Debates - Thursday, 19th March, 2015

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Thursday, 19th March, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me this opportunity to issue a ministerial statement on the progress that we are making on the Diaspora policy formulation.

Sir, the House will recall that on 17th October, 2014, my ministry launched the Revised Foreign Policy which placed emphasis on economic diplomacy as opposed to political diplomacy. The launch of this document set a tone for Zambians living beyond our borders to participate effectively in the management and shaping of this country’s destiny. It was a call to patriotism, as patriotism knows no political or economic boundaries.

Mr Speaker, while Zambians living in the Diaspora pursue their own individual dreams, they are reminded of the timeless creed that has held our country together for a long time, the ‘One Zambia, One nation’ motto. It is a creed that means that in this country, we rise or fall as one people. Zambians living in the Diaspora constantly remind us of the potential that lies within them, and if well harnessed, would contribute effectively to the country’s economic emancipation. Unified as they are, in the Diaspora, they also remind us that we are not as divided as our politics suggest. We are not as cynical as the pundits want us to believe, and that this country is much bigger than the sum of all our individual ambitions put together.
By insisting on the Diaspora Policy, Zambians living beyond our borders are inviting us, leaders, to concentrate on the convergences rather than the divergences, and to put an end to habits that feed political polarisation.

Sir, it is in this spirit that the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kalaba: … has recognised the potential of the Zambian Diaspora in the development of the country. In this regard, the Government has taken steps towards engaging Zambians in the Diaspora, who have demonstrated great interest in contributing to national development, by investing in the various sectors of the economy.

Sir, accordingly, the Government has made concerted efforts, in partnership with development partners such as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to engage and mobilise Zambians in the Diaspora to contribute to the development of the country.

Mr Speaker, it will be recalled that in April, 2008, the Government invited the Zambian Diaspora to participate in the national consultative meeting, referred to as the indaba, on the impact of the world economic crisis. The meeting recommended the establishment of methodologies for engaging the Diaspora in national development. Other post-indaba initiatives led to the establishment of the Diaspora Liaison Office in 2009, to facilitate liaison between the Diaspora and appropriate national institutions. It should be noted that this office had a narrow focus of Diaspora engagement in that it was mainly concentrated on land-related matters which were carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Additionally, in June, 2010, the Government, with assistance from the IOM, launched an online survey for Zambians living abroad in an effort to capture their views, aspirations and concerns with regard to participation in national development.

Mr Speaker, while these efforts sought to address the plight of the Zambian Diaspora, they were not sufficient, in the absence of a policy framework, to offer the Government the mode and terms of engagement with the Zambian Diaspora. President Edgar Lungu’s Administration recognises that Zambians abroad have the potential to contribute to national development through the sharing of knowledge, skills and experience, as well as the transfer of financial resources through remittances. In view of the massive untapped potential of the Zambians in the Diaspora, the Government has embarked on the process of formulating the Diaspora Policy Document which will clearly define the terms of engagement and collaboration between the Government and the Zambian Diaspora. All this is being done in the spirit of ensuring that the promises are kept. As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we will not promise what we cannot do, but do what we promise.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, it should be noted that apart from national efforts, the Government’s inspiration to enhance and formulate a stand-alone Diaspora Policy are as a result of regional efforts at continental level which culminated in the first ever African Union (AU) Global Diaspora Summit held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 25th May, 2012. The summit mandated member-States to take necessary measures to formulate their respective Diaspora policies with the overall objective of harnessing skills and energies, within the continent and abroad, for the socio-economic development of the African continent. As we make strides in the realisation of the Agenda 2063, as envisaged by the AU, Zambia recognises the importance of consolidating the Diaspora Policy.

Sir, allow me to briefly highlight the process that has been undertaken in the formulation of the Diaspora Policy. This august House may wish to note that the PF Government has established a National Steering Committee which comprises key line ministries and institutions whose mandate is to spearhead the formulation of the Diaspora Policy Document. The committee is, therefore, in the process of undertaking the necessary consultations with all relevant stakeholders, including the ministries of Labour and Social Security, Finance, Justice, Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Home Affairs, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Speaker, the overall objective of the policy is to integrate the Zambian Diaspora in the development agenda of the country by creating an enabling environment and platform for effective participation in national development. The main focus of the policy will be to harness and maximise their efforts as a resource for development by increasing their participation in trade and investment opportunities, enhancing the transfer of financial resources by reducing the high cost of remitting money, facilitating the acquisition of land, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Kalaba: … protecting the rights and interests of the Diaspora and the establishment of the comprehensive online portal to offer information on the country.

Other interventions will include facilitating their participation in the legislative and political processes, expanding consular services in missions abroad, and addressing challenges such as citizenship.

 Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that my ministry, in consultation with the other key stakeholders, will ensure that the policy document is subjected to wide consultation among the various stakeholders key to this process.

Sir, the ministry has made efforts to develop a roadmap for the adoption of the Draft Diaspora Policy Document. Key stages will entail learning from other countries, within the region and abroad, with widespread experience in Diaspora Policy formulation. In addition, the ministry is scheduled to hold a national consultative meeting with relevant stakeholders such as Diaspora associations, Parliamentarians, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the IOM and the private sector to solicit for their input in the Diaspora-engagement process.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to reiterate the commitment of the PF Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: … in ensuring that this policy document is launched by the third quarter of 2015. May I also admit that the potential that lies within and outside our country is extremely huge. We have to agree to work together with the Diaspora based on the fundamental principle of unity even in diversity. While we pursue our individual dreams, let us always remember that we belong to a collective entity called Zambia, a country which has prevailed over tough times and always emerged stronger.

Sir, maybe, like that religious poet, this country knows who the master of the wind is. Yes, this country knows the maker of the rains, and has always quietened the storms that we have gone through as a country. Yes, I know that the sun will keep on shining on mother Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement made by the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, may I find out, as at the last count, if any, how many Zambians could be living in the Diaspora so that we are able to know the size of their contribution.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I stated that the process has begun to identify the number of Zambians living abroad so that we can consolidate the figures. Once this is done, they will also be inculcated within the process of the policy formulation. So, we are yet to establish and quantify the exact number of Zambians living beyond our borders.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, people living in the Diaspora have been advocating for their right to vote in the country’s elections. Is the policy taking care of that issue?

 Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the issue of political franchise, for Zambians living in the Diaspora, is anchored on the Constitution. I am sure that the Diaspora will have to relate their concerns to the Constitution that this House will pass.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister referred to an initiative that was undertaken in 2010 to facilitate the acquisition of land by Zambians living abroad, which we know is a concern for many of them. Can the hon. Minister update this House as to how many Zambians have been assisted by the Government to get land from 2010 to-date.  

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, it is true that there are several Zambians living in the Diaspora who have applied for land. When I was Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, I encountered that challenge. This is the more reason the Diaspora Policy is coming up to address the whole matter about land acquisition for them.Therefore, that will be captured as the policy is formulated.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chikankata asked about the voting right of the people in the Diaspora which has been a great concern for them, including the issue of dual-citizenship. In his response, the hon. Minister indicated that it is a matter that has to be addressed by the Constitution.

Sir, we have been hearing, through the media, that the Government is not prepared to give us a referendum for the Constitution. Can the hon. Minister kindly inform this House when this Government will bring a clear roadmap for the Constitution-making process so that these issues are determined?

 Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, again, the question is like an analogy as to what comes first, the chicken or the egg? In this particular instance, what comes first is the Constitution because Zambians living in the Diaspora will have to relate their concerns to what we, in this country, have agreed is to govern us.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to apprise this House, and the nation at large, on the Constitution-making process.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, this House will recall that on the eve of our Independence Day, 23rd October, 2014, on behalf of the then hon. Minister of Justice who is now our Republican President, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, I had the rare honour and privilege of releasing the Final Draft Constitution to this august House and the general public. Thereafter, the Ministry of Justice proceeded to finalise the printing of copies of the Final Draft Constitution, the Final Report of the Technical Committee on Drafting the Constitution and the Constitution of Zambia Bill for wide distribution to the general public by 8th February, 2015.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that 15,000 copies each of the Final Draft Constitution and the Constitution Bill were printed for countrywide distribution. These were distributed to all provincial centres, with each province receiving 1,200 copies while Lusaka and the Copperbelt received slightly more.

Sir, in order to ensure there is wide distribution, and that even the visually impaired participate in the Constitution-making process, 300 copies have been printed in Braille while 300 other copies were printed in large font.

Sir, since we now live in the computer era, electronic copies have also been made available online on the official websites of the National Assembly of Zambia and Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). This House may also wish to note that members of the public have also been collecting electronic copies of the document from the Ministry of Justice.

