Friday, 25th November, 2022

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        Friday, 25thNovember, 2022

The House met at 0900hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, let me give the House an indication of the business it will consider next week.

Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, 29th November, 2022, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 54 – Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development;
  2. Head 62 – Ministry of Energy; and
  3. Head 66 – Ministry of Technology and Science.

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 30thNovember, 2022, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer. Then the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion entitled, “Assist Small Scale Farmers to Export Maize” to be moved by Mr Mtayachalo, hon. Member of Parliament for Chama North Parliamentary Constituency. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 76 – Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts; and
  2. Head 68 – Ministry of Tourism.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 1st December, 2022, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer. Thereafter, the House will considerthe presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 77 – Ministry of Defence; and
  2. Head 89 – Ministry of Agriculture.

Madam Speaker, on Friday, 2nd December, 2022, the Business of the House will start with The Vice-President’s Question Time. Thereafter, the House will deal with Questions for Oral Answer. The House will then consider the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 80 – Ministry of Education;
  2. Head 85 – Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources; and
  3. Head 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.

I thank you,Madam Speaker.




Ms Phiri (Milanzi): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Milanzi an opportunity to raise a matter of public importance.

Madam Speaker, the matter that I am raising is directed at the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. I could have raised this matter via Zoom on Wednesday, but I was not given an opportunity, as I was out in the constituency.


Ms Phiri: What are you saying? This is serious.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Milanzi, do you want to raise a matter of urgent public importance or not? Just go straight to the point. Do not engage other hon. Members. Just raise your matter of urgent public importance and go straight to the issue.

You may proceed.

Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, I am raising this matter with a heavy heart. An innocent man’s life was taken away. It was cut short by unknown people in Kamwaza Village of Milanzi Constituency, under Kapangulula Ward.This incident took place about a month ago. Some people, who were suspected to be involved in this murder case, were arrested.

Madam Speaker, last week, the suspected murderers who were in police custody were released. To the shock –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Sorry to interrupt, but does this relate to the issue in Katete?

Ms Phiri: Yes, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Okay, you can resume your seat. If it is in relation to the events in Katete, the hon. Minister will issue a ministerial statement this morning. So, you can hold onto your question and then ask it when the hon. Minister delivers his statement.




Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, by way of guidance, as we ask these questions, please, let us be precise and go straight to the point. Let us not debate. Our Standing Orders are very clear about the manner in which questions are supposed to be asked. If we debate, then we will not have a good number of hon. Members asking questions. We need to give an opportunity to the all the hon. Members. So, please, hon. Members, be guided accordingly.

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, Zambia is a constitutional democracy and in a constitutional democracy, the authority of the ruling elite is limited by legal and institutional means. This means that individuals running these institutions should be individuals of impeccable repute and non-partisan.

Madam Speaker, in the recent past, the President of this republic has appointed hardcore United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres to run government institutions.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Mundubile: Madam, institutions like the Judicial Complaints Commission (JCC) and Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) are now run by hardcore UPND cadres.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mundubile: Madam, does the President warn himself against future repercussions when he makes these appointments?

The Vice-President(Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I am thankful for the question that the Leader of the Opposition and hon. Member of Parliament for Mporokoso has asked. He talked of constitutional democracy and asked whether the President warns himself when making appointments.

Madam Speaker, yes, the President is extremely careful and he does understand. Now, even before I come to the appointment of people the hon. Member is calling ‘hardcore’, I must say that it is very difficult for me to tell when he says ‘hardcore’ because I do not know the position of the person he may be referring to in my party. What is his position in my party? So, maybe the hon. Member knows something which I do not. You can only call me ‘hardcore’ because I am Vice-President of my party.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, we were elected by 2.8 million people.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, that may include so many people and I do even know whether the person the hon. Member is referring to is actually a member of the United Party for National Development (UPND). This party really wants to follow through the Constitution and every Zambian, with the right qualification, has a right to be appointed.

Madam Speaker, we are different from our hon. Colleagues on your left, particularly from the Patriotic Front (PF), whom, and I have said this before, in their own constitution properly put –


The Vice-President: Let us be serious and I am looking at the Leader of the Opposition.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Last time I said that unless they have amended their constitution, their constitution in Article 3 –

Mr Kampyongointerjected.

The Vice-President: You amended?

Mr Mundubile: Yes!

Hon. UPND Members: No!


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, they amended it probably after they lost. The one I had access to talked of people to be appointed in positions needing to be –

Mr Mabeta: PF!

Mr Michelo: Hardcore!

The Vice-President: Yes, that came from there.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, let us allow Her Honour the Vice-President to answer the question. You asked the question and she is answering. So, let us give her an opportunity. Let us not interject.

May Her Honour the Vice-President continue.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, there is that article in their constitution. That is not our constitution. For us, we have spoken of people practicing professionalism. Professionalism means a person is qualified to sit in that position. I did not hear the names of whomever the hon. Member is referring to but they are also Zambians and they may even be better placed because they know something about that institution.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Can we allow the people of Zambia to be in positions without using lenses that are not even real. I do not want to use certain wrong words here, but whatever lenses the hon. Member is using, those people are also Zambians and deserve to be appointed. I do not know the positions they hold in my party. As far as I know, they are not in my National Management Committee (NMC). They are not even in the provincial structures. So, what is the hon. Member using to arrive at that conclusion?

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, somewhere it is written that, ‘In my father’s kingdom, there are marketeer boosters, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).’

Madam Speaker, is it true that now the men and women in uniform who go for peacekeeping will be getting 100 per cent of their allowances for the first time, which was never done before?


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, time is running. So, if we make noise, we will lose time.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mitete for that question. He started with Marketeers Booster Loans, Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and so on and so forth. I am sure he is trying to bring out the issues that the Government has done. These are issues that affect our people on the ground positively.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: This is what he is trying to enlist here, but indeed, it is far beyond that. We cannot complete the list without talking about free education.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, we cannot really complete this list. It is too long compared to the time that this Government has been in office. This is why the people of Zambia are speaking out. You know, sometimes in here, we speak as if we are not on the ground. The people of Zambia spoke a month ago. Not even a full month ago. They spoke when we won almost all the by-elections. That was a language of the people on the ground.


Mr Kapyanga: Through violence!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, people must be embarrassed to even talk about violence. They are the architects of violence.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, we are working hard to ensure that that culture does not continue and it will not continue. That is a hangover from the previous regime.

Madam Speaker, yes, the hon. Member is right that the men and women in uniform who go for peacekeeping missions will get the 100 per cent allowance.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Madam Speaker, the price of mealie-meal on the market is high. It is as high as K170 per 25 kg bag of mealie-meal. We are aware that the Government has started selling maize to our neighbouring countries. When is the Government going to sell maize to the local millers so that it is produced and sold cheaply to Zambian citizens?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mkaika for that very important question. I think there are two things that I pick from his question. He is concerned about mealie-meal prices. I hope I do not misrepresent him in my understanding. However, when I read between the lines, I see that he is saying part of the solution would be the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) availing maize to the local millers. If I am not mistaken, I think there was a statement here that this would be done. There is maize that has to go to the millers, whether that would mitigate the price or not, I cannot tell at this moment, but that is going to happen.

Madam, I think we made a statement over the issue of selling maize to our neighbouring countries. We also said in this House that farming is a business and so, if there is any way a business person can get a better price for his/her produce, that would be encouraged. So, we have enough maize and we can sell to help our neighbours. So, that is also true.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Simushi (Sikongo): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for the opportunity to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question. My question is based on the fact that the Republican President has told us that he has two agendas for this country. That is; developing this country and uniting it. However, with regards to unity, we have seen that there are people who are trivialising that issue. My question to Her Honour the Vice-President is: Why does she think unity is so important that the President has made it an agenda item for his presidency for this country?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Sikongo for this question. He has said the two agenda items for the governance of this country under the current Republican President Mr Hakainde Hichilema, are unity and development. Why has the President prioritised unity?

Madam Speaker, unity is the bedrock of anything you want to do. It is the bedrock of development. So, the two items cannot run parallel to each other. One is built on the other. Unity is extremely important. It is known by everybody that when people do not work together, they cannot achieve what they want. When people are not agreed, they cannot achieve that which they want. I hope that the hon. Member for Kawambwa will agree with me. Utushalayene

Hon. Opposition Members:Twapuseneibukulo!

The Vice-President:Teshibeulya. Thank you.


Mr Chilangwa rose.


The Vice President: That means there is a need for unity. It is acknowledged that Zambia is a Christian nation. Sometimes, the rules we make become difficult for us, but we are a Christian Nation. So, I can cite the Bible because Christianity is anchored on the Bible. The Bible is very clear that where there is unity, there is a commanded blessing. If we truly get united, – I am using the word “truly” – we will achieve something. That is why in this House, concerns from our hon. Colleagues must be real and our answers must be real.


The Vice-President: I am talking about unity. I am saying we must be real and sincere.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: If we can achieve true unity, – However, that does not mean we will not differ. We will definitely have divergent views, but we must love one another. We must be united and there must be unity of purpose. When that happens, which the President has prioritised, we shall see Zambia go up. Even if you wish to rule after fifty years, you want to come and find, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I am being political. We want you, Mr president of the Patriotic Front (PF) and the other Mr president to find, …


The Vice-President: I hear one of them has dropped out. Were you in the ring? (pointing atDr Chilufya). I hear one of you has dropped out and another president has run away.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, what I am saying now is very serious. Those who want to come and rule this country want to come and rule a country that is stable and developing. This is what we want to do. We are very democratic. That is why we are saying there will be a day when we will move from here where we are. We are not blind to that. We just give the hon. Members on your left the years, but we are not blind to that fact. However, what the President wants is to make sure that by the time he leaves and by the time those who will come after him leave, the country will be truly one. It will have one agenda. We will talk about issues of development then and what we should do together. There will be true checks and balances from the other side without malice. That is what we want it, and that is the way the President is pushing.

So, Madam Speaker, that is the agenda; unity and development. If we achieve that, we would have done our work and the President will go home happy.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speakergave the Floor to Mr Ackleo Banda.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Order! Time is running out.

Mr Ackleo Banda (Vubwi): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving the good people of Vubwi this privilege to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ackleo Banda: Madam Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President is on record having said that works on the Chipata/Vubwi Road will commerce before the onset of rains. However, the people of Vubwi are wondering what the Government’s plan is. Which season did Her Honour the Vice-President mean? Did she mean the 2024/2025 Rainy Season or the 2022 Rainy Season, because the road is terrible corrugated?


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

I seem to be missing something.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, that makes the two of us, ...


The Vice-President: ...because I do not understand the excitement.


Rev Katuta:He is strong man!

Hon. Members:Ah!

The Vice-President:What is he?

Madam Speaker: Order hon. Members!

Any Members who is going to disrupt the proceedings and debate while seated will be excused and excluded from the House. Let this be a warning.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I think the hon. Member is right. If my memory serves me right, there was a time I responded to the issue he has raised because he said the road was in a very bad state. I stated then, that the road would be worked on to bring it to a point where it could be made passable for people, and not that those would be the final works. So, I pray that work has begun. Otherwise, I will find out for him because I made that statement here. However, it was not that we would do tar the road or a complete road, but that those charged with the responsibility would do some works on it to make it passable. I said that in this House, and so, I will follow that up for him.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, in 2012, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government encouraged …

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Sing’ombe: … constituencies and local authorities to purchase earth moving equipment from a company called Techmiya which, as a Government, it identified.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mr Sing’ombe: Many local authorities paid the company.

During the reign of the PF, we were told that there were investigations into the transactions. What shocked me was that local authorities run by leaders from the PF got their equipment and none of the United Party for National Development (UPND) local authorities received any equipment to date. May I know whether the Government will investigate this or when it will complete this investigation because people are still waiting for their money as they never received this equipment?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, regarding the arrangement that was made in 2012, I would definitely need a little more information, but when something is wrong, an investigation is important. I want to continue to say that investigation is not prosecution. It is just for finding out truths. Lawyers would say that they adduce evidence that there was something wrong. However, I really would not have full answers.

