Thursday, 14th July, 2022

Printer Friendly and PDF

      Thursday, 14th July, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours







Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A matter of urgent public importance is raised.

Mr Menyani Zulu: Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance goes to the Minister of the Minister of Transport and Logistics, Hon. Tayali.

Madam Speaker, you will agree with me that in the last few months, we have seen the upward adjustments of fuel prices. Basically, in the last eight months or so, the price of fuel has gone up by 70 per cent or so. We have seen the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics attending to a certain sector of business, leaving out other sectors within his ministry, to see to it that everyone gets a fair rate from the jobs they do in the transport sector. On passenger business, the hon. Minister has done so well and nothing should be taken away from him. However, the House will agree with the hon. Minister that at no time has he engaged the local transporters who are in the transportation of goods.

Madam Speaker, in the last few years, we have seen the Governments forming their own transport associations. The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) came up with its transport association. The Patriotic Front (PF) never had an association. The United Party for National Development (UPND) has a new transporters’ association, but the hon. Minister has at no time, bothered to sit down with the transporters to discuss how the rates could be adjusted. This has disadvantaged many transporters.

Madam Speaker, let me even declare interest that I am a member of this same sector. So, my question is very simple. When is the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics going to have an audience with the transporters of goods the same way he had an audience with the commuters and bus operators?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba is asking the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics, when he is going to have a similar audience he had with the commuters and bus operators, with the transporters of goods.

Hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba, much as this issue is important, it does not qualify to be raised under the matter of urgent public importance. So, for that, I would urge you to use other avenues such the Questions for Oral Answer under Standing Order 74 or Standing Order 76.

Thank you.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A matter of urgent public importance is raised.

Mr Kapyanga: Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance is directed to the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation.

Madam Speaker, the water that the people of Mpika use is provided by Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company Limited (CWSC) but for the past one month, there has been no water in Mpika despite it being in Muchinga Province. CWSC is a utility company that oversees the provision of water in that area and its headquarters is in Kasama.

Madam Speaker, in Mpika, there is a water pump at Chisowa that has broken down. This pump provides about 35 per cent of the water that the people of Mpika consume. This pump has been down for a month now. I have reported this issue to the CWSC and I have been making follow ups on a daily basis. Currently, the people in the whole Mpika District are depending on Mwamfushi Pump Station, which is providing about 45 per cent of water and it is unable to meet the demand of the whole district. This has forced many people of Mpika to draw water from shallow wells and streams, which are very contaminated. The whole district is on the verge of having waterborne diseases such cholera and dysentery.

Madam Speaker, the reason I have risen on a matter of urgent public importance is that I want the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation to provide answers to the people of Mpika as to why they should continue drawing water from the shallow wells and streams when they have a company that can provide water for them.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Mpika has raised a problem of water in his constituency where people have had no adequate water for the past one month now and nothing seems to be done despite him engaging the company that provides water to the district. Since water is life, I direct the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation to come to this House with a ministerial statement on Wednesday, next week, on the situation of this problem in Mpika and how it will be attended to.

Thank you.




The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the matter of urgent public importance raised by Hon. Jonathan Daka, Member of Parliament For Chadiza Constituency on the increasing number of murder cases in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by stating that the number of murder cases in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency has reduced compared to last year. In 2021, the Zambia Police Service recorded three murder cases while in 2022, only one case has been reported.  The nature of reported cases includes murder, manslaughter and rape.

Madam Speaker, on 2nd March, 2021, a male adult aged twenty-two by the name of Mr James Sakala died whilst visiting his clients in Kaphako in Chief Mwangala's area in Chadiza District. The victim was believed to be a traditional healer from Mpeta Village in Chief Maguya’s area in Chipata District. The victim is alleged to have claimed on many occasions that he could be buried alive and still come back to life.


Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, on 2nd March, 2021, he asked his clients in Chief Mwangala’s Chiefdom to bury him alive. Unfortunately, after he was buried, he suffocated and died.


Mr Mwiimbu: The two suspects who buried him alive have since been arrested and charged for manslaughter. The deceased was first buried in Kaphako area but was later exhumed and taken for reburial in his home village. The body was again exhumed by the state pathologist to allow for post-mortem to be conducted. The two suspects have since appeared in Chipata High Court for the offence of manslaughter where they were granted bail. The post-mortem results are yet to be communicated.

Madam Speaker, in another case, on 3rd October, 2021, around 0500 hours, the Zambia Police Service received a report that a female juvenile by the name of Bridget Phiri of Mfwinta Village in Chadiza District was found dead near a shop. The deceased was a Grade 4 pupil at Katosha Primary School. She had gone to watch a nyau dance on 2nd October, 2021, at around 1600 hours within the same village. She was found dead the following morning near a named shop in the area. Officers from the Zambia Police Service visited the scene and discovered that the body had bruises on the right elbow and knees. There was also some blood on the private parts. Post-mortem examination was conducted at Chadiza District Hospital and no physical injuries were detected. However, some specimen samples were collected for further examination at the food and drug laboratory in Lusaka. The results have not yet been received. The matter is still under investigations as a homicide case. No arrests have been made so far.

Madam Speaker, the third case involved two victims namely, Mr Benson Zulu aged forty-eight of Mugulula Village and his associate, Mr Lloyd Banda aged forty-one of Chamani Village, both of Chadiza District. Brief facts of the matter are that on 11th November, 2021, at around 0600 hours, the duo were reported missing. It is believed that the two victims had gone to make charcoal in the bush on the day when they went missing. There was a heavy downpour of rains characterised by thunder and lightning. The two bodies were discovered under a curved rocky mountain at Chatuwowo Hills in a decomposed state. The manner and gesture in which the two bodies were found at the scene suggested that they may have been struck by lightning. The two bodies were picked and later buried at their respective villages.

Madam Speaker, on 29th December, 2021, the two bodies were exhumed and post-mortem was conducted by the forensic pathologist. The results have not yet been communicated. However, the preliminary information from the doctor after examination suggests that the two could have been struck by lightning.

Madam Speaker, further, on 4th July, 2022, at around 1300 hours, a female pupil aged sixteen of Isaac Village in Chief Mwangala’s area was found dead in the bush. The deceased went missing from home on Saturday, 2nd July, 2022, at around 1400 hours. After informing her mother that she had gone to Chimutanda Village to watch a football match, she never returned home until she was discovered dead on 4th July, 2022. The body was inspected and found to have bruises on both legs and back. There was also some whitish stuff around her private parts. The body was deposited at Chadiza District Hospital mortuary.

Madam Speaker, on 6th July, 2022, post-mortem was conducted at Chadiza District Hospital and the preliminary results indicated that the victim died of strangulation. The victim also had bruises in her private parts suggesting that she could have been raped. Some samples were collected from the body for further Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) examination in Lusaka. The boyfriend to the deceased aged seventeen of Chimutanda Village in Chief Mwangala’s area in Chadiza District was picked up and detained to help with investigations.

Madam Speaker, it is regrettable that innocent citizens are being targeted by these criminals. These illegal attacks do not only breach peace in the country but also, contravene the provisions of Part III of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia which provides for among others, freedom of movement and association.

Madam Speaker, to curb these criminal acts in Chadiza, the following are some of the measures being implemented by the Zambia Police Service:

      (a)   conducting community sensitisation of residents especially parents not to permit children susceptible to

              would be attacks to move alone owing to the prevalence of' murders;

     (b)    conducting sensitisation in schools with a view to ensure that the safety of children is enhanced through the

             schools’ liaison unit under the Community Services Directorate;

     (c)  enhancing sensitisation of the population on the personal security through meetings, radio, and television

            programmes; and

     (d)  Intensifying patrols in Chadiza District as well as intelligence information gathering to ensure criminals are


Madam Speaker, I would like to urge all peace-loving Zambians to be law abiding. I appeal to all citizens to report any persons or groupings intending to attack any individual or group to the Zambia Police Service. I also appeal to the people of Chadiza to remain calm as law enforcement agencies are professionally conducting their duties.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr J. Daka (Chadiza): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate statement. These murders which the residents of Chadiza suspect to be ritual in nature have been going on for a long time in Chadiza.

Madam Speaker, one of the reasons behind such type of murders is attributed to the fact that the police service in Chadiza does not have adequate transport. The hon. Minister mentioned that the police will intensify patrols in the area. How are the patrols by the men and women in uniform going to be effective without adequate transport?

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I would like to inform my dear hon. Colleague, the Member of Parliament for Chadiza, that we are aware of the constraints the Zambia Police is facing, not only in Chadiza, but throughout the country, due to lack of adequate police vehicles.

Madam Speaker, I did report on the Floor of this House that we have made arrangements to procure motor vehicles for all the constituencies in this country. We hope that once these vehicles are made available, the Zambia Police Service will be able to police the constituencies using the vehicles that will be generously provided for by the Government and my hon. Colleagues, who are the hon. Members of Parliament.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Madam.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, first of all, it is worth placing on record –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Madam Speaker, Standing Order 204(2)(b) states that:

“a member shall stop any conversation and rise in his or her place as soon as the Speaker’s procession enters the Chamber;”

When the Speaker’s procession was entering today, this House degenerated into chants of “Chainama” and all sorts of things. Was the House in order ...


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, order!

Hon. Member, you may continue.

Mr Mutelo: ... to go against the rules that we have set for ourselves? I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I am aware that we all know the requirements, decorum and etiquette of this House. This is our only Parliament that we have to be very proud of; the Zambian Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Therefore, let us please observe the rules we set for ourselves in this House. Let us observe them so that our Parliament will stand among the best Parliaments in Africa. The hon. Members, of course, were out of order. The hon. Member for Shiwang’andu may continue.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, permit me before I pose a question, on a lighter moment, on behalf of the people of Shiwang’andu, to congratulate the Shepolopolo and the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: ... for putting smiles on our people’s faces during this hard time.



Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kampyongo: That is the reality, hon. Members.

Madam Speaker, we appreciate the hon. Minister’s detailed statement. In his statement, he cited two interesting cases. One of them was about a gentleman who volunteered to be buried so that he could resurrect like our saviour Jesus Christ but died. The other one was about two people who were suspected to have been struck by lightning. These cases are quite common in our rural communities. I remember even across Monze, these are issues that people grapple with.

Madam Speaker, what policy is the police putting in place to deal with these two matters that are more to do with rituals and, to some extent, primitive beliefs? If we say that those two people were struck by lightning without conducting a post-mortem, the families which they have left behind maybe on each other’s throat. We saw an incident where people were flying around with a coffin in Luano Constituency just a week ago. What is the hon. Minister’s intention in terms of policy direction to deal with these matters, so that our rural communities can live in peace and tranquillity?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Shiwang’andu for that question. Also allow me, at this juncture, to congratulate the Shepolopolo girls...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: ... for ensuring that once again, we are in the League of Nations, which we have been yearning for a long time. Even when they were playing, one could see the patriotism and zeal that they had to ensure that they win because they are in a new dawn.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am aware of the beliefs that the people of Zambia have pertaining to issues of witchcraft and unnatural deaths. My hon. Colleague is aware that the Zambia Police has been advising members of the public not to continue believing in witchcraft because practicing witchcraft is a criminal offence. Further, we have been advising members of the public that we are a Christian nation and, therefore, if we believe in Christianity, such vices should be things of the past.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, pertaining to issues of ritual murders and killings that are as a result of suspected practice of witchcraft in our communities, there is a code of silence on the part of those who are affected. In most instances, where it involves people being killed on suspicion that the killers are practicing witchcraft, the relatives are the ones who are involved. It is the relatives who hire the killers. Therefore, because of the connivance in these criminalities, the police have always been finding it difficult to investigate the matters. In most instances, there is no co-operation from the relatives of the victims.

