Debates - Friday, 3rd July, 2015

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Friday, 3rd July, 2015

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint you with the fact that the House has lost one of its hon. Members, namely, Mr Humphrey Iddoh Mwanza, Member of Parliament for Solwezi West Constituency.

The late Hon. Mwanza was diagnosed with a stomach tumour at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in Lusaka, where he was admitted last week. On 1st July, 2015, he underwent an operation at the same hospital and the doctors successfully removed the tumour. Unfortunately, Hon. Mwanza passed away in the early hours of this morning, 3rd July, 2015, at the UTH Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The arrangements for the burial of the late Hon. Mwanza, MP, will be communicated in due course. I wish to further inform the House that Her Honour the Vice-President will, on an appropriate date, move a Motion to enable the House to place on record its condolences on the death of Hon. Mwanza.

May all hon. Members stand in their position and observe a minute of silence in honour of the memory of the late Hon. Humphrey Iddoh Mwanza, MP.

Hon. Members of Parliamentstood in silence for one minute.


Mr Speaker: Hon Members, I wish to inform you that the Parliament of Zimbabwe has made arrangements for return football matches to be played between the Zambian hon. Members of Parliament and their Zambian counterparts on Saturday, 25th July, 2015, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The House will recall that hon. Members of the Zambian Parliament hosted their Zimbabwean counterparts in the first leg of matches in Livingstone in July, 2014. The games are part of the on-going initiatives to enhance bilateral relations between the two member Parliaments and further strengthen the working relations among the members of the respective Houses.

I urge all the players to participate in training sessions, starting on 10th July, 2015, at 1500 hours, at the Zamsure Sports Complex. The captain for the football team is Hon. Stephen Kampyongo, who will be assisted by Hon. Munji Habeenzu while the netball female team will be captained by Hon. Berina K. Kawandami, who will be assisted by Hon. Moono Lubezhi.

Hon. Members will be advised on the relevant logistical arrangements in due course.

I thank you.



The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I rise to acquaint the House with the business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Wednesday, 8th July, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. That 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. After that, the House will consider the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

(a)    The Urban and Regional Planning Bill, 2015; and

(b)    The Referendum (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

Sir, on Thursday, 9th July, 2015, the Business of the House will commence with Questions, if there will be any. That will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. After that, the House will debate the Motion on the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation.

Mr Speaker, on Friday, 10th July, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time. That 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 Report of the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism. The House will, then, deal with any other business that may be outstanding.

I thank you, Sir.



Brig-Gen.Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, land is a very important resource. When will the boundary disputes between Their Royal Highnesses Chief Chitanda and Chief Kaindu be resolved?

The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, issues of land disputes between chiefdoms have been with us for quite a long time and a solution is needed to bring this situation to a stop. However, the Government’s belief is that chiefs have a role, under the auspices of the House of Chiefs, to resolve some of the chiefdom boundary disputes because they know their chiefdoms well and can advise the Government on the same. What the chiefs know about their chiefdom boundaries might be contrary to what might be perceived as the Government’s view on boundary disputes. Currently, the Government still recognises the chiefdom boundaries set out in the 1958 Act.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Sir, some mobile telephone service providers force their sales agents to register the subscriber identity module (SIM) cards before they are sold to clients. Is that not defeating the purpose of SIM registration and compromising national security?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, before I respond to that question, allow me to congratulate the three hon. Members of Parliament who have joined us in this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: They are Hon. Siliya, Hon. Mulasikwanda and Hon. Shuma. More importantly, I thank the people of Petauke, Mulobezi and Malambo …

Hon. Opposition Members: Time!

Mr Kambwili: Aah! So what?

The Vice-President: … for believing in the Patriotic Front (PF) and its leadership.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the three by-elections …

Mr Mucheleka: Time!

The Vice-President: … have definitely demonstrated the commitment and belief that the people have in the leadership of the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Quality!

The Vice-President: Sir, my grandson told me …

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

The Vice-President: … immediately after all the announcements had been made that the three parliamentary seats and twenty …

Mr Mucheleka rose on a point of order.

Mr Kambwili: Iwe, Judas Iscariot,ikala panshi.

The Vice-President: … out of twenty-three ward elections won resonated with some phrase young people are using these days, namely, ‘’.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Vice-President: That means to sweep clean.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Coming to the question …


The Vice-President: ... of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, as far as I know, the law states that individuals are compelled to register them with the service provider after buying them. The trend in which SIM cards are already registered at the time of purchase is new and the Government will consult the Zambia Information and Communications Authority (ZICTA) and the service providers. Thereafter, the country will be informed on the way forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, District Commissioners (DCs) now move around openly engaging in partisan politics. What is the Government’s stand on the DCs’ status as civil servants?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as far as this Government is concerned, all District Commissioners (DCs) are civil servants.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

The Vice-President: If you question that, you should consult the Cabinet Office on how DCs are recruited and what their mandates are.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, we live in a multi-party democratic dispensation. However, statements have been issued by members of the Ruling Party, from the Cabinet level to the highest level of the Executive, to the effect that the Government will not take development to the constituencies that vote for the Opposition because the Government only works with the Ruling Party. My question is: Which Government should constituents look to for development if not from the same Government that is being discriminatory in its statements?

Mr Kambwili: Do not bring politics in the House.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, development does not discriminate and the pronouncements that the hon. Member for Luena is talking about may be non-existent.

Mr Mwila: Yes!

The Vice-President: Sir, this Government is currently building a police headquarters with ten houses for police officers ...

Mr Mwila: Yes!

The Vice-President: … in Nalolo, which is the constituency I hail from, Mitete, Ikeleng’i, and Sioma. You can see that …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: … this Government does not discriminate in its distribution of development projects.

Sir, we are all one country …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: …and are proud of our country. As such, there is no leader who can choose to only develop one district or town. The resources that the Treasury raises are directed to all parts of this country. His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu, has clearly indicated that he wants to run an inclusive Government and take resources to all parts of the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, yesterday, the House heard that Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) will make a loss of about US$116 million. To avoid the increase in tariffs by ZESCO meant to cushion that loss, what measures has the Government put in place to avoid subjecting Zambians to further suffering? Will it subsidise the operations of ZESCO?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has actually asked two questions. The first is on tariffs while the second is on how we can protect the Zambian consumer from the shocks of the power deficit.

Sir, on the first question, my answer is that the tariffs will not change, for the time being, because the Government has to maintain the services and ensure that electricity is generated. If it reduced the tariffs suddenly, it would introduce new problems in the systems. However, the Zambian consumers will be protected by the measures that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development are currently working on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, now that the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) has also been kolopa.comed through corruption and mismanagement, …

Mr Speaker: I did not hear the other word you used.


Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I said, “kolopa.comed.”

Mr Speaker: What does that mean?

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, it means that ZESCO is suffering due to …


Mr Mucheleka: … corruption, incompetence and mismanagement.

Sir, the businessmen and entrepreneurs in Lubansenshi in Luwingu District are suffering due to load shedding. What steps will the Government take to enhance good corporate governance and avoid political interference, which has resulted into the load shedding that is making our people suffer, and restore public confidence in ZESCO?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the idea that there is corruption at ZESCO is perceptual. Were it real, cases would have been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Perhaps, if the hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi feels very strongly …

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members on the right, could you, please, listen to Her Honour the Vice-President in silence. She is on your side.

The Vice-President: Sir, if the hon. Member for Lubansenshi feels very strongly about the perceived corruption at ZESCO, he can report the ZESCO management to the ACC so that investigations can be undertaken to determine the true position.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, one of the most fundamental functions of the Government is to give its citizens the protection and security that they deserve. At the core of that protection is a professional police service. Recently, in Mulobezi, there was a lot of violence, to the extent that firearms were used and some cadres shot at. Unfortunately, the people who are alleged to have shot the United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres are as free as birds to date. Given this situation, what is Her Honour the Vice-President’s Government doing to ensure that this country is not engulfed in lawlessness and anarchy?

Hon. UPDN Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member said that this Government is a Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Of course, the PF is in the driving seat, but this Government is for all Zambians, and I want the hon. Member of Parliament to know that. As such, the Government is concerned about the security of every Zambian, including United Party for National Development (UPND) members.

Hon. UPND Membersinterjected.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if we made a thorough analysis of how the elections were conducted in Mulobezi Constituency, we would find out who the actual perpetrator of the violence was.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Sir, most of the cases were of people who were acting in self-defence.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: ... I will not explain further on this case because it is still in court and the law will take its course.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, our First Republican President is still alive and we are very grateful to him for having propagated his philosophy of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’, which was deeply rooted in his commitment to the divine principle of love. Contrary to that, we see a lot of hatred in the rank and file of the Patriotic Front (PF) party, resulting in violence and the extreme use of weapons of destruction against civilians.

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, how does the PF hope to unify this country using the ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ motto when hatred is its underlining philosophy?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this country has generated factories of falsehood …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … and we know that the managers and investors are the individuals who are agitating for violence and exciting our young people’s violence.

Sir, it does not pay to perpetuate violence whether in the political arena or other spheres of our lives. We have condemned violence in all its forms regardless of who perpetuates it, whether a PF cadre or a member of other political parties. So, the notion that the panga-wielding cadres are members of the PF is absolutely false.

Mr Speaker, just recently, the media sensationalised ill feelings against the PF leader, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, by publishing some images of pangas and other weapons of destruction …


The Vice-President: … to which the hon. Member is referring, yet the weapons were found on the bodies and vehicles of members of certain political parties.

Mr Mwila: The UPND.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: So, I want to correct the perception that it is the PF that is perpetuating violence and urge all of us, as political leaders, to ensure that our young people are not encouraged to participate in violent actions. This country is peaceful, and it must be kept this way. The various leaders in political parties should get together sometimes to dialogue on issues of violence, especially among the young people, because they are vulnerable. Yesterday, in this House, we debated the future of our children and the challenges they face. Therefore, we, the parents, should not contribute to their being violent. I also implore all hon. Members of Parliament to teach and observe peace in their constituencies and party structures and ensure that our country is at peace all the time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Sir, may Her Honour the Vice-President inform the House and the nation the Government’s position on proposals for the recognition of sign language as an official language in Zambia.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament may be aware we engage sign language interpreters at every Government function, which shows the commitment that the Government has towards the people with disabilities. As to whether sign language should be considered the eighth or ninth official language in the country, I think, we need to study the matter further before a Government pronouncement can be made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, with only 117 schools having benefitted from the seventy-five computers distributed per province, I am very worried about a child out there who will write an examination in the next four months. He or she will not have seen a computer, but be expected to sit for a practical examination. As a parent and Vice-President, does Her Honour think it prudent for a child in a rural set-up to write that examination and be expected to pass?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the PF Government is concerned about our children’s education and has reached some milestones in the education sector by ensuring that the system is inclusive. That is why we have introduced pre-education in schools, a move that addressed the plight of the poorest in our society, who could not send their young children to pre-education institutions. This Government has introduced information communications technology (ICT) education …


Mr Speaker: Order, both on the left and the right!

The Vice-President: … in our schools to ensure that the school-going children in Zambia are on a par withother children in the world so that they are able to access technological education.

