Friday, 17th June, 2022

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Friday, 17th June, 2022

The House met at 0900 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Thursday, 9th June, 2022, when the House was considering the ministerial statement on the teacher recruitment exercise and Hon. D Syakalima, Minister of Education, was responding to a follow-up question, Mr M. Kafwaya, hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte Constituency, raised a point of order was based on Standing Order No. 65, which requires an hon. Member debating to ensure that the information he or she provides to the House is factual and verifiable.

In raising the point of order, Hon. Kafwaya stated, inter alia, the following:

“Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister rose in arrogance and told us, who were hon. Ministers before, that we were doing things in the most haphazard manner and that his methodical Government is now doing things meticulously.

“Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was seated there. I saw him, and he mentioned 30,000 teachers. That was a definite number that required baseline information he could only get six months later. How did the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, who is in a meticulous United Party for National Development (UPND) Government, find the 30,000 teachers?

“Mr Speaker, is that hon. Minister in order to be presenting information that cannot be verified?

“I seek your very serious ruling, Mr Speaker.”

In his immediate response, the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker reserved his ruling. The matter has been studied and I now render the ruling.

Hon. Members, the gist of Hon. Kafwaya’s point of order was that the hon. Minister of Education accused the previous Government of operating in a haphazard manner without providing evidence to support his statement. My office had recourse to the relevant verbatim record in order to ascertain whether, indeed, the hon. Minister of Education had made the statement as alleged. the relevant excerpt of the hon. Minister’s statement is as follows:

“Now, Sir, let me tell our hon. Colleagues how they dangerously failed. They were doing things in the most haphazard manner.

“Mr Speaker, let me just explain this. Last week, I went to Britain to attend the Education World Forum, and when delegates from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a world-renowned university, heard that there was a Minister of Education from Zambia, they asked to meet me. When I asked why they wanted to meet me, they said it was because they had done research in Zambia.

“Sir, the delegates said that in 2012 and 2015, they had conducted research on teacher recruitment and placement here. I do not know whether the study was sponsored by the World Bank or somebody else. However, our hon. Colleagues across did not want them even to come and disseminate the information, and to make informed decisions. Had those researchers presented the results, our colleagues would have designed a template like we did, which was exactly the same as the one the researchers created.”

Hon. Members, evidently, it is this statement that Hon. Kafwaya raised a point of order on. Further, from the excerpt, it is clear that the hon. Minister attempted to justify his statement by referring to a conversation he had had with some researchers who allegedly conducted a research in the country. However, this was not supported by any documentary or cogent evidence as envisaged by Standing Order No. 65. In view of this, the hon. Minister breached Standing Order No. 65, and was out of order.

Hon. Members, regrettably, I have noticed a tendency of hon. Members on both sides of the House making unsubstantiated statements that have the potential to mislead the House and the public at large. I wish to remind you to avoid making such statements in the House.

Thank you.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that on Thursday, 9th June, 2022, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 322, Mr A. Katakwe, hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi East Constituency, raised a point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 207. In his point of order, Hon. Katakwe asked whether some hon. Members of Parliament, including Hon. F. R. Kapyanga, Member of Parliament for Mpika Constituency, who walked out of the Chamber while shouting on top of their voices, had not committed contempt of the House. In his immediate response, the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker reserved his ruling so that the matter could be studied thoroughly.

Hon. Members, my office reviewed the relevant Parliament Television footage and the verbatim record of what transpired on the material day, and I confirm that hon. Members of the Opposition did walk out of the House. However, the footage did not show any hon. Member of Parliament walking out of the House while shouting on top of their voices as alleged in the point of order.

Hon. Members, my predecessors and I have ruled that walkouts, per se, do not amount to a breach of privilege. To this end, the erstwhile Speaker, the Rt. Hon. Robinson Nabulyato, in a ruling on walkouts from the House by hon. Members of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) (Parliamentary Debates of 28th January – 11th March 1992, page 1527), stated, inter alia, as follows:

“Hon. Members, in some Commonwealth Parliaments, opposition parties, pressure groups, political factions and sometimes even ruling parties which are represented in Parliament have, from time to time, staged walkouts from debates of Parliament. This is a political strategy to block Bills, Motions or any questions which, in their opinion, are undesirable, unpopular or objectionable. In some cases, walkouts have been used by dissatisfied groups of hon. Members to put on record their resentment.”

This position was endorsed by the erstwhile Rt. Hon. Justice Dr Patrick Matibini, SC., in a ruling on a point of order raised by the erstwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. H. Kalaba, on hon. Members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) who walked out of the House on Friday, 27th November, 2015. In that ruling (National Assembly Parliamentary Debates of 18th September – 10th December, 2015, pages 3282 – 3284), Dr Matibini, SC., stated as follows:

“Going by the precedent set on the matter in Speaker Nabulyato’s ruling, walkouts, per se, do not amount to a breach of the Rules of the House or, indeed, parliamentary practice and procedure. In view of this, the hon. Members of the UPND were not out of order to have walked out of the House. This is especially so that the Members that walked out on that day did return to the House shortly after what appeared to be an impromptu caucus or consultation.”

From the foregoing, it is very clear that a walkout is a permissible way of hon. Members protesting or showing their dissatisfaction, and does not amount to a breach of privilege or contempt of the House. This is provided the walkout does not result in a disruption of the proceedings of the House. In view of this, the hon. Members of the Opposition who walked out of the House on that day were not out of order because they did not disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Thank you.



The Vice-President (Mrs Nalumango): Madam Speaker, I rise to give the House an indication of the business it will consider next week.

Madam Speaker, on Tuesday, 21st June, 2022, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees:

  1. Committee on Youth, Sport and Child Matters; and
  1. Committee on Education, Science and Technology.

Madam Speaker, on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider a Private Member’s Motion, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then debate the Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees:

  1. Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technologies; and
  1. Committee on National Guidance and Gender Matters.

Thereafter, the House will consider the Committee Stage of the Judges (Conditions of Service) (Amendment) Bill No. 6 of 2022.

Madam Speaker, on Thursday, 23rd June, 2022, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motions to adopt the reports of the following Committees:

  1. Committee on Cabinet Affairs; and
  1. Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.

Madam Speaker, on Friday, 24th June, 2022, the Business of the House will commence with the Vice-President’s Question Time. Thereafter, the House will consider Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then debate the Motion to adopt the Report of the Zambian Delegation to the Twelfth Ordinary Session of the Plenary Assembly of the Forum of Parliaments of the Member States of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).

I thank you, Madam.




Rev. Katuta: On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Rev. Katuta: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity.

Madam Speaker, in Chienge, there are farmers who totally depend on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and spend so much energy on growing maize. As I speak, there are more than five sheds where their bags of maize are still marooned, and none of them has been paid. None of the maize has been collected by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), and today is 17th June, 2022. Those farmers are in dire need of the money that has to be paid to them, and those bags of maize need to be collected.

Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling because other places have been attended to. What about Chienge? When will the hon. Minister of Agriculture or the FRA intervene in this situation? We are talking of more than 50,000 bags likely to go to waste in Chienge.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, hon. Member for Chienge. The issue of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), maize collection and payments has been discussed by this honourable House several times and, I believe, there have been even ministerial statements on it. So, your matter of urgent public importance is not admitted, as it does not meet the set criteria. You are advised to follow up with the Ministry of Agriculture and, maybe, even the Vice-President’s Office so that the matter is addressed.

Thank you.



Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for this opportunity that you have given me to ask a question to Her Honour the Vice-President.

Your Honour the Vice-President, when the United Party for National Development (UPND) came into power, it condemned the Patriotic Front (PF) for giving subsidies, especially, in the energy sector, on fuel and electricity. The UPND Government was very strong in saying that its policy would be to not give subsidies and that, therefore, all subsidies would be removed so as to have cost-reflective electricity tariffs and cost-reflective prices on fuel. Further, it extended the Statutory Instrument (SI) that waived applicable taxes on fuel to June, this year. However, I just read from the Daily Nation newspaper, and I quote:

         “Government to Extend Fuel Subsidies – Kapala.”

Mr Mundubile: Your Honour the Vice-President, this is a clear policy shift, especially given that hon. Government Members spoke very loudly against the PF Government on subsidies. We, as members of the PF, are, however, happy because the UPND is slowly beginning to appreciate the wisdom that the PF was using in making most of its decisions, going by the many changes that the Government is making in its decisions, including this one on subsidies. My question is: We are all aware that the negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package are troubled. Earlier, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning had assured us that the negotiations would be concluded by April. The date moved to June and, now, maybe, to September or the end of the year. Does she not think that this policy shift will negatively affect the negotiations with the IMF?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Leader of the Opposition and hon. Member of Parliament for Mporokoso for this concern, I believe, on behalf of the Patriotic Front (PF), not Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, indeed, it is the position, particularly on fuel, that we will not continue to subsidise it, and we are not subsidising it. Maybe, it is just the semantics. We are not subsidising fuel. What we are doing is giving a tax waiver. I think, that should be made very clear. It is a waiver on tax, not putting public resources into the buying of fuel. I think, that must be understood. If you have noticed, those who bring in fuel get a waiver.

Madam Speaker, I do not know what the hon. Member means when he says we have a policy shift. There is no shift. I have talked about the tax.

Madam Speaker, on the issue of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), I think, all of us must understand that we have a plan and the plan that we have had from the beginning is as stated by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning; that we will do everything possible to ensure that the negotiations succeed by April. However, negotiations are what they are; negotiations, meaning that there is another party to the negotiation. So, indeed, up to now, –

Madam Speaker, your hon. Members on the left must be listening. The IMF has been here, praising what this Government has done.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: On our colleagues’ side of the negotiations, let us admit that they tried to engage the IMF, but totally failed.

Hon. UPND Members: They failed!

The Vice-President: In this House, you have guided, Madam Speaker, that we should say the truth all the time, and this is the truth. It does not matter how much they argue.

This is the position, hon. Leader of the Opposition. We have done our part, and the creditors also have their part. In fact, they had to look and see, and they are making their own progress. I think, the hon. Member knows that we can determine what we are able to do, but we may not determine what the other party is supposed to do. However, we are still confident, as everybody has heard from the IMF, that we will go through to agreeing and signing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, we are on course. We do not change like that. When we change, we will come and tell you that we have changed this or that policy for whatever reason. On these two, however, we are on course.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving the good people of Petauke this opportunity to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question.

Madam Speaker, in the 2021/2022 Farming Season, the suppliers under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) delayed in delivering farming inputs like fertiliser to farmers. They supplied as late as April, and that caused farmers to buy farming inputs at a high cost. For example, a 50 kg bag of fertiliser cost about K1,200. Therefore, the production cost became high. Now, the good people of Petauke are asking the New Dawn Government to consider increasing the buying price for maize, which is K160.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I will, again, try to understand the question because if I do not, I will give another answer.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member talked about two things, if I understood him. He started by talking about the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and the delayed input delivery. Then, he talked about the cost of fertiliser and, I think, he is referring to farmers who are not dependant on FISP, because the delayed delivery did not change the cost of fertiliser to the farmer. I hope that is the position.

Madam Speaker, if I understood him well on FISP and the delayed delivery in many places, I think, we have explained in this House. It can become tedious, and I may end up saying this and that. We understand what happened. We all believed that the inputs were already in the Country only to find out, to our surprise, that they were not ready. However, we did try to do all the other things we have talked about. Therefore, the farmers on FISP would not have been affected by the K1,200 the hon. Member talked about. It was FISP across the board. The farmers contributed 400, and that was that. The high cost of fertiliser cannot be felt by FISP members. So, those people cannot cry foul over that or the selling price of maize as set by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Thank you so much, Hon. Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Sorry, I meant the hon. Member for Bangweulu. You will ask later.

