Debates - Thursday, 24th September, 2015

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Thursday, 24th September, 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 Government business, the hon. Minister of Justice, Dr Ngosa Simbyakula, SC., has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, from today, Thursday, 24th September, 2015, until further notice.


The second announcement is a continuation of my announcement on the composition of Sessional Committees for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

In accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 131, the Standing Orders Committee has appointed the following Members to serve on various Sessional Committees:


Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply (8)

Mr K. Simbao, MP
Mr M. A. Malama, MP
Mrs A. M. Chungu, MP
Mr K. Konga, MP
Mr R. Muntanga, MP
Mr E. K. Belemu, MP
Mr M. Chishimba, MP
Mr J. Shuma, MP

Committee on Agriculture (8)

Mr V. Mooya, MP
Mr G. Namulambe, MP
Mr B. Hamusonde, MP
Mrs A. M. Chungu, MP
Mr K. Chipungu, MP
Mr E. T. Chenda, MP
Mr L. Evans, MP
Mr J. Shakafuswa, MP

Committee on Education, Science and Technology (7)

Ms S. Sayifwanda, MP
Mr B. Mutale, MP
Mr K. K. Hamudulu, MP
Mr C. Miyanda, MP    
Mr E. Musonda, MP
Mr M. Mumba, MP
Mr H. Kunda, MP

Committee on Lands, Environment and Tourism (8)

Mr R. Muntanga, MP
Mr K. Chipungu, MP
Mr R. Mwewa, MP
Dr S. Musokotwane, MP
Mr O. C. Mulomba, MP
Mr C. Miyutu, MP
Ms M. Miti, MP
Prof N. G. Willombe, MP

Committee on Youth and Sport (8)

Mr E. J. Muchima, MP
Mr O. C. Mulomba, MP
Mr S. Chungu, MP
Mr N. Chilangwa, MP
Mr D. Livune, MP
Mr W. Banda, MP
Mr J. Shakafuswa, MP
Mrs S. T. Masebo, MP

Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services (8)

Mr K. Pande, MP
Dr C. K. Kalila, MP
Ms M. Lubezhi, MP
Dr E. C. Lungu, MP
Mr S. Chungu, MP
Mr S. Sianga, MP
Mr B. Chitafu, MP
Mr A. Kasandwe, MP

Committee on National Security and Foreign Affairs (8)

Lt-Gen. Bishop R. Shikapwasha, MP
Prof G. Lungwangwa, MP
Mr E. T. Chenda, MP
Mrs I. Mphande, MP
Mr E. J. Muchima, MP
Mr S. Katuka, MP
Mr S. Sianga, MP
Mr P. Kosamu, MP

Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services (8)

Mr L. M. Mufalali, MP
Dr C. K. Kalila, MP
Mr C. Antonio, MP
Mr E. Musonda, MP
Mr M. Simfukwe, MP
Mrs S. T. Masebo, MP
Mr B. Chitafu, MP
Mr R. Lingweshi, MP

Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs (8)

Ms V. Kalima, MP
Mr M. A. Malama, MP
Mr H. Kunda, MP
Mr S. Masumba, MP
Mr M. Kapeya, MP
Mr B. M. Ntundu, MP
Mr C. Mweetwa, MP
Ms M. Miti, MP

After I have announced the composition of all the Committees and the Public Accounts Committee has been approved by this House, if any hon. Member finds that they do not belong to any Committee, they should inform the Clerk accordingly of the National Assembly.


Hon. Members, the National Assembly of Zambia will join the rest of the world in commemorating this year’s International Day of Democracy under the theme “Public Participation for Democracy.”

The day will be commemorated at the Media and Visitors Centre, Parliament Buildings, on Monday, 28th September, 2015, at 0900 hours. Several activities have been lined up for young people to interact with hon. Members of Parliament and engage them on various issues, including sharing ways in which members of the public can participate in Zambia’s democratic processes. I, therefore, request all hon. Members to participate in the commemoration of this important day.

Thank you.




26. Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications:

(a)    when the construction works on the proposed Lusaka/Kapiri Mposhi Dual Carriageway would commence;

(b)    what the time frame for the completion of the project was;

(c)    what the estimated cost of the project was; and

(d)    who the contractor was.

The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula) (on behalf of The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications (Mr Mukanga)): Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the proposed construction of the Lusaka/Kapiri Mposhi Dual Carriageway will commence in the second quarter of 2016 under a public-private partnership (PPP) financing model.

Mr Speaker, the time frame for the works is yet to be determined, as the concession agreement has not yet been finalised and the procurement process has not been concluded.

Sir, the cost of the project will be known when the contractor has been engaged.

Mr Speaker, the contractor will only be known after the procurement process has been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, what measures does the Government intend to put in place to safeguard loss of lives on the highway between Lusaka and Kapiri Mposhi while we await the construction of the highway?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the Traffic Section of the Zambia Police Force will intensify patrols to ensure that motorists observe traffic regulations. Additionally, any sections that require spot maintenance will be attended to in the interim period.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the stretch between Kapiri Mposhi and Kabwe is being rehabilitated. It is also wide enough as it is. Will it also be part of the PPP project?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the dual carriageway will be from Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, why is the dual carriageway only from Lusaka to Kapiri Mposhi instead of stretching all the way to Ndola?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, for the time being, those are the plans that we have. Other roads will be considered in due course.

I thank you, Sir.    


28. Mr Kazabu (Nkana) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    who the legal owners of the former Astra Cinemas piece of land in Kitwe Central Business District were;

(b)    why the plot had remained undeveloped for over fifteen years; and

(c)    when the plot would be developed.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, according to records from the Kitwe City Council and Certificate of Title No. 36822, the former Astra Cinema land is legally owned by Ritas Investments Limited.

Mr Speaker, the ownership of this property has been challenged in the Courts of Law by another company, which feels that the decision by the Council to offer the land to Ritas Investment Limited was done in bad faith. Due to this impediment, the investor could not develop the plot. The plot will, therefore, be developed after the matter is disposed of in the Courts of Law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, under the circumstances, is there any intervention that the ministry can make so that that prime land can have value added to it?
Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, there is little we can do, as a ministry, since the matter is before the Courts of Law.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, when the Speaker announces the membership of Committees, he reminds me of the leakage that some pupils on the Copperbelt had. The pupils had trusted so much in that leakage but, when they went into the examination room, they discovered that it was a fake and rioted. Therefore, I ask my colleagues to report to the Speaker this leakage from State House that there will be an outbreak of appointments because it might just be …


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the question that the hon. Member has asked is very critical. Do such things not move you? Do you not get concerned about certain things? I am asking these questions because there are certain structures in this country, such as the one right at the corner of Katondo Street and Freedom Way, which has been there for a long time and is a source of concern to the people. The former Nkana Hotel building, which is now being renovated, was also an eyesore to the people of Kitwe. Actually, the fifteen years that the hon. Member has mentioned is an understatement. It is more than twenty-five years now. Does it not raise concern in the hon. Minister that he rarely gets proactive to sort out such issues? I am asking this because that piece of land is in a prime area of Kitwe.

Mr Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, why does the ministry not get concerned about the issues I have mentioned, which concern buildings?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, yes, indeed, we are very concerned. However, I am sure that the hon. Member is aware that when a matter is in court, there is literally nothing that we can do. So, we are just waiting for the court to act.

I thank you, Sir.


29. Mr Pande (Kasempa) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when construction of the provincial police administration block in the North-Western Province would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

(c)    what the total cost of the project was; and

(d)    what the time frame for the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the Government has started the construction of the Zambia Police Division Headquarters in Solwezi, North-Western Province. The project is at the excavation level and is being supervised by the Buildings Department.

Sir, the contractor is Zamchin Contractors.

Mr Speaker, the cost of the project is K21,941,216.04. An advance amount of K4,388,291.28 was paid in February, 2015, leaving a balance of K17,552,925.12.

Sir, the project time frame is eighteen months. As the works started on 8th January, 2015, they are expected to be completed by 30th June, 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, as the Government constructs the Police headquarters in Solwezi, will it also consider constructing housing units?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, yes, the ministry has a programme to construct houses for all our police and other security officers. So, that will be part of the project.

I thank you, Sir.


30. Dr Lungu (Chama South) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications:

(a)    when the grading of the Chasato/Chikwa Road in Chama District would be completed; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the exercise.

