Debates - Friday, 13th March, 2015

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Friday, 13th March, 2015 

The House met at 09:00 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




The Minister of Health and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I rise to acquaint the House with the business it will consider next week. 

Sir, on Tuesday, 17th March, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. This will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.

Mr Speaker, on Wednesday, 18th March, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will any. Thereafter, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will then deal with Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. 

On Thursday, 19th March, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any.

Sir, on Friday, 20th March, 2015, the Business of the House will begin with Her Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. This will be followed by Questions for Oral Answer, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will consider the Second Reading of the following Bills:

(i)    The Tax Appeals Tribunal Bill, 2015; and

(ii)    The Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

After that, the House will deal with any other business that may be outstanding.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




The Minister of Tourism and Art (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present a ministerial statement on the transformation of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) into a Government department, under the Ministry of Tourism and Art. 


Ms Kapata: In order to fully appreciate the enormity of the task of wildlife management, allow me, Mr Speaker, to provide information on the geographical spread of the protected area systems which fall under the responsibility of ZAWA. This will be followed by the reasons that led to the transformation of ZAWA from a Government department to a semi-autonomous statutory body, its operational challenges from inception and, finally, the reasons that led to the current policy reversal. 

Mr Speaker, Zambia’s wildlife protection areas include twenty national parks, thirty-six game management areas (GMAs), one bird sanctuary and two wildlife sanctuaries, totalling an area of 236,376 square kilometres, which is equivalent to 31.4 per cent of the total country’s land mass. The protected areas were established to play an important ecological function such as conservation and the regulation of water usage through the protection of water catchment areas and mitigation of climate change effects. The protected areas are habitats to wildlife species, some of which are unique to Zambia, such as Kafue Lechwe in the Kafue Flats and Bangweulu Swamps. In addition to their ecological functions, protected areas are currently the main basis for Zambia’s tourism industry and a major source of employment. This, therefore, makes the protection of the wildlife estates and the related bio-diversity a public good, requiring special attention from the Government. 

Mr Speaker, as the House may be aware, ZAWA was created by the Zambia Wildlife Act No. 12 of 1998, as part of the overall Public Service reforms implemented within the overall Government policy of economic liberalisation in the 1990s that was premised on efficiency in the delivery of public services. It was Government policy then to hive off some Central Government functions, especially those that were deemed to be commercially viable to be managed by semi-autonomous statutory agencies. The key assumptions then were that wildlife management would be carried out more efficiently and generate revenue for its operations and also contribute its surplus earnings to the Treasury. 

Mr Speaker, prior to this policy decision, the responsibility of wildlife management was under a Government department called the National Parks and Wildlife Services, under the then Ministry of Tourism. The department’s performance in managing the country’s vast wildlife estates was less than satisfactory due to limited funding from the Treasury, which led to the deterioration of the wildlife estates through encroachment and the unprecedented reduction in the wildlife species as a result of poaching. 

Sir, the creation of a well-capitalised agency that would generate and maintain revenue for its operations instead of depending solemnly on the National Treasury for its operations was perceived as the long-term solution to addressing the sub-sector’s chronic financial challenges. 

Mr Speaker, the idea of establishing an agency to manage wildlife was well received by many stakeholders, including the co-operating partners, particularly the European Union (EU) which funded all the studies that were carried out to assess the feasibility of establishing ZAWA. A business plan was developed that informed the capitalisation of the institution. The EU, through the European Development Fund, had pledged to inject not less than US $20 million a year to fund ZAWAs initial operations including fully funding a capitalisation plan for field equipment, vehicles, aircraft, firearms, building of staff houses and camps and procurement of graders for maintenance of roads in the national parks. However, disagreements between the contracting parties on the implementation modalities resulted in the EU pulling out, leaving the institution with no start-up capital.

Sir, despite the non-fulfillment of the pledged support by the EU, the Government did not move in early enough to fill the capital funding gap left by the EU. Instead, the institution continued to be provided with minimal grants which averaged from K4 billion, old currency, per annum, which funds were only adequate to pay salaries for staff and meet some operational costs. In essence, nothing had changed in terms of funding other than the change of name and structure of the organisation.

Mr Speaker, the lack of start-up capital investment also undermined the wildlife sector’s capacity to raise adequate revenues to sustain its operations, including the primary function of protecting our wildlife resources. As the situation worsened to a level where ZAWA failed to meet its obligations, the Government, from 2011 to 2013, agreed to commence the capitalisation of ZAWA. Consequently, the Treasury released a total sum of K11,137,710 in 2011, K15,671,733 in 2012 and K18,614,208 in 2013. However, the funding was far below the required capitalisation level which required funding of US $20 million per year for an initial five year period. 

Sir, over the years, the problem of inadequate wildlife protection coupled with insufficient numbers of wildlife police officers and poorly maintained park infrastructure resulted in encroachment of national parks which, in turn, led to increased poaching and the loss of species diversity and a reduction in animal populations.

Mr Speaker, to effectively patrol the country’s wildlife estates at optimal levels, a total of 3,500 wildlife police officers are needed. ZAWA currently employs 1,250 officers. This is less than half the number required. In order to mitigate the staff shortage, it was planned that 750 wildlife police officers would be recruited as part of the plan to raise the number of ZAWA personnel to reach the optimum level in the short to medium-term. However, the plan was deferred due to the staff recruitment freeze in the Public Service. 

Sir, in addition to the challenges of inadequate manpower, the unfavorable financial position of ZAWA since 1999 meant that it had accumulated a debt burden of K8,063,041,583, as of July 2014, through non-remittance of statutory obligations to the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), Workers Compensation Fund, trade creditors, financial institutions as well as unremitted revenues from safari and resident hunting to local communities which assist with the co-management of the wildlife estates.

Mr Speaker, the limited revenue generation capacity of the institution implied that even if the Government was to assist ZAWA to pay off its statutory debt, the institution would still fall back into the debt trap. Failure by ZAWA to pay communities their share of wildlife revenue meant that it lost the confidence of its key partners in wildlife management, namely the chiefs and the local communities, who, by law, were expected to assist them to conserve and patrol the vast wildlife estates.

Sir, in a bid to address the main problems that ZAWA faced, the most acceptable option that was available was to revert wildlife management to the Government by the abolition of ZAWA and creation of a department in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to take over the functions of wildlife management. The proposed reform of wildlife management entails that all the current ZAWA staff be taken over and absorbed in the new department, unless an individual chooses to be separated.

Mr Speaker, following a Cabinet decision of November, 2014 to transform ZAWA into a Government department, the ministry commenced the preparation of the Wildlife Amendment Bill to effect the necessary legal changes whilst awaiting the repeal of the Act that would follow the approval of the Revised Wildlife Policy. 

Sir, the proposed structure of the department was prepared in collaboration with the relevant arms of Government and awaits the necessary Treasury approvals and legal amendments to be implemented. The restructuring of the ministry will be done in due course to align various departments under one ministry.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to inform the House that the transformation of ZAWA into a Government department will ultimately result in improved wildlife management in Zambia. The plan for dismantling the debt is in place and is being implemented. I wish to assure this House that the implementation of these reforms will not result in any job losses as all the staff will be absorbed in the new department. I am pleased to inform the House that the wildlife police officers specifically stand to benefit from this policy decision as their remuneration will be improved significantly from their current monthly income of K800 to, at least, K3,000 plus under the terms and conditions of employment under the Civil Service.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Tourist and Art.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the Kafue National Park has been there for a very long time. I have been passing through this national park on my way to the Western Province and back to Lusaka since I was fourteen years of age.

Hon. Government Members: How old are you?

Ms Imenda: Sir, everything was fine until recently when squatters encroached upon this national park. These squatters have increased such that they have even crossed the Itezhi-tezhi Turn-off. I understand that the squatters obtained an injunction when there was an attempt to remove them from the national park. Now that ZAWA is becoming a department, what is the Ministry of Tourism and Art going to do to remove the squatters from the Kafue National Park and revert that place to its former status?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, my ministry is actually stock-taking all the national parks in order to see which ones have been encroached upon. I know that a lot of people have encroached upon our national parks. Very soon, we will remove people out of the national parks. Together with colleagues from the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, we visited Chief Kaindu who gave us extra land to allocate to the people who have encroached upon the game management area (GMA) in his chiefdom. Therefore, our efforts to remove people from the national park are on course. We know that they are there to poach.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, as we progress, please, let us try to focus on the statement and of course, its related issues. A proposed policy shift has just been announced. I do not like restricting or muzzling hon. Members. However, as far as possible, let us try to relate our questions to the statement, even on the basis of relevance, which is one of our rules of debate, anyway.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, the Zambezi River source is one of the tourist attractions, in the country. We have observed that people have encroached upon this area and are cutting down trees from there. What is the ministry doing to stop the rampant cutting down of trees from the source of the Zambezi River?

