Debates - Thursday, 16th July, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 16th July, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to deliver this statement on the subject on the status of matching grants in the agricultural sector in Zambia.

From the outset, Sir, I wish to express my gratitude to hon. Members of this House for showing great interest in the matching grants that are being implemented in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. This statement has been necessitated by the desire for an elaboration on matching grants and their status of implementation. The statement is also intended to inform hon. Members of Parliament on the implementation modalities, target beneficiaries and application procedures for accessing the grants. It is my hope and expectation that, once we have sensitised hon. Members of Parliament on this programme, they will, in turn, create awareness among the target beneficiaries in their constituencies. We also hope to prop up officers at the various levels in the ministry to play a proactive role in the implementation of the programme after the high interest that will be generated among the target beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, in delivering this statement, I will focus on the following five key issues:

(a)    background on matching grants;

(b)    purpose of matching grants;

(c)    implementation modalities;

(d)    implementation status for matching grants; and

(e)    concluding remarks.

Background on Matching Grants

Mr Speaker, matching grants in the agricultural sector are not new, as they have been tried in the past, particularly in the mid to late 1990s, under donor-funded programmes like the Rural Investment Fund (RIF), sponsored by the World Bank; Smallholder Enterprise and Marketing Programme (SHEMP), sponsored by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); Smallholder Irrigation and Water Use Project (SIWUP), funded by the World Bank; and Small Scale Irrigation Project (SIP), funded by the Finnish Government and Africa Development Bank (ADB). These projects worked very well, although some were faced with the challenge of beneficiaries failing to meet their contributions and a low capacity to handle the project among the beneficiary groups. This was because some of the projects did not have a capacity building component, but merely focused on disbursing the grants to beneficiaries.

Sir, in the context of the agricultural sector in Zambia, a matching grant is a one-off non-reimbursable transfer of funds, materials or both from a project or programme to beneficiaries. It is based on a specific project rationale for a particular purpose and on condition that the beneficiary or recipient makes a specified contribution for the same purpose. As one-off transfers, matching grants differ from permanent public transfers, such as subsidies on inputs and services like fertiliser and seed, or safety nets, such as cash transfers or food for work. Matching grants, as opposed to full grants, loans or subsidies, promote beneficiary-commitment, innovation and ownership of the projects funded.

Purpose of Matching Grants

Sir, in the Zambian agricultural sector, matching grants are used to finance projects that aim at promoting and increasing productivity in livestock, agri-business, irrigation and crop production, develop agricultural value chains, promote innovation and technology, enhance access to extension and support services, and support agricultural diversification.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that the major challenge faced by the smallholder farmers in Zambia is access to affordable financing from financing institutions. Consequently, they have been hindered from investing in mechanisation, appropriate farming technologies, acquisition of superior breeds of livestock, expansion of fish farms and value-addition activities to their agricultural produce. Through matching grants, we help to increase smallholder and medium-scale farmers’ working capital base, which helps them to increase productivity and access to markets for their produce by addressing specific barriers to market entry for certain target groups, technologies or service providers. It has been evident, within the short time that we have been implementing the programme, that it can stimulate market development and be part of public policies for making markets work for poor people.

Implementation Modalities

Sir, let me now move on to a matter that is of greatest interest to my colleagues in the House, that is, the implementation modalities for matching grants in Zambia’s Agricultural Sector.

Sir, implementation modalities for beneficiaries to access matching grants differ according to each development project design and the co-operating partners supporting the project. We are, however, working towards harmonising the application, selection and approval procedures; conditions to be met by beneficiaries; and proportions of contributions to be made by the beneficiaries.

Sir, my ministry is implementing matching grants under six projects, namely:

(a)    the World Bank-financed Agricultural Development Support Programme (ADSP);

(b)    the World Bank-funded Livestock Development and Animal Health Project (LDAHP);

(c)    the World Bank-funded Irrigation Development Support Programme (IDSP);

(d)    the IFAD-funded Smallholder Agri-business Support Programme (SAPP);

(e)    the IFAD-funded Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme (S3P); and

(f)    the ADB-funded Agricultural Productivity and Market Enhancement Project (APMEP).

Mr Speaker, the budget for matching grants is K421 million for the duration of the projects. This allocation will go towards supporting agricultural productivity improvement, agricultural infrastructure development, such as livestock structures and dams, value addition and improving market access. The beneficiaries are 637,815 small and medium-scale farmers and thirty-four agri-businesses. To date, K36,000,720 has been disbursed to support 180,446 beneficiaries.

Implementation Status of Matching Grants

Mr Speaker, allow me now, to provide an update on the status of implementation of each of the matching grants that I spoke about.
Agricultural Development Support Programme

Sir, the ADSP was a seven-year programme that closed at the end of 2014. It had a budget of K290.16 million, out of which K25.74 million was allocated to matching grants. The larger balance of K264.42 million was allocated to road infrastructure development, support to small-scale farmers involved in agri-processing, promotion of agri-businesses and institutional development.

Sir, the K25.74 million facility under the ADSP was focused on supporting farmer organisations, co-operatives and agri-businesses to promote productivity improvement, value-addition and expansion of agro-dealership. The ADSP disbursed matching grants to twenty-eight agri-businesses and 45,180 small-scale producers, of whom 48 per cent were female. The project was implemented in twenty-six districts of seven provinces, as follows:

Province    Districts

Copperbelt    Luanshya

Lusaka    Kafue

Northern    Mpulungu District

Eastern    Chipata

Western    Mongu

Southern    Mazabuka

Central Province    Kabwe

Sir, the modalities for beneficiaries to access grants included beneficiaries’ submission of project concept notes and business plans, screening of the concepts by the projects Implementing Unit of the ADSP, review of the concept notes by the Technical Sub-Committee of the ADSP Steering Committee and final approval by the Steering Committee.

Sir, the ADSP had a three-tier system of contributions from the project and beneficiaries, which was based on the type of application, as follows:

(a)    for enhancement of market access, 50 per cent by the project and 50 per cent by the beneficiaries;

(b)    for investment into development of new technologies, 60 per cent by the project and 40 per cent by the beneficiaries; and

(c)    for investment in agro-processing by small-scale producers organisations, 75 per cent by the Government and 25 per cent by the beneficiaries.

Sir, the immediate outputs and outcomes that accrued to farmer organisations, co-operatives and agri-businesses from the matching grant facility under the ADSP included new technologies generated, increased value-addition, improved access to markets, creation of jobs and improved farmer incomes.

Mr Speaker, I will lay on the Table of the House a table of the ADSP Matching Grant Facility, which lists the agri-business beneficiaries, the projects supported, the project objectives, the value chain or commodity, and provincial and district location.

Irrigation Development Support Programme

Sir, the IDSP commenced in 2011 and will run for six years. Its budget is K897 million or US$115 million while its development goal is to increase yields per hectare and the value of diverse products marketed by smallholder farmers benefitting from investments in irrigation in selected sites served by the project. The project has a matching grant budget of K121 million or US$15.5 million administered through the Irrigation Support Fund (ISF). The balance of K776 million is allocated to the establishment of irrigation infrastructure, irrigated agriculture support services management and co-ordination. Of the K121 million allocated to matching grants, K69.42 million, equivalent to US$8.9 million, has already been committed. The matching grant facility was launched in September, 2014.

Mr Speaker, at this stage, let me apologise on behalf of my hon. Deputy Minister who, on Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, when answering a question related to the IDSP, said that the programme had been running for five years. What he forgot to mention was that the project was actually launched through the matching grant in September, 2014. The project’s target beneficiaries are small, medium and, large-scale commercial farmers and public institutions that will benefit from the purchase of irrigation equipment, such as centre pivots and submersible pumps. The budgetary allocation to the small, medium and large-scale farmers is K51.6 million while the one for Government institutions is K69.42 million. To access the funds, eligible applicants prepare concept notes that are screened and reviewed by a technical panel. Feasible concepts are, then, developed into business proposals that are further analysed by a technical panel and, later, approved by the Project Steering Committee. The conditions for prospective beneficiaries to access matching grants include the availability of water on the respective land, ownership of water rights and a demonstration of good business management skills, as exhibited through the concept notes and business plans.

Mr Speaker, I further wish to inform this august House that, in February, 2015, the ministry, through the IDSP, reviewed and approved thirteen full business plans for matching grants from the Zambia National Service (ZNS), the Zambia Prisons Service (ZPS), the Zambia Police (ZP), the Zambia College of Agriculture (ZCA) in Mpika and the Zambia Centre for Horticultural Training (ZCHT) in Chapula, Kalulushi District, for acquisition of productive irrigation equipment and assets amounting to K69.4 million. Further, under the small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale farmers category, we have received twenty-three concept notes that we are currently reviewing. Again, I will later lay on the Table of the House a Table on the ADSP Matching Grant Facility, with details on applicants, project location, area to be irrigated, type of equipment and project cost.

Livestock Development and Animal Health Project

Mr Speaker, the development objective of the World Bank-funded LDAHP is to improve the productivity of key livestock production systems for targeted smallholder producers in selected areas of the recipients’ territory. It will run from 2012 to 2018. The project’s budgetary allocation is K504.6 million, out of which K141.9 million has been committed to the matching grants. The balance of K362 million is allocated to livestock infrastructure and the provision of animal health services. Of the K141.9 million allocated to matching grants, K55.3 million has, so far, been disbursed. The target beneficiaries are livestock producer organisations and various livestock industry stakeholders, such as livestock marketeers and butcheries, who work with small-scale livestock producers. Three hundred seventy-five (375) institutions and groups in six provinces, namely, the Southern, Western, Eastern, Central, Copperbelt and Luapula Provinces, will receive matching grants under the project. The specific interventions that can receive matching grants under the project include productivity improvement for cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and poultry. The project also provides other services, including livestock services provision, procurement of laboratory equipment and support for livestock infrastructure, such as abattoirs. Sir, all applicants for matching grants are evaluated by the Matching Grants Committees (MGC) established in the Office of the Provincial Agriculture Co-ordinator (PACO) in each of the six provinces where the project is being implemented.

The Smallholder Agri-business Promotion Programme

The Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP) is a seven-year agri-business development programme with an implementation time frame of 2010 to 2016. It is jointly supported by the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the IFAD. The IFAD loan allocated to SAPP amounts to K156 million or US$20 million while the GRZ’s allocation is K11.7 million or US$1.5 million. The total budgetary allocation to matching grants under the programme is K50.7 million. The larger balance of K105 million is allocated to the development of more efficient value chains and creation of an enabling environment for agri-business. Of the K50.7 million allocated to matching grants, K10.4 million has been spent on or committed to supporting 135,266 beneficiaries comprising of farmer groups and private companies.

Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme

Mr Speaker, the overall goal of the (S3P) is to improve income levels, food and nutrition security of poor agricultural households and, more specifically, contribute to increased agricultural productivity and increased sales of smallholder farmers’ produce. It is funded by IFAD and the Government of Finland. The duration of the project is seven years, from 2011 to 2018, and its budget is K311 million, out of which K58 million has been allocated to matching grants. It is being implemented in three provinces, namely, the Northern, Luapula and Muchinga, and covers twenty-four districts. The area of focus of the matching grant includes infrastructure and productivity-enhancing equipment, such as ploughs, planters, harrows and irrigation equipment.

Mr Speaker, under the S3P programme, the DACO is the clearing house for all applications for target beneficiaries to access grants. The multi-sector District Planning Sub-Committees (DPSC) comprising staff from the District Development Co-ordinating Committees (DDCCs) undertake desk and field appraisal of applications for community infrastructure projects and district-level investments.

