Debates - Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, 22nd July, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






660. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    how many child education centres there were countrywide;

(b)    what measures had been taken to sustain the centres; and 

(c)    when the centres would be provided with trained teachers and teaching materials.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, there are 1,658 early childhood education centres countrywide.

Mr Speaker, there are a number of steps that have been taken to sustain the established centres. Firstly, the Government deployed 1,000 teachers to public schools to facilitate the establishment of early childhood education in existing primary schools and surrounding communities. At the lower levels, community sensitisation and mobilisation was done, which led to community participation through feeding programmes, care-giver support, enrolments and setting up of play parks using local materials. The ministry has also strengthened linkages with partners in providing support to the centres through training of care-givers and provision of materials. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry will, this year, post 5,000 teachers, among whom will be early childhood teachers. It is Government policy to include all the levels, that is, early childhood, primary and secondary, in every deployment of teachers. Materials for early childhood education have also been produced and are being translated into the seven main local languages for distribution to the centres.  Through the support of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), some materials were distributed to centres in five provinces, namely, the Northern, Western, Eastern, Muchinga and Luapula.

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, early childhood education centres are currently facing many challenges, among which are a lack of staff accommodation and trained staff.  None of the centres in Kalabo District are manned by trained teachers. Granted, the hon. Minister has said that 5,000 teachers will be recruited, among whom will be early childhood teachers. However, he has not disclosed how many of the 5,000 teachers to be recruited will be early childhood teachers. So, my question is: How many early childhood teachers will he deploy to Kalabo to man those centres and alleviate some of the challenges they are facing?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, for the information of Hon. Miyutu and others, let me provide some context to this topic. 

Sir, before 2011, early childhood education was only provided by the private sector, not the Government. We initiated the programme in 2011. That is why we recruited 1,000 teachers in 2013 to establish Government-supported early childhood education centres in the country. That said, I assure Hon. Miyutu that, although the number of early childhood education teachers to be deployed is not yet known, I am sure that the Provincial Education Officer (PEO) in Mongu will decide how many teachers will be deployed to Kalabo at an appropriate time. We have begun that journey and we will walk to the end. So, some of your centres in Kalabo will be provided with early childhood education teachers.

I thank you, Sir. 


661. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    how many qualified personnel were stationed at Nsudzu Mental Health Centre in Chadiza Parliamentary Constituency as of March, 2015;

(b)    when the rehabilitation of the Centre would commence; and 

(c)    what the cost of the project was.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda) (on behalf of the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi)): Mr Speaker, as of March, 2015, the facility had one Clinical Officer (Psychiatry) and one Zambia Enrolled Nurse (ZEN) (Psychiatry).

Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the centre has been proposed for inclusion in the 2015 Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP). 

Sir, the delay in rehabilitating the centre has been due to financial constraints.

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost of the works at the centre is K2,220,000, broken down as follows: 

Works    Cost (K)

Rehabilitation of sixteen hostels    640,000

Construction of 4 x 6 ablution blocks    500,000

Rehabilitation of three staff houses    320,000

Rehabilitation of the kitchen, dining and storerooms    250,000

Water reticulation system, including in the staff compound    200,000

Electrification of staff houses    110,000.

Rehabilitation of the Administration Block    150,000

Rehabilitation of the stand-alone circular storeroom    50,000

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this Government must be serious. 

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that there are two clinical officers at the centre when there is only one, who looks after eighteen patients, three females and fifteen males. He should remember that we are all potential mental health patients. 


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza, resume your seat.

Mr Mbewe: Sir, when ...

Mr Speaker: Can you resume your seat.

Mr Mbewe resumed his seat. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, exercise self-control. Just ask a question without saying all the unnecessary things. 

You may continue.

Mr Mbewe: You are lucky, hon. Minister.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, when will the Government send officers to assist the officer currently at the station? 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, in fact, there are currently three officers at the station. When the answer was being prepared, there were two officers, but another has joined them. 

Sir, the hon. Member’s anger is not only disproportionate, but also inappropriate to this debate. It is probably the result of hon. Members not being ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I think that I have taken care of that. 


Mr Speaker: We move to the next Question. 


663. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development: 

(a)    whether any mineral exploration had been done in Mitete District;

(b)    if so, what minerals were found; and

(c)    when mining activities would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the exploration of minerals has been and is still being done in Mitete District. The process is continuous. 

Sir, since the exploration is still ongoing, we cannot report on any mineral discoveries until the final report is written. 

Sir, any mining operations will commence if or when deposits will be discovered and exploration companies report back to us.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, which companies are undertaking the explorations in Mitete District? 

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, there are about thirty-seven companies prospecting for minerals in the district. We can avail the list to the hon. Member by laying it on the Table. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I believe that exploration licences are issued for the exploration of specific minerals. Which minerals are being prospected for in Mitete District?  

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, indeed, exploration licences are issued for the specific minerals being sought. In the case of Mitete, we have issued exploration licences for diamonds, copper and other base metals.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Antonio (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, how long have the explorations been going on? 

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, explorations have been going on for quite a long time because we periodically go through the information given to us when the licences expire. The House might be interested to know that we recently issued new licences in that area because of the high levels of mineralisation. 

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell us whether oil is one of the resources being explored for? 

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the principal Question was with specific reference to Mitete District where the exploration licences issued are for base metals only. The oil exploration licences we have issued are for oil blocks scattered across the country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that there is a racket going on regarding the mineral exploration licences that were issued by the Cadastre Unit of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development? The people to whom the licences are initially issued sell them to second parties.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the ministry is not aware of such racketeering in exploration licences and we are grateful that the hon. Member has brought it to our attention. The hon. Minister and the team will investigate the matter and ensure that such things are not encouraged. However, we have had several reports of a lack of transparency and corrupt activities in our Cadastre Unit. That is why the hon. Minister instructed that we publish all mineral licensing information at the Cadastre Unit online so that everyone is able to see what is going on. So, Hon. Imenda can see transparently what is going on if she visits the website.   

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, have there been any successes that have been reported, so far, in the exploration activities taking place in Mitete?

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the exploration is ongoing, as the licence-holders want to, at least, discover diamonds or base metals. However, so far, no success has been reported.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    whether there was potential for development of a cement plant in Mpongwe District; and 

(b)    if so, whether the Government had any plans to find an investor to set up a cement plant in the district.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, there is potential for the development of a cement plant in Mpongwe because of the occurrence of limestone in the area, which is the main raw material in the production of cement. 

Sir, the Government is encouraging investors to undertake further exploration to quantify the limestone occurrences with the view to establishing a cement plant in Mpongwe.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, explorations were undertaken by the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development and it was discovered that there is ...

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. I apologise to the hon. Member on the Floor for disturbing his debate.

Sir, you have ruled, time and again, and it is a rule of this House that what is said in this House must be factual. With me is a verbatim transcript relating to Question 567, which was debated three weeks ago.

Mr Speaker: Three weeks ago?

Mr Mutelo: Yes, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, I, hon. Member for Lukulu West, asked the hon. Minister of Home Affairs when police officers would be deployed to Mitete District. The hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Col. Kaunda, said:

“Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Zambia Police Force, is currently putting logistics in place to facilitate the deployment of officers to Mitete District on a rotational basis since the area has no officer and staff accommodation. 

“Sir, to ensure a permanent police presence in Mitete District, the Government has advertised a tender for the construction of a police station and ten-medium cost staff houses. The construction process will commence once the procurement process has been concluded and a successful bidder selected. 

“Mr Speaker, I thank you.”

Sir, my follow-up question was as follows:

“Mr Speaker, when will the rotational deployment commence?”

The hon. Deputy Minister’s response was as follows:

“Mr Speaker, the rotational deployment will commence next week. 

“I thank you, Mr Speaker.”


Mr Mutelo: This is the reason I began by saying that this debate is three weeks old. 

Sir, are the hon. Minister and his ministry in order not to make any effort to fulfil their promise made on the Floor of this House for almost a month? As we speak, the body of a maid of one of the teachers in Lindele has been lying in cold blood for three days after she was murdered. No officer or vehicle has been sent to the scene and the teacher is stranded with a corpse in his house.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that we can only put a matter of this nature to rest if you file-in a question. You have given us your side of the story. However, I cannot rule without hearing the other side because it will not be just. I mean, it is just logical. In short, file in a question and I will forward it to your colleagues on my right for them to respond so that we know the correct position. 

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, before the Lukulu/Katunda man disturbed me, ...


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, he did not disturb you, as such.


Mr Namulambe: Noted, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, I was saying that explorations were undertaken and it was discovered that there is good limestone in Mpongwe. My question is: If an investor showed up tomorrow, how much time would it take for him to be issued a licence?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the issuance of licences in the ministry has improved remarkably. Be that as it may, we can fast-track the process.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, was the exploration only undertaken in Mpongwe or has it also been extended to other districts where cement can be found?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, mineral exploration is an ongoing process that extends across the country. We have an idea of the areas where the resource occurs across the country.

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that exploration has been undertaken in Mpongwe, limestone has been found and the ministry is trying to get investors to open a cement-making plant there. Does the ministry have a plan to develop the necessary infrastructure in the district to facilitate private sector investments there? 

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, when the ministry undertakes exploration activities to just get an indication of the extent of the resource in an area mineral, we use our geologists, who undertake spot-drilling to see exactly where we have the lime after using other means of testing. Once we identify the occurrence of the resource, we direct investors there to conduct in-depth explorations to ascertain whether the quantity is sufficient to sustain a mining operation. 

Mr Speaker, the development of infrastructure is another issue altogether. The investor must do it because we do not put up unnecessary infrastructure without knowing exactly how much of a given resource occurs in an area.

I thank you, Sir.


666. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Government would construct a police station and staff houses in Kabompo District. 

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, this Question has a funny number. 

Sir, the Government has no immediate plans to construct a police station and staff houses in Kabompo District. The construction of the police station and houses is expected to commence between 2016 and 2020, in line with the Medium-Term Infrastructure Development Plan (MTIDP).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, Kabompo was established in 1947, before some of us were born. However, since Independence, in fifty-one years, there has been no police station there. Police Officers simply co-habit …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I am slowly coming to the question.


Mr Speaker: That is what I am discouraging. 

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, when is the Government seriously considering building a police station in Kabompo so that the police officers there are comfortably accommodated in their own offices?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the ministry is aware of the poor state of the premises in which our police officers operate and it is our wish to implement a very robust programme to rehabilitate and build stations in which officers can be comfortable. 

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    how many students applied for Government bursaries at the following institutions of learning for the 2013/2014 Academic Year:

(i)    University of Zambia;

(ii)    Copperbelt University; and

(iii)    Mulungushi University; and

(b)    how many students had their applications approved, institution by institution.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, the number of applications for Government bursaries at the stated institutions of learning for the 2013/2014 Academic Year was as follows:

    University    Applications

    University of Zambia     2,393

    Copperbelt University     1,767

    Mulungushi University     9 

Sir, none of the applications from Mulungushi University students was approved. For the two other universities, the numbers of applications approved were as follows:

    University     Year

    University of Zambia     2,298

    Copperbelt University    1,729

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, it is encouraging to hear that over 75 per cent of the applications were approved. 


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Miyanda: However, what could have happened to the unfortunate students whose applications were not successful?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the statistics I have given the House show that very few students were unsuccessful in applying for bursaries at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU). All I can say about them is that, when people are not given bursaries, they have to look for alternative sources of funding, such as financial institutions or private sponsors.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, presently, bursaries are only provided to students in higher institutions of learning, that is, those of our children who get acceptance to the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU). When does the Government intend to do away with this discriminatory policy and start sponsoring our children who get places at Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Mulungushi University, Robert Makasa University and Paul Mushindo University, too?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, when Hon. Dr Kalila presented the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, I think that he indicated one important institution that the hon. Minister has been working to establish, namely, a student loan and scholarship board. The ministry recognises that, given the growing number of public universities, it would be discriminatory for us to continue to provide support to the UNZA and CBU students only. We are working on the relevant instruments and I am sure that, in the next few weeks, we will hold a meeting to look at the policy and the Cabinet Memorandum. So, I assure Hon. Dr Kalila, other hon. Members of Parliament and the Zambian public that the ministry wants to conclude the policy, Cabinet Memorandum and legislation for the establishment of a student loan scheme as soon as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I am really disturbed with what I am seeing on your left. Is the hon. Member for Sesheke in order to wear something that looks like a suit, but is actually against the dress code of this House?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will reserve my ruling so that the Clerks-at-the-Table can examine what the hon. Member is putting on.

The hon. Member for Chadiza may continue.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is my friend, but I will still ask him a question.