Madam, we urge the traditional rulers, hon. Members of Parliament and other leaders to educate our members of the public that it does not serve anyone to continue believing in witchcraft. It is a very retrogressive belief which will not take us anywhere.

These issues were very rife in the Western Province.

Hon. Member: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: That is where the issue of Karavinas emanated from.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker …

Hon. Member: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: … the issue I am raising is quite cardinal. The House is aware of the issues of Karavinas.

Eng. Milupi: In Angola.

Mr Mwiimbu: The hiring of killers emanated from there. It has now spread to all the constituencies in this country. The vice is getting out of hand.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Can we lessen the noise please. We want to hear what the hon. Minister is saying.

Mr Mwiimbu: We urge community leaders to educate our people not to be involved in such ugly vices.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, let me also congratulate the Shepolopolo team and the hon. Minister for a job well done. At least yesterday, they tried to wipe out the tears of booth operators who have been crying in Lusaka.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, is the Government providing transport to Chadiza Police Station to be used for patrols?

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

Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister going to increase the number of police officers in Chadiza? I am asking this question because just a few days or weeks ago, we heard that there was a man who was given 320 police officers to protect him in Choma. Is the hon. Minister going to give the people of Chadiza some police officers as well as transport?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I note that the hon. Member for Kabushi was so happy about the winning of the match yester night such that he failed to listen to the statement I issued pertaining to the provision of transport to the police. I did indicate that all constituencies, I repeat, all constituencies, will be provided with police motor vehicles to ensure that security in the country is enhance.

Madam Speaker, I am also aware that the number of police officers in Chadiza has increased as a result of the passing out of our cadets from various police training schools. We did allocate more police officers in various police stations in the country, including Chadiza.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, thank you. It is good to see you back in the House.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, in congratulating our women in football, I wish to say that we are proud of them. What they did in Morocco yesterday made Zambians forget about their hardships momentarily.


Mr Mung’andu: There are hardships, hon. Minister, if you are not aware. I hope the hon. Minister will emulate Mr James Ndambo who empowered women in Choma. I hope the Government will be able to buy houses or provide decent transport for these girls who have brought victory to this nation. I know the hon. Minister can beat Mr James Ndambo.


Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, there is a serious problem of criminality in our communities. For example, in Chama South, we are building a police station which we are about to complete in Manga, just like in Chadiza. Even if he says that they have increased the number of police officers in Chadiza, the police-man ratio is still quite bad. Is the hon. Minister in a position to assure this august House that apart from the motor vehicles which the ministry will provide for each constituency, which is a welcome move, in the foreseeable future, they will consider undertaking an exercise of recruiting more police officers? If the answer is yes, when are they likely to do that so that our people in Chadiza and many other areas in the country are assured that police officers are on their way?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as an hon. Member of Parliament who respects rules of this House graciously, I will not talk about an individual whom I do not know; I have never met; and I have never seen. So, I will not comment on that individual whom the hon. Member is talking about called James Ndambo for I do not know him.


Hon. PF Member: Question! Mumuziba!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I wish to confirm that once authority is granted to us by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, we will be recruiting more police officers to enable police stations that are not yet open due to lack of man power to open. That is my assurance to the hon. Member based on the authority that may be given to us.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Second Deputy Speaker: I will pick the last two hon. Members. The hon. Member for Luapula and the hon. Member for Chadiza.

Mr Katotobwe (Luapula): Madam Speaker, the people of Mboyalubambe in Luapula Constituency are getting very concerned with the hon. Minister’s answer that the Government will buy vehicles for all constituencies in the country. Is the hon. Minister considering purchasing boats or speed boats for constituencies such as Luapula, which is not accessible by any kind of motor vehicle?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, if you have a response to that question since it is an outside one, you have the Floor.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am particularly concerned that my colleague is concerned that we are buying motor vehicles for the police. If he is concerned, that shows that he is unhappy. What he should be saying is that in addition to motor vehicles, we should consider buying boats for areas like Luapula.

Mr Wamunyima: And Liuwa!

Mr Mwiimbu: If he is happy with what we are doing, we will consider buying a motor boat for that area.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Daka: Madam Speaker, the people of Chadiza are very concerned about the time taken for results to come out after a post-mortem is conducted. For example, the post-mortem that was carried out in October, 2021, up to now, the results have not been received. This means that the families of the deceased will still be in suspense. What interventions has the ministry put in place to expedient the release of post-mortem results?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am as concerned as my hon. colleague. However, what he has to note is that a post-mortem is conducted outside the jurisdiction of the Zambia Police. It is conducted under the State Pathologists who have been empowered to conduct post-mortems in this country. We have to note that we have very few pathologists in this country who are licensed to conduct post-mortems. It is not every doctor who can conduct a post-mortem. We have a serious shortage of qualified personnel in this country. I am aware that the Ministry of Health, in consultation with other health institutions, would like to increase the number of pathologists in the country. I am concerned just like the hon. Member is.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




367. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education:

      (a)    whether the Government has any plans to upgrade community schools, countrywide, to Government

              schools;  and

      (b)    if so, when the plans will be implemented.

The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation (Mr Mposha) (on behalf of the Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima)): Madam Speaker, I want to inform the House that it is in the Government’s plans to convert community schools into public schools countrywide, and subsequently, upgrade them in terms of infrastructure, staffing, teaching and learning materials. This process is an ongoing exercise.

Madam Speaker, a community school can only be converted when the processes and requirements are met, that include but are not limited to, documentary evidence of land ownership, granting of Education Management Information System (EMIS), Identifier Number (IN) which is functional, and the ministry's assessment and clearance reports from the Ministry of Justice, and the Gazette Notice signed by the hon. Minister.

I thank you Madam Speaker.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, let me congratulate the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security for being calm today. He has demonstrated very good leadership. Congratulations, hon. Minister, for answering your questions very nicely.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, does the ministry have community schools that it requires to upgrade in Zambia? If it has, how many are they? Has the ministry communicated those requirements to the communities so that they know what is required? It will be very unfair for one to go and grade person who has not been told what to expect.  Can the hon. Minister give the nation answers to those two questions?


Madam Speaker: Order!

Can we please reduce the noise. We can consult but let us lower our voices.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I might not be able to give the specific number of community schools that will be upgraded. I can revert to the hon. Member with a response later. Suffice it to say that this is a continuous process. It is not just a one-off process, where we will just upgrade one school. I have indicated the requirements or the criteria that has to be met for a community school to qualify to be upgraded into a public school. Otherwise, I do not have the specific number.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kangombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I paid attention to the criteria which will be used to upgrade community schools into public schools as highlighted by the hon. Minister of Education. I noted that the list of items that have been identified appears to be very complicated. In my view, we may not achieve as much education as we would want to give to the people in these communities.

Madam Speaker, has the hon. Minister of Education taken time to analyse the possibility of coming up with a simplified criteria that would allow these community schools to be upgraded in order to allow our communities to have access to education? Clearly, all the 156 constituencies need their community schools to be upgraded.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, institutions of learning are very sensitive. If we relax the rules or the criteria, which have to be used on community schools to qualify for upgrading, then we will end up compromising the quality of education that we will have to provide. The criteria I have given here, for people who have been running community schools, makes it very easy for them to qualify for an upgrade. So, I do not think that this criteria is as complicated as it is being brought out. However, I wish to take advantage of this question and request my brother, the hon. Member for Kamfinsa and other hon. Members of Parliament that we work together to disseminate this information in our constituencies so that those who feel they require to apply for an upgrade can come forward, if they meet this criteria. So, if we work together as hon. Members of Parliament, civic leaders, and councillors in disseminating this information, it will be very helpful.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, is the Ministry of Education considering upgrading community schools using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)? Most of these schools are in a dilapidated state. Since we are now allocating projects for CDF, what would happen if one allocates a 1×2 classroom to a community school and that school fails to meet the requirements of being upgraded to a Government secondary school. What measures is the Government putting in place to avoid wastage of resources to such schools? 

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I am not sure if I got that question very correctly because the Ministry of Education is not in charge of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I thought that assistance should be coming from the hon. Member of Parliament and the CDF Committee to ensure that they themselves, in various constituencies approve projects, appropriate or allocate the CDF and help us to see which schools in their various constituencies ought to be upgraded. I think this can be achieved through the help of an hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, community schools are very important because they supplement the Government in areas where it has not yet built schools. As at 2019, community schools stood at 3,000 across the country. My major concern has been that these community schools have many challenges such as lack of desks and good teachers.  At what rate is the ministry converting these community schools into Government schools per year to assist alleviate the challenges that are currently confronting?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, let me acknowledge that indeed, community schools play a very pivotal role in helping various communities that ordinarily have no access to upgraded schools.

Madam Speaker, with the introduction of the free education policy, I want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubu that this Government wants to move very fast in ensuring that as many community schools as possible are upgraded so that they can come on board and supplement the agenda of providing universal access to education in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, this Government is moving very fast in ensuring each and every child has access to education. However, let me emphasise that I have taken time to highlight the criteria which the people who are running community schools have to follow in order to have those facilities upgraded.

Madam Speaker, again, I appeal to my hon. Colleagues in this House, both on your right and left, and also, the various players who are listening, to disseminate information that for a community school to be converted, certain requirements have to be met. Key among them is that one must show proof of land of ownership where that school is sitting. We are also concerned, like the hon. Member who asked this question, that most of those community schools have no desks and enough teachers.

Madam Speaker, with the recruitment of teachers, if we move fast to get these schools upgraded, assisted by the CDF in term of expanding the infrastructure, we will be able to have teachers allocated to the schools which will be upgraded.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, assuming that a particular school has not been adopted by the Government, does that school have any chance of receiving a teacher employed by the Government? Can the Government allocate a teacher to a community school?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence that the question I am responding to is about the upgrade of community schools in the country. As to the issue of attaching teachers to community schools which will have failed the criteria, I may not be able to give the position now. I promise that I can check and avail that information to the hon. Member of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, can we please stay within the question.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, coming from a rural constituency, issues of community schools are critical. One dimension besides upgrading and with your indulgence, Madam Speaker, is the welfare of community teachers.

Madam Speaker, my question is whether or not, there will be any thinking around the Government to probably consider getting these community schools maybe under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services with of course, the requisite budgetary support because the welfare of these community teachers is critical.

Madam Speaker, these community schools play a critical role in educating our people. What is happening is that rural communities are no longer making contributions to make to pay these community school teachers because of the free education policy. What will the Government do to address this particular gap which has existed or occasioned as a result of the free education policy? Will the Government consider placing community schools under the ambit of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, supported with the requisite budgetary support so that the services provided by community schools and teachers is not compromised?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I have noticed that we have so many meetings within the House. What is going on? Are we together? We have come for one big meeting here in the House. Can we please reduce on the noise? If we have other important meetings, we can go and caucus from outside so that Business continues in the House.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I thank my brother, the hon. Member for Kanchibiya for that very good appeal. The hon. Member has raised a very important observation. It is worth consulting to see if going forward, the Government can come up with a position to ensure that some of these community schools like he has indicated, and as I did allude to earlier, play a very critical role. We can see if they can be placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. So, as the Government, I promise that we will put consultation into consideration so that as the Government, if befitting, we should come up with that idea.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will take the last two questions from the hon. Member for Chembe and the hon. Member for Kasenengwa.

Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, community schools especially in rural constituencies cater for pupils who are vulnerable. Looking at the guidelines given to this House, they seem not to have a human face that can help this vulnerable grouping. Why is it so difficult for the Government to craft those guidelines and have that human face in order for the rural community to be part and parcel of the development process?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for Chembe Constituency for that question. However, I would have wanted him to be more specific in terms of which guidelines lacked the human face.

