Debates - Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015

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Tuesday, 3rd November, 2015 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, I thank you, yet again, for the opportunity given to me to issue a ministerial statement on the point of order raised by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, MP, with regard to the shortage of materials in the on-going mobile issuance of National Registration Cards (NRCs) in the Southern Province, in general, and Monze in particular. The reported affected polling stations were Katimbo and Kazungula. I also have similar reports for Kalomo, at the following polling stations: 

(a)    Ikumbi; 

(b)    Mulamfu; and 

(c)    Mabambo. 

I wish to state that the Government does not discriminate in the issuance of NRCs. On the contrary, it seeks to serve all Zambians to the best of its ability. As far as NRCs are concerned, the Government wishes to make this important identity document available to every eligible Zambian.

Mr Speaker, allow me to give a comprehensive statistical report on the blank green NRCs issued to the Southern Province since the commencement of the Mobile Issuance of NRCs Exercise. In August, 2015, the province was given a total of 40,000 blank cards in preparation for the mobile issuance of NRCs. On 5th September, 2015, the province received an additional supply of 36,000 blank cards. On 20th September, 2015, the province was given another supply of 28,000 blank cards to keep the stock levels at maximum. On 10th October, 2015, the province received an additional supply of 20,000 cards to sustain the exercise. The province was also given an additional 20,000 blank green NRCs on 20th October, 2015. Therefore, the province has been supplied with 144,000 blank green NRCs since August, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the target for the Southern Province in the mobile issuance of NRCs was 80,000 persons. However, by 1st November, 2015, the province had registered 113,492 persons against the 144,000 blank cards supplied. The figures show that the province has a balance of about 30,508 blank cards. Nonetheless, I acknowledge that there was some shortage of materials in the mentioned polling stations. The field vehicles had mechanical problems which took five days to rectify. To make up for the lost five days, the mobile issuance of NRCs has been extended in the affected areas.

Mr Speaker, I want to assure this House that NRCs are for all Zambian citizens. Therefore, my ministry shall ensure that all eligible Zambians are given the opportunity to register and obtain this important document. May I emphasise that it is not the Government’s policy to discriminate against any of its citizens based on region, political affiliation or any difference whatsoever. I, therefore, appeal to my colleagues on your left, especially Hon. Muntanga, to desist from issuing inflammatory statements that promote divisions rather than the unity of our country. We are one people and, hence our national motto ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. We must all work together to ensure that we serve all our people to the best of our ability.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I have noticed that the hon. Minister has mentioned me in his statement. At a particular station, officers involved in this exercise sat for eight days with no materials to work with. The materials were only taken to the station the day before yesterday. This means that the five-day extension will affect several other stations. This is bearing in mind that only twelve stations were selected for this exercise and only four out of these have been covered, yet officers have returned to areas such as Central and Muchinga provinces where the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) had been completed. Is it not discriminatory that material is not being given at the same time?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have stated that we are not discriminating anybody and mentioned the polling stations where we had shortages of materials. Therefore, we will extend the exercise in these areas for five days. As regards Muchinga Province, there are places in Chief Nabwalya’s Area and Luano where the mobile registration officers could not reach. Therefore, we have sent officers at the district to issue NRCs there. It is a similar case for Kalomo. We, as a Government, have acknowledged that there was a shortage of materials for five days, hence the extension of the exercise for five days. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga: Not eight days?

Mr Speaker: Please, do not go into a dialogue.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in the statement he gave, indicated that where there were problems like late arrival of materials or delays of the exercise for whatever reason, the exercise would be extended for five days. My question, therefore, is that considering that in a number of districts and constituencies, like Chongwe, this issue of a lack of materials was recorded, does it mean that the hon. Minster will consider extending the exercise in all the polling stations that were affected by the lack of materials or any other good reason?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I have stated on the Floor of this House that these hon. Members of Parliament must engage our office so that we work together to ensure that this programme of mobile registration is a success. Not only that, in Chongwe, we had one polling station at which officers were stationed for only four days and proceeded to another polling station. I directed that they go back to continue issuing NRCs for the three days they did not complete and they did that.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, believing that the hon. Minister is aware that owning a national registration card (NRC) is a right and not a privilege and that we, on this side, think that this has been organised confusion by the Patriotic Front (PF), Hon. Mwila is now saying that we must engage him on this matter before going out to the public. As he winds up answering my question, it would be nice of him if he would be kind enough to tell you and the House how many times we have engaged on this matter on a sober note.

Sir, Hon. Mwila knows that an NRC is a prerequisite for one to qualify as a voter. We are going to the polls next year and we all know that the activity of voting is an emotive one. At the pace the Government has been moving, it is clear that it has disenfranchised several …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, I am concerned that you are rather long-winding in raising your question.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, at the pace the Government is moving, does the hon. Minister not believe that he has actually taken away the rights of his fellow citizens to obtain NRCs and eventually a voter’s card or is he able to tell us, now, whether his Government will continue issuing NRCs and voters’ cards up to the time the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is ready to consolidate the voters roll?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, for us to have decided to extend the exercise in the affected areas for five days, it means that the rights of those who were disadvantaged have been given back to them. This programme will run for ninety days. There will be no extension except in the areas we have mentioned, which are Kalomo and Monze, where we will extend for five days. So, as far as the Ministry of Home Affairs is concerned, the exercise is for ninety days. Hon. Member of Parliament, I agree with you that we have engaged, but do not use the media to politicise this exercise. Let us work together to ensure that the programme succeeds.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, my question is a follow up to the answer which the hon. Minister gave that the mobile registration exercise will be extended for five days at the affected stations. I would like to find out if the extension is from the time when the exercise was to end or it is within the stated programme period so that we understand whether the officers who should have gone to other stations will remain in the affected stations for five days, thereby disadvantaging the people whom they would have served had they moved on.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, after we have completed the ninety days, the officers will be asked to go back to the affected polling stations.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, it has come to our attention that some of the officers conducting this mobile registration exercise have not been paid their allowances. Would the hon. Minister confirm that, in the midst of doing this good job, they have not been paid. If they have not been paid, what is the message of solidarity to them because they are hungry, hence the negative performance.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I know the officers have sent the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola to ask questions on their behalf.

Mr Speaker, we paid them for October. We are currently sourcing money for November. So, anytime from now, we will pay the officers.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that there will be no extension of the National Registration Card (NRC) Issuance Exercise. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to inform the hon. Minister that in some places, officers were leaving out people whom they considered over age, and by that, I am not talking about people aged forty-four, but about twenty-three, twenty-seven year olds and other ages. In places like Nangili, the officers also left out people because the response was overwhelming. So, after the four days, the officers left and some people have not been issued with NRCs.

Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister what he will do in Luena for places like Nangili and others where officers left before they could finish registering everybody. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, when I issued the first ministerial statement on this exercise, I had said that our officers would be at a polling station for seven days. So, if the officers were at that station for four days, the hon. Member of Parliament should engage us so that the officers can go back and complete the seven days.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the exercise will not exceed ninety days and that there will be no extension. The hon. Minister also knows that there has been deliberate discrimination by not touching every polling station. The hon. Minister also knows the terrain in Kalabo …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Miyutu: What does the hon. Minister think of those polling stations which were not visited? Will those polling stations be captured by other methods or they will be left out until I do not know when? Is there anything the Government will do for those areas which were left out deliberately?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, of the ninety days, I think, we have now covered sixty days and since the hon. Member of Parliament has raised that issue, we will sit with Government officials to see if it is possible for us to go around all the polling stations and give out NRCs. We will look into that, hon. Member.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that following the rule that was passed by the ministry that those that would clock sixteen years by June, next year, should be issued with national registration cards (NRCs), his officers on the ground are now disenfranchising many people by backdating their years so that they do not qualify to obtain voters’ cards under this provision?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I am not aware. The hon. Member of Parliament knows that the law provides that whoever attains the age of sixteen can obtain an NRC.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, I just came from Kalomo, in Mapatizya, Mulamfu Polling Station, in particular. By Sunday, the registration team received 400 cards which were all finished by yesterday and people are still queuing up. How will the Government help them, as a matter of urgency?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, if, for example, there are eight polling stations in an area and there is a shortage of materials at one of them, the supervisor in the district has the right to transfer materials from one station to another. There is no need to make people wait.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, from the date of the official launch of the exercise in the Southern Province, which was launched by the Provincial Minister, Hon. Mubukwanu, with Hon. Belemu and I in attendance, the hon. Minister might not be aware, but the truth is that it took more than one week for the national registration card (NRC) officers to go in the field to begin their work.

Further, contrary to what the hon. Minister has stated, here, that shortages only occurred in Kalomo and Monze, they were, as a matter of fact, widespread throughout the province. I would like to believe the same was the case in other provinces. 

Mr Speaker, in view of the fact that teams are unable to reach polling stations, contrary to what was initially told to the people, and all the challenges that this exercise has been beset with, does the Government not think that it is expected of it to consider extending the exercise so as to capture as many Zambians as it possibly can? This is especially so going by what the hon. Minister has said about not wanting anybody who deserves to get an NRC to be left behind. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I agree with him that we started the exercise five days after its official launch. I stated on the Floor of this House that the programme would run for ninety days. I think that the catch phrase is ‘ninety days.’

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what will happen to the over 10,000 people who have not yet been issued with NRCs, seeing that only 400 cards were sent to Dundumwezi?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether the hon. Member of Parliament for Dundumwezi counted the cards. It is not correct that we sent only 400 cards. We have given out more than 3,000 cards to Dundumwezi. In fact, for the three constituencies that we have in Kalomo, we have issued more than 17,000 cards so far. So, the hon. Member of Parliament must tell the truth because it is not correct that we have only sent 400 cards to Dundumwezi from the time that we started the registration exercise.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: We have come to the close of the clarifications on the ministerial statement.


Mr Speaker: Order!

My guidance is that this subject has come on the Floor on several occasions and I would encourage more engagement with the hon. Minister. I believe that a lot of these issues would be addressed with more engagement.  




149. Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe) asked the Minister of Agriculture:

(a)    why the inputs under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for Mpongwe District for the 2015/2016 Farming Season had been reduced by 4,000 packs; and

(b)    whether the Government would consider maintaining the same quantities previously provided.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture (Mr Ng’onga): Mr Speaker, seed allocations under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) are made based on the requests made by respective District Agriculture Co-ordinators. At the time of compilation of the seed quantities for the newly-introduced crops under the programme, there was no submission received for Mpongwe District.

Mr Speaker, in view of this, the FISP Co-ordinating Office relied on last season’s submissions for the district which only had maize, sorghum and groundnuts. Inadvertently, the FISP co-ordinating team did not include the new crops under the diversification programme for Mpongwe.  

Sir, Mpongwe District was also affected by the re-allocation of 100,000 Ha that were initially under maize production support countrywide to accommodate additional crops to support crop diversification. This resulted in a total reduction of 3,979 beneficiaries for Mpongwe District. 

Sir, this situation has been brought to our attention and the district will be allocated more input packs for soya beans, orange maize and beans so that the total number of beneficiaries shall be the same as that of the 2014/2015 Farming Season. 

Mr Speaker, we are mobilising resources to revert to the 2014/2015 levels of support for the maize packs.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the answer is not satisfactory. The number of packs for sorghum and groundnuts has remained as it was in the 2014/2015 Farming Season. The question is on maize seed packs, which were 18,630 packs, last year, as compared to 14,651 for this year. Regardless of the soya beans and other inputs, the question is on maize. Will we be given the difference of 3,979?

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, when answering the question, the hon. Deputy Minister addressed the question of why there was a reduction in the number of packs for maize seed given to farmers for this farming season. That is the reason he belaboured the issue of crops that have been introduced, this year, to allow for diversification. Therefore, I would like to appeal to my colleague not to discount those other crops that have been given to the farmers because they are equally important.

 With regard to the question on whether we are going to revert to the figures of the 2014/2015 Farming Season with regard to maize seed packs, my colleague gave a very clear answer to that. He said that we are mobilising resources to revert to the number of maize seed packs we gave out in the 2014/2015 Farming Season. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, in his response to the question, the hon. Minister indicated that the diversification programme that is being implemented has caused the reduction in the packs of maize seed given out to farmers for the 2015/2016 Farming Season. This programme has not just affected farmers in Mpongwe. Therefore, what is the Ministry of Agriculture doing to sensitise or to inform the farmers who were expecting more packs of maize seed, but instead received packs of seed for other crops, which are equally important, for the sake of diversification that has been spoken about for some time now? Is there anything being done to explain that the number of packs has not reduced, but has been replaced by other crops?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I indicated to the House, when I presented a ministerial statement on this matter, that the Ministry of Agriculture had informed the District Agricultural Co-ordinators (DACOs) the reason the Government had reduced the number of packs for the maize seed. They were, in turn, supposed to inform the farmer groups which participate in the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). 


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Lubinda: I also indicated that I was presenting the information to hon. Members of Parliament, and to the nation at large, so that hon. Members of Parliament would also assist us in informing their respective farming communities about this issue. If they have not had the time to do so, I would like to reaffirm that we have since instructed DACOs to go out and inform all our farmers that the reason we have reduced the number of packs of maize seed is that we want to diversify agriculture production. We cannot diversify unless we move resources from one crop to another. In this particular case, we are diversifying from maize to other crops. This is the reason there was a reduction in the maize seed packs given to farmers across the country. However, I want to emphasise that the number of beneficiaries for FISP was not affected at all in all the districts across the country. We tried to maintain the same number of beneficiaries who were supported during the 2014/2015 Farming Season. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) is a very important programme run by the Government.

Mrs Masebo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised. 

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, thank you very much for allowing me to rise on a point of order. 

Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of General Education and the Government in general in order to sit here quietly, when the country is currently facing a crisis in the education sector? 

Mr Speaker, you recall that the Government introduced a policy on compulsory computer theory and practical lessons for pupils in schools. When this policy was brought on the Floor of this House, there was a lot of debate about it. Hon. Members expressed concern about this country not being ready to introduce this subject in schools because there was no infrastructure to support the teaching of this subject. However, the Government insisted that we were ready. Now, these computer examinations started in schools yesterday, and what has transpired is that a number of schools in my constituency, which do not have computers, sent their pupils to other schools which had some computers to enable them to sit for these examinations. These children walked long distances of 5 km to 10 km to new schools, which had a few computers donated by parents. Teachers had to go round in the communities to get some laptops to help the children sit for these practical computer examinations. Most of these children went to these new school environments and accessed laptops or desk computers for the first time. From 6 o’clock yesterday, these children have been in class. Some of them only finished writing those examinations at 10 o’clock today. 

Mr Speaker, is the Government in order to put more pressure on these poor teachers to work for twenty-four hours without an allowance when life is already unbearable in this country? Is the Government in order to force children to be in class without food for twenty-four hours because of a limited number of computers and, then, expect them to pass? Surely, are we being fair to our children and teachers? 

Mr Speaker, I seek your serious ruling. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is that the hon. Minister of General Education should issue an appropriate statement, at an appropriate time, bearing in mind that these examinations are ongoing. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I was just saying that FISP is a very good programme. This programme was introduced by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), and the Patriotic Front (PF) has carried on with it. When the programme was first introduced by the MMD, it was envisaged that farmers should benefit from the programme for three years and then graduate after that. In his response, the hon. Minister that the number of beneficiaries of FISP this year has been maintained. Are these beneficiaries the same farmers who have been getting support from FISP for the past years? Does the hon. Minister have a number of farmers who have graduated from this programme? 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, indeed, the programme was started by our predecessor Government and the Patriotic Front (PF) continued with it. Indeed, this is a very important programme. Outside FISP, I doubt that Zambia would have been boasting about maize bumper harvests. There is a record to show that before the FISP, Zambia was a net importer of maize. As a result of this very important programme, it has become a net exporter of maize. 

Mr Speaker, the second objective of this programme was to empower farmers who were supposed to graduate from the programme after three years of subsidy. I have mentioned before, on the Floor of this House, that that objective was not properly provided for in the programme. I indicated the fact that there was a design error in the programme. I argued that you do not expect a farmer to graduate from a programme that supplies them inputs to cultivate only one hectare of maize because the revenue from one hectare is not enough to support a farmer to become independent. I acknowledged the fact that this programme requires re-focusing and re-designing to ensure that it does not create this unnecessary dependency. So, I talked about maintaining the number of 1 million farmers in recognition of the fact that this programme does not give room for graduation. 

Going forward, the ministry is working towards re-designing this programme so that it can have an in-built mechanism to empower farmers to graduate. One of the measures is what we have implemented, this year, the diversification programme. Under this programme, farmers can start growing cash crops which may assist them to increase their revenue on the piece of land which we are supporting them to cultivate. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to agree with the hon. Minister that without the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), we would not be boasting of bumper harvests. 

Mr Speaker, with the shortage of fertiliser in a number of districts, Kasempa included, and considering its price which has gone up, is the Government considering giving fertiliser to areas such as Kasempa or Mpongwe, which have shortfalls? 

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, this question to do with the cost and availability of fertiliser is, obviously, very new. The Question which I prepared myself for had to do with inputs for Mpongwe.  

However, the question that the hon. Member for Kasempa has raised is very important. I would like to inform him that the ministry will look into it. With your permission, Sir, the ministry will come and lay figures on the Table on how the cost and availability of fertiliser is being handled. 

I thank you, Sir. 


150. Mr Namulambe asked the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that Luankuni Bridge, in Mpongwe District, was on the brink of collapsing, thereby posing a danger to the travelling public; and

(b)    when the bridge would be worked. 

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Speaker, the Government, through the District Disaster Management and Mitigation Committee, is aware that the Luankuni Bridge requires replacement of culverts in order to reduce the danger being posed to the travelling public. A team composed of officers from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and the Road Development Agency (RDA) has been dispatched to assess the full works to be carried out on the bridge to make it safe. The report is expected soon. An assessment is what will determine the cost of carrying out the works and, subsequently, when the works will be carried out. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, it has started raining heavily on the Copperbelt. If this bridge is not worked on in the next ten days, it will be washed away. Could the hon. Minister inform me how soon the report will be done so that I may know when the works will commence.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the team should be on the ground as we speak. Indeed, this bridge connects Mpongwe and Masaiti constituencies. I would also like to bring to the attention of the House that even the hon. Member for Masaiti has equally asked about the need for us to work on this particular bridge. So, we hope and pray that before the end of next week, we will get the report from the officers that have been dispatched. 

I thank you, Sir. 


151. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing when Milenge District Council would be provided with a motor vehicle. 

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this House that it is the responsibility of individual local authorities to provide for the procurement of motor vehicles. 

However, the ministry is aware of the transport challenges faced by Milenge District Council due to its limited local resource base. Currently, the ministry is mobilising resources to assist the council to procure a motor vehicle. Meanwhile, Milenge District Council has been allocated a motor vehicle from the ministry’s fleet, a Mazda Drifter, GRZ 221 CF, which the council is yet to collect. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister started very badly, but almost made up towards the end. 


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I agree that Milenge District Council has been given a motor vehicle, through Hon. Dr Phiri’s effort. However, the repair of this vehicle requires a lot of money. Hon. Kampyongo, as a gesture of goodwill, do you intend to pick up the cost of repairs so that the poor people of Milenge can also have a smooth ride? 

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister belaboured this point and made it very clear that councils should start ensuring that they collect the necessary revenue for their expenditure.

Sir, acquiring and running vehicles should, indeed, be the responsibility of each individual council. So, unfortunately, there will be no gestures of goodwill from the ministry. What has already been done is assistance enough and Milenge District Council should take it upon itself to ensure that this vehicle, which has been given to it for now, is maintained and in running condition at all times. 

So, uncle, …


Mr Speaker: No, please. 