Madam, if there is anything that people are querying or if their money is not there, the Auditor- General’s Report for 2012 must be able to indicate. Investigations can then be carried out and we can see what really happened. However, a little bit more information would be needed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, earlier this year, Zambia embarked on a census. Today, our people in Lundazi, the youth who were engaged to do the work on behalf of the Government, have not received their payment to date. What is happening? The youth keep moving from my office to the District Commissioner’s (DC) office to find out when their payment is going to be made? What is delaying the payment?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the issue of people not being paid keeps coming up, even to my phone. I will just give a brief response and, hopefully, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning will come and give a comprehensive response.

Madam, most people have been paid, but there are two types of people who have not been paid. Those who have not surrendered their gadgets have not been paid. When they went into the field, they were given gadgets which they were supposed to bring back. If they have not taken those back, then the Government has not paid them.

Madam Speaker, then there is another problem I also learnt which has to do with account numbers; that when the Government deposits money into the account numbers that the census enumerators gave, the money bounces back. One would understand as most of them were young people just trying to have accounts opened. The hon. Minister will come and issue a ministerial statement, probably next week, to clarify this matter. These are the two areas of non-payment to people who participated in the census.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I was going to ask about the situation of people who saved under Ono Savings and Credit Association, but because today is a special day to commemorate the sixteen days of activism against gender-based violence, I would like to ask Her Honour the Vice-President what message she has for people who contemplate violence, in line with our spirit as a Christian nation.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I was not going to understand the Ono Savings and Credit Association thing, but I am happy she has asked about what the Government is going to do about people who contemplate violence.

Madam, this is not a matter for discussion. Laws are there to deal with such. Contemplating issues is in the heart, and so, it becomes difficult to know whether one is contemplating unless one starts talking and conniving. The Government may only come in when it finds out that information. However, wherever there is violence, it does not matter where it comes from; we have declared as a Government that we do not want it. The law and law enforcers must be on top of things so that such behaviour is curbed. If you know about the contemplation, you are better off nipping it in the bud. So, that is what we will do. The law will apply to everybody. There is no sacred cow.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Madam Speaker, Her Honour the Vice President of the Republic of Zambia, Madam Witika Mutale Kapembwa Nalumango …


Mr Chilangwa: … is a woman of so many caps. She is our Vice-President and also the Leader of Government Business in the House and the Vice-President of the United Party for National Development (UPND).


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, ask your question.

Mr Chilangwa: Madam Speaker, I thank her Honour the Vice-President for the citation that she earlier on alluded to. I thank her very much for that because it is also written that, “therefore, rid yourselves of all malice or deceit, hypocrisy, envy and slander of every kind.” Why does Her Honour the Vice-President look so troubled when answering questions? She looks extremely troubled. Is it because she has realised that we are only three years, five months and twenty-one days to the dissolution of Parliament or it is because of the many unfulfilled promises? Why is she so troubled?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, this is a loaded question and I will offload it.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, firstly, I want to clear the hon. Member for Kawambwa’s utterances. I appreciate that he knows most of my names, except for one.

Hon. Member: Kapembwa!

The Vice-President: I am Kapembwa, but I am not Witika. I am Witner.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: So, I am W.K. Mutale Nalumango. It is my decision to be a Nalumango. The other three are given names.

Madam, do I look troubled? It is possible, but I cannot tell how he sees me because he is the one seeing trouble.I do not feel troubled. Maybe,I am a bit tensed because I do not know what questions the hon. Member is going to ask me. It is normal for me to worry especially, if I do not know whether I will have the answers to the questions they will ask me. That does not mean I am troubled my dear. I am very happy. When the hon. Member asks a loaded question such as this one, I even feel good because he has been allowed by Madam Speaker,to do so. I am not worried about the three years and five months the hon. Member is talking about. Not at all. In fact, I am very happy.

Madam Speaker, this week, the hon. Member was crying in this House that we are saying that we are now ganging up for Kawambwa. We are coming to Kawambwa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Chilangwa:Mukose!

The Vice-President: That is true. Tule kosamana. That is what it is. It is politics. There is no need for us to start worrying about the three years and five months. Our concern should be on whether we are delivering to the people of Zambia or not. I am being genuine here.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: To me, delivery to the people of Zambia is the issue.  I wish I could say things about myself but I will respond to the question that the hon. Member has asked. This Government is not going to spend sleepless nights over the three years and five months which it already knows will come. Why should people worry about an inevitable thing? Our concern as the Government is on whether the people of Kawambwa are getting the benefit of our policies or not. So, for the hon. Member to say that we have not fulfilled our policies, I think he maybe, living in another world.

Madam Speaker, we have done far much more than we promised and this is why the people of Zambia are speaking. Please, let us bring real issues for the Zambians to say, “Apo balanda.” When the hon. Member says that we are failing, the people are listening and they will not agree with him because they are seeing what this Government is doing.  The only way people speak is by the vote and surely, by saying that, the hon. Member is campaigning for me because the people are seeing what this Government is doing. They have seen the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and what the hon. Member is doing with it, that is if he is doing the right thing. It is showing. Ni Boma! That CDF is not from the hon. Member. It is a policy of the Government.

Madam Speaker, maybe, my generation was the last one that benefited from free education policy. It is therefore, good that now, people can have free education that they have not known for generations. When they see a blind woman’s daughter going to school, they should not take it lightly just because for them, they have been able to send their families to school. They should also think of a person in the village, in Mundubile’s village, oh sorry, the hon. Leader of the Opposition.


The Vice-President: People are feeling it. We have employed people who graduated five to ten years ago. These things are speaking for themselves. My dear, yes, we should take away all the issues of malice, deception and lies. We can do clean politics. We know that there are certain things that they can encourage us to do. It is not everything. We are not saying that we are doing everything on our own. When there is malice, we will go nowhere as a country. I know we can do politics but let us do it well.

Madam Speaker, we will not allow all the citations the hon. Member has given. As humans in a Christian nation, let us get rid of all those things that bring division and confusion in our land. Let us pray that the Lord will help us.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwambaziwas not available.

Madam Speaker: It looks like he is not here. I wanted to give the Independents an opportunity.

Mr Simuzingili (Gwembe): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving this opportunity to the good people of Gwembe to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question.

Madam Speaker, does the Government have any intentions or plans to do a comprehensive qualifications audit in this nation to get rid of fake and fraudulent qualifications?

Madam Speaker, it is embarrassing that some of the seats in this Parliament have been nullified on account of fake qualifications. Some people have gained employment on account of fake qualifications. Some people have gained admission to colleges and universities on account of fake qualifications. What is the effect of poor performance on the economy, taking into account the people who are not qualified?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member for Gwembe for that question. The hon. Member wants to know whether the Government has any plans to put in place a comprehensive qualifications audit, and whether the result of people going into colleges or work places with fake qualifications is affecting our economic performance. I think that is the concern.

Madam Speaker, I thought we had the Zambia Qualifications Authority (ZAQA), which verifies results. I thought that was in place. When things are done in a corrupt manner, it may not be about the authority. It is those who are in the places where they can employ or admit people into colleges. I think that is where vigilance should be. I thought now, people presented their qualifications for verification. I thought that was the measure that the Government had put in place.

However, the hon. Member also mentioned the nullification of seats. If an hon. Member’s seat is nullified, it means that that hon. Member presented wrong documents. That case cannot bounce back to ZAQA. It is the fault of those who had the responsibility of receiving those documents because they should only accept verified qualifications. So, such cases will be referred back to institutions that were responsible for receiving documents for either employment or elections. They should insist on making sure that those documents are verified because we have ZAQA that helps to verify qualifications. However, if there is anything that is supposed to be done, if there are gaps, the Government can look at that. My response is that it wickedness to present what is wrong. That wickedness is amongst us. People are wicked. We should not do that.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr J. E. Banda(Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving the good people of Petauke Central this opportunity to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question.

Your Honour the Vice-President, greetings from the good people of Petauke –


Mr J. E. Banda: Hello! I was voted for this, so you keep quiet.


Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, in Petauke, farmers are asking for the New Dawn Government’s intervention because they are receiving inputs through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) at a very slow rate. In a day, only ten farmers receive farm inputs. Currently, our farmers are blessed with the rainfall every day.  This planting season, we may not be able to carter for the more than 20,000 farmers if only ten farmers are receiving farm inputs per day.

Madam Speaker, we are therefore, asking that maybe, these farmers can be divided into groups. I think if we do that, the Government will be able to distribute farm inputs to all the farmers. Madam Speaker, is the Government thinking of distributing these farm inputs to the farmers in groups, taking into consideration the time that is remaining for farmers to plant?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, thank you for the greetings from the good people of Petauke Central.

Madam Speaker, the concern of the hon. Member is that the distribution of fertiliser is too slow and that in Petauke, only ten farmers are getting fertiliser per day, when there are more than 20,000 farmers who are supposed to receive these inputs.  When the hon. Member compares these figures, he thinks it will take too long.What I do not know is how widespread this situation of ten people per day is. If it is in Petauke and a few other places, I think it can be looked at. However, I think collecting inputs together had its own issues because some real beneficiaries did not actually receive the inputs. So, it is important that this is looked at and see how they can quicken the process. How slow can it be that only ten people receive fertiliser the whole day of eight working hours? There is something wrong there and I call upon the Ministry of Agriculture to follow up on Petauke to see what can be done to improve that matter. I call upon the hon. Minister and the ministry officials to ensure that they go to Petauke and bring us a report.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, today, the junior economists have a theory they usually refer to as “Nalumangonomics Economic Theory,” meaning it must go up in order for it to come down.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture, two weeks ago, announced that the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) will be able to supply 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser that it was given to produce in seven days’ time. As at yesterday, it had managed to supply just 20,000 metric tonnes and this contract began running in May 2022. If from May to yesterday it managed to supply only 20,000 metric tonnes, are you seeing it delivering the remaining 30,000 metric tonnes in the remaining five days?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Pambashe has brought in a very serious concern, except I will not accept that standing here, unless he has evidence that Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) started producing and distributing fertiliser under the contract in May. I think that the NCZ signed the contract later than May. We talked about the signing of the fertiliser contract here and that is when the Government engaged it to deliver the fertiliser. I also remember that the hon. Minister said that the NCZ would subcontract. So, we will follow up the matter and I cannot say much right now. If that is the speed, indeed, we would have questions, but because it had the right to subcontract, we need to follow up and see what its subcontractors have done. If we do not give people fertiliser in time, that will not be good for all of us. So, I will follow it up and see who it subcontracted and what has happened.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, we were once ruled by a regime which caused the people in Kalabo fail to attend school and their children used to play football in the villages during the time they were supposed to go to school. I want to get a comment from Her Honour the Vice-President and I want her to contrast and compare. We now have a Government which has enabled the children in Kalabo to go to school for free and not to play football in the villages. Given a chance to choose, which Government would Her Honour the Vice-President …


Mr Miyutu: … choose, of the two, to govern this country forever?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I think today, the hon. Member has asked a very serious question …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … and I do not feel troubled, as somebody said I am feeling. This question has helped me feel very good because it is simple and straightforward. Which Government would I choose between a Government that did not provide education to the people, not even free education, and the children would just play football probably made of some grass, ichimpombwa,and a Government which has not only provided education but free education? Now, let me compare and contrast.

Madam Speaker, the entire House here and the people out there are seeing the importance of education, and that education is a necessity. So, surely, which Government would I choose? I would choose the Government that has provided education, and free education for that matter, so that it can rule in perpetuity.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to ask my maiden question during the Vice-President’s Question Time.

Madam Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President remembers that a few weeks ago, we had the census, and enumerators were given bicycles to go around our wards. Those bicycles are in a very good state and before they start going missing from the warehouses where they are, does she not see that it is important for us to release these bicycles to the Ward Development Committees (WDCs) and zone leaders? I know that at one time, she was an hon. Member of Parliament for a rural constituency and she understands that some people are in far areas and they are supposed to have meetings for the local community to implement the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). What is happening now is that there are very few people who are meeting, maybe, three or four, and they are making decisions, and people from other areas are not contributing.

