Debates - Tuesday, 16th June, 2015

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Tuesday, 16th June, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




The following hon. Members took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:

Kapembwa Simbao

Michael Zondani J.  Katambo

Lawrence John Sichalwe



Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President, who is attending to other Government Business, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, MP, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, and Government Chief Whip, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from Tuesday, 16th June, 2015, until further notice.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I would like to draw your attention to the sound system in the Chamber. Some of the hon. Members have approached the Office of the Clerk to complain about their inability to hear their proceedings on the Floor of the House. Consequently, the Office of the Clerk has worked on the amplification of the sound system in the House. This modification has also taken into consideration the galleries. As a result of this modification, hon. Members will no longer need to be very close to the microphone when speaking in order to be heard.


Mr Speaker: Hon Members, I wish to acquaint the House with a fact which is dismally known to the House, mainly that it lost one of its hon. Members, by the name of Mr Chifita Matafwali, Member of Parliament for Bangweulu Parliamentary Constituency. The late hon. Member passed on, on Wednesday, 20th May, 2015, in India, and was subsequently buried at the Leopards Hill Memorial Park, in Lusaka, on Wednesday, 27th May, 2015. At the funeral ceremony, the House was represented by myself, the hon. Deputy Speaker and the following hon. Members of Parliament and staff:

1.    Mr R. P. Mtolo, MP
2.    Mr N. Chilangwa, MP
3.    Mr G. Namulambe, MP
4.    Mr E. Muchima, MP
5.    Mr M. Mbulakulima, MP
6.    Dr E. Lungu, MP
7.    Mr B. Ntundu, MP
8.    Mr D. Livune, MP
9.    Mr K. Chipungu, MP
10.    Mr A. Musonda, Chief Editor of Parliamentary Publications (Secretary to the Delegation)
11.    Mr A. Chabu, Assistant Inspector
12.    Mr G. Kafunda, Security Officer

On behalf of the House, I conveyed our condolences to the bereaved family.

I now invite the House to rise and observe a minute of silence in honour of the memory of the late Mr Chifita Matafwali, MP.

Hon. Members of Parliament stood in silence for one minute.



The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I rise to acquaint the House with the business it will consider this week. However, before I do so, I would like to welcome all the hon. Members to the Third and last Meeting of the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. I, especially, welcome the three hon. Members who have just taken their seats and wish them a very momentous stay in the House.

Mr Speaker, as indicated on the Order Paper for today, Tuesday, 16th June, 2015, the Business of the House will deal with Questions for Oral Answer and Presentation of Government Bills.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, 17th June, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Hon. Justice (Rtd) Esau Elliot Chulu and Dr Emily Joy Sikazwe to serve as Chairperson and member of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), respectively, and Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda to serve as member of the Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA).

Sir, on Thursday, 18th June, 2015, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider two Committee Reports, namely;

(i)    Committee of Education, Science and Technology; and
(ii)    Report of the Committee on Agriculture.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 19th June, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with the Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with the Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then consider the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services. Thereafter, the House will consider any other Business that may be outstanding.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I am pleased to present the Mid-Year Economic and Budget Review for 2015 to this august House. This review provides an account on the performance of the economy since the commencement of the fiscal year and a review of the implementation of the Budget over the first five months of the year.

Sir, my address will further provide revised macro-economic and Budget targets that take into account both domestic and external challenges faced in the first five months of this year. It will also provide proposals aimed at ensuring that we stay on course with our programme of economic growth and job creation in 2015 and beyond.

Sir, my address to this House is, therefore, divided into four parts. Part I will be a review of the performance of the economy and will provide adjusted projections, while Part II will review the performance of the Budget against targets, and provide revisions thereof. Part III will provide proposed revisions to the Budget targets, including the deficit. In Part IV, I will conclude and ask the House to consider passing some statutory reviews and approvals.


Projected Economic Growth

Mr Speaker, when I tabled the 2015 Budget, we expected the economy to grow by, at least, 7 per cent. This growth was premised on a healthier recovery in the global economy as well as continued favourable performance in the country’s growth sectors, namely agriculture, manufacturing, construction, tourism and mining. However, we have observed that the global economic environment or landscape has been much weaker, characterised by a slowdown in economic activity in Europe, China and the emerging market economies.

Given these developments, the global economic growth for 2015 has been revised downwards to 3.5 per cent from the earlier projection of 3.8 per cent. The slowdown, coupled with the strengthening of the United States Dollar, has triggered a decline in the price of most traded commodities, including copper, our main export, and ominously prices of non-traditional exports such as cement, lime, cotton lint, fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. These developments exerted pressure on our revenue receipts and external sector position, as I will elaborate later.

Domestically, the crop forecast survey for the 2014/2015 Farming Season indicates a decline in the output of a number of crops. For instance, maize output is expected to decline by 21.9 per cent to 2.62 million metric tonnes from 3.35 million metric tonnes in the 2013/2014 Farming Season. This was due to the late onset and poor distribution of rainfall. With this expected outturn in maize output, growth in the agriculture sector is expected to be lower than anticipated or expected.

Sir, with respect to the mining sector, we had projected that the sector would grow by above 12 per cent. This was mainly premised on copper production exceeding 800,000 metric tonnes in 2015 from 708,265 metric tonnes in 2014.

Mr Speaker, data for the first quarter shows that copper output, at 164,386 metric tonnes, was 8.5 per cent lower than the 179,584 metric tonnes produced in the corresponding quarter in 2014. This fall in copper output during the quarter is likely to result in lower than predicted total copper output in 2015, with a likely consequence of lower growth in the mining sector than projected.

Sir, the drop in copper production is a result of the persistent fall in the price of the commodity which, in turn, is attributed to a weak global demand for the metal, as it is for other traded commodities.

Mr Speaker, taking into account that the slowdown in agriculture and mining has knock-on effects on other sectors such as manufacturing, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2015, while remaining positive, is now estimated at 5.8 per cent from the initial projection of, at least, 7 per cent.


Mr Speaker, in my 2015 Budget Address to this House, I announced an end-year inflation target of no more than 7 per cent. This was to be anchored on the continued implementation of the effective Monetary Policy supported by prudent fiscal operations. In line with this objective, the Bank of Zambia continued managing liquidity through open market operations and maintained the policy rate of 12.5 per cent. The bank also raised the commercial banks’ statutory reserve ratio to 18 per cent from 14 per cent, to counter pressures on the exchange rate, mainly in the first quarter of the year. These measures contributed to the decline in annual inflation to 6.9 per cent, in May 2015, from 7.9 per cent in 2014.

Sir, despite the recent increase in the price of fuel and the lagged effects of the depreciation of the kwacha, we are confident that the projected inflation will be attained. This is on account of the balance between the monetary and fiscal policies which are required to maintain stability in the economy and ensure continued economic growth.

Interest Rates

Mr Speaker, commercial banks’ nominal interest rates were generally stable during the first five months of 2015. The average lending rate and average savings rate for amounts above K100 were relatively unchanged around 20.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent, respectively.

Sir, despite this stability in the commercial banks’ lending rates, the cost of borrowing continued to be relatively inhibitive for the larger section of the private investors. In this regard, the Government will continue to closely collaborate with the Bank of Zambia and relevant financial institutions on ways of making the cost of borrowing affordable. The Government will also continue implementing reforms aimed at lowering the cost of doing business. We remain resolved in stimulating the growth of our economy, particularly through the active participation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).  

Exchange Rate

Mr Speaker, the Government continues to maintain a market-driven foreign exchange regime with the Central Bank’s intervention, limited to smoothening short-term volatility. Compared to the tranquility observed during the fourth quarter of 2014, pressures on the kwacha were observed during much of the first part of 2015. The kwacha depreciated by 18.6 per cent and 12. 6 per cent against the United States Dollar and the South African Rand, respectively, to end the quarter at 7.5867 and K0.6236 from the end of March, 2015 levels.

Sir, the depreciation was largely on account of the persistent weak copper prices and the global strengthening of the United States Dollar. The weak copper prices adversely affected foreign exchange earnings and supply on the domestic market.

Mr Speaker, in the second quarter of this year, the local currency appreciated by 4.4 per cent and 7.6 per cent against the United States Dollar and the South African Rand, respectively, as at 5th June, 2015. Improved foreign exchange supplies also supported the gains of the kwacha.

External Sector Developments

Sir, the developments in the balance of payments for the first quarter of 2015 were unfavorable, as the overall balance of payments deficit widened to US$405.2 million from US$131.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This was largely on account of the unfavorable performance in both the current and financial accounts which, in turn, were adversely affected by the sluggish performance of the global economy, as mentioned earlier.

Mr Speaker, we remain steadfast in reversing this trend by adopting trade policy measures that promote exploits and discourage non-essential imports. Expenditure switching policies and strategies that support raising domestic production capacities will continue being implemented to make domestic goods competitive and increase output.

Debt Management and Debt Sustainability

Sir, I am duty-bound to inform this House on the sustainability of our debt. Zambia’s external debt currently stands at US$4.8 billion, representing 18.5 per cent of the GDP, while the domestic debt is US$3.7 billion, approximately K20.5 billion, representing about 14.2 per cent of the GDP. The total public debt is, therefore, around 32.7 per cent of the GDP.

Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of this august House will note, our debt position is far below the internationally accepted threshold of 40 per cent.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chikwanda: This position was confirmed by the results of the Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) undertaken in June, 2014.

Sir, that stated, let me emphasise that we are not complacent and take issues of debt sustainability very seriously. It is for this reason that the Government will continue to undertake periodic DSAs.

Mr Speaker, as a further step in ensuring prudent debt management, I have, in accordance with the provisions of the Loans and Guarantees (Authorisation) Act Cap. 366 of the Laws of Zambia, set-up a Sinking Fund for the purpose of repayment of the two ten-year Sovereign Eurobonds amounting to US$750 million and US$1 billion, issued on the international capital markets in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

Sir, I have further set out the general regulations for the management and operation of the fund to address issues of transparency and accountability and to ensure that these resources in the fund are used for the sole-intended purpose of paying back the Eurobonds.

2015 Budget Performance Review

Mr Speaker, during the review period, the Government faced a number of challenges in executing the 2015 Budget. Developments in the domestic and external economies have exerted unforeseen pressure on the implementation of the Budget, resulting in serious adverse consequences for both revenues and expenditures.

Mr Speaker, on the external side, the drop in copper prices has led to a reduction in projected tax collections from the mining sector, while foreign exchange earnings have reduced. The depreciation of the kwacha has largely resulted in higher external debt service payments and the cost of maintaining and running Zambian missions abroad. More kwacha than was budgeted is now needed to meet these inescapable obligations. Further, the Treasury has seen significant reduction in trade-related taxes on account of a reduction in volumes of imports, a consequence of the reduced availability and higher cost of foreign exchange. The Government has also revised the taxation regime for the mining sector to address the concerns that arose from the mineral royalty-based system. Total revenue projections are expected to decline by K2.12 billion below the Budget level.

Mr Speaker, on the domestic front, some categories of expenditure have increased beyond budget. These categories principally relate to domestic interest payments that have substantially increased by K2.1 billion, in response to the rise in interest rates in the domestic financial market, arrears on road sector projects from 2014 of 1.3 billion, an additional K376 million that was required for the purchase of crops for the 2013/2014 Farming Season, K148.9 million for the Kafue Bulk Water Supply Project, K3.2 billion for the payment of fuel arrears and K163.0 million for the holding of the presidential by-election. The total expenditures are projected to increase by K13.43 billion beyond the Budget.

Sir, you may recall that in my 2015 Budget Address, I proposed to spend K46.7 billion. This was to be financed by domestic revenue of K35.1 billion and grants from co-operating partners of K1.2 billion. Domestic borrowing was projected at 2.0 per cent of the GDP, translating to K3.8 billion, while K4.2 billion was to be a combination of foreign financed programmes and projects from our co-operating partners. The balance of K2.4 billion was due to be financed externally. This combination yields a deficit of K18.5 billion that was contained in the 2015 Budget Estimates that were approved by this House.

Mr Speaker, the developments I have highlighted have meant that projected revenues will be lower while expenditures will be higher than budgeted. The deficit has increased, therefore, to K20 billion from the budgeted K18.5 billion.

Deficit Financing

Mr Speaker, in order to address these pressures and ensure macroeconomic stability and positive growth, I propose to put in place the following measures:

(a)    raising additional revenues of K500 million by increasing the fee unit from 20 to 30 ngwee;

(b)    rationalising expenditure and making a projected saving of K5 billion. This will involve limiting expenditures on recurrent programmes and concentrating on completion of on-going capital projects before embarking on new projects; and
(c)    proceeding with the identified financing of K8.5 billion that is in the current Budget Estimates.
Mr Speaker, the measures above will result in an unfinanced deficit of about K10.5 billion that will require new financing.