Mr Speaker, a roadmap for the final phase of the Constitution-making process and guidelines for the public-validation process of the contents of the Final Draft Constitution were prepared and made available to the public for comment on 13th January, 2015. I am happy to inform this august House that members of the public have since been submitting their comments to the Ministry of Justice for our review. Therefore, I want to seize this opportunity to pay tribute to all those citizens for the overwhelming response in submitting their comments on the roadmap.

Mr Speaker, let me briefly highlight some of the activities of the roadmap in the last phase of the Constitution-making process. The Ministry of Justice is preparing a Draft Bill to protect and guide the remaining phases of the Constitution-review process. The Draft Bill will provide for the composition and functions of the Constitution-implementation team. The Bill is aimed at ensuring that at the end of the process, a Constitution that reflects the will of the Zambian people is enacted.

Mr Speaker, throughout the many Constitution-review processes that have been held in Zambia, starting with the Chona Constitution Review Commission forty-three years ago, pecisely in 1972, the Zambian people have been more or less consistent in what they want to see in their supreme law; the Constitution. We, now have reached that stage where the Zambian people have spoken long and loud enough, a lot of resources have been spent and, therefore, the time has now come for the adoption and enactment of a new constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, we are all aware that next year, 2016 that is in the next eighteen months or so Zambians will be going to the general elections. There are a number of good and progressive provisions in the Final Draft Constitution which ought to be in place as we go for these elections. From the overwhelming responses we have received thus far, Zambians have resolved that non-contentious clauses such as a running-mate for the Presidency, date of general elections, 50 per cent plus one majority vote for one to be declared winner of the presidential bid among others, must be in the new Constitution in readiness for the upcoming general elections.

Mr Speaker, there are two possible options that, as a nation, we can use to arrive at our objective. We could either subject the whole Draft Constitution to a referendum or use a multi-stage approach. Let me now critically examine these two options.

Mr Speaker, if we opt for the referendum route, the challenges we would face are time and resource constraints. The cost of holding a referendum is almost the same as that of holding a general election. This is because the number of voters required are much more than in a general election, and also there would be a need to carry out an exercise to determine the number of eligible voters either by way of a fully-fledged census or sample census, and also to register those eligible voters.

Mr Speaker, if we were to hold a referendum in January, 2016, as the roadmap suggests, it would mean holding the equivalent of two general elections in a space of nine months. To give this House some idea of the costs involved, the recent presidential election held two months ago on 20th January, 2015, cost the Treasury K344,355,010 which was fully funded by the Government. The Donor Community contributed US$2,980,840, equivalent to about K20 million, which was used to supplement voter education, conflict management and publicity activities.

Mr Speaker, Article 79(3) of the current Constitution states that:

“A Bill for the alteration of Part III of this Constitution or of this article shall not be passed unless before the first reading of the Bill in the National Assembly, and it has been put to a national referendum with or without amendments by not less than 50 per cent of persons entitled to be registered voters for the purposes of presidential and parliamentary elections.”

Sir, to hold a successful referendum, therefore, more than half of the people eligible to vote in Zambia should participate. There are four possible options of determining the number of eligible voters. The first one is the use of the most recent census figures; that is, the 2010 Census results. This option is the cheapest in terms of cost as the information is already available. The 2010 Census recorded a total of 5,857,806 Zambians aged eighteen years and older in October, 2010. Half of that figure is 2.9 million. However, these figures are five years old and, therefore, cannot reflect the actual size of the eligible voter population in Zambia for a referendum taking place in 2015 or 2016.

Mr Speaker, the second option is the use of projected figures from the most recent census, that is, population projections made following the 2010 Census. Taking the 2.8 per cent annual population growth rate, the projected number of eligible voters from the total counted in the 2010 Census would be 6,738,081 voters in 2015. The option is cheaper relative to collecting new data as the figures can be generated using the 2010 Census at a minimal cost. Half of this figure is 3.36 million eligible voters. However, the use of projected figures does not meet the requirements of the Referendum Act and could be amenable to legal challenges.

Mr Speaker, the third option is to conduct a fully-fledged census in order to generate an updated number of eligible voters. The last census conducted in 2010 required three years preparatory works, including an extensive geographical mapping of the entire country. Together with other financial, material and logistical requirements, the Government spent more than K250 million on the exercise in 2010. The next census is due in 2020.

The fourth option is to conduct a sample census in order to generate an updated estimate. Section 8 of the Census and Statistics Act, Chapter 127 of the Laws of Zambia allows the Director of the Central Statistical Office (CSO), if he deems it fit, to use sampling methods in conducting any census in terms of Section 6. Therefore, a nationally representative probability census could be conducted in selected clusters in all the 150 constituencies in order to provide an updated estimate of eligible voters. The CSO has estimated that such a sample census could take six months to complete at a cost of K50 million.

Mr Speaker, this august House may wish to know that statistics from the ECZ show that voter apathy in our general elections is real. In the 2011 Tripartite Elections, only 2,772,264 voters turned up to cast their votes. In the January 20th, 2015 Presidential Election, two months ago, the voter turn-out was 1.6 million out of the 5.1 million registered voters, representing 32 per cent of the total number. The highest voter turn-out in Zambia since 1991 was recorded in 2006, when 2,789,062 people cast their votes.

Sir, in a referendum, as we all know, there are no candidates and, therefore, the personal appeal that comes with an election is absent. That could make it extremely challenging to reach and persuade voters to participate in a referendum. The danger, therefore, of putting everything in the referendum basket, is that if the threshold is not met, we, as a people, will be throwing away the baby with the bath water. In other words, because in a referendum the voter is required to answer yes or no, even those good progressive non-contentious clauses in the Draft Constitution will be lost.

Moreover, Mr Speaker, it is very easy to defeat a referendum. Stakeholders that have misgivings about some clauses do not need to appeal to their constituencies to vote but, rather, simply urge them to stay away from the polling stations so that the threshold is not met. Having said all this, the question is: Are we prepared, as a nation, to take this risk?

Mr Kalaba: Livune, are you prepared?

Mr Livune: Yes!

Dr Simbyakula: It is because of the attendant and real risks associated with the referendum that the Government finds it realistic and financially prudent to have those non-contentious provisions in the Draft Constitution, which do not require a referendum, to be incorporated into the current Constitution by this House, through amendments, at no cost at all.

Mr Mpundu: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: The Bill of Rights and Article 79 could then be subjected to a referendum together with the tripartite elections in 2016.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: That way, the probability of meeting the threshold will be much higher than a stand-alone referendum.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Furthermore, there will be no extra resources required as the tripartite elections will have been budgeted for. I must hasten to mention to the House that an amendment to the Referendum Act, Chapter 14 of the Laws of Zambia, so as to bring it in conformity with the Constitution, has already been approved by the Cabinet. In the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation, the Government remains open to dialogue on the Constitution-making process. If, indeed, stakeholders agree to this proposal, the first set of amendments could come to this august House in the June sitting.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: The ball is in your court.

Mr Mukata: Ema Doctors, aya!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Justice.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, that Government (pointing at the Front Bench).

Usually when somebody has died, we respect the dead. As I analyse the statement which has been issued, on the Floor of this House, to me, it clearly indicates that they have now departed from what the late President stood for. For instance, it was in this House …

Mr Speaker: Let me guide. Take a seat, hon. Member.


Mr Speaker: I know this is a very controversial and emotive issue, but let me advise hon. Members. Let us clarify the statement. If you want to talk about the history of the Constitution-making process, it is a long one. I am giving guidance. So, let us present focused questions based on the statement. I am not restricting the questions, but let us avoid these long-winding and unnecessary prefaces.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance. Hon. Minister, what have you seen now that you want to protect the Constitution-making Process? It was in this House where we asked you to bring a Bill to protect the process, but you did not bring it. Now you are saying that you want the process to be protected. What is it that you have seen that makes you want the process to be protected?

Mr Speaker: I hope the hon. Minister has got that question.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, all the Government is saying is that the Zambian people have spoken long and loud enough over the years, and that they would like to see some of these good provisions in the Draft Constitution put in place as we go towards the 2016 General Elections. That is all they want instead of rumbling about where we have come from and so on. Zambians want to get a new Constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, now that we are having a referendum in 2016, are you also going to allow the people of Barotseland to have their referendum that year, too?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the Referendum Act, Chapter 14 of the Laws of Zambia, empowers the President to appoint or set up a referendum on any question in the land. If the stakeholders in Barotseland feel that their claims can only be resolved by way of referendum, they are free to inform the Government so that it is put in place, and the people of that lovely province can decide their fate.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for reminding us of how emotive this issue is. I wish that the hon. Minister would not refer to questions as rumbling.

