Thursday, 16th June, 2022

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Thursday, 16th June, 2022

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]






Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of the following Members of the Parliamentary Service Commission and staff from the Parliament of Malawi:

Hon. Dr George Chaponda, MP                     Commissioner and the Leader of Delegation

Hon. Lilian Patel, MP                                     Commissioner

Hon. Chrispin Mphande, MP                          Commissioner

Hon. Noah Chimpeni, MP                              Commissioner

Hon. George Zulu, MP                                   Commissioner

Mr Chikondi Kachinjika                                 Deputy Clerk - Corporate Services

Mr Sunge Kalumo                                           Special Assistant to the Parliamentary Service Commission

Mrs Gloria Dzidekha                                      Acting Chief Officer

Mr Joseph Jassi                                               Usher to the Parliamentary Service Commission

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.

Thank you.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the House that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has organised an orientation workshop for all hon. Members of Parliament to be held on Monday, 20th June, 2022, from 08:30 hours to 17:00 hours, in the Amphitheatre, at Parliament Buildings. The main objective of the workshop is to orient hon. Members of Parliament on the roles and functions of the DMMU in preventing and responding to emergencies and disasters.

You are all encouraged to attend this important meeting.

Thank you.




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, had just finished responding to a follow-up question, Mr D. Mung’andu, hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South, raised a point of order. In the point of order, Hon. Mung’andu stated that the House had ruled that people should not behave as if they were at the market, which he found to be a very offensive expression. He, in that regard, asked whether the House was in order to use offensive expressions or unparliamentary language, contrary to Order No. 65(2)(e) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders, 2021.

In his immediate response, the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker reserved his ruling.

Hon. Members, I reviewed the relevant verbatim record to ascertain whether the statement complained of by Hon. Mung’andu was made and, if so, by whom. The review revealed that Hon. Mung’andu’s point of order was on a statement made by the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker who, in guiding hon. Members on how to raise points of order, had stated that the House was not a marketplace. The Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker was at the time presiding over the House.

Hon. Members, Standing Order No. 132 sets out the admissibility criteria for points of order. In particular, Standing Order No. 132(1)(d) states as follows:

“A Point of Order may be admissible if-

(d)      it is not raised against a decision of the presiding officer.”

Additionally, Standing Order No. 132(2)(d) states that:

“A member shall not raise a Point of Order -

(d)      on a presiding officer or an officer.”

The foregoing rules of the House clearly indicate that a point of order cannot be raised on a Presiding Officer or a decision of a Presiding Officer. In the instant case, Hon. Mung’andu’s point of order was raised on a statement made by the Hon. Mr Second Deputy Speaker, who was presiding over the House at the time. That was clearly in violation of the admissibility criteria provided under Standing Order No. 132. The point of order was, therefore, inadmissible.

Hon. Members, I seize this opportunity to urge you to acquaint yourselves with the rules of the House, in general, and the admissibility criteria for points of order, in particular.

I thank you.




Mr Fube (Chilubi): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr Fube: Thank you, Madam Speaker. My matter of urgent public importance is anchored on Standing Order No. 134, and it is on universal coverage of health services.

Madam Speaker, on 11th June, 2022, the Daily Nation newspaper carried the story of a twelve-year old girl, Memory Chibale, who was denied medical care at Chibefu Clinic in Mkushi based on the fact that her father did not have a certificate that indicated that he had been vaccinated against the Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19).

Madam Speaker, I come from a rural area where this notion is widespread. I am sure that many people who come from rural areas can agree with me that that is almost the norm that the attitude of clinicians is that if one is not vaccinated, then, one should not receive medical care at any point. That is a serious threat to our medical care, especially in rural areas. According to the story, in the case in point, the girl died after going to the clinic twice with her father and being turned away because her father did not have the COVID-19 certificate, and this is just one of many cases.

Madam Speaker, I submit to this House that in my constituency, there are twenty-four wards and, of the twenty-four, I visited about eight. In six of the eight wards, when I addressed meetings, people attested to the fact that health workers were turning people away from accessing medical care because of not having been vaccinated against COVID-19. I find this to be a threat to human life and, I think, it is going to take us steps backwards in terms of achieving universal coverage of health services in the country. This also scares me more because we are in the cold season and –

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Chilubi, please, be precise and get to the point. We have the order of proceedings to complete the business today.

Please, resume your seat.

Mr Fube resumed his seat.

Madam Speaker: When you raise a point of order, please, be precise. We have already taken almost ten minutes. So, please, be precise and get to the point as you raise your matter of urgent public importance.

Please, proceed and wind up.

Mr Fube: Madam Speaker, my single-minded topic is the barring of people who are not vaccinated. What I am trying to say is that it is a threat to human life, as I indicated already by quoting the paper. We have already lost a life, and this is just one of the many cases that could have come into the public domain. We may have lost lives through this attitude of clinicians in more areas that have not been publicised.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious ruling on whether we will continue like this on the issue, especially given the fact that it is affecting the provision of universal health coverage.


Mr Chewe (Lubansenshi): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr Chewe: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for giving this opportunity to the good people of Lubansenshi Constituency, Luwingu District. I rise on a matter of urgent public importance under Standing Order No. 134(3)(a).

Madam Speaker, in Luwingu District, as I speak, we do not have an ambulance, which is supposed to service more than 200,000 in that district. Is it in order for the hon. Minister of Health to keep quiet while people are dying? For your information, in the last two months, we have lost four mothers because of inadequate transport in the District.

I seek your guidance on this matter, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker:  Two matters have been raised under Standing Order No. 134, starting with the one raised by the hon. Member for Chilubi. My ruling is that whereas the matter is important and concerns the right of citizens to receive medical attention regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, I am unable to admit it as a matter of urgent public importance. The hon. Member is advised to use other means of following up on this matter directly with the hon. Minister of Health or even bring it up at the time we will have a question-and-answer session with the Vice-President on a Friday. On the issue of ambulances or transport, again, this is a matter that has been discussed several times in this Session. The hon. Minister of Health has been called upon to address it on several occasions, and it does not affect only the people of Lubansenshi. I think, it is more widespread. So, again, the hon. Member for Lubansenshi is advised to find other ways of bringing the issue to the attention of the relevant ministry, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) or the Vice-President’s Office so that this important issue can be addressed. The lack of transport or ambulances affects the whole nation. So, it is not only for the people of Lubansenshi.

That concludes the matters of urgent public importance.




The Minister of Defence (Mr Lufuma) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo)): Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, could I assist myself by removing the mask? I have a slight cold.


Mr Lufuma: I need it more. Okay, that is fine.

Madam Speaker: Order!

I believe, we have one case in which doctors have ordered one hon. Member, on medical grounds, to not to wear a mask. So, since the Acting hon. Minister of Health has requested, I will use my discretion to allow him to take off his so that he can speak. When he goes back to his seat, he will put it back on.

I know that the hon. Member for Pambashe had made the same request and that I declined his request but, today, I will exercise my discretion in favour of removing the mask for this purpose only.

Mr Lufuma: Most obliged, Madam Speaker. Thank you so much.

Mr Lufuma removed his mask.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank you for according me this chance to issue a ministerial statement to inform the august House and the nation on the drug supply situation in the country and the measures that this Government is putting in place to stabilise the country’s medicines and medical supplies supply chain.

Madam Speaker, the New Dawn Government, under President Hakainde Hichilema, prioritises the health and well-being of Zambians as a critical investment necessary for sustained development. The House may wish to note that availability and accessibility of essential medicines, vaccines and medical supplies are critical factors to ensuring the efficient and effective delivery of health services to meet the national health priorities, including the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Madam Speaker, as stated in our previous ministerial statement on 7th March, 2022, the inconsistent supply of essential medicines and medical supplies over the years has remained a major concern in Zambia. This has been attributed to a combination of factors that include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. high burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases;
  1. inadequate funding which, until now, was about K1.4 billion, against a total drug budget of K5.2 billion. That translated into a deficit of K3.8 billion; and
  1. a huge drug debt, which currently stands at over K2.2 billion.

Madam Speaker, over the past years, the accumulated drug debt has become unbearable. As a result, most suppliers could no longer supply medicines and medical supplies, as they needed to be unlocked through debt servicing. That situation is what has led to the current stock-outs in public health facilities. The availability of essential medicines and medical supplies countrywide in the last five years, has been below the target of 80 per cent. Currently, the national stock position is at an emergency point, meaning that it is critically low. Some facilities may still have the required essential medicine and medical supplies but, generally, the socks are critically low.

Madam Speaker, improving the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies in public health facilities is a prerequisite to quality health service delivery that achieves better health outcomes for the people of Zambia, and it is the key function of the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA). I am delighted to inform the House and the nation that the New Dawn Administration, through ZAMMSA, and with the support of the co-operating partners, has put in place measures aimed at improving the supply management system to ensure the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that in March, 2022, the availability of essential medicines and medical supplies at the national level ranged from 30 per cent to 40 per cent. Key products, such as anti-hypertensive medicines, pain killers and medicines that are used to treat infections, were stocked at 25 per cent, 30 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.

Madam Speaker, to improve availability of essential medicines and medical supplies, ZAMMSA has undertaken fifteen procurements so far, which include anti-cancer medicines, anti-retroviral (ARV) medicines and anti-malarial medicines. Of these procurements, ZAMMSA has, so far, received anti-malarial, intravenous (IV) fluids, anti-retroviral medicines and assorted products for the blood transfusion programme. Of note is the completed procurement of the supply and delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies valued at over K217 million, of which deliveries are expected to commence this month. An additional procurement of the supply or delivery of essential medicines valued at over K181 million is underway. The procurement of 42,000 health centre kits has also been undertaken, with delivery expected sometime in October, 2022. In addition to the above, ZAMMSA has called off orders on the Ministry of Health contracts that were averted and transferred to it. From these, the agency has received deliveries of pain killer medicines like Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, blood building supplements like folic acids, anti-hypertensive medicines like moduretic, anti-diabetic medicines like metformin and antibiotics like erythromycin, doxycycline and ciprofloxacin.


Mr Lufuma: I am becoming a doctor.


Mr Lufuma: These medicines have been delivered to ZAMMSA.

Hon. Member: Dr Lufuma!

Mr Lufuma: Dr Lufuma, indeed.


Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, immediate distribution of the products that are being received has been carried out, with the central stock levels still currently below 50 per cent, but expected to improve in the coming weeks with the delivery of essential medicines and medical supplies. The agency’s last-mile distribution activities will, in turn, improve the stock situation at the service delivery points.

