Debates- Wednesday 4th March, 2009

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Wednesday, 4th March, 2009

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




Mr Speaker: The hon. Mr Speaker notices that there is an ordinary Member here who does not have a tie on the collar of the shirt he is wearing. Is there a special explanation for this?

Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga East): No, Sir.

Mr Speaker: There is no explanation. If you were in a safari suit, hon. Member, that would be acceptable. However, not in that fashion.

The Sergeant-at-Arms ordered Mr Katuka to leave the Chamber.

Mr Katuka left the Chamber.




169. Mr Chanda (Kankoyo) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

 (a) how many road blocks were mounted throughout the country; and

 (b) how many of the roadblocks operated twenty-four hours a day.

The Deputy Minister of Home affairs (Mr Bonshe): Mr Speaker, there are thirty-two road blocks mounted throughout the country as follows:

Province No. of Roadblocks Location

Lusaka   04   Kafue, Kabangwe, Makeni (Mumbwa Road) 

Copperbelt 12 Kafulafuta, Indeni, Kafue Bridge, Sabina 
   Turnoff, Chingola-Solwezi T-junction, 
   Chichele, Tshinsenda, Luanshya, Mpongwe
   Road, Hillcrest, Mufulira Mokambo Road 
   and Mokambo

Central 04 Chisamba, Luanshimba, Prospect and Kapiri
   Weigh Bridge

Southern 01 Livingstone Weigh Bridge

Northern 02 Mpika Weigh Bridge and Nakonde

Western 01 Kafue Hook Bridge

Eastern 02 Chanida and Mwami borders

Luapula 04 Tuta Bridge, Chembe, Musonda Falls and

North Western 02 Kasempa Turnoff and St Dorothy

Mr Speaker, all the roadblocks above operate twenty-four hours a day except the two in North-Western Province. The House may wish to know that a roadblock has an element of permanence and is manned by police officers drawn from various sections such as the Criminal Investigations Department (CID); police intelligence; general police duties; immigration department; Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and other security agencies. The purpose of these roadblocks usually ranges from searching for stolen items and criminals to regulating the passage or conveyance of goods. In some cases, roadblocks are mounted for a combination of all these purposes.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that check points are temporary in nature. They are usually mounted by traffic officers who move from one spot to another regulating traffic or detecting road traffic offences. Usually, a checkpoint will last for an average of fifteen minutes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda: Mr Speaker, there were a number of roadblocks on the Mufulira/Ndola Road, but since most of them have been abandoned, how safe are the motorists using this road, especially at night.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, there are various reasons we mount roadblocks, one of which is to ensure security of the area and the travelling public and also to give security cover to economic installations. If there is need for us to mount roadblocks along the Mufulira/Ndola Road, we will certainly consider doing that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, I welcome you back.

Sir, it is common knowledge that there is a lot of corruption at roadblocks. For instance, on the Copperbelt, there are some trucks that carry logs to the sawmills. These trucks are in a bad state, but they are never impounded. What is the  Government doing to fight this kind of corruption?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there is no hard evidence to suggest that there is corruption at roadblocks. It is more of a perception than real.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, my deputy was very clear in the answer that he gave. He said that, among other things, these roadblocks are mounted by officers from different wings of Government, including the police, immigration, ZRA and other security wings. The reason is to enhance transparency in the way revenue collected is treated, banked and secured and to ensure that none of these officers do anything to compromise security and the integrity of law enforcement.

Mr Speaker, there is no hard evidence to suggest that there is corruption. However, if anyone has come across it, we want evidence so that we can take action.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chimbaka (Bahati): Thank you, Mr Speaker, and welcome back to the House. As much as roadblocks are cardinal in crime detection, police beats on the streets and in the city centres are quite important. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why police beats have been abandoned.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, police beats have not been abandoned. It is just that we have low manpower levels. Law enforcement really needs police visibility in the compounds and on the streets to promote security and reduce the fear of crime. Therefore, as soon as our manpower levels are sufficient, we will introduce more police beats.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, what is the purpose of mounting a roadblock which lasts for only five minutes?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there is no roadblock that lasts for five minutes. A roadblock lasts for twenty-four hours and is never abandoned. A checkpoint is the one that lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes, but not less than five minutes. There are reasons road checks are mounted. There are snap points, just to ensure that there is compliance to traffic regulations and laws and also to check the movement of traffic, stolen items and individuals. There are times when the police will get a report that a vehicle has been stolen and has moved in a certain direction. The police will move in quickly to set up a road check point and after catching the person, they will dismantle it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister stated that there has just been a perception of corruption at roadblocks, but no evidence has been produced. However, now and again, the police asks the public to get involved in reporting incidents of corruption and increasing people’s awareness of what is taking place. Numerous reports have already been made to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, specifically about corruption regarding road traffic matters. What is the Government doing to carry out independent investigations to confirm these perceptions that the hon. Minister is talking about instead of proving corruption that is rampant?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I still want to say that corruption in the police is not rampant. It is isolated. Most police officers are very honest men and women who are doing a commendable job. Very …

Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: … honestly.


Dr Mwansa: Just like any other institution, the police has good and bad people.


Dr Mwansa: I do not want to say even here.


Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, all the reports that we receive about police misconduct are investigated thoroughly by the Police Command and action is taken. There may be some delays, but eventually thorough investigations are done and action is taken. On top of that, there is the Police Public Complaints Authority which is a body established to hear cases of abuse of power and even corruption by police officers. Therefore, please, do not hesitate to make use of these institutions that we have established for ourselves, including the Police Public Complaints Authority.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Chifubu): Mr Speaker, there are hasty roadblocks and deliberate roadblocks. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister the purpose of mounting a hasty roadblock at the town centre.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the reason for mounting road check points at town centres is to regulate the movement of traffic. Most of these are done at peak hours, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon. As I said earlier, if there is evidence that certain goods have been stolen or that thieves are moving in a particular direction, the police will move in and mount a snap check point so that they can arrest the offenders and recover the stolen property.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, a few weeks ago, we heard that trucks carrying maize were impounded at Kasumbalesa Border, and yet, we have about four roadblocks …

Mr Speaker: Order! You are debating. What is the question?

Mr Mwenya: My question is: why are trucks carrying maize or mealie- meal only impounded at the border, and yet, there are several roadblocks between Kitwe and Kasumbalesa?

Hon. Opposition Member:  Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, there is no suggestion of corruption. What is important is that these goods are prevented from going out of the country by being intercepted before they cross the border. That is the most important thing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nsanda (Chimwemwe): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when this Government is going to reduce traffic fines because they are so high that it has led to corruption.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we have no intention of reducing on the traffic fines. If anything, we may increase them so that they can become a deterrent.


Dr Mwansa: They are reasonable and people do not have any difficulty paying them. In fact, they pay very easily and quickly. Therefore, we may consider increasing them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what measures the Government has put in place to ensure that there is transparency in the activities that take place at roadblocks.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that there are not just police officers at road blocks. We have ZRA and sometimes ACC officers there so that there is transparency in the way they handle the public and the movement of goods and services. In addition, all roadblocks and checks are mounted by not less than three officers, one of whom is a prescribed officer which means, he/she must have the rank of sub-inspector and above.

I thank you, Sir.
Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Speaker, when is the ministry going to start the Police and You programme, where things like what the hon. Minister is explaining now can be explained to us. Obviously, these roadblocks are very frustrating because sometimes, we do not know why we are being stopped as we are just waved at by the officers. We need somebody to explain to us what a check point is and what a road block is. Therefore, when are you starting that programme?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, that is an extremely good question and I must commend the hon. Member for asking it. Certainly, we will look into that very useful proposal so that we can increase the frequency of interaction between the police and members of the public.

I thank you, Sir.


170. Mr D. Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) when the Government would complete the electrification of Kanshimba Basic School in Chipili Parliamentary Constituency;

(b) what the estimated cost of completing the electrification exercise at (a) above was; and

(c) what caused the delay in completing the exercise above.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, the electrification of Kanshimba Basic School is an on-going project which is part of the Chipili Mission Project. The works for the project commenced in 2000 and is expected to be completed by June, 2009. Once completed, it is expected that a total of K60 million would have been spent on the project.

The project was delayed due to the non-availability of construction materials. In this particular case, it was poles that were not available. As the hon. Member of Parliament may be aware, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation  (ZESCO), which is the agent carrying out the project, has been having problems securing poles within the country as the local pole industry has been failing to meet its demand. In turn, ZESCO has resorted to importing poles from neighbouring countries in order to fast track the implementation of electrification projects like the one at Kanshimba.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform this House the total cost of the project from the time it was started to the time it will be completed as it has now taken almost seven years.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the cost of the project was valued at K60 million. Of course, taking into account the escalation of costs, this amount will be reviewed, but the project was valued at K60 million at inception.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chanda (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if ZESCO requires special poles because, at the moment, there is a lot of timber throughout the country.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, ZESCO requires poles of different length to carry out electrification programmes. Though this country is very rich in different types of timber, as the hon. Member has stated, some of this timber is not long enough to make poles for electrification.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what plans ZESCO has to ensure that it has the correct size of poles every time.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I am thankful for that follow up question. This is a challenge which the hon. Member for Kantanshi should take up. He should work with his constituents to put up timber plantations for poles which ZESCO can buy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Konga: It is not ZESCO’s responsibility to plant poles. It relies on companies like the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) to supply the poles. Therefore, if the poles are not supplied by other companies, ZESCO will resort to importing them from other sources. This is a challenge to all hon. Members of this House …

Dr Musokotwane: And the public.

Mr Konga: … and the public at large to put up plantations …


Mr Konga: … and create business opportunities by selling the poles to ZESCO.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when his office is going to consider giving information to hon. Members of Parliament on all the areas where ZESCO is undertaking projects. This will enable each one of us to follow up the progress with ZESCO to ensure that these areas in our constituencies are electrified.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I tried to get the question, but actually failed to follow it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: The question was that when would you, hon. Minister, provide a list or schedule to all hon. Members indicating to them what is obtaining in their constituencies in this matter so that they may follow it up with ZESCO.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, a master plan was provided two years ago, but the hon. Member is free to come to my office so that that information can be made available to him.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, ZESCO poles are mainly made from eucalyptus trees and there are plantations for this type of tree all over the Copperbelt. How possible is it that eucalyptus trees can be short in Zambia and long in South Africa?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development will take advantage of that question to inform the House on the correct species of the trees.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Roan for that follow up question. The poles are made from pine and not eucalyptus trees. The plantations on the Copperbelt have been around for some time and have been planted at different stages and therefore, have different lengths of trees for poles. The demand for poles by ZESCO is not only in Kanshimba, but throughout the country and is so huge that ZAFFICO cannot match it with supply. Hon. Members of this august House can take this up as a business venture in their various constituencies. ZESCO can actually be a market for their constituents to supply poles to.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


171. Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC (Chasefu) asked the Minister f Education:

(a) when a high school would be constructed at Emusa in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) when the dilapidated structures at Lundazi Secondary School in Lundazi Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, the district education board secretary’s (DEBs) office and the school board of Emusa Day recently acquired land from the local chief for the construction of Emusa High School. The Ministry of Education will include this activity for community mode construction of infrastructure in the 2010 Budget.

As regards the second part of the question, the Ministry of Education, through the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) has started the rehabilitation of structures at Lundazi Secondary School. So far, both classrooms and dormitories have been painted and glazed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC: Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister tell the House why the community mode type of construction is being encouraged this time around especially that we know that structures constructed by the communities are below standard.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, it is a policy of the ministry that there must be community participation. Besides that, from time to time, our officers on the ground work with the community to ensure that good works are done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Education when they intend to come up with a detailed programme to rehabilitate all the schools in the country so that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we know when the schools in our areas are going to be attended to as we strive to achieve the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP)?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Nkana is widening the question. Look at what Question 171 says. It is related to a particular school in a particular constituency. The hon. Member may wish to ask that question in its original form.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, why does his ministry and the Government build schools in the urban areas using the Government or donor funds without asking people to contribute while in the rural areas, where people are poorer, communities are asked to participate in building these schools by contributing in form of labour, materials or other means?

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, that is not true. The truth is that there is community participation in both urban and rural areas. I must inform this House that last year, we produced a plan and in which we all saw that the construction of schools in both urban and rural areas is done either by the community or by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

172. Mr D. Mwila asked the Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives:

(a) when the Government would recapitalise Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ);

(b) what the total indebtedness of NCZ was;

(c) who the shareholders of NCZ were;

(d) whether any dividends were paid to the Government from 2006 to 2008 and; if so, how much, year by year;

(e) what the total salary arrears for all the workers at NCZ were; and

(f) when the salary arrears at (e) above would be cleared.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Dr Chituwo): Mr Speaker, the Government has made a budgetary provision of K30 billion in the 2009 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure, under the Poverty Reduction Programme (PRP) for recapitalisation, investments and Government institutions. The budgetary allocation is intended for the financial restructuring of NCZ. The Government will, therefore, begin the process of recapitalisation as soon as the consultative process is complete;

As at 15th January, 2009, NCZ owed a total of K123,433,790,109. This figure is made up of the following:

(a) trade creditors;

(b) statutory liabilities;

(c) serving employees’ liabilities;
(d) deferred liabilities for serving employees

(e) separated employees’ liabilities; and

(f) bank overdraft at Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO).