Madam Speaker, for example, if the Government starts to invest money on a property whose ownership is questionable, this same House can start questioning it. Obviously, there will be audit queries that would arise on how the Government spends the taxpayers’ money on a property whose land ownership is not clear. What I am trying to say is that one of the guidelines here is that any community school which ought to be upgraded must show its land ownership. The first point is to know who owns that lands.

Madam, I do not think it is fair to generalise and say these guidelines do not have a human face.  Hon. Members should probably be more specific in terms of which particular guidelines they feel will be very difficult to meet in rural communities. However, I want to acknowledge the point he has mentioned, which was also raised by many other hon. Members of Parliament who spoke before him, that indeed, community schools play a very critical role when it comes to complimenting the Government’s effort in providing education to our children. It is not only in rural areas but also, in peri-urban areas.

So, let us work together as hon. Members of Parliament, so that we get this information on the ground and see which particular regulations will be very difficult to follow in rural areas. This Government is open to listening. The ministry will take our hon. Colleagues’ observations and recommendations and see how it can help.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education is represented in all the provinces and districts. I do not think that with our presence in the districts, through the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) and Provincial Education Officers (PEOs), it will be very difficult for various individuals or groups who are running community schools to liaise with these authorities in order to achieve the process of converting those community schools into public schools.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, I will narrow down my question to one aspect because most of the things have been covered by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe. One of the requirements for the Ministry of Education to approve or upgrade a community school it into a Government school is land ownership, which is something the acting hon. Minister of Education has talked about so much.

Now, we are looking at the rural set up and with the statement given by the hon. Minister, I am sure people in my constituency, particularly in Vungulumwe, Chamubobo and Zungula, are very worried to hear that they need documents to prove that they own land. The hon. Minister has put it clearly to us to say he may have to come back to us for more clarification or maybe help us refine some of these requirements.

Madam Speaker, would a letter from the chief suffice as a document to own land? Villagers come together to set up these community schools because the Government schools may be about 40 km away. So, they do that through their initiative and the only document they may have is a letter from the induna, who is a senior chief retainer, or a chief himself. In the absence of a title deed, could the hon. Minister make it very clear that this is acceptable?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, land ownership can be proved in various ways and one of them is land which is under the jurisdiction of the state in terms of title issuance through a deed. In areas where the land is under the traditional authorities, it is actually the traditional leaders who will be able to give some documentation.

Now, as the Ministry of Education, we are saying that people should show documentation of ownership of land on which the school is sitting. So, if a person in a particular province or area where land ownership is achieved through traditional authorities says, “In my area, we have this letter from the chief that this community school sits here and this is proof of land ownership”, I think that will be accepted.

Madam Speaker, I think what would be wrong is to open it up and say any induna can give documentation because in certain traditional jurisdictions, we have all sorts of indunas. One person can be an induna today and after one week, there will be another induna. Now, to assume that such an arrangement can guarantee authority enough to issue ownership of land, particularly, on a piece of land which will be providing a public service such as a school, I think that would be wrong. However, I think what will be coming from a legally recognised chief in an area should suffice.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


368. Mr Simumba (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:

        (a)    why the construction of the Nakonde/Kanyala road has stalled;

        (b)    when the project will resume;

        (c)    how much money was paid to the contractor, as of September, 2021;

        (d)    what the cost of the outstanding works is; and

        (e)    what the time frame for the completion of the project is.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, the construction works on the Nakonde/Kanyala Road have stalled due to budgetary constraints which resulted in the road project not being considered in the 2022 Road Sector Annual Work Plan. The resumption of the works on this road will be considered in future work plans, subject to availability of funds. The current contract on the project is earmarked for termination due to funding challenges.

Madam, as of September, 2021, a total of K23,448,275.97 had been paid to the contractor. The total cost for outstanding works is K87,102,016.24 and the time frame for completing outstanding works is twelve calendar months when funds are available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simumba: Madam Speaker, the way we live in Nakonde, one may think we participated in the Second World War because of the confusion that is there. We do not have any tangible road infrastructure. We do not have access to clean water. We live like refugees. Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation can attest to the fact that the water people drink contains faecal matters. Even when people drink that water, they know that it is contaminated.

Madam Speaker, what have the people of Nakonde done to be subjected to the situation where they do not have any tangible thing that they can point at to say the Government did it for them?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Well, hon. Member, you have talked about water and so many other things. However, we will restrict ourselves to the question on the road that you mentioned. Hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, what have the people of Nakonde done?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Administration has only been in office for the last ten to eleven months. All those lamentations from the hon. Member, Mr Simumba, I think are better directed to the party opposite.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Eng. Milupi: In the absence of the Leader of the Opposition, I can see the Chief Whip of the PF. Maybe he can answer as to why the people of Nakonde were neglected resulting in the hon. Member’s lamentations.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, as for the New Dawn Administration, we shall look at the whole country as one. So, development will be taken to all corners. The constraining factor as of now is the state of the economy that we inherited, which we are trying to correct.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I do appreciate the response from the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and party president with a small “p” for the Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD).


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, when we realised that finances were a challenge, we decided to rescope the works on the Nakonde/Kanyala Road. Has the ministry abandoned the idea of rescoping which could have led to the works being scaled-down and costs brought down in order for the Nakonde/Kanyala Road to be worked on as was intended? As for the idea of contracting, as referred to by the hon. Minister, when we realised that something needed to be done on the Nakonde/Kanyala Road, a contractor was procured to try and alleviate the challenges the people of Nakonde were facing. We decided, as I have mentioned already, to re-scope the works so that the road could be passable. All kinds of work were to be done on that road. Has this Government abandoned that decision?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the PF Whip has referred to my being President of my party with a small “p”.


Eng. Milupi: I see him as a very ambitious person and I think he wants to be President of this country someday. My advice to him is that very quickly, he should shift from where he is and form his own party and call himself “President”. Maybe, he can stand a chance.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, with the reference to the substantive follow-up question on the rescoping of this particular project, fortunately, I know this road extremely well. I have travelled on it right up to the Kanyala Border Post. From that point, I have gone up to Malawi where I have been received by the Malawians as far back as 2008. That road was in a terrible state then, and it must be worse now. We feel for the people of Nakonde. These are some of the legacy issues that we have remained with as a result of the state of the economy. Even the rescoping still needs money for works to be undertaken. The focus is to get this economy back on track. So, we can release money to be able to undertake very critical projects like this. I can assure the hon. Member and PF Whip that at the end of our first term, the question we have heard from the hon. Member for Nakonde, lamenting on what wrong the people of Nakonde have done, will no longer be the case. We look at the country as a whole unlike other people who are busy boasting about massive infrastructure that they claim to have left when there is nothing.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Eng. Milupi: The hon. Member for Nakonde is actually complaining about Muchinga. I have travelled and in terms of roads, there is nothing to talk about.

Mr Tayali: Unprecedented development!

Eng. Milupi: Ya! We had unprecedented negligence.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Simumba: Madam Speaker, considering that works on that road have stalled, are there any temporary measures that the Government is going to put in place to make sure that before the onset of the rains, something is done so that people of Nakonde are not cut off from the rest of the country?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, let me give a little bit of information. This project was awarded at a revised contract sum of K367, 218,609.29 inclusive of the value added tax (VAT). The rescoping of the project, that the PF Whip was talking about, was revised from bituminous surfaced to gravel surfaced road due to funding challenges. This resulted in the contract sum being reduced to K131,932,428.64. The works stalled with progress at 4 per cent.

Madam Speaker, when our colleagues were in the Government, they decreed that any project below 80 per cent would have to be held in abeyance. This one had just achieved 4 per cent. So far, K46,900,960.36 has been certified for the works done under the original scope of the project. Off course, the final account is being prepared in readiness for termination of the contract due to funding challenges.

Madam Speaker, with respect to what can be done on the road, as I have said time and again, throughout our 156 constituencies, there are challenges of this nature. The very critical points where there is a likelihood of communities being cut off, we are asking our hon. Members of Parliament to liaise with Road Development Agency (RDA) so that these points will be assessed. Where there is absolute need of an emergence nature, we may have to undertake some works to ensure that the communities are not fully cut off. The issue of the Nakonde/Kanyala Road has been outstanding for a very long time even before the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power. When I travelled on that road in 2008, it was already in a bad state.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, the figures that the hon. Minister has mentioned needed to be paid after the re-scoping, and looking at what has been done so far, do not match. Looking at the amount that has been paid at 4 per cent, does the hon. Minister see it inevitable to engage auditors so that they ascertain whether the amount that was spent was put to good use?

Eng Milupi: Madam Speaker, these are some of the legacy issues that we are dealing with. When we talk about audits of these contracts, these are the issues that come to light. Contracts were issued at exorbitant amounts but little works were undertaken to justify the amounts paid. So, every contract is being reviewed with a view to ascertaining the exact amounts that the Government actually owes. However, in our administration of infrastructure projects right now, I can reveal that we are finding many anomalies. Already, we started with an average cost per kilometre of about US$1.2 million for a bituminous road by just putting our foot down and say, “This is unacceptable”. We now have a situation where contractors are coming in at much lower costs and this is saving our country huge sums of money. If our colleagues had done this, the country would not be a highly indebted nation as it is now.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapyanga (Mpika) Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate statement. I want to further, thank him for admitting that Muchinga Province was part of the three provinces that had been sung about as being neglected, unlike in the past where we heard that development was being taken to Muchinga Province.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated here that the contract for the Nakonde/Kanyala Road is earmarked for termination despite the fact that this road links Nakonde to the other side of Malawi which is good for trade and other activities. Even during the campaigns, this was one of the good subjects that the Government used on the people of Nakonde. The people of Nakonde voted massively for the Government because it promised to construct this same road. Would the hon. Minister confirm that the people of Nakonde can safely say that this was just one of those lies that were advanced during the campaigns?


Madam Speaker: “Lies” is unparliamentary. Can you please withdraw and substitute it with another word.

Mr Kapyanga: I replace the word “lies” with “political romantic words”, Madam Speaker.


Eng Milupi: Madam Speaker, I have not seen much evidence of massive infrastructure development even in areas that were wrongly designated as PF strong points as the result of the election showed. We have not seen that. I have not seen massive infrastructure development, especially with roads in the Eastern, Muchinga, and the Northern provinces. Nevertheless, we do have questions in Luapula Province. The claim that there was massive infrastructure development was from the PF’s side. If they want evidence of that, they can look at their opening statements when they came into this Parliament. Without exception, each one would say, “This is what we have done” but on the ground, there was nothing.

Madam Speaker, the difference is that contracts and projects were assigned and vast sums of money paid, but no work was done. In other places, not even a single project was assigned. That is the difference. We are in this heavy indebted status because money was paid for projects that never took place. That is the difference.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mabeta: Masholi!

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

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this very important point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 65, which states that matters we present here must be factual and verifiable.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development has first of all, placed ambitions in me, which I do know about. I need to learn from him what it takes to form a political party that ends up in an alliance –


Mr Kampyongo: Madam, the hon. Minister is a senior engineer. He knows that firstly, when a contract is procured, the contractor ensures that a certain percentage of an advance payment bond is paid from the amount to be paid.

Secondly, the contractor makes sure that the performance bond is issued. This is to ensure that the contractor performs in accordance with contractual obligations. Should there be failure, the client can cash those bonds. Is the hon. Minister and Nominated Member of Parliament in this regard, in order to mislead this House and the nation that the Government had been exposed to losing funds to contractors who were paid, but did not perform, when the bonds I have referred to protect the Government from that exposure?

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, the way you have put the point of order, you have actually debated it and given the answers. So, in that case, your point of order is not admissible. Hon. Members, when raising points of order, please try to be very specific and avoid debating the point of order.

Ms Lungu (Chawama): Madam Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development has acknowledged the lamentations of the people of Nakonde. I also note that the hon. Minister has also acknowledged the desperation in which the people of Nakonde are. The hon. Minister has also expressed his disappointment in his statement over the failure by the previous Government. 

