Debates - Tuesday, 20th October, 2015

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Tuesday, 20th October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity given to me to issue a ministerial statement on the alleged harassment of the Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Hon. Ronald Chitotela, by the youths belonging to the Patriotic Front (PF) party, as stated by Hon. Mutelo, Member of Parliament for Lukulu West.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Chitotela, whilst in the company of Mr Kellys Kaunda, the proprietor of Eden Institute, had gone to check on the plot that was given to the institute to build a school to train medical personnel. However, youths said to be PF members were found demarcating the land, which belonged to the institute, to themselves. It was at this point that Hon. Chitotela engaged the youths and explained the evil of illegal land allocation. The youths appreciated the advice given by the hon. Deputy Minister and left the premises.

Mr Speaker, it has come to my attention that the hon. Deputy Minister was not attacked, as alleged. A search was done in the nearby police stations where the incident happened to verify any reports concerning the hon. Deputy Minister’s harassment, but nothing was found.

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, wish to state that Hon. Chitotela was not attacked, as alleged by Hon. Mutelo in his point of order.

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, in addition, my officers are alert to incidences of illegal land allocations because such activities are outside the law and violate property rights of those whose land has been leased to. Accordingly, any ministry does not tolerate illegal land allocations and invasions. The Government, as a matter of fact, has a task force on illegal land allocations. It is a cancer that must be stumped out of our country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, it is always interesting to note how people, like ostriches, can bury their heads in sand. I say this because Hon. Chitotela was on moving picture on Muvi Television (TV) at an occasion where he should have done a ground breaking ceremony when he was harassed. Now, if the Muvi TV picture was wrong, what has the Government done in order to correct the impression which has continued to tarnish the image of the Patriotic Front (PF) and its cadres?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have said that the hon. Deputy Minister was not harassed by those cadres. Secondly, I have indicated, in my ministerial statement, that we have a task force at our ministry headed by the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Col. Panji Kaunda, to deal with issues of illegal land allocation and invasions.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I wish to follow-up on Hon. Nkombo’s question. What has the Patriotic Front (PF) Government done to Muvi TV for having shown a cartoon clip of the hon. Deputy Minister being harassed …


Ms Lubezhi: … since we are being told that, that was not the hon. Deputy Minister in that clip? What has the hon. Minister done to Muvi TV for misleading the nation?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this issue concerns all of us. So, let us not blame each other. It is an issue that all of us here and the people outside have to deal with.

Mr Nkombo: Yes!

Mr Mwila: In Livingstone, the Mayor of that town, who is United Party for National Development (UPND), … 

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: … was found …


Mr Mwila: … with the a case to answer concerning illegal allocation of land and …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, there was no issue of harassment. I have stated that, honourable Colleagues, let us come together and deal with this cancer.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kambwili: Yes!

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think, hon. Minister, what you may consider drawing your attention to is the question on a certain Muvi TV clip which showed the hon. Deputy Minister being harassed, but which your investigations have revealed did not happen. So, the question was: What are you doing to that media house which showed that clip? You may wish to address yourself to that.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have not responded to that question because I did not watch the Muvi TV. So, I do not want to mislead this House.

Mr Mwale: She said it was a cartoon!

Mr Mwila: Sir, it was a cartoon, as she had indicated.


Mr Mwila: So, I cannot respond to that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I am not a blind person. The fact, here, is that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has admitted that the hon. Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development had gone to that piece of land and found alleged Patriotic Front (PF) cadres demarcating and allocating plots to themselves. Hon. Minister, what is the truth? Did the hon. Deputy Minister go there for a ground breaking ceremony or not? If it is not true, has he taken the trouble to go to Muvi TV to verify that clip, for him to say that I misled the House?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the hon. Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development went to the said site and engaged the youth on the need for them to not involve themselves in illegal land allocation. I did not tell the hon. Member that he is blind. I know that he is not blind.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, the ministerial statement that the hon. Minister has issued is in response to a point of order which was premised on a Muvi Television news item which contained pictures of the hon. Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development making certain comments that led to the point of order on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, why has the hon. Minister come to this House to give us a response on a subject matter whose material issue he has sidelined? Why has he come to respond when he has not had sight of what has led to the question? Is he taking this House seriously?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I stand to be corrected. The point of order had no mention of Muvi Television, but the harassing of the hon. Deputy Minister and the demarcating of land by alleged Patriotic Front (PF) cadres. These are the issues I am responding to and correcting on the Floor of this House. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Muchinga!

Mr Deputy Speaker: No, we do not work like that.




Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this House is aware that the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) is in its second phase. Phase I, which covered Central, Muchinga and the Northern provinces, was completed in July, 2015, and the statistical report of the registered persons was brought before this House.

Mr Speaker, Phase II of the exercise was launched on 4th September, 2015, and is on-going. As this House is aware, Phase II is covering Lusaka, the Southern, Eastern and Western provinces. 

Mr Speaker, may I now give a statistical update on the persons registered in the on-going phase of the mobile issuance of the NRCs. As at 20th October, 2015, the statistical standing of registered persons was as follows:

    Province    Registered Persons    Target

    Lusaka    156,867    200,000

    Southern    86,032    80,000

    Western    53,937    100,000

    Eastern    107,972    120,000

    Total    404,808    500,000

Mr Speaker, you may note that we have gone above the target in the Southern Province.

 Sir, may I, now, give an update to this House on the release from the Treasury for this important undertaking. The Treasury approved a Supplementary Budget of K132,831,866 in addition to the approved Budget of K25 million. This brings the total cost of the whole exercise to K156,157,831,866. A total of K47 million was released in Phase I and, so far, a total of K22 million has been released for Phase II.

Mr Speaker, my ministry received several complaints from three provinces, namely the Copperbelt, North-Western and Luapula provinces, on the commencement of the mobile issuance of the NRCs. The complaints were compounded by the fact that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has already started the mobile voter registration exercise. 

Mr Speaker, following these complaints, I am pleased to inform this House that the Treasury has further released a total of K30 million to commence the third phase of the mobile issuance of the NRCs in the Copperbelt, Luapula and the Northern provinces. The third and last phase shall be launched this week, on Friday, 23rd October, 2015. It shall commence on 1st November, 2015, and will last ninety days. As stated above, the third phase will cover the North-Western, Copperbelt and Luapula provinces. I will launch the exercise, in Kitwe, on Friday and the Deputy Ministers, Hon. Colonel Panji Kaunda and Hon. Colonel Gerry Chanda, will launch in Mansa and Zambezi, respectively.

Mr Speaker, let the House note that my ministry has projected to register a total of 430,000 persons in the three provinces in the third phase. The targets for the provinces are as follows:

    Province    Persons Targeted

    Copperbelt    230,000

    North-Western    90,000

    Luapula    110,000

Mr Speaker, my ministry is optimistic that the third phase shall also be a success. I, therefore, urge all stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament, to give the necessary support to the Department of National Registration, Passport and Citizenship as the third phase commences.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the ministerial statement given by the hon. Minister. 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the target number for the national registration card (NRC) exercise for the Western Province is 100,000. However, only 53,937 people have been issued with the NRCs, so far. 

Mr Speaker, I have just arrived from my constituency. I found that the teams carrying out the NRC exercise in my constituency are not performing according to the hon. Minister’s expectation. They are under-performing. I even sent a text message to a supervisor to one of these teams asking him why they were under-performing. The third phase of the NRC exercise should have been better than the second phase. Therefore, what measures has the Government put in place to ensure that all the people in the Western Province are issued with the NRCs? What is happening, right now, is that some polling stations are being left out of the NRC exercise. This implies that people in those areas will not be issued with the NRCs. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, in terms of the issuance of the NRCs, the position of the ministry is that it is doing fine. In Kalabo, 7,100 the NRCs have been issued. so far. The hon. Member of Parliament should go back to his constituency and verify this report. We are doing fine.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) in our various constituencies has been marred by problems. Speaking for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency, the issuance of the NRCs has not even reached 50 per cent of the target number of people who need to be issued with the NRCs in the constituency. What measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to ensure that the number of personnel conducting the NRC exercise in Lusaka, the Eastern, and Southern provinces is increased, before the end of the second phase of the registration exercise?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency is aware that each district has been given five teams to conduct the national registration card (NRC) exercise. In Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency, we have given out 11,400 NRCs. This is a good number. Actually, we are above the target for the Southern Province. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, before I ask my question, I just want the hon. Minister to note that the targets which were given by Her Honour the Vice-President, and the targets which he has given today, seem to be different. My question, therefore, is: Is the hon. Minister aware that the reason we are lagging behind is because the National Registration Card (NRC) issuance is being conducted simultaneously with the voter registration exercise? In Chipata, for example, there are a couple of places were officers who are supposed to issue the NRCs are not there, while the officers conducting the voter registration exercise are there. Is the hon. Minister aware of this? 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have indicated that we have five teams in Chipata. So far, 25,500 NRCs have been issued in Chipata. That is the highest figure in the Eastern Province. The officers are going polling station by polling station. We have engaged the office of Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), so that we can start moving together. Where we have a team for the NRC exercise, the ECZ team must also be there so that we can capture a lot of people who want to register as voters. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, ...

Mr Mweetwa: On a point of order, Sir. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I have been compelled to rise on this point of order because the hon. Minister keeps referring to misleading information. The hon. Minister has indicated that every district has five national registration card (NRC) issuance teams, and that they are moving from one polling station to another. To the contrary, in Choma District, there are only two teams. In Monze, there are three teams. These teams are not moving from one polling station to the next. They are going to selected places. In view of the fact that he keeps referring to wrong information, is he in order to mislead the House in this manner?

Mr Speaker, I need your ruling.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister will clarify, after the question from the hon. Member for Luena. 

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I arrived yesterday, in the morning, from Luena. In a place called Nangili, in Luena, the issue of National Registration Cards (NRCs) is very hot. There was a serious complaint that people from faraway places came as early as 0600 hours to get the NRCs but, at the end of three days, the NRC issuance team moved away from Nangili to another place, without exhausting the number of people who needed to get the NRCs. Therefore, a lot of people were left out. Is the hon. Minister aware of this fact? What is the Government doing about the so-called over age people who have been deprived of getting the NRCs in rural areas? 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I said that there are five teams conducting the NRC exercise in each district. Choma District has two constituencies, if I am not mistaken. It means that Choma Central, as a constituency, has two teams, Mbabala Parliamentary Constituency, which is in Choma District, has two teams and the third team is at the Boma in Choma. I have clarified this. I also want to inform this House that I have invited my colleagues to engage with me if they have any problem or challenge regarding the issuance of the NRCs. Why is it that they want to bring the problem here? It is them who will suffer, and not us, if this problem is not addressed. 


Mr Mwila: Hon. Member for Luena, the issue of over age is a challenge. There are people who want to get the NRCs at forty-five years. Where have they been all this time? We are only issuing cards to people that are over sixteen and below twenty-five years. Once officers screen them and are satisfied that the information is true, the NRCs will be issued. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the projected number of people to be issued with NRCs was 80,000. So far, 86,000 people have gotten the NRCs, indicating a huge turnout. 

