Friday, 9th December, 2022

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      Friday, 9th December, 2022

The House met at 0900 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, on Tuesday, 29th November, 2022, I informed the House that the Ministry of Technology and Science, in collaboration with the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), had undertaken an exercise to determine areas that did not have access to telecommunication services countrywide. I, further, informed the House that the ministry had made available the report to concerned hon. Members of Parliament and requested them to submit priority areas in their constituencies for erecting communication towers by Friday, 2nd December, 2022. However, only a few hon. Members had submitted the information by the deadline.

In this regard, hon. Members are urged to make their submissions directly to the ministry before the close of business today, Friday, 9th December, 2022.

I thank you.



The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Kakubo): Madam Speaker, let me give the House an indication of the business it will deal with next week.

Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, 13th December, 2022, the Business of the House will begin with Questions. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 92 – Central Province;
  2. Head 93 – Northern Province; and
  3. Head 94 – Western Province.

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 14th December, 2022, the Business of the House will start with Questions. Then the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion titled, “Increase Foreign Currency Daily Deposit Limits”, to be moved by Mr Emmanuel Jay Banda, hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central Parliamentary Constituency. Thereafter, the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 95 – Eastern Province;
  2. Head 96 – Luapula Province; and
  3. Head 97 – North-Western Province.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 15th December, 2022, the Business of the House will commence with Questions. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then the House will resolve into Committee of Supply to consider the following Heads:

  1. Head 98 – Southern Province; and
  2. Head 99 – Constitutional and Statutory Expenditure.

Madam Speaker, on Friday, 16th December, 2022, the Business of the House will start with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Thereafter, the House will deal with Questions. The House will then consider presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider any business that may be outstanding and, thereafter, adjourn sine die.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.




The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Kakubo): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 25, 27 and 115 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, be suspended to enable the House to sit at 0900 hours until business on the Order Paper for each day is completed from Tuesday, 13th to Friday, 16th December, 2022, and also consider more than one stage of a Bill at a single Sitting.

Madam Speaker, as Her Honour the Vice-President indicated last Friday, the House is expected to adjourn sine die on Friday, 16th December, 2022.

Standing Order 25 of the National Assembly of Zambia, Standing Orders, 2021, provides for the House to sit at 1430 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and at 0900 hours on Friday while Standing Order 27 provides, inter-alia, that the normal time for adjournment of the House on Tuesday and Thursday shall be at 1845 hours while on Wednesday and Friday, the normal time for adjournment shall be 1915 hours and 1300 hours, respectively. Further, Standing Order 115 prohibits the taking of more than one stage of a Bill at a single Sitting.

Further, Madam Speaker, as hon. Members are aware, the House is still considering several Bills which are currently at different stages of enactment. The Bills need to go through all stages of enactment before the House adjourns.

Madam Speaker, in order to create additional time to consider the outstanding business, it is necessary that Standing Orders 25, 27 and 115 are suspended to enable the House to sit from 0900 hours until all business on the Order Paper for each day is completed from Tuesday, 13th to Friday, 16th December, 2022, and also to consider more than one stage of a Bill at a single Sitting.

Madam Speaker, as the House is already aware, this meeting started on Friday, 9th September, 2022, and by the time of adjournment sine die, on Friday, 16th December, 2022, the House would have sat for fifty-six days and considered six Private Members’ Motions and two Motions to adopt Parliamentary Committee reports. Further, the House would have passed fourteen Bills, deferred one Bill and withdrawn one Bill. The House would have also considered one Motion to adopt a Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise various presidential appointments.

Madam Speaker, as of today, 9th December, 2022, the House has so far considered 100 questions. Other business that has been considered include the tabling of thirty-five annual reports from government and quasi-government departments and issuance of twenty-eight ministerial statements explaining and clarifying the Government’s policies on various issues.

Madam Speaker, more importantly, the House has spent a considerable amount of time to consider the 2023 National Budget. Thus far, forty-four Votes of expenditure have been considered and the remaining Votes will be considered before the House adjournssine die.

Madam Speaker, it is clear from the foregoing that the House has dispatched a considerable amount of business during the meeting. This can only be attributed to the dedication and also hard work of all hon. Members of Parliament. In this regard, I congratulate all hon. Members individually and collectively for a job well done.

As I conclude, allow me to express my sincere gratitude to you, Madam Speaker, the Hon. Madam First Deputy Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker for the efficient manner in which you presided over the Business of the House during this meeting.

Madam Speaker, I further commend the Clerk of the National Assembly and the staff for the services they continue to render to the House and their dedication to duty. In the same vein, let me acknowledge, with utmost gratitude, the important role that has been played by officers from the Office of the Vice-President, the Parliamentary Liaison Committees from different ministries and the entire Public Service in facilitating the work of the House.

Finally, Madam Speaker, as we head into the festive season, I encourage all hon. Members of this House and the public at large to ensure that they enjoy responsibly and remember the reason for the season. I wish the august House a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2023.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, this is a procedural Motion. So, I will allow one hon. Member from my left. I can see the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development also indicating. I will allow him to debate and then the hon. Minister who moved the Motion will wind up. If there is any indication from the Independent hon. Members, then I will allow one hon. Member.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for allowing me to make a few comments on the Motion moved by the acting Leader of Government Business in the House. Indeed, this is a procedural Motion and we have no objection to such a Motion, except to make a few comments. Indeed, Standing Orders 25, 27 and 115 are the ones we are allowing the Leader of Government Business in the House to suspend.

Madam Speaker, before I make my comments, permit me to take this opportunity to express on behalf of my hon. Colleague, the Leader of the Opposition, our profound gratitude to you for allowing our Members on this side of the House and a few hon. Members on the other side to go and pay our last respects to the former Deputy Chief Whip and Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, in Kabwe.

Madam Speaker, in the same token, I appreciate the sixth President and the former First Lady, who led all of us in the procession. I cannot forget the learned Chief Justice and Attorney-General, who allowed for the procession to take place in the Kabwe High Court. Similarly, I acknowledge the three hon. Ministers who found time, despite the funeral not being official, to be with all of us the whole day. We thank God that no fatalities were recorded in the mishap that Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Tayali and the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitationwere involved in.

Madam Speaker, that said, I would like on behalf of the Backbenchers to lobby that now that we have suspended these Standing Orders, we would like to have as many hon. Members as possible debate the Votes that will be before us before we conclude business, especiallythat we shall be dealing with provincial Votes for places where hon. Members come from. We lobby that at least a minimum of four hon. Members, or even five if it is possible, are allowed to debate on a provincial Vote because we are going to dedicate our time beyond our normal working hours to deal with the business that is pending.

Madam Speaker, I agree with the acting Leader of Government Business in the House that there are so many Bills that we need to take through all the stages that are required. However, we want him to send a proper message to our colleagues managing the presidential office that when Bills are sent to the President for assent, Cabinet should do the necessary conveyances because the civil servants know how to handle the conveyances. The recent misinformation that was churned out from State House caused a lot of anguish, not only to the hon. Ministers who are –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Shiwang’andu!

I am sorry to disrupt you, but stick to the Motion because time is running out. The issues that you are bringing out, hon. Member for Shiwang’andu do not relate to the Motion on the Floor. You have to remain relevant as you debate.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance, but I am talking about the Bills and the stages that they go through. A Government representative talked about the Bills and that is why I am speaking about them. Some people were calling us to find out what Bill we had passed, so it is important that we are not put in an awkward position in the face of the members of the public.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

It is understood. What you are saying now is important, but you are saying it at the wrong time. At the moment, we are talking about a procedural Motion. May you kindly resume your seat.

Mr Kampyongo resumed his seat.

Madam Speaker: We are talking about a procedural Motion to suspend Standing Orders particularly. So, can we remain relevant to that Motion. If there are other issues, you can find other ways and means to raise them at an appropriate time, so that we remain consistent with our own procedures.

You may proceed.

Mr Kampyongo: Well guided, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, Friday being what it is, we are itching to engage Her Honour the Vice-President. Therefore, it is our prayer that on the last Friday, we shall have an opportunity to engage Her Honour the Vice-President before we adjourn sine die.

Madam Speaker, we also appreciate you for the role you have played in managing the Business of the House during this meeting. However, we are a bit concerned with the way some stakeholders are treating ministerial statements. When ministerial statements are delivered to this august House, hon. Members of Parliament take the opportunity to engage hon. Ministers. However, we are concerned with some things we have seen after an hon. Minister issues a statement. For example, the hon. Minister of Energy issued a statement last week about the pending load shedding. The following day, a chairperson of a board said that the ministerial statement which was issued was not correct.

I think those are matters that the Acting Leader of Government Business needs to deal with. The Board Chairperson cannot dilute a ministerial statement given in the august House in the manner it was done. Now, people do not know what to believe. We know that Business that is transacted here is verified. So, when a Board Chairperson says that the ministerial statement is not correct there will be no load shedding and without diplomatic courtesy, he starts attacking another country. It is not correct.

Madam Speaker, we will be going to meet our people and therefore, we would like our Colleagues, the hon. Ministers to ensure that they avail the necessary information that our hon. Members would like to go with as they go back to their constituencies. We want to be sure of the status regarding the distribution of inputs from the hon. Minister of Agriculture so that as we go to our constituencies, we are able to engage our people with information they need.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I would love to see the report that was requested to be table in this august House before we adjourn sinedie. This is the report regarding the availability of medical drugs and supplies in our clinics. We would want to have that report so that as we go back, again, we are able to explain to our people and give them information which is well founded.

Madam, I would have loved to give the Acting Leader of Government Business some of the questions that we would have loved to pose to Her hon. the Vice-President, so that she comes prepared as she comes on Friday. You can take one of them: There is a pending issue which she is supposed to come and clear regarding the First Quantum Minerals (FQM) shares that are a subject of debate. However, for the other issues, we will not let the cat out of the bag.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: One would think we are adjourning today. However, thank you very much for those issues. I am sure the Business that we have for next week has already been stated by the acting Leader of Government Business.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Madam Speaker, adjournment of the House sine die gives an opportunity to the hon. Members of Parliament to do some introspection and soul searching as to how effective they are as legislators. The primary function for hon. Members of Parliament is to legislate. So, I am thankful for the Leader of Government Business to be crystal clear that we needed to suspend Standing Order No. 115 in order for us to deal with the pending Bills, away from the normal procedure. That we can deal with the Bill in the same sitting. It is a very necessary undertaking and defines the exact descriptions a hon. Member of Parliament. So, it is only in order that do this.

Madam Speaker, secondly, the exercise of budgeting that we are undertaking right now, also forms part of the three functions of hon. Members of Parliament and it important that we continue to meet our timelines in order for people to go back to their constituencies and see the people who elected them, thereby defining there third functions hon. Members of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, my plea to the hon. Colleagues is that they make sure they go to their area of representation. My main reason for supporting this non-controversial and procedural Motion is to encourage hon. Members of Parliament to do a full engagement not only with their constituencies but also with their wards, especially, the Ward Development Committees. This is important so that they can make plans for next years budgeting vis-à-visthe Constituency Development Fund (CDF) so that when we come to the commencement of the new fiscal year, all the project proposals should be ready for submission to the CDF Committee from the Ward Development Fund Committees. We should do not fall prey to the unnecessary delays that we went through in this fiscal year. It created a lot of anxiety among hon. Members of Parliament and pointing fingers at one another in terms of delaying in procedures. So, my plea to the hon. Members is that they engage very closely with the Ward Development Committees (WDC) in their constituencies so that they do their project identification ahead of time, in the next 14 days after we adjourn. Come 31st of December, 2022, they would all be ready to submit the project proposal. If possible, by the end of January, we can then swing into action for implementation.

