Debates - Wednesday, 29th July, 2015

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Wednesday, 29th July, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that, in the absence of Her Honour, the Vice-President, who is attending to other important Government Business, the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication and also Government Chief Whip, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, MP has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Wednesday, 29th July, 2015 until further notice.

Thank you.


I wish to inform the House that there will be a launch of the 2015-2019 National Assembly of Zambia Strategic Plan tomorrow, Thursday 30th July, 2015. The Strategic Plan will be the basis of programming for the National Assembly of Zambia for the next five years.

Hon. Members may wish to know that the launch will start at 0930 hours and will be held in the National Assembly Auditorium. All Hon. Members are, therefore, requested to participate in this very important event as their participation will assist them appreciate the strategic direction of the National Assembly of Zambia.

Thank you.




699. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Vice-President:

(a)    whether the Government was aware of the dispute between the Ngonis and the Chewas in the Eastern Province;

(b)    what the cause of the dispute was; and

(c)    what immediate measures the Government was taking to restore peace and harmony in the province.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office and Deputy Chief Whip (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question, as per practice, I would like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to Hon. G. B. Mwamba, former Member of Parliament for Kasama Central Constituency, and wish him well in his future endeavours. My prayer is that the people of Kasama Central can find a suitable replacement.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government is not aware of the dispute, but there was a slight misunderstanding between the Ngonis and the Chewas in the Eastern Province who, from history, have lived together in harmony.

Sir, as in (a) of the question, there is no dispute, but a slight misunderstanding in the way these two tribes have lived together.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that this responsible Government has engaged both their Royal highnesses, Paramount Chief Mpezeni and Kalonga Gawa Undi of the Ngonis and Chewas, respectively, into dialogue with a view to resolve this slight misunderstanding amicably.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the clarification that there is a small misunderstanding between the tribes. However, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether this misunderstanding is usually blown out of proportion by the media.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, I would like to agree with the hon. Member from Chadiza that, sometimes, the responsibility that we witness from certain media institutions is something that we should not encourage at all. The responsible media should make sure that they promote harmony amongst the people and ensure that if there are slight misunderstandings, they should not be blown out of proportion. So, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that brilliant question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, normally, big things start small.

 Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, what is this slight misunderstanding between the two chiefs because this small thing could grow into something big?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, if my dear colleague followed me when I was responding to the question that was asked earlier, he would recall that I said that the misunderstanding arose as a result of the way they those people live amongst themselves. It is just like in any community. There are always misunderstandings, and that is why there is leadership in form of village headmen. Those leaders are there to ensure that when there are misunderstandings, they are dealt with and people get back to their lives. So, as discussions are going on, all those misunderstandings will be ironed out.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, as you see this gadget called the camera here, I have no doubt in my mind that it does not lie. The hon. Deputy Minister has confirmed that the media has been party to exaggerating, in my own words, the dispute that we saw on television between the Ngoni and Chewa chiefdoms. As I point at this camera, right now, it is showing that I am pointing at it. Could he confirm that the media, through the camera, actually told the truth. I was going to use an unparliamentary term, but we are not consistent with the real situation on the ground. We understand that the issue between the two chiefdoms is a land dispute, which can never be deemed to be small because the world over, most of the quarrels and fights between tribes, and even nations, have been due to land occupation.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it is not just the media that should promote harmony amongst the people, but we, the elected leaders and representatives of the people too. The hon. Member is trying to give an impression that he has other reasons, which he knows better, than what we are saying. The same media has shown his royal highness paramount, Chief Mpezeni, insisting that he would want to see people continue living in harmony. The same thing is obtaining on the other side. So, when we say that it is a small misunderstanding, we mean just that. A dispute is not something you can play with because it has serious implications, as you all know. So, we would not want to get into such situations. What we have said is what is obtaining and we are very sure that the royal highnesses have made an undertaking. His Excellency the President has been in continuous dialogue with the royal highnesses in the areas in issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chavuma, I saw you rise much earlier on.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, my question has been overtaken by events.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, disputes between among our chiefs are quite common in our country. I would like to find out to what extent the House of Chiefs is involved in resolving such disputes.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the House of Chiefs have been engaging in dialogue from time to time. This dialogue is, sometimes, done quietly and amicably because that is the spirit amongst our traditional leadership. So, I think where issues are identified, the House of Chiefs and the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs get our leaders to dialogue and resolve these matters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, we are not looking for any excuses of information. Chief Mpezeni had asked for a representative from Chief Gawa Undi’s area. Her Honour the Vice-President, have you looked at the fact that if that issue relating to land ownership is not solved, it will persist? Madam?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that follow-up question. When people engage in dialogue, it entails identifying the issues at hand and then agreeing amicably. That is what I said, and so, I do not want to be swayed into stating what issues will be discussed. This is a normal community and as I speak, people are living in harmony just as they have lived over the years. So, let us not create an impression that there is a situation that is out of the extra-ordinary.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: For the record, the hon. Deputy Minister is responding on behalf of Her Honour the Vice-President.

Mr Mbulakulima (Cheembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister is my nephew. When I was in my constituency sometime back, I heard that there were some people who were tear gassed in the Eastern Province. Is this the same place we are talking about, and if so, what led to the tear gassing of the people?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Member of Parliament, who is indeed, my uncle, for the follow-up question. It comes back to what I was saying when I talked about the media sensationalising issues and misrepresenting facts. We had statements that were issued and those that needed to be clarified were clarified, just like the Ministry of Home Affairs did. These facts were verified on the ground. So, my uncle, ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I was a bit liberal when I let you address him as your uncle. Please, address him as hon. Member. Forget about filial issues here.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, there was no such incident and matters were clarified. It was just a misrepresentation of facts, as they were obtaining on the ground.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: We should be winding down. I will take the last two questions from hon. Members for Rufunsa and Siavonga.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I want to find out if the tear gassing incident happened and if so, where there any casualties.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, at the expense of repeating myself, I was very clear when I responded to Hon. Mbulakulima. There was no such thing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, my question is related to the question asked by the hon. Member for Nkana Parliamentary Constituency. In responding to that question, the hon. Deputy Minister answered in general terms that the House of Chiefs generally gets involved in resolving disputes. May I know whether the House of Chiefs has been engaged to mediate between the two chiefdoms as regard this specific case we are discussing.

Mr Speaker: The question is on this particular case.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, like I said, there is no dispute. I made that very clear in my response. What usually happens is that the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the House of Chiefs look at the scale of the dispute and when people have failed to resolve a matter amicably amongst themselves, is when the House of Chiefs is deployed to mediate. So, as far as we are concerned, the discussions which are going on are going on smoothly and amicably. So, there is no need, yet, to try to get the House of Chiefs to intervene. Like I said earlier, His Excellency the President is actively involved in these discussions.

I thank you, Sir.


700. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans of including Kabulamema Orphanage in Kabompo District on its list of grant-aided orphanages;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Limata): Mr Speaker, Kabulamema Orphanage, also known as Falconer Children’s Home, is a recognised childcare institution by the Department of Social Welfare. It is one of the institutions that have been receiving grants from the Government as and when resources are available. The most recent grant given to Falconer Children’s Home was K6,668, in October, 2014. Since the institution is already receiving grants from the Government, it will continue doing so, funds permitting.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the focus of my question is essentially that would the Government not think of adding this orphanage, which was established a long time ago, in the 1940s, on the list of grant-aided institutions? This would enable it to receive grants on a regular basis, and not as or when the Government feels it should receive. We are talking about a lot of children who are disadvantaged and need help from the Government.

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, the Government provides grants to 170 orphanages in this country. As a token of appreciation, the Government only supplements the efforts of those running these childcare institutions and does not provide all their requirements.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, I would like to take advantage of the question on the Floor of the House to ask the hon. Minister to educate me. There are a number of orphanages dotted around the country and some of them do not receive anything at all from the Government. In mind, I have Namumu Orphanage in Siavonga. What should we do for this orphanage to also be listed among those that receive help, though erratic, from the Government?

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, I would urge the hon. Member to write a request to our office. I can assure him that we will support that institution if that is done.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the support to orphanages by the Government is welcome, although some orphanages are there to raise funds for the founders at the expense of the orphans. Has the ministry taken the trouble to find out how much money this orphanage we are talking about, for instance, has been receiving from funders since 1940?

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, that is what we are doing and I am starting my tour immediately after next week. We are touring the whole country to find out the issues concerning what the hon. Member of Parliament has raised.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, orphanages are not part of our culture as Zambians. As much as possible, we should try to strengthen the extended family system so that we avoid having our children institutionalised in orphanages. Taking advantage of this question, I would like to find out whether there are any programmes in the ministry to strengthen the extended family system so that our children are looked after within clans.

Ms Limata: Mr Speaker, the ministry is looking into the issues of poor people in this country. It has started implementing programmes such as the Social Cash Transfer Scheme, Social Protection Fund and village banking in all the areas of this country. So, these are some of ways the ministry is addressing that issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


701. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a)    how many trucking companies transported copper from the Zambian mines to various export ports;

(b)    of the companies at (a), how many were Zambian owned and how many were foreign owned; and

(c)    what measures the Government was taking to ensure that the copper transportation business was wholly taken up by Zambian transport companies.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, in accordance with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) records, there are twenty-six trucking companies that are involved in the transportation of copper from Zambian mines to various export ports. Out of the twenty-six companies, eleven are Zambian owned (registered in Zambia) and fifteen are foreign owned.

Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that the copper transportation business is mostly dominated by foreign companies. Therefore, it is working with the Truckers Association of Zambia (TAZ) to review amicable ways in which more local companies can participate in the copper transportation business.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I was privileged to be sent by you on one of the committee tours to the Copperbelt. We met with business persons in the province and there was a big complaint about Zambian truckers wanting to go into foreign countries not being allowed to transport their goods into foreign countries, whereas Zambians allowed such a practice. This has created very unfair competition for Zambian truckers. Therefore, when is the Government seriously discussing with the business community to ensure that this unfair competition is brought to a halt?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I did indicate that we are currently looking at that to make sure that Zambian companies also participate in the transportation of this commodity. We are aware of that problem and we are currently looking into it so that there is fair competition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the distortion which we are seeing in our economy today is because Zambian economic activities are not driven by Zambians. We have a lot of economic activities, but you find that there is no monetary benefit to the country. Why is it that this issue of transporters is being talked about now when it has been there for a very long time and the money which is supposed to stay in the country is allowed to go? Why are we thinking about it now, Hon. Mukanga?

Mr Speaker: No, no, no, not Hon. Mukanga, but hon. Minister.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker: You say hon. Minister because it could be the Deputy or otherwise who will answer.

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question that the hon. Member has asked although these issues that we are discussing have been there long, even at the time that he was a hon. Minister himself things were not resolved.

Mr Shakafuswa: Aah!

Mr Mukanga: However, I will state that what have engaged our counterparts in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) that we may resolve these issues. If you recall, about three weeks ago, I was in Dar- es-Salaam to just discuss these same issues. So, I am cognisant of the things that are happening and we have taken lead to ensure that our companies in Zambia can also participate in the other economies around the region.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, as a follow up to the statement by the hon. minister, out of twenty-six companies only eleven are locally registered companies but the damage to our roads is more from the foreign registered companies. What is the Government doing to reduce the volume of foreign companies and increase the number of local companies to be transporting this copper?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, firstly, we should realise that the Government is not in the business of doing business, but it is in the business of governing and ensuring that we have a conducive environment to enable the private sector to flourish or thrive. So, the Government has already put in place a lot of regulations to ensure that the private sector may come on board. We are engaging Zambian companies and those who are willing to come on board to try to see how best we can help them to register, so that they are able to participate in this type of transportation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, by actually using the institutional memory, I agree with the hon. Minister that this problem did not start recently. It is an old problem. If you recall, in 2009 or 2010, truck owners downed their tools on the Copperbelt because of the same problem. One of the complaints was that although they were Zambian companies, they were actually foreign companies registered in Zambia and they called upon the Government to look it that. I have seen some improvement in this area. Is that being attended so that we can have indigenous Zambian trucks operating in this industry?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I really appreciate the question from the hon. Member for …

Mr Speaker: Chembe.

Mr Mukanga: … Chembe. I think the issues that he has brought out are exactly as they are because we have looked at the ownership and have seen that most of these companies although we have Zambian registered companies, very few, about four out of eleven, are actually Zambian owned. Zambian owned meaning they have a shareholding which is above 51 per cent. So, we are trying to see what best we can do to ensure that we create interest in the Zambians to ensure that they come on board to take up the challenge that we have in the transport sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Senanga, I saw you rise.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Yes, Mr Speaker.

Out of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) protocols that could have been signed, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that Zambia has an advantage over the other countries? There is this system where, I think, South Africa has an upper hand because of passing through our country and sometimes we get disadvantaged. What will be done to ensure that the protocols signed within SADC are ratified?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we are trying to encourage the Zambian transporters to come on board, especially in this arena. Our position, as a country, is conducive for us to be a hub of transport. If the private sector participates fully and ensures that it gets interest in operating this area of transportation of copper, you will see that we will be leaders in transportation and we will change the scenario. Currently, very few people have interest in trying to participate and that is very difficult for us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) was campaigning to form Government they were saying that, they were going to create employment. Here is an opportunity where they could have done that through some facilitation of some kind, so that, Zambians can participate but I believe that they do not have capacity. What deliberate measures have the Government taken to build capacity both financially and other wise to the people of Zambia to participate into opportunities like that. I am aware that countries like China and even South Africa the Government has given empowerment to some of its people by way of availing financial resources so that they can participate and they have taken up our space. What is the Government doing?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question that the hon. Member is asking. However, to say that we do not have capacity is something I do not agree with her on because the PF Government has a lot of capacity and that is why the people of Zambia decided to vote for it. In January, 2015, the people of Zambia gave us, the PF, another mandate.