Madam Speaker, what is the level of commitment by the Government to deliver the much-needed development to Nakonde? What assurance is the hon. Minister giving to the people of Nakonde and this House, that through the hon. Member for Nakonde, the Government is very much committed to working on the road, which we are discussing now?

Eng Milupi: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to correct the wrong impression created. First of all, the hon. Member who has since walked out because I cannot see him now …

Hon. Member: The PF Whip?

Eng. Milupi: Yes, the PF Whip.

Hon. Opposition Member: There he is. He is around.

Mr Kampyongo walked back to his seat.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, him being in the Opposition, I am encouraging him to form a party so that he may also experience what we in the Opposition experienced when we suffered from being blocked by huge trucks.  We have pictures to show.

Madam Speaker, with respect to performance bonds, why did the previous Government not cash these bonds because this lack of performances was during their term? The roads are not there but money has been spent. Why did they not cash those performance bonds? There is an issue there.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Kasenengwa should understand that the mere fact that we bring issues here does not qualify our constituencies to be the worst. Yes, I understand the issue concerning the Nakonde/Kanyala Road because I was on it in 2008 and it was already bad. I know that no works since then have been undertaken. So, it must be worse now.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Kasenengwa should look at his hon. Colleague from Mitete Constituency, for example. In Mitete Constituency, not even one meter and not kilometre of gravel road in that particular constituency was worked on. In Liuwa, where the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning comes from, not even one meter of gravel road later on tar road was worked on. In Sesheke, certain places have been completely cut off. In Zambezi West, there is absolutely nothing. So, let us not give the impression that the need is only in certain constituencies.

Madam Speaker, the mere fact that hon. Members on your right are quiet does not mean they do not feel the pain of the neglect that they went through in the last ten years. They do feel it. However, we have to look at the economy. We are going to put this economy right and we shall begin to work on these projects in constituencies like Nakonde and others. Equity is what we are bringing to this country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Sabao (Chikankata): Madam Speaker, since the Nakonde/Kanyala Road contract was procured by the former Government, how much did the New Dawn Government find in the coffers for this particular road? If it did not find anything, why is it so since this project had resources that were attached to it?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, it is actually one question per person.

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, contracts where procured on the basis of– I think we have made many statements on the Floor of this House. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has made this point time and again. Contracts were being given out without recourse to source of funds.

Madam Speaker, even though this contract was procured, there was no money that was there for us to disburse. These are the problems that we are going through. That is why we owe contractors, engineers, consultants and the rest of the world so much money. One wonders what would have happened had our colleagues continued being in the Government for the next five years.


Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, we have a President in place who is laser-focused on correcting the debt situation and re-shaping the economy so that we can now begin the process of having an upward trajectory in terms of the development of this country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Twasa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Twasa: Madam Speaker, in this House, we are well-guided that if there such questions, we should stick to a particular constituency which is in question. In this instance, under the question about Nakonde, I would not start asking the hon. Minister questions about Kasenengwa because I will be guided to say, “the question is about Nakonde.”

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to avoid the question which has been directly asked? Instead of talking about Nakonde, he is busy talking about Mitete and other constituencies.


Mr Twasa: Madam Speaker, why is he not answering the question in relation to Nakonde? The people of Nakonde want to know the level of commitment this Government has in as far as work on the Nakonde/Kanyala Road is concerned. My point of order is pursuant to Standing Order No. 65 which talks about an hon. Member giving information that is factual and verifiable.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, just for our information, we have always have had ministerial statements and responses from the hon. Ministers. Sometimes, hon. Ministers have a lot of information that they would want to share with you. They even have extra or bonus information. They are allowed to give that information as long as it is in line with the question at hand. However, it is very important that when you pose a question, it is answered. However, the hon. Member or hon. Minister has got powers to give you extra information. Hon. Member, unless you are saying your question was not attended to by the hon. Minister.

Mr Twasa: Madam Speaker, it was not.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: It was not attended to? Well, in that case, as the hon. Minister answers the next question, he can repeat the response.

Mr Katotobwe (Luapula): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving the humble people of Luapula this opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a question.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, is it possible to put on your face mask?

Mr Katotobwe wore his face mask.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you.

Mr Katotobwe: Madam Speaker, the Nakonde/Kanyala Road like the hon. Minister has rightly said, is not earmarked for any form of rehabilitation anytime soon. Has the ministry done a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) on rehabilitation, termination and consequences of the termination of the contract of this road ahead of the rainy season? The hon. Minister has said that the Government has no funds to pay contractors. Now, if the Government has no funds to pay contractors, it means it will incur the cost of termination.

Madam Speaker, may the hon. Minister give this House a well-researched position in terms of the way forward in the rehabilitation of such roads in the country. This is because once some areas are cut off from the rest, the Government will expend a lot more money airlifting medical and food stuffs to these areas that face imminent shortage of these supplies.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member, you are now asking about the rehabilitation when the question clearly was why the construction of the Nakonde /Kanyala Road has stalled. I am not seeing any question related to rehabilitation here. However, I do not know if the hon. Minister has any answer for that.

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, it is on occasions like this that we reflect on the money that was spent on Fire Tenders at US$ 1 million each. However, if that was not done, we would probably have US$42 million that we could use on roads like the Nakonde /Kanyala Road.

Madam Speaker, there are two questions. The first one was a claim from the hon. Member for Kasenengwa, over there, who claims that I did not answer the question. Quiet clearly, he was not following. I did state that we are trying to put the economy back on track so that we attend to roads such as this one. I did specifically mention that at such a stage, we shall attend to the Nakonde /Kanyala Road. Even in my first answer that I read, that was also made specific. I said that that will be done when finds are available.  

Madam Speaker, with respect to our brother, the hon. Member for Luapula’s question, yes, we have done a comprehensive exercise on the over 1,000 contracts that were given out on which the Government owes money as result of our hon. Colleagues who were in the Government before. Our intention is to come back to Parliament. We have stated what we would like to do. Most of that is to terminate those contracts so that we stop incurring further costs on the Government.

Madam Speaker, I must make it very clear that there is a difference between terminating a contract and terminating a project. It is not the project that we will terminate, but a contract. If we are not paying, and standing charges and interest payments are accrued, this will be costly on the Government. If we terminate these contracts and time when we will have sorted out these fiscal issues comes, we will continue with these projects by way of re-advertising. However, the answer to the hon. Member’s question is yes, we have done a comprehensive study, contract by contract, on all the over 1,000 contracts that were entered into by the previous Administration. We will come to this House and give some direction as to which way we are proceeding, but most of that will mean cancelling these contracts to stop further haemorrhage of money on the Government coffers.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Ms Nakaponda (Isoka): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services on the Report of the Auditor-General on the follow-up Audit Report on the Performance Audit on the Distribution of Medicines and Medical Supplies by the Ministry of Health in Zambia, for the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Monday, 11th July, 2022.

Madam Second Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Ms Nakaponda: Madam Speaker, your Committee considered the follow-up performance audit report in accordance with its terms of reference as contained in the Standing Orders.

Madam Speaker, the background to this follow-up audit-report is that the Office of the Auditor-General undertook a performance audit on the distribution of medicines and medical supplies in Zambia by the Ministry of Health in 2012. The report was submitted to Parliament and referred to your Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services in September, 2012.

Madam, the objective of the audit was to assess the efficiency and effectiveness with which the Ministry of Health and the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA), formally known as Medical Stores Limited, distributed medicines and medical supplies to hospitals, clinics and other health centres in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, the performance audit, therefore, identified weaknesses in the distribution of medicines and medical supplies by the Ministry of Health, which included, among others, lack of essential medicines at hospitals and health facilities, overstocking of the drugs and expired drugs at ZAMMSA, district pharmacies and other health facilities.

It is against this background that the Office of the Auditor-General found it necessary to conduct a follow-up audit in order to assess whether appropriate action had been taken by the Ministry of Health based on the findings and recommendations made in the 2012 Audit Report and assess the efficiency and effectiveness with which the Ministry of Health and ZAMMSA distributed medicines and medical supplies to hospitals, clinics and health centres in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, against this background, let me highlight a few observations and recommendations made by your Committee.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observes with concern that there was no improvement in the availability of essential medicines at the facilities. Out of forty facilities visited, only one facility, Chawama Level 1 Hospital, was operating at 89 per cent availability of essential medicines which was above the prescribed minimum requirement of essential drugs on the tracer list of 85 per cent. Your Committee, therefore, urges ZAMMSA to ensure compliance with the distribution schedule as well as improve forecasting and quantification by installing facility editions of the logistics information management system at all health facilities.

Further, Madam Speaker, your Committee acknowledges that there has been an increase in the budgetary allocation for drugs in the National Budget from K1.4 billion in 2021 to K3.4 billion in 2022. However, your Committee is of the view that this amount is not adequate to resolve the perennial underfunding of the procurement of essential drugs in the public health facilities.

Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to increase funding to the Ministry of Health particularly, the drugs budget and ensure timely disbursement in order to stabilise the supply chain. Your Committee further urges the Government to expedite the operationalisation of the ZAMMSA Drug Fund, whose aim is to finance the procurement of medicines and medical supplies as provided for under the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency Act, No. 9 of 2019.

Madam Speaker, the House may further wish to note that all the health centre facilities that were visited to assess the availability of medicines in terms of health centre kits had not received the kits from ZAMMSA for the period ranging from four to fifteen months. Your Committee finds this unacceptable, considering that health centre kits are a strategic product that forms the backbone of the Zambia public health sector supply chain system. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to promote the local manufacturing of pharmaceutical products in order to further stabilise the supply chain at the lower levels of the healthcare delivery system.

Madam Speaker, another matter of concern is that medicines were overstocked in six district health pharmacies and sixteen health facilities, due to the use of the ZAMMSA Push System, changes in treatment regimens from one type of medicine to another, as well as health facilities operating as bulk storage facilities for small health facilities.

Madam Speaker, your Committee therefore, recommends that ZAMMSA should put in place a system that would detect over ordering and stocking of medicines and medical supplies by health facilities. ZAMMSA also recommends the redistribution of medicines and medical supplies to health facilities that may have low stock in order to avoid wastage. Further, ZAMMSA should stop pushing for medicines and medical supplies without first consulting health facilities. ZAMMSA, working with the Ministry of Health, should restrict health facilities to ordering medicines and medical supplies according to their level of care to ensure that medicines and medical supplies at health facilities are stocked within the established minimum and maximum stock levels.

Madam Speaker, it is disheartening for your Committee to learn that thirty out of the forty facilities which were visited had expired medicines and medical supplies in stock at the time of the audit. Nine facilities that had expired medicines in stock did not maintain a register of expired drugs. A total of fifteen facilities did not isolate the expired medicines, posing a risk of dispensing them to patients. Additionally, the expired medicines in stock were not labelled as required by the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on treatment of expired medicines.

Madam Speaker, for developing countries like Zambia, where budgets for medicines are often tight, the supply cycle needs to be well-managed to present all types of wastage, especially expiry. It is in this regard that your Committee urges the Ministry of Health to ensure that the allocation of medicines to health facilities should be based on accurate quantification and forecasting data in order to avoid expiries.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Health should also streamline the programmatic treatment protocol changes with supply chain needs in order to avoid unnecessary expiries as well as ensure the gradual transitioning of clients from one treatment protocol to the other, taking into consideration the already available old stock, in order to avoid unnecessary expiries and loss of tax payers’ money. Furthermore, hubs should be allowed to destroy expired products at the hub level, rather than transferring the waste to central level. The disposal of drugs should be biannually done in order to free up storage for usable stock.

In conclusion, I wish to record your Committee’s indebtedness and gratitude to you, Madam Speaker, for according it the opportunity to scrutinise the follow-up audit report on the performance audit on the distribution of medicines and medical supplies by the Ministry of Health in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I would like to thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and contributed to the process of scrutinising the report. Gratitude goes to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and the staff for the services rendered to your Committee.

