Debates - Thursday, 18th June, 2015

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Thursday, 18th June, 2015

The House met at 1430 hour

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






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

(a)    why the construction of the Freedom Park Mall in Kitwe had stalled;

(b)    who the owners of the mall were;

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

(d)    what the way forward on the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, the construction of the Freedom Park Shopping Mall in Kitwe has stalled because of misunderstandings between the owners of the project and the financiers.

Sir, the owner of the mall is Platinum Gold Equity.

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost of the project was US$15 million, as of 2009.

Sir, the Government has instructed Kitwe City Council to engage the owners, with the view of finding another partner to finance the project.

I thank you, Sir.


527.    Mr Chitafu (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the rehabilitation of the following roads in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

(a)    Chankute to Mutaba;

(b)    Mishikishi to Mbotwa; and

(c)    Itatelazo to Bangwe.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is in the process of re-advertising the tender for the rehabilitation of the Chankute/Mutaba Road. The works will, therefore, commence immediately after the rainy season in 2016.

Sir, the ministry plans to rehabilitate the Mishikishi/Mbotwa and Itatelazo/Bangwe roads starting in September, 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chitafu: Mr Speaker, I am aware that a contract was awarded for the rehabilitation of the Chankute/Mutaba Road. Why was it cancelled?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, for the hon. Member’s information, the road, which was advertised and went through the evaluation process in October, 2013, is 18 km long. However, after evaluation, there was no successful bidder. The ministry is, therefore, in the process of re-advertising the works because it needs new Treasury authority. That is the current position.

I thank you, Sir.


528.    Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of Ilola Health Post in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency would be completed;

(b)    how much of the works were still outstanding; and

(c)    how much money was required to complete the works.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the construction of Ilola Health Post in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency is expected to be completed before the third quarter of 2015.

Sir, the outstanding works include roofing, metal work, flooring and finishing works to the building, construction of ventilated improved pit (VIP) latrines, a borehole and an incinerator, and provision of solar lighting.

Sir, approximately K250,000 is required to complete the works. These funds were recently disbursed to the province.

I thank you, Sir.


529.    Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Tourism and Arts how often animals and birds in game parks were cropped.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Arts (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, game cropping is the taking of a sustainable yield from a completely wild population. What this means is that it is a regular activity. However, it is conducted in game management areas (GMAs), not national parks, and is intended to generate revenue, provide bush meat and other game products for local consumption, and control animal and bird populations.

Sir, game cropping is supposed to be an annual programme. However, due to various reasons, which include the imposition of a ban due to either low animal and/or bird population or other reasons, this is not always the case. So, it only takes place after a hunting quota has been released by the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) after an assessment of the animal and bird populations.

Mr Speaker, ZAWA also culls animals, which is a one-off activity undertaken to reduce animal populations. For instance, the culling of hippos in the Luangwa River in Zambia is aimed at preventing the spread of diseases amongst hippos when water levels drop. The provision of hippo meat is, in this case, an ancillary objective. Another reason for culling animals is to control problematic animals from attacking other animals and human beings.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, are wild dogs also cropped (laughing)?

Mr Speaker: Your question is incomplete, hon. Member, because you broke into an inexplicable laughter. I did not get it.


Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, are wild dogs and monkeys also cropped?


Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member has problems with wild dogs in his constituency, he should approach either ZAWA or the Department of Public Health. On the issue of monkeys and baboons, my answer is that, if they are problematic, they can be cropped.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, as farmers, we have a serious problem with monkeys and feel that the ministry might not be in a position to help us crop them. Can we be given quarters so that we crop them before they finish our crops.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member should just be honest and admit that he needs monkeys for relish.


Mrs Banda: Sir, if the hon. Member has problems with animals in his constituency, the best thing to do is approach the ministry or ZAWA, which are able to sort out the problem.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clearly define the cropping of game and birds.


Prof. Lungwangwa: What I heard is that cropping is taking away from the wild sustainable numbers of game. However, I thought that cropping relates to …

Mr Speaker: Do you want her to answer the question?

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister clarify what cropping is so that we understand it.


Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, cropping is done when we have too many animals of the same species in one area and we deem it necessary to reduce on the numbers.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that cropping takes place in game management areas (GMAs), not national parks. What happens in the national parks when the number of wild animals increases?

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, national parks are restricted areas. So, one cannot go there and start killing animals. That can only be considered by the ministry if there is a problem.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that culling is one way of controlling problematic animals in order to avoid human-animal conflict. My question is: After fatal incidences of human-animal conflict, is a special request supposed to be made to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) for culling to be undertaken? I ask this because, in Siavonga and Chirundu, we have had incidences in which people have been killed by crocodiles and the cases reported to ZAWA, but the authority only goes to hunt the particular problem animals instead of undertaking a holistic culling exercise.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, when ZAWA is informed that there is a problematic animal in a particular area, it goes there to hunt only that particular animal. The authority cannot go and kill all the animals because that would make the animals become extinct.  

I thank you, Sir.



530. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the following primary schools in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Nyembe;

(b)    Walila;

(c)    Chankhanga; and

(d)    Mnyamanzi.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the said schools is planned to commence in 2016. Therefore, we will provide for them in a gradual manner, starting from 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) is on record admitting that it has a Budget overrun, yet it is saying that the schools will be considered next year. Where will it get the money?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza must know that the Budget overrun we are talking about is for this year.

I thank you, Sir.


531. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of Bangweulu Hospital in the Northern Province would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

(c)    what the time frame for the project was; and

(d)    what major components would constitute the hospital.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the construction of Bangweulu Hospital in the Northern Province is expected to commence in 2016, after the requisite funds have been provided by the Treasury. The Ministry of Health is currently in the process of signing a contract with consultants for the architectural design of the hospital.

Mr Speaker, a contract for the construction of the facility has not yet been signed. However, a consortium of design consultants represented by PJP Associates has been selected to design the facility.

Sir, the time frame will be determined after the design has been completed.

Mr Speaker, the major components of the facility, in terms of structural divisions, will be as follows:

(a)    Out-patient Department;

(b)    In-patient services, such as the wards; and

(c)    a Diagnostic Division, which will include imaging and laboratory services;

(d)    a theatre;

(e)    a Maternity Ward;

(f)    service blocks; and

(g)    an Administration block.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I wish to ask a supplementary question.

Mr Speaker: Go ahead.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, as is often the case, we have been told that a health post will only be constructed in Lubansenshi in 2016 once funds become available. What comfort do we have that this promise will be fulfilled? Is the Executive sure that it will really fund this project?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, much as I would like to assure the hon. Member that what we plan to do has no limitations, whatsoever, regrettably, that is not a practical way of looking at planning and execution because, surely, the provisions must always be subject to the availability of resources, since we are looking into the future. Further, if we do not add that disclaimer to the promises we make, we will be liable to being asked why we did not do what we promised to do. So, I do not see any other practical and logical way to proceed.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the apprehension regarding the fulfilment of promises arises from our experience. For example, 650 clinics were earmarked for construction countrywide. In Siavonga, we are still waiting for some of those that were allocated to the district to be constructed. What assurance is the hon. Minister giving the people of Siavonga and Lubansenshi that the health posts for which they have been waiting for over two years will be constructed?

Mr Speaker: I will not ask the hon. Minister to answer that question. Let us follow these responses. He was very clear in saying that the provision is subject to the availability of funds.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the construction of hospitals is a welcome move. However, my concern ...

Mr Katuka: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to raise this point of order. I do not derive pleasure from raising points of order, but I am compelled to raise this one.

Sir, the Public Order Act was extensively discussed on the Floor of this House, to the extent of the then hon. Minister of Home Affairs writing to all hon. Members of this House to inform them that they were free to address their electorates without getting authority from the police. Further, a few weeks ago, the President of this Republic instructed all hon. Members of Parliament to go to their constituencies and sensitise the people on the mobile national registration card issuance. So, was the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and his ministry in order to block me from addressing my electorates, ...
Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Katuka: ... claiming that I needed to give them a seven-day notice before I could address a meeting in my constituency?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I seek your ruling on this matter.


Mr Speaker: I reserve my ruling.

May the hon. Member for Chadiza continue.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the construction of hospitals by the Government is a welcome move. However, why is the Government constructing more hospitals when those hospitals it purports to have completed, like the one in Chadiza, are not fully equipped?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should, surely, know that there are stages in the construction or development of any structure, including a hospital. In this case, we have always said that the development of infrastructure is phased. The final phase, in the case of a hospital, is the supply and installation of equipment. So, it seems, to me, rather unfair for anyone to question why we have built a hospital with no equipment when we have not declared that hospital completed. I have always insisted that we cannot commission hospitals until the works have been completed. So, the commissioning will only be done when the equipment and people we need have been made available. That is the logical way of developing a hospital. In case the hon. Member is unable to understand what appears to be a complex theoretical concept, I will be pleased to discuss it further with him. I am available to provide private tuition ...


Dr Kasonde: ... and assistance to the young hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, a few days ago, the hon. Minister of Finance painted a very gloomy picture of our economy and raised issues concerning our Budget and, we, who have projects that were put in Phases II and III, are very worried. That is why my voice is not its usual self.


Ms Imenda: Can the hon. Minister assure us that the funds needed for the implementation of the projects will still be made available, considering what the hon. Minister of Finance told us the other day.

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, this is not a new question in the sense that the idea of the availability of funds seems to me a fundamental basis for planning. The Budget that hon. Members approved is an estimate of revenue and expenditure. How can we, then, say that the word ‘estimate’ does not arise?

I thank you, Sir.


532. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the contractor constructing the Mitete Secondary School would be paid; and

(b)    when the construction works would be completed.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the outstanding payment for the works completed, so far, by the contractor constructing Mitete Secondary School was certified and the contractor paid this month, June, 2015.

Sir, the expected completion date was 20th May, 2015. However, due to logistical challenges, it has been shifted to April, 2016.

I thank you, Sir.


533. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    whether there were any potential sites for mining activities in Mpongwe District;

(b)    if so, what minerals were found in the district;

(c)    whether any large-scale exploration of minerals had been carried out in the district; and
(d)    if so, what the findings were.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, yes, there are potential sites for mining activities in Mpongwe District.

Sir, the significant mineral occurrences in Mpongwe District are copper, cobalt, nickel, iron, lead, zinc, uranium, pyrite, gold, talc and limestone.

Mr Speaker, there are several mineral exploration activities that have been undertaken in Mpongwe since Independence. Currently, thirty-seven licences are in effect for mineral prospecting and exploration activities in the district. Some of the exploration results have indicated the presence of copper, cobalt and nickel.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for that response, which gives me hope that, some day, we will have a mine in Mpongwe. However, we already had Caledonia prospecting for minerals in the district. What happened to the findings and the licence?

 Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, Caledonia carried out several explorations in the area. According to the company, it did not discover mineral reserves commensurate with its investment portfolio. Therefore, the project fell off. So, our hope is in several other companies in the area that have given us a lot of comfort. Very soon, Hon. Namulambe should expect us to start mining operations in Mpongwe.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is it the Government’s policy to carry out mineral explorations across the country or is it only doing that in specific?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the Government has embarked on countrywide exploration activities to map the entire country, including in areas that were already explored using traditional drilling methods, so that we can update our data on the extent of the resources in those areas.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, there are some area in Katuba where you find samples of minerals when you drill boreholes. For example, when I drilled a borehole at my farm, I took some samples to your ministry for assessment and they were found to have a mineral content of over 18 per cent mineral. Why can the ministry not partner with us to develop mining ventures?

 Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I encourage the hon. Member for Katuba to report such discoveries to us because, to continue extracting minerals like that while drilling boreholes is illegal unless we take full responsibility or issue you a licence.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there are many exploration works going on in Mpongwe and the rest of the country. However, most of the exploration work and the resulting mining activities are usually undertaken by foreign firms. Is this Government not able to set aside a fund that can be accessed by Zambians who want to venture into mining, given the capital-intensive nature of mining activities?

 Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, indeed, the Zambian Government is very concerned about the fact that Zambians are not participating extensively in the mining value chain. Be that as it may, we have contracted the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) to support the initiatives of small-scale miners and those who wish to go into large-scale mining. Such entrepreneurs can partner with the ZCCM-IH in such ventures. Therefore, we look forward to seeing improved participation of Zambians in the mining sector.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    which contractor constructed the Kampondo/Kapongolo/Chanyalubwe Road in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    whether the contractor was issued a certificate of completion and, if so, which authority issued the certificate;

(c)    whether the Government was satisfied with the works done and, if not, whether the contractor would be recalled;

(d)    why culverts were not installed across streams on the road; and

(e)    whether the contractor had been paid for the works.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Kapongola/Chanyalubwe Road was constructed by Tholex Enterprise in a joint venture with Vibrant Construction and General Supply Limited.

Sir, the contractor was issued a certificate of completion in December, 2014, by the Road Development Agency (RDA). At the time of the handover, the RDA was satisfied with the works.

Mr Speaker, culverts were not installed across some streams on the road because they were not part of the contract due to a limited resource envelop.

Lastly, Sir, the contactor has been fully paid for the works done.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, the road in question has been completely washed away and is in a dilapidated state, which means that the money spent on it was wasted. Would the hon. Minister be in a position to check the road and have the work re-done?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, what the hon. Member has said on the Floor of this House was confirmed by our engineers in the province. So, we assure the hon. Member that we will undertake routine maintenance works on the road.

 I thank you, Sir.


535. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the rehabilitation of the following bridges in Kabompo West Parliamentary Constituency would commence:

(a)    Nyela;

(b)    Dishiwu;

(c)    Kasombo;

(d)    Kalwilo, connecting Kabompo to Zambezi District;

(e)    Kasalya Washe;

(f)    Chifuwe South, connecting Chifuwe South to Kabompo Township;

(g)    Mushivi; and

(h)    Chikokwelo.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the RDA will commence the rehabilitation of Nyela, Dishiwu and Kasombo bridges in Kabompo West before the 2015-2016 rainy season under a force account.

Sir, an assessment of the Kalwilo, Kasalya Washe, Chifuwe South, Mushivi and Chikokwelo bridges will be undertaken in the third quarter of 2015 by the RDA to determine their current conditions and recommend appropriate interventions.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, thank you for that commendable answer. However, I wish to inform the hon. Minister that a very important traditional ceremony takes place annually at Chief Kalunga’s Palace but, since last year, the Mushivi Bridge has been impassable. So, will the Government undertake urgent repairs on the bridge to ensure that the ceremony takes place?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, our engineers have assured us that they will conduct conditional surveys on the bridges in the third quarter of this year, which will commence next month.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, has the Government thought of encouraging the indigenous people, the Luvale, to use their magic to cross the bridge, just like they use lubangos?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kawambwa, please, ask your question.

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that works will be undertaken under force account. However, we are halfway through the year and there seems not to be any works being undertaken under this account. When will works under force account start?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kawambwa is correct in stating that we are halfway into 2015. However, he might wish to remind himself that most of the infrastructural works commenced after the rainy season, which is barely two months ago.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, there are bridges that need to be rehabilitated countrywide. When will the much-talked-about Bailey bridges be delivered and installed where they are required countrywide?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, here we are talking about culverts. As I respond to follow-up questions, I am more comfortable confining myself to culverts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 5th June, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in accordance with Standing Order No. 157, your Committee undertook a study titled, “The Delivery of Education in Institutions of Higher Learning.” The background to this study is that, over the years, Zambia has been seeing a rapid increase in the number of institutions of higher education, with private institutions far out-numbering public ones. This has been largely due to the high demand among the citizenry for higher education and the inability of the public institutions to meet the demand. According to many stakeholders, for a long time, the mushrooming of these private universities and colleges in the absence of a national body to regulate them has resulted in poor quality education being offered. It is the hope of the citizens that the establishment of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) under the Higher Education Act of 2013 will address this malady.