Madam Speaker, does Her Honour the Vice-President not think it is important for us to release these bicycles to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development so that they can be given to the WDCs?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I take this question as very important to all of us. We have seen the Government leave things until they rot or are stolen. This concern is important and the Government is already thinking of how to redistribute the bicycles. I cannot say that they will go towards monitoring the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) even though that is important. We must enforce the follow up on the implementation of the CDF, but I cannot tell you that this is where they will go to. The Government is thinking through the issue and very soon, it will announce how this will be done.

I thank you, Madam.

Madam Speaker: Before we proceed to the next item, there is an indication from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to raise a point of order. What is the point of order, hon. Minister?

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order pursuant to Article 207, against the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge Constituency.

Madam Speaker, yesterday, we were treated to scurrilous and spurious statements which were contemptuous and attacked the persona of the hon. Madam Speaker and her deputies. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge addressed the press yesterday where she, in her statement, imputed that you are a United Party for National Development (UPND) cadre together with your presiding officers. Further, that this House has lost direction under your leadership. She made so many imputations and unverified innuendoes against you. The hon. Member, after making that statement, circulated it to the nation discrediting the august House that is presided over by you and of which she is a member.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge knows the procedures and I would like you to take judicial notice of the processes which a hon. Member should evoke if they are aggrieved with the decisions of this august House. She referred to so many, according to her, decisions which you have made which are biased because you are political cadre of the UPND and that you are biased in your rulings.

Madam Speaker, is she in order to attack your persona and the personas of the two presiding officers publicly to the detriment of this august House? Her statements have brought ridicule, contempt and odium in the eyes of the members of the public.

Madam Speaker, is she in order to make those statements? May you also take judicial notice of the decisions of this House pertaining to people who made similar comments over such matters.

Madam Speaker, the statement is in public domain. It has been circulated and I have a copy on my phone.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, let us allow the hon. Minister to conclude.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, it is an electric copy and that is why I have called on you to take judicial notice …

Mr Mulenga:Ci sunguico.

Mr Mwiimbu: … of facts that are in public domain.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, this fact is in public domain. Your office and officers have accessed and are aware of the spurious comments made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge Constituency. Is she in order to quietly sit in this House as if she has not offended this House?


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Minister of Home Affair and Internal Security relates to a matter that occurred outside the House. So, in terms of our Standing Orders, especially Standing Order 132, a complaint can be written to my office so that the issue can be attended to rather than been raised as a point of order.

So, hon. Minister, if a complaint can be written, it will receive the same attention even if it was not raised as a point of order. We will follow our Standing Orders in processing the complaint. That is my ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Pambashe, if you were in the House, you would have heard me advising hon. Members to not debate while seated. I had also given a warning that any hon. Member who was going to debate while seated would be excluded from the House. Please, do not be that example.




The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the violence that erupted at Joweni Village in Katete District on 9th November, 2022 around 1600 hours, leading to the injuring of nine police officers.

Madam Speaker, let me bring to your attention the background of the events that led to the violence. Investigations revealed that members of the public apprehended two suspects who were alleged to have been involved in the murder of a man only identified as Kusenseyo in Chieftainess Kamwaza area and handed them over to the Zambia Police Service. The suspects were later released on 14th November, 2022 due to the lack of evidence. This infuriated some members of Joweni Village who resorted to damaging property belonging to the headman whom they accused harbouring the two suspects and practicing witchcraft.

Madam Speaker, nine police officers were immediately dispatched to the village following a report of malicious damage to property. The damage included six houses in Chinzu Village belonging to the headman and two houses in Joweni Village belonging to the suspects. In addition, one Toyota Hilux motor vehicle belonging to the headman was damaged. 

Madam Speaker, as police officers were leaving the village around 1600 hours, an unruly mob blocked the road with logs and started pelting the officers with stones and other objects causing serious injuries to police officers. The police land cruiser vehicle registration No. ZP 2502B was also burnt in the process.

Madam Speaker, the House may note that of the nine officers who were admitted to the hospital, only one, whose condition is stable, is still admitted and out of danger while the other officers are recuperating from their homes.  

Madam Speaker, further, I inform the nation, through this august House, that the Zambia Police Service has apprehended twenty suspects in relation to the violence that erupted at Joweni Village in Katete District.

Madam Speaker, to maintain law and order in the district, the Zambia Police Service is implementing the following measures:

  1. additional police officers have been deployed in the area;
  2. enhancing sensitization on the need for the police and the community to co-exist in fighting crime;
  3. enhancing intelligence gathering in the area using existing structures; and
  4. collaborating with defence and other security wings to fight crime.

Madam Speaker, I thank the gallant police officers for restraining themselves from using maximum force on the villagers under very serious provocation. Officers had options, by law, to defend themselves in line with Section 24 of the Zambia Police Act Chapter 107 but they opted to restrain themselves.

Madam Speaker, if the police did not restrain themselves, there would have been a blood bath in this particular village. Fortunately, the officer who was commanding the police ordered them not to fire at the villagers. This is a very rare attribute of an officer who is under attack.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, may I take this opportunity to caution perpetrators of lawlessness and remind them that the Zambia Police Service will deal sternly with them and will not allow criminals to challenge the institution with impunity. We wish to remind all the citizens of the Republic of Zambia that police officers are not to be harassed or intimidated. Officers are there to serve the community and that damage to property, whether Government to private, is punishable by law.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

Ms Phiri (Milanzi): Madam Speaker, as much as I appreciate the statement by the hon. Minister on what is happening in Milanzi, I would want to first of all condemn the attack on the police, but also equally condemn the manner in which the police are handling the matter. A murder cannot be solved by violence, brutality and possibly murder. The police officers are brutalising innocent and peaceful people of Milanzi. One of the alleged murderers is at liberty and freely moving in Milanzi. The suspected murderer is leading the police to pick up innocent people. When did torture become part of police investigations? We cannot –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Milanzi, please, ask a question on a point of clarification. Do not debate. I know this is a matter that is affecting the members of your constituency, but please, ask a question on a point of clarification. What is your point of clarification?

Ms Phiri: I am well guided, Madam Speaker. Two wrongs do not make a right. Let me inform the hon. Minister that what incensed the people of Milanzi to attack the police is a murder that occurred a month ago and the suspected murderers are at liberty, they are moving freely in Milanzi. What are you doing to ensure that the suspected murderers are put behind bars?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I have listened to the emotional statement that has been delivered by the hon. Member of Parliament for Milanzi, which I appreciate. Let me briefly give a background to which she may not be aware. The hon. Member of Parliament must be aware that initially, this matter was treated as a road traffic accident. That was what was on the ground. When the police picked the body, they are the ones who decided and realised that this could not be a road traffic accident and they opened an investigation pertaining to murder. The police, working with members of the public, were informed of the two suspects who were taken to the police. When a person is picked as a suspect, investigations ensue. If the investigations do not come out with credible evidence, to lead to the prosecution of those who are alleged to have committed an offence, the police have an obligation to release the suspects. That is what happened.

Madam Speaker, the suspects were in police custody for one month whilst investigations were going on. Since there was no credible evidence that was being adduced by persons making the allegations, the police were duty bound to release the suspects. Immediately, the suspects were released, issues of witchcraft ensued and that is how even the headman became embroiled. It became an issue of witchcraft in the area. So, it is not the fault of the police. If there are no credible witnesses and evidence that is adduced to the police, the police cannot continue keeping a suspect in police cells. That is what happened.

I also want to confirm, Madam Speaker, that even now, if there is credible evidence that can be adduced by members of the public against these two suspects, the police will re-open the matter and re-arrest the suspects. However, as it is, there is no evidence. The issues of witchcraft are the ones which are predominant in the area and that is why even the headman is involved in this matter. His properties were damaged. It has nothing to do with the actual killing, but the witchcraft; saying that the witchcraft led to the death of the individual. However, we are open, as police, to further investigate this matter.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, in the event that the fault could have been with the police, maybe the manner and context in which they released those suspects, if that was the case, who should investigate the investigator, just in case? Is there an intention to have, let us say, a tribunal, an impartial body that should be able to investigate the matter on the side of the police officers in case they were the ones at fault?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as I indicated, there are investigations still going on. We have also instituted investigations pertaining to the violence that occurred in Katete. If we come up with credible evidence to show that there was murder that occurred and there are witnesses, we will re-open the case. If the officers errored, in the process of executing their duties, we will also take appropriate action. Members of the public or members of the family are also free to request for an inquest to establish the actual cause of death of the individual and then the police will take it up from there.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, I want to know how many suspects have been arrested. What criterion is the police using to arrest those who could have been in the unfortunate Katete incidence?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, twenty suspects were arrested and are in police custody. I will not indulge myself and go into the criterion that was used by the police to identify the people who were arrested. However, I have no doubt in my mind that the investigations are professional. It is not just the Police Service that is involved in this matter. We have invoked the services of other security wings to assist in the investigations.

Hon. Members may know, especially my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Milanzi, that this is an area which is security-unstable.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the police officers for the professionalism they exhibited towards the mob justice that occurred in Katete.

Madam Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to help me and the people of Zambia at large with a prediction had such a thing occurredin the reign of the Patriotic Front (PF). According to his prediction –


Mr Michelo: Madam Speaker, please, protect me from these green horns.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, as you ask questions, do not bring in controversial issues. Just seek a point of clarification.

Mr Michelo: Madam Speaker, if the PF was to come back miraculously in 2091,I would like the hon. Minister to predict how many lives would be lost. Can he predict what would happen to such people?

Madam Speaker: Some questions are so speculative.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I wish I was Nostradamus. I am not in a position to predict. However, I can confidently state that the state of mind of our Zambia Police has changed. Officers have learnt to comply with the professional guidelines that have been inculcated into them to ensure that every time they are confronted with such situations, they show restraint. That is their duty. The President of the Republic of Zambia, on several occasions, has given direction that we should not go back to the dark days where members of the armed forces would unleash gun fire on innocent citizens and they have complied. That should not be done.

Madam Speaker, at this juncture, I request members of the public to please co-operate with the Zambia Police Service and any other security wing. Whenever there is an issue, they should not take the law in their own hands. They should co-operate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that there is law and order in the country. I would not want to speculate and comment on what the PF would have done, no.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, let us desist from making running comments. The warning is still in place.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, sometimes, it happens that the tensions that the police have with communities affected by incidences, such as we are discussing, come out of the lack of intelligence reading to understand the mood. Could there have been a lack of intelligence with what happened in this situation? The police released suspects knowing very well that there was tension in the community which was eager to find a solution. The action of the police seemed to have escalated the anger in the community. Was there failure in intelligence on the part of the police that they failed to read the mood which could have led to the fracas that we are discussing now?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I would not state that there was a failure of intelligence on the part of the Zambia Police. In this incidence, the Zambia Police were responding to a report which was submitted by those affected, those individuals whose properties were destroyed, in the normal way that they respond when there is a complaint that is lodged. The police have to go and respond.

Madam Speaker, as I mentioned, this area of Kawaza is unique – I do not want to go into detail – because of its proximity to the border with Mozambique. Even as we speak, some of the suspects have crossed into Mozambique. That is a fact. So, I would not want to go into those details, but would state that the police were merely responding to a complaint that was raised pertaining to destruction of property.

Madam Speaker, may I also state that we will adhere to the advice the hon. Member has given to improve on our intelligence gathering when such situations occur.

Mr J. Chibuye(Roan): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for identifying the good people of Roan Constituency to add their voice on the topic on the Floor.

Madam Speaker, having served in the Zambia Police Service as a Romeo-Chali-India at the time, may I find out how prepared our officers are, especially considering the barbaric beatings that they received. In fact, I want to join the hon. Minister in commending our officers for, indeed, restraining themselves from using any force.

Madam Speaker, my question is: How prepared are our officers to respond to such eventualities considering the way they were beaten? Is the ministry thinking of introducing refresher courses for some of these officers so that they can be up-to-date in terms of physical and other techniques to use when they face such a situation? Looking at our officers today, the hon. Minister will agree with me that the moment they leave Sondela and Lilayi Training Camps and join the service on the ground, they literally do nothing, but put on weight like me. What is the hon. Minister doing about this?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan for the comments he has made pertaining to the need to improve on the provision of services by our police.