The Agriculture Productivity and Market Enhancement Project

Mr Speaker, APMEP, which was approved by the ADB Board on 26th March, 2014, aims to develop irrigation systems, and improve aquaculture, crop and livestock production and productivity. The ADB has approved K242.74 million to support the project in Zambia under the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP). The project will be financed with a grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme Multi-Donor Trust Fund and will run for five years, starting from 2015. Its matching grant budget is K25.7 million and plans to targets sixty beneficiaries with a combination of agro dealers and agri-businesses in six districts, namely, Sinazongwe and Gwembe in the Southern Province, Chongwe and Rufunsa in Lusaka and Serenje and Chibombo in Central Province. The immediate outputs and outcomes we expect from the project include easy access to inputs, implements and agro-chemicals by farmers; increased processing and value-addition; and increased farmer income.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me say that matching grants are increasingly used in agricultural and rural development to compensate for the absence of affordable investment finance from local financial institutions. They can stimulate investment and agricultural business activities, especially for small and medium-scale farmers. In Zambia, there is ample evidence that they have sufficiently contributed to increased agricultural production, productivity and value addition, especially where the beneficiaries have a better understanding of the purpose of the programme. Therefore, although the call for proposals has been made in the press, the ministry will, in the next two weeks, publicise the programme in the print and electronic media, through agricultural shows and other avenues. The full details of all matching grants under the ministry will include accessing modalities. Further, the ministry will help build capacity at district level to help beneficiaries to prepare bankable business proposals to access matching grants.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister let us know the size of the irrigation project. As I understand it, it is for about 17,000 ha, which requires over 30,000 MW of electricity to drive the pumps and the centre pivots, not to mention the fact that retaining water, like they do at Zambia Sugar Company (PLC), also reduces the amount of water available to generate electricity in the gorge’s dam. Has he taken care of the dangers of a power shortage arising from his venture into irrigation?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question from a very important person.

Sir, the main reason to which the power shortage this year has been attributed is the reduced levels of water in our dams. I am sure that the hon. Member who raised this question is aware that, every year, large volumes of water that falls on Zambia as rain runs off into the Indian Ocean. We do not capture sufficient amounts of it. However, this programme will allow Zambia to increase its water-holding capacity. Additionally, some of the dams will be located near rivers. So, when there is excess water in the dams, we will release it into the natural water bodies where it will drive the turbines. Therefore, the hon. Member must be happy that we will capture and use larger volumes of water through this programme, rather than allowing the water to go into the Indian Ocean unused.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on a Constitutional matter arising from Article 21, 22, 23 and 51 of the Constitution of Zambia. It also borders on the security of this country and future well-being of the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, last week, during the Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time, I asked a question on whether Zambians were at liberty to bear arms and defend themselves. Her Honour the Vice-President’s response was in the negative, saying that the police was there to protect every Zambian. However, I put it to you that yesterday was a very dark chapter in the history of Zambia because, while in Kitwe, our party President, members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the press corps were attacked by known Patriotic Front (PF) cadres with impunity at our secretariat in Kitwe. They were also attacked at Moba Hotel, which was damaged in the process. As if that was not enough, when the PF cadres heard that our President was supposed to feature on a programme on Radio Icengelo, they went and besieged the station, beating anybody they could see on site.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, as law-abiding citizens, and as per the advice of our Government, we had notified the police in fulfilment of the requirements of the Public Order Act because we had thought that the police would provide the requisite protection. Alas, that was not to be. The PF cadres in one of the many vehicles they were in, registration number ADB 4874, had pangas and pistols. They are the ones who were mainly responsible for the heinous act. I will lay a copy of the car licence plate on the Table. They did whatever they did with impunity and their vehicle had machetes, stones and many other weapons. I will lay the pictures on the Table. The police, whose officers fear PF cadres, were helpless, as they were threatened that they would be fired, suspended or transferred if they intervened.

Sir, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to the law, to protect law-abiding people because, if the police fail to do so, where do the people run to? So, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order not to inform us that, from now onwards, as citizens, we must arm ourselves so that we can be in a position to protect ourselves? This is a serious issue that hinges on the security of this country because, if citizens are not protected, they will stand up and protect themselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, is the Government in order to abrogate its responsibility by allowing party cadres to assault journalists, members of the public and the leadership of a political party with impunity?

Mr Mwiimbu laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: In view of the fact that you have raised several questions that you would like the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to clarify regarding the maintenance of law and order, it is only fair and proper that I give him an opportunity to respond through a ministerial statement.

That is my ruling.

Hon. Member for Kwacha, you may seek your clarification.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister put the information that he has given us in our pigeonholes so that we can read through and explain to our people on the ground?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I do concede that the statement was rather long and detailed. So, I will have the copies of the statement and all supporting documents, such as the tables I referred to, placed in the pigeonholes of hon. Members.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, in view of Question 616, asked on Tuesday, 14th July, 2015, the hon. Minister has truly proved that he can fulfil a promise.

Sir, the hon. Minister said that the modalities on how to access the matching grants will be published within the next two weeks. I also heard him say that there are some submissions under consideration. How did the people whose applications are currently at the ministry know how to apply for the funds when the modalities are yet to be published in the press?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge that the Question asked by Hon. Namulambe was the one that gave rise to this ministerial statement. Let me also remind Hon. Namulambe that the promptness with which the statement has been made was occasioned by the insistence of the hon. Member for Petauke Central that she wanted the information urgently. So, I hope that I have met her expectations by issuing it within forty-eight hours.

Sir, the reason we would like to publish this information in the press is that the take-off is not impressive. We want to raise more awareness among our target beneficiaries. Those who have already applied are just fortunate enough to be in groups that are being reached by the project people. Those who are in peripheral areas may not know about it, yet they are also potential beneficiaries. The second reason is so that the whole country must be made aware of how funds are being utilised. I think that it is in the interest of everyone to know that the Zambian agricultural sector is implementing those programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the matching grants have been running since 2012, and I want to believe that you are not satisfied with the way they have being utilised. Hon. Minister, have you thought of decentralising the control of the programmes to enable the farmers who do not stay in Lusaka to access them?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, for the record, the ministry is not dissatisfied with the utilisation, but rather the rate at which beneficiaries are accessing the money. Additionally, I indicated that there are levels being used to assess the viability of the proposals, the channel of which starts from the district. The submission of the applications is not done at headquarters, but at the district. Even Camp Extension Officers in the areas where the projects are being implemented receive proposals and take them to the district co-ordinators who, then, assess them before making recommendations to Lusaka. So, the system is decentralised. However, we have not decided to give allocations to the district so that they make all the decisions there. They approve and recommend for final approval by the headquarters.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I listened very carefully to the hon. Minister’s statement.

Sir, we know that, in this country, the women are the movers of our agricultural sector. However, the hon. Minister did not mention any deliberate policy to enhance the participation of women in the programme in all the districts by positively discriminating them.  

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, all the matching grants are very gender-sensitive. I also mentioned that our experience has been that some of the groups were not able to access the funding because of the lack of capacity. I also said that, this time, we will go round building capacity in beneficiary groups for them to apply and our primary targets are women’s groups. We hope that, when we evaluate the impact of the projects, we will register better participation of women than the 48 per cent I spoke about on the programme that ended last year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, considering that the six projects that the hon. Minister ably described to the House are basically loans to the Zambian, most of which have to be repaid with interest, what is their combined value? Further, what proportion of the total value will be spent on consultants, workshops, administration costs, supervisory visits by World Bank officials and other overhead costs?

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, agriculture requires a multiplicity of interventions. The hon. Member cannot necessarily say that the extension service is irrelevant, as it is an integral part of agricultural productivity and production. Suffice it for me to say that the amounts I mentioned do not include the payments to consultants that my colleague asked about, such as World Bank supervisory visits. However, they will pay for extension services and local consultants, both of which are part of the process of improving agricultural productivity.

Sir, on the figures, I am obviously not in a position to provide them off-the-cuff, and I hope that my colleague will appreciate that.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for informing us about the existence of the grants, although I note that some of the facilities, such as the Smallholder Agri-business Promotion Programme (SAPP) have been running from as far back as 2010 and are coming to an end. Nonetheless, I also note that the aquaculture part was started this year and will run till 2020. However, that programme, unless I heard wrongly, is restricted to the Southern, Lusaka and Central provinces. I think that I also heard the hon. Minister say that one of the prerequisites to qualifying for the project was the availability of water. So, I am surprised that aquaculture is being promoted in the Southern Province, a dry plateau, instead of the Western Province. Could he elaborate on that?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member for Siavonga will argue that the Southern Province is very well-placed for aquaculture because of the abundant water resources on Lake Kariba ...

Mr Muntanga: Even Kazungula.

Mr Lubinda: ... and on the Zambezi River in Kazungula. This, however, is not to downplay the need for the Government to make interventions, especially in aquaculture, in areas of Luapula and the Western provinces that have flood plains. There are other interventions that are not necessarily matching grants that we are using to encourage aquaculture in Luapula and the Western Province. This statement, however, was strictly about the matching grants, which just so happened to be for selected districts, not the whole country. However, I assure my dear sister that the Western Province is receiving great interest from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, not only in aquaculture, but also in other agricultural commodities like the very important cashew industry.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, matching grants, no doubt, can serve as a very useful tool for rural development and, consequently, poverty reduction. Does the hon. Minister have any specific examples that clearly indicate the positive impact of the grants, considering that some of them have been running from as far back as 2010?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, when I was answering the question asked by Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo, I indicated that we will evaluate the impact of the projects when they come to an end. That is when I will be able to come to the House, if I will still be in my position, to explain the impact of the various programmes. With regard to the ones that have already been concluded, it is possible for us to do a little research and come back to the House to indicate what impact they have had because the impact differs from project to project and from environment to environment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, my understanding is that the programmes that the hon. Minister has mentioned will mostly benefit commercial and medium-scale farmers, not subsistence ones because, if I heard him correctly, he said that the funders would provide 60 per cent while the beneficiaries would provide 40 per cent. That 40 per cent will be impossible for subsistence farmers in Taferansoni in Chadiza to raise. So, they will fail to access the money. Will the Government accept contributions in kind, such as labour and local materials, from the members of the community as cover for the 40 per cent?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, in writing this statement, we were very deliberate on the beneficiaries. I indicated that we are targeting 637,815 small and medium-scale farmers. However, the bulk of them will certainly be small-scale farmers. So, the farmers in Taferansoni in Chadiza are at liberty to make contributions towards the construction of infrastructure by providing materials that are locally available and labour. However, let me also emphasise that most of the grants for small-scale farmers are not for individual farmers, but groups of farmers and co-operatives. So, I ask all hon. Members of Parliament from farming constituencies to join hands with the ministry to encourage our farmers to form farmer groups or co-operatives, not only for the sake of accessing inputs and grants, but also for improving their bargaining power in marketing their agricultural commodities.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Siliya (Petauke): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for urgently making this statement to the House. In an earlier question, he had responded that, indeed, it is very important to push for irrigation, and we agree that the setting up of dams will assist in releasing water to help in the energy sector. However, considering the problems we are having currently in the power sector, could he not consider establishing an inter-ministerial committee to co-ordinate expert minds to these issues, particularly the experts in the ministries of Mines, Energy and Water Development; Lands, Natural Resources and Environment Protection; and Local Government and Housing? Clearly, when you dam a water body, you disturb the natural flow of water. For us to avoid experiencing problems along the way, I think that this should not be considered a single-ministry adventure.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, for the sake of the hon. Member, I will say that, the construction of roads is not decided on by the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication alone. There are inter-ministerial consultations involving the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock; Commerce, Trade and Industry; and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. Even in the case of dams, the Ministry of Tourism and Art is consulted. In this Government, we are very consultative across ministerial boundaries. So, in deciding where the dams will be built, there is inter-ministerial consultation.