Mr Speaker, since the exercise started, only four polling stations have issued the NRCs in my constituency. If we take it that the teams are moving every week, it means that they have only issued cards to people in four polling stations out of the many that are there. Since the hon. Minister purports that the target has been reached, is he saying that the rest of the people in the Southern Province will not get their NRCs and that, as he said, it will be us to suffer? What exactly did the hon. Minister mean by that?  

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the response in the Southern Province has been very good. The hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central is aware because he has engaged me about increasing the number of teams in Kalomo Central and Dundumwezi constituencies, which we are looking into. 

Mr Muntanga: There are no cards!

Mr Mwila: Cards are there. 

Mr Speaker, I have the information that cards are there. These people want to portray a picture that we do not care for the people of the Southern Province, which is not true. Just the other week, we sent 16,000 cards. The following week, we sent another 8,000. Last week, we sent 12,000 and so the issue of cards running away …


Mr Mwila: … or running out, is a non-issue, as far as we are concerned. 

Mr Speaker, I want to tell the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central to continue engaging us for his people to benefit. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that we should get this clear. 


Hon. Members indicated to speak. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I am talking. Can you, please, take your seats. There is one thing that we should be clear on. Hon. Members are not inhibited from raising certain issues on the Floor of the House. At the same time, however, they are not stopped from engaging the hon. Minister, if they so feel. I thought that I should clarify that. 

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, it was indicated to Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning that the challenge in Kasempa District and the North-Western Province is that they started with the registration of voters and not the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs). I am glad that, this Friday, the mobile NRC registration exercise will kick off. 

Are we expecting the voters’ registration to start again and will the teams go through the polling stations? Also, power outage is a real problem because even though teams have generator sets, they have no fuel. Can the hon. Minister clarify this issue. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I indicated earlier that through the Office of the Vice-President and Development Planning, we have engaged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ). Seeing as we are starting to issue the NRCs in the remaining three provinces, a decision will be made. We will also look into the problem of generator sets. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, out of the provinces mentioned this afternoon, the Western Province has only registered slightly above 50 per cent of the targeted figure for two reasons. Firstly, that the voter registration teams went ahead of the National Registration Card (NRC) teams. Secondly, the NRC teams are only spending five days at a given polling station instead of the seven which were assured to us on the Floor of this House. In some cases, teams are only spending three days. 

Sir, as a result of this, a lot of young people risk being completely disenfranchised in this exercise and may not vote. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether he is aware of this very worrying situation and what he intends to do about it for the people of the Western Province.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have stated, on the Floor of this House, that hon. Members of Parliament must engage my office. For example, our officers were at Lwimba Polling Station for five days. When they left, the people complained and we asked the team to go back to issue to those that did not get. 

You are my friend, hon. Member for Lukulu East, … 


Mr Mwila: Just come and we can …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

It is not a question of friendship. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Everyone can have access. 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, ... 

Dr Kalila: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Mweetwa: … when this exercise was launched …

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, you just gave guidance to all of us that notwithstanding the fact that we can seek clarification from our colleagues, outside the confines of this House or hours, it does not stop us from raising questions that affect our electorate, more so on the Floor of this House. 

I would like find out whether the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is in order to ask me not to ask him a question on the Floor of this House simply because we are friends when my people are crying to me day and night about being disenfranchised. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think that, that was said in jest and I do not think that he meant anything by it. 

Hon. Member for Choma Central, you may proceed. 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, the projected number of people to be issued with national registration cards (NRCs) in the Southern Province, according to the ministry, was 80,000. Currently, with less than 50 per cent of the work done, and only a few wards visited by the teams, in the case of constituencies, the number has already gone past your estimated figure. Would you give us an estimation of the cards that you will send to the province in order to meet the demand and when is this likely to take place because, on numerous occasions, these cards have run out?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I cannot give an estimation of the cards we are going to send to the province. We have the Provincial Registrars who give us information on the number of cards they have remained with. For example, if they have remained with 2,000 to 3,000 cards, then, we send cards to the province.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, in a statement made by the hon. Minister earlier, he indicated that the team that is issuing national registration cards (NRCs) and voters’ cards will be moving from one polling station to the other, but this is not the case in Liuwa. The officers move from one polling station, skip about four to five polling stations in between and go to farther ones. Can the hon. Minister confirm that his earlier announcement still stands? If so, can these officers move systematically and not dribble the people by moving in this direction and, then, from nowhere, turn 360 degrees and go to other places?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, if you asked Hon. Kalaba and Hon. Dr Chilufya who normally go to their constituencies, …

Mr Kalaba: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: … they would tell you that the Council Secretaries who represent the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) have programmes on how they will conduct the voters’ registration. We have instructed the Registrar-General to sit with the Council Secretaries and the Town Clerks so that they can harmonise these movements. Wherever the ECZ will be, the team for the issuance of the NRCs will also be there.  

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who happens to be my friend and brother-in-law, stood on the Floor of this House and gave a statement which stated that the Ministry of Finance had allocated money to Phase I of the mobile the NRC issuance exercise, under which Katuba, in Central Province, belongs. He said that there was money to allocate to each and every polling station in any constituency. 

Sir, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is in charge of the police and investigative wings. In my constituency, money was supposed to be allocated to each polling station in each ward. In view of the fact that money was released for these activities, does he not think that someone might have dipped his fingers in the money, making it impossible for these officers to finish their work? If that is the case, what will be done about it? 

Sir, as it is now, the registration of voters has come to an end in most places. Are they going to communicate through the Office of the Vice-President and Minister of Development Palnning to ensure that the teams go back to the polling stations which were not covered? For example, in Kabile, they only covered a polling station which is just by the roadside and places that are about 40 km away from the road were not covered. Yet, these are trained to give this service to the people who need it in this country. What is going to happen, my hon. Minister and mulamu?

Mr Deputy Speaker: The mulamuship is not the issue. 


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I recall that the Phase I of the mobile registration went on well and the people of Katuba Constituency got their NRCs. I cannot remember the issues that the hon. Member of Parliament for Katuba has referred to. Actually, he should have raised those issues when we were …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwila: … carrying out Phase I of the registration of voters. Currently, we are in Phase II and Phase III of the mobile registration of NRCs. This is the time that hon. Members should raise all the challenges they are facing in their constituencies. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that he desires to be engaged if there are issues pertaining to the registration exercise that is currently going on and he has also referred to hon. Members who visit their constituencies. I also visit my constituency and I have been engaging the hon. Minister on what is happening. I have even written to the hon. Minister and his Provincial Registrar, who is so good. Is the hon. Minister still going to give us a permanent office which he keeps promising us? Is he going to give us the officer on a permanent basis in Ikeleng’i so that we make his job simple?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, on the Floor of this House, I have not promised the hon. Member of Parliament for Ikeleng’i a district office. However, the hon. Member of Parliament has written to my office and the response has been that we will only open that office once we do the recruitment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Before I give the Floor to other hon. Member, I just want you to know that I am aware that this subject is of interest to all of us. This is why I want to make sure that we have as many hon. Members of Parliament as we can to ask the questions. So, take it easy. 

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, what criteria was the ministry using to arrive at the targets that it has given this House? The hon. Minister said that in the Southern Province, the issuance of 80,000 NRCs was targeted, 100,000 NRCs in the Western Province, 90,000 NRCs, in the North-Western Province, 110,000 NRCs, in Luapula Province, and 120,000 NRCs in the Eastern Province. Yet, the population figures for the Eastern and Southern provinces are almost the same. How did you arrive at targeting 80,000 NCRs for the Southern Province instead of a higher figure?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we engage the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to guide us on the population that we have in each province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, the issuance of the NRCs is a very serious issue, especially that we are going towards elections. There are reports in the media that some council officers are issuing the NRCs from their homes. What is the Government’s position on this matter?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Muchinga must be specific and tell us which people are doing such things. As it is, I am not aware of any officers who are issuing the NRCs from their homes. 

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, in response to the hon. Member for Kalabo Central, the hon. Minister said that the ministry is doing fine in the Western Province. However, the facts on the ground are to the contrary. Just this morning, I received two telephone calls from Namusheshe and Nalwei, in Nalikwanda. People in these areas are complaining that over 200 eligible people have been left out in the registration exercise. 

So, clearly, the ministry is not doing fine in the Western Province. It has covered 53,000 people against the targeted 100,000, which means that the pace is very slow. What measures is the ministry going to take to ensure that it covers the 100,000 projected people?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to inform the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda that the ministry will meet the 100,000 target for the Western Province. So far, it has covered 57 per cent. So, it is only remaining with 43 per cent. I also want to inform this House that the response in the Western Province was very slow. However, it is now good and we will meet the target.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out the criteria the ministry used to target 80,000 people in the Southern Province, and yet it targeted higher figures in other provinces that have lesser populations, and I take it this exercise has been budgeted for. Does the hon. Minister agree with me that they actually do not care for the people of the Southern Province?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this Government cares for the people of the Southern Province. Hon. Members of Parliament, including the hon. Member for Namwala, are aware that we have been sending materials for the NRCs to the Southern Province. That is the more reason the number of people who have collected the NRCs in the Southern Province is 87,000. As I speak, people are flocking to the registration centres. So, we care for the people of the Southern Province. For a long time, hon. Members of Parliament with constituencies in the Southern Province have been talking about the construction of the Bottom Road …

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: … and the PF Government is working on that road.

Mr Mushanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: However, I will talk not about the other projects that we have embarked on in the Southern Province.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, as a representative of the people of Mkaika, I am concerned that the issuance of the NRCs … 

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Before the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central raises his point of order, I want to say that I want as many hon. Members as possible to ask questions because of the interest that the issue generates. So, I hope you will minimise on points of order. I have more hon. Members on my list.

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you have your point of order.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that the target for the Southern Province is 80,000. The people that registered exceeded that number and the targeted number was achieved half way through the duration of the exercise in the province. Is he in order to claim that the PF Government is serving the people of the Southern Province, and yet most of them have not been issued with the NRCs? Currently, the ministry has run out of materials and he stated that it has reached its target. Is he in order to mislead us that he cares for the people of the Southern Province when he cannot double the targeted number to cater for all the eligible citizens?

Mr Deputy Speaker: That point of order is being used to disagree with what the hon. Minister has said. So, I will not make a ruling.

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I am concerned because the issuance of the NRCs in my constituency is being done at a slow pace. Thus, they might not be able to capture all the eligible citizens in my constituency. Could the hon. Minister send another team so that that exercise is speeded up?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I will look into that. If there will be need for us to send another team, we will do so.

I thank, Sir.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister informed this House that he has assigned five teams to each district. Why, then,  has he assigned only two groups to Shibuyunji District?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Shibuyunji falls under Mumbwa.

Mr Milambo: Under Lusaka!

Mr Mwila: Yes, it is under Mumbwa.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! Order!

This puts me in an awkward situation. The hon. Minister said that it falls under Mumbwa and the hon. Member is saying that it falls under …

Mr Milambo: It is a district on its own, Mr Speaker, and it falls under Lusaka.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I …

Mr Deputy Speaker: No, I did not give you the Floor. In light of that difference in terms of where that place belongs, is Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning able to guide us? 