Mr Speaker: Proceed, hon. Member.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, what is special about University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) students for them to be given Government bursaries while their colleagues at Mulungushi University are not? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, when Mulungushi University was created, the policy decision was that it should enrol students on a self-sponsorship basis. That is the policy that is still in effect. So, until a contrary is policy adopted, we will continue in that direction. That is why I am stressing our determination to operationalise a loan scheme so that we can also help the students who go to the various public universities in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, education is key to development. Unfortunately, as you know, most of the people in our country are poor, especially in the rural areas. Their children could be intelligent, but they cannot send them to school. Not too long ago, a student killed herself because of the corrupt manner in which student bursaries are awarded. Will the policy that the Government will implement give an equal chance to both the poor students in the rural areas and the privileged ones from the urban areas?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, what Hon. Muchima is saying is true. I represent a rural constituency, too, and we have very intelligent pupils who do not access bursaries. That is why we want the current policy reviews and reforms to take into consideration many of our rural children who are intelligent, but are unfortunately being discriminated against by the current system. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I believe that, in most cases, students are given 75 per cent bursaries, not 100 per cent, and must raise the 25 per cent contribution. This, in most cases, is impossible for them to do, especially for those who come from rural areas, because they are poor. When will the Government start giving 100 per cent coverage to students from poor rural families?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, Hon. Dr Musokotwane is a former hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in this country and might know that, if we were to offer 100 per cent bursaries to all the students from rural areas, it would be very difficult to extend the bursary scheme to as many people as we currently do. That is why we only give 100 per cent coverage to students under very special circumstances. Mostly, we give them 75 or 50 per cent.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, is there room for a student who fails to secure a bursary in the first attempt to be considered in the next academic year?

Mr Hichilema entered a Chamber Gallery.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, that can be done. If, for example, a student is accepted at UNZA or the CBU, but is not offered a bursary, they can notify the management of the respective institution and withdraw from studies in that year. The following year, they can be re-admitted and become eligible to apply for another bursary. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: We need to wind up on this question. I think that we have been at it for quite a while now.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the Government offers bursaries and intends to introduce a loan scheme. In order to enable more students to access the loan scheme that the ministry intends to introduce or the bursaries that are offered currently, how does the ministry assess applications from the students and how the recipients of loans repay them so that other students can also get loans?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, currently, the ministry has no procedure for assessing how students pay back the bursaries. However, those are some of the provisions that will be taken care of by the reforms in our education ...

Mr Mwamba entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! GBM!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, you can continue.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your protection.

Sir, I was saying that, in our policy reforms, the mechanism for that assessment will be provided so that, when a student graduates, we will be able to track them and have a way of making them repay the bursary loan. In the current bursary scheme, we do not have that provision. That is why it has been very difficult to recover the monies that have been given to our students. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, some students from well-to-do families get bursaries at the expense of the very poor or orphaned ones.

Prof. Lungwangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to raise a point of order. I sincerely apologise to my dear colleague for disturbing his flow of thought.

Sir, is the hon. Minister in order to keep telling us that there are some reforms on which certain policies are predicated without telling this House what those reforms are? The reforms he keeps mentioning are, as far we are concerned, imaginary. 

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, as you continue responding to the questions, please, specify the reforms you have been referring to whether they are proposed or otherwise.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, before the point of order, I was saying that most students who are on bursaries are from well-to-do families because the system used to recommend the award of bursaries by the Bursaries Committee is faulty. Does the ministry intend to revise the system so that it is more transparent and can enable the most vulnerable to access the funding?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, that is why I referred to some reforms. The ministry recognises the fact that the current bursary system is out-dated and structurally deficient. So, in order to address the structural deficiencies, we need to find a new way of doing things. 

Sir, in response to Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa’s point of order, since he was once responsible for education, he might be aware that there is no way we can bring reforms into Parliament before we debate them exhaustively in the ministry. This august House will be given an opportunity to look at the reforms when the time for legislation comes. For now, the hon. Members should give us an opportunity to have internal debates. If there will be a need to engage hon. Members or the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, that will be done.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the number of unsuccessful applicants is very negligible. Can the hon. Minister share with the House the major reason they were not awarded bursaries?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, although the number of unsuccessful applicants is negligible, as Hon. Mbulakulima is aware, the successful applicants are supported by the amount of money that this august House appropriates to the ministry. So, the unfortunate ones were not sponsored because of budgetary limitations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, we appreciate that the bursary scheme covers university students. However, there is another cadre of students that is not covered, namely, college students. Will the ministry include them in the loan scheme that it is formulating? I would like the hon. Minister to give me a very serious answer because I would like my President, HH (Mr Hakainde Hichilema), who is in the gallery, to hear that answer.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Do not address the gallery. I have ruled before that we should not play to the gallery.

May the hon. Minister continue.

 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like I have said, we now have the advantage of having a reform process in progress. If the consultations we are having lead us to the realisation that it is inevitable for us to also include college students in our loan scheme, then, we will do so. So, at the right time, hon. Members will be asked to provide us the feedback on whether we only include university students or extend the support to college students.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I am wondering why the Government has clearly, deliberately and visibly discriminated against the students at Mulungushi University and even supported the fees charged there, which are so high that our students from the rural areas cannot manage to pay them. Why has the Government decided to discriminate against the rural students? 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, it is unfortunate that Hon. Miyutu thinks that we have discriminated against rural students because we have not. Like I said in my earlier answer, when Mulungushi University was established, it was decided that it would be a self-sustaining institution. Therefore, it has to charge economic tuition fees, and that is how it has been. However, the reforms I have been talking about may make it possible for the university to start receiving financial support from the Government and, consequently, lower its fees.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer Number 667, asked by the hon. Member for Mapatizya and the hon. Member for Chadiza was about to ask a follow-up question, Hon. Kapyanga, Member of Parliament for Kabwe Central rose on a point of order. In his point of order, Hon. Kapyanga stated that the way Hon. Sianga, Member of Parliament for Sesheke, was dressed violated the dress code of this House. In my immediate response, I reserved my ruling to enable the Clerks-at-the-Table to ascertain whether Hon. Sianga has, indeed, violated our dress code. The Clerks-at-the-Table have done their job and informed me that Hon. Sianga is properly dressed. So, my ruling is that Hon. Sianga has not violated our dress code. 

Thank you.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!



668. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the dilapidated houses at Kalabo District Hospital Compound would be rehabilitated; and

(b)    what the long-term plans for rehabilitation of hospital houses were.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Government plans to include the rehabilitation of the houses at Kalabo District Hospital Compound in its 2016 Infrastructure Operational Plan (IOP).

Sir, the Government is currently developing management and maintenance guidelines for a sustainable system for the maintenance of health infrastructure, including the housing stocks at various health facilities throughout the country.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, …

 Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to rise on this point of order, which is on a Constitutional issue on which I need the guidance of the Chair. 

Sir, today, the United Party for National Development (UPND) had a press conference …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: … at Chrismar Hotel …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: … at which the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasama Central, who was elected to that seat on the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket, …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

 Please, resume your seat.

 Hon. Members, we will not continue behaving in this fashion and I do not want to keep reminding you of the behaviour that is expected of you.

 Please, continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, under the current Constitution, if an hon. Member of Parliament joins another political party, he loses his seat immediately. So, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasama Central, who has crossed over to the UPND, in order …


Mr Mwila: I am not addressing you, Hon. Nkombo.

Mr Speaker: Please, continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mwila: Sir, is the hon. Member for Kasama Central in order to continue being in this House when he has resigned from the party on whose ticket he was elected?

I need you serious ruling on this matter, Sir.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Given the grave nature of the subject of this point of order, I can obviously not dispose of it in a summary fashion. I will, therefore, reserve my ruling.

Continue, Hon. Miyutu.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the inclusion of the rehabilitation of Kalabo District Hospital staff houses in the 2016 Infrastructure Operational Plan (IOP) is not good because this is July and we have only three to four months before the onset of the rainy season. Given the poor state in which I know the hospital to be, is the Government sure that Kalabo residents will receive quality health services from the staff, who live in dilapidated structures that are almost collapsing?

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Prof. Luo) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde)):  Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge in this country that many services have been adversely affected by the manner in which programmes were implemented. In fact, the hon. Member who has just been speaking must know that we do appreciate his concern because we have been to Kalabo. So, we are aware of the deficiencies there. However, the good news is that we have plans for rectifying the situation, and we are sure that the plans for 2016 regarding Kalabo District Hospital will be implemented, just like we have implemented other plans that we have come up with as the Patriotic Front (PF).

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central):  Mr Speaker, …

 Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: A point for order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, are the Opposition hon. Members who are serving in the Executive, in particular, Hon. Siamunene, Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication; Hon. Kafwaya, Deputy Minister for the North-Western Province; Hon. Njeulu, Deputy Minister for Western Province; and Hon. Monde, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, in order to continue clinging to and campaigning for the Patriotic Front Party (PF) with impunity without relinquishing their Parliamentary seats?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, we are aware that the former Speaker of this House rendered a ruling to the effect that any hon. Member of Parliament who associates himself with a particular party other than the one on whose ticket they were elected loses their seat. It was because of that ruling that the late Hon. Tetamashimba and others lost their seats. Are they in order, according to the Constitution that has been quoted by my colleague, to continue to remain in this House and abuse the hospitality of the PF and the United Party for National Development (UPND) by continuing to act as hon. Members of Parliament and enjoying the facilities of this House when they have made it very clear that they no longer affiliate themselves with the UPND?

I need your ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: In order for me to render a measured response to this point of order, I reserve my ruling.

Continue, hon. Member for Choma Central.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Long live the Chair.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, ...

Hon. Mwamba crossed over to sit on the Opposition side.

Hon. Opposition Members: GBM!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated the plans that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has for the facility about which the hon. Member for Kalabo Central asked. I am compelled to ask the basis upon which the hon. Member should confidently go to Kalabo and assure his constituents that that PF will deliver on the plans proclaimed on the Floor of the House when it is known to make many pronouncements on which it fails to deliver. On what basis is he making additional promises when he knows that the Government has broken more of its promises than it has kept?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, to the contrary, and I think that even those who are listening to the questions that are being asked are aware that, for many years, the political parties that have been in Government have not delivered on their promises as much as we have. I think that the Patriotic Front (PF) will be remembered for having greatly contributed to infrastructure development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Sir, on that basis, the hon. Member of Parliament can confidently go back to Kalabo Central and inform the people there that the PF will deliver.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mwaliteta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

He is entitled, just like you, to raise points of order.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Deputy Minister, you may continue.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I am shocked. Is the Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi Constituency, Hon. Mucheleka, in order to sit in this House when he has declared himself a member of the United Party for National Development (UPND) and has just come from a UPND press conference?

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Well, I will similarly reserve my ruling.

Continue, Hon. Imenda.


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health has told us that the Government will deliver on its promise to rehabilitate Kalabo District Hospital. However, not long ago, the hon. Minister of Finance told this House that this country was in a precarious financial situation. What comfort can we get from the hon. Minister of Health’s promise in the face of the gloomy economic picture that the Hon. Minister of Health painted for this House?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I think that hon. Members will recall the very heated debate we had in this House concerning borrowing for investment in infrastructure or, yet again, they may, actually, not remember because they opposed the Motion. However, in that debate, we reminded the hon. Members that if we were to develop economically and provide good health and education services, we needed to invest in infrastructure development. So, since the hon. Minister of Health is the office-holder and is in control of what happens in that office, I want the hon. Member to have the comfort that the promise will be honoured.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, has the poor state of staff houses at Kalabo District Hospital affected the staffing of the hospital and, invariably, service delivery?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member listened to the answer very carefully, a bonus answer was given because it was stated that the ministry was developing guidelines for the management and rehabilitation of infrastructure, including the housing units. This is because of the realisation by the PF Government, under the leadership of the hon. Minister of Health, of the fact that it was necessary not only to go back and improve the infrastructure, but also to move away from the way things have been managed in the past. This way, we can, not only have good health staff, but also excellent service delivery.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it was only three weeks ago that I asked the hon. Minister of Health when the Government would complete the construction of the clinics, which started in 2010 in Liuwa, which is part of Kalabo. The answer I was given was that the Government did not have money for the project. Earlier, we had asked about the completion of Libonda High School, which had been abandoned since 2011. That promise has not been fulfilled. 

Sir, two years ago, we were told that subsidies on mealie meal would be removed so as to create cash flows.

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

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, I have mentioned three promises that have not been fulfilled. So, how can we be confident that the promise the hon. Minister has just made on the Floor of the House will be fulfilled?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the achievements of the last four years are there for everybody to see, and they excel what was achieved in over twenty years previously. That should give the hon. Minister enough comfort.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, as you know, I only rise on points of order when there is a compelling reason.

Mr Speaker: Are you suggesting that others raise points of order on frivolous matters and that you are the only one who raises serious points of order?


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, as National Secretary for the mighty Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), I am very concerned ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

I cannot follow the point of order because of too many running commentaries.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) are turning this House into a battlefield. As you can see, my people here (pointing at hon. MMD Members) ...


Mr Mbulakulima: ... are seriously concentrating on how to repair the tattered economy of this country. Therefore, are the PF and UPND hon. Members in order, really, to disturb the serious-minded MMD officials? 

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Well, I do not consider the current debate to be a battle but, if at all it is, then, it is being conducted within the rules of the House.

Continue, Hon. Livune.

Mr Livune: Sir, ...

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, we need to make progress. After the hon. Member for Mumbwa, I will not take any points of order. We have a Motion that we think might take long to debate. So, I have to be as stringent as I can. This is the last point of order I will allow.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, I am most grateful to you for granting me this serious point of order, which I raise because I am concerned. 

