Wednesday, 7thDecember, 2022

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    Wednesday, 7thDecember, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members,I inform the House that the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) which was supposed to take place on 29th November, 2022, will now be held on Thursday, 8th December, 2022.The meeting will be held in the Amphitheatre, here at Parliament Main Buildings at 0930 hours.Hon. Members are encouraged to attend the important meeting.

I thank you.




Madam Speaker:Hon. Members will recall that on Friday, 17th June, 2022, after I had rendered a ruling on a point of order raised by Rev. G. Katuta, hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge Constituency, Mr M. Haimbe, SC.,hon. Minister of Justice, raised a point of order against Mr Munir Zulu, hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi Constituency. The point of order was based on a Diamond Television programme entitled Today’s Topic aired on Thursday, 16th June, 2022 at 2130 hours.

In this point of order, Hon. M. Haimbe, MP, stated that during the programme, Mr Munir Zulu, MP, disparaged meand accused me of being partial in the manner I presided over the affairs of the House. He added that Mr Munir Zulu, MP, had also alleged that Iharboured personal hatred towards him, for unknown reasons. In addition, Mr Munir Zulu, MP, had also suggested that I detested him because he hailed from the Eastern Province, specifically Lumezi.

Hon. M. Haimbe, MP, therefore, sought guidance on whether Mr Munir Zulu, MP’s conduct, which disparaged me and the House, was acceptable and within the privileges the hon. Member enjoyed or whether his conduct amounted to contempt of the House in terms of Standing Order 207 of the National Assembly of Zambia, Standing Orders, 2021.

Hon. Members, in my immediate response, I reserved my ruling in order to study the matter. I subsequently referred the matter to the Committee on Privileges and Absences for consideration.

Hon. Members, the point of order raised by Mr M. Haimbe, hon. Minister of Justice, was based on a programme that was televised on Diamond Television. It was, in this regard, based on an event that occurred outside House.

Hon. Members, I have been consistent in handling points of order which are based on matters that happened outside the House. In fact, on 26th July, 2022, in ruling on a point of order by Mr A. Katakwe, hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi East, against some suspended Patriotic Front (PF) hon. Members, who had allegedly made some statements in the media following their suspension, I emphatically stated, among others, at page 3, as follows [Daily Parliamentary Debate for Tuesday,26th July, 2022]:

“Hon. Members, a point of order is intended to bring to the attention of the House a procedural breach. There are, in this regard, several rules governing the admissibility of Points of Order. I wish to seize this opportunity to remind the House of some of them.

I also wish to draw your attention to Standing Order 131 (6), which states as follows:

‘(6) A Point of Order shall only be raised in relation to the conduct of business of the House being transacted at the time the point of order is raised.’”

I further guided, at page 5, on the procedure to be used where an hon. Member observed a breach long after, by making reference to Standing Order 132 (4), which states:

“132. (4)       Where a member observes a breach of rules long after the breach has occurred, the member may submit a written complaint to the Speaker.”

On the basis of the cited Standing Orders, I ruled Mr A. Katakwe, MP’s, point of order inadmissible.

Hon. Members, you may recall that at the time I rendered this ruling on Mr Katakwe, MP’s, point of order, there were several matters relating to incidents that had occurred outside the House pending before the House and the Committee on Privileges and Absences. The point of order that is the subject of this ruling was one such matter. Taking cognisance of that fact, I guided, in the Katakwe Ruling, at page 6, as follows:

“Hon. Members, sadly, I have observed an increasing trend by Members to bring matters that happened outside the House through points of order. I am also aware that there are currently some matters before the House and the Committee on Privileges and Absences which were erroneously brought through points of order. I wish to guide the House that for those matters already before it, I will proceed to render the rulings, as I have done in this case. However, henceforth, or should I say from now on, I will not entertain any matter that is brought through a point of order when it should be brought through a written complaint.”

It is on the basis of that guidance that the Committee on Privileges and Absences proceeded to consider the point of order by Hon. M. Haimbe, MP. In considering the matter, the Committee observed that the point of order related to a matter that had occurred outside the House. The Committee noted that according to Standing Order 131 (6), such a matter could not be raised by a point of order. The Committee, in this regard, arrived at the conclusion that the matter was wrongly before it because it had been commenced using the wrong procedure. The Committee found the point of order inadmissible and recommended that it be ruled inadmissible.

Hon. Members, the decision of the Committee is consistent with my ruling in the Katakwe point of order and my subsequent rulings on similar points of order. I, therefore, endorse it and find the point of order by Hon. M. Haimbe, MP, against Mr Munir Zulu, MP, inadmissible.

I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Just a matter of correction, the meeting for the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) will take place on Thursday, 8th December, 2022 at 0900 hours.




Mr Kalobo (Wusakile): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to recapitalise Mopani Copper Mines (MCM).

Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, before I go to my Motion, allow me, on behalf of the good people of Wusakile and, indeed, on my behalf, to convey my deep condolences to the Ngulube family on the loss of their departed loved one, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, former hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central. May his soul rest in peace.

Madam Speaker, let me start by expressing my sincere appreciation to you for according me the opportunity to move this Private Member’s Motion, whose aim is to urge the Government to recapitalise MCM Plc.

Madam Speaker, this is a non-partisan and non-controversial Motion, which hinges on the social and economic development of our country. Part of the intention of this Motion is to give the New Dawn Government an opportunity to categorically state its position on Mopani Copper Mines, based on its campaign promises in the run-up to the 2021 General Elections.

As a matter of fact, it is still shocking that in October, 2021, when Hon. Paul Kabuswe, MP, Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, addressed this House on the Government’s position and strategy for the mining sector, he could not give a position with regards to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and MCM. He stated that his ministry would revert to this August House, with specific statements on each mine, after thorough consultations.

Madam Speaker, we have been waiting for the statements for over one year now, but to no avail. The longer the mine remains on care and maintenance, the more revenue, in uncollected taxes and jobs, we will lose. The Government should quickly recapitalise the mine and address the financial and operational challenges the mine is facing before it is too late.

Madam Speaker, the privatisation of the copper mines in the 2000’s was premised on the belief that foreign direct investment (FDI) would bring in external finance, managerial skills and technology transfer to vitalise the mines, save jobs and create a win-win situation for our country. However, over twenty years of privatisation has proved that leaving copper mines in the hands of foreigners was a catastrophic economic decision that has left us with means of financing our development agenda. The less than 20 per cent beneficial ownership that ZCCM-IH has in most of the mines means that foreign multinational companies have been pocketing windfall revenues from the high commodity copper prices.

Madam Speaker, the repossession of the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) by the Zambian Government offers this country a rare opportunity to gain a foothold in the mining industry. The MCM is 100 per cent owned by the Zambian Government. This mine needs urgent recapitalisation to break even and start making profit.

Madam Speaker, with copper prices projected to keep rising beyond US$10,000 per metric tonne, we need to massively invest in the mines and revamp copper production to meet the demand. This is a strong business case for the New Dawn Government to do the following:

  1. recapitalise Mopani through external borrowing sources such as capital markets, i.e. Eurobonds; and multilateral and bilateral institutions. If the Government is borrowing billions of dollars to build roads and schools, surely, it can borrow billions of dollars and invest in economic sectors such as mining, and in Mopani specifically;
  2. list Mopani on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LUSE) to raise capital and give citizens a chance to own a stake in this mine. This will enhance citizen participation and beneficiation from mining activities;
  3. pay outstanding Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds to unlock liquidity at the mine;
  4. stop importing copper concentrates from the Democratic Republic of Congo;
  5. invest massively in copper ore mining to feed the smelter in Mufulira;
  6. create local jobs in the mining industry through recapitalisation;
  7. let the Industrial Development Cooperation (IDC), through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), demonstrate that state owned enterprises (SOEs) can be engines for industrial growth by running Mopani as a viable locally-owned mining giant; and
  8. scrutinise the cost structure at Mopani and get rid of all operational excesses and the vices embedded in transfer pricing deals between Mopani and Glencore.

Madam Speaker,I am aware that the Government is looking into divesting shareholding of the mine; hiring a financial advisor; and conducting an evaluation to ascertain the value and financial status of the mine as part of the solution to the challenges the mine is facing. However, the question is: What happens thereafter? The Government should tell us what its intentions are; whether it will look for another investor or maintain Glencore, as we have heard in the media. This will be unacceptable considering where we are coming from.

Madam Speaker,as we debate this Motion, one of the fundamental questions that arises is whether Zambians have the capacity to efficiently and effectively manage mines. The answer to this is an unequivocal ‘yes’. This position is based on the fact that after the Anglo-American Corporation, which was the majority shareholder of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), left citing low copper prices, Zambians managed to run KCM effectively for close to two years until Vedanta Resources Limited successfully acquired majority shareholding in 2004.

Madam Speaker, in addition, the ZCCM-IH, which is now the majority shareholder in Mopani, has a management team with vast experience and expertise in the mining industry. It has been in existence for over 50 years as an investor in the country’s largest mines, the energy and financial sectors. Therefore, I would not be wrong to conclude that it has the necessary human capacity to run Mopani.

Further, many Zambians from various disciplines, both locally and internationally trained, have been working in the mines where they have acquired enough technical knowhow to run the mines. It is in this regard that we conclude that Zambians do have both the requisite knowledge and technical capability to run MCM or, indeed, any other mining operation in Zambia.

Madam Speaker,the Mopani story demands a new thinking that looks into the future of electric cars and the rising demand for copper and cobalt. The Government should urgently recapitalise Mopani and address the operational and financial challenges the mine is facing or we risk turning it into a loss-making mine ready to be sold for a song.

We have been through such a road before and have lost out. The United Party for National Development (UPND) Government should learn to put new wine into new wine skins. The state- of-the-art new copper smelters we have seen in Chambishi, Mufulira and Chingola and in the North-Western Province are all a result of forward-thinking investors who want to make a fortune from copper while the boom period lasts.

Madam Speaker, we cannot afford to be spectators during this economic boom. We want the UPND Government to walk the talk on their rhetoric of economic transformation. It is not enough for the Government to say it will be making electric car batteries while sitting on a loss-making copper mine. The logical thing to do is leverage what we have by recapitalising Mopani which produces both copper and cobalt.

Madam Speaker, the production of electric car batteries requires being well thought-out because it requires lithium, which we do not have.

Madam Speaker, in view of the numerous development benefits that will accrue to the country as a result of the recapitalisation of Mopani, allow me to conclude by calling upon all hon. Members to support this progressive Motion so that we can support the Government in transforming our mining sector for the benefit of our people.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I beg to move.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the privilege to second this Motion. Before I go deep in my debate, the people of Mufulira Central also join the nation in mourning the departure of Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, who is being put to rest today.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank the Mover of the Motion Hon. Pavyuma Kalobo, Member of Parliament for Wusakile, for ably moving this Motion.

Madam Speaker, as the Mover has mentioned in his debate, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is owned by the people of Zambia, through the Zambia Consolidated Copper MinesInvestment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). It was a very wise decision by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to bring the ownership of Mopani back to Zambians through the ZCCM-IH. That move alone protected 15,000 jobs on the Copperbelt; directly under Mopani, about 6,000 and,indirectly, through the contractors that do business with Mopani, 9,000 jobs were protected.

Madam Speaker, the importance of the copper mining sector cannot be over emphasised. We know that Zambia is the second highest copper producer in Africa to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Copper itself contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); to forex earnings; job creation and revenue for the Government.

As the pronouncement has been made by the President, the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development and the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, we are targeting to be producing 3 million tonnes of copper in the next nine years. In order for us to achieve that, we need a fully functional Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) that is well capitalised.

Madam Speaker, currently, as a country, we are producing just below 800,000 tonnes of copper. This is way below the potential that the country can produce through the various copper mines.

Madam Speaker, generally, the mine contributes so positively to the economy of this country. Mopani,in itself, plays a significant role as a mining company.

As I said earlier, there are about 15,000 jobs, directly and indirectly,at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) through the contractors. The economic wellbeing of the people of Mufulira, Kitwe and the entire Copperbelt largely depends on a healthy and well-functioning MCM. The benefits that MCM contributes to this country, including jobs, are hanging in the balance because of not capitalising it.

Madam Speaker, we cannot quest on the importance of copper now and in future. We have all talked about how important copper is and the role it will play in the now talked about electric vehicles. In 2021 alone, 6.6 million electric vehicles were sold around the world and copper played an important role in seeing to it that those vehicles move. It is projected that this figure is expected to triple by 2025.

Madam Speaker, the copper price is expected to reach about US$15,000 per tonne by 2025. This should be incentive enough for us to now invest in our copper producing mines so that we take part in the booming market of copper now and in future.We are aware of the many pronouncements that the hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and the President himself made on the Floor of this House and outside this House, assuring the nation of the Government’s effort to sort out the problems or challenges that are being faced by MCM. However, the people of Mufulira and Kitwe have been waiting because it all ends at assurances and no action is being seen on the ground.

Madam Speaker, the mover of the Motion, which urges the Government to recapitalise MCM, touched on a number of methods that can be used to raise capital to finance MCM. I want to add that among the many sources that the mover of the Motion mentioned, we can also talk about syndicated loans. Hon. Members may wish to note that between July and now, MCM through the Zambia Consolidated Copper MinesInvestments Holdings (ZCCM-IH) has raised US$45 million from the local banks to finance its operations. The mine needs aboutUS$300 million butit can raise US$45 million from the local market. So, I urge the Government, through ZCCM-IH, to create a syndicated loan and to bring together different financing houses, both local and outside this country, to raise the capital that MCM needs. We saw some investors come to this country without money and all they wantedwas to sign a contract that they had bought a mine, and they went outof this country to raise the money. The next thing we heardwas them braggingthat within a few months, they raised money to finance the acquisition.

Madam Speaker, we already have copper ore, which is projected to last for many years, and probably even outlive all of us here. That is collateral enough which should enable the Government or ZCCM-IH to raise the required capital so that it can provide the much-needed capitalisation. A healthy MCM will contribute to the economic performance of the communities where the mine is operating from, through job creation, directly under the mine, and indirectly through the contractors. The contractors are the small-scale enterprises whom we talk about. In fact, there is even a ministry dedicated to supporting small-scale enterprises. A large number of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) such as contractors depend on dealing with MCM. So,when MCM is limping, even the SMEs limp.That resultsin loss of jobs and a decline in the economic wellbeing of the people of the Copperbelt, hence the need to ensure that MCM is capitalised and performs as expected.

Madam Speaker, the Motion, as the mover mentioned, is non-political. It is not about the party that has brought the Motion, but it is for the wellbeing of many Zambians who depend on a well-functioning MCM, including the nation at large. Therefore, if we are all interested in achieving 3 million tonnes of copper production in the next nine years, we need to support the Motion. If we are interested in protecting the jobs and creating more jobs in the mining sector, we should support the Motion. If we are interested in increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country, we should support the Motion. If we interested ina strong Kwacha resulting from foreign exchange earnings from the export of copper from MCM, we should support the Motion. If we are interested in the growth of this country’s economy generally, we need to support the Motion.

With those words, I beg to second the Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: In view of time and the amount of work we have, we will proceed in this manner. I will call two supporters and two opposers of the Motion. Then the hon. Minister will respond and we will wind up.

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, we do not have enough time. I will just highlight some salient points on the Motion, which the hon. Member has brought.

Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I want to make it clear that the mover said that the Motion is not political, but in his speech, he cited a campaign message. What is a campaign message, is that not political? So, he cited politics, therefore, this thing is political. He wants to gain political mileage in the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) area by not telling the people the truth. Had the hon. Member investigated, he would not have brought the Motion.

Madam Speaker, let me highlight some hiccups which would have made the Motion not to come on this Floor in the manner it has been brought. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government went into an agreement with Glencore, but have our colleagues told us what they agreed with Glencore? Let me highlight one or two things, which they agreed. Glencore saw that the mine’s investment capital was depleting, but it did not want to invest more money in it. It agreed to give the mine back to the Government at US$1.5 billion. So, before recapitalising MCM, the Government must pay Glencore US$1.5 billion. However, where will the money to pay Glencore US$1.5 billion and buy machinery for the mine come from?

