Debates- Thursday, 11th March, 2010

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Thursday, 11th March, 2010

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, I rise to give some idea of the business the House will consider next week. 

Sir, on Tuesday, 16th March, 2010, the business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by a presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stages of the following Bills:

(i)    The Development Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2010

(ii)    The Engineering Institution of Zambia Bill, 2010

Mr Speaker, the House will then consider any other Business that may have been presented before it earlier. 

On Wednesday, 17th March, 2010, the business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by  a presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then deal with the Second Reading Stage of the Information and Communication Technologies (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

Mr Speaker, on Thursday, 18th March, 2010, the business of the House will start with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by a presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with any other business that may have already been presented before it. 

On Friday, 19th March, 2010, the business of the House will begin with His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Second Reading Stages of the following Bills:

(i)    The Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Bill, 2010

(ii)    The National Constitutional Conference (Amendment) Bill, 2010

(iii)    The Plea Negotiations and Agreements Bill, 2010

(iv)    The Dairy Industry Development Bill, 2010

(v)    The Dary Produce Board (Establishment) (Repeal) Bill, 2010

(vi)    The Dairy Produce Marketing and Levy (Repeal) Bill, 2010

Mr Speaker, the House will, then, deal with any other outstanding business.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Education (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, I wish to make a ministerial statement on the measures the Ministry of Education is taking to continue improving the performance of the grades 7, 9 and 12 examination results. After the release of the grades 7, 9 and 12 2009 examination results, my ministry analysed the performance of the pupils at the levels above. The summary of the performance at each level is as follows:

Mr Speaker, in 2009, at the Grade 7 level, 307,191 candidates, that is, 166,730 boys and 140,461 girls, sat for examinations. From the total number of candidates who sat for the examinations, 219,581 were selected to Grade 8, giving a progression rate of 71.48 per cent while in 2008, it was 65.4 per cent. This means more pupils progressed to Grade 8 in 2009 than in 2008. 

In the North-Western Province, all the boys and girls, who passed, got a place at the Grade 8 level while all the girls, who passed their Grade 7, in the Western Province, managed to get a place in Grade 8.

Mr Speaker, the overall increase in the number of candidates selected in all the provinces is attributed to the expansion of the school infrastructure that the ministry embarked upon in all the provinces. The additional infrastructure has resulted in an increase of classroom space. In 2009 alone, 2,500 new classrooms were planned for at basic schools and forty-five high schools and 300 teachers’ houses were under construction. 
Mr Speaker, a total of 250 pupils with special education needs sat for the Grade 7 examinations. Out of this number, 228 were selected to Grade 8. The Ministry of Education is committed to ensuring that more space is created for children with special education needs. 

Mr Speaker, at the Grade 9 level, a total of 247,247, that is, 130,224 boys and 117,023 girls, sat for examinations in 2009. A total number of 113,241 candidates were selected to Grade 10, giving a progression rate of 45.80 per cent unlike the 39.80 per cent in 2008. This translated into an increased progression rate of 6 per cent in 2009.

Mr Speaker, out of the 196 candidates with special education needs who sat for the Grade 9 examinations, 188 candidates were selected to Grade 10. Although there is an overall increase in the number of candidates who progressed to Grade 10, the ministry was expecting a higher progression rate than the 6 per cent.

Mr Speaker, at the Grade 12 level, a total of 55,117 candidates, that is, 31,714 boys and 23,403 girls, sat for the examinations in 2009. From the 55,117, a total of 33,418 candidates obtained a School Leaving Certificate, giving a pass rate of 60.63 per cent. In 2009, a total of 20,790 candidates obtained the General Certificate of Education (GCE) unlike the 21,277 candidates in 2008.

Mr Speaker, these results show that 60.6 per cent of the candidates obtained full certificates in 2009 compared to 61.08 per cent in 2008. They also show that 37.7 per cent of the candidates obtained a General Certificate of Education in 2009 compared to 37.2 per cent in 2008. They further indicate that 1.65 per cent of the candidates failed the examinations in 2009 compared to1.68 per cent in 2008.

Mr Speaker, to improve performance, the ministry has put in place the following measures:

(a)     Recruitment of Teachers

the ministry will continue employing qualified teachers in order to reduce the pupil-teacher ratio and improve the quality of learning. A total of 5,000 teachers were recruited in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, the ministry will recruit 2,500 teachers; 

(b)    Procurement of Teaching Materials

procurement of text books and learning materials is an on-going exercise. This year, the ministry has set aside K19.3 billion to procure these materials, segregated as K13.7 billion for basic schools, K3 billion for high schools and K2.6 billion for pupils with special education needs; 

(c)    Management Course for Head teachers

(i)    the Ministry of Education has started a management course for head teachers which will assist in the management and administration of schools. The course will emphasise the technical aspect of teaching and learning in schools. Teacher training colleges in all the provinces conduct this course during school holidays. Furthermore, continuous professional development is being enhanced in all schools in the area of school management; 
(ii)    standards officers will be holding meetings with school head teachers in all the provinces in order to highlight the importance of internal monitoring. Internal monitoring by head teachers will greatly complement the standards officers’ inspection programmes;

Further, schools that performed badly will be monitored by standards officers in order to help them improve. Special attention will also be given to Science and Mathematics subjects where average national results, especially at the Grade 9 level, were not very encouraging;    

Mr Speaker, beginning this year, schools will also be expected to have in place work plans highlighting targets against which they shall be assessed. This aspect will also be reflected in the head teacher’s individual work plan.

(d)    Construction of Teacher’s Houses

the ministry will continue to construct teachers’ houses in order to alleviate accommodation problems for teachers, particularly those in rural areas. Once this is done, teachers will be motivated to remain at the same school in rural areas;

(e)    Community involvement

the ministry is encouraging all stakeholders such as parents, families, communities, parents teachers’ associations, school boards, traditional leaders and hon. Members of Parliament to take an active role in the affairs of the schools. Parents and guardians should check pupils’ attendance and performance so as to monitor the quality of education in schools; 

I also wish to urge all communities to make schools, in their jurisdiction, accountable in as far as quality teaching and learning is concerned;

(f)    Lesson Preparation by Teachers

the Teacher Education Directorate, through the resource centre, will continue to carry out in-service activities for teachers, in order to address the problem of lesson preparation. It is mandatory for teachers to prepare lesson plans before they start teaching; and

(i)    Homework Policy

teachers shall be expected to give homework, regularly, to learners as a way of re-enforcing remedial learning. 

I also wish to request all parents and guardians to monitor the implementation of the homework policy in schools through their children’s exercise book.

Mr Speaker, in order to address the poor results in Mathematics and Science subjects, our plans include construction of permanent laboratories at basic schools, training of more Science and Mathematics teachers for high schools and giving general encouragement to pupils to take up Mathematics and Science subjects. As a ministry, we will endeavour to spend the resources in our budget, timely and effectively, so that we respond to the education needs of our country.

Mr Speaker, it is hopped that, once these measures are in place, the quality of the examination results will improve.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now raise questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement which has just been given by the hon. Minister of Education.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, of all the infrastructure that is being built in schools, I would like to find out how many classrooms and teachers’ houses are being built for children with special education needs.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, clearly, until now, especially in the last five years that we have been constructing schools, we have not embarked on construction of a school for children with special education needs. In fact, this morning, I met with people representing teachers for children with special education needs. It is our intention that since, in the last five years, we have built so many schools for children who are physically able, it is time we started allocating some monies in our budget to schools for children with special education needs. Currently, there are only about 196 in the whole country and the demand is quite high. Therefore, this is a conversation we have begun to have in the ministry.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Matongo (Pemba): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister help me to understand that the current Education Act, which was enacted in 1996, …

Hon. Member: 1966.

Mr Matongo: …1966, I am being corrected, is, in fact, the underlining problem that is lowering the standards of education in the country. When will a new Education Act be enacted so that the lower basic schools and universities could be controlled, particularly by an establishment of an authority to control universities? 

Mr Speaker, secondly, in national interest, would the hon. Minister throw some light on when the ministry will reduce the number of children being sent abroad for secondary education by single sourcing and privatising Kabulonga Boys’ and Girls’ Secondary schools and Munali? Could she, please, guide us?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister may respond to one question only.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the current Education Act was enacted in 1966, but the current Education Policy is of 1996. I have stated, on the Floor of this House before, that we are preparing new legislation for a Higher Education Authority, National Qualification Framework and Teaching Council Legislation. To this effect, staff are working very hard so that we can bring these pieces of legislation to the House soon. Therefore, we take note that times have changed and we need to address these impediments in the legislation in order to provide efficient and quality education.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, one of the ministerial statements made by the hon. Minister of Education was on improving the performance of pupils and students by employing more qualified teachers. Would the hon. Minister tell this House how the over-enrollment of pupils in class also affects the performance of students? How will the ministry address the issue of over-enrolment?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, first of all, we have already begun to address the matter of over-enrolment by building more infrastructure. Alongside that, we have been recruiting teachers. It is for this reason that we recruited 5,000 teachers in the last three to four years. In 2010, we will recruit 2,500 teachers. We want to make sure that the teachers being recruited are well trained. This is why we keep on talking about upgrading some of the teachers in high schools through the University of Zambia (UNZA) and distance learning courses. Beginning this year, we intend to upgrade about 6,000 teachers.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, an average progression rate of 5 per cent at all levels is not acceptable. I would like to find out what targets were set by the ministry at grades 7, 9 and 12.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, obviously, we would like to see a 100 per cent progression rate so that no child is left behind. Every child should have access to education. The beginning point is the universal primary education where we want each child in this country to have access to grades 1 to 7 education by 2015. Our response has been to provide classrooms first so that a child is not left out or made to learn under a tree. The first intervention is to provide a classroom. Again, that is not enough. We have to recruit more teachers, but that too is not enough because we have to work with parents to make sure that children stay in school. There are many places which we have visited where children are being encouraged to go into early marriages or miss school like we noticed in the Luapula Province where children miss school to go and catch caterpillars. 


Ms Siliya: We have to make sure that the child stays in school. These incidences are happening in the whole country. Therefore, the important point is to have a 100 per cent progression rate objective. We are not doing too badly at the Grade 7 level because the rate is in the seventies. We have concerns at Grades 9 and 12 and, therefore, we need to do more to ensure that children get School Leaving Certificates at Grade 12 and that at Grade 9, they progress to Grade 10.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker{mospagebreak}

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the ministry intends to spend the money allocated to it within its framework. Will there be specific consideration of some constituencies such as Munali that did not benefit from the construction of new schools? In Munali Constituency, through the council, we have found land in Kalingalinga.  Are you going to give us a school?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we appreciate that the nationwide demand for access is huge, but we have continued to carry out assessments to identify areas of priority. We are happy that in this year’s grades 7 and 9 examinations, in the North-Western and in Western provinces, we seemed to have met the target in the provision of places for almost all the pupils. In the Luapula, Central, Eastern and Lusaka provinces, a number of pupils did not get places. Therefore, this year, we are going to look at such issues in our infrastructure programme because we have the information. We are going to use a targeted approach so that we bridge the gap of access in the nation.

Mr Speaker, the gap in school places is a nationwide problem. That is why we are planning to have 16,000 extra classrooms constructed by 2015, at the basic school level.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, the biggest challenge facing education managers, particularly in basic schools, is inadequate funding arising from the fact that the Government has said that education is free. What is the ministry doing to ensure that there is effective management in basic schools, in particular, resulting from funding?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we continue to ensure that, in our budgeting process, emphasis is placed on the core business. That is, firstly, the input is the trained teacher while the output is the educated pupil. We try to be sensitive, in our budgeting, so that we put more resources at the school where there is the teacher and the pupil.

