Wednesday, 16th November, 2022

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          Wednesday, 16th November, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I have one announcement to make. I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members and staff from the Parliament of Namibia:

Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters

Hon. Kletus Karondo, MP, Chairperson;

Hon. Paula Kooper, MP, Deputy Chairperson;

Hon. Vincent Mareka, MP, Member;

Hon. Diederik Vries, MP, Member;

Mr Willem H. Isaak, Deputy Director; and

Mr Ivan Skrywer, Parliamentary Clerk.

Select Committee on Budget

Hon. Mike Kavekotora, MP, Chairperson;

Hon. Josef Kauendenge, MP, Member;

Ms Kathleen Joyce Nakutta, Director Committee Services;

Ms Josephine Shatumbu, Director General Services;

Mr Herman Angala, Financial Advisor; and           

Ms Namasiku Lizazi, Chief Parliamentary Clerk.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.

I thank you.




Mr E. Tembo (Feira): Madam Speaker, I take cognisance of the fact that this is Parliament and as hon. Members of Parliament, we are concerned about issues involving this country.

Madam Speaker, yesterday, the issue of a Zambian who was killed in the war between Russia and Ukraine was raised before this House. I appreciate your ruling, but I am of the considered view that that issue is very important because we have a Zambian who has died under unexplained circumstances.

Madam Speaker, I strongly believe that as hon. Members of Parliament, we need to be given an opportunity to hear from the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation what happened, notwithstanding the fact that he addressed the nation. Parliament is a special aspect or limb of the Government and there are so many questions. We are really concerned.

Madam Speaker, notwithstanding the fact that there is a ruling, I want to appeal directly to the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation to issue a comprehensive statement because we get so concerned when one of us dies out of the country. Notwithstanding the various communications or investigations that are going on, I think that as Parliament, we need to make our position. Therefore, I am raising this matter of urgent public importance at the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation to issue a statement.

 I seek your ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Feira, I just want to do one or two things but I will respond to you subsequently. We can hear the other matter of urgent public importance from the hon. Member for Kamfinsa.


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I am grateful to be able to raise an urgent matter of public importance on behalf of the people of Kamfinsa Constituency pursuant to Standing Order No. 134. I direct this urgent matter at Her Honour the Vice-President, who is not only the Leader of Government Business in the House but currently, overseeing activities of the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU).

Madam Speaker, over the weekend, I had an opportunity to undertake an inspection of a stream called the Matemate which separates Mulenga Compound and Ndeke Township in Kitwe. My inspection revealed that there has been excessive soil erosion on the edges of the stream resulting in houses that are sitting on the edges of this stream being exposed. Very soon, we will have a disaster in that particular locality of Kamfinsa Constituency.

Madam Speaker, in addition to the threat of these houses being damaged or collapsed as a result of the rains that we have started experiencing, we also have a sewer line running from Chamboli to Ndeke through Mulenga Compound, which is equally exposed as a result of this excessive soil erosion on the stream.

Madam Speaker, you have always guided on the criteria. If not attended to, this particular matter will cause a calamity. Secondly, it is a matter of recent occurrence and it is one particular matter that I am submitting for the attention of Her Honour the Vice-President. I will lay before this august House images showing the extent of damage that this particular matter will cause and what it has already caused.

Madam Speaker, I seek your indulgence for this very urgent matter which relates to the welfare of our people in the constituency who gave me the mandate to represent them in this august House. I seek your indulgence as I lay the images on the Floor.

Madam Speaker: Are you laying them on the Table or on the Floor?


Madam Speaker: Let me start with the matter that has been raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Feira.

Hon. Members, the procedure and practice of this House are guided by our Standing Orders. Those are the orders that determine what we can and cannot do. The hon. Member for Feira being a lawyer, I take it he has made himself familiar with the Standing Orders.

So, if the hon. Member has read the Standing Orders, they guide as follows:

Chapter 17 refers to ministerial statements and Standing Order No. 129 talks about the presentation of ministerial statements. Standing Order No. 130 provides for admissibility of ministerial statements, the criteria upon which a ministerial statement may be admitted and delivered in this honourable House. I will refer the hon. Member and the House for future reference or for avoidance of doubt to Standing Order No.130 (c) which provides as follows:

“A ministerial statement shall not be admissible if –

(c)      the information contained in the statement has already been issued by the Vice-President or Minister outside the House.”

So, hon. Members, once a Minister issues a statement outside the House, it means that he/she cannot come to this House and deliver the same statement. That is why yesterday, I guided that since the hon. Minister is aware of what is happening and he issued a statement, got in touch with the Government of Russia and is also in contact with the family of the deceased person, let us give him chance to find out what exactly happened. Once the hon. Minister concludes that investigation, he can either issue a press statement outside the House or a ministerial statement in this House. The purpose of issuing a ministerial statement or a press statement is so that the people of Zambia are notified of what the Government is doing and to assure them that it is aware of what is happening. It does not make the statement much more important when it is delivered on the Floor of this House. So, if Ministers opt to deliver press statements outside the House, they are not obligated to come to this House to deliver a ministerial statement. So, please, hon. Members, let us be guided accordingly.

Hon. Member of Parliament for Feira, you are the third person to raise a similar issue. Yesterday, it was raised by another hon. Member and I guided. The hon. Member for Shiwang’andu who was also dissatisfied raised this matter and I guided, but I did not just refer to the Standing Orders. Now that you have raised it, this has given me an opportunity to clarify and give guidance as to the criteria that is used to admit ministerial statements. However, hon. Ministers can still issue statements to give an update like the statement that the hon. Minister of Agriculture will issue, and this is regardless of whether he already issued a statement on the matter. He will update us on the distribution of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Presiding Officer’s uses his/her discretion to allow the hon. Minister to issue a statement. So, please, let us be guided accordingly.

The hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa has raised a matter of urgent public importance directed at Her Honour the Vice-President. Since she is here, I do not know if she is ready to tackle that issue or we should give her time to come back to the House and address that issue.

The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa for that concern. However, like he said, he is the Member of Parliament and he went to the affected area over the weekend and he saw that which may lead to a disaster and even my office, is getting the information right now, although what he is referring to must have gone on for some time because it cannot just rain once and there is that kind of erosion. So, what I can say is that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU)has heard and it will undertake the process, including technical assessment and all that is needed, and it will give advice as we go on.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much for that response. Hon. Members, once a disaster or something happens in your constituencies, it is good when you are aware of it, but bring it to the attention of the relevant authorities so that something can be done about that situation.

I closed the segment of matters of urgent public importance, but because I was tackling them one at a time, I will allow the last one.


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, permit me to rise on this very important matter of urgent public importance on the Road Traffic Amendment Act No. 8 of 2022, which was amended in this Parliament.

Madam Speaker, each and every country first manages its people and protects their businesses. We, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region or part of Africa, do not want local millionaires, people we can groom our own businesses that the Government can support.

Madam Speaker, last week, the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) published what it calls long term service licences for Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers. Today, you only need to apply to the Director of the RTSA and the RTSA will grant you the licence or you can reapply after the RTSA publishes the names, if the director has not answered you after ten or forty days.

Madam Speaker, hon. Members may wish to note that in Zambia, we allow any foreigner to bring in more than fifty or 100 trucks and register a company. However, people like me and those on the right, who have four or five trucks, are disadvantaged because, as a country, we have decided to disadvantage ourselves.

Madam Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics is: What measures has he put in place to protect the local transporters? Sorry I cannot lay evidence on the Table, but I assure you that two or three Congolese truckers have been registered in Zambia when we cannot register ours in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Hon. Members may wish to note that a Zambian truck cannot load in Tanzania, even though it is registered, and we have disadvantaged ourselves.

Madam Speaker, I need your serious indulgence on this matter and the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics should tell us the gadgets he has put in place to protect the local transporters.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Nyimba, whereas the subject that you have brought up is of interest to a number of people, unfortunately, it does not qualify to be raised as a matter of urgent public importance. Kindly look at the Standing Orders and find means and ways of raising that matter with the hon. Minister of Transport and Logistics.




The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Mtolo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for granting me this opportunity to update the House and through the House, the nation, on the status of the 2022/2023 Farming Season and in particular, the distribution of inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Madam Speaker, as you may be aware, 1,024,434 farmers have been targeted for the 2022/2023 Farming Season using the Direct Input Supply (DIS) modality. This entails that all inputs will be procured by the Government and distributed to the farmers. 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 is D Compound.

Madam Speaker, with respect to seed, the Government has procured 10,244 metric tonnes of maize seed, 12,805.44 metric tonnes of soya bean seed and 10,244 metric tonnes of groundnut seed. The total cost to the Government on the seed procurement, which includes distribution to all districts, is K1.7 billion.

Madam Speaker, one of the conditions for a farmer to access these inputs is that a farmer has to make a contribution of K400. I wish to inform the House that deposits commenced on 14th October, 2022. As at 15th November, just about 300,000 farmers had made deposits in participating banks, translating to almost a K100 million. Farmers started collecting their inputs on 10th November through the Zambia Integrated Agriculture Management Information System managed by the Smart Zambia Institute (SZI), which is a Government division.

Madam Speaker, the distribution of fertiliser commenced on 21st September, 2022 and is currently on-going. As at 15thNovember, 2022, a total of 80,000 metric tonnes of D Compound was delivered to all the ten provinces, leaving a balance of 73,668metric tonnes out of the 153,665.10 allocation for the 2022/2023 Farming Season.

Madam Speaker, regarding Urea, 36,000 metric tonnes were delivered to all the ten provinces out of the 153,665.10 allocation for the 2022/2023 Farming Season, indicating a delivery rate of 23 percent, leaving a balance of 117,665 metric tonnes. Furthermore, the total fertiliser in holding depots of the supplies for Compound D is 49,490.90 metric tonnes. This brings the total tonnage of the fertiliser in the country to 104,797.33 metric tonnes, while the total in the holding depots for Urea is 44,256.20 metric tonnes, bringing the total tonnage to 70,017.95 metric tonnes. This is an important figure because it represents about 57 per cent of fertiliser supplies so far.

Madam Speaker, with regard to seed, as at 15th November, 2022, 2,306.12 metric tonnes of maize seed was distributed, leaving a balance of 7,938.22 metric tonnes. This indicates a delivery rate of about 23 per cent. In addition, 1,579.59 metric tonnes of groundnut seed was distributed, indicating a 16 per cent delivery rate. The balance out of the allocation is 8,664.75 metric tonnes. Further, 2,376.90of soya bean seed was delivered, indicating a delivery rate of about 19 per cent. The balance out of the allocation is 10,429.57 metric tonnes. The process is on-going and is being accelerated.

Madam Speaker, the following are the measures that the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and other co-operating departments, has put in place to ensure that fertiliser is delivered quickly by suppliers:

  1. the ministry has appointed fertiliser contract managers to improve monitoring of deliveries. All contract managers underwent training. These are Government officials, in case I am misconstrued to indicate that these are private. These are Government officials;
  2. daily reports on deliveries by the fertiliser companies are being submitted to the Permanent Secretary’s (PSs) office in the Ministry of Agriculture and suppliers are being engaged to expedite the deliveries; and
  3. the Government is further expediting the delivery of fertiliser to all parts of the country by ensuring that:


  1. that the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) facilities, that is, customs and clearance of trucks at borders such as Chanida, Chirundu and Nakonde are cleared expressly. The fertiliser suppliers have been requested to apply for pre-clearance of up to seven days prior to arrival at the border. If the pre-clearance formalities are completed, trucks can cross the border in less than an hour;


  1. arrangements have been made with the Ministry of Transport and Logistics for an exemption to be made for fertiliser trucks to move at night. The process of formalising the exemption is in progress;
  2. the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), has been engaged to facilitate night time clearing of trucks at weigh bridges so that we isolate any possible delays;
  3. the Zambia Police Service has been engaged to facilitate the smooth movement of fertiliser trucks at police check points; and
  4. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation has written to the Zambian Embassy in Maputo to engage the Mozambique Government to facilitate the timely dispatch of fertiliser from the port of Beira to Zambia. A team of officials from Zambia is departing for Mozambique to ensure smooth movement.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, may I reaffirm the Government’s commitment to ensuring that farmers countrywide receive farming inputs. Before I leave, allow me to repeat one line. The fertiliser that is in the country that is being distributed within the borders of Zambia when added together constitutes 57 per cent.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Please note, no debates. Points of clarification only.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister repeated, for the sake of emphasising, the statement that 57 per cent of fertiliser has been supplied so far. The rain is not waiting for us, just like the 2022/2023 Farming Season is not. When is the remaining 43 per cent going to be supplied to farmers?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I thank Hon. Sidney Mushanga for that very important question.

Madam Speaker, I wish to assure the country through you, and hon. Members in the Chamber that our target is month-end. We should not go beyond this month-end with carry-over stock. If that happens, it will be a very sad situation. So, within the month, we hope to deliver the fertiliser.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): Madam Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture why farmers in a co-operative, for instance, of sixty members, are being allocated seven to ten packs instead of twenty-three, like in the past. Farmers are ending up sharing fertiliser using tins and gallons.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, that is another very important question.

Madam Speaker, there are close to 3 million small scale farmers in Zambia. This programme is covering 1,240,434, in other words, just 1 million. So, two out of three small scale farmers are going without the Farmer Input Support  Programme (FISP).That is why they have opted to share.

Madam Speaker, let me, again, indicate that the ministry does not encourage the arbitrary sharing of fertiliser because if shared, it will become ineffective. It will not provide the crop with the necessary nutrients. Therefore, we are going to reduce our productivity per area planted. Let us discourage the sharing. It is better for one person to produce and feed the other two than for all the three to fail to produce and kill themselves.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, where I come from, we say in our native language, insala ni ndiminwa tempulilwa iyoo, meaning that farmers can only feed themselves from their labour. Therefore, the issue of sharing cannot be avoided.

Madam Speaker, the situation the hon. Minister has explained is a concern to all of us on the right and the left, but especially those of us who represent rural farmers. So, we want to get it very clearly from the hon. Minister. This question is a rider to the one that came from the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpika.

Madam Speaker, in Shiwang’andu, there are clubs with about sixty members and others about thirty-five, and they are all getting different numbers of packs.

Madam Speaker, can we get this from the hon. Minister; what is the minimum number for cooperatives under the Ministry of Agriculture, and how many packs are supposed to be given to each of these clubs? This distortion which has resulted in farmers sharing in what I last referred to as medas – that is what we use in rural areas for measuring – cannot be avoided with the current situation. I want to get it very clearly from the hon. Minister so that we can properly guide our farmers.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, firstly, the number of farmers who are being targeted and given inputs has not changed. It is exactly the same number that was used last year and the other year, if anything, with a slight increase.

Madam Speaker, hon. Member for Shiwang’andu is fully aware that the quantity of fertiliser has not changed. What has changed is the number of cooperatives that have registered themselves. The Government has not withheld any stock of fertiliser, no. The Government has not changed the number of people to receive the fertiliser. It is exactly the same figures. However, the cooperatives and the people interested have increased.

Madam Speaker, what this means, therefore, is that this House can decide to increase, through the budget, the quantity of fertiliser it should buy to support farmers. If we do not do that, we will be talking about the same thing next year.

Madam Speaker, let me make something very clear. Let us not give the impression that this sharing is only happening in our time. No, that is not correct. I have been in the industry ever since I left school, and this sharing of farmer inputs has been going on continuously, including last year and the other year. For the entire ten years of the Patriotic Front (PF) in power, the sharing was happening.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, why should we dramatise the sharing which is happening now? We should not dramatise it. What we should do is tell farmers that if they share wrongly, they are going to reduce productivity on their fields. I think that is the point.

Madam Speaker, as long as we keep on with this one-out-of-three system of input distribution, we are going to have problems.

Madam Speaker, we are supporting 1 million farmers when we have 3 million farmers. If we do not increase the quantity of fertiliser under the FISP, the problem will continue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I welcome back the hon. Minister from Pambashe Constituency and I thank him for visiting and seeing the reality on the ground.

Madam Speaker, I refer to the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister. He has indicated that 57,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser are within the borders of Zambia. It is out of that statement that I want him to assure the Zambian people, before we talk about the fertiliser which is not yet in, when he will complete the delivery of the 57 per cent of the total fertiliser that is within the borders of Zambia to various districts so that cooperatives can access it bearing in mind the rainfall he found in Kawambwa yesterday and, therefore, the accessibility of areas.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, indeed, yesterday, I was in Pambashe Constituency. I am happy to inform the hon. Member that in his constituency, farmers have started redeeming and collecting fertiliser. That is very good news for his constituency. So, I thank him for having encouraged farmers to deposit money. I would also like to encourage him to do more so that we exceed the 300,000 farmers who deposited. We need a lot more. We need another 600, or so, to deposit so that we can reach our target.


Madam Speaker, as regards the question the hon. Member asked, I want to assure the House and the nation that the rugged and strong monitoring processes are pushing most of these suppliers. There are very few suppliers moving less than fifty trucks per day, but 100, 120 and 150 from one supplier. I think we are doing a commendable job.

If you look at the time we started supplying, from the 21st to now, you will notice that it is actually an incredible feat. Even if we are late, I stand here with strength and energy because I think we have done a very commendable job. So, the senior hon. Member should not worry. We are going to give Zambians this fertiliser. I repeat that before the end of the month, we should be almost through with the deliveries.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Tayengwa (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, first of all, Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) was contracted to supply almost 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser. How many tonnes has the NCZ produced as at yesterday to meet the 50,000 metric tonnes?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kabwata for the question. First and foremost, each time I stand, I will take advantage and update accordingly. I am extremely delighted that for Lusaka, the entire stock for D-compound was delivered by Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and it is 8,872.2 metric tonnes. All of it has been delivered. We are also lucky because almost all the seed has been delivered. What we need to do in Lusaka is to push that farmers should redeem their inputs.