Sir, just like I stated when answering an earlier question, the damming of our country could be an issue, now, because there is insufficient water flow to our hydro-power stations. However, every other year, more water runs off to the Indian Ocean than we retain in this country. We, as a country, boast that we have 40 per cent of the water resources in the sub-region, yet we only irrigate less than 10 per cent of the country when we can do better than that. That is the rationale behind this programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, the agricultural financing programmes that the hon. Minister explained to us are very good and they hold promise for expansion of the sector in our country. Arising from the implementation of these facilities, how many jobs will this Government create in the medium term?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, that is a very important and interesting question for which I do not have an answer except to say that the primary target of the programmes is quite an impressive number of 637,800 farmers. We should add to that the 180,000 beneficiaries of the agri-business value chain. If I was to pick a figure off-the-cuff, I would easily say that more than 1 million jobs will be created by the programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




629. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    why marketeers had been allowed to trade at the Chawama Primary School Football grounds in Chawama Parliamentary Constituency, which had no sanitation facilities;

(b)    what measures had been taken to avert an outbreak of diseases at the market; and

(c)    when the marketeers would be relocated to a suitable and conducive place.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the marketeers started trading on the periphery of the football pitch of Chawama Primary School because of the leaking shelters during the rainy season and have since continued due to insufficient space in the main market. However, the marketeers still have access to the sanitation facilities in the main market and a fee-paying facility at the northern end of the ground, which was built using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The facility is operated by the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and the market administration.

Mr Speaker, the following measures have been taken to avert an outbreak of diseases at the market:

(a)    cleaners, who regularly take care of the sanitation facilities at the market have been employed;

(b)    a water tank has been installed to ensure 24-hour water supply to the fee-paying sanitation facility at the market. The facility is also equipped with showers for marketeers;

(c)    the shops and bars around the market provide additional sanitation facilities to the marketeers; and

(d)    the LCC has contracted Ulemu Community-Based Waste Enterprise (UCBWE) to collect solid waste from the market.

Mr Speaker, currently, the Government has no immediate plans to relocate the marketeers. They will only be relocated to a conducive place, subject to construction of a suitable structure. However, these are high capital projects and, currently, the funds are not available. Suffice it for me to state that the Government is in consultation with stakeholders to create space for the construction of a multi-storey market, which will accommodate all the marketeers currently trading outside the main market.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, none of the answers that the hon. Minister has given is correct.


Mr Chipungu: I think that it is very important that the ministry officials go back to Chawama and review the problem. Is it not possible, hon. Minister, to relocate …

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

Mr Chipungu: … the marketeers who are now selling from the football ground back into the market? I ask this because those who have shops are finding it difficult to maintain high standards of cleanliness of their shops because of a number of vendors who have besieged the football ground.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I am at a loss to understand what the hon. Member means when he says that everything I have said is not correct.


Mr N. Banda: I should probably have asked the hon. Member to declare interest because I am aware that he has a shop in that area and is one of those affected.

Mr Speaker, what I talked about is exactly what is obtaining on the ground ...

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: ... and the Government is aware of that. The space in the main market is inadequate. So, the marketeers have been allowed to trade from the football pitch two days a week.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that the Government has no immediate plans to relocate the marketeers from the football ground. Where will the children be playing their football since the football ground is occupied by the marketeers?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I partly answered that in my previous response when I indicated that the school has allowed the marketeers to trade from the pitch only two days of the week. So, the children can utilise the pitch the rest of the days.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, there are marketeers on the football ground and I take it that where there are trading activities, there will be many people. Is what is happening on that football ground not putting the school infrastructure at risk of vandalism?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the football pitch we are discussing is actually outside the fence of the school. So, the school infrastructure is very safe.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the marketeers moved out of the market because of leaking roofs. When does the Government intend to fix the roofs so that the marketeers can get back into the market?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the council is taking care of that situation, especially since the market we are talking about is the main one for that area.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that the roofs have not been repaired, does it mean that the pupils at that school will not have any training or sporting facility?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I thought that our answers were very clear. Chawama Market, which has benefitted from the benevolence of the hon. Member of Parliament, has modern toilet facilities. However, during the rainy season, the roofs at the market leak. Therefore, the marketeers trade on the periphery of the football ground. The roofing situation is being looked at by the council, which has assured us that it is on top of things, and we confirmed the assurance through visits by our officers. We also confirmed that, on Mondays and Fridays, the marketeers have access to the football ground, but not every day. Besides that, the school and market administrations have made arrangements for the cleaning of the football ground on the two days. During the rest of the week, the marketeers trade on the periphery, not on the training ground. So, the school is not inconvenienced during the week.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


630. Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health when solar power systems would be installed at the following health posts in Liuwa Parliamentary Constituency:

(a)    Sishekanu;

(b)    Mutaa; and

(c)    Siluwe.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mr Chisala): Sir, the Government has started procuring solar power systems for health facilities in the country, including those in the Western Province, which has been allocated six units. Of the six, one will be allocated to Sishekanu Health Centre. The District Community Medical Officer plans to procure additional units for Mutaa and Siluwe health centres in the next Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I know that there is one solar unit that has already been procured for Sishekanu Health Centre, yet the hon. Minister has said that the Government is in the process of procuring one. However, we have been told that it will take about six months to install it because there are only a limited number of people doing the installation. Considering the fact that, currently, at Sishekanu and all the others health posts, birth attendants deliver women using light from fire, when will the ministry accelerate the process of installing the solar power system that has already been procured for Sishekanu Health Centre and the procurement of additional systems for the other centres?

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, the equipment that was procured for Sishekanu Health Centre has been delivered and will be installed before the end of July, 2015. We got in touch with the people on the ground and that is the information that they gave us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: What about the systems for the other two areas?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the systems for the other areas will be procured in the Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), which will be between 2016 and 2018.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, in the absence of the solar panels, how do the health centres maintain the cold chain in the immunisation programme?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, we are installing solar power at Sishekanu Health Centre. So, the other three health centres can use the facility that will be put at Sishekanu Health Centre.

 Mr Speaker: What is the current position?

 Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, I know that we have not installed the solar panels everywhere. The same situation is the same in my constituency. Suffice it for me to tell the House that we keep the vaccines where there is electricity or a solar power system. So, when it is time for the children to be vaccinated, the vaccines are delivered in cooler boxes with ice packs to any place where there is no power.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, most of us, including the hon. Minister, are affected by the problem raised by Hon. Dr Musokotwane. Does the ministry have plans to equip all health posts that do not have any source of power with solar systems?

 Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, yes, we have those plans. Let me remind the hon. Member for Chadiza that my hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that six power systems have been procured for the Western Province. I would like to state that some other solar power systems have been delivered to the other nine provinces and we will continue to provide the systems bit by bit until we supply all the areas that need them.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just repeated what the hon. Deputy Minister said, that is, that six solar panels were procured against the hundreds of clinics that require them. Why were more panels not procured instead of such a small number?

Ms Kabanshi:  Mr Speaker, that is the number we could procure from the available funds.

 I thank you, Sir.


631. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry what plans the Government had to provide suitable and sustainable markets for pineapple farmers in Ikeleng’i and Mwinilunga districts.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, the Government is taking the following measures to provide a suitable and sustainable market for the pineapple farmers of Ikeleng’i and Mwinilunga:

(a)    the ministry is amplifying value addition to the pineapples. In this regard, eighteen projects will be supported in Ikeleng’i in the 2015/16 Season to the tune of K3.6 million through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF). The projects cover the pineapple value chain and include trading, processing, storage and transportation. In Mwinilunga District, the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) has plans to provide similar support in 2015 and 2016;

(b)    the Government is assisting to reduce the cost of transporting the products to ensure that they reach urban markets by investing in infrastructure like roads and bridges out of the North-Western Province;

(c)    the Government is working with the major retail chains in the country to stock Zambian products, particularly the pineapples from Mwinilunga and Ikeleng’i. The ministry is also already engaging supermarkets like Pick‘n’Pay, Shoprite, Food Lovers and Spar to stock more Zambian agro products. As such, farmers are actively supported by the ministry in sustaining the supply of pineapples to the major supermarket chains for most of the year; and

(d)    the ministry is actively supporting investors to come up with pineapple juicing plants in order to produce concentrates, which is a base for most juices. This, we trust, will reduce the importation of the concentrates.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

 Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, there was a cannery in Mwinilunga to promote the pineapple industry. Now, there is absolutely nothing in that regard. The hon. Minister has just been reading that the ministry has identified a number of small-scale farmers whom it will help. How many farmers has it financed without the provision of collateral, so far? I am aware that most farmers were approved, yet none were funded because of the collateral issue.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, it should be clear that Mwinilunga Pineapple Cannery will never be resuscitated to the way we knew it in the 1970s and 1980s in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government because, then, we followed socialist and communist ideologies. We have since moved on to a private sector-driven economy and social capitalism, in which the Government merely provides an enabling environment for the private sector to invest in industries like pineapples.


 Mr Speaker: Can I have order from the hon. Members on my right!

If there is a pressing issue that you have to discuss, please, the doors are open. You can go and discuss in the lobby.

Hon. Minister, please, continue.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, to specifically answer Hon. Muchima’s question on how many farmers have been given loans without collateral, I wish to state that the CEEC lends up to K50,000 without collateral. In Mwinilunga, three applications have been approved and funded to the tune of K50,000 to start the transportation project. The three have bought small cars or canters. If the hon. Member is still in doubt, the names of the beneficiaries are Mr Gilbert Kanyemba, who applied for K45,000, Mr Elijah Chimwanga of Wakanu Enterprise in Ikeleng’i, who applied for K50,000, and Mr Yerusalem Yamiha Kalala Kondani, who applied for K49,000. The three were all given the amounts they applied for. The people I have just mentioned presented good business proposals that requested less than K50,000 funding. So, they did not need collateral.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, in the pineapple value chain, the hon. Minister mentioned something on processing. Can he explain exactly what the Government has in mind with regard to processing. Could he just amplify for me and the people of Ikeleng’i and Mwinilunga, in particular, and the entire country, in general, to understand exactly what the Government’s intervention will be in the pineapple value chain with regard to processing because I am talking about value addition.

 Mr Speaker: You have asked your question.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, this year, the Government set aside K3.6 million for Ikeleng’i Parliamentary Constituency. Some private citizens applied for that money, which they want to invest in the distribution and processing of pineapples. The CEEC Board has approved about fifteen projects. I am told that one of the projects approved is for a processing plant worth K1.5 million. The money is in the bank waiting to be disbursed to the applicant as soon as he finishes perfecting the collateral. You will soon see a pineapple processing plant in Mwinilunga.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, pineapples are not only grown in Mwinilunga and Ikeleng’i, but also in Solwezi West. That said, the hon. Minister has talked about the funding of those who wish to add value to the pineapples. He has also mentioned that the Government is currently discussing with supermarkets like Pick‘n’Pay and Spar. Additionally, the distance from Mwinilunga to any of the supermarkets is shorter than that from South Africa. Why can the Government not ban the importation of pineapples from South Africa to encourage the supermarkets to buy the pineapples from the three districts, which would enable the people from those districts to have an income before the establishment of the processing plants?

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

Sir, in fact, the pineapples from Mwinilunga taste better than the imported ones. They are also not genetically modified. So, this Government is pro-actively trying to stop their importation of the South African pineapples. As you are aware, the hon. Minister and I have been talking to the owners of the supermarkets and checking their shelves to ensure that they stock not only pineapples, but also other locally-produced fruits like mangoes and pawpaw. However, such products are still imported because they are cheaper in other countries. It could also be because their production is subsidised by the governments of the countries where they are grown. They could be grown in countries with socialist economies. So, the goods come into the country cheaply. We should not forget that we belong to many regional bodies, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Union (AU), which do not allow us to close our market to goods coming from other countries. If we did that, they would also close their borders to our goods. So, the only way to trade with the other countries is to compete favourably, and it is our job, as a Government, to give a competitive edge to our local produce. We will give our people a processing plant so that they can add value to the pineapples more cheaply. When that happens, our products will compete favourably with those from other countries on the market.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I just want to confirm that pineapples from Mwinilunga are the best in Africa, if not the world. This is a fact because they are naturally golden, unlike the imported ones, which are white, but appear golden because of the chemicals added to them. The pineapples from Mwinilunga also have a long life, ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, what is your question?