Dr Simbyakula (on behalf of the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications (Mr Mukanga)): Mr Speaker, the works in the initial scope of the Chasato/Chikwa Road Project were completed. The works were of a spot-improvement nature. Therefore, they did not cover the entire road. A variation is, however, under consideration to include the grading and gravelling of the entire road.

Sir, the execution of additional works awaits the signing of the variation order.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Lungu: Mr Speaker, the information I got on the ground is that two contractors have been engaged to work on a stretch of 48 km only. Could the hon. Minister tell the House what could have led to this type of scenario.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, what led to this scenario was the issue of fiscal space, and that is what will be addressed in the variation order.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


31. Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    who the contractor engaged to undertake the Street Lighting Project in Kaoma Township was;

(b)    whether the Government was aware of the poor quality of works on the project; and

(c)    if so, what measures the Government had taken to redress the situation.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the contractor engaged to undertake the Street Lighting Project in Kaoma Township is Carlyle North Limited.

Sir, the Government, through Kaoma District Council, is aware of the defects of the workmanship on project.

Mr Speaker, the council instructed the contractor to correct the defects in the works and the contractor acknowledged the agreement to make good on the defects.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am a very concerned Member of Parliament for Chadiza and I always want to see things go in the right direction.

Sir, many questions have been raised on the Floor of this House concerning the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and we are still waiting for the hon. Minister to tell us when he will issue a statement to explain why some constituencies did not benefit from the CDF last year and why, this year, no single constituency has received any CDF. Is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing in order to take too long to update us on whether the CDF will be released or not?

I need your serious ruling.

Mr Muchima: For two years!

Mr Speaker: I request the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to issue a statement in the course of next week.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister tell the House how long the people of Kaoma will wait for the correction to be made. I ask this because, as far as they are concerned, those poles that have been put in town look untidy.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, in my earlier response, I indicated that defects were observed in the implementation and the local authority has directed the contractor to correct the defects. The contractor has been contacted and is expected to be on site this week.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister enlighten us on why the poles for street lights in most parts of Zambia are of poor quality. Those poles are so narrow on the upper part and it is clear that they will not last long. Why is the ministry allowing such shoddy work to be done across the country?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the problem that was detected on the project in Kaoma had nothing to do with the quality of poles. Therefore, the hon. Member’s concern with the poor quality of poles countrywide is beyond my mandate to respond.

I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: Is it something that you can investigate, hon. Minister?

 Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, we will investigate that concern, as a ministry. However, concerning the principal Question, the poles in Kaoma are of good quality.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, was the contractor working on this project paid? Additionally, what was the project budget?

 Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the contractor was paid part of the money.

Sir, the contract sum was K200,821. So far, the payment advanced to the contractor is K171,782 while the balance is K29,000. The balance was withheld because of the defects that were detected. Therefore, it will only be paid when the contractor completes correcting the defects.

I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the question from the hon. Member for Chipata Central is on the poor quality of streetlight poles. In responding to the question, the hon. Minister said that the defects in the Kaoma project are of a different nature. Are the poles used in Kaoma different from those generally used countrywide, which seem to be of poor quality? If they are different, why are they?


Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I have indicated that there was nothing related to the quality of poles in the defects detected in the Kaoma project. Additionally, as a ministry, we have committed ourselves to investigating the matter raised by the hon. Member for Chipata Central, which is about the poor quality of poles countrywide, not about the poles in Kaoma. We will investigate the matter and ensure that the poles we use are of good quality.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


33. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when Rufunsa Girls Technical School would be electrified;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, Rufunsa Girls Technical School has been electrified through the supply of a 200kVA thermal diesel generator by the ministry. However, in the long term, the cost-effective solution will be to connect the school to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) National Grid.

Sir, an assessment has already been undertaken by the ministry and the estimated cost of connecting the school to the National Grid is K5 million.

Mr Speaker, the project time frame will only be known when funds have been sourced.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


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

(a)    whether the country produced enough beans to meet the demand in the country;

(b)    whether the country had the capacity to produce the national requirements of canned beans;

(c)    if so, why the Government had allowed the importation of canned beans; and

(d)    if the country had no capacity, what the deficiencies were.

The Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, the country does produce enough beans to meet the national demand. According to statistics collected during the 2014/15 Crop Forecasting Survey, beans production for 2015 stands at 50,398 metric tonnes, which is enough for national consumption. Any excess beans are usually exported to countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Sir, the country has the capacity to produce the national requirement of canned beans. For instance, one company, Neelkanth Freshfoods Limited, formerly Freshpikt, has the capacity to produce 100 metric tonnes of canned beans annually, but only produces 50 metric tonnes or 50 per cent of its production capacity due to little demand for the product.

Mr Speaker, part (c) of the question, I wish to state that Zambia is a free market economy. Therefore, companies are free to import goods, including canned beans, into the country.

Sir, as already stated, the country has the capacity to produce the national requirement of canned beans. However, Zambian companies are unable to compete favourably with those from other countries, such as those from South Africa, in the production and marketing of canned beans because of the high cost of production.

 I thank You, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the response. I also declare that, from today onwards, I will not buy canned beans from outside Zambia. That said, may I know what measures the Government is effecting to boost the demand for canned beans produced by the Zambian company as opposed to letting the local company compete with foreign companies that may be advantaged by favourable costs of production in their countries. Why can we not ban the importation of beans despite the so-called free economy?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, let me commend the hon. Member for publicly declaring that, henceforth, he will not buy imported canned beans. That is the way to go. If all of us, Zambians, promote local products, we will increase demand for those products and, thereby, make it difficult for imported commodities to flourish on our markets.

Sir, going forward, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, working together with our sister ministry, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, is looking at all the various commodities that are produced in Zambia to see how we can protect our infant industry. This matter was very well articulated yesterday when an hon. Member of Parliament asked the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry a question. So, I assure my dear colleague that, if he continues along his current trajectory and does not end there, but goes out and campaigns, like we are doing, for people to realise that local is lekker and buy local, then, we will make it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s chant that we are a free market economy is contrary to his recent spirit of banning edible oils. Following the President’s proposal that we think outside the box and change our mindset to transform this country, has the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock come up with any measures to make the importation of baked beans difficult?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, let me just clarify that there is no contradiction, whatsoever, in what I said. I also want to clarify that this Government has not banned the importation of any commodity. With regard to refined oil, this Government has stopped issuing import permits for the importation of edible oils. As was explained yesterday, we are importing crude, but not refined oil. I have also indicated that, working together with our sister ministry, we are looking at all the other commodities to which we add value in Zambia to see how we can come up with a programme to protect our infant industry, including the food processing industry that processes baked or canned beans. However, I do not think that, as a Government, we can just wake up and decide to stop the import of this product. We want to have a systematic approach to the matter and I am sure that this House will be adequately informed of any developments.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has drawn my attention to the fact that he had indicated that one of the reasons the local products, in particular, canned beans, have low demand is the fact that it is failing to compete with imported products on account of the cost of production here, in Zambia, being very high. Is the Government putting in place any specific intervention measures to bring the cost of production down?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, yesterday, in responding to one question, I sought your permission not to speak about a matter that would be one of the subjects of my launch of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) today. I have now launched FISP for the 2015/2016 Farming Season. So, with your permission, I will come and issue a statement to Parliament.

In the FISP I launched, we have decided that common beans will be one of the crops that will receive the Government subsidy to reduce the cost at which farmers produce it and increase production. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is also working very hard to introduce conservation farming among our farmers so as to enhance the utilisation of inputs. When this happens, productivity will be enhanced, too. So, the unit cost of production will be reduced. We are working on these matters and I am sure that we will get there. Beyond that, there are other production-related expenses, such as the packaging materials for many of our commodities, which are quite expensive in Zambia. I know that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is concerned about this and similar matters, and will soon be addressing them.

I thank you, Sir.


35. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    how many people benefitted from the Social Cash Transfer Scheme from September, 2011, to December, 2014, in the following constituencies:

(i)    Chasefu;

(ii)    Lumezi; and
(iii)    Lundazi; and

(b)    If none, when the programme would be extended to the constituencies above.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Dr Katema) (on behalf of the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi)): Mr Speaker, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) is not yet operational in the constituencies mentioned. Therefore, no people benefitted during the period under review.

