Debates - Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015

Printer Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, 2nd December, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I wish to thank you most sincerely for affording me the opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the interruption of mobile communication service to the 204 communication towers constructed under Phase I in some chiefdoms.

Sir, in 2012, the Government embarked on a programme to erect Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) towers in areas that have remained underserved or unserved since the inception of the GSM service in Zambia using funds from the Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF). The UASF is administered by the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA).

The 204 sites are serviced by satellite communications for transmission backhaul provided by an international satellite communications provider, Spacecom, under a satellite called AMOS-5. AMOS-5 is serving Central and Southern Africa countries which include the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa.

Mr Speaker, on Monday 23rd November, 2015, we received a report from Spacecom, through ZICTA, that an unprecedented major fault had occurred on the orbital satellite, AMOS-5, that rendered it dysfunctional. This means that the network to all the 204 GSM sites in Zambia has been down since then. The problem has affected the entire Central and Southern African Region that are served by AMOS-5.

 Mr Speaker, to restore the communication as soon as possible, ZICTA has engaged Spacecom with a view to migrating the communication traffic from the 204 GSM sites to an alternative satellite which operates in the same frequency band as AMOS-5.

Sir, prior to the failure of AMOS-5, ZICTA, through the project contractor, Huawei Technologies Limited, had started working on the problems affecting thirty-six of the 204 sites that were out of service. As at 30th November, 2015, Huawei Technologies Limited had been to twelve sites in order to solve the problems. However, service to the sites and all the other sites will be restored when the problem mentioned earlier has been solved.

Mr Speaker, this will require configuration of the equipment and realignment of the antenna at the hub station in Lusaka followed by the 204 sites across the country. It is anticipated that normal service will be restored to all the sites in thirty days.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement given by the hon. Minister of Transport and Communication.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central):  Mr Speaker, we seem to be having problems after problem and I do not know which ones will be solved first.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether Lukona is one of the twelve sites that have been visited by the contractor.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I do not know whether Lukona is one of the twelve sites.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, before the 204 sites went down, the hon. Minister mentioned that there were thirty-six sites which were not working and that Huawei Technologies Limited was supposed to work on them. May I know whether it is true that the contract to maintain the sites has not been formerly awarded.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the thirty-six sites failed immediately after commissioning. One of the conditions in the agreement was that Huawei Technologies Limited would attend to all the problems that would develop at the sites within a year of commissioning. It could be that the sites failed a few days after commissioning or that they did not work at all because some towers where erected in areas where they could not perform optimally, contrary to the advice by Huawei Technologies Limited. The towers are too short to be serviced by the satellite. So, they should be extended. These are some of the arguments Huawei Technologies Limited has put across. The beneficiaries had insisted on the towers being erected at sites of their preference. Therefore, the Government had to find a contractor to solve the problem. Nonetheless, Huawei Technologies Limited has to solve the problem as per the contractual agreement.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, it is anticipated that all the 204 sites will be restored within thirty days. Is the hon. Minister confident that the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) will solve this problem using the AMOS-5 orbital satellite?


Mr Simbao: Akuna. Sorry, Mr Speaker.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, this is a technical process. The hub will have to be aligned to another satellite. In addition, we expect the experts to align the hub for every tower to the new satellite this week. It is anticipated that this will be done in thirty days.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, my question is similar to that by Hon. Mutelo, but I will try to ask it differently.

Mr Simbao: You have no question.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is pleading.


Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, who, between AMOS-5 and Huawei Technologies Limited has given the assurance that the service will be restored within thirty days?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, I was not pleading. I knew the hon. Member did not have a follow-up question.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, AMOS-5 is not an entity, but a satellite that has developed a fault.


Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the satellites were erected by ZICTA using the contributions from all the cellular phone service providers. They are managed by ZICTA.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I did not mean to ask a question, but I have been prompted to do so by the response that the hon. Minister gave. He mentioned that some towers were erected in areas that were not technically feasible. How sure are they that when the experts align the hub to the satellite, the towers …


Mr Speaker: Order, on my right!

