Debates - Thursday, 8th October, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 8th October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, MP, will, tomorrow, Friday, 9th October, 2015, present the 2016 Budget Speech to Parliament on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. In this regard, I have constituted the Expanded Committee on Estimates, whose membership will consist of the following: 

(a)    the Committee on Estimates;

(b)    the Chairpersons of General Purposes and Portfolio Committees; and 

(c)    the Chairperson of the Reforms and Modernisation Committee.

Hon. Members, I also wish to inform you that the Chairperson of the Committee on Estimates will preside over the proceedings of the Expanded Committee on Estimates, whose first meeting will be held on Monday, 12th October, 2015. The Committee is expected to present its report to the House on Wednesday, 28th October, 2015.

I thank you. 




The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, before I make my statement, allow me to welcome the two new hon. Members of Parliament representing the people of Lubansenshi and Solwezi West Parliamentary constituencies. I invite them to a cup of tea during the tea break. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to issue a statement on the on-going voter registration exercise. 

Sir, the supervision of voter registration is one of the key Constitutional functions of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). As the House might be aware, the ECZ commenced a nationwide voter registration exercise on 14th September, 2015. The exercise is scheduled to run for sixty days, from 14th September, 2015, to 11th November, 2015, and is also being undertaken at district councils until 31st March, 2016. The estimated cost of the exercise is K475 million, broken into K315 million for the sixty-day exercise, and K160 million for the two-week exercise in March, 2016, and the inspection of the provisional voters register. So far, K124 million has been disbursed to the programme. 

Mr Speaker, in order to capture voters who would have obtained their National registration cards (NRCs) after the 2015 Mobile Voter Registration, or those who would not have been able to register, the ECZ will conduct a countrywide voter registration exercise for fourteen days in March, 2016. This is in a bid to counter, as much as possible, the disfranchisement of eligible citizens. In this regard, I wish to inform the House that the ECZ will not extend the voter registration exercise in any province, save for those districts in which the exercise will have to be suspended for a prescribed period in the event of a by-election. 

Mr Speaker, the voter registration exercise will be conducted in four phases in the 7,700 voter registration centres, which are polling stations that have been turned into registration centres for this purpose. The centres have been designated in all the 105 districts countrywide. The voter registration officers will spend fourteen days at each centre until all registration centres nationwide are covered. 

Mr Speaker, Phase 1 was from 14th to 27th September, 2015; Phase 2 was from 29th September to 12th October, 2015; Phase 3 will be from 14th to 27th October, 2015, while Phase 4 will be from 29th October to 11th November, 2015.  Two thousand and sixty-three (2,063) registration teams have been deployed countrywide for the exercise. 

Sir, during the exercise, the commission will register voters who are not on the current permanent voters register. The commission is targeting 1.7 million new voters nationwide. I want to urge hon. Members of Parliament to take note of the projected number of registrations per province, which are as follows: 

Province    Projections    New Registrations (so far)

        Female    Male    Total

Central    160,198    15,445    16,721    32,166

Copperbelt    278,447    12,581    21,983    34,564

Eastern    198,032    13,717    12,041    25,758

Luapula    134,901    7,656    7,046    14,702

Lusaka    269,275    25,090    36,816    61,906

Muchinga    88,816    10,907    12,152    23,059

Northern     143,378    14,067    14,690    28,757

North-Western    104,144    4,748    5,633    10,381

Southern     197,394    24,796    24,206    49,002

Western    130,224    10,886    9,922    20,808

Totals    1,704,809    139,893    161,210    301,103

Mr Speaker, the projections are based on the Central Statistical Office (CSO) projections of citizens who would have turned eighteen by 2016. 

Mr Speaker, for one to qualify to register as a new voter, one must be a Zambian citizen who is eighteen years or above and in possession of a green NRC. In order to encourage eligible youths to register as voters, the commission has made a provision for any person who will turn eighteen on or before 31st July, 2016, to register as a voter, as that will be the certification date for registration of voters. Eligible citizens can register at any registration centre in any constituency of their choice. The commission has also provided for the replacement of voters cards for registered voters whose cards have been either lost or destroyed upon presentation of a police report. In order to assist voters obtain police reports, the commission has asked for a waiver of the fee charged for police report. It is also transferring, on request, voters who wish to be relocated from one polling station to another. In this case, such voters will be required to surrender their old voters’ cards and new ones will be issued to them with the details of the new polling station. 

Sir, in a bid to have an accurate register of voters, the commission will also start removing deceased people from the register. A death certificate, burial permit or sworn affidavit must be provided with the application to remove a deceased voter from the register of voters. All of the activities I have talked about can be undertaken at any voter registration centre.

Mr Speaker, to ensure that people are aware of the voter registration exercise, notices have been placed in the print and electronic media. Public announcements are also being made by mobile publicity teams. To this effect, two voter education facilitators have been deployed to each of the 1,624 wards to maximise on village-to-village and door-to-door campaigns. 

Mr Speaker, in order for the voter registration exercise to succeed, it requires the support and participation of all stakeholders. So, I encourage all eligible citizens who are not yet registered voters to take advantage of the exercise and get registered so that they can exercise their right to vote in 2016. I also appeal to all political parties to assist in the sensitisation of our citizens.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement just given by Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I notice, from the list, that the North-Western Province, as it always happens, has the lowest figures followed by Luapula and the Western provinces. For the North-Western Province, one of the contributing factors is that we started registering voters before the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs). So, we have encouraged people to obtain NRCs and register. However, there is the problem of load-shedding. People gather at the Bomas to get NRCs, but most of the days, there is no power for the officers to carry out their duties. Is there anything that Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning’s Office will do for provinces like the North-Western, such as restricting load-shedding to the evenings?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, perhaps, I need to correct the assumption that the North-Western Province always gets neglected by the Government. In fact, it was one of the provinces that were in the last phase of the NRC issuance exercise and I believe that the numbers will increase as the teams visit the province. I say this because the NRC issuance teams have not arrived there yet. In fact, the figure of 10,381 is good, as a starting point. 

Sir, as for the load-shedding problem, the ECZ is in the process of enhancing the efforts of its teams by acquiring some generators so that the process continues without interruption.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, the issuance of NRCs and voter registration are being undertaken simultaneously in the Southern Province. On the Copperbelt, however, we are behind, in terms of the registration of voters, due to the reasons that Hon. Pande referred to in his follow-up question. The issuance of NRCs is being done at the centres. When will we see a simultaneous issuance of NRCs and registration of voters so that we do not disadvantage the people of the Copperbelt Province?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the Government is equally concerned about the process because the Copperbelt, North-Western and Luapula provinces were in the last phase of the issuance of NRCs. As a result, they were not included in the process currently on-going in Lusaka, the Southern, Western and Eastern provinces. So, we have realised that, perhaps, it will be prudent for us to consider the inclusion of the remaining three provinces so that the two exercises are carried out simultaneously. However, we are still looking at the implications of doing away with the third phase and introducing the exercise between now and the beginning of January, 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the voter registration exercise … (the microphone went off).

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you need to be recorded.  

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


Mr Speaker: It is not even possible for you to raise a point of order.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, it is only me who is able to.


Mr Mutelo: Ishwile!

Mr Speaker: You may have to move to a working microphone.

Mr Livune: He is not allowed.

Mr Speaker: The Speaker has allowed it.


Mr Miyutu moved to another microphone.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the voter registration exercise started a week before the issuance of National registration cards (NRCs), which means that we are disadvantaging those who were not issued with NRCs, especially in Kalabo and many other places in the Western Province. Does the Government intend to revisit those registration centres where voter registration took place before the issuance of NRCs so that they can register those who did not have NRCs then? 

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the Government intends to register every eligible voter. So, the areas that were by-passed by the NRC issuance teams will be revisited. The exercise will continue until February, 2016. At some point, we want the two groups to harmonise their services so that NRCs and voters’ cards can be issued simultaneously and at the same station. We are working on those modalities and hope that it will not be too long before this new process starts.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the voter registration kit destined for Mpusu Station in Mumbwa went missing and ...

Mr Livune: Ah!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: … I hear that the same thing happened in Keembe. What is Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning doing to recover those kits, which can fall in wrong hands and cause a lot of suspicion?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the on-going voter registration exercise and mobile issuance of NRCs has been very transparent. The hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa should not worry about what happened. Of course, it is unfortunate, but those kits will be replaced as soon as possible in the two wards the hon. Member of Parliament mentioned.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank Hon. Livune for using his microphone.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the reason for issuing National registration cards (NRCs), at least in the current exercise, is to ensure that all eligible citizens have NRCs to enable them to register as voters and vote in the 2016 General Elections. That being the case, why did the Government not synchronise the issuance of NRCs and the registration of voters so that the two could take place simultaneously? That way, more people would have been afforded an opportunity to obtain a voter’s card. Currently, there is so much confusion in the two processes.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, it is the desire of everyone to see that these processes run smoothly. However, the hon. Member is aware that most of the people involved in the mobile issuance of NRCs are Government workers. In view of the nature of their job, it was very difficult for the Government to withdraw too many workers from their offices to send them into the field. Additionally, the issuance of a green NRC to an individual is conferring citizenship on that individual. So, a lot of scrutiny is done to ascertain the real nationality of that person, and that can only be done by qualified people who would not make the mistake of issuing an NRC to a foreigner. That is why most of the officers in the field are civil servants who have taken an oath to do the right thing. That is why the process of issuing NRCs is slower than that if registering voters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, the issuance of NRCs has been a continuous exercise. That should be the case with voter registration, as was announced some time back. Looking at the projected figures of people to be registered as voters and the number of those who have been registered so far, will the Government manage to achieve the projected numbers? If it will not, will it consider extending the voter registration exercise?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the voter registration exercise will continue until the first three phases have been completed. Thereafter, ECZ officers will go into the field again in March, 2016, for fourteen days to capture those people who would have received their NRCs late. 

Sir, continuous voter registration is, of course, a desired thing but, currently, I do not think that the resources are available for it. In the future, the Government intends to have a continuous voter registration exercise and issuance of NRCs. When the funds permit, we will do that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has said that Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) officers will revisit the places in which the mobile issuance of National registration cards (NRCs) took place after the voter registration teams had left. Obviously, that requires expenditure, which she has just told us the Government does not have. How much money does she envisage this second bite at the cherry resulting from the failure to synchronise the two activities will cost the Government?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Sir, the fourteen-day exercise that will be undertaken by the ECZ in March, 2016, has been budgeted for.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, we recorded some voter turn-outs as low as 30 per cent which we recorded during recent elections, which are among the lowest in the history of our country. Unfortunately, the low figures have also been reflected in the disparities between the projected numbers of voters to be registered and the numbers of voters actually registered, which stands at less than 50 per cent. In fact, from the numbers Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has presented, the number of actual registrations is as low as 20 per cent of the projections. What has Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning identified as the cause of the low interest in voter registration and voting? Further, what are some of the measures that are being taken, even as this exercise continues, to reverse this trend?

 The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, apparently, there is apathy in the communities. Perhaps, our people are losing interest in politicians. Therefore, it is our duty, as political activists, to mobilise our people to register as voters. As I said earlier, I hope that hon. Members of Parliament will take this exercise seriously and help in the mobilisation because they know every corner of their constituencies. The ECZ and the Ministry of Home Affairs have sent out teams to sensitise communities, but we need more people to get involved in this exercise in one way or another. Hon. Members are in possession of instruments that they can use in this task. For example, they have vehicles that they get from the National Assembly of Zambia, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Question!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: … which can help them to go into their constituencies and mobilise our people to register.

Mr Speaker, it is very important for us to explain the significance of having a voter’s card and an NRC to young people because that legitimises their claim to citizenship in this country and enables them to participate in the governance of their country. In other words, the two documents open doors and opportunities for young people in many aspects of life.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning mentioned that a death certificate, burial permit or sworn affidavit must be produced in an application for removal of a dead person from the voters roll.  However, these documents cannot be found in Nalolo and Washishi. So, what alternative means of validation can the people in those places use? 

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, even in villages, there are systems that can assist in this exercise. For example, there are chiefs and headmen who can attest to the fact that someone died in their village. Therefore, I do not think that there can be any problem, provided the headman or chief collaborate the authenticity of the claim by the applicants.

Sir, having an idea of the numbers of people who have died in various respective provinces might shed some light on what is happening in those provinces. For example, the highest number of deaths occurred in Lusaka, where 369 people were taken off the voters’ register by reason of death. I suppose, that is because Lusaka has the largest population. The second highest number of deaths, at 291, was in the Northern Province, followed by the Western Province, at 279 deaths. Of course, the least number of deaths, at 158, occurred in the North-Western Province. The period during which the deaths occurred is not known, but this is the current information.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) and voters’ cards is not proceeding smoothly on the ground, especially in Chikankata and the Southern Province as a whole. People are being left on the queues. In the case of Chikankata, there is only one team that is going round doing that job. Therefore, I can foresee us having problems meeting the projected number of registrations that Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has mentioned. So, is it not possible to increase the number of officers on the ground so that the exercise can be completed on schedule, bearing in mind that, if the situation does not improve, areas like some in the Western Province could be flooded during the exercise?