Madam Speaker, our colleagues are not being truthful because they are the ones who signed the agreement with Glencore. According to the contract, the Government has to get consent from Glencore for whatever it does, including selling a wheelbarrow. So, what are they talking about. Further, according to the contract, if the Government sold the mine or copper anywhere, Glencore would get 15 per cent of the sales. So, it seems it will just be waiting for the Government of the Republic of Zambia to sell the copper and get 15 per cent of the sales.

The issue you should have been talking about as PF – you should have urged the Government to expedite –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Speak through the Chair.

Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, let me explain a scenario, which the miners understand because some people have never been underground. There are levels underground, and there is the lower level of the mine where water accumulates. So, when the mine is about to submerge, the mine captain cannot just rush to call for the removal of the water without knowing where the source of the water is. That is not proper thinking. You cannot start thinking of earning so much money; you do not know where the problem is. Recapitalising MCM is not the problem; the problem is the agreement with Glencore. So, what needs to be done is to renegotiate the contract with Glencore and after doing that, then we can talk about recapitalisation. How do you say you will eat three meals a day, yet you have not even planted any seed?

Madam Speaker, the man who brought this is very political. He wants to create animpression that we do not want to capitalise that mine. We want to capitalise it, but the question is: Is it a priority?They want us to say that we are going to capitalise it. What is the first priority?

Madam Speaker, the first priority, if they do not know, is to check on the agreement which they signed with Glencore. This is the same story that happened at Konkola Copper Mines plc (KCM). These people who signed these contracts with Glencore are criminals. They are corrupt. They are the people who are killing the people in Mopani, in Mufulira. You people who come from Mufulira, these Patriotic Front (PF), the contracts which they signed –

Madam Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, Order!


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, as we debate, let us not debate ourselves, but concentrate on issues. Do not bring in other hon. Members.

Mr Jamba: Madam Speaker, I am saying that the Government which signed thecontract with Glencorewas criminal and had corrupt people. How can they sign a contract where someone, seated in Australia, would be getting 15 per cent when we make a saleof US$15 million? How do they sign such a contract? How do you sign a contract which states that when you sell a wheelbarrow or shovel, I will have to give you consent? If you are going to do anything and you are saying you are waiting for US$1.5 billion to be given to you, what type of agreement is that?Balilyamo.

Hon Members: Meaning?

Mr Jamba:  They are corrupt people. They were given something. They were very corrupt.That is why the signed the contract. Any person who sits and has a very sober mind cannot sign such an agreement.

Madam Speaker, my brother from Wusakile should not be used by people telling him to tell the Government to embark on capitalisation, but he should instead urge the Government to expedite relooking at the agreement by Glencore. When it looks into, the Government should renegotiate with Glencore, after which, we are going to talk about capitalisation.

Madam Speaker, we cannot start investing money in water. The mine is flooded and you are talking about mining copper and copper being worth US$10,000, in a mine that is flooded. First of all, you need to close the tap where the water is coming from, drain the water and then you can start mining. Do not start counting your chickens before they hatch. In fact, there are no eggs that have been laid.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I sympathise with the people who brought this thing andthe corrupt Government that was there.That is why the people rejected it. We have just been in power for one year and some months. We are busy looking at this contract and negotiating with companies so that we can bring solvency in the mining companies, yet people want to bring an axe saying “Mwaikala for twenty years”. Which twenty years are they talking about? We have just been in Government for one year. Give us time and you will see that we going to work these things properly. We will not behave like headless chickens where people were singing contracts by moving away from the truth and getting tu ma kickbacks. After that, they come here saying that we recapitalise.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I am grateful on behalf of the people of Kamfinsa Constituency as well as to help this debate by making a few comments. I do hope that as we discuss this issue, our primary focus will be on how to find a solution to the issue of Mopani Copper Mines.

Madam Speaker, as I stand here, let me indicate that I will begin my debate from the aspect of the human resource at Mopani Copper Mines. Obviously, if we are going to recapitalise, the questions we should ask ourselves is whether we have the team that would be able to manage the transition, get resources and get the mine to another level.

Madam Speaker, Mopani Copper Mine, before privatisation, was under the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines(ZCCM), in Nkana Division. I do recall when I was growing up that all of us on the Copperbelt were desirous to work for ZCCM only for two reasons. It had a training programme where when you graduated from the University, it would begin training you to understand what was involved in mining, how to ensure that equipment was available, how to ensure that the copper got out of the ground and then you were able to export the copper.So, ZCCM had a very comprehensive training programme. What that training programme did was creating the right human resource not only for that time but also for the years that were to come.

Madam Speaker, what am I trying to say? Point number one: The engineers who were there during the time of ZCCM, those who transitioned into Mopani Copper Mines, technically, academically, in terms of their competencies, I think all of us, here, agree that we have the right team in terms of technical competencies. These are Zambians who have been given skills, over the years, to run the mines. Let me declare interest that I had the privilege of working for this very important institution called Mopani Copper Mines.

Madam Speaker, secondly, where are we coming from and how best can the new Government– Take note that this conversation, for me, is about taking note of issues, giving feedback and then agreeing on what should be done moving forward, and that will bring me to the issue of recapitalisation.

Madam Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament from Mufulira, Kitwe and other areas where Mopani Copper Mines may have an interest will confirm and agree with me that where we are coming from, there was a lot of blackmail, for those who may not be aware. The blackmail may not be seen today but I think we might see it in future where when we move towards an election, there would be many threats in teams of job losses. We would have cases where the mines would want something from the Government, they would announce that they were going to place the mine on care and maintenance and because of the uncertainty, especially for our workers, be it in Mufulira or Kitwe. There was always the anxiety that would be presented to the Government.

Madam Speaker, a Government that wants to secure jobs sometimes would focus on the jobs and not deal with other fundamental issues. I think it was important but the mover, maybe, did not have enough time, but let me mention that what used to happen on the Copperbelt was that with every election, the people of Zambia would be threatened that they would lose their jobs. So, a step was taken on how to ensure that people do not lose their jobs since Mopani Copper Mines had announced that Glencore was at the point of exiting Mopani Copper Mines. That was the status quo around 2019. Mopani Copper Mines was owned by Glencore at that time, which threatened to exit the mine. 

Madam speaker, today, if any of the mines operating in Zambia announces that it wants to exit, any responsible Government would take interest on how to secure the jobs for the people of Zambia. So, the conversation that we should be having now is that the step that was taken to secure the jobs for our many Zambians by holding on to the mine. Legally speaking, we own the mine as Zambians, but technically speaking, we owe money to Glencore and that is a very frank conversation that we should have. Legally, if you go to the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) today, it is shows that ZCCM owns the mines, but technically speaking, the mine is owned by Glencore. I am saying this because we need to deal with problem. The problem we have now is that we need to bring to the table ZCCM Investments Holdings Plc (ZCCM-IH) and Glencore, so that we can have a conversation on how we are going to sort out the issue of that money that we owe Glencore. That is the first issue.

Madam Speaker, the second issue is what we should do to ensure that jobs are secured. A conversation can take ten to fifteen years. A conversation can take one year to six months; you are just discussing. The hon. Minister of Mines and Mineral Development is aware of the pressure from the constituencies we are coming from, and that is why I do not want to politicise this Motion. I want us to deal with the issue. The issue here is that people out there are asking us, as hon. Members of Parliament from the Copperbelt, particularly as hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa, on what is happening to Mopani Copper Mines. The contactors want to be paid so that they provide services. That is the issue we are trying to discuss here. I am trying to simplify the Motion for the mover and then try to appeal to the hon. Minister for us to agree on a solution. The mover is not being malicious by asking how we could put money into Mopani Copper Mines.

Madam Speaker, sometimes some of the terms we use are technical, like recapitalisation. It is a very technical term. I spent five minutes trying to look up the definition of recapitalisation. TheGovernment has given about tenways of recapitalisation. Debt toshani ratio, debt to equity, non-cash contribution to equity, these are complicated terms, and if we are going to follow them, we may not understand them. What the mover is saying is that there is a mine on the Copperbelt that is supposed to support jobs for our people and provide services to our people. How do we put money into that company? That is what we should be discussing. So, the question by the mover is – we are aware that the Government has been discussing with Glencore Plc. These discussions eventually, should culminate into putting money into the mine.

So, Madam Speaker, for me, as Christopher Kang’ombe, representing the good people of Kamfinsa, I think that a frank conversation is important. In this conversation, we can blame the previous Government and say it did a wrong thing. Glencore Plc was exiting and there was no one to hold onto the mine. Someone had to hold onto the mine, and so, the Government has held on to it. It is now up to you, you are theGovernment, and the hon. Minister, I do not see the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, but I think it isimportantthat we put money into MCM. How do we put money into mopani? Dowe recapitalise by putting equity? Do we bring in a company and say, ‘buy off these shares and then let us pay off Glencore Plc’? If that is the method hon. Minister of Mines, Minerals Development, tell this House. Allthat the people want to hear is a solution. So, for me, Madam Speaker, I support the proposal that we put money into MCM so that we give life to the mine. That is what the mover is saying.

Madam Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’stime expired.

Mr Kang’ombe: The other issues are technical.

Madam Speaker: Thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe: The other issues are complicated but for me, the issue is that…

Madam Speaker: Thank you, your time is up.

Mr Kang’ombe: …we need to put money –

Madam Speaker: Order! Your time is up.

Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity. The people of Sinazongwe are very sorry on the demise of our colleague, Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, May his soul rest in peace.

Madam Speaker, the people of Sinazongwe arewondering what comes first. Is it recapitalisation or attending to agreements that were signed between the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) under the Patriotic Front (PF) and also GlencorePlc. In our view, as people of Sinazongwe who are very sympathetic with the situation on theCopperbelt, particularly in Kitwe and Mufulira,these are the towns that house Mopani Copper Mine (MCM). The situation is so bad but it was created by our colleagues. What I expected from the mover of the Motion was, first to apologise…

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sialubalo: …because the decision that his Government took was not helpful. The first thing that my brother should have done is apologise on behalf of the PF.

We are where we are today, Madam Speaker, because of the agreement. It is not because of the recapitalisation, but the agreement signed. By now, as we are speaking, an investor was already found by the hon. Minister. The hon. Minister was on television a year ago, talking about an investor who wanted to invest in the black mountain in Mufulira. Now, the investor is held up because of the same agreement. We are talking of poverty on the Copperbelt created by who?

Mr Mabeta: PF!

Mr Sialubalo: So, the best thing is for us to urge the hon. Minister to expeditiously attend to the agreement. The hon. Minster of Justice is here and he must, please, help the people on the Copperbelt attend to the legal implication of the agreement, and not recapitalisation. Suppose, the Government attends to it and Glencore Plc says we want to come back, we have the money. Where will the hon. Minister take that money? So, the best thing that we should do as a country, as we sympathise with the happenings on the Copperbelt, is to think of,firstly, the agreement that was signed between Glencore Plc and the PF Government.

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Sialubalo: Secondly, we have to think of the legal implication which is in Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). If we do not address those, money can be found, we shall not take it anywhere. Hon. Member for Kamfinsa, agreed that these mines are not wholly owned by Zambians. Legally, they are owned by the same investors. So, it will be like the mover of the Motion is suggesting that the hon. Minister should look for money to give Glencore, which has interest in the same mine. So, it will not help. Let us stand for our people. We know it is painful. We know what is happening on the ground and that things are bad but the right thing should be done. The hon. Minister should hold the bull by its horns so that the rightful thing is done, not appeasement but something that will last a test of time. If we do something just for the sake of appeasing people, we shall find ourselves in the situation the PF found itself in.

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Sialubalo: I urge the hon. Minister to do the rightful thing at the right time bearing in mind that even his constituency is on the Copperbelt. He knows what the people are going through. So, what is needed is for us to be methodical. Let us be legally binding and not engage in something that will tie us.

Madam Speaker, if you go to Mopani, you cannot buy a used battery. They will be telling you, no, wait for Glencore to make a decision. What type of agreement was that? Just to buy a battery, and the mine cannot make a decision on it. Mopani cannot even buy ore, not until Glencore makes a decision. So, the contract that was signed by the PF is what has made the Copperbelt to be what it is now.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sialubalo: Madam Speaker, we are not going to continue blaming, we have to find a solution.

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Sialubalo: The people should know that we are where we are because of the PF. The situation we are in was not created by the UPND. We want to sort this problem out. It is really pathetic and people are suffering. We should not recapitalise something that is not ours.

Mr Mabeta: Correct!

Mr Sialubalo: First thing is, let us claim ownership in a rightful manner. Either we find an investor or another solution, but we should not be thinking of recapitalisation; recapitalising someone’s property. That is a coup d'état. That is what happened at KCM where a Government, being a minority shareholder, announces that it is taking over the running of a company is a coup d'état. No investor can be interested in investing in such a country. That should not happen under the New Dawn Government.

Madam Speaker, with these very few words, the people of Sinazongwe are saying, they are not for the idea of recapitalising MCM, but attending to the legal implications, so that the people on the Copperbelt can smile.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, allow me to join the many families, colleagues and friends who have wished the Ngulube family in Kabwe condolences and all the best.

Madam Speaker, I have carefully listened to all the speakers, and I must tell you that Kantanshi Constituency houses the entire operation of Mopani Copper Mine (MCM). From what I have heard, I am actually surprised that we trivialise this discussion we are having today to legal documents.

Madam Speaker, I communicate with the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development many times. I must report that the first time we had600 young men who lost their jobs, I even pleaded with the hon. Minister to visit my constituency and give some hope of these issues that the Government was addressing to ensure that this mine remains sustainable even if there are bigger plans such as recapitalisation and ensuring that it goes into full production.

Today, Madam Speaker, to talk about legal clauses, which he has never shared on the Floor of this House, worries me deeply because Kantanshi Constituency depends on the mine. The council itself, depends on the mine for the monthly contributionsthat go to the salaries of the council employees.

Madam Speaker, as I speak, the council workers are struggling. The social and political capital that the United Party for National Development (UPND) enjoys is dwindling simply because most of the people are saying we had voted for this change so that some of these big decisions can be made.

Madam Speaker, I must hasten to mention that I have had long conversations with His Excellency the President of this country over the MopaniCopperMines (MCM). I am surprised today that we can be saying that, “No, we should not be thinking of recapitalisation in the first place.We need to deal with clausesin the Mines and Minerals Act.” when people are starting to have empty stomachs. Young men are failing to main their marriages because they can no longer feed their families. I find that very strange. There are ways and means businesses can be capitalised, one of which the Government did one time on the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). The Auditor-General’s report revealed that it had lent KCM US$45 million. That was a short-term loan for six months.

Madam Speaker, what we are saying is that the Government is already in the process of making these big decisions, but because of the pressure we are having, we are urging it to do something. This does not mean that it is not going to do it. It will do it, but it is our responsibility as hon. Members of Parliament, who are coming from there and are having this pressure,to let the Government know. The President has announced several times that he is sorting out issues at the KCM and the MCM, yet it has been one year and four months now. So, it is not that the Government is not doing anything about it.

Madam Speaker, you will remember thelast time I raised a point of order that you told me that the Government cannot be micromanaged and that one could not, every time, be raising these points of orders on the operations of the MCM. So, Madam Speaker, for me, particularly as hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi, I will continue to ask the Government because the queues of people I am having at my office asking about when they will be paid as contractors and when contractors are going to pay workers is becoming unbearable. You can imagine, Madam Speaker, this time around, the living conditions are very difficult and cost of living quite expensive. This is not just for Zambia, but everywhere, and it is rising. However, we have a duty, as leaders, to ensure that we push the Government to make sure –

The Government has unlimited issues to deal with. Right now, it is grappling with issues of agricultural inputs. So, we, as hon. Members of Parliament from the Copperbelt,cannot sit back and say, “No, our turn will come when the Government will listen to us.” No! This is an opportunity for us to push the Government and urge it to make sure the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development comes to Mufulira and addresses those miners to wish them well as well as explain how he intends to ensure that this problem is resolved.

Not too long from now, Madam Speaker, the MCM will be totally insolvent. Right now, it is a going concern, but I know that management has not been fully honest in terms of what it is going through simply because people want to hold on to jobs.

For us, as hon. Members of Parliament from the Copperbelt, we have agreed that we are going to speak one language. This benefit is not for Anthony Mumba, the Ruling Party or the Patriotic Front (PF). It is a benefit for the people because they will be able to live their dreams. Those dreams cannot be lived through my salary as Member of Parliament. Those dreams have to be lived through the opportunities that are going to arise because the Government is able to provide a resounding hope and opportunity for the people.

