law provides for that, but that is not our intention. The other issue that I see is that of mistrust, but I see that the ECZ wanting to work with, and engage, the stakeholders as a way of building its image. Further, the ECZ has talked about image-building programmes. So, the commission has a beautiful programme to deal with the issues we have noted here.


Madam Chairperson, I understand Hon. Mutelo’s concern, because it is in public domain, about the current electoral register being perceived as being full of children, and I am sure that the ECZ will work within its powers to ensure that continuous voter registration does not include people who are not eligible.


Madam Chairperson, I thank all hon. Members who have debated and supported the budget. We need more money, but this is what we have currently.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 25 – (Local Government Service Commission – K10, 822,597)


The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Madam Chairperson, when business was adjourned, I was on the fifth point of my submission, which had to do with capacity building of human resource practitioners.


Capacity Building of Human Resource Practitioners


Madam Chairperson, in order to standardise the management  and processing of staff matters, the commission continued to capacity-build local authorities, especially the principal officers and human  resource practitioners, to ensure quality and timely processing of human resources cases. The capacity building was done on the spot during technical support visits to local authorities as well as the commission when officers submitted recommendations from the councils.


Madam Chairperson, the commission managed to conduct technical support visits to the local authorities in Luapula, the Northern and Muchinga provinces to deal with outstanding human resources matters and provide on-the-spot capacity building to Town Clerks and Council Secretaries as well as chief officers. In this regard, 855 cases were processed during the technical support visits. During the year, 2,040 human resources cases were processed with the office in-house, bringing the total number of cases that were processed to 2,895.


Staff Discipline


Madam Chairperson, the commission expects its employees to execute their roles and responsibilities with dedication and commitment to the public. Further, the staff are expected to fulfil their lawful obligations to the Government with professionalism and without bringing the service into disrepute. In this regard, twenty-eight officers were dismissed from the service for various offences like fraud, misappropriation, forgery, falsification and desertion.


Focus in 2022


Madam Chairperson, the budget allocated to the commission for 2022 is K9.9 million segregated as K7.2 million for personal emoluments and K2.74 million for operations. In line with the five pillars of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) and Government policy, the commission intends to prioritise its operations and focus on the key activities set out below.


Implementation of Human Resource Management Reforms


Madam Chairperson, in implementing human resource management reforms, the commission will do the following:


  1. establish human resource management committees in local authorities to perform the delegated function in accordance with section No.10 of the 2016 Commission Services Act –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Minister’s time expired.


Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for a well-delivered statement –


Mr Samakayi: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to raise a very important point of order that hinges on public health.


Madam chairperson, there is information coming through to the effect that the number of people who testing positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is increasing and that some of our people who have left the country have been discovered to be COVID-19 positive at airports. Further, some people coming into this country from other countries have quarantined themselves because COVID-19. I can also see that the hon. Minister of Health has double protection. Are we safe in this country and in this House?


I need your serious ruling on this very important matter of public health.


The Chairperson: Thank you, hon. Member, for this point of order. However, the way I look at it is that it should have been raised as a matter of urgent public importance and, in this regard, it would be helpful be for you to file in a question of an urgent nature so that the hon. Minister of Health can be given an opportunity to address this matter.


Mr Sampa: Madam Chairperson, we are talking about the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), and I am here as a bearer of messages from the Council Chairpersons and Mayors who served from 2016 to 2021.


Madam Chairperson, in any organisation, the organogram; who reports to whom,is very important for efficiency. Here, at Parliament, we all know that the Speaker is the head and the Clerk is the administrator. In contrast, at the moment, the councils in Zambia are moribund because their reporting lines are disoriented. The Mayors and Council Chairpersons are elected by the people and the people expect so much from them but, as soon as they get to thecouncils, they find that they have no power; that their hands and legs are tied, and that they are told when and how to work.


Madam, the powers at the councils, for some reason – I did my research, and I am glad that the hon. Minister of Health is here because she was the Minister in charge of local government then. Around 2006, the Patriotic Front (PF) won in most councils, but the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) had control over the Central Government, and the hon. Minister is very good at protecting the Presidency. So, to concentrate powers into the Presidency, the LGSC was established so that the councils in Lusaka Province and the Copperbelt Province, and the PF became toothless, and the move served its purpose. Unfortunately, when the PF came into power in 2011, it also missed the boat; it should have dissolved the commission because it controlled the Central Government and the main councils in Lusaka Province, the Copperbelt Province and elsewhere. Time went by without the Mayors and Council Chairpersons being able to operate because the function of the commission is to appoint the Town Clerk and Council Chairpersons; to hire and fire. However, in any organisation, if you cannot hire and fire, even at home, if you cannot discipline the children, then you are irrelevant and useless.


Madam Speaker, in ‘Sasafrica – South Africa.In Matero, we say ‘Sasafrica’ –


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


Please, avoid unparliamentary words like “useless”.


Mr Sampa: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw ‘useless’ and replace it with ‘no teeth to bite’ or ‘no powers to function’.


Madam Chairperson, in SA (South Africa), Mayors, once elected, appoint their own council staff, such as the Town Clerks, so that whatever happens at the council, they are properly answerable. Further, in the South African Constitution, there is room to recall elected officials.


Madam Speaker, the UPND Government has come in now, and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development was appointed by the President, meaning that the President has trust in him. The hon. Minister will soon find out that he does not have much power to manage councils because all the powers are vested in the commission.


Madam Chairperson, the K9.8 million given to the commission in the Budget is just for emoluments and allowances. How can a commission that sits in Lusaka know what is happening in the council in Kaputa, Isoka or Kalomo for the commissioners to take trips there to fire staff? That is not a practical arrangement.


Madam Speaker, it is good that we are talking about this early. With due respect to the chairperson of the commission, Hon. Sejani, a good uncle of ours, who has just been appointed, his skills and attributes can be better utilised somewhere else, as the commission needs to be dissolved. Our colleagues can observe it but, at some point, it needs to go. The UPND controls the Central Government and most councils. So, why do we need that middle management? Now, even a good Mayor will not perform, and we have seen Mayors who had good ideas like introducing Wi-Fi, but the Town Clerk got a call from somewhere telling him to not introduce the Wi-Fi because that would show that the Mayor was performing, and that left the Mayor stuck.




Mr Sampa: It is a bit like alcohol, opium or marijuana. Once one starts taking them, which I have never done before, it is difficult to stop. 


Hon. Government Member: How do you know?


Mr Sampa: I have read.


Madam Chairperson, if we allow the commission to exist for one or two more years, then it will never go. Our colleagues have the chance to remove it so that all the powers are vested in the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Deployment, who has been appointed by the President. That way, we will save some money.


Madam Chairperson, the UPND Government promised us decentralisation, but that will not be achieved if the Council Chairpersons and Mayors are not given more powers. We should let them operate. If they misbehave, there is room for disciplining them. I can tell you that the reason there has been no Mayor or Council Chairperson who has performed since 2006 is that their hands are tied. There was one in Lusaka and another in Kitwe who tried to perform, but their arms were tied, and that stopped them from performing. I blame that on the commission.


Madam Chairperson, in the 2016 Constitution, there was the idea of making Mayors directly elected but, for some reason, when printing the constitution, someone removed the phrase ‘Executive’.


Hon. UPND Members: The PF!


Mr Sampa: I do not know, but whoever was printing.


Madam Chairperson, Government Printers removed the word ‘Executive’. So, we actually waste money in electing Mayors because their hands are tied and they will not perform. So, my humble appeal is that the hon. Minister initiates an amendment to the Constitution. This is the time for him to do it because if he moves the amendments in the second or third year, we will misinterpret his motives and think he will be politicking. So, he should give powers to Mayors and attach the word ‘Executive’ back to the title so that Mayors can perform for the people.


Madam Chairperson, I am even very scared when the hon. Minister says that our K25 million will be in the hands of the councils because I know what goes on there. If you want to know the meaning of the word ‘inefficiency’, go to the councils and look at the reporting lines. The Mayors and Council Chairpersons have no powers because all the powers are wasted in this commission, which is going to waste K10 million in the coming year.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate this very important Vote, the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).


Madam Chairperson, the historical background is that from 1996 to 2007, the commission was abolished and we operated without it for ten years, during which the councils had the authority to hire and fire or, in other words, to manage their human resources. Unfortunately, there were many problems, including that of people employing kinsmen, friends and the like. So, for decentralisation to take root, the hon. Minister who was responsible for local government then and the people who were driving the process of decentralisation thought it important to clean the ground by re-establishing the commission.


Madam Chairperson, since 2007, the commission has done a commendable job in employing qualified staff in the councils and this is why, today, we are arguing that we have qualified staff in all our councils. There are engineers, civil engineers, planners, health practitioners and all fields in the district councils. So, it has been a very good idea to have the commission. Of course, we have moved on and learnt some lessons, but I think that the positive gains need to be consolidated, and that is why the commission must continue, at least, for some time.


Madam Chairperson, as we gravitate towards decentralisation, it is important that human resource management is left to local authorities. However, I think, there is still work for the commission to do; there is still something to be done because there are issues of standards in terms of the services that we provide. As people get educated and their welfare is enhanced, they start demanding quality services. So, we should set standards for service delivery so that the services delivered are uniform across our country. At that point, the work of the commission will be to ensure that all councils adhere to the standards that would have been put in place so that our people can get quality services.


Madam Chairperson, the other thing that the commission must continue doing from the time we put measures in place, is ensuring that whatever local authorities do is in consonance with Government policies so that there is no mismatch between Government policies and the services provided at the local level. So, to me, the commission is still useful, as there is still work to be done by it. I think, we just need to reform that institution so that it begins gravitating into providing services like monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the performance of local authorities, and it is important that we arm it to do that work. If we just leave it like that, we will slip off into a structure where service delivery becomes a problem or inefficient.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on Vote 25 – Local Government Service Commission.


Madam Chairperson, my understanding is that the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) is one of the commissions under the Services Commissions Act. The Act allows for the setting up of services commissions to support specific ministries.


Madam Chairperson, I am aware that we have 116 districts in Zambia and, as rightly observed by Hon. Samakayi, there was a time staff matters were handled at councils, meaning that when there was any human resource (HR) issue, such as someone who needed to be promoted at the Lusaka City Council or Chililabombwe Municipal Council, the council received reports and then there was a recommendation from management. Then, the person was employed or promoted. However, later, the commission was put in place.


Madam Chairperson, one of the challenges that the commission has faced, and this is from my basic understanding, is that, currently, it takes time to respond to HR needs. For instance, if Chingola Municipal Council is looking to employ a Health Inspector, it has to write to the commission, which will then look at who is eligible or who has applied. If fifteen other councils have written, an advertisement will be placed and then interviews will be held. That is a quite long and tedious process.


Madam Chairperson, from the hon. Minister’s policy statement, I get the impression that human resource committees will be put in place in respective districts. We do not know how the committees will work because there is the Human Resource Standing Order Committee of the councils, which is a committee of politicians, and then there is the committee that will be called the ‘Human Resource Committee’, in line with Section 10 of the Act. So, it is important for the hon. Minister to articulate how the role of the Human Resource Committee will be integrated into the duties of the committee of councillors so that we are satisfied. The way a council operates is that it has committees, such as a health committee and a human resource committee, and politicians sit on those committees. Previously, when councils used to manage human resource issues, the Town Clerk would submit a report to a committee of councillors then the councillors would decide whether the person proposed for employment as Health Inspector, for example, was the right one.


Madam Chairperson, since, now, there is Section 10 of the law, which deals with human resources issues, it is important that the hon. Minister clarifies articulates how the role of the Human Resource Committee marries with the committee of councillors at the local authorities. We all agree that there are no adequate Health Inspectors and Building Inspectors in councils, and there is also the issue of revenue. When a council wants to employ revenue collectors, who makes the decision? Do we wait for the commission in Lusaka, the Human Resource Committee or the politicians to sit and make that decision?


Madam Chairperson, on retention of skills, one of the things the commission has done over the years is encourage local authorities to sponsor workers for further studies. For example, if a civil engineer at a council is a diploma holder, he or she is sponsored to study for a degree. What mechanisms will the commission put in place to retain that engineer at Kaputa Town Council, for instance, five years after he or she acquires his or her degree? We would not want to see a situation in which Kaputa Town Council trains an engineer and, after two years, he or she is transferred to another council and Kaputa Town Council has to look for another engineer. In his policy statement, the hon. Minister did not clarify the retention policy of the commission insofar as skills training is concerned. It will be important that the commission deals with the retention of skills. It might not bond people permanently or for five years, because we do not want to encourage our young graduates to remain in one local authority forever. As the hon. Minister winds up debate, I hope that he will clarify the policy the commission will put in place to retain skills in respective councils.


