Thursday, 9th March, 2023

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   Thursday, 9th March, 2023

The House met at 1430 hours







Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the House will recall that on Thursday, 2nd March, 2023, the hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker directed the hon. Minister of Health to render a ministerial statement on the outbreak of typhoid in some parts of Petauke Central Parliamentary Constituency. The directive followed a matter of urgent public importance that was raised by Mr Jay. E. Banda, Member of Parliament for Petauke Central Parliamentary Constituency.

The ministerial statement was scheduled for today, Thursday, 9th March, 2023. However, the statement will be issued in the course of next week.

I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, the House will recall that debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Special Address commenced on 28th February, 2023. In accordance with Standing Order 20 of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, the debate lasts for ten sitting days. Therefore, the last day for debating the Motion is Thursday, 16th March, 2023.

In this regard, and by practice, the last three days are reserved for the Executive to debate and respond to the issues raised by the Backbenchers. This means that starting from Tuesday, 14th March, 2023, priority will be given to hon. Ministers to debate the Motion before its conclusion on Thursday, 16th March, 2023.

I thank you.



Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I think we were guided on Tuesday, last week. So, can we follow the guidance that was given on Tuesday, through the Second Deputy Speaker’s announcement.


Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr J. E. Banda. Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me, on behalf of the good people of Petauke Central, this opportunity to raise a matter of urgent public importance. This matter is directed at the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

Madam Speaker, the matter is about homosexuality or LGBV –


Mr J. E. Banda: It is about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights, to be specific.

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the good people of Petauke Central, I am asking the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to clarify this issue. They saw what happened recently and are concerned because Zambia is a Christian nation. As leaders, we need to protect the Christian values and our culture.

Madam Speaker, there are some people who were arrested for practicing this vice, but were charged with giving false information to a public officer and unlawful assembly or procession. According to Sections 155 and 157 of the Penal Code, Cap. 87 of the laws of Zambia, the practice of homosexuality is a crime that is punishable.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, these sections criminalise same sex relationships between consenting adults. In addition, Zambia is a Christian nation and the Government does not champion homosexuality; the President was very clear about this recently. However, those who were arrested were not charged with this crime. They were only charged with giving false information to a public officer.

Madam Speaker, the good people of Petauke Central now want to know why this was the case because those flags that were lifted made it very clear that those people were practicing homosexuality. Therefore, the good people of Petauke Central were expecting to see Sections 155 and 157 of the Penal Code enforced.

Madam Speaker, I seek your guidance on this matter.


Mr Munir Zulu (Lumezi): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr Munir Zulu: Thank you, very kind Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the people of Lumezi, I address their matter of urgent public importance to the hon. Minister of Agriculture.

Madam Speaker, there has been an erratic supply of fertiliser for the last two farming seasons. The hon. Minister of Agriculture has advertised for the procurement of fertiliser, but has deliberately not advertised the supply of D-compound, which is supposed to be 120,000 metric tonnes.

Madam Speaker, this matter is so important because of two things. Firstly, it is rumoured – in fact, not rumoured. It is going to happen that 120,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser is reserved to be given to United Capital Fertiliser Limited. The Government is going to single-source United Capital Fertiliser Limited. This is a company that has only been on the market for less than two years. It is a company for which, when debated in here, some hon. Members are even summoned. That is how much influence it has on the Ministry of Agriculture.

Madam Speaker, if this matter is not addressed, why D-Compound fertiliser is not being advertised, our people in Lumezi are, again, going to suffer the delays of receiving farming inputs. This United Capital Fertiliser Limited will soon be selling its shares to the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, we seek your serious indulgence on this matter because it should not be a habit that fertiliser be delivered late in Lumezi on account of single-sourcing United Capital Fertiliser Limited.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, I rise in accordance with Standing Order 134 and bring an issue that is affecting our smallholder farmers in Kanchibiya, in particular, cassava farmers, who have lost large tracts of cassava fields due to the Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD).

Madam Speaker, during the 2023 Earthna Summit in Doha, the Government of the Republic of Zambia made presentations on traditional farming practices, and on how smallholder farmers could be mobilised for increased food production and food security.

Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance would ordinarily be directed at the hon. Minister of Agriculture, but I know that he was not in Doha. Therefore, I seek to direct it at the Leader of Government Business in the House so that the farmers in Kanchibiya are briefed on the resolutions of the 2023 Earthna Summit; how they could avert the looming hunger as well as how interventions are being mobilised or put together to ensure there is increased food production and food security for our people.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, my matter of urgent public importance is directed at the hon. Minister of Education and is to do with the disturbance that occurred on Tuesday, at the University of Zambia (UNZA). There is fear because the hon. Minister of Education has not updated Parliament and the nation about this incident. There was a near-protest and near-punch up at UNZA, Great East Road Campus. Students were demonstrating and threatening the peace and life of the people of Zambia who use the Great East Road for their day-to-day activities. We have to bear in mind that UNZA, Great East Road Campus, is also near a business centre called the East Park Mall.

Therefore, Madam Speaker, I seek your guidance on why the hon. Minister of Education has kept quiet as though nothing happened. He has not updated this august House and the people of Zambia, especially the people of Lusaka and the parents whose children are students at UNZA.

Mr Speaker, I seek your guidance on this matter.


Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr Kapyanga: Madam Speaker, I rise on a matter of urgent public importance pursuant to Standing Order 134 directed at the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation.

Madam Speaker, in my constituency, there is the Chikwanda community which has a population of more than 7,000 people. This community is having a very serious water shortage. Currently, people are drawing water from a nearby contaminated stream because there is no provision of clean water.

Madam Speaker, this community is where the new water project is, but the people are not supplied with water. Instead, the water pipes just pass through this community up to the Boma without having connections for the people to access the water.

Madam Speaker, I, therefore, seek your guidance on the matter.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: We will start with the matter that was raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rights.

Hon. Member for Petauke Central, this issue was discussed last week when the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security made a ministerial statement over the same. I just want to let you know that the House does not repeat itself. Therefore, your matter of urgent public importance is not admissible.

We move on to the matter of urgent public importance that was raised by the hon. Member for Lumezi, who talked about the erratic supply of fertiliser in the last two farming seasons. He went on to say that the hon. Minister had not advertised the purchase of D Compound fertiliser and that the Government was going to single-source from the United Capital Fertiliser Limited. He further said that his people in Lumezi needed the fertiliser on time.

Hon. Member, this matter is not admissible because you clearly referred to the last two seasons, and the situation has just been the same. Therefore, what you can do, hon. Member, is to raise a question, specifically, to the hon. Minister of Agriculture so that he can attend to all your queries.

At the moment, you have raised the issue of the fertiliser that was going to be single-sourced from the United Capital Fertiliser Limited. I do not know whether that is true. So, it is better that you find out because the matter is very important, but it does not qualify under Standing Order 134. That matter has been ongoing. So, you can raise a question so that the hon. Minister can come back to you with an explanation and even verify whether the Government is going to single-source fertiliser from United Capital Fertiliser Limited.

The hon. Member for Kanchibiya talked about the small-scale farmers who produce cassava in his constituency and that, actually, during the summit in Doha, which just ended, there was a presentation on small-scale farmers. Again, hon. Member, this is not an urgent matter. These matters are brought when there is a catastrophe. Are we expecting death, a disaster or something like that? So, you can bring up this matter in a question form.

The hon. Member for Pambashe talked about the disturbance by the students from the University of Zambia (UNZA) threatening the peace of the people using the Great East Road and that there has not been any update from the hon. Minister of Education. Again, from the announcement that was made, this is not a widespread or national issue. However, I do not know whether the hon. Minister of Education can say something over the same.

The Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. From the outset, I want to say that no peace was threatened.

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I will explain to them. Many of them want to be doing politics in a university; we will not allow that. I banned politics in our school systems and no one will do that. As long as I am Minister of Education, I will not allow that.

First of all, Madam Speaker, you recall that the disturbance was brought here at Parliament and many hon. Members of Parliament talked variously to the students. I was told that the students had matched to Parliament when I was still at the office, and when I came here, I found out what the problem was. However, when the students were matching from their university through East Park Mall to here, they were calm and collected. They never smashed anything. They were very ruly unlike previously when they would be disturbed by the police and would become unruly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: That is exactly what happened. When I reached here, I found my colleagues, Hon. Nkombo and Hon. Mposha, explaining to the students. The issue at hand is water and sanitation in the university; a legacy problem.

Madam Speaker, let me inform the House that even before the students decided to demonstrate, I had called the university management to inquire about sanitation and water at the university, and that was way before they demonstrated. I told the students that even before they demonstrated, I was on top of things.

Legacies do not finish over time. When you damage a country in ten years, do not think that somebody will repair it in one day. The sanitation and water situation at the university is worsening because the construction of the hostels, which was supposed to ease the problem of accommodation, stalled for ten years. Even today, we were discussing this issue and are in the process of redoing the contracts in order for the contractors to finish the hostels so that many children get out of that unsanitary condition. Normal human beings do not keep children in such a state for a long time.

Madam Speaker, one thing which the hon. Minister of Water Development and Sanitation and I did was to sink another borehole.

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

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Mr Syakalima: You said you wanted me to tell you.


Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, before we did that –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Hon. Members, we started on a good note. Let us take this statement as a ministerial statement because the hon. Minister will respond to supplementary questions after issuing it. That is what our Standing Orders say. So, there will be a time, hon. Members, when you will be asked to ask supplementary questions. I believe anyone disputing what the hon. Minister is saying can ask a question so that he responds.

Hon. Minister, instead of me allowing the Leader of the Opposition to raise a point of order, please, just concentrate on the issue at hand without bringing in other words.

Mr Mundubile: Let him withdraw what he said. He has to withdraw what he said.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

By other words, I mean words that are provocative or that bring tension in the House. I know the hon. Minister is capable of avoiding doing that.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Hon. UPND Members: Hammer!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, the word ‘legacy’ is permissible. We can say these things. You must have a thick skin in order to understand these things.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Let us not debate while seated. Our Standing Orders say as follows:

“A member shall not interrupt another member …”

In this case, the hon. Minister is issuing a ministerial statement. Let us not interrupt him. We want to hear the information the hon. Minister has for the whole nation, regarding the matter that was raised.


The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Syakalima: I am sure the Speaker has directed.

Madam Speaker, when I arrived here, my colleagues were still explaining to the students, and I later gave a brief of what the ministry had already done, and they agreed to go back to campus. We agreed to have a cordial discussion. Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Mposha and I went to the university and we had a discussion. First of all, the students talked about why they demonstrated. I explained to them that even before they decided to do that, I had already started doing something about the water situation at the university, and Hon. Mposha also explained to them that that is why we sunk another borehole. So, the borehole was sunk, but there is not enough to cater for the entire university. We are willing to sink another borehole until we satisfy the students.

Madam Speaker, I also directed management at the university to find ways to rehabilitate the damaged sanitary infrastructure or sewer pipes inside the hostels. So, we had a cordial discussion. We spent about – how long my brother?

Mr Nkombo: Three hours.

Mr Syakalima: We spent about three hours engaging one another and the students understood where we were coming from. They even said they were happy because there was now a difference as hon. Ministers were able to engage them. They also said they had never seen that kind of behaviour from hon. Ministers.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: So, that is what we did, and I directed the resident engineer to put money aside for accommodation. The Loans and Scholarships Board gives the university money for accommodation, but where was it going over the years? So, there is a change of tactic in the way of addressing issues at the university.

Madam Speaker, the students at the Ridgeway Campus were also at the meeting and I told them that I was a lecturer at the Ridgeway Campus for twenty years. The building I left at Ridgeway Campus which would accommodate sixty students, including the dissection room, are dilapidated. Last year, I engaged the Japanese Ambassador and asked him if we could go and check on the dissection room.

Madam Speaker, over enrolment, over time, at Ridgeway Campus was unprecedented. It could not match the infrastructure. So, even on that day, I went to see the Japanese Ambassador over the same issue, only to hear that at 1400 hours, the students were here. So, I explained to them all those things, which they adequately understood. With my colleagues here, we left in harmony, but we also told the students that unlike previously, when they would be hauling stones, they marched peacefully. The police escorted them here and back to the university. Even when we were addressing them, the police were free and the students were peaceful.

Mr Nkandu: Unlike in the past.

Mr Syakalima: There was no throwing of teargas anyhow. No.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I hope I have adequately answered.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will allow supplementary questions.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, the cordial situation was where students were singing, “Ba Mposha, iyaya! mulibaboyo, iyaya! Finshi mukwete.” That was very cordial.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member.

