Debates - Tuesday, 29th September, 2015

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Tuesday, 29th September, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




The following hon. Members took and subscribed the Oath of Allegiance:

George Kingsley Mwamba

Teddy Jessman Kasonso


Mr Speaker: Order!




The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I rise to make a ministerial statement on the politically-motivated riot that took place in the Manyama Area of Kalumbila District, …

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: … in the North-Western Province on 23rd September, 2015. The riot involved the United Party for National Development (UPND) members and their supporters.

Mr Lubinda: Kasonso!

Mr Mwila: The incident happened between 0600 hours and 2000 hours at Manyama Primary School. The UPND supporters began rioting after having been advised that they could not hold a public meeting at the school without prior authorisation …

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Mwila: Let me read. The Hon. Mr Speaker has ordered me to issue a ministerial statement. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us have order.

Mr Mwila: … and while the school academic activities were underway.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the facts of this very unfortunate and uncalled for incident are as follows:

(a)    the UPND campaign team, earlier in the month, provided the Zambia Police Force, in the North-Western Province, a schedule of its campaign programme for the North-Western Province by-elections. I will lay the schedule of all the meetings on the Table. This is because we have to talk with facts;


(b)    the programme included a public meeting in the Manyama Area on 23rd September, 2015 at 1400 hours; and

(c)    the UPND campaign schedule was approved by the North-Western Province Police Headquarters without any amendment and there were ten approved meetings.

Sir, around 1600 hours on 23rd September, 2015, the UPND leaders, including some of hon. Members of this House, went to Manyama Primary School and sought authority of the school administration to use the school premises for their public meeting. The school authorities declined to authorise the holding of a public meeting at the school premises without prior notice. This was because the school programmes could not be disrupted abruptly. The UPND leaders, then, went to the nearby Manyama Police Post and presented the schedule of meetings and demanded that the police officers affirm Manyama Primary School as the venue of the public meeting in question. However, the police officers declined to do so because the document presented to them was a photocopy and not the original.

 Mr Speaker, after the UPND leaders failed to force the police to affirm that Manyama Primary School was the venue of their public meeting, they returned to the school to insist on the school premises being the venue of the public meeting even though 23rd September, 2015, was a school day and the school programmes were in session. At the school, the UPND leaders insisted on the meeting going on because members of the public had already begun to assemble there. The school authorities, however, declined to grant permission and urged the UPND leaders to leave the school premises and hold the public meeting elsewhere.

Mr Speaker, while the school authorities and the few police officers that were present were asking the UPND leaders to leave the school premises, the UPND supporters that had accompanied their leaders to the school became unruly and started throwing stones at the police officers …

 Mr Livune: Question!

 Mr Mwila: … within the school premises. This volatile situation forced the police officers to use tear gas to disperse the riotous crowd and protect the school property, pupils and the teachers who were still in the school. The highly charged group, then, ran to the nearby police post and attacked the police officers manning the post. In the process, they damaged police communication equipment and a refrigerator while two police officers also suffered head injuries.

 Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, one of them is this one.

 Mr Mwila displayed the picture of the injured police officer.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I will lay pictures of the damaged communication equipment which was damaged by the UPND members, refrigerators and injured police officers.

 Hon. Government Members: Shame!
 Mr Mwila: Sir, the first the picture is that of the police officer, the second one is that of the police officer who was assaulted and the third one is of the damaged equipment caused by the UPND. 

 Mr Mwila displayed the picture of the damaged equipment.

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, what happened at Manyama Primary School could have been avoided by the political organisation, cool headedness and a peaceful orientation towards the resolution of the disagreements. Had the UPND leadership sought permission of the school authorities long before the day of the public meeting, it could have learnt, in advance, that the school would not entertain the disruption of its programmes on a regular working day. Accordingly, it could have identified a more appropriate venue for its campaign meetings. The riot was, therefore, primarily caused by poor planning on the part of the UPND leadership. 

Mr Speaker, I must, therefore, condemn the riotous behaviour of the UPND supporters who were in the Manyama Area. The riot was uncalled for, unnecessary and was caused purely by poor planning, a lack of discipline and a growing tendency of the UPND supporters insisting on having things their way.

Mr Speaker, no political party has the right to use any property it deems fit for public meetings without prior permission of the owners of the property. Prior permission of the school management should, therefore, have been sought.

 Mr Speaker, by Saturday, 26th September, 2015, eighteen of the twenty-one rioters who had been arrested and detained during the Manyama Area riots had been released upon payment of admission of guilt fines. Three were still in police custody because of failure to pay their admission of guilt fees.


 Mr Mwila: You can go and pay on their behalf.

 Mr Speaker, my ministry has taken exception to the conduct of the UPND leadership in the Manyama Area. It is also investigating the apparent unprofessional conduct of the police officers involved and action will be taken.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, my ministry wishes to warn all political parties that riotous behaviour and breaches of peace will not to be tolerated from any political party, whether it is the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), Patriotic Front (PF) or UPND.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mwila: Sir, all political parties have a duty to preserve peace and operate within the confines of the law. My ministry shall not equally accept poor management of public order on the part of the police. I have, therefore, instituted an internal inquiry into the conduct of the police, especially with regard to how they handled those who rioted for no reason at all and endangered the lives of innocent pupils, teachers and destroyed public property bought at a great expense. Any police officer found wanting shall, therefore, be dealt with in accordance with the law. 

 Mr Speaker, my ministry, however, remains committed to good governance, including upholding human rights and fundamental rights such as the freedom of assembly and ensuring that all political players campaign peacefully without any undue hindrance. All political leaders across the political spectrum should, therefore, commit themselves to peaceful conduct of politics. We must conduct our politics in a civil, peaceful and dignified manner. We must also promote national unity in diversity in line with our hard-earned independence and national motto, ‘One Zambia, One Nation.’

 Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

 Mr Mwila laid the papers on the table.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!    

 Mr Speaker: Order!

 Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement just given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

 Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the very good statement he has given on the Floor of the House. Towards the end of his statement, I heard him warn the police officers about an internal investigation that is being undertaken as regards this riot. Does the hon. Minister have any suspicion that the police officers are siding with the Opposition?      

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we expect our police officers to be professional. They are not supposed to side with any group. That is the position of the Government, and that is the more reason we have instituted an investigation into this matter. Disciplinary action will be taken against whoever will be found wanting.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Minister for his ministerial statement, though it was laced with emotion. We have learnt from his statement that this very unfortunate circumstance was as a result of poor planning on the part of the United Party for National Development (UPND). As a result, twenty-three suspects, who he called rioters, were arrested. Going by the hon. Minister’s threats to the civil servants who are alleged to be aligned to the UPND, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Mr Speaker, not so long ago, in Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituency, it was alleged that the Patriotic Front (PF) Secretary-General shot a Zambian citizen in cold blood. Not long after, it was, again, alleged that a District Commissioner (DC) of a named district also maimed a member of the public. Therefore, I would like to find out where the hon. Minister places his judgement when, on one hand, people rioted and on the other, nearly killed others using weapons such as firearms. I ask this considering the fact that there were two by-elections held in two different places where these unfortunate events took place.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to tell Hon. Jack Mwiimbu that I will not, ...

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Jack Mwiimbu is seated.

Mr Mwila: Sir, I want to tell the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency that I am not emotional. This is a very serious matter and, so, I expect leaders to be serious. It is a fact that what happened in Manyama was because the UPND leadership erred. I will not go further to talk about Mulobezi because, here, we are talking about the incident at Manyama Primary School, in Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) Mr Speaker, according to the hon. Minister, the riot started around 0600 hours and went on until 2000 hours.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, the hon. Minister has laid a copy of the campaign schedule for the United Party for National Development (UPND) on the Table. The schedule is dated 23rd September, and the time is 1400 hours. The UPND was at Manyama Primary School at 1600 hours because it assumed that the school activities would have come to an end by that time. The hon. Minister further says that the police will be investigated. So, how did the UPND err when it took its programme to the police? The hon. Minister further went on to say that the  programme that the UPND leadership presented to the police was a photocopy just like the ones he has laid on the Table.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I said the riot started around 1600 hours until 2000 hours. I did not say 0600 hours.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the UPND was supposed to get permission from the head teacher of the school before the meeting. The reason the UPND members were not granted permission to hold the meeting at the school was that permission was not sought from the head teacher and it ended there. So, the UPND erred and it should admit that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have not stopped questions. I am ready to give you an opportunity to ask questions, but there is no point in either commenting or murmuring when you have a chance to ask a question in the usual manner. I know that it is an emotive subject, but it does not subtract from our rules. We still have to observe them regardless of how emotive or emotionally charged you may be. The rules are still in force. They have not been suspended because of emotions.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I am the one who raised the point of order that necessitated the presentation of this ministerial statement. In that point of order, I raised the issue pertaining to the loss of life in Manyama due to the professional misconduct of the police. The hon. Minister has not addressed that particular issue. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is on record, and I have no doubt that there is a verbatim record, as having said that the riot started at 0600 hours. That is according to his statement. However, he has now changed and is saying that the riot started at 1600 hours. 

Mr Kambwili interjected while pointing at Hon. Mwiimbu.

Mr Mwiimbu: What is the truth pertaining to Hon. Kambwili?

Mr Speaker: You are addressing Hon. Kambwili again?

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I have noticed that in other Parliaments, when people make comments like that, (pointing at Hon. Kambwili) it results into fights. He should not do that.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, I just counselled the House a while ago. Let us control our emotions. I have a prerogative to allow this to continue or not. However, I would like to give you an opportunity to ask the hon. Minister questions.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why his Government has decided to ignore, with impunity, the loss of life which was due to professional misconduct by the police in Manyama, based on the point of order that I raised.

Mr Speaker: To avoid going round in circles, hon. Minister, may you clarify whether there was any loss of life. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, no one died. The hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central misled this House when he raised that point of order. When I presented the ministerial statement, I laid all the documents relating to the assault and equipment damaged on the Table. Could the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central also lay on the Table of this House the death certificate for that alleged death.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, why did the police follow the United Party for National Development (UPND) supporters to the community centre where they were supposed to have had their rally to disperse them with tear gas?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the police used tear gas to disperse the UPND cadres because they were unruly. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, what amounts to unruliness? When a programme of activities is given to the police in advance, it is done to help them synchronise the programmes of the parties involved. 

Mr Speaker: The question simply is: What amounts to unruliness? You can ignore the rest.


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I mentioned earlier on that the UPND supporters started chasing and assaulting our police officers. That is unruly behaviour. Therefore, twenty-one UPND cadres were charged by the police.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, what long-term strategic measures is the ministry putting in place to address this very unfortunate behaviour which has become common in our fragile democracy? The hon. Minister should go beyond issuing threats to political parties, police officers or anybody involved in this vice. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we currently have laws such as the Public Order Act in place. I expect all the stakeholders, including hon. Members in here, to abide by our laws. On that day, the UPND was given a go ahead to hold all the meetings on its schedule, except the one at Manyama because permission was not sought from the head teacher. The head teacher could not allow the disruption of classes. That was the issue.

As regards the long-term strategic measures put in place, we have various laws in place to curb violence. In addition, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, directed the hon. Minister of Justice and I to look at the Public Order Act and engage all the stakeholders. So, it is not a matter of just talking in here, but getting involved and seeing where we can make amendments.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I was a freedom fighter and fought for peace in Zambia.


Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: When I was the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, I also fought for peace in Zambia. Political violence in Zambia has escalated for a very long time now, ever since the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Unless we state the facts as they are, it will only get worse. The hon. Minister must specifically deal with the party cadres involved in violence, whether they belong to the PF or the United Party for National Development (UPND). Today, I sat here to listen to the wonderful hon. Minister give a statement about what happened to the UPND at a rally. When the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central asked about what the police had done about the incidents were firearms had been used in Mulobezi, the hon. Minister avoided answering the question.

Mr Nkombo interjected.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Sir, does the law only apply to the Opposition and not to the Ruling Party?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I gave a ministerial statement on the incident which happened in Kitwe where the PF cadres attacked Mr Hakainde Hichilema and he was protected by the police.

