Debates- Tuesday, 15th March, 2011

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Tuesday, 15th March, 2011

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, today, Tuesday, 15th March, 2011, saw the conclusion of the Commemoration of the Commonwealth Day activities that I had referred to on Thursday, 10th March, 2011, in this House.

In line with the theme “Women as agents of Change,” participants drawn from all the nine provinces of Zambia took part in various activities which included the debate on the Motion “Are women given enough opportunities to be agents of change?”

I am informed by some of you that the debates were quite interesting, informative and educative.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: On your and my behalf, I have congratulated all the participants and the officials who accompanied them from the provinces.

This afternoon, in the Speaker’s Gallery, are the participants who have been guests of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Zambia Branch during the Commonwealth Day celebrations.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: We welcome them to Parliament.

Thank you.




329. Mr Chota asked the Minister of Health when the ministry would provide the Luwingu District Hospital with the following facilities:

(a) x-ray equipment; and

(b) mattresses and blankets.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Luwingu District Hospital currently refers patients to nearest hospitals that offer medical imaging or radiological diagnostic services. The Government has, to this effect, put in measures to ensure that Luwingu District Hospital is provided with x-ray equipment.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has already commenced the process of procuring x-ray equipment for the hospital. As soon as the tender process is completed, the x-ray equipment will be procured and installed at the hospital.

Mr Speaker, mattresses and blankets for Luwingu District Hospital will be procured in phases by the district health office using its operational grant within this year.

Mr Speaker, the House may further wish to note that the Government is aware of the need to provide most of our health facilities countrywide with blankets, bed sheets, pillows and mattresses on a regular basis. The Government plans to spend, this year, 2011, about K4,107,105,000 to procure blankets, bed sheets, pillows and mattresses for all the hospitals countrywide. The tender process has commenced and as soon as it is completed, the items will be procured and distributed to all the provinces in the country. Luwingu District Hospital will also benefit from this Government initiative.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to be specific because this problem has been going on for the last five years. When will the x-ray equipment be provided for Luwingu, even one which was last used by Hitler?


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I cannot state, with certainty, as to when, exactly, the equipment will be provided. Suffice it to say that the Government is aware of the need to provide this piece of equipment at this hospital. In responding to this need, the tender process has been commenced to procure this equipment and I can confirm that this will be done. Hon. Member, just exercise some patience.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister should be specific. When did the process commence and when is it expected to end?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in the process of procuring x-ray machines, we have actually already even paid for five x-ray machines, one of which will go to Luwingu District Hospital. In terms of the exact delivery date, I cannot state, with certainty, because, as you know, tender processes are intricate and, sometimes, the date that you give may not necessarily be the date on which the equipment will arrive …


Dr Kalila: … except to state to you that this equipment is coming.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that mattresses and blankets will be purchased by headquarters and, at the same time, he said that the district will use the grants to buy mattresses and blankets. Can he clarify because we do not want the Government to be changing goal posts?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I wish to clarify to the hon. Member and I expect him, this time, to listen very carefully. The Government is aware of the shortage of linen in some of our institutions countrywide and we are determined to address it in two ways. One, all our health institutions have been instructed, by way of their grants, to keep on a need-to-have basis, from time to time, to buy and procure some of their requirements instead of waiting until such a time when these items will arrive.

Secondly, in order to solve the problem once and for all, this Government, which is always on top of things, especially in the health sector …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: … has consistently stated, on the Floor of this House - in fact, in the last two weeks, we have referred to this tender as regards linen across the country. As soon as this linen arrives, it is expected that Luwingu will equally benefit from it. How much more can one be clearer than that? To go further, for Luwingu, we have also been informed by the District Medical Officer that, in fact, in their meeting yesterday, as a district, they also decided that some of the left over material from the census should be given to them and, to this effect, they are also going to benefit from sixty mattresses. So, all these are the initiatives that we are undertaking to try and equip this hospital.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, many hospitals and health centres do have blankets and bed sheets, but they are not used because of lack of detergents to wash them. What assurance is the ministry going to give the House to ensure that enough grants are provided so that detergents can be bought to wash linen once it is bought for Luwingu?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I am very surprised at the hon. Member’s complaint that the Central Government or headquarters is not able to provide detergents. Detergents are materials which the various hospitals in the country, from time to time, purchase from their operational grants. The House may wish to know that Luwingu District Hospital gets K145 million monthly. Surely, it is not possible that they can fail to buy detergents to clean some of the materials that the hon. Member has referred to.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, has the ministry carried out an audit to ascertain the number of mattresses and beddings that are required throughout the country in order to have a lasting solution to this problem? This issue has been coming up so often from hon. Members.

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question. Even though I do no have the number, the answer is yes. What happened is that all provinces were requested to give the numbers of their bed capacities in all facilities that admit patients and this has been done.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, we have a situation where district hospitals and health centres are requesting Constituency Development Fund (CDF) assistance to buy X-ray equipment. I am sure Luwingu is one of them. Should this be allowed? Is this normal? Does this not show that the Ministry of Health has failed to provide the necessary equipment for the hospitals?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very good concern. I am sure there is a misunderstanding as to what the CDF is meant to be.

Mr Nkhata: Yes.

Mr Simbao: The CDF is meant to alleviate problems in a constituency and it does not just need to be other problems. They can be health problems, too. I do not understand why people find it difficult to use their CDF on health issues. Now...


Mr Simbao: … If the CDF is enough to buy the X-ray machines, then use the CDF to buy the X-ray machines. If the CDF is not enough, that is a different case.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Let me inform this House that I have bought two brand new ambulances using the CDF. It has helped me a lot instead of crying to the Ministry of Health to give me ambulances. So, I do not understand where other people are taking their CDF. This CDF is supposed to assist us in all the problems. It is Government money. It does not mean that if it comes in your constituency, then, it becomes yours. It is the people’s money. Please, use it for the people’s benefit.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda (Chililabombwe): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the hon. Minister that the patients from Luwingu District Hospital are referred to the nearest hospital, which hospital is this and how many kilometres away from Luwingu is it?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, depending on what kind of x-rays are required, patients are even referred to as far as Lusaka. It is not all the things that can be done by some of the x-ray machines you are thinking about. Some of them are specialised x-ray films that are required and we do not have these at all the hospitals. However, the general x-ray machines for the chest or broken bones are found at most of the hospitals outside Lusaka. If a doctor asks for a specialised x-ray examination, patients are brought as far as Lusaka.

I thank you, Sir.


330. Mr Milupi (Luena) asked the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development:

(a) what the estimated population of cattle in Luena Parliamentary Constituency was;

(b) what cattle diseases were currently prevailing in Luena Parliamentary Constituency; and

(c) how many head of cattle were stolen in Luena Parliamentary Constituency from 1st January, 2000 to date, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (Mr Mulonga): Mr Speaker, the estimated cattle population in Luena Parliamentary Constituency is 21,000.

With regard to part (b) of the question, there are many diseases that are prevalent or common in Luena Parliamentary Constituency and include the following:

(i) haemorrhagic septicaemia;

(ii) blackleg;

(iii) anthrax;

(iv) anaplasmosis;

(v) newcastle;

(vi) rabies;

(vii) streptothricosis;

(viii) fasciolasis; and

(ix) taeniosis.

Finally, Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development does not collect data on stolen cattle. Cattle rustling is a criminal offence and dealt with by other relevant authorities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, cattle rustling has disrupted the lives of cattle owners in the Western and Southern provinces. Does the ministry not think it prudent to come up with administrative measures to ensure that this scourge is defeated so that people can begin to sleep in their homes instead of in the kraals?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, stealing, in any form, is a crime and it does not just need the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development or Government to deal with it, but needs all concerted efforts to make sure that this criminal activity is curtailed not only in Luena Parliamentary Constituency, but the whole country.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, perhaps, the hon. Minister could give us some idea of how well advanced the decentralisation is in his ministry without which these diseases cannot be controlled and, indeed, the number of cattle cannot even be accurately counted in the first place.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that follow-up question. Maybe, by decentralisation, he means the manner in which management, activities, prevention, curative as well as promoting activities in the livestock sector are dealt with at the lowest level. The ministry is looking at this. That is why we have the veterinary officers from the camp, district and province up to our ministry. So, the decentralisation of these activities has already reached the camp level. So, we are taking the activities to our livestock farmers. We work together as a team.

With regard to the figures I have given, as it stands, that is the correct number of livestock we have in Luena because we just did our vaccination in December. When we are vaccinating cattle in the Western and Southern provinces, we do the audits of the animals which are supposed to be vaccinated so that we can buy the right quantity of doses of the vaccines which are needed. So, December is not very far back for us not to work out the population of cattle.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, Luena has such vast potential for cattle rearing. What is the Government doing to fight cattle diseases in Luena, considering that there are no dip tanks as I noticed when I was there?

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, let me give a bit of history. To fight this disease, we need a comprehensive approach in the livestock sector. For instance, history has it that from the time contagious bovine pleuro pneumonia (CBPP) broke out in the Western Province in 1915, it took thirty-two years for it to be dealt with effectively. This was from 1915 to 1947. You can see how long it took to do that. It was never dealt with comprehensively. Again, in 1969, the disease resurfaced.

Mr Speaker, what we are doing now is to take a comprehensive approach to disease eradication. This is why we have introduced the livestock service centres in almost every district of the Western Province and other provinces. Livestock service centres will include, amongst other things, dip tanks which the hon. Member talked about. We are quite sure that, once this is done effectively, the disease will be contained.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said audits are carried out whenever vaccinations are done. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the last national cattle audit was conducted in Zambia.

