Debates - Thursday, 29th October, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Thursday, 29th October, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






145. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of General Education: 

(a)    how many teachers’ houses were earmarked for construction in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency in 2015 and 2016;

(b)    what the estimated cost of the exercise was; and

(c)    which schools would benefit from the exercise.

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, twenty-eight staff houses are currently being constructed in Chasefu Constituency at Chasefu Boarding Secondary School, which is under construction.

Sir, the estimated cost of building the houses is K8.4 million.

Mr Speaker, as already stated in (a), Chasefu Boarding Secondary School will benefit from the construction of the staff houses.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, in most of the Government and community primary schools dotted around Chasefu, there is a lack of staff houses. Does the Government have any plan to build some staff houses in those schools?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, yes, we have the plans. I think that most of the community schools that we are upgrading, including those in Kazungula, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: Sir, it seems that Hon. Livune has shifted and is now my neighbour.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in most schools that we upgrade, we also construct one or two staff houses. The ministry also has a long-term plan to construct more staff houses in Chasefu Constituency and is exploring the possibility of using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. Hon. Dr Kaingu emphasised this earlier because we think that it is the most appropriate long-term approach to addressing the shortage of staff houses in most schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Your new neighbour might have been attracted by the speech you delivered yesterday.


Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister be kind enough and give us a work plan indicating how many staff houses will be built in each constituency? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, yes, I am able to do that, but not with regard to the 2015 plan. As we approve the Budget, obviously, the ministry will prepare an infrastructure development plan (IDP) that will be circulated to hon. Members in the course of 2016.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, apart from the stated school, are there no other schools at which staff houses are planned for construction during the stated period? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, that is the current position. 

Sir, the Government will spend about K44 million on constructing Chasefu Boarding Secondary School. Were this project not under implementation, the K44 million would have financed the construction of teachers’ houses at most of the primary schools in the constituency. Unfortunately, all that money is committed to that one project and we have the challenge of limited resources.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, how many community schools have been upgraded in Chasefu Constituency, so far?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not have the actual answer on my fingertips and I do not want to give an answer that might mislead the House. However, I can provide the answer at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, has it been the trend in all the constituencies for all other projects to come to a standstill when a major project is under implementation?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member might be aware, the Government can only execute projects within the available resources. However, that does not mean that it will not implement other projects in Chasefu on account of the secondary school it is building there. What I said is that it is not possible to find any other money within the Budget to upgrade more staff houses in Chasefu because K44 million is currently committed to the construction of the boarding school. Had it more money, it would definitely have constructed more than the twenty-eight that I mentioned.

I thank you, Sir.




VOTE 01 − (Office of the President – State House – K50,386,711).

The Minister of Works and Supply, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely for according me the opportunity to present the 2016 Estimates of Recurrent and Capital Expenditure for the Office of the President, State House.

Sir, State House is a key Government institution, which is also the seat of the Presidency of the Republic of Zambia. As the apex institution in the Government, it plays a critical overarching supervisory role in providing national guidance and overall policy direction to our country.
Mr Chairperson, given this mandate, the policy objective and role of State House has been summarised in the following mission statement:

“To deliver inspirational and visionary leadership to the nation and promote inclusive governance in order to achieve a better life for all Zambians.”

Sir, in support of the mission statement and to give State House specific focus and direction for its operations, the institution’s goal is stated as follows:

“To achieve effective and efficient advisory and support services for enhanced execution of Executive functions by His Excellency the President.”

Mr Chairperson, the institution encountered various challenges in the course of implementing the 2015 Budget. Nevertheless, it maintained its focus on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. To that end, several key positions that had been vacant for a long time were filled during the course of the year. However, that called for the allocation of more resources to enable the new office bearers to effectively contribute to the delivery of the institution’s mandate. Despite the challenges it has faced, the institution has, thus far, made significant progress towards the successful implementation of its programmes.

Sir, for the information of hon. Members, State House functions are performed through two key departments, namely:

(a)    Presidential Affairs; and

(b)       Human Resource and Administration.

Mr Chairperson, despite having increased its 2016 budget by 15.79 per cent, the institution has not been spared by the tight fiscal space that the country currently faces. This is evidenced by the 12.54 per cent reduction in the Non-Personal Emoluments budget line. Further, the institution is committed to ensuring that its expenditure remains within its approved budget.

Sir, the budget estimates before this House will enable State House to undertake various planned activities in the implementation of its programme. I, therefore, wish to appeal to the hon. Members to support the Estimates for State House, as presented in the Yellow Book.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Chairperson, I have very few remarks to make on the allocation to State House.

Sir, from the outset, let me comment on the surroundings of State House. 

Sir, as someone who has lived near State House since 1980, which is 35 years ago, I have noticed a few things over the years, the first of which is the drainage system. I even raised this issue in this House during the Fourth Republican President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda’s Administration. The junction of President’s Lane and Independence Avenue becomes a water pond every year during the rainy season. I hope that, this time around, that will not be the case. That should not happen just next to Plot One, a very important area and it does not give a good picture. So, the people responsible for the works should rectify the situation.

