Debates - Thursday, 1st October, 2015

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Thursday, 1st October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to issue this statement on the country’s preparedness for the 2015/2016 Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). This statement has been necessitated by the Government’s desire to update Parliament and the nation at large on this topical issue.

Sir, the Government designed FISP, then called the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP), in 2002. The aim of the programme was to improve access by resource-poor small-scale farmers to improved inputs, and enhance the participation and competitiveness of the private sector in the supply and distribution of agricultural inputs.

Mr Speaker, during the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season, 759,000 small-scale farmers will be supported with agricultural inputs under the conventional FISP while 241,000 will be targeted under the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System in thirteen districts, bringing the number of beneficiaries to 1 million farmers. The districts in which the e-Voucher System will be implemented are as follows:

(a)    Kalomo;

(b)    Choma;

(c)    Monze;

(d)    Mazabuka;

(e)    Chikankata;

(f)    Pemba;

(g)    Chongwe;

(h)    Mumbwa;

(i)    Chibombo;

(j)    Kabwe;

(k)    Kapiri Mposhi;

(l)    Ndola; and

(m)    Chisamba.

Sir, the e-Voucher System will be rolled out to other districts in the subsequent years. This system will give farmers a wide choice of inputs, including livestock and fisheries inputs, as part of the Government’s push for agricultural diversification. The inputs will include, among others, veterinary drugs, fertilisers, seeds, fingerlings and fish feed. Further, the e-Voucher System will allow farmers to source their inputs directly from agro dealers instead of the Government playing an active role in the supply and distribution of inputs. It is planned that the e-Voucher System will be launched by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.

Mr Speaker, under the conventional FISP, the Government will assist the 759,000 small-scale farmers I have already talked about with the following inputs:

Input    Quantity (metric tonnes)

Fertilisers    214,000.00

White maize seed    5,987.23

Rice    127.00

Sorghum seed    119.10

Groundnuts seed    1,357.10

Orange maize seed    77.60

Soya beans    776.50

Cotton seed    155.30

Beans seed    232.86

Sunflower seed    37.28


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members.

Please, consult quietly.

Mr Kambwili conferred with Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, you are interrupting your colleague’s statement.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am very pleased to inform the nation, through this august House, that the Treasury has mobilised financial resources to pay all input suppliers for services rendered during the 2015/2016 Farming Season. This clearly demonstrates the seriousness of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and how it has prioritised the agricultural sector. In this regard, I call upon the suppliers to ensure that all the inputs are in every district on time and that they are distributed in accordance with the schedule. On our part, as a Government, we monitor the movement of the inputs on a very regular basis.

Sir, more crops have been incorporated in the conventional FISP this season, increasing the number from four to nine. The increase is in pursuant to the PF policy of agricultural diversification.

The inputs will be distributed to the beneficiaries as follows;

Crop    Number of Beneficiaries

Maize    598,723

Rice    12,700

Sorghum    23,820

Groundnuts    67,855

Orange maize    7,760

Soya beans    15,530

Cotton    15,530

Beans    7,762

Sunflower    9,320

Total    759,000

Sir, these inputs will enable our farmers to cultivate 379,500 ha. As I speak, more than 72,000 metric tonnes of Compound D Fertiliser has been produced and distributed by the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) Limited while 60,790 metric tonnes of Urea Fertiliser has been imported and distributed to various district centres by the two private companies that were awarded the contracts.

Sir, in the quest to diversify our agricultural sector, attention is being paid to food production, and the need to improve the nutrition and income status of our farmers.

Sir, the cost of the 2015/2016 FISP will be K2.1 billion. This covers the cost of inputs, transportation, management and co-ordination.

Mr Speaker, the farmers to benefit from the FISP are currently being selected by Camp Agricultural Committees (CACs) through their respective farmer organisations, particularly farmer co-operatives. Upon being selected, the farmers will have to deposit their contributions in line with the criteria contained in the FISP Implementation Manual before they can access the inputs. The key criteria for farmer selection include the following:

(a)    being a registered small-scale farmer actively involved in farming within the camp coverage area;

(b)    cultivating up to a maximum of 5 ha;

(c)    having the capacity to pay the prescribed farmer contribution towards the cost of an input pack;

(d)    not concurrently benefiting from the Food Security Pack (FSP) Programme run by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health; and

(e)    not being a defaulter from any other agricultural credit programme.

Sir, for the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season, the farmer contributions to various crops will be as follows:

Crop Pack    Farmer Contribution (K)    Government Subsidy (%)

Maize    400    70.67

Sorghum    280    73.33

Rice    220    60.67

Groundnuts    210    64.00

Orange maize    400    74.67

Soya beans    330    68.5

Cotton    195    65.00

Beans    400    72.00

Sunflower    280    67.33

Sir, the average subsidy across the crops in the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season will be 71.62 per cent compared with 66 per cent in the 2014/2015 Agricultural Season. We have increased the subsidy by 5.62 per cent.

Mr Speaker, the figures I have given are based on the prices at which FISP is paying for the inputs, which are not necessarily the market prices. The prices of fertiliser on the open market, about which my friend, the hon. Member for Chadiza, asked a few days ago, are as follows:

Fertiliser Type    Price per 50 kg Bag

Compound D    Between K280 and K419

Urea    Between K363 and K381

Mr Speaker, kindly allow me, now, to encourage all our farmers to mobilise resources so that they can make their contributions and access the inputs from FISP on time. Let me also assure the farmers who sold their maize to the Food Reserve agency (FRA) that this Government is committed to paying them promptly so that those who are beneficiaries of FISP can make their contributions and access the inputs for the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season on time. As you are aware, I instructed the FRA to pay the farmers not later than fourteen days after the date of receipt of maize by satellite depots, although I have received some complaints from some districts that the payments have not been made in accordance with my instructions. As such, I have instructed the FRA to avail me the full schedule of maize purchases and payments. Once the agency does this, with your permission, I will avail the schedule to Parliament in the course of next week.

Sir, I commend our hardworking farmers for their performance during the 2014/2015 Agricultural Season. Their hard work made it possible for Zambia to record a maize surplus despite the unfavourable weather conditions experienced in the country. In appreciation of their contributions, the Government is committed to ensuring that the maize they produce is bought by both the FRA and private sector. Like I said earlier, I will seek your permission to come back to this august House with a statement on crop marketing and FRA payments.

Sir, I also call upon the farmers who will benefit from FISP to use good agricultural practices so that their productivity can further increase and their costs per unit of production decline. With increased productivity, farmers should see improved profitability of their enterprises. The extension staff in my ministry have been directed to support the farmers in this regard. I also encourage farmers with bigger fields to supplement the inputs they will get from FISP with those from the open market. In making this call, I recognise that this can only work effectively if agro-shops exist at convenient locations where farmers can buy inputs from. I, therefore, urge the private sector to establish such outlets in locations where farmers can easily access them.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to caution all agricultural officers involved in FISP to desist from engaging in any sort of malpractices during the implementation of this programme. As officers, our role is to ensure that the programme is implemented successfully and in line with Government policy.

Finally, Sir, I call upon the district and provincial administrations, as well as the hon. Members of this House, to closely monitor the implementation of FISP, as their involvement will ensure that any challenges faced are addressed in good time and unnecessary delays in distributing inputs are avoided. In due course, I will present to all hon. Members of Parliament the manual on the implementation of the 2015/2016 FISP so as to empower them to assist us in monitoring this very important programme.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, it seems that the e-Voucher System is not only a modern, but also an efficient way of doing things. However, I have observed that the scheme will be implemented only in the traditional farming areas like the Southern and Central provinces. Is the omission of the economically emerging provinces, such as the North-Western, Luapula, Northern, Muchinga and the Eastern provinces, a deliberate move? How was the selection arrived at?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank my hon. Colleague for that very important question.

Sir, the selection of the districts was not based on the criterion suggested by the hon. Member. The criterion used was that of the readiness of the agro dealers, banking sector and transporters in the respective districts to support the programme.

Sir, like I said, we selected the thirteen districts so that we can pilot the programme and learn some lessons. Next year, we hope to replicate the programme across the country and put other districts on the e-Voucher System, including the one my hon. Colleague represents when he is not in Kabwata.

I thank you Sir.

Mr Livune: Name it!

Mr Lubinda: Milenge!


Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, there is a risk of abuse of the e-Voucher System. Are there any safeguards in place to ensure that these vouchers are not discounted for cash in shops?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, that is a very important question.

Sir, indeed that risk exists. However, we hope that the agro dealers and the farmers will respect the fact that the input are meant for agricultural production. Otherwise, there are very few measures that can be put in place to make the programme fool-proof. For example, we are giving the list of beneficiaries to District Agricultural Co-ordinators and Extension Officers so that they will be able to track the inputs the farmers collect and ensure that they are used for the intended purpose. I repeat, there is no guarantee against abuse. A farmer can grow his or her crops using inputs from other sources and discount the e-Voucher for cash. So, it is important that all of us monitor the issue. I hope we can curb it if it comes up.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the prices of fertiliser are in the region of K400 per 50 kg bag. So, the depreciation of the kwacha is catching up with the price of inputs. That being the case, could he explain why the depreciation is not catching up with the outputs. I understand that the price at which a farmer sells a bag of maize is still only K65. If you look at the exchange rate, which is at K10 to US$1, a bag of maize should be K100. I mean, depreciation works both ways. It affects both inputs and outputs. So, if we make it hurt the farmer on the input side without letting it work to his or her advantage on the output side, we will counter the positive effects that the depreciation ought to have on the farmer’s earnings.

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, as we are all aware, the depreciation of the kwacha has happened over the last few weeks. I do not think that anyone anticipates that this issue will last long. I think that the Government has made it clear, through the pronouncement by His Excellency the President, that the Bank of Zambia and the Ministry of Finance are working out measures to reverse the trend.

Hon. Opposition Members: Mm!

Mr Lubinda: Secondly, Sir, the output that the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central is talking about was produced using inputs that were procured last year, not those inputs that will be procured this year. So, if he is concerned about cost recovery, then, the prices at which we are buying are cost-recovery prices. Next year is when Hon. Dr Guy Scott can ask about the fairness of the prices at which the FRA and other players will be buying the commodities relative to the costs that will be incurred this season. We cannot recover the costs they will incur in the next season from their sell of the crop they produced last season. It does not really follow that way.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, when the farmers deliver their maize, they are very anxious to get their money to undertake certain obligations they would have incurred. So, the fourteen days they have to wait for their money are too many. After all, the private sector pays for maize one day after it is delivered. Is it, therefore, not possible for the ministry to reduce the number of days from fourteen to about five days?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, a few months ago, hon. Members urged the Government to compel the FRA to get involved on the market notwithstanding the fact that they realised that the FRA did not pay as promptly as the private sector. Further, I stated then that it was more profitable for the farmers to sell to the private sector because they then get paid in a much shorter time than when they sell to the FRA. We would like to pay our farmers on the spot but, as the hon. Member might have realised, the rigorous checks and balances embedded in the FRA marketing process do not permit us to pay cash on the spot. In any case, I was hoping that my hon. Colleague would say that the reduction from a delay of months to only two weeks was something worth commending us on. Previously, farmers were made to wait for months before receiving their payment. Between two and ten years ago, farmers had to wait for more than three months to receive their payments. Now, we are committed to reducing that time to no more fourteen days. I wish we could reduce it further, but we cannot compromise the need for us to check the process against any pilferage. We are also not able to deliver cash to depots because of the inherent risk of pilferage and loss.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, let me thank the hon. Minister for increasing the number of crops that will be supported under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and, at the same time, ask him if he will create a market for the other crops like he is doing for maize when he buys it for the national food security. Will he be able to create a market for cotton, sorghum and groundnuts?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the FRA Act provides for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock to designate any crop as one of importance to national food security and for the FRA to purchase and managed strategic reserves of such a crop. However, so far, the only crop that has been problematic in so far as marketing is concerned, has been maize. All the other crops have been sold without problems, although I must admit that there are challenges in selling tobacco, too. In fact, very soon, we will make an announcement on how we are handling that problem. Ultimately, if production of any commodities exceeds the requirements of the private sector, we may use the provisions of the FRA Act to have them bought by the FRA.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, firstly, I think that it is only fitting that I thank the hon. Minister for the clear manner in which he presented his statement.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Secondly, I am happy that the Government is using K2.1 billion to support agriculture instead of wasting it on the mines. We are very grateful for this. That said, however, my question is: What has necessitated the support to crops that are already well managed by the private sector, such as soya beans, beans and, especially, cotton, a non-food crop? The production and marketing of these crops are already well developed.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Chipata Central for his kind words. Let me take advantage of his question and say to him that, besides allocating the K2.1 billion to the agricultural sector, because of the importance that this Government attaches to agriculture …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Lubinda: Irrespective of that objection from my friend, the hon. Member for …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, remain focused. You know him.


Mr Lubinda: Thank you for the counsel, Sir. I will keep him behind me.


Hon. Government Member: Mr Question!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, to emphasise what I said in the statement, because of the seriousness that this Government attaches to the agricultural sector, besides allocating K2.1 billion, it has already mobilised money to pay all the suppliers and farmers. We are determined to ensure that no supplier or farmer goes into 2016 without having been paid because we want all of them to be ready for the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, as regards the crops we support, the selection was carefully done based on the performance of the crops in previous seasons compared with the local and regional food requirements. It has become clear that edible oil seeds, such as soya, cotton and sunflower, are always in short supply. We are not even able to feed our oil refineries or companies. So, we chose these crops without regard to the fact that they are non-food crops. We also want to use soya beans to improve the nutrition of our people. As you are aware, the protein intake in our country is very low because many of our people only grow white maize. That is the reason we introduced orange maize, whose vitamin content is much higher than white maize.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for a wonderful statement, which is encouraging to the farmers. I also think that the Government is right to give beans high priority because of its protein content. That said, I did not hear the hon. Minister explain how many districts have, so far, received their inputs in full. If he did and I missed the explanation, could he, please, clarify.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Member, my uncle, for his kind words.