Madam Speaker, beg to move.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Does the second wish to speak now or later?

Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, I wish to speak now.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make comments on this Motion which is before this august House. Let me first of all, thank the mover of the Motion for the manner she executed the views of your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I stand here not to dilute what has been presented by the mover of the Motion but dwell on a few points that caught my attention.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, in the report, there is a very interesting issue of dispatch and delivery notes. There is a situation where these notes were prepared by ZAMMSA to deliver medicines to a particular health facility but did not deliver. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala: Literally, no medicine was delivered. Your Committee wondered how this could happen. Your Committee felt that probably, there was a cartel somewhere which was initiating the same. The hon. Minister of Health could be sitting here thinking that the medicine had been delivered when in the actual fact, it had not reached the intended destination. This is very sad situation.

Madam Speaker, your Committee feels that the management at ZAMMSA must come up with a method of making periodical follow-ups on the stock delivered to make sure that it reached the intended destination.

Mr Kang’ombe: Quality!

Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, there is another interesting issue in the Auditor-General’s Report which is transport. Your Committee discovered that ZAMMSA had no enough transport. Your Committee therefore, urges the Government, through the Ministry of Health to look into the issue of transport and procure vehicles to enable ZAMMSA distribute medicines to our health facilities which are dotted around this country. It is costly because at the moment, they are using private transport. If they were given the mandate to procure vehicles, I am sure the cost of doing business would be lessened.

Madam Speaker, let me also talk about pharmacies in our public health institutions. In most pharmacies that were visited, it was discovered that they were being manned by untrained personnel, which is against the Medicines and Allied Substances Act No. 9 of 2019.

Mr Kang’ombe: Quality!

Mr Chala: We therefore, urge the Government to ensure that as they are recruiting the health personnel, they look at how best they can deal with this issue.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, in the same report, there is an issue of storage facilities. When you look at the status of the storage facilities in our hospitals, they are old because they were built sometime back when some of the people here were not yet born.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala: These are the storage facilities that we are using as at now. 

Mr Chala: These are the same storage facilities we are using currently for example, at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH). When we called one of the witnesses at one of the departments at UTH, they terribly lamented that the demand is very high because the population has gone up.

Mr Kangombe: Chaumesana.

Mr Chala: Whatever they ordered was not stocked properly. So, they were talking of extending those facilities to accommodate the orders.

Madam Speaker, there is also an issue about hubs which have not been constructed in three provinces, namely, the Southern, Central and the Northern provinces.   As a Committee, we are looking forward to receiving information from the Ministry of Health on how far they have gone or they will go about it so that we see, because it will be easier for all the hospitals in the Central Province, for example, to access what they want from Kabwe Central Hospital.

Madam, at Kabwe Central Hospital, you would be shocked to find that they put medicine in corridors.

Hon. Member: Question!

Mr Chala: I have been there! Yes!

The reason we are saying it must be expanded is to ensure that there is no cause of degradation. Before I conclude, I will be failing in my duties if –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.


Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, I do not salute you.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member! It is time up.

Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! Quality!

Dr Chilufya (Mansa Central) Madam Speaker, let me thank you most sincerely for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this very important report.

Madam Speaker, universal access to essential medicines of high quality and top efficacy is critical as an output for universal health coverage (UHC). Any functional health system focuses on a sustainable supply chain. Therefore, having essential medicines of high quality is key.

Madam Speaker, your Committee has brought out very significant points in the report that it has brought to the Floor of the House. The report focuses on the follow-up of the Auditor General’s Report from 2018 to 2020, and your Committee notes in its conclusion that there was an improvement in the distribution of medicines. However, your Committee also notes that there is room for further improvement. Your Committee urges the Government to focus on key areas of the supply chain that have been limping.

Madam Speaker, in following up all the recommendations that your Committee has brought out, I urge the Government to expedite the execution or the translation of key investments that have been made in the supply chain into benefit for the people of this country and the supply chain in all.  I will highlight a few that have been picked in your Committee’s report.

Madam Speaker, the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency Act, 2019, provides for the set of the Drug Fund. The Drug Fund is supposed to be front-loaded with resources from the Treasury and linkages are supposed to be made between the DF, the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA), the donor resources and the grants. These resources, if they are provided in the first quarter of the year, would then facilitate the placing of orders and framework contracts would be made then so that you would rule out any possible stock outs for the year. I, therefore, urge the Government to expedite the operationalisation of the DF.

Madam Speaker, further, I urge the Government to resource the Ministry of Health through Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) adequately and timeously to ensure that the distribution of medicines is efficient as your Committee reports.

Madam Speaker, the second investment that should be exploited to support what your Committee is saying, is the expanded infrastructure for supply chain. The pallet capacity of ZAMMSA, formerly known as the Medical Stores Limited (MSL), has increased from 7,000 to 32,000. This was done with the European Union (EU) support. That means we have better holding capacity, and if we do, then we can afford to procure adequately, and therefore, enhance the distribution of medicine. This is in addition to the regional hubs that have been brought out adequately in the Committee report, these regional hubs are strategically located, and I do support your Committee’s recommendation to ensure that we adequately stock these regional hubs.

Madam Speaker, storage in a box has been key investments that have been placed in various remote parts of the country. This is important because one brings medicines closer to the last mile. If we could expedite the conclusion of that programme, that would enhance or accelerate access to efficacious drugs for all citizens in the country.

Madam Speaker, the third investment I would urge the Government to exploit, is the EU in the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA). ZAMRA is now expanded with the new headquarters. It now has the national quality laboratory that is of high standard, and this will improve our capacity to support pharmacovigilance in the country.

Madam Speaker, the human resource required to supports this logistics management and pharmacovigilance in the country maybe inadequate today, but the opportunity to recruit exists, and if focus could be placed on the recruitment of pharmacists, that would also be helpful.

Madam Speaker, your Committee brings out an important aspect in the logistics management, that of transport. The EU, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States of America (USA) Government, in particular, support the Government with the procurement of new vehicles, but this must be added on. This is the key to ensure that distribution to the last mile is enhanced.

Madam Speaker, finally, as I speak about the supply chain, I want to focus on the tracer list. Your Committee did talk about one institution out of so many that had a tracer list satisfaction of about 86 per cent. If we review that tracer list, you would realise that it does not cover all the levels of service provision, namely, the primary, secondary and tertiary level of service provision. I therefore, urge the Government to expedite the revisions of that tracer list so that as we talk about availability by percentage, we are specific to the level and able to get accurate data that will inform appropriate action.

Madam Speaker, the supply chain is critical in any function of health system. If one is pursuing UHC or health for everyone, everywhere, one must imperatively invest in a robust supply chain. It is sustainable to create a fund that will support such a supply chain.

Madam Speaker, I support the report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkulukusa (Katuba); Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving the people of Katuba an opportunity to pass comments on the report on the supply chain of essential medicines.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


Mr Nkulukusa: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate of the report on the distribution of medicines and medical supplies by the Ministry of Health.

Madam Speaker, there are two risks that the report continues to highlight. This is the risk of possible pilferages and wastage through expiry drugs. It is very critical and essential that a mechanism is found on how these two possible risks can be reduced. One of the ways is to ensure smart distribution of medical supplies through digitalisation of the whole process. Digitalisation of the supply chain and the value chain of the medicines and medical supplies will bring about a reduction in both risks of wastages and pilferages that the report continues to highlight.

Madam Speaker, the issue of lack of staff also comes out in the report. In certain areas, a lot of pitfalls that can bring about these risks tend to appear. One of the issues that the New Dawn Government, am sure, we all know has done, is to ensure that the issue of staff is looked at by recruiting the medical staff. Soon, our medical staff will be recruited by all these institutions.

Madam Speaker, in the Republic of Rwanda, there is the issue of digitalisation of the distribution of medical system. They have centralised the distribution of medicine to a technological company called Zipline. This technological company operates in such a way that medicines are distributed and barcodes are attached to the patients and hospitals that the medicine is being distributed to.

Madam Speaker, the risk of pilferage in Rwanda has reduced from above 25 per cent to now less than 1 per cent. There is a great achievement when the supply chain is digitalised. With regards to the wastage in terms of expired drugs, the centralisation and the use of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to deliver medicines only when it is wanted by drones, the wastage of drugs has reduced by almost 15 per cent. This is from 16 per cent to less than 2 per cent. The ICT is a platform that enhances every sector of the economy and increase performance. This is what we are talking about.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I want to urge that there is need to invest more in digitalisation and ICT, as we look at the distribution of medicines and medical supplies so that we can reduce on these two enemies. This is because sometimes, we can be blaming the Government and yet, it is the system that is rotten that can only be corrected if we bring in an extra eye which is called the ICT.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to debate the Motion. Let me start by thanking the mover and the seconder of the Motion. This report does not only look at the 2018/2020 period in terms of the status of drug supply but, it also talks about the current status.

Madam Speaker, the previous Government set up the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) in order to streamline or to make efficient the supply chain in terms of supply of medicines and medical supplies.

Madam Speaker, ZAMMSA, in itself, may not fully deliver what is expected if it is not fully supported in terms of funding for it to procure and distribute drugs to the various health facilities. Quite alright, we take note in the report that this year, the amount allocated to the procurement of drugs has increased as compared to the previous year. Now, we are talking about K3.4 billion from K1.6 billion which was allocated last year.

Madam Speaker, but the challenge is that, in as much as that money is being talked about, the shortage of drugs has even worsened compared to the time when the allocation was lower than it is now. So, we need to translate the money into tangible results –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, where is your mask?

Mr Mwila wore his face mask.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You may continue.

Mr Mwila: Madam Speaker, apologies for that. I was saying that the increase in the allocation to ZAMMSA for the procurement of drugs has not translated into tangible results as far as the availability of drugs is concerned in the hospitals. So, for us to see the performance of ZAMMSA, we need to provide funding to the institution. Even that K3.4 billion that has been allocated to it for example in this year’s Budget, it is against the Budget of K19 billion. That is just 15 per cent of that funding. What ZAMMSA needs is K19 billion. What has been allocated from our national coffers is K3.4 billion which is just 15 per cent. So, no matter how much we want to stretch its performance, we cannot meet the people’s expectation. The drugs will not be there. We expect 85 per cent to be funded by the donors. We know the conditions and conditionality that come with the donor funding for us to access that money. In order to procure the drugs, it takes time. We need to considerably fund the drug budget from our internally generated resources in order to improve the drug situation.

Madam Speaker, the response that came from the ministry that it is going to support the local pharmaceutical companies is a very welcome move. What we need is for the words and commitments to translate into action in order to encourage even the local manufacturing companies.

Madam Speaker, in the previous report that we looked at under your Committee of Health, Community Development and Social Services, we were informed, for example, that one of the local manufacturers in this country, the International Drug Company Limited (IDC), has got Intravenous (IV) fluids in stock worth almost US$4.5 million and yet the IV fluids in our health institutions are in short supply. There is no framework agreement that has been signed between the Ministry of Health and IDC so that the IV fluids that are in stock can find their way into the health facilities.

It is not encouraging to the local pharmaceutical companies if the stock that is even readily available to be supplied cannot be bought. It is not encouraging to the potential investors in the sector because as we speak, those IV fluids worth that US$4.5 million risk going to waste and that is a problem. We will not have the drugs there because they will not be encouraged to manufacture those things.

Madam Speaker, the other issue that I want to talk about is that as your Committee visited the health facilities, it found overstocking and expired drugs in these institutions. According to the report, the main reason for this overstocking and expiry was as a result of the changes in the treatment regimens for some of the ailments that the citizens went through.

