Debates - Thursday, 22nd October, 2015

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Thursday, 22nd October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Gender (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this rare privilege to make a statement on the new activities that the Ministry of Gender has undertaken in the recent past and will undertake in the future to uphold and safeguard the rights of women, girls and the most vulnerable in society.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender and its implementing partners, namely, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the traditional leadership, recently launched the He for She Campaign with the support of the United Nations (UN), in particular, the UN Women, in solidarity with the global movement. The campaign was launched under the theme, “Harnessing Leadership for Gender Equality in Zambia” by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in his capacity as Champion for Gender Equality in Zambia on 18th July, 2015, in Nyamphande Chiefdom, Petauke District, the Eastern Province. The launch was witnessed by such dignitaries as the UN Administrator, who flew in from New York specifically for that purpose, other members of the UN family here in Zambia, the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, hon. Members of Parliament, members of the House of Chiefs and other traditional leaders from across Zambia.  

Mr Speaker, He for She Campaign aims at engaging men and women, and boys and girls as agents of change for the attainment of gender equality and promotion of women’s rights by fighting against behaviours and stereotypes that favour men and make women look and be inferior to men in society. It seeks to harness high-level male leaders, such as the hon. Members of this House, to raise their voices in support of gender equality. It is expected that the campaign will result in increased recognition and appreciation of the centrality of gender equality as a means of achieving sustainable development and transformation of values and beliefs for advancing gender equality at the individual, institutional and community levels, especially amongst men and boys. We expect leaders to not only sign up for the campaign, but to also take practical steps to champion the cause. 

Mr Speaker, alongside the “He for She” Campaign, we will be implementing another programme known as “Boys to Men.” As you know, it is very difficult to force a horse to drink water, just like I would have difficulties changing the hon. Member for Chadiza.

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir. 


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID has granted us US$1,491,324 to launch and implement the programme, which aims to provide an opportunity to boys to develop into non-violent and healthy men with the support of adult male mentors. The project will, thus, reduce the social acceptability and occurrence of gender-based violence (GBV) in Zambia. Linking the traditional moral authority of traditional leaders with the experience of organisations like the Men’s Network, the project will target boys and young men aged between fifteen and twenty-one in both rural and urban areas. This age group has been chosen because it is transitional from childhood to adulthood and moves the targets from observers of GBV to potential perpetrators. So, the programme will engage boys and young men in processes that will fight social norms that perpetuate GBV. It will work across sectors, including law enforcement agencies, education, health, local government, civil society and the traditional leadership. To ensure local ownership of the work and ideas for enhancing the engagement of boys and young men, all those involved in the project will be part of the implementing cycle. 

Mr Speaker, engaging men, through the Men’s Network and the traditional leadership, in the fight against GBV has assisted in abolishing certain cultural negative practices, such as sexual cleansing and child marriage, in some communities. Some men have been role models to other men in promoting non-violent relationships and respect for women.  As agents of change, men have participated in sessions in which they shared testimonies of how they used to batter their wives and how they transformed into caring, respectful and non-violent, responsible and supportive husbands and fathers. That has assisted in reducing violence against women and destitution in families, and developed a pool of leaders of change in our communities. Therefore, the strategic approach of the Boys to Men Programme will be to build on past and current role-modelling and mentorship programmes for boys, furthering programme successes and using lessons learnt to implement new approaches.

Mr Speaker, the main objectives of the Boys to Men Programme include:

(a)    building on the engagement of boys and young men in the fight against GBV in schools and communities in both urban and rural areas; and 

(b)    strengthening the engagement of traditional leaders as champions in GBV prevention and response in rural communities through awareness raising, which will help to shift attitudes, inculcate knowledge and build good practices on GBV among boys and young men in the targeted communities. 

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, women hold a minority of leadership positions. While many have the desire to rise to leadership positions within local communities, work places and at the national level, they do not have the opportunity to do so in a significant manner, as can be observed from the composition of this House. It is against this background that my ministry, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Prof. Luo: … again with the support of USAID, will implement yet another robust programme called Women at Work, which will be launched at the same time as the Boys to Men Programme. 

Mr Speaker, the Women at Work Programme seeks to promote gender equality, and women’s empowerment and leadership in the workplace, and has the following three main objectives: 

(a)    to increase the leadership capacity and opportunities among women aged between twenty-five and thirty-five in the spheres of public engagement, civic leadership and business entrepreneurship. Priority will be given to women from outside the capital city and with underprivileged backgrounds;

(b)    to use the lessons learned from this programme to promote women’s ascension to decision-making positions and formulate more gender-sensitive policies and programmes; and

(c)    in the long term, to measure the impact of the gender-sensitive policies and programmes on the lives of girls and women. 

Mr Speaker, these objectives are closely linked to relevant strategies and country priorities. As you know, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Prof. Luo: … President of the Republic of Zambia, has prioritised agriculture, health, education, housing and infrastructure development. The Women at Work Programme will target agriculture, health and education. 

Mr Speaker, through internships, young women will expand their leadership skills, learn the workplace environment and expectations of employers first-hand, understand their rights in the workplace and beyond, develop their managerial skills and, in the best case scenario, be offered permanent employment at the end of the internship. The skills that the young women will acquire will strengthen them and enable them to take on greater leadership roles in their communities and places of work, including in decision-making positions, help them to navigate complex relationships in the modern world and work environment, and serve them well as they will rise through the ranks. 

Mr Speaker, the Women at Work Programme holds great promise for learning and applying the acquired knowledge elsewhere. Unemployment of women and their lack of access to leadership positions in the public, private and civil society sectors have hampered Zambia’s overall development. This programme can provide a scalable model for directly engaging young women in internship and mentorship programmes to further their skills, provide them with leadership opportunities and develop a support base from which they can grow and bring others up with them.  

Sir, the companies and organisations that will host the interns or provide mentorship will have access to a unique pool of young women leaders who can directly contribute to the success of their organisations. As Dr James Emmanuel Kwegyir-Aggrey once said, “If you educate a man, you educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Local councils and political parties will also have a pool of qualified women leaders, who could be called upon to be councillors in the electoral processes while communities will have strong women leaders to advocate on their behalf on issues of importance to the local community.

In conclusion, Sir, I reiterate that gender equality cannot be achieved without the involvement of men and boys because it is not the concern of women and girls alone. Working with men and boys, the transformation of masculinity and traditional perceptions of manhood must be part of the gender equality agenda. It is time for men to join forces and enhance their roles in helping to create a more egalitarian society, which is a win-win situation for women and men. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Ntundu: One question here, Sir. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Ntundu, I think you are testing me. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: You know our rules very clearly. If you want to speak, indicate as we normally do. Your conduct is depleting my patience. 

Mr Ntundu: I like you, Sir. Do not worry. 


 Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Gwembe, you may ask your question. 


Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious procedural point of order. 

Sir, yesterday, you lamented the fact that hon. Members of Parliament did not debate the Motion of Supply on the Floor of the House. However, we are aware that you appointed an expanded Committee on Estimates consisting of all members of the Committee on Estimates, the Chairpersons of General Purposes and Portfolio Committees, and the Chairperson of the Reforms and Modernisation Committee. You also directed that the Committee reports back to the House on 29th October, 2015. We are also aware that the essence of your appointment of that Committee is for it to scrutinise the Budget and present a report to this House for debate. It is that report of your Committee that will assist hon. Members of this House to diligently debate the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. So, while I appreciate the sentiments you expressed yesterday, I seek this guidance from you: What will happen if we conclude our debates on the hon. Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech and the hon. Minister of Finance winds up the Motion before your Committee submits its report? Will we be given a second chance to debate the Motion, considering that your report will draw conclusions on the hon. Minister of Finance’s Speech? In other words, at what point will we debate the Committees’ report and the hon. Minister of Finance’s Motion on the Floor of this House? 

Sir, I need your serious guidance on whether we can continue the debate or conduct other business as we await the report of your Committee, which is very important. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: I reserve the ruling to a later date. 

Hon. Member for Gwembe, you may proceed with your question. 

Mr Ntundu: Sir, from the hon. Minister’s statement, it seems to me that the ministry places more emphasis on men who batter their wives yet, nowadays, there are many women who batter their husbands. It is only that we do no report these things.


Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, this is very serious. If the rules allowed it, I would have cited many instances when women battered men, ...


Mr Ntundu: ... but I do not even need to do so because the hon. Minister is aware of what I am talking about.


Mr Ntundu: Does the ministry have any programmes that emphasise on women who batter men? We have nowhere to report to and, even if we had somewhere to go, we would be too embarrassed to report.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, as a seasoned researcher, I believe in evidence and, so far, the research data shows that, as much as there are women who batter their husbands, there are more men who batter their female partners. However, that notwithstanding, because we are gender-sensitive, we have not just called it ‘male violence’, but ‘gender-based violence’, which means that we recognise the violence perpetrated by women on men. In this regard, I encourage the male folk to report the cases. Once we have evidence, we will see what we can do.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, many a time, Zambians, especially professors, tend to talk too much.


Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear! These professors!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, in the sectors that the Government has identified, such as agriculture, health and education, would it not be more practical to institute measures that target women and girls legally, financially or through programmes so that the gender activism is translated into visible outcomes sooner than later? 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am happy that the hon. Member said that professors talk too much. In fact, as professors, we are supposed to address big international audiences, ...

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: ... and write books and articles for publication. I am proud to be a renowned professor.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Prof. Luo: Coming back to the hon. Member’s question, normally, when you want behavioural change, you start with programmes that address mindsets. Once you have prepared the people and transform them, it becomes very easy to implement the practical aspects. 

Sir, when I debated the President’s Speech, I said that I would make ministerial statements on the programmes that the ministry is implementing. To that effect, I will issue statements on Advance, one of the big programmes targeting the agricultural sectors; Women in the Extractive Industry, a programme that will promote industrialisation; and the Women’s Bank.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, can I find out something from the renowned professor.

Mr Livune: Former!


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I thank her because she worked hard when she was hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to move that ministry to where it is now. 

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mufalali: Given that her ministry is not spread across the country, how does her ministry intend to work with the Ministry of General Education in implementing the Boys to Men Project? Schools are the focal points that her ministry could use to implement the project.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in most of the programmes in the Ministry of Gender, including the ones I have just shared with you, we will work with the ministries of Education, and Agriculture. Under one of the projects, I will issue a ministerial statement titled ‘Dual’. Some of the other partner ministries are Youth, Sports and Child Development, and Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. These partnerships notwithstanding, I should hasten to say that my ministry has started spreading out and already has officers in provincial centres. Furthermore, we have mobilised civil society organisations (CSOs). The reason we are working hard to raise substantial amounts of money is that we will have to mobilise the community in some of the activities. As I stated earlier, the budget of the Boys to Men Project is US$1.5 million while that of the Women at Work Project is US$1.7 million. This is because we know that we have to work with many partners. We intend to succeed and that we shall.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Just for clarification, you said that one of the ministries you intend to work with was the Ministry of Education. We have two ministries on education. Do you intend to work with both?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, we shall work with both. In programmes that target young people, we will work with the Ministry of General Education while, in those that target colleges and universities, we will work with the Ministry of Higher Education.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minster on raising such a big amount of money to bring about fundamental change in our country. That is commendable. 