Sir, in order to gain an insight into the subject matter, your Committee received and considered written and oral submissions from various stakeholders and undertook a benchmarking tour to Mauritius. As it is my assumption that hon. Members have read the Committee’s report, as they had it beforehand, I will just highlight salient features contained therein.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the quality of education offered in institutions of higher learning, your Committee was informed that the last decade has experienced an increase in demand for access to higher education by the general populace, which had shifted higher education from being a preserve of the elite to being a service open to everybody.

Sir, before the liberalisation of the education sector, the provision of higher education was a preserve of the Government. However, as the number of students who qualified for higher education increased, public higher education institutions could not cope with the demand. The private sector, therefore, moved in, some with the hope of cashing in on the demand for higher education qualifications, others with a genuine desire to improve the quality and accessibility of the service. However, unfortunately, all have fallen equally short of the citizens’ expectations.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the issue of low-quality education is not just prevalent in private institutions, but also in public institutions. This is because the Government has drastically reduced funding to public education institutions despite the ever-increasing demand for higher qualifications.

Sir, your Committee learnt that, in any kind of economic activity, there are three fundamental factors of production, namely, land, capital and labour. Of the three, labour is unique because it takes time to develop and tends to be industry-specific, with each industry requiring specialised skills. Zambia is well endowed with land and, since opening up to foreign direct investment, the country has seen a rise in the inflow of capital, making it relatively more available. Unfortunately, the third factor, labour, is not as straight-forward as it is perceived. There is a general agreement that certain types of skilled labour are currently in short supply in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, with regard to employable skills, there is a growing concern among employers regarding the lack of practical skills to meet the demands of industries among youths graduating from training institutions. The general feeling is that graduates leave training institutions with theoretical knowledge, but without the practical skills necessary to make them productive immediately they are offloaded onto the labour market.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the challenges in the delivery of quality education in institutions of higher learning, your Committee was informed that, in order to get an understanding of this phenomenon in public universities, the University of Zambia (UNZA), which is the oldest institution of higher learning in Zambia, should be used as an example. Currently, UNZA has over 24,000 students against about 2,500 employees. Being a public university, the institution’s operations are largely financed by the Zambian Government. However, for over two decades, it has not been fully funded and the little funding it receives covers mostly personal emoluments and operational costs, with very little released for maintenance and construction of additional infrastructure. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government improves funding to all public universities in order for them to improve their delivery of quality education.

Mr Speaker, as regards technical education, and vocational and entrepreneurship training, your Committee was informed that there are twenty-five training institutions offering courses at trade, craft, certificate, technician, advanced certificate and technologist levels. However, it appears that more attention is paid to general education rather than to science and technology. Further, technical education, and vocational and entrepreneurship training institutions use inappropriate and ineffective technological infrastructure, which does not meet the required standards for both training needs and industry. This has resulted in most colleges having equipment for which demand hardly exists while others have little or no equipment where demand exists. To make matters worse, training is done using obsolete technology, which means that students are trained using technology that is totally different from what they encounter once they get into the industry.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was further informed that, generally, there is no interface between micro, small and medium enterprises and training providers, which is a departure from the original technical education concept of strengthening vocational training outputs for a very vibrant micro, small and medium enterprises sector. Since the demise of the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO), there has been a disconnection between the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Division at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) and the technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training colleges. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government creates synergy between technical education and training providers with micro, small and medium enterprises in order to strengthen vocational training outputs.

Mr Speaker, on private universities, your Committee was informed that the quality of education in some of the private institutions left much to be desired. As a matter of fact, some private universities offer a myriad of programmes and qualifications in a short period of time and beyond their capacity. This has, obviously, compromised quality. During the interaction with stakeholders, your Committee also discovered that some private universities were owned by individuals, thereby making their futures uncertain in an event of the demise of the proprietors. Your Committee further learnt that most private universities had a shortage of staff and, in striving to counter the challenge, have opted to engage part-time lecturers from both industry and other institutions.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Dr Kalila: Sir, although there is an advantage of providing a window for experts with practical industrial experience to share with learners in the classroom, there is a danger of engaging low-grade lecturers, thereby compromising quality. In addition, some private institutions of higher learning do not have premises and infrastructure befitting a university. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the HEA be adequately staffed, funded and equipped to effectively and regularly inspect institutions of higher learning to ensure quality.

Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a tour to Mauritius, whose objective was to benchmark best practices in ensuring quality in the delivery of education in higher institutions of learning for the benefit of the Zambian education sector. Your Committee discovered that, at the higher education level, the Mauritian system has both private and public sector participation, which is regulated by the Tertiary Education Commission, the equivalent to our HEA.

In order to allow the Government to monitor and ensure quality in the sector, registration of private universities in Mauritius is very strict and requires an institution to operate for, at least, ten years before it can be formally recognised as a university despite offering training at degree or Master’s degree level. Further, it is a requirement in Mauritius that foreign or franchise universities intending to provide education in that country commit to uphold standards comparable to those in their countries of origin. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that, in order to afford the Government, through the HEA, an opportunity to assess and evaluate universities and guarantee quality before bestowing university status on them, the universities must operate for a specified number of years before they can be eligible for award of the relevant status. All colleges and universities operating in Zambia as satellites of institutions overseas should also be compelled, by law, to provide facilities and programmes comparable to those offered in their countries of origin.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also learnt that whereas, in Zambia, the bursaries scheme is only available to students at the two public universities, namely, UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU), and only to students pursuing degree programmes, the Mauritian Government runs a student loan scheme for all deserving students wishing to pursue their studies at undergraduate level, either locally or abroad. This gives students an opportunity to pursue their education at any institution of their choice. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that, in order to afford all deserving Zambian students an opportunity to pursue their education at institutions of their choice, including pursuing qualifications other than degrees, the Zambian Government expedites the creation and operationalisation of a student loan scheme.

Mr Speaker, let me take advantage of this occasion to correct an impression that has been created in some sections of the general public, which is that your Committee is against the establishment of a student loan scheme. When the idea of a loan scheme was proposed, your Committee undertook a tour to Zimbabwe, where it discovered that the idea had been abandoned due to operational problems regarding recoveries. Your Committee, then, recommended that another country, such as Tanzania and/or Kenya, where the scheme had succeeded, should be visited before it could be implemented in Zambia. That did not mean that the idea was supposed to be dropped completely, as some people have been made to believe. Your Committee is of the view that the establishment of the loan scheme is overdue, as it would improve the quality of education in institutions of higher learning because students will be able to pay their tuitions and other fees promptly and allow the institutions to plan effectively. That will also reduce student unrest in some of our public universities.

In conclusion, Sir, I thank you for the guidance and support you rendered to your Committee during the execution of its programme of work in this session. I also thank the chief executives of the institutions that made submissions before your Committee. My gratitude also goes to the Parliament of Mauritius for facilitating your Committee’s tour of institutions of higher learning in that country and for all the courtesies extended to the Zambian delegation, which included staff from the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education and the HEA. In fact, your Committee was afforded an opportunity to have lunch with the Prime Minister of Mauritius and the Speaker of the Mauritian Parliament. On your behalf, I express our gratitude. I also thank the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to duty, without which the work of your Committee would not have been fruitful. Lastly, but not the least, I extend my appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during its business in this session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mutale: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to comment on just a few issues raised in your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, one of the issues brought to the attention of your Committee was the state of the machinery and technology used in technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET) institutions. Your Committee was informed that most, if not all, TEVET institutions still used inappropriate, ineffective and obsolete technological infrastructure, which did not meet the required standards of both training needs and the final skills demand. That had resulted in most colleges having equipment for which demand hardly existed, while others had little or no equipment despite having demand. Your Committee was further informed that Kansanshi Mining PLC had refurbished Solwezi Trades Training Institute (STTI) on a model known as Kwambula, whereby state-of-the-art lathes, milling machines, guillotines, benders, computerised manufacturing and calibration equipment, arc-welding and electrical training installations, and inspection and repair equipment, including diagnostic machines with many small tools for use in the hands-on practical training, were installed at the institution. Your Committee recommends that this model be replicated in all technical training colleges like the Northern technical College (NORTEC), using public-private partnerships (PPPs) in order to ensure that trainees are not at a loss when they join the industry.

Mr Speaker, the other concern raised by the stakeholders was the low enrolment levels and under-utilisation of infrastructure in some TEVET learning institutions. Your Committee was informed that some colleges, such as Kitwe Vocational Training Centre (KVTC), which had reasonably good infrastructure and a full capacity of 600 students, only had eighty-nine students in 2013. This shows that demand for technical and vocational training is very weak. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the current Government’s efforts in championing attitude change to ensure that scientific, technological, vocational and entrepreneurship training are not subordinated to general education, should be stepped up. This will result in competences derived from acquiring high technology levels contributing to economic and industrial development, innovation, productivity, job creation and poverty reduction.

Mr Speaker, another observation stakeholders made was that of the non-participation of the private sector in the provision and access of TEVET training, which had resulted in a failure to raise the required technical skills uptake arising from investment in new technologies.

Sir, while on tour of Mauritius, your Committee learnt that, in order to involve the private sector in the provision of higher education, the Government had imposed a 1 per cent levy on the gross wage bill of all corporate entities, whose proceeds go into a pool that finances colleges and universities. That money was refundable to corporate institutions that sponsored students, which encouraged firms to train their staff, interns and apprentices so as to recoup some of the money levied and, at the same time, improve the skills level of their workforce. Your Committee recommends that the Government adopts a similar mode.

Mr Speaker, in concluding, I thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the manner in which he presided over the business of your Committee, and all the members for their co-operation and dedication to duty.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, first of all, I appreciate the report of your Committee. While it paints a gloomy picture of the reality on the ground, it brings out very refreshing information for our consideration.

Mr Speaker, education is a socio-economic enabler. Your Committee, on Page 4, Paragraph 2, captures this very well. I think that it went into an economics lesson when it stated that, “Your Committee further learned that, in any kind of economic activity, there were three fundamental factors of production, namely, land, capital and labour.” Although the factors of production are actually four, the fourth being enterprise, the three mentioned are the fundamental ones. Enterprise is a secret. It is the software of the labour component. It is also the key that unlocks the potential of labour and capital for us to produce goods and services. If you check the poverty in Zambia, fifty years after Independence, you will realise that it is a result of the lack of enterprise. Land, capital and labour are there, but we lack the software of the labour. When you see me here, as labour, I am just the hardware. The software is the unseen element that we have not added to the labour force in this country. Therefore, our education is on trial for having failed the country. We, leaders, have not used education to bring about development and value to our people.

Sir, Zambia has got so much fresh water, land and minerals, yet these will amount to nothing as long as there is no enterprise in our labour to combine these factors and produce goods and services.

Sir, over the years, our education has not been practical, as your Committee reveals in its report. It has been theoretical, actually, generic theory. It is like someone from Zambia who won a scholarship to study oceans.


Mr Hamududu: Lo and behold, when he came back, he was told that ours is a landlocked country. He was very qualified, but unemployable and irrelevant. So, he had to just go somewhere where they have an ocean. That is the paradox we currently face, with the mushrooming of private universities that offer Euro-centric education, which is not relevant to our situation and not linked to the industry. I am looking at the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry as I say this.

Sir, drive through Katimamulilo Road and see the industry there. Our education system must add value to what is happening there. When you go to Panganani Street, the young people there will fix anything on your car. Our education system must equally add value there. That way, you will see us create employment and produce graduates who can solve the current problems. We cannot have everyone pursuing Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees everywhere. Which business? Will you work in those countries?

Mr Hamududu laughed.

Mr Hamududu: I do not know how many people have MBAs in generic studies.

Mr Speaker, we need to have qualifications that are born from our reality on the ground. I am happy that, somehow, our founding fathers had an idea. We found a foundation course at the University of Zambia (UNZA), ‘The Structure of the Zambian Society,’ which was meant to make students first understand their country and its people. However, today, you just go into university and immediately know more about England and America than about your own country while busy expounding theories that are irrelevant to our situation.

Mr Speaker, we are a Third World mineral-rich country and had land, but we no longer have it. Therefore, our programmes must be re-engineered to take care of our realities. Our universities offer education that is irrelevant to our country, granted it might be relevant somewhere else. So, if our thrust is to produce graduates who will go and work elsewhere, then, let us do it and export labour. There are countries that make money out of exporting labour. However, why should we export labour when we have natural resources? Singapore can do that because it only has sand. We can add value and export goods, as that is also an industry. We can add value through Diaspora remittances. However, we have enough to do at home. That is what must happen.

Sir, I am happy to have heard the new hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education on television say that we should start thinking outside the box. That is the issue. Let us support my good friend, the hon. Deputy Minister, Mr Mabumba, in thinking differently and outside the box.

Mr Speaker, let me explain why, for example, UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) are not viable. We are using a wrong template. Why should a university Vice-Chancellor be a professor, one who cannot manage? Today, universities are led by people with enterprise. You can still put a professor with research credentials, but you need a Business Development Manager in the university because, at the end of the day, a university is a business that produces goods and services. Currently, the management is not in sync with the developments of the knowledge economy. So, should a professor who learnt how to dissect a mosquito run a university and manage human beings?


Mr Hamududu: While I respect a Professor …

Mr Hamududu laughed.

Mr Hamududu: … who operated on a mosquito, which I cannot do, one cannot sit there and manage a university. It is not relevant. So, go there and review the policy.

Mr Speaker, while I was a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), I wondered how a university teaching students to manage our institutions could come before the Committee with irregularities. That is a management failure. The irregularities that we encounter in PAC are a result of management failure. It is now Parliament that is managing. We ask about imprest, which is a management issue. Should Parliament now do everything? Must we tell them how to do their documentation.

Mr Speaker, we must re-engineer the management of universities. For example, there is enough capacity at the CBU and UNZA to generate income beyond teaching. However, the institutions have very punitive formulae. For example, if I am a lecturer and get a project with the United Nations (UN), the institution would want to take all the income that has been generated by my brain. So, the universities must change the formulae so that, for any project that a lecturer takes to the university, he or she should get 50 per cent of the income generated. Then, you will see how much money will be earned. Currently, there is a very big disincentive by management when one gets a job, and there are many jobs out there.

Mr Speaker, how can the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) run capacity building programmes in this country? What is ESAMI compared to our gallant men and women at UNZA and the CBU? We have everybody there. The capacity-building programmes for many stakeholders can be done at our universities so that they can earn money and improve the infrastructure and make the lecturers rich. Why are we jealous of rich people in this country? This is the only country that is its own enemy. It has no external enemy. This country has never been at war, but there is so much poverty because we are busy fighting, even here, in the House, where there is an invisible gap between the left and the right.

Mr Kalaba interjected.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Hamududu: He is my elder brother.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs!

Let us listen to the hon. Member for Bweengwa in silence.

Continue, hon. Member for Bweengwa.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, this House is the apex body in this country. All the 14 million Zambians chose 150 hon. Members to make decisions for them. This House has, over the years, been failing Zambians. So, we must question what education really did to us. If education cannot make us sit together and sort out national problems, then, we should question our education, as hon. Members here.