Ms Lubezhi interjected.

Mr Mwila: Our colleagues across have forgotten, but the PF officials who were involved in that incident will appear in court.

Hon. Opposition Members: What about the Mulobezi incident?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I also stated that people must learn from what happened on the Copperbelt. If anyone thinks that just because they are members of the Opposition, then, they are above the law, the police will come in and act.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me provide guidance here now. The hon. Minister has issued a statement and we are at the juncture of seeking clarification on it. For those of you who are keen to find out the events surrounding the Mulobezi incident, you are not being stopped from asking a question. Give me the question and I will give it to the hon. Minister. He will come and answer so that we put this matter to rest as well.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, in the answer that the hon. Minister has just given, he has reminded us of the statement he made and said that the action taken on the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres on the Copperbelt was something that others must learn from. Have the PF supporters or cadres learnt anything from that action, given the fact that early in the morning on 22nd September, 2015, in Lubansenshi, the PF supporters attacked one of our campaign vehicles and assaulted the people in it using guns? What is the hon. Minister’s take on that, especially that the idea of gun wielding in elections appears to be escalating?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let me repeat my guidance. There have been many unfortunate incidents during by-elections. I do not think it will do any good to begin opening all these issues and expect the hon. Minister to be factual in his responses. I imagine that before a statement is issued, he consults his operatives. So, in order for us to proceed in a factual and objective manner, if you have questions relating to specific incidents, please, you are at liberty to file in a question. This ministerial statement, as hon. Member for Monze Central pointed out, is as a result of his point of order. He was very specific. So, let us confine ourselves to the subject at hand. I think that is the way to proceed in all fairness.


Ms Siliya (Petauke Central): Mr Speaker, I wish to seek clarification from the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. I actually wish to follow up on the line of thought of my very reasonable friend, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, who attempted to compare the violence in Solwezi, Mulobezi, Lubansenshi or wherever else it occurred. Hon. Minister, would you state categorically that what is wrong is wrong and that wherever violence occurs, your ministry and you, as a hon. Minister, is not going to favour any one whether they are in the Opposition or in the Government, as you have already demonstrated on the Copperbelt. Hon. Minister, would you state categorically, again, that the onus is on us, the leaders, especially the hon. Members of Parliament, to not flip flop and change positions on violence, but continue being consistent and condemn violence whenever and wherever it occurs.

Hon. Minister, please, categorically state that for the House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will not allow the hon. Minister to respond to that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: He has been lectured!

Mr Speaker: That is not a question.


Mr Speaker: There is nothing seeking to be clarified. 


Mr Speaker: In fact, the hon. Minister, in this circumstance, is not amenable to any directive.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I just want to seek clarification from the hon. Minister. From his statement, it is clear that the United Party for National Development (UPND) had filed in a schedule of programmed meetings which were ten, as he has listed. I just want to find out from the hon. Minister how many out of those meetings were held outside institutions like schools, courts and other places so that this particular one for Manyama becomes special.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, before I respond to the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central, I want to say that I will take the statement from the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central as my own. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we had ten scheduled meetings. The first one was a rally at Shilenda, then, at Maheba, Mukumbi, Mumbeji, Jundu, Miyombe, Lunsala, Kensemunu, Kisasa and Manyama. So, I do not have the information on the Government institutions because these are just places and my focus was on Manyama.

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, I would …

Bishop Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Bishop Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, you ruled that Hon. Siliya’s statement was out of context.

Mr Kambwili: Aah!

Bishop Lt. Gen. Shikapwasha: Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to reinstate that statement against your ruling?

Mr Kambwili: What is the problem with that?

Mr Speaker: Order, Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting!


Mr Speaker: This is a juncture for questions of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. The hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke Central was not seeking clarification of anything. She was not asking any question. So, I did not see any reason in the hon. Minister rising to answer. However, if for whatever reason the hon. Minister was impressed with the statement …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … by the hon. Member for Petauke Central, I will leave it to him…

Mr Kambwili: Yes!

Mr Speaker: … to acknowledge how impressed he was.

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has already indicated that he is investigating the police’s conduct. I would also like to find out from him whether it is possible for him to investigate if, truly, there were some lives that were lost in this constituency.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have stated that no one died in this constituency. Therefore, there is no need for us to carry out an investigation on that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm that Her Honour the Vice-President had meetings at Mutanda and Manyama schools. Does she have immunity over others to have these meetings at places where others are not allowed to do so? How special is she …


Mr Livune: … with her Patriotic Front (PF) to have meetings where others were not allowed?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I laid on the Table of the House a document which indicates that ten meetings were authorised. Nine meetings were held except one. Whether it was the PF or whoever organised those meetings which Her Honour the Vice-President attended, permission was sought from the school authorities. That is the more reason she held two meetings in that area. When you look at where the nine meetings for the UPND were held, you will find that some of the meetings, then, were held at schools.

Let us be serious, hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, the United Party National Development (UPND) held its first meeting at Manyama School and was allowed by the head teacher. The UPND enjoyed overwhelming support. Is it not out of embarrassment that the party in power felt insulted by the UPND wanting to have another meeting at a place where it enjoyed massive support?

Mr Kambwili: Where?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, before I wind up, I want, first of all, to congratulate the UPND for winning the Solwezi West Seat. Allow me also to congratulate the PF candidate, Hon. Mwamba, for winning Lubansenshi.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this was a very sweet victory in that some people thought that they could not be defeated. They were defeated and they are no more.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mpukunyamatobo!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am not aware that the first meeting was held at Manyama. I think my concentration has been on the last meeting at Manyama.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




51. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when the following feeder roads in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Vulamkoko/Mnyamanzi;

(b)    Chinkombe;

(c)    Chimtende; and

    (d)    Chimtende/Lupande.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that the process of rehabilitating the said roads will be considered when Katete District Council plans for them and makes a request to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for their inclusion in the annual wok plans.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the roads in question are very important and I am sure that they are submitted to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing every year, but are never funded. Hon. Minister, can you assure the people of Katete that for as long as these roads appear in the Budget, they will be funded.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I wish to take this opportunity to indicate that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has not received any submission on these roads in question from the Katete District Council. I did not state that the Katete District Council submits these roads every year. 

Sir, I wish to advise that the Katete District Council should submit the feeder roads to be worked on by the Government in the district in order of priority.

Sir, secondly, I wish to confirm that the Government will consider any road that has been submitted as a priority depending on the finances available.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


52. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    how many textile factories were operational in Zambia as of August, 2015;

(b)    how much tax, in percentage points, the Zambia Revenue Authority had collected between September, 2011 and June, 2015 from the following:

(i)    textile factories; and

(ii)    imported second-hand clothes; and

(c)    what measures the Government was taking to encourage textile industry as opposed to encouraging importation of second-hand clothes.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sampa): Mr Speaker, as of August, 2015, two textile factories were operational in Zambia, namely Sakiza and Kariba textiles. 

Sir, as regard tax percentage points, the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) collected 0.04 per cent between September, 2011 and June, 2015, from textile and factories. It further collected 0.56 per cent from imported second-hand clothes. 

Mr Speaker the following are the measures that the Government is taking to encourage textile manufacturing as opposed to encouraging importation of second-hand clothes:

(a)    promoting cotton production by local farmers through the out-grower scheme;

(b)    the Government is in the process of implementing the provisions of the Zambia Public Procurement (ZPP) Act that allows public preferential procurement of locally-produced goods. This would include textile products;

(c)    promoting value-addition efforts from growing cotton up to the stage of ginning of clothes, blankets, carpets, among others; and

(d)    working towards establishing processing centres for farmer groupings in high cotton growing areas where they will be producing hand looms, garments, lint and other textile fabrics.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I bemoan the low percentage of revenue from the textile industry. I had earlier posed a question as regard the fluctuation of the kwacha and the answer that was given, on the Floor of the House, was that we export less.

 Sir, there are only two textile factories that are currently operational in the country. If we are to encourage more exports in the textile industry, are the measures that have been stated by the hon. Minister the only available ones to encourage investment in more textile industries which will, in turn, boost exports and help stabilise our currency?

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, indeed, this industry has huge potential. This is where we should look to earn foreign exchange as we diversify from copper. This is because Zambia is known to have some of the best cotton in Africa. This cotton is cultivated in the Gwembe Area and the Eastern Province. Most factories around Africa actually look out for Zambian cotton. 

Sir, we, therefore, need to go a step further. Rather than export the cotton, we need to gin it. We need to separate the seeds and lint the cotton so that we can start making garments within Zambia to export. 

Mr Speaker, there is a huge potential for export of garments to the United States of America (USA). You will be keen to note that the USA is the biggest importer in the world and Zambia only accounts for a negligible 0.05 per cent of its imports. These imports from Zambia are honey and nuts. However, the ministry has identified garment making as one area in which Zambia can penetrate the USA market because the population there is around 300 million. Just making one T-shirt worth US$1 would mean US$300 million coming into Zambia. 

Therefore, hon. Member, this is an area in which the ministry is spending time on to see that we progress to advanced stages.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer is that there are five measures that have been put in place to encourage local textile manufacturing. By 2001, there were over ten members of the Textile Producers Association (TPA) which were producing cloth and yarn. Yarn was being exported even from Kafue. Now, the number is said to have dropped from ten to two. 

Sir, in view of the pressure on the kwacha and our very state of affairs where we import everything, including used underwear, does the hon. Minister have any serious and practical intention to issue a list of products whose importation can be banned like has been done in other countries to protect the currency? For example, in Nigeria, they have produced a list of 700 items that cannot be imported to protect the naira. Regardless of all these trade agreements that have been signed carelessly, does the hon. Minister have any serious intentions to stop the importation of certain products in the textile industry so that the number of our local manufacturers can increase and go back to what it used to be just fifteen years ago?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that noble question. Indeed, I cannot overstate what he has presented. That is the route to go. We need to look at what we can stop from coming in, which is something we have already done. Nobody from out there will come to develop this economy. Nobody will come to bring in foreign exchange. It is up to us, that is, the Government, those in this House and the nation, to see if there is something we can do to conserve the foreign exchange. What is happening now to the foreign exchange is like trying to draw water using a mosquito net because foreign exchange is just going out of the country even when it is not supposed to. For instance, we were talking about the importation of chips, the other week. We have plenty of potatoes. So, why should we spend foreign exchange to bring in chips?

Sir, to answer the question, yes, this Government, in conjunction with all the ministries involved, is considering looking at compiling a list of measures which can be put in place to ban certain goods and services. We could bring back some beverages, for instance. What was wrong with Tip Top and Tarino? I am not saying we should stop the importation of Coca Cola, but I am just trying to evoke thoughts. Yes, we are looking at a list on which some goods and services will stop being imported into the country. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Mulungushi or China textiles, ordinarily, would have been a major player in the textile industry currently. I am aware that an investor to invest in this very important industry that once belonged to the Zambian people has been found. However, production has not started but, on the Floor of this House, we were told that this investor was given a deadline in which to start production, failure to which unspecified action would be taken against him. I think the deadline was 31st August, 2015. It is now one month after the deadline. May I find out what concrete and actionable steps this Government is taking or intends to take to compel this investor to start production, if he has not started.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, it will suffice to say that Mulungushi Textiles is under the Ministry of Defence, but being part of the Government, I am reliably informed that the Government is now considering investing in the textile company. The investor that was supposed to take over did not make any progress. He did not meet certain conditions. So, instead of waiting on him, the Government is considering putting money in the textile company so that production can start.

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, before I ask a question, I would like to register my congratulations to the two new hon. Members of Parliament for winning their seats by whatever method. 


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, they are welcome.

Mr Speaker, going back to the question, the ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue beyond your message of congratulations.


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I want to go to my question. 