Madam Speaker as mentioned in the previous statement to this House, attainment of universal health coverage involves ensuring adequate healthcare financing and putting financial protection mechanisms in place. It is in this regard that the Government, through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIMA), provides accredited facilities with complementary, predictable and sustainable financing that aims to progressively ensure that all Zambians have equitable access to quality essential health care without suffering any financial catastrophe or impoverishment. Cumulatively, from inception in October, 2019, NHIMA has, so far, invested over K260 million in accredited Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and mission hospitals, of which 60 per cent has been used by the facilities to supplement the procurement of essential medicines and medical supplies to mitigate the low refill rate from ZAMMSA.

Madam Speaker, allow me to remind the House that Zambia, like many other developing countries and nations, is faced with a high burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. The focus of the Government is not only on treating diseases, but also promoting wellness and preventing diseases at the same time. The availability of medicines and medical supplies must be supported through improved health status of our people. When people are healthy, there will be less need for medicines and medical supplies, as fewer people will fall ill. That will, in turn, reduce the burden on the Treasury in terms of treatment of both communicable and non-communicable diseases in our public health facilities. In addition, a healthy population provides a healthy workforce, which directly contributes to increased productivity. Therefore, enhanced health promotion and disease prevention, among other outcomes, are expected to restore our in-country supply chain and initiate commodity security, thereby restoring confidence in both health workers and patients in our health system and services.

Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that the New Dawn Administration has released K2.3 billion through ZAMMSA to facilitate the procurement of both emergency and routine long-term framework-based contracts in order to achieve stability. The procurement of medicines and medical supplies will be conducted in an accountable and transparent manner and with the highest degree of integrity. Commodities of highest quality will be procured at the right price and delivered within the stated period. That, as all hon. Members here know, is what our President has insisted on; he has insisted on value for money and timely delivery of commodities, in accordance with contracts. It is envisaged that once the above procurement processes are fully implemented, there will be stability of our in-country supply chain for medicines and medical supplies, which will lead to improved outcomes in health service delivery and client satisfaction.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification, I repeat, ‘points of clarification’, not debate, on the ministerial statement issued by the Acting hon. Minister of Health.

Ms Halwiindi (Kabwe Central): Madam Speaker, I thank the Acting hon. Minister of Health for the ministerial statement.

Madam Speaker, we have heard that the Government is going to embark on the procurement of medicines that it is going to delivery to all hospitals. I am sure, this includes all the hospitals in Kabwe Central Constituency, where all the clinics and hospitals lack essential medicines. However, my concern is also on the wastage of medical supplies in hospitals. Further, I have not heard the hon. Minister mention water for injections. I hope, it is going to be procured.

Madam Speaker, last week, when I was in hospital, my experience was that health workers were using 500 ml of intravenous (IV) fluid to reconstitute drugs. They were withdrawing 3 ml and reconstituting medicines, which means that the water for injection bags was wasted from time to time because they could not use all of it to dilute medicines. Is the hon. Minister of Health also going to include water for injections to avoid wastage of IV fluids?

Mr Lufuma:  Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kabwe Central for that question.

Madam Speaker, we take note of her concern, and we will institute the necessary measures to ensure that there is efficient usage of the medical supplies that she talked about.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, one thing I wish to commend the hon. Minister for over the statement is the fact that he has acknowledged that there is a problem. In the past, there has been cho chise over this issue, whereby in the ministry, one official would say one thing and the other would say something else, and whoever said anything else would be seen to be fighting the hon. Minister. It is important that we acknowledge that there is a problem, and the extent of the problem cannot be underestimated or understated.

Where we come from, Madam Speaker, the situation is dire. Since we have been at this stage for a very long time, I want to know from the Acting hon. Minister when we are going to rise above the challenge so that we can communicate to our people the timeframe in which we can expect to see essential drugs get into our facilities. Currently, we do not have even Panadol in our facilities, yet there are companies that produce the drug in Zambia. So, when can we begin to comfort our people regarding the period in which this, in brackets, ‘mess’ will be sorted out?

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Nkana for that very important question.

Madam Speaker, it is very important that we acknowledge when there is a problem, and this Administration has the necessary honesty and integrity to do that. We do not fear to say that there is a problem when there is one.

Madam Speaker, what this Government has put forth, as I mentioned in my statement, is that fifteen procurements are under way and that some are already being delivered while others are yet to be delivered. The last procurement for rural health centre kits, which are 42,000 or so, will be done by October, 2022. So, we should have the kits in after that. What I am saying here is that by that time, we should, at least, have stabilised the supply chain and have, at least, 80 per cent of the stocks that we require to run health facilities at an optimal level. What is also important here is to note that we, as a country, are in a difficult situation. Already, there is a debt of K2.2 billion that we have to settle. We are not necessarily flourishing in the comfort of money. Therefore, we need to ask our partners, as they come on board, to assist this country, especially in the health sector. We hope, this combination will assist us to stabilise the supply chain.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, we appreciate the Acting hon. Leader of Government Business for the statement made. However, we are dealing with a matter of life and death. Yes, stocks are expected, but the patients in the wards are desperate. I heard the hon. Minister state that there is an accumulated debt of K2.2 billion and that the Government has released K2.3 billion to the Zambia Medicines and Medical Supplies Agency (ZAMMSA) for the procurement of medicines. I ask the hon. Acting Leader of Government Business in the House why the Government did not consider it prudent to pay the debt owed to suppliers and then negotiate with some who may have stocks of the critical medicines required? Would that not have worked for the Government, instead of embarking on procurement processes that will take long, especially given that the Government is considering bringing new suppliers on board?

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, who is at the same time the Opposition Whip, for the question.

Madam Speaker, maybe, let me just make a small correction in terms of figures. We have a total budget for drugs of K3.2 billion in this year’s Budget. Of that, K2 billion has been released. Of the K2 billion released, only K1.4 billion has been actually released to ZAMMSA to facilitate procurements. Further, within the K1.4 billion, we have been able to negotiate with the people that the hon. Member is talking about, those we owe a debt of K2.2 billion, to pay them a little, and they have been kind enough to start delivering some of the medicines that we are going to have. So, our approach is two-pronged, using the little monies, unfortunately, available to the country and the health sector. We have to balance things, and are using the money as efficiently as we can to please the people we owe and, at the same time, get drugs in. It is a delicate balance hon. Member of Parliament and Opposition Whip, but we are trying our best.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I thank the Acting hon. Minister of Health for the statement. In thanking him, however, it is important for me to underscore the fact that the problem in the health sector is not like any other. We are dealing with a crisis, as our hospitals are now conveyor belts to the mortuary, and the Executive has no luxury of time in the quest to reverse this tide. This is a dicey situation, and it does not pay to continue blaming it on what happened in the past. The issues we are dealing with are current.

Madam Speaker, allow me to refer to the National Health Policy of Zambia.

Mr Chanda searched for the document on his cellular phone.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Kanchibiya, please, ask a question seeking clarification. Do not debate, so that we can allow as many hon. Members as possible to ask questions.

Mr Chanda: Yes, Madam Speaker –

Madam Speaker, I wish to ask a question in relation to the National Health Policy, with your indulgence.

Madam Speaker: Okay, but, please, be precise.

Mr Chanda: Madam Speaker, the National Health Policy, in Section 472, states as follows:


“To improve on the availability and condition of essential equipment and accessories in all health facilities so as to ensure effective health services delivery.”

Madam Speaker, then, two policy measures are given:

Policy Measures

“Government shall:

“(i)       provide all essential equipment required for safe delivery of the essential package at each level.

“(ii)      provide means for the implementation of the corrective and routine medical equipment maintenance programme countrywide.”

In this regard, Madam Speaker, there are reports that the country, right now, has a critical shortage of anti-retrovirals (ARVs). The country also has a situation with regard to computerised tomography (CT) scans, with the only one that is working in Lusaka being the one at Maina Soko Military Hospital, and it is servicing Lusaka’s population of about 3.4 million. What is the Government’s turnaround strategy on this matter? October is too far when our people are dying every day. We can stand here and speak good English but, with every minute and second that goes, a life is lost in this country because we have no drugs.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Kanchibiya for this very important question.

Madam Speaker, the policy is simple and straightforward: we want to ensure that all medical supplies, be they equipment or drugs, are supplied because we are aware that this is a matter of life and death. As far as ARV drugs are concerned, orders have been given and, I think, deliveries are on the way. We want to beef up the stocks, and I am very sorry that we have this situation in the country, but it is not by design. On the contrary, we want to do the best we can to ensure that citizens are provided with the necessary medical supplies and drugs. So, ARV drugs are on their way to replenish the already available stocks.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Twasa (Kasenengwa): Madam Speaker, thank you so much for this opportunity. I pray that God blesses you abundantly.

Madam Speaker: Amen!


Mr Twasa: Madam Speaker, as I stand here, I must confess that I am quite disappointed. I am a sad person because the hon. Minister’s address does not give hope to an ordinary person in Kasenengwa.

Hon. Government Members: How?

Mr Mutelo: Were you listening?

Hon. Opposition Member: Let him talk.

Mr Twasa: Madam Speaker, this issue is not about politics; it cuts across partisan lines. So, if the hon. Minister is going to talk about October and debt while people are languishing in our clinics, I do not know how those people will be helped. That said, I have a question for the hon. Minister of Health.

Madam Speaker, allow me to quote one sentence from the Daily Nation newspaper, Volume 8 of Tuesday, 24th May, 2022, under a story headlined “Drug Shortages Persist.” I will marry the quotation with the hon. Minster’s statement.

“The Resident Doctors Association of Zambia (RDAZ) President, Dr Brian Sampa, said a false narrative was being propagated that hospitals and clinics had been stocked with drugs when in fact not.”

Madam Speaker, I wish to go further and state that such statements have been made before. The RDAZ, which is an association for doctors, the officers working in clinics and hospitals, was appealing to the President to go and inspect hospitals and clinics to see how the situation is on the ground. According to the doctors, the President was being misled.

Madam Speaker, my question is: Who is telling the truth between the hon. Minister of Health and the officers in the hospitals and clinics? The RDAZ is saying that this narrative is false.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for seeking this clarification.

Madam Speaker, I have indicated here that not everything is rosy in the health sector and in the delivery of drugs and medical supplies, ...

