Debates - Tuesday, 27th October, 2015

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Tuesday, 27th October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]




Mr Speaker: I have three announcements to make. Firstly, I wish to inform the House that, in the absence of Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, who is attending to other national duties, Hon. Yamfwa Mukanga, Minister of Works and Supply and Chief Whip, has been appointed Acting Leader of Government Business in the House from today, Tuesday 27th October, 2015, until further notice.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Secondly, I wish to inform the House that, in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order No. 131, the following changes have been made to the composition of some of the Committees following the appointment of Ms D. Silaya, MP, and L. Evans, MP, as Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister, respectively, as follows: 


Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs Affairs

Mr L. Lingweshi, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. L. Evans, MP

Committee on Agriculture 

Mr A. Sichula, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. L. Evans, MP


Public Accounts Committee 

Mr R. L. Mpundu, MP, has been appointed to replace Hon. D Siliya, MP


Mr Speaker: On 14th October, 2015, as part of the activities to commemorate Zambia’s 51st Independence Anniversary, the Ministry of Youth and Sport organised sporting events.

I am happy to inform the House that the games took place on 23rd October, 2015, at the Olympic Youth Development Centre and the results were as follows:

Netball    Scores    Scores

Members of Parliament     26    Diplomats    2


Members of Parliament     11    Diplomats     1


Members of Parliament     0    Diplomats     1

I would like to congratulate hon. Members on the good results.

Thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, since I am speaking for the first time after the inferno that destroyed my property in Choma, allow me to thank and express gratitude to the Zambians who have stood by me and some of whom have even offered some help like His Excellency the President, Hon. Miles Sampa, Hon. Chikwanda, Hon. Keith Mukata, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning and Hon. Dr Simbyakula. I thank you all.

Hon. Government Member: Wine is coming. 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to present my ministerial statement on the current events at the Copperbelt University (CBU) and the action that my ministry has taken to deal with these issues. 

Sir, I shall start with a reminder of the recent events at the CBU. On 22nd June, 2016, the CBU Academic Union (CBUAU) wrote a letter to me, then, as the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, in which it informed me on a number of issues in respect of the operations of the CBU. The CBUAU further demanded that the Vice-Chancellor and the entire management of the CBU be removed from their positions. This demand was premised on the issues which had been raised in the letter to me. 

Mr Speaker, the academic staff, members of the CBUAU, also immediately withdrew their services and resolved not to teach until their demands were met. The academic staff later resolved to return to work following a series of meetings under the chairmanship of the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Sir, on 9th July, 2015, I presented a ministerial statement to this august House. In that statement, and acting in accordance with the powers of the Minister, as provided under Part 3, Section 13 of the Higher Education Act, No. 4 of 2013, I reported that I had taken the following actions:

(a)    the CBU was closed indefinitely with immediate effect. All students were given twenty-four hours to vacate the premises with effect from 1300 hours of Wednesday, 8th July, 2015;

(b)    the School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Studies at the CBU were not affected by this closure;

(c)    the Graduation Ceremony to be held on 23rd and 24th July, 2015, would be held as scheduled;

(d)    I instructed the council of the CBU to work towards resolving the issues which had constrained normal operations of the university and to ensure that the academic life of the university was restored with minimum delay;

(e)    I instructed the council of the CBU to take all the necessary steps to ensure that the recent unfortunate events at the university were not repeated in future.
Sir, on 27th August, 2015, I dissolved the Council of the CBU and appointed a Ten-Member Caretaker Committee, as provided under Part V, Section 32 (2) and Part III, Section 13 (3) of the Higher Education Act, No. 4 of 2013, to preside over the affairs of the CBU. I, further, instructed the Caretaker Committee to investigate the claims made by the Copperbelt University Academic Union, in their letter of 22nd June, 2015 addressed to me, as the, then, Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. I also instructed the Caretaker Committee to investigate the circumstances and concerns which culminated in the disruption of academic life at the university. I instructed the Caretaker Committee to present its report upon completion of its work. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Caretaker Committee has now presented its report. I, further, wish to inform this august House that I have accepted the findings and recommendations which have been presented to me by the committee. 

Mr Speaker, the findings of the Caretaker Committee are as follows:

(a)    the Caretaker Committee observed, from the documented evidence and the discussions with parties beyond the management and unions, that the management had not failed in its responsibility of governance, control and administration of the university;

(b)    the Caretaker Committee observed that the dissolved council was not negligent in its supervision of the management on the matters contained in the letter from the CBUAU to the hon. Minister;

(c)    contrary to the assertion by the CBUAU that poor funding of the institution is not the bigger problem, but the misdirection of resources by the management from academic work, upon examination of the record of the oral presentation, documented evidence and the interactive discussions held with others mentioned above, the Caretaker Committee observed that the limited resources coupled with poor flow of information and a lack of well-defined internal communication structures were at the centre of the problem at hand;

(d)     a review of council documents has revealed that most of the issues raised by the CBUAU, in its letter to the hon. Minister, were discussed in the council meetings. This raises the question of whether the union was effectively represented on the CBU Council. Cases in point are the allegations that management contracted three loans from Investrust Bank for purchase of Africanza, the Graduate School Complex and motor vehicles. These matters were discussed in the council, but the allegation made by the CBUAU shows that the union did not have this information. It was also established that the construction of a multi-purpose facility was not a popular decision among the university stakeholders. This was the reason the representatives of the union on the council should have taken the responsibility to share information with the larger membership on the matters related to the financing of this and other projects stated above;

(e)    the Caretaker Committee observed that the CBUAU representative on the council was not sharing council documents such as agendas, budgets and resolutions with the CBUAU members. This meant that the CBUAU membership was not effectively represented in the decisions made by the council;

(f)    the Caretaker Committee’s examination of the issues and allegations by the CBUAU, in the letter to the hon. Minister dated 22nd June, 2015, with regard to the Principal Officers and the evidence gathered after investigations revealed that there are no sufficient grounds to warrant the call for the hon. Minister to terminate the services of the council.
Mr Speaker, finally, although the committees’ findings have established that the CBUAU allegations, as contained in the letter to the hon. Minister, have largely been without merit, evidence elicited from Deans and Directors point to shortcomings in management style of the current Vice-Chancellor. These witnesses informed the Caretaker Committee that the management style was characterised by dictatorial tendencies, centralisation of authority and that Deans of Schools were not considered part of management, as they were not involved in decision-making. 

Mr Speaker, the CBUAU has used the issues raised in its letter addressed to me, dated 22nd June, 2015, as a basis and reason for its demand to terminate the services of the Vice-Chancellor and the entire management of the CBU. The report of the Caretaker Committee has found neither evidence nor merit in the allegations made by CBUAU. This means that its demand for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor and the entire management was premised on allegations which have not been supported by evidence. 

Mr Speaker, in view of these findings, I wish to inform this august House that:

(a)    in consultation with the Chancellor of the university and the Chairperson of the Caretaker Committee, we have decided that the Vice-Chancellor of the CBU, Professsor Naison Ngoma, who has been on leave during this crisis, will report on duty with immediate effect;

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker,

(b)    the current management at the CBU will remain unchanged;

(c)    all members of the academic staff who have decided to withdraw their services are requested to end this illegal action and return to work without further delay;

(d)    we regret the disruption of the academic life of the CBU once again. I encourage our students at the university to remain calm as we work towards normal operations of the university. 
Mr Speaker, there are valuable lessons that we can learn from the recent events at the CBU. It is important that all parties of the university community begin a serious process of introspection and reforms. Specifically, I wish to request the Caretaker Committee, performing the functions of the council, to undertake the following:

(a)    work with the management to ensure cohesion of the entire management structure of the university, from the Vice-Chancellor to the Heads of Departments;

(b)    Deans of Schools, Directors and Heads of Departments must be considered as part of management and structures should be developed and strengthened to ensure that active and inclusive participation in decision-making is achieved; and

(c)    all unions must use established channels for communication with management. Further, union representatives on governance structures of the university need to strengthen their internal feedback system so that decisions are communicated to their members accurately and timely.

Mr Speaker, I earnestly appeal to the CBUAU to co-operate with management and the Caretaker Committee and work together on those issues that may have caused divisions in the past. The withdrawal of labour, as a weapon to fight for demands, hurts all, but helps none. In particular, students should not be used as pawns to enforce demands. Let us build a credible university that is anchored on a platform of learning, teaching, research and community service. I will now lay the findings of the Caretaker Committee on the Table.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Kaingu laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I thank you and welcome back.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I got the hon. Minister very well. In his statement, there is a paragraph where he lamented the problem not being about funding the CBU, but the management. He also stated that the lecturers at the CBU have passed a vote of no confidence on the Vice-Chancellor, who is part of the management that is misdirecting funds. May I find out from the hon. Minister why he is shielding the Vice-Chancellor who has failed to manage the university.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is clear that the hon. Member of Parliament for Chadiza did not hear me clearly. I said that contrary to the assertion by the CBUAU, poor funding of the institution is not the bigger problem, but that of misdirection of resources away from academic work by the management. Upon examination of the record of the oral presentations, documented evidence and the interactive discussions held, the Caretaker Committee observed that limited resources coupled with a poor flow of information and a lack of well-defined internal communication structures were at the centre of the problems. However, I want to assure him that I am not shielding the Vice-Chancellor. The evidence before me, after the Caretaker Committee went through the established channel to interview the people concerned, is clear that there is no reason I should terminate the services of the Vice-Chancellor. Almost everything presented is trivial.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, welcome back. I feel this statement could have come at a time when the situation at the university would have normalised. Nevertheless, does the hon. Minister not think that it could have been prudent to engage the CBUAU and staff in order to find a win-win situation? He indicated that in view of the findings, the Vice-Chancellor should resume his duties. In the event that the university management does not succumb to his demand, what will be the way forward?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, contrary to what the hon. Member has said, we have engaged the CBUAU. In fact, in my statement, I have stated that at one time, we had several meetings on the Copperbelt, which were chaired by the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security. In my opinion, it is very clear that the CBUAU is using a style that I do not seem to understand style to get things done. It wants to intimidate, arm twist and give directives and I do not know where it is deriving this power from. 

As regards the hon. Member’s question, I was very clear in my statement that the Caretaker Committee will deal with the process that will follow thereafter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, work stoppages at the Copperbelt University (CBU) have become too frequent. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if he does not think that they could, probably, be politically motivated to distabilise the academic year.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to agree with the hon. Member for Kwacha because I have impeccable evidence that our politicians have found the Copperbelt University (CBU) a hunting ground.

