Debates - Friday, 26th June, 2015

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Friday, 26th June, 2015

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula): Sir, I rise to acquaint the House with the business it will consider next week.

Mr Speaker, on Tuesday, 30th June, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will debate the Motions on the reports of the following Committees:

(a)    National Security and Foreign Affairs; and

(b)    Information and Broadcasting Services.

On Wednesday, 1st July, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Member’s Motions, if there will be any. Then, the House will debate the Motion on the Report of the Committee on Government Assurances.

Sir, on Thursday, 2nd July, 2015, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will consider the Second Reading stage of the Referendum (Amendment) Bill and Forests Bill. Then the House will debate the Motions on the reports from the following Committees:

(a)    Youth and Sport; and

(b)    Lands, Environment and Tourism.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 3rd July, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will debate the Motion on the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs. The House will then deal with any other business that may be outstanding.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to present a ministerial statement on the status of the disbursement of the 2014 Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Before I do that, may I add my voice to those of the many who have congratulated the three hon. Members of Parliament who emerged victorious in the last Parliamentary By-elections in Senga Hill in Mbala, Chawama in Lusaka and Masaiti on the Copperbelt. Well done, Hon. Simbao, Hon. Sichalwe and Hon. Katambo. The Patriotic Front (PF) is truly strengthened by your victory.

Mr Speaker, I wish the hon. Member of Parliament who reads people’s body language was here. Nevertheless, I just want to say that I am in the right frame of mind and body to present this ministerial statement on the status of the CDF.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that I wrote to all hon. Members of Parliament in an effort to open a new communication line with them in relation to the CDF. It is unfortunate that I failed to correctly interpret Hon. Mbewe’s body language when he raised a point of order before I could complete my task of inviting hon. Members of Parliament to dialogue with us, in the ministry, on this very important subject.

Mr Speaker, the House is aware that in 1995, Zambia established the CDF which is granted to constituencies to support micro community projects as part of the wider Decentralisation and Local Development Policy. The community-based projects funded under the CDF are meant to serve community needs in the constituencies and to have long-term positive effects on people’s wellbeing.

Mr Speaker, over the years, the CDF has increased, from a paltry K10,000 in 1995 to the current K1.4 million per constituency. This growth can be attributed mainly to the foresight of the PF Government. The CDF has performed well generally and has been appreciated by the local communities as it is the only fund that is sourced easily and helps them acquire infrastructure which would otherwise be difficult to acquire.

However, there are always demands for the CDF to have effective guidelines, tighter controls and oversight. It is for this reason that my ministry, in 1998, developed guidelines on the management and utilisation of this fund. The guidelines were revised in 2001 and 2006 to take into account concerns raised by stakeholders on the management of the fund.
Mr Speaker, I will lay on the Table of the House the 2006 revised guidelines for hon. Members who have not had access to this document to do so.

Currently, my ministry is revising the 2006 CDF Guidelines to bring them in tandem with the existing policies which focus on strengthened decentralisation processes and ensuring that the National Development Agenda incorporates sublevel-development priorities. The review is also meant to make the stakeholders more accountable for the use of the CDF.

Mr Speaker, let me now turn my attention to the disbursement of the 2014 CDF. The Government has disbursed a total of K156,800,000 to 112 constituencies as CDF. The names of the 112 constituencies are in the document which I will lay on the Table of the House. The document also shows the following breakdown of the disbursements made so far:

Date of Disbursement            No. of Beneficiary    Amount Disbursed (K)                            Constituencies         

14/03/2014    18    25,200,000
22/07/2014    29    40,600,000
22/10/2014    25    35,000,000
06/11/2014    02    2,800,000
22/12/2014    18     25,200,000
06/01/2015    05    7,000,000
14/03/2015    15    21,000,000
Total         112    156,800,000

Mr Speaker, thirty-eight constituencies are yet to receive the CDF allocation for 2014. Similarly, I will lay on the Table of this House the document containing these constituencies. However, out of the thirty-eight constituencies which have not yet received the  CDF allocation for 2014, my ministry has requested the Ministry of Finance to release the CDF to eight constituencies which have successfully utilised the 2013 CDF allocation. These are Kankoyo, Katuba, Keembe, Chawama, Mandevu, Isoka, Livingstone and Petauke Central. In addition, my ministry has also requested the Ministry of Finance to disburse K30,800,000 to twenty-two constituencies as CDF for 2015.

Mr Speaker, the balance of K53,200,000 meant for the thirty-eight remaining constituencies was not disbursed on account of the constituencies not having utilised the CDF allocation for 2013. The Ministry of Finance withheld the CDF for 2014 until the 2013 allocations had been utilised. I am aware that most of the 112 constituencies have long utilised the CDF allocation for 2014, and thus are eligible to receive the CDF allocation for 2015.

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that sometimes constituencies fail to utilise the funds on time because of the long procurement processes involved. However, in order not to underscore the need for councils to adhere to the process of the Zambia Public Procurement Act, it is also important for the House to know that councils are only allowed to handle procurements that do not exceed a threshold of K500,000 at district level. Any procurement that is more than the authorised threshold is dealt with by the Provincial Tender Committees, in many cases complicating the already complicated process further.

Mr Speaker, I must also take this opportunity to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament for the successful utilisation of the CDF for 2013 and further request the hon. Members of this House to take stock of the projects being implemented in their constituencies so as to enable the Government disburse the balance of 2014.

Mr Speaker, for the constituencies that have already utilised the allocation for 2014, the Ministry of Finance will soon release the CDF for 2015. I will lay on the Table of the House the document containing the thirty names of the constituencies that are legible to receive the funds for 2015. I must add that we shall be updating the hon. Members of Parliament on a weekly basis on the same subject. Let me assure this august House that the Government has no intention of delaying the disbursement of this fund to the constituencies, but is being cautious about releasing funds only to constituencies that have utilised the previous allocation so that money is not left lying in the banks.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to state that it is my sincere hope that hon. Members of Parliament will assist my ministry to ensure that the funds are not unnecessarily held in the banks so that projects are implemented for the benefit of our communities.

Mr Speaker, the CDF was approved by this august House in 1995. According to the guidelines on the management and utilisation of the fund, the purpose of the fund is to finance micro-community projects specifically for poverty reduction. If we work together, we can surmount the challenges that beset the management of the CDF and make it work. I depend on the hon.  Members’ continued guidance and support. The letter I wrote to them individually was meant to open a new chapter of dialogue between the ministry and themselves. Together, we can utilise the CDF to change the lives of our people. This is precisely why they voted for us in the different parts of this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Phiri laid the paper on the Table.

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

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2014 for Keembe Constituency has not yet been released. Can we, therefore, get the CDF for 2014 and 2015 at the same time in order for us to catch up with the programmes that are pending in the constituency.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I indicated that Keembe was included in our latest communication with the Ministry of Finance that disburses the funds. We shall look at the guidelines to see whether you can receive the CDF for both 2014 and 2015 CDF. However, from what I know, we may not consider allocating you the CDF for 2015 until we are satisfied that the allocation for 2014 has been cleared in your accounts. Nonetheless, you can still engage us so that we discuss the modalities.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is a necessary evil in the sense that it assists people to implement community projects faster than they would if they got money from the Central Government. It is an evil in the sense that most of the hon. Members of Parliament are trapped in the misuse of this fund.

Sir, may I find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government has any plans to increase, reduce or do away with the CDF, looking at the problems it is causing.

Dr Phiri: The CDF is not a necessary evil, Hon. Mbewe. If you go anywhere and, particularly rural areas, the most evident proof of the Government working is the projects implemented under the CDF.

Mr Lubinda: Even Kabwata.

Dr Phiri: Even in Kabwata, I am being told.

Sir, there is a need to review the processes that govern the CDF in order to strengthen the initiatives that are taking place t the moment in regard to local governance structures and enhance the implementation of wider physical decentralisation.

Sir, I would not agree entirely with the hon. Member’s views. However, he is also entitled to his opinion. Although there are challenges with regard to the management of the CDF, let it be allowed to continue, because it is in the interest of our people, until we review the whole CDF programme.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister inform the House when the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) guidelines are likely to be reviewed in view of his lamentations that the procurement procedures for certain goods and services take rather long and, as a result, money is stuck in our bank accounts.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I thought I was very clear in my statement that we have embarked on the revision of the 2006 CDF guidelines which will endeavour to get the opinions of all the key stakeholders in the CDF.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, …
Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia sent us to this House to represent them and deliberate on important national issues. Are hon. Members of Parliament from the United Party for National Development (UPND) in order to absent themselves …

Mr Mutelo stood up.

Mr Chilangwa: … from the proceedings of the House with the exception of only two?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.  

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lukulu West, that demonstration is unnecessary.


Mr Speaker: Quite frankly, I am also at a loss as to why these seats are vacant. It is very unusual, to say the least, but I do agree that the people of Zambia have sent us here to conduct these affairs on their behalf. As far as possible, we should do so faithfully. I have always stated, in the past, that this institution is run at a very high cost to the taxpayer.

 As of now, I have no indication whatsoever from this political grouping as to why so many of them are absent. In the absence of that, especially from the conduit that I maintain, the whip system, I am not able to state exactly what has led to their absence. I only trust that there is a good reason that has caused this widespread absence of members of this political grouping. I must reiterate, and I am addressing both the left and right, that we should, at all times, attend to our duties as representatives of the people of the Republic of Zambia.

Thank you.

The hon. Member for Kamfinsa may continue.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, – ya! Kuti walaba nokulaba.


Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify to me the status of constituencies in Kitwe District, namely Kamfinsa, Wusakile, Kwacha, Nkana and Chimwemwe. I also wish to put it on record that I agree with what was stated in the letters you sent to us that we did not utilise the 2013 Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This is because, in Kitwe, we followed the long and tedious procurement process in order to ensure that we adhered to the projects that your ministry had approved to be undertaken.