Sir, the scheme will be extended to the above-mentioned constituencies in 2016. However, this will depend on the availability of financial resources to support the scale-up plan.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, if the programme will be extended to the constituencies in 2016, then, I am of the view that the people of Chasefu and Lundazi would want to know whether or not the ministry has counted the number of eligible beneficiaries. I am also sure that the Budget will be approved this year. So, I would like to know if the number of those to benefit from the scheme is known.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the background data on vulnerable people across the country is available. When the SCTS is rolled out to more places, a verification exercise will be undertaken.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, does the Government have a deliberate programme to increase the package of this very good project from K65 per household, since the cost of living has gone up?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the Government does intend to increase the funds it disburses to vulnerable people. However, for now, we are pre-occupied with rolling out this scheme to the rest of the country.

I thank you, Sir.



(Debate resumed)

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, yesterday, when I was debating in support of the Motion of Thanks on His Excellency the President’s Address, which was ably moved in this House, I was on the issue of energy and I emphasised the need for the Government to partner with the private sector to explore more areas of investment in the energy sector so that we can overcome the challenge of the power deficit we have in our country. I also indicated that the Executive has put in place good conditions to attract more private sector investment in the energy sector. I am aware of the intentions of the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to explore the Luapula water bodies and implore the Government to ensure that the initiative that the CEC has presented to the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development is looked into with the urgency it deserves.

Mr Speaker, let me now move to infrastructure development, especially in the road sector.

Sir, the pronouncement by His Excellency the President that the Copperbelt Province will see a facelift through the Copperbelt 400 (C400) Township Road Rehabilitation Project was welcomed by the people of the Copperbelt, especially in Kitwe District.

Mr Speaker, we have seen how the Link Lusaka 400 (L400) Township Road Project in Lusaka has impacted on good road connectivity in the capital city. So, we look forward to seeing the C400 Project announced by His Excellency the President implemented on the Copperbelt in the next six months.

Mr Speaker, let me echo the sentiments of other hon. Members of Parliament who have said that we need to equally share development projects in all constituencies we represent. So, I appeal to the Government to extend the C400 Project to districts like Lufwanyama, Mpongwe and Masaiti, which I noticed were missing on the list of the districts to benefit from the project.

Mr Speaker, good road connectivity accelerates the flow of goods and services. We have seen this on the Copperbelt, where roads have been rehabilitated. Therefore, I commend the Government of His Excellency President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for embarking on a major facelift of the road network on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, I indicated that I would be very brief. Therefore, let me end by saying that I support the Motion, which was ably moved by the hon. Member of Parliament for Luanshya and seconded by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to make my contribution in support of the Motion of Thanks on the Address by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to the House last Friday. As he said, the theme for his address was, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.” Therefore, I would like to focus part of my discussion this afternoon on this theme.

Mr Speaker, any change that we want must come from within us for it to be sustainable. As the saying goes, “We must be the change that we want to see in the world.” In this case, we must be the change that we want to see in Zambia. Change must come from within us before it manifests outwards.  

Sir, there is a lot that we have to do in some of the transformational areas that His Excellency the President talked about, especially for our colleagues in the Executive, although I must submit, like I have said previously, that change must embrace all of us. For instance, let me talk about the aspect of embracing innovation and entrepreneurship.

Mr Speaker, it is very sad that, despite having been free or politically independent for the last fifty years or so, innovation and entrepreneurship by Zambians are not well spread in Zambia. We tend, as Zambians, to rely on other people, in this case, foreigners, to resolve our problems. If we have bad roads, we expect foreigners to give us money to fix them. If we do not have enough mealie meal, we expect foreigners to mill maize and sell us the mealie meal. Almost all the sectors of our economy are dependent on foreigners. This aspect of our culture must change. Zambians must be in the forefront of managing the economic affairs of this country. Even in the building sector, for instance, all the resources are local. For example, the stones are ours, but we, Zambians, believe that it must be a foreigner who comes to set up a stone crushing plant to make aggregate and cement, which we, then, can access to build our buildings. I find it very strange that, despite all these years, we have to rely on foreigners to run our economy. So, I think that this aspect that his Excellency talked about must go to the core of our hearts so that we can provide leadership on this score, especially we, the political leadership of the country.

Sir, another aspect that the President talked about in which we need transformation is in our living and working environments. We must promote and maintain a clean, healthy and safe living and working environment. You know, I feel very ‒ well, let me not say I feel bad because I am part of it. However, it is quite embarrassing that we are promoting a culture of untidiness. A culture of …

Hon. Government Member: Mm!

Mr Konga: Yes. We are promoting it as the leadership here. If we go into town in Lusaka, which is the Capital City of Zambia, we will see how the street vendors are doing their business around the city. People are just ... I do not know if it is parliamentary to say, I mean, …

Mr Speaker: You are putting me on guard.


Mr Konga: … they are passing water on the street or they are just throwing their human waste, excretory matter, in the …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. In doing so, I wish to state that I am a very sad Parliamentarian because of what is happening in our dear country, Zambia. I raise this point of order with a very heavy heart.

Sir, I recall that Hon. Masebo had moved a Motion on the Floor of this House urging the Government to ban the indiscriminate use of firearms in elections and in by-elections. Unfortunately, that Motion was defeated by our colleagues on your right. As if that was not enough, pronouncements by those in the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF) implied that they were in support of cadres carrying firearms to places where there are by-elections.

Mr Speaker, as I speak to you, many reports have been made to the police on the use of firearms in the elections that are taking place in Solwezi West and Lubansenshi constituencies. Meanwhile, those who have been accused of using firearms with impunity have been left to go scot-free. To add insult to injury, even police officers who are supposed to maintain law and order are in the forefront of abating lawlessness.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, in Manyama, Solwezi, a rally that was supposed to be addressed by the United Party for National Development (UPND) was disrupted by the police. The UPND had complied with the Public Order Act requirement of notifying the police of its intention to hold a rally and the police had given them the go-ahead. A document is available to that effect. So, members of the public assembled, waiting to be addressed. Unfortunately, the police, despite being advised that that was a lawful gathering, went and disrupted it by discharging tear-gas canisters on the people. As a result of that discharge of tear gas, two children died.

Mr Speaker, that despicable act by the Government, through the police, cannot be condoned.

Mr Speaker, kindly take judicial notice that, from the time the PF came into power, we have lost many lives …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mwiimbu: … during by-elections and we have allowed that to continue. I shudder to think what will happen next year.

Mr Speaker: Your point of order.

Mr Mwiimbu: The point of order, Mr Speaker is: Is the Government in order to allow police officers to behave as if they are party cadres, abate lawlessness and start killing the people they are supposed to protect? For that matter, are they in order to start killing our children and maiming innocent women who go to listen to those who are selling their political messages? Are they in order to have done that in Manyama, Solwezi West?

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling for the sake of the peace of this country.

Mr Speaker: May I encourage hon. Members who have points of order to raise to, as far as is reasonable or practicable, raise them before the general debate so that they do not disturb the train of thought and debates of other Members who are given the Floor.

In response to the point of order, I will give an opportunity to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to, in the course of next week, make an appropriate response and clarify the grave issues that have been raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central.

May the hon. Member for Chavuma continue.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted by Hon. Mwiimbu’s point of order, I was talking about the aspect of promoting and maintaining a clean, healthy and safe living and working environment and gave an example of our Capital City, Lusaka. I also said that we must change, as a political leadership, so that we can inspire the people and make available for them a clean environment in which they will trade and operate. I would like to believe that, when all of us travel outside this country, we do not find local people or foreigners, for that matter, trading the way we allow people to do here in Zambia. Here, they have taken over the major streets of the city. For instance, in Lumumba Road, Freedom Way and Cha Cha Cha Road, you can hardly find any parking space, but people display their second-hand wares. We must have a culture of wanting to operate in a clean environment. The Executive must take a leading role and find a way of managing this situation because the President has given us the direction.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about the culture of investing and saving that the President talked about. Of course, Zambians would like to save their earnings which, hopefully, they can invest. However, we must be in the forefront of finding ways of bringing down the very high cost of living that Zambians are subjected to. Just today, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) released the inflation figure for September, and it has gone up to something like 7.7 per cent. With such a high inflation rate, it becomes difficult to serve any income that people earn. At the same time, the cost of all products in shops has gone up. The kwacha, relative to all major currencies, has plummeted. So, one wonders how the paradigm change can happen.