Madam Speaker, I am glad to inform my hon. Colleagues that we are bringing the CDF amendment Bill in order to try and address the bottlenecks that we may have experienced in the last year, which includes the devolution of authority from the hon. Minister’s office to the provincial local government officers. This is in terms of approval of the projects that are identified. I thought that was a necessary statement to give to the hon. Members of Parliament. So, that no one has an excuse for delays that may be occasioned by either indolence, which is laziness, on the part of whoever is responsible for these processes. Further, for the hon. Members of Parliament to take the lead in making sure that project identifications done astutely and very quickly so that there is no back and forth movement of proposals not qualifying and sending them back to the constituencies, which formed the greater part of the delays.

Madam Speaker, I thought those comments may be helpful. We may, time permitting, come up with a comprehensive ministerial statement to state at what stage the processes of the performance of the CDF 2022 are, what we perceived to be bottlenecks and what we think the way forward may be.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to raise this issue and I support the Motion by the Acting Leader of Government Business.

Madam Speaker: On behalf of the hon. Members of Parliament, I appeal to the hon. Minister to ensure that disbursement of funds is done timeously so that they are not disrupted when we resume the next sitting by dashing back to their constituencies in order to ensure that disbursement of funds are attended to. This is just an appeal on behalf of the hon. Members. They are not even saying “yayayaya”.


Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, I thank my hon. Colleagues for unanimously supporting the Motion.

I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.




The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Mr Kakubo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to update the House on the matter of Mr Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda, a Zambian national who died at the battlefront of the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine.

Madam Speaker, as indicated in our press statement of Monday, 14th November, 2022, I wish to affirm to the House that on 9th November, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation was notified of the demise of Mr Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda, a twenty-three-year-old Zambian Government sponsored student who was pursuing a nuclear engineering course at the Institute of Physics in the Russian Federation. The ministry was informed that Lemekani died at the battlefront of the on-going war between Russia and Ukraine.

Madam Speaker, through our embassy in Moscow, the ministry immediately proceeded to verify this information that was given to us and we established that Lemekani did indeed pass away on 22nd September, 2022 in Ukraine. The embassy was further advised that Lemekani’s remains had been transported to the Russian border town of Rostov in readiness for repatriation to Zambia.

Madam Speaker, the ministry wishes to further state that in April, 2020, Lemekani was found guilty of having contravened the laws of the Russian Federation and as such, Lemekani was subsequently convicted and sentenced to nine years and six months imprisonment. He was therefore, serving his sentence at Tver Medium Security Prison on the outskirts of Moscow.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the Russian Government permitted two consular visits per year for the Zambian embassy staff in Moscow to visit Lemekani. As such, in March, 2022, the Zambian embassy staff visited Lemekani at Tver Medium Security Prison and he was in good health. In September, 2022, the embassy made a request to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation to pay a consular visit to Lemekani for which it received no response. On 5th November, 2022, the embassy made a follow-up on its September request for consular access to Lemekani to no avail. It was while awaiting a response that the news of Lemekani’s death was brought to our attention.

Madam Speaker, in view of this very unfortunate development, the Zambian Government immediately requested the Russian authorities to urgently provide information on the circumstances under which a Zambian citizen, serving a prison sentence in Tver, Russia, could have been enlisted to fight in Ukraine and as a consequence, lost his life.

Madam Speaker, the House may also wish to note that I summoned the Ambassador of the Russian Federation accredited to the Republic of Zambia for a meeting on 12thNovember, 2022. During this meeting, we requested the Embassy of the Russian Federation to avail the following key information:

  1. why a Zambian national under the custody of the Russian Government as a convict was recruited as a combatant in the on-going Russia/Ukraine conflict; and
  2. full details surrounding the enlistment and the subsequent death of Lemekani.

Madam Speaker, in response the Russian envoy stated to us that he was yet to receive information from Moscow on the circumstances relating to the death of Lemekani but then he committed that he would report back to my ministry once informed. Our embassy in Moscow equally received similar instructions to seek information from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation on the circumstances relating to Lemekani’s death.

Madam Speaker, further to this, I wish to inform the House that on 24th November, 2022, I held a telephone conversation with my counterpart, His Excellency Mr Sergey Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, where I pressed for information regarding the circumstances surrounding Lemekani’s death. During the call, I also sought clarification why, in the same manner the Zambian Government was informed of his incarceration, it was not officially informed of his alleged conditional amnesty in exchange for deployment to Russia’s war with Ukraine. I further requested for details of the arrangements for the repatriation of the remains to Zambia by the Russian Government, considering that he was killed in service of the Russian Government, and information on whether there will be any compensation to the family of Mr Nyirenda from the Russian Government.

Madam Speaker, the Russian Foreign Minister while expressing condolences to the family of the deceased confirmed that Lemekani was conditionally pardoned on 23rd August, 2022 in order to join the Russian military operation in Ukraine in exchange for this amnesty. The House may wish to note that in a note verbale to the ministry from the Russian Embassy dated 5th December, 2022, we were informed that Russian law allows for prisoners to be provided an opportunity for pardon in exchange for participation in what was termed as special military operations. Unfortunately, our national was killed in September while participating in these activities.

Madam Speaker, I inform the House that notwithstanding the telephone call with the Russian Foreign Minister, the ministry immediately followed up with a request for official written responses from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Russian Embassy in Lusaka. We requested the following key information:

  1. official details of the recruitment of Lemekani into the Russian military operations;
  2. that a DNA test be conducted on the body to ascertain the identity of our national, Mr Nyirenda;
  3. details of the arrangements for the repatriation of the remains of our national by the Russian Government to Zambia; and
  4. emphasised and requested for details on compensation to Mr Nyirenda’s family from the Russian Government.

Madam Speaker, I also wish to report that after several follow-up actions with the Russian authorities, on 5th December, 2022, my ministry received confirmation that the remains of Mr Nyirenda are in Rostov-on-Don, Russia. Preparations for repatriation of the body have been made by the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Moscow in co-ordination with the Russian authorities.

Madam Speaker, I hereby, inform the House and the nation that the remains of Mr Lemekani N. Nyirenda arrived in Moscow from Rostov this morning, 9th December, 2022. Arrangements of the remains will be consigned on 10th December, 2022 and are expected to arrive in Lusaka on 11thSeptember, 2022 accompanied by a representative from our embassy in Moscow.


Madam Speaker: Is it September or December?

Mr Kakubo: I beg your pardon. It is December, this week.

Madam Speaker, the House may also wish to note that following a request from the Nyirenda family, a Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) test was conducted on the body to ascertain the identity of our national. The DNA samples have since been received by the family for cross match. The Russian Embassy has also informed the ministry that gratuity owed to Mr Nyirenda, together with all documentation relating to his amnesty recruitment and subsequent death will be handed over to the designated member of the family and also the Zambian Government.

Madam Speaker, I wish to emphasise to the House that at the core of this fact-finding mission is the Nyirenda family, which in this time of great difficulty and sadness must be accorded the decency and the discretion that they deserve to mourn their beloved son and brother.

The Government is extremely saddened on the death of Mr Nyirenda. We are also grateful to the Nyirenda family for its co-operation during this difficult period and confidence in its Government, during this trying moment, to deal with the matter relating to the demise of its son.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, wish to assure the House and the public as a whole that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation remains firmly seized with this unfortunate event. In that respect, my ministry is in constant communication with the Russian Embassy in Lusaka as well as the Ministry of Foreign of Affairs in the Russian Federation in Moscow to ensure that a detailed account of this tragic ordeal is availed, in writing, to the Zambian Government.

Madam Speaker, I am deeply saddened by Lemekani’s death and have been personally in touch, and will maintain contact with the family of the deceased in order to ensure that every last detail is provided and appropriate documentation is availed to the Government and, ultimately, the Nyirenda family

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, while sensitive to the high levels of anxiety and concern regarding circumstances of Lemekani’s death, I wish to request hon. Members of the House and our citizenry at large to exercise calm, as they have already, and patience while the Government, through the ministry, works tirelessly on this matter with appropriate respect and privacy accorded to the family.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, we appreciate the ministerial statement over this tragic ordeal.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister informed us that the deceased young man was serving a sentence and was given a conditional pardon. Ideally, when such is being done, there should be someone to consent; knowing that this foreign national is serving a sentence on foreign soil.

Madam Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s engagement, was this pardon given at the time this young man was requested to be shortlisted for that operation knowing that he was a civilian? He had no military background at all. One wonders why the authorities would want to shortlist a civilian in a short period like that and get him to the battle front. What role did our mission in Moscow play in the engagement of the young man? If it did not play any role, what has been the justification from the Russian authorities?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, I share the concerns of my colleague, the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu. The circumstances of Lemekani were, as far as we are concerned as the Government, that he was in custody and, therefore, still in the hands of the Russian Government hospices.

Madam Speaker, it has been explained to us that as he was serving his prison sentence, Russian law allows for prisoners to be enlisted for conditional amnesty. The condition is that when one leaves prison, one proceeds to fight in a war. If one comes back from the war alive – unfortunately our national did not come back alive – one is allowed to return home.

Madam Speaker, we are contented, as the Government, that in the same manner the Russian Government co-operated with the Zambian Government at the time our national was first arrested for contravening the Russian law and through the process of the court to his eventual conviction and in the follow-up consular visits that were done by our mission, the Russian Government should have notified the Zambian Government of anything else that could have substantially happened, such as the young Zambian being enlisted to war. Our mission in Russia was not informed, as mentioned in the statement. We made two consular requests to visit our national and those were met with silence. The next juncture when we got feedback, we were being informed that our national was no more.

Madam Speaker, in this regard, we are firmly pushing this agenda ourselves to ensure that we can give closure to the family and, as the Government, ensure that something like this does not happen to any of our nationals in Russia or elsewhere.

Madam Speaker, I confirm that at the time Lemekani was enlisted, the Government, through our mission, was not aware. It was only made aware of his death later on.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Andeleki (Katombola): Madam Speaker, the people of Katombola thank you for the opportunity to add their voice on this very sad state of affair, the demise of our citizen in the needless Russia/Ukraine war which is going on.

Madam Speaker, allow me also to thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement which clarifies a number of issues. My question is on the issue of reparations. Could the hon. Minister clarify what reparations have been prepared for the family of Lemekani considering that he died at the hands and instance of the Russian Government and on why he did not get back to Zambia after conviction to come and serve his sentence from here?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, firstly, let me mention that Lemekani Nathan Nyirenda was a subject of negotiations between the Zambian Government and the Russian Government. We requested that Lemekani be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence back home here in Zambia. While those negotiations were happening, it was necessary for the two Governments to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on exchange of prisoners. While that process was being finalised between that country’s Ministry of Justice and our Ministry of Justice, the eventual unfortunate death happened

Madam Speaker, this morning, our Ambassador in Russia is having a meeting with Russian authorities regarding the matter that my hon. Colleague has requested for, the Information of what compensation, if any, will be given to the Nyirenda family. I will only be able to have a firm answer and show specifics on compensation once I receive my report from our representative in Moscow.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, may I convey my sincere condolences to the family of the late Nathan Nyirenda.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated in his statement that he is not aware that the deceased was enlisted in the battlefront of the army of the Russian Government. Does the ministry have a tracking system that allows it to establish how many Zambians are convicted, and what law governs their conviction in the event that they want to exit prison?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, yes, we do have a system that takes account of our nationals outside our borders and that includes those living in the Russian Federation. I know, for instance, that 555 Zambian students are sponsored by the Zambian Government and 145 are on self-sponsorship. When all Zambian nationals living outside the country relocate, they are required to register their presence in that country at the Zambian Embassy, and that is how we take stock of our citizens. In relation to that, I want to mention that as it stands, there are no other Zambian nationals in Russian prisons. Lemekhani was the only one who we were aware of and we have crosschecked using our system and our embassy in Moscow. So, as it stands, there are no other Zambians in Russian prisons.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that ministerial statement, and I sympathise with the family of the late Lemekhani.

