Debates - Wednesday, 17th June, 2015

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Wednesday, 17th June, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, as the interface between the Government and the international community, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is obliged to maintain good relations and strengthen co-operation with our co-operating partners and regional, and multilateral bodies for sustainable growth, peace and security of our country.

In line with the new National Foreign Policy, emphasis is more on economic diplomacy as opposed to political diplomacy. It is in this regard that the ministry shall strive to use all diplomatic means to further Zambia’s international, commercial and trade relations on the international arena.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hosted the African Union (AU) Committee of Ten (C-10) Heads of State and Government Summit on the reforms of the United Nations (UN) Security Council in Livingstone from 8th to 9th May, 2015. President Edgar Chagwa Lungu co-chaired the summit with his counterpart His Excellency Dr Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, who is also the coordinator for the C-10. Other AU C-10 member states in attendance were Namibia which was represented by His Excellency President Hage Geingob and Libya which was represented by His Excellency Mr Ahmed H. Homa, Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and the Deputy President of Libya. The other C-10 countries were represented by their Foreign Ministers.

Mr Speaker, the main reason for the Livingstone Summit was to enable the C-10 Heads of State to consider reports of the C-10 member countries that were put in five groups for consultations with the UN Five Permanent Security Council (P-5) member states, namely China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United Stated of America (USA) on matters relating to the African Common Position on the reform of the UN Security Council. The House may wish to know that all the recommendations of the Livingstone Summit were approved by the just-ended AU Summit in South Africa.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also report to this august House that His Excellency the President participated in the Extraordinary Summit of the International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) on 18th May, 2015, in Luanda, Angola. The purpose of the summit was to review the security and humanitarian situation in the region, with special focus on the Republic of Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of South Sudan, and the growing threat of terrorism in the region.

The summit was attended by six sitting Heads of State that included, Angola, Zambia, South Sudan, DRC, South Africa, though not a member of the ICGLR, and interim President of the Central African Republic. The rest of the member States were represented by Ministers. The Republic of Burundi did not attend, as there was some instability in that country at the time because of the purported coup that had just been reported.

Mr Speaker, some of the key outcomes of the summit were that the countries of the ICGLR condemn and reject the unconstitutional take-over of the Government of any member state through military force. The summit also delegated the Heads of State of South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to assess the situation in Burundi and contribute to the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

The summit further appealed to Burundi to stop all the on-going acts of violence and postpone the presidential elections so as to allow for the creation of a conducive environment to conduct credible and transparent elections. The summit also decided to relocate the Conference Secretariat temporarily from Burundi to another State to ensure the safety of staff until such a time that the situation stabilised.

Sir, the House may wish to know that the security situation in the Great Lakes Region remains a matter of significance to Zambia, as it hinges on the peace and stability of the region, and should be carefully monitored because it has the potential to spill over into Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that my ministry stands ready to work with other line ministries and Government institutions to promote and foster national development through our interactions with the international community.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kalaba laid the Paper on the Table.

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 Foreign Affairs.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to convey my congratulatory message to the Patriotic Front (PF) and encourage them to continue aiding and abetting the heinous and callous statements that are coming from them against the people of the Southern Province. I wish them a long life so that they suffer the consequences of their statements next year.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs why some leaders in Africa are unable to condemn their fellow leaders who fail to follow constitutions of their respective countries, which has resulted in chaos. A good example is Burundi where the President has abrogated the constitutional provisions and decided to run for a third term. This has led to some deaths in that country. Why are African leaders so quiet about condemning their colleague?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, when we attended the just0-ended International Conference of the Great Lakes Region Summit in Angola, His Excellency the President informed his colleagues that one of the contributing factors to the chaos in the region was the failure by leaders to abide by their countries’ constitutions. He further urged his fellow brothers and sister, that is, President Samba-Panza, who represented the Central African Republic, to stick to the provisions of their countries’ constitutions in order to avoid some of the issues that are arising in the region.

Sir, our President is on record as having said that it is important that constitutions are respected and that one of the causes of problems is the lack of respect for constitutions. However, I am sure that there are many other reasons that lead to the problems. However, Zambia has acquitted itself on this very important matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, for a long time, Africa has been asking for a permanent seat on the United Nations (UN) Security Council. Having attended this important meeting, how far do you think we are from achieving that objective?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the UN is celebrating 70 years of its existence this year and, after having attended the just-ended AU Summit, African leaders are resolute in making sure that Africa is represented on the UN Security Council.

Sir, currently, Africa is the only continent that has not had any representation on the UN Security Council. It is for this reason that African leaders have been calling for the reform of the UN Security Council so that the historical injustice that has been meted out on Africa is corrected. All the leaders are resolute and willing to continue abiding by the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration in ensuring that Africa has, at least, two permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Currently, Africa has three non-permanent seats on the UN Security Council, but we are now calling for two permanent seats with veto power.

Mr Speaker, as I said in my statement, we have consulted all the superpower countries in the world on this issue. We have let them know that Africa needs to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. As a continent, we are serious about ensuring that this historical injustice is corrected.

Sir, for us to make progress on this issue, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September this year, we shall have a meeting to discuss this matter again and see what methods we can employ to ensure that Africa has a seat on the UN Security Council.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, my question is in regard to the two seats on the United Nations (UN) Security Council. This issue has dragged on. The Ezulwini Consensus specifies that Africa desires to have two permanent seats with veto powers on the UN Security Council, but we have realised that within the African Continent, some countries are agitating for one seat as a starting point. This is one of the contributing factors to the delay in resolving this issue. Is the African Union (UN) aware of this and was it discussed at the last meeting?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the former Foreign Affairs Minister in the previous Government for that very good question.

Sir, yes, it has dragged on because, sometimes, the modus operandi has not been as it should be. It is true that some African countries have been trying to go behind the common position for Africa of Ezulwini, that is, to have two permanent seats with veto power on the UN Security Council because that is the caveat.

Mr Speaker, the just-ended AU Summit emphasised that all the African countries that might want to lobby to be on the UN Security Council are doing it outside the umbrella of the Ezulwini Consensus. The common position for Africa which binds the fifty-three or fifty-four African member states, if you include Morocco, is that Africa will have two permanent seats with veto power on the on the UN Security Council. This is not taking away from our journey.

Sir, the problem that we have is that the five superpowers that have the power to admit us to the UN Security Council do not want to do so. Our African brothers and sisters might hold various views, but the ones who hold the key to admitting us are the five permanent superpowers. This is what we are working on as the AU to ensure that they buy into our idea of Africa getting two seats on the UN Security Council.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, my question is related to the one that was asked by Hon. Mwiimbu.

Sir, I am sure you are aware that the President of Rwanda, Mr Paul Kagame, has indicated that if the people want him to run for a third term, then, he is willing to do so. Recent press reports indicate that there are schemes to try to get him to contest for a third term by trying to change the Constitution. Are the African Union (AU) and other regional bodies relevant, given the fact that they are being ignored with impunity as far as governance issues are concerned?

In other words, what are you doing to ensure that the AU has teeth to bite such machinations which are eventually leading to problems in the continent?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, Rwanda is a SovereignState,. Therefore, issues relating to Rwanda are decided upon by the people of Rwanda just like the issues relating to Zambia are decided upon by Zambians. The region can advise, but it is up to the people of a particular country within the region to take its advice or not. Each country’s jurisdiction cannot be interfered with it is clearly within the umbrella of the Vienna Convention.

Sir, what is morally upright is that the region has not kept quiet on issues that the region has seen as a violation of people’s interests and rights. The region will give advice, but it is up to the individual leaders to heed it or not.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, you mentioned, in your statement, that at the Great Lakes Heads of State Meeting in Luanda, the Government of South Africa was represented by the Head of State of that country. In what capacity did South Africa attend this meeting, considering that it is not a member of the Great Lakes Region?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, South Africa attended as an observer just like it has been attending the East Africa Community meetings. It is also important for this House to note that South Africa is one of the greatest contributors to the continent in terms of troops. Furthermore, the issue under discussion, which involved Burundi, made it befitting for us to invite the South African President because of the contribution that the country has been making through …

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Kalaba: … the African Standby Force.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, allow me to congratulate the two hon. Members of Parliament who have joined our colleagues on the other side (right).

Sir, the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, came up with a policy to minimise the movements of the Head of State so as to cut down on expenditure. The current leader of the Patriotic Front (PF) is more or less globetrotting because he has been going to different places to attend meetings of Heads of State. Has the policy changed to a level where he now shows political-party symbols through the sunroof of the official vehicle?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether what the hon. Member is asking about was part of my statement. However, I am going to respond because he has asked a question that deserves to be responded to in a fashion he has asked it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, President Lungu only travels when it is necessary to do so. In the statement that I have laid on the Table of the House, I mentioned that President Lungu attended the Great Lakes Region Summit in Luanda, Angola at the invitation of his brother, President José Eduardo dos Santos. This was a very important summit because if Burundi is in trouble, Zambia is equally in trouble. Hon. Mufalali, please, pay attention to these matters. I know that you want to live in your cocoon, but it is difficult to do so.


