Debates- Thursday, 2nd June, 2011

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Thursday, 2nd June, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





437. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Works and Supply how many roads in Central Province had been worked on using the machinery that was procured from China, from inception to date.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mangani): The earth-moving equipment procured from China has worked on approximately fifty-four roads in the Central Province from 2008, as can be seen from the table below:

District Road Name Scope of Works Progress (Km)

Chibombo Mulungushi-Lifwambula Heavy grading 40

Kabwe Chindwin-Natuseko New construction 1.5

Chibombo T2 at Ulemu-Sandlands-
 Munyama Heavy grading 14
 Landless Corner-Chitanda Heavy grading
  and spot gravelling 40

 Mwachisompola-Chabona Gravelling 3.5
 Chibombo High School Light grading and
  spreading of gravel
  dumped by school 1.5

 Chief Liteta’s Palace Formation and
  gravelling 1.2

 Liteta Hospital Reshaping and
  gravelling 1.2

Kabwe Industrial Road Grading, heavy 
  gravelling, reshaping 1.4

Serenje Chitambo-Katikulula Grading 20

Mposhi Katukwe-Kabwale Light grading 4

  Total 128.3


Serenje Chitambo to Katikulula Heavy grading 28.5
  Gravelling 9

 Chisom to Chibale Heavy grading 37.5
 Chibale to Mukopa Heavy grading 20
 Chibale to Mulima Heavy grading 46
 Serenje Township Roads Heavy grading 9
 Chibale to Mulilima Spot gravelling 30

Mumbwa Mululi to Choombwa Heavy grading 22
 Blue Lagoon Heavy grading 10.5
 Mumbwa to Landless M20 Heavy grading 50

Kabwe  Township roads Full rehabilitation 5

Mposhi Ngabwe Road Heavy grading
  reshaping, spot
  gravelling 30

Mkushi  Msofu Road (Mkushi North) Heavy grading 20 
  Gravelling 28

 Township roads Grabbing and
 gravelling 8

 Old Mkushi to Kaundula Gravellling 35 
Chibombo M20 Landless Corner Heavy grading
 Chainage 50 to 81 Grading 31
 (Chitanda Turnoff) Gravelling 15
 Mungule Road Rehabilitation 18

Kabwe to
Chibombo Kasavasa D191 to Chisamba Heavy grading 40 
  Gravelling 88

Kapiri  Lukanga to (Lukanga 
 Swamps) Grading and bush
  Bush clearing
  Heavy grading
  Spot gravelling 63
  Total 2009 605.5

2010 – 2011

Kabwe Railway Systems  Ripping
 of Zambia Heavy grading
  Road formation
  Regravelling 0.2

 Mukobeko Light gravelling
 Maximum Road formation
 Prison Spot gravelling 3.4

 Culvert Laying culverts 
 Installation building h/walls
  Building aprons

 Chowa Road Ripping 14
  Heavy grading  
  Road formation

 Chiparamba Re-alignment   Formation
  Full gravelling
  Drainage 16

 Paidiesa Re-alignment
  Full gravelling
  Drainage 1

 Chowa Grading 68

 ZNS Ring Route Grading 8
  Grading 4

 Mukobeko-Ngabwe Heavy grading 103
  Culvert Installation 5
  Re-gravelling 40

 Chief Chipepo’s Bush clearing 7 
 Palace Road Formation
  Spot Gravelling 2
  Culvert Installation 4

 Chowa Kasosola Bush clearing
  Heavy grading
  Spot Gravelling 28

 Township roads Heavy grading
  Spot gravelling 16.4

Chibombo Kampumba Mine Reshaping 
  Spot gravelling 28
  Regravelling 96

 Malambanyama Heavy grading 5.2
  Spot gravelling

 Situmbeko-Kabile  Bush clearing 11
  Heavy grading
  Reshaping and
Mposhi Mukonchi Farm Grading 30
  Spot gravelling 21

 Chief Mukonchi Grading 7
  Gravelling 32
  Spot gravelling

 Mutanino Bush clearing 18
 Resettlement Heavy grading
 Scheme Road formation

Serenje Muzimanilusiwasi grading 52
  Bush clearing 32
  Road formation  52
  Spot gravelling

 Gibson Tuta Grading 9
  Gravelling 0
  Reshaping 9

 Malcolm Moffat Grading 4

Mkushi Lunsemfwa Bridge- Bush clearing  30
 Chief Chitina Heavy grading
  Reshaping and
  Spot grading

 Chief Chikupili’s Palace Grading 15
  Formation and
Mumbwa Situmbeko Light grading 22
 Chimbotela Reshaping

 Kaindu Mpusu Heavy grading 28
  Spot gravelling

  Total 821.2

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, given the experience in my constituency that the equipment is not capable of heavy grading, I would like to find out how many units are still working.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, for the Central Province, almost all the units are working. As regards the equipment not being suitable for heavy grading, the opposite is the case because we have witnessed some of the roads being heavily graded, as indicated in our answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if the roads whose works were not completed will be worked on before we see the construction works start, especially that new projects are being launched.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we cannot begin what we cannot finish. Therefore, we are going to finish all the outstanding works.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, some of the vehicles which were bought from China have broken down. What mechanism is being used to ensure that those vehicles are repaired and put to use?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I do not know which vehicles were bought for road grading, but those that were bought from China are currently working.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, may I know what criterion is used to select the roads to be graded because some of us have applied for this machinery since it came, but none has been sent to our constituencies.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the local authorities are the ones that submit the work plans for the roads that are to be worked on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, may I know why Road D 69 which connects Itezhi-tezhi to the Central Province was left out in the hon. Minister’s response?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I think the road was omitted by the people who made the work plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, were there any issues of diesel misuse when carrying out these works in the Central Province?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we never received such information.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Minister indicates that considerable work has been done in the Central Province. May I, therefore, know why in the Southern Province, there have been very few, if any, roads rehabilitated. Is it because it is a United Party for National Development (UPND) stronghold?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, that is not true. There is equipment which is working in the Southern Province…

UNPD Members: Where?

Mr Namulambe: … and, if the hon. Member wants to find out, he is free to ask the Regional Engineer who is based in Livingstone. This machinery has been working and the requests from all over the province are overwhelming. Therefore, in my view, in the Southern Province, there is work which is being carried out using this equipment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, when will the ministry decentralise this equipment so that districts can choose which roads to work on and not the provinces choosing which districts it should be sent to?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola who has just confirmed that the works are being rehabilitated. It is our desire, as a Government, to procure equipment for each district but, at the moment, the equipment that we have distributed to the respective provinces is designed to work in the respective local authority jurisdictions to which she is a member.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, is there any intention by the Government to transfer this equipment to areas such as Gwembe where no equipment has been sent and no works have been undertaken since this equipment was bought?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, our desire is to ensure that we work on all the roads and it is quite evident that the equipment has been put to use even in Gwembe. Our intention is to ensure that it is used to work on all the roads countrywide.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, whilst appreciating the equipment that has been acquired, I would like to find out what effort is being made to acquire the proper equipment for tarring roads in townships because the current equipment only grades the roads to gravel which is not ideal for township roads.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we are taking that into consideration. It is a good suggestion but, currently, our concern was to also look at the rural roads because of the agricultural production in the country.

I thank you, Sir.


438. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Gwembe/Chipepo Road would be rehabilitated;

(b) whether a contractor had already been identified and, if so, what the name of the contractor is;

(c) what the width of the road would be; and

(d) what the total cost of rehabilitating the road was.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Works and Supply, through the Road Development Agency (RDA) would like to rehabilitate the entire Bottom Road. However, the rehabilitation of the Road will be carried out in stages. The ministry started with the section between Chabbobboma and Sinazeze in 2009 and, this year, the section between Munyumbwe and Njami will be worked on.

The intention of the ministry was to include the maintenance of the Gwembe-Chipepo Road in the 2011 Annual Work Plan, but due to budgetary constraints, the road project will be included in the 2012 Annual Work Plan. The Gwembe-Chipepo Road is one of the priority roads, but no funding has been received for its maintenance in the previous years. The deteriorated sections of the road will be worked on using the rural roads equipment to keep the road passable.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has not yet identified the contractor to carry out the works on the Gwembe-Chipepo Road as there is no budgetary provision in the 2011 Annual Work Plan. However, the contract to undertake the works for section of the Bottom Road between Munyumbwe and Njami has been awarded to China-Hennan.

Mr Speaker, the road width expected to be rehabilitated is 6.5m. The Ministry of Works and Supply, through the RDA, has estimated the cost of rehabilitating the road which is about 55 km to be K70 billion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, may I find out whether this Government, as it proclaims to continue … (Mr Ntundu pointing at the Government Members)

Mr Speaker: Order! Watch that finger.


Mr Ntundu: I would like to find out whether this Government is keeping the Mwanawasa legacy, as it proclaims. The Gwembe/Chipepo Road has been changed to Mwanawasa Road. There is even a poster thereon. I would like to find out whether it is true that this Government, on your right, is truly following the Mwanawasa legacy who had promised to put a permanent contractor on the Gwembe/Chipepo Road.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we cannot put a permanent contractor on a road. This is because a contractor is there to undertake specific works for a specified period of time. The fact that we have a contractor who has been awarded a contract to rehabilitate part of this road is enough evidence of this Government’s commitment to have the road worked on.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is knowledgeable enough to talk about the Gwembe/Chipepo Road, considering the answer that he has given relates to the Bottom Road which is not part of the Gwembe/Chipepo Road.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we work through the RDA whose officials are on the ground. These are the facts before us.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Monze is still not satisfied that the hon. Minister is aware of the location of the Gwembe/Chipepo Road. I had hoped that, in the question, he would hint that the Gwembe/Chipepo Road begins from the Gwembe Boma ..

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: … going down to the lake, past Munyumbwe.

Hon. UPND Member: You are right, Sir.


Mr Muyanda: You know better, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Moomba.

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether this road with a width of 6.5 m will be tarred or gravel. I am not comfortable with a width of 6.5 m. I think it is too wide.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the road will be gravel, but this will be with a view to tarring it in future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply said the first phase of the Bottom Road construction is the stretch from Sinazeze to Jamba. Is he aware that the bridges were washed away by the rains and that between Sinazeze and Jamba and into the Gwembe/Chipepo Road, there is none left? Is he aware that there is no passable road? Also, which road did this contractor ever work on in the valley?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I did not say that the works have been already been carried out. I said that the contract has been awarded.

The fact that the bridges were washed away means that we will work on them as well.

I thank you, Sir.


439. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Labour and Social Security:

(a) how many employees of the Kagem Mining Limited were engaged on a casual basis from 2010 to April, 2011; and

(b) why the ministry allowed the company to engage workers on casual basis

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Kachimba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that between 1st January, 2010 and 31st December, 2010, the company engaged 430 employees on a casual basis and, subsequently, all of them were offered five-year contracts of employment by 1st January, 2011.

Mr Speaker, by April, 2011, Kagem engaged twenty-four casual employees on six months contracts, subject to review and consideration for permanent jobs. Currently, the total permanent workforce at Kagem stands at 419 and they are being represented by a union.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to inform the House that my ministry has set guidelines for engaging casual workers for all employers to follow, and that they do not necessarily have to seek the approval of the ministry, as and when they require to engage workers on a casual basis.

In this case, the ministry established that the company engaged casual workers for specific short-term unskilled jobs, involving seasonal grass cutting and general work around the mine premises, in compliance with stipulated guidelines.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the 430 former causal workers, who are now on a permanent basis, will be paid their dues.

Mr Kachimba: Mr Speaker, there were arrangements, through management, to see to it that all the employees are given the money that they were owed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili:  Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is legal for a company that has employed workers on permanent and pensionable conditions of service to include a clause of termination of employment at any time without any compensation.

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Liato): Mr Speaker, terms and conditions of service always remain the responsibility between the employer and the employees, where the workers are represented by a union. Obviously, there are minimum conditions attainable at law.

In our laws, there are minimum entitlements for employees if they are to be retrenched or declared redundant. These are the terms under which some entitlements are given at law. However, I do not know which other position would be attainable where an employee’s contract is terminated without due regard of the law. However, if there are any such conditions, employees have the right to lodge a complaint either with the union or ministry. However, there is no such condition that can disregard the provisions of the law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm what he means when he says that there is a minimum time period allowed to employ casual workers. He confirmed, in his response, that casual workers are those who do menial jobs such as cutting grass and digging trenches. Can he also confirm that it is illegal for these companies to employ, as casual workers, people who are semi-skilled such as drivers, brick layers and welders?

Hon. Opposition Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, first of all, it is impossible not to have casual labour because there are jobs that are not permanent in nature. Permanent and pensionable conditions of service will apply in a situation where employment is permanent in nature. If a job is seasonal, periodical or temporary in nature, it will attract either temporary conditions of service or casual employment. Therefore, it is only fair to say that the jobs will dictate the terms and conditions of service. As a matter of policy, this Government does not encourage casual conditions of service for jobs that are permanent in nature.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, how much was paid in terms of dues to each casual worker on a monthly basis?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, we would gladly like to provide that information except that it would definitely require details which we do not have at the moment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, why has this Government allowed Kankoyo Breweries Limited to employ casual workers for more than seven years?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, although this has nothing to do with the question on Kagem Mining Limited, I wish to say that the position is that this Government does not allow anyone to employ casual workers for a long period. However, the situation is that there are some employers who may flout the rules either knowingly or unknowingly.  If the issue is brought to our attention, we will obviously take measures to address it. This is a case in point. If there is such a situation existing in Kankoyo, we will take measures to address it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Captain Moono (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, for how long can one remain a casual worker at the same company? Are there any laws that compel employers to confirm casual labour into permanent employment after a specified period?

Mr Liato: Mr Speaker, allow me to repeat what I said earlier. We may not be able to absolutely eliminate casual labour because certain terms dictate that there be casual labour. However, we are encouraging that a job that is permanent in nature is not given conditions of service for casual employees. Therefore, if there is employer who is doing that, he is wrong. What matters is not how long we can allow this situation, but that this situation is allowed to take place. It is either an employee qualifies for causal employment or goes for permanent employment. If he/she cannot fit into these two categories, we encourage employers to give him/her long-term conditions of service so that he/she can plan his/her life and do something meaningful at their place of work and in his/her lives.

I thank you, Sir.


440. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services:

(a) when the Freedom of Information Bill would be presented to Parliament for enactment; and

(b) what had caused the delay in bringing the Bill to Parliament.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Ms Cifire): Mr Speaker, the Bill will be presented to Parliament as soon as consultation processes on the Bill are completed. The Government is committed to ensuring that the Freedom of Information Bill is enacted, therefore, speedy consultations on the Bill are underway. It is hoped that these consultations will be completed before the end of 2011.

Sir, the on-going consultation process has delayed the presentation of the Freedom of Information Bill to Parliament. Caution should be exercised before enacting a Bill of such nature. If not handled properly, the Bill might pose a danger to the peace and security of the nation, and hence the wide consultations the Government is making on how the Bill should be handled. The Government is also studying how other nations have handled the process of enacting such Bills as well as the lessons and experiences learnt.

The Constitution-making process also contributed to the delay in the presentation of the Bill to Parliament. The Government had to wait for people’s submissions on the information clause of the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, who is the Government consulting on this Bill because it has taken too long?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services (Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha): Mr Speaker, as a working Government, we consult widely. We consult the people of Zambia who want to ensure that the Freedom of Information Bill addresses their needs. The consultations that were made at the NCC, by those who attended, suggested that there was a need to deal with many other areas on the Freedom of Information Bill.


Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Therefore, it is important that we consult. We have consulted the World Bank and the British and Indian governments. We had to employ all these means to bring about the Freedom of Information Bill and we will continue to consult thereon.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sikota, SC. (Livingstone): Mr Speaker, may I find out whether certain specific groups have been or will be consulted. I have in mind the various media bodies that we have in the country and I also have in mind those who sponsored the Private Members’ Motions on the Freedom of Information Bill in 2003.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, before a Bill is brought to Parliament, we make wide consultations and that is very important. Amongst the work that has been done, there is a task force in place that has been working in all these consultation processes and media groups that are involved in the taskforce.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, may I find out whether the Government is happy with the introduction of the Freedom of Information Bill?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, if the Government was not happy with this Bill, we would not have brought it to Parliament. We are completely happy to ensure that the Freedom of Information Bill comes through and that our people have access to information that is so urgent for development.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, how is this Government consulting the Zambian people since, in his answer, the hon. Minister mentioned that the Zambians are being consulted. What mechanisms are used to consult the Zambian people?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, there are various ways in which we consult. Firstly, the taskforce embraces all the people who are interested in coming through. The taskforce has also been able to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) to consult. There are also going to be open fora where people can make submissions on the Freedom of Information Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if we are likely to have this Bill presented to the House before Parliament dissolves.

Hon. Kapeya: Hear, hear!

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, if it does not come through during this Parliament, it will come through in the next Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, is the Government aware that the failure to table this Bill has created a situation of bad ethics and practices among reporters which are not helping this country?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me conduct a small seminar.

Mr Speaker, the Freedom of Information Bill has nothing to do with ethics and professionalism of the media. The Bill is intended to help all the citizens to access information that would otherwise not be accessed. The issue has to do with the media regulatory mechanism.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, the consultation conducted by the ministry has been the longest in the country. May I find out from the hon. Minister the exact month when this Bill will be presented to Parliament before the end of the year?

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, consultations continue every month and from January to December is an exact year.

I thank you, Sir.


441. Mr Mwenya asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) when the Central/Mine/Chibuluma Road in Kitwe would be reconstructed considering the importance of a ring road in the city; and

(b) what the cause of the delay in implementing the project above was.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the 6.7 km Central Street/Mindolo/Chibuluma Road in Kitwe started on 16th May, 2011. The works are financed by Mopani Copper Mines Limited and Swan Pool has been contracted to carry out the works.

Mr Speaker, the works could not commence earlier because the provision in the budget was inadequate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the completion period of the road and who shall be responsible for quality control to avoid what happened to the Luanshya/Kafulafuta Road.

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, it will take six months and the RDA will be responsible for the quality control.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the cost at which this road is being worked on by Mopani Copper Mines Limited.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we have gone into an arrangement in which Mopani Copper Mines Limited has pledged to contribute US$10 million towards the rehabilitation of roads and its role is also to get a contractor who will be supervised by the RDA. The cost of the road is in the ambit of Mopani Copper Mines Limited that is fully responsible for the payments should there be a shortfall.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, it was announced that the road is being rehabilitated under the private-public-partnership (PPP) arrangement with Mopani Copper Mines Limited. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what agreement is there between Mopani Copper Mines Limited and the Government on this issue.

 Mr Namulambe: The works on this road are not under the PPP arrangement, but rather it is the company’s corporate social responsibility.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Katema (Chingola): Mr Speaker, considering that this road under construction is used by heavy vehicles, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister its length, grade, lifespan and thickness.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the length of the road is 6.5 km. It is being graded to standard level and its lifespan is about ten years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, considering the issues that arose of tax avoidance by Mopani Copper Mines Limited, I would like to find out what is in it for the company in constructing this road or shall I say, what is the payback for it?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the issue of taxes is not my baby. I have stated that its contribution is part of its corporate social responsibility which we have been crying for and it has responded accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters for the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 23rd May, 2011.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): I second the Motion, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, during the year under review, your Committee reviewed the Action-Taken Report on its Second Report for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. Your Committee also undertook a study of the implementation and enforcement of the Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations, 2006. Further, your Committee received a report from the Human Rights Commission on its findings during its inspection tour of prisons and police stations in the Northern and North-Western provinces. The report of your Committee contains its recommendations on these issues.



Sir, regarding the Electoral Code of Conduct, your Committee noted that the concept and practice of the electoral codes of conduct was introduced by the United Nations (UN) as a measure to promote a level playing field during elections. This can be achieved by ensuring an atmosphere of tolerance which would be conducive to free campaigning with unrestricted, but responsible public debate and unbiased media coverage so that the electorate could make an informed choice.  In short, an electoral code of conduct is a set of principles which is meant to be adhered to by all stakeholders. It also prohibits various illegal practices in order to give all contestants an equal opportunity to win the elections.

During its deliberations, your Committee noted that the key electoral regulations in Zambia are found in the Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations, Statutory Instrument No. 90 of 2006, made under Section 109 of the Electoral Act and are ostensibly aimed at promoting free, fair and orderly elections. However, since the promulgation of the Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations, stakeholders have continued to express concerns that elections in Zambia have neither been free and fair nor orderly.  Even more worrying is the fact that evidence, including outbreaks of electoral violence, pointing to the fact that the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct have been violated with impunity by the very persons and institutions that are expected to uphold them, has emerged.  Additionally, complaints of biasness in the enforcement of the Electoral Code of Conduct are not uncommon.

Mr Speaker, the importance of orderly, free and fair elections in an emerging democracy such as ours cannot be overemphasised.  Regular, free and fair elections are the very lifeblood of democracy. Needless to say, failure to observe the necessary standards that contribute to free and fair elections can lead to an electoral system that lacks credibility. The consequences of lack of credibility of the electoral process for the entire nation can be disastrous. 

Sir, your Committee observes that contrary to its stated objectives, the Electoral Code of Conduct in Zambia has been cited as a source of conflict, mistrust and erosion of public confidence in the electoral process, largely because it is not effectively enforced.  Arising from its consideration of submissions from various stakeholders, your Committee identified some of the factors that negatively impact on the capacity of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct. These include those that I shall now briefly highlight.

Mr Speaker, firstly, your Committee notes that, notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution and other enabling statutes, the Ruling Party is not, in reality, de-linked from the Government. As a result, complaints have continued that, in total disregard of the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct, the Ruling Party has persisted in the utilisation of public funds and other resources for campaign purposes. In this regard, Government vehicles and human resources are misused for campaign purposes.

Hon: Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwiimbu: On the use of Government transport and other facilities by the Republican President and Vice-President for political party campaign programmes, your Committee notes that this arrangement contributes to an uneven playing field in the electoral landscape. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that this issue be redressed during the ongoing constitutional and electoral reform process. Further, the Ruling Party should take a lead in observing the Electoral Code of Conduct by desisting from using Government and donor-funded project vehicles as well as other Government facilities for its campaigns.

Hon: Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, further, an unfortunate political culture of “Boma ni Boma”, generally translated to mean that members of the Ruling Party can do anything even if it means breaking the law since they are in Government, has developed in our country.

Hon: Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwiimbu: This culture is becoming entrenched due to the fact that the President and Vice-President are exempt from the prohibition relating to use of public resources for campaign activities.  As a result, hon. Cabinet, Deputy and Provincial Ministers, District Commissioners (DCs) and cadres take advantage of this exemption and use Government resources for political party campaigns while purporting to be in the President or Vice-President’s delegation. Consequently, Ruling Party cadres and functionaries flout the Electoral Code of Conduct and the law with impunity, in some cases in full view of law enforcement agents. Your Committee strongly recommends that the Government urgently puts measures in place to ensure that the law, and the Electoral Code of Conduct, in particular, is enforced regardless of the political affiliation of the law breaker.

As regards the status of the holders of Cabinet, Deputy or Provincial Ministerial Office, most stakeholders were of the view that these offices become vacant upon dissolution of the National Assembly. This is because hon. Cabinet, Deputy and Provincial Ministers are appointed from amongst hon. Members of the National Assembly. 

Hon: Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwiimbu: Further, it was strongly argued before your Committee that hon. Cabinet, Deputy and Provincial Ministers should not even have access to public resources such as Government vehicles once Parliament has been dissolved, as their appointments as hon. Ministers are predicated on their membership to the National Assembly and, therefore, they cease to hold these offices upon the dissolution of the House.

Hon: Opposition Members: Hear, hear!  {mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, another observation made by stakeholders who appeared before your Committee is that a code of conduct cannot easily be implemented and enforced in an environment where the Civil Service is highly and openly politicised as opposed to being professional. It was noted that in Zambia, in the name of serving the Government of the day, most Permanent Secretaries, DCs, police officers and teachers, among others, abused their offices by participating in political party campaigns and using public resources in these activities. This behaviour is reminiscent of a one party state and is totally unacceptable. In this vein, your Committee strongly recommends that officers such as Permanent Secretaries and DCs immediately be relieved of their duties if they are found abusing public resources for political party activities. Further, such public officers must immediately be prosecuted for electoral malpractices.

Sir, the stakeholders noted that the ECZ does not have access to objective and independent analysis of media coverage in the country. It is, therefore, difficult for the commission to determine whether or not media organisations are covering the various political parties equally and fairly. To this end, and in the light of the obvious bias in coverage of political players on the Zambian media landscape, your Committee calls upon the electoral commission to endeavour to appoint a media consultant, well before elections, who will undertake the necessary monitoring in an impartial manner and advise the commission with regard to any breaches of the Electoral Code of Conduct by media houses.

Mr Speaker, most stakeholders complained that the role played by the Zambia Police Force in enforcing the Electoral Code of Conduct has not helped matters. Regrettably, the police always evade enforcing the Electoral Code of Conduct, especially when the breach centres on an issue considered as being political. For example, some stakeholders strongly felt that the arbitrary cancellation, by the police, of public meetings of which they had been duly notified is an abuse of the rights of citizens, particularly the Freedom of Assembly which is guaranteed under Article 20 of the Republican Constitution. The stakeholders stressed that citizens are only required to notify the police about their intention to hold public assemblies. There is no requirement for a citizen to seek police permission for such an assembly.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommends that the police forthwith cease to interfere with the enjoyment of citizens’ rights in this regard, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … but instead play the role of facilitator in a professional manner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Correct.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, your Committee notes, further, that the conflict management committees have largely been ineffective in ensuring the implementation of the Electoral Code of Conduct. Therefore, as part of the revision of the Electoral Code of Conduct, your Committee strongly recommends that an electoral code of conduct enforcement committee be set up with a mandate to effectively and conclusively deal with minor electoral disputes. Further, the Government is called upon to take steps to set up a fast track electoral court to deal expeditiously with more serious electoral disputes.

Mr Kambwili: Yah! Uleumfwa, iwe.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in the light of the foregoing, the ECZ should expedite the revision of the Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations so that the 2011 elections are held under a new code of conduct which should encompass the recommendations made by your Committee. During this review, it must be ensured that the applicability of the code of conduct must cover the whole electoral cycle and not be restricted to a particular period of time. In a nutshell, allow me, Mr Speaker, to say that it is critical that the Electoral Code of Conduct be fully enforced during the forthcoming presidential and general elections and in future elections in order to enhance the credibility of the elections and contribute to the development of Zambia’s democracy.

Mr Speaker, let me now comment on the report submitted to your Committee by the Human Rights Commission (HRC) on its inspection tour of detention facilities. The Zambian Government has an obligation to ensure that the rights of prisoners and other detainees are respected. It is particularly worrying to your Committee that the needs of circumstantial children are not being attended to at all.  Further, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government should respect and implement all applicable laws with regard to the detention of juveniles.

With these few words, Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Long live Chair!

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear! Ba Mubika.

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

Mr Chota: Now, Sir.

Mr Sichilima: Aba baliishiba na law?

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, from the outset, allow me to pay tribute to the mover of this Motion, who is the Chairperson of your Committee, for moving the Motion in the manner he has and for executing his functions as Chairperson of your Committee with remarkable ability.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the findings of your Committee, let me say that it was disheartening to learn that despite being very well intentioned, the Electoral Code of Conduct is not effectively implemented and enforced for various reasons.

One of the major reasons for the failure to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct is the lack of an effective enforcement mechanism. It is regrettable that the powers of the ECZ to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct are derived from the Code of Conduct itself without the substantive legislation (the Electoral Act) according such powers to the commission. Therefore, this provision is largely redundant and ineffective. Further, the commission does not, in fact, have the capacity to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct. Moreover, the commission has neither the capacity nor the expertise to supervise the law enforcement agencies to ensure that they actually enforce it. As a result, the powers given to the commission under Regulation 10 (1) items (1)-(K) of the Electoral Code of Conduct are incapable of actualisation, given the status of the commission.

The situation is not helped by the establishment of the conflict management committees whose committees’ decisions are not enforceable. Further, without a legal framework, these committees are weak and cannot even compel some politicians to participate in their processes. Allow me to state that there appears to be a lack of political will to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct. Stakeholders who appeared before your Committee felt that, ideally, the ruling party must take the lead in ensuring that the laws that govern elections are implemented and enforced accordingly. However, there are complaints from various quarters that the Ruling Party, in most by-elections held so far, has taken the lead in breaching the provisions of the Electoral (Code of Conduct) Regulations.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: For example, most parties, including the Ruling Party, tend to provide funds to their candidates for unclear purposes during campaigns. This tends to encourage electoral corruption. Thus, it is clear that the lack of political will by Government leaders, who are also the leaders of the Ruling Party, has contributed towards making the Electoral Code of Conduct irrelevant to the electoral process.

Mr Speaker, it is also necessary for the ECZ, political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs) to undertake comprehensive sensitisation on the Electoral Code of Conduct among political party cadres and members of the general public. Members of the public should also be sensitised about the role of hon. Members of Parliament and the need to avoid electoral corruption through promises or actual gifts of money or other materials.

In this regard, all political parties must be compelled to take part in a specified number of sensitisation activities on the Electoral Code of Conduct before they can be allowed to participate in an election. In the same vein, the Code of Conduct should be urgently translated into the official local languages and disseminated countrywide through a deliberate public sensitisation campaign.

Sir, while it is important that political parties do not interfere with the duties of the Zambia Police Force during elections, it is equally important that the police provide security at all campaign rallies organised by either the Ruling or Opposition political parties. A concern was also raised by various stakeholders with regard to the cancellation of public meetings by the police. In this regard, your Committee strongly implores the police to be professional in their enforcement of the Public Order Act by strictly observing its provisions in order to avoid unnecessary conflict with various stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, there is also a need to amend the Electoral Code of Conduct so as to compel political parties and other electoral stakeholders to strictly adhere thereto. Stiff penalties must be provided for breach of the provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct by any person. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should be vested with adequate powers to enforce the code. Further, other law enforcement agencies such as the Zambia Police Force, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) should also be specifically enjoined to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct in accordance with their respective mandates.

Mr Speaker, in a nutshell, your Committee also found that there is a need to give the ECZ powers to impose sanctions such as reprimanding erring political parties, candidates or stakeholders; imposing a fine against any offender in accordance with the Electoral Code of Conduct; cancelling an election or election results where an election is marred with breach of the provisions of the code of conduct; submitting reports on the breach of the code of conduct to the police, the ACC or the DEC for  prosecution and correction of errors made by electoral officers. Ideally, these powers should be enshrined in the Electoral Act of the Constitution. This will go a long way in enhancing confidence in the ability of the ECZ to implement the Electoral Code of Conduct and the electoral processes in general.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, let me call upon all hon. Members of this House to take time to consider the recommendations of your Committee in its report and to support it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to support the report of your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters. The report makes very good reading except that, perhaps, it is falling on deaf ears.