Madam Speaker, coming to the hon. Member’s question, I will round-off the figures. NCZ was contracted to supply about 47,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser and it has done a total of 20,000 metric tonnes. However, we are making arrangements and holding hands with the company seeing that it can supply the balance. The good news is that we have put measures in place. Therefore, I would ask the hon. Member for Kabwata to ask me that question in the next seven days. NCZ would have delivered its total quantity in full because of what we have done with the company.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, my question borders on contract management. The hon. Minister has informed us that 57 per cent of the fertiliser is in the country. Based on the contract that the ministry signed with the suppliers, the 47 per cent that is not in the country, whose fault is it that it is not yet in the country? If this is the fault of the suppliers, are there provisions in the contract to invoke damages and the consequences of defaulting on the terms of the contract?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I would not apportion fault because I do not think we should be dealing with fault. If we say we have delivered, as at today, 68 per cent of the fertiliser, our worry should be the –

Hon. PF Members interjected.

Mr Mtolo: Just hold on. I am giving an example. I said if we said –

Mr Mabeta: Correct!


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I will change and use the exact figures.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, if we have 57 per cent of the stock in the country, it does not mean that anyone is at fault. First of all, for reasons which I have indicated before in the House, we only started the whole programme on 21st September, 2022. I came here and explained that the reason for that is that the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) had cancelled the contracts. Now, from 21st September, 2022 to date, we are moving and are at that high position.

Madam Speaker, therefore, I would say that we should not worry. Fertiliser will come in. The 37 per cent of the figure we are talking about is a small quantity. What we have given out is what is bigger and I think that is what we should be looking at. How can an hon. Minister stand and start apportioning blame? The responsibility falls with the ministry and it falls with me.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, I am feeling so bad.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, I have been in this House since 2011 and I was whispering to the hon. Member for Kabwata that this word ‘sharing’, if we were to check the Hansard, we will not find it there.


Mr Miyutu: That aside.

Madam Speaker, I am asking the hon. Minister this question as a human being and so, I am thinking like a human being. A human being considers the physical environmental factors. To make a plan, you need to study the environment.

Madam Speaker, I am feeling very bad.


Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) has only managed to produce 20,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, according to the hon. Minister’s report. In a mathematical sense, this means that there is a balance of 27,000 metric tonnes. The hon. Minister knows how much time NCZ has taken to produce that 20,000 metric tonnes.

Madam Speaker, what magic will NCZ apply to produce 27,000 metric tonnes within a month, according to the hon. Minister’s statement? What magic will be used? What is the date today?

Mr Mushanga: 16th!

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, today is 16th September, 2022, and we have fourteen days remaining. According to his statement, the hon. Minister is saying that this will be done by the end of this month, and I am sure this month means November. What magic, Sir, will NCZ apply to produce that 27,000 metric tonnes of bags of fertiliser?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Due to the emotive nature of the subject –


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Due to the emotive nature of the subject, I allowed the hon. Member for Kalabo Central to also share his views.

Mr Kampyongo: What magic?

Mr Mundubile: Funso!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the emotion which has been exhibited by the respected hon. Member. That is the way my brother speaks. I remember him talking about water in 2011 and he was speaking like that.


Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, to answer his question, NCZ might subcontract so that it gets fertiliser to supply.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mr Mtolo: Therefore, the most important thing is to know that NCZ will supply. So, there is no magic. We cannot do abracadabra at all, but NCZ will use available legal means to supply and that is why I did not even take it to the end of the month. I asked Hon. Tayengwa to ask me in the next seven days because we have hand held with the company and we are confident, hon. Members, that NCZ will supply without magic, but using legal conventional methods.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Madam Speaker: We will add five more minutes to this segment, but before we proceed, hon. Member for Pambashe, what is the point of order?

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I am reluctantly rising on a point of order because of the way the hon. Minister has responded to my brother from Kalabo. This is related to our Standing Order No. 65.

Madam Speaker, several times, you have guided that we must not use assumptions and the hon. Ministers must give factual information. Now, if the hon. Minister can begin assuming that the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) may subcontract to meet its obligation in the remaining seven days, is he, therefore, in order to give an assumptive position to the public out there who are following the deliberations and are eager to see whether NCZ will meet its legal obligation of delivering up to 50,000 metric tonnes of D-compound?

Madam Speaker, we have to bear in mind that the hon. Member who asked the question is an hon. Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources and he knows that this contract was given to NCZ in May this year. From May to yesterday, the company has just managed to produce 20,000 metric tonnes.

Madam Speaker, therefore, I seek your serious guidance whether the hon. Minister is in order to give the assumptive statement that NCZ may subcontract without giving us the definite position regarding the delivery by NCZ.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Pambashe, the problem is that presumptive questions also attract presumptive answers. So, going by what you are saying, hon. Member for Pambashe, there is a presumption that the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) might not be able to meet its obligations. However, the hon. Minister is also saying that in the event that the company does not meet its obligations, it has a right to subcontract. So, I do not know really whether we should go that route to say who is right and who is wrong because we are also just making assumptions.

I think what is important is that the people of Zambia want to put fertiliser in their fields like yesterday. So, let us ask questions that will help that fertiliser get to the people of Zambia .In that regard, the point of order has been taken note of but, again, it is disallowed.

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity.

Madam Speaker, there is one position that the hon. Minister needs to clarify. On one hand, he informed the House the number of beneficiaries of  this programme and the quantum of support that is given, and on the other, the ministry instructed the District Agricultural Co-ordinators (DACOs) and Provincial Agricultural Co-ordinators (PACOs) in various areas to include new co-operatives or clubs on the list. That obviously dilutes the intended support that is given to the farmers. However, the Patriotic Front (PF) Whip’s question was: How many packs will each co-operative receive bearing in mind that the composition of co-operatives differs from place to place, but the question really is: Why did the ministry give an instruction to increase the number of co-operatives, yet the number of bags sent to these areas has remained constant according to the number of beneficiaries? I hope the hon. Minister has gotten the question.

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, that is a very good question from the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mundubile.

Madam Speaker, it is important for new co-operatives and new members to be engaged so that they can also benefit from this Government resource. It is absolutely important for new co-operatives and new members to be engaged so that they can also have the subsidised fertiliser.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr M. K. Tembo (Sinda): Madam Speaker, I thought that today, the hon. Minister would also talk about the farmers who paid money for inputs during the 2021/2022 Farming Season but, unfortunately, the matter was not included in his statement and I am not happy about that.

Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated that the ten provinces have already started receiving fertiliser, but I come from the Eastern Province and Sinda District has not received anything. How many districts have already received fertiliser as of today?


Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, regarding how many districts have received fertiliser, may I be excused from giving that piece of information to the hon. Member right now because I can give him –


Mr Mtolo: How many districts?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mtolo: How many districts do we have in Zambia? 118.

Hon. Members: 116.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Mr Mtolo: Out of those, I can give – Maybe, let me reverse my response. We are yet to give stock to five or six districts.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, in the Eastern Province, it is Sinda, if I am not mistaken Chadiza, and, maybe, Chipangali. They are a few and that is why I said I can give the hon. Member the information outside the Chamber. However, the most important thing is that significant stock was delivered into the country so people will redeem inputs and we will not disturb production.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I came back from the constituency early this morning, and this issue is very serious and the people are crying. My question is on the one million beneficiaries versus the two million, constituting three million small-scale farmers. Did the ministry undertake any due diligence to understand whether or not the two million had the capacity to stand on their own two feet minus Government support, especially that the Government is discouraging sharing?

Mr Mtolo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kanchibiya and let me give him a bonus answer. I am very happy to inform him that Kanchibiya is one of the areas where farmers are collecting fertiliser right now from the depots. He might be happy to know that.

Mr Chanda: D Compound only. There is no urea!

Mr Mtolo: Yes, D compound and a bit of seed.

Madam Speaker, as regards the question, in all honesty, if the Government had sufficient resources and since it wants to support the farmers, the most logical thing it would have done would be to support all the three million farmers. I repeat; we are seated here and we will look and talk about the agricultural budget and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is here. If we proceed with the figure without raising issues like that, we will stand here and talk about the same thing next year. We can only support a million farmers and this cannot change. No matter how many stones are thrown at me, the figure will remain the same. It will not change because it is a budgeted figure. It is dependent upon all of us in this House to decide how many farmers to support so that we can all support that figure, including Hon. Mundubile who wants to know the figure. You need to push that we get more farmers to benefit from this programme.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: The last question will be from the hon. Member for Mpongwe.

Mr Ngowani (Mpongwe): Madam Speaker, in Mpongwe, farmers are finding it difficult for their names to be certified. For example, one co-operative was allocated thirty packs, and only five names have been certified. Is there any method to use so that these farmers can get the packs before it is too late?

MrMtolo: Madam Speaker, that is a very important question because it cuts across the country.

Madam Speaker, this afternoon, I had a chat with the Head of Smart Zambia Institute. We agreed that when any District Agricultural Co-ordinator (DACO) finds it difficult to certify a farmer, he should do it manually. However, the system is excellent and it is working well, but in an event that there is a problem, we will do it manually. We will not wait and as hon. Members put it, the rains will not wait for us or anything. So, we will do it manually. When DACOs fail to access the farmers through the system or technology, I direct them to use the manual arrangement.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Mkushi South, what is your point of order?

Mr Chisopa: Madam Speaker, it relates to what the hon. Minister indicated that most districts have received the fertiliser and seed, yet according to Standing Order No.65, the hon. Minister has to be very factual. In Luano, we have not received not even a seed. Is the hon. Minister in order to mislead the nation that some districts have received inputs, yet Luano has not received, not even a seed or bag of fertiliser?

I need your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Order hon. Member for Mkushi South!

If you were listening, you would recall that the hon. Minister said that some districts have not yet received. The hon. Minister did not say all the districts. For example, he mentioned Chipangali, Sinda and maybe, even your district. So, just be patient. As I said earlier on, let us engage the hon. Minister. Let us help him. He needs help from everybody for him to be able to deliver.

Mr R. Mutale: Ka something  kaili.

Madam Speaker: Somebody is asking for ka something, but there is no ka something in the New Dawn.





92. Mr Elias Musonda (Chimbamilonga) asked the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to construct a correctional facility in Nsama District;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. what the estimated cost of the project is;
  4. what the estimated time frame for the completion of the project is; and
  5. if there are no such plans, why?

The Minister of Defence (Mr Lufuma)(on behalf of the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu)): Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to construct a correctional centre with a holding capacity of 480 inmates in Nsama District.

Madam, the plans to construct the correctional centre in Nsama District will be implemented when on-going projects are completed and funds are made available.

Madam Speaker, the estimated cost of the construction of the correctional centre with a holding capacity of 480 inmates is estimated at K20,942.036.

Madam Speaker, the estimated timeframe for the completion of the project will be known when the project plan is drawn.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Elias Musonda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has not given the exact timeframe. In the interim, is the hon. Minister considering introducing sponsored monthly visits for the relatives of the inmates who are held across various correctional facilities in other districts?

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, is that question related to the question you asked? That is asking for further information, which I believe the hon. Acting Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security might not have at hand. So, you can ask another question related to the one you have asked.

Mr Elias Musonda: Madam Speaker, I have no further questions.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, is the hon. Acting Minister in a position to outline the outstanding projects so that the people of Chimbamilonga know when, in particular, their prison will be constructed. The hon. Minister just indicated that the plan would be implemented when the on-going projects are completed. Now, what are those projects and at what stage are they? The people of Chimbamilonga would like to know.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the Member of Parliament, Hon. Remember for that question. We shall remember you.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, unfortunately, I am not in a position to give that information.That will require me going into the data base and extracting that information in order to bring it forth to this Floor of the House. So, if he may, unless otherwise, he is welcome to come to the office of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security for those details.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, the concern raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimbamilonga is obviously as a result of Chimbamilonga being a newly created district. The people of Chimbamilonga are being serviced by nearby districts. The question he was trying to pose as a follow-up was: What interim measures is the Government putting in place to cushion the challenges of the people of Chimbamilonga, who have to traverse long distances to different districts, especially, those who go to visit their relatives who are in these correctional facilities as inmates?

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the interim measures for visitation of inmates by the community, members or relatives from Chimbamilonga to facilities nearby will be basically by arrangement. Any relative wanting to visit, by arrangement, will be allowed to visit the inmates. There should be no problem at all. So, if you want to visit, just get in contact with the respective facility and the officer-in-charge should be able to allow you. We shall ensure that you are allowed to see the inmates.

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, my point of order arises from the answer that I got from the hon. Minister on behalf of the people of Chimbamilonga. He indicated to me that I should go and see him at his office in order for me to get the answer from him.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, what is the breach? 

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, I am coming to that.

Madam Speaker, we ask these questions for people out there to get answers. Therefore, to go to the hon. Minister’s office, have tea together and he gives me an answer will not satisfy the people out there who sent us here to listen from us.


Madam Speaker, it is becoming a general practice now that whenever our hon. Colleagues on the right are asked questions, they ask hon. Members to go and see them at their offices in order to provide answers.

Madam Speaker, the reason we ask questions is for the people out there is to get proper and clarified answers.

Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to invite me to his office when the people of Chimbamilonga, who have been waiting for an answer for the past two weeks, want it now?

I need your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Chitambo, you have not stated the breach. However, my brief ruling to your point of order is that the question that you asked did not arise from the question that was asked by the hon. Member for Chimbamilonga. It was requesting for further details, which the hon. Minister said he did not have at the moment. So, there is nothing wrong with the hon. Minister asking you to go and have a cup of tea with him. After all, you are going to drink it on behalf of the people of Chitambo, is it not so?


Madam Speaker: It is an honour. So, I encourage you to engage the hon. Minister, but the bigger reason is that your question was asking for more details than what the hon. Minister was prepared to handle.

So, let us make progress.





VOTE 21 – (Loans and Investments – Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K15, 082,320,754)

(Consideration resumed)


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for this opportunity. However, I cannot see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning or the Acting hon. Minister. I hope Her Honour the Vice-President will get my submission.

Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I had just begun my discourse on Vote 21 – Loans and Investments. Certainly, the mandate of this Vote is to formulate and implement policy on matters of finance and investment. The hon. Minister has allocated a sum of K15 billion to this Vote from K12 billion last year. Our belief is that this K12 billion, which was allocated last year, may not have been spent because the hon. Minister shared with us that he is yet to start dismantling domestic debt arrears, especially owed to contractors.

Sir, as much as we are talking about public investment, we should also think of our people’s investments, private citizens’ who have invested in their businesses. We should think about contractors who have invested in their businesses of putting up infrastructure for the Government. The hon. Minister rightly put it in his budget that his desire is to dismantle domestic debt in order to unlock liquidity, which is the actual position, as opposed to what we heard him say in public, that the money which was in circulation was borrowed money. What we would like the hon. Minister to do is think of the citizens whose businesses are stuck, but have obligations with different instruments such as performance bonds and advance bonds.

Mr Chairperson, the Government needs to think of its people, its citizens. It cannot only think of foreign contractors. We want to see it expedite the auditing process it is talking about and ensure that people’s businesses are saved. People have employees looking up to them. Some companies are failing to pay their workers. In the meantime, the Government is talking about employment creation. You cannot create employment in the public sector. The employment the Government should be focusing on creating is in the private sector. So, let us do what is required to dismantle domestic arrears.

Mr Chairperson, the Government’s decision to focus on public-private partnership (PPP) as a model of investing in public infrastructure is welcome, but it is a mammoth task. If you look at our statutes, you have to make sure that you follow the law. Yes, some infrastructure projects can work using PPP. For example, the old Kamwala Remand Correctional Facility, which has been closed, could be a success story, but the Government has to look at the challenges that were encountered along the way.

So, as the Government thinks of infrastructure in the economic sector such as roads, it needs to realise that obviously, roads are not the same. There are economic and non-economic roads. For example, my hon. Colleague has been complaining about the Katunda/Lukulu Road. This is a road on which you can cook beans without being disturbed by any vehicle. So, I cannot imagine which business people would be interested in such a road, yet such a road needs to be done.

Sir, take the Great North Road, for example. Ideally, when you look at the flow of traffic, you would think it is a project that can qualify easily for a PPP project. Despite the efforts that were made, we ended up going back to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to start working on the stretch between Chinsali/Isoka/Nakonde.

Work on the next two stretches between Chinsali/Mpika and Mpika/Serenje is still in the pipeline. So, if indeed, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode was as easy as the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development is saying, I do not think we would still have any roads which are in a deplorable state today.

Sir, I heard my dear colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi East and Chairperson of the Committee on Parastatal Bodies, Mr Kambita, encouraging the PPPs, but it is a tall order. If you ask my colleague, the former hon. Minister of Luapula Province, Hon. Nickson Chilangwa who was working on Kasomena/Mwenda Road, he will tell you that they spent five years on protracted negotiations.

Mr Chairperson, you can give concessions, but you have to be mindful that it is not just about constructing roads. So, I want to tell the hon. Minister that the infrastructure he has invested in terms of toll gates, which are meant to generate revenue for maintenance of roads must not be included in the negotiations for the new projects. If they are working on a stretch between Chililabombwe and Chingola, they should focus on that portion. The toll gates where we are generating revenue for the maintenance of roads from should remain there so that as we are thinking of constructing roads, we should bear in mind that there is also maintenance of those roads.  

Sir, there is a situation where a concession is given and the concessionaire does not recoup the money. In this case, if the state of the road has really gone bad and requires major works, it will require more money. Therefore, as we are opting for the PPPs, it is important that they are thorough. We need not to forget to mobilise resources for road infrastructure because thinking that the PPPs will be a panacea to the infrastructure challenges that we have, we shall be talking and lamenting over these challenges over and over. I therefore, want to emphasise to the hon. Minister to think of the Zambian Citizens. They are his people. I urge the hon. Minister to dismantle the domestic stock so that the liquidity challenge that is currently obtaining is unlocked. Those who are owed money should be paid.

Sir, those people are the only ones who contribute to the national coffers through paying tax. So, when the Government keeps that money, it is not only keeping that money away from them, but from the coffers as well.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.   

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Chairperson, I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity to comment on this Head.

Mr Chairperson, I want to urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that the difference between his total Budget which is K167,321,733,563 and the revenue that is coming from taxes, non-tax revenue, and grants, will give you the amount of money you are going to borrow in 2023. That is your fiscal deficit and that is the amount this unit is responsible to bring together and inject in various projects that you have highlighted. So, on one hand, it is a financing unit and on the other, it facilitates investment. I believe this is why we are calling this policy on finance and investment.