Sir, borrowing from the domestic market is not prudent, given the attendant risks associated with the possible crowding out of the private sector and unsustainable domestic debt. This is in light of the current higher interest rates. As the domestic route will be too grave to embark on, we, therefore, have one plausible option, which is external financing. Given limited resources that can be availed by our co-operating partners, this may entail borrowing at commercial terms.

Mr Speaker, to this end, as a consultative Government and one that believes in constitutionalism, I will, in line with the Loans and Guarantees Authorisation Act, Cap. 366 of the Laws of Zambia, request the House to increase the ceiling on external borrowing from the current K35 billion to K60 billion.


Mr Chikwanda: Sir, this will enable us to have greater recourse to external financing which, at current international rates, is cheaper than domestic borrowing. We intend to use any such resources to complete the various developmental projects that we commenced.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Sir, to counter any risks associated with such borrowing, we will use legal provisions such as those which authorise the Ministry of Finance to set up debt repayment facilities. As a responsible Government, we have already put in place concrete legal provisions, through the setting up of the Sinking Fund, to deal with any future risks. Further, as I indicated earlier, our debt is still well within sustainable levels, even with the new intended borrowing.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, governments all over the world face difficult decisions as regards the gap between what a country needs and what it can afford. This is usually very wide. In this case, we, as a country, must continue to pursue a fiscal strategy that should spur growth, boost revenue and ensure efficient resource use through innovative fiscal consolidation measures.


Hon. Members of the House, despite the external and domestic challenges that have affected the Budget execution, we remain steadfast in exercising prudent fiscal management.

Mr Speaker, I mentioned earlier that growth is now expected to be lower at an estimate of 5.8 per cent compared to at least, 70 per cent at the time I tabled the 2015 Budget. Given this reduced growth and the lower revenue from the mining and external grants over the reviewed period, it is vital that we make some adjustments to the 2015 Budget provisions. Further, threats from the external environment are still a reality as the global economic outlook remains uncertain and not very cheerful. Generally, the external economic environment is still fragile. Thus, there is a need for a decisive and focused action in order for us, as a nation, to stay on course with economic transformation and the improvement of the lives of our people.

Sir, to achieve this, we, as a Government, will continue to undertake reforms aimed at dealing with structural difficulties that we face in managing the economy. These will include:
(a)    lengthening the period for capital projects implementation, particularly in the road sector;

(b)    reducing spending on goods and services in the Public Service so as to invest more in capital projects;

(c)    improving efficiency in the implementation of the Farmer Input and Support Programme (FISP) and Food Reserve Agency (FRA);

(d)    ensuring implementation of full-cost recovery of domestic fuel pump prices; and

(e)    enactment of the Planning and Budget Act that will bring about prudence in spending.
Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to acknowledge the guidance and support of His Excellency the President in these difficult times. The Cabinet collectively owns this Mid-year Budget Policy Statement. Its support and understanding for tough measures is highly appreciated and unambiguously lauded.

I must express gratitude to all Zambians who have offered words of encouragement as well as criticism and concerns. This is what keeps us accountable and drives us to constantly deliver to the Zambian people.

Sir, I hereby table, for the consideration of this House, the Mid-year Economic and Budget Review. A Supplementary Appropriation Bill and other attendant legislation for the revenue measures I have outlined in the statement will be presented to this House in due course.

Hon. Members, I call for your support for the various measures that I have presented to this House, this afternoon.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has painted a gloomy picture of the economic performance in the first five months of the year.

Dr Musokotwane: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I will allow the hon. Member for Mafinga to complete her question.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has told us that he intends to exceed expenditure by K13 billion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister care to assure us that he is on top of things or does he need help because from what he has told us, we have no reason to believe that he will emancipate this country economically, going forward?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I clearly outlined what led to the costly overrun and there was no way we could have prevented those things from happening. Firstly, let us take the excess of expenditure in the agriculture sphere. During the course of 2014, we had expected that the private sector would rise to the challenge and buy most of the maize, but that was not so. So, we found ourselves in a situation where we had to buy maize that our people produced, but which nobody bought. If we did not buy that maize, people would have stopped production.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!    

Mr Chikwanda: So, it is a quandary not only for the Ministry of Finance, but also the Government as a whole. The Ministry of Finance is merely an agency for us, as a Government, and country as a whole. So, there was nothing that could be done. Then, there were problems in the sphere of the energy sector concerning the oil purchases which shot up by over K3.2 billion. If the choice not to import oil had been made, the economy would have ground to a halt.

Therefore, my dear hon. Member for Mafinga, the Ministry of Finance has no magic wand to wave to create resources or prevent certain things from happening. We also had another unforeseen situation whereby we lost our beloved Head of State. This prompted a presidential by-election. So, I have outlined all those areas of expenditure that led to this, including the decline in the revenue arising from the plummeting of commodity prices, including our major export earner, copper.

Mr Speaker, all those factors are totally beyond the control of this Government and incidentally, all governments in the world are undergoing very severe difficulties and I think, in Zambia, as hon. Members of Parliament and as leaders, let us brace ourselves for increased difficulties concerning the economy because the global economy is not going in the right direction. There is no growth in the major economies like the euro zone. Even in the robust Chinese economy, the economic growth rate has dropped from 11 per cent to something like 7 per cent and could even drop further.
So, Sir, there are difficulties in all the economies of the world. The major emerging economies which were engines of growth, for instance, the Brazilian and Russian economies’ economic rates will go down. I think they will not even manage 2 per cent growth rates. Of the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) countries, it is only India which is expected to register a growth rate of 10 per cent or above. Otherwise, the economic growth prospects of all the BRIC countries’ are low. Even the growth prospects of South Africa, a country which has been added to the BRIC countries are not very cheerful and, maybe, its economy may barely grow just by 2.3 per cent. Therefore, these are global problems and we just have to take these things into account.

Sir, the alternative to, for instance, borrowing in order to cover these gaps is not to borrow and then allow the economy to deteriorate beyond points which we cannot later on resuscitate. So, those are the difficulties, and I am not carelessly driving the economy of our country into the ground. I am very mindful of this huge burden, the honour that you have bestowed upon me to spearhead the economic growth process of our country. It is a burdensome task.

Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member for Mafinga rightly said, yes the Government needs help from everybody. Let us all think together in order to remedy these adversities that have characterised the economic growth in the past few months, on account of, principally, externally induced shocks which are totally beyond our control to forestall.

I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Liuwa.


Dr Musokotwane: Is it a point of order or a question?

Mr Speaker: No! I have just given you an opportunity to seek clarification.

Dr. Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just gone to great lengths explaining why there are so many difficulties such as budget deficits because of the external circumstances.

Sir, in 2008 and 2009, the world went through a greater economic crisis than what is happening now. Virtually, most countries in the world experienced negative growth, which is not the case now. Seeing as there is, in fact, no recession world over, but just slow economic growth, could the hon. Minister explain why the fiscal situation has gone so bad than at the time when Zambia was facing a more serious crisis, as was obtaining the world over.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Musokotwane is an outstanding economist. I am constrained because, in my case, my culture inclines me not to speak disparagingly of a former Chancellor of the Exchequer. I would have to be Hon. Magande to do that, but I am not.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the world is undergoing severe a crisis. I will produce an article for Hon. Dr Musokotwane from the latest Economist which gives a gloomy picture of the world economic development processes.

Sir, even some robust economies are undergoing very severe difficulties. In many cases, their debt is more than their GDPs. For example, Japan’s indebtedness is 200 per cent of its GDP, and yet it is a robust country. The only difference is that all this money is borrowed internally. It is unlike the United States of America (USA) whose debt is in excess of its GDP, but most of it is external. Here, again, the USA is a big economy and it also has the capacity and advantage to print dollars since most people borrow in dollars. However, we do not have that facility. Therefore, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, you know, as an eminent and outstanding economist, in your own right, that the world economic development process is not as cheerful as you would like us to believe. The prognosis, as the medics would say, is really not cheerful.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Speaker: Order!

Before, we proceed, I would like to guide that after the hon. Member for Luena has asked her question, hon. Members for Chipata Central, Mazabuka Central, Mumbwa and Katuba ask their supplementary questions.   

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the situation that the hon. Minister of Finance has explained here makes some of us believe that, as a country, we are already living in a situation of austerity. As an economic adviser to the Government, could the hon. Minister advise his Government to reduce on certain expenditure.

Sir, the hon. Minister mentioned that the Government is unable to meet the diplomats’ operation costs. So, as an economic adviser to the Government, could he take the following measures:

(a)    recall some …

Mr Speaker: Order!  


Mr Speaker: I indicated earlier on, after the statement, that it is now time to ask questions on points of clarification. Clarification is an operative word. Therefore, seek clarification.

You may continue.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister consider advising the Government on reducing the number of diplomats, size of the Cabinet and that of the hon. Deputy Ministers.  May I have a clarification on that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the most we can do is, maybe, limit the opening of new missions because diplomats are abroad to meet the needs of the country in terms of external relations. Therefore, we can only limit the creation of new missions or phase out their opening. Again, we are part of the world and have a number of countries that have embassies in our country. Therefore, the reciprocity factor comes into play here. Therefore, the missions we have abroad are clearly designed to serve Zambia’s economic needs.

Sir, as regards reducing the size of the Cabinet, we are instrumental in the growth of the size of the Cabinet because Zambia is a composite. Therefore, if we reduce the size of the Cabinet to the barest minimum, it will be very unrepresentative. In order to accommodate various interests in the country, we have to be a significantly big Cabinet.

Sir, there are cabinets on the continent which are, by far, bigger than ours. Therefore, at twenty-one, it is not inordinate, but just modest. I, therefore, think that our commitment to “One Zambia, One Nation” and inclusiveness make it very difficult to have a small size of Government. Otherwise, representation in the Government will only be restricted to a few corners of the country. In order to broaden representation from every part of the country, we need to have a reasonably sized Government. There are areas where we can reduce. For example, we can reduce on things like excessive travel, both at ministerial and official level. We can pare down on travel.

Sir, I would like to assure the hon. Member that the Government is putting in place measures to rationalise things. For example, the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication has already put in place measures to rationalise matters related to transport in the areas where we have excessive expenditure.

 Apart from that, Sir, we also have a considerable reduction in the area of administrative expenditures, which the hon. Member talked about. The recommendation to realign expenditure in order to save K5 billion did not come about by hon. Ministers using a sledgehammer, but as a result of Permanent Secretaries and other controlling officers meeting and deciding on how to realign expenditure in order to effectively contain the Budget Deficit, thereby just leaving a gap of about K10.5 billion. This will have to be financed by recourse to external borrowing because the interest factor is more conducive than borrowing locally. Externally, we will borrow at an interest rate of between 6 to 8 per cent whereas had we borrowed internally, it would have been at an interest rate of between 18 and 23 per cent.

Mr Speaker, in any case, there would not have been enough resources to borrow the large gap of the deficit internally. It would have totally crowded out the private sector and, in the process, choked the development process of the country, particularly as it relates to job creation. So, those are the difficulties that we are faced with, as a Government, hon. Member for Luena. I hope we can work together and not try to score debating points which do not add value to the country’s development needs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister of Finance brought the issue of the Sovereign Bond to the House, the underlying factor was that the Government wanted to reduce domestic borrowing. As of today, we are being informed that the country’s domestic debt is currently at K20.5 billion. This has inevitably raised the local lending interest rates to about 24 per cent. This is because of the Treasury bills, which the Government has been issuing. Therefore, there is no need for the local banks to give money to the private sector. The banks would rather deal with the Government because they feel it is a much safer way of doing business. Given this scenario, would the hon. Minister not seriously consider cutting and slowing down on projects such as the works on the roads on which we are being charged heavily in terms of interest, even when the projects are not progressing. The country is paying a lot of interest relating to outstanding fees on such projects. Would that not be a better way other than contracting further loans that will take us deeper into the situation we are faced with.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I am very grateful for the advice from the hon. Member. I did not think he wanted to trip me. I believe that the advice he has given me is in good faith and it could help in decelerating the rate of domestic borrowing and avoid crowding out the private sector and pushing up interest rates. While the Government wants to lower the interest rates, it still has to borrow because of the Budget deficits which arise from financing so many development projects. We are borrowing massively from the internal market and that is triggering the high interest rates. The Bank of Zambia Governor mentioned this, and some people tried to gain political mileage out of the statement.