Mr Speaker: Those are the questions that …


Mr Speaker: … I am trying to discourage. It is not a roving session on tourism. There is a statement which has been issued. It has announced a proposed shift in policy. Engage the hon. Minister on that subject. 

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, when the national parks were put under the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), it was hoped that the institution would also raise money for the Treasury. Unfortunately, that did not happen because ZAWA was not given sufficient seed money. How will ZAWA manage to function properly when it becomes a department under the Ministry of Tourism and Art when the Government has a problem with funding? Will the situation not become worse? 

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, when ZAWA becomes a department, it will be funded like any other department in the Ministry of Tourism and Art. As I speak, ZAWA has been budgeted for in the 2015 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, we have heard that the Government is changing its policy with regard to the management of the wildlife sector. Often in this House, we hear of projects not being implemented because of the Government not having the required funds. Instead of going back to having the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) as a department in a ministry, why does the Government not think of managing the wildlife sector in partnership with the private sector on a public-private partnership basis? 

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, we are already managing the wildlife sector in partnership with the private sector. I am sure you know that the ones who bid for the hunting concessions are from the private sector. They are given areas where hunting can be done. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, such an important shift in policy requires very wide consultations. I have not heard the hon. Minister indicate to this House how many key stakeholders were consulted before the decision to make the policy shift was arrived at. I also want the hon. Minister to indicate whether she does not think that the Government support to Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has been less than what has been required. Is it not better to give ZAWA more support instead of turning it into a department under a ministry, especially in view of the high corruption levels in the Government departments?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, consultations with key stakeholders have been taking place. Further, the Zambia Wildlife Act that we are repealing will come to Parliament. Parliament is also a key stakeholder. It has a Committee that deals with tourism. I am sure that Committee will invite submissions from stakeholders so that they have an input in the Act that we will bring to Parliament for consideration.

Mr Speaker, what was the other question?


Ms Namugala: The other question had to do with the Government’s support to ZAWA.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that the EU pledged to give us not less than US $20 million per year which is quite a lot of money for one department. Since problems were encountered in accessing that funding, the Government has, over the years, been trying to support ZAWA. Despite the support which ZAWA has been receiving from the Government, it still has not been able to pay its obligations such as NAPSA contributions for its workers. That is the reason we have decided to turn ZAWA into a department under my ministry so that the Government can take care of all the challenges which it has been facing.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has announced the takeover of Zambia Wildlife Authority employees by the Government. She also stated that those who will not be interested in becoming civil servants will have to go. Will the decisions of those who will want to go be treated as resignations or retrenchments?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, no, they will not be treated as retrenched people. All the employees will be free to make their own decisions. Those who will decide to go will be given their packages according to the years that they have served. The game rangers who used to get low salaries will enjoy when ZAWA becomes a department under my ministry as they will now receive good salaries from the Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, with only 1,250 ZAWA police officers against twenty national parks and thirty-six game management areas (GMAs), what measures does the Government intend to put in place to fight poaching in this country?

Mr Speaker: Those are the questions that do not relate to the ministerial statement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Let us move to the hon. Member for Chadiza.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Sir, a lot of Zambians are unable to go to Mfuwe National Park to look at animals because of the costs involved. Since the ministry has decided to turn the Zambia Wildlife Authority into a department under it, I feel the situation will worsen. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what measures the ministry will put in place to enable Zambians to visit the national parks.


Mr Mbewe: Is it going to be cheaper or expensive?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is on the visits.


Mr Kapata: Mr Speaker, I think I did not talk about any visits in my policy statement. However, I will give him a bonus answer. The Ministry of Tourism and Art last year in July, launched a domestic tourism campaign. We met with tour operators and came up with figures that Zambians could afford. Therefore, we have a figure for a Zambian tourist and one for a foreigner visiting Zambia.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, currently, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers have no schools and clinics in their communities. When will the Government construct schools and clinics in the communities of the ZAWA officers?

Mr Speaker: It seems you are struggling to follow my guidance.


Mr Speaker: Let us not stretch issues. If the statement is clear and there are no further clarifications, we can move on to our next business.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I will give the hon. Member a bonus answer. In my statement, I mentioned that part of the US$ 20 million annual funding from the EU was meant for infrastructure development. Unfortunately, problems were encountered in accessing that funding. As a way of addressing issues to do with the development of infrastructure, we give 50 per cent of the total revenue raised from the hunting concessions to the community. The chief gets 5 per cent and the community gets 45 per cent. At first, the concession owners were asked to construct the schools and clinics for the communities. However, after it was noticed that the infrastructure which they were constructing was not up to date, we suggested that they give the money to the communities so that they could build the schools and clinics themselves.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to ride on the question that was asked by Hon. Konga. I would like to find out whether the ministry intends to involve the private sector in the day to day running of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) because I know that the institution is actually capable of being a very viable business entity. The Government has proved not to be good at running such institutions. 

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the suggestion which has been made by the hon. Member was considered. However, we thought that turning ZAWA into a department in my ministry would be the best for now after the problems we encountered when the EU, which is a big institution, could not release the funding it had pledged.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, before the decision for the policy shift was arrived at, was there a study which was conducted to see how our colleagues in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia successfully managed their wildlife sectors and what led to our failure?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, fortunately, the countries which the hon. Member mentioned all have departments in the Ministry of Tourism and Art managing their wildlife sectors.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, there is a lot of inefficiency in Government operations.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr L. J. Ngoma: Sir, was the decision for the major policy shift arrived at in view of the low remuneration of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) employees or as a result of the need to improve the management of the wildlife sector? Going forward, does the hon. Minister not think that it would have been prudent for the Government to fund ZAWA adequately as a grant-aided institution so that it is not affected by the bureaucracy which is associated with Government institutions?

 Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, in my statement, I stated that ZAWA was having difficulties in executing its functions. Apart from that, it was also not able to remit its obligations to statutory institutions like the ZRA, NAPSA and Workers Compensation Fund. It was even failing to pay back what it had borrowed. The Government is trying to take total control of ZAWA’s operations so that it can function to its full capacity.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the management of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has been a centre of controversy due to political interference in its operations and the fact that wildlife attracts a lot of interest from foreign nationals. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the window of accessing help from the European Union (EU) is completely closed. If it is completely closed, why can the Government not find ways of re-opening it as a way of sustaining the operations of ZAWA?

 Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, as things stand today, the window is completely closed. Reasons are that there were conditions which were attached to ZAWA accessing the US $20 million, which I hope all the hon. Members are aware of. The conditions included employing expatriates in senior management positions. That could have meant taking this country backward. Zambian did away with that way of doing things when it opted for Zambianisation. If anything, we want more institutions in this country to be led by Zambians.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr. Speaker, what will happen to the debts which the Zambia Wildlife Authority owes to the community resource boards, village scouts and other stakeholders? Is the Government going to pay them off?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, it is not ZAWA which owes the community resource boards (CRBs) and village scouts money. It is the people who have concessions in the different areas which owe the village scouts and the CRBs money. It is, therefore, incumbent upon the Ministry of Tourism and Art to make sure that these people pay back what is due to the communities.

 I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, there are many Government institutions that are facing operational challenges. In fact, just like the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), most of them have liabilities and are failing to pay statutory contributions. Examples include, the Zambia Daily Mail, Times of Zambia and University of Zambia. We have not seen the Government take over the payment of the debts of such institutions. Instead, what we have seen are attempts to either recapitalise or, indeed, streamline the management of these institutions. I thought that would have been the way to go with ZAWA as well. What sort of political will is the Government showing with regard to wildlife management by taking over the operations of ZAWA?

  Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, when an institution is failing to execute its functions, good political will suggests that the Government comes to its aid. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is focused. In order to better manage the wildlife sector, the Government has decided to take over the operations of ZAWA. 

   I thank you, Mr Speaker.

   Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I do not agree with most of what the hon. Minister has said in her statement. I hope to get some relief by what she will say when responding to my question.

Sir, other than being involving, wildlife management can also be lucrative. That is why we have heard a lot of issues with regard to corruption in its management. The Government operations are not only known to be inefficient, but are also associated with corruption. Does the hon. Minister foresee a reduction in the corruption associated with the operations of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) when it becomes a department under her ministry? What are some of the positive steps that the ministry has taken to arrest this culture?   

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I wish the hon. Member for Chembe could elaborate further on what he means that there is corruption in this sector. I, for one, has not seen it. If anybody is found to be corrupt, he or she will be brought to book.  I want to assure the hon. Member that everything will be done in the open.

