Thursday, 29th September, 2022

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          Thursday, 29th September, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that in accordance with Article 202(2) of the Constitution of Zambia, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will, tomorrow, Friday, 30th September, 2022, present to the Assembly the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 2023. The Estimates shall, in accordance with Section 8(4) of the Public Debt Management Act, No. 15 of 2022, be accompanied by the Annual Borrowing Plan.

In this regard, and in accordance with Standing Order 157(4), the Estimates of Expenditure will be referred to the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee comprising hon. Members of the Planning and Budgeting Committee and chairpersons of all the General Purposes and Portfolio Committees. The Annual Borrowing Plan will, in accordance with Standing Order 195(4), be referred to the Planning and Budgeting Committee for examination for a period of five working days. 

The Planning and Budgeting Committee will be required to submit the Report on the Annual Borrowing Plan to the House on Tuesday, 11th October, 2022, while the Report of the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee on the Estimates of Expenditure should be submitted to the House on Friday, 28th October, 2022.

The Chairperson of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, Hon. F. Chaatila, will preside over the proceedings of the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee. Both the Planning and Budgeting Committee and the Expanded Planning and Budgeting Committee will hold their first meetings on Monday, 3rd October, 2022, to consider and adopt their respective programmes of work.

I thank you.


Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that in accordance with Standing Order 166(5), the Standing Orders Committee has made changes to the membership of some of the Parliamentary Committees as follows:


Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technologies

Mr C. Kang’ombe, MP

Committee on Cabinet Affairs

Mr S. Hlazo, MP

Ms C. P. HalwiindiMP.

Committee on Sports, Youth and Child Matters

Ms E. Munashabantu, MP


Committee on Delegated Legislation

Mr O. M. Amutike, MP

I thank you.




The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 25, 26, 27 and 80 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, be suspended to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours until business has been concluded on Friday, 30th September, 2022, and also to omit the Vice-President’s Question Time from the Order Paper.

Madam Speaker, it is a practice of the House to allow the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to present the National Budget on a Friday afternoon. However, Standing Orders 25, 26, and 27 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, stipulate that the House shall sit from 0900 to 1300 hours with a twenty minutes health break at 1040 hours on Fridays, while Standing Order 80 provides for the Vice-President’s Question Time on the same day.

Madam Speaker, it is with this in mind that I move this Motion to suspend the mentioned Standing Orders so that the House can sit at 1415 hours tomorrow, Friday, 30thSeptember, 2022, until business is concluded and also to omit the Vice-President’s Question Time from the Order Paper. This is to enable the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning present the 2023 National Budget.

Madam Speaker, this is a procedural and non-controversial Motion. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of this august House to support it.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, the Motion, as it is being presented, is not controversial because that is tradition. However, I would like to say to the Executive that the expectations of the people of Zambia are very high. As we suspended the Vice-President’s Question Time, we expect the benefits of the stabilised economy to trickle down to the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, this morning, I went to the Government Printers. I wanted to buy some books, but I found that its power supply had been disconnected by ZESCO Limited. I am raising it because that is the institution that is supposed to print the Budget. Can the Vice-President superintend upon the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to release K600,000? According to the information I got from the management of the Government Printers, it was not working today because, by 1100 hours, ZESCO Limited had disconnected power.

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I want to say to the Vice-President that this Motion is key, as the Budget is prepared for presentation. The Government needs to capacitate and finance all Government institutions, especially the Government Printers so that it is able to print the Budget. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is bringing the Budget tomorrow for and on behalf of the President of the Republic of Zambia. That is a noble duty that must be done.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, those who are saying ‘Question!’ may not understand the importance of the Budget. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning presents for and on behalf of the President, the one who has appointed him as hon. Minister. So, one needs to support him.

Madam Speaker, the Motion may not be controversial, but we are expecting the Zambian worker to have the threshold on Pay As You Earn to go to, at least, K10,000.

I thank you, Madam.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Pambashe, let us not pre-empt. The Motion is to Suspend Standing Orders. Anyway it is a procedural Motion.

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, this is a non-controversial Motion and I wish to support it.

Madam Speaker, tomorrow is, indeed, a very important day. Presentation of the Budget is a process that is very important to a nation. Particularly, in our country, the cost of living has been increasing in the past twelve months. We have a number of questions to –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Leader of the Opposition, it is not my intention to interrupt a leader when he/she is debating. Hon. Members, let us stick to the Motion. The Motion is to suspend Standing Orders 25, 26, 27 and 80. Now, we are going into speculation. We are pre-empting and talking about the Budget, which is not the subject matter on the Floor of the House at this moment.

May the hon. Leader of the Opposition continue, as guided.

Mr Mundubile: Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that we will lose an opportunity for the Vice-President’s Question Time. As you know, that it is the time that we get the Government to account on a number of things that are happening.

Madam Speaker, like I said from the beginning, we support the Motion that is presented on the Floor of the House and hope that the many issues that are raising questions within our communities will be addressed through this budget presentation.

Madam Speaker, with that, and in accordance with the support that I am receiving from the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts, the Former Chairperson for the Zambia National Marketeers Association (ZANAMA), I submit.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the overwhelming support and let me comfort those who wanted to venture into debate that they will have enough time to debate both the Budget Speech and the actual Budget. I can assure them that the aspirations of Zambians shall be met in the Budget that is going to be presented.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.




The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Mtolo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) Status of the 2022/2023 Farming Season. Kindly note that this ministerial statement will only focus on the concluded purchase of fertiliser and will also look at the inputs of the programme, that is, the procurement, the process which is underway and the awarding process, which will be done in due course.

Madam Speaker, kindly be informed that 1,024,434 farmers have been targeted for the 2022/2023 Farming Season using the Direct Input Supply Modality (DISM). I will repeat the figure: 1,024,434.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: This entails that all inputs will be procured by the Government. The total tonnage of fertiliser for this Farming Season is 307,330.20 metric tonnes of which, 153,665.10 is Urea and the other half, 153,665.10 is D Compound.

Madam Speaker, the distribution breakdown of the fertiliser by province is as follows:

       Supplier                                Province             Commodity                  Quantities (MT) A      

       ETG Input Zambia LTDN. Western               D Compound              10,195.95                   

       United Capital Fertiliser      Western              D Compound              5,652.60                                             

                                                   Northern             D Compound              14,747.25

                                                   Muchinga           D Compound              9,772.95                                 

                                                    Luapula            D Compound              9,270.60

       Agrizam Investment LTD   Eastern               D Compound              29,181.45

       Alpha Commodities LTD    Southern             D Compound              27,506.25

       Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia                       D Compound                 47,338.05

       Total Distribution                                                                                  153,665.10  

Madam Speaker, I now move to Urea fertiliser.