Mr Chairperson, for this unit to mobilise the over 55 per cent of the Budget that the hon. Minister wants to borrow in 2023, they are going to apply K15 billion. In this application, you have categorised that K8 billion will go towards goods and services, K6.6 billion will go towards assets, and 350 million will go towards financial assets.

Sir, I would like to wish this department well as it mobilises loans for the people of Zambia so that hon. Minister, we can be able to create your priorities some of which are to construct an interconnector so that Zambia can export power to Tanzania. Hon. Minister this information is in your borrowing plan.

Mr Chairperson, my problem with this particular department is that in his Budget speech, the hon. Minister indicated that the fiscal deficit was planned at 7.7 per cent. This information is on page 10 of the Budget Speech. On the total revenue envelope, the hon. Minister indicated that total financing which is the total is borrowing is going to be K54 billion which is 10.2 per cent share of the gross domestic revenue (GDP). Now, if 10.2 per cent is the share of the GDP in 2023, why are they targeting 7.7 per cent as a fiscal deficit for 2023? This is a question I want the hon. Minister to respond to.

Mr Chairperson, for me, this raises an issue of credibility in terms of inconsistencies within the same Budget speech, by the same hon. Minister on the same day. However, since we now have this particular department which is responsible for gathering loans from everywhere, I would like the hon. Minister to just become clearer and tell us that this department knows that in 2023, K63 billion in terms of local borrowing is going to mature. They are going to borrow K78 billion next year and they have netted off these figures to arrive at K15.6 billion and this is what they are calling domestic financing, which the hon. Minister pronounced in his Budget. My question is: How can maturities be netted off from contractions and then, these contractions are contingent on the efficiency of that department? They may not be able to contract all of this.

Sir, as a matter of fact, in the same Budget, when we look at the expenditure schedule, they are saying that the hon. Minister is going to pay only K30 billion in terms of these maturities. So, whereas in this borrowing plan, the hon. Minister has promised that he will net off the K63 billion from the K78 billion and remain with K15 billion and yet, in the Budget speech and on the expenditure summary in particular, he said, he is going to pay K30 billion. Where is the K30 billion going to go? So, I have serious credibility issues with these numbers when it comes to this particular Head that we are discussing today.

Mr Chairperson, this is why I am wishing my hon. Minister of Finance and National Development all the very best because he has a lot of reconciliation issues to undertake before any semblance of credibility can emerge from what the hon. Minister submitted, not only to this House, but to the nation. This particular Head we are discussing has a key role in ensuring that credibility is actually brought into existence.

Mr Chairperson, I begun by saying that I hope they gather these loans so that an interconnector can actually be developed. As a matter of fact, not long ago, we heard that the connection fees for the people of Zambia in terms of electricity has gone up, but yet, we want to channel money towards directing electing to Tanzania. I supposed, hon. Minister, that is not a priority for us to borrow all this amount of dollars particularly, at a time when we know that we have a debt mountain which must be managed. So, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to reconsider some of these priorities because indeed, these are not priorities to better the lives of the Zambian people, but in fact, to better the lives of people who do not live in our country.

Mr Chairperson, there are numerous Zambians who are not yet connected to the national grid right now. In fact, according to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB), we are just at 31 per cent. Now, when we consider the other people who are not connected, I would be thinking that we would borrow money and direct it towards expanding ZESCO Limited capacity to be able to connect more Zambians to the national grid.

Mr Chairperson, as I submit my discourse, I would like to wish you all the very best, but I think that you should first of all, reconcile your own pronouncements before you can reconcile all these numbers and come back and tell us that this is what you have done in terms of serving the New Dawn’s face as far as credibility is concerned, with these numbers which cannot be reconciled any day soon.

 Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mung’andu: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mung’andu: Mr Chairperson, my point of order is pursuant to our Standing Orders on attendance to Parliament, particularly parliamentary work.

Mr Chairperson, look at your right. This Budget that we are passing is a New Dawn Government Budget and not an Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) Budget. However, out of twenty-eight hon. Ministers, I think there are only four. If the camera zooms the other side, you will see that even backbenchers have started absconding from Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Mulenga: Shame!

Mr Mung’andu: I even wonder if at all we have a quorum.

Mr Chairperson, the New Dawn Government should take parliamentary work very seriously, especially this time when we are passing the Budget. This is its Budget. Imagine if all of us here agreed to leave this Chamber or walk out, who would pass this Budget on its behalf? We expect Ministers to be here. We cannot have a situation in which there are only four Cabinet Ministers, out of twenty-eight. It is unacceptable. Should we proceed? If they have given up, we can go for fresh general elections. We are ready.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mung’andu:If they have failed, let them call for a general election. I seek your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: To start with, we have a quorum in this House andhon. Ministers are assigned day-to-day functions.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

In as much as they are supposed to be in the House, they equally have important work to do outside and Government Business will always be transacted because Her Honour the Vice-President, who is the Leader of Government Business in the House, is here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: We have a quorum and Her Honour the Vice-President is present, and  Government Business will be transacted as usual. Let us make progress.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to this very important Vote, on loans and investments in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, I thank Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane for visiting Pambashe yesterday. I believe that among the investments that he is considering, Luena Farming Block will adequately be considered in terms of energy connection and other projects.

Mr Chairperson, the points raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte are very critical. As we analysis the Budget, we need to apply ourselves to numbers so that we do not show inconsistency regarding what is projected in the Annual Borrowing Plan and what is in the Loans and Investment Vote. However, I have challenges with this Vote. If you check, you will find that a lot of money that is supposed to be expended by other ministries sits under loans and investments. As regards accountability and good governance, I have always said that you cannot collect, spend and account for the same money. That becomes a bit challenging.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu also spoke about a very interesting public-private partnership (PPP) project which is part of the projects under the Loans and Investment Vote that we are looking at. I picked one project regardless of other legal requirements, and I want to bring this to the hon. Minister’s attention. In 2016, when the Zambian people gave me the privilege of serving as Minister responsible for roads and infrastructure, I issued a gazette notice that declared all the border centres as toll collection centres and we gave the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) the mandate to collect toll fees on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Therefore, one of the border entries that has been contributing significant amounts of money to the Treasury and raising funds is Kasumbalesa. Last week, the hon. Minister responsible for roads issued a ministerial statement and announced – because this falls under loans and investment – that we will borrow US$32 million in terms of PPPs and will pay it back in eighteen years. If you do simple arithmetic – the road from Chingola to Kasumbalesa already exists and the hon. Minister has equity on behalf of the Zambian people, and we are going to let this road go. We collect plus or minus US$ 6 million per annum at Kasumbalesa already.

Mr Chairperson, if the developer puts up two extra tollgates between Kasumbalesa and Chingola, he will collect plus or minus US$20 million per year. If you multiply that by the number of years that they want to give this concessioner, they will lose in excess of US$200 million while he will just bring in US$32 million. So, the question is: Where do we place our priorities? Why can the Government not go and borrow money from the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) because the contractor will not even construct a dual carriageway. He will only rehabilitate 32 km of a road that already exists. He will spend US$32 million, and in eighteen years, he will be collecting plus or minus US$20 million every year and the Government will just be getting 10 per cent of that. Imagine if that money was going to the Treasury.

Mr Chairperson, yes, we can say it is a PPP project and that the Government will not spend anything, but we are borrowing in advance. We will not spend anything but we will borrow because the money that the Zambians will pay through toll fees will go to a private individual instead of going to the Treasury. Then he will be given a huge latitude, as the hon. Minister announced, too only rehabilitate the road twice in eighteen years, in year eight and year sixteen. Now, the question is: At what point will he take over the tolling at Kasumbalesa? Is it after completing the road project or immediately he begins constructing? I calculated and realised that if he is a clever investor, he can use the same money he collects from Kasumbalesa to rehabilitate the road and not bring in anything. It will be another Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) saga where we sold at US$25 million and the investor moved in with a briefcase, made money from our mine, paid us and went back.


Mr Chairperson, as the staff bring these proposals, these are issues we need to critique. These are areas we need to analyse to see what benefit the PPP comes with. I hope it will not be another Lubama Market where people are crying up to today. It is one of the failed PPP projects. I hope the Chingola/Kasumbalesa Road will not affect the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning loans and investment portfolio by doing away with the equity contribution that he holds on behalf of the people of Zambia. Any investment, shareholding or equity that is held by the Zambian people is held by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning by virtue of his office.

Infact, the hon. Minister is superior among others. You are all Cabinet Minister but you are a superior whip. You are superior among equals. Therefore, once certain decision come, we need to take critical analysis of the economic benefit to the people of Zambia. Bearing in mind that when I served and I know because the Act has not changed you are the Chairperson for Public Privet Partnership (PPP).

So, some of these projects sound so sweet at first value but when they are making presentation they are so good. However, when you go into details and begin analysing you will discover that the nation Zambia will lose more than what it would get even if it had gone to the commercial market and borrowed and invert in this project. Yes, I understand, management of public infrastructure by the state also becomes a challenge.

However, we must be able to strike a balance where state interest and private interest balance, not where we just give away all the interests in the private hand. I was shaking when the hon. Minister was saying we start with 80 per cent and then we will go to 10 per cent. If somebody will be collecting US$20 million per annum, then he gives us 10 per cents we are talking about US$200,000 and then the rest he pockets.  I summit because of lack of time and time is not very friendly. I hope the hon. Minister has got my concern.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this chance, representing the people of Solwezi East Constituency Mushindamo District to support Head 21 Loans and Investments presented by the Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, I stand here representing the sad people of Solwezi East especially that in this investment you are talking about which is project investment management and there is a sub heading, about road infrastructure.

Mr Chairperson, it is in this country not too long ago we saw the Zambia Air Force, air lifting our girls at Mushindamo Girls Technical Schools, which is likely to happen even now because in the northern part it is quite rainy and heavily for that matter. So, the people Solwezi East are saying, in supporting this Head, I need to lobby with the hon. Minister of Finance National Planning, if indeed we can be considered in the road infrastructure investment. So, that out of this K15 billion that has been allocated for the 2023 Budget, we should have investment in the Solwezi/Kipushi Road.

Mr Chairperson, indeed if you invest in the Solwezi/Kipushi road you will not regret the investment because that is a road that has economic potential. If you invest in that road you can be rest assured that the revenue that you can collect as a ministry can even supersede that of Kasumbalesa Road. The reason being that most of the economic activities that take place in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), happen in the town of Lubumbashi, Kolwezi and Likasi.


Mr Katakwe: Mr Chairperson, my minutes are going.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson I rise on point of order No. 49 from our Standing Orders, which defines the duties of a party Whip and I quote;

“The duties of a Party Whip or Whip includes-

  1. ensuring attendance and participation of party or independent members in the House;

(b) keeping party or independent members informed of parliamentary business;”

Mr Chairperson, what we are doing today, now, this activity of budgeting is probably the most important function of a Member of Parliament because it will determine how we are going to run affairs of this country in the next fiscal year.

Mr Chairperson, my point of order is on the Whip for the Patriotic Front (PF), Mr Steven Kampyongo and the Leader of the Opposition party PF, Mr Bryan Mundubile for not ensuring that hon. Members of their party are present to participate in the affairs that affect ultimately their constituencies for which they were voted. Therefore, are the hon. Member in order to abscond or dodge from their responsibility that they were sent here to Parliament to perform.

I seek your ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, the hon. Members of Parliament for the Patriotic Front (PF) went out. Some of them were present but those who went out said they have gone out to caucus. However, we cannot ascertain exactly those who have absconded. In the due course, the Clerks at the Table will help us with that information. However, those who were present went out to caucus.

Mr Katakwe: Mr Chairperson, I hope two minutes will be added to my time.

Mr Chairperson, I was saying if the Government invests in the Solwezi / Kipushi Road, it will not regret because the reasons are simple. Most of the economic activities that take place in the DRC are closer to Mushindamo which is my district and it is only 30km to the boarder as compared to 120km from Lubumbashi to Kasumbalesa, which makes it quite possible that the Solwezi/ Kipushi Road can be worked on and even open as one stop border post.

Right now, as I am talking, we have over 300 trucks that go through that route per day, carrying fish, sugar and many other commodities from Namibia through Walvis Bay into the DRC and for all those trucks there is no tollgate there because of the nature of the road that has been in a dilapidated state for many years since I was young.

Mr Chairperson, I am lobbing with the Minister of Finance and National Planning that as the people of Solwezi East support this Motion, consider investing in that road because it has the potential to repay for itself when it comes to rehabilitation.  They are also saying if you can consider the amount that was allocated in the 2022 Budget if it is not utilised why not  pay China State, the contractor who has been trying to gravel that road because he is owed a lot of money. If the Government would just pay him a bit of that money then he is going to get on site and do the spot rehabilitation of that road. So, that we are not completely cut off and end up being air lifted into that place as the rains intensify.

Mr Chairperson, they are also saying that why should we have dual carriageway between Chingola and Solwezi, when the other road which has economic potential has not even been gravelled or even advanced or constructed to bituminous standard. Why should we have a dual carriageway when we already have a good road that is being used? This is like having a neighbour who has got not a path but you have a road and you want to add on another one. Is that surely fair when it comes to sharing of the national cake? It is not fair and the people of Mushindamo District are saying, the Government should consider investing in this road. That is a cry. They voted for change and they want to see the change by being given this economic road.

Mr Chairperson, the people I represent have heard of the public-private partnership (PPP) model. Now, there is an investor called Meritus Development that did a feasibility study three years ago during the previous regime. It submitted its documents to the ministry responsible for infrastructure development then and the Road Development Agency (RDA). Alas, to date, it is still waiting.

Mr Chairperson, it is ready and has set millions of Dollars aside waiting to be given even an unsolicited bid for it to work on that road. It has plans to open up a one-stop-border post, build border facilities, and build a bituminous standard road and a toll gate. In fact, it even says that it can put up a dry port that can host over 500 trucks. That is a lot of money which it can recoup within five to ten years. Why should we keep waiting when there is an investor who is ready to work on that road?

Mr Chairperson, this is the cry of the people of Solwezi East. This road infrastructure investment, can it be actualised. Before the Government even thinks of putting up a dual carriageway between Solwezi and Chingola, it should consider this economic road.

Mr Chairperson, just a few minutes ago, I received pictures of trucks that are stuck on that road. If one truck gets stuck, it means that other trucks will not pass until it stops raining and the ground gets firmer.

Mr Chairperson, sometimes, it takes even a week for traffic to clear. By the time we will be hitting January or February, it will be worse off. For you to get there, even if you have a 4 x 4 vehicle is hard. Once the road is damaged and the trucks are jammed, you cannot go through. You need to use air transport. So, this is the cry of the people of Solwezi East.

Mr Chairperson, if the Government could work on that, the people would gladly support this Budget. Nonetheless, we support it based on the fact that the Government will help us on our cry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this vault.

Mr Chairperson, let me start by looking at what has been provided in the 2023 Budget in terms of capitalisation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). I have seen that K255 million has been allocated to recapitalise some SOEs. Of course, this is a welcome move. I hope that as the ministry picks those SOEs to benefit from the capitalisation, special attention will be given to one of the key contributors to forex and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Plc.

Mr Chairperson, in fact, when we bring in the capitalisation of MCM Plc under this line, I urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to consider increasing this allocation. This mine is an SOE just like the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel) and many others, but when you look at its operations now, you see that it is limping. It is obvious that what is needed is to put in money so that it ups its operations.

Mr Chairperson, there was a lot of wisdom in the previous Government’s decision to acquire 100 per cent ownership of that mine because of its strategic position to the economy and to the well-being of the Copperbelt. When you look at it now, you see that it seriously needs money so that it can increase production and sustain the economies of the towns where it operates. For example, in Mufulira, MCM Plc pays rates to the council. So, when we talk about the mine limping, it is not only direct workers or those employed through contractors who are affected. Even subsidiary industries and the council are also limping. When MCM Plc struggles to pay rates to the council, the council struggles to pay salaries to its workers.

Mr Chairperson, today, if you visit Mufulira Municipal Council, you find that some of the workers have not been paid because the wage bill is partly funded by the rates that come from the mine. When the mine is limping, the council is affected. Mufulira does not have a big economy like Lusaka where there are so many industries and so many people working. Without the mine, the council, and the Civil Service, the economy collapses .So, I ask the hon. Minister to, please, consider allocating funding to MCM Plc so that operations are sustained and production is increased. After all, we are all talking about meeting the 3 million metric tonnes target in the next nine years.

Mr Chairperson, let me speak about investment in the roads sector. I have stood here several times to talk about the Mufulira/Ndola Road. This morning, in fact, I received a very sad picture of teachers going to report for work at the schools located along the Mufulira/Ndola Road. It is a sad story. The rains have come and that road has trenches and potholes. It is becoming very difficult now for civil servants to access their workplaces.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Mufulira are asking questions because they have seen pictures of the Mongu/Limulunga Road being worked on. Of course, I am not saying that people along that road in Mongu or Limulunga do not deserve it. They do, but so do the people of Mufulira with regard to the Ndola/Mufulira Road.

Mr Speaker, we do have, even the Budget for 2022 that we are implementing, funds for road infrastructure. This Parliament approved funds for road infrastructure upgrades, road infrastructure maintenance and road infrastructure rehabilitation. We have funds this year in the Budget.

Mr Chairperson, one suggestion we made was that even if we did not tar the whole road or did not have a contractor on site, we could allocate some of those funds that we approved this year to patch up sections of that road that make it impassable. However, nothing has happened. Nothing has been done. Very soon, all Government services along that road will cease to exist because no transporter will be willing to go on it. Therefore, civil servants will avoid it and any economic activity that happens along it will not take place.

Mr Chairperson, even as we are talking about the public-private partnership (PPP) model to be used to fix that road next year, surely, there is something that we can do in the meantime to look for money and patch up those bad stretches so that we do not completely paralyse operations on the road. If money can be found to work on the Mongu/Limulunga Road, surely, we can also find money to work on the Ndola/Mufulira Road so that we do not completely paralyse operations on that road.