Mr Kampyongo: So, hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe, work with the council and try to see how you can think outside the box to start sustaining this local authority. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out why Milenge District Council was given a second-hand vehicle, which was supposed to be auctioned off, and not a brand new one. 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, hon. Members should pay attention when responses are being given. The hon. Member for Nangoma heard the response which both the hon. Deputy Minister and I gave. It is not the responsibility of the ministry to provide vehicles or fuel. It was only out of the realisation that we needed to, at least, help this local authority in this difficult time that we provided the vehicle. In the meantime, we are trying to assist it to procure a new vehicle which it must run. So, this second-hand vehicle is only a gesture of goodwill, like Hon. Mbulakulima acknowledged. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: It seems like a straightforward issue, but still belaboured.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I just want to follow up on one of the responses by the hon. Minister regarding the purchase of equipment. I have in mind a number of new councils that were created, but which have no resource base. What is the policy of the Government with regard to equipment for these councils that have no financial base? 

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, although the question from the hon. Member for Chongwe is new, the bonus answer is that my ministry has already started procuring vehicles for all new district councils. Those that will be left out will receive the vehicles soon. So, it is the responsibility of the Government to get these councils up and running. 

I thank you, Sir. 


152. Pande asked the Minister of Works and Supply: 

(a)    when the Mansa/Milambo Road in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency would be upgraded to bituminous standard; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in upgrading the road. 

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, although there are no immediate plans to upgrade the Mansa/Milambo Road, in Chembe Parliamentary Constituency, to bituminous standard, this road is scheduled to undergo periodic maintenance in the first quarter of 2016, after the rainy season.

Sir, there has been no delay since there are no immediate plans to upgrade this road. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I am asking about this road because I have gone national now. As a national leader, I used that road whilst in the constituency. That it is a very important road. I am surprised that the hon. Minister is saying there are no plans to work on it. Is it being side-lined because it is in a constituency which is under an Opposition hon. Member of Parliament?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, that insinuation does not arise. We, as a Government, attach great importance to all roads in this country. As a matter of fact, a condition survey was conducted in August, this year, and a request for funding was forwarded to the head office. Hence, periodic maintenance, which is not routine, considering we are talking about rehabilitating this road, will be done in the first quarter of next year.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Minister is talking about the first quarter of 2016 when he has been on the Floor of the House assuring me that the periodic maintenance on that road would be carried out this year. 

Sir, I also have a letter from the Road Development Agency (RDA) indicating that this road will be worked on before the close of this year. What has changed for the hon. Minister to indicate that it will be worked on next year? Would you really blame us if we cried discrimination?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, nothing has changed. The hon. Member of Parliament for Kasempa was asking about the Mansa/Milambo Road. The first stretch of 33 km, Muwanguni to Milambo Turn-off, is being worked on. It is the last stretch from the turn-off to Milambo which will undergo rehabilitation next year.

I thank you, Sir. 




VOTE 07 – (Office of the Auditor-General – K88,546,178).

(Consideration resumed)

The Minister of Works and Supply, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Chairperson, it is my pleasure to present the 2016 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General. As the House is aware, the Office of the Auditor-General is established under Article 121 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, as a public office. The office assesses collection of general revenue, the appropriate use of public funds and enhances accountability and transparency in the utilisation of public resources appropriated by Parliament for the benefit of the people of Zambia.

Sir, on an annual basis, the Auditor-General produces a report that brings out financial and non-financial irregularities that need to be addressed by the Executive in order to improve the financial management of the Government. The Government, therefore, recognises the importance of the Office of the Auditor-General and will continue to support and provide an enabling environment for strengthening its work for it is only a transparent and accountable Government that can bring about social transformation by improving the quality of life of its citizens through the creation of jobs, raising income and reducing poverty. 

Mr Chairperson, the Government has, so far, disbursed 59 per cent of the total 2015 Budget allocation of K111,407,579 to the Office of the Auditor-General. This has enabled the Office of the Auditor-General to undertake planned work on time.
Sir, the Office of the Auditor-General has, for the past three years, been audited by private auditors. The recent audit of the 2014 accounts, costing K125,048, like the past two years, has been unqualified. This means that the accounts of the office were in order. This is, indeed, commendable. The annual report, as has always been the case, is expected to be presented to His Excellency the President for tabling in Parliament by 31st December, 2015, in line with Constitutional provisions.

Mr Chairperson, in view of the Government’s continued spending of huge resources on developmental work across the country in various sectors, we will continue with measures aimed at averting challenges being faced by the Office of the Auditor-General and enhancing audit coverage. In spite of the Government’s financial constraints, the 2016 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General is to cover the cost of providing audit services to all Government institutions.

Sir, I wish to inform this august House that the office accommodation problem for Muchinga Audit Office will be over as of November, 2015. Construction of the Chinsali Office will be completed and funds for the procurement of furniture and fittings have been set aside. The Government will also grant Treasury authority for the remaining fifteen positions to make Chinsali Office fully operational. Meanwhile, a plot has been allocated to the Office of the Auditor-General for the construction of an office block in Choma. As soon as the funding situation improves, this will also be undertaken.

Mr Chairperson, for 2016, a total of K88,545,861 has been provided to facilitate the undertaking of the following: 
(a)    audit of Government accounts for the financial year ending 31st December, 2015;

(b)    audit of parastatal bodies on the accounts for the financial year ending 31st December, 2015;

(c)    carryout specialised audits such as performance, information and forensic audits in line with the Public Finance Act;

(d)    audit the implementation of critical sectors, programmes and infrastructure development;

(e)    carryout quality assurance of the entire audit process; and

(f)    ensure the monitoring and evaluation of all office programmes and activities.

Mr Chairperson, the Office of the Auditor-General will prioritise its work in line with the international auditing standards in order to concentrate on the critical areas of the Government. In this regard, audits will concentrate on the following:

(a)    priority areas in the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and as the National Budget;
(b)    infrastructure development such as construction of roads, bridges, clinics, schools and universities;

(c)    critical social programmes in the health, education and agriculture sectors; and

(d)    Social Cash Transfer Scheme.
Mr Chairperson, in order to smoothen the operations of the Office of the Auditor-General, my Government will endeavour to:
(a)    release funds for operations on a timely basis;

(b)    enhance internal controls in Government systems and ensure that outstanding issues from the Auditor-General’s Report are addressed;

(c)    continue to improve the capacity of the Auditor-General’s Office in order to increase its audit coverage in all districts;

(d)    enhance the technical capacity of the auditors in line with international standards in order to inspire public confidence in the audit work being carried out;

(e)    improve information communication and technology (ICT) in the Office of the Auditor-General in line with the e-government policies; and

(f)    give more autonomy to the Office of the Auditor-General through the revision of the Public Audit Act.
Sir, as I conclude, may I re-emphasise the fact that audits provide an assurance to the Government and other stakeholders that public resources are being utilised to the improvement of the quality of life of the people of Zambia. The task that besets the Office of the Auditor-General is onerous. 

I now seek the support of this House to pass the 2016 Budget for the Office of the Auditor-General.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the hon. Minister’s statement on the Office of the Auditor-General, I hope something new will happen this time around. I could not agree more with the Minister of Works and Supply that the Office of the Auditor-General is an important institution that fosters good governance, rule of law and investor confidence.

Mr Speaker, considering that the hon. Minister mentioned that there will be increased developmental activities, I note, therefore, that chances of errors either by commission or omission will actually increase. Therefore, there is a need to provide for the Office of the Auditor-General so that it effectively follows up the utilisation of the funds and other resources not only in the Government, but also in parastatals.

Sir, I note that, in 2016, there is an allocation of K88,546,178 to this office. Certainly, this money is not enough. It is a pity that even if we attempt to bring amendments within this institution, there is simply nowhere to get the money to add to the actual activities. This, therefore, means that the overall funding has been drastically reduced, thereby compromising the ability of the Office of the Auditor-General to effectively carry out its mandate, as it is required. 

Mr Chairperson, without financial autonomy, definitely, one would conclude that this office will fall short of the expectations of the desire by the Government to see that the funds and other resources are utilised effectively. We have noted that the Office of the Auditor-General has year in year and year out, as the hon. Minister has mentioned, produced reports. We find that every year, we encounter problems such as missing payment vouchers and no supporting documents on payments. These are recurring problems and it simply means that there is no evidence that we are improving on those issues. Only a tiny fraction of ministries, provinces and spending agencies have reduced the volume of queries that are availed in public domain by the Office of the Auditor-General. There is, therefore, something fundamentally wrong in the control of the utilisation of resources by the controlling officers. 

Mr Chairperson, intentions can be lauded, but I think it is time that action is undertaken in order to see the many more ministries, provinces and spending agencies that do not even appear in the Auditor-General’s Report . Otherwise, it will become like performing a ritual. This is where reports are produced. Money is spent on the reports and your Committee scrutinises them by interrogating the controlling officers and it ends there. I pray that 2016 will be different. 

Sir, how nice it would have been for the Office of the Auditor-General to have been given more resources in order to assist in the heavy load of internal controls which seem to be very weak in the ministries and spending agencies. I believe that when the Office of the Auditor-General is effective in its work, it is actually assisting the Executive to fulfil the promises that it makes to the electorate by ensuring that resources are utilised as has been appropriated by this House. 

Mr Speaker, my submission seems to be a lamentation, but it is a fact that we are not seeing much improvement due to the limited resources that are accorded to the Office of the Auditor-General. As has been stated, I want to see the issue of capacity building. As our transactions become more complex, particularly international related, we need to have officers in that institution who are competent enough to follow them up.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to state that as people’s representatives, we certainly support the Auditor-General in her work. I wish the hon. Minister could utilise us more. With regard to our oversight role, as hon. Members of Parliament, I hope your officers will be more useful rather than hiding information when we visit them. When they have not been funded, they should say so. They should not pretend to be fine when the work has not been executed. Where is the evidence that they are alright? This is a recurring process and, I think, it is not helpful to our people.

With these few remarks, I thank you, Mr Chairperson. 

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the expenditure for the Office of the Auditor-General and I just wanted to say something on the policy statement thereon. The work of the Office of the Auditor-General is very important because it helps to enhance transparency, accountability and also ensures that we add value to whatever activities the Government is doing. However, this job can only be done effectively if it has the required tools.

