Thursday, 29th June, 2023

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     Thursday, 29th June, 2023

The House met at 1430 hours

[MADAM SPEAKER in the Chair]





Madam Speaker: I see two hon. Members who have indicated to raise matters of urgent public importance. There is the hon. Member for Muchinga, who will be followed by the hon. Member for Katombola.


Mr E. Banda (Muchinga): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr E. Banda: Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise a very serious matter of urgent public importance. My matter of urgent public importance is directed at our very hardworking hon. Minister of Energy.

Madam Speaker, more than 1,000 jobs have been lost in Serenje due to a standoff between ZESCO Limited and manganese smelting companies. As at yesterday, a letter was circulated by ZESCO Limited that by 1st July, power would be switched off if this issue were not resolved.

Madam Speaker, if the Government does not intervene at this point, it means Serenje will be a ghost town. There will be a lot of misery arising from the same situation. That is my matter of urgent public importance.

Madam Speaker, I seek your serious indulgence. I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Muchinga, my guidance on that is to put in a question and then it will be answered by the hon. Minister.


Mr Andeleki (Katombola): On a matter of urgent public importance, Madam Speaker.

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

Mr Andeleki: Madam Speaker, I thank you very much for according the people of Katombola Constituency an opportunity to raise a matter of urgent public importance directed at the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security.

Madam Speaker, just yesterday, a press statement was released by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), which states as follows:

“LAZ condemns increased incidents of police brutality against members of the opposition.”

Madam Speaker, the people of Katombola are very concerned that there is this press statement which has the capacity of misleading members of the public and the world at large that we back to the days of police brutality of the Patriotic Front (PF). Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to clarify this issue.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Indeed, there have been some discussions on the –

Mr Andeleki was still standing.

Madam Speaker: Are you still raising the matter or you are done?

Mr Andeleki: I want to lay on the Table a copy of the press statement, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: Is it a public document or where did it come from?

Mr Andeleki: Madam Speaker, it came from LAZ and I am member of the association. It was issued by the president of LAZ.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you should have brought it to my chambers first for verification. So you can lay it on the Table later after it is verified, but for now it has not been verified.

The issue of the alleged police brutality has been doing rounds on social media and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has also issued a press statement. I believe that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security should come to the House and give the Government’s side of the story on the matter. I do not know if the hon. Minister is ready now or he can come back later? I see him indicating to say something.

The Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security (Mr Mwiimbu): Madam Speaker, with your indulgence, let me just inform this august House that I am addressing the press today at 1530 hours on the same issues which are being raised.

Hon. Opposition Members: Do it here!

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, are you now the presiding officers? Why do you not wait for guidance? That is the position of the hon. Minister and I will respond

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, I am making this statement known because I do not want to be cited that despite your ruling, I am going ahead to make a press statement. I have already arranged for the press and a statement is ready. So I will issue a statement, but I have no problem with coming to this House and inform the nation. Nonetheless, I know that my hon. Colleagues are enjoying unprecedented freedom, unlike it was in the past.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Madam Speaker: Order!

Thank you very much hon. Minister for that indication, but when Parliament is sitting, I believe it is important that statements of that nature should be made in the House. It is good for the country, so that everybody can hear the position of the Government for purposes of clarifying the point. It is only that there is a long holiday that is coming. Today is Thursday, but what about tomorrow? Why can you not come to the House tomorrow and deliver a statement?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Madam Speaker, well, if what I intend to do today does not offend the House, I will still go ahead. Firstly, I have to address the nation and the press, so that journalists can ask questions and I can still come tomorrow and address the House.


Mr Mwiimbu: Yes, I will come.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Unfortunately, according to our rule, Standing Order 130 (c), once a press statement has been made outside the House, it cannot come to the House. The best would be for the statement to be made in the House. However, if there was a way, hon. Minister, is it not possible to come to the House tomorrow to deliver that statement in the House? It is good for purposes of the whole nation hearing what the position of the Government is on the matter. This is because once you go to the press, you cannot come to the House with the same statement. So it is up to you, hon. Minister. If you prefer to go to the press, then it is alright.

Mr Mwiimbu: Well, Madam Speaker, I am guided. I have no problem myself coming to the House to issue that statement.

Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. In that case then, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security will come back to the House tomorrow to issue a statement on that matter of alleged police brutality.




The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to give a ministerial statement on the fuel supply situation in the country. This is arising from a matter of urgent public importance raised by Mr Christopher Kang’ombe, junior engineer and hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, let us listen. I did not even get what the hon. Minister said.

Hon. Opposition Members: He said, “junior engineer”.

Mr Kapala: It is a title, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: It is a title, so do not worry. He is a junior engineer to the hon. Minister and I am sure he has not protested.

May you proceed, hon. Minister.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, in October, 2022, the Ministry of Energy disengaged from financing and procuring petroleum products for the Zambian market. This policy direction has enhanced private sector participation, that is, oil marketing companies (OMCs), in the fuel supply chain, with these companies now taking a leading role in meeting national petroleum requirements.

Madam Speaker, in June, 2023, the Ministry of Energy, through daily stock monitoring, observed with growing concern low importation of petrol by OMCs. The main reason advanced by the OMCs for the said low imports is the alleged non-responsive pricing mechanism. The low petrol stocks in the month of June have been further exacerbated by the Indeni Refinery being on shutdown from 15th June, 2023. The refinery went into shutdown due to lack of storage space for high sulphur gasoil or diesel that is currently being produced by the refinery through the processing of the crude oil feedstock that was displaced from the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline.

Madam Speaker, in order to address the low petrol stock position in the immediate term, the Government through the Ministry of Energy has ensured that the Indeni Refinery resumes operations. The refinery resumed its operations on Sunday, 25th June 2023 and the first batch of 700,000 litres of petrol was produced from the refinery and pumped for distribution on Tuesday, 27th June 2023. This, therefore, means that this volume of petrol is available for the market. The petrol from the refinery is being supplemented by imports from the OMCs.

Madam Speaker, it must be pointed out that the recent appreciation of the Zambian Kwacha has already improved the importation of petrol, which has increased by 30 per cent from 19th to 26th June, 2023. It is, therefore, anticipated that the increase in imports will cushion the shortfall from the refinery and enhance security of supply of petrol for the country.

Madam Speaker, you may recall that I had earlier mentioned that one of the reasons advanced by the OMCs is the alleged non-responsive pricing mechanism. In this regard, the Government through the Ministry of Energy is considering the following short-term measures:

  1. Introduction of a slate mechanism aimed at addressing exchange rate fluctuations

A slate mechanism ensures that any under-collections by importers of fuel are compensated in the following month and vice-versa. These under and over-collections are computed for each day in the fuel price review period and an average exchange rate for the fuel price review period is calculated. The current mechanism for the exchange rate component does not allow for over and under-collections.

  1. Peer-review of the petroleum pricing mechanism

The Government intends to carry out an independent review of the petroleum pricing mechanism so as to ensure the adequacy of the current petroleum pricing mechanism. This shall respond to assertions of the non-responsiveness of the current pricing mechanism and is being undertaken through an independent peer-review process.

Madam Speaker, in the medium term, and also to ensure sustainable fuel supply, the Government plans to implement the private sector-led system for bulk importation of petroleum products, which will be called the Zambia Bull Procurement System (ZBPS). The Ministry of Energy is working with key stakeholders to implement a structured system for the bulk importation of petroleum products, in a bid to ensure and enhance security of fuel supply. This system is aimed at establishing more stable and efficient importation and distribution of petroleum products in Zambia. It is envisaged that the system shall ensure that the supply of petroleum products is conducted in a coordinated manner and at the most competitive price.

Madam Speaker, the above interventions are all part of the broader sector reforms that my ministry is implementing so as to ensure that petroleum products are procured at the lowest possible price.

Madam Speaker, my statement thus far has been focused on the petrol situation in the country. That said, may I take this opportunity to inform the House that the country has adequate stock days for low sulphur gasoil.

Madam Speaker, lastly, I reassure the House and the nation that the petrol stock-outs reported in Kitwe and other parts of the country shall normalise in the next few days. I urge the public to report any filling stations that do not have petrol stocks to the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) to avoid hoarding of fuel by the OMCs. The Ministry of Energy remains vigilant to ensuring adequate security of supply of petroleum products.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Mundubile (Mporokoso): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement.

Madam Speaker, previously, the Government invested in storage in various areas away from the Indeni Refinery, and mostly in provinces. This was to ensure that in times such as now when we have challenges with oil marketing companies (OMCs), citing reasons like non-responsive price mechanisms, we would at least go on as a country with some steady supply of fuel.

Madam Speaker, could the hon. Minister just inform the House how long our facilities are able to hold in case there is any problem at the Indeni Refinery or indeed with the pipeline. For how long can we maintain a steady supply to the nation?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Opposition for that question.

Madam Speaker, the Government disengaged from the procurement of petroleum products because it was owing OMCs close to K700 million, with interest accruing. As a result of that, the Government cannot, in the meantime, procure any petroleum products. That is why the procurement at the moment is being led by private sector companies that are bringing in the products. However, we are monitoring the situation and are coming up with processes that will ensure that there is security of supply to the nation.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Anakoka (Luena): Madam Speaker, some of the oil marketing companies (OMCs) have attributed the shortage of petrol to the mark-ups offered by the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) on petrol and diesel. They are claiming that the standard margin, which is the same on both petrol and diesel, is making petrol less attractive because it costs more to bring it into the country. If that is true, is the ministry still considering the option of adjusting prices on a quarterly basis, rather than on a monthly basis, any time in the near future?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I have already indicated that there had been some differences between the ERB and the OMCs on the pricing mechanism. The Government had to bring in an expert to do a peer review on the pricing mechanism so that all parties can agree to the method of pricing. I can assure this House that, soon, we will be able to overcome this problem and move the process forward.

Madam Speaker, we cannot start giving a quarterly pricing mechanism. The days when the Government was doing that and it could review the price in one year was because the Government was heavily subsidising. That is why we are saddled with this US$700 million nkongole on the fuel. Nkongole means debt.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, I welcome the Her Hon. the Vice-President back. We missed her.

Madam Speaker, the junior hon. Minister and Member of Parliament may note that the shortage of petroleum products in Zambia is real and it has even hit Lusaka today. I had to go to more than three or four service stations for me to refuel. When we interact with the dealers, they say the Government is working with a company called Agro Fuel that is charging the dealers K1 per litre and that is why it is proving very expensive for them to buy locally.  Is it true? Can the hon. Minister confirm that allegation?

Madam Speaker: First of all, before the hon. Minister answers, when you said ‘junior hon. Minister’, whom did you mean the hon. Minister is junior to?

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, he is junior hon. Minister and hon. Member of Parliament to me.



Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Pambashe, at the moment you are not an hon. Minister. Anyway that was on a lighter note.


Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, Agro-Fuel is not importing petrol. The question that is on the table now is the shortage of petrol. Agro-Fuel is importing diesel and there is no shortage of diesel.

Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to inform the hon. Member for Pambashe that as at 12 hours today, 5 million litters of petrol were brought into the country and it is already being delivered to filling stations. So the situation should normalise within the next two or three days.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said the supply of petrol will be normal in the next few days. The few days that people have run out of fuel could have been less since the hon. Minister knew that there would be a shortage of fuel. Why didn’t the Government come in before so that the ‘few days’ that the hon. Minister is referring to would not have been there. We want few hours.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I have indicated in my ministerial statement that the Government disengaged from procuring petroleum products. So, whether the Government was available now to bring in the products, it takes about a week to bring in the product. That is why, I have just mentioned that 5 million litres has already arrived in the country and it is being distributed. So, within two or three days we should be able to have a normal situation.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North): Madam Speaker, the petroleum sector plays a key role to Zambia’s economic development because it drives the wheels of production. The hon. Minister said that the Government has disengaged from this particular exercise. Is the Government contemplating, in future, getting involved, if these oil marketing companies would want to hold the Government at ransom so that we do not disrupt state supply of fuel?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, we have not ruled out the possibility of the Government going back to do petroleum procurement. Until such a time when we will have liquidated the US$700 million plus debt is when we will be able to consider options of the Government getting involved into this petroleum procurement. 