Sir, I have said, on the Floor of this House, what the Governor said, and I am repeating it: We have to watch the levels of domestic borrowing. Going forward, we will run budgets with minimal deficits. This means that we will not be lavish on things which will demand resources from the Government. We will aim at finishing the projects we have already started. We will only embark on new projects after the on-going projects have been completed and when the economy stabilises. Budget deficits are adverse to the growth prospects of a country. They raise the cost of doing business and they push up the interest rates exorbitantly beyond what businesses, especially Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs), can afford.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member hinted on the Sovereign Fund which we did not continue. That is still on the cards. We will put it together. However, we need to come to Parliament with the legislation to set up this Sovereign Fund Bill so that we can get the wisdom there from. However, we have also added another dimension to that. We are now actively putting up a Sinking Fund. This will be done expediently because the mechanism to set it up is already in place. We will put money in the Sinking Fund so that when the first bond is due in 2022, which is not a very long time from now, we can service the external debt commitment. We will do the same with the subsequent bonds such as the one we raised in 2014, and the one we might consider to raise if Parliament sanctions it. So, thank you so much, hon. Member, for that advice on our being restrained in terms of internal borrowing.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, if you will permit me, as I am also charged with the responsibility of making sure that procedure is followed as we do our work, …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I will not allow you.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, will you not allow me?

Mr Speaker: I will not.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, that is your choice.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, let me ask the hon. Minister a question, and I appreciate your decision. This is a House of procedure. Hon. Minister of Finance, …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to request us to support the measures he is taking when we have been merely reduced to asking questions on his statement? It would have been ideal had he availed the House something that we can debate on so that our views can be heard. Is he in order to ask us to support him by our merely asking questions?

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister is in order. I would add that he is perfectly in order because he has indicated in his statement, anyway, that there will be a need to take certain legislative measures and those measures can only be taken by the Legislature. You are a Member of the Legislature and he will, therefore, seek your support.

Mr Nkombo: Merci beaucoup.

Hon. Government Members: Meaning?

Mr Nkombo: It means thank you very much. Sir, thank you for that ruling on Hon. Imenda’s point of order because I had similar concerns.

Sir, the hon. Minister pre-empted my question in his last statement when he made reference to the statement by the person responsible for the fiscal and monetary measures, namely the Central Bank. According to our interpretation, there seems to be a departure from what the Central Bank Governor said and what the hon. Minister has presented. The Central Bank raised some concerns on the levels of borrowing by this Government. Therefore, could the hon. Minister reconcile the two conflicting views by giving us an explanation so that we are not deemed political as we attempt to interpret the statements that have come from his office and the Central Bank.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the Bank of Zambia and the Ministry of Finance work very closely together. The Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Kalyalya, a man who has served with remarkable and unique distinction wherever he has served, whether at the Bank of Zambia or at the World Bank, said the right things. It is the duty of the Governor to give his views and we do not want to infringe his monetary operational independence. We would not like to reduce the Bank of Zambia to a rubberstamping entity because, then, its role of a monetary authority will be totally meaningless or obliterated.

Mr Speaker, what the Governor said was that internal borrowing by the Government has the effect of pushing the interest rates up, which is true and that is what I have said this afternoon as I have done before. So, there is no conflict between what the Bank of Zambia Governor said and the position of the Government. As the Government, we are very grateful that the Bank of Zambia spoke in those terms. As a result, there is awareness that internal borrowing, at exorbitant interest rates is inimical to the country’s growth process. So, there is absolutely no conflict. Those who want to create divisions between the Central Bank and the Government will definitely fail. Dr Kalyalya is there by our wish. We appointed him because we have full confidence in him, and so it is his duty to admonish the Government and the country about the weaknesses implicit in excessive borrowing. The statement is also good for hon. Members of Parliament so that when you call for projects for your constituencies, you will take into account that the fiscal position of the Government cannot accommodate fastidious and excessive requests.

Mr Speaker, we need a period of consolidation so that we can prevent going the way some of the peripheral countries in the European Zone have gone. We do not want to reach that stage of irreversibility because once you get too far, it becomes difficult to reverse the situation. We must all bear in mind that both growth and regression have exponential dimensions. When you are going up, you do so inexorably. There are multiplier effects. When you decelerate, the deceleration can also be very stiff. So, we need to balance the economy. Once you have gone a bit too far, you must come back because if you continue to drift inexorably downwards, there will come a point when you will not be able to arrest the situation.

Mr Speaker, there is no conflict at all between what the Central Bank is doing and what the Government is doing. However, we thank Dr Kalyalya for calling to our attention the need for the Government to be prudent in terms of internal and external borrowing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, though I am not an economist, I must state how frightened I am at the economic prospects of our country. However, I am sure that the hon. Minister can enlighten me on the sustainability in terms of repaying the internal and external debt of the country. According to the figures mentioned by the hon. Minister, our national debt is at 32.7 per cent of the GDP. He further said he would only worry if this percentage started reaching around the levels of 40 per cent. We should note here that we are only below 40 per cent by 7.3 per cent.

Sir, going by the measures the hon. Minister has mentioned, how will he ensure sustainable repayment of this debt when measures to reduce expenditure hinge on affecting the cost of doing business. If the cost of doing business continues to go up, how will the hon. Minister promote manufacturing in the economy so as to increase trade within our country, regionally and beyond?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, before studying medicine, medical doctors learn various sciences, which include mathematics. So, a medical doctor has a very high level of understanding figures. I will explain to Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo because I know he means extremely well, but there are also other social reasons for my doing that.

Sir, I said our current external debt stands at US$4.8 billion, which represents 18.5 per cent of the country’s GDP. On the other hand, the domestic debt is K20.5 billion or approximately US$3.7 billion, which represents 14.2 per cent of the GDP. The internationally accepted or agreed upon external debt threshold for countries at our level is about 40 per cent and we are far below this percentage. The same applies to internal borrowing, which is at 14.2 per cent. The combined internal and external borrowing lumped together is what comes to the figure of 32.7 per cent of our GDP, as mentioned by the hon. Member.

Mr Speaker, let me just allay the anxieties of hon. Members of Parliament regarding sustainability in our ability to service the national debt. At the moment, our annual servicing for external debt is US$350 million. This is below 5 per cent of our total export earnings annually, which are US$8 billion. Assuming that there could be an increase in external borrowing, our annual debt servicing would still be just around 6.2 per cent of our export earnings. So, we are very bankable as a country.

Sir, if we looked at the financial markets, we could see that bank managers sometimes read the country’s economic situation better than the rating agencies or even the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Our bond issues are always oversubscribed because the bank managers know that we have the ability to repay. Perhaps, this is why they always have money to lend to us because they are more sensible than the other people who sensationalise things.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, running a country and implementing a National Budget is a management issue. Even as you manage a small unit, the family, you have to know what income to expect and the expenditure needed. Similarly, when running a government, this has to be known. Economists, such as myself, started anticipating the last recession on the international market a long time ago and were even able to see in what direction our country should go. Therefore, we cannot say this downward trend on the international market was not anticipated. We knew about it as early as 2006 and it is only in 2008 and 2009 when it worsened.

Mr Speaker, when we are considering the National Budget, we know that the amount that goes towards debt servicing is about 18 per cent. When we put it at 25 per cent of the Budget, then, we are being very kind towards debt servicing. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether the increase in national debt being stated here is not as a result of being too ambitious by embarking on a very costly infrastructure development programme. The hon. Minister will agree with me that, at the moment, we need about US$3 billion to meet current commitments on infrastructure, which will necessitate our borrowing. It is a simple fact that when you borrow, you have to pay back. At the moment, just to meet hon. Minister’s salaries …

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am getting concerned, hon. Member. You seem to be meandering. Can you get to your point of clarification.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the current Government expenditure on emoluments for the Public Service is almost 70 per cent of the National Budget. If you add annual debt servicing of the loans we are contracting, it goes up to about 80 per cent. This is minus the cost of capital projects. Is the hon. Minister sure that we will sustain the running of this country, especially that he has no control over the money being expended, so far, on the so-called capital projects? Most of the loans have been single-sourced and we know of a lot of people on your right hand side who have made huge sums of money.


Mr Shakafuswa: We are wondering whether these projects are not stressing the national purse. We need to check the bills of quantities and what contractors are being paid so that we know where all the so-called billionaires we are seeing today are getting their money. I would urge the hon. Minister to rationalise public spending, especially on costly infrastructure projects. Instead of a project which costs K10 million …

Mr Speaker: Order!

I think you have made your point.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Member has done is advise the Government to be financially prudent and to scrutinise its projects. We agree with you. We are doing exactly that. Even with the current difficulties, if we do not control expenditures, we shall be in a quagmire, that we will be unable to extricate ourselves from. In fact, coming to the now strict control on expenditures and even the movement of cash, that is why we now have a Treasury single account to prevent this business of extensive accounts. Previously, a ministry would have twenty accounts. All those things will now be of the past. We have now established a single account for purposes of controlling our cash flows.

Mr Speaker, certainly the hon. Member for Katuba’s concerns about making sure that these projects are thoroughly scrutinised are genuine. There have been cases when an allocation has been made towards a project without a design. One begins to wonder how the cost was determined without a design and bills of quantity because these aspects are vital in arriving at a cost of a project. I can assure you that those excesses are a thing of the past, especially given the current difficult circumstances. We will take care of that. So, I want to thank you for your concerns and advice on maximum prudence in the use of our meagre resources.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: We have been at this subject for a while and if you note from the Order of Proceedings …

Hon. Opposition Members indicated to ask questions.

Mr Speaker: The Speaker is speaking.


Hon. Members resumed their seats.

Mr Speaker: If you note from the Order of Proceedings, we have a lot of Business to transact. So, I will call out the following last group of hon. Members of Parliament to ask questions and they will come in the order that I will announce.

Hon. Member for Monze Central, hon. Member for Mpongwe, hon. Member for Kalomo Central, hon. Member for Lubansenshi and hon. Member for Lukulu East. Thereafter, we will close this subject.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to offer my condolences to the people of Zambia on the demise of their economic emancipation …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … caused by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance whether it is not as a result of the decision of the Government to overrule his recommendations that were in the Budget, which was approved in this House, pertaining to the Mineral Royalty Taxes that we have found ourselves in this situation where we are now grappling to find measures to ease the economic malaise which we have found ourselves in. Further, I would also like to find out if the hon. Minister is agreeable to the fact that he was wrong in making Zambians have so much expectation in him when he presented his Budget to this House.

Mr Habeenzu: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mwiimbu is only being political. Of course, it is his duty to harass and embarrass the Government to the fullest extent possible.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, when we presented the Budget, we can admit that, maybe, our assumptions about the level of mineral commodity prices may have been slightly euphoric. It so happens that the prices of commodities have declined so much. So, we have had to adjust the royalty levels because if we kept them at that level, the mines would not have been able to pay. Under the Mines and Minerals Act, there are arrangements for one deferment. If a mine can establish to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) that it is not able to pay, the tax is deferred. So, high level consultations were made when the price structure was good, but the prices plummeted. We would have just been dealing with theoretical possibilities because the mines would have, in any case, applied for deferment.

Mr Speaker, apart from deferment, there is also remission. If a mine can establish to the tax authorities that it is unable to carry the burdens of paying tax, there is a provision for remission, which means cancelling the tax because the mine company is not able to pay. So, circumstances have overridden the process because we cannot be rigid.

Mr Speaker, when you run a country, you cannot do so on the basis of dogmas. This is not theology. There is no fundamentalism in running an economy. Fundamentalism applies in other areas of human endeavour, like religion, but you cannot take a strictly fundamentalist approach when running an economy. Some things are not immutable and that is why even in the budgets and taxation are subject to review every year, if the circumstances so warrant. The same applies here.

Sir, for reasons of rationality, please, Hon. Mwiimbu must allow the Government to be flexible so that it can fulfil the mandate of running the affairs of the country, given by the people of Zambia. We have had to shift the position in order to accommodate exigencies which we could have not anticipated or focused on at the time when we presented the country’s Annual Budget.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for the statement in which he has outlined to the people of Zambia issues relating to what is happening to the economy. I think those who are listening have heard. My question is: Is the Government considering doing away with some votes in the Budget that are non-performing because we increase the budget figures each year. Like this year, it is K46 billion. For 2016, maybe, it will be K50 billion. However, there are certain votes in the Budget which are there to actually maintain the books. Is the Government considering doing away with such figures so as not to inflate the figures of the Budget every year?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, maybe, the hon. Member for Mpongwe gave advice to the controlling officers because that is exactly what they did. They re-aligned the Budget. They shifted expenditures here and there to take care of the fact that the revenues had fallen drastically beyond expectation and so, they had to hive off a figure of K5 billion from the Budget by re-aligning things.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, everything that the hon. Minister of Finance made reference to in his statement shows that all the variables have gone out of proportion. There is reduced production in agriculture and mining. There is also reduced income and increased expenditure. While we rely on the hon. Minister  believing that we are still comfortable with borrowing, would it not have been better for you to table, before this House, half or a mini budget so that all other factors are considered in totality for comprehensive approval. We will allow you a mini budget, having realised that all the variables you had given us late last year have collapsed.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, this is one way of looking at it. However, not everything has gone down.