Sir, in terms ICT equipment, such as computers, in secondary schools, the Government is committed to distributing them throughout the country when funds become available. Currently, we are distributing them in a phased manner. So, we believe that, before too long, all the schools will have the computers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, when will the construction of Katete University College commence? I ask this because the people in the district were very excited upon hearing the pronouncement that the university would be constructed. However, it is now mid-year, but no progress has been made in that project.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member should tell the people of Katete to continue being excited because the college will be constructed very soon.

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

The Vice-President: I have been assured by the relevant ministry that the construction of the three colleges in the North-Western, Western and Eastern provinces, Katete in particular, will commence this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President earlier said that District Commissioners (DCs) are civil servants. If, indeed, they are, why do they campaign for the PF and organise its activities in their districts? Further, who pays their salaries when they do party work?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think that I explained adequately the job of the DCs. Therefore, when they are found in a district, it means that they are inspecting projects or working.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Sir, it is important that the DCs get involved in monitoring developmental projects in all districts so that they can learn from one another.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, what has the Government done, so far, to ensure that our farmers receive farming inputs on time for the coming farming season?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, some fertilisers have been taken to some provinces but, since I do not have the exact figures on my fingertips, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives will be requested to provide the information to the House.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, in our language ‘kolopa’ means cleaning a toilet.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, could Her Honour the Vice-President confirm to the nation that all of us, as citizens, should use guns when we want to defend ourselves.

Hon. Member: Her time is up.

Mr Speaker: Let Her Honour the Vice-President respond.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not know the guns to which the hon. Members is referring. If he is referring to the guns in Mulobezi, I have already explained that the matter is in court. Therefore, we should let the law take its course.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.



591. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether the Government was aware of the outbreak of typhoid and lack of typhoid drugs in Mwatishi area of Nchelenge Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    if so, what measures had been taken to combat the disease.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, there is no outbreak of typhoid or any other infectious disease in Mwatishi area of Nchelenge Parliamentary Constituency.

 Sir, there is no typhoid outbreak that we are combating in Mwatishi. However, we maintain strong surveillance systems that thrive on high levels of alertness and keeping the index of suspicion for notifiable disease such as typhoid. In this line, we are disseminating key health-promoting messages on the importance of consuming safe water, using chlorine and boiling water. We are also monitoring food safety and promoting the use of latrines. In short, we have an active surveillance programme in Nchelenge.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, some victims …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that, on the Order Paper for 24th June, 2015, under “Questions for Written Answer,” there was W52, which read as follows:

‘Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) to ask the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    how much money was spent on periodic maintenance of the Katunda-Lukulu-Mumbezhi Road during the following periods:

(i)    January – December, 2013

(ii)    January – December, 2014; and

(iii)    January – April, 2015;

(b)    why the maintenance works always ended at Lukulu Civic Centre, leaving out the Lukulu – Mumbezhi stretch;

(c)    when the stretch form Lukulu Civic Centre to Watopa Pontoon would be rehabilitated; and

(d)    when the upgrading of the road from Katunda to Mumbezhi would commence, considering the feasibility studies had been completed.’

Mr Speaker, to date, the written answer has not been given to me. Is the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication in order not to give me the answer, which he should have done for the benefit of this House? Could it be because of some indolence that is taking hold in this House?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the answer to the question is now available. I must indicate that it was submitted late and apologies were tendered for that. Hon. Member for Lukulu West, you will be given the answer soon.

 Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, before the point of order, I was about to say that some people who have suffered from the disease have confirmed that typhoid is prevalent in the population around Mwatishi. Seeing as there is a contradiction between that information and the hon. Minister’s answer, could the ministry thoroughly investigate the issue to establish the truth.

 Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, as I said, we maintain strong surveillance systems and typhoid is a notifiable disease. Further, our staff maintains a high index of suspicion for typhoid. If they detect any case presenting with symptoms of typhoidin the community, they will not only notify us, but also investigate and ensure that any confirmed diagnosis leads to the declaration of an outbreak if the other criteria are met. For now, I would like to re-assure the House and the hon. Member for Nchelenge that there is no outbreak of typhoid in Nchelenge, and that our surveillance systems are alert enough to pick up the outbreak of typhoid countrywide.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


592. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing how many boreholes had been sunk in Chinonwe and Kashizhi wards in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency from March, 2011, to March, 2015.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, as of March, 2015, no boreholes had been sunk in Chinonwe and Kashizhi wards in Lukulu West. The Government has, however, allocated ten boreholes to Lukulu District under the 2015 Work Plan. The contract for the boreholes has been signed.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I am gratified by the answer. However, since the contracts have been signed, when will the boreholes be sunk? I ask this question because the rains may start falling by September, 2015, and if the boreholes are not sunk before the onset of the rainy season, the programme will have to be shifted to 2016.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the boreholes will be sunk very soon, just as similar projects are being executed throughout the country. That is an assurance I can give the hon. Member.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer has caught my attention because he has indicated that the ten boreholes were allocated to Lukulu District. Could he clarify whether he actually meant Lukulu District or Mitete, under which Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency falls. That clarification is very important to me because I am an interested party in the affairs of Lukulu District.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I meant Mitete under which Lukulu West Constituency falls.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, if the contract has been signed, then, it must indicate the time frame in which the works will be carried out. Could the hon. Minister indicate, in no uncertain terms, the time frame in which the boreholes will be drilled.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the works will start by August, 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, will the boreholes be sunk under the programme that was recently launched or under a different one?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, it will be under a different programme.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


593. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry what types of permits were given to foreign nationals who owned and operated block-making businesses.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, foreign nationals who own and operate block-making businesses are legitimately in the country and are required to incorporate either as limited companies, pursuant to the Companies Act, Chapter 388, Volume 21, of the Laws of Zambia or as business names pursuant to the Registration of Business Names Act, No. 16 of 2011. Upon incorporation of the company, foreign nationals are required to obtain a manufacturing permit, as stipulated by the Business Levy Act, No. 70 of 2011 and No. 20 of 2012. They are also required to register their businesses with the National Council for Construction (NCC) so as to ensure that the blocks they make satisfy set standards. The NCC, then, issues a Certificate of Registration of Manufacturers or Suppliers of Construction Materials. As can be deduced from the foregoing facts, our licensing regime for block-making businesses does not discriminate between foreign and Zambian nationals.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, do we take pride in having foreign nationals making money in block-making as opposed to empowering Zambian nationals through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) so that whatever they realise is ploughed back into our economy?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question.

Sir, indeed, we want the foreigners to come into the country and bring foreign exchange, which is good for the economy. So, we do not discriminate. Every investor, local or foreign, is allowed to invest in the block-making industry. However, this Government is looking at formulating policies that will favour indigenous Zambians, especially the youth, so that they can invest in this business. Other than operating taxis, this is one area in which all locals can invest to empower the local youth.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, is it not possible for the ministry to be innovative, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), by coming up with deliberate programmes, especially for rural youths, and setting up a fund from which the youths in the various districts can borrow and invest in block-making, which is a lucrative business?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF) is not restrictive. All Zambians who want to borrow from the fund only need to write a viable business proposal for purchase of block-making equipment. So, I agree with the hon. Member that the ministry should spearhead this by, maybe, assisting our youths to write acceptable business proposals in this industry. The CEEF is available.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has said that the Government will review the policy. Having heard and seen for ourselves the urgency of the need to address unemployment, particularly among our youth, could the hon. Minister indicate to this House how soon that will be done? The high incidence of youth unemployment in Zambia is a time bomb.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, unemployment is a global problem. However, this pro-active Government has deliberately set aside some funds to assist the youth. These are the Youth Empowerment Fund (YEF) and the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). These are all meant to create small businesses in our communities as a way of empowering and employing the youth.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, when opening shopping malls in Kitwe and Lusaka recently, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, emphasised the need to create local employment by involving the locals in trading. However, the hon. Minister does not seem to see anything wrong with foreigners dominating small businesses. Could he re-assure this House and the nation at large that his ministry is concerned about foreigners dominating the locals in Zambia.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concern that hon. Members have regarding Zambians being employed and taking part in business. The President’s directive to my ministry and I, personally, was very clear. We have been told to ensure that local supermarkets stock local produce, and that is exactly what we are doing. The country will increasingly begin to see more Zambian produce in supermarkets. For instance, 90 per cent of vegetables in Shoprite, Pick‘n’Pay and Spar supermarkets are Zambian. The fruits are at about 50 per cent. It is in dry goods that we begin to fall short. However, my ministry goes row by row in the supermarkets to engage them and ensure that our produce is on the shelves. This is done on a quarterly basis.

Mr Speaker, as for Zambians being employed, that is exactly what the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) is about. In promoting this empowerment, we work closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Her Honour the Vice-President to come up with schemes that will promote businesses that are purely Zambian. You will see us present Bills to Parliament as soon as we have analysed the businesses suitable for Zambians and known that the capacity is there. If the capacity is not there, we will devise deliberate programmes to build it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has said that the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) had money and even encouraged hon. Members of Parliament to assist their constituents in accessing the money for projects like block-making. However, we also know that the CEEC promoted some specific types of projects in different areas. For example, in Choma and other districts of the Southern Province, the only acceptable projects were those related to agriculture, especially dairy farming. However, those projects have not materialised. So, has there been a reversal of the commission’s position on which projects are acceptable in a given area? Will any project be encouraged anywhere in the country?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, the CEEC is not just concentrating on the agricultural value chain, but also on any deserving project, as long as there is a business case behind it.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made reference to the idea of assessing the capacity of Zambian entrepreneurs to operate certain economic ventures. Is her ministry not aware that very simple economic activities like poultry and selling of textile are now being done by Chinese nationals? When you go to Soweto Market at 05:00 hours, you find the so-called investors selling chickens. If you go to Kamwala, you find the so-called investors, Chinese nationals, selling dresses and other simple things that Zambians can sell. Is the hon. Minister really, at this stage, telling us that the Government is not clear on which area it needs to start with to protect local entrepreneurs?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Member for ‘Mafiga’ for the question.



Mr Speaker: She is the hon. Member for Mafinga.

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mafinga, thank you for the correction, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mwanakatwe: It was not deliberate, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Your apology is taken.


Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, her concern is genuine, and we are taking it up head-on. Yes, I agree that we should not have the Chinese roasting maize in markets because foreign nationals are not allowed to trade in markets. So, we have to review how the implementation and control of markets is being done.

Mr Speaker, as regards what my ministry is doing to protect local entrepreneurs, I am not saying that we will wait until we have done an analysis. The poultry sector that the hon. Member is talking about does not involve importation of any poultry products into the country. All the poultry that is sold is produced locally. So, the poultry sector is purely for Zambians. However, within Zambia, anyone can do poultry, whether a local or foreign national. As for selling textiles, there is no textile industry in Zambia. So, if I want to start making dresses, I have to import my cloth. That is why you see the CEEC looking at the cotton value chain so that we get to the final product. We have taken the process head-on and are tackling things one at a time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I was of the view that there is already a law in place that protects local entrepreneurs by restricting certain businesses to Zambians, and I thought that we could implement those policies immediately.  I also want to make a follow-up on the Question that has been asked about block-making. I have noticed that, in Ibex Hill where I stay, along the whole New Ibex Hill Road and the one going to Chainda, the shortcut to the airport, there are about six to eight block-making companies all run by foreigners. I take it that these have just come in, maybe, this year or the last one.  My question is: Do we not have a law that restricts this type of business to Zambians?