Mr Mulonga: Mr Speaker, I need to go back to our records to find out exactly when it was last conducted. However, I can assure the nation that, at least, in this year’s Budget, we have provided K3 billion for the national census in the livestock sector. Therefore, this year has been catered for.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is in the ministry’s interest to follow up on cattle rustling given the fact that the legal framework under which animals are branded is under this ministry. Can the hon. Minister indicate when they will provide information on the extent of cattle rustling in Luena?

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries (Mr Machila): Mr Speaker, as has been very ably explained by the hon. Deputy Minister, matters pertaining to cattle rustling are dealt with by the law enforcement agencies. It is true that we do have an interest in the numbers and, following the introduction of the Animal Identification Act, we will be better placed to get more involved in terms of tracking the animals that may have been rustled.

Mr Speaker, having said that, our ministry, together with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia National Farmers’ Union, is currently having some dialogue to see how we can better address this issue which is not only affecting Luena and the Southern Province, but also the Central Province and parts of Lusaka Province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, one of the measures that the Government put in place to control cattle diseases in Luena, Western and the North-Western provinces was to construct a cordon line. I would like to find out whether this Government still plans to construct the cordon line seeing as there is nothing on the ground.

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, the cordon line does exist in places, but not to the extent that it did in years gone by. The ministry has been undertaking aggressive programmes for vaccination. Hon. Members may further be interested to know that there were issues regarding the cordon line because of its negative impact in terms of the marketing of some livestock by those who were on the wrong side of the cordon line. Consequently, they were taking it upon themselves to breach this cordon line so that they could get better value at the markets on the other side.

Mr Speaker, it is against this background that we are looking at other measures that we can take to address what was intended by the cordon line.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


331. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Education when the Government would allocate a 4 x 4 vehicle to the District Education Board Secretary in Mpika District.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Dr Kawimbe): Mr Speaker, Mpika District was given a 4 x 4 Nissan vehicle together with all the other districts in the Northern Province in July, 2008. In addition, the regional office gave Mpika District a Toyota Hilux.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, the Nissan van which was given to the Mpika District Education Board Secretary is limping and not suitable for the terrain in our district. May I know when they will be able to provide a suitable vehicle that will able to go to hard-to-reach areas?

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, I have had the privilege of living in Mpika District and the Nissan 4 x 4 is definitely a satisfactory vehicle. Needless to say, vehicles develop mechanical problems which can be dealt with by our district or regional offices.

I thank you, Sir.


332. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Education:

 (a) how many teachers had served for more than two years without being      confirmed in their positions at the following schools:
  (i) Tom-Ilunga Basic;
  (ii) Lumwana Middle Basic; and 
  (iii) Nyangombe Basic and High;

 (b) what the reasons for not being confirmed were; and

 (c) when the teachers would be confirmed.

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:  
School    Number of Unconfirmed Teachers

Tom-Ilunga Basic     4 
Lumwana Middle Basic     6
Nyangombe Basic    1
Nyangombe High     1

Sir, the affected teachers could not be confirmed within the stipulated period after probation. This is because some of the necessary documents provided by the teachers, such as professional and Grade 12 certificates, which warrant confirmation, were not on their personal files.

Mr Speaker, since the required documents have been submitted, the files will be forwarded to the Teaching Service Commission for confirmation.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister in a position to inform the nation the percentage of teachers who are not confirmed because we hear of teachers serving up to ten years or retirement without being confirmed?

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, the question by the hon. Member is very good because it gives us an opportunity, as a ministry, to provide some background information.

Sir, we are coming from a past where teachers across the country had delayed confirmations. That was the order of the day.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the nation that we have, in fact, cleared that backlog. The only outstanding cases, like the ones the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga East referred to, are the ones where teachers, themselves, have not submitted the required documentation.

However, as a ministry, we have gone further than this. We have put in place the Human Resource Information System which is computerised. The system will work in such a way that when the time for confirmation is due, letters will be automatically generated by the computer from the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS) office for onward transmission to the provinces on to the ministry headquarters. From the ministry headquarters, they will go to the Teaching Service Commission. This is the system which is coming and it will be done electronically.

Mr Speaker, the other important point we need to appreciate is the fact that confirmation is a continuous process. We will recruit 7,200 new teachers who will be confirmed after six months.

Sir, the ministry has taken measures to make sure that we enter the 21st Century while managing our Human Resource Information System.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out who is responsible for the recruitment of teachers. They are supposed to ensure that at the time of recruitment, all the requirements, such as certificates, are on the file so that there are no constraints to the confirmation of the teachers after six months.

Dr Kawimbe: Mr Speaker, the question the hon. Member has asked is the very reason we are establishing the Human Resource Information System. This is to make sure that all the information is captured as the new teachers are employed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota: Mr Speaker, I think the question is on how the recruitment is done in the Ministry of Education. Do you just call people and write their names and post them to schools?


Mr Chota: Has the ministry got any standards or benchmarks to follow when recruiting?

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, of course, there are systems and standards to be followed. However, for a long time now, the system has been operating manually while the sector continued to grow. This meant that, sometimes, we were not able to totally implement these standards due to human failures.

Sir, this is the reason the new system will try to take away the subjectivity and minimise human failure so that we have these records on the automated systems. We will be able to ensure that the teachers have proper teacher training certificates instead of pre-school certificates. Anybody who is responsible for recruiting teachers will have to abide by the rules because the system will be automated and it will be easy to monitor.

Mr Speaker, the manual system might have worked twenty to thirty years ago when there were fewer teachers. Today, with over 80,000 teachers, since we will recruit another 30,000 in the next five years, it would be very difficult to follow up on these manual files physically because they are everywhere.

Sir, this is why we are automating the system so that we can do things better. We take note of your concerns.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chazangwe (Choma-Central): Mr Speaker, at the moment, the teachers are demoralised and are not performing well because four years is too long. A teacher must be confirmed after working for six months. When will the Government confirm the teachers? Mwinilunga is a rural area and teachers are running away because they are not confirmed.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, on the contrary, teachers feel motivated because we are trying very hard to attend to the human resource barriers, especially in the last two years. I have travelled and addressed teachers across the country. I know that we have done a lot in terms of reducing the confirmation cases.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Where?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: I have been to many schools where there have not even been one teacher who has not been confirmed. I want to applaud our Provincial Education Officers and DEBS for doing a great job in the last one and half years. They ensure that as many cases as possible are brought before the Teaching Service Commission so that the teachers are confirmed.

Mr Speaker, we consider that there are still some isolated cases, but some of them are not the fault of the ministry. It is because at the point of recruitment, the teachers did not use the required documentation. For that reason, they were avoiding bringing the files themselves for confirmation.

Sir, we are carrying out a cleaning up exercise so that teachers are ready and have what it takes to be a teacher in this country. When automated, issues of confirmation will be automatic within six months and all the issues of teachers not being confirmed for many months or years will be a thing of the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister indicate what guarantee there is …

Mr Mushili: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very important point of order. Can the hon. Minister confirm that in the schools that she has visited, there is no …

Mr Speaker: Order! If you fail to get through to the hon. Minister, you cannot debate through a point of order.

Can the hon. Member for Kabwata continue, please.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, before that point of order was raised, I was about to ask the hon. Minister to state what guarantee the ministry has that the twelve teachers at the schools in Mwinilunga are well qualified to hold those positions, given the fact that their certificates are not on the file. May she indicate how the automation of the data base of teachers will assist in putting those certificates on the files?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, it is important that we use this opportunity to provide the much needed background regarding the issues which the hon. Member has referred to. We have clearly stated that we realise that we do have administrative challenges. In our efforts to try and clean up these administrative challenges, we found out that there were people who were employed who did not have the required qualifications. We have even disposed of some of the cases.

Sir, specifically coming to the issue of the teachers in Mwinilunga, if their certificates are not on file, obviously, firstly it is incumbent upon the same teachers to produce copies of their qualifications so that the process of putting them on file can be speeded up. If the teachers are not bringing them forward because they do not have them, then, that will bring up another matter that will be dealt with administratively. What I wish to assure the House is that we, as Government, are concerned when such situations occur. We do believe that we need to deal with such administrative matters as quickly as possible so that teachers do not spend their time worrying about what is on the file, thereby moving from one office to another or from province to province.

Mr Speaker, whenever teachers are busy sorting out administrative matters, it means that they are not in the classroom. This further means that teaching is not taking place and that, in turn, affects the quality of education that we are delivering. It is important, after so many years of independence and after employing many teachers, that we move away from the manual system of storing data because it cannot cope with the work at hand. We now need to start using an automated system. This is why the hon. Deputy Minister said that we are putting in place a human resource information system. If we have the right data at the right time, we can make decisions quickly. For example, if a teacher in Mbala has a problem, that teacher will have to write a letter physically to the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). The DEBS will then generate a letter to the Provincial Education Officer (PEO) regarding the same. The PEO will, then, generate a letter to the Permanent Secretary (PS). By the time the process goes back in reverse from the Teaching Service Commission, it will probably take a whole year for this one issue to be addressed.

Sir, if we have an automated system and, at every point, we are able to have the right information, we can make not just the correct decisions, but timely ones. I am saying so because it is not enough to just make a decision. The decision must also be timely. I want to take this opportunity to assure the nation that all the issues I have highlighted are being attended to. I know that the teachers and their unions are in support of what we are doing because we have worked with them very closely.