 Sir, the other matter of concern I have noticed lately, two years to be specific, is the lighting system just at the entrance to State House. There are too many street lights there and they are very blinding in the evening. All along, there were very few but, now, there are about forty-one of them over a distance of only 150 m. I do not know whether that is part of the security system but, to me, it is very inconveniencing to anyone who passes through there. Apart from that, I think that it attracts people who may want to sabotage that area because, when passing through the area, you can easily guess that there is something important there. So, I hope that the issue can be looked into.

Sir, let me now comment on Programme 3047, Activity 02 – Monitoring and Evaluation – K2,000,000.

Mr Chairperson, I appeal to the appointing authority to appoint people with the right experience and qualifications to execute this function. They should be able to issue press statements that reflect the true picture of State House’s work instead of issuing half-baked statements, if I may use that expression. They should also monitor and evaluate national projects in a meaningful manner. We do not want incidents like the one we witnessed a few months ago. The image of State House should be protected.

Sir, those are the few words that I wanted to say.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.      

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Chairperson, I want to make a few observations on the Vote for State House. 

Sir, the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House indicated that State House’s goal is to deliver an inspiring and inclusive governance system. However, looking at how the institution has been managing its affairs and those of this country, I do not see any inclusiveness in its governance style. So, I think that State House should improve the way it manages itself. We cannot have a State House whose workers are scandal-ridden. We are happy to hear the hon. Minister say that some vacancies at State House have been filled. However, the institution should not have members of staff who have dinner at 03:00 hours and fire guns at restaurants when they differ with other people. I do not think that we need to see the President’s Private Secretary or Permanent Secretary have dinner at 03:00 hours. As the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House rightly indicated, that is an institution from which we should all get inspiration. However, if it will be used as a haven for people with all sorts of unsavoury characteristics, I do not see us becoming what we aspire to grow into. So, bearing that mind, I urge the Government to change things at State House. We look up to State House for inspiration, but I do not see us going anywhere if it employs people who get involved in scandals of firing guns at fellow citizens.

Mr Chairperson, another thing that I need to indicate to the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, who gave the policy statement, is that walls have ears and eyes. So, we do not want to see too many of the staff recruited at State House have private meetings in hotels at late hours. That is an indication of some corrupt or wrong things being done. That is why they are being accused of corruption. So, we need to maintain the high standards at State House and ensure that sanity prevails in that place.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mufalali: We cannot continue with the way things are being done currently because that place is dignified. If people there behave like they occupy just any other office, then, I do see us dignifying the place. So, there is a need for us to employ the right people at State House. We cannot employ everyone just because they chanted slogans for the Patriotic Front (PF). Such people must be given positions that befit their standing, not State House. Otherwise, there will be chaos, as is the case currently, which is not right.

Sir, let me also talk about inclusive governance. 

Mr Chairperson, when university students in South Africa demonstrated against the hiking of fees, the President of that country intervened to solve the problem by stopping the fees hike. Here, in Zambia, there are problems at institutions of higher learning, but our President is mute. 


Mr Mufalali: Sir, if some people do not know what is going on, they should not just heckle. These things are happening. Forty-six students were arrested at the University of Zambia (UNZA) and there are many cries in our institutions of higher learning, yet the President is quiet. We want to see him take charge of all these things. Many hon. Members here are actually acting on his behalf. He is the Chief Executive while they are just appointed to help him. So, if they are failing, ...

Mr Livune: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Mufalali: ... he has to act. It is as simple as that. So, there is no need for heckling here. Things are bad out there. 

Sir, we will not allow a situation in which students will be brutalised while we just watch. The President must intervene.

Mr Livune: That is right!

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

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I have only a few comments on this Vote.

Sir, from the outset, I want to agree with the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House that State House is a dignified institution and to add something I have said before, that it is the nexus of the governance system of this country. As such, it is required to remain a unifying factor in any nation because if it has a preponderance of divisive traits, then, certainly, the nation will not be united.

Sir, this year’s allocation to State House is K53 million while the one for 2015 was K43 million. Due to the depreciation of the kwacha, it is obvious that the institution got a little less money this year than it was allocated last year.

Mr Speaker, coming to the individual Heads, I would like to invite the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, Hon. Mukanga, to give an explanation on Programme 3000, Activity 006, ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

We will discuss that when we consider individual items.
Mr Nkombo: Sir, that is fine. However, I am concerned about Programme 3000, Activity 006 ‒ Salaries ‒ Super Scale ‒ K6,898,386. The activity was only allocated K1,867,742 million last year, but has been allocated close to K7 million this year under. I am sure that you were listening yesterday when the Chairperson of the Committee on Estimates indicated that the Committee had perused the Budget and recommended some austerity measures that needed to be put in place. So, it would be good to get an explanation on why the allocation to this Programme has gone to K7 million from the K1.8 million that was allocated last year. The same applies to the allocation to Short Term Training for Foreign Training. I think that State House staff is not that big to warrant all this money.

Sir, under Monitoring and Evaluation, ...

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Could we reserve that for when we will consider individual items.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I follow you. 

Sir, under Monitoring and Evaluation, one hon. Member of Parliament who used to sit up there (indicated the left back) once said, “One day, we will wake up and find that the PF Members have run away.”