The shareholders of NCZ are:

(a) Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO) Limited (in liquidation);

(b) Zambia National Provident Fund (ZNPF) now National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA);

(c) Zambia National Insurance Corporation Limited;

(d) Workers Compensation Control Board;

(e) Finance and Development Corporation (FINDECO);

(f) Kobe Steel Limited;

(g) National Savings and Credit Bank (Z) Limited (NSCB); and

(h) Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ);

Mr Speaker, there was no dividend paid to the Government from 2006 to 2008. Further, there are no salary arrears owed to the workers and only the February salaries are in the process of being prepared since documentation was only received this morning.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that K30 billion has been budgeted for the recapitalisation of NCZ and that NCZ has got K123 billion in debts. When does the Government intend to clear this debt because the funds for this have not been included in the 2009 Budget?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the Government’s plan is to make it possible for NCZ to start operating and liquidate its liabilities. It is a company that once resuscitated can undertake to liquidate these liabilities. Therefore, it is not for the Government to take taxpayers’ money in order to do this.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, NCZ has an outdated plant. In view of the critical need for Zambia to meet its food security requirements and, therefore, the need for fertiliser, when is the Government going to do away with that plant and establish a modern fertiliser making factory that is going to meet the requirements of Zambia?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena for that question.

Mr Speaker, as a Government, our policy is to create an environment which encourages private sector participation. In so-doing, the Government will get revenue from the operations of such private sector activities and jobs will be created. This is the way we intend to go. Therefore, the question of the Government setting up another plant, unless my colleague the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry considers otherwise, does not arise. Therefore, as a Government, we feel we have a role to play and the private sector has a role to play as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, under normal circumstances, the shareholders of a company are charged with the responsibility of making sure the company is vibrant. In the case of NCZ, we see the Government getting directly involved in bailing out this company. I would like to ask the hon. Minister whether in restructuring NCZ we are considering restructuring the shareholders as well since the shareholding of this company comprises only financial institutions. Are we also going to restructure the shareholders so that they start taking full responsibility of running and revitalising this company?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, when one looks at the list of shareholders, they are all quasi-Government institutions. That is why the Government has taken a keen interest in the operations of NCZ.

Thank you, Sir.

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya): Mr Speaker, I understand that NCZ is a very strategic industry and the Government has an interest in it and that is why they would like to maintain it. Has the Government considered completely privatising this company because it will fail to run it due to its outstanding debts?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, it is true that this is a very strategic industry and the difficulties in NCZ date back many years. The answer to this can only come about when Cabinet has considered the various options available. In fact, this is such a strategic industry that even the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is interested in finding out how NCZ can provide the required fertiliser for the region.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr C. Mulenga (Chinsali): Mr Speaker, for many years, we have been importing fertiliser. I would like to learn from the hon. Minister whether the cost of production of fertiliser at NCZ is higher than the import cost and if so, whether this is the reason the Government is hesitating to recapitalise NCZ.

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, let me remind hon. Members that last season, we saw the price of fertiliser soar to as much as US$1,300 per metric tonne from the previous US$500 per metric tonne. Therefore, this season, there was a serious variation between the Fertiliser Support Programme subsidised fertiliser and the K250,000 per 50 Kg bag of ‘D’ Compound on the commercial market. The price of production at NCZ varies from year to year.

In terms of procurement of raw materials from the commercial market, we find that the cost is competitive with that of imported fertiliser. If we delay, we find that because of the sheer volumes required, the volumes here being smaller, the product is slightly more expensive than the imported one. However, I think the benefits must be looked at not only in terms of numbers, but also what we gain as a nation in terms of employment generation. Of course, others might argue that it is expensive, but one can consider the socio-economic environment in which NCZ is.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Msichili (Kabushi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister in his answer said that the Government has no intention of using taxpayers’ money to bail out NCZ. Is it the Government’s policy to bail out foreign companies as was the case with Roan Antelope Mining Company of Zambia (RAMCOZ)?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am not quite sure whether the two situations are the same. In the case of RAMCOZ, the Government wanted to look after the employees. In this case, as we are all aware, it is better to teach somebody how to fish than to give him a fish because when you give him fish, he will only have one meal. This is why we believe that it is much more prudent to empower NCZ so that it can produce and liquidate its own liabilities.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated in his answer that NCZ is a strategic company, hence, SADC’s interest in the industry. If it is strategic, why is the Government dragging its feet to recapitalise it and invite the private sector to participate in its running so that its competence, efficiency and profitability can be enhanced?

Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Ndola Central is a very successful businessman and he is invited to participate.


Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, the Government must maintain the interest it has in this strategic industry. If there are colleagues in the private sector who are interested, they can come and partner with us. The NCZ will be open to such discussions. Therefore, there is no conflict of interest. All we are saying is that we shall maintain the interest, but we invite the private sector to participate so that, together, we can produce the desired results in the shortest possible time.

Thank you, Sir.

Colonel Chanda (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, in our quest to revamp the agricultural sector, I am sure the hon. Minister will agree with me that NCZ …

Mr Speaker: Order! What is the question? You are debating.

Colonel Chanda: Mr Speaker, what efforts is the hon. Minister making to improve the Mount Makulu Research Station and revamp its operations, especially in the field of seed control and certification?
Mr Speaker: That is an indication that this question has been exhausted.

Next question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC asked the Minister of Education when the Government would electrify the following educational institutions considering that the ZESCO power lines were close to them:

(a) Msuzi Basic School;

(b) Kapiri Middle Basic School;

(c) Chijemu Basic School;

(d) Kamunyunga Basic School;

(e) Kapichila Basic School;

(f) Chilola Basic School;

(g) Mwase High School;

(h) Lusuntha High School; and

(i) Chiginya Basic School.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, the ministry’s focus is to provide electricity in rural schools. Applications to the Zambia Electricity Supply Company (ZESCO) for the electrification of the above mentioned schools have already been made and the estimated cost is K584,974,103. Since the cost is very high, the ministry has decided to include the schools under the Rural Electrification Programme being undertaken by the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister indicate whether the electrification of those schools will be done in 2009.

Mr Sinyinda: Mr Speaker, like I indicated, we have put this in our plan, but I cannot say whether it will be done this year.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Kasongo (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Mr Nigel Kalonde Mutuna as Puisne Judge for the 3rd Session of the Tenth National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 3rd March, 2009.
Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Muteteka (Chisamba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, the appointment of Mr Nigel Kalonde Mutuna is made pursuant to the provisions of Article 95 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia which states:

“ the Puisne Judges shall subject to ratification by the National Assembly, be appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.” 

The Constitution further provides in Article 97 (1) that:
“ subject to Clause (2), a person shall not be qualified for appointment as a Judge of the Supreme Court, a Puisne Judge or Chairman or Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Relations Court unless:

  (a) he holds or has held high judicial office; or

(b)  holds one of the specified qualifications and has held one or other of the following qualifications:

(i) in the case of a Supreme Court Judge, for a total period of not less than fifteen years; or

(ii) in the case of a Puisne Judge, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Relations Court for a total period of not less than ten years.”

Mr Speaker, your Committee kept sight of the fact that the position of High Court Judge plays a critical role in the operations of the Judiciary. In this light, a person holding the position should not only be competent, but also be a person of integrity and committed to the nation.

Further, your Committee were of the view that the High Court is a key institution which is expected to enhance good governance, observance of the rule of law and enjoyment of human rights by all Zambians. Therefore, there is need for the person serving on the High Court Bench to be capable and upright. In view of the foregoing, your Committee, in scrutinising the appointment, took into account the need for a candidate to have the highest levels of competence, eminence, soundness of character, integrity, efficiency, diligence and total commitment to the people of Zambia.

Your Committee assessed the suitability of the nominee with utmost care by scrutinising his curriculum vitae as well as information submitted to them by the State investigative agencies and relevant professional bodies in detail.

In terms of constitutional provisions, your Committee analysed the requirement for appointment as Puisne Judge as contained in Articles 95 and 97 of the Constitution.

Submission by the State Security Agencies

Mr Speaker, all the State security agencies, which included the Zambia Police (ZP), the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) informed your Committee that a search of their records revealed that there were no adverse reports against the nominee in relation to criminal activities, drug trafficking, money laundering, drug abuse or corrupt practices.

Submission by Professional Bodies and Stakeholder Institutions

Sir, your Committee interacted with some professional bodies and stakeholder institutions during their deliberations. These included the Judicial Service Commission, Human Rights Commission, Judicial Complaints Authority and the Law Association of Zambia.
This interaction gave your Committee an opportunity to understand and appreciate the professional and career progression of the nominee as well as scrutinise his public standing in terms of integrity.

Your Committee were informed that a search at the University of Zambia, in a bid to verify the academic qualifications of Mr Nigel Kalonde Mutuna, confirmed that he obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 1984 and was admitted to the Bar as an Advocate of the High Court of Zambia in 1985.

Sir, your Committee were informed that consultations with various peers and colleagues of the nominee revealed that he is of high professional standing and has the necessary competencies to undertake the required function should he be ratified to take up this important public office.

Submission by the Appointing Authority

Your Committee, Sir, also had an opportunity to interact with the Hon. Minister for Presidential Affairs, who represented the appointing authority. Apart from stating that the nominee was qualified in terms of constitutional requirements to be appointed as Puisne Judge, the hon. Minister informed your Committee that his office had not received any negative reports on him. The reports received only confirmed that he was of very good social standing. In highlighting the nominee’s major contribution to the legal profession, the hon. Minister informed the Committee that the nominee had played a major role in alternative dispute resolution. He had participated in creating the High Court Mediation Rules and contributed greatly to the amendment of the Arbitration Act.

 Mr Speaker, your Committee after due and thorough evaluation of the evidence presented to them by the witnesses and the appointing authority and their subsequent interview with the nominee, found that he is suitably qualified to be ratified for appointment as Puisne Judge. Your Committee observed that the nominee’s profession and occupation have exposed him to a wide variety of litigation matters and other valuable experience which will enable him contribute positively to the position he has been appointed to.

The nominee also has personal attributes which have engendered confidence in your Committee that he will be able to perform his duties in this important public position with diligence and commitment.

Sir, in view of the foregoing, your Committee strongly recommend that the House do ratify the appointment of Mr Nigel Kalonde Mutuna to serve as a Puisne Judge.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services and advice rendered during the deliberations. Your Committee also wish to thank the State security and investigative agencies, professional bodies and other stakeholder institutions for the oral and written submissions which assisted your Committee in their work.

Your Committee wish to place on record their gratitude to you for allowing them to serve on this very important Select Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Muteteka: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to second the Motion on the Floor of the House. Let me start by commending the Chairperson for the good manner in which he has moved the Motion.

Mr Magande: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: Sir, let me point out a few pertinent issues in relation to the process of scrutinising the appointment of Mr Mutuna to serve as a Puisne Judge.

Mr Speaker, during the deliberations, it became apparent that issues pertaining to the nominee’s personal integrity and behaviour are best dealt with by the Office of the President Special Division. Accordingly, all the security wings that appeared before your Committee referred such investigations to this wing of the Government.

In view of this revelation, your Committee think that their duty to fully scrutinise the appointment of Mr Mutuna could have been easier had they been availed a full picture of the person your Committee were scrutinising. If there are any questions of national security surrounding any particular nominee, this is a fact which should be made known to your Committee.

Sir, your Committee believe that this is a very important part of the security wing and information from this office will assist a lot in the scrutiny of nominees. Your Committee recommend that the decision to prevent the Office of the President Special Division from appearing before a Select Committee as witness should be reversed.

Mr Speaker, your Committee were informed by the Judicial Service Commission that there were a total of five pending retirements on the Bench. Further, the Judicial Service Commission stated that there are, at least, two other names of persons who have been positively vetted by them. Your Committee see no strong reason for not circulating these names to the various bodies that usually appear as witnesses in these matters in good time.

Sir, your Committee also note that the conditions of service for Judges have been greatly enhanced and it has, therefore, become a little easier to recruit people from the private sector. The reluctance of lawyers to join the Government has now reduced due to the improved conditions of service in the Judiciary.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Muteteka: These should continue to improve.

Mr Speaker, however, there are areas that still need attention such as the provision of research and support staff to each Judge. In other jurisdictions, Judges have researchers who help them find legal precedents and authorities. This helps speed up the delivery of judgments and helps make the quality of the judgments much higher than they are. This is one of the reasons we have delayed judgements in some cases.

Sir, whilst the conditions of service for Judges have been improved, the conditions for magistrates have lagged behind and need to be looked into.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tembo: Balakaka  sana.

Mr Muteteka: In view of the fact that the conditions of service for magistrates are not competitive, there is low retention of magistrates in the Public Service. Magistrates are supposed to graduate from the magistrate benches to the High Court Bench.

Mr Speaker, while it is good to attract Judges from the private sector, it is also important to have Judges that will graduate from the ranks of magistrate benches to give a nice mix of experience.  From these ranks it is also possible to have the vetting processes done much earlier and in good time.

Sir, your Committee recommend that the Executive should, therefore, commence the vetting process to replace these Judges in good time. Timely replacement of retired Judges will prevent a further backlog of cases.