For us who are here, we are not supposed to be politicising issues that people depend on for their survival. I am extremely worried, Madam Speaker, that we could trivialise urging Government to act.The Government has not refused. We are urging it to remind it of the importance we attach to what is happening in our constituencies. Not too long from now, Mufulira will become a dead town like Luanshya. That is how it started.

Hon. Government Members:  Ah!

Mr A. Mumba: So, I am extremely concerned. We still have a future. Over twenty-three years of mining to take place, but by the time the evaluator goes there, the value of the mine will be so low. What are were going to get out of it? We will get nothing, Madam Speaker.

So, I say to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning and my colleagues from the United Party for National Development (UPND) that, please, we are together in this. There is no one who is scoring political points. What we all want to do is to make sure that the mines start to function properly and businesses start to grow on the Copperbelt. That will be for the benefit of everybody.

Madam Speaker, I fully support this Motion.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Kabuswe): Madam Speaker, the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) is a clear case of failure of a leadership to have the courage to make a decision not for political expediency, but for the benefit the people of Zambia.

Clearly, the speakers have confessed, Madam Speaker, that it was right before elections that such a decision was made. It was really not made so that Zambians could benefit, but that some people survive politically. It was not well-thought-out, but was just done so that Zambians could cheer that they owned something, yetthey did not actually own that something.

Madam Speaker, it is a situation where you are given a car and told that it is your car, yet you owe me the equal value of that car. That was the decision that was made so that Zambians who did not really understand the details could believe that we, 100 per cent, owned Mopani. It was a decision made out of political expediency.

Madam, this Government, being sure that it is risking its political survival on the Copperbelt, wants to take time to make sure that it makes a decision that is correct over Mopani,the KCM and all other assets in the mining sector so that going forward, it does not flip-flop in terms of the running of the economy of this country.That is why we have been methodical as we look at Mopani, the KCM and all the other assets. We have even drawn a policy that will be a guide as to how we must run these assets, Mopani inclusive.

Madam Speaker, before I respond, I also want to be part of the group of hon. Members of Parliament and leaders expressing condolences to the family of the late Hon. Tutwa Ngulube who was put to rest today in Kabwe,may his soul rest in eternal peace.

Madam Speaker, I also want to allay the fears raised by the mover of the Motion who said that Mopani is actually under care and maintenance. Mopani is not under care and maintenance. This Government has never announced that it is either maintaining Glencore or whichever investor it is bringing. This Government is running a process.

Madam, when anyone is coming as an equity partner or even if we were looking at recapitalising the asset ourselves, which we have not refused and are actually looking forward to doing, we must understand the state in which that asset was left. That is point number one. That means that we need to know the legal encumbrances and the physical state of that asset.Then,and then only can we say that this is the route that we are going to go.

Madam Speaker, let me announce to the nation that Mopani has attracted several people who want to come and invest into it, but like in all businesses, you do not want to pick an asset that is encumbered with many legal issues.

Madam Speaker, I want to tell the hon. Member of Parliament for Kantanshi that we are not trivialising the issue.We want to make correct decisions over the MCM and long lasting decisions over those assets. We are not doing it for political expediency, I repeat.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Kabuswe:I do understand, and I sympathise and empathise. I empathise because I live on the Copperbelt. I am a Chililabombwe Member of Parliament and I feel what the Copperbelt people feel. His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, feels what the Copperbelt people feel. However, even in the pain, when you are a parent and Ulefwayaikutinaicipute, meaning that you want to press a boil and remove the pus, the child will cry.You have to remove the pus because if you get Vaseline wazembelekaicipute, it will continue to pain. You want to press and remove the pus. You will see your child cry and it will pain you, but you know that after the pus comes out, my child will be okay. This is what we are doing with the mining sector.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabuswe: It was left with a lot of pus, Madam Speaker. We are trying to make sure we remove the pus, and when it is removed, there will be a lot of pain and, therefore, the cry on the Copperbelt. The Government cares for the Zambian people and it isnow looking after them. We understand the pain that they are going through, but tufwiletwatinaiciputefyakalipa.When we remove the pus, that is when we will make correct decisions that will be long lasting.

Madam Speaker,we are in a hurry to restructure the economy. We do understand that restructuring the economy entails that we start firing in all cylinders, including the mining sector. In the mining sector, we said that we want to achieve the production of 3 million tonnes of copper in the next ten years, and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) are critical components of that vision. So, in order to make sure sure that they maximise their potential in terms of productivity, we have to do the correct thing. Yes, the Government is going the route of bringing capital and more money into MCM, and it wants to use the best model to bring MCM back to life. Let me take this opportunity to say that even for KCM, it wants to use the best model.

Madam Speaker, we, Zambians, sometimes do not want to tell each other the truth. Like the hon. Member for Sinazongwe said, sometimes, let us first hold our heads in shame. Look at that agreement. You cannot believe that some Zambians signed that because they wanted to stay in office. I would not sign such a thing, where Glencore must approve even to buy a toilet paper. How did weas a country sink so low? What sort of leadership credentials did we have?

Madam Speaker, going forward, as we elect Presidents and leaders, let us make sure we elect people in these positionswho are serious because they play a critical role when making decisions. We need leaders like Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who is serious, …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabuswe: … focused and knows where he is taking this country. He is on record as having said that he will not be swayed by his re-election in 2026, but that he will make correct decisions. This is what we are doing with MCM. We are not glossing over it. We are not playing games. We are not joking. We are focused. The Zambian people must bear with us and very soon, they will hear an announcement on MCM and KCM. We are focused on producing 3 million tonnes of copper for their benefit.

Madam Speaker, the Motion was just brought in to try and embarrass us, but we are equal to the task. We are focused. We know where we are taking this country, and MCM is part of that vision.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kalobo: Are you sure it is BID?

Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to the many debaters who have debated. Firstly, allow me to address the issues raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwembezhi.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members! Let us allow the hon. Member to wind up debate.

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, I brought the campaign issue in the Motion because, for me, a promise is a policy direction. When our colleagues were campaigning, the promises they were making were giving us an insight of what their policies in the mining sector would be. So, the Motion was not brought in bad faith, but I was looking at it as a policy direction for the New Dawn Government.

Madam Speaker, let me inform my hon. Colleague from Sinazongwe that on MCM, there are no legal implications unless it was KCM, although they also do not hold any water. I know that in the contract, that is under a clause called force majeure, but that does not hold any water.

Madam Speaker, the Motion was not meant to embarrass the hon. Minister. I have been very consistent on this issue from the time the United Party for National Development (UPND) took over Government. When the President came to this august House to give his first address, I bemoaned the direction on MCM. When the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was presenting the Budget Address, he never gave a good direction on MCM, and I again debated about it. When the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development was presenting the budget for the ministry, again, he did not give the direction on MCM. So, the Motion urges the Government to recapitalise MCM and to also helpit make a clear policy pronouncement on it. However, when the hon. Minister was winding up debate, he did not give us the direction they will take on MCM, but when moving the Motion, I talked about the different options that the Government can use to recapitalise it.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister gave an example that when you give somebody a car then you owe someone an equal value. That is not a good example. Glencore bought the mine and it made some developments like the synclinorium shaft, which gave MCM twenty-five years of extra life. The Government did a very good job because it did not give Glencore any money. The demand was US$4.5 billion –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member! You are supposed to wind up debate. Do not bring in new arguments. Just wind up debate.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, let us allow him to debate. He has the right to debate.

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, it is difficult to listen to people who do not even understand. I come from the Copperbelt. People want the mine to be recapitalised.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalobo: Yes, you can say hear, hear, but the people, contractors and suppliers on the Copperbelt are waiting. We did not doubt the Patriotic Front (PF) Government when it came to such matters. Look at Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) and Indo Zambia Bank. The issue of 51 per cent of shares between ZANACO and Rabobank of Netherlands was done properly. People are very doubtful about the New Dawn Government. Look at the Kansanshi issue where it has even given out the 20 per cent that ZCCM-IH owned. That is why we want it to make a clear pronouncement on the direction it will take –

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised

Mr Kabuswe: Madam Speaker, I rise pursuant to Standing Order No. 65. Is the hon. Member in order to lie on the Floor of the House that the Government has sold its shares to Kansanshi Mine because that is not what has happened? It is important that people read. The problem is that people are not researching. They just stand on Floor of the House and begin to throw tantrums.

Madam Speaker, I seek you serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Minister! The use of the word ‘tantrum’ is unparliamentary.

Mr Kabuswe: I withdraw it, Madam Speaker

Madam Speaker: I guided the hon. Member who is debating to wind up debate and not bring in other issues. So, to the extent that he alleged that the Government has sold its shares to KCM, he is out of order.

Hon. Member for Wusakile, wind up debate.

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, Aristotle once said that justice forms the order of the day and Plato, who was Aristotle’s teacher, said for a just cause, any means can be considered. I want to tell the New Dawn Government that all public policies should be conditioned by the past experiences and how beneficial they will be to the people. Can the Government relook this matter and do the right thing. It should not politic; we are not politicking in moving the Motion here. We come in peace. The New Dawn Government promised to do better than the PF Government. So, there will be no need for it to start blaming the PF. It should just do better so that MCM can run properly. Just do better so that Mopani Copper Mines can run properly and our people, including suppliers, can benefit.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, let me thank all hon. Members who have debated on this Motion, including those who debated in the negative because they did not understand what they were saying.


Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Questionthat this House urges the Government to recapitalise Mopani Copper Mines Plc put andnegatived.





The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati) (on behalf of the Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane)): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before the House is principally seeking to amend the Customs and Excise Act to provide so as to:

  1. revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on certain goods;
  2. revise the list of goods to be subject to surtax at importation;
  3. provide for the use of electronic fiscal device in the administration of excise duty;
  4. reduce customs duty on electric motor vehicles and cycles and;
  5. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill is straightforward, and I commend it to the House.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, I first seek your guidance. You mentioned the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, but the hon. Minister has read the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Minister, you are supposed to read the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill. Let us do it correctly.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before the House is principally seeking to amend the Income Tax Act so as to meet the objectives outlined in:

  1. increase the Pay As You Earn tax free threshold for an individual to fifty seven thousand six hundred Kwacha per annum from fifty four thousand six hundred Kwacha per annum, reduce the marginal tax rate for the second income bracket to twenty percent and adjust the income bands accordingly;
  2. increase tax credits for a person with disability to seven thousand two hundred Kwacha from six thousand Kwacha per annum;
  3. introduce a tax free threshold on turnover tax and rental income tax of twelve thousand Kwacha per annum;
  4. reduce the corporate income tax rate to twenty five percent from thirty percent on income earned from value addition to gemstones through a lapidary and jewellery facility;
  5. reduce the tax chargeable on income received by a special purpose vehicle from a public private partnership project by twenty percent for the first five years that the public private partnership project makes profit;
  6. introduce an accelerated rate of wear and tear allowance on a straight line basis not exceeding one hundred percent for an implement, plant and machinery acquired and used under a public private partnership project;
  7. abolish the two tier taxation system in the telecommunication sector and introduce a corporate income tax rate of thirty five percent;
  8. reduce the withholding tax rate from fifteen percent to zero percent on interest income earned on green bonds listed on the securities exchange in the Republic with maturity of at least three years;
  9. reduce the withholding tax rate to zero on interest earned on a life insurance policy;
  10. increase the allowable expenditure for the construction of employee housing and the farm improvement allowance to one hundred thousand Kwacha from twenty thousand Kwacha;
  11. introduce a presumptive tax on income earned from artisanal and small scale mining at the applicable turnover tax rate based on the gross turnover less mineral royalty paid;
  12. reduce presumptive tax to fifteen percent from twenty five percent on land based (brick and mortar) betting companies for the 2023 and 2024 charge years;
  13. reduce the withholding tax rate on winnings from gaming and betting to fifteen percent from twenty percent for the 2023 and 2024 charge years;
  14. abolish the twenty percent withholding tax on reinsurance placed with reinsurers not licensed in the Republic;
  15. reduce the withholding tax rate to zero percent from fifteen percent on interest earned by an individual from a loan advance to a person under a savings group;
  16. introduce income tax concessions on income generated from the manufacturing of corn starch for fifteen years;
  17. extend the turnover tax regime to service providers in the gig economy;
  18. introduce specific penalties for negligence, wilful default and fraud with respect to presumptive tax on gaming machines and casino games (brick and mortar);
  19. introduce the use of an electronic fiscal device and other devices for income tax purposes;
  20. extend commodity royalty to resident to resident transactions;
  21. reduce the minimum age for tax payer identification number registration to sixteen years from eighteen years;
  22. repeal the approval process of pensions under income tax;
  23. exempt a pension approved under the Pension Scheme Regulation Act from income tax; and
  24. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the forgoing

Mr Chaatila: Madam Speaker, let me join my Colleagues in offering condolences to the Ngulube family, on the passing on of the former hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central, Mr Tutwa Ngulube. May his soul rest in peace.

Madam Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as provided in the Standing Orders, your Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022, for the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly.

Madam Speaker, let me mention from the outset that both your Committee and stakeholders who appeared before it are in support of the Bill, subject to few observations made, some of which I will briefly highlight in my speech. In doing so, my speech will focus mainly on the provisions of Clause 13 of the Bill, which seeks to amend the charging schedule of the Income Tax Act, Chapter 323 of the Laws of Zambia.

Madam, both your Committee and stakeholders who appeared before it, are concerned about the proposed Income Tax on corn starch agro-processing businesses approved by the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA). Let me remind this august House that the proposal is merely repeating the strategy that has been used in the past to spur investment in the zones as well as develop the manufacturing sector.

Madam Speaker, your Committee notes that the strategy has not yielded the desired results despite the incentives being provided under the Zambia Development Agency Act No. 26 of 2006. Therefore, there is a need to focus on understanding the reasons for the low investments in the special economic zones and not only focussing on using the tax incentives to address the same problem.

Madam, your Committee also notes that the provision is limiting for local manufacturers of corn starch and appears to be targeting foreign direct investment (FDI) only, rather than incentivising and encouraging the locals to venture into the sector.

Madam, while the move is commendable, your Committee is of the view that the inclusion of Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) and industrial parks will limit beneficiaries only to the entities in the aforementioned stations. Secondly, the tax rates for the periods proposed in the Bill should have been introduced progressively, so as to allow businesses to adjust their operations accordingly.

Madam, let me also comment on the proposal aimed at addressing the high corporate tax challenge in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector by abolishing the current two-tier taxation system in the telecommunication subsector and replacing it with a single tax rate of thirty-five percent.  Your Committeeis alive to the fact that this measure seeks to improve the telecommunication sector’s competitiveness and attract investment to stimulate increased penetration of mobile telecommunication services in the country. Your Committeealso understands that the measure will stimulate interest in the private sector to participate in the telecommunications sector due to improved rate of return on investment.

Your Committeenotes that, on the other hand, it is proposed that licensees whose profits are below the K250,000 threshold will now be taxed at the rate of 35 per cent and not at 30 cent as it is currently. This will result in an increased expense on few operators and post a marginal gain on revenue base arising from the sector. On the other hand, your Committeenotes with concern the reduction of tax chargeable from 40 to 35 per cent, which will result in a significant gain of 5 per cent to electronic communication providers whose profits are in excess of K250,000 threshold.

Madam Speaker, your Committeestrongly urges the Government to ensure that all players in the telecommunications sector are equitably taxed in line with the canons of taxation that emphasise on equity. Your Committeefeels that this will help combat some of the worries being expressed by players in the sector.

Madam Speaker, your Committee welcomes the proposal to zero rate the tax deducted from interest earnings by an individual with a savings group as it will regularise and incentivise initiatives that support financial inclusion, such as village banking and co-operative societies. Your Committee is alive to the fact that village banking is now a critical source of capital for many entrepreneurs who cannot access the formal banking system, either because of qualifying criteria or cost.

Your Committee, however, stresses that it is important that the Government considers formalising this sub-sector by bringing it under the supervision of the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) for monitoring or registration purposes only, rather than full regulation. Your Committee is of the view that this will allow the village banking industry to access additional services such as fidelity insurance and indemnity.

