Debates - Friday, 25th September, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Friday, 25th September, 2015

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence, in the Speaker’s Gallery, of the following hon. Members of the Malawi Parliamentary Service Commission:

Hon. Vitus G. Dzoole Mwale, Commissioner, MP – Leader of the Delegation

Hon. Aaron Sangala, Commissioner, MP

Hon. Ralph Jooma, Commissioner, MP

Hon. Abubakar Mbaya, Commissioner, MP

Mr J. Mdala, Chief Policy and Planning Officer

Ms L. Jambo, Secretary to Deputy Clerk of Parliament

I wish, on behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them to our midst.

I thank you.


The Minister of Justice and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I rise to give the House some idea of the Business it will consider next week.

Sir, on Tuesday, 29th September, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 30th September 2015, the Business of the House will start with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address,

Sir, on Thursday, 1st October, 2015, the Business of the House will commence with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

On Friday, 2nd October, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by questions to hon. Ministers, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address. 

I thank you, Sir.



36. Mrs Masebo (Chongwe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    what the status of the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) exercise countrywide was;

(b)    what measures the Government was taking to expedite the exercise in light of the announcement by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) that it would not extend timelines set for the voter registration exercise;

(c)    why the Government had not synchronised the  issuance of the NRCs and the voter registration exercise so that citizens who obtain NRCs can also register as voters; and 

(d)    why the Government had deployed officers to issue NRCs and conduct the voter registration exercise who are, in most instances, not conversant with the local languages.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Chanda): Mr Speaker, the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) is in its second phase. As this House may recall, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs issued a ministerial statement to this House in March, 2015 in which he indicated that the exercise would be conducted in phases purely on account of financial constraints. The phases are as follows: 

(a)    Phase I of the mobile issuance of NRCs was completed in August, 2015. It covered Muchinga, Northern and Central provinces. A total of 409,638 persons were registered against a target of 245,000;

(b)    Phase II of the mobile issuance of NRCs is in progress. It was launched on 4th September, 2015. Phase II is covering Lusaka, Southern, Western and Eastern provinces. A total of 75,275 persons have so far been registered against a projected total of 500,000;

(c)    Phase III of the exercise will cover Luapula, Copperbelt and North Western provinces. This phase will commence after the conclusion of Phase II in November, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the exercise is being undertaken in phases as I have already alluded to. Although the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is currently conducting the voter registration exercise, there should be no fear that some citizens may not register as voters because it will continue to register voters countrywide up to March, 2016, well after the completion of the mobile issuance of the NRCs. 

Sir, the issuance of the NRCs is a mandate of the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship, which is a Government department, whereas the voter registration exercise is conducted by the ECZ, a commission that is independent of the Government. Accordingly, we cannot dictate to the ECZ, the voter registration programme. 

Mr Speaker, the officers conducting the mobile issuance of the NRCs work in provinces and districts in which they are deployed with the support of only a few additional officers from other provinces and the headquarters. The officers are, therefore, conversant with the local languages and cultures of the districts in which they are assigned to conduct the exercise.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his answer said, that the department which is issuing the NRCs falls under the Ministry of Home Affairs and that the ECZ is autonomous. Does the hon. Minister understand that although the ECZ is autonomous, it still needs Government support?

Sir, secondly, does the hon. Minister realise that the issuance of the NRCs is being done in a disadvantageous to the people in the provinces which fall in Phase II compared to those who were attended to in Phase I. In Phase I, the people were first issued with the NRCs before the voter registration exercise was conducted. In our case, we have a situation whereby, after the NRCs are issued for one week, those issuing them move to another polling station while the voter registration is still taking place. This means that some youths who are eligible to vote are not registered because they do not have the NRCs. The hon. Minister said that the registration of voters will go on up to March, next year so that more people can register to vote from the Boma. It means, therefore, that those provinces that fall in Phase II …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?


Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, does the Government realise that the whole exercise is a sham, unbalanced and unfair? Is there a deliberate ploy to disenfranchise people from certain provinces in the 2016 Elections?

Mr Siamunene: On a point of order, Sir.

Col. Chanda: Sir, let me take advantage of the follow-up question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe to state that when conducting Phases I and II, we have been very transparent and intend to remain that way right up to the conclusion of the exercise ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Col. Chanda: … because we have nothing to hide. Let me also state further that we are mindful of the emotive nature of the exercise that has been assigned to us to the point that we know the implications of mishandling the exercise. The assertions of Hon. Masebo are not in tandem with the philosophy that we are employing as a ministry. 

Mr Speaker, there is a clear difference in the functions of the ECZ and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Despite that being the case, the two institutions have tried to do everything possible to synchronise their exercises. We try to ensure at all times that every person who qualifies to obtain an NRC is given maximum leeway to obtain that document. 

Mr Speaker, it is not in the best interest of the ECZ to disenfranchise some members of our community. What purpose is that going to serve? The ECZ will continue registering voters well after the Ministry of Home Affairs has completed its mobile issuance of the NRCs in February, 2016. The ECZ is cognisant of the fact that there could be a pocket of nationals who may not have registered as voters after February, 2016. It is not the intention of the ECZ to disenfranchise anybody. That is why it has deliberately set aside fourteen days in the month of March in 2016,  well after we have finished the mobile issuance of the NRCs countrywide to capture those that would not have registered as voters. How else could that be explained? 

Sir, we stand to put this country in trouble if we become selective in the way we carry out our exercises.

Hon. Opposition Members: You are!

Mr Speaker: Do not debate whilst seated.

Col. Chanda: Sir, if we do things in a selective manner, we stand to put the security of the country at risk. We are mindful of that fact. That is the more reason we are doing our best to be as inclusive as possible in the way we conduct the issuance of the NRCs countrywide. The way Phase I was conducted supports what I am saying. We did our utmost to allay the fears of all the stakeholders by having concluded Phase I professionally. 

Mr Speaker, let me further assure the House that the fear that hon. Members are advancing at the moment is a bit unfounded and should not be expressed this early. Phase III will run for ninety days. If anything, we are not infallible. If we have made mistakes during the process, we are ready to correct them in the remaining days. Therefore, there should be no fear from stakeholders that some people will be disfranchised.  They should, instead, go out and mobilise their people to come forward and register as much as possible.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, as we speak, there is a team registering for both the national registration cards (NRCs) and the voter’s cards in Liuwa and Chilibonda, to be specific. Surprisingly, the team which is responsible for issuing the NRCs came with a generator which has no oil. For the three days that they were in the area, they did nothing. They had to send one officer back to Mongu to go and look for oil while bearing in mind is that there are no minibuses in that area.

 Mr Speaker, is there a deliberate plan by the Government to introduce inefficiency so that people lose the opportunity of getting the NRCs during the four days that they are in certain areas? Is there deliberate inefficiency?
The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, this is a Government and not political party programme. It is for this reason that all hon. Members of Parliament must get involved in it. The hon. Member for Liuwa was supposed to contact me when he noticed that problem. As far as we are concerned, the programme will go on for ninety days.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, voter registration is going on right now in the North- Western Province. The hon. Deputy Minister told us that the registration of voters will continue after Phase III of the mobile issuance of the national registration cards (NRCs) has ended. I have some little comfort because the hon. Minister has assured us that the registration of voters will continue up to March, 2016. Is the exercise going to continue in the polling stations or it will be restricted to the Boma? What will happen to people who have to cover long distances like 150 km to get to the Boma in order to get registered as voters? Will the registration of voters continue in the polling stations as is the case right now?

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Phase III will start in December and finish in February, 2016. That will be a total of ninety days. After that, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will continue with the registration of voters for fourteen days. Thus, all those who will get the NRCs in Phase III will have an opportunity to register as voters.


 Mr Mwila: Of course, they will go in the polling stations.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister has answered very well.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, not too long ago, we were in our constituencies interacting with our people. Some of the concerns of the people out there have to do with the demands of the officers from the Ministry of Home Affairs. They have been demanding for village registers in order to verify whether the people who want to get the national registration cards (NRCs) belong to the villages which they claim to come from. It is extremely unacceptable for somebody who has walked 150 km to get an NRC to be sent back to go and collect a village register. What is the ministry doing to ensure that such demands come to an end?

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I suspect that the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda is talking about those people who are over age. Procedure demands that such individuals get letters from the headmen when they go to obtain their NRCs. I recall that we worked very well with the hon. Members of Parliament from the Central Province who ensured that those who were over age got letters from the headmen and were then able to get the NRCs. Moreover, in the same centres, there are security and immigration officers who scrutinise all the processes.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, those who lost their NRCs in Washishi are being told to walk 205 km to get to Lukulu for the verification of their names, villages and dates of births. Having in mind that there are no schools and people in the areas are illiterate, the time they will spend in handling the whole process of getting the NRCs and heading back home will be ten days. The villagers spend five days on the road to Lukulu. By then, the officers would have left the registration point in Washishi. Why has the ministry not given the verification forms to the police and other officers who are handling the registration process who are in Washishi?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I do not know the forms the hon. Member is talking about. The procedure is that if someone got the NRC in Lukulu, the detailed records are kept by the Lukulu District Office. Therefore, when replacing a lost NRC, the individual would have to travel to Lukulu for the verification process. 