Sir, it is clear that the terms of reference for the eighteen-man group that was appointed by the late President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, dictated that the Draft Constitution be handed over to the Head of State and the public simultaneously …

Hon. UPND Member: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: … for enactment by Parliament. Those were some of the terms of reference. I would like to find out how representative this group of people, who made recent submissions to his office, is in comparison to the people that put submissions to the district assemblies, for them to determine what they think is progressive and non-progressive in the Draft Constitution?

Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister responds, I want to state that I will be especially cautious of running commentaries because of the seriousness of this subject.

The hon. Minister of Justice may respond.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, a roadmap was prepared and revealed to the nation on 13th January, 2015, for purposes of validating the content and commenting on the actual roadmap. It simply means that these are the contents we submitted and this is how we feel the adoption and enactment of our Constitution can be done.

Mr Speaker, this is what the roadmap is all about, and this is what people have been doing. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their participation in the process. A lot of them have made suggestions about the time constraints and, hence, we cannot achieve our objective through a stand-alone referendum. However, they say that we can achieve it in a multi-stage approach. To kill an elephant, you do not just use one shot. You may be required to use several shots.

Sir, at the end of the day, what we want is a constitution that will stand the test of time. This is what we are working on. We can bring amendments, for this House to clear in sets until we finally reach our objective. On the other hand, we can put everything in the referendum basket, and if it fails, then, that is bad luck for us. Various stakeholders have been coming through to say this.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has lamented, as we all have, the long time it has taken this process, and the many years the Zambian people have been waiting to have a constitution they desire.

Mr Speaker, one of the critical elements in the Draft Constitution is the provision of social and economic rights. This requires that we amend or provide a new Part III. To do that, we need to have a referendum. The hon. Minister says that subjecting the whole Constitution to a referendum will cost us time and money.

Mr Speaker, how much have we spent, so far, in the more than forty years that we have been carrying out this process? How much have we spent on the many by-elections that have been held in the recent years? Truly, is the cost that we can and should incur not worth the benefit that Zambians will derive from having a constitution they have desired for so many years?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I explained that the cost of the recent Presidential Election on 20th January, 2015, was in excess of K344 million. The cost of a referendum, however, would cost more because the threshold is much higher.

Sir, it is true that the Zambian people have spent a lot of resources over the years, starting from the Chona Constitution Review Commission of 1972, the Mvunga Constitution Review Commission of 1991, the Mwanakatwe Constitution Review Commission of 1993, the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission of 2003, the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) of 2010, and the Technical Committee on Drafting the Constitution of 2011.

Mr Speaker, we have been on a journey to fine-tune that desired constitution which has eluded us for so many years. I am not here to apportion any blame. It is upon all of us because we are all in the same boat anyway.


Dr Simbyakula: Oh, yes!

Mr Speaker: It is a figure of speech. This is the English Language. Continue, hon. Minister.

Let us make progress. Let us not get bogged down by English.


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, after spending so much resources, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Simbyakula: ... we are finally almost there.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Dr Simbyakula: I was talking of bringing something here in June this year to get us on the way to the Promised Land.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Simbyakula: The hon. Member for Mafinga is talking about the many good things not just in Part III, but in the whole Constitution which can make Zambia a better place. All of us in here can leave this nation better than we found it, for our future generations to come. Surely, should we debate about why we spent so much money on the Constitution-making process in the past? We are all to blame, as a nation. I am not going to apportion blame as to why the NCC, for example, failed. The important thing is to come forward with ideas on how we can achieve our objective. God has put something there. It is very close. We should not spoil this moment. We are almost at the finish line.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Keembe. You now have the Floor.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, first of all, I must protest that the hon. Minister is not answering the questions. This is a very serious debate that requires adequate information for the people of Zambia to know where they are going as regards the Constitution.

Mr Speaker: Put your question.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: Hon. Minister, the people of Zambia demanded a new constitution. You have spent money on massive infrastructure and by-elections. Today, you have come to tell us that there is no money to give them a complete constitution that they want. Are you admitting that your Government is incapable of borrowing money to fulfil the ambitions and the needs of the Zambian people?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: General!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, …

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I gave you the Floor, hon. Member for Keembe. You finished and resumed your seat, but you want to continue speaking while seated.


Mr Speaker: Order!
Even if it is allowed, it is not justified.


Mr Speaker: Order!

We still have to proceed orderly. We have no choice, but to proceed in an orderly fashion. There is no choice here. Let us listen carefully as we debate. I do not want to intervene. Let us listen carefully. If there are shortcomings, highlight them and exercise self control.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I am trying to explain to this august House that we have some options on how we can adopt and enact our Constitution. One option is the referendum route. In other words, to put the entire document in a referendum process, and I have tried to explain some of the risks involved in taking that route. There is the question of the threshold. In a general election, the voter votes for a councillor, a Member of Parliament and a President. These people attract voters on polling day. However, in a referendum, there is no such personal appeal. You have to give a very good reason to a voter for him/her to leave their field and come out to vote. Those are risks that we have. If the threshold for the referendum is not met, all those good clauses Hon. Namugala was talking about will be lost.

Sir, what is certain is that there will be a general election in 2016 which will be budgeted for.  We can subject the entire document to a referendum then, if that is your wish. We will be happy to do that because money will certainly be there for the general elections, then, we can have a referendum at the same time. I can guarantee there will be money for that. However, at the moment, there are competing needs. We can achieve the same objective by holding a referendum at the same time as the general elections in 2016, and we can have the good clauses and parts that are in the Constitution enacted by this House, starting this June.

Mr Mwila: Yes, fifty plus one and running mate.

Dr Simbyakula: We can have those things. We can look at the Citizenship Clause and all those things in June this year, which is about ninety days or less from now. I do not know what problem the Honourable Reverend has with that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I will take questions from hon. Members of the following constituencies: Nkana, Senanga, Mpongwe and Lukulu West.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, …

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Let me inform the House that as you may guess, during a segment of this sort, I will not allow points of order.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, if, as a nation, we agree to go the route of amending the current Constitution in order to accommodate those non-contentious clauses. Will the amendments also include the creation of new constituencies.  It has been a long time since new constituencies were created and yet the population of the Republic of Zambia has grown.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question and the answer is yes. The population is growing. Of course, we will have to do something about the Chamber. If we had to increase the constituencies to 240, as suggested here, we might even have to start using the galleries.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

That is my problem.


Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, in the last part of his statement, the hon. Minister said that his Government or the Executive is ready to involve other stakeholders in this process. I doubt that statement. Do you really need stakeholders? I ask this because, to the contrary, your spokesperson has, actually, been demonising the stakeholders such as the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), who were fighting to have the referendum route come through. He called them a minority and, further, antagonised women. Are you really interested in the stakeholders?

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Order, hon. Minister.

Dr Simbyakula: This Constitution should not be seen as a Patriotic Front (PF)-driven Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, it is a people-driven Constitution.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: The people who are going to enact this Constitution are in this House. However, the adoption process involves more than the people in this House. For your information, I have met stakeholders from the Church and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and we have had very amicable discussions. They have made very useful contributions to this process, and I want to thank them profusely. I cannot thank them enough because as I keep emphasising that all of us, including the NGOs, are in the same boat.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, according to my understanding, the statement made by the hon. Minister was very clear. Is it possible to reproduce the same statement and put it in the pigeonholes so that I can go and give it to some people in my constituency?  I am tired of explaining the same thing to them. However, if I gave them that statement, I think that it would help me. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to bring the same statement tomorrow, and put it in our pigeonholes?

Mr Speaker: Order!

I do not even need the hon. Minister to respond to that. It will be done.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, this is a very emotive topic, indeed. Personally, I would not want to go right in front to demand for a people-driven Constitution which the Government promised to give us within three months. It said that the Constitution would be given within ninety days. Has it departed from the ninety-day promise in which it was to give us the people-driven Constitution?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I just want to say that I will be more than thrilled to give Hon. Namulambe and the rest of the hon. Members here, copies of the statement. Copies have already been delivered to the Office of the Clerk. Therefore, it just depends on how soon her office will be able to make these copies available.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mitete …

Mr Speaker: Lukulu West.

Mr Livune: Katombola!

Mr Speaker: Lukulu West.

Dr Simbyakula: Lukulu West, thank you, Sir.

My honourable Young Brother from Lukulu West, it is true that the PF Government promised to deliver the Constitution within ninety days. You are quite correct, and I can give you the reasons why we thought we could do so.  