Sir, all of us, I agree, must be in the forefront of finding ways of reducing unnecessary and wanton expenditure. Hopefully, that will bring down the cost of living in this country.

Mr Speaker, the President spoke about the promotion of long-term planning. That is very important if this country is to change. In the last few months, for instance, many Zambians have had their lives disrupted by load shedding, which has not come about instantaneously, but is the gradual result of poor or lack of long-term planning. The tendency by successive Governments to shelve the plans of the preceding Governments is what is causing load shedding. There have been plans to develop power stations, but they were shelved when a new Government came into power. However, the new Government still had to provide the energy required for the economic activities to take place. Unfortunately, that energy was now unavailable.

Mr Speaker, as leaders, we must allow our technocrats to plan and let those plans be implemented. Shelving away plans because they were made by a party that is no longer in power just you want to have your own plans will bring problems. Maybe, some of us do not know that for a power station, for example, a thermal one, to be operationalised, it takes a minimum of five years from the time you embark on its construction to the time you can generate energy. For a hydro-power plant, you need a minimum of seven years. That is the gestation period. So, when all these plans are put in place, we must not, just for political expediency, do away with them because all of us suffer the consequences of such actions.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about the aspect of promoting cost-effective operations in the Government to eliminate wastage and abuse of public resources. The President of this country has talked about this and this House discusses this problem every year, through the Report of the Public Accounts Committee. So many resources are wasted in the Government, but we do not take any action against the perpetrators and, at the end of the day, the tax payer is the one who is affected. The person who is supposed to get services delivered in Lukolwe, Chavuma, does not because the money is diverted somewhere else. So, the wastage in the Government should be contained.

Mr Speaker, we cannot share poverty. We can only share wealth. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us, Zambians and the political leadership, to provide leadership so that people can believe. Currently, people do not believe what we tell them. So, let us inspire our people that, although we have had challenges, we can overcome them. We should not do things that will make the public lose confidence in us.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Siliya (Petauke Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the Motion of Thanks on the Speech presented to this House by His Excellency the President, Mr Chagwa Lungu, last Friday.

Mr Speaker, it is said that man alone has the capacity to transform his thoughts into physical reality. Man alone has the capacity to dream and to make dreams come true, and I believe that is why President Lungu’s Speech was titled “Embracing a Culture of Transformation for a Smart Zambia Now.” I know that the Speech is anchored on the overall African Union (AU) goals for the next fifty years, which envisions an Africa that is integrated, prosperous, peaceful and, most of all, managed and driven by its citizens.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, one of the debaters asked what was smart about trying to embrace a cultural transformation for a smart Zambia. I remember visiting Brazil a few years ago and the country’s hon. Minister of Education told me that, on each day, he knew how many children had attended class and how many had not because they had made a decision to take information and communication technology (ICT) to the classroom and have connectivity even to his office so that he would be able to follow what was happening in the classroom. I believe that was a smart investment. That is smart thinking.

Mr Speaker, many of us recall that, in the 1980s, we had many teachers and doctors from Cuba. Even at the height of the embargo, with all the challenges that the people of Cuba were going through, they were still able to have a surplus of teachers in the sciences and mathematics, and they were able to send the teachers and doctors to many African countries. They had realised, fifty years ago, that they needed to do the important thing first, that is, to prosper, be peaceful and invest in human development. That is smart planning.

Mr Speaker, just in Rwanda, here in Africa, to which many of us have been and about whose advancement we talk, the President has led a paperless Cabinet because they have invested in ICT, innovation and technology. That is smart thinking.

Mr Speaker, as we all know, the Chinese President is in the United States of America (USA) and is meeting business people, making deals worth billions of dollars. Despite the diplomatic issues between the two countries, as we often see on television, they are still doing the smart thing, which is talking and planning for the prosperity of their countries.

Sir, everybody is talking about Dubai. Fifty years ago, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was just a small country in the sand with a sea. Today, it is a world transport hub because some people had sat down and said to themselves, “These are just challenges. Let us use what God has given us, that is, the sand, the sea and, of course, with some luck, the oil.” They had smart thinking because they wanted to create a country and world that we all want to have. If you are an architect and you have the money, your dreams, your thoughts, become a reality in the Emirates.  

Mr Speaker, I believe that, when the President came here, last Friday, he did not come to lament. Of course, we all feel nostalgic and look at the last fifty years of Independence because it is the right thing to do. We learn from the past. However, I believe that the President did not come here to apportion blame for what may have gone wrong in the last fifty years or even to just praise one or two groups of people for what has gone right because that is a national responsibility. I believe that what the President came to do here last Friday was sell hope and a smart vision for the next fifty years. I believe that the most important thing he did was to invite each one of us to ask ourselves the question:  The last fifty years are over. What will be our next step for the next fifty years?

Sir, I believe that we should ask ourselves what kind of Zambia we want to see in the next fifty years. Usually, people will tell you not to cross the bridge until you get to it, but I believe that those who are successful in life have made it because they could first imagine crossing that bridge. They could imagine a certain reality before they even got to it. I think that is what the President came to tell us last Friday. He came to try and get all of us to cross that bridge where we are always objecting; where we always cannot see hope; where we are always asking, “Why can it not be done?” instead of, “How can we do it?” Where we are always pulling each other down and failing to pull ourselves forward; where we are always thinking that ridiculing each other is the way to go; and where we are always changing positions. Today, we are supporting violence, the next day, we are condemning it; today, we are supporting a free economy, tomorrow we are not. We are always uncertain in policy direction. So, I think that what the President tried to do last Friday was get all of us to find ourselves at a point in time where we can ask: What is the next step? How do we move forward? How do we cross that bridge in our minds? In order to have a cultural transformation, I will go further and make a statement that many in this House know, namely, that we need that mental infrastructure re-engineering. What we have done in the last fifty years has brought us here. What can we do differently? I think that that is what the President came to tell us last Friday. What can we do differently?

Sir, integrating Zambia goes beyond the mental space. There is also the geographical space. We must be able to continue providing the infrastructure that will connect the whole country so that we open up areas for enterprise and economic development. I am happy that the Government is on a path of providing infrastructure. The citizens are in a hurry.

Sir, I want to be able to go to Petauke in the morning and come back in the evening because I can get on an electric train. That is the integration I see in my mind for the future of Zambia. When we talk about tourism, we always think of foreigners, but I want to see any Zambian be able to get on a plane in the morning, fly to Mpulungu and be back in the evening. We want to see a Zambia that is integrated in terms of communication. Just yesterday, my colleague, Hon. Miyutu, was lamenting the lack of access to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) signal in his constituency. So, we are in a hurry to see that integration take place.

Mr Speaker, as Hon. Dr Guy Scott said yesterday, I believe that, when it comes to integration, we cannot continue to talk about the potential of Zambia’s landlocked position. I think that it is time we truly started thinking outside the box. How do we make Zambia’s geographical position as advantageous as possible? I truly want to echo Hon. Dr Scott’s words that potential is not enough because people will not eat it just like they cannot share poverty. We need to translate the potential into real trade routes so that it translates into prosperity for our people. As Benjamin Franklin once said, trade never hurt any nation, and we in this position, with all these neighbours, must be the first example to show that we can trade with our neighbours, not just with far-off countries. I think that is what will even precipitate local manufacturing because we are more likely to produce goods that will be acceptable to our neighbours than to those who are far away from us ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: ... because of shared history, culture and social relations.

Mr Speaker, prosperity does not come in a vacuum. It needs men and women with the character and ability to make things happen. That is why, first of all, I think that education is number one. We have been talking about having universal access to education in terms of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are coming to an end this year, yet we still have many children who are not in classrooms. I put a question on this matter to Her Honour the Vice-President on the Floor of this House. We even have children who are in school, but they do not finish their education because they either get pregnant at a very early age or go into child marriages. In fact, I wish to ask this question: What kind of man looks at a five-year-old child and thinks of taking off his clothes? I think, truly, this is an issue that we must address because keeping girl children out of school is a total assault on the economic and social development of our country. We are as much a part of this population as the men are. So, if Zambia is to prosper and engage with the region and the world, the girl child has to remain in school. Of course, we must address the challenges of the boy child as well. The question for the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education must not be about how much we can invest in each child in Zambia, but about the cost, fifty years from now, of not investing in all the children in Zambia. If we are to be a United Arab Emirates or a Singapore, each child, whether boy or girl, must be in the classroom. I think that this is the vision that the President came to sell to us.