Madam Speaker, there are many Zambian students not only in Russia, but dotted around the world such as in Malaysia. Has the ministry signed extradition treaties with some countries to ensure that as and when our nationals are in such predicaments, they are brought back to our country to serve their sentences here?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, yes, we do have agreements with certain countries. In this instance, negotiations on the format and the formalisation of the process of prisoner exchange between the Russian Federation and ourselves were actually ongoing at the time that we learnt of Lemekhani’s untimely death.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that ministerial statement. We are happy that at least the remains of the late Lemekhani will be repatriated to Zambia.

Madam Speaker, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine may take a bit of time. What measures is the ministry putting in place to ensure that Ukraine does not also attempt to recruit Zambians currently in Ukraine to fight on its behalf?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, my colleague may recall that when the war began, the Zambian Government repatriated Zambians out of Ukraine. We took stock of how many came back and how many decided to stay in Ukraine because they had integrated or married inthat society. To the best of our knowledge, Ukraine does not have a law that allows it to recruit prisoners and put them at the war front after leaving prison. Even for the Russian side, such a law was actually passed not too long ago. We saw that on television, and we did not expect that any of our nationals would be picked up and sent to war in that manner. In summary, I do not think that Ukraine has that kind of legislation that allows it to do so. However, in an event that any country that is at war decides to enlist prisoners, our request from all our partnering Governments is that our Government must be notified if circumstances of any of our nationals that may be incarcerated in any country change, and that is the Government’s position.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, condolences from the people of Luena to the family of Lemekhani Nyirenda on this unfortunate incident.

Madam Speaker, are there any measures the Government is taking to take stock of Zambian nationals who are incarcerated, especially in our neighbouring countries? If so, does that also include making sure they are given an opportunity to serve their sentences back home?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member may wish to note that we have been signing warrants within the region, especially around the Southern African Development Community (SADC), for the exchange of prisoners. The recent one was with our neighbour, Malawi, and it was done successfully.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Madam Speaker, allow me to also pass my sincere condolences to the Nyirenda family.

Madam Speaker, Russia was recruiting prisoners to its military in exchange for their freedom. What is the hon. Minister’s comment on that?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, the Russian law currently allows prisoners to be enlisted to go and fight at the battlefront. The Government’s position is that in the event of any of our national’s status being changed by the Russian Federation, the Zambian Government must be notified in order for it to express its interests with the possibility of it retrieving it’s national to serve his/her prison sentence in Zambia. Like I mentioned, at the moment, no other Zambian is serving any prison sentence in Russia. Lemekhani was unfortunately the only one and he eventually died.

Madam Speaker, let me also mention that no conditional amnesty was given to our national, Lemekhani. There was really no amnesty technically. We told the Russian Government that, in fact, the word ‘amnesty’ does not apply because our national was probably in a very difficult position. On one leg, his option was to serve the remainder of his term of over seven years, and on the other leg, the amnesty did not allow him to come home immediately. Unfortunately, the amnesty only allowed our national to be enlisted to war with the hope of coming back alive. We are dealing with this issue seriously, which led me to have a direct conversation with my counterpart, and I asked questions as to what led to those circumstances not revealed to the Zambian Government to enable it intervene in this extremely unfortunate event.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, the people of Lundazi join the rest of the country to mourn the late Lemekhani Nyirenda.

Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated that the Zambian embassy staff in Russia was denied a consular visit. The Russians only went to our mission when our boy had died. My question to the hon. Minister is: Is our mission in Russia enjoying good relations or there is something to worry about?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, indeed, when Lemekhani was convicted and consequently sent to prison, the Russian Government had allowed our embassy two consular visits per year and our embassy staff, indeed, visited Lemekhani while he was in prison. The last two requests that our team in Moscow made to visit Lemekhani were met with silence. We were not responded to and consequently, the next information that we got was that, unfortunately, Lemekhani had died at the battle front.

Madam Speaker, in terms of the relationship with Russia, let me assure the House that Zambia and Russia have had a long standing relationship since Independence and as it stands now, the relationship between ourselves and Russia remains cordial.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the statement and sincere condolences to the family of Lemekhani.

Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if, apart from the two consular visits that were allowed for the Zambian Government to pay visits to Lemekhani, the ministry has any system to counter check on the nationals across the globe who are studying in various places, not only those that are in prison. How often do you cross check to ensure the safety and conditions of Zambians?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, it goes without saying that the very essence of us having missions in different places across the global is to ensure, amongst others things, the safety of our national. Yes, we have a system in place and at the expense of saying thisagain, the requirement is that every time a Zambian national relocates to another country, they would help our mission by going to the mission and enlisting their presence so that we can take account of them.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. Indeed, a very unfortunate situation, and may the soul of Lemekhani Nyirenda rest in eternal peace.







Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

THE PENAL CODE (Amendment) BILL, 2022

Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Title agreed to.


Clauses, 1, 2, 3 and 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:

The Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Penal Code (Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Pension Scheme Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2022

Third Reading on Tuesday, 13th December, 2022.



The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022

The Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill, 2022





VOTE 85 – (Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources – K194,781,294)

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended yesterday, I was saying that the issue of forests which were degazetted is very serious. The issues of the Kawena Protected Forest Area and the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27 are of great concern to us. Today, I am going to talk much about the Kawena Protected Forest Area.

Mr Chairperson, the Kawena Protected Forest Area was degazetted so that the people who were displaced to pave way for the creation of Shibuyunji District could be relocated in that area. However, to date, the people of Mwembezhi, the peasant farmers, have nowhere to grow their maize. They do not have any farm land because their land was grabbed. How can you have a situation where a forest is degazetted in August, and in September, title deeds for 500 ha and 250 ha are out? How possible is that? When were the officers given? When were the treaties given and when was the survey done?

Mr Chairperson, the Kawena Protected Forest Area is one of the rotten businesses which actually happened. The people of Mwembezhi and Shibuyunji are saying the Government should give back that land to the owners. In Tonga or Sala, we say, juju wakala pa busuwabulamaumino meaning, when you find a rat sitting on a bucket of mealie meal, you will not hit the rat because you will mess up the mealie-meal. I, therefore, want to encourage the hon. Minister to not fear. He knows the people who were involved. It is better to strike than to let go of this idea of letting that forest go without us benefiting.

Mr Chairperson, without trying to debate the people who are not here, I am not shy to tell you that the officers at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources are party to the sharing of the plots in the Kawena Protected Forest Area. They were sharing the plots, after which they started selling to the citizenry. I went to the ministry to see the Permanent Secretary (PS) at the time. I asked him why his officers were sharing land in the Kawena Protected Forest Area. His answer was: “Are they not citizens who are supposed to get part of the land?”

Mr Chairperson, does it mean that if you work in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources then you are supposed to be sharing land which is not yours? This is a very serious issue. The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources presides over the land for Zambians and it is for its officers to be getting that land. By doing that, are you telling us that the people who work for the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) should start sharing the money at BoZ because they work there? Is that what you are saying?

Mr Chairperson, I can challenge the hon. Minister to go and open the database for the Kawena Protected Forest Area and see who the first people to own that land were. You will notice that all the officers and the people who used to sit just where you are seated are the ones who got that land. How can you give 500 ha or 1,000 ha to one individual in the forest and the people of Mwembezhi and Shibuyunji have nowhere to go?

I can show the hon. Minister. Yesterday, in the morning, I was in my office in Mwembezhi. My constituency is just near here. A person came with an offer letter and an offer to treaty for some number that was given in Shibuyunji. That person was offered land in the forest, for which he went and paid. When he was sleeping at night, some people came. The former District Commissioner went there to put up beacons at night and tell the villagers to move away from the land.

Madam Speaker, for how long are we going to cry over this piece of land? How long? If the hon. Minister finds that one of us, who is party to this Government, and is seated on that mealie meal, he should hammer him/her because we cannot afford that. It is as though some of us who are here on your right hand side are part of some of these forests. It is as though we are the ones who bought these forests and now fear to be hit. The hon. Minister should not fear because he stands for the people of Zambia. If it is Jamba who bought land in the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27 or the Kawena Protected Forest Area No.42, he should make sure that he is hit.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Jamba: That is what we call juju wakala pa busu. It is as though the hon. Minister knows that this one is also going to be affected and he fears to hammer. We want our land back, the Kawena Protected Forest Area No.42. We want it back. We are pastoral people. We are supposed to be grazing animals. How are we going to graze animals when we have nowhere to take them for grazing? People are coming and making houses in places where we are supposed to take our animals for grazing. In Shibuyunji District, there is nowhere for people to go.

Mr Chairperson, I always say that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is a mud pond. When you go there, people want to make things very difficult. They tell you that you cannot see this one or that this is very difficult. Papers are not moving. For how long are you going to be discussing? We went into that office where his predecessor was. We had a meeting there. He said he was going to call technocrats, but, to date, that issue has not been resolved. I will not stop talking about that. In fact, I said that it is better we go to the courts of law so that this thing is sorted out because it seems that people do not want to act and finalise it.

Mr Chairperson, I am very grateful. I speak with emotion over this issue. I hope that my hon. Minister is now going to take action.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity that you have given the people of Chilubi to add a voice on this –

Mr Mwene: You should also share the lake.

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, am I protected?

Mr Mwene: Let us share the lake.

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, the starting point is that I would like to believe that the clusters that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been given are environmental sustainability and good governance environment. I know that there are components there that appeal to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. However, the people of Chilubi would have loved, land being capital, that one cluster on economic transformation to have been included in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to focus on the interaction of the Lands Act, Cap. 184 of the Laws of Zambia, with the Mines and Minerals Act, the Forests Act and many other Acts. When we talk about land, I am guided by the definition of what land is in Section 2 of the principal Act which is Cap.184. Having said that, I submit that when we are talking about land, we are also talking about what is below that particular land. You have seen the land tenure in our land, called Zambia. Cap. 184 mainly gives the President power to decide on a lot of things.

Mr Chairperson, I have in mind the portion of that Act that gives land to non Zambians who invest in banking, co-operative societies and in different things. I want to address the issue of leaseholds. We have leaseholds going up to ninety-nine or sixty-five years. Given the leverage that Zambians are supposed to get out of land, I see that the periods of some of these leaseholds are disadvantaging the country, especially when we have ninety-nine, sixty-five years and so on and so forth. The people of Chilubi would like to suggest that as we venture into budgeting for things like land development, we also focus on land audit which the ministry has embarked on, especially with the funding, I think, I remember was given to the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development through local authorities throughout the country.

If we want to talk about land auditing, we need to address the gaps because, as I indicated earlier, the people of Chilubi would have loved the issue of economic transformation be included as one of the clusters. Land is capital. Land should be used as an equalizer between the have-nots and the haves. I could see that my brother from Mwembeshi spoke with a lot of emotion. I would like to believe that those are genuine emotions. He is trying to strike a balance for the poor.


Mr Chairperson, going by the same definition of land in Section 2 of the principal Act, I want to bring to the hon. Minster’s attention to the Bangweulu Wetland management. The way we manage the Bangweulu Wetlands is mainly for, as I indicated earlier if the hon. Minister followed me, the interaction of the Lands Act with other Acts; the Forests Act, the Wildlife Act, the Mines and Minerals Act and many other Acts in that line.

Sir, when it comes to the Bangweulu Wetlands management, which falls under this ministry, I submit that we still feel that the Bangweulu Wetlands is underutilised for a lot of factors. Currently, the Bangweulu Wetlands are just used as a place for pasture for animals, but we know that it can be used for food value, especially the production of paddy rice, wheat and many others. The Bangweulu Wetlands are under-performing because we only see it as place for pasture for animals.

