Debates - Wednesday, 28th October, 2015

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Wednesday, 28th October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to present my ministerial statement on the current events at the University of Zambia (UNZA). 

Mr Speaker, the UNZA students have just registered for the 2015/2016 Academic Year. Classes began in earnest this week and our anticipation has been that the students would focus on settling down to their studies. Unfortunately, some students have chosen to disrupt the normal operations of the university and the lives of ordinary Zambians in the vicinity of the university.

Sir, the reason given for this unacceptable behaviour is that they seek an upward adjustment to the allowances for Government-sponsored students.

Mr Speaker, we have always encouraged students in higher education institutions to use the established structures to dialogue and resolve issues. The Offices of the Dean of Students, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor are all open to the students for dialogue. The students’ unions are also represented on the councils of public universities. All these structures are available for dialogue. 

Mr Speaker, the University of Zambia Students Union (UNZASU) has not made a formal request to the Ministry of Higher Education to have the allowances for Government-sponsored students. The request should have been presented to the management of UNZA who, in turn, would have brought it to the attention of the Ministry of Higher Education for consideration. 

Mr Speaker, my ministry has only heard of the demands of the students through their riotous behaviour and public utterances by representatives of the students’ union. This type of behaviour is unacceptable in an institution of higher education in a modern Zambian society and is particularly repugnant. 

Mr Speaker, I, therefore, wish to appeal to UNZASU and its members to stop all acts of public disorder in their effort to attract attention. Instead, they should present their concerns through the administrative structures of the university for the consideration of the hon. Minister of Higher Education.

Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasise that the support that the Government of Zambia provides in the form of bursaries to students in institutions of higher education is a privilege and not a right. Further, the bursary system supports students at only two of the six public universities, namely UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU). The large majority of students in the broader higher education system are not provided with this facility. It is, therefore, most unfortunate that a few privileged students at UNZA choose to resort to riotous behaviour while a large proportion of their brothers and sisters do not have access to the bursary system. Many Zambian students in the higher education sector have to struggle to pay tuition and other fees. They are entirely dependent on their resources and those provided by their families. 

Mr Speaker, UNZASU and its members must question the morality of their demands and the manner in which they are making the demands. Do they have the moral right to demand an improvement in a privilege while the majority of the population has limited access to it? As scholars, they must question the morality of their actions. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to demand that UNZASU and its members cease their riotous behaviour with immediate effect and focus on their studies. The Ministry of Higher Education will not tolerate any further disruption in the academic and administrative life of the university. The Ministry of Higher Education will work with the Ministry of Home Affairs to ensure that students at UNZA do not …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: … disrupt the normal life of the general public in any manner or form. It is the tax paid by the general public which sustains the bursary system. Any acts of anarchy, violence or disturbance of public order will attract punitive action under the Laws of Zambia and regulations of UNZA.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister clarify whether there is no morality in the students asking for an increment in the allowances when they feel that the allowances cannot meet their requirements.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, my statement was very clear. There are many students who are not privileged to access meal allowances. As the Government, we pay the allowances which have now been found inadequate. I do not think that demonstrating is a form of dialogue. The University of Zambia Student Union (UNZASU) has not approached the university management, University Council or the Government in order to make their request. Instead, the students decided to go to the streets to burn cars of people who actually pay taxes from which their bursaries are paid. That is unacceptable.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA) are not new.

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this chance to raise this point of order contemporaneously. Is the hon. Minister in order not to answer the question that I asked but, instead, agree with me that the manner in which the students asked for an increment was not right? My question was: Despite airing their demands in that manner, do they have the right to ask for an increment? 

Mr Deputy Speaker: I thought I heard the hon. Minister say that much as he disagreed with the manner in which they want to bring their grievances to the attention of the authorities, they have the right to ask for an increment. Anyway, could the hon. Minister clarify that.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is not true that we argue with the hon. Members even when they have said the right thing. What the hon. Member of Parliament for Siavonga stated is right. They have the right to make a request. However, it is the manner in which they are doing it that we are not happy about.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Continue, hon. Member for Nkana.

Mr Kazabu: Mr Speaker, before the point of order, I was saying that the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the sister institutions are not new. In an effort to forestall such disturbances, are there meetings that are held between the management and student leadership, even when there are no problems, in order to keep the students up to speed on the challenges they face at the universities?

Dr Kaingu: Sir, the statement was clear that the students are not happy with the allowances they are getting because they believe that they are low. This information was not brought to our attention, but only came out when the students demonstrated at the roadside. I agree with the hon. Member of Parliament for Nkana that some of the problems at the university are old. I think it is high time we solved them. I shall remain focused as long as I am Minister of Higher Education. I urge hon. Members, especially those who patronise universities, to advise the students that what they are doing will cost them their bursaries and even their education.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that most of the disturbances are as a result of the inadequate allowances? The Government came up with a good policy of students’ loans. Why are the students not given the loans so that they settle down and concentrate on their studies?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we could have a problem with funding, however, the students must realise that bursaries are a privilege not right. The money may be delayed, but it will eventually come. The students should also appreciate that there are a few of them who are privileged to get bursaries. Therefore, they should be grateful to the Government for that. The Students Loan Scheme has reached an advanced stage. It is our wish to bring it to this House before it rises.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has not offered any solution to the problem in his statement. Is he going to increase the allowances since he stated that they are low?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, what I am finding very strange with the institutions of higher learning is that their way of dialogue is now militant. This is unusual. As far as the Government is concerned, no request was received for an increase in the allowances. I stated that we only heard this from the grapevine and have not been told what the real problem is. Once the problem is presented to the ministry, we shall evaluate it. If it is true that the allowances are low, we shall see whether or not we have the capacity to increase them. If we do not have the capacity to increase them, they shall remain the same.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Minister’s counsel to the universities. However, what measures is he going to put in place to curb the riots at the universities?

Dr Kaingu: Sir, that is a good question. In my statement, I was very clear that if the riotous behaviour continues, the students risk losing their bursaries and could lose their places in the university. We shall not allow anarchy and that manner of engaging the Government. If the students have any problems, they can engage the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, unions or the hon. Minister. I believe in an open-door policy. I have met with the University of Zambia Students’ Union (UNZASU). So, I am wondering why the students resorted to going to the roadside to stone vehicles of people who pay the taxes from which their bursaries are paid.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, student unrest has been part of our universities, dating back to the 1970s. The hon. Minister has clearly stated that it is high time this issue was resolved although I have also heard some threats from him. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether there is a blue print in the Ministry of Higher Education through which he hopes to address this issue once and for all. 
Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to assure the House that these are not threats, but real issues. Let me tell the hon. Member that I will fall back on the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation that the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has been talking about. Otherwise, I have already listed down the names of students whose bursaries I was to going to cancel with immediate effect but, because of the spirit of forgiveness that is flowing …


Dr Kaingu: … in our country and was initiated by our loving and caring Republican President, I will forgive them. Although it may sound like a threat, let me make it very clear that if there will be another incident after this statement, I will actualise the cancellation of bursaries.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, there is a need for a lasting solution to the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA).

 Hon. UPND Member: Yes!

 Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the Government has to find a solution to this. 

Sir, I am aware that some co-operating partners can be found, through the Ministry of Finance, to advance some monies to the Ministry of Higher Education for students instead of the Government subsidising their fees. Is the Ministry of Higher Education not considering coming up with a loan scheme for students and bond them so that they can pay back when they start working? 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, although the Chair advises us that there are no nephews and brothers, in this House, I think my nephew was not in the House when I responded to that question.

Sir, we are seriously working on the Students Loan Scheme and this has reached an advanced stage. Our wish, ceteris paribus, is that we bring to the House a Bill to enable us to pass the law on the scheme.  


Dr Kaingu: I hope Hon. Shakafuswa is not implying that when students are on the loan scheme, then, they can misbehave. I suppose we are dealing with a behavioural problem of people we are admitting at the university. I do not think Hon. Shakafuswa was that militant when he was a student at the university.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I am sure that no parent would like their children to be rioting when they are supposed to be in class. As parents and, especially those of us who have children at the University of Zambia (UNZA), we must continuously urge our children …

Dr Kalila: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: … to avoid going on the streets, breaking property and so on and so forth.

Sir, in his statement, the hon. Minister indicated that education is not a right but a privilege. I would like him to shed more light on whether, as usual, the Patriotic Front Government (PF) has changed its policy on education.

 Mr Speaker, as much as we would not want our children to riot, we should appreciate that riots are part of the phenomenon of the university. However, the brutality of the State Police, as seen in the pictures that are circulating on the social media, is worrying. Would the hon. Minister, who is a product of UNZA like many of us seated in this House, do something about this because they are making this country look like a police state? What is he doing about this because I will not like my son to be brutalised like I have seen in those pictures.

 Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Chongwe gave a good preamble. It is true that parents who have children at the public universities should advise them to behave because now it will not be business as usual. If they are caught, they are going to lose the opportunity to continue with their education.

Sir, I did not say that education is not a right. However, if that is what I said, then, the hon. Member should forgive me. I am sure if other hon. Members paid attention to what I said, they would agree with me that I said a bursary is a privilege and not a right. 

On the issue of police brutality, I would not want to speak on behalf of my colleague, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, because that would be going into his portfolio. I would like to advise the hon. Member not to stir the hornets’ nest because what they are doing is not good. Policemen are working to restore law and order anywhere where the law has broken down. If anything, we do not have much say in such matters. So, when there are riots at the university, this provides the police an opportunity …


Dr Kaingu: … to …
Hon. UPN Members: Ah!

 Dr Kaingu: … go to all lengths to find the culprits because they rarely do this kind of work. I cannot give advice to the police because they do not fall under my jurisdiction. However, I will advise the students to stay away from trouble. I would also like all the hon. Members to know that they can laugh about this today because they have not been affected but, tomorrow, it might be their cars that are stoned by the students.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, the University of Zambia (UNZA) is not the only university in Africa that is suffering from inadequate funding, insufficient student allowances and other related issues. I am surprised that the students at UNZA are always rioting. Has the Government got a deliberate policy or programme in place to ensure that it engages the students and dialogue with them each year in order to resolve some of the issues that affect them. Do you have a deliberate policy in place to nip the problem in the bud?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, generally, the students we admit in our universities are adults. In view of this, the assumption is that they should know why they are there. So, it should not be a matter of policy for us to tell them to behave. UNZA and the Copperbelt University (CBU) are not the only universities in Africa that are beset with such problems. Why are there riots at these universities? What I know is that most of my colleagues from the Opposition will, ...

Hon. Opposition Member: You are in the Opposition?

Dr Kaingu: Yes, I am from the Opposition. I am a Member of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).


Dr Kaingu: Sir, most of my fellow Members from the Opposition are trying to use the students ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: ... to disrupt peace in Zambia. I know of one whose name I will not mention. I am talking about a very big person, with a big stomach, ...


Dr Kaingu: ... and another one who is tall who went to Mulungushi University to distribute T-shirts to the students. These individuals are actually president and vice-president, respectively, of a political party. With this kind of behaviour, there is no possibility of forming Government. If you form a Government of anarchy, then, you shall have problems. So, please, stay away from these institutions. Let the students learn without any disturbance.
Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, I know that this decent political party, the Patriotic Front (PF), which I work for, cannot ... 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: ... do what you people are doing.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has spoken at length about the student allowance. How much is the allowance that he is talking about?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is pleasing to respond to a question from my former Permanent Secretary (PS). Well done, and welcome to the House.


Dr Kaingu: This is a good question. Currently, each student is paid K22.50 per day. That is a lot of money. Now, the students, ...

Hon. UPND Members interjected.

Dr Kaingu: How much are you paying your servant?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, the students are now asking to be paid K35 per day. However, I have already said that it is the manner in which they are trying to call for dialogue that is creating problems. They cannot go on the streets and start stoning innocent people’s cars when there is no dispute. So, hon. Member, we believe that the K22.50 that we are paying the students is adequate.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, in the governance of universities, threats have never been a solution anywhere in the world.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, universities are never governed by threats no matter where those threats come from. That is not the nature of universities. As hon. Minister of Higher Education, and given the deep-rooted problems of the universities, leading to serious instability in the institutions, have you, as the final policy director, thought about establishing a committee of experts on higher education to advise you on these deeply-rooted problems, which can never be solved by threats? That is so you can be best informed on the policy direction of the institution which might provide long-lasting solutions to the instability of the institution. As microcosms of society, clearly, this is necessary.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, by his admission, the hon. Professor has said that this has been a long-standing problem. What this means is that even him, who is an expert and was Vice-Chancellor of that institution and Minister of Education before, had a ‘bite’ of this problem and left it begging for solutions. Secondly, I am not issuing any threats. However, the hon. Member must know that it is not my job to run the university. As a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Zambia (UNZA), he is aware that there are two instruments at our disposal to run the university. We have the University Senate, which looks at the academic life, and the University Council, which looks at the administration of the university. So, I can issue those threats because I am not the one running the university. Let those who are running the university do it properly.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: That is not my responsibility, hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda.