Mr Kalaba: Zambia is not an island.

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the President hosted his brothers for the C10 Summit in Livingstone. Can somebody tell me how the President can invite his fellow Heads of State for a summit here when he does not travel at all. Let me relate this to you, Hon. Mufalali. Are you telling me that you would receive visitors at your home if do not visit other people? As selfish as you might be, you will need to go out.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, as we are seated here, people are dying in Bujumbura. We have heard about the militia of the ruling party killing citizens of Bujumbura.

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I am seeing a very disturbing attitude creeping onto the Floor of this House. Hon. Members on this side (left) of this House are entitled to ask questions, but I have noted, from yesterday, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Member.

Ms Imenda: … that when somebody asks a genuine question, there is a way in which some hon. Ministers answer, which is unbecoming of this House. We ask questions on behalf of the people of Zambia whom we represent. So, we want answers that are straightforward. There is no need for name-calling. If, for example, Hon. Namugala is asking a question, …

Mr Speaker: Are you through with your point of order?

Ms Imenda: Yes, Sir. When we ask questions, let the hon. Ministers answer, and not resort to name-calling.


Hon. Government Members: What is your point of order?

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs in order to call Hon. Mufalali selfish? I seek your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order has been raised and my response is anticipated. I have guided on this matter before. In fact, I have done so on more than one occasion. For the record and to reiterate, if you ask plain questions, you will get plain answers. If you practice sarcasm invariably, you will create an atmosphere of sarcasm and there is a limit to this.


Mr Speaker: Just a moment. I have said this particularly in the context of Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. If you go through the record, you will find my counsel there. Quite often, since we are politicking, we want to embarrass each other and go beyond merely asking questions. My function is to ensure that as representatives of the people, you get responses to those questions. As you ask questions, in all honesty and integrity, ask plainly. That way, we will not have this kind of a problem. I am quite clear that the moment you lace it with sarcasm invariably, you will elicit that kind of response. By the way, I am not promoting sarcasm. In short, this is a two-way matter. If it gets out of hand, I will employ and deploy the authority that is reposed in me, regardless of who initiates it. I can take some extreme measures. However, I do not want to go that route because these are simple issues. If you ask a plain question, you will get a plain answer. It is as simple as that. If you ask a plain question and you get a sarcastic response, I will similarly intervene. It is a two-way issue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, in Bujumbura, people are being killed by militias from the ruling party while the President is attempting to cling on to power and change the Constitution. Hon. Minister, I have not heard of the Africa Union (AU) or any other regional Body sending an independent fact-finding mission to Bujumbura. Is it possible that you can have a fact-finding mission urgently that should be able to report to the AU, Southern African Development Community (SADC) or the Great Lakes Region to ensure that the situation in Bujumbura is brought under control before more lives are lost? I ask because a lot of people are dying there.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I must put it on record that I celebrate your wisdom in the manner you preside over the affairs of this House. It is true that President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania who is the current Chairperson of the East African Community flew into Bujumbura to try to persuade his brother, President Pierre Nkurunziza, not to run for a third term before he announced his intention to run for office.

The East African Community met, again, at another summit to discuss the matter further. After this, Foreign Ministers of the East African Community travelled to Bujumbura where they met the opposition political parties, legislature, judiciary and various stakeholders in the Bujumbura Process. During the just-ended International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in Luanda, Angola, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya were mandated to go to Bujumbura to urge President Nkurunziza not to run for a third term.

So, Mr Speaker, the African leaders and the ICGLR have tried to bring the situation under control. President Mugabe, as Chairperson of the AU, and the SADC, emphasised the need for African countries to respect their constitutions during the just-ended summit of the AU.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the efforts that the Heads of State of the Great Lakes Region are making to ensure that peace prevails. Zambia, along with many other Frontline States, vigorously fought the Apartheid Regime in South Africa at the expense of the wellbeing of the Zambians. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the views of the Heads of State and Governments are with regard to one of them who has been cited for alleged crimes against humanity in his own country on account of the colour of the citizens of that country. How different is that to what Zambia stood for in the fight against the Apartheid Regime in South Africa?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I did not quite get the question by Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo. I think there was the issue of colour and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Is it the issue of the ICC, Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo?

Mr Speaker: If you did not get the question, hon. Minister, let me give him an opportunity to summarise it.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, a Head of State in the AU – am I allowed to name him?

Mr Speaker: You may not.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: I may not. A Head of State in the AU has been cited by the ICC for alleged crimes against humanity on the basis of colour in his country, and yet Zambia vigorously fought the Apartheid Regime in South Africa for oppressing the black people. What are the views of the Heads of Htate as regards this issue relating to one of them?
Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the truth of the matter is that the Heads of State have begun considering this matter seriously. As you have rightly said, hon. Member, at the just-ended AU Summit, a court order was processed against one of the leaders in the AU. The feeling among the leaders in the AU is that it is high time the issue of the ICC in The Hague is looked at critically. I want to put it on record that the leaders in the AU are looking at this matter with a lot of interest. I am sure this is a matter that will be looked at aggressively at the next summit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, it looks like the hon. Minister has somersaulted. He is a good friend of mine, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Well, that is not the point.


Mr Speaker: It is not necessary.

Mr Ntundu: Thank you, Sir. The question that was asked by – I cannot remember the hon. Member from this side …

Mr Speaker: Ask your question.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, let me put it this way.


Mr Ntundu: What is your problem?    

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member for Gwembe.

Mr Ntundu: Am I protected, Sir?

Mr Speaker: You are. That is why I am telling you to continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister rightly put it that President Mugabe commented on this issue at the AU Summit. What is the position of our Head of State on this issue?

Hon. Members: Which issue?

Mr Ntundu: The issue of Bujumbura.
Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, respond if you are able to follow the question.

Mr Ntundu: Sorry, Sir, not Bujumbura, but Sudan.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I want to admit that the hon. Member for Gwembe is a dear brother to me. My brother did not state why he told this House that I had somersaulted in the manner I answered the question. I suspect he was not paying attention as usual.


Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I said that …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, take a seat.

Mr Ntundu: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: I have just provided guidance. Let us avoid sarcasm because you are insinuating that more often than not, the hon. Member does not pay attention, ...

Mr Speaker: ... and I have no cause to believe that. I think these are the kind of comments that eventually lead to a situation like the one we were in a few minutes ago when you were compelled to react in that fashion. I reiterate that there should be plain questions and plain answers. That way, we shall make progress. There is no need for aspersions and insinuations. Everybody here is honourable.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: So, let us act accordingly. I am sure even the people who are listening are not amused with the pace and manner in which our business is progressing. Certainly, we are not conveying a positive image, which is unfortunate.
Mr Kalaba: I thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. I was only trying to say that I did not somersault as the hon. Member was trying to insinuate. It is good that you …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kalaba: … have guided on insinuations.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that the situation in Burundi was well articulated by President Lungu who said that African leaders ought to respect their countries’ constitutions if they are to bridge the divide between them and their people.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




516. Mr Mufalali (Senanga) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when a road to link Senanga District to the Luampa/Machile Road would be constructed;

(b)    when the reconstruction of the washed away bridges at the following places in Senanga Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

(i)    Munguli/Lumbwe Embankment;
(ii)    Tepa/Libutu Embankment;
(iii)    Lweumba Bridge;
(iv)    Mata Bridge; and
(v)    Kasizi Bridge; and

(c)    what had caused the delay in commencing these projects.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of the road to link Senanga District to the Luampa/Machile Road is not included in the 2015 Road Sector Annual Plan. However, the feasibility study to establish the suitability of constructing a road link from Senanga District to the Luampa/Machile Road will be considered for inclusion in the 2017 Road Sector Work Plan.

Sir, reconstruction of bridges, including embankments in Senanga Parliamentary Constituency at Munguli/Lumbwe, Tepa/Libutu, Lweumba, Mata and Kasizi will be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan. The works could not be included in this year’s Road Sector Annual Work Plan due to limited fiscal space.

Mr Speaker, the delays in the commencement of works on the crossing points is attributed to the non-availability of funds.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, we have set aside some funds from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to work on the crossing points for the embankments and bridges that have been washed away. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what would be done in the short-term for the projects to commence so that the ministry can meet us halfway by either using the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) or Roads Development Agency (RDA).

Mr Mwali: Mr Speaker, in the first place, let me appreciate the efforts that have been made by the hon. Member of Parliament.