We sincerely believed that after all the past Constitution Review Commissions and the NCC, there was enough raw data readily available, including drafts. For instance, the Mwanakatwe and Mung’omba Constitution Review Commissions, where I was an active participant in technical work, prepared draft constitutions. The data was there and we sincerely believed that all that was needed was a team to draft the Constitution. In fact, all that was required was to copy and paste. We thought that it could be accomplished in far much less time than ninety days.

However, as I said last time when I was given an opportunity to speak, we appointed a technical committee which argued that it needed to go round again for purposes of validation, and we sincerely agreed because we believe in the principle of Vox populi, vox dei, meaning the voice of the people is the voice of God.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: The committee went round …

Mr Mwila interjected.

Dr Simbyakula: … and came up with this Draft Constitution. This is where we are at the moment. As I keep saying, we are almost there. God has been with us.


Dr Simbyakula:  Come June, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Simbyakula: ... some of these clauses in this draft will be brought here.

Mr Shakafuswa: Contentious ones?

Dr Simbyakula:  Non-contentious ones will be brought here.

Mind you, there are issues in this Draft Constitution which are still contentious and can make a referendum fail. As all hon. Members are aware, the Referendum Act states that the question shall be framed in such a way that a voter simply votes ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There will not be a thick booklet of ballots where one starts going clause by clause to mark ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This is why I am saying that if we miss the referendum, we will be throwing away the baby together with the bath water.

If, for instance, the United Party for National Development (UPND) or the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) are unhappy about a particular clause, and if the traditional leaders, whom I have already given notice, are unhappy about some provisions relating to land, all they have to do is ask the people to stay away and not vote.


Mr Kambwili: Kabiyeni, kumabala!

Dr Simbyakula:  Then the whole thing will fail. This is the risk we stand to face.

However, as Hon. Namugala stressed, there are very progressive provisions in this Draft Constitution about a running mate, for example. In the last six years, God has been speaking to us because we have lost six Heads of State.

Mr Shakafuswa: Six?

Dr Simbyakula: So, there should be a running mate. If, therefore, we go the referendum route, we stand the risk of throwing away progressive clauses. At the risk of repetition, hon …

Mr Mukanga: Namugala?

Dr Simbyakula: No, the hon. Member for Mumbwa, the honourable Good Doctor and general.  Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo, at the risk of repeating myself, going the referendum route does not guarantee success. We may or may not succeed, we do not know. It will be up to the Zambian people to turn up. If we are prepared to take this risk, so be it.

Mr Mwila: We can go, yes!

Dr Simbyakula: It is up to you.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have exhausted the questions, but I am inviting more which will be recorded accordingly. Whilst the recording is proceeding, I will ask the hon. Member for Luena to ask her question.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the Mvunga, Mwanakatwe and Mung’omba Constitution review commissions. I do not want to talk about the Chona Constitution Review Commission because it was in another era.

Mr Speaker, the latest commission was the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission, which, I believe, went round the country and collected evidence for the technical team to draft the Constitution. This is the same technical team that convinced the Government that it needed to go back to the people for validation.

Was it necessary for the technical team to go back to the people, when the people had already spoken through the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission? Why was it necessary to go back then and why is it necessary now?  The hon. Minister, who changed his initial statement, said that there are still some voices coming out saying that this should be done. Why not come up with a draft using the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission data through which the people have already spoken?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I am not sure if I heard the hon. Member correctly because she kept talking about the Mung’omba Constitution Review Commission. However, yes, the commission did prepare a draft and re-appointed a technical committee. I have stated here that we believed, as stated in our manifesto, though I am not sure that this is what is written down, that this exercise could be done expeditiously because all the raw data was available.

Mr Speaker, even the Chona Constitution Review Commission is relevant because it was the first time that the limitation of presidential terms was recommended. Hon. Member, I do not know if you have read it, but the commission recommended two terms, and that is why it is relevant. All the Constitution Review Commissions that have existed have had the Chona Constitution Review Commission as their genesis.

In fact, when carrying out this exercise, they consider all those things because it is part of our history. People who forget their history are condemned to repeat it. We must understand where we have come from so that we understand where we are. Then only, can we better prepare for the future. We are here now and we understand where we are, the errors we have made in the past, and why it has cost us so much in terms of resources and time.  We may have had serious challenges, as a people, in the adoption processes, but now we understand why.

I have stressed the fact that all of us, as Zambians, are to blame and should share the blame. However, there is something that we have now and we are almost getting there. June is not too far away. This House will consider some of these non-contentious clauses so that as we go to the 2016 General Elections, some of them should be in place.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: I will take questions in the following order: hon. Member for Chama North; hon. Member for Milanzi; hon. Member for Mwinilunga; hon. Member for Katuba; hon. Member for Mumbwa; hon. Member for Monze Central and hon. Member for Solwezi West.

Hon. Member for Chama North, you may proceed with your question.

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I heard the statement by the hon. Minister very clearly and understood it. However, I would like to go deeper on the issue of a people-driven constitution.

Hon. Minister, if Parliament is going to deal with non-contentious issues which you believe cannot be subjected to a referendum, how do you expect people to react in an event that Parliament rejects the clauses chosen by them? I would like to understand.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, there are two processes or parts to the Constitution-making Process. The most critical is the adoption process which is the political part. What makes or breaks a constitution is the adoption process.

Sir, I have said once before, when you gave me the opportunity to speak on this same subject, that some of the processes in the past have failed at precisely this stage because of greed and selfishness.

Mr Speaker, if you recall, the Chona Constitution Review Commission recommendations were adopted by the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Cabinet. They would prepare the recommendations on a White Paper and decide which recommendations to accept and reject.

For example, Hon. Imenda, the two-term recommendation was rejected on the White Paper by the UNIP Cabinet. It rejected it because it felt there should not be a limit on how long a citizen can serve the nation if he/she is able to, which made sense at that time.

Sir, the same thing happened in 1991 with the Mvunga Constitution Review Commission recommendations. These were adopted by UNIP and the MMD at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. The Church came in to mediate because the MMD refused to go for elections under the Constitution they had at that time, if you recall. You must remember your history.


Dr Simbyakula: UNIP and the MMD sat together at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to adopt those recommendations. What about in 1996, who adopted this Constitution that we are using now?

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Who adopted this Constitution we are using?

Mr Mushanga: They do not know.

Dr Simbyakula: This Constitution was adopted by the MMD and I must confess that I played a role as a technocrat. I was the Dean of the School of Law at the University of Zambia at that time and I was teaching Constitutional law, so, they asked for my assistance.

Mr Speaker, what we are saying is that adoption is a political act and it is what makes a Constitution Bill to be enacted or not to be enacted. Enactment is carried out by that body which is mandated, under the Constitution, to enact laws, and that is the National Assembly.

Therefore, everything is going to be brought to this House. That is why you are here. You are a representative of the people and your role is that of a legislator and that is what you will do. If the stakeholders are in agreement with what we are saying, we will start that process in June, here in this House.


Dr Simbyakula: In fact, one of the clauses which I hope can come quickly is Article 83. Those who have copies can check Article 83 of the Laws of Zambia.

Sir, may I read it?

Mr Speaker: Please, I will give you the liberty.

Dr Simbyakula: Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, Article 83, which is non-contentious and very progressive, says:

“A general election shall be held every five years after the last general election on the second Thursday of August. That day, on which a general election is held, shall be a public holiday”.

Sir, surely, why should we not enact this particular provision so that all of us know when elections shall be held? Then we can start preparing ourselves and raising resources for the election. Is there a difficulty with that?

Mr Musukwa: Do you need a referendum for that?

Dr Simbyakula: Why is it that we cannot bring this provision in June this year, then, we will know …


Mr Speaker: Because it comes before August.


Dr Simbyakula: … that, in fact, the referendum shall be held on 2nd August, 2016. All of us can go and start sensitising the people in our constituencies so that they come out in numbers such that the referendum succeeds and the Bill of Rights is also passed.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that the people of Zambia want a referendum. Is it possible that we can hold a referendum and suspend the 2016 General Elections?


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! Do you want him to answer the question?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Milanzi for that very incisive question. I intend to visit Milanzi shortly, and I hope we can go together.

Sir, no, it is not possible …


Dr Simbyakula: … to suspend the elections. However, we, on this side of the House, would be very happy …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Simbyakula: … to continue in office for another five or ten years.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that if stakeholders are in agreement by June, he would bring the piecemeal amendments to the House.

Sir, at what forum do you intend to bring the stakeholders together to decide as to which Articles will be brought for amendments so that they all agree?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, consultation takes all forms. One of the things I was going to propose would be a meeting of all political parties that are represented here. Perhaps, not have all political parties but, at least, have a caucus of the whole House or, maybe, a meeting of representatives from each party to go through a checklist and decide which issues are non-contentious and can be brought here.