We are interested in the question.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I am interpreting. It means that the hon. Member for Munali, Mr Mposha, you are …

Hon. PF Members: Useless!

Mr Chitotela: … you are not useful.


Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I did not want to use that term. Over one borehole, it took three hours of discussion.

Madam Speaker, as a former Vice-Chairperson for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Council, in charge of the private sector part when the East Park Mall was being extended, I know that the car park, on the Eastern part, interfered with the water system at the University of Zambia. Graduare Property Development Limited was directed to sink two extra boreholes at the University of Zambia to replace the loss of water. It is shocking to hear the hon. Minister say that he has sank a borehole. That borehole was done by Graduare Property Development Limited, the owners of East Park Mall.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

What is the question, hon. Member?

Mr Chitotela: Does the hon. Minister think a ‘cordial relationship’ with the students could take the three hon. Ministers three hours negotiating the water situation? Does he call that cordial?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, you see, when you are not a dictator – When we went there, we were not negotiating with anybody. It was a cordial discussion with them. There was nobody who showed acrimony, the students or us. I do understand when he says that when we arrived, the students sang that song. I know where it came from.

Mr Nkombo: How does he know the song?

Mr Syakalima: How does he know the song?


Mr Syakalima: So, let me give a reminder to my colleagues. I do a lot of research and I knew what was obtaining. The reason the students could not go ahead when I got to the scene after my colleagues – I asked them that how was it that, coincidentally, I met management two days before. Was it meant to pre-empt me to say that they were already doing this or not? So, I think, my colleague from Pambashe is mistaken because the borehole I am talking about is a different one from the one he is telling us about.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Syakalima: It is a recent part of it. The President asked us to sink one. The sinking of that borehole came through the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation and not what the hon. Member is saying today. It is different. So, that one, is a recent one. The one that the hon. Member is talking about came before this one. Even if we sank another one, water is still not enough. So, hon. Member for Pambashe, apologise for misleading the –


Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, he has adequately misled the House, …

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Syakalima: … the country and himself. Fortunately enough, I have corrected him. He is even –


Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I think, I have adequately answered my colleague. He is a reverend. So, he knows –


Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement that we are referring to as a ministerial statement is supposed to be policy, in nature. To me, it appears like the hon. Minister here, from his tone and demonstration, is being reactive and not proactive. I am looking at communication channels between the hon. Minister’s office, management at the University of Zambia and the students’ management. The hon. Minister did indicate to the House that he was on top of things wanting to sort out the problems which are at the university. According to him, he knew about all the challenges.

Could the hon. Minister tell the nation that he had meetings in the past with the students, before they could even rise and protest, to assure them that their problems would be attended to?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for which constituency?

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, let me say to the hon. Member for Chitambo that I have had no previous meetings with the students. I have had meetings with the UNZA management. He said I was reactive, no. To the contrary, I was proactive because the channels are that if council is there, I go through the council. Management goes through the council, and council comes to me. It is only that when there are so many exigencies, you have to be above everybody. This is why I had to go and see the students, as simple as that. So, my brother, I was very proactive.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister, firstly, for the re-introduced students’ meal allowances.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: I am thankful, again, that the students were not unruly, like before. The hon. Minister mentioned the hostels and the borehole yet to be sunk. When are we expecting the second borehole? May the hon. Minister also make mention of the hostels as…

Hon. PF Members: One question!

Mr Mutelo: … well, for they are long overdue.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, yes, indeed, we re-introduced the meal allowance which was scrapped off a long time ago. We are yet to give the UNZA students their meal allowances. The only thing that causing the delay is that the other students were writing supplementary examinations. So, we cannot give meal allowances now. When the results are out, we will know who would have passed, who would be proceeding or who would be going on part time basis. Otherwise, the framework on giving meal allowance for the students at UNZA is already in place. We are hoping that the results will be out either tomorrow or next week. The idea is that the children should not starve.

Madam Speaker, I will share with you a sorry way of keeping students. Some of those students used to become watchmen, especially the boy children. They would be watchmen the whole night and come back to the university in the morning to learn. That means, our children would be awake the whole night and would create many problems for them. They had to feed themselves hence, probably, such redirection from the university.

Madam Speaker, coming to the second borehole, I asked the resident engineer to quickly assemble a team. In fact, a team comprising officials from the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation and the Ministry of Education will sit, next week, to see how we shall quickly put up another borehole just to ease the suffering, especially of the girl child. You may be aware that if sanitation is bad, the people who are usually hardest-hit are the girls. So, we are in a hurry to do that.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, it is our desire that whenever students want to air their grievances, they must do so peacefully and without breaking public and private property. The hon. Minister has said the students were ruly. Is he giving them a green light to march in protest as long as they remain peaceful without obtaining a police permit?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, this is probably why this Government wants to repeal that Act which requires people to get permits in order to carry out demonstrations. It is desirable that the students also sit down with the relevant authorities before they show their displeasure on what is happening. In psychology, we do not look at the consequences of the behaviour. We look at the antecedence of the behaviour. So, we do not say look at the consequences. Rather, we say, what led to this? So, the antecedences of the behaviour are what you deal with and not the consequences of the behaviour.

Madam Speaker, as the hon. Member said, it is desirable that when the students are frustrated, they first must use and exhaust all the available channels. For example, they could have gone to the council, if they felt management had not met their needs. If they felt the council did not answer them properly, then they could have engaged their last resort, who is the Minister. We are not saying that the students should, at any moment, wake up and demonstrate because that also eats into their time. Losing one hour in a university is equivalent to more than six months of learning that, I can tell you, cannot be recovered. All those years universities used to close, especially in the One-party State, we lost fifty years of education.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Katakwe (Solwezi East): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for recognising me, on behalf of the people of Solwezi East, and allowing me to ask a follow-up question to the hon. Minister. I like the way the honourable is passionately elaborating issues concerning the University of Zambia (UNZA). Apart from poor sanitation, the road network at UNZA is pathetic. There is the East Park Shopping Mall next to the university. Is UNZA getting anything from that infrastructure, which can actually enable it to work on the road network? It is pathetic to drive on the roads in the university.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I cannot say, off cuff, what the university is getting from the East Park Shopping Mall. I need to go and consult. We are trying to run away from the hon. Minister micro managing universities. World over, universities depend on councils and the councils make decisions. As for UNZA, we have a caretaker council and we shall soon be announcing all the councils for all the public universities. Cabinet has already ratified the names of the councillors in all the public universities. So, we are trying to move away from micro managing the universities as a ministry and that is how the world order works, as far as universities are concerned.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, I take note of the hon. Minister saying he may need to check for this information, but I seek clarity on the public-private partnership (PPP) between Graduare Properties Development Limited and the University of Zambia (UNZA). Does it still provide obligation for the developer to support water and sanitation services, for instance? When that PPP was signed, it was extended from what it was to the second phase. Many environmental proponents clearly stated that it would block the water table into UNZA and other areas. Does the Government have any information on that?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I do not have that information. I may have to ask the council.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, I was one of the people who stopped at the main entrance on Tuesday to speak to the students because I found the gate closed and officers were directing hon. Members of Parliament to use the western gate. I thought that leadership was needed.

Madam Speaker, in my interaction with the students, I learnt that they were lamenting the failure to have what they had been promised fulfilled. They intimated that they have had engagements with the hon. Member of Parliament quite a number of times and that they feared that if they moved from the hostels, the story would still remain that of promises.

Madam Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that the solution to the problem of sanitation could be completing the hostels that were started. In dealing with this problem, has the issue of the time frame been agreed on with the students; when the Government is going to solve this problem, by either working on fixing the sanitation system or completing the hostels? The timeframe seems to have been the major source of concern for the students.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, what we agreed on was not a fixed timeframe. I said to the students that the resident engineer would start working on the students’ hostels, and especially on sanitation, as a matter of urgency. We cannot finish all the works in a few weeks or months. It will be a process. If you check the damage at all the hostels, you will see that it is huge. Sometimes, when what is damaged is replaced, there is vandalism. We do not know who usually goes into the university and steals things such as cisterns. So, we also appealed to the students to be on the lookout because this is their property. If the hon. Member for Nkana still remembers, if he was born at that time when there was the real Zambia Railways, they used to write ili ishitima chipe chenu so, take care of it. Take care of this train, it is your property. Izhi zhitima ndubono lwenu amuchilange.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, meaning?


Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, it is the same translation. ‘This train is your property. Please, take care or look after it.’ So, this is what we are also telling the students; that they must look after their property and guard it jealously.

Madam Speaker, as regards the hostels, the contractors disengaged a long time ago. They are the ones that we are trying to negotiate with. At the time they were engaged, the dollar was a little bit normal, if you like. However, we are in a hurry to quickly remove some of the students from those rooms. That is where the problem is coming from. I was informed by the same students that fifty of them sit on one toilet. So, they cannot afford to do that. Within a short period of time, it is my desire to see UNZA going back to its original form.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, we will have the last hon. Member to ask a question. The hon. Member for Kaumbwe may proceed.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that he is on top of things to actually pre-empt the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA) on water and sanitation. His solution of putting up a new borehole shows that the water demand is more than the water supply. Now, the solution that he has suggested is to put up two new boreholes.

Madam Speaker, what immediate or short-term measure has he put in place before the actualisation of this very good solution that he has put across?

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, actually, the short-term measure is to quickly drill the borehole. That is the quickest measure. Otherwise, he wants me to say that we shall also start using water bowsers. That can work, and we can do it, but we are talking about water going into the hostels. So, the quickest intervention is to quickly deal with the borehole.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




189. Mr Mutale (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. whether the Government is aware of an outbreak of a strange disease that is causing patients to shake and become weak, in the following areas in the Central Province:
  1. Kanona Ward in Serenje District; and
  2. Chitambo Ward in Chitambo District;
  3. if so, what the cause of the disease is; and
  4. what urgent measures are being taken to contain the disease.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Tambatamba) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo)): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware of the strange disease in Kanona Ward in Serenje District and Chitambo Ward in Chitambo District in the Central Province.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that on 20th September, 2022, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, responded to an alert concerning employees of the Southern Africa Ferro Alloys Limited (SAFAL) who presented with loss of balance; tremors; impaired speech; uncomfortable drooling; dropping of saliva from the mouth; and decreased movement.

Madam Speaker, our health records indicate that twenty-eight people have shown the mentioned symptoms so far and there has been no mortality associated with the disease.

Madam Speaker, the Occupational Health and Safety Institute (OHSI), under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, was notified and blood samples were taken from 281 employees to determine the cause of the problem. The results revealed that 271, which are 96.4 per cent of the employees, had blood levels of Manganese above normal.

Madam Speaker, the results showed ranges of 0.116 to 0.623 parts per million. The average was 0.244 parts per million. The normal range is 0.005 parts to 0.02 parts per million.

Madam Speaker, therefore, the strange disease that was observed was manganesim or manganese poisoning.

Madam Speaker, the disease resulted from repeated occupational exposure to manganese. The manganism or manganese poisoning is a toxic condition resulting from chronic exposure to manganese. It is mainly manifested as a neurological disorder with symptoms that include tremors, difficulty in walking and facial muscle spasms.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that SAFAL changed the type of manganese ore feed on 9th March, 2022, to 5th September, 2022. The ore introduced was a fine manganese concentrate sourced from San He Mining Limited, domiciled in Kabwe District. It is later converted into pellets bound by 5 per cent cement. This resulted in high dust fumes in the process of smelting at the plant. It potentially increased the risk of workers to over exposure to manganese in the platform, tapping and deck areas.