Ms Sefulo: Yes!

Mr Lufuma: … and I got compliments from one of the hon. Member’s colleagues to the effect that, at least, we are admitting that there is a problem.

Hon. Government Member: Correct!

Mr Lufuma: The first step to coming up with a solution is admitting that there is a problem. That is what we have done on the Floor of this Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: I do not know where the hon. Member of Parliament was.

Madam Speaker, I know that he might be disappointed. However, even though he is saying that we are not giving hope to the people, I think, we are doing so. I have given the hope here, on the Floor of this Parliament, that although, currently, stocks are below the 80 per cent optimal levels, there are fifteen active contracts for supply of essential drugs and that some drugs are already being supplied. I am sure that the statement quoted was issued way before this statement, and the hon. Member should take this statement as the current information instead of taking the RDAZ’s statement, which is outdated. So, we are giving the hope that fifteen contracts have been consummated and, I think, that is the right English word to use. Right now, some supplies are being delivered. That is hope. We have also said that K2.2 billion has been released, out of which K1.4 billion has been paid to ZAMMSA, which there to supply medical supplies and drugs. If that is not hope, I do not know what hope the hon. Member expects us to give.

Hon. Government Member: Correct!

Mr Muchima: Tell him in Luvale.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the hope is that we have contracted suppliers to bring in medicines. In the long term, our plan; the plan of this Government, is, since we are getting a lot of increase in this economy, to invest in pharmaceutical industries. That is what is going to solve many of these problems. There are people from the United States of America (USA) and India who would like to come here and set up pharmaceutical industries that, ultimately, should assist us and give hope to hopeless Zambians.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, the people of Luena are happy to hear that the Government is addressing these perennial medical supply challenges in our health sector.

Madam Speaker, every reasonable Zambian knows that the hon. Minister of Health inherited an almost dysfunctional medical system.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Anakoka: One of the contributing factors to the dysfunction in the health system is or was the rampant pilfering of medicines from our public hospitals into private pharmacies.

Hon. UPND Member: And corruption.

Mr Anakoka: And corruption.

My question, therefore, is: Given that the New Dawn Government is addressing this situation, with medicines to start flowing sooner rather than later, what measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the rampant pilferage that the hon. Minister inherited is going to be a thing of the past; that it goes with the regime that introduced it?

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for stating facts as plainly as they are. One of the major problems has been pilferage of medicines and supplies into private facilities. That goes without saying, whether some people like it or not.

Madam Speaker, the measure we have put in place is to ensure that instead of procurements being done by the Ministry of Health, ZAMMSA has been given the responsibility to do so, and the agency will delivery directly to the health facilities. The health facilities will then be able to account at point so that we do not have pilferage in between. We hope, with that, to be able to stamp out the corruption that was endemic. Further, we have a programme in which we want to encourage communities, as well, to monitor the supplies of drugs. In a community it is very easy to know whether medicines are coming from Government hospitals or private sources, and we want to sensitise communities to report cases of pilferage to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and agents in the districts who look after people who indulge in corrupt practices. That is what we want to do; to be accountable and transparent in the issuance and delivery of medicines.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, I sat here, quietly listening to the very sober answers of the hon. Minister, but Standing Order No. 65 demands that the answers we give in this House be verifiable and factual.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has raised the very sweeping statement with a strong political bias that came from the hon. Member for Luena, which was that civil servants in the Ministry of Health are responsible for the shortage of medicines, yet the hon. Minister has confirmed that there are no medicines to pilfer. He said clearly that there are no medicines and acknowledged that to be a problem. He went further to say that the Government is working to restore the supply of medicines in hospitals. However, after politicking, he contradicted himself by agreeing with the statement that one of the contributing factors is the pilfering of medicines by the workers and calling for the public to be alert.

Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to contradict himself after acknowledging that there is nothing in hospitals that health workers can steal?

I seek you serious ruling, Madam Speaker. 

Madam Speaker: Thank you for that point of order. My ruling is that the hon. Minister has issued the statement according to the information that he was available. So, I cannot fault him because I also do not know whether the medicines are there or not, or whether they are being pilfered.

We leave the issue at that.

Mr Kapyanga (Mpika): Madam Speaker, the situation on the ground regarding the supply of medicines is bad. Literally, the health system has collapsed, and people are dying. In Mpika, all the health facilities do not have medicines. So, why has the hon. Minister of Health not declared the situation a disaster so that we people can urgently come to our aid? We need to sort this problem out urgently, and that can only be done if the situation is declared a disaster.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. However, there is no disaster. Therefore, there will be no declaration of a disaster. We will manage the situation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Lusambo (Kabushi): Madam Speaker, I congratulate my hon. Colleague, the Acting Minister of Health, on being so bold as to tell the nation that there is a crisis in our hospitals. Now, there is a crisis, and the New Dawn Government is fighting corruption, which entails being transparent. Further, the hon. Minister has told all of us and the nation at large that the Government has fifteen contracts. How did the Government come up with the medical suppliers?

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Kabushi seems to have a tactic of putting words into other people’s mouths.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: I do not want to say much. Let me just say that I have not, at any point, said in this House that there was a crisis. I did not say that. There is a problem, yes, but there is no crisis, and that is why we are not declaring a national disaster. To the one who asked me to declare a national disaster, one declares a national disaster when one has a crisis. Currently, we do not have a crisis. So, we will manage the situation. We have fifteen active contracts that should replenish our drug supplies. So, to the hon. Member, I say  that there is no crisis, and I did not say that there was one.

Mr Mutale: Question!

Mr Lufuma: You can question as much as you want, hon. Member of Parliament, but that will not change the facts.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I think, the hon. Minister got carried away because has actually not responded to Hon. Lusambo’s question.

Madam Speaker gave the Floor to Mr C. Mpundu.

Mr C. M. Mpundu (Chembe): Madam Speaker –

Madam Speaker: Sorry, I think, I am getting – Was that a question, hon. Leader of the Opposition?

Mr Mundubile: Yes.

Madam Speaker: Sorry then.

Hon. Member for Chembe, just a moment.

The hon. Minister of Health may respond to the hon. Member for Kabushi’s question.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, sorry, the hon. Member might be right. I got slightly carried away. The question was: How did we execute the fifteen contracts? Is that right?

Hon. PF Member: Yes!

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, there are regulations that govern the manner in which we procure Government contracts, and they where followed.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr C. M. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, looking at the ministerial statement that the hon. Minister has given, we are only looking on one side of a patient. We are not looking on the people who are health workers, who execute those duties down there.

From that background, hon. Minister, the question is: What measures have you put in place to have our health workers protected from the public to rise against them, especially that the community is difficult to understand on how or whether there are no drugs, et cetera. How are our health workers going to be protected in such a manner, because we have seen the community rising against our workers and, at the same time, our workers also have a law that governs them? For example, a patient dies, they can be charged for negligence. So, I need your serious answers.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, I have difficulties comprehending the point of clarification that the hon. Member is trying to put forth. Maybe, he has to put it in a more succinct manner so that I am able to answer him.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Although we have exalted our time.

I could not get the question also. Maybe, we give the hon. Member an opportunity to clarify his question.

Mr C. Mpundu: Madam Speaker, to be precise, my question is: What measures has the Government put in place to protect our health workers, especially given the situation to do with drug shortages? We have seen, that at times, patients go to hospitals and their relatives rise up against a nurse or a doctor, asking why they are not attending to the patients. So, what measures has the Government put in place to protect our workers also? Let us not just look at one side; that of the patient.

Madam Speaker: Thank you. Much clearer.

Mr Lufuma: Madam Speaker, although it is much clearer, I think, it is out of context, given that the statement that I just issued is on drugs. However, I will attempt to answer him.

Madam Speaker, this country is governed by laws, and the laws are there to protect every citizen, not excluding health workers. So, the health worker will be protected by the laws that this august House has promulgated.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Pambashe, would you like to hand over your phone?





Brig-Gen. Sitwala (Kaoma Central): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs for the First Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Thursday, 9th June, 2022.

Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Ms S. Mwamba (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Brig-Gen. Sitwala: Madam Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as set out in the National Assembly Standing Orders, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely:

  1. “The Administration of Parole and Correctional Supervision vis-a-vis the Decongestion of Correctional Facilities in Zambia”; and
  1. “The Management and Operation of Missions Abroad”;

Madam Speaker, your Committee also considered the Action-Taken Report on its report for the Fifth Session of the Twelfth National Assembly.

Madam Speaker, during its study, your Committee interacted with several stakeholders locally and outside the country who tendered both written and oral submissions. I have no doubt that the hon. Members of this House have taken time to read the Committee's report. Therefore, allow me to only highlight a few critical findings of your Committee.

Madam Speaker, the House may be aware that one of the fundamental objectives of the criminal justice system in any country is to punish, rehabilitate, deter and reintegrate offenders into communities. The motive of punishment is, therefore, to transform criminals into responsible and law-abiding citizens.

Madam Speaker, parole is acknowledged internationally as an acceptable mechanism that provides for the conditional release of offenders from correctional centres into the community. It should be noted that the release of offenders on parole does not in any way negate the objectives of punishment, but entrenches them by setting conditions with which all parolees must abide.

Madam Speaker, there have been concerns about the administration of parole in Zambia. According to the Auditor-General's Report of July, 2014, which focused on the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners, there were delayed parole hearings, and that resulted in some deserving applicants serving their full terms before their applications could be considered. The report added that parole officers were not trained in the administration of parole due to a high rate of staff turnover and a lack of funding in the correctional service. Let me now touch on some specific challenges observed by your Committee in the course of its work.

Madam Speaker, while the Zambia Correctional Service Act No. 35 of 2021 provides for the decentralisation of the Parole Board to the provinces and districts, the board is still only present in Lusaka, which makes the process of considering applications from inmates very low and slow. This situation has resulted in a failure of the restorative justice of the criminal justice system. Given this challenge, your Committee strongly recommends that the process of decentralising the functions of the Parole Board to provinces and districts be implemented with utmost urgency.

Madam Speaker, another issue is that the current law governing the administration of parole does not provide for an appeal system. In this vein, the Committee strongly recommends that in order to enhance accountability and confidence in the criminal justice system, the granting or refusal of parole to an applicant be open to appeal before an oversight or review board. In this vein, a parole review board should be created to oversee the operations of the Parole Board.