Sir, the RDA conducted surveys on the condition of washed away bridges in conjunction with the hon. Member of Parliament. I, therefore, wish to state that the RDA had considered undertaking these works using the Force Account. However, this was not possible due to the complex nature of the works.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that this road will be considered in 2017. Does this Government have any plans for 2017?

Mr Mwali: Mr Speaker, when we talk about plans, we refer to short term, medium term, long term and annual plans. Based on the information, I wish to inform the hon. Member that this Government has short-term, medium-term and long-term plans.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, in response to part (b) of the Question, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government is unable to undertake some of the projects because of limited fiscal space. I would like to find out from him whether the limitation in fiscal space is as a result of the Budget over-run of close to K20 billion which the hon. Minister of Finance mentioned on the Floor of this House yesterday. On the other hand, the hon. Minister has said that this project will be carried out in 2017. Knowing very well that there will be a different Government then, why is the Government committing itself to 2017?


The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the question by the hon. Member for Sinda.

Sir, I would like to state that the Patriotic front (PF) Government has been doing everything possible to ensure that it delivers on its promise to the people of Zambia. Since it has performed to the expectation of the people of Zambia, they will have no reason, but to give it another mandate in 2016 by voting for Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as President of the Republic of Zambia. They will renew that mandate because the PF Government has done what other people have failed to do.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: So, those who are questioning whether the PF will still be in power or not in 2017 will be shocked because their numbers are already reducing.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated that there is still borrowing space. He also indicated that if he can still be allowed to borrow, he would do so. Could this Government then borrow for this material road?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, running Government is not as easy as the hon. Member may think because it requires experience. We know exactly what we are supposed to do. We have prioritised projects. Therefore, we are borrowing for projects that we have prioritised. As indicated in our earlier response, we are going to follow our plans and not be swayed by anybody to do things differently.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, in response to the question by the hon. Member for Senanga, the hon. Deputy Minister said there is a plan for this road. I would like to find out whether this road is going to be tarred or gravelled because the people of Senanga, Luampa and Mulobezi would like to know.

 Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the ministry will determine what to do when the funds become available.

 I thank you, Sir.


517. Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:whether the Government had any plans to construct a bridge across the Zambezi River to connect Zambezi East and Zambezi West parliamentary constituencies;
(a)    if so, when the plans would be implemented;

(b)    what the estimated cost of the project was; and

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

Dr Mwali: I wish to inform the House that the RDA will conduct a feasibility study and come up with detailed engineering designs for the construction of the bridge across the Zambia River to connect Zambezi West and Zambezi East parliamentary constituencies. This study is included in this year’s Road Sector Annual Plan.

Sir, the bridge will only be constructed after the completion of the feasibility studies and detailed engineering designs.

Mr Speaker, it follows, therefore, that the cost of this bridge and time frame for its construction will only be known after the studies and designs have been done.

Mr Speaker, I thank, you.
Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I am not feeling too well, but I will still ask my question. When the President visited Zambezi a few weeks ago, he promised the people that the Government was going to construct a bridge using resources from the Zambia National Service (ZNS). However, what has been said today is contrary to what the President told the people of Zambezi. I want to know the correct position.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the answer that our ministry has given is not contrary to what the President said when he addressed the people of Zambezi. Whether the bridge will be constructed by the ZNS or another contractor, studies and designs still need to be done.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if there has been another study for the same project. I recall that in 2007, the hon. Minister then told this House that there was a feasibility study regarding the project under discussion. Why can the hon. Minister not use the result from the same feasibility study?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, studies could have been conducted in the past but, normally, in cases of this nature, we have to update the studies and designs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I am at a loss. I am wondering if the Government has thrown away the plans which were made. We had the Vision 2030 which incorporated immediate, medium and long-term plans. We said these plans should emanate from the people. According to those plans, the construction of bridges across the Zambezi River is one of the things the people requested for. Are we waiting for plans from Lusaka or the request from the people? This request has been there for a long time. So, you cannot say that you have not planned for the bridge.

 Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question by the hon. Member of Parliament. The only challenge is that we are talking about a feasibility study and not a plan. These are two different things. We are carrying out a feasibility study to help us in the execution of this project. The plans are already there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, as I ask this question, I would like to ask Hon. Ngimbu to look at the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, yesterday, we were informed by the hon. Minister of Finance that the Government will not undertake any projects until those that are being implemented have been completed. I would like to find out when this project will take off, taking into account the financial difficulties that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the feasibility study will take twelve months. Once the feasibility study has been completed, the project will be executed. For the information of the House, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is interested in this project because the people of the North-Western Province are demanding for its execution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the people of the North-Western Province have demanded for the execution of this project and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is a listening one. You have said that the feasibility study will take twelve months. So, when does the one year start? This needs to be clarified so that it is on record that the feasibility study will be completed within twelve months and the works will commence thereafter.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should also realise that plans are not made in this House. The plans have already been made. So, next month, there will be a request for the feasibility study proposal to be made. We shall start counting the months when the contract for the feasibility study has been drawn and the procurement process completed. This august House does not undertake any procurement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister somehow pre-empted my question. However, I will ask another one. Considering that you have plans – and by plans I mean what you intend to do about this project, do you have a time frame in which you intend to complete the feasibility study and when the procurement will start? We need to know when the feasibility study is expected to end.

Mr Mutelo: Exactly.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, when I said that the feasibility study will take twelve months, I thought I was very clear since that is part of the plan. This Government has a lot of plans which will be implemented. We also have in place the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP). All the plans are in place. The Government is rolling out a lot of programmes, and our technocrats are working tirelessly to ensure that they produce workable plans. That is why the people on the ground are appreciating the work that this Government is doing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, as it were, this project was supposed to have been implemented three months after the election of the incumbent Member of Parliament for Zambezi West. That project was supposed to be executed in three months. It is more than three months now and we are still talking about feasibility studies. What guarantee have we got that once the feasibility study has been conducted, the works will commence? I ask because we have had a situation where a feasibility study was carried out, but nothing has happened.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that the hon. Member of Parliament for Zambezi West has been pushing for this project to an extent where she went to see His Excellency the President who said that the people of Zambia need the project and that they expect their representative to deliver on her promises. So, we are going to execute that project as soon as the resources are made available. That is our plan.

I thank you, Sir.


518. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when storage sheds would be constructed at the following places in Chadiza District:

(a)    Zingalume;

(b)    Katembwe;

(c)    Akumadzi; and

(d)    Madziayela.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans to construct storage sheds in any of the aforementioned areas in Chadiza District. However, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), in Phase I of its Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP), which runs from 2013 to 2015, intends to upgrade two slabs in Chadiza Town to sheds with a storage capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes. Additionally, under Phase II of the IIP, the agency also plans to construct a silo with a storage capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes. However, it should be noted that the construction of the storage facilities is dependent on the availability of internal and external funding sources for the FRA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, straightforward answers such as this one are better than kalulu stories.

Mr Speaker: Better than what?

Mr Mbewe: Kalulu stories, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: No, no.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza, use the official language as you proceed.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am thankful to the hon. Minister for giving a straightforward answer instead of beating about the bush. Zingalume, Katembwe, Madziayela and Akumadzi are farming areas that produce a lot of grain. However, the production is being hampered by the lack of storage sheds and marketing facilities. Does the Government have an immediate plan to come up with storage sheds in these areas although the hon. Minister has already indicated that silos with be constructed in future?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the Government is always concerned about the storage facilities that exist in various areas. However, as I have indicated earlier, we are not just providing silos but also completing the erection of storage facilities. I know for certain that the hon. Member is also in a position to do something about this.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of this question, if I am permitted, to find out something from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.  Since he has stated that there are no plans whatsoever to construct storage sheds, does the ministry have any plans to pay the transporters in Choma whom the Government has failed to pay after contracting them to transport fertiliser for the last farming season?

Mr Speaker: I will not ask or permit the hon. Minister to respond to that question because, as you know, it is on a different subject and area. Therefore, it is not considered a supplementary question.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, my heart bleeds when I hear the Government say that it has no plans. If there are no plans to put up storage facilities in Zingalume, Katembwe, Akumadzi and Madziayela, why are our colleagues in the Executive? Every government is supposed to have plans. Further, can the hon. Minister give us reasons for there being no plans.

