Wednesday, 23rd November, 2022

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      Wednesday, 23rd November, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of the Interim Committee of the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus and staff from the Parliament of Namibia:

Hon. Emillia Nuyoma-Amupwewa             –                      Chairperson

Hon. Elma Dienda                                       –                      Hon. Member

Ms Carol-Ann Esterhuize                            –                      Legal Officer

Ms Frankhilde Endjala                                 –                      Parliamentary Clerk.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

I thank you.




Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Ms Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving this opportunity to the people of Lundazi Constituency to raise a matter of urgent public importance pursuant to our Standing Order 134.

Ms Nyirenda resumed her seat.

Madam Speaker: You may proceed, hon. Member.

Ms Nyirenda: Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance is directed at the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. I can neither see him nor the Vice-President. I do not know whether one of the hon. Ministers or the one who is acting will take it up.

Madam Speaker, yesterday, we woke up to a rude shock in Lundazi as thirteen of the criminals who were in police custody ran away. This has brought a lot of apprehension in the district as those criminals, who were in lawful custody, managed to escape. The police has not yet apprehended any of them. This is partly due to the lack of transport as the only vehicle that is available at the Lundazi Police Station is not working.

Madam Speaker, I need your guidance.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lundazi, the matter that you have raised does not qualify to be raised under Standing Order 134. You can take other remedial measures and engage the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to see how that matter can be attended to.


Hon. Members, I have permitted the hon. Minister of Health to make a ministerial statement.

Mrs Masebo was not in the Assembly Chamber.


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

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, nothing has happened yet. I am still waiting to be advised. What is the point of order you are raising and on whom?

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, the point of order is on the Leader of Government Business in the House. There has never been a time when the Government has collapsed and failed to obey your orders. This Government has many hon. Ministers, including the Chief Whip, in the House.

Madam Speaker, your orders are very simple. You have asked the hon. Minister of Health to give a ministerial statement and she is not here. The Vice-President is also not here, but the Chief Whip is here. All Zambians, including myself, are waiting to hear this ministerial statement.

Madam Speaker, is the Government in order to disobey your orders and keep all Zambians in suspense without letting the House and the nation know what is going on in the country?

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The request to make a ministerial statement came from the hon. Minister herself. Now that she is not here and no reason has been given for the absence –

Mr Syakalima interjected.

Madam Speaker: Oh, the hon. Minister of Education is the acting hon. Minister of Health. May the acting hon. Minister proceed.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo)): Madam Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to update the House and the nation at large on the recruitment of 11,276 health workers.

Madam Speaker, the Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, is committed to fulfilling its agenda as pronounced when the New Dawn Government came into power.

Madam Speaker, in updating the House on the recruitment of 11, 276 health workers, I would like to begin by providing an update on the processes undertaken since the last ministerial statement I issued in this august House as follows:

Advertisement of positions

The 11,276 positions were advertised in the print media from 25th March, 2022 and initially closed on 1st April, 2022. However, due to the overwhelming response from potential job seekers, the Civil Service Commission extended the advertisement period by three days, from 6th April, 2022, to 8th April, 2022.

Induction of Human Resource Management Committees

Following the closure of the advertisement, all the ten Provincial Human Resource Management committees were inducted by the Civil Service Commission on the guidelines and procedures in the recruitment process. The committees, in turn, inducted all the 116 District Human Resource Management sub-committees.

Data capturing, short-listing and recommendation

All the 116 District Human Resource Management sub-committees performed the following functions:

  1. data capturing of all applicants;
  2. screening and short listing of eligible candidates; and
  3. recommending the selected candidates to the Provincial Human Resource Management committees.

Madam Speaker, I wish to state that all the Human Resource Management Committees and Sub-Committees had representation from the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Office of the President – Special Division and district administrators, who were observers in the process to ensure that it was transparent, equitable and corruption-free.

Roles of the Provincial Human Resource Management Committees

The Human Resource Management Committees at provincial level additionally performed the following functions:

  1. receipt of recommendations from the District Human Resource Management Sub-Committees;
  2. validation of the recommendations; and
  3. verification of Grade 12 school certificates – One of the cardinal processes in this recruitment was the verification of Grade 12 school certificates. The Civil Service Commission and the Ministry of Health facilitated the training of representatives from respective Provincial Human Resource Management Committees on how to conduct the verification exercise. I wish to report to the House that the validation process by the ten Provincial Human Resource Management Committees was successfully undertaken.

National Technical Committee

Madam Speaker, a National Technical Committee comprising the Civil Service Commission, Public Service Management Division (PSMD) and Ministry of Health undertook the process of verifying the provincial consolidated lists of selected candidates. After the verification exercise, the Civil Service Commission published the names of successful candidates on 29th July, 2022 and 1st August, 2022. The names were published in the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and News Diggers.

Issuance of Appointment Letters

Madam Speaker, in order to uphold the aspirations of the New Dawn Government with respect to the decentralisation agenda, the Civil Service Commission delegated the function of appointments specifically for the recruitment of the 11,276 health workers. This entails that the process of recruitment now ended at provincial level as opposed to national level.

Madam Speaker, I wish to report to this august House that the provincial administrations in all the ten provinces have since issued appointment letters to successful candidates who subsequently started reporting to their respective stations on 1st September, 2022. As at 31st October, 2022, a total of 11,090 successful candidates had reported to their respective duty stations and have since been placed on the payroll.

Madam Speaker, the Government decided to take advantage of the current recruitment process to add an additional 1,668 positions which fell vacant as a result of staff attrition, such as retirements, resignations, unpaid leave, secondments and death. This brings the total number of staff to be recruited to 12,944.  Out of this total, 11,608 candidates who have completed all the necessary reporting formalities have been placed on the payroll. I wish to inform the House that the payroll placement is ongoing and shall continue for the remaining candidates as they report and complete all necessary appointment formalities.

Madam Speaker, I wish to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to create employment and at the same time ensure that the patient to healthcare ratio is favourable for the Government to deliver quality, cost effective healthcare services as close to our people as possible.

Further Madam Speaker, as I conclude, may I take this opportunity to thank the hon. Members of this House and the general public for their support and patience during the time of recruitment.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, I sincerely appreciate the opportunity granted to me to interact with the acting hon. Minister of Health. It is, indeed, good to account to the nation and I recognise that the hon. Minister is simply acting and plugging the gap. Oh, I can see the substantive hon. Minister, which is great.


Mr Chonya: Question!

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, the subject the hon. Minister has brought is an interesting and important one for the people of Zambia, on which there are very few complaints. There are more complaints about the lack of drugs in hospitals.

Madam Speaker, does the hon. Minister think that bringing this statement is good prioritisation on her part or she should have brought a statement to do with the lack of drugs in hospitals?

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, I just want to thank my hon. Colleague, whom I had asked to stand in for me because I had an emergency. So, I say thank you to the hon. Minister and thank the hon. Member for his follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, my response to that question is that the statement on the availability of drugs will be coming next week.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Amutike (Mongu Central): Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to congratulate the New Dawn Government through the hon. Minister of Health for having recruited over 11,000 health workers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Amutike: Madam Speaker, however, my concern is that following the recruitment process, we still receive complaints of some people whose names have appeared in the newspapers, but have not yet received appointment letters. I, therefore, want to ask the hon. Minister of Health to state what these people whose names have appeared in the newspapers of having been successful, but have not yet received appointment letters, should do in order to get the appointment letters.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very important follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, this is the reason I felt that this statement was necessary. As you recall, there has been a number of complaints concerning those candidates whose names appeared as being successful, but not yet having received their letters of employment.

Madam Speaker, I wish to state that out of the 1,667 candidates whose names appeared, but had not received their letters, we had by the end of October, managed to clear almost 95 per cent. I think less than fifty are yet to be cleared. The exact number is in fact thirty-five positions. These are still not yet cleared.

Madam Speaker, the reason for this situation is because of something being wrong with the documents of some of these applicants. In the process, it was discovered that there was something wrong with the National Registration Cards, for instance. So we had to do verifications. Further, some certificates were not validated or the applicant had passed the age limited, although their names had appeared. So, some of them had to fall off the list even after their names had appeared. However, the good news is that over 95 per cent have since been cleared.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, courtesy would have demanded that the hon. Minister renders an apology to the Presiding Officer who was left agonised.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has given us a wholesome number of health workers who have been recruited. Is she able to give us further details as to how many doctors, nurses and other medical staff were recruited in that order so that we can keep a tab on how they are going to be distributed?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the follow-up question. We do have the aggregate but it was not captured in the statement. So, through you, Madam Speaker, I will be able to do that next time.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Madam Speaker, how did the Ministry of Health manage to recruit such a huge number of health workers within a short period of time which was difficult in the previous Government?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government under the able leadership of His Excellency, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, has not only recruited over 12,000 health workers but 30,000 teachers and many others from other sectors, including implementing the free education policy. This is because of the mere fact that the President himself is committed to running this Government in an efficient manner with zero tolerance to corruption and ensuring that all the resources that the Zambian people pay as taxes, are used not for ourselves as hon. Ministers and those in leadership but for the benefit of the peopleof Zambia.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: You can stop the clock.

A point of order is raised.

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, it is pursuant to Standing Order No. 204. Should I proceed?

Madam Speaker: Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, our Standing Order No. 204 (1), on parliamentary decorum and etiquette, states as follows:

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

Madam Speaker, this could be coming late but it is said, better late than never. Yesterday, when we were going for the health break, there was pandemonium here in this House of the people. The hon. Member for Chienge nearly punched the hon. Minister. She really charged towards the hon. Minister and came to the front like a hungry lion or lioness, and she almost jumped on the hon. Minister. She almost poked her fingers into the eyes of the hon. Minister.

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Katakwe: Of course, other hon. Members even got their phones and started capturing what was happening here, and she got even more angry.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member! Let us not waste so much time. May you resume your seat.

Mr Katakwe resumed his seat.

Madam Speaker: That event occurred yesterday and it did not happen on the Floor of the House today. So, in terms of admissibility, since it is being raised as a point of order, that is not allowed. If you have an issue, you can put in a complaint to the Speaker in accordance with our Standing Orders. So, hon. Member, you are guided as such. You can put in a complaint.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing the people of Nalolo to ask a follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister responded that some people who were recruited have fallen off because of incorrect National Registration Card (NRC) details. How then did these people find themselves on the final list of those recruited, if there were such anomalies during the process before their names could actually be published?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important question.

Madam Speaker, the recruitment committee shortlisted and employed the over 12,000 health workers and it was the same committee which also dealt with the 30,000 teachers. So, in some cases, there were issues of human error, but there was also the issue of fraud where somebody got a certificate for somebody else and submitted it as his/her own. Along the process, some of them were approved and they thought that those involved at the end of process would not see that. Remember this process started at the district level, moved to the province and then to the national committee. From the national committee, the Ministry of Health and the Public Service Commission were involved. So, working together, they were able to pick some errors. Like I said, some of the errors were genuine while others were not genuine. At the end of the day, thirty-five people were removed, and some were removed because their age was beyond the limit.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the good people of Petauke an opportunity to ask the hon. Minister a follow-up question, and I thank the hon. Minister for the ministerial statement.

Madam Speaker, the question from the good people of Petauke is: how many doctors have been recruited so far in this process?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I do not want to mislead this House off the cuff, but I know that it is between 300 to 400 doctors.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Madam Speaker, from those medical officers who have been employed and given appointment letters, is the hon. Minister able to share with us the number of those who are on the payroll and those who are not?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, like I said, over 95 per cent have since been put on the payroll but for the exact number, all I can say is that whilst there were 63,396 members of staff in 2021, there are now 75,114 in 2022.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for recruiting health workers. However, there are more health workers out there who graduated and are complaining that they are not being recruited. I know that the Government cannot recruit everyone at the same time. What message of comfort does the hon. Minister have for the people who are not yet recruited but completed their school?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, let me say that they should not give up because Mr Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, has already given an undertaking that in the next three years, starting from 2022 to 2024, we shall continue recruiting. For 2022, we are going to recruit 3000 people. Those who were left out must not give up. I also know that there are those who need to be promoted. Somehow, some people have worked for maybe the last five to ten years on a low salary scale and yet their scales are supposed to be upgraded because their qualifications have improved. Going forward, we have already started upgrading the salary scales of people who have been on low salary scales. I also know that we will not be able to upgrade everybody this year but we will continue with the exercise next year until the following year. We are hoping that come 2025, we would have done justice to the matter by 70 to 80 per cent.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mabumba (Mwense): Madam Speaker, the number seems very interesting. However, as you maybe aware, the retention of medical staff in rural areas has been a challenge over the years. What measures is the Government going to take into account to ensure that the newly recruited medical staff will continue to serve in the rural areas they have been posted to.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the issue of retention of Government workers especially in the health sector has always been a challenge. Many times do people get employed and posted but after three months to one year of being employed, they start applying to come back to Lusaka and towns along the line of rail, leaving the rural areas, unfortunately, almost empty. It is also true for doctors. After some time, there are all sorts of good excuses for further training from the doctors that we post.

Madam Speaker, we, however, have policies already put in place that we shall be reviewing to make sure that when one signs up to be in a rural area, there must be a minimum number of years one must stay in the area they have been posted to before going anywhere, including studying. Study has become a good excuse for people to go and stay away for one to six years and then say they have to go and upgrade themselves by enhancing their profession. We are looking at these issues from a policy point of view to make sure that the loop holes of the past are sealed. One of the ways in which the Government is trying to make sure that the situation of leaving rural areas empty does not arise is through the policy of decentralisation, looking at the pronouncement that His Excellency, the president, made. One of the pronouncements that we made even during the recent recruitment was to the effect that applicants apply within the districts they live in. So, if you are employing a nurse from Chilubi and he/she lives in Chilubi, as he/she applies and she is employed at Chilubi Hospital, the chances of that person coming to Lusaka are almost nil.

Madam, in the past, there was the practice of people who lived in Lusaka were the ones who were being employed from Lusaka to cover all the districts. Once they were put on the payroll, they would run back to Lusaka.

Madam Speaker, going forward, we are going to continue being strict because we believe that every province of Zambia has qualified people. However, there are specialised skills which may not be available and that is when we go out of the district but within the province and from within the province from the other provinces. We tried to do very much although we knew that there were leakages in the process. That is why you hear somebody here saying that the District Commissioners (DCs) were the ones employing.