Sir, the challenge that we have in Washishi is that the officers present in that area do not have detailed records.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, officers who are supposed to issue the NRCs in Nangoma leave before they finish doing their job. Does the hon. Minister not think that it is important for the officers to ensure that the people are adequately attended to? This is also happening in Keemba in Monze West where people were left unattended to. The people were  forced to go to other stations in order to get registered. This is not good.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I recall that when I issued a ministerial statement to this House, I indicated that officers would be at each polling station for seven days. However, we have had situations whereby the response to this exercise is so overwhelming and so, in such instances, we extend the exercise for two more weeks. So, hon. Member, if you have such a challenge, you should come to us and then we will be able to advise on the next step to be taken. This is to the benefit of the people in your constituency.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, it is re-assuring to hear the hon. Minister say that the voter registration process will carry on long after the exercise for obtaining national registration cards (NRCs) has been completed. In areas like Chavuma on the west bank, places like Nyambingila, Bikoma and Kahokola get flooded from January until May. Could the hon. Minister reassure the people that despite the areas being flooded, officers from the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will go there and register them long after the mobile issuance of the NRCs has finished.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, when we finish Phase II of the exercise, we will organise the district officers to go and issue out the NRCs in areas which have not been serviced properly. For instance, in Luano District, the exercise was not conducted and so, we have organised a chopper to enable our officers from their access the areas which have not been accessible. The same will be done in Mfuwe. So, definitely Hon. Konga, we will go to the areas which you have mentioned.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister correctly stated that this is a Government programme. If that programme was properly planned, ideally, what should have happened is that the police issuing reports to those who have lost their national registration cards (NRCs) and the officers issuing new ones should have been within the same area. That way a person would be able to get everything from one place. So, what was so difficult about the ECZ and Ministry of Home Affairs synchronising their different processes so that they are handled within the same station?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, that is why I said that hon. Members of Parliament needed to get involved in the processes. That is a very good proposal which we shall look into.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, first of all, I want to thank Hon. Sylvia Tembo Masebo for this important question which is non-partisan. Secondly, I want to thank the hon. Minister for the able manner in which he is answering this question.

Mr Mbewe: Akula uyu!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, why did we not synchronise the different processes? What is happening should be taken as a learning process. I feel that we should have synchronised the two systems to save the meager resources that were allocated for this two exercises. I am probably the only one in this House who attended the meeting with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) at which it lamented about the poor funding and also asked political parties, who are stakeholders, to help it access the K65 million for carrying out the voter registration exercise. Even if the ECZ is an autonomous body, what guarantee is the hon. Minister giving us that resources will be made available for the ECZ to conduct the voter registration exercise since the commission has made it clear that lack of funding for this particular exercise could be a constraint?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I cannot answer questions pertaining to the operations of the ECZ because it is an independent body. The mandate of my ministry only ends at the issuance of the NRCs. I am sure that the Ministry of Finance will release funds for the ECZ to execute the voters registration exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, indeed, this is an important question and I must acknowledge the hon. Minister’s responses, which are quite good this morning. The hon. Minister has indicated that if an hon. Member of Parliament has some challenges, his doors are open. I must confess that I have confronted him before. Ikeleng’i, just like Mafinga was established six years ago and the mobile issuance of the NRCs and voter registration exercises are a supplement to what is being done by the already existing offices. When will the Government establish an office in Ikeleng’i to continue carrying out the exercises beyond the mobile ones?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I will find out how far we have gone in establishing an office in Ikeleng’i.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the minimum age for one to obtain a national registration card (NRC) is sixteen years while the voting age is eighteen. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that during this period when the voter registration exercise is going on, the people who are of a voting age are given priority when the NRCs are being issued?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I said that this exercise will run for ninety days. What this means is that we will capture everyone who is interested in obtaining an NRC. There is no need for panic. I want to take this opportunity to inform this House on how we have done in this exercise so far, province by province.

Province     NRCs Issued

Lusaka    43,433
Southern      9,576
Western      4,680
Eastern    16,345

Sir, it is up to us, as leaders, to get involved and sensitise our people on the importance of acquiring the NRCs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, this particular exercise is very important, taking into account that it will affect the forthcoming referendum. For the referendum to succeed, we need to have more than 50 per cent of the eligible registered voters taking part in it. If we do not do it properly, the referendum will not succeed. The question that begs an answer is: Why is the Government not allocating adequate resources, through the hon. Minister of Finance, to ensure that more officers are assigned to assist the registration officers in order to make this exercise smooth?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, at the rate we are moving, we are doing extremely well in the sense that by the time we will be reaching November, 2015, we will be above our target. This is why we have said that each district will be given four teams. If you look at Chongwe, where the hon. Member of Parliament who has raised this question comes from, you will notice that we have sent four teams there.  However, we have seen that there are not enough people going to obtain the NRCs. Therefore, we may decide to withdraw one team and send it to Monze, Kalomo or Chipata. So, in terms of progress, we have done extremely well. I wish, again, to appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament to go and sensitise our people that they should go to the mobile stations and get the NRCs.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sianga (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Deputy Minister’s statement correctly, he stated that funds are available for the exercise which we are talking about. Phase I of this exercise went on well while Phase II seems to have been delayed. What guarantee is the hon. Minister giving this House and nation that funds will be available and, therefore, that people falling in Phases II and III will not be disadvantaged?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the Treasury has given us the money. That is the more reason we have started Phase II. I can assure the House that the programme will run for ninety days. I want to plead with the area hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke to visit his people. They were asking me where their hon. Member of Parliament was when I went there.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



Mr Speaker: He is just reporting.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the issuance of the national registration cards has coincided with the voter registration exercise in Kalabo District. Every day I receive phone calls from people complaining about the voter registration exercise. It is unfortunate that the Government deliberately dispatched voter registration officers to go to places where the majority of our people do not have the NRCs. The hon. Minister has said that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will go back to register voters for fourteen days after the mobile issuance of the NRCs has ended. How practicable is it that the ECZ, given fourteen days, can cover 90 km of sandy terrain and register voters without challenges and get the correct data? 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the NRCs are being issued in Kalabo. We started last week and we will finish the exercise at the end of November, 2015. I have assured this House that we will do a good job, not only in Chongwe, but even in Kalabo. What we have said is that when we stop in November, district offices will continue issuing the NRCs in December, January and February, even in places like Kalabo. This means that all those who will get the NRCs in these three months will get registered in March,  2016, in the fourteen days that we have talked about.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


37. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to facilitate the construction of a filling station in Kalabo District; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has plans to facilitate the construction of a filling station in Kalabo in 2016. The hon. Member of Parliament would wish to note that, in fact, we have already gone ahead and written to the Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Western Province to facilitate the acquisition of a suitable place or land for us to ensure that this facility is put up. Further, the Government continues to promote public-private partnerships (PPPs) in terms of filling stations in areas such as Kalabo.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, no matter how good something will be, I usually do not get overexcited. I just become appreciative. The people of Kalabo trek to Mongu to get fuel and the so-called Kalabo/Mongu road is almost reaching completion. This means that by mid next year, that road will be fully functional.


Mr Miyutu: Yes, I know why.

Mr Speaker: Just continue and ignore the running comments.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, despite the ministry having written to the PS to facilitate the acquisition of land, can the good hon. Minister at least give me another good answer. In terms of the timeframe, will the construction of this filling station be in 2016 or beyond or dependent on the participation of the private sector, as the hon. Minister has said?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that there is no ‘so-called Kalabo/Mongu road’. There is the Kalabo/Mongu Road which the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has ably rehabilitated for our people in the Western Province.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Hon. Member, you have also indicated that you are always not excited when things are being done. We are doing his thing not to excite you. We are doing the works for our people.

Hon. Government members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I want to state very clearly that the construction of the first filling station in Kalabo is a Government programme.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Musukwa: Sir, the funds for the works in 2016 have been put aside by the Government. 

Mr Speaker, you will note that we are not only doing this work in Kalabo. In fact, for the Western Province, we are working towards constructing two filling stations in Lukulu and Kalabo. Currently, we are constructing a filling station in Luwingu. We have already sourced for funds for the construction of a filling station in Mporokoso. So, this is a countrywide programme.

Mr Speaker, we are promoting PPPs in order to ensure that apart from the filling stations which we are putting up, investors such as the hon. Member of Parliament and other stakeholders can also construct filling stations so that they supplement what the Government is doing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I begin getting worried when I hear that the Government is beginning to get to the level of building ad wanting to operate filling stations. Should it not be that the Government should be creating an enabling environment for the private sector to go into areas such as the one the hon. Member is coming from so that they can build filling stations and run them? One of the ways to create such an enabling environment is to ensure that there are incentives such as subsidising credit for the private sector to access resources and ensure that they build things like filling stations instead of the Government now beginning to build and operate filling stations. The next thing we shall hear is that the Governmnet has started building and operating bakeries.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I think I have been emphatically clear as regards the issue of filling stations. I have stated in no uncertain terms that the Government is facilitating the construction of filling stations in remote areas such as Kalabo where it has been very difficult for our people who have been trekking long distances to access such facilities. It is in the interest of the Government to ensure that the private sector is enabled to take a leading role in the construction of filling stations. I want to assure the hon. member of Parliament that we are not going to start building bakeries. We will ensure that as a Government, we provide a conducive environment for investment to flow in key areas such as the construction of filling stations.

Mr Speaker, the Government is not going to be running the filling stations. The Government is answering the call of our people in remote areas who have had a challenge in attracting certain investments.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Maybe, as you progress in responding to the questions just give more clarity. Maybe, we might pre-empt other questions on the nature of the facilitation.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, apart from the construction of filling stations, what other incentives has the hon. Minister not mentioned which the private sector can be assisted with so that they can be attracted to the business of running filling stations?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, there are definitely certain incentives which we need to put in place because the construction of a filling station is a huge undertaking in terms of the cost profile. As a Government, we would like to ensure that businesses of such a nature fall squarely on the platform of the private sector. So, the Government will put in place incentives to attract the private sector to invest in certain areas. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, how I wish the hon. Minister could also have talked about the Katunda/Lukulu/Watopa Road.

Sir, Lukulu had a kama filling station running…


Mr Mutelo: … which the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) closed five days ago. How is the ministry going to assist the people of Lukulu where some Government departments buy fuel from illegal traders?