Mr Speaker, in financial management, a saving on cash outflow is synonymous with a cash inflow. The hon. Minister earlier mentioned that the Government is looking at the possibility of establishing manufacturing industries for export. Hon. Minister, establishing manufacturing industries for exports might take time. However, we are aware that there is already a local demand, no matter how small. Therefore, why can we not start to satisfy the local demand for textile so that we can advance from there into export demand-driven industries? Why not start to meet the local demand first? This is because, then, we shall save the meagre foreign exchange, which is going outside to get the consumer products.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, indeed, we all grew up on Kafue Textile jeans. So, we are all passionate about this topic. We look forward to seeing local textiles that will satisfy the local demand. It does not help to have a textile industry that is importing material from China and only just start making the clothing here.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, we want the material to be processed in Zambia. The cotton grown in Katete should be brought to Lusaka for processing and garments be made from that material. It is unacceptable that we are still importing factory garments from elsewhere. We are still importing clothing for policemen when we can make them locally. Therefore, the Government, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), is already funding ginneries so that local farmers can start converting the cotton to material. One good example is in Mumbwa, where, through the CEEC, a ginnery was opened, only last year, and local farmers are able to bring their cotton and have it processed. We are making progress on that. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, let me also join those who are congratulating our colleagues who have joined us, Hon. Mwamba and Hon. Teddy Kasonso. Congratulations. Well done. 

Mr Speaker, we should admit that the textile industry in Zambia is a total failure. The Government is known for travelling to China and America a lot. Why is it failing to attract investors to come and invest here and produce an end-product when its market is already available in Zambia? What is it that is making it so difficult for the Government to attract investors, when it has been to America several times? Why can it not attract the people there to come and invest in that industry? 

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, nothing is stopping us. We are making progress. We are not only looking out there for investors to come and do it for us. We are actually standing up, as Zambians, to be counted. We are doing it ourselves. We are getting local investors to open up factories and start making these uniforms so that for a change, we can be the ones to export uniforms for the police to other countries. There are companies that are making progress in the garment industry, and I can give an example of Unity Garments Limited, Kays Textiles Limited in Ndola, a fully-fledged textile company I visited. It is making numerous exports into Congo in the form of uniforms for the mines. There is also African Textiles in Livingstone which is making a lot of uniforms there as well. I agree with the hon. Member. We need to push to get more investors, both local and international, to come and spearhead this industry. This is one potential to explore that can bring in foreign exchange into Zambia.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, let me also congratulate those colleagues that have just joined us in the House.

Mr Speaker, the salaula industry, obviously, has killed the ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

What do you mean by salaula industry?

Mr Chipungu: The importation of second-hand clothes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, this has killed the textile and cotton industry in this country. Years ago, a lot of farmers produced cotton, hence the formation of the Lint Company of Zambia Limited. 

Sir, my question is very similar to that posed by Hon. Simfukwe, the Member of Parliament for Mbala. Hon. Minister, could you very clearly state whether the Government has any intentions at all to ban the importation of second-hand clothes in order to build the textile industry once again.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, I think that the idea is not to ban instantly, but gradually, as we improve the textile and garment industry locally. This is because one cannot take something if he or she is not giving in return. Not until that point that we will be satisfied that there are enough quality garments being made locally will the salaula industry die out automatically. 

The local industry will ensure to make much cheaper garments of similar quality as salaula. At the moment, however, we have to protect the public. What has been banned, for now, is the importation of underwear, including vests, socks and brassieres because, obviously, as a nation, we have to be proud. We cannot subject our people to second-hand garments in that area. 


Mr Sampa: There is equally cheaper brand new innerwear that our people can buy. So, until our local industry takes off, we will not ban salaula. We will simply let the market play its course and the local textile and garment industry will automatically kick out the importation of salaula. 

 Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has reiterated what the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry said a few days ago about the Government not having any intentions of banning the importation of second-hand clothes, popularly known as salaula. 

Sir, we have also heard that from the approximately six textile companies we had, only two have remained operational. If the Government, through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, wants to progressively deal with the issue of second-hand clothing in order to encourage growth and investment in the textile industry, can the hon. Deputy Minister explain why the number of textile companies, if that is the approach, has gone down instead of up?

Mr Speaker, can the hon. Deputy Minister categorically tell us that, indeed, there is a policy in place to deal with the issue of second-hand clothing, which is consuming huge amounts of foreign exchange.

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I want to confirm that, indeed, there is a draft cotton policy that is being worked on, now, in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice. 

Sir, the salaula industry has a disadvantage in that foreign exchange goes out. However, there are also advantages because jobs are created and households earn income locally. We have to look at the bigger picture which is that we need our local textile industry to grow. 

Indeed, the number of textile companies has reduced in the last ten years for reasons that are many and not particularly due to salaula. The cotton industry has had its own challenges in the last ten years. There was a cotton crisis some three or four years ago. We also know that one of the shortcomings of liberalisation was that some investors who bought textile companies owned by the Government stripped them off of all machinery and auctioned it. This happened with a lot of companies. If we look back, this was one disadvantage of moving from the United National Independence Party (UNIP) to the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). 

Mr Speaker, it is the same with the mines. Instead of continuing with production, some investors were not truthful and, in no time, they had closed the mines without investing. There are, therefore, a number of factors that have led to the decline in the textile industry. However, this Government is now prioritising and making progress. I look forward to a time when we will come here and present figures which will show that the textile industry is growing. Through the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), in particular, we are pumping money into this industry to ensure that we grow it. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, from our history, the textile industry is a dying industry in many developing countries. This is a fact. 

Sir, everywhere you look on the African Continent, it is all salaula or the second-hand clothing industry thriving. The hon. Deputy Minister pointed out that what America is selling in its textile industry comes from certain developing countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and South Korea, among others. America itself is concentrating more on critical innovation and creativity for this industry. 

Hon. Minister, what is our critical comparative and competitive advantage, as a country, that will contribute to the development of the textile industry, especially in the area of skill advancement for our people to add value by innovation and design? 

Mr Sampa: Mr Speaker, our absolute comparative advantage in this area is that which we, as Zambia, have that other countries do not.  

The hon. Member for Nalikwanda pointed out that the American Textile Industry uses countries such as Cambodia to make garments for it. It, however, started changing because, first and foremost, Cambodia is very far. The first comparative advantage that we have is that we are closer to the United States of America than Cambodia. So, in terms of moving goods, it would be much faster. 

Sir, the second comparative advantage which, I think, we all underestimate is the disciplined labour force. The labour force in Zambia is disciplined compared to other countries in that workers do not go on strikes or become violent as it happens in countries such as South Africa. America does not want to be associated with a labour force which is chaotic and temperamental and goes on strike every other day without following the laid-down procedures. In Zambia, workers follow laid down procedures and are much disciplined. This is another comparative advantage that we have that other countries do not have. Therefore, we need to tap into it and invest in the garment industry so that we can use our labour force to make clothes for the American industry and create jobs for our people.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


53. Mr Phiri asked the Minister of Finance: 

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a one-stop facility at Chanida Border Post in Chadiza District; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mvunga): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans of constructing a one-stop border post facility at Chanida Border Post in Chadiza District because of the low volumes of commercial traffic at the border point.

Sir, may I also take this opportunity to inform the House that the Government has, however, prioritised to establish one-stop border post facilities, in the near future, at the following border posts:

(a)    Victoria Falls Border Post;

(b)    Kazungula Border Post;

(c)    Kasumbalesa Border Post; and

(d)    Mwami Border Post.
Sir, further, the Government, with its co-operating partner, the African Development Bank (ADB), has secured funds for Mwami Border Post in the Eastern Province. The Government also has plans to build modern infrastructure at various border points with priority being given to those where there is high traffic volume.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the ...

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for Mpongwe for interrupting his flow of thought.

Sir, the people of Zambia are suffering.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, this month, September, teachers got their salaries very late. In most cases, teachers start getting their salaries on the fifteenth day of the month but, this time around, there was a delay. 

Sir, the marketeers are failing to sell their rape and tomatoes. The hair dressers and the welders are failing to make money because of load shedding. It is not only that, the cost of living has gone up drastically in the last three weeks. At the moment, the dollar exchange rate is more than K13.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the exchange rate of the pound is around K20.


Mr Mbewe: This means that the marketeer who is selling rape is surviving on less than a dollar per day and others are sleeping on empty stomachs. As it is now, some farmers and businessmen from Chadiza are buying dollars from Malawi to come to sell in Zambia at a higher price. 

Sir, is the hon. Minister of Finance in order to keep quiet when these things are affecting our people? Is he in order to appear as though nothing wrong is happening in this country? Is he in order not to give us an assurance that he will put in place immediate measures to control the falling of the kwacha?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, are you through?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am not yet through.


Mr Mbewe: Is the hon. Minister of Finance sitting comfortably and drinking Government water ...


Mr Mbewe: ... in order to let the people of Zambia starve to this level?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that I will give the hon. Minister of Finance an opportunity, in the course of this week, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: ... to issue a ministerial statement on that subject so that he can apprise the House as well as the nation on the performance of our currency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that I thank the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance for clearly stating that the Government has no plans to commence the construction of a one-stop border facility at a point where there is less traffic. From the border posts that he has mentioned, which one is the Government’s preferential point at which it will start building a one-stop border post? 

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, as I indicated, the border posts that we are considering are Victoria Falls, Kazungula, Kasumbalesa, which is under construction, and Mwami. I have also categorically stated that funds have been secured for Mwami Border Post. Effectively, what are remaining are Victoria Falls and Kazungula border posts. As for which one will commence first, that will be determined, at some point, when the funds are available because each project has different finances allocated to it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Deputy Minister have any projections at which time he ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mufalali: ... he expects that traffic at Chanida will have increased so that a one-stop border post can be put up there?

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I think what determines the traffic at border posts is the amount of commercial activity that happens in a particular region. So, in terms of projections, yes, as commercial activities increase on one part or the other, you will see more traffic coming through. To say that we give you a forecast on what will happen and where this will happen, we are unable to at the moment. We can attempt to look at it, but it is not exactly that easy to predict the unpredictable future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, Chanida Border Post is always congested. Since there are no plans to put up a one-stop border post there, how will the traffic there be controlled? What is the minimum requirement for a border to have a one-stop facility?

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I can provide you with the numbers, at a later stage, of what I may call the break-even point in volume of traffic that qualifies for a border post to be classified as a one-stop border post. As it is, congestion is relative because if a border post is smaller, even low traffic can cause congestion. So, we should be mindful of the fact that it is not only just a question of how much time it takes to go through a border post, but also the physical number of cars passing through the border post. If you compare Chanida Border Post to Kasumbalesa Border Post, you will see that even the size and the volumes are completely different. Yes, we understand the concern of the hon. Member of Parliament for Mkaika and, I think, I should also clarify that we are not saying that we will never put up a one-stop border point at Chanida. At some point when volumes do justify, we will be able to consider that.

I thank you, Sir.


54. Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central) asked the Minister of Justice when the construction of staff houses at the Shimano Subordinate Court in Nkeyema District would commence.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, there are no immediate plans to construct staff houses in Shimano Area of Nkeyema District due to inadequate funds. However, the Government is currently constructing Litoya Local Court building in Shimano Area, as a matter of priority. Construction of staff houses may be considered in the 2016 Budget and subsequent ones, funds permitting.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, why did the Government decide to start constructing a court when  it was aware that it did not have sufficient funds for the project?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, if a country such as ours had sufficient funds, I am not sure people would be waking up to go for work. There is no finishing line to development. I remember Hon. Dr Musokotwane saying that. There are projections to put up infrastructure and there is an Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP). Everything has to start from somewhere. If we had started with the construction of a house, somebody would have said, “Why did you not start with a local court?” Maybe, the question should be: Did you have to start with the construction of both projects? Maybe, to that question, we can have an answer at an optune time. We are just trying to be orderly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, since the Government has no immediate plans to construct staff houses at Shimano Subordinate Court as a result of insufficient funds, has it sent officers to work at Shimano Subordinate Court and, if so, where are they living?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, I must say that I did not address my mind to that fact, but from practice, what has been happening is that where there is no infrastructure, the Government has opted to rent houses for its officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, it is true that development has no end, but the construction of staff houses is very important, especially in rural areas where houses to rent are not available. It seems the Government is putting emphasis on the construction of courts because even in Kalabo, we have a court, but there are no staff houses. In view of the critical shortage of staff houses in the country, when does the Government intend to come up with a plan for staff houses so that these workers are decently accommodated?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, we must be cognisant of the fact that the resource envelope is limited. Not so long ago, perhaps, we heard the hon. Ministers of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and Health bemoan the issue of lack of housing units. I think it is a known fact that there is a critical shortage of staff houses. This is work in progress and we have admitted that there is no housing infrastructure, but that has already been planned for. The construction of staff houses has been scheduled. 