Sir, this Constitution should not be seen as a PF-driven Constitution. You have seen, so far, that we took a back seat right from the beginning of the technical committee. We appointed the technical committee, and it went round and carried out its work. We never voiced out our views, even though we have certain opinions on some of these clauses, just like any of you would have, but we took a back seat and let the committee do its work.

Mr Mukanga: Yes!

Dr Simbyakula: Then, the Zambian people made their submissions.

Sir, I do not think anyone can accuse the PF Government of having interfered in the production of this draft. All the things which the Zambian people have been yearning for over the years are reflected here and this is the way we want it to be. We want a people-driven constitution, not a PF or UNIP or MMD or UPND or Alliance for Democracy and Development (ADD) driven ...


Dr Simbyakula: ... or Muliokela driven one.


Dr Simbyakula: We want it to be a people-driven constitution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, maybe, as a rider to the question which was asked by the wise hon. Member for Chama North, and amplifying the hon. Minister’s statement that in the past, the Constitution has failed because of greed, selfishness, nefyashala. What will stop the political orientation and greed of hon. Members of this House from shooting down the people’s will, which you are proudly displaying in the Draft Constitution? What will stop them from shooting down the most progressive Articles which have been agreed on over the years by successive Constitution Review Commissions? What will stop them from thinking that if they decide to go this route or that, they will lose out? What guarantee are you giving the people of Zambia?

Mr Speaker: He is referring to the greed of the hon. Members.


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the nature of man, and I am using the word “man” in a gender-neutral sense, is that you cannot rule out greed, but it is possible that self-preservation may prevail. If not, then, the people will judge us very harshly. They will vote us out and bring a fresh set of people to come and fulfil their will.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, if, indeed, there is a political will, why not consider bearing the cost, because the benefits will definitely equal or even outweigh the cost that we will incur in the voter registration? By doing so, we shall have an eligible register for those to participate in the referendum. Will there be a time when all the citizens agree on all the Articles in the Constitution? Is that possible, hon. Minister?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the cost we are talking about is that of a stand-alone referendum. I hope I got the question right. I mentioned that the cost is even slightly much more than that of a general election because there are more people who would come. We also need to carry out a census to determine the number of eligible voters. That is an extra cost to this referendum. There must be some consensus or some fully-fledged census, and this has to be added on to the cost. That is why I am saying that we need more money. The issue of the attendant risks is not certain. We have been faced with voter apathy before. I just mentioned to this august House that the highest turn-out was achieved nine years ago in 2006, largely because of the PF.
Mr Mukata: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, we galvanised the Zambian people to come out and vote in 2006.
Mr Mwimba Malama: Ichachine, ba Mwanza!

Dr Simbyakula: Since then, we have never achieved that kind of turn-out. The second highest was in 2011, when we had about 2.7 million people. The projection says that there are about 6.7 million eligible voters. Half of that is 3.37 million. Can we achieve that? We are not sure. We may or may not. Those are the risks we are talking about. On this side of the House (the Government side), we are saying that if that is the wish of the Zambian people, we can go for a referendum. We are not arguing against it. Do not get me wrong. We are merely pointing out the risks and the costs involved. If the people want us to go for a referendum, we can do that, but we should be mindful of the water we have put our baby in. Posterity will be very harsh on us. They will say, “How could they have done this? What kind of thinking was this?” If we fail at the referendum, we will have to start the whole process all over again. If you are willing to take those risks, who are we to say no?

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be very categorical pertaining …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left and right!

Mr Mwiimbu: … to the Referendum Act. I have heard the lamentations which he has attributed to it. If this House is able to amend the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, what can make us fail to amend the Referendum Act so that it is made user friendly for the people of Zambia? This can be done to ensure that the process of exercising their right to enact a new constitution is enhanced. I am aware of what you and Hon. Mukata are thinking by referring me to Article 79 of the Constitution of Zambia. I am very much aware of the provisions. The issue I am raising is where you only ask one question in the referendum, a part which is not in Article 79. Article 79 of the Constitution only talks about 50 per cent of people who are entitled to vote, but it does not talk about how you are going to pose the question. So, do not answer the way Hon. Mukata would like you to answer.


Mr Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, why can we, as this House, not amend the Referendum Act so that the whole process of voting is simplified? This will not allow the referendum to fail, taking into account the 50 per cent of eligible voters required according to the Constitution.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question from my learned friend.


Mr Speaker: Order! Let us focus on the business at hand.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, if you can come up with some bright ideas on how the questions can be framed, we will gladly receive them. I, personally, would be very interested to hear what sort of question that would be.


Dr Simbyakula: It is important. Please, come forth, my door is open.

Mr Mwiimbu: Because it is impossible.
Dr Simbyakula: Sir, I have a public office. In fact, I have invited my learned friend to discuss other issues so many times, but he has never showed up.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba: He does not drink tea.


Mr Speaker: Order! Let us leave that for 1615 hours.


Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, instead of bringing a White Paper to Parliament, why did the hon. Minister decide to rely on the evidence of a few people he put in his pocket …


Mr Mwanza: … at the ministry?


Mr Speaker: I did not get the question. I want to be sure about its propriety.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister of Justice to explain to this House, and the people of Zambia, how he ignored the contents of the Draft Constitution Report, and based it on the few people he pitched from his pocket at the ministry to be part of the evidence here.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, that is the more reason I wanted you to repeat your question. I do not think you are being fair to the hon. Minister. There is no need to personalise this issue.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Solwezi West, can you stand up.

Mr Mwanza rose.

Mr Speaker: Can you withdraw the part you suggested that the hon. Minister put certain people in his pocket.


Mr Mwanza: Withdrawn, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: I do not know what is left to say after that.


Mr Mwimba Malama: Ba Mwanza, mwilowa ba Speaker.

Dr Simbyakula: Frankly, Mr Speaker, I am equally at a loss as to what the hon. Member wants from me. All I can advise is that he should not be so angry when he comes to this House.


Dr Simbyakula: He is here to represent the people of Solwezi West, ...

Mr Kalaba: He drinks bitter lemon.

Dr Simbyakula: ... not with bitterness.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, if there is nothing more to say we can make progress.

Dr Simbyakula: There is nothing more to say, Sir.
Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Katuba asked the hon. Minister what would happen if the hon. Members of Parliament were, for lack of a better word, selfish, and threw out some of the clauses of the Draft Constitution? Maybe, the hon. Minister can hold a caucus with a select group of the different political parties so that they can make a guarantee that they will not shoot down those clauses and parts, for selfish reasons, when they are brought to the House.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the issue of guarantee.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, it is not possible for me to make such a guarantee. All I can say is that the Constitution is very clear that this House has the mandate to make laws …

Hon. Government Members: Standing Orders!

Dr Simbyakula: … and it can, if it so wishes, throw out whatever the House wants. That power is there and it depends on how it uses it. I also said that if it goes against the will of the people, they will vote us out and we will not make it back here in 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Sir, what modalities will the hon. Minister put in place to select the clauses which are termed as ‘non-contentious’ and which should be brought to the House, say in June?

Hon. Government Members: Clauses!

Mr Speaker: I am sure the hon. Minister has followed.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the clauses …


Dr Simbyakula: … which we will select are those non-contentious ones. And as I said earlier, I am very grateful to the Zambian people who have been coming to the office to give suggestions as regards the Draft Constitution. Most of us in this House, I think, know most of these non-contentious clauses.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: For example, I just read out Article 83 of the Draft Constitution and I do not know whether that is a contentious or non-contentious clause. We can bring two clauses such as the Presidential candidate’s running mate and the 50 per cent plus one majority vote to start with, and we can debate those and if we think something is still very contentious …

Mr Kalaba: Ask, ba Mwanza!

Dr Simbyakula: … we can put a red flag and look at it at a later stage. It is as simple as that. That is the reason I said that this will be a multi-stage process. We can bring a set of proposals, debate them and shove those that we do not agree with instead of killing them. That will be the process. The idea is that there must be consensus so that everyone should feel that they own the Constitution that will come, thereafter. That is the general idea and everyone should have ownership of the Constitution. We do not want anyone to say that is a PF Constitution.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: All of us should say that it is our Constitution.

I thank you, Sir.




440. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    how many nationals of the following countries were living in Zambia as of September 2014:

(i)    China;
(ii)    India; and
(iii)    South Africa; and

(b)    how many nationals of these countries were given employment permits as of the date above.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Chanda): Mr Speaker, I wish to state that as of September 2014, a total of 19,835 Chinese Nationals, 8,034 Indian Nationals and 4,792 South Africans were living in Zambia.