Sir, Kitwe City Council (KCC) followed the procedure by advertising for earthmoving equipment and paid the supplier upon receipt of the equipment in order to avoid what happened in other provinces where equipment was not delivered upon disbursement of funds. I would like to find out whether the five constituencies in Kitwe are among the constituencies to receive the CDF for 2013 and 2014 CDF in the course of this week so that we implement the projects as approved by your ministry?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, let me first commend the hon. Member of Parliament for raising this important question and for religiously following the CDF guidelines. However, if this is what led to the delays in utilising the CDF, my ministry is at your disposal to discuss the modalities of the next allocations.

Mr Speaker, let me assure the hon. Member that all the constituencies that utilised the 2013 allocation satisfactorily are eligible for the 2014 CDF. However, I have been misquoted because I did not give any time frame. My ministry submits to the Ministry of Finance the list of constituencies that are eligible for funding. I am glad to say that the Ministry of Finance always comes to our aid, and I have no doubt at all that further disbursements will be made possible by the Ministry of Finance. So, you will be communicated to in Kitwe.
Once again, I thank you for religiously following the guidelines. This is what we should be doing as leaders in the councils.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, almost all the councils have been complaining that the K20,000 that has been ring-fenced as management fees is insufficient. This has led to a lack of supervision and, as noted by the Auditor-General, poor workmanship. Since the ministry is in the process of reviewing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) guidelines, is the hon. Minister taking this into account and treating it as an area that lacks supervision as a result of poor funding?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I can confidently say that we are taking that into account. It is one of the factors that have slowed down the implementation of projects. The ministry is also aware that we do not have sufficient expertise, that is, experienced engineers or semi-engineers in our councils, particularly in the key areas of planning and implementation of works. We are taking into account all these issues. As I said, we shall be consulting key hon. Members of Parliament, particularly those from your Committee charged with the responsibility of looking into local governance issues, in order to see how we can improve the present arrangement.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, the spirit and ideals of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) are virtually impeccable, and the utilisation of this fund with efficiency and economy is of utmost importance. However, contrary to this ideal, many councils all over the country have not been able to utilise this fund efficiently and economically mainly due to capacity issues and the attitude of the principal officers in the councils. Sometimes, the principle officers ask, “What is in it for me to execute these projects with efficiency? What do I gain?” This attitude is widespread in the councils. Now, my question is: given this type of attitude, is the ministry considering assigning this fund to the National Assembly offices so that it is supervised from there? That way, there shall be coordination between the council and other ministries in the utilisation of this fund so that we get the best out of it since it is the best fund so far.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I cannot agree more with the hon. Member of Parliament’s observations. This issue has also attracted the attention of His Excellency the President. To demonstrate that he wants to do something big with the CDF and other local government programmes, he has constituted a new Local Government Service Commission with a clear mandate to help councils the challenges that they are faced with, particularly with human resource deployments. Although I am not their spokesperson, I can report to this August House that the commissioners, together with my officials, have embarked on an audit of the human resource in councils with the view to strengthening them. The other mandate the President gave them was to bring back institutional carriers in the councils as was the case in the olden days. What we have observed, in the past few years, is the propensity to move people all over the country, leaving councils without any senior officers to carry the institutional memory of the councils. That has had a devastating effect on the officers whose tenure has not been certain. Therefore, they could not apply themselves to the tasks at hand, and yet they remain key to changing the lives of our people. Yes, the ministry is aware of that and, in this review, we shall consider all the options available. We are also learning from the Kenyan experience. We shall probably bring a Bill to this August House to consider enacting a CDF Act that will be more responsive to the needs of our people.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I will take the last questions from the hon. Members of Kabwe Central, Rufunsa, Kwacha, and Lukulu West.

Mr Mutelo rose.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am not saying that you should rise. I am including you on the list of those to take the Floor. However, I do not know why you are still gesticulating even after being included.  I am at a loss.


Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, the issue of the revision of the 2006 Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Guidelines has been there for some time. What is the time frame for this revision?
Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, there are a number of issues to look at in this review programme that we have set as a ministry. However, all things being equal, we hope to come up with new regulations and guidelines this year. This is not an assurance. If there will be any impediments, I will not hesitate to inform the House and explain how far we shall have gone with this review that will need serious engagement with the various stakeholders, many of whom are in this august House. Therefore, it is difficult to set the time frame. I wish I could set the time frame, but I can say that the 2006 guidelines will be reviewed this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whether officers in the councils engage the community when drafting the scope of work to be undertaken. I ask because, most of the time, projects stall when nearing completion. Then, the community has to contribute funds to complete the project. This, in turn, pushes the cost of doing business up. The funds allocated to the projects are limited. Do the councils leave out certain portions of work so that the value of the projects can go up eventually?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is as follows: The Ministry of Finance sends K1.4 million to the constituency. Then, the funds are sent to the council. Thereafter, the hon. Member of Parliament and the CDF Committee decide on the distribution of the funds based on the applications from the local communities. Then, the council comes up with procurement procedures for the projects. Finally, the projects are implemented and monitored.

So, Hon. Mutale, as hon. Member of Parliament, you have a big responsibility to provide leadership to the CDF Committee and ensure that the guidelines are followed. Apart from the Member of Parliament, the CDF Committee comprises:

(a)    two councillors nominated by the councillors in the constituency;

(b)    a chief’s representative nominated by the chiefs in the constituency;

(c)    the Director of Works in the case of district councils or Director of Engineering Services in the case of municipal and city councils; and

(d)    four community leaders from the civil society, non-governmental organisations, churches and community-based organisations who are identified by the area Member of Parliament and the councillors in the constituency.

If this committee does not work well, then, the foundation for the implementation and monitoring of the CDF Committee is weakened, particularly if the council does not have a Director of Works or Director of Engineering Services because it will be difficult to implement the projects. As indicated earlier, we have not done well in providing councils with this critical human resource. Projects have suffered because many councils have no planners. However, we have managed to send expertise to councils to help implement and monitor projects.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, sometimes, the problem is with follow-up questions. However, for now, I am asking a supplementary question.

The hon. Minister said that twenty-two constituencies will receive the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2015. Since Mitete has utilised the CDF efficiently, is Lukulu West amongst the twenty-two constituencies because we seem to be eating chimbala or kunkwe, meaning food from the day before. Is Lukulu West amongst the twenty-two?

Mr Speaker: What do you mean by those vernacular words?

Mr Mutelo: Leftover food that is carried over to the next day.  

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you may respond.

Mr Mutelo: Futa.


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, in my submission, I was very clear that each constituency would get K1.4 million. Therefore, the issue of chimbala or leftover should not arise. This notion of Mitete being sidelined and so on and so forth is a misconception. Hon. Member, provide leadership in Mitete that can enable our people to utilise these funds as quickly as possible and move on.

You saw me put documents on the Table of this august House because I know I cannot carry all the records in my head like a computer. So, peruse those documents and check whether Mitete is one of the beneficiary councils. If it is, come and congratulate us but, if it is not, engage us all the same. We are here to make your work at that level a success, and we shall endevour to make this happen. So, we expect that you will be more appreciative of our efforts.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!



Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, our order of proceedings indicate that we have the Vice-President’s Question Time. Unfortunately, due to other pressing national commitments on the part of Her Honour the Vice-President, she is not able to be with us this morning. Consequently, we shall not have the Vice-President’s Question Time. We, therefore, proceed to Questions for Oral Answer.



556. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development what the progress on the construction of mini-hydropower stations in the following areas was:

(a)    Chikata Rapids on the Kabompo River in Kabompo District; and

(b)    Chanda in Chavuma District.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) completed the feasibility studies on the Chikata Rapids in April, 2015. The development of the mini-hydropower plant is dependent upon the availability of funds.

Sir, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, through the Office for Promoting Private Power Investments (OPPPI), has packaged 1 megawatt  for Chanda Falls, and 14 megawatts for Chavuma Falls for development through the private sector. Sinohydro Corporation Limited was selected as the developer for Chanda and Chavuma falls through an International Competitive Bidding (ICB) process. Sinohydro is currently conducting field investigations which will enable the finalisation of designs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why this Government wastes money on projects that they know very well will not be executed to their logical conclusion. You have conducted several feasibility studies on the Chikata. The latest one was in April, 2015. Why do you continue to carry out feasibility studies when you know very well that you will not be able to implement the projects?

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the feasibility studies were funded by the World Bank, and I am sure that money will be made available after what happened yesterday.

I thank you, Sir.


557. Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what plans the Government had to improve water and sanitation facilities which were in a very poor state in most schools in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    when the plans would be implemented.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that some schools in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency and other parts of the Copperbelt Province have water and sanitation problems. To this effect, the ministry has budgeted for the rehabilitation of six ablution blocks in the province in 2015. This will be undertaken in a phased approach due to the limited budgetary allocation and other infrastructural competing demands. However, Kwacha is not in Phase I of the programme, but will be included at a later stage.

Sir, improving sanitary conditions in our schools is an on-going process. Therefore, it will continue if funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, we all know that water is life and that sanitation is important to our children in school. Are we not exposing the children to diseases with the lack of water in schools? What immediate measures can the hon. Minister put in place to avoid the outbreak of diseases such as cholera?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like I said, the limiting factor has always been funds. This is why yesterdays Motion was important for me because many of the questions that are asked by hon. Members of Parliament relate to projects which cannot be implemented by the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education because it does not have the resources.

However, I take cognisance of hon. Mutale’s question regarding the immediate measures the ministry can put in place. One of them is the use of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) allocation. However, sometimes, hon. Members of Parliament are not keen to accept this suggestion. The CDF is also part of Government funds. I would like to encourage Hon. Mutale to use part of his CDF to help us. However, this does not take away our responsibility of providing water and sanitation in schools will be taken away. As I have said, six ablution blocks will we be rehabilitated on the Copperbelt in 2015.