Madam Speaker, the following urgent measures have been put in place to contain the disease:

  1. immediate suspension of sourcing and processing of fine manganese concentrate from San He Mining Limited until such a time when the investigations by the joint team comprising the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Health, Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), Mine Safety Department (MSD) and Occupational Health and Safety Institute (OHSI) are concluded;
  2. medical surveillance of all workers in line with the Occupational Health and Safety Act, No. 36 of 2010;
  3. introduction of rotational work to avoid long periods of exposure;
  4. enforcement of correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE), especially respiratory protection – full face air and supplied with ability to protect against tiny dust particles and fumes, work suits and hot work suits for those working at the tapping section;
  5. regular maintenance of equipment and furnace to seal manganese dust leakages;
  6. frequent inspections by the said joint inspection team to be enhanced in order to enforce adherence to operating procedures;
  7. employer guided to notify the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFC) on the cases for compensation purposes;
  8. all workers with symptoms have been referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), in Lusaka, for further management;
  9. all workers with blood manganese levels above recommended concentration limits, but without symptoms have been relocated to areas of low risk of exposure, and engineering controls to be instituted and assessed regularly to ascertain performance;
  10. contain all the emissions and spillages to reduce fugitive dust in the plant. The facility has been directed to provide an effective extraction system and fresh air injection system in the plant;
  11. directive to install dust suppression system on all conveyance systems;
  12. directive to install emergency fugitive dust detection devices and alarm systems to warn the employees;
  13. directive to implement standard operating procedures and train workers on safe handling of hazardous substances like manganese ore and its by-products;
  14. to draw up an emergency preparedness plan for accidental over exposure to manganese dust;
  15. OHSI to conduct a comprehensive Occupational Hygiene Survey (OHS) to quantify all the risks on all manganese processing plants across the country as a preventive or early warning system; and further
  16. prior to this incident, ZEMA conducted an inspection and issued a compliance order to SAFAL with the conditions set out in the decision letter, especially the following:
  17. prior to the implementation of the project, SAFAL was required to obtain all necessary authorisations under the Mines and Minerals Development Act; the Local Government Act; the Urban and Regional Planning Act; the National Heritage Conservation and Control Act; the Public Health Act; the Workers Compensation Act; and the Energy Regulation Act. This is contained in condition 3.2.1 of the decision letter;
  18. SAFAL was required to put in place occupational health and safety measures, according to condition 3.2.3 of the decision letter; and
  19. provide employees with personal protective equipment and ensure that they undergo appropriate medical checkups, according to condition 3.2.5 of the decision letter.

Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I want to inform this august House that a joint inspection team has been constituted consisting of staff from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, ZEMA, OHSI and Mine Safety Department (MSD) to urgently undertake a full investigation on the risk assessment at SAFAL. Members of the public will be informed on the outcome of the investigations and appropriate actions to be taken.

Further, this same joint investigation team will extend the exercise to all manganese-processing plants in order to ensure compliance to all relevant laws.

Madam Speaker, the joint inspection team will ensure that all non-compliant facilities are prosecuted and made to be compliant to the laws for the protection of human health and environment.

Madam Speaker, may I also sound a warning to all manganese-processing plants to put in place necessary measures to ensure that they are fully compliant to all relevant laws before the law enforcement wings visit them.

Madam Speaker, I thank you

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated in her response that those who have been affected by the disease are being taken to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for management. Could the hon. Minister confirm to the general public and the House whether this disease is curable and what she means by the word “management?”

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, may he just repeat the last piece of the question.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: He was trying to find out whether the disease is curable. You can also say something on management.

Mr Mutale: What did she mean by saying that those affected will be taken to the UTH for management, Madam Speaker?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: What did you mean by the term “management?”

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, as I have indicated, we have a full team, which includes various ministries, departments and Government agencies that are dealing with this issue. Of course, one institution that we should take note of is the OHSI which does the assessment and makes referrals to health institutions in order for them to investigate.

Madam Speaker, from the Ministry of Health, doctors or experts have provided information which forms a link with what they have detected in those with the condition at hand. Therefore, they have clearly observed that this is caused by manganese. However, what is supposed to follow from the Ministry of Health is to further investigate what exactly is required to treat the various symptoms that have been presented. As you note, there are those who are presenting with movement imbalance while others are having nervous system related conditions where saliva is coming out involuntarily, and many other symptoms.

So, there are further investigations which are part of the package of the management of these cases so that experts at the hospitals indentify and determine the right treatment. If found that it is incurable, if at all that will be indentified in the further investigations that are being undertaken by experts in the health units, the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) will be drawn in to also intervene in the matter of those who are affected.

Some of the interventions may include travelling out of the country to seek further expert attention. The Workers Compensation Fund Control Board is on record as having taken patients with conditions that we may not be able to deal with in the country to other jurisdictions so that they are helped. However, that is not to say this is the desired solution or the situation we anticipate. We expect every corporation operating with substances that may cause harm to its employees to ensure that any such – if you are a responsible citizen, you will investigate and understand the risks associated with whatever substances you are using in your processing plants and so on and so forth. So, when you do not do that, the law takes its course.

The institutions I mentioned, including the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, have put in place measures which are within the law to deal with noncompliance with the conditions. So, the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board, the Ministry of Health, the hospitals and health experts come in to help with the management of the conditions. When they are not able to manage, with the facilities in the country, they seek solutions from other jurisdictions.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutale: Madam Speaker, I interacted with the affected people, and it is really sad. The way the hon. Minister is responding – what they are going through is saddening. I am aware that as at now, there is no cure for the disease that is affecting these people.

Madam Speaker, a joint team has been constituted to investigate what is obtaining on the ground, and the hon. Minister indicated the measures that, so far, the South Africa Ferro Alloys Limited is implementing. Is it true that the disease, despite those measures, has continued spreading? Can the hon. Minister confirm whether the disease has stopped spreading because of the measures that have been put in place?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, I said that it was confirmed that there is a link between the operations and substances at the occupational place, and the condition of the patients. The patients have been referred to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) for further investigations on how to treat the disease. For those who have not been found with the substance – Actually, I indicated that some of them have some levels of manganese in their systems, but do not have any symptoms. Those two are a case study. Procedures, some of which I have outlined here, have been given specifically to the management of SAFAL to ensure that other workers are protected and not exposed to poisoning so that they do not end up in the same situation, and to ensure that the number of those who are unwell does not increase. So, there are management procedures and instructions that have been provided.

Madam Speaker, further, the interdisciplinary team that has been constituted from the five institutions concerned will go back to the company to ensure that it consolidates the measures and the standard operating procedures that have been put in place to ensure that the rest of the workers are not poisoned and do not end up in the bracket of those who are unwell. So, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, ZEMA and OSHSD, which is under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, will work as one Government unit to ensure that they triangulate and reinforce the regulations that are stipulated in the different pieces of legislation across all those departments.

Madam Speaker, I assure members of the public that we are working on two fronts. The medical experts are working on their front to ensure that they find a cure, and if they do not, the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board will find ways to mitigate the situation that the patients found themselves in, and we will not exclude seeking medical attention elsewhere where they have stepped up interventions. Further, the constituted team will go and see the management at SAFAL so that it strengthens and consolidates compliance with the different pieces of legislation. The second front will be to ensure that all manganese processing plants across the nation put preventive measures in place.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister’s is response sounds as though this issue is an occupational hazard much as it is a health issue, and she is the right person to respond to the question. Now, she said that the people have what she termed as neuro problems. Neuro means there are effects on the brain because of exposure to high levels of radiation from manganese, and this draws me to the people of Luapula where the largest portion of manganese is being mined. Bearing in mind that the occupational hazard regulations are enforced by the Occupational Health and Safety Institute (OHSI), which is in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, does the ministry intend to intensify the inspection of factories and to employ labour inspectors in districts where there is no staff to prevent the occupational hazards that have affected the people of Chitambo and Serenje?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, although the question is not necessarily related to the main question, allow me to give bonus information. Certainly, this is an occupation related ailment, which we recognise, and that is why OHSI, which is under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and other institutions such as ZEMA and officers at the Ministry of Health, being the medical experts, are part of the solution, and I indicated that the inter-ministerial team will go back to the company. So, I assure the hon. Member that the team working jointly is what expands the capacity and, indeed, the competency in the respective areas to address the issues. Indeed, the inspection of factories is part of our operating mechanisms to ensure that we reinforce the regulations at industry level.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member might want to know that, recently, I had been to the Central Province, in Serenje, attending to the same matter with a team of not only staff from the Ministry of Labour  and Social Security but also with staff from other statutory institutions. As I speak, I am from inspecting the industry.

Mr Speaker, the New Dawn Administration cares for the workers of Zambia. It will walk with them. Had the issues been attended to before, we would have ensured that the industry that is expanding into the manganese area, which is a non-traditional mining area in Zambia, does not do that because manganese is relatively new on the Zambian scenario, unlike copper, which we have known for more than seventy years. Manganese mining is relatively new on the Zambian scenario. I say ‘relatively new’ because manganese, as compared to copper is coming on as new. This should have been given due attention right at the time of the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) authorisation letter to make sure that the miner puts in place a management plan with consolidated and clear operational management protocols that would protect the workers.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chitotela: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, hon. Ministers are policy carriers and when they speak, it is on behalf of the people of Zambia. The hon. Minister is being paid from my salary and by the people in Luapula Province who are mining manganese. Is she in order to mislead herself and the people of Zambia that manganese is a new business in Zambia when Mansa Batteries was producing Spark Batteries out of manganese during the Kaunda era, maybe even before she was born, unless she says sugilite, which is new?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: What Standing Order has been breached?

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, Standing Order 65 (1) and (2) that speak about the content and factual information that we should give on this Floor. I am bearing in mind that she is an hon. Minister.

Madam Speaker: This issue is very difficult for me. I do not know whether people have been mining manganese and copper from way back. From what I heard, the hon. Minister was trying to say that copper used to be talked about or mined more often than manganese. I think that is what I got. Now, people have started concentrating on manganese more than copper. So, looking at that, I can say that the hon. Minister was in order, if that was the angle. The country all along has been talking about copper. It was a copper mining country because everybody was talking more about copper than manganese. Now, manganese is also coming up in the country.

Mr C. Chibuye (Mkushi North): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told the House and the nation at large that there is a team that has been constituted and it will be getting back on the ground to Chitambo to ascertain the levels of the sickness.

Madam Speaker, how soon will the team get back on the ground and is it going to extend its operations to areas like Mkushi where there are manganese mines, and many more of them mushrooming like any other business happening in the district? Is the minister extending its operations to Mkushi, Serenje and other districts so that the Government can ascertain the level of sickness in our area?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, as soon as resources are mobilised, the Government is getting on this because it is priority number one. The Government is going to have the team extend to other locations like Serenje, Chitambo, Mkushi, Luano, and Mansa and Chembe in Luapula Province, where manganese is being mined.

Mr Chitotela interjected.

Ms Tambatamba: I know the hon. Member does not sleep because he is in love with sugilite. So, he dreams about it, but I am talking about manganese. So, we will extend our work to all the locations where manganese mining is relatively new, and that is what I said.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will take the last three questions from hon. Members of Parliament for Bwacha, Mkushi South and Shiwang’andu.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, looking at the high number of staff that is exposed to manganese particles and the effect on their bodies, which the hon. Minister said was about 91 per cent, it is a very serious health matter.

Madam Speaker, when did the Government know about the workers’ health problem of having manganese particles in their blood at the Southern Africa Ferro Alloys Limited (SAFAL)? Looking at the different Government departments, who is doing what when it comes to the sixteen measures that the Government has put in place?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, there are on-going inspections that are undertaken by the various units in the inter-ministerial team. As far back as June, 2022, there was an inspection by ZEMA where issues of occupational health and safety were raised on issues that were found not being adhered to. At that time, ZEMA suspended operations of SAFAL. So, there was a suspension of operations at SAFAL until it resolved the issues that were raised to them and they became compliant. After a few months, it went back into operation because most of the occupational health matters that were raised in terms of dressing and protecting employees were attended to. So, operations resumed. There were issues of protecting the jobs of our workers and growing more jobs.

At that time, it was allowed to start operating again until recently when this matter concerning workers came up; when the alarm was made about the ailment. That is when another gear was engaged to deal with these matters that included those investigations at the UTH and other measures. So, as far back as 2022 when matters of complying with occupational health and safety were raised, some of the agencies have been working on these groups and the ZEMA actually stopped the operations.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisopa (Mkushi South): Madam Speaker, from the explanation of the hon. Minister, it looks like the company in question had an element of negligence. He has indicated that there were no provisions of safety measures and because of that, twenty-eight people have been affected. We do not know and we are not sure whether these people will be healed. What punitive measure has the ministry meted out on that company so that it does not repeat subjecting workers to working without protective clothing?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, we have set up that team now that the results have come through. For a while, the results that would link this disease to the substances at the place of work had not come through. They were only received recently.

Ms Tambatamba coughed and drunk some water.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, now that these results have come through, the committee will definitely go back there and mete out whatever, …

Ms Tambatamba coughed, again, and drunk some water.

Hon Chitotela, please, restore my voice.

Hon. Opposition Members: Drink more water.