Madam Speaker, by the way, this statement was equally important so that some of our colleagues do not mislead the public about the entire process, where they will use the DC as a scape-goat. We tried very much to ensure that the local leadership in the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education be the ones to employ. As a priority, we said they employ local people in that district, only if they did not have the qualification. So, that is another way that if you employ a nurse who lives in a particular district, they will not want to leave the place but if you employ somebody from Lusaka and send them to Chilubi, obviously they will not stay there long enough because the place may be difficult for them to live in Sometimes, even issues of houses are also a challenge.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that they still have 5 per cent of that who either have fallen off due age or other challenges with their qualifications. My interest is when she will make a replacement of those whom she is sure have really fallen off so that I can chance a place for one nurse who can take over the clinic at Chanyondo in Lundazi.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, we are already doing that. We are already filling up the vacancies. Government has to continue with work. The Ministry of Health has continued doing recruitment beyond the 11,000 who were recruited. If there is a specific issue or any other, the hon. Member can come through to see the Permanent Secretary (PS) and myself. If possible, where there is need, we will help.

Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister for the excellent job done, so far and beyond expectations, with the extra recruitments. That is very commendable. I commend the whole Government of His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema, for this work.

Madam Speaker, a number of people who are 45 years or so and above have not even able to get the job simply because they were basically victims of a brutal regime. They could not be recruited or get an opportunity to be recruited in the last ten years. They are now asking for leniency from the New Dawn Government, the good Government of His Excellency, President Hakainde, to see –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, just ask a supplementary question.

Mr Munsanje: They are asking for leniency from the good New Dawn Government of His Excellency President Hakainde Hichilema so they can be allowed into the Civil Service at any age to enable them to serve for the period they are illegible to do so. They can be given contracts or be in full-time employment, but they can serve for the period they are able to serve.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very important question. It is important in that, indeed, we have a number of our people who were not able to get into employment for various reasons. Some of the reasons are beyond their own making, and also taking into account that education became a preserve of the rich andthe politicians. So, these are issues that any Government must consider.

Madam, the President is listening to views through various fora. So, these are matters for future consideration by the Government. However, for now, the rules and the guidelines are still the same. I think with time, you will see that some regulations are already being relaxed. For example, to be a general worker, you have to be a Grade 12 school leaver and so on and so forth. You will note that actually, we were deliberately able to make considerations for cleaners. A cleaner does not need to have a Grade 12 certificate with six passes because it then means we are not serving the Zambian people. To that extent, there are issues that the President has personally guided the Government on how to proceed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

We have run out of time. We have exhausted our time. So, we can make progress.


Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Madam Speaker, Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to register all board members in Government institutions and parastatal bodies with the Institute of Directors of Zambia (IDZ).

Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, before I proceed, let me hasten to mention that this Motion was prompted by the rampant deficit of corporate governance principles in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) which has resulted in widespread breaches of regulations and professional ethics. Normally, the breeches are perpetuated with impunity by custodians of public institutions entrusted to make decisions that usually have a longstanding impact on public welfare. This is despite repeated efforts by successive Governments to strengthen corporate governance in SOEs.

Madam Speaker, it is worrying to note that many public institutions are regularly cited by oversight institutions for non-adherence to corporate governance principles. They are cited for consenting to numerous irregularities pertaining to financial misconduct, mediocre performance, poor staff welfare, corruption, negligence, fraud, lack of accountability, to just mention a few. They are often principal offenders of various corporate scandals that have rocked Zambia in recent and distant times.

Madam Speaker, as the House may be aware, Zambia has experienced corporate scandals in SOEs leading to devastating socio-economic effects. During the First and Second Republics, the board of directors appointed to administer the affairs of SOEs through corporate entities like the Industrial Development Corporation (INDECO) and the Zambia Mining and Investments Corporation (ZIMCO) achieved modest corporate governance accomplishments to warrant sustainable development in Zambia’s maturing economy.

Madam Speaker, this state of affairs continued into the early phase of the Third Republic when the Zambian economy transitioned into an ambitious and wholesale privatisation programme. However, with the deficiencies of corporate governance guidelines, several private and public entities in the mining, agriculture, manufacturing and banking sectors, struggled to realise good corporate governance principles.

Madam Speaker, in recent times, Zambia has witnessed a steady growth in demand for good corporate governance, prompting the establishment of the IDZ twenty-two years ago. However, corporate governance has thrived more in private ventures than in SOEs where irregularities are widespread owing to non-adherence to corporate governance ethics when boards of directors are performing their oversight roles. For example, the 2019 Auditor-General’s Report cited ZamPost for lacking oversight in corporate governance procedures when it internally borrowed K1.9 million from Zampost Freight and Forwarding without the board’s approval.

Madam Speaker, in addition, some boards have, in the past, been dissolved for not living up to their terms of reference. These boards include the National Roads Fund Agency (NRFA) Board, the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (ZAMTEL) Board, the National Youth Development Council (NYDC) Board and the Times Printpak Board, to mention but a few. However, some institutions have operated without a board of directors, as the case was for the Zambia Compulsory Standards Agency (ZCSA), which operated without a board from January, 2018 to June, 2022.

Madam Speaker, the irregularities and scandals identified earlier on can simply be resolved through prioritising and strengthening corporate governance in SOEs. Therefore, as part of the solution to redeem corporate prudence, all Boards of Directors in SOEs should be registered with the IDZ. I am confident that the decision to register board members will accrue numerous benefits, which include the following:

  1. members will enhance their skills and competencies by participating in learning and development activities which advances corporate governance tenets;
  2. members will be offered an opportunity to network with peers for purposes of sharing knowledge and expertise in corporate governance; and
  3.  members who breach the professional ethics and conduct are most often disciplined and barred from serving on boards. This will help to attract and retain competent board of directors in SOEs.

Madam Speaker, the IDZ is a leadership forum committed to the development of corporate governance through professional training and advocacy to enhance the quality of leadership and governance in the private and public sectors of Zambia since its creation twenty-two years ago.

Madam Speaker, the institute promotes high ethical standards, sound mindset and ability to demonstrate sensible and informed business decisions and recommendations. Therefore, membership to this body will help to enhance the performance of SOEs, which will, in turn, reduce audit queries in public institutions.

Madam Speaker, I am elated that the need to have improved corporate governance is also recognised by the United Party for National Development (UPND). The Ruling party’s commitments are espoused in their manifesto to transform corporate governance by strengthening the legal framework. The manifesto, on page 28, states as follows:

“In light of rising cases of abuse of office in both the private and public sectors, a key focus of our effort will be legislation aimed at improving the corporate governance environment in the country. This will include strengthening qualifications for directors and board appointments and insolvency laws to guard against recent cases of blatant abuse of the process by political players”.

Madam, in view of this commitment, the Institute of Directors of Zambia has advocated for the enactment of comprehensive legislation which will be promoted through the Institute of Directors Bill.

Madam Speaker, it may seem like the Government would spend a lot of money if it was required to register all those members of boards of parastatals and Government institutions, but when you look at the money that is going to be saved as a result of that registration, you are going to find that the savings that are going to be realised are going to be much higher than what it would pay for subscription.

In other words, if the Government does not have the money to pay for those people who are appointed to sit on boards, it could, alternatively, request them to register with the institute of directors. This is not something unusual. It happens sometimes when the Government is employing, for example, civil servants. It tells prospective employees that they need Police Clearance Certificates, and they are expected to pay the fees to the police for clearance or relevant authorities where they have to get medical clearance.

Madam, as I conclude, let me emphasise that the continued poor performance of boards of directors is a profound concern and has a direct bearing on the realisation of poverty eradication and wealth creation as contained in national planning instruments such as the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) and the Vision 2030, both of which are aimed at making Zambia a prosperous and middle-income country by the year 2030. Therefore, I call upon both sides of the House to support this controversial Motion as well as the committee chairpersons –

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukosa: Oh! Therefore, I call upon both sides of the House to support this non-controversial Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Kafwaya: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, thank you so much for according me this opportunity to second the Motion from my colleague Hon. Kalalwe Mukosa, the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Madam Speaker, this Motion is non-controversial, non-political and non-toxic, but developmental. Leadership in corporations can be bad, but at times, it can be good. The goodness and badness of leadership may be driven by the capabilities of directors. This is why directors should have an opportunity to belong to an association which can up-skill them and enforce certain ethical considerations. Let me quote from the website of the institute under consideration. It states:

“We believe that good corporate governance and ethical leadership are essential to organisational sustainability, effectiveness and growth; and for socio economic development and prosperity.”

Madam Speaker, this is the basis of my supporting this Motion and urging my hon. Colleagues, both on your right and left, to support it. Ethical considerations are important because ethics are those moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour. If your organisation has not established a set of ethical considerations which must be motivating for you to follow, you are likely to malfunction as a person.

Madam Speaker, when you malfunction as a leader, you are likely to cause that personal malfunction to affect the organisation that you serve. So, it is very important for all board members in all parastatals in Zambia to belong to the Institute of Directors of Zambia so that those ethical considerations established by the institute can motivate all of them.

Madam Speaker, in the statement I quoted, there is organisational sustainability. To develop sustainable strategies, you need capacity. That capacity does not come from nowhere. It does not come from belonging to the Patriotic Front (PF) or any political party. It comes from being developed as a resource so that you are able to institute or apply your mind to developing these capabilities which will be beneficial to the organisation.

Madam Speaker, it is my strong recommendation that we encourage these directors to belong to this institute. This will promote up-skilling initiatives which will promote continuous professional development initiatives for the purposes of ensuring that directors have the necessary capacities to run our organisations better. This way, the Government and the people of Zambia are going to benefit from their being leaders in these organisations. Effectiveness is also mentioned in the portion that I quoted.

Madam Speaker, for you to be an effective resource, you have to have the know-how, but as I said, belonging to the United Party for National Development (UPND) will not give you the know-how. Being a card-carrying member of the UPND will never give you the know-how. The know-how will come from up-skilling –


Mr Kafwaya: Maybe the UPND is toxic. Belonging to the PF will not give you the know-how. It will come from up-skilling and belonging to the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) like my hon. Colleague, by virtue of his being a qualified Chartered Institute of Management Accountant (CIMA).

I wish he had brought the advice he has brought today when I was Minister because it is good for the progress of the country. Integrity, which is such an important virtue, can come from this development. Objectivity, professional competence and virtue can come from this development.

Therefore, as I second this Motion, it is my conviction that ensuring that all these directors – By the way, board members are directors and that is why I am using the term director, just in case my colleagues think I am talking about other things. These directors should be allowed or motivated to join this institute for the benefit not of this Government of the UPND or themselves, but for the benefit of the people of Zambia. I tend to think that if these institutions perform, we have benefits to derive as the Zambian people.

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

Madam Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I have listened very attentively to the submissions of the mover and the seconder of the Motion. They have veered off the Motion which you allowed on the Floor of the House. The Motion is very clear. It is stating that the Government must ensure that directors in parastatal organisations join the Institute of Directors of Zambia. Now, they are recommending that they must be encouraged to be members of the institute, contrary to the Motion which you authorised on the Floor of this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Mwiimbu: Are they in order to veer off the Motion which they are encouraging us to debate? They are defeating their own Motion. They have abandoned it contrary to Article 81. Why should we continue with this Motion?


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, as you debate, please stick to the Motion as presented and approved by the Speaker’s Office. Let us not veer off.  


Madam Speaker: No, let them debate. They have a right to debate.

May the hon. Member, continue.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, it is the responsibility of the Government to ensure that all players in the Government including directors in Parastatals, adhere to good corporate governance practices. One way in which it can achieve that is to ensure that all board members in all institutions under the Government belong to this body. This is what we are talking about.

Madam Speaker, however, as you know, in some cases, you might find people who have qualms with this Motion, who will be saying that this Government does not have money. So, there is diversity in that, and I think it is important to offer solutions comprehensively, which is to encourage them, in case they cannot register them.

However, the Motion which I am seconding here means that the Government must do it because it is its responsibility, unless it does not want good corporate governance or does not want to have a country which is run by professionals who subscribe to good corporate governance. However, if the Government wants to do that and it is its desire as the United Party for National Development (UPND), I do not see why anybody should have a problem with this Motion.

Madam Speaker, as I second, I wish to thank you.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you very much for the opportunity given to the people of Luena to debate this “back from the dead” Motion.

Madam Speaker, I am saying, “back from the dead” Motion because the mover and the seconder of the Motion do know that they rescued this Motion, having at some point decided that it was not going to come forward. Nonetheless, they resurrected it and brought it. Therefore, we are going to debate it.

Madam Speaker, I am going to first of all read the Motion in full, so that the mover and the seconder are aware of what it is that they are urging the Government to do. They are saying,

“Register Board Members with the Institute of Directors of Zambia: That in order to enhance corporate governance, this House urges the Government to register all board members in Government institutions and parastatal bodies with the Institute of Directors of Zambia.”

Madam Speaker, there is no ambiguity there. What they are proposing is that the Government should collect a list of all Board Members in the Government institutions, submit it to the Institute of Directors (IOD) Zambia chapter, and have them registered. There should be nothing outside that.

Madam Speaker, they have spent all their time lecturing us on the good tenets of corporate governance which no one on this side of the House argues with. What we have a problem with is the suggestion that this should become a corporate responsibility.

Madam Speaker, board members are constituted to oversee and provide strategic directions to the institutions under their charge. That means you people who understand the core business of the institution or the organisation.  You need people who have the professional requisites. It is for that reason, in nearly all state institutions, the founding Acts specifically spell out the membership of professional bodies as being a requirement. The part of the qualifications, knowledge, and skills that those professionals bring is exactly to do with integrity and ethics.

Madam Speaker, the IOD as correctly characterised by the mover of the Motion, is a leadership forum, and then he says that it embodies these professional ethics which would be backed up once an Institute of Director Bill comes for approval or for passing on the Floor of this House.

Madam Speaker, how can somebody encourage people to belong a voluntary arrangement and claim all those benefits, on the understanding that all these alleged corporate scandals which were occurring was because people were not members of the IOD? They cannot even substantiate that. Some of these financial scandals might have been committed by people who were already members of that leadership forum.

Madam Speaker, so, this Motion, without any suggestion that there is anything wrong with belonging to the IOD, it is a noble leadership forum that stands for a noble cause. All the people who are aspiring to be in leadership and management positions indeed, should be encouraged but that is a completely a different suggestion. As for this responsibility to be taken up by the Government, to register all Board Members, will be a complete non-starter.

Madam Speaker, some of the institutions or boards that are instituted under this Government require people who represent for example, consumer groups and the rural societies because they are affected. I have in mind here some of the water utility entities and institutions like Water Resource Management Authority (WARMA). They require community members to belong to councils in catchment areas, in rural localities but they are saying that they must as a matter of policy, be required to be members of the Institute of Directors.

Madam Speaker, there has never been a more misguide Motion than this one. Therefore, without wasting much of your time, I would like to suggest that this is indeed a, brought-in-dead (BID) Motion and therefore, it does not get the support of the people of Luena.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, my point of order is on the previous speaker and is in pursuant with Standing Order No. 65, which states that we need to be factual and give true information.