Mr Speaker: That is a new question.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika Central): Mr Speaker, may I know from the hon. Minister if there any laid down requirements or qualifications for any place to attract the construction of a filling station.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government takes into account certain considerations when facilitating the construction of a filling station. We shall continue to assist certain far-flung areas which find it very difficult to attract private investment. Hon. Kapeya, Mpika is not such an area because it has a lot of people that can easily put up a filling station including yourself.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, the Government has got a clear policy on public-private partnerships (PPPs) which it continuously talks about. Clearly, the construction of filling stations is a good case for actualising that policy. Is the Government now saying that it is reluctant to actualise the policy on PPPs?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government is not saying that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


38. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when construction works of the following infrastructure in Milenge District would be completed;

(i)    market; and

(ii)    bus station; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, the contracts for the construction of a market and bus station in Milenge District were procured by Milenge District Council using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The construction of the market and bus station has since been completed. This was done in 2006. At the moment, the market and bus station are operational. The bus station is not well utilised because there is no public service transport on that route. Therefore, part (b) of the question falls off because the works have been completed as per design.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, I know that one day, Mr Speaker will take keen interest in the way questions with regard to Milenge are tackled. The hon. Deputy Minister for Mines, Energy and Water Development has just given us hope that the Government will facilitate the construction of filling stations in remote areas. I wish that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing could do the same as regards the construction of markets and bus stations in the impoverished districts. I am at pains to follow up with a question because the answer is completely different from what I was expecting. The project in question was not started by using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) …

Mr Speaker: What is your follow-up question, if any?

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, I wanted to put it on record was not constructed with the CDF. I know that that the hon. Deputy Minister has narrowed it to …

Mr Speaker: What is your follow-up question, if any?

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, is ministry in a position to revisit this question and come up with a proper answer?

Mr Speaker: There is no question.

Mr Mbulakulima: No, Sir. The question is that: Is the ministry able to revisit the question in order not to continue misleading the House?


39. Mr Chenda (Bwana Mkubwa) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when the Government would build a secondary school in Mushili Ward in Bwana Mkubwa Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    what the 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 Mabumba): Mr Speaker, in the short -term, there are no plans to build a secondary school in Mushili ward due to the ongoing construction of 118 secondary schools across the country. However, the consolation is that the Government will consider the building of a secondary school in Bwana Mkubwa after the 118 secondary schools under construction are completed.

Sir, funds permitting, the tender process for the construction of the school might commence in 2016. In view of this, the cost and the timeframe may not be given at the moment but when the tender process is done.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, considering that the people of Mushili are in dire need of a new secondary school, would the hon. Minister consider varying the existing Budget so as to accommodate the construction of this school so that the works can commence during the course of this year?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the unfortunate part is that the resources for the 2015 Budget are limited and most the available resources that are remaining are committed to the 118 schools which are under construction. I want to assure Hon. Chenda that Bwana Mkubwa is one of the sites that we have had in our plans. The only unfortunate thing is that there is the construction of 118 secondary schools currently going on. This is why I have committed to the construction of the school, funds permitting, in 2016. After all, we will be passing the Budget for next year in this House. 

I thank you, Sir.


40. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when the construction of Katete Bus Station would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, Katete District Council has just submitted a request to the ministry for consideration for the construction of a bus station in the district. Therefore, the construction will commence when all the processes are concluded and depending on the availability of funds.

Mr Speaker, the contractor has not yet been identified because the process has not yet reached that stage. The cost of the project will be known when the designs have been concluded. Similarly, the timeframe for the completion of the project will be known after the design has been done and the contractor is on site.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, if I remember very well, early this year, the hon. Minister came to Katete to commission the same project. What plans does the Government have for the project?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the instructions that were given to Katete District Council were to follow Government policy as advised to local authorities to put bus stations and markets in one place.

Sir, when the hon. Minister visited Katete, he did not commission the construction of the bus station. He was disappointed because he found that what was prepared on the ground was not as per instruction. Therefore, he deferred the commissioning.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, it is very important for Katete to have a bus station because there is none. There is a high likelihood for a terrible accident because people do not know where to wait for buses. Now, the hon. Minister has said that the construction of a bus stop will be done next year. Can he be specific about when it will be done considering that we are approving the Budget for next year in this session. Will it be in the first, second or third quarter of the year?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether the hon. Member got my response clearly. I did not attach the date of commencement for the works to my answer. I indicated that Katete has just submitted the request to the ministry. Consequently, as soon as the process of procurement for the project is completed, construction will start. 

Mr Speaker, the process has already started. The ministry has received the application for approval. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Deputy Minister, can you give an estimation of time from the way that things are going. This is what the hon. Member wants to know.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, we have factored the needs of the project in the 2016 Budget. Thus, the estimation is that work on the project will begin within 2016. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister be clearer and tell this august House whether the money to construct the bus station is available.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, we have included money for works on the project in the 2016 Budget. This is what I have just indicated. I do not know whether the hon. Member is following the answers that I am giving.

I thank you, Sir.


41. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines the University Teaching Hospital had as of June, 2015; and 

(b)    what the cost of using the MRI machine by patients was.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Dr Katema) (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde)): Mr Speaker, as of June, 2015, there was one magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine at the Cancer Diseases Hospital (CDH), which is located within the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) grounds. 

Mr Speaker, the real market price of doing an MRI scan is K3,000. However, the Government highly subsidises the cost of an MRI scan so that patients contribute K1,500 for the scan. For the patients who are unable to pay, exemption measures are in place. There is a social welfare unit within the CDH that assesses and makes recommendations for those who cannot afford to pay so that they are exempted from paying for the scan. The House may wish to note that 80 per cent of eligible patients access the MRI test without paying.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, firstly, I think that it is important for the hon. Minister to explain the work of this machine. Secondly, these machines break down a lot. For a person to go and use the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the hospital, he has to book a place. Some people stay on the waiting list for as long as six months. Why does the machine break down a lot? Another problem we are facing is that when we go there to use the machine, the staff keep saying that the machine is fully booked. Is there any way to get a new machine for the University Teaching Hospital (UTH)?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, we are aware that one machine is not sufficient. This is the reason the ministry is making headway to facilitate for other big hospitals to also have similar machines. 

I thank you, Sir. 


42. Mr Namulambe asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing: 

(a)    why supermarkets were not permitted to sell liquor before 1000 hours;

(b)    why wholesale liquor traders opened their premises as early as 0600 hours; and 

(c)    why there was no control over the sale of liquor to unlicensed traders.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, as provided by the ‘Liqwa’ Licensing Act, through Statutory Instrument No. 64 of 2012, supermarkets are not permitted to sell ‘liqwa’ before 1000 hours. The said Statutory Instrument (SI) regulates the hours of selling ‘liqwa’ in retail shops from 1000 hours to 2200 hours. 


Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, wholesalers are not permitted to open their shops as early as 0600 hours because the permitted hours of opening shops is 0800 hours.

Mr Speaker, the control over the sale of ‘liqwa’ is contained in Statutory Instrument No. 96 of 2011, which gives councils the mandate to regulate and control the sale of ‘liqwa’. Only approved premises by the council can sell ‘liqwa’ ...

Hon. Members: Liquor, liquor!

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, the Government has noted the concerns raised by the stakeholders and is stepping up measures to control the sale of liquor ...


Mr Ching’imbu: ... especially in undesignated areas.


Mr Speaker: Order!

I would like to thank you for your patience.


Mr Ching’imbu: It depends on where you come from.

Mr Speaker, to this end, my ministry is working with other stakeholders in reviewing the ‘Liqwa’ ...


Mr Ching’imbu: .... Licensing Act to manage the challenges being faced in the ‘liqwa’ industry.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, my cousin must learn to how pronounce liquor and not say ‘liqwa’. 

Mr Speaker, the consumption of alcohol in the country is too high to the point that it is affecting production. The people are not being productive. What is the ministry doing to ensure that local authorities effect the adherence to the law that he has just been read out by the hon. Deputy Minister so that people do not begin to drink beer before 10 hours? You will find that in most of these townships, people are already drunk by 8 hours and start insulting people. What is the Government doing about this?  

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, that is a good observation. We are encouraging the local authorities to ensure that the regulations regarding the sale of liquor are enforced.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, a couple of years ago, we banned the sale of the famous tujili jili in sachets. I do not know what I can call them in English, but I think that people know what I am talking about. Now, the tujili jili are on the market in a different form. They come in small bottles, but still have the same effect. People are carrying them in their pockets and drinking them anywhere, and like Hon. Namulambe said, they start insulting people. Is the Government planning to do something about this scourge?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, we have difficulties to completely control the sizes of the packages of liquor because they come from different countries. The marketeers who deal with tujili jili are very sneaky. They still have access to smaller packages of tujili jili which are on the market. We are encouraging the local authorities to control the sale of alcohol in different packages. We are faced with a lot of difficulties when trying to control the sale of different types of alcohol in our communities. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, whether in small or big bottles, alcohol has the same effect. The streets right now are filled with beer bottles. Hon. Minister, can you help me feel comfortable. Has your ministry got plans to completely ban the sale of alcohol on the streets?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, there is an Act which local authorities implement to regulate the sale of alcohol in undesignated places. As a ministry, our task is to monitor and ensure that the Act is being implemented. The situation seems out of control because the trading which is engaged in by street vendors is difficult to control. The local authorities must try as much as possible to control the situation. That is the Government’s position. 

I thank you, Sir.

 Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, yesterday, there was a debate, which will continue today, about transformation. The Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, has allowed lawlessness, especially here in Lusaka, by letting their Patriotic Front (PF) cadres trade in undesignated places. It is in these undesignated places where liquor is being sold twenty-four hours. Can this Deputy Minister tell us why the PF Government …

Mr Ng’onga: Question!

Ms Namugala: …is condoning street vending in the way that it is doing and whether it will take action against local authorities, such as the Lusaka City Council, who have allowed street vending?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the concern by Hon. Namugala. However, we cannot talk of one particular party’s officials when it comes to the community that is trading on the street. I wish to disagree with the observation by the hon. Member. 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Sir, the street vendors do not belong to one political party. Thus, it is not correct to indicate that all of them are Patriotic Front (PF) cadres. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, in a bid to manage street vending, the Government is constructing and upgrading some of the markets in the city. We are trying to make them bigger so that they can accommodate the escalating number of traders. This is an emotive issue which we cannot end immediately because some people depend on vending to fend for their families. So as Government we cannot put an immediate blanket stop to this vice. However, we do realise that we need to manage it. We are encouraging local authorities to regulate it while we put in place measures to wipe it out completely. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, I know that there is a policy. I would, however, like to find out from the hon. Minister how effectively this policy is in dealing with offenders. Is there any fine or charge for those who open early and close late their liquor selling points? 