Sir, there is no controversy on the need to uplift the status and well-being of our girls and women. However, what she is trying to do requires a lot of social engineering in order to cut across the deep layers of cultural stereotypes that may hinder the welfare of women and girls. Unfortunately, I have not heard you mention the research framework for that, which will help the programme to move forward and have a greater impact in terms of its intended goals. Does she have a research programme in place that will give her both qualitative and quantitative data for the programme or does she intend to design one? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: ema professor, aba!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, research will be an on-going part of the activities, both in terms of baseline studies, measurements, and impact monitoring and evaluation. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, money is usually raised to implement good programmes for children, particularly the girl child, in this country. However, I think that the biggest challenges in this country affect the children in the rural areas, not those in urban areas. So, these programmes must not only end here, in Lusaka, but also be extended to places like Washishi and other rural-of-rural places. What deliberate measures will this Government put in place to extend these programmes to the rural areas so that the children there can benefit as well? 

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I informed this House that we launched the He for She Campaign in Nyamphande, which is a rural area in Petauke, Eastern Province. I am also surprised that the hon. Member of Parliament has asked me this question because I just wrote to inform him that the Advanced Programme will be launched in Mitete, Lukulu District. So, I wonder what rural areas he is talking about. 

Mr Speaker, I will go everywhere in Zambia. I will only fail to go to Mars and Jupiter. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




134. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

(a)    what the problem between the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Management and the union leadership, which led to the suspension of one union leader in August, 2015, was; and

(b)    what measures had been taken to promote a conducive working environment at the institution.

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, the matter between the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and the union leadership started in July, 2015, and resulted from the decision by the ZNBC Management to effect a recommendation by the Office of the Auditor-General to declare the ZNBC In-House Pension Scheme illegal. 

Sir, following an audit of the ZNBC accounts for the period 2011 to 2014, in May, 2015, the Office of the Auditor-General observed that the In-House Pension Scheme at the ZNBC was illegal since it was not registered with the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA). The ZNBC Board approved the recommendation to regularise the pension scheme and communicated the recommendation to the ZNBC staff in a meeting on 19th June, 2015. As part of the regularisation, the deduction of K5 from all permanent and pensionable staff was stopped effective July, 2015. Following the suspension of that monthly pension contribution, the union leadership engaged the management and argued that the suspension of the pension scheme abrogated the collective agreement. 

Sir, upon hearing the developments at the ZNBC, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting appealed to the members of staff at the institution not to resort to strike action while their case was being looked into. After the hon. Minister’s statement, the General Secretary of the Zambia Union of Broadcasters and Information Disseminators (ZUBID) was quoted in the media challenging the Government to fire all the unionised staff at the ZNBC using language that was, in the opinion of the ZNBC Management, inflammatory. So, the management charged him with using vulgar language and placed him on suspension, as provided for by the Disciplinary and Grievance Procedure. The General Secretary’s case is yet to be disposed of.

Mr Speaker, the ZNBC Management has realised that the working environment at the institution can improve if there is continuous engagement and dialogue with the unions. To this effect, on 5th August, 2015, it called for a consultative meeting with the unions to address the challenges the institution was facing. Arising from the meeting, a framework was agreed on how to deal with issues affecting unionised staff at the institution. It was also agreed that it was important to have regular consultative meetings between management and the unions at the branch level.

Sir, the ZNBC Management is discussing the regularisation of the pension scheme, which was the initial source of the misunderstanding, with the PIA. With these measures in place, the industrial relations at the institution are expected to revert to normal. So, I can simply say that the matter has been resolved.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that the matter has been resolved when, earlier, he said that one officer is still on suspension. 

Mr Speaker, a union leader at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) must wear two jackets, namely, one for being an employee of the institution, and another for being a spokesperson of ...

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

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to raise this very serious point of order. It seems that I have over-stayed in this House and my sight has become poor. For the first time, I have to wear spectacles. 


Mr Mbewe wore his spectacles.

Mr Muchima: Well done!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I can now see the Chief Government Spokesperson, Hon. Kambwili, clearly. 

Sir, one of the headlines in today’s edition of the Zambia Daily Mail is, “Foreign Chicken Traders Banned. Government Acts to Protect, Encourage Zambian Businesses.” 

Sir, in Paragraph 4 of the story, it is stated that:

“Government has since given foreigners trading in businesses reserved for Zambians a grace period of six months to enter into joint ventures with Zambians. 

‘The selling of live birds on retail and wholesale basis and at markets will be reserved for citizens, citizen-influenced, empowered and owned companies,’ he said.’’

“Mr Kambwili, who is also Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said foreigners will not be allowed to deal in poultry production, processing and marketing.”

Mr Speaker, this is understandable. The hon. Minister talked about production, processing and marketing. However, even cooking is processing, …


Mr Mbewe: … and the person who sells chicken-and-chips has to do some marketing. Is the hon. Minister of Agriculture in order to leave us in suspense on the level at which the foreigners will participate in that businesses in the country?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza, when you referred to the newspaper, you quoted what the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting had said. How does the hon. Minister of Agriculture come in?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting is also the Chief Government Spokesperson. However, this issue concerns the Ministry of Agriculture. So, if the matter was discussed in a Cabinet meeting, the hon. Minister of Agriculture should have issued a ministerial statement to this House.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members, I think that we have to respect the principle of the separation of powers. This issue was discussed in a Cabinet meeting and the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting informed the nation what the Cabinet’s decision was. I do not think we should discuss such issues in this House.

Continue, hon. Member for Mpongwe.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, a union official represents workers and the union is recognised by the institution. Why should the official be suspended in his capacity as an employee for representing others? Why was he not suspended from his position in the union? Does the institution not recognise the union?

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, whether one belongs to a union or not, he or she is not expected to incite others to go on an illegal strike.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kambwili: Sir, one belongs to a union because of being an employee of a particular institution. If he or she goes against the institution’s rules, the disciplinary procedures will be applied to him or her.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the In-House Pension Scheme was illegal. He also indicated that, at the time the hon. Minister consulted with the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA), the employees were told to be patient and that the situation would be regularised. However, at the end of his statement, he said that the situation had since been regularised. Could he state how an illegal thing can be regularised?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the issue of the pension scheme has not yet been resolved. This was an In-House Pension Scheme in which both the employees and management contributed K5 every month. The agreement was that, if an employee stopped working for the institution, a certain amount would be paid to him or her as pension. Unfortunately, the contributions were not being invested, but consumed. Following an audit, the Office of the Auditor-General discovered that the pension scheme did not conform to the provisions of the Pensions and Insurance Authority (PIA) and advised the management to discontinue it until it was registered, as provided for by the law. The industrial dispute arose while the registration was in process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the events that led to the suspension of one employee were triggered by a failure by management to put in place a proper pension scheme. That is clearly an aspect of management failure. What punitive measures have been taken against the management, which exhibited incompetence because everything else was at its disposal, including the law, which they should have known in the first place?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, if there was incompetence, then, it must have been on both the union and management because they agreed to continue with an illegal pension scheme. Therefore, no disciplinary action has been taken against either party.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, has the General Secretary of the union been reinstated? If not, what is he doing to about that? I ask this because we have been told that things at the institution have normalised. To me, things cannot be said to have been normalised when one officer is still suspended.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister clearly explained that the ZNBC Management and union were not working in harmony. However, that is no longer the case, as industrial harmony has now been restored. When I held a meeting at the institution, I extended an amnesty and the two officials who had been suspended have been reinstated.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the In-House Pension Scheme is a product of the collective agreement between management and the union. So, it did not break any law. When the agreement was reached, the management should simply have registered the scheme. That said, my question is on who, between the union and management, was in charge of collecting the contributions? We have been told that no one was at fault when, clearly, there was management failure.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, ignorance knows no level.

Mr Livune: Aah!

Mr Kambwili: So, even the management can make a mistake. However, not all mistakes necessitate sanctions.
I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, when …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Sir, I stand on this point of order with the rule of contemporaneousness in mind.


Mr Livune: Sir, my question, which sought information on who was in charge of the contributions and where the money was, has not been answered. Is the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting in order not to answer my question?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Can the hon. Minister answer that question.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the In-House Pension Scheme was managed jointly by the management and the union.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, labour matters are guided by labour laws, according to which management is not supposed to interfere with the activities of the union. It is normal for management and the labour union not to be in harmony because they stand for opposing interests. So, they fight each other. That stated, I wonder why the hon. Minister did not declare interest in that matter. Was it not going to be prudent for him to let the hierarchy of the union to deal with that issue instead of taking the route that he took? Does he not think that the union has been undermined by the threats he issued against it?

 Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, I have not heard of any threats against the union in the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer. Maybe, I was sleeping.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I believe that the Secretary-General acted on behalf of the union, which is a legal body. Therefore, he was suspended for doing his job of representing the interests of the members of his union. Does the hon. Minister not think that he victimised an innocent person who was merely implementing a decision that was made collectively by the union? Why did he not suspend the whole union instead of one person?

Mr Deputy Speaker: I suppose hon. Members want to discuss but, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, at some point, he said that he extended an amnesty and everybody is back at work. So, we may conclude that all the problems that arose there are now water under the bridge. That said, does the hon. Minister have an answer to that concern?

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the Secretary-General was suspended for being sarcastic in his statement. He used the word ‘rubbish’ in referring to the hon. Minister and called the management “idiots”. Is anyone allowed to insult people when speaking on behalf of a union?


Mr Kambwili: Sir, if that is the country that we want to lead, then, I do not know where we are going, as a country.

 I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, where is the money that was collected as contributions? That was the question asked by the hon. Member for Katombola, but it has not been answered.

Mr Kambwili: Mr Speaker, the pension scheme was suspended because, at some stage, management wanted the money to be refunded to the employees, but the union refused to get the money and opted for the pension scheme to continue. So, the money is safe in the ZNBC Account and will be transferred to the pension scheme after the regularisation of the scheme.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, my initial question has been overtaken by events, but I will still ask a different one. 

Sir, could the hon. Minister apprise the House on what prompted the union leader to insult him by calling him rubbish. 


 Mr Deputy Speaker: No, I will not allow that question.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Mapatizya, please, ask your question.

 Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I wanted to ask the same question as the hon. Member for Luena’s.



135. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Gwembe/Chisekesi Raid would be rehabilitated.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the design of the Chisekesi/Gwembe Road is currently being done by Messrs Leo Consulting Zambia Limited at a contract amount of K3,684,533.96. The actual works will commence after the detailed designs have been finalised.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, I do not want to repeat what I said to the same hon. Deputy Minister. My question is very straightforward and plain, just the way you like our questions to be. I would like to know when the construction of the road will commence. I am not interested in hearing answers like, “When funds will be available.”

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, feasibility studies of this nature take about nine months to be completed and the contract was signed in September, 2015. So, the road construction will commence before the end of 2016.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


136. Mr Namulambe asked Minister of Transport and Communication what measures had been effected to ensure that minibus drivers countrywide park at designated places all the time to avoid traffic jams and road traffic accidents.

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Kapyanga): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for Mpongwe for asking such an important question. 