Mr Chairperson, let me address the question of who qualifies to own land. There are conflicts where you find that someone who is eighteen years old can be entitled to own land through a company when the principal Act states that one should be twenty-one years old. I think that in future, we need to create a clear understanding. If I am a shareholder of a company and it owns land, technically, it means I am part of the ownership of the land when we consider co-ownership of land. However, you find that the principal Act talks about twenty-one years of age.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to address the question of international boundaries, especially the reaffirmation of international boundaries. I have in mind, specifically the boundaries we share with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) especially that they are long stretches. That is one of the countries that we have problems with.

When I was going through the budget, I found that on the reaffirmation of boundaries, the ministry is indicating that only four will be done. I would like to learn which countries we are focusing on because the reaffirmation of boundaries has a spill-over effect, especially on some of the districts that are on border areas. You find that some of the conflicts that we are encountering with some of the neighbouring countries are arising from the reaffirmation of boundaries, and that has to be addressed.

Mr Chairperson, we want to see the amendments that were made to the Lands Act, which in this case, positioned the portion of land the women, the youths and different categories of people are supposed to receive and for what use. It is out of that, that we will realise the economic benefit of the use of land.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Chilubi submit that they support the budget, except that the K29.3 million has to be attended to by increasing it by getting from other Votes.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Kandafula (Serenje): Mr Chairperson, I just want to make an appeal and this probably also affects other districts. For some time, we have neglected the youths, such as some taxi drivers and those below thirty-five. There are some forest areas which surround our districts and when the Government considers degazetting them, I appeal to it to give that land specifically to the youths. Many youths do not even own houses and they do not have land where they can put up small structures which they can count on. Today, most youths are just renting, and rentals are quite high. So, my appeal is that when the Government degazettes some forests, it should give some land specifically to the youths because the bourgeoisie already have land.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Muchima: Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson, I thank my hon. Colleagues who have debated the Vote.

Mr Chairperson, let me begin with the issue raised by Hon. Jamba, on Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42. First and foremost, de-gazetting of land is a normal process but, of course, it has reasons that qualify it, firstly, the population and secondly, to preserve the forests for the future. To preserve the forests, you have to be a bit mean. Imagine if the first Republican President, Dr Kaunda, had not taken serious measures to protect the forests, today, we would have had a desert or we would have been affected by the rainfall pattern.

Mr Chairperson, it must be appreciated that, today, the population is so big. We are almost 20 million and there is a need to degazette some forests to accommodate our increasing population. However, this is dependant on the administration in office. The previous administration was greedy. It degazetted some forests for its own personal use under the guise of degazetting to accommodate the increasing population. The people of Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42 requested that it be degazetted to accommodate many more local people, and the degazetting process took a long time before it could be authorised. As I have said, the previous Government took advantage; instead of considering the local people, it, some cadres and officers took advantage.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has gone to that area more than three times now. It even formed a group led by Hon. Jamba himself, by virtue of him not only being the area Member of Parliament, but also a surveyor, to help us go on the ground to carry out a social economic survey and determine how many locals are there and how many people from the office or cadres invaded the place. As I speak today, this group has not come back to the ministry. The Government is still waiting to go on the ground so that it can consider the issues that Hon. Jamba has raised.

Mr Chairperson, it is sad that people are taking advantage by acquiring more land for resale than for the intended purpose, and we are investigating that. The chief and the area Member of Parliament are involved. That process is still ongoing and we are determined to conclude. All those who were not qualified to get land in Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42 will be removed from there and the land will be given back to the rightful owners. Even the so-called chairmen in the villages have taken it upon themselves to demarcate land and sell it to the general public. It is not only the officers or cadres, but also the so-called chairmen.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member talked about Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27. The case of Forest No. 27 is also similar to that of Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42. The intention of degazetting Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27 was also to increase the number of plots to be given to the local citizens. However, when you follow through, you realise that the process of alienating and giving the land was not followed. The people who gained were those who were in the Government and the cadres. Some of them got four, five, six or seven plots.

Mr Chairperson, however, on degazetting the forest, the President had the power to do so. When one is a President, one has the powers of the land. The President was given powers by our Constitution and that cannot be reversed or doubted. This matter has been to the High Court and the Supreme Court and they have ruled that the powers of the President in degazetting any forest cannot be questioned. However, the problem is the process of how these pieces of land were awarded. Those who had power became greedy. They shared the land among themselves, and they were mostly politicians, starting from the top. Some of them were highly ranked. They had land in Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27, in Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 47 and everywhere where degazetting took place. They were in the forefront. The lists are there.

Mr Chairperson, we have these issues in every town, for example, in Kalulushi and Mufulira, and almost everywhere in this country. Politicians were in the forefront and they created problems by de-gazetting some forests for their selfish ends, not for the people of Zambia. His Excellency, President Hakainde Hichilema, wants to be transparent and accountable to the people of Zambia. When we de-gazette any piece of land, we will have to follow the rules and regulations that are established. For Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27, there were no rules or regulations that were followed, but this is a Government of laws. The Government was supposed to have advertised and awarded to the public. Unfortunately, that was not done. Members of the Government awarded themselves parcels of land. For your own information, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is investigating this matter.

Mr Chairperson, the people of Zambia have been comparing Kasompe Airstrip with the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27. These are two different cases altogether. Kasompe Airstrip is on title for civil aviation, but with the arrogance of political will then, it was decided that the land be shared despite the council stopping this process. The occupants of that land went to court and they were told to move away from the land. With arrogance, they still occupied that land. Today, they have been removed from the land. However, the Government of President Hakainde has found a piece of land –

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until1100 hours.



Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, before Business was suspended, I was about to talk about Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42.

Sir, regarding the issue of Kawena Protected Forest Area No. 42, a social survey will be conducted so that we determine how many people were left out and how many went there without proper authorisation so that we resolve the issue with the chief, hon. Members of Parliament and everybody on board, including my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27, it is going to be degazetted, if Cabinet agrees. There is a Cabinet Memorandum in circulation on the issue. If the Cabinet Memorandum will be agreed upon, the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27will be degazetted because it is a water recharge area. It is prudent that the forest regenerates itself. All those who will stay there will do so under serious conditions that will observe environmental issues that go with the area. However, there are investigations on how people acquired land there.

Sir, nobody will be allowed to settle on the remaining piece of land that was not tempered with. It is quite clear at the moment that there was abuse of authority and power in the allocation of land.

Mr Chairperson, let me say that land in towns has become scarce because of the business attached to it. People are getting land for resale and not for resettlement. Of course, we need to protect land because it is limited. God has stooped creating land, but the population is increasing. So, we need to protect the poor Zambian in the village and in towns.  However, in towns, it is a preserve for the rich and foreigners to have land. Young people are getting pieces of land and reselling them. Very few people are managing to build on them. So, once Cabinet sits and determines the issues surrounding Lusaka East Forest Reserve No. 27, the nation will be informed accordingly.

Sir, in addition, there is a review of the Lands Act. It will deal with ownership of land and, of course, those under investments. When you have a licence for twenty-five years and you get land, you are supposed to have ownership leasehold up to twenty-five years. Had that been the case, we would not be talking about what happened in previous years. All the things that were done with impunity were completely ignored. There was no order in the ministry. It is this time that we want to restore order so that we can respect the owners of the land. Land is supposed to be owned by the people. There is customary land and state land. Once land has gone into the hands of the State, that is when it is gazetted, it never goes back to being customary land. It remains State land. This is causing confusion, just like at Kawena Protected Forest Area Number 42.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, your time is up.

Mr Muchima: Let me just conclude.

Mr Chairperson, that was about Mwembeshi.

Sir, I have also taken note of the issues of land audit raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi, Mr Fube. I appreciate what he has put across. For sure, issues to do with international boundaries are serious. As we know, we cannot conduct any survey or resolve issues without the other party being present. I am aware of one of our Colleagues who bemoaned what is going on in his area, but of course, we need the other party to be present.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of giving land to the youth was also highlighted. However, the problem with the youth is that they only want land within towns and not elsewhere.

Mr Chairperson, the Government is creating farming blocks and we shall pass a deliberate policy so that women and the youth benefit.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 85 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 39 – (Smart Zambia Institute – K196,568,233)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-orporation (Mr Kakubo) (on behalf of Her Honour the Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango)): Mr Chairperson, first of all, I thank you most sincerely for granting me the opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the Estimates of Expenditure for 2023, under Vote 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.

VOTE 39 – (Smart Zambia Institute – K196,568,233)

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Kakubo): Mr Chairperson, first of all, I thank you most sincerely for granting me the opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the estimates of expenditure for 2023 for Vote 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.

Sir, the Electronic Government Division also known as the Smart Zambia Institute draws its mandate from the Electronic Government Act No. 41 of 2021, which aims to enhance the management and promotion of electronic government services and facilitate access to electronic government services to improve service delivery. The broad functions of the division include the following:

  1. to develop an enabling shared infrastructure for equitable access to effective and appropriate information and communication technologies;
  2. to develop strategies and standards that enhance the usage and application of information and communication technology innovations in the public sector;
  3. to promote information and communication technologies education and utilisation; and
  4. to develop, disseminate and enforce quality assurance, security and other standards in the provision of information and communication technologies.

Mr Chairperson, the vision of the Smart Zambia Institute is to achieve a smart and value-centred Public Service. In line with this, the mission of the division is to provide efficient, relevant and transparent e-services to the citizenry using information communication technologies for the attainment of a smart Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, in 2022, this House approved a budget of K167,919,954 out of which K162,379,057 was released to the division as of 30th November, 2022 representing 97 per cent of the approved budget.

Mr Chairperson, the key achievements attained by the division during the fiscal year, 2022 are as follows:

Electronic Government

Mr Chairperson, the Government prioritised the automation of services from our key sectors onto the Government Services Bus (GSB) also known as Zamportal in order to deliver government services closer to the people. At the end of the October, 2022, 119 additional electronic services were on-boarded onto the GSB bringing the cumulative total to 217 electronic online services. This has facilitated reduced costs of doing business and further increased collection of non-tax revenue for the Treasury.

Sir, to expedite the uptake of digital services by citizens and establish a mindset change towards the use of digital services, the division has commenced the training of 3,200 teachers and 2,000 public service employees in the Information Communications Technology (ICT) literacy skills capacity programme with support from cooperating partners. The training beneficiaries have been drawn from across the country in all the ten provinces.

Mr Chairperson, further, the division is establishing Digital Transformation Centres also known as (DTCs) in all provinces. Phase I of the DTCs implementation is being finalised in the first four pilot sites in the Western Province and on the Copperbelt Province. The DTCs will provide an environment for citizens to be able to access government services within their reach.

ICT System

Mr Chairperson, in 2022, forty-one Government institutions have been connected to the Government-wide area network with an additional forty district administration offices to be connected before the end of the year bringing the total number of public service institutions accessing Government e-Services to 321. This has resulted in ease of communication and reduced need for travel through the use of digital collaboration tools.

Management Support Services

Mr Chairperson, Mr Chairperson, following the signing of the commencement order of the Electronic Government Act No. 41 of 2021, in January, 2022 by the Republican President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, the division is now mandated to recruit and place ICT staff in the Public Service. In this regard, the division was granted an expanded organisation structure and subsequently, Treasury No. 3 of 2022 of 141 positions to be obtained in ministries, provinces and other public institutions as a way of decentralising the ICT functions in the Public Service

2023 Budget Estimates

Mr Chairperson, in2023, Smart Zambia Institute has been allocated K196,568,233. This translates into an increase of K58,648,279 from the 2022 Budget allocation of K167,919,954.

Sir, the functions of the institute comprise three programmes, namely Electronic Government, ICT System and Management Support Services.

Electronic Government

Sir, the Electronic Government will enhance the implantation usage and application of electronic Government initiatives in the delivery of public services and has three sub-programmes, namely Government Digital Services, ICT Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ)Standards and Regulations and ICT Help and Service Desk.

ICT System

Mr Chairperson, this programme is aimed at ensuring that institutions are connected to the Government-wide area network in order to access shared services in a secure and safe ICT environment and has three sub-programmes, namely ICT Infrastructure, ICT Applications and ICT Security.