Mr Speaker, when are we going to have a system that will usher in a proper Electoral Code of Conduct? This time around, the only point that can be observed is that the report has come when preparations for elections have already started. We have seen a situation where the public media, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC), is tiring its viewers by airing so many campaigns of one political party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, when you listen to the news, from the start, you can predict that, now, you will be told about Mr …

Mr Matongo: Lungwangwa!

Mr Muntanga: … so and so. The news starts with the President and ends with the party cadre. Even if the intention is to talk about the on-going projects, it is becoming too monotonous. We are fed up and are forced to switch off our television sets the minute the news starts because we know that nothing news worthy will be said.

Mr Speaker, time and again, we have been told that, once Parliament is dissolved, hon. Ministers or Deputy Ministers, are not to use Government transport. Once Parliament is dissolved, you are hon. Ministers outside Parliament because you are no longer hon. Members of Parliament. It is only the President who should remain in his portfolio. I know that hon. Ministers are really living in fear because a number of them are going.


Mr Muntanga: The moment you hear that we want to advertise on the ZNBC, the next day you go and say not even a song can be aired on radio because it is a way of campaigning. However, how many times have we listened to songs about the Ruling Party? On a particular day, you hear the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services stopping people from airing campaign songs on radio only to have his Government’s campaign song aired the following day. Why do you have that kind of behaviour?

If you feel that you are a national Government, do the right thing. Some of you are hanging on a string in your constituencies and your President has told you that party cadres will choose candidates. You will see what will happen. Instead of the Hon. Mr Speaker talking about 70 per cent turnout of voters, it will be 80 per cent.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, when I look at some of these hon. Ministers, I wonder how they can now run to my constituency to visit when, in five years of being ministers, they did not visit. Do you think villagers are fools? Under the guise that you are inspecting projects, you are actually busy campaigning. You come in your party attire and say you are officiating.

Mrs Banda: Shemuna!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the only place that is close to the reinforcement proposed in this report is Parliament where there is an insistence on the need to refrain from wearing colours of any party. However, for a Government that claims to be for everybody, you do segregate. If you read this report, you will notice that it is dealing with the things that are being done wrongly.

Mr Speaker, already, we know that there are vehicles that have been bought for the DCs, and yet it was agreed, in this House, that DCs shall be civil servants. However, they are being used as party cadres.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Vehicles, which will not bear the Government Republic of Zambia (GRZ) registration, have been bought for them for campaign purposes. We know of the meetings that have been held and we can tell you of one where a DC was being instructed to recruit for the party. We want to assure you that if the rule is that no Government vehicle shall be used for elections, then, we will ensure that no such vehicle is on the road to campaign. We know the vehicles that have been bought and the day that you will release them to the DCs, we shall monitor them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: What makes you so scared even on the aspect of counting the votes at polling stations for us to add them up?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, various problems in Africa and elsewhere start by being careless, selfish and thinking that some of them will die leaders.

Mr Lubinda: Kobaambila!

Mr Muntanga: You want to believe that you will be in Government perpetually and, therefore, whenever you see any change, you are jittery. You do not want to see a situation which allows fair play. The police officers that are supposed know that they have to be notified about malpractices have also become party cadres. Any police officer who tries to be professional is victimised and, the following day, is transferred to another place without any explanation given. Why do you want to do that?

Mr Lubinda: Ba Mwansa!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this report is yours and it includes our friends on your right. However, the problem with these hon. Ministers is that they do not have the time to read these reports you put in their pigeonholes.

Mr Lubinda: They leave them there.

Mr Muntanga: If you checked in their pigeonholes, you would find that they are stuck with these papers because they do not pull them out to read them. I ask you, how many of you there (right) have read this report?


Mr Muntanga: They do not read and that is the problem.

Mr Kakoma: Let us give them a test.

Mr Muntanga: If they are given a test to find out how many have read, you will see how many will pass.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, you will be surprised to learn that the Front Bench will fail the simple test.


Hon. Government Member: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: What we are saying is that this report is important. The hon. Member who wants to raise a point of order just wants to deceive us that he has read the report and yet he has not.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the important points that have been raised in the report are issues that will ensure that Zambia remains a peaceful nation. The people in the Government should learn one thing from the First Republican President, Dr Kaunda. When he saw the wind of change, even though he wanted a referendum, he withdrew and opted to go for elections because he thought the wind of change was sufficient.

Mr Speaker, I am avoiding to use of fingers, but I will use them (pointing to the Front Bench).


Mr Muntanga: The Government should adhere to the rules of the Electoral Code of Conduct. Therefore, I appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to respond to the Action Taken Report. He should call for a seminar for all hon. Ministers and hon. Deputy Ministers to urge them to learn something from this report because the next elections will be rough for them. It is important that we adhere to the recommendations that have been made and also that the ECZ quickly acts upon them. You cannot ask to be referees in a game that you are a part of. How can you allow that? I would like, again, to emphasise that there is a need to read this report.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for according me this occasion to debate on this very important subject.

The Electoral Code of Conduct is most welcome and I should emphasise that this House should be the first to respect it. We are very good at talking and criticising and yet we do the opposite of what we say.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: First and foremost, we enact laws and we, ourselves, are the first ones to break them. When we start fighting, we forget that we are hon. Members of Parliament who enacted the laws that we are opposing today. The first point that I want to make is that we leave the ECZ alone.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Let the commission perform its duties. The people working there are professionals and if we leave them alone, they will do a good job. The problem I have always pointed out is that when things go right with you, especially when you win an election, the ECZ will have done a very good job. However, when you lose, the ECZ is very bad. Let us learn to accept and respect other people’s jobs. Other leaders will never see anything right in any institution and anybody except themselves. Where have you ever seen a man who is entirely bad 365 days in a year? Our job is to perpetually condemn all the time. Let us start to appreciate what other people are doing. This is our country. When we appreciate our institutions, we make other people see that Zambia is a good country.


Mrs Sinyangwe: Remember that when you point a finger at somebody, four fingers point back at you and I do not want people to start talking and answering me back. You have time to debate. That is why we are not disciplined.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: When we talk about civil servants, we all agree that they are supposed to be professional, but when people receive confidential letters from civil servants, they are very happy to take them to the newspapers and publicise them instead of condemning them. Let me tell you, if you accept a wrong thing, even when you are in office, the same people will do the same wrong thing. Once upon a time, there were professional civil servants, of which I was one. However, today, there is something wrong in our political parties.

Hon. Opposition Member: Seriously.

Mrs Sinyangwe: What has gone wrong? Why can the political parties not respect the Civil Service? Some people even go to hospitals when nurses are on strike to encourage them to continue despite people dying. How do we expect professionals to exist?


Mrs Sinyangwe: Therefore, when we go for elections and even when we campaign, let us respect what is supposed to be done as that is part of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Others, Mr Speaker, can only talk about the personalities of others. Why should we talk about people? When people visit my constituency, the only subject is Faustina Sinyangwe. However, people go to these rallies because they want to listen to issues and, I think, we should now be careful. It is a pity that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is not here. Let us not grant permission to hold public meetings to people who just want to talk about others. We want to listen to issues.


Mrs Sinyangwe: We should have a new culture and respect other people’s opinions. In this country, each one decides where he/she wants to go. However, some people would want to believe that others are only right when they agree with their line of thought and there is something wrong with them when they are in opposition. Let us have peaceful elections. We even allow people to go on television to talk about elections and say that this country is going to be like Libya and Egypt. How? This is a different situation altogether.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Let us have love for the country. If we all love the country, first, and then politic, it will be good. Nevertheless, other people speak like when war comes, they have another country where they will go to live, and yet it is going to affect all of us.


Hon. PF Member: And they will be caught up as well.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Yes, they will be caught up as well. Some people have nothing positive to say, but criticise. Please, let us learn to appreciate what other people are doing. If something good happens, acknowledge it by saying, “Yes, well done, but you can do better in this way and that way”. Do not just condemn.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to talk about the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Women. I think we have waited long enough for its ratification. I do not know why you cannot ratify the Protocol on Gender.

Mr Speaker, we are going for elections and I hope that, next time, we will have 50:50 gender representation in the House. I urge all political parties to, please, adopt more women.

Female Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: It is important that we have more women Members of Parliament because they are committed to their work and look after their constituencies as if they were their own homes.

We can have better constituencies if more women assumed power.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I remember at the NCC how these men would protest when an issue that would better women came up. We need more women in power.

Mr Muntanga: Ooh! We were protesting?

Mrs Sinyangwe: Please, do not field women in constituencies where you know they will fail.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Field them in constituencies which are safe.


Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Speaker, elections are coming and everybody wants to talk about elections. In this vein, we have radio stations that are interviewing people on the subject of elections. We should encourage these radio stations to find people who are trained to handle such programmes.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Speaker, the questions that they ask make one wonder what it is they want to achieve. Let us have interviewers who will ask questions that will benefit the general public and not ones that just lead to quarrels. The interviewers are the those who have brought about quarrels because they do not know how to handle interviews. Nobody can discuss substantial matters if you ask them to just talk about other people and other irrelevant issues.

Let us have proper programmes that will help us to decide who we can vote for. People are saying they want change.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mrs Sinyangwe: However, people must be able to decide why they want change and if at all they want that change.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: One does not just wake up and demand change even when there are no reasons for that change and the person who is telling you to change has no better reason to give you. How do you change? You cannot.


Mrs Sinyangwe: Let us have proper radio programmes and employ people who can do a better job.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Some people are used to talking when others are on the Floor. When you are debating I never interject. That is indicative of a noisy party.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to debate the report of your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters.

Sir, let me, from the outset, state that this report was produced with a lot of concentration and care because it has brought out a lot of pertinent issues relating to the governance of this country, particularly as regards the issue of the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Mr Speaker, like many other speakers before me have said, with regard to the issue of electoral malpractice, the MMD Government has failed to implement the Electoral Code of Conduct. The Electoral Code of Conduct, which was drawn up by this Government, has a lot of issues that need to be resolved because this Government has been abrogating its provisions with impunity.

Sir, not long ago, we heard one famous Minister of Information …

Dr Scott: Minister of Religion.

Mr Kambwili: … and Broadcasting Services directing radio stations not to play campaign songs, and yet the Ruling Party plays campaign songs on the national radio and television with impunity.

Mr Speaker, the question that you ask is, Who the hell does he think he is to issue …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: … such statements?

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Withdraw that word.

Mr Kambwili: I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Withdraw it!

Mr Kambwili: I withdraw the phrase, Sir.

Sir, one tends to wonder why an hon. Minister of the Government worth his salt should play such double standards with impunity. He knows, for sure, that his own party plays campaign songs, but only wants to disadvantage others by stopping them from playing their campaign songs.

Dr Scott: Who in heaven does he think he is?

Mr Kambwili: That is why, yesterday, we talked about the issue of mental health. Some people really need to be checked whether their mental faculties are working correctly.


Mr Kambwili: If you can do what you are asking others not to do, then there must be something wrong with you, mentally.


Mr Kambwili: We should not play double standards.

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: It is right to call a spade a spade and not a spade a pick for the sake of impression.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kambwili: We need to create a situation …

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. As usual, I rarely …


Mr Sichilima: What?

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Roan in order to refer to an unnamed hon. Minister to be checked for mental disorder, and yet you have guided in this House that we should not debate ourselves?

 Mr Speaker, this will send a very wrong signal to the people out there.

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: My serious ruling to the point of order that has been raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs is that the hon. Member for Roan is out of order. He has mixed up two different issues. His reference to mental health yesterday referred to the report of my Committee before the House. Now, the hon. Member is referring to an unnamed Cabinet Minister. However, by inference, everybody can identify that Cabinet Minister.


Mr Speaker: That was not a wise way of putting things. The hon. Member may continue, but leave mental issues out of the debate.

Mr Kambwili: I thank you for your guidance, Sir.

What I was basically saying is that when we make rules, we must respect and follow them if others have to do the same.

 In the recent past, we saw hon. Ministers using Government vehicles in the name of inspecting projects all over the country.

Hon. Member: Dora Siliya!

Mr Kambwili: What has inspecting projects got to do with dishing out pictures of men kissing each other? What has that got to do with the inspection of projects? You go all the way to the Northern Province just to show our children that men can kiss each other and call that inspecting projects using Government resources? We must be ashamed of ourselves. If we have nothing better to do, we had better stay in our homes and quit politics.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Some people in this country do not know that some men kiss each other. Now, what may happen is that some children may want to try and start kissing each other ...


Mr Kambwili: … because hon. Ministers are going round showing them those pictures.

Hon. Opposition Member: Pornography!

Mr Kambwili: You go and hold a meeting to distribute pornography. It is unacceptable!

We expect hon. Ministers on Government business to be exemplary. What they discuss must be within the confines of their responsibilities. They use Government vehicles and reporters from the Times of Zambia, Zambia Daily Mail and the ZNBC follow them wherever they go in order to cover such unacceptable programmes. Opposition Members are not covered when they carry out important projects in their constituencies. 

Mr Speaker, I was in my constituency donating some school equipment and I invited the ZNBC to come to the function. They told me that the cameras were out with the hon. Minister. When I wanted to find out what the hon. Minister was doing, I was not told. When the 1900 hours news came, I saw an hon. Minister showing pictures of men kissing each other. They are covered, even when they are donating a cup of tea.


Mr Kambwili: Sir, when I went to donate equipment worth K700 million, they refused to come to the function. What kind of a Government is this? Are you not ashamed that you are misusing the ZNBC for programmes that the Zambians do not appreciate? Media coverage during elections is a major component of the Electoral Code of Conduct, but what do we see today? These days, we even know the people that are going to be featured on the ZNBC. We usually watch people like Messrs Edward Mumbi, Charles Chimumbwa, Lifwekelo and Chifire.


Mr Kambwili: Sir, are we there to watch the same people all the time? You mean there is no better news that the ZNBC can show than the Chanda Chimbas of this world? We should change our attitude. When Opposition Members of Parliament go to the ZNBC to issue statements, the reporters will even tell them, “Bwana, this will not be aired.” Can you imagine that? The reporter can even tell me to call Muvi TV or others because even if I sent a vehicle to pick them up, the story would not be aired. Are you happy with that? Gentlemen, do to others what you want others to do unto you because you will never be in those offices forever. Ask Mr George Mpombo.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Mpombo has now become a friend of The Post Newspaper you are insulting. Ever since Mr Mpombo left the Government, he has not been showed on the ZNBC. If it can happen to Mr Mpombo, it can even happen to His Honour the Vice-President.


Mr Kambwili: Therefore, let us treat these institutions and others equally and with respect. You are not going to run the ZNBC as if the money comes from the MMD. The money that goes to the ZNBC is apportioned and approved in this House. In addition, the Zambian citizens also pay money towards the running of the ZNBC. Why should one political party take 30 minutes of the news while others are not covered? If any opposition party is covered, then it is against Michael Sata. There is nothing else that is covered. Let us change the way we do things. Let us follow the requirements and provisions of the Electoral Code of Conduct in as far as media coverage is concerned.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.{mospagebreak}


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that we should respect the Electoral Code of Conduct. District Commissioners must be caged. District Commissioners are the major culprits in abrogating the provision of the Electoral Code of Conduct. They are supposed to be civil servants, but what they do is something else. They go to attend public rallies which are political in nature in the name of receiving the President, and yet they are the ones who carry the MMD cadres in their vans.