Sir, the problem of minibus drivers parking at undesignated places is agonising, as it may cause traffic jams and road traffic accidents. The Government has identified the causes as being:

(a)    insufficient parking spaces; and

(b)    contravening of traffic laws and regulations by drivers.

Mr Speaker, the following are the measures the Government is putting in place to mitigate the problem:

(a)    formation of an inter-ministerial and inter-agency Committee on Traffic Decongestion in Zambia, with Lusaka as the pilot city. One of the committee’s tasks is to identify actions that should be taken to mitigate traffic congestion and related problems, such as the lack of minibus parking spaces. Currently, the committee is finalising the procurement of consultancy services for a feasibility study on short-term and long-term measures that should be effected to mitigate the problem, such as the establishment of bus dedicated lanes, intelligent traffic systems and promotion of sustainable transport systems; and 

(b)    beefing up of the human resource at the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) to enhance the institution’s capacity to enforce the law effectively. Further, the Government is drafting a Bill to enable the RTSA to enforce the law even more effectively, including by the revocation of drivers’ licences, including those for minibus drivers who perpetually contravene the law or commit unpardonable traffic offences.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the fact that there are inadequate parking spaces, but the minibus drivers stop anywhere mainly to pick passengers. So, when the hon. Minister talks about enforcing laws and getting more officials, would it not be prudent to employ youths on a part-time basis to help the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) get hold of the bus drivers who park anywhere with impunity and without respect for other road users? 

Mr Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, that is true. I have seen taxi drivers behave wayward.


Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, the proposal by the hon. Member has been noted. We will consider it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister of Transport and Communication may not be aware that the Patriotic Front (PF) has constituted a militia that ensures that ...

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: ... bus drivers who are perceived not to be loyal to the PF are chased out of designated bus stations. As a result, some drivers are forced to operate from undesignated areas and the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), the institution that he has referred to, has no control whatsoever over the bus stations. Examples are the Intercity Bus Terminus and Kulima Tower Bus Station. The PF cadres controlling the stations are causing chaos on our roads. Is the hon. Minister aware of that?

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, the ministry is not aware of what the hon. Members has said. So, we will investigate the matter.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, it is good to be honest. So, I will put it to the hon. Minister that he is aware of what the hon. Member for Monze Central has said, hard as it might be for him to admit. That said, does he not think that the Government missed the opportunity to create the bus lanes that he referred when it embarked on, ...

Dr Kaingu interjected.

Mr Nkombo: Uncle!

 Sir, does he not think that the Government missed the opportunity to create the bus lanes that he referred when it embarked on road constructions by putting curbs on either side of the roads, thereby making it impossible for buses to park along the streets? An example is Chilimbulu Road in Kabwata Constituency. So, the congestion on the roads and the tendency by bus drivers to stop wherever they find passengers is due to the PF’s poor planning.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I hope that the hon. Member was following when I responded to the principal question. I said that the Government is finalising the procurement of consultancy services for a feasibility study on the short and long term mitigatory measures that we should effect, such as the creation of bus dedicated lanes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member here (pointed at Hon. Namulambe) for that question. Indeed, this is no longer a scourge, but a cancer and a scandal. The by-pass roads or areas for minibuses to stop, and pick and drop passengers have been abandoned. Instead, the drivers choose to stop in the middle of the road. So, what will the ministry do to bring that to a stop? Considering that police officers and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) officers have totally failed because of the bribes they receive from the culprits, how will the ministry enable people to have easy access to the roads?

Mr Lubinda: Bene bake manje!

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for his concern. 

Sir, the behaviour of minibus drivers is the result of indiscipline on their part and tolerance by the public. The drivers pick people who stand in places that they know are not designated bus stations. So, it is a two-way problem. Without exception, the behaviour of our minibus drivers currently is the same, as if they were trained from the same school. However, there are measures that we want to put in place to curb this problem.

Sir, there was a suggestion that we employ some youths on a part-time basis. However, we have not yet filled all the positions on the establishment of the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA). So, we have authorised the RTSA to employ all the law enforcement officers it needs. Currently, the agency has only 500 officers when it should have 1,500. So, we can only talk about part-time officers after we employ the required number of officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, by acknowledging that there is indiscipline on the part of minibus drivers, the hon. Minister has answered part of my question. What I still want to hear from him is what we will see on the streets, for instance, next Monday. Will we still see minibus drivers parking in wrong places and insulting motorists who try to speak to them?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, although the hon. Member says I did not address her concerns fully, I did answer the question when I said there is pure indiscipline on the part of minibus drivers.

Sir, on the target that she has given me to do something by Monday, ...


Mr Simbao: ... maybe, she wants to give me an idea of how she thinks we should police the issue. Otherwise, I cannot say for sure what can be done. As I said, the RTSA does not have enough enforcement officers. We believe that, once we have the required number of officers, we will be able to curtail this indiscipline is curtailed. So, only if we hire the required number, but we are still unable to police this misbehaviour, will we need to look at other options. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, the regular police officers are failing to control minibus drivers. Why can this responsibility not be given to the Paramilitary Unit for, say, a month so that they discipline the minibus drivers?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the frustration of the hon. Member of Parliament. However, I have said that this is a double-edged sword. The minibuses stop for people on the roadside, not for rocks, and people seem to be very grateful when a bus stops anywhere on the roadside to pick them up. The same is the case with disembarking. Passengers request to be dropped off at any point on the road and are very happy when the driver obliges. So, passengers need to consider the part they play in this problem. I know that the hon. Members here all have personal vehicles, but our fellow citizens who do not have personal vehicles benefit from this kind of behaviour.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for admitting to the House that minibus and taxi drivers are undisciplined and stating that their behaviour is uncalled for. That said, we know the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is computerised, but the way traffic fines are administered is a recipe for corruption. Does the hon. Minister not think that it is prudent for traffic officers to start issuing tickets so that the fine is captured when the culprits go to pay? That way, they would feel the pinch and, maybe, be deterred from misbehaving on the road. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for that suggestion by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa, which is just another way of trying to control this scourge. As we have said, we are looking at various options, including the revocation of licences, which can prevent the worst offenders from driving any vehicle again. I think that can be a more lasting solution. So, we will look at the hon. Member’s suggestion as one of the options for addressing this problem.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I recall that when Ephraim Mateyo was the Inspector-General of Police, this problem was almost resolved. During that time, the keys of any minibus driver who stopped to pick or offload passengers in an undesignated place were confiscated and the vehicle was kept at Lilayi Police College for two weeks. That was the punishment and the bus owners made sure that their drivers obeyed the law and parked at designated places. Is the hon. Minister willing to consult Mr Mateyo, who is still alive, on how to handle this issue?


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, once again, I am thankful for that progressive idea. However, there is really no need for me to go as far as going to consult Mr Mateyo in person. I am sure that the records of what he did exist in police stations or somewhere else and we can always refer to them when we want to know how it was done in the past. We also need to find out why that practice was stopped. There could be an important reason for which it was stopped. So, we will look at all that and decide whether to restart that programme.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just stated that the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) is under-staffed and that it needs about 1,500 officers. Would he not agree with me that the problem is not actually the number of officers, but that the RTSA employs incompetent Patriotic Front (PF) cadres?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not understand where the issue of Patriotic Front (PF) cadres comes from. We are all Zambian citizens and everyone of us who has no work wants to be employed. The people working at the RTSA are professionals with all the qualifications required for their employment. So, I really do not mind where they come from, provided they are Zambian citizens. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, do we really need to waste money on consultancy services on a simple problem of indiscipline when we have laws that govern the traffic system in the country? 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I really do not understand why the professor wants to put his friends out of business. According to what I heard from another professor, professors earn a living through consultancy. So, I do not understand why he is questioning the usefulness of his friends.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, Lusaka has become a very complicated city. It is not what it was in 1964. So, we need to undertake a complete study of what should happen, maybe, in the next 100 years. Piece-meal fixes will not take us anywhere. We need a holistic approach that will address this problem once and for all.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, if I remember very well, some three years ago, the hon. Members on your right told this House that they would introduce ticketing for fines to avoid corruption on the roads. How far has that programme gone?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not know how the issue of corruption comes into the matter of minibus drivers stopping anywhere. The issue of corruption on roads can be addressed but, maybe, it should come as a different question.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, very soon, the elderly people in this country, those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged, will start receiving their money using a bank card. The same will be the case with the farmers, who are now being asked to get their inputs through the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system using a bank card. When will the ministry come up with a similar facility so that those who break traffic laws, like minibus drivers do, pay only through a bank card to avoid cash exchanges between drivers and traffic officers?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, we have stated that we are looking at the complicated … I do not have the answer with me here. 

Mr Kapyanga passed a document to Mr Simbao. 

Mr Simbao: This is a different answer.

Mr Speaker we talked of an electronic system that we want to implement. We will probably have to put bar codes on number plates so that, if a driver creates a problem and wants to run away, some cameras will pick up his or her number plate. Additionally, the fines will not be paid on the spot, but at a police station where the offender will find his details. If the culprits run away, their offences will be recorded cumulatively whenever they contravene a traffic rule. If they take too long to report themselves to a police station, they will be sought out and made to pay for all the offences that they would have committed. So, the business of paying at the station where you are impounded will come to an end.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Transport and Communication when the Government would facilitate the construction of communication towers in Zinaka area in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, the Government plans to construct a communication tower at Zinaka Primary School in Mkaika District in May, 2016, to extend mobile communication services to Kasamanda area, Zinaka Primary School, Zinaka Clinic and the surrounding villages. The tower is planned to provide a coverage radius of 10 km.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, since the powerful Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left office, several towers have been constructed, but not connected. Will the tower to be constructed in Zinaka not meet the same fate?

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, a ministerial statement will be issued on the concerns surrounding communication towers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that the ministry will construct a tower that will cover a radius of 10 km. In villages, that is not sufficient to cover many people. Why can the Government not erect a tower with a coverage radius of 30 km or more …

Mr Pande: Sixty kilometres!

Mr Namulambe: …so that it can cover as many villages as possible? It will be too expensive to construct many towers with small coverage radii than to construct a few with bigger radii. Why does the Government not spend more at once and cover the majority of the people? I know that Chasefu faces the same problem.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the tower that will be constructed at Zinaka has a minimum radius of 10 km and a maximum radius of 30 km, depending on the terrain. So, if the terrain is flat, people as far away as 30 km will be connected but, if the terrain is mountainous, unfortunately, only a 10 km radius will be covered.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, it is good news that a tower will be erected at Zinaka. However, I am concerned that this can easily be an issue of easier said than done.

Mr Zulu: Who says?

Mr Mbewe: Many places were identified and construction of towers started, but the projects were abandoned halfway through the construction. What will the hon. Minister do about the towers whose construction was abandoned?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the issue of uncompleted works is now being addressed. The contractor involved has been requested to complete all the unfinished towers, including those that were complete, but are not operationalised.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, we have been told that the towers can cover a radius of about 10 km. why is it that, in places like Namwala, the towers are being erected 500 m apart? Even the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) is currently constructing towers in locations where Airtel and Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) towers already exist. It is not building towers in the outskirts.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, that scenario is normal …

Ms Lubezhi: Normal?