Madam, your Committee also observed that the current qualification for parole is that an inmate be serving a sentence of not less than two years and remaining with six months before its expiry. That, in itself, is a disincentive and discriminatory, as it excludes mostly female inmates, who usually get sentences below two years. Further, releasing an inmate just six months before the expiry of the sentence regardless of how long one has served is just a mockery. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that parole be made more meaningful and inclusive by reviewing the six months condition for release, which applies to all inmates irrespective of the period of their sentences. The Committee recommends that a percentage, such as 75 per cent of the sentence, be used instead.

Madam Speaker, another area of concern is the lack of a clear distinction between the Zambia Correctional Service and the Parole Board, which has made autonomy and transparency difficult to attain. In this regard, your Committee recommends that there be a separation between the National Parole Board and the Zambia Correctional Service in order to promote autonomy of the Parole Board.

Madam Speaker, let me make a brief comment on the operations of missions abroad.

Madam Speaker, the Committee observes that missions, such as Accra, that operate from rented buildings spent colossal sums of money on rentals and that this issue was brought up by this Committee some time back. Therefore, your Committee urges the Executive to revisit the mortgage financing mode to enable missions to own property and save on the meagre resources of the country.

Madam Speaker, I wish to conclude by thanking all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee. Let me also thank you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee throughout its Sittings.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Ms  S. Mwamba: Now, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity. I beg to second the Motion that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs.

Madam Speaker, in seconding this Motion, let me make a few comments.

Madam Speaker, there is inadequate training of correctional officers in the administration of parole and correctional supervision. There is a need for capacity building in the Parole Board as well as of correctional service officers, as there is insufficient understanding among officers of what parole is. So, there is also a need for sufficient community sensitisation on the difference between parole and Presidential pardon. There is a need for enhanced community sensitisation so that there is understanding of the fact that there is no interference of the Presidency in the administration of parole. Many members of the community are not aware of what parole is. So, many community members do not take people who are out on parole very well. Often, there is a lot of backlash and parolees are forced to move away.

Madam Speaker, the current law does not provide for the National Parole Board to give feedback to the correctional services, and this has also been a very big hindrance because when applicants have been granted or denied parole, they are not given reasons for the decision. It is, therefore, important that the National Parole Board begins to give feedback to the correctional services so that, in future, there can be a way for the applicants, as well as correctional service officers, to understand the reasons for the decision.

Madam Speaker, on our foreign tour, we visited the Ghana Correctional Services, and found that Ghana’s Justice for All Programmes has set up special courts in prisons that hears cases. The Judiciary, working in collaboration with the correctional service, can also implement such programmes here, in Zambia, because that would help to fast-track some cases, especially of convicts who do not have court dates, as well as some petty cases. It would also be helpful to start looking into community service and fines, as that would also greatly help to decongest prisons because some inmates are in on very minor charges that could be settled using community service or fines.

Madam Speaker, the Ghana Correctional Services has also implemented a remission system, whereby an inmate can serve up to one-thirds of their sentence from the outside. While the sentence is being served from the outside, there is close monitoring of the inmate. Most of the time, that really helps because once one has served two-thirds of one’s term, one is really restored.  Restorative justice is, therefore, served. It is, therefore, recommended that we, as Zambia, also look into doing that for inmates who are serving long sentences. The Zambian Government should learn from Ghana and implement parole in a similar manner, whereby an inmate serves only two-thirds of the sentence if he or she is eligible for parole, because some cases are not eligible.

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

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo (Shiwang’andu): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make a few comments in support of the Motion ably moved by the chairperson, Hon. Brig-Gen. Sitwala, and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasama Central.

Madam Speaker, in agreeing with the report, it is also important to appreciate that offender management has now changed from the way it used to be, in terms of punishment. The system used to be punitive until this august House operationalised the paradigm shift by enacting an Act in 2021. So, from the punitive way of managing offenders, now, the Zambia Correctional Service now focuses on rehabilitating offenders.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister, I know, should be prescribing the way the parole system should operate. It is also important to make a clarify that parole is only meant for those who are serving shorter sentences. So, in as much as six months looks too short, it is, indeed, a reasonable period. If someone is sentenced to two years and six months, that is a reasonable period. In any case, parole consideration is earned through the behaviour of an inmate. The inmates who show remorse for offending society easily earn parole consideration.

Madam Speaker, it is important to understand that apart from the National Parole Board, there is a very important committee that is chaired by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, the Prerogative of Mercy Committee, which recommends for consideration of remission by the President various sentences for capital offences. So, obviously, the solution lies in increasing the space. We did as much as we could, and I know that the hon. Minister will be opening new facilities, which are almost complete, to accommodate inmates in a humane manner.  

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has only one challenge, which is that when people are released on parole, reintegration in society is normally difficult, and that culminates in recidivism in some cases. There is rejection of people who come out of correctional facilities. So, the correctional facilities need to capacitate former inmates with means of starting their lives afresh in society without going back to their old ways of doing things. I think, the new Correctional Service Act of 2021 addresses the challenges that the report has highlighted.

Madam Speaker, I want to comment on the issue of some missions abroad.

Madam Speaker, it is worrisome that some of the missions in countries that we have had bilateral relations with for a long time still use rented facilities. We remember that when we accompanied you to one of our missions, we found that the mission still rented despite not being there for a short period; it is a permanent mission. Therefore, it is important that the aspect on mortgage is considered by the Ministry Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation so that the missions are accommodated in permanent facilities, which will save the Government resources insofar as rentals are concerned.

Madam Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I agree that your Committee did benchmarking with Ghana and, I think, the system in Ghana is the same as ours here. Your Committee mentioned that the correctional services in Ghana give a certain quarter of remission. Therefore, there is no much difference with what is provided for in our new Act.

Madam Speaker, with those few words, I support the adoption of the Motion.


Mr Chisanga delayed in taking the Floor.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, sorry for the delay.  I was not muted in time.

Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving the people of Lukashya the opportunity to debate in support of the Motion on the Floor of the House. I also thank the mover for ably moving the Motion, and the seconder of the Motion. This Motion is very important because it lies at the very core of the administration of justice in the Republic of Zambia.

Madam Speaker, as the country has been moving from the punitive justice system to a reformatory one, the operation of the parole system is cardinal and integral to the administration of justice in the country. In this regard, I will just emphasise two very important points. Firstly, we need to have a properly run parole system in the country that can be accessed by those who may be punished for falling foul of the law. Secondly, I emphasise the need to prioritise the training of parole officers. This, in my assessment, is very important because there is going to be a requisite interaction between paroled prisoners and the officers after the parolees are allowed to go back home. Without properly trained parole officers, we are going to continue encountering difficulties in integrating those who are been paroled into society, as was ably stated by the mover and the seconder of the Motion.

Madam Speaker, the challenge that people who leave prison on parole encounter is how they are going to reintegrated into society, and that becomes more precarious if those who are paroled are not given assistance by parole officers, who should track them down and help them to integrate into society shortly after they are released.

Madam Speaker, I have also taken note of the observation that there is a need for us to have a Parole Review Board in place. This is a very important issue because without the board, the whole parole system will not operate effectively in the country. As it has been observed, the absence of the board has made it very difficult for us to provide parole services in the country. Therefore, I very much agree with the submission that there is a need for us to very urgently put the board in place. The board is also very important because it will help the country to achieve the objective of decongesting prisons. It has been stated that in prison, people who are sentenced for very minor offences are mixed with those who commit felonies.

Madam Speaker, the parole system also helps us to allow people who commit very minor offences to not go to prison by allowing us to make them provide community service, as was shown in the country where the benchmarking was done, Ghana. It is very clear that some people serving prison terms committed offences for which community service has had the most apt punishment to give. However, in the absence of a well-functioning parole system, that has become very difficult to manage. I, therefore, whole-heartedly support this report and insist that we put in place the Parole Review Board as soon as reasonably practicable.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important report of your Committee. Allow me to also thank the mover for moving the Motion in a manner he has done, and the seconder for seconding the Motion in an able manner and augmenting it with the words that it deserved.

Madam Speaker, your Committee looked at very important matters, especially regarding the foreign missions, which have been neglected for most of the time, and it is good that your Committee chose to look at this very important component of governance.

Madam Speaker, I note that foreign missions rent even where we have Zambian Government-owned buildings. Further, if you see the buildings used, you will feel very bad. The hon. Minister will agree with me that some of the mission premises are dilapidated to a standard that we would not like, yet the missions serve as the face of this country in foreign nations. My appeal is that we look at ways in which we can, at least, refurbish some of the mission buildings. The buildings and the furniture are not what one would want. So, my appeal to the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation is that as he considers the ministry’s budget in the coming National Budget, he considers looking at the report of your Committee so that some of the issues that have been raised by the Committees are resolved by his adding the refurbishment of missions to his budget.

Madam Speaker, I thought that I should comment on those issues.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munsanje (Mbabala): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity for the people of Mbabala to add their voice in support of the Motion on the Floor, as laid out by your Committee, which is led by Hon.  Brig-Gen. Sitwala and Hon. Mwamba, who seconded the Motion.

Madam Speaker, the issue of parole is of great concern and interest to the people of Mbabala and the country at large. I will specifically discuss the issue of reintegration.

Madam Speaker, as debated by many others, reintegration is an area that requires professional social work services, and I am glad that this House passed the Social Workers’ Association of Zambia Bill into an Act this year because that enhances the services on the ground. Parole officers are supposed to be accredited to professional institutions, such as the Social Workers’ Association of Zambia (SWAZ), that look at professionalism and ethics in the management of parole services, such as reintegration into society. It is only when there are professional parole officers who are accredited to an ethics body like SWAZ that we will get quality services for reintegrating former prisoners properly into their communities. Parolees need that professional social work for them to reintegrate into communities, and communities and parolees need to be prepared because each party needs to understand the other and know its expectations for the reintegration to happen properly.

Madam Speaker, as we deal with the issue of managing parolees, we are also dealing with the issue of a parole review board, and I second the call for it to be put in place immediately and for it to have professional staff. Again, I argue that the board needs to have professional officers, such as a representative from SWAZ, so that the association can have professional input into the board. I also recommend that we consider the interests of the disabled. Often times, persons with mental disability are sentenced to prison and they face challenges in prisons. I, therefore, recommend that the Parole Board also includes a representative of the disability agencies, such as the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), so that we can provide professional services and support in this area of need. On the human rights angle, we have the Disability Rights Watch (DRW), which can ably represent people with disabilities and ensure that their rights are protected.