Madam Chairperson, K25 million has been allocated to each constituency in the 2022 Budget, and the local authorities are at the centre of managing the funds. Obviously, the commission has to employ people to manage the funds. Beyond the accountant, the civil engineer and the current way of managing the fund, it will be important that the commission takes a very critical look at how the fund will be managed insofar as the skills needed to expedite projects are concerned. We do not want to see a situation in which council will be overwhelmed in preparing Bills of Quantities (BoQs). I was looking at how much the K25 million will do in terms of the projects that will be implemented in each constituency, and I see a big challenge in terms of preparing BoQs, running advertisements and getting the right competition, because there will be, maybe, thirty companies bidding for one job. Do we have the skills at the procurement level or at the level of preparing BoQs? I hope the commission, which is responsible for human resource issues, will be able to provide the right skills for managing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is very critical because it is about the usage of public funds. I hope the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development is taking note of this very important submission with regard to the management of the CDF. We need the commission to play an active role.


Madam Chairperson, on the decentralisation of functions, I think, the hon. Minister will touch on that. When he was cut off, I think, he was just about to explain that, and I hope that there will be a report.


Madam Chairperson, as I wind up my debate, I want to talk about standardising and capacity building. There is a beautiful institution in Chongwe which, I think, is the Local Government Training Institute, and I have been there. We hope that the commission can utilise that facility. It can bring in experts to impart the needed skills into workers from local authorities. Capacity building does not mean travelling out of the country. I think, the infrastructure that has been built is very beautiful, and it should be utilised.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, for giving me this chance to add my voice to this important discussion on the Floor.


Madam Chairperson, I want to support the statement by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development and, in doing so, to make a few remarks.


Madam Chairperson, the establishment of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) is constitutional, and there is no difference between the LGSC, the Public Service Commission, (PSC), the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) and the Prisons Service Commission; their job is simply to recruit qualified staff and place them, and deal with issues of discipline, promotions, et cetera.


Madam Chairperson, with regard to local government, the Constitution gave the function of recruitment to a specialised commission, namely the LGSC. The role of this commission is to employ people who are specialised in local government functions, and the idea was to support decentralisation, because some of the councils that were created could not attract qualified officers. So, the work of the commission was to recruit officers for all the districts, place the right people and support salary structures because a small council like Ikeleng’i could not attract a legal practitioner or a Director of Engineering, and let alone pay that person. However, since the commission is centralised, it could employ and post people all over the country. Even the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) of K25 million needs to be handled by proper officers in all districts of Zambia. So, there is supposed to be qualified people in all the 116 districts.


Madam Chairperson, I am very happy that we have a young and energetic hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. He is very experienced, and I know that he is up to the task. Also, the person who has been appointed chairperson of the commission has worked in the Government before, and is qualified academically and politically, having risen to become a Minister responsible for local government and being one of the best Ministers responsible for local government in the history of Zambia. He is very level-headed and incorruptible, and that is what such a commission needs. That is what we want, too. Hon. Sejani is the best man for the commission at this moment, apart from me, but I am a Minister. So, you must be happy.


Madam Chairperson, there were challenges, especially in the previous Administration. We were disappointed that the commission was used for politics, and that is what destroyed its image. I am happy that what was experienced in the commission will not continue in the New Dawn Government. The commission was not working; it was just making appointments on political lines. During the elections, chief officers were transferred for purposes of electioneering. We know these things because we are all Zambian. However, the New Dawn Government is going to be different from what we saw. For the first time, let us have a Local Government Service Commission that will assist councils by employing qualified people.


Madam Chairperson, we are employing people who are qualified. In the entire Government, there are professors and doctors; people with papers, not those who throw stones. That is what we want the commission to do. We want qualified people in all the 116 district councils to implement Government programmes. This Government wants to work, and it is in hurry to do that. We want Zambians to see that their vote was not wasted on us. So, we have this young man, the very energetic hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, and the right man as chairperson of the commission. We pray that the other members of the commission will also be men and women of high integrity and that they will appoint people on merit, not based on party lines.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who contributed to the debate on this Vote. To be a bit more specific, I take note of what Mr Sampa, the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero, said. However, the hon. Minister of Health could not have put things any better than she has on the constitutionality of the LGSC, and there is a reason for it. Tapping into what Hon. Samakayi said, I say that the commission was abandoned at a certain time. It is said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we have tasted both the period when there was no commission and when the commission is there, and the pros and cons of each scenario. What we learnt is to not fix what is not broken.


Madam Chairperson, one of the challenges that have been brought out by Hon. Sampa regarding the commission is that systems destroy people. It is a fact that, previously, the commission took a political flavour. As former members of the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ), having served as Mayors of two big cities, Hon. Kang’ombe, the Member for Kamfinsa, and Hon. Sampa know very well that the relationship between the LGAZ and the association for Town Clerks and Council Chairpersons, I think that it is called the Society of Local Authorities Chief Executives (SOLACE), was bad. The two societies could not see eye to eye. So, something was broken there. How do people who superintend over staff affairs have a bad relationship with those they superintend over? The Town Clerks, being the Chief Executives of local authorities, must work harmoniously with the commission. How else can the commission get authenticated information about staff if the Town Clerks and the commission are like oil and water? That simply cannot happen. So, there is a need to improve the communication protocols between the two institutions.


Madam Chairperson, when I went to this ministry, I learnt many things, including the fact that the relevant directorate was not in very good books with the Town Clerks or SOLACE, the organisation of people who run councils, to the point where the Town Clerks were even shown the door at on point. When I was appointed, I assured them that since there was a new Government, we would deal with one another based on competing ideas. If we think a given route is the way to go, we will have to convince them to take that route. Similarly, if they think a different route is the best, they must convince us.


Madam Chairperson, Hon. Kang’ombe spoke about the Human Resource Committee, and I appreciate his concern. However, we are talking about reforms, and the committee is there to enhance the work of the already existing committee, which is run by politicians. Quite all right, it is the politicians who work on a day-to-day basis with the elected councillors. So, it only makes sense that part of the processes of reporting to the commission is done by the people who supervise the officers. For instance, in procurement, it is the same committee that evaluates how people conduct themselves. If there is any report that must go to the commission on the corrupt practices of any procurement officer, both the councillors and the Town Clerk should be involved. So, we must give them an opportunity to run things. Wherever there will be weak points, it is our duty to fix them.


Madam, I think, in the spirit of trying to build our society and decentralise, it is important that the back and forward linkages function, with the ministry talking to the LGSC, the LGSC talking to SOLACE and SOLACE talking to the elected officers. Then, we will get it right.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson


Vote 25 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 06 – (Civil Service Commission – K12,545,145).


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I present the budget policy statement for Vote 06 – Civil Service Commission.


Madam Chairperson, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is established under Section 22(1) of the Constitution and draws its mandate from the Service Commission Act No. 10 of 2016. The commission is responsible for ensuring that appointments, confirmations, promotions, transfers, regrading, attachments, secondments, discipline and separations of personnel in the Civil Service are administered in accordance with the prescribed guidelines and procedures. In line with its portfolio functions, the principle focus of the commission is on providing oversight on the management of human resources in the Civil Service for enhanced service delivery.


Madam Chairperson, the commission’s budget for 2022 is premised on the four strategic focus areas outlined in the President’s Address to the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly. The budget will enable the commission to implement a number of strategic programmes aimed at improving service delivery in the Civil Service in areas such as compliance and quality control, human resource reforms, monitoring, evaluation, standards, guidelines and regulations.


Review of Performancein2021


Madam Chairperson, the commission was allocated K10,624,509 for the current financial year, from which the major activities and programmes set out below were implemented as guided by the strategic plan.


Appointments, Confirmations, Separations, Transfers, Promotions and Discipline


Madam Chairperson, the commission undertook recruitment, placement, appointments, confirmations, promotions, secondments and separations of 6,734 human resources across the Public Service.


Madam Chairperson, in order to promote good conduct in the Civil Service, the commission handled 106 disciplinary and appeal cases in 2021. The disciplinary cases dealt were strictly anchored on terms and conditions of service and other Government regulations.


Human Resource Management Reforms


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, the commission established four Human Resource Management Committees in the Eastern, Muchinga, Copperbelt and the Western provinces to manage delegated functions on its behalf. In order to assure quality in the operations of the committees, the commission undertook three monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in Central, the North-Western and the Southern provinces.


Civil Service Human Resource Management  


Madam Chairperson, the commission conducted a support sitting with the Ministry of Health at which 1,615 human resource cases were dealt with in order to increase human capital response to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).


Standards, Guidelines and Regulations  


Madam Chairperson, the commission finalised the development of legislative and non-legislative documents, such as the Service Commission Regulations, Recruitment and Placement Guidelines for the Civil Service, and other regulations of the Civil Service. The commission also finalised the development of its service charter, which will soon be officially launched.


2022 Estimates of Expenditure


Madam, the commission has been allocated K12,545,145 in the 2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. The major programmes and activities to be undertaken are as set out below.


Scaling up Human Resource Management Reforms  


Madam Chairperson, the commission intends to roll out the establishment of Human Resource Management in twenty-five ministries and institutions to ensure adherence to human resource policies and guidelines. The commission will ensure that capacity building and technical support are provided to ministries, provinces and other Government institutions. Further, it is expected to delegate more of its functions and continue undertaking M&E.


Compliance and Quality Control


Madam Chairperson, the Human Resource Management Committees are expected to implement, and provide guidance in the management of human resources in their respective institutions. The commission will undertake quality assurance and inspections of the committees’ adherence to principles and values of human resource management in the Civil Service.


Standards, Guidelines and Regulations


Madam Chairperson, the commission will promote a code of conduct and consider all appeals, complaints and discipline timely in order to ensure that equal and fair justice is enhanced in the Civil Service. Further, it will conduct implement sensitisation programmes on the revised terms and conditions of service, disciplinary code and grievance handling procedures for the Public Service to enlighten civil servants on their rights and responsibilities. Additionally, it intends to conduct research in areas of disciplinary control and code of conduct in the Civil Service. The research will enable it to make appropriate interventions and decisions in dealing with disciplinary matters in the Civil Service. The commission will also review its strategic plan and balanced score card in order to enhance efficiency and improve service delivery for the period 2022 to 2026.




Madam Chairperson, the proposed programmes to be implemented by the commission in 2022 will greatly contribute to the attainment of a good governance environment. I, therefore, urge this august House to support the commission’s 2022 Estimates of Expenditure amounting to K12,545,145.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to debate Vote 06 on behalf of Chama North Constituency. I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for a well-articulated policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, as articulated by Her Honour the Vice-President, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is a very important State institution of governance; it is the engine of the Government. If we do not have a professional Civil Service, it is very difficult for the party in the Government to realise its vision. Therefore, it is important that the Civil Service, as the life blood of any Government, is always professional.


Madam Chairperson, I am worried that civil servants have, at times, become endangered species, especially when there is a change of Government. I think, this way, we are not moving this country forward. Imagine changing the top civil servants every five years if there is a change of Government. I think, that is retrogressive. So, it is my prayer that, going forward, we try by all means to ensure that the Civil Service is not politicised.


Madam Chairperson, I stand here a very sad person, coming from a trade union background, because the former District Commissioners (DCs) who were retired have not been paid their gratuities, not even the repatriation allowance, to date, yet they are people who provided a dedicated service to this nation. So, it is my appeal to the Government that it looks into this matter very urgently so that our brothers and sisters can also start new lives.


Madam Chairperson, on the remuneration in the Civil Service, I think, there is a need to pay our civil servants handsomely if we are to fight corruption and ensure that there is efficiency in the running of the Government apparatus. It is also important that we have a proper distinction – My brother, the Member of Parliament for Matero, Hon. Sampa, talked about the roles of Mayors, Council Chairpersons, Town Clerks and Council Secretaries. I think, there is a lot of friction among them. So, I appeal to the Government to hold an orientation workshop for them like the one His Excellency the President held for hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries (PSs). I think, it is important to have proper guidelines. The roles of the DC and the Member of Parliament must be defined. Otherwise, development is going to suffer, especially in constituencies or districts where there are Opposition Members of Parliament. So, I appeal to Her Honour the Vice-President to hold an orientation meeting as quickly as possible to harmonise the situation.


Madam Chairperson, there is also a need to ensure that appointments to the Civil Service are made purely on merit. Over the years, we have destroyed the Civil Service; gone are days of the reign of Kenneth Kaunda (KK) in which appointments of PSs and other officers were made purely on merit. After 1991, most appointments, unfortunately, have not been made on merit. For example, party cadres have been appointed as PSs, which is a very sad development because such PSs may not have even a little understanding of how the Civil Service operates.


Madam Chairperson, I remember that when I was doing my Form 1 Civics, there used to be Civil Service Entrance Examinations meant to orient people going into the Civil Service. So, let us find jobs for cadres somewhere else and preserve the Civil Service, which is the life blood of any country. It is very sad that we politicise it.