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, there is a fine. Those that have been visited by the law through our officers on the ground have been made to pay for their mistakes. Some of the liquor selling points have even been closed. We are aware of some people who have come to our offices to complain that their businesses were closed because they were found open at a time when they were not supposed to be. So, the officers are on the ground controlling this situation. This issue is definitely big. For most people, it is attractive to operate even at awkward hours. That is why we shall keep fighting the scourge. 

I thank you, Sir. 


43. Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs when the construction of chiefs’ palaces in the following chiefdoms in Kaoma and Nkeyema districts would commence:

(a)    Amukena;

(b)    Mutondo;

(c)    Kahale; and

(d)    Kasimba.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the construction of chiefs’ palaces is being undertaken in phases. Currently, the Government has commenced construction of palaces in Phase I. 

Mr Speaker, the palace for Senior Chief Amukena is not in Phase I and will be considered in subsequent phases. The palace for Chief Mutondo is not in Phase 1 either and will be considered for construction in subsequent phases. Preliminary works have commenced regarding the construction of Chief Kahale’s Palace in Nkeyema District. 

Mr Speaker, there is no recognised chief known as Kasimba in the country. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister help me with information regarding the construction of palaces for the first two chiefs whose phases he did not mention. May I know in which phases the two palaces will be constructed.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the choice of the chiefdoms which are supposed to be put in Phase II shall be arrived at in the provinces. As we approve the 2016 Budget, we will send information to the provinces where the chiefs will choose the chiefdoms to be put in subsequent phases. This is when we will know in which phase, whether II or III, these chiefdoms will fall. 

I thank you, sir. 

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether funding for construction for the palaces is uniform or whether it varies from province to province.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, there is actually a prototype which has been approved by their royal highnesses. The plans were made by the Buildings Department of the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications. That is the plan which we are using.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, how is the ministry handling tribes which have certain traditions? For instance, how does it handle tribes who shift villages when their chief dies? How can it build permanent structures for chiefs of such tribes?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, that matter has been extensively discussed by the House of Chiefs and an agreement has been reached. That matter has been handled.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: How has it been handled? That is the question.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, there are some chiefdoms whereby if a chief dies in a house, the next chief cannot move in it. The chiefs have made modalities whereby if a chief is ailing, for example, he or she moves into another house so that the death does not occur in the institutional house. This is one of the agreements which have approved.

I thank you, Sir.


44. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of the new district hospital in Lundazi would be completed;

(b)    what the cause of the delay was;

(c)    what the cost of the project was;

(d)    how much money had so far been spent on the project; and 

(e)    what the time-frame for completion of the works was.

Dr Katema (on behalf of the Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde)): Mr Speaker, the Government expects the final phase of the construction of the Lundazi District Hospital to be completed in early 2017. The second phase will be completed in 2015. The hospital is being constructed in phases. So far, Phase I has been completed and handed over. Phase II will be completed in November, 2015. The delay in the releasing of funds has caused delays in the completion of Phase II.

Sir, the total amount which has been spent under Phase II is K5,821,476 out of the contract sum of K7,529,824.50. The time-frame for completion is two years at most. Therefore, we anticipate the new hospital to be completed by early 2017.

I thank you, Sir. 


46. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a)    what the bed space capacity of Kalabo District Hospital was; 

(b)    how many beds and bedlockers the hospital had as of 1st August, 2015;

(c)    when the hospital received the beds and bedlockers above; and 

(d)    what measures the Government was taking to alleviate the operational challenges that the hospital faced.

Dr Katema (on behalf of the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, Kalabo District Hospital has got a bed space capacity of 101. Kalabo District has got sixty-four functional beds and fifty-two bedlockers as at 1st August, 2015. The beds and bedlockers were received over ten years ago. The Government and its partners, who are Canada H4+ and the Centre Disease Control (CDC), have so far renovated two wards and provided new equipment such as laundry equipment, kitchen equipment, autoclave, delivery beds, neonatal incubators and resuscitaires, neonatalie, theatre tables, nurses duty room furniture, delivery packs, mattresses and linen to the hospital.

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hospital has got a bed space capacity of 101. The hon. Minister said that the hospital has got sixty-four operational or functional beds. Have the sixty-four beds been assessed and found suitable for hospital use or are they just beds used as a contingency measure?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that the hospital has sixty-four functional beds for the patients.

I thank you, Sir.


47. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Finance how many parastatal companies were earmarked for privatisation between 2011 and 2016, name by name.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mvunga): Mr Speaker, there are no parastatal company which were earmarked for privatisation between 2011 and 2016. Government policy has shifted slightly from outright privatisation to commercialisation of state-owned enterprises where possible.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


48. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    what developmental plans the Government had for Chipota Falls in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    why the officer who was responsible for maintaining the records of the water levels had been removed from the payroll; and

(c)    when the officer would be put back on the payroll.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, Chipota Falls, located on the Lwela River, is estimated to have a hydropower potential of 2.35 megawatts. It is one of the small hydropower sites that the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) have identified for development.

Sir, during the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), the Government retrenched some civil servants. Most gauge readers were affected by that move including the officer at Chipota Falls. In order to ensure that we continued collecting data, the gauge readers were engaged on an allowance basis. That is what is obtaining currently.

Mr Speaker, the officer in Chembe will be put on the payroll once the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) starts the process of recruiting gauge readers. Hon. Members may be interested to know that we have operationalised the WRMA which will recruit people in different catchment areas. We have told the WRMA to prioritise the employment of gauge readers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


49. Mr Pande asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    which company had been contracted to complete the construction of Lunga Health Centre in Kasempa District;

(b)    what the cost of the outstanding works was;

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

(d)    when the outstanding works would be completed.

Dr Katema on behalf of Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, Lunga Health Centre in Kasempa District was one of the twenty health facilities which were upgraded under the Health Sector Support Project (HSSP) funded through the African Development Bank (ADB). The implementation of the project was done through a project implementation unit (PIU) which was set up by the ADB.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Lunga Health Centre in Kasempa District was one of the twenty health facilities which were upgraded under the HSSP funded by the ADB. The implementation of the project was done through a project implementation unit which was set up by the ADB.  The construction of the health centre stalled following the end of the project in 2007 and blacklisting of the contractor by the Government. The Buildings Department of the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications is currently preparing the final account for the previous contractor, Messrs GM International so that the contract is closed and the remaining works are tendered to another contractor. Therefore, no contractor has been engaged to complete the construction of the health centre.

Mr Speaker, an assessment of the remaining works was done in August, 2015, by the Buildings Department. The Ministry of Health is currently awaiting the report from Buildings Department. The cost of the outstanding works will only be known after the report has been completed.

Sir, as indicated in (b) above, the actual cost of the project will be known once the assessment report has been finalised and a new contractor has been given the contract to complete the works.
The House may wish to know that the outstanding works are estimated to be completed within twelve months. Plans are underway to commence the works by mid next year, 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.   

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I do not know how many times the ministry is going to verify issues related to the remaining works.

Sir, it was on the Floor of this House when the hon. Minister promised that by 2015, a new contractor would be found to continue with the works. Therefore, the expectation was that by the end of this year, the works would have been completed. What led to the change in plans? Why is the ministry still verifying the accounts for the remaining works? What went wrong?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, we have indicated that the Ministry of Health is awaiting the assessment of the Buildings Department so that the contract can be awarded to another contractor. When that is done, the works will commence.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


50. Mr I. Banda asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the following schools in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency would be electrified:

(a)    Eluhangeni;

(b)    Chiginya;

(c)    Kakoma;

(d)    Phikamalaza;

(e)    Hoya Day;

(f)    Kanyanga; and

(g)    Emusa Day.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that due to the huge cost associated with connecting schools to the national power grid, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is constructing an electricity grid line from Tigone area to Senior Chief Mogodi’s Palace at Egichikeni Primary School. The line passes through Chiginya Primary and Hoya Day Secondary Schools. It is the ministry’s hope that among other beneficiaries of this power line extension project will be Chiginya Primary and Hoya Day Secondary schools.

  Sir, the REA’s Tigoni/ Egichikeni Project will cover the schools at Kanyanga and Emusa. A separate line from Kanyanga turn-off to Kanyanga has already been constructed. The ministry is, again, very hopeful that the two schools will be connected to this power line.

Sir, Eluhangeni, Kakoma and Phikamalaza primary schools are outside the areas to be supplied by the Kanyanga and Egichiken line. The three schools will be electrified when the REA constructs a grid line to Chief Phikamalaza’s Palace. 

I thank You, Mr Speaker. 

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the schools mentioned above will be connected and be electrified since there is a line which passes through the areas where they are found. When is the ministry going to commit itself to make sure that the schools connected?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I have already stated that the schools in question will be connected to electricity through the projects which the REA is already implementing. Once the feasibility studies are concluded, the projects will commence subject to the availability of resources from the National Treasury.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, last time, on the Floor of this House, the hon. Minister made an assurance that the Government had a programme in place for electrifying schools and other Government institutions like clinics. He said that by the end of 2015, most of the areas would be covered. I note that we are not getting anywhere near that promise being fulfilled. I would, therefore, like to ask the hon. Minister to take advantage of the question to update us on what is being done to fulfill the promise which we were given because we still have schools which have not yet been electrified even at nearby places like Chongwe.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for Chongwe for that question.