Mr Chairperson, with those submissions, I support the budget.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Fube will be the last one and then the hon. Minister will wind-up debate.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I start by acknowledging that this time around, the hon. Minister has attended to the Budget in the manner stipulated in our Public Finance Management Act by including the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Mr Chairperson, I also want to acknowledge that the Budget that we are debating is an Output-based Budget. With that in mind, allow me to address a few things, starting with the 8NDP.

The hon. Minister, in addressing this component covered under pages 240 to 255 used pillar number one, which is economic transformation and job creation. The strategy which he banked on is Cluster outcome number one which talks about an industrialised and diversified economy. I have already indicated that this is an out-put based budget. Cluster outcome number one factors two strategies. One is about improved agricultural production and productivity and the other one is strategy number three, which talks about the promotion of value addition.

Mr Chairperson, when we look at all these factors and dream of reaching these particular targets, we should realise that connectivity is important. When I talk about this, I have people of Chilubi in mind. They are victims of the lack of connectivity. They are swimming in victimhood. Ever since the coming of the New Dawn Government, we have been victims because all road construction contracts which were signed under the Patriotic Front (PF) have been cancelled. We are talking about roads under the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development as well as roads under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. The total is six roads.

The main road which is the Luwingu/Chaba Road is dilapidated. I think the hon. Provincial Minister can confirm to that effect. If we receive any down pour of rains, we will be cut off. If we are to talk about the industrialised and diversified economy, is Chilubi not a place that we should look at?  Is Chilubi not factored in?

Mr Chairperson, Chilubi is also a victim of power. When we talk about the connectivity of electricity to rural areas, 8.1 per cent is what the rural areas are getting. Let me also talk about value addition. We have raw materials in Chilubi which can be worked on so that we produce finished products. 

Mr Chairperson, when we talk about energy, I have in mind the issue of electricity and fuel. If we look at these two factors, they are both enablers and facilitators in the economy. If they are enablers and facilitators in the economy, and we are having sky rocketing prices for the two factors –

Mr Sing’ombe: Ha!

Mr Fube: You may say, “ha”, but that is the reality.


Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, when we talk about the tariffs that have currently been proposed, it is like we are giving with one hand and taking away with another one. These factors are not even about partisan.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, when they say, “question”, I will not – This is about the nation. This is the National Budget. When we are looking at these factors, we ought to be above board.

Mr Chairperson, when we are talking about catering for the country, I want to bring to your attention that if you look at the schedule that is on page 55, which is talking about road maintenance and many other factors, in Chilubi, the other route which we are supposed to use from Samfya, the ferry cannot even carry big vehicles because it has broken down. The other roads are cut off. Chilubi is part of the 116 districts. Now, when we talk about Chilubi and those who care about –


Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, am I protected from that charlatan?

The Deputy Chairperson: Yes!

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, so, when we look at –

Mr Sing’ombe: You failed!

Mr Fube: I did not fail. If it is about the votes, you just stole the votes.

Rev. Katuta: Hear, hear!

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, that particular nature we are talking about – If you look at page 55, you will find that there are different roads that have been lined up.

Mr Chairperson, what we have allocated to this vote is K15.1 billion which is 9 per cent of the National Budget of K167,321,733,563. As the people of Chilubi, since infrastructure and energy are enablers and facilitators in an economy, we cannot talk about job creation, if we cannot embrace issues of value addition.

Mr Chairperson, value addition is all over the country because the raw materials are throughout the country, and Chilubi is one of those areas. Now, for those who want to mock me should believe that these matters belong to –

Ms Sefulo: You are just playing politics!

Mr Fube: I am just playing politics? We are talking about people’s lives here. We are also talking about seed. I do not know how the 1,500 bags of seed and 1,000 bags of urea will get to Chilubi because as I am talking, in the next one week, Chilubi will be cut off.


Mr Fube: We started working on the road but you have terminated the contract. So, you have no morals.  

Mr Chairperson, can I be protected from these charlatans.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, you are protected.

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, when we talk about such factors and want to facilitate economic development, issues of infrastructure and energy come in. So, even when we talk about these things that we have put in paper like the inflation and Kwacha power, they mean nothing. As far as we do not attend to infrastructure –


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, hon. Members!

Let us be orderly. We are disturbing the hon. Member on the Floor.

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Members on the right side are not orderly. Can I continue?

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, I need to finish my minutes. As far as we do not talk about infrastructure and energy, then we are doomed as the nation. Even our mindset, in the way we allocate resources, we should know where the resources should matter. As far as I am concern, as we reluctantly support –

Mr Sing’ombe: Use CDF!

Mr Fube: What can the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) do?

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, one road in Chilubi is worth K59 million. So, what are you talking about? So, when we talk about these factors, we are simply talking about facilitating a good life for our citizens. For those who want to be blind, 2026 is coming and we will kick them out.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Rev. Katuta: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to be able to make some remarks. I also want to thank all the hon. Members who contributed. I believe that there was no opposition or rejection, but rather comments. Let me just comment on the few items.

Mr Chairperson, there was an issue on the dismantling of arrears. As you are aware, we did budget for arrears in 2023. In actual fact, the amount that we have put there is an increment from what we had in 2022. So, we are aware of the need to dismantle arrears. However, it is also important for the hon. Colleagues who were talking about the arrears to release that they are actually the ones who caused the problem.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane:  Mr Chairperson, if they did not want arrears, why did they not –

Rev. Katuta: You said you will fix it!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, why did they not pay the bills when they fell due? Instead, they would get contractor A and pay him a bit. When that contractor demanded for more payment, they would abandon him and get contractor B, who would do a bit of some work. The following day, they would get another contractor. So, the end result is that they have left arrears everywhere. Now, it is up to us to dismantling the arrears.

Mr Chairperson, following the law on the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, is exactly what we want to do. That is exactly what we are going to do. We have no intention of breaking the law as we implement the PPPs. There was an issue of the exact extent of the deficient. Mr Chairperson, as you could see, the hon. Member was also struggling to explain what it is. So, clearly, he is mistaken. Our offices are open. He can come and see me from my office or I can assign officers to take him through or explain to him what this deficit means in real terms because what he was explaining is erroneous. Now, it is pointless for me to go into a very technical subject here because the listeners out there and many of the hon. Colleagues here will not follow. So, if the hon. Member is serious about that issue, he can come to the office and we can take him through the calculations.

Mr Chairperson, on the PPPs, some hon. Colleagues were saying that we are better off doing the roads ourselves. For example, the road from Chingola to Kasumbalesa.

Mr Chairperson, the road from Chingola to Kasumbalesa is in total disrepair as we speak now. This is not only happening now. It has been like that for years. So, those who were clever and had money, how come they did not fix the road?

Ms Sefulo: Hear, hear!



Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was making some remarks in response to hon. Colleagues who talked about constructing roads using the public private partnership (PPP) model.

Mr Chairperson, it is very important that we do not politicise this innocent thing because PPP roads are found all over the world. Next to us here in South Africa, there are such roads. Some people may have driven on the road from Pretoria all the way to Maputo and that is a PPP road. Under this model, it is not the Government, but the private sector that puts the money, to develop the road, forward. The private sector collects the tolls and those tolls are the ones that pay the investor. So, this is done all over the world, whether in South Africa, Kenya or Mauritius. Such arrangements are everywhere in the world, including in countries that have more money than us.

Mr Chairperson, unlike the past attempts of borrowing large sums of money to invest in road construction, we believe that it is more prudent for the Government to go the PPP route because if it does that, it will be able to construct infrastructure without overburdening our Budget. Then the money that will be saved, because of having constructed a road through a PPP, will be available to work on other roads which are not attractive for PPP arrangements.

Mr Chairperson, in this regard, this Government will continue to move very aggressively on the PPP roads, including the Lusaka/Ndola Dual Carriageway. If you recall, last time, there was an attempt to borrow US$1.2 billion to increase the Government’s debt to construct roads. This time around, we will not borrow US$1.2 billion, not even K1. This will be done through PPPs and many other arrangements.

Mr Chairperson, this brings me to the issue that Hon. Katakwe, the Member for Solwezi East, talked about. I had an occasion to speak to him during the break. I asked him if there is anyone willing to construct a road through the PPP model and he confirmed that there is. Those people should quickly come and see us so we can process the application as quickly as possible, and can sort out all the problems that he talked about. Indeed, we know that there is a lot of traffic coming out of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) now that copper production has been ramped up, and with the expected increase, the roads will be stressed. So, the more connections we make with the DRC, the better for us.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, let me about the issue of interconnectors. I was really surprised and disappointed when I heard one of us say that we should not invest money into interconnectors, in other words, connection points for electricity between Zambia and other countries. If today, we have a problem of power for one reason or another, we are able to import power from other countries that may have a surplus at this point. We are able to import power from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique and this is only possible because we have interconnectors with these countries.

So, since that facility exists, why would anyone oppose having an interconnector with East African countries? The connector will ensure that if there is surplus electricity here, as we envisage, we will be able to sell it and earn dollars from countries from East Africa. If for one reason or another, including a catastrophe, we have no power here in Zambia, we will be able to import power from our colleagues from East Africa. So, investing into interconnectors is a good thing. It is very surprising that anyone can even say that this is a bad thing to do. It just shows that there are different perspectives. What some of us consider being good, others say it is bad. What they say is bad, we consider being good.

Mr Chairperson, once again, I thank all the hon. Members for their contributions on this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 252, Programme 3441, Sub-Programme 05, Sub-Sub-programme 19 – Dismantling of Arrears – K6,823,755,000. Last year, an amount of K4.9 billion was approved and, this year, the hon. Minister proposed K6.8 billion. May I know whether this is just to cater for domestic debt arrears or there are also foreign debt arrears included in this provision.

Sir, I would also like the hon. Minister to comment on Sub-Programme 02, Sub-Sub-Programme 10 – Debt Consultancy – K66,100,070. Last year, there was K75 million and this year, there is K66 million. I would like to know why there is that variance from last year to this year’s allocation.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, the first question was on dismantling of arrears. In 2022, it was K4.95 almost K4.96 billion. In 2023, it is K6.8 billion. Mr Kampyongo is asking whether this includes external arrears.

Mr Chairperson, most of this, if not all, is for local arrears. The reason being that because of the debt stand still initiative, in other words, where we said we are unable to service our debt until such a time when this debt is restructured to a level which we can we can afford, most of what we owed in arrears are at stand still. So, most of this debt is actually for domestic arrears. I am sure you will be pleased to know that, on debt consultancy, you will recall that these are external consultants, so the payment is obviously affected by the exchange rate. Last year, the exchange rate was way out. Today, the Kwacha is stronger, so this makes it logical that the amount that we pay has to be less.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.




The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, in the absence of the Chief Government Whip and the Deputy Whip, the hon. Member for Mitete, Mr Mutelo will act as Chief Whip until further notice.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: I thank you.

I admire the support that he enjoys both from the left and right.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear


Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3499. On page 240, there is an allocation of K255 million for purposes of recapitalisation under that programme. Which state owned institutions are going to be recapitalised? What is the breakdown of each company that is going to receive funding for recapitalisation?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, indeed, the K255 million is provided for. The figure reflects a provision. In other words, there is nothing targeted at the moment. This is a provision put there, so that in the event that it becomes necessary to make an intervention, there will be a Vote available to meet that expense.

I must also add here, Mr Chairperson, that hon. Colleagues suggested earlier on that we should look for money to put in Mopani Copper Mines. These companies consume a lot of money. It is not possible for us to put money into Mopani because what it means is that we will not be able to finance many of the programmes that we do now like the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), free education and so on and so forth. So, we have to go through the private sector route for those programmes.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mulebwa (Kafulafuta): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving us an opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the Vote under discussion. Not to waste the time of the House, I want to quickly say that the people of Kafulafuta strongly support this budget under discussion. Having looked at the way things are done in other jurisdictions, I think this is the way forward where private partners are brought along to develop our nation. I think that people who know how to do business normally would not do business using their own money. They use other people’s money to acquire wealth. So, I highly recommend this initiative by our lovely hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning. This is something that we strongly put our weight behind.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: So, Mr Mulebwa, yours is just a commendation, is it?


Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): Mr Chairperson, on page 249, may I have clarification on Programme 3440, Sub-programme 001 – Road Infrastructure Investment and Management, –K4.9 billion. In the 2023 budget, the Government has proposed to spend K4.9 billion. If you look at the road infrastructure countrywide, you will agree with me that some roads are impassable, especially during the rainy season. So, when we intend to invest this K4.9 billion, is the ministry convinced that this money is going to sort out issues surrounding road infrastructure countrywide?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Member who just asked the question. The answer to his question is that this money is not enough compared to the needs that we all see across the country. Truly speaking, there are so many roads that are in a poor state. So, that is given, this money is not enough. For now, this is the only money that is available. I want to remind all of us that we are a heavily indebted country. Therefore, choices had to be made. There are so many other needs in the country. If you listen to hon. Member here, you will hear some complain about not having water in their places. Others will talk about not having power and schools in their places, and so, the needs are enormous for a country whose finances are tight. Therefore, we had to attend to the most basic of all; education, health and water. This is the only amount that we can afford. However, you would also be pleased to know that as we go towards concluding the debt restructuring, that may open room for us to access concessional financing. As we are thinking now, if that happens, we certainly intend to look for more money to put on the road sector. For now, it is not enough. I do admit.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 253, Programme –

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Phiri, kindly speak-up.

Mr P. Phiri: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3441, Key Output –Arrears Dismantled – Output Indicator 01 – Amount of Domestic Arrears Dismantled – K5,842,755,000. There is an allocation of more than K2 billion increase in 2023. In 2022 there was K3,105,998,428. May I find out why this jump. Is it that we are bringing in fuel subsidies again?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I did not quite hear. Was the hon. Member talking about fuel areas or what?

Mr P. Phiri: Yes, on fuel arrears.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, if he is talking about fuel arrears, yes, last year, it was K1,850,000,000. For 2023, we are proposing K980,000,000. The reduction is a medley of two things. The first one is that from last year up to a few months ago, you will recall, there were two aspects to this. The first one was the old arrears. The second one was the new arrears because, as we went along, we were still accumulating them. Now, new arrears have been cut out through the measures that have been taken. Therefore, the pressure that we had last year is eased down and this is what we have proposed to pay in terms of fuel arrears.

Mr Chairperson, once again, if we had all the money, of course, we would clear everything. However, given the amount of money that we have and all the other competing needs like the Farmer Input Supply Programme (FISP) and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), this is what is available. The more we want to add on to this, the more we would have to pull money from other areas to fund it, which we believe would not be in the best interests of the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Emmanuel M. Musonda (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 02 – Use of Goods and Services –Sub-Sub Programme 02– General Operations – Item 30 – Electronic Vehicle Batteries Project – K20,000,000. What is this money for? Is it for the establishment of the plant?

Mr Chairperson, may I also have clarification on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 04 – Assets – Sub-sub Programme 02 – Non-financial Assets – Item 32 – Health Infrastructure – Mini Hospitals Phase II – 100,000,000. How many mini hospitals will be constructed?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 02 – Use of Goods and Services –Sub-Sub Programme 02 – General Operations – Item 30 – Electronic Vehicle Batteries Project – 20,000,000 that is being asked about, you will recall there is an initiative to encourage investment into electric batteries production. We have always said straight from the very beginning that this is not an initiative where the Government is going to invest because it does not have the money. This is an initiative where the Government will undertake the preparatory steps which will allow it to attract private sector investors to come and invest in the factories. So, the K20,000,000 that you see reflects the activities that the Government will undertake to prepare the stage for private sector people to come and make investments.

Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 04 – Assets – Sub-sub Programme 02 – Non financial Assets – Item 32 – Health Infrastructure – Mini Hospitals Phase II – 100,000,000, the number of mini hospitals to be constructed, I am sorry I am unable to answer that because this is a detail that sits with the Ministry of Health.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 244, Programme 3439, Sub Programme 001 – Recapitalisation and Investments – K255,000,000. Earlier this year, a decision was taken by the Government to re-model the Indeni Oil Refinery Company. It is no longer a refinery. It is now an oil marketing company. I am aware that it has made a proposal to the Government to indicate how much it needs to implement the new model.

Mr Chairperson, I have gone through the figures. Indeni Oil Refinery Company is asking for US$200 million to implement the new model. Looking at the figure that you have allocated, there is no US$200 million for Indeni in this budget. Where is the money going to be found to implement the recapitalisation of Indeni under the new model? Will the K255,000,000 go to Indeni and then the hon. Minister looks for extra money? It is important that this issue is clarified.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3439, Sub Programme 001– Recapitalisation and Investments – K255,000,000, this money will not go to Indeni. This is a provision for other possibilities because, as he said, what Indeni requires is a huge amount of money. U$200 million is a lot of money. So, for now, we do not have that money. However, it is an idea that remains alive. Once we get to a situation where we are stable, that idea may be considered for funding. Remember, the number of requests and needs that we have are almost limitless. As a country, we must make choices. For now, given the amount involved, Indeni Oil Refinery Company cannot be one of those to benefit from it because it is not enough.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Chairperson, may I also have clarification on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 04 – Assets – Sub-sub Programme 01 – Non Financial Assets – Item 28 – Liuwa National Park – K50,000,000. In the 2022 budget, he allocated K50,000,000 and has, once again, allocated K50,000,000 in the 2023 budget. I just want to find out what activities this money is allocated for bearing in mind that Liuwa National Park is under the care of African Parks.

The Chairperson: Once the hon. Minister responds, we can make progress.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3440, Sub-Programme 04 – Assets – Sub-sub Programme 01 – Non Financial Assets – Item 28 – Liuwa National Park – 50,000,000, yes, Liuwa National Park is under the care of African Parks. However, that care is restricted to the protection of wildlife. It is not about putting infrastructure.

So, last year, the money that was there was to put a bridge across the river because from Kalabo into Liuwa, you need a bridge. Hon. Colleagues who have been there will recall that what is there presently is a pontoon that you drive by pulling with a rope. So, the money that was there for this year was for the bridge.

For next year, it is to carry on extra bridges on small streams. Remember, animals in Liuwa become populous and migrate backwards around November. Today, because of the numerous streams that are there, by December, if you are lucky January, no vehicle can move in.

