Friday, 16th June, 2023

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     Friday, 16th June, 2023

The House met at 0900 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to recognise the presence, in the Public Gallery, of pupils and teachers from Longe, Presentation, Mahilo, Chilombo, Kaoma, Luena Barracks and Mulamatila secondary schools in Kaoma District.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: They are accompanied by members of staff from WISE Zambia, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Kaoma District of Western Province, that offers educational scholarships to vulnerable learners in the named secondary schools up to tertiary level of education.

The Pupils and Teachers rose.

Madam Speaker: On behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, I warmly welcome our visitors in our midst. For the information of the hon. Members, I used to be a student at Mulamatila Primary School. So, it is so exciting to see my grandchildren coming to the House today. You are welcome.

Thank you very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Pupils and Teachers resumed their seats.



The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I would like to seek your indulgence before I make the business statement on the Floor of this House.

Madam Speaker, you may have noted that there have been malicious reports on social media indicating that Her Honour the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia has gone on indefinite leave and that she is not working. The correct position is that Her Honour the Vice-President is the current Acting President of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: That is why she is not in the House to continue her usual duties as Leader of Government Business in the House. This has emanated from the decision of the world leaders that President Hakainde Hichilema, President of the Republic of Zambia, be amongst the six eminent Presidents on the African continent, to broker a peace process between Russia and Ukraine.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, as Zambians and Africans, we are so proud of these eminent Presidents who are brokering the peace between Russia and Ukraine. As a result of that important mission, Her Honour the Vice-President is the Acting President of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, with those remarks, I would like to present the business of the House for next week.

Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the House Business Committee met on Thursday, 15th June, 2023, to determine and schedule Business of the House for next week covering the period 20th to 23rd June, 2023. In this regard, the Committee resolved to lay before the House the following business for consideration:

  1. Announcements

The Hon. Madam Speaker may make an announcement to the House on any day when it is necessary to do so.

  1. Rulings

The Hon. Madam Speaker may render rulings, if there will be any.

  1. Ministerial Statements

Hon. Ministers may make ministerial statements, if there will be any.

  1. Private Member’s Motions

Mr M. Mukosa, hon. Member of Parliament for Chinsali, will present a Private Member’s Motion on 21st June, 2023, entitled: Introduce Correlation Co-efficient between Salaries for Civil Servants and Economic Factors.

  1. Bills

The Bills listed hereunder will be considered:

  1. The Environmental Management (Amendment) Bill, 2023. This will be at the Second Reading stage and the date for consideration is yet to be determined;
  2. The National Prosecution Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2023. This will also be at Second Reading stage and the date for consideration is yet to be determined;
  3. The Human Rights Commission Bill, 2023. This will also be Second Reading stage and the date for consideration is yet to be determined;
  4. The Zambia Institute of Valuation Surveyors Bill, 2023. This will be at Second Reading stage and the date for consideration is yet to be determined;
  1. Reports on International Conferences

Reports on international conferences will be considered if there will be any.

  1. Parliamentary Committee Reports

The House will consider the following Committee reports that will be tabled during the period:   

  1. Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services on the Review of the Operations of the Zambia Flying Doctor Service and the Social Cash Transfer Programmed. This will be considered on 20th June, 2023;                                                                         
  2. Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology on the Freed Education Policy in Zambia: Opportunities and Challenges. This will be considered on 21st June, 2023;
  3. Report of the Committee on Transport, Works and Supply on the Operations and management of Zambia Airways: Challenges and Opportunities. This will be considered on 22nd June, 2023; and
  4. Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Human Rights and Governance on the Review of the Administration and Operations of the Judiciary in the Delivery of Justice in Zambia. This will be considered on 23rd June, 2023;
  1. Questions

Hon. Ministers will respond to twenty Questions for Oral Answer, as set out hereunder. The details of the questions are contained in the notice of questions circulated to all hon. Members. The questions are as follows:

Tuesday, 20th June, 2023

Question No.               Portfolio Minister                    Notice of Question

236                              local government                    20th October, 2022

257                              finance                                    20th October, 2022

297                              home affairs                            20th October, 2022

264                              education                                20th October, 2022

310                              tourism                                    20th October, 2022

Wednesday, 21st June, 2023

Question No.               Portfolio Minister                    Notice of Question

242                              water development                 20th October, 2022

254                              labour                                      20th October, 2022

335                              mines                                       20th October, 2022

265                              infrastructure                           20th October, 2022

368                              health                                      20th October, 2022

Thursday, 22nd June, 2023

Question No.               Portfolio Minister                    Notice of Question

367                              infrastructure                           20th October, 2022

307                              technology                              20th October, 2022

345                              local government                    20th October, 2022

285                              education                                20th October, 2022

274                              water                                       20th October, 2022

Friday, 23rd June, 2023

Question No.               Portfolio Minister                    Notice of Question

266                              infrastructure                           20th October, 2022

286                              local government                    20th October, 2022

294                              infrastructure                           20th October, 2022

308                              Vice-President                        20th October, 2022

334                              mines                                       20th October, 2022

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the House Business Committee and in accordance with Standing Order No. 189 (5) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021, I have the pleasure to present the business for next weeks to this august House.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, on a matter of urgent public importance.

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

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, thank you for according me, on behalf of the people of Kalabo, an opportunity to rise on a matter of urgent public importance.

Madam Speaker, I am a sad and very disappointed man as I am standing here. For the first time, Kalabo residents have lived free lives. I would like to give a short background. Due to the geographical terrain of Kalabo –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

The matter of urgent public importance is directed at which ministry?

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, it is directed at the hon. Minister of Agriculture.

Madam Speaker: Proceed precisely and concisely stating your matter of urgent public importance.

Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, yesterday, I received a call around 0700 hours informing me that there was a critical shortage of mealie meal in the whole township. This has resulted in the people in surrounding areas not able to access mealie meal. The cause of that shortage is the new rule of seeking permits. Therefore, the traders in Kalabo are finding it difficult to access and acquire the mealie meal they need to supply so that the people there can buy it. As I am speaking to you, Madam Speaker, there is no shop in Kalabo that is selling mealie meal.

Madam Speaker, after receiving that news yesterday, I first attended a Committee meeting. From that Committee meeting, I rushed to the Ministry of Agriculture where I found that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Permanent Secretary (PS) were not available at the office. I then went to the office of Madam Mwape and lodged a complaint about that situation. I was given a number of Mr Zulu, the officer who is responsible for permits. After I had a conversation with him, I believed his words. I had hoped that the trucks which are impounded at Nalusanga would have been released yesterday, so that today, the people could buy mealie meal but alas –


Mr Miyutu: Madam Speaker, the civil servants are there to serve the people. Secondly, rules are made to serve the people. However, what is happening is the opposite.

Madam Speaker, I am seeking your indulgence. These vehicles which are impounded are not carrying goods that have been stolen by the traders. There is no smuggling of mealie meal in Kalabo. We do not sell mealie meal to Angola. Angolans do not buy mealie meal from Kalabo. What we sell to Angola are cattle, chickens, ducks and other food stuffs. You cannot sell mealie meal to Angola. We do not know smuggling in Kalabo. We are suffering because of these rules which have been indiscriminately applied.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I notice that the hon. Minister of Agriculture is not here, but because of issues of hunger or the stomach, and the manner in which the hon. Member for Kalabo Central has presented his matter of urgent public importance, I will ask the hon. Acting Leader of Government Business in the House to make a comment on that situation.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I would like to assure my colleague, Hon. Miyutu, and the people of Kalabo –


Madam Speaker: Can we have some order! Let us listen.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I was saying that I would like to assure my hon. Colleague, the Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central, and the people of Kalabo that the appropriate measures will be taken this morning to ensure that the trucks that are impounded at that junction are released and the people of Kalabo access the mealie meal.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: So, with that assurance, we will wait to hear on Tuesday whether that issue will have been attended to. Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, please come back to the House and just state whether the matter will have been addressed.

I note that there are indications to speak. Are these matters of urgent public importance?

Hon. Members: They are follow-up questions.

Madam Speaker: There has been an assurance. So, I think we should not waste a lot of time on that issue. There has been assurance that the matter will be attended to. In this regard, there is no need to flog a dead horse or push an open door.

Can we make progress.




The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, good morning.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to update the House and the public on the increasing incidence of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Zambia. The House may wish to recall that on Wednesday, 14th June, 2023, the Hon. Madam Speaker, directed that a ministerial statement be issued on the COVID-19 situation in the country. This directive followed a Matter of Urgent Public Importance raised by Hon. Andeleki, Member of Parliament for Katombola Constituency.

Madam Speaker, Zambia indeed, has noted an increasing trend of COVID-19 cases since 16th May, 2023, during which time we have recorded 1,054 cases, compared to only 195 cases recorded in the preceding three weeks. This clearly shows an increasing incidence of cases. Our test positivity rate over the last two weeks has averaged at 5 per cent, further highlighting this increase.

Sadly, we have lost two patients to COVID-19 within the past week, after having not recorded any lives lost over two and half months and to be particular, in seventy-four days. Of the deceased is an eighty-three-year-old man who was admitted to Ndola Teaching Hospital and demise on 11th June, 2023. The other one is also an eighty-three-year old female who was admitted to Kasempa District Hospital and demised yesterday.

Madam Speaker, in the last twenty-four hours alone, Zambia recorded 178 new cases out of 2,320 tests done, representing a daily positivity of 8 per cent. The new cases were reported across thirty-one districts in the following six provinces:

Province                   Cases               Tested

Copperbelt               69                    380

Luapula                    9                      124

Lusaka                      29                    460

Muchinga                 5                      129

North-Western         15                    892

Southern                   5                      310

Western                    0                      37

Madam Speaker, the cumulative number of cases now stands at 345,527 including, 4,060 deaths.

Madam Speaker, while the incidence of COVID-19 cases remains considerably low, we note a rise in daily positive cases detected, and we continue to admit a few cases. Currently, Madam Speaker, there are 794 active cases, twelve of whom are admitted to hospitals in Lusaka Province, Copperbelt Province and the North-Western Provinces. In the last 24 hours, we have admitted seven new cases.

Madam Speaker, the patients are admitted to the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), Maina Soko Military Hospital and Fairview Hospital. In Lusaka, at UTH, we have two patients, at Maina Soko, we have one and at Fairview Hospital, we have one. At Ndola Teaching Hospital, there are four patients, Nchanga North General Hospital has two patients and Kalulushi District Hospital on the Copperbelt Province has one patient. Mukinge Mission Hospital in the North-Western Province has one patient. Of the twelve patients currently in admission, two are on oxygen. One patient is at Lusaka’s Maina Soko Military Hospital and the other at Nchanga North General Hospital on the Copperbelt. Only one patent is classified as critical. Of the admitted patients, three are vaccinated against COVID-19, whilst nine are not. 

Madam Speaker, we have not recorded any new COVID-19 variant. The Zambia National Public Health Reference Laboratory (ZNPHRL) reported that out of the fifty-seven samples that were sequenced, all the cases are of the Omicron variant, 51 per cent being of genotype XBB, followed by XBB 1.16 at 23 per cent, then XBB 1.5 at 9 per cent. BA2 and BA5 were of equal prevalence at 7 per cent, while BA4 and BA2.75 were at 2 per cent each. Meanwhile, as we investigate through sentinel sites for tracking respiratory illnesses, the UTH Virology Laboratory has also been isolating influenza viruses. The rise in cases may be attributed to the cold weather, a season associated with increased respiratory infections.

Madam Speaker, while the Government has not put up any restrictions, we encourage those not yet vaccinated to do so and be protected from severe COVID-19. I am happy to inform you, Madam Speaker, that over 11,450,000 individuals have been vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines while 9,282,139 are fully vaccinated.

Madam Speaker, to manage COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases including the common cold, let us wear masks, and practice cough etiquette by sneezing and coughing in our elbows or disposable tissue, if not masked. Please, dispose of tissues in the toilet or designated and secured waste bins. Good hand hygiene practices remain a very effective way of reducing transmission to other persons. So, it is important to frequently wash our hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based sanitisers.