Sir, I did not indicate the districts where we have delivered inputs save for the quantities. I said that more than 72,000 metric tonnes of Compound D and more than 60,000 metric tonnes of Urea fertilisers have, so far, been distributed. However, I have a list on the distribution of some of the commodities and, with your permission, I will lay it on the Table for the information of my hon. Colleagues. For now, all I can say is that there are some districts that have received all their allocations of commodities. There are also a few, particularly in the Western Province, that have not yet received their commodities. However, I am sure that we will be able to distribute about 99 per cent of the inputs in the next two weeks. I will not say 100 per cent because I am sure that it cannot be achieved.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is hiding behind the English language and Mathematics. Could he, please, come out more clearly because some of us who come from villages need to go and tell the people exactly what he will tell us. We are not interested in the mathematics of K400 this and 70 per cent that. We are interested in knowing how much …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, how much will a farmer pay for a bag of Urea, Compound-D and for a seed pack, respectively? He has just lumped everything together. Can he come out from his hiding place?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, if I am, indeed, hiding, then, the hon. Member has failed to smoke me out of my hiding place.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the figures I gave are the contributions of farmers for the full pack. We are not selling the commodities to farmers, but providing a pack and asking them to make a contribution to the cost of the whole pack. We go to them with, for example, two bags of top-dressing fertiliser, two bags of basal-dressing fertiliser and a 10 kg bag of seed, and ask them to contribute K400, which is 21 per cent of the total cost. The reason I gave those figures is to encourage my colleague, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza, to also exercise his little knowledge of mathematics.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, that was in jest. On a serious note, I gave the figures in monetary value and as percentages of the total cost, representing the Government subsidy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, when answering the question asked by the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central, the hon. Minister indicated that the price of maize is as it is because the price of fertiliser was low last year. Consequently, the average price of mealie meal is K65 per 50 kg. Now that a bag of Compound D fertiliser is K419, and a bag of Urea is K380, what is the expected average price of maize next year? Should we anticipate an increase in the price of mealie meal? If not, what measures has the Government put in place to ensure that the price of mealie meal does not go up as a result of the sharp increase in the price of fertiliser?  

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, if you may, allow me to stay away from venturing into any kind of speculation because there are many factors that affect the price at which mealie meal is sold. It is not only the price of maize. The other factors include the cost of labour, electricity, finance and transportation. So, I do not like it when I hear people attribute any increase in the price of mealie meal to the price at which maize is being bought this year. In any case, I think that we can discuss that when we get there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, with your permission, I want to take the hon. Minister back to the question asked by Dr Guy Scott, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central.

Mr Speaker, last year, the average price of fertiliser was about K280. How will a small-scale farmer like me, who does not qualify for a fertiliser pack under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), afford to buy fertiliser this year? I sold my maize at K75 per 50 kg bag, but I have to buy fertiliser at K400 per bag this year, which will enable me to cultivate only 50 ha instead of the usual 100 ha. Does he not see sense in what Hon. Dr Guy Scott said? He said that the farmer will be worse off this year because the supplier is supplying the fertiliser at a higher price, but the price that the Government has set for buying maize is low. This will affect production next year because the small-scale farmer will manage only 50 per cent productivity. As a result, we will have a maize shortage next year.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister knows that fertiliser suppliers did not buy their stocks this year. They bought the fertiliser they are supplying a year or two ago, when the kwacha had not depreciated as much as it has now.  So, why have they increased the price of fertiliser this much?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Not now.

Mr Lubinda: … as the hon. Member of Parliament for Katuba knows, commodities are priced based on the cost of production. If they are priced based on anticipated production costs, then, I do not think that the producer will make it on the market. So, one cannot use future costs of production to determine the price at to sell a product that one had produced earlier. I agree that the hectarage that farmers will crop might reduce because of the increase in the cost of production, but that should not necessarily affect the price of the commodity they produced last year.

Sir, on the question of why suppliers who bought the fertiliser last year are selling it at current prices, it is exactly the same question as that asked by Hon. Dr Scott and my answer is that, if, indeed, the suppliers bought the fertiliser last year, when the value of the kwacha was higher than it is now, they have no moral right to use the current exchange rate to determine the price at which they are selling it. However, I would like to just inform the House and the nation that the information that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has is that most of the suppliers bought their stocks after they got contracts to supply the FISP for the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season. Those who bought fertiliser in the 2014/2015 Season supplied it for that season and did not have heavy carry-over stock this season.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for implementing the  ...

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order.

Mr Speaker, the Standing Orders state that no political and religious attire must be worn in this House. Therefore, is Hon. Howard Kunda in order to come here dressed in a Men’s Christian Fellowship (MCF) uniform, which we use in the United Church of Zambia (UCZ)? I know, for sure, that he is not a member of the MCF. Is he in order to come here purporting to be a member of the UCZ?

Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

 I cannot see him because he is silhouetted by the hon. Member for Mpongwe. However, the Clerks-at-the-Table will assist me in verifying what you have said.  

Please, continue, hon. Member for Kasenengwa.  I will make my ruling later.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was commending the hon. Minister for implementing the long-awaited Electronic Voucher System, which will empower the private sector. However, I want to find out when, exactly, the programme will be launched. The hon. Minister has stated that the Camp Agriculture Officers (CAOs) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock are currently undertaking the identification and selection of agro-dealers. So, when, exactly, will the e-Vouchers actually start being redeemed from the agro-dealers?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for the question. I also thank her for showing keen interest not only in agriculture, but also in the e-Voucher System.

Mr Speaker, there are some people who are rather sceptical and others who just wish that progressive ideas like this are frustrated. It is gratifying to hear some hon. Members of the House encourage us to go ahead with this very noble idea. I feel very encouraged.

Mr Speaker, I assure my hon. Colleague that I will extend a personal invitation for her to attend the launch of the programme in Choma. We had initially intimated that His Excellency the President would launch the programme next Monday. However, as all of us are aware, His Excellency the President will return tomorrow, 2nd October, 2915. As a result, I cannot promise that he will launch the programme on 5th October, 2015. However, I hope that he will find the time to launch the system in Choma within the next fourteen days.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, my ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kawambwa is that the hon. Member for Muchinga Parliamentary Constituency is properly dressed. Although he is in very colourful attire, he has not offended the rules of the rules of the House.





71. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    what the Government’s policy on importation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) food stuffs  was; and

(b)    besides maize, what other GMO food stuffs were more likely to be imported into the country.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, the Government policy is that no one is allowed to import genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for direct use as food, feed or for processing without being duly authorised by the National Bio-safety Authority (NBA).

Mr Speaker, other than maize, finished products of GMO commodities like soya beans and wheat are more likely to be imported into the country as long as the NBA approves the importation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, why has the Government banned the importation of some GMOs, particularly maize, when it has allowed the importation of other food products, such as wheat and soya beans? What is it that we fear in maize that we do not in the other crops?
Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, GM products or foods are new, in nature, because of how they are produced or manufactured. So, they come with pros and cons because of the chemicals or genes that are introduced in them, which makes the organisms hazardous. In the case of Zambia, whose staple food is maize, we have deemed it fit not to permit the importation of those organisms. As you may be aware, they pose certain dangers for our community. So, for now, they are not permitted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, any grain, especially maize, imported from South Africa is a potential genetically modified organism (GMO) because that country does not distinguish GMOs and non-GMOs when storing grain in silos. It is, therefore, a bewildering illusion to think that Zambia has actually never imported GM maize. Is the hon. Minister aware of that?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, we have researchers and specialists in this country who check whether all agricultural products, not only maize, that come in are GM or not. Once it is discovered that some imports are GM, they are not allowed into the country. So, to say that all the maize coming from South Africa into the country is GM might not be the truth, as we have enough policing at our borders.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, some unscrupulous traders still smuggle in some genetically modified (GM) maize and other foods. When these people are arrested, is there any penalty or fine slapped on them? If so, what is the penalty?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, allow me to take this opportunity to ask members of the general public to report anyone who is found trading in such products. Once reported, there is an appropriate punishment that is meted out on them because they would have violated the rules of this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister gave the proviso that the importation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is not done “without being duly authorised by the National Bio-safety Authority (NBA).” Can the hon. Minister give us instances in which this exception was applied. Further, is he aware that Monsanto, a company known for producing GM foods, is in the country? Can he tell us what the company is doing here?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us restrict ourselves to one question. The hon. Member has asked three questions.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, whoever wants to import any known GMO or any product that is suspected to have any GM element will have to apply for authorisation from the National Bio-safety Authority (NBA). When such applications are made, the applicants advertise in the newspapers for citizens to make comments on whether the product should be allowed into the country. After the NBA has satisfied itself that the content is within the acceptable limits or that it does not pose any serious danger, it issues the importation permit. If the hon. Member would like us to research on what kind of GM products have been allowed into the country, we certainly can do that.

With regard to the presence of Monsanto in Zambia, I want to assure the hon. Member and the nation at large that the company is in the country to deal in non-GM seed. It is not allowed to bring any GM seed into Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.


72. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when the construction of Milenge Police Station would commence;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Chanda): Mr Speaker, the construction of Milenge Police Station will commence when funds become available.

Sir, the estimated cost of the project is K8 million.

Mr Speaker, the project time frame will be determined by the availability of funds and what is agreed upon with the would-be contractor.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, it is a pity that I am restricted to asking only one follow-up question.

Sir, the local community has done its part by providing the piece of land on which the station can be built, thereby overcoming the hindrance stemming from the non-availability of the land. Has the Ministry of Home Affairs made some effort to ensure that the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection does not get in the way of this project’s implementation by raising issues on the proposed piece of land?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, the Government has plans to construct a police post, not a police station, in Milenge. The police post will be built with three staff houses. Construction will begin this month, October, 2015, after we announce the contractor.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the project would start when funds became available. When, according the ministry’s plans, does it wish for the funds to be made available?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we have a long-term plan to construct police stations in most districts countrywide and the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication is executing the works in all the new districts, nine districts in the Western Province, Manyinga in the North-Western Province, three in Central Province, four in Luapula Province, one in the Eastern Province, four districts in the Southern Province (Pemba, Chirundu, Chikankata and Zimba), two in Lusaka Province (Chongwe and Shibuyunji) and one in Muchinga Province. Ten houses will also be built together with the police stations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, will Katete Police Station …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

I am just wondering whether the apparel worn by the hon. Member for Muchinga is contagious.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I apologise to my brother who was on the Floor for interrupting his debate.

Sir, the hon. Minster of Home Affairs stated that four police stations are being constructed in the Southern Province and named them as Chirundu, Pemba, Chikankata and Zimba. Is he in order to say that Chirundu is in the Southern Province?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will clarify that minor issue.


Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, before my colleague disturbed my debate, I was about to ask if the construction of Katete Police Station, which has stalled for a long time, will also be catered for in the project.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Chirundu falls under Lusaka Province, but it was previously under the Southern Province. That is why I mentioned it under that province. Regardless of the mix-up, we intended to construct a police station there.

Sir, I need to get more information on the status of Katete Police Station.

I thank you, Sir.


73.    Mr Mufalali (Senanga) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    how many retirees from Senanga District Council had not been paid their terminal benefits as of July, 2015;

(b)    what had caused the delay in paying the retirees;

(c)    how much money, in total, was owed to the retires; and

(d)    when all the retirees would be paid.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, there are five retirees of Senanga District Council who had not been paid their terminal benefits as of July, 2015. Two retired towards the end of 2014 while three retired in March, 2015.

Sir, the council has been unable to pay the retirees their benefits due to a decreased revenue base.

Sir, K1,320,055 is the amount of money owed to the five retirees.

Mr Speaker, the council has drawn up a quarterly payment plan for liquidating the debt in equal sums of K300,000, beginning August, 2015. The debt must be cleared by May, 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, were the retirees on any pension scheme? If so, can their money now be accessed?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the information that we have is that the retirees were contributing to pension schemes.

I thank you, Sir.


Ms Miti (Vubwi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when the police in Vubwi District would be provided with motor vehicles to enhance its operations; and

(b)    when the staff houses at Vubwi Police Camp, which are in a dilapidated state, would be rehabilitated.

Col. Chanda: Mr Speaker, the Government has provided Vubwi Police Station with a new Land Cruiser motor vehicle, registration number ZP 2227B, purchased from Toyota Zambia on 1st March, 2013. However, the vehicle developed a gearbox fault. Gratifyingly, it has since been repaired and delivered back to the station.

Sir, the Government allocated K150,000 to the rehabilitation of police camps in the Eastern Province in the 2015 Budget. The rehabilitation of houses in Vubwi Police Camp will commence as soon as the funds are made available.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, if I recall well, the Government said that it would procure about 100 vehicles for distribution to all the districts. Will Vubwi not be one of the beneficiary districts?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to clarify the statement made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza.

Sir, I did not mention that we would buy 100 vehicles. What I said is that we would buy 185 vehicles and distribute them to all the districts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Your figure was an underestimate.


Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has stated that the Toyota Land Cruiser vehicle was purchased this year from Toyota Zambia Limited. He also said that the vehicle had developed a fault. Was the vehicle new when purchased or was it a second-hand?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that the vehicle was purchased in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: If I may add, he also said that it was a new vehicle then.

Mr Mwila indicated assent.

Mr Ntundu (Gweembe): Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious procedural point of order pertaining to the Business of this House.

Sir, I am aware that we are about to debate a Motion that is very important not only this House, but to the whole nation. However, we, on your left, are aware that the Motion was not circulated yesterday, as per the procedures of the House, but was circulated at the National Assembly Motel Restaurant. That is where the notices of the Motion were handed out.

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: Some of the notices were shoved under the doors into the rooms, contrary to the procedures of this House. The House adjourned yesterday without the Motion being circulated on the Floor of this House. Is it in order for this House to allow a Motion, important as it is, to be tabled and debated by this House when the procedures of the House have not been complied with?

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I will reserve my ruling on that.

May the hon. Member for Gweembe continue.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, a brand-new Land Cruiser bought at Toyota Zambia Limited has a two-year warranty. I know this because I own a Land Cruiser bought from that company in 2012 and I am still enjoying the warranty. Was the vehicle in question repaired on warranty by Toyota Zambia Limited?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the vehicle was repaired at a Zambia Police garage, not Toyota Zambia Limited, because it was bought two years and eight months ago.

I thank you, Sir.


75. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    when the smallholder irrigation scheme at Luwelezi Dam in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency would be operationalised; and

(b)    what the estimated cost of establishing the scheme was.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the smallholder irrigation scheme at Luwelezi Dam, also known as Emusa Dam, in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency, Lundazi District, is one of the schemes that my ministry has earmarked for development. During the second quarter of 2015, a team from the ministry conducted a pre-feasibility study with the purpose of preparing the site and ascertaining the cost of its full development. Construction and operationalisation is set for 2017.