Mr Speaker, look at the issue of the Constitution, for example. We cannot make a Constitution.

Hon. Member: In fifty years.

Mr Hamududu: The problem is that people cannot forego partisan political interests and sit across a table. Everyone is partisan. Who said that the Constitution is a partisan issue? It is a national issue, and that is what education must teach us.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: It is always, “My party this” and “My party that.” My friend, Zambia is bigger than the party.

Hon. UPND Member: Tell them!

Mr Hamududu: That is political enterprise, which is non-existent. We know the problems. We know what is holding us from developing. We know the inherent powers that are in one person. I can tell you that, in the current Constitution, anybody who becomes President is tempted to maintain the status quo because it gives so much power to the Presidency that one can do anything. If I became President today, I could give you whatever you want.


Mr Hamududu: What is that?

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we are failing to see where the problem is. In Finland, where you sent me, the Constitution was written by one person. There is even a table there. The Indian Constitution was also written by one person. We all know what the people want, but education has taught us to be manipulative. Who, in here, does not know what the people want? Who does not know that the people want strong institutions and the devolution of power from the Presidency to elsewhere so that institutions can deliver? We all know that. So, if education cannot develop integrity, then, we have a problem.

Mr Speaker, Botswana never fought for Independence. It was too costly to manage for the British. So, they just granted it its Independence. It was a Cinderella country and this country was a donor to Botswana but, today, you all want to go there simply because Sir Seretse Khama, with some education, brought his people together. Today, he still lives on.

Mr Nkombo: Waka kwata mukuwa.

Mr Hamududu: He says, “He was married to a Briton.” Maybe, that explains his reasoning.


Mr Hamududu: He set a consistent trajectory for his country. I was born two years after Botswana became independent. In our own lifetime, one country came from the bottom and by-passed us. It is like you are running and someone by-passes you and, if you are running many laps, he or she overtakes you over and over. What is that? Where has our education taken us?

Mr Speaker, I advise the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and the Government in general to think outside the box. We cannot continue the way we have been doing things. The private sector has come on board. Partner it. You can leverage on that. For example, commend the University of Lusaka for doing something good and give it 10 ha of land in Silverest and promise to do the same with Cavendish University if it met the criteria. That is the leverage. That is an incentive you would be providing. These institutions are busy running universities on top of shops next to bars so that you do not know whether you are going into a bar or a university. You call that a university?

Mr Nkombo: Selling Jameson.

Mr Hamududu: These are young people.

Mr Speaker, I thank the founding fathers of this country, the Chikwandas of this world, who took us to a good university. There were no bars around the university, not the way it is currently, whereby our children cross paths with drunkards as they go into classes. What university? They just learn to drink alcohol. Once one fails a test, one just goes to a bar to drink off the failure.

Sir, the Government can provide an enabling environment for quality education to be provided. It must play its development role. For instance, through the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, it could give pieces of land to people who want to establish universities as a way of saying, “Thank you for what they are doing” because, by establishing universities, they are helping us to meet many of the challenges that we face. Therefore, the Government should partner the private sector in many ways.  

Mr Speaker, the other issue raised in the report is that of the employability of graduates. We have been educating people on irrelevant courses. So, the industries cannot take most of them. It is like having food that your body cannot take. When you eat it, it goes out of the system immediately. Let us fine-tune our education system so that people who come out of it can be employed. The unemployment you see is because of poor education. If you want to improve the employment prospects in this country, you should first revamp the education system. It has been proven that doing so can change things for the better. Finland and South Korea are examples of countries that did that. Invest in your people and they will unlock opportunities for employment.

Sir, there should be partnership in employment creation. The obsession with wearing a jacket and a tie and applying for a job after university is outdated. The richest people have never worked for anybody. They just learnt enterprise and started businesses. I can give you an example of one entrepreneur without permission because I think that he is a public figure. He went to university but, in his second year, walked out of university and went to Mkushi. His name is Costain Chilala. Do you know who he is today?  Bill Gates did the same. These people gained the ability to mix things. If you have found the method to mix things, why are you sitting there? Go and make money. I tell my young daughters that they should apply themselves in school. Instead of telling me what they want to be when they grow up, they should first understand their mathematics and English. I am ready to walk so that I can use the money I will save to buy them computers. How can someone in Grade 1 say that they want to be a police officer? What do they know? They should learn first, then, they will know that there are better things than being a police officer.  That is the challenge we have.

Mr Speaker, there is a generation that can change things in this country. Will our generation change something? Maybe, we must wait for the next generation to do so. Maybe, my daughters’ generation will do it.  I say this because the education system of this generation is questionable. We have not presented the Access to Information Bill to be passed in the House. We have not enacted a new Constitution. We keep saying, “My party, my what.”


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we have created an invisible hedge between us. Sometimes, I feel that I am better off leaving this place to go and raise my dairy animals and goats. I can make it that way, and I am always making it, because I can change things there. We are failing to come together to achieve certain goals and want to fight all the time. Education must make us level-headed and reasonable, but we are always bickering.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, do people want to learn boxing and fight? People say that I am weak, but I am not. I am strong for results. If you want to fight, take me to a boxing ring and you will see how strong I am. Let us find solutions to our people’s problems instead of spending our time here on bickering.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, information is there …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: … on this side of the House. We are ready to provide solutions. If you have failed the Zambian people, we are ready to swap places with you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, by God’s grace, I will be here in 2016, but I am not sure where I will sit. Maybe, I will be on the Front Bench. However, you people in the Executive still have one year to correct your mistakes. For fifty years, we have not had a new Constitution, which is just a document that you can even copy from somewhere.

Mr Speaker, fellow hon. Members and citizens, let me end by saying that, honestly, we can do better. Let us begin to do better in our ministries. As labourers in this political enterprise, what do we have to show for our labour?

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity you have given me to comment on the Report of your Committee on Education, Science and Technology. In my discussion, I will focus only on the quality of education offered by institutions of higher learning, particularly private universities.

Mr Speaker, your report notes many of the challenges in the delivery of quality education in institutions of higher learning, both public and private, and I totally agree with it.

Sir, one of the factors is the absence of a functional higher education authority. We know that, in 2013, this House passed the Act to establish the Higher Education Authority (HEA). However, that authority has not yet been established. It is public knowledge that the HEA’s secretariat is still being constituted. I can only urge the Government to quickly operationalise the institution to avert a further deterioration of the quality of education in institutions of higher learning.

Mr Speaker, your report also notes the mushrooming of universities within a short span of time since the sector was liberalised. Like the previous speaker noted, this is unacceptable. When you walk about in town, you will notice that the universities seem to be everywhere, even near bars and in very queer places. I can cite my province, Luapula, as an example. In a very unlikely place, you will find a university. That is totally unacceptable. It is equally worrying that the nascent universities tend to offer a large portfolio of programmes at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels within a short period of their establishment. Again, this should not be allowed to continue. It is far from being acceptable. Therefore, when the HEA is finally operationalised, it should stem this occurrence.

Mr Speaker, the report also raises concern about the ownership arrangement and structure of private universities, some of which are owned by husband and wife. They are literally owned by families, which is equally unacceptable. Universities are not supposed to be family businesses.

Mr Speaker, your report also notes the lack of a requirement for private universities operating as satellites or franchises of overseas universities to offer programmes of a quality comparable to that offered in their countries of origin. Why should sub-standard programmes be offered here instead when high-quality programmes are offered by the same institutions in their countries of origin? That gives us the impression that most of the universities are just bogus ventures whose owners are interested in profit only, and your report alludes to this overweening profit motive in most of the universities, which compromises the quality of education.

Sir, the employment of individuals from industry, who are not specifically trained to lecture in universities, is another contributing factor to the provision of poor quality education.

Mr Speaker, in terms of remedies, I agree with what the reports says on Pages 14 and 15 and, perhaps, other pages, too.

Sir, one of the recommendations is that the Government employs more inspectors. This will be timely advice for the HEA when it is finally operationalised because it will need to do just that to prevent the provision of low-quality education in institutions of higher learning. This is because, if inspections are frequent and timely, those running the universities will wake up and begin to raise the standards in their institutions.

The second recommendation, Sir, is that the HEA, when fully operationalised, ensures that private universities offer programmes that are within their capacity to provide effectively, not offering courses that are outside their capabilities just for monetary gain. In my understanding, a university earns a reputation over time, not upon the acceptance of papers by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA). Higher degrees are, therefore, evaluated on the basis of the reputation of the university that offers them. A good number of the private universities, however, do not have good reputation. It is terra incognita for them. So, they need to work towards achieving a good reputation over a long period of time.

Mr Speaker, the report also recommends that the Government ensures that the ownership structure of private universities is in tandem with the requirements of the Companies Act. The danger inherent in families owning universities is that of the huge temptation for them to get involved with the daily running of the universities or administrative minutiae. That must be prevented because it compromises the quality of education.

The report, Sir, also recommends that satellite or franchise universities be compelled, by law, to offer programmes of a quality comparable to that offered in countries of origin. The example cited by the report is Mauritius, which seems to have handled this aspect very well because that is what obtains in that country.

Sir, the last recommendation is that institutions operate for a specified period of time before they are conferred with university status. In Mauritius, the capping is a minimum of ten years. An institution must operate for a minimum of that period before it is conferred with the status of university so as to allow the monitoring institutions the opportunity to assess it and carefully determine its eligibility for award of university status.

Mr Speaker, I would like to suggest some factors that may assist in upholding the quality of education in our country. In doing so, I will focus on the HEA, particularly on the aspect of accreditation of persons who may want to lecture in universities. These individuals must be certified by the authority before they can be employed in any university, whether private or public.

Lastly, Sir, for purposes of further upholding the quality of education, we can introduce matriculation or entrance examinations equivalent to A-Levels for students before they get into universities.  That will mean that universities, both public and private, will be compelled by the HEA to recruit only students who have passed the matriculation examination.

Mr Speaker, I look forward to the full operationalisation of the HEA.

With these few words, Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I now give the Floor to the hon. Members for Nalikwanda, Mazabuka Central, Lukulu West, Mumbwa and Chongwe, in that order.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, your report is very important and our colleagues in the Executive must take it seriously. The low quality of education is the crisis of the moment.

Mr Speaker, on Page 8 of today’s The Post newspaper, it has been reported that the education standards in Zambia have fallen compared with previous years, with most private schools in the country providing very poor services. This has happened because a lot was not done to address issues of quality in the sector. That is the cry of the ordinary citizen in our nation. What your report is saying is that we are a nation at risk because we are miseducating our citizens and that this must be addressed seriously. I am happy that there are pupils from our schools listening to us debate their future and their education in the Galleries this afternoon.

Mr Speaker, the proliferation of private universities in our country, some of which are being established in market places and various residential areas, and offer a glittering array of degrees, is a total disservice to the future of this nation. Many of the private universities offer Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Master’s programmes right from their establishment with lecturers and supervisors who only have Bachelor’s degrees or diplomas.


Prof. Lungwangwa: What a disservice to our nation. That is what your report is saying.

Clearly, Sir, there is a mystique in the name ‘university’ that ought to be protected, and that is the history of universities. Throughout the history of civilisation, the name ‘university’ has been protected through a system called chartering, whereby, if one wants to establish a university, he or she has to be accredited, observed and meet certain benchmarks of quality in the level of infrastructure, staff, education materials, students admission, quality, research output and many other variables. After several years of monitoring how well an institution is performing, it might, then, be licensed or chartered to operate as a university.

That is when they receive a charter that confers them university status. The charter will even indicate the year it was issued to a university. That is what we know to be the history of universities. The idea of establishing back-door universities just to make money is a disservice to our nation. We will churn out students with degrees that have no value and PhDs that are totally irrelevant to the needs of our nation.

Mr Speaker, some institutions even offer medical degrees, yet they do not even have laboratories? How can you establish a university in your house and offer a degree in medicine? What kind of doctor will you produce? This is what we call the Diploma Disease and, unfortunately, many of our students are getting the fake certificates, which is simply a reflection of the unhealthy situation in the education sector. That must be addressed because the consequences will be that private universities, in particular, will churn out individuals who will become square pegs in round holes on the labour market. They will be unproductive and totally irrelevant to the labour market.

Mr Speaker, at the international level, we will churn out individuals who claim to be graduates of universities when, in fact, they will simply be caricatures to be laughed at because of their pretentious or distorted standards of education. What kind of nation are we and where are we heading if we allow this kind of situation to continue?

Sir, the 21st Century is a century of technological advancement. With the miseducation of our citizens, we are increasingly becoming a technophobic nation, one that fears technology. We are not able to adapt ourselves to the emerging advances in the technological world that are important to our economic advancement.

Mr Speaker, it is very important to expeditiously operationalise the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and I hope that our colleagues in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education will do that to save the nation and protect these children in our Gallery and the rest who are listening to us this afternoon. The HEA must close the so-called private universities that are miseducating our nation as soon as possible because they are not doing a service to the nation.

Sir, we should take a leaf from what is happening in Ethiopia. Before I came into the Chamber, I was browsing an Ethiopian website and learnt that there are thirty-five public universities in that country and their curricula focus on mathematics, science and technology. Why …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Speaker: When business was suspended, the House was considering the Motion moved by the hon. Member for Lukulu East that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 1st June, 2015, and the hon. Member for Nalikwanda was debating. As the hon. Member and the House at large continues debating, please, note that we should address the Floor of the House as opposed to the galleries.


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance.

Sir, in continuing my debate, I would like to say that we should take a leaf from what is happening in countries like Ethiopia, which has thirty-five public universities that place a lot of emphasis on mathematics, science and technology. Those are the change designers of the 21st Century and, as African nations are preparing for Agenda 2063, we must empower our universities, especially the public ones, to play their rightful role of educating for the development of our nation.

Sir, very importantly, your report states that we are underfunding our public universities, thereby not enabling them to be at the frontier of knowledge in terms of undertaking cutting-edge research that can contribute to the development of the nation. Historically, our universities have been funded at four levels, namely, capital development, recurrent expenditure, staff development and research. However, your report states that, even at these four funding parameters, the universities are inadequately funded. This is a disaster for the country.

Sir, we are committing ourselves to developing more universities, but where will the staff come from? We know that a number of us are products of the staff development programmes in the public universities. What are we currently doing to develop staff for the new universities? There is completely nothing, and that is not acceptable. How do we expect the new universities to operate effectively and efficiently in their academic undertakings? Your report is advisory along those parameters, which is very important. We hope that our colleagues in the Executive will reflect on all these issues very seriously for the development of our nation.

Mr Speaker, we can take a leaf from what has happened at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in terms of entrepreneurship. We are all very happy with the construction of the East Park Mall, which is a product of an idea conceptualised way back in 2003, when I was part of the management team at UNZA.  

Mr Kazabu: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, that was done after looking at what could be achieved by establishing a public-private partnership (PPP) to utilise the university land more effectively and mobilise resources for the university. The idea was actually approved by the University Council way back in 2005 but, of course, there was no law to inform the establishment of the PPP. When that law was enacted in 2008 by this House, it facilitated the development of the PPP on the university land, hence the construction of the East Park Mall of which we are now very proud. That shows that professors can actually be good university managers.


Prof. Lungwangwa: That is what entrepreneurship can be at the university level. Not all professors are bad managers of universities.