Sir, I think that there is a need for prudence in looking at the performance of contracts. Since 2011, the Road Development Agency (RDA) operations have been supervised from State House, and I am sure that the monitoring and evaluation programme mentioned here is mainly intended for RDA projects. However, we have been told that some members of staff at State House have got themselves into trouble for soliciting for payments from people who want to see the President. That is at loggerheads with the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House’s statement that State House should be a dignified institution. So, State House must be opened up. Anybody who wants to see the President must have access to him without having to bribe anyone. So far, it is as if the practice of having to bribe someone to facilitate an appointment with the Head of State whenever you want to see him has been institutionalised. It has become the norm. That is undignified and, if it does occur, it must stop forthwith, and one way of stopping it is setting aside times during which people can be free to see the President at State House. Currently, it is difficult even for us, as hon. Members of Parliament, to see him. We have tried to make appointments in the past, but it has been an exercise in futility, yet we should be allowed to see the President in order to share with him some pressing matters that affect the people whose interests and aspirations we represent.

Sir, there is also a need for the country to tighten austerity measures regarding transport at State House. It was recommended by the Chairperson of the Committee on Estimates that fewer security vehicles should be used in the President’s motorcade. The President is supposed to be a people’s person. Therefore, he does not need a huge escort. He only needs, maybe, two or three vehicles in his entourage. We need to cut costs by reducing the number of costly V8 engine motor vehicles in the President’s motorcade. In Botswana, it is very common to find President General Ian Khama with only two or three other people in his entourage because he is a man of the people. President Lungu used to seat where Hon. Dr Simbyakula, SC., is seated. There is no need for so much mystery around him because perpetuating the mystery around him will make us continue to spend unnecessarily for his security when his life is not even in danger.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.  

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the Office of the President, State House, let me start by noting that its allocation has been raised from the K43 million allocated last year to K50 million. However, that is not a lot of money considering that we will have general elections next year. So, I only urge State House to control the use of these funds and avoid a budget deficit. Expensive ventures, such as hiring of planes, cannot be accommodated in a budget with such little money. State House must be prudent in its use of resources. We know that the account at State House is not even audited, yet its activities can be a huge drain on the Treasury if it is not controlled.

Sir, I am still studying the individual allocations in the budget for State House, but of interest to me is the issue of the governance of this country, which was referred to by the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House in his policy statement. Everything in the Government starts and stops with the President. Therefore, he must ensure that all Zambians are served properly without any discrimination. That is what he swore to do. 

Mr Chairperson, we are all aware that the hon. Minister of Home Affairs has been directed to issue a statement to this House on a certain issue. However, I stand with a heavy heart over what is going on in the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs). We are not taking it kindly because every Zambian needs to be …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Muntanga!

As you have said, I directed the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to issue a statement on that issue. So, I think that you should veer off it. 

Mr Muntanga: Sir, all I am saying is that the President must ensure that every hon. Minister does his/her job properly so that we can have less tension among us. I will be the first to admit that the estimate for this Head is not enough, considering the fact that 2016 will be an election year and the President is the only one allowed to use public resources, such as flying around in aeroplanes at public expense, during an election. So, it is important that prudence is exercised in the use of the funds allocated to State House.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I appreciate the contributions of the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated this Vote. That done, let me respond to some specific issues. 

Sir, Hon. Mooya’s concerns over the poor drainage system around State House are valid, and we will look into them to see what we can do. As regards having too many lights around State House, that cannot be avoided because we need proper security lighting near an institution like that one. So, it is not too much.

Sir, on monitoring and evaluation, we are trying to monitor all the projects across the country. That is why, next year, we will try to synchronise the monitoring and evaluation responsibility of State House with that of the Ministry of Developing Planning so that issues are handled well.

Mr Chairperson, on the appointment of State House personnel, the President has the prerogative to decide who to appoint. So, it is not for us to disapprove his appointments just because we do not like the person who has been appointed. Suffice it for me to say that the President is doing all he can to put the right people in the right offices. For now, those who have been appointed are the best people to give us the results. So, I think that the President is within …


Mr Mukanga: Sir, regarding some references to hon. Ministers, I think that it is important that we do not drag ourselves into the debate. So, I do not want to go into that. 

Sir, I think that people who see others having meetings in hotels at 0300 hours should ask themselves what they do in hotels at that time to be able to see what others are doing there.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukanga: As leaders, it is important that we are in our homes at appropriate times.

Mr Chairperson, one hon. Member compared the way the President of the Republic of South Africa and his Zambian counterpart handle issues. All I can say is we all definitely have different management styles. One thing we should be able to appreciate, however, is that the President has hon. Ministers. We have an hon. Minister of Higher Education who is more than capable of handling issues in that ministry. Therefore, the President does not need to get involved in those issues because the hon. Minister is resolving them.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: It is important that we follow the right procedures. If the President had got involved in what is happening in that sector, the Opposition hon. Members would have been the first to talk of his interference in affairs that should be left to hon. Ministers to handle. So, the President does not want to get involved. 

Mr Chairperson, we will continue to develop this country. The President has done his level best to develop the country in a prudent manner. 

Sir, the increase in the allocation for salaries in the Super Scale is necessary because, as I stated, we are filling vacancies. Therefore, we will definitely have an increase in the bill for emoluments.

Sir, the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, Hon. Nkombo, talked about short-term training. I do not know whether my brother looked at the allocation carefully because there is actually a reduction from the K250,000 allocated in 2015 to K191,000.  

Mr Chairperson, as hon. Ministers, we all execute works on behalf of the President. So, if he wants to over-supervise us, there is nothing wrong with it. As far as supervision is concerned, he is doing his level best. 