Madam Speaker, we need to work on decongesting the prisons, which are overly congested. With a very good and functional parole system, we will be able to do so and ensure that prisoners enjoy good quality life. In this regard, I am glad that since the coming of the New Dawn Government, we have seen reports of prisoners sleeping very well because facilities have been improved by the Government. So, I commend and congratulate Hon. Mwiimbu and his team.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munsanje: Keep it up, Hon. Mwiimbu and your team.

Mr Mwiimbu: Thank you.

Mr Munsanje: Madam Speaker, I also want to comment on prisoners’ access to their family members. As we deal with these matters, prisoners, once sentenced, should serve in prisons near their family so that they can enjoy contact with their families, which is an essential human rights need.

On the foreign missions, Madam Speaker, I am glad to note that the methodical approach of the New Dawn Government is bearing fruits, because we are not taking the approach of recalling everybody. Instead, we are methodically working with the missions with a view to saving resources so that we can either acquire new premises or renovate premises. When we, as your Committee, visited Zimbabwe, we found this approach being used; the mission was working on renovations whilst staying in a smaller premises for that period. That is the work of the New Dawn Government, which is demonstrating a methodical approach to doing things; there is no longer chipantepante or just kicking the ball without knowing where you want it to end up. Instead, now, the issues of the missions are being handled with a professional touch and we are seeing results, as alluded to by many others who debated. So, we are sure that we are going to save resources, and acquire or renovate missions so that they can present a good image of the mighty Zambia that we all love.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Amb. Kalimi (Malole): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the important debate on foreign missions. I also thank the mover and seconder of this Motion.

Madam Speaker, I will restrict myself to the issue of the Foreign Service, having served as a Consul-General in China and Deputy High Commissioner to Kenya. I think, my voice can bear something for this House.

Madam Speaker, I concur with the idea that we need to encourage the mortgage system in the missions because the Government is spending a lot of money on renting of infrastructure. For example, if we pay rentals for the First Secretary in Lavington, Kenya, at, maybe, US$4,000 per month, that money is too much, and we, as a country, can save it. At one time, we had a residence for the Deputy High Commissioner that we did not occupy because it was dilapidated. So, we proposed to sell the property because the land it was on was very valuable. We wanted to buy properties that would enable members of the diplomatic staff could have permanent residencies. I think, we started the process, but the information that has been reaching us is that some transaction was done by some unscrupulous people who illegally sold the property without the knowledge of the Government or the involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation. I urge the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation to make a follow-up on how true the allegation that the residence for the Deputy High Commissioner in Kenya was sold without the knowledge of the Government.

Madam Speaker, as I have said, the rentals are too high. Further, the building of the High Commission in Kenya, including the Office of the High Commissioner, leaks, and the occupant has to put a bucket besides the desk. We need to encourage the maintenance policy that the previous Government left for buildings within and outside Zambia so that these things are dealt with.

Hon Government Members: Which maintenance?

Amb Kalimi: I mean the maintenance policy for premises both inside and outside the country.

Madam Speaker, vehicles in the Foreign Service depreciate at a very fast rate and the procedure for maintaining them is too cumbersome. How I wish we could work on those assets, which we bought using the Zambian tax payers’ money, and some of which are just depreciating. So, we need to encourage the mission to work on modalities for keeping vehicles in a proper manner.

Madam Speaker, let me also look at the issue of recalling people from the missions, as I am one of the victims of the recall. It was good that I was recalled by my Government because a recall is too how painful to talk about. Why do we not look at career diplomacy? There is no need for us to hear that this or that person has been recalled whenever there is a change of Government. Otherwise, what happens to the institutional memory? We need to have career diplomacy so that, at least, people can serve with security of tenure. There is no need to say that, “Since the Government has changed, Kalimi, Mulenga and Hambulo, zwa!” We must change our attitude and let the jobs of diplomats be secured. We should not appoint people on partisan lines. For example, if Kalimi was a cadre, it does not mean that he has to be appointed. We should appoint people who are qualified and who have a lot of experience in terms of diplomacy.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I fully support this Motion.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane)on behalf of the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (Mr Kakubo)): I thank you, Madam Speaker, and I acknowledge the debates of the hon. Members of Parliament and the recommendations of your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I wish to stress the following points:

  1. the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation is still committed to ensuring that, in a phased approach, all missions eventually own properties and maintain them timely to avoid paying rentals;
  1. the ministry has continued to engage the Ministry of Finance and National Planning on improved funding through various budget policy interactions;
  1. the ministry, in a phased approach, is in the process of reorganising and restructuring itself, considering, among other factors, staffing and improved service delivery matters; and
  1. in reference to Cabinet Circular No. 12/8/2, dated 2nd November, 2021, and 18th January, 2022, directing all Permanent Secretaries (PSs) to review all legislation that was under consideration in the previous Administration, the ministry has made significant progress towards introduce to this august House the Foreign Service Bill which, among other objectives, will resolve the need for a cadre a professional staff in missions abroad.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I thank you for this opportunity to respond to your Committee.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I thank the mover and seconder of the Motion, which is non-controversial and was promulgated in the interest of the nation. I also take note of the contents of the report.

Madam Speaker, the Zambia Correctional Service Act of 2021 came into effect in January, this year, after I signed the commencement order. Pursuant to the signing of the commencement order, we have commenced the process of implementing the provisions of the Act. We have noted the recommendation of your Committee pertaining to the devolution of the Parole Board to the provinces and districts. That will be done in due course. As I indicated, the Act has just been actualised. We have taken note of the various recommendations of your Committee, which are quite progressive.

Madam Speaker, my ministry appeared before your Committee to make presentations, and we are happy to note that some of the issues that were raised by us, as witnesses, have been taken on board. I assure your Committee and this House that the progressive recommendations that have been made by your Committee will be implemented by my ministry.

Madam Speaker, I appreciate the various colleagues who have made comments pertaining to the report of your Committee. Most of the comments were advisory, and we have accepted the advice. However, I would like to respond to one submission that was made by the hon. Member for Malole, if I am not mistaken, pertaining to the residence of the Deputy High Commissioner in Kenya which, as he had put it, was sold by unscrupulous people. I confirm that as the position. Fortunately, the matter has been resolved. Unscrupulous individuals in Kenya, without the authority of the Government and the High Commission in Kenya, had purportedly sold the residence and were getting rentals from the occupiers. Fortunately, we have resolved the issue, and the residence is now in our hands.

Madam Speaker, with those few submissions, I rest my case, as I thank your Committee and the House.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Sitwala: Madam Speaker, what remains for me is to thank all the various speakers who have contributed to the debate on this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, before I resume my seat, I would just like to lay on the Table a gift that was given to your Committee, which your Committee agreed to hand over, as it can be of good use in our library. The present was given by Mr Richard Kuuire, one of the former Directors-General for Ghana Prisons Service. One book is to do with the transformation of prison systems in Africa while the other is on slavery in Ghana. I lay them on the Table.

Madam Speaker, I also thank you and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the support given to your Committee.

Madam Speaker, I beg to move.

Brig-Gen. Sitwala laid the books on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much, hon. Member for Kaoma Central. I also thank you for the books. I am sure that they will be of great value to our library. Having gone to Ghana and visited the Cape Coast, where the slave trade was happening, I think, those books will be very useful, especially to people who have not been there.

Thank you very much.

Question put and agreed to.





(Debate resumed)

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity, on behalf of the people of Mporokoso, to conclude the debate on this Bill.

Madam Speaker, before business was interrupted on Tuesday, 14th June, 2022, I was appealing to the Executive, through the hon. Minister of Justice, to resist any temptation to undermine the independence of the Judiciary that might come.

Madam Speaker, when you read the Constitutional provisions in Articles 122, 123 and 267, you can only come to one conclusion, and the conclusion you will arrive at is that the framers of the Constitution intended to make the Judiciary as independent as they wanted to make the Executive independent of the Judiciary and the Legislature.

Madam Speaker, the independence of the Judiciary is inconsistent with making the determination of Judges’ emoluments subject to the recommendation of the President because, then, the Judiciary will not be entirely independent as is envisaged by Article 123. So, we do not support the proposed amendment to Clause 3, which would provide for the President to make recommendations to the Emoluments Commission.

Madam Speaker, the creation of the Emoluments Commission in Article 232 was intended for the country to have an independent body that would look at the conditions of service for many State actors, including constitutional office holders like Judges. Therefore, it would be very retrogressive, with all these efforts that have been made, to, again, take back the process and procedure to going through the President. The President is the head of the Executive and, I think, there are many challenges that the Executive needs to attend to. So, we should not, at any point, endeavour to place any of the other arms of the Government under the President. In this case, I state for the record that we, on the left, do not support that proposed amendment. We have no problem with the other two amendments, but the one at Clause 3 we do not support.

Madam Speaker, Section 36 of the Emoluments Commission Act reads as follows:

“A State organ, State institution or any other authority concerned with the determination of emoluments of a chief or an officer in a State organ or State institution before the commencement of this Act, shall cease to be responsible for the determination of emoluments after the commencement of this Act.”

Madam Speaker, this is all in the spirit of giving all the power to the Emolument Commission. So, we do not support the proposed amendment at Clause 3.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, in agreeing with your Committee on Clause 3, I just want to appeal to the hon. Minister of Justice that laws must be made for the people. So, if the people reject them, what will the laws be for?

Madam Speaker, Clause 3, paragraph 9, states that all the witnesses called opposed the inclusion of that amendment. That shows that the people of Zambia rejected the introduction of this law. Therefore, I submit my humble appeal to the hon. Minister of Justice that in 2013, and I hope that my brother, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, will be able remember, the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, submitted the nomination of the Rt. Hon. Justice Chibesakunda to be Chief Justice of Zambia, but your Committee rejected that report and, based on the resolution of your Committee, this House agreed to withdraw that Motion.

Madam Speaker, I think, it is prudent that when a Committee agrees with the submissions of the witnesses, who are not just private people, but also those in the legal fraternity, to oppose Clause 3, that should be done.

Madam Speaker, I know that the hon. Ministers of Justice, and Home Affairs and Internal Security are seasoned lawyers who have stood at the Bar for a long time. So, they understand the implications of a situation in which all stakeholders reject a law. We are not making this law for the Executive; it is for Zambians, and it must stand the test of time. It must also be able to achieve the intended purpose. However, if the intended purpose is opposed by the citizens of Zambia, then, we may end up making a law for ourselves. 