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, my last point has to do with the most unfortunate situation that is still obtaining in one part of our country, Zambezi District, and your report mentions that. The language conflict there should not be allowed to continue for the sake of harmony in the education sector. For example, last year, the Lunda textbooks were locked up in the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS’s) Office in readiness for them to be burnt so that Lunda could not be taught in some schools in Zambezi East. That, definitely, is not a matter we should pay lip service or turn deaf ears to. We must find a quick solution to the problem in order to bring about harmony in our education system.

Sir, if we look at the history of our country, local language teaching has been based on a monolingual policy, whereby each region in the country has had one language that is taught to the children in the schools to facilitate their learning. In the case of the North-Western Province, there are three languages, but there should not be continued conflict. We must find a harmonious way of teaching all the three languages at the local level. Of course, we know that, on the Eastern side of the Zambezi, Lunda predominates while and the Western side is predominated by Luvale. Clearly, the zoning concept, in terms of policy, must be reinforced. What is in your report must be enforced at the local level so that the two languages prevail in their areas of predominance. Luvale should be taught on the Western side of Zambezi while Lunda should be taught on the Eastern side so that we do not create unnecessary conflict. I think that the ministry should work very hard to end that unnecessary and uncalled-for conflict. It is not in the interest of our learners.

With those few comments, I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee, particularly the Chairperson and mover of this Motion and the seconder for bringing out a menu of issues that affect our education system in our country. In doing so, I ask to be counted among other hon. Members who are saddened by the obvious sad state of affairs of our education system.

Sir, on Page 3, under 7.1, your report addresses itself to the quality of education offered in institutions of higher learning, particularly private ones.  Your Committee states that:

“Your Committee was informed that the last decade had experienced an increasing demand for access to higher education by the general citizenry. This had made higher education to shift from being the service of the elite to a service open to the general citizenry.”

Mr Speaker, my own thinking is that this statement gives one the feeling that the situation has been reversed, especially if one did not take account of the population size of the time referred to and that of our current population. I think that the situation is still the same, considering what I said a minute ago. The situation remains dire because, if you look at it from the ratio point of view, I have a feeling that I would state that the situation is probably worse and win the argument. I say so because the elite still enjoy access to education over those who are less privileged.

Sir, your report also refers to the issue of bed spaces at the University of Zambia (UNZA) against the enrolment levels at the institution, which is 3,400 bed spaces compared with about 20,000 students. This does present a problem for an institution, starting with the basic needs of human beings. Without a doubt, the situation immediately puts pressure on the sanitation of that institution. I think that we have all learnt that sanitation is health. At this juncture, I want to argue a little more in line with the argument of my younger brother here, Hon. Hamududu, that the Senate and the Council UNZA could have done a little better than allow an investment like East Park Mall. They should have, instead, promoted the building of hostels on that university land. We know that many of the 20,000 UNZA students, the bulk of whom live in boarding houses, would have benefited from the hostels in the long run.

Sir, today, one can brag that we have the East Park Mall, but I derive no pride, whatsoever, from that. The people who made the decision to bring East Park Mall and basically transfer a bit of Sandton or Midrand to Lusaka by opening shops like Food Lovers, Jets and Edgars, to me, have not added value to our education system, and the report is actually very clear on the lack of linkages between industry and the education system. Tell me how in the world one can link Food Lovers to education? The people who designed that university and left for it the size of land it has had it in mind that, one day, the enrolment levels would go up to 20,000. The most logical thing those who enjoy the power of decision-making could have done was build hostels.

Mr Mbulakulima: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: It does not require a rocket scientist to understand that the students, who may come from middle-class or even poor families and face many challenges occasioned by the bad state of our economy, cannot afford to shop in Food Lovers. Just to stress that point, go and see if there is any food grown in Ngwerere or Mazabuka sold there. Go and see if there are any clothes manufactured by Kafue Textiles sold there or anything typically Zambian that would benefit that institution about which, I believe, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is proud. If I had my way, I would not set foot at East Park Mall because I am not proud of it.

Sir, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa was my lecturer, for which reason I should be careful in criticising the decision to construct the East Park Mall on UNZA land. However, I am sure that he appreciates where I am coming from. That said, I agree with him on the issue of the disciplines and where we think we should be going educationally. Like Hon. Hamududu said, we have enough social scientists. If you go to Rwanda, a country that just came out of a war, and look at how they cultured their education system, you will see that they followed the STEM model that he spoke about, which emphasises science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I was a student of Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and I think that he can hardly count the many graduates who passed through his hands in the social sciences. So, we do not need any more of that kind of students. What we need are engineers.
Mr Speaker, earlier in the day, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development responded to a question on geological mapping and survey, and that is where I think we should put our emphasis. It is also true that when people like John Cecil Rhodes came here, they did that mapping and knew exactly what deposits are in the different locations on this continent and, particularly, in this country. So, I think that there is value in putting our emphasis on sciences, including geological mapping, so that our young people who come out of university can do these kinds of jobs. I can bet you my last Kwacha that the PF, as it embarks on the geological mapping exercise, might use expatriate human resource. So, we need to train more geologists. Let us link the education sector with our policy on industrialisation. The industrialisation policy must underlie our education policy so that our education sector does not become a pointless venture.  
Sir, the report tells us of how universities have mushroomed and are producing graduates that are unemployable. It means that the education system is not linked to the industrial policy which, basically, ...


Mr Speaker: Can we listen to the hon. Member.

Mr Nkombo: ... would be a platform for people to use to transition smoothly from education into a job. No wonder, we no longer have career masters in secondary schools. Today, when a child completes Grade 12, the parents will most likely just look for where there is a space for them to go to the next level without regard to the preferred discipline or strengths of the child. If the child, for instance, is strong in mathematics, but the only college slots available are in theology, the parents, out of desperation to get their child to another level, will just tell the child to become a pastor, yet that child has the potential to be an inventor or a scientist.
Sir, I think that the decade of darkness from 2005, and some people will say it started in 1991 when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) got into power, is becoming reloaded under the PF Government. Mark my words, after ten years, we will refer to these years as the dark years because you cannot do the same thing over and over, yet expect to get a different result. Certainly, not. Rwanda, a small country that came out of war has made serious advances in its education and technological sphere. What about us? This is where I apply the paradox that a fool will starve even in the midst of plenty. We have everything we need, including education. The only thing that we do not have is, probably, public or private relations. Someone once said that, “As long as a particular idea comes from an hon. Member of the Opposition, we shall shoot it down so that they know that nifwebo tuleteka.”

Mr Ng’onga: Meaning?

Mr Nkombo: That means, “We are governing.” Yes, you are governing, but the only thing that is constant is change. Just as I finished making my last statement, all of us became a minute older. The engines of change continue firing from all angles. Tomorrow, it is my wish that all of you seated here be part of the Zambian pride, wherein we will not look at each other as members of the United Party for National Development (UPND), PF or MMD because, ultimately, the blood that runs in me is the same as that which runs in you.
I now come, Sir, to the issue on Page 28, about which Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa spoke. I just want to make a small correction and contextualise the situation in Zambezi. I declare interest because I married from there. So, I tend to get information from Zambezi of how people are failing to co-exist there.

Dr Kaingu sat with his head in his palms.

Mr Nkombo: The problem that is in Zambezi is real, hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and I do not want you to hold yourself like that.


Mr Speaker: He is at liberty to do so.

Mr Nkombo: What I am about to say might depress him a little more.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, the problem is not restricted to his domain and the present time. I want him to understand that it is historical. It began in a church, where one tribe thought the other should not be preached. From there, it started growing like a cancer. That is why I think that we all have a duty to protect the things that we have put in place for ourselves, in this case, the zones. The matter of tribe in Zambezi has even been presided over by the Supreme Court of this land but, then, it was basically from the Church. Then, the PF came and started moving us from one policy direction to another, notably, the policy that children must learn in vernacular languages from Grades 1 to 4. That policy has exacerbated the problem and the people are now up in arms.

Sir, maybe, in private, your Committee can tell you that it had a difficult time when it visited Zambezi and had to do its work under police protection because tempers there were very high. I know that there was an attempt by the Head of State to ameliorate this problem, but I wish that he had talked to some of us who come from there because this is not a matter that could have been dealt with in the public gallery. It is extremely sensitive. I think that the hon. Ministers who accompanied him, including some hon. Members on your right, may have let him down because he needed to be told, in no uncertain terms, that there are raw nerves around that area.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, how does one achieve a win-win situation for our brothers and sisters in Zambezi District? I would like to propose something to the hon. Minister. If he agrees with me, he should go and tell the President that the avalanche of districts that the Government has been creating should be extended to Zambezi West Bank. The place should be turned into a district and given its own administrative centre.

Sir, I say this with the greatest respect for the Luvale people.


Mr Nkombo: That is a fact, and I would say the same for the Lozi people. The reason the Lozi people have been agitating for secession is the little development that is going on in their areas. So, let us develop some infrastructure there in the form of administrative centres. You have created a district in Shibuyunji, whose administration is under a tree, and another district in Chikankata in the middle of nowhere. You have created districts where there was no necessity.

Mr Speaker, as a starting point, let us do the right thing. Teachers shun working in Zambezi West because the conditions there are very harsh. So, you should take electricity, build clinics, construct a bridge and build schools there because it is a social responsibility. People will stop rushing to the East Bank because they will start trading there. That will help reduce the conflicts.

Sir, those are the trajectories that I think the hon. Minister must consider in resolving this problem. Senior Chiefs Ishindi and Ndungu are brothers, but their subjects are forever on each other’s throats and the problem has worsened under the PF Administration. So, since the hon. Minister is an expatriate in the PF, he should help the Government to resolve this matter because I know that you are capable of doing that.
 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is capable. Therefore, I look forward to the day when I will see Hon. Ching'imbu, Hon. Sayifwanda and Hon. Konga sit in harmony to discuss ways of developing their area. Today, that is a sight that is seldom seen. I am very sure that the hon. Minister has heard.
Sir, let me now come to the issue of the textbooks which, to put things in their right perspective, were actually confiscated by one tribe from another, and the police had to retrieve them and take them to the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS’s) Office. Therefore, the policy on vernacular languages is not working in Zambezi East because pupils still learn in English. So, if you want, some of us who are married from there are available to assist you by talking to the people on your behalf in search of the way forward. You cannot resolve that matter in a public gallery. Many attempts have been made before, but to no avail. Therefore, for you not to leave the children of Zambezi District behind, you should deal with this matter expeditiously.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this report and to state, in no uncertain terms, that the issues in the Action-Taken Report and the responses, including the issue of Zambezi District, should not be left to gather dust.

Sir, had Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and I not brought this issue up, it would have just been left untouched and the report adopted. Then, after one year, you would have heard that people are hacking each other in Zambezi, and the reason would have been that this matter was relegated to a small paragraph in the Action-Taken Report.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I will be brief in my debate.

Sir, I will start my debate by quoting your report on Page 17:

“Since July, 2005, the Government of Mauritius provides free transport for all students and senior citizens. Schooling is compulsory and free up to the age of sixteen (16). The Mauritian education system has maintained the Cambridge School Certificate Examinations.”

Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister of Finance was the first to ask if we could manage. I may not understand what Cambridge is, but those who understand the meaning of Sub ‘A’ and ‘Standard I’ or ‘Standard II’ will know what we are talking about. Mauritius has maintained that system. Equally, those who sat for the Cambridge Examinations will understand it very well because they got real results.

Sir, the problem in higher education in Zambia today is a result of not maintaining the Cambridge System. Today, we have this system, tomorrow another, and yet another one the other day. In the long run, you get confused. Currently, Zambia’s education sector is at a cross-roads.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, which system are we following? We do not know.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: The educations that the hon. Minister of Finance received, the one I received and the one my child will receive are totally different. That is a mistake. In due course, leakages have even been introduced that were never heard of in the Cambridge System. In those days, when one sat for an examination, it was a real examination and, when one was declared to have passed from one stage to another, one felt genuine pride, sihulu kwa hae. “Nebabina nikubina kuli, “Mwana’aluna upasize.”


Mr Mutelo: That means, if one qualified from Grade 7 to Form 1, there was celebration in your family because you might be the only one who passed in your area. Perhaps, the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa, Dr Musokotwane, understands what I am talking about. I forgive those who do not. However, those who passed through the same situation can identify with the system we had, but have now abandoned.

Sir, somewhere in your report, it is said that, from Grade 1 to Grade12, schools will be called combined but, in another section, the same report says that schools will be comprehensive. You cannot do things like that. All this is as a result of not maintaining the initial system. We quashed the system of Standards and Sub ‘A’. The system of Standards and Sub ‘A’s was quashed and replaced with primary schools, which were also done away with and replaced with the basic and high school education system. Currently, we are vacillating between the basic and high schools, and the primary and secondary schools. That is where the problem is. Even the formulae and curricula in schools keep changing, and the teachers, lecturers and pupils are getting confused because of our failure to maintain systems. This is the cause of all the problems, yet we want to look at higher education for all the problems.

Sir, until we set up a system for ourselves and maintain it, we will not solve the problems in the education sector at all. My father, may his soul rest in peace, might not have attained higher education, but the Standards I and II that he attained was better than the Grade 12 of today. If you gave him an examination together with a Grade 12 of today, properly monitored it and made sure that there is no leakage or copying, my father would beat a Grade 12 or university student.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: That could be done if it were possible to resurrect my father. However, since he is resting, let him be so that he does not have to see what is happening currently.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, on the other hand, if my father was resurrected today and you gave him an examination together with a degree holder or Grade 12, and you allowed leakages, my father would fail.


Mr Mutelo: The people who would pass are those with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees, but of what use is that kind of passing?


Mr Mutelo: When you offload these people onto the market, they have no value. What do you call it? Value-addition?


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, nowadays, we hear of so many people graduating from one stage of the education system to another up to the university level, but there is no corresponding improvement in the abilities of the graduates because they cannot even pass the ‘A’ Level examinations. We have failed to subject pupils to a real assessment system so that only those who truly qualify or deserve to move to the next grade do so. Some of the people who proceed to higher grades do not deserve to be there, but are just being pushed there because the current system permits it. We have confused the system.

Sir, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central talked about the variables that have gone down. That language is better understood by the hon. Minister of Finance and those who studied economics. The standards have really fallen. The political, economic and, now, education standards have fallen and I do not know why.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mutelo: This is not a laughing matter, Sir. It is also not a matter for the United Party for National Development (UPND), Patriotic Front (PF), Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) or the United National Independence Party (UNIP), but one that calls for all of us, Zambians, to sit down and think deeper to find the best way forward for our children. We can blame private schools, but what we need to do is sit down and chart the way forward. There is a very big difference between the education that you, the older generation or senior citizens received and the one our children are receiving today. The gap is as big as the space between heaven and earth.


Mr Nkombo: That is the farthest distance.

Mr Mutelo: That is the reality.

Sir, someone is saying that there are no jobs. Ovyo wawana, mbata kaha, meaning, just pick whatever is on offer whether you deserve better or not. You get the things that are there.

Hon. Member: Hanjika, mwata.

Mr Mutelo: Why do we rush to get Master’s and PhD degrees? Some of you sweated to get the papers you have. However, if you obtain a qualification for which you did not sweat, you should not be proud because you are killing the nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: I would rather suffer going through the system so that, when I get the paper, I am proud of my achievement because it will add value. I am not in a hurry to get a paper just so that people can say Hon. Mutelo has this or that qualification. If I wanted, I, too, could have obtained a PhD by now.