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, measures will only be meted out after this committee sits and identifies the hazards. Knowing that we have been there, rendered advice and even suspended operations, we will step up to the next measure. However, those are ones which are being discussed by the committee before the company resumes operations. After reviewing all the relevant pieces of legislation, we will outline what measures to mete out on the employer or the investor.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, we acknowledge and appreciate the responses coming from the hon. Minister. Indeed, manganese mining has been there for quite a long time. What could be new is this new precious mineral, sugilite, which might also be posing a danger to those who are engaging in illegal mining. It would appear that this factory is acting with impunity. In her responses, the hon. Minister said the company was closed for being non-compliant with the environmental requirements. After it got back into operation, we have seen that the workers are now affected by this peculiar disease which appears to be incurable. We need a multi-sectoral approach to dealing with this issue; your substantive ministry, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. Why is this mine still in operation with such potential danger and it seems to be so with impunity? Who is being bribed? We smell corruption, …

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you are supposed to ask one question only.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, my final question is: Who is being bribed to ignore the impunity of this plant?

Ms Tambatamba: Madam Speaker, in relation to the last question, no one. What I want to say is that working methodically, we have to go back to the table and analyse and stratify the different measures from the different pieces of law and see the priority in the context of the fact that this is an enterprise, an operation that has been warned and suspended before. That way, we will act relevantly and expand or add value on what we did last time in view of the fact that human life is affected in this particular case.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, before we move to the next question, I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for Mpika. We skipped his matter of urgent public importance. Please, allow it to be ruled on tomorrow morning.


190. Mr Mukosa (Chinsali) (on behalf of Ms Nyemba (Chifunabuli)) asked the Minister of Education:

(a)        whether the Government has any plans to construct laboratories at Lubwe Secondary School in Chifunabuli District for the following:

(i)         information and communication technology; and

(ii)        science; and

(b)   if so, when the plans will be implemented.

The Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima): Madam Speaker, I inform the House that the Government has plans to construct information and communication technology (ICT) and science laboratories in schools countrywide, and Lubwe Secondary School in Chifunabuli District is not exempted.

Madam Speaker, the plans will be implemented in the 2024 to 2026 medium term framework subject to the availability of funds.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


191. Amb. Kalimi (Malole) asked the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development:

  1. why the rehabilitation of the following feeder roads in Malole Parliamentary Constituency has stalled:

(i)         Chonya/Mwamba Mulilo;

(ii)        Chimba/Chimbola Village;

(iii)       Katongo/Chibwe/Mabula;

(iv)       Henry Kapata/Katilungu; and

(v)        Chanda Weyaya/Peleti/Mbesuma;

  1. when the projects will resume;
  2. what the cause of the delay in completing each project is; and
  3. what the cost of the outstanding works on each project is.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Madam Speaker, works on the listed roads have stalled due to the non-availability of funds as the contractors are still awaiting some payments. Part of the works have been done and certified.

Madam Speaker, the projects will resume as soon as the Government secures funds to finance the remaining works.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kalimi: Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister, please, inform the people of Malole how much money was paid to these contractors; who were the contractors; and what is the position in terms of the contracts?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Malole and appreciate him for the passion that he has for his people. The cost of the outstanding works on each of those projects is as follows:

  1. Chonya/Mwamba Mulilo Road, K10.2 million;
  2. Chimba/Chimbola Village Road, K34.7 million;
  3. KatongoChibwe/Mabula Road, K63 million;
  4. Henry Kapata/Katilungu Road, K29.6 million; and
  5. Chanda Weyaya/Peleti/Mbesuma Road, K41 million

Madam Speaker, for the other questions he asked me, the answer is as follows:

  1. Chonya/Mwamba Mulilo Road, 45 km, was contracted at a cost of K58 million. The total amount of certified works is K48 million. The total amount paid is zero and the contractor is Build Trust Construction Limited;
  2. Chimba/Chimbola Road, 29 km, was contracted for K46 million. Only 17 per cent of the work was done, K12.9 million was certified and K9.5 million was paid. The contactor is Enakakel;
  3. Chanda Weyaya/Peleti/Mbesuma Road, 50 km, was contracted and the contract sum is K74 million. Total work done is 30 per cent and total amount of money paid and certified is K33 million. Total amount of money paid is K12 million. The company is Build Trust Construction Limited, once again;
  4. Henry Kapata/Katilungu Road, 37 km, was contracted at a cost of K46 million, 19 per cent of the works were done and K16 million was certified and K12 million was paid. The company is called Climate Control Zambia Limited; and
  5. Katongo Chibwe/Mabula Road, 40 km, was contracted at a sum of K70 million. The total amount of the works done was 1 per cent and the total amount certified was K6.9 million. The total amount paid was K5.2 million. The company contracted is Goodfed Construction.

Madam Speaker, I hope that answers his question in full.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Amb. Kalimi: Madam Speaker, I think there is a part which the hon. Minister forgot, which is: Are these contracts still valid?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, some of these contracts are under investigation. All of these contracts have been stopped, as I indicated in my last ministerial statement. Once all the investigations are done and the contracts are cleared, I indicated that those contractors will have the right of first refusal, as and when funds are made available, as my answer to part (c) of the question.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has told us that these road contracts are under investigation, meaning that –

Mr Nkombo: No!

Mr Mutale: Some.

Madam Speaker, this means that works are not being done. I am aware of a road called Chanda Weyaya/Peleti/Mbesuma Road. This is a very important road, especially to farmers and fishermen. If this is one of the roads that are being investigated, what is the hon. Minister going to do about it right now, because it is in a very bad state, to ensure that the people and the farmers who are there are assisted in order for them to continue with their everyday business and life?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I will have to check if the contract for this particular road is one of those under investigation. To answer my hon. Colleague from Chitambo on what I am going to do about the connectivity of the farmers around that area because this road is dilapidated, I wish to respond as follows: This is Malole Constituency. One constituency was allocated four roads to be rehabilitated. My simple mathematics, those of you who have calculators, come with me, is that one constituency was given road contracts worth K58 million, K46 million, K74 million, K46 million and K70 million. There is something wrong here.


Mr Nkombo: Can I repeat what I just said? One constituency was given road contracts worth K58 million, K46 million, K74 million, K46 million and K70 million, yet in the North-Western Province, there were zero contracts. To add salt to injury, two of these contracts in one constituency belong to one contractor. This speaks volumes.

Madam Speaker, the last time I was ordered to come and give a ministerial statement about feeder roads, the idea was to clarify everything, but clearly, there is more to clarify. I said, on the Floor of this House, that I am in possession of impeccable information about these contracts. So, let us work at our own pace. I have been challenged before to name the contractors. Today, I have started naming them because the question directed me to name these companies. The hon. Member can go, now, to the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and find out who the owners of these companies are. We will continue on this path and we shall get there one day.

Madam Speaker, the point is that these contracts had to be stopped because of the non-availability of money in the Budget. That is the main reason, before we come to the sundry issues of how these contracts were awarded; were they awarded correctly, to whom, and were there any influences in those people getting contracts?

Madam Speaker, I put it to the hon. Member that I have said this before and I say it with higher volume, again, that most of these contracts were for Patriotic Front (PF) members. I rest my case.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Amb. Kalimi stood up.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Malole, you have exhausted your two slots. The hon. Member for Dundumwezi may ask his question.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that he has evidence of who the owners of those contracts are, but at the same time, he is sending the entire House to the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) to go and check.

Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister not mind telling us who the owners of these companies are than sending the entire House to PACRA to go and investigate?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

I do not think it will be fair to start discussing ourselves. I do not know whether the owners of those companies are here or outside this House. If they are outside this House, they will not be able to come and defend themselves. I think the names that were given are enough. If we start mentioning names, it will be another issue.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, it will be a bit uncivil to do that because facts speak for themselves. If I am challenged to say, “Does Mr Nkombo own this company?” –I think that is a question for another day. For today, I was asked to provide information and I have put the House  right into the three dimensional picture that most of the owners of these companies are Patriotic Front (PF) members, some of them are sitting here and others outside.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, it is disappointing that the Monze/Niko Road, in the Southern Province, remained untouched by the previous regime for a period of about four to five years and was impassable. It is very shocking to hear that one constituency could receive such huge amounts of money to work on feeder roads.

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

Mr Michelo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in a position to tell us how many constituencies are in a similar situation as Malole so that the people of Zambia can know how the National Treasury was heavily plundered by the previous regime?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Before the hon. Minister responds, let me guide the hon. Member for Chama South. I have seen that you have indicated for a question. Now, instead of raising a point of order, is it possible that you just ask the hon. Minister a question since he is still responding to questions? Your name is still showing. I have seen it.

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, I am raising a point of order. A question is a different thing. A point of order is a breach of our Standing Orders.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: You can go ahead.

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mung’andu: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I refer to Standing Order 65, both the first part and the second part. The hon. Minister seriously cast aspersions on all of us here as Patriotic Front (PF) hon. Members of Parliament, that we acquired several contracts. It is just fair that the hon. Minister should name those who acquired those contracts for the benefit of all of us and the entire country. Is he in order to say that? People are watching and they think all the PF hon. Members of Parliament had contracts, which is very unfair.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.

Madam First Deputy Speaker:  Hon. Members, I think we should not go in circles. I had made a ruling to say that the hon. Minister should not mention the names because the Standing Orders do not allow us to discuss ourselves. In addition to that, some people are outside this House and they may not be able to come and defend themselves. Their names can be mentioned, but they will not have an opportunity to come to this House and defend themselves. So, I do not think it will be fair for the hon. Minister to start mentioning names here. So, he was actually in order not to mention the names.

The hon. Minister may proceed.

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, I think we can make things a little bit easy. I will abide by what you have said. However, just for the record, I think one member of the Patriotic Front (PF), the Leader of the Opposition, was very clear because he declared an interest here in this House. So, that is public information. For those who have not declared, I shall not be the one to do it. So, I will navigate around this way. For the contracts in Malole, Build Trust Construction Limited has two contracts, one worth K74 million and the other one K58 million.

Madam Speaker, coming to Hon. Kasauta Michelo’s question on the Monze/Niko Road and the unfair distribution of the national cake in the past, here is what I have to say.

Madam Speaker, for those four contracts in Malole, I am sorry to tell my colleague from there that if these contracts had performed very well, his people would have been laughing by now. Now, he is the one lamenting the most. He should take a look at the people of Mwinilunga, and Bweengwa, where the hon. Member who asked this question comes from, where zero kilometer was contracted. That should tell him a story.

Madam Speaker, for the hon. Member’s constituency, I am sorry again that he did not get the full amount of works done. I want to put it to him that had those roads been done, the cost would have been K294 million for one constituency, which is equivalent to 10.3 constituencies, per annum, what we, as the United Party for National Development (UPND), are servicing under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Madam Speaker, I will repeat. The two contracts to one contractor that were contracted to Malole are equivalent to K294 million from the National Treasury. This represents what we are doing now under the CDF servicing of ten constituencies in all our CDF programmes, which many members do not appreciate, including taking children to boarding, community projects, and buying desks throughout the country. Our revolutionary move is to buy desks so that our children can learn in a correct environment.

Madam Speaker, there goes the answer. Part of the reason we cancelled those contracts was to try and balance the act. The country must share this cake equally, as we are demonstrating in our second year, were the entire allocation of the CDF is being disbursed quarterly and equally, at the same hour, minute and day. That marks the difference between the hon. Members on your left and us, who have the privilege now to run the State affairs.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, before I pose a follow-up question to the hon. Minister, permit me to congratulate you, our women, for celebrating the International Women’s Day, which was yesterday, successfully, especially our women who are patriotic citizens, the Patriotic Front (PF) women who came out in large numbers because we said that we will participate in national events as patriotic citizens, Kudos to our women. That is how it should be.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

You may continue hon. Member for Shiwang’andu.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister talk about the kilometres of roads that have been worked on, which were contracted. I want to place on record that Malole Constituency is not just an ordinary constituency. Firstly, it is vast and, secondly, hosts Paramount Chief Chitimukulu. The kingdom is in that constituency. The demand for the roads has been there for a long time. Therefore, the contraction of those roads was done purely to appreciate and acknowledge the chiefdom of the paramount chief and the state of the roads, as it were. However, the hon. Minister said the road contracts are under investigations.

Mr Nkombo: Some of them.

Mr Kampyongo: Some of them. Can the hon. Minister assure the people of Malole and Mwine Lubemba and Chief Chitimukulu’s kingdoms on when the investigations will be concluded so that they can be provided with a road network, just like any other area? I heard my colleague talk about the Monze/Niko Road whose contract was done some time back. However, the works stalled because there was no money to complete the road. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving the people of the Mwine Lubemba Kingdom?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, history can never be erased. I first appreciate my colleague’s comment on the women folk and the fact that he and his party are enjoying the freedom that we never enjoyed when we were on their side.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mr Nkombo: So, congratulations for turning up in numbers but, again, numbers do not lie. There is a huge difference between 2.8 and 1.8. It should be known as such.