I thank you, Sir.


558.    Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    how many schools in Mitete District had the following grades:

(i)    1-7;

(ii)    1-9;

(iii)    8-12;

(iv)    10-12; and

(b)    when all the basic schools countywide would be phased out.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, before Mitete District was established, it was part of Lukulu District. Now, there are twenty-two schools offering Grade 1-7 classes, eight schools with Grade 1-9 classes and one school called Muyondoti offering Grade 1-12 classes.

Sir, the classification of schools as basic and high schools will seize once the Education Act is amended. The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education plans to bring an amendment Bill to this august House before the end of the year.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, schools will continue to accommodate Grade 8 and 9 classes, depending on the locality. The complete phasing out of schools offering Grade 1-9 classes is expected to take not let than three years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, does the Government have any plans to have a secondary school that will cater for Grades 10-12 in Mitete?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, this is why we are phasing out basic schools. This entails that each secondary school has to run from Grades 8-12. Therefore, even the new secondary school we are building in Mitete will have to accommodate Grades 8-12. Muyondoti School that I mentioned earlier has been allowed to offer classes from Grades 1-12 because we do not have anywhere to take the Grades 1-7 pupils. We shall build another school in future to cater for Grades 8-12 when funds are made available.

Therefore, Hon. Mutelo, schools in your constituency cannot offer classes from Grades 10-12 but Grades 8-12.

I thank you, Sir.

559.    Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Transport, Works Supply and Communication:

(a)    when the construction of Chunga Bridge in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency, would commence;

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

(c)     what the time frame for completing the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works Supply and Communication (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, the construction of Chunga Bridge in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency is scheduled to commence as soon as the funds are made available. The cost estimates for the construction of the bridge is K9 million. The time frame for the completion of the works has been estimated at 18 months.

I thank you, Sir.


560.    Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to start announcing the floor price for the following crops prior to the planting season:

(i)    maize;

(ii)    cotton;

(iii)    groundnuts; and

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): The Government has no intention of announcing the floor price for the above-mentioned crops or any other crops prior to the commencement of the planting season.

Sir, the Government has liberalised the marketing of agricultural produce in the country. Thus, it is expected that traders and farmers will determine the prices of their produce based on the existing market conditions. It should be noted that the price at which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) buys the maize is not the floor price, but rather the price at which the agency would participate in the buying of maize crop, depending on the season.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister, who is also my friend, for that good answer.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, what is the Government doing to assist small-scale farmers who do not have the business acumen to sale their produce to briefcase buyers at a good price? Since agriculture is a business, how are they being sensitised since they are making a loss through and through?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, we are sensitising the farmers through their co-operatives. They get together in order to get farming inputs through the co-operatives. We are also using the agriculture extension officers to encourage the co-operatives to bargain for better prices, especially in a season like this one when there may not be sufficient grain in the region. The farmers should be able to bargain for the best price they can get on the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, it would appear that there is a major shift in the pronouncements of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock on the floor price of maize in particular. I would like the hon. Minister categorically tell the nation that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock will not announce the floor price of maize this year so that the farmers can plan how they are going to proceed with the sale of their produce.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I would like to highly commend Hon. Jack Mwiimbu for choosing to come into the House when his colleagues have stayed away. That is expected of him.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to start by saying that we should not create unnecessary innuendo. There is no contradiction on the part of this Government with regard to the pricing of agricultural commodities. At no time has the Patriotic Front (PF) Government ever established a floor price for any agricultural commodity. What the respective Ministers of Agriculture and Livestock have done every year is to announce the price at which the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would buy the commodity that it requires and the quantities. That does not entail fixing the floor price.

Sir, the FRA may announce the date when it will enter the market this year and the price for a given quantity. Nonetheless, the farmers and traders are at liberty to arrive at their own negotiated prices. So, let me make it clear to the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central so that he can go and inform the hardworking farmers in Monze. The farmers should not wait for the FRA to announce the price at which it will buy the crop. Let them take advantage of the  grain deficit in the region and fix prices based on market forces. Let all the farmers do that. In response to a question raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza, the hon. Deputy Minister said that, as the ministry, we are sensitising farmers to use their co-operatives to strengthen their bargaining power so that they can get the best price for their commodity.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to advise Hon. Jack Mwiimbu to look at Cap 225 of the Laws of Zambia that states that the Government, through the FRA, only plays a role in the pricing of agricultural commodities only in areas or commodities in which there is minimum private-sector participation. Where there is huge private-sector participation, the FRA is not supposed to impose prices. We are running a liberalised economy, and this matter is settled.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock stated that there is no floor price for maize. He has also admitted that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is a major player in the purchasing of maize. Is he not being theoretical? Do you not think that as a major player, when it announces the price, this has an influence on the price at which the private sector participates?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I did not make any reference to the Government being a major player.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: I did not say that either.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the FRA and Government are not major players in agricultural marketing. This year, the hardworking farmers of Zambia have produced 2.6 million metric tonnes of maize. Of that amount, the FRA may choose to buy the strategic reserve of about 500,000 metric tonnes. You cannot say that the one who buys 500,000 metric tonnes is a major player. The major player is the private sector because it mops up 2.1 million metric tonnes of maize. The FRA will announce the price and areas from which it will buy the maize at the time when it chooses to enter the market. We hope that this will only be in areas that are difficult for the private sector to reach.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, farmers always wait for the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) to announce the price because if they do not know the price, the millers buy their maize at very low prices.  Why is the hon. Minister not encouraging the FRA to set the prices to farmers so that they can sell their produce to millers at a better price?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, last year, the FRA paid K70 per 50 kg bag of maize. Reports through the agricultural extension officers are that there are some areas in this country where farmers are demanding to sell their maize at more than K100 per 50 kg bag. Again, it is a question of the ability of the farmers to negotiate good prices. We would like to continue to run a private-sector-led agriculture sector. We are socialists or communists.
Mr Mucheleka: Ah!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, we would not want to be led into controlling prices. That is the reason we would like the farmers to negotiate good prices. I would like to appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament particularly my colleague, Hon. Hamusonde, to assist the many hardworking farmers, in his constituency to negotiate good prices. I know that Hon. Hamusonde is also a grain trader. So, can he also go and offer the farmers better prices than the FRA is offering.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is an agency, I guess, for the Government. Going by what the hon. Minister has said, what will happen to the poor people if we leave it open for farmers to negotiate the price at which they can sell a bag of maize? As the hon. Minister has stated, some farmers are already asking for K100 per 50 kg bag. If they peg the price of maize at K150 per 50 kg, what will be the price of mealie meal? If the Government is not a major player in this process, how will it negotiate for a reduction in the price of mealie meal?
Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to commend Hon. Mutelo for that question. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is not only interested in the production of agricultural commodities, but also in ensuring that there is national food security and prices of food are affordable to consumers. In the first place, the reason the FRA was established was to create national food security. This is also the reason we said that the FRA will decide when to enter the market under the instruction of the Cabinet, and will determine the price at which to buy the maize. For the time being, we would not like to unnecessarily reduce the price of maize simply because we want to ensure that the price of mealie meal is affordable. That would be counter-productive. We would like the farmers to benefit from their farming activities. We would also like the market forces to determine the price of mealie meal. However, I would like to assure Hon. Mutelo that using the instruments at the Government’s disposal, we shall ensure that food is affordable to Zambians.
Thank you, Sir.    

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the Government is not somersaulting because, all along, it has been a major player in this industry. Is the Government shifting to a laissez faire policy? The hon. Minister is aware of the pattern of farming in Zambia where big commercial farmers negotiate prices with big millers and those involved in the production of feed stock whilst the rest of the poor peasant farmers are left to negotiate peanut prices. The role of the Government all along was to give an indicative price. Is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government somersaulting and leaving the peasant farmers at the mercy of the few businessmen on the market when the Government is the major player? In economics, when there are few buyers and more sellers, the price of a commodity goes down.
Mr Lubinda: Sir, it is quite clear that Hon. Shakafuswa has just walked into the House. Had he been here at the start of this question, he would not have made reference to the Government being a major player because I have already talked about that. I also said that even this year, the Government is only going to buy 500,000 metric tonnes of maize out of the 2.6 million metric tonnes unless the Cabinet decides otherwise. So, this does not make the Government the major player. The major player on the market is the private sector.

Secondly, Mr Speaker, with regard to the example that Hon. Shakafuswa used, – I hope that he is listening, …

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.    

Mr Lubinda: Sir, if he agrees that the commercial farmers have better leverage to negotiate prices and, assuming that they produce at a lower cost than the small-scale farmers, if the Government was to set the price, which cost of production should it use? Should it be the cost of production for the small-scale farmers or the commercial farmers? If the Government used the cost of production for the small-scale farmers, which is expected to be much higher than that for the commercial farmers who, then, would benefit from the price? Is it the small-scale farmers, whose cost of production is high, …

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba.

Mr Lubinda: … or the commercial farmers whose cost of production is expected to be lower?

Mr Speaker, never ever has the PF Government set the floor price for any agricultural commodity. The price that was announced either by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) or respective hon. Ministers of Agriculture and Livestock is the price at which the FRA buys the quantity of maize that is required for strategic reserve on behalf of the Government. That does not entail that, that is the price at which the private players will buy the maize from the farmers. It is well known that even when the FRA has announced the price of maize, some farmers have sold below that price and others have sold above that price. So, that is not the stipulated price on the market, but the price at which the FRA, as an agency, will buy the maize.