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning (Mrs I. Wina): Mr Speaker, for the purpose of the current issuance of the NRCs, the new districts still fall under the old districts until such a time a proper demarcation of the new districts ...


The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: … is done.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is chewing bubble gum.


Mr Ntundu: Sir, most hon. Members of Parliament have stated that the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) is not going on well in their constituencies. This is a fact and it is true. I would like to request my good friend, the Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Mwila, who is one of the good hon. Ministers in the Government, …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe, please, you are wasting time. What is your question?

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, having heard from the hon. Members of Parliament that this exercise is not going on well in their respective constituencies, will the Minister make a survey of each district before the exercise ends so that he can see what is happening on the ground, instead, of relying on the feedback by technocrats? For Example, he can come with me, tomorrow morning, so that we can go to Gwembe District to see what is happening on the ground.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, as earlier indicated, I would like to assure the House that the exercise is going on well and that is the more reason that Gwembe has five teams although there are very few people who are going to those centres to register as voters or get the NRCs. Owing to the low turnout, we have decided to withdraw one team which has since gone to go to Monze.

 I thank you, Sir.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister said that the people in Chongwe complained about being left out and your ministry was kind enough to send back people to work. I also wish to state that there were many complaints in Chibombo District, in Katuba and Keembe constituencies respectively, during Phase I. In Keembe Constituency, only eight polling stations were covered out of sixty and the people are complaining. Would the hon. Minister consider reviewing the records that he received from his officers so that he can send people back to Chibombo District?

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that we cannot send back the officers for the Phase I exercise, but I would advise the hon. Member of Parliament for Keembe that the district office is open. Therefore, people can go and get the NRCs from there.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask a follow-up question on the question that was asked by Hon. Kunda, concerning the issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) by officers who are not authorised to issue the NRCs. I am referring to His Worship the Mayor of Kitwe who appeared on MUVI Television issuing NRCs at his residence. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what action will be taken against the mayor because that is illegal.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that we are going to investigate that issue and if …

 Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: … there was such a thing, disciplinary action will be taken against those officers who will be found wanting. I would like to assure the House that if the allegations are true, we will take disciplinary action.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, my question is based on the target for the Southern Province. From the look of things, the number might double or even triple. I would like to know whether the ministry will continue sending material to the Southern Province if the number doubles or triples.

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have informed this House that the exercise will run for ninety days. As things stand, we have remained with one month and ten days. Therefore, we will continue until the ninety days have elapsed.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

 I know that the hon. Member for Lukulu West is dying to say something I, therefore, think that I should allow him.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the first phase of the voters’ registration and issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) went well although problems arose during the second phase of the exercise. The hon. Minister has promised, on the Floor of this House, to liase with the Office of Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning so that the two programmes can run side-by-side. Now, considering the number of days remaining, when will the ministry ensure that the two programmes start running side-by-side during the second phase and ensure that the second phase is not disadvantaged?

 Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I had informed this House that we have discussed this issue with the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) so that we can harmonise the whole arrangement for the two teams to start moving together to enable them to capture as many possible voters as possible for next year’s elections.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to implore the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West, Mitete District, in particular, to go to his constituency to encourage his constituents to take part in this exercise because the numbers in that area are too low.

I thank you, Sir.




124. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of Lundazi/Chitungulu Road, especially the stretch between Mbuzi and Chitungulu Headquarters, which was cut off during the 2014/2015 Rainy Season would commence; and

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

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government is aware that Lundazi/Chitungulu, a 120 km stretch, is currently in a poor condition and that there was a cut-off point between Mbuzi and Chitungulu where a culvert was damaged. The hon. Member may wish to know that the culvert has since been repaired, as of the first week of this month, October, 2015, at a cost of K71,920.

Sir, the Road Development Agency (RDA) plans to carry out a survey of the road in the first quarter of 2016 after the rainy season to determine the possibility of carrying out maintenance works on the road under force account as an interim measure.

Mr Speaker, the cost of carrying out complete rehabilitation will only be known once the survey has been done.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, the question is not the issue of the culvert that could have been replaced, but about the stretch which is more than 2 km. This stretch is quite slippery, has potholes and, therefore, the road around this area needs to be backfilled with gravel. Could the hon. Minister not think of contracting some companies to do this?

 Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, in fact, the works on the culvert were worked on by a contractor who is doing the routine maintenance on this road. He is, therefore, going to look at that stretch.

 I thank you, Sir.


125. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    how much money was exchanged during the transition from the old to the new currency following the rebasing of the kwacha;

(b)    how the old currency was disposed of;

(c)    what the names of the local and foreign institutions involved in the disposal of the old currency were; and

(d)    whether the disposal was supervised by the Bank of Zambia.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) exchanged a total of K3,738.70 billion of the old currency to the rebased currency, as at 4th September, 2015. This represented a 97.3 per cent of withdrawal rate. The cash exchange exercise shall be concluded on 31st December, 2015. Additionally, the BoZ used its in-house and off-site destruction sites in disposing of the old currency.

Sir, it is only BoZ that undertook the destruction of the old currency. During disposal, all destruction sessions are closely monitored by currency destruction staff, the BoZ internal security and internal audit departments. In addition, off-site destruction sessions are always monitored by State security. The disposal of old currency is not supervised by members of the public.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, it is alleged that when old notes are taken for destruction, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) keeps some of the notes, which it later re-exchanges with the new ones. I would like to know if the Government has any intentions of revising the destruction exercise method to make it more transparent and dispel such allegations.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, it is inconceivable that BoZ, given its level of decency and professionalism, can act in that fashion. The issue of transparency in the destruction of currency is far-fetched because you cannot ask the public to come and witness the destruction of notes. This, by its nature, is a process which is only confined to BoZ and State security who closely, sufficiently and adequately supervise such kind of operations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, rebasing the currency was a very good undertaking by the hon. Minister, and I want to commend him for doing that.

Sir, Zambians are losing money because of the way the process was undertaken. Things like lower denominations were not considered. Zambians shop in these malls all the time, but if you buy something in any of the chain stores and your change is 4 n, you will not get it. Those coins meant to be people’s change build up and become lots of money. May I find out from the hon. Minister, who is a very good Minister, if the Government has any intentions of making 1 n coins so that change can be readily available for the Zambians.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the Government does not have such intentions because the cost of making 1 n would exceed the value of that coin.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said both on-site and off-site staff were used to dispose of the old currency. Who specifically attended this exercise, at the point of destruction? Further, for the sake of transparency, did the bank issue a destruction certificate for the money which was destroyed?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. Member, I think that the questions are slightly too off tangent to warrant my answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, is the Government aware that the people in the rural areas are refusing to accept coins like 10 n? I would like to know what measures will be taken to educate the people and make them aware that the coins are legal tender.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, one of the roles of hon. Members of Parliament is to enlighten people over issues like that. You realise that the Government gave a very generous period in which people could surrender the old notes. That period is coming to an end on 31st December, 2015. So, we gave a period of almost three years to enable people to exchange the old currency that may still be in their possession. This is as generous as the Government could be. So, the Government cannot reach every remote part of Zambia, but I believe that if there are any old currencies in circulation, it is a very minute percentage. I would only re-enforce my appeal to all hon. Members to bring very specific and verifiable information. Where they see a problem, we should work together and see how we can overcome it to ensure that, come 31st December, no Zambian would have been disadvantaged.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, generous as it may have been, this exercise disadvantaged the rural, ...

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Minister misunderstood my question. I am not talking about the old ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Is that a point of order on the hon. Minister?

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, yes, I want to get a clarification through a point of order. The money that the rural population is refusing is not the old currency, but the 10 n coins. If you are buying something and you give them the new 10 n coins, those selling will not accept those coins. So, is he in order to misunderstand my question and answer the way he has?

Mr Deputy Speaker: The hon. Minister has said that all of us have a duty to educate all those who are rejecting the coins that, that is legal tender.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I want to bring it to the hon. Minister’s attention that this currency exchange exercise has disadvantaged the people in rural areas. The exercise will end on 31st December, 2015, but some money will still remain unchanged in the rural areas. I say so because that exercise is only being done at commercial banks. Are there any deliberate measures to help the rural population have their old notes exchanged? These people still have the old currency and they think it is still legal tender.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, you may respond if you understood the question. 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, when questions are mingled with things which are not very factual, even the people raising them find it difficult to be coherent.


Mr Chikwanda: So, I have not really been able to grasp what the versatile hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West wants us to do. If there are any specific cases, let us have information on that so that it is easy to devise some roadmap for dealing with the problems. There may be some people who, for some reason, just want to hang on to the old currency. Where there are genuine problems, however, it is possible to bring it to the attention of BoZ to see how we can, perhaps, prevail on the commercial banking system or other institutions that are supposed to be centres for exchanging old currency. I emphasise that it is easier to deal with very specific cases rather than very speculative ones or where people really overstretch the parameters of truth.

I thank you, Sir.


126. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Health when a maternity wing would be constructed at Kabange Health Centre in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, there are plans to build a maternity annex as part of the programme to expand infrastructure at Kabange Health Post in 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


127. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs:

(a)    whether the Zambian Government had received any recognition for its contribution to the liberation struggle of other states in the Southern Africa Region;

(b)    if so, what type of recognition was conferred; and

(c)    which countries conferred the recognition.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Mbulu): Mr Speaker, yes, Zambia has been recognised as one of the founding members of the Frontline States. Zambia played a critical and historical role in the liberation struggle of the Southern African Region that led to the independence of all the countries in the region.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Can I have order at the back of the hon. Minister on the Floor.

Mr Mbulu: Sir, it will be recalled that our motherland was among the first countries of the region to attain independence, and that liberation was considered incomplete by our founding fathers as long as the country remained surrounded by peoples under the yoke of colonialism, and, for that matter, apartheid.

Mr Speaker, it, therefore, became Zambia’s foremost agenda to ensure that liberation was attained for all the countries within the Southern African Region. In collaboration with other countries, the liberation of the African Continent was guaranteed. This was, of course, for both our economic and political interests.

Sir, in recognition of Zambia’s role in the liberation struggle, successive Governments have played mediatory and facilitator roles in the resolution of conflict within the Southern African and Great Lakes regions. The post-liberation era witnessed the emergence of conflict in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Madagascar and Lesotho. In all this conflict, Zambia played a leading role in the mediation, conflict resolution and peace-buildings efforts, as may be recalled by various outcomes which included the Lusaka Protocol on Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo Peace Process and the Roadmap for Ending the Crisis in Madagascar.