 The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, I have already stated that the ECZ and other stakeholders are considering means of increasing the numbers and covering all the provinces between now and January, 2016, if possible, because we know that some of the areas get flooded during some months of the year. Therefore, we would like to accelerate the exercise at the earliest possible time. We are also looking at the funds needed to undertake such an exercise.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the disparities that have emerged between the projected figures of voters to be registered and the numbers of voters actually registered, so far, are extremely worrying. For example, on the Copperbelt Province, only 34,000 voters have been captured, so far, against a projection of 278,000. That is 20 per cent of the projected number. Equally, in Lusaka, only 61,000 people have registered against a projection of 269,000. That is less than 25 per cent, yet one would have expected an enthusiastic response to this exercise in the urban areas, where registration centres more easily accessible and information filters through very quickly. The fact that the reality is different indicates that there could be a fundamental problem, either with the organisation of the exercise or the attitudes of our citizens. It could also indicate that, perhaps, the Central Statistical Office (CSO) made over-ambitious projections. So, would Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning like to have a comprehensive review of this process now to forestall apathy in the future?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the figures I gave out are for the 14th to 27th September, 2015, period. So, today, the scenario might have changed, but we are not sure because we do not have the latest figures. 

Sir, on the issue of apathy, I would like to state that the projections were based on the number of young people who have just qualified to be voters and those who will qualify in 2016. Mind you, most young people do not see the value of having a voter’s card or an NRC. So, they need to be sensitised to the importance of having these documents. Therefore, the figures could be different, but I believe that those are the right projections. That is why I have called on all stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament, to help in this exercise.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, the current situation is that the people conducting the voter registration exercise have gone ahead of those issuing national registration cards (NRCs), thereby leaving out most people. Granted, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has told us that there will be fourteen days within which the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) will revisit areas where people would have been disadvantaged in this manner. Will the fourteen days be enough for the ECZ to cover the affected centres across the country?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, our estimation is that most would-be voters will have been captured by March, 2016. So, the fourteen days are adequate to meet the target that the ECZ has set for itself and to capture as many would-be voters as possible.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, it is true that there is apathy in most districts and constituencies. The number of registered voters is quite low, and there are various reasons this is the case. One of the reasons is the creation of new districts, which has caused problems in some parts of the country. Chadiza, for example, is not only a constituency, but also a district, and the problem is in its status as a district. In the same district, some wards are in Vubwi Parliamentary Constituency. So, when people go to register as voters, they are told that they are told that they are in Vubwi Constituency and that they should go back to Chadiza. That has made many people to shun the exercise. I see the same situation becoming a problem during voting. So, in a situation in which some wards fall under the same district, but different constituencies, how will the Government help people to know exactly where they belong and where to seek help from?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the claims of people belonging to this or that district may not really be true because the ECZ has sent teams to sensitise them on the boundaries, including of the new districts. That is because the wards have already been demarcated. So, the people now understand the wards and districts to which they belong. I do not think that there is any conflict on that score. Maybe, it is just a lack of understanding. So, we need to go back to our people and tell them where they belong.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: No points of order.

Mr Muchima: ... I thank her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning for her statement. It is unfortunate that most parts of Zambia do not have the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) television or radio signal for them to hear this clarification. 

Sir, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has stated that the people of the North-Western Province should not think that they are always last in the priorities of the Government. However, I want to confirm that the province is always the last. In the Link Zambia 8,000 Project, for example, the North-Western Province was in the third phase.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, what is your question?

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I just wanted to bring that out. I will now ask the question.

Sir, the number of incarcerated Zambians is huge. That is why we do not have any space in the prisons. So, will the voter registration exercise be extended to prisoners or is the prisoners’ right to vote withdrawn?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, I do sympathise with many of our men and women in prisons. Unfortunately, for us and the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, who would like to see prisoners vote, we are constrained by the Constitution. So, this matter needs to be decided upon, perhaps, by amending the Constitution to allow prisoners to vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, during the voter registration exercise, voters are allowed to transfer from one polling station to another. However, the situation in Kazungula and many other areas is that a particular group of citizens is being rejected by the machines used by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). These are senior citizens like Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, Hon. Chikwanda and Hon. Kasonde. If those who are advanced in age want to transfer from one polling station to another, the machine is not able to process their photographs. 


Mr Livune: What is the Government doing to ensure that the senior citizens who want to transfer from one polling station to that of their choice are allowed to do so?

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Sir, I did not realise that to be advanced in age is a crime.


Mr Speaker: It is a blessing.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, this question sounds like mere speculation because I have not seen a machine that refuses to register someone on the basis of age.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I commend Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning for the statement. 

Sir, when you look at the figures for Lusaka Province, the newly-registered voters are 61,906, and one wonders whether it is possible to determine how many of those registered live in Lusaka Urban and how many live in Lusaka Rural. Such information could have helped us to know whether we are doing as well in Lusaka Rural as we are doing in Lusaka Urban. We, in Lusaka Rural, are always crying about how we are disadvantaged by being lumped together with Lusaka Urban.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the data has not yet been segregated on the basis of the urban/rural divide. If hon. Members would like to have those statistics, perhaps, they can be availed later. However, let me highlight one aspect of a report we got. Our observation is that there are fewer females than males who are getting voters’ cards on the Copperbelt, and in Lusaka and Muchinga provinces. So, perhaps, there is a need for hon. Members of Parliament to entice female would-be voters to register. The figures we have are worrying although they are only for two weeks, from 14th to 27th September, 2015. We need to do much more than this. So, I hope that the numbers had increased by yesterday.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Sir, I also thank Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning for the statement. 

Sir, there is no doubt in my mind that many young people want to register as voters. The problem is that they do not have national registration cards (NRCs). I am also convinced that going ahead with the voter registration exercise before the issuance of NRCs has been completed is an inefficient use of money because it is not achieving anything. So, since the Government is saying that it does not have that much money, why does it not consider suspending the voter registration exercise until after those who are issuing NRCs have completed that task? Thereafter, voter registration, which we have been told is a much simpler process compared to the issuance of NRCs, can be undertaken. 

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, we do not intend to stop the voter registration exercise. What we are trying to do now, as I mentioned earlier, is see to it that the two teams move together. We are looking at how we can raise enough resources to fund both exercises. The idea of abandoning one aspect of the process might not be the right thing to do at the moment.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, are the teams issuing national registration cards (NRCs) given a certain number of days to be at a given station? There are reports that, in some places, they have spent half a day or one day and left people on the queues.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the number of days that the teams must be at each registration centre is seven for the issuance of NRCs and fourteen for the registration of voters, which is ample time for people to be mobilised to visit the centres and access the two services. Please, note that it is the first time that the registration of voters and issuance of NRCs are being done in polling centres where people can easily walk to. This Government has tried to provide these services so that our people are not inconvenienced.

I thank you, Sir.




92. Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether the Government was aware of the presence of some insect along the Great East Road which appears to be dangerous to human and animal life;

(b)    whether the insect transmitted a disease; and

(c)    what measures the Government was taking to eradicate the insect.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, my ministry and other ministries have instituted investigations into this matter with the relevant departments and the District Health Offices situated on the Great East Road to ascertain the presence and type of the insect in question. 

Sir, the Government is still investigating whether the insect transmits diseases to humans and animals. After the assessment, the Ministry of Health and relevant departments will put in place any control measures that may be necessary.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, it is difficult to ask further questions because everything is still under investigation. So, I will just ask when we should expect feedback.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the investigation is on-going. So, the nature of the problem, if any, will determine the time it will take us to give feedback. Once the investigations have been concluded, we will come back to the House with the report.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that there are investigations being conducted. Are there some entomologists already in the area?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, yes, there are entomologists working with us, not only veterinary entomologists, but medical ones as well.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I am very surprised that the hon. Minister’s response to Part (a) of the question indicates that there is an on-going investigation on just the presence of insects, and whether they carry any disease or not. I am surprised because the Government has structures in all the districts and wonder how it can be difficult for the hon. Minister to get confirmation of the presence of the insect from the District Commissioners (DCs). The determination of whether insect carries any disease is what might require more advanced expertise.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, surveillance is one very important tool we use in disease control and prevention. Receiving a report is an important, but initial step of the process. What follows that is an investigation. Currently, we are not only ascertaining the presence of insects, but also determining whether they can cause disease in animals or humans.

Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that there are many insects that are of medical importance worldwide because they cause various diseases. These include lice, bedbugs, flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes and tsetse flies.

Mr Kambwili: Iwe, niinda fye!

Dr Chilufya: So, as we investigate any insect, we also want to determine the category to which it belongs. Diseases like dengue fever, malaria, mare vale encephalitis, lowalowa, chikunkunya are all caused by various insects.

Dr Kaingu: You said chukunku what?

Dr Chilufya: Chikunkunya.

So, we need to identify the insect and determine the class of disease-causing insects in which it might fall.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I thank my colleague, Hon. Mtolo Phiri, for asking this urgent question because this matter affects my whole constituency. 

Mr Speaker, when I went to my constituency, yesterday, I was informed that the insect is brought in by trucks that carry cotton and pass through the constituency. With that information, hon. Minister, is it possible for you to shorten the duration of the investigations, since I have given you a clue?

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Deputy Minister was justified in including all possibilities, especially in starting with the possibility that we have lice among us, and that …


Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, on a point of order.

Mr Kambwili: Eh, lolela ba Minister, iwe!

Mr Kampyongo: Continue, Sir!

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Kaingu: You have lice. Chikunkunya!

Dr Kasonde: Sir, whenever we get information about an incident like this, we harness the entirety of our investigative capacities. Perhaps, because of the scientific requirements and nature of our work, it would be unfair to place, ab initio, a limit on the investigation.

I thank you, Sir.


93. Mr Nkombo asked the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that a land-owner suffered physical injuries from which he subsequently died and was buried on 4th October, 2015, in the process of defending his piece of land from being invaded by suspected party cadres in Lusaka West;

(b)    what measure the Government had taken to stop party cadres from allocating land illegally; and

(c)    what criteria are used to legalise ownership of land that was originally acquired illegally.

The Deputy Minister of Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the reports that have been circulating in the media of a land-owner who allegedly died as a result of physical injuries he suffered in the process of defending his piece of land from being invaded by suspected party cadres in Lusaka. However, the truth of the matter is that the person in question died of natural causes. This was ascertained following a post-mortem that was conducted on 6th October, 2015, after a report was received by Matero Police from the relatives of the late on 5th October, 2015. The deceased was only buried on Tuesday, 6th October, 2015, after the post-mortem was conducted. Unfortunately, the relatives to the deceased have not gone back to Matero Police to follow up on the matter. That notwithstanding, Matero Police has since opened a docket on the case. 

Sir, it is important for the House to note that the deceased was not the legal owner of the land in question but had, unfortunately, acquired part of it from the cadres.

Mr Speaker, the measures that the Government has taken to stop party cadres from allocating illegally-acquired land include:

(a)    the establishment of the Inter-ministerial Taskforce on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition. The mandate of the taskforce is to curb all illegal land allocation and protecting life and property; authenticating land ownership and enforcing all land related legislation. Several individuals have been arrested and are appearing before the courts of law for illegal land transactions. To this effect, I wish to warn the general public that the taskforce will arrest anyone involved in illegal land demarcation and allocation regardless of their political status. The Government will not tolerate the culture of people using illegal means to acquire land. There are laws that govern the administration of land in this country and every Zambian is expected to adhere to them. In addition, I warn Zambians not to start building on any piece of land without the necessary legal documents. Otherwise, their structures will be demolished without any compensation. All those who are currently building on illegally-acquired land should stop immediately;

(b)    a directive has been given all councils across the country to take charge of all open spaces, public play parks and other public recreation areas. In addition, the councils have been instructed to obtain legal documentation for such open space areas and maintain them well. Furthermore, the councils have been urged to be alert and deal with illegal invaders of land on time; and

(c)    enhanced collaboration with the security wings to strongly deal with individuals illegally invading private land. 

Sir, there is no way that law-abiding citizens of this great country who have acquired their land through the right procedure can be held to ransom by such people. It is unacceptable and should stop forthwith.

Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is determined to bring sanity and order in the administration of land in the country. Zambians should, therefore, follow the laid-down procedures in acquiring land, and play a role in bringing sanity and order in the administration of land.

Mr Speaker, there is no criterion used to legalise the ownership of land that was originally illegally acquired. The PF Government does not, and will never, promote illegality in the acquisition of land. However, being party to the Kampala Convention on the Protection of the Internally Displaced Persons, Zambia has the responsibility to protect internally displaced persons and study each request to regularise land ownership originally acquired in such a manner.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection …

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, we have been gracious enough, this afternoon, to give the Government time to investigate the very serious issue that I raised through the Question of an Urgent Nature that you allowed. 

Mr Speaker, because of tribal cousinship, I can take the joke of Hon. Kambwili, Hon. Kapaya and others who have been teasing me since yesterday that what the people in the Eastern Province are suffering from is an infestation of lice.


Mr Mtolo: However, is the hon. Minister of Health in order to euphemise and joke about this issue when millions of Zambians living along the Great East Road are suffering? Even the people constructing the road are having serious trouble with this insect, which is, surely, not lice, as it flies. The people are being tormented as a result of the hon. Minister of Health’s failure to know about this menace despite its having been there for the last two or three years. You cannot stop at the Luangwa Bridge to buy fish because the insects will be all over you within a minute. I decided not to ask a follow-up question on the issue because of what the able hon. Deputy Minister said in response to the principal Question. I am actually very disturbed because the people who are listening will wonder how the hon. Minister of Health can trivialise such an important issue.

Mr Speaker: I agree that this is a serious matter. I also think that we have given it due attention. I believe that the hon. Deputy Minister was very exhaustive in his response, as he stated that all the possibilities are being investigated to ensure that the truth of the matter is ascertained. So, for the time being, let us give the relevant ministry an opportunity to conclude the investigations. There is no doubt that it is a grave matter. 

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Deputy Minister for his answer, especially his humble demeanour in answering it and the importance I think he attaches to this matter. I wish all other hon. Ministers behaved like that.