Mr Speaker, very prominent members of a political party went to Mulungushi University to distribute their party T-shirts. Therefore, I do not know what the hon. Member for Kwacha would think about this development if he was in my position.

Sir, I would like to appeal to leaders of various political parties, including my own political party, the Movement to Multi-party Democracy (MMD), and the party that I work for, the Patriotic Front (PF), to leave the students to learn. This time around, I will not name the two members who went to Mulungushi University, but if there will be one hon. Member from the other side of the House who will insist on wanting to know the names of these people, I will be more than willing to disclose their names.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, the problems at the Copperbelt University (CBU) seem to be endless. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister if the Government is thinking of privatising the CBU to the lecturers so that they can run it since they seem to be part of the problems which are delaying the advancement of education in this country.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, that is a very good observation.

Mr Livune: Question!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, it is very clear that the two institutions which are supported by the Government are the ones where we have been facing many problems. I would like to be very categorical and state that the lecturers at this institution are Government employees and the institution belongs to the Government. Therefore, the Government will run that institution.

Mr Speaker, the behaviour that we saw, yesterday, by the men and women who are supposed to be esteemed is vey shameful. If they want to appoint the Vice-Chancellor or management, I would advise them to form their own universities. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am compelled to raise this point of order for the fact that the hon. Minister of Higher Education is withholding the names of the people who are distabilising these institutions. However, instead, he said that he will only review the names if any hon. Member from the Opposition insists to know. We know very well that the students from Tafelansoni, in Chadiza, who are at the Copperbelt University (CBU), are not learning, and yet he wants to keep that information to himself instead of sharing the names of the people who are causing chaos at the CBU with this House. Is he in order, Sir? 

 Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is that the established convention is to avoid debating people who are not present to defend themselves. Therefore, the hon. Minister is in order to keep it that way.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Speaker: Order!

 I also want to mention further, that I have a long list of hon. Members who would like to ask questions. So, in order for us to progress expeditiously during this particular statement, I will not take any points of order.

 Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, the hon. Minister’s statement has not added anything to resolving the issue at the Copperbelt University (CBU).

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, in his statement, the hon. Minister said that the Caretaker Committee found the CBU Council with no fault. I would like to know why the Government does not want to reinstate the university council since the outcome of the report and according to his statement, it was not found wanting.

 Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is true that the CBUAU influenced the hon. Minister to dissolve the council. So, it is now very clear that, actually, the hon. Minister over reacted. It is for this reason that I do not want to over react again.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to confirm that, in fact, the Copperbelt University (CBU) Vice-Chancellor introduced a system which was very strict of checking in for the lecturers. This ensured that they reported for work rather than reporting for work at several institutions, hence, the reason they do not want him to stay at the institution. They want to engage in other activities instead of conducting serious lectures at the CBU.

 Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, from the report of the Caretaker’s Committee, it is very clear that the Vice-Chancellor is not at fault and, therefore, there is no reason for the Government to terminate his services. There are grey areas which indicate that the Vice Chancellor may not be involving his colleagues in the administration of the university and that he may be very strict. Like Hon. Muntanga said, some of the lecturers are not comfortable with that. However, I do not think that can be the reason the Vice-Chancellor’s services should be terminated.

 Sir, the House may be aware that the process of recruiting a Vice-Chancellor is not an easy one and, therefore, trivial issues like what we have seen in the report cannot warrant the removal of the Vice-Chancellor. I also want to add that we would not want to set a bad precedence. What is happening at the CBU is shameful and if tolerated, might permeate to other universities.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, it is clear that there is heavy industrial unrest at the Copperbelt University (CBU). I would like the hon. Minister to be pragmatic and state clearly what steps he has taken to ensure that harmony is restored at this institution.

Sir, I do not believe that threats and directives of imposition can bring sanity to that institution. There is a need to humble ourselves, as leaders, get to the bottom of the matter, negotiate and reconcile the forces involved so that we can expect maximum productivity. I am not sure that the hon. Minister expects performance to be at its peak at that institution, with the current animosity.  

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola Parliamentary Constituency is right to say that we should not use threats and intimidation. We should also not use students as pawns to hold the Government to ransom just because we are lecturers. There is no dispute that has been declared, whatsoever, and so, the academic union should not influence its members to withdraw labour. I believe that when getting employed, these people sign a collective agreement, which I do not think the university management has transgressed. It is very clear that staff at the Copperbelt University is trying to arm-twist and intimidate the Government. It is using students as pawns to achieve its objectives, but that will not be allowed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, a few days ago, students at the Copperbelt University (CBU) were brutally assaulted over this problem. This led to one individual, by the name of Kingsley Chinyama, who happens to be the Patriotic Front (PF) Chairperson at the CBU, to resign from his position. That is very rare courage. Does this not confirm that as far as political interference is concerned at the CBU, all fingers should point at the PF?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, you have already guided that we should not discuss people who cannot answer for themselves. Nonetheless, the evidence that is before the ministry and the CBU shows that, actually, there is one prominent political party, ...

Mr Mushanga: Not prominent, but a small party.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, you may continue.

Dr Kaingu: ... which is using our learning institutions as hunting grounds.

Mr Ng’onga: Shame!

Dr Kaingu: The information that the hon. Member of Parliament for Sinda Parliamentary Constituency is bringing to the table is news to me. It is neither on record nor is it in my statement. My statement is very clear and so, I do not want to bring the name of this political party and its leadership in my debate.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, may I join those who have condemned the police’s heavy-handedness on the students who were brutally abused on the Copperbelt during the country’s Independence Celebrations. In his statement, the hon. Minister has indicated that there was no co-ordination in the management style. Bear in mind that, sometimes, the background of an individual will influence the decisions or management styles that he/she adopts. In this case, the professor was once a soldier and in the military, instructions are given through commands. Very few people move away from this sort of style. Examples of those who managed to move away are Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha and Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo. Therefore, what will the hon. Minister do to ensure that co-ordination that does not exist is restored?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Senanga Parliamentary Constituency that we have called Prof. Naison Ngoma and discussed this report with him. We have told him where we feel he was not co-operating with his colleagues. For example, he was not recognising the Deans and Directors of the university as part of management. We have told him to correct all this. We strongly believe that his failure to recognise the Deans and Directors as part of management is not a good reason to terminate his services as Vice-Chancellor.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, I welcome you back. There are some things which are not okay. I heard the hon. Minister say that one of the problems that the committee that was put in place discovered was the issue of erratic or a lack of funds. I would like to know what assurance the Government has given to the Copperbelt University (CBU) regarding its intentions to ensure that this problem does not recur.
Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we, as a Government, now have about six public universities. Out of which, we are only supporting two. Our biggest problem is this entitlement syndrome. Just because we have been supporting these universities for a long time, the students take to the streets whenever their allowances are delayed. Mulungushi and Mukuba universities are not giving us problems. It is for this reason that we want to move away from the bursaries to the loans scheme so that all the public and private universities can access the scheme. This scheme will be unlike the current situation which only restricts aid to two universities, which seem to be abusing that help.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I want to draw the attention of the hon. Minister to the fact that the credibility of the report, which is the basis of his actions, is dependent on the impartiality of the Caretaker Committee that he appointed. Could he indicate to this House how impartial that committee was and what criteria he used to pick its members.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the committee is impartial. I have already quoted, very clearly, how I picked the members that constituted this committee. It was through the Act which authorises the Minister to use his jurisdiction, in his right frame of mind, to pick anybody, including Hon. Mwiimbu, if I wanted to pick him.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: Yes, hon. Members of Parliament serve on the university councils.

Sir, let me end by saying that universities are places of learning and that is where we expect to find men and women of highly qualified academic prowess. It is expected that the people who qualify to go to university must go there to read their books and not to take to the streets and attract policemen and women.

Mr Speaker, the university is where we expect to find men and women who can contribute to finding solutions to problems in the nation like climate change, the human-immuno deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and economic malaise, among others. It is not where we should find lecturers chanting. That should be left to transporters or miners.


Mr Livune: The Kambwilis!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I want to state clearly that the Government will not accept to be held at ransom, intimidated or have anybody dictate terms to it. It will run public universities as prescribed by law. Therefore, I want to appeal to all the academic staff to go back to work before Friday. If they stay away from work until Friday, they would have clocked ten days away from work and that results in automatic discharge. If that will be the outcome, they will not get any benefits. 

So, I want to appeal to all our public university workers and repeat that the Government will not accept intimidation and allow the behaviour we are currently seeing from students. If the current situation persists, we will be forced to take a number of measures, including withdrawal of scholarships and bursaries. It is very clear that the students we are supporting are the ones giving us the most problems.

I thank you, Sir.




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

(a)    how much money the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) held on behalf of Meridien BIAO Bank at the time the bank was liquidated;

(b)    how much money had been paid to the depositors of the liquidated bank so far;

(c)    what the name of the bank paying the depositors was; and

(d)    what plans, if any, the Government had regarding the money not claimed by the depositors.

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mvunga): Mr Speaker, at the time of liquidation, Meridien BIAO Bank’s cash balances amounted to K1,775,000, which was in the form of statutory reserves. A total of K23,911,102.17 has been paid out to 42,467 depositors. The banks engaged to make the payments are the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) Plc, Standard Chartered Bank Plc and Finance Bank Zambia Limited. Further, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) has facilitated payment through its liquidation managers’ offices and BoZ Regional Office on the Copperbelt as well.

Mr Speaker, the unclaimed funds amounted to K1,440,348.84 and have been paid to BoZ. This is towards settlement of the bank’s debt, totaling K49,368,009.71. The House may wish to know that in line with the Banking and Financial Services Act, the recovery of expenses incurred by BoZ, in exercising its function as lender of last resort prior to liquidation of a bank, is ranked first. However, BoZ first paid depositors as part of its commitment to reduce the hardship of members of the public following the closure of the bank.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ntundu: Sir, it has been years since this bank was liquidated. Was the money to depositors and account holders paid without or with interest from the time the bank was liquidated to the time of payment?

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, having been an ex-officio myself, I will be able to articulate how the process works. In terms of liquidations and receivership, there are a set of rules that are enshrined within the relevant Acts to follow in terms of settlement of claims. Some claims are discounted, and more often than not, they are paid without interest. We can give the exact details later, but suffice to say, it is not kwacha for kwacha plus interest. 

There are a set of rules depending on how much money is recovered. We usually look at what the bank’s liabilities were versus the bank’s assets in terms of recoveries from the debtors. If there is a shortfall between the two, you can discount the payments. If there is an excess or surplus, which is seldom the case, you can pay interest. However, I can get the exact details later.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, in this case, what happened?