Mr Speaker, so, one thing I can state is that we have realised that we need to build capacity in the local people that is why we have been engaging even banks to provide some sort of capital financing for various models of transport so that people of Zambia can be assisted. The Government can only create a conducive environment. The people should come on board, gain interest and start engaging in this business for the Government has created a conducive environment where they can engage banks and get loans. If they can be able to engage banks they will be able to get the trucks.

Mr Speaker, just a few days ago, we were trying to commission a new model of trucks called Shackman to start operating in Zambia. There are various financing models using the banks. So, the Government is doing all it can and has a lot of capacity.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, the viability of our Chipata/Mchinji Railway also hedges on enhancement of businesses like the movement of copper. May I know what the Government is doing in terms of ensuring that, that railway line receives some of this copper business and that the loading and offloading facilities at that port in Chipata are enhanced?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, in terms of making the Chipata/Mchinji Railway line viable, what the government has done is to engage a contractor to carry out feasibility study. As we carry out the feasibility study, our plan is to connect Chipata/Mchinji Railway line to the Tanzania/Zambia Railways (TAZARA) line, so that, it will be more effective. We will try to build a dry port in Chipata so that as the transporters are bring items they will be able to offload at Chipata and ensure that the goods are taken to Nakara using the Nakara corridor. So, the Government is aware it has a lot of plans to ensure that we revamp this arrangement.

I thank you, Sir.


702. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the road from Lake Tanganyika to Nsama District would be upgraded to bituminous standard in order to ease transportation of fish to the market.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, the Mporokoso/Kaputa via Mutundu Gate is one of the roads linking Lake Tanganyika to Nsama District. It is envisaged that the upgrading works on this road will commence in the fourth quarter of 2015, upon finalisation and signing of the works contract.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


703. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Mines Energy and Water Development:

(a)    which mines in Zambia produce gold; and

(b)    how many tonnes of gold are produced, on average, per month.

The Deputy Minister of Mines Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, Kansanshi Mines Plc is currently the only mine producing gold in the Republic of Zambia. We have an average of 0.401 tonnes or 401 kg of gold on average per month.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.





Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House urges the Government to expedite the enactment of the law criminalising child marriages in Zambia. The aim of the Motion is to persuade the Government to come up with punitive mechanisms for perpetrators of child marriage.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity. I wish to state, from the outset, that marriage, by definition, is the union of two consenting adults. However, this is not the case for more than 700 million women alive today around the world who were married before the age of eighteen.

Mr Speaker, what is even more shocking is that, of this number, one in three which represents about 250 million women were married before the age of fifteen. In this regard, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) defines child marriage as a formal marriage or informal union before the age of eighteen. This scourge affects both boys and girls although girls are disproportionately the most affected.

Sir, it is important to note that child marriage transcends regional and cultural boundaries. Across developing countries, an estimated one in three girls is married before turning eighteen and one in nine before turning fifteen. Analysts project that if current trends continue, 142 million girls will be married before adulthood within this decade.

Mr Speaker, this practice persists in varying degrees around the globe. The highest prevalence rates commonly measured by the percentage of women aged twenty to twenty-four who report being married before eighteen are found in South Asia and West and Central Africa where an estimated two out of five girls are married as children.

Mr Speaker, perpetrators of child marriage often argue that there is nothing wrong in marrying off a girl or a boy younger than eighteen years as long as they have attained puberty. However, experts have said that being married before eighteen carries with it numerous risks and problems that affect girls and young women. Some of these risks include, but are not limited to the following:

(a)    Higher maternal mortality
    Mr Speaker, this is the most serious of the early marriage problems. Girls who are married before eighteen will often have children long before they are physically ready. Each year, 13.7 million girls, worldwide, aged between fifteen and nineteen give birth and complications in pregnancy and child birth are the leading killers of girls in this age range in developing countries;


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Simuusa: Child brides also have higher rates of HIV and Aids and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) than their unwed counterparts contributing to ill health and premature death;

(b)    Increased infant mortality
    Adolescent mothers are more likely to give birth prematurely or have still born babies. Their children are at increased risk of death in infancy. Infant death rates in babies of mothers under the age of twenty are 50 per cent higher than for those over twenty;

(c)    Lack of education
    Mr Speaker, often overlooked when it comes to early marriage problems is the effect on girls’ education, which is profound. Once married, girls are typically taken out of school as their lives become dominated by looking after children and domestic servitude. For every year a girl is married before adulthood, her literacy reduces by 5.6 per cent. Also, daughters of young mothers are more likely to drop out of school and be married young; and
(d)    Higher risk of sexuality and violence
    Mr Speaker, early marriage robs a girl of her rights, freedoms and choices. Child brides are more likely to be victims of physical and sexual abuse. This is so in that a young girl who is still struggling to understand her own anatomy is forced to have conjugal relations and often shows signs of post traumatic stress and depression owing to sexual abuse by an older partner. Neither their bodies are prepared nor their innocent little minds. Forced sexual encounters lead to irreversible physical damage. Mr Speaker, the psychological damage cannot even be comprehended.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the causes, it is generally agreed that poverty, cultural norms and the low societal value of women and girls are the primary forces that fuel early marriages although the relative significance of each varies from community to community.

Mr Speaker, worldwide, eighteen years is the baseline legal age for marriage, but many countries allow persons under that age to marry with the consent of parents or judicial authorities. Roughly, three dozen countries, Zambia included, allow children aged sixteen or younger to get married with parental consent. Many more countries allow girls to marry with consent at younger ages than boys, highlighting that early marriage is a gendered phenomenon.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, publicised cases of child marriage have cast an international spotlight on the scourge and spurred calls for legislative action. The 2008 divorce of ten year old Nujood Ali, a Yemeni girl married to a twenty-one year old man, sparked international pressure for legislative efforts to raise the country’s minimum age of marriage to seventeen although the push was ultimately defeated.

Mr Speaker, with the realisation that child marriage affects all parts of the globe, several international legal conventions that outlaw child marriage have been enacted and these include:

(a)    the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

(b)    the Convention on the Rights of the Child; and

(c)    the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women.

Mr Speaker, these conventions, however, have minimal enforcement mechanisms in the state parties as they largely require the signatory countries to domesticate the conventions. Nevertheless, the language of these conventions establishes an international standard against child marriage.

Mr Speaker, bringing this home, the 2013 United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) State of the World report indicates that Zambia ranks number thirteen among the world’s nations with the highest prevalence rate of child marriages, with 42 per cent of women aged between twenty and twenty-four married before they turn eighteen years old.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Order, on the right.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I will say that again.

Mr Speaker, Zambia ranks number thirteen among the world’s nations with the highest prevalence rate of child marriages, with 42 per cent of women aged between twenty and twenty-four married before they turn eighteen years old compared to only 5 per cent of men aged between twenty and twenty-four. According to the 2007 Zambia Demographic Health Survey (ZDHS), the prevalence rate is highest in the Eastern Province, with 60 per cent, followed by Luapula with 50 per cent, then the Northern Province with 48 per cent, the North-Western Province with 47 per cent, the Central Province with 46 per cent, the Southern Province with 34 per cent, the Copperbelt Province with 30 per cent and lastly, Lusaka Province with 28 per cent.

Mr Speaker, allow me to remind this august House that Zambia has a dual legal system, namely statutory and customary law. To this end, Zambia has, at least, twenty-six pieces of legislation which provide for and regulate the rights of the child. It should also be noted that customary law ordinarily is only supposed to be applied where it is not repugnant to natural justice. However, the House will agree with me that despite these provisions in the law, inconsistencies exist with what is provided for under statutory law and customary law regarding child protection and early marriages.

Mr Speaker, under customary law, a girl can be married as soon as she reaches puberty. Puberty is assumed to be a sign of maturity and by this age, it is taken that a girl is ready for marriage or ready to marry. Thus, the fact that there is no legislation that regulates customary marriages means that a child could be married even at the age of nine as long as that is the age at which she attains puberty.

Mr Speaker, under statutory law, a girl can be married without parental consent when she has reached twenty-one years old, and with the parent’s consent when she is between sixteen and twenty-one years old. Furthermore, Section 33 of the Marriage Act provides for someone to be married with a Judge’s consent if that person is below the age of sixteen.

Mr Speaker, it is very clear that statutory law and customary law are applied inconsistently, resulting in poor implementation of the rights of the child. This, therefore, is an indication that current legislation on marriage does provide for child marriage, creating a serious loophole in the law that has to be rectified. Further, when it comes to punitive measures on child marriage offenders, there are no provisions in the law. The Education Act, however, criminalises marrying or marrying off a learner who is a child. The challenge with this piece of legislation has been that some children who are married off are not in school. Hence, offenders have gone off scot-free. Further, regional and international instruments which Zambia has signed and ratified have not been domesticated to ensure that female children are protected. In addition, the Penal Code in Cap. 87, Section 138 (1) of the Laws of Zambia provides for the punishment of perpetrators of defilement. Section 135 (a) of the Penal Code further defines a child as any person below the age of sixteen. In light of this, even provisions in the Penal Code are not sufficient to be used to punish child marriage offenders. This is so because the ingredient of conviction is “unlawful carnal knowledge with a child.” Therefore, as long as someone’s marriage to a minor has been sanctioned legally, they cannot be convicted of defilement.

Mr Speaker, with the realisation that there are inconsistencies with child protection laws in Zambia, the Committee on the Right of the Child, during the Universal Period Review (UPR) of Zambia in 2012, recommended that the Government of the Republic of Zambia reviews existing legislation and customary laws. This is aimed at bringing the laws in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The Government, through the Zambia Law Development Commission (ZLDC) with the support of UNICEF, has since carried out this exercise and it will suffice to mention that these legislative initiatives have resulted in stronger protection of children’s rights, most notably, the Gender Based Violence Act of 2011, and the amendments of the Education Act of 2011, which provides for the right to free basic education. Apart from the aforementioned pieces of legislation, the Government, through the ZLDC, has also come up with the Marriage Draft Bill and the Children’s Code Bill. These Bills are meant to consolidate the existing laws relating to marriage, maintenance and divorce, provide for the legislation of religious, civil, and customary marriages, comprehensively domesticate provision of child protection in Zambia and to make provisions on the enforcement of children’s rights as provided for in the CRC and the African Charter on the Rights of the Child (ARC).

Mr Speaker, these are very important pieces of legislation, which when enacted, will help reduce child marriages in Zambia and ultimately protect our children. Therefore, this House would like to urge the Government to expeditiously bring the Bills in question to this August House for enactment. While we recognise that having these laws in place will not entirely solve this problem, we believe that, at least, it will be a starting point.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by reminding the House that it is our duty as citizens and servants of the people to stand and fight injustice, especially as it relates to children. As such, I ask each and every man and woman of justice, and every hon. Member in this House, to rise and support this Motion and to support the children of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Mr Habeenzu: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I would like to begin by expressing my profound appreciation to you for according me the opportunity to second this Private Member’s Motion that urges the Government to enact Bills that will tackle the problem of child marriages in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion highlighted to the House, very alarming figures with regard to child marriages in Zambia and around the globe. As a result of this scourge, a lot of children, especially girls, are being disadvantaged in terms of their development. Furthermore, it is unfortunate to note that Zambia has a very high prevalence of child marriages. Statistical data indicates that 42 per cent of our young girls become child brides before they attain the legal age of eighteen. Zambia is now ranked number thirteen on the list of countries with the highest rate of child marriages. As a nation, we can neither be proud nor content with this position. This figure only serves to reinforce the Government’s need to address this problem with urgency.

Mr Speaker, the future of Zambia’s children lies in the actions and decisions that we, as present leaders, make today. Thus, we would be failing in our duties if we did not urgently ensure that the best interests of our children, especially girls, are put first, and those impediments to their development and progress, such as child marriage, are addressed.

Mr Speaker, I am sure that this august House will agree with me that countries that have managed to reach advanced levels of development have done so while recognising and upholding the rights of women and children alike. If Zambia is to follow the same pattern of development, we have to start from the grassroots by inculcating certain norms into the younger generation. This means that we have to treat boys and girls as equals so that as they grow up, they treat each other as such.

Mr Speaker, in light of this, there is a need for the Government to take precise action through the enactment of appropriate legislation that will inter alia domesticate international legal conventions that Zambia is a signatory to. These include; the United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Doing so will enable the effective enforcement of children’s rights and will, in the long term, protect children from a lot of harmful cultural practices such as child marriage.

Mr Speaker, apart from pre-emptive measures that will protect the rights of a child, in particular the girl-child, enactment of a law to regulate marriages will criminalise the practice of child marriages and it is hoped that this will deter individuals from carrying on with this culture. This will be beneficial because girls in Zambia, especially those residing in rural areas, will have an opportunity to focus their energies on productive activities rather than parenting at an early age. The aforementioned productive activities include having time to attend school and study so as to empower themselves for the future.