Madam Speaker, without boring you with tedious repetitions, allow me to say that I agree with the resolution of your Committee that Clause 3, on page 9, either be withdrawn for further consultation or the hon. Minister of Justice moves an amendment at the Committee Stage so that the law is made in tandem with the requirement of the people, who are the citizens of this country for whom we are making this law.

Madam Speaker, I emphasise that we support the other two Clauses, as submitted by the Leader of the Opposition in the House. However, on Clause 3, we agree with the resolution of your Committee that we do not proceed in the manner that the Executive has proposed.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, thank you for the opportunity given to the people of Luena to add their voice to this debate.

Madam Speaker, an effective, competent and reliable Judiciary is the cornerstone on which the survival of any nation rests. A judiciary that citizens have confidence in is one that secures the security of the nation because there is no doubt that when the people do not have confidence in the Judiciary, they resort to all sorts of unsavoury means to resolve disputes. So, I suggest that the people of Luena do support the recommendations and agree that dealing with issues around Judges’ conditions of service is paramount to having a reliable Judiciary.

Madam Speaker, the hope is that when the Judiciary is well taken care of, citizens can expect justice; they can expect decisions that are made without fear or favour. The experience of where we have come from sometimes leaves a sour taste in the mouths of some citizens. In fact, a debate has raged on out there as to whether an independent Judiciary is equal to an unaccountable Judiciary. I sublimit that the two are not the same. The Judiciary can be independent, but it must also not be unaccountable. So, how are we going to ensure that the Judiciary is accountable? Certainly, the amendment being proposed here to move the determination of their conditions of service to the Emoluments Commission is a step in the right direction. However, citizens expect, beyond that, more measures to be put in place to ensure that that our Judges and Justices are held to account for the decisions they make.

We have had situations, Madam Speaker, in which even laymen on the streets could read the books of law better than the judgments that have been made in this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Anakoka: Madam Speaker, the people of Luena have long hoped and wished for judicial services to be closer to them so that they will be able to access justice quicker. I am aware now that the Government has taken measures to introduce resident High Court Judges in all the …

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

Mr Anakoka: … provincial capitals. That is a welcome move. However, we hope, that will be extended to –

Madam Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised by the hon. Member for Bahati.

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

Madam Speaker, is the Member of Parliament, Hon. Anakoka, in order to insinuate that the people on the streets could interpret the law better than our Judges?

Madam Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Madam Speaker: To the extent that the hon. Member said those words, he is out of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Twasa: He should withdraw them!

Mr Anakoka: Well guided, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: You may withdraw the words.

Mr Anakoka: I withdraw, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: You may continue with your debate.

Mr Anakoka: Madam Speaker, the people of Luena and many other Zambians look forward to a time when decisions by the courts are not of a nature that is not satisfactory to the parties involved. In this regard, correctional facilities, as part of the chain for dispensing justice, and whose report we were deliberating on just a little while ago, are sometimes a demonstration of some of the challenges we have in our administration of justice. I have been to some of the correctional facilities and, having talked to some inmates to hear their views on how they were treated by our justice system and, in particular, by officers in the Judiciary, I have realised that there is a lot of work that the Ministry of Justice has to do. Therefore, as we support this amendment, we hope that the creation of the Emoluments Commission and other developments will result in better delivery of justice to our people, including those who are in the most rural areas of our country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Munir Zulu (Lumezi): Madam Speaker, thank you kindly for permitting the good people of Lumezi to contribute to the debate on this Bill that has come before us. From the outset, I must mention that the people of Lumezi believe in the doctrine of the Separation of Powers.

Madam Speaker, the good people of Lumezi believe in those who respect the Constitution of the land, as that is our supreme law. All the witnesses in the report are saying that we cannot be going to consult the President, who happens to be the head of the Executive.

Madam Speaker, before today and in the near future, there are certain rulings of this House that have been, or will be, taken to the Judiciary because we believe that that is where justice is to be found. If this Bill goes through the way it is, with the phrase, “… in consultation with the President”, we will be in breach of the Constitution. Article 264(2) states as follows:

“The emoluments of a State officer, councillor, Constitutional office holder and a judge shall be determined by the Emoluments Commission, as prescribed.”

Madam Speaker, this function should be left with the Emoluments Commission as it is in the Constitution. If we need to change things to meet some people’s aspirations, then, let us start by amending the Constitution of the land. We, as Law-makers, cannot be here breaching the Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munir Zulu: It is very clear.

Madam Speaker, we live in moments in which there is a debate out there over some people’s suggestion that there is interference with the Judiciary. You hear of Judges being removed and whether the removals are constitutional or unconstitutional, and we are here trying to support that which all witnesses objected to. Can we give security of tenure to the Judiciary just like we, Members of Parliament, have security of tenure are able to debate freely. We need to maintain –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Munir Zulu: Madam Speaker, thank you kindly for permitting the good people of Lumezi to continue with their line of thought and urge this House to respect the aspirations of your Committee, which has brought us this report.

Madam Speaker, when you go to the Committee’s observations and recommendations, you find where your Committee says that it is very concerned about the proposed amendments in Clause 3 of the Bill. Your Committee is of the view that the President ought to not have a role to play in the determination of the conditions of service for Judges. This should be left solely to the Emoluments Commission as provided for under Article 264(2) of the Republican Constitution, which relates to emoluments for a State officer, Councillor or constitutional office holder and Judge. Indeed, we do not need the Republican President to be consulted when dealing with the Judiciary. Already, there is public outcry over the suspicion that the transfer of Magistrates was the result of Executive pressure.

Madam Speaker, what we should have done a little bit better was to improve the security of the Judiciary because, today, most members of the Bench are not certain. What this House should be proposing is the enhancement of their security of tenure. The House should also be discussing how to protect the Judiciary from being bribed, and what helps the Judiciary to be impartial. So, to agree with this report, we need to amend what the Committee has said. We do not need the President to be consulted because that will be an assault on the justice system of the country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Wamunyima (Nalolo): Madam Speaker, when I was listening to the hon. Member’s debate, I was almost thinking that actually, your Committee did recommend. However, if the Committee agreed with the submissions from the stakeholders, especially on Clause 3, I feel that it did the right thing.

Madam Speaker, looking at some of these recommendations, I must say that it is dismaying to note that there was a thought of that nature because the independence of the three arms of the Government is the bedrock of every functional democracy. So, in supporting the amendment of this Act, I would like to agree with the recommendations and, without saying too much, let me say that having gone through the report, I feel that the Committee did justice to the issue. As you would know, a good democracy must be built on consensus building by various stakeholders. As such, your Committee seems to have agreed with the stakeholders, and we support the amendment of this Bill.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker gave the Floor to the hon. Member for Kanchibiya, but the hon. Member for Kanchibiya he was not available.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Thank you, Madam Speaker, for allowing the people of Chama South to add a voice to this very important debate.

Madam Speaker, the House has to understand that Judges are accountable to the Constitution and the law, which they must apply honestly, independently and with integrity.

Madam Speaker, the doctrine of the separation of powers in a democratic dispensation like ours is very important. However, if we allow the amendment that has been brought to the Floor of the House, not only will we be abrogating the Constitution, but also undermining this very important doctrine. The Judges, just like we, Parliamentarians, should be left to independently operate and make decisions. Imagine the proposal that the Emoluments Commission comes up with a recommendation and thereafter takes it to the President for approval. Just imagine that.

Madam Speaker, we, as a nation, are on record, including the current President – I am not an expert on diplomatic discourse, but I am as open as I am. The current President and many other leaders in this august House have accused the current crop of civil servants to be Patriotic Front (PF) civil servants. Can you imagine people who have served this country –

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chama South.

Please, stick to the Motion. Do not introduce other issues that are not relevant or related to the Bill.

You may proceed.

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, I will link it to the Bill. Let me take your guidance, but also link my debate to the Bill.

Madam Speaker, what we need is a situation like the way Parliament determines, through the Standing Orders Committee and other Committees, how to better the conditions of service. This amendment, in my understanding, has been brought to Parliament simply to cure the issue of the Judges, because the Judges’ remuneration is prescribed in the subsequent legislation. So, this amendment was brought on the Floor of the House so that it could be in line with all the institutions of governance in our country. The remuneration should be determined by the Emoluments Commission. Why, then, should we allow it to be taken to the President?

Madam Speaker, all the witnesses objected, and even His Excellency the President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, is on record saying that he does not want to have all the powers. He said that whilst in the Opposition. So, why should the hon. Minister of Justice do the Opposite of what His Excellency has been preaching?

Madam Speaker, we support the two other amendments, but the amendment that has been opposed by all the witnesses who appeared before this Committee should be amended. Therefore, I request the hon. Minister of Justice to temporally withdraw the amendment and amend it. Then, we will be ready to go.

Madam Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, I listened attentively to the debates of various hon. Members of this august House pertaining to the Motion on the Floor, and it appears that there is a very serious misconception as a result of which fallacious submissions have been made. I have heard comments to the effect that there will be a breach of the Constitution if an amendment is made. There is also a suggestion that the Judiciary is so independent in financing its operations that no other authority should be involved. That argument is fallacious.

Madam Speaker, I would like to refer to Article 123 of the Constitution of Zambia, which was cited by the Leader of the Opposition in his submission. That Constitutional Clause, Article 123(1) states as follows:

“(1) The Judiciary shall be a self-accounting institution and shall deal directly with the Ministry responsible for finance in matters relating to its finances.”

Madam Speaker, it follows that the Judiciary cannot determine its financing without the Executive. The final authority is the Minister of Finance and National Planning. The final authority is the Minister responsible for finance because the responsibility to make decisions on whatever recommendations that impact the finances of this country lies with him or her, and he/she reports to the President. Therefore, he/she is an agent of the President of the Republic of Zambia. Secondly, it has been said that by making recommendations to the commission, we will be breaching the Constitution. However, Article 234 is very clear in providing that the conditions of service for any institution in this country that is financed by the Government has to go to the Emoluments Commission and that there must be a recommendation by an authority. Once the authority recommends, the commission determines. So, there must be recommendation and determination.

Madam Speaker, there was a very fallacious argument by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South to the effect that the President is going to determine after the Emoluments Commission. The answer is ‘No’. The final determination is made by the Emoluments Commission. If anything, the recommendation that is under consideration now is that the President, on behalf of the Judiciary, shall recommend to the Emoluments Commission so that the commission determines. That is how it is. The President does not determine. Even in the amendment that is being raised here, it does not say the President shall determine. The determination is made by the Emoluments Commission.