Ms Siliya: Sir, it is extremely important that we address these issues so that education can be delivered very quickly in a bid to improve the standards in the country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


333. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when the Government would construct maternity wards at the following health centres in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency:

(i) Lupososhi;

(ii) Luminu; and

(iii) Chisheta;

(b) how much money would be required to construct the maternity wards; and

(c) when a health centre would be constructed at Kamami Village in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the Government has continued with its programme of scaling up the access to health facilities in order to facilitate the attainment of the Government’s vision in the health sector and also the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that relate to health. To this effect, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, constructed, in 2009, a total of twenty-eight maternity annexes throughout the country and Katuba Rural Health Centre in Mwense District benefited from this programme.

Sir, in 2010, the Government, through the Ministry of Health, commenced the construction of district hospitals countrywide and Mwense District benefited from this programme. The construction of a new hospital will mean the availability of a maternity wing and theatre. Therefore, women with pregnancy-related complications will have improved access to emergency services.

Mr Speaker, the Government is alive to the fact that infrastructure development is highly dependent on the availability of financial resources. In the 2011 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Plan, the Government is not embarking on the construction of new projects. The main focus will be on the completion of the existing projects. In this regard, the Government will only consider constructing maternity wings at Lupososhi, Luminu and Chisheta Rural Health centres in Chipili Constituency after completing the existing projects and it will depend on the availability of financial resources. The estimated cost to construct a maternity wing is K160 million.

Mr Speaker, the Government will only consider the commencement of new projects, such as the construction of a health centre at Kamami Village in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency, after the completion of the existing projects and this will also depend on the availability of resources.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, why did Government allow the construction of the health centres, especially in Chipili, without including maternity wings?

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, if you have noticed, our constructions are done in phases. Like we have said, this is just but one phase which, are completing and, then, as we go to the next phase, depending of the availability of resources, we will consider putting up the infrastructure being referred to by the hon. Member.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}


336. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) when the Makumbi Ex-miners Farm Scheme was established by Mopani Copper Mines Plc;

(b) what the benefits to the members of the scheme have been; and

(c) how many members have been weaned off the scheme since its establishment.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr Nkhata): Mr Speaker, Mopani Copper Mines Plc established the Makumbi Ex-Miners Farm Scheme in September, 2004. It invested a total of US$1.1 million to support the launch of the project. This was a direct benefit to the 106 members of the scheme and the money was spent in the following areas:

Land Cultivation

Mr Speaker, Mopani provided resources for land clearing, ploughing, technical support for soil sampling and testing as well as the supply of farming inputs and implements.


Sir, the beneficiaries have been exposed to training in mixed enterprise farming through field days and sending them to specialised farms and institutes such as the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust for hands on training. This is besides the day-to-day knowledge imparted by a qualified farm manager employed by Mopani. The members have also received training in bee keeping, animal husbandry and crop growing.

Acquisition/ Development of Capital Assets

(a) Construction of a dam to facilitate all-year-round cultivation of crops as well as the provision of irrigation equipment;

(b) provision of material for the construction of a piggery, poultry, banana ripening shed, access road and other infrastructure;

(c) sinking and equipping of boreholes; and

(d) the purchase of farm equipment and vehicles that include tractors, trucks, planter, a generator to operate the pumps for irrigation, fertiliser application, beehives and a block-making machine.

Financial and Technical Support

Mopani has facilitated linkages to institutions, such as the Zambia Agribusiness Technical Centre (ZATAC), which has since signed a memorandum of understanding with Makumbi Co-operative Society for financial and technical support.


The key asset in the form of land will enable members to construct additional assets from what has already been developed with the help of Mopani. The farm, along with the skills they have acquired, guarantees the beneficiaries a livelihood beyond formal employment as they will continue producing and selling produce to earn money. The produce will also guarantee them food security.

Mr Speaker, none of the members have been weaned off as this is a permanent establishment where part of the land is earmarked for individual five hectare plots for the 106 members who have since formed a co-operative called the Makumbi Farm Co-operative Society. Mopani recently paid demarcation fees to Mufulira Municipal Council for the same on behalf of the ex-miners.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, in most societies, members are weaned off after five years. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why it has taken so long for these members to be weaned off and what the Government is doing about the current state of affairs

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Mr M. B. Mwale): Mr Speaker, the intention of the company is to give ex-miners business skills in terms of farming. There is no way they will be weaned off because this programme is continuous. The only way that these people will benefit is when they have their own five hectare plots.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chongo: Mr Speaker, the Makumbi concept is an off-shoot of the diversification programme intended for miners and ex-miners. How much is being done by Mopani and other mines to help these miners and ex-miners to have diversity in terms of their sources of income?

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mwense who, at least, realises that there can be life outside mining.

Mr Speaker, it is quite clear that Mopani is doing everything possible to ensure that miners diversify their sources of income from mining.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, from the answer given to part (b) of the question, it is quite clear that it is a very …

Mr Speaker: Order! You are debating. Do you have a question?

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how often this scheme is assessed in terms of its viability to ensure that the resources that Mopani has ploughed into it lead to the realisation of the intended objectives.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member will agree me that with any business interest, one would like to see that it yields the intended purpose. In this regard, Mopani ensures that the miners are productive. For instance, between June and November, they ensure that there is a harvest of honey. The honey harvested averages 100 to 120 litres when the season is good. Only when they have had a bad period, like when bushes are burnt, is the harvest of honey affected. Other than this, Mopani is ensuring that this scheme is viable.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what progress has been made in terms of crop production from the time this scheme was established.

Mr M. B. Mwale: Mr Speaker, we have indicated the kind of crops that are being harvested. I just indicated, also, that the miners are able to harvest 100 to 120 litres of honey between June and November. This is good progress.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


337. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Defence:

(a) what caused the crash landing of the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) aircraft at Mukinge Airstrip in Kasempa in October, 2010 in which three (03) Cabinet Ministers were on board; and

(b) what measures the Government had taken to avoid similar incidents in future.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mulyata): Mr Speaker, in accordance with the legal requirements under the Defence Act, CAP 106 of the Laws of Zambia as well as the ZAF standard operating procedures, I wish to report that a board of inquiry (BOI) was instituted by the ZAF Command to investigate the circumstances that led to the Y-12II Aircraft accident at Mukinge Airstrip in Kasempa District on 16th October, 2010. According to the BOI findings, the accident was caused by the poor and bumpy state of the runway surface at the airstrip which made it difficult for the pilots to maintain a steady direction on the runway after landing.

Mr Speaker, in order to prevent such occurrences in the future, the Government is, with immediate effect, instituting concerted measures to regularly inspect and carry out maintenance works on all rural airstrips in the country and to upgrade them to international standards through tarring as well as installing modern aircraft landing and navigation systems. These measures, however, will be done in phases due to the colossal financial implications as well as other competing national projects and programmes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if aircraft have continued landing on the airstrip seeing as it has not been repaired yet.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, it is important to realise that we have problems in most of the district aerodromes and plans are underway to rehabilitate them to international standards. There is a programme in our manifesto and we are raising funds, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Mwansa: … through the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, to carry out maintenance works on that airstrip.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, had we not been lucky, as a country, we could have lost three Cabinet Ministers in that accident and it could have been tragic. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister responsible for these aerodromes why it was not deemed fit to inspect the runway before that aircraft touched down at Kasempa Airport.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the pre-landing inspection is a routine matter and it was done. As I said earlier, it was an accident.


Dr Mwansa: The plan is to ensure that we avoid such accidents by doing what we have indicated to do. The flight was authorised by the Air Commander as is always the case.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister has mentioned that the Government has started the inspection of all aerodromes. I would, therefore, like to know how many aerodromes have been inspected and what the results have been.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister responsible for aerodromes is the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport and, fortunately, he sits just next to me. He has done the inspections and that is why he has a plan of rehabilitating all aerodromes, nationwide, by improving and upgrading them to international standards and that is on course.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister if he is aware that that aircraft falls under the category of what is called Short-Take-Off and Landing (STOL) and could have only been involved in that calamity if the speed was not properly controlled. Can he confirm, please.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the aircraft was piloted by a very experienced pilot of the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel with 2,800 hours of flying time to his credit. He is a distinguished pilot who is in category A out of six categories. He is designated to fly Very, Very Important Persons (VVIPs) and Very Important Persons (VIPs). The co-pilot was of a rank of a Major and a Flying Instructor. It was the best crew that any Air Force Commander could put together under the circumstances. There was no error of any kind.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, according to the answer given by the hon. Minister, there was a pre-landing inspection done and as per procedure, the aircraft was allowed to land. Therefore, I wish to find out from the hon. Minister, following the investigations by the tribunal, whether there were any issues of incompetence raised by the staff that authorised the landing of that aircraft on the airstrip after inspection.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there was no error attributed to individuals. It was the state of the runway that caused the accident.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister of Defence deny that the Y12/11 Series are obsolete aircraft and are not fit to be utilised by the air force personnel as modern technology stands?

Mr Syakalima: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the aircraft was relatively new. It was ten years old. In the aviation industry and military operations, that was not a very old aircraft. It was rarely in the air because it was reserved for VIP use.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Mwansa: Sir, in modern aviation, an aircraft can only be regarded as old if it is twenty or more years old and this aircraft was only ten years old.

Mr D. Mwila: It was old!

