Thursday, 6th October, 2022

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        Thursday, 6th October, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members will recall that on Tuesday, 4th October, 2022, I directed the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, or in his absence, Her Honour the Vice-President, to render a ministerial statement today, on the situation at the Kasumbalesa Border Post following a strike by truck drivers. The directive was based on the Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised Mr S. Kampyongo, Member of Parliament for Shiwang’andu Parliamentary Constituency. The ministerial statement was scheduled for today, Thursday, 6th October, 2022. I wish to inform the House that the statement will, instead, be issued on Tuesday, 11th October, 2022.

I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Nyimba, on what do you have a point of order?

Mr Menyani Zulu: Sorry, Madam Speaker, I pressed a wrong button. I was supposed to press the one for matters of urgent public importance.

Madam Speaker: Okay then, let us make progress.




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

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

Mr Menyani Zulu: Madam Speaker, I think everyone here will agree with me that immediately the United Party for National Development (UPND) came into office, it came up with very brilliant ideas. When it presented the 2022 Budget, which was the UPND’s first Budget, it made good pronouncements such as the K25.7 million Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation, which I am very happy about. Now, the problem I have is that we are going into the last quarter of the first Budget or I should I say, the CDF allocated in the first Budget has lapsed. The Government has not come up with a procedure to inform us hon. Members of Parliament or CDF Committees on how to proceed with loans. We have got guidelines on how to proceed with school bursaries, empowerments and developmental projects.

Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance is on the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Why is he quiet to date, and not giving us a direction on how to proceed on this matter of CDF loans, especially that now we have started debating the second Budget of the UPND?


Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Dr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Kaumbwe a chance to raise a matter of urgent public importance. This matter of urgent public importance is directed at the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics.

Madam Speaker, in Kaumbwe Constituency and the Eastern Province as a whole, the cheapest and easiest mode of transport are bicycles and motorbikes. There have been several motorbikes and bicycle accidents that have happened in the past and lives have been lost. The problem is that most motorbike riders do not have licences and they ride at high speed even at curves. As a result, they have caused accidents that involve motorbikes and motor vehicles. For example, we lost a life in July in Chalokwa Village where a motor biker riding at high speed at a curve hit directly into a woman and she died on the spot. In the same month, a motor biker in Mozambique collided with our driver from Mwanjabanthu who went to Mozambique and the motorbike rider died on the spot. In short, we have had deaths happening almost at the rate of one death per month or something like that due to motorbikes and bicycles.

Madam Speaker, the question is: what measures does the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics have in place because most of our roads do not have bicycle lanes neither do they have motorbike lanes? So, even just two days ago –

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

Madam Speaker: Sorry hon. Member for Kaumbwe, just resume your seat briefly.

Dr Mwanza resumed his seat.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte, is this a session where you can raise a point of order? On whom are you raising a point of order?

Mr Kafwaya: It is on the Standing Orders, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Let us hear what it is.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to raise this very important point of order based on Standing order No. 25 on page 17 of the our National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021.

Madam Speaker, the Standing Order upon which I have based this point of order reads:

         “Days and times of sitting

  1. The Assembly shall sit at 1430 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 0900 hours on Friday.
  2. The Assembly shall not sit on public holidays or weekends.”

Madam Speaker, right now, your hon. Members are submitting to you, matters of urgent public importance which you will be directing hon. Ministers to respond to, including Her Honour the Vice-President. Understanding clearly that it is established practice that parliamentary work takes precedence for all hon. Members of Parliament, are the hon. Ministers or the Executive in order to allow Ministers not to be in the House, and to only have two Ministers out of the total number of Portfolio Ministers and provincial Ministers?

Madam Speaker the hon. Ministers who you will be directing to answer the hon. Members are not here. Why should they not take parliamentary work serious when they know very well that parliamentary business takes precedence, even Cabinet meetings cannot take precedence over parliamentary work.

I seek your very serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I am actually surprised that the House is not full. We are supposed to be 167 Members seated in this House. However, when I look to my right, I see that the chairs are empty, especially the immediate right. When I look to my left also, the chairs are empty. So, what is happening? Should I interrupt Business until the hon. Members find themselves in the House? Maybe, that is when they will know that we –. or maybe, the Government Chief Whip can shed some light on why we do not have hon. Members on my right and on my left. Even the Deputy Opposition whip is not here. The people on the left also have to shed light.

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Madam Speaker, there was an urgent Cabinet meeting. Her Honour the Vice-President and the hon. Ministers will be here anytime.

Madam Speaker: The left, what is the position?

Mr R. Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the Opposition Whip was at the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) today. So, some hon. Members have gone to sign police bond for him.

I thank you.

Madam Speaker: You see now, and our next item will require the hon. Minister to render a ministerial statement. So, since we do not have the numbers, – let me just find out from the Clerks at the Table. Anyway, we have work to do and the people of Zambia sent us here to work. So, just a reminder to the hon. Members who are not in the House, both on my right and left, to ensure that they come to Parliament as stipulated in the Standing Orders. The dates and time of sittings are stipulated. So, let us please ensure that we comply. Parliamentary business takes precedence. I can see hon. Members and hon. Ministers are trooping in. Can we proceed.

Dr Mwanza: Madam Speaker, as I was saying before the point of order, a number of accidents that are happening due to the usage of motorbikes and bicycles are becoming rampant and it seems the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics is concentrating more on mitigating motor vehicle accidents. Just two days ago, while driving to Nyimba, my whole family had an accident 10km before reaching Nyimba. This was because of carelessness by someone on a motorbike who just joined the road without checking the on-coming vehicles. Later, it was found that he did not have any licence and he was listening to music. So, there are several of such incidences. I seek your serious indulgence on what steps the Ministry of Transport and Logistics is taking to avoid these accidents.


Mr Munir Zulu (Lumezi): Madam Speaker, your kindness is second to none and we missed you yesterday.

Madam Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order 134 directed at Her Honour the Vice-President. Last week, we saw a video that was circulating and it was about a traditional ceremony for the Mbunda speaking people of the Western Province, which was cancelled.

Madam Speaker, in Kaoma District, we have Chief Kahale of the Nkoya speaking people from whom the Government has withdrawn state security, when we know very well that for the past years, he has always been protected by state security. People are worried. The life of Chief Kahale of the Nkoya speaking people is under threat apparently from the Lozi speaking people.

Madam Speaker, if this matter is not addressed, we may end up with loss of life. I know that some minds could be wondering why I am speaking about the Western Province. I was elected by the people of Lumezi, but I am also a vessel and a message bearer of colleagues from the Western Province.

I thank you, Madam.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, your kindness, once again, is appreciated. I rise pursuant to Standing Order 134 and I direct this urgent matter to Her Honour the Vice-President.

Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia did undertake a national census exercise to establish the number of people in Zambia and establish the economic state of this country. What followed was an extension to the period that was established for the work to be done.

Madam Speaker, what has transpired now is that our young people that were recruited to undertake this very noble exercise on behalf of the Republic of Zambia have not been paid in full for the work they rendered. As I was coming here, I was not in a position to respond to the many queries from the constituency and from the many young people who have forwarded communication requesting that Government pays them for the work they did.

Madam, I am on record having asked the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning if resources to pay our young people and I was told that we cannot discuss this matter here. Here we are, our young people are protesting. I have a picture showing the young people at Kaunda Square in Kitwe, which in my view, should not be the case. So, it is an urgent matter of occurrence. It is a matter that borders on work that was done on behalf of the people of Zambia. I would request that Her Honour the Vice-President responds to this very urgent matter to avoid having our people roaming the streets unnecessarily.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Let me attempt to respond.

The hon. Member for Nyimba has raised a matter on the procedure that has to be followed in the granting of loans to communities from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Hon. Member for Nyimba, I am sure you have clearly had a look at Standing Orders 134 and 135. I am sure you have found out that the matter that you have raised does not fall into the criterion that is determined under Standing Order 135. So, that matter is not admissible. If the hon. Member wants to have more answers, he can either ask the question tomorrow during Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Maybe, an answer can be provided. The other option is to go to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and find out what the procedures are. However, I know that from the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister said at the end of the Budget year, the year, the remainder of the K25.7 million would not be recalled. That means there is a mechanism that will be advised to ensure that procedures are followed in the disbursement of that money. So, please, make a follow-up with the relevant institution or ministry.

As regards the matter of urgent public importance raised by the hon. Member for Kaumbwe over accidents concerns involving bicycles and motorbikes because people have no licenses, I would suggest that the hon. Member engages the relevant ministry to look at this matter as it does not qualify to be raised under the Standing Order that he cited.

Hon Member for Lumezi, rest assured, yesterday, I was here. I was not just sitting, but I was following and I heard everything.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: So, I was here.

The matter that you have raised about the Mbunda speaking people, I am Mbunda myself, so, let me declare interest. However, I am sure the relevant authority, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development is attending to this matter. We have to comply with our laws when dealing with matters relating to chiefs. So, we should not interfere. The Constitution is very clear on what chiefs can do on their own.

The hon. Member for Kamfinsa raised the issue of the census enumerators not being paid and them demonstrating. However, your source of information is social media. If we do not approach with some caution the issue of relying on information from social media, it is bound to destroy our country. People write all sorts of things on social media. Some of it might be true, but most of it is not true. So, let us not use social media as a source of information. According to what I have read in the newspapers, I understand that the people who have not been paid gave wrong bank details. So, if it is an issue of giving wrong bank details, why can they not submit the correct ones and then they will be paid, instead of making it a matter of urgent public importance. Let us keep to our lane and ensure that we perform our roles, which is representing the people of Zambia, providing an oversight role on the Executive, approving the Budget, which we are doing right now and legislation. When we find that the Government is not doing something, only then can we come and demand that something be done. So, all the matters that have been raised have not been admitted.

Hon. Members, before we proceed, I have a concern over running commentaries that are always made when the Speaker’s procession is leaving the House or entering the House. Some of the comments mean well, but some do not mean well. Whatever it is, whether you want to encourage, demean, or embarrass the procession, or the persons who constitute that procession, please, comply with the Standing Orders. I do not know what you want to achieve by making running commentaries. Those running commentaries are not welcome. They are in breach of our Standing Orders. I have urged hon. Members to always read and go through the Standing Orders, so that we are not in breach and keep in calling and demands of this honorable House.

The only Standing Order that is so popular is Standing Order 65, yet there are so many other Standing Orders. For this purpose, let me just read the Standing Orders that I am referring to because this should be a final a warning to hon. Members. As the procession leaves or enters the House, any hon. Member who is going to run a commentary will be excluded from the sitting of the House and for that day, he/she will be deemed not to have participated. That is so that such a Member can go and reflect and maybe, have time to read the Standing Orders. So, I am going to read this and let it be a final warning from today onward.

Let me even wear my spectacles as I read.


Madam Speaker: Standing Orders 204 reads:

“Parliamentary Decorum and Etiquette

(1) Parliamentary decorum and etiquette refers to an essential standard of behaviour that a member must observe in the House in order to maintain the dignity and decency of the House.

(2) A member shall observe the following rules of parliamentary etiquette:

(b)        a member shall stop any conversation and rise in his or her place as soon as the Speaker's procession enters the Chamber;

(c)        a member who enters the Chamber when the Speaker's procession is entering, shall stand silently in the gangway until the Speaker has taken the Chair;

(d)       after adjournment of the House, a member shall remain standing in his or her place until the last person on the Speaker's procession has completely left the Chamber”.

So, those are the three cardinal Standing Orders that I am requesting hon. Members to adhere to. I am sure it is loud and clear. Starting from today, as we adjourn, it will not be allowed for any hon. Member to make a running commentary, whether to encourage, embarrass or to inspire the procession. If any hon. Member does so, if we are adjourning for the next day, he or she will not be allowed to sit in the House and no allowances will be given to that hon. Member. If it is when entering, that hon. Member will be excluded from the House on that particular day.

I am sure I have made myself clear.




The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Chikote): Madam Speaker, I am grateful to be accorded this opportunity to inform this august House and, through this House, the nation at large, on the progress made on the establishment of aquaculture parks in Zambia.

Hon. Members will recall that His Excellency Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the President of the Republic of Zambia, has emphasised the need to promote aquaculture development. This is in an effort to reduce the country’s fish deficit of about 70,000 metric tonnes per year. It is also aimed at promoting job and wealth creation, especially for our women and youths.

Madam Speaker, the fish deficit in Zambia has been attributed to the decline in the capture fisheries over the past two decades. This has been caused by increase in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing coupled with an increased demand for the fish due to the growth in human population and high preference for white meat in the country.

Madam, to promote aquaculture development, the Government developed the National Aquaculture Strategy in 2006 which was followed by the National Aquaculture Development Plan in 2014. These strategies provided the strategic direction for aquaculture development in the following areas:

  1. enhancing the supply of quality fingerlings;
  2. enhancing the quality of fish feed;
  3. improving access to affordable finance; and
  4. provision of effective extension services.