Madam Speaker, there is also the argument in which reference is made to what obtains here, at Parliament. However, Parliament is not the final authority. When the Standing Orders Committee makes a determination, it merely makes a recommendation to the Minister responsible for finance, who is the final authority. That is how it works. So, one cannot say –

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

Mr Mwiimbu: So, you cannot say any –

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

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

Madam Speaker, the hon. Member on the Floor is making reference to debates that were made on this side (indicated the Opposition Bench) of the House, and he is misleading the nation by constantly stating that all the hon. Members who debated referred to determination rather than recommendation. I wish to put on record that we correctly referred to what is in the proposed amendment, which is the recommendation to the Emoluments Commission, and that is what we are objecting to. Is the hon. Member, therefore, in order to continue misleading the House by saying the hon. Members who debated referred to determination rather than recommendation?

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, Hon. Leader of the Opposition.

According to the Bill, “on the recommendation of the President, the Emoluments Commission will determine –” So, if there was misapprehension or misunderstanding of each other, then, maybe, let the hon. Minister, as he debates, stick to what is in the Bill and what the hon. Members on the left said in their debates on the recommendation of the President.

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, it is on record that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chama South mentioned that the President is the one who is going to determine. That is why I am saying that there is a misrepresentation and an error. The hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi also said that there is a breach of the Constitution, hence my argument and quoting of the law. I am not even arguing about the recommendation of your Committee, but merely responding to what other hon. Members have said.

Madam Speaker, when there is a recommendation by the President, the final determination is the Emoluments Commission and, and this is not in any way at variance with the provisions of Article 234, which provides that an authority shall recommend, and the President is an authority. So, there is no breach. If my colleagues are making the argument that another authority should make the recommendation, they are justified to make that recommendation, but they should not make erroneous statements and suggest that there will be a constitutional breach when there is none. The hon. Minister of Justice is firm on the provisions of the law. Further, let it be known that there is no authority in this country that determines financial matters without the authority of the Minister responsible for finance when it comes to all those who get funding from the Government. So, one cannot say that there is no determination by the Executive.

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

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

There is no point of order.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, today, I am determined to complete the order of business. So, let us not interrupt. You were given the opportunity to debate, and we are almost concluding.

Bear with us, hon. Member for Shiwang’andu.

The Minister of Justice (Mr Haimbe): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to cap the debate on this issue. I wish to begin by thanking all those who have debated the Motion on the Floor, and your Committee for its report. Indeed, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Chawama, who presented it on behalf of your Committee.

Very briefly, Madam Speaker, in response to the recommendations of the Committee, I wish to make it clear that the proposed amendment to the Judges Conditions of Service Act is a consequential one, following the enactment of the Emoluments Commission Act of 2022. That must be made absolutely clear. Further, your Committee suggested, and it was put in the arguments of the hon. Opposition Whip, that the conditions of service be extended to other judicial officers. We note, very quickly, that it is a misnomer to suggest that this Act can be extended to other judicial officers, as it is very specific to Judges and their conditions of service. That is our brief response to the submissions in relation to the report and some of the arguments made on the Floor in respect of the topical issue, which is the amendment to Clause 3 of the Bill.

Madam Speaker, in order to put this discussion in its correct context, I would like to refer to the provisions of Section 3 of the Judges Conditions of Service Act No. 14 of 1996, which is the Act that the Bill intends to amend. The Section provides, and I quote:

“There shall be paid to a Judge such emoluments as the President may by Statutory Instrument prescribe.”

Madam Speaker, this provision is what the Bill under consideration seeks to address. The people of Zambia and hon. Members of this House will note that in the provision cited, there is no discretion of any person other than the President of the Republic of Zambia in the determination of Judges’ conditions of service. From 1996, when this Act was put in place, it was the President and nobody else. Interestingly, even though the hon. Members on your left are giving advice today, in 2016, the Constitution was amended to put in place the Emoluments Commission, yet no step was taken to bring before the House the provisions of the Emoluments Commission Act and the particular matters that the hon. Members on your left now want to bring forward. Let us be sincere as we debate these matters.

Madam Speaker, from 1996 to date, it was only the President who determined conditions of service, and nobody argued then about the separation of powers being affected. What does this proposed amendment do? It dissolves and dilutes the powers that the President has enjoyed from 1996 to date. We have taken the bull by its horns by, first of all, enacting the Emoluments …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Haimbe: … Commission Act and, secondly, going to move this amendment. What do I mean when I say “dissolves the power of the President?” It creates a step. Where, previously, the President was alone in determining the conditions of service. Now, the proposed Bill says, “No, you will only recommend, Mr President”. The final determination is by the Emoluments Commission, which is an independent body, as provided by law. The commission does not do so blindly, as there are clear provisions of the law in the Emoluments Commission Act, specifically in Section 15, I believe, which provides the guidelines for the determination of emoluments of public officers, including Judges. It is not done in a vacuum, as there are set objective criteria to ensure that the independence and objectivity of the body whose emoluments are determined are maintained

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Hon. Government Member: Quality!

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, to quote the safeguards that are put in place in the Act, firstly, they look at the “retention of staff”. In determining the emoluments, the commission must ensure that what it does retains staff. In this regard, we are talking about ensuring that the conditions of service of Judges encourage them to remain in service instead of resigning. The other guiding principle is efficient performance, meaning that the manner in which emoluments are to be determined under the Emoluments Commission Act should encourage efficient performance. Also, the emoluments must reflect the level of responsibility of staff and the need to maintain macro-economic stability. Finally, affordability and sustainability must also be considered. These are all objective criteria that the Emoluments Commission, an independent body, will use in determining the emoluments of Judges.

Madam Speaker, it is far from the truth to suggest, in any way, that the proposed amendment to this Act will result in a breach of the doctrine of the separation of powers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Haimbe: To the contrary, the amendment enhances that by providing that step and diluting the absolute power that the President enjoyed. This is a fact that is undeniable. Now, the President will become a mere recommender instead of a decider.

Madam Speaker, it has been suggested, and I think this came out in the debate of the hon. Member for Parliament for Shiwang’andu, the Opposition Whip, that Judges must be left to determine their conditions of service as an authority in themselves and make a recommendation to the Emoluments Commission. How does that enhance the separation of powers? It means, to all intents and purposes, that the very institution that wants its emoluments determined will do so on its own.

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

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

Just wait. You will raise your point of order later. Let the hon. Minister finish. I want to complete my order of proceedings today.

Mr Haimbe: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The Hansard will show that what I am submitting is the correct position.

Madam Speaker, it was also suggested by the hon. Member for Chama South that the Judiciary should be left alone to determine its conditions of service by making, I suppose, a recommendation to the Emoluments Commission of what it, as an institution, would want for the Judges. How does that enhance the separation of powers?

Madam Speaker, each arm of the Government is amenable to checks and balances.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Haimbe: It cannot be tenable for an institution to determine what it feels are the emoluments due and then go to the commission and say ‘Give us this’. There must be checks and balances in everything that is done. So, the separation of powers is actually enhanced by allowing the Executive wing of the Government to check what the Judicial Wing of the Government is doing and then make a recommendation. Then, based on the principles enshrined in the law, a fair and objective determination of what is due will be made. This is a beautiful concept that enhances the separation of powers.

Madam Speaker, all the arguments that have been made, really, are speculative. As to whether the President wants to now step in and start to perform a function that he previously did not, the truth of the matter is that the President has always been party to the determination of those emoluments. What this Bill does is simply enhance that role by allowing for a recommendation rather than a determination.

Madam Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister’s time expired.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, you can now raise your point of order. Sorry for allowing it later.

Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, sorry for recognising you late, but you can raise your point of order now.

Mr Kampyongo: Thank you so much, Madam Speaker. I still appreciate the opportunity you have given me.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister of Justice referred to me and, surprisingly, for the first time, long-serving hon. Members went along with his insinuation that all our debates were speculative.

We have your report here, Madam Speaker, which informed our debates. We also have the recommendations that were captured in your report.

In my debate, Madam Speaker, I referred to Article 264, and I want the hon. Minister of Justice to hear me. I referred to Article 264(1), which states as follows: 

“A public officer, a chief and a member of the House of Chiefs shall be paid such emoluments as recommended by the relevant authority or commission and determined by the Emoluments Commission.”

Madam Speaker, my argument was, if the spirit of this Article was to point to the President, all the functions of the President are prescribed here, and he is not referred to as an authority. It is very clear, and that is what I was saying. When I mentioned the Judiciary, just like Hon. Jack Mwiimbu gave the example of the Standing Orders Committee and the recommendations it makes, the Judiciary is an institution and an authority. It is in the Standing Orders Committee that he referred to. So, the hon. Minister of Justice trying to mislead all of us here and your Committee, which made the recommendations, that we were making speculative arguments, is something that we cannot take. It is a well-known practice in this august House that when your Committee is appointed and it makes recommendations, we go by the recommendations of your Committee,

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kampyongo: … unless we deem your Committee to be becoming irrelevant.

Madam Speaker, my point of order is: Was the hon. Minister of Justice in order to make the insinuation that all of us here, including your Committee, were making speculative comments on this issue? He knows that the Emoluments Commission Act he referred to, which he brought to this House, has nullified the status quo he is referring to, which gave the President the power to recommend, and all for the reasons that are cited in this Article. Is he in order to call all our debates, including your Committee’s report, speculative?

I seek your serious guidance, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. You have raised a point of order and sufficiently debated it. You have even responded to the issues that you are saying were raised by the hon. Minister in his debate. That said, to the extent that the hon. Minister said the debate on the other side was speculative, that was not a good word to use. I think, that was wrong.

Hon. Minister, can you withdraw the word “speculative,” so that we can continue debating in harmony. 

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. I withdraw the use of the word “speculative” in respect of the two hon. Members of Parliament I referred to in terms of their debates. Specifically, they are the hon. Member for Lumezi and the hon. Member for Chama South. I replace the word “speculative” with ‘not based on a factual position’.

I am most obliged, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Thank you.

Let us make progress.

Question put and negatived.

Hon. Government Member: How?

Hon. Government Members called for a division.


Madam Speaker: A division has been called.

Hon. Members, as we vote, let us not use the microphones. Some use the microphones while others do not. So, it is very difficult to discern which group was said “No”, and that is why we have come to this conclusion.