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, again, I like the passion being exhibited around the ‘Zambianness’ of what we would like to do. I think that this feeling is universal in this House. So, I assure the hon. Member that the law is being considered. However, we do not have specific laws that exclude foreign nationals from some sectors of the economy. What we have are laws that set ceilings in levels of participation by foreigners. The reviews we are currently undertaking involve setting out some areas that we believe should be purely for Zambians, especially where we have certified that the capacity among Zambians exists.

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.


594. Mr Mucheleka asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    how many tonnes of emeralds were produced from 2012 to 2014, year by year;

(b)    what the value of the emeralds was, year by year; and

(c)    what the total revenue raised by the Government from the emeralds was, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the production of emeralds from 2012 to 2014 year by year was a follows:
Emerald Production

    Year    Tonnes Produced

    2012    28.97
    2013    30.89

    2014    34.34

Mr Speaker, the value of the emeralds produced was as follows:

    Year    Quantity in (Tonnes)    Value (K)

    2012    28.97    151,101,774.50

    2013    30.89    264,678,580.17

    2014    34.34    553,788,161.00

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right.

Mr Musukwa: Yes, Mr Speaker, thank you.

Mr Speaker, K251,372,218 was raised by the Government from the emeralds produced from 2012 to 2014. The revenue is broken down as follows:

Year    Revenue (K)

2012    80,597,531

2013    55,970,829

2014    114,803,858

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer. However, I wish to find out from him how much of this revenue was paid back to the areas where the emeralds were mined, either through the local authorities or the chiefs, in line with the 2008 Mines and Minerals Act, which provides for revenue-sharing?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, in consonance with the Mines and Minerals Act of 2008, the proceeds from the mine operations are supposed to be shared among the communities, and I want to report that this has been done by the Ministry of Finance, which manages the sharing mechanism in the beneficiation of our communities. Hon. Mucheleka will also be interested to know that, apart from the tax obligations that the mining houses have, they are also involved in community work as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Are you able to indicate the figures?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, we are not able to indicate accurate figures, but we should be able to come with them later for the information of Hon. Mucheleka and the House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I know that the roads in Chief Nkana’s and Chief Lumpuma’s areas, on which the emeralds are transported, are pathetic. What is the ministry doing to ensure that the roads in the two chiefdoms I have mentioned are worked on so that, somehow, the local areas where those millions of dollars are raised benefit?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I agree with Hon. Namulambe that the state of the roads in those areas is pathetic. As he might have noted, in the last four to five weeks, the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, Hon. Yaluma, visited some of the areas and expressed the Government’s displeasure with the state of the roads. So, we are in partnership with the mining houses in that area to ensure that a quick solution is found.

Sir, under the ministry’s Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP), those roads are very important because they facilitate investment. So, they are earmarked to be worked on. I am sure that, when you pass through that area, you see that we are already working on the Kalulushi Road, which links some of the areas we have alluded to.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the production figures that the hon. Minister has reported, ranging from 28 tonnes to 34 tonnes, show some marginal increases over the years but, when you look at the revenues, I think, for 2012, it was somewhere around US$150 million. Then, suddenly, it rose to over US$500. Could there be an element of under-reporting and cheating in the production figures submitted? If there is suspicion of that being the case, what is his ministry doing to ensure that we get our fair share of the value of the minerals produced in our country?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, as you might see from our chart, in 2012, we were still auctioning the emeralds outside the country. In 2014, we started doing it within the country. The main reason we had to move from outside the country was to ensure we know all the transactions that take place in these auction circuits. So, that is one thing I could say about the leap in the price. We had never scored that highly in the foreign circuit.

Sir, as regards the monitoring of production, yes, we are doing that. However, I cannot say how effective we are. Suffice it for me to say that there are innovations coming in. The European Union (EU) has just funded a monitoring mechanism that will concentrate on production and ensure that whatever mineral is involved will be checked when it is extracted from the ground. We will monitor whatever is being produced and correlate it with the revenue we will get. So, we are introducing a new way of ensuring that we get the right production figures.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, my question is premised on my confidence that, that able team, in preparing to answer this Question, considered a number of issues. The question is: How many companies in the emerald industry are owned by indigenous Zambians either at the mining or auction sale level? I ask this so that we can appreciate the participation of Zambians in the exploitation of our-God given riches

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I concur with the hon. Member’s sentiments on the participation of Zambians in the emerald industry. The Government is equally alarmed and is trying to bring indigenous Zambians into this business. However, there are many small-scale licences that have been issued to Zambians in the emerald industry. The problem has been the huge challenge in getting funding. Contrary to our belief that emeralds are mined from the surface, one has to go deep to get even less than a gramme of emeralds, which involves a lot of money for acquiring machinery. That is what has prevented Zambians with licences from succeeding in the industry.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines - Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), is working out a solution to help Zambians by encouraging them to form co-operatives so that they are not exploited by foreign investors, who buy them off for a penny, but go on to make colossal sums of money. We are aware of that situation and want to end it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


595. Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    why the K160,000 approved for Chuundwe Primary School in Mapatizya Constituency under the 2012/2013 Infrastructure Operational Plan was not disbursed to the school;

(b)    what had happened to the money; and

(c)    when the money would be disbursed.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, the K160,000 approved for Chuundwe Primary School in Mapatizya Parliamentary Constituency under the 2012/2013 Infrastructure Operation Plan (IOP) was not disbursed because the money was not released to the ministry by the National Treasury. However, I assure the hon. Member that the school will be considered for inclusion in the 2015/2016 IOP. It is only then that the funds will be disbursed, subject to their release by the National Treasury.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mucheleka: On a point of procedure, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, early this week, Hon. Masebo, Member of Parliament for Chongwe, rose on a point of order regarding the information that was given by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing pertaining to the sale of various parks in Lusaka. The information that he gave was not factual, particularly with regard to Mwatusanga Park, which is close to State House. In your ruling, you directed the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to come up with a ministerial statement to clarify the issue by today, Friday, 3rd July, 2015. Is the hon. Minister in order to ignore your ruling, especially given the gravity of the issue and the controversy that has surrounded the sale of the parks by the Lusaka City Council (LCC)?  

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that your point of order is not only relevant, but also timely. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has not ignored the directive. In fact, well before today, two days ago, to be specific, he approached my office and indicated his inability to make the statement this morning because he had had to travel out of the city and I gave him permission to deliver the statement early next week. So, he is aware of the need for him to make the statement. Of course, the House is not aware of the communication between us, and that is why I said that the point of order is timely and relevant. The statement will be made early next week.

The hon. Member for Mapatizya may continue.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the money for Chuundwe Primary School was not released. However, under the same Infrastructure Operational Plan (IOP), two schools were funded in Mapatizya, namely, Kakopa and Siajumba, and the money was released. What reasons were advanced for the non-disbursement of the K160,000 for Chuundwe Primary School?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to put it on record that the hon. Member’s constituency was privileged to have three of its schools earmarked for funding and two of them were funded. With the availability of funds, we will consider Chuundwe Primary School in the 2015/2016 IOP.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to shed some more light on this matter. What really happens to the money that is planned to be spent on something and approved, but not disbursed by the Treasury? The Government has now pushed the funding of infrastructure at Chuundwe Primary School to 2016.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, funds can be approved, but their disbursement depends on their availability. Even at the personal level, you can come up with a project you are very sure you will implement but, sometimes, you are unable to do so due to a lack of funds.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the project was supposed to be funded between 2012 and 2013, but was moved to 2014. Now, the hon. Minister is talking about 2015/2016. Why should a project that was planned for and funded in 2012 be moved to 2016?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, we regret that we could not release the money to the said school. However, our answer is very clear. Due to budgetary constraints, we could not receive the money from the Treasury and we could not release money that we had not received. In an effort to disburse the said money to the school, we plan to include it in the next Budget.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Estimates on the Quarterly Review of the 2015 Budget for Selected Ministries for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 30th June, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Mphande (Mkushi North): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook a quarterly review of the 2015 Budget performance for the ministries of Health; Agriculture and Livestock; Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; and Transport, Works, Supply and Communication. The controlling officers for these ministries appeared before your Committee while the Ministry of Finance was requested to verify their submissions and highlight the major macro-economic developments in the first quarter of 2015.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observed that,in the 2015,the Government is piloting output-based budgeting through the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. Your Committee perceives output-based budgeting as an appropriate opportunity to ensure the attainment of the desired results, especially when accompanied with corresponding measures to promote performance management. Your Committee recommends the inclusion of performance management clauses in the public finance laws and regulations to enhance budget outputs.

Mr Speaker, following the quarterly Budget performance review of the selected ministries, your Committee observed that the budgetary allocations and consequent releases of funds in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in the first quarter of 2015 is highly skewed towards payment of the 2014 Food Reserve Agency (FRA) arrears owed to farmers and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), leaving a very small proportion of the budget for overall agriculture support programmes. Your Committee noted that K380,850,107 was profiled against K516,298,415, representing 135 per cent of the profiled amount released in the first quarter of 2014. In the first quarter of 2015, K527,237,086 was profiled against K588,994,756, representing 111.7 per cent  of the profiled amounts released in 2015. Further, the 135 per cent released in 2014 and the 111.7 per cent released in 2015, respectively, against profiled amounts, were a result of supplementary funding to FISP and the FRA. These amounts catered for carry-over payments …


Mr Speaker: Order, on both the left and the right!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, these amounts catered for carry-over payments for contracts entered into by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, and the FRA in 2013 and 2014, for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 agriculture seasons, respectively. The higher disbursement of funds was necessitated by the need to facilitate the additional payments to farmers for the 2014 Crop Marketing Season following the Government’s decision to increase crop purchases from 500,000 metric tonnes to 1,000,000 metric tonnes. In light of the above, your Committee recommends that overall agricultural development be paid full attention in terms of funding to promote diversification in the sector, which is key to the growth of our economy and, consequently, the development of our country.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the budgetary allocations and release of funds in the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication is skewed towards the ambitious road construction projects across the country, leaving other equally important mandates of the ministry, such as the maintenance of Government buildings and dredging of canals, which are very important in transportation in some parts of our country, not adequately attended to. Your Committee was informed of the progress of various projects under the Road Development Agency (RDA) for the first quarter. These projects, which included Link Zambia 8000, Pave Zambia 2000, Link Lusaka 400 and some maintenance and rehabilitation projects, were generally behind schedule due to inadequate funding. It is important to note that bituminous roads are costly, but vital. The huge funding for these roads has, to a large extent, excluded the rehabilitation and maintenance of rural roads, thereby slowing down rural development. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the budgetary allocations and disbursement of funds cater for all the mandates of the ministry in a balanced manner.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was also informed that the approved 2015 budgetary allocations for the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education was K9.4 billion, registering an increase of about 13 per cent compared to the 2014 allocation. The 2015 allocation was broken down into K6.4 billion or 68 per cent for personal emoluments …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Just pause, hon. Member. The consultations on the far right are disturbing us.

Hon. Opposition Member: Sikazwe!

Mr Speaker: Please, if you have some pressing issue to discuss, withdraw from the Chamber. The hon. Member on the Floor is struggling to communicate because of the noise.