Mr Speaker, the limiting factor is financing because of the limited resource envelope. However, in answer to this we have said that when funds are available, we will look into this. This means that we are consistently reminding the Ministry of Finance to provide resources for that function. However, we have built houses in other districts for local court staff.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Sir, I know that …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister of Justice in order to mislead the nation that where there are no staff houses in the rural areas, the Government is renting houses for staff? In the entire Nalikwanda Constituency, there are no houses that the Government is renting for staff working in courts and they sleep in the villages. I need your serious ruling because that calls for an apology from the hon. Minister on the Floor of the House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will give the hon. Minister an opportunity to clarify that position.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, I was wondering whether you first put on a tie before you put on a jacket because I do not know what you do first.


Mr Ntundu: I want to learn. What is your problem?

Mr Speaker: There is no problem so, just continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether it is wise for the Government to build a court before it builds staff houses. Is the hon. Minister, in short, saying that the court will not be functional until staff houses have been built? I know the hon. Minister has been smart in answering questions, but on this one, I want him to be clear.


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, let me, perhaps, deal with the clarification of Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa’s point of order. It was just a slip of the tongue. Housing allowances are paid to those that are not accommodated. 

Sir, it is true that our people who are supposed to service those areas are entitled to decent accommodation. Yes, they may live in the villages with the local people, but that is a temporary measure. Let us not push this agenda further because it can be career limiting for the hon. Member to insist that the people where he comes from are less human being than those officers sent to rural areas. However, I will discuss with him when business is suspended although I have already clarified that they get allowances for their rentals.


Mr Mukata: Sir, as regards the issue raised by Hon. Ntundu, it is a chicken and egg situation. The most important need in terms of priority, borrowing from the knowledge I acquired from civics, common sense and G7 Special Paper I, is to first of all have the institution. It is more reasonable to give people the facility and have people move to rural areas and provide a service in terms of urgency than to build houses and, then, assign a local court officer to sit in a house while waiting for a local court to be built.


Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the Government does not work like that. It does not begin by putting meali meal on the stove and, then, the pot on top of the meali meal. No, we do not operate like that.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 



55. Mr Chipungu asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when township roads in Rufunsa would be upgraded to bituminous standard; and

(b)    what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, Rufunsa Township Roads are earmarked for upgrading to bituminous standard by 2016.

Sir, the actual project cost will only be determined after the detailed designs of the roads have been done.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I am worried that 2016 is a bit too far. Why will they be worked on in 2016 and not in 2015?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I thought that was a very honest answer because we will soon be budgeting for 2016.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, how many kilometres are estimated to be worked on?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I have indicated that the actual project cost will be determined after the detailed designs of the roads have been done and that is when we will be able to know the length of the stretch of the road.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, may I know what criteria were used to select the Rufunsa District Township Roads to be worked on in 2016, when it is a newly-created, as opposed to Mpongwe, which has been in existence for some time?


Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, as you are aware, Rufunsa is among the newly-created districts. Therefore, the Government is equally prioritising the development of roads in the newly-created districts as well.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, since the hon. Minister has mentioned 2016, I would like to know how many districts are targeted and whether Ikeleng’i is one of them.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Is the hon. Minister able to answer that follow-up question?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, that is a new question. I would, therefore, like to advise the hon. Member to wait for the Budget to be presented so that we know the allocation for each district.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he has indicated to this House and the nation …

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, when questions are prepared, hon. Ministers are supposed to come to this House with well-prepared answers. 

Sir, in his response, the hon. Minister indicated that the plans are for the new districts, Ikeleng’i inclusive. Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to state that Hon. Muchima’s follow-up question is a new one and suggest that a fresh one be asked for an answer to be given when it is himself who has indicated that that programme is for the new districts? I need your serious ruling.

 Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is that the hon. Minister does not seem to have that particular answer relating to that particular district. Generally, he referred to new districts. I also believe that many new districts have been created over the period, but in the meantime, we are considering a very specific question on Rufunsa. If the hon. Member looked at parts (a) and (b) of the question, they both fall under Question Number 55. Therefore, I cannot fairly say that the hon. Minister should come along with all those details of the districts in the country indicating when the same facilities would be constructed. As much as I urge hon. Ministers to be fully prepared and anticipatory, I will be pushing the matter a bit further than I have laid down if I said the hon. Minister should provide an answer.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he has indicated that the number of kilometres of the roads to be constructed will be determined by the design. I would like to find out from him whether it is the design that determines the kilometres of the roads that will be constructed in Rufunsa. Suppose the designers decide that there will be 300 km of roads to be constructed in Rufunsa, will the Government go ahead with the construction?

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to indicate that hon. Ministers come to this House fully prepared.


Mr Ching’imbu: Sir, in relation to Hon. Mwiimbu’s question, when the designers get on the ground, they will advise on how many kilometers to be worked on.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.


56. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)     how many public schools were in Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b)    how many schools above, had the following administrators as of 31st August, 2015:

(i)    confirmed headteachers;

(ii)    unconfirmed headteachers;

(iii)    confirmed deputy headteachers; and

(iv)    unconfirmed deputy headteachers. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was just beginning to respond to the question asked by the hon. Member for Kalabo Central.

Sir, before I answer, I would like to state that this particular question is similar to the one that was asked by the same hon. Member when he was trying to find out on the deployment of teachers that are not confirmed in his constituency.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the number of public schools in Kalabo Parliamentary Constituency was forty, as at 30th August, 2015. The status at the schools above was as follows:

(a)    thirty schools had confirmed headteachers, meaning that ten were not confirmed; and

(b)    nine schools had confirmed deputy headteachers, meaning that thirty-one schools had not confirmed their deputy head teachers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the number of deputy headteachers seems to be slightly big. What measures has the Government put in place to ensure that this number is equated to that of confirmed teachers? As I go round the constituency, I sense some level of frustration among the teachers who are acting in those positions and are yet to be confirmed. So, what measures can the Government put in place to enhance the process of confirming of these teachers?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, before I respond to the follow-up question by the hon. Member for Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency, I think, it is important to state some of the compelling reasons leading to the situation in part (b) of the question, especially for the unconfirmed deputy headteachers. In the first instance, the person acting in that position could be doing it for administrative convenience or acting with a view to being confirmed. When it comes to confirmation, the ministry works with the Teaching Service Commission. So, we are currently working with the Teaching Service Commission to ensure that all such cases are resolved and cleared as soon as possible.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, some teachers have been acting for more than six months. Others have been acting for close to two years. This is happening mostly in rural areas. Bearing in mind that these are qualified teachers, do you not see them getting de-motivated for acting in those positions for more than six months without getting anything out of it by not being confirmed? 

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, it is not unlikely for our teachers to be de-motivated. The reason for having a certain teacher act in a position for more than six months or two years could be that necessary documents may not have been submitted to the relevant authorities by the school. The school at which a teacher is attached should submit these documents to the District Education Board Secretary’s (DEBS) office which submits to the Provincial Education Officer’s (PEO) which, then, should submit the documents to the Directorate of Human Resource. Finally, the documents are submitted to the Teaching Service Commission for confirmation or promotion.

Sir, in assuring the teachers out there, the confirmation of teachers is an on-going exercise and, as such, all outstanding cases not only in Kalabo, but also in other constituencies countrywide, will be attended to. As a ministry, together with the Teaching Service Commission, we will keep attending to these cases so that those teachers to be confirmed are confirmed.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


57. Mr Ntundu asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when tarring of township roads in Gwembe District would commence.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the Gwembe Township roads will be upgraded to bituminous standard in 2016. The actual project, ...

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister did not complete his answer. Hon. Deputy Minister, I want you to be serious, and you are my friend.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe Parliamentary Constituency, just ask a plain question. That is all.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, all the district roads in the Southern Province have been worked on except for those in Gwembe. Can the hon. Minister tell me exactly when the Gwembe Township roads will be tarred. Could you be specific because if you are not specific, hon. Deputy Minister ...


Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, I need your protection from the hon. Member. He is threatening me.

Mr Speaker: That is why I stopped him.


Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, just as the hon. Member has stated, most of the township roads in the Southern Province have been worked on and for that, we, as the Government, need a pat on the back.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Sir, not all development will take place in one Budget year. I have indicated that as the Government, we have planned to work on the Gwembe township roads in 2016. That is precise.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am confused and I am beginning to think that, maybe, I am not from the Southern Province. I am confused because of the response by the hon. Deputy Minister and my colleague from Gwembe saying that it is only township roads in his constituency that have not been worked on.

Sir, in Monze, over a year and a half ago, the Government commenced the construction of township roads. At the onset of the rainy season, it told us that the works on these roads had stopped because it was difficult to construct roads during the rainy season. We were told that the works would resume soon after the rainy season, but that has not happened. In Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency, the Government engaged a contractor to carry out the works. The trouble that we are facing is that these contractors are not working because they are not being paid. So, there are no roads which have been fully worked on. There is just some semblance of road works and the contractors have said they have not done the work because the Government has not paid them. Could the hon. Minister give us an absolute position on what is really obtaining in the Southern Province with regard to township roads. To give comfort to my brother, (pointing at Hon. Ntundu) I want you to know that you are not the only one.

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the fact that this question has degenerated to, now, discussing the Southern Province is unfortunate. However, the correct picture is that the Government has attempted to carry out road works elsewhere in the Southern Province and the explanations why works have stalled vary from district to district. However, for Gwembe, we specifically mentioned that 2016 should see us starting and later on stalling because we cannot predict the future. Nonetheless, the road works will still commence. Gwembe was promised a university, which we have not delivered, and so, we cannot, again, not deliver the roads. We will work hard to do our part.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, Gwembe District is unique, taking into account that the district council is in Munyumbwe while the administrative centre is in Gwembe Town.


Mr Mwiimbu: Will the township road works in Gwembe District also include Munyumbwe where the council is situated? I can see that Hon. Siamunene is now advising the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing that those roads should be worked on.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, Hon. Siamunene was not advising me on Gwembe. He was just telling me that the roads in Monze were worked on and was wondering why Hon. Jack Mwiimbu is not crossing over to the Patriotic Front (PF).


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Anyway, can we concentrate on the question, hon. Minister.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, Hon. Siamunene would not go to those levels. I was just trying to play around with my former campaign manager. However, let me make it very clear that all things being equal, in 2016, we should be able to look at the construction of roads in Gwembe as a whole. 

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    how many fish farmers were in Mpongwe District; and

(b)    what incentives, if any, were offered to the fish farmers in the district.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, before I answer this question, allow me to congratulate the hon. Members that have joined us in the House today, Hon. Mwamba and the hon. Member for Solwezi West.

Mr Speaker, there are currently fifty-one fish farmers in Mpongwe District. The district has a total of 110 fish ponds, whose average size is approximately 600 sq. m. Currently, the only incentive being offered to fish farmers is free extension services. However, the Government is constructing a fish freezing and storage facility in Mpongwe District in Chief Machiya’a Area to help both the fish farmers and fishermen store and market their fish. The facility is in its final stage of construction.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, out of the 110 fish ponds mentioned by the hon. Deputy Minister, nine big ones are mine.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the fish freezing facility being constructed in Chief Machiya’s Area is very far from the fifty-one fish farmers. It is about 80 km in the far west of Mpongwe and might not be helpful to any of the fifty-one farmers. Therefore, how is that an incentive to the fifty-one fish farmers?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, may I congratulate the hon. Member of Parliament for leading by example. We appreciate that he is a fish farmer himself and hope other hon. Members of Parliament will emulate him.