Sir, in the few days that the hon. Minister gave the mid-term indications of the Budget, we heard the impact of this on the fiscal position of the FRA due to purchases of maize. We also heard the cry among hon. Members of Parliament. Year in and year out, around this time of the year, we hear a lot of hon. Members of Parliament, particularly those from the Opposition, urging the Government to buy maize at a high price. However, later on, when we say that a lot of money has been tied up in maize, they ask why we bought the maize. So, please, do not somersault, Hon. Shakafuswa. Let us be persistent …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, address me, and me exclusively.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I suggest that all of us in this House do not somersault.

Mr Shakafuswa: I do not somersault.

Mr Lubinda: We should not on one hand …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, I cautioned you earlier on. I know it is an emotive subject that is very close to the heart of every Zambian, but exercise self control and discipline.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Shakafuswa left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I would like to propose that all of us are consistent with our suggestions to the Government on how to handle matters of strategic importance such the agriculture sector. We cannot, on one hand, urge the Government to buy all the maize from the small-scale farmers and, on the other hand, advise that there be liquidity in the Treasury because the two do not marry.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to make an earnest appeal to the hon. Minister not to downplay the impact the price set by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has on prices for other buyers.

Sir, I say so because small-scale farmers do not have the capacity to carry out a due analysis of their input in order to come with a reasonable price. So, the price set by the FRA becomes the yardstick. Therefore, whether the hon. Minister is going to call it the FRA price or floor price, my appeal to him is not to downplay it.

Sir, can the hon. Minister assure the farmers in areas where only the FRA can buy the maize that it is going to buy the maize at the set price and when.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the hon. Members that we are not downplaying the role of the FRA nor are we downplaying the role of the Government. All that we are saying is that the price at which the FRA will buy the maize shall be announced in due course. The hon. Member may wish to know that the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock will be presenting to the Cabinet matters to do with the marketing of maize in the next Cabinet Meeting. After that, the FRA will be instructed accordingly.

Mr Speaker, for the benefit of Hon. Hamudulu, let me just repeat what I said earlier when the hon. Member was still outside. I stated that the information that we have received is that, at the moment, farmers are selling their maize at K100.00 per 50 kg bag, and yet last year, he FRA was buying the maize at K70.00 per 50 kg bag. I am not sure if the FRA will be able to afford that price. Therefore, if the FRA went into the market now, it might dampen the price. Therefore, we ought to be careful about this. So, what we are saying is that according to Chapter 225 of the Laws of Zambia, the FRA can participate where there is minimal private-sector participation, particularly in far-flung areas. Therefore, I would like to assure Hon. Hamudulu and all Zambians that this responsible Government will ensure that no farmer who has produced maize shall lack a market. The FRA shall go across the width and breadth of this country to mop up all the maize up to the amount that the Cabinet will approve. In the meantime, we would like the private sector to take advantage of this and buy from the farmers at prices that will be mutually agreed upon by the farmers and the private sector.

Sir, I would like to implore with the hon. Members of Parliament from farming communities to assist the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to encourage the establishment of strong farmer co-operatives. Co-operatives should not only come alive when it is time to receive subsidised farming inputs, but also when it is time to market the produce. Let the co-operatives also go and play the role of marketing.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, we can call it the floor price, indicative price or whatever name we give it, the fact remains that once the Government announces the indicative price, it determines the market forces. Usually, the cry from the private sector is that as soon as that price is announced, it is high. Therefore, they tend to shy away from going into the market to buy the produce. Consequently, the Government will be forced to buy up to 2.6 million metric tonnes maize instead of the planned 500,000 metric tonnes. This has implications on the Budget because only 500,000 metric tonnes were budgeted for. So, we have to find money from somewhere to buy the surplus maize. This further leads to an increment in the debt stock.

Sir, given that situation, how does the Government intend to nature and bring in the private sector as a major player in the purchasing of maize so that it does not incur unnecessary debt.

 Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I cannot find words with which to thank Hon. Lufuma because he has asked his question eloquently.

Sir, the Government is trying to avoid a situation where the private sector shies away from the market because the Government has determined the price and put itself under pressure to buy more than it is required as strategic reserve. This is what happened in the last two years. Hon. Lufuma was right when he said that that is what has led to financial challenges in the Treasury. Therefore, this year, we have decided to take advantage of the fact that there are insufficient grain stocks in the region. The appetite for Zambian grain is extremely high, and it has never been this high before. This is the reason some farmers have capitalised on this by selling their maize at K2.20 per kg. This price is more than the K100 per 50 kg bag. I also indicated that I am not sure whether the FRA would beat that price because when the FRA goes on the market, they have to ask several questions such as which production cost should they use to determine the price because they are different production costs. There is a production cost for small-scale farmers, there is one for commercial farmers and there is also the social aspect to this, that is, the consumer. Once the FRA has determined the price, this will create a push effect. Therefore, the private sector may shy away from the market and not buy the maize, forcing the Government to buy more than is required.
Mr Speaker, let me end by saying that the Cabinet shall be asked to look into this matter and, soon after that, the FRA will announce the decision of the Cabinet as provided for in the law, that is, determining when to buy the strategic reserve, where to buy from and the price at which to buy. Once the decisions are made by the Cabinet, the country shall be informed. Therefore, let me end by saying that we should not push the private sector out of the marketing of grain. If anything, they must be the leaders in this business. It is through this that we can grow agriculture. We cannot set prices only for maize and not for equally important commodities such as groundnuts, tobacco, soya and livestock. We should also allow the market forces to take effect.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, as I rise to move this Motion, I want to state that my body was in the House, but my spirit was with my colleagues outside.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Friday, 19th June, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Masumba (Mufumbwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, your Committee considered three topical issues. These were the causes and extent of torture in Zambia, conflict management in the electoral process in Zambia and review of operations of the Child Development Department in the Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

Sir, allow me to highlight a few of the salient issues encountered by your Committee in considering these matters. Torture is a grave human rights violation. It involves treating a person in a cruel, inhuman and degrading manner and can seriously harm the integrity of the victim, both emotionally and physically. Acts of torture go against the victim’s non-derogable right to human dignity and the right to life. Many international legal instruments prohibit torture. Further, it is universally accepted that torture cannot be justified on any ground, and its prohibition cannot be suspended by the State under any circumstance. In fact, the State must not only avoid torturing its citizens, but also act promptly to stop torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of its citizens by any other party.

Mr Speaker, this august House will be interested to note that Zambia has acceded to the United Nations Convention against Torture in 1998. The convention obliges member States to outlaw torture in their national law. It further obliges each third party to treat torture as a crime, punish those who are found guilty of committing it and provide adequate support to victims. The State party is also required to undertake education and awareness-raising programmes regarding the prohibition of torture.

Sadly, Sir, except for the Constitutional provision in Article 15 which states that no person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, there is no specific legislation on the Zambian statute books that criminalises torture per se or provides for the punishment of perpetrators and rehabilitation, and compensation of victims of torture in accordance with Zambia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention against Torture. As a result, perpetrators often go unpunished if not punished under general assault-related offences such as unlawful wounding, assault occasioning bodily harm or grievous bodily harm as provided for under the Penal Code.

Mr Speaker, it is of serious concern, therefore, that in its current state, the Zambian legal landscape in general does not clearly address issues of punishment of perpetrators of torture as well as the rehabilitation and compensation of torture victims. Therefore, the outcome of litigation on matters related to torture in Zambia solely depends on the individual Judge’s interpretation of Article 15 of the Constitution of Zambia. This lack of specific provisions for criminalising torture has not only perpetrated torture, but also contributed to the rampant impunity of the perpetrators of torture. Currently, there are no effective legal remedies for torture. The police frequently use excessive force, including torture, in conducting criminal investigations and these acts go unpunished unless they result in death or somehow attract public attention. This means that many torture victims and or their families often do not obtain redress for the various acts of torture they have suffered.

Sir, the House may further wish to note that Article 20 of the Convention against Torture also states that an international inquiry can be held for a particular state party if there is reliable information of torture being systematically practiced in that country. However, Zambia has placed a reservation on Article 20 to curb international inquiries against it if evidence of systematic torture is found. Further, Zambia has not recognised the competence of the Committee against Torture, which is the body that monitors the implementation of the Convention against Torture and makes recommendations for improvement. These two positions Zambia has adopted give the impression that it does not want to be held accountable under the Convention and that it is not fully committed to eliminating torture. Your Committee, therefore, implores the Government to show commitment to the elimination of torture by lifting the reservation and recognising the competence of the Committee against Torture. This will send a clear message to would-be-perpetrators of torture that such acts will not be tolerated by Zambia and that the State will not protect them.
Mr Speaker, your Committee further strongly recommends that the country fully domesticates the Convention against Torture through the enactment of appropriate legislation by clearly defining and specifically stating acts that constitute torture. The provisions should include appropriate penalties, taking into account the gravity of the torture.

Sir, in light of its findings, your Committee calls for the broadening and strengthening of the mandate of the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) with a view to empowering it to prosecute police officers who are found to have perpetrated acts of torture. The limited mandate of the Human Rights Commission is another aspect that requires urgent attention. In a nutshell, there is a need to effectively deal with the impunity of perpetrators of torture, ensure compensation and rehabilitation of victims of torture and completely outlaw the use of evidence obtained through torture in criminal proceedings.

Mr Speaker, it is also necessary to improve the working environment for police officers and officers who need psychological support to be availed such help. The content of the training programmes for law enforcement officers must also be reviewed. Additionally, your Committee implores the Government to strengthen public sensitisation on what amounts to torture in order to empower the citizens to claim their rights. This can be done through the Human Rights Commission for a start, and later rolled out to other institutions. Let me simply state that torture is a dehumanising act and often has life-long effects on its victims, hence the need for it to be eliminated forthwith.

Sir, arising from its consideration of the topic on the management of conflict in the electoral process, your Committee recognised that proper election management cannot be achieved in the absence of comprehensive Constitutional reform. Further, your Committee notes that Constitutional reform also underpins meaningful judicial reform, a matter which your Committee had considered during the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, and which is still outstanding in the Action-Take-Report. To this end, during its foreign tour to Kenya, your Committee focused on the Constitutional Reform process that had taken place in that country.