Madam Speaker, let me end with a brief comment on the proposal relating to Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Tax Credit for persons with disabilities. Your Committee notes that the intended increase in the PAYE tax free threshold for employees to K57,600 per annum, as well as the proposed increase of Tax Credit for a person with disability to K7,200 per annum will raise disposable income. These measures are commendable as they will indeed help to mitigate the erosion of real disposable income of employees due to inflation. Your Committee also notes that this will contribute to stimulating consumer demand and improve livelihoods.

Your Committee, nonetheless, recommends that the Government considers a higher increase in the threshold, as incomes have broadly not kept pace with inflation.

Your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Madam Speaker, for granting it the opportunity to scrutinise the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, No. 26 of 2022 for the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly. Your Committee also wishes to thank the Office of the Clerk for the support rendered to it throughout its deliberations. It is also indebted to all the stakeholders who appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary briefs.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I wish to thank the chairperson of your Committee for supporting the amendments in the Income Tax Bill. I assure this House that our intention is to stimulate investment. Our intention is to give more money to our people. Our intention is to ensure that taxation, particularly in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector, generates the investment that is so desired, in short, connecting the unconnected.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 13th December, 2022.


The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati) on behalf of (The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane)): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to amend the Customs and Excise Act. The object of this is to amend the Customs and Excise Act so as to –

  1. revise the rates of customs and excise duty payable on certain goods;
  2. revise the list of goods to be subject to surtax at importation;
  3. provide for the use of electronic fiscal device in the administration of excise duty;
  4. reduce customs duty on electric motor vehicles and cycles and;
  5. provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker,the Planning and Budgeting Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill No. 27 of 2022, pursuant to its mandate as set out in Standing Order No 195 of the National Assembly of Zambia, Standing Orders, 2021.

Madam Speaker, from the outset, I wish to inform this august House that your Committee recognises the pronouncements in the 2023 National Budget Speech by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning whose theme was “Stimulating Economic Growth for Improved Livelihoods”. Your Committee notes that the Budget aims to address the many challenges faced by the country such as unsustainable debt, low growth, adverse impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and elevated fiscal deficits.

Madam Speaker, in scrutinising the Bill, your Committee interacted with witnesses from the private sector and public institutions. I wish to place on record that all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee supported the proposed amendments which are aimed at providing incentives to priority areas so as to stimulate growth, create jobs and ultimately improve the livelihoods of the people in line with the theme of the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Madam Speaker, I am confident that hon. Members have had occasion to peruse the report of your Committee. I will, therefore, only highlight very few salient issues.

Madam Speaker, while commending the Government for taking steps to amend the Customs and Excise Act, Chapter 322 of the Laws of Zambia, in order to revise the rates of the Customs and Excise Duty that are payable on certain goods, so as to stimulate investment, competitiveness and efficiency, your Committee notes that the Government proposes to extend the use of electronic fiscal devices to the management of Customs and Excise Duty. While commending the Government, your Committee observes with concern that fiscalisation of the economy is long overdue. In light of this, your Committee strongly urges the Government to expedite the process of resolving the bottlenecks impeding the full roll-out of electronic fiscal devices to enhance efficiency in the collection of the much-needed revenue.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observes that in line with the 8NDP to reduce non-communicable diseases, the Government has proposed to increase Excise Duty both on unmanufactured tobacco, tobacco refuse and on electric cigarettes and similar personal electric vaporising devices. Your Committee observes that the increase of Excise Duty to K361 from K355 is going to translate in less purchases of tobacco from farmers and thus reducing their disposable income. Additionally, the sharp increase in tobacco taxes risks the Government decreasing tobacco consumption which would in turn reduce revenue generated from taxation.

In light of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that the Government should consider reducing the tax rate on electronic cigarettes which are presumably less harmful as compared to the conventional ones. Furthermore, your Committee recommends that the Government should reconsider the increase of excise duty to K361 from K355, which will translate in less purchase and in turn, affect the local farmers who benefit from selling tobacco in most rural areas.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observes that the proposal to amend Sections 39 and 76 of the Principal Act to remove Custom Duty of 25 per cent on poultry drinkers and feeders and the removal of Custom Duty of 15 per cent on aluminium cylinders is progressive. Your Committee recommends that the Government considers extendingthe removal of Custom Duty on agricultural inputs for the poultry industry as well as lower the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) if the energy mix is to be realised at a reduced cost.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observes that the Government proposes to temporarily suspend Customs Duty on automated teller machines (ATMs) to spur financial inclusion. Your Committee further observes that ATMs are not effective tools for financial inclusion as they have been overtaken by innovations such as mobile money services. This is coupled with the fact that most Zambians are not banked and hence rely on mobile money service transactions. Your Committee recommends that the Government reconsiders the proposed amendment.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, I wish to place on record your Committee’s gratitude to all stakeholders for their oral and written submissions on the Bill. Further, your Committee thanks your office and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and services rendered to it during the consideration of the Bill.

Lastly, your Committee supports the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill,No.27 of 2022 which seeks to move the economy beyond recovery into sustainable growth by exploring human and natural resource endowments through the targeted incentives.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, again, I thank the Chairperson of yourCommittee for the unanimous support of the amendments that we have made on the Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill. In particular, I wish to assure the House that the Government will accelerate the issue of electronic fiscal devices as the benefits for this will be far reaching on the economy.

Madam Speaker, I wish to assure you that the automated teller machines (ATMs) that we are putting in are to enable provision of service as near to the people as possible. We also wish to indicate that there has been duty removed on electronic devices, including cell phones, to enable mobile money transfers.

Madam Speaker, with those few words, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to and theBill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Tuesday, 13th December, 2022.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2022

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before this house is principally seeking to amend the Value Added Tax Act so as to:

  1. revise the definition of commercial property;
  2. provide clarity on crediting of input tax;
  3. revise the penalty for tax evasion; and
  4. provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the house.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference as provided for in Standing Order 195(5), your Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, No. 28 of 2022.

Madam Speaker, allowme toplaceonrecordthat your Committee extensively scrutinised the Bill and also reviewed the submissions made by stakeholders on it. Following the detailed scrutiny, theCommittee is convinced that the provisions in the Bill will provide clarity to some critical provisions in the Value Added Tax Act, Chapter 331 of the Laws of Zambia as well as ease the administration of the tax. Your Committee is, therefore, in support of the proposed amendments in the Bill as they are intended to give effect to some of the pronouncements made in the 2023 Budget.

Madam Speaker, in supporting the Bill, allow me to point out some of your Committee’s observations and recommendations. Madam, your Committee welcomes the provision in Clause 4 which intends to align the penalty for tax evasion from Thirty Thousand Penalty Units in Section 44(1) to Three Hundred Thousand Penalty Units in section 44(2) of the Principal Act. While this harmonisation will eliminate the possibility to misclassify offences, your Committee is of the view that the punitive approach, although necessary, is insufficient to address the magnitude of tax evasion in Zambia. In addition to the punitive approach for the offence of tax evasion, your Committee stronglyrecommendsthat themeasureshouldbe complimented with the sensitisation of taxpayerstoencouragetax compliance.

Further, Madam Speaker, your Committee isoptimisticthat the proposeddefinition of “commercial property” in Clause 2 of the Bill will broaden the tax base as it intends to extend the application of standard Value Added Tax (VAT) rate of 16 per cent to the sale of land for commercial purposes. Your Committee, however, fearsthat if the measure is not accompaniedbyintensive enforcement measures, especially post the sale of land, the measure may pose some administrative challenges to enforce. This is in view of the possible risk that may arise from land being declared for non-commercial use at the point of purchase when, in fact, not. Therefore, your Committeestrongly recommendsthat the Zambia Revenue Authority should strengthen enforcement measures post the sale of land toconfirmthecorrectuseofthepurchased land. Further, the Bill should specify that the clause shall also be extended to the change of useof land from residential to commercial, post the sale of the land.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to place on record my appreciation to all the stakeholderswho appearedbefore your Committee for theirvaluable input. I also wish to thank you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during the consideration of the Bill.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, again, I thank your Committeefor extending support to the amendments that have been undertakenon the Bills that we are presenting today.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 8th December, 2022.


The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati) (on behalf ofthe Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to amend the Property Transfer Tax so as to:

(a)          reduce the property transfer rate on the transfer of a mining right for an exploration licence to five per cent from ten per cent;

(b)          provide clarity on a share in the mining sector to include an interest in a mining right and an interest in a mineral processing licence;

(c)          provide clarity on the realised value in respect of the computation of property transfer tax on an indirect transfer of shares as a proportion of the value of the company incorporated in the Republic;

(d)          exempt the surrender or forfeiture of shares from property transfer tax;

(e)          permit the use of the actual price received in determining the realised value for the disposal of foreclosed property by a financial service provider; and

(f)           provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill is straightforward and I commend it to the House.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Madam Speaker, the Planning and Budgeting Committee was tasked to scrutinise the Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2022, pursuant to its mandate as set out in Standing Order No. 195 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders 2021.

Madam Speaker, the Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill No. 29 of 2022 seeks to amend the Property Transfer Tax Act Chapter340 of the laws of Zambia so as to reduce the property transfer rate on the transfer of a mining right for an exploration licence to 5 per cent from 10 per cent. The Bill also seeks to provide for clarity on a share in the mining sector to include an interest in a mining right and an interest in a mineral processing licence among other things.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that all stakeholders who appeared before your Committee were in support of the Bill. In light of the foregoing, your Committee wishes to make the following observations and recommendations.

Madam Speaker, your Committee observes that the proposal to reduce the property transfer tax rate on the transfer of a mining right held by exploration companies to 5 per cent from 10 per cent is progressive. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the reduction of the Property Transfer Tax on mining exploration licences should only be applicable to the locals, whilst maintaining 10 per cent for foreign entities.

Madam Speaker, your Committee notes that with regard to transfer of shares which should not attract a charge, the Bill has limited relief to companies that have been part of the same group of companies for at least three years. Notwithstanding this amendment, your Committee recommends that the Government should consider extending the relief to newly incorporated entities that may have been created as part of the restructuring. Your Committee also observes that the Bill is silent on the procedure of transfer of the shares and the penalty units for abrogation of the share transfer procedure. In this regard, your Committee recommends that this should be clearly stipulated.

Madam Speaker, as I end, I wish on behalf of the Committee members to express our gratitude to you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee throughout its deliberations. Your Committee is further indebted to all the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary briefs.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee. I also take note of the observations made by the Committee and we will take into account what it has guided.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to the committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 8thDecember, 2022.


The Minister of Technology and Science (Mr Mutati) (on behalf ofthe Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the bill be now read a second time.

Madam Speaker, the Bill before this House is principally seeking to amend the Mines and Minerals Development Act so as to restructure the taxation of the mineral royalty of copper and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to the foregoing.

Madam Speaker, this Bill is straightforward, and I commend it to the House.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Mubika (Shangombo): Madam Speaker, the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters was tasked to scrutinise the Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill No. 31 of 2022, pursuant to its mandate as set out in Standing Order No. 198(j)of the National Assembly Standing Orders 2021.

Madam Speaker, I wish to indicate from the outset that some stakeholders who made submissions before your Committee were in support of the proposed amendment on account that it is in line with the Government’s policy to increase copper production to 3 million metric tonnes by 2030. At the same time, other stakeholders did not support the amendment for various reasons.

Madam Speaker, the following are some of the concerns raised by the stakeholders:

  1. while the proposed amendment is meant to eliminate distortions and raise the mining sector’s competitiveness and ultimately boost the mining output, there was a need for caution given the limited evidence on the effectiveness of tax concessions on boosting mining investment;
  2. the mining sector is impacted by various factors, which include global events and shocks over which Zambia has no control. Thus, providing a tax incentive by itself is not enough. Therefore, the Government needs to put in place other measures to ensure that the mining companies meet their side of the bargain by pledging ramping up investment with clear timelines;
  3. while the Bill proposed to delete and substitute Subsection 2 of Section 89 of the Mines and Minerals Development Act No.11 of2015,which provides for the mineral royalty tax payable, it does not provide for the taxation of other industrial minerals other than copper. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Bill should provide for the mineral royalty taxation of other industrial minerals: and
  4. there is a need for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to strengthen the mineral value chain monitoring mechanisms at all stages from extraction to exportation. Given the importance of copper production in Zambia’s economy, your Committee observes that the automation of controls will provide reliable reports and statistics in addition to having significant implications on revenue collection.

Madam Speaker, in view of the various concerns raised by stakeholders, the committee urges the government to continuously monitor the gains of the mining tax changes as compared to the revenue losses in order to generate research based evidence for the Zambian case. The government should also consider investing in green field mining and exploration, a move that has the potential to increase the production of copper once new mining copper mines are opened.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the committee expresses its gratitude to all the stake holders for their oral and written submissions on the bill. The committee further thanks the offices of the Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly Zambia for the guidance service and rendered to it during the consideration of the Bill.

I thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, thank you once again for the opportunity to make a few more comments on the mining sector and the proposal that has been made to change the law.


Madam, there is proposal that has been made to the Mines and Mineral’s Development Act of 2015 to effectively provide incentives. What I have leant over a couple of months I have been here, is that sometimes the way we debate does not provide the public with the right understanding because, sometimes, the terms are very technical. It is always important that as we debate, we try to simplify the terms for the benefit of the people out there. Effectively, what this proposal is saying is that we are going to give an incentive to those players who want to invest in the mining sector. I paid much attention to the Acting Chairperson of the Committee. I know he is running away from the observations of the witnesses who appeared.

Madam Speaker, the witnesses are basically saying that there is no evidence that if you give incentives to the sector, production will go up. That is what the witnesses are saying. I happened to have watched all the witness appear. There was no witness who said that if you give the mining sector these incentives, there will be so much money that will come into the sector. That is what has been read by the Acting Chairperson. The acting chair also said, I was paying particular attention, that there are global events where the Zambian Government has no control over. Essentially saying, even if you give them these incentives, something else might happen that will prevent the sector from producing so much copper. The Acting Chairperson also said that the mineral value chain monitoring mechanisms are not yet in place. We do not know, as the Zambian Government, whether they are producing enough copper, if there is enough copper going into the contractor or whether there is enough copper going into the smelter. Those mechanisms are not in place. If that is what the Acting Chairperson saying, my considered view is that we do not have any research that has proved that even if we moved in that direction, come 2023, and the copper production will exceed 1 million tonnes. We are producing just about 800,000 tonnes per annum. So, even we take the steps of what the committee is telling us is from the submissions by the witnesses, the copper production will not go up. There is no guarantee.

Madam Speaker, as I stand here, I know that for many years we have all complained. We were complaining and I think our colleagues are complaining that we are not maximising benefits from the sector. The Minister of Finance and National Planning came here during presentation of the budget speech and I clearly recall him saying that the tax measure to amend the Mines and Minerals Development Act will result in revenue loss of K2.8 billion. That is what the hon. Minister said here. During the submission by the witnesses that were called to the Committee, they also re-echoed what the hon. Minister said, here, that the Zambian Government was going to lose K2.8 billion.

Madam Speaker, what is K2.8 billion in dollars. It is US$160 million per annum. Meaning in the year 2023, we will not claim that income. In the year 2024, again we will not claim US$160 million.

Madam Speaker, I know that what I am saying here may not be taken on board because of the issue of numbers. However, let me ask why we should lose K2.8 billion when we can keep the mineral loyalty tax system the way it is. The proposal is that we need to use the incremental formula. That is what the act is saying. If we use the incremental formula as opposed to the formula we are using today, we are basically saying that we keep our K2.8 billion because we do know, even if we give them this incentive, whether they will produce more copper.

Madam Speaker, my considered view, as I comment on this matter, is that the committee did a very good job. I want to commend senior Member of Parliament, Hon. Mubika Mubika and his team for not hiding the facts. They have brought the facts to the House, and we saw the facts as they were presented. Even if we give them incentives, we are not going to get the productivity that we are predicting. So, me as a Member of Parliament from Kamfinsa, I am reluctant to support this amendment. I would rather we keep this provision in the law as it is, call the mining investors and ask them to show us the other incentives we have given are beneficial to us. We have been giving incentives. This is not the first incentive we are going to give them. So, I would rather we keep the law as it is.