Sir, in an earlier response, the Acting hon. Minister of Health said that infrastructure development under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been unprecedented. Is she in order to deliberately forget that she was hon. Minister of Health on many occasions in the past and the health infrastructure is as it is today because of efforts of past regimes? She is deliberately misleading this House that she had nothing to do with this state of affairs when she was part of the past decisions to rectify this situation. 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My understanding of her statement is that, in her estimation, she has included all the relevant periods and actors.

Continue, Hon. Livune.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, will the rehabilitation of houses in hospital compounds be extended to other districts apart from Kalabo? I have in mind Batoka Compound in Livingstone, which is extremely dilapidated.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, while that is a new question, I will, for the sake of clarity, just repeat what has already been said. This Government has a master plan to do what is right for the development of this country and make sure that socio-economic services in this country, especially in the health sector, are available to the people. That is because health is one of the most important areas in any national development agenda. The hon. Member can submit a new question, but he might wish to know that the ministry has a plan for developing infrastructure in this sector, and this has been said many times in this House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, we were informed on the Floor of the House by Her Honour the Vice-President that the whole of Zambia is now a construction site. How many houses will be rehabilitated under the Government’s operational plan? Additionally, is the hon. Minister able to bring the operational plan to this House?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I wish I could give the hon. Member the numbers she has requested. Unfortunately, I do not have them, but the plan can be brought and laid on the Table so that hon. Members can familiarise themselves with it. That way, those who have doubts will actually see how hard this Government is working and how committed we are to national development.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: The health sector is one of the areas in which we are working very hard. In fact, the hon. Minister of Health has answered this question many times in this House. However, I know why these questions keep being asked and I am quite happy to contribute to the giving of correct answers so that the people the Opposition hon. Member want to impress with the questions they ask will appreciate that the PF Government is on the right course.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, this is another empty promise. If the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will really work on the houses next year, how much does it plan to spend on the programme?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let the people of Zambia be the best judges of whether we are making empty promises. If the hon. Member listens to the discussions in the public domain, he would know that the people of Zambia are aware that the Ruling Party has made a difference. Therefore, we are not making empty promises.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!




Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to take immediate measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, let me begin by expressing my profound appreciation to you for allowing me to move this Private Member’s Motion, which aims to persuade the Executive to take immediate measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections. 

Sir, this Motion is non-controversial and crucial to upholding our peace and security in the nation. Consequently, it deserves the support of both sides of the House.

Mr Speaker, there is a growing concern about the abuse of firearms by the public, which has demonstrated an absence of a comprehensive crime control strategy in the country. The damaging effects of this obvious situation …


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

Mrs Masebo: … is hardly acknowledged by the Government, which has not taken deliberate steps to put an end to it. 

Mr Speaker, no society can survive without the rule of law. The shooting which, in some cases, has led to the death of innocent citizens at the hand of private individuals during by-elections, is a case in point. Such incidents draw nation-wide condemnation of the police and its system, and generate a deep sense of insecurity throughout the country. The Government is, therefore, expected, through the channels put in place, to look into the circumstances leading to such unfortunate incidents with a view to apprehending the culprits and putting up measures to prevent future occurrences.

Mr Speaker, the Government must strive to promote the rule of law and accountability, and fight against the indiscriminate use of firearms, which seems to be taking root in Zambia. If the harmful impact of the proliferation of light weapons is viewed as a violation of humanitarian law, there is some scope for a law to curb their misuse, such as legislation that could focus on harmful and injurious use of firearms by private individuals. The Government should be committed to, among other things, monitoring the use of such weapons. It is common, nowadays, for someone to brandish a firearm over a small argument, such as a difference in political opinion. So, it is important that the Government effects measures for dealing with such actions expeditiously. Otherwise, these incidents may cause unnecessary anxiety amongst the people, which may lead to mistrust. The public must be informed that having different opinions is acceptable, especially since Zambia has embraced democracy, which entails a diversity of political views.  

Mr Speaker, the Government must not be seen to have favourites in these issues. Instead, it should let the rule of law take its course so that the citizens can have confidence in it. The Government should be seen to be concerned and committed to addressing the issue of gun violence, including the use of privately-owned firearms, head-on because the nation has experienced a trend of ever-increasing violence being perpetrated by individuals using firearms. Some cases, as I have pointed out, have resulted in a loss of life.

Mr Speaker, the process of acquiring a firearm and ammunition is clearly spelt out in the Firearms Act, Cap 110 of the Laws of Zambia. However, it is sad that there are no clear-cut measures that have been put in place to avoid the indiscriminate use of firearms by individuals holding them in their own capacity, except for associations and shooting clubs, which are regulated. Additionally, the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia, has no section explaining the measure of law enforcement against the indiscriminate use of firearms. This is worrying, as there is a need to develop effective and non-partisan measures that will include a process for soliciting input from all law enforcement agencies. 

Sir, the law enforcement agencies need to advocate for a comprehensive, non-partisan, inclusive and fact-based approach to the gathering of empirical data to show us what is causing gun violence, in general, and shootings during elections, especially. That can, then, be the basis for crafting and implementing effective measures to reduce gun violence. There is an urgent need to come up with law enforcement measures on the indiscriminate use of firearms, which should be included in the Firearms Act, Chapter 110 and the Penal Code, Chapter 87, of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, it is critical for the police to ensure that laid-down guidelines are followed in the use of firearms by licensed individuals. The use of such weapons should not be allowed during elections as one of the measures for curbing political violence. I further urge the police to ensure prompt action is taken to bring the culprits to book no matter the circumstances. The selective arrest of some party members is a serious blow to the credibility of any outcome of the elections where such incidents occur. In the same vein, the police should not be used as political tools of suppression during elections.

Mr Speaker, let me reiterate that the Government needs to take drastic measures to end the vice of gun culture in general or during elections. In this regard, the police should be left to do its work professionally, and the culprits should be brought to book regardless of their status in society.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, we need to address this situation before this country goes on fire.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: The citizens of Zambia want to continue being an example of the good tenets of democracy.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: It has to start somewhere, and it is the Government’s job to publicly denounce such actions in the strongest terms immediately they happen so that citizens are aware that it is not condoned.

Sir, before I sit down, I feel that it is necessary for me to also use this Motion to say that, apart from the indiscriminate use of firearms, we have seen a new trend in our country of individuals using some weapons that can be equated with guns. There is what is called a spray, which is used to attack people by spraying chilli or a similar substance in their eyes. Another weapon is an injection that is used on people in crowds. The chemical used paralyses the victim without his realisation of what would have happened. There are also pangas whose use, we are all aware, has become like a culture in Zambia. Our youths, now, think that it is fashionable to have a panga. We are also told that there are some places in some of our markets and bus stations where the pangas are stored. 

Sir, it is very easy for this country to end up like a number of our neighbouring countries in which such things became an international regret after millions of people were killed. I am thinking of a country just near ours, Rwanda, where there was a massive massacre among the citizens. Another weapon that is becoming common in Zambia is the taser. I am told that tasers have an electric shock and that they are sold in markets like City Market for about K150. A number of our people, including women, allegedly carry them in their handbags to protect themselves because the country is becoming insecure. Therefore, I think that this Motion must be taken very seriously because any one of us or one of our children might become victims.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to use this opportunity to talk about another form of weapon that is becoming popular on the Copperbelt and in Lusaka, where individuals are abducted and taken to some market or bus station, where cells have been created and the victim’s parents or guardians are blackmailed to pay a certain amount of money for their release.

Mr Speaker, these things happen every day. We are lucky that we are protected and live in good areas. However, many of our people who live in shanty compounds undergo this kind of harassment on a daily basis and live in fear.

Mr Speaker, I truly hope that this House can look at this Motion with the seriousness that it deserves. 

Sir, I urge the Government to take drastic measures to end the vice of gun culture, in general, and during elections, in particular. I also urge that the police be left to do its work professionally and without any interference.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Dr Kalila: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking you for according me the opportunity to second this very important Motion that urges the Government to take immediate measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections. 

Sir, this non-controversial Motion has been ably moved by a member of the Patriotic Front (PF) and seconded by me, a member of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, this Motion speaks to our collective will to stop this vice from spiralling out of control. Let me note that one of the ends of this Motion is to eradicate the culture of gun violence that has become a common feature in Zambia, especially during election periods. 

Sir, I wish to reiterate the sentiments that the mover has already expressed regarding how unfortunate it has been, over the years, that a common feature of our elections, be they at the local or national level, has been inter-party violence in which the use of firearms has taken the centre stage. Sometimes, the reports have been mere allegations while, at other times, evidence of the occurrence of the gun violence has been provided.

Mr Speaker, the indiscriminate use of guns by overzealous individuals who are quick to cite self-defence as a reason for shooting or threatening to shoot others with opposing political views has, unfortunately, resulted in the injury and, sometimes, even death of innocent and unarmed citizens. So, this Motion has been moved at the right time. You will recall that, only last week, the hon. Member for Monze Central raised a point of order on the Floor of this House and bemoaned the circumstances what had happened in Kitwe, where firearms were alleged to have been brandished. Only yesterday, a ministerial statement was issued on the Floor of this House in response to that point of order. Need I remind hon. Members of the events that have occurred in the past? There are allegations that, at least, four people were shot at during the by-election in Mulobezi. 

Mr Speaker, violence should have no place in a democracy. That is why I agreed to second this Motion. I am a very peaceful Member of Parliament who is free of any controversy, and a man of a few words who detests violence in any form.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: There have also been reports of other deaths during by-elections. I recall that a life was lost in Livingstone, the circumstances of which are a matter of a court process. We do not know exactly what happened and await the court process to know exactly what led to the death of that individual. Suffice it for me to say that it was during a by-election. Another life was lost in Rufunsa, again, during a by-election. 

Mr Speaker, violence, if left unchecked, has the potential to set the country on fire and reverse the gains that have been made. It is, therefore, the duty of law enforcement agencies to curtail hostile political situations that some individuals use to instil fear in those who hold political views different from theirs. It is unfortunate to see that little to nothing has been done by law enforcement agencies to put an end to individuals openly brandishing or using firearms as a means to instil fear and harm others with different political views. This inaction has, in turn, eroded the public’s confidence in our law enforcement agencies to keep them safe. It seems that the police are unable to deal with this issue in a non-partisan manner or are unwilling to deal with the culprits. Unfortunately, when more of our people begin to lose faith in the ability of State security agencies to implement non-partisan security measures, the results might be that of people taking the law into their own hands. That will, in turn, increase the incidences of gun violence, especially among differing political entities. We, therefore, urge the Government to address this growing problem immediately. In fact, my seconding this Motion is a mere call to action. I think that the mover has ably articulated all the issues. This Motion is meant to protect the lives of our citizens.

 Mr Speaker, it is important to address gun violence so that we maintain an environment, especially during elections, in which Zambians can exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of expression and association without fear of being shot at. It is equally important for law enforcement agencies to be able to ascertain whether the firearms that have been used to intimidate or even kill others in the past have been licensed and properly registered for purposes of effective monitoring of their use.

Sir, since 2007, Zambia has been a signatory to the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, which addresses the relationships between armed violence and development. It is, therefore, imperative that this Government addresses the issue of armed violence in Zambia, especially during elections, so that gun violence does not get out of control and jeopardise the future development of our nation. As all of us are aware, development cannot be realised fully in a violent and hostile environment. 

It is unfortunate, Sir, that the Firearms Act of 1969 has not been amended to meet the aspirations of modern society, especially bearing in mind the increase in political violence. In view of the foregoing, there is an urgent need for the Government to institute law enforcement measures on the indiscriminate use of firearms.

Mr Speaker, as stated by the mover, there are no regulations, whatsoever, that control how individuals use their firearms in their personal capacity after they have obtained the licences. Thus, it is imperative that this House urges the Government to rectify this situation before it becomes uncontrollable. 

Mr Speaker, as I said, I will not take too much time because there is no time to waste over this matter. There is only time for action from the Government. 

Sir, Zambia will go to the polls in 2016, and one shudders to imagine what will happen if we do not nip this vice in the bud. Therefore, it is very important for the Government to immediately put in place strict measures on the use of private firearms so as to avoid a dangerous situation in which many innocent lives may be lost simply because of differences in political opinion and, thus, compromise the peace, stability and security that our country enjoys today. I urge the Government to immediately take responsibility and openly denounce gun culture before, during and after elections. In addition, the Government should be proactive in ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book and the law applied in a non-partisan manner. 

Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of this House to ensure that the best interests of Zambians are protected. I, therefore, urge the House to support this Motion despite having differing political views, as it affects all of us. We only have one Zambia. So, we should all live in peace and safety in it. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I will try to be very brief because I am not very conversant with gun culture and guns.


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I do not have a pistol. As a Christian, I think that I have protection from somewhere above. Therefore, even those who tot their guns cannot harm me. 


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, the issue of the gun culture in Zambia is very serious. So, in supporting the Motion, let me say that the people of Zambia feel very insecure because we have loose cannons roaming the streets of Zambia, ready to shoot anybody they want. 