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry has been talking about economic clusters in various areas. Will Mwinilunga, Ikeleng’i and Solwezi West benefit from those clusters?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, I do not know if you heard the hon. Minister or me say anything about clusters today.


Mr Sampa: Sir, last year, we placed much emphasis on clusters. This year, we are placing emphasis on value addition. So, the question we ask is what the people in that particular area are doing for a living and how we can help them improve what they have been doing. In the North-Western Province, the pineapple industry is just one area in which we will pump funds through the CEEC so that the local market can be supplied with locally-grown pineapples with some left for export.

Lastly, Sir, I agree with the hon. Member that the pineapples from Mwinilunga are the best in the world. I am, however, not sure whether that is the case for the pineapples at my colleague, Hon. Muchima’s farm. He needs to consult and make sure that the taste of his pineapples is as good as those from the rest of the province.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Deputy Minister for the effort of pumping K3.6 million into the value chain of this very important crop. However, he should not lament or give excuses for not stopping the importation of pineapples because I am sure there are many tricks in the bag. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, the initiative aimed at adding value to the pineapples can only be successful if our pineapple processors secure supply contracts. They know how to grow pineapples and process ...

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister have information on whether any of the suppliers of this very perishable product have secured supply contracts anywhere in the market? If not, when does he expect any supply contracts to be signed from his efforts?

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

Sir, first of all, the Government is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock because any agricultural produce that comes into the country should be accompanied by a permit. So, we will see to it that we do not allow the importation of foodstuffs that are readily available in Zambia.

On the other part of the question, Sir, there are people in the North-Western Province who have secured big contracts with supermarkets. For instance, a Mr Fisher has contracts with the big supermarkets and the small-scale producers of pineapples can supply through him or the fifteen others we have funded under the CEEC.

I thank you, Sir.


632. Mr Namulambe asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    what the crop yield forecast for the 2014/2015 Farming Season was;

(b)    whether there were any areas in the country projected to record poor yields;

(c)    what those areas were; and

(d)    what measures had been taken to ameliorate the situation.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, the crop forecast yield for selected crops for the 2014/2015 Agricultural Season is as follows:

Crop    Expected Yield (MT)    Percentage Change from Last Season

Maize    2,618,221    -21.86

Sorghum    8,123    -29.70

Millet    31,967    -4.80

Rice    25,514    -48.60

Groundnuts    111,429    -22.40

Soya Beans    226,323    5.70

Cassava    952,847    3.60

Sir, due to the prolonged dry spell experienced in the country, some parts of the country are expected to record reduced yields. However, although most parts of the country have been affected by the prolonged dry spells, the areas that are expected to record significant reduced yields include the Western, Eastern and Southern Provinces, which were the most affected.

Mr Speaker, I am happy to indicate that the Office of the Vice-President, through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU), has already issued a comprehensive statement on what mitigatory measures the Government has put in place to address food shortages in the affected areas. Additionally, the ministry has put in place measures that will result in long-term solutions to droughts and other effects of climate change. For example, it is promoting climate-smart agricultural practices like conversation agriculture, breeding seed varieties that are climate resilient and crop and livestock diversification. Further, the ministry has embarked on a robust irrigation programme aimed at reducing the problems resulting from over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, which is vulnerable to droughts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, during the workshop facilitated by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), the Managing Director (MD) indicated that the Meteorological Department had given wrong rainfall forecasts. Assuming that there will be poor rainfall in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 farming seasons, how will the mitigatory measures like irrigation and conservation farming work? Additionally, what have we done, as the Government, to prepare ourselves for the unknown?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, in answering part (d) of the Question, I indicated the measures that the ministry, through our extension services, is taking to sensitise our farmers on the effects of climate change. We know that climate change is real and will definitely be with us for some time to come. In case the hon. Member did not get me clearly, I said that we are promoting climate-smart agriculture, which involves not only crop diversification, depending on the ecological zones, but also conservation farming and other farming methods that allow farmers to plant and grow crops with very little moisture. We also encourage farmers to plant varieties that are either early-maturing or drought-resistant, and to plant at the right time. Even with the minimum rainfall that we get, we should still be able to harvest sufficient crops or grain to feed ourselves.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Sir, we have been given good figures and told that, even with the serious rain deficit, Zambia is able to produce 2.6 million tonnes of maize, which is more than we require for consumption. Is the hon. Minister trying to convince the Cabinet that we should promote agriculture instead of over-depending on mining?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for being a great promoter of agriculture in Zambia and assure him that this Government considers agriculture a very important growth sector of the economy. That is why, year after year, it has allocated close to 10 per cent of the National Budget to agriculture. Going forward, we have spoken about all the different programmes that are being used …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Lubinda: Sir, before business was suspended, I was concluding my response to Hon. Mtolo’s question by saying that the ministry and the agricultural sector in general are receiving a lot of support and political good will from this Government. Therefore, I commend the Government for going as far as putting up road infrastructure to open up the areas where production is taking place. As we heard earlier, support to the pineapple farmers in Mwinilunga is all part of supporting the agricultural sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, we have heard that our maize yield has, somehow, dropped in the last season. Can the hon. Minister confirm to this House and nation that the adverse weather conditions are the reason we did not have a bumper harvest. Can he also confirm that the current harvest is not of genetically modified (GM) seeds.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I confirm that, had it not been for the poor distribution of rain, which I do not want to call a drought, the farmers of Zambia would have produced much larger quantities of food than they did. I also re-affirm that Zambia is still a genetically modified organism (GMO)-free country. We do not allow GMO seeds or planting material into the country.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, as he was responding to the question asked by the hon. Member for Mpongwe, the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock mentioned drought-resistant crops. What specific crops, both food and cash crops, is the Government promoting as a coping mechanism in areas where there are challenges related to climate change?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned not only new varieties or new crops, but also different varieties of the same crops. For instance, there are some early-maturing varieties of maize, drought-resistant varieties of groundnuts and crops that are naturally drought-resistant, such as sorghum and millet. Those are the ones that we are encouraging the farmers to cultivate. What is more important is that we are encouraging our small-scale farmers to practice crop rotation so that the fertility of the soil is enhanced.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, how much sensitisation has been done to encourage small-scale farmers to practice conservation farming for it to bear fruits, as a long term measure?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the ministry, working with different multinational and local organisations, is sensitising our farmers. I have to take my hat off to the Conservation Farming Unit (CFU) of the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) for the work it is doing. I also must commend the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for partnering with us in implementing the Conservation Agriculture Scaling Up Programme (CASUP). I must, however, admit that there is still more room for improvement and that we hope to reach out to all the farmers and encourage them to practice conservation farming. The challenge we face is that change is very difficult. Many of our farmers are used to conventional methods of farming. So, even after they have been introduced to conservation farming methods, they do not put all their land under conservation farming, but rather tend to leave part of it under conventional methods of cultivation as a fall-back mechanism in case the new methodology does not work. I hope that, with time, all the farmers in Zambia will use conservation farming methods because they have to be viable and realise better yields than conventional methods can allow.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, does the Government have any plans to encourage farmers to grow winter maize, particularly in the Western part of Zambia, since the wetlands there have water even in the dry season?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, you may, as may my hon. Colleague from Chadiza, remember that we experimented with winter maize, particularly in the Chiawa area, in the early 2000s. The outcome was that the winter maize tended to be too expensive to cultivate. So, the programme was aborted. I suppose, for household food security and consumption of green maize, that might be a good option. I also think that the hon. Member might do well to come to the ministry so that we experiment on his suggestion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, how much is the ministry investing in research?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, we are investing a lot in research. I do not have the figures on my fingertips. However, if my colleague cared to go into the Budget that was approved by this House in December, 2014, he will see the allocation to the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). That is the first port of call for agricultural research in Zambia. Additionally, there are many other private research institutions that assist us with research in crops, livestock and fisheries. You may recall that the report of your Committee on Agriculture, this year, focused primarily on aquaculture and mentioned a number of private aquaculture farms that are conducting research. So, there is quite some investment but, of course, it can never be enough.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    when the construction of a secondary school in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

(c)    what the cost of the project was;

(d)    at which location the school would be constructed;

(e)    what had caused the delay in commencing the construction works; and

(f)    how many pupils the school would enrol on completion.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the 2014/2015 Education Infrastructure Plan does not have a provision for the construction of a secondary school in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency. However, we are aware that the only secondary school in the constituency is Mitanto, ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mabumba: ... which was recently upgraded.

Mr Speaker, the challenge the ministry has faced in that constituency is the identification of land on which a school can be constructed. Going forward, there are two options for consideration. These are:
(a)    identification of land for possible construction of a secondary school in the future; and

(b)    upgrading of Lulambo and Lupusukilo primary schools into day secondary schools.

Mr Speaker, having stated the foregoing, the rest of the questions fall off.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the 2012/2013 Budget had an allocation for the construction of a high school in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency. What happened to that programme?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, yes, it is true that, in the 2012/2013 Budget, there are sixty-nine sites that were identified, out of which only thirty-five projects were started in 2013. Like we have said, for Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency, the challenge has been finding land on which to construct the school.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, when will the 2015 work plan be circulated to us so that we know how much infrastructure will be developed in our constituencies?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, although the 2015 Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) has not been circulated, as you may be aware, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education was one of those that piloted the Output-Based Budget (OBB). If hon. Members care to look at the Budget, they will see the projects that have been provided for therein.

I thank you, Sir.


634.    Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when the process of reviewing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Guidelines would be completed; and

(b)    whether Constituency Offices would be empowered to establish committees to monitor CDF projects in the constituencies.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, the process of reviewing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) Guidelines is in progress and a draft document has already been produced and circulated to stakeholders to allow them to make comments. Hon. Members of Parliament will be engaged at an appropriate time.

Mr Speaker, there is no provision in the current CDF Guidelines for Constituency Offices to establish committees for monitoring projects in the constituencies. However, it is one idea that we are discussing with stakeholders. We will also discuss it with hon. Members of Parliament.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


635. Mr Mbewe asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    how many teachers’ houses were earmarked for construction in Chadiza District in 2015 and 2016;

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

(c)    which schools would benefit from the exercise.

 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, there are four teacher’s houses earmarked for construction in Chadiza District in 2015.

Sir, I wish to take this opportunity to thank Hon. Mbewe, Member of Parliament for Chadiza, for the commendable work that he is doing in facilitating education-related projects using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, currently, ten houses, which were projects carried over from 2014, are under construction in Chadiza. Eight of them, namely, Chiwongo, Kaunda, Manje, Katantha, Kapachi, Chafulu and Namwela primary schools, and Chadiza Day Secondary School, are being supported through the CDF. The other two houses are being funded by the ministry, through the School Upgrading Programme, at Chanjowe and Zemba Schools. Furthermore, as the House has already been informed, the Government plans to construct teachers’ houses countrywide through the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, details of which the House will be availed in due course. Chadiza and other areas around the country will benefit from this initiative.

Mr Speaker, as regards the estimated cost of each of the houses earmarked for construction in 2015, a three bedroomed house estimated at K110,000 will be built at each primary school while three day secondary schools will each have a house estimated at K135,000 built for them.

Mr Speaker, the list of schools benefiting from the 2015 house construction project is as follows:

(a)    Kasiya Primary School;

(b)    Zemba Day Secondary School;

(c)    Chanjowe Day Secondary School; and

(d)    Taferansoni Day Secondary School.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister is a good Minister.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: I commend him for that.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, teachers in Chadiza rent small huts for residence while others stay in classrooms and offices. When will the good programme that the hon. Minister has announced to the House be implemented so that the teachers feel comfortable?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I mentioned two things in my answer, one of which was a PPP arrangement whose details I am not privileged to disclose now. However, the House and the nation will be informed at an appropriate time. I also mentioned that four teachers’ houses will be constructed at four schools, namely, Kasiya Primary School, and Zemba, Chanjowe and Taferansoni day secondary schools. These have been provided for in the 2015 Budget. So, as soon as the money has been released, we will send it to Chadiza.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has referred to the construction of some teachers’ houses using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Given the meagre amount given to teachers as housing allowance, what would motivate an investor to build a house at Taferansoni Day Secondary School?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I thank, once again, Hon. Mbewe for using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to build teachers’ houses in his constituency.