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I was almost getting a heart attack.

Madam Speaker, I agree with Her Honour the Vice-President that the waiver on fuel was introduced in 2020 by the Patriotic Front (PF).

Madam Speaker, a couple of months ago, the hon. Leader of the Opposition in the House, Hon. Mundubile, raised a concern vis-à-vis Article 259 of the 2016 Constitution, which I quote:

“259. (1)       Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure —"

Madam Speaker, this question was posed to Her Honour the Vice-President a few months ago, and her answer was threefold. She said, firstly, that we must give the President time to appoint as prescribed by the Constitution, secondly, she requested the hon. Leader of the Opposition in the House to lay the document on the Table for the positions to which people had been appointed and, thirdly, she said, “When you look at our side, there are some young people; some youths, in Cabinet.”

Madam Speaker, since the Vice-President requested that information to be laid on the Table, I will lay it.

Madam Speaker, going through the bio-data on the Parliament Website, at the time Her Honour the Vice-President was answering the question, no Minister appointed by the President was a youth. Even by looking, I can tell that there is no youth among the hon. Ministers.

Hon. UPND Member: Haimbe!

Mr Lusambo: Bakote bonse.

Mr Kasandwe: Madam Speaker, at that time, the youngest hon. Minister was forty years old. So, there was no youth.

Madam Speaker, the President, in my opinion, has departed from the dictates of the Constitution, and I will provide data. Out of the eight nominations that the President has made, only two are women; out of twenty-six Cabinet Ministers, only five are female; out of 116 District Commissioners (DCs), less than eighteen are female and youths; out of more than forty Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and their deputies, about eleven are females; out of ten Provincial hon. Ministers, only one female, and there is no disabled or youth; and out of four Service Chiefs, there is no youth, disabled or female. I can go on and on in giving examples of the appointments. Suffice it for me to say that so far, the President has made more than 300 appointments. My question to Her Honour the Vice-President, who is a woman and the number one advisor to the President, is: Is she satisfied with the number of women, youths and the disabled appointed by the President so far?

Mr Kasandwe laid the document on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, is what you are laying on the Table an original or public document? What is the nature of it?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kasandwe: It is in the public domain. It is a notorious fact.

Madam Speaker: Is it the original?

Mr Kasandwe: It is hand written, but it is in the public domain.


Mr Kasandwe: The figures can be verified even from here. There are only five female hon. Ministers out of twenty-six.

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Mr Chinkuli: Answer the question.


Madam Speaker: Let me give guidance.

Mr Kasandwe: Figures do not lie. You can check the bio-data. There is no youth among the hon. Ministers.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, the document that you want to lay on the Table does not meet the criteria stated in the Standing Orders because it is not an original. In particular, I refer you to Standing Order No. 138(2), which states as follows:

“A backbencher shall not table a copy of a public document unless the copy has been certified as a true copy of the original document by the relevant head of Government ministry, department or agency that has custody of the original document.”

Your document, therefore, does not meet the criteria and cannot be laid on the Table. However, we can allow Her Honour the Vice-President to answer your question.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, let start by thanking you for that guidance.

Madam Speaker, all the statistics the hon. Member has given, even though, honestly, as I stand here, I could have forgotten. I do not even remember the specific question he referred to.

Mr Kasandwe: Hmm!

The Vice-President: You cannot argue with that. I said I cannot remember. So, how do you want to argue with my memory.


The Vice-President: If I was to answer, what will I answer to? He has not laid on the Table the information he alleges to have.


The Vice-President: I am still answering, hon. Colleagues. Here, let us stalk, not fight. This is one House where unity must be seen, and we should address real issues. If you want to ask a political question like the hon. Member is trying to do, I can also start answering politically.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

The Vice-President: That is the danger, Madam Speaker

Mr Kasandwe: Just answer the question.

The Vice-President: You spoke, and I am answering. You are referring to the Constitution of 2016, and a Government was there. So, what is this?

Mr Michelo: They had no youth, themselves.

The Vice-President: What is this? Was the Constitution useless yesterday? Has it become useful today?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mundubile: Take it easy.

The Vice-President: Do not worry.

Madam Speaker, I think, I try to remain as calm as possible.

Mr Mutale: Twalimishiba!

The Vice-President: You just see the top. My heart is very settled.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Can we give due respect to Her Honour the Vice-President as she answers your questions.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, like I have said, I will not answer to the statistics. However, as regards the question that he put that on whether as a woman, I am happy with the appointments, as a woman, and given the human resource available – you should honestly follow it – I am happy so far. However, there is room for all of us in this country to be sure on how we set the law. There is a limit to the pool that the President has to pick from. So, can we deepen the pool.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Bangweulu, oh, Bweengwa, I am sorry. The two, Bangweulu and Bweengwa, are confusing me.

Mr Michelo (Bweengwa): Madam Speaker, at times, I fail to understand the reason people from the Patriotic Front (PF) laugh at our Government when it commissions some of the projects which were undertaken during the time they were ruling. Now, what I and the people of Zambia know is that the PF borrowed huge amounts of money to construct roads and build houses in this country. They left a huge mountain of debt for the United Party for National Development (UPND) to start dismantling. They got that money when they were building roads that, on a daily basis, they jump and scream about being the ones who constructed them, forgetting that it is the UPND Government that is paying for the projects they undertook.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Michelo: Now, who must be given credit? Is it the ones who borrowed, but did not pay back or the ones who are paying for projects they are commissioning?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Jata neiluma!

Madam Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Bweengwa for giving us a little historical information that explains the current situation; that our colleagues in the previous Government borrowed and left a mountain of debt to be dismantled by this Government.

Madam Speaker, I think, we have to identify who did what and determine who should be praised. Government borrowing will continue everywhere, but I think, the concern of the hon. Member is reckless borrowing, whereby one borrows, but has literally no intention to pay back. In that case, one will be called another name.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, in whatever we do, we should calculate our ability to pay back. However, it seems that we, as a people and a Government, did not do very well. We over-borrowed, and that is why we are in a tight situation today.

Hon. UPND Member: They over-borrowed on our behalf.


The Vice-President: Indeed.

Madam Speaker, borrowing on the premise that future generations will pay back has a connotation of irresponsibility. I am sorry, I cannot think of another word right now, and that is why I said, “reckless borrowing”. Hon. Colleagues, let us admit to that.

Madam Speaker, unfortunately for the United Party for National Development (UPND), because it is in the Government, it carries the burden of paying back, and that is why we need support from the left side. When we are looking for solutions on how to dismantle this huge debt, let us not be partisan. Instead, let us speak with one voice. The hon. Minister is trying to find ways for us to dismantle.  Twalishiba mpyanango apyana namabala, but their mabala –


The Vice-President: Meaning ‘the spots’, Madam Speaker. The spots were too huge, and it means that we have to do a lot to clean up and continue to develop. The praise must go to those who are paying. I was asked a question.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, we appreciate the response from Her Honour the Vice-President. However, the subsidies and waivers are just one and the same thing.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I have asked the Vice-President on three occasions about the cost of living for her people. I know that last time, she made the assurance that when the stocks that were inherited finished at the beginning of this year, new stocks of various commodities would roll in at new and affordable prices.

Madam Speaker, you know that the cost of living is mainly determined by the price of fuel. We are happy that the hon. Minister of Energy has extended the Statutory Instrument (SI) that was left, which waives the applicable taxes on fuel or finished products.

Madam Speaker, how does Her Honour the Vice-President expect her Government to regulate prices of fuel now that the Indeni Petroleum Refinery Company Limited, which was our State asset and was cushioning us from high prices of fuel and, thereby, ensuring that the cost of other commodities remained affordable for our people, and Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline are gone, as is Ndola Energy Company Limited? How does she see the prices of commodities being stable and affordable for her people?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu for the concern about the cost of living, which is, indeed, as it should be. We, as leaders, are concerned about the cost of living of our people.

Madam Speaker, I think, it is important, as we speak on behalf of Zambians, that we also give them the right information, and this House must give Zambians the hope that something is happening.

Madam Speaker, it is important and appreciated that we are continuing with the waiver. However, on the cost of fuel, I think, it is important to know that it is not necessarily determined by us. We depend on the international cost, and we take care of the cost here, including by the steps taken, such as the waiver.

Madam Speaker, generally, on the performance of the economy, whether we like it or not, the inflation rate has been going down, and it is that hope we should give to Zambians. As long as this big indicator in the cost of commodities is going down, we are getting better, and we will get there. So, the cost of living is going to go down, and that is the intention of this Government. Even the last time I spoke, I expressed the same intention. 

Madam Speaker, on the Indeni Refinery issue, I think, I need to learn a lot. However, Indeni was not operational even when our hon. Colleagues were in power.

Hon. PF Members: It was.

The Vice-President: It was not. That is what I know.

Madam Speaker, we are concerned. However, we cannot control, beyond what we are doing, the cost of fuel. As regards the general performance, even under these difficult circumstances in which the cost of fuel is not controlled by us, when inflation is going down, it means that the cost of living will surely go down.

Madam Speaker, I know that the hon. Leader of the Opposition is trying to lobby hon. Members to ask questions. That is fine. We will respond.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: From where I am seated, I can see everything; the strategy and planning. So, –


Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, it has become abundantly clear that some of the hon. Ministers who are seated with the Her Honour the Vice-President are working against the President.


Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kafwaya: They are not only working against the President, but also against the people of Zambia. I will give only three examples.

Madam Speaker, the first example is the hon. Minister of Agriculture. The President promised poor Zambian farmers that he was going to buy maize at K200 per 50 kg bag.

Mr Sing’ombe: Question!

Mr Kafwaya: However, the hon. Minister of Agriculture has announced the price of K160 per 50 kg bag.

The second example is the hon. Minister of Energy. The President promised the people of Zambia that they were going to be buying fuel at K12 per litre. However, ever since this hon. Minister of Energy was appointed, he has been increasing the price of fuel.


Mr Kafwaya: Today, fuel is costs more than K24 per litre.

Madam speaker, my third and final example is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security. The President promised that he was going to rule this country based on the rule of law. However, the video clip in which we saw brutality on the part of police officers when they were arresting some youths in Luapula Province is abhorrent.

Madam Speaker, my question is: Why, in Her Honour the Vice-President’s thinking, is President quiet? Why is he not breathing fire on those hon. Ministers who are working against him and the poor people of Zambia?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the allegation that there are Ministers who are working against the President, I think, we should dispel it now. No Minister is working against the President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: We do not work in silos, as we are a united entity.

Madam Speaker, when the hon. Member says that the President said he would increase the price of maize to K200 – I think, that is what he said. In fact, he should have referred to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) instead of the hon. Minister. The FRA announced the maize floor price of K160. We work in a context, and that goes even for energy. Just wait and see where we are going. One does not just wake up and say ‘abracadabra’ like in magic.

Madam Speaker, our colleagues started talking about free education here in the very first month of our getting into Government. They asked, “Where is the free education?”, yet they are the leaders. Everything is progressive, including the cost of making something and the cost of sale. They will see this sooner than later.