Mr Speaker, the spotlight was thrown on gun culture because of the recent violent acts in which firearms were brandished and, in some cases, fired at some people. I would like to remind this House that we have lived with this insecurity for quite some time. The House might remember the Karavinas. 

Mr Speaker, the Motion urges the Government to take immediate action to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections. I would like to just talk about privately-owned firearms. We have had many cases involving the use of privately-owned firearms. 

Mr Speaker, distant members of my family have been victims of Karavinas. I recall that, when the Karavinas started, some years back, a brother-in-law by the name of Mr George Mundia Makono was shot dead in Lukulu. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just trying to give some examples of people I know who suffered from the culture of gun-toting. I know two people who were gunned downed by the Karavinas sometime back in Kaoma. There was a Mr Mundia Mukumba in Kaoma. A nephew of mine was also killed in Senanga West. 

Sir, I have given examples of the Karavinas causing gun violence. However, generally, gun violence is there in our community. I will give the House some more examples of people I know who have suffered gun violence. 

Sir, sometime back in Avondale, ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I am a bit concerned that you are referring to incidents involving individuals. I would like to believe that those individuals, whether living or otherwise, should be accorded some privacy.  

You may continue.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I was talking about gun violence and trying to cast my net wider before narrowing it on political violence. I would not have mentioned names, but for the incidents that I have witnessed. 

Sir, the violence that is caused by the use of a firearm should not be condoned. The people being issued with guns should go through stringent security and psychological vetting measures. I know that the police does that to individuals who want to acquire firearms. However, I am not sure whether politicians are subjected to the same stringent measures when acquiring guns. 

Mr Speaker, we do not want a gun culture because, economically, it is very unproductive. We live in a global village that has a lot of economic inter-activity, such as trade and foreign investment. We keep saying that Zambia is a peaceful nation and I am very grateful that the hon. Minister of Finance is listening very attentively. He needs to bring in investment because Zambia has nothing to offer, but peace. We are a very peaceful nation and this is one aspect on which we have marketed our country. So, if we lose this good tag of being peaceful and join countries that we know to have a lot of insecurity brought about by bombs and guns, then, it will be very unfortunate. If this one asset or goodwill that we have is swallowed up in a gun culture, what will happen? Investors will not come to Zambia and we will lose out because all the economic fundamentals and benefits that we hope to get from foreign direct investment (FDI) will not come. If investors are scared away because of this gun culture, we would have lost and, as a country, we do not know where we would go because we have already lost out on a number of many other things. 

Mr Speaker, let me also touch on political violence. Currently, women are few in this House and we are trying to encourage many of them to aspire for political offices so that this House can attain the fifty-fifty gender parity that we have signed to as a country. However, by nature, women dislike violence and are very peaceful. If, as part of campaign weapons, there are guns in the political arena, there will be very few women on the political scene. I do not know whether that is what the men want because I want to believe that this House comprises men who are very gender-sensitive; men who would not want to discourage women from the political arena by using violence, especially that which involves firearms.
Mr Speaker, when it comes to our children, what message are we sending to them? Already, they watch some films that involve the use of guns. So far, they believe that it only happens in films. However, if they start witnessing their use in real life, it will click to them that the use of guns is real and they will want to use them. So, what kind of future generation are we bringing up? They will copy what they are seeing and this will breed even more violence. 

Mr Speaker, let me give an example of violence that did not involve a firearm. However, I suppose that if the culprit had a gun, he would have used it. We witnessed violence during the last Presidential Election campaigns at Mongu Airport, where somebody was brutally beaten up. One person hit another with a big stick and the victim collapsed, only regaining consciousness in hospital. If the assailant had a gun, I shudder to think what would have happened. We are also aware of a gun-toting person who shot another some time back in Mkushi. 

Sir, all I am saying is that this is a very non-controversial Motion that the hon. Members of this House should look at objectively and support. We need a gun-free atmosphere as we get closer to the 2016 General Elections. 

With those few words, I support the Motion. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, before we proceed with our debate, I will afford an opportunity to the Member for Malambo, Hon. Shuma, to give his maiden speech. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma (Malambo): Mr Speaker, I am immensely delighted to stand here today and present my maiden speech to this august House following my election as Member of Parliament representing the people of Malambo Constituency. 

Sir, I wish to start by expressing my sincere gratitude to the Republican and Patriotic Front (PF) President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Shuma: ... and Her Honour the Vice-President, Mrs Inonge Wina, for the confidence they showed in me. I also thank the PF provincial, district, ward and branch officials for their efforts in campaigning for me, and the Malambo electorate for overwhelmingly voting for me on 30th June, 2015. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: I equally thank my family for the sacrifices made.  

Mr Speaker, let me commend the campaign team under the navigational abilities of Hon. Dorothy Kazunga, MP., and Hon. Vincent Mwale, MP. I also acknowledge the tireless contributions of Hon. Chishimba Kambwili, MP., ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Shuma: ... Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, MP., Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, MP., Hon. Nkandu Luo, MP., Hon. Fackson Shamenda, MP., Hon. Dr John Phiri, MP., Hon. Sydney Mushanga, MP., Hon. Col. Panji Tushuke Kaunda, MP., Hon. Forrie Tembo, MP., Hon. Davies Chisopa, MP., Hon. Christopher Mvunga, MP., Hon. Margaret Miti, MP., Hon. Dr Effron Lungu, MP., Hon. Malozo Sichone, MP., and Hon. Obvious Chisala, MP., during the by-election campaign period. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to also thank the traditional leaders in the area for the visible role they played in maintaining peace and sustaining the patience of our people in the more than two years that Malambo had no parliamentary representation. I commend Their Royal Highnesses for keeping the peace. 

Sir, I also congratulate my colleagues, Hon. Dora Siliya, MP., and Hon. Patricia Mulasikwanda, MP., ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: ... on their victory in Petauke and Mulobezi constituencies, respectively, in the elections held on the same day as the one I won. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Shuma: Mr Speaker, in my tenure of office as Member of Parliament, I will focus on delivering all that we promised the people of Malambo and vigorously pursuing the PF developmental agenda intended to better the lives of the people. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: In spite of the many challenges facing the people of my constituency, I feel duty-bound to acknowledge the multiple ongoing developmental projects that the PF Government is implementing in Malambo ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: ... under the visionary leadership of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: ... President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, some of the significant projects in Malambo include, but are not limited to, the construction of a modern hydro-electricity power sub-station in Msoro, which is in its final phase.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: That project will be the distribution hub of electricity in the entire Eastern Province and beyond. 

Sir, the tarring of the Chipata/Mfuwe Road and the near completion of the airport road, which leads to tourist lodges are other examples of the Government’s commitment to fulfilling its campaign promises.

Sir, allow me ...

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: ... to mention the names of some of my colleagues present in this House who I associate with some projects in my constituency, namely, Hon. V. M. Mooya, who was part of the engineering team that designed the Mfuwe/Chipata Road in 1973 ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: UPND quality.

Mr Shuma: ... and Hon. Rodgers Lingweshi, Member of Parliament for Mangango Constituency, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: For what?

Mr Shuma: ... who might not have been an engineer, but was an employee of the Department of Civil Aviation in 1977.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Shuma: Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Shuma: ... the Government has embarked on a monumental road project to ultimately connect Malambo to Mpika when completed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: The importance of the road cannot be over-emphasised, especially when we evaluate the immeasurable scope and magnitude of development that will ensue from the project, as it will considerably shorten the travelling distance to East Africa through Muchinga Province. 

Mr Speaker, the PF Government recently gave a facelift to the Masumba/Msoro Road, which had been in a very deplorable state. This intervention has greatly eased the problems that the people hitherto experienced. However, during the rainy season, Msoro Chiefdom gets cut off from the district headquarters in Mambwe and one has to go through the longer and laborious route via Katete and Chipata, a distance of over 300 km. There is, therefore, an urgent need to construct bridges on the Lupande and Lusandwa rivers, respectively, to make the Masumba/ Msoro Road passable all year round. I have no element of doubt in my mind that the Government will respond to the cries of our people and allocate the necessary resources for the bridges to be constructed.

Sir, in our continued efforts to address the problem of youth unemployment, I appeal to the Zambia National Service (ZNS), in collaboration with other stakeholders, to consider setting up a youth training centre in Malambo so that relevant income-generating skills can be imparted in the young people. This can be done through a public-private partnership (PPP), as the aggregate benefits will considerably mitigate the unemployment problem.

Mr Speaker, Malambo faces the persistent problem of limited access to safe and clean drinking water, a situation that calls for the installation of a reliable and consistent domestic water supply system, that is, installation of taps and drilling boreholes, in the affected areas.

Sir, Malambo happens to be one of the tourist destinations in Zambia, if not the best one, with a variety of game species.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: My conviction is that, if properly harnessed, tourism can significantly augment the country’s foreign exchange earnings, which are still heavily dependent on exports of copper. In the same vein, the Government and the local community need to step up efforts to mitigate the problem of human-animal conflict that has, in most instances, led to crop destruction and, in tragic cases, resulted in loss of human lives. 

Sir, Malambo still grapples with limited medical facilities. However, allow me to thank the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ), which runs the Kamoto Mission Hospital that has greatly helped the community. That said, I would like to say that the constituency would greatly benefit from the construction of a district hospital. Our request is in line with the PF Manifesto promise of taking health facilities close to the people. In addition, a reliable health care system would give confidence to the tourism fraternity that they would have access to good medical services while visiting the area.

Sir, Malambo grows a crop called ‘pigeon peas’ on a small scale, yet our neighbouring country, Malawi, exports over 200,000 metric tonnes of the crop to India per annum. We could enhance the growing of the crop so that we, too, could tap into the export market and earn the country the much-needed foreign exchange. Additionally, Malambo is the largest producer of cotton in the Eastern Province. So, the installation of a cotton ginnery in the constituency is long overdue. In fact, that will not be a new phenomenon, as we had such a plant back in the 1920s.

Mr Speaker, let me, now, re-affirm my unflinching commitment to working with all the people of Malambo Constituency, irrespective of their political affiliation, for the accelerated development of the area. We can and should achieve that collectively. 

Sir, finally, I thank you for the warmth of character in the House and, through you, all the hon. Members of this Parliament for welcoming me into their midst in this important House. The message from the people of Malambo is ‘One Zambia, One Nation’.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Quality!

Hon. Members rose. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you may resume your seats. 

The following hon. Members have been nominated to debate the Motion by their respective parties: the hon. Members for Mazabuka Central, Kalomo Central and Bweengwa, for the United Party for National Development (UPND), and the hon. Members for Chipata Central, Ikeleng’i and Kasenengwa, for the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). Thereafter, I will give the Floor to the right. 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, let me thank the mover and seconder of this Motion and state that, in my view, it could not have come at a better time than this, for it sits right at the heart of Part I of our Republican Constitution, which reminds us that Zambia is unitary, indivisible multi-party and democratic sovereign State. The phrase I want to stress is ‘democratic sovereign State’. The Constitution further states that all powers reside in the people, who exercise their right to sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the State in accordance with the Constitution. One of the democratic institutions on which I wish to dwell is the Zambia Police Force because it is the one that is charged with the responsibility of issuing gun licences. 

Mr Speaker, I think that the tragedy we are in is that we have forgotten the proper use of firearms. In the 1970s and part of 1980s, we had common criminals like Nevers ‘Spoiler’ Kapenda, Roy Mudenda and Strangler. Those who were there then will remember that the police worked hard trying to find these criminals. Most recently, the Mailoni Brothers terrorised the Luano Valley but, thanks to the then Acting Minister of Defence, Hon. G. B. Mwamba, who made the bold decision, they were gunned down. Today, the people of the Luano Valley live in reasonable peace. We equally have the longstanding problem of the Karavinas in the Western Province. The earlier we solve it, the better for the country. From what I learn, the Karavinas are hired individuals, not common criminals. For example, if I have a matter to settle with someone, I can simply put money on the table and point at the person I want exterminated. I think that the Government needs to go deeper in the Western and North-Western provinces. I am sure you know that, just a few days ago, we lost our Councillor, who was also the District Chairperson for Zambezi, to the brutal gun violence. I am talking about Hon. Yona Mbalakanya. 

Sir, coming to the issue of political violence, we have collectively failed to understand what the Constitution means when it states that we are an indivisible, sovereign and multi-party democratic State. Where, then, is the problem? 

Mr Speaker, Hon. Masebo has spoken about the law on the problem we are debating, namely, the Firearms Act, Chapter 110, and a few of its inadequacies. Is that where the problem lies? I think that the problem does not lie there because the laws are there. We borrowed the law from the Commonwealth principle on the security of human beings and the use of firearms. Firearms, by their design, are supposed to be used for sports, that is, hunting, or self-defence. Today, because of poverty ‒ and I want the House to understand why I link poverty to this problem ‒ the problem of joblessness has left Zambians completely destitute, yet they need to have meals every day. Is there anyone who can stand up and challenge me when I say that politics has become the major employer? 