Supplier                       Province                      Commodity                  Quantities (MT) A

ETG Input                   North-Western            Urea                            10,195.95

Zambia Ltd                 Copperbelt                  Urea                            14,053.20

                                    Northern                      Urea                            14,747.25

United Capital            Western                       Urea                            5,652.60         

Fertiliser                      Muchinga                                                        9,772.95

                                    Luapula                                                           9,270.60

Agrizam                      Eastern                        Urea                            29,181.45



Alpha                          Southern                      Urea                            27,506.25



Fertiliser Seed             Central                        Urea                            24,406,65       

and Grain

                                    Lusaka                         Urea                               8,878.20

                                                                        Total                            153,665.10

Madam Speaker, the estimated budget for the fertiliser was US$522,461,340. However, the actual expenditure on the procurement of this fertiliser, given the quantities and the suppliers I have given, is US$369,073,965.74.

Madam Speaker, I am highly delighted and very happy to inform this august House that the Government has, from the figures I have given, saved a total of US$153,387,374.26.

Madam Speaker, I repeat, for the sake of Hon. Sampa, that the Government has saved US$153,387,374.26.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: This can be attributed to the fact that much of the fertiliser is being produced and purchased from local suppliers.

Madam Speaker, the Government has strengthened the selection criteria by ensuring that only eligible beneficiaries get the inputs.

Madam Speaker, allow me to outline the criteria the Government will use in the 2022/2023 Farming/Marketing Season. This is the most important part of my statement this afternoon, given the confusion that is developing out there in provinces.

Madam Speaker, in order to qualify for the programme, an individual farmer needs to:

  1. be a member of a duly registered farmer organisation or co-operative. The co-operative or farmer organisation should have a registration certificate issued by the Department of Co-operatives under the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development or the Registrar of Societies;
  2. be a registered small-scale farmer and actively involved in farming within the camp coverage area;
  3. be cultivating not more than 5 ha of land. We want to target the real small-scale farmer. So, we want those with fields not more that 5 ha;
  4. have the capacity to pay the K400 as farmer contribution per pack and no more than that; that is the money that is going to the Government;
  5. be a Zambian and possess a green National Registration Card (NRC); and
  6. where possible, have an active phone number. It is not a necessity, but an added advantage.

Madam Speaker, it is important that an individual farmer is not an employee of the Government of the Republic of Zambia. Therefore, he/she should not be a civil servant and should not be from public institutions such as statutory bodies and parastatals. We want real farmers;

This benefit is not meant to go to those on Government support programmes similar to the FISP, for example, the Food Security Pack from the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. This is limited to those who are receiving fertiliser and seed, and not those receiving cash; those are welcome.

Madam Speaker, each targeted farmer will receive a pack. What is the definition of a pack? A pack is:

  1. 3 x 50 kg bags of D Compound and 3 x 50 kg bags of Urea fertiliser, meaning a total of six bags of fertiliser;
  2. 1 x 10 kg bag of maize seed that each of the 1,024,434 farmers will get;
  3. 1 x 25 kg bag of soya bean seed and 1 x 20 kg bag of groundnut seed. Half of the 1,024,434 farmers will get one or the other.

Madam Speaker, allow me to make clarifications on some of the misconceptions that have emerged in the 2022/2023 Farming Season regarding the FISP.

Madam Speaker, an individual beneficiary will not be required to pay any other money apart from the K400 contribution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: A voter’s card is not a requirement for farmers to be registered and to benefit from the programme. A voter’s card is not a requirement for the FISP. No, it is not.

Madam Speaker, may I conclude by indicating that the flagging off of the distribution of fertiliser was held on 21st September, 2022, and the exercise is going on pretty well.

Madam Speaker, may I reaffirm the Government’s commitment to a timely distribution of inputs and a transparent selection process. The New Dawn Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and Her Honour the Vice-President, is committed to improving the livelihoods of our poor people and increasing food security in the country. Among the many interventions that can actualise this aspiration is the prudent implementation of the FISP, which the Government is undertaking.

Madam Speaker, I thank you, and I thank the hon. Members for listening attentively.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that ministerial statement. I commend him for sourcing the fertiliser locally instead of importing it. The country loses a lot of money through imports.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtayachalo: The hon. Minister is alive to the fact that some of us come from rural constituencies like Chama where roads are in bad state. Can he assure the people of Chama in particular and the people of Zambia in general that the fertiliser will reach all parts of the country before the onset of the rainy season?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, to distribute this fertiliser to provinces is a contractual obligation that the Government has gone into with the people of Zambia, who are the beneficiaries of the FISP. So, we will take it very seriously that, as much possible, inputs reach farmers on time. I am happy that we are working closely with other ministries to make sure that roads in those areas, which are quite bad, are worked on so that inputs can reach.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Mtayachalo should be assured that fertiliser will be in Chama, Lundazi, Chipata and all over the country on time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, we will add five minutes since the statement was long. The hon. Member for Shiwang’andu may proceed. 

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you so much, and we appreciate the ministerial statement delivered by the hon. Minister of Agriculture. We just want to get it categorically clear from him; does it now mean that my village farmers in Shiwang’andu do not need to belong to a co-operative and get their biometrics captured at the district? In his initial statement, when he briefed the media, he indicated that our farmers needed to get their biometrics and images captured. With the dynamics of our rural areas, just like his constituency, there can only be one central place where that can be done. Can he clarify on that matter so that our village farmers can be at peace?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member has actually asked two questions. I will attempt to answer both of them for the benefit of the nation. The first question which the hon. Member put through was, “Are you confirming that one does not need to be a member of a co-operative?” I think I got that very clearly.

Madam Speaker, let me put it very clearly that, if one is not a member of a co-operative, he/she will not participate. I made it very clear. It was one of the first things that I said here. You must be a member of a duly registered farmer organisation or co-operative and such a co-operative should be registered with the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development or, indeed, the Registrar of Cooperatives.

Madam Speaker, I just wanted to make that clear because we could misinform farmers. You have to be a member of a cooperative and it should be identified by the Government.

Now, the second part of the question he raised is very important. This afternoon, I have tried to make things very clear so that we do not confuse our farming community. There are things going on in the background and going on very well.