So, tourists’ traffic is prohibited or there is no access. So, this K50 million is to put extra bridges on the small streams so that the tourists’ season for Liuwa can be extended.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 21 ordered to stand pat of the Estimates.

VOTE 37 – (Ministry of Finance and National Planning – K7, 633,020,365)

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is responsible for formulating fiscal and economic policies. It is also responsible for mobilising resources from domestic and external sources and allocating them to priority programmes through the national budgeting process. The ministry is also responsible for ensuring effective management of the Government resources.

Further, the ministry is responsible for national visioning, national development planning, appraisal of public investment and coordination of development assistance programmes. 

Mr Chairperson, before I outline the ministry’s priorities for 2023, I want to briefly comment on the performance of the ministry during the current year.

Milestones in 2022

Mr Chairperson, in the year 2022, the ministry embarked on a number of initiatives to address micro-economic imbalances in the economy. These imbalances included the country’s high debt burden, high inflation and a volatile exchange rate. Through effective policy management, we have managed to reduce inflation from as high as 24 per cent in 2021 to 9.8 per cent in August, 2022. Going forward, the ministry will continue implementing policies further to reduce inflation to within the target band of 6 to 8 per cent.

Mr Chairperson, our policies have also led to a strengthened and stable Kwacha exchange rate. This has made the exchange rate more predictable and has reduced upward inflationary pressures. The ministry will continue to support a free-floating exchange rate driven by market supply and demands.

Sir, economic stability is key to promoting savings in the country, investment economic growth, and the country’s international competitiveness. These could not be achieved in a high debt burden environment where much of the Government resources were going to pay for debt and living very little for development programmes.

The ministry has in this regard, successfully secured an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for Zambia.  The IMF programme will facilitate the restructuring of the country’s debt and return us to a sustainable debt path.

Mr Chairperson, on the fiscal side, the ministry has maintained budget credibility by timely releasing funds according to their funding profile. In response to demand from retirees, the ministry in 2022 paid all pension claims that were outstanding as at end December, 2021, and continues to pay on all claims that become due.

Sir, to improve domestic revenue mobilisation and service delivery, the ministry continued to roll-out the implementation of the Government Service Bus (GSB) and Payment Gateway (PG). The ministry further continued to implement the Public Service Management Reforms (PSMR) to enhance accountability and transparency.

Mr Chairperson, importantly, the ministry successfully coordinated the development of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), which was approved by Parliament and launched by the President.

Head 37, 2023 Priorities

Mr Chairperson, the priorities of the ministry in 2023 have been aligned to the 8NDP, and have been informed specifically by the home-grown Government initiative to transform the economy. The ministry's priorities, therefore, aim to continue addressing the pressing challenges facing the economy.

The ministry's budget in 2023 shall therefore, be implemented under eight programmes aligned to the 8NDP deliverables. These programmes are:

  1. Fiscal Management;
  2. Economic Management;
  3. Public Finance Management;
  4. Internal Audit and Risk Management;
  5. Development Planning & Coordination;
  6. Monitoring and Evaluation;
  7. Procurement and Stores Management; and
  8. Management and Support Services.

Fiscal Management Programme

Mr Chairperson, under the Fiscal Management Programme (FMP), priority will be on increasing domestic revenue mobilisation.  This will include implementing interventions to increase domestic revenue and rationalising the Government expenditure to enhance efficiencies. The ministry through this programme will also implement measures aimed at transforming Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) into significant financing mechanisms.

The FMP has been allocated K2.3 billion, of which 99 per cent is earmarked for transfers to Grant Aided Institutions (GAIs) that support FMP. These include the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA), and the Tax Appeals Tribunal (TAT), among others.

Economic Management Programme

Mr Chairperson, under economic management the Programme will support all five pillars of the ENDP, especially Pillar I on economic transformation and job creation. The Economic Management Programme (EMP) will support stabilising the country's macroeconomic fundamentals, and will provide intervention support.

Chairperson, it is through this that Zambia’s programme with the IMF will be managed and coordinated.  

Sir, a total of K71.15 million has been allocated to the EMP. Of this amount, K51.8 million is budgeted for transfers to GAIs that will be implementing initiatives to support the programme. The GAI include; the National Authorising Office (NAO), the Capital Markets Tribunal (CMT), Zambia Credit Guarantee Scheme (ZCGS), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Public Financial Management

Mr Chairperson, this programme will support enhanced accountability and transparency and will continue to oversee the effective implementation of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS). Under this Programme, the ministry will work to streamline procedural setbacks that are delaying utilisation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) among others.

Sir, K2.3 billion has been allocated to the Public Financial Management Programme (PFMP). Within the allocation to this programme, 96 per cent of the resources or K2.2 billion has been reserved to facilitate payment of personnel related costs such as contract gratuity, constitutional posts, Employers Share-Pension Contributions (ESPC), SAP license fees, National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and Separatees Payroll (SP).

Internal Audit and Management

Mr Chairperson, under the Internal Audit and Management (IAM), focus will be on supporting value for money in the Government through continued improvement of internal processes and procedures.

Sir, K87.54 million has been provided for IAM, and K40.23 million will be transferred to the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), while another K9.72 million will be for special audits.

Development Planning and Co-ordination

Under development planning and co-ordination, the ministry will effectively co-ordinate national planning in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, including doubling up efforts to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mr Chairperson, the Development Planning and Co-ordination Programme has been allocated K174 million, and out of this, K30 million is earmarked to continue supporting the national census process while K32 million will be transferred to grant-aided institutions.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Mr Chairperson, the focus will be to monitor the implementation of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Procurement and Stores

Mr Chairperson, the focus will be to enhance transparency, efficiency and accountability in public procurement. This programme has been allocated K69.4 million.

Management Support Services

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will operate smoothly and management support services ensure that we have a motivated and committed human resource to discharge functions of the ministry. In this regard, K2.6 million has been allocated to the programme.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will respond to the Government’s policy direction in 2023 by implementing the eight outlined priority programmes. These programmes are in line with the strategic focus areas articulated inthe 8NDP, and if implemented effectively, will be instrumental to retaining economic growth.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Mr Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity to share a few concerns on this very important ministry.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning remains the anchor of our economy and it is, indeed, very important. It is a ministry that carries a vision for our country in terms of national development. Previously, we had the Ministry of National Planning and Development, but now, it is under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, I looked at the activities of the ministry, and I note that there seems to be a lot more emphasis on revenue mobilisation and allocation than there is on the national planning side. I know that in the recent past, there was a lot of emphasis on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). There is nothing wrong with that; please, get me right. However, I advise the ministry to pay a lot of attention on overall national development from the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP). You will note that the development of the district comes from the strategic plan at the district level and then from the District Development Coordinating Committee (DDCC)to the Provincial Development Coordinating Committee (PDCC).

Mr Chairperson, provinces take advantage of comparative advantages between districts and when it comes to the national level, you look at national development going forward, but if we leave everything to be done using the CDF, the development will be uncoordinated and districts and provinces will not take advantage of their comparative advantage going forward. So, first of all, there is a need to look at development between provinces and districts through the Public Investment Board and for that reason, I feel the ministry needs to look at public investment from that angle.

Mr Chairperson, previously, we had what we called an integrated multi-sectoral approach to development. If the hon. Minister decided to develop Kasaba Bay, he would have to make sure that bridges were constructed in that area, the airstrip was completed and there are communication towers and power lines in that particular area. That way, it becomes easy to register progress in terms of development. The opposite of that is what is called a butter spread approach where you spread your resources across the country, in terms of development, without clearly coming up with any effective benefits. I know that in the past one year, we have not seen much whether by way of statements or pronouncements or, indeed, development as it were. Yes, the CDF will make a difference to these areas, but there will be very little impact, for instance, on feeder roads in these areas, that lead to tourist sites.

Mr Chairperson, from time immemorial, we have talked about the potential that Zambia has, be it in agriculture, tourism and many other sectors, and I think once the 8NDP is properly coordinated, we will begin to see the realisation of the potential that resides in these particular areas. For instance, I know that when the hon. Minister was on the left, he would support the development of the Northern Circuit in the Northern Province and each time he debated, he debated with passion. I believe that investing in that area will definitely make a difference in the tourism sector. The Northern Province, like Luapula and many other areas, is endowed with many tourism assets and we just require properly coordinated investment in terms of feeder roads, communication and energy to be able to realise that.

Mr Chairperson, I will give examples for the benefit of Hon. Kapala, wherever he maybe, in that the Lumangwe Power Project is in that area, and there is a lot of interest in that area. Once we plan properly, we will begin attracting investment in these areas because of the energy potential that lies in those areas. So, the point is that there is a need to also give as much emphasis and attention to the planning side of the ministry. Yes, it can be a daunting task to mobilise resources and distribute, but it is just as important to plan going forward because the failure to plan begins to cause many problems going forward. I thought of making that very important point on the planning aspect.

Mr Chairperson, the other area of concern is what we picked in the recent past, aquestion that was posed to Her Honour the Vice-President regarding the contraction of private auditors to audit the defence forces, which was allegedly done by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. This is something that I think was unusual because the law provides that in the case where the Auditor-General finds it fit to outsource or, indeed, contract specialised services, that can be done with the permission of the President, especially if sensitive ministries like the Ministry of Defence and other intelligence services are to be audited by private entities. It is very important that the Ministry of Finance and National Development restricts itself to its mandate and does not extend or enlarge its mandate to contract services of private auditors to audit these very sensitive institutions.

Mr Chairperson, I encourage the ministry to ensure that it provides sufficient funding to the Office of the Auditor-General so that it builds capacity and carries out specialised or sensitive assignments or recruits specialised staff to carry out those assignments as opposed to allowing private entities to carry out such sensitive audits. It is my prayer – if at all those auditors are in those ministries auditing, given the reaction from the defence forces and the members of the public, let them withdraw from that audit and ensure that the Auditor-General carries it out.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mundubile: Mr Chairperson, if the Auditor-General still feels that he needs their services, he should follow the right process and should write to the President seeking authorisation, then the President will authorise him to contract those services. The Secretary to the Treasury has no power or mandate at all to contract such services.

So, I want to make that call again that if the private firms that were contracted to carry out those services are, indeed, doing so, let them withdraw forthwith so that we do not have this outcry. They should not have access to those documents, unless otherwise, so that going forward, this debate is put to rest.

Mr Chairperson, I know that others may want to trivialise this debate, but we just want to follow the law. I know that the UPND prides itself to be a Government that governs using the rule of law and we do not expect it to miss on such elementary things like this. These are basics. One does not need to be intelligent to know that they did the wrong thing in this particular case. All we are asking for is that they must do the right thing, at least, this time around.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mundubile: Sir, I know that my dear brother, the Minister of Defence, is paying a lot of attention and realises the sensitivity of this particular matter because he is the one who interacts with those military officers who have been very concerned about this particular aspect. I think this is a matter that we can deal with without much ado and without putting the Auditor-General under undue pressure. He should not be the sacrificial lamb. We know that a mistake was made. There was an error in this particular case, but it is something that we can correct without much ado.

Mr Chairperson, I want Hon. Ambrose Lufuma to know that this is something that can be done and should be done. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has also acknowledged that this is a mistake that was made and that audit must stop immediately.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane indicated dissent.

Mr Mundubile: The auditors must withdraw so that we start again.

Sir, the Auditor-General’s Office is very important.

Hon. Government Members: Order!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Mr Mundubile: Mr Chairperson, on that very important note, I wish to thank you most sincerely.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, let us avoid debating each other and putting each other in the context of the debate. I think this has been said times without number. Let us adhere to it.

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Mr Chairperson, thank you for this opportunity given to the people of Kafue to say something about this process.

Sir, we missed an opportunity to look at the other detailed budgets for the various ministries. However, having listened to debate on the budget before this one now, when we were looking at the ministry’s plans for loans and investments, I thought I should stand to support this budget for the Ministry of Finance and National Planning without reservation because it is doing a good job that is there for everyone to see.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister, in his policy statement, has articulated some of the successes the ministry has scored, which I need not repeat. Therefore, my intention is just to encourage the ministry to continue on that trajectory because we are relying on it. Indeed, the successful implementation of all the other programmes that have been laid out in the other ministries is dependent on this key ministry.

Sir, as someone was emphasising the aspect of planning, I thought I would also talk more about the monitoring and evaluation because this is when we are going to be able to sit back, at a later stage, and see that we have moved and managed to do everything that we planned to do in the various ministry budgets.

Mr Chairpersons, referring to the Loans and Investments Vote, the ministry is talking about investing in roads, which is very important. I want to echo the sentiments about the need to do something about our roads to add to the successes that we have scored so far as the New Dawn Government.

Sir, I walked in a little late because I have just come from Kafue where we are coming from disbursing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the people there are very happy like all the other people, I believe, in all parts of Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member: Including Hon. Kampyongo!

Mr Chonya: Including Hon. Kampyongo, who I saw doing the same in Shiwang’andu.


Mrs Chonya: So, when it comes to these capital projects, we need to give the hon. Minister the required support so that the ministrycan do those roads in our constituencies.

Mr Chairperson, in Kafue, we also have a national park. I see the inclination towards improving road infrastructure in the national parks. We also have the Lower Zambezi National Park in Kafue where there was a project which was called Link Zambia 8,000. This is a very strategic road that the hon. Minister will do well to consider among the various roads that he wants to get some loans for in next year’s Budget because this Link Zambia 8,000 Project connects Chirundu via the Lower Zambezi to Leopards Hill. This gives us the shortest route from that point and we will be sorting out the congestion that is experienced at Kapiringozi along Chirundu Road. If the ministry did this one, I can assure you that the New Dawn Government will continue going for many years to come and our friends will have a long wait before they can come back.

Sir, I was also listening to the other intentions about recapitalising state-owned enterprises, which is a good thing. Again, it is the output indicators as we do our monitoring that will enable us to tell how many of these state-owned enterprises we have done. I know that for Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), we have already ticked. It has done something and it is continuing to do something in that regard. However, the criticism that I am receiving from the people of Kafue is that I speak a lot about NCZ alone as if there are no other industries in Kafue that need recapitalisation. So, that is why I am particularly happy about this intention to revisit some of the industries because we still have many more in Kafue, apart from our NCZ which, indeed, will help us with this key pillar of our Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) on job creation. We are only going to create these jobs if we recapitalise and identify new sites and come up with new industries. That way, our youth will be empowered, in addition to the CDF we are providing.

Mr Chairperson, I also saw the intention to put up the Local Government Financial Management System which is meant to target our local authorities. This will be very welcome, especially in Kafue. If you have to do a pilot, please do it from there. It may just help us to sort out the recent problems that the nation was treated to while I was away.

Sir, without much ado, I just wanted to encourage the hon. Minister. Indeed, we are relying on him to ensure that all these plans come to pass. He was also talking about doing something to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) so that they are able to review the housing conditions. This would be a very welcome move.


Recently, we had an engagement with NAPSA, and we encouraged it because it is good that it is making all these investments. However, we wanted to know why it does not pick some of the towns that are along the main road like Kafue and Chilanga where we have bad infrastructure. If NAPSA could come in, scrap those bad structures off and put some multi-storey buildings, then as we drive along the roads we, together with our international visitors, will begin to appreciate the fact that this country is developing. Most of these shanty compounds are an eyesore, and we should be the Government that should move this country from that situation to one that Zambians will sit back one day and appreciate the New Dawn Government for hailing a new dawn to the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving the people of Chienge this wonderful moment. Without taking much of your time, I just want to quickly add my voice and say I really support this budget line. After all, no one hates money. We all love money. No one could say he/she does not agree.

Mr Chairperson, I want to look at what the hon. Minister has said in the policy statement. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal was well celebrated in this country. I think it was at US$3 billion, if I am not mistaken. I would like to find out, on behalf of the people of Chienge, how this money has been used. The hon. Minister mentioned that it would be used for debt restructuring.


Mr Chairperson, when I look at the debt that we have, as a nation, I cannot compare it with the US$3 billion. Already, what I know, from the previous Sittings is that my hon. Colleagues who are now on your right hand side used to say that the Patriotic Front (PF) had borrowed a lot and had reached the ceiling. How are we going to settle this US$ 3 billion? I have always asked. There was also the World Bank money which was given to us recently. I do not know how that money is going to be used and how it is going to be paid back.

Mr Chairperson, I must admit, I have not yet had a look at the figures. How is the Government going to pay back the money which was given to the nation by the World Bank because that was not a grant? In the meantime, we are still struggling with the debt that was left behind by the previous regime. So, I want to find out how the Government is going to do this.

Mr Chairperson, as we talk, we have been told that the Kwacha is doing so well. However, when you look at how the people of Zambia are suffering, it is totally a different story. The cost of living is high and no one can pretend. Even for me, an hon. Member of Parliament, to fill up my tank is not an easy thing. So, I want to know. To me, it is not making sense to add more debt on already existing debt.


Mr Chairperson, we may be told that this debt is what is going to be used for restructuring, but what about the 30,000 teachers who were employed? To date, some are not yet on the pay roll. Some health workers are also not yet on the payroll. However, we keep on hearing about more recruitment. There is no harm in recruiting people, but there is a problem in having them employed when money is not available.

Mr Chairperson, I want to talk about the revenue that the hon. Minister talked about. How do we generate revenue locally when the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has not even been meeting targets in most cases? How do we generate this revenue when small businesses have not received much support from local banks and, instead, foreign investors receive more support?

Mr Chairperson, let me declare interest. I am a farmer. If you look at farmers, especially commercial farmers, it is hard for them to get a loan even for just a pivot centre, for example. I cannot get one because of the conditions.

Mr Chairperson, those are the things that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, together with the Bank of Zambia (BoZ), should look at in order for every Zambian to be able to access loans and be farmers that could export our produce to China and India. Ultimately, we would be ploughing the money back into the country, meaning that we will be injecting some money into the economy.

Mr Chairperson, small businesses are not receiving that kind of help. At the moment, there is no money in circulation. This means that everything for a small businessperson like me is on standstill.

Mr Chairperson, no one can pretend. We know that the Government wants to control things so that the Kwacha remains strong against the Dollar, but that is being done at the expense of an innocent Zambian in Chienge. It is becoming so difficult for someone to travel from Chienge to Kashikishi, which is about 92 km. People are paying K250, which is too much, because the road is impassable. The Government, however, is not even talking about constructing that road.