Mr Speaker, count the number of by-elections we have had since the Patriotic Front (PF) came into office in 2011 and you will learn that there has been seasonal pseudo-employment associated with elections. Just like the Karavinas, cadres can kill for a seat because of poverty. That is the underlying problem. If we can deal with poverty, I can assure you that many people will leave the street and not go to by-elections in order to get an allowance and feed their families. In this country, there is a tragedy because, ever since the Government of the day took office, we have recorded several deaths arising from political violence. In Rufunsa, we lost a man called Menyani Zulu during a ward by-election. In Livingstone, we lost a man called Johan Lyakoka, excuse me if I have not pronounced the name correctly, who was killed in cold blood by his associates. To date, we do not know the reason. Again, the murder of Mr Harrison Chanda is associated with politics, and I declare interest in this matter because, as a result of his death, as a political player, I became a victim of the institution of democracy called the police although I had never met him. In my view, the police is broken and has reduced its fibre ...

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

Mr Speaker: Let me provide some guidance.

Mr Nkombo:  There are no points of order. The Speaker ruled already.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, that is my job.


Mr Speaker: I do not delegate. 

Hon. Members, I will not permit any point of order. 

You can continue, Hon. Nkombo.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker,  much obliged ...

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

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing any points of order of whatever description.


Mr Chisala: On a point of order.

Mr Livune: Iwe, sit down. What is your problem?

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, that is called defiance. It is a tragedy that once a ruling has been made, people want to ...

Mr Speaker: Just continue, hon. Member. You have limited time.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, to give comfort to the mover and the seconder, this Motion is truly non-controversial, but I also think that it has come at a very delicate moment. In my view, this Government is promoting the vice we are debating. I am sure that many people know who Dracula was. There was no way you could make him the head of a blood bank.


Mr Nkombo: It cannot work because he will finish the blood. We are giving this counsel to the Government, which is the foremost perpetrator of this problem. 

Sir, I was in the process of reciting the incidences of violence related to elections and power jostling when I was disrupted by Hon. Chisala’s attempt to rise on a point of order. 

Sir, last October, at the Airport Turnoff, a PF cadre was killed in cold blood. I want to link the leadership, events and degeneration. Finally, I will probably conclude that there is broken leadership presiding over a breaking society. The PF killed its own. That afternoon, a friend of mine called Trevor Noah, whom some of you have heard about, had just flown into Zambia and found a militia of PF cadres wielding machetes, which are known as macheba in Tonga. They killed one of their own and arrests were made. However, today, the people who were suspected to have been the perpetrators of that heinous crime walk freely on the streets. All it took was a little elbowing. It took out a few people. As you can see, some former PF members are no longer in the party because they set up another political party. The person who was in charge of the PF then had vowed that he would bring to book the persons who had killed the cadre. To this day, we are still waiting. 

Sir, earlier, I was talking about the death of late Harrison Chanda, in which I was implicated. I will not spend a lot of time on it, though. 

Sir, we are all fully aware that there is a PF cadre who is in Livingstone Prison today because of the death of Mr Harrison Chanda, yet seventy-four of us, including the top leadership of my political party, were incarcerated due to the recklessness of the people I referred to as ‘Draculas’ leading a blood bank. 

Sir, we need to engage in introspection if we want to sort this problem of gun violence out. The diabolical Don’t Kubeba, which means ‘Don’t tell them’ is so entrenched in the PF that, today, I think, its members will agree to adopt this Motion. As they walk out through those doors, they will simply say, “Don’t Kubeba.” That is the tragedy. So, the only thing we can do, for now, is plead with the new hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who is in charge of the police I referred to as broken. When he was appointed, he actually assured me that the intolerance that was obtaining, which was the root of the problem, would be a thing of the past as long as he remained hon. Minister of Home Affairs. That was Hon. Davis Mwila, my good friend and brother. I, therefore, expect him to be the first to demonstrate what he pledged today. It was at a social gathering that he promised me all this. 

Mr Mwila: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, ...


Mr Speaker: ... I do not think that you are debating fairly.

Mr Nkombo: I withdraw, Sir.

Mr Speaker, after the 20th January Elections, there was a repeat of what had happened in 2011. Once the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) lost power, PF members went on rampage, beating anybody whom they associated with the MMD. Closer to home, in this harsh economy, a section of the people I represent in Mazabuka provide a shuttle service between Mazabuka and Lusaka. Those people could not feed their families because, each time they brought commuters to Lusaka, they were beaten up. I told the hon. Minister of Home Affairs about that. I also spoke to other relevant authorities then, including some who are in this House now, such as the hon. Deputy Minister at State House. I complained to him that our people were beaten up at bus stations and Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminus, which is treated like a department of the PF when it is not.

Mr Speaker, you know that, as we neared the 20th January, 2015 Elections, our member who was travelling to the Western Province was brutalised by known PF members at the Lusaka Intercity Bus Terminus. It was public information and I am sure that you saw it because you watch television. Where is the freedom of movement that is referred to in our Constitution?
Sir, the problem of violence is multi-faceted and requires the people on your right to engage in introspection and understand that the only thing that is permanent in this life is change. So, whether they like it or not, the time for change will eventually come. When the MMD was in power, we said that time constantly ticked and that only change was constant. How I wish that we, the leaders of today, could resist earning the tag of being broken leaders presiding on a broken society because of our insatiable appetite for power. Any human being can only be oppressed for a number of days, not indefinitely

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I want to make a few suggestions on the issue of guns. Firstly, the police should teach first-time gun owners the rules that go with owning a firearm. Secondly, they must also be told that a firearm is personal-to-holder.  We cannot have a situation like we had in ‒ nkunzi kuya? Mulobezi.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, what did you mean by that?

Mr Nkombo: Sorry, Sir, I think in Tonga some times. I was asking about the place where there was gun violence. The name ‘Mulobezi’ had escaped my memory.

Mr Speaker: Oh, I see.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, it is alleged that one senior member of the PF used his gun to shoot a person there. Again, I had to talk to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs because he is the only person who presides over the issue of the use of guns. I called him very early in the morning on Sunday as he was going to church ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, could you keep the hon. Minister out of the debate, especially when you refer to private conversations.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I called the person who presides over the Ministry of Home Affairs to complain that one of our members had allegedly been shot by someone senior in the PF or another person using the former’s gun. I think it is only fair that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones. To this day, there is nothing that has happened about the shooting in Mulobezi. So, we have learnt that, in this PF rule, some people are untouchable.

Mr Speaker, since this Motion touches on electoral violence, I would like to refer to a case in which a named District Commissioner (DC) shot two UPND members ...

Mr Shakafuswa: And one from his own party.

Mr Nkombo: ... and a member of his own party during a by-election. I think that this is reversible. The problem lies in leadership. As long as the leadership does not appreciate order in a society, such things will only escalate. Those who think that they are in the comfort zone need to be reminded that time will definitely come when the comfortable will be unsettled and the unsettled comfortable. This calls for us not to pretend that we are friends during the tea break. For instance, I am told that there is a football game being played and those playing it will be called team-mates. However, when it comes to politics, they all rush for the gun holster all in the name of wanting to win an election. This must stop. They must practice what they preach.
Sir, on a positive note, I want to say that I went to campaign in Petauke in an effort to dislodge someone, but it was not possible. We lost the elections. However, while in Petauke, I met some PF hon. Members of Parliament and we chatted cordially. Ironically, it was on the same day that someone shot people in Mulobezi. So, I want you to understand that, where the PF know it is about to lose an election, violence always breaks out.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

 Mr Nkombo: That is a fundamental truth ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ... and the examples are many. In Livingstone, after I was incarcerated, the election was postponed by two weeks. On the day of counting votes at the Civic Centre, there were gunshots like the fireworks on Christmas or New Year’s Day. In Livingstone and Mulobezi, where it was evident that the UPND would win, UPND members were not allowed to go into the totalling centre. Where is the place for the statement of the preamble of our Constitution that our country is a sovereign democratic State when political players cannot be allowed to go into the totalling centre to count votes? For all we care, wherever we see violence, the victories are not genuine. Were the word ‘stealing’ not unparliamentary, I would have definitely used it to mean the unlawful assertion of election victory that we have seen.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Before we proceed with the debate, let me just provide some guidance. 

As I understand this Motion, it seeks to evolve some public policy that might translate into a Bill and possibly legislation. It has been couched to urge the Government to take measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms, especially during elections. I think that it would be very useful to hear what kind of measures should be put in place in order to curb this mischief, as it were. I also think that the many unfortunate incidents of violence are in the public domain and well known. So, let us try, as much as possible, to devote our energies and time to the evolution of public policy. That is my guidance.

 Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion, the mover of the Motion for elaborating on it, and the seconder for ably seconding it.

Sir, the Motion is supposed to be supported by everyone who means well for Zambia. It is easy to oppose it when a gun has never been pointed at you and when it is pointed at another person. You may consider it a normal thing. However, when it is you who faces the barrel of the gun, you will start crying. Therefore, I wholly support this non-controversial Motion.

 Mr Speaker, we have had guns since Independence. Why have they become a problem today? In the past, immediate action was taken against people who used their guns carelessly. The police did not tolerate the careless use of guns. People were arrested even for just firing guns in public. I remember an hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi whose son had wanted to beat him and threatened to stone him. The hon. Member fired in the air to scare his son. When the matter was reported, the late President, Dr F. T. J. Chiluba, ensured that the man was not allowed to recontest his seat because of that incident. That step by the then President demonstrated the seriousness he attached to the careless use of guns.

Mr Speaker, another person who used a gun carelessly was the late Mr Sikufweba, who was a Governor in Dr Kaunda’s time. He went to Monze and tried to scare people with a gun, but the people went for him with spears. He ended up throwing his gun down and running. When Dr Kaunda heard about the incident, he said that the Governor should not have gone with a gun. Instead of supporting his Governor, Dr Kaunda transferred him from Monze, which simply showed seriousness from the then leadership. What are we seeing now? It is for this reason that we are urging this Government to stop the indiscriminate use of firearms, especially during elections.

Sir, guns were fired in Livingstone. What happened thereafter? Nobody was arrested. In Mulobezi, five people were shot by stray bullets, that is, four United Party for National Development (UPND) members and one Patriotic Front (PF) member. However, nothing has been done about it. Instead of first, …


Mr Muntanga: Yes, we were told that the other man who was shot …

 Mr Speaker: Please, direct your debate to the Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, a man was shot, but nothing has happened. All we hear is that the people who used the gun acted in self-defence. 

Sir, a gun is not a toy. If one uses it carelessly, but nothing is done, it encourages others to do the same, as they will believe that no action will be taken against them because they can just claim to have been acting in self-defence. So, what will stop others from shooting at other people? We are very luck that there were no fatal incidences because most of the people were shot in the legs and arms only. However, next time, the culprits may not miss the target.

Mr Speaker, we are urging the Government to ban the indiscriminate use of firearms, but some people are opposing. If I fire at someone today, I will not be arrested because I will just say that I did it in self-defence. Why should anyone arrest me if he cannot arrest other people who shot at innocent people in Mulobezi? This Government is slowly legalising the indiscriminate use of guns. So, we urge the Government to take action. Our colleagues can say that it is the duty of the police, but the police can only act if they are prodded by people in the Government.

Sir, in America, guns were not strictly controlled and everyone, particularly African-Americans kept complaining about gun violence, but the Government failed to take action. Now, what has happened? Everyone in America has a gun. Someone can just pretend to be mad and shoot people to death. The thrust in America, now, is towards maintaining the legality of private ownership of guns while ensuring that some psychologically unstable people are not allowed to own guns. Here, in Zambia, on the other hand, we are still playing. 

Mr Speaker, the mover has moved this Motion early enough for us not to give guns to people to randomly shoot at those they think they hate. 

Sir, our party President was threatened with guns on the Copperbelt and had to escape through the roof of a building.


Mr Muntanga: Yes, it also happened in Ndola. The recent incident was at Moba Hotel in Kitwe. A senior member of one party said that our party President had told lies, yet the hon. Deputy Minister for the province offered an apology. This Government is not serious about issues that arise in this country. Why should the Government dispute the shootings just because it is a member of the Opposition who has been shot at? That is why I said that it is easy for one to oppose this Motion when a gun has never been pointed at them. Let them wait until it is pointed at them. It is, therefore, important that this Government bans the indiscriminate use of firearms in order to protect people’s lives. 

Sir, the House might wish to know that this country lost a former Minister, Hon. Paul Tembo, to gun violence. The son of our first Republican President, Dr Kaunda, Major Wezi Kaunda, was also shot dead. So, we should now start taking measures to control the use of guns.

Mr Speaker, we are now arming party cadres with guns, which should not be allowed because we know that cadres may not be responsible for their actions. That is what this Motion is all about. The Government should ban the indiscriminate use of firearms. It is non-controversial. I would be surprised if anyone said they want to be allowed to shoot at others indiscriminately. I will listen very carefully to such a person and propose that a gun be pointed at them while I pray that they not be killed. Only their legs or feet should be shot at so that, when they start crying, I will remind them that they supported the indiscriminate use of guns. They can smile and say that the use of guns is good today, but wait until they are shot at, and I pray that they will not be killed, but just maimed. Then, I will ask them whether it was a gun or a toy that was used on them. 