Madam Speaker, we are going to make sure that we try as much as possible, for the sake of farmers, to identify them. If member A is the one registered, member A should receive the input. The hon. Member knows, just like all of us here, that one of the things that are useful is to capture a picture of such farmer.

Now, there are areas which are very close to places where they are, where they can get their pictures captured. We are saying, please, let them go there. Let us encourage farmers to go there. There are those areas which are fur flung. We are working with SMART Zambia to also take time to go to those areas so that farmers are not inconvenienced. However, we are going to make sure, as much as we can, and to the extent that we can, that farmers are captured so that we give the right beneficiaries.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the clarifications that he has offered and for his statement. I think most of the issues that our rural farmers had, he has really cleared them.

Madam Speaker, one more thing, however, that is remaining is at the time of getting fertiliser. In the past, our farmers, those who are coming from far flung areas like 130 km away from Mwinilunga, were represented. The representatives of the co-operatives would go and get the fertiliser on behalf of the people who were unable to move such long distances. Is this going to be allowable this time around? Will the fertilisers be collected by representatives of cooperatives? That is the only issue that is remaining. Once that is clarified, I will be very happy, and will have a glass of wine.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I would like to encourage us, in this House, to embrace change, especially if the change is meant to improve a given programme. Yes, just like the question which was posed by the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, when farmers are going to collect, they will be expected, as much as possible, to go to collect on their own because that is the only way we will make sure that this input is given to the right beneficiary. It was this system that created a lot of problems.

Madam Speaker, however, in being a caring Government and appreciating the distances, because some distance are more than 100 km, indeed, we have said that with prior arrangements, there can be a camp officer getting details and working with Camp Agricultural Committee (CAC) and the District Agricultural Coordinating Officer (DACO).

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Mtolo: Yes, so that the list is done and then this fertiliser can be picked for a group and taken to these areas.

Madam Speaker, we will not just accept so many of these coming through because that is where mischief is actually found and established.

I think hon. Members in here know what I am talking about. There is a lot of mischief. So, if we want this programme US$400 million worth to be going to traders, we should resist this change. Let us, as much as possible, encourage farmers. Where do they buy mealie meal any way? They go to buy these things. For fertiliser also, let those who are nearby go and get this fertiliser. However, for those who are in distant places, definitely, we will allow a collective responsibility so that we do not punish the farmer. This is not meant to punish the farmer; it is meant to actually encourage more production.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the ministerial statement. I just want to know on behalf of farmers out there when they are supposed to start contributing or depositing the K400 into the bank accounts?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question. They will start depositing any day after 3rd October, 2022. I have been talking about 3rd October, but I have been guided this afternoon that it is any day after 3rd October. It could be 4th or 5th October, 2022. So, within the first week of October, they should be ready with a K400.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.  

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the good people of Petauke Central this opportunity to ask a follow-up question. I thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for his ministerial statement. As the hon. Minister is aware, 90 per cent of the good people of Petauke are farmers. We had an opportunity to get co-operative certificates locally at the council and most of the farmers got those co-operative certificates at the council. However, the hon. Minister is now informing us that the co-operative certificates to be used are those obtained from the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development and not the council. So, what are those farmers going to do? Is the Ministry of Agriculture going to give them a time frame to re-register for the other certificates in order for them to participate?

Madam Speaker: Anyway, for the sake of people who did not understand, maybe the hon. Minister can answer the question.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, this is another very important question, and it needs clarity. All along, the FISP has never used council certificates for co-operatives. The certificates which are recognised are those given by the Registrar of Co-operatives and now the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

Madam Speaker, honestly speaking, I would encourage the hon. Member to work very seriously on this because it is a source of problems. We will not accept a certificate from the council because we have never used a council certificate.

Madam Speaker, in my statement, I made it clear. I think that is what Madam Speaker was referring to. I mentioned only two sources of these certificates, the Registrar then and now, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

So, no council certificates will be accepted. Let those who can, like the hon. Member, work very seriously with those co-operatives to get the right certificates.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing the people of Mbabala to ask a follow-up question on this very exciting ministerial statement from the hon. Minister of Agriculture.

A few days ago, I saw a clip, but I do know whether it was a witchdoctor, a ng’anga or whatever they are called, at a graveyard. He was being held in the waist and was barefoot, and there were many cameras around. He was alleging a lot of misinformation about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and one of them was the need for a voter’s card and many other insinuations, which were really –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, because of time constraints, can you go straight to your question.

Mr Munsanje: Hopefully the hon. Minister saw the clip which I saw. I want him to clarify whether what was being mentioned at the graveyard by that witchdoctor is correct.


Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, in the first place, I did not watch the clip of the said witchdoctor.


Mr Mtolo: I am being very honest and I would not really respond to a witchdoctor. I will respond to the hon. Members of this House and farmers of this country when they ask questions which are straight and are supposed to enhance the programme. So, all I can say is that there will be a lot of things said by witchdoctors and all sorts of people, but I think clarity is what we give in this honourable House to the honourable people of Zambia. For such people, let us allow them to exercise their right. Zambia is a democratic State. Those people can exercise their right at any place.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, I did not mean to ask a question, but the hon. Minister, in his statement, kept bringing up my name. In actual sense, none of the Matero residents in areas such as Balastone Park and Kasupe will receive even a single bag from the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). That said, I have a direct question.

Madam Speaker, in the FISP, that is where all Governments, the current one inclusive, lose a lot of money from the Treasury. It is always fertiliser supply under the FISP and oil supply.

Madam Speaker, I note that it is just a few companies that will supply millions of dollars worth of inputs that are overpriced by 200 per cent for that matter. The hon. Minister only mentioned three or four companies and we continuously heard about Alpha Commodities Limited.

Madam Speaker, my question is: Are there no companies owned by Zambians, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) owned by youths, even the youth from the United Party for National Development (UPND), which can be given these contracts? Is the ministry likely to include them in the supply chain of the FISP? This would ensure that we do not just concentrate on the usual one or two companies and, thereby, increase the Gini-coefficient; the rich become richer and the poor majority become poorer because contracts of the FISP keep going to the same people.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, first of all, I would like to give clarity the issue that this fertiliser is overpriced. I just gave indications here of how much money the Government has saved. The average price of this fertiliser is K1,200 and, at the current levels of fertiliser pricing worldwide, this was a very good deal. I would honestly ask the hon. Member for Matero to help us find where we could get fertiliser which is, as he says, 200 per cent cheaper than this. It is simply not possible. I mean, Hon. Sampa is a financial person and knows that it is not possible.