Madam Speaker, globally, COVID-19 is said to no longer be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). However, we will continue to isolate cases over time. We recognise that the status of the pandemic has de-escalated, but that does not mean that COVID-19 is over as a global and indeed, national health threat. What is of importance is that we protect ourselves through vaccination and taking up booster doses for those already vaccinated to avoid severe illness. Like we saw with the influenza H1N1 pandemic in 2009, the pandemic came to an end in 2010 but to date, we are still isolating other viruses.

Madam Speaker, I want to state here that it is important for members of the public, on their own, to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is not our intention currently as the Government to put any restrictions, but we just wish to call upon members of the public, hon. Members of Parliament who are leaders, to please encourage people in our communities to take personal responsibility on this issue of COVID-19. Even here as hon. Members of Parliament, it will help us to ensure that we wear masks because we are very squeezed and we cannot know who has it. All I can say is that prevention is better than cure.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for her statement. Is the Government ready with resources in case of an escalation in terms of infection rates?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important follow-up question. I want to state that the Government is always ready for any pandemic that would break out, but it is important for the public to know that this readiness is never sufficient. To that effect, it is important that individuals begin to take responsibility of their own health because prevention is always better than cure. Medical bills are very expensive worldwide and to say that if there is going to be a pandemic, this Government will be 100 per cent ready, that would be misleading. 

So, my humble advice to my hon. Colleagues in this House, and indeed, to the public is that people should take precaution. If people can wear masks, let them do so. They should always wash their hands, and just keep away from bad crowds. If you are on a minibus whose windows are closed, really, it is even better for you to get even a chitenge and just cover your nose if you cannot afford a mask. Let us take precautions. At the moment, I am aware that there are a number of people who have COVID-19. Some of them are even prescribing themselves with medicines without even going to report themselves to the health facilities.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, it is clear that masks are a critical intervention to prevent COVID-19. Yesterday, I visited about six chemists and I could not find a single mask. Is there an intention by the Government to make masks available?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I am not very sure of what the hon. Member is saying. I have to find out. What I can say is that the small business women out there and the youths can begin to make masks and do business. There is an opportunity there. If indeed, we do not have masks as the hon. Member is saying, especially during the cold season, Zambians should now desist from importing simple things that we ourselves can make. If you look at the beginning of COVID-19, you will see that there was a lot of wastage of resources on masks. I think as a country now, we believe Zambia can produce masks.

Madam Speaker, having said that, I will check on that matter. Suffice to say that I know that the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) does have masks in stock. As to whether the stock that is there is sufficient, this is the information I have to come back to the House with so that the hon. Member of Parliament can informed. 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has given the House statistics of the tests that are being done. Are these tests being done randomly or there are targeted groups that are being tested?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important question. You will note from the numbers of people who have been tested that really, they are quite low. One would imagine what the results would be if there had been massive testing. The point to note from the statistics is that we have gone beyond 5 per cent positivity, which is a bad indicator, even from the small samples that have been taken.

Madam Speaker, specifically to the question, I want to say that in the past, every person who went to the hospital was tested, especially the pregnant mothers. I think last week, we did give that indication to hospitals to begin testing all the pregnant mothers who are reporting to hospitals. I want to believe that these tests that have been indicated may well be from hospitals. I am not sure whether they are randomly taken or whether they are from the hospitals, looking at the numbers which are quite small. I will have to come back to the House with a better answer to that.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Nyirenda (Lundazi): Madam Speaker, there is some information that is going around that people are dying suddenly because of the vaccinations which were conducted. I want the hon. Minister to clear this so that individuals like some of us who got vaccinated can be safe.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very important question. That is a serious question that would require a statement from the Ministry of Health because from where I am standing here, I am not aware of any report that has come to the ministry to the effect that a person has died because of being vaccinated. What we know is that it is those who are not vaccinated who have died. If anyone who has been vaccinated has died, it could be that person may have had other complications. The hon. Member will note that people with other illnesses normally are the ones who easily catch COVID-19. Now, if you have another disease and then you catch COVID-19, you will find that your chances of survival obviously, will be lesser than that of a person like me, who may just be suffering from COVID-19. So, that question is important, but I must say that I have not received any such a report.

Madam Speaker, let me answer the earlier question on the samples. Testing is on all who present with symptoms of COVID-19 to the health facilities. This means that those figures I have announced here in terms of how many were tested are from those who have been going to hospitals. When the health personnel see that people are presenting COVID-19 symptoms, they have deliberately tested them and these are the results.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving the good people of Petauke Central this opportunity to ask a follow up question to the hon. Minister of Health.

Madam Speaker, in her statement, the Minister of Health mentioned that some of the people who tested positive were once vaccinated. So, how safe are we here in Parliament, churches and schools, to still not follow the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guidelines like social distancing and masking? I think it will be very expensive to have ten by-elections if COVID-19 hammered this House.


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

Madam Speaker, firstly, in terms of the numbers, we had twelve patients. Three patients – I think I cannot remember the numbers very well. Let me not mislead the House. However, we had said that of the twelve people who had died, three were vaccinated and nine were unvaccinated.  Just from those numbers, you can tell that when those of us who are vaccinated get sick of COVID-19, symptoms are very mild. These are the cases which people do not even present to the hospital. This is not to say that people should not get tested. People should always get tested, even if they have a simple cold because they can never know if they have COVID-19 or not.

Madam Speaker, a point I want to make is as follows:  Once a person is vaccinated and has received a booster, chances of getting COVID-19, if I may lose words, is at 3 per cent. For those who are not vaccinated, chances of them getting COVID-19 are at 90 per cent. So, obviously, it is just common sense for one to know that he or she is safer to be vaccinated.

Madam Speaker, look, we cannot have the whole world telling everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and only a person from the village called Zambia thinks he or she is safer by not getting vaccinated. That is not being smart. Smart people learn from others.  Even our own President – Even Hon. Kampyongo is vaccinated. So, the people of Shiwan’gandu will have to be smart and know that if their hon. Member of Parliament, whom they elected is vaccinate, they should follow what he has done. We learn from others.

Madam Speaker, you will realise that all the hon. Members here are vaccinated. There was only one hon. Member of Parliament who was not vaccinated. When I spoke to him, he went and got vaccinated and he is looking very healthy up to now.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: I am trying to balance the debate.

Mr Tayengwa (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. Surely, the numbers of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases are rising and deaths are worrying, looking at the statists that we have been given. How prepared is the ministry in terms of stock levels of test kits and the drugs that are used for COViD-19?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I think this question is similar to the one that was asked earlier. However, I will say that we are not fully prepared in terms of test kits. If there was an outbreak for example, like the first one we had, in terms of test kits, I would not say that we are 100 per cent ready. Currently, we do have stocks throughout the country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Chilufya (Mansa Central): Madam Speaker, clearly, the numbers that the hon. Minister has indicated raises an alarm. The positivity rate raises an alarm. The number of tests that we are conducting is still very low. I heard the hon. Minister state that she may not be ready if there was an escalation in the cases of COVID-19.

Madam Speaker, surveillance is key as she manages COVID-19. To determine the exact extent of the problem in the country, it is critical that we do a lot of tests. Does the ministry got any plans to procure test kits so that it scales-up community testing and indeed, any other forms of surveillance?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I did indicate that currently, testing is going on in all the hospitals throughout the country, except that it is not compulsory like it was last time, where everybody had to do a test as long as they were admitted or presented themselves to the hospital. These specific numbers are not from random tests. The numbers I have presented here are from those who showed symptoms. They are not from people who presented themselves to the hospital.

Madam Speaker, the issue of test kits is the same as that of all other commodities in Zambia. The Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) has placed an order and tests kits will hopefully, be in the country with the consignment that is expected at the end of this month or early next month. Apart from that, it is also important to inform hon. Members of Parliament and the public that we have a fully-fledged operating Zambia National Public Health Institute (ZNPHI) that is doing surveillance everyday and everywhere, now. With the implementation of decentralisation, it is hoped that surveillance will even increase more.

So, Madam Speaker, members of the public must know that as the Government, we will not be seated when we expect this kind of pandemic to become worse any time. Even as I speak, I am also aware that ZNPHI, ZAMMSA, the Ministry of Health and health facilities especially, the big hospitals are already on alert and are getting themselves even prepared.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to pose a follow-up question on the hon. Minister’s statement. Before I do, allow me to commend the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House for clarifying matters surrounding the Office of Her Honour the Vice-President as we too, were beginning to wonder, as today marks the fourth Friday, if we have to count the other Fridays prior to the adjournment, without engaging Her Honour the Vice-President

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, you are just putting petrol on the fire. I think the matter has been settled. Let us leave it at that.

Mr Kampyongo: I understand Madam Speaker, but we have to place our concerns on record as well. We miss her.

Madam Speaker, we have taken note of the hon. Minister’s submissions. I think she has done well to do that because we only saw her wearing a mask and we were beginning to wonder. I just want to disagree with her that yes, Zambia could be a village but it is a civilised one. So, we have to move with the rest of the world.

Madam Speaker, may I just know what other measures the hon. Minister would pronounce to the nation, as a rider to the question asked by the hon. Member for Petauke Central, to those who are gathering in public places like schools, churches and other events. What will she pronounce now without taking a middle line so that people know exactly what needs to be done? Also, what does she expect of citizens that will be travelling beyond boarders? Do we expect other measures as we interact with other countries?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that important question. Like I said earlier, social and personal health responsibilities must be taken care of by every individual. Like the hon. Member said it himself, out of 150 plus hon. Members of Parliament –  Since I heard that in China, COVID-19 cases are rising and the fact that there are many visitors coming in and going out of this country, I decided to put on a mask. Even now, there are a few hon. Members and members of staff who are putting on masks. They are making their personal decisions. It is important that, as citizens of Zambia, we begin to take personal responsibility of our health. Once the Government makes an announcement that there is an outbreak, it is up to individuals to take note of that. What is why I said that those who are smart will take precautions. Those who are not smart enough may not take the necessary precautions. So, taking precautions is number one.

Madam Speaker, for those who are traveling on mini-busses, for example, it is better they help themselves by covering their nose. Those who are coughing should not do it the Zambian or the village way of coughing. That is why I am calling it the village way. (Mrs Masebo coughed without holding her mouth). No! People should at least cover their mouths like this. (Mrs Masebo coughed whilst covering her mouth with her elbow.)  Even my neighbour here, who likes to sit very near me, he must not breath on me.


Mrs Masebo: If you go to the salon and somebody is working on your face – Sometimes, those who are working in salons must protect themselves by covering their mouths because clients may not know that they have COVID-19. So, these small things like washing hands will help because we do not want to put restrictions to stop people from praying. We do not want to stop people from going to discos or doing many other things because they will say that that is how they are making their money. So, we are appealing to the public to take precautions on its own.

Madam Speaker, do you know that there are even some big shops – I will not mention them this time. Next time, I will call their names out. In those shops, they used to put sanitisers for people to clean their hands, but they stopped, and yet they are making money. Again, I want to call upon the Council to start visiting shops to just ensure that they put water and soap. In some hotels, you will find that there is no tissue or soap in the toilets. Even restaurants do not have these basic things. In this age and time, how can one run a restaurant without tissue and soap? This is basic hygiene. Hon. Kampyongo is saying that we are civilised. Civilised nations today, have toilets with running water and tissue. This is why the President has made a call that there shall be no public facility in Zambia that shall not have a toilet with running water and soap because these are basics like Hon. Kampyongo himself has recognised. So, colleagues, let us move a step higher. We cannot be saying that we are in a league of Champions and yet, in our facilities, there are no toilets, water or tissue.

Madam Speaker, I beg you. It is important for our members to begin to speak to their communities on issues to do with drinking clean water, by boiling the water or putting chlorine in it. Even if you are a marketeer, put chlorine because it is still very cheap. If you cannot afford chlorine, boil the water and give your children. These are simple things.