Madam Speaker, in his debate, he was elucidating or maybe, dreaming that all Acts dictate that board members must belong to various associations, which is completely incorrect and false.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Let us give the hon. Member time to raise the point of order so that I can also understand it.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, we have the verbatim.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, as you continue, the use of the word, “dreaming” in the context that you used it, is not acceptable. Please, use a more acceptable language to your fellow hon. Members.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I meant imaging things that may not be in the Act.

Madam Speaker, when we reviewed all the Acts pertaining to the appointment of all the Board Members in the last session of Parliament, maybe, the hon. Member was not there and he can begin to image things that are not there.


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

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, the point of order – I am now responding to my brother, the hon. Member for Mongu Central, who is not the Speaker. Maybe, he has taken over your role, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena in order to mislead himself and the people of Zambia that the Acts that pertain to the appointment of people to sit on various Boards do request that those who are appointed belong to this professional body when in the actual sense, it is not true. Other Acts only give the hon. Minister to appoint two Independents and various representatives of various Government ministries.

Madam Speaker, I seek your guidance.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, you are referring to some Acts which you have not even specified as to which particular Acts. The hon. Member is stating a position from his understating and you are also stating a position from your understanding. So, I do not think it will be fair for me to assign any blame to any particular hon. Member that they are not stating the facts. However, if hon. Members have a point, take a note so that as you debate, you rebut the position.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for this opportunity to support the spirit of this Motion.

Madam Speaker, the spirit of this Motion …


Mr Chanda: ... is to raise the bar and ensure that state enterprises play a very critical role in our agenda for economic accountability. There ought to be certain standards they should adhere to if we are to realise the objectives of the Vision 2030 and the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), and there is a role that they play in this endeavour. I think that is what I understand to be the spirit or purpose of this Motion.

Madam Speaker, it goes without saying that the mover and the seconder rargued about good corporate governance and other hon. Colleagues debated against this Motion. However, in essence, we agree that we cannot substitute good corporate governance for anything. In this regard, if State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) are to perform to the optimum and are to bring us closer to where we must be in attaining the objectives of our national policies and adjectives, then we must raise the standard.

Madam Speaker, members of different boards are drawn from diverse backgrounds. Some are drawn from an agricultural background while others from an educational background, etcetera. We cannot assume that everyone who is appointed as aboard member subscribes to the tenets of good corporate governance. There is a need for us to raise the bar and ensure that those of us who are appointed to provide strategic direction in SOEs embrace the tenets of good corporate governance as this is critical.

Madam Speaker, the argument, of course, on the left and the right, is whether people must be encouraged or compelled to belong to the Institute of Directors. I think we can lose this Motion in translation. What cannot be argued against is the need for us to raise the standard so that the people who are appointed to different boards adhere to corporate governance codes and understand the corporate governance scorecard and the implication on the SOEs.

Madam Speaker, it is also true that belonging to the Institute of Directors would allow board members to adhere to a set of standards. The mover of this Motion alluded to the issues that have been observed in the past. We have read about the issues in the past and even in the present. I read one newspaper, I think for today or yesterday, where it is alleged that a board member is interfering with the operations of management. So, we cannot take it for granted that board members by virtue of appointment understand the implications that come with being appointed to such a position.

Madam Speaker, board members provide oversight and strategic direction. It is important that hon. Members on the left and the right give this Motion a chance because it states what we must all agree to, that as a country, we need a certain level of discipline and direction, if we are to adhere and achieve the objectives we have set for ourselves, as I alluded to,in the Vision 2030 and the 8NDP, among other national policies.

Madam Speaker, with those few words, I submit.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for allowing the good people of Mbabala to contribute to the debate on the Motion urging members of Government boards to be members of the Institute of Directors.

Madam Speaker, I have been a fellow of the Institute of Directors since 2006 and I am an award-wining member of best Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)leader in 2017.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munsanje: I am also an accredited trainer of King Code I, II, III, IV up to the present. As such, I belong to the Institute of Directors as a club. I am wondering whether my hon. Colleagues who moved the Motion have done enough consultation with the Institute of Directors to which I belong. This is a club, and as a club, we cannot force people to join the club. A club is a voluntary organisation and the Institute of Directors is a voluntary organisation. When you become a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of an organisation or a corporate leader somewhere, you need to enhance your competencies in that area. So, on your own, you will voluntarily look for where you can get those skills.

Madam Speaker, I joined the Institute of Directors in 2006 when I became Country Director at Sight Savers International where I served with Hon. Kambita because I needed to learn one or two things. So, it is a voluntary club where you go to get the skills to deal with certain things on your own. You cannot force people to join Chongololo Club, Wildlife Club or any club. No, that is not the way we do things. We have to do things in a methodical manner as guided by His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema.

So, I urge the mover of this Motion to withdraw it. I said much earlier that it is easy to withdraw this Motion and to plan and consult the Institute of Directors properly. The members, including myself, being one of the strongmen of that institute, will tell them what they need to do instead of coming here to mislead themselves, the House and the nation.

Madam Speaker, our hon. Colleagues are definitely misguided and I urge them to completely withdraw this Motion and not to waste our time this afternoon.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba (Mwense): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I wish I had a lot of energy to debate this Motion.

Madam Speaker, I do not like talking about myself, but I am a chartered secretary trained in the United Kingdom (UK). So, when it comes to issues of corporate governance, I am well versed.

Hon. Member: You are an authority?

Mr Mabumba: Yes, I am an authority on the matter. So, when I hear hon. Colleagues trivialise this important Motion, which is supposed to help the Government of the day, I get very surprised. It is very unfortunate that those who are saying they are members of the Institute of Directors are trivialising this matter.

Madam Speaker, to me, this Motion is non-partisan. If you look at corporate failure or corporate insolvency in the world, you will see that it is caused by bad governance in many organisations. Even at ministry level, ministries fail because of bad corporate governance and leadership. Therefore, we should encourage ourselves as Members of Parliament to support this Motion that has been brought by our hon. Colleagues, despite the few deficiencies that it might have, especially that the United Party for National Development (UPND) manifesto provides that there will be legislation to come up with a corporate governance legislative framework which board members in this country should subscribe to.

Madam Speaker, if you look at the history of corporate governance, it was introduced to the rest of the world in the early 1990s because of its failure in United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). Therefore, there was a suggestion that instead of having legislation, we could have the voluntary way of the board members belonging to this institution.

Madam Speaker, here in Zambia, like our hon. Colleague stated, we have corporate failure in organisation performance.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, can we allow the hon. Member to conclude. We do not have much time. We have a lot of work to do as indicated on the order paper.

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, thank you for your protection.

Madam Speaker, with corporate failure, even as provided in the many of the audit reports, I am sure the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning should even be able to say that we have bad practices that have continued.

Madam Speaker, for me, when a Motion of this nature has been brought to the House, hon. Members of Parliament are supposed to come together without looking at it with a partisan approach. We have to encourage board members who are being appointed to adhere to corporate governance standards and ethics so that they are able to guide the institution they are in on what they are supposed to do.

Madam Speaker, if we look at some of the countries in Asia, many have come to Africa as parastatals. They are doing very well by maximising returns and sending their returns to their countries. Meanwhile, when we look at the parastatals in this country, they do not do well. The question is: Why is it that they are not doing well? The reason is simple: The champions and vision carriers in these institutions, who are the board members, do not adhere to any corporate governance standard. It is simply because we do not have a framework.

Madam Speaker, this Motion seeks to urge the Government, which is basic, that the board members it is appointing must belong to the Institute of Directors. Like my hon. Colleague said, when you look at most of the legislation in this country, for those hon. Ministers who are appointing board members, it would say you have to become a member of the Engineering Institute of Zambia. However, it does not say that you have to belong to the Institute of Directors.

Madam Speaker, the Institute of Directors of Zambia is a grouping of directors where corporate governance is taught and where our directors are trained. Therefore, even if I belong to an institute, I must also belong to this institute where I am going to be provided with capacity in cooperate governance standards so that when I am appointed as a director, I must be able to guide the management on what it is supposed to do.

Madam Speaker, recently, we have read about board that have been dissolving some of these institutions and the question is: Why? You will find that in some organisations, the board chairman wants to become a controlling officer, procurement manager, finance director, and the question is: Why? The answer is that they are lacking basic management training.

Madam Speaker, we the people of Mwense support this Motion because we believe that if our directors are provided with capacity, they are going to help our institutions.

Madam, the United Party for National Development (UPND), as a Government, wants to promote economic transformation and job creation. If parastatals and state organisations are not properly functioning, we cannot attain the economic transformation and job creation that it is claiming to promote.

Madam Speaker, with those words, I support this Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The last debater on my right will be the hon. Member for Zambezi East Constituency.

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to be the last debater on this Motion that was moved on the Floor of the House by the hon. Member for Chinsali and seconded by the hon. Member Lunte.

Madam Speaker, from the outset, I would like you to take judicial notice that I am the Chairperson for the Committee on Parastatal Bodies. Therefore, my interaction with parastatal bodies is quite high. Having interacted with them, it is clear on how corporate governance in sits in these institutions. What comes out very clearly in my interaction with the parastatal bodies is that corporate governance has suffered in recently years. However, there is a history to that. That is the reason I do not agree with the mover and the seconder of the Motion when they seem to suggest that the treatment to the problem of corporate governance is to compel this House to move the Government to come up with a law that will now force people to belong to the Institute of Directors.

Madam Speaker, I think that is not the right direction. I will give reasons for reasoning like that. The problem that we seem to face and going by the experience I have had in my interaction with most of these parastatal bodies is that the selection of these directors seemed to have taken a partisan route. It is because some people who were not competent enough to sit on those boards ended up finding themselves sitting on those boards. That is why I am saying this has a history to it.

Madam Speaker, we cannot enquire from anywhere else because the people who caused this are in this House. Instead of us looking for laws to fix things here and there, all it calls for is good governance. Like Hon. Anakoka mentioned, most of these acts which usher in the parastatal institutions prescribe the structure of the boards. They state from which institutions they should be drawn.

Madam Speaker, if the person given the authority by the Government to appoint the board strictly follows that, they would actually pick competent people in these boards. Alas, sometimes where there is some room to push in people, we ended up having people who did not qualify to sit on the boards. This is where the problem of corporate governance came in. Corporate governance is so cardinal because it provides the strategic direction of every institution.

Madam Speaker, I heard one debater talk about water utility companies. It was even worse there. Some of the boards were really non-functional because of the way people were picked to sit on those boards.

Madam Speaker, this is my suggestion: Yes, we have a problem and you have heard the debaters. I am taking the debate in the different direction. The debaters have mentioned that the Institute of Directors of Zambia is a voluntary institution. So, we cannot try and compel people to register with it through passing a piece of legislation. People should voluntarily join this institution. Therefore, we cannot urge the Government to force people to join this institute just because they have been appointed to be on the board of directors.

Madam Speaker, what we should strengthen is good governance and good governance goes with careful selection of people who are competent and who qualify to sit on boards. If I look closely, the New Dawn Government is doing exactly that. If the mover of the Motion was clever enough, he should have come here to say that we verify the professional standing of the people who have been appointed on the board. By the way, some of them in this House ratify their being on the boards. It means that they qualify. They go through a furnace of even being scrutinised by your Select Committee before the House approves.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Member for Lunte, please, you should indicate on the machine because it contributes to the disorder in the House if you just stand up. 

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, the point of order I intend to raise against my hon. Colleague is based on Standing Order 65.

Madam Speaker, in terms of Standing Order 37, the Private Member’s Motion is provided for and no one is wasting your time because you authorised this Motion.

Madam Speaker, the Motion under consideration is to urge the Government to register all board members in Government institutions and parastatal bodies with the Institute of Directors of Zambia. There is nowhere in the Motion where anybody is forcing the Government or forcing people to register with the institute. We are urging the Government to register board members to the institute.

Madam Speaker, my hon. Colleagues now want to twist this by saying we are forcing the Government. Where is anybody forcing anyone to register with the institute? We are urging the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government to register board members with the institute.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you can proceed.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, let me end by asking if my hon. Colleague is in order to allege that we want to force people to register with the institute when, in fact, we are urging the Government to register directors to the institute.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: Order!

The only challenge with some points of order is that when you them, you start debating the same point of order. You even provide responses and argue in the process. So, I am left with no room within which to make a ruling.

May the hon. Member on the Floor proceed taking into consideration the observation by the hon. Member for Lunte.

Mr Kambita: Madam Speaker, I should have proceeded propounding the purpose for corporate governance, but I think let me wind up my debate in this fashion.

The Motion was brought here because this House is the one that makes laws. If this Motion was brought here just for the sake of debating, then we are wasting time. The reason the Motion was brought here is in order for this House to urge the Government. Now, how does this House urge the Government to do what is supposed to be done? It is by enacting laws and that is the reason I had to actually delve in that direction.

Madam, the reason this Motion is here is to try and convince these hon. Members that the Zambia Institute of Directors (ZID) is so important that we should put up a law which will help people to get registered and when the law is put in place, it means that people have to register and become members in order for them to qualify to be on those boards. So, this is what we are debating against. That is why we are not supporting this Motion.

Madam Speaker, what we are doing right now is to lay bare the fact that the situation was bad because of bad governance. Now, that there is good governance, you expect good out of these boards which are now in place. The members of the boards have been professionally selected as provided for by the laws of this country and carefully selected by people who care about corporate governance. In any case, the performance of these parastatals depends on good corporate governance and that is why many of them could make decisions such as going to purchase property when an institution is probably supposed to be responsible for managing people’s pensions. They would go and invest money into something that will never produce profits. Sometimes, they could even withdraw money from there which would benefit the party in power.

These are the issues that we are dealing with now. Now we have a decent Government which is appointing people on the basis of their qualifications. These people will become competent directors who will provide the corporate governance you are looking for. So, there is nothing to worry about now that there is a decent Government. That Motion is, really, a brought-in-dead.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Let us listen to other voices that usually do not speak. The hon. Member for Nchelenge on my left will be my last debater before we wind up.

Dr Mwale (Nchelenge): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity given to me to contribute to debate on this very important Motion that has come on the Floor of the House, and at the right time. However, I am so sad that I can stand here and begin to share on something that we should have spent only five minutes on and agreed on something that all of us are looking forward to.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Mwale: Madam Speaker, you come to rule a country and tell the people that you shall use the rule of law. You want to rule a country with transparency. You want to rule a country with order.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Dr Mwale: Madam Speaker, I feel so sad as a new Member of Parliament, …

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, as you debate, please, mind your hands. Do not put them in the pocket.

Dr Mwale: Madam, as a Member of Parliament, I feel so sad because these are issues we should have agreed on within five minutes because they are all helping to bring out issues of leadership of a country.

Madam, when a country that has agreed to be a democracy, people must bear in mind that democracy demands good corporate governance in place. All this Motion is demanding for is that we should agree to the concept of good corporate governance.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Mwale: Unless someone is telling me that what the Government is saying is not what it is doing. If we are doing what we are saying, that we want to rule by the rule of law and good governance, then this is a Motion to support

Hon. Opposition Members: Bauze!