Mr Speaker, during its tour to Kenya, your Committee learnt some good practices in the Constitution Review Process. Among these is the legal protection of the Constitution Review Process in that country. The process in Kenya was fully governed and protected by law, with clear legislative provisions regarding the stages and time frame of the process.

Further, the process was inclusive of all sections of Kenyan society. As a result, ordinary citizens of Kenya are knowledgeable about the provisions of the Constitution which also enjoys full legitimacy. Your Committee strongly recommends that the Zambian Government immediately initiates appropriate legislative provisions to protect the current Constitutional Review Process from undue compromise and manipulation. Your Committee further calls for the Constitution to be adopted through a referendum.

Sir, often forgotten in the process of Constitution-making is the issue of implementation. In Kenya, the law provides for the full implementation of the Constitution to the extent that there is an independent commission specifically dedicated to the implementation of the Constitution. Therefore, the powers of the various constitutional institutions can be exercised with the full knowledge that the office holders are protected from reprisal by the law. Your Committee calls for the establishment of a similar body with similar powers in Zambia in order to ensure that the Constitution, once passed, is fully implemented.

Sir, Kenya also undertook comprehensive Judicial Reform process following its Constitutional Reforms. While cognisant of the low levels of public confidence in the Judiciary in Zambia, Your Committee recommends that urgent measures be taken to restore confidence in the institution. After all, justice must not only be done, but must be seen to be done.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that there has been a paradigm shift in the operations of the Kenya National Police Service following the promulgation of the Constitution of Kenya in 2010. Police officers have been sensitised about the rights of citizens and the fact that the role of the police is to facilitate the enjoyment of rights by Kenyans and not to stifle them in the name of State security. Your Committee, therefore, calls upon the Police Command in Zambia to take a leaf from their counterparts in Kenya. In particular, your Committee implores the Zambia Police Force to use the Public Order Act to stop or prevent public assemblies sparingly, and only where other action would be inimical to national security.

Sir, additionally, your Committee notes that because the members of the public in Kenya are knowledgeable about their Constitutional rights, they are able to demand them, even through court action. Your Committee implores the Government to seriously embark on a nationwide civic education campaign to ensure that all Zambians understand and appreciate their human rights and can, therefore, demand them.

Your Committee recommends that a transparent and open process be adopted in the appointment and removal from office of persons to serve as commissioners on various Constitutional commissions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Judicial Service Commission, including judicial officers as is the case in Kenya. This will help restore public confidence in Constitutional commissions, most of which are expected to play a watchdog role, but are suffering from a dearth of public confidence.

Your Committee observes that continuous engagement and liaison between the ECZ and various political players is necessary in the management of the electoral process. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the electoral management body keeps an open line of communication at all times throughout the electoral cycle between itself and various stakeholders in order to avoid misunderstandings, conjecture and suspicion.

Your Committee notes that some challenges have been encountered in implementing the Constitution of Kenya, especially with regard to the cost of the newly-created Government structure and institutions …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that your Committee notes that some challenges have been encountered in implementing the Constitution of Kenya, especially with regard to the cost of the newly-created Government structure and institutions, including the period in which the Presidential Election petition had to be concluded. It is notable that the Judiciary itself is calling for an amendment to the Constitution to increase the time frame. In light of these challenges, your Committee recommends that the Zambian Government considers separating those provisions that can be implemented immediately from those that require progressive implementation. This way, the Government will avert some of the provisions remaining mere rhetoric.

Mr Speaker, allow me now to pay tribute to all the Members of your Committee for their dedication and hard work. I also wish to thank all the witnesses who made submissions to your Committee. I further wish to place on record our gratitude to you, Mr Speaker, and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance and services that were rendered to your Committee throughout this session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mr Masumba:  Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Kapembwa Simbao, Hon. Katambo and Hon. Sichalwe on the sweet victory that we achieved as the Patriotic Front (PF).

Mr Speaker, in seconding this Motion, I wish to pay tribute to the hon. Chairperson of the Committee for steering the work f your Committee is such a manner that it was able to carry out its duties effectively.

Sir, in buttressing the comments made by the Chairperson of your Committee and mover of this Motion, let men now briefly highlight a few of the pertinent issues that your Committee dealt with during the session.

Mr Speaker, while the society looks to the elections to stabilise and legitimise Government, elections often cause social tensions and may trigger serious conflict that can result in violence.

Sir, it is important to note that the ability of an electoral process to achieve its democratic development objective extends well beyond the election management body to the political actors, Government agencies and security bodies, civic and media groups, and national purveyors of justice to perform their respective roles in the process. In other words, just as almost all sectors of society have an interest in the outcome of an election, they have equal responsibility in promoting its integrity.

Sir, let me emphasise that all players in the electoral process have key roles to play reducing tensions and eradicating electoral conflicts. These include political parties, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), the police, the youth, the media, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the Courts of Law and traditional leaders and the general public. In short, there is a need to develop a more comprehensive multi-stakeholder approach to election conflict which should cover the entire election cycle. Such an approach would help identify links between the causes, tensions, outbursts and solutions to the conflict and help determine effective responses.

Mr Speaker, electoral conflicts can occur at different stages of the electoral cycle and for various reasons. I will only highlight a few of these.

In the pre-election stage, which is the largest in terms of proportion and number of activities of the electoral cycle, electoral conflict may arise from various Constitutional provisions and the legislation flowing from these provisions. For example, there may be perceptions in some quarters that the Constitution gives unfettered powers to the Republican President which allow the officeholder to abuse public resources to the advantage of his/her political part at the expense of other stakeholders in the electoral system. The subsidiary legislation derived from the Constitution may equally be perceived to be weak and lacking proper enforcement mechanisms even when they contain good provisions.

Other sources of conflict may include:

(a)    an unsatisfactory voter registration process;

(b)    the announcement of the election date;

(c)    dissatisfaction with the nomination process;

(d)    various malpractices or failure to adhere to the electoral code of conduct by some stakeholders;

(e)    failure to enforce the law by those charged with that responsibility;

(f)    lack of transparency during the printing of ballots or perceptions thereof;

(g)    late delivery of electoral materials;

(h)    delivering insufficient electoral material;
(i)    suspicion of pre-marked ballot papers;

(j)    refusal by election officials to allow some voters to cast their ballots on account of improper or incomplete documentation;

(k)    disqualification of valid votes;
(l)    incorrect counting of votes;
(m)    loss or alteration of ballots or tally sheets;
(n)    falsification of totals at collation centres;
(o)    unreasonable delays in announcing results; and
(p)    perceptions that the election had been rigged.

Sir, your Committee’s report has made far-reaching recommendations as regards how we can improve our electoral process and reduce tension in the process. These range from measures aimed at enhancing the autonomy of the ECZ to carry out its mandate to enforcement of laws relating to elections; the need to broaden the powers of the ECZ; announcement of election date; and unprofessional conduct by law enforcement agencies.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has also made recommendations on the need to create special courts to deal with disputes arising from the electoral process; the need for full disclosure by the ECZ of the electoral process; balanced media coverage; handling of election results; the need to reduce the number of documents required to vote; the role of political parties in promoting a democratic culture; voter education; and continuous voter registration.

Mr Speaker, during the session, your Committee also undertook a review of the operations of the Child Development Department in order to familiarise itself with the operations of the department and have an appreciation of the challenges, if any, that it is encountering.

Mr Speaker, following this review, your Committee notes that the situation of children in Zambia is worrisome. The life of the ordinary Zambian child is characterised by poor nutrition; limited access to education; lack of access to safe water and sanitation; poor access to health facilities; lack of necessary family support; disease; and street-ism, to mention but a few.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is further appalled that the department received as little as 25 per cent of its approved Budget in 2014 under the Street Children Rehabilitation and Reintegration Programme. Your Committee finds this level of funding to such a priority programme unacceptable. In this vein, your Committee calls for improved funding to the department and full release of the funds appropriated for its activities.
Further, the Government should also expedite the granting of Treasury authority to enable the ministry immediately implement the approved structure by recruiting the much-needed personnel for the department so that it can operate at full capacity.

Sir, given that children’s issues cut across sectors and ministries, there is a need to develop a mechanism which will ensure that adequate resources are availed to all ministries dealing with children’s issues for the effective implementation of children’s programmes in a timely manner.

Mr Speaker, your Committee calls upon the Government to raise the profile of children’s issues on the National Agenda and bring them into sharper focus as a matter of urgency. In particular, your Committee wishes to see increased and direct engagement in child affairs at the highest levels of the Government.

Sir, all hon. Members will agree that child development is urgent and critical to the future of our country. I therefore, urge all hon. Members of this august House to study your Committee’s report and the Government to implement the recommendations of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I am glad that I am the first one to debate. I have read the report of your Committee’s report which is on the Floor, and support the observations and recommendations.

However, Mr Speaker, I have identified two enemies in regard to the topic under discussion. The first one is power and the second one is suspicion. Being in power is as much a problem as not being in power. The problem with being in power is power itself and the problem with not being in power is suspicion. The one who is not in power will suspect what is and what is not. The one who is in power will hold onto what should not be held on to, hence the reports of torture and electoral malpractices.

Mr Speaker, the police, for instance, have been accused of being partial. However, the police officers are not partial. It is the person in power at that particular time who makes the police or the Electoral commission of Zambia (ECZ) to dance to his/her tune. Before Zambia got its Independence, those who were in power thought that they would never go out of power. They used the police. People would just see police officers at their door steps sent by those in power.

Sir, today, I will not blame the police officers, but the people in power. We know that one day we shall not be in power? This only becomes a reality when we are no longer in power. In the few years that I have lived, I have seen our founding father, President Kenneth Kaunda, taken to prison when he was no longer in power. We should understand power like someone somewhere understood it. After twenty-seven years f being in incarceration, he only stayed in power for five years and let go. Someone in the world did that.