Madam Speaker, lastly, but most importantly, for those who are not yet vaccinated, get vaccinated. You are not paying for it. It will help you. Look, all of us, two years down the lane, we are still okay. Have people ever heard that the hon. Minister of Health is sick? Never! Why?

Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It is because now, I am learning to take personal responsibility of my health.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I could see the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu restraining himself from responding. He wanted to respond. I think, it was on a good note that he was being referred to. Due to the interest in this matter by hon. Members, there are so many indications of people wanting to ask questions. So, I have decided to add five more minutes to this segment.

Please, hon. Members, let us not repeat questions. Let us be precise and to the point. Then, we will be able to cover more questions.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for her statement.

Madam Speaker, I just need clarification. I did not hear the hon. Minister, when she was giving cumulative statistics or numbers, talk about Central Province. What are the cumulative figures for Central Province, in particular, Kabwe?

Mr J. E. Banda: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: While the hon. Minister prepares to answer that question, there is an indication for a point of order. What is the point of order, hon. Member for Petauke Central?

A point of order is raised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. E. Banda: Some of you may say, “hear, hear” but we have our own constituencies to represent.

Madam Speaker, the point of order is directed at the hon. Minister of Health. I asked a question – This topic which is on the Floor of the House is very important because some of us lost our dear ones to the pandemic. I lost my father due to COVID-19. My question was not answered. We want to know the standing of the Government towards this deadly disease. We want to know the standing of the Government and not to be told that every person should take precautions. There should be a directive from the Government to say …


Mr J. E. Banda: … we should be doing this and that.

Madam Speaker: From what I understood, the hon. Minister was giving a general direction on what measures should be taken. She also said that the Government was not going to prescribe any conditionalities or stop people from doing certain things. So, the general guidance has been given. Hon. Member, just ensure that you advise your constituents to ensure that the golden rules of COVID-19 are complied with. I think, that will be the best. I am sure the hon. Minister will keep us posted on further developments, if there will be any.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, in fact, you have answered the question so well. What you have said is what it is. The hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central will do well to advise the members of his constituency to follow the golden rules. We are not holding people by the neck like we did in the past. We are telling people to follow the rules on their own. This means that if people want to wear masks in order to protect themselves, they should do so. Our advice is that masks help, actually. I am sure the hon. Member knows. Washing hands helps too.

Madam Speaker, we have been taught that over 65 per cent of causes of illness are as a result of dirty hands. So, if you make sure that your hands are clean and that you do not buy and eat food which is not washed from the streets, you will be fine. Buying and eating mangoes that are straight from the basket is not safe. Someone should buy a mango, wash and eat it. Basic, hygiene practices help. Even for the children who suffer from coughs and diarrheal diseases, it is because of their mothers who do not wash their hands before feeding them. So, help your community by using the same rules and let them make it a way of life.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: The question that you were supposed to answer hon. Minister, was the one posed by the hon. Member for Bwacha. We were only interrupted by the point of order.

Mrs Masebo: Sorry, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: The cumulative numbers for Kabwe

Mrs Masebo: Yes, it is true that the Central Province was not indicated. I said that there were six provinces I think, which have been affected. This means that the other provinces that have not been mentioned may not have received any cases in the hospitals currently.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. Chibuye (Roan): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement.

Madam Speaker, with 794 active cases, we keep seeing cases being reported every day. What is the ministry doing to ensure that the general public out there gets the information? Is the ministry intending to start running advertisements or sensitisation programmes both in the print and electronic media?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for his good question. Yes, Madam, with this official ministerial statement on the status of COVID-19, you will see a number of engagements. There is a meeting that is supposed to be called by Her Honour the Vice-President, who is the Chairperson of the Task Force on Cholera and other Epidemics. This meeting will involve sectors like the education sector and about twelve sectors in other ministries that sit on that committee, to look at possibilities of what next should be done. It is that committee that makes decisions for example, whether to make regulations mandatory or not.

Madam Speaker, for now, as the ministry, all we are doing is sensitisitisation. With this announcement today, all districts and provinces will be alerted so that we increase the testing and also, begin to ignite the committees in the provinces and districts. This is because Zambia’s preparedness in dealing with issues of pandemics, be it cholera or COVID-19, is always on standby.

Madam Speaker, Zambia is amongst the best countries when it comes to issues of preparedness. So, whenever there is a pandemic for example, of a disease that has broken out, all the systems will be on.  So, Zambians should be confident that the medical staff in the Ministry of Health in this country, when it comes to such issues, actually, are the best.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you. Unfortunately, that brings us to the end of that segment. We make progress.


The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Muchima): Madam Speaker, thank you. Before I issue my ministerial statement, I wish to convey a message from the Acting President, Mrs W. K. Mutale Nalumango. She called me to pass greetings to the hon. Members of Parliament and to tell them that she is in good health and that she is in serious covenant with the President. She said that she has no intentions of resigning and that she will never resign. She will die in the party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to make this ministerial statement on the digitalisation and activation of sixty Electronic Services (e-Services) of the new Zambia Integrated Land Administration System (ZILAS) in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Madam Speaker, the Government’s agenda on digitalisation aims to ensure that the services provided by various Government institutions are integrated. The Government, through the National Electronic Government Division, (NeGD), the SMART Zambia Institute, continues to allocate resources towards progressive interventions that are evidently enhancing efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, accountability and transparency, thus, bringing Government services closer to the people.

Madam Speaker, in line with the digitalisation agenda of the Government, Cabinet in 2020, approved the development and deployment of ZILAS. The system is aimed at enhancing the digitisation of land administration. This was to address the various gaps and challenges of the commissioned Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS).

Madam Speaker, allow me to inform this august House that ZILAS has been deployed and the ministry migrated data from ZILMIS to the new system on Saturday, 13th May, 2023. To that effect, sixty services have been made available on the Government Service Bus (GSB). The new ZILAS went live on 17th May, 2023. This meant that the public should start accessing the sixty services that have been placed online. It further entails that all clients need to open a Zampass account on the Zamportal Website to access the services.

Madam Speaker, by introducing digital technology, the ministry is focused on streamlining its operations. These e-Services will allow stakeholders to access services online thereby, reducing physical contact with the ministry staff and also, eliminate opportunities for corruption. This will contribute to a reduction in the cost of doing business.

Madam Speaker, we appreciate that we used ZILMIS for nine years, from 2014 to 2023. The maintenance contract with the company that developed ZILMIS ended on 31st March, 2022. We had been using the system without a contract and we were at risk in the event of the system challenges. The ministry had been using ZILMIS for nine years without enhancement and inclusion of online payment platforms thereby, creating a conduit for corruption.

Madam Speaker, ZILAS is better than ZILMIS because it has:

  1. mandatory fields to fill in for example, gender, phone numbers, date of birth, National Registration Card (NRC) number, and email address where clients receive automatic notifications;
  2. payment platforms that are plugged into ZILAS for example, mobile money, online internet banking, visa card, and the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) bill muster;
  3. performance tracking mechanism that shows how long a member of staff takes to work on a case, and if there are delays beyond the ministry service charter, it will change to red for the supervisor to take action;
  4. role-based security features allowing for segregation of duties;
  5. audit trail showing the log of events for the users of the system and the services used;
  6. integrated with the Government Service Bus with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security to verify National Registration Card (NRCs), Patent and Company Registration Agency (PACRA) for the company profile to be retrieved once the identity number is captured;
  7. after ninety days, issued Invitation To Treaty (ITT) will be expired from the system;
  8. access to the system through the Electronic Filling (e-Filing) service on the Zamportal to be used from anywhere and at any time;
  9. scanning of each document that is used by the system is digitised whilst still keeping the physical file; and
  1. availability of an Electronic Cashbook (e-Cashbook) showing collections disaggregated by province.

Madam Speaker, by adopting the digital –

Rev. Katuta entered the Assembly Chamber and turned her back to Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chienge.

Please, resume your seat quickly. The rules do not allow you to give me your back. So please, resume your seat. Hon. Minister, you may continue.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, by adopting digital technologies, the ministry will enhance its data management capabilities thereby, improving the accuracy and completeness of information on land administration. Further, ZILAS is expected to help reduce errors and discrepancies in land ownership, and ensure that all stakeholders have access to the most up-to-date information regarding services under the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

Madam Speaker, the cutover to the electronic processes involves the adoption of digital tools and systems to manage land and natural resources more effectively. This will include the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map land and resource locations; digital tools to manage land ownership and transactions; and online portals to facilitate communication and interaction between the ministry and stakeholders. 

Madam Speaker, the Government is optimistic to ensure that the migration and clean up process of data of land administration is given much-needed support by the key stakeholders “the citizens of Zambia” affected by land issues, and these are the citizens of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, there is an assertion by the members of the general public that ZILAS has crushed. To the contrary, the system is currently operational and the ministry is using it in the provision of services.

Madam Speaker, the ministry may be facing teething challenges in the implementation of the new system. However, we are working round the clock to ensure that we continue to provide the services to the general public. As the ministry, we are managing this transition phase by phase, and all challenges faced are being addressed as a matter of urgency. Amongst the efforts being made is the re-orientation of members of staff, deployment of a team offsite to work on the backlog, and the presence of (the developer of the system) in the country. 

Madam Speaker, to ensure data integrity in the new system, the ministry expects all property owners or their representatives to undertake property information update and cleaning. The data cleaning exercise takes approximately ten minutes. Thereafter, the records can be processed by the back-office staff. Members of the public can also use the e-Filing service on the Zamportal to submit their certificates of title and NRCs for data cleaning.

Madam Speaker, the ministry has noted with concern that members of the public are apprehensive with the ministry’s requirement to clean their data before they can access some of the services. It should be noted that data from the old ZILMIS system is incomplete in some cases, as some fields were not mandatory like gender, date of birth, NRC numbers and phone numbers. These are missing. Others have landlines that were captured a long time ago and are not functional. The email addresses were not captured that time.

Madam Speaker, members of the public stand to benefit more by using the new system. They will be able to access services anywhere at any time; receive feedback for all actions taken by the ministry through emails and text messages; make online payments through (mobile money, internet banking, and visa) for ground rent, consideration fees and other services; and receive documents in electronic form such as invitation to treat, offer letters and many more.

Madam Speaker, the system is a game changer as it will improve service delivery. I therefore, wish to urge all our stakeholders to support this progressive system.

Madam Speaker, finally, I want to appeal to all our clients who submitted documents before the cut-off date of 17th June, 2023 to open up Zampass accounts on the Zamportal and visit the ministry for assistance so that their documents can continue to be processed.

Madam Speaker, before I sit down, I have a list of the sixty services being offered. We have indicated the ones which are working and those that are work in progress. We will do so until we finalise and see that everything is working to perfection.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much for that statement. I notice that the hon. Member for Feira, who raised the matter of urgent public importance on this matter, is not in the House. However, I am sure there are other hon. Members who appreciate and understand this issue. Therefore, hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement that has just been rendered by the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.

Mr Tayengwa (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity.

Madam Speaker, I do appreciate that the Zambia Integrated Land Administration System (ZILAS) is actually the best. However, in his statement, the hon. Minister should have also indicated to us how much revenue the Government has lost as Property Transfer Tax (PTT) in the last one month.

However, there have been calls from members of the public out there asking if the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources can consider running ZILAS and the Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS) in tandem so that the time that the new system is going to be perfected, the Government is not going to continue losing money.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, first and foremost, the Government has not lost any revenue. It has just delayed a bit. The system is working and it is providing some services to the people at the moment, except for certain services that are not pure. We are doing this to protect the clients.

For instance, if one wanted to place a caveat or mortgage on a property, the system demanded that one should clear ground rates on behalf of the owner of the property. We had to change the system for clients to receive a waiver. There are certain things that protect clients. Therefore, we want to do it slowly so that clients are not inconvenienced. The developer of the system does not stay in Zambia. Therefore, we want to hold on to him to clean up the system to our expectation because when he goes away, it will be a bit difficult for us.