Madam Speaker, I wanted to make that clear because we mislead people by what we say here. This is why there is a lot of talk, insults and all sorts of things going around. It is because of such misinformation.

Madam Speaker, we buy fertiliser, which we had budgeted for at about K1,700, which was the price then, at less than K1,200 and honestly come here and tell people that we bought it at a high price? Why are we doing that to the people of Zambia? It is misleading and not right.

Madam Speaker, let me now come to the issue of companies. I will take time to explain this because it is important. The last time that we spoke here on this matter, we had said that the New Dawn Government was going to float a tender, and we did just that. Therefore, 120 companies bought the tender documents and seventy companies responded and submitted their bids. Out of these, thirty were successful in almost all the parameters, and that is what we wanted.

Madam Speaker, when we picked eleven out of thirty, as you can only pick so many, there was in-fighting and all sorts of things until they found weaknesses. Who were they? They were companies that were used to supplying fertiliser.

Hon. Government Members: Under the PF!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, that caused a problem, and in the process, the tender was cancelled. What did we do? We could not start playing with time because there are 1 million farmers on this programme. Therefore, we went for selective tender and picked on one, two, three and four people who had the capacity to give us fertiliser. That is why, as I speak to you now, in a place like Muchinga, for example, already, 30 to 40 per cent of the fertiliser has already been delivered. This is what we want. We want performance and delivery.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members on my left, please, can we maintain some silence.

Mr Nyambose (Chasefu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving the people of Chasefu an opportunity to ask a follow-up question. Firstly, I thank the hon. Minister for that wonderful statement. The people of Chasefu are very happy, especially on the saving. We have a prudent Government now and are able to save resources to the tune of K153 million.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nyambose: Madam Speaker, I was comforted by the statement by the hon. Minister, especially the answers to the follow-up questions, until he mentioned the words ‘Camp Officers’ and ‘Camp Agriculture Committee (CAC) Officers’. Those are the people who are killing this nation. I would have loved to keep them away from this process and let farmers get the fertiliser on their own. Otherwise, there shall be a problem.

Madam Speaker, my follow-up question is: How are we, within a short period of time, going to ensure that some farmers who benefit from the Food Security Pack (FSP) programme do not qualify or do not find themselves on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), as the hon. Minister elaborated?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chasefu for those kind words. I thank him for being encouraging. I also thank him so much for knowing that if we go by what is being encouraged, which is that we use camp officers, etcetera, we could have mischief. I mentioned that this is where the problems start from. However, we need to have some concern for people who are very far away from collection points. Some of them are pretty old. So, because of that, we might have to use the same. I was answering the hon. Member for Mwinilunga.

Madam Speaker, coming to the hon. Member’s question, I work very closely with the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services and she has very few members who are on this programme that we are going to accept, and that is the Social Cash Transfer. There are not more than a thousand people. Are there, madam?

Ms Mwamba indicated assent.

Mr Mtolo: They are very few. We will absorb them. When you use computers, it is very easy to capture and know that this is the person. However, the ones we are interested in, whom we do not want to include, are those who are collecting fertiliser and seed. For those, we are going to be very serious. We will scan through our information and Smart Zambia is there to do that work. So, the hon. Member should not worry. We will capture them and put them aside, just like we will capture civil servants, military personnel or men in uniform and most of the staff in the agricultural field, our own members.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order raised.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the point of order is on the hon. Minister in relation to Standing Order 65 and in breach of the Public Procurement Act of 2020.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture stood and stated very clearly how they followed procedure when awarding the fertiliser contracts to eleven companies and those that appealed were within the confines of the law. I heard the hon. Minister state that because of infighting, the Government decided, through his ministry, to cancel the tender. That is as submitted by the hon. Minister. I hope you heard him. That is why I quickly went to the law. This act is not supported by any clause in the Public Procurement Act. Any bidder has a right to appeal to the procurement entity if he/she is not satisfied with its decision. If he/she is not happy with the procurement entity, he/she has a right to even go to court.

Madam Speaker, I am talking to a seasoned lawyer. Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to mislead the nation by alleging that the infighting amongst those who missed the bid, after eleven were picked, was the reason for the Government to cancel the tender disregarding the provisions of the law?

Madam Speaker, I shall lay the Public Procurement Act, Sections 54 to 60 on the Table for your perusal so that you can see the procedures that are followed when procuring.

Madam Speaker, I took interest because I was a member of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) for a period of five years and fully participated in the crafting of this law.

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chitotela laid the paper on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Since you have referred to a number of documents, which I have had no opportunity to look at and peruse, I reserve my ruling, and we make progress.




45. Ms Nyemba (Chifunabuli) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:

  1. when the construction of the following secondary schools in Chifunabuli District will be completed:
  1. Kasaba; and
  2. Mundubi; and
  3.   b. what the cause of the delay in completing the projects is.

 The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, –

Rev. Katuta: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Before the hon. Minister proceeds, hon. Member for Chienge, what is the point of order?

Hon. Members, before we go into these points of order, I have an Order Paper here which I need to go through quickly. As you heard from the hon. Member for Pambashe, he wants to go and look for something at the Government Printers.


Madam Speaker: I wanted to finish quickly so that we give him that opportunity. So, please, let us not raise points of order which are meant to delay proceedings. If I do not allow points of order, just bear with me that I have work that is before me which I have to go through up to a certain point.

A point of order is raised.

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, I must say thank you for allowing me to be the last person to raise a point of order.

Madam Speaker, the point of order is on the hon. Minister of Agriculture who was on the Floor. I had hoped I would be given a chance to ask a question on behalf of the people of Chienge. We have many co-operatives in Chienge, as we talk, it is like almost –

Madam Speaker: First of all, hon. Member for Chienge, what is the breach?

Rev. Katuta: The breach is on Standing Order 65. He did not say the truth about how these co-operatives are going to collect fertiliser.

Madam Speaker, as we speak, in Chienge, it is like out of the co-operatives that we have, almost all of them will not access the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I have sat down with the hon. Minister to show him the list of co-operatives that have been coming through. I expected this issue to be in the ministerial statement. So, how are the farmers in Chienge going to receive this fertiliser? I would like to know because the hon. Minister did not say anything about my issue.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Chienge, do not use a point of order to ask a question. That point of order is not admitted.

May the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development proceed?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, the construction of the following secondary schools in Chifunabuli District is as follows:

  1. Kasaba Secondary School will be completed once funds to complete the remaining works are made available.
  2. Mundubi Secondary School is being undertaken under community mode and will be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022. The project has now received all the funds for the completion of phase II targets and works are in progress.