Mrs Phiri: They are aspiring candidates.

Mr Kambwili: Sir, these DCs must be told what they are supposed to do and not left to behave like cadres. As Parliament, we are not going to accept to pass a budget to support the office of the DCs if they continue at the rate they are going.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of police permits, I concur with Hon. Muntanga. There is no provision in the law for the police to give permission to anybody to hold a public rally. The requirement of the law is just to notify them. Some police officers have been so intimidated that before they give you a permit to hold a rally, they have to consult the Provincial Minister. What has the Provincial Minister got to do with controlling political rallies for other political parties? You are forgetting that some of these police officers are close to us and they tell us that they have been instructed by people such as Hon. Mwansa Mbulamano not to give us permits.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, these things do happen and we hear about them.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Member has used a name of an hon. Member who does not exist in this House.  May he correct himself and proceed.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, it was a slip of the tongue. I meant Hon. Mwansa Mbulakulima.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, police officers come to tell us that they have been instructed by the Provincial Administration not to give us permits and it is beyond their control. Why should the Provincial Minister interfere in rallies for other political parties, and yet the MMD holds meetings all over without police permits? Where is the fairness? People are talking about what is happening in Libya. Look at what happened in Ivory Coast. When you start intimidating people; when you only want to have your way and not allow people to associate freely, those are the results. Therefore, mushilumbula mfwa, nimuka mwenso. Literally, this means if you do not talk about certain future events, when they happen, you will not be fit enough to survive them. You should, therefore, be able to compare what is happening in your country to other nations. Only then will you be human.

You want people to be scared to talk about what happened in countries such as Ivory Coast. Everything that happened there was because of violation of the Electoral Code of Conduct. Someone was declared a loser, but because he was a President, he refused to leave power. It was so embarrassing for him to be fished out of a manhole.


Mr Kambwili: Is that what you want for yourselves? Let us respect the laws so that we prevent certain happenings in this country.

Mr Speaker, in this country, we do not even know when to start campaigning. While the Opposition waits for the official campaign time, others are already in a campaign mode travelling all over the country, using Government vehicles. Let us restrict ourselves to the official campaign period.

Mr Speaker, every time one watches the ZNBC, there are statements such as “we have to lay the foundation”, and “Since I became President two years ago, I have done this or that”, and yet we know that whatever is being talked about was not done in that period. Those are campaign strategies that have become fashionable. On every news item, the President talks about projects that he has done. Is he the first President?

Mrs Phiri: No, he is the last one!

Mr Kambwili: All the past governments had projects. However, this is the only time we have seen a President becoming the chief project engineer. It is sad. All this is lack of respect for the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Mr Speaker, if we do not correct this situation, we will end up having hon. Ministers fighting cadres in Serenje.


Mr Kambwili: That is a sad story.

An hon. Government Minister fighting cadres in Serenje is sad.


Mr Kambwili: This is lack of respect for the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I would like to move onto the issue of prisons.

I have always said that I have been to prison on very flimsy grounds made up by this Government. I always warn you to look after prisons by renovating and providing proper toilet facilities because most of you are possible convicts.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: You are potential convicts. The corruption that is going on in this Government will see a lot of you in prison. I want you to know that one day in prison feels like fifteen years.


Mr Kambwili: Our prisons are extremely dirty. In a cell of 250 people, there is only one toilet. These are people who are locked up from 1600 hours to the following day. How can one toilet cater for 290 people? Surely, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, where are you?

Mrs Phiri: Dora akapusuka?

Mr Kambwili: Let us put more effort in controlling some of these things. A person who is arrested is innocent until proven guilty. I was arrested, but the Supreme Court found me with no case to answer and acquitted me. In the meantime, mwalimbika mumafi.


Mr Kambwili: In the meantime, you put me in a filthy place, full of faeces. This is how people are treated. You do not want to clean the prisons.

Mr Speaker, the report of the HRC comes every year, but you do not seem to care or bother about the issues it raises. A cell, with one toilet and no running water, meant for twenty-five people contains 235. 

Mr Speaker, surely 700 prisoners cannot go the whole day without water. This Government can simply sink boreholes, but it just does not care. Let us wait until Hon. Munkombwe is there.


Mr Kambwili: Only then will he remember my words.


Mr Kambwili: Can we, please, clean up the prisons? Let us remember that people who are in prison are also human beings who deserve respect and dignity.

Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about the police officers’ conditions of service. Can a person survive on K600,000 or K700,000 per month? Can a person survive with the current harsh economic conditions on such pay?

Hon. Ministers are happy to go to bed because they are being guarded by an officer. However, this officer has not even eaten. Do you think that when thieves come to your home he will chase them?


Mr Kambwili: He will just find a better place for himself to hide.


Mr Kambwili: If you want those police officers to look after you well, pay them well and improve their welfare.

Mr Speaker, when one goes to look for a police officer at his house, one will be told nabaya ku toilet. The toilets are very far. They are not inside the house.

Ms Siliya: What is that?

Mr Kambwili: The outside toilets, uko, forty-six years after independence.

Let us accelerate the building of houses for police officers.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Kambwili, what is “uko”? That is not English.

Hon. PF Member: There!

Mr Kambwili: There.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, all I am saying is that we should consider the police officers and the prison warders as human beings. I had an opportunity to sit with many prison warders when I was incarcerated, and they told me about their poor conditions of service. They said it was a blessing in disguise for me to be there.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Kambwili.

Mr Kambwili: Yes, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: We are discussing the prisons and not the conditions of service for the prison warders. 

Mr Kambwili: There are conditions of service for prison …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kambwili: Iwe, Jack, tamuli umo?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Kambwili, debate the Motion and do not be emotional.

Mr Chisala: Read, mwana.

The Deputy Chairperson: Please, do not answer back the Chair.

Mr Lubinda: Do not answer back, mwana.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I am talking about the operations and welfare of prison warders and police officers. Therefore, why should I be told that …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: …I am out of order?


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!
Hon. Kambwili, you may sit down.

Any further debate?

Mr Kambwili: Twachishiba.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to also add my voice in support of the well drafted report. 

Mr Kambwili left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by saying that the promulgation of the Electoral Code of Conduct, whilst well-intended, has, indeed, not served its purpose thus far. I think it is because there has been a deliberate trend to continuously ‘mutilate’ its provisions, especially by my colleagues on your right hand side.

Mr Speaker, clearly the Electoral Code of Conduct is meant to serve certain purposes, one of them being the need to curb corruption and malpractices during elections as well as regulate the behaviour and conduct of political players. Further, it is there to strengthen the democratic tenets of our country.

Mr Speaker, I will give you some practical examples why I think that the Government on your right hand side has been party to the ‘mutilation’ of this Electoral Code of Conduct. This leads to the “egg or chicken” scenario in which it is difficult to determine what came first. When people turn a blind eye to the prohibitions that exist in this Electoral Code of Conduct, other people find it necessary to take the law in their own hands and vice-versa.

Mr Speaker, this report could not have come at a better time than now because, this year, we shall be holding elections. It is during such periods that we see, a lot of times, political players buying votes.

Mr Speaker, to bring the argument closer to home, I would like to confirm to you that recently, in Mazabuka, there were people who claimed to be sent by a certain office in the Government of the Republic of Zambia. They purported that the wife of a top man in this country intends to open up clubs for women. This wife of a top man in this country has been going round collecting voters’ cards from ignorant people and asking them to register themselves so that, at an opportune time, they are given some money to open clubs. Imagine all this is happening in an election year. These are malpractices and should be avoided.

Sir, this has gone further into the banking world. In Mazabuka, many banks have desks outside the banks and people are told to go with their voters’ cards so that a bank account would be opened for them free of charge. You know very well that most people in Zambia do not even have money to maintain a bank account and if somebody comes and promises to open an account at their own expense, they are more likely to submit to that person’s demands.

Mr Speaker, the report also indicates to us that, most of the time, the police who are supposed to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct feel extremely intimidated to perform their functions. I will give you a practical example which occurred in Chilanga.

During the Chilanga By-Election, I was the Campaign Manager for the UPND and my colleague, Mr Daka, was the Campaign Manager for the MMD. We exchanged a lot of words as a result of what we found to be unacceptable practices during the elections. On the nomination day, we saw how cadres from the MMD, after having been feted with alcoholic beverages, decided to place logs and stones on the road disrupting all traffic flow that was south and north bound and started abusing people from other political parties. That is unacceptable and this report serves to circumvent such kind of occurrences. The Government on your right should see it fit, forthwith, to try and make their cadres desist from such kind of behaviour.

We have also committed offences against all the prohibitions of Regulation No. 7 of the Electoral Code of Conduct, the offence of name-calling and character assassination, especially during elections. Such behaviour is unacceptable.

Sir, the Electoral Code of Conduct should have gone a little further to provide for stiffer penalties than what currently exist to include the issue of libel. For example, if somebody decides to malign my character that I have spent almost all my life to build, he or she must answer to the dictates of the law and get the penalty that is deserving of someone who maliciously decides to malign another person. We all have the right not to have our characters disparaged.

Mr Speaker, another issue which has adequately been discussed in the report is that of dishing handouts. We have seen this happen many times in by-elections. Considering that this is an election year, I would like to give a friendly piece of advice to my colleagues on the right hand side. This is a year of reckoning. Should they think that they can continue to ‘mutilate’ the Electoral Code of Conduct, they will pay a dear price for such actions. People must be allowed to choose leaders of their choice freely, without interference or without receiving Pierre Cardin suits, salt or being feted with alcohol and tonnes of beef, as the case was in a certain by-election that I will not mention because the matter is in court.

Sir, the ECZ requires to be checked. If the institution is compromised, it will not discharge its duties diligently. It is likely to tilt its allegiance not to the Zambian people generally, but to a political party that is in authority, in this case, the MMD.

All of us must continue to campaign because this is the season for doing so. We must be issue based and focussed on what we think we can do for the Zambian people as opposed to speaking about how the other person leads his or her life and how big that person’s bank account is. A good example is what recently happened in Kabwe where one political leader failed to give reasons why he thinks he can be a president of this country, but instead started speaking about how he will arrest another person when he comes into power. Such politics are retrogressive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: That is totally retrogressive. We need to stay away from politics of intimidating one another. Sell your agenda to the Zambian people. Simply do that. Sell your agenda and if the people buy it, then you are lucky. If they do not buy it, then you are unlucky.

Ms Cifire: Hammer!

Mr Nkombo: Can you keep quiet, please?


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I need your protection.

The Deputy Chairperson: You are protected.

Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Sir.

I am not here to rubble-rouse. This is serious business we are dealing with. There is no reason I should stand up and say, Mr George Kunda this and Mr George Kunda that. There is absolutely no value in that. I must be able to give my reasons I think the MMD has failed whenever I stand up to say so. If the Zambian people buy that story, so be it. I should not focus on talking about the private life of Mrs Kunda or Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha at the expense of talking about the issues affecting the Zambian people.

The reason we are here, Mr Speaker, is to try and achieve the dreams and aspirations of the most ordinary Zambian. Therefore, we should just sell our agenda to the best of our ability. There is absolutely no reason I must go on the political platform and say that Mr Hamududu has five wives. That has nothing to do with the national agenda.


Mr Nkombo: It has absolutely nothing to do with the national agenda. I should instead tell the Zambian people that once they vote us into power, we will make sure that we improve the water and sanitation system, schools and health services, among other things. We need to enforce the Electoral Code of Conduct so that whoever departs from the realm of the issues at hand is brought to book.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Zambians are tired of rubble rousers. Zambians are tired of people who simply wake up to make noise. These are the people I compare to empty cans. Zambians are tired of being manipulated by virtue of one media house tilting their thinking. That is a thing of the past.

Sir, I wish to state that change is inevitable. However, what degree of change do we want? Will we change for the better or worse? Will we deliver as we promised? Those are the issues we should be looking at.

Mr Speaker, in Mozambique, although coming from a war situation, our brothers and sisters there are a little more civil than we are. They are able to hold political rallies one kilometre apart without any difficulties. In Zambia, this is difficult to achieve. If I go to the police and tell them that I want to hold a rally in Chawama, they will tell me that I cannot do so because the President is holding a rally across the road in Kanyama. What kind of persons are we? Why can I not sell my message so that those who are listening to the one talking at the other rally change their minds and instead come and listen to me? The trouble is that we are very abusive in our language.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: It is that abuse which causes people to get agitated.

Mr D. Mwila: Hammer!

Mr Nkombo: It is this ‘mutilation’ of the Electoral Code of Conduct that degenerates into violence.

Mr Speaker, if I want to be heard on the ZNBC, today and, for one reason or the other, Hon. Lieutenant General Shikapwasha decides that Hon. Garry Nkombo is not worth appearing on the screen of the ZNBC, that is an electoral malpractice. This is so because the Electoral Code of Conduct clearly stipulates that we should have equal access to being heard. I would like to ask my colleagues on the right hand side to do a soul search and a self-examination and inform them that there is nothing that can be hidden under this sun. The truth will sprout even underneath a concrete bed. Therefore, whether you black other people out or give them negative publicity, you will meet your waterloo one day.

Mr Speaker, when this day of reckoning comes, people will line up to vote regardless of what you will have done. You will pay a dear price. My advice to the Government is to ask it to open up because this country belongs to all of us and we deserve to be heard. It does not belong to their parents. If the editorial team of the ZNBC thinks that the UPND has nothing to offer to this country, so be it. However, one day, it will pay a dear price.

Mr Speaker, governments have changed before and they will continue to do so, going forward. This German State Police (GESTAPO) type of ruling where you black people out so that they are not heard makes people inquisitive because they realise that this and that person are not seen on the ZNBC and other media and they want to find out what is going on.

Mr Speaker, the result of this year’s election will manifest what I am saying here. There will be surprises. It will be like in Heaven where you, who is proclaiming to be a reverend, will not be.


Mr Nkombo: You, who claimed to be a bishop, will not be in Heaven because this is a year of reckoning. There will be a manifestation of a generation change whether people like it or not.

Hamududu: For young people and we will sit there.

Mr Nkombo: I do not know where we will sit, but all I am saying is that there shall, certainly, be a pendulum shift. Regardless of whether His Honour the Vice-President and his colleagues decide to black us out, we shall be heard. As I am speaking, I am being heard and I am thankful to the Parliamentary Reforms that I can be heard speaking to the country. People wonder why I am not seen on the ZNBC when I can speak. This can force Zambians to think that, maybe, the MMD has something to hide.

Mr Speaker, the last and final point I would like to deliver is that although this is not fully highlighted in the report, this country has been grappling with and arguing about the parallel voter tabulation (PVT).

Mr Speaker, for me, this is a complete exit from being realistic because it is of no issue. If you are organised, you can have a PVT without difficulties, whatsoever. I knew that I had won elections at 1900 hours in the last elections. How did that happen? It is because I had effective agents to collect results. What the people from the Government ought to be saying is that go ahead and tabulate results, if you want to, as long as you know that you do not manifest wrong results because that is treason or something equated thereto. You should not worry about someone establishing a secretariat to compile a PVT for fear of pronouncements. You should spearhead it because anybody can tabulate. I knew I had won by 1900 hours and, this year, in a few months, depending on when elections will be held, by 1845 hours, I will know who will be leading in Mazabuka because I have my systems intact.