Hon. Hamududu, continue.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, let me restart the paragraph.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that the approved budgetary allocations for the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education in 2015 was K9.4 billion, registering an increase of about 13 per cent from the previous year. The 2015 allocation was broken down into K6.4 billion or 68 per cent for personal emoluments, and K2.9 billion or 32 per cent for non-personal emoluments. That represented the highest funded sector in the 2015 Budget, at 20 per cent.However, it was noted that the ministry had three key areas, namely, science and technology, education and skills development, and higher and tertiary education. Despite this seemingly high allocation, the bulk of the funding went to salaries for teachers and other workers in the sector while projects and operations were allocated only 23 per cent of the ministerial budget. With this low funding for operations, your Committee is of the view that quality education will be compromised further.

Sir, controlling officers have continued to raise the issue of long procurement procedures as one of the challenges hampering effective implementation of projects. While your Committee appreciates that this problem exists, it is of the view that part of the reasons for this challenge is the absence of procurement plans and early preparations by spending agencies. It argues that, if procurement plans are in place, the controlling officers will be able to facilitate procurement for projects that require immediate execution on time. In light of the foregoing, your Committee urges controlling officers to make procurement plans part of project planning. That way, projects will be systematically implemented because long procurement procedures will be provided for in the plans well ahead of time.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that Section 3, Sub-Section 2 (b) of the Public Finance Act of 2004 provides that the Minister responsible for finance shall be responsible for presenting bi-annual budget performance reports to the National Assembly. Your Committee also notes that there was an attempt by the hon. Minister of Finance to do so when he presented a ministerial statement on the mid-year Budget performance for 2015. However, your Committee is of the view that the ministerial statement did not provide an opportunity for adequate consideration by your Committee and Parliament in general.

Mr Muntanga: That is correct.

Mr Hamududu: Your Committee argues that the presentation of bi-annual reports will provide your Committee and Parliament an opportunity to appreciate the changes in assumptions made in the presentation of the Budget and the mid-year performance of the Budget. In light of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that the hon. Minister responsible for finance be compelled, by the law, to present to Parliament bi-annual Budget performance reports, which should be effectively considered by the various portfolio Committees before a report is presented to the main House., thereby giving various stakeholders the opportunity to participate in the process and Parliament and the nation will be updated on the mid-year performance of the Budget.

In conclusion, Sir, I wish to record the gratitude of your Committee’s members to you for according them an opportunity to serve on your Committee. I also thank the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and contributed to its work. Gratitude also goes to the Office the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mrs Mphande: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in seconding a Motion that has been so ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I would like to highlight a few issues that have not been covered in the Chairperson’s remarks.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) have continued to take a larger share of the budget for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. Available empirical evidence points to the fact that interventions …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that available empirical evidence pointed to the fact that interventions like the purchase of maize through the FRA and continued implementation of FISP, in its current form, are not effective in promoting development, poverty reduction and competitiveness. Following various reviews of the programmes, your Committee recommends decisive actions targeting the correct beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observes that subsidies on fuel have been one of the key drivers of increased Government expenditure. It is also of the view that fuel expenditures have, at best, distorted the market and limited benefits to the ordinary poor Zambians. In this regard, it recommends that the Government puts in place a cost-reflective fuel pricing mechanism that will be self-financing and sustainable.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the Government has embarked on various projects, as evidenced by submissions from ministries that appeared before your Committee. Regrettably, most of the projects have stalled due to inadequate funds. Your Committee is, therefore, concerned that embarking on new projects without a corresponding increase in resource mobilisation will have adverse consequences on the economy. Your Committee notes that the Government will attract unnecessary costs associated with demobilisation by contractors, increased interest payments and other penalties. In light of the above, your Committee recommends that the Government focuses on completing ongoing projects before embarking on new ones. The Committee further recommends that more funds be released for all the projects that have stalled.

Sir, your Committee notes that an adequate amount of time has passed since the approval by the Cabinet of the National Planning and Budgeting Policy, which is the precursor to the enactment of the National Planning and Budget Act. Your Committee is of the view that the delay in the presentation to Parliament for enactment of that important piece of legislation will continue to hamper the production of credible budgets. It will also deny key stallholders like Parliament, civil society organisations (CSOs) and ordinary Zambians at the local level a chance to participate in the budgeting process. In light of the above, your Committee recommends that the Government urgently present that important piece of legislation to Parliament for enactment.

Sir, in conclusion, I thank members of your Committee for affording me an opportunity to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Muntanga: Mafiga.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I need your protection. My constituency is well-known to all hon. Members of Parliament. It is not Mafiga, but Mafinga.


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

For avoidance of doubt, her constituency is known as Mafinga, not that (pointing at Hon. Muntanga).


Mr Muntanga: Not what?


Ms Namugala: Mafinga has the beautiful Mafinga Hills and the beautiful Nyika, Tumbuka, Lambya and Fungwe people.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also contribute to the debate on the Motion to adopt the Report of your Committee on Estimates.

Sir, unfortunately, the hon. Minister of Finance is not here. He must be in the House.

Mr Mvunga raised his hand.

Ms Namugala: Yes, the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance is here, but we want the Cabinet Minister to listen to what we have to say because, if the Cabinet Ministers do not take the debates in this House seriously, they will not represent the views of their people in decision-making. So, the hon. Minister of Finance must show seriousness by being in the House when such a report as this one is debated.

Mr Speaker, the lack of seriousness on the part of the hon. Minister of Finance can further be seen in his failure to adhere to the provisions of the Finance Act, which requires that he presents bi-annual Budget performance reports to this House so that the House can debate the performance of the Budget.

Mr Muntangaindicated assent.

Ms Namugala: He has not been doing so, and this is a very serious issue.

Sir, the report of your Committee indicates many serious issues in terms of Budget performance. You will note that the implementation of many of the projects that the Government initiated, such as the programmes under the road sector like Link Zambia 8000, Pave Zambia 2000 and other maintenance and rehabilitation projects, is behind schedule. According to your Committee’s report, the implementation of the Link Zambia 8000 Project is at 15 per cent, that of Pave Zambia 2000 is at 0.15 per cent while that of the Link Lusaka 400 is only at 24 per cent. The projects that this Government continuously brags about, if I can use the word ‘brag’ …

The Deputy Chairpersonindicated ascent.

Ms Namugala: … are all behind schedule. So, one wonders why the hon. Minister of Finance has, time and again, said that he is managing the economy and insists that he must continuously borrow money externally to improve the economic infrastructure when the Budget’s performance is so poor.

Mr Speaker, you will also note that on Page 9 of your Committee’s Report, the Committee urges the Government to concentrate on ongoing projects instead of initiating new budgeted-for ones. Had the hon. Minister of Finance brought a performance report, hon. Members of the House would have debated the performance and guided him accordingly.

Sir, on Page 11, the Committee indicates that there is a need for us to rationalise expenditure by spending money where we will get economic value. You will note, sadly, that grant-aided institutions like the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) are given huge budgets. Why should the ERB be given so much money? I am not sure if you know where the ERB is situated, but it has an office complex that is bigger than most ministries. Why should that regulatory institution be housed in such a big complex? Is that not wasteful? If the hon. Minister was here, he would have indicated why the ERB must be housed in such a big complex at the expense of the Zambians who are wallowing in poverty in Kabwata Constituency.


Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear! Kabwata Constituency.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, why does the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZITCA) receive huge budgetary allocations, too? Is it really a priority? Why did the agency buy the former American Embassy building? What is going on with this Government? Have we lost control of the institutions under the Executive? Why should ZICTA be housed in such a big complex and continue to get such huge budgetary allocations?

Sir, on the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), we all want it to buy maize from our constituencies. It is a good thing. However, at what cost should it do so? Again, I wish the hon. Minister of Finance was here.

Mr Speaker, our people must know that the FRA is meant to be a buyer of the last resort. Additionally, the Government must create an enabling environment for the private sector to buy cereal and other crops from the farmers. If we continue to spend money buying all the maize that the farmers produce, we will continue losing money that is meant to build infrastructure to help the same farmers we think we are helping. I think that the Government needs to come clean on this issue and say that it can only buy so much because it buys the maize at a subsidised price. This decision would be very unpopular, but it has to be made because we spend more than K2 trillion unrebased to buy maize from all the farmers. Even in Chongwe and many other areas that you can really call not economically non-viable, the FRA is buying maize, which means that the Ministry of Finance is allocating more money to the purchase of maize than what was budgeted for. That money can be used to improve the infrastructure in the rural areas where it is required. Unpopular as it might be, the hon. Minister of Finance needs to come clean on this and provide an enabling environment for the private sector to buy excess maize. We are wasting resources by buying maize where the private sector can buy it.

Sir, in terms of accountability, after the FRA buys maize, it can hardly account for every bag of maize. Can we ensure that this does not continue. We are aware that a lot of the maize that the FRA buys goes to waste. So, we need to make the tough decisions. Can we continuously provide all this money to the FRA for purchase of maize? The answer is, no. It is unsustainable for the Government, year in and year out, to budget for 500,000 metric tonnes of maize and, after that, when the budget is being executed, end up buying 1 million metric tonnes of maize. The Government must start rationalising so that the money that can be served goes to the critical areas of our economy.

Sir, the other area in which I feel the Government is wasting resources is fuel. Why should the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development continue to procure all the fuel that comes into the country like it is currently doing? We are a liberalised economy. So, the Government should let the private sector compete for opportunities to procure fuel so that the prices can naturally go down. That will benefit the consumers. We know that, along the supply chain, the Government pays more than it should be paying for fuel and that the pump price is not cost-reflective because the Government has made fuel a political commodity when it should not be. The Government is not efficient, and we know that, in the procurement of fuel into the country, there is a lot of corruption. That is why the price that the Government ultimately pays for fuel is abnormally higher than what other countries in a situation similar to ours pay. In other words, the people of Mafinga are subsidising the oil marketing companies (OMCs) in the country, such as Total, Engen and Puma, when the money that the hon. Minister of Finance uses to procure fuel should be used to build the hospitals that the people of Mafinga, Nalolo and Chasefu need. Hon. Minister, we need to get to a point where we can say, “As a Government, we cannot afford this.”  

Mr Speaker, your Committee has indicated that there is a need to separate the Road Development Agency (RDA) from the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication because the budgetary allocation to the ministry appears to be very big, yet the bulk of the money goes to the RDA, meaning that other operations and activities of the ministry suffer. I suggest to the hon. Minister of Finance that we create a ministry that will properly supervise the road works in the country and ensure that the country does not continue to incur the kind of costs that it incurs in the construction of roads.

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


Ms Namugala: The road infrastructure is very critical to the diversification of our economy, but we need to supervise the road works more closely. We need to know which Government officials are benefiting from the road sector by getting kick-backs. We need to get value for money in the sector and use the sector to economically empower our people in the rural areas. As long as the RDA remains under the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, the scrutiny that is required in the road sector will not be there.

Sir, year in and year out, we hear of contractors who had been blacklisted in one administration being given contracts in another and we know it is like that because, maybe, they sponsored a campaign here and there. However, the cost, at the end of the day, is born by the people who need the service. Why should we pay so much per kilometre of road when, at the end of the day, it is the poor people who pay the contractors? From the contractors, the money goes to the politicians. So, we need to scrutinise the road sector because that is where the rot, if I may use that word, is. Zambia is paying too much for road works because we have failed to scrutinise the contractors. Even when we know that a particular contractor is inefficient, we continue to give them contracts at the expense of our people because they support our political parties. That is a fact, and I think that, if we do not admit that there is something wrong going on in that sector, the problem will persist.