Sir, as of September 2014, the following nationals were issued with employment permits:

Nationality    Number

Chinese    11,267
Indians    6,293
South Africans     3,829

Mr Speaker, this is a bonus answer. As of December 2014, issued employment permits statistics for the three nationalities were as follows:

`Nationality    Number

Chinese    12,488
Indians     6,791
South Africans     4,054
Sir, additionally, because of the importance of the question, from January 2015 to-date, information on employment permits issued to the three nationalities is as follows:

Nationality    Number

Chinese    807
Indians    631
South Africans    254

Apart from the employment permits, some nationals of these countries also stay in Zambia using different permits such as the resident permit.

Mr Speaker, my summary of the employment permits issued by nationality is as follows:

Nationality       September 2014           December 2014    To-date

Chinese             11,267                12,488    13,295
Indians               6,293                  6,791      7,422
South Africans               3,829                  4,054      4,308

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I want to specifically focus on the point about the Chinese nationals. According to the hon. Minister’s figures, I can see the difference between the ones that are living in this country and those that have work permits. Is the Government saying that there could be some Chinese nationals who are working and living in Zambia, but have no work permits? If they do not have work permits, what are you doing as the Government?

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question. The disparity in the figures has come about because of some lapses in our previous policies.

Sir, what has been happening is that some foreign nationals come to Zambia without work permits, and they start applying for them while already in the country. Then, they renew accordingly when that work permit expires. Therefore, that system has a danger of holding on to wrong nationals and jobs that can be done by Zambians.  At the moment, our ministry is rationalising this process by ensuring that no foreigner comes to work in Zambia unless they obtain the work permit from their country of origin.

 I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, without appearing to be xenophobic, I am wondering what special skills the Chinese nationals possess for them to come into this country in such large numbers. What are their special skills, hon. Minister?

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, to be specific, the rationale is very difficult. My understanding is that we have a lot of equipment that is imported from China as compared to other countries and, therefore, we are bound to have more Chinese foreigners than any other nationals.

 I thank you, Sir.  

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, there has been a complaint from the local people over the work culture, the qualifications and the sort of jobs that these foreign nationals do, especially the Chinese foreigners. I would like to find out from the ministry if it hasspecial qualifications that it considers before issuing these work permits.

 Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, again, that is also a very good question.

Sir, I would like to assure the hon. Member that at the moment, there is an exercise to rationalise …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Col. Chanda: … the imbalance that you are referring to. If certain Chinese Nationals manage to sneak into the country and obtain a permit for a job that is supposed to be done by a Zambian, appropriate measures are being considered to counter that kind of a situation.

 I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, it is ironic that, in terms of numbers, the Chinese nationals have now outnumbered the Indians by far, who have been with us even before most of us were born. I have also noted that in one month, we had about 1,000 of them entering this country. Is it any wonder my colleague and friend, Hon. Kambwili has been very tough on some of these people?

 Hon. Kambwili: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Ask your question, hon. Member.

Dr Kalila: Sir, is the hon. Minister considering placing restrictions on the kind of business that these Chinese nationals are able to engage in, in order to protect the Zambians? This is because we have noted that some of them are involved in many businesses which our own people can do.

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, for once, we must learn to appreciate that some of the jobs the Chinese nationals are carrying out in the country are of great value.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, the question on the Floor of the House was on the disparity of figures for Chinese nationals compared to the other foreign nationals.

Sir, one thing we must bear in mind is that when you are a beggar, you cannot be a chooser. For example, if I take an investment to a given country, I have an interest that what I am investing in will yield what I was set to do. In this particular issue or in certain cases, the Chinese nationals have been brought in by superior investors so that they can protect their investment. I think that is very cardinal. The bottom line is that the benefits that are accrued by the country are of great significance, and are there for all of us to see.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, there are over 6,000 Indians living in Zambia on different permits. May I know how many live in Zambia, as a way of adoption, out of the total number of Indians living in the country?

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. I would like to encourage the hon. Member to come up with a written question so that we can conduct further research.

 I thank you, Sir.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) Government was in the Opposition, it categorically condemned the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) for bringing the Chinese people. The numbers and figures at the time that I was Minister of Home Affairs then were about 6000 to 7000 Chinese nationals in Zambia.

 Mr Kambwili: Question!

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: Sir, I would like to know whether the PF Government has moved away from their policy that of deporting most of the Chinese people, when it was voted into Government.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) was in the Opposition, we condemned the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) in the sense that some of the Chinese nationals, who were coming to Zambia, were not suitable or well qualified because they were plumbers and electricians, whose jobs could be done by Zambians. Out of the 12,488 Chinese Nationals that were in the country as at December 2014, about 200 work permits were given out by the Immigration Department. When I was given this figure, I started going through one by one and discovered that some of the Chinese nationals are not worthy to be here, but we, as leaders, we cannot revoke the work permits because if, for example, you revoke 10,000 work permits from the 16,000, it will be unfair to our colleagues and that might create unnecessary confusion. Therefore, the measures that we have put in place is to engage our colleagues from the Immigration Department, and ensure strictness on who is given a work permit so that we only have people that can do the jobs which Zambians cannot do.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs may not be aware that investors are not allowed to bring in any worker in this country without a work permit. Work permits are issued with certain conditions. For example, an investor is only allowed to bring in a certain number of workers as expatriates. It is not true that investors can bring as many foreign workers as they please.

Mr Speaker, I would like to tag on what Hon. Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha indicated. When our colleagues in the Patriotic Front (PF), especially those in the Front Bench now, were in the Opposition together with us, they used to say that they would never allow general or manual workers to be imported from China when they assumed office. What we have noticed is that this trend has worsened under the PF Government.

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: The contractors who were building the thermo-plant in Maamba were allowed to bring in 1,000 foreign general workers. This happened under the reign of the current PF Government. We have also noticed that there are some Chinese Nationals who push wheelbarrows in the streets.

Mr Mwiimbu: Do these individuals qualify to be given work permits, going by the statement given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs those only well-qualified professionals and technocrats should be given such permits? We have even seen foreigners sweeping the streets in Lusaka.

The Deputy Chairperson: I think you have asked your question.

Mr Mwiimbu: Why is the Government giving work permits to undeserving foreigners?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, a driver can only work as a driver. In other countries, however, a driver can even operate a grader because workers have multiple skills. Therefore, some of the foreign workers seen sweeping at project sites are actually engineers.


Mr Mwila: Yes, that is how the Chinese people are, hard working. On the other hand, some of the Chinese nationals we are talking about, such as those working on the Mongu-Kalabo Road, were brought in by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. Even though I have powers as Minister to revoke their work permits, I did not want to do so. However, we are putting in measures to ensure that the people who are coming to work in Zambia are the right people for the job.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, other than the foreigners who are brought in to work on contractual projects such as roads, there are also foreigners who are coming in to trade, for instance, in clothing materials at the Kamwala Shopping area, among other things. Some of them trade in chickens. Early in the morning, if you go to Soweto Market, you will find them.

Zambians are really complaining that some of these business activities should be left to the locals because they require minimum investment. Zambians can do such businesses. So, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that the playing field is conducive for Zambians to participate in microeconomic activities? After all, they are the ones who vote for the people in power, as opposed to the foreigners who are given permits and disadvantage the Zambian people.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we are just going around the same issue. I have already said that the number of those who are getting work permits has not been going down. However, we have put in place measures to ensure that we reduce on this number.  That is the more reason I requested the Immigration Department to give me the figures for the work permits given out from December 2014 to-date, to see whether the numbers are coming down. I have discovered that from 2014 to-date, the number has increased by 2,000 work permits. That is not good for us. We need to reduce the number of work permits being given out by being more strict.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, it is interesting to hear that there are foreigners selling chickens at our markets. The work relationship between Zambians and Chinese nationals is that of ‘boss, boss’, and the local people are complaining.


Mr Mutelo: According to what I hear, a ‘boss, boss’ work relationship entails that Zambians are made to work like I do not know.


Mr Mutelo: What is the hon. Minister doing to protect these Zambians who work like slaves?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the Zambian work culture must change. The Chinese people are hard working and we must learn from them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


441. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a magistrates court in Milenge District;

(b)    if so, when the construction would commence;

(c)    what the time frame for the completion of the exercise was; and

(d)    if there were no such plans, why.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans of constructing a magistrate court in Milenge District because of the low volume of cases which are presently handled by a circuiting court from Samfya.