Management and Support Services

Mr Chairperson, this programme is aimed at enhancing the effective management of staff, monitoring and evaluating the performance of staff and the provision of logistical and material support services in order to facilitate the smooth operations of the institutions. The following are the sub-programmes;

  1. Executive Office Management;
  2. Human Resource Management and Administration;
  3. Financial Management and Accounting;
  4. Procurement Management;
  5. Financial Management-Auditing; and
  6. Planning Policy and Co-ordination.

Focus for 2023

Mr Chairperson, in 2023, the division will prioritise the expansion of our critical common shared ICT infrastructure across the remaining districts and we will collaborate with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to connect the local authorities. This will guarantee the availability of Government services closer to the people.

Mr Chairperson, we will continue with the implementation of digital transformation centres across the country and ICT-based capacity-building programmes to support mindset change towards promoting the consumption of digital services.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I implore hon. Members of this august House to support the submissions presented under Vote 39 for the Smart Zambia Institution.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Amutike (Mongu Central): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity, on behalf of the people of Mongu Central, to support Vote 39 – Smart Zambia Institution.

Sir, the people of Mongu Central do realise and recognise the value of information. We realise that it is a vital and valuable commodity and it must be accessed in a very smart way and hence, our support for this Vote because information must be accessed quickly with quality at a reduced cost. So, we believe if we invest more in the electronic way of storing, managing and accessing this information, government services to the people will be improved.

Mr Chairperson, currently, the Government of Zambia is facing a challenge of transformation on how we store this information, manage this information and how the people use this information. So, we believe that with this budget, we are going to help Smart Zambia improve that aspect of information; how people can access and use this information. However, we are worried about the low levels of Information Communications Technology skills. Therefore, we want to encourage the ministry and the Vice-President to give emphasis to that so that people can learn new skills.

Mr Chairperson, this is the block chain, robotics and cybernetics era. So, we have to make sure that we move with the times. If we do not do that, we will not adapt. If we do not adapt, we will be adopted. That is what service providers do. They will have an opportunity to go to the Government and offer services which our public servants could do had they the right skills.


Mr Chairperson, last week, we heard of expensive machines which are being bought for K10 million. They are being stored and not utilised properly. That is as a result of not having the right people to do the right things with the right skills. We must be able to encourage our public servants to learn new skills. We are living in the era of the internet of things and we must move with the times.

Mr Chairperson, as we digitalise, make a digital economy and putting everything electronic, we are not doing those things just for the sake of it. We want to do those things so that we are able to resolve our current issues or problems. For example, the hon. Minister of Energy last week talked about the water levels at Kariba Dam going down, which may affect our electricity availability. If we invested in satellite solutions or technology, we would be able to detect and use technology to monitor flood patterns and water levels and those kinds of things. We would be able to predict and determine the water levels would dwindle and mitigate any issues that may arise. That is why we do such things electronically and invest in them. We want to invest in Smart Zambia because we want to digitalise our economy so that it helps us to resolve our current problems.

Mr Chairperson when we want financial reports, we must be able to easily access them online without going to sit in somebody’s office and waste so much time. Such manifests itself at the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship (DNRPC). Right now, it is such a nightmare if you lose a National Registration Card (NRC). Every day, when you go there, you find queues. Some of us took our NRCs in Mongu so many years ago. If I lost it now, and went to the NRC office in Kamwala, an officer will leave me waiting for thirty minutes to go and look for a file, which was created many years ago. Why can we not digitalise these things and keep them electronically? That is what we need to do in order to make Zambia smart. We must make our lives easy using digital technology.

Mr Chairperson, without labouring so much on this point and Vote, I support it. I hope that the Government can invest more money in the Smart Zambia Institute so that it is able to do things which people in other nations who have acquainted themselves well with the use of technology are doing.

Mr Chairperson, these days, even in some hospitals, the number of general practitioners has reduced. If you have a headache or a general disease, you just go and speak to a robot and it gives you a prescription. You do not need to see a consultant. It makes life easier, cheaper and less time consuming.

Mr Chairperson, let us strive to manage information in a very smart way with quality information being stored and accessed by in a less costly manner. It becomes less costly even for the Government to store and manage information if we adopt the electronic way of doing things.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, the people of Mongu Central want to place on record that they do support this Vote.

I thank you Sir.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Mr Chairperson, I thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to make some comments on this very important Vote. However, before I do that allow me to congratulate, as the Opposition Patriotic Front (PF) Whip, two hon. Members of Parliament; Hon. Kalalwe Mukosa whose seat the Constitutional Court has upheld, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Vubwi, who, this morning, has also been declared duly elected. As Whip, that is a big relief to me and the hon. Members who have been trotting back and forth to the courts of law without focusing on serving the people.

Mr Chairperson, the Smart Zambia Institute is a very important institution. I think, when the former Head of State, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, came to this Parliament to announce the creation of this very important platform, many people did not understand its significance. Therefore, I commend the Government for ensuring that it is supported. Of course, we need to put in a little bit more resources in this institution. Why do I say so? This is the institution that should co-ordinate all the information communication technology (ICT) platforms which the Government is putting in place, called the E-bus. It has the responsibility to co-ordinate the E-bus because in the absence of co-ordination, you would have a disjoint amongst Government players.

Mr Chairperson, I want to implore the hon. Minister and this institution to focus on key projects that are currently going on. For instance, the Integrated National Registration and Information System (INRIS) under the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship (DNRPC) is a critical project. What this project entails is that it is going to be a reservoir of biometrics for the citizens of this nation, starting from birth to death. So, we need to document and ensure that all data about citizens is consolidated.

Mr Chairperson, this project is key. Now, you can even question the identity cards that we have been using, for example. The only identity document that is still being generated using manual systems is the National Registration Card (NRC). The NRC is the mother of all documents. We now have passports that are readable. You can go to any part of the world and use them because they are generated using digital systems. They are readable everywhere. I know that there will be changes that will be coming up next year in the passports regime as dictated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) which our Government must match. If we do not match that dictate, a Zambian could end up going to some country, but denied entry. So, we need to change the passport regime.

Mr Chairperson, all these are supposed to be supported by the INRIS project. So, in as much as this department is under the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, there is a need for the Smart Zambia Institute to take centre stage because everything we do depends on citizens’ identity. For all of us to be here as hon. Members of Parliament, the first requirement is that we are supposed to be Zambian citizens. How are we identified and from what point? So, while we appreciate some of the achievements scored to support the INRIS project such as the decentralisation of birth registration, which has now gone to provincial centres, there is still more work that needs to be done. Ideally, the project should be decentralised up to district level.

Mr Chairperson, let me comment on the identification cards (IDs). I am sure that there are stakeholders who are still playing a role, such as financial institutions and pension schemes, which depend so much on citizens’ identities. They are key. The hon. Minister will recall that in the past, people generated IDs to defraud other citizens out of their earnings such as pensions. Imagine how agonising that can be.

Talking about Identity Cards (IDs), some stakeholders, financial institutions and pension schemes depend so much on citizens’ identity, and IDs are very key. You will realise that in the past, people generated IDs to defraud other citizens out of their earnings such as pensions and you can imagine how agonising that is. However, all that will be history if the Integrated National Registration Information System Project is successfully implemented. All institutions be it health facilities or hospitals where births occur will be linked to this system. Citizens will be identified at birth. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) which depends on citizens identification can feed into this system because if the registration of death is computerised, the relatives of a person who dies will not have to go and inform the ECZ that such a person died. The system will be able to check and phase out those who would have died. So, this is how important the Smart Zambia Institute is.

Mr Chairperson, let us imagine for once, in view of the advent of the Coronavirus Disease2019 (COVID-19), how we were going to conduct our business. We were able to still conduct business during the difficult time of COVID-19 because of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms. We thank the Office of the Clerk and the vibrant ICT personnel who facilitated the conduct of business. Hon. Members were able to participate in the business of Parliament from their homes. That is how much ICT has made our lives easier. So, it is important that we continue investing significantly in ICT platforms.

Mr Chairperson, I want to inform the institution that mechanisms to protect the systems that will be put in place are very cardinal; recovery facilities in the event of calamities. How do we preserve the systems that will be put in place? Through the INRIS Project, there will be servers from the central headquarters to the provincial headquarters so how will the institution ensure that it protects the data of the citizens that it captures? So, the Smart Zambia Institute should invest so much in protecting the systems that it is putting in place to support the ICT platforms that it is creating.

Mr Chairperson, those are the submissions I wanted to make.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Nkulukusa (Katuba): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving the people of Katuba though me an opportunity to comment on the Smart Zambia Institute, and its impact on the economy.

Mr Chairperson, from its name, the Smart Zambia Institute’s role is to make the entire country smart and this means that people in this country must use smart phones. One must access anything that one needs using one’s smart phone, meaning one can access anything within the country wherever one is.

Mr Chairperson, today, technology has been identified as one of the enhancers of development. I heard someone say that technology is both the basal and top dressing of the economic agenda in the field of economic transformation. So, technology plays a very critical role in any sector of the economy that we will look at. I cannot imagine reaching three million tourist arrivals in this country without the deployment of technology and Information Communication Technology (ICT) platforms. Visas can easily be accessed from all over the world. Tourists can apply and the processes are smoother and faster because everything has been digitalised, and deploying ICT platforms has become very critical. I see pilferages in many sectors, for example in the health sector, during the distribution of fertiliser, and in many other processes, reducing with the deployment of ICT platforms because everything will be accessed through a smart phone. So, technology is a catalyst and an enabler of development.

Mr Chairperson, I had an opportunity to learn about one ICT platform in Rwanda called Irembo, which is similar to the one that the Smart Zambia Institute has. That platform has helped that country in positioning itself as a knowledge hub in the sense that the Rwandans have digitised everything they want to do, that is accessible, and they are sure that they are now a smart destination. For us, we need to ensure that we concentrate in growing the Smart Zambia Institute although the money allocated to it may not be enough. Therefore, we need to allocate more money to this institution because this will give the country a comparative advantage. Other countries have succeeded in using ICT platforms as their comparative advantage, although we started earlier and we would have made progress. I do not see ourselves using ICT as a competitive advantage without investing into it. We need to invest a lot of money in ICT in order to achieve this.

Mr Chairperson, the other thing that I saw in Rwanda, which uses an ICT platform called Irembo, which is the equivalent to the one at the Smart Zambia Institute, is the establishment of a national data base with information of all the citizens in the country, and this helps them monitor many things, more especially pilferages. This platform enables the Government to interact with the organisation that distributes medical equipment and medicines, and through Irembo and Zipline, it monitors how the medicines are distributed in the country. According to them, this has led to the reduction of pilferage, from around35 per cent to less than 5 percent because of using an ICT platform and building a national data base that links every receipt of any national item such as fertiliser, medicine or anything that the country would like to distribute. So, we can achieve this if we invested in ICT and gave the Smart Zambia Institute more money to create such platforms and ensure that it serves the bigger picture. What we will be investing is far less than what we will be saving as a country if we ensure that technology becomes an enabler of the economy.

Mr Chairperson, going forward, developing ICT platforms will give us a great competitive advantage as a country because every sector of the economy will be accessible from everywhere in the world. For example, the tourism sector cannot be accessed everywhere in the world. It is possible financially but ICT platforms can enable us be everywhere in the world. If somebody wants to tour the country, he/she can tour it smartly or electronically from wherever he/she is and can then decide to visit it physically. ICT platforms are what are building the much-needed competitive advantage for countries to build wealth and many things that they can depend on going forward. As we move the agenda of economic transformation, I am very sure the Ministry of Technology and Science together with the Smart Zambia Institute will come up with ICT platforms and ensure that they are deployed in every sector of the economy to give us the results that we need as a country.