Sir, let me explain to the hon. Member what happened when I lifted the hunting ban. As the Minister responsible for the ministry, I did not want to take part in the process of issuing concessions. I made sure that no one from the ministry took part in the process of awarding the concessions. We simply observed the process. Apart from that, representatives from the Anti-Corruptions Commission sit on the committee which awards the concessions in order to see to it that the process is transparent and fair. Therefore, I do not see any point at which corruption can occur. I am not corruptable.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

 I will take the last round of questions. Please, indicate if you want to take part. I have taken note of those who are indicating. I will take the last round of questions from hon. Members for the following constituencies; Lukulu West, Kabompo West, Lunte, Mumbwa and Sikongo.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the Government which was in power then decided to establish the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) because of the carrot which was dangled before it. However, as a result of misunderstandings, the Government has decided to turn ZAWA into a department under the Ministry of Tourism and Art. In an event that the European Union (EU) comes back to the table with more money and with better conditions which include allowing Zambians to hold top managerial positions in ZAWA, are we going to witness another policy shift?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, the big answer is that, as a Government, we are not going backwards. Like I said, we have the political will to reform ZAWA.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, the policy shift is probably long overdue given the challenges which the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) has been facing which have been outlined by the hon. Minister of Tourism and Art which include the debt burden. However, I wish to state that I have failed to see how this policy shift will improve the efficiency of ZAWA. Essentially, we did not see any significant change in the management of wildlife in this country when ZAWA was created. So, what really is going to change with ZAWA being transformed into a department under the Ministry of Tourism and Art?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Member that everything stands to change in terms of the monies that ZAWA owes other institutions. We have devised a plan to dismantle all of its debts. Additionally, when ZAWA officers’ salaries are increased, they will be motivated to execute their duties properly and effectively.

 I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, sometime last year, the Government announced the public- private partnerships (PPPs) policy as a way of growing the economy and creating jobs. The policy shift that has been announced today is in conflict with the earlier one. How is the Government going to harmonise these two policies?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, I think I have mentioned the fact that we are in partnership with the private sector. So, that question does not arise. I have clarified that we are still working with the private sector and we will continue to do so.

Sir, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Not at this juncture.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, the hardworking cadre of game scouts is paid below the minimum wage and has not been paid for many months. When is the hon. Minister, through this policy shift, going to make good specifically on that debt owed to these workers at the lowest level? Further, are they going to be absorbed in this new structure which the hon. Minister has announced? I only heard her talk about the ZAWA employees.

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, game scouts are not employees of ZAWA. They are employed by the community where they live. When the community gets its 50 per cent from the concessions, it comes up with the salaries of game scouts. I think the ministry will see how best it can assist the communities to clear the outstanding salaries due to the game scouts. Game scouts complement the work of ZAWA officers, who are not adequate.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, I want an assurance from the hon. Minister. Does the ministry have enough money in the 2015 Budget to pay the people who decide not to join the ministry and look for greener pastures?

Ms Kapata: Mr Speaker, yes, money was budgeted for to pay-off those that are not going to come to work under the department. Money for this purpose is there in the Yellow Book and we would like to wish them well. Definitely, a lot of people will decide to go elsewhere. Even if it had been the hon. Member, if he had a high paying job and then the pay was reduced, I am sure, he would decide to leave for greener pastures. So, they are at liberty to leave and we shall advertise the jobs for other Zambians who qualify to take up their positions.

I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, let me thank you for giving me this opportunity to inform this august House and nation on the performance of the Government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), during the 2014 Crop Marketing Season. This statement has been prompted by numerous questions that have been arising from members of the public and hon. Members of Parliament regarding the payments to farmers who supplied maize to the FRA.

Mr Speaker, earnest crop purchasing by the FRA commenced in July, 2014. The Government initially planned and budgeted that the FRA would only purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize for strategic reserves. When the marketing season commenced, farmers who delivered their maize and rice early were paid promptly, within one to two weeks, owing to the availability of funds which were released to banks.


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

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the FRA experienced an overwhelming response from farmers, who continued to deliver maize to its respective buying depots despite the fact that it had already reached its planned and budgeted for target of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. The unprecedented farmer response during the 2014 Crop Marketing Season was mainly due to the following factors:

(a)    an attractive price of K70 per 50 kg bag from K65 per 50 kg bag the previous year. The price of K70 per K50 kg was much higher than the obtaining maize market price which ranged between K45 and K60 per 50 kg bag;

(b)    the prompt payment by the Government to farmers who supplied their crops early; and

(c)    a bumper maize harvest owing to the good rainfall pattern, hardworking farmers of Zambia and, indeed, a good Government policy on agriculture.

Mr Speaker, as a result of the above, the FRA’s original maize purchase target of 500,000 metric tonnes was achieved within four weeks by August, 2014. Upon reaching the above- indicated targeted maize quantity, an attempt to stop buying from farmers who were still delivering their maize grain to respective FRA depots was made. However, there was so much pressure from both farmers and many other stakeholders who demanded that the FRA should continue purchasing maize, despite having met the initial targeted quantity.

Mr Speaker, the FRA was, therefore, instructed to continue purchasing beyond the budgeted set target of 500,000 metric tonnes and closed the buying season on 7th October, 2014 with 1,031,303 metric tonnes of maize, equivalent to 20,626,060 x 50 kg bags, all valued at K1,443,824,620. Further, 1,171 metric tonnes of rice were bought at a total value of K1,757,220, which was all paid for in good time.

Sir, the breakdown on the maize purchases compared to the forecast is as follows:

Province        Target        Purchases        Percentage        Crop Value
            (MT)        (MT)            Increase Beyond    (ZMK)

Central        50, 600     159, 488         195              209, 283,760
Copperbelt        15, 000       36, 985         147                51, 778,510
Eastern         89, 100     251, 323         182             351, 852, 340
Luapula        60, 460       76, 802           27             107, 523, 220
Lusaka        13, 600       35, 035           15               49, 048, 370
Muchinga        65, 900     110, 397           69             154, 555, 730
Northern        99, 550    154, 010          55             215, 614, 560
North-Western    35, 000      58, 240          66               81, 536, 070
Southern         63, 850    140, 132        120             196, 185, 010
Western          6, 950      18, 891        172               26, 447, 050

Total                        500, 010        1, 040, 303             1,048                   1,443,824, 620

Mr Speaker, the decision to continue receiving grain from farmers required a lot more money to be sourced and this was not easy on the Treasury due to other equally important financing commitments. In addition, the increase had not been budgeted for and, therefore, required special dispensation by the Ministry of Finance. 

Mr Speaker, as the saying goes, “better late than never.”

Mr Livune: Question.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the unquestionable decision that the Government made …


Mr Lubinda: … was to make sure that all farmers were paid.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, the FRA continues to progressively reduce the outstanding payments to the extent that the majority of our farmers were paid on time while the payment for the minority was delayed arising from the challenges I referred to earlier. 

Sir, by 15th January, 2015, all the required money was released by the Ministry of Finance to the FRA which, in turn, released it to all the banks. We are confident that all the farmers were paid their dues soon after 15thJanuary, 2015. If, indeed, there are any farmers who have not been paid their money, please, bring them to our attention. As far as we are concerned, all the farmers should have been paid soon after 15th January, 2015. I took particular interest in following up the matters concerning the farmers in Chadiza.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, at an opportune time and with your permission, I intend to come back to this august House to issue a statement on the plans for the 2015 Crop Marketing Season. In preparation for this, we have engaged in rigorous consultations with various stakeholders. The consultations will culminate into a symposium which will be held on Wednesday 18th March, 2015, involving over 100 participants. Among the key issues to be discussed at this forum are the maize marketing challenges in Zambia, the Farmer Input Support Programme and the way forward on these key programmes under the ministry.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been delivered by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Comrade Za Yellow, for the statement that he has delivered to this House.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock usually does …

Col. Kaunda: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: One Zambia!


Col. Kaunda: Sir, I am at a loss. I do not know who Hon. Za Yellow is in this House. I need your guidance. Is he in order?



Hon. Opposition Members: What is your point of order?

Col. Kaunda: Is Hon. Shakafuswa in order to call people Za Yellows in this House?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, my ruling is short. Let us try as far as possible to be very formal in the way we address each other. I have said this before. I know we address ourselves variously in jest. However, when we are transacting our official business, please, let us use usual formal addresses. This is formal business and must be approached as such.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, thank you for your guidance. 

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, undertakes maize harvest forecasts. This is done every year. Thus, the ministry should be in a position to prepare for the anticipated harvest every year.

Sir, is the ministry thinking of coming up with a better way of buying maize than what it does at the moment whereby it allows people to go into the market and buy the maize at a cheaper price from the farmers and then sell it to the Government at a higher price? 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I said that last year, the Government had planned to procure 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. However, during the crop marketing season, it managed to mop up the 500,000 metric tonnes within a period of two weeks. When the decision was made not to buy any more maize, a lot of pressure from farmers and other stakeholders was mounted on the Government, forcing it to buy additional quantities.