Sir, as Hon. Masebo has indicated, most of the Government institutions such as schools and health centres will be connected to the national grid by the end of 2015. The hon. Member may be aware that this is only September. The year is far from over. Most of the Government institutions will be electrified before the year ends.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the year is almost coming to an end. Is the hon. Deputy Minister being sincere to the House and the public at large by saying that most schools in the country will be electrified by the end of this year? How much money is available to electrify all the schools before December?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, in responding to the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency, I indicated that what we have in place is a process. The schools and health institutions which will not be responded to this year will be attended to next year and the years to come.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, in the new school curriculum, the Government has introduced computer lessons. The computers are supposed to be propelled by electricity. Apart from the schools in Lundazi, Chadiza and elsewhere, a lot of schools have not been electrified. What measures has the Government put in place to make sure that pupils in schools which have not been electrified have their computer lessons?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, as the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, we are working with the Provincial Education Office (PEO) and the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) office to use other sources of energy such as solar panels and generators to power the computers as opposed to relying on hydro power only. So, I want to encourage the hon. Member to get in touch with the local offices such as the PEO and the DEBS to see what measures can be put in place. Yesterday, he posed a very good question. I want to urge him to consider assisting some of the schools to get connected to the national grid through the use of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the following hon. Members of Parliament do constitute the Public Accounts Committee for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly:

Ms M. G. M. Imenda, MP
Mr M. Mbulakulima, MP
Mr J. Zimba, MP
Mr V. Mooya, MP
Mr V. Lombanya, MP
Mr S. Milambo, MP
Ms C. Namugala, MP
Brig-Gen. Dr B. Chituwo, MP
Ms D. Siliya, MP

Mr Speaker, let me begin by commending the previous Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for its remarkable accomplishments under the leadership of the hon. Member for Chipangali Parliamentary Constituency, Mr Vincent Mwale, MP, who was later appointed Cabinet Minister. I also wish to thank his successor, Ms G. M. Imenda, MP, for her leadership. I know that the Committee worked tirelessly to complete all the business that came before it. This is commendable.

Sir, I have no doubt that the hon. Members that I have proposed today to constitute the PAC will serve with distinction to the expectations of the nation and this august House. As you are aware, the work of the PAC has not only generated a lot of interest in the nation, but is also seen to be the main tool for ensuring that public resources are prudently utilised in accordance with the Public Finance Act and other pieces of legislation such as the Public Procurement Act of 2008. It is, therefore, important that the House supports this Motion.

Mr Speaker, when I last moved a similar Motion, I mentioned that the Government remained committed to serving the people of Zambia and ensuring that the quality of their lives improved by ensuring corrupt-free local and central Government establishments. This remains the main focus of the Government. I hope that the House will remain supportive of this important cause.

Sir, to demonstrate commitment to good governance, the Government has embarked on the implementation of the Public Financial Management Reform Programme (PFMRP) meant to promote a sound public financial system. The PFM is a means to provide the core areas of good governance in any democratic and modern state. The reform programme is also intended to ensure that resources are allocated to various sectors in line with the Government’s social and economic policy intentions, which are to focus on a rapid and sustainable economic growth that would result in the decline in poverty levels.

Mr Speaker, the PFMRP will provide a framework for the efficient and effective use of public resources for the delivery of public services to the citizens and ensure that the resources provided are accounted for in a transparent manner. The Government has been implementing public financial management reforms since 2000. These include:

(a)    the introduction of medium to long-term national planning and formulation of the medium term expenditure framework to provide a medium term perspective to planning and budgeting;

(b)    changing the Budget presentation in 2009 to bring forward the timing of the Budget Cycle;

(c)    the introduction of Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS);

(d)    the enactment of the Public Procurement Act of 2008, which has replaced the Zambia National Tender Board Act and created the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) as an oversight institution;

(e)    decentralisation of the Office of the Auditor-General to all provinces leading to an increase in audit coverage; and

(f)    improved public participation in parliamentary business through Committee rooms constructed to accommodate a large number of members of the public.

Sir, despite these achievements, more still needs to be done in the area of public financial management. Therefore, the Government attaches great importance to public financial management and has embarked on a number of reforms that will focus on the following areas:

(a)    continuing to strengthen cash management and the implementation of IFMIS;

(b)    formulating planning and budget legislation to ensure an all-inclusive, transparent and participative budget process that addresses the development needs of the country;

(c)    ensuring that internal controls are strengthened to reduce wastage, pilferage and misappropriation;

(d)    restructuring and building the capacity of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to efficiently and effectively play its oversight role; and

(e)    building the capacity of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to efficiently and effectively collect tax revenues from all the sectors of the economy.

Sir, I had announced last year before this House that the Government will be reviewing the Public Finance Act and the financial regulations in order to address the weaknesses that have been identified by stakeholders. I wish to inform this House that a consultant has been engaged with the assistance from the World Bank to review all the statutes that govern public finance.

Mr Speaker, the Government has resolved to focus on improving efficiency in order to reduce wastage of public resources so that the existing resources are used in a more transparent and accountable manner. The Government shall ensure that any action or conduct that will be at variance with this position is severely punished. 

On the weakness identified in the management of Constituency Development Fund (CDF), and in line with the announcement by His Excellency the President in his speech before this august House that my colleague at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and I should work at developing an effective mechanism of ensuring a predictable, stable and sustainable source of funds for local development and delivery of services, the Local Government Equalisation Fund has been established and will be strengthened to provide a solid base for further devolution.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to inform this august House that the current Auditor-General is retiring in December, 2015 after serving for forty-one years in government at various levels. I would like to pay my gratitude to her for the distinguished service to the nation and for being a great and loyal servant of this nation. I hope that the House will support the name of her successor when it will be submitted for ratification before this House.

Mr Speaker, after all this has been said, may I once more request hon. Members of this august House to support the Motion on the Floor. I wish the new PAC and this august House a very successful session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Mr Speaker, let me express my very profound thanks to the hon. Members for the unanimous support of the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the first speech to this House by the current President. I have perused through it and noted that the presentation and language is wonderful, especially the part that talks about reconciliation. Indeed, this country requires reconciliation through prayers to God. 

At the moment, Sir, there are so many acts of violence that are being witnessed in the country, especially during by-elections. Therefore, I am happy to note that these words on reconciliation came from the President of the Republic of Zambia. I am not too sure if this is the collective thinking of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government because the Ruling Party seems to be at the centre of violent acts. 

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech was delivered here not too long ago, but today we are hearing of acts of violence being perpetuated by PF cadres. These acts should be condemned by every hon. Member of the Government and Opposition. We need peace in this country in order for us to develop. 

Mr Speaker, it is totally wrong and unacceptable to use the police as political party tools. The police in a democracy should protect every citizen. Why are the police being used to humiliate the Opposition, especially during by-elections? This is irresponsibility on the part of the Government. Let us separate politics from the functions of the Civil Service, particularly our men and women in uniform. Their job is to protect every citizen. We need their protection. Unfortunately, guns are being used on innocent people. If lives can be lost as the police watch, then what is their role? This situation needs to be checked. This has to be checked. Police should protect every citizen. When provoked, the Opposition can also react and counter the attacks. It is wrong in this era to hear that Zambians are involved in acts of violence. It is a shame indeed.

Mr Speaker, in this document (pointing at the President’s Speech), I expected the President to review the performance of the Patriotic Front (PF) ever since it came in into the Government. It is unfortunate that the term of the PF is coming to an end. I do not know whether what is put in here (pointing at the President’s Speech) will be achieved. We are sick and tired of mere rhetoric, words and speeches. 

Mr Speaker, in Britain when the Prime Minister stands up and addresses the country, he stands accountable to his document and acts accordingly. I am happy that very soon the hon. Minister of Finance, my elder man, whom I respect from the days of the United Nation Independence Party (UNIP) to date that, will soon be presenting a budget to Parliament. I want him to attach his Budget to this document (pointing at the President’s Speech). It is a wonderful document.

Sir, I want the hon. Minister of Finance to explain how much will be achieved in the remaining days of the PF in power. The PF promised people a lot of wonderful things before it ousted us out of power. By now, the people of Zambia have seen that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was a great party…

Mr Kunda: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … that propelled development.

Mr Mbewe: Get annoyed now!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I am happy that the PF has even seen it worthwhile to poach some people from the MMD leadership to come and help in managing the welfare of the nation. 

Mr Speaker, there are a number of projects which are mentioned in here (pointing at the President’s Speech) which we have heard being talked about time and again. As for me from the North-Western Province particularly, in Ikeleng’i, I have not seen the presence of massive projects. Hon. Simbyakula, the hon. Minister of Justice has been there. Some hon. Deputy Ministers accompanied the President when he visited the area. It was a shame that they could not touch Jimbe because of the road infrastructure which is in a poor state. Have they forgotten that the Zambezi River that goes all the way from Ikeleng’i to Angola is a tourist attraction? The road infrastructure in the area is in a very poor state. How do you expect to improve tourism?

Sir, I am happy that the hon. Minister of Tourism and Art, my sister, Hon. Jean Kapata, comes from that part of the country. Unfortunately, nothing is on the agenda of the PF for that part of the country. This is five years down the line. When are we going to sit down and think of promoting tourism attractions so that we can move away from copper being our largest foreign exchange earner? We need to create another level of diversification in this country.

Mr Speaker, leaders should not be selfish. When you form Government, you should not look at the plight of members of your party alone. Look at the country as a whole and prioritise developing certain areas. I should thank this brother of mine whom I adopted from the Lenje and Lozi land, Hon. Given Lubinda. 

Mr Lubinda laughed.

Mr Muchima: Yes!

Mr Speaker, he has become very responsible. When I approached him, he came to my aid. I expect every hon. Minister to respond just like the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry did when I reached out to her. I need particular attention to be drawn to the North-Western Province because at the moment that province is key to the economic development of our country. 

Sir, in the Speech, I have seen issues to do with the Gross Domestic product (GDP) which is at the growth rate of 6 per cent. It seems the aim is to get it to 10 per cent. That growth is seen by you people (pointing at the Government Bench). In my province, there is nothing. 