Mr Speaker, there is no reason we should be fighting about nothing. Stationery and ink should not be wasted on this argument. The PVT is the way to go. People should be free to tabulate results because that is one of the tenets of democracy. Who says it is treason to tabulate results? Since when did it so become? That is jungle law and nobody wants to live in the jungle any more because that is from the Stone Age.

Mr Speaker, once again, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to debate and I support the report.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I stand to support the report of the Committee of which I am a member although I did not fully participate in its deliberations since I was privileged to be at the Pan-African Parliament at the time it was concluding its deliberations. I would like to comment on two issues.

Firstly, I would like to comment on the issue which my colleague, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, just touched on. This relates to Regulation 14 which is on matters relating to an election results programme, the manner in which the media is expected to cover the results, the type of records the media is supposed to keep on the election coverage and the handling of complaints against the media.

Mr Speaker, it was noted that the media is obliged to disclose accurate election results and not speculate them. This issue came out clearly during your Committee’s deliberations with some of the stakeholders, including the ECZ, that came before it. The point we wanted to be clear about, as a Committee, was whether it was an offence for one to pass on election results before the ECZ has announced them. What came out clearly on this issue was simply that nobody should announce results before the ECZ. This means that political parties, individuals or stakeholders should wait until election agents or presiding officers at that particular polling station officially announce that result. At that stage, it is permissible for anybody to take that election result and pass it on to anybody, including the media.

Mr Speaker, I notice that there has been so much talk about the PVT. Maybe, its popularity is owed to the use of terminology. I would like to say that, as Zambians, we should avoid using terms which we cannot explain. If we are not careful, we will just end up with conflicts where they should be none. I do not see an issue here.

Mrs Speaker, in 2006 and 2008, I managed all the elections in my constituency by knowing what was happening at every polling station. With the handsets that we have, it is easy to phone an agent to find out what is happening on the ground and direct people to follow supporters in the villages to encourage them to vote in the event that there is voter apathy. Upon waiting for the close of elections at 1800 hours, you can, then, call your agent to find out the state of the results. What is wrong is for anybody to try to do the work of the ECZ. There is no issue. We should avoid unnecessary friction because if we do not, we will make people think there is something wrong with the electoral process.

We, ourselves, need to build confidence. Sometimes, the manner in which we debate portrays a picture that something is wrong. Speaking for myself, I thank God that I went to school and that it is easy for me to understand that I can phone a polling station and get the results as long as they have been announced and pass them on to my centre.

Mr Speaker, the other point is the one on ferrying voters. This issue presented itself as a problem. I have heard people talk about using Government vehicles to ferry voters and so on and so forth. This issue was talked about by your Committee in detail and the issue there was simply that there is a need to increase the number of polling stations so that the distance that voters have to cover to get to a polling station, especially in the rural areas, is reduced.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Once we reduce the distances, there will be no need for anybody to ferry others. In any case, we, as a Committee, were told that it is not an offence to ferry a voter who is 10 km away from the polling station, if one wants to ensure that people vote. We have to be mindful of the fact that some of these women and men are very old and, therefore, cannot cover 10 km to a voting booth. Therefore, if a party or a candidate has buses, they can ferry voters to a polling station, as long as they do not take them 500 m away from the polling station.

Mr Speaker, I think that the way to cure this problem is simply to increase the number of polling stations. Since we are going for elections by October, this year, which is just about three months away, I hope that when the Electoral Code of Conduct is released, the ECZ will also announce that the number of polling stations will be increased. I am aware that, in the past, the ECZ has tried to increase the number of polling stations before every election.

Mr Speaker, I also would like to state that, in rural areas, we still have a problem of people being very far from polling stations. The reason you see the registration of voters in Lusaka and the Copperbelt being successful is simply because people only have to walk about 1 km to 500 m to get to a polling station. Some people are able to register just behind their backyards. At the moment, we are being called to verify our details in the voters’ registers. Again, it is easy for people here in Lusaka to do this. However, in rural areas, people still have to walk long distances. Therefore, I would like to urge the ECZ to look into this issue and increase the number of polling stations.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I wanted to address is that of the Electoral Code of Conduct, which is not yet out. It is a good thing that it is not yet out although we are running out of time. I am saying so because this report has many salient points and I hope that the ECZ and the Government, being concerned, can really go through it and see some of the issues that the stakeholders raised. The concerns in the report are positive and we hope that when the new Electoral Code of Conduct comes out, they will be taken into account.

I also would like to say that it is very good that Zambia has ratified the Charter on Elections, Democracy, Governance and Human Rights. This means that we are not afraid to ensure that this country has a free and fair election.

Mr Speaker, I know that a number of us here have said so many things on the Floor of this House and many of them, including what has been written in this report, are true. However, listening to most of our colleagues speaking, especially those on your left, about the police and civil servants being biased, one would think they are saying this biasness is only towards the Ruling Party. That is not correct because the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee made it clear that, in fact, this problem does not only concern the Ruling Party, but also the Opposition parties.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mrs Masebo: Those of us who are in rural constituencies will know, and some hon. Members seated here will vouch for me that, sometimes, there is a teacher, District Agricultural Co-ordination Officer (DACO) or District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) who supports the UPND, PF or the MMD. Therefore, these problems or weaknesses do not only concern the MMD, but all of us, Zambians, and political parties in Zambia.

All of us must want a depoliticised Civil Service. We want a police that will not look at whether the person who has broken the law belongs to the Ruling Party or not. This is important because if we truly want a free and fair election, all of us, be it the Ruling Party or Opposition, must agree that we want civil servants who are not biased towards any political party.

However, when we seem like we are only blaming one side, and yet the truth of the matter is that this problem affects all of us, we will not sort out this problem. There are some civil servants in my constituency who support the MMD and, therefore, support me. There are also some whom I know are UPND or PF while some are neutral. However, what we want is to have a Civil Service that will be neutral and ensure that it assists the Government or the ECZ to conduct free and fair elections.

My last point, unless hon. Members want me to continue, is that …

Hon. Members: Continue.

Mrs Masebo: Should I continue? I see both sides are happy with my statements. That is very good.

Mr Sichilima: Please, do.

Mr Sichamba: You mean well.

Mrs Masebo: I mean well.

Mr Speaker, the other matter I wanted to look at was Regulation 4(1), which actually makes it the duty of every person to promote a conducive environment for elections. We were told that this regulation was quite difficult to enforce because it places duties on every person. Can you imagine that such a good regulation, which makes it the responsibility of every citizen to ensure that the elections are free and fair or are conducted in a conducive environment, is being said to be difficult to enforce. Thus, you can see that it is not a problem of the Opposition or Ruling Party, but the culture of Zambians. We, ourselves, and our supporters have an obligation to ensure that we create a conducive environment for elections.

Mr Speaker, every new Parliament has a reduced number of women. One of the reasons for this is the atmosphere in which elections are conducted in this country. There is too much political intimidation and intolerance, among other issues. When you speak a different language from everybody else, you become an enemy. This is common in the Opposition or Ruling Party, but more so it is a culture that we seem to be encouraging in this country.

Mr Shakafuswa: A woman stands in an election, but she is not wanted even after winning.

Mrs Masebo: If we are building a democratic culture, it means there shall be divergent views. It means that we all cannot speak the same language. In fact, if we spoke the same language, then, you, as a leader or as our Speaker, must begin to worry because it is not normal. Children are different even when they are born from the same woman. This just tells you that God has made us to see things from different angles. Therefore, if I see things from a different angle, it does not mean that I hate you. It simply means that I do not see it the way you see it.

Mr Sichilima: But if you love me, you say it.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in trying to strengthen my point, I would like to say that the atmosphere in which elections are conducted in this country discourages most of women from taking part. If you are not careful, you will be Speaker in the next Parliament with only one woman because of the atmosphere in which our elections are conducted, the way our political parties treat female hon. Members, the way our citizens treat female candidates or female hon. Members of Parliament and the way fellow hon. Members of Parliament in this House treat women even when they stand to speak.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, Hear!


Mrs Masebo: Unless that culture changes, Zambia will not progress.

Mr Speaker, it is sad that we failed to pass a new Constitution. I agree that the Constitution which failed had more good than bad or controversial clauses. Since I wish it had passed, I lament the opportunity missed to, at least, have guaranteed more women in the next Parliament. We would have had a code of conduct which would have been enforced by the Constitution. As it is, we will end up with a code of conduct which is just in regulations and statutory instruments and, in some cases, might not even be backed by the Constitution.

Mr Sichilima: Tell them.

Mrs Masebo: This is unfortunate and it is only moments like this that, personally, I regret not having passed the Constitution. I wish we had passed it in order to ensure that the rights of women, the youths, disabled and vulnerable, who do not have finances, are enshrined. In that Constitution, we even talked about financing political parties. I see that some political parties will not even be able to field a president because they have no money even for nominations.


Mr Sichilima: Sata napya.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, a code of conduct is very important. The other issue I want to mention is that we make laws that we do not read. I think one of the hon. Members of Parliament made this point. He said it in a joking manner, but it is a valid point. This applies to all with the exception of those who are in the Committee concerned and those in Cabinet and who, maybe, drafted the clause under scrutiny. Therefore, those of you who are not members of that Committee or the Cabinet that mooted that programme will not be able to explain this clause to the people. I am worried about the time because ninety days before the elections, the code of conduct is not yet out and yet we are expected to educate the voters and people to ensure that they help in creating a conducive environment.

Mr Speaker, I am worried, as a female Member of Parliament and a Zambian woman, that in Zambia, elections seem to be for men only. That is why there is a need for us, women, to ensure that we move quickly and have women find their space in this code of conduct. This way, many of us women will be able to stand and be free to express ourselves. When we are expressing ourselves, though sometimes, we do so wrongly, bear with us, please, we are members of the same family, Zambia. Therefore, allow us to express ourselves. Each time one speaks, people ask what she said today and what she meant. If I speak, just take me as a politician and as an equal partner. That is all. I may make a mistake just like you sometimes make mistakes. Sometimes, you talk sense, but other times you do not. I am only human like you.

Mr Speaker, I would like to support your Committee and its recommendations and urge the Government, especially the ECZ, to ensure that the issues that have been raised here are taken on board. I also would like to appeal to all the political parties to ensure that the next elections are violence free because the violence is perpetrated by politicians out of desperation. It is sad that I see a high level of desperation in these elections. I have stood for elections four or six times now but, this time around, I see so much desperation in this country and it scares me. I am hoping that, as we campaign for the elections, we can look at issues and, like someone said, not personalities.

Mr Speaker, I was in South Africa when South Africa was conducting elections for the Local Government on 18th May, 2011. I spent two weeks there and, every evening, I watched television. I learnt a lot in the two weeks I was there. Our colleagues talked about nothing but water and sanitation, education and roads. They never talked about an individual hon. Minister, councillor, a mayor who has a girlfriend or insulted each other. They were all issue-based campaigns, starting from the President to the ward councillor.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The Opposition and Ruling Party also discussed issues and it was interesting. How I wish Zambians could do the same and concentrate on what we are going to do when we are elected, as opposed to who has a big nose and who has a big ear. This is very embarrassing for us as women. That is why most women shun politics. How can you get involved in this type of politics where, when you speak, the following day somebody insults you and says this is what you are and this is what you are not? In most cases, what they say is not even true. We want to use the newspapers, radio and television to bring each other down. These people whom we talk about have families. You must look beyond me and appreciate that I have a son and so, if you insult me, …


Mrs Masebo: … you will actually make my son feel very sad. If you insult His Honour the Vice-President who has a wife and children, how do you think those children and grandchildren will feel? If you insult Mr Hakainde Hichilema who has a wife and children, how do you think he is going to feel? Let us all be civil and reduce desperation.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, it is always a pleasure to add the voice of the humble people of Namwala in the dying moments of this Parliament. I would like to say I support wholly all the provisions of this Motion, its recommendations and observations of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I would like to deal with, specifically, one item that has to do with election violence. I read through at page 11, Paragraph (iii) (93) of the report, where it states:

“Further, necessary steps should urgently be taken to set up a fast track electoral court to deal expeditiously with more serious electoral disputes.”

Mr Speaker, I have also noted that, in the report of the mover of this Motion, there is mention of giving a little more power to the ECZ to deal with the aspect of stopping an election in the event of violence, taking a little more action so that the ECZ has more teeth.

Mr Speaker, as a reminder of what happened during the Mufumbwe By-election, a young Zambian lad has no eye today because of a certain opposition political party that took part in that election.


Major Chizhyuka: Am I protected, Mr Speaker?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There is only one person speaking.

Mr Kakoma: There is an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Major Chizhyuka: The issue is in the public domain. A Zambian youth, today, has no eye because of election violence. His father and mother bore him with all the limbs but, for the sake of putting a Member of Parliament, man or woman in the House, today, he has one eye. We should ask ourselves whether if that person was made Member of Parliament and worked so hard to bring roads, bridges and hospitals it is possible for the Member of Parliament to give back the eye.

Hon. Government Members: No!

Major Chizhyuka: Of what value is political agitation if, at the end of the day, …

Mr Kakoma: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Major Chizhyuka: Aah! Point of order, yaabuzuba.

Mr Kakoma: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. The Chair has guided, several times, in this House that hon. Members of Parliament must refrain from debating an issue that is before the court of law. The matter the hon. Member for Namwala is referring to, regarding the Mufumbwe by-election violence and the loss of an eye, is before the Supreme Court. Hon. Kamondo, who is seated here, has appealed against the judgement thereon in the High Court.

Mr Speaker, I stand to be guided. Is the hon. Member for Namwala in order to speak about that loss of an eye and violence in Mufumbwe which is a subject of appeal in the Supreme Court? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: The point of order raised by the hon. Member is questioning whether or not the hon. Member for Namwala can debate the incidence of one of the Zambians who lost his eye or whether that particular incidence is related to the case in court. It is a fine point, but one has to take into account the fact that the incidence did happen and, if the hon. Member will steer away from this issue, it will make matters much easier. Maybe, the advice I would give to the hon. Member for Namwala is that he should use an example outside this particular matter which is court.

May the hon. Member continue?

Hon. Opposition Members: Long Live, Mr Speaker!


Major Chizhyuka: Thank you very much for that guidance. My aim in dealing with this matter is specifically to show that electoral violence in Zambia has reached levels that made President Kenneth David Kaunda decide, like most African States, to go the way of a one party State. He arrived at this decision upon realising that there were too many people dying during elections. I am not advocating for a one party State, but all I am saying is that the founding father of African Nationalism in Zambia decided to take that route in order to reduce, if not stop, election violence.

Mr Speaker, election violence in Zambia, apart from the loss of an eye, which we have been advised not to talk about, also resulted in the death of three sons.

It is in Zambia where His Honour the Vice-President’s motorcade is halted by cadres.

Hon. Opposition Member: Where?

Major Chizhyuka: On the Copperbelt.

Mr Shakafuswa: When you annoy them.

Major Chizhyuka: Where have you heard of a constitutional Vice-President of a country, with a full motorcade, being stopped by political party cadres?

Mr Speaker, the recommendation I have heard today that the ECZ should be given the power to halt an election when it sees that any election might bring untold violence or death of the very innocent Zambians we want to serve is to be commended. I think this is the kind of power that I would like to see the ECZ have.