Mr Chairperson, it is a good ministry, but listening to the policy statement, I feel that much needs to be done, especially that businesses are not being supported. This is the reason we are having more foreign investors coming into the country. It is not that Zambians do not have brains and cannot develop their own businesses. We have big plans to undertake commercial farming and send our produce to China, India and Europe, but we cannot. Commercial banks, together with the ministry and BoZ, who are supposed to help us cannot because they do not trust us.

Mr Chairperson, if you go to the Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ), you need to have US$250,000 to invest there. Which Zambian would have such kind of money? We all want to invest. We all want to be part and parcel of the building of this economy because it is ours. So, it is very important that when this ministry is talking about revenue, it looks into that.

Mr Mulenga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Rev. Katuta: So, that should be looked into as a way –

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Rev. Katuta: Mr Chairperson, they are disturbing me. I need to finish. I am winding up.


Rev. Katuta: Mr Chairperson, so – 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.


Mr Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order 65 (1) (b).

Indeed, as an hon. Minister, I have an obligation to make sure that we state what is factual and right, as opposed to telling what is not right. I am the hon. Minister responsible for the Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs). Therefore, I should justify and defend polices that the Government has set in place.

Mr Chairperson, is the speaker in order to mislead herself and her constituency that MFEZs are charging US$250,000 to Zambian investors when it is US$50,000? Is she in order to come and falsify information to the nation on that score?

I seek your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member is not in order to bring information that is not factual, misleading the country, the House, herself and the people of Chienge.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Katuta: Mr Chairperson, I was one of the people who used to go to the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), maybe, even before the hon. Minister joined politics. The Lusaka South Multi Facility Economic Zone (LS–MFEZ) used to charge US$250,000. If that has changed, it is now and the nation has not been informed. It used to charge US$250,000. That is what is on record. If the new Government has changed that, it should just say it. I was just saying it the way it is. If it is now US$50,000, it is still too much for any Zambian. We want to own businesses in this country.

Mr Chairperson, let me continue with my debate. When we look at the ZRA failing to meet its target – I hope somebody can rise on a point of order. The ZRA is failing to meet its targets. Why? It is because of the conditions, and there is no money. Who is going to do business when there is no money? I heard somebody rise on a matter of urgent public importance that foreigners are finding favour in this country unlike locals. Only somebody who is not prudent will say you are not telling the truth. What I am talking about is that Zambians should start owning proper businesses.


Rev Katuta: We cannot all be cattle hustlers. We all have a way of doing things.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order!

Rev Katuta: So, those who are saying “How? How?” are used to certain kinds of businesses –

The Hon. Member’s time expired

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, your time is out.

Rev. Katuta continued talking.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Members, once you are guided, especially when you go out of order, desist from insisting things that have a proven record. We know very well that there was change of Government in Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Correct!

The Deputy Chairperson: So, in an event that the substantive hon. Minister guides you as things are, just accept and move forward. Thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, as I contribute to this very important Head, I want to indicate that first of all, I will not debate figures because I am sure theK7,663,020,365 that the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is asking for has been calculated based on the things that they have to do as a ministry. So, I agree that we give him the K7,663,020,365.

Mr Chairperson, I will focus my remarks on two very important issues. The first issue obviously relates to the mandate of the ministry. I am aware that the ministry has got qualified people to help the hon. Minister achieve what he wants to achieve. I do not doubt the abilities of the Zambians who have been employed to support the work that he is doing. However, it is always important that what he tells them to do, the input that he tells them to provide, is what they will provide.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning announced on this Floor of the House I think last year and this year that he is targeting to achieve 3 million tonnes of copper over a period of ten years. He did inform his experts in the ministry to couch policies around that target, which is a good thing. We need to achieve a certain target. However, my concern, which brings me to my debate today, is that he is on record providing incentives to mining companies to achieve a certain target. We also want to hear him provide incentives for the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). It is a good thing to tell the public to go and apply for loans because the loans will deal with the financing aspect.

Mr Chairperson, I am sure research has shown that most SMEs collapse after three years, and I would have loved the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to be presentand the hon. Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development to be present as I emphasise this point. Research has shown that most SMEs in Zambia collapse after three years. Why are these SMEs not growing to the level that they should grow to support the economy of our country?

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning is responsible for policy. I was looking at the programmes under this ministry. Programme 3422 and 3420 relate to economic policy management. If the hon. Minister instructs his experts to couch policies to give incentives to the mines, they will give them. If he does not give them instructions to couch policies that will give incentives to the growth of SMEs, they will not do it. It is not the money aspect alone that is important. Money is one issue. That is why we are here; we will give him the money to give people loans.

Mr Chairperson, why do SMEs collapse in the first two or three years? What incentives are we going to give them? Do we ensure that certain taxes are not paid by the SMEs so that they grow? If they do not grow, the money that we are giving them will not come back into the economy. So, I have a request for him and I hope that he will take this request very seriously, and I hope the experts in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will also take this issue very seriously. Economic policy management is important. What policy will govern the growth of SMEs? What policy will govern the growth of Zambian businesses? If we do not deal this with this issue, we will not be able to achieve what we intend to achieve.

Mr Chairperson, secondly, around the same point, I did raise an issue on this Floor of the House, that how do we reduce the cost of borrowing? One of the things that the Government responded to was the policy to stop the Government from borrowing locally. Domestic borrowing will reduce so that we free more resources to the private sector because the private sector is where these SMEs are. It is where these young Zambians want to get the money and grow their businesses.

Mr Chairperson, I am speaking very passionately about this issue because every time I take an opportunity to travel back to the constituency, the feedback I am getting is that there are no incentives for Zambians, and I believe this is common in all the constituencies. People are asking when the cost of borrowing will come down. We were told that the Government would not borrow domestically to allow more resources to be accessed by local businessmen and women. They cannot see that output up to now.

Mr Chairperson, we emphasise some of these issues because it is feedback we are getting. The feedback we are getting is that the same way we are giving incentives to the mining companies is the same way we should give them to the locals. We must develop a strategy that will give the same amount of incentives to the local people. We should sit and discuss and have a very frank conversation around this matter. The legacy that this House will leave, the legacy that we are all giving to leave, will be a legacy of having put Zambians first.

Mr Chairperson, I stand here today not to debate the figures because those are his issues but provide feedback from the constituency I represent and from the many people I have spoken. The feedback is that we need a strategy that will give incentives to the growth of SMEs. Giving them money is one issue, but giving them the same incentives such as certain tax holidays or certain things that we are giving the bigger corporate is another. These incentives should also be given to local people. Let us find the formula for our local people. Once we do that, we are going to leave a legacy that will be remembered.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Kamfinsa have spoken.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for the opportunity to add to the debate on Head 37, Ministry of Finance and National Planning.

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to structure my debate as follows: I will speak about fiscal management and revenue generation, which the hon. Minister alluded to in his ministerial statement. I will talk about public expenditure and control under which I will also talk about public procurement systems which he envisages should be enhanced. I will also talk about the work of the controller of internal audits, just to wind up debate on that note.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for one very important thing which we have achieved as a country, that is, stabilising the economy. The economy has stabilised, and that is the reason he is able to give such a good statement which gives us hope and foresight of how he intends to roll out this Budget next year. One important fact that comes out clear is that all economic indicators are now in place and they attest to the fact that the economy has been stabilised.

Mr Chairperson, on fiscal management, I am thinking about domestic revenue mobilisation, which the hon. Minister wants to focus on in terms of improving the systems in institutions of Government that are responsible for mobilising domestic revenue. He talked about the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). I do not have many problems with the ZRA because the systems which are in place there already work very well. The ZRA seems to be meeting its targets, sometimes even going beyond targets. However, I have a question there. Maybe the targets it is setting are not that high and we need to adjust them. The hon. Minister talked about the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA). Of course, the toll gates are doing well. With the Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) coming in now, of course, there will be more activity in that area.

Mr Chairperson, I am thinking about Non-Tax Revenue (NTR). By virtue of me being a member of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, I interacted with some of our witnesses who presented before our Committee when we were doing a study of the NTR.

We had the opportunity to visit Uganda, where they use a different system to collect non-tax revenue. Of course, here we use Control 99, and all the monies gets mopped up into Control 99. However, in other jurisdictions, institutions like universities collect money with the involvement of the revenue authority. Here, some institutions collect non-tax revenue without involving those who are experienced in collecting revenue, thereby leaving it to them to decide what to do with that non-tax revenue they collect. Of course, another example is the local authorities. By law, the local authorities collect money and spend it at the source. Therefore, there is very little control from the hon. Minister’s office on how that money is accounted for and spent. This gives birth to the next point I want to make on the system of controls, which is governed through the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 2018, and this Act also brings in the issue of the controller of internal audits.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about how the Office of the Controller of Internal Audits is operating. I heard the hon. Minister talk about improving this system, but enough financing must go to that office because of the work of the Auditor-General. Most issues which come out of there are due to weak internal controls. So, who should strength the internal controls? It is the controller of internal audits. Now listen to some of the works that the controller of internal audits is supposed to do. He/she is supposed to do some performance audits and, of course, value for money audits. He/she is supposed to do compliance audits, which is checking transactions for payments on the expenditure side to ensure that there is compliance to the Public Finance Management Act, including the procurement process which the Government wants to refine. For that to be followed or complied to, the Office of the Controller of Internal Audits needs to be strengthened. There are systems which exist, but how do they get beaten? It is because some of the functions are not strengthened and nobody seems to care to ensure that these systems are actually strengthened.

Mr Chairperson, I would like the Office of the Secretary to the Treasury to take keen interest in controlling officers because there are internal auditors in almost each and every line ministry who report to an audit committee and to the controller in each ministry. However, at the end of the day, when these issues are brought out by the Auditor-General, it seems nothing is done. When you want to see the confusion that happens, just look at the Treasury’s minutes. The Secretary to the Treasury seems to simply throw the ball back to the controlling officers. At the end of the day, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning is expected to account for all the money that is mobilised and disbursed to Government institutions.

Mr Chairperson, yes, the ministry did well to put this system in place, but I thought of focusing so much on the function of internal controls or that of the Office of the Controller of Internal Audits, which is rolled out, although in some places, there is no link. The Act actually instructs that there should be presence of this office in every public institution, but is there presence of the controller of internal audits in the councils where the Government will disburse all the millions? No, there is no connection. There are internal auditors in the councils who are supervised by the town clerk, and it ends there. So, we would like to see a link starting from the top to the lowest organ of the Government to ensure that the control systems are fool-proof and there is an audit trail in each and every government transaction.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much.

Mr Chairperson, let me briefly respond to some of the issues that were raised. The first oneisthat Hon. Mundubile feels that we are emphasising too much on the financial management aspect of our work and not doing enough on the planning and economic management side of things. He further said that sometimes we operate in cylinders.

Mr Chairperson, I want to respond by saying that the planning function is actually very important. In the manner that it is today, where it has been merged together with finance, it makes that function even better. Most of our neighbouring countries would use the old practice, where the hon. Ministers responsible for finance and the planning ministry would sit in different places, and that is when people would operate in cylinders. This is because those who would plan would go to town and make all sorts of plans without referring to the financial resources available to execute those plans. As I said, in most countries, the two have been combined. As they plan, they also look at the purse and decide if the plan is realistic or perhaps they are talking about something that is just a wish list. So, to buttress this point, I think a number of colleagues have observed that last year and this year, the Minister of Finance and National Planning has been working very closely with the other ministries. For example, we have been working very closely with the hon. Minister of Agriculture.


Mr Mtolo: Correct.

Dr Musokotwane: Just yesterday, people may have noticed that we were together in Kawambwa, where we went to see the farming block. For us to make progress at that farming block, what is required is power, roads and everything else, and this is not just between the ministries responsible for finance and agriculture. We realise that for the farming block, the Kasaba Bay Project and projects in Liuwa to be complete, all the relevant ministries must work together. For example, in Kawambwa, the hon. Minister of Agriculture led us. I was there and the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources was there because there is land administration involved in the project. The hon. Minister of Energy was also there because we need electricity in the farming block. If the hon. Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development was around, he would have been part of the delegation.

Mr Chairperson, this is all a united front because we realise that for many things to happen, hon. Ministers need to sit together and to drive the process, and I think we are doing that very well. So, we have not forgotten the planning side. We are actually moving very well with it. Of course, what I have said about agriculture also relates to other ministries like the Ministry of Tourism. Early this year, we went on a tour with the hon. Minister of Tourism. Again, the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources andI were there, and all the other relevant hon. Ministers,and the Provincial Ministers were also part of the team.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of what appears to be a growing story on the auditors appointed by the Secretary to the Treasury, I hope the Presiding Officers will give me permission to issue a ministerial statement either today or tomorrow, so that we clarify the matter. I hope those who are saying that we are on the wrong side of the law have read the law.

However, I am sure officers will be contacting you soon so that I am given permission to issue a ministerial statement on this matter, which hopefully should bring this to rest.

Mr Chairperson, I have heard the hon. Member for Kafue, Hon. Chonya and, yes, I am aware of that road from Leopards Hill going to the hills of Chirundu. It is a shortcut and, indeed, it would reduce congestion on the Siavonga to Kafue Road. Therefore, that is one of the roads that we are going to propose for the PPP model because we do not have the money to work on it from our Treasury. I am sure it has the potential of being a successful road because it is, indeed, shorter. It is amazingly short if you come from Chirundu through Leopards Hill to come to the city of Lusaka or if you are headed to the Eastern Province or Malawi. It is a very short stretch.

Sir, coming to Hon. Katuta’s comments, the money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank is part of the Budget that we are talking about. So, the money that we are going to get from the IMF and the World Bank, and some of it has come, is part of the 2023 Budget. So, if the hon. Member wants to find out what the money is used for, she can check the Yellow Book.

Mr Chairperson, we need to remember that once money has been mixed, which is from domestic revenues, the African Development Bank (AfDB) or treasury bills, and you start spending it on schools, for instance, you cannot go to a particular school and ask who financed the roof or windows. It is all one Budget. So, part of the money that we are spending in 2023 comes from the IMF and the World Bank.

Sir, I assure the House that there is no discrimination against the local investors. I like the idea that somebody raised that we need to sit down and see what we can do for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). I agree that we need to do that, but I also want to tell hon. Members that in countries where the big industries are strong, they provide the lending support to the SMEs. When you talk about countries like Japan, where there is Toyota, Toyota will not engage in making tyres, mirrors or fenders because that is given to the small people to do. Where you do not have this big brother arrangement, it becomes difficult to have sustainable SMEs.

Mr Chairperson, that is even true in areas where we come from. For example, when the mining sector is thriving, you see that it is able to support so many SMEs. So, it is not as if it is this or that. The two are important and we need to support them together. Certainly, if there are proposals put on the table on what else we can do, we will, of course, be very happy to participate in that discussion. I know there are a number of incentives out there.

Sir, I think an hon. Colleague also raised the issue of the cost of borrowing. I agree it is too high and we need to do something about that. On the issues raised by Hon. Kambita, yes, he is right. We need to support the internal audit and I believe we are doing that, but we can do more. I agree with him that contrary to what we have heard this afternoon, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is actually meeting the target. It is in fact exceeding it. So, it is not true to say that ZRA is failing to meet its target. It is important that we are factual.

Mr Chairperson, I believe I have covered most of the things within the timeframe that I have. I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 37 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 25 – (Local Government Service Commission – K16,603,961)

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Mr Chairperson, let me thank you for according me this opportunity to present a policy statement for the Local Government Service Commission to this august House.

Mr Chairperson, the commission is established under Article 228 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2016, and operationalised by the Service Commission Act, No. 10 of 2016, Section 16 (1). The Local Government Service Commission is mandated to oversee all human resource matters in all the 116 local authorities in Zambia. The commission has continued to constitute human resource management committees in accordance with the Service Commission Act, No. 10 of 2016, Section 33 (2). This is in order to empower the local authorities with delegated functions to facilitate speedy decision making on human resource matters.

Mr Chairperson, in line with the New Dawn Government’s policy of strengthening the entire local government system and services, capacity is being built to effectively manage the huge and expanded functions of governance and sustainable development.

Mr Chairperson, to implement this, the commission has delegated functions to the human resource management committees. The commission has a vision to promote credible service provision that ensures reliable human resource and innovation in local government service. Its mission statement is to manage human resource in local authorities in order to promote quality service delivery to the citizenry and promote local development.

Mr Chairperson, in order to realise its vision, the commission will continue to pursue the following objectives:

  1. to improve local authorities or councils human resource management;
  2. to improve the monitoring and evaluation of human resource matters in the local authorities;
  3. to improve stakeholder linkages;
  4. to enhance financial management;
  5. to improve operational support and services; and, last but not least,
  6. to improve the human resource of the commission.

Performance Review of 2022 as at 31stJuly 2022

Mr Chairperson, in 2022, the commission was allocated a total budget of K10.8 million, of which K7.2 million was meant for personal emoluments while K3.5 million was for non personal emoluments. As at August 31st, 2022, amounts totalling K2.8 million of non personal emoluments had been received and expended, leaving a balance of K0.7 million to fund operations of the remaining part of 2022.

Mr Chairperson, further, the commission managed to recruit a well-qualified cadre of officers, and also re-aligned and placed staff in appropriate positions based on their qualifications and competences in order to maximise the potential and capacity to deliver service to our communities.

Mr Chairperson, the commission also managed to conduct technical support visits to local authorities in five provinces, which are the Central Province, Muchinga Province, the Northern Province, Luapula Province and the North-Western Province where fifty-five human resource management committees were established.

Mr Chairperson, the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) further processed a total of 455 human resource cases. Of these cases, 164 involved female staff and 291 involved male staff. In handling these cases, caution was taken not to discriminate against any differently-abled staff. In this regard, 127 cases of differently-abled staff were ably handled, of which 102 were male and the balance of twenty-five were female.

Priority Programmes for 2023

Mr Chairperson, the total budget allocated to the commission in 2023 is standing at K16.6 million aggregated as K9.6 for personal emoluments and K6.9 million for non personal emoluments.