Madam Speaker, I do not know much about energy and agriculture. When it comes to home affairs and the example given, I will start by agreeing that two wrongs do not make a right. However, if I were the mother of such insulting boys, heh! I would be ashamed to stand in public, and I did not even expect any hon. Member to bring up this issue on the Floor.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: I am aware that in the former ruling party, it was almost institutionalised to make such insults and even turned them into songs. How can we, honestly, allow such language from a child given birth to by a woman? Should we even talk about that? We, as a people, should all be ashamed. We have a culture and tradition, and we know how we train our children. I think, on this one, hon. Colleagues, we know. My hon. Minister, not too long ago, said that the law on defamation –

Mr Kafwaya interjected.

The Vice-President: Let me speak, because you have said something that Zambians have seen on social media. Maybe, you saw the beating, but not the insults, hon. Member. I have stated that two wrongs do not make a right, meaning that even the beating was not right. ‘Two wrongs do not make a right’ is a common saying.

Mr Kafwaya interjected.

The Vice-President: You are talking –

Unless I do not know –

Madam Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: Sorry, Madam Speaker, for answering.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte, you have asked your question. Please, do not engage Her Honour the Vice-President when she is trying to answer your question.


Madam Speaker: Let us have some order.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, if this question is only about the beating, then, the hon. Member does not have the full story. I think, before we ask, we should know exactly what we are referring to. Therefore, this makes me, as a Zambian mother who has brought up children, ashamed. We should not allow that. For me, if social media is something to go by – because I do not think that the clip is available anywhere else, that was a terrible thing and those were words one would not like to hear about anybody. I would not want anybody to say such things about Hon. Kafwaya ever. Therefore, they should not be said about anybody in our country. No matter the victim’s title, whether a President or you are as ordinary as Nalumango, that should never be allowed. Where I come from, a child who insults my neighbour is dealt with by me. Therefore, who instigated the behaviour of those very young people?

Hon. Government Members: Kafwaya!

The Vice-President: That should not be done because it is so terrible that you would not even want to listen, but you do because you occupy a public office. Let us train our children.

Hon. Member: It is Kafwaya who sent them.

The Vice-President: We are talking of –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Hon. Member: Kafwaya is responsible.

Madam Speaker: Who is speaking on the microphone without being given the Floor, interrupting Her Honour the Vice-President while she is answering questions? Hon. Members who are connected through the amphitheatre and Zoom, please, can we maintain decorum.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I think, we, as leaders and as elders of our nation, should take responsibility to give guidance. This is degeneration, and such terrible insults on an innocent mother seated somewhere have never been allowed in our communities. One might be unhappy with the President, but what has the mother done? It was a sad day. Whoever has seen that clip knows it was a sad day for Zambia, and that should not happen again.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): I thank you, Madam Speaker, and a good morning to Her Honour the Vice-President. I am just passing through. I will be going back to the cinema hall after this sitting.

Madam Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) still has many unresolved issues and our people are now saying that it is just on paper and in speeches.

Mr Mutelo: They money is in your account!

Mr Mushanga: Madam Speaker, the lack of medicines and reagents in our health facilities remains a very big challenge in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency.

Hon. Government Member: That is not CDF!

Mr Mushanga: Last Saturday, I went to some of the facilities in my constituency and found that some of the machines bought at a huge cost are almost becoming non-functional because of the lack of reagents. Further, farmers are troubled by the increment of only K10, from K150 to K160, in the price of maize. The last point, which I will draw my question is that Her Honour the Vice-President made a statement on the Floor of this House, I think the witness is my elder brother, Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, to the effect that the New Dawn Government had come to unite families. As I stand here, I am very sad, especially, with what is happening under the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health, where we have seen Directors moved from Ndeke House to the provinces on demotion. Those who were Provincial Medical Directors have been demoted to District Medical Officers and have started reporting to officers who were reporting to them.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Mushanga: Madam Speaker, my question is: Has the position Her Honour the Vice-President articulated on the Floor of the House; that the United Party for National Development (UPND) had come to unite families, changed? We see the opposite, as people are being transferred to other provinces, thereby being separated from their wives and children.

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Bwacha is the most consistent in terms of greeting. I thank him very much.


The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, I do not know which question I should deal with because the hon. Member has brought out a number of issues. Maybe, I should take the one on which he really spoke with a passion, the last one, which is on the policy of uniting families. I will not go into equipment and machines at the Ministry of Health and all that because there was a very comprehensive statement in the House yesterday and many questions were asked. I believe, the Acting. Leader of Government Business in the House, acting as hon. Minister of Health, did justice to that issue, and it becomes tedious to keep addressing it in the House.

Madam Speaker, it is very important that we work on implementing the policy of uniting families, as families, in a Christian nation, ought to remain united. This is the policy we are sticking to. So, there is no policy shift, as we want to see families united. It may not be so easy to do so because of the many people who have lived separately from one another, and I hear that there are transfers that may cause separations. We pray that such should be as temporary as possible because we want people to be together to avoid too many wrong things. Also, God wants the family to be together.

Madam Speaker, there are also issues of discipline. The hon. Member has talked of demotions, promotions, et cetera. We cannot start discussing those unless we get evidence of malpractice because those should be disciplinary issues within the ministries. When a ministry has reasons to demote, it has to.

Madam Speaker, on bringing people together, nothing has changed, and I speak on behalf of the Government. The implementing ministries must work to bring people together as much as possible.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, I was getting worried that you were forgetting that there are two political parties on the left, the Patriotic Front (PF) and the Party of National Unity and Progress (PNUP).

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Wamunyima: Madam Speaker, thank you for according the people of Nalolo an opportunity to ask Her Honour the Vice-President a question.

Madam Speaker, last year, in August, the President made a statement to the effect that those who had been unfairly dismissed on grounds of tribe or unfairly retired in the national interest should be reinstated. On 5th November, 2021, the Government, through the Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr Patrick Kangwa, directed that appeals and reapplications be made for such civil servants. Beyond that, there has been no update on whether there have been any reinstatements. My question is: Have there been any reinstatements as of today, 17th June, 2022?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, it is a fact that we said that. The Secretary to the Cabinet said it, too, and there are many applications from individuals who felt that they were discriminated against, either on political grounds or for some other reasons that may have been called “national interest”. I know that the process is still going on, but as to the status, I cannot state exactly where we are or how many cases have been dealt with because I do not have that information. I will try to find out the status and bring the information to the House. However, we stick to the policy of not allowing discrimination based on any factor because we are all equal and we truly believe in the rule of law.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, my question is simple. During the last rainy season, fifty-six families in Twashuka Ward of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency were affected negatively and are still living in tents. Are there any mitigation measures that the Government is taking to restore the livelihoods of those people?

The Vice-President: Madam Speaker, on such issues, forgive me because, again, sometimes, my memory might fail me. I cannot remember the details of those people in in Twashuka Ward of Bwana Mkubwa Constituency who are living in tents. It is important, sometimes, for hon. Members to discuss such issues with us before hand. Further, there will be a sensitisation workshop on disasters for hon. Members, and they will learn that we have programmes for helping people affected by disasters. I am sure, when people speak to one another, they can determine which situations constitute true disasters. The flooding in my village or in Mongu may not be classified as a disaster because a disaster is something that happens without you knowing. However, when it is something that happens every time, we celebrate it. So, we have to understand whether, for example, people are remaining in certain situations even though there is an alternative and what it is that affected them, whether a flood or blown off roofs, so that we can know how they can be supported if they qualify to be supported under our guidelines. We are here to support Zambians, when genuine disasters befall them, to move to a permanent situation from one in which another disaster will happen.

Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you.

That concludes the session. So, we make progress.

Rev Katuta: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, thank you and welcome back.

Madam Speaker, I do not have the Standing Orders booklet, but –

Hon. Mwila gave Hon. Rev. Katuta the Standing Orders booklet.

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, my point of order is on the Vice-President’s Question Time. In forty-five minutes, only about five questions are asked, which is disadvantaging some of us who have pressing questions that can help the nation. My point of order is on the House, and I want to know how this can be helped because, instead of questions, we have seen debates. I would like to know your position on this.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much, hon. Member, for this observation.

Hon. Members, I have guided previously that when we ask questions, we should not debate, but I have seen a tendency of hon. Members to debate first and take more than two minutes to ask one question. If we do that, we deprive other hon. Members with equally important questions the time to ask those questions. So, we need to manage our time. I do not want to appear to be curtailing hon. Members when they are asking questions. The session is allocated forty-five minutes, how we use the time is up to us. By being efficient, precise and to the point when we ask our questions, we can ensure that more people ask questions.

Please, hon. Members, be guided accordingly.

Mr Haimbe, SC.: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Haimbe, SC.: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Standing Order No. 207, which is on contempt of the House. The point of order has been necessitated by the conduct of the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi, who appeared on a television programme on Diamond Television last night, at 2130 hours.

Madam Speaker, during the programme, the hon. Member for Lumezi made disparaging remarks against you, a Presiding Officer, following your decision to send him out of the Chamber yesterday. Amongst the things that he said were remarks whose import was that you had been conducting the proceedings of the House in a partial manner and that you harboured personal hatred against him for reasons known to you. Further, there was a suggestion that you detested him on account of his hailing from the Eastern Province and from Lumezi, in particular, which I can only say was aimed at disparaging you and diminishing the decorum of this House. The purpose of the point of order that I raise is to seek your guidance as to whether such conduct is acceptable. Is such conduct protected by the privileges enjoyed by the hon. Member? If not, does it amount to contempt of the House in terms of Standing Order No. 207, which is punishable in accordance with the provisions of that Standing Order?

Madam Speaker, before I resume my seat, I have a copy of the interview duly downloaded and, with your permission, I wish to lay the same on the Table of the House.

Madam Speaker, I seek your ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Madam Speaker: Is it on the point of order?

Mr Kampyongo: On the manner the point of order has been raised, Madam Speaker.


Mr Kampyongo: It is procedural and it is very critical.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, what procedure has been breached?

Mr Kampyongo: It is a point of procedure, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: What procedure has been breached?

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, the point of procedure is that the hon. Minister of Justice, who is a member of the Committee on Privileges and Absences, has raised an issue bordering on privileges. So, already, he is conflicted. We need to set the –


Mr Kampyongo: This august House operates on rules. What sort of justice will this hon. Member –


Mr Kampyongo: There is chaos, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, let us listen so that we can give proper guidance.

Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, I have no problem with the reasons cited, but the manner and the person who has raised this point of order because he is a member of the Committee that looks at matters of privileges.

I seek your serious guidance, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Let the hon. Minister say something.

Mr Haimbe, SC.: Madam Speaker, that point of procedure, with due respect to the hon. Opposition Whip, is not sustainable and is not covered in the Standing Orders.

Madam Speaker, there is precedent, firstly, –


Madam Speaker: Can we have order?

Accusations were made, and the rules of natural justice require that the hon. Minister says something before I make my ruling.


Mr Haimbe, SC.: Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, there is a precedent on this issue. In fact, just yesterday, the Committee on Privileges and Absences considered a complaint raised by the hon. Leader of the Opposition against the Chief Whip, and the hon. Leader of the Opposition is a member of the Committee.


Mr Haimbe, SC.: Obliged.

In any event, Madam Speaker, the procedure does not in any way prevent or gag a member of the Committee from raising an issue. The question is whether or not I will participate in the Committee’s sitting at the material time should the Hon. Madam Speaker decide to refer this point of order to the Committee on Privileges and Absences.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe, SC.: Should the Hon. Madam Speaker decide to refer this point of order to the Committee, then, I can be excused from participating in the determination of the matter, and I am very certain that the hon. Opposition Whip is aware of the procedure, which should not be a means of gagging me from raising matters on clear contempt of this honourable House. I am entitled to do so. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Haimbe, SC., laid a Compact Disk (CD) on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, very much.