Sir, the state of housing in our schools is deplorable. So, the Government is working flat out to find a solution to this problem. In fact, this question is a repeat of another that was asked about a fortnight ago to which I responded that the lowest housing allowance for a teacher is about K700. So, the negotiations leading to the private sector’s participation in the construction of teachers’ houses will take into account the ability of our teachers to rent the houses that will be built. So, the houses will be affordable to the teachers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


636.     Mr I. Banda asked the Minister of Justice when new local buildings and houses for court messengers would be constructed in the following chiefdoms in Lundazi District:

(a)    Kazembe;

(b)    Mwanya;

(c)    Chitungulu; and

(d)    Mwase Mphangwe.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to construct new local court buildings and houses for court messengers in the chiefdoms mentioned, as the Government intends to complete running projects first. Consideration might, however, be made to do that from the 2016 and subsequent Budgets.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, court messengers live in deplorable structures. Would the ministry not consider allocating some funds for building houses for them, as an immediate intervention?

Mr Speaker: I think that the question has been answered.

The hon. Minister of Justice may answer again, though.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I indicated that consideration will be made in the 2016 Budget and subsequent ones.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, court messengers everywhere live in deplorable houses. Will the Government extend its consideration of building houses for them in Mwanya and the other mentioned chiefds to all the chiefs in the country?

Mr Speaker: Let me guide the House.

We are not talking about chiefs, but about local courts. So, I think that it will be unfair for me to ask the hon. Minister to respond to this question.


637. Mr Chitafu (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct dip tanks in Mbotwa and Mobe areas in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    if so, when construction would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to rehabilitate and construct dip tanks in Mbotwa and Mobe areas in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency.

Mr Speaker, in Mobe, the rehabilitation of the dip tank has been completed while the construction of a dip tank in Mbotwa is planned for 2016.

I thank you, Sir.


638. Mr Mucheleka asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    how many grain silos were earmarked for construction in the Northern Province;

(b)    when construction works would commence; and

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

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), under the 2013 to 2018 Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP), intends to construct one silo in Kasama with a storage capacity of 25,000 metric tonnes. That silo and its capacity will cater for the whole of the Northern Province besides the other storage sheds that will be used for the Government’s strategic food reserve.

Mr Speaker, the construction works will commence in the second phase of the FRA’s IIP, which is scheduled to commence in mid-2015 and end in 2018.

Mr Speaker, the construction cost of the silo has been estimated at US$25,243,000.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, while I appreciate the hon. Minister’s answer, the people of the Northern Province asked me to ask the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to mention the specific time frame, as opposed to the long period that he has mentioned. Is it possible for him to give me a specific answer that I must take to the people of the Northern Province?


Mr Speaker: This question has raised murmurs because people are wondering how the entire province instructed the hon. Member. Anyway, the hon. Minister may answer the question.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Mucheleka for representing the entire province. As I indicated in the answer, the FRA has an IIP that starts in 2015 and will end in 2018. Depending on the availability of resources, the construction of the silo will commence.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the issue of silos reminds me of the dream about seven years of good rain and seven droughts that someone in the Bible had. Would it not be a good idea for the Government to invest more in the construction of silos and store more grain so that, if conservation farming fails, we will still have food in our reserves?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, when Hon. Mucheleka was asking his question, the murmurs were from people who represent other constituencies in the Northern Province, and one of them reminded me that the 25,000 metric tonne capacity silo is in addition to an existing 40,200 metric tonne storage capacity in the province. Therefore, in answering the question from my good friend, Hon. Namulambe, I would like to state that the 60,000 metric tonne storage capacity in the province is quite large. I hear him when he talks about the seven years of drought and the seven years of good harvests, but he should remember that there is a limit to the amount of grain we can store because of the cost implications. Currently, it costs more than US$2.5 to store a metric tonne of grain for a month. Given the fact that there are other countries that produce grain at an even lower cost than us, it might not make a lot of sense for us to store maize for more than five months because the cost would be too high. It might be cheaper for us to import from countries.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to remind the House that we have been celebrating bumper harvests of maize in Zambia. An example was last year when we harvested 3.4 million metric tonnes of maize. However, by the time we offloaded the maize on the market, the competing producers in the sub-region had produced large quantities at a lower cost than us and we had to reduce our prices. Therefore, sometimes, we celebrate a curse, and I do not think that we should take that route. What we should be doing, instead, is encourage our farmers to diversify so that they have a variety of crops. We also have to encourage people to do what Hon. Namulambe did during lunch time, that is, start enjoying nshima cooked with cassava flour, rather than only that cooked using maize meal. That is the only way we can create opportunities for our hardworking farmers to diversify their production.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that more than US$25 million will be used to construct silos. For clarity’s sake, has he worked out the cost of building one silo relative to its capacity? If he is kind enough to, could he also clarify whether the US$25 million will be used to construct a silo in only one province, that is, the one specified in this question.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I can only assume that the hon. Member might not have paid enough attention because the hon. Deputy Minister answered that the 25,000 metric tonne capacity, which was the interest of the hon. Member for Lubansenshi, will be one silo that would be constructed and that the cost of constructing that silo has been estimated at US$25 million.

I thank you, Sir.





The Minister of Tourism and Art (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, allow me to give the background to the Zambia Wildlife Bill …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, just read the object of the Bill.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kapata: Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill titled the Zambia Wildlife Bill, 2015. The object of the Bill is to provide for the winding-up of the affairs of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA); establish the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in the ministry responsible for tourism; provide for the appointment of a Director and other relevant officers of the department; provide for the transfer of the functions of ZAWA to the ministry responsible for tourism, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and the Director of National Parks and Wildlife; establish the Wildlife Management Licensing Committee; provide for the establishment, control and management of national parks, bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and for the conservation and enhancement of wildlife eco-systems, biological diversity and objects of aesthetic, pre-historic, historical, geological, archaeological and scientific interest in national parks; provide for the promotion of opportunities for the equitable and sustainable use of the special qualities of public wildlife estates; provide for the establishment, control and co-management of Community Partnership Parks for the conservation and restoration of ecological structures for non-consumptive forms of recreation and environmental education; provide for the sustainable use of wildlife and effective management of the wildlife habitat in game management areas (GMAs); enhance the benefits of the GMAs to local communities and wildlife; involve local communities in the management of the GMAs; provide for the development and implementation of management plans; provide for the regulation of game ranching; provide for the licensing of hunting and control of processing, sale and import and export of wild animals and trophies; provide for the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations directed at illegal trade in wild fauna and flora and other international instruments to which Zambia is party; repeal the Zambia Wildlife Act, 1998; and provide for matters connected with, or incidental to, the foregoing.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday, 29th July, 2015. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

Thank you.




Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 13th July, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in performing its duties, was guided by its terms of reference as set out in the Standing Orders.

Sir, during the year under review, your Committee undertook a study of the management of solid waste, and the House of Chiefs. Further, it considered the Action-Taken Report on your Committee’s report for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. It also undertook a foreign tour to Botswana to share best practices in the management of solid waste, and the House of Chiefs.

Mr Speaker, the establishment and maintenance of sanitary services for the removal and destruction of, or otherwise dealing with all kinds of refuse and effluent or solid waste is one of the functions of the local authorities. The local authorities are also empowered to compel the public to use such services. However, studies have revealed that solid waste management poses many challenges around the globe, and Zambia is not an exception.

Mr Speaker, it is a well-known fact that, as cities grow economically, business activity and consumption patterns increase solid waste quantities. At the same time, increased traffic congestion adversely affects the productivity of the solid waste fleet. The productivity loss is exacerbated by longer hauls required of the transport fleet, as suitable land for disposal is pushed further away from urban centres. Expanding the provision of solid waste disposal services to a rapidly growing urban population, in the midst of other equally competing demands on local authorities is, therefore, one of the major challenges faced in the country.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that there is no specific policy regarding the management of solid waste in Zambia. This has made it difficult to identify the problems associated with different waste streams and initiate appropriate interventions. Your Committee also observes that there is a fragmented legal and regulatory framework for waste management, and this has adversely affected the management of solid waste in Zambia. It is not always clear which institution is responsible for managing the different waste streams arising from various anthropogenic activities. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that a well-articulated national waste management policy be put in place to reflect the collective vision and clear objectives and policy measures necessary to improve solid waste management. Your Committee further recommends the enactment of a single waste management piece of legislation for municipal solid waste and other waste streams. This will allow for improved co-ordination of the waste management activities in the country. The Act should take into account international conventions like the Basel Convention on the Trans-Boundary Movement of Hazardous Waste.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, briefly highlight some matters relating to the House of Chiefs.

Sir, in 2011, the House of Chiefs was moved from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to the newly established Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs under a department. The shift was meant to ensure a more focused approach in the promotion of Chiefs’ affairs.

Mr Speaker, in order for your Committee to gain an appreciation of the House of Chiefs, and to familiarise itself with its operations, it held a one-day meeting with officials from the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. In that meeting, your Committee learnt that the mandate of the House of Chiefs in Zambia is very limited. Further, the institution receives inadequate funding, and that has negatively affected its operations. For example, currently, it is very difficult for the House of Chiefs to summon hon. Ministers to appear before it because hon. Ministers were not obliged to respect the summons and usually ignored them. Your Committee also learnt that the duration of the sessions of the institution has been reduced from fourteen days to five and the sessions are held in an old structure requiring comprehensive rehabilitation and expansion. However, due to the fact that the structure is a natural heritage site, alterations to it are restricted by the National Heritage Conservation Commission’s (NHCC’s) rules and regulations. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the mandate of the House of Chiefs be expanded, with relevant committees formed, such as a committee to deal with succession and boundary disputes, and another on the management of natural resources in the chiefdom. Your Committee also recommends the employment of legal officers to provide professional legal advice to the House of Chiefs and a full-time Sergeant-at-Arms.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also recommends that the Government seriously considers enhancing the autonomy of the House of Chiefs in order for it to effectively perform the functions assigned to it by the Constitution. That would require improved funding, increased staffing levels and an independent accounting and administration unit. In so doing, the value of the House would be more appreciated and that would, in turn, instil confidence in its operations. Additionally, your Committee recommends that the House reverts to the fourteen-day sessions and that hon. Ministers take summons to appear before the House seriously and obey them. Further, the Government should build a modern and well-equipped structure to accommodate the House of Chiefs so that the needs of the chiefs are adequately met and the House of Chiefs is given the dignity and respect it deserves.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I thank all stakeholders for their co-operation during your Committees deliberations. Your Committee also thanks the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice rendered during its work. Finally, your Committee is grateful to you for the guidance given to it during the session.

Sir, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Kazabu: Now, Mr Speaker.

Sir, before I second the Motion on the Floor of the House, allow me to use this opportunity to convey my heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathy to Mrs Mwanza, the children and the wider Mwanza family on the sudden and untimely death of Hon. Humphrey Iddoh Mwanza. No doubt, the Mwanza family have lost a dear bread winner. My condolences also go to the people of Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency, the people of the North-Western Province, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and the Zambia Institute of Human Resource Management (ZIHRM). These have lost a passionate, committed and fearless representative and leader.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Sir, the late Hon. Humphrey Iddoh Mwanza will be missed by many.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Mr Speaker, allow me to also use this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Dora Siliya of Petauke Constituency, Hon. Patricia Mulasikwanda of Mulobezi Constituency and Hon. Jack Shuma of Malambo on their election to Parliament. I can only wish my colleagues well in their role of representing their constituents.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, let me, now, turn to my assignment, which is to second the Motion on the Floor of the House. In doing so, let me begin by congratulating the mover on the able manner in which he has presented the Motion. I wish to supplement his speech by highlighting some salient issues contained in your Committees report.