Madam Speaker, I want to confirm that recently, we made appointments to the positions of Police Commissioners and Deputy Police Commissioners. We had to ensure that all those who were recently appointed went through an intensive two weeks training. We have advised the command that all officers under the jurisdiction of the Zambia Police Service must start undergoing in-house training to continue improving in their performances. That is very good advice, hon. Member, which we cherish and we shall take it up.

 I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that initially, the situation in Katete was treated as a road traffic accident but then, the police eventually, were of the view that they might have been foul play involved. This suggests that the community had their own understanding of how that death occurred whilst the police needed to develop a theory based on evidence collected. Does he hon. Minister have any words of advice for the people of Katete as well as the people of Zambia at large, of what processes to follow when they think they have evidence of wrong doing as opposed to running amok as a mob and behaving riotously?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, we have always been advising members of the public that if they have any evidence pertaining to criminality that is obtaining in a certain locality, they have the right to report the same to the Zambia Police Service or any other security agency. The information that is given to the Zambia Police Service will be treated with the confidentiality it deserves and we always give protection to all those who come forward as witnesses.

Madam Speaker, I would now urge members of the public to ensure that they abide by the rules and the laws of this country and if they have an issue, they should report these matters to the police other than taking the law in their own hands.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

 Mr Sampa (Matero): Madam Speaker, I would like to thank you for this opportunity.

Madam Speaker, I join others in commending the police for arresting the culprits whom they assume are the ones who beat up the police officers in Katete. The role of the police is to protect all of us here and our residents in our constituencies.

Madam Speaker, my question is on the manner the arrests were done. It seems the police have now gone back to the days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) where there was police brutality. Instead of just arresting the people, they would first of all, beat them up. We saw all those who were arrested in Katete with blood as if the police revenged.  There is also a case where the Economic and Equity Party (EPP) President, Chilufya Tayali complained that when he was arrested, a Mr MwalaYuyi of Room 45 at the Police Headquarters beat him up …


Madam Speaker: Order hon. Member for Matero!

Please, let us not bring the names of people that are not in the House in our questions. Ask a point of clarification, hon. Member.

Mr Sampa: Obliged, Madam Speaker.

My question is on the police brutality. It is about whoever they are beating out there. Is it possible for the police, hon. Minister, to arrest suspects without beating them up,? In as far as I know, this brutality used to happen during the UNIP era.  Did the hon. Minister order these police officers to beat people up as was done in the past?

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Matero has tried to remind me of used to happen in the UNIP days.

Madam Speaker, I want to state that during the UNIP days, the police were so professional to the extent that if they visited a crime scene, members of the public were always co-operating and if they had no rations, members of the public were the ones providing the rations for the police. They were held in high esteem.

Unfortunately, when our colleagues came into power, things changed. Extreme brutality became the order of the day to the extent that even that during period, it was not just the police who were so brutal. The police used to solicit for the support of cadres to brutalise suspects. This time, we have not allowed that. I have no doubt in my mind that the police are happy that their reputation is rising and they are able to co-operate with members of the public.

Madam Speaker, I want to state that from the time we came into power, the use of teargas is almost a thing of the past.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: During the reign of my colleagues, the Patriotic Front (PF), the party my colleague was serving, teargas was part of the petty cash which they were carrying in their pockets. Wherever they went, they were discharging teargas. I would not want to talk about other heinous activities that took place. Many people were brutalised. Many innocent people were killed in the last ten years. We all know and the nation knows that, that era of history should not be repeated in this country.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, it is a responsibility of all of us to ensure that impunity is not allowed to reign. It was in that era where policemen were being beaten at police stations. It was during that era that we had Commander One, America One and NATO Forces reigning.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

That is that era when we had kamugodi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: That is the era when there was an armoury at the Intercity Bus Station. We will never allow that era, Madam Speaker, to come back to this country. This country is for all of us and that is why we have said we will not allow cadreism or lawlessness to reign. The people of Zambia are happy that at least for the first time after the reign of the PF, there is peace and order in this country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr P. Phiri: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr P. Phiri: Madam Speaker, my point of order is concerning the procedure of the House. You are aware that there are two constituencies in Katete. I indicated here earlier, but you kept on skipping my name …

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Mkaika!

The point of order that you are raising is unprocedural. It is not based on any Standing Order. When I pick people, I am following the indications. I am just trying to balance from left and right. If you were following, you would have seen that I was calling according to the way people have indicated. I was following the indications accordingly. I had to balance. The Independents also, have to ask questions. So, the point that you have raised, hon. Member for Mkaika, is unprocedural and it is not supported by any Standing Order. Therefore, you are out of order.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]


97. Mr Chonde (Milenge) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:

  1. when the construction of offices for the Department of Agriculture in Milenge District will be completed; and
  2. what the cause of the delay in completing the project is.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo) (on behalf ofthe Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi)):Madam Speaker, the construction of the agriculturaloffice block in Milenge District will be completed once funds are made available. Funds for the remaining works of the office block will be provided for in the 2024 Budget.

Madam Speaker, the cause of the delay to complete the works is due to the following reasons:

  1. inadequate budget allocation to infrastructure projects;
  2. the cost of materials and their escalation due to passage of time; and
  3. the policy decision by the Government at the time to prioritise the completion of projects that were above 80 per cent.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chonde: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate answer.

Madam Speaker, this project has been suspended for quite a while, and I appreciate that the hon. Minister has indicated that it will be completed in 2024, and I will passon that message to the people of Milenge. However, the challenge is that infrastructure above 80 per centis being vandalised. What is the ministry doing to safeguard this important infrastructure? Remember, public funds have already been spent. Further, is there any mechanism to protect this infrastructure?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member of Parliament’s concern about the issue at hand, being vandalism.

Madam Speaker, it may be interesting for the hon. Member, and through him the people of Milenge, to understand that this project was under the Ministry of Agriculture at the provincial office and was supervised by the then Ministry of Works and Supply. This shows clearly that they started this project a long time ago, and the slab was already put. The non-allocation of money and the stoppage of all contracts and projects below 80 per cent is the real reason we have not seen this project come to fruition.

Madam Speaker, as regards vandalism, I think it is important that we use our own community policing system to make sure that vandals, who are very undesired elements of our society, are dealt with by the right arm of the Government, which is the Zambia Police Service. Anybody who vandalises public property commits a criminal offence.I cordially ask the hon. Member to bring this matter to the attention of the local police station so that it can look out for peoplewho may be responsible for this act of vandalism andthey can be brought to book.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, when is the Government completing the projects at 80 per cent so that we can start dealing with those below 80 per cent,which includes the project in Milenge? Some projects such as the one in Milenge are critical as they lie in the agriculture sector, which promotes our food security.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chifubu for that follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, it should be put on record that the project in Milenge is way below 80 per cent. It was the then Government’s policy to complete projects above 80 per cent back in the year 2014, I think, when itrealised that it had over committed itself and over procured projects against the funding that was available.A policy statement was issued in this House that any projects that were below 80 per cent would be put aside until those that were above 80 per cent were completed. It will be interesting for the House to also note thatthat policy statement did not bear fruit. Over the years, from 2014 when this policy pronouncement was made, even the projects that were above 80 per cent were not completed owing tothe same reason of over commitment and the lack of budgetary allocations. So, we will make a plan.

Madam Speaker, I sure the hon. Member of Parliament for Chifubuheard the presidential pronouncements. The President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hichilema, said that whether the projects were left by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government or the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, it is incumbent upon us to complete them in the quickest possible time.So, weare determined to conclude all these projects, but we must not forget the realities of life. The realities of life are that we are operating under a budget that has a cap. We cannot manufacture money or spend moneywhich we do not have. So, we are doing our very best to make sure that all infrastructureabove 80 per cent that was left uncompleted,is prioritisedand completed as soon as possible. In the case of Milenge,I think the hon. Member of Parliament took note of the Government’s undertaking and that this project is budgeted for in 2024, which is what I said earlier on.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr Chonde: Madam Speaker, in my bid to seek clarity on some of these issues, I remembered that we will soon be on break so I need to give the correct information to the people of Milenge.

Madam, how will this contract be handled? Are we going to have a new contractor or is the same contractor going to continue? I would like the hon. Minister to clarify that.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, let me thank the hon. Member for this follow-up question. The estimated cost to complete the remaining work is K2.5 million and it includes works as follows:

  1. a wall fence;
  2. water reticulation;
  3. a car park;
  4. power connection; and
  5. plumbing installation.

Madam, because of the passage of time and the expiry of the contract that was running at the point where it was stopped, it is envisaged that the contractor may be given the first right of refusal, meaning that he will be approached first to see if he has what it takes to complete the project competitively. If he exercises the first right of refusal, then we will have to advertise the contract and get somebody else to come and conclude it. I hope that is a sufficient answer.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.





VOTE 45 – (Ministry of Community Development and Social Services – K5,270,719,934)

Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Servicesis a very important ministry that has a key function of providing and facilitating the provision of equitable social protection services to our people. This is done through the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) Programme. So, my focus is on the SCT.

Madam, the SCT is a system that is designed to provide our poor households with cash to reduce extreme poverty and any intergenerational transfer of poverty. So, this in itself gives us the opportunity, as the Government, to ensure that our people receive the help so as to improve their lives.

Madam Chairperson, the SCT was politicised where we are coming from to the extent and level that beneficiaries were threatened to be removed if they did not belong to a certain political grouping or class. However, today it is a thing of the past …

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubozha: … because the New Dawn Administration has shown commitment to the programme by sanitising the SCT system and creating an environment that is equitable for every citizen of this country to participate as long as they qualify.

Madam, under the programme, we have also seen the giant step that the New Dawn Administration has taken by increasing the beneficiaries of the SCT from 900,000 to about 1.3 million. This really is a national commitment to improving the living standards of our people who have been living under abject poverty.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubozha: Madam Chairperson, the SCT has several challenges which I feel the ministry should address. One of the challenges it has faced is that there are very few pay points for beneficiaries in zonal areas, which means that it has been difficult for the beneficiaries, some who are old, young and physically challenged, to wait for a long time without getting their money. It is like a punishment to them. So, my humble appeal is to increase the pay points for the beneficiaries in these zonal areas.

Madam, it has also been noticed that the volunteers helping in the implementation and management of the SCT have developed a tendency of enlisting themselves and their relatives on the list of beneficiaries, hence, depriving those who would have been beneficiaries of this system. It is our humble appeal that the ministry considers this.

Further, transport must be provided for the volunteers in order for them to reach far-flung areas to widen the catchment area for the would-be beneficiaries of the SCT.

Madam Chairperson, delays in payment must also be worked on so as to help our people receive their money in good time. The Government has not been delaying paying money, but sometimes the paymasters at various pay points have been unable to collect the money from the banks and make it available for disbursement to the beneficiaries. This must also be looked at.

Madam, I know that the ministry is currently facing a challenge in staffing positions as stated by the Minister in his policy statement. Let me also say that with this Budget allocation, more members of staff should be recruited in order to avert the challenges. Today, as we speak, there are some challenges that have been made lighter by the Government which have been attributed to the ministry.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry has been dealing with the most vulnerable in the community. The New Dawn Administration has increased the Constituency Development from K1.6 million to K25.7 million that has now assisted the community to –

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, your time is up.

Mr Lubozha: With those few remarks, I support the Vote.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Simbao (Luanshya): Madam Speaker, the people of Luanshya sincerely support this Vote. Yesterday, it was really encouraging and interesting to hear the hon. Minister talk about the strategy and the mandate of the ministry. He talked about how the ministry supports those who have no capacity and those who have low capacity. He talked about how it protects and maintains the rights of the vulnerable as well as how it streamlines the disabled.

Madam Chairperson, I do not doubt this. I believed the hon. Minister and also believe that the ministry is doing the right thing because many a time I have I have travelled back to my constituency on the Copperbelt using Land Cruiser vehicles.We go to the towns on the Copperbelt. However, once in a while, you see a Land Cruiser going off the road and onto a gravel road and when you look at the door of the vehicle, it is for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. When I see that, I speak a blessing upon the driver and the staff because we see them go right in the rural areas where all other Land Cruiser vehicles fail to go

Madam Chairperson, no wonder, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lundazi talked with all her heart about how she has seen this ministry do work in Lundazi. The hon. Member of Parliament from Kanchibiya equallypraised this ministry sayingit is doing a very commendable job. I think if there is any ministry that is going to get a pat from God himself, it is this ministry. As God said that whatsoever one did to the least of his brothers, that would be done unto him/her.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

You are not supposed to quote from the Bible. Just focus on the Vote. We are on Vote 45.