Prior to 2008, there were very few problems relating to grants to schools. However, we all know that, in 2008, there was unexpected expenditure in the country that included the presidential by-elections. In 2009, there was the global financial crisis that also affected this country. If you recall, copper was selling at US$8,000 per tonne before this, but the price dropped to below US$2,000 per tonne. Obviously, the Government had a cash-flow problem and that is what precipitated the delays in the release of funds to schools. 

However, our commitment remains the same and, this year, it has been reflected in the budget for the ministry which is K3.4 trillion. Putting education at the centre of all economic and social transformation is a clear testimony of the Government’s continued support.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, user fees and parents-teachers associations (PTA) fees have become an impediment for children from poor families to go to school. Most of the children are sent away from school three quarters of the year. As a result, their results are poor. What is the ministry doing to ensure that children from poor families, who cannot afford user fees, are also accorded an opportunity to go to school?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we are cognisant of the fact that some parents face a lot of challenges in sending their children to school. Our direct response was to offer free education at the primary school level. I know that parents are involved in making decisions, through PTAs, on how much should be paid to enable them meet some of the needs at school. Through our District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) offices and provincial education officers, we continue to sensitise school heads and the various communities that they have to take into consideration the challenges facing most parents.

However, Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we also offer bursaries and scholarships to children from vulnerable families and orphans. Currently, we have over 33,000 pupils who are being paid for, through bursaries, not just by the Ministry of Education, but also the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare so as to make sure that for every child, unless he or she just does not want to go to school, user fees or PTA fees are paid for. I know that there are also non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working in this sector, who are supporting a good number of children. We will continue to work closely with the communities and PTAs so that everybody appreciates the importance of education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there have been comparisons made between the urban and rural areas in terms of expansion of infrastructure and increased enrolment of pupils and recruitment of teachers and whether the rural areas have equitably benefited from the programme.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, in the last three or four years, each time teachers were recruited, the majority were deployed to rural areas. For example, in 2009, 5,000 teachers were recruited and 4,000 were sent to rural areas. Those who have been following the events will have noticed that, in our current advertisement on the recruitment of teachers, this year, emphasis is on rural areas. 

With regard to putting up infrastructure, there are issues of population and distances to be considered. 

Mr Speaker, there are areas such as Kabwata Constituency, which I visited recently, where the teachers told me that the enrolment was low because of the number of schools in the area which included private schools. We continue to make an assessment everyday so that we are on top of things when we make decisions on where to put up infrastructure.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Magande (Chilanga): Mr Speaker, it is encouraging to hear that more classrooms are being constructed, but the major challenge in any education system is the relevance of what is being taught, as education must be a life skill. 

I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what is being done to change the grades 1 to 12 syllabus so as to make it relevant for the young people who are in this technological age.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, if you recall, I informed the House, in 2009, that in September, we held a meeting of all stakeholders in the education sector to review the policy and at the centre of that policy is the curriculum.

Mr Speaker, it is true that in today’s world, just learning Mathematics and Science is not enough, as people have to learn more. In this technological world we are in, the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) or computers in every day life has become important. Therefore, we are collaborating with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training in reviewing our curriculum and this process has reached an advanced stage. It is just that there are a number of issues we have to address such as the Bill, the policy, the curriculum, itself, and so on and so forth. All these will be put together and made known to the public.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister confirm whether the improvement in the progression rate and, indeed, all the efforts to improve the progression rate are attributed to the recent measure of expunging the cut-off point as opposed to the actual improvement in the performance of pupils?  

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think that is a complex question. I cannot confirm that because, obviously, the rationale behind having a cut-off point, especially at the Grade 7 level, was the lack of places for many children to proceed to Grade 8, and yet the requirement is that a child should have a certificate. This means the standards have been set that if a child has a certificate, there are certain things they ought to know. What we should be worried about is what the children do not know after getting the Grade 7 Certificate and also the General Certificate Education (GCE). If they manage a certificate, that is the minimum that is expected at that level and that is what the professionals in the sector have advised. The same applies to grades 9 and 12. 

Mr Speaker, obviously, another direct intervention in terms of the progression rate has been the increase in access. The Government has shown great commitment by allocating K500 billion for the construction of schools every year. This is why so many children have been enrolled. If you are putting money into something, you should get positive results and that is what the Government is doing. It is putting K500 billion every year in infrastructure. We cannot sit here and expect negative results because we have had increased enrolment and recruited more teachers. Therefore, we expect positive results.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education whether she is aware that the deplorable conditions of service for teachers is one of the contributing factors to the adverse progression rate and the quality of education in this country. If she is aware, what measures is she putting in place to ensure that the conditions of service for teachers, in this country, are improved?

Mr Hamududu: Quality!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, in the last two months, I have gone round this country and I have met hundreds of teachers. I am always amazed at the enthusiasm and hope that they have in that they chose a very noble profession which most of us will be quite scared to join and I continue to applaud them. 

Mr Speaker, however, in my interaction with the teachers, in the last six to seven months I have been with the Ministry of Education, I have found out that the most frustrating issues are not the money-related, but the administrative ones such as confirmations and transfers. These are the issues that we have begun to address. We are now discussing how best we can continue to decentralise, further, some of the decision-making processes such as confirmation and transfers to the provinces so that there can be no more rocket science. A teacher should be able to be confirmed in time. 

Mr Speaker, obviously, the monetary issues are also quite important and these are not just being addressed in the Ministry of Education, but at the national level. As a Government, if we are going to have anything to share, we must grow the economy and this is why you hear of the President going to China. If the economy does not grow, there will be only poverty to share. I have always illustrated the point that if there were, indeed, many Zambians who had money when the Luanshya Copper Mine (LCM), on the Copperbelt, was busting, they would have assisted, but nobody came forward. The President had to look for people outside this country so that he could serve the 600 jobs. The same is being done for the general economy. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, if the economy does not grow, the K3.5 trillion for the Ministry of Education will not fall from the sky. Unless the private sector grows, the economy continues to expand and we all become entrepreneurial, we are not going to continue to commit that many resources to the budget because the Government does not manufacture money. There is no money-making machine in the Ministry …


Ms Siliya: … of Education. The money comes from the taxpayers and business sector.


Ms Siliya: The link between the private sector and economy and how this is linked to social services such as education and health is very clear. Thus, we will just continue to ask you, hon. Members of Parliament, to support this Government’s initiatives to grow the economy.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, parents and pupils have been exploited on uniforms. May I find out from the hon. Minister when the Government will allow parents and pupils to buy uniforms from any source as long as they are like those sold at the school.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, as a Government, in our efforts to provide free education, we have stated that uniforms are not compulsory. I have seen in many areas, especially in rural areas, that children do not necessarily wear uniforms to school. Obviously, within the communities and schools, PTAs are the ones that come together and agree on these matters.


Ms Siliya: I want to urge the parents to get more involved in the education of their children. The Government can provide the classroom and teacher. The teacher can even be interested in teaching the child, but if the family does not make the decision to educate that child, nothing will happen. Therefore, the parents must be interested in the education of that child. Let us participate in PTA activities …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: … because they are not for other people, but for us and our children.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, in agreeing with the hon. Minister that teaching is a noble profession, I would like to find out from her whether or not she subscribes to the fact that due to the Government’s failure to build sufficient classroom capacity, teachers in this country decided to come up with an innovation called the academic production unit (APU) which enabled children, who, ordinarily, would have been relegated out of school, to progress to the next level. Can she now confirm whether that innovation has assisted the Government and, if it has, why the Government has failed to put in place a clear policy direction on APUs in the face of the abolishment of the cut-off point.

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the Government has a mandate to provide education as a service. However, there are also opportunities for the private sector to do the same. The point is, in the last five years, it is like independence again. We have seen an unprecedented construction of schools in this country in an effort to take care of the huge backlog that we saw, especially in the 80s, when there was absolutely no investment in the education sector. However, it is clear that we cannot meet this backlog overnight, but what is important is that we have a plan. There is an adage which says, “If you do not know where you are going, it does not matter what road you will take”. 

We have a very clear plan which is mapped out in the five-year development plan in the short term as well as, in the long term, in the Vision 2030 through which we hope a critical mass of Zambians will be educated and be the locomotive engine that will create the socio-economic transformation of this country. We realise that with that process, at the centre are the teacher and children, hence, we are not folding our arms. I am glad that, in many areas, it is not only the schools, but also the parents and communities who have been innovative enough to moot ideas because they are hungry for education. In areas where they have built community schools, the Government has gone there to expand those schools by building more classrooms and, in some areas, take over the schools and provide teachers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Nonetheless, we know that there is a gap. It is wishful thinking to think that if anybody else came into Government, today, they would solve all the teacher’s problems, pay them hefty salaries and build 16,000 classrooms overnight. 


Ms Siliya: What is important to note is that we are providing an opportunity for children to learn. It is true that we are now trying to provide some guidelines and policy direction in terms of the APU classes that now include the open-learning classes so that no child is left behind.

  We can come up with an innovative idea, today, and if we realise that it is not working properly, it is our right to change it. At the moment, we are encouraging schools to have open-learning classes for children that have not been accepted in the mainstream education system. What is important is that children are not on the streets, but in class.

I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, the increase in the progression rate of building classrooms is commendable. However, in the hon. Minister’s view, is Zambia likely to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number two of attaining universal primary school education by 2015 throughout the country? I am asking this in view of some islands in Luapula Constituency where there are still no schools. 

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, we are optimistic that we will achieve this goal because we have stuck to our plan and are not diverting from it despite the very difficult economic conditions that prevailed in 2008 and 2009. During this period, the Government still maintained its stance that education was important and thus put its mouth where its money was. If we continue to stick to this plan, the future, definitely, is bright and we have much hope, not cynicism, to share with Zambians.

I thank you.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, in 2009, 5,000 teachers were recruited as opposed to 2,500 that the ministry intends to recruit this year. Given the increased number of trainees from both private and Government institutions, coupled with the increased number of classrooms that are being built, can the hon. Minister explain how the teachers who are graduating from these institutions will be absorbed by the employment sector if the Government reduces its teacher recruitment figure?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I am not sure I understood the question, but if he was attempting to ask if all the teachers we are training will be recruited, there is a programme in place for this. In 2009, we realised that we were going to absorb all the teachers who were trained years earlier such that by 2010 to 2011, teachers would be recruited from training institutions. These were our plans. 

However, the recruitment of teachers is not an isolated exercise done by the Ministry of Education alone. There are budgetary influences because these teachers have to be paid when engaged. Therefore, the Ministry of Education continues to consult with the Ministry of Finance and National Planning on what kind of Treasury authority it can be given to employ a certain number of teachers. However, the important point to note is that the commitment to consistently employ 5,000 to 6,000 teachers, in the last five years, is quite phenomenal.

I thank you.




378. Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi) asked the Minister of Defence what measures had been taken to ensure that defence personnel had access to information on HIV/AIDS and anti-retroviral treatment.

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mulyata): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Defence launched the Zambia Defence Force HIV/AIDS Policy in January, 2008 as a basis for all human immuno virus and acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) activities in the Defence Forces and Zambia National Service (ZNS). In addition, anti-retroviral treatment (ART) smart care services have been provided in the Defence Force health facilities.

Mr Speaker, the provision of access to information on HIV/AIDS is done through the following:

(i)    on-going static and mobile voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) services in all military ‘contonments’;

(ii)    trained counsellors providing counselling and testing services in all military ‘contonments’;

Mr Hachipuka: It is pronounced ‘cantonments’.