Madam Speaker, the cause of the delay to complete the construction of the secondary schools has been due to the following:

  1. for Kasaba Secondary School, constraints in funding to the project;
  2. for Mundubi Secondary School, the phased release of funds has affected progress in the execution of the project. However, works are scheduled to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2022, following release of funds for the remaining works.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Nyemba: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the good answers given to the people of Chifunabuli.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has given us good answers on Mundubi Secondary School. The people of Chifunabuli also want to know when Kasaba Secondary School is likely to be completed. Can he assure them, like he has done over Mundubi Secondary School, as they wait so that they can access the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and free education? When is Kasaba Secondary School likely to be worked on?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, with respect to Kasaba Secondary School, let me give more information. The contractor is the Associated Electrical Sales and Contractors (ASESCO) Limited. The contract sum is K16,999,617.78. The amount of certified work to date is K7,679,130.99. Therefore, Kasaba Secondary School’s overall progress of works stands at 70 per cent.

Madam Speaker, the scope of works for Kasaba Secondary School was one assembly hall, ten houses, two 1 x 3 classroom blocks, one 1 x 2 science laboratory, one 1 x 2 home economics and one administration block. The answer to the question is that these works, which are 70 per cent, will be completed once funds are allocated.

Madam Speaker, it is the desire of this Government that most of those uncompleted schools throughout the country are completed. The Government is making every effort to secure funds for the purpose of completing schools throughout the country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, as the questions are answered, please, let us listen. If you want to chat, you can step outside and chat, and then come back.

Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, I just want some clarity because I have a school called Murundu Boarding School, which has been under construction since 2012. It is still incomplete. I heard the hon. Minister mention some funds being released in a phased manner. I just want some clarity on when those funds will be released; how the ministry will decide to apportion it; and which school will receive what. I need a better understanding.

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member for Kantanshi, Hon. Anthony Mumba, misunderstood. I did not say funds would be released. I said that the Government is in the process of trying to secure funds to ensure that a number of those uncompleted projects are, indeed, worked upon. So, until such time that these funds are available, it will be inopportune to give priority listing as to which school or hospital will be completed before the other.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that funds would be released when available, which is true. We are waiting patiently. Now, he made a statement at one point where he talked about dealing with infrastructure which was at 85 per cent. The school he has mentioned in Chifunabuli is now at 75 per cent. So, when are we seeing this take place? In what timeframe can he assure this august House he will be able to move in when funds are available?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, when we say, ‘When funds are made available’ we have an insistent question of ‘When are the funds going to be available?’ It is difficult to predict. I do not want to go into another one of my long answers as to what happened in the economy and what we are trying to do to put it right, suffice it for me to say that the question that the hon. Member alluded to when we said 80 per cent was a policy from our predecessors. Even they recognised that there was a shortage of funds. Therefore, they restricted ongoing projects to those that had attained 80 per cent and above completeness.

Madam Speaker, this particular project that we are talking about is at 70 per cent, but the point I am making is that the policy of this Government, in terms of education, is very clear. We want as many of our children as possible to be in proper schools. That is why we are leaving no stone unturned to secure more funds and ensure that some of those are completed. When the hon. Member says, ‘When?’ there will be no fund that is secured without the involvement of Parliament. It is the responsibility of Parliament to appropriate and that is what we are starting tomorrow; the process of appropriation which will lead to the Appropriation Bill, just before we rise sine die.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


46. Mr J. Chibuye (Roan) asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to demolish the dilapidated houses for police officers at the Roan Police Camp in Roan Parliamentary Constituency, in order to construct new ones;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. if there are no such plans, why.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Roan Police Camp in Roan Parliamentary Constituency has a total of seventy three housing units which are in a dilapidated state and only thirty-four of them are currently occupied.

Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to demolish the dilapidated houses at the Roan Police Station.

Madam Speaker, the dilapidated police housing units at the Roan Police Camp will only be demolished when funds are made available to construct new housing units.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

A Phone rang

Mr J. Chibuye: Thank you very much Madam Speaker and thank you very much hon. Minister for Home Affairs and Internal–

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, I have, on several occasions, warned that do not force me to compel hon. Members to leave their phones outside. A phone has just rung. Let this be the last warning. The next time a phone rings, all hon. Members will have to leave their phones outside without any exception. That is a final warning.

Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, I am glad to know that the hon. Minister is aware about the state of the houses in the camp at Roan Police Station, but just to add on, these houses were constructed in 1956. When I passed through the compound, I was sad to notice that officers are using pit latrines, some of which are covered with empty sacks of cement and, to some extent, with Patriotic Front (PF) chitenge materials.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the Government is going to construct houses when funds are available. Meanwhile, the new recruits are refusing to be accommodated in the dilapidated houses. They are resorting to staying in the compounds, making it very difficult for the officer in charge to mobilise them when need arises. The officer in charge is also renting a house outside the camp. As the Government is waiting for resources, are there not any alternative plans to ensure that these officers are put in one place?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I have noted the concerns that have been raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan. In a situation where officers are not accommodated, they are entitled to housing allowance. That is the stopgap measure which we provide. However, we are aware of the situation, as I indicated. We will look into the issues once we are given authority and money is made available. This police station will be taken as one of the priority areas in which we are going to construct houses.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, the plans have been indicated, that when resources are available, there are intentions by the Government to replace the old infrastructure. Would the hon. Minister be in a position to indicate whether costing has been done for the new project that the Government intends to undertake in the foreseeable future?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, we intend to construct 1,000 police houses throughout the country. We are just waiting for funding to be provided. Everything is in place. Once funds are made available, we will embark on this exercise. We are aware of the plight of our men and women in uniform who are doing a very commendable job of providing policing services to the country.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, it is common practice now to encroach on land belonging to the Government. A case in point is the Luanshya Central Police Station. Land there has been encroached upon. What is the Government doing to ensure that as we wait for these funds, the piece of land where the Roan Police Camp seats is protected from encroachment?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we are working with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to ensure that all public facilities in the country are provided with title deeds and are secured.

I thank you, Madam.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, when you drive through the Sikanze Camp here in Lusaka and look at some of the houses occupied by our officers; you see a sorry sight. What could be the immediate solution to bail out officers in Luanshya at Roan Police Camp and help them live properly? This has, maybe, even led to them not to perform properly. I think the hon. Minister has been there. I, also, have been there. Is there an immediate plan for them because the housing allowance that we are talking about is not something that they can pay rentals with? Is there not anything that the Government can do for the officers?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as I indicated earlier, we are aware of the plight of police officers, not just in Roan Constituency where, as a result of the sufferings they went through under the Patriotic Front (PF), they have now resorted to using pieces of chitenge materials which they were being given, to cover toilets.