Mr Speaker, the estimated cost of establishing the scheme is K6.3 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister says that the scheme will be operationalised in 2017, which I think to be quite a long time. We are very eager, as the local community, to grow some fresh crops around that area. Could the hon. Minister shorten the time frame.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, it is, indeed, in our interest to support all the farmers who live near water bodies are supported to engage in irrigated agriculture. So, resources and all other factors permitting, the ministry would like to implement the project sooner than 2017. However, I cannot promise. All I can say is that, according to the schedule that we are working with, the scheme is earmarked for operationalisation in 2017.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, last time, the hon. Minister told us that there was some money from well-wishers which had been allocated to fund works on such types of dams and irrigation schemes. Can he not consider using part of that money to fund the irrigation project in Luwelezi?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I have said that the funds for all the irrigation schemes, including the one we are debating, were available. We are using that money in implementing those projects, but we also have in place a schedule that we are following. Let me also take advantage of this question and remind the House that I issued a very elaborate statement in the last Meeting in which I talked about the matching grants. Copies of that statement were circulated to all hon. Members. So, hon. Members can kindly revisit that statement to see how they can encourage the farmers in their constituencies to access the matching grants and establish irrigation systems.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has referred to a schedule. Is he able to make the schedule available so that members of the communities in the constituencies, especially Chasefu, can have the information they need beforehand?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, yes, I am able to. I also thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Choma Central for bringing the debate back where it belongs, namely, Chasefu, whose schedule I announced. Its irrigation system will be constructed in 2017. That is the only schedule that is there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Any other questions?


Mr Speaker: None.

Hon. Members, before we progress, I would like to make a ruling on the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central:

Hon. Members, the Motion referred to by Hon. Mwiimbu in his point of order was received in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Orders by the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly before 1200 hours yesterday, 30th September, 2015. The printing was done, but the House adjourned before the copies were ready. In fact, I was notified to that effect by the Clerk of the National Assembly. As a matter of fact, the House adjourned fifteen minutes early. Otherwise, the Motion would have been circulated before the House arose.

Orders 30 and 37 notwithstanding, Order 36, which deals with notice of Motions, indicates that the notice may be handed in by hon. Ministers at any time during any sitting of the House and the hon. Minister shall specify subsequently.

That is my ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Justice, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that, in terms of Article 44, Clause 2, Paragraph (e) of the Constitution, the President is empowered to establish and dissolve Government ministries and departments as he sees fit, subject to the approval of this House.

Mr Speaker, in exercise of the powers vested in him by the Constitution, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday, 18th September, 2015, during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, proposed to abolish and reconstitute the following Government ministries:

(a)    Office of the President;

(b)    Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education;

(c)    Ministry of Youth and Sport;

(d)    Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication;

(e)    Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health;

(f)    Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock;

(g)    Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development;

(h)    Ministry of Gender and Child Development;

(i)    Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; and

(j)    Ministry of Tourism and Art.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President has established and reconstituted the following new ministries and departments;

(a)    Office of the President;

(b)    Ministry of Development Planning;

(c)    Ministry of Finance;

(d)    Ministry of Higher Education;

(e)    Ministry of General Education;

(f)    Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare;

(g)    Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development;

(h)    Ministry of Gender;

(i)    Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development;

(j)    Ministry of Energy and Water Development;

(k)    Ministry of Agriculture;

(l)    Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock;

(m)    Ministry of Works and Supply;

(n)    Ministry of Health;

(o)    Ministry of Transport and Communications;

(p)    Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; and

(q)    Ministry of Tourism and Arts.

Sir, the statutory and portfolio functions of the newly-established ministries are appended hereto.

Mr Speaker, I request this august House to favourably consider these measures taken by His Excellency the President, which are aimed at streamlining Government operations. The measures will not result in job losses, as affected officers will be redeployed into relevant Government ministries and departments. This is a realignment and rationalisation of departments in the newly-created ministries. The Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and Directors are in place already. So, they will merely be assigned to the appropriate ministries. For example, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, there is a PS for agriculture and another for livestock and fisheries, and the attendant Directors. Therefore, there will be no new recruitments when the functions are separated into ministries. Consequently, there will also be minimal outlay of expenses at the technical levels.

Sir, this exercise is a normal reorganisation of functions within the Government. So, I recommend that the House approves the changes.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you …

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order that cries for your attention.

Sir, the hon. Members have indicated that the documents on the Motion have just been circulated to hon. Members. This is a non-contentious issue that requires your hon. Members to debate effectively. However, none of us has had the time to look at the document. So, it would be against the dictates of natural justice to allow this Motion to be debated in this House because, no matter how we try to filibuster so that we carry it on to tomorrow, it will not be possible. It is now 1600 hours and we only have four hours.

Mr Speaker, it might just be fitting that you intervene so that the Motion can be carried on up to tomorrow to allow your hon. Members to study the Motion and debate it from an informed perspective.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that the subject of the Motion to be debated is not new because it is covered in the President’s Address. In fact, since the President’s Address to this House, several hon. Members have been addressing their minds to the issue in their debates. In fact, we are on the verge of winding up that debate on the Speech. Therefore, hon. Members are well informed on this subject.

May the hon. Member for Mpongwe, please, continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Questions!

Mr Namulambe:  Mr Speaker, after the approval of the Motion by this House, some hon. Ministers will be Ministers Without Portfolio because, until the President aligns them to the appropriate ministries, they will not function.

 Sir, yesterday, I debated this issue and referred to Question 104, which is yet to come before the House as a Question for Written Answer, in which I asked Her Honour the Vice-President what tangible benefits had been realised from the amalgamation of Government ministries from October, 2011, to date, regarding cost saving and effective service delivery and other such variables. The reason behind that Question was that we did not promote efficiency.

Sir, what I meant when I said that some hon.  Ministers will be Ministers Without Portfolio after the approval of this Motion is that if, for instance, in the case of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, it can be divided into two; the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. This means that we would not know whether the current hon. Minister would be responsible for Agriculture or Livestock and Fisheries. Therefore, until the President realigns them, the hon. Minister will have no portfolio.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: In my view, this move is welcome because we will see efficiency.

 Mr Lubinda: Very good!

Mr Namulambe: Sir, I cited the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock in my example because we have problems there.  There was a report of your Committee whose findings indicated that there was less funding to the Department of Fisheries because the other portfolio of the ministry that dealt with maize took too big a chunk of the money allocated to the ministry. Even the people who were supposed to fill the positions of Fisheries Officers in some districts where they were vacant could not be employed because the funding was restricted by one sector, which is the growing and marketing of maize. When it comes to practical operations, if a veterinary doctor is appointed as District Agriculture Co-ordinator (DACO), he or she concentrated more or less on the officers from his field. So, in this example, the Veterinary Department would be able to benefit from Government funding. Likewise, if the DACO is from the crop sciences rather than animal husbandry, his focus would be on crop production at the expense of livestock promotion. Therefore, the separation of the two will result in efficiency.

Mr Speaker, currently, we are dependent on copper. So, if agriculture is used as a means of improving our economy, we will see many people being encouraged to do what they can in their respective fields. We will also see an increase in the numbers and efficiency in the livestock sector. We will also see the budgetary allocation for the livestock and fisheries sectors become appropriate, as there will be no diversions of funds those sectors to others. In my view, therefore, this is a very welcome development.

Mr Speaker, let me say that, when you realise that there is a mistake somewhere and you are not maximising efficiency, it is prudent to be bold enough to change course. In this case, therefore, the President has seen that, maybe, by taking a different route, we will promote efficiency.

Sir, when you look at the functions of the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, you will realise that there are so many needs that need to be attended to. For example, if you look at the portfolio function of the ministry as listed in this Motion, you will see that there are too many. Therefore, having one person to attend to all those, really, is too much work. Maybe, if it is Hon. Namulambe running the ministry and it is discovered that he is not efficient enough, the best thing to do is send another person, like Hon. Muteteka, so that the two can achieve the maximum results at the appropriate time.

Mr Speaker, I know that we may be concerned about the cost implications, but I do not think that the Ministers will be appointed from outside Parliament.

 Mr Masumba: Livune!

 Mr Namulambe:  Sir, in terms of salaries, there is a statutory instrument (SI) on our emoluments and, if you look at the difference between hon. Members of Parliament’s emoluments and those of Cabinet Minister is very minimal.

 Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

 Mr Namulambe: What we will gain from the minimal increase in expenditure, in terms of adjustment in the salary the people who will be elevated or transferred to other ministries, is increased efficiency. We are in a hurry, as a country, to achieve our goals within the set time frame.

 Mr I. Banda indicated assent.

Mr Namulambe: Sir, the hon. Member for Lumezi asked the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock why it should take up to 2017 to develop an irrigation system. The question was on irrigation, yet it was directed at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.  I, therefore, think that the split will add value and efficiency, which will speed up the implementation of the projects in Lumezi and Chasefu Parliamentary constituencies.

Mr I. Banda indicated assent.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, as much as we can oppose this Motion, all of us in this House know that the realignment of ministries is not being done outside the law. To that effect, I would like to quote Article 44 (I) of our Constitution:

“As head of state the President shall perform with dignity and leadership all acts necessary or expedient or reasonably incidental to the discharge of the Executive functions of Government subject to the overriding terms of this Constitution and the Laws of Zambia which he is constitutionally obligated to protect, administer and execute

(2)    Without prejudice to the generality of Clause (1), the President may preside over meetings of the Cabinet and shall have the power, subject to this Constitution to-

(e)    establish and dissolve such Government Ministries and departments subject to the approval of the National Assembly.”

Mr Speaker, probably, in order to achieve his goals before his term of office comes to an end, the President has deemed it expedient to split the ministries. Besides, the Patriotic Front (PF) has a manifesto to implement in five years, and the realignment of these ministries will help us to achieve some of the provisions in that manifesto. It is for this reason that those of us who want development in our respective constituencies must not only pass this Motion, make follow-ups on the hon. Ministers to ensure that they meet the needs of our people. I want to tell the hon. Ministers and those who will take up positions in the newly-created ministries that the people in my constituency, Mpongwe, need services during my tenure as their Member of Parliament. The hon. Ministers must deliver those services to Mpongwe Parliamentary Constituency and take development which will benefit the people there. All of us who will support this Motion must take the hon. Government Members to task and ensure that they deliver on their mandate in the respective constituencies regardless of where a particular constituency is.

Sir, I plead with the general public to measure this realignment of ministries against the achievements it will facilitate.

Mr Speaker, I want to mention that, much as we will support the President by approving this realignment, we will ensure that he does not hesitate to fire any non-performing Government official. We want efficiency. He can even remain alone if he finds that the people he is supposed to work with are not helping him. By law, he can run the country alone. After all, when he dissolves Parliament, he remains alone and works with the Permanent Secretaries (PSs) only. So, let him not hesitate to fire non-performing hon. Ministers.

Mr Speaker, in my view, this realignment is progressive. The people of Mpongwe told me to come and support this Motion because they want the road to Machiya to be worked on. The Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication was too big and, maybe, there was a lapse in realising the need for the hon. Minister to visit Mpongwe overlooked. Now that the functions will be split, the Mpongwe-Machiya Road must be worked on.

Sir, because of this split, there will be a Minister of Livestock and Fisheries who must eradicate animal diseases and ensure that fish feed is readily available. We should also not have problems sourcing fingerlings for our fish farms.

Mr Speaker, even as the seven urban districts on the Copperbelt Province benefit from the Copperbelt 400 (C400) Urban Roads Project, it is imperative that the township roads in Masaiti, Mpongwe and Lufwanyama are worked on just like the roads in Ndola, Kitwe and Chililabombwe.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the need for the Government to work on township roads on the Copperbelt. I want to add that, under the C400 Project, the Government should give Mpongwe, Lufwanyama and Masaiti districts 20 km of road network each.

Mr Speaker, I got this notice of Motion yesterday at the Parliament Motel and, as I was going through it, I discovered that what is contained on Pages 22 and 23 of the President’s Speech to Parliament are the proposed changes in the ministries that we are discussing today. For instance, the President said:

“The Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development will be split into two: the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development.”

Mr Speaker, the people of Mpongwe, at least, were listening and they reminded me that it had been addressed in the Speech. The people of the Copperbelt Province, especially those in the mining areas, are worried about the pending job losses and this Motion has come at the right time for them. The hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development was overwhelmed by fighting load shedding, on one hand, and dealing with the mines, which are pressurising the Government and threatening to retrench workers because of load shedding, on the other. Now, because of this move, the people on the Copperbelt, who were worried about losing their jobs, have hope because the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development will concentrate on the mines only. Equally, those of us who depend on power will get a breather from load shedding because the hon. Minister of the newly created Ministry of Energy and Water Development will concentrate on ending load shedding without having to worry about the people being retrenched in Luanshya and Mufulira. Their jobs may now be safe. So, when you look at the reasoning behind the splitting of ministries, you will realise that it gives individual ministers an opportunity to attend to issues wholly and devote their time to doing that which they are supposed to. I am sure that hon. Members of Parliament like Mr Kambwili, who are from mining towns are now happy because the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development will concentrate on resolving the problems of the miners.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, all of us are affected by the energy crisis. So, the hon. Minister responsible for energy must think of short-term measures to alleviate the power shortage in the nation.

Sir, I think that I have spoken too much. My last remark is to request all of us seated in this House who want development in our constituencies to support this Motion because this is a sure way of asking the hon. Ministers to take development to our constituencies without giving excuses of their ministries being too big.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I have very few words to add to the debate on this Motion.

Sir, I am somebody who says the truth all the time. I do not easily change my position or somersault on issues. When something is good, I say so.

Sir, I have been fighting with the people on your right over the need for some of the ministries to be downsized because they are too big to function effectively.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: We have been pushing our colleagues to do the right thing and they have now listened. The splitting of the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock, and Mines, Energy and Water Development is welcome. So, I support it.

Mr Speaker, I remember telling my colleagues on your right that they would be like us if they did not listen to advice. Since they are now listening to advice, they may be assisted to continue being on that side.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Sir, if our colleagues on your right had listened to us in the past, they would not be experiencing the challenges they currently have in running the affairs of this country. Just look at the way Hon. Chikwanda is seated. He looks worried. There is no need to worry. This exercise is a necessary evil. I know that some people will say that it will lead to a bloated Cabinet, but it just needs to be done nonetheless. I repeat, had our colleagues listened to us on this issue in the past, we would not be in the current situation. If anything, they are now just following in the footsteps of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. This was the MMD’s style of governance.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mbewe: So, we are very grateful that they have understood what we were telling them. We told them not to do certain things, but follow the …

Mr Masumba: Just congratulate us!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am congratulating them for listening to what we were telling them even if it has taken four years for them to do so. It is good that they have now done the right thing even if it is too late.