Hon. Government Member: Yours is to threaten.

Dr Kaingu: My responsibility is to make sure that once the policies are not followed, I will gently issue a threat.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Otherwise, I should discipline the Senate and Council and, eventually, the students who are failing to adhere to the Patriotic Front (PF) policies.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lombanya (Solwezi East): Mr Speaker, like others have said, the problems at the universities are deep rooted. I remember that the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry was constituted eighteen years ago, following serious disturbances at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU). Money was spent on this exercise and recommendations were made on various issues, including the Bursaries Scheme that we are talking about today. That idea was mooted eighteen years ago. However, it has been brought before this House today. I do not know whether the hon. Minister has had occasion to look at the recommendations and the Cabinet White Paper on that matter. I remember, ...


Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?

Mr Lombanya: Mr Speaker, the question is: Has the hon. Minister looked at the White Paper on the recommendations of the Bobby Bwalya Commission of Inquiry to find lasting solutions to the problems at the university?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, it is not my job to look at reports of commissions of inquiry. 


Dr Kaingu: My job is to look at the policies governing education in this country and I read a lot about this. However, let me tap on what the hon. Member has said. One of the biggest causes of disturbances at the University of Zambia (UNZA) is the failure of previous governments to discipline students because of fear of losing elections.


Mr Hamudulu: Including the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).

Dr Kaingu: I am saying this because I was an hon. Minister in the past governments. So, I know what the problem was. However, this Government will not fail to solve a problem because of elections. If anything, we shall win the elections if we address these matters. I am saying, “we” as part of the Government and not the Patriotic Front (PF).


Dr Kaingu: My colleagues on this side can speak as the PF, but I will speak as part of the Government.


Dr Kaingu: So, we shall win with a landslide victory because we are not scared of solving any problem.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: For a long time, people have avoided solving the problems at UNZA and many sectors, especially energy, agriculture and education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, one of the contributing factors to the lack of a solution to the problems at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and other institutions of higher learning could be related to whether or not those in leadership have attended the institutions of learning. If one has been there, he/she will tend to understand how student bodies function.

Mr Muntanga: He has not been there?

Mr Nkombo: In his response, the hon. Minister said that he first heard about the troubles at the university through the grapevine. So, he is obviously trying to resolve the matter that he heard about through the grapevine and by using what we, on this side, perceive as threats. As he was responding to one of the questions, he made reference to a list which, I suppose, he has with him there, of the names of students who were to be guillotined from the institution. However, in line with the President’s new stance on reconciliation and forgiveness, he has opted not to take that action. However, the tradition of this House is that when you make reference to …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ask your question, hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Speaker: Yes, Mr Speaker.

The tradition is that when you make reference to a document, you lay it on the Table so that we understand the seriousness that is attached to the matter. In order not to appear to be making empty threats, would the hon. Minister be kind enough to lay on the Table the names of the students whom he has forgiven …


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am addressing you …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Yes, I can hear you.

Mr Nkombo: … and those who have not been to the university are shouting, “Question!”


Mr Nkombo: Would the hon. Minister be kind enough to lay that list of students on the Table because this is a serious matter. I have a daughter at UNZA. Therefore, I want us to tackle this problem together by counselling the students at UNZA, instead of pointing fingers at who dropped a T-shirt where and how. Hon. Mukanga and I were students at university at the same time. He is the only familiar face ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, your question has been heard. However, I do not think the hon. Minister should be forced to lay that paper on the Table.

Dr Kaingu indicated dissent.

Mr Deputy Speaker: No, it is not acceptable.




144. Mr Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    whether the Government was aware of the acute water crisis in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency;

(b)    if so, what measures the Government was taking to solve the problem; and

(c)    when measures would be implemented.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the water shortage in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency in Katete District due to the poor yield of boreholes resulting from reduced rainfall.


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, on my left!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Limited (EWSC) and Katete District Council, is undertaking the following measures to mitigate the situation:

(a)    drilling new boreholes to mitigate the adverse effects of the reduction of water production capacity;

(b)    constructing a storage dam on Katete stream. The major water supply infrastructure and works are now near completion. Once completed, the dam will provide water to Mkaika Constituency in Katete District; and

(c)    regularly monitoring the current water supply situation until the next rainy season.

Mr Speaker, the Government has already drilled twenty-six boreholes to provide water in various villages in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency. A further twenty boreholes have been allocated to Katete District to avert the water crisis. The construction of the storage dam and related infrastructure is ongoing and will be operational by February, 2016.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order on the procedure and integrity of this House. You will recall that last week, I raised a point of order on which you ably ruled that I had debated my point of order pertaining to the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) to enable the people of the Southern, Western and Eastern provinces to register as voters. We were assured, on the Floor of this House, by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs and Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister in Charge of Development Planning that measures were going to be put in place to ensure that members of the public who qualified to obtain the NRCs and later register as voters, will be afforded the opportunity to do so.

Mr Speaker, as I speak this afternoon, …

Mr Nkombo: Now.

Mr Mwiimbu: ... I am aware that there is a serious shortage of materials for making the NRCs in most of the constituencies in the Southern Province. The NRCs are not being issued due to a lack of materials.

Mr Speaker, we are also aware that on 11th November, 2015, the Mobile Voter Registration Exercise will come to an end, save for the district council offices. Taking into account the situation on the ground, I would like to raise the following issues: …

Mr Sikazwe: You are debating?

Mr Mwiimbu: I am not debating, but raising a point of order.

Mr Speaker, next week, this House will debate the Constitutional Amendment Bill that affects the wellbeing of the people of Zambia and, in particular, the people of Monze Central Parliamentary Constituency whom I represent. Further, this House will debate and approve the 2016 Budget for the Republic of Zambia which affects the people I represent in Monze Central.

Mr Speaker, the people of my constituency are so aggrieved at the lack of materials for the issuance of NRCs that they want to start demonstrating. I have heard that that is not the only constituency that …

Mr Muntanga: Even Kalomo Central.

Mr Sing’ombe: Dundumwezi

Mr Mwiimbu: … is threatening to demonstrate.
Mr Lufuma: Even Kabompo.

Mr Deputy Speaker: What is your point of order, hon. Member for Monze Central?

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the Government in order to continue treating us like second class citizens in this country by denying the people we represent the NRCs which are proof of their being Zambian? If the people I represent are denied the acquisition of the NRCs, will they be considered as Zambians? Will we be wrong to say that the people in my area are being discriminated against and treated as second class citizens? 

Mr Speaker, is the Government in order to mislead this House by saying that something is being done about the lack of materials for the issuance of the NRC when, in fact, it is a scheme to disenfranchise the people who are supposed to vote next year …

Hon. UPND Members: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and to hoodwink us to vote for a Constitution which is discriminatory and a Budget that is not in our favour? I need you serious ruling, Mr Speaker.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: I think I can summarise your point of order. The way I understand it is that there is a problem of shortage of materials for the issuance of the NRCs which are a prerequisite to getting a voter’s card. This is an important question. I listened to the news at lunch time today and there was an item on the Chitimukulu who complained about the issuance of voter’s cards. People need the NRCs in order to get voter’s cards.

Can the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, whom I cannot see here, come up with a ministerial statement by Friday or Tuesday next week latest to shed light on the shortage of materials for the issuance of NRCs.

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

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the twenty-six boreholes, which were allocated to Katete, were not enough. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether there could be a provision of water bowsers to supply water to the worst hit areas like Chavuka, Chimutende and Mkaika wards.

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the situation does not require the Government to provide daily services to the people in the named areas because they are able to salvage water though it is not enough. Currently, people can access water for their daily use.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the problem of water in Mkaika is due to inadequate boreholes. This problem is in all districts, including Mbala and Mpulungu were water is actually above the surface and flows from the top downwards, because most utility companies are failing to provide water. 

Mr Speaker, is it not time the ministry decentralised the operations of water utility companies to the district level so that we have district water management boards?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, that is a good observation. We are in the process of decentralising all operations, including those for water utility companies. I believe all the services will be decentralised to the community level as we proceed with the decentralisation process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, currently, the provision of safe water is a very big concern in the country, especially in the face of the El Niño and the fact that water levels in most of the areas are low, resulting in the shortage of water. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has thought of increasing the allocation in next year’s Budget which should go towards resolving the issue of water. For instance, why do we not get K2 billion from the allocation for road construction and take it to water development because people can drink water, but cannot drink a road?


Mr Shakafuswa: Are you considering doing this so that people can feel that the Government is working?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the demands in the country are of equal importance. If this Government stopped constructing roads, the people will rise up and say that the Government is failing to provide roads.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Chisala: Hear, hear!

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, yes, water is life. Considering that the issue of water is being treated as a disaster this year, the Government has put in place many interventions, including the provision of water. The Office of the Vice-President has improved its coordination of the line ministries in order to improve the provision of water countrywide. The Government has taken the provision of water seriously.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the Eastern Water and Sewerage Company can also assist alleviate the problem of water in Katete. 
Mr Speaker, many of the water utility companies are operating at a loss such that they are failing to provide the required services. May I find out from the hon. Minister whether there are any plans to capacitate the water utility company so as to serve the people of Katete better. 

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member followed the hon. Deputy Minister’s response, he could have heard him indicate that a dam is being refurbished in Katete. So, one way in which we are capacitating water utility companies is to provide modern infrastructure which they can use to supply not only affordable, but high quality water to our people. At this point, they should be able to sustain their operations.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what the ministry is doing about boreholes that have been sunk throughout the country. Water and sanitation is one area the ministry attaches great importance to to the extent that it has been assigned new Land cruisers. However, most of the boreholes that were sunk not long ago are dry. Is there any mechanism in place for them to monitor the sinking of boreholes, especially that they are sunk at more than K40,000? What are they doing to ensure that the boreholes are worth the money being spent?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s question is twofold. Firstly, he would like to know what we are doing to ensure that we monitor the drilling of boreholes. Before a drilling company is contracted to drill a borehole, agreements are signed between the ministry and the contractor. The agreements determine what needs to be done in case the borehole dries up before it can be utilised. The contracts provide for another borehole to be drilled.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to inform the hon. Member that the ministry is looking at the possibility of coming up with a monitoring framework because it is equally concerned about the indiscriminate drilling of boreholes. We need to ensure that we regulate the drilling of boreholes in order to avoid a crisis.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, in Mkaika Constituency, there are boreholes which are not dry but are not functioning. When do you intend to rehabilitate such boreholes?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of boreholes is a continuous exercise. The hon. Deputy Minister indicated that apart from just rehabilitating the boreholes in Mkaika, we shall soon sink twenty boreholes in addition to the existing ones.

Hon. Government Member: Balevota bwino.

Mr Kampyongo: So, the hon. Member should be assured that we are concerned about the situation and will ensure that the people of Mkaika are saved from this situation of a lack of water.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.



(Debate resumed)

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Minerals Resources (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the period 1st January, to 31st December, 2016, that was moved by the hon. Minister of Finance on 9th October, 2015.

Mr Speaker, I am greatly indebted to all the hon. Members of the House who have debated the Motion before me, especially in regard to the mining industry.

Mr Speaker, before I proceed, I would like to put on record my profound condolences for the colleagues that this august House lost this session of the House. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate several hon. Members of Parliament who have come to this House after convincingly winning the elections that were conducted in the recent past. 

Mr Speaker, I must hasten to mention that I intend to confine my debate to the following issues in the mining sector: Diversification, monitoring and regulation of the mining industry, and the performance of the mining sector.

Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that the Zambian economy is heavily dependent on the mining industry and, copper in particular. The economic hardships we are experiencing now are largely attributed ...


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, on my left! 

You are consulting rather loudly. The hon. Minister may continue.

Mr Musukwa: ... to the decline in copper prices. Unfortunately, we have little control over the prices at the international market. However, as indicated in the Budget Speech by Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, this is a call for diversification which must be seriously looked at.

Mr Speaker, the diversification, which I am espousing, largely falls within the mining sector. We must understand that for a long time, the economy of the country will continue to rely on copper or the mining industry. As we diversify to other sectors in terms of development, we need to ensure that we diversify within the mining sector. In this regard, we are cognisant of the fact that using the mining sector, we can spur the development of other sectors in Zambia. 
Mr Speaker, Zambia is heavily endowed with mineral resources which can be harnessed for economic development. Apart from copper, we have a variety of gemstone and industrial minerals whose exploitation, in an efficient and sustainable manner, can offset the huge effects that our country is bearing as a result of overdependence on copper when the prices plummet.

Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, the Government of the Republic of Zambia is working on measures to improve production and marketing of gemstones, starting with emeralds, in order to increase their contribution to the Government revenue and economic development. These measures will include redefining the sizes of several mine plots, which are small, in order to attract larger investment and enhance monitoring of the sector. In this regard, several licences that we have given mining houses, especially small-scale mines, are being grouped with assistance from the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holding (ZCCM-IH) in order to redefine the resources and increase investment from the private sector. In the area of industrial minerals, the Government, working with co-operating partners, is developing a framework to enhance the capacity of miners, regulators, and other stakeholders in this sector to increase production. 