Dr Mwansa: It was certainly modern and there is no doubt about that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, considering that some of the aerodromes are not in good shape, would the hon. Minister, together with his colleague, the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport, consider suspending landings at some of these aerodromes until they are properly rehabilitated so that we avoid future calamities of the nature that we almost experienced?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it would be difficult to do that because there are some emergencies that have to be dealt with by the Government. We will continue flying and landing on these airstrips as long as there is pre-inspection before landing, which is a routine matter.

I thank you, Sir.


338. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a) whether there were any plans to tar or grade the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road; and

(b) if so, when the work on the project would start.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, the Government has already moved to the implementation stage of the project and has signed two contracts with Wade Adams and China Henan at the value of K80 billion and K101.2 billion, respectively, for tarring the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road.

Sir, this road is divided into Lot 1, which is 65 km, and Lot 2, which is 50 km. Works on Lot 1 commenced on 4th November, 2010 and works on Lot 2 commenced on 10th January 2011.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Did the hon. Member of Parliament for Nangoma listen?

Mr Hamusonde: Yes, I did, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Well, you may ask a follow-up question.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, may I know how long it will take to finish the works on the road.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Namulambe): Mr Speaker, the road is expected to be completed by May, 2012 for Lot 1 and April, 2012 for Lot 2.

I thank you, Sir.




The following Bill was read the first time:

The Presidential (Emoluments) (Amendment) BILL, 2011

Seconding reading on Wednesday, 16th March, 2011.



The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2011 be read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Public Procurement (Amendment) Bill, 2011 seeks to address some of the shortcomings observed in the Public Procurement Act, 2008. The amendments further seek to:

(i) empower the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to recommend disciplinary measures against approvals authority that contravenes procurement procedures;

(ii) extend the tenure of the Central Tender Committee;

(iii) require approvals authorities to obtain confirmation of use of bid solicitation documents before they are issued; and

(iv) provide for matters connected with, or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, the current law does not provide for the ZPPA to address some of the shortcomings observed. For instance, there is no provision for the authority to recommend for disciplinary action against a public officer who contravenes the provisions of the law. For the sake of transparency and accountability on the use of public resources it is important to put measures in place which will assist to safeguard the utilisation of public resources.

Mr Speaker, the current Act specifies the tenure of the Central Tender Committee which expired on 7th December, 2010. The Central Tender Committee operations were due to come to an end on the stated date. However, it was realised that procuring entities in ministries, local authorities, parastatals and other Government spending agencies are not technically ready to undertake all procurement and make decisions of high procurements hence the need to extend the mandate of the committee. This extension will enable the ZPPA to build capacity in the procuring entities.

Mr Speaker, another provision in the amendment Bill is to require procuring entities to seek prior approval from the ZPPA before issuing any solicitation document. This will allow the authority to supervise, regulate, scrutinise and authorise solicitation documents prior to their issuance. This is another control measure necessary for public procurement.

Mr Speaker, in the current Act, you could not cancel or restart procurement purely on the grounds that authorisation was given by an approvals authority which is not authorised to do so under the Act. An amendment has been provided for cancellation or restart of procurement on the grounds that authorisation was given by an approvals authority which is not authorised. However, the ZPPA may authorise the continuation of the procurement where it determines that the procurement was conducted in a transparent manner and that it is in the public interest to do so.

Mr Speaker, as earlier stated, the amendment Bill is meant to further strengthen the procurement processes carried out by public institutions. It is the intention of the Government to ensure that procurement of goods and services by public institutions are carried out in the most efficient and effective manner.

I wish, therefore, to urge the hon. Members to support the amendments as submitted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to present your Committee’s report on the Bill before the House.

Mr Speaker, the amendments in the Bill are centred around three main issues namely:

(i) empowering the ZPPA to recommend disciplinary action against erring officers;

(ii) extending the tenure of the Central Tender Committee; and

(iii) making approvals authorities to obtain confirmation of the use of bid solicitation documents before they are issued.

Mr Speaker, after interacting with some selected stakeholders, your Committee has observed that Clauses 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 are amendments that are mainly meant to strengthen the application of the provisions in the principal Act, the Public Procurement Act No. 12 of 2008.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has, however, proposed an amendment to the new paragraph (b) in clause 4, to include a time frame of fourteen days within which confirmation to proceed with the issuance of solicitation documents should be received. This is meant to address the problem of delays in getting confirmation. Your Committee recognises that the Government is working hard to improve the way we doi business. The proposal will attempt to ensure that there is more supervision in public procurement, but, at the same time, not lengthen the process.

The amendment in Clause 9, which will authorise the ZPPA to recommend disciplinary action against any public officer who contravenes provisions of the Public Procurement Act, was welcomed by stakeholders. For the moment, this will only be at recommendation level as the ZPPA will, in most instances, not be the direct employer of the culprits.

The amendment in Clause 8 is meant to narrow the effect of section 73(1) in the principal Act as it is considered to be too broad and disadvantages some citizens in doing business with the Government. In the absence of a general outcry on the restrictive nature of this provision, your Committee recommends that the current provision should be retained. However, since the contention is on the broadness of the area of supervision or oversight, consideration should be made to define what an area of supervision or oversight is. This will make it clear and will avoid disadvantaging anyone whose relative occupies a position of influence in the Public Service.

Mr Speaker, the reconstitution of the Central Tender Committee was not appreciated by stakeholders, particularly those outside the Government. The House may wish to know that, under the current procurement law, the Central Tender Committee is supposed to be phased out to pave way for the ZPPA to be carrying out the supervisory role on public procurement entities. Stakeholders were not clear on what will be achieved with the continued existence of the Central Tender Committee.

Your Committee has recommended that the Central Tender Committee should be reconstituted for a tenure to expire on 31st December, 2012. However, owing to delays that the continued existence of the Central Tender Committee can cause to reforms in the public procurement system, your Committee has further recommended that the transition period should be definitive and not indefinite. Therefore, the provision to allow the hon. Minister, by statutory instrument, to extend the date should not be included in the Bill. Parliament should grant the extension so that the status of decentralisation of the procurement process can be scrutinised in detail.

The Committee also recommends that the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) immediately carries out an assessment to determine the actual knowledge and skill gaps existing in procuring entities and the causative factors that have made the authority fail to fully decentralise the public procurement process. The authority should issue the procurement regulations without further delay. Some of the concerns of the stakeholders can be best addressed in the regulations.

Mr Speaker, overall, this is a progressive Bill if the proposed amendments are taken into account. On behalf of hon. Members of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Labour, I wish to thank you, Sir, and the Office of the Clerk for the opportunity that was accorded to us to scrutinise the Bill. I further wish to thank all witnesses that made submissions to your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the House for the support.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 18th March, 2011.


The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development (Mr Machila) (on behalf of the Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Chituwo)): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the object of this Bill is to repeal the Trades Licensing Act of 1968. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing supports the repeal of the Trades Licensing Act, 1968 as it is an old piece of legislation that cuts across all business activities and has created a parallel system of licensing and regulations for business in relation to other licensing and regulatory requirements outside the Act. The current Trades Licensing Act has no relevance in a modern day business environment as it has created disharmony, duplication and, furthermore, adds to the cost of starting a business.

Mr Speaker, it is evident that the licensing regime as governed by the Trades Licensing Act is too long, cumbersome and slow and the tedious submission requirements as a compliance measure is of great concern to the business environment as it adds to the cost of doing business.

Mr Speaker, I am sure that the repeal of the Trades Licensing Act will provide a good environment for both business and local authorities so as to enhance better regulations for economic growth and job creation at the local level.

Mr Speaker, the local authorities will continue to regulate all businesses within their jurisdiction in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Act, Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia. The ministry will introduce and implement a single business permit to be administered by the local authorities. This will substantially reduce the number of unnecessary licensing requirements and make the licensing regime simpler, transparent and focused on legitimate regulatory purposes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Trades Licensing (Repeal) Bill, 2011 whose objective is to repeal the Trades Licensing Act, Cap. 393 of 1968 of the Laws of Zambia.

Your Committee learnt that the need to repeal this Act has been necessitated by the fact that it creates a parallel licensing and regulatory system for business, in relation to other licensing and regulatory requirements outside the Act, thereby increasing the cost of doing business.

Since there is legislation already in existence which regulates specific aspects of commerce, the Trades Licensing Act adds no value to the licensing and regulatory system. Therefore, its repeal is intended to bring to an end the duplicity in the licensing process and regulatory matters in general.

Sir, allow me to conclude by paying tribute to the witnesses who appeared before your Committee and tendered both oral and written submissions. I also wish to thank you, Mr Speaker, for according your Committee an opportunity to consider the Bill. I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for its unfailing assistance throughout the deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Machila: Mr Speaker, we are most obliged for the overwhelming support of the House.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 18th March, 2011.


The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for allowing me to present the Education Bill, 2011 to this august House. The mandate of my ministry is that of providing quality life long education for all irrespective of their socio-economic background, physical or mental capacity. This is achieved by ensuring that education is accessible, inclusive, relevant and meets the needs of individuals as well as those of the nation.

Mr Speaker, my ministry has, however, been constrained from achieving this mandate due to inadequacies in the existing legislation; the Education Act of 1966. This Act has not been able to respond favourably in addressing local and international trends that are taking place. It is for this reason that the review was necessary.

Mr Speaker, the review of this Act started in the early 1990s through a rigorous consultative process involving civil society organisations dealing with education such as the ZAMBIA National Education Coalition (ZANEC), Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA) and Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED). Other participants included co-operating partners, public and private universities and colleges of education, provincial and district education officials, lawyers, parents, teachers, lecturers, students, pupils and teacher unions.