Mr Chairperson, I needed to comment on this and emphasise on the role that ICT plays in creating national capabilities and national competitive advantage.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati): Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson, I think the overall theme is making Zambia smart, and in making Zambia smart from the Government’s perspective, we are looking at the digital transformation ecosystem.

Mr Chairperson, the first pillar is Digital Government Services and this is where Smart Zambia rests. In advancing this pillar, we are looking at how we can deliver convenience and efficiency to the people of Zambia. Only a couple of days ago, working with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources ZANACO Bill Buster, there was an application that was launched where you can pay for a title deed from anywhere. Those are the issues that are being co-ordinated.

Mr Chairperson, under Provision of Government Services, we are looking at how we can minimise the transaction cost, which is key. The Acting Leader of Government Business in the House has indicated the whole issue of a one stop shop. This simply means that Smart Zambia, working with the postal services, is to deliver all government services, including licensing and paying fees in one location. Therefore, you are actually reducing the inconvenience that is being experienced by citizens.

Mr Chairperson, working with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), we are developing what is called the Post Code System which will be able to facilitate e-Commerce. You can deliver a parcel anywhere in Zambia accurately. This is what making Zambia smart is all about.

Sir, another issue which was referred to was around fraud and wastage. For example, there are various government services that are given, be it the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) or the Social Cash Transfer Scheme. How can we eliminate the process of double dipping? These are the issues that Smart Zambia, working with other departments within the Government, is actually addressing.

Sir, you may also wish to note, as referred to by Hon. Nkulukusa that in the Ministry of Health, in trying to ensure that we minimise the pilferage component of medicines, Smart Zambia is initiating what is called a track and trace system to ensure that we also achieve what Rwanda has achieved.

Mr Chairperson, the next pillar is Digital Infrastructure. Unless we connect the unconnected, it becomes difficult for us to deliver services. This is the whole issue of towers that will be placed and planted near to the citizens so that they can be able to access the services that are delivered by the Government. In order for us to accelerate this connection of the unconnected, we have developed a policy of co-location so that on one tower you can have all the service providers anchored on it. We are also looking at activating 700 towers that have remained inactive and therefore, increasing pace of connectivity.

Mr Chairperson, we recently launched the 5G system. Again, this is to enhance customer experience. The third pillar that you may wish to look at is Digital Financial Inclusion. At the moment, we have over 10 million mobile subscribers that are transacting. It means that these 10 million users can interact with the various government services wherever they are and that is when you begin to build a smart Zambia. This year alone, over US$10 billion has been transacted under mobile money transactions.

Lastly, Mr Chairperson, is the issue if digital identification (ID). We are working as one Government system. One Government system means Smart Zambia technology, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security and other components working together. We believe that the digital ID is the ultimate answer for building a digital economy. At this moment, we are seized with the matter of digital ID. It is going to be the transformation that the country needs. So it is active work and without digital ID, you cannot make Zambia smart.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-Tezhi): Mr Chairperson, thank you so much for giving the people of Itezhi-Tezhi an opportunity to also say a few words on Vote 39 – Smart Zambia Institute.

Mr Chairperson, I must say a digital economy is an enabler for social, political and individual development. As you may be aware, Zambia is ranked 105th in the world in terms of digital wellbeing according to the Digital Quality of Life Index. This demonstrates that we still have a long way to go in ensuring that we are connected to the digital world so that there is efficiency and good access of services, goods and opportunities for all people of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I come from a rural district and the increase in this budget is something that is very commendable. It is supported fully by the people of Itezhi-Tezhi. Just to comment on the digital centres, I thank the hon. Minister of Technology and Science for making an assurance on the provision of internet facilities. The provision of telecommunication access across the country will be a starting point to the actual digitalisation of the country. We fully support the digital centres that are underway.

Sir, I also thank the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) for constructing a digital hub in Itezhi-Tezhi. I feel this will break the digital burrier in rural areas. In most rural areas, I will mention this; many young people could not even apply for skills bursaries under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) because they did not know where to go to access an application form. Very few people from the rural areas were able to apply digitally for the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) funds. Most of them did it manually because they had no access or knowledge of how to go about it. The K196,568,233 increment that has been allocated next year is commended. If we effect or actualise the Smart Zambia Project, we are going to curb corruption. We will build a very good monitoring system in many government interventions. We are also going to see to it that corruption will be reduced. We are spending quite a lot as a country because of not having a very smart economy.

Mr Chairperson, allow me briefly cite examples: In the Ministry of Health, why should someone move with a book from one clinic to another? I think those days should be gone. Let me talk about CDF. At the moment, the monitoring system of the CDF is a crisis. As we speak, you cannot know somebody who has applied in a corporative or in a club. We will not know who collected money last year and who is going to collect this year. So, that is a serious crisis which might make the economic burden of this country very high. As we speak, councils have no database to show which child has applied to which college or how he/sheis going to be paid next year. The system is not integrated.

So, from the allocation this year, can we prioritise the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and see how it can quickly be integrated into the Smart Zambia Institute so that we do not see losses and corruption in its administration.

Sir, I will give an example of the Zambia Police, even the due diligence which is done when making appointments to the boards is a formality. If someone were a criminal in Chililabombwe, the people in Itezhi-Tezhi will not know that he is a criminal because the system is not integrated. Even issues surrounding the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are all because of not having an integrated system. Someone can get fertiliser from Chililabombwe, Kalomo and Lundazi. So, we are losing quite a lot as a country because of not having an integrated system. Why should someone go and queue up for a birth record? I have attempted to get birth records for my children on two occasions, but I have failed because of the long queues. Why can the system not just start generating documents at birth? The National Registration Card (NRC) and everything should just be automated. This country should go in that direction.

Sir, in the interest of time, let me not say much. With these few words, I support the intention and my desire is that next year, Smart Zambia Institute allocation be doubled so that we reduce the loses which this country is facing as a result of not having a digitalised and a centralised digital system.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte) Mr Chairperson, thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Vote under consideration.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to recite the mandate of the institute, which reads as follows:

“Co-ordinate and implement Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure and develop systems for the provision of Electronic Services (e-Services) to facilitate Government to Government, Government to Business and Government to Citizens services in a secure and robust environment as provided in the Electronic Government Act No.41 of 2021”.

Mr Chairperson, because Smart Zambia Institute emphasises the exploitation of ICTs in making government services efficient, you are almost tempted to link this to the Ministry of Technology and Science. You tend to think this is what goes on in that ministry. So, sometimes, your focus may be directed at that ministry when in fact, Smart Zambia Institute considers government services.

Mr Chairperson, government services are important for all citizens. This is why we need to promote the development of efficient strategies so that our people can be able to receive services as they need them. To do this, Smart Zambia Institute has a big role to play. I was very happy when I heard the hon. Minister say the Government has expanded the structure of Smart Zambia Institute and that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning as given Treasury authority for that expanded structure to come into effect. However, I heard that that expansion is going into provinces. That means we are going to grow from the centre into provinces. However, I am a Member of Parliament in a district. This is why I want to lobby the hon. Minister to ensure that Smart Zambia Institute expands further into districts so that even the people of Lunte, wherever they are, are treated just as well as those in Lusaka, those on the Copperbelt and people from other provinces are treated with regard to Smart Zambia Institute steered services.

Sir, let me also urge Smart Zambia Institute to create linkages with the Ministry of Technology and Science. Smart Zambia Institute must have a way of closely working with this ministry because under this ministry, we have the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and INFRATEL, which has data centres. I saw that in its budget, Smart Zambia Institute is talking about infrastructure and assets. Some of the assets that may be considered from an e-Government perspective could already exist in another department. This is why linkages are very important. I think the reason we are creating confusion about these aspects is that they are so closely linked. So, these budgets and activities must show the linkages so that the investments being made at INFRATEL Zambia, ZICTA and at the Ministry of Technology and Science should be mirrored by the services that the institute wants to offer. They should show and demonstrate that they want to tap into that investment so that there is no proliferating of investments when they actually do exist. So, I am calling for the institute to consider this close liaison with the ministry.

Mr Chairperson, K196 million is little money when you think of the undertaking that the institute has to effect in the course of 2023. When you think of the importance ofthe Government services and migrating them from analogue to digital, the problem that we may have is that we want to sit at the centre with all the technology. This is why we already have e-Cabinet, but we do not have e-processes in a number of functions in provinces and other spending agencies. We think that when we promote Cabinet to operate at e-level, then the country is okay. No! The country is not okay. The country will only be okay if the policies being promulgated at Cabinet level are understood and disseminated downwards, of course with relevant authorities at the same pace.

Sir, people should be able to access information in the districts as easily as we are able to access them at the centre by ensuring that there is no inequality. So, Smart Zambia Institute should help us deal with the issue of inequality so that people in Lunte can be as happy as those at the centre in as far as receiving the service is concerned, the institute is key. For that proposal to be assured, I must emphasise that it is important for these linkages to be seen so that this silo operation among key players in the same sector is done away with.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Kakubo: Mr Chairperson, I just quickly want to thank the House for the support to the Vote to do with Smart Zambia Institute. I particularly thank my colleagues who have given very variable insight, and for adding to the database and knowledge of Smart Zambia Institute. Particularly, I thank Mr Oliver Amutike, Mr Kampyongo, Mr Nkulukusa, Mr Mutinta, and last but not the least, Mr Kafwaya.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Vote 39 – (Smart Zambia Institute – K196,568,233)

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, I do not know if I should refer my question to the Acting Leader of Government Business or to the hon. Minister of Technology and Science. I seek clarification on page 455, Programme3415, Sub-Programme5001 – Government Digital Services – K4,312,463. The hon. Minister is requesting for K4.3 million for the first provision. I will link that to Programme3416, Sub-Programme6001 – ICT Infrastructure – K58,658,302. On one hand, the hon. Minister is asking for K4.3 for Government Digital Services and on the other hand, he is asking for K58 million for ICT Infrastructure. What is the difference between these two allocations? Why can the hon. Minister not lump them together so that we give him one block figure?

Mr Kakubo: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3415 – Electronic Government – Sub-programme 5001 – Government Digital Services – K18,049,118 and Programme 3416 – ICT Systems – Sub-programme 6001 – ICT Infrastructure – K58, 658,302. The two increases are due to the expansion that we intend to do under the Government Wide Area Network (GWAN) in the public service sector in order for us to enhance infrastructure in all critical systems. I think the rationale there is that we want to expand. As you could see even from the debates, the House agrees that we need to do more and provide more resources. So, these expansions are necessary in order for us to achieve what we want.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Vote 39 – ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K 85,321,673).

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Tambatamba): Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely for this opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the 2023 Budget for the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This policy statement highlights the ministry’s planed programmes in 2023 in line with its mandate. 

Mr Chairperson, before I begin, allow me to start by congratulating the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, for being recognised worldwide as the best African leader of the year, as has been circulating in various media, by the African Leadership Magazine, 2022. This is no mean achievement. It is worth celebrating, and I know hon. Members appreciate this.

Mr Chairperson, my policy statement will first highlight the mandate of the ministry and then proceed to give an overview of the performance in 2022 and finally present the estimates of expenditure and policy direction for 2023.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Security derives its mandate from the Government Gazette Notice No. 1123 of 2021, with a focus on formulating and implementing Government policy in the labour and employment sector and to enhance the sector’s contribution to sustainable, social and economic development for the benefit of the people of Zambia.

Performance Review for 2022

Mr Chairperson, allow me to inform this august House that in 2022, the ministry continued to implement four core programmes namely, labour and productivity services, social security services, occupational safety and health services and, indeed, what wraps around all of them, management and support services.

Mr Chairperson, I will now briefly outline the progress made by the ministry in implementing key outputs under the above stated programmes.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the provisions of the Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019. In this regard, the ministry conducted 1,885 labour inspections in 2022.

Mr Chairperson, there were 12,553 major disputes received out of which 10,983, which is 87.5 per cent, were resolved as compared to 10,025,85 resolved in 2021 in the review period.