Mr Speaker: I will ask the hon. Minister to answer the latter question, but not the former.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Sir, the Government has no plans to erect storage sheds in every village. However, it has plans to provide storage sheds in strategic areas so that the crop produced in places like Zingalume and Katembwe is moved to the storage sheds in Chadiza Town. Storage sheds are meant to store excess grain that is supposed to be moved from the farm to the mill or trader for export, and not to provide storage for household or farm consumption. That is why the Government is careful about investing where there are returns.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Deputy Minister correctly, he assured the House that there is a plan to construct a silo with a storage capacity of 10,000 metric tonnes in Chadiza. I would like him to comment on a similar assurance which was made on the Floor of this House in the past regarding the silos in Monze. Three years ago, the then hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Hon. Sichinga, informed the House that contractors were on site in Monze rehabilitating silos. To date, we have not seen any contractor on site in Monze and the silos are infested with rats and snakes. I would like to find out from him whether the assurance he has just made will not befall a similar fate.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the question under discussion is clearly on Chadiza District and specifically the four areas that have been mentioned. There is no mention of Monze in the question or answer. This, therefore, means that if my good friend, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, really feels that there is a need for him to raise that question, he only has to spend a little more time to file in a question and we shall provide an answer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


519. Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    why works on the construction of a substation and the electrification of Sikongo Township had stalled;

(b)    who the contractor for the projects was; and

(c)    what the estimated time frame for completion of the projects was.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, works for the construction of the substation and electrification of Sikongo Township have stalled because of the non-performance of the contractor. This has resulted in the termination of the contract. The contractor for the projects was Two-Thirds Voltcon Limited. The estimated time frame for the completion of the project was one year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, now that the ministry has decided to terminate the contract for the failed contractor, when will we have a new contractor to execute the job?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is in the process of evaluating the prequalification of a contractor to undertake the works. Advertisements were run in the newspapers in April, 2015. The procurement process will be concluded in two months’ time from June, 2015.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, may the hon. Minister assure the people of Sikongo that funding for this project does exist in view of what we were told yesterday about the financial difficulties the country is faced with.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, maybe, I will mention the contract sum which was K12,473,414 and the contractor was paid 5 per cent of the contract sum which was K623,670. According to the contract requirement, the contractor should provide a guarantee or open cheque to the contracting authority, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), so that if the contractor fails to complete the project, as was the case with this project, the money is recovered from the guarantee. So, the money is there.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the information that we have on this project is that the contractor, whose contract has been terminated, engaged some casual workers in Sikongo Constituency whom he has not been able to pay for the work done. May I find out what steps the hon. Minister will take to ensure that the workers are paid.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the contract between the contractor and the casual workers was purely between them. The Government has got nothing to do with that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether I got the hon. Minister right. The contractor was paid 5 per cent which is equivalent to about K600,000, and he has an open cheque for the guarantee whose amount he did not disclose. How much is that undisclosed guarantee amount so that it can offset what was paid?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, in any contractual obligation, a security bid has to be paid before the project is undertaken. The purpose of this is to protect against potential risks of failure to complete the project which might arise. So, it was this percentage, which is always stipulated, that was paid as security towards the project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


520. Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    what measures the Government had taken against a United Kingdom (UK) based company that failed to deliver earth-moving equipment paid for by some councils in Lusaka and Southern provinces;

(b)    who the Zambian agent for the company was;

(c)    how much money in total was paid for the equipment;

(d)     whether procurement procedures were followed by the affected councils; and

(e)    whether the ministry was involved in the procurement process.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker,
the Government reported this matter to the State security wings and it is still under active investigations. Should the response to this question appear rather guarded, it is because the ministry is constrained from giving further information on this matter for fear of jeopardising the investigation process. So, I seek your protection, Sir.

Sir, the name of the agent is Techmia. Choma, Kalomo and Chama district councils paid a total of K6,500,000 to the supplier using the 2012 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation. The Auditor-General’s Report of 2012 and 2013 captured this matter. The affected councils flouted the procurement procedures by single sourcing the supplier.

Mr Speaker, even though the ministry approved the procurement of earth-moving equipment as requested by the affected councils, the ministry was not involved in the procurement process as the procurement process was done by the Provincial Tender Committees in the respective councils or provinces.

As a ministry, we always advise councils to strictly adhere to the Zambia Public Procurement Agency (ZPPA) guidelines when procuring goods and services which the councils did not adhere to in this case.

We will await the conclusion of the investigations and apprise this House on the results.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, most of the affected constituencies, especially those under Kalomo District, have not received their allocation for the 2014 Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Does this coincide with the fact that we did not follow the procurement procedures and, therefore, are being punished for this.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the answer to that question can either be no or yes. The fact is  that some councils have not received their allocation for the 2014 CDF because of the outstanding balances in their accounts. Since this matter is still before the court of law, we shall wait for the court ruling. However, a provision will be made for the councils which have not received their allocation for the 2014 CDF.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the Government was not involved in the procurement of the earth-moving equipment. May I know how council officials found themselves in the United Kingdom (UK) to inspect the equipment if they are not given authority to travel outside the country.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that the councils involved were given a go-ahead by the ministry, but the procedure for procuring was done by the Provincial Tender Committees.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, we have been told that the councils did not follow the right procedure in the procurement of the equipment. Why did the ministry authorise the councils to pay the company to supply the equipment if the procedure was not followed?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the total amount paid was K6,500,000 which was given to the councils when they appeared to have followed certain guidelines. The ministry usually does not interfere with the procurement process. It approves the projects based on the proposal of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Committee. This is a process that was approved by the Ministry of Finance, and funds were disbursed thereafter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, Kalomo District Council had three quotations contrary to the single-sourcing that the hon. Minister gave in his answer. Would he like to revise his answer, given this information?    

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the reason the hon. Deputy Minister sought your protection is that the State investigative wings are not under our ministry. The information in question would be better placed before the State investigative wings because the ministry may not be in a position to use it effectively.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the affected councils were actively following up this matter until the Ministry of Local Government and Housing gave assurance to this House, through the Public Accounts Committee hearings, that it was taking it up. I, therefore, would like to find out the state and whereabouts of the equipment that was already in transit at the time of this dispute. For instance, equipment for Choma District Council was reported to have arrived in Walvis Bay in Namibia at that time.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, this is precisely the information that the ministry is eager to get. This is the information we are awaiting from the State investigative wings. I am glad that you are giving the ministry some information which might help it enlighten the State investigative wings. We shall wait for the State investigative wings to complete their work and then avail the information to this august House.

I thank you, Sir.


521. Dr Musokotwane asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    whether the Government was aware  that roofs of classroom blocks at Maoma and Lumei schools in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency were damaged by whirlwinds in 2014;

(b)    if so, when the classroom blocks would be rehabilitated; and

(c)    what measures had been taken to ensure that the infrastructure being constructed at schools met the structural specifications.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government is aware about the roofs of a 1x3 classroom block at Lumei Primary School and a 1x2 classroom block at Maoma Primary School that were damaged by winds in October, 2014 and December, 2014 respectively.

Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the blown-off roofs has been planned for in this year’s Annual Work Plan for the ministry. The works will be undertaken as soon as the ministry mobilises the funds that are needed.

Mr Speaker, measures taken to ensure that the infrastructure being constructed at schools meets the structural specifications include close supervision of all construction works by qualified ministry personnel. Other measures include reinforcing buildings to make them resistant to wind and protecting them from wind by not clearing strategically located trees at all the sites.

However, Mr Speaker, it should be noted that sometimes the winds are so vicious that they overwhelm the safeguard measures.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the pupils learning from these classrooms and the teachers who live in them because they have no accommodation suffered exposure to rain during the last rainy season. Can the hon. Minister assure the pupils that the repairs will be done before the onset of the next rains so that they are not sent away from school and the teachers that they will have cover from rain.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with what Hon. Dr Musokotwane has said. I said that we shall rehabilitate the damaged classrooms immediately funds are mobilised. This is expected to be before the onset of the rains.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, blown-off roofs are not only traumatic to pupils, but are also a big blow to their lives. In most cases, the ministry takes long to repair them. Is the ministry considering treating this problem, which is occurring in many parts of the country, as a disaster so that it is taken to the Office of the Vice-President and treated as part of disaster management?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I would like to agree with the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda. In fact, there is a component in the Budget for the Office of the Vice-President for such calamities. There is also a component of this in the budget for the ministry. Furthermore, the Government has come up with another mitigation fund called the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which can also be utilised to take care of emergencies.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


522. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:
(a)    how many youths countrywide were arrested for drug-related offences from January, 2011 to February, 2015;

(b)    of the youths arrested, how many were schoolgoing; and

(c)    how many had been convicted thus far.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, a total of 13,903 youths were arrested for drug-related offences from January, 2011, to February, 2015, countrywide.