Sir, the way we handle power will result in whether or not we tolerate torture. According to your Committee’s report, there is no legal framework to deal with torture. There is no description of where torture starts and where it ends. There is no law that governs the issue of torture. There is no law that provides guidance on how to complain of torture.

Sir, the report is suggesting that we domesticate international conventions on torture. Zambia has not yet domesticated the International Conventions on Torture. Therefore, the ones who are being tortured by agencies that are being sent by the powers that be suffer for nothing.

Sir, where is the law to protect people against torture? There is no law yet. So people will continue being tortured, and the levels of torture will depend on the person in power at that particular time.

In Zambia, police officers also complain of being vulnerable. However, they are sent to torture people and are later blamed for it. We are yet to know how to describe torture and how to handle it. This will depend on the person in power at the time.

Mr Speaker, the decisions of the ECZ also depend on the one in power. For example, the person in power can decide to hold the elections today and the ECZ has to go by that decision. The Constitution, which is the law of the land, does not stipulate the date for conducting elections. The ECZ can only announce the election date when the person in power says that he/she is ready for the election. Therefore, the one who is not in power will be suspicious about this. When there is a delay in colleting ballot papers from the polling stations, for example, in Lukulu West, because they are carried on oxcarts and canoes, like the seconder said, this raises suspicions. Whenever you do things which people do not understand, you create suspicion. For example, when the ECZ announces election results from Kabompo that are different from what is on the ground, it creates a problem because the people who are not in power become suspicious. This can result in conflict. Therefore, if the people in power and those suspecting the people in power can come to an agreement, maybe, dialogue through conflict management committees, these suspicions can be cleared. Sometimes, it is hard to have that dialogue because some people hide in the name of power, and do not want to engage in dialogue.

Mr Speaker, there is another tool used in elections in Zambia known as ma yusi.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, ma yusi can be sent to …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Meaning what?


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the youth can be released on the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, for example. If the youths are released on him by the people who are in power, even the police will not be able to come to his rescue. It will take a bold decision from police officers to do their work professionally. The consolation is that you are in power today, but you will not be in power tomorrow. No one is going to be in power perpetually. However, we tend to forget that.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, without disturbing the train of your debate, please, address the report on the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs.

With that guidance, continue.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, human rights and governance are connected to the one who is in power.  Maybe, I should be referring to the report.

Mr Speaker, on Page 14, the report says that there is absence of a clear legal framework on torture. On Page 15, the report says that the Human Rights Commission has a limited mandate and, on Page 30, the report notes that the ECZ has no power to make autonomous decisions. Therefore, who makes the decisions? The person in power at that particular time makes the decisions. Who announces the election date?  The person in power announces the election date. Our Committee’s report further notes that there is unprofessional conduct by law enforcement agencies. What makes them conduct themselves unprofessionally? It is the person in power at that particular time. It is all clear.

Mr Speaker, the one who is not in power will be suspicious when the person in power does not announce the election date.  

Mr Speaker, the report further says that we need to broaden the powers of the ECZ. However, how do we broaden them? Maybe, we can do that through the Constitution. Some of these issues can be tackled through the Draft Constitution which will be adopted through the Referendum. If not, these problems will continue, and the ECZ will continue operating according to what the Ruling Party says. The police and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) will also continue to operate according to what the Ruling Party says. The police officers will also act according to what the Ruling Party says, but will be blamed, in the end, for acting unprofessionally. That is why you see that when someone else comes into power, he fires the senior officers in these institutions so that he/she appoints those that can dance to his/her tune. If you cannot carry out the instructions from the one in power, forget about keeping your job.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You have belaboured the issue of power play, can you move to another issue.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, in supporting your Committee’s report, let me say that I hope that the Executive will take into consideration the observations and recommendations f your Committee. However, the issue of power needs …

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Mutelo: There is a need for consensus among us all. Otherwise, this will be a source of …

Hon. Members: Power.

Mr Mutelo: … conflict.

We have the Public Order Act, which we had before Independence, and we condemned it. We said that when country got independent, we would change it. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) came into power, the Public Order Act was bad for those who were not in power. The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) came into power, things were bad for the Patriotic Front (PF) who said that the Act would be amended immediately they came into power. The PF are now power, but the Public Order Act has not been amended. It is still as sweet as it was before Independence, ...


Mr Mutelo: … and during the time of Dr Kaunda and that of the MMD.


Mr Mutelo: We, in the Opposition, are now saying that we should amend the Public Order Act.  When we come into power, we shall simply say, “Since our friends used it, we should also use it.”


Mr Mutelo: Meanwhile, the police officers will be the ones to suffer. This is why I am saying that the problem is power and the way it is handled.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Someone who was detained for twenty-seven years only ruled for five because he understood power.

Mr Speaker, with these very few words, …


Mr Mutelo: … let us get to know how to handle power and suspicion.
I thank you, Sir

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I stand to support your Committee’s report and to commend the mover and seconder of this Motion. I will be very brief in commenting on two issues to do with the review of the operations of the Child Development Department in the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

Mr Speaker, it is very clear that your Committee undertook a comprehensive study by firstly getting the background to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and its functions under child development. I note that the functions under child development are very clear and well-articulated. I do, however, notice one problem of inadequate resources. The ministry, which has very little resources, deals with issues of coordination. The human resource structure, whose presence has to be felt where the people are at the district level, is yet to be fully placed. As a result, street-ism, as reported on Page 35 (II), is rampant.

Your Committee reports that in 2014 the department reached out to a total of 160 families in Lusaka, Kabwe, Livingstone and Kitwe to try to re-integrate street children. Sir, 160 families is a tip of the iceberg because the problem is deeper than that. How can this department do more so that the children we see everyday in big cities like Lusaka are removed from the streets?

Mr Speaker, it is a shame that we are subtracting from these children, through no fault of theirs, the development of their future. We have the opportunity, but it is the question of coordination that must be looked at.

It is further reported that 1,100 children from the streets were later re-integrated with their families. Again, you will note that the number of children on the street does not seem to reduce. Worse still, the children are seen escorting their guardians around, asking for alms. My proposal is that as much as we are able to articulate what needs to be done, we also need to get down to the implementers at district level. Let us have a full complement of staff who are experienced in dealing with public relations and who understand other departments’ roles in the development of the child.  

Mr Speaker, apart from being deprived mental development and nutrition, the children are abused. I shudder to think about how they will relate as adults because of the bad habits they are learning on the streets. What kind of contribution will they make to our country? It is important, therefore, that there is coordination between this department in the ministry and the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education which is greatly responsible for children. What are the tell-tell signs of children not lasting in school?

Mr Speaker, your Committee recommended the review of the National Child Policy which, I think, is timely. As our population increases, so will the poverty levels. Therefore, it is important that there are guidelines on the implementation of various programmes and projects relating not only to child rehabilitation but also child development in general.

Mr Speaker, what has happened to our well-cherished extended family system, which was and still is an insurance that no child will have no parents? I note that this has been stretched because of the harsh economic realities. So, poverty has a lot to do with the fact that families are not able to cope and the broader aspect of the Government should be to ensure that all players do their best to reduce poverty. When poverty is rampant, those who suffer the most are mothers and children, especially children. This is where the responsibility of the department under this ministry lies.

Mr Speaker, I am not quite sure but, perhaps, I will hear from the hon. Minister what their concern is for children between the ages of zero and fifteen. I wonder whether the Ministry of Youth and Sport undertakes to look after the older children. How are they rehabilitated, re-integrated and assured of jobs after they have acquired certain skills? This is important because as they attend various programmes, they look forward to being engaged in some useful way in order to be productive.

Mr Speaker, I would like to get back to the ECZ and the issue of autonomy, as observed by your Committee in its report. In my view, the ECZ should not be seen to be only active when there are elections. They have to be engaged in voter education and for various political parties in their roles and the strengthening of inter and intraparty democracy throughout the year.

Sir, to be truly autonomous, the ECZ should have adequate financial resources. There must also be an amendment to our laws to ensure that the ECZ is not just a counseling institution. It should have powers to deal with those involved in electoral malpractices so that they can be dealt with without having to be referred to other institutions. As it is, the ECZ cannot deal with certain matters, but can only send them to the law enforcements agencies. This denies speedy justice. Complaints that are presented to our courts of law take a long time to be disposed of and they are very costly. Just like your Committee has observed, I am advocating that the ECZ is given judicial and legal autonomy.

Mr Speaker, although one notes that this House is involved in the ratification of commissioners, perhaps, it would help us all if various political parties and other stakeholders are involved in the nomination process. Since this is not provided for in the Constitution, that could be the starting point.

Sir, many other issues have been highlighted and I am sure they will be useful to the Executive. However, I note that when one is in that position, they feel that these issues do not affect them. If we were to take a nationalistic stance, whether or not we are in power, as the Hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West has said, the decisions that we make would remain valid and fair.

Mr Speaker, I am urging the Executive to seize the opportunity to review the various aspects that govern the ECZ and, in so doing, leave a legacy of being bold enough to make decisions that might appear to be injurious to them now, but that will promote democracy in the long run.

Sir, I said that I would be brief and this is my contribution in support of your Committee’s report.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwewa (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, I wanted to keep quiet, but I have realised that I would be doing a disservice to the children of Zambia. Therefore, I would like to make a few comments. I will zero-in on the orphaned and vulnerable children in the country.

Sir, the fundamental unit of all behavioral change is the family. Today, the family unit has been destroyed due to poverty and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ((HIV/ AIDS). We are lucky that in Zambia we have got an already existing structure which is the extended family system. However, what has happened to that extended family system?