Mr Chairperson, you may recall that in the past, the Auditor-General’s Office would bring its report two or three years late. This went on until such a time when there were new reforms and donors had to give it a lot of money to support the expansion of its role to check on various Government departments’ expenditure irregularities. One of the functions of auditing at the time was under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, which, at that time, had a fully-fledged Auditing Department. We all agreed, then, that since donors were funding the department, on one hand, it was well and good for it to take over all the functions of auditing whilst on the other hand, we had a policy on decentralisation which stated that certain functions should be devolved to the district councils so that they could carry out the function of checking on on how Government resources were being spent at local level in an effective and quick manner. At that time, it was agreed that this aspect would be financed.

Sir, a few years down the line, since we now call Zambia a middle income country, donors are withdrawing their support. Donors do not support countries which claim that they are medium income countries. In view of that, less money is being allocated towards the Auditor-General’s Office and this has created a problem. In the last Budget, K111,407,579 was allocated to this office, but it has been reduced drastically to K88,546,178. So, how will these officers carry out their function? The Government created a big institution for which there is no money to do its work. 

So, Sir, obviously, it is becoming clear for some of us who understand these issues that the Auditor-General’s Office will watch monies being wasted, but will have no ways of doing its job in an effective way. So, I really do not understand whether the Government is serious about saving money or not. Even if we go through difficult times, as a country, we must allocate money to priority areas. We must say that much as we do not have money, this sector must be helped. Even if there is a reduction, it must be small.

Mr Chairperson, the figure that has been allocated to this department is almost 50 per cent less. I wonder how it will operate in 2016 or, maybe, the Government does not care about the abuses that will take place in Government departments. I realise that something is wrong. I urge the Government to seriously look at the issue of decentralisation. Instead of the Government talking about building new structures which it is failing to do, maybe, it should consider implementing the Decentralisation Policy by way of establishing an Auditor-General’s Office within a district council. That way, it will perform its auditing function in all the districts of Zambia. In view of the current situation, we may get back to a situation where the office may have a backlog of work for two or three years or, even if it may be current, it will not be thoroughly done because of a lack of enough resources to enable it to do its job effectively.

Mr Chairperson, I am very unhappy with the way this country is proceeding. Clearly, everything is seemingly going backwards and not progressing. Other countries in the region, including those that were at war are doing much better than our country.

The Deputy Chairperson: I would like to offer guidance before Hon. Masebo continues to debate. We have internal and external auditors. The Auditor-General’s Office is composed of external auditors. 

You may continue.

Mrs Masebo: Yes, Mr Chairperson, I am well aware of that. I am looking at the function of the external auditors under the Auditor-General’s Office, whose role is to audit all Government departments that receive resources, including councils, which it did not audit before. So, I am taking that into account as I debate.

Sir, I was about to conclude and was saying that it seems a lot of things are not going right in our country today. As a country, we formulated good policies and programmes. We are supposed to make headway. However, countries that copied these programmes and policies are progressing well despite the natural calamities and administrative problems that all countries are facing. I think that the Government needs to be focused and prioritise what it wants to achieve. The reason I am saying this is that the Auditor-General’s Office and its functions are important in a democratic country.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, firstly, I would like to thank the hon. Members who have debated on this Vote. I will try to respond to some specific issues such as the need for more funds, evidence of improving audits, the need to enhance internal controls which are going down and Hon. Masebo’s concern that even countries which are coming out of war are doing better than ours.

Sir, I do not seem to understand Hon. Masebo’s mathematics that the allocation to this office has reduced by 50 per cent. My mathematics is simple, K111,407,579 minus K88,546,178 million reflects a reduction of about 20 per cent and not 50 per cent. This reduction is as a result of the limited resource envelop that the Government has. In view of that, it has to provide what it can. One can only cut their coat according to their cloth. So, that is what it is trying to do. The Government is not segregating, but has provided for the Auditor-General’s Office because it is composed of external auditors. If anything, it is doing its best to ensure that internal controls are improved and external auditors carry out their function.

Mr Chairperson, I do not know any country which is coming out of war and doing better than ours. Zambia is doing very well.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we should call a spade a spade and appreciate where we are doing well. I do not think that we should always look at issues through negative lenses. This does not help matters. Let us put on the correct lenses and see the correct things because the state of Zambia is improving. Yes, the Government admits that it has faced challenges, but it has done its best, with the resource constraints, to bring about development which the people have been yearning for. So, the Government needs to be supported for it to improve the Zambian people’s lives. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, there is no compromise and the Government has allocated funds to all institutions, including the Auditor-General’s Office. It would have been a compromise if it did not allocate any amount to it. It is doing its best to ensure that the Auditor-General improves even the internal controls by conducting workshops to educate its controlling officers so that there are as few irregularities as possible. It has not swept these things under the carpet and is being transparent by exposing them.

Mr Chairperson, this Government will continue to be as transparent as possible so that the people of Zambia can see what is going on.

 With these few words, I would like to thank all hon. Members who have supported in silence and all those who have debated.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 07/01 – (Office of the Auditor General – Headquarters – K61,774,838).

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3003, Activity 007 – Short Term Training – Local – K5,000, Activity 008 – Short Term Training – Foreign − K5,000 and Activity 023 −  Staff Training – K5,000.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Chairperson, the provision for Programme 3003, Activity, 008 – Short Term Training − K5,000 is required to meet the cost to undertake short-term training outside the country and the subsequent auditing. Therefore, it is necessary that officers receive special training in some specific areas such as the Performance Management and Environment Audits and information and communication technology (ICT).

Sir, the decrease in the allocation is as a result of the reduced number of people that will be trained and the amount of training to be conducted.

 I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Votes 07/01 and 07/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
VOTE 07/03 – (Office of the Auditor- General – Kabwe Provincial Office − K2,450,526).

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3013, Activity 473 – Audit of Client 3380/03 − Nil.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, sorry, can the hon. Member tell me the programme once more. 

The Deputy Chairperson of Committees: Order!

The hon. Member would like to know why there is no provision on Programme 3013, Activity 473 – Audit of Client 3380/03 − Nil.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, the client in Programme 3013, Activity 473 – Audit of Client 3380/03 − Nil will not be audited in 2016 hence, there is no provision.

I thank you, Sir.

Votes 07/03, 07/04, 07/05, 07/06 and 07/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 07/08 – (Office of the Auditor-General – Mansa Provincial Office – K2,626,874).

Mrs Masebo: Mr Chairperson, I am lucky that the question that I wanted to ask on the other province is appearing under Mansa Provincial Office.

Sir, may I have clarification on Programme 3002, Events − Nil. I notice a disparity in that some provinces have resources allocated to this activity while others do not have. I also notice that in the beginning, and Headquarters to be specific, there was a very big allocation in comparison to some activities like training of staff for the same activity. I would like to know what the current Government policy is on these events.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, the reduction on Programme 3002 – Events − Nil is as a result of reduced participation in these particular events.

 I thank you, Sir.

Votes 07/08, 07/09 and 07/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 07/22 – (Office of the Auditor-General – Muchinga Provincial Office – K2,562,021).

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Chairperson, I rose to seek clarification on the previous Vote, but did not catch your eye.

The Deputy Chairperson: If I did not see you, then, that Vote is gone.

Ms Imenda: All the same, Mr Chairperson, my question is still valid. On Programme 3000, Activity 002 – Salaries Division II – K258,960, I note that the amount has been slashed by more than 50 per cent. I know that it is illegal to reduce people’s emoluments, especially salaries. So, may I know how the Government will reduce people’s salaries? Does this reduction mean that some people will be fired?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, under Programme 3000, Activity 002 – Salaries Division II – K258,960, the reason that amount has been slashes is the there has been movement of staff to other stations and votes.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 07/22 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08 – (Cabinet Office – Office of the President – K140,080,689).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, it is with great honour that I stand here to present the Budget Estimates for the Cabinet Office, Office of the President for 2016.

The Cabinet Office is the highest administrative office in the Public Service and operates directly under the Office of the President of the Republic of Zambia. It derives its mandate from Article 53 of the Constitution of Zambia, Cap. 1 of the Laws of Zambia. It consists of the following:

(a)    Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet;

(b)    Administration Division;

(c)    Management Development Division;

(d)    Policy Analysis and Co-ordination Division;

(e)    Private Sector Development, Industrialisation and Job Creation Division; and

(f)    Office of the Former Presidents.

Sir, in an effort to fulfil its mandate and in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, the Cabinet Office created one more division, namely the Private Sector Development, Industrialisation and Job Creation. This has resulted in the Cabinet Office assuming the responsibility of co-ordinating the Government’s efforts of industrialisation and job creation at policy level and for the purposes of inter-ministerial co-ordination.

Mr Chairperson, being an apex institution and a policy centre for Government administration and management, the Cabinet Office is responsible for ensuring the effective formulation and implementation of policies, systems and procedures. It is also responsible for monitoring and evaluating the overall performance of the Public Service to ensure efficient administration of Government business.

Sir, the Cabinet Office also has an overarching responsibility in relation to the supervision and overseeing the policy implementation process in all Government ministries and institutions in the Public Service. Further, the Cabinet Office takes responsibility for all ad-hoc commissions and committees including any new function that may not have been allocated to any specific ministry or institution.

Mr Chairperson, during the period under review, the Cabinet Office successfully co-ordinated the preparation and the eventual celebration of Zambia’s 50th Jubilee Independence Celebration. Further, the Cabinet Office oversaw the transition period between the demise of the Fifth Republican President His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace, to the inauguration of the Sixth Republican President, His Excellency, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu. The Cabinet Office also continues to transform the Public Service by implementing strategic human resource reforms, provision of institutional and systems support services all aimed at streamlining the delivery of services to the Zambian people. It also continues to co-ordinate and ensure the effective conduct of State functions and national events.

Sir, in 2015, the Cabinet Office continued to play an important role in the formulation and co-ordination of Government policies, which have resulted in many successes being scored by the PF Government. In order to deliver services closer to the people, the Cabinet Office has made significant strides in implementing the National Decentralisation Policy and this has resulted in the commencement of the devolution of seven functions to the local authorities. These are:

(a)    primary health care;

(b)    primary early education and adult literacy;

(c)    agriculture and livestock extension services,

(d)    local tourism and cultural matters;

(e)    disaster and risk reduction management;

(f)    physical planning; and

(g)    community management of the human-immuno deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and tuberculosis (TB) programmes.