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that there was no mechanism for legalising illegally obtained land in our statutes. However, I put it to him that the Lusaka City Council (LCC) legalised some piece of land that was illegally acquired a fortnight ago. He can investigate the matter through the inter-ministerial taskforce if he wishes. My question is: Given this scenario, does the hon. Minister realise that the act of legalising illegally-obtained land precipitating the illegal allocation of land with impunity by Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, which we believe was what occasioned the death of Mr Simfukwe?

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Nkombo for his kind sentiments. 

Sir, as regards his assertions about the Lusaka City Council (LCC) legalising illegally-acquired land, the ministry will investigate to ascertain what happened.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I also thank the hon. Deputy Minister for the very good answer to the question asked by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. 

Mr Speaker, imagine that I have a cardiac problem and someone comes to raid my farm or the land on which I live and, in the confusion, my blood pressure goes up and, subsequently, you hear that Hon. Jonas Shakafuswa is no more, would that death be due to natural causes or would it be precipitated by the illegal invasion of my land?

Mr Speaker: I am not sure whether a question of causation of death should be posed to the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental protection. Anyway, hon. Minister, in case you want to venture into it, go ahead.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult for me to answer a question of this nature because certification of death and its cause is done by doctors. Maybe, the Ministry of Justice would be able answer the question.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, are the instructions that the taskforce has given to councils effective, considering that people’s farms and land are being invaded daily? What serious measures is the Government effecting to protect Zambians?

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, the taskforce is working with all police Officers-in-Charge countrywide and will have a workshop with them next week. The officers patrol areas where they get reports of invasions. When our ministry receives any complaint from land-owners, the Ministry of Home Affairs is alerted and it quickly goes on the ground to help the affected people. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, what would the hon. Minister do if a piece of land was acquired illegally, through fake minutes, but the ministry granted a title deed to that land?

Mr Speaker: It reminds me of my lectures in Land Law. 

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, councils are the agents of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. Normally, councils recommend the numbering and issuance of title deeds to the applicants. So, if it is ascertained that an application was fake and that all the minutes and relevant documents were forged, we do not go ahead to allocate a number to that piece of land. If the title deed was issued before the discovery of fraud, we cancel the title.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, I also thank the hon. Minister for his very informative response. That said, is he aware that, in Lusaka, some people are getting title deeds for land reserved for roads? For example, some of the land reserved for roads in Chinika has been fenced off by people who claim to have legal title. Additionally, where can that problem be reported? 

Mr Speaker: That is a new question, hon. Member for Chavuma, and I think that it requires proper investigation for an informative response to be made. However, if the answer is at hand, the hon. Minister can provide it. 

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, I do not have the answer at hand. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I was listening attentively to the hon. Deputy Minister’s response to part (b) of the question, which was on the measures the Government had taken to stop party cadres, in this case, Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, from allocating land illegally. In his response, he indicated that there is an inter-ministerial taskforce and that the Government will not tolerate illegal land allocation by cadres, which has been stated repeatedly in the past. However, what is on the ground is very different from what the hon. Minister wants us to believe. I can give the example of some businesses in Lusaka whose wall fences have been demolished by PF cadres, who have built shops where the fences used to be. Can the hon. Minister now admit that the Government and, in particular, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) has totally lost control to PF cadres in land allocation in Lusaka District?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili) (on behalf of the Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Ms Ngimbu)): Mr Speaker, to begin with, I did not expect that question to be asked by an hon. Member who was in the previous Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, this issue is not about Patriotic Front (PF) cadres because those who are grabbing land from our people are actually not cadres, but the same people who did it in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. I think that, by and large, the PF has gone a step further in addressing this issue. Remember when some people purporting to be PF cadres went and invaded land belonging to Gaulani land?

Hon. Government Members: Galaun!

Mr Kambwili: Those people are appearing in court now, which could not happen in the MMD Administration. So, is this the way we will conduct our politics, that when you get out of the Government, you start thinking of a problem that you caused? It is not fair. The perpetrators are not PF cadres, but people who are just masquerading as such, and we are doing everything possible to clean what Hon. Namugala failed to clean.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


94. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Health: 

(a)    when the construction of a health post and staff houses at Ndoka Bridge in Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency would be completed; and 

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


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us follow the response from the hon. Minister. 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the construction of a health post and staff houses at Ndoka Bridge in Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency has reached an advanced stage. The clinic structure has been completed, and the Government has just released resources to complete the staff houses. The project is expected to be completed by December, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the delay in completing the project was due to delayed release of resources from the Ministry of Finance. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order on Mr Kambwili, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: ... the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting. 

Mr Speaker, you have, on several occasions, guided that those who were in previous Governments should not be censured from asking questions by those in the current one on the basis of the actions they took, or failed to take. Therefore, is Hon. Kambwili in order to ignore your rulings with impunity and censure Hon. Namugala from asking a question that affects members of the public?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

 I reserve my ruling.

Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, you may continue. 

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the project has delayed due to the delayed release of funds. Given that the latest allocation to the project was around K120,000, is the money that has been released the same amount as the budgeted amount? Additionally, is the disbursed amount adequate to complete the project? The project site is 25 km from the nearest clinic. So, the people there walk 25 km to Namatindi, Nguma, and Lukona clinics to access health care, and it has been like that for some time now. Meanwhile, the project has stalled for this long. So, is this the final disbursement or will there be more before the project can finally be completed? 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is committed to delivering health services as close as possible to where the people are. It is for this reason that the resources for infrastructure have been released. We have released adequate resources to complete the clinic at Ndoka Bridge.  Come December, we will invite the hon. Member to the commissioning of the clinic. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I believe that the clinic at Ndoka Bridge is one of those whose construction started some four or five years ago, but it still has not been completed to date. On the other hand, as we have been told, the clinics financed by the loan from the Government of India will be commissioned very soon. Is it not embarrassing for other  governments to show a greater commitment to completing projects in Zambia while projects funded by the Government of the Republic of Zambia, including several health posts in Liuwa and many other places, remain uncompleted for years on end? Can the Government not show more commitment to developing Zambia than that shown by the Government of India? 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, I am hesitant to agree that there were 125 health centres whose construction started before 2010, but was later abandoned. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government decided to complete the health posts. However, the resources for the completion of the health centres were only released after 2011. 

Mr Speaker, a number of the health centres whose construction started in 2009 have not yet been completed because they were not funded adequately then. However, this Government has now released funds to complete all the 125 centres. 
Sir, the Indian credit line for construction of health posts is totally different and came as a complete package for infrastructure and equipment. Our role is to simply deploy the human resource. So, the two modalities are different. The 125 posts that we are talking about are a carry-over problem, but we are doing everything possible to resolve it. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Antonio (Kaoma): Mr Speaker, what is the cost of this project that has taken this long? 

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, after the project had stalled and the contract re-awarded, the re-estimated cost is K250,000. 

I thank you, Sir. 


95. Mr Namulambe asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to revert the issuance of road tax licences and other licences to local authorities in order to boost their revenue base and increase access points by clients;

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

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

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, currently, the registration and licensing of vehicles and trailers is done by the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) in accordance with the Road Traffic Act of 2002, and the revenues collected are paid into the National Road Fund (NRF), which finances the construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads, and road transport and traffic safety management. 

Sir, assigning the collection of road taxes to the RTSA has significantly improved collection efficiency from previous levels as evidenced by the steady increase in revenue generated from road taxes in the recent past. That notwithstanding, the Government recognises the scope for local authorities to get involved in the collection of road taxes for purposes of boosting their revenue base. As hon. Members are aware, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that hon. Members may be aware that the Government is very keen to implement the Decentralisation Policy. The Fiscal Decentralisation Programme is designed to accommodate local authorities in the administration of instruments for revenue and expenditure management, hence providing an alternative platform for participation in revenue …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Chikwanda: … collection and sharing. To that effect, the Government is currently working on modalities of implementing fiscal decentralisation, which includes the assessment of whether the devolution of taxes would be the optimal approach to delivering development financing to local authorities. 

Mr Speaker, in the meantime, in order to boost the revenue base of local authorities, the Government established the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) this year. Through this fund, local authorities will be provided with a predictable and buoyant source of funding from the Central Government to supplement their own revenues. It should also be noted that property rates are a reliable and buoyant source of revenue for local authorities. It is, therefore, necessary that the local authorities enhance their efficiencies in collecting property rates. To this end, my ministry will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in ensuring that the laws on valuation of properties are in tandem with changes in time and developments in local authorities.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that response.

Sir, in Mpongwe, we currently have many vehicles because of the farming activities being undertaken there. As such, we want to pave our township roads, which is currently our priority. Will the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy and the expected increase of the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF) be adequate sources of revenue for the councils to be able to pave the roads? 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the LGEF, which is now limited to only 5 per cent of the total revenue collected by the Central Government, is certainly not enough. I think that, going forward, it might be prudent for the Central Government to forego the revenues arising from vehicle licences. The other thing is that big agglomerations like Lusaka and the big towns on the Copperbelt, which have more vehicles, will get a lot of revenue while many councils on the periphery will get no revenue at all because even the vehicles operating in those areas may be registered in the big cities.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, if we are to be serious with decentralisation, we have to enhance the revenue base for the local authorities. Otherwise, the decentralisation effort will be a futility through a lack of means for the local authorities to implement their development programmes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his good answer, which needs to be implemented. 

Sir, the hon. Minister has pointed out that, if the Central Government foregoes the road tax licences and lets the councils collect it, there will be an imbalance in that the big cities would benefit more compared to the small towns. Has he not thought that the big cities are already sitting on gold because they get more revenue from activities like the evaluation of big houses, and town and business levies? Does he not think that it would be proper for the small councils, such as Mpongwe and Chibombo, to be given that task function so that, at least, they may be able to raise revenues that they can plough back into service delivery to the people?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the ideas expounded by the hon. Members for Mpongwe and Katuba should be taken on board by the Government. We must give meaning to decentralisation by going beyond mere rhetoric or verbalising. If the Central Government thinned out its blotted establishments at the centre, it could be able to release more than 5 per cent of its total revenue to the local authorities for them to have the means to carry out their various well-intended development plans that do not get implemented on account of paucity of resources.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, the 5 per cent …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I rose on a point of order similar to this in the last Meeting when it had become a burden on my conscience for the people of Malambo, Mulobezi and Petauke constituencies to continue having no representation in Parliament. 

Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) recently sued the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), purporting that the latter was delaying in declaring a by-election in Kasama Central Constituency. Now, what is good for the gander is good for the goose. However, my interest is to attempt to elucidate a Constitutional breach by the PF. 

Sir, let me quote Part VIII of our Constitution, which concerns the local government system:

“109    (1) There shall be such system of local government in Zambia as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.

(2)    The system of local government shall be based on democratically elected councils on the basis of universal adult suffrage.”

Mr Speaker, let me now quote the Local Government Act, Chapter 282, which is in connection with the vacancy that was occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Mulenga Sata, who was a Councillor in Lusaka, as hon. Deputy Minister at State House. The vacancy has been there since January, 2016. This is in spite of the case not having been subject to any legal cases.

“There shall be one councillor elected for each ward into which the area of a council is divided and, without prejudice to the Local Government Act, every councillor of a council shall hold office for the duration of the period expiring immediately before the result of the next ordinary election held in respect of that council or in respect of the ward for which he is elected councillor, as the case may be, is duly declared.”

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the ECZ has written letters to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to find out why the principal officer of the Lusaka City Council (LCC) has hesitated to declare Hon. Mulenga Sata’s seat vacant so that the people of Lusaka Central Constituency and, in particular, the ward he represented, can be represented.

Sir, is the Government in order to allow this situation to continue? Additionally, is Hon. Mulenga Sata still the councillor for the ward in question? 

I seek your ruling, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that I have stated before that my interpretation of the Constitution and the general laws of the land will be limited to the extent to which such provisions affect the operations of the House. The subject that you have raised does not fall within my domain. I have also said that I respect the Constitutional doctrine of the separation of powers. We have a branch of the Government dedicated to the function you wish me to perform. As you have pointed out, a question has rightly been put before the High Court in relation to the Kasama Central Seat. That is the appropriate organ to resort to.

Continue, Hon. Pande.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Minister that the Local Government Equalisation Fund (LGEF), which is limited to 5 per cent of the total revenue collected by the Central Government, is not enough. However, has the Government been able to fully disburse these funds to the councils, little as they are, considering that we are going towards the end of the year? I know that many councils are suffering due to a scarcity of resources.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I cannot say with certainty whether we are on course in the release of funds. I have to research on that so that I can give the hon. Member an accurate answer. However, the issue of the inadequacy of resources in the local authorities is one that we really must address more vigorously.

Sir, in the past, some local authorities had a lot of initiative. I remember, during my tenure at the Ministry of Local Government in the late 1970s, some city councils, such as Lusaka, Kitwe and Ndola, were budget surplus areas. Something went amiss later because of the way governance was mixed up under our glorious party, the United National Independence Party (UNIP). However, in our capacities as hon. Members of Parliament, we should prod the local authorities to show little more initiative. The idea of being an autonomous institution that perpetually leans on the apron strings of the Central Government is a contradiction. Autonomous institutions must depend on their resources. I know that, for now, we need to build up the capacity of such institutions. However, they should enhance their capacities in areas where they have the capacity to do so. For instance, they can improve the collection of rates and in other areas where they have possibilities of enhancing their incomes. There is too much dependency on the Central Government, whose resources will be increasingly scarce. That is not a viable route to take, going forward.

I thank you, Sir.

96. Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata) (on behalf of Mr Mufalali (Senanga)) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the construction of the road from Nande to Lui-Mweemba in Senanga District would be completed; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the road in question is approximately 19.8 km long and sandy, with several crossing points on it. A 20 m bell mouth was provided at the junction of the Nande/Lui-Mweemba and Senanga/Sesheke roads during works on the Senanga/Sesheke Road. The road, including the crossing points on it, were surveyed and submitted for procurement. 