Mr Speaker, we have talked so much about change, but can I give an example of what change can do? In a country called Uganda, there was so much talk about change when Dr Obote was about to be removed from power. When my brother was at Makerere University, he used to send me reports that the entire university fraternity wanted change. Do you know what change that was? It was change for Mr Idi Amini.


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, change for Mr Idi Amini Dada, …

Major Chibamba: Field Marshal!

Major Chizhyuka: … the Field Marshal, indeed. The students of Makerere University wanted change for the conqueror of the British Empire, Mr Idi Amini Dada, Field Marshal. It was a call for change and change came, but what happened? One day, Mr Idi Amini was thus asked by a journalist, “Is your country bankrupt”. He saidt, “We are not bankrupt”, and went on to say, “Wait a minute.” He drove to the Reserve Bank of Uganda and came out with sacks of money and said, “We are not bankrupt.” That was his understanding of economics. However, he needed a Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane to teach him a little economics. His understanding of economics was that there was sufficient money in the Reserve Bank of Uganda and that he could show it to the public in sacks. As far as he was concerned, that was a lot of money.

The Asians left because he did not like them. They left that country and the country backslid.

Mr Speaker, Zambians must be warned that if they want change for a person who has no interest in foreign nationals such as the Chinese and Indians, we shall go the Idi Amini Dada of Uganda way.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: We have to be very careful even as we say that we want change because this is a kind of change that could easily come to Zambia. As far as I am concerned, I think that the Zambians who have the power and mandate must explain that there has been a change for the worst.

We were no longer able to walk the streets of Lusaka at night because you asked for that change.

Mr D. Mwila: He is a soldier.

Major Chizhyuka: I know these things for sure and talk about violence because I know it. Maybe, in this august Assembly, Hon General Shikapwasha, Hon. Dr Chituwo and Hon. Major Chibamba know the type of violence I am talking about.


Major Chizhyuka: I am talking about people who have been to the battlefront. You get to know certain levels of violence. This is why we fear violence. I think that it is important …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members, I would like to listen to the hon. Member debating.

Major Chizhyuka: … that lawyers fear the law more than any other person in the land because of their knowledge of the law. I want to tell you that those of us who have been to the military and have fired guns at white soldiers in Zimbabwe, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Major Chizhyuka: … fear violence because we know what violence can do. Those of us who have been to the United Nations (UN) in Angola to see the violence that is meted between one set of people and another within the same country fear violence. Therefore, when we have an Electoral Code of Conduct, which is supported by a strong law and which allows the ECZ to stop any such violence for the sake of saving life, I think that it needs to be supported.

Regarding the issue of increasing the number of polling stations, I would like to tell you that this is important because, in some of our fishing camps, Kaunga for example, on the Kafue Flats, people have to travel, like the hon. Member for Chongwe said, between 20 and 25 km to get to the next polling station. You can imagine how many Zambians can voluntarily travel that distance to get to a polling station in Mandoondo. Therefore, there is a requirement, indeed, for an improvement in the number of polling stations.

Mr Speaker, I want to deal with the issue of electoral violence because I have seen it.


Major Chizhyuka: I think that I have sufficiently dealt with the matter of electoral violence just to make sure that those who have taken away other people’s eyes during election violence, God Almighty, …

Mr Kakoma: MMD!

Major Chizhyuka: … who is the greatest equaliser, will deal with them as they are going to see and, indeed, the people are will remember (pointing at Hon. Kakoma).


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, in supporting this Motion, I would like to start by congratulating the people of Zambia on having maintained the peace and unity they have exhibited since we got independence.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Peace, Mr Speaker, is an important and necessary ingredient for this country to go forward in its bid to enjoy a place in the history of the world. Therefore, we must work hard to ensure that it is maintained.

Since this report is talking about elections, let me point out the fact that we must understand that elections are a competition where the nation determines who is will be the best person to lead the country. An election is not a war.

Hon. Member: No, far from it.

Dr Machungwa: As political leaders, our conduct should be that of ensuring that the lives of the people continue normally even after the competition. We must conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes peace. There are only two results in an election. It is either you have won or lost the election. If you want to compete in an election, you must accept that you can either win or lose it. However, when people begin to announce that this time if they lose, there will be chaos, one wonders what kind of competition is this and what kind of, leaders or country we are trying to build. People must campaign and convince the people that they are capable of leading this country. If they are rejected, that is too bad. Even when some people lose elections, Zambians should continue to enjoy peace. Those who are being prophets of doom and violence will not be supported by the people. Some political leaders have been threatening violence and we know who they are. Zambians must compete with each other and accept whatever results come out of elections. What I am talking about has reminded me of a story in the Bible in which two women were fighting for a baby. The one who was not the owner of the baby was willing to allow the king to divide the child in two. Some leaders are like this woman who was not the owner of the baby. They have no concern for peace because when problems begin, they will be the first ones to flee the country.

Hon. Opposition Member: They will flee this country.

Dr Machungwa: Yes, some may end up in Chirundu.

Let me now come to the issue of the Public Order Act, which has been touched on by some hon. Members who spoke before me. The mover of the Motion belaboured the point that the Public Order Act only allows the police to be informed about the rally and not that they have the power to give permission for a rally to take place. They should just be informed. However, I am of the view that for peace and public order to be maintained, the police need to be ready to provide security. Allow me to quote from the report of the Committee under recommendations on page 13:

“Political parties should not interfere with the duties of the Zambia Police Force during elections. At the same time, the police must provide security at all campaign rallies organised by either the Ruling or Opposition political parties.”

Mr Speaker, I fully agree with this recommendation which is extremely important. I am saying this because I have served in a portfolio which was in charge of maintaining peace in this country before. The police must offer guidance and explain to you clearly why you cannot hold your meeting if they think so. They should tell you the foreseeable problems. They should only stop you in a bid to maintain peace. It is hypocritical to expect the police to have no say in the proceedings when you inform them about your proposed rally, but expect them to provide peace and security. This is why, in practice, the police have that power to determine whether you must go ahead with your rally or not. If you remove their role in the process, then you are asking for chaos because one party will be trying to hold a rally in a particular place and another one right behind that place and then there will be chaos which the police may not have the capacity to deal with at that time. Therefore, while the police are not there to stop political parties from holding rallies, they are there to ensure that peace is maintained at the time the rally is taking place. Thus, despite the law being in effect, we also need to be practical. If you lose a relative or friend in a fracas or become a victim of political violence, like one of our colleagues was recently, it touches all of us.

Mr Kakoma: Yes, I was beaten by the MMD cadres.

Dr Machungwa: Exactly. That is why I am saying the police must guide on when we can hold our political rallies. That is why they are there. We cannot insist on the police having nothing to do with our political activities. They must ensure that there is peace at our rallies. That is why we must support their work.

Let me now talk about the media. For many years in this House, we have called for ethical and professional journalism. There has been a lot of debate over the years that, in fact, we should encourage or perhaps enact a piece of legislation that will ensure that our media houses report professionally and ethically. The reason people have been calling for this legislation is that, as time has gone on, there has been an erosion of ethics and professionalism in the reporting exhibited by some media houses, especially some tabloids.

We have certain newspapers that now appear to be like in-house magazines or campaign leaflets of certain political parties. Hon. V. J. Mwaanga can remember the Pravda because he was in the Foreign Service at the time of its existence. The Pravda was a propagandist leaflet of the Soviet Union. We are now moving in that direction and because of that, others who are neutral and try to observe ethics are now being forced to respond to such behaviour.  Sadly, other people begin blaming them for doing so. How can we have a situation in a country whereby, if a school is built, such an activity is said to be wrong and if a hospital is built and opened, such an occurrence goes unappreciated by certain media institutions? If new investors are attracted into the country to open up shops and other businesses, through which they employ people, it is wrong in the eyes of certain media houses, maybe, because they come from another country. If the Government were not to bring in any investors, it would be condemned. If citizens have no ability to pay for some houses they were offered, through empowerment programmes of previous administrations, and the Government says our people cannot pay, let us give them debt forgiveness, is that wrong?

Hon. Opposition Member: Sichifulo!

Dr Machungwa: If we have a maize bumper harvest, it is wrong in the eyes of certain media institutions. If a leader goes to attend a funeral, instead of reporting on the funeral and sympathising with the bereaved families, certain media houses will pick something trivial and begin to condemn it because to them it is wrong.

Hon. Government Member: Shame!

Dr Machungwa: Surely, you cannot have a situation where 365 days …

Major Chizhyuka: One headline

Dr Machungwa: … a year, a particular person is always wrong. We know that in nature, there are individual differences. That is the nature of society. We may be different in certain respects, but there are certain commonalities among all human beings such as walking on two legs. There are certain things that can be wrong or right. However, it is not possible for one person or one Government which is made up of human beings to be wrong all the time. While all this is happening, others are repeatedly applauded. Those who are applauded view this type of reporting as okay. However, when another person comes and calls them something else which is not pleasing to them, then that person is wrong and they begin screaming. No, we are all Zambians. We have to move forward.

Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that, for a long time now, this country has allowed that type of journalism and reporting which promotes division in the nation, vindictiveness, hatred, witch hunting and ethnic differences that can destroy this country.  Certain media houses have been carrying on and on with this type of reporting. Others media houses have begun to react to that type of reporting and are beginning to operate in a similar manner. We are going the wrong way, and yet we keep calling for the setting up of legislation that will empower the journalists to regulate themselves. When we shy away from talking about putting in place legislation to control the operations of the media, the loudest voices calling for such pieces of legislation come from the same people. However, when somebody comes out and gives them a dose of their own medicine, they begin to cry to us that they do not want things done that way.

Mr Speaker, what is important is that, as we go into these elections, we maintain the peace that we are currently enjoying. The ECZ is made up of human beings. It does its best in discharging its duties. Its officers might make a mistake here and there, but that is human. Only God is infallible. If they are going in the right direction, then we should support them. It seems to me that there are certain people and leaders in this country who believe that the right thing can only be done by nobody else, not even God, but them alone.

Major Chizhyuka: Them alone.

Dr Machungwa: That is a chimera. It does not exist.

Hon. Government Member: A chimena.


Hon. Member: What is a chimera?

Dr Machungwa: A chimera is fake animal and, therefore, does not exist. It is utopia. That is what I am trying to say.

Hon. Members, as we go towards these elections, there are all these predictions. Certain types of reporting are worrying. For example, it is common for us to be shown someone addressing a crowd of 500, 000 people on a small and clear piece of land in a small village which could, at best, accommodate, maybe, three to four hundred people if they are squeezed like sardines. If you have been to the same area, you would know that what is reported is not possible.


Dr Machungwa: How possible is it to go to a village with a population of 200 people and then find 5,000 or half a million people everyday? We all know that such occurrences are not possible.

Hon. PF Members interjected.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Hon. Members, you will also get a chance to debate the issues that are currently on the Floor of the House. Let me now teach you something.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Dr Machungwa: Mwebaiche mukasambilile Psychology.


Dr Machungwa: Let me now speak as a professional because you are challenging what I am saying.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa:  You see, the cheapest type of propaganda is that in which you keep repeating a lie. The gullible will believe that what you are saying is happening even when it is not. Since what you would be saying, in this instance, may not be happening, you may only be able to fool a few people.

Mr Speaker, we are going towards the end. Where I come from, we travel on water and when you capsize, you have to swim. We shall see. Some of you are here for your first and last term. Ask Hon. V. J Mwaanga. Let us maintain the peace of this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Member: That was good!

Mr Zulu (Bwana Mukubwa): Mr Speaker. I wish to state from the outset that I support your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, there is no difference between this report and the Draft Constitution which we made during the NCC. At the NCC , we found cures for all the problems which have been highlighted in this report. Today, I am surprised at how the people who did not support that Constitution are now supporting your report. That Draft Constitution tried to cure all the ills which have been highlighted in this report.


Mr Zulu: I heard somebody saying that we should follow the laws which we put in place. We passed an Act here that we should all go to the NCC, but some of you did not go there despite the fact that it was your own law which you made in this Parliament which required us to go there. You chose not to follow it.

Mr Speaker, this report from your Committee is very good. It is only that it has come a little too late because everything that is in here would have been cured by that Draft Constitution had it been passed by this Parliament.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu: Some of us who had the opportunity to go to the NCC and read the whole Draft Constitution know that it was going to cure everything which is in here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zulu: I am not going to spend a lot of time on the Floor of this House.

With these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Munkombwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate regarding this important report.

Mr Speaker, I want to firstly talk about the debate of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central. Decency should be earned. The way you travel, the way you walk and the way you dress will determine what you are in life.

Sir, in my twenty-three and half years in Parliament, I have never been sent out. I normally do not talk about people, but use strong language. Sir, a civilised society is one in which one argues reasonably and another stands up to argue to the contrary.

Sir, during the struggle, violence was a virtue because when Lillian Burton was burnt, the late Sipalo coined a saying that, “Anything white with two legs must be destroyed.” He referred to a white chicken and, at that time, that was fashionable. However, one needs to be relevant. What are you talking about as a leader of a political party today? How attractive are you? I am saying this because you are merely concocting words and inflating rally pictures. That is insignificant.

Mr Speaker, let me tell you a short story about how we, the Kaunda group, were removed from power. We were removed because, at that time, there was a movement out of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). There were no political parties such as Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD), Patriotic Front (PF), United Party for National Development (UPND) and United Liberal Party (ULP). There was just a movement that caused instability. Now, we, as MMD, are very solid. There are so many political parties, but we are intact. You should get that from me this second day of this month that the MMD is still solid. If some people think that this is a fantasy, it is alright because nobody is stopped from dreaming.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, we need politics where you can mingle freely like Hon. Hachipuka and Hon. Matongo. These two can walk anywhere. Others will walk …

Mr Mulyata interrupted.

Mr Munkombwe: I think, sometimes, you go there as well.


Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, let us debate issues. If I belong to a different party, I must engage people of another party reasonably so that I win them over to my party. You can also do the same with me. Once you push me or insult me, I can be ‘alright’. If you are useful in one political party, you can also be useful in another one. There was some small fellow who used to sit somewhere in this House. He used to debate in a provocative manner even if we were this side. You would really see that the small fellow was missing something. He was provocative to everybody. This …

Mr Kapeya: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, is my age mate in order …


Mr Kapeya: … to continue debating an individual hon. Member of Parliament who has contributed to the debate on the Motion instead of debating the Motion itself? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the President should get back to the report and debate it.

Mr Munkombwe: Mr Speaker, I would like to talk about election violence and how it affects stability and peace. Election violence is disastrous and dangerous, using the words of Hon. Dr Machungwa. Some hon. Members have complained that when the police advise them to go ahead with a rally on a given day, they are later stopped from holding it. According to them, this is organised by a certain Government. However, no thought is given to the fact that it could be done for the sake of maintaining peace.

As permanent members of the Opposition talk, they worry about the President using Government facilities during elections because they are permanent members of the Opposition. They do not hope to ever come to this side to enjoy the facilities that we are enjoying. They should then continue complaining. There is a reality. Anybody who is Head of State is entitled to certain facilities. Although he is a member of a political party, …


Mr Munkombwe: You are saying “Aah” because you have never been in Government anyway and I do not hope you will ever be.