Mr Speaker, it is the same for the health sector. We need a healthy society to be a rich society.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Sir, the President referred to the current challenges of load shedding. I think that we are not making it a point that, beyond load shedding, water supply is also affected. I know that, in Petauke, we are looking for over K500,000 to mitigate the effects of load shedding and low voltage on water supply.

Sir, I am glad that the President talked about housing. However, he just gave us a vision, like I keep saying. However, that vision will not translate into prosperity if the people who have the power and authority to implement it do not think outside the box. For, example, I know that there were challenges of land and investors in Chingola this morning. It is time the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection put its money where its mouth is. It must institute far-reaching land reforms so that Zambians can feel confident that the country’s land belongs to them. They should not feel infringed upon by the so-called investors. Otherwise, we will continue, in the future, to have investors and Zambian citizens fighting over land. So, it is time we stopped paying lip service to the issues of land in this country. It will not do for the hon. Minister to continue telling us the same things, year in year out. We want to see change.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Further, it will not do for us to talk about the Chinese, Lebanese or any other nationality, not a Zambian, every time we talk about investment. It has become normal to see foreigners build flats all over Lusaka. If the person building flats is a foreigner, no one asks any questions. However, if Hon. Mutati, my dear friend, starts building flats, he will have the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on his neck.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We cannot have a country in which we want prosperity, yet our mental infrastructure fails to appreciate riches.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: How many millionaires have we made in this country? I saw the President of China in America with the owner of Alibaba Group and other billionaires. In Zambia, I do not know how many millionaires we have taken to New York for business. We have to ask the tough questions because we cannot keep doing things the same way. How many millionaires have we made in last five, ten or fifty years? We have to ask those questions.

Mr Speaker, the President was very categorical in saying that the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) needs to be reformed and I urge the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to reform the CEEC. South Africans were very clear on whom their programmes were meant to empower, namely, indigenous South Africans. Here, we are not sure because it is all mixed up. We talk about empowering Zambian-owned companies, which can mean anything. Maybe, we need to go back to the basics and ask ourselves whom we intend to empower. I believe that it should be Zambians so that they get rich and set up the bean-canning factories that Hon. Mwalimu Simfukwe and others talked about. It cannot be impossible to use Government instruments to ban the importation of canned beans. We have been growing beans in this country forever. So, we cannot depend on the good will of an individual who says, “I will not eat imported beans anymore.” The Government must serve national interests for the greater good of all of us, not for the good of individuals only. If, for instance, a person says that they will not eat beans, we cannot agree with them and say that, “This is the way to go.” No. There is something wrong with that kind of thinking.

Mr Speaker, on tourism, the President was very categorical when he said that he wanted to see Zambians invest in tourism in the next fifty years.  However, if a Zambian wants to put up a five-star hotel at Samfya Beach, he or she will find it impossible. They will not get the financing and we will only be too happy to give the opportunity to someone. When I go to Uganda, I stay in a five-star hotel owned by a Ugandan. In Zambia, nobody owns a five-star hotel. We should be ashamed. Going forward, we should bear in mind that it is normal for Zambians to own five-star hotels. We need to change our banking laws. I remember Hon. Chikwanda saying on the Floor of this House that, if we were not careful, we would reach a point at which a person would need to bribe someone to get a loan from a bank.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: What kind of a country is that? We cannot continue this way.

Sir, I believe, going forward, that we still have an opportunity for smart planning and I am happy that the Government has established the Ministry of Development Planning. I know that some people have argued about the cost of establishing the ministry, but I think that we have paid a greater cost by not having it. We need smart planning so that the whole country, not just certain areas, develops. I recall, as a junior Minister, how Hon. Dr Musokotwane, who was then an advisor to the late President, Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC., had a keen interest in following up on how each ministry was meeting its targets. A Government does not operate in a vacuum, but must have a plan and know where it is going.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: We must not continue to replicate the same plans, day in, day out. The smartest thing that we need to do is start smart budgeting.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Siliya: Everything that the President said and everything the hon. Ministers need to do depends on smart budgeting in terms of planning, revenue collection and execution. I know from experience that most of the budgets are cut-and-paste. I also know from experience that, sometimes, we do not even really think about the needs of the people in the remotest parts of Zambia. Day in, day out, people are asking for schools and hospitals. So, we must prioritise. I believe that the most important word that the President brought to this House was “smart.” Let us all begin to be smart in everything we do.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I am humbled by this opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to the Speech made by the President when he officially opened this House. In debating this Motion, I adopt many of the words spoken by the last two speakers as my own. I agree with them entirely. I, however, wish to add just a few comments to what they have said.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech has attracted interest from diverse groups. Some sections of our society have said it was too long-term and did not deal with today’s issues while others have said that it was visionary and looked into the future. Personally, it left me thinking that it is true when they say a glass can either be half-full or half-empty depending on the state of one’s mind and the issues that a person is dealing with.

Sir, the Speech touched on some short-term issues, such as load shedding, which is very current. I also think that some of the measures that we were told were in the process of being implemented are very interesting, quite reassuring and concerned short-term matters.

Sir, there was also a lot of concern about the fact that the dollar-kwacha exchange rate, which has not behaved well in the last few months and is also a short-term matter, was not touched on. However, I want to agree with Hon. Dr Scott, the former Vice-President, who said that the Kwacha is a market index, and that we must not panic and try to manage it through political statements. Otherwise, it might send signals to the market that may backfire. I agree with that sentiment. I think that the President was advised to leave out the issue of the kwacha from his Speech because it is a very sensitive thing. In any case, we are the kwacha. I think that the long-term aspect was the core of this Speech, and that was the issue of transforming this country.

Sir, when I heard some people make commentaries, I realised that this Speech is not prepared by a few people. The President’s Speech qualifies to be a state-of-the-nation address. What the President presented to us are the thoughts of many experts, some of whom are our relatives, sons and daughters, who all made their contributions to the Speech. So, we need to look at it in that way. Most of you have been in the Government and know how Speeches are generated. Those are the views of hundreds of civil servants, experts and even the private sector. It is the collective wisdom of the people of Zambia through those people we have entrusted to advise the Presidency.


Mr Simfukwe: Sir, there was also an element of back-tracking. Some things that were abandoned are now being resurrected.


Mr Simfukwe: That is certainly a matter that should receive considered attention. However, there is a saying in my tradition, in Mambweland and Lunguland, but I will say it in English, not Mambwe. We say that a step backwards after a wrong turn is a step in the right direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, …


Ms Imenda: Say it in Mambwe!

Ms Namugala: Say it in Mambwe!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Member continue.


Mr Mtolo: Hear, hear! Continue in Mambwe.

Mr Speaker: Continue hon. Member. No dictates.

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, Hon. Namugala is my traditional cousin. So, I think that she wants to hear her cousin’s language on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker: She can hear it over a cup of tea in a few minutes time.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I also realised, from the Speech, that what is good for politics or winning elections is not always good for the economy. If the President had desired to only address 2016, we would not have heard many of the long-term things that he said because many of them go beyond the next election. I believe that long-term issues come up when someone is more concerned about the future of the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, ‘transformation’ is a word that was used prominently in the Speech. The President mentioned it twenty-eight times. He also used the words ‘remodelling’ and ‘reorienting,’ which mean the same thing. Altogether, this means that the President mentioned the word transformation thirty times, almost once every second page. This seems to be what this Speech was trying to tell us. I looked at different sources to figure out what the President was trying to tell us and found the following definition of transformation: A shift in the collective consciousness of a country or society and usually results in a reinvigorated and revitalised population with economic prosperity and restored civic pride.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: That is what transformation means, …


Mr Simfukwe … according to Wikipedia and the Oxford English Dictionary, among other sources. The word was mentioned thirty times in the seventy-three-paged Speech.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I wanted …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, before business was adjourned I was about to add to the definition of transformation by giving some examples and I came across South Africa as one of the best of examples I could find close by. That nation transformed itself when it defeated Apartheid and created the new South Africa. The leaders who participated in the process can be referred to as transformational leaders; leaders who make a profound difference. I also wanted to share some names of eminent persons who are held to have been transformational leaders, just to add face to this issue of transformation. Of course, I have alluded to Mr Nelson Mandela, may his soul rest in peace. Here, at home, we have Dr Kenneth Kaunda (KK) and his team that liberated this country. We also have my name-sake, Julius Kambarage Mwalimu Nyerere. It is just a coincidence that he was Mwalimu as well.