 Mr Chikwanda: For example, in the agriculture sector, only maize production dropped. However, we had other crops whose production went up. Some of the crops we have are yet to be assessed. For instance, the harvest for wheat is in September. We are yet to see whether its production will go up or down. We cannot stop the country’s development prospects by chocking off expenditure to growth-promoting projects.

Sir, even in here, comments have been made about areas like infrastructure. If we do not have roads, how are we going to transport commodities? How are we going to grow the economy without infrastructure? Without growing the power sector, how are we going to expect an increase in power generation? The only case that we have established on both sides of the House is that there is an absolute need for enhanced fiscal prudence. Our appeal, as the Government, is that we work together. Let us think together and see how we can overcome the obstacles.

Mr Speaker, in fact, Zambia can insulate herself from external shocks. If we can develop the agriculture sector to its fullest potential, we would be insulated against the external shocks. With regard to commodities, it is not all of them whose production is declining. For instance, the decline in production for commodities like soya beans has been minimal and the yield is quite high. Some of our friends in other parts of the world grow coffee. Coffee has been showing an upward trend, but even the 5,000 tonnes of coffee this country was producing annually is no longer there.

Sir, the Cote d’Ivoire, a country where I was three weeks ago, has pushed up cocoa production to over 1 million tonnes. Since cocoa prices are doing well, at US$3,000 per tonne, the Cote d’Ivoire will earn about US$3 billion, just on account of one commodity. In Zambia, we do not really exploit the possibilities that are there for us to grow the economy. For countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, the major crop is coffee. We have better conditions of producing coffee than those countries, but we are not doing it. If we can just develop our agriculture sector, we can go a long way. In this country, even constructing a dip tank even when the money is available becomes difficult, and yet it needs no structural engineering. So, if we do the right thing, we can insulate Zambia against external shocks.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Do the right thing!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, in his Mid-Year Budget Review, the hon. Minister has painted a very gloomy picture. The economy is not growing and the key economic indicators have been revised downwards. Therefore, it is also true that we can only expect more poverty, inequality and unemployment. The hon. Minister, …

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: No points of order.


Mr Mucheleka: … has resorted to further external borrowing in an attempt to fund capital projects.

Sir, can I find out what steps he will take to ensure that these funds that are being borrowed are, indeed, used prudently and are not used in the serious corruption that has been manifested through single-sourcing and other vices. What steps will he take to ensure that the resources that have been borrowed, whose brunt will be borne by poor people, are ring-fenced and used strictly for the intended purposes? How will he further minimise or eradicate the corruption that is going on …

Mr Speaker: You are repeating yourself.

Mr Mucheleka: You have instant billionaires on that side because of corruption.

Mr Speaker: You are repeating yourself.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Member has spoken about is exactly what is done. These funds that we borrow from the external market are ring-fenced. They are never used for recurrent expenditures. They are always used for growth-promoting projects. So, I give you that assurance. Single-sourcing is something that we should discourage. Your anxieties will be assuaged because we are going exactly in that direction.

Going further, I am entitled to give you advice because you are umwana wandi …


Mr Speaker: Meaning what?

Mr Chikwanda: He is my nephew or son. On account of the Bemba Royal Family’s propensity for in-breeding, both his mother and father are my cousins.


Mr Chikwanda: Going forward, Hon. Mucheleka, just give us the advice because you are so knowledgeable. You do not have to be bitter and have a permanent axe to grind. Grow up and be yourself.


Mr Chikwanda: You can just give …


Mr Mucheleka: On a point of order, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I seek clarification and hope that the hon. Minister is listening.

Mr Speaker: Continue.

Dr Kalila: One of the policy measures that the hon. Minister has just announced, going forward, is to expend the resources, assumedly the ones that will be borrowed and internally generated, to complete the on-going projects, as opposed to new ones. Therein lays the clarification that I seek. I would like to find out whether we can now consider it a closed door for new projects in our constituencies. Are we likely to see new projects such as the Katunda/Watopa Road?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the assurance is that what the hon. Member has referred to is one of the on-going projects. We shall not go back, but decelerate adding on new commitments before we finish the existing commitments. This is for reasons of fiscal prudence and safeguarding the interests of posterity.

Mr Speaker, fiscal prudence is something that we must insist on. This is why, personally, I cannot wait to see the Budget Planning Bill so that Parliament has a greater oversight role than what it has at the moment. This is because there are no institutional mechanisms for this oversight role. It is more in theory than in practice. I think that fiscal prudence is the only thing that will save our country from collapse.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, to begin, let me pass my condolences to the Matafwali Family and congratulate you, Mr Speaker and the Clerk of the National Assembly, on allowing me to attend a funeral for the first time since I came to this Parliament. Well done, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, at its meeting in Geneva, in 2006, set 17th June, 2015, as the deadline for countries across the world to migrate from analogue to digital television broadcasting. I, now, wish to update the House and the people of Zambia on the progress that the Government has made in this regard.

Mr Speaker, Phase I of the Digital Migration Project has been completed and I take this opportunity to announce that our President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will officially launch Phase I of the Digital Television Broadcasting at the Mass Media Complex on Monday, 22nd June, 2015. The Cabinet approved the National Digital Migration Policy on the 10th of March, 2014, which sets the guidelines of migrating the country’s television broadcasting sector from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. Following the adoption of this policy, the Government decided to implement the Digital Migration Project in phases.

Sir, Phase I covers the areas along the line of rail, from Livingstone in the Southern Province to Chililabombwe in the Copperbelt Province. Phase II covers the remaining provincial centres and Phase III covers the rest of the country. This approach was arrived at to ensure that there was a gradual implementation process and building on the lessons learnt from one phase to another. On the 14th of July, 2014, the Government awarded a contract to Star Software Technology Company Limited of China to implement Phase I of the Digital Migration Project at a cost of US$9,554,124. The contractor moved on site in December, 2014, after all the logistics such as allocation of frequencies, pre-shipment inspection and payment of the 10 per cent advance were made.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to announce to this august House that the contractor has completed installation, testing and we are now in the commissioning phase. Tomorrow, the 17th of June, 2015, the digital television broadcasting will start and areas from Livingstone to Chililabombwe will have high quality digital television. This will signal the start of dual casting, and in line with the policy, this dual broadcasting of analogue and digital will be for a period of six months. After that, the analogue signal will be switched off.

Mr Speaker, to receive digital signal, the public will need to buy decoders (set top boxes), which will be available for sale at the Zambia Postal Services Corporation (ZAMPOST) offices along the line of rail. Later, they will be available throughout the country. These decoders have been type approved by the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and they meet the standards for the set top boxes as set by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS). The decoders cost K130 each, and some people who will require outdoor aerials will buy them at K80.

Mr Speaker, the policy provides for dealers interested in the distribution of decoders to be accredited with ZICTA before being allowed to trade in set top boxes. This measure has been introduced to protect the Zambian public from buying counterfeit products. The policy provides for the establishment of a public signal distributor to carry the content for all broadcasters, both public and private. However, considering the time required to establish a separate entity, the Government decided to designate the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) as a public signal distributor, as an interim measure. ZICTA has already issued a network licence to the ZNBC after the corporation paid K928,000, as per licence requirement. Therefore, when the new digital broadcasting signal starts tomorrow, at least, four channels, that is, ZNBC TV1 …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kambwili: Before business was suspended, I was saying that when the new digital broadcasting signal starts tomorrow, at least, four channels, that is, ZNBC TV1 and TV2, Prime Television, and Revelation Television will be accessed as a bouquet. More channels will be included in due course as other broadcasters prepare to take their content to the ZNBC. This is one of the benefits of digital migration which has already started bearing fruit.

Mr Speaker, the capacity of the Phase I network is twenty channels. Therefore, there is no cause to worry that some private broadcasters will be left out. Let me also encourage the National Assembly of Zambia to take advantage of this so that we can have a stand-alone channel to broadcast the proceedings of Parliament.  In addition, all private broadcasters will be carried on the public network for free, for a period of six months. This is a clear demonstration of the Government’s unflinching support to promote private businesses and enhance information flow.

However, Sir, after the lapse of six months, broadcasters will be required to pay carrier fees to the public signal distributor. Modalities and tariffs are still being worked out and the public will be informed once this has been concluded.

Mr Speaker, with Phase I of the project behind us, I wish to inform the House that my ministry is now working on processes to start the implementation of Phases II and III. The ministry has completed the design and requirement specifications for the two phases and is now in the process of procurement. The design of the two phases covers the rest of the country, including areas where there is no television coverage at the moment.

The hardworking Government of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu, has decided that decoders should be sold on cash as well as installment basis in Phases I and II. This will enable everyone to access the digital television system.

Mr Speaker, the scope of works for Phases II and III will cover transmission systems for the remaining sites, studio equipment, provincial broadcasting sessions and upgrading of the facilities at the ZNBC Lusaka, Kitwe and the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) studios. This upgrade of television facilities in the country will be comprehensive.  

As I conclude, Sir, I wish to inform the House and, through it, the public, that the television sets people currently have in their homes will still work under the digital technology. All that will be needed is to connect the sets to set top boxes or decoders.

Further, starting tomorrow, 17th June, 2015, there will be simultaneous transmission of analogue and digital signals. Hence, there will be no blackout. Therefore, there is absolutely no need for members of the public to panic over what will happen to the current television sets and broadcasting system.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, digital transmission and infrastructure backbone complement each other. Hon. Minister, you said that the line of rail is under Phase I due to the fact that the optic fibre infrastructure has been completed.

Sir, can the hon. Minister inform the nation how far we are, as a country, in terms of the development of the optic fibre infrastructure backbone, which will be complementary to the digital migration, particularly the extension to other provinces and districts of the country?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, at the risk of misinforming the House, let me state that the optic fibre infrastructure development is under the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. Digital transmission does not need the optic fibre. We have a number of equipment that is being installed at all sites to enable Zambians to access digital transmission.  

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). Of late, we have noted that the decoder for Muvi TV is going at K400 while its dish is at K250 or thereabout, which comes to K650. As the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, do you not think that some sections of our community will be blacked out of access to Muvi TV? Seeing as we are supposed to get information from all broadcasting services, does the ministry intend to do anything about this because accessing Muvi TV is now expensive?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, one of the advantages of the Government undertaking this project is the mitigation of the high cost being offered by private entities. When we go digital full-time, Muvi TV will be forced to come through the ZNBC, making it cheaper because their prices will automatically go down.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the people of Gulumuyanga in Gwembe would also like to watch the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC). However, they will not be able to purchase these decoders and antennas. Hon. Minister, is there any deliberate policy by the Government to give the people of Gulumuyanga a few decoders for free so that they are also able to watch and listen to current affairs on the ZNBC, particularly if they cannot afford to pay or buy decoders, but have television sets?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to give an update on the question by Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa. I am reliably informed that we have both fibre and satellite transmission and that the fibre network has reached all provincial centres.

Mr Speaker, coming to my colleague and good friend, Hon. Ntundu, there is nothing for free. What we have done in Phases II and III, knowing that we will cover the people in rural areas, is give the decoders on credit. Therefore, K130 will be paid in three installments. A lot of peasants will, therefore, be able to afford it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, we will proceed in this fashion, the hon. Member for Chipata Central, hon. Member for Mumbwa and hon. Member for Chadiza.

Hon. Member for Chipata Central, you may seek your clarification.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, during the suspension of business, I received a phone call.  For the sake of the many people like the one who called, the hon. Minister should give clarification.

Hon. Minister, if I have a colour television set in my home, do I need to do anything to access this digital signal?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I do not believe that this question has come from my colleague and friend, who is very well-informed ...


Mr Kambwili: … and learned.

Surely, what has digital migration got to do with colour?


Mr Kambwili: If one has a black and white television set, one will still get a black and white picture and if it is a colour television, the picture will still be in colour.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, with digital television cameras on site and considering the twenty channels that the hon. Minister mentioned, from the production point of view, is there anything that the hon. Minister is doing to ensure that we utilise as many of these channels as possible?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, like I said earlier, the International Telecommunication Union made this decision in 2006. The Patriotic Front (PF) is a hard-working Government because it has managed to implement this exercise within three years while the previous Government failed to implement it from 2006.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, we are starting to work out what programmes to air on the twenty channels. Like I said, one channel will be dedicated to Parliament, one to sport and one to children’s broadcasting. There are also many other programmes that the ZNBC is now working on. By the end of the year, we must have, at least, ten channels running on this digital system.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!





491.    Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    what measures the Government had taken to reduce the loss of lives of pedestrians crossing the Ndola/Kitwe Dual Carriageway, on the stretch between Mulenga and Chamboli townships; and

(b)    whether the contractor working on the road would put lay-bys at the following points:

(i)    Overspill Bus Station;

(ii)    Mulenga/Kamfinsa Bus Station; and

(iii)    Mulenga Bus Station opposite Petroda Filling Station.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) will ensure that traffic-calming measures such as rumble strips and signage are installed as part of the ongoing works on the Ndola to Kitwe road works. The RDA plans to put these measures in place by August, 2015.