Madam Speaker, once again, this has nothing to do with politics. It has everything to do with numbers. The incentive will not give us productivity. Let us keep our K2.8 billion. If we keep our K2.8 billion, we will have money to give Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA). It will have enough money as taxes to take into the other social sectors that require funding.

Madam Speaker, I do not support the proposed amendment. We are losing K2.8 billion and there is no evidence that even if we give them the incentive we are going to get the right productivity levels.

Mr Kalobo (Wusakile): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity given to comment on this Bill, which looks at the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Development Act.

Madam Speaker, I was one of the witnesses that appeared before the committee. I bemoaned the move or the change that they want to make from the aggregate one to the incremental one. The aggregate one was structured in such a way that when you have a boom period, it auto adjusted. As a country, we would benefit from the boom period. The incremental one will not make us benefit. It is like the Government is telling us that we are not supposed to benefit from the boom period. When the commodity price has gone up we are not supposed to benefit as a country that is what it means. Just as my hon. Colleague is said, we are losing out. We are at a time when copper prices have gone up. It is at a time now when the Government is giving tax breaks to the mining sector. This is a sector that gives us more than 70 per cent of forex. So it is not right and it is not a good business case for the Government. In Bemba they say,bapumaicelaelocikabile

 Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until1700 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, when business was suspended, I had just finished sharing the Bemba saying that “Icelabapumaelocikabile”, meaning you forge iron while it is still hot. This is the time when the commodity price of copper has gone up. This is the time, as a country, we are supposed to reposition ourselves and look at all possible means of benefiting from the boom period. Now, to the contrary, this is when we have seen the New Dawn Government trying to relieve the multi-national mining companies from paying a lot of taxes.

Mr Chaatila: Question!

Mr Kalobo: All public policies should be conditioned by past experience. They should be conditioned according to how beneficial they will be to the people of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, this is the time we are supposed to be looking at what went wrong from the time of privatisation. Where did we go wrong as a country for us not to benefit from our resources? For example, I will do my job as an Opposition hon. Member. I will provide checks and balances by pointing out grey areas in governance and propose possible policy alternatives.

Madam Speaker, we are supposed to be looking at the shareholding that we have in these mining companies. The standard practice the world over is that any shares below 30 per cent are supposed to be locally owned. We have lost control as a country and if you look at the shareholding of this country in our mining companies, it is all below 30 per cent. In Mopani Copper Mines, it was 10 per cent. Under NFC Africa Limited, it was 15 per cent. In the Lumwana and Kalumbila Mines, we had shareholding of 20 per cent each. In KCM, it was 20.6 per cent. All these are below 30 per cent. We should be looking at increasing the shareholding to a minimum of 30 per cent, so that we are not passengers on the boat.

Madam, the vice-chairperson of your Committee talked about the mineral value chain monitoring process or mechanism. Indeed, previously, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) was present inside the mining companies’ premises. This time around, we were told in the Committee that ZRA will strengthen border patrols. The mining multinationals are associated with false declarations. We had direct eyes when ZRA and the young people who were employed by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development to undertake monitoring of the mineral production process were placed right there in these mining companies. They still could not manage. Now, what will happen now? You remove your direct eyes in the mines and you go to the border. Are we not giving them more chances to again make false declarations?

Madam Speaker, therefore, what are the mechanisms in place to address these issues? The UPND Government’s policy is to increase production to 10,000 metric tonnes in the next nine years. Now, one year is gone and we have a 4.6 per cent decrease in production. We are supposed to have 10 per cent of the target as an increase. Where are we going? Where is the Government taking us?

Madam Speaker, this policy is not performing properly. If it was so pressing for the Government to give incentives to investors, the proposal from the good people of Wusakile is that maybe this should have been given to Lumwana and Kansanshi Mines because these are two mines that have really invested in copper mining. The other investors are doing something else. When they came, they were promising something else. So, we should give Lumwana and Kalumbila Mines incentives so that these other ones in wanting to benefit from the incentives, maybe they will be compelled to invest in copper mining.

Madam, I have also not seen any move to invest in the green-field mines so that we can increase production. The country of reference that was brought here was the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, we are doing better than the DRC. The DRC had fifty-five mines and has now opened another one called Kamoa Mine, which is the fifty-sixth one. Our friends in the DRC are producing just over 2 million metric tonnes. They are not even at 3 million metric tonnes as it was said. However, we are producing 800,000 metric tonnes with thirteen mines. If you calculate properly, we are doing better than the DRC.

Madam Speaker, those who advised that the DRC should be brought here as a country of reference are a failure. This was misplaced. They should have looked at a country that is doing better than us. We are giving away mineral royalty that is deductable.

Mr Chaatila: Question!

Mr Kalobo: If my memory serves me right, just last month, First Quantum Mining (FQM) was slapped with a 16 per cent mineral royalty tax in Panama and it was take it or leave it. The company agreed. What is wrong with us? What is wrong, New Dawn Government? Is that doing better than the PF?

Mr Chaatila: Question!

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


Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker –

Madam Speaker: Order!

There is a point of order. Hon. Member for Matero, what is the point of order?

Mr Sampa: Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order according to Standing Order 65. Is the hon. Member for Moomba, who is the chairperson of the Committee handling this Bill, in order to come on the left side and start heckling to influence the hon. Member who is ably propounding this Bill? Is he in order to be seated where he is not supposed to?

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Matero, that is the problem with joining the debate later.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Matero, the hon. Member for Moomba is not the chairperson for this Committee. The acting chairperson is the hon. Member for Shangombo. From my observation, you were seated nicely there and having a chat and then suddenly, you are now differing.


Madam Speaker: The hon. Member for Moomba was paying you a visit. So, he is not out of order. He is in order.

Hon. Member for Wusakile, please wind up debate.

Mr Kalobo: Madam Speaker, we need to increase means of collecting taxes so that the people of Wusakile and Zambia at large can benefit from the taxes and employment in the mining sector. The people of Wusakile do not support this Bill because it is meant to take away from the Zambian people. It is a bad business case for the Government. It is bad economics for the Government. So, the technocrats who are behind this should revert to the old law, the one on aggregates, because that one will auto adjust. When copper prices go up, it will adjust itself and make us benefit from the boom period.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: At the time that business was suspended, there were only two hon. Members who had indicated and because of the volume of work that we have before us, I will call on the acting hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to wind up debate on this Bill.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the report that has been rendered and, indeed, for supporting the measures that we have taken. I thank the two hon. Members who debated on this Motion. For the important issues that –


Madam Speaker: Order!

Let us have some order. If you are consulting,hon. Members, do it quietly.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, the decision that we have to make, as a country, is one. It is obvious that we have to increase tax revenue and, at the same time, grow the mining sector. The choice that we have as a country is either we maintain the status quo or change. Each of these has consequences. We have seen that the status quo has not delivered the desired revenue to the country. The examples are there. Once upon a time, we were producing much more copper than Chile. Today, Chile produces seven times more than Zambia.

Madam Speaker, secondly, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was producing one third of our production. It now produces almost three times more than we do. One of the drivers is what you call the investment environment, which is driven mainly by the configuration of your tax. The configuration, via tax, drives investment. When you look globally, we are still at the highest at 6.1 per cent. The next mining country is at 5 per cent. Therefore, we are an outlier.

Madam, when the announcement was made by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to revise the tax regime, we saw a warming up in the sector and heard major announcements made to place investment in this country; US$1.3 billion, equivalent to K20 billion. Now, we should debate between K20 billion and K3 billion, as a country.

Madam Speaker, I do agree with the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development that firstly, we need to secure stability and strengthen the platform for investment. Ichipute; we have to press it.

Hon. Government Member: Stability is already there!

Mr Mutati: So, the short term is going to be hard. We are doing this stabilisation because our economic fundamentals are all going in the right direction.

Mr Kapyanga: Which right direction?

Mr Mutati: The right direction.

Madam Speaker, inflation is single digit. That is a fact.


Mr Mutati: The exchange rate has improved and our reserves are going up, and those are facts. So, we are talking from a basisof fact, where we are supposed to be. The status quo told us that we would be producing 800 tonnes per annum. You can only get more by volume.

Mr Kapyangainterjected.

Mr Mutati: So, the volume that we want in ten years time is 3 million tonnes. So, we have to deal with the irritation that was stopping us from increasing production to get to the target of 3 million. One of the irritations was the tax regime. That is why the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning changed the tax.

Madam Speaker, there are also multiplier effects by investments in the mines. We have seen, for example, that because of stabilisation and the projection of 3 million tonnes, investors coming in numbers in the energy sector wanting to do the Batoka Gorge. It is a consequence of what they are seeing; production going up. That is the multiplier effect.

Madam Speaker, we have also seen that new towns are coming up in Kalumbila and Lumwana. These are multiplier effects that are created by stability and the clear path that we want to take in the mining sector. So, after one year, we may perceive that we are losing, but over ten years, we will not have enough buckets to collect the cash because it will be pouring in for the people of Zambia.


Mr Mutati: So, we are hoping that this pouring will happen for the longer-term benefit of the people of Zambia. That is why, as the New Dawn Government, we said that we were not going to be associated with the status quo because cranking and hoping that we will get a different output has failed. So, we said we are going to change the tax regime and the signs are clear. You can get 10 per cent on 800 tonnes or you can get 8.5 per cent on 3 million tonnes. From a revenue perspective, that is a better proposition. It is a better proposition because even other things that the mines would be consuming such as electricity and diesel would be assisting. Many things would ride on the mines, including the retail and agriculturalsectors.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: So, the ripple effect for the decision that you take now, will ensure that the entire economy begins to breathe again. It will move from suffocation to breathing oxygen. That is what we want in the mining sector, to provide oxygen. We have always been very sure and confident of the things that we do. That is why, today, His Excellency was in Mwami to open the border between Zambia and Malawi, a one-stop border post, to prepare the ground for future exports of copper through Mwami.


Mr Mutati: That is the ripple effect.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: We are simplifying border processes at Chirundu. That is preparing for the 3 million tonnes. We areopening up the road network with the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is also preparing for the 3 million tonnes. That is how nations move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Imagine the impact on the transport sector to move 3 million tonnes. The number of trucks that will be required to move that tonnage is enormous, both the ones that will be bringing in supplies and taking the copper way. We will not have enough Zambians to employ to ride all the trucks. This is what we are talking about.


Mr Mutati: So, we need to transform.

Mr Sampa: Praise and worship!

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

We are slowly drifting away and breaching our Standing Orders. You know the rules very well. You are not supposed to debate while seated. Please, hon. Members, let us make sure that we are compliant.

May the Acting hon. Minister continue.

Mr Mutati: Madam Speaker, Hon. Pavyuma said, “You strike when the iron is hot.” That is when you can bend it, is it not so? So, when the climate is right, the world is going for electric motor vehicles, you have to emphasise production because that is when the iron is hot. So, you cannot go to the status quo of 800 tonnes when there is a market for 3 million tonnes to provide for electric batteries. So, we are striking while the iron is hot.

We, as the New Dawn, want to deliver to Matero.

Mr Sampa: Where?

Mr Mutati: Matero.

Madam, we want to deliver tax revenue. Tax revenue can only be delivered when you are prudent like the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has been. He has dealt with the debt, and now we are clean. If you are prudent, it is possible. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning brought a Bill to ensure that we no longer borrow commercially, but on concessional basis. That is what is called cleaning the deck. In order to move, you first of all need to clean the deck, and the New Dawn Government’s DNA is cleaning the deck as the basis for growth for the future

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning brought a Bill to ensure that we no longer borrow commercially and that we borrow on concessional basis. That is what is called cleaning the debt. In order to move, you first of all need to clean the debt and the New Dawn Government’s DNA is cleaning the debt as a basis for the growth of the future.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. PF Memberscalled for a division.

Question thatThe Mines and Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill, 2022, be read a second time put and the house voted.

Ayes – (59)

Mr Amutike

Mr Anakoka

Mr E. Banda

Mr Chaatila

Mr Chikote

Mr J. Chibuye

Mr Chilundika

Mr Chinkuli

Mr Haimbe

Mr Hamwaata

Mr Hlazo

Mr Jamba

Mr Kabuswe

Mr Kakubo

Dr Kalila

Mr Kamboni

Mr Kamondo

Mr Kangombe

Mr Kolala

Mr Lihefu

Mr Lubozha

Eng. Mabenga

Mr Mabeta

Mr Mandandi

Mr Mapani

Mrs Masebo

Mr Matambo

Mr Mbangweta

Mr Mbao

Mr Michelo

Mr Miyutu

Mr Moyo

Mr Mtolo

Mr Mubika

Mr Mufalali

Mr Mukumbi

Mr Mulaliki

Mr Mulusa

Mr Munsanje

Mr Musumali

Mr Mutati

Mr Mutelo

Mr Mwene

Mr Ngowani

Mr Nkandu

Mr Nkulukusa

Ms Sabao

Mr Samakayi

Mr Sialubalo

Mr Sikazwe

Mr Simbao

Mr Simushi

Mr Simutowe

Mr Simuzingili

Mr Sing’ombe

Brig-Gen. Sitwala

Mr Syakalima

Ms Tambatamba

Mr Tayengwa

Noes – (27)

Mr A. I. A. Banda

Mr Chala

Mr Chanda

Mr Chewe

Mr Chibuye

Mr Chisopa

Mr E. Daka

Mr J. Daka

Mr Kabaso

Mr Kalobo

Mr Kang’ombe

Mr Kapyanga

Mr Kasandwe

Mr M. Lungu

Mr Mabumba

Mr B. Mpundu

Mr C. Mpundu

Mr Mtayachalo

Mr Mung’andu

Mr E. Musonda

Mr Mwale

Mr Mwambazi

Dr Mwanza

Mr Mwila

Mr P. Phiri

Mr M. Tembo

Mr M. Zulu





VOTE 89 – (Ministry of Agriculture - K11,325,109,654)

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Mtolo): Mr Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to present a budget policy statement in support of the Ministry of Agriculture’s estimates of revenue and expenditure in 2023.

Mr Chairperson, before I get to my statement, let me commiserate with the family of the late Tutwa Ngulube and, indeed, the colleagues with whom he shared a party with, the Patriotic Front (PF), and Zambia, as a whole.

Mr Chairperson, let mebegin the policy statement by presenting a brief overview of the performance of the crop purchase sector in the 2021/2022 Agricultural Season. The House may recall that the 2021/2022 Agricultural Seasonwas mainly characterised by below average rainfall and prolonged dry spells in most parts of thecountry. The late onset of the rains negatively affected crop production and theyields of various crops. The production of maize in the2021/2022 season declinedby twenty-five per cent to 2.7 million metric tonnes when compared to the total output of 3.6 metric tonnes of maize produced theprevious season. The production of cotton, cassava, sweet potatoes, rice, sorghum andmillet also declined. This was mostly on account of the reduction in the area planted and negative impacts of climate change.

Mr Chairperson, despite the reduction in the production of maize in the 2021 season, the country still managed to record a maize surplus of about 1.2 million metric tonnes. It was mainly due to the carryover stocks of around 1.5 million tonnes of maize.

Mr Chairperson, in the 2021/2022 season, the country managed to record positive results in the production of soya beans, wheat, groundnuts, sunflower, virginia tobacco and mixed beans. The increase in the production of oil seeds, wheat and tobacco was mainly as a result of the expansion of the area planted andthe favourable market conditions in the previous season.

Mr Chairperson with regards to the implementation of the ministry’s budget programme in 2022,let me update the House. In the2022/2023 Agricultural Season, a total of 1,024,434 farmers have been targeted to receive subsidised inputs. The ministry has contracted six suppliers to procure and distribute a total of 307,330metric tonnes of fertiliserin two equal instalments of Urea and D-compound respectively. Each of the beneficiaries on the programme will receive thefollowing inputs:

  1. six bags offertiliser;
  2. 1X10kg bag of maize seed; and
  3. 1X25kg bag of soya bean seed or 1x20kg of ground nut seed.

The House is hereby informed that the ministry is continuously monitoring the distribution of inputs all districts and all suppliers have been urged to finalise the distribution of inputs as quickly as possible.

Mr Chairperson, during the period underreview the ministry continued to develop irrigation infrastructure across the country. The construction of theMwomboshi Irrigation Scheme in the CentralProvince has now been completed and the ministry is currently in the process of preparing to handover the scheme to the intended beneficiaries. The construction of the Lusiti Irrigation Scheme in the Southern Province and the Musakashi Irrigation Scheme on the Copperbelt are almost complete and both schemes will be handed over to the intended beneficiaries in 2023.