Sir, sometimes, it is the officials who are given kick-backs, not the politicians.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: The people get away with it, build big mansions and live beyond their means. We know what is going on and, as leaders, I think that it is only fair that we provide the service expected of us by the people by scrutinising the road sector.

With those words, I support the report of your Committee.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to make my contribution to the debate on the report of your Committee. The hon. Member of Mafinga has belaboured many of the points that I wanted to touch on. That being the case, I will take a new dimension.

Sir, it is quite clear that the increasing Budget deficit is proving very costly to manage. The Committee observed that the initial projected deficit of K8.5 billion had risen to K20 billion, that the whole foundation of the Budget remained weak and continued to deteriorate, that all the economic fundamentals were unhitched, and that these factors will have consequences.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, when the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development issued a statement on the power deficit, he stated that one of the main reasons for the deficit was the low water levels. He further said that he was considering various options of addressing the problem, including the suspension or termination of exports of firm power rated at 90 MW. To help the House to understand the significance of the 90 MW exported, I would like to say that the whole of Burundi, where I spent some time in the last few months, consumes about 60 MW while Uganda, before the commissioning of BujagaliHydro Power Station, had an installed capacity of only 100 MW. In the Zambian context, the Southern Province, including Zambia Sugar Company, the Western and Eastern provinces consume less than 90 MW. So, the export of that much power has significant negative consequences on the economy, and the effects are not only felt by the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which include the welders, hair salons and bakeries, but also the manufacturing sector.

Sir, sometimes, when things happen, we ask for the reasons. Yes, we know that a trade deficit is normal. However, it is abnormal for that deficit to continue to increase because these are the factors that put pressure on the Budget and exacerbate the deficit. By the end of the year, the upper ceiling that we approved in this House would have been crossed and we will have difficulties with the 2016 Budget unless we, again, revise the ceiling from K60 billion to I do not know what figure.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the summation of the fundamentals is that we are eroding the capacity of this economy to create jobs and, even more crucial, fertilising the increase of poverty and emergence of a debt crisis.

Ms Lubezhi: Yes.

Mr Mutati: The hon. Member for Mafinga and the report both indicate that there are problems surrounding procurement and prioritisation in the road sector. We continue to be hit because of our inefficiency in the procurement process, which leads to the building up of costs. That, in turn, feeds into the Budget deficit because, we have to understand, that must terminate somewhere. The officers have said that the procurement processes are long, cumbersome and costly. On top of that, the projects have stalled. If we take into account all the projects that have stalled, the arrears that we owe and the arrears on Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds, we will end up in a situation in which we will need to revise the debt ceiling from K60 billion to K100 billion before the end of this year. That is the fundamental for the Budget deficit. What must we do, as a country?

Mr Speaker, it has become clear that to continue to think about and flip through the contracts for exports is no longer sustainable. We are at a position where we need to re-align and put in place austerity measures. I would like to recommend to the hon. Minister of Finance that he proposes to the next Cabinet meeting that the economic and people consequences of the export of power no longer require further analysis and study. Let us terminate those contracts in order for Zambia to reduce the power deficit. He should also raise the issue of procurement, especially as noted in the energy and road sectors. We know the answers. Let us truncateand save Zambia from this wastage of expenditure. As the hon. Member for Mafinga indicated, the third order of business in the next Cabinet meeting should be about getting down to reality. We have insufficient resources. So, let us finish the current projects before we embark on new ones. The Government is embarking on expansion projects without realising that it is creating a Budget deficit. That is why our cost of money or interest rates continue to hound us. This year alone, the reserves have fallen by US$400 million.

Mr Speaker, difficult times require difficult choices and decisiveness. So, the Government needs to wake up, reboot its disposition and meet the challenges with which we are now faced.

Mr Speaker, we should resist getting into a situation in which this country and its people should now be branded a deficit nation. ‘One Zambia, One Nation’ should not equal ‘deficit’.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mutati: We should resist the perpetuation of the deficit.

Mr Muntanga:Bwekeshapo!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, there are countries that are associated with deficits and we have seen the consequences of that. We will not mention those countries. Suffice it for me to say that we have the capacity to reverse the deficit. We should do that because, once you have the mentality of being known to be deficient, the sum of your management will be equal to a deficit.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga: (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Sir, the two previous speakers have done a good job of clearly bringing out the relevant issues. Therefore, I would like to state, in a simpler way, that, if the hon. Members of this House were able to help the hon. Minister of Finance with all the information they have on the ills of our economy, we were able to accept the realities on the ground, Zambia will change.

Sir, your Committee has highlighted very important issues. Fortunately, the hon. Minister of Finance had not gone away. He was in his office. So, he was listening.

Sir, for three consecutive years, farmers, who are supposed to be paid in March, have been paid a year after they supply their produce to the Government. This means that the farmers are not getting the revenue that is due to them on time. It is instead given to them in the following year, when they are already halfway into the next farming season.

Mr Speaker, the low crop production during the current season was not only because of low rainfall, but also because of not having paid the farmers in time. The farmers who had money and planted early had a better yield. I am a farmer. Therefore, I declare interest. I planted my crop early and I have maize. The drought did not affect me because I had the resources to take care of the crop early and it survived. So, our failure to pay farmers on time is impoverishing them.

Mr Speaker, every time I sit in this House listening to the debates, the Government complains that it pays the farmers too much, as if the money it pays the farmers is a gift that they have not sweated for.


Mr Muntanga: The truth is that they are paid for their produce. It is just that we do not have plans to export the crop. Otherwise, we would earn revenue and get foreign exchange. We think that we can just heap the maize and just look at it.

Sir, farmers’ co-operatives are not allowed to export maize because we are afraid that there will be hunger in the country, yet we under-budget for the purchase of their produce. Why do that when we know that, after all, every year, we will still need more money to purchase more crop than we initially budgeted for? Already, the money that we paid farmers for the last crop was meant for this year’s crop. So, there is not enough money for the current season. As a result, the Government has decided to reduce the price of maize. I now understand why the former Vice-President said that the Government would find a way to lower the production of maize. That is the what he referred to.

Sir, we should be able to abide by our budgets. If we continue implementing unbudgeted-for projects, we will not stop borrowing. Every time something comes up and the hon. Minister of Finance says he does not have the money, he is not listened to. The other day, we heard that he is scared of being fired or expelled. Maybe, that is the reason he does not want to argue. So, of course, he goes ahead with a Budget over-run.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has clearly stated that we are not following the Budget. The last time I debated, I mentioned that the hon. Minister should have issued a more comprehensive statement on all the important economic factors so that we approach matters properly. Unfortunately, he brought a summarised one. So, there is now a need for a mid-term Budget report so that we can help the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, the two previous hon. Members talked about the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) and the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB). The organisations get levies from their clients. For example, ZICTA has expanded because there are more subscribers to the services it provides. So, it received more revenue. However, it holds on to that money, claiming that it will use the money on developmental projects. What development? Is it the short antennae that are installed to cater for communication within a 5 km radius only instead of erecting higher towers so that they service more areas?

Sir, the offices of ZICTA are better than Her Honour the Vice-President’s. As if that was not enough, its offices are even much better than the His Excellency the President’s. Additionally, the Chairperson of ZICTA drives the latest Nissan, which is a very expensive car.


Mr Muntanga: It is the latest car on the market, yet he chairs a regulatory body. Why should we make them so big and rich? Is it because we want to channel money to the party through them at the expense of our country? Is that what we should do?

 Hon. UPND Member: No!

Mr Muntanga: We position people strategically because of that. We appoint people who hold party positions to head these institutions for that reason.

Sir, ZICTA has become a big drain that is not utilising public money properly. I, therefore, suggest that we revise the law that governs the institution so that some of the money that is raised can be channelled to the Treasury. The agency should not keep all the money that it collects because the hon. Minister of Finance needs money and he can get it from ZICTA.

Sir, the ERB also collects money from the oil marketing companies (OMCs). However, we have heard about corruption cases in oil procurement. Wherever it appears like there is money, there is oil. There are some deals that are entered into.

Mr Speaker, once, we allowed for money to be collected for strategic fuel reserves. Hon. Mutati was the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry then and he talked about how we were supposed to build our fuel reserves by charging a levy on every litre of fuel sold. That money no longer goes towards building the reserves anymore, but remains at the ERB. Only the meagre road maintenance fee is transferred and even that is a source of quarrels between the Ministry of Finance and the ERB. What about the money meant for the fuel reserves? Where is that money going? In a debate on one of the reports, we heard that the ERB was getting in excess of K25 billion every month as fuel levy. Now, we are not being told how much is being collected.

Mr Speaker, there is a need to look at the roads in a holistic manner, but let us not behave like those famous birds, indyabuluba, that make nests.


The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning?

Mr Muntanga: Sir, meaning indyabuluba.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, it is a name for small birds that make nests in thorny holes. You can see their nests at the Southern Sun Hotel. They start making a nest but, before they complete it, they start making another. However, among the several nests, there will be one that will eventually be completed and the bird will lay its eggs in it. Let us not behave like those birds. We should not have incomplete projects all over and not tell which ones we want to complete first.

Sir, what we want are complete projects. We know that we owe a lot of money. The Road Development Agency (RDA) became an important factor. We also know of people who bid for contracts even when they do not have equipment and capacity to carry out the works. How do they even get the contracts? You go to a road whose construction was awarded to a Mr X, just to find that the person working on it is a Mr Y because the contract has been sold. What does the RDA do at State House? How does it give contracts?

Hon. Member: Mpukunya matobo.

Mr Muntanga: Why should it give contracts to people who have no equipment at all? Is it for its officers to enrich themselves? We are watching and recording what you are doing. Time will catch up with you. There is no way we can have contracts awarded from everywhere in the Government. That is why some people have suggested that there should be a ministry just for road construction and maintenance so that things can be done accordingly.

Mr Speaker, we have said that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) should be funded adequately so it can be a buyer of last resort. However, we have not done what is supposed to be done. Let us create a situation in which the FRA will only be in charge of the country’s strategic reserves like our friends in Malawi do. Let us leave the buying of maize from farmers to the private sector. The FRA should only export excess produce from its reserves. Currently, we do not know whether the agency is going forward or backward. Today, it claims to have enough food and wants to offload some of it on the market but, a few days later, it imposes a ban on exports, claiming that the national reserves will be depleted.

Mr Speaker, let us be strategic and decide how much food we should keep in our reserves and how long it should be hoarded. Currently, we do not even know how long the FRA wants to hoard the food. It also changes the amount of maize it intends to buy from farmers at will. It promises to buy 500,000 metric tonnes but, halfway through the procurement process, decides to buy everything. That is political, not strategic reasoning. Once you turn food into a political tool, you will have problems. Oil and food have been politicised, and that is why the Government is struggling to correct things. So, we have to make hard decisions. When you go for medical treatment, the doctor will not continue giving you panadolafter you test positive for malaria. Instead, he or she will prescribe chloroquineor quinine. The chloroquinemight be bitter, but it will treat the malaria in your body. What ills us, now, is that we implement unplanned projects, and we should stop that. We should not think the only way to bring about development is by borrowing continuously.