It is further hoped that the enactment of these laws will also prevent and limit the negative health implications that result from the practice of child marriage. These negative health implications include obstetric fistula, the high risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and psychological trauma which is caused by stress and depression. It will also suffice to say that the aforementioned problems are a constant and common feature of child brides in developing countries. Thus, these problems could be mitigated through the enactment of laws governing marriage and protecting children by making child marriage punishable by law.

Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion hinted to the House that the current legal environment in Zambia does little to fully tackle the issue of child marriages. In fact, the practice is somehow sanctioned under both customary and statutory laws. On one hand, the Marriage Act, under Section 22, states that a person who is below the age of sixteen is allowed to be married with a judge’s consent. On the other hand, customary law permits a girl who is seen to be mature or who has reached puberty to be married. All these laws essentially allow a situation in which girls are legally denied the opportunity to enjoy their childhood.

Mr Speaker, given this situation, it is the duty of this House to ensure that these loopholes in the law are sealed. As indicated by the mover of the motion, the Government, in collaboration with co-operating partners, has been working on reforming the relevant laws relating to child protection and has hitherto come up with the following:

(a)    The Marriage Draft Bill; and
(b)    The Child’s Code Bill

Mr Speaker, it is hoped that these two pieces of legislation will help decrease the scourge of child marriages in Zambia as they consolidate and reinforce existing laws on marriage, hence the importance of these Bills to be brought to the House by the Government for enactment as soon as possible.

Mr Speaker, this is a non-political or controversial Motion that deserves the support of every well-meaning Zambian. Therefore, I wish to call upon my colleagues to support this Motion and for the Government to consider it with urgency.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to thank the mover and seconder of this very important Motion for our situation. They have brought out very important points.

Mr Speaker, I want to start by stating that legislation is the best platform to deal with child marriages. This country is a signatory to many conventions. Our biggest problem, however, has been domestication. I think that the Executive has been caught napping because, for a very long time, we have been talking about legislation, which I think are many, as you will hear from your right. Your right, will say that it intends to bring legislation precisely to deal with child marriages or to strengthen laws in an attempt to criminalise it.

Like in any situation in this country, we are always very slow to respond. We have a lot of information and a lot of draft documents, policies and bills gathering dust in the offices. I think that my colleagues on this side of the House, Sir, are trying to cajole or shake the Government into action because this is a matter of urgency.

The statistics given by the mover of the Motion require that we, leaders, take appropriate action. These children need our protection, firstly, by legislation. The mover has touched on the issue of child marriage and legislation is one aspect that can deal with the despicable increase of the number of chid marriages that are trampling on the rights of young people. These young people are really helpless unless we, as leaders, do something. We need to defend these young people.

Mr Speaker, even though there are reasonable laws to deal with child marriages, at the moment, the problem is enforcement. We must, therefore, deal with this issue in a two-pronged approach by emphasising on closing the gaps in our laws and also raising the bar on enforcement of the law. This should firstly be done with the existing ones, by criminalising child marriage.

Most importantly, as the mover was submitting his Motion, there was a correlation that came up. He talked about poverty, which is an underlying driver of child marriages. There is a positive correlation between poverty and child marriages. Even as we strengthen the laws, we must also deal with the attendant factors that drive these marriages. When the mover gave us the statistics of the prevalence of child marriages in this country, you could see the positive correlation between the two. The poorer provinces had higher levels of child marriages. Hence, dealing with poverty can also help us to deal with child marriages.

Mr Speaker, a law on its own will not be enough. While it is important that we put the law as a matter of urgency, we must also deal with other issues that will help us tackle the scourge of child marriages.

Sir, the reports that have come up from the co-operating partners such the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Progress Report and other reports indicate a widening inequality. This inequality is that the majority of our people are becoming poorer even when the situation, on average, in the country is improving.

Mr Speaker, one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s, Zambia in particular, biggest problem is widening inequalities. A few people are living very well while many are becoming poor and, therefore, the poor have devised other methods of survival. Sometimes they take child marriages as an avenue for survival. We must deal with poverty strongly. Institutions tasked with dealing with poverty must begin to deliver. We must go beyond just talking. If we do not reduce poverty and just legislate and put the best laws in place, we will not reduce child marriages because the underlining driver of these marriages is poverty.

Sir, they say that no one is above the law and it is true, but human beings are more important than the law. That is the issue here. Therefore, where people are squeezed in the shackles of poverty and their only means of survival is to break the law, then, they will break the law. Anyone can do it, including all of us here. We must create an environment where people can easily obey the law and enjoy their rights. Let us deal with poverty strongly to augment the strong legislation that my colleagues are calling for.

Mr Speaker, in 1994, post the Beijing Platform for Action, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the twenty-year programme which came to an end last year, identified some of these drivers. A delegation from here led by the then Vice-President with all our technocrats attended the Cairo Conference in 1994 and Africa agreed on a development compact that was to address poverty, gender inequality, gender-based violence and education for children.

Sir, I always emphasise that our girl child needs to go to school because there is an imbalance. Let every child be in school. Children and parents that are not educated cannot easily enjoy the rights that we provide or enjoy enabling legislation. That is why Africa must provide education for all its children without exception. It is the best way we can help to deal with the many problems such as child marriages.

Mr Speaker, empowering the woman, who is closer to a child, is one of the most powerful tools to address child marriages, including poverty. Our programmes must be engendered to address the issue of empowerment of women. Our culture has been faulty. You have cultural norms and statutory law. Some people are trying to break the law, but the law of the land is supreme. Sometimes, we hide behind these cultures.

Sir, I was happy when Hon. Dr Kaingu warned against some of these dances. Sometimes, we may say that there is nothing wrong with those dances, but we would not allow our children to dance that way. There are some cultures we must do away with. I think Obama made it clear. He said that you cannot hide behind culture or religion to oppress women.

Mr Livune interjected.

Mr Hamududu: Men and women are equal. No one must hide even behind the black book which we all believe in. Our God is for gender equality and people should not decide what women should or should not be for their own convenience.

Mr Speaker, it would be okay if I was not working today and my wife was the bread winner. I would not ask for a divorce because it is not right for me to stay at home while my wife is working. However, when it is convenient, we hear people say that women should stay away from the workplace.

Sir, the line ministries such as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and all other economic ministries must engender their programmes. We want to see a Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) carried out on a 50-50 basis, 50 per cent for women and 50 per cent for men. If we do this, we will see how we will be better equipped to address these issues augmented by the law that we want to provide. That is the fastest way to develop.

Mr Speaker, the empowering of women, educating the young people and reducing inequities has been proved worldwide as one of the fastest ways to come out of poverty. Otherwise, we will run all these programmes and keep wondering while teenage pregnancies and child marriages are continuously increasing. We are not dealing with the factors underlying these problems. Let us arrest these drivers and retrogressive cultures. We all come from a culture.

Sir, before I became a Zambian, I was a foolproof Tonga. There are things within our culture that we must do away with. My father was the most wonderful man I have ever ...

Mr Muntanga: You are not a Tonga?

Mr Hamududu: Yes, I am a Zambian now.


Mr Hamududu: cundu cayitwa


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, my father ...


Mr Hamududu: That was something else.

Sir, my father was a wonderful man, may his soul rest in peace, who told me before he died ...

Mr Muntanga: aba bapati aba.

Mr Hamududu: He had three wives. I have three wonderful mothers. You cannot tell which one is my actual mother.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: When I go home, I buy three sets of grocery.

Muntanga: You see? That is the confusion.

Mr Hamududu: My father told me that going forward, ...

Ms Kapata: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Point of order reluctantly allowed.

Mr Hamududu gestured Hon. Kapata to resume her seat.

Mr Livune: She is number four herself.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamududu (pointing Hon. Kapata): Do you want me to marry you?


Ms Kapata: I cannot get married to a Tonga Bull.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, thank you for according this opportunity to raise a point of order. Is the hon. Member on the Floor, who is debating ...

Mr Livune: So well!

Ms Kapata: ... and trying to make us believe that he is gender sensitive, in order to say that he had three mothers? Three women to one man is what we call abuse of women. That is wrong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Ms Kapata: Is he, therefore, in order to contradict himself and encourage polygamy when he is supporting the Bill on the Floor?

Mr Speaker: It is quiet a complex point of order.


Mr Speaker: The best I can do is to simply allow the hon. Member for Bweengwa to reconcile all these issues. He is debating and I do not want to undermine his train of thought. He will take that into account as he continues to debate.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I was not done yet. I think she came in too quickly. Before my father ...

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I stand on this point of order a very sad man. I further apologise to my brother, Hon. Hamududu.

Sir, you have clearly advised that we should not attack each other as colleagues. Is the Minister of Tourism and Livestock, Hon. Jean Kapata, in order to attack Hon. Dr Kaingu, who is her fellow colleague, in the point of order ...

Ms Kapata: How?

Mr Livune: ... she just raised?


Mr Livune: She stated that those who have more than one wife abuse women, but my uncle is happily married and those women are well looked after.


Mr Livune: Is Hon. Kapata in order to attack my uncle who is seated nicely listening to the good debate by Hon. Hamududu? I seek your serious ruling, Sir.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That is very reason why I did not want to say that the hon. Member for Bweengwa was out of order because he is developing this point ...


Mr Speaker: ... and he will explain this point.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, many people are listening and I would like to clearly state that I am against polygamy.


Mr Hamududu: My father told me to stick to one wife when I got married. Society is evolving. I had a wonderful father and three wonderful mothers. If you came home, you would not be able to tell who my actual mother is. However, that was the tradition of that time, but now I only have one wife and two beautiful daughters.


You know them, Hon. Mulenga.


Mr Hamududu: They go to the same school with your children. I am talking about discounting bad cultural practices. As we improve our education system, we need to improve some of the bad cultures such as polygamy. I think we can begin to do away with it.


Mr Hamududu: This is just an example ...


Mr Hamududu: ... because women do not …


Mr Speaker: Order! Let me give some guidance.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member is debating and he has freedom of expression. He is entitled as it were, to his own views. You may not agree, but he is entitled to those views. So, please, do not raise any objection.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, as I wind up, I want to say that I talk like this in my constituency. If you check the results, you will find that I am always one of the best performers during elections. I talk like this because a leader must always say the truth to get votes. There is no need to cheat people through telling them what they do not want to hear. If you do that, then, you are not a leader, but a follower. It is just as good as going backwards. A leader must move forward and must enter waters that have not been entered with confidence. Therefore, we must clean up our culture for our society to be cured. Women want to be empowered. Within our homes, there is a culture that a man must own everything on behalf of a woman. When a man dies, a woman goes back to her parents with just a plastic bag. What kind of culture is that? That is barbaric. If there is any culture like that, we must fight against it and do away with it. How can your own mother, who worked so hard for many years, walk away with a plastic bag just because the title of the land and everything she owned with her husband was in her husband’s name? She will not even be able to get a blanket.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, due to this, women have become so vulnerable and the only thing they can do is marry off their children. You cannot discuss the issue of child marriage in isolation. There are factors surrounding this issue and we must deal with it holistically.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!  

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, this Motion is now getting people excited. This Motion is well-meaning and we need to do something to control child marriages. This Motion is simply telling the society that something has gone amiss. Therefore, we need to be very careful because we are going to legislate what society has been doing for years. What has compounded these problems is the tendency of people to run away from what they are to what they want to be, which is not supposed to be the case. Culture is about people and what they are. When Christianity came in, it was decided that certain beliefs should be done away with. Those of us that joined Christianity did not get into it seriously.  

Mr Speaker, in our religion, we prayed to gods and they used to answer our prayers. When we prayed for rain, it rained. In this current state of Christianity, even when we are told to pray for rain, you will find that there is a lot of deceit. What has happened to our society?

Mr Speaker, in the olden days, girls were told not to play around with boys. At that time, children were always advised by the elderly people. I am proud to be a Tonga because in our culture, when we were still growing, a girl would run away from a boy because she was told that if she touched a boy, her grandmother or someone in her family would die. These days, the young girls are free to try anything. The boys do not even have any respect at all. This is the reason we are talking about early marriages today. The training culture of children has completely disappeared. People do not tell their children anything about life. In our new cultural dispensation, we are not raising our children well. Children are so free such that they can do whatever they want. We are battling with our children.

Mr Speaker, how many of these children are roaming the streets after 1800 hours in Lusaka? You can even feel ashamed to drive on these streets because you will find half dressed girls. We agree that this is a sign of poverty and that our society is breaking down. These are the same girls who stay for a long time without being married. I can simply say that they are actually married because they sleep with big men.


Mr Muntanga: Sir, actually, both the young boys and girls do not respect the elderly people anymore. That is why we have all these stories of sugar mummies and sugar daddies. As a result of this, we have come down to the level where we are worrying about child marriages. We can legislate and, in my view, it is time to call for society to look at what has gone wrong. We have been told what happens in different kinds of societies such as the ones in the Eastern Province and we cannot blame anyone. For us to understand fully, we need to know the cultural background of a specific place? In the Eastern Province, the problem is that the people there tend to respect little girls and boys. They would address the girls as, “Ba mayo” and the boys as “Ba tata.”

Mr Speaker: Meaning what?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, they address young girls as their mothers and young boys as their fathers. I asked an elderly person in a certain village why he was addressing a young girl as “Ba mayo” and he said that the girl could be his future wife. We cannot say anything because that is their tradition. This is where people think that they can marry a girl when she just reaches puberty. It is a cultural and societal problem. You will also find that a girl who has been to school would not want to get married. A lot of the ladies that are in offices find it a problem to get married. Have we asked ourselves why a lot of single women are the ones occupying offices?