Mr Mutelo: If I wanted a Master’s degree, I could obtain one from a university by tomorrow, and it would be very good and flowery.


Mr Mutelo: However, when I would go out onto the market, I would fail to perform. There would be nothing for me to show for the good qualification. Akuna.

Hon. Member: Copperstone.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, we have lost the system, and the question is: Which system will we maintain? A day will come when we shall put in place a system that will ensure that we maintain high standards, like it was in the UNIP days. It was wrong for us, under the MMD, to throw out everything that was associated with UNIP because not everything was bad. Everything that was under UNIP was condemned as bad. Equally, when the PF came into power, it was wrong for us to condemn everything associated with the MMD. Again, not everything was bad.

Mr Muntanga: Then, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) took over again.

Mr Mutelo: Now, politically, we have the MMD and PF.


Mr Mutelo: That is where we are now. I do not know where we are going. I am just giving examples.

Sir, come 2016, the UPND will also come in and throw away everything associated with the PF, including the good things.

Hon. UPND Member: No, we will not.

Mr Mutelo: That should not be the case because doing so is killing our nation. All of us in this House and the people are killing this nation.

An hon. Member interjected.

Mr Mutelo: We are busy eating the eggs, yes. That is a very good way of putting it.

Hon. Dr Simbyakula, think of the foundation you had laid ...


Mr Speaker: Do not debate the hon. Minister of Justice.


Mr Speaker: We do not debate ourselves. Please, address the Speaker.

Mr Mutelo: … and what is being offered today. Since we have allowed a situation in which things are done in a hurry, who am I not to want Lewanika University to open tomorrow in the Western Province? By the way, can the hon. Minister tell me when that institution will be opened because we also want to get certificates.


Mr Mutelo: When will the foundation stone for the Lewanika University be laid? When will Lukulu Secondary School be opened? In one of the Action-Taken Reports, it is stated that the school has been built and we keep hearing that it will open soon. However, the new school infrastructure is being allowed to age without the school opening because staff have not been sent there. If all we pride ourselves in is having many institutions, let us open Lukulu Secondary School even tomorrow because that is the system we have allowed. It is like institutions can be opened anytime and anywhere. We have so …


Mr Mutelo: As I promised, Mr Speaker, I will be brief.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, let us maintain one system in Zambia for the good of our nation, especially for posterity. By the way, I have a baby boy. So, for the good of that two-week old boy, whom I have not seen yet, …


Mr Mutelo: … let us leave a system that will benefit him in place.


Mr Mutelo: We do not want to leave a chaotic system for the future generations. So, let us maintain good standards and be consistent in whatever system we choose, be it primary/secondary, basic/high or Subs/Standards. Currently, I do not know what criterion is used to arrive at decisions in this sector.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I promised that I would be very brief. So, as I wind up, …


Mr Mutelo: … I want to mention that even our forefathers knew the importance of having a standardised system in administering the education sector. While Mauritius has maintained the Cambridge System in its education sector, in Zambia, people have all sorts of certificates, ranging from the Cambridge to others.

Mr Speaker, to avoid repeating myself, allow me to thank you for allowing me to make those comments. If what I have said made sense to some people, that is good. To those to whom it did not, that is also very good …


Mr Mutelo: .. because it means that I will have my own university any time soon, too, since I am allowed to do so, and I will call it Mutelo University and ...


Mr Mutelo: … offer the best Master’s and PhDs. My university will not be for programmes below a Master’s degree.

Mr Speaker, with those very few words, I thank you.


Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I can see that you have a lot of talent in this House.


Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo: Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on your Committee’s report which, I must say, is really comprehensive. In my view, it left no stone unturned and has valuable information for the Executive and us, hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, let me start by making a small correction. In 2005, I was privileged to be the hon. Minister of Education when the idea of the East Park Mall under a public-private partnership (PPP) was considered. In order to address the perennial problem of underfunding, the University of Zambia (UNZA) Council was considering ways of augmenting the resources it got from the Government. The thinking was that the Council was not supposed to just sit and continually mourn about not having enough funds to run the institution. Therefore, UNZA decided to engage the private sector and that led to the birth of the East Park Mall Project. As far as I am concerned, the East Park Mall presents us with both challenges and opportunities. For example, we should ask ourselves how we can buy into the concept and participate effectively in that commercial enterprise. One of my colleagues mentioned the food market. Surely, as Zambians, should we not strive to take over that business? We have the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC). As members of the public and individual hon. Members of Parliament, that is an opportunity for us to exploit. So, I think that the PPP concept should be appreciated from that angle.

Mr Speaker, before coming to my second point, I want to declare interest. President John F. Kennedy once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country.”

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo: Here we are debating the status of the education system in our country and, as I alluded to earlier, this report is like a mini encyclopaedia and I commend your Committee for a job well done.

Sir, some of us benefited from the free education provided by our founding fathers. Therefore, how can we continue to mourn of poor standards of education and too many private universities? Why do we not take practical steps, individually, to address these issues?

Sir, since I have already declared interest, I would like to say that I am part of a very good upcoming learning institution called Apex Medical University. I believe that the Committee interrogated staff from the university and probably visited it. That is the way it should be. The institution is run as a partnership with the Government. We know that our Government has the facilities for apprenticeship. So, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to use those public facilities.

Mr Speaker, our institution surely deserves a pat on the back for augmenting the efforts of the Government to produce the much-needed human resource in the health sector. That should be encouraged, not condemned.

Sir, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) should be given full powers and support necessary for it to ensure that the standards in both public and private institutions are of an equally high quality. We should not look the other way and allow standards in public universities to deteriorate while holding private institutions to high standards. In the health sector, there is no room for mediocrity because life is sacred. So, let us fund the HEA to the best of our ability.

Mr Speaker, as an entrepreneur, I got together with five colleagues to start City University College of Science and Technology, and I am very happy with the regulatory authorities because, when we presented our programmes for the institution, I was reminded that I had been an hon. Minister and was a legislator who, therefore, was supposed to obey the laws that I had helped to put in place. I was not given any special treatment and I agreed with my colleagues that, that was how it was supposed to be.

Mr Speaker, as your Committee has clearly observed, there is a lot to be done in terms of standardisation of curricula, programmes, infrastructure and equipment in our private universities because we are all geared to provide the best education possible. The best gift that anybody can give to another person on earth is education and skills training.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hallelujah!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: The rest can vanish, but education is indelible.

Mr Speaker, as a way of, perhaps, emphasising what your Committee has found, I wish to state that, if we put all the emphasis on general education, with respect to the social sciences, but do not teach people how to count, we will not achieve much because everything in life depends, to a large extent, on numbers. The idea of time, seasons, the amounts of fertiliser to apply, quantity of sugar to put in a cup of tea and many others all hinge on numbers. So, if our emphasis is on general education at the expense of the sciences at the secondary school level, then, we are missing the point. When the Hansard is read, maybe, twenty or fifty years from now, someone will say, “Here is where they got it wrong.”

Sir, the universities that we are building all over are a good idea, but can we balance them, I plead. The system we used to have in my early days, a long time ago, whereby there were streams for those with an inclination to vocational training, science and languages, was good. I think I was one of the last pupils in Zambia to learn Latin. I read Julius Caesar in Latin. There were options according to the talents of our young people then. Can we bring that system back.

Mr Speaker, I now see the Government changing from the basic/high school to the primary/secondary education and we have a new curriculum that was imposed on the classroom and, then, we go backwards and say, “We shall train them.” Why do we do things like that? Why not train trainers of trainers and send them into teacher’s colleges to train the future teachers, rather than pushing these things to the classroom? Why are you in such a hurry to cause more damage? Really, we must review things because there is no difference in the way our young people look at us, leaders, whether in the Executive or not? We are all in the Government. So, when things go wrong, it is hard for anyone to say, “It is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s fault.” We are all liable to be blamed. So, my plea is: Can we, maybe, call an indaba and discuss so that we have consensus on issues affecting our education system.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has been thorough. The issue of underfunding is very critical. Like we, in our time, came up with the concept of constructing East Park Mall, the university lecturers and professors should use their high expertise and research skills to find solutions to the problem. Hon. Minister, we must apportion funds to research. If we do not, we will just keep regurgitating what others have done.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: New knowledge can only come through research.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I hope that, in the next Budget, some appreciable amount of money will be allocated to research in various institutions. We may not get the results immediately but, for sure, once we start getting good results, they will contribute to the development of our country. So, underfunding should not be a big issue but, since we owe the universities a lot of money, let us find ways of liquidating the debt. The lecturers must also be informed that they have offices and brains. They are not university lecturers by accident. Surely, they must submit proposals for research that will bring money not only to themselves, but also to the institution. That is how universities can grow.

Mr Speaker, I am a man of very few words, but let me state that, overall, the science education is very important. If we invest in education and skills training, maybe, even when our roads are dilapidated, the products of our education system will still strive to develop our country through value addition. I am sure, given the hon. Minister of Finance’s statement to the House the other day, in which he talked about the need for us to come up with new areas of generating wealth, certainly, science and skills training, is one way to go.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I just want to state that I think that it is important that, as private entities struggle to establish universities, we should identify some universities that meet certain benchmarks and use public money to fund them and ask them to repay the money over time, perhaps, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), or simply sponsor some students in those institutions. Surely, there must be a thrust in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to produce a certain number of graduates in a given discipline. Why not identify a university to which that task can be outsourced or one that the ministry can collaborate with so that, over two to five years, the required graduate numbers can be reached earlier than when public universities undertake the training alone? This is an idea, and I think that it was mentioned in your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you and your Committee for the truly well researched report, which must be taken seriously by everybody, both in the public as well as the private sectors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing a mother’s voice to be heard in the debate on the Floor of the House. From the outset, I commend the mover and the seconder of this very important Motion and thank your Committee for a very well-articulated report. Your Committee did a commendable job in bringing out the issues that affect higher education in Zambia, particularly the challenges faced by the sector.

Mr Speaker, one important challenge, especially for us, mothers who want to send our children to higher institutions of learning for further education, is that of infrastructure, which has been talked about on the Floor of this House many times, not only with regard to private higher institutions, but even our major universities like the University of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, due to a lack of accommodation in our institutions, our girls squat with other students or rent in the compounds around the university to make the distance from the university to their residences short. In the process, they end up having their future destroyed by getting impregnated by sugar daddies and other men. As a result, many parents are very worried about this situation.

Mr Nkombo: And sugar mummies.

Mrs Masebo: Yes, and sugar mummies, but better a sugar mummy than a sugar daddy.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, we have been told that the reason we have inadequate infrastructure is the lack of funding. Therefore, the Committee recommends that the Government improves its funding of universities. However, on many occasions, we have also been told on the Floor of the House that successive governments have tried to increase the amount of resources going to the education sector and that, unfortunately, even those increments do not seem to help. So, it appears to me that, whilst we bemoan inadequate funding as the major issue, we must also look at the way the meagre funds and other resources that are made available are used. Your Committee’s report states that over 54 per cent of the funding comes from Government grants while the rest is from fees and other sources, the fees charged are uneconomic and that most of the money mobilised goes towards salaries and operational costs only, meaning that there is very little money for infrastructure development. Even when there is funding earmarked for infrastructure development, the money is not released on time or it is not released at all.

Mr Speaker, the point I want to make is that we need to reach a point, as a country, where we prioritise our needs against our meagre resources. Even when the Government disburses the meagre resources, those of us who are responsible for that money must decide on what priorities it must be spent. Otherwise, we will not make any progress.

Mr Speaker, it is very sad that the University of Zambia (UNZA) is failing to maintain even the most basic of sanitation conditions. One day, I went to visit a nephew and I cried when I saw the conditions at the institution. I felt very sad because I was once a student there and what I saw that day was very different from the UNZA of which I used to be a student. The hostels in which we used to sleep, the beddings, the kitchen and our diet were like those of a five-star hotel. Now, the bathrooms and toilets are so pathetic that I could not believe what I was seeing. I cannot even describe the situation. There was human excreta all around. When we are failing, as country, even in the basic task of cleaning toilets, then, should you wonder why our universities are producing the kind of graduates they are producing? What kind of quality do you expect to get from that kind of environment?

Mr Speaker, successive Committee reports have raised these issues on the Floor of this House, but there has been no improvement. We are now in the third decade since we took over from Dr Kaunda, yet nothing has happened. In fact, I should say, “Thank you” to Dr Kaunda and the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government because, at least, we went to good schools. They put money where it was most needed. Otherwise, we would not be standing here to speak this English, although it might be broken. Unfortunately, we, the same people who benefited from free education and are now calling the shots, are failing to provide our children with basic things like good sanitation facilities, yet we continue coming here with report after report, wasting resources and time.

Mr Speaker, my colleague and brother here, Hon. Kazabu, was telling me that he had been to Rwanda and was shocked that such a small country with a small economy is able to provide one free computer for every school child. We, on the other hand, are still talking about toilets, which are a basic necessity, and we sit here and say that we are governing the country. What are we governing, surely?

Mr Speaker, it is not true that it cannot be done. It can be done. It is just a question of our priorities. We have prioritised bye-elections, opening up of new missions abroad and overseas trips for hon. Ministers, hon. Members of Parliament and chief executives in the country. That is what this country is all about. So, we need to get to a point where we look at what the real issues are. Otherwise, we will just be debating without coming up with real solutions. At the end of the day, it will just become a job for us to get a sitting allowance.

Mr Speaker, Page 13 of your report reveals another problem, namely, inconsistencies in the policies of this Government and our expert advisers. This is a country of inconsistencies. I do not wish to narrow this problem down to a political party or a section of the Government, but to see it as a problem for the country as a whole.

Sir, where are we coming from? I hear that the United Party for National Development (UPND) will be in Government next year but, even if that happened, you would still see the same things continue to plague us if we are not careful …

Mr Nkombo: No!

Hon. UPND Members: No!

Mrs Masebo: … because even the UPND might just poach somebody with the same ideas. So, may not make any progress. Let us address the issues first of all. There should be clarity of policies. What are the issues?

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mrs Masebo: Iwe, naiwe, nkala pansi.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for this opportunity to raise a point of order.

Sir, we, members of the United Party for National Development (UPND), are listening to a PF member lamenting the failures of her party. It is true that the UPND has never set foot in the corridors of power. Is she in order to drag my party into her lamentations of her party’s failures and expect us to just remain with our hands folded? We know clearly that our party and hers are very different, starting from the top to the bottom.

I seek your ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is simple.

Hon. Member for Chongwe, let us not debate ourselves. It is as simple as that. There is a Motion. Let us confine ourselves to the issues it has raised.  

You may continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the guidance.

Sir, I was raising the issue of inconsistencies on policies. My argument was directed at those who come up with policies, those who implement them and the experts who advise the other two. I will come back to that later.

Sir, on Page 11 of this report, your Committee makes the following recommendation arising from the interviews it had with some experts in the education sector:

“Specific recommendations were as set out below:

“(i)    Ministry of Science, Technology, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training should be established as a stand-alone ministry in order to avoid relegation of scientific, technological, vocational and entrepreneurship development to lesser priority.”