Mr Speaker, I do not have much to say. So, let me end by saying that our colleagues should listen when we talk, just like they have now done, and I thank them for that.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!    

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to register the voice of the people of Choma Central and the United Party for National Development (UPND) on the Motion on the Floor of the House.

Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, from the outset, I must state that, with a simplistic view, one can say that the splitting of some ministries is a welcome move. However, when you look at the timing, the move is totally wrong, and I would like to state ― and I believe that I am representing the view of my colleagues in the UPND ― that we totally oppose it.

Hon. Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, the Hansard has records of some of the hon. Members of this House who have called for an increase in the number of ministries being members of the UPND. We have particularly called for the splitting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, …

Mr Kambwili laughed.

Mr Mweetwa: … as it has taken place now. We have done that over the last three years, but our colleagues on your right have not heeded our advice until now when the country is in turmoil and 2016, in which we expect them to be ushered out of office, is around the corner.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: They are now trying to press the panic button and do what they can to impress the masses. However, this is wrong timing. We cannot afford to have the Government create more expenditure instead of making savings at a time when the country is undergoing stress.

Mr Speaker, I have listened to the debate on this Motion and I dutifully respect the views of my colleagues. However, we are now only remaining with months before the dissolution of this Parliament and the holding of general elections. What was wrong with the Patriotic Front (PF) creating some of these ministries earlier when we advised it to do so? From where I stand, it appears that this exercise has a hidden agenda. In fact, many people are surprised that the Government is creating new ministries and more expenditure at a time when we must be making savings. We hope that this is not an attempt to reward a few individuals with appointments. To that effect, we expect President Lungu to be magnanimous and appoint men and women of integrity and unquestionable character. We have heard from the grapevine that the new ministries are meant to reward some individuals in order to widen the support base of the PF going into 2016.

Mr Livune: Shame, shame!

Mr Mweetwa: We hope that is not the case because some of the people whom we have heard from the grapevine to be lined up for these appointments have had their seats nullified on account of corruption.

Mr Livune: Aah, sure?

Mr Mweetwa: We hear that they have now been lined up to be rewarded. This is a diametrical contradiction of what President Sata stood for. No wonder we are now seeing aides to President Lungu being arrested and fired. We have advised before that the President should not appoint some people because President Sata had fired them, but our advice fell on deaf ears. What is happening now is an embarrassment to the Head of State and his Cabinet on your right. So, we hope that this will not repeat itself.  

Sir, we do not expect people whose seats were nullified on account of corruption to resurrect triumphant in strong positions in Government ministries. Otherwise, what message will we send to our citizens on President Lungu’s and, indeed, the PF’s stand in so far as the fight against corruption is concerned?

Sir, I know that our colleagues across have the numbers and will, therefore, pass this Motion. So, I will take this opportunity to state that I hope that this creation of ministries, which I totally disagree with, gives President Lungu an opportunity to reflect on the appointments he made after the January, 2015, Presidential By-elections. As far as I am concerned, he should reconsider his position on all the people whom, by affiliation or suspicion, he fired, yet they were Mr Sata’s preferred hon. Ministers. The people now think that President Lungu is a political walking stick of Mr Rupiah Banda because of what he did.


Mr Mweetwa: He fired all the people he suspected of not being in support of him the same way Mr Rupiah Banda fired everybody he thought supported Mr Magande after the death of President Mwanawasa, SC. No wonder, those people teamed up to endorse Mr Michael Sata and made him win the Presidency, the same way you are seeing many people beginning to position themselves by endorsing HH (Mr Hakainde Hichilema) so that Mr Lungu can lose.

Hon. Government Ministers: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, are you still debating the Motion?

Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Mweetwa: I am still debating the Motion, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I would like to put it on record that the UPND is totally opposed to these proposals because of their wrong timing. There is no logical rationale for us to create this number of ministries at this particular moment when we have only a few months before a probable dissolution of Parliament.

Sir, six ministries is a huge number when you look at the cost implications.

Mr Livune: Yes!

Mr Mweetwa: When you consider the vehicles that will have to be bought for the hon. Ministers, the accommodation to be provided and the required auxiliary staff, one would think that President Lungu and his Administration would have done better. In my view, which I believe to be the view of many Zambians, this appears to be a political gimmick …

Hon. Opposition Members: Uh!

Mr Mweetwa: … to impress a few individuals. Like I have already stated on this matter, we hope that those whose seats were nullified on account of corruption will not be rewarded with appointments. I am not very hopeful, however, that this advice will be heeded because this PF Administration has no capacity to heed good advice.

Mr Livune: That is right!


Mr Mweetwa: If it had, what it is doing today would have been done a long time ago when this House advised to that effect.

Sir, if you follow Hon. Mbewe’s debate, he has not supported the Motion. Rather, he has supported the separation of one ministry.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


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

Mr Speaker:  I will not grant any point of order.

Hon. Member for Choma Central, just speak for yourself and for your party, if you wish. Do not speak for Hon. Mbewe because he has already spoken and I think that he was very clear. We have already heard what Hon. Mbewe has said.

You may continue.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I dutifully and respectfully oblige to your guidance.

Mr Speaker, in this House, we have the Opposition and the Ruling Party. When we come to debate, we sometimes agree on what to say. Hon. Mbewe is there.

Mr Speaker: Well, …


Mr Mweetwa: We agreed.


Mr Speaker: … hon. Member for Choma Central, those matters do not concern the Speaker or the Floor of the House. The accords you reach outside the House are not the business of the Hon. Mr Speaker. If there are U-turns and such issues, those are not our concerns here. Just speak for yourself or, if you are through with your debate, give your colleagues a chance to make their contribution.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I am speaking for myself, indeed, but I am also speaking on behalf of the Opposition and the people of Zambia.

Sir, I would like to recognise that I have exhausted my points, …


Mr Mweetwa: … especially with these interruptions.

Mr Speaker: That is a very honourable recognition.


Mr Mweetwa: Yes, Sir.

Sir, on a very serious note, I would like to state that the people of Zambia are very disappointed with this PF Administration, especially with what is happening in the country currently. The people of Zambia would have expected measures and interventions other than the creation of front-loaded expenditure. I know that, perhaps, next week, the National Budget will be presented to the House and the creation of ministries will be in that Budget. However, I think that the Budget should have contained measures to absorb the economic shocks that the country is experiencing, not the creation of expenditure, which affords a lavish lifestyle to only a few individuals when the majority of our citizens are stressed.

Sir, in conclusion, I am consoled that 2016 is around the corner and I am under no illusion concerning what the people of Zambia will think because it will be what I am thinking. They will think in accordance with what they perceive as going right or wrong.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to register my absolute delight that the hour has finally come when our colleagues have seen that what we were fighting for on the Floor of this House was right. I am sure that my colleagues on your left agree that, indeed, we knew that this hour would come.

Mr Speaker, if I had the time, I would have pulled from the archives my debate on another Motion on ministries that was moved on the Floor of this House because I recall very well making a very good comparison of one ministry against another and how they would fail to operate. So, today, I am absolutely happy that the party in the Government and, especially, the President, who was in this House then, has realised that what we advised was right. It will be unholy, therefore, for me to stand here and not support this Motion because this is what I wanted.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: This is what I wanted and, when the right thing has happened, I cannot flip-flop and look the other way.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Sir, I support this Motion, albeit with an admonition to the people who are causing us such expense, the group on your right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: I would like to register my total anguish at how we are misusing Government resources. This is absolutely wrong.

Mr Kambwili: What is wrong again?


Mr Mtolo: Sir, in supporting this Motion, allow me to openly condemn the issue of hon. Members supporting a wrong thing just because one political block knows it has the numbers to win any vote in the House. It becomes embarrassing when that thing has to be undone.

Mr Livune: They are ashamed. Look at them!

Mr Mtolo: I have no option, therefore, but to support this Motion.

Mr Mtolo: I am very happy that the Government …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mtolo: … has seen it fit to correct this evil.

Sir, let me now talk about some specific issues. I will not waste time because I did not have time to prepare for this debate. I thought that I would debate tomorrow.

Sir, firstly, most of hon. Members of Parliament here represent rural constituencies. So, what we and the country need is rural development. Therefore, I would have been absolutely happy if one of the ministries created by the President was concerned with rural development. That is the ministry we need and one to which I would have loved to go, as a Member of Parliament for Chipata Central. It is also the ministry to which Hon. Miyutu, Hon. Kampyongo and many others would have loved to go and discuss development in their areas.

Mr Ng’onga: Question!

Mr Mtolo: Alas, that function has been taken to the Ministry of Development Planning at the departmental level. There are many ministries, I can name two, but I will not because I would offend their hon. Ministers, …

Mr Livune: Ah!

Mr Mtolo: … which are totally unnecessary to the current structural requirements of Zambia.

Sir, we have ministries that can basically be departments ...

Mr Livune: Correct!

Mr Mtolo: … of some bigger ministries.

Mr Livune: Name them!

Mr Speaker, it is not in my nature to offend people, but to make things clear. Therefore, I would like it placed on record that, if the President ever thinks of creating ministries again, I would like him to consider creating a ministry on rural development. Zambia is suffering from a lack of rural development. That is why there is rural-urban drift. Everyone wants to come to Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone and other cities. So, we need rural development.

Mr Speaker, you will recall that a Private Member’s Motion on the need for a ministry on rural development was passed unanimously in this House. How I wish that the President had been reminded of that when he was realigning the ministries back to what they used to be, which is the right thing to do.

Mr Speaker, having worked in the co-operatives movement almost all my life, I am concerned that the Department of Co-operatives has been moved to the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry. An assessment of ministries in Zambia will show you that there are very few ministries that are as decentralised and felt at all levels of the Government as the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock; Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, and Health. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is still too centralised. Therefore, if we would like the co-operatives sector to flourish, I would urge strongly that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry works very closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock because that is the means by which the membership will easily be marshalled and organised.

Sir, in most people’s minds, co-operatives are an appendage of agriculture because, essentially, Zambia is an agriculture-oriented country. I strongly urge the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to take this guidance. Otherwise, the department will give her many problems. I have been in the co-operatives for many years. So, I speak from a very strong foundation.

Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the splitting of the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education into the ministries of General Education, and Higher Education. This is definitely a welcome move because the Ministry of General Education can concentrate on the provision of quality education to our children while the Ministry of Higher Education concentrates on tertiary education, which is of an absolutely poor quality in our country.

Mr Speaker, the standard of primary and secondary education has gone down. It is very poor. The Grade 12 pupils start writing their examinations in two days. However, if we were to bring the results of those examinations to this House and analyse them, we would be very sad people. The standards of education have gone down to the extent that one can only hope that, with what has happened, the Ministry of General Education will concentrate on early child, primary and secondary education.

Mr Speaker, these realignments, however, will be useless if we do not work on the technocrats who manage the ministries. The Permanent Secretaries (PSs), Directors and the people at the bottom should take time to read the President’s Speech on the change of mindset. The changes to the ministries should be looked at in the context of what the President said. Otherwise, they will be useless. We need to respect time, authority and juniors in order for this to happen.

Sir, I would also encourage hon. Ministers to adopt the performance-based budgeting that was piloted in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. Alas! I hear that, according to the Green Paper, it is still the same one ministry that will implement (PBB). One wonders what was seen not to have gone well in the piloting of the project for its implementation to still be limited to just one ministry.

Mr Speaker, if this country has to change, the President should have a performance contract with each of the hon. Ministers. The Cabinet Ministers or the Secretary to the Cabinet should also have a performance contract with each of the PSs, and the same should apply at the bottom. Otherwise, without performance assessments, there is very little that we will achieve. These are changes that any progressive President would have introduced.

Mr Speaker, for them to be successful, the changes need to go down. We can change things over and over again, but nothing will change. For example, we are realigning the ministries only four years after they were put in place. That fact means that they have not been performing. Now, we have reverted to the old structure. So, if we are not careful, we will keep aligning and realigning the ministries because of not evaluating, in real terms, the benefits that we are accruing.

Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, I wish to support the Motion on the Floor, as I said, due to sincerity, because these changes are good. I also reiterate that we should not allow the arrogance of numbers to make us make wrong decisions because we are wasting Government resources and it is actually an embarrassment to nature to have things like this happen.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I have a comment to make on one aspect that makes me not support this Motion.

Sir, there is a problem. If I had my way, I would tell the Executive to withdraw this Motion and do a little more homework on the creation of the Ministry of Development Planning.  

Mr Speaker, a Motion on the need for a body in the Office of the President to provide leadership on development planning and evaluation of the sector ministries’ conformity to the national agenda, the Vision 2030 and the national development plans was moved on the Floor of the House by Hon. Mulusa, but it was opposed by our colleagues on the right. I remember that I supported that Motion. We do not have a body that is a custodian of our national vision and the development plans.

Mr Speaker, you cannot put a line ministry to superintend over plans in other ministries because it does not have the political clout. This is the serious misplacement I referred to. For example, it is indicated that the Ministry of Development Planning will undertake the monitoring and evaluation of other ministries. How can a ministry evaluate another when they are equals? It cannot be done.

Mr Speaker, in this country, we like to create documents. We can just copy from Namibia and South Africa. The national planning body can be a commission in the Presidency. It is even cheaper like that and it can more effectively whip the ministries into planning. For example, we have been about ten years into the Vision 2030. However, have the ministry of Tourism and Art, and Agriculture and Livestock conformed to that vision 2030?  

Sir, the Vision 2030 talks about diversification, for example. Today, the economy is very vulnerable. The kwacha problem is a result of the vulnerability of the economy because it depends on one commodity. If there is a problem in the price of copper, everything drops. There is no magic now to make the kwacha strong.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Wait!

Sir, the economy is vulnerable because we have not moved to diversify. Ten years down the line, Zambia should have been the number one producer of beans, from the north of the country. It could also have been the largest exporter of soya beans and sugarcane in Africa. We can rely on other sectors for exports, especially organic foods, for that matter, because our country is fertile. I just came from the Northern Province and I just marvelled at what I saw. This country is literally a reserve waiting for development. We have fertile soils. For example, in the Western Province, we can grow high-value crops like cashew nuts and soya beans. The Government has been talking about diversification, but it has not moved in that direction because there is nobody to whip the ministries into line. The ministries are busy undertaking irrelevant reforms. Everything you do must be in line with the national vision, which we set for ourselves.  Today, we are completely off course to meeting the Vision 2030 targets. According to the Vision 2030, by now, our economy should have been growing at 10 per cent per annum. Go and read the document. The Government is busy experimenting when it already has a vision. The leadership that does the planning must be above the ministries so that it can whip the ministries into line and be able to tell the ministries when they are not doing something in line with the Vision 2030.