Mr Munkombwe: When you become a President or a Vice-President, there are certain facilities that you are entitled to. This is because you are not a Vice-President for a particular grouping, but for the whole country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: Therefore, you are entitled to certain facilities. Somebody said that I should go to the cells. Apart from the time I was being dragged into court to fight for your independence in 1953, while at school, and 1955, I have not been pushed into that. I do not know what may come tomorrow. Please, some of you who have made it a habit to be glorious and proud of being dragged to jail, do not infect other people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkombwe: There is no pride in repeating what goes on in jail. It is terrible. My message is that we should be attractive. Let us try to be leaders of quality in what we say, in the way we dress and in whatever we do. That is leadership. Leadership is not only about inciting people in the markets and appearing in the press everyday. There is a section of the press that is totally misleading people and those people who are clean do not pay attention to it. As a result, I can only ask my son or grandson to tell me what is in that paper because very rarely, now, do I look at it because I know what will be said.  It is terrible.

Mr Speaker, the research which was put into the coming up of this report was perfect. What your Committee says is very good. We need peace. Hon. Mwiimbu, the Chairperson of the Committee, I congratulate you.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute briefly to the debate on the Motion on the Report on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender Matters.

Mr Speaker, I have listened very carefully and there have been very valuable contributions. However, that of an outstanding nature and that I wish to adopt is that of Hon. Dr Machungwa. I want to contribute to the issue he raised on utilisation of resources by His Excellency the President and the His Honour the Vice-President. This is, as far as I am aware, enshrined in our law as a privilege that goes with those offices because the nation has to be governed. We need the continuity that is required even during that process of elections.

Mr Speaker, as this point has also been debated previously, I notice that, in fact, we, as lawmakers, brought the Constitutional Bill and the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill to this House. Some of my colleagues, who have observed that there are shortcomings with the status quo, are the very ones who actually put spanners in the works for those Bills not to go through. As has been stated already, a majority of Zambians took their precious time to contribute to the constitution making process. We were on our way to making progress but, alas, we, as hon. Members of Parliament, let our nation down.

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that, in fact, attempts were made to look at and review the Electoral Code of Conduct Regulations. There was actually a meeting in Livingstone for this purpose and it was to take into account the fact that we had to better the governance issue with regard to our elections.

Mr Speaker, a breach in the Electoral Code of Conduct takes place when one party does not observe regulations of the code and takes the law in its own hands. Looking back in history, many election petitions have been lost. That many have been lost must surely be an indication that, perhaps, the complainants are the ones who breach the Electoral Code of Conduct Regulations. In my view, this is a pointer.

Mr Speaker, the report has brought out very good points. However, there is a need for us to support the police and other law enforcement agents because when something goes wrong, we have to go to a recognised authority to mediate.

If we do not make an effort to prevent violent behaviour, inflammatory language, and the purchase of alcohol that we make available to our youths, we are not helping the process of fair and free elections. It is, therefore, an obligation for each and every one of us, as leaders, to ensure that all these things start from our homes.

Mr Speaker, when the Government effectively informs the nation about its developmental projects, it is accused of employing double standards. How can it be so? Our people are yearning for information. They want to know about the on-going developmental projects not only in their areas, but also throughout the country. When our President informs the nation of national programmes, we are told that it is some form of campaign strategy. Where are we going to draw the line? Our people want to know what is going on and what needs to be done. In my view, this is a responsible Government. The sharing of information must be encouraged and commended. When there is no information, we are accused of being secretive. Surely, is it not better to inform our people than to do otherwise?

Mr Speaker, we all must work towards observing the Electoral Code of Conduct regulations as has been observed. Our people are waiting for us to assume leadership.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Gender and Women in Development (Ms Sayifwanda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate. I would like to confine myself to part three of your Committee’s report, which is talking about women in the decision-making process. Therefore, I will be very brief.

Mr Speaker, in my last update on the status of the ratification of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, I reported that the protocol had been circulated to line ministries for their support.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to mention that the Front Bench in this House overwhelmingly supported this protocol. The only issue that remains is ratification and this will be done very soon. I believe the whole Front Bench will come back. Even as we wait for the protocol’s ratification, indicators are there already. We have already started implementing it.  As you can see, the Front Bench is full of women. In the past, the composition would be one woman while the rest would be men.


Ms Sayifwanda: Now, however, there are a number of women. I wish to congratulate you, Sir, on this.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Hon. MMD Member: Even the Sergeant-At-Arms is a woman.

Ms Sayifwanda: Yes, even the Sergeant-At-Arms is a woman.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: This is very important.

Mr Speaker, we have also seen that, in the recent appointments in the Judiciary, this hardworking President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, has appointed more women to the Front Bench. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, when I saw the advertisement by the MMD that began to run on television yesterday, calling for applications from mostly women and youths, I was very pleased as an hon. Minister in charge of women. This shows that this working MMD Government is in leadership.

Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the other political parties to join the MMD and also adopt more women candidates. The MMD Government has already led by example. We all have, probably, seen the advertisement. We are waiting to see if the other parties are also interested in women’s affairs.

Mr Speaker, I cannot talk much about the Gender-Based Violence Bill. However, I wish to thank the hon. Members who supported it and I am happy to report that, so far, our hardworking President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda, has already signed it.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, we are making progress. I know that this report was prepared some time last year, but now things have progressed.

Mr Speaker, I also wanted to talk about the Strategy for Gender Mainstreaming of the Public Service. So far, the Secretary to the Cabinet, on 27th May, 2011, launched this strategy. It has, so far, been disseminated to ministerial and Provincial Permanent Secretaries, the directors of planning and chief planning officers as well as the gender focal point persons.

Mr Speaker, I did not intend to take long. All I wanted to mention is that this Government is working really hard and everything has been put in place.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member for Monze may wind up the debate.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to wind up the debate. I …

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice indicated.

The Deputy Chairperson: I beg your pardon, Hon. Mwiimbu, there is one more debater who is indicating to speak.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, this report is about governance and you do not want me to speak.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I want to tear this report apart.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, this particular report is supposed to be balanced and should fairly cover all concerned. The Electoral Code of Conduct covers both the Ruling and Opposition parties participating in an election. Therefore, as rightly pointed out by many of the debaters, all of us must observe it.

Mr Speaker, in the preparation of this report, most of the evidence came from biased and like-minded NGOs, who were called as witnesses. For example, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was debating the credibility of some of the witnesses who were called to testify before your Committee. I was saying that these are like-minded, hostile NGOs. For example, the witnesses came from Caritas Zambia, Non Governmental Organisations Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC), Transparency International Zambia (TIZ), Council of Churches in Zambia, Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD), Anti-Voter Apathy Project (AVAP), Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ). However, what happens in this country is that some of the NGOs merely parrot what is written in The Post Newspaper.

Dr Mwansa: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The Post will set the agenda and they will go round asking for comments from the people who condemn the Government for the way elections are conducted. That is why there is a lot of condemnation of the Government in this report. It is weighted heavily against the Government or the Ruling Party as if it is the only one which participates in elections.

Mr Speaker, in my assessment, the Electoral Code of Conduct has contributed to the holding of free and fair elections. Some of these elections are have been won by the Opposition.

In fact, there is an outrageous statement in this report on Page 8 which suggests that the country’s elections, since 2001, have always been disputed and declared not free and fair no matter how peaceful the polling day could be. Are you saying that we, in this House, are not a product of free and fair elections?

Hon. Government Members: We are!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Is that what we are saying? This statement suggests that this is what you are suggesting which is far from the truth. We have held credible elections in this country using this Electoral Code of Conduct which you are condemning because of the biased evidence that was given before your Committee.

You have also talked about the use of Government resources, suggesting that the President, the Vice-President and hon. Ministers should not use Government resources. Of course, there is an exception which you have acknowledged that the President and the Vice-President can use Government resources because that is what the law provides. However, you are also suggesting that hon. Ministers should not be included in this so that, once the National Assembly is dissolved, hon. Ministers do not use Government resources.

Sir, this is the only country where Cabinet will stop functioning after there is dissolution of Parliament. I have been to other countries and seen that this is not the practice. Recently, I went to Uganda and we were received by the out-going hon. Ministers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This means that they continue in office until they hand over power. The same is true of Nigeria. We were received by the Minister of Health who is still in office. Until the President reconstitutes a new Government, they continue to work. There is continuity of government. It is the same in the United Kingdom (UK) and that is the position everywhere.

Mr Speaker, if there is any doubt in the Constitution regarding this issue, I think it should be cured so that it is in concordance with other provisions in the Constitution. For example, in Article 88 of the current Constitution, a dissolved National Assembly can be recalled in case of an emergency or war. Even if this House is dissolved, the President has the power, under Article 88 (8) and (9), to recall a dissolved National Assembly. This suggests that the National Assembly has some residual power and, therefore, we continue as Members of Parliament until other Members of Parliament are elected.

Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha: Yes, it is true.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Therefore, …


Mr V. Mwale: Ema lawyer, aya!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This is the legal position. If there is any doubt, perhaps, we need to fine-tune it in the new Constitution because it is dangerous that the President and Vice-President remain to run the country on their own. The whole Cabinet should remain in office until the hand over.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This is the standard practice worldwide and I have seen it thus practised.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This suggests that hon. Ministers can use Government resources until the next elections.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, this report is suggesting that the Opposition does not flout the Electoral Code of Conduct. However, it is underplaying corrupt practices that are sometimes endemic, in some cases, by the Opposition political parties, especially during by-elections. What happens during by-elections is that, and that is, perhaps, why some opposition political parties win some elections, they literally camp in the wards and constituencies because, maybe, their presidents do not have anything to do.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: They just camp in those constituencies and start slaughtering animals, cook nshima and dish out money. The reality in some of the opposition political parties is that they dish out money. Let us not underplay some of these issues. We should conduct some soul searching so that we contribute to free and fair elections.

According to this report, why is it that certain NGOs were not called to appear before the Commitee? Only those NGOs from whom they wanted to hear what is palatable or what they would like to hear were called. For example, why did they not invite the Committee of Citizens of Mr Chifire to give evidence?


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: He would have given a different view. Also, the Forum for Leadership Search. These are credible organisations …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … which give a different view apart …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … from the organisations which parrot what is written in The Post Newspaper. For example, …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … for a long time, the Government and the Ruling Party were under siege from insults and crude language by The Post and those who believe in insults. To balance up the equation and give a different perspective from what we were being bombarded with everyday, Stand Up for Zambia was born. The good thing about it is that it is factual.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We must encourage this kind of journalism that gives alternative views based on facts such as actually seeing a person …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … promoting homosexuality.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, when we go to the elections, people must know the character of some of the people who are standing in elections.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: If you have evidence that they are promoting homosexuality, you must show it to the people of Zambia and repeatedly for that matter.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: This should be the same if you want the people of Zambia to believe that the Government is developing the country. You should show development repeatedly and everyday so that the people see what is going on.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, of course, some of the issues that the Chairperson of your Committee has mentioned are constructive and that we acknowledge. We must also acknowledge that the conduct of elections anywhere are not perfect. There were elections in the United Kingdom (UK) recently and we saw how many people were disfranchised from those elections. Some people were on the queues, but were not allowed to vote. Our laws also provide that, for elections to be valid, they must be in substantial conformity with the law. That is the standard required to be met and our elections here do meet that standard.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of PVT, I think it was well argued by the hon. Member for Chongwe. The law allows monitoring of elections. You can collect results from those which have been announced by the ECZ because it is the only authority which can announce results. However, some people do not understand what PVT means. Collection of results is allowed even in the Electoral Code of Conduct, but what is not allowed is speculation on the results. This is prohibited specifically in the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Mr Speaker, what is PVT? From what I have been briefed by people who brought this concept to Zambia, it is about reaching conclusions on results of an election based on sampling. It is like an opinion poll or projections.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Very dangerous!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: You sample some results and think that, in view of these few results, the UPND is leading in the elections and yet that is not the true position but speculation. That is a crime and this is what we are against because that can lead to chaos in the country.

Major Chibamba: Total chaos!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Yes, total chaos, as you are saying. Therefore, that should be discouraged. PVT of this nature is not allowed in this country.

I thought I should make these contributions on the Electoral Code of Conduct. I also note that you have acknowledged, in your report, some of the positive strides we have made with regard to the construction and rehabilitation of prisons. We have also taken note of your concerns regarding the conditions in prison and other acknowledgements on the laws which we have passed such as the enactment of the Law on Gender Based Violence and other positive observations which you have made. We will support the report to that extent.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have supported our report. I have also noted that His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice has endorsed wholly our report apart from the comment he made pertaining to the witnesses who appeared before us. On behalf of your Committee, Mr Speaker, I would like to protect the witnesses because they came as our witnesses to make submissions to your Committee. We are not privy to their private agendas as they were coming to appear before us.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I also would like to take note of the views of His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice pertaining to the term of office of Members of Parliament. He said we will continue being in office until other hon. Members are elected and we will continue being paid our salaries …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and dues.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: However, I would like to also comment that this country is regulated by laws. Anything outside the law, we are not obliged to follow. As His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice has indicated, in our Constitution there is no provision, whatsoever, for Cabinet to continue in office after the dissolution of Parliament. I am aware of the decision of one gallant son of Zambia, the late President Mwanawasa, SC. who really followed the Constitution of Zambia to the extent that when he dissolved Parliament, Cabinet was also dissolved. May his soul rest in peace and may other leaders who will come in future emulate the good standing of our former President, Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC.

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that the composition of this Committee was very balanced. Despite the majority of the hon. Members of this Committee being from the Ruling Party, MMD, I do not think it would be fair to suggest that this particular report was biased towards promoting the agenda of the MMD. This is so because we got views from members of the public and Government institutions that came to testify before us and enabled us to come up with the report which has been accepted by both the Opposition and the Ruling Party through this House. I have no doubt in my mind that all of us would like to have peaceful, free and fair elections this year. If that is our endeavour, I have no doubt that there will be no dissenting views, as all of us will accept and support this report and ensure that the good recommendations, which were made in the interest of the nation, are implemented for the sake of Mother Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.{mospagebreak}


Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs for the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 23rd May, 2011.

The Deputy Chairperson: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr V. Mwale (Chipangali): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ngoma: Mr Speaker, in the programme for this year, your Committee decided to pay particular attention to the prevention of child marriages in Zambia. Your Committee was concerned about the high levels of child marriages in Zambia and thus resolved to carry out a study regarding the prevention of the practice.

After examining the various submissions from witnesses, it became very clear to your Committee that despite the implementation of various interventions for the prevention of child marriages, it remains a growing concern in Zambia. Zambia is ranked tenth in the world amongst countries where child marriages are practiced. Forty-two per cent of Zambian women aged between twenty and twenty-four had been married before reaching the age of eighteen years. There is, therefore, an urgent need for the Government to seriously intervene in the matter and ensure that child marriages are completely eliminated.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was able to establish that the social and economic factors that perpetuate child marriages are interconnected. Economic hardships encourage families to marry off their daughters rather than send them to school. Social norms on the other hand support the view that education is less important for girls than it is for boys.

Mr Speaker, it is culturally believed in Zambia and supported by customary marriage that upon reaching puberty, girls as young as twelve years old are ready for marriage. In most cases, with the consent of their parents, these girls are married off to men twice or thrice their age.

Mr Speaker, in its deliberations, your Committee was made aware of the fact that child marriages are often the product of gender discrimination that values the survival, development, protection and participation of boys higher than that of girls. Further, your Committee was made aware of the fact that a child marriage was a violation of human rights, be it a girl or boy. It represents the most prevalent form of sexual abuse and exploitation of girls.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was further made aware of the harmful consequences of child marriages. These include separation from family and friends, lack of freedom to interact with peers and participation in community activities as well as decreased opportunities for education. Child marriages can also result in bonded labour or enslavement, commercial sexual exploitation and violence against the victims.