Sir, the lay-bys at Overspill Bust Station, Mulenga/Kamfinsa Bus Station and Mulenga Bus Station, opposite Petroda Filling Station, are part of the existing contract.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Chishimba: … will there be long-term solutions such as putting up a pedestrian fly-over bridge, if that is what it is called, just like the one at the University of Zambia, so that we mitigate this loss of life which we experience day after day on this stretch?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the Government, through the RDA, is modernising roads, especially in the built up areas of urban centres. That intervention is likely to take place when funds are available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I believe the Road, Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is under the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and records the statistics on the loss of lives as well as the areas where these losses occur.

Does it take heavenly intervention for the Ministry of Transport, Works and Supply and Communication to put speed humps or something that can slow down motorists? For instance, every weekend we lose about eight lives at Zani Muone at 13 miles in Katuba. Do we have to come to your office with this information or do you already have the statistics at your fingertips?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, while I answer that question, allow me to make a minor correction. The first line for the collection of statistics on accidents is the Ministry of Home Affairs. As regards heavenly intervention, in future, this administration intends to change the way it operates. It will incorporate those measures within original contracts.

I thank you, Sir.


492. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Health:
(a)    how many types of herbal medicines for the cure of the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) had undergone clinical trials from January, 2006 to February, 2015;

(b)    what the finding of the trails on each of the herbal medicines were;

(c)    how much money the Government spent on the trails; and

(d)    when the clinical trials were expected to be concluded.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, there have not been any clinical trials for any herbal medicines for the cure of the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in Zambia between January, 2006, and February, 2015. Therefore, there are no findings to report on, no expenditure to report on and, therefore, nothing can be said about the conclusion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, this is a question that has come to the Floor of the House for the second time. We have heard from the media that an advanced stage in the clinical tests of herbal medicines has been reached. I would, therefore, like to find out what tests have been conducted on herbal medicines all this time, as some of these drugs are already on the market in some cases?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, before we answer the question of clinical trials, maybe, we should define what a clinical trial is. A clinical trial is where you have human subjects participating in a research study. In this instance, a particular drug is administered to a subject to determine its efficacy. For you to reach that stage, you need to carry out investigations in vitro and other criteria as determined by our researchers. Before you reach the stage of deciding to conduct a clinical trial on human beings, there are many processes involved. At the moment, we do not have any herbal medicine that is ready for clinical trials.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, claims to cure the acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS) by a number of herbalists in Zambia are in public domain. Therefore, what measures is the Government putting in place to bring these claimants to have their medicines tested?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, this is a very important issue. Herbalists are permitted, within the law, as it stands at present, to distribute whatever concoction they consider effective for as long as the persons who are taking that concoction are not affected to the point of drawing attention as a sick person. It is our duty and our intention to submit to this House, at some point, a law which will govern the control of these drugs.

On the other hand, wherever the Government is involved in providing medication to individuals, whether that medication originates from herbalists or not, they are compelled to go through a process of evaluation by the Zambia Medicines Regulation Authority and research if it is required, by those centres that do research.

Only when we are satisfied that these drugs are efficacious and safe will we, as a Government, introduce them to public institutions. What is required now is to control the use of those drugs that have no appropriate clearance through the medical scientific evaluation. We, therefore, do not accept the fact that because a claim that a particular medicine can cure whatever disease, it must be permitted in public institutions. The permission that is given to herbalists is a risk passed on to the public and individuals. It is, therefore, our intention to plug that call.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Deputy Minister has dodged the question, which is very straight forward. We have had herbalists who have claimed that their medicines can cure the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). According to the response by the hon. Minister, that is alarming. What has the Government done to ensure that people are educated on the fact that medicines such as the Sondashi Formula do not actually cure HIV/AIDS?

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am concerned. The question is on trials and not claims. I think the hon. Minister has explained that point. Maybe, for avoidance of doubt, I will give the hon. Minister another opportunity to explain this since it is a very important subject.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, a very important subject because it involves so many of our citizens. A clinical trial is a method of studying the effect of a substance on the alleged condition. A clinical trial will not be permitted until several tests that go to assure people that it is safe to do so have been done. For this reason, none of those claimed medications have come to the point of being allowed to be used on human beings for study purposes. That is the position. So, when we talk of a clinical trial, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Kasonde: … we only embark on that when that process or clearance to that point has been reached. It so happens that on the many that have claimed, none of them have come to the point of starting on a clinical trial.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister says that before clinical trials can be undertaken, the ministry has to be convinced that the efficacy and safety of the herbs are right, and this comes through research. Can he inform the House and the nation how much scientific research has been going on, so far, on the herbal drugs that are said to be a cure for the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, there have been a number of studies undertaken by various institutions, including the University of Zambia (UNZA). The example that has been quoted over and over again, in the last one or two years, has been the so-called Sondashi Formula. The Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) was summoned and given the responsibility to pursue the whole issue of whether this is a medication that should go on to clinical trial or not. After a number of studies were carried out and could not come to a conclusion, we went as far as South Africa to try to prove the same. Unfortunately, in South Africa, the person who claimed to be the owner did not agree to collaborate with South Africans for reasons of monetary allocation in the event of success. These are issues which I would not wish to enter into.

Mr Speaker, therefore, what we have in the case of the Sondashi Formula, and this is an example of all the others, is a situation where the question has been raised and the process has not gone through to arrive at a point of conducting a clinical trial. So, I do not have the figures, but I am aware that, over the years, there have been several cases which have come to the point where they opt to go into clinical trial, but have not been able to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I seek clarification from the hon. Minister of Health on the status of the Sondashi Formula. Is it not true that the reason the Sondashi Formula has not progressed in the research process is that the Ministry of Health has failed to facilitate the production of capsules …

Mr Mutelo: Yes!

Mr Simfukwe: … which will be used to package the drug so that it can …

Mr Mutelo: Yes!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you may have a fervent interest in this subject, …


Mr Speaker: … but that is not the way to proceed.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, is it not true that in the last two years, the Ministry of Health has failed to facilitate mere capsules in order for this drug to be packaged and made available for clinical trials?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, this opportunity might be taken to explain the role of the Ministry of Health in medical research. The Ministry of Health does not carry out research because it does not have the capacity to do so. It relies on various institutions and institutes such as the Tropical Diseases Research Centre and the University of Zambia to do that. These institutions have the capacity to carryout research. In some cases, including the case of the Sondashi Formula, a grant has been given to those institutions to carry out research. So, let us be clear. The Ministry of Health has not attempted, as a ministry, to produce those capsules.

Sir, it is true, however, that any product that is going to be compared with another or assessed in terms of efficacy, surely, ought to be measurable. To put some substance in the palm of the hand and say that much restriction is that each patient takes this amount is not adequate for scientific correlation or the effectiveness on the capacity of that drug to work. We need to have a substance that we can say, when given at the level of 20 grams, 20 milligrams or 20 micrograms, it will work and not when it is put in the hand for measurement.


Dr Kasonde: That is the level of difference between science and this casual cultural practice. Therefore, we cannot say that the ministry has failed. We can, however, say that if a capsule could be produced, that would enable comparison to be done. At present, this country does not have an institution which can produce those capsules. At this point, in industrialised countries, the matter is handled by a commercial entity which can then begin to produce these things. Indeed, there has been a commercial entity which offered to do this from China. However, it was not approved for other reasons. Therefore, various contacts, including South Africa, Ethiopia and China have facilitated to have the right people do the right tasks, for example, the task of creating a capsule out of this substance which has been produced. That is the mandate of the Ministry of Health. It has been done and that is where we are. If any person is capable of carrying out this process, as a corporate entity or as an individual, please, come forward and do it in that context. Do not expect the Ministry of Health to do it at its headquarters at Ndeke House because it will not be done.

I thank you, Sir.    


493. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    why construction works on the National Registration Office Block in Katete District had stalled;

(b)    when the works would resume;

(c)    who the contractor for the project was; and

(d)    what the total cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the construction works on the National Registration Office Block in Katete stalled because the project was initially procured as rehabilitation of an existing office block. Unfortunately, verbal instructions were given to the contractor to build an office block instead of rehabilitating the existing one without normalising the scope of work and involving the Provincial Procurement Committee. The change from rehabilitation to construction of a new block resulted in variation above 25 per cent which needed tender authority. The contractor was, therefore, advised to stop work until the normalisation of the situation.

However, I wish to state that necessary corrective measures were sought from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to normalise the scope of works from rehabilitation to construction. The remaining works were re-measured and the province is in the process of advertising.

Sir, the works will resume immediately the Provincial Procurement and Supply Unit procures the remaining works. Funds for the project are provided for in the 2015 Budget, under Programme 4012 Infrastructure Development, Activity 086 − construction of National Registration Office. The tender for the proposed rehabilitation of Katete National Registration Office was awarded to Messrs Mecant General Dealers of Chipata on contract No. PBDEP/PTC/EP/09/2012 Lot 2.

Mr Speaker, the total cost of the project was K208,193.04. However, the actual cost of the remaining works will be known after the Provincial Procurement and Supplies Unit has completed the re-measurement and costing of the remaining works.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


494.  Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    what the staff establishment for the Mpongwe Police Station was;

(b)    how many officers were at the station as of March, 2015;

(c)    how many officers were accommodated by the Police Command;

(d)    whether the officers who were not accommodated were paid housing allowance and, if not, why; and

(e)    when the Government would build a modern police station in Mpongwe District.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the staff establishment of Mpongwe Police Station is twenty-five police officers and three civilian staff. There were twenty officers at the station as of March, 2015. Only seven officers are accommodated by the Zambia Police Force in Mpongwe. The rest of the officers commute, as they are accommodated in Luanshya Town.

Sir, ten officers at Mpongwe Police Station are paid housing allowances, as they are not accommodated by the Zambia Police Force. Three police officers have not yet started receiving allowances, as they were recently transferred to Mpongwe Police Station. However, the police service is working to ensure that these officers start receiving their housing allowances.

Mr Speaker, the Government will consider building a modern police station in Mpongwe once the Ministry of Home Affairs has secured funds for the construction of police stations and staff houses countrywide.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, police officers in Mpongwe operate in a structure that was built by the community. The hon. Minister said that the Government will build a police station once the ministry receives money for the construction of police posts countrywide. However, he did not specify when this will happen. Are we going to wait until Jesus comes or is there a time frame within which we expect this police station to be built? The police officers cannot continue to operate from a ramshackle structure.

Col. Kaunda: Sir, I understand the hon. Member’s concern. We have a programme for building various structures countrywide. For example, we currently have a programme to build staff houses. Therefore, we will only promise the hon. Member of Parliament when a police station in Mpongwe will be built once funds have been secured. Otherwise, we may give him wrong information.
I thank you, Sir.    

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister specify whether the money will be secured this year or next year?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that the Government will construct a police station in Mpongwe when funds are available. However, I want to inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Mpongwe that this year, we will construct twenty houses for police officers in Mpongwe District.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


495. Mr Mumba (Mambilima) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    what the total number of farm blocks in Luwingu District was;

(b)    what the major crops grown in the farm block were;

(c)    how many tonnes of maize were bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from Luwingu District from 2011 to 2014, year by year; and

(d)    whether the Government had any plans to grade the feeder roads in the farm blocks in Luwingu to ease the transportation.    

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that there are no farm blocks in Luwingu District. However, Luwingu District has three settlement schemes, namely Lufubu…


Mr Speaker: Order!

There is unpleasant conversation on my left. You can withdraw from the Chamber if you wish.

The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Ng’onga: … Lufubu Masonde and Chifwile settlement schemes.

Sir, the major crops that are grown in the three settlement schemes are cassava, maize and beans.

Mr Speaker, the following are the tonnes of maize that were bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) from Luwingu District from 2011 to 2014, year by year:

Year        Quantity (Metric Tonnes)

2011        14,881

2012        17,158

2013        12,389

2014        17,894

Total    62,322

Mr Speaker, as earlier indicated, there is no farm block in Luwingu and as such, there is no budget plan, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, for the rehabilitation of feeder roads in Luwingu District.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


496. Mr Mufalali (Senanga) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the construction of the following schools in Senanga District would be completed:
(i)    Kakenge;

(ii)    Mumbula; and

(iii)    Mwalye;

(b)    how many schools under construction in the district had not been completed;

(c)    how much money was required to complete the construction of the schools; and

(d)    when all the schools under construction would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the three schools, namely Kakenge, Muweswa and Mumbula, in Senanga district, will be completed in 2016 in a phased approach, using the community mode.

Sir, the House may wish to know that in 2008, the ministry awarded two contracts to a local contractor, Messrs. Gabman Electrical Limited, to construct additional structures at five primary schools in the then Senanga District. The three schools Kakenge, Muweswa and Mumbula, to the east of the Zambezi River, formed the first contract. Shekela and Suu primary schools, to the west of the Zambezi River, constituted the second contract. Shekela and Suu schools are now part of Nalolo District.