Mr Speaker, the objects of the Bill are to:

(a) regulate the provision of accessible, equitable and qualitative education;

(b) provide for the establishment, regulation, organisation, governance, management and funding of educational institutions;

(c) provide for the establishment of education boards and for their functions;

(d) domesticate the Convention on the Rights of the Child in relation to education;

(f) repeal and replace the Education Act of 1966, African Education Act, 1951; and

(g) provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, the Bill has defined stages of the education system to include Early Childhood Care Development and Education (ECCDE), basic education and adult literacy, high school education and tertiary education.

The Bill further provides for the establishment, organisation, governance and management of public, community, aided and private educational institutions. In line with Government policy on decentralisation, my ministry recognises the need to decentralise some of its powers to the districts as well as the schools. As such, my ministry shall be decentralised by deconcentrating some powers to the districts through establishment of education boards at district levels.

Mr Speaker, to ensure the participation of parents and communities in the provision and governance of educational institutions, a parents teachers’ committee at every educational institution shall be established.

Mr Speaker, in addressing the needs of the learners, the Education Bill will provide for the right of a child to free basic education making schooling compulsory. Further, the Bill provides for the protection of learners from all possible forms of abuse, gender based violence and it prohibits early marriages and any form of discrimination. This, therefore, means that any person who prevents or withdraws a learner from school, abuses a learner or discriminates against a learner commits an offence and, upon conviction, is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both.

Mr Speaker, to ensure that vulnerable children and learners with special educational needs have access to quality education, my ministry shall endeavour to create a clean and safe school environment which is accessible to learners with disabilities.

Mr Speaker, as regards the school curriculum, the Bill makes provisions for the development of regulations and assessment of the curriculum. The curriculum so developed is tailored to the needs of the learners, taking into account the diversity of the local environment. In line with this, the policy of the ministry has been that the medium of instruction for ECCDE and Grade 1 shall be in a local language most familiar to the learner. The local language most familiar to a learner, also known as the language of play, shall be used to help children acquire initial literacy and numeracy skills.

Mr Speaker, it is evident from the Education Bill 2011, that the aim of my ministry is that of providing quality education to all learners with a view to creating a cohort of responsible citizens that are critical to national development and the attainment of the Vision 2030. It is for this reason that I am requesting all hon. Members of this august House to support the Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, in fulfilling one of its functions of considering Bills referred to it by the House, was on the 4th March, 2011 tasked to scrutinise the Education Bill, No. 15 of 2011.

Mr Speaker, considering that hon. Members have read the report, I wish to highlight just a few issues contained in your Committee’s report on the Education Bill, No. 15 of 2011.

Mr Speaker, may I indicate, from the outset, that the Education Bill, under consideration today, is an improvement on the Education Bill No. 53 of 2010, which was withdrawn on the recommendation of your Committee, after interacting with the Minister of Education. May I also take this opportunity to commend the Minister of Education and the Government for being magnanimous enough to take into consideration most of the issues that were raised by the stakeholders and your Committee on the previous Bill.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushili: Mr Speaker, while commending the Government for considering the recommendations of your Committee on the previous Bill, I would like to indicate that there are still a few issues which either were not highlighted in the previous report or have come in a new form in the current Bill.

Mr Speaker, of particular concern to the stakeholders and your Committee was Clause 38 which provides that the Minister may, with the approval of Cabinet, authorise a public educational institution to enter into partnership with a private body in accordance with the provisions of the Public Private Partnership Act of 2009. While it is appreciated that there is a law governing this public-private partnership (PPP), stakeholders expressed fear that this might be a guise for selling schools, as proposed in Clause 45 of the withdrawn Bill. However, after consultations with the Ministry of Justice officials and Ministry of Education, it was learnt that this law will not be applied in retrospect. This means that this partnership can only apply to new developments. In order to allay the stakeholders’ fears, your Committee proposes that there be a proviso stating as follows:

“provided that this shall not apply to existing public educational institutions.”

Mr Speaker, the other concern is on Clause 42(1) which empowers the Minister to indefinitely close any public educational institution for reasons which may be the fault of the ministry itself. For instance, the Minister may close a public school if it does not have a full-time teacher whilst in session, except by distance education.

Mr Speaker, your Committee wonders whose responsibility it is to ensure that public educational institutions have teachers and are run in accordance with the provisions of the law. Failure by a public educational institution to have teachers and to operate within the law is an indictment on the Minister and he/she should, therefore, not close it.

Your Committee, therefore, feels that other than for natural causes such as disasters and diseases, or riots, there should be no cause, particularly those falling in the control of the ministry, for closing a public educational institution and indefinitely for that matter. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that this clause be refined to remove, indefinitely, and Clause 42(1)(b). Some terms used in the Bill such as corporal punishment and free education has not been defined. These should be defined.

Mr Speaker, last, but not the least, may I take this opportunity to thank you for entrusting your Committee with the responsibility of scrutinising both the withdrawn and new look education Bills.

I would also like to thank all stakeholders who made submissions on both Bills. Further, may I also thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, from the onset, I support the Bill which has been updated from the old archaic laws. However, I would like to state a few concerns. One of them is that of the discipline of the learners in schools.

Madam, during our time, most of the schools had corporal punishment. I am sure most hon. Members in this House experienced this. Now, it has been decided that there is no need to have it because it was over done. I would like to state that there is a provision in this Bill about what disciplinary measures should be taken against erring pupils. Therefore, I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to raise a statutory instrument, and state the sort of disciplinary measures to be taken against the learners at the various schools once signed. If what I am suggesting is not done, a vacuum will be created.

Madam, at the moment, pupils are indisciplined. As a result, in some schools, teachers just look at the pupils misbehave. They do not know what to do. In some cases, naughty pupils stand up to the teachers and tell them that nothing can be done against them, thereby creating a difficult learning atmosphere for others. This Bill, which has been brought before the House, should clearly state what measures teachers should take against erring pupils. In this Bill, teachers cannot sjambok pupils like we were sjamboked when we were in school. For example, we had a very tough and ruthless Lozi teacher at my former school ...


Mr Muntanga: ... who used to sjambok us hard, but I think now...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, I urge the hon. Minister to provide the correct statutory instrument.

The other issue of concern is in the change allowing public schools to work with private partnerships. Most of the basic schools have been built by parents.

Mr Kasongo: Community driven.

Mr Muntanga: They are community driven. A good example is that of the schools in the Sichifulo area. The people in this area have been moved to one of the game management areas. Suddenly, schools have to be handed over to the people handling elephants or the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA).

Hon. Members: Elephants!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, you are handing them over to elephants. We have been challenged in the game management areas. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister not to do this because this Bill is good. The only thing that should be done is to be careful.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Thank you, Madam. I will be brief since hon. Members seem not to be interested in debating.

Madam Speaker, let me begin by saying that the Education Bill, 201l is welcome because it has progressive provisions. However, before I begin to debate, allow me to just emphasise the importance of education so that my debate is in context.

Madam, education is the best inheritance for our children. For this reason, education is very special. Therefore, all of us must agree on a few fundamentals. There are many examples. All of us are here because of education. It is education that enabled a boy from Transkei in South Africa to rise and become a celebrated politician in the world. This is the former President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela. The son of a Kenyan scholar rose to become the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, which is the most powerful nation in the world. So, we cannot play around with education. You can leave properties for your children, but there is no guarantee that the children will continue owning them. There can be a Tsunami like in Japan and everything will be swept away, but, with education, one will have it as long as he/she lives. It is something that no one can take away. Therefore, education requires special attention.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Madam, there is a provision in the Education Bill that says that education will be free up to the basic school level. How free is it because there are people, at the moment, who are failing to take their children to school? There are a lot of user fees that education boards or parent teachers associations (PTAs) have put in schools. In most schools, fees are as high as K1 million. Now, what about other requisites? So, about K1.5 million is needed to send a child to school. Already, some children are excluded from what is called free education. So, how free is our education? Education must be free and accessible to all our children because no one will take it away from them. We cannot rob our children of this gift. We can fail in other areas, but this is an area we must never fail.

Madam Speaker, in the Far East, for example, nations such as South Korea were able to rise from poverty to what they are now on account of education that was accessible to everyone. That is why, for a poor country like Zambia, free education is non-negotiable. Free education is already provided for in this Bill. However, my question is how free this free education is.

Madam Speaker, there are contradictions in this Bill. In Clause 14, you are saying:

“Subject to the Constitution and other provisions of this Act, a person has a right to early childhood care, basic education and high school education.”

Madam Speaker, you say that education is a right, and yet the poor cannot afford to pay the user fees that are charged. Another contradiction is that our free education ends at the basic school level, but, in this law, you are saying free education is up to the high school level, and yet this is not what is obtaining. We need to make this practical so that when you say free education, everyone must have the education. If money excludes other children, then, that is not free education. Free education must be practical. Every child, including the child of the poorest person, must be able to have that education if you say that it is free. We must deliberately make this education accessible and free. If it is not accessible, then, it is not free. It just becomes mere rhetoric. We want accessibility. Any child should walk into a school and get education, whether they have money or not.

Hon. Minister, you are making progress by bringing this Bill, but there is a lot of work to be done. Education must be free, at least, up to the high school level. We are for free education up to university level. This is so that we do not create two societies whereby the rich, who can afford, have their children going up to university and the rest do not have their children progressing that far on account of poverty. In this way, you create a vicious cycle of poverty among a particular section of society. That is tantamount to apartheid. This is apartheid amongst black people. It is segregation of the worst order. We cannot accept that. The poor children in our compounds and everywhere else have the right to education. We cannot segregate people on account of money. Then, we are a very unfair nation.