Dr Mwale: As an accountant and a social scientist, I feel so sad.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Mwale: Madam, on the Floor of this House, people are speaking about things that could not really help them to govern.

Madam Speaker, when I was a council secretary, …

Hon. Government Members: Oh, no wonder!


Dr Mwale: … one of the things that was done in trying to bring about good corporate governance in the councils is that we were advised as chief executive officers (CEOs) to join the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management not necessarily because all of us had done human resource management. We came from difference professions, but we were brought together to be helped and therefore, we were made to subscribe to human resource management. The idea was to create an environment where all the council secretaries and the town clerks would be helped in issues of corporate governance in relation to human resource management.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Dr Mwale: Right now, when you talk of a council secretary or a town clerk, you will note that they have all joined human resource management, that very club to try and help them get oriented with all the changes that are happening because there are so many people in the councils they are managing. Alas, here on the Floor of the House, people are debating as if we are not serious when we are in the House, …


Dr Mwale: … when we are not on the Floor.

Madam Speaker, I feel this Motion is important and therefore, we must remove politics. We need to implement this because we need it for the future and beyond.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Justice (Mr Haimbe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House. I must begin by stating that we do not support the Motion for the reasons already given by previous speakers on the right, which I elaborate with a little more detail.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by informing this honourable House that I speak as a member of the Institute of Directors of Zambia for several years. To start with, membership to the institute is never carte blanche. So, it is misconceived for a Motion to come in the manner that the institute would not have the opportunity to determine who it wants to be a member. Already, there is a challenge there. The criterion used for selection of people to join the institute is very strict, and we do not have the impetus, as a House, to resolve that criterion by a Motion of this nature.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, from that perspective the Motion cannot succeed. What has not been said by the movers of the Motion, and those who support it, predominantly on your left, is the mischief that it seeks to address. From the debates, one can discern that the mischief that is being sort to be addressed is that of whether we have good corporate governance standards in the country. The obvious question then is: Does membership to the institute automatically determine that there is good corporate governance? The answer to that is no. Where does enhancing good corporate governance lie? Where does the mischief get resolved?

Madam Speaker, the question is very simple to answer. Again, it is about information. Had the movers of the Motion taken the time to visit the Institute of Directors of Zambia website – it seems like there is a challenge on the left in visiting these websites – they would have found the requisite information.

Mr Mwiimbu: Correct!

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, the Institute of Directors of Zambia has been in the market place – these are its own words from its website – for over twenty years. Where were our colleagues in the last twenty years, and more particularly, in the last ten years to not have moved this Motion, if it came in good faith?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: Quite clearly, the Motion is not intended to address the mischief, but rather to politicise a very straightforward matter of good corporate governance.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: Please, hon. Members, listen closely. We will learn from each other.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members! Let us observe some order.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, in the period of twenty years that the institute has been in the market place, it has trained over 6,200 board members. Amongst those, only 750 are currently serving members. Again, this information will show that membership to the board does not necessarily correlate with training in good governance. The institute has capacity to do training for those that intend to be on boards without them necessarily moving on to be members.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: So, what the Motion should have talked about, had it been in good faith, is to encourage training and give more impetus to the institute to train more people. That way, you build more capacity for the institute rather than going and talking about registration by hook or crook, if I may use that expression.

Madam Speaker, relating to the issue of what mischief we are trying to resolve, had the hon. Members who brought this Motion, the mover and the seconder, taken time to do their research, they would have found out that the Ministry of Justice is currently spearheading the preparation of a National Governance Policy. As we speak, officers from the ministry are spread across the country in four provinces undertaking stakeholder engagements.

Amongst the key stakeholders that are being engaged are, of course, the Institute of Directors of Zambia. So, again, it shows and clearly demonstrates that the Motion is misconceived to the extent that it is not intended to address the mischief in issue.

The policy that is being developed by the Ministry of Justice addresses the very issue that is at the centre of this debate: How do we improve national governance issues as a nation? I think that is where the answer lies rather than in forcing an institute, as it were, to take on or register members even without setting a specific criterion.

Madam Speaker, we can take the argument even further. Had, indeed, this Motion been in good faith, the mover and seconder of the Motion would have thought of putting in place a legislative framework to protect the manner in which the Institute of Directors is organised. As it is now, it is a club. So, if we want to enhance it, let us talk about engineers that were given as an example. A piece of legislation was put in place for the regulation of their profession. This is what we should be talking about if we want to be progressive.

Madam Speaker, as a proud member of the institute, I know it is not in my interest or the interest of the institute to proceed in this manner. We need to proceed in a methodical fashion ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: ... that is to deal with legislative matters; put in place a legislative regime and a policy regime that will allow for increased training in corporate governance matters. That way, we will deal with the challenge that we are speaking about if, indeed, there is any.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude my debate, let the House not forget that the very movers of the Motion and those who supported it had the opportunity …

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Haimbe: … in the ten years that they were in office …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: …to address this, especially with the rampant board indiscretions that we saw during that time.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: They did not do so. We, as the New Dawn Government, being positive as we always are, are putting in place a policy framework. I have already engaged with the Institute of Directors on the legislative framework. In fact, I was the guest of honour at the Institute of Directors Annual General Meeting (AGM) earlier this year.

Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government is committed and, therefore, the movers of the Motion need not urge the Government to do what they are asking it to do via the Motion. It is already walking the talk.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane) on behalf of the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mulenga)): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for enabling me to respond to the Motion that has been prepared from the other side.


Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the Motion says, “Urge the Government to register board members of parastatals with the Institute of Directors.” ‘Urge’, as Hon. Kambita said, is actually compulsion. They are urging the Government to make sure that its boards of directors are registered.

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: That is compulsion.

Madam Speaker, the Institute of Directors, as we have heard from the hon. Minister of Justice, is actually a voluntary association. Let me read from the Articles of Association of the Institute of Directors of Zambia. It says, “The institute shall be a voluntary association of persons, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: … incorporated, none profit making. The membership of which” – this is where it becomes critical – “shall be restricted to persons who are admitted.” So, there is restriction on admission. It is not automatic. Now, these colleagues are saying that we force board members to be registered in an organisation where you require to be admitted, because there are restrictions. Colleagues, did you read document? (Waving a paper).


Hon. UPND Members: No!

Dr Musokotwane: Had they read it, they would not have brought this Motion. They would have realised that, actually, what they are recommending to be done is an affront to what the Institute of Directors is saying. It is saying it is restricted and you must be admitted. Now, they are telling the Government to go and say, “Institute of Directors, whether you like it or not, we are bringing these board members, register them.”


Dr Musokotwane: That cannot be correct. So, I advise they go and read this document once again and satisfy themselves that what I am saying is correct and that the direction that they are taking is wrong.

Madam Speaker, I am also puzzled by one thing. They have correctly said that the Institute of Directors plays an important role and I have no quarrel with that. What puzzles me is when they say that they should register only the parastatal bodies. However, we know that issues of corporate governance affect both the parastatals and the private companies, but I am just puzzled. Why is it that they are ignoring the fact that the private sectors also have problems of corporate governance but it must only be the Government forcing the parastatals to register? Colleagues, are you really interested in good corporate governance or you are actually pursuing a different agenda all together?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, this just makes us be convinced that these colleagues did not think through the Motion that they were bringing here.

Madam Speaker, finally, since most of the points have already been raised, I want to say that under this Government, one of the issues that we are pursuing is to increase investment. To create jobs in the country is to reduce the cost of doing business; and to reduce the hustle involved in the business sector to go and get that approval and pay that fee. We are reducing that. Investments can flow and jobs can be created so that all us, children, and grand children can get jobs, unlike what we have seen in the last ten years when jobs became harder and harder to get. So, our agenda is to reduce the hustle and the cost of doing business so that the young people have hope about the future. This Motion goes in the opposition direction of what we are trying to achieve. As a result of that, this Government here rejects this Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, first of all, I want to thank all hon. Members who have debated this Motion starting with the half baked accountant, the hon. Member for Luena, ...

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mukosa: ... the hon. Member for Kanchibiya, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala, whom I appreciate is a social worker who studied Bachelor of Social Work.


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

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, I also want to thank the hon. Member for Mwense –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Zambezi East, it is advised and guided that if you want to raise a point of order, do not just stand up and raise it. We are running way behind time. So, let us allow the hon. Member for Chinsali to wind up. You will continue discussing outside.

May the hon. Member for Chinsali continue.

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that I want thank the Chartered Secretary, the hon. Member for Mwense, the seconder of this Motion who is a Chartered Global Management Accountant, Hon. Kafwaya, the hon. Member for Zambezi West, the hon. Member for Nchelenge, the hon. Minister of Justice and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for their debates.

Mr Sing’ombe: It is Zambezi East

Mr Mukosa: No, I said Zambezi East.

Mr Haimbe: State Counsel!

Mr Mukosa: Yes, State Counsel.

Madam Speaker, I wish to state that the members of your accounting committees, which are parastatal bodies, the Local Government Accounts Committee and Public Accounts Committee, will agree with me that what we are trying to discuss here is purely meant to help enhance corporate governance. I have taken note that some hon. Members in their debates said that maybe, we have another agenda. I do not know what that other agenda is and they have failed to state what that agenda is. Ours is basically to enhance corporate governance.

Madam Speaker, before hon. Members criticise this Motion that I moved on this Floor, it is very important to look at who the ultimate beneficiary is. The hon. Minister of Justice, in one breath clearly stated the importance of this Motion. I do understand that he disagreed to support the Motion but somehow, he agreed with what we are trying to do. Actually, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the hon. Minister of Justice, both stated that for someone to be admitted as a member of the Institute of Directors, they have to undergo some form of scrutiny so that the Institute of Directors is able to see if that person is fit to be a member of the Institute of Directors. That is what we are trying to achieve.

Madam Speaker, that same process is what is going to help us sieve so that those who fail the criteria to be members of the Institutes of Directors, indirectly, will be removed and told that that according to the criteria, they are not fit to be members of the Institute of Directors, and they cannot be members of any body because their qualifications, capabilities as well as acumen, are falling below par.

Madam Speaker, as we speak here, we are speaking as authorities. I am an authority. I am Chartered Management Accountant.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulenga: Ema sambililo aya! Alisambilila umwaice!

Mr Mukosa: I am a Chartered Accountant and also an economist. It is therefore, surprising to hear a social worker like my brother from Mbabala coming here to say that we are wasting their time. My dear brother, do you know what you are talking about?


Madam Speaker: Order!

Mr Mukosa: It is shocking.

Hon.PF Members: Hammer!

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chinsali!

Let us not give names to our hon. Members as we debate because that is going to attract points of order. So, you can talk about your qualifications but do not underrate other people’s qualifications.

Ms Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Umwaice alisambilila!

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, hon. Members debated issues relating to consultation. We quite alright did good research and we did wider consultations with the Institute of Directors. The only reason I was stating that someone cannot rush to say that we are wasting their time, is like a saying which goes: Ilyashi yaba Ndeke aba njinga tabengilamo. That is why I said a social worker cannot discuss issues relating to corporate governance –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chinsali!

I have already guided. Please let us not attract controversy. Just stick to your qualifications and wind up debate.

Mr Mukosa: Madam Speaker, I apologise for that and I will not repeat it.

Madam Speaker, as I end, I just want to thank everyone who has debated. I do not expect everyone to agree with something that is said maybe, by one person because we have different views, opinions, as well as backgrounds. However, diversity of views is important and healthy. We should take note of that.

Madam Speaker with these few remarks, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, I am on my feet, please. Let us make progress. It is already 1630 hours.

Question that this House urges the Government to register all board members in Government institutions and parastatal bodies with the Institute of Directors of Zambia put and negatived.








The Chairperson: Order! We want to make progress.

Clauses 1, 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


The Chairperson: Order!

There is too much noise on my left, where the Patriotic Front (PF) Whip is seated. We need to make progress.

Title agreed to.



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:

The National Pension Scheme (Amendment) Bill, 2022

Third Reading on Thursday, 24thNovember, 2022.


The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Zambia Institute of Secretaries Bill, 2022





VOTE 26 – (Ministry of Information and Media– K122,986,916).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-Tezhi): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to continue debating from where I ended yesterday when I was contributing to Vote 26 – Ministry of Information and Media.

Madam Chairperson, let me just emphasise the point that the media is the fourth estate. In every democratic dispensation, it plays a very important role in ensuring that people get the right information, participate fully, and are informed of all the democratic tenets in a given society.

Madam Chairperson, the amount of money that has been allocated to this Vote is commendable and this has to be supported by all well-meaning Zambians because we want the media to present the views of the people and to inform all members of the public on the development, which the New Dawn Government is investing in the entire country at the moment.

Madam Chairperson, I will just speak about two points from the presentation which was done by the hon. Minister, and I will touch on the policy side of the ministry. The intention–

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700hours.



Mr Mutinta: Madam Chairperson, when I was interrupted the second time, I was emphasising the point that we need the media and that free media is a prerequisite for every democratic dispensation.

Madam, the Access to Information Bill is a piece of legislation that has been there for the past decade. This conversation started, perhaps, during the time of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), the Patriotic Front (PF) used it as part of its campaign promises and now we are in the New Dawn era. Let me emphasise that as we appropriate this budget, the Access to Information Bill should be actualised because it is not about journalists but about the people of Zambia and the public.

Madam Chairperson, right now, the New Dawn Government is doing a lot but the public is not adequately informed because some journalists cannot access information on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and other developmental projects that are taking place. So, I strongly feel that the budget increase will necessitate the process that will see that this law comes into effect.

Madam, allow me also to mention that having this law will bring about accountability and transparency in the running of this Government and also curb corruption because people will be able to access information which is of a public nature. If we effect this, it will demonstrate that the New Dawn Government is providing political will on this issue and that there is nothing to hide.

Madam Chairperson, let me also touch on media services, as indicated by the hon. Minister yesterday. The infrastructure, as my colleagues mentioned yesterday, leaves much to be desired, starting from the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). We need to thank the hon. Minister because upon arrival into the ministry, she was able to do the car park at ZNBC. That was progressive and she has to be commended for that but we expect many facelifts at ZNBC.

Madam, if you go the studio for Radio 1 at ZNBC, you will see that it leaves much to be desired. We need to provide a facelift and I am sure the New Dawn Government, with the budget appropriation, will be able to change the face of the ZNBC studios. If you talk about the districts, the situation is worse. It is not something you cannot admire.