Mr Speaker, recently, works on the Chingola/Solwezi Road were launched. After the launch, some vehicles were parked near the road to hoodwink the people that some work was being done. That is why today the people have spoken through the vote.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: They have spoken loudly.

Mr Mushanga: What about Lubansenshi?

Mr Muchima: No! I am talking about the North-Western Province.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

May you please address the Chair.

Let us avoid debating with persons who are seated.

Please, go ahead.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the people of the North-Western Province have spoken a language that is heard very clearly. It is not only in Solwezi, but also inNswanaKudayi, a village where a ward election took place. The campaign for the ward election attracted the Vice-President who went there with a chopper. The PF was humiliated in that election. The people in the North-Western Province are not happy with what the Government has been doing.

Ms Kansembe: Speak clearly!

Mr Muchima: The language I am using is English. What I am saying is very clear! If you people are happy with whatever is happening in your provinces, I wish to tell you that we, in the  North-Western Province, are not. There is no development worth talking about. It has been a wasted five years.

Mr Zimba: It was twenty years of Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).

Mr Muchima: We wish the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) continued. Today, we would have been at a different level. The reconciliation which the President talked about entails those who are in the Government reconciling their thinking with that of the people of the North-Western Province. The wealth that is coming from that corner should be distributed equitably. God is watching them. He is ready to come and help oust them from the seat of power.


Mr Mushanga: You must work very hard!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the President also talked about co-operatives. I do not know whether this Government had time to study what led to the failure of the co-operatives which were in place before. A co-operative bank should take the place of the Citizen Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) under the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. There is one area which I think should have been re-aligned. Why is it that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock should be involved in marketing of maize? The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock should be involved in the planting and harvesting of maize. The marketing aspect should be left to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. 

Sir, let me help this Government. We need to open a co-operative bank and stop wasting money on by-elections. With support from the Ministries of Youth and Sport, Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Gender and Child Development, a co-operative bank can be set up. That bank can be lending money to the people of Ikeleng’i, Mafinga and Muyombe at affordable rates. This can help to create employment. Today, there are no good returns on the empowerment funds which are disbursed. They are just wasted.

Mr Speaker, this document talks about accountability (Pointing at the President’s Speech). I do not know how the PF can talk about accountability when it has been so careless. It has created unnecessary by-elections which have been very costly to this country. They condemn our people here as being corrupt (pointing at the Opposition Bench). It is like calling a woman a bitch...

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

Mr Muchima: … and then you decide to marry her after she is divorced. The PF accuses certain people of being corrupt and then goes ahead to adopt the same persons when by-elections are called. 

Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: This is shameless conduct. They are poaching our people and creating by-elections to waste taxpayers’ money. The best way is for us to talk. They should negotiate instead of going through the back door. 

Mr Speaker, to me, the Speech is a very good document. Unfortunately, it has come too late. You see, the Chinese are helping their own nationals to create wealth wherever they are. Does this Government have a deliberate policy, a special purpose vehicle to help Zambians own property? The Government has the capacity to borrow on behalf of its citizens. However, in Zambia, what we see is that infrastructure, especially shopping malls, are all for foreigners. Most of the businesses in Zambia are owned by foreigners and we are just tools. We should be ashamed. We should be productive. We should create a sense of ownership. For example, the Government can build a canning factory in Ikeleng’i and loan it to me, but keep the titles until the time I repay the loan. I will struggle hard to ensure success. On my own, I cannot borrow the money. Even if I borrowed, it would be too expensive for me to pay it off. Unfortunately, they do not want to plan in this manner.

Mr Speaker, I do not know how they are going to create money which they intend to use to pay off the loans which they are borrowing when they are even failing to pay teachers and civil servants on time. There is no money at the moment. The Government is broke. I do not know how it will create reserves. We have to sit down and rethink certain ways of doing things. 

Sir, the problem is that they have promoted politics to the extent that there is no room for production and thought on how to realign our economy. They are concentrating on how to arrest Muchima and other members of the Opposition. They should get down and look at the economics of this country. We have enough land and other resources, but do not have the time and the brains to think and see how we can turn things around.

Mr Speaker, there are so many entrepreneurs in this country. These are the people we should help just as we help a baby. From a small baby comes a giant. We can help them learn to move and walk. We should be helping those who are already in business despite them being in the Opposition. Only then shall we create employment in the country. Instead, we have taken it that I need to be PF to borrow money or get a contract. We are not going anywhere in this country. We shall be talking and talking and will be ending up with paper work. The English will be coming but there will be nothing fruitful for the Zambian people. We need to be serious and accountable to the Zambian people.

Mr Speaker, we have all the resources in this country. However, we are not sitting down to plan for them. Let us prioritise infrastructure development. Look at the North Western Province, for example, which deserves good roads. The PF, in the entire five years, has not done anything. So, how do we develop?

Mr Speaker, where is the massive development which they keep talking about? I do not know where it is. They keep saying that they will work on the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road and so on and so forth. I thought that there was development in Milenge in Luapula where they get more votes. What I have found out is that the people there are also crying. I do not know where the massive development is. 

Mr Speaker, I want to list some issues that my big brother, who I respect so much, the Hon. Minister of Finance, can take note of as he prepares this speech. Maybe, we can have a turning angle. I have seen that we have some good hon. Ministers who will be very helpful. Form a subcommittee and not the general Cabinet to study this document so that we readjust the Budget and start to achieve things. Unfortunately, in the remaining six or seven months not much can be done, especially that we are talking about Vision 2064. Technology is changing. 

Sir, when the PF came into power, it found some good projects of the MMD. They found good ministries which they clamped together. Today, they are going back u-turning and saying that what the MMD did was correct. This is the way to go. It is important not to rubbish everything that you find in place. Try to build on and move forward. I am happy even with their trend of poaching manpower from the MMD. This is the way we should be moving.

Hon. Opposition Member: You were also there!

Mr Muchima: I was once part of the Ruling Party, but was hit with a missile.


Mr Mbulakulima: You are a consultant now!

Mr Muchima: Sir, where is the Government going to find money for the reserves when it is failing to release the mere Constituency Development Fund (CDF)? I do not know where they will get the money to put in reserve. Comrade Chris Mvunga, where will you get this money which you are saying you will use to repay the loans? You are talking of the population being 52 million by 2064. Where are the matching resources which we are creating? We should start now. We should pray to God to give us wisdom so that we rethink and start constructing Zambia as a group and not as individuals.

Mr Speaker, with these good, small and few words, I thank you.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Indeed, few small words.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks on the Speech of His Excellency the President which was delivered last week on Friday.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to congratulate the Patriotic Front for winning the Lubansenshi seat with a big margin.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the speech that was presented in the House by the President, to me, said a lot of things. It was very inspiring. It opened up our eyes and ears so that we know what is happening in our country. 

Mr Speaker, sometimes, we want to shut our ears when things are being said. Other times, we do not want to hear. We, sometimes, pretend not to see what is right in front of us.

Mr Speaker, most of the things have been discussed by hon. Members. However, I also would like to contribute in a small way. The President spoke about skills training for our youth. I want to talk a bit about that.

Mr Speaker, for this country to develop and get anywhere, we need to have hands-on people who can build and develop this country. Therefore, the idea of having several skills training centres is a very well thought idea because we need people with skills to develop this country. We need that bricklayer to lay the bricks. We need that welder to weld some steel works. So, the training of youths in various fields is how the country can develop. The emphasis should be that we train many people so that we can have excess labour which we can export.

Mr Speaker, in the 1960s, Zambia was exporting skilled labour to neighbouring countries because it had a programme to train artisans, boiler makers, fitters, electricians and so on and so forth. Today, our training has shrinked. We need to invest in training people with skills so that we can develop this country. We can only do it well together. It is not just for the party in the Government. Those who are in the Opposition who have ideas which can move this country can are welcome to contribute to the work of the PF Government instead of folding their arms and becoming critics all the time.

A lot of people have said that this country belongs to all of us. Why fold your arms and not participate in developing the country? Let us work together as one people.

Mr Speaker, we have got a lot of researchers in this country. We have got a lot of professors in this country who can come up with innovations that will take this country to another level. Alas, most of the time, when they have an idea, they would rather go and sell it to another country. I think that it is about time we changed our mindsets. We must sacrifice for Mother Zambia in order to see this country get to another level. At the moment, we are not being patriotic to our own country. The President has set the pace at which we should work.  In his Speech, he urged all of us to be forward thinkers. You have to plan for the future. We could have achieved some of the things that we are still talking about now had we put plans like the ones the President has just put in place. Other people have been in Governments before the current one. We cannot keep the blaming for the lack of development. 

Mr Speaker, the President said that punctuality and efficiency can enhance productivity. Time is very important in what we do. Time costs money. For example, if we do not start business in Parliament on time because we do not form a quorum, the House will collapse. In all work places, punctuality is very cardinal. It is key to productivity. If people keep going to work late, production cannot go up. I totally agree with His Excellency on his emphasis on punctuality.  If we do not put our minds together in order to achieve the set targets, we will not achieve them. Most importantly, punctuality will always give you production. Even in the Government, we have targets which we have set for ourselves. If that officer who is charged with the responsibility of discharging certain duties is getting to work late, how can he enhance production? Productivity will not be there because he is not putting in enough time. I support what the President said on punctuality and enhancing production. 

Mr Speaker, people have spoken about the shortage of power or electricity. I have in my mind, some mines. Some mines have got power plants which can be used. Some of them are just idle without being used because some mines have closed. I wish to urge the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development to engage the mines which have got power plants to see how they can make them work. All they need to do is to use coal to generate steam which can drive the turbines. That way, the power shortage that we are experiencing today may be cushioned in some way or other. That is just a suggestion I am making which can be looked at further by the relevant authorities. Equally, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) as a company can start selling solar energy boards. What is happening now is that a number of businesses are now cashing in the sale of solar energy boards. The prices have gone up because people have nowhere else to go. If ZESCO could assist the citizens by also going into the selling of solar energy boards, the pricing would go down. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to urge the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, who is very competent in his work, to work towards increasing the production capacity of agricultural sector countrywide. We have depended too much on copper to earn foreign exchange. One day, copper will run out. What will we do next? We need to invest a lot of our monies into agriculture, which was spoken about in the President’s Speech. If we invest in agriculture, we will become the food basket of the region. The agricultural sector can play a major role in revamping our economy. We can actually drive this country forward using agriculture. All of us seated here should have small farms where we can even do one lima or two limas.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the agricultural sector must be supported fully so that  ...