Mr Speaker, the facility in Chief Machiya’s Area is intended for the fish farmers along the Kafue River and the people in the surrounding area who may be attracted to invest in fish farming. However, if the fifty-one farmers who are living 80 km away from this facility will not immediately benefit from it, the Government will look at the situation differently and see how it can assist them. We, as a Government, are determined to develop this industry and ensure that fish becomes available and farmed profitably.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, recently, when His Excellency the President visited Palabana Fisheries and at the launch of Yalelo Fish Farm Enterprise, he bemoaned the fact that we continue to import fish. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock where aquaculture currently falls and how our colleagues are taking up the challenge that was thrown to them by His Excellency the President of trying to develop the fishing industry. What specific policy interventions or measures are being thought about currently in order to boost the fishing industry?  

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, in line with the Presidential directive, the ministry is doing everything possible to ensure that more effort is put in and funds are provided to this sector so that Zambia stops importing fish in the short-term and not just in the medium or long-term. We need to be self-sufficient in terms of fish production. 

Therefore, Sir, we are encouraging our farmers to take fish farming as a serious business. We are blessed with a lot of water bodies such as lakes and rivers. Modern methods such as cage fish farming should be encouraged and I am pretty sure even the hon. Member asking this question would probably be interested in investing in this industry. The Government is not only providing the necessary information and extension services, but also assisting farmers access funds to invest in this particular farming sector. 

In the near future, we should see large investments coming into this particular sector, as we have seen with the Yalelo Fish Farm Enterprise and other fish farmers that are producing quite a lot of fish. We anticipate that we can turn things around and stop importing the difference as we have seen in the past in this country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, what is the volume of fish in tonnes harvested from the 110 fish ponds in Mpongwe annually?

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I did not address myself to the sort of volumes being harvested. However, if the hon. Member wishes, we can definitely provide the figures, especially if he is referring to the volumes of fish harvested from the ponds in Mpongwe.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I want to declare interest. I belong to the Committee on Agriculture and in the last session, we were looking at the fish industry in Zambia. Let me commend my brother here (pointing at Hon. Namulambe) for taking up the challenge and I am encouraging people like Hon. Jean Kapata there also …


Mr Chipungu: … to do the same.

Ms Kapata: Point of order!


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, during our interaction with the farmers, what came out clearly was that fish feed is very expensive and it is rarely found. I want to get it clearly from the hon. Minister if the Government has any interventions in that regard.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, yes, the availability and, especially, the cost of fish feed in the country are some of the major constraints. However, the Government has plans. In his presidential announcement on the milling plants to be installed in the country, His Excellency the President directed that two or so of those milling plants be directed to specifically produce fish feed. We also have other investors that are already producing the fish feed and we would want to encourage those who want to venture into this industry that there is a big market out there. So that, as investments grow in this sector, we can also bring down the cost of the fish feed which currently is a major source of concern in this sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


59. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the staffing levels at the following primary schools in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency were as of August, 2015:

(i)    Mapula;

(ii)    Tande;

(iii)    Sokontwe;

(iv)    Milulu; and

(v)    Mulumbi;

(b)    which schools were not adequately staffed; and

(c)    when more teachers would be sent to the schools at (b).

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, the staffing levels at the following primary schools in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency as at August, 2015, were as follows:

Primary School    No. Of Teachers

Mapula        7

Tande        5

Sokontwe        5

Milulu        4

Mulumbi        7 

Mr Speaker, all the schools mentioned in part (a) of the question have shortfalls. More teachers are expected to be deployed to these schools as soon as the ministry concludes the recruitment of new teachers in 2015.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

I do not expect any follow-up question from my uncle.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, you can raise your follow-up question.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the agony I find myself in is that, in Lusaka, my house is between Kabwata Constituency and Chadetas. I know that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata is making efforts in growing fish although the hon. Deputy Minister skipped him.


Mr Mbulakulima: However, ...

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I seek your ruling in this matter. Is my hon. colleague, who is a squatter in Kabwata Constituency …


Mr Lubinda: … and whose farm I visited a few times to take Agriculture Extension Officers to teach him how to grow onions, tomatoes and cabbages …


Mr Lubinda: … in order to start talking about the investment of the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata? Is he in order to do so without seeking my permission to start disclosing such matters to the public?


Mr Lubinda: Is he in order? 

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I reserve my ruling ...


Mr Speaker: ... until I visit the farm.


Mr Mbulakulima: Hon. Deputy Minister, the answer that you have given is, indeed, quite encouraging. However, during the last recruitment, the mentioned schools were not given any teacher. Can you give me hope that, this time around, these schools will be catered for.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I stand to give hope to the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe that out of the 5,000 teachers that we are recruiting this year, 2015, we will make sure that the mentioned schools are considered. We will send teachers to those schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just mentioned that 5,000 teachers will be recruited. Can he clarify to us why there has been such stagnation in the recruitment levels of teachers. I am saying this because, in 2006, 7,000 teachers were recruited. In 2007, 10,000 teachers were recruited and, in 2008, a policy decision was made that there would be a recruitment of 5,000 teachers from 2008 until 2011. However, since 2011, there has been stagnation at 5,000 teachers being recruited, as it is still the same number of pupils being recruited. Can he clarify why the number of teachers to be recruited, which goes way back to 2008, has remained at 5,000.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa for that follow-up question. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has been a Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education before and he is aware about those figures he has mentioned. Every year, about 5,000 new teachers are recruited. As a Government, we are aware that those teachers are not enough to meet the shortfalls that I have talked about. However, as a ministry, we will continue looking at these figures to see how we can raise the number of teachers.

Mr Speaker, this House is aware that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is not the only ministry that we have in this country. We have other ministries with competing needs and where resources have to go. It is not only the teachers that we have to recruit as civil servants. We are also recruiting in other ministries. So, in addition to whatever I have already said, we are aware, hon. Member, that the numbers are not adequate, hence the challenges that we are having in these schools. However, we, as a ministry, are responding to these challenges.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, it seems like the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education recruits 5,000 teachers every year. However, we also lose teachers to death every year. I, therefore, would like to know how the ministry arrives at the decision to recruit 5,000 teachers. Does it take into account the ones that have passed on? If, for instance, 200 teachers have died in one particular year, does the ministry recruit 5,000 plus the 200 for replacement in the schools where they taught?

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Rufunsa asked his question as though he knew that this is one of the measures that we look at when about to recruit teachers. The replacement of those who have died and those that who have retired, to mention, but a few, are considered, hon. Member, as we recruit teachers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, according to information that has reached us, the attrition rate is 9,000 per year. The Government recruits 5,000 teachers per year, meaning that there is a gap of 4,000. How do you hope to cover this gap?

Mr Speaker: I think that he has just answered this question. He said that over and above the targeted figure, attrition is also provided for. 


60. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    how much money was collected, as ground rent, countrywide, from 2011 to 2013 year by year; and     

(b)    how much money, if any, was still owed to the Government by land owners.

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, the following amounts were collected as ground rent, countrywide, from 2011 to 2013 year by year:
Year    Amount Collected (K)

2011    14,673,787,67

2012    23,047,439.01

2013    22,684,435.00

Total    60,405,661.68

Sir, currently, it is difficult to determine how much money landowners owe the Government in ground rent as the data in the Land Information System, including the financial data, is still being cleaned up. This follows the transfer of data from the old information system to the newly-developed Land Information System (LIS).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, property owners are complaining that ground rent is very high. I have a property in mind which is owned by  a former hon. Member of Parliament, Mr Chota, in Ibex Hill. His residential property is worth K10,000 per year in ground rent. 

Sir, is the Government ready to revise the rates to ensure that property owners can pay reasonable and affordable rates?

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, properties are valued and property owners pay according to the valuation. It is important to note that the Government is working on the property rates. In due course, we will inform the nation on what will come out of the plans that we have.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




(Debate resumed)

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I believe that this is the last debate to be presented to this House by the President of the Patriotic Front (PF) under the current mandate. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to congratulate His Excellency the President for delivering a speech which I believe he read very well. I also believe that it came without any worries about etiquette and things like that and takes us back to what we know.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President’s Speech cannot just be evaluated on the basis of how it is delivered. We also need to go into the content of what is being said. This is what I intend to do now.

Mr Speaker, to start with, I want to ask a question very briefly without too many repetitions. What message did His Excellency the President deliver to us in this House? What did he say?

Mr Speaker, if I understood him very well, His Excellency the President was trying to shake up the House and the country by telling us that it has been fifty years since independence, and if I understood him correctly, he was not very happy with what has been achieved. So, he was telling us that we are going into the next fifty years after independence, culminating in 2064, and it cannot be business as usual. The country needs to see something more tangible being achieved. 

To achieve that, we need a cultural transformation that His Excellency the President talked about. It cannot be business as usual. I believe that this was his key message. What followed after that were specific measures that he proposed to be taken sector-by-sector so that these targets that he wants to achieve by 2064 can be achieved. He talked about co-operatives as a bedrock for employment creation, whether it is in agriculture or commerce. He also talked about transport and how we can be the hub for transport in the region. I think that those were the details he mentioned in terms of getting this country to where he wants it to be in 2064.

Mr Speaker, that said, the questions that arise are: Did His Excellency the President answer the key questions of today? Did he meet public expectations? Is he in tune with what is happening on the ground? These are the questions that we need to delve into. In answering these questions ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Can we have order on the far right, Back Bench?

Continue, hon. Member. 

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, in answering this question, I think, that we need to be very truthful to ourselves. We need to be truthful to the country and also to His Excellency the President himself. If we are not truthful, it means that we will be prescribing solutions that are irrelevant or off-tangent to what His Excellency the President wants to achieve. In this respect, I want to rebuke those who are praising the President’s Speech because they are misleading him, and I am going to provide very detailed answers to my assertions. I hope that His Excellency the President, using his sixth sense, will actually realise that he is being misled. It is up to us who are in the Opposition to tell him the truth because we are not applying for jobs. We are not scared to be dismissed from our jobs. That is why we are there. It is up to us in the Opposition to tell His Excellency the President and the country the truth. Otherwise, we will be misleading ourselves. 

Mr Speaker, Zambia, without any doubt, is, today, facing very serious economic problems. We are in a crisis and, for once, I am actually happy that His Excellency the President, at least, recognised one aspect of that crisis, namely the energy sector. It is good that he is empathising with the welder, hair dresser and grocery stores that need electricity to run their fridges to be able to run normal lives. That was correct. However, that is not enough, and this is where people are misleading His Excellency the President.

Sir, today, when you read through the international media, whether you are reading Bloomberg, Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) or South African newspapers, they are talking about the crisis that is evolving in Zambia. That is what is happening. If you read this medium, you will see that in the mining sector alone, nearly 4,000 workers will be laid off. We were told about this the other week. Big numbers of miners are scheduled to be laid off at Mopani Copper Mines Public. The same story is being said about First Quantum Minerals and the Luanshya Copper Mines, CNMC. Therefore, with stories of so many miners being threatened to be laid off, surely, we should be worried that there is going to be a lot of social turmoil on our streets. This is not being addressed by His Excellency the President. It is not just the miners who will be affected. In these mining communities, literally everything depends on the operations of the mine for them to live properly. The taxi driver, the grocery owner, the barber and the farmer all depend on the mining sector thriving for them to run their businesses. Now this is being threatened, today, because there is a very serious problem that is taking place in the mining sector. 

Mr Speaker, apart from that, there is also a very serious macro-economic imbalance that is taking place in our country. Unlike hospitals, schools and clinics, which we all have in constituencies, issues of a macro-economic nature have no hon. Member of Parliament to talk about them in this Parliament and outside. It is only the hon. Minister of Finance who has to worry about macro-economic issues, but there is a very serious looming problem in the macro-economic situation of our country, and there are several indicators to this.  