Let us not waste a lot of time on this issue. There was a point of order and then the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu raised a point of procedure on the point of order, which is not allowed by our Standing Orders. So, under the circumstances –


Madam Speaker: Please, hon. Members, do not engage the Speaker when she is making a point. What is happening to this House?

The position is that the ruling on the point of order is reserved so that I can study the issue and listen to the audio clip that has been laid on the Table of the House. Rest assured that I have no favourite Members of Parliament here. I cherish all of you, and whichever hon. Member of Parliament transgresses will be visited by the appropriate sanctions as prescribed by our Standing Orders. So, the ruling is reserved.

Can we make progress.




The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources (Mr Muchima) (on behalf of the Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima)): Madam Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me the opportunity to issue a ministerial statement to this –

Hon. PF Member: Where is your mask?

Mr Muchima: My voice will not be very clear.


Mr Muchima: Do you wear a mask when eating?

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, please, can we learn to speak through the Presiding Officer. If the Acting hon. Minister has challenges with the mask, he can ask for permission to take it off while he is on the Floor so that he can speak properly. I am sure, he is 2 m away from all of us. When he resumes his seat, he can put on his mask.

Hon. Minister, you have been given permission to not wear the mask for the time as you deliver your statement.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I actually have a challenge with my voice. So, I thank you for that protection.

Madam Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to make a ministerial statement to this august House on the steps being taken to ensure learner safety in schools. I also thank Mr Twambo Mutinta, the hon. Member of Parliament for Itezhi-Tezhi Constituency, for raising the matter of urgent public importance on this issue and showing that education provision and learner safety should not be left to the Ministry of Education alone, as it is our collective responsibility to manage the affairs of learners, both in school and at home.

Madam Speaker, it is with deep regret that I stand before you to deliver this ministerial statement to the august House regarding the incidences in which four secondary school girls were defiled, two early childhood education (ECE) learners died after encountering hazardous objects in their respective school environments and four boys drowned in a pit while undergoing cadet drills. Allow me to mourn with my fellow parents on the loss of our learners to those school accidents-related deaths, which have greatly undermined my ministry’s policy mandate of ‘Educating our Future’.

Madam Speaker, the recent happenings in some of our schools are a source of great concern not only to the general public, but also to the Ministry of Education which, as the second parent, is entrusted with the responsibility of looking after our learners while they are in schools. The safety of learners and the provision of safe school environments are of paramount importance to the ministry because schools are a second home for pupils. So, it is regrettable that human life was lost while in the custody of school authorities. That should not have happened.

Madam Speaker, the ministry’s structure entails that headteachers, as immediate second parents, take responsibility for the safety of learners who are in their custody. The school management is responsible for ensuring a school environment that is child-friendly and safe for both learners and staff. This applies to all learning institutions regardless of whether they are public-aided, community or private institutions. The school managers and their management teams are with learners on a daily basis whenever the learners are in school. It is, therefore, expected that top on their priority list is the safety of learners, as they provide an environment that is safe and conducive for teaching and learning.

Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Education takes the safety of learners very seriously and as an apex priority, and has put in place various policies and measures to ensure safety of all learners, educators and the relevant stakeholders while in schools.

Madam Speaker, schools are critical to instilling discipline and ensuring safety of learners and educators. Thus, the importance of codes of conduct for learners in all public-aided, community and private schools cannot be over-emphasised. As earlier alluded to, schools are directly responsible for providing an environment that is conducive to the delivery of quality teaching and learning by, among other means, promoting the rights and safety of all learners, teachers and parents. Learners spend more time in school than anywhere else. So, it is a vital task of school authorities, teachers and parents to ensure their safety in the best possible way. There is a need, therefore, to make sure that every child is safe within school premises as well as outside. So, as a ministry, we have communicated to all schools, urging them to follow the safety measures we have put in place. We have also gone a step further and enforced such measures through inspections by Standards Officers.

Madam Speaker, the recent happenings in our schools have, indeed, been a wake-up call for the ministry, and our officers were sent to investigate the circumstances under which lives were lost among our learners. The ministry is currently scrutinising the reports that were received on the incidences and will take appropriate action against headteachers and management teams in public schools who will be found wanting. For private schools, the ministry will be left with no choice, but to deregister them if there will be proof of negligence.

Madam Speaker, allow me to conclude by stating that the ministry will continue in earnest to protect the rights of learners in all categories of our schools as provided for in the Education Act No. 23 of 2011. The success of these efforts relies largely on parents, communities and schools working together to ensure that all learners are safe and realise their full potential.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the Acting hon. Minister of Education.

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Madam Speaker, –

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised by the hon. Member for Mpika.

Mr Kapyanga: Thank you so much, Madam Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to raise this point of order.

Madam Speaker, yesterday, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) announced the floor price for the 2022 Marketing Season. However, the information on the ground is that the agency has reduced the number of satellite depots. For example, in Mpika, we used to have more than fifteen satellite depots where farmers would take their crops for sale to the FRA, but the agency has reduced the number to eight, which means that the farmers will now move long distances to take crops to their nearest satellite depot, and this threatens our national food security because farmers will resort to selling to briefcase buyers who will follow them in their localities. This will, actually, hamper the efforts of the Government to buy crops and ensure food security. Therefore, I raise this point of order on the hon. Minister of Agriculture. Is he in order to remain quiet when a situation that threatens the food security of our nation is being created by the FRA?

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Mpika, that does not qualify to be a point of order because you have not stated what rule of procedure or regulation has been breached. So, that issue does not arise here and cannot be brought up as a point of order.

Hon. Members, you know the procedures and how you can raise issues of that nature. Please, direct your questions to the hon. Minister of Agriculture as required by our Standing Orders.

Mr Mwambazi: Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing the people of Bwana Mkubwa to ask the Acting hon. Minister of Education a follow-up question.

Madam Speaker, it is, indeed, very sad that we continue to lose young lives in such a manner in schools. This, unfortunately, has not started today, and the children’s lives are lost while they are with the people who are supposed to take care of them, the teachers. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that such incidents do not recur? What punitive measures does the ministry mete out on teachers who continue to neglect children as the children go out to engage in some activities?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa for this question. Indeed, it is a sad moment for us, and these happenings are regrettable.

Madam Speaker, right now, the instructor of the cadets who died is under police custody and investigations are going on. As we said, this is a wake-up call to the ministry. We need to inspect all our institutions and make sure that our learners are safe and put measures in place to protect them. As I speak, the pit in children died has been fenced off.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mutinta (Itezhi-Tezhi): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the ministerial statement. One of the things I understand to be causing all these challenges for young people is the weak legal framework. Of utmost importance is the lack of a Child Code and non-completion of the National Child Safeguarding Guidelines. I know that the guidelines were being worked on by the previous Government, but were yet to be completed. I would like to understand from the hon. Minister where we are in terms of these two important documents. I know that once they are in place, they will give us firm ground on which to mitigate some of these atrocities on children at school and respond to the challenges we face on a daily basis in terms of the protection and safety of young people.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, indeed, the process towards bringing those Bills to Parliament has not yet been completed, but rest assured that very soon, the Bills will be brought to Parliament because it is quite important to enact those Bills.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, I also mourn with the parents who have lost their children under such circumstances.

Madam Speaker, the accidents were not caused deliberately. So, will the Government consider introducing a course on child safety in the training of teachers?

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

Madam Speaker, safety in schools is important. As we have said, this is a wake-up call, and the ministry will, indeed, look at it seriously. However, in the accident that happened in Mazabuka, for instance, a trained instructor was involved. So, it was just a misfortune. However, we now want to send trained physical instructors to other areas and make it like it used to be in the past. That should be do so that we protect the lives of our pupils.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, there are reports of schools that still administer corporal punishment on pupils. What is the Government’s position on this matter?

Madam Speaker: That was not in the ministerial statement. It was not covered. So, you are overextending the debate.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, I am looking at child safety and beating of children. Sometimes, the perpetrators of the corporal punishment that children have been subjected to in some schools are the school authorities, and some of the reports are very recent.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, corporal punishment was abolished and, due to what we have learnt, all schools have been instructed to stop it, especially as regards ‘watering’. I do not know how I can put it, but it is punishment that is like in military training. Further, strict instructions have been given for children to not be taken to dangerous areas, and that has to be observed by all schools. I remember that the time when Hon. Dr Musokotwane, I and others used to go school, teachers used to put pencils between our fingers and even whipped us, but that is no longer allowed. This time, a child’s rights are observed. You cannot do that even to your child.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I commiserate with the affected schools and families on the deaths. I also welcome the hon. Minister’s statement. However, in his statement, he says that public schools that will be found wanting will be dealt with while private schools will be deregistered. How will public schools be dealt with? We want to be sure that there will be no question of double standards in the way we deal with these issues wherever they occur.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, public schools adhere to instructions that are very clear, which private schools may not follow. Hence, in order to ensure that private schools adhere to instructions, we need to stiffen their punishment, and that is why they can be closed down. As for Government schools, we follow the normal procedures. For example, a teacher can be arrested or even be dismissed. That is the difference.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mumba (Kantanshi): Madam Speaker, the Acting hon. Minister of Education has called the sad incidences a “wake-up call”. What immediate steps are being taken to respond to all the happenings in schools? Further, he said that why the ministry had relaxed inspections. Maybe, he can shed some light on why that happened.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, before what happened happened, the Government had taken it for granted that everything was normal and had gone to sleep. After losing lives like that, we need to be on our toes and put strict measures like it is done in the mines, where the issue of safety is important. So, as a Government and the Ministry of Education, in particular, we have found it prudent to make sure that safety measures are adhered to strictly by all schools. In addition, we are going to put an inspectorate team in place.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lubozha (Chifubu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Chifubu an opportunity.

Madam Speaker, I would like to know whether there is any form of compensation from the Government to bereaved families in when deaths and injuries are caused to school children as a result of negligence on the part of the Government or our teachers.

Business was suspended from 1040 hours until 1100 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, the hon. Member for Chifubu wanted to know whether there is some form of compensation.

Madam Speaker, as I said, the recent accidents were a wake-up call. The Government has not put in place measures such as insurance to protect learners. However, now that we have seen the risk that we are exposed to, we may need to put such measures in place. Of course, if the parents went to court and there was a court order, we would look at who, exactly, was negligent. For example, were the incidences the result of orders, instruction or on the children’s own volition, looking at the ages? There are so many things that are involved. So, at the moment, we cannot agree to compensation because there is no such order. We have to explore more ways of mitigating this risk that is everywhere.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. M. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker, the importance of child safety in schools can never be over-emphasised. That said, the hon. Minister has talked of inspections conducted by Standard Officers. How often are the inspections conducted? Is it quarterly or annually?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, inspections are supposed to be conducted quarterly and continuously, but due to monetary constraints, they were not considered to crucial when compared with procurement of desks and recruitment of teachers, for example. So, they were put aside, yet this is one other area that was very important. As we put it, the incidences were a wake-up call. So, now, the issue will be put on the agenda and receive attention from the Government.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Tayengwa (Kabwata): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that safety inspections are supposed to be conducted quarterly. How safe are our children in school? The other thing is –

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, it is one question per hon. Member.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, pupils are safe. The incidences were just accidents, and Accidents are unpredictable; they can happen anytime. However, all headteachers in all schools have been instructed to be on alert from now onwards, especially when dealing with the underaged, such as those below ten years or fifteen years. Extra care has to be exercised.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chibombwe (Bahati): Madam Speaker, it is good that the dambo or pond in Nega-Nega was fenced off, and the hon. Minister has admitted that his Government went to sleep. However, it is not only in Nega-Nega, or is it Nanga, where pupils swim in dambos and rivers; that happens almost everywhere, especially in rural constituencies. So, what measures is the Government putting in place to avoid similar occurrences? Has the hon. Minister given a directive to school managements to prevent children from swimming in rivers and ponds?