Sir, of those arrested, 1,140 were schoolgoing. Of those arrested from January, 2011, to February, 2015, 10,177 were convicted for drug-related offences.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, looking at the alarming figures that the hon. Minister has given, may I find out what programmes the Government has put in place to sensitise the youths so as to reduce these figures.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC) has enhanced community sensitisation and awareness programmes on illicit drug abuse among the youths. In order to help young people keep away from illicit drugs and other vices, the commission, in partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, and Barclays Bank trained 210 youths in life skills. The youths were from the Eastern and Southern provinces, most of whom had passed through counselling and rehabilitation programmes under the commission. In addition, 309 youths were trained as peer educators under the Campaign for Female Educators (CAMFED) and the DEC joint programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, what is the occurrence pattern in terms of region or provinces where youths are mostly affected by drug abuse?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, we do not have that information. However, I can come back to the House later with that information.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, may I know which drug is on high demand because the youths are addicted to it.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the drugs that are commonly abused by youths are cannabis, which is taken alone and sometimes with alcohol, tobacco, cocaine and heroin. The others are benylin, miraa/khat and yellow mash.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister agree with my constructive assumption that the alarming numbers of young people abusing drugs are a reflection of the Government’s failure to create economic activities such as jobs for young people, hence their resorting to these kinds of atrocious activities and behaviour?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, no, I do not agree with that. My own son is a victim of this scourge. So, I cannot say that it is because of a lack of economic activities.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that of the youths arrested for drug-related offences, 1,140 were schoolgoing. May I know how many of them missed the Grade 7, 9 or 12 examinations.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I am unable to answer that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister does not agree with the constructive assumption that has been rendered by the hon. Member for Choma Central, what, then, would be the major cause of this problem that we are talking about?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I will have to get this information from the specialists at the Drug Enforcement Commission (DEC), Chainama Hills Mental Hospital and other institutions which deal with this scourge.

I thank you, Sir.


523.    Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the Mpongwe/Luansobe Road would be rehabilitated;

(b)    when the road was last rehabilitated;

(c)    what the lifespan of the road was; and

(d)    whether the Government had a routine maintenance programme for roads countrywide.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the periodic maintenance of the Mpongwe/Luansobe Road will be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan.
Mr Speaker, this road was upgraded to bituminous standard in 2010. It was designed to last
twenty years with timely routine and periodic maintenance works.

Mr Speaker, this Government has a routine maintenance programme for all trunk, main and district roads that are in fair and good condition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that the lifespan for this road is twenty years. The road was constructed in 2010 but, in less than five years, it has potholes. What is the purpose of consulting engineers? Do they really supervise the contractors to ensure that they construct the roads properly? I ask because potholes developed on the road just a year after it was constructed. The hon. Minister also said that the rehabilitation of the road will be included in the 2016 Annual Road Sector Work Plan. Are we ensuring that we get real value for the money we spend on building roads?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, one can only assume that since the works which were carried out in 2010 were certified, the client and the consulting engineers must have been satisfied with the works that were undertaken. However, like I mentioned earlier, any structure, including roads, requires maintenance. Routine maintenance is carried out within five years after the road has been constructed. It can be done yearly. Hon. Namulambe is aware that some potholes on this road were patched last year. That was part of the routine maintenance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform this House whether the consultants who are engaged by the Government get proper certification for the duration of newly-constructed roads before they start having potholes. Do the consultants get that kind of certification from the contractors?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, I can confirm that consulting engineers who supervise the construction of roads ensure that the works are according to expected standards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, going by the hon. Minister’s explanation, and what is happening to this road, is the ministry not getting worried? The lifespan of the road is twenty years, but it has started giving problems within five years. I am sure that it is not the only road which has a problem of potholes. What is the ministry doing about this to prevent a recurrence of this in future?
Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, this road was constructed in 2010 under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. We believe that the right things were done. If that were the case, initial rehabilitation is supposed to be five years from the time of construction. After initial rehabilitation, a road is supposed to be rehabilitated again after another five years.

We were supposed to rehabilitate this road in 2015 but, due to the limited resource envelope, we deferred it by one year. I am sure this is why you are seeing the development of potholes. We believe that this project was executed to specification. Our plan is to follow up every road that we construct to ensure that we get value for money.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, this road has a lifespan of twenty years, and yet potholes have developed within five years.

Hon. Minister, are you able to give us the compacting percentage on this road?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member’s question who is showing us that he has a lot of skill in this area. When we look at the specifications of the road, we can give the hon. Member that information so that he understands that the compaction ratios and everything else was done in accordance with what was specified.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, arising from the debate that has ensued on this question relating to a road that has a lifespan of twenty years, but develops potholes in less than five, may I find out who the contracting engineer is and what the defect liability period for such a road is.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, whenever a road project is executed, the liability period is one year. In that period, if there is any defect on the road, the contractor is supposed to redo the works at his cost.

For all the roads that develop potholes, we review the initial works. We look at the specifications given with reference to the actual works. We are following the design that our colleagues came up with because we believe that we inherited all their programmes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


524. Mr Simfukwe (Mbala) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the construction of trades schools would be completed;

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

(c)    what measures had been taken to expedite the completion of the project.
The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, the project will be completed …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I actually have a correction to make. The Question is not supposed to read, “Construction of trades schools”, but “construction of the trades school.”

Sir, the construction of the trades school will be completed in March, 2017. The project has not taken long to complete because the construction site was only handed over to the contractor on 26th March, 2015. Therefore, part (c) of the Question falls away.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, trades schools include several youth skills centres in the province. One incomplete youth skills training centre in the province is Mbala which is funded by the provincial administration whose budget is very small. This has resulted in the delay in the completion of the project.

Mr Speaker, would the ministry care to incorporate youth skills training centres in the trades school programme. Further, can the ministry fund Mbala Trades School or Mbala Youth Skills Training Centre which is currently funded by the provincial administration so that it can be completed quickly and Mbala, which is one of the oldest towns in Zambia, can have, for the first time, a youth skills training centre?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the provincial administration for its initiative. As the hon. Member has said, this project is supposed to be under the Ministry of Youth and Sport and not the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.  

I thank you, Sir.


525.    Mr Mucheleka asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the required number of teachers’ houses in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency was;

(b)    how many houses there were in the constituency;

(c)    what plans the Government had to bridge the gap in the housing stock; and
(d)    when the plans would be implemented.

 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, 301 teachers’ houses are required in Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency. However, currently, there are 167 permanent houses in Lubansenshi. The Government is currently upgrading three schools in the constituency, including Luingu and Shimumbi basic schools. As part of the upgrading programme of schools, some teachers’ houses are also being built. This is being implemented in phases.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the answer that the hon. Minister has given, I am seriously concerned about the issue of teachers’ accommodation in the constituency. I think this problem may not just relate to Lubansenshi, but all other constituencies in the rural areas.

Sir, the hon. Minister has rightly stated that some teachers’ houses at Shimumbi and other places are being upgraded. These are only about three, and yet there is a deficit of almost 140 teachers’ houses. What plans is the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education putting in place to mitigate the shortage of teachers’ accommodation in Lubansenshi Constituency and elsewhere?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mucheleka’s question is important not only to his constituency, but also all constituencies. I am glad that he has asked us what the solution to this is.

Sir, we are working on a new model to construct teachers’ houses. This will involve finding an investor who is going to build houses countrywide which teachers will be able to rent. This is a business venture in which three people have shown interest. I would like to thank Hon. Mucheleka for this question.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the presidential appointment of Hon. Mr 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), laid on the Table of the House on 15th June, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): I beg to second the Motion, Sir.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, the appointments of Hon. Mr Justice (Rtd) Esau Elliot Chulu and Dr Emily Joy Sikazwe are made pursuant to the provisions of Section 4(3) and (4) of the Electoral Commission Act, No. 24 of 1996 of the Laws of Zambia, while the appointment of Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda is made pursuant to the provisions of Section 20(2) of the Judicial Code of Conduct Act, No. 13 of 1999 of the Laws of Zambia.

Sir, in carrying out this task, your Committee took note of the fact that the three nominees were being appointed to serve in key governance institutions that deal with the electoral process and the effective delivery of justice, respectively. Your Committee took note of the fact that the expectations from the citizenry on whether elections in the country are held in a professional, free and fair manner were very high.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the two nominees appointed to serve as Chairperson and member of the ECZ, your Committee noted that such must be highly respected persons who subscribe to the principles of credible, free and fair elections and good governance. Further, they must be able to provide guidance and direction to the commission in the execution of its critical mandate of managing the electoral process in the country.

Sir, your Committee also resolved to ensure that the person appointed to serve as a member of the JCA was qualified, competent and with unquestionable integrity, and committed to the promotion of justice for all.

Mr Speaker, against this background, your Committee sought written memoranda from the security and investigative agencies of the State and public and private professional bodies, civil society organisations and the appointing authority. Thereafter, the witnesses were requested to orally submit their memoranda. Your Committee also examined the curricular vitae of the nominees and interviewed them in person.

