Debates - Wednesday, 4th November, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, 4th November, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to deliver a ministerial statement on the quality of fertiliser distributed under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) for the 2015/2016 agricultural season. This statement has been necessitated by the need to inform the House on the recent reports on the distribution of the alleged poor quality fertiliser under the FISP.

Sir, my ministry recently received reports alleging that the quality of urea fertiliser that Nyiombo Investments Limited is supplying under the FISP to farmers in Kitwe and Lufwanyama is poor. Nyiombo Investments Limited was contracted to supply 14,519 by 50 kg bags of urea in Kitwe District and 22,740 by 50 kg bags in Lufwanyama District for the 2015/2016 farming season.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture officials from the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute and the FISP Co-ordination Office undertook a mission to ascertain the condition of the fertiliser supplied by Nyiombo Investments Limited. The actual inspection and sampling of the fertiliser was undertaken in the two affected districts, namely Kitwe and Lufwanyama.

Sir, the mission objectives were to:

(i)    inspect the urea fertiliser and the storage facilities in Kitwe and Lufwanyama;

(ii)    perform an onsite physical test of the urea fertiliser; and

(iii)    collect fertiliser samples for further analysis at the Zambia Agricultural Research Institute Laboratory at Mount Makulu Research Station.

Mr Speaker, after inspection and testing, the following findings were made:

(i)    the consignment of urea fertiliser that was inspected contained the recommended 46 per cent of nitrogen. 

The sampled fertiliser had a nitrogen content that ranged from 45.8 to 46.2 per cent which is well within the acceptable range;

(ii)    the percentage of caked fertiliser was high. 

More than 50 per cent of the fertiliser inspected had caked. This means that the moisture content in the fertiliser was high, resulting in the solidification of the fertiliser. Caked fertiliser is no longer free flowing;

(iii)    the bags of fertiliser were not labelled to indicate whether the urea fertiliser was prilled or granulated. This distinction must always be indicated on the bag.

Mr Speaker, from the above-mentioned findings, the following recommendations were made:

(i)    all the caked fertiliser be kept in a separate storage facility in order to avoid mixing the bags of fertiliser that had caked and those that had free-flowing fertiliser;

(ii)    the caked fertiliser be replaced with free-flowing fertiliser;

(iii)    farmers to reject fertiliser that is open or contains caked fertiliser;

(iv)    the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency be involved in scale calibration when repacking fertiliser to ensure that no underweight bags are supplied to farmers;

(v)    prilled and granulated fertiliser be separated into two stacks so that farmers know which type of urea fertiliser they are getting. Bags be labelled “prilled” and “granulated”, respectively, in accordance with the Zambian fertiliser standards;

(vi)    the 10,580 by 50 kg and 11,305 by 50 kg bags of fertiliser yet to be delivered to Kitwe and Lufwanyama, respectively, be constantly monitored so that only free-flowing fertiliser is allowed into the Nyiombo sheds; and

(vii)    suppliers familiarise themselves with the Urea ZS 605/2004 Zambian standards. Failure to comply with the appropriate requirements in one or more aspects renders the fertiliser or packaging defective.

Mr Speaker, following the verification exercise of the quality of fertiliser and findings presented, my ministry has had a meeting with the management of Nyiombo Investments Limited. The company has assured the ministry that it will, as a matter of urgency, remove all the caked fertiliser from the warehouses and that only free-flowing fertiliser be availed to farmers. Further, all the caked fertiliser shall be replaced forthwith.
Sir, having said this, I would like to appeal to the District Agriculture Co-ordinating Officers (DACOs) across the country and all stakeholders, particularly the farmers, to ensure that the urea fertilisers is up to the required standard when they collect it and that they must reject any fertiliser which is caked or whose bags are torn.

Sir, from time to time, I shall continue to update the House and the nation at large on the FISP input distribution for the 2015/2016 farming season.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement which has explained the circumstances under which fertiliser has caked. However, the hon. Minister is appealing to the District Agriculture Co-ordinating Officers (DACOs) whom I thought were under his ministry. Why should he appeal to them instead of directing them?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Member appreciates that this is just a question of choice of words. A request by the hon. Minister of Agriculture to DACOs is an instruction. However, I would not like to be that high handed. I want to appeal to all the DACOs to ensure that no farmer is given poor quality fertiliser. I am sure that they understand this to be a directive.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, my question is not on the ordinary fertiliser on which the hon. Minister has given a statement. I would like the hon. Minister to shed some light on the liquid fertiliser that we have been using. I understand it is from South Africa. Is liquid fertiliser better than the ordinary fertiliser that we normally use?

Hon. Member: The caked one.


Mr Speaker: The Hon. Minister of Agriculture may answer, albeit reluctantly so.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, all fertilisers on the market are subjected to inspection by the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) and the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI). All the fertilisers that are available on the market and have been approved by the two institutions are good. The liquid fertiliser that my good friend is talking about is highly recommended, especially for farmers who use fortification, that is, a combination of fertiliser, in their irrigation water. It is also good for the hon. Member’s house plants and backyard garden. The liquid fertilisers are very potent.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister mentioned that Nyiombo has to replace all the caked fertiliser. What assurance is he giving to the farmers that Nyiombo will replace the caked fertiliser in time so that we do not have a similar experience like that for last farming season?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, the assurance that I can give is that which Nyiombo has given me. Nyiombo has produced a list of stock movement which shows that there is more fertiliser than is required for the areas it has been contracted to supply. 

Mr Speaker, I have always said that if there is one thing that we want to do right this farming season, it is to ensure that inputs are delivered to farmers in good time. Nyiombo was given fourteen days in which to replace all the bags of caked fertiliser and ensure that the 100 per cent national requirement for urea is met in all the districts that it was contracted to deliver to.

Mr Speaker, let me also take advantage of this question to say this also to the other suppliers of fertiliser. All of them are obliged to ensure that they supply the full quantities required. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the hon. Minister for the statement. However, I would like to find out what will happen once the caked fertiliser has been returned to Nyiombo? Will the fertiliser not find its way back to the farmers? I think that this is a matter of concern.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the nitrogen content in the fertiliser is between 45.8 and 46.2 per cent. This means that it is potent enough for use. The only problem is that it is caked and, therefore, not free-flowing. 

Sir, Nyiombo will granulate the caked fertiliser by hand or machine and repackage it. However, for as long as it is going to be sold on the Zambian market, the Zambia Weights and Measures Agency will have to be involved so that there are no underweight bags.

Sir, once the fertiliser has been re repackaged, it will certainly find its way back to the farming community. However, whether it will go through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) or the commercial market is a different matter. Since the process of granulating the fertiliser might take long and there are excess stocks, we have instructed Nyiombo to replace the caked fertiliser with the free-flowing one so that the caked fertiliser can be taken care of without disturbing the FISP for 2015/2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.
Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to know how many tonnes of Urea fertiliser are caked. I would also like to find out how many times the fertiliser exchanged hands in terms of ownership.

Mr Lubinda perused the paper.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I want to give my colleague the actual figures. Fifty per cent of the total quantity of the fertiliser that was delivered to Kitwe and Lufwanyama was caked. 

As regards the second part of the question, the fertiliser is the property of the supplier until such a time that it is released to the farmer. The Government only deems the fertiliser bought when it has been delivered to the farmer.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




153.  Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central) (on behalf of Mr Nkombo) (Mazabuka Central) asked the Minister of Defence:

(a)    what caused the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) helicopter to crash in Chief Munyumbwe’s area in Gwembe District on 14th September, 2015;

(b)    how many people were on board;

(c)    whether there were any fatalities;

(d)    how the victims were rescued; and

(e)    how old the aircraft was.

The Minister of Defence (Mr Siamunene): Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that the ZAF Helicopter AB205 made an emergency landing in Gwembe District. Suspected engine failure could have caused the emergency landing. It is worth noting that a board of inquiry has been constituted to establish the probable cause of the accident. 

Mr Speaker, there were five people on board, that is, two pilots, one flight engineer and two senior military officers. 

Mr Speaker, there were no fatalities.

Mr Speaker, in case of any air accident, be it civilian or military, the normal procedure is that a search and rescue operation is activated. In this particular incident, a search and rescue operation was successfully conducted with the help of the people in the area. The victims were evacuated to Gwembe Mission Hospital, then, to Monze and, finally, to Lusaka using a ZAF ambulance. 

Mr Speaker, the helicopter came into ZAF service seven years ago. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, what was the mission of the helicopter in that area? An emergency landing is something so serious that the nation needed to know about. Why did the Government decide to keep it a secret? The Government was prompted to reveal information about this incident to the nation after a point of order was raised in this House. Why?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, Gwembe District is part of Zambia. Therefore, it is within the radius of the operations of the Zambia Air Force (ZAF). So, in this case, the people on this helicopter were carrying out their duties accordingly. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

What about the latter part of the question? 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I have already said that a board of inquiry has been constituted to look into this matter, and it has not yet concluded its work. That is all I can say.

I thank you, Sir. 

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, you will recall that not long ago, another Zambia Air Force (ZAF) plane crashed and killed the ZAF Deputy Commander. Shortly before that incident, there was another fatal accident which occurred. Is the hon. Minister not concerned about the fitness of the ZAF fleet of planes? The incidents are too frequent. Is the hon. Minister not concerned about the safety of his officers? 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, we are always concerned. That is why whenever there is an incident of that nature, a board of inquiry is constituted to carry out investigations to ascertain the cause of the accident. When the board concludes its work, we shall know exactly what caused the accident. 

 I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the aircrafts have scheduled dates for periodic maintenance. Can the hon. Minister shed light on whether the Government gives enough resources to the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) to maintain the aircrafts in order to minimise such incidents?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, we do give resources for the maintenance of aircrafts, as provided for in the Yellow Book. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chilangwa (Kawambwa): Mr Speaker, going by the good record of the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) planes in comparison with those for other nations, including chartered planes, can the hon. Minister confirm that the track record for the ZAF planes is actually among the best in Africa? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, yes, ZAF is one of the most outstanding air forces in the region.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, following the helicopter crash that killed the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Deputy Commander, we were told that the ZAF helicopters would be grounded. When was the decision to ground the helicopters lifted? What led to the change of decision?

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member of Parliament is confusing matters. I have already explained this matter. So, I cannot give further details.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, would you like the hon. Member for Chembe to repeat his question? 

Mr Siamunene indicated assent. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, please, repeat your question. 

Mr Mbulakulima: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, these issues concern the whole nation. Hon. Minister, following the crash of the aircraft in which the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) Deputy Commander was killed, the Government decided to ground all the ZAF helicopters. When was this decision overturned and why? 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, this particular incident was as a result of emergency landing. 


Mr Siamunene: There is a difference between a helicopter and a fixed wing aircraft. So, …

Mr Mukanga: It was not a helicopter. 

Mr Siamunene: It was not a helicopter … 


Mr Siamunene: … that crashed. So, the use of helicopters was not suspended …


Mr Siamunene: … because ZAF officers are mandated to provide enough air coverage of this country. We cannot suspend …


Mr Siamunene: … such activities. Our men and women in uniform have to do what they are mandated to do as provided for by the law. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether or not the aircraft has been recovered. 

Mr Siamunene: Mr Speaker, I have already indicated that the aircraft was recovered and is in the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) premises. I have also said that investigations are being carried out. 


Mr Siamunene: In short, the aircraft has been recovered. 

I thank you, Sir. 


154. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of General Education how many teachers from Milenge District benefited from the Government loan scheme as of august, 2015.

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, only one teacher in Milenge benefited from the Government loan scheme.
I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the hon. Minister is aware that many teachers have benefited from this important scheme. 

Mr Musonda: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, I have never risen on a point of order in this august House, but I have been compelled to do so. 

Sir, it has been reported, in one of the daily tabloids, that a leader of a certain political party is running a parallel programme to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which is run by the Ministry of Agriculture.  

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture in order not to inform the nation about this parallel programme, which is confusing farmers? 

I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The point of order is lacking particulars. There is nothing authoritative about it. However, if you want to pursue this matter more vigorously and logically, the best course of action that is open to you is to ask a Question in which you will supply details for the hon. Minister to respond to. As it is, your point of order is so bare that it would be unfair for me to ask the hon. Minister to respond. 

Hon. Member for Chembe, you had the Floor. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, it is encouraging to see that Opposition political parties are becoming practical. 


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister knows that people in rural areas are disadvantaged. They are left out when it comes to youth or economic empowerment. Hon. Minister, what is your ministry doing to sensitise the people, particularly teachers, about the availability of the loan scheme that they can also benefit from like their colleagues in urban areas? Do you have any deliberate policies in place to bring them on board? 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with Hon. Mbulakulima that most of the teachers in rural areas have difficulties accessing the loans probably because they do not have information on their availability. 

Mr Speaker, the Public Microfinance Company was established by the Government to empower civil servants in rural areas, teachers included. The information about this programme was disseminated through various Government institutions such as District Commissioners’ (DCs) offices, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mabumba: … trade unions and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS) offices. 

Mr Speaker, although the number of teachers who benefited in Milenge is quite negligible, information flow has been sufficient. As Members of Parliament, we also sensitise teachers during our tours. 