Sir, in line with the four pillars of the Eight National Development Plan (8NDP) and the Government’s Policy, the commission intends to prioritise its operations and focus on the following key activities for the coming year:

  1. to establish human resource management committees in the remaining sixty-one local authorities to perform delegated functions in accordance with the Service Commissions Act No.10 of 2016;
  2. to capacity build human resource management committees to enable effective performance of delegated functions;
  3. to implement the Local Government Information Management System (LGIMS) in all local authorities;
  4. to create a centralised staff registry for local authorities and staff and digitising; and
  5. to conduct monitoring and evaluation services.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, the LGSC will continue with the transformational agenda as guided by the New Dawn Government Policy and shall focus on staff recruitment, capacity building, technical support, human resource reforms and monitoring and evaluation of activities in order to ensure efficient and effective functioning of local authorities.

Mr Chairperson, at this juncture, let me make an appeal and request hon. Members of this House to consider adopting this budget of only K16.6 million in order to enable improved service delivery to the citizens of this country.

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister for his policy statement. The people of Mwembezhi would like to add to the debate on the Vote.

Mr Chairperson, this Vote is very important. As the hon. Minister said, to enhance service delivery is why the commission was established, thus being given the money we are talking about, K16.6 million.

Mr Chairperson, if you forget where you are coming from, you may lose direction of where you are going. We noted that in many local government authorities, people were put on forced leave or were suspended, deemed that they were working with the Opposition then. Many people were laid off. Some were given back their jobs just recently. Many people were languishing in the streets because they were perceived to be in the Opposition.

Mr Chairperson, we are now saying to this commission that it should desist from perceiving people to be in political parties. We want the commission to employ people or to align people based on their qualifications and on the fact that they are all Zambians. This idea of looking at people as supporters of green or red is one of the detrimental trajectories which overshadowed anything which was of any good during the time of the reign of our friends. Many people suffered innocently when they did not even affiliate with the UPND. They were actually suffering just because they were seen to be aligned that way. That is why we are saying, now, the commission should not look at someone’s eyes and think that they are in the Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) or the Socialist Party (SP). What we are saying is that the commission must be above board.

Mr Chairperson, there is a lot that the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) is trying to fix. It is trying to fix many anomalies in the Local Government Service. In trying to fix these things, there have been a lot of reshuffles and movement of people to and fro. In trying to fix, it has meant transferring some from Shibuyunji to Nalolo, from Nalolo to Mufulira and from Mufulira to Nkeyema. What we are saying is that these people who are trying to fix things should avoid, at all costs, if possible, fixing that which is not broken.

What am I saying? You will find that a council is performing very well, like Shibuyunji Council is doing, but the performing engineer or accountant is transferred on the premise that the commission is trying to restructure. What is it restructuring every now and then? Even something that is not broken is being restructured saying these were working with those.

Mr Chairperson, the commission should also learn to consult us hon. Members of Parliament. We want to work with this commission and the local governments. People who are working so hard in local governments should not be victimised because we think that these people are aligned to a political party. That should be the thing of the past because that was the trademark of the past Government, victimising people saying that this one belongs to the red family while this one is not part of whatever. Many people suffered retribution. Why should we continue on that trajectory?

Mr Chairperson, we are all Zambians. What we are saying is that we want these people to work professionally. In any case, is there anything which can kill it if it consulted? The commission can consult local people whether certain employees perform and not this idea where one wakes up in the morning and finds that the Council Secretary has been transferred, yet there are serious issues which are running. For the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to run smoothly, there are projects which all technocrats are aware of. They know what happens. You bring other technocrats because the others are perceived to be aligned with the PF. However, you bring others who are also affiliated with PF because it appointed a lot of them and they are all over.

So, you change a crocodile from Chililabombwe bring it to Kafue, do you think it is going to stop being a crocodile? These people were being employed on the hope that whoever is going to be put on that position must be a pro-their party member. So, if you start moving them anyhow you are just doing a disservice. You are removing a Rhino from Luangwa and taking it to Zambezi and thinking that the rhino will change its colours. It is still a rhino. So, please consult us. These very people who were employed and are perceived to be from the other family, let us just try to harness them, they are good people who are working with fear. If you did not alienate (relate) with them then you were going to be fired. They are good people. So, what I am saying is that can we work with these people and may the hon. Minister also consult us when trying to reshuffle. We support the budget given.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Mr Chairperson, I support the K16 million going to Commission for Local Government. However, in supporting it, I have got a few concerns.

Mr Chairperson, just to add up from what hon. Jamba said, the biggest concern I have is the issue of employment and transfers. I think we need to be consulting, it is just important. When you start a project and you change the rhythm, at the end of the day you find that you are at ground zero. You are not moving. Today, in Nyimba, with the increase of Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which is very good and no one can doubt about that, unless you have some problems. For me, that is a good thing and things will move. However, I have a problem. The problem I have, which I have already complained to the Commission, is that the procurement department is under staffed. With one person place, looking at the money they are having I do not think projects can move. If this person gets sick, the project will stop moving for at least three months. If there is a professional that is over protected in this country, it is the procurement office. You cannot question them and they cannot be supervised and makes it impossible for all of us to move.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to appeal to the commission that as we approve this money, they should look at the councils were there are problems. A council like Nyimba needs staff recruitment. We had a deputy procurement officer who applied for the job and was given. The other person left the office for greener pastures. This means we have not moved from anywhere. Today, the person in the office has no supporting staff. The support staffs we have are the trainees who are coming from other schools and have no authority to do anything. These are the problems we have for us to move CDF projects. We need to start promoting the locals by employing them. It is my plea to the Local Government Commission that even as you are appointing or transferring people, let us also give opportunities to locals. There are those that are qualified who deserve to be employed as well.


Mr Chairperson, you will agree with me that in Nyimba – In fact let me say something today using this opportunity. I am talking about employment. Should I tell you, I hate hon. Member here who debate by mentioning who has been employed in which province or which province has employed who. That is total ignorance and evil for any parliamentary to debate in such a way. It is very simple. The Constituency I come from; in all the Government institutions, there is only one person from the Eastern Province heading the department. However, when you are here, you like talking about tribes. Who really created you, surely it is not God.

Mr Chairperson, I will appreciate that as we support the budget to this department. They should see to it that, qualified personals are employed as they engage people. There are important departments in each and every council. I come from a council back ground I was a councillor. I understand which department are so essential for us to work. Through you Chair, to the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, for you to perform and your party to be appreciated that it has performed, depends on how you are going to perform at Local Government level. Failure for any Government to perform at Local Government, I am telling you, that Government is considered a failed Government. It is hard that we are debating on this one. I wish I can have another opportunity to debate on the many Local Government budgets.

Mr Chairperson, push the Local Government Commission to see to it that all councils are fully staffed, then you are going to work. Today, where we are, councils are limping. I am picking a practical example of my council. Yes, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development has given us an additional engineer, thank you so much. However, on procurement, looking at the money we have. Please, I plead with commission to give us a supporting staff in this department as a district and Constituency. We are not moving. I am not happy. The reason for not improving in the allocation of CDF is because of the department. Our secretariat which is the council, no matter how you make noise, if these people are not moving, things will never move. That is my plea to the Local Commission as we are approving this money.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, we need to take our people for workshops or trainings. These people should be trained on how to manage local authorities. They are very few people who know how to manage things. When I was a councillor then, I could understand and feel that this person knows how to manage Local Government. This time around, we have got very few Local Government professionals who are doing the job at the professional level. They are all politically inclined. Anything to do with any job they first look at which political party you belong to. Thank God I do not belong to any political party. Maybe that is why I am moving. So, it is just important for us to see to it that we talk to our management. When employing, the Commission should counsel the people by telling them that were you are going you are not serving a political party but you are serving Zambians regardless. Today, we have a problem; any individual within a district can make a directive to a professional in the council to make a decision. This pieces me off. For now, I arrest my case. Next time, next year, if such a thing happens. I will go to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and report in writing with pictures. Whatever it will be, I will report.


Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe): Mr Chairperson, thank you so much for the opportunity given to just say a few words. What other colleagues have noted was also my concern.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to shower praise on the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, together with the Local Government Service Commission, for the cleanup that they have done, or continue doing. With that said, I believe the allocation is too little because they still have a lot of work to do regarding cleaning up local authorities or the councils. The damage was done and it was not done in a year, but in so many years. So, K16 million is nothing in my view because I am very happy with what they are doing.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister still has a lot of work because the officers supervised by the Local Government Service Commission in the local authorities, go for too many workshops at the expense of service delivery.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sialubalo: Mr Chairperson, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are condemned, demeaned and insulted by the electorates because they feel we are not delivering, yet it is the officers supervised by the Local Government Service Commission who are not working. Money is apportioned to projects, but service delivery, which should be engineered by the local authorities, is not happening in our constituencies, and hon. Members of Parliament are blamed and the officers hide.

Mr Chairperson, it is high time the Local Government Service Commission took centre stage in seeing to it that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the Local Government Equalisation Fund benefit the citizens who want the services. This is not happening, and the gap between the Local Government Service Commission and the local authorities is quite huge. The commission needs a lot of funding and mobility, and it needs many innovations for it to know what is happening on the ground. Otherwise, if not properly checked, local authorities will fail to supervise the CDF of K25.7 million, and the K28.3 million that we anticipate, and the Government and hon. Members of Parliament will be blamed.

Mr Chairperson, I implore the hon. Minister to share this message with the commission. It really needs to be on top of things. The damage was done, and it is not the hon. Minister’s making, but he has a mammoth task. I know he is a very capable person, but once we report as hon. Members of Parliament that some officers are hindering progress, he should take action. We want service delivery in our respective constituencies because what is obtaining is nothing to be happy about. Very few hon. Members of Parliament are happy with what the local authorities are doing with the Local Government Equalisation Fund, the CDF and other levies that are collected in our respective districts and constituencies. So, the hon. Minister should inspect. The local authority in Sinazongwe is not an exception. I am not happy with what is happening and the supervision, and I do not think other hon. Members of Parliament are happy. So, the hon. Minister should take centre stage. Those who were politically employed and swore allegiance to a political party must be moved out. The commission should move them out and it should act. It should do the right now so that the services can be done in the communities.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much. I have a few things that I want to add to the debate on this Vote, which is very important.

Mr Chairperson, this is a very important commission, as its staff, mostly interacts with the community at all levels. Henceforth, it calls for the commission to recruit staff of good quality. As a starting point, the concern I have at times with staff from the local authorities, is that the commission at times does not follow the right channel. For example, an entrant for the position of community development officer is supposed to have a first degree in social work, but somebody with a Grade 12 certificate is directly appointed as a community development officer. Meanwhile, assistant community development officers do not have degrees and they are diploma holders. That way, officers holding such positions are demotivated. What I am trying to say is that the commission should be following the right channel. If the requirement is that the entrant must be a diploma holder or a degree holder, it should be that way. Otherwise, there is a lap  seat the commission.

Mr Chairperson, the officers at local government commission work when they visit workstations. Many a time when they are at their work station, they just do the work selected by the administrative officers. For example, they pick on three files and hand them over to the commission. However, the commission receives the returns from the local authorities and it should look at them so that each officer has a feel. You agree with me that when the officers hear that the commission is coming, they are anxious that their bosses are coming. However, that anxiety is filled in piecemeal work of attention to few files. There may be 150 officers at the Department of Housing and Social Services, but they will only check three files, bringing down the morale of other officers whose files were not checked. So, that needs to be looked into in order to motivate the officers.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the way the commission recruits people. All of us hon. Members of Parliament have been knocking at the hon. Minister’s office and we have told him that we want to procure heavy equipment machinery such as graders, but the question is: How is that heavy equipment machinery going to be sustained by the local authorities? The commission has a part to play, and many a time, it focuses on employing other disciplines, and certain specialities are not employed, for example, those who repair heavy equipment machinery, and metal fabricators, including those with certain craft certificates who should be under the Department of Engineering or the Works Department. Now, how are the machines which the hon. Minister is authenticating going to be sustained? Who is going to be servicing them? Those are the questions that we need to interrogate.


Mr Chairperson, under housing and social services in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, there are skills centres. In those skills centres, there is also a lapse because the commission does not employ officers such as instructors. Even some children undergoing skills training using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)did not go to those skills centres because there are no instructors there. So, that area also needs to be looked at if the commission is to perform, and this will trickle down to the performance of the local authorities. The hon. Minister needs to look at these disparities and should encourage the commission, which he is in charge of, if the local authorities are to perform.

Mr Chairperson, I can say a lot, but with those few words, I rest my case. All in all, what I can say is that the commission should be given extra money. The hon. Minister can request from the source so that the commission fails by itself, and not the hon. Minister, and it performs its duties diligently.

With that said, I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much.

Mr Chairperson, the establishment of these–

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




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

Madam Speaker: Notice of an item of debate on the Motion of adjournment of the House has been received.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for according me this opportunity to debate the Motion urging the Government to stop the common practice by members of the public of the confusion that arises at burial times where dead bodies in coffins refuse to be interred or direct pall bearers to the suspected killers of the dead resulting into confusion or deaths.Let me begin by giving a background to my subject.

Madam, reports on allegations of coffins carrying the remains of deceased people rejecting burial have taken prominence in Zambia. Incidents of this bizarre activity have taken place in several regions of the country including in the Southern Province, Central Province, the North-Western Province, the Western Province…

Hon. Government Members: Luapula.

Mr J. Chibuye: … and  Luapula Province.


Mr J. Chibuye: These incidents assume several names depending on the tradition and culture of the region where the incident is taking place. For instance, in the North-Western Province, the practice is popularly known as Kikondo. In the Lamba region of the Copperbelt Province, the practice is called Bwelabwela, a traditional ritual where charms are smeared on the coffin of a dead body with a belief that it would lead mourners to the person responsible for the death. As a result, suspected killers –

Hon. Member: Fyaambaukubutuka


Mr J. Chibuye: As a result, suspected killers have been unfairly subjected to the threat of assault, loss of valuable property and in extreme cases, brutally murdered.

Madam Speaker, I want to cite some examples. Recently in LuanoValley, a coffin was alleged to have refused to be interred and led the pallbearers to a suspected killer. He was severely tortured, mentally and physically, and made to lie on the ground while the coffin was put on top of him. As if that was not enough, we had another incident in Mazabuka where the same happened and police could not quell the disturbance which led to loss of life and damage to property.

Madam, there was a case in Kalulushi three weeks ago where a burial could not take place because of the same belief. As we are speaking, the coffin of the dead is still in the mortuary. More often than not, the practice of Kikondoor Bwelabwela perpetuates criminality and injustice. For instance, the consequences of these beliefs negatively affect victims from enjoying fundamental human rights as provided under national, regional and international human rights law. These rights include the right to life, the right to freedom from torture, the right to non-discrimination, the right to protection of property, the right to personal liberty and the right to respecting the views of the elderly who are often accused of witchcraft.

Madam Chairperson, on top of that, it also deprives victims of their right to life when death occurs. It also deprives victims of the right against torture, as I have said, and deprives victims of justice as they are not given an opportunity to be heard. Where no death occurs, victims suffer stigma in the community and some of them end up dying of depression. It also brings about disunity in the community and shunning by family members of such a person.

Madam, I am aware that there are a number of pieces of legislation that can be used against this. Some of the following interventions have been undertaken to discourage the practice such as the deployment of security personnel, as I have stated. Where the security wings have been tipped by informants, they have rushed to the scene to restore public order. In some cases, the security personnel have been forced to bury the remains of the deceased. For instance, in 2018, an incident occurred in Kaoma District where it took the effort of the police and soldiers to control an irate mob, retrieve the coffin and then conduct burial of the deceased person.

Madam Speaker, the conviction of the offenders as a remedy – the undesirable practice often infringes on human rights and legal provisions in Zambia. For instance, murdering an accused is an offence according to Sections 200 to 201 and 202 of the Penal Code Cap. 87 of the Laws of Zambia which provide for murder or a life sentence as punishment for any person who causes the death of another person by an unlawful act or omission. In view of this, the Judiciary has tried and convicted the perpetrators who are involved in the brutal killings of victims of Kikondoor Bwelabwela.

Madam Speaker, I want to cite the case of Abedinegal Kapeshi and Another Vs the People. In this case, the defendants were accused of having caused the death of one Kabinga and were sentenced by the High Court to life imprisonment. On appeal against the sentence, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict.

Madam Speaker, these incidences are so prominent that innocent people suffer like what happened in Ndola rural at a place called Mulela where young small enterprises business people progressed so well in their business and people started accusing them of being Satanists. Eventually, they were targeted for this illegal practice and they were victims. Their goods and properties were looted and, as we speak, these people have since shifted from that area to Luanshya.

Madam Speaker, this is a very bad practice and I urge the Government to stop it by all means.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to bring to attention some of the things that are happening in the countryside, which are purely illegal and deprive some people of their freedom, as I have stated in my debate.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Siavonga, you wanted to raise a point of order?

Mr Mulunda (Siavonga): Madam Speaker, it has been withdrawn.

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this non-controversial Motion of Adjournment, which has been moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan.

Madam Speaker, of course, the Motion is just trying to urge the Government to take keen interest in this act, which borders on criminality, so that our people are protected. Abeit the hon. Member knows very well, and that is why he is not suggesting introduction of new laws, that there are adequate laws which can be used to prosecute perpetuators of such acts.

Madam Speaker, issues of witchcraft are very difficult to debate because they come from what common men would say intangible science, things that you cannot really touch or prove. There are no systems of proving them. That is the reason they are quite difficult to actually debate. However, I will say a few things for us to appreciate. I support what the hon. Member is actually suggesting. Sometimes, the lapse is on our law enforcement agencies, which probably do not do enough to sensitise the public.

Madam Speaker, I propose an approach of sensitising communities so that they move from that practice to something civilised and understand that death is a natural thing that can happen to anyone.

Madam Speaker, of course, we are not allowed to debate ourselves, but I would like to declare interest. Issues of witchcraft are a choice. I just hear about it, and debating about myself, I am as clean as a whistle. I have never known what witchcraft practice is all about.

Rev. Katuta: Question!