Sir, this is a recommendation on a policy matter. However, the current Government, which came up with the policy of merging the ministries has been in power for only four years. It is still a new Administration, and I would like to believe that the decision to merge the ministries was informed by expert advice. I also remember that, six or seven years ago, a report that recommended the merging of ministries was presented on the Floor of this House. Today, only three years after that recommendation was implemented, the experts have advised your Committee that we should dismantle the ministries. That is an example of the policy inconsistencies I am talking about in this country, and it is why we do not move forward. It means that, if the UPND comes into power next year, it will cut the ministry into two. Three years later, mid-stream, somebody will come up with another report and say that the UPND Government had made a mistake and recommend the merging of the two ministries again.

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, we are seated here listening very quietly to the counter debate by my sister. However, is she in order to give false hope to people she knows will never form a Government, at least, not in the next fifty years?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chongwe, I have already ruled that we do not debate ourselves, and I think that, to avoid this flurry of points of order, please, if you can, avoid referring to any political grouping so that you do not end up debating your colleagues here, who represent those political groupings. When you debate your colleagues, you end up provoking these points of order, which arrest progress. We are wasting time.

You may proceed.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the other point that I want to make, in order to emphasise on the inconsistencies in policies and, sometimes, the lack of focus and understanding of issues, all of which lead to the making of recommendations that do not provide real answers to our problems, is on Page 14. On that page, the report says that some of the technical, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET) colleges that have infrastructure are grossly under-utilised because the demand for technical and vocational training is low, and that student enrolment levels in those institutions are below full capacity. A case in point is Kitwe Vocational Training Centre (KVTC), where only eighty-nine students were enrolled in 2013, against a capacity of 600 students. Consequently, your Committee has recommended that the Government embarks on a vigorous campaign to promote the full utilisation of the facilities by raising demand for technical and vocational skills in industry and creating industries that rely on such skills. Again, you see that this recommendation is not even the right one because the real problem, here, is not that people do not know about these colleges or that they do not have interest in acquiring vocational skills. The problem is that most of the parents of the children who are supposed to go into the TEVET institutions cannot pay the fees that are charged by the institutions. What the Government should do is sponsor children who cannot pay for themselves in those institutions. There should be a bursary scheme for higher learning colleges similar to the one at UNZA.

Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that we must be very clear about what the issues are, and come up with clear recommendations so that those who are responsible can do the right thing. What will happen, if the ministry adopts the recommendation to create awareness on TEVET colleges, is that it will start spending money on advertisements and other publicity materials when awareness is not the problem. Maybe, that money the ministry would use for advertisements could be used to pay tuition fees and help children who want to train at those colleges.

Mr Speaker, the other point is that we have heard from the report that there are universities and colleges which are mushrooming even in markets. Even I can also just wake up tomorrow, go to Chongwe Market and establish a Masebo University. Yes, we are all saying that the Higher Education Authority (HEA) will help us keep the standards, but we established that institution in 2011. We are now in 2015, but still talking about the fact that it is not yet fully operationalised. I do not even know whether it will be fully established before the end of this year, looking at the gloomy picture of our economy that the hon. Minister of Finance painted a few days ago. The point I want to raise, again, is that we do not really have to wait for the HEA to be fully established because we have enough pieces of legislation, rules and regulations that the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education can use immediately to close the bogus mushrooming universities.

Sir, the problem that we have, as a country, is the obsession with creating institutions when we do not even have the capacity to adequately resource them. We seem to think that creating many quasi-governmental institutions is the only way to go. Yes, the institutions help, especially if we had enough resources to fund them. However, when we do not have adequate resources, the situation can even get worse.

Sir, if I opened a university in a market, and the conditions were not good enough, that school could be closed without any ceremony or a big institution being established. So, we should start doing the little things that we can do within our means, instead of our becoming a mere talking shop. Besides, even after the HEA becomes fully functional, it will still be difficult to instil discipline in the private universities because the Government universities are not any better. How do you tell a private person that his toilet is not clean when the toilet at a Government university is worse off? Therefore, let us do what we can within our means so that people can see that we are doing something to correct the situation. These things can be done because they have been done before. We have had good universities and university administrators, and leaders who provided quality education despite having been not as educated as we are today. They were able to produce the high-calibre graduates who are now running this country, as hon. Members of Parliament, hon. Ministers or managers here and there. Today, we have leaders who are professors and doctors while others have Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees.

Mr Speaker, I understand the issues that have been brought out in the report, but the real question is: How will we resolve them? Are we really serious about resolving them? Are we taking the necessary steps to show the people and our children that we really care about their education, and that we are putting money where it is needed? For me, the answer is no. I say this because, clearly, as a country, we have our priorities upside-down.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: I think that we have debated this Motion quite extensively. Therefore, I will now allow the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to respond to some of the issues that have been raised.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to make some comments on this rigorous and very comprehensive report that has been produced by your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I agree with what your hon. Members who have debated before me have said. Indeed, this is a wonderful report that addresses most of the problems in the education sector.

Sir, the report has made a number of observations and recommendations on the challenges of delivering quality education in institutions of higher learning. In that regard, I wish to inform the House that my ministry has a strategic approach to addressing the challenges identified in the report and those that have arisen from the debate on the Floor of the House. We have short, medium, and long-term plans for addressing factors hindering the delivery of quality education in our institutions. One of the plans is meant to address the salary disparities in the ministry, and I would like to inform the House that we engaged stakeholders, such as the Management Development Division (MDD) of Cabinet Office and union leaders, to help us solve the problem.  

Mr Speaker, I know that the problem of salary disparities is not unique to my ministry, as it also affects most of the other ministries and departments because it was created in 2012 when we were trying to normalise the salary increments. However, a lot of progress has been made, so far. For instance, an institutional assessment of the entire ministry was undertaken last year and, later this month, the ministry will start developing a strategic plan for the years 2016-2020, which will be followed by the restructuring of the ministry and its salary scales. The ministry will be restructured in time for the new structures to be included in the 2016 Budget.

Mr Speaker, it has also been observed that the Government has paid more attention to general education at the expense of science and technology. As the House might be aware, the education sector budget takes up about 20 per cent of our National Budget. This is because the challenges in the education sector are at all levels. Our focus, as a ministry, was to attain the Second Millennium Development Goal, which was, “Achieve Universal Primary Education and Education for All by 2015,” which I am glad to announce to this House that the country has since achieved.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the problems that have been itemised in the report of your Committee are not Patriotic Front (PF) problems. So, those who are trying to associate these problems with the current Government are being unfair to themselves. Our focus, as a country, should now shift to skills training, which is the backbone of any young economy.

Mr Speaker, at this juncture, I would like to adopt the debate of Hon. Hamududu as mine. Let me also use excerpts from the book that Mr Speaker and I shared titled “The Race Between Education and Technology.” In the early 20th Century, most European countries focused their attention on elite education while the United States of America (USA) focused its on developing technologists, artisans and technicians. For that reason, the USA developed faster than most of the countries in Europe.

Sir, Hon. Hamududu is right when he states that artisans, technicians and technologists are the backbone of any economy. The developed economies of the world were not developed by scientists, engineers or degree holders.  However, I want you to understand, and I heard this in your debates, that our focus has always been on getting university degrees. However, like you rightly put it, the men who have done very well in entrepreneurship, such as Mr Bill Gates, owner of Microsoft, and Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Airlines, did not get the university degrees for which we jostle. Even Oprah Winfrey, from the other gender, has done very well for herself and exhibited wonderful knowledge, which everyone has appreciated, yet she does not have a university degree. Maybe, our focus was misplaced.

Mr Speaker, immediately after Independence, it was alright for Zambia to sponsor university students because we wanted to quickly develop a human resource capable of running our economy. However, I strongly believe that we should have quickly re-focused our attention on sponsoring the training of technologists, artisans and technicians. Perhaps, our economy would have been flourishing today.

Mr Speaker, like a razor blade or gun, education is a tool that can be used according to the purpose for which one wants it. If one goes to university merely to get a paper, as Hon. Mutelo put it, then, the university will not work for him or her, and it is true that, for a long time, Zambians were very happy to obtain papers, but failed to apply the education that they gained from the institutions of learning. We have heard from one of us, a former Vice Chancellor and hon. Minister of Education, that we have not done enough, but I want to appeal that we be fair to ourselves.

Mr Nkombo: On a procedural point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing it.  

Continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Kaingu: I am winding up. What is wrong?


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Nchelenge talked about the mushrooming of universities. I would not use such a disparaging term on universities because I am aware that, as a country, we have failed to admit more than 0.8 per cent of our students into public universities, but the private universities that have come up have helped to mitigate the problem of a lack of adequate places in public institutions of higher learning. Indeed, it is important that we monitor the quality of education provided in both public and private universities. As Hon. Masebo has said, we have the tools to do that even before we operationalise the Higher Education Authority (HEA). We have an interim body that looks into these issues. We also have a regulatory framework that includes the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) and the Zambia National Qualification Authority (ZNQA).

Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa talked about private schools. Sir, when we compared the 2014 examination results from public and private schools, we found that the private schools had performed much better than the public ones. So, I do not know whether we can continue calling them names when they are outperforming our public schools. Like I have said already, the problem is not a PF one because it is much older.

Sir, I agree with Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa that we need to change what happens at the University of Zambia (UNZA). If you were to visit UNZA today, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, you would be very surprised to see that it is no longer the institution that you left. It no longer looks like an institution of higher learning. The activities there will make you think that it is a market place. So, it is not only private institutions that you should disparage because even UNZA is a sorry sight. That said, it is my job, ladies and gentlemen, to fix the problem and I will do just that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to remind the hon. Member for Nalikwanda that there are three domains of imparting knowledge in a learner, and these are cognitive, affective and psychomotor. Our focus, as a country, has been on cognitive learning, which is intended to develop the mind, and we did not combine it with affective learning, which aims at developing appropriate attitudes and passions, and psychomotor learning, which aims at developing the skills necessary to actualise the knowledge that has been obtained. The last domain has been the most neglected in our education system by my predecessors, …


Dr Kaingu: … and it is now my job to rectify the situation.

Sir, when a learner passes Grade 7, they will have the option of either going for vocational training or academic education. We have established a tier system that our learners can follow.

Mr Speaker, there are so many areas that I could have debated, but let me end by commenting on the sad situation in Zambezi District.

Sir, we want to insist, and the President has emphasised, that we are one Zambia, one Nation. We should not be separated by the zonal languages. To that effect, my ministry has tried to bring the people in that conflict together and make them understand the zones that we recognise were not delimited by my ministry alone. My predecessors, like Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa will agree with me on that. We brought stakeholders together to discuss the linguistic zoning of the regions. Therefore, what is happening in Zambezi is very unfortunate, and I think that the scope of the problem transcends my ministry to include the House of Chiefs which, I think, is the best institution to handle the problem.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of your Committee and mover of the Motion, and your Committee for the this wonderful report. I assure them that it will not gather dust, as was insinuated.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I thank, most sincerely, all the seven hon. Members of Parliament who have debated and the hon. Minister for supporting the Motion. I take note of the fact that, for the first time, there has been full consensus between the Ruling Party and the Opposition on a Motion. In other words, there has been true bipartisanship over this matter, and that is how it ought to be.

Sir, given the hon. Minister’s assurance, we hope that the challenges that we have identified in the report will be addressed and that the report will not be allowed to gather dust on some shelf.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 8th June, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, based on its terms of reference, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely:

(a)    Review of the Progress Made by Zambia Towards Achieving the Health-Related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Numbers 4, 5 and 6; and

(b)    Zambia’s Preparedness Against the Possible Outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Mr Speaker, in order to appreciate the situation on the ground regarding the areas of the study, your Committee toured selected health institutions and ports of entry in Lusaka, the Eastern, Muchinga and Copperbelt provinces. Your Committee further reviewed the Action-Taken Report on your previous Committee’s report for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, I believe that hon. Members have taken time to read your Committee’s report. Therefore, I will only highlight the salient issues contained in it, starting with your Committee’s study on the progress made by Zambia towards achieving the health-related MDG Numbers 4, 5 and 6, which are as follows:

(a)    MDG Number 4: Reduce Child Mortality;

(b)    MDG Number 5: Improve Maternal Health; and

(c)    MDG Number 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, Malaria and other diseases.

Mr Speaker, it is a fact that maternal mortality remains high in Zambia despite the observed decline. According to the Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS) of 2015, the maternal mortality rate is at 398 deaths per 100,000 live births. This means that Zambia would have to reduce the maternal deaths further by 236 to reach the MDG 5 target of 162.3 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. Your Committee further notes that maternity waiting homes promote institutional deliveries in areas where women have to travel long distances to access maternal health services.

Sir, in order to sustain the gains in the reduction of maternal mortality and make progress towards achieving MDG Number five, your Committee recommends that the Government constructs maternity waiting homes or mothers shelters in health facilities where they are non-existent. Furthermore, the Government should continue sensitising pregnant women on the importance of seeking early antenatal care services and delivering in health facilities.

Mr Speaker, malaria continues to be a major public health concern in Zambia, as it is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in Zambia.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that your Committee is saddened by the report from stakeholders that there had been a resurgence of malaria in the recent past. This is a reversal of the gains that had been made in malaria control up to 2009. It is for this reason that your Committee urges the Ministry of Health to intensify interventions like the distribution of insecticide treated mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying to contain the resurgence.

Mr Speaker, the financial resources allocated to the health sector are inadequate, considering the many health programmes competing for those resources. This is evidenced by the net personnel recruitment freeze of 2014, which was intended to provide sufficient fiscal space for service provision, despite the shortage of skilled personnel in the health sector. Further, in spite of the reported increase in Government funding to the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) in 2013, the programme still has a 53 per cent funding deficit, that is, the Government funding in 2013 was US$24.8 million against the annual required budget of US$52.8 million. In light of the above, your Committee recommends that adequate financial resources be allocated to the health sector to improve service delivery at all levels and accelerate the attainment of the health-related MDGs, namely, Number 4, 5 and 6. As you may recall, the allocation to the health sector in 2015 is at 10 per cent of the National Budget. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to comply with the Abuja Declaration, which requires governments to allocate, at least, 15 per cent of their budgets to the health sector.

Sir, most health facilities in the country do not have sufficient medical equipment for the provision of effective health services like diagnosis and management of diseases, and provision of emergency obstetrics and newborn care services. Your Committee is of the view that this decelerates the efforts to attain the health-related MDGs.

Sir, your Committee observed, while on tour, that some of the equipment required urgently is haematology and chemistry machines, ultra-sound machines and incubators. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Ministry of Health procures sufficient and appropriate medical equipment for all health facilities around the country.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes, with great concern, that the medical and non-medical equipment in public health facilities is rarely serviced, leading to frequent breakdowns. For example, the laundry equipment at Chipata General Hospital is faulty and has remained unused. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Health revisits its current policy on the servicing and maintenance of medical and non-medical equipment. The ministry should also build its technical and financial capacity at the national level and provincial levels through the devolution of financial resources to the provinces. The current situation in which some very expensive equipment is allowed to remain faulty and not be used is unacceptable.

Sir, let me comment on the medical drugs sector. It seems that there is a problem with the drug supply chain management, as evidenced by the reported inconsistent supply of some drugs, such as adult and paediatric anti-retroviral (ARV) and other essential drugs to health facilities. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Ministry of Health to address the problems associated with the supply chain management in order to deal with the reported inconsistent supply of some drugs in health facilities.

Mr Speaker, the health sector suffers from a critical shortage of skilled personnel like midwives and paediatricians, who are key in implementing MDG-related programmes. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government prioritises the recruitment of skilled health workers to address the critical shortage of staff in the sector. The Ministry of Health should further expedite the construction and opening of the Chainama Training Institute, which is expected to train various cadres of health personnel.