Sir, I also stated that we have engaged various stakeholders such as farmers, grain traders, millers and so on and so forth to try to resolve these challenges, going forward. Therefore, there will be a symposium on Wednesday, next week, to address various matters so that we break from the past whereby the Government was forced or arm twisted to buy much more crop than was required for strategic reserve. I hope that the symposium will guide the ministry and the Government on how to handle this very sensitive matter.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I have heard from stakeholders in the farming industry that the Government is proposing to allow the private sector to buy maize from farmers because the Food Reserve Agency is not able to pay the farmers on time most of the time. Can the hon. Minister confirm or deny this information.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, let me just suggest to him that he must not depend on the grapevine. As an hon. Member of Parliament, he is at liberty to ask me or any other hon. Minister for information without relying on hearsay and innuendos.

Sir, there has never been a time when the Government has stopped the private sector from participating in the purchasing of grain. What the Government has always done in the past is buy the required strategic reserve. However, there have been years when the Government has been forced to buy beyond the required strategic reserve, and 2014 was one such year.

 So, going forward, we will not stop the private sector from buying maize. As a matter of fact, it is the duty of the private sector to participate in the purchasing of grain. We would like to encourage the hon. Member, should he have the ability and financial capacity, to get involved in agricultural crop marketing. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister intend to revise our strategic food reserves of 500,000 metric tonnes, given the fact that over the last few years, our farmers have consistently produced well above this figure, and I do not foresee a time soon when we will go below this figure? It is within the mandate of the Food Reserve Agency to participate in crop marketing by providing market access to the crops that are produced.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, you arrive at the national strategic reserve not by production, but by consumption. Therefore, for Zambia’s consumption levels, 500,000 metric tonnes of maize is a sufficient cushion in the event that there is crop failure. The country’s consumption level will not increase simply because there has been an increase in production. We will continue with the 500,000 metric tonnes as a strategic reserve irrespective of whether our farmers produce 10 million tonnes. We will maintain the requirement to satisfy our consumption in the event that there is a shortfall or crop failure in Zambia. The strategic reserve should provide us with a cushion before we begin importing grain. It should last us about three months.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, allow me to start by congratulating my successor on his appointment to head this key ministry. I also take the opportunity to congratulate other colleagues on their appointments to various portfolios.

Mr Speaker, I am very happy with the statement about the symposium which will call together different stakeholders to discuss maize marketing. It is a very good initiative and the way to go because in agriculture, an inclusive approach is very important.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister confirm or deny the statement that came out in the media last week that the Government will not buy maize from farmers this year?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank my predecessor for his question. However, being my predecessor, I would expect that he, much more than Hon. Konga, would realise that he has access to me 24 hours a day.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I would like to discourage Hon. Simuusa from depending on hearsay. Like he said and, I have kept repeating, I am not going to make important decisions of this nature unilaterally. I will only arrive at such decisions after thorough consultations with key stakeholders and my colleagues in Cabinet. 

Sir, on Wednesday, I am consulting all the stakeholders, some of whom have complained to me that they may not have been part and parcel of the decisions that were made in the past. I would like to consult them so that once …


Mr Speaker: Order!

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, once that is done, I will present the views from the consultations to my colleagues in Cabinet for them to guide on the way forward. This is the position. We have not yet made a decision on the way forward. 

Mr Speaker, when I answered the question from my dear brother from Lukulu East, I emphasised that the food strategic reserve shall be maintained at 500,000 metric tonnes and that the only institution that is mandated by this House to procure and hoard the strategic reserve is the FRA. So, he may rest assured that the Government will buy, at least, the required food reserve.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Siavonga, you now have the Floor.


Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, information has come in public domain that the Government might not participate in the buying of maize in the coming crop marketing season. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock in order to discourage the former hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock from asking a question regarding that information in this House? He is instead advising him to go and ask the question in his office. If the former hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock asks his question in this House, the whole nation will know, Government’s position on the matter.

Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is simple. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and, indeed, any other hon. Minister, cannot discourage the asking of a question. What the hon. Minister is doing, conversely, is to encourage engagement.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Wait, you cannot qualify my ruling. What the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is doing is encouraging hon. Members generally to engage the Government over different matters. He is not the only hon. Minister who has said this, many other hon. Ministers on the right have said it too. The hon. Minister of Finance, especially, is notable for this. These are public offices. Why should an hon. Member rely on a rumour, when he has ready access …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Wait, I am still making a ruling. Why should an hon. Member rely on rumours when he has ready access to information? You can engage the hon. Minister even over a cup of tea. He is not discouraging the asking of questions. He is merely encouraging engagement. I am on record also having encouraged that approach. However, that should not stop you from asking questions. Nobody can stop you from asking questions. There is no contradiction here. I have said before that you are actually partners. That is what a multi-party system of governance is all about. The hon. Minister has actually answered the question. Therefore, I do not see anything out of order here. He has not stopped the former hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock from asking his question. He is merely encouraging him to engage him. 

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, considering that the mandate of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has been extended to include the provision of market access for maize, especially for small-scale farmers, does the hon. Minister not think that when they budget only for the purchasing of 500,000 metric tonnes for the purpose of the strategic food reserves, they will always have a budget deficit because the FRA still needs to fulfil its mandate of providing market access? Why have they not thought of allowing the FRA to plough back the money that it realises after exporting maize, into its operations, so that it continues to buy more maize rather than taking that money back to the Bank of Zambia?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I want to thank Hon. Hamudulu for that question and, with your permission, let me refer to him as one of those hon. Members of Parliament, who in the past, has not waited for an hon. Minister, particularly myself, to come and present a ministerial statement before he raises issues. I would like to encourage him to continue doing that. As always, he is welcome to my office. Please, come to my office when you have issues. Do not wait for me to come and present a ministerial statement because you might miss out on vital information.  Please, continue to engage me.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the mandate of the FRA is to procure and hold strategic reserves. That is the mandate of the FRA. However, over the years, the FRA has been under pressure from farmers and stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament, to buy much more than the required strategic food reserves. The issue of whether the agency should hold on to the proceeds from the sale of surplus maize is a decision that was already arrived at in this House, when the hon. Minister of Finance made a pronouncement that all Government agencies will not retain any revolving funds. All such proceeds are supposed to be given to the Ministry of Finance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I am glad that finally, the farmers have been paid their dues. Going forward, we can do better in this. Within the maize buying matrix, there are other stakeholders like the transporters. The transporters are still owed huge amounts of money. I want to find out from the hon. Minister what progress the Government is making to clear the dues owed to the transporters.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thought that today, I would focus primarily on the payment to the farmers for their maize and rice. At an opportune time, I will come and make a statement on payments for services that were provided to the FRA in the 2014 Crop Marketing Season. However, in brief, let me say to Hon. Hamududu and the nation at large that we are making steady progress in clearing the money owed to all those who provided services to the FRA in the 2014 Crop Marketing Season. We have not completed paying the transporters. We have not completed paying those who are providing fumigation services. We have not completed paying those who are giving us warehousing services, but we are making steady progress. When you do permit me, Sir, I will come and present a comprehensive ministerial statement on that matter.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) formed Government in 2011, the people of Zambia were hopeful that the crop marketing arrangement would improve, and that farmers would be paid on time. People, generally, expected an improvement from where the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) left the situation. Sadly, we have moved into a worser position, and our farmers have been degraded.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, in his ministerial statement, the hon. Minister alluded to the fact that one of the reasons the Government has had challenges in clearing the backlog of unpaid farmers was that in their purchases, the Government went above the strategic food reserve threshold. Therefore, that is the reason it did not have funds readily available. On behalf of the farmers, I want to find out how convenient it is for the Government to find money on time to cater for unnecessary by-elections that are not planned and budgeted for. However, when it comes to paying farmers who feed this nation, they are not paid on time. The hon. Cabinet Ministers come to this House and give lame excuses on why the payments to farmers are delayed.

Ms Kapata: Tule miwina. Mulibachabe.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I do not think that this is a matter which should be used for any other purpose other than to galvanise the country. I do not think that it is a matter that requires to be abused as a political tool for sloganeering or for campaigning. 

Sir, when presenting the 2014 Budget, the Government came to this House and stated that the FRA would only be given resources to buy 500,000 metric tonnes of strategic reserves and this House approved that allocation. At the time, the hon. Member for Choma Central was present in this House. However, he did not raise an issue or bring an amendment to encourage the Government to increase the allocation to the FRA in order to buy 1,000,000 metric tonnes. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: He sat here quietly and agreed …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Lubinda: … that we only budget for 500,000 metric tonnes. We are collectively responsible for having passed that decision. The National Budget is not passed by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government alone. It is passed by all of us, including the hon. Member from Choma Central. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, if we did not budget to buy the entire crop that was grown by the farmers, it is as much his problem as it is mine.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, we should, therefore, go out there and tell the people that we, together, only budgeted for strategic reserves. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I want to state …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: … that this highly responsible PF Government …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Lubinda: … managed to pay all the farmers who delivered the 500,000 metric tonnes by the second week of October. 