Sir, the House may wish to know that there are many Zambians in the mining sector whose products can readily be consumed locally. Revamping this sector will definitely contribute to employment creation and development of other sectors, which include agriculture and tourism. Industrial minerals include phosphates, stone aggregates, lime, dimension stones and clay. These could create a number of other industries, which our country can rely on to generate revenue, create jobs and move our country to another dimension. 

Mr Speaker, as regards  the monitoring and regulation of the mining industry, there have been complaints in our country that the nation is not benefiting much from the mining sector due to lack of monitoring mechanisms and effective regulations to captain the industry. This has been mentioned by several players, including those in this House. In this regard, the Government is working on creating a metal marketing corporation. In the past, Zambia had the Metal Marketing Corporation of Zambia (MEMACO), which used to monitor copper exports. However, the export of copper is not monitored today because MEMACO is no longer in existence. As a result, the marketing of copper has been left to other players in the mining industry. MEMACO was effective those days because there was only one mining firm called the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) Ltd. Today, the mining industry is in private hands and so there are a number of mining companies that have their own clients and marketing strategies to optimise their profitability. Therefore, the Government needs to come up with a strategy that will respond to the current situation. As the hon. Minister of Finance mentioned in his Budget Speech, there are two projects at the moment that are monitoring the export of copper. There is the Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Project under the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the other one is the Mineral Production Monitoring Project under the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development that is supported by the European Union (EU). The two projects are aimed at enhancing revenue collection by improving monitoring and regulation of the mining industry. The fire fighting by the Government to address challenges in the mining sector will be a thing of the past when the two projects have been completed,. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that the Government will soon spearhead the formulation of a Country Mining Vision in line with the African Mining Vision. The objective of this will be to ensure that mining is fully integrated in the National Development Plan so as to avoid issues of policy inconsistencies that are some of the critical issues that have affected the mining industry in the recent past. I urge the House to support the piece of legislation that will address this issue when it will be brought to the House. 

Mr Speaker, lately, the mining industry has come under a lot of pressure mainly due to the depressed metal prices. Despite the low commodity prices, copper production at the end of August, 2015, stood at 467,380 tonnes. This was 2.8 per cent more than what was recorded in the corresponding period in 2014. The increase in copper production is largely attributed to the commencement of production at Kalumbila Mine and increased production at Lumwana, Mopani and Luanshya mines. Copper production for 2015 may surpass that for 2014, but it will be less than the projected production of one million tonnes. The Government would like to encourage the mining industry to continue working hard to ensure that we achieve the projected production value of one million tonnes of copper. 

Mr Speaker, in light of the falling copper prices, the mines have come under a lot of pressure. In this regard, my Government is discussing with various mining houses to ensure that we navigate our way out of this critical situation without breaking the law. My Government is also encouraging mine owners to look at innovative means of keeping the mines afloat. The suspension of operations, declaring of workers redundant and placing mines under care and maintenance in order to navigate out of this critical situation must not be the priority of the mining houses. We implore the mining sector and mine owners to ensure that they move towards ensuring sustainability of mining operations in this critical time of poor metal prices. The Government would also like to encourage mining houses to continue to redefine resources within their tenements in order to grow production and prevent job losses. In the wave of depressed metal prices, mining houses must ensure that they reduce overheads and increase production. It is a practice for any good businessman to stockpile products and sell at the best price when the season for high prices comes. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by stating that the difficulties being experienced in the mining sector are certainly not unique to Zambia, but cut across several of her competitors. In most cases, some of her peers have been affected adversely. Many other countries that are going through the same situation have put up similar measures to ensure the survival of the industry. 

To this effect, Sir, the Government remains open to running and managing the mining industry through private investors whilst encouraging transparency and accountability. The Government continues to promote a consistent, stable and reliable fiscal regime in order to create a win-win situation. While rewarding the investor, we must ensure that this is not done at the expense of the welfare of our people. The Government will continue to consult with the stakeholders such as the Zambia Chamber of Mines, mine owners, civil society and the Zambian people at large, so as to navigate out of this critical time and put Zambia on the map again. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to assure the Zambian workers, particularly miners across the Republic of Zambia, that my Government is determined to ensure that jobs are protected and that the industry survives by ensuring that production grows. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Supply for the 2016 Budget delivered to the National Assembly on 9th October, 2015, by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda. 

Sir, my presentation to this august House will include both the Ministries of General Education and Higher Education. 

Dr Phiri: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance, whose theme was “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard Our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All,” was delivered just after His Excellency the President delivered his wonderful speech, which received accolades across this country ... 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: ... on the transformation agenda in order to make Zambia a better country. Hon. Chikwanda simply actualised the Speech by the Republican President, His Excellency Mr Edgar Lungu, to this august House. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the speech by the hon. Minister of Finance touched on a number of issues, ranging from investment in the energy sector, education and skills, health, road infrastructure, social protection and investment in the economic affairs of our country. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to touch on the energy and road infrastructure sectors, knowing too well that the hon. Ministers responsible for them are here. This is because these two sectors affect the operations of my ministry. For instance, at the moment, we have the problem of load-shedding that many stakeholders have blamed on the Patriotic Front (PF) Government.  

Sir, we do not need to blame the Republican President because the poor operations of the energy sector are as a result of the lack of investment in this sector which this country has witnessed in the past. We found this problem. Like Hon. Dr Kaingu said, we found this problem when we came into power, but we do not want it to continue, hence the bold decision we have taken to review the tariffs. So, the people should be thankful to the PF Government because it is only the review of the tariffs that will attract investment in the energy sector. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: That way, that teacher or civil servant in the rural area of this country, including those in urban areas, will have a reliable supply of power. Therefore, I would like to ask my colleagues to join the PF Government in unlocking the potential of the energy sector of this country …


Mr Mabumba: … in order to provide power to the barber shop owner as well as the mining industry. Together, we can build the sector. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank Hon. Chikwanda for allocating K118 million to the Rural Electrification Fund. Most Questions on the Floor of this House are about schools that have not been powered yet. This allocation will go a long way in powering many of our rural communities and public institutions. This is one way of motivating teachers and other civil servants to work in rural areas failure to which  we risk their moving to urban areas.  

Mr Speaker, without road infrastructure, which is also related to our operations as a ministry, we cannot open up investments in rural areas. Many universities and schools are being built in this country, but the concern from hon. Members of Parliament is the lack of monitoring of the institutions because they are not accessible by road. 

Sir, the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, which the late President Sata commissioned will enable the Ministries of Higher Education and General Education to monitor schools. This way, will further improve the operations of the schools. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: I, therefore, would like to commend the hon. Minister of Finance for allocating K6.63 billion towards the improvement of road infrastructure. At the moment, when a teacher is deployed to Mitete or any other school in the rural area, he or she immediately requests for a transfer simply because there are no social facilities in those areas.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank Hon. Chikwanda for allocating K9.14 billion to both the Ministries of General Education and Higher Education. This is the highest allocation in next year’s Budget. 

Mr Speaker, the 2016 Budget Address has made further proposals aimed at consolidating the gains that this country has made in transforming the education and skills sector since 2011. For instance, before the PF Government came into power, early childhood education centres were a preserve of urban areas. However, because of the commitment of the late President, Mr Sata, whose life we are celebrating today to mark one year since his demise, this changed. The late President saw the need to provide early education to children in rural communities. Today, access to early education is at 15.4 per cent and our target is to reach 30 per cent by 2017. 

Mr Speaker, before 2011, the provision of early education, in terms of teaching and learning materials, was dependent upon each early education centre. However, as part of our reforms in the ministry, teaching and learning materials for early education have been standardised and a directorate to deal with this has been created. We cannot talk about quality education in this country when there is no early education because it is the foundation of quality education in any country.

Furthermore, when the PF Government came into power, it was discovered that a lot of investment had been made in the primary subsector because of the millennium development goals (MDGs). So far, we are able to celebrate about 3 million enrolments at primary school level, but the question is: Which secondary schools will the children go to when after Grade 7? In the past, there was no investment in the secondary subsector. It is the PF Government, which I belong to, which started unlocking the potential of our secondary school subsector. I would like to thank Hon. Dr Phiri for upgrading 220 secondary schools before he was moved to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. 

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Each province was allowed to upgrade twenty-two primary schools to secondary schools. When I toured the Southern Province recently, it was encouraging to find that the upgrading of most of the twenty-two primary schools had reached an advanced stage. When I went to Machila, Miyoba and Kanchomba in Pemba District, I was delighted to see what the PF Government is doing.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: We are providing access to education in Kazungula where my hon. Colleague comes from and where children had no opportunity to go to school. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, I went to Mulamatila in Kaoma which has been upgraded to secondary school in order to decongest Kaoma Secondary School. 

Mr Speaker, in addition to the 220 basic schools, 118 secondary schools are being built in the country. So far, fifty of the secondary schools have been completed and the remaining ones are estimated to be completed by 2017. 

Sir, education is an equaliser.
Mr Masumba: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Education opens up opportunities for the rural population. If we provided educational facilities to the rural populace, they would remain in the rural instead of migrating to urban areas. I would, therefore, like to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for allocating more than K637 million towards the secondary subsector in order to provide equity and access to education to many children.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank Hon. Dr Kaingu for being candid about the behaviour of university students in this country. We cannot allow universities to turn into battlefields. I have never seen this before.

Dr Kaingu: Yes!

Mr Mabumba: We have relied on the University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU) for too long. We cannot have 14 million people relying on UNZA and the CBU. There was no investment in the university subsector. However, I do not want to blame anybody for this. The PF Government has opened Robert Kapasa Makasa University and is constructing Palabana, Mukuba and Kwame Nkrumah universities. If UNZA and the CBU are not careful, they will become irrelevant to our higher education subsector...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: ... because people will prefer to take their children to the new universities due to the inertia at the two universities. UNZA and the CBU cannot continue relying on handouts. As I said earlier when I was responding to one of the questions, the two institutions are supposed to support the Government in terms of job and wealth creation by providing the link with the private sector and small and medium enterprises. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: However, today, students ...

Mr Masumba: Being paid!

Mr Mabumba: ... are paid to cause confusion at the universities.

Sir, I would like to appeal to the hon. Members in this House and Zambian people not to turn universities into battlefields. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: We need to work together. The PF Government has opened up the university subsector which was stagnant. For the first time in the history of this country, the Government is building 9,600 capacity student hostels.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: I wonder what else our colleagues want. In the past, students used to share rooms in universities. This Government is building hostels for students, ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Masumba: Katombola!

Mr Masumba: ... including those from Katombola. Parents in Katombola should send as many students as they can to UNZA and the many other universities that are being built in the country.

Mr Speaker, we should turn Zambia into a hub for higher education in the region in order to attract foreign students. Diversification does not only mean investment in agriculture and other subsectors. For instance, Malaysia is using education institutions to attract foreign students and earning foreign exchange in turn.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: I would like to appeal to Hon. Dr Kaingu to turn our country into a hub for education in the region so that we attract foreign students, earn foreign exchange and support the Government’s diversification agenda.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the other issue that hon. Members have been talking about on the Floor of the House and which Hon. Dr Kaingu also talked about is the establishment of a student loan scheme. The PF Government will not allow the inertia in the operationalisation of the Student Loans and Scholarship Board to continue. I would like to join Hon. Dr Kaingu in thanking the hon. Minister of Finance for allocating K390 million towards the construction of universities and hostels.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: I would also like to thank Hon. Chikwanda for allocating K310 ...

Dr Phiri: Million.

Mr Mabumba: ... million towards the operationalisation of the long-awaited Student Loans and Scholarship Board. We cannot allow the receiving of handouts to continue. Like Hon. Dr Kaingu said, the loans or bursaries that students are given are a privilege. So, they should be thankful to the Government because not everyone in the Republic of Zambia has this privilege.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Students should also desist from destroying vehicles and property for taxpayers. This is unacceptable.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: I appeal to the management of universities to manage the institutions properly so that students can learn to appreciate what the Government is doing for them.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in the run-up to the 20th January, 2015 Presidential By-elections, some Opposition leaders talked about a curriculum which they did not even understand. Hon. Dr John Phiri launched the new curriculum in January, 2014, which comprised two pathways. The first one was the academic pathway while the other was the vocational pathway. I urge the Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Dr Kaingu, and Hon. Dr Phiri to work together to ensure that the two-tier education system is a success. We cannot continue depending on academics alone.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: In conclusion, I wish to urge hon. Members of Parliament and the general public to be magnanimous and support the Government’s strategic focus in the attainment of Vision 2030 and beyond which is anchored on diversification and sustainable development. In his Speech, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia talked about the transformational agenda and making Zambia a smart country. However, this can only be achieved if there is unity of purpose and we work as a team irrespective of our political affiliation.