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, there are very few women who are married and working. The ones that are working ...

Ms Kalima: Question!


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Speaker: Continue debating.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, a research should be carried out and the findings will be that what I am talking about is true. For a lady, the cultural aspect is very important. This Motion is trying to address a single problem in society. I am told that there is a Bill that is coming for child marriages and I think that will be the right time to talk about this. You will find it very difficult to ban child marriages. I remember that we legislated against corporal punishment on children in this House and we all supported it. We talked about how children were not supposed to be harassed by teachers in schools. What have we created now? We can see that children have become wild. In my constituency, I am proud when I go there because I have won elections about three times.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I have been challenged by villages that we legislated against corporal punishment in this House and the children have gone wild. They say that we have cost them because they cannot even discipline their own children. A child will even respond to say, “What do you want to tell me? I will take you to the police.” We are now failing to discipline our own children. We cannot even teach our children the basics of life. So, what are we supposed to do?

Let us come up with a piece of legislation which will stop children from marrying at sixteen years. We cannot manage to guard our children or know where they go every day. Currently, we have a law in place which does not allow sex with children below the age of sixteen years. Therefore, it is important to reinforce that law. If you marry off a child who is under sixteen years old, the law should take its course.

Mr Speaker, when we say that children below the age of sixteen years should not marry, what are we talking about? I think society is being tried because of this law. It is important that we start thinking very carefully because this is not a small problem. This is an issue which the mover and seconder of the Motion should try to present again to the House of Chiefs. Chiefs should look at this matter because there is a big problem of early marriages in their chiefdoms. They should come up with a solution on what we are going to do in as far as this problem is concerned. The resolutions we come up with should, in the long run, enable us to harmonise our various cultural behaviours. We do not want to start having differences because of our cultural background and start fighting each other because some feel stronger than others.

Sir, if we are going to do away with our culture and develop new practices within our society, we are not going anywhere. It is, therefore, important for all of us who are considered educated to be on the lookout and check what happens in our homes.

Hon. UPND Members: Pornography!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, watching pornography is a normal thing.

Mr Livune: Hear, Hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, children will say that they are going to watch a movie, and yet they are going to watch something else. Since these children have been exposed to so many things, they would want to try out what they see. It is for this reason that this House should come up with a law to curb this problem. I am, therefore, appealing to this House and society at large that this particular Motion is non-partisan because the problem of early marriages is a big problem and can easily break our culture, therefore, it should be supported.

Mr Speaker, when children get married at a tender age, they will start producing children when they are still children themselves. So children are producing other children. When I walk around town, I see children with babies everywhere. They are reproducing like rabbits.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this is a sad situation. It has become even worse with the human-immuno deficiency virus/ acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), which has led to the emergence of child-headed homes. This is a serious problem. I want to appeal to my colleagues that this is an innocent Motion, which should be supported by all of us. Since we realise that we have a big problem, we must ensure that we reinforce the existing laws in order to protect children. It is also important that we build more schools in our constituencies and ensure that every child goes to school.

Sir, during the olden days, when parents encouraged us to go to school, kapasos from the districts used to go in the villages to make sure that every child, especially the girl child, attended school. It was ensured that if you did not go to school, kapasos would come to your home to find out why you did not go to school.

Mr Speaker during the independence struggle, we used to make communal grazing areas, where cattle were taken for grazing so that children could find time to go to school. What has happened now? The fences to these communal grazing areas have been cut and people instead take their animals to small gardens for grazing. It is surprising that we are talking about human rights when one cannot discipline their children because it is deemed as corporal punishment. Therefore, it is important that we, the Legislature, ensure that more and more laws are enforced. We should look at what has gone wrong with our children.

Mr Nkombo: It is a moral issue.

Mr Muntanga: This is a moral issue. It is important for everyone, especially family members, to be on the lookout and find out what is happening with our children.

Sir, I can remember very well that the first President of this country was very particular about dressing. His stance was supported by people like Mama Kankasa, who was also against wearing short dresses. The situation is different nowadays because we let our children dress anyhow.

Mr Nkombo: Even hon. Members of Parliament dress anyhow.

Mr Muntanga: I am not going to talk about how hon. Members of Parliament dress because they are free to dress the way they feel like. It is important for us to understand that you cannot control the way the eyes operate.


Mr Nkombo: They have no boundaries.

Mr Muntanga: Eyes have no boundaries.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, it is important not to do something which is contrary to our culture. In church, we are told that if your eyes are going to make you sin, pluck them out.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: If your leg is going to going to make you sin, remove it. Therefore, if you realise that what you are doing is wrong, accept it. We have heard a lot about supporting our women and girl children, and yet we are busy doing the wrong things which do not support children.
Mr Speaker, this Motion has brought out a lot of things. People should realise that society must be careful when it comes to the issue of early marriages. I would, therefore, like to appeal to all my colleagues in this House not to do away with our culture. Let me take this opportunity to tell my colleagues that my father was married to three wives. If he did not do that, I would not be here today.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, I am proud to say that I am married to one wife because I do not agree with my father.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga:  Nonetheless, I understand why he did that.


Mr Mushanga: Tell us!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, if anything, my mother and stepmothers behaved very well towards each other. My father made them all live in the same village. Nowadays, there are people who claim not to be in a polygamous marriage, but have a wife in Ndola and another one in Lusaka. The man keeps on running back and forth between the two towns. We only discover that someone had two wives when he dies and the women start fighting over property.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, why should people lie? We had hon. Ministers who were married to two wives. When they died, we came to know that they were married to two wives because women started fighting for their property.

 Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Why should you hide that you are in a polygamous marriage as if it is an issue? All of you are polygamous.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you are debating the whole House.


Mr Muntanga: Sir, I will be reluctant to include the Hon. Mr Speaker.


Mr Muntanga: Sir, all I am saying is that Africans should accept what they are and be proud of it. It is important to put rules that should guide our African society. Therefore, as we embrace the Western culture, let us not forget that we are Africans because variety is a spice of life.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sir, I urge my colleagues be careful and protect the girl child. I am a proud father because all my children have completed their education. My last born child is twenty-four years old and she is not yet married.

Hon. Government Members: Advertise!

Mr Muntanga: I cannot advertise because you have no cattle.


Mr Muntanga: Sir, I am saying that each individual must discipline the child in the home. We should also be mindful of what we are teaching our children. This Motion is only meant to supplement the efforts that everyone is doing on this matter. I, therefore, support the Motion in order for us to remember that there is a bigger problem.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, this is a very important Motion which, from the outset, I must state that I support. However, I want to say that there is a problem with the way our law defines a child. When it comes to voting, there is a certain age prescribed by law, just like there is a certain age prescribed for one to acquire a driver’s licence. When talking about defilement, a child is defined in a certain way and, maybe, even on possession of a firearm, there is also a definition of child prescribed by law. So, all these and many other definitions of a child are not uniform. Sometimes, a child is described as someone who is sixteen years and other times eighteen years. That is why, if we enact a law that criminalises early child marriages, the definition of a child must be stated specifically.

Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion mentioned various risks of early child marriages. I just want to add to those risks a medical condition called fistula. That condition comes about because when a child marries early, her body is not yet ready to accommodate a baby and, therefore, poses a risk of a safe delivery, as the mother suffers harm. Unfortunately, ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

You may continue, hon. Member.

Ms Imenda: Sir, the unfortunate ones develop this condition. In a village setup, you find that they do not even know that this condition can be healed by taking the child to available medical facilities. So, you find that along with that, this child lives with this condition and is shunned by society. That is very unfortunate. That is one of the risks of early child marriages.

Mr Speaker, there is also the issue of gender-based violence (GBV). I was privileged to be at a certain forum together with a girl who was forced to get married at an early age. This girl testified that when she fell pregnant, her parents took her to the household of the boy responsible for her pregnancy and forced her to co-habit, in other words to be in a marriage relationship with this boy. This girl suffered a lot of abuse from that adopting family, if I can call it that. She was also traumatised by the so-called husband. This trauma was in form of GBV.

Sir, I am mentioning girls because they are the ones who are mostly at risk and the prevalence of girls getting married at a younger age is higher than that of boys. That is why I am confined to talking about girls.

Mr Speaker, when girl is married off early, you are taking her away from education when it is a very important aspect in a person’s life. It is surprising that most of us here are busy buying mansions because we want to leave something for our children. My father never left me anything.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Bad man.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, continue.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I am talking about something physical. What my father left behind for me is bigger than all these mansions. He gave me education, and you can see the product.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was emphasising the importance of education. I was saying that education is the best thing that a parent can bequeath to his or her children because it is an empowerment tool. As a way of illustration, I was saying my father never left me with any physical asset, but with an intangible asset, which is very powerful and never depreciates.

Mr Mushanga: What is that?

Ms Imenda: Sir, that asset is knowledge through education. I would like to encourage the Government to provide free education so that children whose parents are finding it difficult to educate them because of poverty and other things can also be empowered.

Mr Speaker, some causes of early child marriages have been highlighted. These include things such as poverty, lobola and cultural norms. So, because of these issues, the definition of a child in a cultural setting or adulthood for that matter, varied. You found that when a child reached puberty, it was presumed that that child was ready for marriage and it is a very bad yardstick. During our times, children were not reaching puberty at such an early age like we are seeing today. Just a few months ago, my niece came running to me and she was close to tears. She asked me if I could believe that her daughter who is eleven years old had already reached puberty and she was confused and did not know what to do. This girl is eleven years old and so you can imagine if reaching puberty is the yardstick for marriage under cultural setting, that child would be married at eleven years. These days, children attain puberty early because of the food we eat and a lot of other practices. The food we eat plays a very important role.

Sir, I think it is Hon. Muntanga who mentioned that in the olden days, we used to interact with our grandmothers, paternal aunties and so on and so forth. They told us that a girl would not eat certain foods. For example, it was taboo in my cultural setting for a girl to eat eggs. These days, however, that is the food that is served at breakfast every day.


Ms Imenda: We did not have such a problem in the past. My grandmother used to cook food without cooking oil and it was very nice and tasty. That was good food, but these days some people cook with so much cooking oil. When eating, your fingers literary swim in the cooking oil. That is wrong.

Mr Speaker, the lack of recreational facilities and underdevelopment is also a factor in early child marriages. Children want to be active and participate in recreational activities, but facilities are not available, especially in rural areas. When we were campaigning for a councillor in my constituency, I went around Limulunga in the evening with a loudspeaker. I would find pairs of young people of the opposite sex, as late as past 2200 hours, pretending to take a walk or standing by a corner. This is because there is nothing else for them to do. I, therefore, urge the Government to seriously look into providing recreational facilities.

Mr Speaker, another problem is the issue of child rights that have come. I am sorry to go on and on, but I have to speak my mind on this matter. It is difficult these days to discipline our children. We are failing to discipline or punish children for truancy. Caning a child who misbehaves is regarded as abuse. It is only when it is excessive that we should say that it is abuse. Otherwise, a small cane or clap is okay. These are some of the means of discipline that have been taken from us. So, if your child is a truant or delinquent, what do you do or where do you go?

Mr Speaker, these are some of the causes for early child marriages. Some people even reach the extent of saying, “Mwana uyu akwatiliwe chabe. Talepela,” meaning a child should just get married. This is because they will otherwise have to contend with a pregnancy which they will not be able to sort out. So, these are some of the issues that need to be looked at.

Mr Speaker, let me just mention that with regards to the Motion at hand, there is a regional initiative to bring a law on board. Maybe, there will be a protocol signed at the end of the process so that member countries can adopt it because early child marriage is not only a problem in Zambia, but also in the whole Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. Maybe some countries are even worse than Zambia, but that is not to comfort ourselves because we have heard the statistics here. We are still quite vulnerable as a country regarding this matter, hence the need to come up with a law to stop child marriages.

Mr Speaker, this is one of the issues that are receiving very active attention from the SADC-Parliamentary Forum (PF). At the last SADC-PF plenary, the issue came up. I am glad to report that as the chairperson of the Committee on Human and Social Development and Special Programmes of SADC-PF, I moved a Motion on this issue of ending child marriages. As a region, we are coming up with a model law for member countries to domesticate according to their culture and so on and so forth. We have already picked an expert drafts person. Fortunately, I am glad to report that this drafts person comes from Zambia. He will help with coming up with that child marriages model law.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I just want to concur with hon. Members who have debated and said that we need to engage traditional rulers so that they can spearhead this fight. Communities at the local level really respect their traditional rulers. We need a lot of advocacy and sensitisation of the communities, but let us use traditional rulers. This will help us greatly in getting the message across. I just want to say I support the Motion.

Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, thank you for the opportunity to debate the Motion. I will try not to drag my discourse because I only have one or two points. First of all, I would like to thank the mover and seconder of the Motion. Morally, I agree that something has to be done on the problem that we are facing. This is why the mover wisely decided to bring this matter here.

Mr Speaker, legally, I think that we face problems in legislating a matter such as this one because we are confronted with two fundamental problems of defining who a child is and what a marriage is. According to our statutes, a child is a human being who is below the age of puberty, and mark the word ‘puberty’. That is what those who understand English say. A child is legally below an age of marriage. Now, if puberty is the yardstick, then, we definitely have a problem.