Sir, we are monitoring the population growth and economic activities as well as the case volumes in Milenge, which factors will determine how soon a magistrate court can be constructed in the area. The above given answer should be sufficient to cover part (c) and (d) of the question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, as much as I appreciate that the volume of cases in Milenge could be low, I think we should also consider the distance from Milenge to Samfya. As I have mentioned before, it is over 250 km. We are talking of people or villagers who might not have the means to travel from one district to another. On the other hand, I think the issue of human rights has nothing to do with the volume of cases in a particular area. Is this really the best criterion that we can use? Could the hon. Minister not reconsider his stance on this matter? As he answers my question, he should be mindful that I am his political party’s national secretary, and do so properly.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the circuiting court entails that the magistrates in Samfya actually go into the other districts, and not the people or litigants going to Samfya. Even at the level of the High Court, you have psuine Judges who do the circuits. You hear a Judge sitting in Mongu, travelling to sit in Solwezi and so on. The people in Solwezi do not come to Lusaka. So, circuiting means that the magistrate will do the rounds. These rounds entail that a magistrate should go to Milenge to sit and hear cases, probably, at a local court or any infrastructure that is available there. I think the problem was why do you not have a dedicated infrastructure in the form of a subordinate court with a resident magistrate in Milenge? This cannot happen now because the exigencies at the moment do not demand it due to the low-case volume.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, what the hon. Minister has said is not true. I come from a rural constituency. Magistrates from Solwezi do not go to Chavuma. Magistrates from Solwezi do not travel to preside over a case in Mukumbi, but the onus is on the individuals themselves who have to travel, and the distances involved are colossal. Can the hon. Minister look into the plight of the people in Milenge District.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I think one issue that you need to take into account here is jurisdiction. The subordinate court, in terms of jurisdiction, is limited to a district. So, it will be inconceivable to have somebody over stepping their limitations of power in another district. In fact, we did have some case which I may not divulge, which Hon. Masebo referred to in jest. This is where a person resident in a different jurisdiction then moves to some other place and commences an action against a person who is not predominantly resident in that jurisdiction. The problem you raise, if at all it exists, I think, is one of omission rather than the structure as it is set under the law, and we can deal with that. If circuiting magistrates are not visiting those districts which are not serviced by magistrate courts, it is an administrative issue. We can immediately deal with it.

Sir, I thank you.


442. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)           what the progress on the revamping of cashew nut production in Lukulu and
       Mitete districts was;

(b)           whether funds for revamping the project had been released; and

(c)           which co-operative organisations were spearheading the project.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, in 2013, with the   support from the Provincial Administration in the Western Province, 10,000 cashew nut seedlings meant for distribution to Lukulu and Mitete districts were produced at Simakumba in Lukulu East. However, only farmers in Lukulu District benefited from the seedlings due to the fact that most of the targeted areas in Mitete District were inaccessible because of the floods.

In 2014, the Cashew Nut Growers Association of Zambia had planned to establish a separate nursery for farmers in Mitete District in order to mitigate the previous challenges of floods in 2013. However, the nursery was not established due to a lack of funds.

Mr Speaker, in 2014, funds amounting to K84,000 were released by the Provincial Administration in order to assist the organisation spearheading the cashew nut production project. The funds released went towards the production of 10,000 seedlings at Simakumba.

Mr Speaker, the co-operative organisation spearheading the cashew nut production project in the Western Province is the Cashew Nut Growers Association of Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is my good friend. However, here are two districts, Lukulu and Mitete. In the first place, the seedlings are not sent because of floods. In the second year, the money was released, but you still say, no, there was a lack of funds. So, what are you really saying?


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister be categorically clear. The first year, it was the floods. The second year, money was released, but there were no funds. What are you saying?


The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, can you clarify. What are you saying?


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Lukulu West for his question. What I was basically saying is that in 2013, there were 10,000 seedlings planted, but not distributed to Mitete because of a lack of funds. In the following year, there were no funds that were released. That is the clarification.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, what happened to those seedlings that were supposed to be distributed, but were not because the area was flooded? Where did they go?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, those seedlings were used by the Cashew nut Growers Association of Zambia, and there is a plantation for those seedlings.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I also seek clarification. In the answer, there was K84,000 released by the Provincial Administration in 2014. This amount enabled the production of 10,000 seedlings. In 2013, there were 10,000 seedlings produced. So, I do not know how many times 10,000 seedlings were produced, and what the K84,000 was used for.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, to make a clarification for the hon. Member. What I said in the first place was that in 2014, there was another 10,000 seedlings produced in Simakumba, but those were not planted in Mitete due to the floods. However, they have been distributed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is saying that the 10,000 seedlings or the seedlings that were produced are being consumed by the Cashew Nut Growers Association of Zambia. Where is this association taking those seedlings? Where are they planting them?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Sir, the hon. Minister clarified that the seedlings that were produced in 2013, were distributed to farmers in Lukulu District except for Mitete. Mitete did not get any and the remainder of the 10,000 seedlings were used by the Cashew Nut Growers Association of Zambia to start a cashew nut plantation. So, on the question of where they went, the answer is, they went to two places. One, they were distributed to the farmers, and those that remained were used by the association. I hope that is clear.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


443. Mr Mushili Malama (Chitambo) asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development how many women’s clubs benefited from the Women Empowerment Fund in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency from 1st January, 2013 to 13th September, 2014.

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, no women’s club benefited from the Women Empowerment Fund in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency, from 1st January, 2013 to 13th September, 2014, as there were no applications received by the Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

However, the ministry is in the process of restructuring and developing systems, guidelines and indicators for monitoring the support to women’s clubs. Therefore, as soon as these documents are ready, they will be distributed to various constituencies for women’s clubs to apply.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


444. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting when the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio and television transmitters would be installed in Milenge District.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, television services will be provided to Milenge and other districts which are not receiving the signal after the complete implementation of the Digital Migration Project.

Mr Speaker, as regards provision of radio services, the Government has been rolling out the Frequency Modulator (FM) Transmitters across the country under the Rural FM Project. The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is currently undertaking installations for six sites, namely Mufumbwe, Chavuma, Mumbwa, Isoka, Kazembe and Luangwa. These sites will be launched by 30th March, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the next ten sites will be installed when funds are available. These are Milenge, Sinda, Lumwana Mine, Mpulungu, Chembe, Mpepetwe, Chitambo, Itezhi-tezhi, Ndola and Vubwi.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, may I know when exactly the Frequency Modulators (FM) transmitters will be rolled out in the ten sites under which Milenge falls. As you answer, be mindful that you belong to my political party. I want a very clear answer.


Hon. Government Member: Question!
The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Minister is answering questions in his capacity as a Minister, and not as a member of your political party.

You may answer, hon. Minister.


Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, as the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, we are implementing the Digital Migration Project. This project is being implemented in phases. In the first phase, we are trying to replace all the television transmitters and some of the FM transmitters. Once we complete the first phase, we will go into the second phase where we will touch other provinces. Milenge falls under the second phase. This is when Milenge will receive the signal. In fact, the digital signal will, actually, cover the entire country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I have heard the hon. Minister mention Lumwana Mine. I am the hon. Member of Parliament for that area, but I have no clue when the Frequency Modulator (FM) transmitters will be installed there. The residents of Lumwana have been complaining that they do not receive the signal for Zambian radio stations, and yet it is very easy for them to catch South African and Congolese radio stations.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, when answers are being given, hon. Members must pay attention. The hon. Minister clearly outlined that, at the moment, we are installing transmitters in six sites. Lumwana falls under Phase II. Therefore, I do not know what you mean when you say that you have not seen any progress, when the work has not even started.

I thank you, Sir.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister mention Mumbwa. Keembe is near Mumbwa, but I did not hear him mention it. Can he mention Keembe?

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting can you mention Keembe?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, Keembe and Mumbwa are so close to each other that there are no visible mountains. The signal from Mumbwa will be enough to cover Keembe.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I did not hear, clearly, whether the hon. Minister mentioned Luangwa-Feira. I would like to find out from him whether the response is positive. Is he saying that the transmitter in Luangwa will also service Rufunsa?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the Frequency Modulator transmitter which will be installed in Luangwa will be enough to cover Rufunsa.

I thank you, Sir.


445. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Justice:

(a)    when construction of the local court at Kalabo District Headquarters would be completed;

(b)    why it had taken long to complete the project;

(c)    what measures had been taken to ensure speedy completion of the project;

(d)    what the total cost of the project was; and

(e)    how much money was spent on the project as of December, 2014.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the project is scheduled for completion before the end of 2015. The delay in payment of the contractor has contributed to the slow completion of the project.