Mr Speaker, the fact that the country has been repeatedly called upon to mediate and assist in conflict resolution is a clear testimony and recognition of the leadership role that Zambia has played in bearing her moral, political, peaceful and democratic credentials. This type of recognition goes beyond conferrence of awards, but rather speaks to the sensitive and critical part that the country has played in international relations. This continued acceptance of our country’s admirable role by countries within the region and the international community at large is a clear manifestation of the unique and consistent foreign policy that the country has adopted in pursuit of peace and stability, as a prerequisite for sustainable social and economic development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, Zambia spent colossal sums of money during the liberation struggle. Some of this money could have gone towards developmental programmes in Mpongwe. Is the mediation role that Zambia plays when there is conflict in other countries for the benefit of the recognition by other countries? In other words, is the Government happy that just to become a mediator is the benefit we have drawn from helping other countries attain liberation?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, it must be appreciated by the hon. Member for Mpongwe that we played this role out of principle. The Government is and will forever remain proud of this fact. It may also be appreciated that, in fact, what was at the back of the minds of our founding fathers, and those that immediately came after them was that unless the region and whole continent was free, the African countries that had initially gained independence would not be truly free at all. So, the intention was to ensure that every African country was liberated. 

Mr Speaker, as I stand here, I am very proud because we talk about issues of regional integration and continental trade today because we have been able to guarantee peace and security in other countries. We cannot have free trade links unless, first of all, we provide political solidarity which comes through guaranteeing security in our region. Some of the benefits of helping other countries attain liberation are free trade linkages in between and amongst our nations. So, we take credit for that.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Kwame Nkrumah said that the independence of Ghana, in 1957, would not be complete unless the whole of Africa was independent.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I was born on 24th October, 1964, at the same time the British Colonial Flag was going down and the Zambian Flag was being raised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, having declared interest, I must say that, for me, there is a sentimental part to what Zambia did. The hon. Minister has elaborated Zambia’s role in the liberation struggle very well. However, this was at a great cost to this country and it left us quite impoverished and highly indebted. Some of the countries that helped us such as China, Yugoslavia and many others, especially communist countries, did so on a cost recovery basis. This means that we signed loans to be paid back and some we have, but others were forgiven.

Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your follow-up question?

Mr Simfukwe: Sir, the sentimental humanistic side of what we did must not be ignored. We have paid a huge price for our role in liberating other countries but, sometimes, we face so much hostility from some of these countries we assisted. Upon reflection, does the Government think there should have been signing of cost recovery agreements in some instances? Now that those we helped are independent and some of them have oil, there could have been some payments in kind in addition to the humanistic side of things.

Mr Mbulu: Mr Speaker, that is an interesting after thought that my honourable Colleague has put across. The bottom line is that there was no agreement prior to our engagement in the liberation struggle of the Southern African Region. You see, peace, like my colleague at the back said, is not free at all. Freedom comes at a huge cost. I can tell my brother that we did not only put in a huge financial outlay in some cases, but also went to a level of laying our lives for the sake of others. This is practical even in our lives. I stand here as Member of Parliament, but my father who invested in my education has never taken anything from me. However, the bottom line is that those that sow are few, while those that reap could be many. I think that is the spirit that we must cultivate and adopt.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


128. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of General Education:

(a)    whether the Government had any plans to expand Lwela Secondary School in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency;

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

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

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has plans to expand infrastructure at Lwela Secondary School, in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency, in future, considering that the pupil population in the area has been increasing since the school was established. However, the limitation has been that, at the moment, the ministry’s focus is to expand infrastructure at Kafwanka and Chibende primary schools …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I am uncomfortable with the consultations going on behind the hon. Deputy Minister on the Floor. Could you just give him some time to answer so that he can be heard.

May the hon. Deputy Minister, continue.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, thank you for your protection.

Mr Speaker, our limitation is that, in 2015 and 2016, the Government’s focus is to expand infrastructure at Kafwanka and Chibende primary schools which are being upgraded to secondary schools.

Mr Speaker as stated in part (a) of the answer, the Government has plans to expand infrastructure at Lwela Secondary School. For the information of Hon. Mbulakulima, I visited that school this year just to look at the infrastructure that is at that particular school. Like I said in the earlier answer, the limitation has been the availability of funds given that the two primary schools in the area are being upgraded.

Mr Speaker, as I have already said the Government has got plans to expand Lwela Secondary School in future.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima: May I find out from the hon. Deputy Minister, before Hon. Dr John Phiri went to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, this question came up and your answer was very categorical that, “as soon as we are through with Milenge High School, we will embark on this project.” May I learn what has changed and why you cannot stick to that nice promise.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, nothing has changed. In fact, the consolation for the hon. Member and the people of Chembe Parliamentary Constituency are the two primary schools that are being upgraded to secondary schools. At the time I visited Lwela Secondary School, for the information of the hon. Member, the challenge was pressurisation by the people who were saying we were slow in upgrading Chibende Primary School, notwithstanding the difficulties that are at Lwela Secondary School. 

Mr Speaker, as I have said, at the moment our focus is to upgrade Kafwanka and Chibende primary schools. Given the commitment that we have made, at an appropriate time we will sort out the issues at Lwela Secondary School.

I thank you, Sir.




(Debate resumed)

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I had just started debating the Motion when the House rose last Friday.

Mr Speaker, I expressed my sympathies to the hon. Minister of Finance and I am going to say why I did that. I really sympathised with him for he has to bear this burden of presenting the National Budget at a time our economy is undergoing very difficult times. I do not envy his job.

Sir, may I start with a quote from one philosopher called Henry David Thoreau who says, “It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is: What are you busy about?” I am going to come back to that quote in a while. 

Mr Speaker, as we budget for our country, we must know how we are going to provide for that budget. We thank God that, indeed, he has endowed our country with a lot of resources. We have plenty of land, minerals, water, wildlife and us a very resilient people. I am glad to note that the hon. Minister recognises that fact in his Budget Speech.

Sir, how, then, do we manage these abundant resources so as to provide for all our people in the country? I think that was the task that was before the hon. Minister as he was presenting the Budget. All Zambians were expectant and looking forward to a budget that was to provide some answers to the economic hardships we are going through, as a nation. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has the mandate to collect taxes, for example, in order to provide for the Budget. 

Mr Speaker, I am not being controversial, but I think the hon. Minister should sit and think about whether we can have a solution. One question that begs answer is: Is the ZRA adequately equipped to collect all the collectable taxes in our country? Have we capacitated the ZRA to a level where we can comfortably say, yes, all the collectable taxes will be collected? I am not going to answer that question; I leave it the hon. Minister of Finance. 

Sir, recently, there was a report from the Mbeki High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows. That report highlights the fact that Africa as a continent loses to a tune of US$50 to US$60 billion a year as a result of illicit financial flows. Zambia has a very big chunk of that loss. Now, as a country, I would like to pose a question to the hon. Minister of Finance, which I do not expect him to answer now, but as he comes to respond to the debate he can do so. Are we equipping ourselves to, first of all, stop these illicit financial flows which occur as a result of tax evasion by these multi-national companies, transfer pricing, double taxation, tax haven jurisdictions, where do our money go. What are we doing, as a country, to make sure that we reduce on these? We may not necessarily eradicate them completely. This question is also linked to the capacity at the ZRA.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in the Budget speech, referred to the fact that we lost revenue because of the low prices of copper, at the moment, and that we could not reach our projected production levels due to power cuts or load shedding. However, I would like to ask the hon. Minister whether we have the correct figures of copper production in Zambia. Do we have the capacity to tell exactly, to the last tonne, how much copper we produce in the country? This question should be answered through the Budget. I believe that the Budget can, actually, reinforce the capacity at the ZRA. How much have we invested in our capacity to collect taxes? I leave this issue to the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, though we complain and blame the multi-national companies for capital flight and other things, our tax regime leaves a lot to be desired. Have we passed good laws that will not aid, for example, capital flight? The question is for the hon. Minister to ponder.

Mr Speaker, we give tax holidays to some of the multi-national companies as they come to invest in our country. However, do these incentives work in our favour? I am dwelling on the issue of capacity for the country to collect revenues because we can have all these nice and big projections, but if we do not capacitate ourselves in order to beef up the revenue side of the Budget, we may be working in futility. This is why I said that we can be busy, but it is not important that we are. What is important is whether what is keeping us busy is profitable at the end of the day. This question also remains to be answered by the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, as regards the collection of tax, the informal sector is an important aspect. It accounts for 90 per cent of the labour force in Zambia. However, most of it is not taxed. What are we doing about this, as a Government? I am glad that we now have the Ministry of Development Planning. I hope that it will look at this issue. Of course, we have, for example, presumptive tax that can be levied or used to collect taxes from the informal sector, but I also want to contend that it is high time we thought of formalising some of the informal sector. If we formalise, we will not only have the capacity to tax the sector, but there will be other benefits that will accrue. Some of these benefits, just to encourage the hon. Minister to look at this area, will promote business growth for the participants. 

Mr Speaker, let me give you a simple example. If you walk around Lusaka now, especially Garden Area and Buseko, you find many welders who are struggling to survive. You can imagine what would happen if you grouped these people. I am glad that even His Excellency the President talked about co-operatives. The hon. Minister also talked about co-operatives in his Budget Speech, though he kind of glossed over this issue because he did not talk about it much. Also, when I look into the Budget, there is not much allocated to this area. However, co-operatives are one very powerful tool of formalising the informal sector. Those young men gathered at Garden Compound doing their welding make very good window and door frames, but in all shapes and types because there is no meeting point for them. When they are looking for finances, it is each one for himself.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was trying to emphasise the importance of using co-operatives to formalise the informal sector. I gave an example of the welders that we find around Garden Compound and Buseko. Even in this House, I am sure that there are a number of us, like many people out there, who are engaged in small businesses which are making a lot of money. However, because the tax dragnet does not cover them, they go scot free. I am, therefore, trying to emphasise that it is, probably, high time that we looked at this area for us to strengthen the revenue side of the Budget.

Sir, due to the limitation of time, I will gloss over the issue of co-operatives and move on to diversification. This is a song that we have sung since independence, but are not getting there. We embarked on this journey of diversification many years ago but, to date, we are not sure whether we are coming or going. 

Sir, my question to the hon. Minister is: How far are we in our journey to diversification? All of us in this House agree that this is the way to go but we, probably, differ on the methodology and strategy that we are using, at the moment, to diversify. First of all, we need to have an elaborate plan. What are we diversifying into and what does it take for us to diversify? It is not enough, like I said in the code that I read earlier, to just say that we are diversifying and leave it there. What are we diversifying into? I know that three sectors have been identified, including agriculture, tourism and manufacturing. However, do we know what it takes to diversify into agriculture? 

Sir, with the time that I have, I want to propose that we look at the resources that we have at hand, mobilise and organise them in such a way that they point us to the direction we want to go. How do we do this? 

Sir, we have a number of stakeholders we can work with to achieve this. It is not enough for the hon. Minister, or the Government alone, to preach diversification, without involving other stakeholders in the process. For example, how much are we involving the banks in this process? How much are the citizens involved in the diversification process? Those are the questions the hon. Minister should be answering. Do we have the right people to embark on the diversification journey? Do we have the right technologies? Do we have the right timing? Do we have all these things in the right proportions? We might have the people, but do we have the money to embark on diversification? 