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, payments were made to depositors, but I can get the exact details as to whether they were discounted or not later. Most likely, these payments are discounted.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: So, we take it that the details are not on hand.

Mr Mvunga: I do not have the fine details, Mr Speaker.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what caused the closure of this bank and are the current banks not falling prey to the problems which Meridien Bank had faced?

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, we can get the actual details of the Meridien BIAO Bank situation later, but more often than not, when banks close, it is because there is a run on the bank. This means that the bank does not have the liquidity to service its obligations to the clients. Generally, that is what causes bank failures.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.





The Minister of Gender (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Gender Equity and Equality Bill, 2015. The object of this Bill is to: 

(a)    establish the Gender Equity and Equality Commission and provide for its functions and powers; 

(b)    provide for the taking of measures and making of strategic decisions in all spheres of life in order to ensure gender equity, equality and integration of both sexes in society; 

(c)    promote gender equity and equality as a cross-cutting issue in all spheres of life and stimulate productive resources and development opportunities for both sexes; 

(d)    prohibit harassment, victimisation and harmful social, cultural and religious practices; 

(e)    provide for public awareness and training on issues of gender equity and equality; 

(f)    provide for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, empower women and achieve gender equity and equality by giving effect to the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development; and 

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

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Delegated Legislation. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Thursday, 12th November, 2015. Hon. Members who wish to make submissions to the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.

I thank you. 




(Debate resumed)

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, it is time for the people of Katombola to also add their voice to the debate on the Budget which was presented to this House.

Mr Speaker, a budget is a wishful list of those that are entrusted with power to solve the many problems that affect the nation. A budget is a plan of action to liberate the republic, serve the poor people and those that are rich must co-exist so that the nation can continue to produce better results.

Mr Speaker, this Budget comes at a time when all of us are feeling the pain caused by this Patriotic Front (PF) Government. On page 1of the Budget Speech, paragraph 7, the hon. Minister says: 

“Mr Speaker, I want to assure the nation, through this august House, that the Patriotic Front Government is fully committed and resolved to meet these challenges. Over the last four years, we have built a firm foundation to sustain broad-based and inclusive growth, diversify and deepen the resilience of our economy and further entrench social justice so that all Zambians of every age and gender, and from all parts of Zambia, benefit from the nation’s development path.”

Mr Speaker, this statement sounds genuine but, in practice, it is not as it suggests. When the PF came into Government, it acknowledged the strong economic base that was left behind by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government. We wonder what happened to it. The PF claims that, over the four years it has been in power, it has established a strong economy, which raises a question that begs an answer. The PF is lamenting today. It found a strong economy, but claims that, over the years, it has built a stronger one. However, the happenings on the ground are different.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Poverty is widespread. As I speak here, Zambians do not know what they will eat tomorrow.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Sir, a small bottle of cooking oil, which used to cost about K8 when the PF came into Government, today, costs between K20 and K25, and yet the amount of money that the workers get has remained static. The PF came into power with a gift of recruitment and wage freeze to Zambians. People have not had salary increments, but the prices of commodities have kept going up each year. This is the fourth year of the PF in the Government and the price of things is going up, and yet it claims that all is well. However, things on the ground are not well. That ka small Vaseline vessel used to cost around K10 to K15.

Mr Nkombo: Now?

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, it now costs about K50. From those reasonable values, bread is now K10. What has the PF Government done that people must appreciate? Has this Budget laid the ground to try to alleviate that kind of suffering? No. There seems to be no hope for Zambians. The people are suffering. So, we expect a Budget that will bring relief to the people.

Sir, a 25kg bag of mealie meal is hitting K100 plus. Where are we going, as a nation? Our colleagues in the PF must wake up. They must help this country by driving it in the direction where it will be acceptable for a common person to live. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, on page 7 of the Budget Speech, in paragraph 42, I quote the hon. Minister saying: 

“Mr Speaker, the establishment of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is a demonstration of Government’s resolve to diversify the agriculture sector. In this regard, the Government will endeavour to stimulate growth in the livestock and fisheries sub-sector by providing the necessary technical and financial support.”

Mr Speaker, the people in the Government have lamented the mono-export product. However, there is something that seems dirty, but simple to do except people want to do things that have very little value so that they see results immediately. I want to say this without shame. The area I am talking about is animal husbandry or livestock sector. This sector is an open cheque. 

Mr Nkombo: It is a bank!

Mr Livune: Yes! It is not bad. This country is vast with a lot of grazing space which is not being utilised. In all these provinces of our country, there is enough land for cattle to graze, but some people believe that when you look after cattle, you are a mad person.


Mr Livune: The same people who say you are a mad person want to eat T-bone…

Mr Nkombo: Every day!

Mr Livune: … every day.

Mr Mwiimbu: That is why they are fat!

Mr Livune: Yes!


Mr Livune: Sir, it is unfortunate that people do not want to go into animal husbandry. I know some who have tried looking after cattle in small areas like golf courses even when they demonise this kind of business.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Sir, we know for a fact that they have tried to keep animals.

Mr Milambo: Yes.

Mr Livune: They must be the ones who should tell the nation how beneficial it is to look after cattle. It is not my fault if somebody cannot look after cattle. I do not drink milk by choice because if I want to drink milk, I can do that everywhere…

Mr Speaker: Now, you are debating yourself.


Mr Livune: Sorry, Sir. I am trying to emphasise that …

Mr Milambo: Yes.

Mr Livune: … keeping cattle can help people in a country to drink milk, eat T-bone and have all those by-products of cattle. In fact, there can also be exportation of beef.

 Sir, there is a ready market for beef. One can also produce shoes from cattle. In most rural areas, children walk about barefoot because they have no shoes. Keeping cattle will help us stimulate different industries to help people in Zambia drink milk as and when they want, use the same cattle to till the land and export beef.

Mr Nkombo: Draft power!

Mr Livune: Sir, cattle rearing is very important as it is going to add to the gross domestic product (GDP). 

Mr Speaker, you know that agriculture is a self-replenishing activity. It is not like mining. In mining, once you extract the minerals, they are gone forever. However, in agriculture, a cow will give me a calf this year, next year and so on and so forth.

Mr Nkombo: It is perpetual!

Mr Livune: Perpetually, Mr Speaker. It is a simple activity to deal with. One only needs to put their cards right. You must discipline yourself. You should not eat the cattle meant for rearing. In some areas where there was cattle re-stocking, people have chewed these animals. They have eaten them as meat. Somebody wakes up with a hung over, looks at a fat cow, a heifer, ati, “I want this same thing which looks good.” That is how they have eaten these animals. 

Sir, these animals can form a basis for a strong economy unlike depending on copper every day. We should stop crying. We must do the right things and I urge this Government to look at the livestock industry very seriously.

Mr Speaker, we are talking about diversifying and entrepreneurship to increase our revenue. I want to submit, here, that the prerequisite requirement for a Zambian entrepreneur is having a document like a national registration card (NRC), but we have a huge chunk of young people who are not registered.

 Sir, as I speak to you, many Zambians are not getting NRCs in the areas where this exercise must take place. For example, in Katombola, Kazungula District, at Musokotwane Palace, in Chief Mukuni’s Area at a place called Mulindi, the films for the production of NRCs ran out four days ago. Officers are just loafing doing nothing. 

In Livingstone, and the Nakatindi area in particular, material ran out four days ago. This is the situation in many parts of the Southern and Western provinces. 

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Commitments are being made on the Floor of the House that the materials will keep flowing to all areas, but nothing is happening. These people are too economical with the truth. They are systematically fine-tuning the disenfranchising of the people because they think that whoever gets an NRC in certain areas will vote for Mr Hakainde Hichilema. They have very bad thoughts in this regard.


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

Mr Livune: Yes, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I can see a disconnect. 

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I was trying to illustrate the importance of acquiring NRCs in order for young people to venture into economic activities such as the registration of their businesses, acquisition of loans that the Government is always announcing and getting employment so that they can contribute to the GDP. I thought it was important for me to go this route. However, I am sure that something has been said and, if I am talking to somebody who is reasonable, they have heard.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, on page 7 of the Budget Speech, there is something on energy and I would like to make a statement on the same. We know that we have an energy crisis and everybody is experiencing load shedding. Energy is an important aspect in growing our economy. I am not an engineer, but I keep wondering about the use of the Kariba Dam. I know that it is a reservoir with only one outlet to Mozambique. I ask myself why we let water pass through our lake to Mozambique which generates power and sells to us. Are we not able to keep this water from reaching Kariba?


Mr Livune: I was trying to understand the contribution of president Muliokela in this regard. The hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development seems to be the favourite of president Muliokela. So, I am yet to see how this thing will be implemented. 

Sir, I ask myself whether the engineers who constructed Lake Kariba Dam were so shallow as to create infrastructure which could fail to hold water for, at least, three drought seasons. I always wonder. There is little satisfying information that is given to people as regards this problem. We need this Government to be explicit and tell the truth to the people so that they know what the exact problem in the energy sector is. We need this facility like yesterday. We must work hard to reduce load shedding.

Mr Speaker, there is something that is very interesting on page 11, as regards water supply and sanitation. It states:

“Mr Speaker, in 2016, the Government plans to increase rural access to clean and safe drinking water from the current 67 per cent to 69 per cent and access to sanitation from 44 per cent to 47 per cent.”

 Mr Speaker, the Government knows very well that the Sikaunzwe and Kasaya areas, in Kazungula, have salty water. However, there is very little investment that has been taken there to help people drink clean water. Even though we sink boreholes there, we only reach water that is salty and cannot be used. If you use this water to prepare relish, you cannot take that relish. Therefore, we would like this facility to also extend to areas like Sikaunzwe, in Kazungula, so that people can have piped water. The Zambezi River is just a stone’s throw away from this area, and yet we hear of other areas in the country where there is piped water which are farther away. So, we want this facility to also be extended to the Sikaunzwe and Kasaya areas. Our people there are in trouble. We have teachers, for example, who are transferred from other areas who are not used to this kind of water and find it a huge challenge. It is time that the Government worked on this area to ensure that our people are not left out in the sharing of the national cake.

Mr Speaker, on education, I want to say something with regard to accommodation. Today, His Excellency President Lungu commissioned the construction of 2,000 houses. I have also heard many ministries talking about constructing houses. However, I have heard very little from the Ministry of General Education as regards houses for teachers, especially in the rural areas. This activity has been left to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) committees and it is not fair. We would like to see money allocated to this ministry for the construction of houses for our teachers. I need not less than 300 houses in Kazungula. 