Madam Chairperson, during the reign of KK, for someone to be a PS in the Ministry of Education, one had to rise through the structures, maybe, from being a headteacher of a primary school to a headteacher of a secondary school after upgrading one’s qualifications, then becoming a Provincial Education Officer (PEO) and Under Secretary. Thereafter, one became a PS. That way, the Government used to move in the right direction. Now, we have destroyed the Civil Service, and it is very unfortunate. However, I hope, the New Dawn Government will quickly get to the drawing board and ensure that the Civil Service is made professional. Otherwise, every year, we will have reports from the Auditor-General’s Office highlighting misappropriation and theft of public funds. When we allow party cadres to run the Civil Service, they will have to pay back to their political parties. So, they will start giving contracts to fellow party cadres. Today, we can say the Patriotic Front (PF) did this or that and change the Government a hundred times; we can change Presidents several times, but we will not achieve anything other than going round in circles.


Madam Chairperson, Mr Barack Obama, during an official visit to Ghana as President of the United States of America, told the Ghanaian Parliament that Africa needed strong institutions of good governance, not strong Presidents. If we build strong institutions of good governance, I can assure you that corruption and misapplication of public funds will be minimised. Even America had problems of corruption, some time back, before it put up strong institutions of good governance. So, the Civil Service is a critical institution of good governance, and we should not politicise it.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I support this budget of K12 million because I believe that the Civil Service is critical –


The Chairperson: Order!


The Hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): Madam Chairperson, I must state, from the outset, that I support this this Vote, and that my words will be few.


Madam Chairperson, I have come to believe in President Hakainde Hichilema as a man who wants to change things.


Dr Katakwe: Mask up!


Mr Kapyanga: Before this House, I have sworn my allegiance to the President. So, I must support him.


Dr Katakwe: Mask up!


Mr Kapyanga:The President is against the employment and appointment of cadres in the Civil Service.


Dr Katakwe: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kapyanga wore his mask.


Mr Kapyanga: Solwezi East, abenaMpika tabakakupanye, iwe!




Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, the President wants to change things and is preaching a paradigm shift, but some of the people he has appointed to various positions are doing the opposite, and I will give an example. In the Civil Service, cadres have been appointed, and all are from the United Party for National Development (UPND) Secretariat.


Mr Nanjuwa: Question!


Mr Kapyanga: Some are from the UPND Alliance, such as Thabo Kawana, who is a Director today.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes! He is qualified and is a Zambian. What is wrong with that?


Mr Kapyanga: A few days ago, the previous Government was being blamed and admonished for appointing cadres into the Civil Service.


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


Hon. UPND Member: Kalimanshi!


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, can you avoid bringing people into your debate who are not here because they cannot defend themselves, ...


Dr Katakwe: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: ... and focus on the policy statement that was delivered to this House.


Hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, do you wish to raise a point of order?


Mr Nkombo: Yes, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, I have never underestimated your wisdom and intellect. I was riding on the same protocol as you, except to add that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.


Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Mr Nkombo: Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member who was debating rode on the path to Parliament based on the things that he is despising right away, such as calling some of us cockroaches, talking about not allowing anyone to go into their bedroom and displaying a cadre mentality, although he has apologised publicly. Is he in order to forget the adage that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones?


I seek your ruling, Madam Chairperson.




The Chairperson: I think, the hon. Member debating has been guided.


Hon. Member, avoid statements provoke interjections from the other side of the House. Let us just be focused. If you focus on the policy statement, I do think that there will be any interjections. So, can you, please, focus on the policy statement that was delivered under this Vote. We are on Vote 06.


With that guidance, please, you can continue with your debate.


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, who is my elder brother. I still hold him in high esteem, and he is the one who inspired me to come to Parliament. I am sure that he is well aware that I apologised before this House.


Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that despite the fact that this Government is against the employment of cadres in the Civil Service, the practice remains the status quo. Cadres are being appointed to the Civil Service. For example, a few days ago, my mother, the Vice-President, was in this House condemning the Patriotic Front (PF) constitution for mandating the party to appoint cadres to various positions in the Civil Service, which was wrong, according to her and according to the people of Zambia. That is why the people changed the Government. However, the same is currently being done. So, as we debate the Vote for the Civil Service Commission (CSO), we should also interrogate the fact that cadres, who are biased, are being appointed. How are they going to treat members of society who hold views divergent from theirs? They will not serve them well because they hold the values and principles of their political parties.


Madam Chairperson, the allocation that we are debating is for cadres, as things stand.


Mr Mabeta: Yes!


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, someone on your right is saying, “Yes!” He is agreeing with what I am saying right now, and he is also against –


The Chairperson: Order!


Please, just focus on the debate because I am listening to you. Do not involve other people when debating. Just focus on the Chairperson.


You may continue.


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, I support this budget, but I urge the New Dawn Government, a Government of my inspiration – Hon. Gary Nkombo is my inspiration, and I must say it before the House.


Mr Nkomboindicated assent.


Mr Kapyanga: He is the one who inspired me to come to Parliament, but I urge this Government of my inspiration to get rid of cadres almost immediately because cadres are what made the PF Government to lose power; the PF appointed cadres like Tabo Kawana and Noel Nkhoma. It appointed them –


The Chairperson: Order!


Please, avoid mentioning those names because the two people you mentioned are not here to defend themselves. Further, could you withdraw your reference to those two names.


Mr Mabeta: He is drunk!


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw, but I also need your protection because someone is busy insulting me by saying that I am drunk.




The Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!


Let us avoid interjections and allow the hon. Member who is on the Floor to freely debate.


You can continue, hon. Member.


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, what I am saying is that some cadres like the ones who have been appointed as Directors into the Ministry of Information and Media should not be there. The President has been very categorical in standing against the appointment of cadres into public institutions. So, I wonder why somebody should be appointing cadres to various boards. Why are some people going against the Presidential directive and contradicting what the President is saying?


Madam Chairperson, actually, I must thank the President for standing for what he said during the campaigns. Even when Zambians elected him, he has stood against that, but some of his people have stood for what he is against by appointing cadres to various boards of parastatals.


Mr Mwene: Are you not a cadre as well?


Mr Kapyanga: They are appointing cadres in various ministries, and we have seen how some cadres have been appointed as Permanent Secretaries (PSs).


Mr Mwene: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Mwene: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a point of order under Standing Order 66, which talks about unparliamentary language.


Madam Chairperson, is the word “cadre”, which the hon. Member has kept repeating in this House in your presence, parliamentary?


I need your serious ruling on this hon. Member, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I think I have guided on this topic. Maybe, let me just remind the hon. Member that we do not know how the cadres out there are feeling because we keep referring to them.




The Chairperson: Really, when we repeatedly say “cadres”, be mindful of the fact that most youths are cadres, and it might seem that we are saying that being a cadre is very bad. Maybe, for the sake of progress, can we use another word, hon. Member.


Mr Kapyanga: Madam Chairperson, perhaps, the hon. Member needs to visit his dictionary, because the word ‘cadre’ does not refer to political hooliganism. The word means a professional group of people. I must define that for him.


Madam Chairperson, let me proceed. Before I defined that word for the hon. Member –


The Chairperson: Order!


The hon. Member’stime expired.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, thank you for this rare opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Vote. I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President for delivering a very good policy statement.


Madam Chairperson, I support this Vote, and say that the Civil Service Commission (CSC) is a very important institution of the Government and that the way it discharges its functions can make any government succeed or fail. To this extent, it is true that the President makes statements like ‘Let us not employ cadres in the Civil Service’. However, I am a cadre because I am a political functionary, and there are different levels of cadres. The distinguished hon. Member who just finished debating is also a cadre.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, when we talk of not politicising the Civil Service, we mean not doing things the way the Patriotic Front (PF) did them. If, for example, I am an official of a political party, let us say, the District Chairperson of the United Party for National Development (UPND) in Lusaka, and I am employed by the CSC as an official in the Public Service, maybe, in a ministry, I should not continue to be an official of my political party because that would make me conflicted, as I would carry the party I am representing into the Civil Service. I think, that is what the PF did. Like Her Honour the Vice-President told us last time, that was even in the PF’s constitution. Even appointments were made on that basis, and that politicised the institutions of Government and compromised the people appointed.


Madam Chairperson, as the UPND Government, we will live by whatever the President has said. So, anybody employed from any political organisation, including the PF, will have to follow what the President has said. We have heard of some people being appointed who were PF-aligned. The point is that once one’s appointed and has the right qualifications, one stops being an active member of a political party, as one is expected to serve everybody in the whole State.


Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament must understand that cadres are human beings and that the CSC is there to serve every Zambian. It does not matter which region one comes from or the political party one represents. What matters is that once employed, one ceases to be what one was because one has to serve members of all political parties present in the country, including the PF. Therefore, let us stop throwing around words and misleading the nation into thinking that the Government is employing cadres. We are not employing any cadre. Anybody who is employed becomes an employee of the State and ceases to be a cadre.


Mr Kapyanga: What about those whom you are firing?


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!


If you have got something to say, please, indicate.


Continue, hon. Minister.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, the young men who are in this House must learn to listen and debate correctly.


Mr Munir Zulu: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwiimbu: Are you not supposed to be in the diaspora?


Mrs Masebo:  Madam Chairperson, a cadre is a human being, and has every right to belong to any –


Mr Munir Zulu: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Munir Zulu: Madam Chairperson, I rise on Standard Orders No. 65, which is on content of speech.


Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Minister in order to refer to us as young men in this House?


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: I have heard, on several occasions, hon. Members refer to fellow hon. Members as brothers, young men, et cetera. However, the hon. Minister should note that in this House, there are hon. Members of Parliament and that, to avoid conflicts, we should stick to the phrase ‘hon. Member’.


You may continue, hon. Minister.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, thank you for that guidance. I hope that the big man, the hon. Member of Parliament who has spoken, will appreciate that sometimes, we are just describing the age of people, but we know that they are hon. Members.


Madam Chairperson, when hon. Members stand to speak to the nation, they must try to be factual and accurate. That way, they will be helping the Executive. There is no member in this new Executive who holds two positions, one in the Government and another in politics. The way I know Her Honour the Vice-President, with her whip, I am sure she would not even allow that. So, let us be comfortable. What we should be talking about is whether this person is qualified or not. In this Administration, we will not –


Mr Fube: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members, if we are going to attend to many points of order, we will not make progress. We have considered only two Votes out of six. So, I think we will get to a point where I say, ‘No more points of order’, which is not good. We will have the last point of order.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a point of order in accordance with Standing Order No. 65.


Madam Chairperson, I am getting very worried about the way we are proceeding with the Budget, and I think that my point of order will help you to steer the Business of the House properly.


Madam Chairperson, I have seen that we have lost relevance insofar as the Budget is concerned. Is the hon. Minister in order to spend eight minutes talking about cadres and leave issues relevant to the Budget in the cold? 


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, you cannot judge somebody’s debate. You debate according to how you feel or understand the subject. Further, the hon. Member for Mpika was also talked about the issue of cadres because that is how he understands things and debates. Similarly, you will be given the chance to talk the way you understand the policy statement.


Mrs Masebo: Madam Chairperson, I am happy about this budget because I have seen an increment. Last year, the allocation was only K10,624,509. Now, it is K12,545,145, and I was thinking, ‘This is good because the President has made certain pronouncement on the Floor of this House concerning the Civil Service’. Some of the issues were on ensuring that couples are not separated, gender balance in recruitments and making sure that the disabled are not disadvantaged in terms of being considered for employment. I see that a lot of money has been allocate. So, these issues will all be attended to as quickly as possible. The other issue is that of people who lost jobs because on accusations of being politically aligned and all sorts of other accusations. I hope that given this allocation, the complaints and appeals will be dealt with as quickly as possible in the new year, because there is a huge backlog of such cases.


Madam Chairperson, my last point on this Vote is to thank Her Honour the Vice-President for giving a big amount to areas under the Civil Service that have to do with standards, guidelines and regulations under governance and standards. Last time, this area was given only K186,000. This time, she has given it K3,816,59, which is an increase of over 500 per cent. I think that this is going to be very important, considering that we are a new Administration with a number of young people who have also been employed; they are highly qualified and have big papers, but they may not know the systems of the Government. So, we hope that these programmes will help so that we end up with fewer queries in Parliament.


With those few remarks, I support the Vote.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Chilubi an opportunity. They will stick to the Budget and follow the Standing Order on relevance.


Madam Chairperson, as we get closer to wrapping up our Budget debate, which will end up in an Appropriation Act, we keep referring to the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), of which, I think, all hon. Members here have had no sight of the official copy. Even this Vote on the Floor has referred to the draft 8NDP, which is not available to the public as I speak. The people of Chilubi put it on record that this is a mistake and that they, therefore, reluctantly support the allocation under Vote 6, which we are debating.