Mr Chairperson, in addition to the labour inspections, the ministry conducted 2,018 occupational safety and occupational health inspections in 2022 as compared to 1,709 conducted in 2021. It provided productivity enhancement services at the same time.

Mr Chairperson, further, the ministry developed the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management Bill that became an Act that the President assented to in April; ZIHRM Act No. 3 of 2022 which was enacted by Parliament to sanitise the human resource space to improve the quality of services provided to workers and employers by qualified and registered human resources practitioners in the country.

Mr Chairperson, over the past year, the New Dawn Government has been conducting pension reforms as well, primarily focused on amendments to social security legislation to enhance the management and responsiveness of pension schemes. The ministry also successfully, therefore, led social partners and the private sector in commemorating the International Labour Day where deserving workers were rewarded by their employers in line with their level of effort that they bring to the work place and their innovativeness.

Major Challenges Faced by the Ministry

Mr Chairperson, the implementation of planned programmes in 2022 was not without challenges. Key amongst these were inadequate office space, transport and low staffing levels in the ministry, particularly at district levels. Regrettably, the ministry has continued to be confronted with the issue of limited service coverage due to its limited presences countrywide. So, we are still at 54 of the 116 districts coverage. Further, for a long time, the ministry has faced critical transport challenges. These continue, and only six provincial offices have vehicles while districts hardly have any vehicles at all.

Mr Chairperson, the total budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the year 2023 has increased to K85,321,673 for that year as compared to the allocation of the previous year which was K51,100,549, representing a 66.9 per cent increase.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to commend the New Dawn Government for its commitment to beginning to unlock the potential of this economic ministry. The proposed allocations for 2023, based on the programmes, are as follows:

  1. labour and productivity services K30.9 million;
  2. social security services K3.2 million
  3. occupational safety and health K14.8 million; and
  4. management and support services K36.4 million

Labour and Productivity

Mr Chairperson, strategic focus of the ministry will be to activate and stimulate productivity at all the levels of the economy. Further, the ministry will enhance the promotion of industrial harmony through social dialogue, which is key at enhancing investment climate in the country. Attention will also be to re-engineer productivity in both state and private enterprises, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to improve the quality of goods and services. This will be achieved through the provision of relevant skills.

Social Security Services

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will modernise the social security system to meet the needs and aspirations of the people. It is often said that effective social security is one that secures the future of its members. In this regard, new programmes will include pre and post retirement preparations for employees.

Occupational Safety and Health

Mr Chairperson, to enhance the workers safety and health in the industry, my ministry intends to review the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 2010, and the Factories Act of 1966 which is archaic, to ensure that the occupational health and safety practices are brought in line with international best practices. Attention will be made to employer and worker education with regards to the rights at work as demanded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). I must emphasise that the ministry is there to ensure that enterprises prosper while at the same time safeguarding the safety and health of employees and their employers as well.

As I conclude, Mr Chairperson, I call upon hon. Members of this august House to support the 2023 Budget for my ministry. I assure the hon. Members that the ministry will prioritise programmes that contribute to social economic transformation in order to improve livelihoods of its citizens while contributing to national development.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on Vote 44, which is very important.

Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, I wish to pay tribute to the Zambian workers who have contributed significantly to the economic development of this country, and they have continued to be role models. They have been contributing to the National Treasury through Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) under very difficult economic situations and, for that, I salute them. Having been ina trade union movement, I stand tall today because of the support which was rendered to me during my seventeen-year illustrious career in the trade union movement. For that, I will always ensure that I advocate for the rights of the Zambian workers in this country because I understand the important role they play to the economic development of this country.

Mr Chairperson, I reluctantly support this Vote in the sense that the allocation that has been given to this ministry, from K51 million in 2022 to K85 million in 2023, is a drop in the ocean. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security is very critical. However, we underfund this ministry year in and year out because we consider it a social ministry instead of as an economic ministry. So, going forward, for us to increase labour productivity in this country, it is important that we adjust the budget so that more resources can be allocated towards productivity services such as labour inspections, dealing with issues of industrial relations and so on and so forth. So, I appeal to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to look into this, as a matter of urgency.

Mr Chairperson, a well remunerated and disciplined work force is a catalyst for economic development. I have already stated that the workers in this country have continued to sacrifice when prices of goods and services have continued to skyrocket, and they have continued providing a dedicated service to this nation. Every month, fuel is being increased and the workers are paying the burden. How are they managing to report for work on a daily basis when the price of fuel has continued increasing on a monthly basis and they do not get salary increments on a monthly basis. So, it is important that this important factor of production is well looked after.

Mr Chairperson, I take this opportunity to thank the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, and it is one of the Governments which really elevated the plight of the Zambian workers in this country. When the PF Party formed Government, it increased salaries for public sector workers by 200 per cent, and that was unprecedented. I appeal to the New Dawn Government to honour its campaign promise. It promised public sector workers that it would increase their salaries, but the increment that has been given to the Zambian workers cannot sustain them.

Mr Amutike: Question!

Mr Mtayachalo: The PF Government undertook radical changes in trying to amend the Industrial and Labour Relations Act and the Employment Act, and it also increased the minimum wage. In the Constitution of Zambia Act No. 1 of 2016, the PF Government introduced that when a worker retires, he/she must be on the pay roll until he/she is paid his/her benefits. That restored the dignity of the Zambian workers in this country. I challenge the Government to ensure that it honours it campaign promises and beats the PF Government’s record, if at all it is going to match the record of the PF Party.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the issue of productivity. I have seen that in the budget, K30million has been allocated to productivity, and I think that is not enough. Issues of productivity must be taken very seriously. Let me give a practical example of the Japanese Productivity Centre. Before the Second World War, the unions and employers used to live a cat and rat life, but through the productivity centre, they were able to coexist. That is why, today, you rarely hear of industrial actions in Japan. So, I appeal to the ministry to allocate more resources to the national productivity department, if we are to increase labour productivity in this country.

Mr Chairperson, I quickly want to talk about the multiplicity of trade unions in this country. Although Zambia is a signatory to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 8798, which deals with the right to organise and collective bargaining, I feel that the multiplicity of trade unions in this country has not worked to the advantage of the Zambian workers. Gone are the days when we had one union, one industry. I want to see a situation in which we will revert to a one-party state where we had one union, one industry. That way, the voice of the trade union will be felt. However, today, there are so many trade unions. In the teaching sector, there are more than ten trade unions. It is time consuming. You cannot have so many trade unions doing the same thing. So, it is my prayer and, one day, I want to see to it that we have only one union, one industry, because having so many trade unions is counterproductive and is not working in the interest of the Zambian people.

Mr Chairperson, I am alive to the fact that Section 5 of the Industrial and Labour Relations Act allows workers to join trade unions of their choice, but I feel this law is being abused. It is not working to the advantage of the Zambian workers. Having been in a trade union, I know there is too much competition over membership and union contributions at the expense of protecting the workers. Some workers are being retired on national interest and trade unions have remained quiet. So, what is their role? Trade unions must rekindle their lost glory if they have to effectively represent the Zambian workers.

Mr Chairperson, the Zambian workers out there cannot continue to stand akimbo and watch unions not represent them effectively, and their interests are not being taken care of. So, the onus is on the people of Zambia. When the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) holds its quadrennial congress in Livingstone, I appeal to the delegates to elect leaders who will develop a thick skin and be able to represent the interests of the Zambian workers without fear or favour.

Mr Chairperson, with those few remarks, I reluctantly support this Vote.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chinkuli (Kanyama): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according the people of Kanyama an opportunity to add a word to debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairperson, much has been spoken about the trade unions and the well-being of the employees. However, I have a divergent view to that aspect. I am looking at it as there being no correlation between the policy makers and the enforcers. I think that gap has created a situation that is making employees suffer right now. Let me talk about my constituency. When you go into Kanyama, employees are getting as low as K650 per month and they are being abused verbally. People have been on casual basis for more than seven to eight years. Meanwhile, laws are there. Employers do not follow what they sign in the contracts of employment. They can change them at any given time. The situation that makes me feel there is a lacuna somewhere between the enforcers and the people they are supposed to protect.

Mr Chairperson, you will agree with me that this sector is very cardinal to the economic development of the country. It looks at the welfare of employees. If we can have a situation where someone is paid K650, and if that person, for whatever reason, does not report for work, a K50 is deducted. So, to me, it just shows that there is something that is not adding up. Let me put it on record that policies can be formulated and made. However, for the lack of technology or whatever it is, if the enforcer does not do what is required, I think all these concepts of economic development and social sustainability will just be rhetoric. They will not be actualised.

Mr Chairperson, you will agree with me that this sector is heavily regulated by the Constitution, Industrial and Labour Relations Act, the Employment Act and the Employment Code, which guides the enforcers. If guides are there and there is no discrimination of any kind and then we see people being discriminated, then I will start questioning whether the problem is with the enforcer or the formulator. So, these are some of the issues that we need to look at. If you look at the past budgets, concepts like economic development and social sustainable development have been there. However, if we do not look at the human capital, the enforcers that are mandated to ensure that these policies are actualised, then I think we are losing a point. We cannot afford, at this point in time, to have our women folk to be victimised because of their maternity issues. She wants to go on her statutory leave, and then someone tells her they are not going to pay her. Something is not adding up. We cannot have a situation where an employer will prefer to employ an expatriate at the expense of the Zambian when the laws are there to regulate on that issue. We are not going allow a situation where people who are doing the same jobs and values having different salaries. I do not think that sits well.

Mr Chairperson, let me urge the hon. Minister to let all the enforcers to make sure that they read the codes, especially the Employment Code Act and any other guidelines. They should actualise them so that the livelihoods of the employees’ country wide are uplifted. By so doing, you will realise that people or employees will be able to extract a fair share of their toil. I do not think K600 would equate to a fair share of someone’s toil. I do not think so.

Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I thank you.

The Deputy Chairperson: I will call upon Mr Joel Chibuye, and then the hon. Minister will wind up debate. Sorry we are behind time.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Mr Chairperson, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to debate on Vote 44.

Mr Chairperson, we are all aware that one the three factors of production is labour. Let me begin by saying that I am supporting this Vote reluctantly looking at the figure of K85,321,673 that has been allocated to the ministry. Having heard the policy statement, the hon. Minister lamented the lack of office space and transport. I am wondering as to how she is going to manage to bridge up the gaps if the ministry cannot be given enough funds.

Mr Chairperson, let me also to join the previous debater, Hon. Mtayachalo, who talked about the need to ensure that as we look at this Vote, we must be aware that if the labour force is not effective, then the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country is going to be affected.

Mr Chairperson, let me also zero in on the issue that the hon. Minister has not touched. You are aware that today, in our country, we have a lot of child labour. As a ministry, it needs to seriously look into this issue next year. There is serious abuse of our children especially in the mushrooming mines that are dotted around the country, especially in rural constituencies. I am wondering as how the hon. Minister is going to manage to check on this when the ministry does not have transport. I am also wondering how the ministry will do this job when they do not have enough labour officers. I am asking and encouraging the hon. Minister to look into the issue of employing more labour officer who are going to help her carry out these duties.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue is, of course, transport, as mentioned. Copperbelt Province, as I am speaking right now, has only one vehicle sitting at the provincial office. The districts have no vehicles at all and each time there are labour disputes, there is the big challenge of transport. I pity the hon. Minister with 12,553 disputes against 2,018 labour inspectors. We need to do more. There is a lot of labour abuse in the industries. Today, people are getting peanuts. They have nowhere to cry. As the other speaker said, the unions are letting down our employees.