Ms Imenda: … will work?

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, only a few of the thirty-six sites have been affected. Like I explained in my statement, this was supposed to go through a legal process because Huawei Technologies Limited claimed that it had advised us against erecting the towers in places that were not technically feasible, but we went against its advice. However, we have now agreed that the best thing to do is make the towers operational and that is what Huawei Technologies Limited is going to do.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to make a statement to this House. I wish to inform this august House about the recent developments in the implementation of the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy, in the context of the current and anticipated developments in biotechnology.

Sir, modern biotechnology is one of the fields of science that have great potential for the socio-economic development of the nation, particularly in areas such as agriculture, health, environment and industry. An aspect of modern biotechnology that requires particular attention is the development of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs are created by transferring genetic materials from one organism to another. This process enables the organisms receiving the genes to perform new functions. In some cases, modern biotechnology results in the production of improved products. However, the development of GMOs has also attracted attention from various stakeholders. In particular, concerns have been expressed over the risks to human and animal health, and the environment.

Mr Speaker, in order to secure the benefits of modern biotechnology while minimising the risks to human and animal health, and the environment, the Government resolved to put in place the legal and institutional framework to regulate the technology. Thus, in 2003, the Cabinet adopted a national policy on biotechnology and biosafety. Parliament enacted the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2009 to provide the legal environment for implementing the Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy. This Act establishes the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) whose mandate is to regulate all activities relating to GMOs in Zambia. The activities include:

(a)    importation of GMOs;
(b)    export of GMOs;

(c)    research and development in GMOs;

(d)    transit of GMOs;

(e)    contained use of GMOs; and

(f)    release on the market of any GMOs for use in the pharmaceutical industry, food, feed or processing.

The NBA, in conformity with the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007, guides the judicious use and regulation of modern biotechnology, aimed at minimising risks to human and animal health, and the environment, including our rich biological diversity in general. The NBA is mandated to regulate and facilitate the safe application of biotechnology for the benefit of the country, while at the same time ensuring that the risks associated with modern technology are adequately managed.

Sir, hon. Members may recall that in 2002, Zambia experienced a severe drought which affected the Southern African Region. The drought threatened national food security in the country. Some of our co-operating partners offered relief food in the form of genetically-modified maize to avert the looming hunger crisis. The Government at the time rejected the maize donation due to a lack of adequate scientific information on the effects of GMOs.

Mr Speaker, the Government’s decision to reject GMOs was based on the fact that Zambia did not have the technical capacity to effectively handle GMOs and products therefrom. Following this, the Zambian Government has been working towards establishing a policy and legal frameworks to regulate modern biotechnology in the country. The frameworks include the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003 and Biosaftey Act No. 10 of 2007. The frameworks provide for judicious application and use of modern biotechnology for sustainable development of the nation with minimum risk to human and animal health biodiversity and the environment in general.

Sir, through these measures, the Zambian Government ensures that the public and environment are protected from the potential risk associated with the use of modern biotechnology, especially GMOs. We appreciate that modern biotechnology has advanced worldwide. So, as a nation, we cannot afford to ignore the benefit of this technology while we are alert and prepared to deal with the possible risks.

Mr Speaker, let me hasten to say that the Ministry of Higher Education has not been working in isolation. There are various stakeholders who have worked with the ministry in the implementation of the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy. We are working with the Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Health, Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Local Government and Housing, and Commerce, Trade and Industry. We also work with research institutions such as the University of Zambia (UNZA), the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), the Cotton Trust and Zambia Agricultural Research Institute (ZARI). In addition, we work with our co-operating partners such as the Global Environment Fund, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). We also collaborate with the civil society organisations and the farmers who are important stakeholders in biosafety and biotechnology.