Sir, if our colleagues continue borrowing at this rate, they will mortgage this country. They will also reach a stage at which they will all owe money. So, if they leave this country, they will be arrested at the airports.


Mr Muntanga: It is like borrowing money from a bank to run a business. If you do not repay the loan, the bank takes away your business. Similarly, our colleagues may mortgage Zambia to a point where everything in Zambia will belong to the countries they are borrowing from. The lenders will take over all the buildings we have in Europe or wherever. So, they must control their appetite for borrowing. It might sound funny, and you can giggle and smile all you want but, when things get serious, my friend, …


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want these people to understand. Their laughing at this issue shows their level of understanding. It beats my comprehension that they will only realise the wrong things when they come to this side of the House. I will not mention anyone, but some of them hardly understand what they are doing. They need to save Zambia like the one party President who says, “Zambia shall be saved,” although I do not know what the country will be saved from and how, considering the fact that we have people on your right behaving the way they do.

Sir, I thank you.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I stand to contribute to the debate on the Report of the Committee of Estimates.

Sir, it is on a sad note that, today, we have lost our colleague, Hon. Humphrey Mwanza, from the North-Western Province. Hon. Mwanza was a man we relied on to champion the cause for the liberation of the North-Western Province.

Hon. Member: ... and Barotse.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, today, I want to remember the works of Hon. Mwanza, what he believed in and what he has died for.

Sir, Hon. Mwanza wanted to see the North-Western Province liberated economically. So, we will honour his memory by championing the causes he left behind. We mourn with his family and friends.

Mr Speaker, the Committee on Estimates is very important. In fact, I am reminded of what used to happen in school if you went unprepared to write an examination. When you did not know the answers, you just kept writing and erasing things. Similarly, making estimates helps us to actually prepare for the future. In developed countries, even future weather patterns are estimated. The last solar eclipse that took place here was actually predicted before it happened. The problem we have in Africa, however, is that we want to be led all the time. We do not want to be strong enough to lead. However, the time has come for things to change.

Sir, I am happy that some of my colleagues who were with us in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) are hon. Cabinet Ministers in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government while others have joined as hon. Members of Parliament. I am sure my old man, the hon. Minister of Finance, will draw on their experience so that we can propel this country to the desired level of development.

Mr Speaker, I have been talking to the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock yesterday and today about the construction of concrete slabs, knowing that our people will be harvesting very soon or have already started harvesting. The positive answer I got from him should be the same as I will get from other hon. Ministers, especially those responsible for education, health, finance and energy. These are crucial sectors in our society.

Sir, I was very happy, today, to hear Her Honour the Vice-President say for the first time that we should work together. Let us look at our economy and build it for our future. I listened to those remarks with a lot of interest. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, my cousin or brother, must visit Ikeleng’i and see what we go through in the constituency.

In your Committee’s report, which has been presented by Comrade Hamududu, the economist, …

The Deputy Chairperson: The word ‘Comrade’ is alien here. Could you substitute it with an appropriate one.

Mr Muchima: Sorry, Sir.

Sir, the revelations in the report presented by Hon. Hamududu are crucial, especially since we have been implicated in the increased borrowing by the Executive. Parliament endorsed the Motion to increase the debt ceiling. The Opposition objected, but we are all party to that decision through collective responsibility. Therefore, we need to know how much of the money we borrow will go, for example, towards works on Jimbe Road or the road connecting Zambezi East to Zambezi West, where our colleagues on your right won the seat that is now held by my sister, the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Mr Pande: The Kasempa/Mumbwa Road should be worked on, too.

Mr Muchima: Yes, the Kasempa/Mumbwa Road, too.

Sir, I am confused by hearing the suggestion that we should not start new projects, but just complete the old ones. The Ruling Party promised to construct a bridge for the people of Zambezi West when campaigning to be elected. When will that bridge be constructed? When will the Government fulfil the many other promises it made to us? We gave the PF a beautiful lady to represent Zambezi West. Therefore, we need a bridge in that area for us to say the PF Government is working.

Mr Speaker, the Jimbe Road has economic value. I am sorry to speak too much about the North-Western Province …


The Deputy Chairperson: Do not be sorry for representing your area.

Mr Muchima: I came here because of the North-Western Province. Even if I am always the last person to be given the chance to speak, …


Mr Muchima: Sir, I am ready to die for the North-Western Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Sir, currently, most of the money that fills our Treasury comes from the North-Western Province.

Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: I am a proud Lunda man.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: I want the Jimbe Road to be worked on using the money that the Government will borrow. I do not have to beg for that because the money is not the PF’s. It belongs to all of us.

Mr Pande: Township roads.

Mr Muchima: The township roads must also be worked on. We have not seen any roads in the province worked on under the Link Zambia 8000 Project. We want the road that links Mumbwa, Kasempa, Kabompo, Zambezi and Katunda to be constructed. We also want Ikeleng’i to be part of Zambezi. If the rest of Zambia is fed up with us, we are ready to be part of Angola.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Ndalamei: Or Barotseland.

Mr Muchima: Sir, we were promised that the removal of Government subsidies would free some resources to be used on many projects that would be initiated. At least, the MMD Government had a structured vision. We had subsidies in place, financial reserves were full and our people were very happy. Alas, the PF came and removed us. Now, all the reserves we left have been ‘hammered’.


Mr Muchima: It has also ‘hammered’ the subsidies.

Sir, the PF has now resorted to borrowing. We are back to where we were in the days of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). At least, when Dr Kenneth Kaunda was President of Zambia, we had free education. If it was not for him, we would still be in villages or we would have resorted to actions like those of Adamson Mushala. That is what I want to do because I want to fight for the Jimbe Road.

Mr Ng’onga: No, we can start afresh.

Mr Muchima: My brother says we can start afresh.


Mr Muchima: Sir, seeing as we are implicated in the Government’s decision to borrow more money, we need a portion of the money. In that regard, the hon. Minister of Finance should tell us how much more money will be borrowed and how much of it will be spent on the North-Western, Western and Luapula provinces, for instance. We also want to see it physically, including that US$33 million that was borrowed for electricity generation. Hon. Yaluma, the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, is a man I served under. He is my good friend, as we were together in Kasama as young men. Today, I want to tell him that we have many hydro points in Chavuma and Kabompo, including Kabompo Gorge. Let us develop power stations in those places so that we get rid of power outages.

Mr Speaker, why should the people of Zambia become beggars in their own country? The PF promised that there would be no load shedding. Today, it is begging us to work together. How do we work together when our colleagues keep the money to themselves?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima: When it is time for by-elections, the money is available all over the country, flowing left, right and centre. However, when it comes to other socio-economic aspects of life, there is no money. Why should we beg from the Government as if public resources are only for those in the Executive when they are for all of us?

Sir, the PF Government has now moved from taxes to borrowing. Next, we will go to begging.


Mr Muchima: The late former President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, begged the international community to cancel our debt and that was done. Does the PF think that we can go begging again and our debts will be forgiven?

Mr Pande: No!

Mr Muchima: If the Government wants us to beg, it should have good policies that will benefit the entire country, including the development of Jimbe and Ikeleng’i. In the North-Western Province, we have three priorities, namely, the bridge on the Zambezi River …

Mr Pande: We will take away your sister.

Mr Muchima: Otherwise, she will be gone.


Mr Muchima: The Jimbe Road, which has economic value because it connects Zambia to Angola is another priority. The other roads in the province are secondary.

Mr Sikazwemoved from his seat.

Mr Muchima:Ba Sikazwe.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, let me now come to the issue of efficiency in public institutions. The people being appointed to sit on the boards of public institutions must be thoroughly scrutinised. I have heard so much about the members of the Board of Directors for the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). Are they qualified? What value are they adding to that institution? An example I can give is of those appointed to sit on the board for the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). Instead of speaking the official language in meetings, they always use a different language. You hear phrases like, “Mulishani mukwai?” and “Muli uli?”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!  


Mr Muchima: Let us scrutinise those appointments. I would like Comrade Mvunga, the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance, to know that, in South Africa and other countries, the qualifications of anybody being considered for appointment to a board of a public institution are thoroughly scrutinised.  

Mr Speaker, we do not mind if those being appointed are cadres, as long as they have the right qualifications. Therefore, we should not pick cadres who do not even understand what is going on, but just wait for allowances that are paid from our money. Such things are bringing our economy down. Even our gross domestic product (GDP) is going down. The only thing going up is our borrowing. What are we doing? We are now a laughingstock of the whole world. Zambia is no longer our country because we have auctioned it through too much debt.

Sir, there is no rich man in this country currently and most of the infrastructure, such as Arcades Shopping Mall, is owned by foreigners. If I want a piece of land to build a mall, nobody will give it to me. However, the next thing I will see is a Lebanese or Somali building a filling station or something else. Who is sanctioning that? The Executive is to blame for such things.

Mr Musukwainterjected.

Mr Muchima: Yes. If I was to investigate all the houses you have built in this short period, you would end up in prison.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us desist from debating one another.

Mr Muchima: I am sorry, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have a lot …

Mr Muchima: I am being provoked. I am being ‘started’.


The Deputy Chairperson: You get ‘started’ because you forget to address the Chair.

I have seen your finger persistently pointing in the wrong direction. The Chair is here.

Mr Muchima: I oblige, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I am worried about the phases of the project. We are told about Link Zambia 8000 and Pave 2000, Phase I, II and III. The one who was my hon. Minister in the then Ministry of Community and Social Services mentioned that the most projects are at 15 per cent of implementation. I am worried because I do not know what is in the first phase, and when we will get to the second and third phases. My advice to the Executive is for it to just forget some of the projects because they are not achievable and the reason is simple; we are not transparent in our decision-making. We are being mean with ourselves.

Sir, the people of Zambia are comparing. I am always doing that with regard to the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health because I worked there. I also worked at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Even as a Deputy Minister, I still remember the legacy we left. We want to know what the PF’s legacy will be in this country. What will it do that the MMD did not do?

Mr Sikazwe: Question!

Mr Muchima: We have to compare. The people see the electricity blackouts in the compounds. Those in the Executive manage to eat breakfast every day, but people’s fridges have been damaged. For one to buy a fridge in the compound, it takes him or her years but, because of the power outages, most people have lost their appliances. They endure all that because they have no alternative, yet somebody is there cheering, “Yes, yes,” as if the people are happy with this Government.


Mr Muchima: You see, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Miyanda: Tell them.

Mr Muntanga: Take it easy.

Mr Muchima: ... Sir, when I look at the ages here, there are very few who are young. The majority of us were born in the sixties and, going that side, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

All of us are hon. Members irrespective of age. So, age is irrelevant. Just make your point.

Mr Muchima: No, no, Mr Speaker, I want to remind the House …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, once you are guided, take the guidance into account.

Please, proceed with your debate.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance.

Sir, I am mindful of the future generations. Sustainable development is about what we can take today without compromising the well-being of future generations. We have to be reminded. What are we doing for our future generations? The population is growing, but there is no corresponding increase in production. The demands for electricity and other services are growing, but we do not seem to be growing our thinking capacity to match the demands.

Mr Miyanda laughed.

Mr Muchima: We are a laughingstock.

Sir, Zambia has many resources, but we do not use them to increase productivity. Instead, we allow foreigners to exploit us. Neo-colonialism is still with us because of a few selfish people in this country. The PF should come out clearly in its vision and thoughts. Only then will we create wealth for everyone, including the cadres.