Sir, due to the fact that the Zambian contractor did not have the capacity, given the terrain in the Zambezi West Bank, it was difficult for him to complete these schools and consequently the contracts were terminated.

Mr Speaker, there were seven school projects executed under community-mode between 2006 and 2013. The projects are not fully completed, but are at various stages of completion.

Mr Speaker, using the current material prices, the estimated cost to complete the projects is K702,000.00.

Sir, all the buildings under construction at various schools will be completed once the ministry mobilises the required resources

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that Kakenge, Mambula and Muweswa are under the Gabman Project, but there is also Mwalye which was under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative. The hon. Minister also informed this House last year, that the three schools, together with those in Lundazi District, would be completed because all these are done under the Gabman Project. Therefore, it is not about transport. Would the hon. Minister be kind enough to tell us what happened to the money that the hon. Minister assured this House would work on the three schools for them to be completed in 2014? I would like to know where the money is.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the projects are paid based on what the amount of certified works. Therefore, even if the money is there, but the contractor has not executed any works, there is no way he would be paid. Instead, other projects would be paid.

Mr Speaker, again, Hon. Mufalali may wish to note that termination of contracts for projects that fail is done by the Ministry of Justice. Sometimes, the termination of contracts takes a bit of time. Otherwise, the Ministry of Education, Vocational Training and Early Education is committed to executing and completing said projects.

 I thank you, Sir

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister just indicated that later on, the Government realised that the contractor who was awarded the contract did not have the capacity, based on the terrain, and yet he was awarded this contract when his bid was successful. I would like to know what investigation the ministry has carried out in the awarding of this contract to the person who did not have the capacity to carry out the works.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, no investigation was carried out because when people submit bids for business, and depending on how successful they are, they are awarded the contract, but sometimes, you come to learn that they do not have the ability to carry out those projects after they have been awarded contracts. The Government, at the time of the tendering process, gave the awards but, subsequently, it was established that the contractor did not have the capacity to carry out the works, given the terrain in which these projects were to be carried out.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how much money the Government spent on this contractor who lost the contract.

 Mr Speaker: Order!

 Is the hon. Minister able to answer that question?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I do not have the figures, but at the right time, I can come back to the house with the correct figures.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister was saying that the ministry would complete the projects when the ministry would have money.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Ndalamei: Could the hon. Minister be kind enough to tell us when he thinks the ministry will have the money to complete these schools.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in my earlier statement, I indicated that these schools are scheduled for completion in a phased approach in 2016.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, there is reliable information that we have materials at these schools and yet, the contractor has not yet moved to the site. What would be happening to the materials which the Government had procured at a high cost, hon. Minister?


 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the institutions I have mentioned are schools and, therefore, all the materials are protected by the schools’ establishment.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Speaker: Order!

 You do not ask a question while seated. However, you can go ahead.


Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that some of the material that he is talking about is actually perishable and that the longer it is kept, the more useless it becomes?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with my colleague. When cement is kept for a long period, it goes to waste, but those are regrettable circumstances.

 I thank you, Sir.


497. Mr Simfukwe asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to review legislation that restricts foreigners from owning land; and

(b)    if so, when a Bill would be introduced in the House.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, the Government, in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, is determined to ensure that the Lands Act is reviewed. The review will take into account all aspects of the Act, including the ownership of land by foreigners. Consultations of the review of the Lands Act have already commenced and will culminate in the adoption of the policy.

Sir, the Government is currently consulting on the review of the Lands Act. Once consultations have been exhausted, the Bill will be introduced in Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has informed this House that the Government intends to review legislation regarding ownership of land by foreigners. I want to find out what major trends or negative aspects the Government has identified and would like to clear or deal with among the many things that it wants to do, specifically relating to ownership of land by foreigners.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, we have engaged a consultant and we will only be able to tell what wrongs are there in the Act when those consultations have been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the question asked by my colleague was meant to find out from the Government the reason for trying to review the Land Act so as to protect the interest of Zambians. The response is that not until the consultants have finished their work will the reasons be ascertained. I would, therefore, like to find out the terms of reference of these consultants.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, I will give an example of some of the issues that need to be reviewed. For example, under land administration, it says any non-Zambian who is a permanent resident in Zambia is eligible to own land. These are some of the issues that need to be reviewed in the Land Act. As regards the terms of reference for the consultants, I may not have that information at the moment, but I may be able to avail it to the House in due course.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) assumed office in 2011, and one of the issues that the party talked about during its campaigns was the issue of the unfair distribution of land. In fact, it is now four years down the road and foreigners have continued to amass huge tracts of land at the expense of the indigenous Zambians. I want to find out what time frame the Government has in mind to complete this process of changing the law so that the ills that are being experienced by our people can be reversed.

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Ms Ngimbu): Mr Speaker, it is interesting to note that the hon. Member is surprised that the current Act is unfair to Zambians when the Land Act in question was introduced in 1995 and she was part of the Government then.


Ms Ngimbu: Sir, it is only until now that the PF has identified a wrong with what the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government did in 1995. So, you cannot rush us in reviewing this Act. I want to assure this august House that a consultant has been engaged and all stakeholders will be involved in finding a lasting solution meant to help Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, are you able to indicate the time frame?

Ms Ngimbu: Mr Speaker, within one quarter.

I thank you, Sir.


498. Mr Chishimba asked the Minister of Transport, Works Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the construction of the new Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola would commence;

(b)    what the cost of the project was;

(c)    who was funding the project;

(d)    what the name of the contractor was; and

(e)    what the time-frame for completing the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, construction of the mew Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola will commence once funds are released. The project, at Phase I, is estimated to cost US$397 million and US$125 million at Phase II. This brings the total to US$522 million.

Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia is funding the project. The name of the contractor is Avic International Holding Corporation. The time frame for the project completion is sixty months or five years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what the scope of work for Phase 1 is.

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, Phase I includes the construction of a terminal building with a capacity of one million passengers per annum. It will also include the construction of a 3.5 km runway while the aircraft parking area will have eight slots, a hotel with fifty rooms and other support facilities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister not agree with me that a project of this magnitude qualifies to be among the projects that should be scaled down to allow the Ministry of Finance some fiscal space. I say so because the benefits of such a project are very minimal to the majority of the Zambian people.

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member got me correctly, I said this project will run for five years. So, as I have stated, this will be done in phases. This project is an immediate need as you know that the Copperbelt Province does not have an international airport. So, we need to have such a facility for us to do business with the outside world.

I thank you, Sir.


499. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of Kabwanga and Butinti dams in Mumbwa District, which burst two years ago, would commence; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in rehabilitating the dams.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, rehabilitation works on Butinti Dam were carried out in 2014, at a total cost of K1.7 million. The dam is currently operational. With regard to Kabwanga Dam, rehabilitation works are expected to be carried out in 2015. However, the commencement of the rehabilitation works will depend on the availability and release of funds by the Treasury. The delay in the rehabilitation of the Kabwanga Dam was due to the unavailability of sufficient funds.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am grateful that Butinti Dam has been rehabilitated. This has obviously elevated the livelihood of the livestock owners there. However, how much is envisaged for the repairs of the Kabwanga Dam in 2015?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, there is about K2 million envisaged for Kabwanga Dam in the 2015 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.


500. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health when the K50,000 that was approved in 2012 for the Nchelenge District Women Association would be released.

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, through the Department of Community Development, only paid K10,000 to the women association in Nchelenge District in 2012. The other amount was not released due to insufficient funding. Considering the period that has elapsed between 2012 to date, the women association in Nchelenge District is being encouraged to resubmit fresh applications for consideration.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, what guarantee can the hon. Minister give …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Lufuma: … to this association that the second application will be processed if the first one was not attended to? It is expensive to apply.

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the first application did not go unattended. It was attended to and K10,000 was disbursed to this association. The clubs should reapply. I cannot say if we are going to give them K50,000, as it all depends on the funds that will be available at the time. However, we will still attend to the applications.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is now encouraging the women in this constituency to reapply. How much money does the ministry have now for these women?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. The question that I was attending to was on the disbursement of K50,000 to this women association. However, if the hon. Member wants to know how much money has been planned for the women clubs, he can submit a question and I will bring the answer at a later date.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, this association only benefited K10,000. Why can the ministry not consider giving it some of the cheques that our colleagues across were distributing in Mulobezi so that these women also benefit something from that?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the clubs in Mulobezi were getting K10,000 each just like the clubs in Nchelenge.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


501. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when desks would be provided to the newly-constructed Nangoma Secondary School in Nangoma Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    when construction of teachers’ houses at the school would commence.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the procurement and distribution of desks to schools is an on-going exercise in the ministry. Therefore, the ministry plans to procure desks this year and Nangoma Secondary School will benefit from the distribution of the desks to be procured. It is expected that the construction of staff houses at Nangoma Secondary School will be undertaken in 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that teachers used to sleep in tents at the newly-constructed Nangoma Secondary School? They have now resorted to squatting among the residents around this school.


Mr Hamusonde: How soon is the ministry going to construct teachers’ houses because 2016 will be too late?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the time frame I have given of 2016 is when the ministry is expected to mobilise the resources needed to put up staff houses. It is regrettable if teachers are squatting, but it is not the intention of the ministry to have such a situation. So, we will respond to this situation in 2016.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I am sure the record will be taken care of.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the last procurement and distribution of desks was done in 2013 and a lot of schools, at the moment, especially community schools, have no desks. So, how many are going to be procured and when are they going to be distributed?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, it is true that, indeed, we have a problem with the acquisition of desks. It is not only Nangoma Secondary School that has no desks, but also most of our schools, especially new ones, do not have desks.

However, we have a deliberate plan, as a ministry, to come up with modalities of getting some money from what has been appropriated to the ministry for infrastructure to acquire desks. So, I hear the hon. Member’s concern, but I would like to ask the hon. Members of Parliament to bear with us. Initially, our focus was on space for classrooms. Now that this has been achieved, allow us to focus our attention on acquiring desks.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, considering that we are grappling with a very serious situation of our timber finding its way across our borders, is the hon. Minister considering looking at this industry, since there is already a market, to have our youths or our people produce desks? We have the raw material. Is the hon. Minister considering that we can make these desks from our own timber and our own labour?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member of Parliament for that, indeed, very important question. She is right; here is a business opportunity not only for the Government, but also for hon. Members of Parliament. We heard this afternoon that our gross domestic product (GDP) is growing slowly. Therefore, let me appeal to the hon. Members, particularly for those areas where there is timber, that there is an opportunity. May I also use this opportunity to appeal to Zambians to learn to work as a group or as a concession than for us to always work as individuals. I can well assure you that, if three, four or ten hon. Members of Parliament put their gratuity together, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Dr Kaingu: … they would come up with a good …


Dr Kaingu: Please, hear me out. I have not completed my statement.

They would come up with good capital which they can invest in desks and sell to the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: That is all I wanted say.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Quite innocuous.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, along the same line, can the hon. Minister not consider making use of the already existing trades training institutes as focal points for the production of these desks and other school furniture because these exist everywhere. Is it not that there are already existing focal institutions to undertake this programme?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I do not know if the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa has heard of outsourcing. These schools can actually be used to outsource labour and do business with the Government. Hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa, I agree with you that trade schools must now be productive. The idea of just focusing our attention on academics is not enough. I think we need to be more participative in vocational training and in using the trade centres. I would like to appeal to our trade schools to participate in these opportunities. It is not only desks, trade schools can also participate in building schools. They have bricklayers and electricians. I do not see the reason they cannot participate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


502. Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that buildings are being constructed on the Lunkhwakwa River in Chipata Central Business District in the Eastern Province;

(b)    if so, what measures were being taken to protect the river from being obstructed by the new buildings and the garbage being disposed of in the river.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the buildings being constructed on Lunkhwakwa River in Chipata Central Business District. These are stands that were offered by the council in 2012.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through Chipata Municipal Council, has directed all developers to pitch up stone along the section of a channel of the stream abetting their structures to prevent the river from closing up by ensuring that garbage is not disposed of into the river. The council has further intensified overall monitoring of activities at the river to ensure that traders comply with the council’s directive for traders not to throw garbage into the river. One trader in the name of Mbanyane Trading Centre had their premises closed for contravening council directives.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I think the issue of Lunkhwakwa River is just an example of the problem that we have in the country as a whole. Is the ministry aware that the country needs a block plan which these councils can follow as they offer plots and think of planning for these towns. This problem is very serious. Is the ministry aware that we need plans?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, yes, the ministry is aware and those powers are vested in the hands of the regional and urban planning units. The situation at hand is about this river and coming up with a block plan that is exactly what this council is doing, and I am glad that the hon. Member is actually part of this council. So, he has the details in this regard.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) was consulted over the structural change in terms of the environment. Was ZEMA consulted before putting stands near the river and the subsequent changes?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, yes, depending on how far the structure has been built, that is, in fact, following what ZEMA has prescribed, will attract them to actually give instructions but we are not exactly aware how far it is that these structures are built. Of course, there are other stakeholders that can be involved like ZEMA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Was ZEMA consulted?