Sir, from this point stems the fact that times have changed and values have eroded because of comingling of culture. I am born in a family of thirteen children and I am the sixth on the line. I have sisters, some of whom have passed on. I recall that a long time ago when I was young, back in 1972 or there about, we lived in Livingstone. My father used to take my older sisters to the village. When we also went to the village three weeks later, there was a big ceremony, which we call Inkolola in our language. Others call it Icisungu or one thing or another. This is the epitome of tutoring an adolescent or juvenile graduating into adulthood. I believe that the signal for the requirement to go through this particular initiation ceremony was puberty.

Mr Speaker, when you undergo inkolola, icisungu or the initiation ceremony, there are certain things that adults are assigned to tell you about the dos and the do not’s. One clear message that they give when you go there, as a young girl, is to give a clear message that now, you have grown. You dare indulge, you are going to bulge. You are going to get pregnant. They taught them values of how to look after their body. They taught values of preparing them to be that good wife when the time came.

Sir, that does not happen as often and the reasons are simply that culturally, socially economically, we have had a shift. The western influence has invaded us so much. It has battered us left right and centre so that, today, very seldom do you see these elders counselling children who have attained puberty. That is why when you look at the statistics in this country from the education sector and see how many children have been knocked out of the schooling system as a result of early pregnancies. I want to link this point to the Motion at hand of early marriages.

Mr Speaker, according to what I read, a marriage is a union of two people to the exclusion of all others to live together until death do thy part or something like that. However, marriages come in different forms. There is monogamy, polygamy and there is also the final blow that the west has come up with now, like the issue that created a near conflict in Nairobi, of same sex marriages.

Sir, this is all a shift from what we used to be to whether we like it or not, what we have become. In Tonga we say, kwina citondwa mazuba ano, meaning there is nothing that is taboo nowadays. The cultural values have eroded.

Mr Speaker, today, we have a challenge of identifying what a child looks like or really is because firstly, the genetical balance of the food that we eat has caused obesity, children grow much faster than they used to and if by any chance they do not get that appearance that they desire to have, now, the west have also brought some regalia which is called enhancement. The west, now, has started producing bras, these that women wear around here (touching his chest) that are padded to make a woman look or appear as though they have got big breasts. They did not stop there; they even now have enhanced bums.


Mr Nkombo: Buttocks. They are there in the shops. Go into the shops in Lusaka and you will find them.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: You said enhanced what?

Mr Nkombo: Enhanced bums.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: And you buy them?

Mr Nkombo: Yes.


Mr Nkombo: So, that when your wear the skin tights, you look like you are fully grown, and yet you are not.

Sir, another fundamental problem that has brought out this taboo ku Butonga which I spoke about earlier on is that, this particular society we live today promotes enhancement of sexual reproductive parts. When I was growing up, I did not ever see a street pole or a tree with a clear advertisement of those new kids on the block who promote enhancement of sexual reproductive parts. It is happening today.

Sir, now, that is where I gear in so that I can build my case. In the midst of poverty, this issue of sex, I am sorry, but I am going to name it anything else, is something that happened long before all of us. I believe in the Garden of Eden or somewhere there. One old man whose child of eleven years old fell pregnant and died at child delivery, at the funeral of that child, the man said to me, my son, my daughter has died because like the venereal diseases like the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), there is only one error. I am just quoting what he said at the expense of sounding blasphemous, he said in Tonga, “mwami leza pakabizya, eci ciintu wakacibika ayinda bantu.”


Mr Nkombo: Which means that the error that the almighty God made was to place this thing where people pass. That is the route where people pass.

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: Unfortunately, those are the realities of life. They are the exact realities of life that procreation mixed with poverty is an ingredient enough for early marriages because, now, even the minds of parents are blocked and they cannot take their children to school, they will sit and say, “target that one.” Just make sure that you are safe by using condoms. Give it to him in exchange for money. That is the beginning of it. At the end of it all, you find a small child, then, begins to understand what sexual intercourse is. We should be bold enough to bite the bullet because marriage is really part of the fulfilment not only of companionship, but also of sexual desire satisfaction. So, the moment a child tests that forbidden fruit, then, hell breaks loose.

Sir, now, how do you legislate? This is where I am coming to because a marriage, under Cap. 50 of the Laws of Zambia, has stages to pass through for it to be recognised as a marriage. There is eloping. The question I would ask is that if someone eloped with an underage child, how will you effect this law that he married because eloping and marriage are totally two different things? How will you prosecute someone who had a one night stand with a small child on account of many things? Maybe, the child wants to be helped in school fees. I think we should not hide the fact that poverty has become one of the biggest problems which leads to children opting to enter into early marriages.

There are children, Sir, who are in form five and are married. They are married at the risk of contracting diseases. These are, sometimes, brilliant children with enough grey matter, but they just agreed that look, I am going to use my body to further my push to be someone in life. How do you legislate around that because marriage comes with registration? There must be a registrar. There has to be solemnisation. There has to be many stages like consent, caveats and there are also penalties in that Act.

Mr Speaker, I already talked about eloping so let me talk about co-habiting. If, today, I decided to co-habit with a girl who is young, based on consensual agreement, how will you track me down? Marriages do happen even when they are not stated. You have heard of uncles abusing nieces in their homes. In the night, they do a leopard or cat craw to satisfy themselves. The time when it is happening, unless something goes fundamentally wrong, that will be an illegal marriage. Now, how do you prosecute an illegal marriage? It becomes problematic. I think we should agree, here, that we have a moral challenge rather than a legal problem because there is sufficient legislation here that deals with having carnal knowledge because that is what happens in a marriage in case you want to be told.

Mr Muntanga laughed.

Mr Nkombo: The fruit of a marriage is that same thing I just talked about.

There are sufficient laws that deal with those who want to engage in sexual intercourse with people who are below the prescribed age. For a marriage to be recognised, the registrar must gear in under the Marriage Act Cap. 50 of the Laws of Zambia that there must be registration, consent and all those caveats otherwise, it will not be recognised as a marriage.

Therefore, if you take someone to court, the first question they will ask is whether you are married. The person who has been taken to court will refuse that he is not married. This is where the battles of you have been sleeping with a child who is underage will come in. My apologies, but my English is becoming a bit limited, but this person will ask the court to prove it and unless this child changes her mind, upon realisation that she has been abused, it, again, becomes her word against that person, who could either be man or woman. By the way this matter is both ways. I am told there are sugar mummies who have toy boys. As you know, as you get older, obviously, the energy levels drop, so women …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, focus more on the Motion.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I withdraw.

Mr Speaker: Focus more on the Motion. It is very specific.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it becomes problematic for small boys who are contracted into marriage if they do not register. This topic is very sensitive and I am restraining myself on what language to use because of its nature.

Mr Speaker: If you focus on the Motion, you will find it easy to debate.

Mr Nkombo: In conclusion, much as I agree that we have problem, I think that it is a practical problem which is more of a moral problem than a legal one. I think that there is sufficient legislation. Otherwise, if we start to legislate on an issue that is already legislated at first stage of courtship or just wanting to love or connect with a young person, eventually, by the time you get to the level of wanting to marry, the law will have caught up with you. Sir, these were my few thoughts on the matter.

I thank you for the opportunity to debate, Sir.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, allow me to put on record, from the outset, that I condemn polygamy.


Dr Kaingu: I do not condone it. I have said it on so many fora that it does not work for some people even though it is working for me. The Lord has blessed me with two beautiful wives.


Dr Kaingu: It is working for me. I do not think that it is a good idea in the contemporary world for us to continue with it.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, allow me to also adopt Hon. Muntanga’s debate as my own. How I wish that the people we are putting to rest at all our graveyards were only those who are in polygamous marriages. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

I also want to put on record that it is no longer a story to find a man with two partners. In fact, my research has proven that most of the young ladies have more than one partner, in case there are some people who do not know. Having said this, allow me to read a prepared text, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I do not wish to pre-empt my colleague, the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development, who will be given an opportunity to debate. However, as much as this Motion is a very good, it has come a bit too late because the Government, through my colleague, is already working on legislation. So, I would not want to go into this area.

Mr Speaker, I want the House to know that it is estimated that over 500,000 girls who are supposed to be in school are actually married. I will put on record that, in 2013, we had over 14, 000 girls get pregnant and most of them were very young, between Grade 5 and 7. Assuming that the age at which to begin school is seven years, a child who is in Grade 7 should be thirteen or fourteen years. The statistics that we had last year, 2014, showed that 13,250 girl children got pregnant between Grade 5 and 7. This is the calamity that the country is in. So, the Motion is really only igniting what the Government is already looking into.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa talked about poverty levels. As much as I agree with him that poverty levels may be among some of the causes of early pregnancies and marriages, the prevalence list will show you that this is not the case for the Western Province and the poverty levels statistics indicate that Luapula and the Western provinces are the poorest.

Mr Speaker, the reasons for early marriages are, therefore, various. From various researches that have been conducted, there are a number of factors responsible for child marriages and teen pregnancies which, in turn, are largely responsible for children dropping out of school. One of the factors is economic but, of course, not in the manner that you were trying to explain it. Indeed, people who are seeing their children dropping out of school and not getting employed are getting concerned. Those that are watching probably think it is a waste of time to continue with school if those who have actually dropped out of it cannot get employment. To my colleagues, the politicians, the language that we are using is almost making it impossible for our people to be resourceful. We are actually talking like we are talking to invalids. We want to provide everything for our people, which is not possible.

Mr Speaker, the other factor concerns some of the negative cultural practices which have continued to bedevil our societies. I want to ask our colleagues, the Alangizi, this: What sort of message do they give to a child who is confined in a hut for six weeks? We must know the message. I think that some of us are researchers here. My colleague, the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development, is a researcher. I think that we must find out what messages the Alangizi give to children. Why should a child, who is thirteen years old, be paraded before 500 people without wearing anything or half naked? What are you trying to insinuate by giving a child that courage? What do you want the child to do? These are some of the practices which we need to look at.

Mr Speaker, you are all aware that culture is dynamic. I want you to know that even in Afghanistan, where a girl child could not go to school in the past, today, 40 per cent of the learners in Afghanistan are girls. I do not want to dwell very much on this topic. It is a calamity that has befallen the nation and all of us have to be very serious as we debate this case. I know that my colleague has prepared something on this issue because I visited her office this morning. She has prepared a better text than mine. I want to appeal to all of you, as you go on a break to your constituencies, to sensitise our people. This issue is no longer a joke. I think that the other problem that we also have is the weekly boarding houses where the children are left on their own. After they have danced to the song “caterpillar one by two” ...

Hon. Members: It is two by two caterpillar.

Dr Kaingu: ... you know what caterpillar one by two is of course.


Dr Kaingu:  ... then, in the evening, you let them loose. There are so many factors that are igniting this problem. When I was in Nabwalya, I said that we need to engage with our colleagues, the Alangizi, and those others who believe that they understand culture, to find out what materials we can get into mainstream education. What cultural materials can we incorporate in education? Certain cultural materials I think must be left at home or in the villages. All of us need to sit down and inspect ourselves and find out what sort of cultural materials can be mainstreamed in education.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister of Gender and Women may take the Floor.

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me a new title ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

I have to address you as hon. Minister of?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, you have to address me as the hon. Minister of Gender and Child Development.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Sorry for that mistake.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond to some of the issues that have been raised by the mover and the seconder of the Motion entitled, “Legislate Against Child Marriages” I also want to respond to some of the debaters that debated thereafter.

Mr Speaker, I want to start, first of all, by reminding hon. Members of this august House that in April of 2013, I brought a ministerial statement to this House to inform the nation, through this august House, on the recognition by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF), of child marriage as an important and very serious issue which it was going to take and make very bold decisions.

Mr Speaker, the problem sometimes is that Zambia has become too political and in the process, we miss issues on which we are supposed to take some bold decisions. However, this is one decision that the Government took head on. This is because the Government recognises that Zambia is a state party to a number of international and regional instruments such as the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the African Charter on Human Rights and People’s Rights (ARC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development that requires it to uphold women’s and children’s rights. Therefore, we believe, as a Government, that we have a moral duty as well as a legal and political obligation to improve the well-being of women, men and children.  

Mr Speaker, I am glad to report, this afternoon, that my Government has made considerable progress and success in its effort of achieving gender equity and equality and this is evidenced by the award that we received at the just ended African Union (AU) Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, in recognition of our efforts as a Government in fighting gender inequities in this country.

Mr Speaker, let me also add by sharing with this august House that the Government of Zambia has recognised that child marriage is a big problem countrywide, but above all, all over the world, and it is having a very negative impact on our children, especially the girl child. I want to share, this afternoon, that child marriage in Zambia is not only between adult men and girl children, but also between boy children and girl children. We recognise this as a countywide problem although it is more prevalent in the rural areas with the Eastern Province topping the list at 60 per cent, followed by other provinces like Luapula, the Northern and Muchinga at 50 per cent respectively.

Mr Speaker, our Government embarked on a mission to understand why we have child marriages in this country. We have attributed poverty as one of the leading factors causing child marriages amongst our people, especially those that are living in rural areas. We have also attributed it to social ramifications of the human immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (AIDS), especially orphan hood, the dual legal system that exists in our country, the low socio-economic status of women and finally, the traditional and society norms.