Mr Speaker, what happens during elections should happen every day. When there is an election in the Eastern Province, for example, there are many activities there. I heard somebody congratulate the PF yesterday on some equipment and wondered whether it would still be there two months later. My constituency was given some equipment from Rural Roads Unit (RRU) when His Excellency President Lungu visited disabled people in Ikeleng’i. I was happy because I thought that, at least, even a few kilometres of road would be gravelled. However, the moment the President left, the equipment was withdrawn.


Mr Sikazwe: Question!

Mr Muchima: I am telling you the truth. If you want, today, I can invite my brother, Hon. Mukanga, a Lunda from Kazembe, to the North-Western Province. I will buy him a ticket …

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Muchima: … and accommodate him. I want to show him what happened. It is not right to deceive us.

Sir, in the UNIP days, when President Dr Kaunda or an hon. Minister visited an area, the walls of buildings would be painted and all sorts of other things done to impress the visitor. However, the moment that person is left, things quickly reverted to their former state. That is the route we should not get back on.

Sir, this is a very important report that we should all embrace and think about. We know what is happening at the National Road Fund Agency (NRFA) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) because we have friends there. Let us review things there. How efficient are they? Are they working well as they are or should we devise another system? Can we give it to other people? Let us look at what our deficiencies are. That is why Hon. Muntanga said that we should review what we have done in the middle of the year. We have to review our Budgets to see where we are spending our money.

Sir, personally, I would remember the hon. Minister if he honoured the memory of Hon. Humphrey Mwanza by going to the North-Western Province to initiate the projects I have mentioned. The members of the Executive should not troop there to implement projects they have neglected all along simply because of the by-election that has been occasioned by Hon. Mwanza’s death. We will not appreciate that.

Mr Pande: We shall not allow them.

Mr Muchima: We shall not allow it. So, let us begin to address the issues that affect the rural parts of this country, such as Mafinga and Ikeleng’i.

Sir, with those few words, I support this very important report.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to add my voice to the debate on this very important report.

From the outset, Sir, I commend the mover and the seconder of this Motion for doing justice to the report. I also thank the other people who have spoken before me for ably articulating the various issues raised in the report.

Mr Speaker, for some of us who have been in this Parliament long, we have just been seeing the same issues repeatedly raised in this House, and I ask myself whether a time will come when we will have an administration that will do what the people of Zambia and your own Committees say should be done. An example is the allocation of resources to the various ministries that have been considered.

Mr Speaker, five of the eighteen ministries in the country have been considered in this report. I will focus on the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, and Transport, Works, Supply and Communication because, if you recall, they were originally four ministries, namely, the ministries of Agriculture and Co-operatives, and Livestock and Fisheries, on the one hand, and Transport and Communication, and Works and Supply, on the other.

Mr Speaker, the 2015 budget for the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication was about K5.4 billion of which about K4.8 billion was allocated to the Road Development Agency (RDA), a statutory body under the ministry. This means that only about K600 million is available to finance the other operations of the ministry, including Transport and Communication, and Works and Supply, which were two separate ministries in the past. This affects the other functions of the ministry. It means that nothing is happening there. The situation is the same in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. The livestock and fisheries section is as good as dead because most of the money is allocated to buying maize and fertilisers. One begins to wonder: What is wrong with us, Zambians, kanshi?


Mrs Masebo: Really, what is wrong with us? These are straightforward matters? One needs not be a Form V or a genius to understand where the problem is. One just has to be wise and honest. That is all.

Mr Miyanda: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Why should we continue to make the same mistakes? You will see the same thing with the 2016 Budget. The Government will say that it will buy 500 metric tonnes of maize and, then, before the year ends, it will change and say that it will buy 1 million metric tonnes. This will happen despite the Government knowing the output forecast. When I talk about policy inconsistencies, this is exactly what I mean. I keep repeating this point because it is where we have a problem.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance told this House that we are spending too much on infrastructure development. The way I see it, and the hon. Minister expressed the same sentiment, is that the roads may take twenty years to be completed. So, when the hon. Minister is telling us that, why do we continue to come up with new projects every day? My brother from Ikeleng’i is asking for new road works. So, the confusion can be seen. There is too much confusion in this country and, with the kind of leadership we have in this country, I do not know where we are going.

Mr Speaker, I feel sorry for those children in the galleries because they sit there thinking that they have people safeguarding their future but, I am sorry, I do not see that.


Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mrs Masebo: That is why we opposed the Motion to raise the borrowing threshold.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mrs Masebo: I think that takangiwa. It is better …

The Deputy Speaker: Meaning?

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, did I say ‘takangiwa’? It means that we have clearly failed.

Mr Mumba: You have failed!

Mrs Masebo: You know, when you fail, it is very dangerous to start borrowing. It is better you do with the little that you have until your time is up and let others who understand ‘dot-com’ take over the country.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to rise on this very important point of order.

Sir, our rules of debate are very clear. We are not here to debate ourselves. Surprisingly, some hon. Members, like the one on the Floor, who have gone on both sides of the House, back and forth, as she has been part of previous governments and the present one, …

Hon. Government Member: All of them!

Mr Mutale: And looking to be in future ones.

Mr Kampyongo: … are complaining and getting worried about the future of children. Is she in order not to declare interest and to debate in the House?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member on the Floor is debating as a Back Bencher and using the experience she gained as she moved back and forth.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the Government now says that there will be a need to re-align statutory bodies. This is a good policy, and I hope that it will be implemented in the 2016 Budget. Clearly, like the hon. Member for Mafinga stated, some of the agencies are just there to expend public resources without adding any value to the efforts to move this country forward.

Mr Speaker, another point that I thought I should stress, seeing as it has been ably articulated by your Committee, is that of the importance of Budget reviews. Obviously, we all know that it is a requirement of the law that Budgets be reviewed. The purpose for the reviews is clearly to help us know where we are going.

Mr Speaker, when you study the entire report on just the five ministries, focusing on what has been budgeted for and how much has been released to the sector ministries, you will see that the performance has been below par. We have been told by the Committee that disbursements have been inadequate, delayed and erratic. This, obviously, means that the performance in the ministries has been minimal, if at all there has been any. Mind you, the report is only on five sectors, yet we have about nineteen ministries. However, the ones that have been studied are considered key sector ministries that the hon. Minister of Finance has been trying to ensure they do their best. Now, if this is the performance of the key ministries, can you, then, imagine the performance of the Budget in the other sector ministries that were not included in the review?

Mr Speaker, it is no wonder the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has not been disbursed on time. It is a scandal. If you recall, in the past, if there was any money that was always released on time, it was the CDF. There was never a time when we heard that the CDF had not been disbursed to a constituency for a whole year. Now, however, that has become fashionable. In fact, you are lucky when you get the money for your constituency at all. Speaking for Chongwe District, to date, we have not received our 2014 CDF, yet we are now going into the third quarter of 2015. So, you start to wonder what is going on. Are we safe?

Hon. UPND Members: No!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the first time the hon. Minister of Finance came here to ask for money, I was the first to support him. However, I opposed his second request to borrow because I did not want my name to go on record as one of those who supported this practice.

 Mr Speaker, like you said, some of us have experience. The problem with Africans is that they do not appreciate experienced people, but rather prefer filya fine mwasendafye ichisende-sende.


The Deputy Speaker: Order!

The official language is English.

MrsMasebo: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. The expression means that Africans just choose for the sake of choosing. They do not use experience to help them make the right decisions. The reason you see the hon. Minister of Finance saythings as they are each time comes hereis that he is experienced. He has told us that things are not good economically and that we will need help. It is also why some of us speak the truth. We do not speak to please or annoy people because we know. We have been there before and shall be there again…

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … because these things come from God, not from individuals. So, we speak because we know that only the truth and time will vindicate us. We do not sit here to pretend. People can be annoyed but, very soon, they will remember what I am saying. I am sure that some of my colleagues on your left remember what I said before. If they do not, everything I said is written. So, they can refresh their memories. I have always said these things. I talked about them from 2009 to 2010. What happened in 2011? Between 2011 and 2013, we were still talking about the same things. We are talking about them even today. Next year, I will remind the Patriotic Front (PF) about it.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: It is September.

Mr Mutale: Next year?

Mrs Masebo: September, next year.

Mr Mutale: No, you will not be here next year.


Mrs Masebo: I will remind you regardless of where I will be because I will still be alive.


Mrs Masebo: For some of us, nothing changes. We are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I want to just say that it is necessary for those who have been given the task of ensuring that the Budget is planned and executed properly to help this country to move forward.  

Mr Speaker, only two days ago, you nominated some members of the Committee of Health, Community Development and Social Welfare to attend a meeting on universal health coverage, which is the new thrust after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The officials from the ministry lamented that they were trying to execute the Budget properly, but too many thingsthat were introduced mid-stream had caused them to fail to do so. That means that, after we agree on something here, mid-stream are introduced, which puts pressure on those who are supposed to help us execute the Budget properly. My point remains very simply that these issues are not new. Those who are in charge of this sector understand these issues. They just have to be strong enough and help this country to move forward so that, when we leave this place, even our grandchildren will be able to say that we tried, but failed, if we will fail. However, considering the way we are proceeding, nobody can say that we are trying, and it is not true that we do not know what is right. We are just choosing to do that which is not good for this country, and posterity will not judge us kindly.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, let me, first of all, congratulate the three hon. Members who took their seats yesterday. I also congratulate the Patriotic Front (PF) on the resounding victory.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I am saddened, and I believe that all of us are very saddened, by the loss of one of our most illustrious hon. Members of Parliament, Mr Mwanza. It is a great pity. We shall miss his resourcefulness. He was a very formidable debater.

Mr Speaker, I accept that the findings of the Committee are very valid. So, the Government will take the submissions of your Committee seriously. For that, we thank the Chairperson of your Committee, who presented the report with his usual eloquence and balance. He is one of the few hon. Members who is detached from a personal agenda. He is very broad-minded on issues.

Mr Speaker, I can only undertake to continue to update Parliament in more detail on the inadequacies observed in our presentation of the mid-term review. The economic situations of all countries are very fluid. Nothing remains static. Therefore, we have a duty to update Parliament on such matters.

Mr Speaker, we all want development in our country. We want this and that project to be implemented. However, all these things depend on the availability of resources. When the resources are inadequate, we cannot provide for all the demands that hon. Members of Parliament put forth. I must say that hon. Members mean well when they say things but, sometimes, the value of what they say is eroded by some exaggerations and unnecessary drama.

Mr Speaker, roads are important because, without them, the country’s economic development processes will be held up. We need roads to facilitate the movement of goods and people. It is also a fact that the cost at which we build the roads in Zambia is exceedingly high, perhaps the highest in the world. The Government is not indifferent to that. We are critically looking at that to make the cost of building roads affordable. Sometimes, the roads may be built at a very high cost, yet be of a very low standard and very short life span. The Government is aware of all those things and is doing its best to come up with a solution. However, we are not magicians. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, wants to mobilise resources or remedy certain things. So, our intentions are noble, and we will take care to ensure that this country’s development projects are implemented at a cost that is affordable. It is our inescapable moral duty not to over-burden posterity with unsustainable costs or debts that they will not be able to service.