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, I thought I heard the hon. Minister say that the Government allowed Indeni Energy Company Limited to process and fill up the gap of this shortage. Is that a temporary or permanent measure?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, Indeni Energy Company Limited is just processing the final part of the feedstock that was in the TAZAMA Pipeline has been converted into the finished product, which is diesel. So, once this is done, Indeni Energy Company Limited, which is now called Indeni Energy Company Limited, will go into oil marketing and it will importing petrol, diesel and all petroleum products.

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mwila (Mufulira): Madam Speaker, I recall that even last month toward the end of the month when there was an anticipation of prices review, some filling stations also had run out of fuel. Now, there is a conspiracy theory that this has happened because we expecting a price review tomorrow. Has the Government investigated that this shortage is not just hoarding, due to speculation waiting for the price announcement tomorrow.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I cannot speculate on any conspiracy theory. We have a regulatory body, which is the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that there is no speculation and hoarding of the products.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

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

Madam Speaker, I firstly congratulate the hon. Minister of Energy for the quick response. The good people of Petauke Central, right now, are happy that the queues at filling stations will go away in the next two days.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Government needs to pay the debt of about US$700 million for everything to normalise. Therefore, is this debt owed to local or international suppliers? Further, when is the Government going to start paying them so that we are at peace? With this debt restructuring coming, I am sure –

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, the more than US$700 million, because it is attracting interest, is owed to international companies and not local companies. As soon as we dismantle this, then a decision will be made by Cabinet whether we should continue to get involved in the procurement of petroleum products

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: Thank you.

The hon. Member for Kamfinsa, you can only ask one question according to our Standing Orders. Only two questions apply according to Standing Order No. 74 and 76. You may proceed.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, I thank you most sincerely. The reason I raised the urgent matter was due to the disruption in the economy in terms of fuel supply.

Madam Speaker, we have experts at the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) and in the Ministry of Energy. I want to find out from the hon. Minister of Energy when the ministry will put in place mechanisms that will allow the country to know when we will have a fuel crisis so that some of these things could be prevented instead of disrupting the wheels of the economy.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I will read the statement on slate mechanism. A slate mechanism ensures that any under-collections by importers of fuel are compensated in the following month and vice-versa. This is where the problem is currently and we are working on a mechanism that will be able to accurately predict the ups and downs of the prices that will be are obtaining as pump prices. So, we will soon be announcing this mechanism so that all OMCs will be working with this mechanism, and am sure they will be happy to work with us using this mechanism.

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Madam Speaker, in his statement the hon. Minister said all OMCs are saying that the biggest challenge they have is a non-responsive price mechanism which he said he is engaging some experts to help us review. My question to the hon. Minister is on the current situation that we have, which is more like a crisis, where we have shortages in certain areas in the country. Why is the ministry being reactive and not proactive?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, the Government is not being reactive, rather it has set policies that will make this sector private-driven, and that is what is obtaining now.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mapani (Namwala): Madam Speaker, may I know whether, indeed, the debt of the fuel that amounted to US$700 million was supplied unlike what used to happen before where amounts were indicated yet nothing was supplied. What is the position of the ministry on that?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, a short answer to that is that yes, the products were supplied but at an elevated price.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chala (Chipili): Madam Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister said that Indeni Energy Company Limited was shut down in June 2023 because of the storage facility. Why not take advantage of the storage facilities which have been constructed in most of the provinces?

Hon. Opposition Members: By the PF!

Mr Chala: Yes, by the Patriotic Front (PF). Why not take that route instead of shutting down because of the storage when we have those facilities?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, we were anticipating that high sulphur diesel would be sold locally and exported but this has not happened, as a result, there was what they call haulage on the quantities. Yes, we have depots in Mansa and other areas, like Mpika. However we do not want to add additional costs to the pump price by again tracking the low sulphur diesel which is not selling to those destinations. However, there is a bit of movement on it and Indeni Energy Company Limited should be able to process all the petrol that is remaining.

Mr Mutelo (Mitete): Madam Speaker, was this debt accrued during this tenure; the hon. Minister’s tenure or not. How did it come about?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, it is a sad situation to note that it was the order of the day to default on payments in the previous Government.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, so, we are trying our level best to liquidate this debt from the little resources that we have.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, although my question was touched by the previous hon. Member. Fuel is a cash business and when it is supplied to a filling station, the marketing company pays and we pay cash. May the hon Minister make me understand how this money accumulated because this is perpetual succession and is a cash business.

Hon. Government Members:  How?

Madam Speaker: Order!

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, that is a very good and interesting question. Yes, it is a cash trading, but what used to happen was that the previous Government would import this product at a high price because, then, the price would be pegged in dollars and there were many fluctuations in the currency so they could not keep up with the difference between the Dollar and the Kwacha. So, in the process, there was a build-up on the difference between the Dollar and the Kwacha collections because they could keep the price for over six months. As a result of that, the accumulation kept on going up and in the end, they failed to pay and we had to inherit this debt, which we are slowly dismantling it. It will take a while for us to dismantle this debt. So, the nation has to bear with us that we doing our level best to dismantle this debt and once we do that, we are going start the importation ourselves.

Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to also inform the nation that as a result of this, this is a challenge to us and we plan to start blending fuel using ethanol so that at least we will be able to save maybe about US$10 million from the blend of petrol, which is about 20 per cent ethanol to 80 per cent petrol. So, these are measures that we are trying to take so that we can reduce on the exposure of foreign exchange.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Charles Mulenga (Kwacha): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me, on behalf of the people of Kwacha, to ask a follow-up question to the Minister of Energy. Before I do that, allow me to send my heartfelt condolences to the families of the two Copperbelt University (CBU) students who died in a road traffic accident and were put to rest yesterday.

Madam Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the long-lasting measures our working Government is putting in place to avoid further disruption of fuel which is regarded as the engine of the economy?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, when we have a good price to the OMCs, then we could have a steady supply and security of the products in the country. Dismantling of the debt is also the answer because the debt is like an albatross on our neck. Until we get rid of this thing, we could be facing difficulties from time to time.

I thank you, Madam.

Dr Mwanza (Kaumbwe): Madam Speaker, from the supply and demand principle, 5 million litres of petrol have been injected into the economy. How many days will this stock last?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I was just reporting on the quantities that have gone on the market today. More fuel is coming in as we talk. I just gave that 5 million litres as an example. As at 1200 hours this afternoon, we received about 5 million litres and more will come. That is why I am confident that within the next two or three days, the situation will normalise.

I thank you, Madam.




319. Mr Mtayachalo (Chama North) asked the Minister of Health:

  1. whether the Government is aware that of late, there has been an increase in cases of cancer diseases in the country;
  2. whether the Government is aware that the National Health Insurance Management Authority currently pays a maximum of K1,500 towards cancer treatment for each patient, thereby making many patients unable to afford the cost of treatment; and
  3. if so, what urgent measures are being taken to make cancer treatment more affordable and to avert loss of lives.

The Minister of Health (Mrs Masebo): Madam Speaker, the Government is aware that there has been an increase in the cases of cancer diseases in the country. The House may wish to note that Zambia continues to face a high burden of cancer-related illnesses and deaths. The 2020 GLOBOCAN Report estimated 13,831 cases. This increased from 12,052 in 2018. In addition, the majority of patients, which is approximately 63 per cent of new cancer cases in Zambia, die from the disease.

Madam Speaker, the highest burden of cancer comes from cervical cancer, 3,161 new cases; kaposi sarcoma, 2,210 cases; prostate cancer, 1,546 cases; breast cancer, 972 cases; and oesophagus cancer, 506 cases. These increased from the 2018 figures of 2,994 new cervical cancer cases; kaposi sarcoma, 1,690 cases; prostate cancer, 1,230 cases; breast cancer, 888 cases; and oesophagus cancer, 389 cases respectively.

Madam, in addition, childhood cancers, despite being curable, are associated with very high mortality in Zambia. This increased cancer burden, coupled with sub-optimal financing over the past years, inadequate availability of cancer medicines, supplies and equipment, and low access to prevention and early detection services, causes significant impact on patients, their families and the economy.

Madam Speaker, the Government is not aware that the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) currently pays a maximum of K1,500 towards cancer treatment for each patient. The House may wish to note that the cost of various interventions for the treatment of cancer is far above the purported amount of K1,500. There is no limit to the treatment of the patient as this is dependent on their condition. Further, the House may also wish to note that NHIMA covers various stages in the treatment of cancer patients. This includes the following:

  1. Diagnosis – NHIMA covers the cost of radiological computerised tomography (CT)/Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and laboratory histology and immunohistochemistry, diagnostic modalities as well as specialist consultation fees;
  2. Treatment – NHIMA covers chemotherapy and various aligned therapies like pain management, hydration and cost of managing metastatic disease;
  3. NHIMA covers the cost of hospital admission and related in-patient costs;
  4. Rehabilitation – NHIMA covers cost of rehabilitation, including various forms of physiotherapy. Further, NHIMA covers orthotics and prosthetics; and
  5. Hospice care – NHIMA covers the cost of hospice care up to ninety days as enshrined in statutory instrument no. 63 of 2029 being the maximum duration of insured hospice care in a calendar year.

Madam Speaker, regarding part (c) of the question, as stated earlier in (b), the Government is not aware that NHIMA pays a maximum of only K1.500 towards cancer treatment for each patient. This is not correct and is actually misleading. The House may wish to note that there is no limit to the treatment of cancer patients as this is dependent on their condition. Therefore, part (c) of the questions falls off.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that response. I am happy that the hon. Minister has admitted that cancer cases have surged because I undertook a fact-finding mission to the Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH) at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and saw this.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there is no limit in terms of accessibility to these medicines. Is she aware that we have cheap medication and expensive medication and that the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) is not meeting the cost of medication that goes up to K6,500? Is she confirming to the nation that NHIMA is able to cater for any kind of treatment, including expensive cancer treatment?

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, the answer to the question that was asked that NHIMA has a limit of K1.500 per patient was very clear. In my response, I categorically stated that that is not correct. The answer has gone into full detail to give the various stages of the various treatment and care towards a patient on cancer treatment. However, when it comes to the last stage, as I have indicated, there are a minimum number of days towards which NHIMA will pay. If you stay beyond, obviously that falls off.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chitotela (Pambashe): Madam Speaker, during the tour by your Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters when reviewing the Public Procurement Act, we did interact with staff at some hospitals who did indicate that they were having challenges and that was why Zambia, today, is experiencing the increase in terms of cancer diseases. There is a pain killer that they have done away with. They recommended that it be replaced with morphine. However, they alleged that the Government keeps on insisting on sending the medicine to the hospitals which in turn could be the cause of cancer in so many patients.

Madam Speaker, if the hon. Minister is aware about that, what measure is she going to put in place to make sure that medicines that have been disregarded globally and are a threat to human life, because they can cause cancer, are not admitted into various health facilities in Zambia?

Ms Masebo: Madam Speaker, thank you hon. Member for the follow-up question, except to say that it is a completely a new question and it will require a specific question. What the hon. Member is saying now through his question, which may not even be factual is that, as a Government, we are distributing a drug that should not be distributed.

Madam Speaker, you may wish to note that issues of drug management and even what drug to give are not issues that one just gets up in the morning decides to do away with. We follow international standards under the World Health Organisation (WHO). So, even now, when you look at the treatment of malaria, it has had different forms of drugs that have been administered. When we change, a circular is issued. We change based on guidelines and not somebody just waking up and saying that because they read in the news or they were in Malawi and they told them this or that. No we do not that.

Madam Speaker, this is why I am saying it is a question that requires me to really get facts.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister is insisting that NHIMA is covering the expensive drugs as well. However, the fact of the matter is that the hospital has been giving prescriptions to people to go to chemists where they are told that you can only go up K1500, and they are asked to top up.

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


Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, is the hon. Minister very sure that this is what is happening, going by the answer she has given on the Floor of this House?