It is envisaged that the process of devolving key service delivery functions will be completed in 2017.

Mr Chairperson, in order to fulfil its mandate, the Cabinet Office is guided by the following mission statement:

“To co-ordinate and oversee the development and implementation of Government policies and systems and facilitate the conduct of Cabinet business in order to secure the general efficiency and effectiveness of the Public Service.”

Sir, in line with this mission statement, the Cabinet Office will, in 2016, undertake the following programmes:

(a)    General Administration.

Under this programme, the major activities to be undertaken are:

(i)    Public Affairs and Summit Meetings

The Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate Presidential, foreign and local travel, and the hosting and participation in both local and foreign summits and meetings by His Excellency the President. The Cabinet Office will continue maintaining the Presidential aircraft and manage the motor vehicle fleet in order to enable His Excellency the President to perform his Executive function;

(ii)    State Functions

The Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate and co-ordinate State functions and commemoration of national events to enable His Excellency the President to perform his ceremonial duties effectively; and

(iii)    Support to Offices of the Former Presidents

The Cabinet Office will continue providing administrative and logistical support to the offices of the First and Fourth presidents and support services to the families of the Second, Third and Fifth presidents, in accordance with the provisions of the Benefits of Former Presidents Acts No. 40 of 1993 Cap. 15 of the Laws of Zambia. Following the announcement by His Excellency the President that there should be sustainability and equity in leadership pensions, the Cabinet Office has set up an inter-ministerial committee to look into the necessary amendments to the Benefits of the Former Presidents Act;

(b)    Support to Strategic Institutions

Under this programme, the Cabinet Office will provide funding to the Government Communications Department in order to facilitate effective and secure communication between the Cabinet Office and other strategic institutions.

(c)    Cabinet Meetings and Management of the Policy Process

Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate the conducting of Cabinet meetings, co-ordinate the formulation of public policies, and monitor and evaluate their implementation by Government ministries and institutions in order to ensure the achievement of the aspirations of the PF Government. In order to enhance efficiency across the Public Service, the Cabinet Office will continue co-ordinating the implementation of an e-Government system. The launch of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Centre of Excellence by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia is testimony to this;

(d)    Strategic Planning, Restructuring and Institutional Development

Under this programme, the Cabinet Office will continue to provide quality internal management consultancy services to Government ministries and institutions. To this effect, comprehensive institutional appraisals of ministries, provinces and spending agencies to document current processes and identify service delivery challenges and recommend appropriate interventions in the form of work process re-engineering as part of the activities under the Public Service Transformation Strategy will be undertaken. 

In furtherance of the Human Service Management Reforms, the Cabinet Office will oversee the re-organisation of the service commissions and Public Service Management Division (PSMD) to facilitate decentralisation of the human resource functions to ministries, provinces and spending agencies once the Service Commissions Act is revised; and

(e)    Performance Management Systems

To enhance the existing management systems and accountability of public officials and institutions, the Cabinet Office will focus on providing technical guidance and backstopping to ministries, provinces and spending agencies to develop or review the strategic plans, organisation structures, job descriptions as well as rolling out the Revised Performance Management System to ministries and provinces, as part of institutionalisation of strategic and performance management in the Public Service. 

In addition, the Government approved the performance management contracts for Permanent Secretaries (PSs). The Cabinet Office is in the process of finalising the contracts so that they are signed within the month of November, 2015. This system will ensure that heads of Public Service institutions are held accountable for delivering of services. This system will be extended to all levels across the entire Government system, including local government.

(f)    Decentralisation 

The Decentralisation Secretariat has now been transferred to the Cabinet Office from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. This has been done to expedite the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy.

Mr Chairperson, from the foregoing, it is clear that the Cabinet Office plays a pivotal and critical role in the management of the Public Service and overall provision of policy direction to the nation. The funds being requested for in the 2016 Estimates of Expenditure will, therefore, be necessary to enable the Cabinet Office to effectively execute its mandate. I, therefore, request hon. Members of this august House to support these estimates.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Chairperson, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.  


Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I would like to say that I support the Estimates of Expenditure for this Vote. However, in so doing, I would like to bring out a few issues I have noticed at the Cabinet Office. Indeed, as indicated by the hon. Minister of Works and Supply, the Cabinet Office is the supreme body of the Civil Service in the country. It is like the Standing Orders Committee at Parliament. Every Civil Service department should get consultation or guidance from the Cabinet Office. However, from what has been happening in the recent past, it makes me wonder whether the Cabinet Office is doing what it is supposed to be doing.

Mr Chairperson, there have been incidents when hon. Ministers have given different statements on the Government’s stance on a particular issue. It is the duty of the Cabinet Office to help in such situations. Whenever hon. Ministers are appointed, the Cabinet Office is supposed to arrange for inductions or orientations. I do not know whether that is still going on, but if it is, then, it is not achieving its intended purpose. We are not supposed to get conflicting statements from hon. Cabinet Ministers or their Deputies on Government policy, as has been the case.

Mr Chairperson, all civil servants look to the Cabinet Office for guidance. When I look at the people at that office, I see some veterans who can be relied upon. However, one wonders what has gone amiss. I have in mind one recent case where a former Cabinet Minister, the late Mr Samuel Mbilishi, may his soul rest in peace, was not recognised by the Cabinet Office for having served in the Government. The Cabinet Office had no idea who he was. That is unacceptable of the Cabinet Office. We know that the honouring or giving of days of national mourning is at the discretion of His Excellency the President, but he gets advice from the Cabinet Office.

Mr Chairperson, recently, people have been criticising the number of hon. Ministers and hon. Deputy Ministers going out on foreign trips. This was tabulated by the hon. Minister of Works and Supply. The Cabinet Office is supposed to guide even on foreign trips undertaken by His Excellency the President, but I feel it is not giving that guidance and you find that His Excellency the President is on the receiving end.

Mr Chairperson, I expect the Cabinet Office to do its work. If it is, I will draw only one conclusion that, probably, it is us, the politicians, who are not giving the Cabinet Office a chance to do what it is supposed to do. Maybe, the Cabinet Office is now used to receiving directives instead of following laid down procedure. Once it is put that the Cabinet Office should always wait for directives, will take something like what happened to the late Mr Mbilishi. The Cabinet Office was waiting for somebody to guide it by giving it a go ahead, but nobody did that. No one advised His Excellency the President that Mr Mbilishi deserved a day of national mourning.

Mr Chairperson, I have looked at what has been given in terms of resources. Indeed, we are having difficulties with the resource envelop, but I believe that the Cabinet Office deserved something slightly higher than what it got this year. I was looking at some of the budget lines and noticed that there were many reductions. Today, when you look at the rate of the kwacha against other major currencies compared to the time when we were considering this year’s Budget, you can see difficulties in the implementation of some of those tasks that the Cabinet Office is expected to perform in 2016.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to see the Cabinet Office work as a supreme body and icon of the Civil Service. Hon. Ministers should also tap knowledge and policy issues from it. I do not think this is currently happening, but I would want it to happen. I expect the Cabinet Office to go back to being a supreme body in the Civil Service. People and civil servants must appreciate it and know that they will get the right answers from there. When people doubt whether the Cabinet Office will give the right answers to something, then, there is a problem. 

Mr Chairperson, with these very few remarks, I support this budget line.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to add a voice to the debate on this Vote.

Mr Chairperson, I just want to caution the Government on its civil servants, who are the agents of the Executive, that when they prepare the Budget, they seem to take care of their personal interests first.

Mr Chairperson, we have just debated the Vote on the Office of the Auditor-General and have seen the cuttings that are in that budget. This means that the Office of the Auditor-General will have very little to use to audit the activities of civil servants. However, I have just quickly perused through the allocations to the Cabinet Office and have noticed that the civil servants have ensured that their interests are taken care of. For example, I have seen that they have indicated that they will go out to audit this or that and have allocated some funds towards those activities. Where will that money go? It is towards their allowances. They get a salary at the end of the month, but if they are going to audit this particular activity, that other one and others, why did they not take care of that auditing aspect in their monthly salaries? 

Mr Chairperson, this is the time when everyone is tightening their belts by cutting on various Votes, but the Cabinet Office has increased its budget and, in some cases, even where programmes do not exist. When we come to individual items on this Vote, you will see what I am talking about. There are new votes that have been created for the civil servants, but at the same time, the Office of the Auditor-General, which is the watchdog for the Executive that monitors that our money is used properly, has had its budget cut. That is a sad development and I would like the Executive to look at that. The Treasury should, especially, be interested in this aspect.

Mr Chairperson, this will be a very short debate for me. I, however, just want to comment on the issue of Former Presidents’ benefits. We are all aware that, at the moment, the former President, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda (RB), is busy campaigning. However, the policy on this …

Mr Chikwanda: Where?


Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, the policy on former Presidents’ benefits is that for somebody to qualify for the benefits, they should have completely retired from active politics. Therefore, why are we allowing this particular person to enjoy the benefits of a former President when he is still active in politics? 

Mr Chairperson, I would like the Government to look at this issue seriously. It should not discriminate. I do recall that the former President, Dr Kaunda, was threatened with the withdrawal of his benefits because he was said to have been involved in active politics. So, we should look at this issue critically. Has the policy changed? If it has not changed, can we look at this issue of formers Presidents benefits and if a person is involved in active politics, then, we should withdraw it from that vote. We do not want to vote for the benefits of somebody who is involved in active politics, but is said to have retired. No.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to also comment on the Government’s treatment of the former First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba Sata. We read in the papers and know what happened. Can we also take care of her. Let us not discriminate. Why was she treated the way she was? We should look at her plight and make sure that she is properly taken care of by the Government.

Mr Chairperson, with those very few words, I would not say I support the Vote, but I have added my voice to the debate.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank Hon. Pande and Hon. Imenda for debating this Vote. They have raised some issues which I need to comment on. I will begin with the issues raised by Hon. Imenda. 

Mr Chairperson, by virtue of the office, the Cabinet Office is made up of civil servants. It is important to note that the Government conducts orientation programmes to acquaint members with the processes that are involved in the governance of the country.