Sir, as I have illustrated, my ministry is now on a clear path of developing biotechnology for the benefit of the country. Our intention, however, is to have the application of this new technology conducted under a regulated environment which safeguards human and animal health, and our environment.

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 given by the hon. Minister of Higher Education.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, in light of the fact that we now have an authority responsible for biosafety and biotechnology and given the history that some time back, we rejected a donation of food on account of its being GMO if, today, we were to receive another donation of this kind, what would be your advice to the Cabinet? Would we accept or reject it.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question. We would not immediately accept such a donation. The maize would have to be checked by the National Biosafety Authority and other stakeholders like the Ministry of Agriculture that I have mentioned.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that statement. However, I am still a bit confused because, as a country, we rejected Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in the past and you have clearly stated the reasons for this. We did not only reject the donation, but also the presence of GMOs in our country for fear of them affecting our environment and health. Is the Government now saying that we are in the process of accepting the GMOs in our environment?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, at the time of rejecting the GMO maize, Zambia did not have much knowledge about them. I have stated that we now have the capacity to look at the GMOs. The hon. Members should note that not all GMOs are unsafe for human or animal consumption. Some GMOs are good. In fact, I have clearly stated that biotechnology is very important and it is being used by most people today. However, in dealing with it, we have to be mindful of the fact that some GMOs might be dangerous to human beings or animals and, indeed, our environment. Nonetheless, we now have the capacity to deal with the issue of GMOs.

I thank you, Sir.
Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has stated that the National Policy on Biotechnology and Biosafety was formulated sometime around 2003. Why has it taken the Government this long to operationalise the policy?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question. I want to inform the House and the people of Zambia that some of the problems that are being blamed on the Patriotic Front (PF) may not be entirely of their making, as some of them were inherited. The policies were initiated as early as 2003 and 2007, yet they are only being operationalised now. So, I do not know how to respond to that question. Maybe, my predecessors could shade some light on why the policy was not implemented.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, when I heard the hon. Minister of Higher Education talk about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), I wonder whether his ministry had been merged with the Ministry of Agriculture.

Biotechnology and GMOs have to do with food, plants and animals. Why is the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) not under the ministry responsible for Agriculture or Livestock and Fisheries? Why should the Ministry of Higher Education be responsible for this authority in as far as policy direction is concerned? I thought that the people who deal with food and plants are the ones who should give policy direction on this authority.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I want to acknowledge that the current arrangement can be confusing at times. However, I would like the hon. Member to know that most research is conducted by institutions under the Ministry of Higher Education. This is why biotechnology research, like most research, is conducted by institutions under my ministry. Despite the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Livestock being stakeholders, I do not think they have the capacity to determine which GMOs are good for the environment, livestock or human beings. However, now that we have the capacity in the Ministry of Higher Education to manage the research, the Bio-Safety Policy is administered by my ministry.

Thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I think history has taught us that during the slave trade, black men who were left in charge of their fellow black people, were more vicious than white men. I think this was meant to gain acceptance from their masters.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, now that the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) is in place, is there any time frame for coming up with efforts that will ensure that we move away from the prevailing precautionary principle in the handling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I would like to declare interest and say that Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo is my personal friend. Therefore, I have no reason whatsoever to bring his name into disrepute. We have now moved away from being sensitive about GMOs towards incorporating biotechnology into our lives. I think I mentioned that in my statement. So, …

Ms Imenda interjected.

Dr Kaingu: … by “we”, I mean the Government and people of Zambia. I want to assure my personal friend that when I referred to the former hon. Ministers in this ministry, I forgot that he was actually one of them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have already penetrated the Zambian market. There are chickens that are bred and sold to the public within three weeks. Further, there are chain stores that stock abnormally-sized oranges and mangoes. This means that GMO products have already penetrated the Zambian food market. In view of this, can the hon. Minister clarify whether or not GMO products have now been allowed on the Zambian market.