Sir, the Ministry of Justice has engaged the Ministry of Finance to release funds and the request is being considered. The total cost of the project is K1,214,113.06.

Mr Speaker, a total of K976,605.68 has, so far, been paid, leaving a balance of K237,507.38.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, we are eagerly waiting for the completion of that good structure. What effort has the Ministry of Justice done to make this payment available to the contractor so that that good work comes to completion before the end of 2015?

Mr Mukata: We have written to the Ministry of Finance, and these funds are tranche payments. Of course, there are votes. There are similar building projects for local courts which are on-going in other jurisdictions. At times, it is just an issue of streamlining or prioritising which sums of money should be released for which particular project. However, we are aware of the need to complete the project, and that is why we have given the timeline.  The Ministry of Finance is aware of that as well, and as soon as funds are available, we will be on top of things.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether these local courts they are building in rural areas are of the same standards.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the designs are the same. They have been pre-approved. Therefore, the designs are basically the same.

I thank you, Sir.

446. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development:

(a)    what programmes meant to empower women in Milenge District had been introduced by the Government; and

(b)    when the programmes would be implemented.

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, no programmes meant to empower women in Milenge District have been introduced. However, the Government, through the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, undertook a sensitisation programme on the women economic empowerment programme in Milenge, in August, 2014, reaching out to a total number of twenty-six women’s clubs.

Mr Speaker, the Government has allocated funds for women economic empowerment programmes in its 2015 Budget from which Milenge District is likely to benefit like other districts across the country. In fact, the ministry has already written to the Ministry of Finance requesting it to release a huge part of the funds during the first quarter of this year.

Sir, however, it is worth noting that Milenge District will also receive guidelines to help the clubs put in applications in line with the new procedures that outline the required system and indicators for monitoring and evaluating the programmes. In a nutshell, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development will not release funds to the women’s clubs until it is satisfied that applicants are up-skilled, and their capacity is built, especially having the required skills in the activities applied for such as savings, banking as well as leadership and mindset change.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, hon. Dorothy Kazunga, Minister of Gender and Child Development, and Member of Parliament for Kabushi, knows very well that the people of Milenge like in any other rural area, are marginalised and impoverished. Exposing them to the general rules will not help the situation. As a mother of all mothers, can you share with me, maybe, just two positive interventions that you are thinking of for the poor people of Milenge, apart from the general rules that you have given us.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

She is the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development and that is how you should refer to her, not as “mother of mothers.”

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, thank you very much, and I do not want to carry that title because it indicates some corrupt motive.


Mrs Kazunga: Mr Speaker, I understand very well the concern of the hon. Member and, certainly, the ministry is also concerned about the situation of the poor women in the rural areas. That is why it was decided.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us consult quietly.

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, that is why my ministry decided to unveil the package. The rules that were used previously were not benefiting the women because money was dished out and misused. Therefore, with these new rules that will be put in place, I am sure the women of Chembe or Milenge will benefit, and they will be happy to have those skills which they have never had.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that some funds will be released in the first quarter of this year. Since today is 19th March, 2015, should the people of Milenge be hopeful that before the end of this month, they will get something?
The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was very explicit in saying that although we have written to the Ministry of Finance to release the money, it is very important for us, as hon. Members of Parliament, to interrogate the benefits of the projects that we do. A lot of money has been sent out to the so-called women’s clubs, and I think many of us know that, sometimes, these women’s clubs are formed by a group of people who just share the money when it gets to them.

Mr Speaker, therefore, the ministry has decided that we will not be a cash transfer ministry. Once people apply, they will be evaluated, and once we see that they do not have the skills for which they are applying for money, they will be subjected to training so that they get the skills for the funds that they are applying for.

Sir, they will be taught how to save and bank money. You agree with me that many of our people in business put their money under a sack, and if somebody comes home and says that they have a visitor, they take a bit from that money and say “Go and buy coca cola. I am coming.” Maybe, some of what they are taking out is actually their profit. Therefore, we want to make sure that we up-skill people.

Sir, secondly, our mindset in this country is that of receiving all the time. We want to work on that so that if we give them support, they move from one level to the next. We do not want to encourage a dependency syndrome. We want to make sure that this money goes round to those that may not benefit this year.

So, we will give out the money once we equip them with the skills, teach them how to save, teach them leadership and help them to be business minded so that even when the money does come to us, these systems would have been exposed to our people who will receive the money after we are satisfied.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the question from the hon. Member for Lukulu West was whether the money will be given to Milenge District in the next twelve days before the end of the quarter. Yes or no?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, when we said that we had requested for the money, we did not say that it will be given in twelve months. When we get that money, we will start the processes. Therefore, the money will not be given in twelve months.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Members: Twelve days!


447. Mr Mushili Malama asked the Vice-President:

(a)    when the Government would construct schools and health posts in Katikulula Resettlement Scheme in Chitambo Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    when the resettlement scheme would be electrified.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Speaker, Katikulula Resettlement Scheme in Serenje District is the largest in Central Province, covering over 23,000 hectares. At the time of acquiring this particular land for establishment of a resettlement scheme, there was neither school nor health post in the area.

Due to the vastness of the resettlement scheme, the Government planned to establish three schools and three health posts in the area. The first of the three planned schools is already in existence and operational. The remaining two schools will be constructed once funds are disbursed.

The construction of the first of the three planned health posts has since been completed and will soon be operational once construction of a Ventilation Improved Pit-latrine (VIP) for the staff house has been completed. Plans are also underway for the construction of the remaining two health posts.

Mr Speaker, Katikulula Resettlement Scheme is already in the Master Plan for the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) and will be electrified once it is time to do so.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mushili Malama: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to correct the hon. Minister that Katikulula Resettlement Scheme is in Chitambo District and not in Serenje.

Hon. Minister, can you, please, attach a time frame when construction of social amenities will be carried out in Phase II and Phase III?

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, as much as having a time frame is important, it is difficult to state because we have to collaborate with our colleagues in various ministries, especially on rural electrification. Furthermore, there has to be a provision of funds needed for the project in the National Budget. So, we will communicate as soon as we are certain when these other remaining social amenities will be provided.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  


448. Mr Mulomba (Magoye) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the road from Itebe School to Chimwaikila Main Fishing Village in Magoye Parliamentary Constituency would be upgraded to bituminous standards.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to upgrade the road from Itebe School to Chimwaikila Main Fishing Village in Magoye Parliamentary Constituency to bituminous standards. The road will, however, be considered for inclusion in future annual work plans if it is prioritised by the respective local road authority.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

449. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when construction of storage sheds in Milenge District would commence.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, Milenge District is in the second phase of the investment plan for construction of storage sheds which will run from 2016 to 2018.

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and Member of Parliament for Kaputa, he knows that his area and Milenge are almost at the same level in terms of underdevelopment. So, he is my friend.


Mr Mbulakulima: Is it possible that you can, actually, bring this Phase II forward into 2015?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I wish we could. However, like we said in our response, we have an investment plan to cover the whole country. The people who came up with this plan, obviously, went round the country to assess the needs that exist in the different districts, and they may have realised that Milenge will need a shed to be constructed during Phase II of the plan which commences in 2016.

Sir, I, therefore, would not like to make any extra commitment beyond what has already been made. However, if the hon. Member would be kind enough to the people of Milenge, he can solicit support from the private sector which is also going round putting up their own sheds. I am sure that they would happily help him do it.

As a ministry, we would be very happy if the hon. Member sits with his Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee to consider releasing a little bit of money from that, and putting up a shed for the people of Milenge. We would support him entirely, even with the drawings and technical staff to assist in the construction.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, Hon. Lubinda is a Member of Parliament in an urban area where there is running water and modern schools. I am not sure but, probably, the University Teaching Hospital (UTH), the biggest hospital in the land, is also in his constituency.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is suggesting that we use the meagre resources from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to build sheds. Hon. Minister, would you consider parting away with some of the CDF for Kabwata Constituency to give to the people of Milenge so that they can put up those storage sheds?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind my sister, the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena that the question that was posed by the hon. Member for Chembe was directed  at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and not to the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, much as the hon. Member for Kabwata happens to be the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock now, the question was not directed at the people of Kabwata. For this hon. Member of Parliament, who is very responsible for the honourable people of Kabwata, to talk about the CDF, he first has to go and ask the people of Kabwata.

However, I am sure that the noble people of Kabwata would actually like an increase in the CDF allocation to their constituency. So, they would not be in a position to part away with any money for either Milenge or Luena. However, what they could do is export some people from Kabwata to go to Luena and stand as hon. Members of Parliament for that area.

I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!




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

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1727 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 20th March, 2015.