Madam Speaker, the strategies also identified aquaculture high potential zones in the Southern Province, the Northern Province, Lusaka Province, the North-Western Province and Luapula Province.

Madam, four districts, namely Kafue, Kasempa, Samfya and Mungwi were identified as areas with high aquaculture potential and were, therefore, earmarked as areas for establishing aquaculture parks in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, this august House and, indeed, the nation, may wish to note that aquaculture parks are established as a way of stimulating the growth of aquaculture within specific areas by bringing prerequisite services closer to the prospective fish farmers and other players along the aquaculture value chain.

Madam, by establishing aquaculture parks in areas of high aquaculture potential, the Government hopes that people in these sites will take advantage of the service and begin to practice aquaculture. In this way, fish production will be increased leading to a reduction in the national fish deficit. This will, in turn, increase food and nutrition security, incomes for fish and farmers and promote aquaculture development.

Madam Speaker, to actualise this initiative, the Government formulated the Zambia Aquaculture Enterprise Development Project (ZAEDP) which is supported by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) through a US$50 million facility. The House may wish to note that part of this facility has been used for establishing five aquaculture parks in areas of high aquaculture potential.

Madam, allow me now to report to this august House the progress that has been made in establishing aquaculture parks in the five areas that were identified under the ZAEDP.

Mungwi Aquaculture Park

Madam, the first construction site of an aquaculture park was in Mungwi District. The construction works constitute an extension office block, ten medium-cost houses, feeder roads and electricity connections at K23.8 million. The contract was awarded to Shachitari Contractors Ltd. The works on the site commenced on 19th February, 2021 and the construction is now 65 per cent complete. Payments amounting to K11.8 have been made to the contractor thus far.

Madam Speaker, to promote private sector participation, the Government will partner with the private sector in these aquaculture parks. The private sector is expected to establish a feed plant and hatchery and provide input supply. The Government on the other hand will support aquaculture farmers with extension services.

Samfya Aquaculture Park

Madam Speaker, Samfya has two sites. At site one, the works include an extension office block and ten medium-cost houses. To date, only 45 per cent of the works have been completed. The total cost of the project is K25 million and the contractor, Savenda Management Services Ltd, has been advanced a sum of K1.5 million.

Madam, the contract for site two was awarded to Sunshare Construction Ltd at a total cost of K30.5 million and works commenced in August, 2021. The works include a hatchery and fishponds, a metal fabrication plant, a feed plant and a cold chain facility. The physical work is 45 per cent complete, and K7.6 million has been paid to date.

Kafue Aquaculture Park

Madam, the construction works in Kafue include an extension office block, cold storage, one high-cost and nine medium-cost houses and 2.7 km access roads. The contract was awarded to Kailjee Construction Zambia Ltd at K26 million. Currently, 40 per cent of the works have been completed costing K14.6 million.

Mushindamo Aquaculture Park

Madam Speaker, the works at Mushindamo Aquaculture Park include construction of a feed plant, a cold chain facility, six medium-cost houses, a hatchery, fish ponds, an extension block and an access road costing K19.9 million. The contract was awarded to Norwood Enterprises which has completed 65 per cent of the works at a cost of K2.3 million.

Kasempa Aquaculture Park

Madam, the works include four medium-cost houses, one high-cost house, access roads and a coldchain facility at K24.3 million. The contract was awarded to M and N Industrial Merchants Ltd, which has completed 90 per cent of the work at a cost of K17.4 million.

Madam Speaker, on the way forward, the New Dawn Government is aware of the benefits that aquaculture parks will provide to the people in Mungwi, Kasempa, Kafue, Mushindamo and Samfya in promoting economic development and enhancing the livelihoods of the people in these areas. However, we have noted the slow pace of establishing the aquaculture parks.

Madam, going forward, the New Dawn Government will restore confidence in the people in these areas by ensuring the construction works are completed on time so that benefits can accrue to the intended beneficiaries. In the last year, we have done the following:

  1. held meetings with the contractors and all the contractors are on site;
  2. engaged all the contractors to speed up the construction works in line with their contract terms and conditions; and
  3. all the contracts have been renegotiated and are valid until 2023;

Madam, construction works are progressing well so far and we want to see buildings, not bushes. We will construct fish ponds as soon as we can. As the Minister in charge, I will not allow these projects to be white elephants but will ensure that completion and handover to the community are done.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order!

Before I gave the Floor to the hon. Minister to present the ministerial statement, there was an indication for a point of order by the hon. Member for Solwezi East. What is your point of order, hon. Member?

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, my point of order is pursuant to Standing Orders on privileges of the hon. Members of the House.

Madam Speaker, Standing Order No. 131 (7) and Standing Order No. 132, Admissibility of Point of Order, I will just read one part which says:

“(1)A Point of Order may be admissible if –

(c)        it is raised in civil language;”

Madam Speaker, in addition, Standing Order No. 202, Privilege of Members, and I quote:

“(1) Parliamentary privilege refers to certain rights, powers and immunities enjoyed by the House and its committees collectively and by the members individually and without which the House cannot discharge its functions effectively and efficiently.”

Madam Speaker, also read together with Standing Order No. 203, Conduct of Members, it states that:

“(1) A member shall at all times conduct himself or herself in a manner that upholds the dignity, integrity and decorum of the House.

(2) A member shall not act in a manner that brings the House or other members generally into disrepute.”

Madam Speaker, the last part of it is Standing Order No. 204, which states that:

  1. Parliamentary decorum and etiquette refers to an essential standard of behaviour that a member must observe in the House in order to maintain the dignity and decency of the House.”

Madam Speaker, I stand here as a sad person. Medically, we say any statement that somebody utters to you, and it emotionally affects you is called an insult.

Madam Speaker, we, the hon. Members on your right have received many calls regarding what happened yesterday with the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi insulting us. It is in public domain and evidence can be laid on the Table about the insult that he uttered to the hon. Members on your right.

Madam Speaker, today, he is seated comfortably while we are in pain and shame wearing the coat of the smell of the insult that he passed on us and out there, members for the public are now calling us, and here we are seated.

Madam Speaker, is he in order to seat there and start enjoying the procession of the House while the public is looking at us in a shameful way.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling on this matter.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much for the point of order. Hon. Member for Solwezi East, there is already a compliant on that matter. So, it is being handled. So I do not know whether making more points of order on the same matter will change anything, but there is already a complaint that has been submitted in writing. Since the point of order that you have raised was not raised yesterday, the proper procedure was for you to write a letter of complaint to the Speakers Office. Some hon. Members have already written, and so, the matter is being attended to. So, we leave it at that until an appropriate ruling is delivered, which I hope will be done soon, tomorrow actually.

Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock. Since the ministerial statement has taken almost ten minutes, we will add ten more minutes to the time, so that hon. Members can ask questions.

Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity on behalf of the people of Chipili. I am very interested in one of the areas that the hon. Minister has mentioned. Have all these contractors that the hon. Minister mentioned been funded so that they meet the Government’s time frame.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, like I stated in my statement, all the contractors were engaged. We had to sit down with them and negotiate to make sure that they are back on site to complete the works. So, everything has been put in order for the contractors. That is why I have even assured you that all these contractors are back on site, meaning all their due payments have been made. The only thing remaining is the money for the pending works. So, I assure you that the remaining works are in the pipeline.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I have taken note of the response by the hon. Minister. However, is he able to shed more light on what he has said because in the case of Kafue, which I am interested in, the contractor had been paid more than 50 per cent of his contract amount, while the works were lagging behind at only 40 per cent?

Madam Speaker, I was wondering why this is the case because usually, works stall when there is no money. In this case, the funding was well over 50 per cent of the total contract sum. Why was this the case?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, like I stated, we had to call the contractors to discus and see the lapses that were created from the time the contracts were signed. So, the contractor who is in Kafue Constituency was also was part and parcel of that engagement. We have since discussed and agreed that he will proceed to do the remaining works before any payment is made.

Madam Speaker, as a ministry, we are also not happy with the pace at which these contractors are doing the work in all the five aquaculture parks that I have mentioned. However, we are equal to the task and as a team from the ministry, we are monitoring what is happening.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Speaker: Before we proceed, hon. Member for Milanzi, do you have a point of order? I was actually looking at you, wondering whether you really pressed the button to indicate your intention to raise a point of order or not. Do you have a point of order or it was a mistake?

Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, I do not have. Sorry, it was just a mistake.

Madam Speaker: Okay, I thought as much.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock for the statement. I remember when this project started, it had two components; the banks, which are the parks as well as the component for empowering those who want to venture into fish farming.

Madam Speaker, I note from the statement that the hon. Minister has not indicated the issue pertaining to the other component. He only mentioned the aquaculture parks under the US$50 million project. I do recall that your predecessor did initiate this projects that was funded by donors.

Madam Speaker, therefore, is the hon. Minister able to report how many Zambians have benefited from this project in terms of funding, to undertake fish farming?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the statement that I gave to this august House is about aquaculture parks. I did not give a statement concerning other components that the African World Bank (Africa Development Bank) was helping this Government to empower our citizens. However, if the hon. Member wants to understand the other component of empowering our citizens in terms of investing in aquaculture, he is most welcome to come to the office and we can share the details.

Madam, I want also to assure him that this programme is there. We have beneficiaries who have benefited from the same component he has just talked about. If the hon. Member wishes to know the details and the numbers of how many have benefited in the component of aquaculture as farmers, he is most welcome to come to the office.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I was carefully listening to the ministerial statement, even though the hon. Minister lost me in some places when he referred to the aquaculture park in the North-Western Province, Mushindamo in particular. He mentioned that the works are at 60 per cent and the contract should be valued at about K17 million, and the 60 per cent of the works done amount to K2 million. I am here wondering whether the rest of the 35 per cent is what amounts to the rest of the contract sum. So I am lost there.

Madam Speaker, from the presentation by the hon. Minister, it looks like this is a contract that was given at the same time to all the contractors, yet we are told from the ministerial statement that there are some contractors who have done 90 per cent of the works, while others have done works as far below as 45 per cent. Does this not look like an issue of a contractor failing to meet a prescribed deadline for him to execute this job, in which case, does it not give the Government the opportunity to terminate these contracts because I do not think there are issues of money here –

Madam Speaker: Order, order!

May somebody take the phone from the hon. Member for Lumezi. We are not supposed to be on our phones. Keep it until the end of the session.

Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Munir Zulu’s mobile phone was seized by a Chamber Assistant.

Mr B. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, does this not give him authority to act on these contractors because it looks like the contractors have failed the ministry on time management? The other contractor is already at 90 per cent and we know that this contract is fully funded and issues of financing should not be a problem. In most cases, issues of financing are what necessitate or allow contractors to play around with time to execute the contracts. I want to find out if there is no abrogation of the contract by way of the contractors failing to meet the agreed execution time.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, yes, we have also observed that the space at which these contractors were implementing the works in these different sites that I have just mentioned –

Hon. Opposition Members: Speed.

Mr Chikote: Whatever. I am using simple English to make sure that you understand.

Madam Speaker, we have also realised that our contractors did not satisfy us in terms of doing their work, hence there was this engagement. They were within the terms of their contract, but the works done so far did not satisfy us as Government. Hence, we engaged them and agreed that going forward, they will not work the way they had been working. Remember, these are the contracts that are coming from the previous regime. You know how these contracts were awarded and even the type of arrangements that were put in place. So, our job as we have come in, is to make sure that we correct the mess that was there. We want to make sure that going forward, we achieve the objectives of these aquaculture parks that are supposed to benefit our communities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Thank you, but hon. Minister, the word “mess” is not parliamentary. Can you find a better word.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, let me replace the word “mess” with the word “confusion” which was created by our colleagues at that time.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. Hon. Members, as we debate, let us debate in the third person. When you say “you” you are referring to the presiding officer. So, let us use “they” or “he” but definitely, not “you.”

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has alluded to the fact that he is a responsible hon. Minister and he would not want to see these projects turn into a white elephant. Has the ministry put a timeframe as to when it wants all these projects to be completed and handed over to the beneficiaries so that the 70,000 metric tonnes deficit of fish that we are talking about can start reducing?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I stated in my ministerial statement that by 2023, we have to hand over these projects to the communities.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, with your permission, I think the hon. Minister should correct the word “African World Bank” just for the records of the Hansard, so that we know which bank he was referring to.

Madam, my question to the hon. Minister is on the two sites in Samfya. The hon. Minister said that the contractor there is Savenda Management Services Limited and that money was advanced to the contractor. At the other site, the contractor is Sunshare Construction Limited. However, on these two, he did not indicate to us the percentage of works that have been done and the completion period.