Mr Simfukwe: Sir, it might surprise some for me to mention that the greatest transformational leader who ever lived on this earth is Jesus Christ.  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Sir, on the traditional leadership side, we have had Shaka Zulu, whose actions are responsible for one hon. Minister’s presence in this House. The hon. Minister is from Eastern Province because of this great king, Shaka Zulu, who transformed the Southern African region completely.

Mr Speaker, from the female gender, there was Florence Nightingale, the woman who is famous for her nursing work. The list is very long, but some of the names are not appealing because they did very bad things, but they still transformed society.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, I see the President of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as an aspiring candidate for recognition as a transformational leader because he presented a Speech whose theme is transformation. If even half of the vision carried in his Speech could be realised, we would be looking at a transformational leader in the next few years.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, there is another word that was used in the Speech several times, namely, ‘patriotism’. The President used it three times with another word, ‘equity’. These words are profound because the President is calling on all of us to be patriotic. We should have collective responsibility, a shared responsibility and work together wherever we are. This does not only apply to political leaders, but also to the private sector, civil servants, farmers and everyone else. We need to work together and transform our nation.

Mr Speaker, if we, indeed, want to be patriotic, we must seek the right solutions, which should not be the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), Patriotic Front (PF) or United Party for National Development (UPND) solutions alone. This country needs the right solutions for us to transform our nation.

Mr Speaker, the question that comes out of what I have just said is: “Are we, Zambians, ready to transform our country in equity and patriotism?” Almost all the strategies the President mentioned are anchored on the performance of the Public Service in the next one year and beyond, according to the vision of the Speech. Everything lies in the Public Service. The supervisors of the Public Service are the hon. Ministers in the Front Bench, who do the supervision on behalf of the President. These need to rise to the challenge of the President to transform this country. The answers that have been coming from the Front Bench that appear aloof, fluffy, woolly and unclear must end.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Sir, the President does not want unpatriotic answers in which hon. Ministers sound like it is not their responsibility to be concerned about how this economy performs, whether we have a textile industry or not and why we have become a big market for South African products. He has asked the Front Bench to rise to the occasion and change its mindset. This afternoon, all the Questions for Oral Answer have been very poorly answered.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Sir, we need patriotism and a change of mindset in the Front Bench, as the President directed. We want smart answers.

Sir, it is obvious that some of the key transformational issues that have arisen in this House in the short period I have been here centre on what we do with this value of this over-centralised Public Service. Who will have the transformational leadership abilities to support the President to decentralise the Public Service so that functions get closer to the people? It is the hon. Ministers, especially the Front Benchers who are supposed to guide and support the President. Who will advise and support the President in reviewing and transforming our ministries, which were shaped by Dr Kaunda and his colleagues in the 1960s based on a communist ideology from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)? They are no longer suitable because most of them have communist ideas and need to be restructured. Who will do that? It is the hon. Ministers in the Front Bench. Who will ensure that there is equity in our country? It is the people who supervise the Public Service.

Sir, there are several strategies that the President mentioned, but I doubt if they will really come to fruition if the mindset of those in the Public Service is not changed by the hon. Ministers on the Front Bench.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, there is talk of setting up a national airline, for example. The most profitable airline in Africa is Ethiopian Airlines. South African Airways, one of the biggest airlines on the continent, is less profitable. However, we cannot even run the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) Limited. A national airline will be established next year. So, we need to change our mindset. Otherwise, this venture will become a bottomless pit for public funds. You cannot run an airline if you cannot change your mindset.

Sir, the President talked about allowing Zambians to control the economy. However, where is the legislation that makes it difficult for foreigners to become richer than Zambians? The Front Bench has to bring it here. It cannot end in pronouncements. When we talk about land being restricted to Zambians, the hon. Ministers always come forward and defend the foreigners. That mindset must change because it is not patriotic.

Mr Speaker, there are several issues that the President has prioritised and wants to see achieved in the next one year. However, that will not happen if there is no transformation of mindset for practical and smart supervision of the Civil Service.

Mr Speaker, I see that we still have the problem of most of the funds ending at the ministries’ headquarters, with very little trickling down to the districts. Who will tell the hon. Minister of Finance or the President to change the structure of the Budget so that the money can go to the districts? Only a little money should remain at the ministries’ headquarters. The rest should be planned for at the district because that will immediately transform the economy of this country. However, that can only happen if the hon. Ministers change their mindset and stop being cowards. They should be brave enough to encourage the President and the hon. Minister of Finance to change the structure of the Budget. Currently, our Budget is archaic, too centralised and Lusaka-based. In Mbala, what we can do with a little more money can change the constituency for good. The question is: Who, in the Front Bench, will help us do that?

Mr Speaker, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has said that the civil servants have all the training degrees, plans and programmes, but also have a problem with their mindset. We, therefore, need to encourage a culture of transformational leadership so that there is a new mindset in the Public Service. Civil servants must know how to achieve things and set time tables and targets.

Mr Speaker, it is very interesting that the word ‘smart’ has been mentioned in the Speech. When I was a young officer in programme planning, ‘smart’ was a very important word and I am quite sure that is why it was included in the President’s Speech. It is an acronym that basically emphasises that whatever you do must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. It must also be result-focused. One does not become woolly and just make empty and bottomless comments. The President is asking that we refrain from making empty statements even on the Floor of the House. To become functional, when a board is appointed, it should be given targets and, if it fails to meet those targets, it should be dissolved. To maintain a board that has no target on profitability, performance and asset levels is not transformational. It is, therefore, a challenge to us, political leaders, Public Service workers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the private sector and all the Zambians in the Diaspora to transform Zambia. However, although the challenge is to all of us, what is at the core of delivering on what the President aspires to achieve in the next one year is how the Public Service will perform. Also, if the hon. Ministers in the Front Bench can stop giving woolly answers, become smart in what they do and take their jobs seriously, they will achieve what the President has set out to achieve.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity that you have given me to add my voice to the debate on the Presiden’s Speech during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, from the outset, allow me to thank the President for the wonderful Speech he delivered to this House. It was well-thought-out, excellent, inspiring and touching, and covered many areas that included housing, health, education and agriculture. I was very inspired and humbled by it, as it also brought out many of the challenges that the country is currently facing but, above all, it had solutions.

Mr Speaker, the reason I was very inspired and excited when this Speech was delivered is that, although it covered many areas that weigh our hearts down, the President submitted it to God Almighty. That touched my heart.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: He sealed his Speech in the blood of Jesus although, to some, it was just another Speech delivered.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Sir, on Page 72, in case some people missed it, at the end of the wonderful Speech, the President states that:

“Hate, bitterness, contempt and envy are evil vices that have no place in a society like ours …”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima:

“We are above that. We are a Christian nation. Let me take this opportunity to announce that I have proclaimed 18th October, 2015, a day of national prayer and fasting for reconciliation, forgiveness and generally to encourage the nation to seek the face of God. The proclamation order will be published later today.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, he went on to state that:

“I have absolutely no doubt the living God who guided our forefathers will guide us in our current endeavours.”

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Ms Kalima:

“We are an aspiration nation! We are a nation of faith. We are a Christian

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Ms Kalima: Sir, as I sat in my seat, I was very humbled that the President could seal his Speech in the blood of Jesus.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Sir, the President’s acknowledgement of God in his Speech meant a lot to me. Firstly, he acknowledged that there is somebody above him …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: … and that he had done his part. In my heart, I could hear President Lungu say, “Nachepa, mwe Lesa. Fyonse nashila imwe.”

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Mr Speaker: Please, translate that.

Ms Kalima: Sir, it means, “On my own, I cannot do it, my God.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: “ I leave everything in your hands.”