Sir, our Head of State is accessible to all citizens and we would like to keep it that way.

Mr Chairperson, there was a suggestion that we need to reduce the number of vehicles in the Presidential motorcade. However, yesterday, I was at church where we went for a memorial service and saw the motorcades of some of the opposition party leaders. They had more vehicles than the President’s.


Mr Mukanga: So, why should we reduce the number of vehicles in the Presidential motorcade when our colleagues have more vehicles? We cannot do that because we have to ensure that our President is protected at all times.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mukanga: If we see the need to increase the number of vehicles in the motorcade, we will do it. 


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mukanga: How can someone expect us to make the President’s motorcade smaller when a private citizen can boast that he controls the Office of the President? That cannot happen. We need to safeguard our President because this country needs him today and will need him tomorrow. We believe that he is a gift to this country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, concerning financial prudence, we will do all we can to ensure that it is exercised at all levels of governance.

I thank you, Sir.

VOTE 01/01 – (Office of the President – State House – Headquarters – K50, 386,711).

Vote 01/01/ ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 02 – (Office of the Vice-President – K36, 897,837).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the 2016 Estimates of Expenditure for the Office of the Vice-President. 

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I must say that this Budget is being presented against a background of great uncertainty in the world economy, and I ask hon. Members of Parliament to take this into consideration as they debate this Vote.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to remind hon. Members that the Office of the Vice-President derives its mandate from Article 45 of the Zambian Constitution. Its statutory functions, as published in the Government Gazette number 183 of March, 2012, include: 

(a)    Parliamentary Business;

(b)    Disaster and Drought Mitigation; and 

(c)    Resettlement. 

Mr Chairperson, by virtue of its being the second highest office in the land, the Office of the Vice-President also discharges important cross-cutting functions on issues referred to it by line ministries and other Government institutions. In discharging these portfolio functions, the Office of the Vice-President is guided by the following mission statement:

“To provide support services to the Presidency, facilitate the effective conduct of Government Business in Parliament, and implement resettlement and disaster risk management programmes in order to enhance good governance and empowerment of vulnerable households.”

Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President has a Parliamentary Business Division, which assists the Leader of Government Business in the House to co-ordinate Government Business in this august House, and plays the vital role of liaison between the Executive and the Legislature in enhancing accountability and promoting good governance. In playing the liaison role, the division facilitates the effective conduct of Government Business in the House by expeditiously processing all Parliamentary Business, such as Action-Taken Reports, questions and various information memoranda for the Executive. Further, the division assists the Executive by facilitating the processing of Government Bills, responses to Motions and ministerial statements, which ensures that the Executive voice is collective. 

Sir, in 2016, the Parliamentary Business Division will continue with its core mandate of co-ordinating Government Business in the House. Further, it will strengthen its monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of projects highlighted in the Action-Taken Reports, responses to questions and Government assurances.

Mr Chairperson, under the Department of Resettlement, the importance of the land resettlement programmes being implemented cannot be over-emphasised. There are currently eighty-seven resettlement schemes covering 672,270 ha across the country, with 39,000 planned farm holdings out of which 22,100 are occupied. The remaining 16,900 are yet to be demarcated and allocated to the target groups. In order to make the resettlement schemes attractive and productive, there is an urgent need to provide infrastructure, such as schools, health centres, water supply points and roads. 

Mr Chairperson, demand for resettlement land has been increasing, with over 4,040 applications having been received over the past three years while about 140,000 ha have been acquired for resettlement in the same period. One thousand seven hundred and seventy-one (1,771) farms were demarcated, 230 km of access roads opened up and about sixty-three boreholes sunk for settlers. 

Mr Chairperson, in 2016, the Department of Resettlement has been allocated K2,914,561, out of which 29 per cent will be used to provide infrastructure in selected resettlement schemes while 25 per cent has been apportioned to operations and administration. 

Sir, the issuance of title deeds has remained a challenge for the Department of Resettlement, as very few settlers have been issued with the documents. Therefore, in 2016, the department will undertake a farm utilisation assessment for each settler to determine the number of settlers to be recommended for acquisition of title deeds. It will also continue with the stakeholder’s engagement on fast-tracking of the survey and titling of resettlement land. Its target is for 11,000 settlers to be issued with title deeds in 2016.

Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President is also charged with the responsibility of disaster management and mitigation. In this regard, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) was allocated K68,055,939 during the 2015 financial year. That allocation facilitated the implementation of a number of key programmes and activities, notable among which were the operationalisation of the Disaster Risk Management Framework and the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (CBDRM) Facilitation Manual, which are meant to build community resilience and foster integration of disaster …


The Chairperson: Can I have order on my extreme right behind the hon. Minister.

Mr Mukanga: … risk management efforts into the key sectors of the economy at the local level. The other programmes that have been implemented are the development of the contingency plans to enhance preparedness and timely response to hazards, and development of the Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Strategy; attending to emergencies through the activation of response and recovery action plans that had been developed; implementation of the relief food programme in the districts identified in the 2015 In-depth Assessment Report; stockpiling of assorted food and non-food items to facilitate timely response to disasters; and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, such as bridges/culverts and schools. The unit also facilitated the training of trainers in simulation exercises. The programmes and activities implemented ultimately contributed to poverty reduction, and the attainment of a social safety net and sustainable socio-economic development for vulnerable communities. It is worth noting that all the successes were made possible due to the unwavering support of various Government ministries and departments, the United Nations System, donors, the private sector and other co-operating partners, such as both local and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Mr Chairperson, notwithstanding the successes scored during 2015, the unit encountered the following challenges;

(a)    a lack of logistical capabilities in the form of specialised heavy equipment for emergency responses; and

(b)    a lack of participation by hon. Members of Parliament in the District Disaster Management Committees (DDMCs).