Mr Speaker, the staff establishments of a number of health facilities are small. To compound the problem, not all positions on those establishments are funded. Your Committee noted some instances in which skilled personnel was available, but could not be employed due to limitations of the staff establishments. Thus, some health facilities requiring, for example, paediatricians, and tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS specialists are constrained from recruiting them by the limited establishments. For example, St Francis Mission Hospital, a second-level hospital, has no paediatrician because that position was frozen in 2012. In a related case, only 41 per cent of the establishment at Chongwe District Hospital is funded. In view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that the ministries of Health, and Community Development, Mother and Child Health review and expand the current staff establishments in health facilities. This will enable the health facilities to increase their staffing levels to meet the growing demand and required expertise. Further, all positions on the current staff establishments that are not funded should be funded to allow the concerned facilities to have the required staff.

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the irregular disbursement of the monthly Government grants to health facilities. When your Committee was touring selected health institutions in April, 2015, some health facilities had only received the grants for two months in 2015. Your Committee also discovered that, in 2014, most health facilities only received grants for nine months. As a way forward, and to avoid disrupting service delivery, your Committee recommends that the Government regularly and promptly disburses the monthly grants to health facilities.

Sir, regarding the referrals, it seems that the system disadvantages clients who live very close to referral hospitals. Clients are asked to leave a referral hospital near them to look for a clinic elsewhere that can, then, refer them to seek services at the referral hospital. In that regard, your Committee urges the Ministry of Health to explore the possibility of allowing clients living very close to referral hospitals to access health services at those hospitals instead of their having to seek those services elsewhere.

Mr Speaker, regarding Zambia’s preparedness against a possible outbreak of the Ebola Virus disease, your Committee notes that the Government has taken important steps to enhance the nation’s preparedness. However, efforts are being hampered by the inadequate health personnel in the health sector because additional personnel are required to execute the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic Preparedness and Response Plan. In view of the negative consequences that the shortage of health personnel is having on this programme, your Committee urges the Government to lift the employment freeze in the sector to improve service delivery and boost preparedness against a possible outbreak of diseases like Ebola.

Mr Speaker, the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and West Africa exposed the country’s inadequacies in relation to preparedness for outbreaks of infectious diseases. The country lacks a treatment unit and isolation facilities in a number of provinces and districts for quarantining cases of infectious diseases, among other things. Further, there a no dedicated and trained cadre of staff to handle such situations. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Health embarks on the construction of suitable infrastructure necessary for the management of infectious diseases, such as isolation facilities and laboratories for conducting relevant tests. The Government is further urged to continue being vigilant, expedite the construction of the treatment unit in Mwembeshi and train more staff to handle possible Ebola cases.

Sir, regarding health equipment, your Committee bemoans the fact that the Ministry of Health purchases very expensive equipment, such as thermal scanners, that only function for a short period. Your Committee is of the view that the purchase of equipment whose software the local technicians do not understand, and whose manuals are in languages other than English, is unacceptable.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, related to the foregoing, your Committee is disappointed with reports that some very important persons, including hon. Ministers and senior Government officials, resist being screened for Ebola. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Ministry of Health sensitises the public, including very important persons, on the importance of being screened at points of entry and the need to allow port health staff to perform their duties effectively. Your Committee also recommends, accordingly, that the Ministry of Health stops importing sub-standard equipment that only works for a few months, which has proven to be expensive, as the ministry has continued to consult experts from outside the country after the expiry of warranties.

As I conclude, Mr Speaker, I thank you, on behalf of your Committee, for the guidance you provided to it during the year. Allow me also to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice and services rendered to your Committee during the year. Your Committee is also indebted to all the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary memoranda and oral briefs. My appreciation further goes to all the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to the Committee’s work, which made my work, as Chairperson, easy.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mrs Masebo: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to second the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.

Sir, this is a very important Motion, and I thank the mover for ably highlighting the salient issues contained in your Committee’s report. However, as I second the Motion, I wish to point out a few additional issues related to the two topical issues considered by your Committee.
Mr Speaker, regarding the review of the progress made by Zambia towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Numbers 4, 5 and 6, your Committee is concerned about the reported cases of unsafe abortion being presented to health facilities, especially given that Zambia needs to further reduce maternal mortality and improve maternal health. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Ministry of Health devises measures to reduce the reported cases of unsafe abortion. Your Committee is of the view that unwanted pregnancies should be prevented by ensuring that every woman in need of family planning services accesses them without difficulty.

Mr Speaker, it has been argued that there might not be a clear solution to the issue of abortion and that some policy options may have some unintended consequences. The issue of abortion is also socially complex. In light of the above, your Committee further urges the Government to undertake exhaustive consultations with all the relevant stakeholders on the law on abortion in Zambia. This should be done in order to decide how best to implement the legal abortion policy in the country.

Sir, your Committee observes that some religious and cultural beliefs negatively affect the uptake of certain health services, such as family planning, child immunisation and anti-retroviral therapy (ART). Therefore, your Committee recommends that the Ministry of Health embarks on massive targeted sensitisation campaigns in communities that shun family planning and immunisation services in order to educate them on the importance of these services. The ministry should also explore the possibility of partnering with hon. Members of Parliament and councillors in sensitising communities on important health issues, such as family planning and immunisation services. The ministry should further engage religious groupings on the issue of some religious leaders advising their members not to take anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observes that most HIV/AIDS programmes are donor-funded, which raises concerns over their sustainability, considering that there has been a decline in donor funding to the health sector in the recent past for various reasons. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to take ownership of HIV programmes by allocating adequate resources to the provision of quality HIV/AIDS services.

Sir, the tour undertaken by your Committee revealed that there is inadequate infrastructure for the provision of some services in some health facilities. For instance, some facilities have no proper maternity wards, Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and laboratories. According to the report of your Expanded Committee on Estimates for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, the allocation to medical infrastructure development, as a proportion of the Budget has remained the same, at 1 per cent, in 2014 and 2015. Your Committee is of the view that the Government can do better in funding the development of medical infrastructure.

Mr Speaker, while being aware of the Government’s efforts in the construction of 650 rural health posts, your Committee recommends that the Government embarks on a deliberate expansion and modernisation programme, especially for old first and second-level health facilities in order to meet the growing population and demand for quality services. The health facilities that your Committee visited need stand-by electricity generators as an alternative source of power in the event of power failures or load-shedding, especially now when we have load-shedding on a daily basis. For that reason, your Committee urges the Ministry of Health to expedite the provision of stand-by electricity generators to all health facilities in the country, starting with Chongwe District.

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the persistent complaints about the general bad attitude of health workers, especially nurses. Your Committee heard that, in some instances, nurses have even insulted patients. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Ministry of Health to ensure that training institutions also teach trainee health workers the need for professional conduct and respect for patients in performance of their duties.

Sir, your Committee also observes that malnutrition contributes to morbidity and mortality among under-five children. For example, the data obtained at St. Francis Mission and Chipata general hospitals indicates that malnutrition is a leading cause of mortality in under-five children. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government should adequately fund and scale up high-impact interventions against malnutrition in children. In addition, the Government should train a cadre of nutritionist so that nutrition programmes and policies are implemented effectively and efficiently.

Sir, allow me, now, to point out a few issues pertaining to Zambia’s preparedness against a possible outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.

Sir, despite K106,142,459 being dedicated to the Ebola Virus Disease Epidemic Preparedness and Response Plan, institutions that were visited by your Committee bemoaned the irregular and inadequate funding for Ebola activities. So, while acknowledging that the spreading of the disease appears to be slowing down, your Committee urges the Government to release the necessary funding for preparedness activities on a regular basis and ensure that the funding is adequate. That should be sustained until there is absolutely no threat of an outbreak. Somehow, there is a feeling that things are okay and, therefore, we have become complacent.

Mr Speaker, some of the country’s border posts do not have isolation facilities, as already stated by the Chairperson of your Committee, in particular, Nakonde and Mwami border posts. Your Committee urges the Ministry of Health to ensure that all ports of entry have functional facilities for quarantining suspected cases of infectious diseases like Ebola to avoid putting staff at risk of infection and minimise the transmission of diseases in the event of an outbreak. Your Committee further observes that staff and screening equipment are inadequate at the country’s ports of entry, such as airports and border posts, and recommends that more health staff and screening equipment be deployed to points of entry to avoid overcrowding and queuing for screening, as that could lead to rapid transmission of infectious diseases, including Ebola.

In conclusion, Sir, I thank you, on behalf of the members of your Committee, for allowing us to serve on your Committee. I further thank the members of your Committee for giving me the opportunity to second this important Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Thank you, Sir, for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion.

Sir, the issues that are raised in your Committee’s report are very pertinent and important. As I debate them, I will try to speak from the investment point of view of the health facilities because we are part of the global village and, that being the case, we are part of the global undertaking to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Let me start by talking about the maternal and child mortality rates.

Sir, in this country, there is a concentration of health facilities in the urban areas, and provincial and district centres, yet we know that Zambia is bigger than that. The outlying areas are badly affected but, unfortunately, oftentimes, the statistics are not available because even statisticians do not reach those areas. Who would care to know whether a woman died in labour at a school called Nangili? How many people here even know Nangili? I suppose nobody does, except the hon. Member of Parliament and her predecessors. So, the rural areas of our country are neglected. Who knows the remotest part of Lundazi and cares to collect the statistics on women who have died whilst giving birth in that area? It is only the hon. Member of Parliament and his predecessors because they have been there.

Sir, there is not much investment in health facilities in rural areas by line ministries. Most hon. Members representing rural constituencies invest the meagre Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in these facilities. I have often mentioned on the Floor of this House that the Ministry of Health and other line ministries want to put more money in health facilities in urban areas where things seem to be okay. For that reason, I suggest that the CDF be skewed in such a way that rural constituencies get more than the urban ones because the little money that we get as the CDF is what we use to invest in the health facilities. The implications of this situation are that most of our mothers give birth in grass-thatched huts with no proper facilities while those who are determined to seek health care have to walk long distances. In the process, some of them give birth on the way and, sometimes, both the mother and the child die. For example, Luena Constituency is about 140 km long. It stretches from a place called Nalwei right up to the Zambezi River. That is equivalent to the distance between Lusaka and Kabwe, an area in which there are six constituencies, namely, Mandevu, Katuba, Keembe, Chisamba, Bwacha and Kabwe Central. Therefore, the Ministry of Health should consider putting more money in rural health facilities because their catchment areas are much larger in our big rural constituencies.

Sir, we have been told that 560 health posts are earmarked for construction countrywide. In Luena, there was a ground-breaking ceremony for four health posts but, to date, not even a stone has been laid at any of the sites. There is a place in Nangili where we invested the CDF and built two structures, one for those who look after the patients and another to serve as the actual medical centre. However, the facility is not complete because we are still waiting for the CDF to construct the remaining structures, namely, ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets. Further, when the local community heard that the Government would build a health centre in their area, they got so excited that they wanted to abandon the construction of the old one in preference of the one that the Government had promised to build. Now, they have come back to me and asked me to go ahead with the construction of the facility because there is no progress on the one that the Government promised them. The site that was chosen for the construction of the Government facility is still a bush. In fact, no one knows the exact spot where the Government will build its facility. So, the people of Luena have decided to complete their own facility.

Mr Speaker, if we are to attain the health-MDGs, we need to be serious, as a Government. Let us invest in rural health posts so that our women can have access to such facilities. That way, we can lower the mortality rate.

Sir, malaria remains one of the major killers of our people. So, we should be serious about it. Once, one of the interventions in tackling malaria was the use of mosquito nets, and it worked very well. However, the last time I heard about the use of mosquito nets in my constituency was when some politician, to make political capital, went there with the media and announced that mosquito nets would be given out. The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) news crew was there and reported that the women there were receiving mosquito nets when, in fact, those women did not receive any mosquito nets. That was very unfortunate. We need to be serious about fighting malaria.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about HIV/AIDS. When talking about HIV/AIDS, there are issues of prevention and sensitisation. However, how do you prevent HIV/AIDS in a population that is very poor? How do you lower the infection rates? You will recall that, some years back, there was an uproar in this House when I informed you that about thirty girls had been impregnated by some police officers. Those girls were impregnated because of poverty. They leave their homes with chimbala and tushombo just to find somebody who gives them chicken, tinned fish and other things they cannot afford for themselves. What do you expect them to do? They will get those things in exchange for sex. So, the issue of poverty is very cardinal in preventing HIV/AIDS infections. Good nutrition is very important for people who are infected so that the HIV does not progress to full-blown AIDS. However, the people in rural areas cannot afford good nutrition due to high poverty levels. The progression rate is high because, even if people are able to walk long distances to access anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs, they cannot take them on empty stomachs. They need to have a good diet, but they cannot afford it. Therefore, this is an issue that we need to address, as a country and I hope that the relevant authorities are listening.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about indiscipline among health workers. Recently, we read a story about a woman who died in Livingstone. She had repeatedly called out to a nurse for help, but the nurse was too busy to attend to her. By the time the nurse realised that the woman’s condition was serious, she tried to arrange for the woman to be referred to a more advanced health facility. Unfortunately, we are told that there was no transport and the woman died. Can you imagine the pain and guilt her husband must have felt? He may feel guilty and blame himself for having impregnated his wife. Are husbands supposed to be made to feel guilty about these things?


Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Makwenyani!

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, sorry, Hon. Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha here is alarmed.

Sir, the reason we have nurses who are not dedicated to their duty is that, unlike health workers of the past, who were passionate about helping the sick, they have no passion for their jobs. In the past, for example, people chose to become teachers because of their love for children. Others became medical doctors because they liked to interact with patients. For doctors, there might be no problem because their training takes a long time. For one to go through that training, they must have a passion for the job. The nurses, however, just join their profession because they know that they will easily be employed upon completing their training. So, even people who have no interest in the field join the bandwagon and, in the end, you experience cases like what happened in Livingstone.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to belabour the points further because both the mover and seconder of the Motion have put the points across. I just thought I should contribute in a small way and support the resolutions of your Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I want to say that I support the report of your Committee. In doing so, I want to pay tribute to the mover and the seconder of the Motion and, through them, to the entire Committee for a job well done.

Sir, in being consistent with my virtue of being very brief, I will not take too much time. However, allow me to turn to Page 11 of your report and amplify some recommendations that came from some of the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee.

Sir, in point (b), of your Committee’s report, the recommendation from the stakeholders is that there be improvement in access to clean water and sanitation. Water is a cross-cutting issue. When you look at the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), you will notice that almost all of them have an aspect of water, regardless of whether they are economic or health-related. Thank God that Zambia is endowed with a lot of water. For God so loved Zambia that he gave it plenty of water. However, we have not utilised our water resource to the best of our ability. I know that we are able to do that, but lack some things somewhere.

Mr Speaker, “Water is life,” as the saying goes. However, the Ministry of Health has not been actively involved in issues of access to water. When you look at the water sector in Zambia, the responsible ministries are those of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Local Government and Housing, and Agriculture and Livestock. The Ministry of Health has been left out, yet water is a health issue. Maybe, the reason we have not managed to utilise our waters properly is that we have not considered water as a health issue.

Mr Speaker, I recently attended a workshop with a number of hon. Members of Parliament here at which we were put in six groups and asked to list the issues that vexed our constituencies. One common issue that came up in all the groups was water. So, water is a problem in Zambia, despite the fact that we have plenty of it.