Mr Chishimba: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mutale: Iwe ulemfulunganya. 

Mr Chishimba: Ikaleni panshi. 


Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, I have been listening very carefully to the debate of Hon. Mutale. He has emphasised the need for punctuality. He actually stated that hon. Members of Parliament are usually punctual when executing our duties. 

Mr Speaker, are we in order to transact our business when the number of hon. Members in Parliament seems to be below the required figure to form a quorum? 

Mr Speaker, maybe, we are now also counting the National Assembly of Zambia officers who are with us. 

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can you ascertain the quorum please. 

Ascertain the quorum.

Hon. Members were counted.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We have forty-nine so we are below the quorum.

Can you ring the bell please?

Business was suspended from 1203 hours until 1205 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You see, this is what happens when the House has few Whips. Whips are supposed to assist in ensuring that we have a quorum. I can only notice one Whip here. Where the others are, nobody knows. 

May you, please, continue, hon. Member for Kwacha. 
Mr Mutale: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, I was talking about agriculture, which should be the economic driver for this country. I would like to see a situation whereby we produce our own agro products. There are a lot of imported agricultural products, some of which can be home grown. In this scenario, I would like to agree that the programmes being put in place and formation of co-operatives will make it easy to access chain stores. 

Mr Speaker, when our Zambian farmers approach the big chain stores individually, they find roadblocks. With the creation and registration of co-operatives, all farmers will be able to sell their produce. They will take their produce to the co-operatives which will in turn take that produce to the chain stores. For instance, an individual farmer may only have 10 kilograms of carrots. A large chain store will not buy because may be it is asking for 100 kilograms of carrots. Individual farmers can, however, take their produce to the co-operatives so that they sell on their behalf. They may put a small mark-up, but would still be promoting the sale of local products. This is the way we should be looking at things. 

Mr Speaker, we need to use agriculture to drive our economy forward. Copper will one day finish, but food will continue to be grown because everybody wants it on their plate. If we produce enough food for ourselves, we can export the surplus and earn the much needed foreign exchange. 

Mr Speaker, the people of Kwacha Constituency are very happy with the infrastructure development going on at the moment and want to thank the President and his entire Cabinet. The construction of the Mufuchani Bridge, which is one of the major projects being undertaken, is very advanced. Our friends on your left, spoke about it for many years, but no action was taken. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government came in and took action. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the PF government, through the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, saw that the people of Kwacha needed the Mufuchani Bridge. If you go there today, it is a showpiece. Already, people from Lusaka are trooping there to get plots. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, people, however, do not seem to want to talk about these things. They do not seem to appreciate what has been achieved by this Government. Sometimes we wear dark glasses. Even at night, you want to wear goggles. How can you see? 


Mr Mutale: You pretend not to see what is happening. Why wear dark glasses in the night? During the day, you wear dark glasses just like in the night.  


Mr Mutale: You will not be able to see what is happening both at night and during the day.

Mr Musonda: Mtolo!

Mr Mutale: Especially my mbuya that side. So …

The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning what? 

Mr Chishimba: There is no mbuya here. 

Mr Mutale: There is no mbuya here, sorry, Sir. 


Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I meant my traditional cousin, Hon. Mtolo. 

Mr Mtolo stood up.


Mr Chishimba: Ikala panshi iwe!

Mr Mtolo sat down. 

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, the investment that this Government has put into this country’s development is unprecedented. I am very happy with the vision that the President has put in place. We are looking into the future so that those who will come after us will continue from where we will leave things. I happily stand by the President and support his vision for this country to get to another level.  

Mr Speaker, the C400 Road Project as well as the Pave Zambia Road Project are going to do some works on the Copperbelt, particularly Kwacha. These projects will also go to Nkana, where my brother is, Wusakile, Kamfinsa, Chimwemwe, which is Hon. Mwenya Musenge’s Constituency, and Kalulushi. We are, therefore, very grateful and appreciate all the benefits.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I support the vision of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I thank you for granting me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Speech. I would like to start from page3. I hope to be very brief in this presentation. 

Sir, I want to start by congratulating this House for producing a Republican President. 

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Sir, it has not always happened that way. This President was one of us. He understands us fully. He was running a constituency like us. He knows our joys as well as our problems. Like he said on page 3 of his speech, he can relate to a welder and to the woman at the market selling tomatoes because his background is a humble one. He comes from Chawama Compound where most people would not want to live. I, therefore, want to congratulate this House for managing to produce a President. Usually, we get a President who finds it difficult to relate to us as Members of Parliament because he cannot relate to the work which they do. 

Sir, I believe that this President will not pretend not to understand how a Member of Parliament engages with his or her constituency. He knows the pressures that we face at the constituency level. For this reason, he was able to bring to Parliament and the nation at large, a well thought out address. I was very surprised, therefore, to hear some sections of our society labeling this speech as a cut and paste job. In fact, I was very shocked. 

Mr Speaker, people who cannot add two and two, which is a very simple arithmetic, find it very difficult to understand an intellectual presentation. I listened to Hon. Professor Lungwangwa’s debate. People who listened to him should have realised that this Speech is for intellectuals and those that cannot relate to it at that level will miss the points which it raised. 


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the heading to this speech is: “Embracing a transformational culture for a smart Zambian now.” For this first time, we have a President who wants to address the real problem of this country. The problem is that we have not been willing to transform our minds. We have been content with the status quo that the colonialists left us. 

Sir, transformation is not a simple thing. An example I can give is that of a butterfly. You can see the struggle that the butterfly goes through when it transforms from a worm to a butterfly. The process of its transformation is very difficult. A lot of people have tried to assist the butterfly by removing it from the cocoon before its time, but they find that this makes the butterfly fail to fly because it has not gone through the difficulty of transformation. The transformation that the President was talking about is not going to be easy. We will have to go through difficult times.

Mr Speaker, when I looked at the Speech, I found that everything fell into four sectors which are education, which I will spend some time on, Civil Service efficiency, language and urbanisation. I will start with education.


Mr Simbao: Sir, I am an engineer by training, and proudly so. I am one of those who studied a lot of mathematics and science. These are areas which many Africans and Zambians run away from.

Dr Lungu: You are right!

Mr Simbao: Sir, I do not know of any country that has developed without making mathematics and science its bedrock. The President said that we should be developed by 2064. I do not know how that will happen if we do not make mathematics and science our bedrock. 

Mr Speaker, the problem is that those of us who do these subjects are downtrodden once we complete them. Many people that do engineering, chemistry, physics and mathematics do not continue in that path when they graduate because the people who did other things progress faster than them. The people who did other subjects are more protected than the people that create actual transformation. There is no way any other subject can create transformation in this world.

Sir, whatever we see is either brought about by nature, science or mathematics. For example, flowers are as a result of nature while a tie can be credited to science or technology. However, the people who spend hours wrecking their brains to try and figure out how to transform things are downtrodden in Africa. How do you expect such people to transform the country? 

Mr Speaker, we cannot even make a sewing needle because most of the people that are in the forefront of running certain institutions are just good at speaking English. They do not talk about mathematics or science, which are responsible for change. Look at all these countries that have developed. You will notice that it is as a result of mathematics and science. Even the success of places like the Silicon Valley can be credited to mathematics and science. Just speaking English or any other language will not change anything.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Yes!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, science or mathematics can assist us in transforming this country into a developed nation. The people that study mathematics and science have not been recognised in this country and, therefore, they quickly move to other areas of management where they can progress.

Sir, speaking on behalf of these people, if the President wants us to develop before 2064, then it is time to put scientists and mathematicians in the right place. I am encouraging the hon. Minister of Finance to allocate a lot of money to research. I hope a lot of money will be pushed into the schools of engineering in all universities. I also hope that it will be compulsory for people to learn science and mathematics up to your last level of education. We must have everyone thinking scientifically. There are very few people that I associate with who I can speak the same language with. I can only have conversations about parallel worlds and universes with very few people. At times, I am very impressed when I find people talking about how many scientific plans we have. 

Mr Speaker, we need people that will think about science if we are to develop. All other things including trading will not take us anywhere. We want to concentrate on simple things which cannot take us anywhere. The President came here to tell us that it is time to change our thinking. Science must be at the fore of everything. We must all be able to know what Laplace transformations are or what calculus is.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Sir, we must all learn that.


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: If we do not take this route, then we will keep on wasting our time.

Mr Speaker, the second item I want to talk about is efficiency. The President told us that if we have to transform we must rethink our stance on efficiency. The Civil Service has a lot of inertia and yet it is at the centre of everything that happens in this country both in the public and private sector. The Civil Service is the heart of the country. If the Civil Service has inertia then the country ...


The Deputy Chairperson:  Consultations on my right side are rather on the high side. Hon. Member, proceed with that scientific presentation.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I did not want to cause problems because I know that a lot of my friends stopped at arithmetic.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: We must really rethink that position.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Like Mbewe!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, if the Civil Service does not become efficient, development will be very difficult for the country. At the moment, it is very difficult to get through to any public officer in the Civil Service. If you go to their secretaries, the first thing they will tell you is that the person is not there. If you ask for their contacts, you will be told that it cannot be given to you without the person’s authority. 

Mr Speaker, if these people are ready to be in public offices, they must be ready to attend to anyone who comes their way. Everyone must have access to Government offices. This business of barriers of one kind or the other, either by wanting to be bribed or whatever the case, should be stopped in the Civil Service. Also, the issue of punctuality and poor registry must be addressed for Zambia to be a developed nation by 2064.