Mr Speaker, in the other year’s Budget, there was a statement by the hon. Minister that 150 houses would be constructed. Hypothetically, 150 houses translate into one house per constituency. I wonder where I would even put that house. However, today, I heard His Excellency the President talking about houses for security personnel.

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Does it mean that His Excellency the President hates teachers in this country, especially in the rural areas like Kazungula? I have never heard any commitment from this Government to construct houses for teachers. What does it take teachers for? Teachers sacrifice a lot to go to rural areas such as Senanga, Sesheke and Kalabo. They are suffering. In some cases, four families share one two-bed roomed house. The situation on the ground is terrible. Therefore, it is not fair that only a particular group of people receive houses year in and year out. We want a commitment from this Government to construct more houses for the teaching fraternity so that teachers can also be given accommodation.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, like I said, when you speak after many people have already spoken, a lot of the good things will already have been said. I am referring to the people on the left side and not on your right.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, there is no need for those insinuations. The people on my right have not even started to speak, as far as I am informed. 

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, it is important that we do what we say when we are here. When we say that we are one and that we go to pray and reconcile, we should not pray and, at the same time, do evil things like deny our people NRCs. It pains me. If I had my way, I would beat up a lot of people with a sjambok. It is not fair and things must change.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr C. Bwalya): Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Zambia, and Lupososhi in particular, I wish to add my voice to the debate on the Motion of Supply moved by Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, Minister of Finance, through his address which was delivered to this House on Friday, 9th October, 2015. 

Sir, from the outset, I would like to pay exceptional tribute to the hon. Minister for presenting one of the best Budgets amidst the current economic problems ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Bwalya: … that the country is facing. Suffice to mention that the Budget gives a clear foresight on how to tackle many of the economic challenges that the country is currently facing. 

Mr Speaker, the current economic challenges that we are facing have clearly been outlined in the speech, including the measures that the Government will put in place to overcome them. Allow me to remind this august House that many of the problems we are experiencing, today, are not the making of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Bwalya: … but, like highlighted in the speech, these are mainly attributed to both internally and externally-induced shocks experienced from the second half of 2015 to date.

The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has gone through a lot of unforeseen problems, which may not have been highlighted in the Budget Speech. For example, just at the time when the PF started delivering the promises it made to the people of Zambia, Zambia was hit by the calamity of the untimely death of our beloved President, the late Michael Chilufya Sata. May his soul rest in peace. Some of the promises that were to be fulfilled were: 

(a)    putting more money in the pockets of Zambians by increasing salaries for civil servants,

(b)    implementation of the minimum wage, 

(c)    improvement of the living standards of the people through infrastructure development in the health and education sectors, and communication and transport sectors, through projects such as the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project and Pave Zambia 2,000 km Road Project, and
(d)    completion of the National Heroes Stadium, which hosted Zambia’s historic event, that is, the Golden Jubilee Independence Celebration. 

Mr Speaker, the death of the Head of State in any country, brings uncertainty in both the political and economic environments. It can also put any economy under pressure in the short run. During this period, a country can witness volatility in the foreign exchange market, volatility in the prices of key commodities such as fuel, reduction in foreign portfolio investment inflows, low tourist arrivals as well as loss of investment opportunities due to the increased cost of domestic borrowing and the general decrease in supply of foreign exchange on the market. These challenges have a multiplier effect and can pose a great threat to the economy. In the political environment, negative talk about a country and government, violent behaviour and cheap politicking by some desperate leaders of political parties can also have an adverse effect on the growth prospects of any country. 

Mr Speaker, the State funeral and the Presidential By-election were unfortunate events, as they were unplanned for and not in our Budget. Perhaps, this is the reason the Constitution of Zambia Bill of 2015, which was read for the first time in this august House, last week, needs support, as it contains solutions to some of the problems related to by-elections. My point is that the Golden Jubilee Independence Celebrations, followed by the State funeral and Presidential By-election, undoubtedly, put pressure on the Treasury. I have said all this because I feel that it is important to remind this House where Zambia has come from, prior to the ushering into office of our God-chosen and humble servant of the people of Zambia, His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. 

Mr Speaker, the challenges that the country is facing have been adequately highlighted in the Budget Speech. Challenges such as the unfavourable climate change led to poor rainfall, which resulted in low water levels in the Kariba Dam and low electricity production. This subsequently, affected production in the mining, tourism and agriculture sectors, which are sources of the much-needed foreign exchange for the country. The energy sector, in particular, has had unique challenges, ranging from the contamination of the oil pipelines to the reduced water levels in the Kariba Dam. This affected the power generation capacity of the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) and led to the load shedding we are currently experiencing. 

Mr Speaker, the global economy has had many challenges, which are well-known by this House. These challenges on the global economy are not the making of the PF Government. For example, the strengthening of the United States (US) Dollar against other major currencies is not the making of the PF. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the fall in the copper price, from US$6,829, in 2014, to US$5,160, in 2015, has had a significant impact on the growth prospects of our economy. The slowdown in the Euro Zone and the Chinese economy has lowered the demand for copper, which is our main source of foreign exchange earnings. Consequently, the foreign exchange earnings have declined from US$5 billion, in 2014, to US$3.6 billion, in 2015. This is also not the PF’s making. This is as a result of the happenings on the global market, which we are part and parcel of. Therefore, a well-meaning Zambian must sympathise with what the PF Government has gone through in the last one year. He/she must also support this Budget and the effort that this caring Government is making to put the country’s economy on the right path. It is in cognisance of these challenges that the people of Zambia overwhelmingly responded to the call for the Day of National Prayer and Fasting, by our God-fearing President, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his Budget Speech, highlighted the challenges the country is facing. This shows that the PF Government is honest and committed to confronting these challenges. From the Budget Speech, it is clear that, in the long run, stabilising the economy will require continued diversification, particularly, in the agriculture, energy, tourism and the mining sectors through promotion of investment and value-addition in these sectors.

Sir, this Government is cognisant of the fact that from the post-Independence period to date, the economy has heavily relied on foreign currency earnings from copper, which is apparently proving to be unsustainable. It is unsustainable in that the country does not have the machinery to process the copper into finished products. In addition, the copper price is determined by the London Metal Exchange, and it is evident from what we are going through that any changes in the price impacts negatively or positively on the economy. In the case of the low copper price, the Zambian economy dwindles and the country has little or no control in the pricing system on the London Metal Exchange. This begs an answer to the question why we have everlastingly relied on copper mining as a source of capital when we cannot process copper or control its price on the international market. 

Mr Speaker, as indicated in the Budget Speech, Zambia is endowed with natural resources. Most of our land has remained unexploited. Therefore, given that Zambians have an entrepreneurial spirit, this Government will endeavour to make the private sector the engine of economic growth by creating an enabling environment to support this growth. Value addition to primary products is being encouraged. For instance, there should be industries to process agricultural products such as fruits into juices, soya beans into oil, groundnuts into peanut butter, and cassava into glue, just to mention a few. 

Mr Speaker, there is over-reliance on maize as a farm product in the country. The Government is looking at other crops that farmers can grow in large quantities on this fertile Zambian soil for export. For instance, beans, cassava, millet, sorghum, rice and groundnuts, just to mention a few, can be grown for export. Moreover, Zambia has many water bodies. So, it should not matter whether there is rain or no rain. The Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is seriously putting measures in place to promote irrigation farming. Farmers are being sensitised on the benefits of irrigation farming and its importance in boosting the country’s economy.

Mr Speaker, with the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in place, the country will be a hub for the supply of fish and livestock products. Further, Zambia is gifted with eye-catching natural resources such as the mighty Chishimba Falls, in the Northern Province, and the Mambilima Falls, in Luapula Province, that many tourists are willing to spend millions of dollars just to have a glance. The Government is, therefore, aware of the need to beautify these tourist attractions sites and provide accommodation in order for tourists to spend as many days there as possible so that the country can generate income. 

Mr Speaker, in order to record meaningful success in diversification, and in an effort to realise His Excellency the President’s vision of embracing a transformative and smart handling of national matters, His Excellency the President has created the Ministry of Development Planning that is to be headed by the able-leadership of Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning. 

Sir, national development planning has had weak political accountability. The accountability that existed was mostly administrative. As a result, this has not achieved the desired co-ordination across the various sectors of the economy. With the Ministry of Development Planning, under the able-leadership of Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, political accountability will be enhanced and matters of national planning and development in nature brought before this august House, through various oversight instruments, will be acted upon quickly. The monitoring and evaluation mechanisms within the Office of the Vice-President and the Ministry of Development Planning will ensure that assurances made on the Floor of this House are monitored and implemented accordingly. 

For this reason, Sir, the PF Government has realised the need for a paradigm shift in the design of the national plan. In order to accelerate the socio-economic transformation process, the Seventh National Development Plan will be developed using the Integrated Development Approach. The Integrated Development Approach to development planning is a shift from a sectoral to a regional approach. This will involve identifying national strategic programmes which all sectors can focus on across various regions. This approach will help multi-sectoral strategies respond to national development objectives which address the challenges identified in meeting national development aspirations. 

Further, the approach will help with the co-ordination of mutually supporting activities in different sectors with a general objective in mind. Through this approach, only a limited number of unique national priority programmes are to be implemented, based on the country’s resource endowments, and comparative advantages will be zoned across provinces. 

As I conclude, Mr Speaker, allow me to urge hon. Members on your left to support this Motion so that they help the people of Zambia, particularly, those whom they represent in their various constituencies. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

The Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the speech that was delivered by the able Minister of Finance, Hon. Bwalya Alexander Chikwanda. I thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2016 Estimates of Expenditure, which was presented to Parliament on Friday, 9th October, 2015. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance should be commended for the excellent Budget and analytical presentation of the priority sectors and programmes of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the able-leadership of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, ... 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Chitotela: … the President of the Republic of Zambia. I must say that next year’s Budget rekindles the great inspiration and hope to restore the growth of our economy, regardless of the external and natural factors that are currently affecting our development effort. 

Mr Speaker, the PF Government has shown resilience to soldier on even amidst challenges beyond anyone’s control, as stated by the hon. Minister of Finance. These challenges currently before Zambia are everywhere else. So, to point a finger at one person is only an indication of failure to dialogue as one Zambia, one Nation. I want to applaud the hon. Minister of Finance for providing resources in the growth sectors of our economy, namely agriculture, energy, manufacturing, mining, transport and infrastructure development. This is in line with the Government’s development agenda. 