Sir, with these few, but important words, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion. I rise to support the ratification of one Nigel Kalonde Mutuna for appointment as a Puisne Judge of the High Court. I have personally known him from the time he was a student at the Law Practice Institute (LPI), now called Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), where in 1985, I was privileged to be a lecturer in professional conduct and etiquette.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC:   Sir, even as early as 1985, I found Nigel to be a person who had joined the right profession because he had a legal brain and legal mind.

Mr Speaker, Nigel is only forty-seven years old. This means that he has eighteen more years to put into the job as a Puisne Judge.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr C. K. B. Banda, SC: He is, therefore, joining the Bench at the right time and I submit that he will add value to the Bench.

Mr Mutuna is suited for this position because of his performance at the Bar. He has been and still is a very good lawyer. For one to be a good judge, he must have a legal brain, adequate understanding of the law, a knack for research and, above all, he must be level headed.

Sir, I submit that Mr Mutuna has all these qualities and will definitely add value to the Bench.

Mr Speaker, I rest my support.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda, SC.): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to say a few words about the appointment of Mr Nigel Kalonde Mutuna as a High Court Judge.

The Government is satisfied with the appointment of Mr Mutuna as a Puisne Judge. Mr Mutuna is eminently qualified and possesses the requisite judicial capacity to perform the functions of a Puisne Judge. He is competent, impartial and a mature legal practitioner. He is also experienced having practised law for more than twenty-four years. 
Mr Speaker, I personally know Mr Mutuna having practised law with him during my days as a private legal practitioner. He impressed me as a courageous and honest practitioner who displayed highly ethical standards.

Further, Mr Mutuna is a qualified mediator and arbitrator and believes in and has always promoted alternative methods of resolving disputes. It is from this perspective that I know about his impartiality.

Mr Speaker, during my days as President of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), he served diligently under me as secretary of the association. He has further served the Zambia Association of Arbitrators as President for a considerable period of time. He took over from me as President of this association. He is an ardent supporter and participant in continuing legal education programmes for legal practitioners.

Mr Speaker, with these positive attributes, we in the Government are confident that he will be an asset to the Judiciary. Accordingly, I urge this august House to ratify the appointment of Mr Mutuna as a Puisne Judge.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasongo: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank all the hon. Members of this House who have unanimously supported your Committee’s recommendation.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to. 



VOTE 26/03 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting  Services – Press and Planning – K15,216,840,126).

(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Chairperson: When business was suspended yesterday, Tuesday, 3rd March, 2009, the House was considering Head 26/03 – Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Press and Planning and the hon. Member for Chipili was raising a point of clarification.

The hon. Member for Chipili, please.

Hon. Member: He is not in the House.

The Deputy Chairperson: He is not in the House, therefore, we shall proceed.

Vote 26/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear.

VOTE 31 – (Ministry of Justice – K294, 261,721,083).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice (Mr Kunda. SC): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver a policy statement on my ministry’s Budget. As you are aware, my ministry’s goal is to provide efficient and effective legal services to the Government, related institutions and the public in general. My ministry also plays a facilitative role in the administration of justice and helps promote the observance of the rule of law, human rights and good governance.

Sir, before I zero in on the key activities that the ministry will be involved in, in 2009, I wish to briefly discuss some human resource matters which have a bearing on the ministry’s delivery system. The increase in the staffing levels of lawyers in the ministry has necessitated a review of the ministry’s structures. This has fortunately coincided with the ministry’s review of its five-year strategic plan which, among others, entails looking at how the ministry has performed during the last five years, from 2004 to 2008.

Due to the increased work load in the ministry resulting from added responsibilities, we have found it necessary to revisit our structures so that where possible, we have an expanded structure of lawyers, especially at entry level, to accommodate the many lawyers who have applied to join our ministry and also to take care of the placement of those that the ministry had been sponsoring at ZIALE who have now been admitted to the bar.

Mr Chairperson, having explained what we are doing to expand the staffing levels of lawyers in the ministry, let me now turn to the key activities of the ministry, starting with the Attorney-General’s Department.
Legislative Drafting Department

Sir, the department will continue with its role of facilitating the Government’s legislative programme by drafting Bills as it did in 2008. The department will continue to work closely with the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) to ensure that the country comes up with a good and durable constitution. The Legislative Drafting Department has been and continues to provide drafting and research services to the National Constitutional Conference in accordance with the provisions of the National Constitutional Conference Act No. 7 of 2007.

Sir, given the pace at which the conference has conducted its business, it is expected that the conference will undertake substantial work in the course of the year 2009. In addition to drafting Bills and statutory instruments, the department is preparing the next revised edition of the Laws of Zambia. The process involves consolidating the laws which have been passed by Parliament from May, 1996 to November, 2008, the period after the current edition of the laws was done. It is anticipated that the new revised edition of the laws will be launched by the second quarter of 2009. The continuous revision and consolidation of the laws enacted by Parliament is important because it gives the public access to the Laws of Zambia and enables people to know their rights and obligations under the law. This is an important aspect of good governance.

Civil Litigation, Debt Collection and Prerogative of Mercy Department

The department will continue with its role of instituting and defending civil actions against the State in accordance with the law and provide legal opinions and advice to the President on the exercise of the prerogative of mercy pursuant to Article 59 of the Constitution.

Mr Chairperson, the department intends to open new offices in Livingstone and Ndola this year. It is expected that once these offices are fully operational, the cost of administration of the civil litigation justice system will be reduced.

This year, the department is expected to take over the administration of the compensation and awards activity budget line. As a result, payments which have previously been under the Ministry of Finance and National Planning will now be effected by the Ministry of Justice. This transfer is expected to enhance the efficient and effective settlement of dues due to successful litigants.

Directorate of Public Prosecutions

This department, which is responsible for all public criminal prosecutions as provided for in Article 58 of the Constitution, will this year continue with its decentralisation programme, by deploying more State advocates outside Lusaka through the Access to Justice Programme.

Administrator-General and Official Receiver’s Department

This department, with its two divisions, namely the Administrator General Division and the Official Receivers Division, will this year among other things, embark on the following activities:

(a) filling of vacant positions. The posts of Administrator-General and Official Receiver and Deputy Administrator-General and Official Receiver are both vacant. They will both be filled this year;

(b) training of lawyers in receivership, and liquidation, and inheritance law will also be undertaken;

(c) public sensitisation will be offered through various programmes; and

(d) opening of new offices in Livingstone.

International Law and Agreements Department

The Ministry of Justice will continue to carry out its mandate of advising the Government on various international agreements and treaties and participating in negotiations both at bilateral and multilateral levels.  This will be done through this department.

Grant Aided Institutions

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Justice looks after the Legal Aid Board. The board will provide legal aid to the less privileged in Zambia, notably, those with insufficient means to hire the services of private legal practitioners. The Legal Aid Board has opened offices in all the provincial centres with an establishment of a minimum of three lawyers for each province. For the first time since independence, legal aid services have spread to all the nine provinces.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education

Mr Chairperson, this institute will continue to provide national, regional and international post graduate legal studies and training in legislative drafting as well as other diploma courses. The Ministry of Justice has been sending its officers to ZIALE to train as legislative drafts persons.

Zambia Law Development Commission

Mr Chairperson, the Zambia Law Development Commission will continue with its research, review and reform of our laws. The review of a number of pieces of legislation, some of which have been referred to the commission by Government ministries and institutions, will be undertaken by the commission.

Judicial Complaints Authority

Mr Chairperson, the Judicial Complaints Authority will also continue to receive and investigate complaints from the general public concerning malpractices that may be committed by judicial officers.

The Governance Secretariat
Mr Chairperson, the Governance Secretariat will continue with its role of monitoring the governance programmes, conducting research and advising the Government generally on matters of governance and human rights.

Key Governance Programmes

Mr Chairperson, key governance programmes will be undertaken this year. As already stated, the constitutional review process will continue. The committees of the conference will adopt reports by the end of March, 2009. The conference will then be meeting in plenary, in the course of April, to consider eleven reports already submitted by the committees.

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

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: The constitution making process has gained momentum and a lot of progress has been made. It is anticipated that the process will be completed this year.

Mr Chairperson, the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) will continue this year. Hon. Members of Parliament have already been sensitised on this process and a number of activities have taken place. We have already put in place a national governing council, which is driving the APRM.

Mr Chairperson, all these activities will require funding. Therefore, I urge hon. Members to support the ministry’s 2009 budget, which will support the above activities.
I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwamba (Lukashya) Mr Chairperson, in supporting the budget for the Ministry of Justice, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to consider the courts, especially magistrates’ courts, which are very few in the country. The fact that we have very few courts means that cases delay and when we delay cases, it is a miscarriage of justice.

Mr Chairperson, other than court space, there are very few magistrates. I know that the Government has tried to employ as many people to the Bench as possible, but I think that there is need for the Government be proactive and sponsor more people to do the magistrates course.

Mr Chairperson, in rural areas, for example, where I come from, most prisons are congested because there are people that have been there for more than two years without being taken to court. This is usually the case where the offence they committed is beyond the jurisdiction of the subordinate courts and they need to be committed to the High Court. They will stay in prison for more than two years without being committed to the High Court. The reason for this is that there are very few magistrates to handle these cases.

Sir, I remember that sometime back, there were only two lay magistrates in Kasama. One of them was an old man who was recalled from retirement. When these two magistrates were not available, they had to bring magistrates from Mpika, Isoka or Chinsali. Meanwhile all the other cases would pend.

Mr Chairperson, if these issues can be attended to, the matters in the subordinate courts and the High Court will be attended to expeditiously. 

Mr Nkombo made to cross the Floor.

Hon Members: Order!

Ms Mwamba: Mr Chairperson, I do support this budget.
I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Chairperson, I wish to add a few words to the debate on the Ministry of Justice in order to raise one or two issues that are of concern to me. I would like the hon. Minister of Justice to take them into account.

Mr Chairperson, even though I am not a lawyer, I am a citizen who believes that justice is very important. Any country where justice is miscarried or not adequately carried out or addressed is in serious trouble.

 Mr Chairperson, I am aware of our system of good governance as a country. We have the Legislature, which is ourselves, the Judiciary and the Executive. When these wings of Government are working properly and without comprise, then there is good governance in the nation. However, when one wing is compromised or not working the way it should, we have problems and, as a country, we cannot make progress.

Mr Chairperson, I want to allude to one issue of concern and that is corruption. The newspapers are full of reports of alleged corruption in the Executive and elsewhere.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Simuusa: Tribunals have been constituted. Right now, we are making submissions to a tribunal which is investigating possible corruption. There are allegations of certain parties requesting for payments to possible ghost companies. There are so many allegations in the newspapers which suggest the presence of corruption in our system. This has to be rooted out at all costs.

Mr Chairperson, when we talk about corruption in the Executive we may feel that it is very not serious. However, if corruption enters our justice system, then we are a sunk nation. I would like to appeal to His Honour, the Vice-President that there is a need to ensure that corruption is kept out of our justice system at all costs. Otherwise, we are sunk as a nation.

Mr Chairperson, when our justice system is compromised, it means that most human rights will not be enjoyed in our nation. The poor person will not be able to get aid or a fair hearing. People with a lot of money will appear to be winning the cases all the time. This is possible because I know of nations where the justice system has been overtaken by people that have money.

Sir, I wish to bring to the attention of His Honour the Vice-President that the justice system in Zambia must be rid of corruption. I would like to remind you and the nation that not so long ago, a Supreme Court Justice admitted publicly in the newspapers that the justice system and Judiciary in Zambia were corrupt. That made very sad reading because it came from a very senior person, the Chief Justice, who admitted that there was corruption in the Judiciary and justice system. This is very serious. I wish to implore His Honour the Vice-President, as he winds up debate, to tell me, through the Chair, what his ministry is doing to ensure that corruption is kept out of the justice system.

Mr Chairperson, there are reports of illegal activities in the legal fraternity. I wish to begin by referring to the leakages in some legal training institutions. Not too long ago, we heard about examination leakages at the Zambia Institute of Advanced of Legal Education (ZIALE).

While leakages, perhaps, can be accepted at secondary school level, they definitely cannot be accepted at this level. In addition, not too long ago, I read in a newspaper about a lawyer being convicted of fraud. It was recommended that he should be locked up.

Mr Chairperson, if we are going to spend any resources or make any efforts to fight corruption, we should start with the Judiciary or justice system. Otherwise, we are lost as a nation. I have raised this concern in order to bring to the attention of His Honour the Vice-President the fact that any effort we make and any resources we have should be directed towards removing corruption in the justice system.

Finally, if I heard His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice correctly, he said that legal aid is now available in all the nine provinces. I wish to commend him for this. All I can say is that this should work. 
As area hon. Member of Parliament for Nchanga, I have many people who come to my office with genuine cases looking for justice. These are poor people who come from the bush. They bring issues such as being defrauded of their land. They come to my office looking for justice. I know that I cannot refer them to a lawyer because they cannot afford to pay the legal fees. Many people in our country have not been availed justice because they cannot afford a lawyer. I wish to urge His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice that the Legal Aid Board should be encouraged to start working so that even the poor who cannot afford lawyers are helped. Therefore, the Legal Aid Board should start operating as soon as possible.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to rest my case. I thank you.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Chairperson, I wish to add my voice to support this vote. I intend to be very brief.

Sir, the Ministry of Justice is extremely important because when there is no justice or fair play, the result is confusion. There will be a lot of problems and people will be mistreated. Therefore, it is important that this ministry does its job. With regard to governance, this ministry is extremely important because it has to ensure that institutions, especially the judicial system, mete out justice.