Mr Speaker, the PF Government has started the journey of making Zambia a better country for all. I want to appeal to ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: ... our colleagues to continue supporting the PF Government, the President ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: ... and the people of Kazungula because it is only through the PF that social and economic development can be achieved.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, my colleagues and I are cognisant of the vision of the late President. Therefore, we shall collectively work towards achieving it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Sichalwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to debate, on behalf of the people of Zambia, especially those of Chawama, the Motion of Supply moved by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, through his address to this House on Friday, 9th October, 2015. 

Sir, I would like to thank His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for allowing me to follow his political footsteps by being Member of Parliament for Chawama and for being appointed Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President, the position in which he had also served. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapyanga: You will soon be President.


Mr Sichalwe: Sir, I also wish to congratulate the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, on the presentation of the most difficult of Budgets amidst the current economic problems that the country is faced with. Indeed, the Budget has clearly outlined the challenges this country is faced with and the steps that will be taken to overcome them without ‘somersaulting’ …

Ms Kalima laughed.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! 

That voice …


Mr Deputy Speaker: … is too loud. Please, tone down.

May the hon. Minister continue.

Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the Budget has clearly outlined the challenges this country is faced with and the steps that will be taken to overcome them without ‘somersaulting’, as the hon. Member for Chadiza would put it. The speech is a clear demonstration of how impartial and committed this caring Government is to the people of Zambia. As many of my colleagues have put it and, as clearly highlighted in the speech, many of the problems we are faced with today are not of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s making, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Sichalwe: … but are mainly attributed to both internally and externally induced shocks.

Mr Speaker, from the second half of 2014 to date, the PF has recorded significant success in the various sectors of the economy and has, within three years of being in power, transformed this country. If the PF had been in power for twenty or twenty-seven years like other administrators, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Sichalwe: … this country would have developed to the level of China, Brazil or Singapore. 


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, this is why the PF is going to win three Presidential Elections consecutively, in 2011, 2015 and 2016. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichalwe: You better live long enough to witness this as it will be a hard trek.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, from the recent series of victories in Parliamentary by-elections, it is evident that people are aware of the potential that this Government has and that the problems they are facing have nothing to do with the leadership of the PF Government. 

Mr Speaker, governments the world over have recognised that climate change has imaged as one of the most pressing issues affecting socio-economic development. Zambia, in particular, has not been spared, as highlighted in the Budget Speech. As a result, we have experienced climate- induced hazards such as drought, dry spells, seasonal and flash floods and extreme temperatures. 

Mr Speaker, we thank you for the consistent weather in this House. If you ask the poor people of Luangwa, Chirundu or Siavonga, they will tell you about the extreme temperatures. This has adversely impacted on food security, water quality, energy and sustainable livelihoods of the rural communities. It has also affected production in agriculture, which has spill-over effects such as high poverty levels, energy crisis related to power generation and the higher cost of treating climate-related diseases such as malaria and malnutrition in the health sector. Therefore, the Office of the Vice-President, through the Disaster Management and the Mitigation Unit (DMMU), is trying to find ways of mitigating and adapting to the effects and impact of climate change …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that the Office of the Vice-President, through the DMMU, is trying to find ways of mitigation and adapting to the effects and impacts of climate change through vulnerability assessments, sensitisation and distribution of relief food to the affected communities. The results of the 2014/2015 Crop Forecast by the Ministry of Agriculture shows that areas such as Luapula, Northern and Muchinga provinces experienced favourable rainfall patterns and that they had recorded surplus in maize production compared to the Eastern and Southern provinces. To this effect, we would like to urge the Ministry of Agriculture to increase maize production in the areas that have favourable rainfall patterns so that they can supplement the shortfall in the other provinces, such as the Southern and Eastern provinces, in order to maintain food security and generate the much-needed foreign exchange.

Mr Speaker, the Budget Speech also recognises the challenges in the energy sector. This is a demonstration that the Government is aware of the linkages between climate change, the weather pattern and the energy crisis that is being experienced countrywide. This country, through the able leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is committed to developing alternative sources of energy and the President has emphasised the need for technology transfer and investment in the energy sector. 

Mr Speaker, with regard to petroleum products, Members of this august House are aware that two factors determine the pump price of fuel. International oil prices have relatively been stable. However, the exchange rate has been particularly volatile due to the strength of the United States Dollar against other currencies. The Government is fully aware that the exchange rate increases the cost in the supply value chain of any commodity that requires inputs from the foreign market, including fuel. 

In a nutshell, Mr Speaker, the major problem we are faced with, today, as a country, is mainly the exchange rate and the energy crisis as a result of poor rainfall and this is well known to all of us in this House. The speech has clearly provided the strategy on how these problems will be tackled in the short run by the Central Bank and the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. It has also proved how, in the long run, diversification of the economy from dependency on copper as the only source of foreign exchange earnings to other sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, tourism, energy and infrastructure, is the solution.

Sir, diversification cannot be left to the Government alone. It requires a concerted effort from all Zambians, including hon. Members on the left side of this House. It is against the principles of welfare, economics and Pareto efficiency for the Government to be directly involved in the business of diversification. Therefore, the concerns about what has been allocated for diversification should not arise because the Government’s role is to create an enabling environment and opportunities for the private sector to flourish. This is what this hardworking Government is doing by constructing roads, health facilities, learning institutions and enacting legislation.

For this reason, Mr Speaker, we do not need to over debate the problems that this country is faced with for they are already known. Therefore, we need to expend more of our energies on debating the solutions to the known problems such as the exchange rate, the impact of climate change vis-à-vis the energy crisis.

Sir, allow me to remind this august House that when the Patriotic Front (PF) was in the Opposition, it used to provide positive criticism …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Sichalwe: … and practical solutions to most of the problems that the Government in power at the time was faced with. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, under His Excellency the late President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. may his soul rest in peace, benefitted immensely from the policy proposals of the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichalwe: Mr Speaker, the PF became popular and was loved by the Zambian people because of the hope and confidence that it had built in them.

Sir, today, some Opposition leaders claim to be highly knowledgeable …

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Mr Sichalwe: … in the issues and problems that we are currently faced with such as the exchange rate volatilities and economic diversification. These are the issues which they could have gained political mileage if they had provided practical solutions. Unfortunately, they are always waiting for us to make a mistake so that they criticise and admonish the same country they want to rule. They rush to institutions of higher learning and incite students to demonstrate …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Sichalwe: … and pass negative comments about the Government of the day …
Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichalwe: … and do many other unconstructive things.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to advise hon. Members that national development is about national involvement and continuity. Therefore, those who will not support this Budget are clearly telling us that they have surrendered and are not ready to take up the responsibility of governing the country in 2016. This is because should they come into power, this is the same Budget they will be tied to.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mrs Kawandami): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for the opportunity you have given me and Chifubu Constituency to contribute to the debate on the Motion moved by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Year 1st January, 2016, to 31st December, 2016, on Friday, 9th October, 2015.

Sir, the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Finance is visionary and in tandem with the progressive programmes outlined in the Speech by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, during the Official Opening of the National Assembly on 18th September, 2015. The 2016 National Budget will, therefore, ensure that the country continues on its developmental path and, subsequently, contribute to job and wealth creation as well as poverty reduction in line with the Patriotic Front’s (PF) vision.

Mr Speaker, for the country to economically grow and develop, all the sectors of the economy need to function properly. The PF Government has, therefore, continued to recognise the various roles that each sector of the economy plays in supporting the growth and development of this great nation, including the land and environment subsectors. My debate will concentrate on two issues, namely land and climate change. 

Sir, effective administration and management of land is important for economic development as well as poverty reduction. However, for a long time, land has failed to contribute effectively to the economic growth of our country. The hon. Minister of Finance has seen the potential of the land subsector and is keen to ensure that it is able to deliver its full potential as highlighted in his speech.

Mr Speaker, land is one of the key resources upon which the Government collects non-tax revenue on behalf of the Treasury. Based on past trends and the increase in demand for land, the land subsector has the potential to finance over 40 per cent of the National Budget. I, therefore, fully support the upward revision of the consideration fees for high cost residential, commercial and industrial plots presented by the hon. Minister of Finance to this House. This adjustment will not only address speculation in land acquisition, but also contribute to the much-needed revenue for the country.

Sir, in order to support the various pronouncements made by the hon. Minister of Finance as regards the consideration fees for residential, commercial and industrial plots, the Government has commenced the review of the Lands Act so as to make it easier for the poor Zambians, especially women and the differently-abled persons, to access land. In addition, the review will also cover the access to land by non-Zambians. This Bill will soon be presented to this august House during this meeting.

Mr Speaker, let me also take advantage of this to direct all councils across the country to stop charging any fees related to land without the ministry’s authority forthwith. Following the issuance of the statutory instrument on the payment of consideration fees by the Government, no council is allowed to charge any premium on acquisition of any land. The high fees have made it difficult for the poor to access land. Therefore, my ministry will soon write a circular to all councils on the administrative fees that they can charge. 

Mr Speaker, another issue of great concern to the PF Government, which the hon. Minister of Finance highlighted in his Budget Speech, is that of climate change. As observed by the hon. Minister of Finance, climate change has emerged as one of the most pressing issues in Zambia, affecting socio-economic development. As most of the hon. Members of this august House may be aware, the country has been experiencing climate-induced hazards which include drought and dry spells, seasonal and flash floods and extreme temperatures. The deficit in electricity supply, which has resulted in load shedding, is a direct consequence of climate change. The climate-induced hazards have adversely impacted on the growth of the various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, mining and manufacturing.

Sir, conscious of the threats posed by climate change to the development process, the Government has taken necessary steps to minimise the impacts of climate change. This includes strengthening policy actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to adapt to the unavoidable climate change. In this regard, the PF Government, through my ministry, is in the process of finalising the development of the National Policy that will establish coordinated national responses to climate change. 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for presenting such a non-partisan, progressive and inclusive Budget. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the Motion on the Floor of this august House.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I would like to promise that I will be brief. 

Sir, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion moved by the hon. Minister of Finance. Let me also take this opportunity to thank Hon. Alexander B. Chikwanda, MP, for the articulate and dignified manner in which he presented the 2016 Budget.

Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s Speech, it is clear that the Government is on course with regard to consolidating the fiscal framework in order to safeguard the massive developmental achievements the country has achieved in the last four years.

 Sir, in his Budget Speech, the hon. Minister of Finance announced that customs duty on transmission apparatus for television and radio broadcasting has been suspended for two years to allow for the completion of the implementation of Digital Migration Project. The House may wish to know that Zambia is progressing well in the implementation of this project.

Mr Speaker, in the PF Government, under the leadership of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the media industry has flourished. Numbers do not lie. So, I will demonstrate this. In 2011, there were less than ten radio stations and three television stations. However, today, the number of radio stations has increased to thirty-four and that for television stations has increased to ten. In addition, along the whole line of rail, there is a brand new digital television broadcasting network. If this is not massive development, then, I do not know what massive means.

Sir, I wish to inform this House that with the completion of the initial phase of the Digital Migration Project, in addition to the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) TV1 and TV2, the digital terrestrial signal for Revelation TV, Prime TV and CBC TV are broadcasting digital content channels on a free to air basis to areas that they could not reach due to transmission challenges under the analogue platform.

Mr Speaker, the removal of customs duty, therefore, will accelerate the implementation of the Digital Migration Project such that after the completion of Phases II and III of the project, the digital signal will cover 99.99 per cent of the country. This means that for the first time in the history of the country, there will be a television signal in all areas of the country. This massive infrastructure development project will significantly contribute to the transformation of the country to a smart Zambia. Therefore, this should be appropriated by all well-meaning Zambians. 

Sir, the ministry of Information and Broadcasting has, therefore, prioritised the implementation of the Digital Migration Project. As a result, a number of other activities scheduled for 2016 have been suspended. The Government is implementing these projects to ensure that all citizens have access to radio and television services. May I urge the hon. Members of Parliament to encourage their communities to form co-operatives which should set up community television stations. This is so because the customs duty on transmission on television and radio broadcasting equipment has been suspended. The Government is also installing the transmission network. Therefore, the cost of establishing a television station has significantly reduced. 

Mr Speaker, the House may also wish to know that the Government has embarked on the installation of new radio transmitters to cover the entire country. If my memory serves me right, two weeks ago, I responded to a Question on the Floor of this House where I indicated that, so far, the Government has installed new transmitters in fourteen sites to improve the radio signal. This exercise is ongoing and it will be completed soon. Therefore, people should take advantage of this initiative.

Sir, in winding up my contribution to the Budget Speech, I wish to call upon the media to help this Government disseminate the positive information that contributes to the socio-economic development of this country. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, however, may I advise that the new digital television platform the Government is establishing not be used to promote hate speech, as has been the case with the some media houses. The Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will ensure that the content produced and broadcast by the electronic media is of high quality and that it fosters national development. We do not want to see what happened in Rwanda happen here. I am sure we all know where that started from. We love Zambia our peaceful country.