Sir, the works on the road have not commenced due to non-availability of funds. That is the reason for the delay. So, the works will commence as soon as funds become available.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Habeenzu: Mr Speaker, since the road has been surveyed, what is the estimated cost of constructing it?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the normal procedure is for a project budget to be determined after the procurement process has been finalised, not before.

I thank you, Sir.


97. Mr Chipungu asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    whether the Government had any immediate plans to tar the road from the Great East Road Junction to Rufunsa Girls Technical School in Rufunsa Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    if so, when the road would be tarred; and

(c)    what the estimated cost of tarring the road was.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the road in question stretches over 21 km from the Great East Road Junction to the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) Gate. The 9 km between the junction and Rufunsa Girls Technical School is gravel road while the rest of the stretch is graded earth road. The entire 21 km stretch has been put under routine maintenance and plans are underway for the contractor to carry out maintenance grading under the routine maintenance contract. 

Mr Speaker, the road might be considered for a possible upgrade in the 2017 Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP). 

Sir, the cost estimates will only be known after detailed engineering designs have been drawn.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, it is not true that the road is of gravel standard. It is in such a poor state that most of my colleagues with children at Rufunsa Girls Technical School complain about it. So, is it not possible for the Government to grade the road properly, unlike the superficial works that the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) did on it? The RRU did not do the actual formation of the road. So, I plead with the Government to help not only the people of Rufunsa, but also those from Lusaka who take their children to the beautiful school.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the plans we have are to upgrade the road in question to gravel standard.

 I thank you, Sir.


98. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Higher Education:

(a)    when the construction of a university in Katete District would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of Higher Education (Mr Mushanga): Mr Speaker, the construction of the University College of Applied Arts in Katete District is under a loan facility negotiated by the Zambian Government with the Kuwaiti and Abu Dhabi Groups, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA). The facility provides for the engagement of a consultant, who is expected to develop the design for the university, engage a contractor and supervise the project.

Sir, the ministry has just completed the tender process for the engagement of the consultant and six consultants have been shortlisted for clearance by the funders, as provided for in the loan agreement. It is envisaged that the consultant will be engaged before the end of 2015. The designs and engagement of a contractor will all be completed by April, 2016. 

Mr Speaker, the contractor has not yet been selected and the cost of the project will only be known after the bill of quantities (BoQ) and designs have been completed by the consultant. 

Sir, the project time frame is three years.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is somersaulting. Last time, the hon. Minister, Dr Kaingu, spoke very well and gave us hope on this matter. He told this House that the construction of the university college in Katete would start before the end of 2015. Therefore, all that has been said about a consultant and the loan is new to the people of Katete. Could he be very categorical and tell us when the construction of the university will commence. Is he trying to run away from his previous answer? 

The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, what we are constructing in Katete is a university college, not a university. I will not run away from the answer that I gave on the Floor of the House, as it is similar to the one my hon. Deputy Minister has just read. I am sure that the hon. Member appreciates that.

Sir, the construction of the three university colleges, namely, Katete, Solwezi and Nalolo, is being funded by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund. We are engaging the consultant to draw the designs. After that has been done and the counterpart funding has been authorised, we will start building the university college. So, I assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza that we are not running away from what we had said, and that we will build the university colleges.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that Standing Orders 19, 20, 21, and 31 be suspended to enable the House to sit from 1415 hours tomorrow, Friday, 9th October, 2015, until business has been concluded, and that the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning’s Question Time be omitted from the business of the day.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the House is aware that, in accordance with its tradition, the hon. Minister of Finance presents the National Budget on a Friday afternoon each year. However, Standing Orders 19, 20, and 21 provide that the House shall sit from 0900 hours to 1300 hours on Fridays while Standing Order 31 provides for the House to have the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning’s Question Time on Fridays. It is for these reasons that I move this Motion to suspend Standing Orders 19, 20, 21, and 31 so that the House sits from 1415 hours tomorrow, Friday, 9th October, 2015, and that it omits the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning’s Question Time from the Business of the day so as to provide the hon. Minister of Finance ample time to present the 2016 National Budget.

Mr Speaker, this being a straightforward and non-controversial Motion, I urge all hon. Members of this august House to support it.

Sir, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief. 

Sir, from the outset, let me say that I support the Motion that we suspend the relevant Standing Orders to allow us to sit and listen to the Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance, as per tradition.

Mr Speaker, the presentation of the Budget is a necessary event. As such, having listened to a number of Budget Speeches by the hon. Minister of Finance, it would be good for us to come back tomorrow prepared to take note of everything that the hon. Minister will say. It will also be good to see whether, this time around, the Budget will be adhered to. 

Sir, let me just bring out one quick point regarding the presentation of the Budget, which is the tradition of excessive drinking of alcohol on Parliament Grounds each time there is presentation of the Budget. Since the current Budget collapsed, and going by its performance, I request the hon. Minister of Finance to prevail upon those responsible for procurement to avoid buying unnecessary drinks tomorrow. If the drinks have already been purchased, we can reserve them for the year when the Budget will be more successful.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member who has contributed to this Motion. As I said, the Motion is non-controversial. So, I believe that all hon. Members of the House will support it. 

Sir, on the issue of the refreshments served during this occasion, that is an in-house matter. I think that invited guests would like to partake of them, of course, without excessive extravaganza, and enjoy the day.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate Resumed)

Mr Simuusa (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to continue my debate on the Speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, yesterday, I said that I would concentrate on the issues that were not addressed in the President’s Speech. I hope that, as the hon. Minister of Finance comes to present the 2016 National Budget, he will address those issues. 

Sir, one of the issues I raised, which needs to be addressed, was that of the foreign exchange rate. We need direction on what to do about the foreign exchange rate. I gave an example of Zimbabwe, where I was not so long ago, which uses the United States (US) Dollar as its currency. That is very unfortunate because it is as if the country has lost its sovereignty.

Mr Speaker, the mining sector was also conspicuously left out from the President’s Speech. We need a clear direction in that sector in Zambia. We need to know where we are going and what we should do. Whether we like it or not, mining will remain the backbone of this economy for many years to come. So, we cannot afford a business-as-usual or casual approach towards the sector. That is because, as you can see, the issues that affect the mining sector affect this country. For example, not so long ago, His Excellency the President instructed the hon. Minister of Finance to reverse the decision made by this House to increase the mineral royalty tax to 20 per cent by reducing it to 6 or 9 per cent ... 

Mrs Masebo interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Chongwe.

Mr Simuusa: ... and, I think, 30 per cent for corporate tax. That was a reversal on the mining tax regime and it had an effect on the country. Despite the reversal, mining companies, and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in particular, have stated that they are still making losses and have proceeded to lay off workers, cancel contracts and default on payments to suppliers. They have also stopped construction works. So, given this scenario, what is the way forward? Will we carry on with the current mining tax policy? The mining companies’ current actions show that they mean what they have been saying. 

Mr Speaker, the problems in the mining sector need to be clearly addressed when the hon. Minister of Finance comes to present the Budget or as the skeleton of the Budget puts on flesh. I am aware that a powerful team under the auspices of the hon. Minister of Finance was sent to Chile to look at what was happening in that country’s mining sector, which is doing very well. What were the findings of that delegation? Will our policies be informed by some of the findings? For instance, will we emulate Chile in having one Government-owned mine, which is run parallel to the mines owned by foreign companies? What will we do about the fact that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which lagged behind us in copper production, has now overtaken us? Our production has gone down and we need to hear from the Government on these issues.

Sir, what will we do with the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH)? I have always submitted that the ZCCM-IH is a watchdog that holds the interests of Zambians in the mining sector. However, this watchdog is sleeping. Given that the ZCCM-IH sits on the boards of all these mining companies, it should analyse issues and make projections on whose basis it can warn us of any impending problems. Currently, however, some of the events in the mining sector have taken us all by surprise. That does not help the interests of the country. So, we need to be very clear on what we will do about the ZCCM-IH. I do not agree with the notion that the ZCCM-IH should be turned into an investment company that will hold stakes in sectors other than mining, for example, in coffee and real estate. That is a fallacy because the company was created to secure and safeguard the interest of Zambia in the mining industry. So, making it to deal in coffee and real estate is a fallacy whose result is what we are going through currently. It is because we do not have a watchdog in the mining sector. No one is looking out for our interest, and that has to be corrected. 

Sir, it has been submitted before, and I agree with the submission, that the solution to Zambia’s economic woes is industrialisation. We have to industrialise. What are we doing in that respect? Many studies have been undertaken and reports written by very serious organisations on this subject. One of the organisations is the Southern African Development Community (SADC). I, again, thank you for allowing me to represent the Zambian Parliament in Harare at the SADC- Parliamentary Forum (SADC-PF), which looked at this topic. The development strategy for SADC member countries stressed that the solution for economies like Zambia’s is industrialisation. That is what was submitted in black and white at the Harare Meeting, and I agree with this 120 per cent. Industrialisation is the means for transforming Zambia’s economy. 

Mr Speaker, the theme of His Excellency the President’s Speech was that we should embrace transformation. However, a key ingredient in transformation is industrialisation, and I think that the President stated that when he was in New York recently. How I wish he had mentioned it in his Speech to this House so that we know the direction we will take as a country. Without that clear direction, we will be looking at irrelevant issues and forgetting the most important one, which is industrialisation.
Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Sir, our tragedy is that we are not going in the right direction at all on this aspect. Instead of developing our manufacturing sector, we are becoming traders and we import milk instead of encouraging local producers. That is why I hope that the hon. Minister of Finance will look at this matter critically when he comes to deliver his Budget Address tomorrow. 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the way we treat the professions in this country is unfortunate. If we are serious, how are we connecting our manufacturing to power generation? How are we prioritising science and technology? We should be prioritising what I call ‘scientific careers,’ such as engineering, mechanics and artisanship, and I declare interest because I am an engineer. Our priorities are wrong in this country. I do not want to disparage other people’s careers but, if you look at the careers that are glorified, you will be amazed. If you ask children on the street what they want to become when they grow up, they will say ‘accountant’ or ‘banker’.  Just this morning, I was part of a parliamentary caucus that was interacting with school children and I decided to do something I had done four years ago. I went round asking each of them what they wanted to become in the future. The answers I got were “banker”, “lawyer” and some sort of analyst. None one of them talked about wanting to be an engineer, mechanic, artisan or scientist.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I think that, starting from the very top, we should talk about the need for us to industrialise. We need to put things right. I hear that 70 per cent of the Chinese Government’s Cabinet are engineers. No wonder, China is the second biggest economy in the world today. So, maybe, we can learn something from that. It is important to set our priorities right. If we are serious with industrialisation, we should show it. Even the way we allocate our resources should show that we are serious about industrialisation. The problem is that we are de-industrialising instead of industrialising.

Mr Speaker, the first Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, tried to start the industrial revolution in this country. We produced the Tip-Top drink, we also had the Livingstone Motor Assembly and Mansa Battery Factory. Unfortunately, when there is change of Government in Zambia, the programmes started by the previous regime are scrapped-off. We should be consistent, for goodness’ sake. We saw the condemnation of programmes started by previous regimes from the time we had Dr Kaunda, Dr Chiluba, Mr Sata and the present Head of State. Let us stop that. The Livingstone Motor Assembly should have been employing Zambian engineers and producing simple things like a car chassis or door, which we currently import. We could even have moved to producing our own cars. Unfortunately, we have gone in reverse. Instead of improving the Tip-Top drink, we closed the factory. 

Mr Speaker, we are at a very critical time in our country, and I think that we need a clear direction this time. So, I will reiterate my hope that the hon. Minister of Finance will put some flesh on this skeleton that is the President’s Speech tomorrow. I hope that we will not continue to have a skeleton walking with no flesh on the head or tako, which is a buttock, but a full person.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Security (Ms Kansembe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the honour and privilege to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Speech delivered to this House during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. I feel joyful to join other progressive Zambians in congratulating His Excellency the President on delivering a brilliant Speech, which outlined various measures for addressing current pressing challenges and future concerns without compromising the sustainability of future generations. I believe that, fifty years after Independence, this is the direction we ought to take.

Mr Speaker, I intend to be brief and to the point, bearing in mind that the Speech has been debated extensively thus far. I will, therefore, restrict my contribution to areas in the Speech that pertain to employment and productivity.

Mr Speaker, given the challenges our nation is facing, fifty years after Independence, I commend His Excellency for choosing a suitable theme, that is, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.” Relating this theme to employment and productivity means looking at how Zambia must fully embrace the Decent Work Agenda.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President informed this House that the Government is committed to ensuring that our people have access to decent jobs. I wish, therefore, to elaborate the concept of decent employment. 

Sir, the Decent Work Agenda for Zambia has four broad measures of decent and productive employment, namely, enjoyment of fundamental rights and standards at work, creation of employment and dignity of work, strengthening of social protection and strengthening of social dialogue. The first Decent Work Country Programme in Zambia ran from 2008 to 2012. Currently, Zambia is implementing the second programme, which will run until 2016. 

Mr Speaker, let me relate the measures of decent work to the President’s Speech. 

Sir, sadly, our workers continue not to fully enjoy their rights and standards at work. This is partially attributed to some archaic provisions of the labour legislation and the ensuing cumbersome procedures of seeking redress. In this regard, and in line with its manifesto, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government embarked on labour law reforms as soon as it assumed power.

Mr Speaker, during the Official Opening of the current Session of Parliament, His Excellency the President informed this House that the hon. Minister responsible for labour will present to this House the Employment Bill aimed at regulating casualisation of labour, short-term contracts of employment and undue termination of employment. I am pleased to inform this House that, barely three weeks after that pronouncement, the 21st Meeting of the Cabinet held on 5th October, 2015, discussed the Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2015, and approved its publication and presentation to Parliament during this Meeting. This is an excellent example of a man of action. However, I would like to state that this amendment by no means displaces or detracts from the will of the Government to undertake a comprehensive review of the labour legislation.