Further, Mr Chairperson, seven dams have been earmarked for rehabilitation in the North-Western Province, the Copperbelt Province, Central Province, Luapula Province, Muchinga Province and the Northern Province. To date, theministry has managed to produce detailed designs to undertake remedial works to each dam. The rehabilitation of thedams will commence in 2023 and once completed, the dams will enhance water harvesting capacity andaccess to water resources for agricultural production.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has upgraded the existing ZESCO Limited supply line from the Kafue Sub-Station to ChanyanyaZambia National Service (ZNS), where the Chiansi Bulk Water Irrigation Project is located. A total of K15million has been spent on the upgrade of twenty-two kilometre water supply line andthe new capacity is now sufficient to power the irrigation project in Kafue. The ministry has also secured additional financing of US$10million from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to develop 600 hectares of the Chiansi Small Holder Irrigation Scheme in Kafue District. The funding from the AfDB will also facilitate small-holder access to user-friendly and affordable irrigation systems, establish storage facilities and build a youth centre for skills development.

Mr Chairperson, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) began its crop marketing programme in the first week of August 2022. As at 27th October, 2022, the agency was able to procure 290,681 metric tonnes of white maize, 103,223 metric tonnes of soya beans and 422 metric tonnes of paddy rice. The FRA has been granted authority to partially offload its stock in order to raise resources to settle arrears.

In terms of facilitating market access, Mr Chairperson, the plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Department, under the ministry, facilitated the country’s first ever export of avocado fruit to the EuropeanUnion (EU). The ministry has also negotiated market access agreements to export soya meal and stevia to China.

Mr Chairperson, a total of fifteen crop varieties have been developed by the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI) in 2022. The developed varieties are for the following crops:

  1. five are for rice;
  2. three are maize hybrids;
  3. two are beans varieties;
  4. two are cassava varieties;
  5. two are rain-fed wheat varieties; and
  6. one groundnut variety.

Mr Chairperson, the Seed Control and Certification Institute (SCCI) facilitated the export of 7,868.46 metric tonnes of seed to various countries in Eastern and Southern African. This was done through the seed certificate issued under theInternational Seed Testing Association (ISTA). Furthermore, a total of twenty climate smart varieties were approved for commercial release in the last sitting of the Variety Releasing Committee in September 2022.

Mr Chairperson,let me now present a summary of the Ministry of Agriculture’s budget priorities in the 2023 National Budget. The Ministry of Agriculture has been allocated a total of K11,325,109,654 in 2023. The 2023 Budget has been allocated to the following programmes:

  1. the Agriculture Development and Productivity Programme has been allocated K10.5 billion;
  2. the National Food Reserve Management Programme has been given K686.2 million;
  3. the Management and Support Services Programme has received K526.7 million;
  4. the Agriculture Standards and Regulation Programme has been allocated a total of K28.5 million; and
  5. theAgribusiness Development and Marketing Programme has been given a budget allocation of K12.07 million.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s main budget priorities in 2023 include the following:

In the 2023/2024 agriculture season, the ministry will undertake critical reforms to the implementation of Farmer Input Support Programme. The revised subsidy will;

  1. ensure beneficiary targeting;
  2. reduce malpractices;
  3. increase the variety of inputs available to farmers;

This is a very important statement because we are to continue checking on who is going to receive our inputs.

  1. promote efficiency in the supply and distribution inputs; and
  2. ensure the timely distribution of inputs.

Mr Chairperson, a budget of K9.1 billion has been allocated to the implementation of the Revised Subsidy Programme in the next farming season.  The FRA will procure grain and maintain a minimum of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize in the2023 Crop Marketing Season. This will ensure that the country has at least three months of maizeto cover national consumption in case of any emergencies. The ministry has allocated K600 million to the procurement of strategic food reserves in the 2033 Crop Marketing Season.

Mr Chairperson, under the Farm Block Development Programme, the ministry has secured financing from the World Bank and other cooperating partners to commence the construction of key infrastructure in priority areas of the following farm blocks: Nansanga, Shikabeta, Luena, Chikumbilo, Kalumwange and Luswishi.

Mr Chairperson, the infrastructure to be developed in farming blocks will include:

  1. feeder roads and bridges,
  2. dams and other irrigation facilities,
  3. electricity power lines, and
  4. social infrastructures such as schools.

The new approach to developing farming blocks will stimulate private sector investment and ensure optimal utilisation of cashew land in designated farming blocks.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has prioritised measures to improve effectiveness and the capacity of existing extension services. Therefore, in 2023, funds have been allocated to the rehabilitation of camp houses, procurement of motor bikes and extension kits, procurement of handheld tablets to facilitate e-Extension services and recruitment of 500 extension officers.

Mr Chairperson, under the irrigation development, the ministry will continue to upgrade temporary wears across the country. We will also commence the construction of 600 ha small holder irrigation schemes in Chiansi. In in next year’s budget, priority has been given to the rehabilitation of the existing dams and the temporary weirs.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s other priories include:

  1. crop research and development;
  2. promotion of climate smart agriculture;
  3. market access and trade facilitation; and
  4. the inspection of satisfaction of seed.

Mr Chairperson, I want to take this opportunity emphasise and echo the ministry’s commitment towards the transformation of the agricultural sector in line with the national priorities and key development as outlined in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament to fully support the estimates of revenue and expenditure for the Ministry of Agriculture in 2023.

Mr Chairperson, I cannot do better than thank you for this opportunity.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: That was very quick, hon. Minister.

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Chairperson, I thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for the policy statement. However, let me quickly make some comments on Vote 89. We do commend the ministry for the increase towards the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) from 2022, which was K5,701,404,933 to K9,119,154,149.

Mr Chairperson, this is a very welcome move by the Government. However, let me make mention that the implementation of the FISP is usually a disaster. Why do I say so? If you look at how FISP is implemented, you will see that it is like we are not always sure that the farming season is coming. From time immemorial, and even as we speak and deliberate some of these issues to do with FISP, there is direct bidding by the ministry and collusion. There are all those issues of over-pricing and not adhering to market pricing index which is given by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).

Mr Chairperson, even as we increase the FISP allocation, we still have a challenge. We need to change, we need to have a paradigm shift on how we look at Government processes and as Zambians, ensure that our country progress and moves forward. Even as these funds have been increased, there is so much we need to do in the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure that our farmers access FISP on time. In addition, we should ensure that implementation is done in an accountable manner.

Mr Chairperson, let me move to Agriculture Crop Production – Advisory Services and Technical Services. There is a movement from K70,669,635 to K446,389,593 in the 2023 Budget. Agriculture is the mainstay and brings food security to the country. It also supports our subsistence farmers to ensure that they adhere to new farming methods such as conservation farming and all that. So, it is important that even as these funds are given to some of these ministries, – I will still come back to issues of accountability, – because yes, they are funded, but the programmes do not corelate or adhere to our farmers or our people benefitting from some of these programmes under the Ministry of Agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, I will cite an example of the cashew nuts project in the Western Province, which was done in ten districts. These projects gobbled a lot of funds. I think this money was borrowed from the African Development Bank (AfDB). As we speak, this is still a white elephant because there is nothing which has actually come out of there. All these programmes under some of these districts are still maybe, being constructed, like the processing plans. Yes, the seedlings have gotten to the out growers, but we need to have timelines. If money is injected into some of these projects, we need to see the results. However, since time immemorial, funds are pushed in this very important sector, yet the end results are not achieved. The totals are not achieved. The other issue is we need to curb thelaissez-faire attitude of business as usual. These are good programmes but implementation is very bad, as I speak.

Mr Chairperson, let me also comment on the issue of dams, which the hon. Minister talked about. The construction of Momboshi/Musakashi Dam is also another disaster. Some of these programmes were commenced in 2016. The intention is good; it is for the Zambians, in particular, our farmers and for all these farming blocks to access water to ensure that they produce for the Zambian people. However, you will find poor contract management because you give a contractor who is not conversant with dam construction. The contractor is given an advance payment, but he cannot mobilise within a few months. What happens then is that the contract is terminated but the contractor has been paid in advance. What happens then is that the ministry tries now to redeem itself by going to cash in the performance bond provided, but it cannot be honoured.

Mr Chairperson, these are some of the issues we need to improve and ensure that we give people who are conversant and people with a track record, not our friends. We are depriving the Zambian people the much-needed facilities such as water to ensure that our farmers are able to produce.

Mr Chairperson, let me move to another aspect of agriculture research. I know time is running out and I thank the hon. Minister for the policy statement. However, we also need to look at some of these costs. Every year, the Government is spending over US$106 to procure seed. Why can we not channel some of these funds into research? Why can we not revamp Mount MakuluResearch Station and other research centres where the Government can produce seed to ensure that we cut costs because these costs are always there.

Mr Chairperson, I thought of commenting on one or two issues. I have many pages, but time cannot allow. With that said, I do support this Vote. We should give more money to the agriculture sector but we also need to ensure that there is accountability to foster good governance and also service delivery to the people.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving the people of Bweengwa time to debate Vote 89–Ministry of Agriculture. Let me, first of all, thank the hon. Minister for giving the policy statement on agriculture. We know quite well that agriculture is very important in this country and that the majority of citizens depend on agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister talked about the issue of extension officers and that he willrecruit 500. If there is a challenge that farmers are facing, it is the lack of sufficient numbers of extension officers in the country. On this one, let me commend the hon. Minister for the good job he is going to do. We only hope that he will actualise that programme at the beginning of next year.

Mr Chairperson, on the issue of climate change, the hon. Minister mentioned the rehabilitation of dams. This issue is very important. In Bweengwa Constituency, there are about eleven dams. Out of those, only one does not require rehabilitation.The others require maximum rehabilitation. We cannot depend entirely on rain fed crops. Let us ensure that we put up big dams so that our small-scale farmers can venture into irrigation. Once they venture into irrigation,they are going to produce throughout the year.

Mr Chairperson, on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), I know we are facing a little bit of a challenge in the country. Fertiliser has delayed to reach farmers, but we know quite alright that fertiliser is being delivered to different parts of the country and farmers have already started receiving their inputs. Letme thank the hon. Minister that in Monze, we have received almost 90 per cent of the fertiliser. However, there were very big challenges which farmers faced, especially,on the issue of depositing for one to collect one’s fertiliser and on the issue of authority to collect. The system was a little bit cumbersome, but I thank the hon. Minister that he corrected that mess. Right now, farmers are very happy that the system is going on properly and that they are now able to get their fertiliser on time.

Mr Chairperson, the situation on the ground over the issue of fertiliser is not good. There is still a big number of ghost farmers. The hon. Minister has a huge challenge on that issue and has to work extra hard to make sure thatthesystem is cleaned up. Right now, many farmers are failing to get their fertiliser because the system is not very good.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, I received information from Katete where children, less than fifteen and sixteen years old, are on the FISP. These are the people getting fertiliser;children with National Registration Cards (NRCs). They are under the age of sixteen, but have NRCs and are being given fertiliser. The hon. Minister has a huge task to make sure that the FISP system is cleaned up. I request that come next year, by February, thehon. Minister should start cleaning up the system.

Hon. Government Members: Now!

Mr Michelo: You want it cleaned now?

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Michelo: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister must start cleaning up the system right now because farmers are suffering a lot. One farmer can enable about twenty ghost farmers to benefit, and then the real farmers end up sharing fertiliser. However, we know quite alright that sharing fertiliser is not government policy. I am also happy that the number of FISP beneficiaries has increased.

Mr Chairperson, we should also make sure that extension officers are retrained so that they are able to go and train farmers. The majority of the extension officers we have right now cannot manage to train farmers. When you go into the field, you find that farmers are the ones telling extension officers what to do.So, it is important that we move at the same pace with the world. We should be at the same level with our neighbouring countries and other continents.

Sir, we should also try to invest in mechanisation so that we improve productivity. Once we do that, we are going to have food the entire country.Right now, the majority of farmers are still depending on hoes to cultivate. That is not very effective. We cannot grow the agricultural sector if we continue using hoes. We cannotmanage to drive it to another level.

Mr Chairperson, let me comment on the issue of research, which is also very important for this country. The ministry should put a lot of money into research. If we cannot research or invest in research, we cannot manage to move with other countries that are doing very well such as South Africa and Kenya. So, let us invest a lot into research. The majority of our small-scale farmers know nothing about agriculture.Theyjust consider the traditional way of farming. So, let us treat agriculture as a business. It is very important.

Mr Chairperson, going forward, on FISP next year, I am requesting the hon. Minister to start distributing fertiliser early. It should be in the hands of farmers by August and September. That is so that we can, again, give hope to our farmers in the country.

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

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, may I bring to your attention that Mr Kasandwe,who is the Acting Patriotic Front (PF) Whip, has given me a list of people to debate. So, those hon. PF Members who Imay not be able to pick should know that there is a list by their Whip, which has been availed to me.So, I will follow it.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I appreciate the statement that the hon. Minister gave on agriculture, starting from the 2022 Budget.

Sir, maybe, the starting point would be that what we intend to do with the agricultural sector is to transform it into one that is sustainable and diversified. I think one of the expected outcomes, even from this statement, is enhanced income generation and food and nutrition security for our people. Among the strategiesthe hon. Minister has lined up is enhancing extension services, research development, irrigation development, mechani…


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Fube: …sation of farming and trade facilities, ...


Mr Fube: Anyway, Africans get bothered with small things.

Mr B. Mpundu: Mechanisation!

Mr Fube: Market access –

Mr B. Mpundu:Bwekeshapo!

Mr Fube: Young man, I know better English than you.

Mr Chairperson, among the strategiesthe hon. Minister has lined up isthe enhancement of extension services, research development, irrigation development, mechanisation, market access and strengthening of early warning systems.

Sir, I want to draw your attention to the fact that this sector has taken aboard threeclusters which areeconomic transformation, human and social development and environmental sustainability.

Mr Chairperson, I want to focus on environmental sustainability. I want to talk about seed standard and regulation management. Looking at that, you find that we tend to venture in that area by using a research based approach. When I talk about research-based approach, I am talking about–

Mr B. Mpunduinterjected.

Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, am I protected from this charlatan? He is disturbing my debate.


Mr Chairperson, when I am talking about research,I have in mind brand quarantine andphytosanitary arrangements.


Mr Fube: I actually meant to make him laugh (referring toMr B. Mpundu). Kailiboys laugh.

Young man, (referring to Mr B. Mpundu)what I mean by phytosanitaryis making sure thatseeds brought in Zambia are checked and all that. So, I do not talk about what I do not know.

Mr Chairperson, I am focusing on plant quarantine and phytosanitarybecause –

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Fube: I think the hon. Minister of Agriculture understands what I am talking about. So, I do not care about anyone who is saying,hear, hear. You do not even read.

Mr Chairperson, what I mean is that we need to venture into that. In the outskirts, especially in rural areas, grains are recycled and many other factors are considered, and there are seeds from other countries that are brought into our country. So, that particular area needs a lot of research and this alsobrings me to the structure of the Budget,especially from 2022 to 2023.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to focus on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which is now called the Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP). Last year, when the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was presenting the Budget,he boastedthat unlike the Patriotic Front (PF) Government which was providing 1,700 as subsidise,they are providing 3,600 andhe emphasised that the number of bags and the number of farmers who were going to be reached was going to increase. Alas, we have a situation in which such has not happened.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to go against what was preached in this House earlier. At one time, we were talking about the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) and the FISP, the two systems that were engaged to rescue the farmers. Farmers in certain areas would receive inputs through FISP because of climate change. If you have followed my debate, I mentioned environmental sustainability. When we look at that particular area, we know that maize cannot be produced in certain areas. Therefore, CASP which has now taken a lot of weight towards extension services, is supposed to project food security in such a manner that we are safe. For us to be safe, the rice produced in Mongu and the cassava produced in Kasama should feed the Zambians.

Mr Chairperson, when you look at such a scenario, we need to take advantage of comparative advantage. For instance, there is an average of 1,000 mm of rainfall per annum in the Northern Province so we can shift the farming activities that side. However, we talk of spreading the FISP thinly. In any case, we talk about FISP or CASP, especially involving extension services, and I have in mind agricultural technology, which is also extended to the term phytosanitary,which my young man from Nkana did not understand.