Mr Speaker, let me pick agriculture as an example. If we want to diversify in agriculture, what should we do? The first thing we should do is look at the impediments we face in this sector. Then, we should begin to address them. This sector will not be attractive with those impediments. This attraction should not be cosmetic like the e-Voucher System we are implementing in the agriculture sector. We need to implement tangible things that can actually get us where we want to go. What are the challenges we have in the agriculture sector? The lack of incentives is one challenge. I expected the Budget to address the issue of incentives in the agriculture sector and other priority areas that we have identified for diversification. In this Budget, have incentives that will attract people to the agriculture sector been included? We have competition from very cheap imported agro-products in the country. How have we addressed this issue in this Budget? How do I embark on producing milk that will be competitive with the milk that comes from − what was that place?

Mr Milambo: Poland!

Mr Hamudulu: Poland. How do I do that? This Budget has not given me hope. It has not given me any incentive. 

Mr Speaker, we have the high cost of production as another challenge. The cost of fuel, for example, is high. Machinery like a combine harvester is powered by diesel, which is cheaper in other countries than it is in Zambia. The high cost of inputs for the agriculture sector is a challenge. We also have a lack of extension services. I do not know how this Budget has enhanced provision of extension services. We need to build capacity for local prospective investors in agriculture and other areas we have identified for diversification. What is there to attract me to invest in a business in the tourism sector? What is there to attract me to invest in manufacturing, when we have cheap imports in that sector? I believe that the hon. Minister has a lot of work to do, if we have to diversify the economy.

Mr Speaker, we also have difficulties in accessing land. There are a lot of people who would like to invest in farming, but they just cannot find the land. In the meantime, we are preaching, here, that we have plenty of land in the country. The hon. Minister of Finance should liaise with his colleague at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection so that land for agriculture is easily accessible to citizens, if we have to diversify in this area. There is also the promotion of markets regionally and internationally. The Government, through the Budget, must provide for promotion of regional and international markets for entrepreneurs to sell their products. How can I be assured that if I embark on growing a particular crop, it will be easy for me to sell my produce to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), for example? The Budget must answer those questions. 

Mr Speaker, we have also been talking about value-addition. How do I add value to my maize, when the cost of producing cornflakes in Zambia is more expensive that it is in South Africa? This business will be unsustainable for me. So, I would rather stick to the traditional way of doing things, that is, by not adding any value to my maize. 

Mr Speaker, we all agreed that it was, probably, a good idea to divide the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock into two ministries. However, have we moved in the right direction by doing this? My answer to this question is, no. Why? It is because when we had one ministry, the budget for the ministry was higher. Now, we have two ministries and the budget for each ministry is low when compared to when they were combined. Therefore, how are we going to get to where we want? Last year, K4.1 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock. This year, the combined budget for the two ministries has come down to slightly over K3 billion. I do not think that this will take us where we want to go. Although the destination is right, this vehicle we are using is defective. We have all agreed that we want to go there, but we are using a defective vehicle, which will not take us there. We do not even have monitoring mechanisms. 

Sir, we cannot tell how much we have diversified the economy. Therefore, we do not know where we are. Are we half way through the diversification process? When are we going to have the hon. Minister of Finance present a report, in the House, which will point out how far we have gone in diversifying the agriculture sector? 

Mr Speaker, I agree with the principle of diversification, but I do not agree with the means we are using to achieve diversification. This is not like a situation where you can tell someone to drink medicine without giving them a proper dosage. We need the right dosage to be prescribed. I know that, traditionally, we are used to just being told to bath in some medicine in order to solve a problem, without being told how many litres of that medicine we should use. In this case, I beg the hon. Minister to be specific. He should let us know exactly how much he has allocated to the diversification of the economy and how soon we will get there. 

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

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. 

Mr Speaker, to start with, let me congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting the Budget. I have said before that preparing a National Budget is never an easy thing. So, I congratulate him and his staff for the effort. 

Mr Speaker, apart from distributing resources in the county, the Budget can also be a very good tool for development. Just like in a home, a good budget creates a foundation for prosperity in the future while a bad one does the opposite. That is the context in which I will debate the Budget.

Mr Speaker, I am mindful that this is the fifth Budget Speech that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has presented from 2011. It has come towards the end of its mandate. In 2016, its mandate will end. Therefore, this Budget is really a concluding Budget for the PF Government. I am not going to debate this Budget as a single one, but will also look at the previous Budgets as well. In other words, if the Budgets of the previous years have been doing a good job in building the economy, I will ask the question: Does next year’s Budget build on that good job or is it reversing the trend? 

Similarly, if we take the view that the previous Budgets did not do a good job, the question, then, becomes, what about this year’s Budget? Does it improve things or does it allow things to keep on rolling without order? This is the way I am going to debate, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Speaker, this Budget has been presented at a time when the country is facing very serious economic problems. For example, over the year, we have seen the price of copper decline rapidly. We have also seen copper mining output declining as well. The two of these combined, low prices and low production, has led to the shortage in foreign exchange, which has manifested itself in the kwacha losing its value. According to Bloomberg, of all the currencies that they monitor in the world, our currency is the worst performer. 

Mr Speaker, this Budget has come at a time when there are many job losses in the mining, manufacturing and services sectors. The environment is, therefore, not easy. The question on everyone’s mind is why are we having this difficult economic environment and what is the role of the Budget in dealing with this situation. These are the questions that everyone is asking. The loudest answer that we are getting is that the economy is hard because China is not buying as much copper as before, at very low price. We have even blamed God for the drought which has resulted in short supply of electricity.  So, we are blaming the Chinese and God. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, this brings me to the main point or theme of my debate that I want to leave in this House today. Sir, I want to dispute these grounds that are being given for the serious economic situation we are in. Today, I want to dispute the fact that it is the low price of copper that is bringing all these problems. I also want to dispute the fact that it is God who has chased away electricity. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I think that it is important to look into the details and understand exactly what is going on when we face a problem such as the one we are facing today. Let us not just rush and accept that we are in problems because of low copper prices. If we accept simplistic reasons, we will never be able to solve our problems. Therefore, it is important to dig a little deeper and come up with something. While I accept that, indeed, the decline in copper prices has had an effect, there are some other factors, perhaps, even more important, that need to be resolved. Short of this, I do not see us solving our economic problems. 

Mr Speaker, concerning the low copper prices in China, the easiest thing to say is that it is beyond our control.  The easiest thing to say about the shortage of electricity is go and ask God. 

Mr Belemu: It is an act of God! 

Dr Musokotwane: So they say, yes, but is it? Should we accept this? My answer, this afternoon, is no. 

Mr Speaker, I will mostly talk about the copper industry and the shortage of foreign exchange, whereas there are some other factors. I am justified, however, in doing so because I know that the copper industry is the pillar of this economy. When the copper industry declined in the 1980s and 1990s, we could hardly see anyone driving a car in this country. When the industry picked up, we saw new residential areas coming up and a lot of cars being driven around. So, it is a pillar and therefore if we solve this problem in the mining sector, we are 70 per cent towards the solution of solving our economic problems. This is why I am going to focus on this industry. 

Mr Speaker, we have a serious shortage of foreign exchange which is causing havoc in our economy. What are the reasons for this? First of all, and I admit, copper prices have come down, by one measure, about 20 per cent this year. So, with the low prices of copper, naturally, the volume of foreign currency coming into the country reduces, resulting in the depreciation of the exchange rate. No question about this. 

However, Sir, one of the things that we all keep quiet about in this economy is the quantity of the copper being produced. The quantity of copper being mined has drastically gone down. One thing we must remember is that foreign exchange is two things. Firstly, it is the price, and secondly, the volume of the material being exported. Prices have come down, yes, but the volume has also seriously gone down. 

In an interview with Bloomberg, the hon. Minister of Finance said that copper production may be 600,000 metric tonnes this year. In 2011, when our colleagues took over, copper output was 833,000 metric tonnes. Now, it is 233,000 metric tonnes less, and at the current low price of copper, this Government has lost about US$2.3 billion. 

Mr Speaker, copper production has gone down. The other day, I said that in the four years that our colleagues have been in power, copper production has been going down every year, except for 2013. How do you expect to be rich? How do you expect foreign exchange if copper production is going down? Worse still, I want to tell you that prices of commodities are always going up and down and there is nothing one can do about it. On the other hand, you can do something about the volume of production.  

During the time of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), we were aware of this. This is why Konkola Copper Mines Plc was sunk to reach richer ores. Nchanga Mines was rehabilitated. At Mopani Copper Mines Plc, a synclinorium shaft was suck so as to push up copper production. New mines were opened in Kansanshi, Lumwana and Kalumbila. Beyond this, Kansanshi and Lumwana expanded. It was projected that by 2015, Zambia would produce 1,500,000 metric tonnes and not the 600,000 metric tonnes that it is producing now. This is where the problem is. 

Mr Speaker, supposing this plan had not been disturbed and that, this year, we were going to produce 1.5 million tonnes of copper, by simple arithmetic, the volume of foreign exchange that we would be earning, even under the current low prices, would be more than double. In fact, it would be more than that because, this year, we are told that only 600,000 metric tonnes would be produced.

Sir, that being the case, obviously, the exchange rate would not have depreciated to the extent it has. Some of the mines would not even have closed. Due to the high volume of production, they could have been sustained by the lower profit margins. To the contrary, this is not what has happened. 

Mr Speaker, my colleagues may be wondering if I will keep silent over the effect of electricity on copper production. Again, I want to say that it is a matter of wrong choices or decisions made by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. I think it was Hon. Kasonso, the other day who told us that Kafue Gorge Lower is supposed to produce 750 MW for this country. We all know that this project started in 2011. We do not know why our colleagues closed it. For four years, nothing has been happening there. Today, I read somewhere where it is written that the same company that was rejected has been brought back. Is the demand for electricity going to wait for you? No, it will not.

Mr Speaker, the Maamba Thermal Power Plant that we are talking about, which is supposed to deliver 300 MW to this country, is a project that was supposed to have started delivering electricity in 2014 and not this year. Why did this project stall? The other time I read that this project stalled due to financial problems. What is the nature of those financial problems? This happened due to Statutory Instruments (SIs) 33 and 50 because when this Government went to borrow money, it was told to produce the cash flow which it did in dollars. I remember standing on the Floor of this House, pleading with the Government not to introduce SIs because they were bad for the economy. Those SIs were passed in this House. Later on, the projects stalled because the bank instructed that if the Government was to borrow in dollars, it must earn dollars. However, the law said that we could not invoice in dollars and, so, the project got stuck. The end result is that the project that was supposed to deliver electricity, last year, will only be able to do it later. This is creating a catastrophe on the industry. This is what is happening. 

Mr Speaker, let me come to the issue of copper production. In spite of all the financing arrangements that were made, why is it that we have failed to reach production of 1.5 million metric tonnes of copper?  This is because of making wrong choices. I will, again, come back to the issue of the SIs. Although the Government said that this was due to exchange control, in essence, that was not the case. The investors became cautious. They started growing cold feet because if they brought in dollars to a place where foreign exchange was controlled, they would fail to get it back. 

Sir, I think everyone here knows that the mining industry is owed a lot of money in terms of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds. I am told this VAT is somewhere close to US$1 billion. This is just like what happened to the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) in the past. Now, if you take away funds from an industry, how can it expand? Obviously, the non-refund of VAT has contributed to the failure by the mining industry to invest and boost production. 