Mr Chairperson, for 2016, the DMMU has been allocated K12,228,458. This year, the Government has opted to change the funding to the DMMU because disasters cannot be predicted and budgeted for accurately amid competing national requirements. The DMMU will, therefore, be funded through contingency funds and re-allocation of funds from development programmes when disasters occur.

Mr Chairperson, this allocation will be utilised to undertake the following activities, among others:

(a)    office administration, in order to ensure the smooth running of the office;

(b)    operation and maintenance of plant and equipment, in order to ensure timely response to disasters;

(c)    conducting of rapid and in-depth assessments, in order to identify the needs;

(d)    responding to various emergencies to mitigate the impact of disasters;

(e)    implementing relief programmes in various districts in order to mitigate food insecurity ...

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Minister, you are going into the details. I thought that you would, maybe, just run through quickly. The reason I say so is that you may be required to say the same things that you are saying tomorrow under Vote 19. You may need to say those things then. 

With that guidance, you may continue.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I appreciate your guidance. 

Sir, in order to overcome all the challenges the unit faces, we will do what we can, as a Government, to ensure that the resources allocated are utilised prudently. 

Sir, let me end by urging the hon. Members of this House to support this Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, while I support this Vote, I have some reservations. 

Sir, the Office of the Vice-President is critical in as far as disaster management and emergency relief in the country are concerned. 

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i! 

Like I advised the hon. Minister, please, reserve your comments for the debate on Head 19 tomorrow. For now, confine yourself to the Vice-President’s Office.

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President is critical because it provides advisory services to the President and ensures fairness in the entire nation. Surprisingly, this office, though charged with this appropriation, seems to segregate in its operations and is only seen to be active during elections. Government resources are applied where they are not supposed to be applied for political expediency. 

Mr Chairperson, we expect the Office of the Vice-President to be very active on the ground through visitations to all corners of the country so that it can advise the President on national issues. That is why facilities like aircrafts are availed it. However, what we see is that it is political rather than national. It only addresses issues that have political significance mainly, when there are by-elections.  

Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President also abuses its powers by commandeering some ministries to discharge some of their responsibilities for political expediency, which is totally unacceptable. We want it to discharge its functions equitably in the entire nation. What we are seeing it do of late is not what it is supposed to be doing. Once one assumes the Office of Vice-President, one ceases to be partisan. We need the services of this office. The money that is allocated to it is meant to take care of the entire country. So, we should see Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning in Ikeleng’i more often so that she attends to our problems, which include a lack of road infrastructure and schools. 

Mr Chairperson, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning should be visible on the ground. We should not only see her chopper during a ward by-election. We need Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning to go and explain Government policies in areas like Mwinilunga and even chiefdoms. She should visit those places. That is the job of a Government. We do not want her and all the ministries to be jam-packed in areas where there are by-elections at the expense of other areas. That is not the way it is supposed to be. Let us civilise our minds and stop thinking in the box. Like Hon. Dora Siliya has said before, we should operate outside the box, put our partisan concerns aside and concentrate on managing the entire nation. The discrimination that we are seeing should be a lesson because we have seen five years wasted by this Government as far as development is concerned. 


Mr Muchima: There might be development in some people’s areas, but there is nothing in the North-Western Province, in general, and Ikeleng’i, in particular, apart from the foundation that the Ministry of General Education has laid for the construction of a boarding school. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Tell them!

Mr Muchima: The people on your right should go and see the grass that has grown at the site.

Hon. Opposition Member: Get annoyed.

Mr Muchima: There is nothing that is going on. There is only a foundation, yet they take cameras to show that there is development. It seems that we see development from different perspectives. There is no development in my area. In the entire five years of the Patriotic Front (PF) Administration, they have not marked anything. 

Dr Kaingu laughed.

Mr Muchima: Maybe, there is development in Mwandi, not in the North-Western Province.

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Muchima!

This is for the guidance of those who may wish to take the Floor on this matter. If you recall, I advised the hon. Minister to reserve any statements on the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) for tomorrow because it has a separate Head. I also wish to guide that you do not have to confine yourselves to Human Resource and Administration. Under the Vice-President’s Office, there is also the Department of Resettlement and the Parliamentary Business Department. You may debate issues that relate to those departments as well if you are ready. That was just for your information. You are not obliged to debate the other two departments. If you wish, you may continue to confine yourself to one. Those who will take the Floor after you, however, may wish to give it a thought.

Continue, please.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer, now!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, it is a bit difficult to separate the Office of the Vice-President from the areas being mentioned because it is in charge of them. However, I will try to limit myself. 