Mr Lubinda: Sir, the crop that was not paid for by January, 2015, was the extra unbudgeted for 513,000 metric tonnes. 

Sir, I would like the people of Choma to reflect upon one thing. 

Mr Mufalali interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, their representative asked the question on their behalf and I want to answer them directly so that they hear me clearly. 

Sir, by the close of the fiscal year, 2014, this Government owed farmers for the extra 513,000 metric tonnes. Two weeks or if you like, fourteen days, into the 2015 fiscal year, the Ministry of Finance had released money to the FRA which released it to the banks. This took place fourteen days in the new fiscal year ... 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: …and this money was paid to the farmers. Is that not a fantastic performance by all standards?


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I am sure that the people of Choma realise that this Government is a caring Government. Even when it is forced to buy more than it is required, the Government still takes the responsibility and pays the farmers just two weeks after the end of a fiscal year. I want to assure the hon. Member for Choma that for many years to come, this Government shall continue to improve on its record, … 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: …not only on the supply of inputs or decisions on quantities to buy, but also on totally improving the agriculture sector in order to satisfy the people that we all here represent. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




422. Mr Chitafu (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the construction of the following basic schools in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency would be completed:

(a)    Chitibuke;

(b)    Kabomba;

(c)    Ifulumo;

(d)    Muwaya;

(e)    Katonte;

(f)    Mutaba; and

(g)    Miengwe.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, before I respond, I would like to congratulate my friend, Hon. Mushili Malama, for winning his petition.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, I hope that together with him, we can concentrate on building Justin Mukambo School in his constituency.

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the completion of the said schools in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency will be phased, starting from 2015. The projects have been delayed due to challenges in implementing the community mode of construction. In recognising the challenges that are associated with the community mode of construction, the ministry is considering two strategic options, namely:

(a)    that 2 per cent of the project funds be dedicated to the purchase of food for the communities working on the project; and

(b)    that some project funds be used to procure crashed stones, cement for making blocks and river sand in communities where these materials are not present. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


423. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister Home Affairs: 

(a)    when the Government would build an office block and housing units for the police in Rufunsa District; and

(b)    what the estimated cost of the two projects was. 

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has plans to construct an office block and ten housing units in Rufunsa District in 2015. Funds for the construction of an office block and the ten staff houses have been set aside under the Ministry of Transport, Work, Supply and Communication. The estimated cost for the two projects is K12,700,000.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, thank you very much. 

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this chance to raise this point of order. Sir, I would like to apologise for not raising this point of order contemporaneously as required but because of the nature of this very important point of order, I thought that I should go ahead and ask.

Sir, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock in order to mislead this House, himself, and the nation at large by indicating here that the mandate of the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is only restricted to buying strategic food reserves when, in fact, the amended Act extended this mandate to cover market access, especially for small-scale farmers? 

Is he in order to come here and mislead, first and foremost, himself, this House and the nation at large? Sir, I seek your serious ruling in this matter.

Mr Speaker: Mr ruling is simple. In the first limb of your point of order, you indicated why you could not proceed based on a well-settled rule. However, the doors are not shut. If you want to engage the hon. Minister on that particular issue, the solution is very simple. File in a question and he will respond. Then, you can engage him further after his response. 

Hon. Member for Rufunsa, you may proceed. 

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Deputy Minister for, at least, being audible today. I got his answer very clearly. I must admit that this is an old question. So far, the money that the hon. Minister is talking about has already been released and the construction works are underway. I would like to commend the ministry for that.

Sir, for now, I want the hon. Deputy Minister to provide me a bonus answer regarding the renovations which are required for the Chibuyu and Luangwa Bridge Police stations. Is he able to provide me with those details?

Mr Speaker: Ask another question.



424.    Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) under the mobile registration system would commence in Mitete District.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Chanda): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, will commence the mobile registration exercise for the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) in Mitete District of the Western Province in the third quarter of 2015. The registration exercise will be conducted in consultation with traditional leaders, the district administration and other stakeholders. 

Sir, the exercise will be undertaken in Lipui, Sikunduko, Sitwala, Muyondoti, Mitete, Lute, Mbwe, Mumbumbu, Kazombozombo, Kashizhi, Kalunda, Mambungo, Mwenda, Namakando, Mbangweta, Mataba, Lubelele, Imenda, Lutumo, Washizhi, Kakwacha, Kaole, Sipuma, Soo, Lite, Mbumi, Indolo, Lindolo, Simangubukwa and other areas.

Mr Speaker, the Government has made a provision of K25 million in the 2015 Budget to conduct periodical mobile registration exercises to be carried throughout the country.

I thank you, Sir.  

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Deputy Minister for mentioning all the places although the pronunciation of some names was …

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, is the hon. Deputy Minister aware that if they want to start conducting the exercise in the third quarter, as indicted in his answer, it may end up not taking place because of the geographical terrain of that place? 

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, I am not privy to what happens to the terrain in that area in the third quarter of the year. However, all I can say for now is that the Government has got various ways of undertaking the exercise within the means at its desposal.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I saw an advert in the print media indicating that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will start voter registration. If the issuance of the national registration cards (NRCs) will only take place in the third quarter of the year, it will make it difficult for the people in those areas to register as voters. The NRC is an important component needed to register to be a voter.

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, I must admit that is a very good question. However, I hope that the hon. Member of Parliament is aware that the registration of voters is a continuous process. It is not a one-off arrangement.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, it is good to hear that the ministry will cover all the places in Mitete when it will engage in the mobile issuance of the national registration cards (NRCs). How many days is the ministry going to conduct this exercise per station?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours. 

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, before the break, I wanted to inform the House that I will issue a ministerial statement over the mobile issuance of the national registration cards (NRC) next week.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: So, there will be a ministerial statement to be issued …

Mr Mwila: On the mobile issuance of the NRCs.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ok.


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

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to rehabilitate Sokontwe Primary School in Milenge District, which was built in 1967; 

(b)    if so, when the works would commence; 

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

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

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Government has intentions to rehabilitate Sokontwe Primary School in Milenge District depending on the availability of funds. However, the ministry’s focus at the moment has been the rehabilitation of schools with blown-off roofs which are made of pole and mud. We will do everything possible to support the rehabilitation of Sokontwe Primary School in the future.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister saying that the Government will rehabilitate the school when funds are available is not making any formal commitment to a specific timeline of events. The truth of the matter is that actually, it is an exaggeration to say that the school was built in 1967. It was actually built before that. We are now in the 21st Century and that school is still in the same state. Why can the ministry not do something in a shortest possible time in way of rehabilitating the school since we have brought the state of the school to the attention of the Government?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with Hon. Mbulakulima’s concern. However, as the hon. Member is aware, there are so many competing needs which are before the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. While I recognise the fact that Sokontwe Primary School was built many years ago, I do not want to give the hon. Member false assurances that we are going to rehabilitate it tomorrow or the other day. We will, of course, get back to Hon. Mbulakulima after looking at our scope of works for 2015. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that Sokontwe Primary School was built in 1967. I think that is another exaggeration. Actually, it must have been construct earlier than that.  Namakando Primary School was constructed in 1943, but is still made of pole and mud. However, there are community schools which now have proper infrastructure after having just existed for three to five years.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Member for Lukulu West, please, make your preface brief. Can you now get to your supplementary question.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, does the ministry not see the gap in terms of infrastructure between a five-year-old community school which has received assistance from the Government and the school which was built in 1967 and has been neglected? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, obviously, if one looked at the schools that were built many years ago and the community schools that the Government was trying to rejuvenate from the pole and mud standard, one would assume that we offer assistance in a discriminatory manner when that is not the case. The biggest hindrance to how far we can go is the resource envelope. In the first week of this month, when I was responding to a question, I said that the consolation is that, at least, this year, we have about K213 million which has been allocated to works in the primary sub-sector. I am sure if that money is going to be released, it will go a long way in terms trying to support infrastructure development at the primary sub-sector. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Deputy Minister for the answers which he has been providing and wish to state that I do not doubt his competence. As regards construction works, is it the new way of doing things of ignoring old schools such as Sokontwe which are in a dilapidated state while they proceed to build new schools?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, that is not the new way of doing things. We have decided to now look at dilapidated schools instead of starting schools from the greenfields. 

Mr Speaker, when we say that we will do certain projects when money is available, it means that there is no money that sits in the account at the Ministry of Finance which has no use. Our Budget is projected. This means that only when the money is paid through the taxes and remitted to the Ministry of Finance shall it be released to our ministries. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the money does not sit idly in some account at the Ministry of Finance. He further stated that the Ministry of Finance only releases money after it collects taxes. Does it mean that the by-elections are more important than building or upgrading schools which were built using pole and mud? I am saying so because a lot of money is spent on by-elections. 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, in Zambia, we do not purchase votes. We canvas for votes and then, are voted into office. Therefore, there is no buying of votes, hon. Member of Parliament for Katuba.