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the mineral royal tax which was at 20 per cent last year. You know how much havoc this mineral royalty tax has created. You are aware of how some mines decided to close because of it. I also remember how one of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) was deported. Given all these situations, how do you expect people to bring billions of dollars in your economy and also, boost their production? It is safer for the investors to just stand on the fence. This is why we have failed to ramp up production to 1.5 million metric tonnes of copper that would have saved us from the catastrophe that we are facing today. 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, let me say that it was important for me to say these things because they remind me of 1975 when there was a plunge in copper prices. The Government of the day, then, failed to take remedial measures. So, from 1975 up to 1991, sixteen years down the line, we had very serious economic problems. The Government of the day, then, said that the economic problem was due to the copper prices that had gone down. This is why it is important to say this, today, because we are in danger because history might repeat itself. The Government always says that the economy is poor because of the copper prices that have gone down when, in the fact, it is due to the fact that we have killed the industry that has been producing copper. I think it was important for me to mention this. I hope I have raised awareness of what is happening in this country. 

Mr Speaker, the reason we have economic challenges is not only due to copper prices that have gone down, but also mismanagement of the mining industry. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: This is why we are suffering today. With all these problems in the mining industry, I am surprised that there is very little that has been addressed in this Budget Speech.  

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate the Budget Speech which was delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance. On page 5, Paragraph 35 of the speech, it states:

“Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, in his address to this august House, provided a vision of where this country that must be in the next fifty years. He implored us to embrace a transformative and smart approach in handling national matters in order to deliver smart government institutions and public services. This Budget will, therefore, lay the foundation towards the attainment of a smart economy.”

Mr Speaker, I do not agree with this statement because there is no foundation that is being laid in this Budget ...

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

Mr Mufalali: … Speech which indicates that, actually, we are headed for a smart economy. 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, in Paragraph 1, the hon. Minister moved the Motion of Committee of Supply. In Paragraph 2, he stated that he was the bearer of a message from His Excellency the President, recommending favourable consideration of the Motion. In Paragraph 3, he talked about our late President and he stated that the Government would do well to perpetuate his vision of making Zambia a better place for all. However, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government moved away from this vision a long time ago, and yet it claims to perpetuate this vision. He further stated that His Excellency the President is also driven by a passionate commitment to uplift the lives of all Zambians. Unfortunately, the lives of the Zambian people have not been uplifted and have since gone down. Thus, this Budget Speech is irrelevant to them because it does not address their expectations and problems. 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Sir, I have read Lorenzo Fioramonti’s book, “How numbers rule the world: the use of abuse of statistics in global politics.” When I went through the Budget, I realised that certain figures were contradicting each other. As leaders, it is wrong to make statements for the sake of pleasing people. In Lozi they say, “Mwa hanu kimwa sichachani,” …

Hon. UPND Members: Meaning?

Mr Mufalali: … meaning,“The mouth is like a bush.”

Mr Speaker, on Page 8, the hon. Minister talked about tourism. This Budget does not state how the Government will enhance tourism. For instance, the structure at Lochinvar National Park is dilapidated, and yet the hon. Minister stated that the Government intends to promote tourism and build a smart economy. There is nothing smart about failing to rehabilitate roads that lead to tourist sites such as the Kafue National Park. Most Patriotic Front (PF) Members are complaining. Some hon. Ministers have even been nicknamed “ba chinyoni,”…

Hon. UPND Members: Meaning.

Mr Mufalali: … meaning,“a bird.”


Mr Mufalali: Sir, they spend more time in the air, …

Mr Livune: Who is that one now?

Mr Mufalali:… and yet fail to address issues that affect the Zambian people. So, it is very difficult to believe that the Government is building a firm foundation for our economy. The hon. Minister talked about the establishment of a national airline. How can it be a foundation for a smart economy when most national airlines make losses? Only a few airlines in this continent, such as Ethiopian Airlines, make profit. Why should we, then, open a bottomless pit and waste money on an airline? The establishment of an airline will not enhance tourism because the airport is dilapidated. That is not being smart. Even if the airport is renovated, on most days, aeroplanes do not land there after 2000 hours.

Mr Speaker, this country is facing serious challenges and if the Government wants to build a firm foundation for a smart economy, it must first address these challenges. How can a father in a home buy a Toyota GX and fail to pay school fees for his children? How, then, can the Government establish an airline when most people in Zambia have no access to water and it is failing to pay the civil servants their salaries? It is missing its targets and it does not know what it is doing.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Sir, so, there is nothing smart about being extravagant and opening up a bottomless pit of an airline that will not even benefit the people of Zambia. The Government thinks that by doing that, other countries will think that Zambia is doing well when it is a well-known fact that it is not. The Zambian people are suffering and even this House is affected.

Mr Livune: This House?

Mr Mufalali: Yes.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, let me talk about agriculture. On Page 6 of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister stated that a further 5,000 hectares will be brought under irrigation in 2016, bringing the total area under irrigation to 22,500 hectares since 2011. One would think we only have 22,500 hectares available for irrigation in the country, and yet we have a lot of hectares. Unfortunately, the farm blocks which were inherited from the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government are white elephants. Money was sourced to construct roads and electrify them, but those that wanted to invest in those farm blocks were discouraged. What diversification is the Government talking about when it has failed to conserve already-established projects?

Sir, the former hon. Minister of Finance had stated that the country, at some point, had recorded a growth rate of 7 per cent. However, when the current hon. Minister of Finance presented his first Budget Speech, in 2011, he argued that that the growth rate was not interpreted on the ground. Today, the growth rate has further reduced. So, the statistics that he once condemned have now turned against him and his Government because Zambia is not attaining any growth.

Mr Speaker, we cannot be singing about the diversification of the economy year in and year out. For five years now, the PF has been talking about diversification in this House, but the unfortunate part is that it does not listen. 

Sir, in 2012, I had asked a question on what the Government’s strategy was in terms of water harvesting. Surprisingly, some of the hon. Ministers scorned and wondered why I was talking about water harvesting when there was about 40 per cent of water in the Southern African Region. Unfortunately, today, the same people are talking about water harvesting. If they had listened, they would have done something better but, instead, they are blaming God. What they should know is that even God does not tolerate or allow pretense. For example, if you are not feeling well and doctors prescribe medicine, it will be wise for you to take that medication instead of pretending to be well.

Mr Speaker, on Page 8, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about Manufacturing and said the Government will continue to address the challenges faced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises such as access to finance, markets and technology, and the development of entrepreneurial skills. Unfortunately, this Government does not care about small businesses.

Sir, let me give an example of some of the basic businesses that I know very well, which I managed to grow before I came to this House. the car dealers in Zambia have been pushed out of business in the sense that the PF Government has allowed the scrap yards to be built everywhere in Lusaka where second-hand vehicles are piled up everywhere. Where will our young men and women small business entrepreneurs sell their vehicles when these big dealers from Japan are all over? Yet, we are being told that the Government is embracing a transformational culture for a smart Zambia. The mechanism that the Government has put in place to determine the value of the vehicles is a deterrent to the quick processes of motor vehicle clearance.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: Sir, you cannot wait in Lusaka to get the value of a motor vehicle which is coming from the border. This is not fair. We should improve so that we give the money to our people. The unfortunate part about this country is that the economy is not controlled by Zambians, but instead foreigners are driving our economy. We have continued giving these people more power to continue managing businesses. Where will the Zambians get businesses if we continue opening up everything to foreigners?

 Mr Speaker, on Page 10, Paragraph 65 of the Budget Speech, the hon. Minister said:

“I am sure we have all seen the progress being made on various road projects and the transformation which our country is experiencing.”

Sir, I would like to say that I have not seen that in Senanga. Therefore, you cannot tell me that people in Senanga are seeing the road infrastructure development, there is nothing. This is only happening in Lusaka and Kabwata, in particular. I do not come from Kabwata, but Senanga Central where we have not seen road construction. Therefore, you cannot say that we have all seen the progress being made on various road projects and the transformation which our country is experiencing. How? 


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, this statement is not true. This is why I am saying that this Budget does not lay a smart foundation for a smart economy of this country because you want to take it that since there is something happening in Lusaka, then, it is also happening everywhere else, no. It should not be portrayed like that. 

Sir, I want to say that we are not seeing any road infrastructure development in Senanga. The Government has been telling us that soon rather than later, it will start working on the road from Tateyoyo to Mongu, but I want to say that immediately you cross into the Western Province, you see and experience the challenges which I am talking about. The contractor who was working on this road is nowhere to be seen and has not been since 2012. Yet, the hon. Minister of Finance is busy telling us that we have all seen the transformation in the country. Where? I have not seen what he is talking about? 

Mr Speaker, you will see the challenges which I am talking about because immediately I cross into my province, things start changing and I have to engage low gears. You are not going to tell me that this is a smart foundation if you are not going to work on the township roads in Senanga and other parts of the Western Province. It cannot be smart if you are not going to construct schools in Senanga, in the Western Province, in particular. Last time, ten classrooms were built for our children, but now the Government wants to change policy by saying that it will now build a smart platform for our economy. We cannot see anything smart. We want to have a fair share of this Budget. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Finance cannot say that we are enjoying the fruits of the Budget just because there are roads that are being constructed in other parts of the country, especially in Lusaka.

Sir, let me now talk about decentralisation. In paragraph 104, the hon. Minister of Finance said:

“Full fiscal decentralisation will be implemented once capacity has been built in local councils.”

Mr Speaker, this song has been sung before and you cannot continue coming to this House with the same song for five years. What capacity is the hon. Minister talking about which does not seem to be in these councils? Do not bring open ended statements which do not provide answers. What capacities are missing in councils because the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) gives resources to councils to handle elections on its behalf? So, what monies are being talked about? We cannot continue doing things in this manner by uttering open ended statements. How long will it take you to build capacities in the councils because we are tired of this song? For five years, you have been talking about decentralisation. The only thing which has been decentralised is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which people are, at least, are able to get involved and carry out their projects although we are told that when things are put in place, the allocation will be increased. We want to know when the CDF will be increased because capacities are there in the councils.

Sir, the other mistake that the PF Government has made is to allow the Local Government Commission to employ local workers for councils when the council secretaries are not answerable to councillors. So, in the process, the Local Government Commission would want to do things the way it feels like doing. My advice, therefore, is that we should do away with the Local Government Commission because it is creating problems for the local authorities by employing wrong people and, in the process, they are failing to perform. The majority of them do not want to listen to anyone. 

Mr Speaker, whatever is missing in as far as the fiscal decentralisation is concerned should be addressed. We also want to know what is missing because if it is the Local Government Commission that is employing wrong people, why should we keep them? Let us get rid of them and put in place a system that will be able to answer to the people’s problems and not what we are seeing today.

Sir, finally, I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity, but there is a price that is paid for inequality. If this inequality continues, the PF Government is likely to pay a high price and high premium for it. 

Mr Speaker, inequality should not be allowed in this country where you want to develop one area and leave others wallowing in poverty. It should not be like that.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity. I also want to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for the presentation of the Motion on the revenues and expenditures for 2016.