Madam Speaker, I want to say that these revolutions that you see, …


Mr Hamududu: It is not applicable here now. No! However, I want to tell you that when you exclude people for a very long time, those people become the majority and they will fight the few that are privileged. That can happen in this country in the next fifty years. Do not exclude the majority. They will rise against you. If we do this, we are setting a precedent for an uprising where the poor will be the majority and will go into the streets and deal with the few rich people and take over. It has happened in Tunisia. Do you think Tunisia is poor? No, it is rich. When you exclude the majority, they will take over. It is a simple theory that is applicable. You cannot even argue against it. The army of the unemployed and uneducated is more powerful than any other army. So, let us move together.

Madam Speaker, with regard to the issue of the girl child, I am happy that the Bill provides that a child who gets pregnant can go back to school. That is very progressive. The girl child must be given all opportunities. Society is very unfair. Just like we read in the Bible, a woman was caught committing adultery, but, at the court, there was no man. This was very biased against the woman. The boy continues to learn and the girl must be sent away. I think that through provisions in a statutory instrument (SI), the punishment for those who impregnate school girls must be stipulated. We need punitive action against those who impregnate girl children.


Mr Hamududu: Yes! It is not fair for the girl child to continue wallowing in poverty. With the provisions of an SI, the punishment for the boy who impregnates a girl child and makes her leave school must be doubled. The reason for the poverty that we see in these compounds is that the girl child is lagging behind and one of the reasons is the lack of education. In fact, if we are to be tough, we are going to say that if you impregnate a girl, even the boy must also go away and they must come back together

Mr V. Mwale: You are the one speaking against exclusion. Now you want the boys to be excluded? Uzisusha weka.

Mr Hamududu: Yes! It is not fair. Both of them must go and come back at the same time so that this boy can also learn how to look after that child.

Mrs Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: You cannot just be impregnating girls all over and continue to learn.


Mr Hamududu: That is not fair.


Mr Hamududu: Madam Speaker, let me come to the last, but one point and that is the issue of bursaries.

Madam Speaker, it is very expensive to send a child to school abroad. The money spent for just one student to study abroad, through a Government scholarship for a four-year programme, can actually build a classroom block in a rural area. I think that we need to revisit the issue of bursaries. Only courses that are not offered in Zambia should be given bursaries outside the country. Do not sponsor children for courses that are available in Zambia because they are taking away money which can do a lot for many children.

I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Education to revisit the bursaries issues in this country so that we only send students for courses that are not offered here and, in this way, we can save the money. We cannot get the whole chunk of money just for one person to go and do a degree in economics which can be offered here and deny a thousand children in the rural areas a classroom block. We must lessen the bursaries fund and send the money to the majority.

This is the same issue of segregation that I am talking about where a few people take billions of kwacha in bursaries and the rest languish in poverty. Hon. Minister, I know you are able to do that. We need to revisit the bursary scheme so that the money goes to the majority and we reduce this divide.

Madam Speaker, you know, since 1991, with the over liberalisation of the economy, we are creating two societies. If you cannot see that society, I can see that there are two societies. Many people are walking on the poor lane and a few of us are walking on a different lane. This is very dangerous and should be addressed as a package of which the bursaries is part. We must, therefore, look at this holistically. All the issues that promote this divide must be addressed so that this country is more or less equal. We need an equal society because a society that is unequal is very dangerous.

Mr Munkombwe: Where do you have that?

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: My uncle, Cuba and Brazil have attained this. Finally, I want to say this ...

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The development of the education law in Zambia has been very slow. I think that Zambia has lost the opportunity over the years. By today, Zambia should have been the centre of learning in Sub-Saharan Africa, but we lost it. At one point, Zambia was acclaimed to have a very good education system. With the independence of many countries in Southern Africa, today, we would have been the centre of learning in the region. We have lost that and I hope we can catch up. We are well located with eight neighbours. This makes it easy for many students to come here and bring forex.

When we send our children to the United Kingdom (UK) or South Africa for school, we are simply exporting money because we have to pay their fees. We are making those countries rich. I think this is one area where we should have sold services to foreigners.

Madam, the University of Zambia (UNZA) was a proper project which was very ambitious. We should have continued at that pace, especially after 1991, to develop the education infrastructure for higher education, which should have made this country a centre of learning. There are many benefits to that. We would have been earning foreign exchange and a good name. Now, we have lost all that by sending money out. Let me, also, state that it is becoming very expensive for those who want to send their children out of the country for higher education.

Madam Speaker, it is not too late. I would like to urge the hon. Minister to see what the Government can do to reclaim the education standards which we should have had. This country could become a centre of higher learning in the region.

Madam, our medical school at UNZA as well as the Samora Machel School of Veterinary Medicine were some of the first schools in the region. However, we have remained at the same position. Had we expanded, today, we were going to have a lot of people coming to this country to bring in foreign exchange. However, that is not the case.

Madam Speaker, I support this Bill, and I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Madam Speaker, I rise to support this very progressive Bill. I hope and pray that we can achieve quality education in this country.

However, there are a few points that I want to discuss. I would like the hon. Minister to see to it that there is monitoring and evaluation. We put very good things on paper, but they lack monitoring and evaluation.

Madam, we have a bad habit of not doing things the right way in this country. That is why the people blame the Government for inertia and irresponsibility.

Madam Speaker, may I now talk about the prohibition of corporal punishment. I know that we are Zambians and we have a way of bringing up our children. As Zambians, we are used to caning our children when they behave beyond a certain point. However, in schools, we fear to cane these children and, instead, resort to punishing them by making them do some digging in the gardens in rural areas. In urban areas, they dig pits and flower beds. While doing all this, we forget about how the mind of a child works. The way we punish them is what makes them refuse to go to the farm when a parent asks them to because they associate farming with punishment. They know that they can only do such work when they do something wrong. I think we must find a better way of punishing our children. Otherwise, they will have this notion and will not like farming because they will think it is punishment.

Madam Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for having made efforts to localise our curriculum in line with the skills required by our people. This is a welcome move because, for a long time, we have been talking about the need for it to be done. I think this is the beginning of proper skills training in our schools. I would want us to retain the knowledge of the old people who have had these skills because they are slowly diminishing from our society. We need to hold on to them and help them put these things on paper so that they help the other children who are being born.

Madam, some things, like story telling, have faded away because we spend our time only watching television. We do not talk to each other. Our children cannot even tell a story. The same thing can happen with the skills in rural areas. They can easily disappear. We need to make sure that we have a record of these skills so that our children are able to learn from them.

Madam Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to build libraries in all the schools. There is an adage which says that if you do not want a Zambian to know anything, put it in books. This adage is premised on the notion that our reading culture is very poor. I hope we can have a slot in the timetable where children can go in the library to read so that they can get used to reading books.

Madam Speaker, even here, in Parliament, the reading culture among hon. Members of Parliament is bad. We, should, therefore, train our children to read from early primary school because when they read, they will be able to keep their minds active. Let us make sure that each school we build has a library equipped with books so that our children can develop a reading culture.

Madam, the last thing I want to talk about is the encroachment of school land by illegal settlers. I am glad that it is an issue which has been tackled in this Bill. In my constituency, it is a serious worry. Almost all schools have been encroached upon. There are houses being built everyday on land which is meant for schools. The children do not even have a place where to play. How I wish that the penalty for encroaching upon school land could be made stiffer than what has been put in the Bill so that it is used as a deterrent for people to avoid encroaching upon school land.

Madam Speaker, a few months ago, I went to my constituency with the hon. Minister of Education. We were looking for a place to build a school. We were told that the school land we discovered belonged to someone. Today, some people are busy sharing plots on that same land. They do not care whether it is meant for education facilities. It is like education does not affect us. I think such issues should be followed up.

Madam Speaker, when we report that there is an encroachment on land meant for education purposes, the people on the Government side of the House must move in quickly to correct the situation. Why do they want to let people build houses and, then, demolish them, and yet, we report very early?

Madam Speaker, I have reported encroachment and the illegal allocation of plots on land meant for education facilities. Unfortunately, nothing is happening. I do not know whether the task force tasked to address such issues is working or it has gone to bed. Please, help us because we need to do the right thing. The children cannot even go for sports because all the space has been taken up. 

Madam Speaker, if anything, you cannot develop a country with residential houses only, without schools and clinics. This year is a bad year for you. If you wait for people to build and then you demolish, it will be a minus on your side.

Madam Speaker, let us move together. There are hon. Members of Parliament who want to help you to do the right thing. Please, help me as well with what I am pushing for. We are not interested in the illegal allocation of plots because we want development.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Madam Speaker, from the outset, I want to say that I support the Bill. It is extremely progressive and I hope and trust that the implementation will also be effective.

Madam, I want to comment on three issues that are quite pertinent to the education system. The first one is the issue of free education up to basic school. It is extremely surprising that the Government introduced the user fees in schools and left it to the headmasters to decide how much should be paid by pupils in each school.

I am glad that the Government has recognised the fact that we need free education from Grade 1 up to Grade 9. However, I do not know what is becoming of this country as regards the user fees charged in schools. What has been happening is that in high or basic schools, children are asked to pay K400,000, and, then, bring a hoe, shovel and two reams of paper. What is the K400,000 which they are paying going towards? We expect the user fees to be used to buy hoes, slashes and reams of paper. In my constituency, almost all the high schools are asking children to pay K500,000 as user fees.