Sir, Hon. Mbulakulima should appreciate that this small number of beneficiaries is as a result of the fact that the company is still in its infancy in terms of capitalisation. However, I am sure that a number of teachers will benefit in due course. 

I thank you, Sir. 

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


Mr Speaker, Hon. Sampa is making noise while I am talking. 


Mr Sampa pointed at Mr Mbewe. 

Mr Mbulakulima: The chief is talking! 

Mr Mbewe: Sir, this is a good programme for teachers. Hon. Minister, you have rightly observed that most of the teachers who benefit from this programme are in urban areas and not in Milenge or Tafelansoni. 

Will there be a deliberate policy in place of allocating money to a particular province so that only teachers in that province benefit unlike the current system where only teachers in urban areas benefit from the loan scheme?  

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the reality is that the loan scheme is administered across the country. It is unfortunate if the perception is that rural teachers are not benefiting from it. 

Sir, looking at the content of this Question, it is my humble opinion that it would have been ably answered by the hon. Minister of Finance because the institution under discussion falls under the Ministry of Finance. What I know for sure is that the Public Microfinance Company, which has been set up  in order to help civil servants, has been trying to provide equity across provinces and districts in the country. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the company was set up in order to create an efficiency and effectiveness stand-alone loan scheme. That is the reason the initial loan scheme was withdrawn from the ministries. 

However, from the hon. Minister’s responses, it appears that the loan scheme has done more harm than good. What measures have been put in place to ensure that the Public Microfinance Company caters for all public workers, including those in rural areas?  

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like my hon. Colleague has said, this institution was created in order to provide cheaper loans to civil servants. Before the Public Microfinance Company was created, most teachers and civil servants used to get loans from micro finance institutions at interest rates of up to 100 per cent. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government decided to create this institution so that civil servants could get loans at an interest rate of about 5 per cent. This institution has helped many teachers who were being ripped off by micro finance institutions. 

However, Sir, like I said, the institution is still growing. So, many civil servants, including teachers, will be able to get loans in due course. To answer Hon. Muchima’s question, the issue has to do with capitalisation. This institution is far better than the salary advances which were mostly accessed by civil servants who are based in the urban areas. However, as Hon. Muchima is aware, this institution has reached as far as the North-Western Province and it is helping teachers.

I thank you, Sir. 




VOTE 10 – (Police and Prisons Service Commission – Office of the President – K5,655,751).

(Consideration resumed)
The Minister of Works and Supply, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely for according me the opportunity to present this year’s Estimates of Expenditure for the Police and Prisons Service Commission.

Sir, I wish to remind the House that the Police and Prisons Service Commission was established under Article 123(1) of the Constitution of Zambia, 1996. The mandate, composition and functions of the commission are as outlined in the Prisons Service Commission Act Cap 259 of the Laws of Zambia. Its operations and jurisdiction are defined by the said Act and other rules and regulations that govern employment in the Zambian Public Service.

Mr Chairperson, the mission statement for the Police and Prisons Service Commission is:

“to provide high quality service by upholding the integrity of the service through the application of powers vested in it by His Excellency the President without fear or favour and cultivate rapport and partnership with the Police and Prisons Service in Zambia.”

Sir, some the functions of the Police and Prisons Service Commission are to:

(a)    carry out functions directed by His Excellency the President;

(b)    appoint persons to hold or act in the Office of the Police and Prisons Service;

(c)    admit officers to permanent and pensionable establishment in the Police and Prisons Service;

(d)    promote officers to higher ranks in the Police and Prisons Service;

(e)    establish procedure for disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and remove any person from exercising the functions of his/her offices in the Police and Prisons Service;

(f)    review appeals submitted by officers against punishments imposed by them departmentally or by the responsible officers as provided for under the Police and Prisons Service Commission Regulation No. 42;

(g)    decide on separation of officers in the Zambia Police and Prisons Services;

(h)    direct on the compensation of officers who die or get injured against, out of and in the course of duty; and

(i)    consider transfers of officers arising from the exigencies of their services.

Mr Chairperson, during 2015, the commission was allocated K6,896,746. The commission managed to tour two provinces, namely Muchinga and the North-Western. During the tours, the commission had the opportunity to visit all the police and prisons establishments in the aforementioned provinces. The commission did not just process human resource cases, but was also concerned about the environment and conditions under which police and prisons officers serve. Whilst at base, the Zambia Police and Zambia Prisons Service Commission continued to process cases in respect of the two sister institutions which are the Zambia Police Force and the Zambia Prisons Service, respectively.

Mr Chairperson, the commission’s budget for 2016 is K5,655,751. This has reduced by 17.99 per cent from the current budget. Despite the budgetary constraints, the commission would like to undertake tours to provinces which were not visited in 2015 in order to attend to human resources cases for officers in the two security wings.

In order to improve service delivery, the commission will continue working on the programme of delegating some of its functions to controlling officers, divisions and regional commands next year. This initiative will reduce the delays in the handling of human resource matters and enable the commission to concentrate on policy matters, monitoring and evaluation as well as attend to appeals.

Sir, I wish, therefore, to make an earnest appeal to hon. Members of the House to support the Estimates of Expenditure for the Police and Prisons Service Commission for 2016.

Mr Chairperson, I thank the entire House for supporting this Vote and am sure they will also support its implementation. 

I thank you, Sir.

VOTE 10/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 34 – (Human Rights Commission – K11,521,355).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the policy statement and justification for the Estimates of Expenditure for the Human Rights Commission for 2016.

Sir, the Human Rights Commission is a constitutional body established under Article 125 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. As outlined in the Human Rights Commission Act No. 39 of 1996. The powers and functions of the commission are to:

(a)    investigate any human rights violations;

(b)     investigate maladministration of justice;

(c)    conduct inspections of prisons, police cells and other places of detention;

(d)    continue with programmes on research, human rights and education; and

(e)    facilitate the rehabilitation of victims of human rights abuses. 

Sir, in 2015, the commission received support from the Government of the Republic of Zambia and co-operating partners, including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Save the Children and Foundation Open Society Institution. The commission was primarily focused on executing its statutory mandate in the following areas:

Promotion and Protection of Human Rights

Sir, under its statutory protection mandate, the commission continued to: 

(a)    inspect places of detention, including child correctional facilities; 

(b)    receive and investigate human rights complaints; and 

(c)    recommend appropriate redress to victims of human rights violations and abuses. 

During the year, the commission noted that there were good attempts by the Ministry of Home Affairs to improve the conditions in prisons, including infrastructure development, to bring them in line with international standards. Under its promotion mandate, the commission provided the necessary information and knowledge through awareness raising and sensitisation activities. The commission acknowledges that in 2016, there is a need to intensify its sensitisation programme in order to equip people with the necessary information and knowledge to enable them to claim their rights.

Monitoring Government’s Compliance with International Standards

Sir, the commission held countrywide consultations with different stakeholders on issues of freedom of expression and assembly, children’s rights, access to bail and bond, criminalisation of torture, implementation of the Universal Periodic Review, which is a human rights mechanism aimed at monitoring the Government’s obligation to respect and fulfil the findings of the 2014 Annual State of Human Rights.

Major Successes in 2015 

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, the commission successfully: 

(a)    concluded 75 per cent of the 688 cases received so far, which included labour matters, child neglect, victimisation and discrimination, torture, land disputes, maladministration of justice and unlawful detention;
(b)    conducted countrywide consultations of review of bail and bond, leading to the formulation of draft guidelines and proposals for amendment to bail and bond legislation, including the distribution of material on bail and bond in Zambia;

(c)    developed the Anti-Torture Campaign aimed at drafting a Bill on the criminalisation of torture, changing society’s attitude towards torture and equipping law enforcement officers with investigative tools to minimise the use of torture;
(d)    carried out countrywide consultation on the criminalisation of torture with various stakeholders, resulting in recommendations on the proposal to domesticate the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT);

(e)    implemented the Universal Period Review framework aimed at assisting the Government implement recommendations made in 2012 in order to improve the human rights situation in the country; 

(f)    implemented the new Performance Management System aimed at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Human Rights Commission; and
(g)    concluded the 2015/2019 Communications Strategy aimed at increasing the visibility of the Human Rights Commission. 

Sir, during the year, the commission was faced with challenges that included inadequate funding, understaffing (currently, there are fifty-five officers when the establishment is 130) absence of commissioners, inadequate office space, lack of presence in four of the ten provinces, and inadequate transport coupled with an aging fleet of vehicles, thus increasing the cost of maintenance.

Mr Chairperson, for 2016, the Human Rights Commission has been allocated K11,521,355 to enable it to execute its mandate. 

Sir, the commission will consolidate the success of 2015. The commission will also focus on its statutory protective mandate, as provided in the Human Rights Commission Act, that includes conducting investigations on reported cases of human rights violation throughout the country, visiting places of detention and conducting capacity building for various stakeholders, including law enforcement officers, in human rights standards. 

Sir, under its promotion mandate, the commission will: 

(a)    increase its visibility and focus on countrywide sensitisation on the mandate of the commission and general human rights awareness through community meetings and the media;
(b)    intensify its monitoring of Government compliance with international human rights standards, including advocating for the criminalisation of torture;

(c)    follow strict guidelines and legislation on bond and bail, freedom of assembly and expression;
(d)    implement the recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review Process; advocating for rights of all, particularly vulnerable groups, including children, juveniles, women, the disabled and prisoners;

(e)    monitor status of human rights annually; and
(f)    focus on strengthening the capacity of the commission through training and capacity building for its staff, continuous improvement of systems and nurturing strategic alliances with other stakeholders. 

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, the commission will continue to strengthen its presence in the five provinces, namely the Southern, Northern, Eastern, Western, North-Western and Copperbelt. The commission will also continue to handle cases of human rights violations in the provinces where it does not have physical presence. 

I now present the Estimates of Expenditure for the Human Rights Commission to the House and urge the hon. Members to support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for presenting the policy statement on the Vote for the Human Rights Commission. I note, from the hon. Minister’s statement, many things that have not been attended to. Firstly, it is very clear that the Human Rights Commission is a very important commission, as it is the link between Zambia and the United Nations (UN). Since we are a signatory to many conventions, it is incumbent upon the Executive to see to it that the promises made, for instance, under the Universal Period Review Framework, are fulfilled. The seventy issues that the Government agreed to need to be followed up so that our standing with our peers, as a nation that not only respects, but also protects human rights, is strengthened. 

The commission, like the hon. Minister said, has had no commissioners for more than two years. How, then, does one expect it to be truly functional? The leadership must come from the commissioners. Currently, there is only the secretariat that has a limited mandate.

Mr Mukanga conversed with Mr Mwila and Dr Simbyakula.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, my friend, the hon. Minister, is not listening.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Sir, the point I must emphasise is that commissioners should be appointed. Why is it taking you so long to appoint commissioners? 

Mr Chairperson, in 2012, we agreed on certain guidelines to follow in order to promote human rights in our country. I am not sure if they have been followed. Perhaps, it could be because of the absence of commissioners.

Sir, it is clear that our country can benefit from the valuable information that the Human Rights Commission obtains as it conducts inspections and visits to remand centres and prisons. I agree that works have been done to try to decongest the prisons, but that is just a drop in the ocean. The mere fact that there are so many remand prisoners who have not appeared before the courts of law is a violation of human rights. If the trial of remand prisoners was timely, I am sure our prisons would not be decongested. In Nchelenge, there are 200 inmates in a cell that is meant for fifteen people. Inmates cannot even sleep, they just stand.

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: No!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: They just stand.

Mr Chairperson, we say that Zambia is a Christian nation. So, as leaders, we should use our authority to help those who are in a vulnerable position. I am really concerned that the commission is not receiving the attention that it deserves. Action speaks louder than words. Therefore, the Government ought to do more. Considering that the hon. Minister is an engineer, I am sure he can utilise his analytical abilities to ensure that the Human Rights Commission operates as it should.

Sir, I am a man of few words. However, I hope my contribution will jostle the hon. Minister to ensure that the Human Rights Commission carries out its mandate not only as per Constitution, but also as per Act which was passed by this House.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for affording me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this Vote.

Sir, how can a commission that has been tasked to uphold the freedom of the citizens operate for a long time without commissioners? I was in the Committee that sat to deliberate on the appointment of one of the officers to one of the three arms of Government and this issue was brought up. How will the Human Rights Commission (HRC) deliberate on issues of human rights abuses if it has no commissioners? If such issues were brought before the Executive Director, she would not attend to them without the commissioners. So, I urge the hon. Minister to appoint commissioners as soon as possible. Some of the money that has been allocated to the commission can be used for that purpose.

 Mr Chairperson, affront or violation of human rights is not just about torture. It comes in many forms such as arbitrary arrests and incarceration. I have in mind a case where my ‘children’, the Linyungandambo …

Mr Mutelo: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: … and Imilemas were arrested for exercising their right to assemble. So, why were they arrested and incarcerated for exercising their human rights?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. UPND Members: Violation!

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwila: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena Constituency in order to talk about an issue which is in the courts of law? I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: If, in fact, it is true that the case of the people that the hon. Member is debating is in court, then, she is out of order.

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I only wanted to bring out the fact that it was a violation of their human rights. I was not discussing what is going on in court.