Mr Simbao: Madam Chairperson, thank you. I am well guided. This is why if you look at Community Skills Development, you will see that the budget has been increased from K7,702,895 to K9,590,135.That is very good because of the works it is doing. Management and Support has been increased from K34,620,246 to K78,728,744. In spite of all this, Luanshya has got no good words for the ministry. It is wondering what sin it has committed for it to be neglected in this manner.

Madam Chairperson, at page 494 in the Yellow Book, this ministryhas listed all its departments in different towns and it has allocated money to assist or develop these areas. However, nothing has been given to Luanshya. Should we all run away from Luanshya and come and join your constituencies?In Luanshya, there is a centre for the blind, which is called Fisenge. This place has a building, over thirty houses and machinery which is working, yetit has been neglected.

Madam Chairperson, since 2020, no one from the ministry has ever been there. I have been to this ministry to see the hon. Minister and I have seen the Permanent Secretary (PS) herself and I delivered a letter there. I have seen the director at the ministry, yet not a single thing has been done and none of them has bothered to come and see these people. The people at this centre are blind. I know we cannot change the totals, but I am pleading with the hon. Minister to look at this differently. The ministry has given Katete, Masaiti and Kitwe some funds. So, it can get a little from what you have already allocated and give to Luanshya.

Madam Chairperson, even though you have said I should not quote from the Bible, I will say if we do not look at Luanshya, if we do not look at the blind people at Fisenge, God still says“whatsoever you did to the least of my brothers, that you did unto me”. If you ignoreFisenge, God will hold you accountable.

I thank you, Madam.


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

The next time you debate, please, keep the guidance in mind. In this House, we are not supposed to quote the Bible.

Ms Nakaponda (Isoka): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you very much for according the people of Isoka a chanceto add their voice todebate on this matter.

Madam Chairperson, before I can support the increase in funding to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, let me applaud the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services for the work she is doing in the communities. She is doing a very good job and she has a big heart for the vulnerable and the rest of the communities.

Madam Chairperson, I rise to fully support the Motion to increase funding to the ministry. This is because this ministry reaches the most vulnerable in every community, especially rural constituencies like Isoka.

Madam Chairperson, the number of widows and widowers is on the rise, year in and year out, leading to an increase in the number of orphans. Early marriages and pregnancies are as a result of poverty levels. Unemployment is achallenge in both developed and developing countries such as Zambia. The Social Cash Transfer Programme requires much more than what we see. The programme helps many people in our rural areas, especially the elderly, hence my support to this Vote.

Madam, the Food Security Pack (FSP)programme needsa lot of support in order to enhance the number of beneficiaries.

Madam Chairperson, the FSP helps many people in our rural areas, especially in my constituency, Isoka. All programmes aimed at reducing all forms of poverty and unemployment must be fully supported. Signs have already shown that the more social security safeguards we support, the more economic stability we will create, and the less the pressure we shall have in future.

Madam Chairperson, I support the call to allocate more resources to be channelled towards this ministry because it helps many vulnerable people in our constituencies.

I thank you, Madam.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving Chienge a chance to voice out concerns on this very important budget line, which affects my constituency. This ministry is trying its best to reach out to the people of Chienge and Zambia as a whole, although I have heard that it has not reached some areas.

Madam Chairperson, this is the ministry which we all look up to, more so the disabled. In Chienge, we have a challenge. Officers that are supposed to pay the disabled the K600 or K800, if I am not mistaken, deliberately decide to remove them from the Social Cash Transfer Scheme beneficiary list. I once even sent information to the hon. Minister to complain. I even recorded a video of a disabled person just to cite an example of what was happening in Chienge.

Madam Chairperson, my earnest appeal to the hon. Minister is that all those who are working at the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services in Chienge be removed so that we can start afresh with another team. I have been begging and asking for this. The reason is that you cannot take advantage of the disadvantaged when you are advantaged. It is illegal and against human rights. So, it is very important that this ministry moves in quickly to serve the people of Chienge by according them the service that they deserve.

Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the disabled, which falls under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. When I was coming here, I received a call regarding the inputs under FISP, which are supposed to be given to the disabled. I have been told that in some areas, people were getting three bags and in others, four. In some areas, the disabled or the vulnerable people are being asked to make a payment. The people of Chienge are definitely scared to speak out about this. I do believe what they told me is what is prevailing on the ground.

Madam Chairperson, this is also the ministry which should come to our aid in terms of early child marriages. Recently, I visited Chienge and found that a young girl I saw during campaigns was pregnant. So, the Girls' Education and Women's Empowerment and Livelihoods Project (GEWEL) should also consider how to incorporate young ones seeing as GEWEL is for women like us. It should find a way to start creating more awareness and providing more funding. Most girls are dropping out of school because of lack in their homes.

Madam Chairperson, may I also talk about the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. I would like to see it being on air more sensitising people on how important it is. This will help the people of Chienge to understand who they should run to.

Madam Chairperson, in a place like Chienge, when there are scholarships for young ones to go to Russia or other countries, those kids with good results miss out because they are supposed to get a receipt from the Department of Social Welfare. Sometimes, when they get there, they are told to go to Lusaka, but they cannot travel. So, it is very important that our officers consider vulnerable people, especially those coming from Chienge or other rural areas.

Madam Chairperson, the Higher Education Loans and Scholarships Board (HELSB) is not decentralised. So, young ones have to come to Lusaka or send letters through the hon. Member of Parliament. As the hon. Member of Parliament, you have to send the document back to the young ones when they are accepted. It is quite strenuous.

I think the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services and the Ministry of Education should work together to give this service to the people of Chienge and other rural areas. It is quite strenuous for young ones to get letters from school and certain forms to show that they are vulnerable and then come to Lusaka. Afterwards, they have to go back to Chienge to get what they call a receipt and come back to apply for a student loan.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to support this budget line. However, I would like to ask, this ministry, once again, to help the people of Chienge by removing those officers who are currently there. Kwiindi inga aikalisha mu ng’anda ala belesha. What I am saying is that when you have a rat in your house and it stays there for years, it feels like it is part of the family. There is a need to rotate these officers. Can we please have a new set of them we start afresh? We do not want to come back here to say that some vulnerable people are not receiving help. Those who are really disabled are left out while those who are a little disabled are the ones the officers write down to access things like FISP and grants that come to Chienge.

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

Mr Mandandi (Sioma): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving the good people of Sioma an opportunity to share their thoughts over this Vote.

Madam Chairperson, from the outset, let it be placed on record that the good people of Sioma support this Budget provision. If anything, it should have been tripled because this is what can be called a game changer for the vulnerable people in our local communities in our rural constituencies.

Madam Chairperson, I will focus my debate on the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. You may wish to note that Sioma is a rural constituency and, therefore, the poverty levels are very high. The coming of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme to the constituency has helped to alleviate suffering among the people.

Madam Speaker, the word, “economy,” in simple definition means, “the state of a region or a country in terms of production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money in that particular area.” So, when, as the Government, we supply money in a particular area, we change or improve the economy. Therefore, I appreciate the gesture by the Government to continuously pump money into communities in our areas. This should be applauded by all well-meaning hon. Members of Parliament here.

Madam Chairperson, as this system continues, I have a few concerns which I want to share with the House. The first one is to do with discrimination that comes about when one is deemed married. Going by the guidelines of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, once a lady who was a beneficiary gets married, she automatically gets disqualified from being a beneficiary.

Madam Chairperson, in Zambia, we have two types of marriages; statutory marriage and customary marriage. When we come to customary marriage, there is nowhere in our customs in the Western Province where it says once Mr Mweemba, for example, walks into the house of our sister for two days, it is already a marriage. It is never like that. That is just a relationship. Therefore, for the Social Cash Transfer Scheme officers to remove our sister from the beneficiary list because she accommodated Mr Malambo or Mr Mweemba for two days is quite unfair.


Mr Mandandi: Madam Chairperson, we must come up with strict rules that will eventually help the officers to establish or verify whether the reports that they receive from the Community Welfare Assistance Committees (CWACs) are, indeed, genuine or fake. Many of our CWAC members have disadvantaged our people just because one particular lady maybe has said no to their advances. The next thing is that they want to punish that sister by reporting to the District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) that the particular person is now married. That should not be the case. Let them do thorough investigations before our people are discriminated against in that line.

Madam Chairperson, lastly, let me talk about the issue of the list of beneficiaries. Many a times, I have received very disturbing reports that day in and out, our people are being removed from the list of beneficiaries for no apparently reason and they have no means of verifying. The list of beneficiaries should not be treated like a sacred document. It should be shared. It should be something that the District Commission (DC) can be able to have so that when complaints of this nature arise, we will be able to make comparisons and see whether indeed, one has been removed or is still there.

Madam Chairperson, with those few remarks, I beg to move.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kandafula (Serenje): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the humble people of Serenje a chance to debate Vote 45, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. In as much as most of the things have been talked about, I would like to re-emphasise two or three points. I will therefore, start with the same issue of the social cash transfer (SCT).

Madam Chairperson, we have a situation where people have got duplicate National Registration Cards (NRCs) and maybe, this happened during the time of registration. So, the people who are affected are not benefiting because it is like, ‘first come first serve’. So, we are appealing to the ministry to indeed, do a thorough job so that people who are disadvantaged can at least, get something.

Madam Chairperson, on the issue of mobility which has been much talked about, it is like our officers are failing to get the right information at the right time. In Serenje District, we have Serenje Central and Muchinga Central and these are vast rural constituencies. We will therefore, need some transport so that the officers can reach the intended people. The same applies to the Community Welfare Assistance Committees (CWAC). I think their zones are quite big. We are asking if they can be provided with bicycles so that they also collect the right information at the right time.

Madam Chairperson, finally, let me talk about child affairs. The non-governmental regulations and standards are not really effective to support and protect the vulnerable upto now. So, we are therefore, appealing to the ministry to at least, put in proper regulations for those who are responsible for taking care of the vulnerable, like the orphanages.

 I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, we have to make progress. We have had more than ten hon. Members debating this vote. I will now call upon the Acting hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services to windup debate.

Mr Sikumba: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Members who contributed to this debate. Like you rightly put it, we had more than ten hon. Members who debated and I saw a number of them wanting to debate as well.

Madam Chairperson, I think the summary of the debate shows that most of our hon. Members in the House are very happy with the works that are being done in the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. Suffice to state a few challenges that the ministry is actually going through, some of the challenges, I did allude to in the policy statement. Some were raised outside the policy statement. I feel it is very important that I address them through the ministry.

Madam Chairperson, emanating from Hon. Sunday Chanda, Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya Constituency, was an issue to do with moving community schools to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We do realise that the community schools themselves are now grant-headed by the Government.We do realise that these community schools are recipients of the teachers whom we have recruited. Ultimately, it is important that we leave it to the Ministry of Education that has a core mandate for education.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mulebwa brought up issues of transport for the people living with disabilities and this is something that we are looking into to make sure the ministry imports vehicles like buses that are friendly to the disabled. Indeed, that is something that is very close to the ministry’s heart. The other thing is to make sure that new public buildings that have been constructed today in our country have got access for people living with disabilities.

Madam Chairperson, we have passionately heard from the hon. Member for Lundazi, who showered praises to the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services and, indeed, the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government. We thank her for that. We take note of the concerns she raised regarding people being dropped off even before the three-year mandate. Let me state that the dropping off of certain individuals who were enumerated before, goes with what Hon. Chinkuli mentioned was as a result of the system upgrade that happened.

Madam Chairperson, there were issues of duplicate of National Registration Cards (NRCs) that were registered or recorded. So, many people who were enlisted fell off. However, I would like to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to come up with those lists of people who we may have inadvertently dropped off from the SCT.

Madam Chairperson, more so, let me talk about issues of paying back. I am glad that the hon. Member stated that vulnerability should not result into theft. Yes, that issue of the two bags of maize does not go back to the Government. It goes to the community bank and we would like to encourage the communities to take advantage of that so that they become food secure.