Sir, in its study of the management of solid waste and the operations of the House of Chiefs, your Committee visited the House of Chiefs and the Chunga Landfill in Lusaka. It also had the rare privilege of undertaking a foreign study tour to Botswana to share best practices in the management of solid waste and the operations of the House of Chiefs.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s tour of the House of Chiefs in Lusaka revealed that the institution held its sessions in a building that was in a very poor state due to inadequate funding. In fact, due to extensive damage, the roof of the lounge room had caved in and, during the rainy season, the roof of the whole building leaked heavily, forcing the sessions of the House to be cut short. Your Committee observed that the House also used outdated furniture and equipment, such as chairs, tables and microphones, and that, that had made its operations very difficult. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the Government learns from Botswana, whose House of Chiefs operates as an autonomous institution and operates in a befitting structure that has been built to accommodate it. Further, in Botswana, the institution has been provided with adequate funds for procuring modern equipment and financing its sessions. The Zambian Government should seriously consider doing the same.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s findings from its tour of the Chunga Landfill in Lusaka is a very sad one, as your Committee observed that inadequate resources had made it very difficult for the landfill to be managed efficiently and effectively. The wall around the landfill had collapsed, thereby allowing unauthorised people free access to the facility. In fact, your Committee found a large number of people without protective clothing scavenging through the water. Your Committee also observed that there were residential houses near the landfill. Clearly, the health of the people who scavenge there and those who live nearby was at a high risk. Additionally, due to a lack of equipment, the waste dumped at the site is not compacted, which had resulted in the waste being strewn all over the site and causing a very strong stench in the air. Actually, there was and still is air pollution. Further, your Committee was informed that no tests had been carried out on the leachate in the pond because the pond was inaccessible due to the large amount of uncompacted waste dumped high around it. Your Committee also observed that the drainage system was not adequately functional and that, in the past two years, no tests had been carried out on the water in the stream near the site to establish the amount of contamination. This is of great concern to your Committee. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the Government learns from Botswana, which has adequately funded the establishment of a regional landfill that services three local authorities, and provided modern equipment for dumping, compacting and incinerating waste. Further, the landfill visited in Botswana has a functional drainage system and the leachate pond is easily accessible. The Botswana Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control, the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) and the Botswana Bureau of Standards test water and air samples from the landfill every six months in order to monitor the amount of contamination and the movement of landfill gases, leachate, storm water and incinerator fumes. A high security wall fence has also been erected around the landfill to prevent unauthorised entry.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the Copperbelt Solid Waste Management Company (COPWASTE), which was formed by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and seven urban local authorities on the Copperbelt Province, namely, Ndola, Kitwe, Chililabombwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Luanshya and Kalulushi.

Sir, the company is on the verge of total collapse due to under-capitalisation by the shareholders, and unwillingness of the members of the public to pay for the disposal of waste. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government urgently intervenes by providing financial support to save the company from collapse.

In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I wish to echo the words of appreciation by the Chairperson of your Committee by thanking you for the guidance rendered to the Committee during its programme of work. I also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for providing secretarial services.

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion. In doing so, my delivery of points will probably be at the rate of 72 RPM (revolution per minute), unlike the seconder’s, which was at 33 RPM.

Mr Speaker, I support this report and commend the Committee for the work that it has done. I am, however, disappointed because I was Chairperson of the Committee on Energy, Lands and Environment before the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power and changed things around. So, I recall that, just about four years ago, we did sufficient justice to the subject of solid waste management. In fact, one could swap the covers of the report we produced then and the one we are debating today because the contents of the two reports are not significantly different on that aspect. Even then, we paid a visit to Chunga Landfill.

Sir, fifty years after Independence, the whole country still has one engineered landfill for solid waste management, which was actually a donation from the Danish Government to the City of Lusaka in 2007. That is according to this report. The landfill was given a lifespan of fifteen years, of which this is the eighth year.

Sir, the description of the landfill and the comments by your Committee do not encourage anyone because even the term ‘engineered landfill’ no longer applies to that facility. Under “Observations,” your Committee says that the landfill was unkempt and produced an unpleasant stench. These are things we also talked about five years ago.

Sir, with regard to what the report has termed ‘scavenging’, during our tenure, we had learnt from the operators of the landfill that the term was derogatory. So, globally, there was a new phenomenon of people who pick garbage and were called waste pickers. These people, formerly called scavengers, picked whatever they could from the dumpsites, including expired meat, and sold them back on the market to unsuspecting citizens. So, we need to find solutions to this problem. That landfill was established before the Habitat for Humanity Compound was fully established by Dr Kaunda. Now, the compound is not so far from the landfill. The landfill is also engulfed by Chunga, Matero and Maiteneke compounds, and Maiteneke is a brand carrier for a place in which faecal matter is not a strange sight.

Sir, one of the points that your Committee’s report brings out is that councils are not adequately funded, and that is true. Additionally, they are not even given room to apply innovation to solid waste management.

Mr Speaker, it is only befitting for to us to say that, as long as there are high-density human settlements, the whole country is simply a dumpsite. There are laws that regulate the dumping of garbage, but they are not applied. The question is: Why is that the case? The answer is, we, the leaders, and I will explain what I mean in a short while. For example, we have the Markets and Bus Stations Act, which was enacted in this Chamber and guides the operations of markets and bus stations.

Sir, during the Movement for Multi-party for Democracy (MMD) Government, this country was less of a dumpsite than it is under the PF. I am sure that you all recall, and you do not need to be reminded, how we were told that we had to accept people selling on the street because they were suffering. One hon. Government Member said that. We have spoken about how people answered the call of nature in empty Shake Shake or Chibuku packets and threw them anywhere. Today, the situation has worsened. The Government had told us that it would allow vending only on some selected streets and, although this is a sensitive matter, I think that we should talk about it. I think that anyone who wants to take a populist stance about an issue that we can sit and talk about in Parliament will be judged very harshly by posterity. There is an absolute need to restore order on our streets.

Mr Speaker, the moment the PF decided to legalise unregulated street vending, there should have been some corresponding interventions, such as the mass construction of public toilets that we have sang about year in and year out. If I were to challenge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to give us a programme, if he has rolled out one, on the construction of toilets, he would have a difficult time meeting my challenge. If he has, that is fine. Again, I think that corresponding mitigatory measures should have been implemented concurrently with this policy of allowing people to trade and defecate anywhere. Just 2 km away from here, there is a sewerage pond in Garden Compound, which has been there for many years. However, because of the long-term approach of the people who built them, and despite the population of Lusaka having exploded and continuing to do so, the pond still works effectively. The people who live around the Garden area, obviously are attacked by the unpleasant smell, but the management of the sewerage pond is above average. Now, if a sewerage pond built in the 1960s can still function, why should Chunga Landfill, which was built eight years, fail to function?

Mr Speaker, the seconder spoke about the Copperbelt Solid Waste Management Company (COPWASTE) and there is a recommendation that the Government funds the company. I am afraid I will not support the recommendation. It is a fact, and a stubborn one for that matter, that COPWASTE is an institution for only the elite or affluent, and you can argue with me if you want. Just like the Lusaka City Council (LCC), many other city councils have outsourced garbage collection to the companies with cash trucks that only service those who are affluent and pay utility bills, such as water or electricity bills. You know, as much as I do, that the COPWASTE billing system is through the water bill. If you are not on a metered service, then, you do not qualify to be serviced by COPWASTE. While a company like MultiChoice Zambia simply uses a computer to disconnect you when you do not pay the subscription fee, COPWASTE will collect the garbage and then send the bills. Even if you do not pay for one or two months, the company will continue to collect the garbage. All you have to do is plead with someone and mention the extremely tough economic times in which we live in this country today. So, even those who were paying for services five years ago have simply stopped doing so.

Sir, COPWASTE is run by seven district councils and the Board of Directors is made up of the seven Town Clerks. I am not saying anything bad about the Town Clerks. All I want to say is simply that some institutions are poorly funded and not permitted to be innovative. Mazabuka, for instance, where my constituency is, was badly hit by the policy shift that led to the abolition of the crop levy. I have said this before, and I will say it again: We used to earn money for cleaning up the town. Today, Mazabuka is as dirty as Lusaka. We built some maiden boxes, but the council has no capacity to collect the garbage and does not even have a landfill. Most people have dug out garbage pits behind their homes, which is also an environmental hazard. So, in addressing this matter, I think that the Government should put money where its mouth is and implement a programme to build landfills as a foundation for the councils to function optimally. Something must be done about the problem. If, fifty years after Independence, a whole country with a population of about 15 million has only one engineered landfill, then, something is wrong.  So, those who prepare the Budget, and I know they are in the process of doing so, should establish another landfill for Lusaka, but should also remember other areas because Zambia is not just in Lusaka. They should establish a landfill in Mazabuka, too.

Sir, the seconder spoke about the House of Chiefs, and that is what I want to talk about as I come to the end of my debate.

Sir, as I speak; at this particular moment, chiefs have been stripped of their dignity and reduced to eating cupcakes and biscuits through the patronage of those whose songs they sing. It is a case of the piper playing the tune picked by the one who pays him or her. I once visited the house of the Kabaka, the traditional ruler of the Baganda in Uganda, and I found that the royal establishment has a parliament equivalent to ours in standards, in which the traditional leadership discusses issues. There is security at the gate and one does not just enter. In our country, today, chiefs are called ba mwami, which means ‘chiefs’, but have no dignity whatsoever. The report states that the House of Chiefs is dilapidated. Day in and day out, someone is calling the chiefs from far-flung places to come and sing the song that makes him happy. For instance, sponsoring a trip for forty-two chiefs from the Southern Province can put a coat of paint to the House of Chiefs and replace its furniture.


Mr Nkombo: That is a fact.

Sir, I am not only saying this to the current Government. All governments must stop patronising chiefs. At the expense of making those who are heckling uncomfortable, I will tell them to stop patronising chiefs.

Mr Speaker: Address me, hon. Member.

 Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this Government must stop patronising chiefs forthwith because they are not there to be spin-doctors or publicity benefactors of the Government of the day. Those on your right must stop treating chiefs the way they treat the needy, and the first step is to build them decent premises or, at least, refurbish their current premises so that those cobwebs that have been reported by your Committee do not appear in a future report.

Sir, if bees can come here, as you saw yesterday, what more at the House of Chiefs. I am sure that there are beehives there. There are also tusesebo or bats, and the ceilings are falling. Bats have found refuge in the House of Chiefs because they have no character. That is why some people call them mammals while others call them other names. So, the Government should give those people dignity instead of giving them this camouflage that other people call madimbeka in one local language, which is pretentious respect. The Government must treat chiefs with the dignity that they deserve. Unfortunately, this report does not inspire any hope in that regard. The only comfort I am quite sure of is that the darkest hour is just before dawn. That is the only comfort I can give to the chiefs. The earlier they realise that they have been patronised for too long a time, the better for them ...

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ...because soon, the sun will rise and they will be put in their rightful place.

Sir, help me understand this: If the Government, through an hon. Minister of Home Affairs, can send a battalion of police officers to stop a man from being installed as chief, what care do you think it will give to the House of Chiefs’ Chamber? As for me, I stand on firm ground in my belief that chiefs should be given the dignity that they deserve, starting from succession. We read, in the report, that there is no policy on succession. Two weeks ago, we saw the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs taken to task on why a chief in Lundazi had not been recognised after many years and the hon. Minister had no answer. So, if the Government cannot have a satisfactory answer to a simple question like that, how can it allocate money to clean the cobwebs in the House of Chiefs?

Sir, I think that the problems facing the chiefs and their institution require urgent attention. The Government should provide the money for the refurbishment of the House of Chiefs.