Mr Mulyata:

(iii)    HIV sensitisation and importance of ART use in all military ‘contonments’ and the surrounding communities;

(iv)    distribution of HIV prevention information, educational and communication materials in military ‘contonments’;

(v)    drama sensitisation on HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), ART, VCT and proper condom use in all the military ‘contonments’ by the Zambia Defence Force Mobile Drama Group;


Mr Speaker: Order! 

The hon. Member for Mbabala has been assisting that the word should be pronounced ‘cantonment’.

The hon. Minister of Defence may continue


Mr Mulyata: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for that correction. I think the hon. Member is using the right dictionary.

(vi)    promotion of HIV peer education in all the military cantonments;

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulyata:

(vii)    military chaplains to promote spiritual counselling, behaviour change and supervise peer educators in the military cantonments;

(viii)    prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) through counselling, testing and provision of niverapine to all HIV positive expectant mothers in the Defence Forces health facilities;

(ix)    training of PMTCT health providers and lay counsellors in the Defence Forces health facilities;

(x)    training of health providers in syndromic management of STIs.

(xi)    training of teachers from all the schools in military cantonments in HIV/AIDS activities for youths; and

(xii)    establishing and supporting local drama groups in the military cantonments.

 As regards ART, its administration consists of expanding treatment, care and support activities carried out as follows:

(i)    health professionals (doctors, nurses, clinical officer and so on) in the Defence Forces have been trained in both adult and pediatric ART management;

(ii)    trained ART adherence supporters visit homes and ensure clients’ adherence to ARVs;

(iii)    support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA+) exist in most military cantonments;

(iv)    a state-of-the-art art referral clinic at the Maina Soko Military Hospital known as Family Support Unit has been opened;

(v)    establishment of ART clinics in all Defence Forces health facilities;

(vi)    family support units are under construction in a number of Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps (for example, a unit at Makeni ZNS has been completed and handed over and four more are to be completed in 2010) for the provision of ARVs;

(vii)    home-based and palliative care providers who are providing these services in all cantonments  have been trained;

(viii)    early infant diagnosis is provided at some Defence Forces health facilities; and

(ix)    Defence Forces Medical Services, with the support of the Ministry of Health and other co-operating partners, has designed a supply chain for Anti-retroviral drugs ARVs, test kits and condoms to be distributed straight from Medical Stores Limited to all Defence Forces health facilities through District Health Offices.

     Mr Speaker, the HIV/ADS impact mitigation activities include:

(i)    formation of orphans and vulnerable children centres and pre-schools in military cantonments;

(ii)    support to schools and early childhood care development education centres in military cantonments in the form of recreation facilities, psycho-social support, HIV/AIDS information and maize seed for food security; and

(iii)    the Zambia Defence Forces Support Group for PLWHA+ conducts nutritional workshops and supervision visits to military cantonments in order to monitor the progress of income- generating activities.

In conclusion, the Ministry of Defence, through the Defence Forces’ Medical Services, with the support of the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Council (NAC) and co-operating partners, has successfully put in place measures at all levels to ensure that Defence Forces personnel and their families access information on HIV/AIDS prevention, management, care and treatment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what marked improvements there are statistically on the prevalence rates and attrition rates.

The Minister of Defence (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, certainly, there are improvements in terms of mortality rates. The rates have gone down because of the help, care and treatment.

However, we are not able to provide statistics for Defence Forces personnel alone. We do not have specific details of the prevalence rates in the Defence Forces just as we do not have isolated statistics for occupation categories of teachers and mining engineers. However, the infection rates in the Defence Forces are not lower or higher than the national figures. At present, the national average infection rate is 16 per cent of the population between nineteen and forty-nine years. Within that percentage, women have a higher percentage of 18 and men a lower percentage of 13. Percentages are higher in urban areas between 15 and 25 per cent and lower in rural areas between 6 and 8 per cent. These are national figures that cater for the Defence Forces as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kapata (Mandevu): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures have been put in place regarding the supply of ARVs to members of the Defence Forces who are on peace-keeping missions

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there are two issues that we consider before an officer is sent out on a peace-keeping mission. If officers are about to undertake an assignment outside the country and they look sick or are diagnosed with a disease, they are not allowed to go. However, if, upon arrival, they are found with some symptoms, they are treated there and then because the United Nations takes care of all personnel under special assignments.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister did well in elaborating the prevention measures, management and treatment for HIV/AIDS because in the Defence Forces, physical fitness is a must. Therefore, I would like to find out what the policy is regarding the soldiers who fall sick and become chronically ill with HIV/AIDS despite undergoing treatment?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, defence personnel who are found to have contracted some disease are taken care of through the measures that we have outlined. However, I must state that military training is very rigorous and the young men we recruit, usually between nineteen and twenty-five years, sometimes, train in adverse weather conditions of rain, sun and dust and, sometimes, have to go without food and water for a period of time. 

In addition, before they are enlisted, they are tested to ensure that they are medically fit. They go through a process called Medical Establishment Standard Fitness and if they are found wanting, they are not enlisted and instead referred to appropriate civil institutions for further management, care and treatment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, in view of this disease, does the ministry consider reducing the number of months that officers spend away from their families as a way of preventing them from doing certain things that they are bound to do when they are away for a long time?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I understand the question by the hon. Member for Katombola and I appreciate it. However, we should not do anything to compromise national security. A treatment regime is provided for in the Defence Forces. In view of the above, care is taken to ensure that only those who are medically fit are given those assignments. Those who are on assignments away from their homes are counselled to ensure that they behave appropriately. If they cannot control themselves, they are given various protective measures to ensure that they protect themselves against diseases.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


379. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when Ntambu Police Post in Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency would be opened.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Ntambu Police Post in Mwinilunga East Parliamentary Constituency was closed in June, 2003 when officers who were stationed there were removed after a riotous situation.

The riot was sparked by the arrest of a suspect on assault occasioning an actual body harm charge. The relatives from the community, who were bitter about the arrest, reacted by attacking the officers and ended up rescuing the suspect from the cells. This action resulted in the withdrawal of police officers from the police post. However, plans are underway to re-open the police post after the renovations of the existing buildings that were for the Roads Department have been completed and the cells for all categories of suspects are constructed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, the riot took place in 2003 and the camp has since been renovated using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I would like to know exactly when this police post will be re-opened.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mangani): Mr Speaker, indeed, this incident happened in 2003. We are happy that the hon. Member of Parliament has taken some initiative to rehabilitate the building. We are making a commitment to deploy officers there, but what is important before we do so is the hon. Member’s part to educate the people that the police are there to serve the community. If there is a problem, for instance, if they arrest a suspect or somebody who has caused a problem in the community, the police should not be fought. Therefore, what happened was very unfortunate because the police were there to arrest a suspect, but were instead attacked. Please, educate them that the police are there to serve them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Phiri (Munali): Mr Speaker, there are so many police posts that are being constructed using CDF, but, after completion, are rejected by the police because the laid-down infrastructure plan, according to the police standards, are not followed. When will the hon. Minister find time to circulate, at least, a standard plan that can be followed so that we do not waste the meagre CDF?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, standardising the police post buildings is critical. I would urge the hon. Members, who would like to construct police posts, to get in touch with our nearest police station. They will be advised on the standard that we want followed. Do not just construct without consulting because it creates a problem. This is why we have a situation where, after constructing a police post, the area is crowded and police officers cannot operate. It is important to consult the officers for proper guidance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Minister that the hon. Member of Parliament should be responsible for educating and sensitising the people about the police. What has happened to The Police and You Programme that used to sensitise and educate the people on the goodness of having a police officer in the vicinity? I have asked this question before. The hon. Member may sensitise the people, because we do not have this programme and if there is no contact with the police, that problem will arise. What plans do you have to help and not injure the people?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, The Police and You Programme is still on radio every Sunday. A number of questions, from the public, on how the community expects the police to operate are answered, but the situation in his constituency is unique. I think you have followed some of the questions he has been asking. Last week, there was a question on homicide, people killing each other, possibly, after suspecting that someone was going out with one’s wife. These killings are quite common in his constituency. We need to educate the people that the only solution to such problems is to go to court and not to kill each other. We have a duty, as a Government as well as hon. Members of Parliament and councillors in the area, to educate the community to behave well.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Speaker, the situation prevailing in Mwinilunga is also prevailing in the Luapula Province. Could the hon. Minister explain why it takes so long for such police posts to be re-opened once they are closed down?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, once the public has become hostile to the police, we suspect that they may not appreciate the services of the police. We also need to study the situation and see whether they have reached a stage where they appreciate the services of the police, but this can only be done, again, through some form of sensitisation and community policing. Later, people tend to appreciate the police. It takes a bit of time to fulfill these conditions.

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in response to an earlier question, the hon. Minister proposed that hon. Members of Parliament seeking to build police posts should visit the nearest police station for designs. In view of the fact that many constituencies require police posts and stations, would the hon. Minister not find it prudent that his ministry produces prototypes and sends them to local authorities so that hon. Members, councillors and residents could access the designs from local authorities rather than police stations?

Mr Mangani: Mr Speaker, we have no problem in preparing these plans and submitting them to local authorities, but it would also help if the hon. Member, from the word go, engages the police so that both the police and community work together in appreciating the project. It is important that, as this project is being done, the police participate and guide the community properly. Once this is done, there will be no paucity in terms of preparations and, later on, opening the police post. The design can be given at any time, but what we are saying is that in the event that the design is not there, the best option is to go to the nearest police station for guidance.

I thank you, Sir.


380. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Finance and National Planning:

(a)    how much money was owed to ex-Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia employees, in terms of employees’ and employers’ contributions to the Mukuba Pension Scheme, at the time the company was liquidated;

(b)    how many ex-Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia employees were affected by the non-remission of the contributions;

(c)    why there had been delays in the payments; and

(d)    who was responsible for the payment of the money to the employees.

The Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning (Ms C. M. Kapwepwe): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that a total sum of K22,648,326,000 was owed to the ex-Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia (RAMCOZ) employees in terms of employees’ and employers’ contributions to the Mukuba Pension Scheme at the time the company was liquidated. The total sum is broken down as follows:

    Contribution    Amount

    Employer’s contributions    6,026,462,621.00

    Members’ contributions    2,816.104,028.00

    Actuarial deficit     13,812,499,357.00

    Total    22,655,066,006.00

Mr Speaker, 2,678 employees have been affected by the non-remission of the contributions. 

Mr Speaker, the delay in the payments has been mainly due to the fact that, initially, Mukuba Pension Scheme was claiming from the Government of the Republic of Zambia for payment of the outstanding pension contributions instead of claiming from RAMCOZ in-receivership.

Mr Speaker, the Office of the Attorney-General advised, in 2007, that RAMCOZ in-receivership was responsible for payments of the money to the employees and Mukuba Pension Scheme was advised accordingly by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, Mukuba Pension Scheme is in serious financial problems because of the K22 billion which is owed by the Government. How does the Government intend to help or run Mukuba Pension Scheme without any problem?

The Minister of Finance and National Planning (Dr Musokotwane): Mr Speaker, in her response, the hon. Deputy Minister clearly indicated that this money was not owed by the Government, but by RAMCOZ in-receivership and so the responsibility is not with the Government, but with the receivership.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, this matter of RAMCOZ and the deficit of the Mukuba Pension Scheme arose at a time the law clearly stipulated that every employer must make statutory contributions, including pension contributions. Will the hon. Minister confirm to this House that at the time RAMCOZ was not making these contributions, on behalf of its employees, the chief executives of this company were being feted and treated like very important persons at airports? Could the hon. Minister assure us that now that they have systems in place, all employers in the country will pay pension contributions so that employees are not inconvenienced like these people have been?