Hon. Opposition Members: By-elections! 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we have a plan for the old schools. I totally agree with the hon. Members that there is no way we can start schools from the greenfields when there are some schools which are dilapidated.

I thank you, Sir. 


426. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education whether Grade 10 classes would be introduced at the following schools in Mitete District in 2015:
(a)    Kakulunda;

(b)    Muyondoti; and

(c)    Mitete.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the only school earmarked for Grade 10 classes in 2015 is Muyondoti, which is one of the twenty-two primary schools which will be upgraded in the Western Province.  To this effect, this school has since received K454,000 for the construction of a 1 x 3 classroom block and one teacher’s house. Kakulunda and Mitete Primary schools will be considered in the next phase.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, at least, it is good to hear that a Grade 10 class will be introduced at Muyondoti. This will be the first secondary school in the entire Mitete District. 


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, at Mitete, there are construction works which are taking place. Are we still going to wait for the Government to officially upgrade the school even after the construction works at Mitete are completed? 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister.

Mr Mutelo: Why can we not put in place deliberate measures to have Grade 10 classes at Kakulunda …

Mr Deputy Speaker: You have finished asking your question.

Mr Mutelo: …and Mitete?


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, it is good that Hon. Mutelo has mentioned that we are constructing one of the biggest investments in that new district, which is Mitete Boarding Secondary School. However, we have to bear in mind the fact that the construction of the boarding school will take a bit of time. I think it is up to the local leadership of the Western Province to make a decision as to whether they can introduce Grade 10 classes at Kakulunda and Mitete in the short term. The Provincial Education Officer will firstly need to check whether the schools at Kakulunda and Mitete have, at least, some basic infrastructure for them to start classes from Grade 10 going forward.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the main challenge which is faced by the people of Muyondoti is the lack of accommodation? The pupils in the areas also have no boarding facilities. Maybe, that is the reason a number of pupils fail to make it to Grade 10. Out of twenty-four who sit for examinations, you will find that, maybe, only four make it to Grade 10. 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I want to inform the hon. Member that I was in Lukulu recently. I slept in one of the houses at Muyondoti which was vacant. So, while I agree that housing infrastructure is not enough, there are still some houses in Muyondoti which are not occupied.

Mr Miyutu: There are no teachers.

Mr Mabumba: Sir, as regards pupils failing to make it to Grade 10, I feel this is an issue which the ministry needs to investigate further. At the moment, I cannot give an elaborate answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that it was up to the local leaders to start building new infrastructure. Do the local leaders have the capacity to do so? If they do, does it mean that they mislead us when they say that new projects will only be undertaken when funds will be available when the local leaders have money to implement the projects?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we have clearly stated that we have a challenge with regards to infrastructure for higher secondary education because the focus of the previous Government was on basic education.

Mr Livune: They.

Dr Kaingu: Sir, that is the more reason the current Government is upgrading certain basic schools into secondary schools to enable our children to proceed from lower to upper secondary. We have been told that there was a case whereby only four children from a basic school proceeded to upper secondary. I am sure the upgrading of some basic schools into secondary schools will solve such problems.

So, in a nutshell, Mr Speaker, I request the hon. Members to bear with us because the situation was not corrected by the previous Government.


Dr Kaingu: Thus, this caring Government …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: … is upgrading basic schools into secondary schools.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 11th March, 2015.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Ms Namugala: Sir, the appointment of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as Governor of the Bank of Zambia is made pursuant to Section 10, Paragraph (1) and (2) of the Bank of Zambia Act No. 43 of 1996 of the Laws of Zambia which empowers the President to appoint, for a period not exceeding five years, a person with recognised professional qualifications and experience in financial and economic matters as Governor of the BoZ. The terms of reference of your Committee included to scrutinise the appointment of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as Governor of the BoZ.

Sir, in carrying out its mandate, your Committee sought the input and views of various State security agencies. These are the Zambia Police Force, Anti-Corruption Commission and Drug Enforcement Commission. Your Committee also sought views from professional institutions and other stakeholder organisations as regards the qualifications, experience, conduct and character of the nominee. These are the Economics Association of Zambia (EAZ), Bankers Association of Zambia (BAZ), Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA), Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI) and Transparency International Zambia (TIZ). Additionally, your Committee had an opportunity to interact with the nominee and the hon. Minister of Finance who represented the appointing authority.

Mr Speaker, the various stakeholders who appeared before your Committee tendered both oral and written submissions. These submissions helped your Committee to not only understand the requirements of the Office of the BoZ Governor, but also the suitability of the nominee.

Sir, all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee supported the appointment …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Deputy Ministers at the back, stop consulting loudly.

Ms Namugala: … of the nominee to serve as BoZ Governor. Your Committee notes with satisfaction that the relevant Government security wings did not find any criminal, corruption or drug-related record against the nominee.

Sir, the professional institutions all affirmed that the nominee, who had a Bachelor of Arts Degree, two Master of Arts Degrees and a doctorate which were all in economics, was eminently qualified to serve as Governor of the BoZ. Further, they found him to have the relevant experience, having worked for BoZ for a period of fourteen years during which time, he rose from the position of Economics Advisor to that of Deputy Governor - Operations. Additionally, they found that the nomine possessed the relevant experience in development finance, having served as an alternate Executive Director and, subsequently, Executive Director of the World Bank Group.

Mr Speaker, the BoZ formulates and supervises monetary policies that ensure the maintenance of price and financial stability so as to promote social economic development in the country. Further, it acts as advisor to the Government on matters relating to economic and monetary policy management and supervises and regulates the activities of commercial banks and other financial institutions.

Sir, in order to realise its very important functions, the bank needs to be headed by a person with a strong and sound economic and management background which the nominee undoubtedly has.

Sir, this House may recall that at the time the nominee served as Deputy Governor - Operations at the BoZ, the bank managed to facilitate the reduction of the inflation rate from as high as 21 per cent in 2002 to 8.5 per cent in 2010. In addition, bank lending rates dropped from 45.3 per cent in 2002 to about 21 per cent in 2010. 

Mr Speaker, the bank further managed to help stabilise the Zambian Kwacha. The nominee, therefore, showed immense capacity to help in promoting measures to reduce inflation and interest rates as well as to stabilise the Zambian Kwacha.

Sir, the nominee’s record both at home and abroad shows that he has the necessary competency  and motivation to help BoZ succeed in its role of monetary policy management and supervision of commercial banks.

Sir, your Committee would like to assure the hon. Members of Parliament that ratifying the appointment of the nominee will be contributing to appointing a Governor of BoZ whose experience, qualifications and drive will contribute to the growth of our economy.

Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I wish to thank the hon. Members of your Committee who worked tirelessly throughout the course of the proceedings for their valuable contributions, co-operation and dedication to the work of your Committee. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the advice and services rendered to your Committee. Additionally, I wish to pay special tribute to all the witnesses who appeared before your Committee for their valuable contributions to this noble cause.

Lastly, Sir, I wish to thank you for nominating members of your Select Committee to consider the appointment of the Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as BoZ Governor.

Sir, it is now my honour and privilege to present your Committee’s report to the House with a sincere hope that the recommendation to ratify Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya will receive the support of this House.

 Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mpundu: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me the opportunity to second this important Motion on the adoption of the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Presidential appointment of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as Governor of BoZ.

Sir, from the outset, your Committee resolved to satisfy itself that the nominee was a person who was capable of discharging the functions of Governor of the Central Bank.

As the House is aware, the Office of Governor of BoZ is central to fostering sustainable socio-economic growth in our country. As such, it needs to be occupied by a person who is committed to maintaining price stability and creating opportunities for business enterprises to flourish. In addition, the occupant of such an important office should not be corrupt or compromised, but be capable of discharging the functions of the office effectively, diligently and with utmost integrity.

Mr Speaker, your Committee had an opportunity to interact with various witnesses that appeared before it and took note of their views. As the report or your Committee shows, all the witnesses were satisfied that the nominee would ably discharge the functions of the Office of Governor of the BoZ.

Mr Speaker, as the mover of the Motion has ably stated, the nominee has sufficient knowledge and experience in the banking sector both locally and internationally. Further, his role as BoZ Deputy Governor - Operations, exposed him to the intricacies of the money and capital markets. In this regard, he is suitably qualified to serve as Governor of BoZ.

In conclusion, Sir, I thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the efficient manner in which she presided over the Committee’s meetings. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for their unwavering commitment to the Committee’s task. I also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services and advice rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, I wish to support the ratification of the appointment of Dr Kalyalya as Governor of the Central Bank.

Mr Speaker, policy co-ordination between fiscal and monitory policy is very critical for the success of any governor at the Central Bank. The minimum policy goal for the Governor should be to ensure that he prevents the conflicts of different policy instruments in discharging his duties.