Madam Speaker, coming to the question about my father, Mwine Lubemba, again, we should not forget history. I wish Hon. Request Muntanga, who used to sit where the one who posed the question – no, I used to sit where the Leader of the Opposition in the House sits. The late Hon. Request Muntanga and I fought battles on behalf of the Mwine Lubemba, whom the hon. Member is talking about, for him to be recognised. It was the PF who sent battalions –

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: I do not need support. Allow me to just answer to the issue that the hon. Member raised about my father, Chief Mwine Lubemba of the Bemba People.

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

Mr Nkombo: He was brought into the argument; I must help to remove him from the argument.

Madam Speaker, 200 paramilitary officers, who later escalated to 500, blocked Chief Mwine Lubemba from assuming his leadership for the Bemba speaking people. Without causing any harm to the feelings of Chief Mwine Lubemba, Malole is no different from Mongu. There is a king there. Malole is no different from Ependukeni and Mpezeni Chiefdoms. Malole is no different from Katete where my father, Chief Undi, stays. We will not look at this country from the spectacle of patronage. Malole is just as important as Monze or Mazabuka, where I come from. That marks a difference; K294 million for one constituency can easily be used to buy ten sets of earth moving equipment for ten constituencies, which will belong to the Government.

I encourage my colleague and all hon. Members to depart from the subject of how money was wasted. If you buy equipment, you will have a perennial maintenance of roads using only fuel. You cannot have a situation in which you are paying one individual K100 million. Yes, I know it is said, “many are called, but only a few are chosen” but you cannot choose like this. It is like giving Dracula to be the head of the blood bank.


Mr Nkombo: The Treasury should never be entrusted with people who are selfish, let me put it straighter now.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: That voiceless Zambian in Kashinankaji, in Sikongo – look, the one who holds the purse of the country, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, would never claim, and neither would I, that Liuwa is the most developed constituency. It is still one of the least developed constituencies. If his state of mind was like those ones, Liuwa would have been made of gold today. It would have been made of diamonds. Our state of mind is that we want to develop this country equally and equitably.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Some of these questions are, in fact, a way of shooting yourselves in the foot. Let us forge ahead. The prudent management of national resources is no rocket science. It is a question of Maslow’s Law. I am sure the hon. Member understands Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. As far as we are concerned, we terminated those contracts in order to bring this country to equilibrium.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the point of order still there?

Mr Kampyongo: Yes, Madam Speaker.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members! I did not want the hon. Minister to be disturbed.

Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, what is your point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, my point of order is premised on Standing Order 65 (1) (b).

Madam Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister was very clear.


Mr Kampyongo: Can you shut up!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members.

Mr Kampyongo: Shut your mouth!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: No, let us not use unparliamentary language.

Mr Kampyongo: There is only one Speaker here.

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

I do not think there are children here whom we can tell to shut up.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Can we avoid unparliamentary words. Let us not insult one another.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I am not insulting anyone.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: No, no, it was somebody from here (pointing to the Government bench) who said shut up. I do not think it was you.

Hon. UPND Members: It was him!

Mr Kampyongo: I do not know how many people want to assist you, Madam Speaker. That is the problem we have.


Mr Kampyongo: Youngman, I have been here long enough. You might not reach –


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

I missed the person who mentioned the phrase ‘shut up’. I have consulted, and I am reliably informed that the phrase was actually said by the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu. Can you withdraw the phrase ‘shut up’. It is very unparliamentary. We are all hon. Members. Withdraw that phrase and make progress with your point of order.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I gladly withdraw that phrase and I request our colleagues to be quiet when other Members are speaking. So, I replace the phrase ‘shut up’ by asking hon. Members to be quiet, to give each other space.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Continue with your point of order.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, my question to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, was very clear, but he went on to lecture us how the Chitimukulu was installed. We are very proud of our Mwine Lubemba and let us not bring him into extended debate. I just brought him in the debate for you to know that Malole constituency actually hosts him and he deserves recognition and respect, just like any other paramount chief. They are only four paramount chiefs. We cannot say the four paramount chiefs can be equal to anyone. That is not correct. The hon. Minister is responsible for the chiefs.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to ignore – my question was on him assuring the people who want a road net work in Malole Constituency.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just concluding my point of order. I was saying that we cannot put the development scale as equal across all the constituencies because they are different. We cannot ignore the constituencies where we have our fore-parents, like the hon. Minister said. So, my question is whether the hon. Minister was in order to avoid my question which was very simple and straight forward on what assurance he was giving the Mwine Lubemba and the people in Malole Constituency. The hon. Minister then went on to lecture us regarding succession issues which were not part of my question. I know that the hon. Minister is belabouring to try and get to deal with the contractors, who have every right to do business like any Zambian.

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

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to continue on that trajectory? I seek your guidance.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, my guide on that point of order is that let us try to avoid bringing the chiefs in our debates. This is because everywhere we go, there are chiefs. Every constituency has one or two chiefs. So, it will not be good if we start mentioning the chiefs who cannot even come to this House and defend themselves on what we are talking about. That is my guide.

The hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development will answer your question on the assurance for the people of Malole as we pick the last hon. Member for Chilubi Constituency to ask a question.

Hon. Member for Chilubi, you may proceed.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, the people of Chilubi are worried because a narrative has been created.

Mr Jamba: You have never been there.


Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, am I protected from that charlatan?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, we are behind time. You should remember that we only have today and tomorrow for the backbenchers to debate the President’s Speech. So, if we waste more time, you will find that, tomorrow, you will be struggling to debate. So, can we, please, minimise the noise.

Hon. Member for Chilubi, you may continue.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, I was saying that a narrative has been created that there was unequal distribution of national resources in the nation. I think this started with health posts and many other things. When the hon. Minister of Health came in this House to present a picture, she really alarmed the nation. However, when she produced her own data to bring to the House, there was an issue of the Southern Province, for instance, had ninety-nine health posts out of the 650. Out of the ninety-nine –

Hon. Government Members: No!

Mr Fube: Go and check your data. Out of the ninety-nine health posts, sixty-nine of them were constructed. If you check the Northern Province, ...


Mr Fube: … sixty-nine –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Chilubi, now we are discussing health posts. The question is about the roads in Malole Constituency. Please, can you come back to the question.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, in answering, the hon. Minister brought in other issues that I wanted to ask on, but if it is about Malole –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members on my right!

Hon. Member for Chilubi Constituency, what is your question?

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister, having talked about Malole as being more advantaged than any other constituency in the country, considering to bring records of different sectors, maybe in the health sector and many other areas, in different constituencies in the country to qualify what he was trying to say because that is when we are going to understand the balance. Is there such a consideration?

Mr Nkombo: Madam Speaker, in the Commonwealth, we have a description of the two demands that have been given to me by the hon. Colleague from Shiwang’andu and the one from Chilubi to the extent that you are at pains to try and bring them in line. It is called ‘gerrymandering.’

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: That is what it is called. When you depart from the core of the question or subject at hand, it is called gerrymandering. Let us stop gerrymandering and ask questions. There is a sacred assurance for the people of Malole that as and when funds are available, we will make sure, using our local authority, Malole District Council, which we are urging to buy a grader, a compactor and a water browser, that we do the many roads. If it fails, we will get the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to do the roads at more than a quarter of the price than the current contractors, whose contracts have been terminated, were enjoying.

Madam Speaker, coming to the question from my hon. Colleague from Chilubi, again, an act of gerrymandering. Now, I am being asked to become the minister of everything. I must bring a summary of everything to show that we are distributing the national wealth equitably. I am responsible for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and I have already demonstrated what used to happen before where the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), sometimes, would only be given to hon. Ministers, and that is fact; an indisputable fact. They used to distribute the CDF secretly. We will continue to give exactly the same amount of money to our dear people in Malole.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Zambian Delegation to the 52nd Plenary Assembly Session of the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), from 4th to 11th December, 2022, laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 22nd February, 2023.

Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Before you proceed, is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, before I continue, I want to congratulate all the women who participated in the International Women’s Day celebrations around the country. As chairperson for the Zambian Women Parliamentarian Caucus (ZWPC), I stand proud that the New Dawn Government is giving peace and space to all political parties; …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kasune: … this was never the case under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. So, we celebrate the peace under His Excellency, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, and his Vice-President, the Acting President, Mrs Mutale Nalumango.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, pursuant to Standing Order 146 of the National Assembly Standing Orders, 2021, I give a statement on the proceedings of the plenary session as well as some of the key recommendations that resulted from that meeting.

Madam speaker, this august House may wish to take cognisance that the 52nd Plenary Assembly was held under the theme ‘The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Legislative Frameworks for Peace and Security in the SADC Region’ at the backdrop of the violence that has plagued the eastern region of the DRC. The theme, therefore, was a guiding compass to enable SADC parliaments to further navigate and self-reflect on peace and security frameworks in the region.

Madam Speaker, the objectives of the 52nd Plenary Assembly sought to, inter alia, promote inter-parliamentary co-operation, diplomacy and solidarity amongst SADC member parliaments, consider avenues where parliaments may contribute to promote regional and international peace aimed at pursuing the Africa Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); and promote inter-parliamentary policy among SADC member parliaments with respect to shared values and common goals.

In his keynote address, His Excellency Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the DRC, implored the international community to condemn the unfair aggression on the sovereignty of the DRC, which has the unfortunate consequence of retarding the socio-economic development of the region. In concluding his speech, His Excellency pledged his support for the transformation of the SADC-PF into a regional Parliament.

Madam Speaker, I am aware that hon. Members have had the opportunity to read the report. I now wish to highlight some of the key recommendations contained therein.

Madam Speaker, the plenary resolved that member parliaments should take stock of the legislative frameworks that promote peace and security both at inter-State and intra-State level. In this regard, the legislative sector needs to deliberate on the role and contributions of parliamentary engagement to the peace and security discourse in the SADC region bearing in mind the complementary efforts already made by the relevant SADC organs.

Madam Speaker, the plenary was resolute that Parliaments need to continuously carry out in-depth research in order to build capacity in understanding the dynamics that lead to disturbances and conflict in the region such as the violence in the eastern region of the DRC and the banditry in the Cabo Delgado Region, in Northern Mozambique. This can be done through Member States working closely with non-State actors, which are responsible for capacity building initiatives within the region in order to achieve durable peace as a necessary pre-condition for sustainable development. Therefore, Member States should enhance collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs), the church and traditional leaders.

Further, the plenary recommended that parliaments should be centres of peace initiatives by crafting and advocating policies that favour the inclusion of women in peace processes including peace-keeping and peace-building. Member States should ensure the meaningful participation of women in all peace and security processes by promoting women in leadership positions in order to influence the decision-making trajectory in all sectors of governance.

Madam, in the same vein, the plenary resolved to formulate and sustain policies that improved all tenets of good governance and the promotion of the rule of law. The plenary observed that the underlying causes of conflict and insecurity emanated from non-adherence to constitutionalism, violation of fundamental rights and freedoms, irregular holding of elections, corruption and the marginalisation of ethnic groups.

Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that the plenary pledged to redouble its efforts in engaging the outstanding countries to sign the amendment of the SADC Treaty which lays the foundation in transforming the SADC-PF into a Regional Parliament.

Madam Speaker, it is important that all Heads of State and Government in the region translate the 42nd SADC Summit approval to transform the SADC-PF into a SADC Regional Parliament by signing the treaty. This is because the transformation of the forum into a Regional Parliament is critical to influence change and respond to the demands of the citizens.

Finally, Madam Speaker, the 52nd Plenary Assembly unanimously endorsed the Angolan elections as a true reflection of the will of the people of Angola. In the same vein, the Assembly resolved to ensure that going forward, election observation missions to Member States become a budgeted for and mandatory activity to ensure that the region tells its own story on elections. It was noted that the low participation in election observation missions by member parliaments run counter to the spirit and the letter of the 36th Plenary Assembly resolution that logistics for missions are to be funded by participating countries which field their members accordingly.

Madam Speaker, the delegation wishes to put on record its appreciation for the services rendered by your office and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly during this undertaking.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, in seconding the Motion, I share with this House that the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF) was established in 1996. It was approved by the SADC summit of Heads of State and Governments on 8th September, 1997, in Blantyre, Malawi to constitute a parliamentary consultative assembly. The ultimate goal was the establishment of a regional parliamentary framework for dialogue on issues of regional interest and concern.