Mr Speaker, sometime back, if my parents died, the elders in the community would sit under insaka and decide who would take care of me. They would pick an uncle and tell me that he would be my father from that day onwards. Unfortunately, if that person died because of HIV/AIDS, the family would look for another person who would probably also die. At the end of the day, there would be no one to take care of me. The only person who would be there to take care of me would be my grandmother, who would also have been relying on my uncle to put food on the table.

Sir, as a result, I would stop going to school and the safety net that was created through the extended family system would be totally eroded. Consequently, I would find myself on the street, fighting for survival. It is not easy to survive on the streets. One has to learn how to beg and steal in order to take something to the family that is waiting back home.

Mr Speaker, there are two types of street children in Zambia. We have a child on the street and a child of the street. A child on the street is a child who moves between Misisi Compound and the Town Centre, but does not sleep on the street. However, a child of a street is one who lives on the street. These are children who use the drainage system and abandoned buildings as homes.

Sir, during the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) era, the Government tried to send street children to the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to learn skills through the Department of Child Affairs. They were trained and after their training, they were given a tool box each to help them find work. However, the Government did not look at the fact that some of the children were of the streets while others where on the street. Where were these children going to start from once the training was done and they were given the toolboxes? A lot of them either went back to the streets or went back to the compounds where they lived with their grandparents.

Mr Speaker, most of them sold the tool boxes they were given in order to raise money for food. I am, therefore, asking my Government to carry out a study on the children who were trained by the previous Government. Where are they? What are they doing? How many so far are able to use the tool boxes they were given? That is the challenge I am posing to my able Government.

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, my suggestion to my Government is that before we move the children away from the streets, let us know which households they belong to and try to empower them economically. When we empower the households, they will be able to provide food and other needs for the children. This will also prepare their guardians or parents psychologically.  When that is done, the children can be reintegrated with their families. If you empower a child whilst on the street, that child will still have nowhere to go and will remain on the street. It is, therefore, cardinal to try and bring back the lost extended family system. Let us empower the families first before we take the children back to their homes.  

Mr Speaker, today, if you go on the streets, you will find a lot of street girls. The number of girls who are on the streets is alarming. I started working with street children in 1996 when the Fountain of Hope was founded. Some of us who have got a passion for children cry when we see them on the street. The girls that you see on the streets have taken defilement as normal. The children are defiled by security officers. Every night, the girls are defiled in the air time stalls that you see on the streets. Sometimes, when they cannot bare it, they rush to my organisation in Kamwala to seek help. Sometimes the girls come bleeding to seek medical attention at our centre. These children say that every night, one girl is defiled by, at least, two to three officers and the number of pregnancies has risen.  These children have now taken this as a normal way of life.

Mr Speaker, my organisation buries a street child nearly every week. Why is this happening now? It is because of the activities that they indulge in whilst they are on the streets. Sex is an activity that they are exposed to every now and then. These children are infected with diseases such as HIV/AIDS and they end up dying on the streets. We always ask for help from my Government to enable us burry children nearly every week. Therefore, I request the Government to come to the rescue of these children.  

Sir, the money that is given to the Ministry of Gender and Child Development in the Department of Child Affairs is a drop in the ocean. If we are seriously concerned about the children, there is a need for us to pump in more money so that we can help them. I know we take the children to the Mother Theresa Hospice. Some of them are on antiretroviral therapy (ART), but who is there to ensure that they take their medication at the right time? Who is there to monitor and supervise them, no one?

Sir, organisations such as ours cannot be open 24/7. We can only attend to the children that we have at the centre and not all of them. What about those on the streets? They end up sleeping on the streets. The street girls come to my centre during the day to bath and attend class. Sometimes, they are even counseled but, in the evening, they tell me, “Zebige, we are going back.”


Hon. Members: What does “zebige” mean?


Mr Mwewa: Mr Speaker, zebige means, “elder brother” or something like that. They will go back to the streets and if you drive passed early in the morning, you will see them getting out of the drainage. They live the centre clean, but come back very dirty. They will even tell you how many men they have slept with. Even those that are on ART do such things. I, therefore, humbly ask my able Government to seriously look at the best way to prevent these vulnerable children from getting infected with HIV/AIDS. This issue is not being overemphasised. It is real. Some of us who are always with them have seen these things happen. Therefore, my request to the Government is to try and find ways of how to help these innocent souls. The amount of money that you are giving the department is not enough. What can someone do with K2,000 for a period of four to six months? Where can that amount of money take you? These children need to bath, eat, shelter and medical attention.

So, there is a need for us to save Zambia because these children are the future of this nation. If we do not take care of them, we shall not be happy as we sit here. At one time, I went to Ghana, but did not see any children on the streets. I told Hon. Muntanga that I was impressed because I had not seen any street children in that country. One of the measures Ghana has taken in order to reduce the number of street children is to support the extended family system. Therefore, our children need to be empowered.

Mr Speaker, the other children that we forget about are those in prison. When a child is on the street, he/she is in conflict with the law whether you like it or not and he/she will go in remand prison where nobody gives him/her food or clean water. It is unfortunate because nobody thinks about these children. When they go into remand prison, they are mixed with hardcore criminals and when they come out of prison they too become hardcore criminals. It is time we sat down and looked at the fate of those children. They are supposed to go to reformatory prisons, but it takes years for a High Court Judge to authorise that for various reasons. If you went to any remand prison, you would find a lot of children waiting to be sent to a reformatory prison. Unfortunately, when a child is sentenced, we do not consider the years that he/she spent in the remand prison. When the Judge authorises the transfer of that child to the reformatory prison, we forget about the time he/she spent in remand prison. Sometimes, a child can spend two years in a remand prison, but this is not taken into account when they are transferred to a reformatory prison. If such a child gets a sentence of two years, then, he/she will end up serving for four years. This is not good.

Therefore, Sir, I urge my Government to seriously look at the welfare of children because they are our future leaders.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, you have the Floor and I hope you will be mindful of time.
Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Yes, I will be very brief, Sir.

Mr Speaker, after that good debate, let me move to another issue in the report of your Committee. I wish to commend your Committee for such a wonderful report. I want to zero-in on one issue in the few minutes that I have been given.

Sir, on page 46 of your Committee’s report, your Committee learnt that the Constitution of Kenya was a negotiated document. It is very interesting that we are now going to learn from Kenya. I want to tell you how Kenya lagged behind us. In the early 1990s when there was the wind of change for multi-partism, we went ahead of Kenya. In 1991, this country managed to come together and the then President agreed to bring the elections forward, from 1993 to 1991, and we all agreed that we needed a new dispensation. Although Kenya became independent earlier, the Kenyans failed to introduce multi-partism and that train left them. In 1994, the Opposition split, Oginga Odinga the father to Raila and Ford Asire failed to remove the political party that had actually inflicted pain on the people. I am not talking of removing a political party from power, but the change of a political system. This change only came in 2002. The negotiated document came after a very sad turning point because over a thousand people died during the 2002 Elections. They only realised that they were fellow Kenyans after they had already killed each other.

Mr Speaker, in this country, do we need such a turning point for us to come up with a new Constitution? Do we need to hit rock bottom?

Sir, the issue ably discussed by Hon. Mwewa and Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo with regard to street children is evidence of national failure. The system has failed. That is the evidence. Now, what we want to rehabilitate the children. Even for a road, you cannot continuously rehabilitate it. You have to overhaul it and start afresh. The engineers can confirm that. Continuous rehabilitation will cost a lot of money because the foundation is not right. The foundation to the ills in this country lies in good governance. Our country is now experiencing poor governance  that is bedrocked on a faulty Constitution.

Sir, three weeks ago, his Grace Bishop Mpundu refreshed my mind when he said that people in this country lack integrity and, I think, pastor, you need to pray for us (referring to Hon. Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha).

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: Yes, I will.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, there is no truthfulness in this country. We all know that people want a new Constitution. Submissions have been made and people have already spoken, but we are failing to achieve consensus. The lack of consensus in this country will lay socio- economic development for our people.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: The Constitution is about a country. I am happy to say that when the real debate for a new Constitution started, the current political parties did not exist. The political party that started this debate is not here today. So, political parties come and go. They are like a jacket which you wear and take off. All these parties will go at one point, but the country will still be there. So, as Zambians, we need to come together and deal with the issue of the Constitution. We do not need bloodshed. We need to address issues of street children, hunger, employment and high poverty levels.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is one of the most resourceful countries in the world, but people wonder why it is a poor country. I am not trying to downplay other countries like South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, but they are highly disadvantaged. Today, you give examples of how countries like Botswana, Rwanda and Namibia are more developed than Zambia, and yet Zambia has abundant resources. Therefore, we need to put in place a new governance structure that is bedrocked on a good Constitution.

Sir, the problem we have in the region, especially this country, is that we think that we are elected to be re-elected. We are elected to serve. If doing the right thing means you will not be elected, then do it. However, if you are working to be re-elected, then, you are working for your belly. At one time, when I chaired a meeting in Harare, I said that to the hon. Members of Parliament, and one of them rose on a point of order. I refuse to grant the point of order because I was a don …    

Mr Hamududu: ...  and what I said was a fact. We are elected to serve. If you serve properly, definitely, you will be re-elect. However, if, immediately you are elected, you want a re-election, then, those are politics of the belly. That is what has characterised African politics today, including Zambia. Some of my colleagues from the Patriotic Front (PF) and I were in key Committees, but I cannot believe that, today, my brothers and sisters in the PF can stand up and say something else. Where is the integrity? So, together, let us fix this Constitution. It is not only for one party, but all the stakeholders should participate. Therefore, the Church should be engaged to call for a meeting so that the issue of the Constitution can be resolved cheaply. We could build many universities from the money that has been spent on Constitution-making so far. Time and again, we are spending money on something very simple. This is because we are unwilling to achieve consensus and do what the people want. We are on trial. I am, therefore, disappointed to be an hon. Member of Parliament that has not provided leadership in this country. Very soon, everyone present here today will leave this House and be called former hon. Members of Parliament. When we are out there, the question we shall be asking ourselves is: What did we do to transform this country and put it on course? What have we achieved so far? We are doing the same thing time and again.