Madam Speaker, when you look further into what causes these changes in the treatment regimens, it is that we just follow what the rest of the world is doing just because we are part of the global health system. When a particular drug has been put on the market and then everyone else is advised to change the treatment in order to adopt that particular drug, we find that the drugs that we could have bought earlier on unusable.

Madam, I would submit that we should have our own home-driven treatment regimens, so that we are not affected by these changes. Gradually, we can catch-up with the rest of world when they change the treatment regimens. As it is now, we find ourselves just listening and following the advice that is coming from medical experts who are not even living among us in this country. Therefore, we end up discarding a lot of drugs that we could have used had we followed our own home-grown solutions on how we treat these ailments. So, in order to avoid the overstocking and expiry of drugs, home-driven solutions on how we treat the ailments is the way to go.

Madam Speaker, with those comments, I wish to say that I support the report and thank you very much.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Kapyanga.

Mr Kapyanga was not in the House.

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to participate in this debate. In doing so, I will highlight some of the actions that have been taken by my ministry in response to some of the recommendations of your Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services on the follow-up Audit Report on the Performance Audit on the Distribution of Medicines and Medical Supplies in Zambia, which was conducted by the Office of the Auditor-General in 2012.

Madam Speaker, I take note that this covered some activities around 2018 and 2020. I want to put on record that everything that has mainly been said here is what was happening under the previous Administration. After we took over as the New Dawn Government, these are the challenges that we are grappling with. So, it is very important to take note of that.

I am happy with the report, Madam Speaker, and from the outset, I want to say that I support it. I also support the work of the Auditor-General. I want to say as hon. Minister of Health that what is in this report is correct. Everything that was said by the Auditor-General as to what the problems were in the pharmaceutical sector was correct. The New Dawn Government recognised these issues and articulated them in the United Party for National Development (UPND) Manifesto. That is why the UPND said that once it was voted in, it would be looking at these issues.

Madam, the question now that begs an answer is: What are we doing as the New Dawn Government to address these problems now that we are in the driving seat? It starts with the budget. I heard one of the speakers saying that the amounts of money required for purchase of drugs is very minimal and cannot meet the demands of the people. To some extent, that is also correct because over the years, the population of Zambia has been growing. In addition, the disease burden is too much now. It is even worse than before. Madam Speaker, as you know, there are new diseases which are coming up because of so many factors. These factors can even be better explained by some of my hon. Colleagues, like in the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment and the other sectors that deal with what we call the climate change effect and the population boom.

Madam Speaker, as Government, we have increased the Budget from K1.4 billion, which was the amount that was allocated for drugs last year to K3.4 billion. This is a big jump. It is over 100 per cent. Indeed, it may not be enough because the disease burden is huge, but I think we must commend the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the New Dawn Government for that kind of money.

Madam Speaker, there are other issues related to the procurement of drugs which your Committee has highlighted in its report. For example, there is the issue of pilfering where drugs will leave the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) destined for Chinsali, but midstream, the drugs will go missing and never reach Chinsali. They will go missing in thin air. The same drugs would be resold again to ZAMMSA. That is a true story as even articulated by your Committee.

Madam, what else has been happening? There is a situation where drugs would be bought and they go to waste by expiring. Why do these drugs expire? Saying that drugs would go to waste due to change of drugs is not the full story. The full story is that ZAMMSA is being forced to buy drugs in big quantities that it does not need just because that is what a certain supplier has in stock. So, they would dump that drug at ZAMMSA when it is not even needed. There was a situation where a facility needed antibiotics, but it would be forced to take what it did not need in large quantities. That was another challenge.

Madam Speaker, the other story around that issue is not only the fact that we are buying drugs in large quantities but also, that when the drugs are taken to those areas, storage would not be sufficient. The story of keeping drugs in the corridors is not just a mere story. It is real.

Madam, what are we doing about all these things? Apart from increasing the amount of resources, the Government has actually engaged some Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company to see if it can replicate our colleagues in Rwanda. The Rwanda story is that drugs should have an identity. For example, if a drug in Zambia is stolen, it can easily be identified. The preliminary report that we have received as the Government which was prepared by those people who are trying to help us is that, 40 per cent of the drugs that are bought by the Government end up in private pharmacies and across the borders. That is the situation we are in. We are hoping that through this ICT firm, we can come up with a system that will enable us identify our drugs when they disappear.

Madam Speaker, apart from increasing the budget for our drug system, we are going to start also using the electronic logistics system (e-logistics system). The issue of expired drugs will not be common this time around because we are not going to buy drugs that will last us more than one or two years when we know that the requirement is limited. We are trying to strengthen ZAMMSA to be able to do that. Whilst our colleagues were part of the implementation of the Act to ensure that ZAMMSA is strengthened, for almost over a year, nothing was done to make ZAMMSA take up its role. Immediately the New Dawn Government took office, the first step was to stop the procurement of drugs at headquarters and allow ZAMMSA to do what the law says. Even that has been problematic.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of the Drug Fund, we have already come up with a process of ensuring that we operationalise it. We have to come up with the following guidelines on the management of the Drug Fund:

    (a)    it will consist of resources from the Government which this Parliament has allocated;

    (b)    it will come from the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA); and

    (c)    it will come from donors and indeed, any other sources that would like to support us.

Madam Speaker, we are going to have this Drug Fund. The system has already started and in due course, hopefully, in the next few months, we will see the operationalisation of this Drug Fund.

Madam Speaker, the other point that the House should note is that, this Administration is desirous to support the private sector. I think we are walking the talk. People have seen that the President has been all over the world. They have seen investors coming to Zambia even under the Ministry of Health as a result of the Presidents’ visits.  People from the Czech Republic were here to specifically look at issues of drugs.

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

Mrs Masebo: Therefore, what I want to say is that we are coming up with private sector investments in the pharmaceutical industry so that we do not have to import drugs from outside but instead, have local supply.

Madam Speaker, as you know, 95 per cent of our drugs are imported. In fact, I can say 97 per cent of drugs are imported. Less than 5 per cent of the drugs are bought from local sources. Buying drugs locally is important. Even as we buy drugs locally, we still have to make sure that the drugs being produced locally are of quality and the price is alright. It will not work if local suppliers sell their produce five times the price of the same products next door in Zimbabwe. That would not help us.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order! Your time is up, hon. Minister but I will give you two minutes.

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, thank you. Let me wind up. I also want to say Madam Speaker, that the issue to do with the delay in the delivery of the medicines and medical supplies is being taken care of. With regards to staffing matters, I wish to say that indeed, we need qualified pharmacists. This has been taken care of in the 11,276 health personnel that will be recruited even though they will not be enough. We hope that in the second recruitment next year, we can do more justice so that we get more health personnel to cater for all the health facilities. However, this year, we will try to make sure that we recruit more personnel. More hubs are being opened so that it becomes easy for us to reach the last mile.

With those few remarks, I thank your Committee for this report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: There is a point or order by the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu?

A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: It was a procedural point of order on the hon. Minister of Health.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Yes, please you can go ahead.

Mr Kampyongo: Like I have said before, Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is the most experienced hon. Member amongst all of us gathered here. The only Government she did not serve is the United Nation Independence Party (UNIP).


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, the report has made specific recommendations and we expected the hon. Minister to stick to those specific recommendations and respond to them. Unfortunately, the hon. Minister spent so much time blaming this one and that one. She further went on to mislead this august House by insinuating that the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) was operationalised when she was appointed as hon. Minister when to the contrary, it was operationalised in February, 2021, by Hon. Dr Chanda.

Mr Sing’ombe: What is your point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: So, was she in order, Madam Speaker, to first of all veer off from the recommendations in the report and mislead the House and the country at large that ZAMMSA was only operationalised when she took over office.

I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you so much hon. Member, I did not hear the hon. Minister talk about ZAMMSA being opened when she came into office.

Mr Kampyongo: The hon. Minister said was that ZAMMSA was only operationalised when the New Dawn Government took over power. That is what the hon. Minister submitted. That is what we are saying she misled the House and the country. We need that corrected, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Okay! Thank you, hon. Member. I think for the sake of progress, let us make sure that all the information that we give is factual so that the people out there can get the correct information.

I will call upon the Chairperson of the Committee to wind up debate.

MsNakaponda: Madam Speaker, in winding up, I want to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ema Chair aya!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Question put and agreed to.




The following Bill was read a third time and passed:

The Bank of Zambia Bill, 2022



(Debate resumed)

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, before Parliament adjourned yesterday, I was seconding the Report on Government Measures to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Food Security in Zambia: A Focus on Main Crops.

Madam Speaker, agriculture is key to Zambia’s economic development. It is also a vehicle we use to create wealth at household level, especially for small-scale farmers in rural areas. However, the sector has been confronted with a myriad of challenges ranging from poor pest control management, low funding to research, and adoption of conservation farming.

Madam Speaker, I will quickly go to pest management control. When your Committee went around the country, it discovered that almost all the districts were being invaded by pests every year. The most critical farming season was the 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 farming seasons. During this period, the country experienced a lot of invasion in terms of pests and this has the potential to undermine food security in this country.

Therefore, your Committee recommends that it is important that the Government adopts a comprehensive integrated system in order to deal with issues of pest outbreaks. Currently, when there is a challenge of pests, our District Agriculture Coordinators usually have to get the chemicals either from the provincial headquarters or from Lusaka. By the time the chemicals reach those districts, most of the crops could have been destroyed. So, as a Committee, we are appealing to the Government to come up with a comprehensive integrated system.

Further, we are also urging the Government that there is need to increase resource allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture. I know of course that people say the Ministry of Agriculture is one of the huge beneficiaries in terms of the National Budget, but if one looks at its allocation, mostly, it goes to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and fertiliser. So, if more resources are allocated towards pest control, I am sure as a country, we would be able to fight the outbreak of pests in a more proactive manner than the way it has been in the past.

Madam Speaker, let me also talk about the adoption of conservation farming. Conservation farming has been encouraged by all the previous Governments, in the last three decades but still more, our people’s response towards it has been very low. During the Green Revolution, in the 1960s, we saw that there was so much emphasis on chemical fertiliser. This chemical fertiliser had serious implications on the climate because most of our soils were highly acidic. That is why, in the National Budget, in terms of the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP), the allocation has been increasing. However, yields have been increasing because people have been over using the chemical fertiliser. So, apart from destroying the fertility of the soil, we are –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Madam Fist Deputy Speaker: Order, Hon. Member! Your time is up. Wind up your debate.

Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, I thank you. In winding up debate, I just want to urge the Government that it is important that the issue of research is also addressed in a more holistic manner for this country to continue to increase food production.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, in supporting the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, allow me to place on record that this is a very critical report bearing in mind that climate change is a reality. We must do all that it takes to ensure that we adapt, failure to which the consequences will be dire for all of us to grapple with.

Madam Speaker, the United Nations Committee World Food Security (UN-CFS) as well as the Rome Declaration on World Food Security of 1996, define food security as follows:

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Madam Speaker, the topic of course, does restrict us to the many crops. In dealing with the main crops, I think that maybe one of the limitations that the report brings to the fore. In looking at food security, we cannot just talk about the main crops because food security goes over and beyond the crops as we know them.

Secondly, Madam Speaker, it is important for us to identify the main crops we are talking about. It is also very important for us to agree and understand what we do with these identified main crops. We are identifying and prioritising them for purposes of consumption. Over and beyond consumption, what are we doing to ensure that food security does not only go beyond just dealing with consumption but also, live the true meaning of the crèche that we have been talking about, the transformation of Zambia into that breadbasket of the region even amidst climate change?

Madam Speaker, my submission will then be that, in looking at the food security as it is, we need to go beyond the main crops to include livestock and agriculture. In dealing with the environmental threat to food security, we need to understand that it is not just about maize or wheat but also, livestock and fisheries. So, in understanding and looking at food security, these dimensions and components become critical.