Madam Speaker, there was another issue of running a parallel system. That will not work. The contract for the other system ended a few years ago. We are even glad that we used it up to the time when we logged it off. It was becoming another conduit for corruption because some people were using the old system and others the new system. The figures were not reconciling. So, there has to be a start and an end. Let us move with the new system and perfect it to the advantage of our people.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Sialubalo (Sinazongwe): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is very much aware that there are many illegal land acquisitions, especially in urban areas. In some areas, even the Government has lost land due to encroachment. Using the new system, how does he wish to address this scenario?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, if at all the hon. Member listened carefully, I indicated certain services that are being offered. That is why we have seen a bit of delay because for the Survey Department to do the numbering to avoid double allocation, it takes time. The old system became so porous that people could just go in and out of the ministry. People were using it to their own advantage. They were benefiting out of it, but with this current system, they will not. The system is protecting the clients. It will not happen again. We are actually doing land audit using the same system which is quite efficient.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for this opportunity. Indeed, we appreciate the hon. Minister’s statement because there have been concerns from the general citizenry.

Madam Speaker, my question is on the security of the system and the transition period. The concerns of the members of the public are about the unscrupulous individuals who have been taking advantage of the system, especially those in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development performs a delegated function on behalf of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources. 

Madam Speaker, we have had cases where unscrupulous individuals have manipulated the system in the two institutions and people have lost properties. In other circumstances, people are now fearing that with this transition, the details of their properties could be tampered with by these unscrupulous individuals. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving to the public and property owners that indeed, the details they have in the old system will be migrated to the new system without being manipulated, which can lead to them losing their properties?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that question because it gives me an opportunity to explain this matter.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Kampyongo and many Zambians are victims because the system became so porous. Some people had no respect whatsoever, for landowners. People were just walking in and out of the ministry. There were instances where someone with a piece of land would just walk into the ministry and a title deed would be given to him. This time, with the new system, editing is restricted. The system will be able to give clients feedback the moment they log in. The system will also show how long the officer will be working. So, the system will be tracking activities.

Madam Speaker, during the old system, some people manipulated others to an extent that even if they logged in, the system would not trace them. They could shove away a title deed and issue another one. From there, they would get their money and leave people fighting. This time, that will not work. So, we want to work closely with my brother-in-law, Hon. Gary Nkombo, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Both ministries need to come up with one title deed. There is no way that the council can be numbering and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resource is doing the same. We need to come together and have only one title deed. We are beginning the process so that we can protect the interests of our people.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me an opportunity on behalf of the people of Chilubi, to ask the hon. Minister a question.

Madam Speaker, some two weeks ago, the people of Chilubi read about the possible cancellation of 50,000 plots by the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. Could this mean that it is the black John the Baptist who is meant to announce that news?

Madam Speaker: I hope the hon. Minister has gotten the question because the hon. Member is asking in riddles. He is talking about John the Baptist. I do not know how John the Baptist found himself at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, can you be a bit clear.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, what I am trying to say is that some two weeks ago, I read about the cancellation of 50,000 plots, which the hon. Minister can confirm. Today, the statement has been brought to the House. Could this statement be linked to the preparation of the cancellation of the 50,000 plots?

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. It is very clear.

Mr Muchima:  Madam Speaker, first and foremost, a minister has no power to cancel a title deed. There has to be a court process and a court order must be issued. The other way is through compulsory acquisition by the President. There are only two ways. That is why people have been taking advantage because even if it is illegal, one has to go to court. No title has been cancelled. The hon. Member just misquoted us. We said that out of a million title deeds which were being processed, 500 were in abeyance because some information was missing. 2,500 clients were lodged into the old system and we were in a dilemma of whether to continue with the old system or the new system. So, we realised that that would invite an audit query. Now, because of the system, we are processing some of them manually. That is why we have housed our officers somewhere in order for them to clear those issues. As I stand here now, they are in Chelstone. Some were excluded so that they could be able to clear whatever is going on. This is for the hon. Member’s benefit.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, of course, there are some people who are having difficulties interacting with this new portal because it is still in its transition period. I just want to find out from the hon. Minister if the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is still allowing members of the public to go there physically, especially those who would like to pay ground rent because if they do not pay in time, there will be penalties.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, first and foremost, let me also take advantage of the question and state that we should not pay using the old system. If people check on their phones, they will see that there is a platform where they can pay from. If they are having difficulties, they can come to our ministry. Further, in partnering with the Zambia Telecommunications Company Limited (Zamtel), we want to come up with an idea of taking the system to the districts. We want to open up some centres to help the people.

Madam Speaker, at the moment, we have even opened the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) line. We also have lawyers. The system is quite fast. We are aware of the situation the hon. Member is talking about. Although we have a few challenges in certain areas, we are correcting them. At the moment, people can go to the ministry and they will be attended to. If they find difficulties, they should walk into my office and I will attend to them, just like other hon. Members of Parliament have been doing.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, hon. Minister. I think the main interest of the hon. Member was whether there will be penalties for late payments of ground rent because it is not on account of the clients that they are delaying to pay. 

 Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I sincerely apologise. Yes, there will be no penalties during this period. It is not their fault. It is due to the system which is under transition.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to ask a follow-up question to the hon. Minister of Lands and Naturals Resources.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has explained that there are about sixty packages that are integrated into the ZILMIS system. He further said that some of the systems are working whilst others are under development.

With regard to the type of packages that are under development, what type of critical services need to be offered in order to develop the remaining packages? The ministry has challenges to develop them into a fully-integrated system. So, what type of different services are going to be offered in the newly developed system to make all the sixty fully-operational?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question.

Madam Speaker, I said that I have a list that I will lay on the Table. The system works in tandem with the ministry. It does not work in isolation. It begins with the Land and deeds Department and then, the Survey Department. All the three sections work together. So, we have started with those that are at the beginning. At the tail, there is the issue of title deeds. We have sent some title deeds to some clients for them to see what is happening. If they do not give us feedback, then we will be ready to go. We are still perfecting the system.

Madam Speaker, I have several of them on this list. I do not know whether I will be allowed to read but, I would prefer they are put in the pigeon holes so that each hon. Member is be able to see which function is working, especially my colleagues, who are lawyers. I know that they are interested in having this list.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, we have some people in rural areas where the internet is really a challenge and are not privy to information as the people in urban areas are. What steps is the ministry taking to reach out to people who are in Chienge, and other places such as Ikeleng’i for them to know how they can access information regarding their title deeds? This is because there are those who have been posted to the rural areas.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I said that we were going to reach out through the establishment of kiosks in districts. We have also, embarked on training. So far, we have dealt with the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ). We want to reach out to the people and train them on how to go about it. We want people to get the service from where they are. Chienge, as a district, will have a kiosk, which will be put there in collaboration with Zamtel. So, people will be helped to be connected.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, we have three more questions from the hon. Member for Luena, hon. Member for Kalabo Central, and the last one will be from the hon. Member for Chembe.

Hon. Member for Luena, you may proceed.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to pose a follow-up question to the hon. Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. Our land management system appears to have been problematic for quite a while. We have been moving from one system to another without really getting to deal with the issues once and for all. May I, therefore, find out from the hon. Minister whether in this new system that we have launched, the ministry is going to include, as part of performance management, a specific timeline so that once an application is lodged, an individual knows that after fourteen, twenty-one, or thirty days, they will be able to collect their title deeds as long as the logging was successful.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I appreciate the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena. I mentioned that there is a tracking system that will be showing on devices. People will receive notifications just as they do when they go to the bank to withdraw or deposit some money. The same process will be happening. We have a service charter that will be followed strictly. So, the people will be able to know. It is quite efficient.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, I just wanted to find out how much it has cost the ministry to undertake the implementation of this system.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, the system was, actually, contracted by our hon. Colleagues before they existed from office. The cost was almost US$19 million. So far, they paid close to US$10 million. The whole bill has not yet been finalised. However, it is a good system.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, many are times that the Government forgets itself. We are talking about titling here. I do not know whether the Government has plans to process the titling of certain Government institutions, since most rural schools are not titled.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, this gives me an opportunity, actually, to remind our colleagues, hon. Members, that we have to collaborate with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, the hon. Minister of Education, and basically, all departments. We need submissions and data. I made a pronouncement the other week that we needed to put all the Government properties on title. There is even a Statutory Instrument (SI) under the Ministry of Education concerning the issue, and we just need to enforce it. For example, Munali Secondary School and several other schools have had their land encroached on. So, I think we have to carry out an audit everywhere. However, we have to work with various departments so that we can put all the Government pieces of land on title because it is causing too much discomfort.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I am sure that can be extended to schools and hospitals that are being built under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. Members can assist the hon. Minister by submitting details where they can.




291. Mr Amutike (Mongu Central) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. when the construction of the following facilities at the Mongu District Hospital will be completed:
  1. wards;
  2. operating theatre; and
  3. mortuary;
  1. when ambulances will be procured for the hospital;
  2. when additional doctors will be deployed to the hospital; and
  3. when a security fence will be constructed.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mwiimbu) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo)): Madam Speaker, in response to the question that has been raised, the date of completion of the construction of wards and operating theatres at Mongu District Hospital will be determined once a new contractor is sourced.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the current contractor who abandoned the works has refused to continue on the negotiated price adjustment for the remaining works, prompting the Government to retender the works to get a new contractor to complete the works.

However, the mortuary unit has already been constructed except for the equipment that has been factored into the 2023 Infrastructure Operation Plan (IOP).

Madam Speaker, the Government has plans to procure ambulances to cater to all health facilities across the country, including Mongu District Hospital. The procurement of ambulances is being implemented in a phased-approached, and the process commenced in 2022. In the first phase, 100 ambulances will be procured.

Madam Speaker, the Government will deploy additional doctors after the completion of the construction of the hospital since that will expand the services to be offered. The House may wish to note that, currently, Mongu District Hospital has two medical doctors and three medical licentiates. This workforce, though not enough, is able to handle most of the services that are currently being offered at the hospital.

Madam Speaker, the security fence has been planned for in the 2025 Budget.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Amutike: Madam Speaker, the question that the people of Mongu Central are grappling with is that district hospitals seem to be standard buildings everywhere. In Eastern Province, there is a state-of-the-art building for a district hospital, as well as other provinces. However, a substandard building was constructed in Mongu. So, what happened to the money, the original money, that was allocated? Was it stolen? The people of Mongu want to find out how they ended up with such a substandard structure.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I will not comment on the substandard buildings that are in Mongu. However, I will request my hon. Colleague to liaise with the hon. Minister of Health to ensure that this particular issue is addressed, if the buildings are of substandard quality. As the Government, we would like anyone who was given a contract to ensure that they adhere to the specifications of the contract that they are given.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.



292. Mr Chibombwe (Bahati) (on behalf of Mr Emmanuel Musonda (Lupososhi)) asked the Minister of Energy:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to connect Katuta Secondary School in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency to the national grid;
  2. if so, when the plans will be implemented; and
  3. what the estimated cost of the project is.

The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Madam Speaker, the Government has no plans. However, the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has plans to connect Katuta Secondary School in Lupososhi Parliamentary Constituency using solar mini-grid technology. The total capacity for the mini-grid is 100 KW.

Madam Speaker, according to the REA master plan, Katuta Secondary School falls within a rural growth centre earmarked for electrification in the year, 2025. The total cost of the project using the mini-grid will be K15 million.

Madam Speaker, allow me to give some additional information just for clarity’s sake.  In the execution of the rural electrification programme, REA follows the timelines recommended in the REA master plan, funds permitting. However, in the event that area hon. Member of Parliament choices to priorities electrification of areas outside the time line set out in the mast plan, this could be expedited if resources where dedicated from sources such as the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). REA welcomes the opportunity to work with the hon. Member of Parliament in this regard.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chibombwe: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his statement mentioned that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has intentions of setting up a solar mini-grid at Katuta Secondary School. Will this solar mini-grid be just for the school or it will also feed the surrounding villages? Further, when is REA going to move to the site?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament, it is supposed to be one question.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, mini-grid will solely be for the school and not for the surrounding areas. Yes, a few houses may be connected but the main purpose of installing this facility is to service the school. It could also service the teachers’ houses and other auxiliary infrastructure. I had indicated that the electrification of this school will be undertaken in 2025. We could not connect it to the main grid because of the cost. The main grid is about 63 km away and it was going to cost about K50 million.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has suggested a solar mini-grid which he says could be cheaper than connecting to the national grid. The hon. Minister has further said that the cost of the solar mini-grid is about K15 million. Certainly, to get K15 million from any allocation of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and give to one school may be a challenge. It would be a challenge for the hon. Member of Parliament to consider doing that from one or four allocations. It would take maybe – I do not know how many years it would take the hon. Member of Parliament to allocate money to that.