Mr Simbao: … because each operator has to mount its own active elements. The service providers can use one tower if there is an agreement between them. If you do not agree, as it was the case in the beginning and could be now, it is possible that one company will have to erect a tower close to another company’s in order to provide its service in that area. Additionally, the companies site their towers in locations where they will be able to cover a big radius. In most cases, such sites will be the same for all service providers because they all use the same parameters in choosing a site. That is why you may find two or three towers in one place. We have tried to discourage that approach and encourage service providers to rent the towers that are already erected but, when the parties fail to agree, then, one is forced to build its own tower.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, although a ministerial statement will be issued I would like the hon. Minister to know that I am being bothered by the people. 


Mr Deputy Speaker: Can I have order on my right!

May the hon. Member for Kalabo Central, continue.

Mr Miyutu: Why did the Government not engage the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) Limited, a Government-owned company that I believe to be directly involved in the communication business, to erect the communication towers instead of contractors who take very long to complete projects? 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Member for his support. We need it. Going forward, we will definitely use the Zambia Telecommunications Company (ZAMTEL) Limited. We have consulted and agreed over this. However, matters will be made clearer in the ministerial statement to be made.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Speaker, the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) regulates all information and communication technology service providers. So, why would it want to put up its equipment on facilities that belong to one of the companies it regulates? Considering ZICTA is not a carrier, who will be the carrier for ZICTA in rural areas like Mapatizya, where the other carriers do not operate? 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, indeed, ZICTA is a regulator. In the initial stages of erecting towers, it was asked to undertake the activity because it was more or less in this business and had the money to do it.  However, it is not a service provider. However, as we will learn from the ministerial statement, the agency is being disengaged from this activity because it is a regulator and that is what it does best. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, the idea of planting towers all over Zambia is outdated and does not seem to be getting us anywhere. Is it possible for the Government to find a company that can provide satellite communication services so that we do not have to plant towers and argue about coverage? 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the ideas of bringing on board a fourth service provider and introducing the use of satellite facilities are being discussed and have reached a very advanced stage. Any decision made will be communicated as soon as the discussions have been concluded.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, what is the average cost of erecting a tower?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not know exactly, but I can answer in a different way. The 402 towers we are considering erecting will cost about US$272 million. The hon. Member can calculate the cost of constructing one tower.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


138. Mr Namulambe asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the tarring of the Mpongwe/Machiya Road would commence; and

(b)    what the cost of constructing bridges across the Kafue and Luswishi rivers was.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the tarring of the Mpongwe/Machiya Road, including the construction of the Kafue and Luswishi bridges, will commence in the first quarter of 2016, upon the finalisation of the procurement of the works contractor.

Mr Speaker, the cost of constructing the bridges and the road will only be known after the contractor has been engaged.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, for the first time, I thank the hon. Minister for the answer that he has given. He has stated that, at least, by the first quarter of 2016, the tarring of the Mpongwe/Machiya Road will begin. However, why did he qualify his statement by saying that the works will only start if the procurement process will be completed by then? Why can the ministry not complete the procurement now so that the works can start by the first quarter of 2016? Does it want to come and tell us stories when that time comes?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, after my response to the supplementary question, I am sure that the hon. Member of Parliament will thank me again.

Sir, the Road Development Agency (RDA) Procurement Committee had a meeting today at the end of which it would have awarded the contract to a contractor.

Mr Namulambe: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Today?

Dr Mwali: Yes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, it is common knowledge that most contractors are Chinese, yet bridges can be constructed by Zambians. 


Mr Mbewe: Take it easy.

Mr Speaker, I am telling the truth, as I stand here, that we have qualified Zambians who can do that work. For example, the soldiers in Mufulira are very well-qualified engineers, ... 

Mr Miyutu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: … but they are doing nothing apart from just writing in offices. Why do we not give them the job of constructing bridges instead of the Chinese?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, you will excuse me if I do not address the issue of Mufulira and restrict myself to Mpongwe.


Dr Mwali: Sir, I agree with him that there are Zambian contractors who are putting up fantastic bridges. If he can give us a few days, we shall know which contractor has been picked. It could be a Zambian.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




EMPLOYMENT (Amendment) BILL, 2015

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill titled the Employment (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The object of the Bill is to amend the Employment Act so as to:

(a)    revise the provisions relating to registration of employment agencies;

(b)    prohibit casualisation to ensure that employees who are performing work which is permanent in nature are deemed to be on short term contracts;

(c)    regulate fixed-term contracts;

(d)    ensure that employers give reasons to an employee for termination of contract of service; and 

(e)    provide for matters connected with, or incidental to the foregoing. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Friday, 6th November, 2015. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee. 

Thank you. 




(Debate resumed)

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Budget Speech, which was delivered by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, as we are all aware, the Budget that the hon. Minister presented to this House was prepared against the backdrop of falling copper prices and declining copper production. Locally, we have been experiencing problems with power generation, the depreciation of our currency and rising inflation. We also know that, at the global level, the Chinese economy has been re-balancing and restructuring. It is moving away from manufacturing and construction to services. As a result, there is a low demand for primary commodities like copper, and we have been affected because we produce and export raw copper. In the Eurozone countries, which consist of continental Europe and the United Kingdom (UK), there is deflation, which means that there is less demand for products produced outside of the zone. As a result, we are affected. So, while the expectation was that this Budget would be expansionary, the hon. Minister elected to make it very conservative. Some people have tried to look at it in real terms, and have said that it is smaller than the 2015 Budget, that is, if you convert it from kwacha to United States Dollars.  That is correct. My view is that we must applaud the hon. Minister for presenting a credible Budget, one in which he believes. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance, the Cabinet and His Excellency the President have not abandoned the diversification efforts. The Government will continue with the programme. In this Budget, the hon. Minister has provided ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 


Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the structural transformation of our economy that the hon. Minister of Finance wants to continue. 

Sir, the hon. Minister wants to build resilience in the economy so that it grows. Therefore, he has provided direct Budget support and incentives in various sectors.  For example, in the energy sector, he has said that we should move towards implementing cost-reflective tariffs in order to attract a flurry of investment. Already, we have been told that there are many investors who are eyeing the Zambian energy market. 

Mr Speaker, in the fisheries sub-sector, the hon. Minister has made a provision for the establishment of a Fisheries Fund to support small-scale fish farmers. He has also made a provision for the establishment of hatcheries and nurseries in all the provinces of our country.  

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance did not forget about the youths, who cry for empowerment day in and day out. In the 2016 Budget, he has provided about K150 million for that, which is much more than the K60 million he allocated in the last three years.  So, the total amount that has been provided for all the empowerment funds in the country is close to K400 million, and that is commendable. 

Mr Speaker, in the livestock sector, the hon. Minister of Finance would like to see an increase in breeding centres, especially for goats and sheep, the small ruminants, in different places, as he has promised. 

Sir, regarding the financing of the Budget, the hon. Minister has placed a premium on domestic revenue and said that he will try to finance 79 per cent of the Budget with internally-generated resources. This means that foreign financing, including grants, will be lower, which is a good development. However, he has also said that, despite this situation, the country will still need to borrow, but within sustainable and acceptable levels. 

Mr Speaker, what this Budget has done is to shore up investor confidence, as is evident in the hon. Minister of Finance, through the Central Bank, has managed the exchange rate. The temptation, for anyone, would have been to intervene in the foreign exchange market to fix the exchange rate. However, the hon. Minister has not done that. Instead, he has allowed the market-based monetary instruments to be used. In addition, he has appealed to the Central Bank to use moral suasion to intercept the psychology of the market. That is because of the speculation around the kwacha, whereby those who feel that they are losing out by making holdings in kwacha have resorted to going into hedging instruments, such as foreign exchange denominated deposits, asset substitution or arbitrage, which have been on the increase. 
Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has undertaken implement a credible 2016 Budget through fiscal consolidation, which basically means that non-core recurrent expenditure items will have to be cut. He promises these cuts to be more than 50 per cent. 

Sir, the Cabinet, the hon. Minister of Finance and, indeed, His Excellency the President are aware of the increased vulnerability of our people arising from the background that I have just described. Therefore, the hon. Minister promises to allocate in excess of 67 per cent of last year’s allocation to their welfare so that as many people as possible can benefit from this humane gesture. 

In conclusion, Sir, the Government has demonstrated frankness about the state of our economy. It has not hidden anything from us concerning the challenges that we are facing, which are largely due to external factors. It has also put in place practical and humane steps to remedy the situation. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I wish to express my sincere thanks to you for according me this opportunity to deliver my maiden speech in this august House. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Sir, it is important for me, at this moment, to thank my God, whose great mercies have seen me through from the time I joined my great party, the Patriotic Front (PF), ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … to the time I was elected to represent the people of Lubansenshi in a by-election. 

Mr Speaker, allow me, on behalf of the people of Lubansenshi and my family, to thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, who is also the President of this beloved and great party, the PF, and its leadership for adopting me to contest the Lubansenshi Parliamentary Seat. Allow me to also thank His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, Mrs Inonge Wina, MP, for the outstanding support they gave me during the by-election campaigns that saw me emerge victorious. I also humbly thank the people of Lubansenshi for electing me as their Member of Parliament. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: I assure them that I will not let them down and that I will diligently serve them all, including those who did not vote for me, in order for us to continue facilitating the much-needed development in our constituency, which has lagged behind for many years. I pledge to closely work with them, implement their decisions and lobby for the expeditious completion of all the developmental programmes that have already been started by the people’s Government of the PF. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, I would be failing in my duties if I did not thank my family; friends and relatives; campaign managers, Hon. Freedom Sikazwe, MP, Hon. Bwalya Chungu, MP and Mr Frank Bwalya, for delivering this victory; the hon. Member for Chimbamilonga, Mr Hastings Chansa; the Northern Province PF Chairperson and his team; the PF Secretary-General and his deputy; and all the gallant men and women at various levels of the party who were part of the campaign team for their time and support, which resulted in my victory. 

Sir, in spite of the economic slump affecting the world and Zambia, in particular, the victorious results of the Lubansenshi Constituency By-election and other elections that have taken place in the recent past are a clear indication of the growing confidence and trust the people of this great country have in the PF Government under the able leadership of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu.  

Sir, let me remind the people of my constituency that the by-election is over and that we should unite under the leadership of the PF and His Excellency the President of this great nation, Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Together, we can take development to our constituency.

Sir, Lubansenshi Constituency is not only for me and the people who voted for me, but also for those who voted for candidates from other political parties or the independent candidates. My appeal to them all is that the constituency is bigger than any of us and that we will do well to work together to develop it.

Mr Speaker, the people in my constituency are fully aware that the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is bent on nothing else, but taking development to the people in order to alleviate poverty, as evidenced by the number of developmental projects the Government is implementing in the constituency. For example, the Chepeshi/Shimumbi feeder roads are under construction; the Rural Electrification Programme is electrifying our schools, health institutions, chiefs palaces and many other facilities; and water reticulation in the Boma is receiving attention, with the construction of the rising main pipe from Lufubu River to the township being intended to improve water flow giving hope to the people of the constituency. As a result of the unprecedented development taking place in our area and the country as a whole, the people of Lubansenshi walk with their heads held high and are proud to be associated with the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: However, being a rural area, my constituency is not insulated from numerous challenges. For instance, long distances to primary schools have not encouraged our children to start school early while long distances to rural health centres and insufficient medical staff compounded by the increase in the population have led to a low quality of healthcare in my constituency. Additionally, the once highly esteemed Luwingu District Hospital has now turned into a clinic because it has been overwhelmed by the increase in the population of the area. 