Sir, we, in the Opposition, are talking like this because we feel the pinch. The people who get shot at are not compensated, yet they nurse gunshot wounds. It is scary because, every time you are in a crowd, you are not sure whether there are armed people among you because the registration of small firearms is not strict. You can count how many people own guns, but you are not strict about telling them that they are supposed to inform the police before giving a gun to the next person. People are given guns anyhow. Immediately a person gives a gun to another who is not licensed to have it, they must retain control over its usage. How can one say, “Although the gun is mine, I am not the one who shot someone with it”? Why give a gun to someone? There are regulations regarding the use of firearms. What is happening now is because the Patriotic Front (PF) is scared of losing power. Its members choose to kill those who challenge them. That is the problem. If they are not scared, then, why carry guns when going for campaigns? As the other debater said, a person who is in a good position does not resort to violence.

Mr Speaker, we had an election in Katuba Parliamentary Constituency and, in the presence of his senior, a PF member fired shots, scaring everybody. He even forgot that there were fellow hon. Members of Parliament present. When he was confronted, he said that it was not him, but his driver who had fired the shots. Why should we allow such careless use of guns? 

Sir, we are appealing, through this Motion, to the Ministry of Home Affairs to take stock of the guns owned by people. It has allowed people to acquire guns. So, it must keep an up-to-date inventory of the people who own them. Even here, when there was a fracas, someone dropped a gun right in this House.

Hon. UPND Member: Where?

Mr Muntanga: Here. 

Sir, there was no need to do that. Why should we allow such a situation? We have said that lethal weapons should not be brought into this House. A walking stick cannot be brought into this House unless with permission, yet someone walked in with a gun. Now, because of that carelessness, we may get back to a situation in which everybody will be screened just to know what they are carrying in their pockets. If we are not screened, one day, some people will be shot right here. That is when you will realise that what I am saying is for everyone. So, I appeal to the good conscience of our friends in the PF to realise that now is the best time to back this Motion. The PF should not go down in history as a party that graduated from a panga-carrying to a gun-carrying party.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, they should not smile at that because it is not something to be proud of. We know when the pangas started. Every time we talk about pangas, our colleagues say “Mapatizya Formula.” They have no idea what happened there. There were no pangas. 

Sir, how does one arrest the person who is shot at?

Mr Nkombo: The victim.

Mr Muntanga: Sir, the victim of the shooting in Mulobezi, Mushaukwa, was arrested. When I asked why, I was told that it was because he had been shot at.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, how does anyone arrest someone for being shot at? I was also told that it was because he had been violent. Well, whom did he injure? It was said that he had some spears. Who did he stab with those spears? Nobody. Questions concerning that case were raised before this House and we were told, in the presence of Her Honour the Vice-President, that the guns were used in self-defence. That is a careless way of doing things. We should ban the use of guns regardless of who is involved. No one should find excuses just because it was their party member who was found with a gun. They should be able to admit that this is wrong. You are our friends. So, we are duty-bound to tell you when something is wrong. If you begin saying that it was necessary to get a gun and kill because the people were crowding the road, we will not allow it. If you make it clear to us that any time we find people crowding the roads, we must shoot, we will arm ourselves and do just that. So, any time we find crowds of people making noise, we will shoot. When we shoot, we will not shoot to miss. Some people shoot, but miss the limbs, ...

Mr Nkombo: Ku matako.

Mr Muntanga: ... and buttocks. I will not shoot at the buttocks if you say that. This is a serious matter and we feel the pain. Twice, my party President was almost killed by a known person on the Copperbelt. 

Mr Nkombo: Chile.

Mr Muntanga: What option have we remained with?

Mr Nkombo: Self-defence.

Mr Muntanga: Self-defence. What that means is that the next time I go to the Copperbelt, immediately I see that man going for his pocket, I should shoot him and, if I am questioned about my action, I will say I did it in self-defence because he was reaching for his pockets. This is a serious matter and there is a need for the Government to seriously take action. I know that some PF Members mean well and agree that this is bad. It is just a pity that your party members are involved, but I cannot avoid telling them. I also do not support my party officials who come with spears and threaten me with them. I do not know who might get stabbed with a spear, but I want to tell you that it is dangerous.

Sir, I totally support this Motion because it is important and has come at the right time.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, first of all, allow me to thank Hon. Masebo and Hon. Dr Kalila for having moved and seconded this Motion at such an opportune time.

Sir, as I stand to debate this Motion, I have a lot of hope that the current hon. Minister of Home Affairs will take heed of the suggestions that we will put forward. I will heed your guidance that, when we take the Floor, we should state what we think can help the Government to come up with solutions to this problem, which is becoming serious in our country. I will zero in on that suggestion by talking about the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) because I think that is where we need to strengthen the law. Before I do that, however, I think it is important for me to mention very briefly that a firearm is an instrument of death that is actually very traumatising to talk about. You are privileged to have here some hon. Members who can bear testimony to the trauma of having a gun pointed at them. You are looking at a victim of this very serious violence of having a gun pointed at a person.

Sir, you know us. You also know that I cannot even kill a fly, but guns were pointed at me. That is how bad it is out there. Ideally, the guns are supposed to be in the hands of security personnel, not individuals, especially those linked to elections. They are instruments used in war, not during an election. They are supposed to be used by soldiers, the men and women in uniform, to defend our country.

Hon. MMD Member: In war times.

Mr Mtolo: Yes, in war times, not during an election. As my colleagues, Hon. Nkombo and Hon. Muntanga have said, in Zambia, we have allowed the possession of firearms for personal protection and, sometimes, for hunting animals, not shooting at human beings, whom we cannot eat.


Mr Mtolo: Sir, as I indicated earlier, during the 2011 Elections, I witnessed how traumatising a gun can be. It is just that we are not supposed to debate ourselves, but there are four colleagues here, in this House, who had guns pointed at their heads. I can testify to you that, to this date, they have not recovered from that trauma.

Mr Chabala: Question!

Mr Mtolo: It is true that they have not recovered. Hon. L. J. Ngoma had a gun pointed at him and threatened. So was Hon. Mbewe.

Mr Speaker: You just said that you would not mention any hon. Member, but you changed ...

Mr Mtolo: I am being challenged, Sir, ...

Mr Speaker: No.

Mr Nkombo: You are not helping him, Sir.

Mr Mtolo: … but I heed your counsel. 

Sir, some people have suffered serious trauma and I think we should take a leaf from the experience of these colleagues. Why are we, Zambians, at war with one another over Constitutional positions? Anyone who vies for the Presidency is threatened. Actually, a presidential aspirant has to hire many bodyguards. However, if such a candidate was shot at, even the bodyguards would be useless. They would just go down like flies until the target, the presidential candidate, is hit. Even when one contests Parliamentary elections, one is subjected to serious threats. I think that is true for almost everyone here who has gone through an election. There is fear during that time. That is very unnecessary because we should not be at war with one another.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is slowly becoming a country in which politicians are exposed to very primitive and savage experiences and I think that we need to check that before the situation becomes worse. It does not matter which party one belongs to or where one is from. I think that every Zambian politician has felt fear during elections. Therefore, we need to put an end to this. 

Sir, the one to rectify the situation is the man currently at the helm of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Hon. Mwila, because he is in charge of the police, which can get the guns from people who use them dangerously.

Sir, we make laws here in Parliament. Therefore, I will not go on lamenting because it is a waste of time. I will, instead, make suggestions. 

Sir, I believe that the key to solving the problem lies with the ECZ. There are laws to help the commission to conduct elections. However, what is lacking is the enforcement of those laws. 

Mr Speaker, in supporting this good Motion, I suggest very strongly that any candidate whose party is found to have threatened anyone with a gun be immediately disqualified. Such a candidate should not even be allowed to go to court and challenge the disqualification. As long as there is a prima facie case that one’s party members had guns, such a candidate should be disqualified.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Sir, I emphasise that the only way to stop this awkward behaviour that is creeping into our politics is by disqualifying candidates whose party members or supporters are found with guns. I can assure you that hon. Members here love their positions so much that they will not tolerate anyone threatening their chances of becoming hon. Members of Parliament because of gun-toting.

Mr Speaker, as we come to the conclusion of this debate, I strongly suggest that this good Motion should not be defeated on a mere whim. We should rather agree to concretise the current law so that people who are found wanting are actually disqualified before voting takes place. In that way, we will see no guns on the political scene because no one wants to be disqualified. If we enforce our electoral law, I can assure you that what we are seeing will never happen again. This rot or decay we have in our society will be taken off the records of our political history.

Sir, I also wish to suggest that, during elections, the police should have special powers so that they do not fear anyone.  As it has been said earlier in the debate, supporters of the Ruling Party, whom we carelessly call cadres, seem superior to the police during elections. Most hon. Members here and I have witnessed that during polls. Cadres even reach the extent of threatening police officers to their face that they will not wear the uniform or be at a certain police station after elections if they do not follow the instructions of the cadres. That is a very sad situation. 

Sir, elections are supposed to be a pleasant experience, whereby the one with the best way of convincing people wins, not a situation of sadness and fear in which candidates have to change rooms or houses so many times in order to avoid political violence. That is what we, politicians, go through. If you are at a lodge, you will have to keep changing rooms every night all because of fear of the opposing group. That is wrong. Zambia is a peaceful society and we should try to make our politics pleasant. We, in this House, have the answer to this problem, not the people outside. We have to tell our supporters not to do wrong things.

Sir, before I resume my seat, I would like to emphasise that the answer to political violence is in strengthening the Electoral Code of Conduct. Erring candidates should be disqualified. Any member of any party should be disqualified from vying for public office immediately their members are found with pangas, tasers and all sorts of dangerous weapons, especially guns. 

With those few remarks, I support this very good Motion.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, first of all, I thank the mover of the Motion, our gallant lady politician, Hon. Masebo, and the seconder, Dr Kalila. It has taken a woman to come forward and try to calm the political situation in the country. In a democracy, there should be tolerance of opposing views. We should not incite violence. Violence should be condemned by all parties. Before I proceed, I would like to adopt the debate of the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipata Central as my own.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, let me give an example. If children in a home become a problem and are always fighting with their friends and neighbours, a responsible parent should sit them down and warn or discipline them so that they do not tarnish the image of the family. Currently, the Government should take the blame for the violence being perpetrated by political cadres because it is responsible for taking care of every citizen, including opposition party members. That responsibility should not be executed selectively. 

Mr Speaker, this Motion is a serious one because it is a litmus test that will show us those who will support violence by opposing the Motion. The Motion is noble, for we need to protect the lives of our people. We chose democracy in 1991 and opened the doors to popular political participation. Let us emulate civilised people. 

Mr Speaker, just moving with a weapon in a public place is a crime. I heard of somebody in Mbala who celebrated by shooting in the air and was arrested for that. What about the one who points a gun at a person? It is the responsibility of the Government not to look at the colour or political allegiance of the offender and a criminal, but to arrest and ban them from ever getting close to a gun. 

Mr Speaker, where there is a by-election, nobody should be allowed to carry weapons and road blocks should be mounted around the polling area so that all vehicles can be searched. Anybody found with a weapon should be detained. The unfortunate thing is, if we allowed that, it will only affect the Opposition. I trust that, today, we have a very visionary hon. Minister. He issued a statement the other day, which convinced me that he will take the Motion seriously and implement the law. What happened in Kitwe after the shooting incident is good because we now see people going to court. That is the way. We should not entertain this kind of behaviour in the country. 

Mr Speaker, there are rules that govern the use of a firearm. There must be maximum compulsion for one to use a firearm. Even a soldier or police officer is subject to these rules. If we allow the careless use of firearms, we will be victims of the scourge at one time or another and it will be very unfortunate. The police should be very professional and investigate any sound of a firearm discharge. In this country, we have observed that criminals are only those in the Opposition. When a similar offence is committed by people in the Ruling Party, they are left to go scot-free to continue with life as if nothing happened. That is not right. It is not the mandate that the Government got from Zambians. Even in the eyes of God, that is not right. God wishes us to enjoy peace. 

Mr Speaker, Zambia is admired in the region for its peace. Why are we hindering development? Nobody wants to go to a country where guns are the order of the day, as it used to be in South Africa. We should be ashamed that, after fifty years of Independence, we come to Parliament like this and look at each other as enemies instead of brothers. If people can be arrested for stealing a cob of maize, those who use firearms or pangas to threaten other people deserve to be in Mukobeko Maximum Prison.

Mr Speaker, I am happy that the prison officers were upgraded. That is the action we want. We need positive action from the Government and the positive hon. Minister. All of us look to the Government for protection. We need this country to be violence-free even during elections. In Ikeleng’i, you will never hear of violence during elections. However, when elections are on the Copperbelt, in Lusaka and other places, …

Mr Sichone: Mulobezi!

Mr Muchima: I do not know. 