Madam Speaker, with your indulgency, allow me to also, in speaking to the report, propose that the report needs to make very strong submissions with regards to the solutions that are coming with the advent of the creation of the Ministry of Technology and Science. I say this because, the era that we are in, yes, we can create weather stations at district level, but we know that the levels of mobile phone penetration have gone up. The more we ride on technology, the more we see the integration by respective ministries including the Ministry of Technology and Science, which must provide that platform. We will see that technology becomes part of the solutions even as we create responses to climate change.

Madam Speaker, if we are going to talk about improved seeds and new varieties, precision farming, digitalisation, sustainable intensification, it calls for us to ensure that we take advantage of the space that comes with the advent of technology.

Madam Speaker, it is also very important that in submitting, we look at the main crops and climate change because this also does provide an opportunity for us as a country to ensure that we transform agricultures into a business. In transforming agriculture into a business, we need to look at agriculture not just for meeting domestic demand but also, for exploiting the regional market as it exists.

Madam Speaker, if we look at the value chain in crops like wheat and countries like Ethiopia, you realise that countries like Ethiopia have gone on to bring co-operatives as the major player in wheat production. They are using the same simple technology our farmers are using when watering their tomatoes. It is also very important for us to look at the maize value chain. In looking at the maize value chain for example, the Ministry of Agriculture had announced that the crop forecasting survey for 2021/2022 showed a drop of about 25 per cent. This is in tandem with the trends even in neighbouring countries like Tanzania. This drop is too big for one season. However, what Zambia needs right now is to find ways to position herself as a maize production and export hub especially exporting value added crops like maize products. We are dealing with the issues of wheat, and the war in Ukraine and Russia. We therefore, have an opportunity to push and find wheat and maize drought resistant seeds to ensure that we bring them to the fore and ride on technology as submitted earlier.

Madam Speaker, on account of time, allow me to also say that issues of livestock and fisheries are very important in responding to climate change. In dealing with these issues, the report ought to be very holistic. We know that Botswana transformed a desert into an ideal environment for a thriving livestock industry. Today, we are talking about a country with a livestock industry of about US$5 billion. This is something which is doable for Zambia. These are things that we must be looking at. Today, this country which holds the Kalahari Desert is now a major exporter of beef to Europe.

Madam Speaker, this country has domesticated buffalos for beef and milk production. The advent of climate change, negative as it is, does provide us with an opportunity for us to exploit not just domestic demand but also, to imagine beyond what we have to see how else we can reposition ourselves and tap into regional and international markets. Best practices are bound and like they say, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Zambia has so much water resource due to its climate and geographical position. This water resource is not always going to be there but it provides Zambia with an opportunity to exploit the potential and tap into the regional market.

Madam Speaker, with those remarks, I thank you.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor. Everyone will agree with me that agriculture today is a very serious business. As a country, we need to take agriculture as an important industry. We should therefore, respect and invest in it so much. 

Madam Speaker, during the time the President was addressing the nation on national values and principles, he touched on agriculture. He said that we need to invest in agriculture because it is a business that can change the lives of the people of this country. If we can invest much in this business, the country will benefit more when it starts to export especially if we add value to the agriculture products.

Madam Speaker, some areas in this country are experiencing drought. The rain pattern is changing. In areas where we used to produce a lot of maize, currently, that is no longer the case. We need to engage the Ministry of Technology and Science to see to it that farmers are warned in terms of the pattern of rain that is expected in certain areas. It is also important that when the hon. Minister of Agriculture talks about the areas that are deprived of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), he looks at it as a business venture. Is the Government giving the people what they want? Is it saying that things need to be shared equitably? Some of the mistakes we might make may force people to end up selling their fertiliser. It is therefore, important that as the Government is distributing legumes, it must start looking at what can be produced at optimum level and in what areas. This is what we need to do. 

Madam Speaker, there is so much conflicting information between conservation farming and chemical farming. What is happening now is that the promoters of certain agricultural methods have these fights amongst themselves. Today, crops that are grown in a number of districts have stopped producing more because the soil has been affected by chemicals. Today, even the people we knew were not good farmers like Hon. Kapyanga and Hon. Kapala, will agree with me that in Chinsali or Mpika, people just clear the land, spray chemicals and plant. The next time they will go there is to put fertiliser. This has affected the soil so much. The use of chemical fertiliser has increased the yields but after ten to twenty years, our land will be affected. The soil will be acidic. We do not even know – This is sad. We have produced a good number of technocrats who have studied agriculture but a lot of farmers, especially small-scale farmers are not taught how to use lime to cure the chemicals that are put on the soil.

Madam Speaker, the House will agree with me that there are so many agricultural shops in this country but no one is able to sensitise farmers about the dangers of these chemicals. In pharmacies, there are pharmacists who advise people on how to use the drugs. Under agriculture, where we produce the food that we consume, there is no one to advise the farmers. Everyone is quiet until the day we will have a disaster and the whole country will be affected. 

Madam Speaker, the Government needs to help in mechanising farming. In this country, we have continued using our old methods of ploughing using animals. I know that a number of people here, those who are privileged, if they do not own tractors, they end up using animals to plough. 

Madam Speaker, the Government needs to start empowering co-operatives with tractors. If there is a person who can pay back a debt, it is a villager. A villager knows how to do that very well.

Madam Speaker, today, if the Government empowers ten co-operatives with tractors, it will empower the whole country because people will start producing whatever they can. Therefore, my appeal to the hon. Minister is to see to it that he sets up an ad-hoc committee that will look at the information on chemical and conservation farming.

Madam Speaker, when we look at climate change today, I think it is just prudent for the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to form a committee that will look at how it is going to save our planet and our country, Zambia. We need to encourage each and every Zambian to start planting trees in their farms as fences or windbreakers. From Chipata, Katete up to Sinda, there is no single forest. In the Southern Province, it is worse because people have cut all the trees to prepare for cultivation.

Madam Speaker, my prayer is that we find time to engage each and every person here to see to it that we plant economical trees like the ones in Chichele in Ndola. Those can help us generate money. I know that after twenty-five years, we are going to harvest those trees and make a lot of money.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to make a few comments on the Motion ably moved by my hon. Colleague from Mwembezhi and also, the seconder for seconding it well.

Madam Speaker, the report of your Committee, which focuses on measures the Government is implementing to address the impact climate change has had on food security, is very important and it cannot come at any other better time than now. Food security is anchored on production. We, who represent the poor rural farmers know the challenges that they face due to lack of information to make informed decisions on what they are going to plant in a particular farming season.

Madam Speaker, the mover of the Motion did highlight one concern that the Ministry of Agriculture had not been mainstreaming programmes related to climate change in its programming. This is a very serious source of concern and the hon. Minister should take note of it. His responsibility is to partner with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment to ensure that our farmers are well-informed.

Madam, apart from just decentralising the meteorological services which your report states that it has improved, they need to start looking at creating synergies. How does the meteorological staff get to share information with our extension officers in the districts who interact with our farmers? If there is no information flow, we will leave our farmers to continue operating in the ancient ways of guessing. They will just conclude that the rain starts in November and, therefore, they should start ploughing at a particular time.

Madam Speaker, in order to for us to make our farmers improve production, there is need for timely information to be disseminated to them. This is because these weather patterns that have changed as a result of this climate change have adversely affected production. We saw the droughts that we had in the Southern and the Western provinces, which protracted for long periods of time. So, in order even for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) to work effectively, we need to know where we are, for example, going to have guaranteed rainfall in a particular season, so that we prioritise those areas and maximise production by ensuring that inputs are taken to those areas timely.

Madam, we have talked about early warning systems, which we are also saying are missing. Again, the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment is at the centre of this issue. I am sure he knows that the Sendai Framework places emphasis on p1reventive measures as opposed to reacting to these calamities. The flash floods and droughts, again, have had a devastating effect on our farmers.

Madam Speaker, I recall that our Government attempted to include an insurance factor in FISP just to address the suffering of our farmers who were ending up on the wrong side of things. You would find that a farmer has received inputs, ploughed and probably even planted. Next thing, there are no rains. Who covers for that loss? So, there was an attempt to try and factor the insurance aspect into FISP, but that was not enough. We can do better by avoiding and reducing the risks, as espoused by the Sendai Framework, which the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment should be well-versed in.

Madam, we are now talking about 2.7 million metric tonnes of production in terms of maize from 3.6 million metric tonnes. What this entails is that there will be that deficit. If we do not prepare our farmers well enough this season, we may even see a further reduction in maize production, which will expose our country to food insecurity. So, it is very important that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and his hon. Colleague at the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment design workable systems to decentralise information dissemination closer to our poor farmers, especially in the rural areas.

Madam Speaker, if extension officers are well-equipped with information that will help our farmers make informed decisions, they will have better yields. For example, farmers can be told that in a particular year, they cannot grow maize, but should focus on trying to grow soya beans. If they are quickly capacitated and given the inputs required, then they will start appreciating this information. However, we have to also do a lot in changing the mindset of our farmers because they have to appreciate the dynamics which we are happening in weather patterns. Like I said, it has always been just guessing work for our farmers in terms of how they have to plant or what time the rains are going to hit the ground.

So, it is all about collaboration and making sure that those who are charged with the responsibility to inform our farmers properly do the right thing at the right time. Otherwise, we may compromise food security and that will be devastating to everyone.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Looking at time, I will have the last three debaters starting with the hon. Member for Kabushi, the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment, the hon. Minister of Agriculture will respond and then the chairperson of the Committee will wind up debate in that order.

Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, let me thank the mover of this Motion, our hon. Colleague the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwembeshi, and the seconder.

Madam Speaker, agriculture is very important in our country. As a country, agriculture should be treated as a business. Agriculture should also be a sector that can provide opportunities for our colleagues the young men and women in our country. We have seen unemployment levels rising in our country. If we can invest in agriculture, we may reduce unemployment levels in our country by giving opportunities to our young men and women, those who are graduating from various private and public universities, and colleges to come and add value in the agriculture sector.

Madam Speaker, I want to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock to work hand in hand in as far as agriculture is concerned. Let me also talk about the diversification of crops in agriculture.

Madam Speaker, the theme of this Motion is: “Impact of climate change on the food security in our country”. Yes, we have seen that the impact of climate change on agriculture is real in our country. I am happy that our colleagues in the Government today have accepted that climate change is real. When they were in the Opposition, they were disputing the impact of climate change in our country.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, I wish to inform my colleagues that climate change is not a man-made situation and therefore, we cannot point fingers at each other. It is a natural thing. So, the people of Kabushi definitely, support the hon. Minister of Agriculture because they know …

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

Mr Lusambo: … that in this kind of a situation, they will have to prepare themselves adequately.

Madam Second Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member, there is a point of order.

Mr Chaatila: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to raise this point of order. My point of order is on Standing Order 65(b). I am listening attentively to the hon. Member on the Floor. He has just stated that climate change is not manmade. I wonder whether he has done a research before issuing such a statement because where I come from, we are told that climate change, in fact, is as a result of the actions of man such as Forest 27 which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government ...


Mr Chaatila: ... even when it was meant well they misused it.  Is the hon. Member in order to mislead this House by saying that climate change is not man-made when we know that the contrary is true. I seek you serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: If indeed, the hon. Member said that climate change is not man-made, then there is a problem somewhere because we have seen and learnt the effects of climate change and the causes. Actually, man is at the centre of it all. So, the hon. Member was out of order.

Hon. UPND Members:

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabushi may continue with is debate.

Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, in Forest 27, the forest in question, I do not know how many farmers are there.

Mr Kambita: No!

On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

In the report that we are looking at, there is no mention of Forest 27. This is how we divert instead of focusing on the report at hand. So, with that guide, can we please focus on the report minus bringing in Forest 27.