Mr Chairperson, the poverty levels are at their highest in this country. So, we beg those in authority, especially the Vice-President’s Office, to implement social interventions, such as relief food. Recently, the officers in the rural areas just picked names of people that they recommended for relief food. They refused to go into the remote rural areas. Instead, they just went by the roadside and got the names of passers-by, which has angered the people of the area. Relief food is supposed to be given to people who are in the remote villages. In the process of distributing the relief food, the Government officials will even see first-hand the dilapidated or non-existent road and bridge infrastructure, which can motivated them to provide the requisite infrastructure. 

Sir, I could have said more if the debate on this Head was not confined to administrative issues under the Vice-President’s Office. Now, I have been put in an awkward situation because I had wanted to concentrate on disaster management. I hope that I will be given a chance to debate tomorrow when the Head on disaster management will be debated so that I can bring out issues that affect this country. I want our money, which is currently being misused, to reach the people in our constituencies. Unfortunately, I cannot elaborate my points without involving the Vice-President. So, I will leave my debate here for. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Chairperson, it might be difficult for me to debate this Motion given the fact that the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House indicated that he did not know where to end his statement. 


Mr Mufalali: However, it will suffice for me to say that the Vice-President’s Office is very important, but it has not been properly structured. We need to put some flesh to it so that it can be worthy of its name. Currently, it is just ceremonial. Most of the time, the Vice-President is sent to perform ceremonial duties. I agree with those who have debated before me that if we want this office to be involved in Executive work, it should either be included in the Constitution and the Vice-President elected as a running mate to the President or we should have a Prime Minister to lead Government Business in the House, just like Hon. Mukanga is doing now.  If he was a Prime Minister, it would be okay. Currently, our Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning is in India looking for investors. 


Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, the Vice-President’s Office is top-heavy. We do not need four or five Permanent Secretaries (PSs) in that office. What are they for? There is a PS for Special Duties, one for Administration and another for Parliamentary Affairs. Why does the Government maintain them? While we have economic and other difficulties, why does the Government do that? Equally, why are there two hon. Deputy Ministers in such a ceremonial office? I think that we are incurring unnecessary expenses by maintaining that top-heavy structure. We can save the much-needed resources by restructuring that office to remove the unnecessary expenses in it so that we can use the resources to serve the majority of the poor people in this country. Forty-three (43) per cent of the people in this country live in extreme poverty, yet we have top-heavy offices and I do not think that is the way we should go. We cannot continue to pay salaries to people who do not do any work while 43 per cent of our people are in extreme poverty. 

The Chairperson: Hon. Mufalali, ...

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, let me comment on resettlement.


Mr Mufalali: Sir, for almost four years, my people have been crying for resettlement land, but it has not been given to them. If you go to the Hansard, you will find out that the Office of the Vice-President promised to provide resettlement land in Sikumbi. However, four years down the line, the promise has not been honoured and the people of Senanga are wondering why. We have the land and made all the necessary applications, but the issue has kept dragging. The process started in the previous Government, and I thought that this Government would complete it, but we are going into this Government’s fifth and last year without any progress on the issue. So, I want to hear from the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House what he has done about the Sikumbi resettlement applications we have made and whether that project will materialise or not. 

Sir, there is another resettlement scheme called Kalumwange in Kaoma in the Western Province, and the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House indicated that the Government would put up water facilities, roads and other infrastructure in that area. However, you will be shocked if you go there because none of those things are there. That scheme is old but, for the last four years, no money that was allocated to resettlement scheme has been spent on Kalumwange. I think, though, that this is the cry of the people in most resettlement areas, which have been neglected. We want those areas to be well looked after by the Department of Resettlement because we can get a few bags of maize from there to enlarge our food basket.  

Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to raise the few concerns I had on this Head. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this specific Vote for the Office of the Vice-President. In supporting the Vote, I will confine myself to part of the statement of the Leader of Government Business in the House’s statement that the Office of the Vice-President plays a supportive role to the Office of the President.

Mr Chairperson, indeed, support to the Office of the President begins with the Vice-President’s Office and filters through the hon. Ministers’ offices down to the lower levels. That supportive role is very important. Unfortunately, in the eyes of the public, we do not have a strategic approach to it. 

Mr Chairperson, from time to time, we get a number of insinuations surrounding the Office of the President that can actually bring about tension, hate, and all kinds of negative feelings in the country. So, the supportive role of the Vice-President should come out very clearly in clarifying certain insinuations in the eyes of the public and point out the merits or demerits of those insinuations because the Presidency might not always be in a position to defend itself. In other words, the Office of the Vice-President, in playing its supportive role, can actually clarify certain hot issues in the nation. For example, recently, there were media reports about the President chartering a plane to New York, at a cost of US$300,000. That was a very serious matter in the public eye because such an amount can sponsor 200 students for one year and fifty students for four years at university. So, to the public, the question was: Does our President have an insatiable appetite for luxury, at the expense of …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa!

I know where you are leading us. You are supposed to talk about the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President to the Presidency. However, instead, you seem to be talking more about the Office of the President. I am sure that, as a professor, you can zero in on the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President to that of the President, instead of debating the Office of the President per se. 

You may continue. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Thank you for the guidance, Sir. 

Sir, all I am trying to do is exemplify the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President. There are some matters in the public domain over which the Office of the President cannot defend itself and the Office of the Vice-President could do that job by clarifying those matters. That is where I see the critical role of the Office of the Vice-President and the need for it to come up with strategic approaches to its relationship with the Office of the President. The issue I referred to was in the public domain and could have disturbed the way the public perceives the Presidency. The Office of the Vice-President could have come out very clearly to clarify that issue in playing its supportive role to the Office of the President.   