Madam Speaker: A point of order raised.

Before the hon. Minister comes to answer that question, Hon. Member for Chama North, it is chemist and not chemistry.

Mr Chitotela: Madam Speaker, according to standing order No. 65(b) that says a Member shall not impute the improper motive on the other member.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Members of your Committee on National Economy, Trade and Labour Matters, includes ours brothers and sisters, the hon. Members of Parliament from United Party for National Development (UPND) and Patriotic Front (PF) and we did undertake a tour as a Committee. My accession is in your report which has been adopted which has been adopted, where the hospital administrators in the hospital that we visited did indicate and cried, they even requested that they be given authority to be buying their medicines. Now, for the hon. Minister to say I am imputing wrong motives to say Government has been distributing wrong medicine for administration in our hospitals, when I am just quoting the information that was given to us by the administrators of the hospitals. Is the hon. Minister in order to accuse me of suggesting that Government is distributing wrong medicine when I am actually not the one suggesting but a receiver of the massage as stated by the hospital administrators in various hospital that we visited.

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Although the hon. has sufficiently debated his point of order. However, because he is bringing a report that has been adopted, I reserve my ruling to another date so that we can verify those facts and allegations that have been made. So, ruling reserved.

Ms Masebo: Madam Speaker –

Madam Speaker: Hon. Minister, you are supposed to answer the question from the hon. Member for Chama North.

May the hon. Member for Chama North repeat his question?

Mr Mtayachalo: Madam Speaker, my question to the hon. Minister is that since she is disputing that there is no limit by NHIMA, in terms of medication. Is the hon. Minister able to go back, especially at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), and verify this information since it is coming from patients and relatives who have patients at the cancer centre. So, is she confirming that NHIMA is able to cater up to whatever amount the needed medication cost? The nation is listening.

Mrs Masebo: Madam Speaker, clearly, the hon. Member did not understand my answer earlier. If you look at his question, he asked whether the Government was aware that NHIMA currently pays a maximum of K1,500 towards cancer treatment for each patient. My response was, Government is not aware that NHIMA currently pays a maximum of K1,500 towards cancer treatment for each patient. So, I do not know whether that response confirms that NHIMA is paying K10,000 or K20,000. He asked if we are aware and I said I was not. What I am aware of, I have articulated.

Madam Speaker, I said that the House may wish to note that the cost of various interventions people go for are different. It is not like a one kind of treatment. I even gave categories. There is diagnosis, actual treatment, rehabilitation, hospital admission and hospice care. So, is the patient you are talking about at the end of life and going to the hospital for hospice care? I did articulate that according to the Statutory Instrument (SI), you can only have treatment up to ninety days. So, you can see that ninety days and K1,500 do not go together.

Madam Speaker, so, maybe even the question was not very focused. Maybe, it needed to be qualified. For example, if he had asked if were aware that they are paying K1,500 for hospice care, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation or indeed the cost of hospital admission and related in-patient costs. So, there are different costs and NHIMA covers them differently; not just one figure. So, there is a bit more clarity needed in the question itself, which is why I have tried to give all the answers. So, it might well mean that this K1,500 is covering only one of these various forms of treatment and that it cannot be complete for the whole treatment of cancer.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: I am not sure what this question – From the question, the hon. Member for Chama North is saying the National Health Insurance Management Authority (NHIMA) is only paying a maximum of K1,500 for everything. That is what he is saying in his question. Since the Government is not aware, but the hon. Member for Chama North has now brought this information to the attention of the hon. Minister of Health or the government, what urgent measures are being taken to ensure that cancer treatment is made more affordable? Maybe the question is that: Now that the government is aware, what measures is the government going to take to ensure that this position is corrected? I do not know if it is not correct or correct, but it is better following it up.

I think that is the question.

Hon. PF Members: Ema Speaker aya!

Mrs Masebo: Thank you, Madam Speaker, for your further guidance. Since this is an important question, and affecting a number of people, maybe I may be allowed to investigate further and come with specific costs for each of the categories of treatment rather than just use this K1,500 as if it is the entire treatment of cancer. Cancer treatment is expensive, generally. It cannot cost K1,500. So, I think that because this is an important question, hon. Madam Speaker may allow me to come back tomorrow with a specific answer towards what you have said so that they know exactly what it is.


Madam Speaker: Thank you very much. That is okay but I do not know whether tomorrow will be okay. Since we have a ministerial statement, we have – Okay, let us bring it up tomorrow …


Mrs Masebo: Or Tuesday.

Madam Speaker: … because it was asked as an urgent question. So, tomorrow, the hon. Minister can come with more information.

Mrs Masebo: Much obliged, Madam Speaker.



320. Mr Mumba (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

  1. what the cause of the sharp appreciation of the Kwacha in the week beginning 18th June, 2023, was; and 
  2. what urgent measures are being taken to mitigate the negative impact the sharp appreciation will have on the economy.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation (Mr Kakubo) on behalf of the Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane)): Madam Speaker, the House may wish to note that, recently, the performance of the Zambian Kwacha against the United States Dollar (US$) has improved. Specifically, from the week beginning 18th June, 2023, the Zambian Kwacha’s performance has mainly been affected by the positive market sentiment which was influenced by the news that Zambia has successfully negotiated and reached an agreement to restructure her debt.

Madam Speaker, the Zambian Kwacha appreciated by 19 per cent to trade at K17.26 to a US Dollar as at 27th June, 2023 from K21.31 per US Dollar at end of quarter one of 2023.

Madam Speaker, the movement in the exchange rate is ultimately driven by the balance of supply and demand and the movement impacts businesses and households in different ways. We know that a weaker exchange rate does not help non-traditional exporters by providing a better return on their export earnings in Kwacha. Good examples are companies that export to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), such as Zambian Sugar. On the other hand, depreciation is harmful to local businesses and the public who depend on imports for the production of their goods and services for consumption of final products.

In this regard, Madam Speaker, depreciation tends to push inflation upwards which is a tax on the value especially for the poorest members of our society, but the converse is also true. An appreciation can hurt non-traditional exporters and drive to diversify the economy and build up international reserves whilst it can support and fight against inflation and therefore, have a positive role.

Madam Speaker, therefore, what is important is that we maintain a relatively stable currency to allow businesses to plan effectively and manage the volatility of the currency, up or down, in line with prevailing supply and demand factors in the market.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mumba: Madam Speaker, I thank the Acting hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning for the answer. Indeed, a stable Kwacha will certainly drive proper planning for businesses but what we saw last week led to a number of businesses losing out in terms of the sharp appreciation of the Kwacha. The hon. Minister will agree with me that market sentiments cannot, for a long time, sustain the growth or our Kwacha or the Kwacha remaining strong. So, my concern was that, it was the responsibility, especially, of the Central Bank to keep a close eye on the movements of the Kwacha. So, why did the Government not send some form of a warning that we are anticipating the strengthening of the Kwacha rather than allowing so many businesses losing out money because of this appreciation of the Kwacha. I must put it on record that I support the strengthening of our Kwacha and the fundamentals that go around it. However, when it comes to what happened last week, why did the Government not inform the nation in advance?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, the Zambian economy maintains a free-floating currency and therefore, it depends on the laws of demand and supply. The Government does not issue warnings as to direction in which the currency will go because that would amount to exchange controls. The responsibility of the Central Bank is to maintain stability in the currency. It is also normal for a currency to move sharply depending on the market circumstances that are prevailing at a particular time.

What also caused the movement in the currency, Madam Speaker, were also the taxes that are paid on a quarterly basis. So, that meant that the corporates that participate in the Zambian market were doing their conversions therefore, putting more foreign exchange on the market and on the inverse, there was not enough demand for the dollar. That caused the currency to move. That is normal. The currency has now found its stability. That, also, is part of the market practices that prevail in a free-floating economy like ours.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Allen Banda (Chimwemwe): Madam Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that answer. May I know from him whether the current account surplus declined as at 30th March, 2023 compared to the last quarter of last year, 2022?

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, that is a completely different question. It is referring to reserves, but we are discussing the issue of fluctuations in the Kwacha as at 18th June, 2023.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kang’ombe (Kamfinsa): Madam Speaker, the hon. Acting Minister of Finance and National Planning has just briefed this august House on the state of the exchange rate. I do recall that the Government last year spent millions of dollars to attempt to control the free falling exchange rate. I want to find out if that policy of offloading dollars to control the exchange rate will continue for the next six months.

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, open market operations by the Central Bank are done by the discretion of the Central Bank depending on what effect they want to have on the market. It is not the responsibility of the Executive to send a message into the market to say they will intervene. It is a preserve of the Central Bank under the Act that we enacted.

 Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mumba: Madam Speaker, thank you once again. I appreciate the responses from the hon. Minister. However, he does understand that we have a very small economy. Obviously, the upward appreciation of the Kwacha from merely market sentiments is unsustainable.

Madam Speaker, there are certain corrective measures that the Government intends to put in place and has already announced so that businesses can plan. For example, the Government’s desire to ensure that money from exports, especially from copper proceeds, is at least banked in Zambia so that we have enough dollars. However, in this case – I also know that markets listen to three voices: That of the President, the Minister responsible for Finance, and the Central Bank Governor.

Madam Speaker, for me, my interest is that we are coming from a background where our Kwacha had lost value to K20 and everybody was planning around that. Whether, it is Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) or people who are in the business of importing. One minute, a person had US$10,000 which was equivalent to K200,000, and the next minute, it was K170,000 and the person had a deficit of K30,000. Now, those losses in our economy such as ours  –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you are debating. I am waiting to hear when you are going to ask your supplementary question. Ask a supplementary question.

Mr Mumba: Madam Speaker, going forward, yes, he announced that we cannot be involved in exchange controls. However, for the purposes of people planning, what exactly is the Government going to do because we will have various market sentiments going forward, looking at the situation we are in? For the purposes of those small businesses, what message do you have for them so that we can make sure that we hedge these loses, which can end up causing serious operational problems for them, including job losses. 

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, when there is volatility in the market, there is always two sides to the market. There will be those that may make losses and there are also market participants, such as the Zambian people, who would gain from a strengthen Kwacha. We are an import oriented economy, and each time the currency appreciates Madam Speaker, it means that the prices of goods and services drop.

Madam Speaker, conversely, there are operations within our own markets that benefit from a weak Kwacha. An example is politicians who we know from recently reports in the media who have been robbed by their female friends. They kept US$1.2 million in the house. Definitely, those have been hit by a strengthened kwacha.


Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, further to that, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kakubo: … it is to the benefit to our economy for us to have a strong kwacha with stability in the market. The notion that each time the currency appreciates and there are losses is a permanent dent on the economy is not correct. The market anticipated this movement in the currency.

Madam Speaker, firstly, on the back of the taxes that were converted, that I know that conversions were done to strengthen the kwacha and taxes was paid.

Madam Speaker, secondly, the sentiment that the debt was being resolved was known to the financial markets in our country and therefore, banks and financial institutions re-priced the currency accordingly and the Kwacha appreciated.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

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

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Lunte Constituency, you want to raise a point of order. What is your point of order?

A point of order is raised.

 Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, thank you so much. I raise my point of order on the hon. Acting hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr Stanley Kakubo.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister knows very well that it is a requirement under our Standing Order 65 that the information he brings to this House must be verifiable and that he cannot make reference to a document which is not sitting in this Assembly via laying it on the Table.

Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister speaks to social media reports which may be misleading. Is he in order to claim that a politician has lost money as a result of a girlfriend stealing US$1.2 million when in fact there is no report on the Table and he has not laid evidence on the Table.

I seek your serious ruling, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Order!

I believe the hon. minister was referring to an article in the newspaper which was referring to that. It is in public domain.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: He was just giving an example. So, let us not go there let us get back to business.

The hon. Member for Lukashya, you may proceed.

Mr Chisanga (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, thank you very much. Just to emphasise to the hon. Minister that that story is as fictitious as James Hadley Chase story.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Chisanga: Madam Speaker, I will ask a question from both the stand point of depreciation and appreciation. I am sorry if I am going to sound repetitive. I just want to find out if there is a specific Government policy that the Government has to address the issue of fluctuation of the currency in the country because that definitely is hurting the economy.