Mr Chairperson, one of the issues that was raised is that of former Presidents participating in politics. If you look at the Act that was referred to, it talks about active politics. There is a need to define ‘active politics’. Involvement in active politics is when someone participates in politics and holds a position.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: However, when a former President greets people at a rally, does that qualify as active politics?


Mr Mukanga: These are the issues that we need to …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Allow the hon. Minister to wind up debate. However, it is important that I give guidance. Take time to read that law. Participation in active politics is defined in there. However, it is not for me to give you the definition. Just take time to read the law.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that there is a need for us to understand what the law says and not just debate for the sake of it.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: It is important that definitions are understood properly. When you come here to debate and say whatever you say without even understanding what the Act says, your debate is not factual. We need to debate with facts.

Sir, the issue of emoluments and benefits of former Presidents is one that we have discussed. We have said that it will be tabled in this House because it is provided for under an Act of Parliament. Consultations are currently ongoing. If you look at the whole aspect, you might discover that some of the suggestions that have been given might be the best way to go so that we cut down on expenditure. 

Mr Chairperson, as regards the treatment of the former First Lady, Dr Christine Kaseba, if it was perceived to be bad, I would like to apologise on behalf of the Government. If she was treated in a very bad way, the Government apologises because it was not intentional. We respect her and will continue to do so ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: ... because she is one of the founders of the Patriotic Front (PF).

Mr Chairperson, as regards the failure to honour Mr Mbilishi, the Government will try to find out what exactly transpired. It shall go to the root cause and take action. However, I would like to state that the expenditure that was incurred by the family during the funeral will be reimbursed because the Government should have taken care of it. In future, we will need the Cabinet Office to advise properly. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to state that the PF will not condone incompetence. It believes that the people who are given positions are competent enough to execute their work. 

Mr Chairperson, I would like to inform the hon. Member that the Cabinet Office does not give us policy. The hon. Ministers in the Cabinet are there to formulate policy. The Cabinet Office is run by civil servants. It follows policy. It is like a secretariat. We, in the Cabinet, are in control and will give policy direction.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: We are in control, Sir. We will give the policy direction. This is why we are around.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear! We will continue to be around.

Mr Mukanga: Yes, we will continue this year, next year and the year to come.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, it is important that we support the Cabinet Office because it is a noble office.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Vote 08/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08/03 – (Cabinet Office – Office of the President – Common Services Accounting Unit – K4,738,387).

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, you skipped me.

The Deputy Chairperson: You must rise quickly.

Ms Imenda: Actually, I did, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Vote 08/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08/04 – ((Cabinet Office – Office of the President – Office of the Former President – K1,932,069).

The Deputy Chairperson: I am looking around and nobody is indicating.


Vote 08/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 08/05 – (Cabinet Office – Office of the President – Private Sector Development Industrialisation and Job Creation Division – K5,000,000).

Ms Imenda rose.

The Deputy Chairperson: You have to rise at an appropriate time. That is the procedure. I have not even finished and you are already up.


Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I was trying to be contemporaneous.


Ms Imenda: Sir, I seek clarification on Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K1,000,000. This amount has just been introduced. It has never been funded before. This is what I was talking about when I referred to the creation of new votes. All the allocations are the same, including the next and the rest. Can I have an explanation for this.

The Deputy Chairperson: Let me guide you so that I allow you to proceed. You will note that there are no allocations for the previous years on the entire page, indicating that it is a new programme. However, you may continue. I was just guiding you.

Ms Imenda: Sir, I have asked for an explanation.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, like you rightly guided, Programme 3001, Activity 003 – Office Administration – K1,000,000 is a new activity. The provision is meant to cater for operational expenses to ensure efficiency in the management of support services to the Private Sector Development Industrialisation and Job Creation (PSDIJC) Office.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 3066, Activity 900 − Information Dissemination – K135,000. I would like to find out whether this is part of the new programme. Of late, we have been receiving short messaging service (SMS) texts from the Cabinet Office on national events inviting us to the Heroes Stadium or to gather at the Show Grounds. I wonder whether this is part of that programme.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, Programme 3066, Activity 900 − Information Dissemination – K135,000 is a provision is for 2016. What the hon. Member is referring to may not be part of this because it will only be actualised in 2016. It is a new activity.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Votes 08/05, 08/06, 08/07, 08/08 and 08/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

VOTE 04 – (Ministry of Gender – K33,129,547).

The Minister of Gender (Prof. Luo): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present the ministry’s budget policy statement for 2016.

Mr Chairperson, I am aware that a budget is an important tool that helps to prioritise and allocate financial resources to programmes, projects and activities in the most efficient manner, given the prevailing economic situation and that resources are always scarce. This statement will give a synopsis of the achievements of the Ministry of Gender, in 2015, and will also highlight the challenges faced by the ministry and bring out the salient policy measures for the 2016 Budget. 

Mandate of the Ministry

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Gender is mandated to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of the National Gender Policy and the corresponding programmes in order to ensure gender responsiveness in the development agenda of this country. The ministry, therefore, envisages a nation where there is gender equity, equality and a full realisation of the potential of girls, women, and men for sustainable development. The operations of the ministry are guided by strategic objectives aimed at enhancing co-ordination of gender mainstreaming programmes into national and sectoral policies and plans, developing appropriate legal and policy frameworks on gender, advocating and raising awareness on gender, co-ordinating the implementation of anti-gender-based violence (GBV) programmes and developing and implementing gender empowerment programmes throughout the country. I wish to assure this august House that my ministry is doing its best to ensure that the strategic objectives are implemented timely and that the expectations of the target groups are met. 

Major Achievements in 2015

Mr Chairperson, allow me to shed some light on the major achievements of the ministry during 2015. The ministry embarked on consultations with various stakeholders aimed at improving the policy and legal framework for co-ordinating gender programmes in the country. To this end, the ministry finalised the Gender Equity and Equality Bill. The Bill is, among other issues, aimed at providing for the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, empowerment of women and achieving gender equity and equality by giving effect to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Protocol on the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development and the 50/50 participation of women in national agendas. It is, therefore, my sincere hope that this House will support the Bill once it is tabled for consideration before the end of this year. Further, the ministry finalised and printed the Revised National Gender Policy and its implementation plan during the period under review. The new policy took into account,
 the recommendations from various studies and observations on emerging issues such as the escalating GBV, empowerment of women, child marriage and climate change, among others. The new policy takes a multi-sectoral approach and calls for stakeholders’ participation in its implementation. 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry came to a realisation that the provision of equipment and start-up capital to individual women and women’s clubs in the country was not sufficient for them to engage in business in a sustainable and competitive manner. In this regard, my ministry held ten provincial expositions that culminated into the national exposition. The aim of the exposition was to ensure that women received training in financial literacy, value addition, business management and marketing. This sort of training and exposure will enable the women to produce branded and packaged products to penetrate new local and international markets in their pursuit for economic prosperity. This year alone, 500 women across the country have benefited from this programme. Thanks to our partners who came on board to support the successful hosting of this exposition. As you know, the budget that was allocated to the ministry, last year, was not adequate to even carry out one programme. 

Mr Chairperson, during the year under review, the ministry disbursed over K4.5 million for procurement of tractors in different parts of the country. These will continue to be distributed to various communities in the farming areas. In addition, seventy-five women’s groups across the country will be supported with start-up capital for various ventures. These efforts, if well utilised by the beneficiaries, will have the potential to complement other Government measures aimed at reducing poverty and improving the living standards of our people. The programme under which tractors, tillers and implements will be distributed is known as the Agricultural Development Value Chain Enhancement (ADVACE). 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will continue to explore new ways of reaching out to men and women, as well as boys and girls in the country on the need to embrace gender as an important aspect of national development. To this end, the ministry has put in place many programmes, some of which I have shared with you before such as the “He for She Campaign,” the “Boys to Men Campaign,” and the “Women at Work Campaign.” These campaigns will undoubtedly go a long way in reaching out to all Zambians to discard cultural and social myths that perpetuate gender inequality and GBV such as polygamy in our communities. So, those of you in polygamous marriages are in trouble. 

Hon. Members: Aah!

Major Challenges Faced in 2015

Mr Chairperson, the major challenges that my ministry is facing in 2015 ...

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

Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson, I did not invite any discussion, and there is no need for a point of order. 

Mr Chairperson, despite the achievements recorded, the year was not without challenges. The staffing levels at the ministry have barely increased while the demand for services in my ministry is increasing. There is no way any ministry can be called a ministry with only eighty members of staff. There was an increase of forty members of staff that brought the total number of staff to 120. The staffing problem, coupled with inadequate transport facilities affected the efficient and effective execution of the ministry’s mandate. 

    Policy Outlook for the Year 2016

Mr Chairperson, in 2016, the ministry will augment its efforts in sensitising the nation to empower the girl child just like the boy child, so that no one is left behind as Zambia moves forward to attaining the Vision 2030. This is inevitable. 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will continue to position itself as an institution dedicated to empowering women by ensuring that more sustainable programmes, with meaningful impact, are introduced for economic empowerment. The ministry will, thus, ensure that the ADVACE Project is extended to more chiefdoms in the country. We will supervise the women and young people. 

Sir, ADVACE is an inter-ministerial initiative designed to harmonise the development programming and implementation of economic empowerment efforts targeting young people and women throughout the rural part of Zambia. 

Furthermore, Sir, my ministry will soon launch Women in Extractive Industry Programme. Since Zambia has become a construction site, we believe that women and young people can participate in quarrying and other activities around the extractive industry. The goal of all these programmes is really to improve the livelihood of our people, especially in rural communities. 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry realises that women in the country are still constrained in terms of access to financial resources. In 2016, the ministry is looking forward to the opening of the first ever women’s bank in the country. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Can you moderate your consultation. 

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Prof. Luo: The bank will provide easy access and affordable financial services and accord women an opportunity to own shares. Let me take this opportunity to invite female hon. Members of Parliament to buy shares in this bank. Sir, I wish to call upon all the women in the country to receive this unfolding development as a major landmark in the ministry’s effort to empower women through affordable access to loans and other financial services.