Mr Fube: Mr Chairperson, I am simply talking about the engineering of seeds, meaning we need to talk about a competence-based approach to agriculture. If rice or cashew nuts can growin Mongu, why not pump in more money in that? In most shops, the price of cashew nuts is sky rocketing, but we can grow cashew nuts in Mongu. Why not pump money in specifically growing cashew nuts in Mongu because we are talking about a competence-based approach?

Mr Chairperson, in the interest of time, the people of Chilubi would like to register their disappointed on the reduction of the component of agriculture business development and marketing from K67.7 million last year to K12 million this year, and there are many grey areas on that particular issue. When the hon. Minister rises to wind up debate, he should respond to the questions that the people of Chilubi have.

Mr Chairperson, time being jealous and since the young man was disturbing me, I rest my case.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing the voice of Nalolo to contribute to Vote 89 – Ministry of Agriculture.

Mr Chairperson, I support the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and I know that it has the political will at the highest level, knowing that the President himself is a farmer.

Mr Chairperson, it is gratifying to note that there is an improvement to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) because it has existed since 2006. To date, it has existed for over ten years and no farmer has graduated. In short, for over ten years, FISP has been a waste of resources because the farmers have remained at grade A. So, it is important to note that the improvement of FISP, of adding extension services, has occurred under the hon. Minister’s stewardship, which is very commendable.

Mr Chairperson, in 2003, African Heads of State gathered in Maputo, Mozambique, and agreed that 10 per cent should the barest minimum to be allocated to agriculture for the impact to trickle down to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the ministry’s budget falls below this and it is 6.7 per cent. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning must relook this and comply to the Maputo declaration which Zambia signed to comply.

Mr Chairperson, one legacy issue that the hon. Minister has inherited in the ministry is the high cost of production in terms of farming because everything in the Ministry of Agriculture is procured without competitive bidding; single sourced. That is why the ministry inherited contracts for the supply of fertiliser to a tune of US$130 million which was procured without any advertisement. The hon. Minister needs to deal with this legacy issue because the cost of production and farming in Zambia is too high. How do you know the price is competitive, if you just get the pricing from the supplier? So, this needs to improve as well as the procurement of seeds. There was no advertisement, but suppliers were picked. We do not know what formula was used and that was the same thing with pesticides.

Mr Chairperson, I encourage the ministry to improve its disease surveillance system because pesticides in the Ministry of Agriculture are always procured like it is an emergency, like in the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU). K40 million wealth of pesticides that were procured last year were also single sourced. So, the country can save a lot of money if these legacy issues are addressed.

Mr Chairperson, when it comes to fertiliser, I would like to report that the fertiliser distributed in the whole country is not one suit fits all. In the Western Province, the people of Nalolo want climate smart fertiliser, which adapts to the sandy conditions. People in some areas are selling fertiliser because it damages the soil. Therefore, the fertiliser should not be one shoe fits all. Looking at the Western Province, it is very important that the fertiliser is biodegradable. It should really be suited for the standard.

Hon. Minister, you may wish to know that production of rice in the Western Province is bigger than maize.Therefore, the narrative of agriculture being maize does not suit for us. We would like the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to be buying rice in Nalolo. That is why even the reduction in the allocation to marketing is very worrying. As the hon. Minister may look back to the first administration, the United Nation Independence Party (UNIP) administration, when I read about National Agricultural Marketing Board (NAMBOARD), we could see that our agricultural system, then, which allowed the Government to step in and help market agricultural products for farmers, was very helpful. Therefore, hon. Minister, it will be important for you to relook at coming up with something similar to NAMBOARD. Perhaps it could be in partnership with the private sector knowing that the economy currently is running on a free market enterprise. However, marketing our products is very important. We have so many products that need to be exported that meet the sanitary conditions that are needed in other countries.

For example, Mr Chairperson, when we look at the value chain development in the country, our agricultural system does not have value chains. You go to the Southern Province, there is no single processing plant for milk but it has a huge production of milk. We did researchmany years ago, whose report is sitting on the shelves at your ministry, which indicates that if we import milk from Kenya today, it will be cheaper than Zambian milk. The reason is simple because in Kenya the agricultural system, which contributes forty percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has a development of value chains. If dairy farmers have milk collection centres at one point, where they have refrigeration centres and processing centres,instead of sending milk from Choma or Kalomo to come to Lusaka to Parmalat, and the processing is happening within the area to reduce the cost of production, that way, we cut down on refrigeration and storage costs.

Mr Michelo: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Wamunyima: That is the kind of investment that I feel the agricultural sector should attract. With the competence of the hon.  Minister, I am very sure that he can attract such kind of investment.

Mr Chairperson –

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, a point of order is raised.

Mr Michelo: Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me an opportunity to rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order No.65,provides for content of debate. Is the hon. Member, Mr Imanga, Member of Parliament for Nalolo, who is debating, in order to debate the dairy sector under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock instead of debating the Ministry of Agriculture? Please, kindly help.


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member is out of order.


The Deputy Chairperson: I think, let us also avoid points of order because of time.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Wamunyima: Mr Chairperson there is what we call in business development studies, linkage of key thematic areas. Therefore, agricultural marketing sits with the Ministry of Agriculture. Any agriculture product that needs to be marketed, irrespective of any ministry it falls under.For example, if we talk of climate smart fertilizer, the key driver will be the Ministry of Green Economy andEnvironment but the implementing ministry should be the Ministry of Agriculture. I do sympathise with the hon. Member who raised that point of order because these are detailed issues.


Mr Wamunyima: Mr Chairperson, let me conclude that I support the budget and commend the hon. Minister of Agriculture for bearing the pressure with the issue of fertiliser delivery because some of us know that the issue has nothing to do with the hon. Minister. It had everything to do with two contracts of fertiliser delivery which were not honoured by some suppliers. It is a legacy issue which we urge the hon. Minister to resolve.

I support this budget.

Mr Chala(Chipili): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate on the Vote on agriculture. Let me first state that I support the expenditure. While supporting it, let me make comments on two issues;the cancellation of tenders and civil servants.

Mr Chairperson, let me now debate on the cancellation of tenders. As we are appropriating the budget, this is December. I do not see the reason the Hon. Minister should start tender procurement in October because the budget for this year was approved last year. Unless the hon. Minister can tell this august House that the money which we had appropriated was not released by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning,then we will understand because the hon. Minister already knows the process and what it takes to conclude the procurement process.This way, he can give time to those who are supposed to deliver the commodity. Suppliers need time. We do not manufacture the commodity, fertiliser, here in Zambia. You had to cancel the tender by October, where the hon. Minister issued a statement that there was a technical error. What kind of a technical error was that?


Mr Chala: You need to be factual. We do not wantwhat you were trying to do here to happen next year as we appropriatefunds for your ministry. What you did was to cancel tenders so that you create an artificial crisis …

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Chala: … in lead time because that is a defensive mechanism that you were going to use when asked why you cancelled the tender. Why did you use the shortcuts? You used selected tender. We have heard of some cases where you had to single source. You even know that some of the issues we are taking about are in the courtsof law. Some people have been summoned. The good part is that the hon. Ministeris not going to be there when these people will be called; the Directors and Permanent Secretaries (PSs). These are the people who sign the documents. You do not sign anywhere.


Mr Chala: So, that time, these directors will be in for it. They must be ready to answer why they cancelled tenders at the last minute to create the artificial crisis so that they can put in their favourite people.

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order Mr Chairperson.


Mr Chala: Yes, that is what people are thinking but in the next –

The Deputy Chairperson: There is a point of order.

Hon. Members, let us desist from misleading the public. As you debate, whatever you say, you should be able to know what you are saying. Not whatever comes in our mind then we are able – I think, in thisHouse we should desist from saying such things because whatever you say sticks in people’s minds. It can be misleading and damaging to peoples’ careers. So, whatever you say, you should know what you are saying. To accuse someone that they wanted to put their friends is not good coming from a hon. Member of Parliament. You should always be factual…

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

The Deputy Chairperson: …in whatever you are saying. If we asked you, hon. Member, to substantiate that, you will not be able to say. Those are just things that are flying around in your mind. So, let us avoid doing that.

You can continue with your debate.

Mr Chala: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your guidance.

Mr Anakoka: Withdraw.

Mr Chala:No, you are not the Chairperson to command me to withdraw. I have already been guided.

Mr Chairperson, what I was trying to say is that we do not want this confusion. The process must start from January upto probably, April. Tender procedure must be completed, so that you give time to those who are supposed to supply these commodities. That is the point I was trying to make,and not to use selected tender. It is provided for in the law. However, people out there will not understand that there is this provision which allows the Government to single source and do the selected tender, but people might think otherwise. That is what I am trying to explain. Going forward, we do not want to see this thing happening.

Mr Chairperson, let me also talk about the civil servants, those who are in the ministry. I have been hearing a lot from our colleagues and that civil servants are failing to perform because they are failing to align with what the United Party for National Development (UPND) wants to achieve. So, I was wondering where the problem could be, having been a civil servant before, myself. When you look at appointments, such as those of the Permanent Secretary (PS) and the director of procurement, you will see that these two may not be conversant with what goes on in the ministry. As a result, junior officers will fail to execute because they will be waiting for instructions from those people whohave been appointed to those offices. Therefore, what you are going to say is that they have failed to perform.

Mr Chairperson, going forward, as we appropriate this money,the hon. Minister should probably take the people he appoints for refresher courses so that they are in tandem with what you want to achieve. These people who have been appointed in various positionsmay come fromoutside government or they may have been working in private companies or running their own businesses. So, it is very difficult to correlate with the system and those who are already in the system.

Mr Chairperson, this coming year, we want to see the situation get back to normal so that our people can receive fertiliser in good time.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The Chief Government Whip has given me a list. So, I will follow it.

Mr Simushi (Sikongo) Mr Chairperson, thank you so much for the opportunity to add a voice to the debate on Vote 89. From the outset, I want to say that the people of Sikongoare in support of Vote 89. I want to mention that agriculture is very critical to the development of this nation. It is very important because it adds food to our table.


The Deputy Chairperson:Order!

Hon.Member for Matero, if you have something to discuss, it is better you do it outside. The hon.Member is on the Floor.

Mr Simushi: Mr Chairperson, thank you so much. I was saying that agriculture is very import to the development of this country. Therefore, it must be taken very seriously. Past regimes have paid what I would call lip service to this sector. The NewDawn Administration is clearly demonstrating that this sector is being taken with the seriousness that it deserves. This sector is now in safe hands under the New Dawn Administration. This has been demonstrated by the increased allocations to this sector. From K7,333,328,903 in 2022 to K11,325,109,654 in the 2023 Budget. There are anumber of policy pronouncements that have been made to this effect. We can talk about Comprehensive Agriculture Support Programme (CASP), which is now going to take over from the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). So, CASP in itself is an indication that the Government wants to take a different direction from what we have seen in the past. CASP, where this money is going to be appropriated, is one that is going to look at not only maize, but it will also give an opportunity to our farmers to diversify and grow other crops. So, I think this is a very important departure from the FISP that, of course, has been with us for a long time.

Mr Chairperson, I want to talk about the aspect of farming blocks. I think this is another important area which this Government is emphasising on. We have seen alot of money being pumped into the farming blocks. I hope the Government is going to create a conducive environment, necessary for the private sector to come on board.We should be able to see new jobs being created through the private sector involvement.

Mr Chairperson, we cannot talk about agriculture in this time and era without talking about the effects of climate change. We need to make sure that agriculture is now looked at with the lens of climate change. Our farmers have been highly impacted by climate change. Therefore, technocrats should be able to help us by making sure that issues to do with research, which are going to be responsive to climate change are taken into consideration. I am happy to note that the New Dawn Administration has now increased funding to the research component which has been over looked in the past. I think we cannot talk about enhancing agriculture without emphasising on research, especially, in view of climate change that we are faced with today.

Mr Chairperson, as a country, we are blessed in the sense that 40 per cent of the waters inthe Southern African region are in Zambia. However, we have not really managed to take this potential to a point where agriculture becomes or remains a mainstay of our socio-economic development. I hope and pray that the New Dawn Administration, which has so far demonstrated that it is able to solve or address problems which previous administrations failed to do, will also takeadvantage of this endowment;the water and thearable land. The Government must make sure thathard working people see positive results coming out of the agricultural sector.

Mr Chairperson, the allocation to FISP has been increased from K5,372,670,459 to K9,119,154,149, which is very important and impressive. Like it has been mentioned by previous speakers, we really need to address this aspect of agriculture that we have had for a long time. My appeal to the hon. Minister and his staff is that, they need to make sure that it is not business as usual when it comes to the new program that is coming on board, the CASP. Let us address all the critical issues and make sure that our agricultural sector contributes to national development. Let us see agriculture contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from the 6.7 per cent average that we are grappling with now to double that figure, at 12 per cent.

Sir, I would like to mention that the extension service is very critical because without extension support to small-scale farmers, it is difficult for them to see meaningful benefits from agriculture. I think I am also happy to mention that the Government has given significant resources to extension services from K70.7 million to K446.4 million. I think this is commendable.

Mr Chairperson,I have also seen that weare going to have 500 new agricultural extension workers. We are also going to see support towards transport and other important services that are needed for us to have sustainable extension services to farmers. I think this is as it should be.

Mr Chairperson, it is important that as we address this important sector, even our extension workers stand up to the challenge.We have extension workers that are merely getting free money.When it comes to advisory services, they do not really add value in that direction. Some of them have overstayed in the camps where they are located while others have even become headmen in those camps to the extent thatpeople have even stopped going to them to get extension services.

So, I think it is important that under the New Dawn Administration, our civil servants make sure that they change their attitude towards work and delivery of extension services. Our farmers need a lot of support from them. I think it is very important thatthis message is delivered to our extension officers. We cannot develop the agricultural sector without their support.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to debate on this very important Vote. As I support the appropriation of K11.3 billion, I straight away thank the hon. Minister and hope that this time around, with this allocation, he is going to find it easier to handle the issues that have affected his ministry this farming season.

Mr Chairperson, on the K11.3 billion that has been allocated to the ministry, I want to zero in on the K9.1 billion that has been allocated to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2023/2024 Farming Season. Of course, I also just want to go through the ministry’s strategy which talks about improved agriculturalproduction and productivity. It also talks about input supply and management.

I know that the hon. Minister has had a very heavy load this season, and I do not want to push him too much into the corner. We can only hope that with this allocation, we will see a steady improvement in the FISP allocation in the 2023/2024 Farming Season.

Sir, as I alwayssay, Roan Constituency is predominantly a mining constituency, and people have been hit below the belt several times by closures of mines which result in loss of job opportunities. The people of Roan have learnt how to go to farm.Today, as I speak, I want to be honest with the hon. Minister that it is a bad state of affairs.

In my constituency, including Luanshya Central Constituency, as we talk, no single bag of D Compound fertiliser has been received in the district, and only 32 per cent of Urea has been received. So, we hope and pray that in the next farming season, the hon. Minister will do better than this. We know he may be having some teething problems, but we pray for his success. We are not going to pray for his failure.

Mr Chairperson, as we talk about farming, one of the pillars of the last national development plan, the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP), talked about diversification of the economy. Majorly, we were talking about diversifying the economy from the mining sector into agriculture. I heard the hon. Minister speak about the introduction of a number of farm crops in the ministry, but I did not hear him mention something that is very peculiar that can be a replacement of maize.

Sir, if the hon. Minister of Agriculture asked the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, he would tell him that kwesukwilamba we eat ubungabwamasaka, that is sorghum. If the hon. Minister asked my brother from the Central Province, he would tell him that we eat ubungabwamale, and I am glad that at the National Assembly Motel, we are served nshima made from millet. This crop is drought resistant. I want the hon. Minister to look at that and introduce such crops into the ministry. The hon. Minister talked about groundnuts and other seeds that the ministry is giving to farmers. We want him to look into the introduction of such crops.They can be a plus for the ministry.


Mr Chairperson, as regards the 1.24 million farmers that are enlisted on FISP, I want to reiterate what other hon. Members have said.We need to clean up the system. I am one person who wants to urge the hon. Minister to do that because I know. I observed what was happening when I served as a District Commissioner (DC).