Mr Speaker, the Government remains committed to sound occupational safety and health, and ensuring a safe workplace. In this regard, I wish to inform this august House that consultations on developing the Occupational Safety and Health Policy are nearing completion. The policy will articulate general principles and procedures that employers will observe in relation to the management of occupational health and safety, and is in line with upholding the standards of the workplace environment.

Mr Speaker, this House was informed by his Excellency the President that, in the last four years, the economy has created over 480,000 jobs in various sectors. This is in line with measures taken to create employment and opportunities for our citizenry. This House was further informed that the Government will continue to implement the Industrialisation and Job Creation Strategy, and other pro-employment policies and programmes. This commendable endeavour is cardinal for the dignity of our citizens.

Mr Speaker, the third measure has to do with social protection of our workforce. Chapter 7 of the PF Manifesto clearly provides that, once in power, our Government would undertake broad-based pension reforms. Since September, 2011, a number of pension reform activities have been undertaken to ensure the efficiency of the pension system and secure the post-retirement livelihoods of our senior citizens, retirees and their families. The key milestones achieved, thus far, in the reform process include the completion of technical reports and consultations, formulation of the communication strategy on pension reforms and the commencement of the drafting of the Social Protection Bill. Currently, the Government, through the Ministry of Justice, is finalising the Bill. Let me hasten to mention that some aspects of the reforms, including the retirement age, have already been presented and passed by this august House.

Mr Speaker, the last measure borders on social dialogue, especially among the social partners, namely, workers’ and employers’ representatives. Social dialogue is cardinal in ensuring industrial harmony in the country. In that regard, the Government continues to constantly engage its social partners in enhancing dialogue in the country. When the PF assumed power in September, 2011, it found that the Government was struggling to hold the Tripartite Consultative Labour Council (TCLC) meetings annually. I am pleased to inform this House that, since 2013, the TCLC meetings have been held, at least, twice in a year. This is a clear demonstration of the PF Government’s resolve to enhance social dialogue in the country.

Mr Speaker, the implementation of these measures ensures that our workers have decent and productive jobs and, above all, guarantees equity and social justice in the country. However, our economy is facing a serious decent work deficit, which is that of the large informal sector. His Excellency the President acknowledged this challenge in his Address when he mentioned that too many of our people remain outside the formal sector and urged The Government to work with the private sector to enhance the formalisation of the informal sector. The Government knows that the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda is constricted to the formal sector, as the precarious conditions that exist in the informal sector make it challenging to replicate the programme there. Formalisation of the informal sector, therefore, remains a top priority of this Government in realising a smart Zambia now.

Mr Speaker, the improvement of productivity is key to the attainment of our Vision 2030 objective of becoming a middle-income and prosperous country. So, I certainly agree with his Excellency the President that productivity improvements ought to start with a change of attitude towards work, beginning with the public service. I am also pleased to note that His Excellency the President pointed out that the Government is considering establishing a national productivity centre, which will promote continuous improvement in the economy. This is the direction we ought to take in transforming our economy.

Mr Speaker, I indicated in my preamble that I intended to be brief. I, therefore, urge every Zambian to embrace the progressive strategic direction of His Excellency the President in realising a smart Zambia now, and the future we want for ourselves and our children. However, as I conclude, I think I will be failing in my duties if I do not comment on the President’s clarion call for all of us to pray and fast for our country on 18th October, 2015. I have been listening to the debate on this matter from across the country, and I think that 99.9 per cent of our people are for the idea of praying and fasting. Maybe, only 0.1 per cent are the agents of Lucifer, …

Mr Nkombo: Ah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kansembe: … who do not want to pray. When we pray, we all know …

Mr Nkombo: You are the people who prevented us from coming!

Ms Kansembe: … that God will heal our land and reunite us.

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

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister at State House (Mr Sata): Mr Speaker, I am greatly honoured to have an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the President’s Speech, which was delivered during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on 18th October, 2015. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to heartily congratulate His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, on delivering a well-thought-out and inspirational Speech to the nation through this august House. 

Mr Speaker, for the President’s Speech to be meaningful, there is an urgent need for action-oriented technocrats with the necessary passion to drive the nation’s development agenda to quickly operationalise the policy statements it contains. There is a need to overhaul the Civil Service, which is currently a black hole that consumes the bulk of our Budget, leaving little for development projects. 

Mr Speaker, his Excellency’s theme for the address was ‘Embracing a Transformation Culture for a Smart Zambia Now’. Allow me to echo his Excellency’s call for the nation to be adaptive, innovative and determined to change the way we do things if are to attain this transformation he talked about. We need to change the way we think, behave and do things. My whole debate is premised on this, and I wish to specifically focus on one of his Excellency’s thematic areas, that is, “Embracing Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” 

Mr Speaker, the affirmation theme is apt, and the transformation that the President talked about has been long overdue for our country, which seeks to prosper and become a middle income country. This is the path that we have to seriously tread. We have been overly reliant on foreign investment. Now, we should not miss this opportunity to vigorously promote and exploit innovation and entrepreneurship as one of the major thrusts for job creation and poverty reduction among our people. It goes without saying that this innovation should be promoted in primary, higher and tertiary education levels. We have to actively pursue the agenda to create a functional middle class and an indigenous cadre of young and middle-aged entrepreneurs to drive our economy. 

Mr Speaker, it is a fact that some of the most buoyant economies in Asia and Africa have succeeded due to their focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, which have resulted in vibrant local industries steered by the citizens through small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Examples to draw lessons from are many, but the vital role we now need to play, as a Government, is that of providing an enabling environment for the SMEs to thrive. This entails easy access to capital, facilitation of markets, both locally and abroad, restrictions on importation of goods and services, and promotion of value addition to our goods. The role of the Government agencies, such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), should be to act as agents of transformation, bringing the very large informal economy that is prevalent currently into the mainstream. 

Mr Speaker, our nation is endowed with abundant resources and we already have young people who run a myriad of small enterprises. However, their biggest challenges are the lack of capital to procure equipment and stiff competition from imports, which have flooded our markets unabated. Therefore, we need to urgently address these bottlenecks and help our young people to become their own employers instead of looking to the Government for white-collar jobs. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: This also calls for a change of mindset and the zeal for the young people to contribute to the development of our nation. This sector will not only contribute to the nation’s Treasury, but also assist in our diversification programme. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to acknowledge, with gratitude, the President’s inspirational selflessness and desire to lead by example in bringing about sustainable cost-saving measures through his act of forfeiting his pension entitlement of a Government house and related benefits. The savings to the Government will be huge, going forward. I am surprised that some people, including those on the other side who have the word ‘development’ in the name of their party, have criticised the decision, claiming that it does not have an immediate effect on the current situation. These are people who purport to focus on national development and taking Zambia forward, yet they criticised a forward-looking Speech on the basis that a fifty-year vision is too long-term. Without a fifty-year vision, how do we avoid making the mistakes that we have made before? The crisis that we are currently going through is not new. We have been through this commodity boom and burst before, but we should make sure that it does not happen again in the future. 

Mr Speaker, we, parliamentarians, should emulate this example by foregoing some of the proposed salary increments. I am morally obliged to mention this issue, having been, until recently, Mayor of Lusaka and President of the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ). I know about the lot of the councillors. To put it in perspective, the daily sitting allowance of an hon. Member of Parliament is equivalent to the monthly stipend of the Mayor of Lusaka and double that of councillors across the country, ... 


Mr Sata: … allowances that I am reliably informed Back Benchers receive several times over.

Mr Speaker, it is important to debate ourselves …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, let me just provide guidance. 

The well-settled convention of the House is not to debate ourselves. So, steer away from that.

You may continue.

Mr Sata: Mr Speaker, old habits die hard. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to end by quoting the young man, Elliot Bisnow. For the record, Elliot Bisnow is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Summit, the co-founder and Vice-Chairman of Bisnow Media and a founding Board Member of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council (GEC). He is also the co-owner of Powder Mountain Resort in Eden, Utah, and is developing the Summit Powder Mountain Community and Village. I quote:

“Entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship. It drives everything: job creation, poverty alleviation, innovation.”

Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sata: In summary, the main focus of the Government in a liberalised market economy like ours is to create an enabling business environment for its nationals, whatever their political affiliations and interests. Politics should not play a predominant role in the development of our economy.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, allow me, like many of my focused hon. Friends and Colleagues who have contributed to the President’s Speech, to also contribute. This is, indeed, a great honour for me and I thank you for it.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, gave a well-articulated, focused and inspiring Speech to this august House which, I have no doubt in my mind, has been embraced by all well-meaning Zambians. It is clear from the various comments coming from several colleagues that, indeed, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is moving in the right direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, coming to my ministry, allow me to state that it is guided by the following mission statement: “To preserve, protect and defend the country in a professional manner in order to maintain peace and security for the citizenry and contribute to national development.” In this regard, the men and women in uniform have effectively discharged their responsibility and will continue to do so. 

Mr Speaker, let me now highlight what the Ministry of Defence is doing in ensuring that this country becomes a better place, in line with the President’s Speech. I will dwell on the matters of: 

(a)    transformation of the Ministry of Defence;

(b)    reconciliation among ourselves and the general populace; and 

(c)    diversification of the economy. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to transformation, and in line with His Excellency the President’s Speech, the Ministry of Defence is modernising the Defence Forces and the Zambia National Service (ZNS) to enhance their role in preserving, protecting and defending the country in a professional manner so as to maintain peace and security for the citizenry. The modernisation of the Defence Force will not only inspire and boost the morale of our gallant men and women in uniform, but also greatly contribute to the development of our beloved country for the benefit our people. Modernisation will also enable the ministry to become more relevant to national development and make the ZNS not only an effective national security machinery, but also an effective contributor to efforts to address other aspects of human endeavours. Such a move will also bring about adjustments in the service’s establishment so that it is in tandem with the current security trends, such as training to cater for modern security threats and acquisition of equipment to conform respond modern security challenges. As a step towards realising these adjustments, the Government plans to establish three battalions, one in each of the following provinces: the North-Western, Southern and Muchinga. This move will reduce the cost of maintaining troops in operational areas. It will also provide the much-needed security to the provinces, which have potential that we want to exploit. 

Mr Speaker, in line with the theme of the President’s Address, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now,” allow me to inform this august House that the Government procured milling plants under for the ZNS in order for the service to produce affordable mealie meal, take the maize market closer to the farmers and contribute to national development. This will, no doubt, bring down the price of mealie meal. As hon. Members know, competition is a necessary tool for stabilising prices of goods and services. 

Mr Speaker, concerning the President’s call for reconciliation, it is the desire of my ministry to ensure that peace prevails. As such, the President must be commended for initiating this undertaking to bring reconciliation in the country because not reconciling our differences might bring insecurity to the nation. I have no doubt that His Excellency the President meant well when he declared 18th October, 2015, as a National Day of Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, that was God’s calling. As you know, leaders are put in leadership positions by God. So, whatever the President said came from God, and we are supposed to heed his call.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, anyone who is disregarding that call is disregarding God. We are all here because of God, who allowed it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: I do not know, maybe, there is one who is here because of the devil. 


Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, it must be borne in our minds that, once peace is lost, it is difficult to regain. So, I can only appeal to my colleagues in this august House, the media and the general populace to preach reconciliation. As the old adage goes, ...


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lukulu West. 

Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, as the old adage goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.” So, we should unite, as Zambians, in order to attain our aspiration, which is national development. Let us remain united for our country to move ahead. 

Mr Speaker, the purchase of new earth-moving equipment and the President’s directive to move the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) to the ZNS in order to make diversification a reality is welcome. As I speak, most of the machinery has been moved to the provincial centres and will be involved in the construction and rehabilitation of approximately 10,000 km of primary feeder roads over a period of four years across the country, as directed by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. This development forms the backbone on which rural areas will be made more attractive for both local and foreign investment. The move will undoubtedly broaden the economic sectors of the country and, as a result, increase the Government’s revenue base. In turn, that will reduce unemployment in the rural areas and reduce rural-urban migration. 

Mr Speaker, I expect my brothers and sisters on the other side of the House to commend the PF Government for this development, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Siamunene: ... as it is aimed at enhancing socio-economic development across the entire country. 

Mr Speaker, in the quest to curb youth unemployment, the Government intends to increase the number of ZNS Youth Skills Training Centres from three to ten, translating into one for each province. This initiative will increase the intake of youths into training centres. So far, two training centres have been built and are fully operational. One is in Chiwoko in Katete, the Eastern Province, while the other is in Kitwe on the Copperbelt Province. Another training centre is under construction in Kasama at Chishimba ZNS Camp. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to comment on the exchange rate of the kwacha to other convertible currencies. The currency depreciation is not peculiar to Zambia, as most countries in Sub-Sahara Africa and other developing countries elsewhere are affected. The phenomenon is associated with countries whose economies depend heavily on the export of minerals and oil because these commodity exports have been hit by the fall in economic growth in China, which is a major consumer of raw materials. Zambia, as a country with strong trade ties with China, is affected, as evidenced by the performance of the kwacha. 

Mr Speaker, the perception of a country’s economy, both locally and abroad, is of paramount importance. Therefore, my message to our colleagues on the other side of the House, and the media, who have the tendency of issuing negative statements about our country, is that the country does not draw any good from their negative statements.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, although I am not an economist, I know that careless statements from politicians, especially former hon. Ministers, can negatively affect the performance of our currency and local economy. As you know, our economy is very small and any negative comments from prominent people in society could negatively affect the currency. 