Sir, I am urging the hon. Members of this House to support this Budget. I would also like to ask them to identify the activities in the Budget that ought to be used to transform the lives of people in their constituencies.

Mr Speaker, I support this Motion, and I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications (Mr Kapyanga): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2016 National Budget delivered to this House by the hon. Minister of Finance. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank the hon. Members of Parliament who have offered constructive criticism to the hon. Minister’s Budget Speech. This is, indeed, how we should debate.

Sir, allow me to mention that the people of Kabwe Central Parliamentary Constituency welcome the Budget, but with a request that all projects be concluded within the shortest possible time. Kabwe needs more township roads, especially that, ...

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, you are speaking as the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications, and not as Member of Parliament for Kabwe. 

With that guidance, you may continue.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Speaker, the people of Kabwe thank the Government of His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for transforming this country through the construction of roads.

Sir, Zambia needs a holistic approach to development, achieving the Vision 2030 and becoming a developed nation in 2064. Indeed, this can be achieved by implementing the Smart Transformation Agenda as envisioned by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, it is my firm belief that the Budget presented by the hon. Minister of Finance is a step in the right direction. I also believe that it is intended to bring stability to the economy of our nation and make the Zambian people prosper. As has been debated by the hon. Members of this august House, the Budget has been developed against a downturn trend in the global economy. This has been ably been taken into account by the hon. Minister. 

Sir, the 2016 Budget has many positive elements, which should be supported. I am convinced that we shall attain our objectives in 2016 as set in our plans. Of course, we may need to adjust a few plans in some areas.

Mr Speaker, allow me to be more specific in my debate which will focus on the transport and communications sector. As you are all aware, the Patriotic Front (PF) remains committed to improving the lives of the Zambian people through the provision of efficient and effective transport and communications systems.

Sir, in the 2016 Budget, the PF Government has prioritised the development of the aviation sector. This will revolve around the operationalisation of the national flag carrier. The Government has invested in this sector and will continue to invest in the development of international airports, and provincial and district aerodromes. This was done with the hind sight that the operations of the national airline will start with domestic flights, and then move onto regional ones before graduating to international routes. We had this planned and I am confident that the dream of Zambia having a national airline will, once again, come to fruition. As you are aware, the expansion of the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport is almost complete while, the Government will focus on the development of the Kenneth Kaunda, Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe and Mfuwe international airports in 2016. I believe that the operationalisation of the national airline is not just for national pride, but will also facilitate increased tourism, job creation and the retention of the foreign exchange in the Zambian market. In short, it is a project worth implementing.

Mr Speaker, the Government has also made progress in facilitating the lifting of the European Union (EU) ban on aircrafts registered in Zambia from operating in European airspace. In line with the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Zambia has started revising its legislative and regulatory framework to ensure that the standards set by the ICAO are adhered to. We are confident that the ban on aircraft registered in Zambia operating in European airspace will soon be lifted. 

Sir, on water transport, priority will be in the development of water canals through the dredging and construction of harbour infrastructure. In 2016, the Government will distribute dredging equipment to selected areas. In addition, the Government will strengthen the enforcement of laws. In this regard, sixteen petrol boats will be procured and distributed for use on the various water bodies in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, this measure is intended to save the lives of people who earn their living from fishing and transporting goods and services using the rivers and lakes. In 2016, the Government will also focus on the modernisation of the Mpulungu Harbour as a gateway to the Great Lakes Region. This initiative will not only strengthen economic relations with our neighbours in the region, but also contribute to increased trade among the countries and, ultimately, improve the economic development of the entire region. The immediate benefits from this initiative include better transport infrastructure at the Port of Mpulungu, job creation for the local people and safer movement of the people.

Mr Speaker, as this august House may be aware, the Government has finalised the implementation of Phase I of the erection of communication towers in the underserved areas and will, in 2016, prioritise the implementation of Phase II, which will include the erection of 469 communication towers. The implementation of Phase II will ensure that the mobile network covers the entire country. This will make communication easy and bring with it, the benefits of services such as money transactions and other associated services.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to inform this august House that the Government is aware that some of the communication towers are not working as expected in the initial stages. However, we are working with the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) to ensure that these challenges are addressed. The Government is also encouraging the private sector to continue investing in the telecommunications sector to enhance service delivery.

Mr Speaker, in order to bring public services closer to the Zambian people, the Government will continue with the implementation of the e-Government Programme, which was launched by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and is aimed at making Government services available to the majority of Zambians with ease.

Mr Speaker, in the railway subsector, the Government will focus on the development of bankable feasibility studies to facilitate the construction of the Greenfield Railway Line. This will be in addition to re-organising the existing railway companies to make them viable.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I wish to support the hon. Minister’s presentation on the 2016 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Southern Province (Mr Mubukwanu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for affording me this opportunity to make a few contributions on the Budget Speech on behalf of the good people of Mongu Central and the Southern Province.


Mr Mubukwanu: Sir, today, 28th October, 2015, marks the first anniversary of the late President Michael Sata’s demise. Mr Michael Sata, our beloved leader who served this country as the Fifth Republic President and founder of the Patriotic Front (PF), embarked on an ambitious and irreversible development agenda for this country. Unfortunately, he met his demise too soon.

Mr Speaker, however, in His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, we have a befitting replacement that is equal to the task.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, this brings me to the 2016 Budget Address in which the hon. Minister of Finance acknowledges the qualities of President Lungu on page 22, paragraph 159, which says:

“In His Excellency, President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, we have an honourable leader with necessary attributes of accommodation, tolerance and ingrained humanity, shrouded in total humility. He has flawless depth, affability, and the ability to relate to and be available for us all.”

Mr Speaker, this is the kind of person we have for President and he is destined to succeed and leave behind a successful legacy.

Mr Speaker, I also wish to acknowledge the hon. Minister of Finance’s ability to recast the growth projections in his Budget Address in light of the global trends. This is being done under the theme “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All”. This theme acknowledges our hard-earned achievements of the past fifty-one years of political independence as a nation.

Sir, it is important to note the hon. Minister’s assurance to the nation, through his address to this House, on the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s total commitment and resolve to foster a broad-based and inclusive development agenda so that each and every part of this country has a fair share of this development.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance is mindful of the challenges that overdependence on copper as the mainstay of our economy brings to our development agenda. To this effect, he clearly speaks the language of diversification, which the Government has embraced through the realignment of our governance institutions in order to meet the growing needs of our people. About a fortnight ago, this House approved the realignment of the ministries. Through this, we hope to meet our people’s aspirations.

Sir, like I debated on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address to this House, the Southern Province, which I am privileged to head, has a greater opportunity than ever before of contributing significantly to the growth of our economy through the agriculture and livestock sectors. Out of the thirteen pilot districts on the e-Voucher Programme, six are in the Southern Province, representing 46 per cent.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: To this effect, Mr Speaker, I wish to appeal to our people in the province to embrace the Government’s policy directions and work together as co-operatives. There is a lot of strength in working together as co-operatives than as individual farmers. For example, last weekend, I officiated at the Annual Shimunenga Traditional Ceremony of the Ila people of Namwala where they showcase their wealth in livestock. As a matter of fact, there are more cattle in Namwala District than people.


Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, on our part as the Government, we shall strive to prevent animal diseases, improve breeds and access to better markets for beef and beef products from the Southern Province by investing in appropriate infrastructure such as dams and dip tanks to support farmers.

Mr Speaker, as regards the once famous Bottom Road, which the successive governments of this Republic failed to construct, this Administration is resolved to complete it in record time. As a matter of fact, I think this should now be referred to as the Top Road because a quality road is being put up in the valley part of the province. Already, increased economic activities are being recorded in the area. Such expansion of our road network is meant to open up the countryside to new investments as we strive to have a fully diversified economy. The benefits of the diversification shall materialise as we begin our second term in Government after next year’s General Elections.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Speaker, this Government needs the support of every well-meaning Zambian to successfully implement our development agenda. Those that were saying that this is our last Budget presentation, as the Ruling Party, are wishful thinkers because the PF Government is here to stay.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: Some politicians want to capitalise on the economic challenges the country is going through, but these challenges are not peculiar to Zambia. As part of the global community, whatever happens elsewhere is likely to have a negative effect on our country.

Mr Speaker, I wish to conclude by congratulating the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, on his address and, most importantly, on being candid and honest in giving the economic outlook of Zambia in the next financial year. To all Zambians and investors, I wish to say that this country is in safe hands.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Central Province (Mr Chisopa): Mr Speaker, I am greatly honoured to be accorded this rare opportunity to address this august House on the Motion of Supply following the Budget Address by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, which was delivered to the National Assembly on Friday 9th October, 2015.

Sir, I would like to convey my deepest condolences for the death of the late hon. Members of Parliament. May their souls rest in peace. At the same time, I would like to congratulate all the new Members of Parliament, namely Hon. Mwamba from Lubansenshi Constituency and Hon. Kasonso from Solwezi West Constituency.

Mr Speaker, I wish to request the House to join me in commending the hon. Minister of Finance for delivering an inspiring speech in line with the President’s Speech and which has created hope in the Zambian citizenry.

Mr Speaker, in his address to this august House during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on Friday 18th September, 2015, His Excellency the President provided a vision for this country in the next fifty years. He implored us to adopt a transformative and smart approach towards handling national matters in order to deliver smart Government institutions and public services. Therefore, we need to look at diversification as an alternative.

Mr Speaker, as rightly observed by Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, 2015 has been economically challenging. The slowdown in the Eurozone and China has lowered the demand for copper and reduced the price of copper. 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 hydroelectric power. 

Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, under the leadership of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, is fully committed to meeting these challenges.

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some salient features in the Budget Address relating to the measures that the Government will undertake during 2016.

Sir, agriculture has great potential to enhance economic growth and reduce poverty. A well performing agriculture sector improves the gross domestic product (GDP), creates employment and subsequently broadens the tax base. It is gratifying to note that the PF Government appreciates the importance of diversification in the agriculture sector. This is evidenced by the creation of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries. 

Mr Speaker, storage and infrastructure development plays an important role in influencing private sector participation in agriculture marketing. This Government is making frantic efforts to improve livestock production as witnessed by the continued construction and rehabilitation of livestock extension services and satellite artificial insemination centres, and the establishment of additional business centres for goats and sheep. This will increase the supply of goats and sheep for both the domestic and export markets.

Mr Speaker, energy is paramount to the growth of the economic. Access to reliable and affordable energy also results in environmental protection and poverty reduction. This Government has resolved to develop mini hydro projects by allowing private sector participation. Furthermore, I wish to commend the Government for investing in a 120 megawatt power-generation project at Itezhi-tezhi, which is expected to come on stream next year, and the new Lunzua Hydropower Station which will increase the amount of power produced in the country.

Mr Speaker, there are also the Lusuwishi Hydropower Plant and Maamba Thermal Power Plant which are yet to be opened. Once these projects are connected to the national electricity grid by 2016, there will be no load shedding in the country. 

Mr Speaker, this Government treats the transport sector as a priority in easing and reducing the cost of doing business. The allocation of K6.6 billion towards road infrastructure development should be commended by all well-meaning Zambians because these funds are for the continued implementation of Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project, Pave Zambia 2,000 km Road Project, L400 Road Project in Lusaka, the commencement of the C400 Road Project on the Copperbelt and the rehabilitation of rural roads countrywide under the Zambia National Service (ZNS). These projects are expected to create more employment opportunities for the youths in Zambia.

Sir, the health sector is important for economic development. This Government remains steadfast in improving health services as evidenced by its continuous construction of health facilities and the recruitment, retention and training of frontline medical personnel.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by reiterating the call by the hon. Minister of Finance for us to remain united in our resolve to develop this country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
The Minister of Gender (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, let me start by thanking you for according me this rare opportunity to contribute to debate on the Budget Speech that was presented by the hon. Minister of Finance. From the outset, I would like to say that the Budget has been presented to this House at a time when there is a global economic crisis and most countries are in trouble economically.

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Secondly, this Budget has been presented at a time when Zambia, like many other countries, is experiencing the negative effects of climate change.

Mr Kampyongo: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I have listened attentively to the submissions that were made in this House by our colleagues who have debated the Budget as if they are not part of this country or the global movement where everywhere, and I mean everywhere, people are debating how they can mitigate the negative effects of climate change and the global crisis.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, under the successive governments that this country has had, certain habits that have contributed to climate change have been perpetuated. For example, we have never thought about changing our agricultural activities. We have continued to stump trees and this has turned some parts of our country into deserts. I well refer to my tribal cousins so that I do not get into trouble with the other parts of the country. If you drive past or before Nyimba, all that you see is desert because all the trees have been cut down. This has obvious implications on the environment. We have continued cutting down trees to produce charcoal, but have not looked at ways of replacing the trees that have been cut down. 