Madam Speaker, now that the hon. Minister is saying that this will be undertaken in 2025, is there anything he can do to maybe, sit down with the hon. Member for that area and see how they can meet halfway, if the idea of using the CDF has to be meaningful? Is it possible that the Government can meet the hon. Member of Parliament halfway towards this cost through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in order to actualise this project?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, yes, we are ready to sit with hon. Member of Parliament so that we can find something for them to start with.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, although my question has been overtaken by events, I am still concerned because I am looking at the amount that has been mentioned and also, the urgency and need for this school to be connected to electricity. This is so because now, we have what we call the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) courses in schools. Our children at Katuta Primary School are being deprived of that opportunity because the school is not yet connected to the national grid. When the hon. Minister mentioned the use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), is he referring to solar or the power provided by Zesco Limited? I am asking this question because with Zesco Limited, the other hon. Members have already mentioned that it is very expensive. I would like to find out from him because he is a specialist in that. What was he referring to by saying the hon. Member of Parliament can use the CDF?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I had indicated that REA plans to use a solar mini-grid and not Zesco Limited.

Madam Speaker, I thank you

Mr Chibombwe: Madam Speaker, Katuta Boarding Secondary School is an examination centre because it has Grades 9 and 12. Madam Speaker, 2025 is quite far. What immediate measures does the ministry consider taking? Is the ministry able to purchase a small generator that can cost a minimum of K400,000 for this school in the meantime so that maybe, the hon. Member of Parliament can use the CDF to just procure diesel and pay for other maintenance costs?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, those are some of the interventions that can be gotten from the CDF am sure K400,000 is within the CDF allocation.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Zambian Delegation to the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and Related Meetings held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain from 11th to 15th March, 2023, for the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 6th June, 2023.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Ms Lungu (Chawama): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, this report is being presented to the House in accordance with Standing Order No. 146(1). Let me begin by acquainting the House that the Hon. Madam Speaker led a delegation of the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU) and Related Meetings. As I believe that the hon. Members of the House have had the occasion to peruse the report, allow me to merely highlight some of the salient features contained therein.

Madam Speaker, the general debate of the Assembly focused on the theme: ‘Promoting peaceful co-existence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance.” The theme reflected Parliamentarians’ awareness of the importance of establishing the values of tolerance and peace, rejecting division and hatred; and consolidating solidarity as basic pillars for enhancing security, stability, prosperity and sustainable development. The theme attracted insightful discussions mostly pointing to the fact that there is lack of tolerance for divergent views amongst Parliamentarians, citizens, and institutions of governance in most societies.

Madam Speaker, following the fruitful deliberations amongst the Parliamentarians who convened during the 146th IPU Assembly in Manama, the Assembly adopted the Manama Declaration and Draft Resolutions as set out below:

  1. Manama declaration on promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting Intolerance;
  2. draft resolution on Parliamentary efforts in achieving negative carbon emission balances of forest; and
  3. draft resolution on cybercrime: The new risk to global security.

Madam Speaker, most IPU Member Parliaments are aware of the dangers that hate, intolerance, exclusion and violence in all its forms posed to democracy and to the social contract that held societies together. This fact was also highlighted by the President of the IPU in his inaugural address to the 146th Assembly and Related Meetings. Great concern was raised regarding the huge caseload of the IPU’s Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, where some hon. Members of Parliament faced severe violations of their rights and safety perpetrated by their own Governments, colleagues and constituents. It was further noted that because of greed and competition, the world was facing social and economic inequalities on an unprecedented scale.

Madam Speaker, this House will agree with me that education can be used as a tool to promote coexistence and tolerance in societies. In that regard, Parliaments have been urged to lobby respective Governments to invest in education for all at all levels, including peace education and “education for democracy”, pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly (UN-GA) resolutions.

Madam Speaker, from the discourse on the sub-theme on cybercrimes, the new risk to global security, it was noted that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. Further, the 146th IPU Assembly acknowledged that the internet represented a significant development in freedom of expression. However, an observation was made regarding the growing trend of internet violation, where even Parliamentarians have not been spared from being victims of cybercrimes. These violations mostly, manifested in the form of misinformation and hate speech. Therefore, a recommendation was made for national Parliaments to regulate digital platforms and other media to diminish the risk of hate speech and various forms of disinformation while protecting the fundamental right of free speech.

Madam Speaker, the Assembly noted that while some countries had enacted laws to curb the vice, the laws were not fully-alighted with international human rights standards. Therefore, there was need for member Parliaments to enact or review laws that could effectively respond to cybercrimes. However, member Parliaments have been called upon to exercise caution when developing such laws to ensure that there were necessary safeguards to protect the freedom of expression.

Madam Speaker, given these issues that are being committed on the internet, it is imperative for Parliament to create platforms through which Parliamentarians can deepen their understanding of the complex and rapidly evolving nature of cybercrime. This could be achieved through capacity-building programmes such as conferences, workshops, seminars, among others.

Madam Speaker, another notable event that characterised the 146th IPU Assembly was the launch of the new campaign on Climate Action entailed ‘Parliaments for the planet’. The campaign is aimed at mobilising Parliament and Parliamentarians to act on climate emergencies.

Madam Speaker, remarkably, the campaign seeks to encourage Parliaments, Parliamentarians and staff to lead by example by reducing their own carbon footprint and take other concrete measures to implement the Paris Agreement climate to limit global warming to 1.5℃. It is gratifying to note that the National Assembly of Zambia is making strides towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the tree planting exercise enabled by the resolution that was made during the 144th IPU Assembly in Bali, Indonesia, on promoting greener parliaments, the IPU Zambia national group launched a tree planting exercise for all hon. Members of Parliament to plant trees in their respective constituencies. While we appreciate this initiative, there is still more that the National Assembly can do to attain the aspirations of the Paris Agreement.

Madam Speaker, in light of the above, member Parliaments are being urged to allocate sufficient budgetary allocations towards research and development in order to leverage emerging technologies such as crossbreeding of trees to aid forest rejuvenation and regeneration.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, allow me to thank all hon. Members who constituted the delegation to the 146th IPU Assembly and related meetings for their commitment throughout the Assembly. May I also, on behalf of the delegation, place on record, our gratitude to the Office of the Hon. Madam Speaker for facilitating our travel to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Ms Lungu: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I rise to second the Motion to adopt the report of the Zambia delegation that participated in the 146th Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly and related meetings that was ably represented by Hon. Kamboni, the first Vice-President of the IPU Assembly.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by echoing the mover’s sentiments that there is a lack of tolerance amongst the Parliamentarians. This was noted by the Parliamentarians who convened at the 146th IPU Assembly. It is therefore, important that all Parliamentarians strive to exercise tolerance in the manner that they conduct business even in this House.

Madam Speaker, with regard to cybercrimes, it must be noted that cybercrimes are not gender-neutral; they are related to gender. In fact, women and children and other marginalised groups such as people with disabilities are the most affected. Parliamentarians are encouraged to broaden the protection for women, young children, the elderly, people with disabilities, and racialised groups.

Madam Speaker, as already stated by the mover of the Motion, the 146th IPU Assembly focused on the theme “Promoting peaceful coexistence and inclusive societies: Fighting intolerance.” However, given the devasting effects of climate change, the Assembly dedicated a session for the Parliamentarians to deliberate on climate change. Notable, the Assembly noted the following issues, that the crises are not gender neutral, as I mentioned earlier. You will find that the poorest groups in society and those who are most affected are women and children. So, if we come up with mitigation that is not reflecting this group, we would be ignoring those people who are most vulnerable and the people who need the most help.

Finally, Madam Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the forum of young Parliamentarians to which I belong, committed to the “I Say Yes to Youth in Parliament” campaigns. This campaign emanated from the fact that the population under the age of thirty is half of the population in the world and 2.6 per cent of these Parliamentarians are representing this demographic. In Zambia, the numbers are even more disturbing.  70 per cent of our young people are under the age of 30. So, if we continue to be in this House and have these positions of leadership without young people in them, it means that we are not resolving the problem because young people are the most energetic. They are also the ones with the solutions and the bright new ideas. If we do not include them in Parliaments, we will be ignoring half of the world’s population and more than 70 per cent of the population in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I am going to take the House back to the liberation struggle of this country. When we fought for independence, it was mostly young people who had the energy to be at the forefront. So even today, why would we move away from that? If we move away from that and we continue operating the way that we operate, it means that we have left the young people behind and therefore, we will not find solutions. Let us look across this House. Most of your hon. Members, Madam Speaker, this is the time that they must start considering their retirement. Young people have been left behind long enough in this country.

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

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Kasune (Keembe): Madam Speaker, I just want to add a few words to the debate on the report that has been ably been moved as well as seconded by Hon. Lungu. I appreciate that.

Madam Speaker, the few comments that I want to add relate to the issue of our climate and tree cutting. I have just a few submissions on that. I come from Keembe Constituency and when I am in the constituency, I usually go to Chief Chitanda and come back to Chief Liteta because the two chiefdoms are in my constituency. You will not be surprised to hear that as I drive back, especially in the night, I find maybe five to seven trucks loaded with charcoal. This is in one day, and I am not in the constituency every day. The many times that I have gone there, since we are on the border with Mumbwa, I see trucks with charcoal. Some trucks come from Mumbwa going to Kamilambo area, to Ipongo and all the way to Lusaka.

Madam Speaker, what am I trying to say? We, as a responsible Government, with all the initiatives that we have, with the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment, we need to begin to interrogate our systems and find cheaper energy sources for our people in rural constituencies like Keembe. If that is not done, how are the people going to stop cutting trees? So, until we begin to interrogate our systems and find other sources of cheaper energy that do not demand us cutting trees, we will not address this problem. We may plant trees but we may not yield the results that we need. As they say, when you plant a tree, you may never even enjoy it, but someone else will come and enjoy it. So, I think the first point is that we need to find cheaper energy sources if we are going to alleviate the problem and meet the points that the hon. Members have raised.

Madam Speaker, secondly – I think this is where this New Dawn Government under His Excellency, Hakainde Hichilema, his Cabinet with the leadership of our able Vice-President, have introduced a system where every child in Zambia does not have to sit on the floor. From the New Dawn Government’s whopping K28.3 million, all hon. Members of Parliament in this House can provide desks to their children. That is the New Dawn Government at work. With that, we also have to be mindful that our people are beginning to cut trees because the President has been clear that he wants to empower the local people at ward and zone levels. 

Madam Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) was saying “money in your pockets,” there was no money that went into the people’s pockets. However, with this New Dawn Government, money is going directly into the people’s pockets. Why? It is because now they can make desks. Now, the contractors are local. Madam Speaker, you can see my fellow Whip, Hon. Kampyongo, is agreeing to all that has happened –

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

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Ms Kasune: I am supporting the report, hon. Member. I think –

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, Standing Order No. 65(1)(a) is very clear, and you have repeatedly guided hon. Members to adhere to that Standing Order, which talks about the content of speech. There is a report on the Floor of this august House which has been ably moved by the hon. Member for Kalomo Central and seconded by the hon. Member for Chawama. Is the hon. Deputy Government Chief Whip, who is actually part of the Executive, not supposed to wait and debate on the side of the Executive? In order to make it clear, in the old system, her position was like that of a Deputy Minister and she is supposed to wait and debate on the side of the Executive.