Mr Sichone: Bauze!

Dr Mwali: Like from whom?

Mr Siamunene: Prominent people or former hon. Ministers like Hon. Dr Musokotwane. 


Mr Speaker: No. Please, withdraw that statement, hon. Minister of Defence. 

Dr Musokotwane rose from his seat. 

Mr Siamunene: I withdraw, Sir, and apologise to the hon. Member. I was only joking with him. He is my tribal cousin. 

Mr Masumba: Kneel down!

Mr Speaker: You may continue. 

Dr Musokotwane resumed his seat. 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, those who have the habit of making such statements do not love this country. 

Ms Kabanshi: Hear, hear!

Mr Siamunene: It is unZambian. 

Ms Kabanshi: Chachine!

Mr Siamunene: I say this because we have been hearing and reading statements on how our currency is performing against other convertible currencies. These statements have caused panic in our economy, thus affecting the performance of the kwacha. The statements have the potential to scare away investors, on whom we depend to stabilise the kwacha. Hon. Members know that we depend on foreign direct investment (FDI), but investors will not come into the country if there are negative statements from prominent people. I, therefore, urge my colleagues on your left and the media to stop issuing negative statements about the economy, which have the potential to degenerate into national security threats. 

Mr Speaker, in my opinion, there are four nails that a person can use to trap himself or herself into the coffin of failure. 


Mr Siamunene: These are envy, jealousy, bitterness and hate. If one has these four attributes, he or she will go to the grave of failures where they will remain until they do away with them.  


Mr Siamunene: Sir, …

Dr Phiri: We know them well! 

Mr Siamunene: … I know that the foundation stones for a balanced success are loyalty, integrity, trust and love. Once you have these, you are assured of success.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the very inspiring Speech delivered by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, on 18th September, 2015. However, before I debate his Speech, permit me to place on record my sincere gratitude to His Excellency the President for the confidence and trust he has shown in me by assigning me to this very important ministry, which has portfolios that have a direct bearing on the lives of our people. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: In the same vein, let me assure my colleague, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, who commented on our appointments yesterday and seemed very doubtful of what might be achieved within the short period, and the capacity of some of us to superintend over these affairs, that he should watch the same little space and judge for himself. 

Dr Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, on Page 6 of the Speech, His Excellency the President called upon Zambians to embrace a transformational culture for us to achieve a smart Zambia now. My ministry has embraced the President’s Speech by flagging off the national cleaning programme, which was overseen by my able predecessor, Hon. Dr Phiri …

Prof. Luo interjected. 


Mr Kampyongo: … on 3rd October, 2015. It is for this reason that my ministry has designated every first Saturday of the month ‘Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign Day’. It is expected that cleaning events will be held at various levels of our communities, be they provincial, district, community or local, countrywide. 

Mr Speaker, the resuscitation of the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign, as directed by His Excellency the President in his Speech on Page 67, was necessitated by growing concerns about the general dirtiness of the surroundings in our country. Something needs to be done urgently to address the situation. To that effect, I would like to invite people to visit the premises of the National Assembly of Zambia to see what we expect of the surroundings in other institutions. I also appeal to all citizens in their respective residential areas, work places, churches and communities to get together and clean their surroundings every first Saturday of the month. I am quick to add that we should not restrict ourselves to Saturday because we are aware that this is a day that some of our citizens go to praise their God. So, such people can choose days that will be suitable for them. The President has called on all well-meaning leaders, be they in opposition political parties or churches, to take up this challenge and mobilise their people to clean their surroundings. 

Sir, the time has come for us to change our mindsets and behaviour, and stop the indiscriminate dumping of waste. All local authorities must enforce, among other instruments, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 100 of 2011, which compels residents and institutions to take responsibility for the waste they generate. My ministry has, therefore, directed all local authorities to engage with the private sector to start identifying and honouring the cleanest compounds, business premises and other residential areas, towns and cities. The idea is to create a situation in which our towns and cities can join the league of smart cities of the world in the next five to ten years. In doing this, my ministry will also implement the Name and Shame Campaign for the dirtiest towns in our country to encourage cleanliness, as directed by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. With concerted efforts from everyone, it is possible to create a Zambia that is clean and healthy. It is, indeed, possible to create a smart Zambia, which all of us will certainly be proud of. 

Mr Speaker, on Page 23 of his Speech, His Excellency the President emphasised the Government’s commitment to providing affordable and quality housing for our citizens by facilitating investment in cement production and embarking on the construction of, at least, 10,000 housing units annually countrywide. In line with this directive, my ministry has embarked on the process of reconstituting and realigning the National Housing Authority (NHA) to take it back to its original mandate of providing affordable and quality housing. The realignment will entail, among others things, removing the fragmentation in housing development and take the construction of all public housing to the NHA. 

Mr Speaker, apart from the efforts explained earlier, my ministry is currently constructing 180 medium-cost houses in the newly-created districts of Lunga, Nsama, Mwansabombwe, Chilanga, Rufunsa, Zimba, Pemba, Ikeleng’i, Chipili, Chikankata, Chirundu, Mafinga, Sinda, Chembe, Mulobezi, Vubwi, Shiwang’andu and Shibuyunji. 


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, in support of the Ministry of Works and Supply’s agenda, my ministry will continue to work on the urban and feeder roads to ensure that business prospers. My ministry will also give our people a clean environment by building them good roads. 

Sir, my ministry supports the transfer of the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) to the Zambia National Service (ZNS). In this regard, all local authorities have been directed to work closely with the ZNS. We also wish to appreciate the enacting of the Urban and Regional Planning Bill, which will provide for mixed development. This means that newly-constructed roads will provide easy access to these developments. 

Mr Speaker, arising from the critical energy shortage in the country, my ministry wishes to contribute to efforts to help avert the national crisis. In this regard, it is in the process of engaging with the relevant stakeholders on the possibilities of creating waste-to-energy plants to supplement the national power generation capacity.

Mr Speaker, before I conclude my debate, let me issue a timely warning to our council officers, that is, the executive officers and those who fall under them, such as the Town Clerks and Council Secretaries, that I will pick up from where my predecessor left in trying to take stock of their performance. It will certainly not be business-as-usual. We will not transfer them from where they are failing to perform to other places.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Instead, they will be made pave way for people who will be dedicated and ready to serve Zambians. In the same vein, I wish to comment on the sentiments that were made during the Questions for Oral Answer Session concerning illegal land allocations. My ministry is, indeed, part of the Taskforce on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition. Like the former hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection stated, the people who are involved in illegal land allocations cannot claim to be political party cadres. I have an example of the quite disturbing revelations from one very important municipal council, Livingstone, which is the tourist capital. There, those who are elected by the people to superintend over municipal affairs are the ones who have started apportioning themselves huge tracts of land. In the process of sharing that land, they have started fighting among themselves. That will be my first port of call. May it be placed on record that that kind of indiscipline or corruption will not be tolerated or treated with kid’s gloves during my tenure at the ministry. 


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I appeal to my fellow elected councillors countrywide to follow the laid-down procedures when alienating land. I will work closely with my counterparts at the ministries of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, and Home Affairs because this is a battle we do not intend to lose, but one we must win. I also appeal to all those who operate in social facilities like markets and bus stations that my predecessor left a programme in place to manage the facilities for the good of our citizens. I will take that programme up.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Mwale): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to join the hon. Members of Parliament who have spoken before me in contributing to the debate on the Speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Lungu.

Mr Speaker, I thank President Lungu for the able leadership he has given the people of Zambia. His Speech is inspirational and well-thought because it contains the country’s direction for years to come. The President took time to articulate the socio-economic challenges faced by our country, and offered policy solutions. He must be commended for that. 

Mr Speaker, allow me to commend Hon. Chungu, the Member of Parliament for Luanshya, for ably moving the Motion of Thanks. I support the Motion, for it is, indeed, very important the hon. Members of this House to critically analyse the President’s Speech and create pathways for the implementation of the policy pronouncements it contains. In fact, it is the duty of every Zambian to do so. 

Sir, let me hasten to recognise the presence of new hon. Members of Parliament in this House and congratulate them on their election to this House. These are the hon. Members for Bangweulu, Lubansenshi and Solwezi West constituencies. 

Sir, contrary to the views expressed by some hon.  Members of Parliament, I found the Speech to be well-balanced because it offered policy solutions that will address Zambia’s socio-economic challenges in the short, medium and long term. 

Mr Speaker, I want to emphasise the fact that the problems we are experiencing today are not peculiar to Zambia, but are also faced by most countries in the region and the world at large. Therefore, the President must be commended for having articulated clear policy directions and offered a committed leadership to this country. 

Mr Speaker, coming back to the Motion at hand, I note, with gratitude, that in the Address to this august House, His Excellency the President stated ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I had noted, with gratitude, that His Excellency the President had stated his desire for transformation in our nation, as captured by the theme of his Speech, “Embracing a Transformational Culture for a Smart Zambia Now.” 

Sir, as a ministry, we received the President’s message with eagerness because the Government has placed transformation at the centre of economic development. The President further stated that:

“Having attained fifty years of independence, Zambia has entered a new phase of socio-economic transformation for the next fifty years.”

Mr Speaker, indeed, we have entered a new era that requires innovation. Like others have said on this Floor, we need to actively involve the youth in the transformational agenda because they are the ones who will be the leaders of this great nation in 2063 when the country will review its growth path.

Sir, before I talk about policy issues concerning my ministry, allow me to discuss other sectors that are involved in child and youth development, as clearly articulated in the President’s Speech.

Mr Speaker, the President emphasised the importance of an educated and skilled workforce to the development of this country. As such, the Government will continue to provide access to quality education at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels through the continued construction of schools and higher learning institutions, and provision of qualified human resources. It is pleasing to note that the Government has maintained its plans to construct, at least, one university per province and upgrade the qualifications of teachers through a fast-track programme. These programmes will enable young people to acquire the skills required for the country to develop.

Sir, the Government acknowledges the fact that not all children will excel in the conventional education system. As a result, the school curriculum was revised to introduce a two-tier system comprising the academic and vocational paths. We must applaud the hon. Minister of General Education for the tremendous work he has done because we are assured that our children will have a better tomorrow.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President reiterated the need to revamp agriculture, as a priority sector, by promoting value addition to agricultural products. A vibrant agricultural sector has several benefits to the economy ― and I know that Hon. Lubinda will give us more meat on this ― because it guarantees food security, better nutrition and, ultimately, a healthy nation. Not only that, it also creates employment for many citizens, especially the youth. Therefore, I commend the President for emphasising the need for more investment in agriculture and maintaining the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). However, it is our job, as hon. Members of Parliament, to ensure that our people concentrate on the production of both cash and food crops, and attain food security for their families and communities. There is a need to continuously encourage our citizens to be self-sustaining and to avoid being solely reliant on Government support.

Sir, let me now talk about my ministry. 

Sir, I want to begin by commending His Excellency the President for creating new ministries, among them, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development. In creating the ministries, he emphasised the importance of human capital development as a catalyst for national development. In this regard, my ministry has been running youth resource centres (YRCs) with a focus on out-of-school youths, including those who have never been to school, to give them, at least, an opportunity to gain survival skills. The Government, under the able leadership of President Lungu, is upgrading the YRCs to modern institutions that will be are attractive and responsive to the needs of the modern youth.

Mr Speaker, the decision to realign the Child Development Department to my ministry is timely and commendable. Let me hasten to state that the directive by His Excellency to increase the intake of street kids into Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps for skills and entrepreneurship training will be taken into perspective by my ministry and other line ministries involved in skills training and child protection.

Mr Speaker, I heard some hon. Members of Parliament debating against the President’s directive, claiming that this formula cannot work. Allow me to clarify that the programme for street kids in the two ZNS camps is non-military and focuses on imparting survival skills in young people. I also want to put it on record that street kids are not a homogenous group. Some are below fourteen years while others are older, meaning that their needs are also different. The training is meant for those above fourteen years while those below fourteen years will be sent to care centres and reintegrated into their families.

 Sir, I think that the hon. Member of Parliament who talked about this matter stated that Hon Namugala had made good strides and removed all the street kids from our streets when she was hon. Minister. However, I want to say that the formula that Hon. Namugala used is the same that the President has proposed. I do not see any difference. I was a member of the Committee on Youth and Sport when Hon. Namugala was the hon. Minister responsible for street kids. So, I do not know where this doubt is coming from. I know that we will succeed in this. We will get all the street kids off the streets and take them to training and care centres.

Mr Speaker, in order to expand the response to street children who are fourteen years and above, my ministry, in collaboration with other ministries, is already working on interventions among, them:

(a)    upgrading and construction of skills centres under the ZNS, Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, and the Ministry of Higher Education;

(b)    strengthening and establishment of recreation facilities in communities. To this effect, I just launched the Community Sports Programme, which will be a platform for tapping talent in sport and recreational activities, such as music; and

(c)    establishment and strengthening of exit strategies for trained and skilled youths to enable them to engage in economic empowerment activities, among which are:

(i)    provision of capital for entrepreneurship through the Youth Development Fund (YDF), Women Empowerment Fund (WEF) and Citizens Economic Empowerment Fund (CEEF); and

(ii)    establishment of resettlement schemes to provide land to young people who want to engage in agriculture and related activities, like we are doing in the Northern Province, Mwange, in particular.

Mr Speaker, in order to contribute towards economic diversification and the creation of decent jobs, my ministry will focus on co-ordinating the implementation of the 2015 National Youth Policy and Action Plan to empower youths with life-long and entrepreneurship skills, and the provision of start-up capital to enable them to engage in meaningful economic activities. 

Sir, at this point, let me address Hon. Simuusa’s fears regarding the things that the President did not talk about in his Speech to this House, prominent among which was that of the exchange rate.