The Deputy Chairperson: A ruling has been made. You may move onto another point, please.

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, I will forget about the Linyungandambos and Imilemas. However, arbitrary arrests and incarceration should not be allowed. When such arrests are made, the HRC should investigate them because some people are wrongly arrested. I know of an incident where some men who were on a mini-bus were accused of being activists and arrested by the police. That is a violation of their rights. 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: Sir, people have the right to assemble. However, some people have been arrested for exercising this right. There are selective arrests and I will cite an example of this. I can shoot someone, but the police will arrest the victim. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: That is a violation of human rights …

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: … and discriminatory application of the law. The criminal becomes the victim and vice versa. The HRC should be able to investigate such complaints, especially when it is the police that have committed such types of violations.

Mr Chairperson, in the recent past, some people were arrested in the Western Province. Instead of their being tried there, they were taken to Kabwe or Mwembeshi away from the witnesses, …

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Ms Imenda: … and yet people who commit serious crimes are tried in Lusaka. This should come to an end. The HRC should make itself available for people to report cases of human rights violation. Maybe, the reason this Government does not want to appoint commissioners is to avoid people reporting complaints. I would like the appointing authority to appoint commissioners for the HRC so that we can report cases of human rights violation.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I would like to the support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, firstly, I would like to talk about the inadequate funding and staffing at the Human Rights Commission (HRC) which does not seem to be impressive. This, in itself, is a violation of human rights.


 Hon. UPND: Professor! 

Mr Mutelo: Sir, this year, the commission was allocated K15,424,805 and, for next year, it has been allocated K11,521,355. This is another violation. How is the commission going to conduct investigations? According to the law, reports are supposed be signed within ninety days. Could it be that the commissioner has not been submitting the report brought to this House? So, who signs the report if the Chairperson is not there to give authority for it to be published or to be given to the appointing authority. Who does that? This is already a violation of human rights.


Mr Mutelo: If the commission, itself, is violated, what about the common man who is supposed to seek help from it?

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, if I reported a case of human rights abuse to the commission and there is no one to sign the report, what kind of help am I going to get?

Bo Chair, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

 That is mother tongue interference.


Mr Mutelo: Sir, the violation of human rights is real and it happens almost every day.

Mr Chairperson, as the hon. Member for Luena said, mental torture is a serious violation of human rights.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, this can be likened to someone pulling an ox-cart that is carrying grass, but cannot give grass and water to the oxen that is pulling the ox-cart. That is already a violation of animal rights. 


Mr Mutelo: Sir, there are many cases that the HRC is supposed to investigate. I wish the allocation could be increased because there are many cases of human rights violation at the moment. Maybe, the funding has been reduced in order to silence the Human Rights Commission.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, this Government has failed to domesticate some of the conventions in order to silence this institution. I think you are putting the HRC in a coffin and, later on, in the grave. At the moment, this institution is in a coffin and is on its way to the grave.


 Mr Mutelo: Sir, you cannot have a commission without a Chairperson for two years. Worse still, the allocation for this institution has continued to dwindle. Is the commission going to reach Washishi? The poor performance of the commission has contributed to the large number of inmates in remand prison.
Sir, according to the law, someone is supposed to be tried within 24 hours, but people are kept in remand prison for six months or five years and are denied bail. This is a violation of human rights. The commission cannot work effectively because it has no money. By delaying to appoint the Commissioner-General for this institution, you are creating more problems because when you have so many people in remand prison without being tried or given bail, you leave them at the mercy of the officer-in-charge. Sometimes, people are not allowed to apply for bond on Saturdays or Sundays. Which law is being applied?


 Mr Mutelo: Who says that Saturday and Sunday are not working days?  The situation is like this because you have left everything for the officers-in-charge to decide. People are being denied their fundamental human rights. That is why there are many people in remand prison. 

Sir, the House may also wish to know that there are supposed to be few people in remand prison. However, there are about 200 inmates in some instances. At the end of the day, it is the State that is spending colossal sums of money to feed the inmates. The police has no allocation for feeding inmates in remand prison. Prisoners are fed because they are catered for in the Budget. 

Sir, the other issue I would like to talk about is that of putting remand prisoners in the same cells with convicts. Why do you do that? This is inhuman. Abuse of human rights borders on such issues.  

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about the ill-treatment of remand prisoners. There is torture in the prisons


Mr Mutelo: Sir, hon. Members will only appreciate what I am saying when they read about some of the reports that are coming from the prisons. The problem is that this Government has not appointed the Commissioner-General to head this institution.


 The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Can the hon. Member address the Chair. Do not respond to hecklers.

 Mr Mutelo: Sir, there is torture in prisons. However, the commission has no money to enable it tocarry out its work. The commission does not have adequate manpower. As a result, there is a backlog of cases. The commission can only attend to a few of the many cases it is supposed to investigate due to inadequate funding.

Mr Chairperson, most people know about physical torture, but there is also mental torture, especially in Zambia. Many people in Zambia are tortured mentally.


 Mr Mutelo: Sir, torture does not only take place in remand prisons. People like us who are walking about freely are also tortured. I do not want to mention names.

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear


Mr Mutelo: Are you tortured?

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members are provoking me. Investigations have to be left for the commission to carry out thoroughly. If the funding to this institution does not improve, we are denying it the opportunity to carry out its mandate. In other words, the Government has deliberately decided to ‘silence the voice of human rights’. In view of this, we should not be a party to some of the international protocols or charters. Why do we sign protocol s that we do not want to domesticate? So, these protocols end up on paper. We need to respect and promote human rights. The citizenry are aware of their human rights and they know when they are violated. They also know that they can report to the commission when this happens. If you do not respect human rights, you are creating a time bomb which can explode on those who want to silence the commission. Allow me to end by saying that physical and mental torture are a violation of human rights.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, firstly, what was the essence of establishing the Human Rights Commission (HRC)? Was it imposed on us or we really needed this institution in this country? This institution should have been there even during the colonial days. We, the people of this country are evil.

Sir, the Government is saying that the commission should be efficient and that it should have a presence in all parts of the country. When you look at the allocation for the commission, you will agree with me that it is very little. The commission has been allocated K300,000 for administrative work. So, how is it expected to cover all the parts of the country? This institution is supposed to help liberate those who are in incarceration, ...

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, I apologise for disturbing the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency – is it Mwinilunga or, ... 

Mr Muchima: Ikeleng’i.

Mr Namulambe: ... Ikeleng’i Parliamentary Constituency. Much as I appreciate that we have the choice to gain or lose weight, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Luena Parliamentary Constituency in order to gain so much weight that she is damaging a strong seat? Her seat is almost falling apart. Is she in order, Sir?

The Deputy Chairperson: My serious ruling is that since that information is within your peculiar knowledge, I am unable to make a ruling.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that if there is an institution that we should cherish, it is the HRC. This is because all of us, especially politicians, are potential prisoners. This institution should be allocated more money in order to reduce the overcrowding in prisons. The abuses that are in the magistrates courts are not of their own making, but a result of the lapses in the law. You have left the law to the courts of law to interpret. Politicians have dug into the law and abused the system. You cannot see these abuses, especially when you are on the right side of the House. When you are this side (pointing to the left side), you need an institution like the HRC.

Mr Chairperson, for this institution to be the ‘eye’ that we want it to be in counterchecking the abuses of human rights, it requires money. Zambia is not like Britain where the law is followed. In Zambia, when you are in prison, you are at the mercy of the police officer and the magistrate and not the law. These are the issues that are supposed to be checked by the HRC. Today, all that the HRC does is make recommendations which just end up on the shelves. Just like my colleague said, the HRC is supposed to have commissioners. The problem is that there are so many Zambians who want to be appointed to serve in certain positions. We do not mind having Patriotic Front (PF) cadres appointed to serve in the commission as long as they have the right qualifications for the positions. We want this institution to be potent. Today, that commission is toothless and is just being used as a tool. It is also understaffed. The staff establishment is 150 but, at the moment, there are only fifty employees. When it comes to the allocation of funds, you are increasing funding to ministries that you want to abuse during the General Elections and leave out an institution which is so critical. You will need it one of these days, especially those whom we know will be in trouble. You will need this institution to liberate you.

Mr Mufalali: Bazamangiwa.

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, the United Nations (UN) made some recommendations regarding human rights, but the Patriotic Front (PF) Government rejected them. The Zambian people are demanding an explanation on why the PF Government rejected the recommendations. We need to restructure this institution. There are many people in this country who are suffering simply because they are poor, have no money and have no relatives in key institutions to help them. The HRC is one institution that is supposed to liberate them. During the interrogation of suspects, the HRC needs to be present to ensure that the law is applied accordingly. Unfortunately, those in leadership cannot see this sense. It is high time the PF Government woke up and realised the importance of the HRC. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) had good for creating this institution. Unfortunately, you are destroying what was built with good intentions. If you are good people, then, you must revisit the allocation to this institution and increase it.

Sir, look at the congestion in prisons. Some of the people who are incarcerated are innocent. The problem is that there is nobody to explain the law and help them. That is because you have not empowered the HRC to enable it to carry out its mandate effectively. It is high time we took a lead on human rights. Even when you draft the law, you must be careful. You cannot leave it to the police officer’s opinion. You are enjoying the law now because it victimises those in the Opposition. Do not forget that those in the Opposition are your relatives. They are your nephews and uncles but, because you are on that side of the House, you cherish the law in its current state. Look at the way the Public Order Act is being abused in this country. We should be ashamed that fifty-one years after Independence, we still have archaic laws. We revise the laws, but the language is still twisted and gives more power to a magistrate or police officer. Who are we serving? We liberated ourselves from white rule. Now, we should liberate ourselves from the PF Government. Let us wake up.


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of torture in prisons that has continued unabated. Let us empower the HRC so that it can check the abuses in prisons, the Zambia Police Force as well as among politicians. These are the issues we should be discussing today. You will not remain in those offices forever.

Mr Mwila pointed at Hon. Muchima.

Mr Muchima: Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, you are pointing at me. You and I have been in prison before.

Hon. Government Members: Ah!

Mr Muchima: We need to be careful with the way we structure institutions like the HRC.

The Deputy Chairperson: Let us debate the Vote and not individuals.

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, funding to this institution should improve.

Mr Mbewe: Hammer, hammer!


Mr Muchima: If we want to live up to the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation, this institution must be well funded so that it does its work properly. The HRC must be given power to investigate and prosecute cases of human rights abuses. The powers of the HRC should be equal to the Office of the Auditor-General or Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). We should consider the HRC as one of the most essential institutions in this country. 

Mr Chairperson, there is a need to review the recommendations that the commission made in its 2012 Report. I would like to know why the Government rejected almost half of the recommendations. Is it because our colleagues on your right want to abuse power? The HRC should provide checks and balances on human rights issues. The Bill of Rights in the Constitution is very clear about this commission being the chief custodian of human rights. 

 Mr Chairperson, this may sound like a light matter, but a human rights commission is very important in a country that cares about the rights of its people. If we are mindful of our human rights record, we should support this institution adequately. Those who are laughing have never been victims of human rights abuses. However, I would like to tell them that our prisons and police cells are dirty and unfit for human habitation. It is unfortunate that some people want to treat this matter lightly. When you are arrested in London, you can enjoy being in jail. You even feel like continuing your stay there.


Mr Mbewe: Sure? 

Mr Muchima: However, here, where we say a person is innocent until proved guilty, the punishment begins the day that someone is put in police cells. It is actually very common for the police to arrest someone on Friday so that he/she can languish in jail until Monday. When asked why they do this, the police only say that they are following instructions from above. Who gives instructions from above, when the police are supposed to get their instructions from the law? 


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, this is why we should employ lawyers in the police. We need people who are learned to interpret the law. The problem is that we have politicians who attended night school and do not know a single paragraph of law, giving instructions to officers in the Public Service. We should let people who have gone to school interpret the law. The late President Mwanawasa, SC., said, “Let us have a country of laws and not a country of men.” However, we are a country of men and not laws.

Mr Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Zambia needs to be governed by the law. I hope my young men, the new hon. Cabinet Ministers, will be mindful of this. So, let us all support the HRC. The law of the land should be above any human being. We need the law so that we can live in a society that is …

Mr Monde interjected.

Mr Muchima: Yes, why not, Hon. Monde. Very soon, you will go to jail.

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, I am saying that this institution should protect human lives, especially the innocent.

Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I support the allocation to the HRC. However, I want my brother, the Acting Leader of Government Business in the House, to note that there is something wrong with this institution. This commission should appear before some of your Committees of Parliament just like the Office of the Auditor-General. That will give us first hand information on some human rights abuses in the country that we can further debate here. I support this Vote. However, the allocation needs to be increased. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo, Hon. Imenda, Hon. Mutelo and Hon. Muchima for debating this Vote. I will start by responding to Hon. Muchima’s remarks. When we talk about night school, we should bear in mind that it is just like any other form of schooling. Whether it is night or day school, the education is the same. There are various modes of learning and I believe that school should be respected.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Muchima also talked about giving the Human Rights Commission (HRC) more powers. The Government has been voted into power to ensure that it provides the best services to the people. Therefore, how can we relegate the responsibility of the Executive to the HRC? There is a need to understand that the commission is a functionary of the Government. It is important that we follow systems that are in place.