Madam Speaker, other than that, is she in order to start bringing in matters that are not contained in the report, issues of desks and more money pockets? Of course, the environment is good for desk production but she is not competent to talk about the “more money in the pocket policy.” That is not even part of the report. She referred to the former Government which expulsed the more money in the pocket policy but is she in order to sneak that issue into her debate when the report is so clear?

Madam Speaker, yesterday, you guided on the same subject. More importantly, she has to realise that now she is part of the Executive.

I seek your serious guidance.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Deputy Chief Whip, I tried to follow your debate especially when you started talking about the children sitting on desks. I actually connected that to the environment especially when you mentioned that you are planting more trees so that maybe, you can able to catch up with the provision of desks. However, I got lost when you talked about the more money in the pockets. I do not know whether the money is for buying more desks. Hon. Deputy Chief Whip, is it possible that you try as much as possible, to stick to the report that is before us so that the people who are listening may not think of other things but instead, be guided through your debate. So please, can you be more focused? You may continue.

Ms Kasune: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance. In terms of the environment, we need to be mindful of the fact that as we make these desks, we should use the Modern Timber Frame (MTF) so that we do not cut trees. The issue of the money in the pockets is coming in because those who are making desks are our local people. It is not just a one-sided benefit. There is also a side where we are benefiting in terms of the environment and also, in terms of having money in the pockets. That was the point.

Madam Speaker, I said I would be brief. Through your Committee, we need to ensure that we begin to force our voices on the developed countries because some of the environmental effects we are facing in Zambia, and in Africa at large, are caused by the industrialised countries. So, that is why as Parliament or as Africans, we need to raise our voices on the Heads of State, especially those in developed countries because some of the environmental effects we suffer from are not caused by African countries but developed countries.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I want to submit that I salute the report from your office.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, peaceful co-existence is the theme of your report which I thoroughly support.

Madam Speaker, the balance between the application of the law and the respect for minority rights is the anchor for peaceful co-existence. Co-existence is founded on the fair application of laws like Constitutional provisions, laws on privileges and Standing Orders. In our Assembly, if we can respect the provisions in the Constitution that speak to the Assembly; respect the provisions on the laws on privileges, and respect the content of our Standing Orders in this respect, 2021, we will promote co-existence amongst the hon. Members in this Assembly.

Madam Speaker, respecting the Constitution is allowing for hon. Members, both on your right and left to be able to apply themselves in line with the provisions. It is allowing your hon. Members, both on your right and left to be able to be supported by the provisions of the laws on privileges. It is also making determinations in line with the provisions of Standing Orders. You cannot expect peaceful co-existence if some of your hon. Members feel that the provisions of the Standing Orders are not applicable to them, for example, if I rose on a point of order against, perhaps, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security seated there. If the hon. Minister breached a Standing Order, I expect that the hon. Minister to be ruled out of order. That is my expectation.

Madam Speaker, if that hon. Minister also rose on a point of order against me when I have breached the Standing Order, he should expect that I should be ruled out of order. That way, we will promote co-existence. This promotion of co-existence will be extended to the outside world or outside of this Chamber. When a person is arrested, that person should be charged for the offense he has been arrested for. You cannot arrest a person for no charge, and only to charge him for assault, saying that he assorted an officer who went to arrest him, when that officer had no reason for arresting that person in the first place. It is impossible, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member.

From what I am hearing, you are now trying to diverge or move away from the report that is before us. It is actually becoming a bit too political. Our report is straightforward. If you just read the report well, there are a lot of issues that you can refer to instead of, in simple terms, attacking. You almost went on to talk about the Office of the Speaker, when you referred to the hon. Minister not being ruled out of order. Can we just stick to the report. It is simple and straightforward. Let us discuss it rather than bringing other issues which are outside the report. We are misleading the people out there. So, with that guide, hon. Member, please, stick to the report which is before you.

You may continue.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I am a promoter of co-existence and it is my sincere hope that every hon. Member in this House promotes co-existence.

Madam Speaker, the balance between power and right is a foundation of co-existence. When one has power, one should exercise it in such a manner that respects human rights.
Mr Chaatila: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kafwaya:  Madam Speaker, when you do so, you are promoting co-existence because observers of your actions will able to say that that man or woman with power in their hands, are actually –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

There is an indication for a point of order.

Hon. Member for Moomba, what is your point of order?

A point of order is raised.

Mr Chaatila: Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to rise on a serious point of order. As you know, I rarely do so.

Madam Speaker, my point of order is premised on Standing Order No. 65(1) (a) and (b) and it is against the hon. Member for Lunte. It is very obvious and straightforward that the hon. Member for Lunte has had no occasion to read through this report. Going by your guide, Madam Speaker, that there is need to restrict oneself to the matter at hand, it is very obvious that the hon. Member has not read this report.

Madam Speaker, it the hon. Member therefore, in order to continue debating when it is obvious that this hon. Member has not gone through this report.

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you so much. That is of course, Standing Order No.65(a). I had just guided to say, please, let us stick to the report. Standing Order No.65(a) says that a member should confine his or her debate to the subject under discussion. I guided. It was very clear but the hon. Member is still …

Mr Kabuswe: Campaigning!


Madam First Deputy Speaker: … insisting on the same issue. So, for the last time, hon. Member on the Floor, please, be focused on this very important report which is before us so that we are happy, and that it becomes relevant to the issues that are contained in the report. So, the hon. Member was actually out of order because he went too wide …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: … leaving the report. So, hon. Member, for the last time, can you, please, be focused on the report.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, if there is an hon. Member of Parliament I have co-existed with in this Assembly for more years is none other than that hon. Member, Hon. Fred Chaatila.


Mr Kafwaya: He has been my friend for over twenty years. That is co-existence and tolerance. It means tolerating views that you may not necessarily like.

Madam Speaker, greed and unfair competition contained in the speech delivered by the mover of this Motion is a problem when it comes to co-existence. It is out of greed that you will see just a small group of people becoming extremely wealthy as a result of illegal activities. That is greed and unfair competition.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I do not know whether these views are so bad that it is impossible to see that greed is a problem in as far as co-existence is concerned. Can you have illegal mining at Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) and expect to have co-existence? Can you have Sugilite stolen at the police and think you will have co-existence?

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

Rev. Katuta: Sugilite, waima ka?

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, can you expect co-existence when K6.1 billion has been stolen and the police are quiet about it?

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

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lunte.

Do you have evidence of what you have just said?

Hon. PF Members: Yes!

Mr Kafwaya: Yes, it is in my colleagues’ report.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: You said that Sugilite and money have been stolen. Is it possible for you to lay that evidence on the Table?

Mr Kafwaya: I can bring the evidence at a later stage because I do not have it now.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: We want to be sure that what you are saying is backed by evidence.

Mr Kafwaya: For illegal mining, it is in Hon. Chaatila’s report, which he already laid on the Table of the House. It is in his report.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: What about Sugilite?

Mr Kafwaya: Okay, I will restrict myself to illegal mining.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Please, let us not bring issues without evidence because the people are listening. Once you say Sugilite has been stolen, the people who are out there will take what you are saying ...

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: … meanwhile, you do not have evidence.

Mr Kafwaya: No, I have evidence.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: No! Lay it on the Table so that we can use it. We need to use that information to even tell the people who are out there the truth. When there is no evidence, it is very dangerous because we are not sure whether what you are saying is correct or not. The people out there are getting what you are saying. That is why we usually demand for evidence for certain information.

So, hon. Member, for the sake of time –

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I think, for some people, they want to hear that Sugilite has not been stolen. So, let me say that they have not stolen Sugilite …

Hon. UPND Members: Who?

Mr Kafwaya: … so that they are happier. Let me say that there is no Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Report showing that K6.1 billion has been stolen so that the people are happier. However, those who have seen the report and know that Sugilite has been stolen are already settled with this matter.

Madam Speaker, let me talk about freedom of expression. Freedom of expression everywhere, including in the Assembly, is a fundamental human right. In fact, in the Assembly, it is even supported by, not only the Constitution but also, by privileges and Standing Orders. So, here, we are free to have intercourse. Freedom of speech outside of this Assembly …


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

Mr Kafwaya: …where people should be free and not fear –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member.

Please, resume your seat.

We have now moved on to Standing Order No. 67. Can we try to be relevant to what we are saying? I say this because I guided to say, please, follow what the report is saying. I have not seen any of what you are talking about in the report.

Ms Kasune: It is not there!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: It is not there.

Ms Kasune: Thank you!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I will be forced to move to the next hon. Member.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi, will debate. We want to complete this assignment.

Mr Kafwaya: So, you are curtailing my debate? Why?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Yes, because you keep on repeating things. You are not following the guidance.

Mr Kafwaya interjected.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: You are not following the guidance. I have guided you more than three times but you keep on repeating the mistake. I said, let us follow what is ion the report. If you bring in something from outside, it should be connected to the report.

Can I have the next hon. Member.

Mr Fube (Chilubi): Madam Speaker, I will try by all means to stick to the report that has been presented, although it is politically tempting.


Mr Fube: Excuse me, can I flow?

Madam Speaker, we have attended different Conferences of the Parties (COPs). We have attended COP 26, COP 27 and now, we are going towards COP 28 but you will find that the resolutions that are coming from those COPs, as they may be called, are not having a trickle-down effect on our environment. I think the report has spoken to the issues of sustainable development. Sustainable development, going by the people of Chilubi, is creating a balance between the ecological sensitivity and utilisation of resources, especially natural resources for economic development.

Madam Speaker, what is happening countrywide and even globally, is that we seem to be using raw materials especially those that are connected to nature at a rate that does not resonate with economic development. I think that is a concern of the Manama Declaration.

Madam Speaker, I want to underscore that the report talks about the loss of the 420 ha of the forests between 1990 and 2020 through deforestation. Zambia is not exempted from such a loss. However, if we were to compare the quantities of Mukula and many other species of trees that were taken out of the country or wasted, with the economic benefits, it would be at parallel.  

Madam Speaker, this is calling for a forest-related legislation and an ecological fiscal reform. We need to embark on that. I think a starting point is this House.

Madam Speaker, the issue of ecological fiscal reforms should start from this House because we now have the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment that has been attending the COPs that I mentioned earlier. However, our commitment to the resolutions of these conferences in terms of budgetary allocations is nothing to write home about.

Madam Speaker, allow me to dwell on the issue of cyber crime. We know that Zambia has a legislation to that effect, but it is a new law. This legislation is supposed to serve and protect the citizenry, especially as they interact in the cyber space We know that the implementation of the law on cyber crime has been politicised because of the way things are currently. We need to take this issue away from political polarisation. For instance, if a person who is perceived to be an enemy of the Government is found wanting in terms of abuse of cyber space, they should be treated the same as a person from the Ruling Party. However, what we have seen currently is that there are a lot of cases that are not explained yet. This report has mentioned these cases and they need to be attended to. We know that Zambia, in trying to be part of the global community, introduced that law through this House, but the implementation has been haphazard and bad. It is bad and it needs to be revisited.  

Madam Speaker, we know that every law comes up with different challenges that have to be arrested through different means.

Madam Speaker, I think one of the things we are supposed to do is to create a Cybercrime Centre away from the Zambia Information Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA). Currently, I think ZICTA is more likely to be an instrument used to follow and ambush some people at shopping malls and arrest them. This is not supposed to be the case. However, ZICTA is supposed to be an instrument used to protect every citizen.

Madam Speaker, when I say that ZICTA is supposed to be an instrument used to protect every citizen, I expect the Cybercrime Centre that I have in mind to protect children and women from cyber abuse. Largely, politicians are the most abused in cyber space. When I say politicians, I am including politicians from different political divides, whose concerns have not been taken seriously.  

Madam Speaker, I think I will be missing the point if I do not underscore the co-existence that this report is talking about. When I went through this report, I had in mind, Article 76 of our Constitution and many more Standing Orders that encourage freedom of expression. I also had in mind Article 20 of our Constitution that speaks to how different citizens are supposed to interact in a democratic space. However, of late, we have observed that the democratic space is shrinking in the nation  ...