Mr Speaker, in 2011, copper production in this country was 833,000 metric tonnes. From 2011 to date, there was only one year when copper production went up. In the other three years, copper production has been going down. Certainly, next year, it will go down. In four out of five years, copper production declined, and you know that that is our major export. On top of that, we have the story that everybody knows, the copper price on the world market has been coming down. In addition to that, we have another story that is known, non-traditional exports have been coming down. As a result of this, foreign exchange is becoming scarce in the country.  According to the EIU, the level of foreign exchange reserves in Zambia, at the moment, at least, as of 11th September, 2015, is US$2.7 billion. In 2011, when this Government took over, the level of reserves was US$3.6 billion. Therefore, almost US$1 billion of reserves has gone and this is after just borrowing US$1.25 billion. We expected this borrowed money to raise the level of reserves, but in spite of that, the level has gone down. 

Mr Speaker, we all know what is happening to the exchange rate. Some people are saying that it is getting crazy, especially in the developing world. However, let us put it in context. According to Bloomberg, a news media outlet, the performance of the kwacha is the worst in the world.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the performance of the kwacha is the worst in the world out of the 150 currencies that it is monitoring. Therefore, you cannot simply say that every country’s currency is declining. The question is: Where do you stand in the queue? Right now, we are the worst in the queue.

Mr Speaker, this exchange rate is troubling people. Students who are supposed to pay school fees in foreign exchange are failing to pay. Cross border traders have been sent out of business, and I can tell you that if we go at this rate, even some of these new nice shopping malls that we are seeing today will close. If we go at this rate, these shopping malls will close and the number of unemployed people on the street is going to multiply. 

Mr Speaker, with all these problems that I have talked about in the energy, mining and macro- economic sectors, how can His Excellency the President come to this House and remain quiet on such issues? When he remains quiet, it gives the country the impression that this Government is in a world of its own where it is not affected by what affects the ordinary. It gives the impression that it does not care about the citizens. 

If you go on the street, jump on a bus or go to a funeral house, the exchange rate and foreign exchange is what everyone is talking about. So, how can we afford to keep quiet? This is why I rebuked the colleagues who said that this speech is very good because it does not address itself to key burning issues of today. A rebuke is very appropriate, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, some colleagues said that His Excellency the President was very futuristic in his speech because we do need to plan for 2064. Colleagues, 95 per cent of those people you are planning for in 2064 are not yet born and, perhaps, 70 per cent of their parents are not either. Those people have no voice because they do not exist and are imaginary. 


Dr Musokotwane: So, how can you, then, ignore the voice of those who are crying out for help today and heed to that of  imaginary people? 


Dr Musokotwane: Who can take you seriously? This is what I find very unfortunate.

Mr Speaker, I want to touch on the theme of the speech which is “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.” This is a good and necessary idea. However, the trouble is that nobody believes in this Government anymore because it has made so many promises and proclamations in the past which it has not honoured. If there is any cultural transformation that is required, the Patriotic Front (PF) itself needs a very strong one because it is in the driving seat.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: All these issues of “donchi kubeba” are very bad cultural practices. 

Mr Speaker: What do you mean?

Dr Musokotwane: “Donchi kubeba” simply means deceive them. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this is a very low lying fruit. Cultural transformation will entail that the PF transforms itself at no cost at all. In essence, what I am saying is that for this country to make progress, the PF, basically, has to abandon all the beliefs that it has had in the last four years. I think that His Excellency the President needs to come with a clean broom to sweep out everything that the PF has believed in. Its beliefs have caused most of the problems that we are facing today. These problems that we are facing today did not start with Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. They started in 2011. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: They started in 2011 and if you do not sweep them clean, I am afraid, we are going to sink as a country. 

Mr Speaker, one specific aspect of cultural transformation is financial indiscipline. This is something that we have spoken about, every year, on the Floor of this House for many years. For many years, we have talked about how financial indiscipline is dangerous for this country. One specific example of financial indiscipline where we need cultural transformation is the copper problem in the mining sector. The problem with our copper is not China alone. It has to do with what we are doing in Zambia. 

Mr Mbewe: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: What do I mean by financial indiscipline? 

Mr Speaker, everyone knows that commodity prices go up and down. 

Mr Mbewe: Yes!

Dr Musokotwane: The way to cure this is to make sure that we encourage investment in the industry so that when the price comes down, the volume of whatever you are selling is high. This is why under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), the old mines of Nkana and Nchanga were revived. Under the MMD, Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila mines were promoted and copper production rose from 250,000 metric tonnes to 833,000 metric tonnes. This was done so that when the copper prices came down, there was a high volume of production to sustain us. In the four years under the PF, however, copper production has been going down so that when the prices sink all of us sink. Where does the financial indiscipline come in? 

Mr Speaker, in the 1970s, money taken from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine (ZCCM) was used to buy elevators and dry cleaners. This time, money is being taken in terms of Value Added Tax (VAT) refund. As I understand it, the mining sector is owed almost US$1 billion today. This is money being taken from the mining sector and being spent by the Government because this Government only wants to spend, spend, and spend some more. We had anticipated that by this year, copper production would have reached 1.5 million metric tonnes. The case is that only half of this forecast will be produced. Hence, you will see the connection between financial indiscipline and the problems that we are facing. It is not about China. 

Mr Speaker, I agree with the need to transform, but the first step that needs to be taken is for the PF to reform itself. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, we are experiencing and facing unprecedented challenges. As His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, said on Page 8 of the speech, these challenges have been clothed with deep frustration. The ship is sinking. In order to create the future that we want, we need to climb down to the current realities that are weakening the foundation of our development. Indeed, our vision must be based on a firm foundation. 

Mr Speaker, to begin to construct a vision without addressing the deformities and defects in the foundation is tantamount to surrendering ourselves to the creation of an illusion and not a vision. These are difficult times. We ask: What must be done? This is the important part. How do we move this country called Zambia forward? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: This is what must be done. We need to reconstruct …


Mr Mutati: …  the four key pillars of our development foundation. 

Mr Speaker, we have the pillar of co-ordination, coherence and consistency. The second pillar is the operating environment which is the business environment. The third pillar is adherence to priorities and the last one is attitude.

Mr Speaker, under the first pillar, we have co-ordination, coherence and consistency. For example, the export value-addition is at the core of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. This is to support industrialisation, job creation and, also, to push back trade deficits. Today, the millers are bemoaning the fact that they are unable to export mealie meal into Namibia and Botswana because the export market has been suffocated by the export of maize. In this vein, there is absence of co-ordination. We are shooting ourselves in the foot. We have the solutions, but are not co-ordinating them.

Mr Speaker, the second example is that, last week, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development presented a ministerial speech in which he articulated the importance of tariffs to support investment in order to address the deficit in the energy sector. He also indicated, on the Floor of this House, that the Cabinet had sat and approved the tariffs which will be announced soon. Therein, lays the problem because this Parliament, through an appropriate role, established the Energy Regulatory Board (ERB) as an institution that is supposed to deal with tariffs. Now, once the Government begins to deal with tariffs, through the Cabinet, then, we are making a mistake. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, these are the things that we need to change or correct. We do not need to undermine the institutions that we have created even in a crisis. 

Sir, the third example is that we had indicated, on the Floor of this House, that the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) issued a circular stating that only authorised dealers in foreign exchange could transact in foreign currency, but this Government, through the Road Development Agency (RDA), signed a contract in foreign exchange. Therefore, the Government is in the forefront of breaking the law that supports the BoZ circular. There is also an indication of a lack of confidence in the kwacha when the Government should give us that confidence.

Dr Kalila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, these are the important issues that concern us in creating that vision. The fourth example is the propensity to surrender to experiments. We have seen this and references have been made to the mining sector by my colleague. The various reversals of Statutory Instruments (SIs) No. 33 and No. 55, the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the tax regime have had the disruptive effect of scaling down production in the mining sector. Therefore, when we say that our export earnings are coming down, it is as a consequence of the decisions and actions that we consciously make. That is why we are where we are. All these things are curable by men and women of conscience who believe that consistency should be their DNA. This can be cured by men and women who believe that co-ordination and coherence should be the fundamental architecture of their governance. Those are the kinds of women and men that we need.

Dr Kalila: Hear, hear!
Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the second pillar is the operating environment. This is to make the environment conducive for investment. Yesterday, I read about Moody’s statement. I would have thought that the policy response that addresses the fundamental economic variables that have unhitched would have been more important than responding to Moody. All the banks are telling us that rational planning has now evaporated. You can only have a quotation within twelve hours. Beyond twelve hours, nobody is going to give you a quotation. You cannot have an operating environment that is engulfed with so much uncertainty. Pricing is becoming an illusion. What is more critical is that you cannot have a Government whose access to credit is outperforming the private sector. In consequence, the cost of money is above 25 per cent. When you compound that with the depreciating kwacha, the result is that the private sector is chocking. The private sector is either cutting back or closing down businesses. So, the direction to push back the frontiers of poverty and unemployment are being weakened by the decisions that we consciously make. 

Mr Speaker, you cannot have a formulation where you have diminishing revenues and expanding expenditure. That formulation is unsustainable to development. You cannot concede that you are going to develop this country through a process of kaloba.

Mr Speaker: What is that?


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, it is a process where you define capacity to borrow and, therefore, borrow. It is indicated in the speech that ...

Mr Speaker: I have lost you on that word. You may wish to withdraw it if you cannot translate it in English and use the official language.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, kaloba simply means borrowing unconventionally.  


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the attributes of kaloba is an assessment of capacity. When we have done our assessment of capacity to be able to pay, it may indicate that our gross domestic product (GDP) would be K28 billion and that we will have K7 billion in debt. Therefore, arithmetically and mathematically, we would be within the 40 per cent threshold. However, it is not about the volume of GDP. It is about the liquidity to be able to pay when due. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, if, today, you are servicing interest through borrowings, then, there is an issue. You cannot create a seeking fund out of a budget deficit. It is impractical. These are the issues that we are talking about. 

Mr Speaker, the third pillar is priorities. His Excellency the President bemoaned the lack of progress in the investment in the farm blocks. He bemoaned many other industrialisation activities that are not happening. By this, I mean polluting the Multi-Economic 
Facility Zones (MEFZs) with the appropriate industries in order to create jobs in Lusaka. 

Now whilst we are not putting emphasise on those, we have indicated, through our advice to the Front Bench, to His Excellency the President, that let us invest and create an airline in 2016. The outputs that we are going to derive from an airline are prestige, glamour and an opportunity for elegant conversations in conferences …


Mr Mutati: … and much more fundamental is that we are going to swell up the already swelling up budget deficit. So, why is the Government going on a path of destruction …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: … and consciously so? We advise the Government to climb down to reality because the situation that we are facing is much more difficult. Let us not create an illusion, but a vision to deal with the problems that confront the people of Zambia. My colleague, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, has indicated how the welders, housewives and boys on the streets are having a hard time. It is very difficult to conceive that the solution to the street vendors is to ask them to form a co-operative so that they can be given Government contracts because it does not work that way.


Mr Speaker: Can we stop making those running commentaries.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, what I am saying is that our colleagues must assist His Excellency  the President …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: … in thinking and reflecting deeply otherwise, we are headed for much tougher times.

Mr Speaker, the fourth pillar is attitude. Again, my colleague has spoken about issues around discipline and I will not repeat that. However, what worries me is the implementation paralysis, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune:Mwainvela iyo!

Mr Mutati: … the lack of urgency to implement things and always trying to blame the external for failure to do what the Government must do. That is becoming a continuance occurrence. We know we have a procurement system that is not functional, but we keep hanging on to it and glorifying it and the output is that it remains cumbersome, costly and disrupts the fundamental thing which we call the Budget.

Mr Nkombo: Blaming corruption.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, could you stop make those running commentaries. 

Continue hon. Member.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we have serious challenges and no prayer will assist, …


Mr Mutati: … but action by those who are praying is much more fundamental to get us out of this crisis.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Hon. Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha, who is seated next to me, said that God helps those who help themselves.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: That is what he whispered to me before I stood.