Mr Kakubo: Madam Speaker, the Government is not aware of any currency that does not fluctuate. That is why the financial systems are in place and that is why Parliament enacted the Central Bank to manage normal intra-day, monthly, and quarterly fluctuation and the Central Bank is there to hedge the country accordingly.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Madam Speaker: The next question will be asked by the hon. Member for Lumezi. I have a bit of a challenge in this matter because I have received communication from the hon. Member or Petauke Central, who has himself written a letter to my office, saying that he has been given permission by the hon. Member for Lumezi to ask the question on his behalf. However, at the same time, I have also received communication from the hon. Member for Bangweulu to say that the hon. Member for Nyimba is going to ask the question on behalf of the hon. Member for Lumezi.

With regard to the hon. Member for Petauke Central, according to our Standing Orders, if a Member wants to appoint somebody to ask the question on their behalf, they are supposed to put it in writing. In this case the hon. Member for Lumezi should have written a letter to my office appointing the hon. Member for Petauke Central to be his proxy to ask this question on his behalf.

 In this regard, I will refer the hon. Member and also for the guidance of the House to Standing Order No. 78(1) on the Lapsing of Questions States:

“Lapsing of Questions

  1. Where a member asking a question appearing on the Order Paper is absent from the House when the question comes up for consideration, the question shall lapse and shall not be asked again during the same Session.
  1. Despite paragraph (1) of this Standing Order, a member who, due his or her absence in the House, is unable to ask his or her question when it comes up for answer, may authorise, in writing, another member to ask the Question in the member’s stead.”

Since the hon. Member for Petauke wrote a letter appointing himself to act on behalf of the hon. Member of Lumezi, the letter is not admissible and it cannot stand. Then, because hon. Member for Bangweulu has given contradictory information, I now have two conflicting statements and the hon. Member for Lumezi remains to not be in the House. The question, therefore, lapses. Can we go to the next question.


322. Mr J. Daka (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Energy:

  1.  whether the Government has any plans to extend the Rural Electrification Programme to Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency; 
  2.  if so, when the plans will be implemented;
  3. which areas were earmarked for electrification in 2022; and
  4. what the estimated cost of the exercise was.

The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala): Madam Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government of the Republic of Zambia through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has plans to extend REA Programme to Chadiza. REA undertook a scoping exercise of rural growth centres in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency in May, 2023. The scoping exercise established among other, the Bill of Quantities and the cost of electrification. The areas scoped include; Chanjone, Nasiruri, Kalitema, Chitsazi, Mlolo’s Palace and Chambuli Village, Ambizi, Taferansoni and Kapirimpika surrounding areas. However, the subsequent electrification will be subject to the availability of funds.

Madam Speaker, there are no areas embarked on for electrification in 2022. However, this can be expedited if the area Member of Parliament can dedicate resources to the programme from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Madam Speaker, the total cost for electrifying the scoped rural growth centres in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency is estimated at K53 million.


Madam Speaker, let me give additional information on the subject, just for clarity.

Madam, the project is expected to start in subsequent years subject to availability of funds. It should be noted that in electrifying these areas, REA targets rural growth centres, which include; public infrastructure such as hospitals, schools and market areas. This provides the backbone for the distribution network and makes it easy for us to electrify households and when they are ready to be connected because the electrification programme would have provided the necessary backbone infrastructure to enable such connections to be possible.

Madam Speaker, in 2024 Financial Year, the Government is expecting additional funding in form of grants towards to REA Programme. The funds will help speed up connections in the rural areas so as to help achieve the 51 per cent target by 2030.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr J. Daka: Madam Speaker, I do not appreciate the hon. Minister’s responses to my question.


Mr J. Daka: Madam Speaker, I do not appreciate the hon. Minister’s responses to my question. Let me say it expressly that the people of Chadiza are not impressed with how the hon. Minister has responded to this question.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, this is not the time to start evaluating how the hon. Minister has performed. This is the time to ask supplementary questions. Ask a supplementary question.

Mr J. Daka: Thank you and well guided, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker, now that there is a K1 million retention from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), how does the hon. Minister intend to apply the K1 million to my constituency because I know these projects we refer to are segmented amounting to K53 million. So, how does the hon. Minister intend to apply the K1 million retention, he has subjected our CDF to, in my constituency?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament will do well to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with REA so that they can utilise the K1 million which is available.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Menyani Zulu (Nyimba): Madam Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister is trying his level best, but listening to the answer on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from the hon. Minister, seriously speaking, I have diarrhoea now.

Hon. Members: Ah!


Madam Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, can we respect the dignity and decorum of the House. I think talking about the problems that you have with your stomach is not good and appropriate.


Madam Speaker:  May the hon. Member ask his supplementary question.

Mr Menyani Zulu: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister will agree with me that the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has no engineers to construct a line. It always contracts contractors to do its works. The hon. Minister will also agree with me that there is a contrast between a quotation from REA and one from a private contractor. In my samples so far, I have realised that a private contractor is cheaper than REA. If the hon. Minister wants us to be using the CDF, in the case of Chadiza today –

Madam Speaker: Order!

Ask your Supplementary Question, hon. Member.

Mr Menyani Zulu: Yes, Madam Speaker. I just wanted to build up something to the hon. Minister.

Madam Speaker, if the hon. Minister wants Chadiza to use part of the CDF, is he willing to give them a green light so that the council can also be sampling or can also contract a private contractor who can construct a line and then, in turn hand it over to REA, after comparing the pricing and find out that the other party is cheaper than REA.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, it is good news to hear private contractors are cheaper than REA. Yes, it is possible that the councils can contract a private contractor to construct a line and then, it will be passed on to REA, subject to REA confirming availability of funds.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. Daka: Madam Speaker, I have not heard the hon. Minister, in his plans, cite that the ministry has any plans to electrify chiefs’ palaces. For his information, we do not have any chief palace that has access to electricity. At one of the palaces, the ZESCO Limited powerline passes through right in the yard of the palace. To that effect, does the ministry, through REA, have any plans to electrify chiefs’ palaces in Chadiza Constituency?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, before the hon. Member of Parliament becomes emotional. I can assure him that the programme to electrify chiefs’ palaces started this year. So, I will look at what is laid out and I will inform him when his chief’s palace will be electrified.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Thank you, although the use of the word ‘emotional’ may be incorrect. I did not see that he was emotional at all. Withdraw it so that we maintain harmony in the House.

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, thank you for the guidance. I withdraw the word ‘emotional’ and replace it with ‘agitated’.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


Madam Speaker: If I were you, I would use the word ‘concerned’                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     because of his concern.

Let us make progress.

Mr Shakafuswa (Mandevu): Madam Speaker, now that the hon. Minister has refereed the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza to the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), I want to find out something from him on the use of CDF. We received a ceiling on how much of the CDF we could use towards this programme, which is K1 million. Could the hon. Minister confirm to the House when his ministry will provide the balance of the K52 million so that we make progress?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I have already indicated that this project will be implemented when funds are available. So, the K1 million that is available can be used to do other things connected to rural electrification.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Chibombwe (Bahati): Madam Speaker, each time a question of this manner comes on the Floor of the House, the hon. Minister always refers to the Rural Electrification Master Plan (REMP). So, I hope Chadiza is scoped in the plan.

Madam, I believe that the plan is tailored according to constituency needs. Is the hon. Minister able to share the REMP with us, according to the needs in our various constituencies?

Mr Kapala: Madam Speaker, I did put the REMP on the Table sometime last year.  The hon. Member is free to check my records and he can as well come to my office to look at the plan so that he can also know when REA is going to electrify Bahati.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.


323. Mr Munsanje (Mbabala) asked the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development:

  1. whether the Government has any plans to rehabilitate the following bridges in Mbabala Parliamentary Constituency:
  1. Muyanda on Simaubi/Macha Road;
  2. Chaambwa on Macha/Kabimba Road;
  3. Muyobe on Muyobe/Macha Road;
  4. Kachenje on Kachenje/Mang’unza Road; and
  5. the bridges along Pemba/Mapanza Road; and
  6. if so, when the plans will be implemented.

The Minister of Education (Mr Syakalima) (on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development (Eng. Milupi)): Madam Speaker, the Government has undertaken condition surveys of the listed bridges and is aware of their current conditions. The Government is at the moment not in a position to undertake the full rehabilitation of the listed bridges in Mbabala Parliamentary Constituency. However, the Government will undertake remedial works on the bridges to maintain connectivity.

Madam Speaker, as indicated above, the Government has no immediate plans to rehabilitate the bridges and therefore no timeframe has been set.

Madam Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Munsanje: Madam Speaker, of course, it would have been nicer if the substantive Minister were available.

Madam Speaker, the issue of these bridges –

Hon. Government Members: He is available!

Mr Munsanje: Alright.


Mr Munsanje: Sorry about that.

Madam Speaker: Order!

 Hon. Member for Mbabala, it is one Cabinet. There is an Acting Minister. So, he knows. Just ask the question.

Mr Munsanje: Yes, thank you so much and sorry about that.

Madam Speaker, the bridges from Muyanda, Kachenje Bridge and Chambwa Bridge have cut people off from accessing hospital services. One of them has cut people off from travelling to Choma and the like. Why is there no timeframe on these three crucial bridges that have been pending since they collapsed during the 2021/2022 rainy season?  

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, I think when I answered the question, I included all the bridges. However, the hon. Member has just isolated the three. I said that the Government would undertake remedial works on the bridges to maintain connectivity. So, it will be done. When answering the whole question, I included all the bridges.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Hamwaata (Pemba): Madam Speaker, is it possible to have boxed culverts, especially on the bridges between Kasiya, so that we can probably use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to undertake remedial measures.

Mr Syakalima: Madam Speaker, yes, some of the projects may be considered for funding using CDF. It is possible.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr J. E. Banda indicated to ask a supplementary question.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member for Petauke Central, do you want to find yourself in Mbabala?

Mr J. E. Banda (Petauke Central): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing the good people of Petauke Central to ask a follow-up question to the hon. Minister on behalf of the good people of Mbabala.

Madam Speaker, would the hon. Minister allow the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala to use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) instead of him bringing this issue here because CDF has been increased to K28 million.

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

The hon. Member for Pemba asked a similar question. I do not know whether you were not listening. So, that question has already been asked and answered.

Let us make progress.




Mr Kangombe (Sesheke): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism, for the Second Session of the Thirteenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 23rd June, 2023.

Madam Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Madam Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Kangombe: Thank you, Madam Speaker. In line with its terms of reference, your Committee undertook a study on the tourism sector development and the effectiveness of tourism development strategies in Zambia. As espoused in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), the Government of the Republic of Zambia strategises to promote tourism growth by revamping the sector and supporting its recovery from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Madam Speaker, your Committee had occasion to interact with various stakeholders on the subject matter. It learnt that the development of the tourism industry is being hampered by a variety of factors upon which it has made observations and recommendations, which I am sure hon. Members have had time to read.

Madam Speaker, allow me to highlight a few findings and recommendations. The Committee learned that most citizens find it difficult to participate in the tourism industry due to the highly centralised registration process. In view of this, your Committee urges the Executive to quickly amend and revise the Co-Operative Societies Act, Chapter 397 of the Laws of Zambia, and the Patents Act No. 40 of 2016, in order to address the bottlenecks and decentralise the registration process without delay.

Madam Speaker, your Committee also learned that there are too many licence fees and taxes paid by tour operators and other tourism sector players thereby increasing their operational costs. In this regard, your Committee urges the Executive to undertake a comprehensive study of the licence regime in the country. This measure will inform the Executive of the various licence fees and taxes existing in the sector and guide it during the review process. This process will result in reducing the cost of doing business in the tourism sector.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the functions of the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA), your Committee learned that the agency is mandated to market Zambia as a tourist destination of choice and to regulate the tourism industry. Your Committee contends that the two roles are too wide to be undertaken by one entity. In light of this, Your Committee urges the Ministry of Tourism to restrict the role of the agency to marketing, and identify another entity to regulate the sector.