Mr Speaker, the reason some debaters talked about different flavours is because they look down on women. Time has come for us not to use those words. Where have you seen a woman who is married to three men? Why should it be good for men to marry more than one woman?  We hide behind these society norms and say that this is okay.

Mr Speaker, the need to urgently curb child marriages cannot be overemphasised. In fact, child marriage is like an octopus. It is a form of gender-based violence or it drives gender-based violence. It is a financial and developmental issue because child marriages keep girls out of school and these girls will never explore their potential. Thus, child marriage is a source and a cursor for poverty. Child marriage is a health issue. Most girls risk suffering from vagina fistula because their bodies are not ready to sleep with men. They can also contract sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer. Child marriage is child labour and it is an infringement on human rights.

Indeed, ending child marriage will greatly contribute to Zambia’s achievement of national and international development goals, especially when women are left to explore their potential. A popular adage says, “When you educate a man, you have only educated that particular individual, but when you educate a woman, you have educated the nation.”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, putting an end to child marriages will contribute to poverty reduction. It will help us achieve universal education. It will help us combat HIV/AIDS and reduce maternal and infant mortality rates. The list is endless.

Sir, allow me to mention that the mover of the Motion is behind schedule while the Government is ahead. The Government has done so much since 22nd December, 2012, when it started preparing to launch a national campaign against child marriage and many other interventions that we have carried out so far. There was a discussion about engaging Their Royal Highnesses because we recognised that child marriage is mainly a rural problem, while in urban cities, the problem is teenage pregnancies. So, from the onset, we engaged traditional rulers. We are all aware of the great works that they have been doing since the launch on 9th April, 2013.

Sir, due to its gravity, this problem is not being addressed by one ministry. An inter-ministerial approach has been used involving the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, the Ministry of Labour and Social Services, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry of Youth and Sport. The whole world has applauded Zambia because this has been a unique approach where, firstly, the custodians of culture and traditional leaders are galvanised and, then, later ten ministries for a common cause.

Mr Speaker, before I talk about what has been achieved, I want to remind hon. Members that not only did I bring a ministerial statement to this House, but I also actually addressed the nation on the issue of child marriage. What have we achieved so far? The Government has continued to strengthen the policy and legal environment for the protection of our children. This is why the Government has approved the new national child policy which outlines strategies aimed at curbing child marriages.

Mr Speaker, the recently approved national gender policy has recognised child marriage as a form of gender-based violence. In order to offer opportunity to girls who have fallen out of school due to child marriages, the Ministry of Education, Science and Vocational Training and Early Education has aggressively, with its partners such as the Forum for African Women Educationalists of Zambia (FAWEZA), implemented the re-entry policy. So, a lot of our girls are being removed from marriage and being put back in school. As I said earlier, we have launched a nation campaign to fight child marriage. We have also gone ahead to do a study known as “Mapping of Hotspots” of child marriages in Zambia so that we can concentrate on them.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we have carried out a situation analysis so that we understand child marriage in Zambia in terms of what is driving it and what interventions we can put in place to ensure that we escalate this fight against the scourge.  

Mr Speaker, because of this, Zambia was identified by her international partners to host a symposium on child marriage where the Government’s commitment and legislation was outlined. Some of the hon. Members who have debated were actually invited to this symposium. The highlight of this symposium was that the ten ministries in Zambia took pledges and one of the pledges was legislation.

Furthermore, the Government of the Republic of Zambia and the Canadian Government highlighted the challenge affecting children who are in marriages and presented this matter to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2013, through a resolution to end child and forced marriages. The good news is that this resolution was further co-sponsored by 116 countries.

Mr Speaker, it is difficult to take a horse to the water and force it to drink. We will be launching a programme, which I will bring to this august House, to mitigate against child marriage entitled “Boys to Men” so that we start inculcating the need to respect women in our young boys and not to marry them as if they are the flavours that were described this afternoon.


Prof. Luo: The other programme that we are putting in place and whose statement I will be bringing to this House is “Girls at Work”. This programme will get girls to understand that marriage is not the ultimate ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: ... and that they should be assertive and have self-esteem and appreciate that they are beings as well and that they have the potential to be anything they want to be in this world.  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Again, I will be bringing a ministerial statement to this august House on how we have raised funds to support vulnerable families, a question that Hon. Namugala raised earlier in the Question and Answer Session, and support and empower them so that they can have the resources to keep the girls in school.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, allow me to inform this House that the Government is currently amending and enacting legislation aimed at protecting children against child marriage and I have the draft with me here for those who may be interested.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: The Draft Marriage Bill of 2015, which will be tabled before this House, will not gather dust as purported by other people. We will consolidate the law relating to marriage, maintenance and divorce.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: It will provide for the registration of religious, civil and customary marriages, and for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing. This Act will also provide for minimum age for marriage and stipulate that a person shall not marry unless that person attains the age of eighteen. As Minister, I am trying to push this to twenty-one because our children do not go to school early and at eighteen most of them are still in school.

The Government has also put in place a Child’s Code Bill. The objectives of this Bill include reforming and consolidating the law relating to children, domesticating the Convention of the Rights of a Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The Bill will repeal the Legitimacy Act of 1929, the Employment of Young Persons and Children’s Act of 1933, and the Probation of Offenders Act. The Child’s Code Bill also stipulates that a person shall not subject a child to early marriage or cultural rites, customs or traditions that are likely to negatively affect a child’s life, health, social welfare, dignity, psychology and psychological development.

These pieces of legislation are aimed at curbing child marriages. We have already completed the process of consultation around the country from the different stakeholders.

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s commitment to fighting child marriages as one of the precursors for gender equality has also been recognised. Zambia is one of the Champions. The whole world is looking at the example that Zambia is setting in fighting child marriage.

Sir, recently, as one of our interventions, we launched the He-for-She Campaign meant to promote male involvement in the fight for gender equality. For example, instead of having only twenty-three female hon. Members of Parliament in this august House, some of the male hon. Members can give up their seats for us.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: This was launched on 18th July, 2015. I am actually surprised that the debaters who were mostly men are quiet because we are now asking them for space.

Mr Speaker, secondly, Zambia has been identified by the African Union (AU) as one of the countries in which it will invest resources to fighting child marriage. In fact, we received good news about two days ago. As a result of the work that we are doing, the AU has just sent us a note verbale to host the girls summit between the 27th and 28th November, 2015.

Sir, during this girls summit, child marriage will be discussed extensively and there will be a pre-summit where stakeholders such as the media, the private sector, traditional leaders, the Government, girls and boys will come up with action plans on how we are going to deal with this problem in the country.

Sir, in conclusion, I would like to inform the mover and seconder of this Motion that they are behind schedule. We are well ahead of them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: I want to thank all hon. Members for bringing this to the House for the sake of reminding ourselves that we have this problem. I would like to assure you that for the period that I will be at the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, I intend to make sure that gender equity and equality is, at least, realised.

Mr Speaker, I want to use this opportunity to say that as we go to the 2016 elections, I hope some male hon. Members will give up some of their seats so that we can also take a centre stage in this House.

Hon. Female Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Sir, I also want to invite you to make bold decisions for the sake of the women of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, in winding up debate, allow me to thank all the hon. Members that have debated this very important Motion. What is clear is that we have admitted that we have a very serious problem, as a country, which we must address seriously. It is also clear that there is a lot of good will and good intentions. However, as the saying goes, you can be a good dribbler, but you will only win the game if you score a goal.

Sir, I am happy that the Government has good programmes, but what is important is that the Bill comes to the House so that we legislate. It will be a good starting point as we search our souls, as a nation, to see what has gone wrong and where we need to change.

Mr Speaker, with that, I wish to thank you and the House for the overwhelming support of this Motion and I hope to see the Bill come to the House as quickly as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.




The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to debate the Tourism and Hospitality Bill, 2015. The Tourism and Hospitality Bill, 2015, is an amalgamation of two Acts, the Tourism and Hospitality Act No. 23 of 2007 and the Zambia Tourism Board Act No. 24 of 2007. The Zambia Tourism Board Act provides for the establishment and functions of the Zambia Tourism Board (ZTB).

Sir, the Bill has expanded the currency functions of the ZTB from a purely marketing focus to include licensing of tourism enterprises as well as classification and grading of accommodation establishments. These functions are currently undertaken by the Standards Inspection and Licensing Section in the Department of Tourism under the ministry. Effectively, the Bill transforms the ZTB into a regulatory agency whereas the ministry will concentrate on policy formulation and tourism product development.

Mr Speaker, in addressing the problems of the current Act, the Bill has a clear separation of roles and responsibilities of the minister and the functionaries have been made.

Sir, it is important to note that the Bill provides for the establishment of the Tourism Development Fund and the Tourism Levy. The purpose of the Tourism Development Fund is to provide monies for tourism product development, tourism infrastructure, tourism marketing and tourism training and research. The fund shall be capitalised from various sources, including monies collected from tourism levies as the hon. Minister of Finance may prescribe in consultation with the Ministry of Tourism and Arts.

Mr Speaker, this august House may wish to note that this Bill is underpinned by the revised Tourism Policy, 2015, including the best international practice in the regulation of the sector from other countries such as Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi and Tanzania.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to present the views of your Committee and those of stakeholders on the Tourism and Hospitality, National Assembly Bill (N.A.B) No. 14 of 2015.

Sir, your Committee undertook an in-depth study of the Tourism and Hospitality Bill which was referred to it on 10th July, 2015. Your Committee was informed that the Tourism and Hospitality, N.A.B No. 14 of 2015, is an amalgamation of two Acts, the Tourism and Hospital Act No. of 2003, and the Zambia Tourism Board Act No. 24 of 2007.

Sir, in this regard, the functions of the current Zambia Tourism Board, which were previously focused on marketing, have been expanded to include licensing and standards inspection of tourism enterprises. However, the component of licensing on casino establishments has been removed from the Bill and your Committee has been informed that a standalone Casino Bill has been drafted for presentation to the House in this current sitting.

Sir, for the objects as well as the salient features of the Bill, I wish to refer the House to your Committee’s report. From the outset, your Committee wishes to place on record that the purpose of referring Bills to Committees is for them to be looked at in fine detail, with a view of refining them where the need arises. This ensures that laws that are being enacted are thoroughly thought through and should stand the test of time. This exercise, when properly done, benefits everyone.

Sir, your Committee would like to register its disappointment regarding the last Bill that was before it for consideration. Certain non-controversial, but necessary amendments were agreed between your Committee and the ministry proposing the legislation, but these changes were left out at the stage of amendment.

Mr Speaker, your Committee supports the Bill with amendments, as agreed with the Ministry of Tourism and Arts. The amendments were conveyed through the Ministry of Justice. It is your Committee’s hope that these amendments will be effected at the appropriate stage. Specifically, your Committee agreed with the ministry that the amendments set out below will be amended to the Bill:

(a)    Clause 2 - Definitions

There is a need to align the definitions of “Tourist” and “Visitor” which seem to be one and the same. In addition, the definitions are confusing and seem to cover any person going to a different place for any activity. It is agreed that the definition of “Visitor” will be amended to replace the words “For more than a year” with “More than a day”;

(b)    Clause 3 - General Powers of Minister for Tourism Development

The ministry has agreed to the introduction of the new sub-clause 4, immediately after sub-clause 3 which should read, “The ministry responsible for tourism shall ensure that a strategic environmental assessment is conducted for tourism development activities in line with the Environmental Management Act of 2011”;

(c)    Clause 15 - Functions of Board

The Functions of the Board of Zambia Tourism Agency outlined under Sub-Clauses 1 and 2 are at operation level except for (h) under Sub-Clause 1 (c) and Sub-Clause 2. These functions should, therefore, be placed under the functions of the agency. The functions of the board are basically to oversee the implementation of these functions. In this regard, the ministry proposes the review of the functions of the board. The ministry has undertaken to revise the functions of the board to the effect that it will oversee the agency and all functions outlined above will be ascribed to the agency;

(d)    Clause 25 (a) −Conditions of Grant of Licence or Certificate for Accommodation Establishment
Since the Urban and Regional Planning Act has been passed by Parliament, the words, “Town and Country Planning Act” be replaced with “Urban and Regional Planning Act.” It has been agreed that this amendment will be done;
(e)    Clause 29 (i) and (d) −Conditions of Licence and Obligations of Licensee

Under sub-sections 1 (d), the Ministry of Justice has agreed to the deletion of the words, “project brief or” and the “impact” for the text to read as follows, “the licensee shall provide an Environmental Assessment Report and adhere to an Environmental Management Plan or monitoring arrangements as approved under the Environmental Management Act, 2011.” The reason for the amendment is that an Environmental Assessment Report encompasses both the project brief and the Environmental Impact Assessment;

(f)    Clause 54 − Service Charge and Tips

Your Committee observes that the non-inclusion of food on the listed sales from accommodation establishment and restaurants is a disadvantage. The provision, in its current form, will be interpreted to mean only accommodation and beverages attract service charge. In this regard, the Ministry of Justice had agreed to the proposal that food and beverage be used in place of beverages;

(g)    Clause 54 (5) −Service Charge and Tips

This is a typographical error and it will be amended from, “he court” to “the court”.

Mr Speaker, your Committee wishes to underscore the need for Committees to be allocated adequate time to consider this important aspect of their work. As a result of the brevity of time, many witnesses, especially those slotted in the first few days, did not appear before your Committee.