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Which verse?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, it is not even about the verse, but realities …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mutati: … in terms of dealing with the fundamental problems that we are facing.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Let us deal with what confronts us. 

Mr Speaker, firstly, let us own the problem for us to be able to sort it. We must own and guard it jealously because it is our problem. Only, then, can we create necessary solutions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Secondly, as His Excellency the President said, let us change the way we think, behave and do things. As my colleague Hon. Siliya said, there is a need for a paradigm shift, what was referred to as mental infrastructure transformation. Hon. Dr Musokotwane also mentioned this and it implies to remove that which is hindering you from thinking clearly. Hon. Simbao talked about the school of calculus, but that school requires transformation and that is where we must reside in terms of governance.

Mr Speaker, thirdly, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa debated on the need to think deeply on these issues. In fact, what he wanted to say is that we are facing extraordinary challenges which call for extraordinary solutions. That is, deep thinking, but what is important is for the Government to heed advice because this country belongs to all of us. Much more important is that we should not be part of those that existed to perfect the construction of an illusion …


Mr Mutati: … instead of a vision. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, only a vision will deliver Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank you for granting me this opportunity to contribute to the wonderful speech that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, delivered to this House on 18th September, 2015.

 Sir, kindly allow me to also thank His Excellency the President for his timely, innovative and motivating speech that he delivered to the House and the nation at large. The theme of his speech was dubbed, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.”

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member,  …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … you are permitted to have some sort of aide-memoire, no more, no less. In short, you are not expected to …

Hon. Opposition Members: Read!

Mr Speaker: … read from a pre-prepared text.


Mr Speaker: That is a preserve of your colleagues on the right. You may have to adjust your mode of presentation of whatever you would like to say. 

Continue, in light of what I have said.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for that guidance.

I would like to contribute on the main issues that His Excellency the President talked about during his address to this House. Therefore, I will only contribute on two issues, energy and education. Before I do that, I would like to break down the theme of His Excellency the President and ask you, Mr Speaker, to allow me to read it properly because …

Hon. Members: Quote!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Yes, I would like to quote it properly so that the House and the nation at large can understand what I mean.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I feel duty-bound to break down the theme into simpler terminology, according to my understanding. According to my understanding, the theme is bringing closer a dynamic change in our norms, values and beliefs for a specific measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, I feel that the President’s Speech is very important. While I agree with what he said, I believe that we need to think deeper, especially that His Excellency the President spoke about changing our attitudes towards work, the way we think and the way we plan in order for Zambia to move forward.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, this speech is a serious one and I have not heard its kind in many years. I also feel and take it that the day His Excellency the President delivered his speech to this House was a watershed in the sense that the speech was timely and came at a very critical moment when Zambia is facing many challenges.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: It is, therefore, for this reason that I totally agree with His Excellency the President on the need to be committed to that which we have been given by God, to lead His people. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to support His Excellency the President on what he said because if we fail to do that at this particular time, we may not realise the intended goals. Although his vision extends to 2064, it encompasses those of us at present and embraces those who are not yet born.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, indeed, if we do not plan now, Zambia might go into devastation and I would not like that to happen. 

Sir, the other issue which I would like to talk about is that of the climate change. I have travelled to and from and gone round my constituency and seen how my people have been affected by this climate change. Rivers have dried up and the people have no water to use. Therefore, I totally disagree with the notion that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is to blame for load shedding. I totally disagree with that …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: …because none of us in this House, be it on your left or right, has the capacity to let the rains fill up our rivers in order for the hydro power stations to operate at full capacity. I totally agree with the new dimensions on looking at alternative sources of energy such as solar energy, which His Excellency the President mentioned. I wish they could be provided now for Zambia to have enough energy.

Mr Speaker, the other issue which I want to talk about is agriculture. Coming from a constituency which is predominantly rural and dependant on agriculture as a source of livelihood, I am humbled, highly motivated and enlightened by His Excellency the President’s appeal to diversify from dependency on copper. 

Sir, the appeal by His Excellency the President to reduce the reliance on maize and diversify into producing other crops such as rice sorghum, groundnuts, cotton and any other crops which are resistant to the effects of climate change will not only benefit the farmers, but will also position Zambia in the region as a hub for agriculture, if properly implemented.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: If the 5,000 ha under irrigation is fully implemented, we will see the nation slowly moving away from its over dependence on copper whose international prices are not dictated by us. Why, then, should we base hope on something that we have no control over?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Can I have order on my right.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, the diversification of the agro sector is key and this will make us quickly establish ourselves in the southern region as a major exporter of agriculture products, considering the vast amounts of water that we have, especially in Luapula Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Sir, the water in Luapula Province must be fully utilised. While we have water in the Western Province, it dries up. However, the water in Luapula Province does not dry up because of the lakes.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 


Ms Mulasikwanda: Yes, I am right because I was married from there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Is that the basis of the knowledge?


Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, like I was saying, improving the agro sector will enable us to become a major exporter of agricultural commodities in the southern region, considering the vast water bodies we have in various parts of the country such as Luapula Province.

Sir, this will put the nation firmly on the road to diversification and bring about economic emancipation. With this, I appeal to every Zambian to support the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and take their expertise and advice to the ministry so that this dream can be realised.

Ho. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, on education, I was delighted to hear that new boarding and secondary schools will be built. I was also delighted to hear that teaching of life skills will be introduced in our school curriculum. These initiatives give me hope, especially for the girl children who will be empowered with life-long survival skills. The construction of boarding schools will bring hope to many, unlike what is currently prevailing. I do not know about the other constituencies, but in my constituency, parents just build small huts for the girl children and within three to six months, ...

Mr Mutelo interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lukulu West, I think I am almost tiring naming hon. Members. I  think I should start inviting them out. That way, we will make progress. 

You may continue, hon. Member.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I was saying that in my constituency, parents are urged to build small huts to serve as boarding houses for their school-going children. In that case, there is no one to supervise or monitor the girl children. This non-supervision of the girl children results in them falling pregnant just after being in school for about three or six months. So, I am happy with the assurance made by His Excellency the President on education. This will reduce early pregnancies among our girl children and also reduce early marriages. This is a vision that we all need to support, especially as stakeholders. We need to do this as a vehicle for national development.

Mr Speaker, in his concluding remarks, His Excellency the President appealed to all Zambians to reconcile regardless of their political affiliation. I believe that His Excellency the President spoke like that because we only have one Zambia. This is our country, ...

Mr Speaker: Have you taken recourse to the speech again?

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I am concluding.


Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I am reading what His Excellency the President said. I quote ...


Ms Mulasikwanda: Sir, His Excellency the President urged all of us to reconcile or look at how best we can reconcile. I believe that he spoke like that because we only have one Zambia. Therefore, it is not right to tear it apart for the sake of power. Last week on Friday, I went to my constituency to witness a ward by-election. I was shocked and I am still in shock that one political party walked into the market and encouraged marketeers to hike prices of certain products and goods.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Ms Mulasikwanda: Yes, it did that in order to blame the Patriotic Front (PF) party for the high prices of goods. This political party also came up with documents which purported that the Government had introduced fees in clinics and hospitals. Members of this political party told the people that for one to seek medical attention, they needed to pay K10 as consultation and K50 as admission fees, respectively. That type of campaign is evil.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Mulasikwanda: It is evil because Zambia is a Christian nation. The only people who can preach hatred are those putting on evil garments. I want to remind my fellow hon. Members that we must stop this because we only have one country and there is nowhere else to run to if we bring war upon ourselves. As a believer, I want to remind this House that Jehovah himself sent his only begotten son to come and die for us, and for us, he died so that we can be reconciled with him.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, we have restrictions in the area you have decided to move to.

You may conclude.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I speak like that because as a Christian and a believer, I am affected. I believe that a country that is based on love, ...

Mr Speaker: You cannot go further than this.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the President’s Speech to this House. Before I do that, I would like to present my maiden speech.

Sir, before I go any further, I wish to acknowledge the developmental projects that my predecessor, the late Hon. Chifita Matafwali initiated in Bangweulu Parliamentary Constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Sir, his desire and dedication to uplifting the living standards of the people of Bangweulu was inspiring. May his soul rest in the bosom of the almighty God. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, allow me to also thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that I thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and the Patriotic Front (PF) Central Committee for having adopted me to stand in the Bangweulu Constituency by-election.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kasandwe: I am thankful for their collective hard work during the campaign which saw me emerge victorious.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: I will always be grateful for this privilege. I also wish to thank my wife, family members, friends and Father Frank Bwalya for the invaluable support before, during and after the election.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, I also wish to humbly thank the people of Bangweulu for electing me as their Member of Parliament. I would like to assure them that I will diligently serve them all, including those who did not vote for me, in order for us to continue facilitating the much-needed development in our constituency.

Sir, I wish to pledge to the people of Bangweulu Constituency that with all my skills and strength, I will ensure that all the developmental projects that have already been started by the people’s Government of the PF are completed.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, I will be failing in my duty if I do not thank the campaign team headed by Hon. Davis Mwila, Member of Parliament for Chipili, deputised by Hon. Emerine Kabanshi, Member of Parliament for Luapula Constituency and co-ordinated by Hon. Nixon Chilangwa, Member of Parliament for Kawambwa Constituency.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: I am also grateful to all the PF hon. Members of Parliament and party officials at various levels who were part of the campaign for their time and support.

Mr Speaker, the victorious results of the Bangweulu Constituency by-election together with other election victories that have taken place in the recent past are a clear manifestation of the growing confidence the people of Zambia have in the PF Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, winning in this manner cannot be said to be by chance, but by design. It is a sign that the people of Zambia are publicly registering their appreciation for the continued efforts the PF Government is putting in to improve the living conditions in the country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Sir, the people of Bangweulu have not been left out of the developments that are taking place around the country. Suffice to say that since assuming power in 2011, the PF Government has implemented a number of developmental projects in Bangweulu Constituency, including the following: 

(a)    connecting of eight basic schools and four clinics to the national grid;

(b)    upgrading of four primary schools to secondary school status and construction is underway; and

(c)    connecting of more than 444 households and a school and clinic in Mpanta to the 60 kW solar mini-grid, under the Rural Electrification Initiative, just to mention but a few.

Mr Speaker, in the health sector, three health centres have been constructed, while two health posts out of the five allocated to Bangweulu Constituency, under the 650 health post initiative, are being constructed.

Mr Chilangwa: Fyonse ifyo?

Mr Kasandwe: Sir, this will undoubtedly bring primary healthcare services as close to the families of Bangweulu Constituency as possible as the long distances that the people used to cover to access health services will drastically be reduced.

Mr Speaker, the constituency will soon have 21.8 km of township roads upgraded to bituminous standard. 71 km of the gravel road from Kapata through Mpanta has been worked on. Contrary to the assertions by some political leaders during the campaigns that the works on the road were started to simply entice voters, the works have continued and the remaining 4 km of the 85 km will be completed by the end of this week.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, for the first time in the history of this country, the people of Bangweulu will have tarred township roads. The benefits of this include reduced time spent to transport goods and services and reduced wear and tear on the vehicles leading to more money in people’s pockets due to less money being spent on vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Chilangwa: Ema MP aba!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, just like many rural constituencies, Bangweulu has challenges, especially to do with water and sanitation, feeder roads, unemployment amongst the youth and lack of empowerment for our mothers. Therefore, I wish to appeal to the Government, on behalf of the people of Bangweulu, to urgently consider upgrading the water network for improved water supply for the growing population. 