Mr Chairperson, we are in the process of vetting commissioners. So, very soon, appointments will be made. I think it is important to note that this is a process. It is only people who have been in Government who can understand these issues.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mukanga: Those who have never been in power do not understand when we talk about these matters.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Mukanga: Talking about matters you do not understand is actually a violation of freedom of speech. So, we should follow procedure.

Mr Antonio: Hon. Shakafuswa understands because he has been in Government.

Mr Mukanga: Yes, I know that ‘Shaks’ understands.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, when we talk about the HRC, we should know where it is located. It is located at Mulungushi House. What normally …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I beg your pardon. I withdraw that authority because you are not allowed to raise a point of order when the hon. Minister is responding.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, I really appreciate your protection. I was trying to remind hon. Members that when we are voted into power, there should be collective responsibility. Even the Opposition is part of the Government and they should take that seriously.

Sir, as regards increasing the allocation for this Vote, let me just say that we have a limited resource envelope. The Government would have loved to increase the amount, but we are running an Activity-Based Budget (ABB). The entire Budget is reviewed annually. What normally happens is that at the end of every financial year, we look at all the activities in the Budget to see which ones require increasing, reducing or removing, going by the limited resources. So, I think it is important to understand what happens.

Mr Chairperson, on the violation of human rights in prisons, I think there is a lot that this Government is doing to address this matter. The Government is looking at various ways of ensuring that we have better prisons. For instance, the public-private partnerships (PPPs) are used to construct new prisons. In the recent past, we have opened the Kalabo and Luwingu prisons. We shall soon open the Monze Prison. The PPP approach will enable us to put up proper prisons. However, the provision of decent living conditions in prison should not make hon. Members of Parliament desire to go there. We should all desire to remain free citizens. Nonetheless, I appreciate the hon. Members’ support for this Vote. 

Sir, every citizen has the right to assemble, but it should be done within the law. If procedures are followed, there will be no problems. It is also important to note that no one should use the Floor to complain about human rights violations. Hon. Imenda should especially take note of that. Human rights violations should be reported to the HRC.


Mr Mukanga: Unfortunately, hon. Members do not even know that the commission is located at Mulungushi House.

Thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 34/01 – (Human Rights Commission – Headquarters – K11,521,355).

Ms Imenda: I seek clarification on Programme 4028, Activity 022 – Sensitisation on Human Rights – Nil. Why is there no allocation for this activity? In fact, the allocation for the whole programme has been reduced by almost four times from K938,615 to K150,000, and yet this is the main part of the commission’s work.

Mr Chairperson, is this a way of keeping the citizenry ignorant of their human rights?

Mr Deputy Chairperson: What is your question?

Ms Imenda: My question is: Is the reduction from K938,615 to K150,000 a way of keeping the citizenry ignorant of their human rights because this programme includes sensitisation? If this programme cannot be implemented, then, why is the commission there?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 4028, Activity 022 – Sensitisation on Human Rights – Nil, the Government wants to ensure that the existence of the HRC is known.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4035 – Logistics and Transport Management – K157,000. This programme appears on page 556 again, Programme 4035 – Logistics and Transport Management – K70,000. What is the explanation for this?

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Chairperson, Programme 4035 – Logistics and Transport Management – K157,000 and Programme 4035 – Logistics and Transport Management – K70,000, the vehicles are for different locations. Therefore, they must be provided for accordingly.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 4035, Activity 001 – Insurance – K30,000. This is not enough for insurance premiums. Can the hon. Minister state the insured value for this amount to be arrived at.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 4035, Activity 001 – Insurance – K30,000, we know that when vehicles grow older, the premiums reduce. So, the newer the vehicle is, the higher the premiums to be paid. This is exactly what is depicted here.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 34/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Muntanga: Division!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1430 hours.


Vote 13 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – K129,498,301).

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Dr Katema): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me the opportunity to present the policy statement on the Estimates of Expenditure for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs for 2016. From the outset, I wish to inform this august House that the mission statement for my ministry is:

“to effectively administer chief’s affairs, promote and facilitate the preservation and conservation of heritage in order to enhance good governance and sustainable national development”. 

The vision of my ministry is of:

“a nation with sustainable chieftaincy, rich heritage and cultural diversity for national development”. 

Mr Chairperson, our strategic focus is anchored on the four pillars of the ministry’s mandate, namely chiefs and traditional affairs, business of the House of Chiefs, heritage, and logistical support services. The pillars are aimed at facilitating development in chiefdoms through the construction of chiefs’ palaces, village registration, research and development, supporting traditional ceremonies and managing chiefs’ welfare, promotion of the fight against child marriages, heritage conservation and management, conflict resolution and promotion of sanitation and hygiene in chiefdoms.

Mr Chairperson, before I proceed, let me report that my ministry launched a strategic plan on 1st September, 2015 which is within the framework of the Revised Sixth National Development Plan. The plan will provide strategic direction in the implementation of programmes.

Mr Chairperson, in Zambia, chiefs play a vital role in the governance system through the administration of customary land and customary law. In addition, conflict resolution continues to be an important sphere of their responsibility. I, therefore, wish to reiterate the important role traditional leaders play in matters of national development. My ministry will, therefore, work towards building a stronger partnership between the Central Government and traditional leaders aimed at creating progressive and sustainable development, especially in rural areas.

Mr Chairperson, my ministry’s budget for 2016 is K129,498,302 compared to K140,815,858 in 2015, representing a decrease of K11,317,556.

Mr Chairperson, allow me to inform this august House about some notable achievements made by my ministry in 2015.

Chiefdom Development 

Sir, in an effort to transform the chiefdom as an integral hub of rural development, the ministry has continued to implement programmes aimed at improving the welfare of the people. Currently, the ministry is constructing thirty palaces for chiefs countrywide which are at various levels of completion using a phased approach. Therefore, K18,902,492 has been specifically allocated for this purpose. The ministry will continue to rehabilitate houses for chiefs whose palaces need attention. 

Sir, further to my ministry’s resolve to ignite small-scale industrial activities in chiefdoms endowed with various resources, the ministry has allocated a grant of K1,031,538.00 for financing various entrepreneurial activities in chiefdoms. It is envisaged that this programme will accelerate rural development and ultimately reduce poverty among the rural people.


Mr Chairperson, the House of Chiefs successfully held its First Session from 8th to 22nd May, 2015. Among the resolutions of the House, was the involvement in resolving succession and boundary conflicts in chiefdoms as opposed to settling traditional matters in the courts of law. The House also resolved to continue to partner with the Government in spearheading developmental and crosscutting issues such as ending child marriages and improving sanitation and hygiene in chiefdoms. The House also committed itself to discouraging cultures and traditions that are retrogressive in the advancement of the wellbeing of communities.

Sir, the constitutional requirement for the House is to have, at least, two sessions. So, K2,072,880.00 has been allocated to this activity. The ministry endeavours to support the provision of good governance and upholding of human rights and good practices in chiefdoms. As a result, programmes aimed at supporting and improving the welfare of the institution of chieftaincy shall continue to be implemented. This is ultimately going to transform the provision of traditional leadership in our chiefdoms into expected conventional ways that respect the rule of law. The ministry has since allocated K1,685,468.00 to this programme. 

Ending Child Marriages

Mr Chairperson, in complementing the global and national effort to combat child marriages in Zambia, the ministry remains indebted to the participation of traditional leaders in this fight. The success the country recorded in 2014 at global level is largely attributed to the willingness of the custodians of our culture to reform certain traditional practices. In this vein, the ministry shall continue to collaborate with various line ministries and co-operating partners to ensure that the rights of children are protected. To this effect, this programme has been allocated K200,000. 

Documentation of Traditions

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has embarked on a programme of documenting customs and traditions in order to facilitate the preservation of heritage in the country. Owing to this, the ministry has, in 2015, undertaken video and still picture recordings and publications of the Lwindi Gonde Ceremony of the Tonga people, the Likumbi Lyamize Ceremony of the Luvale people, the Ukusefya Pang’wena Ceremony and Ukushikila, installation of Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people. The ministry will continue to implement this programme in 2016 through the allocation of K715,000.

Logistical Support Services 

Mr Chairperson, the ministry finalised the procurement of twelve motor vehicles in 2015 for its operations. Furthermore, the ministry also procured and distributed furniture and equipment to some district offices in the same period. An allocation of K1,070,927.00 has been provided for in the 2016 Budget to continue with the procurement of motor vehicles for district offices.

Village Registration

Mr Chairperson, this year, the ministry procured and distributed 4,000 village registers in line with the provision of the Registration and Development of Villages Act, Cap 289.

Chiefs’ Welfare

Mr Chairperson, the welfare of chiefs is one of the core functions of my ministry. As such, we have continued to facilitate the payment of chiefs’ subsidies and retainers’ wages and statutory contributions. The ministry also paid for the treatment of chiefs and funeral expenses. I wish to state that my ministry has also been able to pay for the upkeep and other incidentals of chiefs during official duties. In view of the above, K1,685,468.00 has been allocated for this purpose.

Traditional Ceremonies

Mr Chairperson, my ministry attaches great importance to traditional ceremonies because they contribute to national development. You will agree with me that culture and tradition must be preserved, as they are a mode of national identity. Zambia is rich in cultural heritage because of the long preserved values that our ancestors passed onto the current generation through traditions. During 2015, over forty traditional ceremonies were supported and this will continue in 2016 through a provision of K1,309,728.00.

National Museums Board

Mr Chairperson, you may recall that in 2014, it was reported to this august House that the National Museum Board hosted Professor Maitin-Hans Hinz, the President of the International Council of Museums (ICM) and Professor Emma Nardi, the Chairperson of the Committee on Education and Cultural Actions (CECA). Following the successful hosting of the two international dignitaries, the National Museum Board managed to host a conference on CECA for Southern African Development Community (SADC) member countries. This conference attracted delegates from both Europe and the Southern African Development Community Region. 

National Heritage Conservation Commission

Mr Chairperson, my ministry has, through the National Heritage Conservation Commission (NHCC) managed to construct visitor sanitation facilities and protective barricades at the NKundalila Falls, improvement of water reticulation at Chilenje House and Presidential Burial National Monuments, visitors shelters and toilets at the Ntumbachushi Falls, convenience rooms at the Ing’ombe Ilede National Monument and fencing and ticketing office at the Chinyunyu Hot Springs Heritage Site. Further improvement of these heritage sites and many others will not just improve the outlook of these sites, but will also enable the Government to achieve its vision of diversifying tourism.

Mr Chairperson, considering that Government grants are not adequate to cater for most needs in the field of heritage conservation, it is imperative that the Government supports the self-sustaining initiatives by the National Heritage Conservation Commission to concession some of its sites and charge fees to corporate entities that will generate power from the heritage sites, such as gorges and waterfalls. My ministry, through the commission, is currently holding discussions with power-generating companies to consider compensating for environmental damage at the heritage sites. 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry, through the National Heritage Conservation Commission, has collaborated with the African World Heritage Fund and the Mukuni Royal Establishment in order to minimise deforestation at the Mosi-o-Tunya or Victoria Falls World Heritage Site arising from the curio industry. The Mukuni Royal Establishment donated land to support a community-based farming project. This project has impressed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) such that His Royal Highness, Chief Mukuni, has been honoured for championing projects which provide alternative livelihoods in the heritage conservation field. 
Mr Chairperson, Zambia is in the process of nominating the Barotse Flood Plains in the Western Province as a world heritage cultural landscape, which is a prestigious position conferred on sites of outstanding universal value to promote national identify. To this effect, the commission will be conducting awareness activities in the province before submitting the nomination dossier to the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO next year. The ministry has also been involved in the decentralisation of heritage conservation and management by establishing offices in Mansa in Luapula Province, and Mongu in the Western Province, respectively. This is with the view to taking services the chiefdoms, closer to where heritage is. 


Mr Chairperson, notwithstanding the achievements highlighted above, my ministry has continued to encounter the challenges tabulated below:

(a)    Inadequate Human Resource, Office Space and Motor Vehicle: considering that my ministry is still relatively new, challenges of inadequate human resource, office space and motor vehicles have continued to have an adverse effect on the operations of the ministry;

(b)    Lack of Coverage of House of Chiefs Proceedings: due to limited financial resources, the House of Chiefs is unable to communicate its deliberations to the respective provincial council of chiefs;

(c)    Inadequate Funding to National Museums Board: the grant provided in the 2016 Budget is insufficient to enable the board to increase salaries that were last increased in 2013,  and dismantle the outstanding debt of K53,390,098 owed through statutory and staff obligations;

(d)    Poor Management of National Heritage Conservation Commission: the commission has been unable to adequately document, protect, and manage Zambia’s heritage, which is mostly found in chiefdoms, due to inadequate transport and equipment; and

(e)    Outstanding Debt: the commission has a historical problem of an outstanding debt of K51,511,047. To this effect, the commission will require improved funding for sustainable conservation and management of Zambia’s heritage.

Mr Chairperson, as I conclude, I wish to state that my ministry is determined to improve the quality of life of our people in rural areas, and to preserve Zambia’s heritage. I wish to take this opportunity to urge hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry in promoting development in chiefdoms in order to reduce poverty. Further, I also wish to take cognisance of our co-operating partners for their support to my ministry. Lastly, I wish to call upon the hon. Members of this august House to support the Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry for 2016 as presented. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate.

Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote, I would like to state that tradition is very important to Africans, especially Zambians. In fact, societies are very strong in some countries where people value their roots. Some Zambians think that the Western kind of life is better than our traditional life. They forget that our ancestors survived by leading the traditional way of life. People in the villages live healthier lives because they still adhere to our traditional way of life. They know how to behave. In every culture, there are do’s and don’ts. I will give an example of people in the Western Province. Most of people in the Western Province are disciplined because of their strict adherence to traditional values. They are disciplined because they have maintained a certain way of life.

Mr Chairperson, when the Europeans came to Africa, and Zambia in particular, they wanted to show us that our way of life was backward. As a result, we became a cultureless people. We just existed as human beings. Today’s society has broken down because we have done away with the traditional way of life, where people in the village looked after each other. We have lost the custom of looking after our extended family. Now, we are only concerned about ourselves and our immediate family members. Those who are doing well in town do not support anyone else apart from their children. As a result, we now have street kids who never existed in our traditional society before. In the past, when someone was working, he/she had to send money to his/her parents so that they could send other children in the extended family to school. However, nowadays, when a person receives a message from his/her mother asking for money, he/she does not want to send the money. He forgets that she carried him/her for nine months, and that she was also cared for by her relatives. Let us find a way of revisiting and encouraging people to embrace our traditional way of life. 

Mr Chairperson, currently, there are many cases of teenage pregnancies and early marriages. Such things were unheard of in the past. Such issues are not supposed to be dealt with by the Government but by traditional leaders. Traditional leaders run societies. So, issues of teenage pregnancies and early marriages should be delegate to them. For instance, I am a headman in my chiefdom. So, I can caution and educate people on some of these issues. At the moment, we put money in the wrong hands. When we talk about advocacy, let us not look for people to do this when we already have people in chiefdoms who can do this. Let us not put money in wrong hands when we already have structures in place even though they are weak. The village or chiefdom systems have worked before. These are systems which we can use to govern at the moment. We want to use funny systems of governance because we have read Karl Marx’s book or this and that book. We already have systems that have worked effectively for years. 

Mr Chairperson, as the leader of my village, I am able to solve problems because I have been taught traditional methods of healing and providing situations. 

Mr Milambo: Family planning!
Mr Shakafuswa: Even family planning. We know how to help people who cannot conceive. 

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Shakafuswa: Oh yes! Come and see me. 


Mr Shakafuswa: For those who are impotent, it is our duty, as headmen, to make sure that there is happiness in the home. 

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes!

Today, most of you are going for Chinese medicines which can cure your headache, but give you a heart attack. 


Mr Mwale: How do you know? 

Mr Shakafuswa: As traditional leaders, we have safer medicines. 

Mr Livune: Headman!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We have heard so much about your experience in traditional medicine. Move on. 

Mr Shakafuswa: Hon. Minister, let us …

Mr Muntanga: Apopene apo!

Mr Shakafuswa: … allocate resources towards resuscitating the village and traditional way of life. Let us put money in activities where traditional leaders can play an important role. 

Sir, in Zambia, we are even scared of giving the right titles to some of our traditional leaders. There are some traditional leaders who are supposed to be called king. I have in mind several chiefs who were relegated to the level of sub-chiefs by the colonialists. These are King Lewanika, King Chitimukulu and Mwatayamvwa.

Ms Mazoka interjected.

Mr Shakafuswa: Ba mene abo!


Mr Shakafuswa: The very ones, yes. 

In the north, we have Kalonga Gawa Undi, whom you refer to as paramount chief, and yet he presides over people in Malawi and Mozambique too. He presides over all these people, but you have denied him the title of king. In other countries, this man would be big. What is the problem? Are you saying that if you made some of these chiefs kings, you would spend more as a Government? You would not. You would simply be giving them more authority. Some of this authority, which you have given to councils and quasi-authorities, can be given to the chiefs. They can be traditional authorities with ‘juridi’ …what is the word?

Mr Milambo: Jurisdiction!

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, yamene wakamba, iwe!


 Mr Shakafuswa: So, why should we treat our traditional rulers like nobodies? Nowadays, we think that educated people are more important. 

Mr Nkombo: Oh!

Mr Shakafuswa: I will qualify that. 

Mr Chairperson, I can be a doctor of engineering, but this is the only field of expertise I will ever have. I know people who have professorship in history, and yet they do not know as much of their history as chiefs. Chiefs will tell you their history and where they came from. They are professors in their own right. 
Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: You may say that their education is informal because they have not been to school. In their own tribes, however, they are considered educated. They know all the facts on where they came from. For instance, I have been told that I come from Kola. Chiefs will tell you how they fought different battles. If they went to Hon. Dr John Phiri, he would award them a doctorate. My plea to the Government, therefore, is that we give our traditional leaders a role to play in the governance of this country.  

Sir, I almost forgot about my chief who is supposed to be called king.  

Mr Mwale: Chief who?

Mr Shakafuswa: Senior Chief Mukuni. 

He is referred to as Senior Chief Mukuni when he should be referred to as King Mukuni because he presides over people from Kafue all the way to Lambaland. All these are his subjects. So, let us give our traditional leaders the titles they deserve. The Government should not feel kaso …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Kaso, nichani muchizungu?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The official language here is English. So, can you translate the word kaso? 

Mr Shakafuswa: The Government should not be jealous of traditional leaders. Give them what they deserve because they preside over people. We use our traditional leaders only when there are elections. Let us use them even when there are problems so that they help us solve them. If we partnered with the chiefs, most of the problems we have been experiencing as a country would be solved. 

Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, I would also like to declare interest, and say that where I come from, I am a headman. So, … 


The Deputy Chairperson: I hope that we will soon have a House of Headmen. 


Mr Nkombo: This Vote is of extreme interest. As a custodian of traditional values, I have a few comments for the hon. Minister. I listened to his policy statement and I thought that he left out a few very important issues that are part and parcel of our daily lives. 

Sir, tradition has eroded over time. We, as a people, have been involved in activities that have exacerbated its erosion. It has been moved from the level where it truly belongs to another level. 

Sir, my discourse, which is very short, will be centered on human protection and traditional knowledge. I would have been very happy to hear the hon. Minister indicate, in his policy statement, that money is being put in his ministry to promote the old values of how we used to forecast the weather better than the Meteorological Department. 

Sir, in the past, we did not need people like Mr Jacob Nkomoki to come on television and tell us the weather forecast. At village level, for instance, people would actually tell you that there would be rains of a certain magnitude in two days’ time. In the Southern Province, there is a place called Malende.

Ms Lubezhi interjected.

Mr Nkombo: Malende is a shrine. Today, it is very rare to hear people talk about Malende. The Malende that people around here know is probably the house that belongs to my aunt, Hon. Mazoka. You must understand, however, that Malende is actually a shrine. People used to go to this shrine to seek the assistance of the spirits in times of drought or calamity. 

Mr Chairperson, I expected the hon. Minister, to say, in his policy statement, that money was going to be allocated towards the promotion of entomology in chiefdoms. Entomology is the study of insect patterns. It is not a secret that, today, children think inswa, I do not know what they are called in English, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Flying Ants.

Mr Nkombo: ... is just relish. If you study entomology, – I am sure that Hon. Dr Katema is at my level, if not slightly above because he is more educated – ...


Mr Nkombo: ... even the pattern of birds will tell you how the weather is going to be. Birds have got a sixth sense that will tell you what will happen. Today, we talk about climate preparedness and climate resilience, but we, through our institution of traditional leaders which I belong to, have ways and means of predicting all the things I am talking about.

Long ago, the sight of bats, which are either animals or mammals, were an indication that something was about to happen. I expected that in this Budget, unlike last year’s Budget, which was used to deploy policy to stop processes of inheritance ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ... and other useless purposes, ...

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

Mr Nkombo: ... money would be allocated towards the development of entomology at village level.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am not joking when I say that I belong to a traditional leadership institution. Institutions like that are vital because they are next to the smallest unit of social order which is the family. It is the link between society and the family. The previous speaker spoke about knowledge in medicine. I will not go into those details, but I adopt his words as mine. He said that there is value in ensuring that the traditional leadership, who are the custodians of tunsiyansiya, ... 

The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning?

Mr Nkombo: ... which, in Tonga, means the old ways of living, should be preserved. That is the reason there are museums. Museums are not just for tourists, but also for our children to understand that before chloroquine was used to treat malaria, there was mululwe. ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: ... and that before the introduction of diazepam, there was something else. It is important that people like Dr Vongo and Dr Ludwig Sondashi are supported because they are within the realm of the traditional way of living. Today, you want to rush for CD4 count, antiretroviral therapy and the like, but I think we have to put our money where our mouths are if we have to have something to offer to the globe. Do not just rush into trying new medicines because you may be used as guinea pigs. For instance, we have had a lot of challenges with regard to the use of microbicides. I am sure Hon. Dr Katema understands what I am talking about.


Mr Nkombo: There was a pilot project on microbicides in my constituency where women were asked to take pills to monitor the transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). At the end of it all, people continued to drink medicine which they did not know, but they did it because they were paid money. 

Sir, I am sure the hon. Minister remembers that there was mayhem in the country. Somebody came and claimed that he deserved to be paid money because he did not know that his wife was cajoled to participate in a programme of trial medicine. Some of the women who took that medication did not die. They thought that it was an antidote for HIV. So, they decided to become promiscuous under the assumptions that they would not get sick anymore because of the medication.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Shakafuswa indicated how there used to be traditional methods of family planning in the past but, today, you want to depend on microgynon and eugynon. There was a way in which people planned around circumventing pregnancies, …

Mr Muntanga: Ask Josephine.

Mr Nkombo: … but that technology is now obsolete. You need to invest some money in areas that promote traditional leadership and the ways that those of us who are still holding onto tradition used to live.

Sir, as I conclude, I would like to mention that chiefs are not for sale. Chiefs must not be abused. Some men like Julius Kambarage Mwalimu Nyerere made bold decisions. He understood that chiefs had influence over their people and that they were being misused. So, he banned all chiefdoms. If you go to Tanzania, the only chief you will find is Chieftainess Nawaitwika who is on the Zambian side of the border. There are no chiefs in Tanzania. 

Mr Chairperson, please, do not misuse dignified men. Not long ago, we heard some pronouncements relating to this Budget. I hope that as we wind up the debate, we shall see where that money will be spent. In the same way that the Government decided that they were going to increase salaries for teachers, we heard, through the grapevine, that chiefs are going to get a higher salary, which is good. However, walk the talk. Do not do what you do here where you pay salaries days after the actual pay day.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: Pay the chiefs and pay them enough so that they do not start succumbing to the highest bidder because then you cheapen the institution. You want to turn politicians into mongers who get money to go and pay people, that is, selling souls so that they can make pronouncements that are inimical to democracy such as adopting candidates. Fyakale ifyo, that is a thing of the past. We need to treat Hon. Dr Katema’s ministry with the dignity that it deserves. 

Sir, now that we are cascading into the election year, we shall expose you. The moment you will want to patronise my chiefs, in particular, where my authority lies, I am going to surprise you. Our chiefs now have their minds made up. You should not patronise them. 

Mr Chairperson, in Lundazi, there is a chief who has been there for a long time, but has not been recognised. You are aware and we talked about it in this meeting of the House. Do not gazette him simply because you want votes in Lundazi as we go towards the good year that the Lord is bringing next year, that will see a change of leadership in this country.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am not a prophet, but a traditional leader. In traditional leadership are people who have foresight. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: They see!

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am talking about people who can forsee what is going to happen in the fore year. 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, as you have seen, …
Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwila: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, who has been in this House for nine years, in order to mislead the nation? You will recall that in 2006, the United Party for National Development (UPND) said that they were going to form the next Government, but they did not. Again, in 2008, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central said that they were going to win the elections but they lost. In 2011 and 2015, they said that they would win but they lost. Is he, therefore, in order to continue misleading this House by saying that the UPND is going to win the elections in 2016? 

I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.


The Deputy Chairperson: Seriously, there is no ruling for the Chairperson to make. People have wishes which materialise and some which do not.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I think light moments are allowed and I thank the hon. Minister for that. This is the reason we, on this side of the House, have been insisting that the issuance of the national registration cards (NRCs) through the chiefdoms, is an organised way of denying the people who are supposed to usher us into Government next year an opportunity to obtain NRCs. 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, as I conclude, I would simply like to say that it is always better to be optimistic than to be pessimistic like the hon. Minister.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, I am a traditionalist. That is why I am called igwe.

Hon. Members: Igwe! 

The Deputy Chairperson: What does that mean?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, it means chief. I want to talk about the Ministry of Chiefs, Traditional Affairs and ‘Witchcraft’. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

This ministry is called Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, and not Witchcraft Affairs.

Mr Hamusonde: And Wizards!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I agree with you. The traditional affairs part includes witches and wizards. 