Sir, all of us should stand up today and condemn this behaviour because it threatens our national development. The time and money we spend going to court, hiring lawyers and doing this and that can be used for other things. It is not our culture to kill each other. The days of Chachacha, when a muzungu or white man wanted to use us against our fellow blacks are over. Today, we should win elections genuinely. It is like buying a car with stolen money. Nobody will congratulate you. On the other hand, when you work for your money and buy a car, people will appreciate you. Do not win using force. It will not help at all. Whoever is doing that must be condemned by all of us in the House with all the contempt they deserve. 

Mr Speaker, I have worked with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs when he was a unionist. He is a vicious man, and he is listening to this debate. So, I am glad that the woman I wanted …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I do not think the term ‘vicious’ …


Mr Speaker: … is appropriate to refer to a fellow human being.


Mr Muchima: I withdraw it, Mr Speaker.

He is strong and vibrant. We have been on the same Committee and I know that he is fearless.

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: He makes decisions and speaks very few words.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: He will protect this nation. We are depending on him.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Even as we debate like this, he is busy listening … 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … and, in the end, his response will be very positive. I am very sure …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … because everyone is waiting for his good wisdom. He is a man we expected to be in that office. 

Sir, the police should desist from being biased. Instead, it should be professional like the army. We need a country in which we can enjoy going to the polls and electing our leaders freely. We should not worry about how to defend ourselves when there is an election in our areas, such as there is in Solwezi West. We should defend ourselves using the ballot, not any other weapon. If the indiscriminate use of weapons is banned, we shall hold the hon. Minister in high esteem. He will leave behind a very big legacy.

Mr Speaker, I do not want to repeat what others have said. I just thank you for according me the opportunity to debate this good Motion, which should test the goodwill of all of us here.

With those few remarks, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate. I want to agree with both the mover and the seconder of the Motion, and those who have debated before me that this Motion is non-controversial and straightforward, and it affects all of us. It is also very timely, as my colleagues have indicated. 

Mr Speaker, to come up with the relevant measures, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right.

Mr Belemu: … we need to take stock of what has been happening during elections, particularly in the last few years, at least, from the time I became a Member of Parliament. I have been to several by-elections and have noted, with serious concern, the happenings. It is, therefore, important that, together with my colleagues on your right, we look at this matter very objectively.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that, in the first two years of its rule, the Patriotic Front (PF) began to associate itself with leaders on the African Continent who had been accused of being violent and using armed militias to suppress political opponents in their countries.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: I have been waiting for the current Administration of the PF to renounce some of the agreements that were entered into in the media. However, to date, we have not heard them do so. So, one of the counter measures to violence that I want to suggest is that political parties that enter into agreements with foreign-based parties that have a history of violence be banished from the political scene of this country ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: ... because such associations indicate a political party’s desired trajectory in terms of governance. 

Hon. Member: Fyakwa Kabimba ifyo!


Mr Belemu: It is my submission, therefore, that one of the measures be for the Government and the party in power to publicly renounce such agreements.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, at times, we have learnt of how political parties wanted to train their cadres outside the country from the media and some individuals. Unfortunately, some of the countries where they want to train cadres are in turmoil as we speak and have a record of political violence. We can give examples some of the countries in North and West Africa, where cadres are being sent for training. They have a record of political violence and a history of armed militias. So, if a party sends children between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, who have just completed Grade 12, to those countries to train for unspecified reasons, what do you expect when the children come back from those countries? 

Mr Speaker, even as we try to come up with measures against political violence, the PF must review some of the countries to which it has proposed to send its cadres for training. The leadership of those countries is not welcomed anywhere on the African continent. Therefore, it is only correct that the Government checks what political parties send their cadres to train in in foreign countries. When it sends its cadres to countries that have a history of violence, I think that the implication is that they will be trained to be violent.

Mr Speaker, the other matter that is of concern to us, and on which the Government must agree with us, is that of statements made by the political leadership in the country. Unfortunately, it would be difficult to formulate measures against that. However, I wish to tell the Government and the political players in this country that what leaders say ultimately affects the behaviour and the character of their cadres. We have heard instructions from people in positions of responsibility, particularly in the Ruling Party, inciting some level of violence by calling for revenge attacks. So, I think that it is important that, as we come up with measures to counter violence in the country, such people or statements are watched. It is unfortunate that such statements have always been attributed to the Opposition. However, it is not true that the Ruling Party has not issued inflammatory statements to its cadres and followers. 

Mr Speaker, I have seen the emergence of another vice. I saw it in Luampa, Livingstone, Mangango and Malambo during by-elections. Political party cadres are given replicas of the uniforms of our armed forces, mainly the police or army. Unfortunately, the problem goes up to the topmost leadership level. The kind of attire that some of the leaders, particularly those in the PF, wear during elections clearly indicate the route they intend to take. Why would a leader wear a combat when they are not going into a literal war? Why do they wear military or police fatigues? If they go to campaign, not to fight, I suppose that they will wear attire that befits a campaign. Sometimes, cadres have been mistaken for police or army officers. Unfortunately, sometimes, they even carry guns, yet no measures are taken against them. So, I submit that the Government and, particularly, the Ruling Party, should adhere to the laws that regulate the use of uniforms of our armed forces and their replicas.

Mr Speaker, my colleagues have already emphasised the fact that some of the gun-related violence is perpetrated by people who would ordinarily not qualify to be on the political arena. I have in mind the District Commissioners (DCs), who are civil servants, but go into campaigns with their aides. That is because they are political appointees and some of them have very little knowledge of governance, multi-partism and how a civil servant must behave. They go armed and, at the slightest provocation, think that it is fashionable to show off guns and even use them. So, those who do not qualify to campaign for some political parties, particularly civil servants, must not be allowed to do so. Let them leave the political arena to the politicians. We have seen DCs shoot people because they were in the wrong place, to start with. Additionally, some of them do not even understand the Civil Service Regulations or the Electoral Act. I can extend the argument to suspect that they are incited to behave in the manner that they do. Otherwise, we would have seen measures taken against them.

Mr Speaker, I am also concerned that the Ruling Party and the Government does not take measures against people who are found wanting. At times, we hear of such people being protected from facing the law for their actions. The DCs are protected, yet they were found with guns. I can give the example of Katuba, where I was in a polling station some months back and a known political party cadre came with a gun and started shooting because he thought that the presiding officer should have closed the polling station at 1800 hours. 

Mr Livune: I was with you. Tell them that.

Mr Belemu: Indeed, I was with Hon. Livune.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, can you imagine what that does? A political party cadre firing his gun at a polling station in the midst of an election, yet no measure, to date, has been taken against him. It is only correct that the Government begins to enforce the laws of the land.

Mr Speaker, I also want to submit that, for this vice to be reduced, the unfair handling of cases during elections by various State agencies, especially the police, must stop. It is worrying. Not too long ago, Hon. Munji Habeenzu was assaulted at a police station by people who were armed with all forms of weaponry. People have also been attacked in the presence of police officers on many occasions. In all these cases, no measures have been taken and that is worrying because violence begets violence. That is why, at some point, there was a general feeling that everyone must begin to arm and defend themselves because people felt helpless. Police officers literally tell you that they are also helpless because the cadres are more powerful. If a cadre, armed with a gun or any kind of weapon, is able to take over a police station and the police officers confess that they are helpless, what will happen to the citizens of this country in the next set of by-elections? The logical thing would be for the police officers to prepare themselves. Otherwise, the vice will go on unabated. So, measures must be taken to correct this situation. That should have been done when a police station was taken over by cadres and people assaulted and injured. However, it has not been done.  

Mr Speaker, we must not look very far to find the solutions to this issue because the onus falls squarely on the leadership of the country. Why should such things happen here, but not elsewhere and more so now than in the past? The PF Government must take immediate corrective measures to stop this vice. We can learn from history what happens when a country becomes ungovernable. The Weimar Republic and what is happening in our neighbouring countries are good examples. The PF Government must demonstrate to us on what path it is willing to lead this country, whether that of peace or violence, through its reaction to this Motion. This Motion must be accepted by all of us because we need to have peace and to protect our citizens and ourselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is what the PF Government and us will agree on that will change this situation. If it wants to insist that this Motion is not important and want to throw it away, I am afraid that whatever we have said here will just amount to nothing. Its members must agree to change the course of the leadership of this country today. As I submitted in the beginning, I want them to renounce their association with violent political parties on the African continent. I also want them to renounce their association with condemned governments or administrations that have a history of promoting gun violence and armed attacks on their innocent citizens on the continent. As we speak, there are some people who have died in my constituency while others have been maimed and carry injuries they sustained in the course of politics. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I submit that this is a matter of leadership and that what the PF Government decides today will show what type of leadership it wants to give to this country.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to this Motion, which urges the Government to ban the indiscriminate use of firearms. 

Mr Speaker, while I support the Motion, I would like to clarify a few sentiments that have been expressed by the previous debaters. 

Sir, I think that this Motion gives the impression that we have no law that addresses the issue of guns. However, I think that we all know that there is a law on guns and no one would want to kill another and go against that law. It is also a fact that many people have been arrested and jailed for killing. Therefore, it is very clear that there is a law ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: ... and all we need is probably to just reinforce it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I want to also state that it is very wrong to put the blame on the Government ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: ... because, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was in power, we blamed the Government. Now that the Patriotic Front (PF) is in the Government, the blame is lumped on it. I want to state that, if we continue on this path, we will not get anywhere. It is important that we look at both sides because it talks two to tango. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it would be very wrong for us to stand up and say that the Government is responsible for this problem. What is our responsibility? All of us have the responsibility to address this issue. This nation belongs to all of us. So, as long as we are politicians or have cadres, we are responsible for this problem in one way or another. The sooner we accept that the better it will be for us. We should not just come to this House all the time and blame everything on the Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, why should we stop the ...


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Continue, Hon. Kalima.

Ms Kalima: ...  use of firearms?

Mr Speaker, the women are the ones who suffer most when firearms are used in an election because they are the most scared. I think that is what has even caused apathy and low voter turnout. We know that we cannot run. The other people who are most affected are the children. The Bemba say, “Imiti ikula empanga.” We need to protect ...

Mr Speaker: What does that mean?

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it means that the small trees of today are tomorrow’s forest. If we protect the interests of the children, then, we will have a future.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I just want to appeal to the Government to enforce the law on guns because it already exists. The use of firearms during elections should be banned and anyone who violates the law should be arrested. They should not just be arrested after they have used the gun or killed someone, but also simply for having a firearm in an area where there is an election, just like Hon. Muchima has said. Those who are found with guns during an election should be arrested like those who are found with game meat. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to political parties to consider putting women as youth chairpersons because the male youth chairpersons are overzealous in trying to show that they are working. So, they cause violence. 

Mr Speaker, lastly, let me give an example of myself. We did not have any violence in Kasenengwa and that was not by accident or because people did not want to be violent. There was no violence because I engaged in a forty-day fast. I want to testify to this House ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: ... that anybody who tried to cause any violence in Kasenengwa ended up being caught by the Holy Spirit.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, it is important that we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to lend my voice to the debate on this Motion. 

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to say that the Motion is totally misconceived in fact. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, in making my submissions, I would also like to borrow a few words from the hon. Member for Kasenengwa. 

Sir, I say that this Motion is misconceived because arguments have been advanced on this Floor that, and credible as they may be, are off tangent and ultra vires the Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: They beg a ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 until 1830 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was submitting that the Motion on the Floor, harmless and well-designed as it might be, is totally misconceived. In fact, most of the arguments that have been advanced from your left in aid of this Motion are totally off tangent and have not helped the Motion at all. 

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Motion on the Floor seeks to urge the Government to take immediate measures to ban the indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms. I have taken interest in two words in this Motion, namely, ‘ban’ and ‘indiscriminate.’

Mr Speaker, according to the Oxford Dictionary of English, to ‘ban’ is to officially or legally prohibit something. Let me reiterate: ... 

Mr Mwila: Counsel!

Mr Mukata: … To officially or legally prohibit something. 

Mr Speaker, ‘indiscriminate’, used as an adjective, refers to something done at random or without careful judgment. With focus on the two words, especially ‘ban’, the assumption that the Motion makes is that there is no legal framework to deal with the indiscriminate use of firearms, hence our being asked to officially or legally prohibit it, either through statute or policy. 


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I will demonstrate that there are sufficient laws, both under the Penal Code and the Firearms Act, to deal with issues of indiscriminate use of privately-owned firearms. I will also show ... 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mukata: … that, perhaps, the secondary issue that I referred to as off-tangent arguments must be dealt with administratively because they raises issues of whether mechanisms have really been put in place to ensure that this law achieves the desired result.

Mr Speaker, Section 84 of the Penal Code, Cap 87, states that:

“Any person who goes armed in public without lawful occasion in such a manner as to cause terror to any person is guilty of a misdemeanour and his firearm may be forfeited.”

That is the applicable law …


Mr Mukata: … that was enacted in this House.  

Section 85 states the following: 

“Any person who, without lawful authority or excuse, the proof whereof shall lie upon him, has in his possession or in or upon any premises occupied by him any offensive weapon or any offensive material is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding seven years.”