In order to support these critical economic sectors, the hon. Minister has also allocated funds to social sectors which include education, skills training, health and local government. To me, this demonstrates the Government’s continued commitment and passion to deliver on its promises to improve the lives of Zambian citizens through a broad-based and inclusive economic growth. Notable, among others, is the allocation, to my ministry, of K150 million, to facilitate the implementation of the action plan to create more empowerment and employment opportunities for the youth countrywide. 

Sir, as was stated by His Excellency President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, during the launch of the plan, on 12th August, 2015, the action plan is an integrated and inclusive strategy that will stimulate …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Chitotela: … empowerment and employment opportunities for the youth in the country. 

This, Sir, can only happen with the collaboration of other stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament. Therefore, the K150 million has come at the right time when the ministry is working in collaboration with other stakeholders on modalities that will assist us in the creation of empowerment and employment opportunities among the young people. We are already in discussion with key stakeholders on the involvement of skilled youth in public works such as the Pave Zambia 2,000 km Road Project and other contracts within the Government.

I would like to appeal to you all to assist the ministry in mobilising the youth across the country, even in your constituencies, so that they can be part of this project. As you may be aware, it is easier to empower a group than an individual. I would also like to appeal to hon. Members of Parliament in the Opposition to speak to the youth in their various constituencies to form consortiums. 

Mr Speaker, I also note, with delight, that there is another allocation to my ministry amounting to K49.5 million for youth skills training and development. Investment in education and skills training is very important in the development of our country. As such, the PF Government attaches great importance to skills development of young people because they are important partners in development. 

It is gratifying to note that apart from the youth that complement the formal education system, the Government, through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, runs youth resource centres that impart survival and entrepreneurial skills to out-of-school youth in order to enable them to engage in meaningful and gainful economic activities. Sir, this promotes self-sufficiency and contributes to wealth creation. There are also those children that live on the street for one reason or the other who need to be provided with social amenities. 

Sir, you will recall that His Excellency the President, during his address to this House, directed the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development to intensify skills training of street kids in the Zambia National Service (ZNS) camps. I am glad that the hon. Minister of Finance has put this directive into perspective by allocating K49.5 million for skills training. This will help us fulfill our mandate. 
Mr Speaker, as the hon. Minister responsible for child development, I am pleased that the hon. Minister of Finance has provided K261,554,000 for the promotion of recreation, culture and religion in the country. I salute the hon. Minister of Finance for having allocated these resources for this function in order to ensure that children actively participate ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left and right!

Mr Chitotela: ... in the extracurricular activities. The hon. Minister has also allocated funds for the rehabilitation of reading centres countrywide.

Sir, children have the right to play and the Government recognises the importance of providing reading and recreation centres to keep them busy, thereby, deterring them from indulging into anti-social vices.

Mr Speaker, before I conclude, I have listened to a number of debaters and I was wondering why Zambia is the only country where everybody is an economist. Even people that may not be able to understand the economic factors that are affecting our country purport to be economists.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: I have the ability to comment on the issues of the economy, therefore, I wonder whether these people who are talking about the economy are politicking or not. 

Sir, I have perused through the speech presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and he has indicated the challenges that the country is facing. He did not just end there, but went further to provide solutions. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: I want to commend the hon. Minister for providing those solutions because he is giving hope to the youth out there. Women and youth can come together and form consortiums and money that has been allocated can assist them to come out of poverty and create employment. That is the only way we can build our economy.

Mr Speaker, the only challenge I note is that youth are being used as tools of violence by people that want to ascend to certain positions. Imagine that you, students at the Copperbelt University, who are demonstrating and breaking university property, became Vice-Chancellors at the university, would you be happy to run a university which you participated in bringing down? That is the sense of responsibility that every elected leader must instil in the young ones. Even if we are aspiring for certain positions of political influence, we must not use the young ones to achieve this. I appeal to the youth not accept to be used.

Sir, I was not Minister of Youth, Sport and child Development, yesterday, but I am today and may not remain in this position forever. Similarly, His Excellency the President, Mr Lungu, was not the President yesterday but, today, he is. In the same way, he will not remain in that position forever. So, it is up to the youth out there to begin positioning themselves for leadership

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: It is up to the youth to position themselves for positions of leadership.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: Let me appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to not use the youth to advance their political ambitions. 

Mr Speaker, other people have debated that there are six Presidents on the Budget Speech Booklet Cover and they are looking for the seventh President, but who will be the seventh President and when will this person become the seventh President? Is it you or is it me? You may think that tomorrow ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chitotela: ... you will produce a Presdient, but the Zambian people are looking at your behaviour and determining who will lead this country into prosperity. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chitotela: It is not how much noise you make or how much you talk that will make you President, but it is about building confidence. Let the Zambian people have confidence in you. You need to inspire them to ...


Mr Chitotela: ... have confidence that you will take them to greater heights. However, you are wrong if you think you will ascend to positions of influence by abusing the youth. The youth should stand up and refuse to be used by lecturers because they might also want to be lecturers tomorrow. Do not be used as tools of violence.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare (Mr Chisala): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you, most sincerely, for according me an opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the 2016 Budget ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours. 

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was in the process of thanking you, most sincerely, for according me an opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the 2016 Budget Address by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, MP, whose theme is, “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All.” 

Sir, indeed, today, a number of countries, world over, Zambia inclusive, are faced with economic challenges. As a result of this, a number of people in our country have tried to put blame on His Excellency the President and the hon. Minister of fFnance for this. However, we have realised that that is the wrong way of doing things because we, as Zambians, belong to one country and are members of one family. In this regard, whether one belongs to the Opposition or not, when a problem of this nature comes, we are supposed to put our heads together and solve it.  

Mr Kufuna: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisala: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance indicated to this august House that in terms of macro-economic objects, policies and strategies for 2016, the focus will be implementing programmes that will enable Zambians to participate in various economic activities. The Government of the Republic of Zambia will accelerate the diversification of the economy, particularly, towards tourism, energy, agriculture and agro-processing with a view to continue to reduce poverty and inequality on a sustainable basis by focusing on industrialisation, job creation and youth empowerment.

Mr Speaker, in his address, the hon. Minister of Finance, emphasised the importance of agriculture in this country. It is a well-known fact that most people are engaged in farming. Therefore, as a matter of urgency, the Government will promote the diversification of the agriculture sector. In this vein, the Zambian Government has introduced the Electronic (e)- Voucher Scheme to give farmers a wider choice of agricultural inputs and also to allow agro-dealers to participate in the supply and distribution of inputs.

Mr Speaker, to further demonstrate the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s resolve to diversify the agriculture sector, the Government has established the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to significantly stimulate growth in the livestock and fisheries sub-sectors.

Sir, in his Budget Address, the hon. Minister of Finance, also reminded this House that in the area of manufacturing, the Government will continue to address the challenges faced by micro, small and medium enterprises. Some of these challenges are access to finance, markets and technology and the development of entrepreneurial skills in order to spur enterprise growth and contribute to job creation. 

Sir, it is encouraging to note that the hon. Minister of Finance also reported that the Government is currently supporting more than 1,800 projects in numerous economic activities in forty-two districts countrywide, thereby, creating opportunities for employment and income generation, especially for women and the youth. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to infrastructure development, the PF Government continues to make profound investments in developing key infrastructure in the country’s transport and communication sector. To this effect, the Government has continued to implement the road infrastructure programme under the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, L400 km Road Project and the C400 km Road Project which will soon be launched on the Copperbelt Province.

Mr Speaker, with regard to social sector policies and priorities, the hon. Minister of Finance reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to social justice. He emphasised that the Government will continue to undertake social protection reforms in order to streamline the way programmes are implemented and delivered. 

Sir, kindly, allow me to talk about the social protection sub-sector. The Social Cash Transfer Scheme, which has proven to be an effective intervention in providing social assistance to the incapacitated household will be significantly scaled up with an allocation of K302 million, in 2016, compared to K180.5 million, in 2015. In 2015, the Women Empowerment Programme, which provides finances and skills training to women groups has, so far, supported 5,780 women, in 2015. In 2016, the Government will continue with this programme and has allocated K16,402,500.

Mr Speaker, other measures that the Government will introduce include harmonisation of existing social safety programmes in order to foster an integrated approach, as opposed to delivering them in isolation.

Mr Speaker, finally, allow me to conclude by saying that social protection plays an important role in promoting social justice and harmony. Social protection plays an equalisation role by breaking the inter-generational transfer of poverty through empowering the citizens who have had no opportunity to lead a dignified life. As a result, in 2016, the Government has allocated K1.3 billion for social protection related expenditures. This will greatly help in uplifting the standards of living of the Zambian people, especially in districts where poverty levels are extremely high.

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

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Floor of this august House. Allow me to convey my condolences to the families of our two brothers, Hon. Chifita Matafwali, Member of Parliament for Bangweulu Constituency, and Hon. Humphrey Iddoh Mwanza, Member of Parliament for Solwezi West Constituency, who passed on this year. They will be greatly remembered for their contributions during debates in the House. I pray that their souls rest in eternal peace. I also wish to welcome to the House all the new hon. Members of Parliament who have joined us this year. 

From the outset, I would like to support the Budget that was presented to this august House by our capable and never failing Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda. The Budget Speech was very inspiring and it has given hope to the people who feel it is their obligation to contribute positively to the development of this country. I feel each citizen has an obligation to contribute to the development of this nation. As individuals, there are several contributions that we can undertake to enhance the development of our individual lives in this country. Factors such as an individual’s attitude towards the work environment and to his or her fellow human beings are key in transforming the well-being of our society. 

For instance, an individual with a positive attitude cannot litter his or her environment or report late when on duty. A positive and disciplined individual will perform his or her tasks or duties to the best of his or her ability and will not look down on others, but respect their views and decisions. Discipline is, therefore, an essential attribute for a person to possess a positive attitude which, ultimately, culminates in a unified society in which there is respect for individuals. Disciplined and united people can greatly achieve their goals and, therefore, create an enabling society.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has provided noble measures that are key in consolidating and safeguarding our past achievements and securing a prosperous future for all. What is remaining is an individual with a positive attitude who will actualise the measures that have been proposed. The Budget is speaking to every citizen of our great nation, Zambia. Total co-operation of every individual in this country is key in realising the achievements that have been set in the 2016 Budget. 

Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has provided an enabling environment in which positive and disciplined individuals can apply themselves and capitalise on the opportunities that are presented in the Budget. The Budget is a call for individuals to be objective and patriotic to their country. As a country and people of Zambia, we need to change our mindset if we are to attain individual and national goals. Our changed mindset must be exhibited in our places of work, trading places, schools, churches and our homes.