Mr Speaker, what is happening now is just chipante-pante, like playing football without any rules or system. We cannot move forward like this. The confusion in Government policies is putting a big strain on the Treasury. There are many things happening that do not add value to our development agenda. Everyone is experimenting and creating institutions. Even here, it is happening. I will shock you. An hon. Member of Parliament is not an office, but a person. However, we want to create structures to support hon. Members of Parliament, which amounts to creating quasi-governments. Check all these ministries to find out whether they are doing something that contributes to the improvement of the lives of the people.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Development Planning will not have the political clout to whip other ministries into implementing the national vision or development plans because of the way it has been placed. By the way, even our Constitution review process is so limited in terms of how to re-engineer our governance structures the right way. What we need in this country is a Prime Minister. The President and the Vice-President are just ceremonial positions.  Right now, there is no Vice-President in the House because she is busy with performing ceremonial duties as Acting President. We need a Prime Minister and the national planning function should fall under that office. That way, we will save money because we will be doing things that matter.

Mr Speaker, on many occasions, I have argued here that the problem we have is not a lack of money, but poor planning. We are scattering our resources and, because of that, we do not seem to be improving the livelihoods of our people. In the last three years, the Budget of this country has doubled in nominal terms and the hon. Minister of Finance has actually disbursed the money. However, the money has been scattered in the line ministries because there is nobody above the ministries to make them work in line with what really matters.

Mr Speaker, we do not need to do many things. Do we, for example, need the Ministry of Gender and Child Development?

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I am a proponent of women’s empowerment and gender equality. However, the empowerment of women is not done by the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, but rather by the sector ministries. For instance, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection can empower women by giving them access to land ownership while the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock can empower them by giving them access to inputs. That way, we can support the activities of women. In the Southern Province, for example, there are high-value crops that women can grow, but they are not supported to grow them. So, we need to engender the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Hamududu: Wait. Do not waste time. You are my friend.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I am in charge of that business.

A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order, which is based on how we use this House.

Sir, all of us are obliged to use this House to tell the truth and nothing, but the truth. Is the hon. Member of Parliament who was debating in order to try to mislead the nation with impunity by saying that the farmers who grow groundnuts in the Southern Province are not supported by this Government when, this afternoon, I issued a statement on the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in which I indicated that groundnuts are one of the crops that will be supported by FISP?

Mr Speaker: As the hon. Member for Bweengwa continues with his debate, he should bear in mind that, this afternoon, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock made clear his intent to support the crop in question.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I thank God because, through my work in this House, I am able to travel around the country and see women lining the pathways and roadsides, 90 per cent of them selling sweet potatoes, butternuts and watermelons. The hon. Minister should buy their produce to empower them. I can drive him around the country to show him what I am talking about. We do not even need to reach Kabwe to see the women. I will show him that our policies on agriculture do not empower women.

Sir, the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry should continue to help women, who have been disadvantaged historically, to add value to their products. The Government must dedicate a certain percentage of its resources to women empowerment. We need to introduce positive discrimination in favour of women in order to empower them. The Ministry of Gender and Child Development must not give vigayo. Those must come from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, which can conduct proper feasibility studies.

Mr Speaker: What do you mean by vigayo?


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, they are hammer mills.

Mr Speaker, the beneficiaries must first be trained on how to run the hammer mills through the co-operatives. Currently, the Government just drops the hammer mills and the beneficiaries are mismanaging them because they have not been empowered with knowledge on how to run a business.  

Mr Speaker, even youth empowerment should be done by sector ministries. The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, through the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), can have programmes meant to empower youths and women, the previously disadvantaged groups. The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection can empower them by helping them to access land. Some ministries must just be strategic to just make policies without running programmes.

Sir, the jobs are created in the sectors. An hon. Minister of some ministry cannot just wake up one day and say that he will create jobs. The youths must be absorbed in the various sector ministries and some ministries, such as the Ministry of Youth and Sport, must be disbanded. I am not saying this because I want to make my colleague unemployed, but because there is no need for the Ministry of Youth and Sport. Sports happen in schools.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the infrastructure for sports development is in schools. So, it makes sense to just put that function in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.  That is where the grounds are.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Hamududu: Yes.

Mr Speaker, youth and sport development is done in schools. I remember that there used to be a Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. That kind of set-up can save us money. That is what we must do to the Yellow Book. We must clean it and put all the activities where it really matters. I tell you that we can run this country better than we are doing currently. I can even propose a reduced Budget to the hon. Minister of Finance so that we can give him breathing space to deal with the backlog of debt that has been created by the implementation of many projects that do not add value to our country.

Mr Speaker, we have been asking for simple things to be done in my area. For example, in the Southern Province, we need earth dams to be constructed and we have been talking about this, but the five years of Patriotic Front (PF) are over, yet it has failed to deliver on the dams. An earth dam does not even cost a million kwacha and the PF should have constructed them so that we can revitalise our economy through water and land interface. That has not happened.

Mr Speaker, just creating ministries might not be the solution to our problems. My substantive point, however, is that the placement of functions has to be done correctly. I want to propose to you, Sir, that the Ministry of Development Planning does not add value to this country because of the way it has been fashioned. It should have been placed a little higher so that it could have the power to override the other ministries to ensure that they conform to plans. It could also be seconding planners to other ministries and to evaluate them. Currently, it cannot effectively do that evaluation on a peer. There was even no need to dismember the planning function from the Ministry of Finance because the Ministry of Finance is also the payer that can tie payments to planning objectives. So, it made sense to place this function there. So, if it cannot be placed higher than other ministries, then, it is better to take it back to the Ministry of Finance, which has the power to refuse to fund projects that are not in conformity with our plans.

Sir, some of the functions under the Ministry of Development Planning, such as financial and economic policy and plans, are functions of the Ministry of Finance. Who even taught you these terms?


Mr Hamududu: They are a function of the Ministry of Finance. So are the functions of investment planning and project preparation and appraisal.

Mr Mufalali: Scrap metal dealing in Zambia?

Mr Hamududu: The Government even wants this ministry to administer the climate change and carbon emissions policy …


Mr Hamududu: … when the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) is there. What is the problem? Who wrote this document?


Mr Hamududu: Even monitoring and evaluation has been put under this ministry. This is a very bad job, eh?  


Mr Hamududu: Can the Government, please, remodel this ministry because it risks becoming a laughing stock.

Mr Speaker, I have just come from Namibia, a country that learnt governance from Zambia. That country transplanted its whole governance system from here. The late Dr Chivuno …

Mr Livune: Me!

Mr Hamududu: … is the one who went there to train them when they established the Planning Commission. We should go and see what our students are doing there and learn from them.  

Mr Mufalali: Doctor who?

Mr Hamududu: Dr Leonard Chivuno.

Mr Mufalali: Hon. Livune is saying “Livune!”


Mr Hamududu: Not Hon. Livune.

Sir, …

Mr Speaker: This is our Livune.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I was privileged to work with him as a young man. He was my uncle, just like Hon. Chikwanda is, and I visited him frequently in Namibia. The former Director-General of the Planning Commission, Mrs Saara Kuugongelwa, later became the Minister of Finance and, subsequently, Prime Minister. We met her and I introduced my colleagues to her the last time we met her. Just last week, she made Ministers sign performance contracts. They went with their policies, which were tied to what they wanted to achieve, and signed them. The candidates for ministerial appointments also had to submit their curricula vitae (CV).  There is no substitute for education, comrades, in performance.


Mr Speaker: The word ‘comrade’ is not acceptable.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I will challenge that because I want it to be accepted. Ok, I withdraw that.


Mr Hamududu: I do not know how we can bring it back.

Mr Speaker: No, we have to follow the precedent set.

Mr Hamududu: For the sake of respect, I will say it outside the House.

Mr Speaker: Yes, please.

Mr Hamududu: So, ladies and gentlemen, please, revise this ministry.

I do not support it because, as far I am concerned, it is too critical for such functions. This country must be going somewhere. We cannot be going everywhere and expect to reach somewhere. We must evaluate our journey to Vision 2030. By the way, time is moving and we are almost halfway to 2030. The relevant officers should go and look for that document. I have mine and I read last week.  We are completely off course. No wonder we do not know what to do with our kwacha today. The economy should have been diversified many years ago. That is what we need to do. Perhaps, the kwacha to the dollar exchange rate must get to K20 so that we can learn lessons.


Mr Hamududu: We cannot depend on one sector. If copper prices dropped to US$3,000 per tonne, there would be very little magic that we could do about it in the short term. The kwacha is supported by exports. If we do not export, it loses value because its value is determined by the amount of dollars in circulation. However, the mining revenue has just dried up now and the agricultural sector (pointing at Mr Lubinda) is not performing.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, this country can feed the whole region. Currently, South Africa wants maize bran and feedstock. There is also zero grazing now in Botswana and Namibia, and they want food. We can actually add value to our maize because there is a market waiting. I had orders from my friends who want to come and buy maize bran. The farms we have are a joke. When I went to those countries, I wished I was a Minister is some government.

Mr Mbulakulima: The UPND Government!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the maize we are talking about in this country is needed out there. Most of the countries in the region have reached their saturation point while Zambia has flexibility, with so much unused. Today, we should have been feeding the whole region and supplying the main suppliers (looking at Mr Lubinda).

Mr Speaker: Are you still addressing me?

Mr Hamududu: Yes, Sir.

Sir, I will debate the President’s Speech and have the chance to attack this issue. Now, I am still settling down. God willing, I will take the Floor again and really debate.

Sir, we can be a great country if we have a unity of purpose. Governments can change, but the national vision must remain.

Mr Mufalali: Yes!

Mr Hamududu: If I became President, it should not be my vision because I am not the country. Rather, it should be about the collective vision. Countries develop a collective vision. Once we sort out ourselves out on that score, our debate should be about who will best help the country realise its vision. We cannot be moving from one personal vision to another. We do not belong to individuals. We belong, collectively, to a country. So, if there is something wrong with Vision 2013, we can revise it. Our competition should be about delivering what we have agreed upon as a country. Governments can continue changing, but we must continue moving towards a particular goal. That is what the great countries are doing. An individual cannot tinker with the American Vision. You can have a different approach, but your thrust should be towards what America must be. We must define ourselves in terms of what we want to be and what we want our children to be.

Mr Speaker, because of the one aspect I have elaborated, I do not support the proposal in its current form. There could be some good things in it, I do not know. However, one bad bean can spoil the whole pot so that you throw everything away.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, because of this one bad nut, this issue …


Mr Hamududu: I will lay this on the Table (raised the Appendix on the Abolition of Government Ministries and Departments).

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


The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, from the debates that we have listened to this afternoon, it is clear that the Bemba adage, “Ushakutemwa tatila busuma bobe,” which means that whoever does not like you will never appreciate you no matter what you do, is very correct. That is true of the debates of United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members who have opposed this Motion. However, I am glad that there are still independent-minded UPND hon. Members, such as the one who is just from debating and was able to tell the people of Zambia that the depreciation of the kwacha has not been caused by President Edgar Lungu and the Patriotic Front (PF), but rather by the lack of planning in the past, in terms of economic diversification.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Meanwhile, the President of the same party was on radio yesterday …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: …

Mr Kambwili: … saying that the depreciation of the kwacha has been caused by President Edgar Lungu.

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing that point of order. Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: No, let the hon. Minister debate.

Mr Kambwili: Sir, the President of the UPND was on Millennium Radio yesterday lambasting the PF and Mr Edgar Lungu, claiming that we had failed lamentably and that the depreciation of the kwacha was a result of our poor management.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Kambwili: However, here is a clever UPND hon. Member of Parliament …


Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: … telling us that it is not our fault and that the poor planning on diversification in the past is to blame.

Mr Mwila: Yes, depending too much on copper.  

Mr Kambwili: People of Zambia, this is the correct interpretation of the current affairs.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: We have always said that, sometimes, it is good to be consistent with what one says.

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kambwili: If you are not consistent in what you say, you will make people …

Mr Hamududu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, the hon. Minister is on the Floor. I do not know how you can raise a point of order on him. I know that it is a technical issue and you want to clarify your position, but my hands are also tied by the rules. You simply have to find a way of getting round this issue. I hope that you follow me, hon. Member for Bweengwa.

Mr Hamududu interjected.

Mr Speaker: I cannot. Let us follow the rules. Find another way, but let us follow the rules.


Mr Hamududu interjected.

Mr Speaker: Just as your hands are tied, mine are, too.

Mr Hamududu remained standing.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Bweengwa, I have not given you the Floor.

Mr Hamududu resumed his seat.


Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, in coming up with these ministries, the PF Government is trying to be a government ...

Mr Mwila interjected.

Mr Kambwili: ... that focuses on all areas of human endeavour. However, this afternoon, we learnt that the UPND would only accept to split the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, for known reasons. Are these the people we want to give the country to? People who will only focus on animals and agriculture?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We have to really be careful. They only want to focus on one ministry that concerns their area of interest. That is unfair.


Mr Kambwili: People are saying, in coming up with these ministries, …


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

Mr Kambwili: … we will run a bloated Government, but let us be consistent in our debates. I am referring to UPND hon. Members, in particular, who have been saying that they want the new constitution to be approved in its current form. Under that constitution, there is a provision for the number of hon. Members of Parliament to be increased to 179, for hon. Ministers to be appointed from outside Parliament and for provincial parliaments to be established. Which one is a more bloated Government between what we are proposing and what is proposed in the in the Draft Constitution and ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: … increasing Government ministries by five?

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear! Bebe!

Mr Kambwili: Let us be consistent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Opposition Member: Kambwili!

Mr Miyutu: It is not the UPND!

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister.

Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, ...


Mr Speaker: ... let us have some order. We will not be able to debate if you debate whilst I am speaking.

Mr Miyutu interjected.

Mr Speaker: No, you cannot debate while seated. That is the problem I have. I am not dealing with the content of the speeches, but the manner of expression. You just have to give each other the chance to debate in silence. There are some people on the left who may still want to debate and I will give them that opportunity. At least, in that regard, my hands are not tied. That is the only way we can have order. I know that some statements can be controversial and tend to provoke us, but that should not be a reason for us to proceed in a disorderly fashion. So, let the hon. Minister make his points. By the way, there were also some controversial remarks made from the left and ...