Mr Chairperson, to enable the ministry operationalise the aforementioned policies, the Gender Empowerment Fund has been increased from K17 million to K19.3 million. This is despite the downward adjustment in the overall allocation to the ministry from K42.625,737 to K33.129,54. Let me hasten to say that I will not sit back and think that I can do anything with this little amount of money. We will work tirelessly to raise money through other sources. So, please, do not ask me that question because I will be working hard. 


Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson, as I conclude my statement, I wish to express gratitude to our partners who have continued to support the ministry in executing its mandate. I look forward to seeing more of such partnerships, as the nation fights gender imbalance and GBV. I, therefore, wish to urge this House to support the budget for the Ministry of Gender, as the allocation made to various programmes and activities will help the country move towards attaining gender equity and equality, which is necessary for the economic growth of this country. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to add my voice to the debate on this Vote. First of all, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for the statement and for the new approach that she has taken on the administration of this particular Vote, especially with regard to empowerment of women. I say this because under the previous approach, the work was not done. I can tell you that women’s clubs in Luena did not benefit anything. 

Sir, we were supposed to have a ministerial representative in Limulunga District, for example, but during whatever process was used to administer this issue, for some strange reason, documents went missing. When I tried to follow up, as Member of Parliament for Luena, by going to the headquarters to try to find out what had happened to the applications from the women’s clubs, I was told that their papers never reached this office. Somehow, somewhere, the papers disappeared. I do not know whether they were thrown into the Kafue River, as they were transiting from the Western Province to Lusaka or eaten by buffaloes in the Kafue National Park. Nevertheless, the women of Luena did not benefit from this programme.  

Mr Chairperson, for this reason, I wish to suggest that this Vote be divided equally among the provinces because some provinces benefit while others do not. People who apply from anywhere should know that they can get funds. It would even be better if this fund could be decentralised because there is a need for equitable allocation of these funds. 

Mr Chairperson, gender is not about marching at some event because that does not add much value. It is about ensuring that women are empowered. When a woman is empowered, the entire nation is empowered, beginning from her family unit. However, when a man is empowered, you know what happens. The hon. Minister referred to the issue of polygamy.


Ms Imenda: When you empower a man, he will marry more women ... 


Ms Imenda: … and that money …

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir. 

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member on the Floor of this House in order to continue contradicting herself? On one hand, she says that women must be empowered because by empowering a woman, the family gets empowered. On the other hand, she states that once a man is empowered, he will marry more women. Is she in order not to acknowledge the fact that men are able to empower more women? I need your serious ruling, Sir. 

Mr Sikazwe: Waumfwa, Margaret?

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that socialist men empower more women. 

Continue, hon. Member for Luena.


Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, maybe, I used the wrong term when I said ‘marry’. Empowered men ‘chase’ after other women … 


Ms Imenda: …by taking them to hotels, bars or other outings. What empowerment is there when you deprive your family? This is what I meant. 

Mr Muntanga: They will get the money. 

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I have two more issues to talk about and will try to be brief. 

The hon. Minister mentioned that these funds will be distributed through chiefdoms. I hope the hon. Minister takes into account that the Western Province is unique because it has the least number of chiefs. So, if this will be the criterion, then, fewer funds will be disbursed in the Western Province. Whereas other provinces have forty-two or fifty chiefs, the Western Province has less than twenty. So, take this into account. The suggestion that I put forward of dividing these funds equally would be the best way. How you approach the administration of it will be the responsibility of that provincial administration, set up and terrain. 

Mr Chairperson, the last issue I want to say something on is that of women’s shares. The hon. Minister is calling for women to own shares in this bank. For as long as the bank will be run professionally and by professionals so that it can make profit and we get dividends, then, we will buy shares in it. It has to prove itself by either being floated on the stock exchange or by any other means, but we want to see clean accounts which will attract us, as investors. Investors look for two things which and these are dividends and capital appreciation. If this bank will be run professionally and can impress on me that my money will not be wasted if I invest in it, then, I will invest in it.

Sir, I hope party cadres will not be appointed to run that bank. Let it be run by professionals. Advertise and find the best people to run this bank. It is then that we shall buy shares. If that is not done, I will not invest in it because I am a rational investor.

With those few words, I support the Vote.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, we support the Vote for the Ministry of Gender. This is the Ministry of Gender and gender should include men.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: The only thing that beats me is that instead of talking about all of us, the hon. Minister of Gender has been talking about women only. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I am not sure whether this is a ministry for women only. 

Hon. Opposition Member: No!

Mr Muntanga: We have this adage that states that if you empower a woman, you empower the whole village. Who said that? 

Prof. Luo interjected.

Mr Muntanga: If you go to the village, one man will empower everybody, including women. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Yes. The only person who does not seem to be honoured is a man. You only worry about women, but they have International Women’s Day and so many other things, including this ministry. As for the women whom you claim will be enabled to buy shares in this bank, which women will buy shares? 


Mr Muntanga: The women in the village who actually need help will not be able to buy shares. You will find that the only ones who will be able to buy shares are the very few who claim to represent women when they actually do not. I want the hon. Minister of Gender to talk about gender in general and appreciate the fact that we have certain problems that are unfavourable to women and the youth. However, she must bear in mind that the youth includes male youth. When will we realise that there is a group of people in the world that is not recognised for its sacrifices? Who will recognise what a man sacrifices? 

Mr Chairperson, when women work and make money, they demand for divorces because they do not want to feed their husbands. In so far as we accept that women need to be helped, they should stop divorcing men because they are working and the men are not. If you claim to help everybody, then, do not chase men even when they are not working. Keep them like we keep women when we are working and they are not. 


Mr Muntanga: When we work, we keep our women and do everything they demand. When they want cars and clothing, we buy for them.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Muntanga: Therefore, all you empowered women should buy us cars and suits as well.

Hon. Male Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Tell them.


Mr Muntanga: Do not call it a Ministry of Gender and only focus on women. I would not have sanctioned a ministry for women alone. 

Hon. Opposition Member: You are right.

Mr Muntanga: They had the Women’s Liberation which could not be sustained so they duped us into agreeing to having the Ministry of Gender, but all we hear them talk about is women. Why? 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, this bank that has been created should not just have shares for women, but for both genders. I want to see men buying shares in that bank. That way, it will be sustainable. You should not allow a few women to buy shares and claim to own the bank. What about the others? A woman’s worst enemy is a fellow woman.
Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: I want the Ministry of Gender to take note. 

Mr Chairperson, when the hon. Minster’s predecessors were in office, I remember seeing hammer mills, Scotch carts and even ox-drawn equipment in the constituency. However, since her party took over, at the time that the current Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning was the hon. Minister of Gender, I have seen nothing in my constituency. It seems that gender died ...


Mr Muntanga: ... and it appears that we have no women in Kalomo Central. All of a sudden, we have another hon. Minister of Gender, but I do not know what gender business she is doing. We are used to seeing equipment from the Ministry of Gender being disbursed equally. We have a similar problem with the Ministry of Community Development and Social Wlefare. There was a time when we thought we would get something from the ministry for our people, but the segregation, selfishness and isolation of the people that are running it now caused them to only share this equipment amongst themselves. 

Sir, I have to say these things. While my nephew, the hon. Member for Gwembe, said that men are being beaten up, but are scared to open up, I am not scared to point out who was beaten up. We want women to realise that we should work together as a team. Do not tell us that if you empower one woman, you empower the whole village because it is a myth. Who says that?


Mr Muntanga: If there is a head woman in a village, wait until she starts bewitching people ...


Mr Muntanga: ... because she will make the worst witch and the whole village would die. 


Mr Muntanga: The Ministry of Gender should look at all these bad habits ...


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

As you debate, take into account that you must be factual.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I know that a number of women, including those sitting next to you, will not agree, but I am telling them the truth.


Mr Muntanga: I just state the plain truth.

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Gender should be able to ...

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: How did you see?


The Deputy Chairperson: Well, I just saw a part of her.


Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member debating in order to contradict himself? On one hand, he said that this ministry is about gender and we should all participate while on the other hand, he is saying that women should not be made heads of villages because they will bewitch everybody. Is he in order to contradict himself? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Muntanga interjected.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I want to rule.

In so far as the hon. Member was expressing his opinions, he was in order.

Continue, hon. Member for Kalomo Central.


Mr Muntanga: Thank you very much, Sir. I am in support of the Ministry of Gender, but I want it to be all-inclusive. Men must also be considered. When it talks about floating shares for a bank in support of gender equity, it should include men so that we can all buy shares. We are looking forward to seeing what will happen when these shares are floated. The process should not only favour one gender because there have been several incidents where only one gender has been considered.

Mr Chairperson, I agree that there are men who batter women and we do not condone that. Those men are extremists. If you love your wife, you cannot beat her up. How can you slap your wife, distort her face and still claim she is your wife? That is wrong. I always consider men who engage in such activities to be sick.

Mr Mukanga interjected.


Hon. Government Member: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: Do not push me to mention a number of you who beat up your wives. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Please, do not answer hecklers.


The Deputy Chairperson: Just address me. 

You may continue.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I am saying that in as much as I do not accept wife battering, there are also women who batter men. 

Mr Mushanga:  They are there! 

Mr Muntanga: When you are being beaten up by a woman, she will not leave you even if you cry. She will continue and tell everyone that, “Na chi menya lelo.”


The Deputy Chairperson: I hope the hon. Member is speaking from experience.


The Deputy Chairperson: He can continue.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the experience part is that …

The Deputy Chairperson: What does “Na chi menya” mean?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it means, “I have beaten him up.”


Mr Muntanga: Sir, my experience was rescuing a neighbour who was being beaten up by his wife. I cannot imagine my wife beating me up. It would be a bit risky for her. 

Mr Muntanga: When we are quarrelling and she sees that I am losing my temper, she keeps quiet. When I also see that she is losing her temper, I also keep quiet. That is how we have lived for forty years. My wife still looks like a girl because she has no scars on her face.