Madam Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the office of the Clerk for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations. I further thank officers of the Ministry of Tourism and all stakeholders that appeared before your Committee. I also thank the members of your Committee who worked in co-existence without aligning themselves to political party affiliations. Further, I also appreciate them for spending time with us by coming to the meetings and thank those who endured the local tours.

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

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

Mrs Chonya (Kafue): Now, Madam Speaker. (hon. Member rose while laughing)

Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am laughing at the way my chairperson concluded when he talked about enduring the local tours. It was, indeed, endurance to have gone up to the northern parts to explore the tourism potential of our country. However, let me start by commending the able manner in which he has presented our report, –

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, if you people who went to see the tourist attractions endured, what about our tourists; will they ever go to those places?


Mrs Chonya: Madam Speaker, that is why this report is very important. However, I do not want to miss the commendation also for the red jacket that the chairperson is wearing this afternoon.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chonya: Madam Speaker, indeed your Committee went to the Northern Circuit and in addition to the few highlights that the chairperson has made, let me also highlight the aspect of insufficient security in national parks. This was a very key observation where we noted that the number of wildlife officers is insufficient. Therefore, your guess is as good as mine as to what happens to wildlife in game parks. In fact, we drove for long distances within parks without even seeing a frog. So, we were left worried as to whether really our game parks and the animals therein are well protected. Hence, we recommended that the ministry needs to invest in security, especially through the use of modern technology where they could be conducting some surveillance just to see what is happening in the game parks.

Madam Speaker, we, as a committee, noted, also, that there is inadequate marketing of tourist attractions in the Northern Circuit. For the first time in my life, I learned about the Lumangwe Falls. I remember saying that I was only learning about these other natural wonders at the age of over 50 years yet we should have known about these places through marketing strategies and various efforts that are supposed to help sell the tourist attractions. So, this is just to say that these areas are even rarely visited. We were given very low numbers; as little as 300 visitors for an entire year compared to visits to Livingstone. So, you can see how these very important natural phenomena in the Northern Circuit are underutilised. Because of that, we recommended that there was an urgent need to set up offices in the Northern Circuit. We felt that if the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA) puts up offices in provincial centres, it would help with marketing and all other efforts that need to be marshalled in order to support tourism. What is obtaining on the ground is that the entire region, maybe three provinces put together, would only have one person responsible for tourism. So, for an officer to move from the north and go eastwards towards Chipata is not yielding results for those who conceived the idea of putting only one person responsible to look at tourism in the region.

As a matter of fact, Madam Speaker, it was very evident that stakeholders at local level, as much as we are making strong pronouncements at national level about the importance of tourism and how we must do it, have very little coordination and communication across various sectors for them to talk about tourism and bring it to the level where it should be if, indeed, it was to contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

There are a many issues, Madam Speaker, and I encourage the hon. Minister, who is not in the House this afternoon and I do not know if there is somebody acting in his absence, to take an interest to read and study these matters otherwise we have a lot of potential that remains untapped, and which we need badly in order to supplement our economic gain.

Madam Speaker, finally, the aspect of roads that we have been talking about in this place, even in the Northern Circuit, is a challenge. The endurance was as a result of traversing the bad roads to reach the furthest places to see places like the famous Kasaba Bay. We got there and saw them under very difficult conditions. The local stakeholders said they hear us in Lusaka talking about putting up an airstrip there. They think it is not a priority, as far as they are concerned. They think that if we constructed roads, even Zambians would be able to go there, take their materials, build lodges and then the visitors can fly in. However, if we prioritise an airport, when visitors land where will they go? These are the questions that I thought needed serious reflection and highlighting.

Madam Speaker, the key issue that we found in Samfya was that the Workers' Compensation Fund Control Board (WCFCB) is supposed to build a modern conference facility. We were made to understand that plans had already been advanced but somehow things have stalled and the appeal was the New Dawn Government should quickly pick up on this very important initiative that we will open up Samfya as a get way to the Northern Circuit.

Madam Speaker, otherwise, we were quite happy with what we saw in Samfya, like the tourist centres put up but again not yet operationalised. I think we also left strong encouragement within our powers to ensure that they did everything possible to ensure that the other infrastructure that they have managed to put up, at least, could start operating, including, a lodge that they had been given as compensation from the WCFCB fund that got part of their land which is meant for this modern infrastructure.

Madam Speaker, the issue of infrastructure is as cardinal as that of roads when it comes to talking about tourism development in Zambia. With those few remarks, I thank you for the opportunity to second this very important Motion.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Madam Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make a contribution to the debate on your Committee’s Report on Tourism Sector Development and the Effectiveness of the Tourism Development Strategies in Zambia. The Motion has been properly moved by my hon. Colleague, whose jacket is quite bright, I must say.

Mr Kang’ombe: Question!


Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, the seconder, Hon. Mirriam Chonya, has done justice to the report. So, I will go very fast to where my thoughts have hovered around during the period I had a chance to read the report.

Madam Speaker, on page 11, your Committee was informed that some of the challenges that hindered tourism sector development and effectiveness of tourism development strategies include the ones listed hereunder:

  1. inadequate tourism physical infrastructure; and
  2. physical infrastructure such as roads railways airport, telecommunication and accommodation facilities where not fully developed in most tourist sites.

Madam Speaker, the importance of tourism to our economy cannot be over emphasised. If you take time to read the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP) under Strategic Development Area No.1, which is Economic Transformation and Job Creation, you will easily discover that the Government wants to promote tourism.

Madam Speaker, here are the challenges, put by your Committee, that must be solved. Inadequate physical infrastructure is a real challenge but think about it. If we are able to develop our infrastructure in these areas but our record on human rights is declining, tourists will not show up. So, as we develop infrastructure, it is my proposal that the Government takes into account an integrated development where even the records on upholding of human rights must go up. 

Madam Speaker, some airports have been created and many more need to be created but what will these airports add to our image, if our country is seen as a corrupt. So, as we do these things, corruption must be eliminated. This is why I keep saying that the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) must never report the K6.1 billion corruption. It is wrong for our image, for the Government and for our country.

Madam Speaker, what is the infrastructure that we are capable of developing going to do for us if visitors may think that they can be abducted by the police.


Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, it is clearly important –

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Madam

Madam Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mufalali:  Madam Speaker, I raise pursuant to Standing Order No. 65 (1)(a) that states as follows:

“(1) A member who is debating shall -

  1. confine his or her debate to the subject under discussion; … ”

Madam Speaker, the subject under discussion is a report. Is the hon. Member who is trying so hard to bring issues of human rights and abductions, which are irrelevant to this report which we have before this House. Is he in order to bring his personal issues and continue lamenting in that fashion?

I submit Madam Speaker.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Members, as we debate, let us stick to the report. Let us not bring in matters that are not covered in the report. When the hon. Member for Lunte was talking about human rights, I was flipping through the report to see whether any matter relating to human rights was raised as one of the challenges. Then he quickly moved to corruption, I looked around but there was nothing.

Please hon. Member for Lunte, stick to the report.

So, he is out of order for binging in extraneous matters that are not covered in the report.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, thank you so much for the ruling on the hon. Member’s point of order, who has always risen on these points of orders.

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member. Just stick to the report and debate please.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, K1.2 billion was stolen from a Patriotic Front (PF) official says the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation who is acting as hon. Minister of –


Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, on what page are you referring to? Maybe we can move together.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, I am now explaining myself.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, no, I have already ruled and you cannot explain. Once I have ruled –  Let us just proceed. Let us not waste time on explanations. I have already ruled.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, it is important for us to create this infrastructure and create confidence in the people who are looking forward to visiting our areas of attraction that once they come, they will be free. This is a peaceful country. This is a country that is able to abide by its laws, which is very important. Travelling on good roads and landing on good airports is not enough. What may be needed is to ensure that we guarantee safety to the tourists. They should know that no tourist can be abducted. That is very import

Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member. You have been guided. Let us not go to that. We want your debate to flow nicely. When you bring in other matters, there will be interruptions so your debate will not flow. Allow your debate to flow naturally by sticking to the report. You may proceed.

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, marketing will be important so that the about 300 visitors per year, as illustrated by Hon. Mirriam Chonya, can be improved. My thoughts are clear. When we increase the number of visitors from 300 to 1 million, and when they go back to their country, they must carry a good word so that just that word produces what is known as the multiplier effect. What is happening in our country should encourage them to advise others to come back.

Madam Speaker, let me just speak about the fear of the unknown. This is capable of restraining people from taking decisions, which are beneficial to our country. So, as we consider these strategies, the issues which are contained in the FIC report should not arise. The issues of illicit financial flows will inhibit investment in infrastructure, which is meant to support tourism. The issues of illicit financial flows, issues of –

Hon. Government Members: Low data.


Madam Speaker: Order, hon. Member, in relation to the strategy, which one are you referring to in particular? If you can address that, then maybe –

Mr Kafwaya: Madam Speaker, the strategy is to create more infrastructure to aid the arrival of visitors to our country. So, it is information such as this information contained in the FIC report, which will detrimental to investment in this sector. It will be detrimental to investment in the road sector, the accommodation sector, and in the communication sector because the people with money, as we have heard in the recent past, need to be attracted to this sector. To attract them, confidence must be built and not be underplayed.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.


Madam Speaker: Order!

Let us not disrupt other hon. Members as they debate, otherwise we will attract disorder.

Mr Kafwaya laid the papers on the Table.

Madam Speaker: Hon. Member, no, you never quoted from the report and you never talked about it, so why are you laying on the Table?


Madam Speaker: We do not even know which year that report is from.

Mr Kafwaya resumed his seat.

Mr Chanda (Kanchibiya): Madam Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity and allow me to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion. Let me also place it on record that from where I come from in Kanchibiya, we think that tourism holds a lot of potential in unlocking the rural community.

Madam Speaker, in speaking to tourism sector development and the effectiveness of tourism development, allow me to confine my debate to eco-cultural tourism, which I think has not been given its deserved place in sector development. As we talk about tourism, we have focused on the Victoria Falls and the Kasaba Bay, etcetera, but little attention has been paid to eco-cultural tourism.

Madam Speaker, there are international tourists who travel long distances in order to experience the way of life of the people and the ecosystem in a particular place especially when the ecosystem has not been adulterated and we would find that in rural areas. Glancing and reading through the report, one gets the feeling that there is a lot of emphasis on infrastructure, roads, etcetera, but there is very little attention being given to, for example, cultural traditional ceremonies all across the country. There are people who travel from Germany because they want to come to experience what the Chinamanongo Ceremony of the Bisa speaking people in Kanchibiya is all about. There are people who would want to come through and experience what the Kuomboka Ceremony, the Nc’wala Ceremony, the Kulamba Kubwalo Ceremony and many other traditional ceremonies across the country are all about.

Madam Speaker, eco-cultural tourism is the only way and the only gateway through which local and rural communities can participate in this very important multi-million and multi-billion sector called the tourism sector. As it is, our policies will continue to speak, by and large, to a sector that must be enjoyed by those who have - the bourgeoisies and to the exclusion of rural communities. So, if my people can perform traditional arts and festivals, who is packaging our traditional ceremonies and marketing them to the international space?

Madam Speaker, when we speak of eco-cultural tourism, for purposes of clarity, we are placing emphasis on the social, cultural, and traditional values of the people. We are talking about environmental awareness of the people; respect for the biosphere, local cultures and, of course, urban communities; the economic potential for public and private companies to invest in rural areas and for rural areas to participate in this space; and a high-quality tourism experience. There are those who would want to move from developed countries to come and spend a night in a well-furnished hotel, the same facility as they have left back home. However, there are those who would want to come and experience life in a rural setting, enjoy a traditional dish and dance to traditional music, but who is packaging what we are all about as a people?