Sir, the people of Bangweulu are in need of improved health and education infrastructure, reduced poverty levels and investment in job creation initiatives, especially promotion of vocational skills training as a means of creating job opportunities among the youth and women who are the greatest assets of this country. Our people need increased investment in rice and cassava growing techniques and above all, investment in fish restocking programmes.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, may I now take this opportunity to apply myself to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of this House. The speech delivered by His Excellency the President to this House during the official opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly was inspiring, visionary and life giving.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kasandwe: I say so because the President’s Speech did not only identify the challenges our nation is facing, but also provided solutions to the identified challenges. Through his speech, His Excellency the President did a correct diagnosis of the situation at hand and has provided the correct interventions to achieve the desired result of having an improved economy. I commend His Excellency the President for that.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, it is refreshing to note that His Excellency the President is cognisant of the fact that investment in skills and vocational training is vital for employment creation opportunities. It is an undeniable fact that technical and vocational skills training are without doubt the bedrock of any development process, crucial in poverty reduction, inevitable in creating decent employment and instrumental for improving productivity.

Mr Zimba: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President’s call to change the way we do things, change of attitude and mindset must be supported by all well-meaning Zambians. The business as usual attitude will not bring prosperity to this country.

Sir, in conclusion and speaking for myself, His Excellency the President’s Address to this House coincided with the day I took oath as Member of Parliament for Bangweulu. In this regard, the President’s Speech, which was suitably themed: “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia now” has inspired me to begin my parliamentary career with courage and vigour to drive forward the developmental agenda of the people of this great nation.

In nominee patris, et fillii, et spiritus sancti, for those who went to the school that I did not go to, this simply means, in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Hon. Government Members: Amen!

Mr Kasandwe: May the good Lord continue to bless and guide the people of Zambia in general and the people of Bangweulu, in particular, as we collectively embark on developing our country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the President’s Address to this august House. Like him, I am grateful and feel honoured and privileged to debate his first ever speech to this august House, but more so that I reckon that this will be his last ever speech to this august House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr B. Mutale: Question!

Mr Belemu: My assessment is that regardless of the permutations, I do not see how my once good friend will be elected back to the Presidency, considering the times that we are in now.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: When everything is collapsing under your feet, when everything is going wrong under your feet, I think, it is only right to be reasonable enough …

Mr Nkombo: And resign!

Mr Belemu: … to think that this may be his last time.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Sir, coming to the Speech of His Excellency the President, on Page 3, he indicates and solicits for Zambians’ continued support in the years to come. This is according to his words. I thought this was a very unreasonable expectation, considering that people are more expectant of him to deliver. However, on second thoughs, I think being the sincere person that I am, I offer my support once he is voted out of office ...


Mr Belemu: ... to help rehabilitate and integrate him back in society.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, before I go further, allow me to share his sympathies …

Mr Livune: He is a corporate lawyer!

Mr Belemu: … regarding the passing on of our colleagues, namely Hon. Matafwali and Hon. Humphrey Mwanza and, of course, the former Head of State, Mr Sata. I have since learnt that we were better of being …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: … led by a person who had a vision I did not agree with …

Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Belemu: … than one who has none at all.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President mentioned the challenges of our times, the time that we are living in, but he limited this to the energy shortages. 

Mr Speaker, just a quick reminder, our challenges are not restricted to electricity and the energy sector. Everything in this country is going in the negative.

Mr Nkombo: Collapsing!

Mr Belemu: Everything is collapsing. The economy is sliding down. Unemployment levels are rising. The little and few industries that we have are collapsing. The human rights record, as noted by his Excellency himself, in the recent-held by-elections, notes that there has been a lot of violence. In fact, to summarise, every election that we have held in the recent past has been marred with human blood. 

Mr Livune: Hmm!

Mr Belemu: In this regard, therefore, the Zambians are bleeding and yearning for correct leadership.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!


Mr Belemu: So, I agree with him in totality that there must be something that must change regarding elections. However, this brings me to the Motion that was once brought here and defeated by the hon. Member for Chongwe who had advocated for the ban of guns and other forms of weapons during elections.

Mr Speaker, allow me, therefore, to congratulate the colleagues that have come out victorious in these elections, Hon. Kasonso, my former boss at some point, ... 

Mr Livune: Only!

Mr Belemu: ... and the others whose names I have not yet mastered, …


Mr Belemu … but with time I may.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, on Page 16 …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Aah! Ba Chilangwa!

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, as we stand here to speak, you have always guided that we must be honourable. 

Mr Speaker is my very good friend of many years, Hon. Belemu, in order to belittle other hon. Members of Parliament who have joined us …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chilangwa: ... by stating that he does not know their names when they have been swearing at that Table before us all and he has been sitting here witnessing their swearing in? Is he in order?

I need your serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I have always said this ...

Mr Sing’ombe: He has not mastered them!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Unnecessary sarcasm always provokes this kind of consternation. I have said that I have always wondered whether there is any sarcasm that is necessary anyway.

Hon. Member, I know you enjoy the freedom of speech, but you see there are undertones. I am even wondering whether you will come to terms with the name Hon. Mwamba. That is what you are saying.

Mr Livune: GBM!


Mr Speaker: Totally unnecessary.

These are your colleagues (pointing at the Government Bench). They are your brothers and sisters. They are fellow Zambians.

Yes, you are in contest. It is part of the multi-party system of governance. I do not think it is the spirit that I would want to promote anyway.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That is not the spirit I want to promote.

This is a pendulum. Power swings.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Persuade the electorates out there. There is no need for bitterness. Debate the speech as objectively and intellectually as you can. 

I hope I will not have to further counsel on this matter because your speech has been exceptional so far. I will not say in what way.


Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I take your counsel. It is never my intention to sound sarcastic. It is a fact that I am not yet familiar with the name of the hon. Members of Parliament. 

Mr Speaker, on Page 16 …

Mr Speaker: By the way, before you proceed, he is Hon. G. Mwamba. I am sure you can remember that.

Mr Belemu: Yes, Sir.


Mr Nkombo: How about the other one?

Mr Livune: He will end up saying GBM, Sir!


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I will take time to also learn the other two. Now I know Hon. G.  Mwamba. 


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, in the last paragraph of Page 16, His Excellency the President refers to President Kaunda’s 1969 Chifubu Declaration which declared co-operatives as a mass organisation to be used for mass economic empowerment amongst Zambians. This was to be done through the promotion of community-based entrepreneurship amongst many of our citizens using the co-operative model.

Sir, this statement appears innocent. However, it seems to confirm our fears because 1969 was a very difficult year in terms of the direction that this country began to take. Just to recap, this is about the time that the United National Independence Party (UNIP) began to transform the State into a one-party system. It began to make structures that ultimately became conduits for corruption and a drain on public resources. The once vibrant UNIP, at that particular time, began to form more and more structures. 

Mr Speaker, I am beginning to fear that to refer to the Chifubu Declaration and go the route of creating co-operatives, as His Excellency the President is indicating here, is actually taking us back. Forming co-operatives just for sake of doing it will not revive the economy of Zambia or its commerce and industry.

Mr Speaker, if the other forms of business such as partnerships and companies are having difficulties, I wonder how the mere formation of co-operatives will assist in reviving the economy of this country. It is difficult to assume that because you have formed co-operatives, the commerce and industry of this country will improve.

 Mr Speaker, first of all, what is there to co-operate and share? Is it the misery, difficulty and poverty? If other forms of business enterprise are failing to cope in the current economic scenario, I do not see how co-operatives on their own are going to revamp the commerce and industry of this country. To the contrary, these will be unnecessary structures that will be spearheaded by the Government as opposed to the private sector. These are structures that will be conduits for abuse and consumption of public resources.

Sir, at this particular time when the country is going through difficult times, I do not think that this is a priority that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government must pursue. You cannot create structures that are there to create roots for draining public resources.

Mr Speaker, the speech of His Excellency the President could actually be summarised as one which was full of creating co-operatives and structures of the Government or the public sector. This is contrary to the theme of the speech which refers to being smart. I do not think that it is being smart to create so many structures and layers that will be unnecessary cost centres for the Government and, ultimately, the Zambian people. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, being smart means running a lean Government. 

Mr Livune: That is right!

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: It means working smarter with a lean Government that is able to deliver with efficiency and effectiveness. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: What we are not being told is how much these co-operatives will, ultimately, gobble and how much corruption they will bring or how much these structures that the Government or His Excellency the President is indicating as having formed or is forming will consume. 

Mr Speaker, examples of Singapore and South Korea is being given. However, what we are not being told is what preceded and accompanied the reforms which made Singapore and North Korea move from less developed to developed countries. One of the key issues or cornerstones for this transformation was actually correct political leadership in the country which, unfortunately, we do not see in the PF Government.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Question!


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, in his address, His Excellency the President has created so many structures. For example, the new ministries or the ones that have been divided, the public-private partnership (PPP) autonomous body, the Special Purpose Vehicle for Public Tourism Investment Assets, the National Arts and Cultural Heritage Commission and the National Productivity Centre, among others. I do not think that the problems that we are encountering now are as a result of having less structures of the Government or the public sector in the country.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: To the contrary, we should have been moving towards streamlining and doing away with some of the unnecessary Government structures that, over the years, have just become cost centres without bringing any reward to the country and the citizens.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, at a time when we are having economic difficulties, the Government finds it wise instead, to create structures that will be a drain on public resources. 

Mr Nkombo: Tourism Minister.

Mr Belemu: I do not think that this is the direction that the PF Government should have been taking. There is nothing smart about it. Everyone can pronounce the creation of structures even in your home or family, but that will not translate into economic fortunes or develop fortunes for this country.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Unless the PF is confirming the lack of capacity of hon. Ministers to deliver based on the old structure, I urge it to rethink the structures and ministries that it intends to create. For me, ministries, particularly at the top, are not just there for implementation. They are there for policy guidance while implementation is left to the technocrats. What we seem to get is the argument that less hon. Ministers are not as effective as more hon. Ministers in delivering goods and services to the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, there is a serious need to reconsider this position. If we are not able to effectively support the current levels of structures that we have, as a country, where some of them are not even funded and others go for months without receiving any form of support from the Government, what more when we have created more structures and ministries? I think that it is important to reconsider this position and lead a smarter Government in accordance with the proposed theme. 

Mr Speaker, I want to refer to the assumption that those who will wake up on 24th October, 2064, will wake up to a glorious Zambia. It is an illusion to assume that those who will wake up on that day will wake up to a glorious Zambia when everything in the country, today, is going wrong. 

What gives the PF confidence that those who will wake up in 2064 will wake up to a very good Zambia that is different and transformed from what we have today, when nothing in that direction is being done? In my view, this is escaping responsibility for now. The PF is hiding in the hope that those who will wake up on 24th October, in 2064, will be happier than we are today. I would rather have had the PF Government gives us a reasonable time frame within which it intends to achieve what it wants to achieve. It is strange that what was ninety days has become years and years. 


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I am sure that even if those of us who are here today will be alive by that time, by God’s grace, our memory will be impaired and our teeth would have fallen out of our mouths. We will not be responsible for whatever will happen on that day. Therefore, the PF is running away from responsibility. Let it tell us what it can achieve between now and next year when its mandate ends. That would have been a bit more reasonable.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I am also wondering why it has taken the PF four years to realise that the correct assessment for it to achieve anything is many years that span to 2064. Had it told the Zambian people that it would only achieve so much if it was given a mandate up to 2064, I do not see how Zambians would have voted it into power. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Zero!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, now the time frame within which to achieve its goals has changed to 2064. Only God can give that kind of assessment. What will happen if Jesus Christ comes before 2064?


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, some of us are expecting Jesus to come earlier than 2064, but now you are telling us a period that is in eternity, which is as good as telling us that Zambia’s development is in infinity. 


Mr Livune: Even Hilda Malama agrees!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I suggest that the PF comes back to reality and tells us what is reasonably achievable in the period that it was given. By now, it should have been winding up by telling us what it has achieved in the last four years or so, as opposed to telling us about the year, 2064 when, as Hon. Dr Musokotwane has said, those that they are planning for are not yet born.

Mr Livune: That is right! You need a mental hospital! 

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, allow me to conclude on the note that His Excellency the President concluded on. May God bless our great nation, but I must add that may God bless our great nation by removing the PF from power ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: ... so that this country, which has been guided by God through our forefathers, can be redeemed.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!



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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1904 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 30th September, 2015.