Madam Speaker: Thank you. The hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock may answer and also please correct the name of the bank. What is the correct name of the bank?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, on the Samfya aquaculture park, I said there are two sites and the first site is under Savenda Management Services Limited and the other site is under Sunshare Construction Limited. These are the two contractors that are in Samfya. In terms of the percentage of the works that have been done at the first site, I said it is 45 per cent and the percentage of works on the second one for Sunshare Construction Limited is also 45 per cent. That is what is in my statement. So, on the issue of when they are going to complete the project, the answer is the same because all the contractors were called and we told them that by 2023, first quarter, we need to hand over these projects to the communities. I think no contractor has been given a different date to complete the works. We all agreed on the same dates or period.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Minister, what is the name of the bank? It is the African Development Bank (AfDB) or which one?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the bank is African World Bank.

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Chikote: I mean the African Development Bank (AfDB). This is the co-operating partner that has come on board to support us in aquaculture. Maybe, for the sake of clarity again, it is AfDB.

Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, I think we have heard the hon. Minister clearly indicate that the projects will all be done by mid next year. Now, may I know the legal mechanisms that have been put in place to ensure that contractors who default in terms of not managing to complete the projects face sanctions?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, firstly, every contract has got conditions that are signed. So, the consequences of those who are going to default are actually stated in the contract and they will receive their punishment accordingly.

Madam Speaker, as the New Dawn Government, we do not tolerate people who sabotage the service delivery people are supposed to enjoy.

I thank you, Madam Speaker. 

Mr E. M. Musonda (Lupososhi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the money available for the aquaculture parks is US$50 million. He further stated that the construction site of an aquaculture park in Mungwi would cost 23.8 million and he ended there. For Samfya, he said the first site would cost 25 million while the second site would cost 30 million. The construction works for the Kafue aquaculture park would cost 26 million. In what currency were these contracts awarded? Is it in dollar or kwacha? If it is in dollar, then it is beyond US$50 million dollars. So, kindly categorically state in what currency these contracts were awarded to the contractors.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I was giving the figures in kwacha. I was saying, K14.6 million, K30.5 million. That is the currency I was using. It is kwacha.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, let us pay attention when the ministerial statement is being delivered, so that we do not waste precious time.

Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-tezhi): Madam Speaker, I seek clarity from the hon. Minister whether this is a pilot project or one that has come to stay? If so, what is the plan for expansion because I am looking at some of the other areas that are really facing a potential of fish depletion?

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, this programme is a strategy of the New Dawn Government to make sure that we start solving challenges of deficit that the fish industry in the country is faced with. So, for those areas which have not been budgeted for in this round, I assure the hon. Member that that the New Dawn Government still has got good ideas to expand to the potential areas that are still remaining such as Itezhi-tezhi.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. Chibuye (Mkushi North): Madam Speaker, riding on the question by the hon. Member for Itezhi-tezhi, I would like to know if the hon. Minister is able to state which other potential areas he would like to embark on after completing these areas that are currently being worked on.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I have just said that we will extend the construction of aquaculture parks to areas with potential in this country. As at now, I am not in a position to list all of them for the hon. Member, but he should know that if where he is coming from there is potential in investing in the aquaculture park, definitely, the New Dawn Government will be there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has been to Sinazongwe, and I know he appreciates the volume of water which is in Lake Kariba. I know he has attempted to answer questions from the hon. Members for Itezhi-tezhi and Mkushi North. Now, what I wanted to find out from the hon. Minister is the criteria that were used in identifying the first places that he mentioned under the fish parks. I wanted to know the criteria that were used if it was not water only, because I felt Sinazongwe should have been given the first priority.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member is aware of where we are coming from and where we are going, and he will understand those dynamics. The only assurance that I can give the hon. Member now is that the New Dawn Government has a focused vision that will make sure that when it comes to empower our people, we will use the barometer of equity.

Madam Speaker, so, I am very much aware that Sinazongwe is one of the areas in this country which has got the potential, and so, what happened in the past is water under the bridge. However, I can guarantee him that we are committed to making sure that areas like Sinazongwe are also brought on board to benefit from these projects and make sure that the issue of fish deficit in the country is addressed. However, we will not dwell on the past wrongs, but we will make sure we correct the situation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I thank you –

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

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte, you know our rules and procedure. If you want to indicate for a point of order, you can use the gadget. That is why we have those gadgets. You do not just stand. You must use the gadgets that are there because now you are indicating that you want to ask a question. The hon. Member for Bangweulu may proceed.

Mr Kasandwe: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to ask a question. Before the project was undertaken, this House was informed that the African Development Bank (AfDB) did a feasibility study and according to the comparative advantage that is the criterion which was used.

Madam Speaker, maybe before I ask a question, on a lighter note, the hon. Minister can see me during break to provide more information, especially on the other components of the project in line with Hon. Kang’ombe’s question.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to my question. The hon. Minister did say that along the way, the project was renegotiated. From the start, the project has always been US$50 million. Now, after it was renegotiated, how much is the renegotiated cost?


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, there is not ‘them’ and ‘us’. We are all one. If information is supposed to be provided, either side can seek or provide information. So, let us work as a family.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member was asking me to see him outside for more information. There is no information he has, ...


Mr Chikote: ...because if he had the information as he is portraying, our hon. Colleagues would have corrected this confusion because they were in charge. It took us to make sure that these contractors are given the roadmap which is going to benefit our citizens. They were there, but they did not correct the situation. That is why the hon. Member was complaining that the projects are not done. So, the hon. Member should know that this office has got the information on how our hon. Colleagues brought confusion in this country where contracts are concerned.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has asked how much the cost is after negotiations. We were negotiating with the contractors to make sure that we agree on a roadmap to complete this project in time. We did not negotiate on the monies.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, my point of order is based on Standing Order 70. Questions for oral answer are provided for in our Standing Orders. It is one way in which your hon. Members make the Executive accountable. When your hon. Members are given an opportunity by you to clarify, they are not playing. They are seeking clarifications.

Madam, my hon. Colleague from Sinazongwe asked the hon. Minister a very simple question: What was the criterion used to select the points where the projects would be done if it was not water? The hon. Minister just went at sea losing you, us and the country at large. Is the hon. Minister in order to start talking about creating a mess where we are coming from when the question is simply about the criterion that was used?

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling on the matter.

Madam Speaker: When you say that he went at sea, I thought sea means water. Maybe, just by way of guidance, hon. Ministers, when you are asked questions, try to answer within the context of the question. This will enable you to provide the hon. Members with the information which they can use to advise the people they represent.

Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, I know this is a very important matter, but my question has been overtaken by the question asked by the hon. Member for Itezhi-tezhi. However, I just want to put on record that Chembe has got plenty of water bodies. So, I need to be considered.


Madam Speaker: Maybe the hon. Minister of Fisheries and Livestock can give some reassurance.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member and that is why I am saying that going forward, we will make sure that all our potential areas are considered in this project. I assure him that we will go to Chembe to make sure that our people there are also empowered by putting up these aquaculture parks in those areas, in order to find solutions to the deficit in the fish industry.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, Zambia spends in excess of US$3 billion on fish imports to offset the national deficit. The hon. Minister has made a commendable statement. The aquaculture parks are welcome.

Madam Speaker, aquaculture production increase is due to niloticus and not the local tilapia species. There is also a lot of scientific evidence to prove that countries that have seen a rise in aquaculture production in tilapia have done so not as a result of local tilapia, but the niloticus tilapia, which generates a massive increase in food production around the world.

Madam, the fear from the people of Kanchibiya is that we are doing the same things and expecting different results. We are getting these loans, but we spending them on promoting unprofitable fish species. This is clearly a major concern for those of us from Kanchibiya with so many water bodies.

Madam, I want to find from the hon. Minister if there is willingness on the part of the Government to revisit the policy which is discriminatory in nature, whereby hybrid tilapia is only restricted to three provinces and the other seven provinces are not allowed to grow niloticus tilapia on account of the environment. On the other hand, we have got all these other hybrid species that we have allowed for chickens and goats and they affect the environment one way or another. So, I want to ask the hon. Minister if there is willingness by the Government to revisit this ten or eleven year old ban imposed on hybrid tilapia.

Mr Chikote: Madam Speaker, research on the species that we are supposed to be restocking is on. I am sure that arising from the research that is going on, we will be able to advise our good people of Kanchibiya on how we are going to proceed in terms of the species they are supposed to restock.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation (Mr Mposha): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to inform the nation through this august House on the planned activities for improving access to water through construction of water infrastructure for rural communities in the 2022 fiscal year.

Madam Speaker, as you are aware, the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation is responsible for the management and development of water resources as well as provision of water supply and sanitation services in the country. The ministry is implementing the national rural and urban water supply and sanitation programmes whose main objective is to improve livelihoods and public health for the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the country is still facing a number of challenges in terms of access to clean and safe water. According to the Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) Report, access to improved sources of water stands at 72 per cent of the households of which 92 per cent are in urban areas and 58 per cent in rural areas. With regards to access to sanitation facilities, the disparity is even worse in that, while access to improved sanitation stands at 54 per cent of the households at national level, 78 per cent are in urban areas and 37 per cent in rural areas. This clearly shows the wide inequality in terms of accessibility between urban and rural areas. The wide inequality is attributed to inadequate investment in water supply and sanitation infrastructure, especially in the rural parts of our country.

Madam Speaker, to address this situation, the Government through my ministry with support from co-operating partners is implementing various interventions aimed at improving access to water supply and sanitation services in the country. In this regard, the ministry in the 2022 Budget provided for the construction of 1,350 boreholes and eighty solar powered small piped water schemes in all our ten provinces. So far, procurement of 972 boreholes has been completed and contracts awarded to various contractors.

Madam Speaker, the distribution of the 972 boreholes by province, contractor and amounts are as follows.

Province                   Contractor                   No. of Boreholes                     Amount

Western                    Zambezi Drilling &

                                 Exploration Ltd                   10                                   K1,566,251.72

Southern                   Fine Corp (Z) Ltd                60                                   K4,721,896.00

                                 Dyke Company                    65                                   K5,729,170.40

Eastern                     Sunshine

                                 Boreholes (Z) Ltd                85                                   K4,807,823.00

                                 Nchanga South

                                 Enterprise                             100                                 K4,866,246.40

Central                     ML Drilling and

                                 Exploration                          60                                   K3,820,000.00

                                 Orbit Drilling &

                                 Explorations                         60                                   K3,800,000.00

Lusaka                      United Drilling

                                 Exploration                          30                                   K2,400,000.00

                                 Simplex Drilling &

                                 Construction Ltd                 30                                   K2,400,000.00

Luapula                    Sweet Waters Drilling          50                                   K3,002,874.60

                                 Alfrechi Investment Ltd      73                                   K5,240,021.60

Northern                   Alfrechi Investment Ltd      60                                   K4,602,532.00

                                 Sunshine Borehole

                                 Drilling (Z)                           75                                   K4,649,425.00

Muchinga                 DDYPE Company               45                                   K3,677,867.00

                                 DDYPE Company               59                                   K4,691,115.40

North-Western         GANSU Corporation

                                 Engineering                          50                                   K4,236,320.00

                                 GANSU Corporation

                                 Engineering                          60                                   K4,936,264.00

Total                                                                                                             K69,185,727.12

Madam Speaker, once the 972 boreholes have been constructed, it is envisaged that about 243,000 people will benefit by having access to clean and safe water. Further, you may wish to note that the construction of the eighty small piped water schemes is under procurement process. Once the eighty small piped water schemes have been constructed, it is anticipated that over 40,000 people will benefit through access to clean and safe water.

Madam Speaker, with regards to the eighty small piped water schemes that are earmarked for construction, the distribution by province is as follows:

 Province                                  Allocated piped water schemes

Central                                                         11

Copperbelt                                                     7

Eastern                                                            9

Luapula                                                          10

Lusaka                                                             7

Muchinga                                                        8

Northern                                                          9

North-Western                                                 9

Southern                                                           8

Western                                                            2

Total                                                                 80

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, the ministry with support from co-operating partners is implementing a number of water supply and sanitation projects in rural areas. Some of the notable projects include the transforming of rural livelihoods in Western Zambia which involves drilling 2,100 boreholes and ten solar powered medium piped water schemes to improve access to water among rural communities. Once completed, the boreholes and piped water schemes are expected to benefit around 525,000 people and 15,000 people respectively through improved access to clean and safe water.

Madam Speaker, the Government is also implementing the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project in refugee settlements and host communities in Nchelenge, Kaoma and Lusaka districts with support from the Germany Government through the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF). This involves the construction of over 300 boreholes and sixteen solar powered medium piped water schemes which are expected to benefit around 75,000 people and 16,000 people respectively. This august House may wish to note that the Ministry is undertaking borehole rehabilitation country wide to accelerate universal access to clean and safe water and improve the livelihood of our people.