Sir, I want to give an example in relation to the Motion which was passed yesterday. Anyone could have passed that Motion. We have a partisan Parliament because of the Constitution. Whichever party comes into power, they will do whatever they want and buy off people. For example, when it comes to voting, they will tell some people to stay away and, after voting, the minority vote will lose. There were only 40 people on this side of the House. Where did the rest go? It is the faulty Constitution which is promoting bad governance.  

Sir, all of sudden, we have started talking about rehabilitating children, poverty and food relief. How can we be talking about food relief and the price of meal meal? This nation should have made a lot of progress in this are because farmers grow enough food and everyone should afford to feed themselves. We are talking about food relief and prices of meal meal.

How can you be talking about non-economic tariffs, and yet the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) invested in power generation? How can power generation be an issue when you want to sell power at a lower rate than the cost reflection? So, what are we trying to do? If we can deal with bad governance and the poverty situation, ZESCO will start charging economic tariffs because it is in business. Instead, we are always complaining that power is expensive. If you had a shop, would you sell your goods at a loss? You would not because these are principles of business.

Sir, as I wind up my debate, I want to question everyone in this House why we are called hon. Members when we cannot change the affairs of this county for better when God gave us everything. Therefore, I would like to remind my colleagues and the country that from east to west, north to south, we are one people. Can we sit down and have consensus and fix the problems that have beset this country. All the problems that we have are as a result of the Constitution that is causing bad governance. Do you understand? Let us do it together. Otherwise, your curriculum vitaes (CVs) are damaged.

 One day, there will be a Parliament that will deal with the Constitution-making process and you will be ashamed that during your time, you failed the people like we are almost failing. There is one year remaining for you to redeem yourselves on the issue of the Constitution. In Kenya, people had to die because of the same problem. Therefore, we are going to learn from the experiences of that country when we could have done it a long time ago. Kenya came after us in as far as the introduction of multi-partisan is concerned. Now, we are going to learn from the students. This is a country which is always learning and never coming to an understanding. It is always learning.

Mr Speaker, I would like to suggest that we stop undertaking tours because I think we are just wasting money. Last time we went to Rwanda to worst money. Let us make a stop to this and do some work. This applies to both hon. Members of Parliament and hon. Ministers. Why should we continue going abroad when we have the information on the desk?

Sir, with these few words, I would like to appeal to everybody that if we have to travel, we should fly economy class and not business class because we are just wasting money.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I wish to join other hon. Members who have spoken before me in thanking your Committee for ably tabling the comprehensive Report on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights Gender Matters and Child Affairs.

Mr Speaker, allow me to state that the National Agenda for Child Development is meant to put the Constitutional mandate, Government ministries portfolio mandate and the mandate of development partners into implementable strategies for the wellbeing of our children. This agenda is premised on a holistic approach to children’s upbringing, focusing on the pillars of children’s rights, namely:

(a)    survival;

(b)    development;

(c)    protection;

(d)    participation; and

(e)    health.

Mr Speaker, allow me also to mention that as we restructure our ministry, we have also taken cognisance of the need to refocus and strengthen our programming within the ministry and other line ministries and communities as well as co-operating partners who will look at, among other things:

(a)    health and nutrition;

(b)    early childhood development and access to education

(c)    protection against neglect and abuse i.e child marriage, child labour and children being denied the right to play;

(d)    human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevention, treatment, care and support; and

(e)    standard of living and legal identity for our children.

Sir, in response to your Committee’s observations and recommendations as well as some of the issues that have been raised in the debates, I am in agreement that the situation of children is serious, worrisome and requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders in ensuring that they grow up to their full potential.

Mr Speaker, on the prioritisation of children’s programmes, I wish to report that the Cabinet approved the revised National Child Policy on 15th June, 2015. The Policy seeks to address existing challenges facing children in Zambia. It will also enhance the administration of child welfare and development programmes, provide an implementation framework and improve the monitoring and evaluation of children’s activities and programmes.

Sir, as we embark on the formulation of the 2016 National Budget, I will seek an audience with my counterparts in the Ministry of Finance to see how the allocation and disbursement of funds for children’s programme can be improved to make it possible for us to implement programmes that focus on children. I must admit that this area has been neglected in the budgeting process.

Mr Speaker, on the implementation of the new structure for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, I wish to report that we got Treasury authority to enable the ministry recruit qualified staff in the ministry. Unfortunately, this is only forty members of staff in addition to the already existing eighty members of staff. I would like to believe that with the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, the number of staff can be increased in the 2016 Budget. At present, my ministry is working closely with the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to ensure that appropriately qualified people are recruited in 2015.

Sir, with the regard to the inadequate funds to purchase new vehicles and the distribution of the forty members of staff to be recruited, we shall only be able to send one officer to each province and have also taken some vehicles from the headquarters to be used in the provinces.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has also extended a begging bowl to development partners like the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to assist us get transport for the provincial offices. It is my sincere hope that in the 2016 Budget, the Ministry of Finance can appreciate the need for an increase in the budget allocation for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development so that we can achieve the desired goals.

Mr Speaker, in order to address the factors contributing to children’s vulnerability, I wish to state that my ministry is enhancing collaboration efforts with other ministries which complement our efforts. These include the Ministries of Youth and Sport, Health, Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Local Government and Housing, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and Agriculture and Livestock.

Sir, the Government welfare assistance intervention is designed to offer social assistance or support to the most vulnerable, poor and destitute in the country such as children living on the street. For now, this scheme is implemented through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. One such intervention, which is carried out by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, is the Social Cash Transfer Programme where vulnerable households are supported to engage in income-generating activities as a way of reducing poverty. This way, they become self sustainable and provide care and support to their children.

Mr Speaker, under this programme, children are indirectly supported through the empowerment of women. The Government has been providing support to women clubs countrywide for them to engage in income-generating activities for enhanced household food security and prevent vulnerability among children.

Mr Speaker, the Women Economic Empowerment Programme is also being implemented by other ministries such as Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Agriculture and Livestock, Youth and Sport and Commerce, Trade and Industry through the Citizen Economic Empowerment Programme (CEEC). My ministry, in partnership with the Ministries of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, Youth and Sport, Agriculture and Livestock, and Commerce, Trade and Industry, through the CEEC, have devised a new community-based programme, which is multi-sectoral in nature and that will have a high impact on the beneficiaries compared to the current programme of women’s groups or clubs.

Sir, I shall be bringing a ministerial statement to this House to inform the hon. Members how this programme will be run. On the availability of resources for children’s programmes across sectors, I am glad to report that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development has continued to develop mechanisms that will ensure adequate and timely availability of resources, from both the Government and developing partners, for children’s programmes. As a ministry, we have, once again, taken a begging bowl to the co-operating partners for funding, in addition to funding from the National Budget, in order to implement the following programmes:

(a)    Protection and Promotion of Women and Children’s Rights supported by the Department for International Development (DFID);

(b)    United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA);

(c)    UNICEF;

(d)    Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ)/UNICEF Child Protection;
(e)    the Anti-Gender-Based Violence supported by the United Nations (UN), Sweden, DFID and the Irish;
(f)    Boys to Men which will be supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); and

(g)    Girls at Work which will also be supported by the USAID.

Mr Speaker, I will be bringing a ministerial statement to share with hon. Members how the last two programmes will look like and how they will be implemented. The Girls Education and Women Empowerment and Livestock Programme (GEWEL) to support vulnerable girls in accessing education will be supported by the World Bank. We expect to reach 14,000 girls under this project. In addition, we expect to reach 75,000 vulnerable women so that we can raise the standard of their lives through income-generating activities. To this effect, I will also bring a ministerial statement to this House to share information on how this programme will be implemented.
With these few remarks, I wish to support the Motion to adopt your Committee’s Report on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to applaud and commend the mover and seconder of the Motion, and all the members of your Committee for the thorough manner in which they carried out their assignment. Going through this report, I was so impressed with the depth of analysis of the issues they tackled that if this report was presented to me as a Master of Laws (LLM) thesis, in my other life as an academician, I would have awarded it an “A” Grade.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, as the Government, we have taken note of the very insightful recommendations made by your Committee. Having said that, I would like to seek your permission to seek the indulgence of the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly to give me an extra two copies of the report so that I can share them with the Justice and Legal Reforms Commission. As you know, this commission was appointed last year to go round the country and come up with the recommendations for reform in the Justice and Legal sector. I would also like to give the other report to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) so that they can take into consideration these very useful recommendations made by your Committee.

With those few words, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to debate on this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, on behalf of your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs, I would like to thank most sincerely the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated, in particular, Hon. Mutelo, Hon. Mwewa, Hon.  Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo and Hon. Hamududu. I would like to pay tribute to Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo for the able manner in which she has responded to our report pertaining to issues of child welfare in the country. Finally, I would like to accept the honour that has been bestowed on your Committee by the hon. Minister of Justice, who is also Acting Leader of Government Business in the House for the presentation of our report.

Sir, as I wind up debate, I would like to make a passionate appeal to him to reconsider his position pertaining to the Constitution-making process, taking into account the results of yesterday. I would also like him to take into account the fact that there is not a particular party that will sway the vote to ensure that the Constitution is passed. I would like to appeal to him to engage all the stakeholders so that there is consensus and we abide by the advice of my younger brother, Hon. Hamududu, so that, as we leave this august House, we leave a legacy of having ensured that we have a Constitution that will stand the test of time.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.




The following Bills were read the third time and passed:

The Supplementary Appropriation Bill, 2013

The Excess Expenditure Appropriation Bill, 2012




The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1236 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 30th June, 2015.