Mr Speaker, I want to propose that the Ministry of Health takes an active role in the issues of water and works in conjunction with the other ministries I have already referred to. In that regard, let me talk about an issue that might not make sense, but which is actually obtaining in our midst. If you went to Chirundu, today, you would find plenty of water. Actually, the first thing that you associate with Chirundu or Siavonga is water. However, the biggest problem the people of Siavonga face is water. What is it that we are not doing for us to be thirsty in the midst of plenty of water? One Zimbabwean singer sang that you cannot be thirsty when your feet are dipped in water. However, that is the situation obtaining among us, and I know why we have this problem. One would think that the first thing anybody would think of doing to alleviate the water problem in Siavonga is tap the water in the Kariba Dam through pipes. However, we drill boreholes even 100 m away from the shores of Lake Kariba. Sometimes, the cost of drilling a borehole is enough to buy an engine that can pump enough water to an area larger than a borehole can supply.

Sir, once, I posed a question on this matter in this House and the answer I got was that the boreholes were donations and that, therefore, there was no choice, but to go ahead and drill them. I have information, however, that some of the boreholes we receive are actually funded by the Government. Therefore, I want to propose that, whenever boreholes are donated for places like Siavonga, Sinazongwe, Kazungula and Luangwa, where there is already plenty of water, these donations should be swapped for money to provide pipes to provide tap water from water bodies like Lake Kariba.

Sir, if there are geologists here, maybe, they can help me understand how we, sometimes, can find a dry borehole just 200 m away from the shores of a lake or river after spending money drilling it and we have no choice, but to abandon the place and go to drill somewhere else.

Mr Speaker, I also propose that the relevant ministries that I referred to look at technologies that we can employ to help us tap this resource that we have in abundance. For example, why are we not able to harvest rain water in Zambia? When driving through Manenekela to Chipata, we see a lot of rain water just flowing downstream to the Indian Ocean, yet we do not have water in many places and there are technologies that can be employed to harvest that water.

Mr Speaker, I grew up on a farm. My grandfather used to work on a farm somewhere on Chikankata Road and we used to see windmills all over the place. I do not know if the windmills have now become too expensive for Zambians to buy, but they used to serve a great purpose then. Why can we not transport water from boreholes, for example, to their surrounding areas using windmills? I plead with the ministries concerned to look at this issue. Sometimes, a borehole is only 100 m away from a hospital or clinic, but its water does not reach inside the health facility for sanitation purposes. However, that water can be pumped into a tank at the clinic using a windmill. Thereafter, it can be taken wherever it is required using gravity. That way, we can maintain the same standards in rural health centres as those obtaining in urban health facilities.

Sir, there are also technologies associated with canals and dams There are even solar-driven water pumps, which can help provide water to areas miles away from the sources.

Mr Speaker, at the expense of repeating myself, I must say that the Ministry of Health must come on board on issues of water. I said earlier that water is a cross-cutting issue. When we have plenty of it, we will be able to even rear livestock. Therefore, water contributes to the growth of the economies of areas where livestock is a means of earning a livelihood, thereby helping us to attain other MDGs. We can also use it for irrigation. Therefore, it is great factor in agriculture.

Sir, I would like to urge my colleagues, especially those in the ministries I referred to, to consider holding inter-ministerial meetings to discuss the issues of water. For instance, the construction of dams is completely disjointed. It is even difficult to know which Government department is responsible for this matter. The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development will refer you to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and vice-versa. So, it is high time we centralised this particular issue.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that was raised by the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee is bullet (k) on Page 11 of the report and concerns the need for the Government to employ more health workers. We have trained many health workers who are just roaming the streets as we speak. In rural areas, however, such as a place called Kabuyu in my constituency, there is untrained staff administering very sensitive medications to patients. Sometimes, they even worsen the condition of your patient or accelerate his or her death. You even begin to think that, maybe, you should have just stayed at home and administered some traditional medication. We cannot blame the people who work in these clinics because they feel they have to help anyway and actually get paid for that. So, I appeal to the Ministry of Health to critically look at this issue. I know, in certain cases, a lack of accommodation is what makes trained staff to refuse to work in such places. However, imagine a situation where the Government has gone to great lengths to build a clinic somewhere, but the clinic is not manned properly? It is as good as not having it, probably, even worse because, if we knew that we did not have a clinic, we would resort to other means of caring for our patients. However, because we think that we have a clinic, we take patients there, but they end up not receiving adequate medication.

Mr Speaker, I also want to talk about the monitoring of attitudes of health workers in remote areas. There are certain areas where, when a patient is taken to a health post, you have to run around to look for the clinical officer (CO) because he/she is busy drinking.

Mr Mwaliteta interjected.

Mr Hamudulu: That is the situation that is obtaining. If you do not have it in your constituency, allow me to talk about it because I have it in my constituency.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Address the Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu: Yes, Mr Speaker. Thank you very much for protecting me from that hon. Member whose constituency has no problems in the health sector.

Mr Speaker: Please, do not address the hon. Deputy Minister.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, in some places, the health workers do not work according to the prescribed hours of work. When there is no patient, they close the doors of the health post and off they go. When you have a patient, you have to go off and look for them all over the place. In the meantime, the patient is dying at the door of a health post. So, the hon. Minister should take note of that situation obtaining in some health posts. The officers misbehave, probably, because they are not trained. I want to believe that medical workers are taught medical ethics in their training. However, you cannot expect somebody who is inadequately trained to uphold those ethics. So, we do not blame them because they are not prepared adequately for those jobs.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that was raised in your report is that of funding health posts, which is critical. There are some health posts ― I remain closer to home in my discussions because I want to talk about what I have seen ― in my constituency, there is a health post called Nabutezi which, half the time, has no electricity, not because there is a power failure, but because there is no money to buy power on the pre-paid metre installed at the facility, yet that is a Government institution. Sometimes, when my pocket is okay, I buy power for them. However, that is not sustainable. So, I appeal to the Ministry of Health to critically look into this issue. We appreciate the clinic and the staff, but the funding is erratic, thereby affecting the operations of the clinics. Related to the foregoing is the fact that the clinics often do not have medicines, sometimes, even Panadol. Maybe, at the district centre, the medicines are actually there, but the poor COs from rural health posts cannot collect their medicines from the source because they do not have transport and patients die as a result. That situation is unacceptable. We should not allow it to continue in modern Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in concluding, let me say that the ministry take the issues that we raise here seriously because they are the reality on the ground. I referred to the issue of Siavonga’s share of the 650 health posts earlier, and I want to sneak it into my debate because it was not answered.

Sir, in Siavonga, we had started building some structures in some areas. However, when we heard that 650 health posts would be constructed countrywide, we abandoned the projects because we thought that the Government would build better structures. Let me tell the hon. Minister that we have now restarted those projects. We are actually starting all over. So, the ministry will find us whenever it is ready to move to our areas and build the clinics it promised our people. We were assured that the clinics would be built and went home smiling to tell the people that they would have health posts, but we have not seen them built. This is a bad situation. I hear that some people even had ground-breaking ceremonies. Well, good for them because, in my constituency, we have not had even those. We just hear about them being done in other constituencies. So, I appeal to the Government that, if the plan to construct 650 health centres is real, let us have them in our areas, too, because we are all Zambians and we deserve to have them in our constituencies. Otherwise, we will conclude that we are not needed by those who are governing us, and we know how to react when we are not wanted. That is not a threat, but a statement of truth. You can push people against something, but, when they reach a tipping point, they will resist. So, mine is a friendly, but timely warning to those who are ruling us. Please, think of us. We just hear clinics are being built somewhere, but …

Mr Mutelo: Nowhere.

Mr Hamudulu: We hear that even in Mitete they are being built, but there is nothing happening in Siavonga. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister to think of those areas where his ministry has not even held ground-breaking ceremonies. Maybe, that will show us that, after all, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I thank you.

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Report of the Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services.

Mr Speaker, I commend your Committee for the well-written report, which has raised a number of salient issues.

Mr Speaker, may I take this opportunity to update the House on some of the issues that have been raised in the report, especially on the progress made by Zambia towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Numbers 4, 5 and 6.

Mr Speaker, my ministry is in support of the recommendation on massive targeted sensitisation of communities that shun family planning and immunisation services to educate them on the importance of these services and would like to indicate that we are currently running a number of community programmes that focus on sensitising community members, including opinion leaders like traditional and religious leaders, who are trained to be safe motherhood champions. In May 2015, we sensitised traditional leaders from the Southern Province on family planning and safe motherhood programmes. We also have champions like Chieftainess Mwenda of the Southern Province and Chief Mumena of the North-Western Province, who advocate for the use of these services in their communities. We shall also explore the possibility of working with hon. Members of Parliament and councillors in raising awareness on important health issues.

Mr Speaker, the Committee also observed that, in order to sustain the gains in the reduction of maternal mortality and make progress towards achieving MDG Number 5, the Government should construct maternity waiting homes or mother’s shelters. Let me inform the House that the ministry has an on-going programme to construct and rehabilitate mothers shelters. Plans are also in place to work with co-operating partners in constructing mothers shelters where they are non-existent, as we have noticed challenges in mothers reaching health facilities in time when they are about to deliver.

Mr Speaker, sensitising mothers on seeking antenatal care services and delivering in health facilities is everyone’s responsibility, starting with community members, themselves. As a Government, we have started training community volunteers to sensitise mothers on the importance of seeking early antenatal services, identify maternal danger signs and make appropriate referrals to the nearest facilities.

Mr Speaker, the Committee recommends that the Executive devises measures to reduce the number of unsafe abortions and unwanted pregnancies. In an effort to do that, the Government has intensified provisions of family planning services by increasing the budgetary allocation to relevant programmes in line with the commitment made at a Family Planning Summit in London in 2012. We have also increased the budgetary allocation for commodities by 70 per cent. This translates into strengthened family planning services at all levels of healthcare, including outreach services through the use community-based distributors of family planning commodities to ensure that they are readily available as close to the family as possible.

The Committee has also recommended that the Government allocates adequate resources to the health sector for improved service delivery at all levels. Sir, the Government is trying everything possible to increase resource allocation to the health sector, as can be seen from the consistent increments over the years.  Despite not meeting the Abuja Declaration target of 15 per cent, there has been a notable increase in the money allocated to the health sector.

Mr Speaker, the Committee has also recommended that the Government embarks on a deliberate expansion and modernisation programme. There is an on-going capital-intensive programme to modernise and upgrade some facilities in the health sector. Some of the facilities included in the programme are Chilenje and Matero clinics, which are being upgraded to district hospitals to meet the increasing demand for advanced medical services. The two are in Lusaka. So, hon. Members of Parliament can easily visit them. This is being replicated across the country.

Mr Speaker, on the recommendation that the Government addresses the problems associated with the supply chain management to deal with the reported inconsistent supply of some drugs, such as anti-retroviral (ARV) and other essential drugs, in health facilities, I wish to inform the House that, currently the Government procures appropriate essential medicines and health facilities are supplied with stocks that can last for, at least, three months. Further, with support from our cooperating partners, Medical Stores Limited (MSL) has been given additional vehicles for the distribution of drugs to health facilities. Furthermore, appropriately skilled staff like pharmacy technologists and pharmacists will be recruited to provide pharmaceutical services, especially for districts where they are in short supply or not available. However, it is important for me to mention that efforts are also being made to improve the entire supply chain management system, again, with support from our co-operating partners.

Sir, in response to the recommendation that the Government provides health facilities with adequate and appropriate transport, I wish to inform the House that this is an on-going exercise. Every year, the two ministries budget for the procurement of motorised transport. For example, early this year, some districts were provided with land cruisers and motorcycles for outreach activities.

Mr Speaker, the Committee also calls for the review and increase of the current staff establishments in health facilities. My response is that the Executive is undertaking an organisational review of the two ministries with the intention of determining the optimal establishments to support the current and future needs of the health facilities according to the basic healthcare package. This process is, however, dependent on Treasury authority.

Mr Speaker, on the disbursements of the monthly grants to the districts, the Treasury now sends the grants directly to the districts, and this has improved the promptness of the transfers. Furthermore, the Government is being supported by co-operating partners in healthcare financing for maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health, and nutrition in all the ten provinces.

Mr Speaker, with regard to nutrition, the Government is implementing the Scaling Up Nutrition Programme across the five ministries responsible for education, agriculture, health and local government. These ministries are implementing high-impact interventions that will contribute to improved nutrition.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I, once again, thank the Committee for supporting my ministry through its recommendations. I promise that we will study the recommendations carefully and consider their implementation seriously.

With those few words, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to say a few words in support of my colleague, the hon. Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, and supplement his debate. In particular, I would like to take the opportunity to thank those who have contributed to the very important debate this evening. Specifically, let me say that I was very moved by the hon. Member for Luena when she described maternal death and the attitude of our health workers.

Mr Speaker, let me start by saying that I have very strong feelings towards the attitude of some of our health workers, although the culprits may be few in comparison with the total number of employees. We have 13,500 nurses in the system, but only a few can cause this kind of distress. I have argued, over and over again, in support of the three Cs, namely, clean, caring and competent. I wish I had concentrated more on caring. What has clearly become the most important challenge in our system is how to have, not so much, many health workers but, perhaps, enhanced capacity of the health workers to have a caring attitude, which has been described as the heart of nursing. I can only seek your further support because the issue of the three Cs should not be left to any particular group, but should, instead, become the responsibility of all of us, as we see and handle case by case, so that we can effectively address the issue and end such episodes as the hon. Member for Luena described.

Mr Speaker, as regards Ebola, we have recognised it not only as an emergency, but also as a trigger for a strengthened health system. We discussed with our colleagues at an assembly in Geneva and at the African Union (AU) meeting in Addis Ababa, and the same message came through that, when we talk of allocating so many thousands of Kwacha or Dollars to controlling Ebola and we discover how inadequate those amounts are, we are forgetting that it takes a whole system to be strong enough to be resilient in such a situation. That is the realisation we are now waking up to, that is, the importance of the health system as the backbone of any attack on Ebola or other emergencies.

Mr Speaker, let me also comment on the issue of the abortion law, which was raised by the hon. Member for Chongwe. In 1972, this country passed a law enabling health workers to permit safe abortions for those who wished to have them. Perhaps, forty-three years later, we should review that law to see whether it has served the country the way it was intended. However, I must point out that it is a very difficult and emotive area that has religious implications. We must, therefore, proceed cautiously. I also request that we have some kind of internal review before we talk about changing the law.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of health posts, I only seek your indulgence to let me remind you that the contract for building those health posts goes up to April, 2016. Perhaps, it is not fair to ask that all the health posts that were to be built in two years be built in one month. I know that for, the Southern Province, all the materials for the ninety-nine health posts have landed in Choma. However, it will take some time to distribute them to the various parts of the province. This is the kind of delay that makes you impatient. However, be patient, hon. Member for Siavonga, because we have the assurance that, at least, the materials are there. That is the situation in your province, and it is the situation in other provinces, too. The date to focus on is April, 2016, not April, 2015.

Mr Speaker, may I, finally, just thank the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Motion. We shall regard this very comprehensive list of suggestions and recommendations from the Committee in the next phase of our development agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Imenda, Hon. Hamududu Kennedy, Kenneth David Kaunda, and the two hon. Ministers, that is, the hon. Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, and the hon. Minister of Health, for supporting the Motion. That is how things are supposed to be in this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1943 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 19th June, 2015.