Mr Speaker, you will be surprised to learn what the Ministry of Gender is doing with the women of Zambia to reduce the cutting down of trees. If you like, I can lay on the Table of the House a document on the innovation of the women of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, it is clear to all of us that other than countries like the United States of America (USA) that have suffered economic crises, the rest of the world, including China which is the world economic leader, has also seen a decline in economic performance. 

Mr Speaker, one of the major challenges that we are faced with as a country, is the decline in copper prices. Let me mention a few things that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has addressed in this regard. For years, there has been little investment in education. I will show what benefits would have accrued to the country from years of investment in education. This is the reason the PF Government has started investing in education. 

Mr Speaker, copper is not sold in Zambia, but in the United Kingdom (UK). In the past, our policies did not enable us to see the need to invest in appropriate education. If anything, the educated were not celebrated, but demeaned for being educated. Instead, the educated apologised for being educated.

Prof. Luo: Sir, the people who determine the prices of copper are those who have invested in the production of metallurgists so that they can argue for better prices of copper. We have not done this. To date, fifty-one years after Independence, we do not have many Zambian metallurgists. So, how can people come here and start blaming the PF Government? We just happened to be in the Government when the results of the lack of investments have begun to show. When you do not invest over years, it catches up with you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, there has been a lot of debate about the PF Government inheriting a robust economy and I wonder what these statements are premised on. All that I have heard and read about is that Zambia is doing well because it has a single digit inflation rate and that when so and so was hon. Minister of Finance, we achieved the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Completion Point. Do we really know the meaning of HIPC? Zambia was recognised by the world as a HIPC. As Zambians, we should be ashamed of celebrating that title. 

Mr Speaker, let me share with this august House how the fight for the HIPC Initiative Completion Point started. It was not started by the Government, but by some of us who were working in the area of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


Prof. Luo: I remember one Paul Zice who was fired from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for holding meetings with me. We requested the late Cardinal Mazombwe, may his soul rest in peace, to go round the world and speak on behalf of Zambia so that we could be excused from our debt. So, let nobody in this House say that Zambia achieved the HIPC Initiative Completion Point because so and so was a good hon. Minister in charge of Finance. It was those of us in the civil society at the time who were behind all this and there is evidence to this effect.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, what lessons did we learn from the achievement of the HIPC Initiative Completion Point? We learnt none. We continued to cut down trees; we did not diversify our economy; we did not invest in education; we did not engage the other sectors and did not establish cottage industries amongst the women and young people. So, we did not learn any lesson. We just celebrated the achievement of the HIPC Initiative Completion Point and went to sleep. 

Mr Speaker, we have continued to depend on copper because when the PF came into power in 2011, I did not see any diversification. If anybody in this House did well, we should have inherited a diversified agriculture sector and investment in energy. None of us sitting on the right side of the House inherited any of that. This shows that the people who were responsible for the economy at the time were not on course.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, without disturbing your debate, could you, please, address issues of gender?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am coming to that. I am prefacing. If you give me time …

An hon. Member interjected.

The Deputy Chairperson: Allow the hon. Minister to debate.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, the ministry that I have been tasked to head, which is in charge of gender, is affected by literally everything that goes wrong in the country. When things go wrong, it is the female gender that is the most affected. So, give me an opportunity to debate on behalf of the women.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am debating gender issues.

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair, please.

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, there has been no tangible investment in this area worth talking about. In fact, if we are to be fair to the people of Zambia, especially women and young people, we should ask how we can collectively chart the course and future of this country. I think that this is what the hon. Minister of Finance has tried to do in his speech.

Mr Speaker, he prefaced his speech by going through all the issues that affect the different sections of society in this country. He also said we have had difficulty to get the little that we produce to the markets. We know the people who grow most of the food that ends up going to waste as a result of the impassable roads and lack of bridges on the rivers. The PF Government prioritised infrastructure development. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: In doing so, we have been able to open up a lot of roads. Now, we no longer talk about being landlocked but landlinked because the roads have been opened up. There are bridges on big rivers like the Zambezi and Luangwa connecting places. In fact, the biggest beneficiary of the roads and bridges are the women because they are the ones who deal in trading and go to deliver at health centres. So, we, in the Ministry of Gender are very happy about this development.

Mr Speaker, as the Government, we have also prioritised the improvement of the transport sector. Without transport, there cannot be economic growth. We have also decided to segment and invest in education. We have built new universities and invested in trade schools and colleges. This country does not have enough artisans because we did not invest in trade schools. What else can a Government do for people to celebrate?

Mr Speaker, we have started to diversify the agriculture sector. This Budget talks about how we are going to expand irrigation in the country, increase the number of extension officers and improve the fisheries sector so that we can have enough fish in the country. 

Sir, the Budget has also talked about how we are going to empower Zambians in order to grow the economy. To this effect, there has been an increase in the allocation to the Citizens’ Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) that has been mandated to empower Zambians. In addition, more money has been allocated towards youth and women empowerment activities. There are countries that have the same history as Zambia. Most of these countries are in Asia. The governments of those countries invested in the establishment of cottage industries by getting women and young people to start small businesses. Today, these countries, which include India and Thailand, have robust economies because of the cottage industry. So, as far as I am concerned, we are on track.

Mr Speaker, the Government has recognised the fact that Zambia has mineral resources other than copper. We have many precious stones in this country. Therefore, there is a call for the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) to invest in the mining of precious stones which have more value and can the country more money. 

Mr Speaker, let me say to my colleagues who are here that we need to support this Budget. This Budget is going to help us open doors for young people, women and the Zambians at large. Let us be mindful that we are in an economic crisis. So, let us be patriotic. When there was an economic downturn in the United States of America (USA), our colleagues in that country held hands, worked together and supported the President in order to turn the economy around. Playing the blame game is not going to help us because those who were in power before the PF never invested correctly. Please, support this Government that is making a lot of investments in this country and has its priorities right.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Tourism and Arts (Ms Kapata): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to debate on the 2016 Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance, whose theme is, “Fiscal Consolidation to Safeguard our Past Achievements and Secure a Prosperous Future for All”. 

Mr Speaker, before I delve into my speech, allow me to thank the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the former First Lady, Mrs Sata, and her family, and the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, for the successful memorial service that was conducted this afternoon in memory of the late President, may his soul rest in peace.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance outlined the steps that the PF Government has taken in its resolve to address the economic challenges that the country is faced with. The Budget Address was inspiring and was in tandem with the President’s Address that was made to this august House during the Official Opening of the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. 

Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that the tourism sector, among other economic sectors such as energy, agriculture and agro-processing, is still recognised as one of the pillars in the diversification of the economy. This is because the tourism sector has the potential to contribute to:

(a)    foreign exchange earnings through increased tourism receipts;

(b)    create jobs in hotels, national parks, transport and the catering industry, and hence contribute to poverty alleviation;

(c)    attract tourism investment by both local and foreign entrepreneurs; and 

(d)    play a key role in sustainable rural development, especially in infrastructure development and job creation because most tourism assets are in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, my ministry is working with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, through local councils, to boost local tourism at district level. In June, 2014, I launched the Local Tourism Initiative. We want each district to come up with a tourism product to sell. Each district should build a cultural centre where local people can go to showcase their culture and display local art. A good example of this initiative is in Serenje where the heart of Dr David Livingstone is buried. His heart is buried there, but the district has nothing to write home about. Most of the local people in that district do not know that Dr David Livingstone’s heart was buried there.  

Mr Speaker, for the first time in Zambia’s history we, as a ministry, had a carnival which we called Pamodzi Carnival. This was meant to bring Zambians together. We will continue to have this event biannually so that all the ten provinces can showcase their culture and food.  We also want to work with the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs so that all the chiefdoms can conserve our natural resources. We shall help them to establish their own conservancy like Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta in Sesheke. We are tired of receiving requests for wild animals from chiefs. This should come to an end in January next year. Every chiefdom should have its own ranch from which to harvest animals.

Mr Speaker, the Budget Speech identifies and seeks to address the major challenges that the tourism sector is faced with. These include limited access to tourist sites, limited air connectivity for both local and international travel, and inadequate tourism products. In view of these challenges, my ministry has set out to contribute to the national economic agenda by focusing on: 

(a)    enhancing tourism promotion and marketing;

(b)    opening up new tourism areas and circuits such as the Northern and Southern circuits;

(c)    promoting tourism product diversification through the development of ethno-cultural tourism;

(d)    enhancing wildlife conservation and management in order to promote wildlife tourism;

(e)    promoting the preservation of tangible and intangible heritage with a view to expanding the tourism product base, and length of stay for tourists in the country; and 

(f)    promoting the development of the creative industry in order to contribute to job creation for the artistes in the country. 

Mr Speaker, in view of this, I wish to implore the hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s budget as we debate the individual items.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Livestock and Fisheries (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, as I rise to debate in support of the Motion on the National Budget, moved by the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, allow me to start by thanking His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for creating a new ministry in charge of agriculture and splitting others. This will create efficiency and effectiveness in the provision of fisheries and livestock services to the people of Zambia. 

Let me also seize this opportunity to commend the Minister of Finance, Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, MP, for his inspiring speech to this honourable House. The speech provides impetus to revive the Zambian economy and, more importantly, the fisheries and livestock subsectors which are critical to stimulating the growth of the economy. 

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries aims at providing an enabling and conducive environment so as to sustainably increase the production and productivity of high quality marketable fisheries and livestock products. In this regard, the ministry will finalise the development of stand-alone policies and strategies on fisheries and livestock.  
Mr Speaker, allow me to dive into the first subsector of the ministry, which is fisheries.  

Lt-Gen. Bishop Shikapwasha: Delve! 

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the fisheries subsector is faced with the challenge of rapid depletion of fish in rivers and lakes due to intensive and unsustainable harvests. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries is investing in sustainable management of natural resources through restocking and working with local communities to promote sustainable fishing methods where illegal methods of fishing such as use of mosquito nets are discouraged. The Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries will establish two fish hatcheries in each province and promote privately-owned hatcheries in order to develop fish farming in the country. Furthermore, the ministry will establish one community fish fingerling nursery in each district. In this regard, a total of 1,400 fish farmers will be trained in fish production. These interventions will result in the production of 80,000 metric tonnes of farmed fish and 90,000 metric tonnes of fish from natural waters, thereby reducing or meeting the deficit which we have suffered for quite a long time now. 

In 2015, the sector has embarked on numerous programmes in the fish sector.  Sir, permit me now to mention a few measures, steps or activities that have taken place in this sector. 

(a)    Four pilot aqua park sites, namely Chipepo, Mungwi, Kasempa and Rufunsa have been developed to create an enabling environment for aquaculture development. I will later explain the stages this has reached. The local chiefs have granted authority to issue land where the aqua farms will be developed.

(b)    Eight community fingerling production centres have been established in Kasempa, Nakonde, Mkushi and Luwingu. Others are in Luano, Mwandi, Kaputa and Mbala.

(c)    One hundred and fifteen fisheries extension officers have been recruited and posted to the newly-created districts.

(d)    Fish farming is being promoted in Chitambo, Serenje, Sinazongwe, Rufunsa and Gwembe districts under the African Development Bank funded Agricultural Productivity and Market Enhancement projects. 

Mr Speaker, I was looking at the hon. Member of Parliament for Gwembe to see if he is nodding in agreement with these measures and, indeed, he is.

Mr Ntundu: No!

Mr Monde: 

(e)    New aqua research stations have been established in Chinsali and Sinazongwe districts to generate aqua information and develop appropriate technologies in fish farming.

(f)    Fourteen Government fish farms have been rehabilitated and eight in-door hatcheries have been established. This is aimed at promoting the provision and access to quality fingerlings to farmers.

(g)    The ministry has continued with the enforcement of fisheries regulations such as the annual fishing ban, which is coming very soon. 

Mr Speaker, allow me now not to delve, as Hon. Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha warned me earlier, into the livestock sector. 

Lt-Gen. Bishop Shikapwasha: Bishop!

Mr Monde: I beg your pardon, Hon. Lt-Gen. Bishop Shikapwasha. 

Mr Speaker, allow me now to move onto the next subsector of the ministry, which is the livestock. The importance of the livestock subsector to the Zambian economy cannot be over-emphasised. The livestock subsector accounts for about 42 per cent of the country’s agriculture gross domestic product (GDP). In addition, its vital role in contributing to improved food security, income generation and overall poverty reduction is critical. Furthermore, the subsector provides animal draught power, manure, hides and skins for the manufacturing industry in Zambia. In addition, the subsector has also been identified as a strong lever for employment creation in rural communities, especially for the women and youth. 

Mr Speaker, livestock development is critical to supporting the Diversification Programme that the Zambian Government has embarked upon. We are promoting the production of poultry, small ruminants and taking advantage of the available local and foreign functional markets. 