The pupils are told to come with a hoe or a shovel in addition to the user fees. What has happened to the money that we apportion to run education in this country such that parents are asked to buy almost everything that has to do with the school? In some schools, children are even asked to bring bags of maize. Why should we let the headmasters and other school officials decide on the user fees without the Government monitoring them? The user fees are different for each school. In some schools, they are asking for as much as K700,000 and the others are asking for K300,000. Why can the Government not come up with a policy of standardising the user fees? Besides it is high time that this country allowed free education from Grade 1 to 12.

Madam Speaker, in my constituency, instead of taking the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to other developmental projects, we have used K120 million to pay for the vulnerable who were denied a chance to be in school. The hon. Minister issued a statement that no child should be sent away from school on the basis of non-payment of user fees. What has happened to those instructions? No school is accepting children who have not paid the user fees. Today, when you go to Luanshya, those children who qualify to Grade 8 and Grade 10, but cannot pay user fees are not going to school. Now, it seems like we are denying the poor people an opportunity to go to school despite the Ministry of Education building many schools. Why are we building so many schools when half the children that have qualified to Grades 8 and 10 cannot be allowed into school? We are wasting a lot of money by building more schools. We must seriously look at the issue of user fees. We have paid for about 700 children from the CDF, both in my constituency and Hon. Kachimba’s constituency. If there was no CDF, where were these children going to go? Hon. Minister, what has happened to the instruction which you gave? If I were you and I gave an instruction which was not followed, you would see how I would react. Why are you not taking any action?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I challenge you to take action against these headmasters who are not taking heed of your directive. You must start auditing the books of high schools. Almost all headmasters are now building houses. Where are they getting the money?


Mr Kambwili: Yes, it is happening. Almost all headmasters in my constituency are building very big houses. If you go to the banks, you would find that they have no loans. The money that is paid to the high schools in the form of user fees is not audited. We need to start auditing these schools so that we know where the user fees are being applied. This is not a laughing matter. We must be serious. Why do you allow them to collect money which you do not audit? Three quarters of the bursars in high schools are answering criminal charges. This is because there are no proper rules to guide the schools on how to use user fees.

Madam Speaker, I want to concur with Hon. Sinyangwe on the issue of corporal punishment. The ideas we are copying from the western world will destroy this country. In England, for instance, a child has the right to either accept to learn or not to do so. A child may go to school in the western world, but decide to write or not to. Such a child may decide to attend class or remain outside for the rest of the learning period. Corporal punishment worked very well for us in Zambia when it was applied. I remember when …

Hon. Members: Drink some water!

Mr Kambwili drank some water.


Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I remember that when we were in Form 1, they used to call us bazeze and this is the time when His Honour the Vice-President was a head boy.


Mr Kambwili: The teachers used to cane. Even His Honour used to cane us in order to control us, but, today, the corporal punishment which was used to discipline pupils is not allowed.


Mr Kambwili: If we are removing corporal punishment from schools, how are we going to control the children? To some extent …

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kunda, SC.: Madam Speaker, this debater who is debating so badly…


Mr Kunda, SC.: … is a very young man. When I was at school, he was not in school at that time. Therefore, is he in order to allege that I underwent that kind of punishment which he is talking about?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! This point of order and the debate seem to have some genesis somewhere. The hon. Member was actually alleging that His Honour the Vice-President was the head boy and he used to cane them.


Madam Deputy Speaker: That is extra information …


Madam Deputy Speaker: … in the House, but may not be 100 per cent necessary. However, I think it is good that we now know part of the background of some people.


Madam Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I was saying that to some extent, we must accept that corporal punishment in schools is a way of controlling the children. I was a head boy and I used to cane. I do not want to hide that fact. If you do not cane these children, half of the school will not be there during the learning period. They like to dodge from school. Corporal punishment can be encouraged, but may be left in the hands of the headmaster and the deputy headmaster so that the children can be controlled. There is a lot of indiscipline in schools because teachers are not allowed to apply a bit of corporal punishment.

Madam Speaker, let me also say something on Chapter 18 (1) of the Act which reads:

“Subject to the Constitution and any other written law, a learner who is a child shall not contract any form of marriage. A person shall not marry or marry off a learner who is a child.”

Madam Speaker, in Zambia, we have got a dual law system. There are customary laws and statutory laws. How are we going to marry the two? Under customary law, a child of thirteen to fourteen years is allowed to marry. In a situation where the parents have no money to take a child to school and this child is fourteen years old and is not doing anything, under customary law, this child is regarded as an adult. Some of our traditional practices are encouraging the marrying off of children at a tender age. For instance, there is a tradition where the children participate in the Mukanda Traditional Initiation Ceremony or some other ceremony. When they come out of the ceremony, they are paraded before adults half naked with their breasts outside. When these adults see utumabele twa ntutu, they are attracted to those…


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member should know that, indeed, there are many ways through which he can explain what he has just said.

Mr Shakafuswa laughed.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! In this House, it is important that you use the language that is acceptable and can be appreciated by everybody. The hon. Member may continue, but must use language which is appropriate to this House.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I was basically saying that these children are paraded before men with uncovered flesh and pointed breasts. These men are attracted to those breasts. It is such actions which lead to children being married off at a tender age. Some of these traditional practices must be curtailed so that we stop the girl child from getting married at a tender age. In a nutshell, I support…

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

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Pande: Madam Speaker, I did not mean to interrupt the hon. Member’s debate, but is he in order to state that girls go for Mukanda when it is common knowledge that this ceremony is for boys? Is he in order to mislead the House?


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member debating may consider that point. It may be a misleading fact that girls go for Mukanda.

You may continue and, in so doing, you may correct that statement.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I said that I do not know what the ceremony is called. It could be Mukanda or something else, but all I know is that it is an initiation ceremony. I think that the hon. Minister was sleeping when I said this.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! We always have to follow the tone of debate. The hon. Minister has the right to get a correction. The hon. Member should not make negative statements which are not true. It is a fact that Mukanda is for boys and not girls. You, therefore, simply have to correct yourself and move on.

You may continue.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, with these few words, I support the Bill.

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Correct yourself.

Mr Kambwili: Madam Speaker, I said that I do not know what it is called and whether it is Mukanda or not. All I know is that it is an initiation ceremony.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Madam Speaker, I would like to state, from the outset, that I support this Bill. It is progressive, but it should be matched with resources. I say so taking into account what is on the ground. 

Madam Speaker, the Education for All Goal is futuristic and ambitious. It is the right way to go. I, however, would like to caution this Government that such ambitious plans need to be matched with resources.

Madam Speaker, I recently attended a parent teachers’ association meeting at one of the schools in my constituency where there are quite a number of challenges. The teacher/pupil ratio is 1:120. This has been aggravated by our pronouncements that Grade 7 pupils must progress to higher classes without sitting for examinations, and yet we have not provided adequate classrooms. At the end of the day, some of the pronouncements we are making are not matching the resources available.

As much as we would like to educate our children, a ratio of one teacher to 120 pupils is not reasonable and it is just as good as asking our children to stay at home. How can we ensure quality education for such children? This is the reality on the ground which I would love to see matching with resources.

Madam Speaker, teachers have no accommodation and pupils have inadequate classrooms. Therefore, it is my hope that these are some of the areas that will have money invested into seeing that, now, Zambia has been given a credit rating of B-plus. We borrowed money to build the University of Zambia. So, we should borrow money to build other such institutions.

Madam Speaker, these ambitious programmes are coming at a time when most of us can afford to help the Government. I am just coming from a meeting where I told parents to pay user fees. If, at the moment, there is insufficient accommodation for teachers and inadequate classrooms, how do we expect our children to learn? We cannot wait for manna to fall from heaven. It is only the Israelites who got manna from heaven and even they only had it for one day.

If we are going to think that the Government will build us classrooms and provide teachers’ accommodation tomorrow, we are killing our children’s futures. Let us encourage parents to pay user fees. This way, under strict financial management, as Hon. Kambwili said, we will help to build teachers’ accommodation as well as classrooms.

My constituency is endowed with resources such that all the sand that is building Lusaka comes from there. I have told the parents to dig up this sand and help build the nation. Where we can assist, even using the CDF or funds from well-wishers, we must do so because this programme is too ambitious to just be on paper. It should not just be spoken about. The words should be followed by action.

Sir, at the moment, there are parents who can afford to take their children to private schools, such as Jonas Shakafuswa, but want to congest public schools and even further refuse to pay user fees when they have the ability to do so. We cannot move in a line where we allow underprivileged children …

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamududu: I rise on a very serious point of order. Is my brother, the hon. Member for Katuba, in order to say that manna was given to the children of Israel for only a day when it was given for the forty years that they wandered in the wilderness? There was free food for forty years just like our children have wanted free education for so many years. I seek your serious ruling, Madam.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! The hon. Member debating may take this point into consideration and correct his statement.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, apparently we read different Bibles.


Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Do not refer to what you are not very sure about. There is only one Bible and if you are not aware of how many days or years the manna was given, because it was not given for a day, you may just admit that you have misquoted the Bible so that the record can be corrected as such.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I would like to challenge the hon. Member for Bweengwa to give me the verse on which he has based his argument. This is because although the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, they were not being given food, everyday, for all those years. There was even a time that they did not have water and Moses had to hit his rod on a rock …


Mr Shakafuswa: Ngati suziba Bible osabwelesa boza kuno.

Laughter {mospagebreak}

Madam Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member, this is why we discourage you from using that one book. You can mislead the House when referring to a book that only you have read. You are giving statements that are not factual and, therefore, stop misleading the nation on what you may not be very sure about.