Madam Speaker, the ministry planned to rehabilitate five small dams for multipurpose use which include irrigation, fish farming and animal watering among others. Theses dams are being rehabilitated at a total cost of K23,320,519.01. The distribution and cost of these dams is as follows:

Name of Dam                                   District            Province                      Cost (ZMK)

         Mitukutuku                             Solwezi           North-Western            K3,943,004.73

         Akansokoshi                           Luwingu          Northern                      K724,431.20

         Singonya                                 Monze             Southern                      K4,984,683.71

         Siazwela                                  Sinazongwe     Southern                      K4,032,697.28

         Mwase                                     Lundazi           Eastern                        K6,635,702.09

         GRAND TOTAL                                                                               K23,320,519.01

Madam Speaker, the dams were selected based on the assessment that was undertaken considering the required works as well as the available resources. You may further wish to note that the ministry has been undertaking countrywide assessment of dams to establish the status and location for planning purposes. So far, four provinces have been covered and the exercise is still on-going.

Madam speaker, the rehabilitation of these dams is being undertaken by the Zambian National Service (ZNS) through an agreement that was signed in August, 2022. You may wish to further note that rehabilitation works commenced in September, 2022 and are expected to be completed in December, this year. The rehabilitation of the dams is expected to restore and prolong the lifespan of the dams and continue to provide the much needed water to help sustain various livelihood activities derived from the use of water such as livestock, watering, gardening, fishing as well as water for domestic use. Once completed, the rehabilitated dams are expected to benefit over 21,000 people through their various livelihood activities.

Madam Speaker, let me also use this opportunity to state here that the New Dawn Government and, indeed, the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation recognises and appreciates the cooperation and support that various stakeholders, including the hon. Members of Parliament both from you right and your left have continued to render to the ministry and to our citizens through water resources development, water supply and sanitation services. The ministry will continue to strengthen its collaboration with co-operating partners and the various stakeholders in our quest to improve access to clean and safe water and sanitation services in our country.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to continue sensitising our people in the various Constituencies on the importance of taking ownership and safeguarding the water and sanitation infrastructure which the Government is putting up in different parts of the country at a great cost. I wish also to take this opportunity to appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament to prioritise water and sanitation projects using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) as this is fundamental to the human and social development of our country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: We will add another ten minutes.

Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement that has been rendered by the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much and welcome back.

Madam Speaker, just as a matter of clarity, why does the Western Province seem to have the least boreholes and small water projects, I think, there are ten and two respectively. Why does that seem to be the case when it appears that it is the province with the most demand for boreholes and small water projects?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament or Nalolo for that good question. You may wish to note that I did indicate in my statement that the selection and allocation of these boreholes and the piped water schemes were carefully done to also strike a balance. The Western Province currently has a number of on-going water projects. I did allude to the boreholes that are being drilled under the project known as Transforming Rural Livelihoods in western Zambia which is the Western Province. So, there are quite a number of boreholes that are being drilled there and piped water schemes. So, when we were planning for the 2022 allocations, we took into account the fact that the Western Province has on-going projects involving the drilling of boreholes and piped water schemes. So, that is what necessitated the lower allocation.

Madam Speaker, this is just ensure that we equitably share the allocations of these resources in all the provinces.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, permit me to first make an appeal to the hon. Minister as he is distributing these boreholes. I have seen that he has given the Eastern Province 185 boreholes. Nyimba Constituency, being the biggest constituency in the Eastern Province and a constituency which is forgotten not only by the United Party for National Development (UPND), but also all successive Governments, my appeal to the hon. Minister is that he must consider us as we are also Zambians. My question is: When will these projects start?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, in terms of when the project will start, I want to confirm that the contracts for drilling of boreholes have already been awarded. It is desirable that the contractors should be in various provinces within the month of October, this year. We want to do a lot of work within the month of November and December before the onset on the rainy season.

Madam Speaker, in terms of considering Nyimba, yes, I assure the hon. Member of Parliament that there will be an improvement in terms of the distribution of works in the 2023 fiscal year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving an opportunity to the people of Mandevu to ask a question to the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation.

I note from his statement that urban areas are put at 92 per cent in terms of access to clean drinking water. However, Mandevu Constituency has more than 500,000 people and 75 per cent of them do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. I want to find out how many boreholes will go towards Mandevu from the thirty boreholes that have been given to Lusaka Province.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, admittedly, yes, Mandevu is one of the three biggest constituencies in Lusaka and one of the biggest constituencies in Zambia. Yes, more than 50 per cent of the people in Mandevu do not have access to clean and safe drinking water. This is because of the low investment in the water sector, which was characterised by our hon. Colleagues where the hon. Member belongs. However, I want to assure the Patriotic Front (PF) Provincial Chairman, who is the hon Member of Parliament for Mandevu, …

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mr Mposha: …that the New Dawn Government will continue increasing the allocation of funds to the sector so that as many people as possible have access to clean water including his constituency and Devil’s Street in Matero Constituency and other various constituencies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sampa rose.

Madam Speaker: Some people are too sensitive. Just the mention of a name and he stands up.


Madam Speaker: That means he is very alert.

Mrs Chonya: Madam Speaker, in the past, His Excellency has cited examples of exorbitant pricing in the procurement of goods and services. The cost of boreholes is one such example he has cited and expressed concern about. When I do some calculations, here, in some cases, I am finding that each borehole is working out even close to K100, 000. So, what special features do these boreholes have to warrant this kind of cost? In the same vein, we have had the argument of boreholes being drilled at a cost even as low as K20,000, so, then, why do we still have this seemingly high cost on the cost of each borehole?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I want to admit and say that I share the concerns of His Excellency the President in terms of the high cost of boreholes. I also share the concerns of the hon. Member of Parliament. It is true that when your do the calculations, you find that on average, the cost of each borehole is coming to around K70,000 or K71,000.

Madam Speaker, the cost of boreholes, particularly when it comes to rural areas, is influenced by various factors among them, mobilisation of equipment, fuel, labour cost, borehole citing, borehole drilling, and full casing.

Madam Speaker, contracts under our ministry are very strict in that the contractor must case the boreholes from top to bottom. There is so much cutting of corners or so much compromise in terms of quality in some boreholes that your hon. Members and other citizens drill. They drill boreholes which are not cased from top to bottom, and because of that, it looks cheaper. However, in terms of durability, such boreholes are not to stand the test of time. So, I thought I should say that.

Madam, our boreholes also involve civil works, which include the construction of an apron, a drainage and a soak-away pit. For other boreholes, you just drill a borehole and equip it with a hand pump and it ends there, but there is so much work that is done around our boreholes. 

Madam Speaker, there is also the supply of maintenance tool kit. We also factor in the training of the communities on the operation and maintenance. So, where we drill our borehole, we ensure that the contractor trains the community to ensure that they take care of such facilities that they last a long time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. E. Banda: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I was going to call on the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central, but he wants raise a point of order. What is your point of order?

Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the good people of Petauke an opportunity to raise a point of order pursuant to Standing Orders 206 (2) regarding the official dress code for a female member.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue in order to come to the House without shoes and even debate?

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: From here, I see many things, but I cannot see your feet. So, I did not see anything.

Mrs Chonya stood in the isle to show that she was wearing shoes.


Madam Speaker: Sometimes, the feet also need a breather.

Let us make progress.

What is your point of clarification, hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central?

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke): Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to the people of Petauke to ask a follow-up question. Water is life. Before I ask the question, the hon. Minister should be aware from today that we in the Eastern Province depend on farming and we also use animals to farm. So, as he is distributing water, he should also consider the same animals we are using. This is because right now, Petauke Central Constituency does not have any dams and the animals are using the same boreholes. So, it is very difficult to maintain the boreholes and you find that after two days, they develop faults or break down and then it will stay for a week without repair, which will affect the good people of Petauke.

Madam, my question is: Who was contracted to drill the boreholes in Petauke so that we can make a follow-up because right now more than 500 villages do not have clean water. Furthermore, how much will one borehole cost?

Madam Speaker: Only one question per hon. Member. The hon. Minister will address the first question.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I indicated that contractors are allocated per province. I went through province by province and gave the names of the contractors. However, for the sake of that question, and at the expense of repeating myself, the Eastern Province has two lots and two different companies called Sunshine Boreholes Zambia and Nchanga South Enterprises Ltd. So, two companies will handle the Eastern Province and one of them should be able to cater for Petauke.

Madam, for now, I do not have the specifics in terms of who is going to go in which constituency between these two, but suffice to say that these two contractors will handle the Eastern Province.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, my point of clarification is a follow-up to the answer given to the question raised by my young brother from Nalolo. The sixteen of us from the Western Province are concerned by the low levels of boreholes, ten at most and two smaller water projects. The explanation he has given us is that it is because we are benefitting from several other water projects. Perhaps, I am the only one who does not know them, but I have not seen anything on the ground. I would like him to give us an indication of how many boreholes are being drilled in the Western Province from the other projects and which projects those are so we can follow them up.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, as I indicated, we have a project called Transforming Rural Livelihoods, which covers, mostly, the western part of Zambia; the Western Province. Under this project, we are drilling 2,100 boreholes and ten solar-powered medium piped water schemes. So, the Western Province is one of the provinces benefiting from most of these 2,100 boreholes.

Madam, in terms of specifics, I promise to engage the hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province to give them more details in terms of how these boreholes have been spread in the Western Province. I promise that I will engage them further.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, my question is very simple. The hon. Minister has told us how he has spread these boreholes according to provinces. Is it possible for him to come back to this House and give us more information on how these boreholes are being spread per constituency or per district?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, apparently, I have all the information in terms of the allocation of these boreholes, district by district. So, I can go as far as the district, but in the interest of time, it was almost impossible to have all this information within thirty minutes in the ministerial statement. I will encourage those Members who want to see me over tea to come and we can discuss district by district in terms of how many boreholes and piped water schemes they are getting. So, those who may wish to do this can just avoid the bar, meet me in the restaurant and then we will discuss.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, there is a word the hon. Minister has used. We all know that that is your place and all hon. Members who go there participate on your behalf.


Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, what hon. Members are requesting is for this information to be deposited in their pigeon holes because not everyone here would manage to meet the hon. Minister during tea time. Is the hon. Minister in order to bring that sacred place in his answer at this time when all of us here are seated and know that we are thirsty?


Madam Speaker: I am considering closing that place.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, to get the information from the hon. Minister, you can either visit the office or the hon. Minister can put the information in the pigeon holes, so that hon. Members have got easy access because going through the list of 156 constituencies borehole by borehole would take us the whole day. So, that will be attended to, hon. Member.

Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, the people of Kasenengwa would like to know how these boreholes will be drilled because there is a growing trend by the borehole drillers to drill up to 50 m as the standard depth. Looking at the amount of money involved per borehole, are we looking at 50 m depth or will the depth depend on where the driller finds water? Sometimes, you can find water at 70 or 80 m. The people of Kasenengwa would like to know the criterion that the drillers will use for them to benefit because sometimes when they do not find water at 50 m, they abandon the place and the people remain in the same situation they were in before a driller moved to their site. So, the people of Kasenengwa would want to know how they will benefit from these boreholes as opposed to being left in the same situation they were in before the drillers visited them.

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, firstly, let me acknowledge your guidance. We will be able to provide the information as requested by the hon. Member for Chitambo. We will do a summary of what we have allocated district by district and then deposit that information in the pigeonholes for each and every Member of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, coming to the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa, our standard depth of our boreholes is 80 m. So, we will be able to drill up to 80 m, and just to assure the House that our contractors have been given strict instructions to ensure this is not just an exercise to go and drill boreholes but to ensure that we get water to the people. So, as the hon. Member has said, indeed, it may sound like the cost is quite high, but we want to ensure that we get good quality out of these works.

Madam Speaker, let me take advantage of this opportunity and once again, appeal to hon. Members of Parliament that we have very limited time. As we go back to our constituencies, we would not want to have a situation where we start fighting over the location of the boreholes because sometimes we send contractors and they are derailed because of the fights that happen in the various localities in terms of where the borehole should be sunk.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, ask and appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament that in the interest of time, as they go to their constituencies, they must discuss with the councils through the council secretary, council chairpersons, councillor and traditional leaders so that they agree on where the boreholes should be assigned. When a contractor comes to your district, we want him to find already agreed on positions in terms of where the boreholes will be sunk, so that we do not waste time by parking the machine and start waiting for your discussions to start when the contract is already on site.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: I will add a bonus question. I see that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chitambo has disappeared. I hope he has not gone to the place.


Madam Speaker: The last question will be from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalulushi.

Ms Mulenga (Kalulushi): Madam Speaker, mine is just a clarification. I apologise if the hon. Minister already mentioned the Copperbelt.