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for your guidance. What I am trying to say is that we are at a crossroads. Why do we have the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs? The Government and the ministry in particular, must clearly tell us why we need the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. What is it for when, on one hand, you are trying to say that the chiefs are inhibiting certain programmes? In Lusaka, most of the people who are registering for national registration cards (NRCs) do not reflect chiefs on the application forms. This is because the chief and headmen in charge of Lusaka are not recognised. The Senior Chief Mukamambo tells you that this is her area, but you do not want to recognise her. What do you want to do? You do not want certain aspects of traditional affairs, which were beneficial to the people. I want to know the reasons for creating this ministry. Is it because you want to control the chiefs for political gain? Can we now proudly announce that you have increased the grants for the chiefs? That is not the increase you can proudly announce.  

Mr Chairperson, Chief Nkana of the Copperbelt never benefited from the mines because he was not recognised. What is the purpose of having the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs? Do you want to go back to the way traditional affairs were handled in the past? Before Independence, chiefs were the ones who were in charge of all the cases in their chiefdoms. They handled cases related to adultery and witchcraft. You will find conflicting ideas in customary law and traditional affairs and you will not accept certain inheritances as per traditional beliefs. For example, there is a law which allows women to take all the properties of their deceased husbands. This is where even parents gain nothing.


Mr Mutelo: They enjoy doing what?

Mr Muntanga: I was saying that the women enjoy grabbing properties of their husbands. These are the issues I worry about all the time. Why have you given the chiefs money? If you want to bring back chiefs and traditional affairs in the governance of our country, we should fund them in totality. There is no chief who can run a chiefdom alone. If you go to the Western Province, you will find that they have what they call, kuta and, in the Southern Province, we have village councils. These senior headmen are not paid at all. There are Prime Ministers who are not paid. 

Mr Sing’ombe: Ngambelas!

Mr Muntanga: The ngambelas and other headmen are not paid. How do we expect these people to effect development in their areas? What is your ministry saying about this? If you do not give a proper explanation, then, you should not think that you will control chiefs for political reasons. Already, the chiefs are ‘awake’. You know very well that the Constitution says that a chief cannot participate in politics, but you want to drag them into politics. That is why the some chiefs have told you that they are not politicians. Why do you want to drag them into politics? We have created a ministry for them when we are not even sure what we want them to do. In this Budget, there is not enough money for the chiefs to undertake certain activities in their chiefdoms. The chiefs have also created councils where they debate. If you go to Chief Nalubamba’s area, you will find that he has his own Parliament sort of arrangement. 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: This is where headmen sit and preside over issues but, unfortunately, they are not paid. Now, what do you want to do? We will continue asking you that question. I do not accept a situation where chiefs are given money for political gain. When there is a by-election in a particular area, that is when you ask chiefs to come to Lusaka and get brown envelopes.

Mr Mutelo: Igwe!


Mr Muntanga: Why do we do that? We want to involve chiefs in every by-election. I urge the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to stop them from participating in politics. The Government also interferes in their affairs and does not recognise some of them for political reasons. It took time for Senior Chief Chitimukulu to be recognised. He was only recognised when it was time for elections when you were faced with the threat of losing. Otherwise, the recognition of Senior Chief Chitimukulu was not in your programme.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Why did Mr Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba (GBM) resign as Minister of Defence? 


Mr Muntanga: It is a fact that we all know. The problem is that people do not want to face facts. We should have a policy with proper guidelines on traditional affairs which we can support. 

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!
Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, Malende was a good traditional practice where people prayed for rain by clapping. By the time …

Ms Kapata: We are Christians.

Mr Muntanga: You do not even follow the Christian values. You want me to mention the things you do.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is not supported because some people claim to be Christians. In the past, people sincerely prayed to God and when they prayed for rain, it came. They were able to detect diseases. Today, Christians pray for rain, but it does not come because they do not cleanse themselves before going before God.


Mr Muntanga: How do you kneel before God and pray when you are from doing wrong things and are still smelling of dirt?


Mr Mwila: We want to be forgiven.

Mr Muntanga: Why do you do that? 

Sir, in the past, traditional leaders would tell the men to stay away from their wives for three days before having prayers. The people who were in charge of the shrine could smell those who were unclean from a distance, whip and chase them away.

Mr Muntanga: However, in our churches, nobody is able to smell the unclean people. So, they kneel before God and pray. When they kneel down to pray, God wishes they could go away.

Mr Chairperson, …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, order!

You have debated that point adequately. However, Jesus Christ came for sinners …

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

The Deputy Chairperson: … and, if sinners repent, you know what happens. So, continue, hon.  Member.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, if you repent sincerely, Jesus will forgive you. If you do not repent sincerely, you will not be forgiven.


Mr Muntanga: You cannot continue doing what you are doing and think that …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You have belaboured that issue.


The Deputy Chairperson: You may, be studying theology, but you have over debated that point. May you move onto another point.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I want to emphasise that the Ministry of Chiefs …

The Deputy Chairperson: The point has been driven. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, we all need to support the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. However, how do we reconcile my friends’ Christian values …

Hon. Government Members: We are Christians.

Mr Muntanga: …   – the ones answering – …


Mr Muntanga: … with culture and tradition?  Since the Government created the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, I urge it to encourage all Zambians to embrace our traditions. However, the Government is waging wars with Christians. These Christians will be judged and we shall see if they are true Christians.  

Sir, like someone said, the Tanzanian Government was quick to realise that it was interfering with the affairs of the chiefs. The Government should not just use chiefs for political convenience. Let us honour them properly …

Ms Lubezhi: Correct!

Mr Muntanga: … and give them what is due to them without attaching any conditions. They have been kind enough to surrender their land to the Government. So, let us give them back what is due to them respectfully and honourably, and without using them for political gain. I hope the hon. Minister of Chiefs, Traditional Affairs and ‘extras’ has understood.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to also contribute to the debate on the Vote for the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs.

Sir, while I appreciate the need for us to have traditional leaders and chiefs in our midst, I do not support the expenditure associated with their welfare. This is because this country has to deal with serious economic challenges and social problems that our people are faced with. I asked myself if it is necessary for the Government to spend the meagre resources on appeasing chiefs and I think it is not. I feel that the subjects of every chief should contribute towards the welfare of that particular chief.

Mr Chairperson, we cannot, as Zambians, pretend that the 289 chiefs we currently have are the only chiefs that deserve the Government’s support. We are aware that chiefs were inherited from the colonial administration. We are also aware that most of them were friendly to the Colonial Government. However, most of the chiefs who were patriotic and fought for the independence of Zambia were degazetted in order to reduce their power. 

Mr Chairperson, we know some Chiefs for certain tribes in Zambia are not recognised by the Government. For example, this Government has continuously refused to recognise Chief Mulekatembo of the Nyika Tribe to which I belong, and yet on the tribal map of Zambia, the Nyikas are recognised as a tribe. 

Sir, the Government’s policy over the years has been that it will not recognise chiefs whose recognition was removed by the colonial masters. This is where the question comes in. Truly, can we call ourselves an independent State if we fail to undo the wrong things that the colonial masters did. In this case, it is very clear that Zambia should have more chiefs than there are at the moment

Mr Chairperson, in all fairness, each tribe of Zambia should have a recognised head or chief. We cannot call Zambia a democratic State when some of our people have chiefs who are n ot recognised.

Sir, what is the justification in continuously spending the little resources that we have on chiefs? As a country, do we really accept that we should build a house or palace for each one of the 269 chiefs? Can we afford to do that? The answer is obviously no. In fact, the money that we are currently spending on chiefs’ welfare or subsidies is actually more than what some Government officials earn. The question one would ask is; Why are we doing that? What is their role? Why should the Government go to the extent of giving chiefs vehicles and paying them salaries? Where are their subjects? The subjects must spend on their chiefs. If truly each one of our tribes is going to call itself a proud tribe, the subject must spend on their chiefs.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Ms Namugala: Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs does not deserve to be a ministry. There should be a department in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in charge of chiefs’ affairs. Why do I say so?  It is because the allocation that is going towards traditional affairs will end up being used for the welfare of chiefs. There are no real cultural issues that are going to be supported with that money. In fact, the hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs should not even have that title appended to him because he is just a Minister of Chiefs’ Welfare that is all he is and that is what he is there for.

Sir, I would like to say that we do not need this ministry because it is an unnecessary cost. This ministry can be a department in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and function very well.

Mr Chairperson, we all know that every year, there are disputes in almost all the chiefdoms, and yet this Government is, to a very large extent, guilty of many of the anomalies that are there. For instance, in my constituency, there are two Chief Muyombes. One is recognised by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government and the other one is for the people. The one for the people has not been recognised even after going to court and the court ruled that he is the rightful heir to the throne of Muyombe. This Government has refused to recognise Chief Muyombe, and yet the people have recognised him. So, in short, we have two chiefs. One carries a flag as a symbol of Government’s recognition and the other one is recognised by the people and the traditional council.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: As a result, there has been total confusion in Muyombe to the extent that people dragged one of the two chiefs to the market and beat him up. The other group also got up and tried to retaliate. We have a crisis fueled by the Government. I would like this to come to an end. 

Sir, lastly, I would like to talk about land allocation. Chiefs are giving huge tracks of land mainly to foreigners. Before we know it, the foreigner has a title deed to a big piece of land. Since our people do not have title to the land that they utilise, they find themselves occupying pieces of land that have title deeds bearing names of other people.

Mr Chairperson, there are villages in this country on pieces of land that have title deeds bearing names of people calling themselves investors. The Government should critically look into the role of chiefs because, in most cases, chiefs serve the interests of their subjects. When we, politicians, try to appease chiefs, we can only do so at our peril because most of them are very unpopular and cannot convince their people to vote for a particular Government.
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: So, when you appease chiefs by giving them vehicles, big gifts and a lot of money, they can only give you their vote, that of their children, if they are able to convince their children, and their wives. Beyond that, they have no real influence. Let us look at the welfare of the majority of the people. Does it really make sense for us to spend money on electrifying a chief’s palace when a nearby school has no electricity? Does that really make sense? It does not. It is time we started looking at these issues not because they were started by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), the United National Independence Party (UNIP) or the PF, but we should question the prudence in continuously spending the little that we have on appeasing the 289 individuals in the hope that they will influence the masses to vote for us. That will not happen.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is an irrelevant ministry. Therefore, I do not support the expenditure allocated to this Vote.

 I thank, you, Sir.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Members who debated in support of this Vote. In particular, I would like to thank Hon. Shakafuswa and Hon. Gary Nkombo. I want to assure Hon. Nkombo that when I presented the Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry, I mentioned that there is some money which will be used to document traditional knowledge and other heritage. So, rest assured that this has been taken care of.

Sir, I would also like to thank Hon. Muntanga, although his debate was quite confusing because, in one breath, he was saying that we should disband the chieftaincy like our friends in Tanzania and, in another breath, he was saying that we should increase the support to the chieftaincy. I still thank him very much for the support.

Hon. Government Member: For that confusion.

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, I do not see any inconsistency between our traditional and Christian values. There is no conflict, whatsoever. So, I want to assure him that there is no conflict between the Zambian tradition and the Church. The two have merged very well.

Sir, I would not want to dwell on what Hon. Namugala talked about concerning the chieftaincy in Muyombe. I would just like to appeal to our Royal Highnesses or the royal establishment to assist us by giving us only one candidate for the chieftaincy. It is not up to the Government to choose a chief. If the royal establishment gives us a chief of their choice, we recognise and gazette that chief. When they start dragging each other to court and putting up injunctions and counter injunctions, the Government waits until the due process of the law has taken place. If the courts state that a particular chief is not the rightful heir to the throne, we revoke the recognition and wait for the royal establishment to give us their preferred candidate to inherit the throne. So, that does not amount to Government interference in the chieftaincy. The Government does not choose chiefs and it cannot stop other people from contending the chieftaincy. After the due process has taken place, we recognise the one that is presented to us, as the Government, by the royal establishment.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the whole House, including those who supported this Vote silently.

I thank you, Sir.

VOTE 13/01 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – Headquarters – K68,635,359).

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5004, Activity 026 – Heritage Site Management – K265,000, Activity 033 – Support to Museums – K200,000. Why does this programme still fall under the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs after His Excellency the President directed that this function should fall under the Ministry of Tourism and Arts?

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5004, Activity 026 – Heritage Site Management – K265,000, Activity 033 – Support to Museums – K200,000, is a housekeeping matter. So, it will be taken care of administratively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to draw the hon. Minister’s attention to page 149, Programme 5064, Activity 005 ...

The Deputy Chairperson: We have not reached there yet.

Mr Kasonso resumed his seat.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5011 on page 150 ...

The Deputy Chairperson: We have not reached page 150 yet. Head 13/01 ends on page 146.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5004, Activity 026 – Heritage Site Management – K265,000. The allocation for this activity in the 2015 Budget was K2,200,000. Why has there been this big reduction?