Madam Chairperson, I am sure Hon. Chinkuli was talking about the Food Security Pack (FSP) which was locked up. Just yesterday, when the hon. Member was debating, the District Commissioner (DC) for Lusaka was launching the FSP in Kanyama, I am sure he can confirm now. I would like to encourage hon. Members of Parliament in here to contact their DCs and ascertain when the distribution of this FSP will be done. I am sure it will be done very soon and quickly. 

Madam Chairperson, I think I talked about issues to do with enlisting that was raised by Hon. Lubozha. Hon. Simbao, as for the issue surrounding Fisenge, the ministry is indeed, in receipt of your letter from your constituency and we are looking at opportunities.We are in the process of having to rehabilitant the structure. The ministry is already in touch with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Urban Development to see how best we would assist in upgrading the facility.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Katuta talked about the FSP, a matter which is very close to our heart. Now, I would like to make mention and correct that information. The actual distribution of the FSP under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, is 2 kg bag of D Compound, 1 kg bag of Urea, 10 kg bag of seed and the alternative 10 kg bag of legume seed, be it beans or something else. I hope it is very clear. I hope she is listening.Yes, that is what we are giving out. I can guarantee her that with respect to FSP within the community development, that is already sitting in the various districts across the country. It is up to hon. Members to get in touch with their DCs and make sure that they are part of the flagging off ceremony for that particular FSP.

Madam Chairperson, Hon. Mandandi from Sioma raised an issue which is of concern within the ministry as regards to who becomes eligible. He brought in a very interesting dynamic matter about cohabiting. I think my team will be taught about what marriage is and what cohabiting is. Indeed, we will be able to make sure that that is addressed very quickly.

Madam Chairperson, last but not the least, we got a submission from the hon. Member for Serenje, Mr Kandafula, regarding transport for staff. Indeed, that was brought out in the policy statement, where we have challenges with regards to transport not only within the ministry itself but also, in various districts as well as staffing itself.

Madam Chairperson, I am very happy that most of the hon. Members in this House did support Vote for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. We are looking forward to working with them diligently to making sure that the plight of vulnerable, those who are less privileged, is indeed, uplifted from squalor.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5453, Sub-sub-sub-programme 13 – Lundazi Community Skills Development Training Centre – K269,142. The ministry first allocated K50,000 then K200,000 then K269,142 to this programme. However, I noticed that for other community skills training centres, it first allocated K100,000, then K400,000 and the amount is now almost half a million. What criterion does the ministry use to determine the amount allocated to a particular training skills centre?

Mr Sikumba:Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member for Lundazi for that particular question. Yes, indeed, if you look at the estimates from 2021, for Lundazi, it is actually showing – Am I on the same page? Yes.

Madam Chairperson, as regards the criterion we use to determine how much money to allocate to a training skills centre, firstly, we consider the number of people who enrol at a particular facility. Secondly, we consider the skills training or the curriculum, if I can put it that way, of a particular school. So, as regards the details on the shift of numbers, if for example, there is an increase in enrolments at the centre allocated K100,000 and it changes the curriculum, it may get more money than the one allocated K50,000. I hope that answers the hon. Member’s question.

Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5452, Sub-programme 1002 – Disability Affairs – K28,480,019. Last year, we approved a sum of K49,584,970 for this sub-programme. This year, there is a drastic reduction on this budget line from K49,584,970 to K28,480,019. Why is there this drastic drop when this is one of the core functions of the ministry?

Mr Sikumba: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu for that intervention. Indeed, there has been a reduction on that particular sub-programme as a result of increased donor funding in social welfare within the ministry. One may realise that from the time that the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government got into power, many donors who fled the country have started coming back and they have already shown commitment in supporting this Vote.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5599, Sub-programme 1013 – Human Resource and Administration – K72,829,032. I see that in the current Budget, K29,966,034 was spent on this sub-programme and it has now shot to K72,829,032. What has caused that big jump?

Mr Sikumba: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member for that intervention. Indeed, there has been a jump on that particular sub-programme. Now, this is as a result of the ministry putting 180 staff on the payroll who were volunteers under a project. When we formed Government, we felt it was necessary to put the 180 staff who were undertaking the project on the payroll.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Chairperson, I know that everyone is knowledgeable about the Social Cash Transfer Programme. Let me take the hon. Minister to page 495 as regards the Food Security Pack. In rural areas where we come from, the Community Welfare Assistance Committee (CWAC) Executive is headed by one family and it recommends its family members to get the Social Cash Transfer. The same people, again, benefit from the Food Security Pack and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the Zambia Integrated Social Protection Information System (ZISPIS) has failed to tackle this issue. Does the ministry have any plans to see to it that it distributes this assistance to many people than to single families who are heading certain committees and are taking advantage of other villagers?

Mr Sikumba: Madam Chairperson, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Nyimba for that question. Yes, indeed, in the policy statement, I mentioned the challenges that the ministry is facing regarding human resource and transitioning from the previous system of enumerating the recipients. The Zambia Integrated Social Protection Information System (ZISPIS) is not putting a face to a name, political party or relative, but systems are used by humans as you are well aware. However, the ministry is trying by all means to make sure that there is impartiality with regard to the enumeration of these particular individuals.

Madam Chairperson, let me make a clarion call to hon. Members of Parliament, whom I believe are in touch with the grassroots, to interrogate the system and establish if it is working well. If they find out that that system is not working well and is to the detriment of the very people whom they want to support, they should feel free to come to the ministry. My team at the Social Welfare Department will assist them and ensure that the right people who desire to get the Social Cash Transfer receive it.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, I encourage the hon. Minister to stick to the clarifications we are seeking and desist from making innuendos that might not be proven.

Madam Chairperson, I draw the hon. Minister’s attention to Programme 5599 – Management Support Services. I heard the explanation he gave the hon. Member for Lukashya who asked about the human resource administration expenses that he justified.

Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5599, Sub-programme 02 – Salaries and Wages – K67,879,951. For this expenditure line, this august House approved K27,592,032 in 2022, and in 2023, the ministry proposes to spend K67,879,951. Can the hon. Minister share with this House what this increase entails. Is it the increase in emoluments or in the number of human resource personnel?

Mr Sikumba: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the timely question and also the timely – We will leave it there for now.

Madam Speaker, indeed, yes, I did explain that the increase in terms of management and support services was due to that fact that, firstly, 180 staff who were volunteers were recently included onto the payroll. Secondly, the Hon. Member of Parliament for Shiwang’andu should realise that United Party for National Development (UPND) Government not so long ago re-aligned ministries. We had ministries that were in dissolution and among them was the Ministry Chiefs and Tradition Affairs. In the re- alignment of ministries, some of the staff who were sitting in the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and some who were working in the Ministry of Youth and Sport were moved, with their support staff, to the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services. As such, it is only fair that those people move with the budget that is required, hence the number that you see in the Vote.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 45 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 46– (Ministry of Health– K16,080,373,574).

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to present this policy statement in support of the 2023 Budget for Vote 46, Ministry of Health. My statement will highlight the ministry’s mandate for the 2020 to 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) performance review and planned programmes for the year 2023.

Madam Chairperson, first and foremost, let me state that my ministry’s budget intends to operationalise the development agenda as set up by His Excellency, the President of the Republic Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, in his address to the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly which focused on transforming our country into an industrialised nation with full participation of our citizens.


Madam Chairperson, allow me to remind this august House and the nation at large that in line with the Government Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021, the mandate for my ministry is to provide equitable access to promotive, preventive, curative, palliative and rehabilitative quality health care services at all levels of service delivery.

Performance Review

Madam Chairperson, let me state that in 2022, my ministry continued strengthening the health systems and the provision of key inputs for the delivery of quality health care. I am happy to inform this august House that disbursement of Government non-personal emoluments to my ministry was at 85 per cent as at 30th September, 2022. I am therefore, confident that 100 per cent disbursement will be achieved by the end of the year. Therefore, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and, indeed, the New Dawn Administration for the unprecedented achievement.

Health Service Delivery

Madam Chairperson, regarding our health service delivery, in particular maternal health, the Government through the ministry has continued implementing interventions aimed at reducing maternal deaths. Some of the major programmes implemented included mentorship on mental, maternal and new born care interventions, maternal deaths surveillance and response meetings and engagement of traditional and religious leaders as champions for safe motherhood. During the reporting period, the overall coverage of first antenatal care had been consistently above 90 per cent. However, the proportion of women attending antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy remained between 30 to 40 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, maternal health outcomes were however affected due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that saw a reduction in access to maternal health services. Data shows that there was a reduction from 757 in 2020 to 537 maternal deaths as of September 2022. Even though there has been a slight reduction in the number of women lost due to child birth, maternal mortality remains a public health concern for the Government.


Madam Chairperson, in relation to malaria, the Government through my ministry has continued scaling up interventions aimed at eliminating malaria which included distribution of more than 7 million insecticide treated nets, in-door residual spraying of more than 2.3 million structures, thereby, protecting approximately 9.5 million people, training of 16,500 community health workers in 2021, deployment of additional trained community health workers and increasing coverage with intermittent preventive treatment.

Madam Chairperson, these interventions resulted in the reduction of malaria incidences from 428 cases per 1000 population in 2020 to 335 cases per 1000 population in 2021. Similarly, mortality due to malaria has reduced from 11 deaths by 100,000 population in 2020 to eight deaths per 100,000 population in 2021. Absolute malaria cases reduced from 7.6 million cases in 2020 to 6.1 million cases during the reporting period.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Aids (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)

Madam Chairperson, during the reporting period, the ministry’s focus was to halt the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) through various interventions including awareness creation and testing. The ministry targeted to test 2,294,301 men and women aged between 15 to 49 years in 2021 and all the targeted were tested and provided with their results. In addition, the ministry reviewed and launched the HIV Testing Services National Guidelines, commenced the blood-based HIV Acceptability Study, rolled out the Index Testing and Screening Tool.

Madam Chairperson, in 2021, 1,197,703 people living with HIV were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and as of 30th June 2022, 1,244,629 were on ART.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Madam Chairperson, it is important to note that Tuberculosis (TB) still remains a disease of public health concern in Zambia. To this effect, the Government through my ministry has continued to implement high impact interventions to reduce the number of deaths associated with TB such as expanding TB diagnostic capacity and sustained a stable supply chain for TB commodities for both diagnostic and treatment. In 2021, the sector attained treatment coverage of over 85 per cent compared to 68 per cent in 2020. TB notification increased to 51,898 in 2021 from 40,726 in 2020.

Madam, arising for these interventions, TB incidences have declined from 319 per100,000 in 2020 to 307 per 100,000 in 2021. Further, the TB high impact interventions have contributed to sustenance of the high treatment success rate for drug sensitive TB for the last three years. In 2021, the treatment success rate for drug sensitive TB was 91 per cent. We also continue to make steady progress in addressing and combating drug resistant TB. The treatment success rate of drug resistant TB has increased from 68 per cent in 2018 to 76 per cent in 2021.


Madam Chairperson, I wish to state that non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have continued to be on the rise and contribute to about 23 per cent of all deaths in Zambia. However, to this end, the Government through the ministry, working with stakeholders, has continued to implement interventions.

Health Security

Madam Chairperson, regarding health security, my ministry remains committed to the fight against all public health threats such as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) because saving lives and protecting livelihoods is our main priority. I am happy to report to this august House that the re-launch of COVID-19 vaccination campaign on 7th October, 2021 by the Republican President coupled with other interventions has yielded results. The national COVID-19 vaccination coverage has improved from less than 5.2 per cent at the time of the re-launch in October, 2021 to 70 per cent fully vaccinated as at 16th October, 2022. Nonetheless, we continue to implore our citizens to continue with other measures, particularly hand washing and the use of hand sanitizers as this basic personal hygiene practice has far-reaching benefits in preventing the spread of other communicable diseases.

Human Resource for Health

Madam Chairperson, human resource for health continues to be a major theme in the drive to achieve universal health coverage and to deliver health services to the door step of families using the primary health care approach. I am happy to inform this august House that in 2022, the New Dawn Administration took a huge step to recruit 12,944 health workers of which 11,276 was an additional recruitment and 1,668 were replacement on the ministry’s establishment structure. This initial investment has helped to increase the number of health workers from 63,396 in 2021 to 75,114 in 2022 out of the ministry’s establishment of 139,590 representing a percentage increase from 45.7 per cent to 54.5 per cent in 2022.