Mr Speaker, as regards the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), our intention, last year, was to purchase only 500,000 metric tonnes for the strategic food reserves. We, perhaps, exaggerated the capacity of the private sector. So, we left the farmers with a million tonnes of maize on their laps. The Government could not be indifferent to such a situation and not buy the maize. If we had not bought the maize, the farmers would have had no means to carry on future agricultural activities, and that would have discouraged the people. That is how we ended up with the Budget deficit we have been talking about.

Mr Speaker, this year, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock announced that the FRA will buy only 500,000 metric tonnes of maize and that we will start buying when the moisture content will have reduced to 12.5 per cent. We hope that, in the meantime, the private sector is buying the maize. The FRA may be stalling the buying of maize because we do not want to pre-empt the private sector. However, it is very likely that the private sector may not buy all the maize because of diverse reasons. What happens in that case? The Government will be forced to step in and buy it. That is not an easy thing, hon. Members of Parliament. Let us not crucify one another, instead develop the habit of putting our heads together and seeing how we can overcome our problems. You, hon. Members of Parliament, are in touch with the realities and our people. So, it is your duty to advise the Government on ways of overcoming our problems. The problems will never be solved by the Government alone, and will never have a Government that will have all the knowledge or be incapable of making mistakes. The Government will always be headed by human beings. So, it is our collective duty to do what we can to get our country going forward instead of securing dubious debate points all the time.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I may have great trust in Hon. Muntanga, but I think that his memory has let him down.


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, in 2014, when we were considering the 2015 Budget, we made a provision for the proceeds of the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) to be paid into the Treasury. That is what is happening. The revenue is paid into Control 99 Account and, then, we allocate the agencies money according to their needs. I do not know why you — well, you know that I cannot crucify you for your …


Mr Chikwanda: … memory lapse, hon. Member, …


Mr Chikwanda: … especially that you are one of the few hon. Members who means well. When you stand up and present difficulties, you even outline possible solutions. You are also always constructive. So, I will not do anything other than remind you of that arrangement.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Namugala, a sister who specialises in bashing the brother, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There is no brother or sister here.  


The Deputy Chairperson: We are all hon. Members of Parliament.

Ms Namugala: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, is this hon. Minister, who, indeed, happens to be my brother, in whom I am very well pleased, except for a few issues on which we do not agree, in order to put on record the insinuation of bashing, which has never occurred between us, as brother and sister, in this House? Is he in order to say, on the Floor of this honourable House, that I have bashed him?

Sir, I need your serious ruling to save the relationship between my brother and I.


The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that, since both of you admit that you are brother and sister, the question of bashing each other does not arise.


The Deputy Chairperson: It was merely an expression of that love and admiration that you have for each other, as brother and sister.

Hon. Minister, you may continue.


Mr Sikazwe: Long live, Mr Speaker!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, all I was saying is that the resourceful hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga has allocated to me functions that are outside my remit. Portfolios are allocated by His Excellency the President. Otherwise, the rest of the submissions are always worth listening to.  

Mr Speaker, let me just summarise my little contribution by emphasising, once again, that the report of the Committee is totally embraced by us on this side of the House. We will update the House on our economic developmentsthrough a ministerial statement as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, after the hon. Minister of Finance’s comprehensive debate, all that I would like to say is that, yes, we are listening to what our colleagues in the Opposition are advising and that we would like to hear a consistent voice from them because, as a Government, we are dependent on them. However, quite often, even in the same sitting of the House, and on the same issue, we tend to hear many contradictions on matters of policy. For instance, on Friday, 26th June, 2015, in answering a question about the pricing of commodities, I emphasised the fact that this Government would like to run a private sector-led agricultural sector. However, many of my colleagues on your left insisted that the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) should announce the floor price of maize. However, today, you have heard some hon. Members, such as the hon. Member for Mafinga, express the sentiment I expressed last Friday, which was that the FRA should not interfere in the marketing of maize because it has a very specific role of maintaining our national strategic food reserves. I also said that it should allow the private sector to buy all the grain. That notwithstanding, others are still insisting that we announce prices early. However, if we did that, we would encourage the FRA to be a buyer of first resort. If we set a price that is higher than what the market is willing to pay, then, the farmers will not release their maize to the private sector, which will lead us to what Hon. Muntanga was complaining about, incurring unbudgeted expenditure. We want to avoid that.

Mr Speaker, I appeal to our colleagues on the left to be consistent when they give advice. Can the members of your Committee read their report and reflect on the statements they make outside reference to the report. You will see that even members of your Committee are not agreed on what they want us to do concerning the marketing of maize. On one hand, they say that we should not buy maize, on the other, they say that we should set the price and buy the maize.

Sir, I reiterate what the hon. Minister of Finance said: We embrace this report. However, in doing so, we would also like to call upon our colleagues to continue to guide us consistently.

Mr Speaker, there are two matters that will misinform the nation if not clarified. Firstly, there is no decision by the Government to stop the export of maize. Hon. Muntanga, last Friday, I said that those hon. Members of Parliament who came from farming constituencies should assist small-scale farmers by strengthening their co-operatives to leverage their bargaining power and helping them to export. I have indicated that we will be fortunate this year because we will have the capacity to export no less than 800,000 metric tonnes of maize. Therefore, Hon. Muntanga, please, just apply for an export permit. We will allow you. We will only stop the export of commodities whose supply is less than the country’s requirement. When the supply is higher than the requirement of the country, we have no reason, whatsoever, to stop exports.

Sir, the hon. Member for Mafinga talked about the FRA not being able to account for the maize it purchases. On the contrary, our records show that the agency has been accounting for the maize it procures. The figures I have show that the highest loss was in 2012, when the agency recorded a loss of 6.2 per cent of all the maize that was bought. That loss was occasioned by a delay in delivering the maize from the collecting depots to the storage depots and the early onset of the rainy season. So, a lot of maize was soaked. From 2010 to 2015, the FRA has been incurring losses of less than 1 per cent. As for this year, I call upon hon. Members of this House, on behalf of the people we represent, to congratulate the FRA because it recorded the minimal loss of 0.4 per cent. The loss is attributed not necessarily to wastage or rotting, but to weight loss due to the drying of maize. As the hon. Minister of Finance has said, we try to buy maize with a moisture content of 12.5 per cent. With time, that moisture content reduces. I am sure that is very clear. That is what caused the 0.4 per cent loss.

Mr Speaker, let me end by assuring my colleagues that we are not wasteful. We are trying as much as possible to be in sync with the provisions of the law.

Hon. Muntanga, I assure you that, for as long as we are not pressurised to buy more than 500,000 metric tonnes, we have in the Budget sufficient money to pay the farmers. As for last year, it might be recalled that all the farmers who had supplied maize to the FRA starting from October, 2014, had been paid by the end of the year. The ones whose payments were made in January, 2015, were those whose produce was part of the extra 500,000 metric tonnes bought.

Sir, I thank you.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Namugala, Hon. Mutati, Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Muchima, Hon. Masebo, Hon. Chikwanda and my friend, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Mr Lubinda, for supporting this Motion. I would be failing in my duties if I did not thank the hon. Members of this Committee, the wonderful group of hon. Members among whom you put me. I also thank Hon. Ingrid Mphande for seconding the Motion.

Hon. Members, we can change the situation in our country if we so decide. This country must decide to do what is right. Evidence is there. We can have a consensus, look at issues from a national perspective and move forward. The country looks up to us, the 150 elected and eight nominated hon. Members of Parliament, out of the 14 million people of this country, to provide the leadership on the challenges of today. We can go on record as people who tried to change the country for the better. Therefore, I ask the hon. Members to adopt the report of your Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.





Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, yesterday, before we adjourned, I was about to say that there are proposed amendments that we agreed with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Sir, under Clause 2, your Committee notes that the current definition of State land in the Bill is at variance with the definition in the Lands Act. Your Committee resolved and agreed with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection that the definition of State land be amended so that it conforms to the definition in the Lands Act, Chapter 184 of the Laws of Zambia.

Sir, Clause 16 restricts entry into a local forest without a permit. This, in your Committee’s view, will adversely affect rural communities and their way of life. Further, Clauses 16(2) excludes a person who is a traveller on a public road in a national forest. Additionally, there will be an inclusion of footpaths in addition to the public roads provided under Clause 16(2). Alternatively, there will be a creation of easements to protect the normal livelihoods of rural communities.

Sir, Clause 23 prohibits activities in a local forest without a licence. Your Committee is of the view that this should not include cultural and traditional use of a local forest, such as the collection of non-timber produce for consumption and subsistence, for example, mushrooms. It was agreed that the clause will be amended to reflect this exclusion.

Mr Speaker, Clause 51 needs to be amended by the addition of a provision for the establishment of district and provincial timber auction floors or markets, where timber will be marketed, among other activities. The designated district and provincial timber markets will be prescribed in a statutory instrument (SI).

Sir, Clause 70 creates the Forest Development Fund. For purposes of ensuring the sustainability of the fund, it was proposed that a percentage of the licence fees be retained for operational purposes.

Sir, under Clause 100, in order to forestall abuse and corruption, it was agreed that the fines will not be paid on the spot, but at the nearest designated place or office. In that regard, the necessary detailed mechanism will be promulgated by the ministry.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the problems in the forestry sector are serious and that the absence of modern legislation that addresses current challenges, coupled with the lacuna in policing created by the removal of forest guards and rangers, requires the strategic enhancement of the management of the sector. In this regard, your Committee urges the Government to facilitate the putting in place of the necessary subsidiary legislation on issues like cost/benefit sharing, and district and provincial timber auction markets are attended to immediately through the issuance of the relevant SIs without undue delay.

Sir, there are other issues, most of them technical, that your Committee did not expressly discuss with the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, but ought to be addressed before the Bill can become law. These are found on Pages 7 and 8 of your Committee’s report. They are to do with the issues of cross-referencing with other relevant laws, definitions and consistency. An example is the long title, which provides for the implementation of a number of multilateral environmental agreements and refers to the domestication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Your Committee notes that the Environmental Management Act provides a comprehensive framework for the implementation of Zambia’s obligations under the CBD. Consequently, to avoid duplication, this aspect can be left while the main text of the Bill could cross-reference this matter where appropriate.

 Sir, another important issue that needs to be attended to is under Clause 30, whose appeals procedure ends with the hon. Minister. There is no provision for what should be done should the Community Forest Management Group (CFMG) be dissatisfied with the decision of the hon. Minister. There is, therefore, a need to expressly provide for appeal of the hon. Minister’s decision to the High Court.

Mr Speaker, one of the main issues discussed by your Committee is the repeal of the non-operationalised Forests Act of 1999. One of the objects of the Bill is to repeal the 1999 Forests Act. As you may be aware, the 1999 Forests Act, which was duly passed by the House and assented to by the President, has never been operationalised. Your Committee was informed that the non-operationalisation was due to the financial implications of that Act, particularly the provision for the creation of the Forest Commission. Consequently, the law that has been governing the forestry sector is the 1973 Forests Act, Chapter 199 of the Laws of Zambia.

Sir, in order for this Bill to repeal the 1999 Forests Act, there is a need for the relevant SI operationalising the 1999 Act to be issued first. This will, by necessary implication, repeal the 1973 Forests Act. In this regard, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection undertook to issue …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1255 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday 8th July, 2015.