Sir, I must say that I was listening very carefully to the debate by Hon. Dr Musokotwane and I would like to adopt that particular discourse as my own because he simplified what was contained in the Budget and what he thought was the operating environment under the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.

Mr Speaker, my opening remark is that it is good to confirm that for the last four years that the PF Government has been in power, Zambia has been in harm’s way. Why do I say that? I say that because any national prosperity is a combination of a matrix which includes governance at the centre, be it corporate governance, political or whatever governance. I think if you rate the governance of the PF Government in the four years it has ruled this country, it has been extremely negative.

 Hon. Government Members: Aah!

 Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, let me open by saying that my discourse is presented with the greatest respect to hon. Members on your right hand side. However, unfortunately, it will unsettle those who are comfortable on your right hand side, but at the same time, comfort those who are unsettled out there by this governance.      

Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Minister missed an opportunity to give hope to the Zambian people when he presented his Budget Speech. I say so because I really tried to connect the previous Budgets to the 2016 one so that I could understand the development agenda and the trajectories that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been trying to display to the Zambian people. The biggest problem that the PF Government has is that it never walks the talk. The PF says so many things, but does nothing about those pronouncements. Now, the chickens have come home to roost. Next year, we are going to the elections and we shall hear what the PF will tell the Zambian people.

Sir, Hon. Dr Musokotwane did a good job when he advised that we should leave God out of this matrix. Governance and national prosperity are a combination of this matrix from which God is exempted. Regardless of God’s kindness, he will not come to your rescue if you do not do the right thing. There has been a lot of filibustering and policy shifts by the PF Government.

Mr Speaker, when the PF Government came into power in 2011, it put up banners saying there would be no more load shedding. Those banners were put everywhere, including here at Manda Hill. That message was extremely clear. I was the Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour and when I saw the banner saying ‘no more load shedding’, I said to myself that that was a semblance of a group of people who are completely unaware of what they are talking about. It is a known fact that when the PF came into power, it put the energy sector in harm’s way. This is because the Government stopped the power project at Kafue Gorge Lower, a project that should have come on stream.

Mr Speaker, I know that there was a dispute between Tata Africa Holdings and the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) over the Itezhi-tezhi Hydro-Power Station. That project should have come on stream in 2012, but because of the failure by the companies involved to agree, this project stalled. I have raised a lot of concerns about that project. For instance, I spoke on behalf of the people of Itezhi-tezhi and asked the hon. Minister when the road to Itezhi-tezhi would be fixed to save the country from incurring losses when the Government starts delivering the machinery for the power station. The hon. Minister’s answers were very arrogant. Today, we are suffering load shedding and I have heard hon. Ministers on your right saying we should not complain about load shedding because the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) is also facing the same problem. Kenya and South Africa are also facing the same problems. Let us domesticate our problem. 

Sir, without belabouring the point, I want to state that even in the midst of low water levels, the spillway gates at Kariba Dam were recently opened to release some water. So, if the water levels were low, why, then, was the Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) allowed to open the spillway? Was it so that the people downstream, at Cabora bassa Dam, can generate electricity from the same water and then export it to Zambia? Is that not folly? This is what has happened. Water has moved from Kafue Gorge to Cabora bassa and, now, we are buying power from Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) at exorbitant costs.

Mr Speaker, on energy, it is important for Zambians to know that in the last meeting, it was this little fellow who told the hon. Minister to declare a force majeure with the Republic of Namibia or Botswana and cut supply on exports because Zambian citizens are suffering. The barber men and saloon owners are suffering, and yet the Government is currently exporting about 40 MW of power. Let anyone dispute the fact that Zambia is exporting electricity to Botswana. It is a fact. Why can you not take control of the situation and declare a force Majeure and give that kilowatt hour to the needy. Do not come here and start telling us that you share our pain and anguish because you are not telling the truth. Most of us have generator sets at our houses, but what about the poor little fellow who depends on a shaver to feed his family? I think the Government needs to put its act together.

Sir, the K53 billion Budget for 2016, which year is for the PF to depart from Government, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ... is against the K46.6 billion Budget for 2015. The difference may sound like a leap, but because of the devaluation of our currency, this Budget has shrunk. I want to challenge any one of these intelligent people on your right to argue otherwise. It has provided for less. I should not even debate the figure because other colleagues have already debated that aspect. For instance, I heard someone say that the splitting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock into two has just put the Zambian farmers into harm’s way because, compared to what it was before, the Budget allocation is less now that there are two ministries unlike when it was a single one. 

Sir, it was not long ago when somebody called me melodramatic because I brought a pint of milk, which is imported from Poland. The hon. Minister talked about diversification. How do you diversify when you do not want to support the value chain? Other than mining, there are small infant companies such as Mukupa Wesu, which produce cheese and pasteurised milk. Such companies are now suppressed because somebody in the PF decided to go to Warsaw, in Poland, and allowed the importation of milk. Poland is about 10,000 miles from here. If you go into Shoprite or Game Stores, here in Zambia, you will find yoghurt from Zimbabwe in those shops. Hon. Minister of Finance, together with your colleagues, what is it that we cannot do? At the expense of calling it a protectionist policy − (cleared his throat and drunk some water) − what is wrong with protecting a small person who delivers milk to Magoye Dairy Centre or Parmalat? What is wrong with supporting such a person? Instead, you want to support someone from Poland. I think that is an indictment on your Government that this matrix that I am talking about is not simply about coming to tell us what plans you have and how they will be executed when the challenges that need to be addressed are right in front of us.

Mr Speaker, we can support our local industries. How are countries like Malawi and Rwanda doing it? Rwanda only produces tin. Tin is what is used to make kakopo. It also produces tea and coffee, and not copper. Why, therefore, should the gross domestic product (GDP) of Rwanda grow at 8.3 per cent per annum?

Mr Livune: There are no thieves there!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, now, we want to complain about China not buying our copper. We are an annex of China because copper prices there have dropped and the London Metal Exchange has responded to that low demand for copper. Therefore, my grandfather in Kashikishi must suffer because of the China meltdown. I think that is unfair.

Mr Speaker, it was only a week ago when the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock came to this House to chastise and demonise the millers. It has come to pass, Badala, ...


The Deputy Chairperson: What does badala mean?

Mr Nkombo: Sir, badala means old man. Through you, to my old man, the hon. Minister of Finance, it has come to pass, badala, that a bag of mealie meal is now officially K100. I would like to hear what Hon. Lubinda will say tomorrow.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: He accused millers of forming a cartel, but what does he expect to happen to our staple food in the midst of the prices of everything else increasing? In any case, I think maize is the most widely bought commodity in the country. So, if we say the GDP is the total cost of goods and services, then, our GDP is basically nshima. Therefore, I do not expect the Government to claim that our GDP has increased just because people continue buying mealie meal when they are strained.

Mr Speaker, my uncle, Hon. Chikwanda, should know that just like apartheid, poverty is, sometimes, created by human beings. It can be averted by how you carry on. When I was away in Zimbabwe, about two weeks ago, I heard a rumour that the hon. Minister had said he would retire soon. If it is true, I wish him the best because, I think, he has served this country well. However, he should not go alone, but with everyone on your right.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 


Mr Nkombo: If it is true that he indicated that the time to hang up his boots has come, …

The Deputy Chairperson: I do think you are really wishing him well.


Mr Nkombo: … he should take alongside him everyone that is on your right so that we can, now, have a new dawn for this country. I think he has served his motherland diligently. If it is true he indicated his intention of departure, I would insist that he does not go alone.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The only problem with that is that some people on the left, too, at one time, threatened to quit if certain events occurred, but they did not. So, do not take that to heart.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear! Long live Chair!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, the statement still stands, but that is an argument for another day. However, if the PF truly won the last Presidential By-election, I would not be standing here today.

Mr Mutelo: They did not win?

Mr Nkombo: Sir, the hon. Minister talked about fiscal consolidation to safeguard past achievements. I want to list the past achievements of the PF Government and I want to hear one who will say, “Ngw’ini, ngwi’ni” and argue.

The Deputy Chairperson: What does that mean?

Mr Nkombo: It means arguing like the sound of a mosquito.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, one of the achievements that the PF Government wants to safeguard is the devaluation of the kwacha. There is also the price hikes on all commodities …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you so much for allowing me to rise on this very important point of order. We have been quietly listening to the hon. Member on the Floor and trying to make head and tail of his debate. He has proceeded, in his usual style of debate, but you rightfully reminded him of a similar debate he presented in January, 2015, in this House, when he was trying to politick and campaign at the same time. He has repeated that and we have all heard him. However, he is, now, using an unofficial language which he cannot translate properly to the satisfaction of all the hon. Members here. He has even started referring to us with funny terms.

Sir, the people of Zambia have, very clearly, been delivering their message of how they appreciate the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. The only barometer we have in this country for gauging the people’s support is elections. The Zambian people have spoken loudly and clearly that they are comfortable with the PF Government through the many by-elections that we have been winning since January, 2015, when we taught our colleagues a lesson.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Therefore, is the hon. Member on the Floor in order to continue using a language he cannot translate to the satisfaction of all of us here? I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that you have sufficiently debated your point of order.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, in this House, we need light moments such as what has just happened, but let me continue on my path …


Mr Nkombo: … to try to list what we have achieved and want to safeguard under the PF. I mentioned the loss of value of our national currency and price hikes of essential commodities. The reduced number of tourist arrivals at our international airports is another PF achievement. However, the Government wants to expand the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA). Who is going to be landing at this airport?


Mr Nkombo: Sir, these are some of the things that colleagues have been talking about and advising my uncle, Hon. Chikwanda. The expansion of the KKIA can even wait for ten years. A Boeing 747 can land at this airport just the way it is without challenges. 

Sir, the problem is that so many funds have been created. There is now the so-called Sovereign Wealth Fund to repay debt and, then, the Sinking Fund, which has a very little allocation. When I did my calculation, I found that it will take 29,000 installments to repay the US$1.25 billion Eurobond that our colleagues contracted.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am not kidding. If hon. Members do their calculations, they will find that US$1.2 billion divided by about K500 million that has been allocated for the Sinking Fund will result in almost 30,000 installments. Where will the hon. Members, on your right, be at the time the country will be finishing paying off these 30,000 installments?

 Sir, there is also the Local Government Equalisation Fund on page 16 of the Budget Speech. Further, on page 17, the hon. Minister talked about the Action Plan on Youth Employment and Empowerment. Coincidentally, K150 million has been allocated for this action plan and there are 150 constituencies in this country. We have heard from the grapevine that this money will be squandered for campaigns in the coming elections. 

Mr Speaker, we have just learnt from the one who raised the point of order a minute ago, even after I said governance is a matrix, that our colleagues think governance is just about winning elections. It does not matter how they win elections because, for them, the end will justify the means. Therefore, they do care whether an election is stolen or not.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I remain in this particular seat for the people of Mazabuka Central because I firmly believe that the election was stolen in 2015. In 2011, our colleagues won, but I strongly believe that they stole the election on 20th January, 2015.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: No!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, that is, however, an argument for a different day.