Madam Chairperson, just as my colleague, Hon. Mabenga mentioned, if you went to Itezhi-Tezhi, the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) team sits in one room. They squat at the District Commissioner’s (DC) office. They have no cameras or vehicle and we strongly feel this budget is going to deal with some of these challenges that our colleagues are facing. Many good things happen out there but they are not being shared with the public who are not appreciating the good efforts of the New Dawn Government.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, let me touch on the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) that is one of the key regulatory bodies that sits under the ministry. The IBA that we knew in the past should not be the IBA that we are supporting under this budget. We want to see an IBA that is going to be impartial, not the one that was propagating the closure of the television stations, like what we saw with Prime TV. The money should go to an independent organisation which should be depoliticised to large extent. Apart from that, we expect the IBA to cut a lot of its bureaucracy. There are a many people who want to establish community radio stations here. Many Members have those intentions and they should find it very easy.

Madam, as I conclude, let me say that I support the Bill and the budget and we will support the ministry’s intentions.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, just a reminder that yesterday we had five Members who debated. So, we will not take on a lot of Members today in order to make progress.

Are we not having any Member from the Independents? Hon. Munir –

Rev. Katuta: Sorry, Madam Chairperson. I indicated, but I have been removed from the list.

Mr Munir Zulu (Lumezi): Madam Chairperson, thank you –

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Katuta, your name is not appearing on the gadget so that is why I have not seen you. Just try to indicate.

Mr Munir Zulu: Madam Chairperson, thank you for permitting the good people of Lumezi to speak to Vote 26.

Madam, on page 276, on personal emoluments, we have seen an increment from K16,400,161 to K27,991,575 in the 2023 Budget. The allocation to goods and services has also increased from K9,751,406 to K19,712,917. May I draw your attention to personal emoluments. We are investing quite a lot of money in personal emoluments at a ministry that we have debated heavily in this House. This is a ministry that issues licenses to different media houses in the country for print, radio and television.

Madam, when you look at the formation of this ministry, it is where we have the official Government spokesperson, Hon. Chushi Kasanda. We also have the Permanent Secretary who is the head of the technocrats at ministry. Strangely but true, this is a ministry that equally created a position of a director from the political organisation or under the banner of the United Party for National Development Alliance.

Madam Chairperson, when we go to personal emoluments, next year we will be paying people who are coming in from the banner of political parties yet we have seasoned civil servants in the ministry who, if indeed we needed to create such a position, we should have picked from as they have served in the Civil Service for sometime and are well acquainted with how the ministry works. Now, we are getting back to the days where a journalist is beaten in Petauke and the directors, who do not understand why they are in these ministries, end up issuing political statements.

Madam, in supporting this Vote, it is my wish that going forward we will not have party cadres being called directors in these ministries.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Minister for Southern Province (Mr Mweetwa): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for according me the opportunity to add my voice in support of the Vote on the Floor of this House.

Madam Chairperson, I am compelled to join this debate in recognition of the milestones that have been achieved by this ministry, especially through the public broadcasters in the last one year or more since the New Dawn Administration of President Hakainde Hichilema took over governance of this country.

Madam Chairperson, I must state from the outset that in supporting this Vote, it is worthwhile to recognise that the public service broadcasters that this ministry superintends over are the most reliable sources of information in any country including ours. That is the reason we must all come together to support the Vote of this ministry, so that we continue to have reliable information. This is more so important at this critical time when social media has gone awash misleading citizens and suspecting citizens on critical national issues. We need a voice of last resolve, which is the pubic media, which this ministry supervises. Therefore, I wish to place on record that the public broadcasters and, indeed, public tabloids have continued to play a critical but different role under this administration.

Madam Chairperson, I do not wish to go political, but just to remind myself that not too long ago, the public media under this ministry, during the reign of our hon. Colleagues in the previous administration, was reduced to a mouth piece for the Ruling Party day in and day out. News was predictable. You knew who was going to make the headline, the second item, the third and fourth. You knew everything. If the Opposition were to be covered, the news would be in the negative. All this is now a thing of the past, and congratulations to the hon. Minister for giving and allowing the public media to operate within the framework of its original mandate and not a political mandate. This is what we needed and this is what the New Dawn Administration in the Opposition as United Party for National Development (UPND) promised; to free the media space.

Madam Chairperson, today, you will not be surprised when you tune to the Zambia National Broadcasting Co-operation (ZNBC) news, even before news – and I have in mind the day my mother, the former first lady was appearing at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), ZNBC was transmitting live. Under our Colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF), the entire crew would have been retired before reaching the ZNBC studios. They would have been retired in national interest. That is the history of where we are coming from regarding the public media.

Madam Chairperson, clearly, now there is demonstrable political will to ensure that the public media can operate as a fourth estate, one that is being used as a market places for politicians to sell their ideas so that the citizens and the electorates can inform their choices when elections come. This is how it should be.

Madam Chairperson, we have also seen freed professional space at these public service broadcasters. Today, you can tune in to ZNBC News and the main headline is about an Opposition leader criticising the Government over fuel hike fluctuations that there is no business predictability. That was never heard of under the previous administration. This professionalism that has been introduced in the public service broadcasters has now encouraged the business community to place their advertisements more. This is because they know that the viewership of the public service broadcasters is expanding. I will not be far from the truth in suggesting that presently, public service broadcasters like ZNBC enjoy such an unprecedented huge following. Each time it is news time, everyone; both from the Ruling Party and the Opposition parties will want to listen to ZNBC News because they know that they have equal coverage. This is very important because it allows that institution to bring in capital for it to run as a viable entity unlike just using it to promulgate and propagate political lining when in fact, contrary to the views of the people on the ground.

Madam Chairperson, it is also worth noting and thanking the public service broadcasters for doing what they are doing, and that is allowing the Opposition to be heard. This is because when the Opposition parties are heard and they provide credible checks and balances to the Executive, it helps the citizens who are voiceless to participate in the governance of their country and also gives an opportunity to the Executive in time, to be able to look out for those issues on which it is being forewarned. It is dangerous to close up the public media from covering divergent views especially from the Opposition because the only time you will hear the genuine views of the people is in the ballot and it is too late to appreciate and make amends. So, we are very elated and I am happy to support this budget.

Madam Chairperson, I also want to indicate that for the much talked about Access to Information Bill, which this House has been debating, to come to fruition, consultations are required, as well as other process and logistics that require funding. That is why we must all support the Vote of this ministry.

Madam, there are concerns that I have heard about certain appointments about this ministry. What we are talking about is not an individual. We are talking about a ministry. This is a ministry which is key in disseminating information including, information to do with the fight against corruption. The fight against corruption cannot be won when you have a muzzled media.

Madam Speaker, I thank President HH (Hakainde Hichilema) and my hon. Colleague for allowing the public media to be a true vehicle for democracy’s, growth and development.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for giving the people of Shiwang’andu a chance to make a comment on Vote 26.

Madam Speaker, we are appropriating some funds to this very important ministry which is responsible for disseminating information to our citizens. I must say that we have always said information is power and information allows people to make informed decisions.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister is the Government mouth piece. I am happy that the hon. Member who just finished speaking has also got another role of speaking for the party he belongs to. The money we are allocating to the ministry today is to ensure that the hon. Minister, who has a cross-cutting responsibility of the entire Cabinet’ is supposed to make sure that she co-ordinates with all her hon. Colleagues in the Cabinet, to understand all the portfolio functions of her Cabinet and ensure that she gives information to the people. That is why the hon. Minister is the one who sits in Cabinet.

Madam Chairperson, I stress the point that we want to see an organised ministry. When one represents the Government, as the Government spokesperson, one has responsibilities. We do not expect other offices which have no mandate to disseminate information on behalf of the ministry to be the extra mouthpieces. There is a directorate, whose allocation, I think, I will be very reluctant to support. I do not know whether it is for the filing of the filers.


Mr Kampyongo: The hon. Minister needs to manage that directorate because she and her controlling officer are the ones in charge. If it is her desire to have extra voices, she should make sure that they are co-ordinated properly.

Madam Chairperson, it should be understood that for someone to get to the level of director, one should have come from the mainstream as a civil servant. Getting political figures and putting them at director level is a suicidal move which should be avoided. There should be a competent mouthpiece for the party, and there must be a distinction between one for the party in Government and as a Government functionary. There must be that distinction.

Madam Chairperson, as we give her the resources, we want to see an organised Ministry of Information and Media. It should not be a disorganised ministry. She has an extra responsibility. Where information is lacking, she should have an ear to the ground. What are people saying pertaining to local government or the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, for example, where there are information gaps? Officers are attacked in a village and then people say nyau or gule wamu kulu did that. Her role is to quickly –


Mr Kampyongo: I am talking about suspects who clobbered our own men and women in uniform. What I am saying is that her role is to alert her colleagues and say, “Look, we need to fill this gap. We need to churn out this information.” There is a cry from the public to know what exactly is obtaining on this matter. She has a cross-cutting responsibility and it is important that she co-ordinates with her colleagues in the Cabinet.

As regards the agricultural sector, for example, people are crying about who has and has not received inputs like fertiliser. What information do we need to churn out so that people can appreciate what is going on in the Government? So, she has to co-ordinate these programmes effectively.

Madam Chairperson, my hon. Colleagues briefly spoke about social media. The hon. Minister needs to collaborate with her counterpart in charge of the Ministry of Technology and Science. She needs to collaborate with her hon. Colleague who is sitting next to her and who is responsible for communications. This issue of social media and the mainstream media must be managed properly. If it is not, all the hon. Members on the right will be bombarded. The bullying on social media has no boundaries. She has seen a number of hon. Ministers who are being bullied left, right, and centre. I am saying this –

The Chairperson: Order!

Mrs Chonya: On a point of order, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mrs Chonya: Madam Chairperson, I rarely stand on points of order. I have been trying to follow the debate by my hon. Colleague from Shiwang’andu. He sounds to me like he is debating the hon. Minister and not the budget.

Is he in order, Madam Chairperson, to continue referring to the hon. Minister in his debate instead of focusing his debate on the ministry?

The Chairperson: What Standing Order has been breached? Cite the breach.

Mrs Chonya: Obviously, Standing Order 65, Madam Chairperson.


The Chairperson: My ruling is that Mr Kampyongo has brought out a number of issues. There was only one part that I heard him talk about the clear distinction between the party spokesperson and the hon. Minister of Information and Media. There were many issues that he mentioned pertaining to the ministry. So, I do not think the hon. Member was just talking about the hon. Minister of Information and Media.

The hon. Member, Mr Kampyongo, was actually not out of order.

However, Mr Kampyongo, please, be a bit focused as you wind up your debate on the Vote on the Floor.

You may continue.

Mr Kampyongo: I appreciate the guidance, Madam Chairperson. Obviously, I know my hon. Colleague is under pressure because Kafue is under fire.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson –

The Chairperson: Hon. Member, I do not think there is pressure. Can you, please, withdraw that statement and continue with your debate.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, I withdraw it. She is my sister, and that is why I raised the point of order when I saw some disturbances in her constituency. That said, I want to focus.

Madam Chairperson, I was just about to acknowledge the point that was delivered by my hon. Colleague, the Minister responsible for the Southern Province on social media versus the mainstream media. It is very important that the hon. Minister, working together with other hon. Ministers, find a way of managing the cyberspace or else it is going to be a recipe for anarchy.

I talked about some hon. Members of Cabinet who are always bombarded. If we do not get concerned with such developments, then we do not know what it is to have a Government in place. So, the hon. Minister should co-ordinate with her hon. Colleague, the hon. Minister of Technology and Science, the one responsible for communication.

Madam Chairperson, violence against media personnel, whether it happened yesterday or it happens today, must not be allowed. Resources have been allocated to the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), which is an institution responsible for managing these outlets and media institutions. The hon. Minister should give MISA enough resources and ensure that we do not see media people working under threat. The development we witnessed recently in Petauke is undesirable. If it happened in the past, it should not be allowed or tolerated in the current time.

Madam Chairperson, there is so much talk about the Access to Information Bill. I wish I had enough time to talk about the Access to Information Bill.

Some institutions are folding up; Times Printpak Zambia, for example. The hon. Minister should ensure that people who worked for those important institutions are not driven into destitution, as she allows them to fold.

Madam Chairperson, lastly, I want to emphasise this issue of the new directorate. I do not know whether it is a directorate without portfolio functions because it plays a general role. I implore the hon. Minister to, please, manage it to stop filing; just filing to filer. It is not necessary. We want unity in this country and we want responsible people to speak on behalf of the Government.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, we have to make progress. We have had many debaters on this Vote. So, I will ask the hon. Minister of Information and Media to wind up debate.

The Minister of Information and Media (Ms Kasanda): Madam Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have debated on this Vote.

Madam, indeed, I have taken note of all the issues that have been raised and will address some of them or all of them if time permits.

Madam, I would like to start with Hon. B. Mpundu, Member of Parliament for Nkana, who debated yesterday on us being proactive in engaging the public so that there is no void.

Madam Chairperson, indeed, as a national broadcaster, we would like to respond as promptly as possible, as expected by the public, but there are certain challenges that we face. The reason for the delay is that as the ministry, we need to verify information and make sure that it is accurate before it is disseminated. Whilst, our colleagues on social media can easily pick up their phones and write anything, as a public broadcaster, we need to make sure that all the information is verified.

Mr Munsanje: Correct!

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, another issue that was brought up by the hon. Member to this august House was on the position of the Ministry of Information and Media, Director-Spokesperson. I think that concern was raised by most of the debaters, especially the people on your left, Madam Speaker. Let me now clarify that issue. The Office of the Director-Spokesperson is a legally constituted office which is under the Ministry of Information and Media, and it falls under the supervision of the Permanent Secretary (PS). I hope I have clarified that issue, Madam Speaker.

Madam Chairperson, the House may wish to note that as the Ministry of Information and Media, we are committed to media freedom. That is why from the time we came into office, there has not been any single closure of any media house.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, indeed, I agree with the hon. Member who said that social media is being abused. We have also heard from Hon. Kampyongo and other hon. Members who debated yesterday that social media is being abused. We have heard the abuse through hate speech and falsehoods, not only on hon. Ministers but also, on some prominent people in the country. That has been a concern to all of us.

Madam Chairperson, unfortunately, we know that most of the people who abuse social media are paid. They are being paid to discredit this Government or even give falsehoods about hon. Ministers as well as some prominent people in this country.

Madam Chairperson, currently, social media is not regulated but I want to send a warning to people who are abusing it for the wrong reasons that there is a Cyber Law of 2021 that is in place. They need to acquaint themselves with that law so that they stop abusing social media.

Madam Chairperson, one hon. Member spoke about content and I want to assure him that the Ministry of Information and Media work in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts to make sure that we bring the local content as it was in the past. I thank Hon. Mtayachalo for appreciating the critical role that the ministry is actually playing in developing the nation through dissemination of information to the whole country. That is between the Government and the public.

Madam Chairperson, as it was early mentioned by Hon. Kampyongo and Hon. Mtayachalo, indeed, information is power. It is important that as the Ministry of Information and Media, we should be able to give accurate and verified information like I had earlier alluded to. We hope that our colleagues in the media out there will do the same as well.