Mr Speaker, there is very high agricultural productivity in my constituency, but the people find it difficult to transport inputs and produce to the market. I have in mind the people of Ndoki, Monongwa, Nyemba and Kapiri areas, who literally have no roads to transport agricultural inputs and outputs. Clean water points in the constituency are also inadequate as are Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) communication towers.

Sir, I wish, on behalf of the people of Lubansenshi, to implore the Government to help us build more primary schools in order to allow more, if not all, eligible children to enter school. I also humbly ask my Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to quickly work on the Chepeshi/Monongwa Road to allow the much-needed development to reach the people of Monongwa. Let me also take this opportunity to implore the Government to quickly award the contract for the tarring of the Luwingu/Nsombu/Chaba Road. There is also a need for many boreholes to be sunk in Lubansenshi to provide clean and safe water to the people. I also wish, at this point, to bring to the attention of the Government the issue of the encroachment on Isangano Game Reserve in my constituency, which has led to the desertion of the reserve by wildlife. I, therefore, implore the Government to take the necessary bold steps of removing the people who have encroached on the reserve and restocking it with animals.  

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, I now pledge to the people of Lubansenshi, and the President of my great party, the PF, and its entire leadership at all structures, that I will, by all means, co-operate with them and work very hard to take development to Lubansenshi Constituency.

Sir, let me briefly say something on the Motion before the Floor of this House. 

Mr Speaker, the 2016 Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, is inspiring, carries a message of hope about our economy and instils a sense of confidence in the Government of His Excellency the President. I say this because the Government is not ashamed of acknowledging that there are challenges affecting our economy and that the challenges are not unique to Zambia’s economy, but affect the world as a whole.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, that stance has enabled the PF Government to effect positive interventions in this Budget to counteract the challenges affecting the economy. 

Finally, as we debate this Motion, Sir, let us be objective, honest and avoid blaming the PF Government ...

Mr Ndalamei: Aah!

Mr Mwamba: ... of His Excellency the President as if they are the ones who have steered our economy into the misfortunes we are going through. 

Long live the PF!

Long live Zambia!

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Abaume!

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to also contribute to the Motion on the Floor of the House, which is the Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Chikwanda.

Sir, from the outset, I commend the hon. Minister for presenting the 2016 Budget, which is the last Budget of the Patriotic Front’s (PF) first term of office. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the preparation and presentation of the Budget has come at a very difficult time for Zambia because we are experiencing unprecedented power deficits, a depreciating local currency and very low copper prices. While appreciating the global factors that are impacting negatively on our economy, it is important for me to state that we, as a nation, have done very little to anticipate and mitigate the effects of those factors. 

Mr Speaker, we are in a situation in which the hon. Minister of Finance is required to consolidate our fiscal position in order to safeguard our past achievements and secure a prosperous future for all. It is a very difficult time, especially for the hon. Minister of Finance, because this will entail implementing austerity measures, especially if he wants to bring down the Budget deficit to the 3.6 per cent that he is projecting. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has set out a number of macro-economic objectives, among them, the acceleration of the diversification of the economy. He has also taken note of the fact that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be less than it has been in the last five years. However, as flowery as this Budget Address seems, the hon. Minister will not achieve his macro-economic objectives. This Budget Speech appears very good at this time, but it is, to a very great extent, unachievable. It is very much like having in your kraal a very strong bull that mounts cows, but produces nothing. 


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, at the end of 2016, I am very doubtful that this bull that is the hon. Minister’s Speech will produce. I say this because, as a nation, we have become so dependent on copper mining that, fifty-one years after Independence, we still go through the same cycle of celebrating when the copper prices are high and lamenting when they are low. Now that the revenue from copper and production levels are low as a result of reduced demand on the global market, we are talking about diversifying the economy. If, in a few years, the copper prices go up, we will start celebrating again and forget about diversifying the economy. Let me explain why I say that this Speech is a bull that will produce nothing.

Mr Muntanga: Ehe!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, when you look at the figures, there is very little money that has been allocated to the diversification of the economy through agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. It is the same rhetoric that we have had for the last fifty-one years. I note that the hon. Minister has provided incentives for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the energy sector, but this will take up to twenty years to bear fruits for us to enjoy.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Moderate your consultations on the left, please. I know you are consulting on the bull.


The Deputy Chairperson: You may continue, hon. Member for Mafinga.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it takes a long time for people to be attracted to a sector like energy because it requires huge investments. The investors need to put in their money and contribute to the total generation of the energy that the country requires in order to improve productive capacity. However, that cannot be done overnight. 

Sir, if we, indeed, want to diversify this economy, the easiest route that we must take is agriculture. I note, again, that the hon. Minister has provided money for the establishment of a fish fund and provision of technical support to the livestock sub-sector. However, the money is not enough. With Zambia’s very fertile land and abundant water resources, we can be a regional bread basket in twenty-four months if adequate resources are allocated to the agricultural sector. 

Sir, I have heard that foreigners are no longer allowed to rear and sell chickens. Although that is a good decision, it has come a bit late. Nevertheless, this Government must be commended for it. The question that remains to be answered is: Do we have the institutional and legal framework in place to actually prevent foreigners from keeping chickens and selling them at Soweto Market? The answer is that we do not. So, let us move a little step farther and put a legal framework in place with which we will be able to keep foreigners from engaging in businesses that have been reserved for Zambians. For example, how will we define foreigner? 

Mr Livune: Correct!

Ms Namugala: If we go by the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act, a foreigner who comes to Zambia and is naturalised after some time is a citizen. To us, indigenous Zambians, that person is still a foreigner, but the Act will still recognise him or her as a citizen anyway. So, at the end of the day, we will still have foreigners of Chinese and Indian origin who will keep chickens and sell them at Soweto Market. So, we need to be bold, as Zambians, and decide that the people we want to empower are those who have been marginalised for a long time. I want to believe that that is the spirit of the decision by the Cabinet. So, will we keep the Zambians of foreign origin from keeping chickens? Will we ban Zambians of Somali origin from the block-making business? The answer is that we will not. So, this decision can only work if the Government puts in place a legal framework that will protect the people that it intends to protect, namely, the Zambians who have been at the bottom of ladder of economic activities in this country.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister lamented that Zambians have not participated fully in the economic activities of their country. That is true, but what is the reason? One of the reasons is that we, as Zambians, especially the leaders, particularly those of you who hold high political offices feel very uncomfortable to support Zambian entrepreneurs. You are more comfortable supporting foreign entrepreneurs. Very few Zambians in positions of influence and power will support Zambian entrepreneurs. That is the problem. So, if, indeed, we are to indigenise this economy, we need to be bold and decide to empower indigenous Zambians with names like ‘Mulenga’ and ‘Banda’. Let us not fail to empower Zambians on the account of fearing that they will become like us or take over our political positions. That is wrong. We need to change our mindset so that we support our people because it is good for the economy. When we become enterprising in our country, whatever earnings we make from outside or within will remain in the country and the shame of our licking the boots of foreigners when they come into this country will be removed. 

Mr Speaker, on the issue of imports, which is causing a strain on our foreign exchange earnings, the hon. Minister needs to walk the talk and come up with a list of goods that can be imported from outside the country. I went into Spar a few days ago and found toilet paper from South Africa being sold at the same price as that made by Sobi Industries Limited, a Zambian company. Truly, do we need to spend foreign exchange on importing tissue paper when we have industries in our country that produce it? The Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry needs to do something about that. Why is it easy for South Africa to dump its goods on the Zambian market? Why should we buy baked beans from South Africa? We are spending the foreign exchange that we need so much to improve the productive capacity of this country on importing things that we do not need to import. In most of the chain stores that we have accommodated in this country, you will find onion, mushrooms and carrots from South Africa. How will we support our farmers if we continue importing goods from South Africa indiscriminately? 
Sir, to some extent, I had hope that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government would be bold enough to do the things that the Zambian people wanted done. Even if it has only a few months of its tenure remaining, it is not too late for this Government to put in place a legal framework that will stop the unnecessary importation of goods from South Africa. Zambia is not a dumping ground that should import everything from South Africa. So, we should compel our supermarket chains to buy from the local farmers, and that can be done in a few days. A team of experts can tell us which commodities we can buy exclusively from local producers.

Mr Speaker, let me also talk about import substitution vis-à-vis the confidence that we have in our local products. When people go into supermarkets and find Freshpikt Beans, which is canned in Zambia, they do not buy it because they prefer the imported one, and the problem lies with our leadership. As leaders, we need to spearhead campaigns for Zambians to take pride in consuming goods produced in Zambia.  One hon. Member who debated a few days ago mentioned that people in the highest offices need to promote local brands. In view of that, I suggest that, maybe, every Friday, all hon. Members of Parliament should come here dressed in traditional attires ― of course, that will require that we change the Standing Orders ― so that we give business to our tailors. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: The women!

Ms Namugala: Sir, it can be done. If we, the leaders do it, everybody else will do it. If that is going to help our tailors sustain themselves, let us do it. We need champions for this cause because we have to save this economy. We cannot continue importing every single thing that we need in this country.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I said that this Budget is like …

Mr Muntanga: A bull!

Ms Namugala: … a bull that mounts, but cannot produce. 


Ms Namugala: Although the hon. Minister of Finance talked about fiscal consolidation, he did not tell us what austerity measures he will effect. He needs to tell us how we will achieve the fiscal consolidation. What unnecessary expenditure will he disallow? Will he continue to allow hon. Ministers to travel unnecessarily? Will he consult a crop of experts on where we can make savings? Even in the Yellow Book, there is money that can still be saved.

Mr Speaker, …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I apologise for disturbing my lady because she is debating very well. However, is she in order to continuously tell us that this Budget is like a bull that mounts without producing, without specifying whether she is referring to a teaser bull …


Mr Muntanga: … or an ox? I ask this because, to the best of my knowledge, it is only an ox or teaser bull that mounts without producing anything.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that she was in order because she left it to hon. Members to decide which bull she was referring to.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I was basically commending the hon. Minister for presenting a Budget Speech that befits the times. However, he needs to go a step further and accept to be unpopular with the civil servants and his colleagues if that is what it will take for him to put in place austerity measures that will actualise the pronouncements in his Speech. Otherwise, his Speech will amount to a teaser bull …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: … that does not produce. 

With those words, I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the 2016 Budget Speech.

Sir, I took some time to find the difference between the 2016 Budget Speech and the previous Speeches, but did not find any because the author of the Speech and those who assist him in preparing it every year are the same people.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the Speech is not inspiring.

Hon. Back Benchers: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Question!

Mr Muntanga: Teaser bull!

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, those who think that this Speech is different from the previous ones presented by the hon. Minister should tell me how because even last year’s Speech failed to address a number of the challenges that the people of Dundumwezi are facing. I want someone in the Executive to tell me why the Nkandazovu Dam was not constructed despite having been funded in last year’s Budget. I also want to know why the construction of the Mutwe wa Muntu Dam was not funded in last year’s Budget and, if this Budget is different, I want someone to explain why the Jongolo Dam Project failed. If this Budget is different, I also want someone to tell me why the Dongo Dam Project was not implemented. To me, as we have heard from other hon. Members of Parliament, this Budget is a teaser bull.