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Ms Kalima: He acknowledged that, though he has the power, as President, the number one person in this nation, there is somebody greater than he, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I was inspired and told my neighbour here, who is my brother, that, “Nangu saomba m’manja, koma ine niombe m’mamja,” …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: … meaning, “Even if it is not advisable to clap in this House, …”

Mr Chitotela: I will clap.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: “... I will do so.”


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, to my surprise, everyone in the House applauded the President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: I know that somebody talked about ‘decorum’, but what decorum, Mr Speaker?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!


Ms Kalima: When the spirit of God leads, there is no protocol …

Hon. Government Members: Hammer!

Ms Kalima: … and that is what happened on that day.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it is a pity Hon. Ngoma is not here. Were he here, he would have confirmed that, on the day of the Jubilee Celebrations, we foresaw that President Lungu would become the President of this nation. That was before President Sata died. President Lungu was Acting President then and, when he walked out of the Presidential car, the environment was just different ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: … I said to Hon. Ngoma, “My brother, that is the one.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Sometimes, we have scales in our eyes and need the Lord Jesus Christ to remove them.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: I had scales in my eyes then and supported the United Party for National Development (UPND), but I knew that Mr Lungu was the in-coming President.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, Psalms 127 states …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kasenengwa, I have been quite liberal, so far, but there are certain rules regarding the quoting of scripture and some other sources. I think that you have made your point in so far as the Speech is concerned. I am sure that there are many other issues that want to address.

Ms Kalima: I still have time, Sir.

Mr Speaker, for me, the Speech was amazing. In the four years I have been in this House, I have never heard such a Speech and that is why I was explaining the applause that the President received from everyone in the House.

Sir, all attainments start with pronouncements. I have heard some people say that this is mere rhetoric. However, I asked myself how long President Lungu has been a President and spoken in such a manner. Even when God was creating the universe, He did it by proclamation. He said, “Let there be light,” and ...

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Ms Kalima: … “Let us make man in our image.”

 Mr Speaker, in other words, things start with pronouncements. The implementation comes later.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!  

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, …


Mr Mbulakulima left the Assembly Chamber.

Ms Kalima: I thought that he wanted to raise a point of order. So, I wanted to give him the chance.

Mr Speaker: Please, continue, hon. Member.

Ms Kalima: As for me, I know that the proclamation by the President was not in vain because this Speech (raising the President’s Speech up) holds the answers.

Sir, after the Official Opening of Parliament on Friday, I asked a number of people, especially those I knew would be against the President’s Speech, how they felt about the Speech. Some said that it was a bit of a challenge while others said that the dollar had not been mentioned in the Speech. So, I wondered what dollar those people were talking about because, for me, there was no explanation …

Hon. Members: Which dollar?

Ms Kalima: Sir, I am not talking about my sister, Hon. Dora (Siliya), but rather the United States (US) Dollar. After that, I was just reminded that, even in a classroom, we hear and understand things differently. The same teacher can simultaneously teach two pupils, but one will pass and the other will fail. To me, the President’s Speech was touching and full of hope.

 Mr Speaker, in that Speech, the President acknowledged many things and it takes a humble person to acknowledge challenges and accept that we have a problem and provide solutions like he did on Friday. The President acknowledged the load shedding problem and provided the short, medium and long-term solutions. He went on to acknowledge the looming hunger that some people may face, mentioned some examples of affected districts and said that the problem was due to crop failure resulting from the poor rainfall patterns that the country had experienced during the last farming season. He, then, provided solutions on Page 11, namely, the provision of relief food, sinking of boreholes and supply of inputs.

Mr Speaker, the President also acknowledged the challenges in the administration of the Pubic Order Act. How many times have we talked about the Public Order Act in this House? I am glad to state that we should give credit where it is due. When I listened to Hot FM (87.7) Radio today, I heard that the hon. Minister of Justice has already started working on the Public Order Act and that he is not doing it alone with the Government or the Cabinet, but with other stakeholders, such as the civil society.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: The civil society is already involved in that. So, you can see that it is not just talk, but implementation as well.

 Mr Speaker, on Page 15, the President also acknowledges the high cost of mealie meal and other commodities. In my view, this encompasses all the talk about the foreign exchange rate. Let me take this opportunity to state that, sometimes, we want to pretend to be ignorant about what is happening. I agree that there could be many other reasons, but most of us know that what is happening in this country is also happening in other countries, although that should not be a reason for us to just sit and say that the President said that it is happening everywhere. I have a child who is studying in Australia. When I went to send some money, I had to pay A$7,500 for each US$1,000. China and South Africa are also going through the same thing. Therefore, that should not be the reason for us to just sit idly. Instead, we should acknowledge that there is a problem and offer solutions.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is that the price of copper has gone down. So, instead of always wanting to criticise, we should offer solutions. President Lungu came to this House with solutions and most of them are on Page 6 and 7 of his Speech.

Sir, let me now talk about job creation. On Page 15, the President spoke about the co-operative movement and I am very comfortable talking about this movement because I come from there. That is the only institution I worked for before coming to this House. Most of us, hon. Members, do not even know that the concept of branches, wards and constituencies come from the co-operative movement. So, when the President talks about the creation of 500,000 jobs, indeed, the jobs will be created once the plans on the co-operatives have been implemented, and I know that it will be done because Luke 37:1 says that there is nothing impossible. It shall be done. I referred to Luke, a man, not …

 Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, I have counselled you on the manner of your presentation. Please, abide by my counsel.

 Ms Kalima: Most obliged, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I used to work for an institution called Zambia Co-operative Federation (ZCF), which I joined at an early age, just after I graduated, and worked as a manager in Monze in the grains sector, which is now the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Mr Speaker, it is very difficult when you are used to quoting Bible verses to talk without referring to them because you separate yourself. However, I will try to do that.

 Mr Speaker: Please, do try.


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I worked in Monze and was in charge of the whole of the Southern Province, from Mazabuka to Namwala, when I was just twenty-one years old. I also worked for the same institution as Commercial Manager in charge of Lusaka under the input programme. Therefore, when I talk about input supply and the ZCF, in particular, I am talking about practical things.

Sir, the creation of the jobs will be done because the branch, ward to constituency levels will be under the primary societies. Thereafter, the programme will spread to the district and provincial co-operative unions and, finally, to the mother body, the ZCF. So, I do not see only the 500,000 jobs being created because, like the President said, the co-operatives are cross-cutting institutions because they are not limited to agriculture. You can start a co-operative on anything. For example, the ZCF Agri-business, ZCF Commercial, ZCF Financial services and ZCF Transport were not departments, but subsidiaries of the ZCF, once one of the most successful institutions in the country. So, if the plan is implemented, I see the 500,000 jobs being created just like by the click of a finger. So long as it is has started, it will bear fruits although it is still in a shell. Once it is operating at full capacity, I see those jobs being created because this will be a solution to many things. There will be development and people will have income.  So, it all starts from there. Actually, when these things and all the wonderful things in this Speech are implemented in the next nine months, I wonder if any serious Zambian will even think of contesting an election against President Lungu.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: Bwekashapo!

Ms Kalima: Sir, we may come to a point where we start saying that President Lungu should just go through the elections unopposed.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Therefore, come 2021, we will have a situation like the one they have in Rwanda situation because the economy will be doing very well and we will hear people cry for President Lungu to go for a third term.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, a politician and power is a problem.


 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Mutelo Mr Speaker, I will go straight to the President’s Speech.  

Sir, speaking on Friday, as shown on Page 8 of his Speech, the President said:

“Hon. Members, we meet today at a time when the nation is going through a difficult phase.”

Sir, this simply means that, even as we were meeting, even before we met and even after we met, including today, the country is going through a difficult phase. That is the reality.

Mr Speaker, the President went on and said:

    “I meet Zambians from all walks of life who share their frustrations with me.”

Mr Speaker, I do, too, because I live with them.

Sir, there is total frustration and, in the midst of this frustration, we can say whatever we want, but the frustration is still there.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, the frustration was there before we met on Friday. It is here today and it will still be there tomorrow. If the kwacha trades at K20 against the United States (US) Dollar, there will still be total frustration.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, on load-shedding, the President said:

“No one is spared. Not even myself. A few days ago, I was in the Heroes Stadium when there was a power failure.”

Sir, yesterday, when the former Vice-President was speaking, we had a power outage just here, in the House. That was totally frustrating.