Sir, allow me to start by highlighting your Committee’s findings on the nominees appointed to serve as Chairperson and member of the ECZ before I discuss the nominee appointed to serve as member of the JCA.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that the nominee had been a member of the ECZ since December, 2009. During his time at the ECZ, he was involved in many activities such as:

(a)    delimitation of constituencies and wards;
(b)    conducting Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections and By-elections since 2010;

(c)    observation of elections under the hospices of the Electoral Commission Forum (ECF) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC);
(d)    attending of several international, regional and local workshops, conferences and seminars on management, observation; and
(e)    ensuring credibility of the electoral process.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also noted that the nominee was admitted to the Zambian Bar in July, 1976, and had, therefore, been a legal practitioner for thirty-nine years. He had held high judicial office, having served as Judge of the High Court from 1998 to 2009. Your Committee found that the nominee was highly competent and had distinguished himself on the Bench as a diligent, firm and independent Judge. Further, he had sufficient knowledge and experience in the electoral management system, having served as a Commissioner of the ECZ for about six years.

Your Committee was, therefore, convinced that the nominee was of high integrity and possessed a wealth of experience in election management.

Mr Speaker, with regard to Dr Emily Joy Sikazwe, your Committee ascertained that the nominee was a qualified agronomist who was also a holder of a masters’ degree in Adult Education. She was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree following her academic excellence and contribution to the Coady International Institute of St Francis Xavier University in Canada.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that the nominee was highly skilled in matters of human and women’s rights, gender and development. She was also a strong advocate for young women’s leadership and the economic and social empowerment of women, especially at grassroots level.

Sir, the nominee had been Chairperson of several bodies such as Women for Change, the Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSA) and the Kenneth Kaunda Children of Africa (KKCA), among others. She had also served as a board member of the Non-governmental Organisation Coordinating Committee (NGOCC). In addition, she was a member of the Legal and Justice Reforms Commission.

Sir, during its interaction with the witnesses, your Committee learnt that Dr Sikazwe had participated in various ECZ electoral processes and had immense experience in the gender implications of the current electoral system. This placed her in a position to contribute to the smooth running of the ECZ.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that there were some questions surrounding the nationality of the nominee who was alleged to be a Malawian. Through its interaction with the witnesses, your Committee ascertained that the nominee was born in Kitwe to parents of Malawian origin on 10th September, 1954, and was, therefore, a Zambian citizen by birth. Your Committee further ascertained that following numerous questions regarding her citizenship, the nominee, in 2009, applied for restoration of her Zambian citizenship and was consequently issued with a certificate confirming that she was a Zambian citizen. After thorough scrutiny of the nominee, your Committee found that she was suitably qualified to serve as a Member of the ECZ.

Mr Speaker, your Committee further considered the suitability of Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda to serve as member of the JCA. Your Committee notes that the nominee is a lawyer of twenty-five years standing at the Bar who was privileged to serve as Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) from 2004 to 2008.

Sir, your Committee noted that the nominee was qualified to hold high judicial office and, therefore, met the statutory requirements for one to be appointed as member of the JCA.

Further, your Committee noted that the nominee had held various positions in both the private and public sectors where he had conducted investigations and prosecuted various offences. He was also of high professional standing and had the necessary credentials, and competence to undertake the functions of member of the JCA. Your Committee was, therefore, of the view that the nominee’s vast experience in conducting investigations would be beneficial to the JCA.

Sir, allow me to briefly discuss some of the concerns that were raised by your Committee. Your Committee wishes to express concern at the increasing failure by some of the State security agencies, in particular the Zambia Police Force, to carry out thorough investigations on nominees, and the tendency to sometimes submit conflicting information, albeit that these agencies were given sufficient time in which to conduct their investigations. The issues were resolved only after persistent queries to the police command on the relevant matters of concern.

Sir, in view of this, your Committee recommends that the State security and investigative agencies, in particular the Zambia Police Force, be strengthened and broaden their searches so as to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. This will assist your Select Committees make informed recommendations on the suitability of nominees for appointment to public offices.

Mr Speaker, further concern was raised on the practice of appointing former Judges to serve as members of the JCA. There was consensus on former Judges not being appointed to the authority where they would be required to investigate and consider complaints against serving Judges, most of whom might be their colleagues or peers. This was because the public was likely to perceive the former Judges as biased and prejudiced towards their former colleagues and peers. Your Committee, therefore, applauds the appointment of Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda who is not a former Judge.

Sir, after considering the submissions in their entirety, your Committee concluded that all the nominees possessed the minimum qualifications required to serve in the positions to which they had been appointed. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the House ratifies the presidential appointments of Hon. Mr Justice (Rtd) Esau Elliot Chulu and Dr Emily Joy Sikazwe to serve as Chairperson and member of the ECZ respectively, and Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda to serve as member of the JCA.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, members of your Committee wish to express their appreciation to you for appointing them to serve on this Select Committee. Your Committee further wishes to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services that were rendered to it during its sitting. Your Committee is equally grateful to all the witnesses for the written and oral submissions that enabled it to successfully carry out the assignment.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for the opportunity to second the Motion that is before the House.

Sir, in seconding the Motion, I wish to echo the mover’s words on the importance of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and Judicial Complaints Authority (JCA) to our country’s electoral process, democratic governance and the justice delivery system.

Mr Speaker, it goes without saying that the ECZ has a huge task that needs to be safeguarded by all stakeholders in order to have an electoral process that is free and fair, and beneficial to the nation as a whole. One of the issues that your Committee observed as threatening our electoral process was voter apathy. Your Committee hopes that the ECZ and other stakeholders in the electoral process will engage the electorate and conduct systematic voter and civic education countrywide. This will help address this development which is becoming an assault on the electoral process and democratic governance of our country.

Sir, your Committee, therefore, urges Hon. Mr Justice (Rtd) Esau Chulu and Dr Emily Sikazwe, if ratified, to ensure that this issue and others incidental to the foregoing are seriously considered by the commission. This is very important, especially that the country is preparing for tripartite elections next year.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the JCA, your Committee welcomes the appointment of Mr Nixon Mabvuto Banda, a non-judicial officer. His appointment will certainly add value to the operations of the authority.

Your Committee urges the Government to broaden further the composition of the JCA with persons from other professions. Your Committee also implores the Government to strengthen the oversight powers of the JCA over judicial officers.

As I conclude, Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the able manner in which he presided over your Committee’s deliberations. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for the commendable work, and the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invaluable support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for the opportunity to be among the first to debate the nominees of these high profile occupations in our governance institutions. I would like to commence by saying that I unreservedly support the ratification of the three individuals. I also want to echo the mover’s words that these individuals’ nominations are being ratified having been appointed to key governance institutions.

Sir, I have known Judge Chulu at personal level, and I think that the best way one can describe him is that he stands tall among giants in terms of his character, demeanor and way of doing things. Having been in politics for some time now, I have witnessed him work under extremely difficult circumstances and rise to the occasion to assist in the electoral systems in this country. Judge Chulu, as we have heard, has been a commissioner, having served under a distinguished lady, Justice Mambilima in the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) since 2009. However, I pity him and the team that he is going to lead because, like I equated him to the former Chairperson of the ECZ, he will be like a referee without a whistle. He will be like a clergyman without a Bible but, maybe, with just a hymn book to sing.

Sir, why I say so is that ever since the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power, we have seen increased abuse of the ECZ. I will try to give examples of one or two areas where an institution which is meant to uphold not only human rights, but also the right for people can easily be deterred by a system of governance, including the police. One such example that I can give where Judge Chulu stood tall is in the Livingstone By-election that saw the fraudulent election of one Member who sits among us here.


Mr Nkombo: The then Acting Commissioner of Police for Southern Province and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police …

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister and the hon. Member on the Floor, kindly take your seats.

Could the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central withdraw the reference to the term, “fraudulent”.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I gladly withdraw it without any qualification and, maybe, replace it with, “a very tough win that saw one hon. Member come to this House.”

Mr Speaker, I was in the process of demonstrating how other governance institutions such as the police tried to overbear the functions of the ECZ.

Sir, we saw a blanket announcement of a cancellation of a meeting a day before the elections in Livingstone. Therefore, I would like to say that Justice Mambilima, sitting with Judge Chulu, overruled the police and said Dr Solomon Jere did not have the right to cancel a meeting that was scheduled preceding an election. I would like to urge him to continue on that path for we believe that under the PF Government, there is a preponderance to mutilate the very institutions of governance that guide us.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it was not long ago when we had a Presidential By-election which was occasioned by the sad demise of our leader that we saw politicians go to Mulungushi International Conference Centre to interfere with the proceedings. I want to say that at that time, Judge Chulu, Justice Mambilima and her team sat at the Mulungushi Conference Centre for over four days and made sure that they listened to all the complaints of those who were aggrieved. Judge Chulu’s patience, together with his team, was incredible. He made sure that he listened to everybody who was aggrieved in one way or another. Now that he is going to sit at the helm of this institution, I would like to urge him to remain steadfast because there is a hurricane that he is going to face by the name of the PF Government.