Mr Mwiimbu: We are aware of those problems. As I indicated, we are in the process of constructing houses for police officers. Once authority is given and money is available, we will provide decent accommodation for our officers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the answers that are being provided. Has the ministry looked at the housing deficit countrywide vis-à-vis the Roan scenario in order to know what police officers require and how the Government intends to phase the construction to ensure that the deficit is mitigated? The morale of our men and women in uniform is very important in terms of accommodation and other incentives.

Madam Speaker: That is a different question. That is expanded. If you want to ask that, I am sure you can file in a question to the hon. Minister so that he is not taken by surprise.

Can we make progress.


47. Mr Mandandi (Sioma) asked the Minister of Energy:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to connect Nangweshi and Sioma mini hospitals to the national electricity grid;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. if there are no such plans, why.

The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Madam Speaker, yes, the Government of the Republic Zambia, through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), has plans to electrify Nangweshi and Sioma public infrastructure.

Madam Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia, through REA, plans to electrify Nangweshi Mini Hospital by the end of December 2022 and the electrification of public infrastructure in Sioma is planned for 2023.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that in 2020, REA conducted a feasibility study to establish the scope and cost of electrifying Nangweshi Mini Hospital.

Madam Speaker, the project will involve the construction of a 3.5 km of 11 kV overhead grid lines, 550 m of 0.4 kV overhead lines and installation of 1 x 50kVA transformer to supply power to the mini hospital at a cost of K2.7 million.

Madam Speaker, with regard to Sioma public infrastructure, REA is currently conducting a study to establish the scope of works and the cost of the electrification. The feasibility study started in the first week of September 2022, and is expected to be completed by the end of October 2022.

However, it should be noted that the implementation of this project, the electrification of public infrastructure in Sioma, will be undertaken subject to the availability of funds.

Madam Speaker, as earlier alluded to, the Government has plans to electrify Nangweshi Mini Hospital and public infrastructure in Sioma.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mandandi: Madam Speaker, Sioma District has no district referral hospital. The people of Sioma depend on Nangweshi Mini hospital and Sioma Rural Health Centre. For referral services, patients come from outlying health posts. Looking at the time frame that the hon. Minister has given and the final answer in which he said, “funds being available”, do we not have any other sources where the Government can lay its hands on to ensure that the people of Sioma are saved from the agony of always having to refer patients from Sioma Boma or Sioma District to the nearest district, which is Senanga and is about 100 km plus. This is somehow very costly and tedious to patients. I submit.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, my reaction to that is to encourage the hon. Member of Parliament to use part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which would be adequate to cover, at least, one hospital.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving this opportunity to the good people of Lubansenshi Constituency. The last time we talked about the issue of connectivity, the hon. Minister indicated that as a country, we have a problem with the lack of availability of poles and that he intended to source even from outside this country. Could he confirm and assure the good people of Nangweshi and Sioma that poles are now available and they should not worry? Nangweshi and Sioma mini hospitals are not the only hospitals that need electricity, but many other mini hospitals countrywide.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, that statement related to connections by ZESCO Limited. This relates to rural electrification, which is different from town connections.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyuta (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, I think that this is the right time that Africans need to go outside the box. We are used to power generation using water, and almost everyone is convinced that water is the only main source of energy. Is the hon. Minister aware that Africa can supply the whole world with energy from solar? Currently, Africa has the potential of providing 4.5 kW per hour per day for the whole world. If he is aware, why can he not take that as an advantage for us instead of depending on water which is determined by the amount of rainfall?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I am aware of that, but what we should do is look at what is in-house. Right now, we have started with an ambitious programme which is going to be funded by the German Government called Get Fit, which will supply solar power to the magnitude of about 120 mW. We are moving in the right direction.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


48. Mr Fube (Chilubi) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. how many mini hospitals, countrywide:
  1. had been completed as of October, 2021; and
  2. were under construction as of the same date; and
  3. (b)  when the completed mini hospitals will become operational.

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, seventy five out of 115 mini hospitals countrywide were completed, as of October 2021.

Madam Speaker, twenty three out of 115 mini hospitals countrywide were under construction as of the same date.

Madam Speaker, all the completed mini hospitals which were handed over are operational.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, I would like to know whether there are variations in the cost due to the passage of time for each mini hospital that has not been completed.

The audio-system malfunctioned

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilubi, unfortunately, we cannot hear your question.

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, in Chienge, we have two mini hospitals. I believe one of them is about to be in operation. When is the Government going to handover these mini hospitals so that they can be fully functional?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I just want to make a mini correction to my earlier answer. In fact, sixty-four, and not seventy-five, mini hospitals were completed. Of the completed mini hospitals, only forty-nine are currently operational and twenty-eight are still under construction.

In answering the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge, I just want to say that the reasons, sometimes, a structure is completed, but not operational might be that you have to employ staff or move staff around. This is part of the reason the Government made the decision to employ the over 11,000 health workers. It was also partly to help us operationalise a number of infrastructure that was completed, but was not operational.

Madam Speaker, now that almost 98 per cent of the 11,000 health workers have been deployed to various provinces and districts, we are hoping that we will now be able to open quite a good number of those that may have been completed, but not operationalised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, this is a countrywide distribution of mini-hospitals. Mitete became a district in 2013, but was left out of this countrywide distribution of mini-hospitals. Is there any hope for a mini-hospital, even just one, for Mitete District?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, you will recall that I indicated on the Floor of this House that there were some health posts, mini-hospitals and hospitals that were constructed in certain parts of the country and that under the New Dawn Government, one of our principles is not just equality, but ensuring equity of distribution of health facilities countrywide. To that effect, we made some adjustments, for those that were not yet constructed, and made sure that there was some form of equity in all the provinces.

Madam Speaker, you will also recall that I did also indicate that I would bring a comprehensive list for the information of hon. Members. It came to my attention that my office brought a list which was circulated. However, I noted that there were mistakes on that list because it was not the updated one. I have since asked the officers to make the latest list, which was adjusted, available to your office. So, with your indulgence, I will make the list available, hopefully, before the end of next week so that hon. Members can have clear knowledge of how many facilities are in the various provinces and districts. That will only regard those which were not yet constructed. However, for those that were not completed, we shall complete them and make them operational together with those that were completed, but not operationalised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Actually, when I looked at the question today, I wondered whether that list had been circulated. We will appreciate that corrected list so that hon. Members can be informed on the status of the mini-hospitals.