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member has stated, the law was very clear then and is also clear today, that employers must pay the pension contributions to pension funds. Basically, that is what the law says.

Sir, like in many other instances, there may be a variation between what the law says and what the actual situation is depending on various circumstances. Our understanding is that, at the time, the company that was running this mine did not have the financial capacity, among other things, to pay the contributions to the pension fund. This is how the arrears came about.

Mr Speaker, in the world of business, this is what happens day in and day out. Some institutions are able to pay while others, even today, may fail to pay, but we should not see this as something that is extraordinary. It is a sad situation, but this is the reality of life and this is what has led to the company, RAMCOZ, eventually being liquidated.

Sir, my answer is simply that we do not believe that the company had capacity and this is why it was liquidated and, consequently, left us with this unfortunate situation.

I thank you, Sir.


381. Mr Mwango (Kanchibiya) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    what progress had been made on the construction of houses for the Second and Third Republican Presidents

(b)    when the construction of the house for the Fourth Republican President would commence;

(c)    how much money would be spent on the construction of the two houses at (a) above;

(d)    which areas had been identified for the construction of the two houses at (a) above; and 

(e)    what the timeframe for completing the construction of the two houses at (a) above was.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Kalila): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that with regard to the Second Republican President’s house, preliminary architectural designs and drawings for the main house have been completed and submitted to the Former President for approval. The Ministry of Works and Supply is awaiting his response before proceeding with the detailed designs.

Sir, for the Third Republican President’s house, I would like to state that the preliminary architectural designs and drawings for the main house have been approved and the ministry is currently working on the drawings and bills of quantities. The tenders for the ancillary structures such as staff houses, electric fence, guard house, borehole drilling and electrical power supply have been floated and work will commence immediately authority is granted to award the contract.

Mr Speaker, the designs for the main house for the Fourth Republican President is being worked on and will be submitted for approval in due course. The construction of the house will commence as soon as the drawings are approved and funds for the project are made available. Arrangements to construct ancillary structures are being done at the same time as for the Third President.

Sir, it is estimated that each house, together with its ancillary structures, will cost K10 billion.

Mr Speaker, the Government is still looking for land where the Second Republican President’s house will be built because the preferred land identified near Baobab School has proved to be inadequate and insufficient.

On the other hand, the land for the construction of the house for the Third Republican President has been identified in the Silverest Area off Great East Road and the family of the Third President has accepted the land.

Sir, the estimated timeframe for completing the two houses cited in (a) above is one year, provided there is adequate funding to the projects.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Do you have a follow-up question, hon. Member for Kanchibiya?

Mr Mwango: I do not have a follow-up question, Sir.

Mr Speaker: He is satisfied.

Mrs Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, what plans has the ministry put in place to ensure that when these houses are constructed and occupied, the Government will continue looking after them properly because State House and the Government House look terrible on the outside? The Government House looks like Leopard’s Hill Cemetery. What are these people doing about it?

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mulongoti): Mr Speaker, we have every intention to ensure that residences for our Former Presidents as well as the Government House are maintained. However, I do not know whether that is how Leopard’s Hill Cemetery looks like.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes, that is how it looks!

Mr Mulongoti: Even the appearance of the structures outside does not depict the strucutres’ appearance on the inside. They are still operational. The red bricks were made a long time ago, but we polish them to make them look attractive and the inside is quite beautiful.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that the house for the Second Republican President could not be constructed because the area identified near Baobab School was not sufficient. I would like to find out how much land he is looking for.

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, we set a precedence when we constructed the residence for the First Republican President. His land was about twenty-five hectares, which is about forty acres precisely, and that is the size of land that the Second Republican President is looking for.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi: Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that it is cheaper to construct these houses, now, than it will be in future. Why can the Government not construct the house for the Fifth President?


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Chilubi.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the Zambian people, could the hon. Minister indicate how much money was spent on the construction of the house for the First Republican President?

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the initial budget was around K4 billion, but because of the delays in the release of funds, due to some difficulties, the pricing escalated to almost K9 billion. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, according to the Act, how much land should a house for a former President be built on? Secondly, may I know if there is any chance that this law can be brought back to this House so that we can redefine the amount of land and the quality of House that should be built because it looks like one day, a former President may want to occupy the whole country. 

Mr Mulongoti: Mr Speaker, the Act is silent on the size of land. It is expected that since, at State House, they occupy spacious premises, they should be given something reasonable. I think twenty-five hectares is reasonable. I am saying so because it does not just include the First President’s House, but also his workers’. Some of the workers might even want to keep animals. That is a pension house and I do not think that there is any extravagance in the sizes of the Houses. They are quite reasonable and befitting of the former Heads of State.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


382. Mr Chisala asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many training institutions for clinical officers there were in Zambia; and

(b)    of the institutions above, how many were privately run.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Musonda): Mr Speaker, there is only one training institution for clinical officers in Zambia and this is Chainama College of Health Sciences.

Sir, there is no private training institution for clinical officers in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, given the fact that it is only Chainama College of Health Sciences that trains clinical officers and there is a critical shortage of manpower in the health institutions, could the hon. Minister confirm whether this health institution trains medical licentiates?

Dr Musonda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is right to say that we have a critical shortage of health workers in Zambia. From inception, clinical officers were meant to reduce the gap created by the lack of doctors. These clinical officers are trained to screen minor cases and then refer them, if necessary. Over the past few years, Chainama College of Health Sciences has improved. It trains not only medical licentiates, who are medical assistants, but also cadres far beyond a clinical officer, such as clinical officer psychiatric and clinical officer optomology for the eyes. At the same institution, other advanced clinical officers’ courses such as clinical officer anesthesia are being offered. For those who have eye problems, a course in optometry is being offered. These clinical officers’ knowledge is being improved to meet the needed skills or health care that is needed in the health sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.  

Mrs Phiri: Mr Speaker, why is it that Chainama College of Health Sciences, such an important institution, is not being given priority in monetary terms to an extent that, last time, the students went beyond the period they were supposed to open because of lack of funding? Why is this institution not prioritised?

The Minister of Health (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, Chainama College of Health Sciences is prioritised. It is one of the few tertiary hospitals that we have. It enjoys the same attention as the University Teaching Hospital, Ndola and Kitwe Central hospitals. The hon. Member knows that, last year, we had a problem of funding, hence all training institutions suffered, including Chainama College of Health Sciences. Therefore, this institution is not being sidelined.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Mr Speaker, may I know if clinical officers who intend to go for further education for them to qualify to be doctors, are allowed.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to say that clinical officers are there to supplement the doctors because of the shortage of doctors. At the moment, there are medical licentiates who are clinical officers who have done further training. These people are trained for five years and doctors are trained for seven years. This further training enables them to do approximately everything a doctor can do. We have targeted medical licentiates, especially for the rural areas. Of course, if they face very complicated cases, they can refer them to a doctor.  

I thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill, 2010 seeks to provide for the disclosure of conduct adverse to the public interest in the public and private sector, provide for a framework within which public interest disclosure shall be independently and rigorously dealt with and provide for procedures in terms of which employees, in both the private and public sectors, may disclose information regarding unlawful or irregular conduct by their employers or other employees in the employ of their employers in accordance with international best practice. 

Sir, in summary, the Bill is one of the laws that will implement the National Anti-Corruption Policy of 2009 and domesticate the United Nations (UN) Convention Against Corruption. This Bill will also safeguard the rights, including employment rights of persons who make public interest disclosures, and provide a framework within which persons, who make public interest disclosures, will be protected.

Sir, in 2000, the Government launched a nationwide campaign against corruption in an effort to rid public and private institutions of the vice. The campaign against corruption has led to the prosecution of people in several cases and a number of convictions have been secured. Notwithstanding the successes, the Government is of the view that it is expedient to strengthen the legal framework in order to further enhance the fight against corruption. 

Currently, the legal framework does not match our aspirations for a corrupt-free society as it does not, for instance, provide for protection of whistleblowers. This, no doubt, is an obstacle to the fight against corruption because, without protection of the law, individuals will feel insecure and fail to speak out against any corrupt activities that they may come across in the course of their employment. Therefore, the proposed legislative measure in the Bill seeks to protect whistleblowers from victimisation for exposing corrupt and unethical practices. The provisions of the Bill are, however, balanced in that the proposed legislation also provides redress and protection against false reports by whistleblowers or malicious reports of corruption against innocent persons. Consequently, it is imperative that this legislation to protect whistleblowers is enacted.

Mr Speaker, the proposed legislation will not be implemented in isolation from other pieces of legislation that deal with investigations and the fight against corruption which facilitates the making of disclosures of impropriety. The Bill rather seeks to formalise the existing co-operation among the investigative wings of the Government in order to ensure that disclosures are addressed expeditiously and within a clear legal framework. This is not to say that the Bill precludes the investigative wings of the Government from dealing independently with the complaints that they are, by law, authorised to deal with. However, where there is any inconsistency between any other law and the provisions of this proposed law regarding the protected nature of any disclosure that is made, the provisions of the law will prevail to the extent of the inconsistency. 

Mr Speaker, this Bill is not controversial. It is timely and progressive. Therefore, I urge the hon. Members of this august House to support it unreservedly.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, as a learned Chairman of the Committee, …


Mr Mwiimbu: … I thank you most sincerely for according me this opportunity to brief this august House on matters pertaining to the Public Interest Disclosure (Protection of Whistleblowers) Bill, 2010, which was referred to your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights and Gender matters on 23rd February, 2010, for scrutiny.

Mr Speaker, the rationale of the proposed Bill is to develop and stipulate whistleblower legislation. The Bill also seeks to institute measures to protect whistleblowers from victimisation for exposing corrupt and unethical practices and to provide redress and protection against false reports by whistleblowers and complainants as part of the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Policy of 2009. This is also part of the process to domesticate the UN Convention against Corruption. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee, in their endeavour to consult widely on this important Bill, invited various stakeholders to make both written and oral submissions before them. Your Committee received useful responses from the stakeholders, all of whom registered support for the Bill. Their concerns are recorded in your Committee’s report, for the consideration of the hon. Members of this House, as they consider the Bill, and I trust that they will find the report useful as they debate the Bill. 

Mr Speaker, the witnesses who appeared before your Committee raised the following concerns in relation to the definitions in the Bill:

(i)    the term ‘corrupt’ should be defined in the Act to avoid cross referencing with other Acts. In this way, this particular Act will be complete in itself;

(ii)    the term ‘agent of the state’, which has been referred to in Section 7, has not been defined;

(iii)    under ‘Investigation Act’, there should be an inclusion of the Public Audit Act, Zambia Wildlife Authority Act and Public Procurement Act;

(iii)    the term ‘Minister’, which has been referred to in Sections 1 and 49, has not been defined. It is important to identify the specific Minister who will be responsible for this Act;

(iv)    under ‘Investigating Authority’, there should be an inclusion of ‘Zambia Police Force’, ‘the Zambia Public Procurement Authority’ and the ‘Zambia Revenue Authority’; and
    (v)        the definition of ‘Public Officer’ under (b), which includes a person who has ceased to offer services to an investigating authority, needs to be harmonised with other definitions of public officer in other Acts.
Mr Speaker, to this effect, your Committee propose that the definitions be provided, as proposed by the stakeholders, to avoid doubt on what the terms mean. 