Madam Speaker, there are things such as the handicraft and the visual arts one would find at Kabwata Cultural Village or when one walks into Livingstone. However, the idea of having cultural villages ought to be at the centre of a report such as this one. The moment we do not do that, we exclude the majority of our people who probably will never see the inside of Mosi-o-Tunya Hotel, but they have what they can showcase to the potential tourists. The traditional ceremonies, as I have alluded, already and all the traditions and expressions also provide an opportunity for us to venture into indigenous knowledge practices. How will our people tap and showcase the knowledge that we have inherited from generation to generation and showcase to those who are coming to see who we are as a people and issues around patenting, etcetera? These provide a window of opportunity for us, especially from rural areas, to tap into the wealth that this sector goes to provide.

Madam Speaker, in conclusion, the report speaks to opportunities for job creation for rural communities, and again, I will repeat that the report will do well to also pay particular attention to eco-cultural tourism. With those few remarks, I support the report.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Madam Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to debate.

Hon. Members: Komboni Radio.


Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, before I begin my submission, may I counter what the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte said. Firstly, he said that:

“Human rights records have deteriorated.”

Madam Speaker, secondly, he said that:

“Abductions by the police are causing tourism not to come.”

Mr Kafwaya indicated dissent.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Since the hon. Member was ruled out of order, and the hon. Minister is going to address that issue, let us not go there. The hon. Member may continue to debate.

Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. I wish I was allowed to rebut.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1640 hours until 1700 hours.


 Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. When business was suspended, I had just started my debate. Let me continue by assuring tourists that Zambia is a peaceful country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Tourists have come here and enjoyed and have gone back safely and happily. A good example is of those who came for football from Barcelona. They were so impressed and went back happy to go and sell the tourist attractions of the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: There are no abductions here. The police will only visit you if you have some issues with the law.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, our question today is on the Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism finding out whether the tourism department is effective. This is what we are here for. May I first begin by saying that the New Dawn Government has made strides in improving tourism, but this is still not enough. We are only two years in Government and we still need to do more. This is the sector where we can make a lot of money as a country. To make money, you need to put more money. Look at Kenya; it is literally surviving mainly from tourism.

Mr Speaker, the other area we should look at is advertising. I still find it very strange that tourists, who come to Victoria Falls pay from Britain, leave the money there and get the whole package. They come through South Africa. They carry their own fuel and everything else and all they do when they come to Livingstone is buy hamburgers and then they go back. Where they paid money is somewhere else. I think we need to do something about that. We need to advertise as far as Europe so that we can also tap the tourists from that end. Tourists want to come where they see a lot of organisation. So, if we also tapped that market in Britain, that is why we have embassies, if tourist paid from there, and then we brought them here to show them the tourist sites that we have, surely, we could do far much better.

Mr Speaker, Zambia, fortunately, has many very good tourist attractions, which when people come, are shocked because they have never seen them throughout their lives. Look at the mighty Victoria Falls. It is beautiful but we are not yet where we should be in making money from the Victoria Falls in Livingstone. This means we need to do more to tap that money. We need that revenue to improve many sectors in the country.

Mr Speaker, I have talked about advertising. Yes, we need to do more. Even within the country, we need to do more using Facebook or the internet. We have all these gadgets so that we can really maximise getting revenue from the tourism sector. Yes, we have improved. We now have the Radisson Blu Hotel, which is very beautiful. It has added value. We have done a number of things. I am told if you to the Kafue National Park now, there are systems that are there to improve technology to catch poachers and so on and so forth. Still, we need to do more. We cannot relax and this is what this report is talking about. We need to do more until we reach a level where we can survive through tourism as a country. It is a very good alternative and I am sure that is where this ministry is going towards.

Mr Speaker, animals have also depleted. We need to restock more animals. That should be top on the agenda so that animals can attract more tourists. Like the other speaker from Kanchibiya said here, we have a number of tribes and we have vast cultural backgrounds that are very unique and we can actually sell. If you go to the Western Province, you have something different to see. That is beautiful. If you come to the Central Province and you go to Chinena Village, you have something beautiful to see.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kamboni: When you go to the Eastern Province, you will see something beautiful. So, we are not selling these varieties to the fullest. We need to sell them so that we can get the necessary revenue that we need as a country. One good example is the Mpali soap. People are watching Mpali because of polygamy. All are glued to the television at 2030 hours. That is how much culture can also attract tourists. Tourists want to have fun. They want to watch and have fun at the end of the day. So, really, on these aspects, we need to do more.

Mr Speaker, another area is to bring in technology in many aspects. How do we detect poachers? I have said that we have started but not to the fullest. This will also help us to keep more animals and restock so that we have more attractions, which tourists need.

Mr Speaker, on the cultural aspect, I remember when I was young, we used to go to Livingstone. There were beautiful cultural centres and we did not want to leave Livingstone. They were all over but they are no longer there now. We need to bring them back so that we can attract tourists.

Mr Speaker, I think your Committee has done a fantastic job. Complacency in anything will make you not improve. In business, if you think you are the best and then you do not add any other value, you will go down quickly. You should always be improving. That is the best approach one can take when running an organisation. That is why I am saying that the Ministry of Tourism needs to do more to get more money.

Mr Speaker, the duplication of taxes is a very serious thing. You will find that when you go into business in this area, there are many taxes. I think the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Tourism should sit down and see how the duplication of taxes can be avoided. Most businessmen feel that they are being pulled down when they begin a tourism business and that is not very good. You will find that if you open a business today, this entity comes, it wants a licence, this entity comes, it wants a licence. Why should you have eight or nine licences for one business? So, which licence is allowing you to operate? So, these can be put in one. This is what investors do not want, wasting a lot of time to start a business. So, duplication of taxes which the report has said, should be looked into and sorted out forever. That will encourage more people to go into this area of investment.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, there is a saying that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. I am sure this is my fifth or tenth debate on the tourism sector. We have been talking about the same thing year in, year out. Are we normal? I ask this question –

Mr Second Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member that word –

Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, no, I am said ‘normal’. Normal is not unparliamentary. I am saying this with my sad thoughts. Things like duplication of licences in the tourism sector. If we are to check your report, you will realise that these are things that we have been talking about, year in, year out. Why are we not addressing them?

Mr Speaker, as citizens of this country, we should be serious. We have what we call one boarder post, were I think about four to five years ago, we had agreed that we need to stream line the operations of our tourism agencies. However, your report is bringing back the same issues. What is wrong? It is really a sad day for me especially that the hon. Minister of Tourism is not here. When debating such a report, we expect the hon. Minister of Tourism to be seated here in the House.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mung’andu: Mr Speaker, I will give an example of what is going on in Livingstone. When the provincial headquarters for the Southern Province was shifted from Livingston to Choma, the people of Livingstone who solely depended on tourism activities were left in abject poverty. These are facts. Go and check if our relatives, brothers and sisters who were running lodges in Livingstone have the same number of occupants. Most of them are probably going for days without food. What is it that we are doing to ensure that our people who are dependent on tourism activities have a livelihood? This is what we should be talking about. Not only that but even the things that we try to promote; it is like we believe that a tourist should always be a European or American. What type of people are we? Actually, we can even give visa waivers to Europeans and Americans, leaving out our fellow Africans. What type of human beings are we? Zimbabweans, Egyptians and South Africans should be able to come in this country freely. Even when we sigh what we call Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) Agreement –

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I advise you to stick to the report because certain things that you are talking about are out of context. You are talking about visas. Visas are issued based on mutual understanding between two states, the hosting and the receiving state. There are some countries, especially European countries that are given visas at the point of entry. It is an agreement that Zambia has. There are also security implications. It could be an African country but there are certain concerns that the states looks at before allowing someone at the point of entry. So, let us not contradict ourselves but just stick to the report.

Mr Mung’andu: Hon. Speaker, we are talking about tourism. Whether we like it or not, one of way of promoting tourism is by granting incentives to the states that we want to attract into our country. We have given incentives like the free visa entry to some countries. They are able to enter this country freely. However, my point of argument is that we should be able to promote or give the capacity to our fellow Africans to enjoy the diversity that we have as Africans. That should be the starting point. I will give an example; many of us believe that modernisation is westernisation. Thereby, we forget the potential that lies within our country. No wonder the seconder indicated that if you go to Kasaba Bay and check the figures spent to build the Kasaba Bay Airstrip at the Ministry of Transports and Logistics, you will find they are in millions. Do we have the airstrip at Kasaba Bay? The answer is ‘no’.

Mr Speaker, we should be talking about attracting investment. I believe in local investment. The idea of thinking that someone will come from somewhere to go and build hospitality facilities, for example, in Chama or Ikeleng’i, is wrong. It is us who should be able, as Zambians to go and build facilities so that our people can go and enjoy, probably appreciate the culture that exists. How much money do we put in terms of preservation of our own ways of life? If you go to the ‘so called’ developed countries, and I will give an example of China, you will have to pay money just to be shown how they have preserved their caves. To just see the caves! A few hon. Ministers here have gone to the site in China to see how the ancestors lived. If you look at Zambia, we have the best land mass, the best protected areas, and the best environment. Why have we not put investment for example, in our national parks? We have the Kafue National Park, North Luangwa National Park and South Luangwa National Park. If you are to check how many Zambians are participating, there is probably none.

Mr Speaker, the question that I pose to all of us is: What is it that we are doing to ensure that local Zambians are financially capable to drive the tourism sector? Before we even look at the international visitors, have we invested enough in terms of training for the people to explain to the visitors when they come? Probably, the answer is no. Yet we have animals. When you take a foreigner to a national park, you just waste 40min explaining on the importance of one tree before you even explain how an impala lives. By the time they realise it, they would have lost one day and want to continue on the second day. We need to go into all these trainings. Have we invested into that as a nation? The answer is no. So, we should start introspecting. Are we adding value to this country through the way we apply our knowledge, as leaders.

Mr Speaker, I wish that the Government can quickly resolve the licensing issues. I submit.

I thank you.

Mr Emmanuel Tembo (Feira): Mr Speaker, I thank your Committee for the good work. I also thank the mover of the Motion as well as the seconder. In looking at how effective the strategies in the tourism sector can be developed so that Zambia enjoys the resources that come from the tourism sector. I just want to add on what has already been said that as a country, even as we develop strategies, obviously we are trying to see how the tourism sector contributes to national economic growth and how we control the resources that arise from the tourism sector.

Mr Speaker, I am privileged to come from a district that has also tourism potential. However, it has tourists’ facilities, and like Hon. Kamboni submitted to this, most of these tourism facilities are run by foreigners or people coming from outside Zambia. What has happened is that their bank accounts, which I think is key, are domiciled in foreign countries and not in Zambia. They would maintain a very small account, just for purposes of paying small salaries and so forth. I think, it is important that as we develop these strategies to deal with the problem. If you go to Mfuwe or Lower Zambezi, it will be the same story. We are unable to account for most of our money. So, even as we talk about when we have funds that is when we will do this, I think that in the tourism sector, we lose a lot of money every day. People pay as much as US$1,000 just to come and catch a tiger fish in the Luangwa River or the Zambezi River. If you have ten tourists, that is US$10,000 already.

So, Mr Speaker, I just want to submit that it is very important, even as the other report on illicit financial flaws indicated, the tourism sector also suffers from that aspect.

Mr Speaker, under the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) there is a fund to develop local tourism run by Zambians. I think that we need to develop that strategy to a level where Zambians will take charge of this sector. Perhaps, we will be able not to talk about the loss of revenue through these illegal financial flaws. What has been happening is that huge amounts of money are banked out of the country and, indeed, Zambia loses out. At the end of the day, we are unable to detect how much our services or facilities were able to make. For instance, even my local district council just benefits K49,000 annually from tour operators. Tour operators give reasons that they are not making profits but this has been going on for decades. A lot of money has been realised. If they are not making money they could, by now, have left. So, I do not wish to add on because my colleagues have already said a lot.

Suffice to say, Mr Speaker, that we do support the tourism sector but some of the factors, in particular, issues to do with animals, this presents us with the issue of human/animal conflict. It is a real situation because then when we talk about this use it will look like we are actually undermining tourism. The truth is, the Ministry of Tourism needs to ensure that even as we promote tourism, the issue of human/animal conflict is dealt with adequately. Indeed, it should be dealt with as a cross cutting issue when it comes to promoting tourism. Otherwise, then we will have antagonism.