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: ... your colleagues on the right listened. They absorbed all those punches, maybe, agonisingly, but still very quietly. Let us proceed that way.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, that is why I used the Bemba adage, “Ushakutemwa tatila busuma bobe.” This is a question of just not liking the PF Government. No matter what we do, some people will not support us, and the people of Zambia know that.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, what we are doing is for the betterment of the economy. There is no way some people can say that they do not care about the splitting the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development when we have so many problems. Do they not care about the people who live on the Copperbelt and in the North-Western provinces, where there are mines? Do they only care about livestock?


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Let us be careful about the pronouncements we make and think about the things we say. When I am losing miners at Luanshya Mine, do you think I am happy to hear such statements? They are unfair.

Sir, some hon. Member said that people who were involved in corruption should not be appointed into the new ministries, yet we just had a by-election in Lubansenshi in which one of the candidates was the former holder of the seat until it was nullified due to corruption. The hon. Member for Lukulu East, who is seated there (pointed at Hon. Dr Kalila) was not there due to corruption.


Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: So, what are they talking about? They are being inconsistent.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, ...

Mr Mwale: They were nullified.

Mr Speaker: ... we have a firmly established convention of not debating ourselves. Do not debate your colleagues. We have a very specific Motion.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

We have a very specific Motion. Let us try, as far as possible, to limit ourselves to the Motion. I assumed that the Motion was a non-controversial from the way the debate was proceeding. I hope that the assumption was right.

Hon. Government Member: Chikonka lubilo.

Mr Kambwili: Much obliged, Sir.

Sir, in conclusion, the realignment of ministries, along with the creation of new ones, is meant to foster development for all of us. So, the PF is in support of the changes.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Simbyakula, SC.: Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I wish to express my profound gratitude to this august House for the unanimous support it has rendered to this Motion. This, indeed, is a non-contentious Motion.

Sir, we have taken note of all the sentiments that have been proffered by all those who have debated, either for or against. In particular, I want to seize this occasional opportunity to assure the hon. Member for Chipata Central, Mr Mtolo, that rural development will fall under the rubric of things we shall consider for realignment as a stand-alone ministry in our second term.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Simbyakula: Second term, from 2016 onwards.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Art (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address to the House.

Sir, I wish to start by commending His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for delivering a well articulated Speech titled, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.”

Mr Speaker, my debate will be on tourism, but I will emphasise the arts and culture. My debate will be very short because the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has done wonders in this country …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: … where developmental projects are concerned. I am sure that everyone has seen that, including the people on your left.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Banda: Sir, as the House is aware, the focus of the Government is to create jobs for our people, especially the youths. In this regard, the creative industries, of which arts and culture are an integral part, have been identified as key to job creation.

Mr Speaker, apart from the creative industries sector, the PF Government has already created thousands of jobs through the many developmental projects being implemented throughout the country, including the construction and rehabilitation of roads, the building of 650 health posts, and the rehabilitation of schools, hospitals and other infrastructure in all the new districts, to mention just a few.

Mr Speaker, in Chililabombwe Constituency, the Government is constructing a Youth Skills Training Centre (YSTC) and a big district hospital. Many township roads have also been worked on while street lights are being installed on most of the roads in Chililabombwe. This kind of development is quiet unprecedented and is spread to all parts of the country, including Solwezi West, where the people are negative towards Government efforts.


Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, the arts and culture sub-sector of tourism continues to provide a creative economy that is expressed through music, food, fashion and cultural expressions, such as dances, film and visual arts, offer opportunities for self-employment to many of our talented people. Further, the Ministry of Tourism and Arts is implementing programmes aimed at harnessing and developing the potential of this sub-sector to create jobs. The Government has also provided resources to support arts and culture programmes, such as festivals, workshops and entrepreneurship training. In this regard, 400 artists and cultural entrepreneurs have been trained in fashion design, handicrafts and film production from 2014 to date, most of whom have now created their own enterprises or increased their production levels. In addition, the ministry has completed the construction of various cultural infrastructure, among them, the Masala Cultural Village in Ndola, which is situated in Kabushi Constituency; Maramba Cultural Village in Livingstone; and the Livingstone Art Gallery, so as to provide the much-needed multipurpose facilities as well as performing and trading spaces. These centres have also been provided with the tools and equipment for cultural goods production. Through the creation of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Commission (ACHC), as directed by His Excellency the President, all these activities will be properly co-ordinated and the infrastructure properly managed.

Mr Speaker, in our quest to increase employment opportunities for our people, the ministry is promoting the creative industry by encouraging people to come up with various innovations that will have both the forward and backward linkages into the domestic economy. The creative industry has the potential to create permanent and decent jobs for our people, both old and young. The commission will, therefore, be an appropriate through which this can be actualised.

Mr Speaker, the sector has not performed to expectations due to fragmentation across various Government ministries. It is, therefore, a step in the right direction to establish the ACHC as directed by His Excellency in his Address to this House. The move will rationalise resources, and allow for synergy and co-ordination.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the President’s Speech.  

Sir, I always say that, when the President delivers a Speech to this House, our job is to analyse it and, in doing so, bring out views that we believe must be understood by our President and any other relevant stakeholders. At the same time, we must not be mistaken to be opposing things for the sake of it. We must be able to give views, starting from the background because, when the Speech was being prepared, we were not there.   


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, we must express our views because, in the long run, our views may be co-opted. That is the main purpose of analysing speeches.

Mr Speaker, the President knows that he cannot work alone. That is why he brought his vision to us so that we could bring out issues where we do not understand and, in the end, have a common goal. I have never seen anybody support a vision that he/she did not understand, and no vision can be attained if the people have not understood it. So, it is important to first analyse somebody’s vision.

Mr Speaker, for the first time, I will be very brief in my debate.


Mr Zimba: Sir, I have opposed some Speeches in the past, and I come out clearly when I think that things are not okay.

Sir, in the past, two President’s Speeches have not been clear on certain issues on which I wanted clarification. For example, once, while debating a President’s Speech, I brought out the issue of a Government policy to the effect that the private sector would handle the marketing of maize while the Government would only support farmers through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I opposed that decision because it would be pointless to support our farmers and limit their market. All I was trying to do then was analyse a decision so that the President and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock could harmonise the situation. However, today, I will debate in a different manner, as I have only one non-technical issue to address in the President’s Speech, and it is in the interest of every citizen. That issue is reconciliation.

Sir, the President, who was once an hon. Member of Parliament in this House, hon. Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, hon. Minister of Home Affairs, hon. Minister of Justice and hon. Minister of Defence, mentioned the issue of reconciliation because he realised that something was not right. There is no single institution, even at the domestic level, which can develop if its members are not united. If my wife is not prepared to cook, there is no need for me to buy mealie meal at home.


Mr Zimba: So, the word ‘reconciliation’ touched my heart as it was very relevant.

Mr Speaker, let me now give suggestions on how we can reconcile as a nation. Firstly, we must understand the meaning of reconciliation. I will not explain its meaning as a teacher of English would, but I will do so in my capacity as Member of Parliament for Chama South,  whose constituents have only gone up to Grades 5 or 7, not the university level. I want them to understand. The President used the word ‘reconciliation’ to simply ask every citizen of this nation to reconsider his/her position. However, the reconciliation should start with the three main bodies of the government system, namely, Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. If Parliament repositions itself, the Executive must not interfere in its affairs. In the same vein, Parliament must not interfere in the affairs of the Judiciary and the Executive must not interfere in the affairs of the Judiciary and Parliament. All of us should go back to where we belong.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where?

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I will cite a few examples of what I am talking about.

Sir, hon. Members of Parliament belong to various political parties. I am disheartened when an hon. Member from any party expresses a divergent view on the Floor is perceived as a rebel. I do not think it is right to do that. As hon. Members of Parliament, we are free to talk about any issue because we represent our people. So, nobody must interfere with our work. We have the right to debate truthfully.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: If we accommodate each other, we will understand one another. If we are to work together, let us learn to listen to each other. Otherwise, we will pass resolutions that will never be implemented. That is what I meant when I said that we need to reposition ourselves. If the Judiciary works independently, no other arm of the Government can influence its decisions. So, all the arms of Government will work in harmony without interference from any other angle of the government system. That is what the President has set out to achieve. The President knows that some people talk about issues they are not supposed to talk about. For example, somebody who is supposed to talk about issues of Parliament talks about issues of the Judiciary. So, we need to maintain our positions because the word ‘reconciliation’ means to be in the right position.

Sir, as hon. Ministers and hon. Members, we must meet the requirements of our positions in terms of speech, dressing and reasoning. So, we should study the requirements of these positions even before we dream of ascending to them.


Mr Sikazwe: Even eating!

Mr Zimba: As leaders of a nation, we are mandated to provide leadership to the people of Zambia. Therefore, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government should provide good leadership by articulating issues well, reasoning where there is a problem and being united. That way, the Zambian people will be proud of their choice. That is how we must position ourselves.

Sir, what people look for when you are in an Opposition party is whether your party can be voted into Government in case the PF fails. Therefore, they will look at the way you talk, reason and debate. Those are the issues we must know. So, let us all go back to the drawing table and indentify what is required of us as hon. Members of Parliament,  hon. Ministers, Presidents of political parties and as the President of Zambia. When that is done, people will see that what the President presented in Parliament was all about his character, that he positioned himself and that he is providing leadership to the nation in terms of reasoning, speech and all the other requirements of his position.

Mr Speaker, many are the times politicians have dirtied the political platform and caused people to say that whoever goes into politics is a dirty person. People do not have kind words for the way we talk and reason. Instead of inspiring people, we just talk whatever comes to our minds. No wonder, people say that politics is a dirty game. However, I do not think it is a dirty game because it requires a certain capacity in people. However, maybe, the way we do things is wrong.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

 Mr Zimba: That is where we must withdraw and reposition ourselves so that we start things afresh. That is why the President said that, unless we did that, we would not be smart in our leadership roles.

 Mr Speaker, every time I go into my bedroom to dress before coming here, I consider the requirements of the Parliament dress code and it is because I abide by those requirements that I manage to come to this House presentably dressed. No hon. Member can raise a point of order on my dress code.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I do not come here dressed anyhow because I know that it is required of Parliamentarians who want to come into Parliament to debate to be dressed in a dignified manner. The same applies to the members of the Executive and the Judiciary, and every citizen. If we do that, no one’s work will be ultra vires by overlapping the boundaries of another person. You cannot reconcile if you do not want to go back to your position. How can you do that?

Sir, I am giving this counsel free of charge. All of us in the House are adults. Therefore, we cannot go into the details of how we should provide political leadership. We must just reverse our minds and start being smart again because that is what the President was talking about. We need to revisit how those from whom we took over leadership used to do things.

Mr Speaker, it requires two important things for us to start thinking about repositioning. The first requirement is a change of the thinking capacity so that, when we talk, we inspire the people who voted us into office. We should inspire people into joining politics instead of discouraging them by the way we talk.


Mr Zimba: Sir, I advise my colleagues to realise that we are the ones who are supposed to give hope to the people of Zambia.

Sir, towards the end of his Speech, the President said that all the things that he had spoken about could not be obtained anyhow. Therefore, we have to turn to God as the beginning of all these things because this is very important. No one can development this country as if it belongs to them when it belongs to God, who creates us to be the custodians of the land that we want to abuse. He will not allow it. It is for that reason that the President is calling all of us to get back to our positions so that we can team up, not differ. If it means differing, it must be on principle, not just mere politicking. Tomorrow, it is the same people who are always opposing things who will be in the Government. Therefore, if they keep opposing the Government merely for political reasons, the same will be done to them.


Mr Zimba: That is how it goes.

Mr Speaker, it is very important that we work as a team. We all have to seek divine wisdom from God.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba:  It is for that reason that I encourage the Government of the day to work with the Church. It should partner with the Church so that it gets the wisdom needed to improve our morals. We all go to Church. So, why do we insult and hate one another? Why do we not want to be united? It is simply because we are ultra vires. We are out of our positions.


Mr Zimba: Sir, let us get back to our positions and learn how to provide leadership to this country by acknowledging the Church leadership as our partners. We can learn about morals if we do that. There is no moral lecturing in politics alone. It does not happen.

Sir, I have supported this Speech because of its content. Let us not concentrate on what is happening in the mines because only God knows why it is happening.


Mr Zimba: We may want a thing to happen today, but it will not happen if God does not allow it. The most important thing is to forge ahead in unity. At a certain given time, God will allow the water level to rise. God will also allow the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock to have brilliant ideas and the ability to diversify.  

Hon. Members: Amen!
Mr Zimba: There is no need to hate anybody.

Sir, that is my counsel to this House.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to the Speech delivered at the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on Friday 18th September, 2015. The Speech was very progressive and offers hope to the citizenry, at large and, indeed, raised the bar higher. Before I get deeper into my discourse, permit me to join my colleagues who have spoken before me in congratulating the three hon. Members of Parliament who were recently elected to this House, namely, the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West and the two Patriotic Front (PF) Members, namely, Hon. Kasandwe, for Bangweulu, and Hon. Mwamba, for Lubansenshi. Allow me to also thank the people of Shang’ombo for giving us two ward councillors who won with very high margins. This time, we have even broken ground in areas like Sikongo …

 Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: … where we were also overwhelmingly voted for. We are not only in Sikongo, but also in Lufwanyama. Those are the signs of a party that is growing its tentacles and setting itself for continued a stay in Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank His Excellency the President for reminding all of us that we are not only a Christian nation, but one of faith, too. In thanking the President, I also wish to call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to start preparing themselves for 18th October, 2015, and to ensure that they participate in the Day of National Prayers and Fasting for Reconciliation and Forgiveness, which aspect my colleague has belaboured. His Excellency the President has invited all Zambians to come together as one. If those who boycott everything will not join the rest of the nation on that day, we will still pray and fast for their reconciliation with them and their forgiveness. We hope that they will do the same for us even as they boycott.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President has provided the country with the policies that will guide the nation this year and the years to come. He has further provided the legislative actions to be introduced.

Sir, His Excellency the President, in his Speech, made a historic, pragmatic and selfless decision to announce the need for changes to the law that provides for the benefits of retired Presidents and pensions packages for all Constitutional Office holders. That showed the nation that the President and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government are more concerned about the people of Zambia than about themselves. I commend His Excellency the President for his brave decision which, according to my record, is unprecedented. So, I strongly urge all hon. Members of Parliament to support these efforts for the good of our people, especially the vulnerable and needy, to whom the resources saved through these reforms can be channelled. The creation of ministries, which we have just been debating and overwhelmingly supported, is meant to streamline and reorganise them so that we can have improved efficiency and effectiveness in the way we govern the nation.