Drug and Medical Supplies

Madam Chairperson, the Government through the Ministry of Health is committed to the provision of equitable access for all Zambians, good quality, safe and effective medicines which are affordable. I am happy to report that as at October, 2022, my ministry received the full allocation of K3.4 billion for the Treasury for the procurement of essential medicines and medical supplies. To this and, the ministry is expediting the procurement process through a number of contracts. However, the bulk of these essential medicines and medical supplies will be delivered within the first quarter of 2023 due to long lead time as 90 per cent of our medicines are imported.

Policy Direction and Key Activities for 2023

Madam Chairperson, allow me to state that the health sector has been allocated a total of K17.4 billion in the 2023 Budget representing 10.5 per cent compared to last year when we were at 8 are cent of the total National Budget. From this allocation, the Ministry of Health has been allocated K16,080,373,574 of which K14.7 billion is from the Government and K1.3 billion is from co-operating partners.

The Chairperson: Order!

You can wind up. Your time is up.

Mrs Masebo: I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Human Resource for Health

Madam Chairperson, in this year’s budget, we shall concentrate on human resources for health with the K307.5 billion which has been provided for the recruitment of an additional 3,000 health workers.

Essential Medicines and Medical Supplies

Madam Chairperson, for essential medicines, we have an allocation of K4.6 billionfrom K3.4 billion. Looking at this year’s allocation, we are confident that the whole of K4.6 billion will be released and we will see steady flow of medicine.

Infrastructure and Equipment

Madam Chairperson, this year, the Ministry of Health will concentrate on completing all the outstanding structures and also construct new infrastructure.

Health Services

Madam Chairperson, as regards health service, we shall continue to ensure that our disease burden is managed. One of the most important policy implementations in 2023 will be the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy where we shall see functions, resources and staff moving from the Ministry of Health at district level into the councils although we shall start this process in a phased approach. We will select a few districts and we will try this policy of government to implement the Decentralisation Policy.

Overall Impact of Policy Direction

Madam Chairperson, allow me to conclude my statement by stating that in 2023, we shall continue building on our collective efforts to strengthen and scale up high impact, evidence-based health interventions across the continuum of care. Our investment will continue to be informed by the key pillars of our health care systems, namely human resources for health, healthcare financing, health infrastructure, medicines and medical supplies, health information and research and leadership and governance.

Madam Chairperson, finally, allow me to now call upon hon. Members of this august House to support the Ministry of Health 2023 budget.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

I have received a list of hon. Members to debate from the left and we will start with Dr Chilufya.

Dr Chilufya (Mansa Central): Madam Chairperson, much obliged.

Madam, the global health agenda is universal health coverage, health for everyone everywhere. Zambia is aligned to the global health agenda where we envisage health services for every citizen everywhere. These health services we envisage are those of high quality, cost effective and proximal to where people live. Therefore, the Government confronts the inescapable imperative to strengthen health systems, to address human resource, infrastructure, healthcare financing, information management, research, health security, leadership and governance.

Madam Chairperson, it is extremely important that as we listen to the policy statement by the hon. Minister, we gauge what the Government has done in the last one year and also provide an oversight role on what it wants to do next year.

Madam, let me begin by stating that in line with universal health coverage agenda that the Government has embraced, service delivery remains the core. Today, service delivery is very poor in the country. Today, service delivery is poor for the reason that the supply chain has collapsed. Persistent shortages of drugs, reagents in our facilities and persistent shortages of medical alike substances lead to deaths. It means that our human capital, however, many would they have, will be demotivated as they cannot translate their skills into service delivery. It means that we cannot diagnose early, detect problems early and treat effectively. It means that those women who are bleeding in Kaputa or Sioma will not receive the blood transfusion that they need because the reagents for testing blood are not there.

Madam Chairperson, the Government is being very casual with the supply chain. Persistent shortages of medicines in our hospitals need to be addressed and I see a very casual approach towards this. As I listen to the policy statement, I still hear of statements of intent to procure. There must be emergency measures today to address issues of supply chain. How many women should die out of preventable pregnancy related conditions? How many children should die out of malaria? How many adults should succumb to hypertension before the Government decides to embark on emergency measures? How many diabetics should we lose in the country before the Government decides to embark on emergency measures to address the supply chain?How many diabetics should we lose in the country before the Government decides to embark on emergency measures to address the supply chain? I am making a clarion call to action for the Government to address the supply chain.

Madam Chairperson, I heard the hon. Minister talking about service delivery performance indicators relating 2020 to 2021. The performance indicators in 2020 relative to 2021 have shown a positive trend. However, at the rate the Government is going, in 2023, we will reverse all these gains. We will see increased maternal deaths, increased morbidity and mortality from malaria and deterioration in Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) indicators.

Madam Chairperson, I did not hear the hon. Minister speak about a strategic plan for 2022 to 2026. The health sector must be managed using a strategic plan with a focus on universal health coverage, which is the global agenda, and the agenda that I have heard the Government speak to even through the President. However, I do not hear the strategic plan and the targets.

Madam Speaker, we set ten legacy goals and we posted progress. The progress is on the wall for all to see. In human capital, we targeted to recruit 30,000 between 2017 and 2022, and hit 25,000 plus. We targeted to improve training and we set up the first ever university, targeting the training of healthcare workers. So, Levy Mwanawasa Medical University (LMMU) recruited more than 5,000 first year students in its first year. We targeted to train specialists. This year, the hon. Minister of Education was graduating 104 specialist doctors. In March, he will be graduating another 147 specialists. That is 250 new specialists in five years. This should be compared to the 192 specialists we had as at 2016.


Madam Chairperson, this transformational agenda in the health sector targets universal health coverage and must be built upon. However, I see little political will because I do not see translation of the increased ...


Dr Chilufya: ... budgetary allocation into policy that delivers services to the people.

Madam Chairperson, health care financing was created as a tool to ensure sustainable financing for the health system. Today, all hospitals are surviving because of the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA). We managed to move NHIMA to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. We played midwife to a sustainable programme to finance health care. However, this Government is firmly on track to certify NHIMA dead. This is because it has paid little attention to the importance of fixing health systems in order for us to ensure universal health coverage.

Madam Chairperson, the Health in All Policy (HiAP) is a very important programme that should summon all sectors to come to the table to address social determinants of health, but I see little co-ordination. The HiAP programme summons the Ministry of Education to come on board to improve health promotion, which is the awareness of the public to improve their health. You need to bring on board the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development to ensure that there are sideways where people can walk and joke to avoid any non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It should be beyond rhetoric.

Madam Chairperson, as I talk about NCDs, I urge the hon. Minister to take action on health promotion. However, I have seen that there is little focus on health promotion in the current Government.

Madam, as regards health security, while we see that global economies, including the Zambian economy regressed because of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), I have not seen a deliberate effort to create an emergency fund to support health security. All the economic reconstruction programmes will amount to note if this country is hit by other epidemics such COVID-19,listeriosis, cholera or Ebola. I urge the Government to ensure improved funding for health security.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, the Government must face an honest review of the health sector today. We will not recover the lives that are being lost because of the procrastination in procurement. All the area hon. Members of Parliament here agree with me that there are no drugs where they are coming from and people are dying every day.

Mr Mabeta: Question!

Dr Chilufya: That is blood on our hands. We must hold hands and ensure that we improve the health sector, buy drugs, get back on track and ensure universal health coverage.

Madam Chairperson, I support this Budget with a very important statement to ensure that these increments in the Budget translate into service delivery for our people.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Chairperson, let me thank the hon. Minister of Health for her policy statement on Head 46.

Madam Chairperson, I want to thank her for increasing the Budget for next year to K16,080,373,574. This is very important. I want to thank and commend her for increasing the percentage of people being vaccinated against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from 5 per cent to over 70 per cent. This is very commendable. We thank her very much.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo: Madam Chairperson, we want to thank the Ministry of Health for recruiting 11,000 health workers, something that we have never seen before in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sefulo: In one year!

Mr Michelo: There is an issue of the recruitment of 25,000 health workers, the issue which is being talked about. I have been in this House since 2016 and I never heard the previous Government saying on the Floor of this House that it had recruited such and such a number of health workers. We did not listen to any statement that the Government had recruited health workers. We did not even hear about one, unless they recruited secretly without the nation being aware. We are not just receiving stories or parachute figures which are landing from nowhere.

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Michelo: Madam Chairperson, on the issue of drug shortages in the country, I think the minister is doing a commendable job. She is doing very well at the moment …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo: … but the issue here is that we cannot blame –

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

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Sefulo: From who?

Dr Chilufya: Madam Chairperson, this is an august House and a House of facts. Standing Order No. 65 dictates that we are factual in the way we present our data. I have repeatedly said that numbers do not lie and in health, you do not need to say you have done better, you just need to at the indicators. They are in the public domain.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament has just indicated that there was no recruitment and that these are parachute numbers, yet he just needs to go to the hon. Minister, his neighbour, or on records online which show that 10,000 were recruited in year one, 7,500 in year two, over 5,000 in year three and 3,600 in year four. Why are they called parachute health workers?

Madam Chairperson, is the hon. Member in order to call such a robust transformational recruitment programme a parachute programme? Does he have any facts to show? I do not even know what a parachute looks like.

Madam Chairperson, I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: I had guided when we moved to this Head that we should be focused. This is an innocent Head and the people of Zambia depend on you to be informed. Their lives depend on what we are doing in here. So, Hon. Michelo, try to be factual and focused on this very important Head that we are looking at, just for the benefit of the Zambians who are out there because their lives depend on what is happening here.

Mr Michelo: Madam Chairperson, there were no facts laid on the Table by the previous speaker to ensure that the people of Zambia were really recruited. I am debating as an hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa Constituency and I did not see any advertisement of the health officers who were recruited.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo: I did not hear the hon. Minister of Health come and tell us on the Floor of this House that they had recruited 25,000 health workers. This is the reason I am saying that that is a parachute figure.

The Chairperson:Hon. Member, I have already guided and Isaid that let us be focused.Let us make progress in dealing with this Vote.We need your valuable input and your input is very important. Your people are listening to you.

You may make progress.

Mr Michelo: Madam Chairperson, let me talk about the shortage of drugs in the country. I commend the hon. Minister for working extra hard and she is doing very well. However, the situation on the ground is that there is a shortageof medicines and I do not blame the hon. Minister. The blame should be on the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency(ZAMMSA), which is supposed to be ordering drugs for the people of Zambia. In the statement, the hon. Minister stated that K3.4 billion was disbursed but we are wondering why we have no medicines right now in the country. I know that the hon. Minister is not the one who is supposed to purchase those drugs, but she needs to ensure that there are right peopleholding certain positions in the ministry, so that we can have drugs throughout the country.

Madam Chairperson, on the issue of district hospitals, in Monze District, there are three constituencies, which are Bweengwa, Monze Central and Moomba, and there is no district hospital. We are asking the ministry to put up one general hospital so that the people can be looked after. The hon. Minister knows quite well that Monze District is the biggest district in the Southern Province and has a big population. So, we are asking her to help the people of Monze.

Madam Chairperson, let me come to the issue of the 650 health posts, which were being pronounced by the previous regime on a daily basis on the Floor of this House. I will single out Bweengwa Constituency, which did not receive a single health post out of the 650. So, we are asking the ministry to consider the people of Bweengwa and to construct one health post or two. It is also important that the hon. Minister looks at the issue of shortage of transport.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister should also look into the issue of under five cards because they are very important. I found out there are no under-five cards in the hospitals in my constituency. I am asking the ministry to purchase those cards because they are very important in monitoring the growth of a child. Right now, some mothers use a simple plan paper as an under-five card. Under five cards are very important and there is a shortage of them in Monze, so, I request the hon. Minister to look into that matter.

Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about community health volunteers, who are helping voluntarily in our constituencies. The next time the Government recruits health staff, I request it to give priority to those people who are already labouring in the health posts so that they are also recruited because, right now, they are helping the people of Zambia free of charge

Madam Chairperson, going back to the issue of ZAMMSA, the hon. Minister should sit down with it to ensure that it provides drugs in the country because the money is there. We never used to receive enough money in the previous regime, but right now, we have enough money and we want to see it being used.

Madam Chairperson, we do not want to see the hon. Minister ordering expired drugs under her ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo: We do not want the Zambian people to start consuming expired drugs and we do not want her to engage herself in shady deals as the hon. Minister of Health. We do not want to see that. We do not want to see her engaging her friends to be ordering drugs. We want her to try to be very transparent. We want her to be very transparent. If she is going to do that, we do not want to hide the message from her, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will visit her. On that one, we are serious as the United Party for National Development (UPND). We do not want her to go the Honey Bee Pharmacy.

Madam Chairperson, let me thank you for allowing me to debate on this Head.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Thank you, Madam Chairperson. I have a few words to contribute.

Madam Chairperson, I acknowledge the good intentions of the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government when it gave us 11,000 medical personnel. That was a good start and I hope that next year, it will add to this number.

Madam Chairperson, looking at the budget for infrastructure, if I am not mistaken, it is K1,419,941,314. The people of Nyimba who sent me here still need their so-called hospital. I think I have spoken about this before. One day, I said there is no hospital in Nyimba and people started giving me directions to where the hospital is in Nyimba. What we have is an outpatient building without a maternity ward. I wish the hon. Minister would move in quickly to resolve this. Please, see to it that this money is spent. I am pleading for the people of Nyimba because enough is enough. You cannot have a district which is 10,500 sq. m without a maternity ward. This is not a good sign for all of us. People are at risk. We always have to travel to Petauke to Minga Mission Hospital or to Katete. Surely, what is it that the people of Nyimba have done, hon. Minister? We need our hospital to be completed so that everyone can move in.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister gave a breakdown of the mini-hospitals in the Eastern Province. She may agree with me that some districts had more mini-hospitals than Nyimba which is bigger than some constituencies. Five constituencies can fit in Nyimba and between them, they have nine mini-hospitals while Nyimba has nothing. That does not augur well. Nyimba is one of the biggest constituencies in the country and it deserves infrastructure like other places.

Madam Chairperson, may I take the attention of the hon. Minister to the Zambia Flying Doctor Service allocation, which has been allocated K30,707,989. Nyimba is one of the beneficiaries of the Zambia Flying Doctor Service. Even this year, the same amount was allocated. Please, let us utilise this money next year and get a plane which can be serviced. If a plane is difficult and expensive to acquire, surely, hiring a chopper is cheaper than hiring a plane. I think those who own planes may assist me on this. We cannot continue having people losing lives in the remote areas of our country, and this is not helping us as a country. It is important that as we plan for ourselves in town, in urban areas, we also plan for the people in the rural areas. If we are not going to revamp the Zambia Flying Doctor Service, we are not helping ourselves as a country but just killing ourselves.

Madam Chairperson, in addition, let me remind the hon. Minister that some of the clinics in the Eastern Province, in Nyimba particularly, are in areas where people no longer live. People have been displaced due to animal-human conflict. We will be shifting some clinics to other areas. For example, we have no option but to move one clinic that is near the Luangwa River to a highly populated area because the animals have taken over the place it used to be, under the Zambia Flying Doctor Service.

Madam Chairperson, we will also need the ministry’s assistance because this is the area which is near to Mkushi. There is no vehicle which can go to the area. So, for us to go there, we have to get on a bicycle or a motorbike. Therefore, as theministry allocates resources, it should bear in mind that that there is a district which is most neglected by all ministries in this country, since time immemorial, and that happens to be Nyimba District. It should make sure the technocrats in the district remember that there is a district called Nyimba. It is not under Petauke Central Constituency. Nyimba District stopped being part of Petauke in 1988. However, even this Parliament still makes mistakes by sending letters to Petauke instead of Nyimba, but they are sent back to Nyimba. We have even failed to correct the situation, which is not good.

Madam Chairperson, we need health workers in the district. Yes, we have about four doctors and I have been told that we have received one more doctor. However, from those doctors, some have gone to school. We cannot stop them from going to school, but if you look at the population of Nyimba, you will agree that giving us four doctors does not suffice. We need a good number of doctors and another mini hospital. If the mini hospital can come this year, the people of Nyimba will be very happy.

Madam Chairperson, I do not have much to say on this. My plea and cry, on behalf of the people of Nyimba is to have a share of this K1.4 billion. We appeal to the Government to give us a mini hospital and complete our district hospital, if it can. The people of Nyimba will appreciate this Government replicating whatever it does in other constituencies. We are also human and not animals. I hope the hon. Minister responsible for releasing funds, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development and the Vice-President will see to it that we are also considered.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Chairperson, thank you. Indeed, this is a very important Vote, as the previous speakers have indicated. Many of things that are coming out are things that we have been discussing most of this year. Let me start with the issue of allocation to the procurement of drugs and medical equipment – essential medicines.

Madam Chairperson, I am even getting surprised that when someone raises the issue of shortage of drugs here, people are questioning. Elected hon. Members of Parliament representing constituencies can be here to question when someone talks about the shortage of drugs.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

The Chairperson: Order, Mr Mwila! Can we please have your views. Kindly, debate. We want to have your views.

Mr Mwila: Madam Chairperson, one of my views is that I am questioning those who are questioning the shortage of drugs because the reality is that we have these shortages of drugs in hospitals.

Madam Chairperson, let me say this, we may be talking about the problems of supply chain, but in fact, the problem is beyond even that supply chain. The budget allocation to the procurement of drugs is just too little. This year, 2022, when we talk about K3.2 million or K3.4 million allocated from a budget of around K19 billion is just about 15 per cent of the budget for drugs in the country. The Government has allocated that much in the budget. For the rest of it, we are looking to donors to fund the budget for our drugs. That is not adequate and even this K4.6 million that we are expecting and approving now for 2023 is not going to satisfy the total requirement for the drugs in the country. I am urging the ministry to consider allocating more money from our budget which we are discussing now to the procurement of drugs because this K4.6 million is not going to take us any further than we are now.

Madam Chairperson, we were told in this House, earlier on this year, by the hon. Minister that some contracts were signed with suppliers and that we were expecting to see this shortage of drugs ending around October this year. However, in the policy statement now, I have heard that contracts are being finalised and that we should expect the flow of drugs in the first quarter of 2023. What we are talking about are drugs. Ailments are not waiting. People are not postponing getting sick to the first quarter of 2023 when drugs will be there. So, this is a serious issue that needs serious attention.

Madam Chairperson, I have been to clinics and hospitals in my constituency and it is a sorry sight. Of course, you will find ARVs and good quantities of malarial drugs, but for antibiotics and everything else, it is a sorry sight. That is the reality. So, we need to address this issue as soon as we can. Waiting for the first quarter of 2023 to see this situation improve is really not doing justice to the citizens that we are serving.

Madam Chairperson, secondly, on health workers, yes, it is good that 11,000 health workers were recruited and placed. We also need to address the issue of salaries. A number of these that have been recruited, among the 11,000, have been working even for three months, but their salaries have not been paid. These are people who have been posted away from their homes and guardians with whom they had been staying. Someone goes to a strange place and enters the third month without getting a salary.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: You cannot question this. I have evidence, if you want me to prove that. Please, take this as seriously as it is. People have been deployed, we appreciate, but they need to be paid so that they can sustain their lives.

Madam Chairperson second to this, on health workers, I submit that for the next recruitment that is being planned, let us consider volunteers. The current recruitment, what it has done, actually, is that it has contributed to the shortage of health workers because …

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Mwila: …we had a number of volunteers working in health facilities.

Well, you can question if you do not visit health facilities in your constituencies.


Mr Mwila: Madam Chairperson, I am saying this –

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, Mr Mwila, order!

Mr Mwila, when you are debating, you are debating through the Chair. You should not answer to comments that are coming on the Floor of the House. Your focus should be debating through me, to the hon. Minister of Health rather than exchanging words between yourself and people who are not debating. So, can we, please, be focused and debate through the Chair.

You can continue with your debate.

Mr Mwila: Madam Chairperson, leaving out volunteers who had been serving in these facilities for months and years actually de-motivated them. A number of them have stopped working because they do not see any motivation to continue volunteering when they find themselves in the cold when recruitment comes. So, it has actually negatively affected the availability of human resource.

Madam Chairperson, I think that at the beginning of this year, the hon. minister made very good pronouncements in terms of how the recruitment would go, but somehow, she got detracted by people who started intervening and complaining about why volunteers should be considered and given priority. I still submit that volunteers should be given priority because now they are sitting at home. They do not see any need to go and volunteer when their employment is not guaranteed. It is just important because volunteers spend their money and time to help provide health services, but when the recruitment comes, they are not even given primary consideration. I think that is injustice to our young men and women. The recruitment that is coming in 2023, I think that, if the hon. Minister has to dictate, she should do so because it is just good to do that. People have been sitting at home. They know there is a health facility nearby, but they are just sitting. They do not want to go. The excuse that others do not have where to go and volunteer, I think, we should not even entertain. Those that really are passionate about the profession they have chosen, while waiting for full-time employment, should surely have done something. So, please, do consider that issue.

Madam Chairperson, the next issue on health workers I need to say is that the hon. Minister of Health was also part of an announcement or discovery from the Auditor-General about ghost health workers, but I wish to submit that, in fact, that report of ghost health workers was very misleading to the nation because those “ghost workers” actually exist. The problem, probably, was that auditors felt very lazy to pursue and follow through …

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Mwila: …and find where these people are. The truth of the matter is that people get transferred. If someone is stationed at the University Teaching Hospitals (UTH) and transferred to a newly opened hospital, and this auditor wants to find that person at UTH, they will surely not find them. What they should have done was to follow through; where is this person working?

Madam Chairperson, people were traced, found and asked to sign letters to confirm that they are not ghost workers. Those who were unfortunate were even temporarily removed from the payroll, but were still working. It is not their fault that they were asked to leave their primary point of appointment to go and provide services at new infrastructures. What the ministry should then be doing is to work with the people who are concerned with updating the human resource records so that when a person is transferred from facility A to facility B, even pay records and everything else is changed instantly. Otherwise, declaring a nurse or a medical doctor who is offering services as a ghost worker is demotivating, and it should not happen. We alarm the nation for things that do not even exist.

 thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo): Madam Chairperson, I want to add one or two words to Vote 46 – Ministry of Health.

Madam Chairperson, firstly, I earnestly want to urge all those people who live in towns to change their mind and consider living in rural areas. In their minds, they must know that rural areas exist. There is only one Ministry of Health and one hon. Minister of Health in the whole Republic but we have vast rural areas. Now, the question is: Who is supposed to service these areas?

Madam Chairperson, when I was listening attentively, I did not want to contribute, but because I do the job of representing my constituency, I am tempted to speak. The people serving us in this ministry forget about us. They should not forget that there is Kalabo out there.

Madam Chairperson, currently, the Flying Doctor Service is in Kalabo. The hon. Minister should ask them what they have found there. When people are operating in their offices, switch on the air conditioners, parked their cars outside, and have tarmac roads leading to their compounds, they feel Zambia is complete. Zambia is not complete.


Mr Miyutu: Zambia is only complete when you reach its boundary.

Madam Chairperson, from Lukona to the Boma, it is 60 km of sand terrain, without tarmac or gravel. You need a strong viable 4x4 vehicle to drive on that road. So, picture a pregnant woman who needs immediate attention. That is why sometimes, when people go and live in good structures, they should first ask themselves if they have served the locals because the Almighty is going to ask them what they did for the local people they lived with.

Hon. Government Member:Ema Pastors!

Mr Miyutu: So, the pregnant woman needs immediate attention. In short, what I am saying is that, in Kalabo, the Ministry of Health is the centre, seconded by the Ministry of Education. We need hospitals manned by doctors, and not only clinical officers.No! This is what causes referral cases when there is nobody to attend to pregnant women who may have complications.

Madam Chairperson, there is a movement of workers from one place to another –

Madam Chairperson: Order!

(Consideration adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKERin the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjournedat 1257 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday,29thDecember, 2022.