Sir, as you may be aware, agriculture and agro-processing are sectors that have a great potential to improve the economy of this country. The country is endowed with huge parcels of fertile land on which various types of crops can be grown and agro-processing plants set up. The allocation of K56.7 million towards irrigation, in the 2016 Budget, assures us that the Government will expedite the implementation of activities under the Irrigation Development Support Programme that will bring an additional 5,000 hectares under irrigation. Allow me to implore the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry to extend this programme to the existing co-operatives and those that will be formed in our various chiefdoms across the country. This will contribute positively to employment creation, industrialisation and the general improvement of the livelihoods of our people, especially those in the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, the launch of the Electronic Voucher Scheme that will be implemented in thirteen districts during the 2015/2016 Agriculture Season and the allocation of K5 million towards fisheries development shows that this Government is proactive and committed to diversification and employment creation. To this effect, the hon. Minister of Finance has demonstrated this by allocating resources to various functionaries that will facilitate the sustainable development agenda that the Government has embarked on.

Mr Speaker, maize production has formed the bedrock of the agricultural producers in this country. This has been necessitated by the provision of a guaranteed market for any maize grower by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and private sector. I, therefore, urge the FRA and private sector to extend this programme to other crops that have the potential of being large income earners for the country such as the production of cashew nuts, rice, groundnuts and pineapples.

 In addition, Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance has allocated K151 million towards environmental protection. I urge the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to consider allocating resources towards tree planting in urban areas, especially in chiefdoms, in order to conserve our environment. I wish to emphasise that women should not be left behind in the initiative to protect the environment because they are key players. Traditional leaders too, should be consulted because their engagement will guarantee the success of such programmes, as evidenced by the declaration of most of the chiefdoms as Open Defecation Free (ODF) under the Community Lead Total Sanitation (CLTS) Programme. This shows that our leaders in the chiefdoms are effective in implementing developmental programmes that are meant to improve the living conditions of the people they govern.

Sir, rural electrification is another programme that has brought about excitement among our people in the rural areas. This will lead to a number of homes in the rural areas and social amenities being lit and also the emergence of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in these areas. The Budget Speech, on page 2, paragraph 9, talks about expanding the fiscal position of the past years that has seen massive investments in our economy and country. The PF Government has heavily invested in infrastructure development for the past four years. This is essential for the development of our country. The PF Government has embarked on the construction of township roads, trunk roads, hospitals, clinics, police posts, police stations, universities, secondary and primary schools, communication towers, bridges, water reticulation systems, districts and towns, just to mention some projects that are being undertaken. The PF Government recognises the various economic challenges that the country is undergoing and is determined to pull through and continue its trajectory to developing the country. Everyone in this country, including hon. Members of the Opposition parties, are witnesses to the massive developmental projects being undertaken by the PF Government.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: I am here!

Mr Kufuna: Let us applaud the Government for doing such a commendable job. 

Finally, I wish to request every well-meaning Zambian to support this Budget that provides opportunities for one to realise his or her aspirations and maximise his or her potential in the development of this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr Mvunga): Mr Speaker, first of all, I would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting the 2016 National Budget to this august House under a very difficult and unpredictable global and, consequently, local economic environment.

Sir, through the comments that I have been picking up on the global market, all the renowned commentators are actually calling this period we are passing through unprecedented, from an economic perspective. Really, it is a scenario whereby when you wake up today, you do not know what tomorrow will be like. So, under these circumstances, it is highly commendable that the hon. Minister of Finance has put up a very coherent Budget for 2016. I would like to thank him for that.

Mr Speaker, the Budget speaks to challenges that most economies in Africa and globally are going through, hence, the befitting theme, “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard Our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All.”

Sir, most countries are feeling the impact of the global economic slowdown, more so for commodity-driven economies, where the bulk of foreign exchange revenues are driven by metal exports.

Mr Speaker, Zambia is not immune to what is happening globally, hence, the response by the hon. Minister of Finance, through the Budget presented, is being reflection of the appropriate response to the current challenges that are being faced globally and these include:

(a)    low copper prices that we have seen drop over a period;

(b)    low revenue collection from the foreign exchange earnings; and

(c)    power challenges that we have encountered as a result of the partial drought.

Mr Speaker, by and large, these challenges remain uncontrollable because they are completely outside the control of the fiscas.

Sir, we are aware that many people have said that we are failing to control these things because we are blaming the external circumstances. As I earlier mentioned, Zambia is not an island. It is a country amongst the global economies which are becoming one, hence, the challenges of one country being felt by another. For example, the slowdown of the Chinese economy, which predominantly consumes Zambian exports, is felt directly by Zambia and there is no way this can be avoided. The only other way we can avoid this is to find alternative markets to which to sell our copper. However, unfortunately, most countries, at world level, are going economic slowdowns. Therefore, it is not easy to shift into such an arrangement. Therefore, what we have been left with is to remain focused, tighten our belts, be disciplined and ride these words.

Sir, globally, economies are known to go through peaks and troughs in terms of better days and hard days. We should desist from making immediate reactions and changes to our course of action as planning due to unforeseen circumstances may arise. So, we need to be extremely careful that we do not change policies each time we hit a storm. We should instead remain focused until we ride a storm and get through it.

Mr Speaker, we can only spend what we collect in revenues supplemented by grants, concession loans and external commercial borrowing. The extent to which we can we can expand our revenue collection is finite and not infinite. Our collection of revenues can only be done up to a certain extent. Therefore, revenue will always be a limiting factor in formulation of a National Budget as well as at personal level.

Sir, Zambia’s stagnation in infrastructure investment has previously created an accumulated backlog of capital expenditure programmes for the country which is a cornerstone for creating future economic development for our country. This notwithstanding, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has been brave enough to undertake an aggressive infrastructure investment programme whose results are there for all to see.

Mr Speaker, as earlier explained, revenue opportunities are not infinite and, therefore, the call by the hon. Minister of Finance to optimise expenditure, in 2016, as reflected in the 2016 Budget Theme could not have come at an opportune time.

Sir, this approach of expenditure optimisation is reflected in the budgeted 2016 Budget deficit of 3.8 per cent. A lot of critics have questioned whether this is achievable. The answer to this is not for the hon. Minister of Finance to provide. The answer lies in our collective resolve to support the 2016 Budget and consequently achieve the Budget targets.

Mr Livune: Question!

 Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, “where there is a will, there is a way,” is a famous saying. So, nothing stops us from achieving the targets that have been set in 2016 Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mvunga: Sir, to achieve the targets set, it is important to exercise financial management discipline by all of us. I, therefore, challenge all of us to ask ourselves a simple question when we are spending public funds, which is: Would I spend this money the way I am spending it if it was my own money? I would like to repeat that: Would I spend this money the same way I am spending it if it was my own money? 

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by congratulating the hon. Minister of Finance on presenting a very coherent Budget that fully recognises the challenges prevailing in the global markets and at the same time ensures positive gross domestic product (GDP) in our economy which is significantly higher than our peer group countries within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and elsewhere.

Sir, I also wish to urge all to ensure tight monitoring of expenditure during this period of declining revenues in order for us to achieve our Budget targets. May I urge our corporate citizens, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), all individuals and citizens of Zambia to ensure that we fully comply with the tax laws and ensure voluntary payment of taxes to the Government in order to ensure that it meets its service and infrastructure delivery targets for the benefit of all Zambians. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to urge the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), through the hon. Minister of Finance, to ensure maximum penalty is meted out on those found to be deliberately bypassing the rules of the country. 

Sir, may I also extend this awareness to this august House that previously, as Zambia, we were more of a domestic market with regard to the information that flows within the market. Ever since we issued the first Euro bond, the country has been split into two markets, the domestic market and the international market and the information needs for these two markets is different. Therefore, we need to be mindful, particularly, as leaders in this House of the statements that we issue, with regard to what the international market is picking up.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mvunga: Sir, more often than not, statements are not issued out of facts, but out of politicking and ensuring popularity is gained, which is to the detriment of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the true reality is you may fight the PF Government by issuing adverse statement against it, however, the pain will be felt by all Zambians, including those who are non-PF Members once the consequences of those statements hit the market.

Hon. Government Members: Hera, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Mvunga: Sir, it is, therefore, in the interest of all Zambians and all well-meaning leaders of Zambia to ensure that whenever we issue statements, they are factual. In a democratic dispensation, we cannot stop people from commenting. As a matter of fact, constructive criticism is more than welcome as it will make the Government fully aware of what it needs to shift and change to improve the operating environment. However, non-constructive criticism, which is based on non-factual information, is highly misleading and suicidal to this nation. 

Mr Speaker, more often than not, as we have gone on the world road shows, we have been asked about when numbers are being deliberately misrepresented by renowned Zambians who have no excuse of ignorance about the numbers them. It is clear that the intention of the information being provided is totally to mislead the international investor community to play punitive measures against this country which, to me, is highly unpatriotic and unbecoming of our citizens displaying such behaviour.

Mr Speaker, as you can see from our Budget, most of the resistance and comments as to whether we can achieve the Budget targets are coming based on the information that the investor community is feeding out of comments that are being within the country, more also, our social media which is uncontrollable and to the detriment of our country. 

Sir, as we march to the 2016 Budget, I wish to fully support it and I am more than convinced that we can achieve its targets.

 Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mvunga: Mr Speaker, I am also urging hon. Members of this House that the achievement of this target is a collective responsibility of all leaders.

So, even as we ask for projects in this House, we should always ask ourselves whether we would spend our own money the way we are spending Government funds. If we had to document, through the Parliamentary debates, the projects that have been requested for in this House by the hon. Members, we would find that they require, probably, twenty times higher than the actual revenue collection that the country collects annually. That is quite unrealistic, unsustainable and undoable. It is as simple as that. You can only spend money which you have. So, as we request for these projects, we need to bear in mind that the country is in dire need of making it better, and future investment is required. To do that, we need to set our priorities straight because we do not have an endless revenue stream that we can just spend left, right and centre. It needs to be a disciplined and focused approach.

Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting the Budget.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to say a few things on the energy sector vis-à-vis the Budget. I noticed that when you were calling me to debate, you were looking to your right. I am now here. I am within the reach of Hon. Mbulakulima and Hon. Alan Mbewe.

Mr Speaker, firstly, I want to express my profound gratitude to the hon. Minister of Finance for making energy one of the priority sectors in the 2016 National Budget. This has been illustrated by the 60 per cent increase of the budgetary allocation to the Rural Electrification Fund (REF) and the concessions that have been given to players in the sectors.