Mr Chairperson, currently, there is a public debate on the allegation that US$50 million of public funds will be used to procure a private jet for the Office of the President. The Office of the Vice-President should clarify that issue because that amount of money, at the current dollar/kwacha exchange rate, can support 36,000 students at university for one year and 9,000 students for four years. 

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: That is a lot of money. 

Mr Chairperson, the Office of Vice-President, …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: … in its supportive role to the Office of the President, should be able to …

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, I am worried about my elder brother’s debate. Is he in order to keep referring to the amount in question and how it can sponsor students at university without referring to his gratuity, which can also sponsor …


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

Mr Livune: Question!

The Chairperson: You know, once we stop conforming to our rules, we will go astray. 

Hon. Member for Nalikwanda, continue. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chairperson, in illustrating the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President to the Office of the President, I am giving some examples of issues that the former should have clarified because they can create tension in the nation. The Office of the Vice-President, in its supportive role, should discharge the strategic function of diffusing tension in the nation over contentious issues that appear in whichever media. This is important. Like I said earlier, the issue of the US$50 million is very contentious. The public may look at the Presidency, for instance, …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa!

I know how you are trying to sneak the debate of the Presidency into your ... 


The Chairperson: ... debate of the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President to that of the President. You are talking about money that can sponsor many students being used on other things. So, what do you expect the Office of the Vice-President to say in that situation in order to clarify that matter? For you to talk about the Vice-Presidency not being supportive of the Presidency and that some amounts of money are being used on non-priority issues in the same breath creates a de-linkage. So, advise the Office of the Vice-President what it is supposed to do, in its supportive role, in such situations rather than telling us how many students can be sponsored out of what amounts. 

You may continue. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Vice-President should not keep quiet. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: It should actively ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … respond to insinuations in the nation that could be misinterpreted ... 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … or cause tension.  

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa: There must be strategic responses to matters …

The Chairperson: Order!

I will allow that point of order, but it will be the last on this issue so that we can move forward. 

Mr Kampyongo: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chairperson, in this House, we debate facts, not insinuations, and we have the Yellow Book here, but the amount of money that Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa is referring to is not in it. It is neither under the Vote for the Office of the Vice-President nor under that for the Office of the President. So, is he in order to continue misleading this House and the nation at large by talking about an amount that is not in the Yellow Book? We are debating the Budget, and he should not start digressing, shopping around and tabling insinuations, which cannot be substantiated. 


Mr Kampyongo: I seek your serious ruling, Sir. 

The Chairperson: To the extent that he is talking about the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President to that of the Office of the President, he is in order to cite issues in which he thinks the Office of the Vice-President could have supported the Presidency. That is why I asked him what advice he would give to the Office of the Vice-President on how it could clear the minds of the people concerning the on-going debate about the money to which he referred. However, I noticed some de-linkage in his debate. 

Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, can you, please, take note of that point of order. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: I thank you, Mr Chairperson. 

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: I ruled that there would be no more points of order on the hon. Member currently on the Floor.

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

The Chairperson: No, I have ruled. Whether it is on the right or left, it does not matter.

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

The Chairperson: No, it is not true, and this is the kind of behaviour that forces me to send people out. Today, you will be the example. Please, leave the Debating Chamber for arguing with the Chair, hon. Member for Katuba.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

The Chairperson: Yes, for the rest of the day. 

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

The Chairperson: You can stay. I can name you. 

Mr Shakafuswa left the Assembly Chamber.

The Chairperson: It is too much of hon. Members arguing with the Chair. 

Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, you may continue.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, there are many issues that emerge in the public domain as our society and media become more complicated, ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: ... and more people get exposed to the media. Therefore, the Office of the Vice-President, in its supportive role, should have a strategic approach in responding to some of the hot issues in the public domain ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … that may create tension, hate and the like. That is why I am saying that the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President, as articulated by the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, is a policy principle that is subject to debate because it touches on the relational dimension of the operations of governance. Therefore, I advise that there be proactivity in the supportive role of the Office of the Vice-President.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: For example, there are questions surrounding the position of the First Lady that …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … the Office of the Vice-President should be visible in clarifying. That is a very important policy dimension or principle in the governance of our country. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, I thought I should highlight that dimension in terms of the operations of this office, which is currently not proactive. As my brother, Hon. Muchima, has pointed out, this office only becomes visible during by-elections ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: ... because that is when the office bearer moves all over the country, which is wrong. That should not be the only function of the office. Even when we do not have by-elections, the office should be visible in different parts of the country and active, not dormant.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: That is the importance of the supportive role that I highlighted in the Leader of Government Business in the House’s policy statement.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up the debate on this Head.

Firstly, Sir, I would like to state that the Office of the Vice-President operates the way all other offices of Vice-Presidents operate around the world. It is partly administrative and partly ceremonial. That is the essence of the office. 

Sir, in terms of visitations, the Office of the Vice-President has been visible in various places. Just a few days ago, the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning was in Chibombo talking to women and there was nothing political about the visit. It had to do with development and changing the lives of our people. Also, a few days ago, she was in Mongu explaining policies. What else do we want? She cannot be in many places at the same time, but a lot is being done to improve the lives of the people of Zambia. 