 However, Sir, I want to appeal to the Minister of Gender to take care of everybody in this country. We want to see all those programmes she has mentioned come forth. I am looking forward to having these programmes in Kalomo. I have a number of women who approach me all the time and I have assured them that my very good friend, the Minister of Gender, will attend to them. I now hand them over to the hon. Minister of Gender. I have also stated that there are men who want assistance. The Ministry of Gender is for everyone and I am sure the hon. Minister will consider the men as well. There should be no segregation and that way, we shall support it. If it will be one-sided, I will be the first one to oppose it. 

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, let me just put my policy debate in context so that my hon. Colleagues know why the majority of the programmes we were talking about were focused on women. At the moment, we do not have the equilibrium. In whatever area you talk about in relation to the celebration of women and men, it is the men who are celebrated more. For instance, even when you go back to the time when Zambia became independent, the majority of the people that fought for independence were women, yet the majority of those who are celebrated are men.

Mr Livune: Question!

Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson, first and foremost, what we want is to design programmes that bring the equilibrium so that we promote equality and equity. At that point, we will, then, focus on gender. So, it is not that we just want to talk about women. It is because we need to elevate the women so that they can also march with the men.

Mr Chairperson, as regards the bank that people belaboured talk about, the distribution of the shares will be that there will be free shares for everybody at 25 per cent. The shares for women will be at 50 per cent. This is because the face of poverty in this country is the face of a woman. Therefore, it is important that as we look at empowerment programmes, we focus on the people that are disadvantaged.

Furthermore, I want to state that, in the past, there were hammer mills and Scotch carts that were distributed all over the country for women empowerment. My two colleagues, Hon. Lungu and Hon. Kazunga and I toured this country to see the levels of empowerment those hammer mills and Scotch carts had contributed to the women. I believe in evidence and I can tell you that if most of the women were sitting, they are now lying down. If they were crawling, they are now sitting. When those hammer mills stopped working, they were not able to repair them because they did not save any money. We found a lot of white elephants of hammer mills all over the country. 

Sir, when something does not work, we must accept the situation. For us who are in the Government, we know that this system is not working. This is why we have gone back to redesign our empowerment programme in order to see how this will help our people. I think what we are doing is much better than distributing hammer mills. Currently, there are tractors that are being loaded and they will be taken to certain parts of the country. In fact, one of your chiefs is a recipient and his role is just to supervise the use of the tractor. This is for the women, young people and some men. In our mobilisation, we have said that the men will not take up the chairmanship.

Mr Muntanga: In Kalomo?

Prof. Luo: Yes, in Kalomo. The women will take up the leadership instead of men. As we distribute these, I will bring the lists and lay them on the Table of this House. 

Sir, the other thing I want to say with regard to empowerment is that it is not possible for us to sit here and start dividing the money equitably. We have gone round to mobilise people to come up with programmes and this time around, it is very simple. We are not even asking our people to fill in all those cumbersome forms or go to register anywhere. In fact, last time, we disadvantaged many of our people because they went and registered, but they could not do returns. Some have remained with about K6,000 to pay as returns. Our procedure is very simple. We just need a list of people who want to come together for a common purpose with a programme that we will support.

Hon. Opposition Members: Where is the list?

Prof. Luo: I said I will bring the list as we distribute these things to our people. I also want to say that our empowerment programme is not just about giving, but training. That is why we have involved the Ministry of Agriculture to train the people in agricultural methods. We have involved the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development so that the youths can partner with our women. We have involved the chiefs so that they can supervise their people. This will prevent the equipment from falling into a few people’s hands. We are partnering with financial institutions to train our people in financial management. So, we are talking about real empowerment.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, please, let us not talk about the issue of employing cadres. These jobs will be advertised and professional people will be employed. Why do we like talking about cadres? What is the definition of a cadre? A cadre is a group of people that come together for a common purpose. Even as we sit here, we are Parliamentary cadres because we have come here together for a common purpose. So, sometimes, the use of words can be misleading. 

Therefore, Mr Chairperson, I want to ask my colleagues to support this budget. The Ministry of Gender will put all it can in uplifting the lives of women so there is equilibrium with the men. That way, we will promote gender equity.

I thank you, Sir.

Votes 04/01, 04/02, 04/03, 04/04 and 04/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 12 – (Commission for Investigations – Office of the President – K6,839,745).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I wish to express my gratitude for according me this opportunity to present the 2016 Budget Estimates for the Commission for Investigations.

Sir, the Office of the Investigator-General was established by Article 90 of the Constitution of Zambia, an enabling Act of Parliament known as the Commission for Investigations Cap 39 of the Laws of Zambia, which provides for the commission’s powers, procedures and jurisdiction. The Commission for Investigations came into existence in 1974. 

Functions of the Commission for Investigations

Mr Chairperson, the specific functions of the commission are:

(a)    to redress grievances of mal-administration in public institutions;

(b)    to ensure that social justice and fair treatment is given to the members of the public by public bodies; and

(c)    to advise the Government on the required measures over matters relating to mal-administration and abuse of office or authority.

Performance of the Commission for Investigations

Sir, in 2015, the Commission for Investigations performed its functions with a budget of K7,733,580 only. I now present the budget estimates for 2016 of K6,839,745 only, a reduction of 12 per cent as compared to the 2015 Budget. These funds will support the portfolio functions of the Commission for Investigations in its continued effort to redress and curb mal-administration in public institutions. I, therefore, urge this august House to support this budget as presented.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, this is a very important office which we have relegated to the backyard. Its operations are not as they used to be at its formulation. If I asked how many hon. Members of Parliament know where it operates from, I doubt if there will be more than three of them who would know where it is located. The reason is that we have relegated it to the backyard and are not giving it the attention that it deserves. The commissioners are going through thick and thin to operate because of the resources that are allocated to the commission.

Sir, some of the neighbouring countries that set up this office after adopting the idea from us regard it to be very important. The malpractices that are taking place in parastatals and other Government agencies would not be going unabated if this office was accorded the importance that it deserves. I looked at its budget and realised that the activities for publications have been withdrawn. I cannot remember when I last saw the annual report of this office. We need to know what it is doing, the activities it has carried out and how many people it helped in the execution of its duties. However, it is just on paper to an extent where one wonders if it is still needed because there is no marketing of this institution. I know that it is not its fault. It is probably because of the allocation of the resources to this office that there is the status quo.

Mr Chairperson, I appeal to the Government to review the operations of this commission and bring it to a certain level so that it is accorded the importance that it deserves. We have not realised its importance and I do not know whether it is because there is no publicity on what it does or where it is. In its budget line for this year, money was allocated for pamphlets. I would like the hon. Minister to confirm if these pamphlets were distributed and what impact they had. I appeal to the Minister of Works and Supply for us to review the operations of this office. It is an important office, yet most people out there do not know about its existence. Only a few people know about its existence and these may not even need its services. However, those that need its services are not aware of it. So, we need to publicise this office or if we do not want it, let us make a decision to abolish it because it is not serving the purpose it was intended to.

Sir, with these few remarks, I would like to emphasise that this is an important office which we have relegated to the backyard because of the manner in which resources are allocated to it.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I have been wondering what the Commission for Investigations investigates. This is because the Auditor-General’s Office brings out issues, but nobody investigates them. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) comes up with cases, but it takes long to investigate them. There are policy issues that need to be investigated, but some of them are swept under the carpet. The Commission for Investigations has become moribund. We want to see results out of whatever minimal allocations to this commission. We want to see the Commission for Investigations work in the manner it did during the First Republican President’s era. It would investigate and give results when someone was doing something wrong. It was like the State was progressing.

Sir, I do not understand what has happened to the operations of this commission. Could it be that we do not know what it is supposed to do or has the Government shoved the commission in a corner and given it a bit of money just so it is not bothered by it. I would want to see the commission investigate people who do wrong things in public offices. So many things have gone wrong. Everyone seems to do as they please, yet the Commission for Investigations is there.

Sir, the commission should publish the annual report like it used to do before. Through the report, we will know that certain investigations were not concluded because the commission was unable to carry them out. If it is the Government’s business to ensure that the Commission for Investigation carries out investigations, can the hon. Minister of Works and Supply tell us why it is not functioning as it should when he is asking us to support its budget. We are dissatisfied with the investigations being undertaken. We would like to know the cases that are being pursued, and truthfully so.

Mr Chairperson, like the other debater said, if we are not satisfied with the commission’s work, we will be tempted to shift the investigative aspect of cases to the ACC or the Zambia Police Force because it seems the Commission for Investigations has a backlog of cases. At the moment, the Office of the President is getting even more prominent considerations through the Investigator-General. I would want to see this office take the lead in these investigations. This commission should perform the functions which it was intended to do. It should not just be a matter of approving funds every year.

Sir, in my capability, next time, I will propose that we do away with the Commission for Investigations. Let us phase it out. There are too many commissions. Are we getting value for money? The Investigator-General must investigate all the outstanding cases and conclude them. We should look at the Auditor-General’s Report and come up with cases for investigation from there. Let us clearly see that those who need to take action have failed. If need be, let us empower them to arrest and prosecute. They should not only investigate and close a case, but should also prosecute.  

Mr Chairperson, I hope this Government has listened to what I have said. If I have offended it, I am sorry, but I expect it to act positively.

 Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all hon. Members that have debated on this Vote.

Sir, the importance of this institution cannot be over emphasised.

Mr Muntanga: Yes!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, it is important to realise that the Commission for Investigations is needed so that issues of maladministration in public institutions are addressed. It is also important for public workers to report any malpractices to this institution.

 Sir, many people do not know the location of this institution. Maybe, this could be the reason hon. Members have debated the way they have. This office has moved from Cairo Road, where it was initially, to Plot No. 4632, Mwaimwena Road, in Rhodes Park Residential Area, behind Taj Pamodzi Hotel, in Lusaka. So, all those who are aggrieved should go and report their cases. I am giving you these directions so that you can know the location of this commission.

Mr Chairperson, just for this year alone, the commission has handled about 1,800 cases. So, it is working. It is for this reason that we need to support it. I know that many hon. Members have quietly supported this Vote.

Sir, I would like to thank all hon. Members for their support and I thank you.

Thank you, Sir.

Votes 12/01 and 12/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)




The Minister of Works and Supply, Chief Whip and Acting Leader of 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 1752 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 4th November, 2015.