Sir, as we all may be aware, energy is very important to the socio-economic development of any country, and its contribution to Zambia’s development cannot be over-emphasised. The energy sector plays an important role in driving a country’s economy. All other sectors of the economy cannot thrive without a well-functioning energy sector. We are aware of the negative impact that the electricity deficit has caused. As a ministry, we are not just sitting idly, but doing everything within our power to ensure that the situation is normalised. My ministry is working hard to ensure that each sector of the economy has reliable sources of energy. Thus, for 2016, my ministry pledges to work towards security of supply of petroleum products as well as electricity.

Mr Speaker, it is with this background that my ministry is pursuing several programmes and projects to reduce the impact of load shedding. The following are the programmes that my ministry will continue implementing in the 2016 Financial Year:

(a)    40 MW Kabompo Gorge Hydro Power Project. This is being developed by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). Preliminary works have already been done;

(b)    10 MW Musonda Falls Power Station, which is being developed by the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited, in Luapula Province;

(c)    Utility Scale Solar 300MW. This will be implemented by ZESCO Limited;

(d)    Kalungwishi Hydro Power Project (247MW), which will be developed by Lunzua Power Authority (LPA);

(e)    EMCO Coal Fired Plants (340MW) which will be developed by EMCO Energy Zambia Limited;

(f)    300MW Maamba Coal Fired Plant which is being developed by Maamba Collieries; and

(g)    expansion of Ndola Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) from 50MW to 100MW.

Mr Speaker, these are some of the projects that we have embarked on and are still working on.

Sir, my ministry’s goal, during the 2016 Financial Year, is to ensure that security of supply of petroleum products to the nation is maintained at all times. This will be achieved through the continuation of infrastructure development and long-term supply contracts for petroleum products. In terms of infrastructure development, my ministry will continue to establish and construct fuel depots in all provincial centres. I am sure you are aware that we completed the Lusaka and Mpika depots, while the works on the Solwezi Depot are 99 per cent complete. We are busy working in Mongu and identifying new sites in provincial centres. This will increase the storage capacity and contribute to enhancing security of supply of petroleum products as well as assure affordability of fuel in the country.

Mr Speaker, under renewable energy, in the coming financial year, my ministry will embark on several renewable energy programmes that will have a positive bearing on development, especially in the rural areas. These include the installation of wind energy systems, promotion of use of solar energy for water pumping and promotion and generation of use of bio gas. Under the renewable energy programmes mentioned above, we expect positives and major impacts on other sectors such as education and health.

Mr Speaker, with the above-mentioned programmes and projects, our aim is to have a positive contribution on other economic sectors and reduce the impact of load shedding on both domestic and commercial users.

Sir, under the water sector, my ministry will continue with the assessment of the country’s water resources for both ground and surface water. This is meant to ascertain the potential and suitability for various uses. In order to improve access to water, the Government will continue with water resources development programmes which will see a continuation of programmes in dam construction, rehabilitation and the construction of water points ... 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Zulu: ... or boreholes. The Government will continue to invest money in water resources infrastructure to increase access to water for economic and social development. This is meant to improve people’s livelihoods, especially in rural areas.

Mr Speaker, I was in Israel last month and that country’s former Head of State said:

“Let us forget about the experts of now. These are experts of things that have already happened. We need experts for the future and if you want to achieve that, forget about your experience and stick to your vision.”

Mr Speaker, Mr Shimon Peres went ahead and said:

“Our children, let us not give them knives to stab and chop off each other’s necks. Let us stop that. Let us, as leaders, give them hope. They need hope.”

Sir, I always say that, as leaders, we hold two tins. One tin is filled with petrol and the other with water. So, when there is a small fire, it is up to us, influencers, to decide what to do with the water and the petrol. It is either we pour water and put it out or pour petrol on it and make it bigger. So, as leaders, we need to watch our tongues and what comes out of our mouths. If you may allow me, I want to say that it is us, leaders, who are responsible for the tribalism in this country. The people down there do not think on tribal lines, but because you want to achieve certain things, you bring in tribe.

Mr Ng’onga: Livune!

Mr Zulu: Sir, the people on the ground do not know about these things, but because of what comes out our mouths, as leaders, it is now becoming an issue. We must always watch our mouths so that, together, we can build this country. It is about Zambia and not about the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Patriotic Front (PF), United National Independence Party (UNIP) or the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). So, let us put our heads together and ensure that the energy sector develops. Developing this sector will help us with the energy crisis. The power outages do not only take place in my house alone. They happen in the entire country, regardless of which party you belong to. I am told that in the Northern Province, there is no load shedding because of the new hydro power station which we put up there. So, for the energy sector, we are looking at small hydro power stations which will cater for areas which are not connected to the national grid. So, we have achieved something there by putting up the 14MW hydro power station. This is what we are doing. So, please, let us work together as the PF, UPND, UNIP or MMD and as hon. Members from all over the country, ...

Hon. Government Member: Join us!

Mr Zulu: ... especially Hon. Livune. Let us put our forces and heads together to develop, ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Zulu: He is saying join us.

Mr Speaker, I thank you and welcome back.

The Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Speaker, I also want to join my colleagues in commending the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting a very good Budget.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwaliteta: I want to say that I am proud to be part of this Executive.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, I also want to join other hon. Members of this august and, indeed, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, in thanking you for the able and impartial manner in which you have always presided over the business of this House during your tenure of office.

Mr Speaker, on behalf of Lusaka Province, allow me to also pass my deepest condolences to the bereaved families of the hon. Members of Parliament who passed on before the opening of this Session of Parliament. We will really miss their valuable contributions to this House and development of this country at large. May their souls rest in peace.

Mr Speaker, I wish to highly commend His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for his inspiring and thoughtful speech which, among other things, gave guidance to us on how to transform our country into a developed nation, fifty years from now. Under his able leadership, the overall growth and development of the country has continued to improve. 

Mr Speaker, Lusaka Province is committed to deliver efficient and effective services and will continue to work towards reducing poverty, creating jobs and making economic growth more inclusive in order to achieve sustainable development in line with the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP).

Mr Speaker, for 2016, Lusaka Province’s budget ceiling is K60,533,931, compared to K78,223,842, in 2015. The reduction in the budget is because the functions of the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) have been removed from the province and are now under the Zambia National Service (ZNS).


Mr Mwaliteta: I wish to state that the 2016 Provincial Budget has aligned its expenditure estimates to meet the objectives of the revised SNDP. Let me outline some of the key objectives.

Mr Speaker, the province continues to ensure improved quality of health for all through enhanced accessibility to health services and reduced diseases and deaths by decongesting big hospitals through opening and upgrading of clinics to first level hospitals. Construction works under this sector are almost 85 per cent complete. One of the notable works that have been carried out is the construction of the Luangwa District Hospital, which was completed in March, this year. This facility is awaiting commissioning once the equipment is installed. In addition, the Bunda Bunda Clinic, in Rufunsa Constituency, is complete after the toilets were changed from ventilated-improved pit (VIP) latrines to water-borne toilets. 

Mr Speaker, Lusaka Province has a number of training schools in the health sector where expansion projects are on-going. For instance, a school of anesthesia is under construction at the Chainama College grounds. At the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) Nursing School, a library, classroom and office block are under construction. At the dental school, the construction of a lecture theatre, library and office are on-going. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health, through the provincial health office, is upgrading five clinics to first-level hospitals. These are Kanyama, Chawama, Matero, Chilenje and Chipata. This is being done to decongest the UTH and other big health centres. However, …

Mr Musukwa interjected.

Mr Mwaliteta: Yes. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to the construction of thirty-two health posts in Lusaka Province, twelve are in progress and five have been completed.


Mr Mwaliteta: There are a number of projects that are still on-going in the province and others will be rolled out in 2016. All this shows the strong political will of this Government to provide quality health services to citizens.

Mr Speaker, under the education sector, we have ten …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members on the right, you are distracting your colleague, clearly so.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, we have a lot of school infrastructure development under construction in Lusaka Province. Last week, I was seated here when my sister was debating and said that this is the worst Executive this country has ever had. I wondered why she said this when Chongwe has a lot of development which has been embarked on by the Government.

Mr Sikazwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: For example, there are two universities, two major trunk roads and township roads that are being worked on in Chongwe Constituency. So, how could my sister say such a thing when her constituency has benefitted a lot from what is happening in the whole of Lusaka Province?


Mr P. Ngoma: Who is your sister?

Mr Mwaliteta: Hon. Silvia Masebo was the one who said that. Even a secondary school has been built and named after her mother.  At the moment, we are constructing a school …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, I think concentrate on issues in the Budget Speech. You are now debating an hon. Member of Parliament instead of the Motion.

Mr Mwaliteta: Sir, I am trying to respond to her statement that this is the worst Executive ever and we have done nothing in Chongwe Constituency. In Chongwe, there is … 

Hon. PF Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mwaliteta: … the Njolwe Road which passes Mikango Barracks up to Chiawa. Now, Chiawa is in Kafue Constituency. We have worked on the part of the Njolwe Road that is in Chongwe, but are yet to start on the part that is in Chiawa. We have actually completed working on many roads in Chongwe. We have even completed the road that goes to the airport via Kanakantapa. These are the projects we are working on in her constituency and we are very busy.

Mr Speaker, in Kafue Constituency, we are constructing a school called Chikupi Secondary School. There is also a secondary school being built in Rufunsa. So, we have a lot of infrastructure development going on in Lusaka Province. We also want the people of Zambia to take note that the Michael Chilufya Sata Bridge in Chirundu was completed and people are now using it.

Mr Sikazwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: So, we appreciate the many projects this Government is undertaking.

Mr Speaker, in an effort to promote social justice, the Social Welfare Department will continue assisting the vulnerable groups through the Public Welfare Assistance schemes with food rations, education and medical support. In 2014, there were 2,566 beneficiaries of public welfare schemes, amounting to K379,868. The Lusaka Province has been implementing the Social Cash Transfer Scheme since 2014. This is a very good move. The scheme has been implemented in Lusaka and Luangwa districts alone, but other districts will come on board later.

Mr Speaker, we have done a lot in order to meet the water demands, especially in the rural districts of Lusaka Province. In 2014, the provincial administration funded the rehabilitation of the Zemba Zemba Dam, while the Department of Water Affairs at the, then, Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education funded the construction of Funzwe Dam, in Kafue Constituency. It is a new dam and works are on-going.

Mr Speaker, with regard to environmental issues, efforts have been made to reduce deforestation by embarking on tree planting activities as part of the Forest Protection Management Programme. Tree plantations have been established at Kanakantapa, in Chongwe. About 6 Ha have already been planted. So, you can see that we are doing a lot. In Mpande, which is in Kafue, about 14 Ha of trees have been planted. 