Hon. Member for Kabushi, you may continue with your debate.

Mr Lusambo: Madam Speaker, I want to inform the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment that we have a situation especially in the Southern Province, where, most of the farmers, our brothers and sisters, because of climate change, have moved to Mpongwe on the Copperbelt Province, which is a food basket for Zambia. I urge the hon. Minister to concentrate on giving priority to areas like Mpongwe that can help in enhancing food security in Zambia and Africa as a whole. We have many rain patterns in Mpongwe and many other places on the Copperbelt Province that can accommodate any kind of crop. This way, it is possible to do crop diversification. 

Madam Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I want to urge the Government to make sure that we take agriculture seriously not only for food security but also, as a sector that can provide jobs for our young men and women in this country.

With these few words, I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate and respond to a few concerns raised by the hon. Members.

Madam Speaker, there is climate crisis and indeed, this crisis is what is bringing us together.

Madam Speaker, thank you once again for giving me this opportunity to add my voice and that of my ministry to the Report of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources on the Report of the Auditor-General on Government Measures to Address the Impact of Climate Change on Food Security in Zambia: A Focus on Main Crops.

Madam Speaker, the creation of the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment presents a rare opportunity for the country to reset and build its economic fortunes based on enhanced climate change resilience and the inclusive green growth pathways which are key to sustainable development.

Madam Speaker, the adverse effects of climate change such as extreme weather conditions, meaning drought and flooding, in various parts of the country are reversing the socio-economic achievements made this far. In addition, there are challenges to do with land degradation, deforestation and loss of biodiversity among others as a result of unsustainable utilisation of the country’s resource endowment.

Madam Speaker, in line of the portfolio functions, the ministry is promoting the effective and sustainable use of the environment, while facilitating and supporting adaption and mitigation to the negative effects of climate change. To attain the aforesaid, there is need to promote investment in economic activities that are low carbon. Further, there is need for timely production and dissemination of weather and climatic information to facilitate informed decision making if the country is to increase agricultural yields per hectare especially by the peasant, small and medium scale farmers who mostly rely on rain fed agriculture.

Madam Speaker, the mainstreaming of climate change into development processes in the agriculture sector is being undertaken at all levels of governance as evidenced by this mainstreaming in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). Additionally, my ministry is working with key sectors, among them, the agriculture sector, to ensure implementation of climate smart agriculture solutions.

Madam Speaker, among the smart agriculture solutions, is the implementation of programmes that improve landscape management and increase environmental and economic benefits particularly, for targeted rural communities. These programmes promote the adoption of agriculture practices that are environmentally friendly. The use of climate smart and organised techniques, meaning agro-forest and compositing, and use of drought and disease resilient crop varieties are other methods that support smart agriculture. Among programmes that are facilitating these initiatives are the Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape (ZIFL) Project and the Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) which train small-scale farmers in sustainable agricultural practices and provide them with access to high value markets for commodity surpluses as a reward for conservation compliance and preservation of the natural resources.

Madam Speaker, as part of the smart solutions to avert climate change, specific guidelines on agriculture, forestry and energy sectors are under development. These will guide the different stakeholders in a step-by-step process of mainstreaming climate change into sector plans. Further, my ministry, in consultation with the Ministry Of Local Government and Rural Development and various provincial administration structures, is building capacity in the identification of local climate risks and vulnerabilities to aid mainstreaming of climate change into provincial and district development plans. This will enhance the adaptive capacity of communities including farming communities and build their resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.

Madam Speaker, notwithstanding the above, my ministry acknowledges that, a lot still needs to be done and require the participation of everyone including Hon. Lusambo and Hon. Kampyongo in this House to effectively engage in the mitigation while adapting to climate change.


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, although it is a new phenomenon, we are all to some extent aware of the realities of climate change and its adverse impact  and the risk it poses to food security and incomes of households, particularly those who live in rural areas. Therefore, there is need to heighten the efforts in creating awareness among the communities across the country. Up-to-date and accurate information on climate change is needed to ensure adequate preparation against its adverse effects as the country applies its mitigation and adaptation capacities.

Madam Speaker, climate change is now a major threat to sustainable development in Zambia especially among communities with low adaptive capacities. It is imperative that awareness becomes the bedrock for behaviour and mind-set change in the utilisation of natural resources.

Madam Speaker, to increase awareness, knowledge and appreciation of climate change to influence attitude change among the public and stakeholders across the country, the ministry in May, 2022, launched the National Climate Change Communication and Advocacy Strategy (NCCCAS). This document will be availed to all hon. Members of Parliament so that they can effectively have climate data. This has also been translated into local languages. The strategy provides a coordinated framework on communication on climate change across all sectors and levels of the Government. The strategy envisages increased awareness, knowledge and appreciation of climate change and its effects. This will support the understanding and attitude change. As one of the measures of communicating climate change messages to communities, the ministry has been undertaking community radio programmes where various adaptation measures are disseminated to communities. Additionally, the key climate change messages have since been translates into local languages.

Madam Speaker, I am happy to report to the nation through this House that, the Government has commenced the review of the National Policy on Climate Change to facilitate legislation on climate change. The ministry is also reviewing the policies and Acts on environment and meteorology to support the climate change agenda through legislation. These processes have been very consultative premised and are on the whole-of-Government and society approach involving all stakeholders from the national to the district level.

Madam Speaker, unlike before, we are all aware that the New Dawn Government places emphasis on a green economy, thus the policies and legislation to support climate change efforts are a priority and require strengthening. Once the policies and legislation are in place, they will anchor a strong regulatory framework for enhanced response to climate change and sound environmental management.

The hon. Minister’s time expired.

Madam speaker, I know time is almost up, but I need two minutes.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: You can wind up.

Eng.  Nzovu: Madam, as the country endeavours to provide meteorological services–

Hon. Members: Time up!

Eng.  Nzovu: I am asking for two minutes minute, Madam

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Wind up in one minute we close.

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, as the country endeavours to provide meteorological services to support agriculture production and food security, particular attention is being paid to a number of issues among them infrastructure. To address this, I wish to indicate and report that the Government has embarked on expansion and modernisation of meteorological observation infrastructure. To date, a total of 130 automated weather stations, forty-two manual stations and 400 rainfall stations have been installed across the country. This is to strengthen the provision of weather and climate services and improve weather and climate data collection.

Madam Speaker –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Time up hon. Minister

Eng.  Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your kind attention.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Mtolo): Madam Speaker, from the onset, I want to remind all the hon. Members in here that if one has seed, they should not through it away but plant it. That will be our mantra to remind all of us that if one eats a mango, they must plant the seed. Let me thank your Committee for a job well-done. Let me also thank all the Hon. Members who have very positively contributed, including some who are very controversial like Hon. Lusambo, who was very productive this evening.


Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, we all know that the dry spells, extreme temperatures, flash floods, and outbreaks of pests are affecting more than 1.5 million of our farmers. Therefore, the issues of climate change cannot be taken lightly.

Madam Speaker, you will agree with me that when the President came to address us, he talked a lot about climate change and indentified it as one of the major challenges that the globe is facing right now, and he bemoaned the effects that it has on food security.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture takes cognisance of the areas of improvement as highlighted in the report. Let me assure the House that the Ministry of Agriculture working with other ministries as guided by the House, such as the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Technology and Science, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock and others, will ensure that mitigating measures are taken into account.

We will also work very closely with the private sector to identify areas of agriculture support. We cannot identify these areas on our own. We need Hon. Kampyongo and all hon. Members to tell us where they need things like dams. 

Madam Speaker, we are also developing a curriculum to integrate climate smart/conservation agriculture at both certificate and diploma levels. It is important that Zambians are taught about this as they get along in life.

Madam Speaker, thirdly, we do have, as Hon. Kampyongo indicated, the provision of weather index to farmers. This is an insurance scheme to support the farmers, and we are working on improving it. That was a good start and a good job. We will make sure we improve on it.

Madam Speaker, we are also looking at conservation agriculture very seriously. I took very important note of what the hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba said. There is a contradiction between productivity in farming, which encourages fertilisers, and indeed, the effects of climate charge. We have a serious problem there and it is important that hon. Members take account of this because they will say, we do not need fertiliser, reducing the use of fertiliser, which is required for improving the output, but at the same time destroys the environment. There is a very interesting line, which I think we need to observe as hon. Member of this House.

Madam Speaker, there is also an issue which has been mentioned in the report about agriculture diversification. You will appreciate that in a small way, Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is trying to address this. The provision of legumes is a beginning. As we go forward, I want the hon. Members to know that this FISP will include tree crops as value crops. We will be encouraging other crops like strawberries. So, let us start preparing our farmers properly towards this.

Madam Speaker, there is also the aspect of the development of mechanisation. Without mechanisation, you would go nowhere with agriculture. One of the hon. Members indicated that farmers still use hand hoes. It cannot work. Research has been conducted that if you allow people to use a hoe, it will take forty-five years for them to move out of poverty. At that time, most of the people here will probably be in another places and not here. 

Madam Speaker, I also wish to react to some of the issues which were raised by the mover and the seconder including the debtors. These are very important issues. The issue of main streaming and climate change in our departments is going to be taken very seriously and see that it is done.

Madam Speaker, the issue of early warning systems which I think has been mentioned by most of the speakers is absolutely important. It is important to inform the farmers on what the focus is so that they know when to buy seed, when to plant and what to plant. In connection with this is the issue of mapping. We in here are privileged. We should use the Ministry of Agriculture to test our soils so that farmers do not just plant anyhow just because they have a field. It is important to know what we are planting and in what type of soils.

Madam Speaker, there is the issues of crop diversification which we mentioned. There was a very serious debate on pest control. Pest control is in two. There is pre-harvest pest control which can be used for example, like we have had the problem of army worms. There is the post-harvest where we experience those black flying insects which eat our gain. What has been the most dangerous is the post harvest grain management. We have lost at one time in Africa more than 40 per cent. Four of every ten bags that one had were lost to pests. So we are working very seriously on this and I take note of what has been suggested that we should encourage the usage of our extension staff to quickly identify these problems and work on them. However, I can give credit where it is due. We have worked very well in eradicating the army worms which could have ravaged our crops very seriously in our fields.

Madam Speaker, I also take into account the fact that funding to research has been mentioned. I therefore, want to assure the House that for a long time and without being political, funding to research wings is now issued on time. The members of staff under these research wings are very happy with the current system.

Madam Speaker, we are also taking into account good Government policies. We will only encourage production if people have a market. I want to repeat that New Dawn Government will never ever close borders for exports. It will continuously keep them open no matter how much people complain. You will recall that it was in this House when I was being questioned that we might not have food by this time because we had opened the boarders. Here, we are with sufficiently stocked with food but exports are still going on that is how a country is supposed to run, that is what will increase production.

Madam Speaker, there was an issue of equable sharing of resources in terms of inputs. I take note of that but I must say that it is highly political. What the Government will do is not only to ensure equitable sharing of resources but to also, let people get what they need. For that, we are wrong on reviewing FISP so that farmers can be growing what is needed in their area which they are specialised in. That way, we would have diversified and killed the male centric attitude which we are being accused of promoting. 

Madam, Speaker, with these few remarks, I wish to honestly thank the movers and debtors of the Motion. It was very well-debated and I also support it.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Chama North, the seconder of the Motion, the hon. Member for Kanchibiya, the hon. Member for Nyimba, the hon. Member of Shiwang’andu and the hon. Member for Kabushi, even if he mislead himself. His debate was off the topic which is at hand. I would also like to thank the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment and the hon. Minister of Agriculture who have taken keen interest in registering what the report was talking about. We, as the Committee are grateful and hoping that the Government or the Executive is going to take keen interest in what the Committee has suggested to the Executive.  I also want to thank all the hon. Members for being attentive.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1826 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 15thJuly, 2022.