Mr Chairperson, as a country, we have a direction we would like ourselves and our people to go to ensure that justice is dispensed. We have to be wary of getting into agreements that will pin some powers elsewhere because this may endanger our justice system. In this regard, it is very dangerous to sign agreements that jeopardise our judicial system because justice may not be dispensed. It is common knowledge that, in the recent past, some documents were signed which gave powers to determine which judicial officers were to preside over certain cases. In addition, these documents allowed prosecuting officers to consult secretly with the Judiciary. That is extremely dangerous because the judicial system is being designed to achieve a certain goal.

Sir, it is extremely important that corruption should be fought, but it must be done fairly and justly. It is very unique to find that all the former defence and security chiefs in a country have been convicted. This is especially so in a situation where certain agreements have been made with the countries funding the prosecution agencies to ensure that, maybe, all these people are found guilty. We must be careful not to endanger the peace of this country. In this regard, it is extremely important that the Ministry of Justice works with the Government to ensure the independence of the various arms of Government. The relationship between the prosecuting agencies and the Judiciary must be such that it does not compromise and jeopardise justice in the country.

Sir, we hope that as we go forward, all prosecutions in the country are going to be done fairly and will not be targeted at certain individuals. Crime is crime today, tomorrow and yesterday. If anybody commits it, as long as the Statute of Limitations does not apply, it should be treated as such. In this country, certain people are considered as targets. We cannot do that.

Therefore I would like to urge the hon. Minister to correct the system from now on so that everything is done fairly. Everything must be done to ensure that the citizens of this country are treated in the same manner, lest we endanger the peace and security of Zambia.

Major Chizhyuka: Hear, hear!

Dr Machungwa: Hon. Minister, I am happy to note that when it comes to looking at our laws and the principal law, which is the Constitution, we are trying to move with speed. We all know that if projects go on for a long time, they tend to be extremely expensive. Therefore, it is notable that much speed is being made with regard to the review of the Constitution and it must be completed within the time allotted so that it does not become a burden in terms of expense for the people of Zambia.

As I conclude my debate, while I know that we debated the Judiciary, but because of the special relationship between the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary, I think I can bring out this point.

When presiding officers look at issues and make determination, let them be fair and follow …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I am not sure which presiding officers the hon. Member is referring to. Can you be clear?


Dr Machungwa: I am most obliged, Sir. I am referring to the Judiciary. That is why I made the point that there is a special relationship between the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary. Therefore, I am talking about judicial officers.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to state that judicial officers make decisions according to the law. In some cases, they use discretion. However, when discretion is used deliberately to punish, it becomes a little worrying. For example, a matter may be heard today and then one decides that it is going to be heard next week. Meanwhile, people are being incarcerated. I think that is not fair. Therefore, I hope that when matters are decided, people are going to be judicious and use discretion correctly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwenya (Nkana): Mr Chairperson, in supporting this vote, I will be very brief.

I would like to bring out one or two concerns regarding the Ministry of Justice. The first has to do with the manner suspects who are detained in police cells and those who have been remanded in prison are looked after. We are all aware that a suspect becomes a prisoner only after he/she has been proven guilty. However, we have a situation where suspects are kept in cells for many days in an environment which is totally inhumane. That is not right at all.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: I wish to appeal to hon. Members to be punctual. If you look at the time, we are three minutes behind time. We have a fifteen minutes break and I am sure that we are all capable of finishing whatever we do at break time, so that we can be in the Chamber a minute before and start work on time.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was talking about the conditions in police cells and the state of the centres where people suspected of having committed a crime are detained. I mentioned that as long as a person has not been proven guilty, that person needs to be looked after very well. His/her rights are supposed to be respected. However, when you visit most of these places, especially the cells in police stations, they are quite deplorable. People use buckets to relieve themselves, which is not supposed to be the case in this era.

Sir, I would like to remind the hon. Minister of Justice that it is important to ensure that these places are rehabilitated. The system of locking people up, taking them to court or jail is normal for those people that have committed crime. However, it does not mean that such people should be taken to prisons where they end up contracting diseases. It is important that we improve the living conditions of prisoners in prisons. With what is happening currently, be wary that once the Government changes, most of you seated on the right side of the Chair, might find yourselves in such places.


Mr Mwenya: It is important that you prepare those places adequately before we take over.


Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, justice delayed is justice denied. We have had situations where people have been remanded in prison for many months or years without being taken to court. This is because these people are poor and they cannot raise enough money to hire a lawyer. When you check in the Yellow Book, you will find that very little, if not nothing has been allocated to this programme so that such people are adequately represented.

Mr Chairperson, if you took a profile of all prisoners, you would discover that 98 per cent of those in prison today are from poor families. Very few people from wealthy families have found themselves in such prisons.

Sir, I also want to discuss the issue of local courts. The state of some local court structures leaves much to be desired. For example, in Kitwe, Buchi Local Court has old infrastructure, but it is sad to note that in this year’s budget, you have allocated K150 million for the construction of court buildings at Mukuba, Masaiti, Garnertone, Mutende, Kamfinsa, Chipulukusu and Kafubu Block. What kind of structures are we talking about for K150 million? How many blocks are you able to construct from this amount? We ought to be very serious when allocating funds to such programmes. We need to be realistic when we allocate money. Whatever programme we allocate money to should be achievable and be given a specific time frame so that we do not talk about it the following year. We are sick and tired of seeing incomplete buildings and programmes that have been started by the Government but have been abandoned mid-way.

Mr Chairperson, at Buchi Local Court, to date, the local court justices have to go into the bush to relieve themselves because there are no toilets. We are talking of a local court which is …

Mr Mwenya: … in a city and someone on your left is saying, ‘it is normal’. We are saying that there is a problem with this Government…

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwenya: … because they find it normal for chief justices, who are supposed to be respected, to use the bush to relieve themselves. I invite His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to visit Kitwe to see for himself the deplorable conditions in which the local court justices are operating.

Mr Malwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, it is such things that bring a lot of concern to us that this Government…

Mr Malwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! When you want to raise a point of order, do speak up because sometimes the Chair cannot hear.  A point of order is raised.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to mislead the nation and the hon. Members in this House that Buchi Local Court is in the bush when, in fact, there is no bush but houses there. Where do those people go to relieve themselves when there is no bush? I need your serious ruling, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Mwenya, as you debate, take that point of order into account and see how you can explain it.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, I seek protection from the Government not to interfere with the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) because I intend to take them to film Buchi Local Court and the bush that has surrounded these structures and the few houses that are there and the deplorable condition that these people are living in and where these chief justices go to relieve themselves. I will make sure that the cameras are able to capture everything that happens in this area.


Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! A point of order was raised and I did rule that the hon. Member on the Floor should take that point of order into account as he debates and I believe it is in that context that he is debating. If what he is saying is not acceptable, I will request His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice to say something as he winds up.

Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mwenya: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for your protection.

Mr Chairperson, I was saying that justice delayed is justice denied. We have had situations where offenders have gone scot-free because when a complainant takes a case to the police, he/she is asked to provide fuel, money for lunch other things for them to move to arrest the offender.

Mr Chairperson, if the offender has more money than the complainant, then you know that the matter will not go anywhere. The women are the ones who have suffered the most, especially when it comes to husbands beating their wives. When such women go to the police, because they are incapacitated and depend on their husbands’ resources, the husband is able to sweet talk the officers handling such matters. In most instances, the police officers will respond by simply saying that it is a family matter that can be resolved at home, and yet the woman has been beaten severely.

Mr Chairperson, only three weeks ago, my young sister was brutally beaten by her husband and I had to drive to Choma to pick her and right now she is at my home in Kitwe. She was beaten by her husband who is a teacher at Siabaluba Primary School in Choma. When this matter was reported to the police, they did not do anything. I went to the police and spoke to them strongly and I would like to say that they did apologise when they realised that they had made a mistake.

Mr Chairperson, the womenfolk and the poor are being denied justice and that is why we are demanding that this office be funded adequately so that the people are able to access justice in time. I would also like to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister of Justice, that when these people are being detained, we should also look at the time of detaining them because you have indicated very clearly that they should only be detained for 24 hours. Thereafter, these people are supposed to be either charged or taken to court.

Mr Chairperson, there are some miners who were arrested in Chililabombwe from National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA).They were driven all the way from Chililabombwe to Lusaka where they were detained. They were detained for a week and these people had no relatives here. They needed food, water and decent beds, but such things are not provided by the police.

Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether it is the duty of relatives to provide food to suspects that they detain in cells when they are carrying out investigations? As far as I know, that is supposed to be your duty because you are the people who have incarcerated these people to carry out investigations. It is very important that we look into these issues.

Mr Chairperson, we also need to see to it that the legal department that represents the poor in society is adequately funded. There should be enough sensitisation so that our people know where to rush to whenever they are faced with problems. There have been situations where innocent people have ended up being jailed, simply because they do not know where to run to. They cannot engage a lawyer because when they go to the Legal Aid Board, they are asked to come up with a minimum  of K100,000 or K200,000. This is happening at a time, especially here in Zambia, where 80 to 85 per cent of the people have lost their jobs and are poor. As a result, they are being victimised because they cannot find any representation.

Mr Chairperson, the companies employing people today are just playing around with workers because workers do not know where to go. Again, it is because we do not have a proper legal aid system in Zambia that can sensitise our people so that they know where to go to seek representation.
With these few words, Mr Chair, I support the vote. Thank you.

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Thank you, Mr Chairperson, for giving me this chance to debate on this vote. I stand to support the vote and in doing so, I just have very few short words to say.

 I would like to take the bulk of what Hon. Simuusa said with regard to legal aid as my own. However, I want to begin my debate from the point Hon. Dr Machungwa ended, when he made reference to the former service chiefs, almost all of whom have been incarcerated.

We are privileged that some of us in this House, can talk about these …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Major Chizhyuka, when Hon. Dr Machungwa was making that statement, I almost intervened, but I let him continue. Since you are almost repeating the same point, depending on how you direct your statement, Major, I do not want us to debate as if we are questioning the decisions of the courts. Therefore, if you do not make it appear like that, then I will be happy otherwise we would be interfering with what the courts have done.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. Government Member: Long live Chair.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for that guidance. However, I want to assure you that it is far from that and I think you know me.

The Deputy Chairperson: I have just been reminded, that in any case, reference to some of those issues would not be correct because some of them are still in the courts. Therefore, that is why I had a problem.

Can you continue, please.

Hon. Government Member: Sichifulo.


Major Chizhyuka: Thank you. I will need your protection, Mr Chairperson.


Major Chizhyuka: All I am saying is that when the hecklers decide to do their shuffle, they must be prepared for the response.

Hon. Government Member: No!

Major Chizhyuka: This is where the problem arises.


Major Chizhyuka: What I want to say on a serious note is that, hardly a week before Idi Amin was Army Commander of the army in Uganda, he was to be incarcerated. When he heard the news that he was going to be taken to court, Idi Amin organised a coup to overthrow the Republican President, Obote. This is public knowledge. There is a precedent. All I am saying in cutting the debate on this sensitive matter is that Zambia has courts marshal. There is a reason the British system of law which we have …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Chairperson, I do not wish to interrupt my hon. Colleague, who is debating and I am sure he will debate very well. Since he holds the rank of Major, he should be the first to guard jealously …

Hon. Opposition Member: Raise your point of order.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Sichilima: … the security of this nation and I bet he is under oath.

The Deputy Chairperson: What is your point of order?

Mr Sichilima: With regard to his line of debate, is he in order …

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Sichilima: Mulamu, what is your problem?


Mr Sichilima: Is he in order to take a line which may alarm this nation? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

The Deputy Chairperson: On a serious note, I am a bit uncomfortable with the way the Major is debating. We are discussing the Ministry of Justice. Those references are making me a bit uncomfortable.

Can you continue, please.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, thank you for your wise guidance. As you know, I always listen to your wise counsel. On that court marshal note, I will leave this debate.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear! Wise men.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, when nation states attain independence, they seek mainly two things. Firstly, they seek that people of their creed lead those nation states. Secondly, they hope that in placing those of their own to lead those nation states, there shall be justice in matters that arise in those nation states.

Mr Chairperson, we are lucky that the Vice-President of the Republic of Zambia is also the hon. Minister of Justice. His Honour the Vice-President was once the Chairperson of the Law Association of Zambia and, therefore, a top lawyer, the ‘toppest’ …


Major Chizhyuka: … one can get.  He is also a State Counsel and, indeed, was the Attorney-General in the past. I wonder how it is possible, given the credentials that the men and women managing our justice system and, indeed, the Ministry of Justice have and in a country where we make our own laws, that people who have stayed in an area for many generations can be displaced. They were given this land by ‘chief number one’. After this chief died, ‘chief number two’ embraced these people after ascending to the throne. By the time ‘chief number two’ died, there were close to 12,000 people living in that specific area. How possible is it that in a country with top lawyers like his Honour the Vice-President, ‘chief number three’, upon ascending to the throne, can be allowed to get rid of 12,000 people?

Mr Malwa: Who is ‘chief number three’?


Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, most of the hon. Members on your right come from rural areas like me, who comes from Namwala. I would like them to imagine just for a moment where their fathers and mothers live in the villages.  Furthermore, I would like them to imagine what it would be like if a new chief, upon taking the throne, told their parents to vacate the chiefdom for no apparent reason and the entire nation, with its enclave of hon. Ministers, agreed with the chief’s decision and their parents and brothers and sisters become landless, stateless and without an iota of a human right …

Mr Chanda: Get annoyed.

Major Chizhyuka: … in this same country of ours called Zambia. How is it possible that in the Republic of Zambia, fought for by great leaders in the past, such things …

Mr Malwa: On point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. That will be the last point of order on the hon. Member currently debating.

Mr Malwa: Mr Chairperson, is it in order for the hon. Member on the Floor to keep on saying ‘chief number one, two three …

Hon. MMD Members: Chief number four.

Mr Malwa: … and four’, in reference to the incumbent and past Presidents.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Malwa: In addition, the people he is saying have been left homeless and landless are those in Sichifulo and now …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, you are bringing in a different subject. You see, I kept quiet …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I kept quiet because I was trying to find out where he was going with his debate, but this far, I can see that he is debating in general terms and is being very careful.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

The Deputy Chairperson: So your point of order is actually out of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. Member may continue.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, I am sure that His Honour the Vice-President and I have a cosmic mind alliance on this matter.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice interjected.


Major Chizhyuka: These are issues of justice. We come to this House on Manda Hill called the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia to make laws for our people. Some of the people that make it possible for us to come and sit in these chairs and make laws have not bought shoes for nine years. We are supposed to make laws that enable our people attain a certain level of ambience and affluence so that we can uplift them from poverty. Should we allow such things to happen in this beautiful country of ours especially that …

Mr Beene: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: I had ruled that that was going to be the last point of order on the hon. Member debating. So that point of order is not allowed.

The hon. Member may continue.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Chairperson, since such things are happening, there are people in this country today who have nowhere to go. There are people that are failing to send their children to school despite having participated in the national franchise to put a party in Government. Where is the justice in all of this? Why have we vested the laws of our country relating to land in the top most position; the Presidency?

It is these issues that I bring to bear so that as we deal with the justice system of our country, we bear in mind that justice must favour the poor who are voiceless. They cannot mount road blocks like the people in the mining or urban areas and do not have the capacity to demonstrate. Their hope for justice lies in this House and the ability of the Government to realise that those people are also human beings.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: How can we enjoy ourselves and have a square meal knowing that 12,000 people do not even know where to get their next meal? They do not have land on which to cultivate or a school to which they can send their children. They live under trees and if it rains, they are completely soaked. Yet, we have a Ministry of Justice which is headed by one of the most brilliant lawyers in this country, His Honour the Vice-President.

It is this justice that I seek and even as we make laws, we must bear in mind that there are people who are voiceless and need the protection of this House and the Executive. We have to be considerate of the fact that these people are also human beings, have a life to lead and would like uplift themselves above the poverty stratum. It is this arbitrariness, lack of sensitivity and gross abuse of human rights that is sending people into squalor, misery and social degradation. The hon. Minister of Justice, when delivering decisions and preparing laws, be they laws associated with the Legal Aid Clinic or dealing with specific situations, must bear in mind that those lowly people to whom we go to seek authority every five years, who have no capacity to demonstrate or even ride a bicycle need justice. They are the reason we are here.

Sir, I would like to end here and hope that His Honour the Vice-President, who is also the hon. Minister of Justice, former Chairman of LAZ and Attorney-General, State Counsel, will have understood the cry of the most down-trodden people that bring us to this House to come and sit on these chairs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Sinyangwe (Matero): Mr Chairman, in supporting the vote, I would like to state that justice is cardinal to every citizen in Zambia. The learned persons say, “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Mr Chairman, I am glad that His Honour the Vice-President is the hon. Minister of Justice. I would like to point out what is happening in this country of late. People commit offences of different types, but what do we see? People are being tried and convicted in the papers. We see this happen everyday and, therefore, I do not know what is meant by ‘contempt.’ Whatever case is written about in the papers everyday has a bearing on the person who reads the paper, including the magistrates and everybody involved in these cases.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: It seems judges and magistrates just endorse what is being said in the papers. I think this is wrong and must be stopped. There are some named papers which, write stories about matters that are in the courts of law everyday. When I was at school, I was taught that when a case is in court, you are not supposed to talk about it.

Mr Mabenga: Even now!

Mrs Sinyangwe: What has gone wrong with our courts? Why do we not arrest some of these people for contempt?

Mr Sichilima: Even if you do not name it, it is The Post.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! No, hon. Minister, that is absolutely not correct.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Even when a person is taken to court, I suppose we have confidence that the courts will do the right thing. Therefore we should let the courts try people and judge them and not the newspapers.

Sir, I want to salute His Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Justice in his capacity as hon. Minister of Justice for pushing forward the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) because this will answer a lot of questions.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: A lot of injustices will end by having a good constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: I salute the Government and stand here as a very proud Vice-Chairperson of the NCC …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: … because my name shall remain in the history books as somebody who contributed to the well-being of Zambians. Everybody, including the people who are saying, “No,” will be governed by this Constitution.

Mr Kambwili: Tuka fichinja nga twaisa!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, the NCC is too big to be …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us give her chance to debate.

Mrs Sinyangwe: … stopped by an individual.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: It is unstoppable and we are going ahead.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: In 2011, we shall conduct elections on the new Constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Let me ask a question: Are these people who do not want to accept the Constitution going to boycott the 2011 elections and are they going to refuse to be governed?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! That type of debate is not inviting answers from you. She is just questioning in her own mind. Can you continue Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: This is a national programme which does not know tribe, political party or religion. It is a national programme.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Any well meaning Zambian must support the programme because it is the Constitution that is going to govern our children and grandchildren.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Kambwili, yesterday you were trying to force me to send you outside. Today you are doing exactly the same thing. The Chair does not want to be seen to be powerless. You have vested powers in the Chair and when you do what you are doing, you are definitely asking to be sent out although I will not send you out. However, you have to be orderly. I will keep you here, but keep order!

May you continue Madam.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your protection. One thing I would like to note is that some of the people speaking against the Constitution are very inconsistent. When the Bill was brought to this House …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Member, you are also diverting. Instead of discussing the Ministry of Justice, you want to make the NCC the subject. Can you link them up properly. You may continue.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Some of the reasons given regarding the NCC Bill was that they wanted more people to sit on the NCC. Today, the same people are saying we should reduce the numbers. Where is the consistency? Let us be serious.

Sir, in any country or society, the Church is a mediator. It is supposed to bring people together, but what do we see in Zambia today? The church is now behaving like a political party.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Where are we going to end? I would like to tell the Church that it is not only bishops or reverends that constitute a church. The Church is in the NCC. Catholics are there. I am a very strong catholic.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: There are people who are staunch United Church of Zambia (UCZ) members. All the churches are represented there. There cannot be a church without the congregants.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: A church must have a congregation in order for it to be recognised. If they had a heart for the poor, they would have supported the NCC. We need democracy even in our political parties.

Sir, I can see from some of the articles that are coming out that we are not being selective. People just look at themselves as Zambians and do what is best for Zambians.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Insoselo shilefuma uku, shibi.

Hon. PF Member: Mulekeni alande.


Mrs Sinyangwe: We need a Constitution which is going to speak for the poor because some people have failed to do so. They pretend to speak for the poor, but they speak for their own agendas.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, I speak as a very liberated Zambian. I am a Zambian. I will live in Zambia until I die and so I need a good Constitution that is going to make me live in Zambia comfortably. All well meaning Zambians should be positive and come up with a Constitution that is going to stand the test of time.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: If I am debating and somebody does not like what I am saying, he should take note and…

Mr Kambwili: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.


Hon. MMD Members: Point of jealousy.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member for Matero in order to talk about the NCC without stating that she gets two salaries, one from Parliament and one from the NCC, including allowances? This is why she is speaking like this. I need your serious ruling, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think that point of order reminds me of my earlier guidance to Hon. Sinyangwe to discuss the Ministry of Justice. 
The hon. Member for Matero may continue, please.

Mrs Sinyangwe: Mr Chairperson, the NCC falls under the Ministry of Justice in case people do not know. That is why I am talking about it. There is no separate vote on the NCC to debate. It falls under the Ministry of Justice.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Sinyangwe: With or without a salary, I am a Zambian. That is the bottom line.
Mr Chairperson, I would like to see justice in this country. People should be able to live like Zambians and not be treated like animals. We must have rules in place. We cannot have anybody doing what they want. Anything that is wrong must be seen as wrong. I have said many times that what is wrong can never be right and what is right can never be wrong. I urge all the good Zambians to be positive so that we come up with a Constitution that will stand the test of time and put the prophets of doom to shame.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr B. Mwila (Nchelenge): Mr Chairperson, I am most obliged that you have finally decided to give me the opportunity to support this vote.

Mr Chairperson, one of the things that brought me into politics was justice. In the initial stages of our independence, justice prevailed. However, by 1974, the dispensation of justice started going wrong. By 1990, the dispensation of justice had started to disappear, hence, my personal entry into politics.

When the MMD Party, of which I was a part, came into power, we started promoting professionalism so that justice could be properly and fairly dispensed. From 2001, the dispensation of justice started going wrong and it has totally deteriorated now. Through the dispensation of justice, we have totally ignored professionalism.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr B. Mwila: I am glad, Mr Chairperson, that we are privileged to have the learned hon. Minister of Justice as Vice-President. I hope we will have a stronger voice to try and rectify some of the mistakes.

This country has had, for example, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) and Ombudsman. Now we have totally abrogated these institutions by bringing in the Task Force, for example. As far as I am concerned, this is avoiding the proper dispensation of justice. It becomes vindictive and selective. Consequently, if you have observed, there is total indiscipline in the nation. That indiscipline has arisen because we have departed from the proper administration of justice. For example, I was privileged to be the Minister of Defence for this country for eight years. We could not do some of the things that are being done now. How do we abrogate our own laws by trying defence and security personnel in the civil courts instead of in the courts martial?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Shame.

Mr B. Mwila: To me, that is a total abrogation of our justice system and professionalism. We are running away from professionalism. We must return to professionalism. As I said, we are lucky we have the learned hon.  Minister of Justice as the Vice-President and I hope he is going to work on this because if we do not, we are going to destroy and destabilise this country. We have now allowed the Task Force to run this country with the donor countries. Is that the way we are going to dispense justice?

Hon. PF Members: No.

Mr B. Mwila: No, that is not the way we are going to dispense justice because the donors will target individuals. The donors will make sure they destroy those they do not like. After all, we know that some donors are from western countries while others are from eastern countries and, therefore, they cannot mix. If, for example, a particular political party is led by a person who is not acceptable to that particular donor organisation or country, they will destroy that person using the Task Force and this is not the way we should dispense justice. We should not involve the donors in the management of this country. Yes, we are very happy about their benevolence and that they assist by giving us budget support. That is fine, but let them get other rewards and not manage this country. 
We got our independence in 1964 and we should remain independent. The founding fathers of our Republic fought for our independence and maintained our laws. That is the way we must continue to be governed. Not through the donor countries that are now using the Task Force to destabilise us. Learned hon. Minister of Justice, I hope you are going to ensure that, henceforth, you will not rely on the donor countries to manage the State through our justice system. I hope we are going to run our justice system as independently as we fought for our independence.

 Mr Chairperson, we also sacrificed a lot to remove the one party dictatorship which was not administering justice properly. I do not want to go back to the system where we will start fighting amongst ourselves against a system which we have already introduced.

Mr Chairperson, we started well with the reforms, through the Ministry of Legal Affairs. We have reformed the country’s laws and systems. For example, the judicature and the Minister of Justice enjoy unfettered powers through the reforms which have happened since 1991. Let it remain that way. Let us not destroy what we have built.

With these few words, I beg to move.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: I thank all the hon. Members who have contributed constructively to the debate.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:  Mr Chairperson, I noticed that in some respects, we were discussing the Judiciary at the same time as the Ministry of Justice. Perhaps, in future, it would help if we could discuss the two Heads at the same time, like we have done on other Heads, to avoid confusion.

I will go through some of the issues raised. There was a submission about the leakage of examination papers at ZIALE.

Hon. Members: Shame!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: For the first time in the history of the legal profession, examination papers were leaked by some criminal students …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … trying to enter the legal profession.


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We must guard the profession jealously.  In this regard, the management at ZIALE should look into this matter. In fact, the docket on this particular case is still very active.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Whoever was involved in these examination leakages will be followed. We shall follow the matter to its logical conclusion.

Hon Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: We want a legal profession which is clean and has integrity. The people of Zambia rely on the legal profession. If we leave it loose, we will admit criminals. 
Hon Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Therefore, we must guard the legal training jealously.

Mr Chairman, Hon. Simuusa talked about corruption. We admit that it is there. It is existent in the private sector as it is in the public sector. You will also find it in churches and political parties. However, we must work together to eradicate it.

Mr Chairperson, there was also the issue of the justice delivery system through the courts. During the UNIP days and even now, we used to say repeatedly that the Judiciary is the mirror of society, and it should remain so.

The judges should, by conduct or otherwise, ensure that the public has confidence in the Judiciary. Where shall we settle disputes if people lose confidence in the Judiciary? We do not want people to take the law into their own hands. The Judiciary should remain above board.