Mr Speaker, the President spent a lot of time talking about the diversification of our economy, and this can be proved from the Speech. In talking about that, he was dealing with the root causes of the instability of our currency. He did not need to specifically use the phrase ‘exchange rate’, but rather to address the root causes. He also spent a lot time talking about the change of the mindset, that we need to appreciate Zambian products and start thinking about producing things that we do not produce in this country so that we cut on imports. I think, that is what will fundamentally addresses the issue of the exchange rate. Instead of relying on the export of copper, whose prices can fall and affect the value of our currency, the President talked about transforming ourselves and about the diversification of our economy. To me, that was enough evidence of the President’s concern about the problems relating to the exchange rate.

Sir, in sports development, my ministry will endeavour to increase and widen the pool of highly-talented athletes through talent identification and development under the Community Sports Programme. This will entail building talent pathways to support young people to achieve their full potential, and sustain high performance and excellence at both regional and international levels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, as directed by the President, my ministry will continue the rehabilitation and reintegration of street kids to ameliorate their welfare in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Zambia is party.

Sir, may I end my debate by appealing to all Parliamentarians in this august House to work closely with the current Government, whose vision is to ensure that the citizens of Zambia live the healthy and prosperous lives that they rightly deserve and are entitled to.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Gender (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Speech by His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, President of the Republic of Zambia, during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, let me start my debate by congratulating the newly-appointed hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers. In particular, I congratulate the Member of Parliament for the area I originate from, the Chibesakunda Chiefdom, Hon. Kampyongo. He deserves this appointment. Allow me to also congratulate those who joined the House through the recent by-elections. In particular, I am very glad to see a different hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: … because of the suffering I endured at the hands of the previous holder of the seat, to the extent that I sat in this august House nensunsukulu.


Mr Speaker: What does that mean?

Prof.  Luo: It means sitting on the edge of the chair.


Mr Speaker: Were you scared of him?


Prof. Luo:  Mr Speaker, what we do not want in this august House are vindictive people. That is why the theme of His Excellency’s Speech, ‘Embracing a Transformation Culture for a Smart Zambia Now’ has come at the right time, when our country is at the crossroads. Let me spend some time addressing myself to the theme. 

Sir, this country has a disease about which I have tried to consult Hon. Dr Kasonde for a cure. The disease is called ‘CCJ’, or complaining, criticism and jealousy.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, when some people do not have a portfolio, it is okay. However, once it is given to their friend, the friend becomes an enemy.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Sir, from the time President Edgar Lungu was elected President of the Republic of Zambia, some people have not uttered a single word to admit where he has done well. His Speech was good, but we have turned it round and demonised it because of nothing else, but jealousy.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shuma: Bwekeshenipo!

Prof. Luo:  Mr Speaker, it is not possible to be in a country where people complain from the moment they wake up to the time they go back to bed.


Prof. Luo: Such people spend time criticising others. Even in their dreams, instead of dreaming positive things, they criticise Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. What sort of people are they? How can such people develop a country? Do we even consider the fact that people listen to what we say? When people come to Zambia, they are shocked to see how beautiful the country and its people are. Our colleagues go out to other countries and sing positive songs about their countries. How can anybody, today, spend the whole day talking about the depreciation of the kwacha as if they have never gone to school? We all know that there is an economic down-turn all over the world.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!  

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, even the day I was leaving the United States of America (USA), the markets there had fallen and the dollar was in trouble. Yesterday, my son-in-law asked why we should compare the rand with the kwacha. In fact, economists ― and I am talking about those who speak classroom economics, not street economists ― will tell you that Zambia and South Africa can be compared in terms of the depreciation of their currencies, but not in terms of their economies. 


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the reason the South African Rand is not depreciating at the same rate as our currency is that that country’s economy is bigger than ours. Additionally, if you go to South Africa, you will never hear South Africans on Millennium Radio or UNZA Radio talking about their country in a manner that causes alarm. When some people do that, what happens is that others get alarmed and they panic. They, then, start buying dollars in big amounts, leading to the dollar being bought off the market and the depreciation of the kwacha. It is as simple and basic as that. So, those of you who suffer from CCJ are truly responsible for the depreciation of the kwacha.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, President Edgar Lungu is calling for change. Let us change. This reminds me of a President of the Philippines, a lady for that matter. When she was elected President, she sang the song of transformation and, because everyone embraced the song, the country started transforming and the change that has taken place there is admirable. The economy of that country is now on the right path. 

Mr Speaker, those of us who have been given the responsibility to lead must change. We should consult Hon. Dr Kasonde for some tablets so that we cure this CCJ. 


Prof. Luo: It is neither in our interest nor in the interest of our children and their children for things to remain this way. That calls for a change of mindset. We need to change the status quo. We cannot continue with the behaviour that has crept in this country. In fact, since 1984 when I came back to Zambia, what has happened in the last five to ten years in Zambia is unprecedented. It is unprecedented to have political leaders lead the onslaught of jealousy, criticism and complaining on others. We are supposed give hope to our electorates, but we are the ones in the forefront of creating chaos. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Sir, if we start establishing good norms and providing the correct leadership, we will have a positive impact on the people that we serve.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the realignment of ministries. 

Sir, one of the important things that came out of the President’s Speech was the realignment of ministries. Clearly, before some ministries were restructured, some sectors had started suffering. In fact, if it was possible, I would have liked to see even more ministries realigned because we need to start focusing as a country. If somebody has ten responsibilities, chances are that some of them will be neglected. I think that the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, for example, still needs to be realigned. So, this is a good start. The realignment will enable us, hon. Ministers, to focus on what we are supposed to. This will enable us to think through policies and review some of them. It will also enable us to start developing robust strategies and undertaking activities that will contribute to the economic growth of this country. I am particularly pleased that we now have the Ministry of Development Planning. 

Mr Speaker, it was good that President Lungu talked about plans for the next fifty years because planning is important in life. One cannot just wander about, groping in the dark. One needs a plan and a strategy for implementing it. 

Sir, as the President realigns some ministries, and now that we have the Ministry of Development Planning, it calls for a change in our staff in the respective ministries so that we can stop the inertia. As Zambians, we should start feeling guilty for being paid for work that we have not done. Change will also help us to start being innovative. Innovation is the buzz word all over the world currently. Without innovation and thinking outside the box, we are a lost country that will keep complaining until hallelujah. 

Sir, the Ministry of Development Planning will help us to invest in positive energies that will create the wealth that we so much need as a country. Immediately we start creating wealth, we will reduce poverty in this country. Allow me to take advantage of this opportunity to say that poverty in this country and many other places has a female face. It also has a young person’s face. That is why, as Minister of Gender, I was very pleased that my ministry has been realigned to focus on gender matters only. This is because we live in a society where the men have dominated women, especially young women, for a very long time, and the patriarchal system has caused women to stop appreciating who they are. If you listen to them on the radio, you will hear them talk about being successful because they are married, forgetting that they can also be engineers, doctors and other things. Being married is a by-the-way thing. If one becomes a doctor or an engineer and, then, gets married, that is fine. However, one cannot define one’s success by just being married. So, we want to enter every institution and ministry, including the Ministry of Works and Supply, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: ... the private sector and the communities, and engender our lives so that we bring about equilibrium. 

Sir, when I was at the United Nations (UN), the buzz words were gender equity and equality. So, the time has come for us to know that the two genders must co-exist. In fact, although poverty has a female face, the producers in this country are women. So, why do we not give them the space as well? We think that the Ministry of Gender will be given enough space to work in all sectors, and I will issue several ministerial statements during this Meeting to share with this august House the innovations that the ministry has come up with.

Mr Speaker, as a Government, our role is to provide an enabling environment. The President of the Republic of Zambia has set the tone by giving certain instructions. For example, my ministry and the ministries of Youth, Sport and Child Development, and Defence were told to address the issue of street children, and we have to do that. We were given that mandate. So, we must create an enabling environment. Going on the streets and removing the street children is not enough because they will go back to the streets. If you speak to many of the children on the streets, they will tell you that the precursor to their being on the street is poverty, and you can trace, literally, every child to a home from which they came. So, we need to be innovative and think outside the box. When we tackle the issue of street children, especially the younger boys and girls, we must do it correctly because, as they are on the street, there are many things happening to them, including early sex, which exposes them to different health conditions.

Mr Speaker, in order to improve co-ordination and avoid duplication of efforts among Government departments, my ministry has decided to invite partnerships with other ministries. One of the innovations I will present in a ministerial statement to this august House will highlight how this partnership has been put in place, and what effects and benefits it will have for the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, in order to give an opportunity to my colleague in charge of tourism to propel her agenda, I will end here. However, let me conclude my contribution to the debate on the Address by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia by calling on all of us to reconcile and go for prayers. I think that we need prayers even in this room.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: We must start changing from here. We need to start being friends, not just during the tea break, but all the time. It is unfortunate that, whenever we come here, we start bashing one another unnecessary. 

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to add my voice to the many contributions from the hon. Members of Parliament who spoke earlier. Before I go further, allow me to congratulate the new hon. Members of Parliament who were elected to this House some few weeks ago, and the new hon. Ministers who have been appointed to lead the new ministries that have been created.

Mr Speaker, the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in his Speech to the Eleventh National Assembly on Friday, 18th September, 2015, made a number of policy pronouncements that will have an effect on the growth of the tourism sector over which I superintend. I am also aware that there are many other general aspects that affect the tourism sector that the President spoke about.

Mr Speaker, one of the key challenges facing our sector and the economy at large is that of the business-as-usual attitude. The need to stop this attitude is one of the issues I would like to talk about in connection to the President’s Speech, as it affects my sector. This attitude needs to be addressed for us to move forward. Otherwise, we will continue talking about diversification without much progress. 

Mr Speaker, for many years now, our tourism sector has been under-performing. I will outline some of the reasons for this and, in line with the President’s Speech, amplify on what needs to be done to change the way we operate in the sector as a way of bringing about the economic diversification that the President talked about.

Mr Speaker, you will recall that past Governments made pronouncements regarding the diversification of the economy. Despite efforts to diversify our economy, however, Zambia still largely depends on copper exports, which makes the country vulnerable to downturns in the global demand for copper, as is the situation currently. In addition, tourism sector development in the past focused mainly on the wildlife and hospitality industries sub-sectors, with minimal emphasis on arts and culture. This state of affairs contributed to the narrow product base the country is currently experiencing, resulting in low performance of the sector. In order to plug the gaps created in the past, my ministry is actively pursuing an aggressive diversification agenda that will see the development of the arts and culture sub-sector alongside other sub-sectors, such as wildlife. In this regard, I expect all players in the sector to support all efforts aimed at promoting the arts and culture sub-sector and move away from the notion that tourism is only wildlife and accommodation. Under this new arrangement, copper is expected to only account for 50 per cent of our total export earnings from the current 70 to 80 per cent.

Mr Speaker, some of our neighbouring countries proclaimed their diversification agenda and have, in the short space of ten years or so, made significant progress in achieving it or have achieved it. This is because they have been focused, resolute and disciplined. They identified the major challenges affecting the tourism sector and devised ways of addressing the challenges and mitigating the impacts, both negative and positive, through the enhancement of policy measures. In addition, they quickly developed a robust monitoring and evaluation system to track progress. This has helped to improve performance in the sector. They have also put in place institutions in the sector and, over and above this, have created institutions in and for the sector that provide appropriate technical know-how and expertise to manage the sector effectively and in a timely manner. In addition, all key players, including the private sector and non-state actors, are given sufficient space to contribute to the development of the sector. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the world mother body of the tourism sector, calls this central co-ordination, management and transformation of institutions the National Tourism Administration (NTA). This is the role that my ministry and related institutions in the sector need to play. As part of the change that is needed in the tourism sector, we need to sharpen the tools and ensure that these institutions fully play their roles of being the NTA for Zambia, as per the UNWTO best practices and stipulations.

Mr Speaker, in order to turn things around, my ministry is committed to, among other measures, strengthening the capacity of the NTA to achieve best practices as per the UNWTO standards, whereby it should be a fully competent and equipped institution to be able to quickly and effectively institute and initiate policy, legislation and regulatory changes in the tourism sector and sub-sectors. In addition, we will scale up the staffing of the NTA to optimal levels so that it helps the Government to meet the set targets in terms of economic development, improved livelihoods, incomes and sector development. The building up of staffing levels will also enable the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to achieve its objective of creating 300,000 jobs in 2016. For instance, the Department of Tourism, among other actions, needs to scale up its staff, at least five-fold, from the current 100 countrywide to 500. This will, then, make it possible to operationalise the sector at all the three levels of national, provincial and district. It is necessary to capacitate the NTA, as it lacks the necessary capacity, as noted by your Committee. We need to have a strong NTA in order to attain the intended goals and objectives in the tourism sector. That is what will give us the diversified tourism product base that is the foundation of an effective and productive tourism sector with strong sub-sectors.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: We are getting close to winding up the debate on this Motion, but the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and the hon. Minister of Agriculture have both indicated their desire to debate. As it is a technical requirement that this Motion is concluded on time, I, unfortunately, have to urge the two hon. Ministers to be concise so that we avoid a crisis.

Ms Kapata: You should debate to the point. Hon. Lubinda, ma pages ako apaka.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief. in fact, I will not go beyond ten minutes in my debate.

Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to make a contribution to the debate on the Speech delivered to this House by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. However, before I proceed, I want to congratulate my colleagues who have just been appointed Cabinet Ministers, namely, Hon. Kapembwa Simbao, Hon. Steven Kampyongo, my good friend Hon. Monde and Hon. Sichalwe. I also want to congratulate the hon. Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi, Mr Mwamba, the hon. Member of Parliament for Bangweulu, Mr Kasandwe, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West, Mr Kasonso, who was has been here for only two weeks, but is already missing the sittings of the House.