You may continue, knowing that what you are stating are not facts at all and are misleading.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I have always valued your guidance and that of this House against quoting the one book interpreted differently by different readers.

Madam Speaker, the bottom line is that we might have these ambitious pronouncements, but we should acknowledge that our country is not ready to take up such challenges. Unless we shift our budget to give free education for all, free education will compromise the quality of education because there are no facilities.

Madam, thirty-five pupils is the maximum number of pupils that a teacher can tutor at any one time so that he/she is able to monitor the progress of each pupil. As much as we want our children to go to school, one teacher to 120 pupils is exhausting for a teacher. How can one teacher control 120 pupils in one classroom? Towards fifty years of emancipation, these are signs of failure on our part. We should not proudly sit here and say that we are an independent country if we cannot provide for our people.

There are nations that are not endowed with the natural resources and facilities that we have here, in Zambia, and yet they are doing well. What natural resources has Cuba got that Zambia does not have for it to achieve the levels of literacy it has? It is dedication.

Madam Speaker, I am glad that the Government has brought this progressive Bill before the House because, although I do not know how practical it is, it will aid in the prohibition of early marriages. In poor societies where parents cannot afford to let their children continue with education, a lot of them give up on the education of their children and marry them off at a tender age. How are we going to enforce this Bill in a situation where a parent completely fails to support his or her child to school and decides to marry her off because he knows that if he does not do that, she will end up in bars marrying herself off to 100 men? Some parents allow their children to get married to avoid disease or embarrassment. However, we cannot justify this by owing it to our traditional customs. If someone marries off a child below the age of sixteen years, that person should be arrested.

Nonetheless, there are positive aspects to our traditional customs. For example, initiation ceremonies are a time to celebrate the fruitfulness of our children who have come of age and have been counselled. This is not to encourage corrupt-minded people to admire children. If someone admires a child, that person is sick. As adults, we should admire breasts that have nyoshad.


Hon. Member: On a point of order.

Madam Speaker: Order!

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam Speaker, I am saying that we should admire our wives’ breasts even though our children have suckled from them. We should continue admiring them and not admiring filya ifya cilalanda Kambwili.


Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, the other issue associated with this …

Madam Speaker: Order! Hon. Members must take this House seriously. The use of vernacular will not be tolerated because we all know the language that is acceptable in the House. The Bill before the House is very serious business and I urge all hon. Members to debate it as seriously as they can.

The hon. Member may withdraw the vernacular words used.

Mr Shakafuswa: Madam, I withdraw that phrase “filya ifya chilalanda”, but what I meant was that we should not follow what the other hon. Member was suggesting in this House.

Madam Speaker, there is another problem that has emerged in our society as a result of decaying moral standards. School-going children are now drinking beer. Today, I was told that children in Grade 7 drink beer. If there is a provision in the Bill that is discouraging parents from marrying off their children at an early age, then, we should also add a clause to discourage them from indulging in such illegal activities. Some children engage in illicit activities in the presence of their parents. These parents go with their children to taverns to drink beer. There has to be a way that teachers will be allowed to enforce rules to discipline such pupils. When these children are disciplined, parents should not go to school authorities to condemn them as doing something wrong. We must encourage an improved learning atmosphere in schools.

Madam Speaker, there should be a law that will help teachers to punish a child that is found drinking beer, the parents for allowing it and the person selling illicit beer, especially in compounds. I am aware that unlicensed people sell these drinks. We, as hon. Members, have to ensure that these people are punished.

In my constituency, we have a neighbourhood watch that helps to arrest children who are found drinking beer. If the parents are going to complain, we will talk to Hon. Mkhondo Lungu to allow us to give the children a bit of corporal punishment because the failure to guide these children is destroying the seed for the future.

Madam Speaker, while this Bill is progressive, I would urge the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning to match it with resources .

Madam, I know that a lot has been said about the achievements in the education sector. However, I just came back from my constituency, Katuba, which has a population of 70,000 people, but has only one high school at Moomba. Children have to walk 150 kms to get to that school. This is a drop in the ocean. We have not done anything at all. Some schools still have two classroom blocks whilst others have three classroom blocks. As a result, streams attend school in different sessions. There is a stream that goes in the morning, one at midmorning and another in the afternoon. Hence, the pupils are not getting enough information and instruction.

Madam, I would suggest that the little money that we get as CDF is used to help in such cases, but the Government should be the major player in providing educational facilities.

Madam Speaker, I have heard a lot of people talk about how the CDF should be used to fund certain projects. However, I wish to say that the CDF is, in a small way, supposed to bridge the gap of the shortcomings of the Government. Nevertheless, we should find a way of assisting the Ministry of Education in a bigger manner. I have worked with the staff at the Ministry of Education and I know that they are capable people. However, without resources, this is going to be a pipe dream.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Madam Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to wind up debate on the Bill on the Floor of the House.

I wish to thank the House for the overwhelming support in as far as the Education Bill is concerned. It is clear that we all place a premium on education and it is best that we do not dispute that fact. It is important for all of us to understand how far we have come and, I think, a lot of progress has been made. I realise that we still have a lot more to do, but I believe that we can only do this together. I know that it is still possible for us to reclaim our position, as a country, in providing quality education.

With these few words, Madam, I, once again, thank all those that contributed to the debate.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam Speaker: Order!

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

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Thursday, 17th March, 2011.


the Chair]


Clause 1 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 2 – (Interpretations)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in clause 2:

(a) on page 5, in lines 17 to 18 by the deletion of paragraph (e) and the word “and” after the semi colon and the substitution therefor of the following new paragraph:
“(e) the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education Act;”; and
(b) on page 6:
(i) in lines 1 to 3 by the deletion of paragraphs (g) and (h) and the substitution therefor of the following new paragraphs:
Act No. 13 of 2008 (g) the Accountants Act, 2008;
Act No. 14 of 2003 (h) the Zambia Institute of Marketing Act, 2003;
Act No. 15 of 1998 (i) the National Institute of Public Administration Act, 1998;
Cap. 275  (j) the Apprenticeship Act; and
(k) such other Act as the Minister may specify by statutory instrument;;
(ii) in line 5 by the deletion of the word “three” and the substitution therefor of the word “seven”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 2, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 3 – (National Qualifications Framework)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 3, on page 6, in line 35 by the deletion of the word “registration” and the substitution therefor of the word “accreditation”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 3, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 4 and 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 6 – (Sub-frameworks)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 6, on page 7:

(a) in line 31, by the deletion of the word “and”;
(b) in line 34, by the deletion of the full stop and the substitution therefore of a semi colon and the word “and”; and
(c) after line 34 by the insertion of the following new paragraph;
“(d) continuous professional development.”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 6, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 7 and 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 9 – (Functions of Authority)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 9:
(a) on page 9, in line 11, by the deletion of the word “implement” and the comma; and 
(b) on page 10, in line 11, by the deletion immediately after the word “qualifications” of the words “and registered educational and training institutions” and the substitution therefor of the words “of the Sub-frameworks”;

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 9, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 10 – (Board of Authority)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 10, on page 10:
(a) in lines 31 to 32, by the deletion of paragraph (b) and the substitution therefore of the following paragraph:
“(b) a representative of the Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants;”;
(b) in line 33, by the deletion of paragraph (c) and the substitution therefor of the following paragraph;
“(c) a representative of the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education;”; and
(c) in line 38, by the deletion of paragraph (f) and the substitution therefor of the following paragraph:
“(f) a representative of the Zambia Air Services Training Institute;”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 10, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 11 – (Functions of Board)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 11, on page 11:
(a) in line 8, by the insertion, immediately after the word “Act”, of the words “or any other relevant written law”;
(b) in lines 17 and 18, by the deletion of paragraph (e); and
(c) in lines 19, 22 and 27, by the re-numbering of paragraphs (f), (g)) and (h) as paragraphs (e), (f), respectively.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 11, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 19 – (Director and other staff)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 19, on page 14:

(a) in line 29, by the deletion of subsection (3);
(b) in line 30, by the re-numbering of subsection (4) as subsection (3); and 
(c) in line 31, by the insertion, immediately after the word “determine” and the comma, of the words “the Secretary and”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 19, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 20 – (Funds of Authority)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 20, on page 15:

(a) in lines 15 to 16, by the deletion, immediately after the word “Authority”, of the words “and other payments for the recruitment and retention of the staff”;
(b) in line 20, by the insertion, immediately after the word “determine” and the semi colon of the word “and”;
(c) in line 22, by the deletion, immediately after the word “Act”, of the semi colon and the substitution therefor of a full stop;
(d) in line 23, by the deletion of the word “and”; and
(e) in lines 24 to 25, by the deletion of paragraph (d).

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 20, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 21 and 22 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 23 – (Annual report)

Ms Siliya: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 23, on page 16, after line 6, by the insertion of the following new subsection:

(3) The Minister shall, not later than seven days after the first sitting of the National Assembly next after receipt of the report referred to in subsection (1), lay the report before the National Assembly.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 23, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.


Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.


Clauses 1, 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:

The Zambia Qualifications Authority Bill, 2010

Report Stage on Wednesday, 16th March, 2011.

The Following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:

The English Law (Extent of Application) (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The High Court (Amendment) Bill, 2011

The Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill, 2011

Third Readings on Wednesday, 16th March, 2011.


The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Management Services Board (Repeal) Bill, 2011

The Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (Amendment) Bill, 2011




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1742 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 16th March, 2011.