 Mr Chairperson, hon. Members have complained about people being tried through the press. A very disturbing state of affairs has emerged. Indeed, it cannot be denied that some of the editorials which we have seen in the newspapers, where cases which are before courts are analysed and even verdicts passed, cannot be allowed.

Courts of law are protected by laws relating to contempt of court. Cases before the courts are not supposed to be discussed in the press. We have seen situations where courts have literally been insulted in the press. Courts should use these laws to ensure that their authority and respect is preserved. It is up to the courts to protect themselves.

The Government shall not interfere in the operations of the courts. However, it is up to the courts themselves to execute punishment through the powers vested in them when people use terminologies such as ‘Kangaroo Courts’ in newspapers. Those who write such things in the newspapers should be punished.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, there will be no sacred cows in the prosecution of corruption cases. All those who have committed offences whether of corruption, money laundering, blackmail, theft, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Abuse of authority of office.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: …. yes, abuse of office …


The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … as well as influence peddling will be prosecuted. In fact, we have set that example as a Government. We do not encourage the selective prosecution of Zambians.

 Mr Chairperson, I do agree that we are a sovereign State entitled to conduct the justice delivery system ourselves and it is not the case that our justice delivery system is run by donors.

Sir, a lot has been said which should have been said under the Judiciary in respect of the local courts. In fact, recently, we passed amendments relating to the local courts. We have changed the nomenclature for local court justices. They are not chief justices, but local court magistrates. We passed a law recently to that effect.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:  I would also urge the Law Association of Zambia to speak about the independence of the courts. If people write bad things on the courts, it is up to the president of LAZ and members of the civil society to speak against these vices, otherwise we shall destroy the justice delivery system.

I beg to move.

Vote 31/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 31/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 31/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 31/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 31/07 – (Ministry of Justice – Directorate of Public Prosecutions Chambers – K7,089,677,024).

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 1, Activity 05 – Other Emoluments – K459,080,000.00. Last year, K1,484,040,000.00 was allocated, but this year, we are allocating only K459,080,000.00, showing a reduction of K1 billion. Does this mean that, last year, there were pensions and gratuities that were paid which will not be paid this year, hence, the huge reduction, this is bearing in mind also that even in 2007, the amount allocated was more than K1 billion?

The Deputy Chairperson: Your question is understood.

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President (Mr Sichilima): Mr Chairperson, the decrease was as a result of clearing some outstanding arrears.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 1, Programme 10, Activity 01 – High Court Proceedings – K778,628,092.00. There is a reduction of K146,000,000.00. How will the dispensation of justice be done with this reduction?

The Deputy Chairperson: There is an increase.

Mr Muyanda: No.

The Deputy Chairperson: If you look at those two figures, you will see that there is an increase.

Mr Muyanda: Yes, Sir, I see that there is an increase. However, to me, that increase is not meaningful enough  …


Mr Muyanda: … to arrest …


Mr Muyanda: Mr Chairperson, I am asking …

The Deputy Chairperson: No, your manner of asking is wrong.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda: Sir, K146 million is too little. I have done the calculations here. K146 million is too little to arrest criminals that have now escalated with the white collar crime such as, we have already heard, leaking of examination papers at ZIALE.


The Deputy Chairperson: Alright, your question has been understood.

Mr Muyanda: We would like these people to be convicted. When a case is …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muyanda: Sir, when …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Well, since you kept on talking when the Chair said order, there will be no answer to that question.


Vote 31/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 27 – (Public Service Management Division – K332,355,204,609).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairperson, the Public Service Management Division in the Office of the President is mandated to manage human resources in the Public Service in order to improve service delivery for national development. Its portfolio functions are outlined …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order, let us consult quietly, please. The hon. Minister may continue.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … in Government Gazette Notice number 547 of 2004. The functions include public service management and development as well as strategic and performance management services.

The division formulates and facilitates implementation of the terms and conditions of service for the Public Service. In addition, the division is responsible for human resource development, planning, performance and records management systems, industrial relations and management of the payroll and establishment for the Public Service. It also provides advisory and functional guidelines to ministries, institutions and provinces on human resource matters. Further, the division processes appointments promotions, transfers and separations as well as disciplinary cases in the Civil Service. The division also oversees the Future Search Project, which is involved in the training of Public Service workers in social and business …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! You see, we cannot proceed like this. I have always said that let us consult quietly, but the moment you begin shouting, it disturbs my attention. You can consult, but do so quietly, without disturbing the person debating. Can the hon. Minister continue.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: … counselling, entrepreneurship development and monitoring. Future Search also trains Public Service workers earmarked for retrenchment and/or retirement to prepare them for their exit from formal employment.

Through its six departments namely, Administration, Recruitment, Human Resource Development, Technical Services and Payroll Management and Establishment Control (PMEC) Support Services, the division has, during the past year, been implementing programmes aimed at improving service delivery through the recruitment and retention of qualified human resources in the Public Service.

Sir, the division has been facilitating the implementation of Human Resource Development (HRD) programmes based on the submissions from various ministries and institutions from the time the function was decentralised in 1993 in the context of the Public Service Reform Programme (PSRP).

Mr Chairperson, to further maximise  the benefits of the PMEC system in as far as managing the payroll is concerned, the division conducted training for payroll and end-users for all ministries, institutions and provinces and sensitised some key stakeholders and also completed the verification of establishments and staffing. This also included creating structures on the PMEC system for Government institutions. The division commenced the decentralisation process of the PMEC system resulting in the establishment of four provincial offices in Kasama, Kabwe, Livingstone and Mongu. The rest of the provincial offices will be opened in 2009, in addition to extending the PMEC system to all ministries and other spending agencies (MPSAs) in Lusaka.

Sir, the division facilitated the implementation of a Voluntary Medical Scheme (VMS) and has since selected a suitable administrator for the scheme in the Public Service. You may wish to note that the VMS is a result of collective agreements on conditions of service for the Public Service signed between the Government and the Public Service unions. The division will, therefore, require funding to implement this scheme.

Mr Chairperson, the division has been separating Public Service employees who were not placed during the restructuring of Government ministries and institutions. While most Government ministries and institutions have been restructured, some are yet to be restructured. These include the service commissions and provincial administration offices. In 2009, the division is expected to pay separation packages to employees who have not and will not be absorbed in the restructured ministries or institutions.

Sir, the Government realises the negative impact of HIV/AIDS on the delivery of services to the people of Zambia in that it continues to negatively affect the Public Service by robbing it of the most productive workforce.

Mr Chairperson, in order to reverse the impact of the scourge, the Government has developed an HIV/AIDS Prevention and Mitigation Strategy for the Public Service which is expected to help the Government manage and mitigate the effects of the epidemic on service delivery. The division is expected to facilitate the implementation of the strategy commencing with sensitisation of Public Service employees and stakeholders.

Sir, the state of record management in the Public Service continues to be a major concern to the division. The division will, therefore, embark on the development of a records management policy.

Mr Chairperson, the division will continue to co-ordinate the collective bargaining process and industrial relations activities in order to maintain industrial harmony in the Public Service. This is imperative if the people of Zambia are to receive quality service.

I urge this august House to support the 2009 Budget for the division.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr D. Mwila (Chipili): Mr Chairperson, His Honour the Vice-President talked about industrial harmony in relation to human resource. How do you maintain industrial harmony when the civil servants are poorly paid and not paid on time? Everything depends on the funding. If the Government is not able to fund this department, then we are not going anywhere. We will not continue blaming the Permanent Secretaries and directors in that department. The problem is that the Government on your right is not funding this department adequately.

Sir, I also want to talk about the rural hardship allowance which is not paid to the teachers on time because the department has no money. Who would you blame if anything happens? Do you blame the Permanent Secretaries and directors or the Government which is the Executive? We have talked about these issues every year and the Government is not doing anything.

Mr Chairperson, there is also the issue of terminal benefits. People are not paid their terminal benefits on time because of the people on your right. They even look comfortable because they are enjoying. This is really bad. A teacher who has worked for thirty years has to wait for two years for their benefits.  When some Senior Government officials on your right finish their terms, they are paid immediately while others are not. This is being unfair. All of us are equal. I hope His Honour the Vice-President is taking note of this. 


Mr D. Mwila: I want to tell them facts because they are provoking me.


The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair.

Mr D. Mwila: Sir, the workers of this country are listening. This Government should change its attitude towards the workers. It is important that this department is funded adequately so that we avoid unnecessary industrial unrest. If you do not pay these people their allowances on time, they will go on strike. Who are you going to blame? You will blame His Honour the Vice-President.

Hon. Government Members: You are inciting!

Mr D. Mwila: I am not inciting them. The workers have the right to stand up and fight for their rights. I want to emphasise that if this department is not funded adequately, we will face a lot of problems in this country. Already, in Luapula, our children are not able to go to school because the teachers are on strike. This is because that Government has failed to pay them their hardship allowance or remote allowance.


Mr D. Mwila: In case Hon. Maxwell Mwale does not understand, I am talking about rural hardship allowance.


Mr D. Mwila: Sir, when this department comes to negotiate with the Public Service workers, they determine the conditions of service of workers who are not represented. It is important that when they are given money, those working in the Government are paid adequately. Every year, we come here to talk about the conditions of service and Hon. Mabenga always laughs. This is not a laughable matter.


Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.
Mr Mabenga: Mr Chairperson, I rarely stand up on a point of order. Is that young parliamentarian …


Mr Mabenga: … in order to refer to me, who is sitting very quietly here, and listening attentively to a debate which he  is not prepared for? Is he in order?


The Deputy Chairperson: The hon. parliamentarian is not in order because you were sitting there quietly and listening.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, before I wind up, I would like to say that this Government must lead by example. There are agreements which are signed between them and the unions. If this Government is in the forefront of violating these agreements and does not pay its workers adequately, it will be worse for the Chinese. This Government must lead by example. The workers out there want money. Can you look for money. There is money in the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), but it is going to the rich. It is not benefiting the poor people. Why can it not go to the workers who are suffering out there?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr D. Mwila: We know that our colleagues do not listen, but we will tell them to change their attitude towards workers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr D Mwila: Mr Chairperson, for us to have industrial harmony, we need to give our workers good conditions of service. I have heard that negotiations have already started. There are three more weeks before the current collective agreement expires, and yet we have not heard anything. We will enter the month of April without finishing the negotiations. This Government knows that after April, we will have problems with workers. They will go on strike because this Government did not plan properly. Negotiations are supposed to end before the expiry of the collective agreement.

Mr Chairperson, my plea is that this department be given enough money. Lastly, there is one point which I almost forgot …

Mr Sichilima: Forget it.

Mr D. Mwila:  Ba Sichilma just keep quiet.

Mr Chairperson, whilst our workers are suffering out there, there are people here who get two salaries.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them my brother!

Mr D. Mwila: They get a salary from here and another from the (NCC). One day …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think that if you have finished your debate, say so. Do not bring in issues that will begin to raise the emotions of the House. If you have finished, say so. However, if you wish to continue, move away from that line.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, finally, I would like to appeal …

Hon. MMD Member: Ikalafye, iwe!

 Mr D. Mwila:  At least, you have heard.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to make an appeal that this department be funded.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga (Kwacha): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate. I listened very attentively when His Honour, the Vice-President was giving the policy statement. I will ensure that I confine myself to what he said so we help to develop on how linkages must be capacitated to ensure that the Public Service and everything that has to do with the Public Service is enhanced, improved, developed and achieved.

Mr Chairperson, this division is critical. It cuts across all ministries. In other words, it manages the Public Service in this nation. If anyone had time to think about how the whole thing is done, they would find that taxation as implemented by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and handed to the National Treasury. The Public Service is also involved in ensuring that the implementation of all developmental projects is conducted on time. 

Mr Chairperson, we have serious problems regarding how projects are being conducted in this nation. Year in and year out, we have money being sent back to the Treasury. This cannot be accepted. This is why this department is critical. Through you, Mr Chair, His Honour the Vice-President has this department which can resuscitate and ensure that the engine of this economy begins to move.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Lila mwaice wandi, lila!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Those of us that come from the corporate world used to evaluate performance levels on a monthly basis. People were told about their performance so that they could look at the next approach. That is very important. We cannot have a situation where sums of money are lying in bank accounts and people are not interested in spending it. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, this division is critical because it is the one that enhances performance. One of the things that His Honour the Vice-President has indicated to this House is that they are there to ensure that the Public Service is working towards the development of this nation. However, there is a gap between the Public Service and the politicians. In fact, most of our time here, we speak, and yet what gets implemented is very little.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L.  J.  Mulenga: This makes us politicians look like we are not serious.

Mr Chairperson, there are some hon. Members on your right who have Permanent Secretaries that hide files from them.


Mr L.  J.  Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, this is inconsistent with what the Constitution that says that any Government that comes into power shall ensure that the rights and privileges of its citizen are safeguarded to a point where there is service delivery.

Mrs Musokotwane: Hammer!

Mr L.  J.  Mulenga: Where have we gone wrong? These are serious issues that all of us must begin to reflect on. What have we done to the Public Service? Why is it failing to deliver? Even when money is appropriated here, it cannot be utilised. What is wrong? Do we, as politicians, also have to be managers so that we start running up and down? Even in the councils, we have problems. You have approved projects in the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but money cannot be allocated to the Public Service. Do I have to become a manager to ensure that projects are carried out?