Sir, last week, I was privileged to be on the same flight with Judge Chulu when you sent me to Johannesburg for a training course. I asked Judge Chulu whether he was aware that somebody had been shot at in Mulobezi. His response was that he had heard about it on the news. I told Judge Chulu that I was aware that he has been going through a ratification process and asked him how we, as a country, were going to avoid such incidences if the ECZ could lift the flag and say something when an event like the Mulobezi one occurs? The Justice’s response gave me some comfort. I will, therefore, hold it dear to my heart. Judge Chulu said it was a very unfortunate event whose circumstances require to be given thorough investigation. However, there is nothing that is insurmountable to levels of shooting at one another.

Mr Speaker, as political players, we have a duty to be kind to people like Justice Elliot Chulu who is sitting at a very noble position that is not supposed to be controversial because it has rules and regulations. My only wish is that as a person leading this institution, he will speedily and expeditiously bring some legislation to this House which will make the offences which we have often referred to as malpractices in the Electoral Code of Conduct enforceable by punishment to the extent of disqualifying candidates if they flout the electoral regulations.

Mr Speaker, in a football match, a handball is a handball. Therefore, a referee is required to blow the whistle so that the game is stopped at that particular spot. However, today, the Electoral Code of Conduct operates in such a way that gives the referee no power whatsoever, but to keep saying, “Play on, play on,” and the result will tell at the end of the game.

Sir, I have known Dr Sikazwe to be a very firm and fair person, having worked for the Women for Change. I also have got something that comforts me deep inside that this hurricane called the PF will not change the very fabric of her ethics and that she will remain a steadfast and fair referee. Therefore, the PF should have spare whistles somewhere because by the institution condemning an act that points at an electoral malpractice is sufficient enough for the country to know that we have people who are working towards making sure that we live in a society that is equal.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I have known the third nominee, Mr Nixon Banda, for eighteen years, and we have shared a drink from time to time …

Hon. UPND Members: Jameson.

Mr Nkombo: Not Jameson, of course, ….


Mr Nkombo: … but just a mere lager. I have known him for a very long time and have associated with him at personal level. To that extent, I may not have much to say about him except that he could not have been a better candidate for this job. Therefore, I can only wish all the three nominees the very best as they serve this country.

Sir, as I wind up my debate, there are few questions around these appointments that may beg answers. At the time when the initial nominations were announced, there were more than three nominees. It would have been nice for the appointing authority to tell the country how these nominees were appointed. When certain names were withdrawn, I think the country required to know the circumstances under which this was done so that we can, at least, suspend or withdraw these appointments to the corridors of speculation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice and that of the people of Choma Central in support of the Motion on the Floor of the House. I promise that I will be very brief, much to the amusement of the Patriotic Front (PF) because in the brevity of time I will spare them the brunt of what I would have otherwise said if I spoke longer.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I will restrict my comments to Judge Chulu and, perhaps, to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). I have decided to restrict my comments of a personal nature to Judge Chulu because he is someone I know. I have known him personally as my lecturer of Ethics at the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE), in which case I have learnt that he is a man who is strict to the detail of adherence to the rule of law. On that account, I cannot doubt that as he assumes the top position at the ECZ where he has already served, he is going to espouse the tenets that have governed his life to ensure adherence to professionalism and ethical behaviour of officers of the ECZ.
Sir, the ECZ is a very important institution because it sits at the centre of the hopes of this country to continue to enjoy the unity and peace that it has been renowned for in the last fifty, now almost fifty-one years. However, his appointment comes at a time when we have a background of worry ever since our colleagues, the PF, came into power. After the 2011 elections, we saw, if my statistics are correct, about sixty-eight constituency results being petitioned by a party which had won the elections and formed Government. It was very strange and difficult to extract logic from that mosaic of reasoning.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, out of these many constituency election results that were petitioned, we have seen a number of them nullified, causing unnecessary and costly by-elections to the taxpayer. What was even worse was the fact that a few hours after the nullification of the seats of the same people who were alleged to have conducted themselves in a manner that is inconsistent with the law by engaging in electoral corruption or electoral malpractices, they were adopted as candidates for the Ruling Party. That is a mockery to the whole essence of the rule of law and the intention thereof to punish those who are involved in electoral malpractices. Those same candidates whose seats were nullified for electoral malpractices hope to win elections at the expense of others who are not involved in such vices. However, that is the legacy of the PF Government. Today, they will say something and, the following day, we discover that they do not believe in what they said.

Mr Speaker, I am mentioning these election petitions just to highlight the fact that Judge Chulu is going to an institution that has been indicted, as I have already highlighted. There are big challenges in that institution, much of which Hon. Nkombo has already elucidated and they relate to the fact that the ECZ has no teeth to bite. The commission has rules and regulations to govern elections, but does not have the real power to ensure that those rules and regulations are adhered to. It is very clear from the nullifications after the 2011 Elections that there is a need for electoral law reforms in this country.

Sir, I would also like to bring to the attention of Judge Chulu and his team, as they assume office, that the recently-held Presidential By-Election was, in my view, bizarre. The election was bizarre in the sense that the ECZ conducted itself in a manner that was unbecoming.

Mr Speaker, when we went to the polls of 20th January, 2015, there was an instance where, …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Just a moment. Let me provide some guidance. I would rather that those who have issues about what is being said, respond afterwards.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I was trying to suggest that Judge Chulu is going to head an institution that is faced with challenges and that, as he assumes office, he needs to be mindful of addressing them before the 2016 General Elections. For instance, the just-ended Presidential By-election had bizarre circumstances such as a number of people who had voted in 2011 at designated polling stations being unable to vote from the same centres or stations when they went to vote in the January 20, 2015 Election. They were told that they were not eligible to cast their votes from those polling stations, and yet they had actually cast their vote in 2011 at the same polling station. This was due to one or various reasons. One of the reasons given by the presiding officers was that they had applied to be transferred to a different polling station. The voters’ register is there for verification. For instance, in Choma Central Parliamentary Constituency, at least, twenty eligible voters who voted in 2011 and turned up to vote in 2015 were disfranchised by being turned away on grounds that they had applied to be transferred to other polling centres. The most common reason was that they had applied for a transfer to go and vote from elsewhere when, in actual sense, they had not made such an undertaking. In liaison with the Head Office of the ECZ, I managed to have some people vote and the commission confirmed that that was an anomaly on their part. Such an anomaly is very costly to the credibility of the one who wins elections. In a constituency such as Choma Central, with fifty-four polling stations, when you have about twenty people disfranchised, and then you have one who ultimately wins the election with 27,000 votes. There is no real credibility and legitimacy in that victory.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, this is because the process was not watertight enough to allow the people to speak through the vote. I hope that this issue is going to be addressed before the 2016 General Elections because it has the potential to disrupt peace. This is a fact. It was good that it was a Presidential By-election where people’s voting mood was measured against the period within which the winner would serve in Government. This was also buttressed by the wide margins of voter apathy which clearly showed that people were disinterested in voting and, perhaps, disinterested with the performance of the current Government.

Mr Speaker, the second issue that I would like Judge Chulu and his team to pay attention to is what I could term as systematic disfranchisement of voters. Sending a presiding officer or election assistant to go and manage elections in a remote area where he cannot understand the local language will render him incompetent because he will not be able to interact with the people. He will fail to assist the voters because of the barrier in communication. We have had instances whereby some polling assistants could only speak English, but were sent to very remote rural areas. This made it very difficult for the people who needed assistance in voting to make their case before such officers. I hope this will be addressed.

Sir, as I continue supporting this Motion, I would like to state that 2015 provided an opportunity for Zambians to reflect on the electoral management system of our country. For instance, the pattern of the release of votes is not established and is unpredictable. It appears to be driven by the wishes, at that particular moment, of certain individuals who may have access to the leadership of the ECZ.

Sir, you will agree with me that the way results were released in 2011, constituency by constituency, allowed voters in any particular constituency to counter check the correctness of the electoral results that were being posted and announced at the tallying centre here in Lusaka.

However, this was not the system used in the last Presidential By-election. Results for a number of constituencies were announced in batches. This meant that the people on the ground did not have the opportunity to know which result was being credited to their constituency. This, therefore, gave room for doubt in the credibility of the results that were being announced. Perhaps, as a people, this is an opportunity for us to reflect on this matter. In some constituencies such as Kabompo, the voters on the ground had to riot for the correct results to be announced by the tallying centre.