Sir, the rising deficit has had the impact of compromising one of the key monetary instruments of ensuring that we have affordable interest rates.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Central Bank introduced a policy rate as a driver for the rate of interest, but whilst the Central Bank would peg the interest at about 12 per cent, ultimately, the banks were charging in excess of 20 per cent.

Mr Speaker, in addition to this, the front end costs such as fees and charges that are levied by the banks are making financial inclusion to be difficult. In fact, our rate inclusion is less than 10 per cent. 

Sir, from a customer perspective, the customer has a sense that the Central Bank is shifting its role from one of being a key player in the financial sector to one of roughly being a spectator because they are not seeing the ultimate benefits from its policies.     

Mr Speaker, prudence and consistency should continue to remain at the centre of fiscal policy. Our fiscal stance should not, for example, support the oil marketing procurement model, that benefits the middlemen, who are exchange rate neutral, at the expense of creating a middle class. It is the middle class that are going to create jobs and grow the economy.

Mr Speaker, the level of bureaucracy should not be an obstacle in encouraging investors to help us grow our economy, such as the one we experienced with regard to the development of the Kabompo Hydro-power Station. For three years, bureaucracy has slowed investment in power generation in the North-Western Province. 

Mr Speaker, last week, we heard that the Government is going to consider and table a proposition to recreate a national airline. We also heard that the maintenance of an acceptable exchange regime will be driven by diversifying the economy. However, glamour projects such as airlines will act counter to efforts by the hon. Minister of Finance to diversify the economy. In the last three years, African airlines have been subsidised by over US$3 billion. Therefore, why should we join the queue of those subsidising glamour projects from day one? This will not benefit our economy. It is critically important that we take note of this fact.

Mr Speaker, secondly, if we are going to diversify the economy, there are issues that we must attend to, including securing a stable exchange rate. For example, the transit time for our exports is continuing to increase. According to the Cost of Doing Business Report, the whole process of preparation of documentation, clearance, handling and so on and so forth, is now averaging fifty-one days, coupled with the average price of copper being US$6,000 on the global market. This will make it difficult for us to achieve the goal of diversifying the economy.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Hon. Ministers up there, please, you have resorted to loud consultations. I mean the hon. Ministers I am directly facing.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I was just saying that we need to address ourselves to issues of transit if we are going to achieve the goal of diversifying our economy.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that the bulk of the tax revenue from the mining sector, approximately 75 per cent, is generated from the mines that are located in the North-Western Province. Therefore, this calls for a rethink of how we line up our priorities in terms of infrastructure investment. For example, the Solwezi/Chingola Road should be ranked as a key investment project in order to minimise the cost of doing business. So, the interplay of fiscal policy is critically important that it supports monetary policy. It is, therefore, important that we set our priorities right.

Mr Speaker, I have three messages for the new Central Bank Governor. Message number one is that the way the exchange rate has been fluctuating at the moment will adversely affect the viability of the 2015 Budget in terms of achieving the goals that we all agreed to. This must be worked on. Message number two is that he should not be tempted to deplete our reserves in order to support fiscal expenditure. That will be a wrong direction to take. My third message is that he must carry on the financial sector reforms, including the amendment of relevant Acts. For example, moveable assets must now be used as collateral for the purpose of borrowing so that we increase access to finance and reduce the cost of borrowing. As the Central Bank Governor, it is critically important that he addresses this issue.

Mr Speaker, after having read through the report, there is absolutely no doubt that the credentials and experiences that Dr Kalyalya has are impeccable. However, that is not sufficient. What is sufficient is if fiscal and monetary policies can comingle in such a way that they create microeconomic stability and growth. That is what the BoZ Governor will be judged upon in terms of performance.

Mr Speaker, the Holy Grail in this process is answering to the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), whose prayers are that they are being suffocated by the high cost of borrowing money and the lack of access to it. They are, therefore, unable to make ends meet and assist fundamentally in growing the economy. 

Sir, I see the new Governor having a tremendous task particularly that he must be one of the players in the kitchen room to deal with, for example, the refund of US $600 million in Value Added Tax (VAT) and ensure that by doing that, he does not create instability in the financial sector. That is critically important.

Mr Speaker, we can only wish the new BoZ Governor well. The job is extremely hard, but we will continue to support and give him advice.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I equally stand to support the nomination of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya as Central Bank Governor. I also want to note the support by my boss, the hon. Member for Lunte. I want to adopt his words as my own. I, therefore, thank him for that.

Ms Kapata interjected.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, he is my boss. If things went very well, I was going to be his chola boy.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, allow me to …


Mr Hamududu: There is always a future.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Bweengwa, please, can you stick to the subject.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, first of all, allow me, as an African and Zambian, to wish His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu all the best. I think as a country, we must learn to stand together in moments like this. So, I send my love and empathy to him. Before I proceed, I want to point out that there is interplay between what I have just said with what I am going to say on this Motion. We must realise that there is Mr Edgar Lungu as a person and then the Presidency as an office of governance. Therefore, we must stand together for the good of the country, regardless of our political affiliation.

Mr Speaker, I think, a fortnight ago, we were here ratifying the appointment of another wonderful Zambian, Madam Irene Chirwa Mambilima, as Chief Justice. I think the previous ratification and this one really stand out. I think, as a country, we must celebrate what is good. These are two good appointments.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: I hope we will continue to holistically do the same everywhere. 

Mr Speaker, I am privileged to know Dr Denny Kalyalya. By the way, he originally came from Bweengwa before we exported him to the rest of the country. He is no longer a son of Bweengwa, but a son of Zambia. We must see ourselves as Zambians and not from the region where we came from. So, I do not see Dr Kalyalya as a brother from Bweengwa. I see him just as a Zambian.

  Mr Speaker, Dr Kalyalya brings something very unique to the table. He is very educated yet humble. I was speaking with the hon. Minister of Finance before the name came here. I would like to congratulate you, Sir, for this choice, on behalf of the Government. This is very important for education to make us humble. Dr Kalyalya exemplifies that. I met Dr Kalyalya as a third year student when he came from the United States America (USA) in 1992 from doing his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He is a very humble professional. He taught me in International Trade Theory and Practice, and International Finance Theory and Practices. Dr Kalyalya is a very wonderful gentleman. All those who went through his hands appreciate this fact.

Dr Kalyalya has always been the young brother of Dr Musokotwane and Dr Fundanga. In his interview before he went to the World Bank, he gave that account. When he came back from the USA, the two doctors went to the airport to receive him. He has always grown up as a young brother to two most wonderful economists this country has ever produced. So, these three make a very powerful combination and they are like brothers. I am happy that these three have gone through the same route.

Sir, when Dr Kalyalya came to the University of Zambia (UNZA), it was just the same time when Dr Musokotwane left the University of Zambia (UNZA) to join BoZ where he established the Economics Department. This was during the time when we were liberalising the financial services sector. A few years later, when Dr Musokotwane was promoted to Deputy Governor of the Bank of Zambia, Dr Kalyalya joined the Central Bank as advisor to the then Director of the Economics Department, the late Mr Felix Kani. Of course, the rest is history. Dr Kalyalya rose to the position of Deputy Governor of BoZ. So, these three powerful economists that we celebrate in this country have all had a stint at the Central Bank. I am happy that we continue to recognise their abilities.

Mr Speaker, in 2013, through the invitation of the Advocacy for Scaling up Nutrition, I was invited to Washington DC where I was attending a nutrition conference with my friend, Mr William Chilufya, the National Co-ordinator for the Civil Society for Scaling up Nutrition. When we finished the conference, as young people, we wanted to run around. Realising that we were in the neighborhood, Dr Kalyalya invited us to his home in the evening. Dr Kalyalya is a very busy high profile who still manages to be very down to earth. He told us to hire a taxi to the next state, Maryland, in Mark Porto. He said come with whichever Zambian you are with so that we can have a meal together.

Ms Kapata: Nshima.

Mr Hamududu: The usual.


Mr Hamududu: Nshima follows Zambians wherever they are.

So, we went there. When we arrived, he came out and paid for the taxi. You know, it is a very long distance from Washington DC to Maryland, Mark Porto. This man is so humble. After the meal, he drove us all the way back in the night. We were just sleeping as he drove because we were too satisfied with the meal we ate. 

Sir, while we were at his residence, he told us that, across the road, there was another Zambian, Ms. Chileshe Kapwepwe, a good friend of ours who is a former Member of this House. In our discussions, Dr Kalyalya was passionate about his country. He said, listen Zambians, let us do something for our country. I have my colleague across the road, Hon. Chileshe Kapwepwe, I am here at the World Bank, there are other Zambians in the African Development Bank (ADB), let us make use of these institutions. He said that we should use such people to access financing for our country. 

Sir, I think they have continued to help. You will see a lot of things coming through the World Bank to this country. A lot of things will come through the ADB because of the committed Zambians who are passionate about this country. It is not only Dr Kalyalya. There are many Zambians out there as I have said.