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Kufuna): Mr Chairperson, Programme 5004, Activity 026 – Heritage Site Management – K265,000, is meant to facilitate the identification, recording, documentation, conservation, protection and management of heritage sites. The reduction in the allocation is due to the re-alignment of resources to other needy areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5031, Activity 052 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles – Chiefs Vehicles – K400,000. How many vehicles is the ministry going to buy from this amount?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, regarding Programme 5031, Activity 052 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles – Chiefs Vehicles – K400,000, only the amount allocated for the purchase of vehicles has been indicated, but the exact number of vehicles to be procured will be known later.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5002, Activity 008 – Exhibition and Shows – K368,500. I note that since inception, the ministry has not been attending these events. This activity has now been given this allocation. I would like to know what has necessitated the allocation to this activity.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 5002, Activity 008 – Exhibition and Shows – K368,500, has been moved to Research and Information.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: We are considering Programme 5002, Activity 008 – Exhibitions and Shows – K368,500.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5002, Activity 008 – Exhibitions and Shows – K368,500, I think let me just start from the beginning. This activity used to be under Head 13/06 – Planning, Research and Information Department, Programme 5002 – Events, but has now been realigned to this department.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Chairperson, I am following up on a question which was raised earlier on page 146, Programme 5031, Activity 052 – Procurement of Motor Vehicles - Chiefs Vehicles – K400,000. When budgeting, we have some quantities in mind. When we ask how many vehicles the ministry intends to buy from this allocation, we must have an answer. If not, then, the ministry is not budgeting properly. So, is the K400,000 going to be used to buy new or old vehicles, and how many?

The Deputy Chairperson: That question has already been answered.

Vote 13/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 13/02 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – Human Resource and Administration Department – K2,040,214).

Mr Miyanda: Mr Chairperson, I need clarification on page 147, Programme 5129, Activity 002 – Training of Chiefs for Development – K143,000. There was no allocation for this activity in 2015. So, what kind of training of chiefs for development will be accorded?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5129, Activity 002 – Training of Chiefs for Development – K143,000, is meant for capacity building in chiefs for development. The activity has been realigned to this department from the Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Department.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on page 147, Programme 5034, Activity 005 – Updating Filing/Records Index – K37,900 and Activity 009 – Registry Operations – K75,628. I would like to know the difference between updating filing/records index and registry operations because, I believe, registry operations are basically filing and record indexing. Therefore, why is there a double allocation for the same purpose?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, can the hon. Member repeat the programme.

The Deputy Chairperson: We are dealing with Programme 5034, Activity 005 – Updating Filing/Records Index – K37,900 and Activity 009 – Registry Operations – K75,628. Are these the same activities? If not, what is the difference?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5034, Activity 005 – Updating Filing/Records Index – K37,900, is meant to facilitate the updating the filling and record indexing. The reduction is due to the Government’s realignment of resources to more needy areas.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, the question is: What is the difference between the two activities?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5034, Activity 009 – Registry Operations – K75,628, is meant to facilitate effective record management in order to ensure easy retrieval of information.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Chairperson, I explained to the hon. Minister that facilitating easy retrieval of information is as good as indexing and filing. So, I would like to know the difference between the two activities.

The Deputy Chairperson: The question has been answered.


Vote 13/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 13/03 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – House of Chiefs Department – K3,869,380).

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on page 149, Programme 5064, Activity 005 – House of Chiefs Sessions – K2,072,880. The previous allocation was K103,360. What are these sessions that will need such an increase in allocation next year? Does this have anything to do with the elections next year?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The question is: Why is there such a remarkable increase in the allocation?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5064, Activity 005 – House of Chiefs Sessions – K2,072,880, is meant to facilitate sessions of the House of Chiefs. The increase is due to the increase in the number of activities.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Ms Miyutu.  Mr Miyutu. I beg your pardon.

The Deputy Chairperson: Maybe, I had double vision.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5064, Activity 010 – Conflict Resolutions – K744,804. In 2015, the allocation for this activity was K120,750. Are the conflicts to be resolved between the Government and chiefs, and why do they need so much money?

Mr Livune: Masholi.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 5064, Activity 010 – Conflict Resolutions – K744,804, is meant to facilitate conflict resolutions in chiefdoms. The increase is due to the anticipated rise in 5the number of activities.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5064 – House of Chiefs Sessions – Activity 011 – Resolution of Boundary Disputes – Nil. Does it mean that there are no longer boundary disputes between chiefs? 

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, concerning Programme 5064 – House of Chiefs Sessions – Activity 011 – Resolution of Boundary Disputes – Nil, the allocation has already been indicated in the resolution of disputes which includes boundary and chiefdom disputes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5064, Activity 015 – Transport Refund for Chiefs – Nil. How do the chiefs attend sessions if there are no refunds?

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5064, Activity 015 – Transport Refund for Chiefs – Nil, the expenses for conducting sessions are all included in the allocated amount.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 13/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 13/05 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Department – K53,157,328).

Mr Kasonso: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5118, Activity 019 – Traditional Ceremonies – K1,309,728. What is this development? Is it development for elections?


The Deputy Chairperson: I take it that the question is: Why is there such an increase?

‘Election mania’ should not be the order of the day. We still have many more months to come.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5118, Activity 019 – Traditional Ceremonies – K1,309,728, is meant to cater for the provision of administrative and financial support services to traditional ceremonies. The increase in the allocation is due to the need to cater for grants for traditional ceremonies and facilitating the hosting of traditional ceremonies and chiefs installation ceremonies.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Miyanda: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5128, Activity 238 – Construction of Chiefs Palaces – Nil. I seek a further clarification on Programme 5011, Activity 238 – Construction of Chiefs Palaces – K18,902,402. Why is there a reduction of K3 when the Government has not laid a single brick for the construction of Chief Simwatechela’s Palace?

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, why is there a reduction of K3?


Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5011, Activity 238 – Construction of Chiefs Palaces – K18,902,402, the reduction of K3 …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Dr Katema: … may be explained by the reduction in the cost of a nail.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Let us be serious about the questions we ask. Although I allowed the hon. Minister to respond, such questions are not for this House.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5005, Activity 161 – Chiefs Subsidies and Retainers Wages – K23,558,400. The President of the Republic of Zambia announced that there would be an increase in the subsidies due to chiefs. However, this allocation is at variance with what was announced. Why is the allocation at variance with the recent announcement by his Excellency the President?

The Deputy Chairperson: With regard to Programme 5005, Activity 161 – Chiefs Subsidies and Retainers Wages – K23,558,400, I read what was in the paper. I think what the President said was that the matter would be looked into. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 13/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 13/06 – (Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs – Planning, Research and Information Department – K 1,796,020).

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5029 …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended, I was seeking clarification on Programme 5029, Activity 015 – Cabinet Business – K154,112 and Activity 016 – Parliamentary Business  –  K20,000. I note an increase in the first activity as opposed to the second one which deals with checks and balances which has seen a reduction. May I know why this is so.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5029 Activity 016 – Parliamentary Business – K20,000, is meant to support the timely provision of information for parliamentary business. The reduction is due to the Government’s realignment of resources to more needy areas.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Milambo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5002, Activity 053 – State Functions – Nil. Why is there no provision for 2016?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5002, Activity 053 – State Functions – Nil, has been realigned to the Department of HRA under Programme 5002.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Vote 13/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85 – (Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection – K230,931,391).

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Ms Ngimbu): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to address this august House on my ministry’s Budget Estimates for 2016. I wish to state that the programmes being outlined are prioritised in line with Zambia’s Vision 2030, the Patriotic Front Manifesto, Revised Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and my ministry’s 2014/2016 Strategic Plan.

Mr Chairperson, since most of the economic and social activities take place on land and other natural resources, my ministry is at the centre of this developmental agenda and has set forth its mission statement which is: 

“To administer and manage land, environment and natural resources in a transparent and sustainable manner in order to contribute to social economic development”.

Therefore, the programmes in the 2016 Budget are aimed at achieving the ministry’s objectives through its mission statement so as to ultimately contribute towards a better Zambia for all through the promotion of equitable access to land, sustainable natural resources management, and a clean and safe environment. 

Mr Chairperson, in my address to this august House, I will give a review of my ministry’s performance in 2015, and later follow up with a brief on the major programmes and activities that have been lined up for 2016 in order to contribute to the national socio-economic development. 

Review of Performance in 2015

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, my ministry was allocated a total of K338,221,942 for various programmes and activities. The contribution from the Government was K257,691,339, while co-operating partners contributed K80,530,603. With this funding, my ministry was able to implement the following programmes and activities:

(a)    Policy Formulation and Legislative Reforms Development

In order to ensure that there is a policy framework for land management and administration, my ministry has embarked on finalising the National Land Policy. The formulation of the policy is being undertaken through wider stakeholder consultations to ensure that the interests of the citizenry on land matters are incorporated in the final policy. The ministry has also embarked on the formulation of the Wetland Policy. The policy will provide for, among other things, the conservation of wetlands in the country. In order to ensure that there is an appropriate legal framework that will support land administration and management, my ministry reviewed and presented the Forestry Bill No. 4 of 2015 to Parliament, and it was subsequently approved by this august House. Allow me to take this opportunity to thank all hon. Members of Parliament who favourably supported the Forestry Bill;

(b)    National Land Audit Programme

The National Land Audit Programme was provisionally allocated K53,250,000 in the 2015 Budget. From this allocation, the ministry has engaged a contractor to undertake aerial photography of the entire country. The aerial photography will form the base or platform on which the land audit will be carried out. This will culminate into the creation of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure;

(c)    National Land Titling Programme

In the 2015 Budget, the National Land Titling Programme had a provision of K50,500,000. From this allocation, my ministry has engaged thirty private surveyors to carry out survey work in settlement areas dotted around the country, and about 10,500 properties in Lusaka Province. This will be followed with issuance of title deeds on surveyed properties;
(d)    Land Development Fund 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry continued to disburse funds, particularly to new districts, to enable them to open up new areas for development. My ministry has, as at 31st September, 2015, disbursed a total of K13,894,931.10 to twenty-three district councils. 

    (e)    International Boundaries

Mr Chairperson, the Zambia/Malawi boundary demarcation is near completion. All that is left to be done is the static observation surveys and harmonisation of scale boundary maps. These will be completed by the end of 2015. 

    (f)    Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS)

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, my ministry finalised the roll-out of the Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS) to all provincial offices, except for the newly-created Muchinga Province. With ZILMIS in place, it is expected that there will be a great improvement in service delivery in the ministry and, subsequently, an increase in revenue collection for the Treasury.  

    (g)    Environment and Natural Resources

Mr Chairperson, the ministry finalised the review of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of 1999 to bring it in line with the current development agenda, align it to emerging sustainable development goals and also ensure that it reflects global trends in the conservation of natural resources. The National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan has been validated and its completion will commence in 2016. 

Outlook for 2016

Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s budget ceiling for 2016 stands at K230,931,391. Out of this, K73,708,468 is donor contribution. From this allocation, the ministry intends to undertake the following major programmes: 

(a)    The National Land Audit 

The Land National Audit has been provisionally allocated K28,000,000 in the 2016 Budget. This will enable the ministry to develop the national spatial data infrastructure for effective spatial data sharing with stakeholders. Further participatory works will include carrying out a land inventory.

(b)    The National Titling Programme 

The National Titling Programme has been allocated K11,669,404 in 2016. The ministry will scale-up the issuance of certificates of title countrywide;

(c)    National Tree Planting 

The National Tree Planting Programme has not been allocated any funding in the 2016 Budget. However, the Government has provided for the recruitment of about 170 forest range guards to protect the existing forests.

(e)    Land Development Fund Programme

The Land Development Fund Programme has been allocated K28,000,000 in the 2016 Budget. This fund will be disbursed to local authorities, especially in the newly-created districts to enable them open up new areas for development and subsequently increase revenue collection. It is the intention of my ministry to ensure that plots are surveyed and provided with services such as water, roads and electricity before they are allocated. 

(f)    International Boundaries

In 2016, the ministry will undertake demarcations of the Zambia/Congo DR and Zambia/Tanzania borders. The boundary pillars between Zambia and Tanzania will be densified while new boundary pillars will be erected between the Zambia/Congo DR boundaries. Further, mapping activities will be carried out to produce up-to-date large-scale maps for international boundaries.

(g)    Policy Formulation and Legislation Reforms

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has set aside a total of K1,120,000 for Policy Formulation and Legislation Reforms. The policies to be finalised in 2016 are the National Wetland Policy and the National Land Policy. The Ministry will also finalise the Customary Land Administrative Bill which will, among other things, provide the security of tenure for customary land. 

(h)    Infrastructure Development

Sir, a total of K2,500,000 has been provisionally set aside for infrastructure development in the 2016 Budget. This will go towards the completion of the Zambia Forestry College Library. Some offices, houses and research centres in selected districts will be rehabilitated under the Forestry Department.

(i)    Environment and Natural Resources

Mr Chairperson, in 2016, my ministry will endeavour to actualise the implementation of the New Forestry Policy and the Forestry Act No. 4 of 2015. This will involve providing support to strengthen community and private sector participation in sustainable forest management as provided for under the new policy and legislation. My ministry will also ensure that forest revenue collection is enhanced to contribute to the National Treasury. This will be done by reorganising the charcoal industry to ensure sustainable charcoal production.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to ‘reteriate’ that my ministry ...

Mr Muntanga: ‘Retariate’?


Mr Chikwanda: Reiterate.

Mr Mukanga (pointing at Hon. Muntanga): Reiterate. What is your problem? 

Ms Ngimbu: ... endeavour to administer land in a transparent, equitable and sustainable manner. In pursuance of that goal, my ministry will ensure to develop and implement policies, legislation and systems that will improve governance, land use, planning, management and administration of land. 