Mr Kambita: Threats have been issued, but I do not seem to see, really, the value in the so called practise of witchcraft. You can imagine how many enemies hon. Members of Parliament have down in constituencies, but here we are, and still alive. We keep coming here. I am doing my second term and I am as clean as a whistle.

Madam Speaker, that is why I would like to move this point and say that this has more to do with cultural upbringing. A lot of ignorance in our villages has caused such practices. However, as I suggested, I will dwell more, in my debate, on the solution to this. It is quite rampant, especially between Chingola and Solwezi, where that man in a checkered jacket comes from (pointing at Hon. Katakwe).


Hon. Kambita: The Lamba’s are my cousins, the hon. Minister for the Copperbelt knows. They are very good at these things. However, I forgive them for whatever they practise because I am as clean as a whistle and I do not believe in it. It is so rampant there around and cases keep being reported at the police and perpetuators also get arrested. However, even when they get arrested, tried and convicted of murder because they killed someone, we do not seem to be solving the problem. The practice still keeps being perpetuated. That is where the problem is. So, now, this boils down to the point I was trying to make that sensitisation would do more.

Madam Speaker, if there are any development organisations that have finances to put into an activity which would help humanity, this is the one; the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as you call them. I call them development organisations because they help Governments towards development.

Madam Speaker, this is one avenue through which funds can be channelled to put up people who are trained to counsel and sensitise people in villages about this practise. There are a lot of mysteries and beliefs around witchcraft because of where we are coming from and also the levels of education. It is unfortunate that even educated people sometimes get involved in believing these things. However, here I am attesting to the fact that even if I do not know anything of those things, they exist, I know. However, it depends, really, on how much belief you put into that. That is the reason this practise is going on.

Madam Speaker, I implore the police to partner with NGOs and come up with people who can bring proposals on how to rollout sensitisation programmes, especially in areas where this act is happening rampantly, like the one I just cited for the man in the checkered shirt (pointing at Hon. Katakwe) around that area. It is so rampant. So, there, if you can plant people and come up with a programme where you sensitise them every now and then, the practise can actually reduce.

Madam Speaker, in Zambezi, we do not seem to have such problems. Maybe because there is clean man like me who comes from there and people are used to living in a civilised way, like the way I live. That is the reason it is so much rampant amongst these people in checkered shirts. I have seen another one looking straight at me opposite me.

Madam Speaker, I thought of contributing towards this Motion in this fashion to emphasise the point of sensitisation. This sensitisation cannot be done without resources. Of course, the Government has limited resources. The police have a department for sensitisation. We used to see programmes like the Police and the Community.

Madam Speaker, NGOs and other supporting partners can come up with initiatives and projects. They can come up with concept notes that can be developed into projects which can be financed. They can sensitise people in those areas which are identified to be the most affected and that would do good to actually reduce on this very cruel act.

Madam Speaker, I have seen victims. Some people get killed without trial. That is the bad part of it; it cannot be proved. It is hearsay. Those who, maybe, are involved in witchcraft are the ones who see these things and say yes, it is true that this is the man who did this. However, for us who are as clean as a whistle, we do not know. We just depend on what the law provides. If we have to depend on what the law provides, sensitisation is the way to go.

Madam Speaker, I thought of contributing to this Motion in this civil way.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The only problem is that as you are pointing at others, three fingers are pointing at you.


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

Madam Speaker, I do not support this Motion because it is like a death penalty. If someone comes to my house and kills my daughter or son, and then you say that he cannot be penalised or sentenced to death because he has a right to live, what about my daughter or son, who has been  killed? Does she not have the right to life? It is difficult to prove that people are using charms but if they are caught using the same charms that they are using, where is the problem?


Mr Chala: Let them be dealt with so that they stop what they are doing. That will be the punishment that they will get. You cannot have mercy on such people. It will be very unfair for some of us who are very innocent, who are being victimised in the night, if those people are not punished. If such a person comes and I catch him, surely, can I say that he has the right to life? What of the people who have been killed? Do they not have the right to life? No!

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I do not support this Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Madam Speaker, I do not even know what the Government is supposed to do with intangibles. This is about intangible issues. I remember in the last sitting, some hon. Minister wanted to introduce at the University of Zambia (UNZA), intangible studies, so that there could be professors and degree holders in intangible studies. Even if we urge the Government to address this issue, what can it do with a coffin that is moving on its own?


Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, I heard that a coffin was moving and chasing people in my constituency. What was the Government supposed to do? Who was moving that coffin? What was the police supposed to do in that case?

Madam Speaker, this thing of intangibles, let it be dealt with by intangibles, just like the hon. Member for Chipili said. Let the intangibles continue with the intangibles. In case people doubt that the intangibles are not there, there is a black book called the “Holy Bible” which prescribes that outside there, there are witches and wizards. If you say that there are no witches, that means you are saying that what that book says is not the truth. So, if those issues of intangibles really exist, let the witches and witch finders deal with them, themselves. As for us, we have nothing to do with such because we are baptised and do not deal with such things here in this Parliament.

Madam Speaker, to shorten the debate, let me say that my brother just wanted to show the people that we can talk and debate here. He also knows that this is about intangibles. Maybe, he has also joined those who deal with intangibles.


Mr Jamba: To say the least, Madam Speaker, let us forget about this –


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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr J. Chibuye: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I rise on a serious point of order premised on Standing Order No. 65, which states that we must be factual.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to accuse me, or to insinuate that I have …


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, anyway, for purposes of guidance –

Mr J. Chibuye: … joined those who deal with the intangibles or maybe, in short, I also fly at night?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, that is the problem of Motions of this nature. It is not even a Motion by the way; it is just an item for debate on the Adjournment Motion. Hon. Members should refer to Standing Order No. 30 because this is where this procedure is provided for. So, it is simply an opportunity for the originator of this Motion on adjournment to express his or her views on the subject, like the hon. Member for Roan has done.

The other hon. Members are also debating to express their views on the matter. So, it is not a Motion and that is why it is not even seconded. So, hon. Members should refrain from using the phrases “I support the Motion” or “I do not support the Motion.” It is just the freedom to debate, to test your debating skills on a matter which does not …

Hon. Member: Exist!


Madam Speaker …which is bordering on witchcraft.

You may proceed, hon. Member for Mwembezhi.

Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, as I wind down, I wish to state that in our debate at Parliament here, we debate facts which can be proven. Who, surely, can prove an  intangible and urge the Government to do something about it? Even the Government will fail to prove it. The Government will have to give salaries to witch finders to find what? It will do so to find who practices witchcraft and to find who moved a coffin from one place to another.


Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, this is a very serious issue which should be thrown away in terms of discussing here. Otherwise, even the devil can come and be entrenched in this House and corrupt it.

Madam Speaker, I do not support this. Anyway, it is just a debate.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Southern Province (Mr Mweetwa): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the occasion to add my voice to the debate on the Floor of this House.

Madam Speaker, I must begin by thanking the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan for bringing this discourse to this House. Contrary to assertions that this is a joking matter, this is a very serious and important matter. The New Dawn Administration is on a trajectory in its governance to ensure inclusiveness and leaving no one behind. We are talking about societal issues at the grassroot. When you bring a Motion on a matter of this nature, one which ordinarily cannot be brought through a ministerial statement, the people on the ground celebrate because the House is now talking about their issue since this is their House.

Madam Speaker, for us who are hon. Members of Parliament for rural constituencies, I can say that the issue that the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan has brought is a very serious matter. It does not even need us to laugh around. It is extremely serious. The only challenge is that people at the grassroot do not know how to bring the issues that plague them to the Floor of the people’s House. Congratulations, hon. Member of Parament for Roan, for bringing this very rare debate on the Floor of the House. I have been here for twelve years now and this is the first time there is such a debate, which is anchored on true life at the grassroot.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinazongwe and the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi will agree with me that right now in the Southern Province, we are struggling to deal with issues of this nature. Many people are being killed in an extrajudicial manner.

Madam Speaker, you may agree that Zambia promulgates a duality of law; it respects statutory law and also customary law. Customary law is respected and applies to the extent that it is not repugnant. As things stand now, in this country, we cannot say let us leave these things to the wind. Let things flow on their own. We cannot debate this issue on the Floor of the House. What issues do you want to debate if you cannot debate the lives of the people? Many people in the Southern Province are being killed. Right now, the Southern Province is on a transition. The number one criminal activity that used to happen in the Southern Province was cattle rustling and the second one was adultery.


Mr Mweetwa: We now have a new criminal offence which is number one and it has overtaken these two traditional offences, and this is extra judicial killings because a coffin went in the direction of someone and that someone has to be killed. Now, imagine that as a Member of Parliament, your competitor sponsors …


Mr Mweetwa:… these traditional scientists –

Hon. Member: Witchdoctors.

Mr Mweetwa: Do not even call them witchdoctors, they are traditional scientists. You sponsor a tradition scientist to send a coffin, for instance, in the direction of Hon. Katuta…


Mr Mweetwa: … and she is killed, especially that Chienge is the only known constituency in this country where there are traditional computers.


Mr Mweetwa: Madam Speaker, how shall it be that we must begin losing life needlessly like that? This Motion is very important, and I am using the word Motion in inverted commas because we are debating. This discussion should be encouraged. We need more discussions like this and from here, – I exchanged notes with the hon. Minister for Copperbelt Province, and he said this problem is also in Lufwanyama, and we have agreed to confront the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development in charge of the chiefs and issues to do with witchcraft. This issue should be looked at seriously, and this is not a joking matter. The only difference between this matter and going to steal someone’s phone or going to shoot someone using a gun, is that using a gun is properly legislated and you get arrested and charged for murder. However, when a coffin goes in the direction of Hon. Kamondo, …


Mr Mweetwa: … there is no proper legislation and life is still lost in the same manner as if someone was shot with a gun.

Madam Speaker, time has come for us in this House to begin to appreciate that we are Africans and that as Africans, there are certain repugnant practices that impact upon the lives of the people and, therefore, we must confront those challenges now. Not joking and laughing around, no. This House is a people’s House. The people who are being killed are the people who voted for us. It is time we, in this House, brought these grassroots based issues to the fore of our debate so that the people who voted for us can associate this House with their challenges, and not always talking about inflation and the cost of living, things that people do not even understand.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving the people of Solwezi East an opportunity to add a voice on this debate, especially that Hon. Kambita was busy pointing at me, that this kind of concept happens in the area where I come from.

Madam Speaker,indeed, I should confess that this is a serious matter in the Lambaland as well as the Kaonde land. To that effect, indeed, in certain jurisdictions like in science or physics, we have what we call anti-matter. Matter is something that exists, occupies space and has what we call atoms and so on and so forth, but anti-matter is something that cannot occupy space. In other jurisdictions, they say ufos like we read in history about the Bermuda triangle or something supernaturally happening. Indeed, even in the Lamba-Kaonde land, there is such superstition, not even superstition, but it is really true.

Madam Speaker, let me give an example of what happened in one of the chiefdoms in the southern part bordering with Lufwanyama. Last year, a family suspected another of bewitching and killing a person. It played the magic and carried the coffin and then the coffin returned, and the person was not buried. The coffin can even go around the village for two days looking for the perpetrator of such kind of a vice until that person is beaten. Actually, these victims even confessed that they killed somebody.

Hon. Member: Confessing out of fear.

Mr Katakwe: Not really out of fear, but truly confessing. That also happened in the northern part or another chiefdom. So, kikondo or the moving of coffins has actually led to the people in Lamba land and Kaonde land being backwards in terms of economic development. When the concept of kikondo or a coffin returns in an identified village, people shun such villages and they run away. This happened in our area and many people ran away. So, it will be difficult to take development closer to the people using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), or build a school because people ran away. So, really, this practice is detrimental to the nation.

Madam Speaker, going forward, we need to see the Government partnering with the traditional leaders, the chiefs, especially where this is happening. I can cite examples, but I will not name the chiefs. The Government can come in, like my brother said, and can sensitise the chiefs on the negative effect of this concept or vice because it deters development. So, when this is inculcated in the chiefs where this practice occurs, then perhaps, the vice can stop happening. Of course ,some chiefs made an effort to sensitise people and they punished people who practice that. To some extent, it has lessened and it occurs once, twice or three times in a year. However, the Government can help by working with the traditional chiefs. Not only that, it can also partner with the clergy or the Church, because Zambia is a Christian nation. So, if it works with the Church and sensitizes the people, the practice can actually lessen. In addition, there is a need for police presence. For instance, this has been happening in the southern part in Mapunga and Mujimanzovu wards, but there is no presence of the police or police post in these areas, where there is the population of over 6,000 people. When this happens, we depend on the police from Solwezi Central and with the terrain that is so bad, by the time they get there, they will find that the person has been killed.

Madam Speaker, we, therefore, call on the Government to enhance the police presence, especially in my constituency, Solwezi East in Mushindamo District. We need to have a police post in the southern part and a police station in the middle section where we have the St. Dorothy area. There is also a need for a police post in the Kipushi Border area because there is no presence of police there. The terrain is bad and there are no vehicles for the police. We have to depend on Solwezi District. So, there are all these kinds of things.

Madam Speaker, indeed, this is a very important and serious matter that deserves to be considered with the seriousness that it deserves. I think I have expressed my views on this matter. We have seen people being killed, villages being shunned and, in the end,, there is no development going on. So, through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and the Department of Chiefs Affairs, we can actually help, especially the people in Lamba and Kaonde land. I see the hon. Minister for the Copperbelt Province nodding his head because he is Lamba and we see these things happening.

Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this chance to just add my voice to this discussion.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Speaker: There are two hon. Members who have indicated, but in view of time, I will just give them two minutes each, starting with the hon. Member for Kafulafuta. So, you have two minutes because we are running out of time.

Mr Mulebwa (Kafulafuta): Madam Speaker, I think in a nutshell, we cannot run away from these facts, like the hon. Minister for the Southern Province put it. The problem with this is that when people engage in such vices, they end up committing serious crimes. When somebody dies or is killed after this, the law will not be lenient on them because they were annoyed after losing a loved one or anything like that. When someone commits murder, it is murder.

Madam, the only thing I see is where one has to prove that this is the person who killed their uncle or some relative. That is where the problem comes in. Otherwise, the whole matter is real, but as I have already said, this matter becomes very difficult to prove because killing somebody is definitely a criminal offence, which on the balance of probability is cause for evidence beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt. So, that becomes a problem when someone is accused of having killed somebody and so on and so forth.

Madam Speaker, otherwise, it is something that I think we cannot ignore. We need people to be sensitised about this issue. In the past few years, we had a similar problem with people who were grabbing property from widows or widowers and so on and so forth. However, I think today, this vice has kind of come down. In this regard, I think we can do the same to try and educate our society, so that we can learn to live in peace. This is because once you have such vices, villages are broken and people begin to live in disunity. So, I think we have something that we need to work on and that is to sensitise our people.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: We would have loved to hear from the hon. Member for Chienge, but the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development has indicated. So, I will call on the hon. Minister to debate.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Madam Speaker, from the Government’s side of things, I would like to say that it is wrong to trivialise such a debate. It is wrong to casualise such a debate, which debate is aiming at curing an ill. They say he who feels it, knows it. It does not matter who you are, but imagine for a second, even where you are sitting, Madam, a coffin starts approaching your House mounted on pallbearers.


Mr Nkombo: This can happen to anyone and, therefore, it must be nipped in the bud. It must be stopped. Therefore, I congratulate my brother and friend for bringing this matter which squarely affects our people. Mob psychology is the result of this debate that the hon. Colleague has brought. Is mob psychology permitted? Is instant justice, which is a result of this debate that he has brought, something that we would like to condone here?

Mr J. Chibuye: No!

Mr Nkombo: It all begins from sad endings, such as a funeral. So, people connive in a corner and say, “So, when we carry this casket, we will say it is dragging us.”

Madam, the forces of velocity cannot prove that science that a coffin can be directing people to your house. Just stop for a minute and imagine you are seated with your wife and children, then a coffin is coming. It is not going to the graveyard, but coming towards your house. You would run out of your skin.

Madam Speaker, this is barbaric and it should never be tolerated. It is not about the intangible. It is about the ramifications of ignoring the intangible. They are too ghastly to contemplate. In the constituency that I represent – by the way, it was not Mazabuka, Sir (looking at Hon. Chibuye). It was in Chikankata where a coffin crossed the constituency and left to go to another constituency. It went to another constituency to look for the killer.


Mr Nkombo: When people were now agitated, they crossed back to the constituency to destroy a police station. Emotions are let loose because one wants to ignore the law.

Madam Speaker, there is so much that can be said about this Motion, but I am cognisant of the time. Therefore, I congratulate all the hon. Members who have stuck around to debate this matter, which is not a joke. Wait until a coffin starts approaching your house.


Mr Nkombo: I congratulate the hon. Members who are still seated here at three minutes to 2000 hours. We have to go home. I congratulate Hon. Joel Chibuye and those who have debated for and against this Motion. This is not a fun or joking matter. It is a serious matter because people have gone 6 ft deep as a result of misconduct. It is adventure of misadventure where people now just agree in a corner and say, “We are now going to Hon. Nyirenda’s home” and they go in full swing.

Madam, when you leave the coffin on its own, it drops because of the issue of gravity. Why would the coffin not work on its own? Then we would start believing. There will be pallbearers and they will be struggling foolishly and fooling people that it is taking them in a particular direction and they do not know where they are going. Meantime, they have connived and they know that they are going to Hon. Mtayachalo’s house because they want to eliminate him.


Mr Nkombo: Unfortunately, Madam Speaker, the saddest part about this practice is that it targets the elderly in society; those who deserve to live happily into the end of their life. Most often, it targets the elderly poor vulnerable people who cannot defend themselves.

Therefore, the issue about this debate is about the ramifications of what sounds like satire or just a joking matter. People go to serve life sentences as a result of low thinking capacity or mob psychology. People would be saying, “Tuleyeni, tuleyeni”, which means let us go, let us go. At the end of it all, they end up in jail. We can circumvent that as the Government by putting in place stringent measures, so that whoever is seen aiding a coffin, must be arrested there and then before they get to their destination.

Madam Speaker, I think you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: I hope we will be able to sleep tonight.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Looking at the time, I interrupt the proceedings and the subject for debate lapses.


The House adjourned at 1959 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 17th November, 2022.