Sir, your Committee would also like to state that the provision in Section 12 (4), which requires the head of an investigating authority to personally consider an anonymous disclosure, may be impractical to implement. Your Committee recommend that there be a provision for the head to delegate authority to another official of the investigating authority. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee also note that whereas there is specific mention of disclosure on the Auditor-General and the Inspector-General or Commissioner of Police, the Bill makes a significant omission of the other investigating authority heads, such as the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) head, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) head, the Investigator-General and the Chief Immigration Officer. Your Committee submit that there is a need to include all investigating authority heads as they are all vulnerable to acts that might require public interest disclosure against them.  

Mr Speaker, your Committee observe that while the Bill provides sufficient protection to the whistleblowers from detriment as defined in the Bill, no such protection is extended to the members of the whistleblowers’ immediate family such as spouse and children, who may equally suffer reprisals as a consequence. Your Committee, therefore, recommend that consideration be made in the Bill to provide protection for the immediate family members of the whistleblowers. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee wish to record and express their appreciation to the witnesses who made submissions before them.

Finally, I wish to commend your Committee and the Clerk’s Office for their dedication to duty during the consideration of the Public Interest Disclosure Protection of Whistle Blowers Bill, Number 12 of 2010.

 Mr Speaker: I thank you.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa (Chifunabuli): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak on the Bill which is before the House this evening, the Public Interest Disclosure Protection of Whistleblowers Act.

Mr Speaker, I stood on the Floor of this august House, three years ago, and criticised the manner in which corruption cases were being handled and questioned why there had been no progress in legal terms to enact laws that enhanced the fight against corruption. 

Sir, I am standing here, today, very happy to see a law that assists in doing that job enacted. The fight against corruption should not be an emotive one, but be based on laws and instruments which we all can interpret and say are not personal.

Sir, it is important to note that we are, for the first time, taking a critical look at issues that matter in making sure that we fight corruption legally. Anyone who has gone through the Bill will agree, just as His Honour the Vice-President put it, that it is balanced. It stipulates that anyone with information to give to the investigative wings, has the right to do so and the State will protect that person. That is extremely important in any fight against corruption because, usually, corrupt activities are perpetuated by senior officers. Therefore, there is a need for those who want to blow the whistle to be assured that when they open their mouths, they will be safe.

Sir, I have heard sentences such as “If you want to swim in a lake, you must accept to swim with crocodiles”. What that means is that you should join the corrupt and if you do not accept to swim with crocodiles, crocodiles will eat you unless you do not go into the lake. I do not want to be a crocodile or agree to swim with them, but I want what we call, in my language, ‘Ichiswango’ and still be safe. Ichiswango is something that is likely to hurt me.

Mr V. Mwale: Ichiswango ni chani?

Mr Mwansa: That is what I am trying to explain. It is a dangerous beast. 

I should be able to say this and still be sure that I am safe. That is what this law is doing. It is saying that you can say that there is a dangerous beast, but you will still be safe. That is extremely important because there is usually punishment that follows those who blow the whistle. If the system is closed, whistle blowers become the victims. Those who are upright become the victims of evil systems. When the system becomes corrupt, it makes righteous actions and living …

Mr Speaker: Order!

 Business was suspended from 1615 hours to 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that this law seeks to protect those gallant Zambians who ring alarm bells when wrong or illegal corrupt practices are about to take place. I was saying that this is extremely important, especially in the fight against corruption.

Sir, I have said that I am happy that now it is clear to all that the Government is determined to fight the scourge and open the Pandora’s Box by saying, “If you have anything to disclose, do so and we will protect you”. This is extremely important in any fight against corruption because, then, those who have something to say are assured that they will be protected by the State. To me, that underscores the determination to fight corruption.

If it had ended there, I would have been concerned because there is also the flipside of any coin. The flipside of the coin is those who maliciously, without any shade of evidence, attack the character of others and try to undermine them. This law has not left them scot-free. It is saying a person will face up to seven years imprisonment for lying about people maliciously, undermining people’s integrity and destroying characters of individuals built over the years.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: That is extremely important too. There must be a basis for complaints. If we are going to build a Zambia that is trustworthy, then it becomes necessary that we ensure that those who have strived to build good characters, over a long period of time, do not suffer the shame of malice because someone wants to undermine them. It is important that we protect those who are innocent in our society. For example, we should protect those who make good money and become rich. Those who have done things that are noble must also be protected. That is how the law helps a country develop positive motives. If we are only concerned about raising alarm bells even when we have no reason to do so, then we create an impression that makes the world begin to think that Zambia is a very corrupt country that undermines everything it does. We lose sight of the fact that we are a people who must develop and, if possible, become as rich as any human being on earth without any apology to anybody. That is also critical. Those who lie about others must pay the price. They cannot undermine people’s integrity and character and go scot-free. It would look like the country does not value the character and integrity of its own people. We need to ensure that people of good character and integrity are protected. We must punish those who destroy others because of motives outside of stamping out corruption.

Sir, we are talking about building a corrupt-free society. What do I see in this law? I see a major step in this direction of fighting corruption and ensuring that the country is free of corruption.  The most important point is, firstly, to ensure that those who give us evidence or information know that they are safe with it. Secondly, it is the prosecution itself. I am happy that procedures and terms have been created, in this law, for people to disclose information, to whom they should do so and how those who receive this information must work with it. That, to me, is extremely important.

Mr Speaker, you cannot have a situation where people begin a case against you and before you know it, you are in every newspaper. Before you speak to a police officer, you are already a subject of ridicule. We need to have a process in place. Until convicted, we must ensure that the principle of innocence till proven guilty is applied on every Zambian. Only the courts of law, in this country, have the right to pronounce a person guilty and that is important. It is an absolute, if we are to create a Zambia that is governed by laws. Innocence must be paramount until those who understand the law come to a conclusion that the person being prosecuted has broken the law. It should not be every Jim and Jack to tell another that he/she is a thief, a criminal or this and that. In law, this is defamation of character because only the courts of law have authority, in this land, to declare the guilt or innocence of an individual who goes before it. The law is seeking to protect those who whistle blow, but allow a legal process that ensures that justice is not only done, but is seen to be done so that when, finally, the court pronounces an individual guilty, we will say it has passed through a process of the law.

Mr Speaker, it is extremely important to emphasise this point because in spite of our forty-five years of independence, legally, we are still at the foundation stage regarding ensuring that we create systems and parameters that protect the innocent and put the guilty in prison. We cannot go about the way we are without undermining the very fabric of our society. We need to protect the people who are innocent, but we also need to punish those who are guilty. Therefore, for those with information, there is a challenge to them when this law is passed. However, the goodness about this law is that it is saying, “Look, even if the offence was committed before or after this law was passed, say it”. Do the whistle blowers have the guts to say it or are they just lying? An opportunity will soon be available to them, under this law, to disclose what they know. We want to clean this country up and we will do that through the law and not by selective punishment of those we do not like. The reason the law is good is that it is blind to personalities. If the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, which is currently bringing this law, does not like it or does not use it, the advantage is that the law will still be in our statutes and will still be enforced. It is not meant for any human being or for a particular generation, but is made to regulate our co-existence, as Zambians, to ensure that those who are punished are punished rightly. That is critical to the way we conduct ourselves.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that I am very happy that the MMD Government has begun to take legal measures to put in place …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: … a Government of laws and not of men.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwansa: A Government that handles corruption legally, as opposed to deciding, like dictators, who should be prosecuted and who should not be. If we begin to respect the laws we make in this House, this country will be transformed in a very short time. 

Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Members of your Committee for giving us this report and the Government for bringing a Bill like this one and urge them to quickly bring some more so as to fight corruption. We want to be a Government of laws and not of individuals or those who blow the whistle even when there is no need. I fully support this Bill.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC. (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, to start with, I would like to associate myself fully with the submissions made by the hon. Member for Chifunabuli. Today, is a day people, who are really committed to fighting corruption, should start rejoicing. We have, time and again, as a country, been fed on numerous allegations in the press where certain people take it upon themselves to point accusing fingers at others, labelling them corrupt.

Mr Speaker, today, the stage has been set. We will look at the papers going back two years and challenge those people to go to ACC to file complaints because they will be adequately protected by the law. I would like to challenge those politicians, whose responsibility, day in and day out, is to malign others that, today, the door is open and the way has been cleared from their party headquarters straight to ACC to lay complaints …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: … because the nation is tired of leaders who malign others without supplying evidence. Today is the day we have all been waiting for. Some of us started smiling when this Government launched the Anti-Corruption Policy and said this was the beginning, but when the Government followed it up with this Bill, we said, indeed, the Doubting Thomases, the prophets of doom, the prophets of maligning others, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: … the holier than thou, those who only see holy persons in themselves, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: … are being challenged that, starting on Monday, the door is open, they should go to ACC and lay their complaints, if, indeed, they are men, let alone women of honour.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: If you do not lay complaints, we will go out in the country and tell the people that we have laid bare the prophets of doom. Time has come to honour what we say.


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Mr Speaker, we have created courts, in this country, in order to judge wrongdoers. The prophets of doom are as good as justices who judge by mob justice to win popularity based on lies which is as good as mobilising crowds to stone somebody who has not committed an offence.

Mr Nsanda: Mwanawasa!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC.: Today, you are challenged and you know yourselves. If anyone of these people is here, he/she should be the first to go and report what they have been alleging. With these few words, and the happiness in me, I am challenging those of our fellow politicians to do the needful, or else they will be labelled traitors.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Bill because it is very profound. I have been in this House for sometime now and I have seen people who have corruptly taken money unveiled in this House. I was in this House when somebody’s immunity was stripped off. We are following the legacy of our late President who said this is a Government of laws and not of men.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, we would like, when the Auditor-General’s Report …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: … comes to this House, the people who are found guilty not to be let to go scot-free because of some men who protect them. We want the law to follow them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: This law is perfect …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda:  … and we want the legacy that was left by the late President to carry on and not for us to back peddle.  We should make sure that the law follows the people who break it.

Mr Speaker, as I stand here, I am almost crying because when I travel around this country, I see people suffering, without clean water, medicine in hospitals and with improper houses and dilapidated schools and colleges. When I visited the University of Zambia (UNZA), I nearly cried when I saw the way the hostels were, and yet day in, day out, we, the Zambians, are paying tax that gets into wrong hands.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nsanda: Therefore, I would like the whistleblowers to come forward and tell this Government whoever is misusing taxpayers’ money. We would like the taxpayers’ money to go to its intended purposes.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D. Mwila: Like CDF.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, if this money could go to its intended purposes, this country would be very good to live in. As you can see, the roads are dilapidated, and yet we are paying road tax and fuel levy day in, day out. The money is not going …

Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this chance to stand on a point of order. I have been listening very attentively to the debate. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Chimwemwe in order to completely disregard the Bill which is before the Floor of the House and talk about something I cannot even comprehend? Is he in order? I need your guidance, Sir.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training has said he is unable to follow the line of debate by the hon. Member for Chimwemwe. The Chair, however, is following what he is saying.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: He is alleging, if I may say so, that public infrastructure or public superstructure, including the one at UNZA, is dilapidated because money is going into wrong hands ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … and he is calling on the whistleblowers, who know where the money that was supposed to have gone towards working on public infrastructure has gone to, to blow their whistles in the right direction.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Chimwemwe, please, continue.


Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Nsanda: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. 

The reason I left where I was to join politics is that it displeased me that the people were not blowing enough whistles so that money could be put to good use. 

Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was talking about fuel levy and road tax. There is a lot of money that is collected, through the two taxes, because for every litre of petrol and diesel that a person buys, fifteen per cent is tax. The amount of fuel that is being sold, per day, is in millions of litres. We were not going to have such type of roads if all that money, from the taxes, was being put into road infrastructure. Therefore, I support this Bill. Whistleblowers must work very hard. I am following the legacy. I was there. That is what we talked about. We talked about the need for money to go to its intended purposes.

Mr D. Mwila: Yes.

Mr Nsanda: Mr Speaker, I support this Bill 100 per cent. I urge this Government to make sure that, when it starts following up the money which has been lost, it gives us the confidence that the money will be retrieved. When whistleblowers have given you all the evidence, do not back peddle. It is very discouraging when you hear people talking about these issues. It is the Government that starts saying this one has stolen this and that and then we follow what it is saying only to have it retract its statements the following day. This way, you leave the nation confused and people start taking opinions because they trust the Government. If the Government has said something, it is assumed that it went through here. Surprisingly, the next day or a few years later, maybe, after the State Council dies, things change.

Mr Speaker, I do not have many words to say.

 I thank you.

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

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this report. I was a member of the Committee.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I would like to support the report. This step is a milestone in the fight against corruption and everybody, so far, seems to be saying this piece of legislation is long overdue. In fact, it is timely, especially now that there are many issues concerning governance in the country. It is not just about corruption by those who are in public offices, but even those who are in the private sector. I see that the Bill has captured both the public and private sector. I noticed that, many times, we seem to concentrate on the corruption in the public sector, but some of the corruption that is taking place, today, even in the public sector, is caused by those who are in the private sector.

Mr Speaker, allow me to use a language that is not very legal in nature, unlike my colleagues, the other debaters who have spoken before me, because, I think, it is necessary for our people, especially those in Chongwe Constituency and, indeed, the whole country to understand the laws we are making. This is because, sometimes, we make laws that our people do not even know about nor appreciate. It takes a long time for people to come to know that there is a particular law.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, maybe, it is the manner in which we debate these issues that makes it difficult for people who listen to us to follow. Therefore, I thought I should just use very simple language. 

This law is good because, for the first time, this is a law that provides that, whether you are working for the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and you think that a director, who is higher than you, or an hon. Minister or Permanent Secretary, is doing something that will cost the Government more money, something that is illegal or that somebody is abusing his office, you can quietly go to the police and provide that information. When that person gives that information, you do not have to fear that your name will be disclosed. The police will not say, “By the way, this particular officer came to report to us saying that the hon. Minister is involved in a deal or that the Permanent Secretary has some interest in a contract or that he has given a contract to a relative”. This Bill will, actually, make it possible for you to give information to the State or police without the police disclosing who gave the information but, at the same time, one has to be responsible in the manner that one reports the case. A person must not maliciously create a story.

Mr Speaker, it is, obviously, also important to note that, sometimes, people may think that what they are reporting is correct when it is not. As usual, let me give an example of myself and not others. Somebody, who knows that, as a Parliamentarian, I am only paid K5 million a month, might see me driving a Mercedes Benz. This person would wonder how I could afford a vehicle worth K250 million from a K5 million per month salary. Therefore, such a person would, obviously, go and report me for having stolen money somewhere or having received it as a gift for abusing my office as either an hon. Member of Parliament or, indeed, an hon. Minister. 

It is important for people to understand that when they report a matter and the police do not take it up, it does not mean that this law is saying they will be in trouble for having given an erroneous statement. They will only be in trouble if they understand, but maliciously do what we say in Nyanja as kucitila dala or kukambila vaboza dala.  This means giving false information to the police just to have damaging headlines made about a person. We have seen many headlines, in this country, bordering on insinuations and innuendoes about several individuals. The public can even tell that the person being talked about in a given story is Masebo, without any names being mentioned. Further, the victim is not even given a forum to defend him or herself.

Mr Speaker, in my view, therefore, this Bill is good because there is no need for innuendoes when one can go and report any crime or corruption without fearing that the suspects are prominent members of the society or Government as this law will protect those who report. 

Mr Speaker, let me, however, say that, in this country, today, we have sufficient laws that allow people to report any crime. However, sometimes, the systems in place seem not to be working. There are no conclusions of cases and, sometimes, it takes so long that people begin to lose confidence in the system. Therefore, it is necessary to be mindful of the fact that if reports are made, but cases take too long despite the availability of evidence in the eyes of the public, it will seem as though we are just piling up books by enacting more laws and, therefore, seem not to know what we are doing. 

The investigative agencies must be seen to be following up on reports made by members of the public so that people are inspired to continue doing so. If, in the past, people have reported and nothing has been done, I will not also go and report a similar crime despite a piece of legislation such as the one on the Floor being in place. In some instances, audit reports have shown that somebody reported a crime, but nothing was done. If no action is taken after someone reports a crime, investigative agencies must tell the public why that is so. That way is better because people will know if action is being taken or not and have confidence in the laws that we are making. 

Hence, making laws is one thing, but their implementation is yet another thing. Those who are mandated to implement the law must play their role effectively. The Government wants to show that it is fighting corruption by coming up with good legislation, but that is all that it can do. The Executive cannot be the one enforcing the law. There are other wings of Government or the Civil Service that are supposed to implement them. 

I just thought I should add my voice to this debate in a very simple language. I hope that the people of Chongwe and Zambia, at large, have heard me.

I thank you.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Sir, let me join your Committee, Hon. Mwansa and those who have spoken before me in acknowledging the value of the Bill before us. Many before us and amongst us have, in the past, called for this law. We have called for whistleblowers’ protection laws. During debates, for instance, of the Auditor-General’s Report and ACC’s Head, we have always emphasised that the missing piece in the fight against corruption is the whistleblowers’ protection. 

Today, indeed, like the State Counsel, Hon. Chifumu Banda, said, those who champion the fight against corruption must be saying that they now have one of the missing pieces in the jigsaw puzzle. That, however, is not to say that we have reached the end of the road. This must be seen to be the start of a very long journey. 

Sir, in so saying, let me say that some of us on this side of the House do not look at laws in terms of the side of political divide we are on. We believe the law must be written for the citizens, irrespective of where we find ourselves in the political divide, be it in the Ruling Party or Opposition. As we do this, therefore, we avoid the issuance of statements such as ‘they and us’ because these are matters for us all. I agree that, in the recent past, there have been headlines made based on innuendoes and malice and, obviously, it is in the interest of every citizen that this is brought to a stop.

Sir, in that same token, we have seen, in the recent past, people being punished and their careers ruined simply because they have been whistleblowers. Not too long ago, all of us, in this House and the country at large, heard about how people were being transferred left, right and centre at the height of investigations. We heard about how people were being removed from their positions at the height of tribunals. Those are the people whom this law also intends to protect and, therefore, all of us, in this House, must support this Bill.

Sir, I am also delighted that the law has brought in a very important phenomenon which, I have to say, is not obtaining in many other whistleblower’s protection laws. This has to do with the definition of ‘disclosable conduct’  as at: 

“(f)     conduct of a person or public officer that would, if proven, constitute –

(iii)    serious and substantial public wastage or abuse of financial or other public resources or assets”.

What I like is that the law also provides that even the intention to abuse public resources should be reported. Even the practice that would lead to the loss of Government assets has to be reported. This is what has been missing in the fight against corruption in Zambia. When an institution is engaging in some ventures or projects which it does not complete, we sit back because we think that is not impropriety. However, that, in accordance with this law, shall now be a matter that is considered ‘disclosable conduct’. 

We shall see, therefore, an end to projects such as the Kabwata Roads Project, where K8 billion was released out of the total requirement of K34 billion. The people responsible knew that the rains were around the corner, but they folded their arms and did not release the balance of K26 billion, thereby leading to the waste of K8 billion of taxpayers’ money. This will come to end because when the people of Kabwata go to the Road Development Agency (RDA), they will not do what they did, two weeks ago, when they just went there and asked RDA to salvage the K8 billion by releasing the balance. Now, they will go and say that this is a case under the public disclosure law. We are hoping that those who are complacent, in these matters, shall be stopped.

Sir, in supporting this Bill, I have a number of specific issues that I hope the Government will take care to look at closely. First, it is the issue of definition. If the Government would like to look at the definition of the word ‘disclosure’ and relate that to the definition of the words ‘public interest disclosure’, it will see that the definitions of the two imply that the words can be used interchangeably, yet in the body of the law, those words are not being used interchangeably. It creates an impression that the information provided for under disclosure conduct is different from the information provided for under public interest disclosure. My proposal is that we must harmonise those two definitions so that it does not create room for ambiguity for lawyers.

Secondly, I would like to agree with your Committee’s report that the law is limiting the number of investigative wings of the Government that are provided for by the law. Under ‘disclosable conduct’ are matters to do with the environment and we have, in this country, the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ), for instance, which has the responsibility of protecting our environment, the degradation of the environment, and yet the ECZ is not provided for as one investigative wing. I would, therefore, like to propose that institutions such as the ECZ and Zambia Revenue Authority, which have investigative capacities, be provided for. 

Over and above that, I have a question to the Government on the provisions at Section 12 (2) and (4). At Section 12 (2), the law suggests that if you want to make anonymous disclosure, you ought to go to an investigative wing other than the one to which the disclosure is related. Why do we want to do that or make it difficult for me to go to ACC if it is ACC on which I want to make a disclosure?

The reason we are doing that is because later on, in the law, we are saying that the head of the investigative wing will have the power to determine whether to investigate the matter or not. That is the only reason we are saying one should report to another investigative wing.

My proposal is that on matters like this, rather than leaving it to the discretion of the head of the institution, why do you not provide for the establishment of disclosure committees in this law so that, in the investigative wing of that institution, a committee is the one that will assess the merits or demerits of the disclosure and not leave it to an individual. If you leave it to an individual, who is a friend of the individual leading another investigative wing of the Government, chances are that it will be swept under the carpet, like we have seen in the past. My humble proposal to the Government is that we do not leave this to the discretion of individuals, but make sure that everyone has an oversight role over the other. It will not cost us much to establish units in these different investigative wings of the Government. After all, the ACC policy provides for integrity committees to be established in all wings of the Government. Why do we not charge those integrity committees with the responsibility of assessing the fairness and truthfulness of such disclosures?

Mr Speaker, another matter that I would like the Government to consider is Section 13 (4) (c) where it says that after an employee who has been put on suspension has been cleared, that employee would be relocated to another position of equivalent level and duties. My view is that this might not always be possible because some positions do not have other alternative positions. Therefore, I would not like the law to make it seem as though it is possible at all times. I would, therefore, like to suggest to the hon. Minister responsible for this Bill to indicate that this is an exceptional circumstance where it is possible and not make it as though it is possible in all circumstances because it is not.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to suggest to the hon. Minister that at Section 18, there might be a typographical error. If not, there might be a section that is missing because that section says: 

“Subject to subsection 2, if any investigation and investigating authority …”. 

Yet, if you look at Section 18, it is devoid of Subsection 2. I would like to appeal to the Government to consider that and bring an amendment to ensure that this law is harmonised.

However, what is quite substantive, in that section, is reference to public wastage. If you look at (a), it says that “a person has engaged, is engaging, or intends to engage in disclosable conduct”.