Sir, in order to strengthen the provision of livestock extension services, the Government has employed 260 livestock extension officers. In addition, the ministry has procured more than 300 motorbikes to ease transportation for the livestock extension officers countrywide. To improve the farmer-officer ratio, the ministry is also sub-dividing the existing livestock and veterinary camps into smaller units in order for us to reduce the work load and distances covered by livestock extension officers to provide extension services. 

Mr Speaker, the Government will continue with the construction of livestock service centres throughout the country, aimed at providing extension services such as dipping, spraying, vaccination, artificial insemination, de-worming, branding and castration. In order to increase the availability of affordable and appropriate livestock breeding centres, the ministry has embarked on the establishment of livestock breeding centres in all the provinces. This will assist small-scale farmers to access quality and improved species of livestock. This measure will ultimately result in increased livestock production and productivity. 

Mr Speaker, most of the livestock being kept by small-scale farmers is of inferior quality. In order to improve on the quality, the ministry has embarked upon a programme of establishing satellite artificial insemination centres countrywide. Most small-scale farmers practice the extensive livestock production system through communal grazing. 

Sir, in order to increase livestock production and productivity, the Government is promoting the use of improved pasture seeds among livestock farmers. The effects of climate change have adversely affected the availability of water for livestock. In order to mitigate against the effects of climate change, the Government is constructing earth dams to provide water for livestock during the dry spells. The ministry has also continued to provide essential surveillance services of animal diseases for both small-scale and large-scale livestock farmers. The diseases under surveillance include foot-and-mouth, Contagious Bovine Pleura-pneumonia (CBPP), Rift Valley Fever, African Swine Fever and Newcastle Disease, amongst others. Tick-borne and vector-borne diseases like East Coast Fever (Corridor), Heart Water and trypanosomiasis are also being monitored.

Mr Speaker, the construction of dip tanks countrywide, except the Western Province which does not have Corridor Disease, is ongoing. The intervention is intended to control the spread of tick-borne diseases. So far, the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock has awarded contracts for the construction of 271 dip tanks, ninety of which have been completed.

Sir, the ministry has continued to control diseases such as foot-and-mouth, the CBPP or lung sickness, lumpy skin, black quarter, anthrax and East Coast Fever in cattle. In addition, Newcastle disease in poultry, rabies in dogs, and African horse sickness in horses are controlled through vaccinations.

Mr Speaker, the ministry is also making progress towards the creation of disease free zones in the country through the construction of check points, quarantine centres, introduction of an animal identification and traceability system and surveillance of trans-boundary animal diseases. 

Sir, in order to control trypanosomiasis, the ministry successfully implemented two aerial spraying operations for tsetse fly control in 2009 and 2014. A total of 11,300 km² was covered. Currently, the ministry is closely monitoring the situation to ensure that the area remains tsetse free. Tsetse barriers have been established strategically wherever it has been found necessary. 

Mr Speaker, the ministry is currently producing animal vaccines for Newcastle Disease Vaccine for village chickens, black water, anthrax and rabies. The production of the vaccines is intended to prevent major diseases affecting both humans and livestock. 

Sir, as I conclude, I urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the 2016 Budget.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
The Minister of Transport and Communications (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to address Parliament and the country as a whole on this very important subject of the 2016 Budget. 

Sir, first and foremost, I would like to thank the Minister of Finance, Hon. Chikwanda, and his team for the smart Budget. Tough times call for smart teams. There is a smart team at the Ministry of Finance at the moment. I would like applaud the hon. Minister of Finance for putting a smart team together that is able to rise to the challenge.

Mr Speaker, the job of the Minister of Finance, as I understand it, is to see to it that the country is business-functional. His duty is to ensure that business is not disrupted in any way. He, therefore, has to make smart choices at all times. These are bad times and the hon. Minister of Finance has made smart choices. I will begin by discussing the transport sector.

Mr Speaker, one of the biggest drivers of economies in any country is transport. Transport is facilitated by the cost of fuel. Without it, any country falls to its knees. The hon. Minister of Finance has made a very smart choice of keeping the price of this commodity stable. The price of fuel has been more or less the same for the last four to five years. The hon. Minister of Finance has kept the price of fuel stable in order to avoid any disruption in business. As a result, although the kwacha has weakened, the price of fuel is still the same.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: It is, therefore, unacceptable to have soaring prices of foodstuffs and other consumables on the basis of fuel or transport prices. The Zambian people must understand that it is not easy to keep the fuel prices down with a faltering exchange rate. However, the hon. Minister of Finance, knowing that this is a very important component of business, has allowed fuel, which is a component that facilitates business through the transportation of goods, not to be touched. 

Sir, I must congratulate the hon. Minister because it is not easy to do what he is doing. However, he has decided that this is one item he must keep stable for the love of this country. The difficulty we are going through is a tragedy. However, the situation is bound to change, maybe, at a slightly different level. The hon. Minister of Finance, is aware of that, as he makes smart choices, in order not to create panic in the country.

Mr Speaker, when I drive through Lusaka, it is amazing how beautiful the city looks. I am surprised how a road network like the L400 can completely transform a city.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Lusaka, which had bad roads, now looks brand new. To those who have travelled to Gaborone, Windhoek or any town in South Africa, it was surprising to see how good the roads were. Today, Zambians have forgotten how dusty Lusaka was. Dust and potholes have been confined to the past.
Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, these are things that people can see. They can see where the money has gone. When the C400 and the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road projects have been completed, this country will be comparable to smart countries like Botswana, Namibia or South Africa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this should make the Zambians proud because their Government is thinking ahead for them. The hon. Minister of Finance made another smart decision of allowing the exchange rate to settle without fighting it. I say this because fighting the exchange rate without a rise in productivity is an illusion. We should fight the causes of the escalation of the exchange rate and not the exchange rate itself. 

Mr Speaker, currently, the biggest trading country where we import goods from is South Africa. We import goods worth US$3.1 billion from South Africa. The South African currency is the rand and it is convertible. With regard to the goods that we import from South Africa, our exchange rate is based on the rand. Our biggest concern, therefore, should be the behaviour of the kwacha to the rand and not the kwacha to the United States Dollar. The hon. Minister of Finance has tried hard to keep the exchange rate constant despite the escalation of the dollar to the kwacha exchange rate. 

Sir, the other biggest trading countries are the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and China but, to some extent, they cannot reach the level at which we trade with South Africa. It is therefore, amazing to find that an apple, which used to cost K2.90, now costs K4.90. Why is it so? Why are the shops basing the price of commodities and foodstuff on the kwacha to Dollar exchange rate and not the kwacha to rand exchange rate? Why are they exploiting the Zambians when the kwacha to rand exchange rate has not changed so much? This has affected the cost of many other items that we import from South Africa. This is not fair. I believe that Broomsberg and many other foreign media houses are covering these issues. They tell the Zambian people the truth about these issues. The kwacha to rand exchange rate is not as bad as the kwacha to Dollar exchange rate. The biggest export destination for Zambia is Switzerland, but that is a different issue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, we should tell the Zambians that the escalation of prices of goods is due to the decisions of individuals who have no heart for them. These people just want to benefit themselves ... 

Mrs Mulasikwanda: Through politicking!

Mr Simbao: … through politicking. For example, there is no way fertiliser that is produced at the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) should be expensive because the ammonia, which is the biggest ingredient in the manufacture of fertiliser, is bought from South Africa. Items such as cement are reasonably priced because there is nothing that is added to the cement that is bought in Dollars. Therefore, there is no need for prices of items to escalate. The Zambian people need to know about all this. This Government is trying hard to protect Zambians from suffering.  

Mr Speaker, let me talk about the drop in copper prices. Most of the people in this country blame the Government for the drop in copper prices. Prices of copper are business based. This is where business decisions are made by the Government. In business, the biggest component is profit. You should be able to know if you are going to make a profit or loss on a particular item. For example, if I write a book that will fail to sell, I will stop publishing it. It is as simple as that. There is no way I will continue doing something that will not add value to my effort. Currently, we know that the price of copper is very low. China is buying a lot of copper. This is because copper is so cheap that they want to stockpile it. I think it is better to stop selling copper to the Chinese cheaply. The Zambians have said that if we cannot benefit from copper at the moment, it is better to leave it in the ground. We should leave it for future generations to mine when it will have more value.

Mrs Mulasikwanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, there is no way we can continue increasing the production of copper when we are not making any money from it. Currently, the mining industry is making a loss. In business, the most painful decision that one can make is to close the business. In this country, we have fought hard not to have such a thing happen. I remember, in the time of President Mwanawasa, SC., Anglo American Corporation Plc pulled out because the mines were run by the Government. Today, Government participation in the mines is only about 18 per cent. Therefore, we are not in any position to make decisions. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government has tried hard to stop the mines from closing down. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this Government has actually stopped people from being laid off. The comparison of Zambia and Chile does not hold any water. Chile’s Codelco is a parastatal. The same thing that President Mwanawasa, SC., did when Anglo American Corporation Plc pulled out is what Chile is doing and they are not going to allow their mines to close down. They will try to boost the operations of the mines even during bad times. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about …

Hon. Opposition Members: Towers!


Mr Simbao: Sir, now they want me to talk about towers. 


The Deputy Chairperson: They are waiting for you to talk about transport and communications.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I have already talked about transport and there are many other issues in this Budget that I want to talk about. 

The Deputy Chairperson: I thought you are on the Floor as hon. Minister of Transport and Communications. So, you should spend more time on transport and communications. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Continue!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I think I mentioned something about towers in this House. You must encourage the hon. Members to be in Parliament all the time. Most of the hon. Members miss sittings of Parliament all the time. Yesterday, a notice was circulated on the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) intention to have a one-to-one discussion with each Member so that the issue of towers can be put to rest. I do not know why I should start talking about this now. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was talking about the kwacha to rand exchange rate. For that reason, I would request that, maybe, all the prices for goods that are imported from South Africa be based on the kwacha to rand rate. That way, the goods will be quite affordable for the Zambians.

Sir, I would also like to talk about the hon. Minister’s commitment to cut the Budget Deficit from 6.9 per cent to 3.8 per cent this year. This point was well debated by Hon. Simfukwe, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbala.

Mr Simfukwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, that is another smart decision. Cutting down the deficit means cutting down consumption. Unnecessary consumption has been our disease and the hon. Minister of Finance has decided to cure it. This is not an easy decision. So, he needs support from all Zambians. I believe that the hon. Minister will achieve his target no matter the difficulties that might arise.

Sir, it is sometimes shocking to learn that some well-known developed countries grapple with the issues of poverty and unemployment. This is very common around the world, and yet when such issues arise here, it is as if the leaders here are different from the leaders elsewhere.

Mr Mushanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: They all face the same difficulties. This Government loves the citizens of Zambia …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: … and does not take pride in seeing any one of them suffer.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Therefore, Zambians should not be misled by people who do not have their interest at heart. These are people who specialise in despising the Government in order to enrich themselves.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Do not ask me how they get paid. As a result, they do not tell the truth. They take pride in causing confusion by dragging people‘s names in the mud, and yet in reality, they are worse.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I want to assure the Zambians, through this House, that the road to prosperity has never been easy for any country. Those who try to paint a different picture do so for their own selfish ends. They make people believe them because they look flambouyant and rich. From such, let us learn to keep our distance.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, your Committee considered the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 1st January to 31st December, 2016. In doing so, various stakeholders were invited to make written and oral submissions. I now highlight the key findings and recommendations of your Committee, as the report is available for hon. Members to read in detail.

Sir, your Committee notes that the current economic situation is depressed, with growth at the end of 2015 projected to decline to 4.6 per cent from the projected 7.0 per cent at the beginning of the year. The country is likely to continue experiencing electricity rationing, the depreciation of the kwacha, declining copper production and prices, at least, in the short-term. 

Mr Speaker, with these problems, it is likely that the challenges the economy is faced with might worsen further if no smart decisions are made. In this regard, your Committee is of the view that the proposed objectives for 2016 might be difficult to attain.

Sir, this Budget is premised on fiscal consolidation. Therefore, your Committee expected the Government to show the highest levels of prioritisation and rationalisation. Regrettably, this Budget seems to be business as a usual.

Mr Speaker, in view of what I have stated, your Committee recommends that the Government institutes robust cost-saving measures such as:

(a)    cutting down on foreign travel and making use of foreign missions to attend conferences;

(b)    re-examining the establishment of a national airline, as this is coming at a wrong time;
(c)    cutting down on workshops and unnecessary local travels that do not add any value; and 

(d)     strictly sticking to the approved Budget.

Sir, the Budget Estimates, especially on the expenditure side, indicate that the controlling officers in ministries, provinces and spending agencies are not adjusting in line with the current economic situation.

Mr Speaker, the ministries, provinces and all spending agencies should cut down on many non-priority expenditures, institute highest levels of fiscal discipline, improve performance and stick to programmes that have high a impact on economic growth and development to improve the living standards of the people and cushion the citizens against the hash economic realities.