Mr Mufalali: Yes! That was my question.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, we are not aware about that, Sir.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


503. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:
(a)    when the electrification of Zemba in Chadiza District would be completed;

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the project;

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

(d)    what the name of the contractor was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the completion date for the electrification of Zemba, in Chadiza District, will only be determined when the customer makes the required payment to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).

Mr Speaker, the delay in electrifying Zemba has been due to the lack of payment of connection fees by the customer to ZESCO for works to be executed.

Sir, the total project cost was K1,545,404. This is based on the quotation that was given to the customer in February, 2011. However, due to time lapse, the quotation is likely to be revised.

Sir, there has been no contractor since no payment has been made by the customer to ZESCO.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, my heart is bleeding.

Hon. Members: How?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, it is bleeding in the sense that this project has only forty poles to be completed. I want to find out where they got the money to start the project and leave forty poles to be completed and who did the contraction when the project started?

Hon. Minister, can you come out in the open and state that this project has been abandoned and that you have nothing to do with it and that the people of Chadiza, particularly in Zemba, should find their own means of funding this project which was started by the Government?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, this project has not been abandoned. It is the wish of the Government to ensure that by 2030, 50 per cent of all rural areas are connected to the national electricity grid. However, in this particular case, the customer went to ZESCO and asked for a quotation which was given and now ZESCO is waiting for payment. It is as simple as that.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, Zemba is an area …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I will not allow that point of order.


Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, Zemba is a settlement area, and yet the hon. Minister keeps referring to ‘a customer’. May he clarify who the customer is, considering that Zemba is a huge farming area? It is not a question of one client. For all I know, it is a settlement scheme.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, I know the place very well. In fact, my constituency shares some villages. According to ZESCO in Chipata, the customer was the area hon. Member of Parliament. He used the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to put up poles without consulting ZESCO.

Mr Mbewe: Where?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Zulu: According to ZESCO in Chipata, this was a political issue where someone put up poles just because a few months later …


Mr Zulu: According to the information I have, this quotation was given to the customer in February, 2011, just a few months before elections. So, whoever was the hon. Member of Parliament was only interested in winning votes, according to ZESCO.


Mr Zulu: The customer paid for the poles. It is not ZESCO that did this project. This is according to ZESCO Chipata.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Do not worry.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, you have the Floor.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I think you agree with me that it is such kinds of answers that agitate hon. Members of Parliament and make the work of presiding officers very difficult.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Member of Parliament, who is serving his second term of office, is not aware that a payment was made, would the hon. Minister be able to follow up this matter with ZESCO so that this House can know the truth as to who made that payment instead of scandalising the name of my cousin.


Mr Speaker: Before the hon. Minister responds, let me just provide some guidance. There appears to be a need to shade more light on this subject and the last question, hoping it is the last question. Are you able to make a follow-up so that the House is properly and fully informed? This is the question.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, we are ready to make the follow-up and the hon. Member must sit down with ZESCO because that is where we got this information.


Mr Zulu: The hon. Member of Parliament can come to my office and we can ask to sit down with ZESCO and find a way forward.


504. Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to re-open community centres in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    if so, when the plans would be implemented;

(c)    what the cost of the exercise was; and

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

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Kitwe City Council (KCC), has plans to rehabilitate and open the two community centres, namely Kwacha 1 and Kwacha 2 located in Kwacha Constituency. The plan to re-open these centres will only be implemented when the rehabilitation of the facilities is completed.

Sir, the KCC has included the budget for rehabilitating the two centres in the 2015 Annual Budget and the process will start. The estimated cost of rehabilitation of the two centres is K268,254.

The last question in part (d) of the question falls off because the plans are there.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister kindly state the approximate time when they intend to start the project?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the budget in part (b)of the question is actually a council budget and I am glad that the hon. Member is part of this council and can, therefore, easily get the details of when this money will be made available by this particular council for the project to start.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Question.

Mr Hamudulu: It is actually a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am giving you an opportunity to ask a question.

Mr Hamudulu: I do not have a question, Sir.

Mr Speaker: You may sit down.


505. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when modern structures would be constructed at Namakando Primary School in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency to replace the mud and pole structures that had characterised the school since inception in 1943;

(b)    why the school had remained in a poor state for such a long time; and

(c)    when the school would be provided with solar power.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, modern structures at Namakando Primary School in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency have been planned to be undertaken within the course of 2015. The project is awaiting the release of funds. Further information is that there is a 1 x 3 classroom block that has been constructed using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Mr Speaker, due to budgetary constraints, the Government can only replace structures in a phased manner and this is probably why the Namakando situation has taken a bit longer.

Mr Speaker, the installation of solar panels will continue in a phased manner, and Hon. Mutelo is aware that some of the schools in his constituency have been beneficiaries of solar power.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, it did not take a bit longer, but longer to do this. It has been seventy-two years since these structures were built. This country has had Presidents Dr Kaunda, Dr Chiluba, Mwanawasa, S.C, and Mr Rupiah, come and go, but this school has not been rebuilt. Do you want His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, to leave office before this school is rebuilt?


Mr Speaker: Order!

I do not think that I will allow the hon. Minister to answer that question.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the late President Michael Chilufya Sata went to Namakando Primary School and told the audience that there was no school like Namakando Primary School in Chitulika Village, where he came from. He made an assurance that when he got back to Lusaka, he would ensure that this school was done. Has the assurance that the late President Michael Chilufya Sata made during the by-election of Hon. Mutelo been abandoned because some people who were carrying his vision are no longer in the party, and there are new people who have come with a different vision?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Senanga Central, how different is that question from the earlier one? However, I will ask the hon. Minister to answer.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, allow me to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga Central that even we new members who have come to work with the Patriotic Front (PF) share the vision of the late President, Michael Chilufya Sata …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: … and …


Mr Speaker: Order!

You put a question and he is answering. You can continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, there is no way we cannot share in his well established vision.

Mr Speaker, we have made it very clear that we will complete all the projects that we have started, and this project in question has been captured. We have assured the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West that we will complete what we have started within 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that this project has started? He said that he would complete what he has started, but there is nothing on the ground to show that work has started?

Mr Speaker: Order!

So, what is your question?

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the question is: Is he telling us that the answer he gave at first was not correct and that now he has realised that they have started doing something at that school?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I think that we were very clear in our answer. I said that we had planned to use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to start and complete a 1 x 3 classroom block. I did not want to tell the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West that we will not start a project from the greens. However, since the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West has demonstrated that he wants to work with the Government by using the CDF, we will join him to complete this project within 2015.

I thank you, Sir.


506. Mr Ndalamei asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of staff houses at Mabua and Mutala health posts in Sikongo Parliamentary Constituency would be completed; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the projects.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the construction of staff houses in Mabua and Mutala health posts in Sikongo Parliamentary Constituency has been planned for completion as follows:

(a)    Mabua Health Post staff house is currently at roof level and funds have been allocated to the district to complete the staff house. Works are expected to be completed by end of July, 2015; and

(b)    Funds have been allocated for completion of the staff house for Mutala Health Post, and the house is currently at slab level, and works are expected to be completed by August, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the delay in completing the staff houses at Mabua and Mutala health posts has been as a result of inadequate funding.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, I just need an assurance. In the first quarter of this year, I was assured that the houses would be completed by May, 2015. Now, there is talk of them being completed in July, 2015. Is the hon. Deputy Minister sure that the houses will be completed in July, 2015, and August, 2015?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I am sure.

I thank you, Sir.


507. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when health posts would be constructed at the following places in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency:

(i)    Boyole;

(ii)    Kamuzowole; and

(iii)    Khulamayembe;

    (b)    what had caused the delay in commencing the works;

    (c)    what the cost, on average, of constructing one health post was; and

    (d)    what the time frame for the project was.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the construction of health posts in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency at Boyole, Kamuzowole and Khulamayembe is programmed to be done under the project to construct 650 health posts countrywide, under the India Line of Credit. The works towards the construction of the aforementioned health posts are in accordance with the schedule given to us by the contractor and they are expected to commence in July, 2015. These health posts are expected to be completed by April, 2016, as per contract with the contractor undertaking the works.

Mr Speaker, the schedule that the contractor has given us to undertake the works indicate that he is moving from one district to another. Currently, the contractor is in the Eastern Province undertaking works in six districts, namely Chipata, Vubwi, Mambwe, Petauke, Chadiza, and Katete.

Mr Speaker, the whole project shall involve the construction and equipping of 650 health posts at a total cost of US$55.9 million. This entails that one health post shall cost on average, US$ 86,000.

Mr Speaker, the project is being carried over a two-year period, that is, April, 2014, to April, 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, Chief Chiwala’s Palace has already been connected to the national grid and was connected in 2012. Works to connect Lupiya School to Njelemani are expected to be completed this year.

Mr Speaker, Chondwe Prison was connected to the national grid in 2012. However, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) will, by the third quarter of this year, send engineers to establish the scope of works and cost of electrifying Mutaba School and its surrounding areas.

Sir, Nsobe Game Ranch is not listed in the Rural Electrification Master Plan. However, the authority will send engineers to Nsobe and Mbotwa to establish the actual scope of works and the cost of electrifying the area.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  


509. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when the works on the water reticulation system in Nakonde would resume;

(b)    which contractor would complete the works;

(c)    what the cost of completing the outstanding works was; and

(d)    what the time frame for the project was.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the contract for the Nakonde Water Supply Improvement Project was signed on 16th March, 2015 and handed over to the contractor on 24th March, 2015. The works have since commenced. The contractor is China Gansu Engineering Corporation. The cost of the project is K29,285,159.68, inclusive of new works which were not covered in the terminated contract.

Sir, the time frame for the project is twelve months from the date of commencement.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.   

Mr Sichula: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any challenges that may prolong the completion of this project?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, this is a difficult question because works have just commenced. Therefore, we are not able to tell whether there will be challenges. However, if at all we come across some challenges, we will mitigate them.

I thank you, Sir.


510. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to change the crop production cycle in view of the changed rainfall pattern due to effects of climate change;

(b)    if so, what the plans were;

(c)    when the plans would be implemented; and

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

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the Government has no intentions of changing the crop production cycle. However, it has been advocating for the adaptation to climate change. This will create capacity in farmers, in terms of them having knowledge and resources that will enable them to cope with the changed climate. This is being achieved by:

(i)    farmers growing drought tolerant crop varieties such as sorghum or early to medium maturing varieties, especially in low rainfall areas of agro-ecological zones I and II;

(ii)    early planting of crops: this is planting upon the first effective rains, especially in drought-prone areas;

(iii)    conservation agriculture scaling-up and climate smart agriculture: Promoting of technologies which help to harvest rain water and conserve soil moisture, reduce soil erosion and improve soil fertility such as minimum soil tillage, soil cover and crop rotation;

(iv)    crop Diversification: where farmers grow other different crops other than mono-cropping so as to minimise the risk of crop failures associated with poor rainfall patterns;

(v)    promotion of irrigated agriculture: Promotion of irrigation, especially in drought prone areas will reduce crop failure resulting from dry spells and farmers can reduce on dependence on rainfall and even engage in all-year-round cropping; and

(vi)    mechanisation: promotion of mechanisation to help in early land preparation and hence ensuring early planting of crops and increase moisture retention.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, is mainstreaming climate change issues into most agricultural programmes being implemented and climate change is being incorporated into the National Agricultural Policy, which is being reviewed. As a cross-cutting issue which affects most agricultural programmes, climate change is being mainstreamed and messages to farmers will be delivered through the extension services.  

Through the project Climate Smart Agriculture, an extension training manual is being prepared and this will be used to sensitise farmers on climate change. There has also been inclusion of other crops in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) pack such as rice, cotton, groundnuts and sorghum.

Further, an Investment Support Fund (ISF), through the Irrigation Development Support Project (IDSP) under the ministry, is facilitating groups of small, medium and large-scale farmers to access conditional co-financing in the form of grants for investment in on-farm irrigation equipment and assets for expanding existing irrigated land. All the above plans are on-going.

The programmes and activities mentioned in parts (a) and (b) of the question are being undertaken to address the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


511.    Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(a)    how many Zambians died as a result of xenophobic violence in South Africa in March/April, 2015, and

(b)    what measures the Government had taken to prevent xenophobic attacks in Zambia.

The Deputy Minister Foreign Affairs (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, no Zambian died as a result of xenophobic violence in South Africa between March and April, 2015. In an effort to prevent xenophobic attacks in Zambia, the Government sensitised Zambians on the immense negative impact of xenophobia.