Mr Speaker, if I am not mistaken, although we are seated here, we have not received our Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for 2015. That is why I am saying that this Budget is not different from all the others. What assurance do I have that I will receive my CDF in this Budget by the first quarter of 2016?

Sir, to be precise, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has failed us. 
Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, for the past four years that this Government has been in power, we have been asking various questions on when the many challenges that our constituencies are facing will be addressed, but all we have heard is the chorus, “When funds will become available.” Is that not being a teaser bull? We have a bull that is not productive. Therefore, the best way is to eliminate it because it is just adds to the number, but it is not productive.

The Deputy Chairperson: But it can be consulted.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, two years ago, this Government imposed a wage and employment freeze on the pretext of saving money. Where has it taken the money it saved? Where is the Mutwe wa Muntu Dam? The Government also removed the fuel subsidy because to channel the resources to the rural areas. I challenge all the hon. Ministers to tell us whether any of them has visited Dundumwezi Constituency to see the challenges that my people are facing. Probably, it is only the Provincial Minister who did and only because his work is restricted to the province.

 Mr Speaker, we have been told that we should diversify our economy. Yes, I agree with that. However, I suggest that the leadership of this Government diversifies itself before it can start talking about the diversifying the economy.


Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, this Government must change its attitude towards work.

 Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, once, I wrote a letter to Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning informing her that we had lost more than ten lives at Chizuni Bridge, but I saw her passing the letter back to her hon. Deputy Minister instead of attending to my concerns. To date, the problem at Chizuni Bridge has not been addressed. As if that was not enough, I also wrote to inform her about the pupils who had lost their lives at Nkandazovu Bridge and that we needed help but, to date, we have not been answered on that, too. This Government does not even have the courtesy of writing back to, at least, inform me that it could not provide assistance to us because it does not have the resources, if that was the reason. That is why I say that this Government should diversify itself even before it talks about diversifying the economy.

Mr Speaker, we were told that 650 health posts would be constructed countrywide, out of which four would be built in Dundumwezi Constituency. The posts are supposed to be built at Nabulangu, Mikata, …

 Mr Mulenga: Nkandazovu!

Mr Sing’ombe: No, not at Nkandazovu. The third is supposed to be built at Kalemu while the fourth is supposed to be constructed at Nakalombwe. As I am speaking, not even one has been built and yet, two years ago, the Government imposed a wage freeze and discontinued the subsidy on fuel on the pretext of saving the money needed to take development to the rural areas. So, where is the money that has been saved over the past two or three years? Instead of the Government telling us how much it has saved, what we have seen is the late release of the CDF and late payment of the salaries of Public Service workers, including the staff of this institution.

Mr Muntanga: Ah!

Mr Sing’ombe: So, what has the Government done with the money that it has been saving over the past two years?

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear! Shame!

 Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing decided to grade the Nakatala/Mailamale Road but, the condition of the road was worsened instead of being improved.  When I saw that, I wrote to the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, Dr Phiri, to invite him to see whether the workmanship was satisfactory or not. Unfortunately, he ended up being transferred to another ministry without going to my constituency.


Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, in short, this Government has failed and, if it does not want to diversify itself, the people of this country will diversify it next year. It has failed the farmers, and it is like the money it saved from the wage and recruitment freeze, and the scrapping off of subsidies was meant for the leaders to enjoy. What we have seen, at the end of the day, is the price of fertiliser going up to K450 per 50 kg bag, the price of a 2 kg packet of sugar rising from K10 to K20, that of bread rising from K5 to K10 and that of mealie meal rising from K67 to K100.

Mr Speaker, if you went to Mambolomoka in Shang’ombo today, you would find that the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has failed to repair the roof of one classroom block, which was blown off two years ago. In Dundumwezi, a clinic at Bbilili was blown off during the last rainy season, but I did not see any effort from Ministry of Health in as far as addressing that challenge is concerned. This Government has failed this country and its work culture is very bad. Therefore, it does not deserve another term of office.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!  

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, if its members were honest with themselves, they would have called for an early election and paved way for parties like the United Party for National Development (UPND), which are very serious with the affairs of this country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, we are, indeed, a very serious party. How can one dispute what I am saying when the third highest ranking officer in the …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can we now move from the campaigns to the Motion of Supply. I think that you have campaigned enough.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, how can anyone argue against what I am saying when the third highest ranking member of this Government, Hon. Siamunene, is from the UPND? Let the PF just pave way so that serious people can come in and save this country.

Mr Sing’ombe:  Mr Speaker, this Government has completely failed and there are some of its members who still think that the lager part of Dundumwezi Constituency is a park when the truth is that it no longer is. Therefore, we need you the Government. There is no way a serious Government can allow a school not to receive Government grants on account of its own failure to gazette the school. Mubanga High School was built by World Vision but, to date, five years later, it has not been gazetted. Our colleagues has failed to simply gazette a school. What else can I say? At least, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government helped us. When the community partnered with World Vision and constructed the Jonathan Sim High School, I went to Hon. Dora Siliya, who was then Minister of Education, and the ministry helped us with a second-hand vehicle, which is still in use today. That was done to show appreciation to the people.

Mr Speaker, this Budget has no value to the people of Dundumwezi. I will only see the value in it if someone tells me when the Kalomo/Dundumwezi, Kalomo/Chikanta and Nakatala/Nkandazovu road will be worked on.

Sir, I would have gone on with my debate, but I want to end by thanking the PF Government for making it very easy for the UPND to take over the Government, although we will have a problem resuscitating this nation because of the damage that the PF has caused.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing the people of Luena, through their elected representative, to add their voice to the debate on the hon. Minister’s Budget Speech.

Sir, when the President officially opened Parliament this year, he set a vision or policy direction for the nation and I believe that this Budget outlines the strategies needed to achieve that vision. However, the problem is that the vision is long-term while Zambia’s economy is in the intensive care unit (ICU) and requires immediate attention. Imagine having a Grade 7 child who is battling for his life in the ICU. Would you, as a parent, start talking about his or her scholarship to Malaysia, John Hopkins University or Oxford University as he or she is gasping for breath? Would you look at things in that way? Of course you will not. You must first worry about his health problem and get him out of comma. When he is well, you can, then, talk about the long-term vision of sending him to John Hopkins University or Harvard University, Malaysia, China or wherever you may want your child to go and study. I say that the Zambian economy is gasping for breath and that it is in a comma because the hon. Minister of Finance has told us so. 

Sir, when you look at the hon. Minister’s Budget Speech, you will see that there is a decline in the economic growth of this country. That is a bad sign. There is also a decline in the country’s foreign reserves, which is not a good omen. We are also seeing a rapid depreciation of the kwacha, increased fiscal deficit, high interest rates and low productivity, all this in the after the Government contracted an external debt of US$6.3 billion. As if that is not enough, we have the power outages that are affecting production. To me, these are not positive indicators, but negative ones, and that is why I am saying that this country’s economy is in a comma. 

Sir, extraordinary circumstances require an extraordinary, not a lackadaisical or laissez-faire approach. 

So, how did the hon. Minister, in his Budget Speech, approach the negative indicators in order to solve the economic problems? The environment in which he prepared the 2016 Budget is not new. I went back to the Budget Speeches of the previous hon. Ministers of Finance and looked at the Budget Speech presented by Hon. Nawakwi in 1999, when she was hon. Minister of Finance. 

Mr Speaker, Paragraph 8 of her Speech outlined exactly what the hon. Minister of Finance, Mr Alexander Chikwanda, presented last week. Then, there had also been a global financial crisis, lower economic growth and a deceleration in world trade in the 1998 Budget year, which had resulted in similar symptoms to the ones we are experiencing now, such as lower copper prices, reduced export earnings, decline in economic growth and foreign reserves, and depreciation of the kwacha. So, how did the Government respond to those problems then? The hon. Minister did not look at what would happen in twenty-chakuti, but addressed the economic malaise, ...

The Deputy Chairperson: What do you mean when you say, “Twenty-chakuti”?

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I mean twenty-something.


Ms Imenda: Sir, I echo what Hon. Dr Musokotwane said the day before yesterday. Ms Nawakwi responded to the need to increase copper production. If you want to increase your foreign reserves amid falling copper prices, it is common business sense that you have to increase production because, when you multiply a large volume by a low price, it gives you increased revenue. So, if one of the two variables goes down, the other one must be increased to maintain high revenues. That is common sense, and it is what the hon. Minister should have addressed. Further, Ms Nawakwi expanded agricultural production or output and promoted growth in non-traditional exports. I expected the hon. Minister to equally address the challenges that face our economy in the short term. However, I have read through the Speech, but I have not seen anything to that effect. So, Zambia missed an opportunity to address its economic challenges through the 2016 Budget.

Mr Speaker, I admit that the hon. Minister tried to address our current economic problems and I will highlight some of the measures he has effected to that effect. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned the need for us to diversify our economy is spite of the difficult situation in which he prepared our Budget. That is good but, unfortunately, we have been talking about diversification for a long time. Even during the time Ms Nawakwi was hon. Minister of Finance, we already wanted to diversify but, as soon as the copper price went up, we became comfortable and forgot about it. Like my sister, Hon. Namugala, mentioned, when we are comfortable, we become complacent. When things go bad, we start lamenting again.

Mr Speaker, in the early 2000s, if I am not mistaken, economists and other people interested in our economy organised a conference on the Copperbelt on how to diversify from copper. The copper industry was depressed then and towns on the Copperbelt looked like ghost towns like Kitwe and Ndola, and it was depressing to pass through them. The conference was sponsored by the World Bank and International Monitory Fund (IMF). I recall that Olubanke King Akerele was the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Co-ordinator for Zambia then and helped to organise the conference. People came from places like Thailand and New York to attend that conference. I am saying all this to show that the issue of diversification is not new to us. Therefore, when the hon. Minister talks about diversification, he must clearly state the immediate mechanisms he has put in place to achieve that objective because it is time we walked the talk. Instead of paying lip service to the idea of industrial clusters, we need to walk the talk. 

Mr Speaker, one sector in which we can diversify is agriculture. For example, cassava is an exportable crop, but Zambians want to relegate it to a by-the-way cultivated crop, for lack of a better term. In Thailand, the crop has great value because it has industrial and medicinal uses. So, if we get serious, we can export cassava and earn foreign exchange. Unfortunately, under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), we only concentrate on maize. 


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance should know that I am also a bearer of a message from the people of Luena.


Ms Imenda: Sir, the Government has never looked at the state of infrastructure in Luena Constituency. Just like my brother from Dundumwezi lamented, I am also very concerned with the state of infrastructure in my constituency because, year in and year out, we are promised that funds will be allocated, but nothing happens. We have even been given assurances on the Floor of this House, for example, that the Limulunga/Mushituwambumu Road would be built, but nothing has materialised. Let me hasten, however, to pay tribute to the Ministry of Health for, at least, starting the construction of four health centres in Luena. That done, I must say that I am concerned about the schools. We have a serious shortage of teacher’s houses in Luena. I was at Nangili Basic School last Sunday and the parents there really took me to task. The school, which is in one of the remotest areas of Luena and is my alma mater, was established in 1918. So, it will celebrate its centenary in about two-and-a-half years. However, the school still has mud and grass-thatched houses for teachers. 