Sir, your Committee further notes, with disappointment, that, generally, indigenous Zambians shy away from invitations when given an opportunity to input into laws which impact on. In this regard, other than the professional associations, the two Zambian owned businesses in the tourism industry that were requested to make submissions to your Committee stayed away. Your Committee, in this regard, wishes implore its citizens to take this right and use it when the opportunity presents itself.

Sir, your Committee pays tribute to all stakeholders who appeared before it and tendered both oral and written submissions. Gratitude goes to you, Mr Speaker, for affording your Committee an opportunity to study the Bill. Your Committee also appreciates the services rendered by the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the Motion on the Floor that this House should adopt the Report of the Committee on Lands as regards the revision of the Tourism and Hospitality Act.

Mr Speaker, we have all agreed, as far back as 1996, about the need to diversify our economy from being so over reliant on mining and diversify into agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. From this time up to today, many attempts have been made to try to develop the tourism sector so that its contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) can be improved. Unfortunately, we have paid more lip-service to the diversification process than the actual and tangible allocation of resources as well as political will to make the diversification process a reality. I am happy that the hon. Minister has come to this House at this stage to present a Bill, but we do have very serious challenges in this sector.

Sir, one of the challenges that we are currently faced with is the lack of infrastructure at tourist attraction sites. This is a major problem because if you want to go Kasaba Bay, for instance, you will find it very difficult to get there because the enabling infrastructure is not there.

 Mr Speaker, we are also one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the region. Unfortunately, we do not have a national airline. So, whoever is going to come to Zambia from the key source markets will have to either go through South Africa or Kenya, and yet these are the countries that are competing with us for tourists and most of the tourists coming to these destinations want to see our natural endowments.

Sir, Kenya has the same natural resources that we do. South Africa has lions, the big five and we also have the same. So, why should a tourist get to South Africa and, then, come to Zambia, especially that Zambia will ultimately be more expensive, at the end of the day, for that tourist?

Mr Speaker, the other problem is that we have not invested adequately in the marketing of our tourism products. There is very little that is being allocated to tourism marketing and as a result, very few people know about Zambia as a tourist destination and what it has to offer. I am happy that, in this Bill, the hon. Minister has taken on board what was provided for in the 2007 Act through the introduction of a levy.

 Mr Speaker, if we do not market, we cannot sell. It goes without saying that if we truly want to diversify this economy and grow our sector through sustainable tourism, we need to invest in marketing. I am, therefore, happy that the Bill is before the House.

 Sir, the other challenge we face is a lack of training for the human resource in the tourism sector. I have seen that there is a provision, in the Bill, for resources to be allocated to that, but the training must not concentrate in Lusaka only, but also go beyond. It must go to that lodge owner in Kaputa who receives, maybe, five visitors every week because that lodge owner is not only creating employment for himself or herself, but for the many youths in Kaputa who, in most cases, are unskilled.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

 Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, one of the sectors that have a very powerful impact on poverty is the tourism sector. For example, when you go to Muyombe and you want to spend a night there, you have to spend a night in a lodge. If you went to Kabompo, you would probably find one man or woman trying to make a living by owning a guest house.

Mr Lufuma: Hear, hear!

Mr Namugala: Sir, you must, therefore, find standards that are comfortable and can be compared with the facilities that are in the urban areas. Unfortunately, you will find that many of our facility owners are not trained and because of lack of training, they are unable to attract tourists to those areas. We need to invest in training of owners of facilities, hon. Minister, as well as the staff who man those facilities.

Mr Speaker, when you compare our performance, as a destination, we are even doing worse than Malawi in some cases. In terms of comparisons of the tourism sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP), South Africa’s tourism sector contributed US$ 10.7 billion to the country’s GDP in 2013. The tourism sector in Kenya contributed US$ 2.1 billion to the GDP and, in Tanzania, the tourism sector contributed US$ 1.5 billion to the GDP. I would like to find out, through the hon. Minister of Tourism and Arts, whether we are still bench making ourselves against Tanzania and if we are, this is a wakeup call. Zambia’s tourism contribution to the GDP was US$ 0.5 billion. It goes without saying that a lot has to be done if we are to create the necessary jobs and the wealth that our people need in the tourism sector.

Sir, when it comes to direct jobs, South Africa contributed 645,500 jobs through tourism while Tanzania contributed about 402,300 jobs, and yet Zambia contributed only 23,300. Malawi which is not as well endowed as we are had 135,600 direct jobs in the tourism sector. Even Zimbabwe that has had a lot of economic challenges had 43,600 direct jobs in the tourism sector.

Mr Speaker, when we are talking about diversifying through tourism, I want the hon. Minister of Finance to understand the fact that there must be resource allocation to this sector like the level of allocation that we saw when we had the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Livingstone. If you keep that momentum and concentrate on the key growth areas of the Northern Circuit, the Kafue National Park as well as Southern Province, through Livingstone, we will increase the number of direct jobs and also the tourism sectors contribution to the GDP. Therefore, the need to make a conscious decision is the way to go. After all, we know that the deposits in our mines currently have a very short life span. So, if, indeed, we are going to grow our economy beyond the next the next thirty years, we need to start diversifying through agriculture and tourism.

Sir, your Committee has raised a few issues that are in the Bill that I want to comment on. One of the issues that they have raised is the issue of the levy. I have already commented that I have no problem with the levy because it is the only way we are going to raise resources for marketing our tourism product. However, I do have a problem with the service charge. A service of 10 per cent on commodities or services in an already expensive destination will make us more expensive. Therefore, the hon. Minister need to consider that.

Mr Speaker, if you go to a hotel in Livingstone, you have to pay US$80 dollars as a tourist for a night. So, with 10 per cent service charge, you are actually paying US$88 dollars. The same hotel room in Zimbabwe will probably cost you U$40 dollars. So, why should a tourist decide to stay in Livingstone and not in Zimbabwe? We have already said that there are many factors that are leading to Zambia not being a competitive destination. Why do you want to increase that cost? Why do you want to reduce our competitiveness by introducing this 10 per cent service charge?

Mr Speaker, even in this sector, we have the minimum wage that was recently introduced. So, if we already have the minimum wage and an establishment is expected to pay it, the 10 per cent is an additional cost. You want it to go to the officials or workers in that facility when they are already enjoying a minimum wage. That additional 10 per cent is just going to increase the cost of production in this country and make us less competitive. Consider removing this service charge because it is a cost that will be passed on to the client of the establishment.

Mr Speaker, coming to the issue of the board, I want to say that we have created many statutory institutions in this country. Many of these institutions have become a nuisance and an impediment to the growth of the economy. I have in mind the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA), which was created when I was Minister of Tourism. There is, sometimes, no justification for rejecting an application and, sometimes, there is very little justification. In fact, to some extent, these institutions are politicised. Are you sure that you want to give the function of marketing, licensing and inspecting to the Board of the Zambia Tourism Agency (ZTA)? I think you are over-loading it. If truly you want the ZTA to be effective, let it do the marketing. Give it enough powers. Let it even work on diversifying the product, but not for it to move from one restaurant to the other inspecting whether a restaurant is clean, and if it is not, then, shut it down. If the ZTA preoccupies itself with inspecting lodges and the like, it will lose its focus on marketing. Hon. Minister, I hope you are listening.

Sir, we are going to have a situation where the indigenous operators and micro entrepreneurs, who want to contribute through tourism, will be abused by the board. You cannot expect board inspectors to inspect a lodge at Matumbo in Muchinga Province and expect it to be at the same standard as the lodge in Livingstone. If truly the Government wants to grow the sector, through the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), it needs to remove this power to inspect from the board. Let the board concentrate on the key function of marketing.

Mr Speaker, I note that there is a provision in the Bill, which the chairperson made reference to, that if a court order has been issued against the board, then, that court order cannot be effected because the institution or the board is protected through this Act. However, the same board is allowing lodge owners to forfeit property of guests who are in the rooms. If you go into a room and fail to pay the bill, the operator is allowed to take your clothing or whatever you have left in there.

Hon. MMD Member: Insapato.

Ms Namugala: Everything.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, this is unfair in the sense that if whatever is in that room is more than what the person owes, there is no provision for the person to come and have access to his property or to have a refund on this. What is most unfair is this issue of the board not being subjected to court action and the prohibition of execution over property of the agency. Why is that so? Under Clause 77, it is said that if a corporate body commits an offence, under this Act, the veil will be removed and the directors and the managers will be held accountable. The corporate body is separate. So, why do you want to do that? I think that this provision is unfair and it should be removed and be in line with the corporate law in our country.

As I conclude, I want to say that some of the agencies being created have more powers than others. To me, they seem to be serving the interest of the officers of these agencies. They are serving interests such as huge salaries and a lot of travel costs, among other things, all at the expense of the development of this sector.

Sir, I do hope that as you have created this agency with all these powers, you will ensure that you provide the necessary oversight because what we have noticed is that as hon. Ministries, you are not providing adequate oversight over these institutions to the extent that they become a cost and a bottomless pit on our very meagre resources. Please, provide the necessary supervision so that the ZTA serves the purpose of empowering our people, especially the SMEs, through the development of tourism.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the chairperson of the Committee for the work well done. I also want to thank Hon. Namugala for her debate. Allow me to respond to just a few specific issues that have been raised by the two hon. Members. The first one is on the definition of a tourist and a visitor, as stated in the Bill. This must be maintained because Zambia is a member of the United Nations World Trade Organisation (UNWTO), the agency that governs tourism. The UNWTO provides standard definitions for use by all member states to make comparisons easier.

Sir, the ministry does not support the proposed deletion of Clause 63 which refers to the registration of hotel managers. My ministry still maintains the view that registration of hotel mangers is necessary and an important tool in the attainment of the goal of having a quality tourism product. It is a well-known fact that the success of any tourism destination is largely dependent on the state and qualities of its accommodation establishments.

Mr Speaker, on the poor infrastructure, the Government, through the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, will open up most of the areas, countrywide, which are potential tourism destinations. We have also been upgrading airports in the country in a bid to boost the country’s tourism and improve accessibility to these areas.

Sir, on the issue of service charges that Hon. Namugala has talked about, I want to say that, in 2007, the Hotel and Catering Association of Zambia opposed the removal of the service charge. This is because the 10 per cent compensates for the low wages which those in the hospitality industry get. That 10 per cent has been there for a long time and Hon. Namugala knows this because she left it in place and also understands it better. So, we are sitting on a time bomb and if we remove it, people will resort to industrial strikes and we may not contain such a situation.

Mr Speaker, we take all the recommendations that have been made by your Committee and we will see to it that they are implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 31st July, 2015.


Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be now read a second time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Zambia Wildlife Bill, 2015. This Bill is meant to repeal and replace the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 12 of 1998 and provide for the winding up of the affairs of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA). It is necessary to revert the functions of ZAWA to a Government department in order to resolve the perpetual problems that have affected wildlife management in Zambia. These problems are due to the poor financial position of ZAWA, which has resulted in insufficient wildlife police officers, inadequate infrastructure and poor institutional image, high indebtedness, loss of community support to wildlife management and inadequate capacity to collect and account for revenue from the wildlife sector. These problems are threatening the country’s vast wildlife estate due to increased poaching and encroachment in both national parks and Game Management Areas (GMAs).

Mr Speaker, I wish to state that once the functions currently performed by ZAWA revert to a Government department, payment of all staff salaries will be borne by the Government and will free up internally generated resources for operations and reinvestment in national parks. This arrangement is expected not only to motivate and increase the number of wildlife police officers, but also reduce on the rampant illegal harvesting of wildlife resources.

Mr Speaker, allow me to inform hon. Members of this august House that the Ministry of Tourism and Art is reviewing the policy on national parks and wildlife and will soon be ready. The draft policy has informed drafting of the Zambia Wildlife Bill, 2015. It must be emphasised that the crisis that ZAWA was facing was such that it could not wait for the final adoption of the policy on national parks and wildlife.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

Mr Lombanya (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the Zambia Wildlife Bill, 2015 which is before this august House. Your Committee on Agriculture was tasked by this august House to scrutinise the Bill in detail. Since hon. Members are privy to the contents of the report, allow me to briefly comment on the background to this Bill.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to know that ZAWA was created under the Public Service Reform Programme and implemented within the overall Government Policy of Economic Liberalisation and Restructuring of Government Institutions in the 1990s. It was public policy, then, to hive off service delivery from the Government and create statutory bodies, leaving the Government with the policy making function. The key assumption underlying the transformation of the National Parks and Wildlife Services, a department under the then Ministry of Tourism, into an autonomous statutory body, in 1998, was that wildlife management would be carried out more efficiently. Further, an autonomous wildlife management agency would raise enough revenue for its operations and contribute its surplus to the Treasury.

Sir, the establishment of ZAWA, as the case was with other statutory bodies, was, to a large extent, donor-driven. The European Union (EU) funded all the studies that were carried out to assess the feasibility of establishing ZAWA and came up with a business plan to capitalise the institution soon after its establishment and streamline its workforce.

Mr Speaker, sadly, the Government was unwilling to accept some of the conditionalities of the EU support such as allowing the EU to fill the position of director-general and commercial manager to run ZAWA for the initial three years. This resulted in the EU withdrawing its support leaving the institution with no start-up capital.