At (c) it says “a person has engaged, is engaging, or intends to engage in unlawful reprisal”, and yet at (b) it only says ‘public wastage’, but earlier in the definitions, the probability of wastage is considered as a disclosable conduct. I would, therefore, like to recommend to the hon. Minister that (b) should read ‘public wastage’ or ‘Likely Public Wastage’. That way, we will be giving room to the citizens to report when they see that equipment has been brought, but is not being used and instead its tyres are being removed. They should be able to report that because that is bound to create wastage of public resources.

Mr Speaker, borrowing from what my colleague, Hon. Masebo, said and to expand on it, this law shall remain a piece of legislation unless people are made aware of its existence. I would, therefore, like to call upon the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to ensure that this law is amongst the pieces of legislation that ACC will use to create public awareness. I have said so because this law will not be implemented by ourselves, but is meant to be implemented by whistleblowers out there. Therefore, there is a need for us to invest in creating public awareness on this law.

Mr Speaker, on those notes, I wish to thank the Government for coming up with this law, but I also urge it to consider the views that have been raised by both your Committee and I to ensure that this law is supported fully.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Beene (Itezhi-tezhi): Mr Speaker, I would not like to waste much of your time because a lot has been said.

From the outset, I stand to support this piece of legislation and I think it has come at the right time. Let me state that this issue stands on governance. If the Government-in-power was going to be moving such pieces of legislation in the House, the Opposition was going to be irrelevant.

Mr Speaker, the problem we have is that, today, we move forward and, tomorrow, we go backwards and so on and so forth. Therefore, I would like to remind my fellow politicians to find time to read history or watch channels that beam history programmes so that we understand why these parliaments are here. This will, maybe, help us adhere to your prayer which we recite, everyday, when we come here so that we make Zambia a very pleasant country for all of us.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear! New point!

Mr Beene: Mr Speaker, we know that this world was at war and uncivilized, sometime back, but, this time, we have to make Zambia a better country and the world, more civilised.

Mr Speaker, let this Government continue dealing with this piece of legislation. We should also continue with issues of freedom and people’s rights so that we have one system that will be more helpful.

Mr Speaker, when the law is enforced, politicians should not, again, misuse it by targeting innocent people. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Beene: We are going to move towards elections next year and, so, it is very important that we use this law objectively because people who are on that side, tomorrow, will not be there. Once this is done, we will be doing a service to this great country.

Mr Speaker, Parliament has the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC). With all this overwhelming support for this Bill, I hope hon. Members, particularly on the right, will also join APNAC and pay subscription fees so that we can all move together. I think this will go a long way in carrying out meaningful projects instead of playing to the gallery. 

Hon. UPND Member: Tell them again.

Mr Beene: Lastly, Mr Speaker, I want to mention that when this law is in force, it will be very important for those who will be enforcing it to know that there will be many whistleblowers who will be reporting to the agencies. In fact, I must mention that most of the officers who work for this organisation live in compounds because they get minimal wages. I can say this is success becoming a victim of itself. It will not help anybody. I urge the Government to make sure that the people who enforce laws, such as the police officers and workers at ACC are well remunerated. Failure to do so will not get us anywhere or help anybody.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Speaker, I just want to thank the hon. Members who have debated for supporting the Bill. Where constructive suggestions have been made, amendments will be made. However, I also wish to thank everybody for acknowledging that we are serious in fighting corruption and that measures of this nature should be commended by all of us.

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 Thursday, 18th March, 2010.


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Kazonga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, this Bill aims to amend the Local Government Act in order to allow for the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission and also increase the tenure of office of mayors and their deputies and chairmen and their vices from the current one year to two-and-half years.

Mr Speaker, the first part of the amendment is looking at the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission. This will create an integrated human resource pool for all the councils in the country. Professionally trained staff will be available for all councils, including small ones.

Mr Speaker, the current scenario, where councils are responsible for employment, discipline, promotion, demotion and dismissal of all categories of staff has brought in challenges and an outcry from the members of the public that councils employ relatives, party cadres and friends, overlooking qualifications, as stipulated in Statutory Instrument No. 115 of 1996 and this has led to some of the problems in some councils today.

The current scenario, known to all hon. Members, is that the Provincial Local Government Appeals’ boards have failed to attend to cases in the councils while other service commissions have been going round the provinces to hear cases and promote staff. This is the more reason we need the Local Government Service Commission to be re-introduced. This will introduce programmes – like in other service commissions – of going round the provinces to deal with staff matters.

Mr Speaker, the Local Government Service Commission will make sure that professionals running away from rural areas are retained because of the remuneration and facilities at their disposal which, currently, cannot be offered by the local authorities countrywide.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, the Government is already improving facilities in rural areas through infrastructure development in the health, education and other sectors in order to make sure that we create an enabling environment and improve the conditions for workers, particularly those in rural areas to work and deliver services to the people of Zambia. It is necessary to re-establish an independent body to handle all matters of appointments, transfers, secondments, promotions, discipline or discharge of staff of councils, hence the proposed amendment.

The second part, Mr Speaker, seeks to extend the term of office for mayors and their deputies and also chairpersons and their vices from the current one year to two-and-half years. Why are we proposing this amendment? History has shown that elected civic leaders usually take some time to learn the operations of councils and that the current one-year tenure of office, for these leaders, is, mostly, spent learning without delivering meaningful development. 

Mr Speaker, finally, I wish to state that the re-introduction of the Local Government Service Commission is essential for the successful commencement of the implementation of more practical elements of the Decentralisation Policy such as capacity building in all our local authorities. I wish to request hon. Members to support this progressive and non-controversial Bill.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, in order to appreciate the ramifications of the Bill, your Committee interacted with experts from various stakeholder institutions. These included the Lusaka and Ndola City councils, Chongwe District Council; Local Government Association of Zambia, Institute of Local Government Administrators of Zambia, Zambia United Local Authorities Workers Union, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Sir, your Committee have always advocated for the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy and are always on the look out for any policies, laws or, indeed, tendencies that are anti-decentralisation. Your Committee endeavoured to satisfy themselves that the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission was not against the Decentralisation Policy. Therefore, they sought the views of each and every witness who appeared before them on this matter.

Your Committee wish to report that all the witnesses who appeared before them were in support of the Bill, in general, and the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission, in particular. The views of the witnesses were that the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission would serve as a necessary stimulant to the decentralisation process, as most local authorities do not have qualified and experienced manpower to handle the increased responsibilities entailed by decentralisation.

The stakeholders were also hopeful that the provision of salaries for all officers would attract qualified staff to weaker councils that are currently unable to do so. This is more so because the salaries of all local authorities, in the country, will be standardised. The stakeholders, further, hoped that qualified and experienced staff would be in a better position to help councils devise ways of raising local revenues to enhance service delivery.

Sir, your Committee, after carefully analysing the views of the stakeholders, resolved to support the Bill.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: They have been persuaded to support the Bill because of the unanimity of the experts and stakeholders on the need to re-establish the Local Government Service Commission. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Musokotwane: Your Committee agree with the stakeholders that the human resource capacity in the Local Government Service Commission is so poor, at the moment, that it cannot handle the responsibility brought about by the decentralisation process. Your Committee’s hope is that the re-establishment of the commission will, indeed, assist in the creation of the relevant capacities in all local authorities, as is being suggested. 

Mr Speaker, that said, allow me to comment on other observations that were made by your Committee. One of the most contentious issues that came up when a similar Bill was last before this House was the issue of staff salaries. Your Committee are very happy to note that the current Bill has stated that the Central Government will meet the salaries of the principal officers and officers who will be serving under the commission. This is a welcome move as the Central Government has, over the years, taken away most of the traditional sources of revenue from local authorities. The only fear of your Committee is that if this grant will not be disbursed timely, it will cause more frustration among council employees.

Sir, one other issue your Committee discussed was whether the re-establishment of the commission would promote widespread indiscipline among council employees as they might transfer their allegiance to the commission as the appointing authority. This is a serious possibility and your Committee are of the view that the Bill should state, categorically, that the local authorities will initiate all actions in respect of appointment, discipline, promotion, transfer or dismissal of officers and recommend to the Local Government Service Commission for action.

Mr Speaker, may I end by stating that the issue of staff recruitment and retention, in rural areas, will only be effectively addressed when rural areas, in all parts of the country, are availed basic social infrastructure such as schools, clinics and roads. The Public Service Commission, for example, has been around, for many years, but is still struggling to ensure equity in the placement of staff in the country.

In conclusion, your Committee wish to thank you for granting them the opportunity to scrutinise the Local Government (Amendment) Bill. They also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and all stakeholders, who appeared before them, for the support rendered during their deliberations.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for granting me the opportunity to say a few words on this important, progressive and non-controversial Bill.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Speaker, in supporting this amendment Bill, I would like to state that the re-establishment of the Local Government Service Commission will bring sanity in most councils.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Speaker, in most of these councils, some principal officers want to be above the law. These principal officers know very well that councillors, who are supposed to be their employers, are vulnerable. Normally, they put them on their payroll and give them incentives to support what they are doing, but they completely disregard the councillor’s role to provide a service to the community and choose to engage in various activities which are detrimental to the development of our areas.

Sir, you will be shocked to learn that some of these principal officers divide the councils. When there is a problem of discipline or fraud, you can never have the numbers in the councils because most of our councillors are paid and compromised. As a result, they choose to keep quiet. Most of the times, councillors fail to discipline these principal officers. 

Now, with this law in place, that is, if we support it to become law, the erring officers will be disciplined or transferred because some of these council officers have become village headmen and you cannot touch them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: Mr Speaker, you may be surprised that some of these principal officers have even gone further to frustrate the Government and the hon. Members of Parliament in as far as implementation of CDF projects is concerned …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Chitika-Molobeka: … ven when the CDF committees have approved the projects. As long as they are not interested, they will not pass the projects in a full council meeting. This has brought a lot of problems in our councils.

Mr Speaker, this is a non-controversial Bill. If we support it, we shall all be able to see something being done in councils because the principal officers will now be able to work. They will know that if they engage themselves in activities that will not be in the best interest of the communities, they will be answerable for their actions.

Sir, with these few words, I support the Bill.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imbwae (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I rise to support this Bill. We have been involved in decentralisation since the early seventies. We have seen situations where, at one point, as the Committee indicated in their report, all councils had eight professional officers at director level. We had qualified staff in all councils regardless of whether they were in rural or urban areas. The number, discipline and promotions were determined centrally. This was intended to make sure that the appropriately skilled staff went to each rural councils as well. Over the years, we have seen a movement that has not worked so well, especially after the time most councils began to fail to pay their own officers. The earlier success was because administrative issues were controlled centrally, but resources or avenues of getting money were removed from these councils and a number of things started to go wrong. Now that the hon. Minister is bringing back the Local Government Service Commission, I stand to support what the Chairperson said in her opening remarks. I can only mention just a few lessons that we have learnt and I hope that we will not go back and undo what we have done. 

Mr Speaker, individual councils in most rural areas do not have qualified staff. I cannot see the Government opening up this country to development with the current staff, capabilities and their inabilities to pay their staff. Therefore, the Local Government Service Commission will, hopefully, do something about this problem. What is not clear, in the Bill, is who is going to pay the principal officers. The emoluments for the commission are specified, but for principal officers, they are not. I hope the hon. Minister will clarify that to us so that we are rest assured the officers will not go for many months without getting their salaries.

Sir, those who spoke before me talked about the inability of most councils to manage even simple funds such as CDF due to politicising straight-forward developmental issues and failure to understand the intention of the fund. It is, therefore, important that we raise the level of capacity of the people who will manage the councils to make sure that, this time that the Decentralisation Policy has been approved and its Implementation Plan approved, we will make progress. We cannot be held back by people who are deliberately not doing things right for the Government and the people of Zambia.  