I further wish to underscore the immense potential that my ministry has in revenue generation for the Treasury. My ministry has the potential to raise in excess of K1 billion annually through various fees and taxes. In order for us to fully exploit this potential, it is cardinal that we enhance the capacity of my ministry in order to maximise revenue collection. I, therefore, wish to appeal for the support of this august House in the various areas that will strengthen the capacity of my ministry in revenue collection. 

With these remarks, I urge all the hon. Members of this august House to support the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the programmes in the 2016 Budget for my ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote for the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, I have a few issues to raise. This is a very important ministry and I wish my wife, …


Mr Hamududu: … the lady from Zambezi West (Ms Ngimbu), …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

There are no hon. Members of Parliament who have wives in here.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, we can marry in here. This one is mine (pointing at Ms Ngimbu).


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, this ministry is important. I want to raise a few issues concerning the land administration in this country. The poverty, …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mufalali: There is a point of order.

Mr Hamududu: No! Against marriage?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Do not respond to people who are debating whilst seated. 


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, the poverty that is being reported in this country is human created. It is a result of our thinking in this country. One of the leverages against poverty is land. Land is a major resource that the poor people have in their hands. However, there is a missing link. When the hon. Minister presented her policy statement, she did not really punch the real issues. In a period of one year, you can make all the Zambian people rich through land. How can you call people poor when they are sitting on a piece of land just because there is no document for it? 


Mr Hamududu: Yes, people come to this country to look for land. In this country, there is no land which does not belong to people. All the land in this country belongs to some clan or chiefdom. Due to the fact that some land has got no papers, some clever people are making money out of it while others are not. They literally have nothing to carry home. Ideally, it is possible for all the Zambians to own title deeds. Ultimately, all the Zambians would rise above the poverty datum line. They will have value to trade. 

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, I was not in this House because I went to attend a funeral somewhere. I noticed that we have actually done a very big disservice to our people. The land which ordinarily would be expensive is now valueless because it is not on paper. The people are so poor and helpless. You should put value on the land. It is just a matter of putting the land on paper so that when investors come, they can buy it at a very high price. People are looking for land. If you go to the West, you will find that there is no land. All the land is on title, including deserts. Here, there is free land just because we are not facilitating the acquisition of title deeds. Where I come from, some of the land in the Kafue Flats where our animals graze is communal.  We can have a title deed for it under a trust and then we can decide, as a group, to get rid of a piece of it to benefit ourselves. 

We can actually make dams and other things that we have been unable to do. The local people have not been issued with title deeds for their land. So, someone can even get 1,000 hectares without them benefitting. However, if they were to sell part of that land and develop the other part, they would make a lot of money. There is beautiful land in the north, but people are poor simply because there is no value attached to it.

Mr Chairperson, I urge the hon. Minister to ensure that every Zambian who owns land is issued with a title deed. That is possible. Foreigners acquire title deeds and become rich while the person who sold them the land lives in a kabansho, meaning small house. This is happening in Katuba and Chongwe simply because we are not proactive and strategic. 

Sir, the population of Zambia is about 14 million. If, for instance, there is a family of five in each household, then, about 2.8 million Zambians could own title deeds. Some farmers complain about the price of fertiliser. However, it is just a question of them selling about two hectares of their land and they will be able to buy the fertiliser. In Chongwe, the price of an hectare of land is almost K50,000. Most land owners do not have title deeds for their land and people are crooking them. Therefore, the K50 million that has been allocated to this ministry is not enough.

Mr Chairperson, hon. Members should not ask why this allocation has not been increased because we need to reduce some expenditures in the Budget. We can do away with some of them because there is no need to allocate money to all the budget lines. Let us allocate money to activities such as land titling because it is a key activity. I want to congratulate the young men and women who work at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.  However, they need more money. Maybe, we should just establish an agency to deal with land titling so that the officers are well paid and the agency is well funded. That way, land owners can get their title deeds within a month. Currently, it is a nightmare for poor people to get offer letters. It is equally difficult to find a surveyor in places like Solwezi. I urge the hon. Minister to work with the private sector to establish offices in all towns for private surveyors because it is difficult to get survey diagrams. Even hon. Members of Parliament who own land do not have title deeds.

Mr Nkombo. Most of them.

Mr Hamududu: It is worse for an ordinary Zambian, but we want everyone to be facilitated.

Ms Lubezhi: Even in Chasefu.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, the officers at the ministry are doing their best, but I think their facilities are overwhelmed with the demand for paperwork. This ministry must be turned into an agency and offices established in the provinces. The problem is that there is low funding in the Government. With the support of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), the ministry made some little progress and people can access information for example, on land rates. I intend to go to the ministry next week, but the problem is that there is no parking space for visitors. It deals with customers, but some parts are muddy and they cannot park their cars there, yet the people who work there have private parking spaces. How can one boast of being a Minister when there is no car park at the ministry?


Mr Hamududu: Sir, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to take a walk around this place and see for herself what I am talking about. How much does it cost to construct a proper car park? You should break the wall down and extend the car park so that people can find somewhere to park when they go to the ministry.

 Hon. UPND Members: Here, hear!

 Mr Hamududu: Sir, by the way, there is a report by one of the international organisations who are claiming that there is artificial shortage of land in this country. Very soon, we might experience land wrangles because there are no demarcations where people are building. 

Mr Chairperson, my late father owned a piece of land, but it is not demarcated. So, we want beacons to be erected. We know where the boundaries are, but there must be proper beacons so that, tomorrow, people do not fight like what is happening at the moment. 

Sir, when a man divorces his wife, he will include other names on the title deed and leave her out. She will walk away with a plastic bag. I am talking about a woman who worked for years during her marriage. What kind of human beings are we?


Mr Hamudulu: Sir, it is true that women are being chased. When a husband dies, a woman will go away with nothing, yet she is the one who was stamping the trees in order to clear the land. This happens because her name was not included on the title deed. In Zambia, women are the poorest because their names are not included on title deeds. You cannot use women for whatever reasons. So, do not use tradition to exploit women. Instead, their names should be included on the papers. Women must also stand up and protest. This is happening in our constituencies. There are women who worked very hard for 50 years, but have walked away with just a plastic bag and not even a blanket because their names do not appear on the title deed. If their names are on the title deeds, they will demand their share of the piece of land before they leave the homeland.

Mr Chairperson, I am speaking on behalf of all the women. So, they should have the courage to say, “Hear, hear!”

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: After all, Sir, they are the majority and they have the power of the 51 per cent of the vote. Therefore, they can use this power and demand what belongs to them and we shall support them. However, they should know who has been supporting them when they are going to do those ‘things’.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, the next point which I would like to bring to the attention of this House is the ugliness of this country because of the disorderly way of putting up infrastructure. If you drive from here to Kapiri Mposhi, the settlements that you see along the main road are not demarcated and people are building anyhow. People who have title deeds, put up better structures compared to those who build anyhow. This is happening because there are no demarcations. I am appealing to the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection to work together with his counterpart in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. You cannot have a town where people build anyhow. You will find that this house is facing this way and the other one is facing the other way. It becomes difficult to construct roads in such places.

 Sir, if you are looking for tourists who want to see disorderliness, let them come to this country.


 Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, if you think that what I am saying is not true, take a drive to Kapiri Mposhi and you will see for yourself. Those who want to see disorderliness, this is the country to come to. It is high time we did something about this problem. The people who build anyhow need help. Once you do that, you will see what kind of structures they will put up. Maybe, the only problem could be that there is no value for their properties where they are building. I think that the disorder is contributing to the serious shortage of land.

Sir, finally, I want to speak for all the workers of this country because every worker deserves to have a plot. This country is very big and has a small population. Therefore, every Zambian worker must have a plot with a title deed. The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should work with the councils and help the farmers who want to alienate land. How can Zambians who have a little money to invest fail to get a plot? What kind of a country is this? This country has flat land. We keep complaining about cadres. When human beings are frustrated, they have nothing to fear. Do you think that people will remain contented with having no land? They will revolt. Even you can do it. You should give people land so that they start building houses. In fact, the standard should be that once one gets a job, he/she should go to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and ask for a piece of land.
Mr Chairperson, where I come from, most workers from the banks, the Zambia Electricity Supply ZESCO), teachers, and nurses have no plots and they are complaining, yet you are saying that you are a working Government. I would like to sit with the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and discuss this issue.

 Mr Muntanga: Where?

Mr Hamududu: Anywhere!


Mr Chairperson, today, when people want to get land, others start accusing them of wanting to acquire land illegally. So, where is the legal land? I want to tell you that, ...

Ms Imenda rose.

Mr Hamududu: Ikala. You are wasting my time.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Continue with your debate, hon. Member.
Ms Imenda resumed her seat.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, let me speak for the workers of this country. Every Zambian worker deserves a titled plot. It is doable because land is there and the people can afford to buy it. If there is no land nearby, buy off those farms in national interest. Some people have land on which they play with horses here in Lusaka while others have no land. They have not put the land to good use. So, you can buy it off with full compensation. Those who want to play with horses should go somewhere very far because people want to build houses on their land.

Sir, I want to appeal to this very important ministry to reverse the misfortunes of the Zambian people who do not deserve to be poor. Just by giving people papers for land, all Zambians can be rich. You can do it as a ministry.

I reluctantly support this Budget because the hon. Minister responsible for that ministry has not put the money where it matters.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I will say a few words regarding this very important ministry.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: There is a very senior heckler there (pointing at hon. UPND Members). 

I listened very carefully to the hon. Minister as she mentioned the areas that need to be worked on. She talked about policy formulation, legal framework, the Wetland Policy and the National Land Audit. For a long time now, we have been talking about the National Land Audit. The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection has agencies in the name of district councils. I am aware that in many areas, councils have done a good job. Firstly, they have done well in requesting land from the traditional leaders. This land has been given for the extension of townships. However, what the hon. Minister mentioned are the main intentions. The council is planning on its own and the utility companies such as those who provide water and electricity have no idea about these plans.

Sir, I stand to be corrected, but even in the new districts, there seems to be no plans for water treatment and sewerage plants. I was in Choma recently, and as my colleague, the previous debater, said, people are building anywhere and anyhow. Each one has a borehole and a septic tank. So, you have about 500 houses springing up just like that. We are building and investing in a disaster.

Mr Chairperson, why have we not taken an opportunity to constitute task force teams to manage the districts that are being created? These task force teams can see to it that there is maximum utilisation of land and that establishments are properly planned. In the previous Vote, we talked about chiefs selling off land. When that land is sold, it is fenced off. Unfortunately, in our traditional settings, many people do not seem to know their rights. They just complain about land being taken away from them.

Sir, we are sitting on a time bomb. After people receive offer letters from the council, five to ten years can pass without the land being surveyed. In the end, people have to look for surveyors to erect beacons for them. I think this has reached a crisis point, especially with the increase in the size of the population and economic activities in the country. As it has been stated, if we want to empower our people, they must have proper documents for land.

Mr Chairperson, my question to the hon. Minister is: How is it that foreigners are able to get title deeds for land in remarkably speedy time? What mechanism are they using? This is worrisome. Land is not expandable. Therefore, we must plan for it wisely for future generations.

Mr Chairperson, I wonder if we even use the Town and Country Planning Act. There appears to be no integrated planning at all. Why should it be so? The hon. Minister stated that K53,250 has been allocated towards land auditing. Can we have an indication when this will come to fruition because there are only a few months …

Mr Muntanga: Before they go.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Actually, the writing on the wall is becoming very clear. 

Hon. Opposition Members: They are going.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: However, I am comforted with the fact that governments, and not political parties, are not there in perpetuity. So, we shall take over whatever they will leave behind.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, as the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), we have been in Government before. Therefore, we can now do things better if we get back into power. When you look around here, on this side, there is a wealth of experience, except for a few who have gone astray and will not be with us when we come back.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Chairperson, I think the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection must work hand in hand with, for instance, the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in protecting the environment. There appears to be no co-ordination between ministries. So, how do we plan for water development? 

Mr Chairperson, most districts do not even have simple earth dams. In places where we have earth dams, the banks are encroached. That is contravening the Act which states that dams must have a 200 m clearance. Therefore, people in the surrounding area are subjected to contaminated water. In the end, the hon. Minister of Finance has to find money to allocate to the Ministry of Health to treat people when they get sick, instead of investing it in water facilities. So, there should be a co-ordination of activities among ministries. 

Mr Chairperson, the other issue I want to discuss is environmental protection with regard to the game management areas (GMAs) and forestry. I remember that the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR) developed briquettes as alternative sources of energy for cooking. Once harnessed, this initiative would go a long way in protecting our forests. At the moment, the situation is almost a disaster. Those who drive along the roads might think our forests have trees, but 10 to 20 m inside, there are deserts. 

Mr Chairperson, I mourn when I see truck after truck carrying charcoal from Mumbwa. Our forests have really been depleted due to charcoal burning. This is another issue on which the two ministries I mentioned need to co-ordinate in order to find other sources of energy for people to use. 

 Mr Chairperson, I have no choice,but to support this Vote so that the ministry can do the little it can …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 5th November, 2015.