Sir, additionally, the Government did not have the capacity to bridge the financing gap left by the European Union (EU). However, it provided minimal grants which contributed towards the payment of salaries and some operational costs. Further, the Government’s efforts to capitalise ZAWA could not meet the entire budgetary requirement due to budgetary constraints. Consequently, ZAWA started accumulating debt to statutory bodies and commercial entities.

Mr Speaker, premised on the above, amongst the envisaged outcomes of this Bill will be the transformation and restructuring of ZAWA into a Government department.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Lombanya: Mr Speaker, the new Department of National Parks and Wildlife will be headed by a director who will be answerable to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Art. Therefore, this means that budgeting for 2016 for this department will be based on this Bill, once enacted into law by this august House. Furthermore, the enactment of the Bill will also result in transition measures which will provide for the top management of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) who are on contract to be offered separation packages after which they can decide whether or not to enter the Civil Service under the new department.

Mr Speaker, it is also expected that the lower management and operational staff who are on permanent and pensionable conditions of service will automatically be absorbed as civil servants under the prevailing Civil Service pay and conditions of service applicable to their respective positions.

Sir, another major outcome will be the establishment of the wildlife fund meant to promote wild life development, research, conservation and management. Part of the fund will be financed from fees and levies to be determined by the hon. Minister of Finance, in consultation with the hon. Minister of Tourism and Art. Furthermore, it is expected that the Bill will adequately address the animal human-conflict which has created a lot of problems in most communities. Despite these anticipated outcomes, there are some concerns that your Committee wishes to bring to your attention.

Mr Speaker your Committee is concerned that the wildlife management licensing Committee, under clause 7 of the Bill, has been empowered to undertake functions which should ordinarily be under the jurisdiction of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, under normal circumstances. This, in the opinion of your Committee, weakens the power of the department and also negates the dissolution of ZAWA in that; the committee is seemingly an extension of the ZAWA Board. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that powers to issue filming permits, research permits and other licences should be vested in the Department of National Parks and Wild Life in order to limit the Wild Life Management Licensing Committee to issuing resident hunting licences only. This measure will, by and large, reduce the bureaucratic processes associated with vesting powers to a committee.

Sir, your Committee is also of the strong view that the absence of the role of the private sector, through the public-private partnerships (PPP), in the Bill is of serious concern given the importance of partnerships in economic development. Your Committee strongly recommends that a provision be introduced to foster the participation of the private sector in the management of national parks.

Sir, most stakeholders lamented that clause 114(1) (b), which is providing for the arrest of a person without a warrant when such a person is about to commit an offence, is frivolous and vexatious. This provision can be subject to abuse and can be used for settling scores by an aggrieved officer. It is inconceivable to arrest a person based on assumption of intent of crime. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that this sub-clause be deleted.

Lastly, Sir, your Committee is concerned with the small number of indigenous Zambian professional hunters as a result of the process involved in acquisition of the professional hunting licences. Your Committee strongly recommends that the hon. Minister be empowered by the issuance of a statutory instrument to provide for regulations to compile the Professional Hunters Association and safari companies to train indigenous Zambians to qualify as professional hunters. This will be in line with the practice in other countries such as Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Mr Speaker, subject to the above, your Committee urges this august House to pass the Bill mutatis mutandis because it is straight forward.

Sir, on behalf of your Committee, I wish to thank you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance and administrative support rendered to it. I further wish thank all stakeholders who submitted on the Bill.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on this Bill. We hope that with the passage of this Bill, the contribution of resources from wildlife to the national economy will improve.

Mr Speaker, I have an issue that I would like the hon. Minister to clarify. The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) which is being dissolved today succeeded the National Parks and Wildlife Department years ago. When this change was made, there were serious weaknesses that had been observed about the National Parks and Wildlife Department. ZAWA did not just come on board from nowhere. There were weaknesses that were observed. For us in Liuwa, this was the time at which wildlife was almost extinct.

Mr Speaker, I would like to hear from the hon. Minister how our going back to the National Parks and Wildlife Department, especially under Government management, will improve the protection and management of wildlife. Otherwise, we run the danger of just changing names without any improvement in the substance of what we are doing.

Mr Speaker, this Act defines our relationship with wildlife. What kind of attitude we have towards wildlife vis-a-vis whether we should protect it or eat it. If we protect it, what are the economic benefits? I believe that this is what the law is trying to define.

Mr Speaker, it is also important to know that we pick some of these laws from other countries, especially the western ones. However, we must remember that we are Africans. We, in this House, represent Africans in our villages and communities. Therefore, we should not lose sight of the view of these people about wildlife. For example, where I come from in Liuwa, people have believed for years and years that animals are there to be eaten. I also know that for my friends, the Kaondes, a wife risks divorce if she denies them meat.


Dr Musokotwane: Now, if we forget this aspect and think that our people in our communities are just there to watch and not eat the animals, we will lose one important aspect of what we trying to achieve. I will come back to this point in relation to Liuwa.

Mr Speaker, I now want to focus on Liuwa. Laws are not made in a vacuum, but in a particular context. Let me tell you something about Liuwa. Roughly, about 80 per cent of my constituency surface area is a national park. Also, about 60 to 70 per cent of the villages in Liuwa are inside a national park. The village of one of the most senior persons that was in this House …

Hon. Member: Mwanamwambwa!

Dr Musokotwane: … is inside a national park.

Hon. Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: I also want to say that we did not encroach in the game park.

Hon. Member: There is no poaching in Liuwa.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, in 1972 when this park was transferred from being the hunting ground of the Litunga to being part of the national parks, of course, in abrogation of the Barotseland Agreement, the ones who drew the boundaries of the park made sure that our villages were inside the park. I must tell you that we are not going anywhere. Liuwa is our home.


Dr Musokotwane: We know nothing else and this is where we feel free. We are not shifting to anywhere.

So, as we make laws, I hope that the hon. Minister has taken into account the fact that we live inside the national park. What are the implications of this for us? Since you are proposing, in this Act, to have the powers to redraw the boundaries, we are requesting that you redraw the boundaries so that they become more sensible. The villages should be outside the park. For now, when our people want to cut grass for thatching, they are pursued. They are asked what they want in the park. This year, when there is so much hunger and empty promises of relief food, people are pursued by ZAWA when they go into the forest to look for wild fruits.

Mr Speaker, for now, we keep cattle. This law says that thou shall not keep cattle or domestic animals inside a game park. Where is our cattle expected to go? So, I am happy that the law that is being proposed today says that boundaries can be changed. I appeal that this matter be looked into.

Mr Speaker, I admit that there are exceptions that have been given to us by the wildlife authorities, but we cannot live by exceptions whereby one needs to obtain a licence to cut grass for thatching as if we are in a country where there is not enough land. No, this is not adequate.

Mr Speaker, buffaloes have come to learn that sweet potatoes are sweeter than grass and that cassava is better than grass. So, today, when our people grow rice, cassava and sweet potatoes, the buffaloes come in our fields to eat and say God Almighty has brought these Lozi people in Liuwa to grow cassava and rice for us. We are better than those in the Luangwa National Park. As a result, the extent of poverty is increasing.

Mr Speaker, this rice you claim to be Mongu rice is, in most cases, Kalabo ...

Mr Mutelo: And Mitete.

Dr Musokotwane: … and Mitete rice. In the last two years, people hardly grew any rice because the buffaloes are eating it. I, therefore, am very happy about this.

Mr Speaker, the other point I want to speak about is with regard to the boundaries. The people of Liuwa, Mitete and, I believe, Sikongo have always believed that animals are there for hunting, killing and eating.


Dr Musokotwane: The only difference is that we must do it sustainably. I do not believe that there is anyone in this House who seriously believes that game meat must not be eaten. If there is anyone, let them raise up their hand.


Mr Speaker: I do not think that we should go that far.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we believe that game meat must be eaten. After all, the hyenas eat us in Liuwa. The snakes bite us. The hippos bite us. Why can we not eat them also?


Dr Musokotwane: Of course, in adequate quantities.

Mr Speaker, arising from that, the hunting areas that we have in the Western Province are severely restricted. Once you cross the Zambezi River from the eastern side, all the way to the Angolan border, you are not allowed to hunt meaning that you can only hunt on the eastern side of the Zambezi. This means that it is only the rich people and the elite who have motor vehicles who can buy licences to hunt. Therefore, how can you prevent the people in Sikongo, Mitete and Liuwa from poaching? They will poach. My suggestion is that you should review the boundaries and create hunting areas on the western side of the Zambezi so that there is a buffer where people can hunt and where wildlife is protected. In the absence of that, the animals will be attacked, especially that there is no relief food this year ...

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Member for Liuwa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, we only receive relief food by word of mouth. We do not see it. Maybe, it is given to the party cadres.

Mr Speaker, my last point is that ...

Mr Kampyongo tried to raise a point of order.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is disturbing my thoughts.

Mr Speaker, the last point I want to mention is that I do appreciate the fact that we have to focus on wildlife to make it successful so that it can contribute to successful tourism, as the hon. Minister wishes. Therefore, we must protect the wildlife. However, to do that, we need to provide tangible benefits to the communities. Do not forget that these people in rural areas have grown up from childhood thinking that animals are there to be hunted and eaten. That is what they know about the relationship between man and animals. If you prevent them from doing that, you will not be friends. You will not be able to protect wildlife. Therefore, the only way to make them see the relationship between wildlife and tourism is to create facilities for tourism so that their children get employed and so that they are able to sell vegetables, fruits and so forth to the tourism industry.

Sir, unfortunately, for now, I do not see much of that in the law. It may be there but, perhaps, what I should even be saying is that what is stated in the law and what we do is completely different. Let me give example. I think that a few moments ago, we were discussing the investment in the game parks. I am a very saddened person because, five years ago, a plan was made to make Lake Tanganyika a centre of the Northern Circuit. It was going to be the centre because it has water, wildlife, and a good climate. What do we need to make it a hub for tourism in Africa so that if there is an intercontinental conference, everybody can go to Kasaba Bay in that area? That is why Lunzua Power Station was being upgraded from producing less than 1 MW to producing 14 MW so that it could carry power from Mpulungu to Lake Tanganyika. If you are going to have hotels, you need power. This is why the airport at Kasaba Bay and not Mbala, was constructed. This is because Mbala is too far away. The airport that we need is in Kasaba Bay. Today, five years or four years after the Patriotic Front (PF) Government took over, that airport is totally abandoned. The 2,000 pockets of cement that were meant to stabilise and complete the works at the airport were wasted. We say that we want to convince our people that wildlife can create jobs but in the meantime, we are tackling power and roads haphazardly. How are we going to create this tourism?

Mr Speaker, to get a licence for a lodge today – I will not say much.


Dr Musokotwane: However, these are the things that you need to address, hon. Minister. Otherwise, wildlife can sustain itself. It is even sad that wildlife management is being taken back to the Government so that farmers and traders, among others, can pay tax to conserve wildlife. It should not be like that. Wildlife should conserve itself, but it can only conserve itself if the tourism industry is strong.  

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that I welcome the Bill. However, we, the people in Liuwa, look forward to tangible things happening. We want lodges to be constructed in Liuwa. Today, there is not a single lodge in Liuwa. The tourists who go there sleep under the trees.

Mr Muntanga: There is no lodge.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, it is difficult to get a licence for investments there. Therefore, unless you do that, I for one will not come and report to you when I see someone poaching because you are not being relevant to them.


Dr Musokotwane: However, if you create an environment for tourism, children will get employed, money will be made and taxes will be paid. You will have all of us as allies to protect the wildlife.

I thank you Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga rose to debate.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Today is Wednesday, I am sure we are familiar with the adjournment time. We have barely fifteen minutes remaining.

The hon. Minister of Tourism and Art may take the Floor.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I thank you, and I also want to thank the Chairperson and the Committee on Agriculture for a job well done.

Mr Speaker, allow me to just attend to a few points debated by Hon. Dr Musokotwane.

Hon. Members: Your brother.

Mr Lubinda: He is pleading with your brother ...

Ms Kapata: There are no brothers here.

Mr Lubinda: ... after he harassed you again.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Minister.

Ms Kapata: There is a recommendation to have the public-private partnerships (PPP) to enhance protection of national parks. The establishment of the Wildlife Fund will ensure that revenue that is generated is retained for reinvestment in the wildlife sector. All the structures that were created to counter the weakness of national parks and wildlife in the formation of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) have been retained in the new department. The strength will lie in the Government funding the department.

Mr Speaker, ZAWA was created on the basis that co-operating partners would support the institute, but they did not. Therefore, the Government is committed to ensuring that funds are mobilised to support the new department.

As I speak, we have K120 million in this year’s budget, which will see to it that the new department is set and functional.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee on Friday, 31st July, 2015.




CLAUSE 3 – (Amendment of Section 2)

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move an amendment:

1.    In Clause 3, on page 3:

(a)    in line 12 by the deletion of the word “paragraph” and the substitution therefor of the words “paragraphs (a) and”;

(b)    after line 14 by the insertion of the following paragraph:

(a)    retires from employment on attaining the pensionable age.
Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 3, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 4 – (Repeal and Replacement of Section 18)

2.    In Clause 4:

(a)    on Page 3, in lines 23 and 24 by the deletion of the words “or any other written law”

(b)    on Page 4, in lines 5 and 6 by the deletion of the words “and the employer approves the retirement.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 4, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Report, as amended, adopted.

Third Reading on Thursday, 30th July, 2015.




The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Chief Whip and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.
Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1903 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 30th July, 2015.