Mr Mushanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the President came here to make it clear to the Civil Service that the way business has been done in the past will not be tolerated. So, I would like to appeal to the civil servants to change their attitude towards work.

Sir, I would like to talk about the issue of language. In Zambia, we have so many languages. This contributes to underdevelopment. In developed nations, they have only adapted one or two languages. It is important for us leaders to speak more than one language because we have so many languages in this country. Let me mention two people who can speak more than one language. The President can speak Lamba, Bemba, Nsenga and English fluently. That is unbelievable.

Mr Mwaliteta: And Tonga!

Mr Simbao: I am not sure if he speaks Tonga because I have not heard him speaking it.

Hon. Government Members: We have heard him!

Mr Simbao: Sir, a leader must be able to speak a number of languages fluently. He or she should not pretend to understand or speak a language. The other person that has impressed me is Hon. Evans because he also speaks a number of languages so fluently.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, that is how all leaders must be. However, we should still aim to have one or two main languages in this country because that is the only way we are going to develop.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I want to talk about urbanisation. There is no way Zambia is going to be a developed nation if we keep our people in the rural areas. In countries like South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia, the Governments moved all the people who were in the rural areas to towns. People can go and read about what I am saying. So, as we head towards 2064, we should try and move our people in the rural areas to towns. The only way people from rural areas will help develop Zambia is for them to come enter into industries and research centres in urban areas because the rural areas do not have these kind of institutions. So, if we want to prop up our rural people and help them develop, we must equally be willing to move them to towns and leave the rural areas for the commercial farmers. That way, they will be entrepreneurs and will take up other occupations. To me, this is what the President came to say to the nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Kalabo, I would like to add one or two words to the Motion on Floor of this House.

Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to start my debate by quoting what the President said on Page 11.

Sir, the President expressed a very serious concern and he said:

“Mr Speaker, hunger has been stalking some of our people due to crop failure that followed the poor rains in the 2014/2015 Farming Season. In places like Sikongo, the situation has been like this for the past two consecutive seasons. The drought experienced in these places means that our people face not only food, but water shortages as well.”

Mr Speaker, we have read about hunger from the President’s Speech. The hunger is not only on paper, but in the villages where they Zambians are. The people who are faced with this situation are Zambians. Therefore, I do not think or believe that those people chose to live in such places because they do not want to work or just want to receive free food. I think that they have just been caught up in that situation accidentally.

Sir, as we all know, the Western Province is a sandy place. It has plains which easily get flooded during the rainy season. Unfortunately, sand is found on the higher land where it is a bit dry. Therefore, our farming is not as serious as in other places where there is good soil.

Mr Speaker, like the President stated, we did not do a lot of farming in our area because we received very low rainfall.  Suffice to say that even the rice production has been reduced to almost zero especially for Kalabo and Sikongo. Our rice production for 2014/15 in these two areas has been very bad, Liuwa inclusive.

Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that we have a Government in place and that Zambia originates from very far even beyond 1964. It was in 1964 when political parties emerged and formal agreements were put in place. The first Government was led by the United Independence Party (UNIP), then, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and now, we have the Patriotic Front (PF) in power. As a result of their suffering, the people in Kalabo keep wondering whether they are part and parcel of this country. A while back, there was a project called Food for Work Programme which we appreciated a lot. In critical conditions like the one we are in now, the Government should not concentrate on providing relief food alone, but it should implement projects like the Food for Work Programme.

Sir, on 11th September, this year, I was very far from the Boma. I went to a certain village in Nguma Ward bordering Shang’ombo. When I got there, I did not find any man at that particular village. The only people who were present were children. When I tried to ask them about the whereabouts of their parents, they told me that their male parents had gone into the forest while the females had gone to the plains. So, my colleague and I followed the women who had gone to the plains. What we found there was shocking. The women were collecting wild grass, which is known as mambumbwe in Lozi. The women told me that the wild grass was their food in the morning for breakfast, at midday and also for supper. Further, the women told me that although they considered the grass as food, it had the same effect as beer after eating it.

Mr Speaker, you can see that the people’s lives are being threatened. All this happening when the PF Government has proudly told the world and the people in this country that nobody is going to die of hunger because the country has sufficient maize stocks. When these words fall on the ears of these people who are eating mambumbwe, do they bring happiness and pride? So, if the country has enough maize stocks, then there is need to look at the areas which have been critically hit with food shortages. In Zambia, we have a problem because we like developing theories and printing them into documents which we shelve. If this Government was serious, I believe that it would have gotten rid of this hunger, starvation and drought which I am talking about. If you dig into the ground, you will not need to dig deeper before you find underground water. However, this water is left in the ground, and we are saying there is no rain. To me, there is no will to take this country forward.

Sir, coming to agriculture, the Government has said it will bring 5000 hectares under irrigation. So, by 2030, we may have over 75,000 hectares under irrigation. The question I ask is whether Kalabo has a share in this 5000 hectares or not. If not, then the hunger situation will continue. We have water which needs to be tapped from the ground and brought to the surface. People can then use this water to grow crops. So, it is not that we are lazy. It is only that the kind of soil found in our area can not contain water for a long time. So, the Government needs to support people living in places like Kalabo.

Sir, of the 5,000 hectares to come under irrigation every year, part of this land should be in Kalabo. There is need to ensure that the money released for this programme reaches the intended areas such as my constituency. That is my request so that we try to combat starvation and hunger, which is real in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, according to the theme of the President’s Speech, we need to transform Zambia into a smart country. Who does not like to be smart?

Mr Shakafuswa: Lozis!


Mr Miyutu: Sir, we all want to be smart, but there are usually challenges. The introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) in schools is a welcome initiative. We all received it wholeheartedly and were very happy. However, the implementation or execution of this programme has not been impressive. We had expected that by now a Grade 1 child would just presses a button, a computer screen opens and the child is online and able to communicate and so on and so forth. Alas, can this take place in Kalabo, Sikongo, Liuwa …

Mr Mutelo: Mitete!

Mr Miyutu: … Mitete or Washishi?

Mr Mutelo: Kaputa!

Mr Miyutu: I was in Kaputa …

Mr Mutelo: Chasefu!

Mr Miyutu: … and Chimbamilonga constituencies …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member for Lukulu West, do not debate while seated. The hon. Member debating has sufficiently prepared for his debate.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the programme of introducing ICTs in schools is failing to take off because the Government is not releasing the resources for implementation.  I told some officer who came from the Ministry of Finance to attend a provincial development coordinating committee meeting last year in Mongu that nothing can replace money. If money is required, it has to be released. It is the only thing that can be exchanged for any other thing. What is the point in the Government coming up with very good initiatives without releasing money for them to be executed? Education service providers need resources to procure or acquire the things our children need to use. Can we become a smart Zambia just through speeches? 

Mr Speaker, spiritual matters are the ones that just require speeches. Public programmes are not spiritual matters. A computer is a physical item and has nothing to do with the spiritual world.  It is a real object which you can touch. Therefore, I call upon hon. Government Members to open up their hearts. I believe they just do these things deliberately, such as not releasing money for the ICT programme in schools. They want the people in rural areas to remain timid. The children from villages can become scientists, doctors or engineers. That can only happen if the potential in remote areas is tapped. Tapping this potential entails providing adequate resources so that these children can also attend schools where there is quality education. 

Mr Speaker, when you go to the schools where our children must get the knowledge, you will find that there are no teachers. I was at a meeting the first week schools opened on the 8th September, 2015. The whole of that week that school did not have classes because there was no teacher. One of the parents stood up and said, “You see Mr Miyutu when our children go for early marriages the Government tells us that our children should not go into early marriages. Now what will our children do because there is no school?” Surely, if the Government does not send teachers to some schools, the vices we detest will continue taking place in our communities. When a teacher is lost, naturally there must be a replacement. If there no classes taking place at schools, the parents will then allow their children to get married early. 

Mr Speaker, in its own wisdom, the Government decided to construct communication towers in chiefdoms all over the country. How many of those towers are still operational? Like for Kalabo Central, the two towers are still idle even now, today 25th September, 2015. 

Mr Mutelo: Even in Mitete!

Mr Miyutu: For a year…

Mr Miyutu laughed.

Mr Miyutu: How can you make Zambia smart that way?


Mr Miyutu: For one year, a tower is never operationalised. This is a point related to the efficiency of certain workers. Most workers have no desire to deliver. So, even if you come up with very good words, formulas and policies, when the workers just fold their arms, nothing is going to happen. So, the task is to make the workers wake up. Nobody else should do that but the Government. It is difficult to transform the minds of the people in villages who have not been to school.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, all we know when the President comes to visit our villages is to dance when receiving him. 

Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Sir, there is no problem with us. The problem is with the civil servant. The Government works need to start appreciating the value of their salaries by changing their work culture. I tell the workers in my constituency not to be happy to get a salary which they have not worked for. We can point fingers at each other here in Parliament when the weakness is not here. It is outside there. If we will not employ measures to make those workers deliver, I assure you that the Speech which was delivered by the President will be meaningless. Nothing good will come out from here (pointing at the President’s Speech).

One Zambia, One Nation.


Mr Miyutu: One Zambia, One Nation was very practical a long time ago. By that time, I was alive.

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Miyutu: Sir, when Dr. Kaunda used to say One Zambia, One Nation, he meant his words. I remember the District Governor at one time in my area was Mr Himalenga. He was a Tonga man operating from Kalabo. So, when somebody told you One Zambia, One Nation then, you could not argue. We have had governors from Bemba land, Lamba land and from all over this country. For now what happens is that a District Commissioner (DC) has to originate from the area he or she is working from. Thus the spirit on “One Zambia, One Nation”  cannot work. How do we appreciate each other if we do not interact?

Finally, Sir, violence which is initiated by a ruling party who even abuse the police is not a very good move. If we want the President’s Speech to bring about real transformation and for all of us to say, “One Zambia, One Nation”, more needs to be done.

I thank you Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1250 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 29th September, 2015.