Mr Speaker, the energy sector plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth. The unfortunate developments arising from the apparent poor policy environment, lack of long-term planning and investment in the sector has brought the current situation where demand has outstripped supply, leading to load shedding with all its negative economic ramifications. We hope that the Government will make the right and smart choices as quickly as possible in this area.

Mr Speaker, the talk about diversification has taken longer than is necessary. The reliance of Zambia on copper as a major export earner has serious implications on the economy. If this economy was well diversified in other areas like tourism, agriculture and value addition, the current challenges the economy is faced with would not have been as bad. Regrettably, this is not the case, and the situation may continue as long as we continue to direct minimal resources towards diversification.

Sir, your Committee is concerned that the 2016 Budget does not provide real solutions towards diversification apart from a few incentives in the energy sector. It urges the Government to come up with robust strategies meant to seriously diversify the economy.

Sir, the mining fiscal regime needs to be refined in order to reflect competitiveness in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) so as to stabilise mining business, foreign exchange inflows and save jobs during the current economic meltdown, and even beyond the crisis. Our mining fiscal regime needs to be attractive, competitive and comparative in the sub-region. We cannot tax our mines in isolation because we compete for the FDI with other mining countries in the sub-region.

Mr Speaker, we urge the Government to craft a stable mining tax regime based on evidence, broad and progressive long-term perspective.

Sir, your Committee observes that there will be an increase in the uptake from non-tax revenue measures in the 2016 Budget. Whilst this is appreciated, your Committee is concerned about the absence of strategies and mechanisms to make non-tax revenue perform better. Your Committee is aware of the rampant maladministration and, sometimes, corruption in Government institutions charged with the responsibility to collect fines and fees. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government devises strategies to mitigate leaks in revenue collections by tightening up controls in the collection of non-tax revenue. The Government should automate all collection points so that human interference in the cash transactions is reduced.

Mr Speaker, most of the witnesses who appeared before your Committee appreciated plans to operationalise the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For commodity-based economies like ours that are susceptible to fluctuations of commodities on the international market, it is important to have such a fund. In fact, we should have done this a long time ago. During the economic slumps such as what we are experiencing at the moment, the economy would have ordinarily depended on the Sovereign Wealth Fund as a cushion.

Mr Speaker, it is the view of your Committee that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) plays a pivotal role in meeting the small developmental challenges at constituency level. Your Committee further notes that the CDF has remained static for a long time despite being the most visible fund at grassroots level. It, therefore, recommends that the Government increases the CDF substantially and releases are timely as the case is now where there is a time lag in CDF releases of over one year.

In conclusion, I wish to record your Committee’s indebtedness and gratitude to you for according it the opportunity to serve on this important Committee. I also thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and contributed to its work. Gratitude also goes to the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invariable services rendered during its sittings.
I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to thank you for this opportunity to wind up debate on the Motion of Supply on the 2016 Budget. I also wish to express my profound thanks to all the fifty-four hon. Members, including the Chairperson of the Expanded Committee on Estimates, for their outstanding contributions to the debate on the 2016 Budget Speech. 

I also wish to express my gratitude to the Expanded Committee on Estimates for working tireless and affording stakeholders and the general public an opportunity to provide constructive comments on various aspects of the 2016 Budget. Indeed, the pertinent issues brought out in the report by the Expanded Committee on Estimates reflect profound wisdom that the Government cannot afford to gloss over.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members have raised pertinent issues on both the revenue and expenditure estimates. As I wind up the debate on the Motion of Supply for the 2016 Budget, I wish to assure this august House that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is a listening Government. I will make my responses as brief and explicit as possible.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, let me take this opportunity to sincerely thank hon. Members of Parliament and all stakeholders for their responses and contributions towards the proposed revenue measures for the 2016 National Budget. As I announced during the Budget Address, the proposed measures have been framed in the context of the Government’s overall objective to consolidate the fiscal position so that the Budget is mainly financed through non-debt domestic resources in order to achieve our development goals in a more fiscally-sustainable manner.

Sir, as regards the matter on raising excise duty on plastic carrier bags, there are concerns that the proposed measure is not sufficiently stringent to arrest the environmental costs of the disproportionate use of plastic bags and that the measure should be complemented by the Government offering tax incentives for the manufacture of paper, including paper carrier bags.

I wish to assure this House that the proposed measure strikes a balance between optimising revenue collection, fostering a change of mindset as regards the use of plastic bags and ensuring that we do not jeopardise current employment and investment levels in the short to medium term. Hon. Members of this House may also recall that whereas duty was removed on machinery used in the production of paper bags in the 2013 Budget, other measures to augment this stance include the imposition of export duty on wood.

Mr Speaker, the other concern that was raised by stakeholders is that the Budget has not effectively addressed practical steps that must be undertaken to actualise economic diversification, particularly as it relates to incentives to promote tourism.

Sir, as my colleagues may be aware, tourism is a priority sector under the Zambia Development Agency Act. This means that all qualifying investors in the sector are entitled to accelerated depreciation of 50 per cent on their capital investments, duty free importation of their capital equipment and machinery for five years as well as an income tax holiday of five years from the start of operations.

We believe that these incentives are necessary and adequate to address the infrastructure deficits in the sector, facilitate access to tourist resorts, reduce costs for tourists and make the tourism industry more competitive in the sub-region, given the scenic beauty and rich natural endowment that our country is already blessed with.

Mr Speaker, while we diversify the economy to give it a much wider and sustainable base, mining will remain an important sector of the economy. The mining industry employs large numbers of people directly and generates employment opportunities in companies that are established to provide goods and various services to the mines. Mining communities, by virtue of their purchase power, also engender a series of economic activities such as a variety of retail outfits.

Sir, in the course of the current fiscal year, mining taxation was adjusted twice. It was, therefore, expedient and prudent to allow time for deep reflection in order to come up with a tax regime for the mining industry which would optimise revenue for the Government while ensuring that the mining companies stayed solvent, especially in times when volatility and turbulence of the global market place rendered a severe challenge to mining operations. 

Mr Speaker, as the Government, we have engaged the mining companies in constructive dialogue and are critically looking at the useful submissions from the mining industry submitted to us by the Zambia Chamber of Mines. It is important that we have a credible mining tax regime which has an aura of permanence and which induces investor confidence by having the attributes of consistency and predictability. This was well illustrated by the Deputy Minister of Mines, Hon. Musukwa.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members have asked how this Government will raise more revenue to fund the 2016 Budget which is bigger compared to the 2015 Budget when the economy is faced with various challenges. This is, indeed, a genuine concern which calls for more collective resolve as a nation for us to sail above the impediments and realise our development goals within reasonable time frames.

In this regard, Mr Speaker, the Government will continue with the agenda of building capacity in the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to improve domestic revenue collection. Critical to this will be the modernisation of the collection system so that we increasingly use modern information communication technologies (ICT) to enhance efficiency and tax compliance. 

Sir, in the medium term, we have developed initiatives that will help us capture more revenues. These interventions, which have been outlined in my Budget Address include, among others, the requirement to use fiscal registers for value added tax (VAT) purposes, the restructuring of the withholding tax system for rental income and consultancy services.

Sir, I further wish to indicate that we shall not relent on securing improved tax compliance. Particularly, the ZRA has been tasked to upscale its efforts to contain loss of revenue which is perpetrated through base erosion and profit shifting, especially by entities that are multi-national in their operations. Similarly, efforts to encourage compliance domestically will continue through improved taxpayer services and tax awareness campaigns.

Mr Speaker, we are cognisant of the fact that taxation, if not properly structured and administered, may become an obstacle to both investment and enhanced domestic resource mobilisation. In this regard, I wish to assure this House and the nation at large that we are fully committed to ensuring that we anchor policy coherence at the centre of our policy action so that we are systematic and our tax system remains transparent and predictable, buoyant, fair and efficient.

Mr Speaker, the proposed revenue measures are straightforward. I, therefore, wish to urge the hon. Members to support the money bills which I shall soon present to the House.

Mr Speaker, I wish to indicate outrightly that hon. Members must have observed a very drastic reduction in resource allocation to all ministries, provinces and other spending agencies in the 2016 Budget. This is because the 2016 Budget has been formulated within a very difficult environment of global and domestic economic challenges. These include the fall in copper pricing and the depreciation of the kwacha, among others, which explicitly means that the Government has had to work within a more limited resource envelope. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members have raised concern over the 8 per cent non-personal emoluments budgeted for the Ministry of Agriculture going to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and for the procurement of strategic food reserves. 

Sir, I wish to indicate to the House that until small-scale farmers grow their potential to a level of self sufficiency and the agriculture sector is to become a driving force for the economy, it is imperative that the Government continues to provide some level of support. To drive the diversification agenda, the Government has modified the FISP through the implementation of the e-Voucher System that will give farmers an opportunity to procure inputs of their choice and exploit the full potential of their geographical position. 

Mr Speaker, I wish to commend the hon. Members on the recommendation that the Irrigation Development Programme targets small-scale farmers in order to reduce dependence on rain-fed agriculture. This, will spur the growth of the sector. 

Mr Speaker, while the overall allocation to the sector has reduced, this mainly relates to non-critical administrative costs. 

Mr Speaker, hon. Members raised a number of concerns over the allocation and implementation of the projects in the road sector. It is evident that only when our country is land linked shall we be able to bring about many development opportunities for the local people such as job creation and access to markets through reduced time in the transportation of goods and movement of people, hence the necessity that the Government continues to allocate funds to this sector.

Sir, the Government has undertaken a deliberate move to reserve some road projects for citizen-owned companies which have, at least, 50.1 per cent Zambian shareholding under the Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project which is aimed at empowering local contractors.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the country’s debt, I wish to assure this august House that the debt stock is well within sustainable levels, as it is far below the internationally-accepted threshold of 40 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Even when the debt is related to annual export earnings, the hon. Members have no reason to worry. Further, the Government has actively embarked on the consolidation of the fiscal position by limiting borrowing in the 2016 Budget as evidenced by the lower projected debt deficit of 3.8 per cent of GDP. Suffice it to say that in order to finance the Government expenditure for 2016 and considering the movement in the exchange rates will be necessary for Parliament to adjust the thresholds to allow for additional borrowing.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the Sinking Fund, concerns were raised on appointing independent fund managers to manage it and whether it will be sufficient to offset the maturities when they fall due. I wish to indicate that the Sinking Fund has been set up with the objective of ensuring that resources will be available for payment when the Eurobond falls due. In this regard, the Government projects to make annual allocations from general revenues till the time of repayment. In the interim, the money in the Sinking Fund will be invested prudently. The proposal to have independent fund managers for the borrowed funds is simply not cost effective, as it would require an increase in administrative costs which, with the current fiscal constraints, would not be a prudent budget undertaking. 

Mr Speaker, in the absence of a fully-operationalised Decentralisation Policy, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) has proved to be an effective tool to fast buck and take development closer to the people when properly used. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, it is in this vein that while most allocations in the 2016 Budget across most institutions have had to be reduced due to fiscal constraints, the Government has made deliberate efforts to ensure that the allocation to the CDF is maintained at the 2015 level.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I want to express my unfettered gratitude to the Expanded Committee on Estimates for the valuable suggestion that the Government should take deliberate measures to ensure that there is rationalisation in the utilisation of resources across all Government institutions. The Government takes this suggestion seriously and will additionally take requisite measures, including making the necessary adjustments to the procurement process, so that there is value for money in Government service delivery. Let me emphasise that the central and underlying objective of the 2016 Budget is fiscal consolidation. To ensure accelerated and sustainable growth of the economy at preferably double digit rates in order to make an impact on poverty eradication, we have to put an end to fiscal excesses and the irresponsibility that is implicit in large deficits. Deficits, which are financed by the Central Bank selling Government Securities at high interest rates, make the commercial bank lending rates high. The high interest rates are not a recipe for growing the economy. They stoke inflationary spirals and make our economy unbearably high and uncompetitive in the region and, indeed, the global market place. The high interest rates are unaffordable for the ordinary citizens and, in particular, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and drastically impair the prospects for high growth rates in the economy. There is, therefore, a compelling need for reduced Government borrowing in order to trigger a decided downward movement in the interest rates. 

Mr Speaker, let me make a passionate plea to all the hon. Members of this august House that as esteemed leaders of our nation, we must all strive for the moral high ground and, above all, lead the crusade for fellowship and unity in the nation. Our unity in diversity has stood out distinctly in a troubled continent and world. A peaceful Zambia, anchored on social justice for all our people and unique fellowship, is our legacy to the world and humanity. I am persuaded beyond doubt that we can rise to these challenges. 

Lastly, Sir, I wish, once more, to thank my hon. Colleagues for their contribution in debating the Motion of Supply, which I laid before this House on Friday, 9th October, 2015, and their overwhelming support. I am also grateful to your Committee for its thorough report and for bringing out a number of issues, which this Government has taken note of and will consider in future budget endeavours. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to. 


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 1907 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 29th October, 2015.