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am surprised.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, continue with your debate.


Mr Speaker: I will manage those matters.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, our party has been doing very well from the time President Edgar Lungu took over the Office of President. We have been winning by-elections at the parliamentary level. From the nine parliamentary by-elections that have been held, we have won eight.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, that shows that the people of Zambia want to continue with the Patriotic Front (PF) and the leadership of President Edgar Lungu. This means that, as a party, we are progressing and scoring successes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: The United Party for National Development (UPND) thinks that winning an election is not success. It is success. It means that we are coming back into the Government come next year. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Question!

Mr Mwila: We will also win Kasama Central.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Sir, allow me to thank the hon. Members of this House who, like me, found the Speech instructive, precise and inspiring, because the President provided the vision and blueprint to guide our country with regard to its short and long-term challenges. For this well-done job, we must commend His Excellency the President.

Mr Mwale: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have been in Parliament for nine years and, from 2011 to date, in my second term, this is the only Parliament in which you hear the Opposition criticising the Government throughout as if the Government has not done anything.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this Government has done a lot to develop this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: We have done well in infrastructure development, for example.

Mr Mwila: When the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was in power, we drove on potholed roads.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: People have forgotten.

Ms Kapata: Yes!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the whole Lusaka now looks beautiful.


Mr Mwila: Only the blind will not see. Our colleagues on your left should go round Chalala, Mandevu, Kabwata, Matero, even Monze, where we are doing the township roads, Livingstone and Mansa, to see that there is development everywhere.

Mr Mutelo: What about Lukulu?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, even those who are saying, “Lukulu” know that we are building a modern police station with ten houses in Mitete, which is a new district.

Mr Mwale: Eh!

Mr Mwila: We are also building a civic centre, district administration block, post office and forty houses for that district.

Mr Mwale: Uh!

Mr Mwila: Sir, people must learn to appreciate.

Mr Mwale: Mwaona manje!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: What about transport?

Mr Mwila: We are sending a motorcycle for the police officers there.

Hon. UPND Members laughed.

Mr Mwila: That is only for Mitete District.


Mr Mwale: Among others.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we are also buying vehicles. People must appreciate when something good has been done even as they point out our shortcomings.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Otherwise, we will not take the criticism seriously, as we will consider the Opposition as jokers.

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Mr Mwila: The Opposition has to advise us where we have gone wrong …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: … so that we can correct what we have done wrong. Moreover, as hon. Members of Parliament, we are elected individually. All of us will be held individually accountable for what we have done during our tenure of office when we go to seek re-election next year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: All those who will not deliver development in their constituencies will be booted out.

Mr Sing’ombe: Give us the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President deserves to be commended for recognising the unnecessary mistrust and hatred exhibited by some of our brothers and sisters. It is, therefore, gratifying that the President has called for forgiveness and reconciliation in our land. We must use the National Day of Repentance, Prayer and Fasting to seek the face of God so that we may begin to see all citizens as fellow human beings and, above all, as our brothers and sisters. My nephew, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, and I have to love each other.
Mr Mwale: Uh!

Mr Mwila: Sir, we are One Zambia, One Nation, from East to West and North to South. Our differences in opinions should not be greater than our national ties. We owe it to our founding fathers who sought unity over divisions to liberate our land from colonialism and foreign exploitation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Unity in diversity must, therefore, remain a foundation stone of our country in line with our national motto of One Zambia, One Nation.

Mr Speaker, as the Minister charged with the responsibility of maintaining internal security, and law and order, I paid particular attention to the President’s Address. In that regard, His Excellency the President directed us, together with the Ministry of Justice, to address the complaints that surround the management of the Public Order Act. We have, accordingly, embarked on internal reviews of the Act with a view to ensuring that it can be managed in a fair manner. In this undertaking, the need for fairness and justice will be our only guiding principle. Needless to say, however, we will not compromise public order and security because that is the bedrock on which freedom, liberty and development are built. In this regard, I appeal to hon. Members of this House and, indeed, the rest of the country to treat matters of security with the importance they deserve. The freedom we enjoy and the rapid economic development we are witnessing under the PF Government have all been possible because we have remained peaceful. To maintain this peace, we must, as a nation, dedicate ourselves to only peaceful means of resolving disputes.

Mr Speaker, let me recognise the fact that we have experienced acts of lawlessness, particularly with regard to land invasions. Some people invade other people’s farms, sub-divide the land and sell it illegally. My Government will not tolerate such acts. Anyone implicated in land invasion and illegal sale of land will be dealt with very severely and in line with the law.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: I also warn those who buy such pieces of land that transacting in stolen property is equally a crime. It was for purposes of addressing the problem of farm invasions and land disputes, generally, that the Government established the Inter-ministerial Taskforce on Illegal Land Allocation and Acquisition, which is chaired by one of my hon. Deputy Ministers, Col. Panji Kaunda. So, we must use that taskforce to resolve, particularly, illegal land invasions, which must come to an end immediately because they are inhuman and a violation of property rights. They also frustrate and undermine development and food security at the household and national levels.

Mr Speaker, the effective maintenance of law and order requires well-trained, equipped and supported institutions. To ensure that our security officers do their job effectively, my ministry has made in-service training an important component of all our security institutions. We are also putting up the appropriate infrastructure, including housing. In this regard, we are building new office blocks for our divisions in Choma in the Southern Province, Solwezi in North-Western Province and Chinsali in Muchinga Province. At the district level, we are constructing police stations in all the new districts, including Mitete. We will also, within the course of this month, launch the first phase of the construction of houses for all our law enforcement officers in the ministry. The first phase involves the construction of 2,300 houses while the number of housing units required is just over 10,000. We are, therefore, providing both the hardware and software required by our officers to work effectively and efficiently.

Mr Speaker, unlike the administrations before us, we are working hard to resolve the problems of inadequate prison infrastructure and facilities. To that end, we are constructing modern prisons. For example, we have built and commissioned new prisons in Luwingu and Kalabo Districts in the Northern and Western provinces, respectively, while the construction of Monze Prison in Southern Province has been completed and the prison is scheduled to be commissioned in the course of this year. Our intention is to build more prisons using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode, which will deliver modern prisons without stretching the Treasury.

Sir, investment in our security infrastructure is critical to the development of our country, as security is the foundation of any sustainable development. To reduce pressure on the Treasury, we have also been investing in income-generating ventures that should, in the future, help sustain some of our security institutions. The Zambia Prisons Service (ZPS), for example, is investing in milling plants and modern farms. Kalonga Milling in Kabwe, Central Province, is already operational while K10 million has been budgeted for another plant in Petauke in the Eastern Province.

Mr Speaker, the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs), which Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has already talked about, is going on well, if the response of our people is anything to go by. The Government has also responded to the calls for harmonisation of the mobile issuance of NRCs and the voter registration exercises. To that effect, our officers on the ground have been directed to collaborate with the voter registration officers and ensure that the mobile issuance of NRCs compliments the voter registration exercise.

Sir, our Republican President’s Address to this House, as I observed at the beginning, provides answers and guidance for resolving both our short and long-term challenges. 

Sir, in conclusion, allow me to reiterate our President’s call for forgiveness. I repeat to my nephew, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi that we need reconciliation and peaceful co-existence …

Mr Sing’ombe: As you were!

Mr Mwila: … because Zambia is our homeland. We should all be proud of it and work hard to make it better.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister of Agriculture, please, remember the caveat I issued as you debate.


The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Lubinda): Sir, I will not behave like my colleague, who promised to only speak for ten minutes, but spoke until he had exhausted his twenty minutes.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to speak on this matter. Due to the brevity of time, let me simply register to this House the message from the people that I am humbled to represent, namely, those in Kabwata Constituency, many of whom I meet on a regular basis.

Sir, after listening to the Speech by his Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the people of my constituency said to me that it was one of the most well-thought-through, well-articulated and most inspiring Speeches ever delivered in this House, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: ... and I agree with them. I have been in this House for a number of years and have listened to many Speeches, but I have to admit that Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu went beyond the expectations of many people and deserves to be commended for that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Against that background, I feel very inspired to be one of those who are to work with him. I am sure that, under his leadership, there is a lot that will be achieved.

Sir, the President spoke about this sitting being the last Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. People should realise that, in such a Session, the political temperature, both in the House and outside, progressively increases as we get closer to the D-day. I have no doubt, whatsoever, that there will be a lot of criticism and innuendos, but I would like to encourage my colleagues on the right to understand and accept that the criticism and innuendos are not genuine, but are driven by the increasing political temperature, especially, who want to cause alarm in the country because they hope to be called upon to quench a non-existent fire. As for us, we shall be inspired to emulate our President’s humility and level-headedness, which has enabled him to stay calm and continue leading the nation without necessarily throwing stones at others even when the heat is at its peak. We shall journey towards the elections in 2016 with zeal and total composure because our journey will be premised on the many achievements and successes that we have scored since we formed Government in 2011. Speaking about achievements, some people visited Kabwata Constituency and called me later to say that there was an ‘outbreak’ in Kabwata. I got concerned, wondering whether it was an outbreak of a disease. So, I asked what outbreak they were talking about and they said to me, “An outbreak of roads.” Every turn you take in Kabwata Constituency takes you into a tarred road. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, this reminds me of the many years that I stood here and complained about how the Government was not investing in alternative roads to decongest the Central Business District (CBD) of Lusaka. I made proposals that ring roads be opened around Kabwata Constituency to enable people to move from the east to the south without having to go through Cairo Road. However, my plea continually fell on deaf ears until the Patriotic Front (PF) Government ... 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: ... formed Government, especially after Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu became President. Now, you see development everywhere in Kabwata Constituency.

Mr Speaker, with the leadership of late President Michael Sata and President Edgar Lungu, we have managed to build four beautiful police stations in Kabwata Constituency over the last four years. Now, we are embarking on the construction of the fifth. As a way of showing that we, in the PF, and the people of Kabwata Constituency are not vengeful, we decided to honour all the former hon. Members of Parliament who served the constituency without regard to their political persuasions. We named the first police station Mary Mwango, who was a member of the United National Independence Party (UNIP); we the second Maxwell Sibongo Police Station, who was also a member of UNIP; we named the third Michael Chilufya Sata, who was a member of the PF; we named the fourth after Mr Godfrey Miyanda; and we will name the fifth after a person who served the people of Kabwata Constituency for only two months, namely, Mr Richard Kachingwe. 


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, that is what the PF means when it says that it wants to reconcile the people of Zambia. While still on this course, let me appeal to the people of Zambia to take heed of the clarion call by our President, who has shown them that he wants to provide God-inspired leadership to all of us. By declaring 18th October, 2015, a National Day of Repentance, Prayer and Fasting, he is not saying that he is omnipotent, but declaring, before God and man, that he is a God-fearing person and realises that, without the face of God, he will not be able to lead to this country on the trajectory that God wishes.

Mr Speaker, I read a letter that one Opposition political leader had written to President Edgar Chagwa Lungu concerning this matter. In that letter, the author said that there was no reason for us to pray while the price of mealie meal remained high, the kwacha’s value remained low and development was not taken to certain areas. When President Edgar Lungu showed me the letter, I said to him, “Your Excellency, this is symptomatic of a person who does not understand the reason for medicine.” You do not go to God and say to him, “I have been healed and now I will thank you,” without having gone to Him, in the first place, to say, “God, you are the real healer, and I am sick. Please, heal me.” President Edgar Lungu is saying that Zambia requires God, and he is calling upon all of us to seek His face. On 18th October, 2015, the people of Kabwata Constituency will join all other peace-loving Zambians and God-fearing people to pray to God so that His hand might fall on this country for its people to forge ahead together as a united country.

Mr Speaker, I let me end by saying that I will come back during the debate on the 2016 Budget to elucidate all the directives of the President to my ministry. Then, I will indicate how President Edgar Lungu would like to diversify the economy from mining to agriculture. I will show that we, in the PF, given the little time that we have before the next elections, shall do whatever we can to reverse the bad trend of the producers of the bulk of the food of the country being the ones who register poor statistics in nutrition. That is our pledge to the people of Zambia, and I say this on behalf of our dear President and friend, a man we worked with in this House. I also say it on behalf of my colleagues in the Cabinet and all those loving people who belong to the dynamic political party called the PF.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chungu (Luanshya): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to wind up the Motion of Thanks on the President Speech during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. 

Mr Speaker, I have taken count of the fifty-seven hon. Members who have debated. 

Sir, no hon. Member has debated this President’s Speech emotionally in this House, save for one or two. 

Mr Speaker, it is clear, from the way the hon. Members debated, that this document has been accepted by everyone in this House. All that is left is for its contents to be implemented by the Executive. We do not want people to just pay lip service to it, like hon. Members have said. Some debaters even went to the extent of comparing the strength of the kwacha to that of the rand, which cannot work because Zambia exports only 30 per cent and imports 70 per cent. South Africa, on the other hand, exports 70 per cent and imports only 30 per cent. I do not have to be an economist to understand the implication of these things. 

Mr Mumba: Hear, hear!

Mr Chungu: Mr Speaker, 70 per cent imports against 30 per cent exports means that the demand for the dollar is over 200 per cent, ...  


Mr Chungu: … compared with South Africa’s demand, which is less than 50 per cent. 

Mr Speaker, regarding training of human resource, hon. Members can simply turn to Page 60, paragraphs 1 to 3. 


Mr Chungu: In winding up, Mr Speaker, I thank all the hon. Members who debated the Motion. I also urge the Government to be practical and implement the measures in this document. 

I thank you, sir. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to. 


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

Question put and agreed to. 


The House adjourned at 1940 hours until 1430 hours on Friday, 9th October, 2015.