Madam Speaker, I did take note that on the small piped water project, the Copperbelt has only been allocated seven, which I think is way beyond minimal. I will give a very good example of my constituency. For the last nine months, we have not had any drop of water. So, I was hoping that if at all, the hon. Minister has not allocated any boreholes, areas like Kafue and Nsokolo would be given water. We are in a critical situation, especially that we are approaching the rainy season.

So, with the hon. Minister’s intervention, before those lists are placed in the pigeonholes and if at all Kalulushi has not been allocated anything, my plea on behalf of the good people of Kalulushi, who like the hon. Minister very much, ...


Ms Mulenga: ... at least, from the seven small water piped projects, if you can, give us –

we are the ones mining the copper, hello – two of those and also allocate as many of those boreholes. It is unfortunate that you have not been able to outline how the distribution has been. So, my appeal on behalf of the people of Kalulushi is that you give us as many of those boreholes. With Nkana Water and Sewerage Company, it has been totally a dead-end and I do not think the people are getting water any time soon.

Madam Speaker: It was an appeal. I am sure the hon. Minister has taken note. Hon. Minister, do you want to react to that?

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, I am actually very shocked. Each time I hear that people are being arrested and found with so much money in their houses, I get very sad because if only this money was being ploughed into development, then the people of Kalulushi would have had plenty of water.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mposha: Madam Speaker, however, I assure the hon. Member of Parliament that I love the people of Kalulushi and we will consider increasing the allocation of those facilities and plans so that they can have a fair share which they were deprived of in the past. We will give them.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Just for the purpose of guidance and for the benefit of the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi, I am sure the hon. Members who were present noticed that I asked for his phone to be taken from him. What I observed from here is that he had gone outside, got a letter and he was passing it on to the hon. Members of Parliament who were seated next to him and behind and then after that, he took the phone and took a picture of that letter. In accordance with Standing Order No. 231, I decided to take away the phone and for avoidance of doubt, Standing Order No. 231 says as follows:

“Use of Electronic Devices

  1. A member may use a Tablet in the House.
  2. A member shall ensure that the Tablet is switched to silent mode and that its use does not cause disorder or distract other members.
  3. Subject to paragraph (4) of Standing Order fifty-eight, a member may use a Tablet in debating a Motion.
  4. A member may use a Tablet to send or receive messages for use in the proceedings of the House.
  5. A member may use a Tablet to access parliamentary documents which are relevant to the current Business in the House or search for information for use during debate.
  6. A member shall not make or receive a telephone call in the Chamber.”

So, the conduct of the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi was that, he was distracting the hon. Members that were sitting round him by taking a picture of the letter that he had received for whatever purpose, I am sure to communicate or send a message somewhere and therefore, because he was using a cell phone, Standing Order No.231 talks about a tablet. So, that is the reason I decided to have the phone taken away from him, so that he can pay attention to the proceedings of the House and that he does not distract other hon. Members. So, please inform him since he is not here.




57. Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe) on behalf of (Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central)) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. whether the Government is aware that, for about two months, there has only been one medical doctor in the entire Kalabo District, who is unable to cope with the work; and
  2. if so, what urgent measures are being taken to deploy additional doctors to the District, in order to improve health service delivery and avert loss of life.

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, Kalabo District is currently being serviced by two hospitals. The two hospitals are Kalabo District Hospital and Yuka Mission Hospital. There are five doctors in Kalabo District including the district health director, namely

Dr Neto Mbwayu serving as district health director, Dr Kapinga Kalenge serving at Yuka Mission Hospital and supported by three medical licentiates, Dr Kabwe Kabongo, Dr Tuga Andembushe and Dr Charles Mwansa serving at Kalabo District Hospital.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was answering the question by the hon. Member for Kalabo Central.

Madam, currently, Kalabo District is being serviced by two hospitals, namely Kalabo District Hospital and Yuka Mission Hospital. These two hospitals put together have five doctors, that is, Dr Neto Mbwayu serving as District Health Director, Dr Kapinga Kalenge serving at Yuka Mission Hospital and he is supported by three medical licentiates, Dr Kabwe Kabongo, Dr Tuga Andembushe and Dr Charles Mwansa are serving at Kalabo District Hospital. However, the two facilities in Kalabo have the following situation as of now:

At Yuka Mission Hospital, the doctor has been on a short leave for the past two weeks and we only have one medical licentiate. The district director, however, is the one supporting him. At Kalabo District Hospital, there is currently one doctor present. Another doctor has taken a short leave for marriage purposes, while the third one is on a lengthy study leave. In the meantime, the district health director is expected to cover even Kalabo District Hospital.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Before we go to supplementary questions, I see that the hon. Member for Kasenengwa has a pending point of order. What is the point of order?

Mr Twasa: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think due to time, it has lapsed. Maybe, I will discuss it with you in camera.

Madam Speaker: The hon. Member for Kasenengwa may ask a supplementary question.

Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health is answering a question from the hon. Member for Kalabo Central. Two days ago, she was answering a question for the same ministry. There have been many insinuations or allegations even in the print media about the shortage of drugs, which the hon. Minister has not agreed to.

Madam, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central came to talk about the lack of insulin and the hon. Minister said that was not the case on the ground. Today, again, the hon. Member for Kalabo Central is talking about the shortage of doctors and the hon. Minister is saying that is not the situation on the ground. My question is: Hon. Minister, do you think there is someone who is working against you to render you irrelevant in the New Dawn Government, or you are systematically evading questions on the Floor of this House?

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, I had guided that as you ask questions, do not use the word “you” because then the hon. Member for Kasenengwa is saying somebody is working against me to render me irrelevant from the way he asked the question. Please, ask in the third person. Use “she, he, they.”

Mr Twasa: I hope the hon. Minister has taken note.

Hon. Members: You take note!

Madam Speaker: With regard to the issue of insulin, I am sure you were here and you remember. The hon. Minister is supposed to come tomorrow to render a ministerial statement. So, maybe we can restrict your question only to the issue of availability of doctors at Kalabo District Hospital.

I do not know if the hon. Minister has a comment to make on what the hon. Member for Kasenengwa has said.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I think that the hon. Member did not really follow my answer. I think I started by answering what the correct situation is in terms of personnel. I said there are five doctors altogether between the two hospitals. I went on to say that of these five, looking at Yuka Mission Hospital where there are two doctors, I said there is only one and the one who is there is not even a doctor, he is actually a licentiate. I also went further to say that Kalabo District Hospital has one doctor. The other doctor has gone for issues of marriage and things like that or family issues.

Madam, I do not think that I am going away from the question, except that I left out part (b) of the question on measures that the Government is taking to deploy additional doctors to the district in order to improve health service delivery. The answer is that the Ministry of Health has so far allocated and deployed four more doctors now to Kalabo District; two for Kalabo District Hospital and two for the mission hospital from the just ended recruitment of health workers.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sialubalo: Madam Speaker, my people in Kalabo Central do appreciate the hon. Minister for the four new doctors that she has sent to Kalabo. The people are looking at what happened for only one doctor to remain at the hospital in the district. You cannot relegate someone who is in charge of administration to operations. Going forward, is it possible to second some doctors from nearby districts when other doctors go on leave, so that services are provided to our people?

Mr Masebo: Madam Speaker, these are administrative issues in the various districts in the provinces. If for example, you have two doctors, and one goes on leave or goes to get married or indeed, gets sick, administrative movements can be made. However, sometimes there are challenges of not having doctors.

Madam Speaker, normally, what they do in districts when somebody is not available, they pick from another hospital and deploy temporarily so that services continue to be offered. However, where nothing is done, it may well be that maybe, there is just no doctor. Bear in mind that in the rural areas, we still have challenges of lack of doctors. This is why, this time around, most of the doctors who have been recruited have been sent to the rural parts of Zambia. It is basically to take into account some of these challenges that we are facing generally in the health sector. You will find that in most of the rural parts of Zambia, it is only foreign doctors who accept to go there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, my question has already been asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the total number of the establishment and shortfall of doctors is in Kalabo District.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I think that question requires me to confirm what the establishment of doctors is. I would not know that off guard, but if he is asking what the numbers of doctors are currently in Kalabo, that is the answer I have given.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, the understanding of the situation in Kalabo was that, indeed, there are five doctors, of which four have gone on study leave, leaving only one doctor to attend to the entire district. If that is the position, what is the normal standard or arrangement that would be made in such situations when approving long study leave for medical doctors?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, to start with, it is very unwise if you are only five doctors in a particular hospital and then four, as the hon. Member put it, go on leave at the same time. I think that is an administrative lapse on part of administers. I think the way to do it would be to make sure that at every given time, if there are only two, then obviously, there will only be one remaining. However, if there are four, surely, there should be two remaining. That would be my response to the question, except that in this case, we are talking of the mission hospital and the Government hospital. The Government hospital has got two while the mission hospital basically has one doctor, but the other one is not really a full doctor. However, we can safely say there are two doctors.

Madam Speaker, it looks like in both places, one has left and only one has remained. It looks like the director of health who himself is a doctor and performing administrative functions has been used as a stand-in and even that is not good enough. Like I said, in a case where you do not have enough health workers, the recruitment has not been continuous, you end up with the situation that we have ended up with. Like last time, I said we have employed 11,276 workers, but all these are not doctors, they are in different categories. That is why you may have noticed that even in the 2023 Budget, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has agreed that at least another 3,000 health workers be added on. Obviously, that 3,000 will not be doctors only, but they will be mixed because it is a question of how much money has been allocated to the 3,000 positions.

Madam Speaker, in that 3,000, maybe there will only be 100 doctors and the rest may be other paramedics. So, you see that the demand on the skilled labour force for health is still critical, and unless we do this continuously, at least for the next three years, we will not have some kind of balance.

Madam, the other things which we will be doing shortly as a ministry, is redeployment of the doctors whom we have because the majority of them are in Lusaka. So, I hope that when we start doing that, the House can support us. Hon. Members should not come here and start speaking for voices without appreciating that we are basically trying to ensure that the whole country gets doctors. There should be equity. Like we keep saying, Lusaka is not Zambia. Therefore, we must make sure that the services we get here in Lusaka, the other provinces also get. We must ensure that all the ten provinces have a bare minimum number of doctors and of course, other specialised doctors.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the responses she is providing to this honourable House. Does the hon. Minster have intentions of visiting Kalabo Constituency, so that she can have a correct picture pertaining to what is on the ground taking into account that what is also coming from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo is contrary to the question which was brought to the Speaker not too long ago. This means that the good people of Kalabo may wish to see the hon. Minister physically and for her to appreciate what is obtaining in the ground. Does she have an intention of visiting the district? 

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important question or remark. Firstly, I have stated on the Floor of this House that the Ministry of Health is in 116 districts and beyond; constituencies, wards and polling districts. So, in terms of information, I may not be able to be on the ground in all the provinces and even in the districts in the next three years, if I was to be the Minister of Health. That is why we have hon. Members of Parliament. When they have an issue or notice that something is not right, they must come to the office or just send me a WhatsApp message indicating the current situation. They do not have to come and see me.

Madam Speaker, hon. Members from your right and left who have come will vouch for me and say that when they have done that, I have reacted there and then. I do not even take a day. I react just there and then. So, for them to waste time putting in a question which might even take a week or two to be responded to when the situation on the ground is bad does not help. Whether it is to try and think or send a wrong signal that she is not working, those who know me will tell you that I work. If I fail, I am just human.

Madam Speaker, when it comes to commitment, I do not believe that there is nobody, currently, even among the persons asking these questions, who can be more committed than I am committed in this sector with regards to serving the people of Zambia; both the right and the left.

Madam Speaker, I know and believe that truly, as you keep advising us, even earlier this afternoon, you were telling us that we are one when it come to serving the people of Zambia. So, there is no need to come here and tell me that there is no cafenol or Antiretroviral drugs (ARV) in Mazabuka when I am seated next to you. Why not just tell me so that I quickly check. In some instances, people have told me and I have acted. I have phoned the relevant departments and they have reacted. So, to that extent, let me repeat that please, do not spend time on questions, just come and tell me, and we will work together to rectify.

Madam Speaker, the other point is that we have on the ground right now, our parliamentary liaison officer in the ministry and the clinical care director in charge of hospitals in Kalabo right now to verify that information so that tomorrow, I can be able to issue the ministerial statement.

Madam Speaker, you may have noted that I had one answer on the paper in my hands and I was also reading another answer from the phone. This is because our officers are on the ground and they are able to tell me that whilst we employed two doctors or more in the district, there is only one active at the moment. This is because the others have gone on leave, for marriage affairs and so on and so forth.