Sir, the Government has …

Mr Kalaba interjected.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, may I be protected because I do not know what the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is trying to tell me. He is blaming me when he is the one who has not even given me the money.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs!

The Deputy Chairperson: Ignore hecklers and address me.

Mr Muntanga: So, he is a heckler?


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, for the past five years, the Government has not constructed new teachers’ houses in Luena. We have been applying for that to be done and done whatever is required on our part, but we have only been getting empty promises. If Hon. Dr Phiri still remembers, I invited him some time back to go with me to Luena so that he could look at what I was talking about, but he did not go.

Mr Muntanga: Who?

Ms Imenda: The then hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr John Phiri.


Ms Imenda: Sir, as much as there is a need for more schools, as has been propounded in support of the programme to construct 420 new schools countrywide, I think that there is also a need to pay attention to the improvement of existing schools, especially with regard to teacher’s houses.

Mr Speaker, I also want to comment on the construction of an oil pipeline from Angola. That is a very welcome move and I have said that before. However, I am not happy that it has been proposed that the pipeline should cross the Zambezi and Kafue Rivers, and come all the way to Lusaka. We reject that, and I call on all the hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province, including Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, and regardless of political affiliation, to stand together and fight this proposal. The refinery should be in the Western Province. Why should we just watch and let the pipeline come all the way from Angola, bypass us and end up here? We also need the jobs and multiplier effects there in the Western Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: We also want the contractors in the province to be empowered. So, as long as I am a Member of Parliament, I will not allow the hon. Minister of Finance or anybody else, for that matter, to take that pipeline beyond the Zambezi River. I totally refuse to allow that.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: If Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning does not stand with me on this issue, what legacy will she leave behind for her people? 


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Muntanga: Do not cry!

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, let me come to the issue of water supply. 

Sir, as I have said already, I am a bearer of a message from the people of Luena. The Government has said that it will give us hand-pumps and we are waiting for them. However, Mongu and Limulunga are very near the Zambezi River. Therefore, why do we want to just concentrate on underground water? Why can we not provide piped water from the Zambezi River, which is less than 10 km from Mongu and Limulunga? We can put up a permanent river-based water reticulation system instead of depending on underground water supply. Currently, there is a serious shortage of water in Limulunga and I hope that my sister, Hon. Dora Siliya, the new Minister of Energy and Water Development, will address this matter. I can take her there to see how people walk long distances to fetch water from the canal after the water plant stopped working. I do not even know why the people who work at the plant are paid every month for doing nothing. This is a very serious issue. If we can construct a 45 km pipeline from here to the Kafue River, how can we fail to put up a 10 km pipeline from the Zambezi River to Mongu or Limulunga? Why are we being treated like this? The people of Luena are crying that the Government has neglected them. So, our colleagues on your right need to wake up and do something for those people. 

Mr Speaker, that is the message that the people of Luena gave me to deliver. 

Thank you very much, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. Like I said when I was debating the President’s Speech, those who will not like my debate should, …

Mr Muntanga: Should leave!

Mr Namulambe: … at least, respect what I will say. 

Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: To those who will like what I will say, I am grateful in advance.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I will begin with the last part of the Budget Address.

Sir, in Part IV, Paragraph 156, the hon. Minister of Finance said:

“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. The year 2016 will witness further challenges to our efforts to raise the economy to yet higher heights so as to eradicate poverty. In addition to elevated risks from climate change, the outlook for the world economy is not particularly cheerful. As a result, Zambia should be prepared to meet the challenges that may arise from externally-induced shocks, especially further falls in commodity prices and their knock-on effects on our economy and society at large.”

Mr Speaker, the text I have read might not sound good, but it is very good because it should make all Zambians think. It is a timely warning for us. So, when we start facing the challenges, we must not say that we were not warned. We must, instead, find ways and means to meet those challenges and solve their problems. That is the more reason we need to put our heads together to overcome the challenges. 

Mr Speaker, last Sunday was a National Day of Repentance, Prayer, Fasting and Reconciliation. Some people may have understood that to mean that there would be miracle money and miraculous things happening.


Mr Namulambe: However, this is when we will face more challenges because the devil does not sit idly, but rather becomes very active when people go into prayer. Even the Son of Man was tempted when He went into the wilderness to pray and fast after His baptism.

Mr Muntanga: For how many days?

Mr Namulambe: He was in the wilderness for forty days. 

Sir, some people had thought that, after Christ’s baptism, everything would be rosy and He would accomplish everything, but that is the period He face many challenges. So, after that day that we dedicated to prayer, fasting and reconciliation, we should not expect any miracles at all. 

Sir, we should practise the reconciliation that we preached, ...

Mr Sing’ombe: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: … not only pay lip service to it. Let us reconcile in the real sense of the word. That is when God will give us the wisdom to find solutions to the challenges that the country is facing.

Mr Muntanga: Umh!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the idea of making comparisons and saying that some country is going through the same hardship that we are going through should not be entertained.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: We should find solutions.

Mr Pande: Yes!

Mr Mpundu: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, Cuba was under sanctions and had nowhere to go for help, but its people thought of how to survive. So, we should not say that it is okay when we suffer just because the citizens of some other country are suffering, too.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: We must think …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: … and find a way of coming out of our economic challenges.

Mr Pande: Yes!

Mr Namulambe: We should be able to provide solutions to the issues that are affect all of us.

Mr Speaker, I have heard people talking about the Budget being small on the Floor of this House. Indeed, it is small, although in numerical terms, it has increased from last year’s amount to K56 billion. 

Mr Speaker, in Lamba, we say “balapima menshi ne bunga,” meaning that you cannot have huge figures that you cannot attain just like you cannot put a big pot of water on the stove to cook nshima when your mealie meal is not enough.


Mr Namulambe: So, you choose the size of a pot to use based on the amount of mealie meal that you have. In this vein, much as I appreciate that the Budget is small, as a former controlling officer, my advice to the hon. Minister of Finance is that he should ask all hon. Ministers, as they come to make their policy statements with regard to the Budget, to review their budgets. To borrow Hon. Namugala’s words, there is a lot of money that is hidden in the Budget. So, when there is not enough money, we should do away with some unnecessary expenditures.

Mr Pande: Yes!

Mr Namulambe: For instance, when you go through the Yellow Book, there is a lot of money for capacity building. The question is: What or whose capacity are we building? People who are employed in the Government are already degree holders who, in interviews, said that they were adequately qualified for the jobs for which they had applied. So, what are we capacity building them for? That money should go towards what the people of Zambia really need. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about growing our economy through diversification. That is a good idea because we have been too dependent on copper. Let me take this opportunity to address the so-called copper producers. 

Sir, when the prices of copper are good, the mining companies make a lot of money, but they do not thank anyone, not even the workers who produce the copper for them. Some even boast about making huge profits after buying our mines for a song. However, when there is a crisis like there is now, when the price of copper has fallen, they want to lay off the people who have helped them to make the profits about which they boast. Of course we have challenges with electricity supply, but why can they not think about the people who have made them repay loans and realise the profits? Why should they rush to retrench their workers or send them on forced leave? They should realise that it is inhuman and ungodly for them to treat people like that. I think that those prayers we prayed bring a curse on those who are not sympathetic to the people of Zambia who have made them rich.

Hon. Opposition Members; Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, our current experiences with the mining houses should teach us the lesson that the so-called investors are only friendly when they want to buy the mines, but they are not our friends when we are in need. When one is sick that is when one can know who one’s real friends are. When one is dead, he or she will not know who come to the funeral and who did not. So, a true friend is one who stays by your side when you are in problems. So, the businesses that will stand strong with us during these financial challenges that we are facing are the ones we should give concessions to when we are able to. Otherwise, it is time we did away with the concessions.

Mr Speaker, we can grow our economy if we avoid importing food stuffs from other countries, thereby growing their economies instead of ours. We also need to diversify to agriculture because even those who stop mining will not stop eating. We can also stop talking, but we cannot stop eating. One cannot even sleep on an empty stomach. 

Mr Speaker, when you go to the supermarkets in the malls around, all the food there, including agricultural products, is imported, yet we can add value to the food products here, in Zambia, and export to countries that may be in need of them. Why should we continue importing? So, when we allocate funds to agriculture, we should ensure that they are put to good use. If we calculate how much money we have given to women and youth clubs, we will find that the benefits are negligible. So, why do we go the same route of appeasing people at the expense of growing our economy? The resources that we have can grow our economy and we can become exporters. 

Sir, as I have said before on the Floor of this House, I will never eat imported beans. So, when I go to supermarkets, I always check for the source of the product. 

Mr Kalaba: You like baked beans!

Mr Namulambe: I do not eat baked beans and will not do unless it is made by Chakwankwa, a Zambian company that produces that product.  

Mr Speaker, in the past, we used to drink Tip Top and Quench, ... 

Ms Imenda: I was there!

Mr Namulambe: … which very were good and nutritious drinks compared with the ones that we drink now, which are carbonated, even though they are global brands. We can have our own drinks. One reason I like Parmalat products is that I know that they are made by a Zambian company in Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, when it comes to empowerment clubs, the Government must not give money to them directly, but rather buy the necessary equipment for them to use. For instance, it can provide cannery equipment for clubs to use to add value to foodstuffs so that we avoid imports and become exporters. That is the only way we will earn foreign exchange.

Mr Speaker, on diversification, I heard an hon. Member talk about the demand for cassava in Thailand. We have very good soils in Zambia and very good varieties of cassava are being developed. Why not help those who can develop this industry to do so? We can divide Zambia into industrial zones. Once, I was very upset about the operation of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in Kalabo. I went there and was informed that by, February, just after fertiliser is applied, the rains stop and that that had happened over three consecutive years. Why do we keep giving those people fertiliser and maize seed instead of identifying another crop that can be grown in the climatic conditions of the area? If they can grow cassava and sweet potatoes, which do well in that area, we should provide them with cassava stem cuttings and sweet potato runners, imishimba, efyo twita mu Chilamba.


The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning?

Mr Namulambe: I mean sweet potato runners, Sir. 


Mr Namulambe: Efyo bashimbula … 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Member, address the Speaker. I know that we are debating in the Queen’s language. So, obviously, there will be mother-tongue interference, but try to be as clear as you possibly can so that you do not lose us.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, why should we allow some shops to import pineapples leaving our own pineapples from Solwezi and Mwinilunga, which are even sweeter? The Eastern Province can grow a lot of groundnuts. So, why do we not promote such activities? In the Western Province, the people there can grow a lot of rice. Why not promote that? 

Hon. Members: Cashew nuts!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, Mozambique, which got cashew nut seedlings from the Western Province is doing far much better than us in production.

Miss Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: So, who is to blame? Is it God?

Hon. Members: No!

Mr Namulambe: The Government?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Namulambe: We should blame ourselves. As Zambians, if we want to transform this country, we should, first, transform our thinking. Even those people who want to get employed should start thinking of becoming employers instead because opportunities are there. They can add value to agricultural produce. In this regard, it is important for the Ministry of Agriculture to zone the country according to the crops that well in each given area. The same applies to livestock. Some areas can rear goats while others can rear village chickens, which are good for food and can earn us money. We can also produce honey in Kabompo and Kasempa. 

Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Why can we not produce those products, find ways and means of packaging them properly and exporting them? 

Sir, the hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs should encourage foreign diplomats based in Zambia not to shun our products in their countries. The bilateral relations must be seen in their encouraging their people to buy Zambian products. I know that they sometimes shun our products because our products are poorly packaged. They just see the label, “Made in Zambia,” they leave the product but, when they see a label showing made in ukubafumine, they buy.


Hon. Member: Ukubafumine?

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, it is very painful.

Mr Muntanga: What do you mean?

Mr Namulambe: I mean “Where they have come from.”


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, it is important that we support the diversification effort and move away from copper. We can even let those mining houses that have been threatening to leave go and keep our copper underground. They can leave our copper. We will use it later. For now, we can use the fertile soils we have in Zambia and promote agriculture. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, our people should be innovative. We can even make drinks like orange juice. There are plenty of oranges in Chembe District, Luapula Province, that just rot. We also have mangoes in the Western Province. So, why do the Lozis complain of being poor when they have a lot of mangoes?


Mr Namulambe: They should make use of those mangoes instead of ... 


Mr Namulambe: Do not start.

Sir, we drink mango juice from elsewhere when the Western Province could have been exporting mango juice to Angola and Botswana. Let us be innovative, as Zambians, and find solutions for our problems. If the Government does not implement the solutions, then, we can criticise. For example, I have offered a solution by proposing that my Government should buy equipment that can be used to add value to agricultural products and give it to women’s and youth clubs instead of giving them money. So, if the current practice continues and the clubs misuse the money, it will be the Government’s fault. I am just giving advice. The Government can take it ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Or leave it!

Mr Namulambe: However, if it will not take my advice, when things go wrong, its members should blame themselves. At least, I have done my part by giving my advice. 

Sir, let me also tell those who like to say that we, in the Back Bench talk too much, that it is our job to do so. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: I am not bitter about anything. My role, as a Back Bencher, is to talk. I am paid a Sitting Allowance to talk for the people of Mpongwe.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate. First of all, I welcome the new hon. Members of Parliament, although I know that they have already been welcomed. I would also like to congratulate our colleagues who were appointed hon. Ministers, ...

Mr Muntanga: Like the neighbours!

Mr Pande: … like my former neighbours, here, Hon. Simbao, Hon. Dora Siliya and 
Hon. Kampyongo, who is not here.  I see that he has hit the road running. The other two are experienced hon. Ministers. So, I expect them to contribute to the well-being of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. 

Mr Speaker, in a normal situation, one would have said that this is a very good Budget. However, we are not in a normal situation, and I sympathise with my big man, the hon. Minister of Finance. He must have had a lot of difficulties coming up with this Budget, but he had an obligation to do so.

Sir, I have heard some people say that the economy is on track. I wonder what they mean when they say that. The economy is not on track and anybody saying that it is not normal ... 


Mr Pande: ... because any normal person can see that our economy is in distress. 

Mr Speaker, being a sincere and honest man, the hon. Minister has openly stated that this country is facing many hardships and is passing through a very difficult phase. However, he tried his best to present the Budget as he did. Even in a household facing difficulties, a parent does not talk about the problems openly. However, he or she can hint to the children that he or she is facing some problems. The hon. Minister of Finance has clearly indicated to us, Zambians, that we are going through difficult times. 

Mr Speaker, we need to be worried and concerned, as citizens of this country, about the problems we are facing. That is why I was very surprised to see the Executive cheering and clapping when the hon. Minister of Finance was presenting the Budget. I wondered what they were clapping for. Either they were not following what the hon. Minister was saying or they were pretending to be impressed so that we go the usual Zambian way of not being truthful. However, the hon. Minister of Finance has been very truthful to this country. The problem of Zambian politics is pretence. Zambian politicians like to pretend that what any person says in this House is always correct. However, immediately they leave, the others will say something else. I saw it when the President addressed the House. The Executive was clapping. Even the strangers followed suit. 


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, at this point, I beg you to guide this House whether that is what we should be doing because it has happened twice. I know that there was very little that the Speaker could have done when the President was here because he was not in the Chair. However, when the hon. Minister of Finance was making his presentation, the Speaker was in the Chair. So, we need to be guided whether even we, in the Opposition, should start clapping during the President’s Address and the Budget Address. One of the hon. Members who debated earlier indicated that the clapping by members of the Executive during the Budget presentation was led by the Holy Spirit.


Mr Pande: However, one of the authors of some books by the name of John wrote in Chapter 4 of his first book that we should watch out because there are many spirits in this world.


Mr Pande: We must test the spirit that is leading us to what we are doing. If a spirit leads us to breaking the law of the House, we must be careful because that cannot be the Holy Spirit. We must be very careful.

Mr Speaker, we should stop this business of eulogising Presidents when it is not necessary. I am sorry to say this now, but we all know that my younger brother, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is the President of this country. However, we hear the people in the Government all the time saying “Our President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, or Under the Leadership of Edgar Chagwa Lungu.” Who does not know that Edgar Chagwa Lungu is the Republican President?


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, some of those people who say that frequently do not even like him. They just want to blindfold him. That is a fact. Those who keep quiet are the ones who sincerely believe that he is our President. Let us move away from the days of saying, “The great leader of this and that” when addressing our Presidents. We should concentrate on running this country.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, this country is in big problems and we need to find solutions to these problems because our people are suffering. Everybody is suffering. 

Sir, in order to understand the stressful situation in the country, we need to refer to what the hon. Minister of Finance said about it. For example, he said that he had projected the country’s economy to grow by 7 per cent in 2016. However, that projection has been downgraded to 4.6 per cent. This clearly indicates that we have a problem. The hon. Minister had to quickly adjust his Budget because the 7 per cent growth initially projected is unattainable under the circumstances that we are in, with the negative economic situation in China and the Eurozone countries, the falling price of copper, the depreciation of the kwacha and high interest rates. On the domestic front, we have a high foreign exchange rate and poor performance of the mining sector. 

Mr Speaker, we are in our current situation because of one thing, namely, the failure by the successive Governments of this country to run with the relay baton. If the PF Government had continued with the programmes that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) had left in place, we would not have been in the current situation. When presenting his first Budget under the PF Government to this country in 2012, Hon. Chikwanda, referring to his predecessor, said:

“I would like to pay tribute to him and the previous administration for laying a strong foundation upon which this Government will build.” 

However, what has happened to that strong foundation today? It has been destroyed because the PF decided to adopt populist policies. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours. 


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that we are in the current situation because the PF adopted populist policies. 

Sir, good governance demands planning, but a number of projects were implemented without planning. Many roads were built, expanded or rehabilitated, new districts were gazetted and universities are being built. Someone even asked me about the universities in Chinsali and wondered which dons would want to stay in that area.  The person thinks that it might actually be difficult to recruit dons for those universities. 

Mr Speaker, as I have indicated, it is important for our succeeding Governments to carry on from where their predecessors left off. If that had been done by the PF, the shortage of energy would not be as bad as it is, as it was a very topical issue in the Southern African region. That is why the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West indicated what the MMD did. That we are making things look like this problem has just suddenly appeared …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Pande: … is very surprising to me. 

Mr Speaker, coming to the 2016 economic objectives, one of them is to achieve annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5 per cent. This, in itself, is an indication that the economy is in distress. We initially, targeted 7.7 per cent or 7 per cent this year, then, we downgraded to 5 per cent. Clearly, the economy is not doing fine. The objective is to accelerate the diversification of the economy, especially towards tourism, energy, agriculture and agro-processing. I expected the hon. Minister to do more than merely paying lip service to this objective. One aspect that demonstrates the lack of seriousness in our approach to diversification is we are handling the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. How effectively can the system work when it is being implemented in only thirteen districts out of the over 100? I also expected that the depreciation of the kwacha would give the hon. Minister of Finance more impetus to attract investors in the manufacturing sector so that we can export more and import less. People will be enticed to buy Zambian goods because they will be cheaper. I expected the hon. Minister, for instance, in tourism, to implement measures that would have generated a lot of interest in Zambians to participate in the sector. Had he done that, immediately after the Speech, we would have seen many Zambians go into tourism because of the incentives the hon. Minister could have introduced by. However, they are not there. 

Sir, I recall, in 2007 or 2008, when one of the members of the current Executive, Hon. Dr Kaingu, was Minister of Tourism, some incentives were provided in the tourism sector and we saw many lodges mushroom in this country. However, in this Budget, there is nothing that will attract Zambians to into the tourism sector. 

Mr Speaker, apart from the e-Voucher in agriculture and agro-processing, there is nothing else. We should now diversify from maize. I expected the hon. Minister to provide incentives for the growing of beans or sorghum. Rwanda and Burundi import beans from Pakistan while Angola, our neighbour, gets its foodstuffs from Brazil when we can supply all the food it needs. The hon. Minister of Finance, therefore, should have provided more incentives in agriculture so that Zambians can divert from whatever they are doing now and go into that sector. 

Mr Speaker, I was in Luapula recently and found that there is no fish in Lake Bangweulu. Why did the hon. Minister not provide an incentive for more fish farming in Luapula so that we can have more fish for both domestic consumption and export? That is being practical. I know that aqua parks have been introduced with Kasempa as one of the beneficiaries and I commend the hon. Minister for that. However, my question is: Will the idea really work? Like I have said when debating previous Budgets, we bite more than we can chew. Even the 3.8 per cent that we are talking about may not be achieved, going by what has been happening in the past. 

Mr Speaker, let me comment on Paragraph 7, where the hon. Minister talks about inclusiveness. 

Mr Muntanga’s phone rang.


Mr Pande: Sir, it is not out of choice that the people of the North-Western Province have continued to lament. 

Mr Muntanga left the Assembly Chamber. 

Mr Livune: Igwe!

Mr Pande: They face real problems. The problem is that they are included in programmes, but nothing really happens. If you watch Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Television, you will see many projects that are being implemented by the Government. Unfortunately, none of them is in the North-Western Province. The Solwezi/Chingola Road is being worked on quite alright. However, previously, it took us one-and-a-half hours to drive from Chingola to Solwezi. Later, the time increased to three hours. Now, it takes us four hours to cover the same distance. 

Ms Lubezhi: Five hours!

Mr Pande: We have been told that the implementation of the Link Zambia 8,000 Km Road Project has already started. If that is the case, why is it that not a kilometre has been worked on in the North-Western Province? It is because of this that we keep on crying foul. We need to change. 

Mr Speaker, as I am running out of time, I would like to conclude by stating that 2016 will come with more challenges to our efforts to raise the economy to higher heights and eradicate poverty. That was the hon. Minister of Finance’s lament. He warned us, Zambians, to brace ourselves for harder times in 2016. So, we should not be caught by surprise or be misled by anybody who will claim that 2016 will better than 2015. We need to accept our challenges and start finding ways of moving this country forward in 2016 rather than misleading ourselves by saying that the economy is on track because it is not. It has derailed and we need to bring it back on the rails. 

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


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

Question put and agreed to. 


The House adjourned at 1940 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 23rd October, 2015.