Mr Shakafuswa (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, my question has been answered in the additional information that the hon. Minister gave.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Speaker, I wanted to ask whether it was going to be possible for the hon. Minister to provide a list, but she just stated that she will. So, my question has also been overtaken.

Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that with the recruitment of new health workers, she will be able to facilitate the opening of some of the facilities that were built.

Madam Speaker, Kamfinsa Constituency has health centres that were built, but they have not been operational simply because they do not have health workers. Is the hon. Minister able to indicate whether steps are being taken to ensure that the farming block of Kanshimu and Misaka B5can now have their health facilities operationalised? This is already built infrastructure, ready for opening.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, yes, for facilities which are completed with equipment and furniture, but lacked only staff, we shall be making them operational soon.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I had closed the segment, but I have seen the hon. Member for Kaumbwe.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, these mini-hospitals do not come with mortuaries. Kaumbwe is a beneficiary of a mini-hospital which has not yet been opened. I think all the civil works have been done and health staff is there. It is the equipment which is missing. Would the hon. Minister consider providing us with a mortuary because the whole constituency has no other mini-hospital? This is the only mini-hospital and we go to Petauke and Nyimba districts for mortuary services.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, it is correct to say that mini-hospitals that were constructed do not have mortuaries. If you have noted, in the past months since we took office, there has been a number of concerns raised on the Floor of the House by hon. Members from various constituencies demanding for mortuaries and articulating that they would have been ideal.

Madam, whilst I appreciate that, I want to advise hon. Members to make a decision under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). If an hon. Member thinks that a mortuary is a very important facility in his/her constituency or district because they have none, then it would help if they did that themselves using the CDF.


Madam Speaker, in the 2022 Budget, you will recall that we said that we were going to purchase some mortuary equipment. Those will be distributed to a number of districts, but even those will not be sufficient. I think we need to get to a place where hon. Members can work closely with us so that those who can manage to put up a mortuary can be supported. For others, it could have already been planned or they already had a mortuary, but did not have equipment. However, where you do not even have mortuary infrastructure or equipment, it would help if you dealt with that under the CDF.

Madam Speaker, let me also use this opportunity to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament. The challenges in the ministry are huge. The country is big and the data or information that we have is not up to date. Therefore, if hon. Members of Parliament know something within their jurisdiction, let them write to me, even a WhatsApp message would be sufficient for me, so that we have a record and can work together to solve some of these matters rather than wait for three months to bring a question here. I think that would really help us because health issues cannot wait. We are having challenges and there is a lot of work. Unless we all work together, these problems will continue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


49. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Green Economy and Environment:

(a)        whether the Government has any plans to degazette some forests in Kalabo District in order to free-up land for agricultural activities;

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

(c)        if there are no such plans, why.

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Madam Speaker, currently, the Government has no plans to degazzette any forest in Kalabo District for agricultural activities or any other purpose.

Madam Speaker, due to what has been stated in the response above, there is no timeline as the Government has no such plans.

Madam Speaker, there are no such plans because most of the forest reserves are in ecologically sensitive areas and require protection.

Madam Speaker, it is, therefore, important to preserve forests as they improve the environment by restoring lost biodiversity. They also enhance food security and improve air and water quality, thus contributing to job creation. In addition, forest restoration contributes to soil conservation and protection of water catchment areas.

Madam Speaker, the desire is to have, at least, 15 per cent of the land in the country as protected forest reserves. Currently, forest reserves cover approximately 9 per cent of total land mass in the country. This implies that further degazation will further reduce the percentage of forest cover. In the advent of climate change, there is an increased need to provide more protection to the forests.

Madam Speaker, in Kalabo, which is the subject district, the total land area covered by forest reserves is approximately 3.4 per cent. These forest reserves also act as a buffer to the Zambezi Plains which are one of Zambia’s natural heritages. Therefore, land required for agriculture can be sought in other unprotected areas through their royal highnesses as well as the local authority.

Further, the preservation of forest reserves has greater benefits for the Government and communities through carbon trading as well as the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Successful carbon trading generates income for the country and households, particularly, thus improving their livelihoods.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, originally, settlers settled in Kalabo because of those forests which later became reserves. The calling was the forest. Now, are there collaborative activities between the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, which cares for the forests and the Ministry of Agriculture, which is responsible for agriculture, which can result into aid for the people who have run short of farm land? Are those collaborations taking place to help the people acquire land for food production?

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, indeed, the Ministry of Agriculture, I am aware, has plans to establish farming blocks in various parts of the country. However, as to the details for Kalabo, I would refer the hon. Member to the hon. Minister of Agriculture.

Madam Speaker, for the information of the hon. Member, unfortunately, Kalabo District sits in an area which is now being devastated by the effects of climate change. That part of the country is getting dryer and dryer. So, the protection of the forests, especially those with ecologically sensitive areas, is very important. However, I am sure we will collaborate more with the Ministry of Agriculture to see whether we can get more agricultural land, especially from traditional leaders.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe) Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that part of the land that the hon. Member is talking about is already being utilised illegally for farming activities? Is the Government willing to surrender it to the illegal farmers so that they start farming legally?


Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, to all my fellow hon. Members of Parliament, the question that the hon. Member asked is a critical one. The status of encroachment on these forests is very high. We are losing a lot of forest cover. However, I want to be very clear in my response that illegal settlers must not feel comfortable. We want to increase rather than decrease forest cover.

Madam Speaker, this Government has no plans to degazette those forests. If you look at the data on forests in the last ten years, you will note that we have lost almost 15 per cent of forest cover from protected forests, a situation which cannot be allowed to continue. We have no choice. Climate change is here.

Madam Speaker, disaster risk management is under the Vice-Presidents Office, and she will tell you that the protection of these forests is key to our very survival. We have a choice. There is food, water and energy insecurity and all those can only be mitigated by ensuring that we protect our forests.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister was talking about the advantages or the outcomes of having reserves. I do not know how many times the hon. Minister has visited Kalabo. I do not know whether his response is current or historical. The response by the hon. Minister is historical.

Madam Speaker, is he able to provide an active measure which the Government has put in place to protect the so called ‘reserves’?