Your Committee further observes that because they cannot abstain from sex or insist on condom use, child brides are often exposed to serious health risks such as premature pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS.

Mr Speaker, to completely eliminate the practice of child marriages in Zambia, your Committee recommends that the refinement and harmonisation of customary and statutory laws of marriage be taken as a priority. The age of consent to sex and parental consent to marriage should also be raised to eighteen years. This will be in line with the international instruments on child protection. Marriage of children under the age of eighteen years should be treated as defilement. Banning sexual activities with children below the age of eighteen years will also promote education for both girls and boys.

Mr Speaker, in its deliberations, your Committee noted that ministries directly involved in the welfare of children, such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services, have no specific policy on the prevention of child marriages. Your Committee recommends that these ministries have clear policies regarding the prevention of child marriages and that they be adequately funded to carry out the outlined activities.

Mr Speaker, your Committee recommends that the Government embarks on a serious national awareness raising campaign regarding the harmful effects of early marriages. The campaign should involve traditional, political, religious and other community leaders.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to express my gratitude to you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance given to your Committee. I also would like to thank all the stakeholders for their submissions to your Committee. I further wish to congratulate all the hon. Members of your Committee for working tirelessly in order to come up with this report.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr V. Mwale: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr V. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. Allow me to congratulate him on a job well-done.

Mr Speaker, during its tour, your Committee was able to get first-hand information regarding the high levels of child marriages in the country, the reasons for its perpetuation and the woes of those who have had to undergo it.

Mr Speaker, young girls and women who had undergone child marriages were able to share with your Committee the terrible hardships they experienced. Parents and guardians informed your Committee of the several social, cultural and economic challenges faced in keeping the girls in school and out of marriage. Most parents had no choice, but to succumb to the pressures.

Mr Speaker, I must mention, however, that not all is gloom and doom. The Government through the ministries of Sport, Youth and Child Development, Community Development and Social Welfare and Education, are working with several NGOs and church organisations to eliminate the practice.

Mr Speaker, your Committee had a rare privilege of meeting with Chieftainess Ikelenge at her palace. The chieftainess shared with your Committee that together with her headmen and women, she was working hard to discourage negative traditional practices, especially child marriages. Your Committee calls upon all the traditional leaders in Zambia, to join in the fight against child marriages.

Much is being done, but these efforts need to be buttressed with the harmonisation of the statutory and customary laws of marriage and with the implementation of a national mass-media campaign on the dangers of child marriages and the need for its elimination. More bursaries should be made available to the girls in high school. The Government should further insist that every high school built, especially in the rural areas has boarding facilities for girls. This will ensure that girls are kept in school and away from child marriages.

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

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this chance to add to the debate currently on the Floor of the House and I will be very brief. Firstly, I would like to thank the Committee chaired by Hon. Levy Joseph Ngoma for the wonderful report. I think the topic they chose is very appropriate and important.

Mr Speaker, the issue of child marriages is a very serious problem in our country and it has serious implications on the nation’s development. It is a pity that the Committee, in its report, has indicated that data on the scale of child marriages is very difficult to get, a situation which affects the design of programmes on child marriages. Despite the lack of adequate data, when we move around, it is easy for us to discover that the issue of child marriages is a serious problem and has serious implications for social economic development. The causes have been highlighted, but I want to dwell much on what has to be done to address this problem. I will deal with one aspect and leave my colleagues to deal with the other issues.

Mr Speaker, I am happy that your Committee discovered that there is a very strong linkage between the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development and Ministry of Education because the key instrument to address this problem is education. Education is the biggest factor that can help us to address the issue of child marriages, apart from issues of customary law and others. When you educate a nation, then people will have a better way of choosing what is good for them. I think the biggest problem in our country is access to free education by the majority of our people. Even if you improve your laws, if people are not educated, they will not make good use of those laws. Therefore, if we have to address this issue of child marriages, we must put more emphasis on education. Unfortunately, in this country, there is no free education. There is free education on paper but, practically, there is no free education and most of the girl children are excluded from accessing this education. Currently, the Ministry of Education is claiming that there is free education, but most schools ask for Parents Teachers’ Association (PTA) fees, desk fees and mattress fees. In view of this, how free is that education? Most of these girls are turned back because they cannot afford to pay such fees. Today, to send a girl or even a boy child to Grade 8, you need about K1.5 million. That is not reachable for an ordinary Zambian with these high poverty levels. Therefore, if we have to address this problem, we must make free education a reality.

Mr Speaker, I would like to tell you that the economy is growing moderately. If you look at the macro-economic indicators for the Zambian economy, you will notice the growth is not rooted in the people and is not inclusive. If the economy is growing and the people cannot access free education and health services, that growth is exclusive, futureless, rootless and very dangerous. Our people can only benefit from this growing economy, if they can access free education. Once we have a knowledgeable population, people will be able to know that it is not right to marry off their child at a tender age. Not only that, we will also free their meagre resources. Some of them allow marriages of their children because they want money. They cannot look after their children, but when you free that K1.5 million which is supposed to be for school fees, they will use it to invest in other small activities. Thus, there will be no incentive to push their children to get married too early. I think that the economy must address the fundamental needs of our people.

Mr Speaker, last week, we celebrated a very important day, the African Freedom Day. When our forefathers, including Hon. Mwaanga, were fighting for independence, the idea was to make an African person walk with his or her head high. To walk with your head high, you must be able to provide the basic needs to your family. Your family must access education, health services and enjoy their freedom of association, among others.

 Since access to these things has not been realised, I did not join in this celebration because it is not making any sense anymore. We have departed from the idea that we fought independence for. We wanted to make our people truly free, but our people are not free because they are not accessing the simple things. I am happy that my political party, the UPND, stands for free education.

It is very possible, this year, that we will get into office because people want real change. They do not want vigamba vigamba, but real change and we present that platform.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

What is vigamba?


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, vigamba means patches and when you patch up, it is not change. This is because when you patch up one place, you will also patch up another and we will be seeing your whatever. Therefore, we want new clothes and we represent a platform for new blood and the beginning of a generational change. You old people are supposed to be behind to advise us because we are the ones who can run faster and make things move. Of course, we will be together, but you will only be advising.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we are going to cross pollinate with the elderly people so that they can give us advice because they have more experience.

Mr Speaker, my appeal to the UPND and generally all political parties, without any party interest here, is that Zambians deserve free education. Without free education, our people are not free and will not fight child marriages. The issue of economic hardship is what leads to these problems. The root cause of this problem is that if these children get married early, they will have more children. Therefore, the household will be compromised and be caught up in what we call a vicious cycle of poverty. This web will continue from generation to generation and we need to break it.

Mr Speaker, the best instrument to break the vicious cycle of poverty is education for all. What is happening now is that there are a lot of fees to be paid and a lot of our people are excluded from education which can empower them to fight the issues that emanate from ignorance.

Therefore, we want free education for all. I admire the United States of America (USA) for its ability to reach national consensus on key issues. As Zambians, we must emulate that so that whoever comes into power ensures that there is free education and health. These two sectors must not be so compromised that whenever a new political comes into power, it brings in funny things.

Mr Speaker, look at the American people who believe in war mongering. When Obama came into office, he only shifted the war from Iraq to Afghanistan and not that he stopped it. Who is Obama to stop the war? If he stopped the war, who would employ all those people working in security agencies? His doing that would only prompt his being dropped from the presidency.

Therefore, as we engage in inter-party dialogue, there must be some issues that must be above party interests. I think, what we stand for must be above party interests. We want free education and health so that our people can also test the fruits of their economy. Our people in rural areas can only benefit from this economy if they have free education and health. If this is achieved, there will be no such thing as early marriages. I will leave the other issues to my colleagues, but free education is the answer.

Mr Speaker, finally, I would like to thank your Committee for a very elaborate report. Hon. Levy Ngoma, my brother and friend, keep it up.  Your Committee has given us a very good report and I hope that this ministry will not take this as an academic exercise. This is a time bomb and it is a very serious one. Our people are caught up in a vicious cycle of poverty, please, can you unchain them? If you give them free education, then, you will have addressed these issues.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief, but coming from a teaching profession, I would like to say a few things about a girl child in any given school.

Mr Speaker, girls are not made the way men are made. In our boarding schools, girls need a lot of things such as soap, dresses, hot pants, ointments and many other things.


Mr Chazangwe: In boarding schools, we have observed that in the first week that schools open, you will not see girls. Why? It is because they cannot afford these little things that I have mentioned. In most boarding schools, firstly, girls engage themselves in temporary marriages so that they are able to buy soap, books, hot pants and many other things. This is all because there is mutual competition amongst them in boarding schools.

Mr Speaker, the point I am trying to make is that our Government must come up with simple mechanisms such as opening up production units in our schools so that, when schools close, these girls whose parents cannot afford some school requirements can remain at school and work during holidays so as to raise the required fees.

 To make things worse, Mr Speaker, this Government is not taking care of boarding schools. The K700,000 fees which is required by many boarding schools, in Zambia, cannot be met by any literal widow in villages. Even if it so happened that the woman, the widow, can afford to raise these fees, she will still not afford to buy soap and the other little things I mentioned earlier. Therefore, these are the things that are making our girls get into early marriages. This Government is not addressing that, and yet we talk about it every time.

Mr Speaker, I visited the Northern and Luapula provinces and saw that these are the problems the people there are faced with. One woman nearly shed tears as she narrated to me that she had done this because she could not afford the fees that were being demanded.

Mr Kakoma: What did she do?

Mr Chazangwe: She married off her child because she could not afford to buy even a single exercise book. Therefore, my appeal is that this Government should look into the issue of girls in all our institutions of learning.

Mr Speaker, when we, in the UPND, talk about free education in this country, some people do not understand because they ask us where we will find the money to fund it. However, money is there.

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Chazangwe: For example, this Government is not able to …

Mr Matongo: Windfall Tax.

Mr Chazangwe: Windfall tax is one of the sources of the money that can be used to fund free education. At the moment, this Government is not able to support boarding schools. I remember one time when Chitandika Kamanga was Minister of Agriculture, he went to Namwala Secondary School and gave a tractor for production unit so that the school could no longer charge high fees which parents could not afford to pay. Therefore, why is the Government charging high fees?

Mr Speaker, we shall continue talking about these early marriages, but the answer is that the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services should go out into the villages and give women simple money to buy vegetable seeds. If a woman can grow rape, she can sell it and buy an exercise book or pen for her child instead of these girls being sent back home by their teachers because they do not have school requirements. If the Government can do that, all these things that we are talking about will no longer be there. These things exist because of the poverty levels which are in our rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Community Development and Social Services (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate on the Report of the Committee on Sport, Youth and Child Affairs. I wish to commend your Committee on the well-written report which has raised a number of salient issues concerning child marriages.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to inform the House on the steps taken regarding the issues that were highlighted in the Committee’s report.

With regard to my ministry not having a specific policy on the prevention of child marriages, I would like to inform the House that the National Child Policy also includes this matter. However, it must be supported by specific guidelines or provisions such as those on early marriages, sexual and gender-based violence. This means that the policy covers all child related matters. I would also like to point out that, as a Government, we are exploring the possibility of coming up with a single piece of legislation to deal with all child-related matters as is the case with Ghana and other countries.

Mr Speaker, my Government welcomes the recommendation by your Committee on the need to scale-up the establishment of district child protection committees from twenty-five districts to all the seventy-four. This process has already commenced and I would like to point out that this is an on-going exercise that is dependent on resources. Once the process is finalised, the House will be updated accordingly.

Sir, on the aspect of my ministry carrying out a study on all the initiation ceremonies, we fully support this recommendation as it will help maintain the promotion of positive values, norms and customs within acceptable practices in order to provide appropriate life skills during the initiation ceremonies. Furthermore, the study will assist to formalise and promote best practices through guidelines to be provided by the findings.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the use of old and outdated materials for the Adult Literacy Classes, I would like to point out that my ministry, in 2010, commenced an exercise to review the curriculum in all our training institutions and sub-centres nationwide and a number of syllabi have been revised to incorporate emerging issues which have since been approved by the Technical Education Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA).

Mr Speaker, on the recommendation by your Committee on the need to expand the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in order to prevent child marriages among vulnerable families, the ministry would like to inform the House that the Social Cash Transfer Scheme is being scaled up in a phased manner with the intention of covering the entire country within the most feasible time.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observed that the major challenge to the prevention of child marriages is the customary law, which allows children to marry with the consent of their parents. The Zambia Law Development Commission has recommended for the harmonisation of statutory and customary laws on marriage. Further, my ministry has been conducting nationwide awareness raising campaigns on the harmful effects of early marriages and promotion of the rights of the child as evidenced by the active participation of Chiefs who ensure the return of children from such marriages to their parents and into school.

In addition, my ministry, in conjunction with the United Nations International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), is currently designing a programme to undertake a study on child marriages to determine the current trends of social, cultural and economic factors leading to child marriages. The study will facilitate the development of strategies and initiatives that will help curb this vice.

As I conclude, Mr Speaker, let me also say that the ministry is doing its level best to come up with interventions to alleviate poverty. Of course, it is not possible to eradicate poverty because, as you are aware, it is actually in the African mind. I am aware, and the people from the Southern Province will testify to the fact that a person can have 5,000 cattle, but will fail to send his daughter to school. Therefore, I do not think it is a question of poverty, but that of the mind set. Therefore, it is very important that, as we discuss poverty, we know that most of the reasons Africans are poor are cultural. We have to change the mind set of an African to understand and realise that begging is actually shameful.

Mr Speaker, we have given away social cash transfers, empowered women and have been everywhere, but we are aware of the people who grow up to 1,000 bags of maize and sell everything only to come back to the Government to ask for relief food. Therefore, it is not poverty, but I suppose a question of the mindset change.

Hon. Government Minister: Hear, hear!

Mr Kaingu: In conclusion, Mr Speaker, may I thank your Committee, once more, for supporting the ministry through its recommendations.

I thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development (Mr Chipungu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate. I equally support the report and just want to commend the Chairperson and the entire Committee for a job well done.

Mr Speaker, I will not comment on child marriages. We agreed with my colleague here, the hon. Minister of Community Development and Social Services, that we adopt his speech.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also looked at the Action Taken Report on the Second Report for the Fourth Session of the Tenth National Assembly. The report looked at the various aspects of issues such as sport, youth, football development and management, in particular, in enhancing the way the National Sports Council of Zambia supports football clubs, football development in schools and at institutions of higher learning as well as the development of women’s football and establishment of the Zambia Council for the Child. Let me say that action is a continuous process. I want to indicate that a letter has been written thereon just to give an example. In the report, it talks about the former refugee centres that were handed over to the Government. I want to report that some of them have already been handed over to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development such as the Mwange Refugee Centre.

Mr Speaker, I also would like to mention that my ministry has taken a step further to follow up on issues relating to domestication of the rights of a child. It has passed through Cabinet and will be coming to Parliament here for discussion. In short, come next year, a number of issues that have been raised in the report will have been dealt with.

My ministry has taken note, however, of the report and will provide the update in accordance with the parliamentary procedure for this august House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ngoma: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to say that the preliminary response from the two Cabinet Ministers is quite gratifying. I also thank all hon. Members who, through their debate and conduct, have shown total support for this report. It is our prayer that the report be adopted.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1930 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 3rd June, 2011.