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

Madam Speaker, following the hon. Member’s question, there will be extra care now. For sure, we went to sleep, and so did previous Governments, as regards the need to put in place serious measures. Now, we need to identify all areas of danger and then see how we can safeguard our people. There will be no pupil who will be left alone, especially during assignments like physical education or those cadet issues. We now have to be serious and review what has been put in place so that we improve the safety of our pupils.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr Kolala, but he was not available.

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, after what happened, is there a plan to evaluate the punishment cadets can mete out to students? Quite often, cadet punishment is given by fellow students, and there is a need to evaluate it so that it is compatible with school rules. So, my question is: Is there now a deliberate intention to evaluate what cadets can mete out as punishment? We need to prevent a repeat what happened.

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, indeed, there is a need for review. You see, cadets are a replica of the military, and they undergo training. The training is not as intense as in the military, but it prepares one’s mind to be almost like that of a military officer. So, there are rules, but if they are being implemented to extremes, we need to re-look at the training requirements and see whether we need to scale them down. Losing a child is not easy, and the recent incidences have taught us, as a Government, a lesson. 

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Lungu (Chawama): Madam Speaker, as the Government looks further into this possible case of negligence, it must also be noted that since the free education policy was introduced, there has been a higher number of students enrolling into classrooms. In some cases, there are more than a 100 students per classroom. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that teachers are well prepared for the added responsibilities?

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, we should thank the New Dawn Government for the increased rate of enrolment. Going to school has become attractive because of what we have put in place. With prudent fiscal measures, there will be money to increase the number of teachers to meet the challenges.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.




38. Mr Shakafuswa (Mandevu) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:

  1. why Phase III of the Lusaka 400 (L400) Road Project in Mandevu Parliamentary Constituency has stalled; and
  1. When the project will resume.

The Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi): Madam Speaker, the Phase III of the Lusaka 400 (L400) Road Project, which include works in Mandevu Parliamentary Constituency, have stalled due to the decision by the Government to cancel outstanding loan disbursements towards the project in order to keep the country’s debt at sustainable levels.

Madam Speaker, the works on the project will resume once the Treasury secures alternative funding for the project.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, Mandevu Constituency hosts this Legislative House where all the Budgets are passed, but when it comes to development, it is overlooked. If you drove on roads in some of the constituencies in Lusaka, such as Kabwata, you would be proud of the development in the constituency. The opposite is true for Mandevu. Our question is: Can the hon. Minister assure the people of Mandevu that once funding is secured, the roads in the constituency will be worked on?

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the follow-up question in which he seems to indicate that there was a disparity in the allocation of developmental projects even within Lusaka and among constituencies represented by members of the former Ruling Party.

Madam Speaker, I can assure the hon. Member that under the New Dawn Administration of His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, who keeps talking about equity, there will be no discrimination between Mandevu and other constituencies here in Lusaka. Let me give just a bit more information on the project.

Madam Speaker, the contractor for the L400 Road Project was Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) International Project Engineering Company and the project was financed through a loan from the Export and Import (EXIM) Bank of China amounting to US$204,940,178.80. So far, approximately 144 km have been surfaced out of a total length of 180.582 km identified for the project.

Madam Speaker, the works on the outstanding kilometres of the project have stalled, as I said, due to the cancellation, a necessary cancellation. you will understand that one of the top priorities of the New Dawn Government is managing the debt levels, and part of the debt level was what had already been disbursed. Had we kept what had not yet been disbursed on the books, we would have ended up with a much higher debt level, and that would have made managing the debt very difficult. So, out of necessity, the Ministry of Finance and National Planning had to put a halt on all the undisbursed loans.

Madam Speaker, major roads that were envisaged for improvement under Phase III of the L400 Road Project included the Airport; Katima Mulilo, which is in Mandevu; Makishi; Thabo Mbeki; and Manchinchi. A total of US$174,027,714.60 has been certified on the project, out of which US$106,053,987.60 has been paid to the contractor, leaving a balance of US$67,973,727.

Madam Speaker, the Government’s assurance to all hon. Members of Parliament is that when resources become available, it will have no favoured places; all places will be looked at on the basis of their need.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I have observed that we do not mask up as we debate. It appears, we are growing tired of face masks. I will ask the Clerk’s Office to liaise with the Ministry of Health to indicate whether we still need the masks in view of the fact that most of us are vaccinated.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, I know that Mandevu is almost in the Central Business District (CBD) of Lusaka. The hon. Minister would agree with me that Makishi and Garden roads are in very bad states. My question is: What urgent interventions will he make on those roads? Will he, at least, mend the potholes or do something to just ensure that the roads are motorable? Some roads have got to be in states in which one cannot even drive on them.

Eng. Milupi: Madam Speaker, there are a number of roads that are not in good conditions, including the ones that he has talked about. The intervention will be made when we have resources to put into those roads. Even the main highways like the one that leads to the hon. Member’s constituency, the Serenje/Mpika Road, is in a bad condition. This Government is fully aware of these things, and that is why it is working very hard to conclude discussions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and creditors, which will give my colleague, the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, an opportunity to come back to the House, as we have always said.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, my last contribution is to just emphasise that when we ask questions, we do so on behalf of the people. We ask the New Dawn Government, our Government, in order to compel it to act. So, I am a sad man right now because I continuously get the same answers that do not seem to provide solutions. My plea is that as the Government finds the money. If it does not have the money, it should present a Supplementary Budget so that we allocate more funds and projects can begin to roll out.

Madam Speaker: That was a comment. So, we make progress.

Mr Kampyongo indicated wish to ask a question.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, we have moved on. I have closed that session because of a lack of time, as there is other work to be done. The question was asked by the hon. Member for Mandevu in relation to a road in Mandevu, and the questions have been answered. From where I sit, I heard repetitive questions and answers. So, I decided that we needed to make progress.




Mr Kangombe (Sesheke): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism for the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Monday, 13th June, 2022.

Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Ms Mulenga (Kalulushi): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kangombe: Madam Speaker, in line with its terms of reference as contained in Orders Nos. 197 and 198 of the National Assembly Standing Orders, 2021, the Committee undertook a study of Water Resource Management in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I am confident that hon. Members have had occasion to apprise themselves with the contents of this report. I will, therefore, merely highlight some parts of it.

Madam Speaker, the Committee invited various stakeholders to provide both oral and written submissions on the topical issue. The findings of the Committee arising from its interactions with the stakeholders are outlined in the report.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by stating that water plays a critical role in fostering a healthy society and enhances the country's human capital, in addition to serving as a direct input in all economic activities. Therefore, given its enormous contribution to the country's social and economic development, it is imperative that, as a nation, we prioritise water resources management.

Madam Speaker, during its interaction with stakeholders, the Committee learnt that catchment protection is paramount to the sustenance of water resources, both locally and in the wider river system. The rationale behind catchment protection measures is protection of sensitive water catchment areas from degradation and restoration of negatively affected areas. However, the Committee notes that despite the Water Resource Management Act No. 21, 2011, providing for this, no protected area has been declared since the law was promulgated more than ten years ago. In this regard, the Committee strongly urges the Government to undertake a study to establish which water recharge areas are at risk and institute protection measures to prevent further deterioration of those very important ecosystems.

Madam Speaker, the partial implementation of the provisions of the Water Resource Management Act has presented serious gaps in water resource management in the country. During its tour, the Committee visited selected catchment restoration sites in the Southern Province, and noted the tremendous efforts being made by the local communities, through water user associations, in Pemba and Magoye to restore water recharge areas. The area of concern, though, is the failure by the Government to actualise and implement, through Statutory Instruments (SIs) the legal framework for operationalising the water governance structures, which include Catchment Councils, Sub-Catchment Councils and Water User Associations, as provided for under the Water Resource Management Act No. 21, 2011. While the Committee notes that the establishment of these structures will require colossal financial resources, it is of the view that rather than wait for a lump sum, the Government should establish them in a phased manner, starting with those areas that are at the greatest risk of degradation.

Madam Speaker, the Committee notes that most of the challenges in the water sector are a result of the failure to enforce regulations promulgated by the relevant authorities. For instance, there is an SI on Water, Protection of Public Streams and Sources of Water Supply Regulation of 2000, which aims at regulating the disruption of water in riverbanks. This notwithstanding, there is evidence of encroachment on headwaters and riverbanks, through uncontrolled housing developments in upstream areas as well as sand mining activities, that is likely to have far-reaching adverse effects on both ecosystems and communities living near the water bodies. The Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to ensure that the SI is enforced to deter people from undertaking any activities near water bodies. The Committee further recommends that members of the public be sensitised on the need to protect water resources.

Madam Speaker, the Committee notes, with dismay, that the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) is incapacitated in terms of human and financial resources. It was disturbing, for example, for the Committee to learn that WARMA is operating at half the approved staff establishment and, due to the limited human resource, it is unable to monitor activities around the country, some of which are leading to severe degradation of water bodies. The Committee strongly recommends that the Government provides significant financial resources to enable WARMA to fully discharge its functions.

Madam Speaker, another matter of concern to the Committee is the failure by water utility companies to acquire title deeds for their properties. This is a matter of serious concern because some of the richest water recharge areas sit on land that is not titled and heavily encroached on. For example, during the Committee's tour of the Lukanga Water and Sanitation Company, it was established that the well fields domiciled in Makululu Compound in Kabwe are among the richest in the country. Sadly, houses and other structures have been built in the area and supplied with electricity by Zesco Limited. Unfortunately, in the absence of title deeds, the utility company has no legal mandate to compel the illegal settlers to vacate the land. In light of the above, the Committee urges the Government to prevail on the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, together with the water utility companies, to expedite the process of securing title deeds.

In conclusion, Madam Speaker, the Committee is grateful to you and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to it during the consideration of the topic. The Committee also greatly appreciates the input of the witnesses it interacted with during its deliberations.

With those few remarks, I urge all hon. Members to support the report of the Committee.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Ms Mulenga: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, I rise to support the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism, ably moved by the chairperson.

Madam Speaker, one of the issues that this Committee noted is the dilapidated water infrastructure. Your Committee was given an opportunity to tour Central Province and the Copperbelt Province where it visited some of the utility companies and noted the dilapidated infrastructure. As a result, the utility companies are facing high non-revenue water. Further, the Committee notes, with much dismay, that due to the large percentage of non-revenue water, companies were running at a loss. We, as a Committee, also noted that the chemical treatment of water was high. The water lost due to leakages at different intervals resulting from old infrastructure also led to contamination of water, which was going into the communities. In this regard, the Committee recommends that in the short and medium terms, water utility companies monitor and keep up with the maintenance works on their water infrastructure to reduce non-revenue water. For as long as these measures are not put in place, we will have serious problems. This Committee further urges the Government to replace all water and sanitation infrastructure in the country.

Madam, one of the other issues that your Committee noted is the outdated water policy. We noted that the policy being used is the 2010 National Water Policy. Therefore, we recommend that the Government, as a matter of urgency, reviews the 2010 National Water Policy and, in the process, takes into account the different policies that impinge on effective water resource management in the country. Further, your Committee recommends that the new policy boldly pronounces aspects of climate change and gender.