Madam Speaker, you recall that the forum is a membership institution of national parliaments currently comprising fifteen Member States namely, Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, the Seychelles, South Africa, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Madam Speaker, some of the objectives of the SADC PF are to:

  1. strengthen the implementation capacity of SADC by involving parliamentarians in the affairs of SADC;
  2. advocate for harmonisation, ratification, domestication, and implementation of SADC protocols, treaties and other decisions at national level;
  3. promote the principles of human rights, democracy, peace and security, regional integration, human and socio development, economic governance and gender equality through collective responsibility;
  4. familiarise Members of Parliament with the objectives, priorities and decisions of SADC;
  5. provide a parliamentary perspective on issues affecting SADC countries;
  6. provide a forum for discussion on matters of common interest to SADC and promote co-operation with other parliamentary organisations and stakeholders.

Madam Speaker, I can confidently say that SADC PF has been a champion in the development of model laws. To date, it has formulated five model laws, namely:

  1. the mode law on eradicating child marriage and protecting children already in marriage;
  2. the model law on elections;
  3. the model law on Human Immune-deficiency Virus (HIV) in Southern Africa;
  4. the model law on gender-based violence; and most recently
  5. the model law on public financial management.

Madam Speaker, a model law is a proposed series of laws pertaining to a specific subject that States may choose to adopt or reject in whole or in part. They aim to facilitate, at national level, the review and amendment of existing legislation as well as adoption of new legislation.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the theme of the 52nd Plenary Assembly on, “The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Legislative Frameworks for Peace and Security in the SADC Region”, I welcome the proposal by the mover of the Motion on avenues where parliaments may contribute to promoting regional and international peace in view of pursuing the African agenda 2063, and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), particularly SDG16.

Madam Speaker, to give a quick brief of facts and figures, as of May, 2022, the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution had surpassed 100 million.

Madam Speaker, in 2021 alone, 320 fatal attacks against human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists were recorded in thirty-five counties in the world.

Madam Speaker, at least 13,842 deaths were associated with twelve of the world’s deadliest armed conflicts in 2021, including 11, 075 civilians. However, civilian deaths dropped by 17 per cent from 2020, and by 69 per cent from 2015.

Over the last decade, Madam Speaker, the world has spent US$ 349 billion on peace keeping, humanitarian relief and providing refugee support.

Madam Speaker, parliamentarians have a critical role in effectively legislating to ensure that Bills that pursue peace efforts are adopted in different contexts whether at household, school, national or international level. Moreover, Members of Parliament have the inherent ability to interrogate Government measures and seek accountability on peace and security measures of territorial or extra-territorial nature. Parliament can, thus, effectively act as a check and balance and as a Harold of peace-building measures.

Madam Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Thank you so much, Madam Speaker, for giving me an opportunity to make a few comments in support of the Motion moved by the Deputy Whip, who was part of the delegation that went to the 52nd Plenary Assembly held in Kinshasa, DRC, and ably seconded by the hon. Member for Chinsali, Mr Kalalwe Mukosa.

Indeed, Madam Speaker, I premise my discourse on the debate I had when our delegation from the Pan African Parliament presented its report for adoption to this august House. I said that as long as we do not give legislative authority to these two parliamentary forums, it will be very difficult for us to implement some of the resolutions that come from them.

Madam Speaker, you can see the period it has taken from the time SADC-PF was established and where we are now. It is only able to develop model laws that we cannot automatically adopt in Parliaments of Member States. Therefore, it is important, as the theme states, “The Role of Parliaments in Strengthening Legislative Frameworks for Peace and Security in the SADC Region” to understand that we have this common platform where legislators from Member States of SADC will meet and come up with laws, and not only model laws, that can then be implemented by Member States. However, as long as they do not have that legislative authority, which I heard the mover of the Motion speak on, they will just remain talking forums. They talk, make resolutions, come back and that is it.

Madam Speaker, SADC has different structures that help in conflict management; for example, the Troika Organ on Politics, Defence, And Security that draws membership from Member States, but that is not enough.

That is not enough, Madam Speaker, because resolutions can only be resolutions. If you look at the mechanisms that are used in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, in so far as conflict management is concerned, there is much that needs to be done. For the region in Mozambique that is now under conflict, we have to depend on people from outside the continent to resolve that conflict. It is the same thing with the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC) where the SADC Parliamentary Forum was held. The DRC has remained in conflict.

Madam Speaker, as much as Zambia is not affected by these conflicts, it cannot avoid discussing issues of conflict in the DRC. This is so because Zambia has been hosting many families that have been displaced from their heritages, who cover miles and miles looking for a sanctuary. So, everything that is happening in the DRC is our concern. The countries that been discussed the root causes of conflict left out one very key issue of natural capital or resources.

Madam Speaker, in the countries that we are referring to, you will find that conflict or war is caused by greedy people. Who supplies military artillery to those conflict areas? We need to start addressing the source of those conflicts. The people in the DRC, for example, do not manufacture firearms, but you find that the conflict areas have the latest firearms. This is what these poor people are using to fight each other to allow those capitalists to exploit the rich minerals that are in that country. The end result is that the poorest of the poor are made to move kilometres and kilometres to look for a sanctuary in the SADC Region.

Madam Speaker, until we get to a point where we will start having sincere conversations, as a region, it will be very difficult to pragmatically deal with these conflicts. So, the starting point is rightly what the mover of the Motion was requesting for, to ensure that we give legislative authority to both the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) and the SADC forum to be turned into fully-fledged parliaments.

Madam Speaker, parliaments are spending resources to send their delegates to participate in those forums, but when they come with reports, what is next? Yes, they have told us that they have adopted the five model laws, but where should we take them?

Madam Speaker, these are the issues that we need to address. My request to you, Madam Speaker, is to speed up our call to turn these forums into fully-fledged legislative assemblies. That way, we can start to accept what comes from there and also, we should be bound by the laws that are being made at those forums.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I wish to state that there is a treaty that needs to be signed. We just need to ensure that this treaty is processed so that we do our part by domesticating it in order for us to have this forum. That is the only way we can deal with issues of human trafficking because there will be laws that will be speaking to each other among the Member States.

Madam Speaker, last week, I raised a concern over some Afghanistan nationals who came into the SADC region through Zimbabwe. They attempted to enter South Africa, but ended up in Zambia. So, if we tighten-up our boarders together and speak the same language, it will be easier to deal with such issues. The moment countries start having suspicions over each other, it will be difficult. If one country receives certain people who have been denied entry into other countries, it will very difficult to trust each other. Zambia will soon be assuming the Chairmanship of the SADC Organ Troika which is key in resolving conflicts. You cannot resolve conflicts if people have suspicions about your status.

Madam Speaker, my call to you and the Office of the Clerk is to see how quickly we can domesticate this treaty, to turn these forums into full legislative assemblies.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Madam Speaker, when I arrived in this Parliament in 2008, the then Government Chief Whip, Mr Vernon Johnson Mwaanga, told me that a man must only rise to speak when it is necessary to do so, and not to speak just for the sake of speaking. Doing so would be like an empty tin that makes the loudest noise, but does nothing.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: So, I felt that I should contribute to this debate on the Floor on the report from our delegation to the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF).

Madam Speaker, I have been following the works of SADC-PF for a very long time, although have never been a delegate to this very important organ, right from the days when my colleagues such as Hon. Nkombo and Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane were members of this very important organ. It is sixteen years now, from the time that SADC-PF was constituted as a consultative wing of the main stream SADC, basically to buttress the aims and objects that have been ably highlighted by the two hon. Colleagues who have spoken.

Madam Speaker, why is it very important? First of all, as hon. Members have heard, SADC-PF has been able to put together what is known as model laws. In other words, these are some laws that all of us in the SADC region, ideally, would like to have in our Parliaments.  In my many engagements on international platforms and fora, some of these model laws have been cited and quoted. A good example is the model law on ending child marriage. This is a very important law that has taken a very long time for some countries to domesticate, for obvious reasons, as my colleagues have said, because unfortunately, this very important forum has no legislative authority. It is just a club or group of Parliamentarians representing their respective countries and wishing to participate in common things that affect the region. It is very critical and important that it is given that legislative authority.

Madam Speaker, you will discover that some of the good works that come from there take so long to be included into Parliaments, more so that in our jurisdiction, we do not have a mechanism where delegates can come and report here. So, again, I want to congratulate this Parliament for the change in the Standing Orders which now requires us to listen to some of our people who go out and attend these conferences to give us reports. Through that, they are able to tell us exactly what is going on and, as a result, we are able to debate and begin to incorporate things.

Madam Speaker, secondly, I want to congratulate hon. Ministers, particularly the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts and the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services. In case hon. Members may not know or have forgotten, we recently passed the Child Code Bill, which is now the Child Code Act. In there, Section 18 actually criminalises child marriage. Those of us who have been working very closely with SADC-PF have always admired our friends in Malawi. Here, we just talked, but did not have the legislative framework. However, for the first time, people who continue to practice this vice just know that we now have the legislative framework to bring sanctions, penalise or send them to jail. It is continued in Section 27. This was born out of this model law on ending child marriage. So, I think this Parliament has begun to domesticate some of the tenets that are coming from SADC-PF.

Madam Speaker, secondly, there is another model law on public finance, which the SADC Parliamentary Forum has done. Recently, we also passed a law on public finance management; I think even a manual, if I recall, from the Parliament Site. These are some of the good works that have been coming from the efforts of SADC-PF.

Madam Speaker, the SADC-Parliamentary Forum (PF) has supported this Parliament so much, particularly in the area of health. I recall that the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services, in 2017, went to Rwanda. Incidentally, we were ten, but only three came back; Ms Kasune and I, and Madam First Deputy Speaker. We toured Rwanda and looked at various aspects of HIV/AIDS and access to services primarily because of the efforts and work of the SADC-PF. Not only that, but also, I basically interacted with it and I even consulted it. We spoke to other parliaments on the importance of works around health, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights, all because of the SADC-PF.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately, and alas, as my hon. Colleagues have lamented, the SADC-PF has not yet been given the full legislative authority, and this has to be done by our Heads of State because they are the ones who came up with this idea and created it. So, the mover and the seconder should have given us a brief on how far this issue has gone and where they are. All we have been asked to do is to sign up to transform it, but who is willing, who is not willing, what is the hindrance, and when will it be done? I submit that this should be done as soon as it should be because it is very important.

Madam Speaker, the SADC-PF came up with several model laws particularly on HIV/AIDS, and it has been very active in election monitoring. Many of our hon. Colleagues have gone on trips sponsored by the SADC-PF to monitor elections. We have five delegates at the SADC-PF, if I am not mistaken, and I urge them to keep us informed on how far we have gone to make it a Parliament with full legislative authority so that we can domesticate whatever they decide immediately. I am ready to do that, at least, on my part, and I am sure all of us are ready. If there is any reason our Heads of State do not want to do that, they should let us know so that we can engage them. We think this idea they created is very good, and has transformed parliaments, particularly with regard to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Madam Speaker, by the way, this Parliament launched a caucus over the weekend; thanks to the effort of SADC-PF. We went to Chisamba and talked to children about child marriages and school dropouts, and what came out was very interesting.

With those few remarks, I support this report and urge other hon. Members to support it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The last two will be the hon. Member for Feira and the hon. Member for Kabwe Central.

Mr E. Tembo (Feira): Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, the Motion on the Floor of this House is very important. I know that as a country, we played a very important role in the liberation struggle of Southern Africa. It is important for our children, and most of us here, especially hon. Members on the right whom I know do not like reading, to understand that Zambia has been a leader in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). It has created democracy and maintained peace.

Madam Speaker, I support the Motion, and, indeed, the theme namely, ‘The Role of Parliament in Strengthening Legislative Framework for Peace and Security in SADC.’ However, in doing so, I will bring out some important issues, and I will start with the SADC Treaty. The SADC Treaty was born out of what was then called the Frontline States and that was co-operation between the SADC countries.

Madam Speaker, Member States of SADC believe that working together is more profitable than each country working separately and, as a country, we need to take up that role to build peace within SADC. Therefore, the Southern African Development Community (SADC-PF), which was fostered to promote political co-operation, is a very important body. As a Parliamentarian, I am thrilled that today we are still talking about it. Most importantly, we need to take note that the first Secretary-General of the SADC-PF was actually a Zambian and a former Parliamentarian, Dr Kasuka Mutukwa. At the time he held that position, he was Vice-President of a party called the Zambia Democratic Congress (ZADECO).