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I can confirm to the hon. Member that I have traversed the country. Some forests have been invaded or encroached on to a very large extent. There are some forests which are so ecologically sensitive that there are plans for their restoration. We will allow for regeneration.

Hon. Member: Right!

Eng. Nzovu: There are some places, like the Mongu Forest, where streams used to flow, but no longer do. The water table has gone down so much so that the cry from hon. Members here is that in the years past, they used drill boreholes at 50 or 60 m, but now, drill up to 100 m. It is getting serious.

Madam Speaker, even if some forests have been encroached upon to a high degree, there are plans to restore them so that natural regeneration is allowed. However, where natural regeneration or planned regeneration is slow, the planting of trees will be done.


Madam Speaker, when we say we are facing a climate crisis, we are being serious. There is a climate crisis. There is biodiversity loss. We have to restore biodiversity. So, it is a crisis. If it is a crisis, then there is something that we have to do about it, seriously. Those dry spells and the flooding that you see are a result of climate change. These are no longer foreign terminologies. They are no longer happening there; they are happening here. These disasters, if you ask Her Honour the Vice-President, because she runs the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), she will tell you that we are in a crisis and need to respond, and respond appropriately.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe: Madam Speaker, I have been following the questions coming from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central and the responses that the hon. Minister has been providing. It is very clear that his primary focus is ensuring that these forests are reserved. I have not seen him appreciate the concerns from the hon. Member of Parliament. Clearly, as the hon. Member of Parliament leaves this House, he requires providing feedback to the people who sent him to this House.

Does the hon. Minister have plans to go and engage the community that has overrun this forest? I am asking this question because this is a very common problem, even in Kamfinsa where the priority of our people in the Mwekera National Forest is to do agriculture as opposed to seeing trees emerge every five years. So, are there plans to help the hon. Member of Parliament explain some of these considerations that you are making? Clearly, you have missed the point that the hon. Member of Parliament is raising in as far as the economic activities of Kalabo are concerned.

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question that Hon. Kang’ombe raises. Obviously, I have engaged him before. This is very important for me to explain and, if you can, allow me to say a few things about what he has said.

He is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa, and it hosts the Mwekera National Forest, a very important forest which has been encroached upon. That is where we have the Mwekera Forestry College and scientific activities, as far as forestry is concerned. That forest, the Mwekera National Forest, I can state, without heat, that we need to protect it because it has different types of species. Some are deliberately planted there to ensure that there is history in the forest, first of all, and that the training of foresters is done there. It is one of the biggest links to forest preservation. So, I can only ask the hon. Member to help us protect that forest.

Madam Speaker, as to the economic activities which he and Hon. Miyutu brought up, I sympathise with the hon. Member. Somehow, it became very easy to look to forests even where traditional land was available. There is a lot of traditional land in the hon. Member’s district, and the total hectarage is 50,000. There is a lot of land in the district which can be used for agricultural activities. That forest, with only 50,000 ha of land, is very ecologically sensitive. We can only ask for the hon. Member’s support.

Obviously, I will ask the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and other ministries to help us find alternative land to those forests. Those forests are the ones which bring us enough rains and protect us from that floodplain. They are the same ones which provide the necessary oxygen. So, those forests are important to the same farmers who want to settle in them.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, but the hon. Member was asking whether you are willing to go to Kalabo to go and engage the people of Kalabo on how they can do carbon trading, for example.

Eng. Nzovu: We are willing, Madam Speaker, and I call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to come together, as a House, to see how we can to protect these forests; and how our people, indeed, can get benefits from carbon trading. We need to see how we can engage their royal highnesses, who hold thousands of hectares of land, to give some of it to our people. Remember that many investors are given thousands and thousands of tracts of land. Why is it not possible to give our farmers that land? These are the questions that we ask ourselves. The propensity to get into the forests is very high, and yet the forests occupy only a few thousand hectares of land. There is a lot of land out there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, although my question was overtaken, I received a message from those who are following the proceedings. They want to congratulate the hon. Minister on the passion that he has for the forests. They are saying that they love his passion.

Madam Speaker, I also want to say that he is doing a very good job. I just want to ask him a question that he, together with the hon. Minister of Agriculture, can use. Can they work to find other means of helping our brothers and sisters in Kalabo since the area is semi-desert? We have new technologies of farming in such areas if the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment and the hon. Minister of Agriculture came together. What the hon. Member of Parliament is crying for are farming blocks. In other words, he is looking at food being produced in his constituency. Could it be possible for the hon. Minister to work with his hon. Colleague and come up with means of helping our brothers to use new technologies of farming in deserts, like they do in Egypt?

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I thank Hon. Rev. Katuta for those kind words. I hope the whole House can support us because these are non-controversial issues.

Hon. Members: We support you.

Eng. Nzovu: I thank you, hon. Members. Support more.

Madam, I want to commit to the House that we will take time to visit Kalabo, with the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, to find the necessary solution. Indeed, working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture in areas like that, we are promoting climate-smart agriculture. We have trained extension officers to teach our famers how to utilise the little water there is.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member is not alone. We are with him and we will ensure that the Government finds the necessary land to accommodate the farmers. We will be with him and take the necessary measures. We will visit the constituency.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you. As we try to help the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment to protect the environment, all hon. Members are supposed to plant a thousand trees in their constituencies. I do not know how many have done that. So, let us work together and plant those trees and protect the economy.

Mr C. M. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, has the ministry tried to carry out a social cost-benefit analysis to give us a comprehensive direction on where we are going? Do we go with agriculture or keep the forests the way they are.

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, we have not carried out that cost benefit analysis, but various studies will show you that with the advent of climate change, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of economies is getting wiped out by, at least, 20 per cent just by forest degradation. Forests support economic activities in all areas or sectors.

Madam Speaker, how do we improve social benefits? Actually, it is the reason we are trying to bring our people on board. This is basically not a Government programme, but a people’s programme, and our survival depends on it. I want to remind hon. Members, just as the Speaker has done, that we have an obligation to plant those trees.

Madam Speaker, further, for some constituencies which do very well, we have climate finance, and are looking to see how we partner with them, across the board; and all the 156 plus hon. Members of Parliament, without exception. There are no political parties. There are just hon. Members of Parliament and Zambians coming together to protect their environment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, I would like to urge all hon. Members to, please, let us come together.

Madam Speaker, further, a few months ago, we launched the Communication and Advocacy Strategy. I invited hon. Members to get a copy and I have not received good co-operation. I ask that we engage as quickly as we can.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Order!




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1632 hours until 1415 hours on Friday, 30th September, 2022.