Madam Speaker, the other issue that your Committee noted, with a lot of dismay, is that there is little or no research at all. The Committee also observes that research in the water sector has not been prioritised, and that the gap hinders effective water resource management. It is, therefore, the wish of this Committee that the Government invests a lot of money in research and development (R&D) in the water sector to inform evidence-based decision-making and effective water resource management. The Committee further urges the Government to create collaborative partnerships with research institutes and academia, for example, the University of Zambia (UNZA), and other relevant stakeholders to conduct in-country and out-country studies.

Madam Speaker, I beg to second.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to contribute to debate on this Motion. I support and congratulate the mover, the seconder and, indeed, the entire Committee.

Madam Speaker, I observed some issues when I was going through this report, especially where it touches on water. We, the people of Mufulira, have a lot of reservations on the way the utility company that is tasked with providing water to our district functions.

Madam Speaker, I want to comment on the observations contained in the report on page 11, where the Committee notes that there is no collaboration between local authorities and water utility companies when it comes to allocations of land to citizens. This is a very big problem, and it is causing water shortages in households because local authorities demarcate pieces of land and offer them to people without knowing when they can move in to lay pipes and supply water. What we observe is that people move in to buy plots and construct houses without the supply of water. They then start to provide water for themselves by sinking boreholes and then pushing utility companies to provide water where they are already settled. Sometimes, as utility companies lag behind, they find problems as regards where to lay pipes because people would have constructed in an unregulated manner, and the population is increasing everywhere.

Madam Speaker, I support the observation above and urge the Government to put in place a legal framework that will compel collaboration between local authorities and water utility companies before land is allocated. The utility company in an area has to visit the site and has also provided water before citizens can start constructions. Otherwise, at the rate we are going, we will end up having more people in dwelling places without clean water. The legal framework is needed, and I urge the Government to look into that.

Madam Speaker, on page 18, there is reference to a stakeholder meeting that the Committee had in Chingola, and I read that the Mulonga Water Supply and Sanitation Company Limited informed the meeting that it supplied water to Chingola, Chililabombwe and Mufulira for nine to ten hours per day. Speaking on behalf of the people of Mufulira Constituency, I do not know where that water is supplied for those nine to ten hours because water supply is switched on at 0600 hours and, at exactly 0600 hours, there is no water. The longest we have water supply in a day is four hours. Maybe, water is supplied for nine to ten hours per day in Chingola or Chililabombwe. In Mufulira, there is a very big problem, and to have water supply for between nine and ten hours is something we just dream of. So, I urge the utility company to improve in terms of the number of hours it supplies water, although I know the challenge it faces, which is also mentioned in the report. The problem is that there is limited funding to water utility companies and, so, even when they know what they want to do, they are incapacitated. The problem is further compounded by the fact that most of the funding in the water sector, as the report highlights, is provided by donors, and that is a problem because there are too many conditions to be met by the water utility companies before they can access funding from donors. In the meantime people need water and infrastructure replaced.

Madam Speaker, perhaps, we also need to build the capacity of utility companies to prepare proposals and access funding that donors have made available. Without the capacity to prepare bankable proposals, the companies will keep struggling. For years and years, funds have been put up, but utility companies have not been able to access them because they have, probably, not made convincing proposals. So, I urge the Government to increase its allocation to water utility companies because it is easier to access funding that is provided in the National Budget than that which has to come from donors, which has many conditions attached that have to be met while people are suffering and in need of water.

Madam Speaker, I also want to lend my voice to the issues on page 1 concerning the vandalism of Zesco Limited service cables. Again, this is our experience in Mufulira, and we are suffering. Day in and day out, people go sleep and when they wake up, they do not have power and they think, it is load-shedding or power cuts only to find out that service cables have been stolen somewhere. There is rampant theft of Zesco Limited service cables at the domestic level. The problem is that even when the theft is reported to Zesco Limited, some households still go three to six months without the cables being replaced. So, many places are being put into darkness because of the theft of these service cables, and all the security wings, I am sure, are aware.

Madam Speaker, I support the idea that the onus is now on Zesco Limited to change from using copper cables to aluminium ones because what is attracting the thefts is the copper that is contained in the service cables. So, in order to stop this theft, Zesco Limited must be advised, as a matter of urgency, to do away with service cables made up of copper wires, as there will be no incentive for anyone to go for the aluminium ones. There is also a need to inspect scrap metal dealerships because there is a market somewhere where the cables are being sold. If scrap metal dealers are not monitored to see where they get their copper scrap, young men will continue being enticed to cut cables anyhow in the night, thereby plunging communities into darkness and affecting the water supply system. This is a big problem in Mufulira and, I am sure, on the whole Copperbelt. The security wings are aware. 

Madam Speaker, once again, I support this Motion.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Rev. Katuta (Chienge): Madam Speaker, I thank the mover and the seconder of this important Motion and, on behalf of the people of Chienge, I would like add my voice to the debate on the Floor of the House.

Madam Speaker, it is a pity that most of the visits that are taken by Committees are limited to urban and peri-urban areas. I wish this Committee had visited far-flung areas like Chienge to see how people suffer there when it comes to water. There, people drink water that is contaminated with salt, as the area sits on a salt belt. People suffer and die from diseases that doctors do not understand, as there is no equipment to carry out tests. I believe that the problem is the kind of water they drink. As much as I appreciate that we have boreholes in some areas, we have never had tap water since Independence. Our people in Chienge are really negatively affected. For example, women are forced to leave their beds at around 0400 hours to go and fetch water from crocodile-infested rivers.

Madam Speaker, my appeal to this Government is that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources work together because if you look at the Kafubu Stream, for example, you will see that houses are being built right in it. When I was growing up in Ndola, on the Copperbelt, those structures were not there. However, as the previous speaker said, Zesco Limited still connects them to power. I asked the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to work together so that they can stop that. Once people get connected, they feel entitled to live on water reservoirs like we have been seeing.

Madam Speaker, let me give another example. Just near here, at the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC), there are activities affecting the water table for Lusaka. My worry is that the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA) is not funded adequately, yet it needs to have more staff so that it can be established in all districts. Maybe, then, the problem that we are talking about will not affect the whole nation. For example, in Chienge, there was a time when a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo was polluting the Luwau River where the people of Luwau Ward fetch water from. By the time the people had reported to the area hon. Member of Parliament, who was asked to write a report, people had already been drinking the contaminated water. If WARMA was established in each district, it would help the Government to monitor pollution levels in waters.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, we need home-grown solutions to improving the supply of clean drinking water to our people. We can also find ways of obtaining funds from within the nation as opposed to depending on donors. We cannot depend on donors when the population is increasing to almost 18 million people. I think, the best way forward is for the Executive to come up with some home-grown solutions for providing the people of Chienge and other rural areas with clean water.

Madam Speaker, with those few words, I support this important Motion on the Floor of the House.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also make a few contributions in support of the adoption of the report of the Committee on Energy, Water and Tourism, ably moved by the chairperson, the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke, and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalulushi. Indeed, we also commend the Committee for choosing the topic of water, which touches on life. As it is said, water is life. So, it is a very critical topic the Committee chose, and the Committee deserves to be commended.

Madam Speaker, it is important that most of the statutes that are already in place regarding the preservation of water sources are enforced and the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA), which has been given the mandate to look into these matters, is capacitated.

Madam Speaker, the Committee on Parastatal Bodies also toured some infrastructures. In Kabwe, for example, it was discovered that the water wells that supplement the main water source are not on title, which poses a threat to that very important well field. It is important that those responsible, as we also recommended in our Committee, ensure that those pieces of land are put on title to avoid encroachment on them by members of the public.

Madam Speaker, the dilapidation of equipment is another matter that was brought to our attention, and we were able to witness it for ourselves, again, in Kabwe. What that calls for is continuous investment in the water sector. We did realise, I think, this fact even when we were in the Government. I recall that I was the last Minister responsible for local government when the ministry was in charge of utility companies through the local authorities. We realised the need for the Government to inject capital into the water sector, and that gave rise to the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project, for example, for Lusaka, which is now under implementation. When you compare what is obtaining at the Kafue facility with what is obtaining in Kabwe, you will see that the situation in Kabwe is a sorry sight, and the problem cannot be left to the water utility company because the company has no capacity, in as much as it operates on commercial basis.

Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge talk about Ndola on the Copperbelt. The cost of treating the water that comes from the Kafubu River in Ndola, for example, is high, and the company is struggling to keep treating the water and supplying it to the people. So, the Kafubu Bulk Water Project is a very important project that the Government must ensure is completed because it will cushion the water supply challenges in Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya and Masaiti districts on the Copperbelt.

Madam Speaker, here, in Lusaka, – and I think, I am happy with the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment – what is worse are the high contamination levels of underground water. There is a need, therefore, to ensure that the project that has been implemented by the Lusaka Water Supply and Sanitation Company (LWSC) on Kafue Road is improved in other areas because it is only helping halfway in terms of decontaminating the water resource of Lusaka. Further, I appeal to the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, since this portfolio is now a fully-fledged ministry, to ensure that even as it pumps resources into the major cities, the new districts, such as Shiwang’andu, Mungwi and others that have been created in the Western Province, which are still waiting to have sustainable water supply, are considered. So, it is very important that a deliberate policy is put in place on that. I think, the policy was started. So, we just need to input into it further. It is the same thing that the hon. Member for Chienge talked about.

Madam Speaker, we also want to remind the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment that apart from the protection of water sources, the challenge of pollution, which the hon. Member of Parliament for Chienge mentioned, is also a major source of concern. The pieces of legislation are in place, but maybe, there is no capacity in those who are given the mandate to ensure that our water bodies are protected and safeguarded against pollution. A case in point is Kafue. We saw the derailment of some truck carrying undesirable substances that spilled into the Kafue River. When that happens, you do not know how much damage it causes because the treatment of water is designed in different forms. So, when foreign substances like those pollute a water body, one does not know how much they will affect human life. Some effects could be long term and may not be detected in our people. Therefore, we would like the hon. Minister to put measures in place to protect water sources from pollution.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Ms Sefulo (Mwandi): Madam Speaker, let me start by thanking the mover of the Motion, the hon. Member for Sesheke. Let me also say that I support the adoption of the report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism.

Madam Speaker, issues of water are very close to my heart, being a Member of Parliament for a rural constituency where the supply of water is almost non-existent. I have read the report and heard the recommendations that have been made, which are very good. However, I also want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister another intervention that we can use as regards water.

Madam Speaker, to this day, I have never understood how we in Mwandi get floods and, five months later, do not have access to water. We should make interventions that will allow us to harvest the available water. We can even conduct a mini-Kuomboka in Mwandi in areas like Magumwi. However, I am telling you right now that come October, there will be no fresh water and people will be subjected to drinking saline water. I stood in this House and said that when one grows up in Mwandi, chances of having issues with Blood Pressure (BP) are extremely high because of the saline water that is used there when we get floods. So, apart from all the interventions that are being made, we should also look at harvesting the water that comes down, but just goes to waste. In the report, I also read about the creation of dams. That is very important. I spoke about water harvesting. We can use that strategy in conjunction with the dams that were being spoken about by the Committee.

Madam Speaker, the Committee also reported that it went on foreign tours and, in the country that it visited, it learnt that there is a rural water supply system. In Zambia, we have the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), which looks specifically at rural electrification. I think, we should urge the Government to look in this area and create a body that will look specific at rural constituencies.