Madam Chairperson, Vote 06 is anchored on Article 222 and linked to many more things that we are talking about here. For example, the people of Chilubi note that there is a 100 per cent score in most of the deliverables under this Vote, and I direct your attention to pages 59, 61 and 63, where the deliverables of the allocation are indicated. The people of Chilubi believe that the input is supposed to match the deliverables and note that from 2022 to 2024, the Vote proposes 100 per cent scores throughout in terms of officers who will be appointed, re-graded, seconded, attached, transferred or separated. Connected to that, I ring to your attention the fact that the office of the District Commissioner (DC) is a creation of the powers that are vested in the President by Article 174 of our Constitution and, that being the case, I am sad to note that despite the projections of 100 performance that have been made, the plight of the 116 DCs who were removed from the payroll in contravention of Article 189 of our Constitution has been ignored with impunity. What I mean by saying that it has been ignored is that the matter started with a breach of the Constitution because the removal of the DCs was done without paying them their packages from the payroll. My hon. colleagues should read Article 189. These are issues the Public Service Commission (PSC) is supposed to be preoccupied with. When we look at factors that relate to human capital, especially the management of our Civil Service, we need to realise that we should keep up the pace.


Madam Chairperson, I want to also underscore the fact that the issue of dividing people into cadres – By the way, ‘cadre’ is an English word, and I am very comfortable with using it because I am also a cadre, as I declared that other day.


Madam Chairperson, I underscored the fact that the issue of dividing the citizenry into cadres is not going to be helpful. I think, the reason people are even raising this issue is that a particular political party went to the top of the mountain and proclaimed that it would not appoint cadres. That party needs to realise that we should not even spend much time talking about that because some of the people in the political space are accountants and lawyers, and they support different political parties. What we need to do is encourage an environment in which people will rise through the ranks. For instance, some people have been Directors, and they hope to rise higher than that. Further, some civil servants have been studying mathematics and putting in so much with the hope that at one point, in the 100 per cent grading we are talking about, they will be graded upwards, too. That is the route that we are supposed to take as a nation.


Madam Chairperson, when we look at upgrading of different officers in the Public Service, sometimes, the Government even invests money in taking people to school and some of the people acquire skills and knowledge that are supposed to help the Government, but things are made upside down, which is a loss. I think, there is no one to point a finger at. This system has been there for some time now, and we have reached a crossroads at which we need to address it head-on.


Madam Chairperson, sometimes, the people in the Civil Service do not have a platform to speak like we, the politicians, do. So, they just die inside and, before we realise it, the Civil Service will be demotivated. We will be running a frustrated Civil Service because civil servants will believe that the effort they made in life and the education they acquired has not been rewarded. So, let us have a proper reward system for the Civil Service so that those who work hard are rewarded. Of course, those who are lazy and not up to standard should be punished. I think, that is the way to go.


Madam Chairperson, when we keep frustrating – Yes, I know that there is this notion, which cannot be proved, that every party that forms Government should purge everybody out of the Civil Service and replace them with those they see to have handsome or beautiful faces. What we are talking about here is merit. Even the United Party for National Development (UPND) has been singing the song of meritocracy. That being the case, it should uphold the standards so that at the end of the day, I, as a Zambian, even without being a Member of Parliament, should receive a proper services.


Madam Speaker, as I rest my case, I want to restate that the people of Chilubi support the Budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members who have debated this policy statement, generally, for their understanding of the budgetary provisions for the CSC.


Madam Chairperson, I appreciate that it is noted that this is a very important institution of governance and, therefore, one that must be professional. Truly, it is the intention of this Government to keep the commission professional, and that is why, as we await appointments, we will have them appointed to the commission. These are appointments, not like employees of the Government in terms of professionalism; these have their own qualifications that we follow. So, they will be appointed, and it is our prayer and belief that they will also employ people on merit, as it is their mandate. That is what we have said.


Madam Chairperson, the Civil Service will remain as it is but, now, we are talking about the commission, which has a clear mandate, and it will continue to do that.


Madam Chairperson, after people have worked in the Civil Service, they are paid their benefits by the Government, not by the commission. I think, we have to look at how these things are done. I do not think teachers go to the commission to demand their pay. It is one Government, yes, but there are institutions that are responsible for that, and we will continue with that.


Madam Chairperson, I have heard so much about cadres. Indeed, it has been A given as to who a cadre is. Basically, one is a cadre of something when one has the same belief in something as some other people. Political cadres are those who believe in the policies and principals of a political party. When we talk of employing cadres, I think, it has been clearly stated here that there are levels wherever we go. A political cadre, somebody with an understating of the policies of the political party in power, will have to sit in to ensure that the policies of the party are followed. The functional part of the Government is the permanent part. However, whoever is employed at whatever level cannot sit in an office and operate like a general secretary of a political party. Instead, one will work as a professional, and that is why we look at the qualifications. All of us say “cadres, cadres”, but we are cadres, too, and it could be argued that we should not have the positions that we have. I think, we have to get that very clearly. The point is that the commission should not employ unqualified cadres just because they supported some part or threw stones. We are politicians and, because of that, we believe in some things that we collectively understand and we become card-carrying members or ‘cadre’.


Madam Chairperson, I think that even the young man who is so – Sorry, not ‘young man’. Even the hon. Member for Mpika, Mr Kapyanga, who was really provoking some people over what the President has said – whatever the President has said, that is what will be carried through. To say a person who has been in politics cannot be employed even though they are qualified is dangerous because then, we will have many people who will not be employed. What is wrong is when people are employed because they are cadres even without qualifications. I think, we have to be clear on what we are talking about all the time.


Madam Chairperson, let us employ people who are qualified, like we are qualified here. There are people who were District Commissioners (DCs), like, Mr Fube, who was my former DC in Kaputa.


Madam Chairperson, the issue of retirement benefits is not under this Vote. Let me appreciate that it is important to make observations because that makes life easier. Tomorrow, we will take into consideration the issues that have been raised by this House. Generally, I thank the hon. Members for the support of this Vote.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


The Chairperson: Before we move to the next Vote, I have observed that we are not observing social distancing, as some people are seated in twos and threes, which is not healthy for us. Can we, please, observe the social distancing rule.




VOTE 07 – (Office of the Auditor-General – K103,986,197)


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, it is a pleasure to present the 2022 Budget estimates for Vote 07 – Office of the Auditor-General, for 2022.


Mandate of the Office


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is a public institution established under Article 249 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No.2 of 2016. The office is charged with the responsibility of providing audit services to public and other institutions that receive Government subventions, and its functions are stipulated under Article 250 of the Constitution, the Public Audit Act, No.80 of 1980 and the Public Finance Management Act No.1 of 2018.


Madam Chairperson, the roles of the Office of the Auditor-General are critical to the socio-economic development of the country, and include monitoring accountability and transparency in the management of public resources, which is key to good governance


Review of Budget Performance in 2021


Madam Chairperson,  in 2021, the office had a budget of K98,324,875, out of which K81,77,663.90 has been released, leaving a balance of K17,240,211.10 attributed to salaries.


The following key outputs have been achieved during 2021:


  1. production of the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Year Ended 31st December, 2020;
  2. production of performance audit  reports on different thematic areas;
  3. production of the Interim Report of the Auditor-General on the Utilisation of Coronavirus Disease, 2019  (COVID-19) resources;
  4. production of the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions; and
  5. production of the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Local Authorities.




Madam Chairperson, the office faced the following major challenges, among others, in 2021:


  1.  inadequate office space;
  2. inadequate transport, and information and communication technology  (ICT) equipment; and
  3. adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic


Focus for 2022


Madam Chairperson, 2022 presents the office with yet another opportunity to execute its mandate as it endeavours to overcome the challenges faced this year. I, therefore, urge this august House to support the 2022 budget estimates for Head 07 – Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, the office needs to undertake the following key activities –


The Chairperson: Order!


Business was suspended from 1255 hours until 1430 hours.





The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, the office needs to undertake the following key activities in 2022:


  1. Creation of a conducive work environment by providing adequate and appropriate office space. In this regard, there will be a need to complete the Chinsali Audit Office, whose construction has stalled since 2016;
  2. construction of the Choma Audit Office, which has not commenced since the relocation of the Southern Province Provincial Headquarters from Livingstone to Choma; and
  3. procurement of motor vehicles to enable the office conduct audits of Government ministries, provinces and agencies, which are geographically widely spread across the country.


Madam Chairperson, the emergence of COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the audit approach and processes, resulting in increased demand for ICT equipment and use of different online platforms to conduct audits. There is, therefore, a need to procure adequate ICT equipment to meet the demand.


2022 Budget Estimates


Madam Chairperson, in view of what I have already said, and the important role that the Office of the Auditor-General plays in providing oversight on the management of public funds, for 2022, K103,986,197 has been allocated to the office for two programmes, namely External Audit and Assurances, and Management and Support Services.


Allocation to External Audit and Assurances


Madam Chairperson, out of the budget of K103,986,197 allocated to the Office of the Auditor-General for 2022, K79,788,059 has been allocated to the External Audit and Assurance Programme, representing 77 per cent of the budget, which is a 15 per cent increase on the 2021 budget of K69,472,504.


Allocation to Management and Support Services


Madam Chairperson, K24,198,198 has been allocated to Management and Support Services, representing 23 per cent of the budget and a reduction of 16 per cent on the 2021 budget of K28,852,371.


Madam Chairperson, out of the office’s budget mentioned above, K71,395,480 is for personal emoluments and related costs while K32,590,789 is for goods and services.


Expected Outputs from the 2022 Budget


Madam Chairperson, the expected outputs of the budgetary provision are:


  1. the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2021;
  2. the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Parastatal Bodies and other Statutory Institutions;
  3. the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Local Authorities; and
  4. performance audits on selected thematic areas.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, and with due consideration of the important role of the Office of the Auditor-General in providing oversight on the management of public resources, I now seek the support of hon. Members in approving the 2022 Budget Estimates of K103,986,197 for Vote 07 –Office of the Auditor-General.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, I thank Her Honour the Vice-President for presenting the estimates for the Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is very important because it deals with expenditure of Government departments, and I agree with Her Honour the Vice-President that steps must be taken to enhance its performance so that, ultimately, public funds are saved and used for the intended purposes. So, let me quickly make my first suggestion to Her Honour the Vice-President.


Madam Chairperson, I know that when looking at the role of the Office of the Auditor-General, in most cases, the approach has been to wait for money to be spent and send auditors after a year to audit. For example, towards the end of the year, we send auditors to the Southern Province to audit the local authorities and specific Government departments; we focus too much on auditing money which is already spent.


Madam Chairperson, in the policy statement issued by Her Honour the Vice-President, we would have wanted to hear more about the steps being taken to prevent irregularities. If money is sent to Government departments and parastatals for many years, and year in and year out, we still pick out – the experts will tell us whether the statistics have been coming down or going up in terms of the irregularities, but my point is that we may need to focus on what has to be done to prevent irregularities. Do we always have to wait for money to be diverted to other areas and for people to flout the prescribed procedure for spending public money so that we continue coming up with the same reports? If, in 2015, there was a report on expenditure that should not have been spent, why should we read the same things in the report for 2021? What has to be done to ensure that we avoid continuing to receive reports of this manner?


Madam Chairperson, firstly, it is important that we take steps to ensure that there are fewer reports of money being used for purposes for which it was not meant, and I think that one way of doing so is enhancing the capacity of the Office of the Auditor-General to give the right guidance on public expenditure. We do not want to just be dealing with reports; we want to hear the progress that we are making in ensuring that, for instance, there are fewer complaints of money being spent on unintended purposes in the ministries. So, my first suggestion is that we need to enhance the capacities of internal audits of the different Government spending agencies.


Madam Chairperson, secondly, auditors should be specialised. We need auditors who are specialised in handling the accounts of local authorities and revenue earning institutions, such as the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), for example. We cannot just have general-purpose auditors. So, when Her Honour the Vice-President winds up debate, we want to hear more on how we are ensuring that specialised auditors are assigned to specific Government expenses so that when they go to a specific institution, they know the environment in which that institution operates. For example, they should know whether the money that comes into the Government entity has to be spent or whether it has to go into Control 99 first. I think, that is important.


Madam Chairperson, thirdly, the Office of the Auditor-General requires the remunerations of its officers to be slightly above the norm. Auditors are paid normal salaries and have no incentives for the extra work they do, yet auditing is what ensures that we do not have leakages in the future. So, I request that we look at ways of providing special remuneration conditions for auditors. I know that people will say that officers in other Government departments deserve good salaries, too. However, it is important that the officers who carry out special duties that prevent leakages and pilfering of public funds are especially motivated.


Madam Chairperson, my fourth submission is that we need to find a way to motivate well trained internal auditors because we do not want to lose them to the private sector. I know that there are many audit firms in Zambia, and we do not know how the salary scales in those firms compare with those of our officers, but I think that it is important that we look after our officers.