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Fube: … because when institutions that are supposed to encourage democratic space, including this House, they seem – For example, if we are to pick our Standing Orders – When we are introduced as hon. Members of Parliament, we are supposed to be meeting as a common denominator as stipulated in our Standing Orders. You as the Chair and the hon. Members of Parliament on the left and right are supposed to agree on resolving our conflicts using the Standing Orders. However, the implementation of the Standing Order, where one raises a point of order and before they speak, they have to clarify what they want to talk about and many other factors, I think that is the tolerance this report is speaking to.

Madam Speaker, I think ...     

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Your Standing Orders were formulated by the hon. Members in the House.

Mr Fube: Yes!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: So, if you do not agree with your own Standing Orders, that is why there is a review so that it suits you. So, please, keep in mind that the Standing Orders were formulated by and for the House. They did not come from outside. So, please, take a proactive stance so that you contribute as much as possible to the review process.

Hon. Member for Chilubi, you may continue. 

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, you hon. Member is not talking in vacuum. I am one of those who have actually submitted to the review process. When Parliament resumed its sittings, there was a call to review Standing Orders. I do not know what has happened to my submission.

Madam Speaker, I think I am part of the problem. I am not trying to say that I am not part of this problem. What I was trying to talk about and underscore is the co-existence where the Standing Orders become the common denominator.  For instance, if I understand one line of the Standing Order, it should be understood uniformly even by the Chair, and not where the Chair is the only one who should interpret and we are all ignorant about Standing Orders.

Madam Speaker, I think that is what I was trying to drive home with. I rest my case.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chienge, your name is indicated in the report that you are a member. As a member who undertook this trip, your name is there and that is why I have been skipping you because from precedence, we do not allow members of the Committee to debate their own report, unless there is no one else to debate. However, did you undertake this trip with the Committee?

Hon. Members: She did.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: You did, Madam. Yesterday, somebody was not allowed to debate and we will go that way.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Now, I hear she is not a member. That is why I asking, “Did you go with this Committee for this assignment?” 

Hon. Members: She did. 

Rev: Katuta: Madam Speaker, I have been to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on a side event with the Advisory Group. I am not even a member of the Zambia IPU Committee.

Hon. Member: We are all members. How come you are the only one who is not a member? 


Rev. Katuta: Bazeze balishupa!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member.

I am just following the report. We will move on to the hon. Member for Kanchibiya. 

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, allow me from inception, to say that I will narrow my debate to issues around deforestation, reforestation and afforestation because this touches on the interests of the people I represent in this House, the people of Kanchibiya Constituency. I refer to sustainable development as highlighted on page 7 of this report.

Madam Speaker, the advent of the green economy is supposed to translate into economic benefits for rural constituencies.

Madam Speaker, however, what we have seen is the zeal by forestry and other departments to go after those who burn charcoal without providing the opportunity space that comes with the green economy. We do agree and understand that deforestation ought to be mitigated. We need to go full throttle with reforestation or afforestation. However, the question then is: What should become of rural farmers in Kanchibiya Constituency, Cheweshimfwamba, Tunduwa Forestry and other areas where we have forests? What should become of that local farmer in Kanchibiya Constituency who seeks to benefit from the carbon credits that come with the green economy? I say this because I am mindful of the fact that the hon. Minister for this very crucial ministry is in the House.  There has not been much publicity, policy or regulation on how our people should tap into this opportunity.

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

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

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Orders No. 65.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Chienge used a statement that, “Bazeze balishupa”.

Rev Katuta interjected.

Mr Katakwe: I want to find whom she was referring to as “Bazeze.” What does it mean?

Rev Katuta interjected.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chienge.

Please, you have no right to respond to the hon. Member who is on the Floor.

Rev Katuta interjected.

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

Hon. Member for Solwezi East, what Standing Order has been breached?

Mr Katakwe: Madam Speaker, it is Standing Order No. 65(b).


Mr Katakwe: It is on language or speech. You can read. Do you not –

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you, hon. Member. For that issue, I was actually thinking about it. I have asked the Clerks at the Table to verify who was meant to receive that statement. Was it for the Speaker or hon. Members of Parliament?

However, that unparliamentary language was not translated for us to know what the hon. Member for Chienge meant by saying, “Bazeze.” All I can see in this House are only hon. Members of Parliament. There are no bazeze. No other names can be used to address members in this House apart from “hon. Members of Parliament”. Even the people who are listening–

Mr Mutelo moved to his seat.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member, who is moving up and down.

I am sure even the people that are listening are wondering whether we have bazeze in the House, whatever it means. This is a dignified House which is full of only hon. Members of Parliament. So, if we try to bring other names, especially those that are unparliamentary, it would not be good. Please, let us not do that. We are hon. Members. We deserve to be respected wherever we are, starting from this House. Even as we go outside, people should be able to respect us as hon. Members of Parliament. Whether we differ in opinion, the fact remains that we are dignified. We are hon. Members of Parliament and the people see us as such.

So, let us refrain from using unparliamentary words especially when we are in the House because this is a people’s House. It is neither the hon. Member’s House nor my House. It is the people’s House. So, you deserve to be respected. Respect is earned. So, with that guide, hon. Members, especially the hon. Member for Chienge, please, whether we disagree with what the others are talking about, let us refrain from using such provoking or unparliamentary words. We are all hon. Members.

I thank you.

Who was on the Floor?

Hon. Members: Kanchibiya!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, you may continue.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, before I was rudely interrupted, I was making a clarion call to the Minister of Green Economy and Environment that we need regulation or policy for that local in Cheweshimfwamba and Tunduwa, in Kanchibiya, to understand how they can benefit from carbon credits. We have been told that the green economy is a gold mine. However, from where we sit, there has not been regulation or policy brought to this House for us to translate to our people and tell them that if they stop charcoal burning, this is how they are going to earn their livelihood and sustain it. So, my appeal again goes to the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment and the entire ministry to do more in sensitising communities and coming up with solid regulations and policies, especially for rural communities holding all the forests and farmlands.

Madam Speaker, very close to home, in Kanchibiya, is the Zampalm Plantation. I know there will be a report coming to this House at some point. If we are going to talk about carbon credits, this plantation is supposed to be earning and tapping into the millions of dollars that come with that opportunity space such that recapitalising that facility should not even give the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) or anyone a headache.  However, there is no regulation or policy.

Madam Speaker, our local communities want to understand the number of carbon credits they will earn per acre or per hectare. So, if I am going to grow particular species of tree, I need to know how much I am going to earn. The regulation and the policy must be very clear in that regard. Awareness of tree species earning the most carbon credits is what we need in the ministry. Otherwise, short of that, our people need to survive and they will continue to cut down trees because they must earn a living. 

Madam Speaker, carbon credits and carbon itself ought to be fronted as a marketing tool. So, the developed world is committing environmental sins and we are paying the prices, but what is in it for us? This is the question that our people in rural areas, such as the people I represent in Kanchibiya will ask. How do we attract private sector investment to work with rural communities to reduce carbon emissions and secure better environmental outcomes?

Madam Speaker, as we sit, it is possible that there are private sector companies earning from forests in rural areas without the locals themselves getting any single benefit. I am again making a clarion call on the ministry to come with a regulation or policy. We want to understand because where we are, as rural communities, with all the vegetation and all the trees, we must not be poor but rich. If at all the green economy is not a miss, then we must be prosperous. We must be wealthy as rural communities. 

Madam Speaker, how can rural communities or rural farmers leverage carbon credits in agriculture? These are questions that the ministry ought to answer. This ministry should provide a clear roadmap and tell us where the money is and how we can benefit from this space.

Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I want to support the call for sustainable development and still place a demand on the ministry to come out very clear on how rural communities will start benefiting from this space.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (Mr Nkombo): Madam Speaker, let me thank representatives of the Committee that went to Bahrain for coming up with these resolutions.

Madam Speaker, at the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU), pertinent issues as what Hon. Kamboni shared with the House, were discussed and resolutions were made.

Madam Speaker, I want to state to that these did not just come from osmosis. They have a historic perspective. I would like to invite you to the subject here that includes a peaceful co-existence, the push against intolerance, exclusion violence, hate speech, human rights especially for hon. Members of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, in 2014, Zambia was one of the countries that were cited as one of the Government perpetrators of closing the democratic space for its citizens and hon. Members of Parliament.

Madam Speaker, quoting from the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the Committee on Human Rights of Parliamentarians, ten hearings had been examined out of 178 complaints by Parliamentarians throughout the world. I want to tell those who may not know that Zambia was actually among the ten countries that were cited for abuse of rights of hon. Members of Parliament. In addition, this hon. Member speaking here is one of hon. Members who petitioned the IPU. In addition, a dedicated trip was made to this country for the IPU Committee that came to investigate the abuse of hon. Members of Parliament by their own Government. Those countries included inter alia; Kenya, Rwanda and Zambia came was number three on that list. Others countries were Pakistan, Philippines, Belarus, Palestine and Israel.

Madam Speaker, at this particular sermon, I want to make a quote on the human rights mission that came to Zambia to make progress on the investigation on the cases that had been made. They reported to the IPU that on March, 2014, during the time of the Patriotic Front (PF), the IPU highlighted the cases of hon. Members of Parliament from the Opposition namely; Kenneth Konga and Garry Nkombo, who is the hon. Member that is speaking now. It was alleged that Kenneth Konga collapsed during the prolonged interrogation by the law enforcers and suffered a stroke and permanent damage up to this moment that I am speaking. Whereas Garry Nkombo, who is hon. Minister speaking today was reported as having been attacked in the police station in full view of other hon. Ministers and the police by a fellow hon. Minister.

Madam Speaker, the other complaints that came, Madam Speaker, was from Madam Dora Siliya, Mr Maxwell Mwale as well as Mr Hastings Sililo who were excluded from Parliament for a period of two years by the Government that was there then, the Patriotic Front (PF) alleging that they were being charged on allegations of corruption and illegal practices.

Madam Speaker, the mission came here and met eighteen of us, hon. Members of Parliament and came up with preliminary conclusions. I believe that this report that Hon. Kamboni has delivered today marks the conclusive end of a very bad era at least for this country, where hon. Members in performing their representative roles had to go and report themselves to the police upon arriving in the constituency to get permission to visit their wards. That is the way we used to live here. Today, all hon. Members are free to interact and mingle with their constituents without having to seek police permits in the name of the Public Order Act.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: So, I would like to state that there has been tremendous improvement. I would like to thank Hon. Kamboni for coming to share things that he may not have been aware of as to the genesis of this particular report that he has come with from the IPU. I am very thankful for that. It is my wish as hon. Member sitting now on the other side of the divide that never should Zambia be cited as one of the countries that abuse hon. Members of Parliament as the case was before.

Madam Speaker, the incidents are there to be recited. They were too ghastly for anyone to contemplate, where the state became the agent of terrorism, terrorising its own citizens, Madam Speaker.

 Madam First Deputy Speaker:  Order, hon. Minister!

I do not know whether we have proof of what you are saying so that it can be laid on the Table.

Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Madam Speaker. I am an experienced man. This caption I have here is from a Parliamentary document of the IPU stating how Mr Kenneth Konga and this hon. Member speaking here were terrorised by the Government that was there then. So, I am a living example, Madam Speaker, of one of the hon. Members of Parliament or politicians who are going to go down in the history of this country as one of the most abused persons by the Government. I have that evidence. The Government then was the PF.  

Madam Speaker, as I am speaking to you right now, I have permanent damage on my spine having been brutilised by the police at the time when they went to arrest Mr Hichilema on a trumped-up charge of treason. What more evidence would you want? There is no need for further evidence or proof that I was terrorised. I am a citizen of this country and I can ...

Hon. Government Members: We will lay you on the Table.


Mr Nkombo: I can actually go and lay myself on the Table with all my medical reports to demonstrate the last brutal attack that I suffered personally. In trying to seek medical attention at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), I found the police waiting for me in order to arrest me. They did not even want me to get treated at a Government hospital.