Sir, in conclusion, I want to remind the chiefs, again, that there will be one bright morning sooner rather than later.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion. I also congratulate your Committee on a job well done. The report was very well-written and is very enlightening. However, in contributing to this debate, I have found myself in a very difficult situation, as it is almost impossible to debate this Motion without referring to the Urban and Regional Planning Bill, No. 3 of 2015, which is before this House, because the two are closely related and linked. The Bill is about putting order and organisation into our planning, and the issues raised in this lovely report are actually a consequence of failure to plan. It would not be wrong to say that, as a people, we are probably planning for Zambia to be a shanty rather than proper modern 21st Century country. We are not learning from developed countries, and that is a source of worry that the hon. Minister should seriously take note of.

Sir, let us look at the issue of solid waste. Who in this House or in Zambia does not know the problems that the poor management of solid waste brings to all of us? Taking the debate closer home, in Chipata, we actually do not have a place where we can dispose of waste. The Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) has been there and the council is pushing, but those efforts have failed to lead to the identification of land on which a proper landfill can be established. That has become almost impossible, and the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is aware because I have communicated the problem to the ministry. So, the ministry knows that there is no land in Chipata and must, therefore, help us. The reason we have this problem is that of poor planning. The council land in Chipata is almost finished. So, for the council to access land outside, it has to go to other parties, where it is having difficulties. As a consequence, garbage is just being thrown right in town, and it is for this reason that I said that it is almost impossible for me to debate this Motion without referring to the Bill, which is before this House. So, going forward, it is important for the hon. Minister to consider it an urgent issue that each district and town in this country be well-planned to have a landfill because this is a dynamic and ongoing challenge. Every day, we are churning out waste that we have nowhere to throw.

Mr Speaker, in my beautiful town, it is more than just the waste we generate in the kitchens. Even burial places have become a problem. Those who know Chipata will agree with me that the biggest burial place, which is in Kapata, is full and we are now burying our lovely ones right in the hills. That is not right. Again, this is because the planning is limited to the perimeter over which the council has authority. We have failed to get land outside that perimeter. I think that we need to have a little more force, through the hon. Minister, to have certain facilities made available to the councils. Just imagine a town whose cemetery is full and the council does not know what to do. It is now not surprising in Chipata to reuse graves that are, maybe, twenty or thirty years old. We are now adopting an unZambian culture of burying so many people in the same tomb. Therefore, these are not issues about which we can smile because they are serious and affect people every day, as people die every day just like they are born every day.

Mr Speaker, the consequence of the failure to manage our solid waste and burial places is a contamination of the entire water base of Chipata. If you drill a borehole and take the water from there for tasting, you will find that it is contaminated because, instead of being connected to a sewer line, almost every household in Chipata has a septic tank and soak-away.

Mr Nkombo: Oh, oh!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I want to believe that the plight of the people of Chipata is very common across the country, except that, maybe, some of our colleagues just drink the water without having it tested first. So, I would urge all hon. Members of Parliament to get samples of the water in their constituencies and have it tested. Otherwise, our people will suffer from strange diseases as a consequence of poor planning.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has qualified planners, and it is high time we made use of them. I was once a member of the Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism and I remember meeting a very qualified planner in one of the sittings. I believe that the ministry has such planners, too. If it does not, we need to go to the archives and look for people like the gentleman who appeared as a witness before the Committee and make use of him before another country gets him at our expense. There is an opportunity cost there.

Sir, you have been gracious enough to send almost all hon. Members of Parliament to different countries and I was privileged to go to Finland. Whilst there, we were shown a fifty-year plan of some town. Why can we not learn from our colleagues on how to plan like that? This is why I keep saying that many of our problems are linked to urban and regional planning. So, I hope that the document we are debating will not just be used for rhetoric, but that it will be put to good use. It is one thing to have a good document, but using it is another. The current state of affairs is a result of our failure to follow what we put on paper. I have complained about the council allowing people to build right into the river, but I have been told that, since I was a councillor, I should do something about the problem instead of questioning the council. That is not a progressive approach because I brought the matter to this House, a higher authority, because the council had failed to deal with it. So, I expected guidance from this House, not the response I got.

Mr Speaker, the Urban and Regional Planning Bill focuses on the environment, the law, land survey, architecture and many other issues. It is a very good document that I hope that hon. Members will take time to read. I have read it because there is a lot of suffering and pain due to a lack of proper planning in Chipata.

Sir, as I think that I have made my point, I just want to add that what we discuss should be put into practice. Hon. Nkombo talked about the sewerage pond in Garden Compound. Let me talk about another one in Chamba Valley. Members of the council have observed that vegetables, sugarcane and all sorts of edible products are grown very close to the spill way of the sewerage pond, but nobody has taken the trouble to fence the pond off. This morning, as I was driving, I stopped there and saw people digging in their gardens right at the edge of the sewerage ponds, without any form of protective clothing, such as gumboots. Unfortunately, that is common in all towns. Wherever there is a sewerage pond, there is a sugarcane field.

Mr Muntanga: Very good manure.

Mr Mtolo: It can be good manure, but I do not think we should use raw sewage as manure. If we want to use it, we should treat it first.

Sir, what is difficult about fencing off such areas? How much would fencing off a sewer pond cost? We need to fence the ponds to protect people who may not have the knowledge that our colleagues in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing have.

Mr Nkombo: US $25 million.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, the situation is desperate and needs urgent attention.

Sir, all the issues that Hon. Mbewe, Hon. Kazabu and other hon. Members have raised are there in the report.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the complaints raised regarding how we look after our chiefs, and I wish to tread carefully on this issue.

Sir, we are promoting our traditional leaders by assisting them with vehicles and calling upon them when need arises because we recognise their important role in society. However, if you look at Page 8 of the report, which concerns the Urban and Regional Planning Bill, particularly customary, for example, if you want to get some land on which to conduct a certain activity, this is what item “h” of Section 25(3) of the current Bill states:

“Where a chief or local authority refuses to enter into a planning agreement, the Minister shall, after consultations with the President, sign the planning agreement if it is in public interest to do so for purposes of this Act, and the planning shall bind the chief and local authority concerned.”
Sir, this is law, ...

Mr Speaker: Proposed law.

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

Sir, this will be law if we pass it. The danger inherent in this provision is that a chiefdom is made up of two things, namely, people and land. So, when you take away any of the two, the chiefdom ceases to exist. Therefore, we need to be very careful with what we are proposing because it ultimately takes away the authority that chiefs have over land. I believe that this Bill can be redrafted in a manner that is friendly to both the Government and the chiefs because, in its current form, it can be a source of serious conflict. We must either fully appreciate the role that chiefs play or we do away with them completely, as other countries have done.

With these few remarks, I support the Motion.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I stand to add my voice to the debate on this very important report of your Committee, which has been very clearly presented. The issues raised are very pertinent to our development, as a nation.

Sir, it is very depressing to go through this report because it clearly indicates the predicament we are in, as a country. First of all, available evidence shows that Zambia is the third most urbanised country on the continent, after South Africa and Algeria. What that means is that the challenge of urbanisation in public policy is big, and the Government must pay close attention to its process and policy implications.

Mr Speaker, your Committee’s report tells us that one negative consequence of the urbanisation process is the management of solid waste. As a country, we have not paid particular attention to this problem, and that can be seen in the fact that solid waste management has not featured in the national public policy. The report states that there is no national public policy on this matter despite our country being highly urbanised. Your report further states that we do not even have a legal framework for solid waste management. Additionally, investment in solid waste management is extremely inadequate. Even public awareness of the dangers of solid waste and involvement in its management is non-existent. Neither are there public education programmes on solid waste management. That is the dark side of our urbanisation. We have not paid ...

Prof. Lungwangwa waved a bee away.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I am being disturbed by a bee.

Mr Speaker: I understand your predicament.


Prof Lungwangwa: Sir, we have not adequately paid attention, in terms public policy, to that very critical area of our existence. So, our colleagues in the Executive must pay very serious attention to this report of your Committee and previous reports on this particular subject that have been presented on the Floor of this House.

Sir, the biggest problem we have with regard to solid waste management, especially in areas like Lusaka and other big cities on the Copperbelt, is that political expediency is more prioritised than public policy. For example, your report states that we do not have an organised street vending system in the country, whereby those selling on the streets would have to know their place and know how to take care of the solid waste generated there every day. Therefore, your Committee recommends that we organise the system of street vending in the country. Those who care to go to Cairo Road, Freedom Way and Chachacha Road can see the problem that has even reached the doorsteps of established business entities. People throw litter all over the place. That is clearly not right. Your Committee visited Botswana, but there are other countries in which you can even have a decent meal on the street without worrying about contamination of the food by any disease because the surroundings are very hygienic and pleasant to look at due to the organised approach to street vending. The litter generated is collected and disposed of in an organised manner. So, the urbanisation process does not have a negative impact on the cities. This is the issue to which our colleagues who are responsible for managing the urbanisation process and its effects must address themselves.
Sir, the issues being raised here are very important. The first thing we should do, as a country, is put in place a national solid waste management policy. We must have laws that will guide the management of solid waste. As your Committee’s report has pointed out, we also need a well-articulated public education system to sensitise our people on solid waste and its management. Additionally, we need to enforce the law on solid waste management like is the case in Botswana, where our colleagues in the Committee went. That is very important. We also need to encourage more private sector involvement in solid waste management. In some countries, some people even use horse-drawn carts to take solid waste to designated dumpsites. According to the report, Tswanas even use oxen to transport solid waste. That is what we need to do, which can actually be a form of job creation.

Mr Speaker, we have not done justice to ourselves on the issue of solid waste management. So, those who manage public policy must take the urbanisation process very seriously. The local authorities must engage in very serious institutional introspection on how they manage solid waste. I believe that they have not done enough because we have not transcended political expedience to do the right thing, which is putting the right instruments in place for us to manage ourselves better. That is part of the better management of the country. The challenge we have, now, is how to better manage this country. We have to do that in the councils and various institutions. Over and above that, this report tells us that we need to manage ourselves better. So, can we do that.

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

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important report of your Committee. I will be brief because most of the points I wanted to bring out have been ably articulated by those who have spoken before me. Nonetheless, I will still say something and hope to make some difference.

Mr Speaker, solid waste is a very serious matter in Zambia. What really saddens me is that, fifty years after Independence, instead of improving, we are actually getting worse, as a country.


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, shortly after Independence, there was an element of order ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that, fifty years after Independence, the country’s waste management is worse off instead of improving, as would be expected.

Mr Speaker, if you recall, in the immediate post-Independence days when we had proper urban planning and functioning local authorities, people knew how to dispose of their waste and respected local authorities’ by-laws at the household level, especially here in town. Generally, there was some order. Alas, today, it is becoming almost impossible for local authorities to manage waste. By-laws and even the laws that your House enacts are no longer respected and implemented while hon. Ministers have become scared of doing their work for fear of being labelled unfriendly to the system. As a result, I would say that the whole of Zambia has become a landfill or dumpsite to the extent that even other countries that want to dump cars or machines like old computers send them here. So, the country has become a dumpsite not just for household waste, but also industrial waste. So, unless those responsible for addressing these challenges are supported, sanitation will keep getting worse.

Mr Speaker, I remember the Make Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign, which was intended to help change the mindset of our citizens so that they could help the local authorities in doing certain things well and managing waste at the household or workplace level. However, as you have seen, that programme has just become a song that we all sing. We also have the Markets and Bus Station Act, like someone mentioned, a well-intended piece of legislation put in place by this House and the Government. However, it has just remained on the shelves because nobody is bold enough to implement it.