Madam Chairperson, lastly, Her Honour the Vice-President said that transport is one of the challenges the Office of the Auditor-General faces in executing its duties on time. With the Public Finance Management Act, the new law, being in place, certain timelines have to be met, and I am sure our auditors agree that the lack of transport makes their job difficult. So, considering the expenses highlighted in the budget that we are going to approve, if there is a need to fund the office more, we must do so. Overall, my point is that we need to increase the capacity of this very important office to prevent public funds from being misused.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Chairperson, I thank Her Honour the Vice-President for the policy statement on Vote 7 – Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, we are all aware of the role that the Office of the Auditor-General plays, which is very critical to social and economic development in our nation. It is in this vein that I want to add my voice to those supporting this budget, which has been increased from K98 million, last year, to about K102 million in 2022. However, in view of the challenges Her Honour the Vice-President highlighted, I wish the amount could be increased to slightly above K103 million.


Madam Chairperson, in many cases when the Auditor-General’s reports have been presented, sadly, they have not yielded anything in terms of the erring officers or institutions cited in the audit reports being reprimanded or disciplined. I say to Her Honour the Vice-President that it is high time we changed the way we treat the Auditor-General’s reports. We want to start seeing action being taken on any institution, person or Government worker cited for financial wrongdoing in the Auditor-General’s Report so that we give impetus to the office to do its work more aggressively. It will not help us to just shelve the various audit reports that we have received so far.


Madam Chairperson, I concur with Her Honour the Vice-President that there is a lack of office space and transport at the Office of Auditor-General. Therefore, we want to see an increase in its budget. We also know that the office covers the entire country, and it is not going to help matters if it is incapacitated. We want to see more resources allocated to transport, and the offices in Chinsali and Choma completed so that our officers can have where to operate from.


Madam Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President also mentioned that the Office of the Auditor-General will embark on the implementation of programmes in the key result areas as set out in the Draft Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). Mainly, those will be external audits and assurance programmes, and we are told that K79.8 million has been allocated to this area. I believe, this money is sufficient for the office to implement those programmes. It is also important to ensure that all the financial compliance and performance audit reports are brought to the attention of the Executive.


Madam Chairperson, if the Office of the Auditor General is not provided with all the necessary ingredients, such as transport and office accommodation, we shall face many challenges. The New Dawn Government has just made the pronouncement that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has been increased from K1.6 million to a staggering K25.7 million. This money will be handled by the local authorities, which are one category of institutions the office audits. Therefore, our officers should be given more incentives, as the previous speaker said, so that as they audit, especially local authorities, they do a good job. We do not want our officers to face any temptations.


Madam Chairperson, I hope that office accommodation and transport will be given to officers of the Auditor-General’s Office.


Madam Chairperson, we want to see a paradigm shift in the way we treat the reports each time they come. I am privileged to sit on the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, and there are many irregularities we come across when interviewing people in Government firms involving misappropriation of funds and spending money where it is not supposed to spend.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is a very important institution in our country, and it can spur our economy and promote the prudent use of the expenditure that is given to institutions.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I support the budget under Vote 07, which is K103 million.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Mundubile: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Vote.


Madam Chairperson, I support this very important Vote, and take the comments made by Hon. Kang’ombe as my own.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General is very important because it is there, first of all, to ensure that the stewardship that is entrusted in our officers by the State is exercised with diligence. At the same time, we wish to express concern that despite the support that we have continued to give to the office, year in and year out, we do not seem to make much progress in terms of reducing audit queries. We know that by nature, audits are done after the fact, meaning that they are done after resources have been expended. We wish to state that more attention should be paid to the internal audit functions, which should work hand in hand with the external audits. I think that with strong internal audits, we will reduce on the audit queries that we have been seeing, year in and year out. So, the internal controls in all the different departments must be enhanced to ensure compliance, going forward.


Madam Chairperson, we know that most of the queries come from the area of procurement, but I think that corrective steps have been taken, especially by way of amending legislation. I have in mind the Public Procurement Act of 2019 or 2020, in which there should be some reasonable controls over pricing. So, the overpricing that gave us many challenges in the past should be a thing of the past in light of the indexing of prices that has been introduced.


Madam Chairperson, I also know that the office will need a lot of support, especially this time around. I know that earlier, there was a raging debate concerning cadres in the Civil Service. Yes, we cannot ignore that, as it is a fact, especially now that there are even former presidents of political parties who are now Permanent Secretaries (PSs). Such people can be quite intimidating to the Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, this Civil Service that we have today is full of cadres who hold very serious positions. I mean, it is a very serious thing. When a person resigns the presidency of a political party and becomes a PS, that should not be taken lightly. An entire president is now a PS, and he will be appearing before Committees. So, we really need to strengthen the office.




Mr Mundubile: These individuals can be very intimidating, not only by posture, but also by the positions that they hold. So, I say to the Office of the Auditor-General that it is a very important office that must be supported at all times. Even when the individuals I have referred to appear before its officers, the officers must carry out their duties diligently because they are in those positions to protect the resources of the nation.


Madam Chairperson, the establishment of the Office of the Auditor-General right across the country at lower level is key, and we must give them full support to ensure that they function fully because that is very important. Once we fully resource the offices, it will give a lot of freedom even to the politicians. It is now very uncomfortable for every politician, including my friends on the right, as it will not be long before each of my hon. Colleagues who hold ministerial positions have fingers pointed at them in accusations of corruption over things that have worked for just because they head ministries. One cannot live in a society like that; a society where one has to walk on broken glass, and cannot own anything just because one is a politician. It must be understood that politicians come from various backgrounds; there are those who have established themselves over the years. They are professionals and businessmen in their own right. The fact that they hold a ministerial position should not earn them the new name of ‘thief’ or ‘corrupt’. If the Office of the Auditor-General does its job and does it right, we will be able to separate those who have acquired wealth dubiously from those who have acquired theirs through hard work.


Madam Chairperson, we need to have strong controls so that there is no possibility of one extending his fingers beyond where they should have ended to accumulate wealth. Going forward, it should be very comfortable for one to be a politician and also be rich. I would like, one day, to see my dear hon. Colleague and pastor, the Minister of Education, be free to enjoy his wealth because he has worked for it. People should not immediately start thinking of auditing contracts at the Ministry of Education just because he presided over that ministry. We do not want to live like that. As politicians, we must be respected as citizens who can create opportunities, take advantage of them and create wealth. The two should never be put together at all times. “Oh, Syakalima now has this because he was a Minister. Therefore, he stole.’ No, no! So –




The Chairperson: Hon. Member, please, avoid bringing your hon. Colleagues in the House into your debate. We are not supposed to debate ourselves.


Mr Mundubile: I am guided, Madam Chairperson. Hon. Syakalima is a pastor at the local church to which I go. So, I am fond of him.


Hon. Members:Withdraw!




Mr Mundubile: I have withdrawn. I am well guided.


Madam Chairperson, the point I was trying to make is that the offices that we hold should be given their due respect, but that will only happen if the supporting offices, such as the Office of the Auditor-General, are fully functional, and expose malpractices in offices that people hold. It has been a trend in the recent past that as long as one has been a politician, one must be running between the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) not because those who have taken one there believe that one did something wrong, but because it is fashionable to do so now. We look forward to a time when former Ministers or politicians will be respected because they also can acquire and accrue wealth by taking advantage of opportunities available to them.


Madam Chairperson, I support the estimates of expenditure for this office. So, let us ensure that all the issues that were highlighted in the policy statement are fully attended to so that the office can fully function. Further, the office must function independently, and this is a warning that I must send. Some offices in the Civil Service are being occupied by political cadres, sadly. Unfortunately, political cadres, by nature, wield a lot of power that they do not really have. The power that they portray to have can be very intimidating. So, officers must stand their professional ground and resist that intimidation so that they can discharge their functions with diligence, going forward.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I thank you.




Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Chairperson, I need your protection from the hon. Members in the House.


Madam Chairperson, back to the conversation on adding my voice to the debate that is on the Floor, I, too, would like to add that, indeed, this Government, under His Excellency Hakainde Hichilema and, of course, our Leader of Government Business, Her Honour the Vice-President, Hon. Mutale Nalumango, has created an environment which is friendly and interested in fighting corruption. I think, it is important, therefore, to underscore that the United Party for National Development (UPND) is serious about following those who were involved in corrupt means, and the Office of the Auditor-General is very critical to ensuring that those who are found wanting are brought to book.


Madam Chairperson, following what the Leader of the Opposition talked about; that former presidents of alliances are now Permanent Secretaries (PSs), this started in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, where we had PSs who were unashamed to be known as PF supporters.


PF Hon. Members: Question!


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, please, withdraw “unashamed” and replace it with a better word.


Ms Kasune: What word can I use?


Ms Kasune: They had no remorse about being known as PF supporters, and they intimated the Office of the Auditor-General, which is very critical. It is only now that this Government has come in to say that we are going to create an environment of good governance where auditors can work and do their job freely without favour. It is very important to underscore this.


Madam Chairperson, another point that I want to add on is that we need to see the importance placed not only on processes, but also on value for money. Again, we get back to what was happening under the PF Government. If you remember very well, fire tenders were bought at US$1 million. You are aware that I also go to the United States of America (USA) from time to time. There is nowhere you will find fire tenders selling at US$1 million. Later on, they added very few ambulances at US$250,000.


Hon. Government Member: US$280,000


Ms Kasune: US$280,000, I stand to be corrected.


This is why, we, as a Government that is serious about using the Auditor-General’s Office, are saying that the office should not only focus on the processes because the process followed, but the prices can still be inflated. How many ambulances would have been bought had they been bought at the right price? We would have bought 156 ambulances, one for every constituency. How many fire tenders would have been bought had they been bought at the right price? We would have saved more, and that is what this Government is saying the Auditor-General’s Office is important for.


Madam Chairperson, there is only a K5 million increase. This is not enough, and I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is listening. When I hear what hon. Colleagues were talking about – all of us agree that there are very few staff and logistical means, such as vehicles and communication equipment, in the Auditor-General’s Office. If these people are going to go after people who have misused or misappropriated many billions of funds, how do you expect them to use a bus to go to Keembe? Ba selukabamanakabayamukucatabantubacitemali? I will translate. It means, here is meaning that here is a person who is following someone who has stolen US$63 million going on a bus to find the person who stole in Keembe Constituency. It does not make sense. So, we are saying, ‘Let the money be put where it is supposed to be utilised’.


Madam Chairperson, the other issue that I want to add is critical. This President, together with his Vice-President, has allocated, for the first time in history, a whopping K25.7 million to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).


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


Ms Kasune: How can we monitor these funds if the Auditor-Generals’ Office is limping in terms of transport, communications and staff? So, we need more staff to be added to the Auditor-General’s Office.


Madam Chairperson, in conclusion –


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, the speaker on the Floor is using the President’s name to influence debate. That is forbidden by Standing Order No. 65.


Hon. Government Members: How?


The Chairperson: Thank you so much for that point of order. However, unless I did not hear properly, I did not hear the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe debate in that direction. So, may the hon. Member continue.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kasune: Madam Chairperson, it shows that we need more workshops, especially on the PF side.




Ms Kasune: Madam Chairperson, to conclude my remarks –


The Chairperson: Hon. Member, please, withdraw what you just said.


Ms Kasune: Madam Chairperson, I take it back and say that we need more workshops.


Madam Chairperson, I think, the Leader of the Opposition alluded to the fact that it is important that reports are taken in time. What we find is that reports are done a year after the facts. By the time they come to the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, two years would have passed and those who are found wanting would have already gone. So, it is important that, somehow, we minimise the process or find a way of utilising internal auditors so that those who may have misused funds can be brought to book. Further, let us give more teeth to the Auditor-General’s Office. Otherwise, like my colleague, the hon. Member for Roan, stated – I was the vice-chairperson of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies – we saw many irregularities but, by the time the report came to our Committee, we had very little to do. This is why we are calling for some kind of reform so that reports come in due time and the office is given more teeth to bite so that people are brought to book.


Madam Chairperson, lastly, there are many reports around familiarity between the Auditor-General’s Office and financial officers or financial controllers. So, we hope that some of the financial management policies that are out can help us, or, maybe, we can transfer the officers from time to time while being mindful of their families, so that there is no familiarity that ends up making it difficult for them to do their work.


Madam Chairperson, with those few words, I support the budget for this Vote. This Government is serious about fighting corruption, and that Auditor-General’s Office is at the centre of that fight.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate Vote 07 – Office of the Auditor-General.


Madam Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to cite some statutes that usher in this very important office in our land. Article 250 of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 clearly provides the purpose for this office, which is a creature of this august House. The Public Finance Act No. 15 of 2004 also provides more information, which is now supplemented by the most recent piece of legislation, which we passed on the Floor of this very House, the Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018. Hon. Members will do well to visit these pieces of legislation for them to understand the work that is done here.