Madam Speaker, some questions also lapse in terms of time. Some questions may come at a particular time when something is wrong, but by the time I am answering, the situation has changed. This was the case with the insulin shortage in Kalabo and I do not believe that the answer I gave on the Floor was not correct. It was actually correct in terms of what was pertaining at that time. However, I would, of course, like to meet the people of Kalabo to hear more about the situation that they are facing. We are there to serve them. We want to serve them and we are happy to serve them. That is why they put us in office. It is to serve them.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: With that explanation and the call on hon. Members to visit the hon. Minister of Health, just to clarify issues or concerns that they might have in their own particular constituencies, we can make progress. Please do engage not only the hon. Minister of Health, but also all the other hon. Ministers.




Mr Tayengwa (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the good people of Kabwata this opportunity to contribute to debate on the Budget Speech.

Madam Speaker, allow me first of all to say that the Budget that was presented to this august House actually represents the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kabwata. It is not only for the people of Kabwata, but it also answers the aspirations of the Eight National Development Plan (8NDP).

Madam Speaker, I will categorise about four items that I want to mention. The first item will be the allocation for education. You will note that the allocation for the education sector was K23 billion, which is actually about 13 per cent of the total Budget. I think the money that has been allocated to the education sector will be able to answer some of the challenges and problems that we are having, especially in my constituency.

Madam Speaker, I am going to speak about Kabwata because of the many things that the people of Kabwata are going through. First of all, there is a college that has been orphaned for almost fifteen or sixteen years now. This is a college which is situated right in my constituency. This is the college we call ZAMISE, which stands for the Zambia Institute of Special Education. This institution, if I may tell you, provides for, or teaches learners who are supposed to teach children who have special needs.

Madam Speaker, if you were to visit this institution, you would see that it is a sorry site. I wish the Ministry of Education could consider finishing this college that has been orphaned for almost fifteen years. It is high time we concentrated much on this college. The reason I am talking about this college is that it is the only college that we have in Zambia which provides the services of teaching learners who are supposed to provide teaching to children with special needs.

Madam Speaker, let me come to the issue of building schools. In the Budget Speech that was presented to this House, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about the Government constructing about 120 schools. It is my prayer that this Budget will be able to answer some of the challenges, especially in the education sector, such as those in Kamulanga Ward, where right now, we only have two secondary schools. That is the reason I am speaking on behalf of the people of Kabwata. I am asking the Ministry of Education to consider the good people of Kabwata and give them two more secondary schools.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about skills development. If you check the budget for the Ministry of Education, you will note that it revolves around vocational training. I may sound a bit emotional because the things that are happening right now concern education. This is the issue of having children go into skills development. If you look back, you will see that in the past, the concentration has been too much on the girl child leaving out the boy child. In the stories carried in the newspapers or on social media, you will hear of a boy killing his own parents. You hear of boys who were involved in illicit activities. Even the boys that were arrested recently were very young. It is because we have concentrated so much on the girl child, leaving behind the boy child.

Madam Speaker, let us ensure that we build more of the skills training centres that we are talking about. If you look at Kamulanga, you will see that it does not even have a skills training centre. This is why we are saying for us to reduce some of these illicit activities that the boy child is getting involved in, it is high time we got the boy children and took them right into the skills training centres.

Madam Speaker, I will still come back to the issue of skills development. It is high time the Government, through the Ministry of Education, took time to visit some of the skills training centres in my constituency, like Chilenje Skills Training Centre. There is a need for the ministry responsible to go and supervise it and be able to rehabilitate the school.

Madam Speaker, I now move to agriculture. We appreciate the allocation of K7.5 billion for agriculture. I do support this allocation, but going forward, I would request that the budget should be increased to at least 10 per cent of the National Budget, so that we can meet the agreements made at the Malabo Convention, which was signed by many countries.


Madam Speaker, I agree with the issue of reforming the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) because there has been too much emphasis on fertiliser only, leaving out the issue of camp officers. Some camp officers that we have in the farming blocks do not even have shelter. They do not even have transportation. It is high time this budget answered the aspirations of the people who are right in the camp sites in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, getting back to the issue of buying equipment for those who are in camp sites, I think it is high time the money allocated answered some of these needs.

Madam Speaker, I will also speak about the issue of health. As you know, the allocation for health was about K17 billion, which is 10 per cent of the total Budget. This is good, and that is the reason we were voted into office. It is to improve the livelihood of the Zambian people. As I am speaking right now, Kabwata Constituency has got a population of over 220,000 people and we only have one first level hospital. It is high time we were given an opportunity to have at least two first level hospitals.

Madam Speaker, let me give you some information about the police in my constituency. The reason the police took long to arrest those perpetrators of the abduction is because of the issue of –

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sampa: Madam Speaker, you have ably guided in the last two days that this matter of the abduction of the girls and the rescue is under investigation and that we must not bring it to the Floor of this House. So, is the hon. Member for Kabwata in order to keep referring to that matter on which you well guided and all of us have kept away from?

Madam Speaker: When the hon. Member was debating, I thought he was referring to the accident of the late former hon. Member of Kabwata. I did not realise he was talking about the case relating to the abduction of the girls. Hon. Member, the matter relating to the abduction of the young girls is still under investigation, so, please, let us not debate it.

You may continue with your debate.

Mr Tayengwa: Madam Speaker, thank you very much for your guidance. However, the issue at hand is that of transportation. The police are ill equipped. That is the reason I was emphasising on the issue of the police. I can guarantee you that in my constituency, the two police stations that we have do not have adequate transportation. That is why the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security should look into this issue so that we, the people of Kabwata are given enough transportation and enable us to curb some of these criminal activities that are happening in my constituency.

Madam Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu entered the Assembly Chamber.

Madam Speaker: The hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security is just walking in. You are assured of some transport. I think he had made that undertaking.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I want to contribute a few words to the debate on the Budget, which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Madam Speaker, I want to start with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) issues. This was a very brilliant idea and we are all happy that the money will be coming. Now, as of today, we have 50 per cent of the money distributed to our respective councils. You will agree with me that everyone has been preaching about CDF. My appeal to the New Dawn Government is that it must not preach that CDF allocation has been increased by 75 per cent when presenting the budget but gives out 50 per cent as that does not augur well for the new Government and as new people in Government positions. My prayer is that let us give the correct information because at the end of the day, we, the parliamentarians, are the ones in problems to answer the question of where the money which the Government gave out is.

Madam Speaker, I do not agree with the proposal for next year’s guidelines or how the Government wants to distribute the CDF in 2024. For me, the guidelines will be a problem because they are saying that they are going to look at the numbers in those respective constituencies, the level of development and the population. A practical example is Lufubu Constituency whose population is basically less than the population of Nyimba central. Let us look at that and compare it to a constituency like mine, Nyimba, which has over 200,000 people. If you look at the geographical area of Lufubu Constituency, you will see that it is just too big. Kabwata goes into Lufubu Constituency twenty or forty times. So, using that method is not going to help us. We need to revisit that and see how best that can be done so that we avoid having a lot of problems.

Madam Speaker, I was very happy when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said the Government had sourced for K300 million for farming blocks. I remembered when I was in one political party called the National Democratic Congress (NDC), before it was …

Mr Mpundu: Disbanded!

Mr Menyani Zulu: …properly hammered by big political parties. Not disbanded.

Madam Speaker, K300 million is a very good investment in farming. We cannot do better than this. My plea is if we have borrowed this money and it is coming, we need to open up the farming blocks. There can never be better investment than in investing in agriculture. I am so happy because in that Budget Speech, the hon. Minister said we need to have anchor farms. I will give a practical example of Mpongwe Farms. Mpongwe Farms, at a certain time or at the peak of a farming season employs in excess of 10,000 people. The trucks that go in and out of Mpongwe Farms are far more than the trucks that go into Konkola Copper Mines (KCM).

Madam Speaker, agriculture is the shortest possible investment that can give you better returns than the mines. My plea is that we know where we have got enough water and land which is under developed. Can we quicken this process. Can we start this investment in agriculture like yesterday. Otherwise, if we are not going to spend this money on farming, I think then ba New Dawn Government will just follow suit as well and move out because this is a plan it has come up with and we support it. There is no one who is going to fight the Government on this issue of agriculture unless that person niwolwala, maybe, musala, maybe that person is insane.

Mr Mpundu: What is the meaning?

Mr Menyani Zulu: This is very good.

Madam Speaker, in the energy sector, any Government which is going to run away from procuring fuel is like taking oneself into a ditch. Everywhere in the world, if you allow the private sector alone to monopolise this business of fuel, it is like you have pointed a gun to your own head. I say this because these are people who are going to blackmail you during difficult times. It would be better if we left a certain percentage to procure our energy. Otherwise, we are done.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to skills development. When I did a checklist, just like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning did a checklist, I was happy that we are moving and the Government has employed people. However, I have a problem. We have sent a good number of people to go and do skills training, but we have forgotten something. When they come out from there, what are we going to do for them? Today, we have not even given out money from the CDF for those who applied for loans to start doing something. I agree that we need to do one or two things, but as it is now, let us start preparing. When our students leave those colleges, where are we going to place them? This is the question I am asking. It is very important for us.

Madam Speaker, I know that as a country, we jumped this system. We are where we are today because we thought only white collar jobs are the ones that are going to develop this country. You cannot develop like that. Countries like, Germany and China developed because they never ran away from skills training. They never jumped into white collar jobs. That is where we are today. We ran away from skills training. So, I congratulate the UPND which has gone back to the basics, which we all need to do.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Menyani Zulu: Madam Speaker, with regards to registering a few laws on carbon trading, I think we are not doing well as a country. We need to start moving because where we are today, this is a money spinning project. We are going to protect our environment and retain some money through carbon trading. I have seen something detailed on the report. I agree with the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that we need to move as quickly as we can. Otherwise, if we just put these to good writings and pronunciations with no action, then what are we doing? We are just killing ourselves. My prayer is that the Government starts actualising what it preaches.

Madam Speaker, the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should not just be this charismatic or flourishing flowery Budget. It is something we should start working on and fulfilling. If the Government fulfils this Budget, especially on farming blocks, I can promise you that people will vote for you again. Failure to implement these things, aa ka kabvuteko mwe. It will be very difficult.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Meaning!

Madam Speaker: What was the meaning of the last words you said hon. Member?

Mr Menyani Zulu: Madam Speaker, if the Government does not implement, ka kabvuteko, meaning it will be very difficult to win the next elections after promising people a very important project.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: For the information of hon. Members, the hon. Member for Nyimba is doing very well in carbon trading. I remember reminding hon. Members that please, learn from the hon. Member for Nyimba. The people cutting trees can actually stop doing that and earn money from looking after their forests. So, those of you in rural constituencies, please, please, learn from the hon. Member for Nyimba.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I want to start by commending our New Dawn Government for doing extremely well. It has given us a lot hope through the President’s Speech and now this Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. I want to start by commending the Government for the manner in which it has come up with the annual borrowing plan presented together with the Budget. This shows that we are actually moving towards the best practice of subjecting our borrowing to financial approval. We needed to do that seeing that as at the end of June, 2022, according to this report, our debt stood at US$25.2 billion. Last week, I was with Hon. Chilangwa while listening to how Zambia was going to be a rogue nation if it had continued on this path of unsustainable debt contraction. So, this is good. I wish the hon. Minister, with his technocrats, came up with –

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I think next time, when debating, just mention that you were with a certain hon. Member, instead of naming that person. A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Madam Speaker, I stand on Standing Order No. 65, which talks about the need for us hon. Members to be factual and that the information we provide to the House must be verifiable.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member who is failing to debate the speech or push forward the points in order to insinuate that I was with her; me and her? Is she in order to say that I was with her, the two of us somewhere. Is she in order to insinuate that?

Madam Speaker: Probably, the hon. Member for Kawambwa has forgotten. May the hon. Member Continue.


Mrs Chonya: Madam Speaker, thank you. It was actually in a workshop where we were being given this very worrying information. However, the observation that I wanted to make on this same borrowing plan is that, I did take the interest to look at the new loans we will be contracting in 2023. Of course, I acknowledge a lot of work that is proposed around agriculture, which we have flagged as one of our key economic activities that we will do as a country. However, I was looking out for something around industrialisation considering that it is one of the key pillars of our Budget. As Government, we have also resolved to deal with the issue of unemployment.

Madam, industrialisation is a very huge undertaking and I would have expected that at this point, the Government would have started putting a lot of money towards it seeing that we have already been in office for one year out of the five year tenure that we have in this term, although I know that we still have a long way to go.

Madam Speaker, this is just the anxiety that I wanted to express on behalf of the many youths of Kafue, and, indeed, elsewhere in the country. The youths are looking forward to having some job opportunities once these industries are created. We are doing fine in terms of providing those grants, especially under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). However, we are also concerned that from the little monitoring that we have done so far, there are some worrying aspects where people are literally sharing the CDF without applying it the way we envisage. Maybe, not everyone can be a business person, others are just good for being employed. So, let us create the industries and take some of that money for them to be employed and then they can financially sustain themselves for a long time. I believe that if people are supported in this manner, they should even be able to look after their families better, so that we shall not go to borrow for social protection. I see some quite substantial amount there to borrow for social protection.