Finally, Mr Speaker, it is my submission that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning must take up the challenge and ensure that immediately, all bank accounts by tour operators are domiciled in Zambia. For it does not make sense. I think it is very important because we cannot be promoting tourism, bring in foreign investors, who actually open accounts elsewhere because the main thing actually, is the money. So, my submission is that the Ministry of Finance and National Planning should ensure that our banks are full of bank accounts by these tour operators as a rule and as a law which must be enacted and brought before this House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkulukusa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving the people of Katuba an opportunity to comment and debate on this report.

Mr Speaker, the industry we are looking at today it is in excess of US$1 trillion globally. It receives global arrivals of just below a billion people. Many of the countries are depending on this industry for sustainability.

Mr Speaker, tourism in Zambia is the second largest employer, only second to agriculture. There is saying that, for every ten to eleven people that are employed, at least one or two come from the tourism sector. So, this is a very important sector that we need to harness. One of the strategic leaders once said that tourism nourishes and refreshes while mining and the mineral industry diminishes. He was asking a question on where anybody who is looking at the future of a country would invest their efforts on. We need to continue to implore. It is good that the report is looking at opportunities of how we cannot implore this sector and make it start contributing to the growth of the economy.

Mr Speaker, currently, if you look at the growth in Zambia, we are slightly before 3 per cent in terms of contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy. Many of the times, we will start appreciating the impact of tourism on the economy when we start growing at about 5 to 7 per cent. That means that we will now see the real fruits of tourism. For this to happen, we need to put up deliberate strategies and plans to ensure that this sector, which is a sleeping giant, can wake up and grow our economy exponentially.

Mr Speaker, I implore the United Party for National Development (UPND) New Dawn Government to increase the investment on the continuous marketing of tourism. If you look from the figures, this part of the budget used to receive not more than a million or a US$ 1.5 million annually, which is a drop in the ocean when you look at global promotion because this only means maybe, thirteen series on British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) or  Cable News Network (CCN) and the budget is gone. It was pleasing to see that the 2023 Budget had in excess of US$5 million put together investing in tourism promotion. I think we are putting resources where it matters most.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is strategically positioned. It is well known to be one of the most peaceful countries on the continent of Africa. Of course, arguably, they say that Zambia is one of the most attractive destinations because most of our products in the tourism sector are eco-friendly. Meaning, they are more sustainable, they are not man made, all given to us by God himself. That makes our tourism more sustainable. So, when we look at these products, we need to plan them, use them in a more sustainable manner so that today, we may achieve our objectives using tourism by fighting poverty. Who knows, twenty or thirty years from now, the country will be so rich that people will use tourism for recreation, recharging their batteries and increasing productivity. So, we really need to use this sector sustainably.

Mr Speaker, we are known for our own special brand of hospitality. If you go across the world, many of the visitors will tell you how friendly Zambians are and how they will go out of their way to assist tourists when they arrive in the country.

However, Mr Speaker, there is one thing that we need to work on as a country. If not many but at least one that I would like to mention now. That is, improving, increasing and modifying both our road and air transport. It is very difficult more especially if you are a long-haul traveller; it is one of the most expensive destinations because you have to connect through different hubs. One of the issues of hubbing to increase tourists’ arrivals is to ensure that you put one of your airports as one that takes people to the world and brings people from the world to redistribute them in Africa. We see the major hubs today, that, if you look at Johannesburg for example, receiving approximately 11 million people per annum because they are capable of taking people to the world and bringing people from the world to Johannesburg and redistributing them on the continent. We really need to re-strategise and see how we will perform. Of the 195 countries, which are tourists’ destinations on the global frame, none that is known to be a great tourist destination is without a flourishing airline. It is not possible in the tourism sector. For those countries that might not be doing well, the first thing to do is look at the way their airline is doing. You will find that it is also struggling. 

Mr Speaker, I have always argued that most tourist destinations do not put airlines purely for profitability. An airline is a loss leader. Sometimes it makes few losses, but what it does to the tourism, agricultural, and mining sectors is so much such that when you look at the small losses it is making to the benefits the country is getting, through profiling and repositioning the country in the global market, is so much the benefit that you tend to undergo the loss.

Mr Speaker, in 2010, when South African Airways had a biggest loss, their hon. Minister of Transport said that it was not possible to shut the airline down because shutting it down was shutting the economy of South Africa.

Mr Speaker, if we really want to grow this sector, we must really rethink on how we can reposition the airline and which model we can use. Is it the private sector driven model supported by the Government or the Government driven model fully owned by the Government? They both work. The Kenyan Airways has the private sector model and South African Airline has the Government channeled model and we have seen that both are working.

Mr Speaker, I wanted to comment on this issue and I would like to end by saying that truly tourism flourishes when the mining sector diminishes. If we need to be leaders of the future, we need to look at where it sustains and tourism is the right place to invest in.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale (Chitambo): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving chance to the people of Chitambo, through me, to comment on this very important Motion and allow me to thank the Chairperson and his Committee for a good job they have done.

Mr Speaker, Chitambo is also a hub of tourist attractions. We boast of the Kasanka National Park, the Bangweulu Wetlands and the David Livingstone Memorial site.

Mr Speaker, I have thanked the Chairperson of your Committee because the tourism sector is not one sector you can comment on without looking at other important sectors of the economy. So, for your Committee to pick on this topic, it had a very big duty to do because this is a sector which requires a multi-sectoral approach in order to bring sanity and the revenue that this country requires.

Mr Speaker, for countries that have developed well, and have achieved much in tourism, the first people who are tourists are the indigenous citizens of that country. So, if we are to see tourism grow in this country, we first need to change the culture of our people. We should start saving and going out for holidays in our own country.

Mr Speaker, many at times that even ourselves when we close Parliament, you would find that your hon. Members prefer going outside Zambia, other than been in our own country to develop our own tourism. So, I am urging Zambians to inculcate a mind in the new generation, which is our children, of saving and wanting to see what this country has to show.

Mr J. E. Banda: Correct.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report on page 11, has very good information and if implemented, it will definitely and for sure open up The Northern Circuit. The Committee Report said that the following road projects were earmarked for development: The Mbala/Kasaba Bay Road, earmarked for upgrading to bituminous standard, Mporokoso/Nsama Road via Mutunda getting to Kaputa and the road leading to Sumbu National Park.

Mr Speaker, one thing I have noted is that your Committee should have gone further to interrogate the ministry responsible so that the report should have contained the timeframes in which these projects will be done so that there is an assurance to the nation that it will be done. Nevertheless, we shall wait for the Action-Taken Report to see whether the Government will respond to this very wonderful report.

Mr Speaker, many hon. Members have talked about the infrastructure in the tourism sector. Indeed, it is very true that our infrastructure, in its current status, is quite bad. I know that successful Governments have paid little attention to advance the infrastructure in the tourism sector.

Mr Speaker, if you go to Chiawa, you will discover that you will not have network services there. Telecommunication is a challenge at certain lodges and so on and so forth. Similarly, in my own constituency, if you went to Chipundu and you want to see where David Livingstone was buried, you will be struggling just to use your phone. So, we are urging the Government and I am happy that the hon. Minister came here and told us that the Government will roll-out about 300 towers. I hope most of them will go into the sites where tourism is.

Mr Speaker, another component that demotivates tourists from going into these areas is the connectivity of electricity to the national grid. Most of these places are expensive because they run on diesel. Imagine you are managing a lodge and for you to just clock a month on diesel is quite a huge bill. So, you could find that most places become expensive because of the overhead costs that they incur in managing these places.

Mr Speaker, I do recall the President giving a directive to the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources that most of the cultural places should be given title deeds. I will be looking forward to seeing this coming to pass because should title deeds be given to all cultural places. It would mean that we would have preserved culture in this country for the next generation. If this is not done, very soon we may discover that some of the cultures will be diminishing. For example, if you look at the arena where the Mutomboko Ceremony takes place, if that place was given a title deed it will mean that no one will tamper with that area. It will remain the place for the Mutomboko Ceremony and people can go and see that arena if it is well preserved and maintained.

Mr Speaker, in your report, I saw where your Committee went and interrogated the management at Kasanka National Park. I like its recommendation because it said that there is no coordination between the stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, I think the people of Chitambo end here.

I thank you. Mr Speaker.      

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment (Eng. Nzovu): Mr Speaker, let me thank you sincerely for this opportunity. I want to add my voice as well, but I will concentrate on two particular issues and these are the protection of ecosystems, the water systems and the registration in particular of the Water Act and the Forest of Act No. 4 of 2015.

Mr Speaker, I have been compelled to say a few things because basically, most of us are debating on infrastructure such as roads and everything else to go and see the animals, but this report, and I must commend your Committee for coming up with such a detailed report, brings out two salient features which I think all hon. Members must pay attention to.

Mr Speaker, the first one is on page 23 of the report and it says:

“Let us intensify efforts to protect ecologically sensitive water recharge areas. The Committee further recommended that in order to maintain the status of a water-secure country, Government should without fail declare all sensitive water recharge areas as protected areas to prevent further degeneration of the ecosystems.”

This is telling, Mr Speaker. I would, therefore, like the House to know that the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment working with the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation would want to put a huge premium on this.

Mr Speaker, it has been observed in the whole country that land is being given willingly including land which protects the water system is also being given away. Indeed, we need to look at this very closely.

Mr Speaker, the report also talks about enhancing public awareness on the need to protect the water sources. On page 27, the report talks about curbing the illegal sand mining at Magoye River. It says that Magoye was already a degraded river that flowed only during the rainy season due to siltation and degradation, caused by anthropogenic activities around the river such as gardening, tree cutting for charcoal burning, farming and sand mining.

Mr Speaker, this is being observed across the length and breadth of the country. Farming and sand mining are being done right on the river banks. This is leading to a lot of siltation and it is also leading to rivers flowing fewer months than they used to in those days.

Mr Speaker, the example of Magoye River just like the hon. Minister, Hon. Mposha will tell the House, it is a sorry sight. The area hon. Member of Parliament, Hon. Mweemba, will tell the House that this is an area where the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) is working with the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation together with the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment have embarked on a project to restore the ecosystem.

Mr Speaker, animals and cattle in that area are suffering. The production of cattle is going down. It is the same across the length and breadth of the country. Wild animals are continuously being deprived of their food – grass, and water resource thereby decreasing the stocks in these areas.

Mr Speaker, another issue I would like to bring across is the issue on page 22 which talks about the review of the Water Resources Management Act and it talks about Forest Act No. 4 of 2015, which has mandated for the Forest Department under the Ministry of Green Economy and to degazette forests without the Ministry Water Development and Sanitation. Indeed, your Committee also observed the Water Resources Act was not in harmony with the Forestry Act No. 4 of 2015.

Mr Speaker, the case in point, as highlighted in the report, is that the Forestry Act mandated the Forestry Department under my Ministry to degazette forests without consulting the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation. Indeed, the current law mandates the Forest Department, under my ministry, to degazetted forests, but in strict observance and adherence to the following parts and clauses in Forestry Act No. 4 of 2015. Part III in particular, Forests management and development thus, the national forest is that the purposed of the national forest on this matter in Section 12 states that:

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, all land comprised in a National Forest shall be used for:

  1. the security of forest resources of national importance;
  2. the conservation of ecosystems and biological diversity;
  3. improved forest resource management and sustainable utilisation of forest resources; and
  4. the management of major of water catchments and head water subject to the Water Resources Management Act, 2011.

Mr Speaker, this clearly indicates that particular attention is paid to the nature and characteristics of each individual forest to be degazetted. The enforcement also considers the prescribed law in other relevant legislation such as the Water Resources Management Act. The Forest Act further restricts any activities that deal with camping residing, building or construction of any road or structure in any forest area. For any excision or degazetion to take place the precaution principle should always and is always taken into account to determine the sustainability development, utilisation and conservation, biological diversity and the best scientific information available. This is in order to maintain for distribution of economic, social, health, and environmental benefits from the forests.