Madam Chairperson, what comes out more prominently in most of these reports, one of which I have with me here, the Report of the Auditor-General on Government Institutions, Organs and Parastatals, are the weaknesses in internal control. I am glad that our laws provide for the office of the Controller Of Internal Audits. That office is very important to ensuring that there are strong internal controls in these institutions, without which the reports of the Auditor-General will always come out with such gloomy situations. We need to ensure that this office is capacity built and that in each and every Government institution, there is a system of internal control.


Madam Chairperson, the Auditor-General has lamented several times in his reports, year in and year out, weaknesses in internal controls. When weaknesses in internal controls exist, it is most probable that the Auditor-General’s reports will have details of failure to do this and that, and many issues will come out. It all boils down to the weakness in internal controls. So, that is where we begin from. Let us get it right at the internal control system. I am glad that the New Dawn Government has begun from there; there have been several orientations of Controlling Officers so that they understand the provisions of these important documents like the Financial Management Act No. 1 of 2018, and procedures of how to do transactions in a Government office.


Madam Chairperson, let me proceed by citing a few of the issues that the Office of the Auditor-General has raised, of course, at the risk of me divulging certain information which is still being considered by your Committee on Public Accounts and your Committee on Parastatal Bodies. I will simply cite salient features.


Madam Chairperson, the Auditor-General has mentioned most of these problems. One of them is that there is no preparation of financial statements, especially in parastatal companies. There are some parastatals that have got away with it; without preparing financial statements. They have a backlog of financial statements. How else shall we know the performance at such institutions? There has also been non-adherence to procurement procedures, a very serious problem which we are, right now, grappling with. Right now, there are people who have been arrested from the previous regime in Government institutions. These are not politicians, but civil servants. The reason is simple; things were left to the rot. People could wantonly award contracts without following procurement procedures; they would award each other contracts just like that and, therefore, the Office of the Auditor-General would come to flag this issue here, but it boils down to internal controls. Why did we not detect these issues at that time? It is because we had a weak system of internal controls. If we cannot get it right on internal control, even in our Government, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government, it will be very difficult to remove these irregularities from the accounts that are produced, which are audited by this office. Therefore, first things first: Strengthen the internal controls. The Controller of Internal Audits’ Office must be rolled out to every Government institution so that controls are adhered to.


Madam Chairperson, another weaknesses that comes out is weak corporate governance, especially in parastatals. Why should it take several years to usher in a board? A board is the only means for ensuring good corporate governance in some of these institutions. I can cite examples, but I will not mention them one by one. ZESCO Limited, the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and many other big institutions that receive Government funding need corporate governance. The only assurance of good corporate governance is having a functional board whose integrity and capacity must be unquestionable. That is the reason we are where we are; corporate governance is missing.


Madam Chairperson, another irregularity that the Office of the Auditor-General seems to fish out is irregular payments. How did irregular payments happen if there is a system of internal controls to check whether everything has been done in terms of following laid down financial procedures as provided for by this piece of legislation? There is enough legislation, as I alluded to earlier, to govern transaction processing in Government institutions, but there is deliberate ignoring of the system of internal controls. Transactions are not supervised.


Madam Chairperson, one of the indicators of strong internal controls is having an institution that is well supervised, having a proper structure and having somebody who will check against the yardstick. The yardstick are these pieces of legislation that I have put across. There must be an independent unit, especially an internal audit unit, in every institution to check what management is doing, and ensure that irregular payments are addressed and all the irregular situations are arrested.


Madam Chairperson, the failures that we are seeing at the Ministry of Health can simply be attributed to internal controls. Let us improve the system of internal controls in the Government, and we will be there.


 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Vice-President:  Madam Chairperson, I appreciate the debate that the hon. Members of this august House have put up. Listening to them, I heard how each one of them was very passionate and regarded this institution to be very important. They debated that it is very important to strengthen it in every way possible, and that includes provision of transport and office space, and other things. The hon. Members have even gone on to the remuneration of staff in order to motivate them. So, a number of things have come up, but I understand that the institution has been improving, indeed, including the law itself. If you remember, way back, the Office of the Auditor-General would just bring the report, the Public Accounts Committee would go through it and things would lie like that. Now, the office has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with law enforcement agencies so that when the report comes, it is not just a matter of going though it and leaving it at Parliament, which is a concern that has come from several hon. Members. The findings that come out of the report are given to the law enforcement agencies and recommendations are made for prosecution. This is provided for in the law. So, that is one area where hon. Members can get comfort about what this very important institution is doing.


Madam Chairperson, there was the concern of specialised auditors. Hon. Members, that is already there. They do not just send everybody and everywhere. The office has specialised personnel for all types of audits. So, if it is undertaking forensic audits, it knows who should go there. Of course, there is a need to enhance it, as that is another concern that hon. Members raised.


Madam Chairperson, on the issue of ‘after the fact’, I think that the officers are trying. For instance, right now, we have queries coming even from my department on the Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19) issues. They are doing audits in real time. However, I think, they also have the mandate to do back audits. They audit things that have gone. You have seen that even the report that is on the Table is for t2020. So, most of whatever is happening now will not be dealt with like that.


Madam Chairperson, I love the last debate in that it was the identification of where the lapses are. This is because the first debater talked of issues repeating themselves, like malpractices in the expending of public resources and, I believe, illegalities in terms of how expenditure of money is done. However, the last speaker has also brought out the fact that the weakness in our public spending comes from internal audits, and I believe that many of our Government institutions should or must have internal audit departments so that there is daily checking on how they are expending, but many things still go on. Yes, there are some institutions that do not have internal audit departments but, generally, institutions should have such departments to perform the internal oversight role. As one hon. Member stated, we need to strengthen such departments so that when the Auditor-General’s Office comes in, there is already a proper report on audits.


Madam Chairperson, on the issue that hon. Members brought up; that of following up, this New Dawn Government has zero tolerance to corruption. Also, it follows the rule of law. So, when people are followed up, it is not because the laws are weak; it is because we have been careless in the way we live. The number one auditor is the individual. So, people should audit themselves and ensure that they are living within the law. Even this audit can come out very well, but I think that, sometimes, things are done behind schedule. I think, what we need is a lifestyle audit for all of us so that we can know how we are living. Indeed, it is not good for a former Minister to be followed up, but the law must be followed. We have heard somebody debate the issue of things that we allow to go on, like the issue of fire tenders. You do not expect that another group will come in and just watch when something is worth US$280,000, but someone buys it at US$1 million. That is not right, and that is why the Public Procurement Act is very important. It is not new. Fortunately, it has been in existence. So, why have people not been indexing all this time? Why did we not follow the benchmarking of prices all this time? I ask this because I have heard that as well. If there is benchmarking of prices, then there will be no need to follow up people. This New Dawn Government has invoked that provision so that we continue to benchmark so that nobody pays inflated prices for works, services or goods.


Madam Chairperson, I thank everybody. The debate was very educative.


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 08 – (Office of the President –Cabinet Office K250,690,855)


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson,it is an honour for me to present the 2022 Budget Estimates for Head 08 – Office of the President – Cabinet Office.


Madam Chairperson, Cabinet Office is the highest administrative organ in the Public Service. It is charged with the responsibility of securing the general efficiency and effectiveness of the Public Service, and it derives its mandate and functions from Article 176(1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, Cap. 1 of the Laws of Zambia. It operates directly under the Office of the President and comprises the following:


  1. Office of the Secretary to Cabinet – Administration Division;
  2. Management Development Division (MDD);
  3. Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Division (PAC);
  4. Gender Division (GD); and
  5. Remuneration Division (RD)


Madam Chairperson, Cabinet Office is headed by the Secretary to the Cabinet, who is assisted by two Deputy Secretaries to the Cabinet, one in charge of administration and another responsible for Finance and Economic Development. Each of the five divisions is headed by a Permanent Secretary (PS).


Overview of 2021 Operations


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, K303,446,843 was appropriated to Cabinet Office, and the office posted successful strategic results in line with the three key thematic areas outlined in its balanced scorecard. Some of the major programmes undertaken in 2021 include:


  1. successfully managed all State and official functions, which included post-election transition activities;
  2. facilitated Cabinet meetings as well as Cabinet Committee meetings;
  3. facilitated the orientation of Cabinet Ministers and Permanent Secretaries after they were appointed;
  4. finalised the generation of Emoluments and Costing Tool, and the Job Evaluation and Regrading Manual;
  5. co-ordinated performance management and development of service delivery charters in the Public Service; and
  6. undertook the design, realignment and review of organisational structures for Government ministries and institutions.


2022 Budget Estimates


Madam Chairperson, in 2022, K250,690,855 is proposed for Cabinet Office. The key programmes that will be implemented by the respective divisions and whose output will contribute to the attainment of the overall Cabinet Office 2022 budget are as set out below.


Public Service Leadership


The programme is aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Public Service. The main outputs expected from this programme include:


  1. leadership development which will encompass orientation and training of PSs and other senior Government officials; and
  2. provision of administrative guidance to Ministries, Provinces and Spending Agencies (MPSAs) through issuance of Cabinet circulars.


Public Service Management Development and Co-ordination


This programme is aimed at providing technical support to MPSAs. It will, among other activities, facilitate the following:


  1. design and implementation of strategic plans, organisational structures, systems and work processes; and
  2. implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.


State and Presidential Affairs


This programme is aimed at enabling the Presidency to perform ceremonial, constitutional and other national duties. The main operations will include:


  1. management of State functions;
  2. management of offices of Former Presidents;
  3. management of the affairs of families of Former Presidents; and
  4. provision of logistical support to the affairs of freedom fighters.


Policy Analysis and Co-ordination


The programme entails providing technical support to public agencies in the formulation of policies as well as providing a secretariat to the Cabinet. The main operations will include:


  1. taking minutes and conveying Cabinet decisions;
  2. orienting new Cabinet Ministers, PSs and other senior Government officials; and
  3. monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the implementation of Government policies and Cabinet decisions.


Remuneration Management


Madam Chairperson, the programme seeks to enhance performance and productivity in the Public Service through the effective and efficient management of a reward-based incentive system. The main operations will include:


  1. conducting job evaluation;
  2. regrading and emolument forecasting so as to determine, rationalise and harmonise salaries and conditions of service for MPSAs; and
  3. M&E of the implementation of the pay policy in MPSAs.


Gender Equity and Equality


Madam Chairperson, the programme seeks to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation the National Gender Policy to ensure gender responsiveness in national development. The focus of the programme will be on:


  1. institutionalising gender mainstreaming;
  2. eliminate gender-based violence (GBV); and
  3. engendering climate change processes and programmes to ensure that women are economically empowered at all levels.


Management and Support Services


Madam Chairperson, the programme entails provision of human and financial resources, and logistical and other support services to Cabinet Office. The main operations will include:


  1. provision of skilled and motivated human resources;
  2. prudent management and utilisation of financial resources;
  3. management of air travel in the Public Service; and
  4. provision of a conducive and secure work environment.


Madam Chairperson, Cabinet Office assumes the great responsibility of driving the Government agenda of nation building through the provision of policy direction and systems that enhance service delivery to the citizenry. To enable the office to effectively execute its mandate, I submit the 2022 budget for Cabinet Office to this august House for your support.


Madam Chairperson, I thank you.


Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, the Vote under debate, Office of the President – Cabinet Office, is very important, and I will begin with the Remuneration Division.


Madam Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President is aware that in the Republican Constitution, we have a commission called the Emoluments Commission. However, to date, the commission has not been instituted. Ideally, the commission is supposed to handle all issues to do with emoluments for public workers, who include even the elected officials at the different levels of governance.


Madam Chairperson, it will be important, even as we allocate resources to the Remuneration Division, that we are mindful of other Government departments that are supposed to perform the same duties, but have not yet been implemented. So, it will be important that we are updated. It might be done formally through a written question but, I think, it would have been good that in Her Honour the Vice-President’s policy statement, she just commented on when we will have the Emoluments Commission in place and how its duties will marry with the duties of the Remuneration Division, which is already in place. Constitutionally, the Emoluments Commission is supposed to perform the duties which are being performed by the Remuneration Division. That is my first submission to the Vice-President.


Madam Chairperson, secondly, one of the duties we have seen being performed by Cabinet Office is receiving appeals. There was a public notice in which we asked people who felt they had been fired on either political or tribal grounds to submit letters of appeal. There were different reasons that were given in that statement, and I believe Cabinet Office is handling those –




Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, I am unable to concentrate because there are people speaking at the back.


The Chairperson: Hon. Members at the back –


Mr Chanda: We are consulting.


The Chairperson: Yes, can you consult in silence. Also, in the way you are seated, there is no social distancing.




The Chairperson: Can you, please, observe that as well.


Hon. Member, you can continue.


Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, there was a public notice for appeals, and a deadline was set for those appeals.