Hon. Opposition Member: Lila chabe, iwe!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, what we need in this country is a complete overhaul of the Public Service. They need to understand that we, as policy makers, are not managers. They are the managers. It is the Government’s responsibility to ensure that what we discuss on the Floor of this House is implemented without fail.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L.  J.  Mulenga: If they have failed, why are you afraid to chase them? At the end of the day, if they do not perform, the hon. Minister will be blamed. The hon. Minister is a policy maker and not the implementer.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Their level of supervision is limited to policy issues unless they also become managers.

 Hon. PF Members: Hammer!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, we need to make sure that you jack them up because this department is critical to ensure that service delivery succeeds.

Mr Chairperson, when I look at the number of ministries that this division looks after, the amount of money that has been allocated is extremely insufficient


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Please. give him chance to debate.

Mr L. J. Mulenga drank some water.


Mr L. J. Mulenga: It is very nice to be in Parliament because we all come from different sections of society. There are people who do not even understand what others have attained in life and they just what to look at them as if they are talking sense…


Mr L. J. Mulenga:….and yet, they talk nonsense.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member for Kwacha will withdraw that word.

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw that statement.
 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr L. J. Mulenga: Mr Chairperson, I hope everybody will listen to the point that I am labouring to deliver and understand what I am talking about.

Mr Lubinda: Sibamvera, mwana!

Mr Mulenga: This ministry has been allocated K332,355,204,609 billion. When you look at the mammoth task that this division has to undertake to jack up the Civil Service and considering the numerous problems that we have in the Civil Service, this amount is extremely inadequate. We must admit that we have problems in the Civil Service. There is a gap between the managers and the people at the lower ranks. The people at the lower ranks suspect management to be the only ones benefiting. Management also does not trust the people at the lower ranks. At the end of the day, the Civil Service is moving like a bicycle without a cyclist.


Mr L. J. Mulenga: It is just going wild. Whoever wants to ride it to Shang’ombo, will go to Shan’gombo with it. Whoever wants to go to Kanyama, will go with it to Kanyama. Whoever wants to go Kwacha, will go with it to Kwacha. That is incorrect. This division is important in order to harmonise all these issues so the Public Service is able to move as one. You cannot win if your team is divided. At the moment, the Civil Service is divided. The people that are on the ground tend to look up there and say these gentlemen are not able to look after their interests. This is where issues of salaries and conditions of service come in because people do not see the benefit. If anything, the top management in the Public Service are even far much better than these hon. Ministers.


Mr L. J. Mulenga: In fact, they have more power than they have.

 The PSMD must come and consult this Parliament on how we can enhance its performance because it needs to perform. It has a short period of time in which to deliver. If it does not deliver, it will be blamed because the system does not guarantee its back. They sit quietly and they want to be blamed.

Sir, with those few words, I want to thank them and pray that Jesus, who is the Almighty God, …


Mr L. J. Mulenga:… has given them the understanding of my line of debate so that Jesus will be on their doorsteps the day they are fired for failing to perform.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.


Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Chairperson, as a conclusion for the previous debater who is praying for other people, I stand to support this vote.

 Mr Chairperson, you will recall I debated on the vote for the Public Service Commission and Cabinet and now I am debating on the debate for the PSMD. This division is critical with regard to the management of the Public Service.

Mr Chairperson, from the onset, it is common knowledge that the allocations throughout the ministries have been reduced. In my view, they should not have cut the allocation to this r vote.  In last year’s budget, K527 billion was allocated to this vote. This time around, the allocation has been reduced to K332 billion, which is less by K295 billion.
Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga … has employed more extension staff.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Muntanga, I am protecting you. When you hear, “Order,” you are supposed to stop debating. The people behind Hon. Muntanga are disturbing him because they are consulting loudly. Could you raise the hon. Member for Kwacha nicely without making noise.

Can Hon. Muntanga, please, continue


Mr Muntanga:   Mr Chaiperosn, I was saying that the allocation to this vote has been cut by over K290 billion. This is being done at a time when the Government has employed more civil servants. The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives is employing more camp assistants, the Ministry of Health as well as other Governments departments is also employing more staff. How are they going to ensure that supervision is done properly with these kind of resources? It is a well known fact that various ministries will supervise their civil servants. Therefore, this is one problem which I find nauseating.

His Honour, the Vice-President has mentioned that files go missing. The PSMD has a lot of work to do with regard to record keeping. It is very difficult for a retiree to cope with the situation after being told that his/her file is missing. The file may have been moved from the ministry where this civil servant was working to the PSMD, but when it gets to this department, it goes missing. Why is it like that? His Honour, the Vice-President agreed that there is a problem of filing at the division. We would like to be assured that the PSMD will clean itself up.


The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Let us give Hon. Muntanga chance to debate.

May the hon. Member for Kalomo continue.

Mr Muntanga: It is important that the PSMD maintains a proper filing system.

Sir, I have come across cases where retirees fail to locate their files when these files get to the PSMD. Some people who were working for the Civil Service have not been paid their pension at all because their files have gone missing. When officers in this department are confronted, they would ask the retiree to bring about ten pay slips to prove that he /she was a public servant. You can imagine how this person who retired ten years ago would feel after being told to go and look for his/her pay slips. It is worrying that the PSMD cannot keep files properly. Instead, they would ask that individual to come back with pay slips. What does that mean? This is total inefficiency. That type of inefficiency is not acceptable. Some of the questions that delay payments …

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.{mospagebreak}


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was saying that it was necessary for the PSMD to ensure that people’s files are kept properly. We are concerned that people who retire are not given their dues because files are said to have gone missing. As a result, some retirees end up dying early because they do not have any money. 
It is important that the PSMD pays retired people their dues promptly instead of letting them suffer whilst waiting for the money. For this reason, I would like to urge the PSMD to devise a method in which if Mr X is going retire in six months’ time, his dues are prepared on time so that by the time six months elapses, they are ready.

Even the Ministry of Finance and National Planning that has given this division less money has civil servants who depend on their files being maintained properly by the PSMD. I think there is need for the PSMD to decentralise. Why should PSMD remain in Lusaka when it has to look after people working in far- flung places like Kaputa and Lundazi?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Most departments are now being decentralised.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair!

Mr Muntanga: We are decentralising.


Mr Muntanga: If you do not need this division in Shang’ombo, then stay put. Maybe, you depend on money from Angola.


Mr Muntanga: We want the PSMD to improve its efficiency.

The PSMD keeps files for all civil servants, including members of the Teaching Service Commission.

It is this division that will ensure that you are a civil servant. Let me just remind the hon. Members on your right that once you are in the government system, and you are paid by the Government your file goes to PSMD. They do not even know that you are working for the Government because you have no house. Hon. Ministers must understand that the PSMD is responsible for ensuring that the delivery of services by the Government is done properly. Therefore, files should be kept properly. I  know of an hon. Minister whose file could not go for payment. For quite some time he was crying because he had no money. Therefore, we just told him to resign as minister since they had forgotten him.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, the Public Service Commission is responsible for the promotion of all the workers in the Civil Service, but the management part is done by the PSMD. We should not have cut the allocation to this division because the number of civil servants has increased. As a result of the increase in the number of civil servants, more people are retiring. People dying from various diseases are becoming many. Why should a poor person travel from Chavuma to Lusaka to look for a place to stay at Hon. Konga’s home when he does not know him? This person will end up sleeping at the railway station.

Hon. UPND Member: Konga has run away!

Mr Muntanga: Konga has run away.


Mr Muntanga: Why should it be so?


Mr Muntanga: We would like the PSMD to be decentralised to provincial centres at least. Teachers report to the Provincial Educational Officer (PEO) and in agriculture, workers report to the Provincial Agricultural Co-ordinating Officer (PACO). Why should this division remain in Lusaka?

Mrs Musokotwane: Mmh.

Mr Muntanga: This Division has a permanent secretary. Sometimes people get confused between the PSC and the PSMD.

Mr Chairperson, I am aware of cases where procedure has not been followed when someone is being disciplined. In some cases, people have not been told their case because the supervising officer has been suspended. When the case is referred to the PSMD, you find that the one who was handling it has been transferred. As a result, the case is not followed and the person is not paid his dues. Instead, he/she has to go to court. Why should we have a system like that? Why should a poor civil servant who has worked for thirty years be subjected to suffering when it comes to being paid his/her money? The PSMD must be seen to work and show efficiency.

Mr Chairperson, I do pity them …

The Deputy Chairperson: I cannot hear the person debating. Can you, please, consult quietly, especially the people on my left. 
You may continue, Mr Muntanga.

Mr Mubika: Mwila!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I would like to put on record that we need to give enough money to the PSMD. I hope that the questions that have been raised by His Honour the Vice-President on poor filing and record keeping will be considered.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the PSMD’s Vote. I will be very brief and will only confine myself to discipline.

Sir, it is unfortunate that this year’s budget line for this important division has been reduced. If the performance of the entire Civil Service has to be improved, we need capacity building in this division because it is in charge of discipline.

Mr Chairperson, I am confident that the Permanent Secretary in charge of this division is a very experienced personnel practitioner who was my Human Resources Manager in Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), Nchanga Division. Therefore, I know his abilities. I have every reason to believe that given the resources, he can transform this division. Disciplinary cases in the Civil Service take too long to conclude and that is why there is a lot of indiscipline.

Mr Chairperson, today, if you go to one of the offices in the Civil Service, you will find that most of the civil servants report for work and just hang their jackets on the seats and leave their offices the whole day. There is even a saying which goes, “Ninchito yamu boma.”
Hon. PF Member: Yes!

Mr Kambwili: Meaning, “It is work for the Government and nobody cares.” This attitude must come to end. There must be professionalism in the Civil Service. The idea of giving jobs to unqualified political cadres will make it very difficult for this division to perform. We need a human resource that is tough tested, experienced and that understands the structure of the Civil Service, if we are to get anywhere in this department.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, how do you explain a situation where personnel officers report to the permanent secretaries in their respective ministries? How do you expect them to enforce discipline like that? If the Civil Service could adopt the disciplinary procedure that obtained in ZCCM, there would be a lot of improvement with regard to discipline.

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: In ZCCM, when one commits an offence, within four hours he was charged. Within the same working day, he gave a statement and within three days he appeared before the disciplinary committee and the verdict was given to him. This used to make it very difficult for employees to commit offences. However, today, in ministries, the records of previous offences are not even kept.

In ZCCM, we used to keep records in such a way that when you give somebody a verbal warning, you know that the next time he commits an offence it will be followed by a four months warning and next time he commits another offence, it will be followed by a six months severe warning and the third time he commits an offence, it will be a final warning and from there the officer is dismissed.

Mr Chairperson, in the Civil Service there are no follow ups because when one commits an offence today, he is disciplined five years later. This has made the Civil Service extremely indisciplined. Some of the civil servants are not even scared of their permanent secretaries because they know that when they commit an offence, it will be the Civil Service Commission to look at their case. Now, if individual ministries are able to discipline the civil servants, there will be a marked improvement in the way the civil servants conduct themselves.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, somebody was telling me that nowadays when you want to build a big house, you are better off becoming an accounts clerk in the Civil Service because it is extremely easy to pilfer and get away with it. This is sad. The Auditor-General’s Report, year in and year out, reveals a lot of malpractices and misappropriation of funds in the ministries, but nothing is being done about it. We need to see a situation where people are fired and handed over to the police for misappropriating public funds.

Mr Chairperson, in ZCCM, we had classified certain cases like unlawful removal of company property. What used to happen is that as you heard the case, the mine police were waiting outside. When you fired the officer through normal administrative procedures, the mine police would take over and hand this officer to the regular police so that the law takes its course. If you adopt such a situation, there is going to be discipline in the Civil Service. Today, people do what they like without any action being taken against them. I am certain that if you overhauled the whole industrial relations and disciplinary procedure in the Civil Service, and especially if you adopted the system ZCCM used to use, cases of misappropriation of funds, general indiscipline and reporting late for work would be a thing of the past.

Mr Chairperson, what is happening in the Civil Service is unacceptable. If somebody falls sick, he will just write a note to his supervisor that they are not feeling well and that they will not report for work and the supervisor will receive the note and forget about it. When I look at these things and compare them to what used to happen in ZCCM, I get surprised and ask myself whether these people know what they are doing.

Mr Chairperson, in ZCCM if an officer was sick, they had to go to the hospital and the doctor had to write a sick note to confirm that the officer was, indeed, sick and therefore, should not report for work.

Mr Chongo: On a point of order, Sir.
The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chongo: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to indicate that what was obtaining in ZCCM was better than what is obtaining in the Government without taking into consideration the fact that the Permanent Secretary in the department under discussion now was the Human Resource Manager in ZCCM and was in charge of implementing the ZCCM procedures? Is the hon. Member suggesting that this officer is now failing to implement what he used to implement in ZCCM?


The Deputy Chairperson: That is a clever way of debating. Can the hon. Member continue.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that ...

Hon. Government Member: Mwaiche, Kambwili.

Mr Kambwili: I am now even confused.


Hon. Opposition Member: Landa ati wachilamo.

Mr Kambwili: Yes, I was saying that the way the disciplinary cases are handled in the Civil Service leaves a lot to be desired. If we were to adopt the ZCCM disciplinary procedures, we would prevent a lot of malpractices in the Civil Service. Civil servants do not respect their immediate supervisors not even their PSs because they fear the unknown. Most of the people employed in the Civil Service are employed through favours from people at the top.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: As a result, when they are taken to the ministries, their supervisors are scared to discipline them ...