Unfortunately, the system that we use for voting is not yet ascertainable and cannot be relied upon. So, what we will do is use another way of voting. The Clerks-at-the-Table will advise which system we are going to use to vote on this Motion. In the meantime, we can continue with the order of business as the mechanism for voting is being worked on.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, we are very grateful for your guidance. Indeed, we can wait for as long as is necessary for the system we are going to use to be able to give us results that are going to be acceptable to all hon. Members. However, I have one concern over the hon. Members on your Committee. I see that some of the hon. Members of your Committee, whose report we are tabling, are participating. I have seen the chairperson and other hon. Members participating. May they be guided on how the report must be handled by members of your Committee.  They need your guidance.


Madam Speaker: Order!

I think, I will need to consult on that.

Madam Speaker: The division has already been called and, since we are going to vote, my guidance is that the members of the Committee made a recommendation on the Bill. So, they are not supposed to participate. What I have been informed is that they cannot vote against their report. So, we will see how it goes. 

Maybe, the hon. Minister of Justice wants to guide.  

Mr Haimbe: Madam Speaker, I beg the pardon of this honourable House to seek further clarification. The report has two sets of recommendations. In fact, the ultimate conclusion of the report is that the Bill goes through, except for a provision there that is in relation to Clause 3. So, how can it be determined that the members of the Committee are voting against their report when the contention in it is double-pronged?

I seek your guidance, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: What the hon. Minister has just stated is that there are several amendments that are contained in the Bill and that only the second one, relating to Section 3, is not supported by the Committee. So, it is very difficult for the members of the Committee to say that they are against the whole Bill. It is only one aspect that they were against. It is very tricky here but, if we are going to vote – Maybe, let us take the vote again without using the microphones.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Hon. PF Members: No!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, if we are talking about an amendment, there is a procedure of amending a Bill on the Floor. The hon. Minister of Justice has to move an amendment. Before that, there is no amendment. That is the procedure.


Mr Mwiimbu: No, there is no amendment. Tell me, which amendment you are talking about? You cannot vote on an amendment that is in a report. The amendment has to be moved at Committee Stage. That is how amendments are moved. So, what are you talking about?

Madam Speaker: Further, the Bill is still supposed to go through the Third Reading. It is at that Committee Stage –

Hon. PF Members: No, it has failed!

Madam Speaker: Okay, I think, let us make arrangements to vote today so that we clear this issue. In the meantime, let us finish the business on the Order of Proceedings as the Clerk and the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Department make arrangements for us to vote. That is the only way we can resolve this matter.

Hon. Opposition Members: Naipona!

Madam Speaker: Order!


(Debate resumed)

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Madam Speaker, yesterday, before business was interrupted, I was in the middle of responding to the Report of the Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters. In my response, I was focusing on the misgivings raised in the report about the frequent changes in mine taxation and how that has adversely affected our mining sector. In my debate, I was also agreeing with the stance taken by the Committee. Further, while changes to the mine taxation regime have been there in other Administrations before, such practices of changing mine taxes too frequently had reached unprecedented levels under the Patriotic Front (PF) Administration.

Madam Speaker, it has not just been changes in the tax regime that have destabilised our mining sector. During the last ten years, the Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds legally due to mining companies, just like any other business that pays and claims VAT, were withheld and spent by the previous Government. That has left a huge bill for the Government in terms of the VAT claims, which are now part of the overall big Zambian debt in billions of United States (US) Dollars. In this regard, I am amazed that someone from the other side claimed that under the PF Government, a lot of mineral tax revenue was collected. That assertion, of course, is wrong because out of whatever was collected now, one must subtract the VAT that our colleagues were withholding, but not paying back in the past. If our colleagues do the calculations of what they collected and factor in the huge debt in VAT that they left behind, they will discover that, actually, they did not collect much.

Madam Speaker, as a result of the instability in the tax regime, the mining industry in Zambia has suffered a lot in the last ten years. Yesterday, I was saying that our hon. Colleagues have been very competent at closing mines. Whereas the mining sector was expanding under President Mwanawasa and President Banda, under the PF, it stagnated.

Amb. Kalimi: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: If we compare ourselves to our colleagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), twelve years ago, the DRC was only producing half of what Zambia was producing. We were at 800,000 metric tonnes while the DRC was at 400,000 metric tonnes. Today, the DRC produces 1.5 million metric tonnes of copper, but Zambia has stagnated at 800,000 metric tonnes. If you go to the board at Kasumbalesa, you will see the congestion of trucks going into the DRC, meaning that there is a lot of business that is taking place there. On our side, there is nothing, and the fault for that lies with the PF Government, which did not provide a conducive environment for the mining sector to expand. It is now left up to the United Party for National Development (UPND) Government to pick up the pieces and create a stable environment so that we get to producing 3 million metric tonnes of copper per year.

Madam Speaker, it was amazing, also, to hear some of the hon. Colleagues say that we should copy Chile, whose mining sector is expanding. I wonder what kind of books they read because they were saying that in Chile, all the mines are owned by the Government. What a fallacy! A lot of the copper that we are talking about in Chile is actually produced by the private sector, such as Anglo-American PLC, BHP Mining Company and Rio Tinto Group. Today, Chile is one of the richest countries in the world while ours is not because copper mining has stagnated, and the stagnation was at its worst under the PF Government. Now, the UPND must pick up the pieces and revive the industry.

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

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Shiwang’andu, I have indicated that in the past two days, we have failed to go through the order of proceedings because of the several points of order that have been raised. We have lost one day’s work because of points of order. So, I am not allowing any point of order at this stage.

Mr B. Mpundu (Nkana): Madam Speaker, in winding up this debate, I place on record our gratitude, as your Committee, for the contributions that have been made by all those who took time to debate this Motion. I will be very quick to also mention that I was worried on behalf of your Committee at some point that the debate seemed to have digressed from what was at hand. Your Committee undertook a study of diversification of the mining sector, meaning that we wanted your Committee to acquaint itself with our findings on the possibilities or opportunities in the other mining facets. Our worry is that the debate digressed and went to talk of copper when your Committee wanted to suggest that we do not focus on that so much.

Madam Speaker, we want to point out to the Executive that there seems to be great potential in the other mining facets that this country can take advantage of. Through our tours and findings, it is possible that Zambia can thrive and rise above its challenges if we focus the same energies we have placed into the copper mining sub-sector on the other mining sub-sectors. We, as your Committee, would have loved to have gone on a tour of other jurisdictions. Of course, with financial constraints, we were unable to do that, but we are very confident that whatever we picked up on our tours and from the submissions of our stakeholders is sufficient if the Executive can acquaint itself with the findings in the report.

Madam Speaker, with that said, on behalf of your Committee, I am grateful for the opportunity given to us to do this noble cause.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.

Madam Speaker: Before we adjourn to make arrangements for the voting, I would like to clarify one point. I think, there was an issue concerning whether members of the Committee can vote on the Committee’s report. The position is that members of the Committee can still vote because the report of the Committee is not a Bill and it is not binding. So, the members of the Committee that considered the Bill can vote in any manner they want. The report on a Bill is just for the information of the House and assists hon. Members in debating, and that is why it is not presented to the House by way of Motion but, rather, as report. The Bill is a different subject matter, and members of the Committee can vote in whichever way they wish to vote on the Bill.

Thank you.


Business was suspended from 1754 hours until 1813 hours.

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, just for purposes of clarity. The matter before the House on which we are supposed to vote is whether the Bill should go for Second Reading. We are not voting on the report of the Committee that considered the Bill. Neither are we voting on the Bill. So, the issue is whether the Bill should be read the second time. That is the issue before the House. I believe, after consultations, a consensus has been reached that we proceed in that manner. Consequently, I will put the question again.

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

Committed to the Committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2022.

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

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mundubile: Madam Speaker, thank you. It is just a procedural issue.

Madam Speaker, like you rightly pointed out, there was some consultation between us, but we are rather taken aback that the matter was put back to a vote.

Madam Speaker: Sorry, I did not hear that.

Mr Mundubile: Madam Speaker, whilst we were on break, we engaged the Chief Whip and, I think, some consensus was arrived at, but not necessarily that we cast a second vote. That is why the hon. Opposition Members kept quiet when the question was put. They were taken aback because that is not what we agreed upon.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Leader of the Opposition, how else will the Bill be sent for Second Reading if we do not make a decision here? From the discussion, consensus was reached to the effect that the Bill be read the second time. We had to make a decision on procedure so that the Bill could move on to Second Reading. That is what I understand.


Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, the point my hon. Colleague was trying to raise is that after consultations with the Clerk, the Hon. First Deputy Speaker and our colleagues in the Executive, there was mutual agreement to the effect that we allow the Bill to proceed and avoid the voting that was initially supposed to take place.


Madam Speaker: Allow the hon. Member to proceed. 

Mr Kampyongo: Madam Speaker, procedurally, when a division is called, the next move is to vote, not the question that you put. That is the arrangement. Going back to the same voting is now unprocedural because when the division was called, we were supposed to proceed to vote using the gadgets, but we did not. So, mutually, we agreed to avoid that system because both sides were not comfortable with the system.


Mr Kampyongo: Those who were not part of the discussion, please, let us be quiet.

Madam Speaker, we agreed that we could proceed with the Bill without your putting the question because your putting the question takes us back to what we were trying to avoid. The division had already been called. So, to revert to the first stage will be unprocedural. That was the gist of the discussion. I think, the Hon. First Deputy Speaker was a witness to this discussion.

That is our submission, Madam Speaker.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much, and that is well noted.

Hon. Members, procedurally, we had gone up to the division stage and we were waiting to vote but, before we could vote, the hon. Members on both the left and right, including the Hon. First Deputy Speaker, had a discussion and agreed that the Bill goes for Second Reading. Since you agreed to do that, the only way, procedurally, to have the Bill go for Second Reading is by making a decision in this House. So, the issue of voting was revisited, and I put the question so that we can formally move the Bill to Second Reading. There was nothing wrong with that. It is just a matter of procedure.

Can we make progress?  

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

Madam Speaker: Order!                                      




The Minister of Defence and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Lufuma): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Madam Speaker: The question is that the House do now adjourn. Any debate?

Mr Munir Zulu: Yes, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Any objection?

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lumezi, can you leave the Debating Chamber.

Please, leave the Chamber.

Mr Munir Zulu left the Assembly Chamber.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1820 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 17th June, 2022.