Madam, I ask the Vice-President to allow me to make a comment on one of the functions that is highlighted, I think, in her policy statement, and also currently being undertaken. There are two types of civil servants. The first type are the hard workers who report for work on Monday and want to be very productive, they take reports to their supervisors and want to make even the new Government to perform. Then there are those who are lazy and always look for opportunities to not perform their duties. As the Government manages this issue of appeals, as it receives the appeals from people who were fired for whatever reason, she should be mindful that there will be those who are lazy and looking for an opportunity to come back. They have seen an opportunity; they know every well that the Government has said anyone who was fired should appeal. So, everyone will appeal, including the lazy ones; even those who are not able to perform under the current dispensation will appeal and in the appeal letter, they will say, “I was fired because of political reasons.” It is a perfect excuse. Everyone will say, “I was fired because of political reasons. I was not in good books with person ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ or ‘D’”. It is an appeal.


Madam Chairperson, as Cabinet Office receives the appeals, whose deadline, I think, passed, I advise it to take note that some will abuse the appeal process. Even those who cannot perform under the current dispensation will claim that they were disadvantaged for whatever reason because it is quite difficult to establish the reason for being fired. If someone says, ‘I was fired on tribal grounds’, how one prove that? Was there a letter written? Was there a charge letter? Was there a disciplinary process that was followed? This is one of the issues that Cabinet Office is handling currently. So, I appeal to Her Honour the Vice-President to deal with those individuals who, unfortunately, are very lazy and cannot perform.


Thirdly, Madam Chairperson, I note that there is a reward-based system that the Government wants to introduce or to implement that will ensure that people are rewarded for their hard work under the remuneration programme. There is also a monitoring and implementation pay policy that Cabinet Office wishes to introduce. Then there is a programme under Gender Equity and Equality. I do not know if the funding that has been allocated supports all these wonderful programmes that have to be implemented. So, as we go into 2022, if there is a need for this Parliament to come and support a supplementary budget for work that the Vice-President knows is important to the duties that will be performed under this very important department of Government, I assure her that I will support any ideas that seek to enhance the performance of this very important office.


Madam Chairperson, I have had the privilege of interacting with officers in this very important Government department. So, I know that if Cabinet Office is not functioning, many of the things that we are trying to implement in this House will not move. I remember that the Smart Zambia Institute used to be under Cabinet Office. I also know that we have now created a new ministry, the Ministry of Technology and Science. I do not know whether Smart Zambia has move to the new ministry, but there was no mention of how Smart Zambia will work under Cabinet Office. I think, it will be important that the Vice-President makes that clarification.


Madam Chairperson, in summary, Cabinet Office is a Government department whose functions are known. It has five divisions, the Secretary to the Cabinet and two Deputy Secretaries to the Cabinet, and these have to be supported for the work that they have to do in supporting the Office of the President. The Office of the President has to be efficient but, without efficiency in Cabinet Office, it becomes practically impossible for there to be efficiency in the Office of the President.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Samakayi: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving space to the people of Mwinilunga to speak on this very important division in our governance system.


Madam Chairperson, I have listened carefully to the statement that the Vice-President has given, and I want to comment specifically on public service management development and co-ordination as it deals with decentralisation.


Madam Chairperson, decentralisation and the strengthening of the Public Service were and are still a very important pillar in the Public Service Reform Programme. I want to say that we have struggled as a country to implement the National Decentralisation Policy for over eighteen years, meaning, we have not secured the efficiencies and effectiveness that the Government desires so much because we have not moved in that direction.


Madam Chairperson, politicians in the past have been failures in implementing the National Decentralisation Policy. They have been piloting the implementation, and some of them even lost direction; they started creating districts, thinking that was decentralisation. That is what happened under the Patriotic Front (PF) regime. It wasted our time. By now, we should have implemented the policy. Today, I believe that the people of Zambia are asking themselves why they wasted time and saying that they should have voted for Mr Hakainde Hichilema many years ago. Perhaps, by now, we would have fully decentralised the governance system and the provision of services and development. We have wasted time.


Madam Chairperson, our colleagues were moving towards decentralisation with hand brakes on; one cannot achieve things like that. They cannot be serious. We are lucky the jinxhas been broken and we have the right man in State House. He has provided the highest political will that was needed in the implementation of the National Decentralisation Policy. He has broken the jinx by providing K25.7 million. Many Presidents in the past feared to do that, but he has done it. So, he requires support. The Government requires support, especially from the Public Service that will implement the National Decentralisation Policy, because it is good for all of us; it is good for those in the rural areas and those in the cities. So, let us support the Government as it moves fast in the implementation of the policy.


Madam Chairperson, I urge the Government to resource Government officers, especially those in departments in the districts who, I think, must come together with local government officers and implement the National Decentralisation Policy. After all, their functions have already been identified as those that require decentralisation. Speaking for Mwinilunga, the Government departments there do not have vehicles. The departments of Health, Education, Agriculture and Community Development only have four project vehicles for the entire district. If we want those departments to help the Government to implement the National Decentralisation Policy, I think, it is important that we provide tools to the Civil Service in the districts to enable them to do so.


Madam Chairperson, the secretariat of those who are driving the decentralisation policy must also be supported in terms of funding so that they can drive the implementation of the policy. I think, key in all these things we are doing towards decentralisation is participation of the local people. Providing information to the local people is called accountability. So, the local governments in the districts must facilitate town hall meetings with the communities so that the communities are aware of the resources that are going to them and what programmes are being undertaken in these districts so that the people can appreciate the Government efforts towards empowering them to make decisions on service delivery and development.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: Just a reminder, hon. Members. When you are talking about the President, avoid using ‘HH’. I think he deserves respect. So, let us use his names in full.


Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Thank you so much, Madam Chairperson, for giving this opportunity to the people of Mbabala to share words of support to the Vote for the Public Service Management Division (PSMD).


Madam Chairperson, I wish to outrightly support this Vote and talk about the importance of gender mainstreaming and gender equity, which are part of this Vote.


Madam Chairperson, we have seen in the past the poor consideration of this crucial human resource element in the Public Service; women and men were not treated equitably, and we ended up eroding. Quality human resources were retired in the national or public interest with no proper reasons. It is important that the division is supported in the area of gender mainstreaming to bring about equity by ensuring that the budgetary allocation is supported and, maybe, increased because we need to ensure that the entire Civil Service is trained in gender-responsive budgeting so that activities that support and empower women and men can be implemented in an equitable manner.


Madam Chairperson, professionalism in the Civil Service is the subject of a very big debate because in the past, a lack of professionalism was encouraged and rewarded. We saw how District Commissioners (DCs), who are civil servants, ended up being politicians. In Mbabala Constituency, during campaigns, the DC was the campaign manager for the Patriotic Front (PF) candidate. The other day, when I went for a funeral, people were saying that they had thought that the driver for the DC was actually a PF candidate because he was always in the constituency campaigning. So, we want to get rid of the lack of professionalism so that under the New Dawn Government or under His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema, we can see quality leadership and a professional Civil Service that will deliver quality services equitably to all Zambians without bias and malice.


Madam Chairperson, young men and women in the prime of their careers were retired, and we still have some elements of that going on in some areas. Some cliques or groups still think that they can continue with that kind of behaviour in some institutions, and we have heard that some institutions have been reported. I urge the PSMD to ensure that we get rid of all such happenings. Such things should never happen under the New Dawn Government, as we will be on the look out to ensure that we do not see a repeat of those things. Young men and women, and persons with disabilities in the Civil Service must be given the chance to work professionally without the fear of being retired in the national interest like it happened in the past regime. That was a total embarrassment to Zambia and, indeed, the entire region. Even at the international level, we were embarrassed when the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor was retired whilst the global establishment was saying, ‘This is an excellent professional’. That is just an example because that happened in many institutions, but those people have been given a chance to return now, and we need to ensure that we bring back the quality that was lost.


Madam Chairperson, another area that I wish to comment on is that of performance management. We have seen that leaders, mostly under the PSMD, are not supported with performance management. Performance indicators are not clear and, sometimes, we do not see the value that we want to see in the staff. I, therefore, encourage the division to improve on its performance management systems. There are many models for evaluation, which I know that the division does have but, sometimes, they are not used. The division continues to operate without any performance management, and we have seen that without performance management, a follow-up on staff conduct, and the values and ethics of work, staff end up not performing properly and doing business as usual. So, I encourage the PSMD to not have a business-as-usual attitude, but to bring about innovations that will allow quality performance so that the people of Zambia can get the services that they deserve from the Government. The New Dawn Government is in a hurry to take change to the people of Zambia, and quality performance is key to ensuring that we get the quality services that we are looking for.


Madam Chairperson, with those remarks, I thank you.


The Vice-President: Thank you very much, Madam Chairperson, and I thank the hon. Members who have debated on this Vote. Again, they have debated very well, and we are learning from them.


Madam Chairperson, it is true that the Emoluments Commission is in place, but not yet operationalised. I also believe that for the elected officials, there is the Parliamentary Service Commission which has also not been operationalised. There is work being done and, I think, maybe, a little consultation is being undertaken.


Madam Chairperson, a number of things have been brought out, including the issue of those who have appealed against unfair treatment. I think, that has been brought out by several hon. Members. It is important that people are given the right to be heard. However, it does not mean that the Government is not careful with what it is doing. Everyone has the right to appeal, especially if one feels victimised or unfairly treated, and each case will be looked at. The appeals have already been taken to Cabinet Office and are being looked at, case by case. If the procedure was not followed, that will just be confirmation that somebody was unfairly treated. When somebody is fired in the national interest, there should be a provision that was cited, and we will check whether that was truly in line with what should be there. That is how the appeals will be looked at. It is not the case that everybody who has appealed has won their case; it is an appeal, and the Government will be very careful when considering those matters, because it became too fashionable to treat people like that.


Madam Chairperson, the issue of unprofessional conduct in the Civil Service is noted. One hon. Member brought out the issue of a District Commissioner (DC) becoming a campaign manager. That was extremely sad because you hear the same people say in their debates that they were civil servants. One wonders whether they were civil servants or true political leaders who were getting a salary from the Government.


Madam Chairperson, basically, we understand. There are many issues that have been raised, and I thank the hon. Members. We have listened and taken note of the concerns that have been brought out.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


VOTE 08 – (Cabinet Office – Office of the President – K250,690,855).


The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment on page 82, under Table 6: Programme Outputs, by the deletion of the Output Indicator “Air Travel in the Public Service Managed” and the related output target in 2022.


Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.


Vote 08, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates.


VOTE 12 – (Office of the Public Protector – K19,307,550).


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, I thank you for granting me the opportunity to present the 2022 Estimates of Expenditure for the Office of the Public Protector.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector is established by Article 243 of the Constitution of Zambia and operationalised by the Public Protector Act No.15 of 2016. The office draws its mandate from Article 244 of the Constitution of Zambia. The mandate is to:


  1. investigate an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken by a State institution in the performance of an administrative function;
  2. bring an action before a court;
  3. hear an appeal by a person relating to an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken in respect of that person; and
  4. make a decision on an action to be taken against a public officer or constitutional office holder, which decision shall be implemented by an appropriate authority.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector is the lead agency in combating maladministration in the public sector. Maladministration is an action or decision taken or omitted to be taken by a State institution in the performance of an administrative function if the action or decision taken is unfair, unreasonable, illegal or not complaint with the rules of natural justice. Simply put, maladministration is bad public administration.


Madam Chairperson, in the execution of its mandate, the Office of the Public Protector is guided by the values and principles enshrined in the Public Protector Act, which are:


  1. transparency;
  2. accountability;
  3. professionalism;
  4. integrity;
  5. impartiality; and
  6. independence.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector fosters good governance and adherence to the rule of law.


Review of 2021 Budget Performance


Madam Chairperson, in 2021, the office was allocated a budget of K8,590,342 for both personal emoluments and recurrent departmental charges. The allocation enabled the office to investigate 577 cases, out of which, 114 cases were concluded, representing 19.8 per cent case resolution rate. The office used alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and on-the-spot investigation methods to conclude the 114 cases. The low case resolution rate is attributed to the challenges that arose as a result of the Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In addition, the office carried out four systematic investigations involving maladministration in environmental management, land administration and social security. Further, four inspections at Youth Resources Centres were carried out, and three systematic investigations on social security and environmental management were concluded.


Madam Chairperson, in order to improve on working methods in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, the institution participated in capacity building trainings. These were held virtually by the African Ombudsmen Research Centre (AORC) and the African Ombudsmen and Mediators Association (AOMA).


Madam Chairperson, in order to promote tenets of good governance, the Office of the Public Protector has continued to carry out awareness campaigns, which has led to enhanced levels of awareness on the dangers of maladministration among public officials. Equally, the general public has been made aware of their rights to good administration in their quest to access public services. This has increased the number of people reporting maladministration cases to the office by 24 per cent. Equally, State institutions have been seen to make concerted efforts to adhere to good administrative practices.