Mr Speaker, the President’s Speech had a number of directives to various Government ministries and departments. These directives have set the tone for us in the Government to ensure that we deliver on the promises made to the people, which will definitely help the President to continuously appraise his team and identify who is meeting their targets and who is not, and the steps to be taken to ensure service delivery is enhanced

Sir, His Excellency the President alluded to the critical issues facing the nation. On energy, the President clearly outlined the steps that the Government has taken and intends to take in the medium to long term. Allow me to emphasise that we should look at the positive side of load shedding, for example. In disaster management, we believe in building back better after any negative event. In the case of load shedding, a great opportunity has arisen for the nation to invest heavily in the energy sector and ‘build back better’. So, let us all support the steps being taken to ensure that we have adequate energy resources for our planned development in order to meet the African Agenda 2063.

Mr Speaker, one of the critical issues brought out in the President’s Speech was hunger, which has been stalking some of our people due to crop failure resulting from poor rains in the 2014/2015 Farming Season. In that regard, let me talk about the distribution of food relief. The Government’s desire, as brought out in the President’s Speech, is to ensure that adequate food and water are made available to all vulnerable households. In line with this commitment, the PF, as a working Government, has commenced the 2015/2016 Food Relief Distribution exercise through a recovery action plan that commenced on 1st October, 2015. The exercise targets 133,158 households, translating into 798,948 people, for a period of eight months. The Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has, since the programme started, distributed over 10,000 metric tonnes of maize to all the affected districts in the Western, Southern, Eastern and other provinces. I must emphasise that these figures are not exhaustive and the DMMU continues to receive reports of districts that are falling into the need category for relief food. These reports of hunger are being dealt with by my office by undertaking assessments to ascertain the extent of the intervention required. This programme will continue until March, 2017, when the next harvest is expected. This will be the longest period of continuous relief food supply.

Sir, for the purpose of ensuring transparency and accountability, my office has put in place a number of measures to improve the programme, key among which are listed below.

Compilation of the Beneficiaries Lists

Sir, over the years, the issue of not selecting beneficiaries prior to the commencement of food relief has led to delays in the implementation of the programme. To curb such delays, the Office of the Vice-President, through the DMMU, has embarked on a process of developing profiles on which basis beneficiaries have been generated at the ward level. These profiles will be specifically for the 80 per cent labour-based beneficiaries. Further, 20 per cent of the food will be given to the members of the affected communities who are completely incapacitated, such as the aged, disabled, households headed by children and the chronically ill. This process will bring on board local structures, such as the Satellite Disaster Management Committees (SDMCs) and Community Welfare and Assistance Committees (CWACs) under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

Revision of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit and Project Implementing Partners

Sir, my office has revised the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between thw DMMU and project implementing partners with a view to strengthening it and ensuring that the roles of the stakeholders in the relief food distribution are clearly defined. Further, the rate paid to the project implementing partners will be revised to take into account the shifts and exchange rate, in some cases.

Strengthening Monitoring and Evaluation

Sir, my office has developed a monitoring and evaluation framework specifically for the 2015/2016 Food Relief Programme to ensure that it is on course and to take the necessary remedial measures where necessary. In this regard, the Offices of the District Commissioners (DCs) in the affected districts have been directed to play a major role in monitoring of the programme. The monitoring and evaluation framework will also endeavour to establish whether the people requiring food aid are increasing or not.

Involvement of Members of Parliament in Relief Food Distribution

Sir, I want hon. Members of Parliament to pay attention to what I am saying because they must take part in the District Disaster management Committees (DDMCs) in their respective districts. It has been noted that a good number of hon. Members of Parliament do not participate in decision-making at the district level. In most cases, they do not even know what is happening in their districts.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that hon. Members of Parliament are supposed to be members of their respective DDMCs. It has been noted that a good number of hon. Members of Parliament do not participate in decision-making at the district level. In most cases, they do not even know what is happening in their districts. So, all DDMCs have been directed to invite their hon. Members of Parliament and ensure that they are part of the decision-making process. Hon. Members of Parliament are, therefore, advised to take an active role in DDMC meetings, as they have an important role to play not only in determining who gets the relief food, but also in ensuring accountability and transparency.

Mr Speaker, my colleague from Kalabo would attest to the fact that I took him to a DDMC to introduce him and ensure that people understood his role in the committee.

Mr Speaker, the DMMU Headquarters have been instructed to redirect all hon. Members of Parliament’s requests and concerns to their respective districts. In line with the President’s directives, it is also the responsibility of every hon. Member of Parliament to assure the people in drought-hit areas that their lives matter and the Government will not forget them. Scientists have warned that the El Nino effect, which can cause droughts, is underway in the Tropical Pacific. The Zambia Meteorological Department (ZMD) also presented the 2015/2016 Rainfall Forecast on 7th September, 2015, which indicates that Zambia will receive normal to below-normal rainfall during most parts of the season. That will have implications on a number of sectors.

Sir, the El Nino season is still in its early stages, but has the potential to cause extreme weather around the world, with Zambia being among the affected countries according to the forecast. The country may, therefore, experience dry spells in the same areas that were affected last season. Therefore the Government has already set in motion steps to prepare the 2015/2016 Contingency Plan in line with the President’s Speech. In this regard, I call upon all hon. Members of Parliament to take a keen interest in understanding the El Nino phenomenon that may affect us.

Sir, an offshoot of the dry spells mentioned are the shortages of water being experienced in the affected districts. As mentioned by His Excellency the President, the DMMU is co-ordinating with all the ministries and departments in the water sector to address this problem. The National Disaster Management Council (NDMC), which is headed by Her Honour the Vice-President and consists of hon. Ministers has directed the DMMU to ensure that boreholes are drilled, dams rehabilitated and water schemes developed immediately in line with the President’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, in undertaking all these measures, the Government is aware that some members of the communities may tend to develop a relief-dependence syndrome and has, therefore, instructed all DCs to avoid that by putting all affected communities back on the production stream by accessing agricultural inputs, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) and other means of restoring production and developing sustainability that the Government has put in place.

Mr Speaker, allow me, again, to appeal to all hon. Members of Parliament to support the policies, programmes, legislative proposals and directives that His Excellency the President has presented to us. Let us embrace a transformational culture for a smart Zambia now. As stated in the Speech, we need to be adaptive, innovative and determined to change the way we do things. It has been said that one cannot expect to achieve different goals by doing the same thing over and over.

In closing, Mr Speaker, I thank His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the President of this great nation, for providing leadership and guidance to this nation at a very challenging time. The bravery with which he continues to lead the nation assures the who citizenry of the hope and future that lies ahead of us under the PF Government which, like I stated earlier, is still enjoying massive support.

Sir, at this juncture, I still would like to teach …

Mr Mufalali interjected.

Mr Speaker: Just continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Kampyongo: He is still learning.
Sir, when we say, “Don’t kubeba,” we are still teaching some people the lesson that they can go with money to the masses, but our message has always been consistent. People have misunderstood the ‘Don’t Kubeba’ concept to mean deception. All we do is tell the people to enjoy the money of those who go with corrupt tendencies, but vote for us. In Bemba, we say, “Umutaba weshilu, bobola elo lipenene,” which means that a mad man’s or woman’s fruits are eaten while he or she is at the peak of his or her madness.


Mr Kampyongo: So, we allow people to get the money and teach those who are corrupt; those who dish out money, a lesson by not voting for them. That has continued to work for us.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to debate the Speech of the President to this House, which was delivered on 18th September, 2015. However, let me first congratulate the hon. Members for Bangweulu and Lubansenshi on finding their way into this House, and take special cognisance of the presence of a gallant son of Solwezi West, Hon. Kasonso, who has come to this House through a landslide victory against a very vicious regime that wanted to win the election at all cost. I congratulate my brother for being in this House.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: I also congratulate the people of Solwezi West on voting with tears rolling down their faces because of the atrocities committed against them. They resolved to vote against those who oppressed them during the time of elections. I appeal to them to keep it up and repeat that score in 2016.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I also congratulate my President, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, on being consistently consistent on policies that affect this country.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that our President has been advising the Patriotic Front (PF) Government that the building of houses for former Presidents was neither tenable nor in the interest of the country.

Mr Mwenya: Nikwisa alandile?

Mr Mwiimbu: I am happy to note that the PF have said, “Me, too, I agree with Hakainde Hichilema ...”


Mr Mwiimbu: “… that it is not sustainable.”

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, let me also pay tribute to the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting for stating that it is the United Party for National Development (UPND) that seeks a new Constitution for the people of Zambia. I am happy that he has indicated that and that the PF does not want a new Constitution.

Mr Mwenya: Who said that, naiwe?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It was stated on the Floor of this House that it is the UPND that wants the Clauses in the Draft Constitution to be implemented.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It, therefore, follows that the PF does not want a new Constitution to be enacted. It is merely hoodwinking the people of Zambia, but I am happy to note that the people have heard the PF Government Spokesperson’s …

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … sentiments expressed pertaining the issue of the new Constitution on the Floor of this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I know that there is an outbreak of jobs …


Mr Mwiimbu: … resulting from the creation of the ministries that has been endorsed by this House this afternoon. However, I will not fall into the trap of giving my curriculum vitae (CV) so that I can be considered for appointment.

Mr Mwenya: Who wants you?

Mr Mwiimbu: I am stating the position of the people of Monze Central, and Zambia, with whom I share aspirations.

Mr Speaker, let me start with the kwacha/dollar exchange rate.

Sir, I am aware that this issue has been trivialised by our colleagues on your right, but we, on your left, have consistently reminded the Government that it needed to take appropriate measures to prevent the kwacha from melting like butter in the Kalahari Desert, but our advice has been ignored. As a result of that failure on the part of the Government, as I speak this evening, many companies in this country have closed down ...

Mr Mwenya: Where?

Mr Mwiimbu: … and the people on the Copperbelt are aware that they have no representation from the PF leadership on the Copperbelt.

Mr Milambo: Ma!

Mr Mwiimbu: They are making running commentaries on the Floor of this House because they do not care about the plight of the people I am talking about.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, as a result of the kwacha losing value, mining houses on the Copperbelt are declaring workers redundant, yet the Government is loudly quiet on this issue. There have not been any serious pronouncements on how the Government will protect the workers in the mining sector. It is unheard of for a company to want to lay off 3,800 workers on the Copperbelt and the Government is not doing anything.

Mr Mwenya: Where?

Mr Mwiimbu: The hon. Deputy Minister for Copperbelt Province is very quiet. He is not even commenting on it, apart from making running commentaries on the Floor of this House when I am debating.

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

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, resume your seat.

Hon. Member for Monze Central, the issue of running comments is my prerogative.

Mr Mwiimbu: Much obliged, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Just debate. There is no need for casting aspersion on your colleagues. If those running commentaries continue, it is my task to forestall them.

Hon. Members, I think I have said this for the umpteenth time: For the sake of progress, let us avoid these running commentaries. Earlier, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting was disturbed and I took the same position to make sure he was allowed to debate in peace. Similarly, let the hon. Member for Monze Central debate in silence. That is the way we do business. If you do not agree with him, I will still go back to my right just like I have reverted to the left. So, there is no need to transact business through running commentaries. The rules do not permit them.

You may continue, hon. Member for Monze Central.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for the wise guidance.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that the situation obtaining on the Copperbelt is very unhealthy and should not be allowed to continue. The Government must protect the rights of our workers on the Copperbelt, in particular, those in Luanshya under Baluba Mine, who have been told to go on a break and those under Mopani Copper Mines. We are aware that other mining companies also intend to lay off workers. So, the Government must be bold enough to decide how it will protect the rights of the workers on the Copperbelt.

Mr Speaker, as I was saying, the Government has failed to address the issue of the falling kwacha. I have noticed and noted that the President proudly announced that the Government had realised the plight of the farmers and wanted to increase the price of maize. The price was increased to K75 per 50 kg bag of maize, but I have noted that the President had not realised that the kwacha had fallen drastically relative to the dollar. When farmers were selling their maize at K65, last year, the price of a 50kg bag of maize was about US$11 but, this year, due to the fall in the value of the kwacha against the dollar, a 50 kg bag of maize is selling at US$5.5. Who has gained? The farmers have not gained anything. They have lost out …

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

Mr Mwiimbu … in terms of the real value of the currency.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I think that I have guided in the past, including yesterday, that we should not debate through points of order. I think that I also announced, yesterday, that, during these debates, I will not allow points of order because, if I do, we will not make any progress. So, if you have any reservations and you have already spoken, you have colleagues who will deal with all these issues when given an opportunity to respond. In fact, shortly after the hon. Member for Monze Central, I will move on to the right.

Continue, hon. Member for Monze Central.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, to justify my statement, today, the rate of the kwacha to a dollar is about K12.8. so, if you divide K75 by K12.8, you get US$5.5 per 50 kg bag. There is no fear of any contradiction in what I am saying. It is a fact.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the PF Government is on record praising itself that it gave civil servants hefty salaries. Yes, the salaries may have been hefty then, but they are not anymore. For example, a worker who was given a salary of K5,000 when the PF came into power and the rate of the kwacha to a dollar was K4.7 earned US$1,000. However, the same civil servant now gets around US$400. So, the value of the income of that particular worker has reduced by more than 100 per cent.

Mr Speaker, we are all aware that Zambia is import-oriented. Most of the items we buy in shops are imported. As a result, most of the prices of the goods and services have gone up by more than 100 per cent. Therefore, the poor workers we are saying are well paid cannot afford the decent standard of living they did five years ago and the PF is to blame for that because it has failed to protect the rights of the workers and businessmen in this country.

Mr Speaker, I have looked at the Speech of the President and noticed that he did not address the issue of the falling kwacha adequately, as though it were a non-issue. This is the issue that has forced a number of companies to close in Zambia, leading to loss of employment for a number of people in this country. However, this Government has not risen above board to address it. So, I call upon the Government to address this issue before we find this country on its knees. By the end of the year, at the rate we are going, the rate of the kwacha to the dollar will be more than K15 and the cost of living will go up.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about governance.

Sir, we have been raising issues of governance on the Floor of this House and outside, but the Government has not been listening to our cries. It has been loudly silent on the issues that we have been raising. Hon. Kampyongo has talked about people buying voters in the constituencies, but we are the ones on record complaining against Government and PF officials being in the forefront of committing electoral offences, yet nothing has happened. We have appealed to the Government to ensure that the rule of law applies to all Zambians but, unfortunately, we still have two sets of laws, one against the Opposition and another for those in the Ruling Party.