Mr Speaker, despite Lusaka Province facing challenges, a number of milestones have been achieved. As guided by His Excellency the President in his Speech, during the Ceremonial Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, That we embark on a journey of cultural transformation for a smart Zambia, I can confidently say that Lusaka Province has and will continue to create opportunities towards this cause. Through this, everyone can benefit and contribute to a vibrant province in accordance to our Vision 2030.

Mr Speaker, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to add some words to the debate on the Budget Speech which was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance and delivered to this House on 9th October, 2015. 

Mr Speaker, before I address myself to issues in the Ministry of Agriculture, allow me to make reference to three important quotations from this important document that the hon. Minister ably presented to this House.

Mr Speaker, as many other debaters have indicated, this is a very comprehensive Budget and it was presented at a time that our country is facing some economic challenges.

Mr Speaker, on page 1, paragraph 5, the hon. Minister of Finance has said”:

 “Mr Speaker, the year 2015 has been economically challenging. The slowdown in the Euro Zone and in the Chinese economy has lowered the demand for, and the price of copper. With copper being our main source of our foreign exchange earnings, the fall in price has put pressure on the value of the kwacha and lowered out tax receipts from the mining sector. Further, climate change has become a reality and is affecting our day-to-day lives. It affected the timing, distribution and amounts of rainfall last season that adversely affected our agriculture sector and weakened our capacity to generate sufficient electric power.” 

Mr Speaker, I will come to this later. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister in paragraph 7 said, 

“Mr Speaker, I want to assure the nation ...” 

Sir, this is an important point that our hon. Minister of Finance brought out to assure this country and the people of Zambia who were listening, and all those doubting Thomases, including those who want to champion things that they may not even understand better.

Mr Mwila: Livune.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance further indicated that: 

“ ... through this august House, that the Patriotic Front Government is fully committed and resolved to meet these challenges.”

Mr Speaker, this is what the able leadership, which is driving this economy, is saying and it is an assurance to the people listening out there that, yes, there could be difficulties that we are facing now, but your economy is being handled by competent men and women. Men and women who have been entrusted with the power to run this country and they will not let this boat down. We will succeed and get beyond these challenges and our economy will pick up again.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, in paragraph 9, my hon. Minister of Finance, went ahead to say:

“Mr Speaker, it is evident that the expansionary fiscal stance of the past four years will need to be moderated in the current global economic environment. It is in this context that the theme of the 2016 Budget is “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard Our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All.”

We thank you, Hon. Chikwanda, for having assured all of us that the economy is in safe hands and Zambians need not worry. Even those doubting Thomas’s that may be championing falsehoods will live to regret because we know that this Government is in control.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, allow me to turn to the issues affecting us in the Ministry of Agriculture. Let me address this honourable House on issues of the agriculture sector in our economy, which I represent in this House as Deputy Minister. The Government’s goal for the agriculture sector is to promote development of an efficient, competitive and sustainable agricultural sector which assures food security and increased income. In this regard, the Government recognises the need to strengthen and expand the emerging opportunities and to also deal with the challenges the agriculture sector is faced with. This will, undoubtedly, contribute to the overall goal of poverty reduction and economic growth. As a demonstration of the Government’s commitment to diversification in the agriculture sector, the Government launched the Electronic Voucher System under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) on 12th October, 2015, in Mbabala, Choma District. 

Mr Speaker, this programme was launched by His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Most of our leaders and hon. Members of Parliament from that area were invited but, unfortunately, a number of them shunned this important programme which will bring record milestones for the people that they represent. This programme aims at promoting private sector participation, improved targeting of beneficiaries and diversification in the agriculture sector by giving farmers the opportunity to select crops of choice. 

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

Mr Ng’onga: The Electronic (e)-Voucher System is giving farmers a wider choice of inputs including, …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, just a moment. 

Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, can you resume your seat.

My practice is that during this segment, I discourage points of order.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I was saying that this e-voucher system is giving farmers a wider choice of inputs, including requirements for crops other than maize as well as livestock and fisheries, veterinary drugs, fingerlings and fish feeds. Further, the scheme allows farmers to source their inputs directly from agro dealers, thereby, reducing the role of the Government in the supply and distribution of inputs.

Mr Speaker, my ministry wishes to encourage our leaders, both at district and provincial levels, and hon. Members of Parliament to address themselves to this innovative programme so that those who may not have sufficient knowledge on how this system will work, can come through to the Ministry of Agriculture and ensure that they support this programme because it is for the future. 

Mr Speaker, under the FISP, the Government is supporting 759,000 small-scale farmers with inputs such as fertilisers, maize seed, rice seed, sorghum seed, groundnut seed, orange maize seed for nutritional purposes, soya bean seed and sunflower seed.

The increase in the number of crops being supported under this programme is a clear indication of my Government’s commitment to agricultural diversification.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: Given Zambia’s resource endowment, diversification of agriculture will be promoted, taking into account the comparative advantage in crops, livestock and fisheries.

Mr Speaker, on the e-Voucher System, this Government is supporting 259 farmers. There will be no disparity whatsoever between those who are on the conventional FISP and those on the e-voucher. The Government has taken all the measures necessary to ensure that farmers get equal representation and subsidy support.

Mr Livune: Question!

  Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, allow me also to indicate that the reason the Government has focused on diversification is to ensure that our farmers do not only depend on maize year in and year out because maize can also succumb to weather conditions. There are years when maize does not do well even in our country, but if we are able to empower our farmers with several other seed crops such as cash crops, they will be able to get money in their pockets which they can use to buy grain elsewhere and be food sufficient.

Sir, I appeal to hon. Members and leaders in this country to not discourage farmers from participating in these systems because they are meant to improve their livelihoods as they diversify from their …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: … normal maize production year in and year out. 

Mr Speaker, under the agriculture sector policies and programmes, both food and cash crops are being targeted for increased production and productivity in order to attain and sustain food security and income generation. Taking into account the agro-ecological conditions, small-scale farmers will be supported to increase production and productivity. Overall, crop production increase will come from expansion of the areas under cultivation, expansion of irrigable land, increased productivity, through improved variety; research releases and better research and extension linkages; increased use of better and sustainable farming practices, including conservation farming, crop rotation and low input agriculture, increased yields of animal drought power and appropriate post-harvest technologies are also being put in place to improve the post-harvest management and utilisation. 

Mr Speaker, change in weather patterns, otherwise called global warming, is a reality. Therefore, all the farmers are being encouraged to embrace what we are calling climate smart agriculture by this Government, through our extension services, so that they are able to feed themselves and grow crops even at a time when weather conditions are not in their favour. We can only achieve this if we encourage one another because most of us come from rural communities where we interact with farmers. 

Sir, we need to encourage early soil preparation. If our farmers prepare their fields and are ready for the coming season, they will be able to harvest more crops. The next thing is that they should plan to be ready for the coming season. 

Mr Livune smiled. 

Mr Ng’onga: Even as we speak, today, Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Member who is smiling is also a farmer. So, if he has not prepared his land, he could be late because those who will catch the early rains will be able to harvest better crops. So, my dear colleague, please, make sure that you encourage our farmers and those that you interact with to get ready for the coming season.

Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to comment on the negative impact of the changing climatic conditions globally. Zambia is not spared and is threatened by climatic hazards such as drought, floods and the rise in temperatures which precipitate food insecurity and poverty and, ultimately, affect the sustainability of the rural livelihoods. The agriculture sector is key in addressing these challenges, as it is a fundamental means of improving incomes and food security for the largest group of the food insecure in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture is now promoting climate smart agriculture approaches which involve the systemic incorporation of climatic change, adaptation and mitigation into agriculture development planning and investment. One of the steps adopted by this Government of the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Agriculture, is to mainstream climate smart agriculture technologies into the National Agriculture Investment Plan with the aim of capturing the synergies between mitigation, adaptation and food security.

 Mr Speaker, the Minister of Agriculture provides the necessary policy and technical opportunities to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and incomes, build resilience and the capacity of agricultural and food systems to adapt to climate change. This will strengthen farmers’ capacity to adopt context-specific climate smart agricultural solutions and provide stakeholders with the necessary tools, capacity and information to make evidence-based climate smart options for agricultural development. 

Mr Speaker, I will quickly look at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and what it has done in this particular year. The FRA was given the mandate to procure about 500,000 metric tonnes of maize as budgeted. However, knowing very well that we had come through a season that was not very favourable not only for Zambia, but also the region, the Government made a very good and timely decision to allow the FRA to mop up all the maize that was in the field. As we stand, it has been able to procure close to about 900,000 metric tonnes making our nation food secure.

Sir, there is no need whatsoever for any Zambian to worry about the running of food. Unfortunately, there will be speculators that will want to champion the export of the grain into neighbouring countries, but this country is food secure up to the next harvest season.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: The hon. Minister is doing everything possible to ensure that no Zambian starves before the next harvest season.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: On the payments, even as we stand now, our colleagues in the Opposition are fully aware that the FRA is paying farmers throughout this country.


Mr Ng’onga: This is why they are now quiet and are not talking …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: … because on good things, they do not talk.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Yes, as we stand, the FRA is paying farmers.


Mr Ng’onga: All the farmers in your districts are receiving their money. This Government is determined to ensure that farmers are fully paid and compensated before they start their planting season. 


Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, as regards input distribution, about 70 per cent of D-Compound and 45 per cent of urea have been delivered in the districts, as we stand. The seed inputs should be with farmers in the coming week. We are very determined, as a Government, to ensure that the agriculture sector is supported and made to thrive even with the threats in the weather patterns. We know that our farmers will rise to the challenge, have grain sufficiency and be able to export to our neighbouring countries. So, comrades and colleagues …


Mr Speaker: The word ‘comrades’ is not permitted. Withdraw it, please.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the word and thank you for your guidance.

 Hon. Members of Parliament, learn to pat others on the back or say, “thank you” when an administration does well in certain sectors. It is important to say, “Thank you.” Do not wait until His Excellency the President, Mr Chagwa Lungu, is no more for you to say that this was a good decision. No. When the man is driving well, learn to say, “Thank you and well done.” 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: I am sure that the Zambians listening to me have heard that the agriculture sector is well anchored and the leadership is doing whatever it can to improve it.

Let me assure those farmers who have harvested their wheat that the hon. Minister of Agriculture will not allow wheat imports, unless the farmers disadvantage the locals by increasing the price of wheat so that they can gain more than what they are supposed to gain. We have leadership in place that will support the growth of the agriculture sector and put more money in the farmers’ pockets.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!


The Minister of Works and Supply, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1746 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 28th October, 2015.