Sir, at the expense of being questioned whether I meant what I said when I said that I would be brief, I will end by saying something very important. I know I am being brief within the political context to state that I am extremely concerned as Judge Chulu takes up the post at the apex of the ECZ. The ECZ recently announced the adjournment or postponement of the commencement of the Voter Registration Exercise. This is something of grave national consequence and concern, if we have to take into account the credibility of elections and preparedness of the ECZ and country at large for the 2016 Elections. I am worried by this stance by the ECZ because the commission did not even give a definite date as to when this exercise is going to take place. I am aware that this exercise will require the ECZ to go to some remote places, especially in the Western Province which could be difficult to reach in the rainy season.

Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to urge the ECZ and the other relevant authorities to look into this issue. If voter registration is going to take place during the rainy season, many eligible voters could be disfranchised. This is what happened in the 20th January, 2015 Elections, thereby raising questions as to the credibility of the winners of that election.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to contribute to debate on this very important Motion on the Floor. From the outset, I would like to join your Committee and those that have spoken before me in supporting the appointment of the three nominees. In so doing, I want to use this opportunity to raise some salient points relating to the functions of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). I am happy that those who have spoken before me have actually joined your Committee in supporting the appointment of the three nominees, and it is my hope that the entire House will do the same.

Mr Speaker, I am not very close personally to the nominees but, at least, I have worked with all of them in my official positions in the past. My conclusion is that they are all qualified for the jobs not just academically, but by looking at the most important ingredient of a human being. These are what I would normally call, “real men and not boys”.

Sir, I say so because the three can withstand pressure and have been tested before. I am aware that they have been confronted in their various past duties with difficult times and have been able to stand firm. For example, I recall how Madam Sikazwe would stand firm against us when she was in the civil society and some of us were in the Executive even when she knew that she was not as strong as those that were in power. She was not afraid to take a stance against an hon. Minister or those in Government. She stood firm on what she believed in regardless of whether she was right or wrong. Personally, I always prefer people who are firm in taking a position and not those who just float with the wind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the work of the ECZ is very important and these nominees have been appointed at a crucial time when this country has just come from a Presidential By-Election and is going for another one next year. When I look at past experiences, I am very worried about the violence during elections, especially during the 2016 Election.

Therefore, I would like Judge Chulu to look at this issue critically with his team and work with the police. Otherwise, there will come a time when you will come back to this House only to find there are no female hon. Members. This is because most women are scared of participating in elections because of the violence. For the first time in a very long time, we have a situation where there is violence in almost every by-election.

Mr Speaker, I will not attribute the violence to a particular political party, whether Ruling or in the Opposition. As Zambians, we need to stand firm and say no to violence in political processes because this is how many countries, especially in Africa, have ended up with civil wars. It is because when people cannot be allowed to vote for a person of their choice because of political manipulation or violence, you end up with a situation where they begin to start thinking of resorting to other means such as the gun instead of the ballot.

Mr Speaker, I think that the issue of violence must be a matter of concern to all of us. Today, we have a situation where even when you want to send women to go and campaign for fellow women, they are scared of what might take place in that election.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the issue of continuous voter registration which others have already referred to. The ECZ is supposed to conduct a continuous voter registration exercise, but this is not happening because of the problem of resources. I would like to appeal to the Executive that the issue of resources or funding to the ECZ must be given priority. Some of us who have been involved in many elections will tell you that rigging of an election is not just about getting extra ballot papers and stuffing them in a ballot box. Rigging of elections includes the whole process of registering voters. If the State does not know how to prioritise its expenditure and does not adequately fund the ECZ, the number of registered voters ends up being low. That will affect the entire election.

So, funding to the ECZ is cardinal. It should be funded adequately and on time so that it can plan properly for elections.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that that has been the biggest challenge at the ECZ. It gets funding late and, sometimes, the funding is not sufficient. So, it ends up not being able to implement all its plans.

Mr Speaker, the other issue relates to the actual management of the elections on the polling day, that is, the officers who are assigned to help the ECZ to conduct the elections. I have in mind the council secretaries, the police who are supposed to maintain law and order, and officers from the State security agencies. The ECZ should accredit officers from the Office of the President (OP) during elections. Sometimes, people masquerade as officers from the OP when they are not. I witnessed an incident when I was in the Eastern Province during an election campaign. I went to a particular polling station where one old woman who had just finished voting told me that there was a man in the polling booth who was trying to show her how to vote. Fortunately, she was enlightened enough to understand how to vote because she was a politician at the grassroots. When I asked the lady who was responsible for that pollling station, she told me that the man was from the OP in Lusaka. This was in Chipata in Luangeni Constituency. When I went inside the polling station, I recognised the man as someone from a certain political party in Lusaka.

Mr Kalaba: That is a story.

Mrs Masebo: The point I would like to make is that even if he was a genuinely from the OP, what business did he have inside a polling booth? So, let us not hide behind state agencies to disadvantage other candidates. That is not correct. It is not the duty of any police officer or State intelligence officer to mislead voters. So, I would like to urge Judge Chulu and his team to look at such issues because they cause problems. The Zambian people are tired of the many incidents of malpractices in elections. I remember that even before 1991 people used to complain about a frog and …


Mrs Masebo: What I want to say is that there have been complaints in almost all the successive elections that have taken place in Zambia. It means something is wrong somewhere. It means, therefore, there is no total confidence in our electoral process. That is what the Government and the ECZ need to address.

Mr Speaker, this brings me to the issue of the composition of the ECZ. I hope that as we go towards constitutional change in this country, we shall come up with a Constitution that will address this issue so that it is not left to the Head of State. The selection of members of the ECZ should be constitutional. It should not be a function of a particular party or office, but should be done in such a way that all the people of Zambia feel part and parcel of it because it is in the Constitution.

Mr Speaker, I hope that the Constitution-making process will one day include the issue of the composition of the ECZ.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the functions of the ECZ in regard to setting the date for elections. Again, it is my hope that one day the Constitution will state the date for the elections so the ECZ is in a position to plan properly. We heard the President say that he can call the elections in January. Currently, the Head of State has the power to decide when elections should be held. He can call for elections tomorrow and dissolve Parliament so that we have elections within ninety days. Setting of election dates should be the responsibility of the ECZ

Mr Speaker, lastly, but not at all the least, I would like to say that the ECZ usually works under pressure, particularly during the elections. From experience, I have learnt to appreciate the work of the commissioners and Chairpersons of the ECZ. Most of them have tried their best to rise to the occasion, but the problem is usually at the grassroots among the political parties and support staff of the ECZ. So, as political players, we must ensure that we support the ECZ in order to rectify the weaknesses on the ground. For example, when announcing the results in General Elections, the ECZ sometimes takes its time in order to verify the results, but a particular political party will put pressure on it to announce the results. In the process, the wrong results are announced because it has not been given an opportunity to do a thorough job.

Mr Speaker,     Judge Chulu should look at the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in elections before the next Presidential Elections in order to ensure that all the political players understand the process. I have noted, with concern, that we have what I call ‘computer thieves’ who are manipulating computers, particularly that most of us in Zambia are still not conversant with the ICT.

Sir, in the last elections, I came across young men who were posing as computer experts, playing around with the election figures at the ECZ and creating problems in the process. Therefore, there is a need for this to be looked at. If anybody is interested in getting more information on this, they can ask. I rest my case.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: We seem to have a consensus on the Motion. I will, therefore, allow the hon. Minister of Justice to respond on behalf of the Government.

The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to commend the mover and seconder of the Motion and all the members of the Select Committee that you appointed to scrutinise the suitability of the three nominees to serve in the key governance institutions of our land for the thorough and able manner in which they carried out their task. Let me also thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Motion.

Mr Speaker, the scrutiny was rigorous but fair, and I can attest to this as I had the honour and privilege of interacting with your Committee. I, too, was subjected to a rigorous, but courteous interaction. This is as it should be because, at the end of the day, what the Zambian people are looking for from the appointing authority and this House is the appointment of men and women of high integrity who are well qualified to run these key institutions.

Mr Speaker, permit me, at this point, to commend the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) for the reforms that it is undertaking in the management of the electoral process in Zambia. I would only urge the nominees who are being ratified to continue with that process of modernisation of the electoral process in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the three nominees, Judge Chulu, Dr Emily Sikazwe and Mr Nixon Banda are men and women who are eminently qualified to run the key governance institutions. I can only urge this august House to support the Motion.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to respond to the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central who was concerned about the possible withdrawal of some names that were appointed by the President. There has been no withdrawal. All that was being awaited was the creation of a vacancy after the elevation of the Chairperson for the name of the prospective appointee to come up for ratification.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I would like to thank the hon. Members who have supported this Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, allow me to sincerely thank all those who have debated this Motion on behalf of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.

Mr Speaker: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1951 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 18th June, 2014.