Madam Speaker, it is important to take note of issues of peace and security in SADC. Even as we co-operate as Parliamentarians, we need to ensure that our individual parliaments are united, and I am not happy with some parliaments. If we cannot unite, how is it possible that we can actually co-operate at the SADC level? It is also important to take note that peace and security issues are also linked to economic activities and the superpowers’ fight for natural resources. My hon. Colleagues already alluded to the fact that we have allowed some countries to supply weapons so that we are divided. So, as nations, we need to stand up and ensure that we stop this. Before our Central Governments co-operate with the European Union (EU), the Americans and other foreign entities, they need to co-operate with our regional bodies. Therefore, it is important that parliamentarians in SADC co-operate in many other forms.

Madam Speaker, I agree with Hon. Kampyongo that we risk relegating some important institutions to mere talk shows where people travel, just talk and come back. Reports are being adopted and just shelved. I look forward to our country taking a leading role in the resolutions that were passed. As it stands today, in the SADC, there are many donors that finance institutions. We cannot talk about the SADC being independent or each one of us, yet these institutions continue receiving donor aid from the West. In fact, we risk creating a situation in which these people will start influencing us, including on the issue that has been linked to donor aid of late of the so-called lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals. We need to be independent both in thought and in the way we conduct our business, without watering down the objectives. Therefore, the objective of the SADC-PF is to promote co-operation within SADC, which includes Zambia, so that as legislative bodies in SADC, we are able to maintain peace and promote political co-operation.

Madam Speaker, before I resume my seat, I want to say that one of the pitfalls is that, despite having objectives, we also listen to people of external influence. That is what has led some organisations to not achieve their objectives, particularly economic and political blocs. So, much as I support the Motion on the Floor of this House, I want to add that as Member States of SADC, the SADC-PF and many other forms of co-operations, we need to ensure that we come together and work according to the common purpose that we identified.

Madam Speaker, one of the issues that was agreed on under the SADC Treaty was that by 2008, we needed to have a Common Customs Treaty, and this would have ensured a free flow of goods and people. However, that was actually undermined by donors, like I said, because we would have been a strong economic body. So, I urge each one of us to emulate our forefathers. The late Dr Kaunda, our first President, actually said that the freedom of Zambia was not enough until all SADC countries were free. Indeed, this was followed up by many other leaders like Mr Sam Nujoma and Mr Robert Mugabe.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, Zambia needs to take its leading role, the one that it played, and we invested so much in SADC. According to the records, Zambia spent over £8 billion to liberate Southern Africa. That was as a good job and it needs to, again, take up that role.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Halwiindi (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to support the Motion before the House.

Madam Speaker, I support the Motion before the House as was deliberated, especially on the role of parliamentarians on legislative roles to strengthen our peace, democracy and unity in our region. I also support the model laws that have been suggested, including those on child marriages. If we do not tackle the issue of child marriages in the region, we will not head anywhere and the region will not improve in terms of socio-economic development.

Madam Speaker, our girls who get into marriages do not even understand what it means to be in a marriage. They have children and not have the impetus to educate and protect their children. If we do not come up with a model law that will compel every country in this region to protect our girl child so that she has the education she needs to take up key positions when she grows up, like being a parliamentarian, we are not doing justice to our country. Our country can only thrive and develop if we enhance and protect the girl child’s rights. So, I really support the model law that will compel every country to protect our girl child.

Madam Speaker, if our girl child is not protected, we will have families that do not understand what it means to be a family. These are the families where we see a lot of gender-based violence (GBV). There is a lot of fighting because they do not understand family. If there is a lot of fighting in families, we will see many children on the streets. The smallest unit of every country is the family. If there is peace in a family, then there is peace in the country. So, it starts from the family. So, as a region, we have to protect our girls and see to it that the laws pertaining to GBV are dealt with and every country is compelled to follow them.

Madam Speaker, I also want to speak on the issue of elections. If, as a region, we uphold democracy, we are going to see a region that is peaceful. If the region is peaceful, we are going to see a region that is going to develop –

Ms Kasanda crossed the Floor.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, order!

The hon. Minister of Information and Media, please, avoid passing between the person debating and the Presiding Officer. This also applies to the Deputy Chief Whip.

Hon. Member, you may continue.

Ms Halwiindi: Madam Speaker, I was talking about elections. When we talk about elections, we always think of democracy. If we uphold democracy in the region, we are going to see a region that is going to develop and that is peaceful. When the region is peaceful, even business will be done properly and the region will develop. If one country develops, but another country does not because there is no peace, we will not see development in the whole region. We need to unite and uphold democracy in the whole region.

Madam Speaker, I also want to talk about public funds management. It is very important that as a region, we unite and make sure that issues to do with corruption and financial mismanagement are dealt with. As I have said, we can only develop when the whole region is doing fine. The whole region needs to understand that if we do not manage our finances, we will not see the development of the region, and we cannot even go to neighbouring regions to do business. We need to compete favourably by dealing with issues of financial management. It is very important and prudent to do that. If my home is not doing fine, but my neighbour is doing fine, that is not good enough. As a region, we have to make sure that we stand out and protect what we have. We must protect our finances because that is going to be good for the region.

Madam Speaker, lastly, the forum spoke about the 50/50 gender parity, which is also very important. As women, we need to work side by side with men. Let me bring in the issue of the Coat of Arms since it was talked about by our President when he came to the House. He said that we should respect our national instruments. The coat of arms has a man and a woman. Men alone cannot perform better. So, we need to look at the issue.

Madam Speaker, there are countries in the region that are doing fine on this matter, but other countries, like ours, are not doing fine. We are going backwards. We should also come up with a model law that is going to help us reach 50/50 men and women representation. This is going to be good for us. As I have said before, women are the majority in our country and in our region and we should put them in front because they always work hard. As women, we should help each other and work side by side with men because without women, we cannot perform better as a country.

Madam Speaker, even food security in our region will not improve if women are not included because women work hard. They are the majority and the ones who see to it that children in the home are fed and go to school. So, let us make sure, as the Southern African Development Community-Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), that we look at this model law to support women in the region. Those who have gone ahead of us on the issue should tell us how they managed to work together. There is no beautiful home where there is no woman. There is no beautiful country where there are no women who are working side by side with men. So, please, let us look into the issue. It is going to help us in the region.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, thank you. I appreciate everyone who has debated, including the Opposition Whip Hon. Kampyongo. Hon. Chrizoster Halwiindi Phiri echoed the voice of women in the country and said that we are lagging behind when it comes to women participation in Parliament. As we look forward to 2026, we need 50/50 representation. This is the cry of our womenfolk out there.

Madam Speaker, I also appreciate the hon. Member for Feira. He is so endowed with a lot of information and history and I appreciate what he submitted. I also appreciate the able Member of Parliament, Hon. Mukosa, who seconded the Motion and has been involved in the issues.

Madam Speaker, I also appreciate the other hon. Members of Parliament who were part of the delegation; Hon. Mazoka, Hon. Nyambose, Hon. Jeffrey Mulebwa, Hon. Victor Lumayi and Hon. Kalila. I hope I have not left out anyone. The entire House should ensure that the SADC-PF becomes a Parliament. The institution has been the springboard for many of our hon. Members to get to where they are. So, we look forward to formalising the SADC-PF as a parliament.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker –

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I rise on a procedural point of order. The practice in this august House is such that when a Motion as important as the one we have just adopted is tabled, there is a need to hear from the Executive. I know that the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation is away. He must be away with the President, but I can see capable hon. Ministers who should have covered for him.

Madam Speaker, this has never happened before. Is the Executive, the able hon. Ministers, in order to abdicate their duties by keeping quiet?

Mr Mbangweta: It is straight forward.

Mr Kampyongo: It is not straight forward, you should understand. This is governance, and you are governing. That is your problem hon. Colleagues; you do not want to learn. We are here to orient each other and to see you succeed.

Hon. UPND Member: Question!

Mr Kampyongo: That is why you can never be minister. You are busy saying “Ah”!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, please, concentrate on your point of order.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, is the Executive in order to remain mute? That is why we are lamenting here that, maybe, we cannot even get this ratified and domesticated. Are the hon. Ministers in order to remain mute like water in the fridge on a very important Motion like this one? I am saying they are able because I know that they could have articulated the Government’s position on this very matter. On a serious note, are they in order to remain quiet as we are adopting this very important report?

I seek your serious guidance, Madam.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you so much hon. Member for Shiwang’andu. Of course, when there is a Motion, there is an hon. Minister who is supposed to respond, but for this type of Motion, I inquired and was told that the Executive does not normally respond to such a Motion. So, because of that, members of the Executive are in order not to respond.

May the hon. Member for Chilubi continue with his debate.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was trying to underscore that the speech that the President made and what he said in Parliament are at variance. If you get the verbatim record, you will note that the characters and the sentences are almost a million in each other. I want to go on record and state that apart from that, the tone that was used when the President was here is one which was dividing the angels and devils, as usual, where he was saying some of them should have social shame and the like.

Madam Speaker, we are all hon. Members of Parliament. In the same breath, the President was saying we should co-operate, and so, he should not separate hon. Members of Parliament with that kind of language.

Madam Speaker Article 8 of the Constitution, which talks about the national values and amplified by Article 9(2), is very straight forward on those issues.

Madam Speaker, furthermore, the President went on to talk about the 130 constituencies that were provided with boarding bursaries. He also talked about the need to empower the other twenty-six constituencies and I think I heard echoes of people saying “PF, PF, PF”. I know that the President could have just been giving a record, but I think that kind of divisive approach should not be entertained.

Madam Speaker, on page 20 of his speech, he addressed an issue of deforestation and talked about planting 2 million trees for the next five years. I am more concerned about what is happening to our natural resources. During the Patriotic Front (PF), we used to hear too much about the Mukula tree. It was Mukula this and Mukula that, but that is not the case anymore. Since the President was talking about deforestation, I would have loved him to tell us what is currently happening to our Mukula; whether the Government is involved in dealing with the Mukula or it is the youth chairpersons at provincial level who are dealing in it. That I would have liked to get from him as it would have given us a good picture.

Madam Speaker, he did address the issue of implementing the National Alcohol Policy, especially as it relates to outreach programmes. However, the people of Chilubi would have liked the President to ascertain that alcohol is one of the drivers of the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). As we speak, there are 61,000 plus new infections in the country, coupled with the issues of sexual and reproductive health and so on and so forth. However, the 61,000 plus is an issue. Out of that number, fifteen years to twenty-five years, which is 40 per cent are young people whom he associated with from institutions of learning. We would have liked that the three documents that are at the Ministry of Youth, Sport Art be funded to defeat this particular schedule because juvenile delinquency is growing out of proportion in this country. So, based on that, that statistic would have been very important.

Madam Speaker, on pages 7 and 8 of his speech, the President talked about improving the quality of local goods and services. The only thing that he referred to was that the people who are using the ‘Proudly Zambian’ logo have increased from 47 per cent to 69 per cent. I would have liked the President to go further and talk about how many Zambian companies have been empowered.

Madam Speaker, the current corruption index as reviewed by Transparent International Zambia (TIZ) shows that corruption is on the increase. We do not want a situation where corruption becomes monozygotic twins with the United Party for National Development (UPND). If corruption is on the side and the President said, in his speech, that it is in the soil, then the two statements are at variance.

Madam Speaker, allow me to address the procurement system, which is being micro managed in line with ethics and morals of our nation. I want to emphasise that I still smell a fish in as far as the fertiliser deal is concerned. I smell a rotten fish that we need to address. Let us be magnanimous enough to address that particular deal because it borders on food security and other things. We do not want our people to suffer because of their being wrong hands in the procurement of fertiliser.

Madam Speaker, the President only associated the passing of the Child Code Bill to the success of the UPND. I appreciate that, but I also think it is a missed opportunity. If you remember, when we were passing the Child Code Bill, we marshalled support from both sides to make sure that it became a national law because we do realize, as parents, uncles and aunties, that our children need an environment of protection. I think that it is not good to give credit to only one party when a Bill becomes an Act of Parliament. As regards addresses, we need to ensure what happens in the Commonwealth is taken on board and that it becomes the norm.

Madam Speaker, as I wrap up my debate, the President is not only the Republican President, but also a father to everybody. Therefore, if he is a father to everybody, I appeal to him to come here with a tone that addresses the interests of Zambians; not where he becomes a choir master and the choir is saying Masholi.

Mr Mposha: He is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

Mr Fube: That is a reference. It is figurative language. So, when you talk about that, you are talking about an issue –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me, on behalf of the good people of Petauke Central, this opportunity to contribute to debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address.

Madam Speaker, the good people of Petauke Central appreciate what the President said about the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). When the CDF was increased, the good people of Petauke were very happy that things would move equitably. However, because of bureaucracy, they have not yet started seeing the fruits of the CDF. They are very worried because the beneficiaries of the CDF are the banks. As I speak, for the first time, the Zambia National Commercial Bank (Zanaco) has made huge profits because of bureaucracy in the utilisation of the CDF. We are not using the money which the people of Zambia are supposed to benefit from.