Further, Mr Speaker, Section 19 of the Forests Act states that subject to the other provisions of this Act and any other written law, all land comprised in a Local Forest shall be used for the conservation and development of forests for the protection of ecosystems, particularly the protection of land and water supplies of local strategic importance.

Mr Speaker, it is evident that importance is attached to water resources in relation to forest management and development. I was compelled to comment on this matter because this House should play a very important role in ensuring that there is advocacy and communication to our people to protect the forest reserves. For us to develop the tourism sector, we need to ensure that the environment is a health environment and that it also provides the necessary ecosystem services not only to our people, but to view animals themselves.

By the way, one of the main issues of the protected forest is to protect the head waters and ensure that there is continuous flow of water. For us to develop the tourism sector, we need to ensure that our water resource, our vegetation and that the tress that provides shelter to our wild animals are protected. So, it is not only about roads and infrastructure to go and see those animals, it is about ensuring that we have a growing population of the animals. It is about ensuring that the animals have enough water, enough grass and that they are healthy.

Mr Speaker, with these remarks I wish to completely support the Committee’s Report and commend it for a job well done.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Water Development and Sanitation (Mr Mposha): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in congratulating the mover and the seconder of this Motion and to congratulate the entire Committee for the good job it has done on this report.

Mr Speaker, let me hasten to state that the Government through my ministry appreciates the work of your Committee and the recommendations contained in its report regarding the issues of energy, water development and tourism in the country.

Mr Speaker, let me also thank all those who took time to add their voices to the report although I note that while the report is on energy, water development and tourism, the focus was more on one item without taking into account that water is enabler to various sectors including tourism. All the same, I thank all those who debated this report.

Mr Speaker, allow me to respond to some of the selected issues contained in the report. On the issue of operationalising the Water Resource Management Act, No. 21 of 2011, which is contained on page 20, the Government through my ministry is already taking some steps to improve the management and development of water resources as well as the provision of water supply and sanitation services in the country.

Sir, I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm the  Government’s commitment to addressing the issues raised by your Committee, which among others include the constituting of decentralised water resources management structures in accordance with the Water Resources Management Act, No. 21 of 2011, the review of the Water Resources Management Act, the review of the 2010 National Water Policy, the acquisition of title deeds for the commercial utility properties and the bringing on board more players to supply the water treatment chemicals to commercial utilities.

Mr Speaker, in reference to your Committee’s observation on page 21, I would like to report to this august House that the ministry has made significant progress concerning the development of regulations which will constitute the water catchment councils, sub-catchment councils and water user associations. The august House may wish note that the ministry engaged the Ministry Of Justice on this matter and we been guided that the regulations be submitted to Cabinet for clearance and my ministry has since commenced the process of submitting the said regulations.

Mr Speaker, regarding the review of the Water Resources Management Act, as contained on page 22 of your report, the ministry has written to Ministry of Justice to commence the review process of the Act. As soon as the ministry receives feedback from the Ministry of Justice, the ministry will commence the review of the Water Resources Management Act.

Mr Speaker, as regards the update on the 2010 National Water Policy as contained on page 24 of the report, let me report to this House the review of the said policy. My ministry has concluded the review of the 2010 National Water Policy and has since submitted the policy to Cabinet Office for clearance.

Mr Speaker, with respect to acquisition of title deeds for the commercial water utilities as contained on page 28 of the report, my ministry has directed all our eleven commercial water utility companies to expedite acquisition of title deeds for the land on which their properties are located. I want to further, report that commercial water utilities have commenced engagements with various local authorities and Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on this matter.

Mr Speaker, on item No. 17 on page 29, I further update this august House concerning the exploration of other means of procuring water treatment chemicals. During the European Union Zambia Forum (EUZF), which was hosted by Zambia, my ministry undertook the promotion of investment opportunities with regard to setting up plants that could produce water treatment chemicals within the country. As you may be aware, the Government attaches great importance to water resources development and management as well as water supply and sanitation considering the critical role that water and adequate sanitation continue to play in fostering social economic development in our country. In this regard, the Government will endeavour to ensure the review of the National Water Policy and the Water Resources Management Act are expedited. The Government will also ensure that Statutory Instruments (SIs) on the establishment of decentralised structures are promulgated including the acquisition of title deeds by water utility companies.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I make an earnest appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament to support the ministry in curbing vandalism of water infrastructure, which is being put up at a huge cost, as well as encroachment of water sources and recharge zones, as was the case on the Lusaka East Forest Reserve No.27. This is critical in ensuring continued water supply and sanitation service provision as well as sustainable management and utilisation of water resources in our country.


Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Energy (Mr Kapala) (on behalf of the Minister of Tourism (Mr Sikumba)): Mr Speaker, may I start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to speak before is august House on the observations and recommendation made by your Committee on Energy, Water Development and Tourism on Tourism Sector Development and the Effectiveness of Tourism Development Strategies in Zambia.

Sir, may I also thank your Committee for the fine report, which has raised issues that would help the tourism sector move forward and meaningfully contribute to the country’s economic transformation and job creation.

Mr Speaker, your Committee generally observed that the sector has underdeveloped tourism-related infrastructure, limited investment - both local and foreign investors, limited tourism products offering range and scope, inadequate tourism promotion and marketing, low participation by locals in direct and indirect tourism development, and that Zambia is being perceived as a high cost destination, among other challenges.

Mr Speaker, this observation is acknowledged and the Government, through my ministry, is working towards addressing these challenges and some positive strides have been made so far. However, let me address some specific issues that have been raised in this report.

Registration of Businesses and Co-operatives

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted that most citizens are finding it difficult to participate in small and medium enterprise business in the tourism industry, due to registration challenges, as the process is highly centralised and recommended the amendment and review of the Co-operative Societies Act, Chapter 397 of the Laws of Zambia, and the Patents Act, No. 40 of 2016 so that registration bottlenecks are addressed, by decentralising the registration processes.

Mr Speaker, this is noted and the ministry will engage the responsible ministries; where the Acts are domiciled to address the challenges.

Multiple Licensing

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that there are too many licensing fees and taxes required to be paid by tour operators and other tourism industry sector players which has operational costs and recommended a comprehensive study and review to establish various licensing fees and taxes existing in the sector, with a view for restructuring them in order to reduce the cost of doing business.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform this House that in 2021 the ministry had already engaged the Business Regulatory Review Agency (BRRA), which conducted a comprehensive study to establish the number of licencing fees paid by tour operators. This is in line with the Committee’s observations. The ministry has also engaged other institutions charging licences fees to consider harmonising the payments. The ministry identified the Tourism and Hospitality Act No. 13 of 2015, and will soon propose a review of the Act.

Enhancement of Destination Marketing and Tourism Products Diversification

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that the marketing of Zambia’s various tourism products is inadequate and limited to waterfalls and wildlife. It urged the ministry to undertake extensive and effective destination marketing to increase awareness and demand. Also, to develop tourism products from nature, use information communication technology (ICT) for marketing and develop a marketing strategy.

Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware of skewed tourism marketing towards waterfalls and wildlife, and so has included marketing of other products such as:

  1. culture, which includes traditional ceremonies, food, art and festivals;
  2. adventure, which includes water activities, camping, backpacking, bungee jumping, gorge swing and leisure;
  3. safari camps, game drives, national parks, the bat migration and the wildebeest migration within wildlife;
  4. monuments and sites museums; and
  5. meeting, incentives, conferences and events (MICE).

Mr Speaker, in sports, the country hosted a number of events such as the under 18s and under 20s Confederation of African Athletics (CAA), and the Barcelona Legends versus the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON)-winning Legends which attracted spectators from outside Zambia. However, to host these events, we need to invest in sports infrastructure and accommodation.

Mr Nkandu: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapala: Mr Speaker, in terms of marketing, the ministry is employing online digital platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Further, it is making use of tourism exhibitions such as the one held at Internationale Tourismus Börse (ITB) and Africa’s Travel Indaba (ATI) to market Zambia as a preferred tourism destination of choice. The ministry is also conducting familiarisation tours for the media and destination marketing agents from targeted tourist source markets in conjunction with Zambia missions abroad as part of the marketing strategy.

Revision of the Functions of the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA)

Mr Speaker, the Committee observed with concern that the mandates of the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA), which are to market Zambia as a tourist destination of choice and to regulate the industry, are too demanding to be undertaken by the agency. So, it urges the ministry to streamline the role of the agency to marketing and identify another department to regulate the sector.

Mr Speaker, the ministry acknowledges this observation and recommendations. Although the two functions are implemented by one institution they fall under different departments. The ministry also carries out the regulatory function. The private sector has raised a concern about ZTA carrying out the functions of marketing and regulation. The ministry has noted the concerns. However, the Tourism and Hospitality Act of 2015, currently, mandates it to do so.

Capacity Building Programmes

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that the tourism and hospitality industry is lacking the competitive technical staff to service it in comparison to other countries within the region. To this effect, your Committee urges the ministry to come up with regulations to encourage all enterprises offering tourism and hospitality services to periodically sponsor their technical staff for refresher courses.

Mr Speaker, the ministry acknowledges the observation and is also concerned. It is in discussion with various stakeholders for the possibility of establishing a regulatory body that will address issues raised and others. It is very proactive on issues of capacity building in the tourism sector. The ministry, not too long ago, in collaboration with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), held an education skills summit, which is now an annual event. It is also capacitating the Zambia Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Studies (ZITHS).

Improved Information on Arts Products and Services

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that information about arts products and services is not provided before the arrival of tourists in the country. It urged the ministry through ZTA to enhance product marketing by providing information on arts products and services to tourists before arrival in the country as this has the potential to lead to increasing their length of stay.

Mr Speaker, this is well acknowledged. The ministry through ZTA will ensure that product marketing information on arts products and services will be included in the packages being marketed to tourists before arrival in the country.

Increase Presence of Arts and Crafts at Tourism Sites

Mr Speaker, the Committee observed that there is a general lack of arts and crafts products in most tourist sites and that few sites have crafts markets. It also observed that in the northern tourism circuit, the situation is worse as most crafts are traded in appropriate spaces often by the roadside. Your Committee recommended that, –

Mr Fube: Naipwa inshita!

Mr Kapala: I have quite a bit to say.

Hon. Members: Time is up!

Mr Kapala: Thank you so much, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kangombe: Mr Speaker, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity, once again, to wind up the debate. From the outset, I thank all the hon. Members who ably debated the Motion to adopt this report.

Mr Speaker, I just want to highlight a few take away notes for the hon. Minister. One of the main reasons the tourism sector in Zambia is not growing in terms of domestic tourism is the cost of doing business. Secondly, it is the pricing itself. So, we urge the ministry to come up with a deliberate policy to have two-tier pricing so as to enable domestic tourism to grow.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the following ministries to emulate what, so far, the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts has been able to achieve, of course, as well as the hon. Minister of Tourism itself on the meetings, incentives, conferences and Events (MICE). The Hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Art has demonstrated sports based tourism. I would also like to urge the hon. Minister of Health to scale up health based tourism. We cannot be flying in and out of the country to access certain operations that could easily be done in the country if only we could upscale the medical specialities that we need. I would also urge the hon. Minister of Education to scale up education based tourism because is important. We cannot be sending people to Europe and other countries to go and acquire certain qualifications when we have able lecturers and teachers in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, finally, I want to thank one particular man who I want to encourage to be debating more often, the hon. Member for Katuba, for having ably debated and giving statistical and practical example. I am pretty sure, if the acting hon. Minister was ably listening, he would have picked one or two issues that are very important.

Mr Speaker, I also want to further lobby the Minister for Water Development and Sanitation to ensure that they collaborate with the hon. Minister of Green Economy and Environment so ensure that in these catchment areas, the issue of land degradation should be a thing of the past. Let us speed up the process in these pieces of legislation that have been in the shelves for a very long time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House Adjourned at 1814 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 30th June, 2023.