Madam Speaker, in a family system that is not disintegrated and the situation at family household level is ok, we should really be able to look after the vulnerable and the aged within our family circles without going that route. The Government is very clear on the issue of rural connectivity and what it has committed to doing in that regard. It is on township roads where I want to hear its pronouncements more, especially on behalf of Kafue. This is a very critical matter. We would want to see the roads in our townships improved to a very great extent. Otherwise, it will be difficult to justify whether we are working as a Government if we cannot improve the state of roads in our towns. This is against the backdrop that even this rural connectivity programme that I have talked about had omitted Lusaka Province of which Kafue is part of. Remember I said this about the President’s Speech.

Madam Speaker, otherwise, the good news that I want to end with is appreciating the Budget Speech. In addition, the Government is really up to the game of liquidating terminal benefits for people who diligently served this nation. There is an undertaking to pay off pension funds almost soon after somebody leaves Government. I wanted to ride on this one to make an appeal on behalf of the former workers of Kafue Textile of Zambia (KTZ) who only got half of their terminal benefits. They have not forgotten, and so, they are always asking about their benefits, especially with the hope that the New Dawn Government has raised. They are really looking forward to having what is still outstanding in terms of their terminal benefits at the time the industry was privatised.

Madam Speaker, finally, I know that our New Dawn Government is working very hard to mobilise the resources. Recently, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development was on the Floor to talk about the consideration that is being made in terms of revising the emoluments for our hard working councillors. I thought I should also add my voice to that call that our caring Government also looks into the plight of our councillors. Indeed, these people are working very hard; twenty four hours in a day. Therefore, I think they deserve some consideration in terms of reviewing their terms and conditions of service, especially that the Emoluments Commission is now in place, which is what we had been waiting for.


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

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the Budget that was presented appears to be futuristic for the people of Chitambo. This is because of the manner in which it was presented whereby the hon. Minister highlighted what he intends to do in future. An example I can give is in the mining sector where he projected to get us to where we shall be producing about 3 million metric tonnes of copper. He also talked about how he is going to manage the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in 2024.

Madam Speaker, I will pick on some pillars, which appear to be of economic importance to this nation. When the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning comes to respond, I would like him to attempt to give some answers to the people of Chitambo because they are a bit concerned, especially regarding the mining sector where we have given out very good incentives to would-be investors. We have waived the visa fees. I know that when investors come around Zambia, they come to explore greenfield sites in the mining sector. However, I am worried because when I checked the Budget Speech on what has been provided for, I noted that the only money to the energy sector is to expand power transmissions. I know that the mines would require a lot of electricity for them to run. So, when the hon. Minister comes to respond, I want him to at least tell us how he plans to generate power for the mines and how we shall do the borrowing.

Madam Speaker, I also looked at agriculture, where the hon. Minister provided for extension officers who shall be employed next year. However, I am a bit worried because agriculture goes with research. I do not know whether it has been provided for in the Yellow Book, which we do not have up to now, but I am worried. I thought when he brought in issues of extension officers, and how much he will spend on agriculture, he would also take into account the research part of it, which should have really shown us that in this area, we shall concentrate on producing certain kinds of crops because research has indicated that the weather pattern would be in a certain fashion.

Madam Speaker, we, the people of Chitambo are, indeed, worried about the debt. We have noted that in the Budget, foreign debt repayments have been reduced. I am aware that the Government has engaged debtors to see how they can restructure it and how we shall pay it. However, my worry is that should the debtors refuse to agree with the hon. Minister on the process of restructuring debt, and see how it shall come to pass, the hon. Minister has not provided for any other resources or any other plan on how we shall manage this debt.

Madam Speaker, I will also speak about the student meal allowances. I really need clarity on it. I want to know whether meal allowances will be part of the loans that the students get and learn how many universities will be catered for. Is it only universities which are on Government-owned or they also cater for private universities? We need to know this so that when talking to our constituents, we are able to thoroughly explain to them that meal allowances also cater for them.

Madam Speaker, the other issue I want to speak about is the Budget deficit. We are very grateful as hon. Members of Parliament for the workshops that you have been organising for us because we are learning one or two things from them. This year, in July, we approved a Supplementary Budget of about K22 billion, which was brought to us. I am worried because I do not know whether this year, the K167 billion Budget will be adhered to so that our country and financial systems can get the credibility that we talk about whole the time, unlike a situation where we have a Budget of K167 billion, but end up with a Budget of about K200 billion. So, when the hon. Minister comes to respond, I want to trigger his mind on the matters that I have raised, so that as I go back to the people of Chitambo, if I am asked these questions, I am able to explain to them.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwabashike (Katuba): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me and the people of Katuba the opportunity to comment on the Budget Speech on estimates of revenue and expenditure delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Madam Speaker, to start with, I want to say the Budget really triggers the transformation of the economy as envisaged in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). The theme of the Budget is “Stimulating Growth for Improved Livelihoods”. What gives the Budget Speech a lot of credibility is how the hon. Minister recognised the low-hanging fruits that the country has, and these are sectors that actually give us comparative advantage.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister looked at agriculture. Every time, we have said we have land in excess of 80 per cent that is arable, which is an admiration to many countries that are eager to produce food to feed the region. We also boast of fresh waters in excess of 30 per cent to 35 per cent of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) fresh waters being hosted in this country. The hon. Minister took advantage of this comparative advantage to anchor the transformation of the economy through agriculture so that Zambia can truly become the bread basket of southern Africa. From the way the Budget has been framed, I think time has come to truly reclaim the position of being the food basket in Sub-Saharan Africa at large and southern Africa in a particular.

Madam Speaker, the other low hanging fruit that the hon. Minister looked at was mining. We are discovering minerals everywhere. Gold was discovered in Katuba and all other places. This is a comparative advantage that we have that other countries today that are doing so much batter such as Rwanda do not have. The hon. Minister took advantage of this comparative advantage because it is a low-hanging fruit to look at how we can depend on the turnover and not necessarily depend on how to scheme the taxation policy.

Madam Speaker, those who have done a bit of business would agree with me that when you depend on turnover, meaning, increasing the tonnage of copper that we are going to produce, it becomes more sustainable than relying on smaller tonnages but increasing the cost of taxation. The sustainability there remains questionable. My hon. Colleagues who are coming from villages will agree with me that we believe in milking many cows than milking one cow. No matter how much milk one cow gives you, the risk is high, because if it dies, you will not have the milk.

Madam Speaker, the other low-hanging fruit that we have is the endowment in the tourism sector. Zambia boasts of having the pristine vegetation. We have the flora and fauna that the world is looking for in terms of tourism.

Tourism has been down in the past two to three years, and the world is hungry to visit Africa because we are looking at people who have not seen wildlife in about two to three years. In 2023 and 2024, we are seeing many bookings for people wanting to visit Africa. The hon. Minister realised that this is a low-hanging fruit and that is why the cumbersomeness of visas for long-haul markets and source markets that we always depend on is becoming a thing of the past.

Madam Speaker, for example, Brazil did this in 2014, and it was realised that the removal of the visa alone increased tourist arrivals by 34 per cent. It shows how much we can look at the low-hanging fruit and take advantage to really grow the economy if truly, we want this to impact the livelihood of the people.

Madam, the last part that I want to look at is the issue of information communication technology (ICT). I have always emphasised that this is a game changer in whichever sector we are going into, whether it be mining or agriculture. If we are not going to employ mechanisation, ICT platforms and the digitalisation of the economy then, again, we are going to lose the competitive advantage even when we have the comparative advantage.

Madam Speaker, to build this competitive advantage so that we can compete in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region properly and in Africa at large, we need to invest a lot in ICT. I could see in the Budget that the hon. Minister was talking about the review of the Information and Communications Technologies Act in order to enhance the level of ICT deployment in the economy. As we do this, we are going to change the efficiency and speed at which we do business and this is going to increase our competitiveness.

Madam, issues of tourist arrivals, for example, in our border posts, if we use ICT it does not matter how long the queue is, we are going to clear it quickly. However, if we manualise most of these systems, you find that convenience is going to be replaced and in tourism, nothing replaces convenience. You need to do everything you do conveniently and ensure that time becomes money.

Madam Speaker, all I can say is that the hon. Minister has put up a very good roadmap. Like any other plan, the Budget being a plan is a roadmap that shows where we are and where we must go. What remains now is to walk the journey so that we get there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion before this august House on behalf of the people of Chipili.

Madam, let me remind myself of what I had promised this august House. I said that if the New Dawn Government was going to employ 30,000 teachers, I was going to dance. Unfortunately, when I perused the speech, I did not find that figure.What I found is 4,500.

Hon. Government Members: Ah!


Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, someone has already said that it is better than nothing. What I can simply say is that on that point, the United Party of National Development (UPND) Government has scored.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chala: It needs to continue. It is a game changer and I am sure the teacher-pupil ratio will be reduced.

Madam, it is important to acknowledge when somebody has done something right, just like the Patriotic Front (PF) did in this country, especially Lusaka, to transform it into how it is looking today. I also acknowledge that the PF did well. Well done.


Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, there is nothing wrong with acknowledging a good deed. You do not lose anything when you do that. I will continue praising the Government if it does something right. I will tell the Government to continue and keep on encouraging it because whatever it is doing is for the benefit of all of us.

Mr Nkandu: Continue dancing.

Mr Chala: Yes, I will continue dancing until the end.


Mr Chala: Madam Speaker, I will look at this Budget from the other side of the coin because there are two sides to a coin. This Budget is anchored on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. Everything is centred on that. In order for us to actualise this Budget, we need to fulfil the conditions which have been attached to this loan.

Madam, it is high time we informed our people that in order for us to recover the economy, we are depending on the way we are going to use the money that we are collecting from the IMF. If we mismanage it, then this Budget will not be actualised. What are these conditions so that the people are aware? People must be ready to see what is coming, whether it is suffering or not, because it will hit everyone.

Madam Speaker, there are three conditions that I want to talk about. One is to cut public expenditure, the second is cost-plus pricing on fuel and the third is tariffs on ZESCO Ltd power. On the first one; cutting down on public expenditure, I am sure the Government has already done that or it has started to do so. When I looked at the total expenditure for this year in our Budget and the total expenditure for next year, I expected that next year’s would be more than this year’s. I think that could be the way it is trying or we are trying because I am part of Government under the Legislator, to reduce public expenditure.

Madam, on the second and third components of fuel and electricity, we need to tell our people that before this economy is recovered, we first have to fix them and thereafter, the economy will recover. There are no two ways about it. The cost of production will go up because of increased electricity tariffs and transportation costs, meaning that prices for all goods and services will increase. So, people must be aware that this is what we are going to do as a Government. There are no two ways about it. People must be prepared. Their minds must be prepared, so that it is not a surprise. So, we are fixing them to fix the economy. That is what we have to do.


Mr Chala: There is nothing wrong with telling someone the truth. They should know that because of where we are now, we need to take this route to restructure our debt. There are no two ways about it. So, we are coming to fix the people come next year.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Mr Ngowani (Mpongwe): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the 2023 Budget which was ably presented by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane.

Madam Speaker, since I am coming from a constituency which has potential in agriculture, I will begin with the agriculture sector. Agriculture is the livelihood for the people of Mpongwe and Zambia at large. It provides raw materials, employment and food to the people of Zambia. The recruitment of 256 extension officers is a welcome move, but I want to appeal to the hon. Minister of Agriculture to make the extension officers more effective. Currently, most of the extension officers are not doing their work. Most of them appear when there is the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). That is why I say they must be more effective than they are.

Madam Speaker, the procurement of extension kits and motor bikes will make the camp officers do their work easily. This move by the Government to include this in the 2023 Budget is a welcome move.

Madam Speaker, most farmers in Zambia depend on rain-fed agriculture. Irrigation developments will improve farming in Zambia. I must mention that, 30 per cent of the wheat that is grown in Zambia comes from Mpongwe District and most of the farmers who grow it in Mpongwe are white farmers. So, irrigation development will make the local people of Mpongwe to also participate in growing wheat and other crops.

Madam Speaker, most people thought that because of the IMF deal, the FISP would not continue. The Government has assured the nation through the 2023 National Budget that the FISP will continue and will be reformed into Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP). This is a welcome move. The reviving of development of farming blocks will also improve farming in Zambia. It will also help with diversification in the agriculture sector whereby farmers will be empowered. The Government has already secured US$300 million. This is a welcome move to the farmers.

Madam Speaker, debt management will create fiscal space for the Government, which will result in undertaking some new projects. Roads which have been neglected like the Mpongwe/Machiya Road will be worked on before 2026 since the fiscal space will be created. I must also mention that Mpongwe District is the only district on the Copperbelt without a district government hospital. However, with the creation of this fiscal space, I think we are going to have the first government hospital in Mpongwe.