Mr Speaker, we have to ensure fairness in all that we do in governing ourselves. We have realised that our colleagues are using the police to suppress the rights of those in the Opposition. The same issues they used to raise when they were in the Opposition are the ones they are using against us. Fortunately, there will come a time, and it will be very soon, when they will be on the left. The only good thing is that the majority of them will not be here, but outside listening to the debates on the Floor of this House. So, let us be fair in the way we manage issues.

Mr Speaker, I have heard about the issue of reconciliation and repentance, …


Mr Mwiimbu: … and how we should go to Church and reconcile. However, we do not go to church to reconcile with one another. We do that to reconcile with God. If there is an issue with your neighbour, discuss it between yourselves and resolve it. Similarly, you do not go to Church to repent if you have no sins. As a Roman Catholic, if I have committed sins, I go to Church on Sunday and confess my sins to a priest. So, I ask our colleagues on your right to tell us the sins that they have committed against the people of Zambia …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … so that, together, we can find a way of reconciling. Can they tell us what they have done to us so that we forgive them. If they do not tell us, they should not ask us to escort them to Church so that they can repent their sins quietly without disclosing them to us. We will not be there. We will go to Church in the normal way and we will pray to our God for our sins, if we have any.  

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, we have been raising issues with the people on your right, but they have been saying that they have not offended us in any way. Why, then, should we go to Church with them? So that we can repent with them as if we have been committing sins with them? No way!


Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, as the UPND and the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), …


Mr Mwiimbu: … we will make a counter-plea that we, as the Opposition, should sit together with the Government under the chairmanship of the Church to resolve issues that affect this nation, …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … not in Church because you do not resolve issues between individuals there. You do not do that.

Mr Livune: You are sinning!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, finally, I want to mention that elections are very near. For those who thought that, by being on the right and cohabiting with the PF, they would be in the Ruling Party forever, the bells are tolling. In six months, they will not be there, and they will not be here. They will be outside the House. However, because we are good people, we will remind them that we were together and we will forgive, not in Church, but outside.

I thank you, Sir.


The Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity to debate.  Obviously, I should admit that it is difficult to debate after eloquent speakers like Hon. January Zimba.

Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to speak ...


Mr Mbulu: ... in support of the President’s maiden Speech, which he eloquently delivered to this august House on 18th September, 2015. From the outset, allow me to remember our dear departed colleagues, Hon. Chifita Matafwali for Bangweulu Parliamentary Constituency and the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West Constituency, Mr Humphrey Mwanza. It goes without saying that we will fondly miss our two colleagues for the passionate manner they debated in this House and their commitment to the interests of their respective constituencies.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that we ushered in new hon. Members of Parliament and I fondly and heartily congratulate them on joining us in this House. We had nine by-elections of which my party, the Patriotic Front (PF), won six.

Hon. Government Members: Eight!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, this is a clear manifestation of our party’s growing strength.

Mr Speaker, I have no doubt that the salient issues raised by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, are still fresh in the minds of all hon. Members of Parliament here. You may recall that the President cast an inspiring and compelling vision of moving the nation forward and outlined critical national issues and strategies for overcoming our current challenges, which are only transient.

Mr Speaker, you may as well wish to note the President will continue to build on the vision of our late leader, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, who served our country with distinction, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mbulu: ... diligence and care for the poor. This is reflected in our pro-poor policies that are clearly encapsulated in the PF Manifesto. These policies are aimed at uplifting the standards of living of our people in this great country.

Mr Speaker, before I go to my portfolio, as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, I wish to put it on record that the people of Zambia have clearly spoken. We have interacted with them in churches, shops and everywhere, and they are all in support of the Speech that the President unleashed on this august House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, therefore, I want to equally take this opportunity to challenge my fellow hon. Members of Parliament, especially those from the Opposition, to say what is coming from the people they represent. What are they saying about the Speech? Are they disputing it or are they in agreement with it? It is crystal clear that every Zambian supports the President’s Speech. We, therefore, must equally support it.

Mr Speaker, allow me to extol, and greatly appreciate the decision by the President to realign some ministries. This decision will bring functional specialisation and, no doubt, bring about efficient and effective service delivery to the Zambian people. I wish to emphasise that smaller institutions are more easily managed and focused on the achievement of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) results. In this respect, I urge my colleagues, the hon. Members of Parliament here, to work towards the realisation of His Excellency the President’s vision as vividly outlined in his statement to us last month by rendering our necessary support to the Speech.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members of Parliament know that this is the last Meeting of the Eleventh National Assembly, and that it falls before the General Elections next year, 2016. In this regard, I wish to personally express my appreciation to you, the Clerk of the National Assembly and the National Assembly staff for the impeccable leadership and services rendered to us all during the past Meetings. For me, in particular, I must state that it has been a learning curve and I do believe that I have benefited greatly from your professional guidance and support. I am not the same as I was when I first came to this House.  

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Statement by His Excellency the President, I have no doubt that this Meeting will be the basis for ushering us into a new phase of socio-economic transformation. Bear in mind that socio-economic transformation is a continental aspiration espoused in the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, which is aimed at building an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, to which Zambia is party. In order to bring this agenda to full fruition, it will be important for Zambia to domesticate it.

Mr Speaker, the apt theme of the President’s Address, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now,” demonstrates that our beloved President has a vision for this great nation.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, the theme talks about a paradigm shift in the manner we handle various national issues. To attain that transformation, there is a need for all of us to seek to foster patriotism, win-win partnerships and long-term planning. These are crucial variables for our country’s development.

Sir, unity and economic growth remain paramount in our new dispensation. To this end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to push Zambia’s agenda to greater heights at the international level through its active participation in bilateral, continental and multilateral meetings of regional and international organisations, such as, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the United Nations (UN).

Mr Speaker, in order to establish a “win-win partnership around the globe approach” that the President has espoused, my ministry will play a very pivotal role in international strategic partnerships, such as the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA), the Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) and the Africa-India Partnership Forum (AIPF). The ministry will equally establish new diplomatic relations that will encompass social, political, economic and cultural issues. To achieve that, it intends to open strategic missions in the Middle East, which will offer strategic, economic, and peace and security initiatives and partnerships. This is in line with one of the deliverables of the African Union Agenda 2063, which looks at peace and security for the continent. A stable Africa is of great interest to Zambia, as it assures her of peace and security, access to expanded markets and tourism, and achievement of her development agenda with ease.

Mr Speaker, I assure this august House that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will remain fully committed to being a proactive and influential player in the region and on the continent in terms of creating initiatives aimed at achieving a peaceful and stable Africa. It will also strengthen relations with countries in Asia-Pacific region, which have currently been providing an impetus for economic growth to many African countries, including ours. I wish to state that engaging with Asia-Pacific countries will further contribute to achieving the strategic objectives of Zambia’s foreign policy, as the focus has shifted from political to economic diplomacy. By ensuring that our relations with Asian countries are cordial, Zambia will continue to benefit from Asian countries in terms of technology transfer, tourism, and access to markets and foreign direct investment (FDI) to Zambia within the framework of the South-South Co-operation.

Sir, the Government will continue to maintain warm relations with the Americans and the Caribbean region for their significant FDI, financial assistance, potential markets to Zambia’s exports and the esteemed co-operation in the social sector, that is, health and education.

Mr Speaker, I recognise that South America is one of the largest economic regions in the world. It has attained various levels of development and made notable technological advances in agriculture, agro-industries, mining, pharmaceuticals, tourism and tannery, among others. In this regard, my ministry will facilitate Zambia’s active fostering and maintenance of close ties with the region in order to promote co-operation and create opportunities for investment and trade in various sectors.

Mr Speaker, in order to achieve fulfilling partnerships, the need for national unity is paramount. This is what the President has clearly emphasised. Unity and strengthened partnerships should be well-established and well-espoused amongst us before we endeavour to reach out for them away from us. Charity begins at home. Therefore, ultimately, we need to do away with vices like tribalism and hatred, which promote divisions among us. We only have one Zambia to harness and protect at all cost. For the country to achieve the President’s vision, we all need to embrace our motto of One Zambia One Nation. Let us all engage in constructive dialogue with love and understanding in moments of differences of opinion. This is a major and inescapable precept if Zambia has to remain the country that it has been. We desire a Zambia that will meet our needs. In this case, let us all rally behind the President’s vision of transforming our country so that, together, we can build a Zambia we will be proud of, now and for times to come. Therefore, in concurring with the President’s statement that bitterness, contempt and envy have no place in our society, may we all remember the proclamation of Zambia as a Christian nation and not forget to dedicate 18th October, 2015, to prayer and fasting, as directed by the President. Our nation needs reconciliation, prayer, unity of purpose and forgiveness to take it to another level.

Mr Speaker, in trying to develop economic sustainability, the PF Government, my Government, under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, recognises that Zambians abroad have the potential to contribute to national development through the transfer of knowledge, skills, experience, professionalism and financial resources. In view of the massive untapped potential among Zambians in the Diaspora, the Government has embarked on the formulation of the Diaspora Policy, which will clearly define the terms and conditions that will chart the collaboration between the Government and our citizens in the Diaspora. I must confidently state that this will raise the levels of socio-economic development, which our country so much desires.

Mr Speaker, I reiterate that Zambia is part of the global village and, as such, is obliged to remain committed to the obligations of its membership to regional and international groupings. In this regard, the ministry will continue to undertake various official visits in order to advance our foreign policy and safeguard our national interests, as a sovereign State. In the same vein, I wish to point out that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the first point of contact with the outside world and that, in the execution of our duties, the country has managed to obtain the increased co-operation that is evident in the assistance it gets in infrastructure development, such as in the construction of school, colleges and universities, and the improvement of the road network throughout the country, which are all aimed at uplifting the living standards of our people in this great nation.

Mr Speaker, I would like to comment on the concerns expressed by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, the Member of Parliament for Monze Central, who cares and is obviously very worried about the workers in this country. I want to put it on record that this Government is in constant consultation with the workers in our country through their representatives, the labour movement. It is not sitting idly, but doing everything it can to properly mitigate the effects of the challenges we face. I am equally informed that, whilst our friend looks and sounds very holy, his Vice-President was buying maize at K50 per 50 kg bag in Kasama.


Mr Mbulu: Yes, that is the information I have, yet he is saying that the price of mealie meal is about K75. We will leave it to Zambians to judge who is telling the truth.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, in emphasising the importance of having a foreign service that is professionally managed by officers with the necessary expertise, integrity and strong sense of patriotism, I now wish to conclude by assuring this august House that, as directed by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia on 18th September, 2015, my hon. Minister will present a Bill to Parliament to effect the measures I have outlined. This will be done at an appropriate time, but sooner rather than later.  

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Kazunga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the contributions that have been made, so far, by many other hon. Members of this House to the debate on His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s first Address to the House as Republican President, during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.  

Mr Speaker, in acknowledging the progress made in various sectors, I thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for improving people’s lives through various developmental projects being implemented countrywide.

Sir, the President’s Address to this House was anchored on the theme, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now,” which calls for a change of mindset, especially in the Public Service, by moving away from the business-as-usual norms to establishing operational systems and values that can have a positive impact on people’s lives. I have in mind the pronouncement on the creation of the Ministry of Development Planning. We need a robust national planning system backed by a comprehensive Government-wide monitoring and evaluation system that will effectively inform policy direction at the Cabinet level.

The National Development Plan is a series of five-year medium-term plans that are implemented to attain the Vision 2030. These plans stipulate the Government investment agenda, including wealth creation and poverty reduction strategies. The majority of sectors are still at a stage where they are pre-occupied with the traditional modes of development project implementation that emphasise compliance to input management, undertaking of activities and producing some outputs as the end result. Our stakeholders have often expressed the need to ensure that the impact of development projects are felt by the majority of the people, and that is where the role of a stronger planning, and monitoring and evaluation system comes in. Further, the development partners contend that it is one thing to implement plans and another to achieve the desired results and get good value for money. The introduction of a well-co-ordinated national planning system will help ensure that developmental plans achieve the desired results and help transform people’s lives. It is gratifying, therefore, to note that His Excellency the President has taken the lead by, among other measures, realigning some institutions to make them more responsive to the needs of the nation. This demonstrates a progressive political will and commitment to the prosperity of this country, including the attainment of gender equality and empowerment of women as well as the survival, development and safety of children.

Mr Speaker, the Speech by His Excellency the President gives us hope that we do, indeed, have a framework and an enabling environment in which to achieve our goals. The most effective of measuring a State’s commitment to combating poverty is assessing its ability to expand employment opportunities that can be accessed by both skilled and unskilled personnel. Against this background, my ministry has been implementing the Women Economic Empowerment Programme, which focuses on building capacity among women through entrepreneurship development and social economic skills. The main activities include:

(a)    institutional support to stakeholders implementing gender and child-related activities;

(b)    technology and financial support to women’s clubs; and

(c)    women exposure visits.

In terms of employment creation, this support has generated 5,160 jobs for individuals while the net impact is that 30,960 family members have benefited from these funds, using an average of six members per family associated with benefiting club members.

Sir, in order to improve co-ordination and avoid duplication of efforts among Government-supported women empowerment programmes, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development is currently co-ordinating the design of the Rural Women Economic Empowerment Programme, which is supported by the World Bank. The participating Government agencies are the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health; the Ministry of Local Government and Housing; the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection; the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Youth and Sport; the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications; the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock; the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs; and the Ministry of Finance. In implementing this programme, the ministry will be supported by a well-co-ordinated monitoring and evaluation that will take into account the women empowerment programmes across all the sectors linked to the monitoring and evaluation system at the Ministry of Finance.

Sir, as custodian of the National Child Policy, my ministry is tasked with the overall responsibility of child survival, development and protection. In addition, the ministry has a mandate to address issues of children on the street. Studies and inspection reports show that one of factor that encourages children to earn a living on the streets is vulnerability due to high poverty levels and a breakdown of family values in our communities. It is a fact that almost all children living on the streets can be traced back to particular families and homes. Therefore, my ministry is paying particular attention to addressing the root causes as a sustainable way of reducing the number of children on the streets. I, therefore, urge other sectors to continue supporting and improving current measures, and even institute new ones, so that our children, women and men, countrywide, are given space to harness the opportunities available to them, and improve their livelihoods and reduce poverty, especially in the rural areas.

Sir, as I conclude my contribution to the debate on the Address by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, allow me to congratulate the victors in the recently-held by-elections in the three parliamentary constituencies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kazunga: Particularly, we are proud of the victories of the PF in Lubansenshi and Bangweulu constituencies.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Dr Simbyakula, SC.: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.

The House adjourned at 1926 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 2nd October, 2015.