Sir, in terms of explaining the issues that arise in the country, we have District Commissioners (DCs) and hon. Members of Parliament on the ground, who are supposed to explain what this Government is doing. We, as hon. Members of Parliament, are part of the Government. So, we need to explain issues to our people. Rather than operate outside the box, we will operate as though there is no box and ensure that this office continues to reach milestones.
Mr Chairperson, there is a procedure for establishing resettlement schemes. It is not just a matter of willing a resettlement scheme into existence. There are currently about 4,040 applications, and I urge hon. Members of Parliament to visit the department and get application forms so that assessments can be undertaken on whether there is a need for resettlement schemes in their areas. We are also doing all we can to provide the requisite amenities to the people who live in resettlement schemes.

Sir, Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa talked about intentions to buy the President a plane worth US$50 million. Let us be factual in our debates. What we are debating is what is in the Yellow Book and what he talked about is not there. Why should we debate rumours? The Office of the Vice-President will not respond to rumours. 

Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Mr Mukanga: It will respond to facts, and that is why it has offered itself to be questioned on Fridays, and it provides answers. So far, that office has done very well in answering questions put to it. We are happy with what we have achieved. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 02/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 02/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 02/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 38 – (Ministry of Development Planning – K73,615,069).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, it is my honour to present to this august House the policy statement on the 2016 Estimates of Expenditure for the newly-created Ministry of Development Planning.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Development Planning was created after the de-linking of the National Planning function from the Ministry of Finance by His Excellency the President. A key aspect that informed the formation of the new ministry was the need to promote synergies in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and enhancement of co-ordination of national programmes.

Mr Chairperson, the Government, through the Ministry of Development Planning, intends to put in place long-term and well-structured plans to ensure that there is consistency and predictability in policies and development interventions. To that effect, the ministry is mandated to perform statutory duties that include national and regional planning, development co-ordination, rural development, census and statistics, financial economic policies and plans, population policy, economic and technical co-operation, and foreign aid and aid agreements. The ministry is also responsible for investment planning, and project preparation and appraisal for sustainable national development. In this regard, the ministry seeks to achieve the following goals:

(a)    develop a well-co-ordinated socio-economic architecture;

(b)    co-ordinate the formulation of long-term visioning and medium-term planning processes;

(c)    produce macro-economic forecasts and models to determine available resource and determine priority areas of intervention;

(d)    allocate resources for development planning through the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and national development plans;

(e)    develop monitoring and evaluation systems to enable the Government to track progress in the implementation of programmes and projects; and

(f)    make available reliable and timely socio-economic data for national planning and evidence-based decision-making.

Mr Chairperson, before I proceed to discuss the proposed Estimates of Expenditure under this Vote, let me take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation of the wise and very able hon. Minister of Finance, …


The Chairperson: Order, on my extreme right!

Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mukanga: … Mr Alexander Bwalya Chikwanda, MP, for the constructive engagement with my team during the transition period. 

Mr Chairperson, K73,615,069 has been proposed as the Estimate of Expenditure under Vote 38, and it has been broken down as follows:

(a)    K1 million has been set aside for the preparation of the Seventh National Development Plan (SNDP) 2017-2021. This is one of the major national programmes to be undertaken in 2016;

(b)    K1 million has been reserved for the co-ordination of regional planning processes. Most of the activities under this programme are rural-based and aimed at bridging the rural/urban divide;

(c)    K600,000 has been allocated to bilateral and multilateral co-ordination. This allocation underscores the importance the Government attaches to strengthening ties with its co-operating partners;

(d)    K3.7 million has been allocated to national statistics. Under this programme, K500,000 has been set aside for preparation of the 2020 Census of Population and Housing while K1.2 million has been provided for collection of economic performance indicators while K1.5 million and K500,000 have been set aside for consumer price indexing, and surveys of major imports and exports as well as environmental statistics, respectively;

(e)    K3.5 million has been allocated to monitoring and evaluation of Government programmes; and

(f)    K12.3 million has been allocated as counterpart funding for the National Designated Authority while K13.5 million has been allocated for the Pilot Programme on Climate Change Resilience. Climate change has been identified as a cross-cutting and developmental issue that revolves around three pillars, namely, environmental, economic and social dislocations. These require effective co-ordination at the apex by, among other interventions, contextualising climate change in national development plans. It is against this realisation that the Ministry of Development Planning has been given the responsibility to co-ordinate climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes while relevant ministries will implement interventions specific to their mandate. 
Mr Chairperson, I hope that my statement has been elaborate enough, and now recommend the Vote for the consideration and support of the hon. Members of this august House. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairperson: Any further debate?

As there seems to be no other hon. Member indicating to debate this Vote, the hon. Minister may wind up debate.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members for quietly supporting the Vote.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Vote 38/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 38/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 38/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 38/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 38/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Mr Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Minister of Transport and Communication, and Chief Whip (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1611 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 30th October, 2015.







146. Mr P Phiri (Mkaika) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when the Mnyamanzi Bridge in Vulamkoko Ward, Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency, would be constructed.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, it is envisaged that the construction of the Mnyamanzi Bridge in Vulamkoko Ward in Mkaika Parliamentary Constituency will commence in the second quarter of 2016 after the rainy season. The works will be undertaken using funds in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan (RSAWP).

Mr Speaker, I thank you.