Sir, in the midst of that frustration, we have “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now” as the theme for this year’s Address by the President. Which “Smart Zambia Now” is the President talking about when our people are frustrated?


Mr Mutelo: Where is the smart Zambia? There is a lot of frustration, yet you the President is talking about a smart Zambia now? Which now? Why is he even mentioning the people’s frustrations?


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, as regards the power failure at the Heroes Stadium, we knew that the country was experiencing load shedding and that the Republican President would be going to the stadium to watch the soccer match. Therefore, we should have done certain things beforehand to avoid the power failure on that day, especially since the game that was being played was an international one. So, thank you very much for the fifty years of Independence. However, if we cannot solve the problems that we are facing now, we will all die. So, who will be there fifty years from now? The power deficit we are now facing tells us that we must plan for the future. So, our shelving of plans yesterday is the root cause of today’s frustrations.

Sir, when we complained about the creation or splitting of ministries, we were told that that was what was contained in the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto. What has happened to that manifesto, since ministries are now being split? The Government is now taking co-operatives to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. Tomorrow, it will bring the portfolio back to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. So, there is total frustration.

Mr Speaker, in Lukulu and Mitete, an egg now costs K2 while a fritter costs K1. The prices of commodities are now going up. So, if we cannot sit and find solutions to these problems, we will leave our children and generations to come in debts that they will not be able to pay back.  This is the reality, whether we accept it or not.

Sir, on Page 72 of his Address to this House, the President talked about co-existing. Are we living as one? In 1911, North-Eastern Rhodesia and North-Western Rhodesia merged and formed Northern Rhodesia. In 1953, Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland merged into one country. However, I am pretty sure the three countries failed to co-exist because, in 1963, that union was disbanded. If we are to co-exist, then, we must be united. Currently, the reality is total frustration.

Sir, during the last sitting of this House, thirteen by-elections were held. Today, we have two that are underway. You cannot run a nation like that. Civil servants’ salaries are delayed and the Government now even advertises the disbursement of civil servants’ salaries. Why had the Government not been advertising previous salary disbursements? That is because money meant to pay workers’ salaries has been taken to fund by-elections. So, to ease the tension, the Government is forced to announce that salaries for civil servants have been released. Why did the Government not release the salaries when they were due? All this is making people frustrated.

Mr Speaker, the Government is saying that it wants to promote cost-effective operations, and eliminate wastefulness and abuse of public resources, yet it is creating more ministries and districts even though in a district we have already created, Mitete, there is nothing happening. How many buildings have been built there? We are saying we want to eliminate the wastage and abuse of public resources and that, to do this, we need to plan. So, I am waiting to see the 2016 Budget be presented to this House in October, this year. The budgeting has already been done, but we are being told about a planning unit. What will that unit plan for? Is it for the 2016 or 2017 Budget? The Budget Speech for next year is almost ready, but the Ministry of Development Planning has just been created.

Sir, obviously, the creation of new ministries is aimed at creating more ministerial positions. There are already sixty three hon. Ministers. When you add the five for the newly-created ministries, there will be sixty eight. If you add ten or more deputy ministers, the number will be close to eighty. So, it means that almost all the eighty-six PF hon. Members of Parliament will be hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers. The composition of the House is 150 hon. Members. So, more than half of the hon. Members of this House will be hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Is that promoting cost-effective operations in the Government or eliminating wastage and abuse of public resources? Is that what it is or do we just want to appease some people? Maybe, the timing is also wrong. In 2011, we, on this side of the House, advised the Government against disbanding some ministries. Are the plans of the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, not good today when they were good just four years ago? Now that we are about to finish a term of office, those plans are no longer okay. For four years, the PF hon. Members have been praising President Sata’s Speeches. However, now, with only about a year before Parliament is dissolved, they say that his policies were not okay. When you make a decision, as a leader, you must maintain it and stand by it.

Sir, we hear the One Zambia, One Nation motto in this House but, when people are out there, they start saying ‘wako ni wako,’ ‘wahao ki wahao’ or ‘wobe wobe’. The loose translation of these phrases is that blood is thicker than water. So, what should we believe in between what we are hearing out there and what is being said in this House?


Mr Mutelo: Should our message to the people depend on the forum we are at? At one forum, we hear leaders preaching wako ni wako, when the same leaders come here to Parliament, they say we are One Zambia, One Nation. So, which is the correct message? When it comes to national issues, our message should be the same at all fora, period.

Mr Speaker, there are issues that have been pending since 1964, such as the Barotseland Agreement. However, nothing was said about this agreement in the President’s Speech. Why was this matter not mentioned?


Mr Mutelo: That is frustrating to the Lozi people. The Government should attend to issues that are obtaining at a particular time. If we will just be giving excuses and leaving current matters unattended to, we will not move forward as a country.

Mr Speaker, since the current term was for President Michael Sata, we should finish his vision. Why should we change the vision now when we are just nine months away from the general elections? Besides, whosoever will take the day after the elections will, again, change the country’s vision and agenda because that is the Zambian way of doing things. If we will continue in that line, we will not be building a better Zambia. The first thing we must realise is that in as much as we are doing things for our children, we should also consider the impact of our actions on the present situation.

Mr Speaker, 18th October, 2015, has been declared a day for national prayer and fasting. I have no problem with that, but we must note that people are already fasting even before that day has come.


Mr Mutelo: They are fasting even now.

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes!

Mr Mutelo: The declaration should have just said that State House will join in the fasting that people are already doing.


Mr Mutelo: When people are frustrated due to the current economic situation in the country, do we expect them not be praying and fasting already?


Mr Mutelo: When an egg costs K2 and bread close to K10, how will people afford to have breakfast, lunch and supper? They can only afford one meal a day. Therefore, they are already fasting and praying. So, we will just be joining the rest of the country in prayer and fasting on that day. Even after 18th October, 2015, people will continue fasting because their frustration will not end on that day.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, I want to repeat that the declaration should have just stated that the political leadership of the country will join the praying and fasting that is already going on. Reconciliation and forgiveness were mentioned in the declaration, but the word ‘repentance’ was left out.

Mr Speaker, the President talked about co-operatives on pages 15 to 18 of his Speech. We were informed that graduating nurses, teachers and doctors can form co-operatives to run business entities. However, who can form a co-operative in Washishi, Mitete or Kaputa and expect the rural people to pay, for example, for medical services? Moreover, what happened to the recruitment of 5,000 teachers that the Government had said it would undertake in August, this year? Does the Government expect those graduating from teaching programmes to also form co-operatives?


Mr Mutelo: The 5,000 teachers were supposed to be employed in August. This is now September. So, where are they? We want those teachers so that they can help provide quality education in Washishi. We had told our people to be patient until August, 2015, but nothing has happened. There are schools with one teacher for Grades 1 to 9, and even up to Grade 12. When certain areas experience such a situation, can we say that there is equity in the distribution of public services, such as education?

Sir, if we say that teachers should form co-operatives, the rural areas will be disadvantaged because there are very few teachers there. If the Government wants scientists, they can be groomed from among the children in the rural areas. However, potential is useless until it is tapped.

Sir, if we continue to neglect the potential in rural areas and continue running this country as we are doing now, we are doomed.

Mr Speaker, I heard kudos being given to the hon. Minister of Finance yesterday that, had he not intervened, the exchange rate between the kwacha and the US Dollar would have gone haywire. However, despite what he did, he is having sleepless nights because it has continued going …

Mr Speaker: I do not think you should debate him.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, there is total frustration among the citizenry and, if we do not find an immediate solution to the current economic situation in the country, the people’s frustrations will only get worse. If the status quo prevails until the 2016 General Elections, we will leave it to those who will be there to make a decision.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1724 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 25th September, 2015.




32. Ms Miti (Vubwi) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when the electrification of Vubwi District by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) would be completed;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was; and

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

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the electrification of Vubwi District is being undertaken by the Zambia Electrify Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited, not the Rural Electrification Authority (REA). The project is scheduled to be completed by the end of September, 2015.

Sir, the contractors working on the project, which stretches from Chadiza Turn-off Sub-Station in Chipata to Vubwi District and covers 47 km of 33 kV three-phase overhead line, are EVADUKU and LAATU.

Sir, the cost of the project is K6 million. The project is financed by the Zambian Government through ZESCO.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.