Madam Speaker, the target that the Government has of producing 3 million metric tonnes of copper in the next nine years is a welcome move. More new mines will be opened including Maleka Mine which will be opened in Mpongwe and will create employment for our people and the youth in the District.

Madam Speaker, the recruitment of 4,500 teachers as announced in the 2023 National Budget is a welcome move because it gives hope to those who were left out in the 2022 recruitment process. Mpongwe is going to be a beneficiary of two secondary schools from the construction of 120 new secondary schools and this will improve the education system in our district. This is a welcome move and I want to appreciate the Government of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema for making sure that these 120 secondary schools are constructed. Furthermore, the completion of the 115 secondary schools which were abandoned by the previous Government is a welcome move. Most of the schools were upgraded to secondary school status without improved infrastructure. This will improve the education system in our country.

Madam Speaker, the re-introduction of meal allowances for universities and college students is commendable. For the first time, we have seen students marching to State House to praise the President for this good programme. This was expected some years back, and under this leadership, this is a reality. This is a welcome move for the students.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to the energy sector. The Rural Electrification Programme has been allocated almost K1.6 billion (K743,578,629), which means that most of our rural constituencies are going to have electricity. I want to categorically say that most of the teachers in the rural areas fail to stay in the schools because of lack of electricity and network. If electricity is taken to rural school, it will motivate many teachers to stay in schools and this will improve education for our children.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, when we were campaigning, we were saying that hope and help are coming. Hope and help are here.

I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget under the theme “Stimulating Growth for Improved Livelihoods.”

Madam Speaker, representing a rural constituency, which is Chama North, whose economy depends on agriculture, my major focus of debate is on agriculture, among others.

Madam Speaker, despite Zambia having vast arable land –

Mrs Masebo: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I just want to apologise to my hon. Colleague who was on the Floor of the House. I do not normally do such things as raising points of order when others are seriously debating, but I rise on a serious point of order, and I am quoting Standing Order No. 203 on Conduct of Members:

“(1) A member shall at all times conduct himself or herself in a manner that upholds the integrity, dignity and decorum of the House.

(2) A member shall not act in any manner that brings the House or other members generally into disrepute.”

Madam Speaker, I have with me today’s edition of the Daily Nation newspaper. On page 1, there is an article entitled “Drugs Shortage: People Dying.” Let me go to the specific statement which has been attributed to one of my hon. Colleagues, a Member of Parliament here. I will read a paragraph:

“Mr Kafwaya said it was tragic that Government has decided to politicise the procurement of essential drugs which has resulted into the critical shortage of medicines and other medical supplies.

And Mr Kafwaya has disclosed that Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti yesterday curtailed debate on the shortage of drugs in hospitals and ordered Health Minister Sylvia Masebo to go and research then come back to Parliament with factual information after it was discovered that she was misleading the House.

Mr Kafwaya, the Patriotic Front (PF) Lunte Member of Parliament said it was shocking that Ms Masebo could brazenly lie in Parliament on the status of drugs in the country by claiming that hospitals were adequately stocked with all essential medicines.”

Madam Speaker, if you refer to my debate on that particular day, you will see that at no time did I make any statement to the effect that hospitals had all the essential drugs. I also did not at any time realise that the Speaker had actually curtailed the debate. The question that was on the Floor had been adequately answered, except that the other questions that were coming which had nothing to do with the question that was on the Floor and I thought I was only helping hon. Members to give them extra information when they started asking questions which were not related to the actual question.

Madam Speaker, this statement, as it has been portrayed in the newspaper, really has the potential to make me look like I am a. Member of Parliament, a minister for that matter, who comes to this House to deliberately mislead you, Madam Speaker, and the Zambian people. I need your serious ruling on this matter which borders on somebody’s integrity.

Mrs Masebo laid the paper on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much for that point of order. Now, in terms of our Standing Orders, a point of order must be raised in relation to a breach which immediately occurs on the Floor of the House. If the breach is in relation to something that has happened outside the House, the option that is open to an hon. Member who wants to raise a point of order is to write a letter of complaint to the Speaker’s office and then it will be attended to. So in that case, I advise the hon. Minister to put in a complaint letter to my office, so that we can address that issue.

However, maybe, by way of guidance, without pre-empting that complaint, when we come here to debate, let us not pre-empt the debate by making press statements because that defeats the whole purpose of being here. The idea is not to go and mislead the people. I curtailed the debate because I thought maybe, it was important for the hon. Minister to find out the status quo on the ground whether or not insulin was there. It was not to show that she was not doing her work.

So, hon. Members, please, as we do press statements, let us be careful on what we say because it has a negative impact on the work of the House and also it tends to mislead the members of the public. Furthermore, it is not good to demean ourselves in the face of the ordinary members of the public, that we come here and we are not doing our work. So that is not good conduct. Of course, the hon. Member for Lunte may have an explanation. So, when that letter of complaint is written and submitted, then the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte will be given an opportunity to be heard. After that, we will make a decision on whether or not the hon. Member was in order to issue that press statement. That is my guidance on that matter.

The hon. Member for Chama North may continue.

Mr Mtayachalo: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Before the point of order, I was saying that despite having vast arable land and favourable weather conditions, as a country, we have not fully exploited the agriculture sector so that it can significantly contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and increase household income in order to eradicate poverty due to a number of factors. Some of these factors include the use of outdated methods of farming for a long time now, lack of accessibility to capital, lack of accessibility to lucrative markets, especially for our small scale farmers, poor feeder roads, especially in rural areas and lack of electricity.

Madam Speaker, we have had several hon. Ministers of Finance give very good and nice Budget speeches talking about diversification from the time of Kebby Musokotwane, Gibson Chigaga, Ronald Penza. We cannot be doing the same things and expect different results. So, we must take radical measures if the agriculture sector is to be exploited fully so that Zambia becomes a food basket.

Madam Speaker, I have noticed that although the budget for agriculture has increased in the 2023 Budget from K7.3 billion to K11.3 billion, there has been a notable reduction for some programmes which are key in increasing agriculture production and productivity, such as agri-business development and marketing and national food reserve management. In the 2022 Budget, K67 million was allocated to agri-business development, but in 2023, only K12 million has been allocated. In the 2022 Budget, K1 billion was allocated to the national food reserve management, but in the 2023 Budget, only K686 million has been allocated. The hon. Minister has allocated to more than K530 million to management and support services, and mostly, this is allowances to officers. So, in such a situation, it is very difficult for us to improve the agriculture sector.

Madam Speaker, we have spent huge sums of money on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) every financial year, but evidence is there that FISP has failed to reduce poverty. The majority of our people have continued to use outdated methods of farming and they have remained poor because of some of the reasons I have already outlined. So, since the Government has now secured market for our produce to the European Union (EU), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), etcetera, I think it is important that we create vehicle which will enable the small scale farmers in Chama and Kaputa to also access these lucrative markets. That is the only way we are going to fight poverty in rural areas.

Madam Speaker, on energy, an efficient and robust sector is key to Zambia’s industrial revolution. It is unfortunate that we have not fully exploited this sector despite Zambia sitting on more than 40 per cent of the water bodies in southern Africa. We must take advantage of the increasing demand of power in the southern African power pool countries. I am happy, however, that in the 2023 Budget, the hon. Minister has allocated almost double the amount he allocated in 2022 from K362 million to K743 million –

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

Madam Speaker: Order!

There is a point of order, but I know what the point of order is. Hon. Member for Chama North, you are not supposed to be reading your debate. You can refer to the notes, but definitely not to read. I am sure that is what the hon. Member wanted to raise.

Mr Mtatachalo: Madam Speaker, thank you for that guidance. I was talking about the energy sector and saying that it is good that the hon. Minister has doubled the allocation to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) from K362 million in last year’s Budget to K743 million in the 2023 Budget. I hope REA is going to implement the master plan. I am looking at the situation whereby my constituency, Chama North, has not benefited from the rural electrification fund since its inception. Out of thirteen wards, only one ward has got electricity.

Madam Speaker, may I also take this opportunity to thank former management at ZESCO Limited led by Mr Victor Mundende. I think today, ZESCO Limited has posted more than 1,000 MW of surplus energy. I think that is not a mean achievement. It is important that we give credit where it is due. I also want to thank the current management led by Mr Victor Mapani. I think he has continued on the same platform. I am happy that the current management has managed to reduce the backlog. I think that is the way to go.

Madam Speaker, the Government must continue to invest in power generation because the private sector may not come on board. I have not seen any corresponding investment in the current Budget in terms of developing hydro power stations. I was expecting that some money was going to be set aside in this Budget to develop the Batoka Gorge Power Project and the Luapula 600 MW Power Project. We are saying we are going to develop our mines to produce 3 million metric tonnes of copper, but in this situation where we do not have corresponding investment, I think that is a tall order.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, I would like to say that the working class where I come from, the workers of this country have continued to sacrifice. During independence, they fought against colonialism. During the one party state, they fought against the one party state. During the High Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point, the workers of this country continued to sacrifice. At the end of the day, however, they are given a raw deal. I do recognise that the hon. Minster has adjusted the tax exemption threshold from K4,500 to K4,800. I think the workers of this country need a breather. In the 2022 Budget, the workers of this country contributed K17 billion to the national Treasury, which was the highest contribution, beating company tax.

Madam, in 2023, their contribution will be K19 billion. So, I think it is important that the workers are rewarded because of the high cost of living. Despite inflation going to single digit, we can see that the cost of living has continued to escalate. So, my prayer is that under the New Dawn Government, we see to it that the workers of this country also benefit from their sweat because there is no way they can continue to sacrifice before and after independence. Workers of this country have continued to sacrifice and I think it is important that in the 2024 Budget, I want to see to it that the workers of this country are rewarded by increasing the tax exemption threshold so that they are able to benefit from their sweat.

With these remarks, I support the Budget Speech and thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisopa: Madam Speaker, I rarely stand on points of order. I am just concerned that the House is actually sitting illegally because we have no quorum.

Madam Speaker: We have other hon. Members who have joined us on Zoom. So, we still have a quorum.

Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of this House for the 2023 Budget. Before I proceed, I want to thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for releasing the K33 million to pay arrears for people who have been working without getting salaries for the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) for quite some time now. This is what we have been looking for and this is the way it is supposed to be.

Madam Speaker, allow me to take this House to page 10 of the Budget Speech. Page 10 indicates the problems that the New Dawn Government found when we took over Government. Debt un-sustainability was actually one of the major problems that the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government found. This came about due to the poor or unreasonable way the previous Government was borrowing.

Madam Speaker, we want to believe that according to what is written or indicated in the speech of the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, we shall proceed at a reasonable rate since there is an intention, and the talks have already started, of restructuring the same debts. As per norm, we were supposed to ensure that the debt that we contract or we contracted during the previous regime was put to good use. To date, however, there is nothing that one can point at because of the reckless way the whole thing was done.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about the exchange rate. We have had a runaway exchange rate, but we are happy now that under the New Dawn Government, we have managed to stabilise our exchange rate. Our current exchange rate entails that we are able to now attract investment because from just that alone, people will be able to determine what is happening tomorrow or in the next few days. This was not actually the case before.

Madam, inflation continued to increase during the time our hon. Colleagues were in power, but we are happy that now under the New Dawn Government, this issue has been brought to normalcy. We are now able to know that at the rate we are going, we will actually be able to get all things in normal and controlled circumstances.

Madam Speaker, further, when it comes to social services, the people of this country are now able to get some of the services which they never expected or which they never received during the previous regime. Why are we doing this? Why are we saying are able to do that? The economy has now stabilised, although we have not yet managed to get to a level where we can say we are now comfortable. However, we can proudly say the issue of the exchange rate, debt, inflation and social services are getting to a level where one can say we are actually getting where we want.

Madam, despite achieving or meeting all these things halfway, there is still a challenge of job creation. Job creation affects both the educated and uneducated. This is one challenge that the New Dawn Government ought to put emphasis on, so that we are able to attend to colleagues who are educated and those who are not educated. Together, we can have something we can talk about at the end of the day.

Madam, for those who are employed, the hon. Minister has put it very clear that there is still a challenge in terms of what is earned. The salaries are still low, to a level whereby one can say he/she is able to get to something that can sustain a family for a month. We are happy that at least, the New Dawn Government is addressing this issue. When we look at the previous Budget, which is what we are actually serving under, we see that we are getting somewhere.

Madam Speaker, further, despite all these efforts that the New Dawn Government is making, we still have challenges on the issue of roads, hospitals, energy, railway system and schools. I am happy that the hon. Minister has clearly indicated that we shall proceed or continue looking at them. We will be repairing or maintaining some of these facilities. We are going to continue ensuring that these things, despite –

Madam Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1840 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 7th October, 2022.