Madam Chairperson, on the issue of poor conditions of service, my ministry is fully aware of the poor condition that our colleagues are subjected to. Some of them today, get K500 per month and some have not been paid for the past seven months. We are fully aware of that and that is why the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security and I took it upon ourselves to engage with our colleagues. We will not relent. We will carry on with this route that we have taken with the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. We will definitely, make sure that this is something of the past.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Member also talked about the issue of interactions with the media houses. I think that is something that we have already done. We have engaged the media houses and if the hon. Members have been following, just a few weeks ago, I had a meeting with the media houses. The President also had a meeting with the media owners at State House. So, we have been engaging them and we hope that we shall carry on with those engagements.

Madam Chairperson, the growth on the media industry, I would like to also categorically state that it is important that the Zambians know that we have a dedicated channel to disseminate information concerning the Government. As we may be all aware, the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) is the mouth piece of the Government. Therefore, we have dedicated Channel 6 on TopStar and that is something people need to also start taking interest in and know that the channel is under test transmission.

Madam Chairperson, I also took note of Hon. Fube’s comments that the Budget for the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) has not been increased. However, I would like my hon. Colleague to check in the Yellow Book and he will actually notice that the Budget has increased. The hon. Member from Mulobezi actually spoke to the Budget having increased by 100 per cent, and that shows that he actually had a look at the Yellow Book.

Madam Chairperson, what I would just like to mention to my hon. Colleagues is that, we need to know that Rome was not built in one day. The Ministry of Information and Media will not be able to do everything in a day. It will be one step at a time. I think we are heading in the right direction. We will be purchasing the equipment because lack of this equipment has made our colleagues, especially those in the districts look like they are not doing anything. We have had many requests to remove some of our colleagues from their stations because they are not doing anything. It is not that those people are not efficient or cannot do the work. It is because they do not have the equipment to actually do that work. With this Budget, we will be able to get the equipment for them and we will able to see that they are actually efficient.

Madam Chairperson, let me also state that the Independence Broadcasting Authority (IBA) board has begun its work. It should be able to engage the public and indeed, it has already started doing so. I know they have been to Western Province and a few places.

Madam Chairperson, let me also talk about the Access to Information Bill. The Access to Information Bill is still in its draft form and consultations with different stakeholders are going on. Once the exercise is complete, I can assure the hon. Members that it will be brought to Parliament. Firstly, it will be taken to Cabinet and then brought to Parliament. That is something that the President had actually promised even during the time we were in Opposition. Therefore, we will definitely bring it to this House. Anything that was promised when we were in the Opposition will be done. We are a Government that delivers and we shall deliver the Access to Information Bill.

The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister’s time expired.

VOTE 20 – (Ministry of Information and Media – K122,986,916).

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Chairperson, I had indicated to debate, but the chance has gone.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, I draw the hon. Minister’s attention to page 283, Programme 3499 ˗ Management and Support Services – K42,936,220.I would like to seek two clarifications on that before I move to the next one. So, they will be three.

Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 01, Activity 01 – Salaries and Wages – K10,946,917. Last year, there was an allocation of K3,365,887 and, this year, the ministry proposes to spend K10,946,917. What has necessitated this huge increase? Are they increasing the number of personnel or it has something to do with increased personal emoluments?

Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 01, Sub-programme 01˗ Outstanding Bills – K440,433. In this year’s budget, only K102,009 was allocated to this sub-programme while K440,433, which is an increase, has been allocated in the 2023 Budget. What kind of Bills will they deal with these allocations?

Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 001 – Executive Office Management – K472,000. There was no allocation in 2021 and 2022, but all of a sudden, there is an allocation of K472,000. Is this the one for the new Directorate? May the hon. Minister shed more light on this expenditure.

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, I would like to indicate that the budget for Programme 3499 – Executive Office Management – K472,000 that has increased used to sit at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. The reason for this increment is that it no longer sits at the Ministry of Finance and National Planning and it has now been moved to the Ministry of Information and Media. Further, this programme was not budgeted for in 2022 because the 2022 Budget was the second budget for the Ministry of Information and Media. Therefore, we requested that it goes to the Ministry of Information and Media, from the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, and that is why there has been that increment in that budget.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Anything on the outstanding bills?

Mr Kampyongo: Precisely, Madam Chairperson. You are being helpful because I am just assuming the hon. Minister was responding to the last question I asked on executive office management and she said that it has only been budgeted for this year at her ministry. However, she has not answered the first two questions, in case she has forgotten, on the same page, under Programme 3499. Is she there?

The Chairperson: Hon. Kampyongo and all other hon. Members, if you ask so many questions at one time, you confuse the hon. Minister. It is very important that we take one question at a time to avoid any delay or misunderstanding and the hon. Minister might not have gotten you. So, can we attend to one question at a time.

Hon. Member, you can go ahead. That is your last question.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Chairperson, this has been the practice and I am happy that the hon. Members seated next to the hon. Minister knows this very well.

Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3499, Sub-programme 01 – Salaries and Wages – K10,946,917. In this year’s budget, an amount of K3,365,887 was allocated to this sub-programme. Now, there is a proposed expenditure of K10,946,917. My question was: Is this increment as a result of the increased number of personnel or do we expect increased figures in terms of personal emoluments?

Madam Chairperson, my last question was on Programme 01, Sub-programme 01 –Outstanding Bills K440,433. The allocation in this year’s budget is K102,009. Next year, there is a proposal to spend K440,438. What kind of Bills are these and why is there this increment?

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, indeed, the increment of about K45 per cent is aimed at improving efficiency and effectiveness in the Ministry of Information and Media and for management and administration functions through training and other national events.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, on the Bills, when I was responding to the hon. Members who debated on this Vote, I mentioned that a number of Bills will be brought and one of them is the Access to Information Bill. As the House maybe aware, we need to engage stakeholders on the Access to Information Bill and there are funds involved. The hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central who is also the Minister for Southern Province debated that for us to pass these Bills, we need funds and that is exactly what we need these funds for.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3446, Sub-programme 003 – Public Relations – K911,772. There was nothing in the previous two years but next year, the ministry proposes to spend K911,772. I am just wondering whether this relates to the Directorate of Spokesperson. How many employees are under that directorate to consume this amount of money, if that is where it is going?

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Chairperson, on page 279, Programme 3446, Public Relations. There was no allocation in the previous two years but the ministry is now proposing to spend K911,772. I am just wondering whether this relates to the Directorate of Spokesperson. I would like to find out how many employees are under that directorate to consume this amount of money, if that is where it is going. If not, I would like to know how many employees are under that department.

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, indeed, it is of the position of Spokesperson. Currently, we have one employee because we did not have funds then to actually employ his subordinates but because now –

Mr Kafwaya interjected.

Ms Kasanda: Yes, Mr Kafwaya.

Indeed, once the budget has been approved, he will not be Spokesperson of one but will have many behind him.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Chairperson, I was following the debate for the hon. Minister where she referred to the debate I made yesterday about the allocation to Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) where she said that, unlike what I stated, the budget was static and that, possibly, I could not have read the budget. Let me bring the attention of the hon. Minister that on page 279, Programme 3046, on transfers. She will see that in 2021, the budget was K16,080,000, in 2022, the budget was K23,080,000 and in 2023, the budget is K23,080,000. That is exactly what I referred to when I used the word ‘static’ for the two years because I compared 2022 and 2023. I just wanted that to be on record because the insinuation was that I did not read the budget.

The Chairperson: There was no question. It was just a comment.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Chairperson, for me, it is just a clarification on Programme 3499, on page 283 and table 5. There is an allocation for planning, policy and coordination. The previous expense was K3,639,077 but it intends to spend K25,319,676. What policies and coordination does this refer to?

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, indeed there is an increment in the stated programme. I think, as you may be aware, we had provincial studios that were supposed to be constructed in the country but because we believed that some of these studios were in the strongholds of the UPND, therefore, we decided to not construct those studios. The are studios in Solwezi and in the Southern Province. That allocation was allocated solely to those that supported the past administration. That is why this budget has increased with K20 million for the construction of the broadcasting studios for the Southern Province and the North-Western Province, in Choma and Solwezi. That is the increment that you are seeing there.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Chairperson, I need to be protected from the hon. Minister for the North-Western Province.

Hon. UPND Members: How?

Mr Mung’andu: He is attacking me.

The Chairperson: Please, go straight to your question.

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, on page 283, Programme 3499, outstanding bills. I seek clarity from the hon. Minister. In her response, she referred to the Bills in terms of the Acts of Parliament, like the Freedom of Information Bill. Is this referring to the outstanding bills, in terms of payment of arrears or the Bills as she referred to them as Acts of Parliament? I seek that clarity so that I can explain to the people of Chama South what this expenditure is all about.

The Chairperson: I am sure the hon. Minister was loud and clear.

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, I think I did adequately answer it.

I thank you.

Mr Mung’andu interjected.

The Chairperson: Mr Mung’andu, the hon. Minister answered to say that they are Bills that will be brought to this House. She will need stakeholders to attend to the Bills. I think that is what the hon. Minister said. Are you are disagreeing with what the hon. Minister said?

Mr Mung’andu: Maybe I can explain my question.

The Chairperson: No, you cannot explain.

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Chairperson, outstanding bills does not mean the same as Acts of Parliament.

The Chairperson: That is what we are getting from the hon. Minister.

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Chairperson, when I asked the hon. Minister a question concerning Programme 3446, she confirmed that the amount relates to the Directorate where there is a Director Spokesperson. I take note that in the previous two years, there was no money and yet the director has been in employment. What necessitated the Ministry of Information and Media to create a department without resources and where has the Director been drawing a salary from all this time he has been employed?

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, this is the 2023 budget we are talking about. When we are given a wish list or a wish budget, as a ministry, we sit down with our technocrats and look at where we need to put money and that is exactly what we looked at. We know that the Spokesperson has to go countrywide to speak. He cannot move without any logistics. That is why that money was put there so that he is able to work accordingly. He cannot work without funds. We have put the money there so that we can cater for the Spokesperson.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Madam Chairperson, I just want to get further clarification from the hon. Minister whether the studios in Solwezi and Choma, respectively, were built before 2021. I did not get what she said clearly as to whether the Government is building them now or if they were built before 2021.

Ms Kasanda: Madam Chairperson, indeed the studios were started by our colleagues and they left them at slab level. They are at slab level and, as I speak, have been abandoned and vandalised. This is why the New Dawn Government has taken it upon itself to complete the studios because the previous regime believed that the studios should not be constructed due to political inclination or whatever it could have called it. We have taken it up so that the people there can also be served like other people in the country.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 26 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 78 – (Zambia Security Intelligence Service – Office of the President – K1,386,104,046)

The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Chairperson, I express profound gratitude for the privilege to address this august House on the occasion of presenting Estimates of Expenditure for Vote 78 – Zambia Security Intelligence Service – Office of the President for the year 2023.

Madam Chairperson, the institution under consideration draws its mandate from Article 193(3) (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia as read together with Section 6 (1) of the Zambia Security Intelligence Service Act No. 14 of 1998.

You may wish to note that the Zambia Security Intelligence Service carries out its mandate by undertaking intelligence and counter intelligence operations to prevent any person from suspending, overthrowing or illegally abrogating the Republican Constitution. It is, therefore, my petition that this House provides support to the institution to effectively executive its mandate.

Mission Statement

To provide accurate and timely intelligence on threats to national security in order to protect the Constitution and economic wellbeing of Zambia

Goal Statement

In accordance with the mission statement, the institution’s goal statement is: efficient and effective provision of intelligence for the general wellbeing of the people of Zambia.

Overview of 2022 Budget Performance

Madam Chairperson, the Zambia Security Intelligent Service budget performance for 2022 has so far been satisfactory. You may wish to note that the 2022 approved estimates stood at K962,976,051. The Zambia Security Intelligence Service has continued to receive the necessary budgetary support from the central Government, a situation that has enabled the institution to function effectively and efficiently in accordance with its mandate. We are mindful of the ever-changing threats to national security such as economic sabotage, cyber crime, terrorism and other activities which may be inimical to the State, hence the need for the Government to continue providing adequate funding to the Zambia Security Intelligence Service to enable it to, among other things, enhance its operational capacity through utilisation of modern information and communication technology.

Madam Chairperson, you may also wish to be wary of the fact that the operations of the institution under consideration are sensitive in nature. Therefore, caution should be taken as this august House debates the proposed budget in order to avoid jeopardising the security of the nation.

Budget Estimate for 2023

Madam Chairperson, as I present the 2023 Budget Estimates for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service, may I state that devoid of peace, the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) as well as the theme for the 2023 National Budget which is “Stimulating Economic Growth for Improved Livelihoods” will prove difficult to actualise. In this regard, the Zambia Security Intelligence Service plays a critical role in the preservation of peace by collecting, correlating and evaluating intelligence relevant to the security and interest of the Republic. It is for this reason that the Government must continue to render the much-needed resources to this key institution.

Madam Chairperson, allow me at this juncture, to draw the attention of this august House to the proposed 2023 budget estimates for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service. The 2023 budget estimate stands at K1,386,104.046 which represents a significant increase of 43.94 per cent from the 2022 approved estimates. The institution is grateful to the Government for this marked increase in the budgetary allocation which will go a long way in the execution of its mandate.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, allow me to reiterate our commitment as Government in ensuring that the intelligence service meets the expectations of our citizens. It is only through sufficient funding to this vital institution that its obligations can be met. I, therefore, appeal to this august House to fully support the 2023 budget estimate for the Zambia Security Intelligence Service.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Kambita (Zambezi East): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to debate the Vote for the Zambia Security Intelligence Services. This is one budget line which is not very easy to debate because we have very few details about what goes on there. For those of us who come from the North-Western Province and practice the Mukanda Camp Ceremony, know that women do not go to the Mukanda. Those who have not been to Mukanda do not go there.

Mr Kafwaya: What is Mukanda?

Mr Kambita: Madam Chairperson, Mukanda is actually an initiation ceremony for boys. Those who have not been to Mukanda will not know what happens at Mukanda. Only those who actually are ascribed to be at Mukanda will know what happens there. So, even as we debate out here, we are debating like those who are not privileged to be at Mukanda because we do not know what goes on there.

Madam Chairperson: Order!

Hon Member, I do not think Mukanda is in the Vote that is on the Floor. Can we, please, not waste time.

Mr Kambita: Madam Chairperson, I am simply trying to give an example of how difficult it is to debate this Vote. The reasons are simple. Of course, the activities that have been budgeted for cannot be itemised in detail. That is my line of thought. I hope it is appreciated. So, I will attempt to mention a few things as a lay man who is outside of the cycle of this intelligence service.