The hon. Minister needs to do a lot of work to clean up the system and ensure that only the right people get FISP packages. As we speak, many grey areas surround the same FISP. The hon. Minister said he was going to replace and add. He needs to ensure that as he takes out some, the right people should are added. We do not want others to complain whilethe same people get the inputs.

Mr Chairperson, I am also elated to hear the hon. Minister talk about the construction of dams.At one time, I heard the Republican President talk about the construction of dams. This is a welcome move. We need to harvest water. Water is paramount. With the adverse effects of climate change, we need to harvest water.

Water can only be harvested in some of the dams that are being constructed. We can only pray that the hon. Minister engages into top gearfor the construction of more dams for us to harvest enough water. I can encourage the hon. Minister, having gone through the budget, that that is the same water that can be used for the mechanisation and irrigation that he talked about. We are not going to depend on rain fed crops all the time. So, I encourage the hon. Minister to look at constructing more dams across the country.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister would agree with me that had we not stopped farming blocks, we would have been somewhere. Remember, during the First Republic, the late, His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda, started forming farming blocks. I remember the Kafubu Farming Block and the Kafulafuta Farming Block. These were farming blocks that were well intended, but because we stopped, we drew ourselves backwards. So, I just want to encourage the hon. Minister to go flat out and ensure that farming blocks are reintroduced.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, it is elating to note that in his budget, under remunerations, the hon. Minister has indicated an increase in the figure, which means that the 500 extension workers that are going to be employed shall also play a very important role in closing up the gap that has been there.

Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, I just want to remind the hon. Minister that the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture is to facilitate sustainable development and a diversified agricultural sector, and to ensure that income generation and food security are maintained.

Sir, I stand to support the hon. Minister’s budget and pray that next year, he will do better with FISP. I can sit down now.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Chanda will debate next, followed by Mr Samakayi, and the Hon. Minister will wind up debate.

Mr Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, the people of Kanchibiya wish to place on record their clarion call to the ministry and our dear hon. Minister to seriously consider reforming the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in word and deed so that it caters for more than 3 million small holder farmers as opposed to only targeting the current 1 million small holder farmers. Secondly, the people of Kanchibiya would like to again pass a clear message to the hon. Minister that their position is that the Government should consider seriously recapitalising the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ).

Mr Chairperson, in reforming FISP and its service, it is clear seeing from the current Budget or the estimates that we are looking at, that priorities are skewed towards inefficient subsidises year in and year out. Over the last twenty years, FISP, like the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), has continued absorbing the bulk of the agricultural budget. The reforms ought to speak to this situation, if we are to register the sort of impact that we need in repositioning Zambia in attaining its status as the food basket of the region, and in becoming a net exporter of agricultural products in line with the National Trade Policy.It is my submission that the Government should consider viewing the agricultural sector as a value chain. In most instances, policies have been on primary production and this needs to change.

Mr Chairperson, I will not belabour the issue of farming blocks; I know that my hon. Colleagues have touched on it. However, allow me to say that farming blocks are critical in fostering agricultural processing as well as boosting, end to end, the productivity of the sector. The over 1 million hectares countrywide of farming blocks can create thousands of jobs that Zambia needs to create, in line with the Vision 2030 and the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), and many other national policies.

Mr Chairperson, it is my submission that the Government considers to seriously establish a well-managed professional standalone, agro, small and medium scale enterprise fund. One of the challenges that a small holder farmer in Kanchibiya Constituency faces is accessing finance and capital, and once this fund is established, it will become easy. As we come up with interventions at the constituency level, like we are doing with the rice sector in Kanchibiya, it will be an opportunity for the Government to provide a window to scale-up thee interventions.

Mr Chairperson, my submission is that the Government considers harnessing synergiesbetween the crop and the livestock value chains, which is very important. Once there is a disjoint between the crop and the livestock value chains, then we miss it as a country.

Mr Chairperson, it is also important, and our position is that Zambia becomes one of the leaders in the exportation and production of value-added maize products. We do not support the idea of ploughing and investing millions and billions of our resources in the production of maize for the purposes of it. What I am submitting is that the Government must consider and place value on agro processing but also on value added maize products, which include maize syrup, maize starch, maize gluten, maize fibre and maize grime. We need to move away from exporting maize as it is, because we know that we are exporting jobs and that also continues to deprive the small holder farmers the opportunity to grow and become medium to commercial farmers.

Mr Chairperson, when we look at the ten leading maize producers in Africa, Zambia does not even come close, and in order for us to get there, we need to expand the scope. Let us come up with a transformed or reformed programme that will move away from just catering and providing for 1 million small holder farmers to capturing over 3 million small holder farmers. What this will do is that it will see us push our production of maize in this instance, higher. Africa’s top ten largest maize producers are South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Angola, Ghana and Uganda. If we are to breakeven or be among the top five or three or in the top ten league, it is important that we change the way we do business; it cannot be business as usual.

Mr Chairperson, a special message from the small holder farmers in Kanchibiya is that they know that His Excellency the President is engaged in the agriculture sector and they expect more from the ministry, to transform and reposition this sector because with a transformed agriculture sector, rural areas can produce millionaires and people who can produce value added products, and also contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Mr Chairperson, with those few remarks, I support the budget but with those recommendations from the people of Kanchibiya.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Samakayi (Mwinilunga): Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, I commiserate with the family of the late Hon. Tutwa Ngulube, who was a colleague and a friend. I also congratulate His Excellency the President for winning the award of Africa Political Leader of the Year 2022.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: Mr Chairperson, I followed the hon. Minister’s policy statement and the people of Mwinilunga are happy with the investment proposed in the budget, in the area of dams, construction of houses for staff, procurement of kits for operations, research and development, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) reforms, irrigation, farming blocks and staff recruitment. They are also happy that the budget has actually improved, and there is an improvement of 50 per cent, heading towards what Hon. Imanga talked about of attaining 10 per cent allocation to the agriculture sector from the Budget, and we are getting there.

Mr Chairperson, in view of the Government’s effort to try to reform the system and make savings in the procurement process of fertiliser, there was a delay, but I must emphasise that it is not entirely negative. Zambia has earned a saving to the extent of US$150 million. That is the money that has been saved by changing the suppliers of fertiliser.

Mr Chairperson, let me say that the change of system must be done properly. When we are bringing in a new system, it must first of all, be tested by way of piloting so that we can get feedback …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: …on the efficacy of the new system. I think we fell short on that because what has happened is that we rolled out the system on the distribution of fertilisers and we are receiving feedback. To perfect the system, it causes a problem, hence the delays. Thank God that all the delays have happened within one month.  I think the planting period is up to 15th December. All the delays and the distribution process has happened within one month. I think the planting period that has been available to many people is about twenty days. I think they will be able to plant.

Mr Chairperson, we also had a problem in giving people fertilisers. The question waswhich people should be given fertiliser;the old or the new ones. Our campaign, as UPND, was that we wouldnot give fertiliser to those who have been getting fertilisers for a long time. Their time has come to an end. We need to start with the new ones. People are not going to get fertilisers in perpetuity, no.

Mr Mabeta: Hear, hear!

Mr Samakayi: There has to be an end so that every Zambian should benefit from this subsidy. So, hon. Minister, I think, you have to take note that next year we have to start with new people because that is the promise we made to the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, let me also ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture to realign the distribution of fertilisers with the payment to farmers who sell their maize to the Government so that at the time the fertiliser is being distributed, farmers also have money to buy fertilisers for their crop. I think, the irresponsibility on the part of many farmers is from the fact that they sell their maize, get the money and spend it, and then one or two months later when the fertiliser is brought, farmers do not have moneybecause they have already spent the money and they have a problem of buying fertiliser. So, the people of Mwinilunga are advising the Government to align thepayment of farmers with the distribution period of fertiliser so that farmers have the money to buy fertiliser. That is the message from the great people of Mwinilunga, where Kasenseli is housed and we end there.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, I think, overall, let me thank all the hon. Members who have debated.

Mr Chairperson, you notice that all the debates were actually very positive meaning that, as a ministry, we are receiving overwhelming support and we are grateful for that. Generally, we will be seeing a different type of approach in the agricultural system. We are going to ensure that there is diversification, we continue with water harvesting and issues of irrigation, and we manage that mechanisation, extension and research continues.

Mr Chairperson, we are not only talking about these things, but, I think, we are seeing them happen. It has started happening not only through our ministry but also through other ministries like Commerce, Trade and Industry, where we are seeing things coming back that people wanted like the Mwinilunga pineapple arrangement. We are having another plant in Katete and another one in Lusaka. All these things are practically going to happen.

Mr Chairperson, having said that, let me indicate that our system is private sector driven. We should be part and parcel of most of the things that we are pushing to the Government. The able hon. Members of Parliament of the Republic of Zambia should take this and investin the agricultural sector. That would be a very passionate plea.

Mr Chairperson, now, let me go to the specific items that were raised. I will try to be brief. Hon. Mwambazi, I think being Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), was very particular about issues of accountability, meeting targets and issues of the costly nature of the seed we are buying. We took note and we will make sure that we try to abide by the guidance given.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Michelo, being Chairperson of the Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Natural Resources, had very specific matters to raise. We take note hon. Member on theneed for water harvesting. I know that Hon. Michelo is from the Southern Province which is suffering from very serious effects of climate change. So, drought andissues of water harvesting are very important in that region.

Mr Tayali: Hurry up!


Mr Mtolo: Hon. Tayali, you have just come.


Mr Mtolo: He is telling me to hurry up. I will try to hasten up.Hon. Fube has gone but I think he talked about science and research and he was particular about the plant quarantine and phytosanitary services of the country.

Mr Fube: I am here.

Mr Mtolo: So, Hon. Fube, we will take care of your input. The issue of seed control in which you talked about cross border issues of the seed movement.A very important aspect he talked about us was of us respecting comparative advantage of production in different areas which was later echoed by another hon. Member of Parliament. Grow the right things in the right regions. Take the right things to the right regions. Do not take fertiliser to the Western Province because you are just destroying the fertiliser. I was told this afternoon that it is all going to Namibia.

Mr Kangombe: Question!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson,Hon. Wamunyima, hon. Member for Nalolo, talked so much about extension services. Him being a member of PAC, I think, was particular about our figures. We will take care of that and the issues of the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security. He did talk a lot about extension services and we will take note of that. I think, my officers seated there have taken note of the need for making sure that we diversify and add value in our outlook for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).


Mr Chairperson, Mr Paul Chala, my good friend from Chipili, no offence in what you said. I accept so much that we will take care of the procurement systems. No one would want to get himself into trouble, either as a hon. Minister, a permanent secretaryor a director, because you do not sign any document. It is our role to make sure that we work together with the officers and enhance the procurement systems.


Mr Chairperson, I am happy to let you know that Hon. Samakayi did indicate that as much as you thought that there would have been some funny businesses, we actually ended up saving almost US$143 million. He rounded it up to US$150million. If we wanted wrong businesses, we should not have saved so much money from the programme. So, come to my office, hon. Member, so that I enlighten you a little more so that you do not talk from the galaxy but from figures.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, I appreciate Hon. Simushi, the Member of Parliament for Sikongo.I appreciate hisconcerns on the farming blocks.He was very particular about farming block and the need for extension, and we are grateful.

Mr Chairperson, Hon.George Chibuye from Roan is always very constructive. Crop diversification was his intent. He talked about cleaning up the FISP recipients. I did indicate in my statement that we are going to make sure we clean up. No matter how much people talk ill about the ministry, we are going to make sure that we clean the system and give fertiliser to the right people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo:Sir, that we are going to do.We thank the other collaborating ministries like the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, the Ministry of Technology and Science, the Ministry ofDefence and Youth, Sport and Arts. We will makesure we work together. So,this is a continuous warning to those who have been misapplying the FISP arrangement. We do not give up. We are not going to get tired at all. We are coming for you and you will be locked up one by one until we clean the system.

The hon. Member for Kanchibiya, Sunday Chanda’s discussion was very productive. He said we should reform FISP, capitalise the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and that we shouldcheck on our procuring processes. Yes, that is okay and he also did indicate that we should have synergies between the different ministries. In particular, that what we do in crop should synchronise well with what my colleagues in the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock is doing. I appreciate that guidance by the hon. Member. What I like about the hon.Member for Kanchibiya is that whilst he asks the Government to do something in his area, it is not Government, him doing that particular thing. As Government, we only support what he is doing. We have sent other institutions like the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)and theWorld Food Programme (WFP) to support him. So, we are grateful and we will continue supporting him.

Mr Chairperson, finally, I thank Hon. Samakayi for the beautiful discussion. I thank him for realising that there was a saving. We will continue to reform this sector and I assure him that the delays which the country experienced will not occur again. We can only learn from the mistakes that we made.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 788, Annex 1: Outputs by Geographic Location, Farm Inputs Accessed by Farmers, Number of Farmers Accessing Farming Inputs, 1,024,434. The number of farmers accessing inputs has remained constant in the past two years. Last year 1,024,434 and next year, the number of beneficiaries or rather vulnerable but viable small-scale farmers is constant. Is it a deliberate policy or what is the impact of our FISP if the number of beneficiaries is going to be constant even next year?

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, indeed, the hon.Member is very right. The figure for the farmers we are going to deal with next year is 1,024,434. I know where this is coming from. There has been a complaint just like hon. Member for Kanchibiyamentioned that instead of just looking at a figure like this, maybe we can increase it. Now, I want to indicate that these figures are devolved really from the amount of money that is allocated in the budget. However, where we can make a bit of saving here and there, I think we would easily come with a ministerial statement to up the figures, if there could be some servings we can make elsewhere, within the budget figure because the budget figure cannot change. So, I do appreciate what the hon.Member is saying. As at now, this is the guidance on which we have worked our figures.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 772, on Programme 2141 – Agriculture Development and Productivity – Sub-Programme7001 – Farmer Input Support – K9,119,154,149. There is an increase from K5.3 million to K9.1 million, and I have read the note that it is in anticipation of the price increase in fertiliser. So, I want to hear it from the hon. Minister: Are we not going to increase the number of beneficiaries in 2023?

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 2141 – Agriculture Development and Productivity – Sub-Programme7001 – Farmer Input Support – K9,119,154,149, when you get to the bottom of the question the hon. Member has asked, it is exactly the same as the hon. Engineer’ question.

Sir, we can only put a figure on the budget for fertiliser by looking at the current prices and what happened. In the event that there was a saving, it could very easily translate into an increased number, which we have here. That is exactly what I said. If we can make a saving elsewhere within the budget figure, we can increase the figure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mabeta (Kankoyo): Sir, I think my question has been answered already.


Mr Fube (Chilubi): Shut up iwe.

Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 771. In the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), we are talking about the diversification of the economy. So, I want to take the hon. Minister’s attention to Programme 2142 – Agribusiness Development and Marketing – K12,079,112. The people of Chilubi would like to understand why there is a sharp reduction from K67 million to K12 million, especially that our intention is to grow agriculture as a business.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, Programme 2142 – Agribusiness Development and Marketing – K12,079,112. The figure on Agribusiness Development and Marketing has, indeed, dropped from K67,661,779 to K12,079,112, but if he looks at the figures on other areas, especially Productivity and Management Support Services, we have increased the figure. Instead of just looking at development and marketing, we want to look more at extension. So, we have gone for extension, and put more computers and houses. That is where we have shifted the funds other than just market development.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 89 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 80 – (Ministry of Education – K 20,297,311,396)

The Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me this opportunity to deliver to this august House the policy statement for Vote 80 – Ministry of Education in support of the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 2023.

Sir, let me go straight to outline the brief review of achievements made in 2022.

Sir, the 2022 budgetary allocation to my ministry was K14.17 billion out of which K10 billion was for personal emoluments while K4.17 billion was for non-personal emoluments, with the following achievements:

Early Childhood Education (ECE)

Achievements made under this programme in 2022:

  1. abolishment of all user and Parent Teachers Association (PTA) fees at ECE level;
  2. establishment of 400 ECE centres and ten modern early childhood development models countrywide;
  3. continued the home-grown school feeding programme from ECE to primary school and 1.9 million learners are currently benefiting;
  4.  concluded and signed the Zambia Enhancing Early Learning (ZEEL) project, amounting to US$39.01 million:–

Mr Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1913hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 8th December, 2022.