Mr Speaker, that is just part of the law under the Penal Code. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: The Firearms Act, Cap 110, states the following:

“First and foremost, anybody that seeks to acquire a firearm licence must apply for a competence certificate.”

Sir, that is in Section 12 of the Firearms Act, as read together with Section 13 of the Firearms Act. This is a law ...

Mr Sichone: Teach them!

Mr Mukata: ... that, perhaps, we should have cited in canvassing our support for the Motion.

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Mr Mukata:  Unfortunately, I have not heard any argument to suggest any deficiencies in the law. 

Mr Speaker, ...


Hon. Government Members: Counsel!

Mr Mwila: Landa, voka.

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, many arguments have been made. Hon. Mtolo from Chipata Central suggested that, if a candidate’s supporters besiege other contestants’ supporters with firearms and cause violence, and prima facie proof is shown, the election result must be immediately nullified. Unfortunately, from a jurisprudential perspective, there is a problem in that argument. How can the complainant be a judge? Who, then, will establish that there is a prima facie case? 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Is it the losing camp? That is why we have courts. It has been demonstrated in the Mufumbwe case in which the former hon. Member of Parliament, Mr Mulondwe Muzungu, ably sued under similar circumstances. He petitioned the High Court under Justice Phiri and the court nullified the election on the basis of the issues that have been raised here. So, we have a sufficient legal framework. 

Mr Speaker, I agree with Hon. Muchima that a cultural problem rather than a legal one is the major contributor to some of the problems we have raised. We need to change our mindset, as a people. This is not a Government problem alone.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Mukata: Is it a Government problem alone?  

Hon. Government Member: No.

Mr Mukata: For example, the Karavinas who terrorise parts of Shang’ombo hide in the homes of some of our own people.

Hon. Government Member: Wamvela?

Mr Mukata: We abet their crimes. The last time I was on the Floor of the House, we were talking about cattle rustling and agreed that the phenomenon was promoted by a cultural problem. So, it does not matter how much we may legislate.

Hon. Government Member: Tell them!

Mr Mukata: We also need to deal with the underlying problems. Maybe, we need prayers, as someone mentioned.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: We will over-legislate to the point where we will not be able to breathe or move. Then, we will end up being a police State and the same people who are supporting this Motion will turn around and start asking questions. 

Sir, there is a public interest element to ownership of firearms. Some people can prove ...

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Like myself.

Mr Mukata: ... that they are allowed to carry firearms. They include public officers. However, there are conditions and a sufficient legal framework that govern the possession and use of firearms. One law even provides for forfeiture of firearms that are indiscriminately used.

Mr Speaker, there is nothing wrong with a Motion of this nature being moved in the House because it brings the relevant matters to the fore. The movers could, if they have seen lapses in the implementation of the law, commence a judicial review. It is within their rights as Zambians. If, for instance, they see a party cadre not handling a weapon according to the law, they can inform the police. If the police is unable to take action, the interested party can seek legal redress from the courts of law. Such cases have been taken before Subordinate Courts and people have been convicted. So, where is the problem? Why must we over-legislate?

Mr Speaker, this is a very simple matter. There is really no need to ban anything because there is already a law in place that guides the use of firearms. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukata: Sir, enacting another law on this matter will just be duplication. What we need to do is review the administrative aspect or efficacy of the application of the existing law on the handling of guns. 

Sir, I appreciate the comments in appreciation of the hon. Minister of Home Affairs for implementing the law in some respects. That should be the way of looking at such matters. Where there are gaps, there is a need to engage various stakeholders even in cases like this one, instead of over-legislating. In any case, if we need to legislate further, suggestions have not been advanced as to how the Penal Code or the Firearms Act should be amended.

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Chisala: Wileka!


Mr Mukata: … let me end by stating that I do not support this Motion because it is incompetent. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, to begin with, I wish to define indiscriminate use of firearms as not showing careful thought or planning in the use of firearms that results in harm. 

Mr Speaker, the indiscriminate use of firearms is illegal in Zambia. In this regard, the acquisition, storage and use of firearms by members of the public are regulated under the following laws: 

(a)    Firearms Act, Cap. 110 of 1969; 

(b)    Penal Code, Cap. 87 of the Laws of Zambia; and 

(c)    Preservation of Public Security Act. 

Sir, given the foregoing, the question of banning indiscriminate use of firearms does not arise. There is no need to ban something that is already illegal. However, we have had some isolated incidences of people carrying or discharging their firearms in public. Such conduct is illegal and not condoned by the law enforcement agencies. 

Mr Speaker, as I stated yesterday, my ministry will continue to provide security to all the people living in Zambia without any discrimination. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Therefore, I urge all political parties and civil society organisations (CSOs) to follow the provisions of the law. I also urge all members of the public who own firearms to follow the laid-down laws and regulations in using them, as failure to do so could have very serious consequences.

Mr Speaker, as we have already said, the indiscriminate use of firearm is illegal in Zambia. Therefore, the mover, who is the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe, and seconder, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu East, are pushing an already open door. 

Mr Speaker, on behalf of the Government, I wish to make it clear that we are not in support of this Motion. We reject it because our colleagues across have not advanced any meaningful arguments. My impression of their statements is that of someone talking at the market, instead of one advancing an argument that can convince the Government. We have referred to laws that exist in this country on this matter while they have failed to refer to any piece of legislation. They have even talked about elections and pangas when the issue is about the use of guns. 

Mr Speaker, with those few words, I reject this Motion.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, in winding up this Motion, I want to start by thanking all those who have debated it, both the right and the left. 

Sir, for the record, I am very happy with what everybody has said on the Motion because the information given will help Zambians to understand what the law is, and is not, and the weaknesses and strengthens in the administration of the relevant laws. In addition, it shows the voters ...

Mr Shakafuswa: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: ... what kind of leaders they elect. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it has been said that this Motion was misconceived. However, listening to the debates on both sides, as the mover of this Motion, I am satisfied that it was an important and timely Motion because it was not general, but specific to the issues of elections. That said, I also want to correct the impression that has been created, which is that we did not recognise the existing laws on firearms in moving the Motion. In fact, we know that there is a law, but we also see that there is a problem. Therefore, we came to those who have the power to implement the law to take the necessary actions, especially when things do not go well.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and the hon. Deputy Minister of Justice referred to Cap 110 of the Constitution of Zambia. I will make my last point as I refer to Cap 110, Section 45(1), to which I think that our Motion related. I quote:

“45(1)     Whenever the President is satisfied that in the interests of public safety or for the prevention of offences against peace, it is necessary or expedient so to do, he may by Statutory Instrument -

(a)    prohibit the carrying or conveyance of firearms or ammunition; or

(b)    prohibit the sale of firearms or ammunition; or 

(c)    order that all firearms and ammunition shall be delivered up to such person and within such time as may be specified in such order.

Sir, in short, we, who care about this country and our people, are of the view that ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: ... the Executive, which has the mandate under this Clause should issue a Statutory Instrument (SI) to, for example, state that, from now on, nobody shall carry a gun during elections in any given area.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as I rest my case, I thank all those who have debated this Motion. I also want to state that posterity will best judge our actions, especially considering that one of the debaters who condemned this Motion was once, I am told, abducted during a by-election. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Those of us who have been ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you are supposed to wind up only. I have been very liberal with you so far.


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

Sir, as I wind up, I want to say that time will judge all of us. I hope that none of us seated here and the people outside will be abducted or shot at during a by-election.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members called for a division and the House voted.

Ayes ‒ (25)

Mr E. Belemu 
Mr B. Chitafu 
Mr M. Habeenzu
Mr H. Hamudulu
Ms M. Imenda
Dr. C. Kalila
Mr D. Livune 
Mrs S. Masebo
Mr M. Mbulakulima
Mr. A. Milambo
Mr C. Miyanda
Mr C. Miyutu
Mr R Mtolo
Mr E. Muchima
Mr L. Mufalali
Mr O. C. Mulomba
Mr R. Muntanga
Dr S. Musokotwane
Mr J. J. Mwiimbu
Mr M. Ndalamei
Mr G. Nkombo    
Mr K. Pande
Ms S. Sayifwanda
Rev. Lt-Gen. R. Shikapwasha
Mr S. Sianga 

Noes ‒ (60)

Mrs E. Banda
Mr N. Banda
Mr C. Bwalya
Col. G. Chanda
Mr H. Chansa
Mr. A. Chikwanda
Mr K. Chipungu
Mr O. C. Chisala
Mr D. Chisopa
Mr. R. Chitotela
Mrs A. M. Chungu
Mrs E. Kabanshi
Mr D. Kafwaya
Mrs E. M. Kansembe
Brig-Gen. B. Kapaya
Mr M Kapeya
Mr J. Kapyanga
Dr J. Katema
Col. P. Kaunda
Mr P. Kosamu
Mr J. Kufuna
Mr. R. Lingweshi
Dr. E. Lungu
Col. J. Lungu
Mr D. Mabumba
Mr M. H. Malama
Mr R. Mbulu
Mrs M. Miti
Mr G. Monde
Mr R. L. Mpundu
Mr N. Mubukwanu
Mr. Y. D. Mukanga
Mr K. Mukata 
Ms P. Mulasikwanda
Mr C. Mulenga
Mr M. Mumba
Mr. S. Mushanga
Mr E. Musonda
Mr R. Musukwa
Mr B. Mutale
Dr. M. Mwali
Mr. O. Mwaliteta
Mr D. Mwango
Mr D. Mwila
Mr P. Ngoma 
Mr M. Ng’onga
Mr P. Njeulu
Dr J. Phiri
Mr M. Sampa
Mr M. Sata
Mr F. Shamenda
Mr J. Shuma
Mr. L. Sichalwe
Mr M. Sichone
Mr. A. Sichula
Mr K. Simbao
Dr. N. Simbyakula
Mrs I. Wina
Mr C. Yaluma
Mr J. Zimba

Abstentions – (0)

Question accordingly negatived.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The following Bill was read the third time and passed:

The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2015.




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 1858 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 23rd July, 2015.





659. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

(a)    what the benefits of the hologram were;

(b)    how much money the Government had realised through the introduction of the hologram; and 

(c)    whether the hologram had reduced piracy in the country.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, the benefits of the hologram are as follows:

(a)    it enables law enforcement officers to distinguish genuine audio and video works sold on the market from pirated ones. This makes it easier for them to confiscate pirated materials and arrest piraters;

(b)    it has enabled the Government to accredit importers, distributors and producers of audio and video materials, which has facilitated the collection of relevant information on the performance of the performing arts sub-sector and made it easier for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to collect tax revenue from the operators; and 

(c)    it has enabled the Zambia Music Copyright Protection Society (ZAMCORPS) to collect mechanical royalties on behalf of artistes.

Mr Speaker, from the time the hologram was introduced, on 16th September, 2013, to 31st March, 2015, K685,091 has been raised through its sale. This amount of money has been deposited into the National Treasury. In addition, K187,224 has been raised by ZAMCORPS in royalties for musicians. 

Mr Speaker, the introduction of the hologram has not eliminated piracy, but it has made the fight against the scourge easier by making it easier for law enforcement officers to distinguish genuine products from pirated materials and enforce the Copyright and Performance Rights Act. That was the objective of the introduction of the hologram. 

Sir, currently, the Zambia Police Force is reviewing its strategies to enhance the fight against piracy. In the past, the focus was more on the vendors on the streets. Now, it is to involve more stakeholders and the Intelligence wings to deal with the ‘big fish’ who produce the pirated materials. The Zambia Police Force is also in the process of decentralising the Intellectual Property Unit to all the provinces. In addition, the law enforcement agencies will increase collaboration in the fight against piracy. 

I thank you, Sir. 


662. Mr Sichula (Nakonde) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    when funds for the afforestation of Nakonde Forest in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency would be released;

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

(c)    what the time frame for the exercise was.

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Ms Ngimbu): Mr Speaker, Nakonde Forest Plantation is one of the forest reserves identified for the establishment of a forest plantation in Muchinga Province. The province had, by May, 2015, received K75,000 under the National Tree Planting Programme (NTPP) towards the afforestation of identified forest reserves in the province, including Nakonde Forest Reserve in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency. 

Mr Speaker, the cost of the whole afforestation programme in Muchinga Province, of which the afforestation of Nakonde Forest Reserve is a part, is estimated at K2,600,450 in 2015. 

Sir, afforestation is an ongoing programme that the Government is promoting countrywide, including in Nakonde Parliamentary Constituency. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


665. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when Laurent Chita and Ipusukilo Primary Schools in Luwingu District would be upgraded to secondary schools; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in upgrading the schools. 

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, Laurent Chita and Ipusukilo primary schools will be upgraded to secondary schools in the next phase of the programme, whose commencement will be communicated by the ministry at an appropriate time.

Sir, the delay has been due to the fact that Luwingu District was only authorised to upgrade three primary schools in 2015, namely, Mapulanga Primary School in Lupososhi Constituency, and Luwingu and Shimumbi primary schools in Lubansenshi Constituency. Additionally, a lack of teachers, teaching and learning materials, and inadequate infrastructure has contributed to the delay.

I thank you, Sir.