Madam Chairperson, I heard the Vice-President, in her policy statement, talk about the accurate and timely security information that these people provide. To start with, I would like to support the budget.

Madam Chairperson, there is a limitation on information on what this institution does in terms of the nitty-gritty. I would have loved to itemise some of the issues because I want it to get a high budget, but I will simply mention a few things that I thought might not be going right in our country or this part of the world.

Madam, sometimes, security institutions end up not focusing on the broader picture for the well-being of everyone. We end up having situations where things are targeted at individuals. Even if it is important in terms of how this institution operates, the bigger picture is more important. There are some situations which would actually threaten the peace and well-being of masses, but are sometimes let go without being dealt with. Why? It is because of inadequate information that comes to those who make decisions.

Madam, the decision makers are right here, especially the Executive. The Executive is given that mandate to make decisions, especially through the President. The information that trickles down to those who finally make decisions, because of the mandate given to them by the people who voted for them, is very important. It must be accurate and relevant for decision-making, and those decisions must benefit many. It must not be targeted at enhancing an individual’s benefit at the expense of the masses. That is the reason I needed to state some of these issues. So, as we approve this budget, let these people’s work be targeted at the enhancement of everyone’s lives.

Madam Chairperson, I am thinking about a lot of finance which will be disbursed for various programmes in the economy. I am thinking of councils. Councils are porous and funds just leak. Only after the Auditor-General visits such institutions do we get to know that there was something going wrong. Such crimes can also be stopped if intelligence information is trickling down to the right places. That is why these people have limitations sometimes. They might get information, but due to the finances that they have, they are limited in providing important information that would help us make the right decisions. Therefore, we expect them to be fully financed.

Madam Chairperson, in the Kaunda days, during the days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) when we were very young, this Vote used to receive enough funding. I used to see officers flourish. They had proper transport, and one could tell that they were well financed. Somewhere, somehow, that was lost, especially in the previous regime where these officers were just reduced to ordinary civil servants. We need to up the game. We need to improve the conditions of the people who work in that difficult job. We also need to make sure that their operations are appropriately financed so that they are present wherever they need to pick information.

Madam Chairperson, yes, I am aware that they try within their limits to be present everywhere, but I am not very sure if they can get what is happening in Katontu, in case some people invaded the place through Angola and so on and so forth. However, all that requires money. Even if they were to work through some proxies, they would require money. That money is from this same budget line. Therefore, this budget line must be adequate to finance every operation to ensure that every one of us is protected in terms our security.

Madam, most important is the prevention of crime. The prevention of crime should not just be white-collar crimes, because somebody is politically aligned.

Madam, there is a lot going on in Government offices, including issues involving directors. We also know that there is some collusion which goes on. We also have situations where people create cartels. Already, we are grappling with the issue of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). We do not know what is happening. Although we get updates, they do not really add up. So, there are a lot of things that we need to know. These people have a big job to find out what really is happening. If it is people colluding to sabotage the economy through cartels and the like, we should know, and those people should be named so that we know where the problem is.

Madam Chairperson, I thought I should make mention of some of these things, especially the current situation, the fertiliser issue. It looks like there is a cartel that is colluding to try to embarrass the Government. These officers have a big role to play in such issues and to make sure that we know what is going on.

Madam Chairperson, my time is up, but I thought to mention those things which are important which these people should focus on.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I think we heard from Her Honour the Vice-President that this is a bit sensitive. If we are not sure of what to talk about, let us limit ourselves to what we know. So, I am going to pick just a few hon. Members.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to add my voice to this important vote. I will try to stick to your guidance.

Madam Chairperson, this is a very sensitive Vote, indeed. As enshrined in the Constitution, this Vote takes care of both internal and national security.

Madam Chairperson, I agree that this budget is, somehow, okay, but if I were to add my voice adequately, I would say the amount allocated to this Vote is not sufficient. We are all aware that our country, since independence, has been known to be a very peaceful nation, and that is because this important institution has been alert all the time.

Madam Chairperson, as the previous debater said, during the First Republic, we are all aware that our former Republican President had dedicated a lot of attention to this Vote. Many issues in this country that could have happened to destabilise the peace of this nation were sorted out because of the intelligence system of this nation. We are aware of some coup d’état that were almost executed, but could not take place because they were thwarted even when they were planned outside the borders of this country. That was because of the alertness of this institution.

Madam Chairperson, I am also delighted and alert that the K1.3 billion that has been allocated to this institution will be entirely for specialised and technical services. This means that we need our personnel in this institution to be well trained. They must be equal to the task. The world today is a global village. We are not only talking about internal security threats, but threats that might even come from across our borders. This is the institution that would make sure that we continued to enjoy the peace that we have been enjoying.

Madam Chairperson, there are so many things happening. As I have said, we are living in a global village. For instance, cyber crime can destabilise the economy of this country, and it is only this institution that can help and alert the powers that be.

Madam Chairperson, I want to mention also that as we allocate this appropriation to this Vote, it is important to look at human resource. Officers need to be motivated considering what they deal with. Otherwise, they may fall into the trap of temptations. We need to motivate the personnel of this institution. We also need to expose them to the current technology in this world from time to time.

We need to motivate the human resource personnel of this institution and we also need, from time to time, expose them to the current technology that is taking place in this world.The appropriate technology must be a subject to our human personnel of the intelligence security service.

Madam Chairperson, away from that, I also want to urge this House that as we support this Head, we need to appreciate the fact that this is the Head that takes care of everyone of us and as such, we need to be sober in that manner that we do things. We should not be provocative just to see the reaction of this institution.

Madam Chairperson, in the same vein, I would want to urge the institution to up its game and make sure that it does its job without fear, favour or consideration as long as someone has broken the rules of the game.

Madam Chairperson, in conclusion, I want to urge everyone to support this very important Head. I also want to repeat that it is important that from time to time, we try by all means to send and expose our officers in this service to the latest technological developments that are taking place today in the world, otherwise, we shall remain behind lagging in a lot of things.

Madam, I would like to thank you for allowing me to add a voice to this debate. Knowing that we are dealing with a sensitive ministry or department, I just want to say that I fully support this Head. If anything, we need to add some more money so that we can even have equipment that will make this department’s job easier.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Chairperson, for sure, this Head is sensitive in nature but we have no option because as Parliament, we need to allocate money to it and debate it to ensure that the required services are offered to Zambians, the President and the Presidency.


Madam Chairperson, I am aware that as much as we need the services of this very important institution, we need to help our men and women who offer these services. They have a challenge in terms of tools and equipment, especially in rural districts where they only have one motor vehicle. When you look at the vastness of a particular district, it becomes a challenge for them to meet their targets.

Madam Chairperson, had our people been well-equipped, the happenings in Katete would have been avoided. However, it is a matter of lacking equipment for them to deal with matters at the required time.

Madam Chairperson, I am aware that this institution plays a very vital role in terms of advising the Presidency. We would also like to urge that our officers who are appointed tothis institution are of high credibility so that they do not mislead and misdirect the Presidency. This is because it is from this institution that we might have the Presidency misdirected if not well harnessed.

Madam Chairperson, I have noted that there is a minimal increase in the funds that have been allocated to this institution. I hope the money will be put to good use and the targeted area where they want to amplify training of a specialised nature is achieved. It is vital to know that the institution must expand its wings so that each and every part of Zambia is well-catered for.

Madam Chairperson, being a sensitive institution, I will not say much.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, we need to make progress. Since this is a sensitive matter, we have to close it there. I am going to invite Her Honour the Vice-President to wind up debate.

The Vice-President: Thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Madam Chairperson, I want to thank the hon. Members who have debated this Head. Indeed, we have literally heard from all of them, other than those who may have found some gaps. Even in the operation, I am sure they have seen that we can go the wrong way but, I appreciate that the hon. Members do appreciate the sensitivity of this Head and have chosen to be very cautious in the manner they bring out information.

Madam Chairperson, I am very grateful and I thank the hon. Members for the support.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Vote 78 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 35 – (Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development – K501,398,509)

The Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (Mr Mubanga): Madam Chairperson, I am glad to be given this opportunity to present the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development policy statement on the Estimates of Revenue for the period 1st January to 31st December, 2023.

Madam Chairperson, I wish to appreciate the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane, for the 2023 Budget which clearly shows a further enhanced commitment by the Government towards the development of micro, small and medium enterprises and co-operatives in the country.

Madam Chairperson, in order to promote the economic diversification agenda of the New Dawn Government, my ministry contributes to economic transformation and job creation. My ministry focuses on the promotion of small and medium enterprises and co-operatives development so as to create jobs and enhance wealth creation across the country.

According to Gazette No. 1123 of 2021,the portfolio functions of my ministry are as follows:

  1. co-operative development;
  2. small and medium enterprise incubation and small and medium enterprises mentorship;
  3. loans, incentives and credit schemes;
  4. small and medium enterprise policy; and
  5. small and medium scale enterprise development.

Madam Chairperson, in 2022, the budget allocation for the ministry was K414,545,548. I wish to inform the hon. Members that the Government will continue supporting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and co-operatives. The ministry has been allocated K501,398,509in 2023 and this means the budget has been increased by 21 per cent.

Madam Chairperson, the New Dawn Government accepts that SMEs and co-operatives are key players in the economic transformation of the country. The ministry through this budget will ensure that the Government meets its needs by undertaking policy, legal and institutional reforms.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to update the House on what the ministry undertook in the year 2022.

Online Co-operative Registration Services

Madam Chairperson, the ministry established the online registration ofco-operatives in the country in its quest to transform the manner in which co-operatives were registered. I wish to state that online registration is being done together with the manual system to accommodate those in rural areas. From the time the online system was introduced, 1,777 co-operative certificates have been issued countrywide. Further, 24,772 co-operatives were registered and issued with certificates before the new system was introduced, bringing the number of co-operatives registered for the period September 2021 to August 2022 to 26,549.

Promotion of Non-Agricultural Co-operatives

Madam Chairperson, 142 non-agricultural co-operatives were registered. These co-operatives are promoting small-scale mining, savings and credit, construction and tourism, among others. The promotion of non-agricultural co-operatives is key to ensure co-operatives operate in other economic sectors rather than agriculture.

Creation of Market Linkages

Madam Chairperson, to address the challenge of access to the market, more than 681 co-operatives were linked to major off takers. The aspect of market access is key for the success of co-operatives.

Empowerment for Citizens

Madam Chairperson, during the period under review, the ministry, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), developed eight tailor-made products responding to the various groups of SMEs and co-operatives. Furthermore, the disbursement of K1,171.5 million towards marketer booster loans has started. This is the first ever empowerment fund that has been targeted to this category of citizens.

Madam Chairperson, in the 2023 Budget, the ministry will focus on the following:

Revise Legal and Policy Framework

Madam Chairperson, in order to create a conducive environment for MSMEs and co-operatives, the following will be undertaken:

Finalise and launch of the Policy for SMEs and the National Co-operatives Development Policy

Madam Chairperson, we will revise the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act No. 9 of 2006 and the Co-operative Society Act No.20 of 1998. The development of the SMEs Bill and the establishment of village industry services will also be looked at. We will also revise the National Co-operative Strategy.

Co-operatives Development and Management

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will promote the growth of co-operatives in all sectors. This will be done through mindset transformation programmes for co-operatives to engage in different economic activities rather than just agriculture.

Madam Chairperson, this programme will also facilitate for the registration and training of co-operatives. In addition, both provincial and district offices will be strengthened to ensure smooth provision of services. In order to fully establish the online registration of co-operatives, the ministry will build capacity in the officers handling the registration process countrywide. In order to actualise this, the ministry has allocated K43.1 million.

Small and Medium Enterprise Development

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will also focus on enterprise development through nurturing of new businesses as well as supporting the existing ones through the provision of business development services, information dissemination and incubation. In order for this to be done, the ministry has allocated K19,832,255.

Small and Medium Enterprise Empowerment

Madam Chairperson, my ministry will continue with empowerment, with the purpose of promoting the growth of SMEs and co-operatives through the provision of the empowerment fund. In implementing the enterprise and economic empowerment programmes, the CEEC will continue being funded. In order for this programme to be implemented, the ministry proposes to spend K398,860,644.

Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, I appeal to all the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s 2023 Budget Estimates.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

The Chairperson: Hon. Members, this is a new ministry and I am happy that many people are indicating to debate. We shall continue tomorrow for those who will be left behind.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Chairperson, first of all, I appreciate that the hon. Minister has attended to some of my thoughts, among them market linkages because, currently, our nation is resource rich and we have seen that some of the things the past Governments embarked on were not helpful, especially to the youths. Therefore, cash empowerment, whether through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Act or the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development, will not be helpful.

Madam Chairperson, I have been privileged to be in some committees, and I have witnessed young people present a very sound project proposal, and it would be subjected to both desk appraisal as well as field appraisal. They would even show you where they would be keeping pigs and promise to build a piggery there. However, when given cash, you would find them pushing trolleys in Shoprite, with their girlfriends following behind.

Madam Chairperson, I want to use two proverbs and I hope they will be appreciated within the confinements I will use them. When a mosquito sits on a wrong place, you know that there are better ways of killing it and you cannot kill it using a mass loader, and I will confine to that.

Madam Chairperson, when we look at such –

Mr Mutelo: Meaning.


Mr Fube: You will not disturb me like that. What I am trying to underscore is that the past empowerments and the present ones are both tokenism and lucrative. I say so because they do not have a trickledown effect on sustenance.

Regarding the empowerment funds under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), we have seen members of a co-operative fighting in order to share the money after being given a cheque or money. So, by maybe 2026, the Government will look like it has not invested in anything because people just shared the money at individual level.

Madam Chairperson, I want to address the question of co-operatives under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry as well as the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. When this ministry under debate was created, we had confusion in the 2022 Budget, and the component of co-operatives had an amendment. I vividly remember that I pushed that amendment which was embroiled in confusion. I think everything that has to do with co-operatives has to be transferred to this ministry so that there is ticking of names or beneficiaries. All funds that are going to co-operatives should be put under this ministry, unlike the struggle that is there now, where the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry has to demonstrate its existence and this ministry has to demonstrate its existence. We have transformed co-operatives from merely agricultural co-operatives to co-operatives that transcends different sectors of life. Therefore, we need to put them in one ministry.

Madam Chairperson, the ministry needs to be tuned to sing a song of economic diversification. Currently, we all know that on the export front, it is just copper that is posting almost 71 per cent, yet Zambia still remains resource rich. We have minerals which young people can use. They can be involved in small-scale mining; the ministry can buy machinery and invest and monitor it. There should be a strong monitoring and evaluation system to monitor those businesses. We have potential in agriculture. Currently, only 15 per cent of our arable land is being used for agriculture purposes. That is a yawning opportunity for young people which can create employment, especially that the ministry is linked to the pillar that is talking about creating employment.