Madam Speaker, I can assure this House that the sentence, ‘I have gone to draw water’ has brought about many teenage pregnancies when it comes to children in rural constituencies. Just that sentence, and it is because children draw water from 2 km away.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sefulo: What does that do? It puts the girl child at risk because of the distance that she has to travel to go and draw water. So, a drop of water in Lusaka should have the same value as the drop of water for a child growing up in Mwandi. When we talk about access to water, we say that water is life. However, when I go back to my constituency and look at the potential that is there, I wonder why we have not been given access to water. There is so much potential. We could grow winter maize if we had access to water. We could also do gardening. I can assure this House that if there was proper investment in this sector, Mwandi Constituency alone could feed this nation. Just in that regard, what do we lack? We lack water.

Madam Speaker, we urge the Government and all other hon. Members to make sure that come October, as we come to this House to debate the coming Budget, to make sure that there is a proper allocation to water development in this country. It is very sad, as we read this report, to hear about how much fresh water we have yet, when it comes to water to drink, we have none at all.

Madam Speaker, with those few remarks, I support this report and encourage other hon. Members to adopt it.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: That is the voice of a woman.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, first and foremost, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism for having done a good job.

Madam Speaker, the water sector has been confronted by a myriad of challenges, including low investment. That is why we have failed to exploit the abundant water resources in our country even when Zambia hosts 40 per cent of the water bodies in Southern Africa. Therefore, it is important that we, as a nation, take radical measures to revolutionise the water sector if at all the majority of our people are to have access to safe drinking water. It is sad that fifty-eight years after Independence, the majority of our people do not have access to safe drinking water. Actually, rural communities account for 53 per cent. To my sister there, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi Constituency, I say that coming from Chama North, which is a rural constituency, my heart often bleeds to see our people still share water with domestic and wild animals after fifty-eight years of Independence and, in the process, housewives become victims of crocodile attacks. In my constituency, we have lost many women among those who go to draw water from crocodile-infested waters. I think, that is a very sad development.

Madam Speaker, almost all the water utilities in this country, as highlighted in the report, face financial challenges and, I think, it is important that I add my voice to the calls for us to increase the allocation to the water sector as we prepare the 2023 National Budget in order to resolve these challenges. The other challenge the water utilities face is that the Government is a major culprit in not paying for the water that Government departments consume. So, how does the Government expect the water utilities to remain afloat? For Example, the Government owes K27 million to Kafubu Water Supply and Sanitation Company. How do we expect the utilities to function? So, it is my appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that he endeavour to start dismantling the outstanding debts so that our water utility companies are able to invest the resources for the benefit of the people in our country. Coming from Chama North, I know that Eastern Water Supply and Sanitation Company (EWSC) also has serious challenges. For example, in Chama, people only access water for, maybe, three or four hours in twenty-four hours because the EWSC has only two boreholes, and Chama depends on electricity from Malawi, which is erratic. So, once there is an electricity outage, there is no water in Chama. To date, Chama is not connected to the national electricity grid.

Madam Speaker, the issue of exorbitant chemicals for treating water has also been a major challenge. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to provide incentives to water utility companies. We can even waive duty on those important raw materials that are being bought at a very high cost. Further, we must review Zesco Limited tariffs, especially for water utilities. I still feel that the electricity tariff charged on water utilities is quite high. So, there is a need for the Government, through the Ministry of Energy, to try by all means to ensure that the tariffs are minimised.

Madam Speaker, I also heard about the issue of the vandalism of Zesco Limited infrastructure. It is a very sad development that even when the law was amended to make the penalty for vandalism of Zesco Limited infrastructure severe, the scourge has continued to be on the rise. I also believe that casualisation of labour at Zesco Limited has contributed to vandalism. What is happening is that people are being employed for six months and then let go. Then another batch is brought in for another six months and, again, let go afterwards. There is no security of tenure. So, what is happening is that the former employees are getting involved in vandalising Zesco installations. That must be looked into very seriously. I think, we are enslaving our people. We have been saying that we have banned casualisation, yet this is that is happening in parastatal organisations. People are being employed for six months and then removed, and another batch is brought in, and the cycle continues. What do you expect from a person in the compound who is not employed, but knows all the systems of Zesco Limited? That is why cases of vandalism have been on the increase.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion –

Rev. Katuta: On a point of order, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

What procedure has been breached, hon. Member for Chienge?

Rev. Katuta: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order based on Standing Order No. 65, which talks about being factual.

Madam Speaker, the speaker on the Floor of the House is insinuating that the casuals – he is not even using the word ‘maybe’ – are the ones who are stealing. He is insinuating that the casuals who are replaced at Zesco Limited are the ones who steal the cables. Is he in order to insinuate that the casuals are the ones who are stealing service cables?

I need your serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: To the extent that the statement was generalised and not backed by facts, the hon. Member for Chama North is out of order.

Hon. Member for Chama North, continue, but learn to be factual.

Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, I thank you, and I am well guided. I think, I was speaking from a well-informed view.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, on the Community Resource Boards (CRBs), I noticed that the Committee is urging the Government to expedite the employment of wildlife officers. This is very important because, for instance, in Chama North and Chama South, cases of human/animal conflict have been increasing because of the shortage of wildlife officers, as the ones available are not able to cope with the volume of work. So, it is my appeal that more wildlife officers are employed as quickly as possible.

Madam Speaker, the other challenge that people who live in game management areas (GMAs) are facing is that although the Community Resource Boards (CRBs) get funding from hunting activities, the same does not trickle down to the ordinary people in the communities, yet they are the people who look after wild animals. At the end of the day, the people in GMAs do not realise any benefit at all from the wildlife resources.

Madam Speaker, gone are the days there was a deliberate policy, including during the Federal Government, to give, at least, some game meat, to the people who live in GMAs. That way, people realised that they would benefit from the wildlife resources. So, there is an urgent need to employ wildlife officers as quickly as possible.

Madam, the other issue I have seen in the report is that of village scouts. Yes, village scouts – 

Madam Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member’s time expired.                

Madam Speaker: I had hoped that you would yield some time so that we could accommodate the hon. Member for Chama South, your neighbour.


Madam Speaker: However, I will use my discretion to give the Floor to the hon. Member for Chama South.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for your kindness in allowing the voice of Chama South to contribute to the debate on this important report. Indeed, let me begin by appreciating your Committee for coming up with this well-informed report.

Madam Speaker, I will, firstly, try to look at the land use control measures we, as a country, have. The mover of the Motion, Hon. Kangombe, indicated that we face the danger of encroachment on water recharge points. If you look at the Forests Act and many other laws that regulate the utilisation of our land, you will discover that it may not be because of the inadequacy of the laws that the water recharge points and many other water sources are being interfered with. Mostly, it has to do with the enforcement of these laws. Take, for example, the many areas where people have objected to timber logging. In my constituency, Chama South, you saw the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment advertise for timber concessionaires to move on the ground and start logging even in very sensitive areas without consultation, for example, with the Ministry of Tourism. Those are issues for which, as Parliamentarians, we should urge the Executive to work collaboratively and lasting solutions.

Madam Speaker, some hon. Members have indicated that councils have allocated land even in areas that are supposed to be protected water areas. How is that possible? In our country, we have urban and regional planning laws that regulate the construction of all structures. Even water utility companies, before they put up lines or acquire land for anything, they have to get permits from the planning authority. How is it possible that people circumvent the procedures and construct structures in water recharge areas or areas where water systems are supposed to pass? All of that happens because there is a lack of enforcement and collaboration among the authorities that are supposed to consult one another before they implement projects. So, your report is, indeed, on point.

Madam Speaker, your report has indicated the need for the employment of wildlife scouts. As Hon. Mtayachalo indicated, the people of Chama are very concerned because apart from the bad rainfall pattern that they experienced during the 2021/2022 Farming Season, they also have to sleep outside because of a huge number of wild animals that are evading their fields. Controlling the animals is becoming very difficult because the Department of National Parks and Wildlife does not have enough manpower and equipment. So, in order for this Government to help our people, it further needs to relook at the decision to cancel hunting concessions. Why do I say so? Because most of the people who man game management areas (GMAs) are not employees of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, but of Community Resource Boards (CRBs).

In many camps, Madam Speaker, if you find fifteen wildlife officers, fourteen will be village scouts and only one will be a trained wildlife officer, and the remunerations for the village scouts come from the revenue from hunting concessions, which the CRBs share with the Government. Now that this Government has cancelled hunting concessions in prime areas, for example, in Chifunda and Chikwa in my area, there will be no resources to pay wildlife officers or village scouts, and that will affect the conservation efforts in those areas. It will also affect the morale of staff in preventing human-animal conflict.

Madam Speaker, when it comes to the lack of water, most rural areas are badly affected, and a number of our women, particularly in Chama, are losing their lives to crocodiles, as Hon. Mtayachalo mentioned. In a year, not less than three or four women are lost to crocodile attacks as they fetch water. Where has the problem been? It is not that we, as Parliamentarians, have not made an effort to take water, especially boreholes, to our people, but that there have been, at times, problems with our local authorities. For example, three years ago, we approved the sinking of boreholes. However, to date, Chama District Council has not sunk them despite having paid money to a contractor and despite our fight for that to be done. So, I urge the New Dawn Government to look into this matter.

Madam Speaker, on urban water supply, Lusaka has the most contaminated underground water body. What we cannot understand is that water is a resource. Why is it that our utility companies cannot take advantage of this fact and make money through the supply of water? Should we privatise the water sector so that private players can come in and tap into the huge potential that is in this sector? I ask this question because much of the water, we have learnt from your report, is being lost or is non-revenue water, and that has to do with leakages and old pipes. Therefore, as much as we want the Government to inject money into the water sector, the sector can be self-sustaining in terms of generating revenue because many of our people are I need of water and sewerage services. All we need to do is put systems in place, supervise and establish a vision so that water utility companies can reinvest money as opposed to a lot of the revenue going into management fees and many other things that have to do with water management provisions.

With this contribution, Madam Speaker, I support your report.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa, you do not have to exhaust all your minutes because we are looking at saving time.

Mr Mwambazi (Bwana Mkubwa): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on this report. Let me take this opportunity to also thank my colleague, Hon. Kangombe, for presenting this report.

Madam Speaker, water is life.

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

Rev. Katuta: Akulandafye!

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Member for Mitete, what is the breach?

Mr Mutelo: Thank you so much, Madam Speaker. I apologise to the hon. Member of Parliament who is on the Floor.

Madam Speaker, Standing Order No. 86 stipulates the time for submission of notice for any business to be transacted in the House on a particular day or in a particular week. Standing Order No. 86(1) tells it all; be it the Vice-President, an hon. Minister or an hon. Member, they must all give a notice, and any business can only be transacted on a given day if notice for it was given before 1300 hours on the material day. If notice is given later than 1300 hours, the business can only be transacted on the following day. In light of this Standing Order, was the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi in order, without having given notice yesterday, to interject your procedural procession?

I seek your serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: Thank you.

This point of order, like the one that was raised earlier, is reserved. The two will be looked at together.

The hon. Member for Bwana Mkubwa may continue.

Mr Mwambazi: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to just comment on the report, bearing in mind that time is running out.

Madam Speaker, water is life. However, as I speak, most of our constituencies have rationed, if not erratic, water supply. So, it is very important that after looking at this report, the Government looks into certain pertinent issues to ensure that people have adequate water supply. Very important issues have been brought up in the report, such as sustainable financing mechanisms, development of adequate storage of water in our various localities and review of the 2010 Water Policy.

Madam Speaker, let me mention that it is also important that we enhance collaboration amongst ministries like Lands and Natural Resources, Local Government and Rural Development, and Water Development and Sanitation because most water bodies are being encroached on. I think, this point has been made by one of the hon. Members who debated earlier. It is very important for us to protect our water sources from encroachment by ensuring enhanced collaboration among the relevant ministries.