Sir, during the month of April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, engaged the Zambia Police Force to heighten security and caution Zambians who had gathered in various areas to protest against xenophobic attacks not to insight the general populace.

Mr Speaker, considering that peace and security are a precondition for development and regional integration, the Government, in line with its foreign policy, will continue to encourage Zambians to interact and maintain friendly relations with foreign nationals living in Zambia in order to create a peaceful and secure environment and to maintain investor confidence.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, during that period, were there any Zambians who, as a result of panic, went to our embassy in Pretoria to ask the Zambian Government to repatriate them back to Zambia?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, there was no Zambian that went to the South African Embassy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, have we corrected the South African President on his saying that we should keep our nationals and give them jobs in our countries instead of allowing them to make noise in South Africa? Are you going to remind him that he and a lot of the top African National Congress (ANC) officials were here in Zambia and we did not chase them or do anything to them?

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, the issue of xenophobic violence in South Africa was not a Zambian issue, but a continental one. Governments’ in Africa attach a lot of importance to the issue and it was escalated at the African Union (AU) Summit. The issue was discussed at presidential level, thus, I urge the hon. Member to await the resolutions that our Heads of States came up with during the AU Summit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, what affirmative action did you take, as the Government of the Republic of Zambia, in preventing any of our citizens from being attacked or did the attacks exclude Zambians?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, we do not have the competence to make a comment on how the people in South Africa scheme of whom to attack. The selection of who to attack at a given time is up to them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


512.    Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:
(a)    how much money from the 2013 and 2014 Budgets was allocated for upgrading of the road from Kabompo at Katendwa via Chikokwelo to Kayombo in Kabompo West Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    of the amount above, how much was disbursed;

(c)    what the outstanding balance was as of December, 2014;

(d)    why the works on the project had stalled;

(e)    when the works would resume; and

(f)    what the time frame for the completion of the project was.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, there was no allocation for the works on the road in the 2013 Budget. However, K1,019,813 was allocated for the completion of the works on the road in the 2014 Budget. No amount was disbursed from the allocation in the 2014 Budget. The K1,019,813 was still outstanding and has not been disbursed to complete the works. Works have stalled due to the non-release of allocated funds. No funds have been provided for the road in the 2015 Budget. The time frame for completing the works was supposed to be six months from the date of commencement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, this is a very serious situation indeed. About K1 million was allocated in the Budget, but was not disbursed and in 2015, no allocation has been made in the Budget. How then do you expect to complete this project, which is half way to completion, if you do not provide the funds to complete it?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, there are always alternatives in most situations. In this case, the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) in the North-Western Province is considering varying funds from other projects so that we can complete the works on this road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, what guarantee is there that the RRU will vary the funds and work on this road?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the ministry has been assured. This is the latest information we have and we do not anticipate serious hitches.

I thank you, Sir.


513.    Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Msoro Road in Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency would be tarred.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we envisage to start works on the Katete/Chipata Road via Msoro. These works will involve upgrading this road to bituminous standard. The works will start in 2016, upon completion of the studies which are currently being carried out, the detailed design and procurement of the contractor.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


514. Ms Imenda asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:
(a)    how many boreholes were earmarked for sinking at the following:

(i)    Limulunga Royal Village; and

(ii)    the entire Limulunga District;

(b)    when the boreholes would be sank; and

(c)    what the total cost of the project was.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, at Limulunga Royal Village, a piped water reticulation system to service the village has been constructed by the Western Water and Sewerage Company (WWSC). The ministry has, therefore, not earmarked the construction of boreholes in Limulunga Village because it is serviced by the water reticulation system.

Sir, for the entire Limulunga District, forty-eight boreholes will be drilled. Twenty boreholes will be drilled by the Government and twenty-eight will be drilled by the Zambia Red Cross.

Mr Speaker, the boreholes are earmarked for sinking in 2015. Under the Government’s support, the contract for drilling and equipping of the first ten boreholes has been signed and the contractor will mobilise at the end of July, 2015. The other ten boreholes are under procurement by the ministry.

Sir, under the Zambia Red Cross support, twenty-eight manually drilled boreholes are currently being drilled. The total cost of the project is estimated to be K1.3 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, currently, there is a serious shortage of water in Limulunga Royal Village. I am surprised that the hon. Minister is not aware of this fact. The reason is that the so-called water reticulation system, which he is talking about, has collapsed because the pumping equipment is very old. When it pumps water for an hour, it gets overheated and stops working. So, people have to get water within an hour every day. This is a very serious situation. Is the Government not planning to overhaul that equipment or put up even two big boreholes with new pumping equipment to cater for all the people?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Member for that information. That is news to us, but we will try to send our engineers to investigate that matter and see how it can be mitigated. The Western Province has received funding for water reticulation and part of the money will definitely be used in Limulunga.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just indicated that there is about US$38 million for the Western Province. Therefore, why have you allowed your officers to start ‘eating’ this money? I am saying so because you allowed them to take six months to prepare and this is when they have started disbursing and working on the project.

Mr Speaker: What do you mean by ‘eating’ the money?


Mr Speaker: We have lost you.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the way the civil servants ‘eat’ the money is through long preparation ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you are not communicating. That word is unparliamentary. I know what you are trying to say, but you are using a wrong word. Can you use an appropriate term if you want to proceed.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your correction. Why has the ministry allowed the civil servants to take six months to prepare to drill boreholes whose need is well-known around the province?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, this is what we get when what we launch is not attended by policy-makers. At the launch in Mongu, I was very clear on why we needed this period to prepare our councils. This is going to be driven by councils. Councils have little capacity as at now. So, part of this money will be used to empower councils with sufficient human resource so that they can undertake this big project. We are talking about sixteen districts in the Western Province having access to this funding. For us to be successful, we need to do the basics before we can officially see the fruits. We are not talking about boreholes here. Yes, boreholes are part of the programme, but it is the water reticulation system on the scale of what the hon. Deputy Minister said about Limulunga Village. This was received with excitement and I hope it will make a difference to our people’s lives in the Western Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that assurance. Taking into consideration that the Western Province is prone to floods, do you see this programme working this year?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, when planning a project of this magnitude, it should become obvious, hon. Members of Parliament, that a lot of ground work by our technocrats is done. We are sufficiently ready to implement this programme, bearing in mind the terrain and other conditions of the Western Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, when you talk about capacity building for the council, I am of the opinion that, perhaps, you contract this job and thereafter, the councils should be beneficiaries. What is taking you so long to get contractors on the ground to start implementing the project?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, this project will be run, as I said, by the sixteen local councils which will supervise all the works until the project is finished. For them to supervise sufficiently, whether it is contracts or community members, they need expertise and this is what we are doing.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, as a rider on the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga’s question, I am cognisant of the fact that when a local government gives money for boreholes in these local councils, it budgets for the furthest point. However, you would find that in some councils, they actually use less money. If at all the ministry is aware that that is what goes on in these councils, what is being done to curb this vice?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we thank the African Development Bank (ADB) and other partners for having come to our aid in the Western Province. We have given them an undertaking that whatever vices they might be aware of will not surface in this because this is money given to the Republic of Zambia for a specific purpose. It will need to be protected. This is why we are not in a hurry to quickly implement so that we allow vices such as what the hon. Member of Parliament talked about. Get the assurance from me, and I also indicated at the launch, that we will not tolerate mediocrity and embezzlement of funds because, as Hon. Chikwanda indicated when he gave us the mid-term review, we must treasure every kwacha that comes the way of the Zambian Government because it is meant to change the lives of our people. Any council that will use a shortcut will be dissolved.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, most of the questions on this issue are from hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province. The hon. Minister could have extended an invitation to the launch for them to appreciate it. Why did he not invite them? If they had been invited, they would not have asked him all these questions.

Dr Kaingu: They were informed.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Kaingu is saying that they were informed. I informed all the hon. Members of Parliament, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: … but I also appreciate their absence because there are other demanding duties they attend to when we are on recess. So, I was not particularly annoyed with anybody. However, if they missed the occasion, they are always welcome to come to my office and we can exchange a few notes so that they can provide leadership. This is a very important project in the Western Province. If they are not knowledgeable about it, let them come and we will give them all the information they need.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I wish to reiterate the need to invite hon. Members of Parliament and also give them money for travelling to come over …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!        

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: But you are giving yourselves money.    

Dr Musokotwane: … as they give to civil servants and themselves.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that many councils such as mine fail to disburse the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to build primary school classrooms and clinics? They embezzle and misapply the fund. So, what gives the hon. Minister confidence that this high responsibility will be successfully executed by the councils even after training them because I do not see it happening?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we will see the level of inconsistency of our staff when the actual preparation is over. Precisely because of those difficulties in our councils, we undertook to use a little of this money for preparation of our staff so that they can better handle this facility. This is a life and death facility for our people. If they fail, I will come to you, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, to report that, yes, you were right. These people are incorrigible and have failed. However, I guess we will succeed, especially with your help, as hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, the hon. Minister stated that they are now developing capacity in the councils in order for them to supervise the works and I believe this is both in terms of numbers and technical know-how. He also threatened to dissolve any council that will be found wanting in this regard. I would like to find out from him whether he will target the technocrats, the staff in the council or the councillors who will be merely guiding when he dissolves some of the councils? Can he clarify.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, please, remember that there are sixteen councils and nine of them are in new districts. Therefore, they will need to prepare for this huge task. What I mean by dissolving is that should the council tolerate embezzlements and other malpractices, I will spare nobody.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Nobody will be spared.    


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the hon. Minister is aware that we, the councillors, have no power to fire incompetent council executives that are many in our districts and are not delivering. Does he intend to put in place a system that will dispose of non-performers that are wasting money?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, one system that we have embarked on in the Western Province is what I talked about earlier, concerning the preparation of our staff in councils. We are aware of the levels of staffing and inadequacy of the staff and that is why we have embarked on that programme. However, let me just say that the Local Government Service Commission has been given a clear mandate to help the Government prepare these councils so that they can handle issues at a higher level.

As you know, Sir, the Government is advancing the decentralisation or devolution of power. With weak councils, it will be almost impossible to achieve the dreams of our people. This is what propels us, as a ministry, to move fast in raising both the levels of our staff to a higher level in terms of professional training and also increase the staff numbers in the councils. This is not a one day activity, but we are determined to change the way the councils operate. We thank all you councillors for what they have done this far, but we ask them to provide even shaper leadership as we go towards decentralised local governance.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.


515. Mr Mutale asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    when the Kwacha Health Centre in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency would begin to operate for twenty-four hours a day;

(b)    when the maternity wing at the health centre would be opened; and

(c)    what had caused the delay in implementing the measures at (a) and (b) above.

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, Kwacha Health Centre in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency is not operating twenty-four hours. This is due to the facility not having a maternity ward. Kitwe District has thirty-two operational health facilities and only those with maternity or labour facilities currently operate twenty-four hours a day.

Mr Speaker, the ward that was built for maternity purposes under the Zambia Social Investment Fund (ZAMSIF) is not yet ready to operate as a maternity wing. However, plans are underway to modify it so that it meets the required standards before it is operational.

Sir, the delay in implementing a twenty-four-hour service is due to the delay in modifying the current structure to meet the standard of a functional maternity service.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, apparently, there was a wing which was refurbished at this clinic into maternity wing and beds were put in place, but the only thing which was remaining was to operationalise it. Could the hon. Minister consider revisiting that issue?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the information that we got from the district was that the maternity wing does not meet the standards. Therefore, I would like to advise the hon. Member of Parliament to come to my office. Thereafter, I would want to go there and see how we can see operationalise it.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the clinic in question cannot operate for twenty-four hours because there is no maternity wing. Does it mean that during the day, the health personnel at this clinic cannot attend to expectant mothers?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, this clinic operates up to 1800 hours. During that time, health personnel at the clinic attend to maternity cases.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.





The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Ms Ngimbu): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Forests Bill, 2015. The object of the Bill is to:

(a)    provide for the establishment and declaration of National Forests, Local Forests, Joint Forest Management areas Botanical Reserves, Private Forests and Community Forests;

(b)    provide for the participation of local communities, local authorities, traditional institutions, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders in sustainable forest management;

(c)    provide for the conservation and use of forests and trees for the sustainable management of forest ecosystems and biological diversity;

(d)    establish the Forest Development Fund;

(e)    provide for the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, the Convention on Wetlands of International importance, especially as Water Fowl habitat, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries experiencing Serious Drought and or  Desertification, particularly in Africa and any other relevant international agreement to which Zambia is a party;

(f)    repeal and replace the Forests Act, 1999; and

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

Mr Speaker, I thank, you.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Thursday, 2nd July, 2015. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.


The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to present the Referendum (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The object of this Bill is to amend the Referendum Act of 1967 so as to ensure its consistency with the Constitution of Zambia.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Friday, 26th June, 2015. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.




The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House: (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1808 hours until on Wednesday, 17th June, 2015.