Madam Speaker, I therefore, thank Hon. Kamboni for bringing such a report which should be a reminder to all people that seek public office to look after the interests and aspirations of others. They should know that where their rights begin and end is where the other people’s rights also begin and end with the next person. The way we used to live –

Madam Speaker, the Committee of the IPU Members that came here was high-powered. They came into this Chamber to investigate the abuse of not only hon. Members of Parliament, but citizens as well. Their representative then, was Hon. Sakwiba Sikota. He is the one who was our lawyer when we invited the IPU. Thank you once again, to the Committee that went to Bahrain for coming with this report back home so that it can serve as a reason we should never go back to those dark days.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lungu: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Chawama, I can see you are indicating although you are the seconder. Is it a point of order?

Ms Lungu: It is a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: There is an indication for a point of order. What is your point of order, hon. Member for Chawama?

A point of order is raised.

Ms Lungu: Madam Speaker, I rise on the point of order in accordance with Standing Order No. 65. Since you have already given guidance, I would like to know whether the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development is in order to give us his entire political history when it has nothing to do with the report?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I thank the hon. Member for that point of order.

Actually, I was listening very attentively because I was trying to connect –


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order hon. Members and the hon. Deputy Chief Whip!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: I was trying to connect what the hon. Minister was debating about with the report. I allowed him to go further simply because all that he was talking about were the IPU activities although, I really wanted him to talk more about the report. Somehow, he was able to bring in the report here and there. So, that is why I let him to continue. Hon. Minister, when we are in this House, we are not supposed to discuss ourselves. So, please next time, let us observe that rule. Therefore, on that one, I can just say that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Rural Development was out of order because he brought more information about himself.       

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Madam Speaker, I have been compelled to clarify and put a few items into perspective because a lot of issues came out. I think, also, maybe, before I continue with my discourse, I would like to thank the Committee for this important report and for bringing out certain issues.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment was created, basically, to ensure that green developmental pathways are mainstreamed into our economy. A green economy is about supporting low-carbon investments, and ensuring resource efficiency and social inclusivity, that the people for whom you are developing the economy have the necessary jobs, and their livelihoods are improved.

Madam Speaker, matters of climate change are global issues. They know no boundaries and that is the reason why the whole global community comes together to ensure that pathways that address carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and resulting temperature changes are within limits. For example, at the moment, we are talking about 1.5 deg as the global target. Each country has to contribute to ensuring that emissions are reduced so they set these conditions in what are called nation-determined contributions. These may be in the agriculture, energy and mining sectors.

Madam Speaker, coming, specifically, to the issue of carbon credits, the ministry issued interim guidelines in the work of bringing the Climate Change Bill to this House. You will recall that a few months back, I urged hon. Members of Parliament to partner with the ministry in ensuring that we have a green economy. We also informed the House that the ministry had issued an interim communication and advocacy strategy to see how we could contribute effectively to this discourse, and to also, see how our people could be carried along. I urge hon. Members to really partner with ourselves so that we speak the same language.

Mr B. Mpundu: Ourselves, naba nani?

Eng. Nzovu: On the issue of charcoal burning, Madam Speaker, this House enacted the Forest Act No.4 of 2015, which requires that any person producing charcoal must have a permit. So, illegal manufacturers and traders, obviously, will be arrested and prosecuted. We believe, and this is a fact, that the forestry and agriculture sectors in the country are among the biggest contributors to global warming, and we must ensure that we do something about it. Therefore, reforestation, afforestation, and forest restoration are measures that we support, and we want to ask hon. Members to come along. Hon. Members of Parliament and obviously, the general public are urged to ensure that these interim guidelines are issued. We will read them from the Website for the ministry and we will continuously articulate these issues.

Again, Madam Speaker, when you look at our global engagements, at the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26), 27th Conference of the Parties and (COP27), 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28), they have resulted in the country signing several memorandum of understanding (MoUs). One of them with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where about 8 million ha of land will be put under this green market agreement. 4 million ha of the land is expected to come from traditional leaders. I want to encourage my good friend, Kanchibiya Man, to let us come together and talk to our traditional leadership because we want local communities to partner with these foreign entities−

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

For the sake of the records, I do not know which Kanchibiya Man you are talking about. Maybe let us try to be specific so that the people are following you.


Eng. Nzovu: Thank you for the guidance, Madam Speaker. I would like to urge the hon. Member for Kanchibiya to visit our offices so that we can discuss these matters. For his information, the Forest Act No. 4 of 2015 will be brought to the House for revision. The Environmental Management Act (EMA) as well will be brought to ensure that these pieces of legislation address greening the economy more. As I said, the Climate Change Bill will also come before the House. Suffice it to say, the interim guidelines we issued are adequate for us to enable the country, as well as our citizens, trade in the green economy market. Just last week the ministry approved about fourteen carbon projects in various parts of the country. We will be engaging the hon. Members to see how we can partner with them and the traditional leadership to ensure that the benefits accrue to our people.

Madam Speaker, matters of greening this economy are serious. I am sure hon. Members will agree that several areas are experiencing unprecedented flooding, particularly in the Southern Province last year. Some parts are experiencing extreme drought. This is threatening food, water, and energy security. We need to ensure that we partner with the ministry to see where we are going towards greening this economy. Let us all take an interest in environmental matters. This is very important. When we look at this Report, one of the main issues, the international community is talking about, and also, particularly, ourselves, is the scourge of plastic pollution. So, I will take advantage of this Report to urge the House to lead by example and start getting rid of the plastic bottles we use. We need to start using biodegradable containers and materials so that we do not pollute our environment anymore.

Madam Speaker, another issue, to the comfort of hon. Members, is that we are working closely with the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development, my good friend, to control pollution in the country.

Mr Kabuswe: Hear, hear!

Eng. Nzovu: Madam Speaker, this is because previously these issues were troubling us. The forestry sector, at the moment, I want to state clearly, is in safe hands. Before, this was a sector that saw massive encroachment, and where, ….

Mr Nkandu: With impunity!

Eng. Nzovu: … massive encroachment with impunity. The forestry sector is now back on its feet, and we need to ensure that it is protected because it is the one that protects the river systems and headwaters to guarantee that there is water security.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I just want to urge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament to take keen interest to visit us at the offices as well and be part of this global aim to ensure that we leave a liveable planet for our children.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, from the response by the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment, I have realised that there are some very important issues that have not been covered, especially on human rights, security and cyber crimes, which came out so strongly in the report. I am going to allow the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to say something on those issues.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to rise and support the report of your Zambian Delegation to the 146th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly and Related Meetings held in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.

Madam Speaker, on behalf of the Executive, I want to state that we support the recommendations that have been submitted by your honourable Committee, and I would urge this august House to ensure that these recommendations are implemented.

Madam Speaker, in the course of the debate on the Floor of this House, a number of issues were raised by my hon. Colleagues on your left in particular. One of the issues that were raised relates to the management of the criminal justice system in the country, in particular the role that is being played by the Zambia Police and other law enforcement agencies.

Madam Speaker, I want to make it very clear that the laws of this country are very clear. The laws under the Constitution confer rights and obligations on citizens of this country. However, the same Constitution derogates those rights. The rights that are enjoyed by the members of the public, including hon. Members of Parliament, are not absolute. We must take note of that.

Madam Speaker, I heard my hon. Colleagues talk about the abductions by the police and the rights of the hon. Members of Parliament not being respected. We are hon. Members of Parliament and originators of the laws of this country. It must be known that there are procedures that are supposed to be undertaken when the police want to effect an arrest. There are two processes. The first one is an arrest with a warrant. The second one is an arrest without a warrant. In most of the instances, the cases that have been committed, including cases that have been committed by our hon. Colleague. hon. Members of Parliament do not require an arrest warrant to be obtained by the Zambia Police. So, it must be known.

Madam Speaker, what has happened is that all the processes are now being politicised. A member of the public or any hon. Member of Parliament can commit an offense and want to claim immunity that does not arise, which is not conferred by the law. As Parliamentarians, we should be able to say, “My rights were violated or the police abrogated this particular provision,” but there have not been any complaints. 

Madam Speaker, there are issues that are being raised pertaining to the Cyber Security Act. If any member of the public creates documents or forges Government documents and circulates them, the law will follow that person, whether he is an hon. Member of Parliament or not. In some instances, hon. Members of Parliament are alleging that there are abductions. Certain individuals created fake documents and circulated these seditious documents on social media, purporting that there is a rift in the country and inciting the public to rise against the Government. Do you honestly believe that a responsible Government will not do anything against those who have broken the law? The answer is no. Do not break the law and cry foul.

Madam Speaker, members of the public have been breaking laws in this country with impunity, thinking that this Government is a lame-duck Government that cannot take action. They even have the audacity to circulate openly and issue press statements based on the fake documents that have been created. When the police in its course of duty, on matters that fall under its jurisdiction, investigates and finds those who are culpable and arrests them, they cry foul. It is not correct. We are leaders. We are the originators. We are the legislators.

Madam Speaker, it is our duty and responsibility to ensure that there is law and order in this country. If there is no law and order in this country, there will be chaos. It is our responsibility to do that. It is not correct to start threatening police officers who are doing their duty. It is not correct. Policemen are now being threatened that when certain individuals came into power, they will arrest those individuals who are performing their duties. It is not right.

Madam Speaker, I have heard allegations that there is a lot of greed under this Government, where a lot of money has been stolen. Allegations have been made and people are saying that we should all condemn greediness. I agree. I condemn greediness. I condemn the greediness that happened in the last ten years, which had never happened in the history of this country. We saw instances where Government planes were sent to collect millions of dollars from somewhere. That money has not been accounted for. We have noted where a lot of millions of dollars have been misused and pocketed during the last ten years. We have seen a lot of money that was stolen during that period but up to now, it has not been accounted for. During that period, we witnessed a situation where this country ended in a debt crisis which we cannot manage because of greed. I agree that there was greed and this Government should not allow it to happen again. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Is there any indication for debate?

Hon. Member: Yes!

Mrs Masebo: There is an indication for a point of order.

Madam First Deputy Speaker:  Do we still have time, Clerks at the Table?


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members.

The fact that I had indicated that the last hon. Minister to debate was the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment, I realised that there were issues that were left hanging. That is why I had allowed the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to respond to the other issues that were not talked about. Looking at time, hon. Minister of Education, we have to close this report.  

Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. May I take this opportunity to thank the hon. Members who have participated in the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House. We have had seven members who participated and these are, four hon. Members and three hon. Ministers. I thank them all for taking part in the debate on this noble topic. The issues that were raised concern all of us. They are worldwide.

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

Madam First Deputy Speaker. Order, hon. Member for Kalomo Central.

A point of order is raised.

Mr Anakoka: Madam Speaker, thank you very much and I want to apologise to the hon. Member for Kalomo Central for disrupting his trail of thought.

Madam Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. This House is considering very serious issues but the hon Members on your left seem to have taken the Business of this House casually. Madam Speaker, you will notice that from the Leader of the Opposition, the PF Whip, up to the Whip for the Independent Members, the entire section on your left is empty this morning. Are your hon. Members on your left, in order to take so lightly this serious business for which they were voted to come and represent the people? Are they in order to disappear from this House to pursue their personal business when the House is still sitting?

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious guidance on this matter.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Thank you but you did not mention the Standing Order that has been breached. However, that being said hon. Member, we appreciate your concern. It is worrying especially when the leaders are not in the House. However, the rule of this House is that as long as there is a quorum, the transactions of the House continue. This does not mean that your point of order is not important. It is very important. The leaders on the left should try, as much as possible, to be in the House, to represent their people actually. Right now, people are still watching television and listening to the radio, and yet their representatives have walked out. Since I said we have the quorum, we will continue with the business.

The hon. Member for Kalomo Central, please may you continue.

Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I was saying that at least the response has been good. We have had three hon. Ministers and four hon. Members of Parliament who have taken part in this very important debate. The Chief Deputy Whip is one of them and I thank her so much. May I thank them all. Issues about coo-existence, hate speech, and climate change are very serious and they concern all of us. May I take this opportunity to thank you, Madam Speaker, and everybody.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to


The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1245 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 20th June, 2023