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I know the city councils, municipal councils and rural councils will have differences, but they should not reach an extent where people refuse to be transferred to the rural areas. There should be some incentives that will encourage people to stay in rural areas. This Government should develop those areas for them to attract investment. I will not be happy if the transfers will only take place when someone has messed up in one council. I will be happy if this Bill stipulates that discipline will be handled by the commission. We hope that the Government will do what it is expected to do for this country.

Mr Speaker, I support the Bill.

I thank you.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Report of the Committee on Local Government, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs on the Local Government (Amendment) Bill.

Sir, firstly, I would like to commend the Government, in particular, the hon. Minister of Justice and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, for having accepted to withdraw this Bill and for bringing it back. I also recommend them for having taken into account the issues that were raised on the Floor of this House. From the Committee’s Report, you can tell that the Committee was very happy with the report. The Chairperson of the Committee has mentioned that all the stakeholders, who appeared before the Committee, supported this Bill.

Sir, at the end of this report, the Committee has made some recommendations and one of them is as follows:

“In order to emphasise and clarify the role of the council in the disciplinary process, the Bill should categorically state that the local authorities will initiate all actions in respect of appointment, discipline, promotion, transfer or dismissal of officers and recommend to the Local Government Service Commission. This is an issue that should not be left to the regulations of the Act.”

The other one is:  

“Transfers instituted that the Local Government Commission should be conducted in a consultative manner in order to take care of the concerns of the local authorities that may have invested substantially in the development of their staff.”

Mr Speaker, I think that the Committee must have missed something by making such a recommendation and, therefore, I do not support these two recommendations. I am saying so because by making that recommendation, they are basically saying that the function that this Bill or Act tries to give to the commission is, again, going to be taken away. The Bill is very straight forward. It is talking about establishing a commission that will be responsible for employing the principal officer, who is the Town Clerk, in the case of a city, and chief officers, who are directors and their management team. The rest of the staff will be paid by the council.

Mr Speaker, on the other point, I am also happy that the Committee have cited the point that the stakeholders, including the Committee, itself, have seen that there is variance between this Bill and the Decentralisation Policy. In fact, it is consolidating the Decentralisation Policy. You will note that, from time-to-time, people have used the weakness of capacity of councils as a reason for not implementing the Decentralisation Policy. The lack of capacity has been due to officers. We all agreed, in this House, that we had a problem of officers. We are not able to attract qualified officers, especially to the rural areas because we do not have money to pay them. The commission has said that it will pay key officers. It will employ, even in small councils such as Milenge, that was established without the necessary infrastructure and is not able to attract any officers. This will mean that we can have a lawyer as Town Clerk in Milenge. We can even have a doctor as director of public health in a small council such as Lufwanyama …

Hon. MMD Member: Or Chongwe.

Mrs Masebo: No. Chongwe is very big and it attracts officers.

Hon. Member: Chienge.

Mrs Masebo: Yes. A small council such as Chienge. 

Mr Speaker, this means that all the seventy-two councils can have qualified people because the Government will pay for the key staff. Further, employing key staff will mean that the excuse of lack of capacity because the spanner boy is the accountant or treasurer will be a thing of the past. Now, there will be qualified people. With the adoption of the Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP), the policy can be implemented quickly because there will be people who are qualified. 

Mr Speaker, I am aware that there has been a lot of talk about officers. Under local government, officers were intimidated by councillors and hon. Members of Parliament, resulting in their unprofessional conduct all because they wanted to please the councillors or area hon. Members of Parliament who were more powerful and could employ anyone of them. Presently, the councils do not employ town clerks, council secretaries or directors. These are employed by another body which is invisible.

 Consequently, there will be an element of freedom for these people to do their work. This, obviously, does not mean that discipline cannot be initiated or a recommendation made. However, the commission shall be responsible, in the final analysis, so that even if one is against an officer on tribal lines or because he is not a relation or, maybe, he has not done something that you wanted him to do for you, at least, this officer will know that even if you institute a disciplinary case against him or her, the matter will end up with a body that seems free of interference and he or she will, therefore, receive justice. To this extent, it will be good for council officers because, for a change, they will be free of the influence of those whom they are directly working with on a daily basis such as the councillors or the board. 

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to talk about and which I am worried about, relates to the existing officers. The Bill states that, once the law comes into effect, the officers who are currently employed by the council shall be deemed to have been employed by the Local Government Service Commission. Obviously, the commission will set conditions for the officers it will recruit. 

Mr Speaker, there is a problem, here, because a number of officers, currently, in the Local Government Service were employed outside Statutory Instrument 115. According to law, they did not qualify. I, therefore, hope that the Local Government Service Commission shall have leeway to review some of the appointments and ensure that they were in line with the law, at the time, so that if somebody was employed because he was related to someone and he did not qualify for the job or was initially a spanner boy, …


Mrs Masebo: … but was elevated without the right qualification because the councillors were compromised, the commission can relegate that person to the position he or she qualifies for. This person should be demoted, paid off or fired altogether because, in the first place, he or she should not have been employed. I am not sure if, within the Bill, there is such a clause. However, it can be done administratively. This is important because, in most of the councils, especially in rural areas, many people are not qualified for the positions they are holding. There are some who are qualified, but they are very few. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to transfers, the commission must be allowed to move people around. If Chongwe has a lot of qualified people and Chienge has none, it is necessary for good local government administration and for the good of the people of Zambia to share this capacity. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: We should be sharing this capacity. The important point is communication. An officer must be told that he or she is being transferred to another council just like in the Civil Service. Teachers are transferred from one school to another. Somebody was asking why teachers stay for too long in one school. Why can officers in the local government not get transferred too? Why should someone stay in one place for seventy years? This is Public Service. Therefore, if an officer wants to specifically stay in Lusaka, Kitwe or Ndola and not go anywhere else, they should go into the private sector. We are talking about governance, the country and a public institution. It should, therefore, be necessary to effect transfers in the local government.  

There is no need to transfer somebody to Kitwe because he has stolen in Lusaka. You must transfer somebody because you want to use his or her skills to improve another council. Sometimes, we transfer people because they are having problems and we are trying to protect them. It is true that, sometimes, a person can have problems in a certain place. In certain districts, people are very difficult. There are people who do not just like somebody, for whatever reason, and they will make it difficult for him or her to do his or her job. In such a case, the commission can transfer such a person, in his own interest, to another area where he/she may be more welcome. 

The transfers, however, must be for reasons such as helping another council which is failing to attract officers and also help the officer. Good administration means that you talk to the officer and the council that is receiving that person. 

Mr Speaker, there is no way the council can recommend to the Local Government Service Commission to transfer an officer. Why should they when they are not the ones responsible for the administration of other local authorities? You cannot do that. I think that it is important that we support the way this has been captured and test it. 

Let us remember that this is not the first time we have had a commission. One of the challenges of the defunct commission was that disciplinary matters took too long to deal with. The establishment of the Local Government Service Commission, therefore, does not automatically mean that disciplinary cases will be sorted out. In fact, one of the grounds for the abolition of the commission of 1995, under Hon. Benny Mwinga, was that cases were outstanding for a long time. I note that, in this Bill, there will be, at least, one meeting in a quarter. This means that they have leeway to call special meetings because there are so many outstanding cases at the moment. 

Mr Speaker, I am also happy to note that a provision has been made for allowances of the officers. Currently, the function of administering staff matters is still under the Minister through the local authorities. The creation of the Local Government Service Commission means that this function has been taken away from the Minister of Local Government and Housing and given to the commission.

 In the past, the commission was appointed by the President. The regulations pertaining to the commission were made by the commissioners so that the ministry had no role to play in that issue. It was as if there were two Ministers of Local Government, the Commissioner of the Local Government Service Commission and the Minister of Local Government and Housing, which proved very difficult. I, however, see that they have tried to ensure that the ministry, through the hon. Minister, still has a role to play in the commission even if the members of the board or the commissioner are appointed by the President. 

Secondly, the ministry will appoint the secretariat of the Local Government Service Commission, meaning that the two are not completely divorced. I am also happy that the new Bill is now based on amending the Local Government Act and not using the Public Service Act, which is a whole new initiative. Local government is different from the Central Government ministries. I see that the Government has, actually, taken into account all the issues that we raised on the Floor of this House and I would like to thank them very much. I am very confident that this will go a long way in solving the problems of the local government. 

Sir, giving resources to people who are not qualified is water under the bridge. In this case, we are not only talking about money. As far as I am concerned, quite a bit of money goes to councils, but it should be noted that nothing is done. If you asked the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing what was done with the money released by the Ministry of Finance and National Planning to the local authorities, he would tell you that there is not much to be seen. The reason is simple. The other years, the ministry had to intervene and make decisions for certain things to be done with those resources.

Mr Speaker, during the former administration under the Second Republic, that is, the first MMD Government under President Chiluba, there was quite a lot that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and councils did and could point at. Thereafter, we could not do much to show how the resources were spent because all the money was sent directly to the councils without any instructions, like the hon. Minister did for 2009. Therefore, this money cannot be accounted for because there is very little that has been done for people to see and appreciate or even debate on and say, “That boat you bought was not the right one”. There will be no issues to debate in Parliament because that money may not have done much for them to talk about it.

Therefore, some of the steps the Government is taking now to revamp the local government is in line with the Decentralisation Policy and will help this country. I am, therefore, happy that hon. Members, from both sides of the House, seem to be supporting this Bill. I also hope that those who will debate after me will also support it.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kazonga: Mr Speaker, in the first place, I wish to thank the Committee for the report and acknowledge that based on the submissions of the experts, they were able to make a number of recommendations.
I wish to thank, most sincerely, the hon. Members of Parliament for Kawambwa, Lukulu West and Chongwe who have made contributions to this debate. I also wish to thank, most sincerely, those who have supported the Bill in silence.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


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

Committed to the committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Wednesday, 17th March, 2010.





Clauses, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 8 – (Establishment of National Disaster Management Council)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 8, on page 15, in line 13 by the deletion immediately after the words “provide for” of the words “the tenure of office of the members of the Council”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 8, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 9 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 10 – (Establishment of National Disaster Management Technical Committee)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 10, 

on page 16:

(a)    after line 10 by the insertion of the following new paragraph:

“(d)    a representative of the Zambia Red Cross Society:”

(b)    in lines 11 and 12 by the re-numbering of paragraphs (d) and (e) as paragraphs (e) and (f), respectively.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

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

Clauses 11 and 12 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 13 – (National Co-ordinator)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 13, on page 16, in lines 34 to 35 by the deletion of the words “Public Service Commission” and the substitution therefor of the word “President”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 13, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

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

CLAUSE 19 – (Provincial Disaster Management Co-ordinator)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 19, on page 20, in lines 34 to 35 by the insertion immediately after the word “Vice-President” of the words “from among the public officers”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 19, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.
Clause 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 21 – (Establishment of District Disaster Management Committees)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:  Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 21, on page 21, in lines 13 to 14, by the deletion of paragraph (c) and the substitution therefor of the following new paragraph:

    “(c) all the Members of Parliament in the district;”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 21, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 22 and 23 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 24 – (District Disaster Management Co-ordinator)

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 24, on page 22, in line 30, by the insertion immediately after the word “Vice-President” of the words “from among the public officers”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 24, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 and 42 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendment:

The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2010.

Third Reading on Tuesday, 16th March, 2010.

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

The Disaster Management Bill, 2009.

Report Stage on Tuesday, 16th March, 2010.




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1813 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 16th March, 2010.