Sir, if we are not careful, we will hand the control of this country over to cadres. Let me also say that the people who masquerade as cadres, in most cases, are not even cadres of any political party. They are mostly just individuals, sometimes criminals, on the streets who pretend to be members of the political party in Government to avoid being arrested. Those are the ones that some politicians claim to be their cadres. They are not your cadres because, if a new political party forms Government tomorrow, they will switch camps. They used to belong to the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), then switched and are now in the Patriotic Front (PF). Next year, they will belong to another political party again. That is how it is. I am saying this because we need to understand what is really happening on the ground in order for us to be effective, as a Government. If we do not, even as hon. Ministers, we will be scared of our shadows, thinking that we would lose popularity if we made certain necessary decisions, and that we would be accused of working against our parties, all because of the cadres. How can a person who takes people from the market or compounds into town, demarcates land illegally on the streets of Lusaka and illegally allocates market stalls be called a cadre? Is a person who breaks the law not just a criminal? That person might even charge poor women and youths K50 every day for selling on the streets, yet someone still says, “He is our cadre.” How can he be your cadre? Firstly, he punishes the poor vendors. Secondly, he takes money away from the local authority, which it could use to collect garbage. Finally, he even makes the party unpopular because currently people can see that Lusaka is a dumpsite. I do not think that there is anybody who is happy with the Lusaka City Council (LCC) for failing to keep the streets of Lusaka clean on account of the street vendors.

Mr Speaker, I do not think that there is anybody who supports any Government for allowing the whole country to become a dumpsite. So, I think that those of us who have the privilege to become hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries (PSs) should do our best even if it means losing our jobs. It is better to lose one’s job for doing the right thing than to keep it by doing wrong things. This tendency to see things going wrong, but be too scared to do anything about it and consequently pretending not to see or hear what is being said will make us continue to allow illegalities to take root in the country. At the end of the day, the same people tolerating illegality will find themselves victims of what they are allowing to happen, but it will then be too late to do anything about it.

Mr Speaker, for once, when we discuss governance issues, we should unite, as a country and as a Parliament or politicians, so that the criminals who masquerade as cadres do not take advantage of us or others. We have reached the climax of disorder in the history of Zambia. Those of us who were born and bred in Lusaka and are the owners of this city can say that we are at the worst in its history. Even when you compare administrations, from the colonial ones to the current, we are at our worst.

Mr Speaker, I can tell you that, when our time is up, we will all, without exception, be judged very harshly by the people of Zambia. No one will say, “It was not me” or “I was not there,” because all of us are part of the Government by virtue of being hon. Members of Parliament. We debate and pass Bills and Budgets. So, at the end of the day, we cannot say that we are not party to the governance of this country.

 Sir, I want to especially challenge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, because I think that he is the one with the biggest job, when it comes to issues of development and orderliness in the nation, to be bold. He should not be scared because we shall support him, and I am sure that the appointing authority will also support him. Even the street vendors will be very happy to see him help to bring order to the streets of Lusaka. Some people say that vending is a form of employment. However, there can be no employment in an environment in which there is garbage and waste everywhere. Look at our residential areas, which we call ‘kuma yard’. They are like villages, where you hear people …

Mr Speaker: Use the official language.

Mrs Masebo: Sorry, Mr Speaker. Sometimes, I get carried away with these issues of bread and butter.

Sir, I was saying that the people in our urban residences like Kabwata, Libala and Chilenje burn waste indiscriminately, which is not the way to go because it is a public nuisance. That is the kind of thing that used to happen only in the village. However, now, you find people burning waste on Cairo Road and you wonder what is happening to our town. Surely, this is a city. You even feel ashamed to invite a friend from a neighbouring country and take them to town for shopping. We do not do that anymore.

Mr Speaker, I can say many things on waste management, but let me conclude on it by saying that the whole issue rests on political will, and that is what is lacking in our country. Until those who are given that task of leading the country become bold and brave and stop being obsessed with being popular, the situation will not improve. The way I know the people of Zambia, especially the ones in towns, is that they know what is right. So, when an hon. Minister takes an action, no matter how harsh, for the good of the country and within the law, they will support him or her. Yes, in the beginning, they will say this and that but, at the end of it all, they will be supportive. So, the hon. Minister should not be scared to do what is right for the good of this country.

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the other issue that I want to talk about is that of the House of Chiefs. I note a complaint in your report about the lack of resources and the shortening of the duration of the House’s sessions from two weeks to only five days. The report says that even their chambers are dilapidated, that there is a need to provide more resources to the institution and that its role should be expanded. We have a problem. This is why I have never really supported the establishment of the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and realignment of the Department of Chiefs’ Affairs from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to it. I know that, for a long time, chiefs in Zambia had wanted to be under the Office of the Vice-President. There were also proposals then for the Decentralisation Policy to be under the Office of the Vice-President. Therefore, it looked like the other proposal could make some sense. However, to create a Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs without a policy framework for it actually worsened the situation.

Sir, when the House of Chiefs was a department under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the House of Chiefs had some powers and structures to support its work, and chiefs were able to discharge some functions. Now, the few administrative functions that they had have been shifted to a new ministry. So, the House has just been left as a shell. The creation of the new ministry means that much of the money that used to go to the House of Chiefs has been redirected to support the ministry. So, instead of solving any problem, the creation of the ministry just worsened matters for the House of Chiefs. The institution has been weakened by the realignment of its functions to the ministry. It also has nothing to offer because there is no Act to support it. The functions that could have been invested in the House of Chiefs include the environment, agriculture, health and education, which are local government issues.

Sir, when the chiefs were plucked out from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, they actually lost their powers. The only functions the House of Chiefs has remained with are customary law administration and being an advisory body. However, had it remained under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, chiefs would have shared in the functions that are devolved to local authorities.

Mr Speaker, in line with the Decentralisation Policy, we should ask what functions the chiefs will discharge at district level. For example, they could be involved with the courts, agriculture and other issues through the local government structure. Unfortunately, when you go to the district centres, the councils will tell you that they have no business with the chiefs because the chiefs fall under the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, yet the ministry has nothing to offer them apart from addressing issues of customary law and being advisors to the Government. However, even when their House summons hon. Ministers, the hon. Ministers can respect the summons, but there is no law that compels them to do so. The hon. Ministers can choose whether to appear or not. Even when they choose to do so, they can still do it at their convenience. Even when they go, it is just for another talking shop and a duplication of work. There is no time for the hon. Ministers to explain things to the local authorities, the House of Chiefs and other stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, some of the structures that we keep creating are just creating confusion for us and wasting our meagre resources. So, my view is that the House of Chiefs can only be autonomous if there is a law to back it and it falls under the appropriate ministry. Currently, it is hanging in the air. If you go to countries where there is a House of Chiefs, you will find that, in most cases, it falls under the local government structure because a chiefs authority is a local government. It is actually decentralised governance. So, I really do not see the benefit of creating a House that is just hanging in the air without any legislative or human resource backing. The Government is conveniently just ignoring the institution and not releasing money thereto. You may recall that the House of Chiefs was established around 2004 or 2005. The United National Independence Party (UNIP) and the President Chiluba-led administrations did not establish the House of Chiefs. They just ignored it even though it was in the Constitution. That shows that something is wrong.

Mr Speaker, my point is this: Since we are a poor country, we must spend our meagre resources where we can make a difference. Just creating structures will not solve our problems. The chiefs need money.

I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond to some of the issues raised by your report and the hon. Members who have debated before me. I will be very brief.

Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government recognises the pivotal role that traditional leaders play, and should play, in the socio-economic development of the nation. The majority of our people, about 85 per cent, live in the rural areas and the bulk of the resources that we are endowed with lie in our chiefdoms.

Sir, the reason we established a stand-alone Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs was not only to look after the affairs of chiefs, but also to use it as an economic ministry to develop the rural areas. The chiefs are our partners in the development agenda of this nation, and some sentiments that have been expressed here, that chiefs are called to Lusaka to be paraded, are untrue. On the contrary, the chiefs are free to engage with Government ministries and demand the implementation of development programmes in their chiefdoms. Meeting Government officials, hon. Ministers and even the President is not only a preserve of us, politicians or hon. Members of Parliament, but also our traditional leaders are also free to.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs has heard the lamentations of your Committee and will strike a balance between preserving the heritage value of the premises in which our traditional leaders conduct their business and the need to provide a conducive environment for them as they conduct their business. So, my ministry will come to this House to solicit enhanced support for the House of Chiefs during the approval of the Budget and will count on the hon. Members’ support.

Mr Speaker, the chiefs are also a custodian of one resource that is very unique to Zambia, that is, peace and unity, and we would like them to continue uniting this nation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, our colonial masters used to use the traditional leadership to divide and rule us, but the PF Government wants to partner with our traditional leadership in uniting, developing and prospering the nation. So, it is not in vain that the traditional leadership has been given a stand-alone ministry, as this will enable us to transform the traditional leadership and the ministry into an economic and social development ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Mbewe, the Chairperson of your Committee, and Hon. Kazabu, the seconder, for the tremendous work that the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs has done. There is no doubt that the report has given us very insightful revelations on the state of solid waste management. Their recommendations could not have come at a better time than now, when my ministry is seriously awakening to this monster that is a threat to human life, if left unattended.

Mr Speaker, let me agree with the various sentiments expressed by Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Mtolo, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and Hon. Masebo. I cannot agree with them more that we have a problem. However, let me emphasise that this problem is not of a recent origin, but one we have had since Independence. Simply put, we have not done justice to ourselves by mismanaging the urbanisation of our country well.

Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that, if not properly managed, waste is a great threat to the wellbeing of our people, especially those in the towns and cities. Our towns and cities are growing without our awakening to the challenges that the growth presents us with. As you know, over the years, councils have had no capacity to manage waste for obvious reasons. They have had competing needs that have relegated this issue to the back of the priority list. It has even been forgotten in some councils. I must admit that there are local initiatives to tackle the problem, but they are highly unco-ordinated. So, there is, now, a need for this nation to seriously work on coming up with a well-articulated policy to govern us in this area. The policy is non-existent and the relevant legislation is fragmented all over the place. Added to these factors is a lack of serious planning. So, we have worsened the situation for ourselves and need, at least, a legislative tool and guidelines to guide us. The lack of a policy framework has also resulted in there being no human resource in this area. We do not have the expertise. So, yes, there have been rudimentary efforts before and now, but we need to awaken and enact legislation to govern our solid waste management. This is why His Excellency the President directed me to look at this area more critically than before, and we are engaged in discussions with Shelter Afrique. In fact, Shelter Afrique organised a very successful tour for my officials and me to Ghana. We are currently processing what we learned from the trip.

Sir, His Excellency the President has also authorised me to travel to Sweden in September, 2015, to concretise a public-private partnership (PPP) that we hope to go into to help us in solid waste management. All this hard work is meant to address a challenge that has been with us for some years now and is still with us mainly because we did not manage the movement of our people from the villages to the towns and we are paying bitterly for that.  

Sir, yes, there could be the issue of political expediency in the problem of waste management. However, since we are talking about the lives of our people, I think that we must do what we can. As Minister of Local Government and Housing, appointed by His Excellency the President, I will not hesitate to do what is necessary to solve the problem. I do not require any prompting to be bold or fearless because my mission is governed by the mandate I am given by the President and the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, which is very clear on how we should move on issues ...

Mr Nkombo: Question!

Dr Phiri: ... like waste management.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Sir, individuals may carry their small visions but, all in all, it is the party that directs the path. So, I can only say that I will serve the party and His Excellency the President to the best of my ability. If I lack in one area or another in the eyes of Zambians, they will judge me together with my political party, the PF, whose manifesto I want to put into action as practically as I can. Watch this space. I will be reporting on what the endeavours we are having with inside and outside collaborators will yield. This is one area where we must make an imprint.

Mr Speaker, once again, I thank the Committee for a job well done and for provoking our thoughts. As you heard from the various hon. Members who have debated, the report has managed to provoke our minds (banging the table with his fist) on this issue, and this how it should be.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank the following hon. Members who contributed positively to your report: Hon. Nkombo,  ...

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: ... Hon. Mtolo Phiri, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa and Hon. Masebo. Their input made the hon. Minister bang the table to emphasise his resolve to take action. We thank the hon. Minister for promising us that we will see action very soon.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question put and agreed to.






(Consideration resumed)

Clauses 78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105,106 and 107 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:

The Forests Bill, 2015

The Referendum (Amendment) Bill, 2015

The Urban and Regional Planning Bill, 2015

Report Stages on Friday, 17th July, 2015.




Her Honour the Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1914 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 17th July, 2015.