Mr Bwalya: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this very serious point of order. We have been listening, as the hon. Member on the Floor, has been bringing in a lot of issues in his debate. That is acceptable, but this country has a very elaborate electoral process. Within the electoral process, there are mechanisms and measures for anyone who feels aggrieved or not happy to use or follow in order to air their grievances. 

Sir, the people of this country spoke very loudly and clearly in January, 2015, and they chose the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central in order to raise these issues here when there are laid-down procedures for electoral grievances to be aired? Is he in order not to follow what is laid-down in the Electoral Code of Conduct and Electoral Act?

The Deputy Chairperson: My ruling will be very simple. In this democratic dispensation, we periodically subject ourselves to elections. According to our Constitution, there is a body that is responsible for conducting elections. After the elections, a winner will be declared and the loser will be known.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: However, if people do not believe that somebody won, the Constitution provides that you petition the elections, so that an independent body can rule. As it stands now, there was a winner in the last elections.


The Deputy Chairperson: That is all I can say, but this does not mean that people are not entitled to their opinions. Whether their opinions are guided or misguided, is not for me to say.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, thank you for your wise ruling. It is not only a stolen Government, but it has now proved to be a random one. What do I mean? It is a random Government because it has often been changing its mind. It brings a new statutory instrument (SI) in the morning and, at noon, issues another one. This is a Government that has been hiding the Constitution from the people. It stole it too. Sorry, it abducted it. I withdraw the word stealing.

The Deputy Chairperson: Yes!

I knew you were going to withdraw the word.

Mr Nkombo: It is a Government that unlawfully took away a Government in 2015.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: It has been keeping a people’s document. We cannot go to court for the benefit of Hon. Chungu because we are descending.

Mr Livune: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: We have a few months before Parliament is dissolved ...

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: … and once the dissolution happens, mwaapya. You are going to burn.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning what?


Mr Nkombo: I said they will burn.

The Deputy Chairperson: Except that when you go into a war, you do not know who will win or lose.


Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. UPND Members: Continue!

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr Speaker, I appreciate your counsel even more. This is a random Government that failed to make hay while the sun actually shone. Today, at tea break, I think I will sit with my uncle, the hon. Minister of Finance, so that I can ask him whether, truly, deep in his heart of hearts, he thought we were lunatics when we wanted him to reintroduce the Windfall Tax.

Mr Mushanga: Lunatics?

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, today, that is the money that would have been holding on to, as opposed to what we are being told about having a foreign reserve that includes borrowed money.

Mr Mufalali: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: You rob Peter to pay John. You take money from this pocket and put it in the other one and you say that you have more money?

Sir, the reserve is less than US$2 billion today. 

Dr Phiri: Who tells you that?

Mr Nkombo: Hon. Dr John Phiri, …

Dr Phiri: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: … who is talking to me, when you borrow money, it is not yours.

Mr Habeenzu: Yes!

Mr Nkombo: It is detrimental to the generation that is coming after you. Some of you are past life expectancy. So, you do not care.


Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: This is the point. You do not care.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Brig- Gen. Dr Chituwo: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: You will need Hon. Mwale and I to battle with this debts that you would have left behind.


The Deputy Chairperson: I thought Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo wanted to raise a point of order. You have your point of order …


The Deputy Chairperson: … or was it just a threat?

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, thank you for granting me this point of order. The hon. Member of Parliament, who is debating, is my beloved young brother. Is he in order to prematurely fund my expected demise!


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: I thought I am still very useful. 


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker is this hon. young brother of mine, hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, in order to wish me dead.


The Deputy Chairperson: To the extent that he did not mention that even those who are young are also susceptible to leaving for hell earlier than those who are old, he is out of order.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, light moments are good.

I thank you, Sir. 


Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, there is always a problem and the problem is economic principles against political monopoly. The political monopoly has always over ridden economic principles. The economic principles are always good and if they are followed to the letter, you will not have problems. That is the challenge the hon. Minister of Finance continues to face. He can come up with correct measures, but because of political power, he would be made to u-turn on those measures at a fast speed.


Mr Mutelo: This disadvantages the majority who are the poor. That is the problem. (Mr Chikwanda walked out of the Assembly Chamber). As the hon. Minister is leaving, he knows that.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has been true to his word, which I shall quote. During my debate beginning from 1975, the year which, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, referred to in his debate. In 1975, this is what the hon. Minister of Finance, bo Alexander, said: 

“As a nation and in economic terms, we face a very difficult year ahead, principally, because our economy is almost irrevocably tied to copper. The message, therefore, for the House …” 

He was referring to that House in 1975


Mr Mutelo: .

“ … is this, unless we, as a nation and as a people, deliberately decide to move away from our dependency on copper to agriculture, our economic future will not be a happy one.” 

That was forty years ago, but we are still talking about the same things. If you are talking of  dy − what is the word?

Mr Hamudulu: Diversify!

Mr Mutelo: I should think it …

The Deputy Chairperson: Diversify.

Mr Kalaba: Mention the word.

Mr Mutelo: They have already known the word.


Mr Mutelo: That was in 1975.

Mr Livune: Same brains.

Mr Mutelo: In the 2015 Budget Speech on the last page, in Paragraph 159, the hon. Minister said:

“Mr Speaker, let us put narrow polemics and hollow feuds aside as we, as a nation, unite to move our country forward.”

 Sir, if you continue with the whole paragraph, it is as if we are in 1975. Even after forty years, we will still have a problem. However, the hon. Minister is true to his word, on the same page, page 22, in Paragraph 156, where he says:

“Mr Speaker, as I conclude my address to this august House, I have a moral imperative to be candid and honest with the people of Zambia.”

He is being honest. The first honest fact is:

“The year, 2016, will witness further challenges …” 

He is being sincere.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President, in his address, to the House called challenges as frustrations, but the hon. Minister by trying to be smart is calling them challenges in his speech.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in his address to the House, on page 1, Paragraph 5 said: 

“Mr Speaker, the year, 2015, has been economically challenging.” On the same page he says, “…these challenges are expected to remain with us as we enter 2016. Indeed, new challenges are anticipated …”

 He is even anticipating new sufferings.


Mr Mutelo: He is really being true to his word. It is not me saying those words. Those of you who have the Budget Speech, read through it and you will find that the challenges which have been mentioned by the hon. Minister are in His Excellency the President’s Speech, only they are referred to as frustrations. Someone, while debating, said that these frustrations have crept even this into House.

Mr Livune: Yes!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, your people were frustrated last week, from Friday to …


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker …

Mr Milambo: They were frustrated when? 

Mr Mutelo: Every year.

Mr Habeenzu: Last week!

Mr Mutelo: Civil servants will be more frustrated.

Mr Livune: Last Friday, even hon. Ministers were frustrated.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is actually saying that there will be more of such challenges. Let me quote Page 5 and Paragraph 34 of the Budget Speech:

“Mr Speaker, for over a decade, the Zambian economy has registered continuous buoyant growth.”

Sir, for more than ten years, we have been recording buoyant economic growth. So, the question is: What have we done with this growth?

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: The PF has stolen!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, in one breath, they state that we have had ten years of buoyant economic growth and that they need to safeguard past achievements, and in another, they start to cry about the falling commodity prices just within a year. We have failed to make use of what we achieved in more than ten years and are complaining about problems that have hit us within a year. Before the year even finishes, we are done. We cannot even pay our civil servants. The problem is that economic principles are always brought down by political monopoly. This is the problem.


Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, no matter how much anyone advises, if the Government follows political economics, we will always be in problems. It is not that our economists or accountants do not know how to put things in place. In fact, they all know these things, but they are challenged to do certain things with threats of being fired. They are afraid of being fired. The other consideration is the preservation of power where people think that if they do not do certain things, they will not be back in power. People would rather continue to be in power to the disadvantage of many. They are threatened by the thought of the loss of power. 

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: This is the problem. It is not that we do not have economists who can solve Zambia’s problems. Let me challenge them. Do we not have economists?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: They are there!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, there are economists even on your right side. Are they not there?


Mr Livune: They are from the sixties!

Mr Mutelo: If they are there, then, what is their problem?

Mr Livune: Political monopoly!

Hon. UPND Member: They are dull!

Mr Mutelo: Why are we in this position after ten years of economic growth? 

Ms Lubezhi: Same speech since 1975!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, there is one circle in the middle of six circles at the back page of the Budget Speech Booklet for 2016 which has the portraits of our former Presidents and the current one. You will note that three of them are no more, may their souls rest in peace, and three are still alive. As you talk of going beyond copper, there is a space which is supposed be covered. As they have been praying, they know that seven is a magic number in the Bible.

Hon. UPND Member: It denotes completeness!

Mr Mutelo: Even the person who had leprosy was told to dip himself seven times into the river.


Mr Mutelo drew his illustrations on the Budget Speech Booklet.

Mr Mutelo: This space which is remaining is for the seventh person.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Where?

Mr Mutelo: Just look well. There is a space in between the portraits of bo ndate bo Kaunda and bo …

The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning what?

Mr Mutelo: In between my father, KK,and my father, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC,. You will find a space which is just waiting for the seventh person.

Hon. Member: HH!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, the first President could mean a vertical line. 

Hon. UPND Member: They cannot see. Demonstrate properly! 

Mr Mutelo: The second one is another vertical line and the third a horizontal one while the fourth and the fifth are represented by vertical lines. The sixth is a horizontal line and you have the magic number which is seven.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, if you want, I will lay this paper on the Table.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mutelo laid the paper on the Table.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, if we are Christians, we should know that seven is the magic number in the Bible.

Mr Belemu: He is a professor!

Mr Mutelo: I was illustrating my point by showing the vertical and horizontal lines.

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on procedure. Sir, we have rules in this House such as not to wear political or party attire. 

Hon. UPND Member interjected.

Mr Mwila: Can you keep quiet?

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: Is the hon. Member …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I think that it is important and opportune to advise each other. This is an august House where hon. Members, people’s representatives, meet to transact important national business. It will not do, hon. Members on my left, to continue debating and interjecting when somebody is making a point. If you want to speak, I can guarantee that you will be allowed the opportunity to do so. By the same token, hon. Members on the right, it will equally not do to retort or react using language that is demeaning to the House. Therefore, it is important for all of us to be civil as we debate. We may think that we are scoring points, but I can assure you that, out there, people are forming different impressions about how we relate with one another. It is about time we started being civil and honourable.

The hon. Minister may continue with the point of order.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu East in order to write HH …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: This is a very serious matter. Is he in order to write HH on a piece of paper and lay it on the Table of the House? I seek your serious ruling on this matter.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that this document has not been laid on the Table for obvious reasons.

Hon. Mutelo may continue.

Mr Mutelo: I am glad he says that I wrote HH.  I did not do that.


The Deputy Chairperson: Please, let us debate the Motion of Supply. We have ample opportunity to politic outside the House. Let us devote our time and attention to debating the Motion of Supply. I know that you can bring in lighter moments, but do not over do it.

You may continue.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, as regards the decorum of this House, when the President’s Speech was concluded, people in the gallery started to clap and no one said anything. Now, you are saying that we should not bring politics in the House. Why did you …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!


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 1805 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 21st October, 2015.