Madam Speaker, let me also mention that the legal framework on water issues in this country needs to be looked at to ensure that it speaks to what is happening on the ground. It is very important that the law is dynamic because if it is not dynamic and able to extinguish what is happening, then, it is of no use. 

Madam Speaker, let me comment on the issue of enhanced and sustainable financing. Let us look at the Kafubu Dam, which is under construction. That is a US$445 million project, and it is targeted at catering for five districts, which are Kafulafuta, Mpongwe, Luanshya, Masaiti and Bwana Mkubwa, in Ndola District. As I speak, the project is at 78 per cent. So, we urge the Government, as it considers water projects, to look at the project because the little that is remaining of it, which is 22 per cent, needs to be considered for completion, as the dam can help to mitigate issues of erratic water supply in the five districts.

Madam Speaker, I beg that this report be adopted.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Green of Green Economy and Environment: (Mr Nzovu): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to make a few comments on your Committee’s report.

Madam Speaker, my first reaction is to thank the Committee sincerely because this is a very technical report, and the Committee did very good research.

Madam Speaker, the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution are with us, and water plays a very important role in securing our environment, but it has been recognised in the Committee’s report that water availability in the country is on the decrease.

Madam Speaker, my trip around the country to look at the status of the environment and, in particular, sources of water and the forests, which protect the headwaters of rivers, revealed that there is high degradation of headwaters, and that has resulted in the drying up of streams and rivers. The examples are in Mongu, Chililabombwe and Chongwe, nearby, where there is a very big dam, but the dam is no longer able to provide water to Chongwe residents throughout the year. Meanwhile, forests protect and provide water, and clean the environment. Indeed, forests ensure that water quality is protected.

Madam Speaker, pollution of water sources is another issue that we need to look at seriously. As we develop our country, there is pressure for mining activities and that pressure is mainly in ecologically sensitive areas. There is pressure to mine copper, gold and, now, manganese now in the areas of Serenje and Mkushi. That is resulting in pollution of our streams.

Madam Speaker, I want to agree with most of the hon. Members of Parliament’s sentiment that we have adequate laws and that the laws have been in existence for a long time. What has been lacking is the enforcement of environmental laws, such as the Forest Act and the Zambia Wildlife Act to ensure that offenders are punished.

Madam Speaker, I will react to a few of the issues that were brought up in the House.

Madam Speaker, I agree with some hon. Members who talked about contamination levels of underground water. I am sure, all of us have seen a proliferation of filling stations around the country. People are developing any area they want without due regard to environmental laws. The good news is that the New Dawn Government, which has stated very clearly that it will be a Government of laws, will ensure that the laws that exist currently are enforced. The best example is the contamination of the Kafubu River. I am sure, you saw how quickly the offender attended to the pollution. The truck was quickly pulled out of the river and the offender was punished. Further, as I speak, all mining companies have been put on alert to ensure that there is environmental sustainability. We will no longer treat this issue of climate change as business as usual.

Madam Speaker, we, indeed, advertised concession licences, but if you looked at the advertisement, you will see that we clearly stated that licences will only be given in game management areas (GMAs) upon consent from our partners, the Ministry of Tourism. Obviously, the utilisation of forestry products in any area of the country is the mandate of this ministry. The cutting down of trees in forests is allowed in certain areas, obviously, to allow for regeneration of forests and enhance economic activities. The catch word here is ‘sustainability’. All these things can be done in a sustainable manner.

Madam Speaker, as we discuss the Committee’s report, we have to be mindful of the fact that water is not only used for drinking, but also for power generation. Therefore, the quantity of water, which is subject to the way we keep our environment, directly affects hydro-power generation. We saw the devastation in the energy sector, which resulted in the slowing down of economic development as a result of power deficits. Water is, therefore, very important.

Madam Speaker, water also sustains wildlife, and is also very important for tourism, sanitation and food security. However, due to climate change, availability of water is reducing. I, therefore, commend the Committee for doing a very diligent job. I, as a hydro-power engineer and a civil engineer, can attest to the good technicality of the report. Hon. Kangombe was spot-on.

Madam Speaker, the Government has embarked on a project to quantify the natural resources we have, be they forestry products, water or mineral resources, to ensure that there is a sustainable way in which we utilise the resources. Therefore, I support the report and urge the House to include issues of climate change and environmental sustainability in this Committee’s work.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Mulenga): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to respond to the report presented by the hon. Member of Parliament. I choose to appreciate the responses and secondments that came from hon. Members of Parliament in this House from the Ruling Party and the Opposition.

Madam Speaker, indeed, I have drawn a lesson and encouragement from how hon. Members of Parliament have engaged regarding this matter, which affects everyone in the manner that makes it obvious that we should work together and develop our country positively.

Madam Speaker, drawing attention to the submissions of hon. Members of Parliament, I choose to start with the concern that was raised regarding Zesco Limited copper lines, which have perpetually been subjected to theft because of the appetite that has been observed in the copper industry. I should put it on record that I am not only a Minister, but also the Member of Parliament for Chingola Constituency, which houses a number of copper smelting facilities within the industrial area. The Government has embarked on a mission to overhaul the electric cables that are being used. Between November and February, we experienced high levels of theft of copper wires. As a result, with quick response from the Ministry of Energy, through Zesco Limited, the Zesco Managing Director gave the directive that every stolen copper wire cable be replaced with aluminium wire cables. This is a response to the concern raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufulira Constituency. The Government has already embarked on the replacement of the stolen copper wire cables with aluminium wires, which have very little attraction to thieves, as the mineral has very little market value right now compared with what we are seeing with copper wires.

Madam Speaker, I want to continue to discuss the energy sector. I heard the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi encourage the Government to do what it has done through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in the water sector and subject the water reticulation problems to the same kind of urgency. I must mention that this Government has not only undertaken a feasibility study on, but also implemented, the electrification of rural areas under REA that were earmarked for electrification even in the past regime. That is not only happening in rural areas, but also in peri-urban areas where the grid system has not been available.

Madam Speaker, I call upon the hon. Members of Parliament in this House to unite, work together and see to it that the Government is supported in its implementation of the projects that it is implementing in the same manner that we have united to support the Motion that was moved by Hon. Kangombe. How do we support the Government? It is by being objective, realistic and honest enough to raise our hands and say what is happening in our respective constituencies.

Madam Speaker, I also want to encourage the hon. Members in this House when it comes to the serious concern of water shortages in our respective constituencies. On behalf of the people of Chingola, where I come from, I am equally concerned, not only as a Minister, but also as a Member of Parliament, about the challenges of water supply. Indeed, there is erratic supply of water in our various constituencies.

Madam Speaker, I admired what the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi Constituency said. She did not only lament about the water challenges, but also provided a solution. Let us not have floods, but run short of water five months later. We should invest in water harvesting.

Ms Sefulo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: That is a progressive manner of being a part of the Government. So, I suggest that irrespective of political affiliations, all hon. Members of Parliament be part of the Government and present progressive suggestions as opposed to lamentations only.

Madam Speaker, I want to quickly mention that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, is putting up a team of hon. Ministers and their technocrats who, in due time, will visit the Republic of Egypt –

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.


Mr Chibombwe: Madam Speaker, I rise on Standing Order No. 65, which states that the information given on the Floor of the House should be accurate and verifiable.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mufulira raised the point that Zesco Limited service cables are being stolen in Mufulira and asked the Government, in the future, to consider making aluminium service cables, and the hon. Minister has just said that Zesco Limited has started replacing copper cables with aluminium cables, which is not true. So far, we do not manufacture aluminium cables in the country, and we have no source for aluminium cables. So, Zesco Limited is still replacing stolen copper service cables with the same copper service cables. Even the underground cables that are vandalised are replaced with copper cables. We have not started replacing them with aluminium cables. Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to mislead this august House?

Madam Speaker: The hon. Member for Bahati has sufficiently debated. He asked a question and, in fact, even responded to it by way of a challenge to the hon. Minister. So, I think, the matter has been adequately settled.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulenga: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance, but I feel, as I said earlier, we should avoid being political on matters unnecessarily.

Madam Speaker, I even made reference, with a lot of emphasis, to the fact that I am a Member of Parliament from Chingola Constituency, where there was rampant theft of the same cables, and I stand to attest to the fact that we are replacing Copper cables with aluminium ones. We do not manufacture sufficient quantities of the copper wire cables that you see all around the country either. We import them in the same manner we import the aluminium ones. I wish the hon. Member and I could bet our seats, because I know where I am coming from, and we have done it. So, I urge hon. Members of Parliament to stop being political on matters that are progressive for the country. We should be as apolitical as the manner in which we started debating this Motion.

Madam Speaker, I wish to continue.

Madam Speaker, when it comes to access to, or provision of, water, indeed, the Government is looking at means and ways of harvesting rainwater, as was ably articulated by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwandi. For many years, we have lamented that despite having huge amounts of rainfall, a few months down the line, our animals have no grazing land, our agricultural land lacks water and we only get to farm in the rainy season.

Madam Speaker, before I was asked to resume my seat because of the point of order that was raised on me, I was trying to emphasise the point that His Excellency the President of Zambia is constituting a team of hon. Ministers who will visit Egypt to learn how water harvesting and management is done so that the practice can be introduced in Zambia. The team to go to Egypt is not made up of hon. Ministers only, but also technical teams. So, we are in the process of implementing water harvesting.

Madam Speaker, allow me to implore all the hon. Members of Parliament in the House, as a Minister and Member of Parliament coming from the Copperbelt, where I have the biggest constituency with eighteen wards.

Madam Speaker, indeed, access to water is a challenge, as we still have technical challenges in supplying water to our people. However, deliberately, as a constituency, we want to sink eighteen boreholes in respective areas using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), of course, with guidance from the Water Resources Management Authority (WARMA). I hope, my hon. Colleagues can take a leaf from me because while we sit and wait for the Government to provide a lasting solution to the water reticulation problem, our people will not sit forever and wait for the huge financial grants or support that will come from the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to for establishment of elaborate water reticulation systems. We have come to understand that even through boreholes, we can provide clean drinking water to our people.

Madam Speaker, I need to address firmly the issue of tourism. Indeed, this Motion is very important and it must be addressed thoroughly. The hon. Member of Parliament for Chama talked about the cancelation of hunting concessions –

Madam Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister’s time expired.

Mr Kangombe: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have ably supported this Motion. I also thank the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment as well as the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, who have put in their word in support of the debate on this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, from the debates of the hon. Members, you are able to attest to the fact that the water challenge is not only in urban areas, but also in rural areas. Examples are Chama, Mwandi, Sesheke, where I come from, of course, as well as Katombola.

Madam Speaker, I urge the Government to expedite the processing of the pieces of legislation referred to to protect the water recharge zones that are being encroached on.

Madam Speaker, I am happy about the information that the hon. Member for Chingola and Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry has given on the much-needed water harvesting. He said that His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, will constitute a team that will look into water harvesting so that the nation can actually have adequate water.

Madam Speaker, water is life, and even the human body is 60 per cent composed of water. So, you can see clearly that for everything to thrive in this country and on the continent, water is definitely needed.

Madam speaker, from the interactions, I can only say thank you, once again. Thank you also for giving us the opportunity to go out and fetch the much-needed information that this House so much needed to ensure that we can, together, protect our water.

Madam Speaker, I am water, you are water and all the hon. Members of Parliament here are water.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Has somebody been given the Floor to say anything? This amounts to an interruption.

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House Adjourned at 1249 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 21st June, 2022.