Mr Chairperson, I want to express gratitude to the hon. Minister for giving us a listening ear each time I run to her concerning labour disputes in my constituency. Let me repeat that this is the time to, again, look at harmonising the working conditions in the mining sector. The New Dawn Government has come up with a very good policy of trying to increase production in the mining sector. If we do not harmonise some of these conditions, the desire and the dream of the Republican President, of hitting 3 million metric tonnes of copper production might be affected. Come next year, we need to start bringing all stakeholders together so that we start looking at the issue of harmonising working conditions in the mining sector. It is sad that a miner who digs99.9 per cent of copper in Roan Constituency is getting lesser money than the miner who digs the same copper at Kansanshi or Kalumbila. We need to look into that. We also need to look at the issue of child labour.

Mr Chairperson, today, our workers are being subjected to torture in as far as working conditions are concerned. Workers are working two shifts non-stop. That must be looked into. It can only be achieved if we increased the number of labour officers.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to make mention here that some officers have overstayed in some district labour offices, as I have seen a certain programme under transfers. The hon. Minister needs to ensure that some officers start moving so that we can have new faces in some districts to help resolve these matters effectively.

Mr Chairperson, I wish and hope that the money that we are giving the hon. Minister will work as intended. Let me hasten to say that if this money is not adequate, I am prepared, if a Supplementary Budget was to be brought, to support it so that we can help the hon. Minister to achieve the programmes. I know her charisma and that she is hard-working. She just needs to be supported so that our workers also start benefiting from the mineral resource that we have as a country.

Mr Chairperson, I want to wish the hon. Minister well and success in the coming year, 2023.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Ms Tambatamba: Mr Chairperson, I thank my Colleagues who have contributed to the debate, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama North; former social partner and always social partner, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanyama and the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan.

Mr Chairperson, all the speakers that have contributed to the debate on this Vote have belaboured, but one thing. We have heard them and we appreciate their willingness to come along with us because we are one Government. We know that the New Dawn Government has already made some good contribution and improvement to the 2021 budget. The New Dawn Government has demonstrated attention and commitment to ensuring that year-by-year, there is an increase to the budget for the ministry. I know with the commitment we have received from our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, it will only get much better. One thing we have learnt from this experience, of course, is to be very thrifty and results are beginning to show. That is the budget issue.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the issue of effectiveness that has been touched on by at least two hon. Members, I assure them that the Employment Code Act No.3 of 2019 and many other legal instruments that supervise the mandate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security are a key focus in the coming financial year. We are looking at harmonising them to ensure that we get to a point where we a have a legal framework that ensures that those that are mandated to supervise the industrial space are well pointed and doing only one thing effectively rather than duplicating. We want to do away with the idea of one institution coming in to do the same thing the other did. We want to ensure that resources are allocated to matters ensuring industrial harmony and social dialogue takes place effectively with a well-pointed programme from each one of the different agencies and players in this industrial space.

Sir, I want to also say that the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) which brings all social partners together, which are representatives of workers, employers and, indeed, the Government, is doing everything possible. This is to ensure that they show their symbols and indicators of reform that will for the future and forever only improve the ticket and welfare of our people by ensuring that the employer and the economy are improving. When the economy improves, we know that conditions of service for the workers will also improve. So, supervision is one area that we are looking at.

Sir, be informed as well that the New Dawn Government has unfrozen positions that were frozen for a long time. We have been allocated with about twenty-five positions that will make a difference. Twenty-five is no mean contribution. It is something that is going to help us to begin to target our people more effectively. Even if we still remain at twenty-four districts, the fact that we have more staff coming is going to help quite a bit.

Sir, from the 66 per cent improvement of the budget that we have received, we will also be focusing on repairing the equipment that we have before we get to a point of buying new ones. This budget will focus on repairing the equipment that we have such as vehicles so that we are able to provide more effective outreaches to locations where our services are required.

Mr Chairperson, on the matter of child labour that was referred to by the hon. Member for Roan, he should rest assured the Ministry is paying attention to this matter and we can demonstrate this by informing the hon. Member that the ministry with its stakeholders has already put in place a national action plan for child labour that is going to guide us into the future. We recognise that this is a very important area. The rights of the children that are being taken in and used at a tender age into the industrial space would be addressed in future.


Mr Chairperson, with those few words, let me just say that Ihave heard all the contributions that have come from the hon. Members. They make part of what we will use to make our action plan to improve the welfare of our workers who make it possible for us to put food on the table.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K85, 312,673).

Mr Kangombe (Kamfinsa): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 471 where there are four Sub-programmes which are: 7001 – Labour Inspections and Employment – K 10,182,025, 7002 – Productivity Improvement and Management – K 11,892,170, 7003 – Labour Market Research – K4,800,000 and 7004 – Industrial Relations Management – K 4,031,072 which relate to labour productivity.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has asked for K10,182,025 to carry out labour inspections and employment. How many new inspectors is the ministry going to employ and what qualifications apply?

Ms Tambatamba: Mr Chairperson, I am sure, if the hon. Member recalls, I said that the Treasury has just unfrozen twenty – five positions that will add to those inspectorates across the labour sector and Occupational Safety and Health Inspections and Investigations (OSHII), including productivity services. So, twenty-five positions have been unfrozen.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 85 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 96 – (Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock – K997,894,943).

The Minister of Fisheries and Livestock (Mr Chikote): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to deliver the policy statement on the 2023 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for Vote 86 – Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to highlight some of the key achievements that my ministry scored during the implementation of the 2022 budget.

Fisheries and Aquaculture

Mr Chairperson, the fisheries subsector registered positive growth in the first half of the year in both capture fisheries and aquaculture. Fish production under capture fisheries is expected to increase marginally by 1.1 per cent from 94,943 metric tonnes in 2021 to 96,000 metric tonnes by the end of 2022. This is attributed to enhanced enforcement of sustainable conservation practices, effective implementation of the fish ban and the demarcation of fish breeding areas.

Livestock Production

Mr Chairperson, cattle population increased by 1.4 per cent from 4,633,422 in 2021 to 4,698,972 in 2022. Production of milk, eggs, chicken, beef and pork all increased as well. This was realised through stocking and restocking, promotion of folder seed production as well as pasture and rangeland management. This was as a result of the ministry’s support to 1,119 households with various livestock packages.

This was as a result of the ministry’s support to 1,119 households with various livestock packages. In addition, the ministry continued to implement climate change mitigation programmes such as livestock early warning systems and piloting of livestock index-based insurance.

Animal Health Service

Mr Chairperson, animal disease outbreaks have remained a major risk hampering livestock productivity. Notwithstanding these challenges, the ministry recorded success in the following:

  1. intensified strategic vaccination of cattle

Vaccination of 2.2 million cattle against the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) led to the reduced distribution of diseases in nine provinces; vaccination of 179,567 cattle against CBPP in some parts of the North-Western, Northern and Muchinga provinces; and immunisation of 58,062 calves in the Eastern, Central and Southern provinces.

  1. intensified movement of control and surveillance

Eleven check points were established in six provinces to control livestock movement and the spread of the FMD and other diseases. Heightened disease surveillance and early warning resulted in among others, the quick eradication of the African Swine Fever outbreak in Lusaka.

Policy and Legislative Framework

Mr Chairperson, the Government is recognisance of the important role that various stakeholders played in supporting my ministry to deliver on its mandate. In this light, my ministry realises the need of creating an enabling policy and legislative environment for these players. To strive to this end, the ministry is finalising the formulation of the National Animal Health Policy and the National Fisheries Aquaculture Policy. Further, the ministry is reviewing the legislative framework that includes the Animal Identification Act of 2010 and the Veterinary and Para Professional Act.

Outlook and Budget for 2023

Mr Chairperson, let me now share with this august House our proposal for the estimates of expenditure for the year 2023. The 2023 Budget for the ministry stands at K997.9 million representing an increase of 7 per cent compared to the total authorised 2022 Budget. This also represents about 8 per cent of the entire agriculture sector budget. The ministry will fulfil its mandate of facilitating and supporting the development of a sustainable diversified transformed and competitive fisheries and livestock sector through the implementation of five programmes namely:

  1. livestock production and productivity improvement;
  2. fishery production and productivity improvement;
  3. animal health services;
  4. technical support services; and
  5. management support services.

Key Priorities and Expected Outputs

Animal Disease Control

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will enhance surveillance, prevention and control of animal diseases through interventions that include but are not limited to the construction of ten bio-security infrastructure on trunk roads, eight quarantine facilities and completion of seven regional laboratories. The ministry also targets to vaccinate 125,000 cattle against CBPP and immunise 50,000 against the East Coast Fever (ECF). To support these programmes, in the long run, the ministry has also made a budgetary provision amounting to K100 million to commence preliminary works towards establishing an animal vaccine plant at the Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) at Balmoral in Chilanga. Further, the ministry has made a budgetary provision to employ 250 general workers to man the cordon line that will be established in the Western, Southern and North-Western provinces. This is the first step in the implementation of measures that will open up opportunities for trade of live cattle in the Western Province. In addition, the ministry will develop a robust Animal Identification and Traceability System which will enhance the country’s potential to access export market as well as address stock theft.

Mr Chairperson, in addition, the ministry will develop a robust animal identification and traceability system that will enhance the country’s potential to access the export market as well as addressing stock theft.

Livestock Development

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has allocated K18 million towards the construction of ten milk collection and processing centres across the country to promote value addition in the daily value chain. This is important for both promoting household incomes and nutrition.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will continue promoting stocking andre-stocking pasture production. In this regard K15 million has been allocated to this activity targeting to support 10,500 female-headed households and 5,250 youth-headed households with various livestock packages. This is a clear testament of Government’s intentions to promote equity and empower vulnerable but viable groups. Further, the ministry will construct, rehabilitate and complete tier 1livestock service centres across the country. In addition, thirty biogas digesters for lead farmers in Muchinga Province and the Northern Province will be procured for livestock waste management and provision of clean alternative energies sources.

Fisheries Development

Mr Chairperson, the ministry will continue to support fisheries value chain players through the Aquaculture Seed Fund. The ministry has allocated K32 million towards completion and operationalisation of five aquaculture parks. Further, the ministry has allocated K22 million towards the rehabilitation of the Central Fisheries Research Institute and research units at Lake Kariba, Lake Bangweulu, Lake Mweru, Luapula and Masangu. These efforts are all aimed at developing technologies targeted at intensifying aquaculture production and improving capture fisheries management

Fisheries and Livestock Marketing

Mr Chairperson, all the outlined interventions which are meant to improve production and productivity will be meaningless if we do not promote both domestic and foreign markets as an outlet for this produce. My ministry will, therefore, work closely with the private sector to develop fisheries and livestock value chain. The ministry will continue to engage private sector to secure market access in the region, China, the European Union, Saudi Arabia and the United States of America (USA) for beef, goats, chickens and honey. To promote local trade for fisheries and livestock their products, the ministry has allocated K7 million to construct three market centres in Namwala, Senanga and Kitwe districts.

Extension Services

Mr Chairperson, the ministry recognises the catalytic role that improved extension services play in improving production and productivity. To this end, K300 million has been allocated towards extension support covering livestock production, animal health and fisheries. An additional allocation of K42 million has been provided for district administration and coordination. To argument these efforts, the ministry commenced and will be finalising the recruitment of 470 extension officers to fill up the most critical vacant and frozen positions, especially at provincial and district level. The ministry will also procure motorbikes and extension kits to ensure quality extension delivery to our farmers.

Mr Chairperson, let me conclude my statement by reiterating that the budget provides us an opportunity to turn around the fortunes of the people we represent. I, therefore, appeal to hon. Members to support the 2023 budget estimates for the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity as a representative of the people of Bweengwa to debateVote86.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about animal diseases. In fact, this is the number one challenge in the livestock sector.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the Zambia Medicine Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA). To tell you the truth, this body has given us huge challenges in the country. There is too much bureaucracy. It is the regulatory body which regulates veterinary and human medicines and has given us a huge challenge in importing medicines.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1257 hours until 0900 hours on Tuesday, 13thDecember, 2022.