Mr Speaker, coming to the issues touched on by my elder brother, Hon. Mutati, I think Zambia must celebrate something in the financial services sector. From the 1990s, Zambia has an enviable success story despite the problems that still remain. Zambia today, in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, has the most enviable, highly liberalised financial services sector. On liberalisation, we even beat South Africa. As a result of what happened in the early 1990s, today, it is easier in this country to walk into a bureau de change and obtain, easily, the United States Dollar and the British Pound. It is not that easy in other countries, including South Africa, our big brother in this region. I have lived in those countries. So, Zambia has got quite an enviable record of being investor friendly when it comes to the financial services sector. After the turbulences of the early 1990s, banks collapsing, from Meridian BIO Bank, African Commercial Bank to Commerce Bank, where I worked as a young graduate, the situation improved. I witnessed a bank collapsing while I was inside it.

Sir, we must be very responsible, as Zambians, with what we say. At Commerce Bank, where I worked, I told my boss one morning when a very irresponsible journalist from a newspaper wrote an article titled, “Commerce Bank in Red”, that such stories should not be written about a bank. When the headline appeared, I went to my boss, as a young graduate, and told him that the bank was collapsing. He almost chased me. He asked me why I said so. I told him that it is because of the newspaper headline. What happened that same day and the following two days was that the queues for withdrawals were getting longer and longer till the bank closed. This was simply because of irresponsible reporting. 

Sir, this morning, I was talking to some journalists who woke me up with their phone call. I told them to be careful with what they report. Some newspaper reports have serious ramifications on a country’s economy. I told them, for example, to report carefully about the sickness of our President. It is not about Edgar Lungu as an individual. It is about the Presidency. What is reported about the Presidency has an implication on our day to day life. 
    Sir, during the year 2000 and so on, we saw a very stable financial system in this country with a lot of banks coming into the country. Zambia has been a very attractive destination for investment in the financial services sector. A lot of banks have come into the country. Today, except for the quite remote areas, banking is easier. In the town where I live, Monze, which, by the way, has been nicknamed Central London, … 


Mr Hamududu: …. you can walk to quite a number of enviable banks like Barclays, Finance, and First National Bank. This has enabled the people to have a number of financial services available to them. We are doing better on that and we must celebrate it. We can only continue to add value.

Sir, the other issue, has to do with innovations in payment systems. It is very easy today in Zambia to pay by card and to send money. We can only wish that the new Governor, can continue from where his colleagues left. I also want to acknowledge the recalling of Dr Bwalya Ng’andu back to the Central Bank as Deputy Governor. I think the two make a very good combination with Dr Ng’andu coming from the development finance sub-sector. This is because beyond the monetary policy, I think, we need to begin to lean towards development financing than consumption.

Mr Speaker, most banks in this country are inclined towards financing consumption. For example, it is easier to get money to build a house than a commercial building. While a commercial building adds value to the economy and helps create jobs, a house is just for one and one’s children to live in and, maybe, employ one or two maids yet banks are ready to finance the construction of a house and not business premises.

Sir, as someone involved in construction, I wonder how banks could be so tilted towards financing consumption. I think that the Central Bank Governor has a duty to perform in this area to ensure that banks begin to be oriented towards financing development rather than consumption. The construction of a house is more or less consumption. It has very little to do with development. This is why you see that Lusaka is developing in terms of accommodation, which is good, but we also need a town to develop so that we can have increased business space and attract investment to create jobs. We need a balance within banks. I know that it is more attractive to give short-term consumption loans. You are seeing a lot of car financing and yet the banks are hesitant to finance development. 

Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance issued a statement on the Zambian Kwacha and I got a copy it. It was an excellent statement. You cannot ask for more than that. The Zambian Kwacha is not just determined by the Central Bank, for example. We operate in a flexible exchange rate regime. In this arrangement, the fundamentals behind the strength of the Kwacha do not necessarily reside at the Central Bank. The strength of the Zambian Kwacha is about all of us. As Zambians, we must embrace the spirit of enterprise, creativity, productivity and change the working culture.

Sir, there are many factors that determine the strength of the Zambian Kwacha such as the productivity of the economy and orientation towards exports rather than imports. Right now, there is so much demand for imports. In some publication, I read that the Governor of the Central Bank of Namibia was warning Namibians last week that there is too much consumption, especially of grandiose cars. People are just rushing into consumption and this has an impact on development. People must begin to borrow for production. The Central Bank and other institutions must begin to work to see how the Zambian people can go into production instead of consumption. While cars are necessary, they are, by and large, consumption. 

Mr Speaker, we have a lot of work to do, more so, on the working culture. This country is blessed from Chama to Ikeleng’i, Kaputa to Sesheke and Chililabombwe to Livingstone. I tell people that this country is air conditioned. You can grow literally anything. I lived in Namibia where it is very dry, but they beat us in livestock. Anything in this country can work, but we are not applying ourselves. 

Mr Speaker, I was very impressed with what is happening in my town of Monze as regards the promotion of exports. The dairy industry is growing. Currently, there are milk collection points throughout 30 km up to my village. I went to see my cattle posts and the young men are producing 30 litres of milk per day at K3 per litre. It is a good income. There is a new economy evolving and we can begin to balance maize and other products. I told my mother that she could make more money by producing milk. After doing some calculations, I noticed that the money made in a year in diary is far much more than what comes from maize where you have to cultivate and break your back. In fact, only the women work. I usually tell women to protest and stop cultivating. I tell the men to go and get weed killers because the women’s backs are breaking from the cultivation of maize. We need maize, but we can also do other things.

Mr Speaker, finally, to export orient this economy requires, as my brother said, strategic infrastructure roll out. Zambia has eight neighbours. These are huge markets, but when you go to Western and North-Western provinces, you hit a dead economy. I debated on the Floor of this House that the biggest economy in the neighbourhood is Angola. However, Angola is basically inaccessible to this country. So, how do we promote exports? 

Sir, this is why we are saying that most of the programmes that the Government is implementing must have a particular strategic focus. I was asking people about what they were linking in the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project. Are they linking poverty? The strategy should have been to open up this country to the markets within the neighbourhood. For example, if we linked the Western and North-Western provinces to Angola, the poverty can be wiped out in a very short space of time. Today, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) has to move all the way to buy rice and yet Angola imports its rice from Brazil. 

Sir, I attended a workshop by the FRA and I told them that they could still access Angola today from Namibia through Katimamulilo, Rundu, Enana and Oshikango. From Livingstone to Oshikango Border, you have access to Kunene and Kwando Kubango provinces. Going to Mbala is even further. Therefore, it is possible for us to access Angola while we work on our connectivity. 

So, our link Zambia 8, 000 km Road Project should have been strategic to open up this country to exports within our neighbourhood. This is where we can start from. We cannot talk about exports to far-flung countries for now. Our export drive will start from within the neighbourhood. Therefore, we need to revisit some of the programmes such as the Link Zambia 8, 000 km Road Project and begin to be more strategic and speak to the greater picture of our economic trajectory.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I wholeheartedly support the nomination of Dr Denny Kalyalya as the Central Bank Governor. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: From what has been said, so far, my impression is that we seem to be having a meeting of the minds. I am not sure what purpose it will serve for us to continue listening to the nice stories.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Therefore, I will ask the hon. Minister of Finance to take the Floor before we wind up.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I want to thank the Chairperson of the Committee and her Members for the excellent work that they have done. I am happy that it has endorsed the wisdom of the appointing authority, His Excellency the President, in bringing into this House a product which was very easy to market. Consequently, and I want to observe with pleasure that not only this House, but the people who turned up as witnesses were all unambiguously eulogistic of the nominee. The nominee has a good track record of performance. He is an accomplished economist. He is not only of suitable academic inclinations, but is also very practical. You will see the masterly of the issues he will be dealing with when he speaks out. He is a very effective communicator. Let me add that as a person, he is totally pleasant. He is very affable and despite his enormous academic credentials, as somebody has observed, is a very humble person who has the ability to relate himself to all people irrespective of their station in life. We have a good Governor who, I am sure will build on the successes of his equally distinguished  predecessor Governor Gondwe, who held the track record of raising the Preferential Trade Area (PTA) Bank from a very obscure institution to one of repute now. I am glad that we are all agreed that we have a good patriot and national to serve in that position. We wish him well. 

Mr Speaker, I thank the House for its very deserved unanimous support of the President’s nominee as Governor of the Central Bank of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Members of this House for their unanimous support of your Committee’s report and recommendation to ratify the appointment of Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya to serve as Bank of Zambia Governor. 

Mr Speaker, having interacted with Dr Denny Hamachila Kalyalya, I have no doubt that he is equal to the task before him. 

With these words, Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 12:07 hours until 14:30 hours on Tuesday, 17th March, 2015.