Madam Speaker, as we speak, in the CDF account for Petauke Central Constituency, there is money for 2021 and 2022 still sitting because of bureaucracy.

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


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Petauke Central.

A point of order is raised.

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order –


Mr Katakwe: It is pursuant to our Standing Orders.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Please, go ahead, hon. Member.

Hon. Member: Quote the Standing Order!

Mr Katakwe: I will quote at the end.

Madam Speaker, I was seated, quietly listening to the hon. Member for Petauke Central as he was expounding in his debate, but Hon. Dr Kalila here is disturbing us by narrating that empty tins make the most noise.


Mr Katakwe: I really do not know who he is referring to.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

You did not even cite the Standing Order. Therefore, your point of order is not admissible.

Please, let us be mindful of time. I can see there is a list of hon. Members who want to debate.

Hon. Member for Petauke Central, please, continue with your debate.

Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, when we bring Motions here, dull hon. Members, the so-called doctors, fail to articulate, but when a businessman goes –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Petauke Central!

Hon. Member for Petauke Central, your people are listening to your debate, but now you are bringing in the issue of dull Ministers when, in this House, we have hon. Members of Parliament. That word “dull”, hon. Member, is unparliamentary. Can you, please, withdraw it.

Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, I withdraw the word “dull” doctor for the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi East. I withdraw that he is dull and replace it with “he should be thinking properly like a doctor who acquired a degree for him to be called a doctor.”


Mr J. E. Banda: Not for him to be here and behave like a witchdoctor.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Petauke Central!

We are looking at the President’s Speech. I have gone through this speech several times and nowhere did the President mention a dull doctor. Please, can you be focused on the President’s Speech that we all have. Let us not go astray, but be focused.

You may continue.

Mr J. E. Banda: Madam Speaker, currently, there are some people who cover a distance of about 20 km. The moment I took office, and after the President pronounced the increase of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), there was jubilation in Petauke Central. As the people of Petauke Central, we quickly agreed to construct health posts, school infrastructure, buy desks and adopt the Free Education Policy. Unfortunately, due to the bureaucracy that is there, from the time we approved all these things, nothing has happened. The good people of Petauke Central are still covering long distances to access health posts.

Madam Speaker, our children in Petauke Central still cover long distances to access education. I remember one time when the President went to the Copperbelt, he asked the hon. Ministers, councillors and council chairmen to work with him so that, at least, things could move. Currently, I do not know what is happening. The President is not being helped in as far as the CDF disbursement is concerned.

Madam Speaker, the good people of Petauke Central are suffering while the banks are benefiting from their money. We are, therefore, asking hon. Ministers, hon. Members of Parliament, council chairmen and councillors to quickly work on the bureaucracy that is there, to help the President. That is what the President said when he was on the Copperbelt.

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about deforestation in his speech, and the good people of Petauke Central support him on that issue. The good people of Petauke Central have also sent me to come and push a Motion in this House, and I am sure the so-called doctors will come and support it. This Motion is about curbing deforestation in our country. As we speak, many rural constituencies use pan bricks to build school and health infrastructure. We cut trees in order to make sure that those bricks are matured and ready for use. So, the good people Petauke Central have sent me to push a Motion that all the constituencies in Zambia should not allow the Government to use pan bricks to build infrastructure. This way, at least, the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment will sit here comfortably knowing that trees are safe. This will also enable us to receive rainfall on time.

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about sustainable development. For us to proudly talk about sustainable development, we must ensure that there is a trickledown effect. The benefits from mineral wealth are not trickling down to the communities where minerals are being mined. For example, the people of Mwinilunga are not benefiting from the Kasenseli Gold Mine. There were mountains in the Kasenseli Gold Mine, but they are disappearing. However, there is no trickledown effect. Only a certain group is benefitting. As a result, the cost of living is going up. So, I am asking the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development to help the President to ensure that there is a trickledown effect. For instance, the people of Wusakile and Nkana are not benefitting from the Black Mountain.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.

Hon. Member, your time is up.

Hon. Members: Quality!

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity, on behalf of the people of Chama North Constituency, to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Speech, delivered on 24th February, 2023, on The Progress Made in the Application of National Values and Principles.

Madam Speaker, the President touched on a number of issues, but due to time limitation, I will only focus on a few key areas.

Madam Speaker, the President spoke about promoting the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. Indeed, this country has a number of ethnic groupings, but has continued to enjoy peace and stability since Independence. This is not by accident, but because of the wise leadership which Dr Kenneth Kaunda and his comrades provided to this great nation. They managed to unite more than seventy-two tribes under the umbrella of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.

Madam Speaker, let me quote what the President said. He said as follows:

“As a nation, we do not and will never condone tribalism. It is retrogressive and denies our people equal opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Madam Speaker, it is true that tribalism is actually worse than corruption. We must not continue to bury our heads in the sand that tribalism exists in this country in private and public institutions. It is important that we continue providing leadership to ensure that this country remains united. It is a fact that people are being segregated from employment based on maybe political or regional affiliation. It is important that we take a radical action to weed out tribalism in this country. If tribalism existed in the past, it cannot be justified now. So, it is important to ensure that we promote the spirit of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ in honouring the legacy of Dr Kenneth Kaunda and his comrades. That is why, today, this country is united. We must continue to create a just society where Zambians, regardless of their tribe and region, have equal opportunities.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about the fight against corruption. I am a strong advocate of the fight against corruption. However, this country has not scored a success story in the fight against corruption because we have narrowed down the fight against corruptions to politicians rather than taking a holistic approach. Therefore, I feel that we have failed to deal with the root cause of corruption. It takes two to tangle, but we have seen a culture in this country where politicians are the main focus in the fight against corruptions. When Dr Kaunda left office in 1991, he was pursued for having plundered national resources. The then Government of President Chiluba brought Scotland Yard to investigate Dr Kenneth Kaunda and millions of dollars were spent only to discover that Dr Kaunda was as clean as his white handkerchief.

Madam Speaker, I think it is important, if we are to fight corruption, to build strong State institutions of good governance. The trend has continued. Even when the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) left office, His Excellency, the late Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, may his soul rest in peace, was also pursued over corruption allegations. Now, we have so many leaders in the former Government who are being pursued over corruption allegations.

Madam Speaker, as my brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chilubi stated, corruption has been increasing. If you look at the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Zambia is ranked 116 out of 180 countries as the least corrupt in the world. This is because we have narrowed down the fight against corruption to politicians instead of allowing law enforcement agencies to fight corruption in a professional manner. We must also not allow a situation where law enforcement agencies abuse their offices, especially on the forfeiture of proceeds of crime.

Madam Speaker, I feel that if we are not careful, as a country, we will hurt entrepreneurship. There are many foreign nationals who have wealth they cannot explain, but our law enforcement agencies do not follow them.

Lastly, but not least, Madam Speaker, the President spoke about increasing access to electricity. How do we increase access when connection fees are becoming exorbitant? Less than 45 per cent of Zambians have access to electricity, fifty-eight years after Independence. I believe that is not a success story to write home about. The Government has a responsibility to put in place measures to ensure that connection fees are affordable to the majority of the people of Zambia if we are to achieve universal access to electricity. Otherwise, whatever speeches we make will just be a talk show. I think we must be able to take practical measures to ensure that the majority of our people have access to electricity. I will give an example of Egypt. That country has managed to achieve 100 per cent access to electricity both in urban and rural areas. However, if you look at our country, today, the majority of people in rural areas do not have access to electricity.

Madam Speaker, I come from, in Chama North Constituency, as well as in Chama South, there have been no project under the Rural Electrification Fund since Rural Electrification Authority (REA) was created in 2003. We have seven palaces electrified, but none of our chiefs has electricity. So, I think, as REA is implementing its Master Plan, it must consider districts and constituencies that have not benefitted from REA. The people of Chama also deserve to have a fair share of the national cake.

With these few remarks, Madam Speaker, I submit.

Mr Siachisumo (Lufwanyama): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving the people of Lufwanyama an opportunity to debate the Motion of Thanks on the address of the President to the National Assembly on 24th February, 2023.

Mr Munir Zulu: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lufwanyama!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Munir Zulu: Thank you, kind Madam Speaker. I rise on this point of order supported by Standing Order 202 (4), read with Article 76 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia where the privileges for hon. Members are enshrined.

Madam Speaker, you had guided, much earlier, on a matter I raised under Matters of Urgent Public Importance that it should be submitted as a question. I remember, in my submission, I mentioned that hon. Members are being threatened. The Journals Department has refused to craft a question saying that it does not qualify as an urgent matter. Is that not stepping on our privileges as hon. Members of Parliament in reference to Article 76 (1) up to 78 (2).

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Lumezi, I think that is more of an administrative matter. I assure you that the Office of the Clerk is going to look into it and will definitely get back to you.

Mr Siachisumo: Madam Speaker, I support the President’s Address to the National Assembly on 24th February, 2023, in which he brought out so many things. He talked about morality and ethics; democracy; and patriotism and national unity. This was one of the best speeches the President could have given because it covered many things; human dignity, equity, social justice and equality.

Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government has done away with some of the things that were happening in the past like discrimination. Discrimination is something which is very bad. We saw that after the President finished addressing the National Assembly, he went and greeted our brothers on your left. So, there was no discrimination.

Madam Speaker, discrimination is not good because it deters development. It takes away the human capital that is very important. It is bad because you are going to discriminate against those who can develop the country. The New Dawn Government is trying, by all means, to do away with that vice.

Madam Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is released at once and there is no discrimination in its disbursement. There is no constituency which is left out. It is disbursed at the same time. I want to thank the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development for such a good thing.

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about national unity, which is very important. We have to be united as hon. Members of Parliament and as a nation at large so that we can develop the country –

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

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

Madam Speaker, I am sitting here, quietly listening and trying to follow the debate by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lufwanyama in whom I am so pleased, our former capable District Commissioner (DC) under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government in Kalulushi and very hard working.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, please, do not debate the hon. Member. You can go straight to your point of order.

Mr Kampyongo: I can see that we trained him very well. Is he in order to base his debate on assumptions because this august House –

Hon. PF. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Subulwa interjected.

In this august House, there is a new voice, which has been away for a long time, trying to help you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Member in order when he says that there was segregation because the President could come and greet people on this side? It has been a tradition, just to orient the hon. Colleague. Is he in order to insinuate that there was segregation before and not now when hon. Members are making serious lamentations about segregation? Is he in order to debate in such a fashion? As I have said, I trained him well, but I do not know what is happening now that he is here.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling and guidance.

Hon. Opposition Members. Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I think, from the way the hon. Member for Lufwanyama came in when he said the President was free to move to all sides of the House, to him, it meant that there was no segregation. We cannot rule that one out because that is what he thinks. He was not there in the previous Parliament, but he is now here and is seeing these things. So, for him, it is a sign that there is no segregation by the President. So, he is in order because he is talking about the present.

We can continue.

Mr Siachisumo: I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The President also talked about democracy in our nation. He talked about people being free to participate in by-elections, which we have seen in the past. People are free to campaign without any interference from other parties. We had a by-election in Lufwanyama and everyone was free to campaign. So, the President means well.

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about free speech. People are free now to talk about their political lives, although some have misused the democracy that we have, more especially on social media. They have tried to divide the country. Those are bad national values. They say things about other people which are not true and propagate hate speech.

Madam Speaker, when we talk about human dignity, the New Dawn Government, under our President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, cares about our youth. We find that most of our youth have been empowered through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), Booster Loans, and many other services. This shows that our people are now able to get grants from the CDF. These loans, which the youths are getting, are helping them to make sure that they develop, and their lives will never be the same again. This is happening in every constituency because it is under the CDF, unless in those where the leaders do not want their people to benefit. These are the national values we are talking about.

Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government has introduced free education, which has seen our girls who get pregnant get back into school.

Madam Speaker, the President also talked about early marriages that should be discouraged. There is what we call keeping girls in school. After they give birth and stop breastfeeding, they are allowed to go back to school.

Madam Speaker, when we talk about education, the New Dawn Government employed more than 30,000 teachers, and Lufwanyama was one of the beneficiaries. More than 793 teachers were given to Lufwanyama to make sure that every community school had a teacher. Not a single school was left without a teacher. At first, there were community workers, but currently, there are trained teachers in Lufwanyama.

Madam Speaker, on this one also –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1841 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 10th March, 2023.