Madam Chairperson, since its inception in 1974, the Commission for Investigations of the Public Protector was housed in a rented shared property. That was a compromise to the independence of the office as per the international standards on the independence of the Ombudsman office. However, in December 2020, the Ministry of Finance purchased an office building in Ibex Hill on behalf of the Office of the Public Protector, which has eliminated rental expenditure for the office. This action resulted in financial savings for the Government in the financial year 2021.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector had, for a long time, operated using a very lean structure, which had five investigations officers. In order to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the way it carries out its mandate, Treasury authority was granted for fifty-nine positions out of 109 to be established. The Treasury authority is being implemented in a phased approach, with the first phase being implemented in 2021.


Estimates of Expenditure for the 2022 Financial Year


Madam Chairperson, I now wish to draw your attention to the 2022 budget. In 2022, the Office of the Public Protector has been allocated a budget of K19,370,550. This is both for personal emoluments and recurrent departmental charges. Under the New Dawn Government, the budget has increased by 125 per cent. With the increase in the allocation, 55 per cent of the budget has been allocated to the following key programmes:


  1. maladministration investigation;
  2. maladministration awareness; and
  3. maladministration legal advisory.


Madam Chairperson, it is the Government’s desire to ensure that the services of the Public Protector are accessible to all, including those in faraway areas. To realise this, the office has allocated adequate resources for it to acquire four motor vehicles to enable it to redress cases of maladministration and sensitise the public on issues of maladministration.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector has proactively planned for the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic by prioritising the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to serve the general public amidst the pandemic. In this regard, significant resources have been allocated to the purchase of additional ICT infrastructure.


Madam Chairperson, with the financial support that it has received under the New Dawn Government, the office of the Public Protector will help to strengthen the governance and administrative systems in State institutions. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to support this budget.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Fube: Madam Chairperson, my humble submission on this Vote is that the Office of the Public Protector has been dwarfed in Zambia. Usually, the roles stipulated in Article 244, as Her Honour the Vice-President rightly quoted, are pushed under the window of judicial review. If you followed very well, I think you heard Her Honour the Vice-President give us the background. At some point, the Office of the Public Protector squatted between the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) and another building in town, and it was a very inaccessible office. So, if you read its roles, you will agree with me that even the over K19 million is not enough. If we are to market this office, there is a need to raise the bar. This is a safety valve office where, most of the time, members who use the route of judicial review, going to court and the like, would seek solace.


Madam Chairperson, the Office of the Public Protector is also very key in making sure that administrative laws as well as the laws linked to evidence, especially where the recovery of national assets from outside the country is concerned. However, this is an office that from its creation in 1974, has not been utilised properly, and here we are today debating it.


Madam Speaker, kudos to those who secured an office for it so that it can be given some credibility. This is an office created by the Constitution; it is an office that if we are to follow Article 244(5), is equivalent, in certain roles, to the High Court. As I mentioned earlier, if you look at (a) to (e) in the Constitution, you will find that it has certain roles that it plays that go hand-in-hand with those played by the High Court, but when it comes to public awareness, many citizens do not even know about its existence because the Governments that came before the United Party for National Development (UPND), and even the UPND Government, have not given the office the attention it deserves. This office deserves better.


Madam Chairperson, were it within my powers, I would have said that the K19 million is too little, especially when we look at the role that this important office plays. The people of Chilubi are saying, ‘Let us market this office because it is the window for even the poor to seek redress in many actions that can be taken by public institutions’. If, for instance, miners are receiving a raw deal somewhere, the Office of the Public Protector is supposed to be used as a window of relief, but this is an office that most of us do not even want to talk about. Even the politicians, when making appointments, are not even excited about the office. I do not think it is one of the offices whose occupants are targeted to be removed or replaced. However, the constitutional roles that it plays are important.


Madam Chairperson, in Bemba, they say, kutiwapwilaubwalikumuto, literally meaning that I can shoot an arrow at a rat when there is an elephant.In this case, if there are means, I appeal to Hon. Dr Musokotwane to give the Office of the Public Protector every Ngwee that has been budgeted. I think that it should not go into the red. The people of Chilubi are very much in support of the Office of the Public Protector.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Chairperson, I agree with the hon. Member who was just on the Floor pertaining to the Office of the Public Protector. I think, we need to relook at the office. Let it be a pro-poor unit that can help the people who are vulnerable.


Madam Chairperson, I have not seen the Office of the Public Protector in my constituency in Chembe, not even at the provincial level. I do not even know where it is. I think, I need to be educated on where it is. So, it is high time the Vice-President made sure that we relooked at this office. It is a very important office, especially to the vulnerable groupings in rural settings, that has just been confined to Lusaka, but even the people in Lusaka do not know where it is.


Madam Chairperson, in addition, I think, we need more sensitisation. Even certain issues that are being resolved by the District Commissioners (DCs) and the District Administrators Officers (DAOs) are supposed to be handled by the Office of the Public Protector, but it is  nowhere to be seen, especially in the rural settings.


Madam Chairperson, the budget that has been allocated is not enough compared with the duties and the mandate that this institution discharges. For example, procuring four vehicles means we are just talking about four provinces. What about the others? We need more funding. Just as the hon. Member who was on the Floor stated, K19 million is nothing if it is meant to trickle down to the masses that need it most. After all, here, in Lusaka, people can seek redress through other avenues. In the rural areas is where this institution is needed the most so that the people there can also benefit through it.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, the people of Chembe support this budget in its totality, but they also plead that the institution be given more money because it will help them in terms of redressing certain plights they are facing.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Chairperson, let me commend Her Honour the Vice-President for this very important statement. The Office of the Public Protector is a very important institution, as Her Honour and my hon. Colleagues who have already debated before me have stated.


Madam Chairperson, Article 243 of our Constitution gives birth to this very important institution, the Ombudsman institution, in order to safeguard the public interest and the rights of members of the public.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the 125 per cent increment in the allocation to the institution although, yes, we can do more. As my hon. Colleagues have already argued, this institution has received a raw deal in the past in spite of the critical role that it plays in fostering good governance and the rule of law as well as providing an opportunity for members of the public to interface with State institutions, especially on matters of maladministration. I would like to, again, make an earnest appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. Yes, the 125 per cent increment is commendable, but, maybe, with the same scale, he could consider allocating to this institution in the next budget, and that is the 2022/2023 Budget Cycle.


Madam Chairperson, in most cases, members of the public are treated to rudeness, sometimes, to carelessness, and prolonged delays in terms of delivery of goods and services from public officers, and they have nowhere to run to. Sometimes, our people, the members of the public, are treated unfairly by public institutions or public workers, and the only recourse that they have, apart from going to court, is to this institution. This is the reason I urge the Government to consider urgently the need to decentralise the office to the district level. Where will my people in Kanchibiya run to when there is a public officer who is discriminating against them on account of sex, gender or social status? Where do they find this important office? Where do they go to when my grandmother in Kanchibiya wants to get a passport, but there is an unnecessarily prolonged delay? Where do they go when they are treated to serious rudeness from a public officer? 


Madam Chairperson, if this office is not found nearer, whether in Kanchibiya or Mpika; if it is only found in Lusaka, that is a problem, a disservice and an affront to our aspiration to foster good governance and the rule of law. In this regard, I place it on record that I support the allocation to this very important institution and urge that in future Budgets, the institution is given more consideration. We read about Public Protector in South Africa, Ms Thulisile Madonsela, and the headlines that she made. We would like this institution to acquire the same fame, and stand up and speak for the ordinary people; the poor people. I think, that should be one of the benchmarks and deliverables for the New Dawn Administration; it should raise this institution to greater heights in order to realise the aspirations of the people of Zambia, especially ordinary Zambians.


Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support this allocation unreservedly and, again, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, call on the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider this institution favourably in future Budgets.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: The last hon. Member to debate is Mr Kang’ombe.


Mr C. Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to contribute to this very important topic.


Madam Chairperson, I will, first of all, borrow the words of the previous speakers in highlighting the fact that the role of the Public Protector is not known to the public. I say it is not known to the public because half the time, the complaints that should be directed to this office are either directed to the Councillor, the Mayor or the District Commissioner (DC). If we conducted a survey tomorrow or any other day, you will be disappointed to know how many people actually know that this office exists. Even if we conducted the survey among Government officials, I think, half of them would not even know that the position exists, and I say this with a lot of confidence because if people knew that this office existed, I do not think that the majority would be presenting many of their complaints to offices like that of the DC.


Madam Chairperson, maybe we need to find a different way of putting a person into that office. Maybe, it is because there are qualifications. If we said each political party should field a candidate to be Public Protector and then we attach other conditions of service, maybe, we would have a bit of competition that would generate publicity. Also, maybe Hon. Andeleki would not be seated here; he would contest to be Public Protector.




Mr Andeleki: Madam Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order.




The Chairperson: I am sure that was on a lighter note.


Please, continue, Hon. Kang’ombe.




Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Chairperson, I was basically emphasising the point that we must find a formula. I do not know what formula will be used. Her Honour the Vice-President has indicated that K19 million will be put into this office and that there are outcomes that have to be attained. It is important that we move. Next year, when we come to approve the next allocation, it should show that the K19 million would have helped us to achieve something. I am saying this because as I was reading, I quickly went to the Website for the Office of the Public Protector, and I realised that, actually, there are things that we have been dealing with, as politicians, that we are not supposed to be dealing with. As stated by Hon. Chanda, if someone’s passport has been delayed, it is not for the politician to start calling the Provincial Passport Office and say, ‘There is this person who claims that his passport has not been processed’. It is also not the job of the Provincial Minister for the Copperbelt; it is actually the job of the Office of the Public Protector.


Madam Chairperson, from the discussion we have had this afternoon, I want to appeal to the team that will be overseeing funding to this important office to start monitoring quarterly outcomes in terms of publicity. I do not know who is going to help us. I do not know if it is up to the Lawmakers who are gathered here to drive this process. However, clearly, the majority of our people do not know that this office exists. It is important that part of the K19 million – if necessary, we add extra funding to support the extra work that it has to do.


Madam Chairperson, out of 577 investigated cases, only 114 were concluded, and this represents 20 per cent of the cases. This is very alarming because the number is low. I know that this has been attributed to the Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19) but, in the coming year, with the money that we are allocating, we want to hear that out of so many cases, a minimum of 70 per cent to 75 per cent cases are concluded. What is the use of presenting your case when you know that it will not be attended to? For me, this is a sign that this office needs help; it needs money and trained personnel. We do not know the qualifications of the officers who should work there, whether we are looking at labour officers or those who are qualified in law. I think, it is important that we make the publicity on this office adequate so that our people can have access to the very important work that the office does. The rest of the issues have already been discussed by my hon. Colleagues.


Madam Chairperson, I support the amount that has been allocated to this Vote, and I want to indicate, once again, that come next year, if the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will need us to support a supplementary budget for this very important office, I will support any supplementary budget that will have measured outcomes, and I am very certain that my hon. Colleagues will do the same.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


The Vice-President: Madam Chairperson, once again, I thank the hon. Members who have debated the budget estimate for the Office of the Public Protector; Mr Fube, Mr C. Mpundu, Mr Chanda and Mr Kang’ombe. I am very thankful to them for their support and for bringing out important points.


Madam Chairperson, one thing that all of us here are asking is: Where has the Public Protector been? Probably, that is the way I would put all their concerns together. Under decentralisation, we do realise that the Public Protector will also go the same way in having a presence even in Chembe, where Hon. C. Mpundu comes from.


Madam Chairperson, for once, there is an office. I appreciate that the debaters have also appreciated the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for allocating to this office 125 per cent more than what it had last year. Yes, that might not be enough but, I think, you see that a lot of effort has been made under a very difficult Budget because this is a very important institution that we all need to support.


Madam Chairperson, I just wonder what the reason is for people to not be aware of the Office of the Public Protector and the wonderful work that it does. If I had enough time, I would give a little history of where we have come from and how this office operated, as that is what made operate like a secret society. It was only the elite who understood it. So, let us appreciate, through the statement that I read, that last year, the office started sensitisation campaigns. That is very important. Maybe, people were also not aware of this because Governments operated within the laws and acted according to the laws that they had created. 


Madam Chairperson, maybe, we have seen a time of lawlessness and everybody is saying, ‘Come on, why have they taken that land?’ ‘Under which law has that land been taken?’ maybe, people are waking up. Thanks to the campaigns, now, the Public Protector can be active. Very few people sought judicial review because they were not aware that they could take Government institutions to such an office for certain actions to be reviewed. However, from the debates, the work the institution is doing and the support that is coming from Government, it is clear that this is a very important institution that we must all support. We have seen the support to this institution from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and the from those who have debated. We all want this office to improve the way it does its work so that institutions of the Government will remain alert and operate within the laws.


I thank you, Madam Chairperson.


Vote 12 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.






[MADAM SPEAKER inthe Chair]


(Progress reported)








The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.


Question put and agreed to.




The House adjourned at 1638 hours until 0900 hours on Wednesday, 15th December, 2021.