Madam Chairperson, let me to also address the issue of co-ordination. For instance, in a co-operative that is receiving money under the CDF, there can be one member possibly sneaking out of that co-operative and applying for funds through the district commissioner (DC) and going to the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development to apply for funding as an individual. There is no system that checks who has applied under the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts, especially when it comes to individuals. People are concentrating on co-operatives and individuals are sneaking out from the groups and are applying for all these funds. Therefore, you will find that in terms of empowering our citizens, we will be empowering the same people if they know the DC and they have connections at that level. They will find themselves getting funding and benefiting from different ministries. So, the people of Chilubi would like to call for co-ordination in that area so that at the end of the day, we have a system for checking beneficiaries of empowerment funds.

Madam Chairperson, on market linkages, we have talked about the yawning market about goats in the Arab world and many others, but we have not empowered these ministries to create strong task forces to respond to different economic opportunities. For instance, I dream of a situation where the ministry will have task forces that will respond to rice production in Kaputa and explore cassava production. Ethanol, alcohol, and many others, are the finished products of cassava. With that kind of value addition, you will find that along the way employment creation will simply fall in place. There must be a deliberate policy to create task forces that should identify economic areas where we can invest in even with the money that comes, unlike giving young people money over the counter. If you give young people money over the counter, it is going to compete with physiological needs when it reaches home. For instance, if you give a young person K5,000 who has been crying even over mealie meal, the first thing he is going to attend to is a physiological need insala kapondo, meaning that hunger is not something to play with. He will even attend to fashion and a lot more things. Sometimes, he will even pay rent using the money he has been given for business.

Madam Chairperson, in the interest of time, let me wind up and underscore that the money factor should be silenced. We should go into acquiring capital equipment as a form of empowerment.

Madam Chairperson, the people of Chilubi would like to rest their suitcase here.

I thank you, Madam.

Ms Halwiindi (Kabwe Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Kabwe Central Constituency time to debate on this Vote, a very important Vote, indeed. First of all, I thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and the New Dawn Government for coming up with this ministry which is very important and very strategic in terms of economic development. We all know that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the drivers of every successful economy because they contribute to job creation and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Madam Chairperson, in our constituency, Kabwe Central, we do not have industries and people depend on SMEs for job creation. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister to make sure that our people are empowered. Let me thank the hon. Minister for the recent empowerment programme of Marketeer Booster Loans, where we have seen many marketeers benefiting from the empowerment programme.

Mr Chairperson, I am happy that in the coming year, 2023, there is a robust programme of making sure that our people are empowered, including marketeers and those who have small businesses like barbershops and salons. This sits well with the theme of the Budget, which is to stimulate growth through empowerment to improve the livelihoods of our people in the communities.

Madam Chairperson, I urge the hon. Minister to identify entrepreneurs. Mind you, a small and medium enterprise (SME) business is different from an entrepreneur, an innovator or a person who is creative. These are two different people. The business of an entrepreneur or an innovator does not normally die out because he is creative and knows how to improve his products. These are the people we should identify in Zambia and support because they will help in job creation and as I said earlier on, contribute to the GDP.

Madam Chairperson, in Kabwe, we have young people who are very good at running businesses like coming up with green charcoal and manufacturing wire fences. One time, I was privileged to be in the office of the hon. Minister where I found a young man who came up with a stove that does not produce heat, which is very environmentally friendly. Those are the people we should support, as a country. We can even market such products outside the country. It is very important that we support entrepreneurs or people who are very innovative.

Madam Chairperson, I heard that there is a programme in his budget to train our people. This is very important. We do not want to see a situation where we are empowering our people with money but the money is being consumed. This can be a drawback for the country. So, this programme to train our people is very important.

Madam Chairperson, the issue of empowerment cuts across all ministries. We are empowering people under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). We are giving grants to our people under the CDF. It is the duty of the ministry to see what people are doing with the grants. I know that without personnel in the districts under this ministry, it is going to be very difficult to follow up on the SMEs. As we employ people to follow up on the SMEs, let us employ people who are knowledgeable enough or who are also entrepreneurs and are innovative or creative. They will be following our people to make sure that their businesses do not die out.

The programme that the Government has for our country is very important. As I have said before, even this time, the major employers are the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). We have a problem right now in the country whereby people are crying for employment. Meanwhile, there are empowerment programmes in the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development. If our people were knowledgeable enough, they would have known that this is where they can get their bread and butter, and they would not be crying because many people would be employed.

Madam Chairperson, although we do not debate ourselves, I want to say that I am a proud person as I retired when I was twenty-six years old. Before that, I had a very good job as a nurse. However, I retired because I saw an opportunity out there. Many people do not see opportunities, but sometimes we cannot blame them because we have not come up with programmes to inform them of what they can do and open their minds. As a country, this is very important and that is the only way we can be very progressive.

Madam Chairperson, I am also happy about the market booster loans. Our women are even sending congratulatory messages saying before the loans, they were suffering. They used to go to institutions which were over-charging them. Our women were not sleeping. They were waking up around 0400 hours just to make sure that they have something at the end of the day to enable them to make weekly payments to the institutions where they were getting loans at very high interest rates.

Madam Chairperson, I would like to thank the New Dawn Government for making our women proud. The women are saying please, send a message to our hon. Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development on the need for more empowerment programmes so that the Government can improve the livelihood of the people as the thee is for the 2023 Budget.

Madam Chairperson, once more, I just want to say thank you so much. We need more empowerment, especially in my constituency, where we do not have industries. We still appeal to the Government to make sure that our people are empowered and trained. I want to see a situation where my constituency will become a bread basket and be able to employ more people.

Madam Chairperson, people will not be crying for white collar jobs when there are readily available jobs outside for them because when it comes to empowerment, the New Dawn Government is doing wonders.

With these few words, I say thank you so much, Madam Chairperson.

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Chairperson, thank you for giving the good people of Petauke an opportunity to debate this Vote.

Madam Chairperson, firstly, I thank the hon. Minister for allocating this amount to this ministry because the good people of Petauke who have less capital will be able to get loans. The good people of Petauke like marketeers will have a capital ofK200 which he/she will use to order tomatoes. However, if he/she gets sick after ordering those tomatoes, by the time he/she recovers, those tomatoes would have become rotten and so, that marketeer will not have any capital. Therefore, this increment in the allocation to the ministry means that marketeers will now be more empowered even if they get sick. They will not be worrying about capital because the ministry has been allocated more money.

Madam Chairperson, in Petauke Central Constituency, we have many cooperatives, and most of them were left out of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).However, with this allocation, I am sure they can be empowered and be able to venture into fish farming and crop agriculture because we have a lot of land. We have powerful youths who are just sitting because they lack capital. So, we support the Vote, wholeheartedly.

Madam Chairperson, we also have youth clubs. Those youth clubs have not had any empowerment. However, with this increment, I am sure all those youth clubs will now be happy. We also have got youths who studied agriculture and graduated from the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC). We have got land, but the youths do not have capital and they cannot all depend on the Government to be employed. With the knowledge they acquired from NRCD, the youths can venture into farming and help the country to employ more youths. We also have youths who pursued studies to do with health. We have doctors and other health personnel, and I am sure that with this allocation, many more youths will be empowered. They should be able to establish private hospitals and create job opportunities for other doctors and other health personnel because not all health personnel should depend on the Government.

Madam Chairperson, I am you saw that during the recruitment exercise by the Ministry of Health, more than 100,000 people applied for jobs. However, only 11,000 were picked. Once empowered by this ministry, those who were not picked can also create jobs and employ their friends.

Madam Chairperson, in Petauke, we have youth who have done teaching. Those who were left out can also take advantage of this empowerment from the ministry and form a company. They can borrow many and open a private school which can in turn employ many teachers who were left out. By doing that, they would help decongest government schools where there is free education.

Madam Chairperson, there are some people who can manage to pay school fees in private schools. Not everyone deserves free education. Yes, we appreciate the free education policy, but there are some who are employed by the Government and can manage to take their children to private schools. So, once the youths are empowered, they will open up more private schools.

Madam Chairperson, we should also not forget the taxi drivers. We have got many youths who are marooned in Petauke Constituency. They too, can be empowered and once empowered, they will be able to provide jobs for themselves and their fellow drivers. It is the same for bus drivers. So, the good people of Petauke support this Vote wholeheartedly and we invite the hon. Minister to Petauke so that he can start empowering the youths.

Madam Chairperson, he can come even tomorrow. We support this Vote.

I thank you, Madam Chairperson.

Mr Simushi (Sikongo): Madam Chairperson, thank you so much for this opportunity to debate Vote 35. To start with, I think I would like to say that we support the Vote wholeheartedly.

Madam Chairperson, the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development is very critical to the development of this country and I commend the President for having introduced this ministry. Most of the developed countries are where they are or are developed to a large extent because they have a strong Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) base which helps in the creation of jobs and it also helps in tax revenue in those countries. So, I think in creating this ministry, the Head of State was also looking at the fact that we can use a strong SME base in this country to help in the development of our country.

Therefore, I am happy to see an increase in the budgetary allocation to this ministry from K415 million in 2022 to K501 million in 2023. This is as it should be. Of course, I expected the amount to increase significantly, but at the same time, I am alive to the fact that this New Dawn Administration inherited a broken economy and, as a result, it is not really possible at this moment in time to have huge budgetary allocations to critical ministries such as the Ministry of Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to speak to the element of co-operatives. Co-operatives are very critical as we talk about small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and how they can contribute to the development of this country. However, the hon. Minister has a big challenge in trying to use co-operatives to turn around the economy or to contribute to the development of this country. What we have seen in the past is a situation in which our co-operatives have just focused on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). There were co-operatives that were created to just be a conduit where agricultural inputs are collected and, thereafter, these co-operatives just died a natural death only to be resurrected at the time when the agricultural season started.

Madam Chairperson, the hon. Minister has a huge responsibility to ensure that co-operatives are not seen as co-operatives for FISP only. Therefore, I expect that the ministry, much as it is new, has staff that range up to the district level. So, the ministry should take advantage of those personnel that are there to make sure that they take on this huge responsibility of trying to turn around this economy using the SMEs.

Madam Chairperson, capacity building is going to be very critical because what we did this time around was to increase the number of co-operatives because of the money that we have under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but I think, what we did, to a certain extent, was not correct. We should have first started with capacity building these co-operatives before they had access to the resources. Unfortunately, it was the other way round. So, like my hon. Colleagues have already mentioned, that is why we are seeing that what is happening now is that we have people who are getting resources in terms of grants, but they quickly just go and share the money because they did not understand why these resources were being given to them. So, I think, the ministry has a huge responsibility to make sure that skills training and incubation for co-operatives are given the seriousness that they deserve.

Madam Chairperson, indeed, this ministry is tricky in the sense that it sits in different ministries. So, the aspect of co-ordination becomes very critical. If the aspect of co-ordination is not taken seriously, then the impact of this ministry may not be realised. Therefore, I am happy to hear that we have legal reforms that are being proposed. I hope those will be able to address the issues of co-ordination to make sure that this ministry becomes effective and delivers to the expectations of the people of Zambia.

It is, indeed, a cross cutting ministry and, therefore, I hope and expect that all the other ministries where empowerment funds are available will be able to co-ordinate and work together so that this ministry delivers to the expectations of the people of Zambia.

Madam Chairperson, financing has been a very critical aspect that has made our SMEs really perform poorly, but I hope that with the empowerment funds that we have available, – I am happy to note that actually the empowerment funds, even under this budget for next year, have been increased, which is a good thing – that as we move forward, we will be able to make sure that our SMEs and co-operatives are able to receive enough funding. Our banks, I think, are not helping us so much in terms of SMEs accessing funding because they have conditions that are not favouring SMEs.

So, to a large extent, our SMEs and co-operators will depend, for their lifeline, on the ministry. We need to come up with innovative measures of how to ensure that SMEs get proper support from this ministry. When we do that, we are bound to see this ministry contribute significantly to the development of this country.


Madam Chairperson, as I conclude, may I say that the programmes that we have are critical. Co-operative development and management is critical, but I think we need more support on the ground to these people. They need to have transport; otherwise, it will be very difficult for them to operate on the ground.


Madam Chairperson, my worry is that the Co-operatives Development Officer sits under the Department of Co-operatives while the CDF is under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development. So, what I see is a situation where the person who is very critical to the achievement of the objectives does not seem to have a say.


Madam Chairperson, there is need to make sure that those who are in the ministry responsible for co-operatives are not just there to form co-operatives. If they get money for implementation from the Local Government and they sit back, they will not achieve their goals. So, it is important that the people on the ground look at this issue from a holistic point of view so that every key player comes in. In terms of grants, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services plays a critical role but it is not catered for when it comes to training of the groups that are formed. So, we need to have a situation whereby, on the ground, the departments can speak the same language. Let them be focused and work in teams.

Madam Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity. Allow me to place on record that the people of Kanchibiya support Head 35, allocation to the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprise Development.

Madam Chairperson, it is gratifying to see the increase from K414,545,548 to K501,398,509, representing an increase of about K86.9 million.

Madam Chairperson, this particular ministry is critical in the sense that Small Medium Enterprises (SME) forms bedrock of industrialisation. The challenge before this particular ministry is to ensure that it does unlock the potential of SMEs; it develops a compelling foreign direct investment attraction plan; it does increase SME contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP); and it plays a pivotal role in the creation of the millions of jobs that we seek in order to drive the economy of our nation.

Madam Chairperson, allow me to make reference to some of the items under this allocation, the SME, Research and Development, a paltry K10,357,688.

Madam Chairperson, for the people of Kanchibiya, I think there must come a time when as a country, we must place high premiums on research and development across the board. Currently, the value placed on research and development and not just for this ministry is something that is not worth writing home about. Any country that gets thrived in terms of industrialisation and development placed high premiums on research and development.

Madam Chairperson, I am gratified to hear that the ministry will bring amendments to the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) Act. Critical to the amendments in this particular Act is a definition of a citizen. We therefore, hope that the ministry will be courageous enough to define a citizen in the context of a Zambian citizen.

Madam Chairperson, it is also important that this ministry does provide a framework and an enabling environment for enterprise development. In this regard, we are talking about economic transformation and job creation. This agenda is anchored in our Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) and the Vision 2030.

Madam Chairperson, even as I congratulate the hon. Minister for the marketeer’s empowerment booster programme, I want to say to my dear brother that we should not just focus on traders but also, on producers, inventors and innovators. In this regard, some of the brilliant projects by the universities and graduating students can be translated into enterprises that will have the potential to create jobs. The ministry will also do well to take particular interest in the Junior Engineers Technicians and Scientists (JETS). The hon. Minister and her ministry should tap into the brilliant ideas and innovations that are coming from there.

Madam Chairperson, the previous speakers have alluded to the high cost of credit –

The Chairperson: Order!

(Consideration adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress report)




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1913 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 24th November, 2022.