Mr Lubinda: Yes.

Mr Kambwili: … because of the fear of the powers that be.

Mr Lubinda: Exactly, babuze.
Mr Kambwili: Now, if we changed the system so that the personnel officers in the ministries reported directly to this division, there would be an improvement in the way discipline is handled in the ministries. Today, the personnel officer reports to the PS and director in the same ministry. If there is a case in which the PS has an interest, the personnel officer will grow cold feet because he wants a promotion or favour from the PS.

Mr Lubinda: Yes.

Mr Kambwili: In ZCCM, what used to happen is that personnel officers were sent to all departments and they reported to their respective human resource managers. They had no administrative connection whatsoever with the respective departments. As such, we used to handle disciplinary cases in accordance with the provisions of the disciplinary procedures. I do not even know whether the Civil Service has a disciplinary procedure. If it is there, then it is not being followed. We need to overhaul this department so that disciplinary cases can be speeded up if we are to improve the happenings in the Civil Service. You find a situation where even Ministers are scared of their PSs …

Mr Lubinda: Yes.

Mr Kambwili: … because they want favours from them.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Yes, these things happen.


Mr Kambwili: Do not object.

Mr Lubinda: Yes.

Mr Kambwili: Therefore, if we are to improve, we have to define the roles of the different departments. For instance, this division must be empowered to take disciplinary action without any undue influence from other quarters. In fact, in my view, the Public Service Commission (PSC) in as far as disciplinary matters are concerned, is irrelevant. If we are going to rely on the PSC to handle disciplinary cases …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for allowing me to raise this point of order. Is the hon. Minister for Crops, Co-operatives and Food in order, when the hon. Member is debating such an important vote, to  block his ears …


Mr Lubinda: … and not pay any attention at all to what he is debating, …


Mr Lubinda: … particularly when he is actually saying that Ministers even ask for favours from PSs? is he in order to block his ears and eyes?


Mr Lubinda: I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: My serious ruling on that point of order is that these points of order are delaying my programme. I want us to finish this Head. In addition, there is no Minister of Crops so I do not know who you meant by Minister of Crops.

Can the hon. Member continue, please.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, let me summarise by saying that we need to overhaul the entire disciplinary system in the Civil Service. The Public Service Commission should be assigned other responsibilities while disciplinary matters should be left to this division through the personnel officers in the respective ministries. That way, we are going to move forward.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, as usual, I will not take long. To start with, I would like to say that I support the vote. Secondly, I would like to appeal to the Government to look into the affairs of civil servants that were retired between 1998 and 2000 as a result of the reorganisation of the Civil Service. It is now eleven years and these people have not yet been paid.

Hon. UPND Members: They were underpaid.

Mr Mooya: Yes, they were actually underpaid. I would like His Honour the Vice-President to look into this matter as it is in the courts of law. The civil servants have sued the Government because of late …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Mooya, why are you then talking about it if the matter is in the courts of law? Continue, but avoid talking about matters that are before the courts.

Mr Mooya: These people worked very hard. Some of them clocked 30 years in the Civil Service, but, in the end, they were underpaid. Therefore, I am appealing to the Government to do something about this so that the retired civil servants are paid.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Hachipuka, you may now take the Floor.

Mr Matongo: Thank you, Sir.

Mr Hachipuka (Mbabala): He said Hachipuka and you are not Hachipuka.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to debate on the vote relating to the PSMD. In supporting this Vote, I want to adopt Hon. Kambwili’s debate relating to discipline and what procedures must be adopted.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hachipuka: However, in my case, I want to dwell on specific areas of methodology. In this budget, there is absolutely no provision on how the Civil Service should deal with the matter of staff appraisals. Why should we have the PSMD when we have not been told how it intends to deal with performance assessments? We cannot have a division at such a great cost which is composed of only civil servants, some of whom have retired and have been given contracts. All they do is go around talking to friends and promoting and demoting people without any methodology on how to do it.

Mr Chairperson, please allow me, once more, to refer to Hon. Kambwili’s statement that when we were working for ZCCM, and this is the practice world over which many governments have adopted, there was a system in place where every year, every employee had to be appraised. It is unfortunate that the Government does not adhere to this and wants to conduct appraisals after three years or more. There should be benchmarks against which, for example the Ministry of Education, is measured every one or three years.  We cannot have people in the Civil Service who are just paid without any assessment of their performance. If you do not introduce a performance appraisal system in the Civil Service, that must determine whether a person must be promoted or demoted, you will not be able to improve the performance of the Civil Service. Besides, how else would you know the size of your Civil Service?

Mrs Musokotwane: They do not know. That is why we have a lot of problems.

Mr Hachipuka: Do you know that the biggest employer in this country is the Government?  Do you know that in this country, if you do not do business with the Government, you will remain a poor man? Do you know that the only option left is to do business and deal with a common man in the streets selling vegetables and selling in a shop because that is the only business available in this country? The big business with a lot of money are the contracts on which you are being investigated.


Mr Hachipuka: Yes, the biggest business in this country is doing business with the Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes, you are right!

Mr Hachipuka: The biggest managers in this country are the Permanent Secretaries and directors in Government institutions. Look at the Yellow Book and the money that we are discussing. We are talking of K15 trillion to K16 trillion. If you look at the power you have, His Honour the Vice-President …

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair.


Mr Hachipuka: Mr Chairman, the power in this Government can be seen by looking at the Yellow Book. We are authorising an expenditure of K15 trillion to K16 trillion. When you add the supplementary budget, we will probably be talking of K16 trillion to K17 trillion and that is the chunk of the money in the national economy. You have people handling the money who do not know whether they are suitable to do so or not.

Mr Chairman, most of these people join the Civil Service as sweepers and end up as Permanent Secretaries. There are people who have risen, but not through studying. If there is any job where you can continue provided you are well and a become Permanent Secretary, it is in the Civil Service.


Mr Hachipuka: Some of the recently appointed Permanent Secretaries were sweepers and they have ended up as Permanent Secretaries. The promotions are based on thought and not on any indicative rate of assessment.

Mr Chairman, they should recognise that it is within their power to evaluate staff and make sure that those who are promoted are suitable to be in those positions. It is up to them to define jobs. You appoint a person to a position of Permanent Secretary when you have no clue about that person. Have they ever brought …


Mr Hachipuka:  I am not saying that they should bring to this House and I do not know whether it is their domain need.

Hon. Members: Wisdom!

Mr Hachipuka: If you asked some of the people who have been appointed hon. Ministers their terms of reference, you would find that they do not know.


Mr Hachipuka: The Public Service Commission should be able to avail these people with what they are supposed to do. Not only members of the Executive in this House, but the Civil Service as well. A person should be appointed and told in writing what he is supposed to do. His performance should be measured against the objectives of his job and how he has performed.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Hachipuka: They should be told their weaknesses are and how to improve. If we do not go back to that system and adopt Hon. Kambwili’s suggestion of putting in place an efficient disciplinary system, then the Civil service will not improve. We must also have an efficient appointment, recruitment and assessment system so that people can be measured against their performance

I will end by saying that these are the people who spend the national resources and they spend the money without knowing on what they have spent it. Even if you ask the Auditor-General to conduct value audits, if I had money, I would call all these to a value addition seminar so that they know the difference between decisions, value of the decision and the difference between decisions. There are decisions that are worth nothing.

Mr Sejani: There is a free course in the amphitheatre.

Mr Hachipuka: There are decisions that can make the difference between your life and death, but all I can say for now because I do not want to take a lot of your time, is that I encourage my colleagues to look into the Public Service Commission seriously. If you look at the Yellow Book, it is about salaries and business as usual and friends and relatives waiting to retire.  We quarrel about how much they will be paid when they retire, but retire from what, nothing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, I will not adopt a defensive posture in winding up this particular vote. I have taken note of the constructive suggestions and observations which have been given through the various debates.

Indeed the Public Service has some problems. Some of the rules on the discipline of officers are archaic and require review. There is need for review if we have to improve the Public Service. We will not defend things which are not correct.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: If there is to be discipline in the Public Service, there is need for us to provide that discipline. The machinery for disciplining officers should be efficient and quick. I urge all hon. Members to support the budget that we have given and we will continue looking into the performance of the Public Service so that it can deliver to the people of Zambia.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 27/01 – (Public Service Management Division – Administration – K253,608,598,555).

Mrs Musokotwane (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 3, Activity 02 – Future Search – K2,100,000,000. What is Future Search which has been allocated K2 billion?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, in my policy statement, I went to great lengths to explain it.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr D. Mwila: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 3, Activity 05 – Public Service Pension Arrears, an amount of K269,900,000,000 was allocated last year and there is no allocation this year. Why?

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Sir, unfortunately, the hon. Member has not read the budget properly. If you look at Programme 7, there is a provision for Pension Fund Arrears. Have you seen it?

Mr D. Mwila: Yes.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: That is where it has moved to. There is a provision of K72 billion.

The Deputy Chairperson: Are you satisfied?

Mr D. Mwila: Yes.


Vote 27/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 27/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 34/01 – (Human Rights Commission – K8,141,790,456).

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: Mr Chairman, I thank you for the opportunity to present the Budget for the Human Rights Commission for 2009.

The Human Rights Commission is established under Article 125 of the Constitution of Zambia and the powers and functions of the commission are contained in the Human Rights Commission Act No. 39 of 1996.

Its many functions are investigation of human rights violations, maladministration of justice and to conduct visits to prisons and prison cells. It is also mandated to conduct research in human rights, carry out human rights education programmes and facilitate the rehabilitation of victims of human rights abuse.

Mr Chairman, during the year 2009, the commission has been allocated a total of K8,141,790,456 to implement the above mentioned functions.

Sir, in the year 2009, the investigations and legal services department of the commission will undertake the following activities:

(a) conduct investigations throughout the country on reported matters of human rights violations;


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us listen.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice:

(b) train all investigations officers in professional ethics, complaints handling procedures and skills in conducting successful investigations;

(c) visit places of detention in Luapula and Western provinces; and

(d) hold partnership meetings with selected stakeholders for the purpose of networking and collaboration;

Mr Chairman, the Human Rights Commission is mandated to inform the public on the state of human rights in the country each year. The commission, therefore, published the first State of Human Rights Report for 2007. The commission is in the process of compiling and launching the second State of Human Rights Report for 2008.

Monitoring and reporting of human rights provides the population and the Government information on the country’s performance with respect to good governance, respect for the rule of law and adequacy of social economic programmes and policies that are being pursued by the Government.

Mr Kambwili sat with Mr Mukanga.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I think we are not listening. I hate to separate my two colleagues, but please, let us consult quietly. You may continue.

The Vice-President and Minister of Justice: It is equally important to know that the United Nations is involved in the assessment of the state of human rights in any given country. Consequently, Zambia will be in a position to defend itself when asked about the state of human rights in the country. Above all, all the members of the public have the right to know the state of human rights in the country.

Sir, following the numerous complaints related to employment and labour rights, the commission has embarked on employment and labour research. The survey which will be conducted will focus on the mining sector, tourism and hotel industry and agricultural sector. The survey report will be launched by July, 2009.

Mr Chairperson, after successfully piloting the participatory production of radio programmes in Eastern Province so as to focus on the human rights needs of local communities, the commission, this year, extends the programme to all parts of the country. The idea is to use community radio, with its attendant advantages of proximity tool and use of local languages of target audience in creating awareness of the human rights that are identified by the locals themselves. The programmes are developed and produced with the full participation of locals to create ownership.

Sir, the commission will conduct several human rights orientation workshops with various groups, including teachers of civic education, media practitioners and traditional leaders.

Mr Chairperson, the commission will also engage in many other activities jointly planned and executed with other human rights stakeholders, including sensitisation, dissemination of information on activities and events in the human rights arena, and commemoration of selected human rights days.

Sir, I urge this august House to support the 2009 budget for the commission.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Any further debate? His Honour the Vice-President.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala Indicated.

Hon. Government Members: Iwe ikala panshi!

Mr Chisala (Chilubi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to this important vote.

Sir, let me begin by paying tribute to the second Republican President, Dr Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba, who made it possible for this institution to be established.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: I salute the great man because without the efforts that he put in place, today, as I am talking, many lives of Zambian people could have been jeopardised’.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Furthermore, I would also like to pay tribute to the third Republican President, the late Patrick Levy Mwanawasa, who also maintained the commission which is under debate this evening. It is my sincere hope that the current Republican President is going to maintain this important commission.

Sir, this evening, I stand on the Floor of this august House because the commission which was initiated in 1996 plays an instrumental role in good governance. Of late, it has been discovered that the commission has lamentably failed to discharge its duties effectively because it is inadequately funded. Therefore, what is the way forward? If we want this important institution to function effectively, it is for us to find a solution and the only solution is to fund this institution adequately.

Mr Chairperson, before this institution was established, we experienced a lot of human rights violations in a number of institutions such as prisons, police cells and industries. That is why when the wise men come into power, in 1991, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: … they decided that it was paramount for an important institution such as this to come into being. Today, many of us are surprised that this institution is not functioning the way it used to because ...

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)




(Progress reported)




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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 5th March, 2009.