Dr Kaingu: Sir, there is no impeccable evidence to confirm that chickens that are ready for consumption within three weeks or the big oranges we see on the market are genetically modified. However, I stated earlier that the technology used involves removing genes from one organism and combining it with genes from another organism. The idea is to either come up with a new product or enhance the quality of an already existing one. Our scientists have worked very hard to develop the capacity to detect any problems concerning GMOs.

Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Member of Parliament to know that we are not working in isolation. It is very difficult to actually bring GMO products into Zambia because we work with other countries in the region. We are in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Region which has treaties. For example 129 and 130(a) of the COMESA Biosafety Policies and Guidelines stipulate that COMESA member States must co-operate on GMOs. So, it is not easy for anybody to bring GMO products into the COMESA Region. Nonetheless, I appreciate what the hon. Member is saying. Therefore, I will compare notes with my colleague, the hon. Minister of Agriculture, so that we carry out investigations. If it is true, then, the NBA will take charge.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, what is the core area of operation for the newly-established authority? Is it going to deal with crops, animal husbandry or it is all-encompassing?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has answered part of his question. It is true that those are some of the areas that we want the authority to check on. However, as I stated in my statement, it will also deal with the importation and export of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), research and development of GMOs, in this case, research on seed or anything that can be planted and the transportation of GMOs. The authority will also address the effect of GMOs on the environment and livestock.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, in his statement, the hon. Minister stated that not all genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may be harmful to human beings or animals. That means that there is still a probability of danger in human beings or animals consuming GMO products. Is the hon. Minister in a position to give us a list of the GMOs which may not be harmful for human consumption?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I want to acknowledge the wealth of knowledge that I am seeing among the hon. Members of Parliament in as far as GMOs are concerned. This is wonderful. I did not expect to have so many questions because the biotechnology of GMOs is fairly new. However, when we talk about GMOs, we are not referring to particular products. As stated earlier, GMO stands for genetically modified organism. So, it is difficult for me to come up with a list of organisms that are genetically modified. I have also stated that to create a GMO, genes of one product are combined with those of another product. So, how do I come up with a list of such organisms? On the other hand, I would like the hon. Member to know that research in this regard has been carried out with cotton farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, are there any applications for the importation of food commodities that have been rejected by the National Biosafety Authority (NBA)? If so, what reasons were advanced for the rejection?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I did not anticipate such a question. However, let me say that if anybody wants to import GMO products, he/she should approach the authority which I have just launched or the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture will not work in isolation, but with the Ministry of Higher Education through the National Biosafety Authority in consultation with the Ministry of Health. So, there are many stakeholders involved. If you have to import GMO food products, you have to get authority from the Government agents that I have mentioned though I may not have mentioned all of them. It is not possible to smuggle GMO products. You have to go through the right process.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.




205. Mr Pande (Kasempa) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the rehabilitation of the Chienge/Kaputa Road would commence;

(b)    what the time frame for undertaking the project was; and

(c)    what the name of the contractor for the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the Chienge/Kaputa Road is scheduled for upgrading in the first quarter of 2016.

Mr Speaker, the time frame for this undertaking is thirty-six months.

Sir, the names of the two contractors are China Henan for International Co-operation and Copperfield Mining Services who are in a joint venture.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I have shown interest in this road because I am a national leader.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: My interest is not only in the Kasempa/Mumbwa Road, but also in seeing that every part of Zambia is developed. Having used that road before, I know that it was in a very bad state. Recently, the President announced that there would be no new projects to be undertaken. Will this road also be affected?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the contract for this project was signed at the beginning of last year and the two contractors are at the stage of mobilisation. So, this is an on-going project and will not be affected by the directive by His Excellency the President.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


206. Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi) asked the Minister of Health when a drop-in centre would be constructed in Kapiri Mposhi Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare will construct a drop-in centre for victims of gender-based violence in Kapiri Mposhi. This will be a one-stop-centre offering integrated services for victims of gender-based violence.
Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the people of Kapiri Mposhi should believe your answer. During the Kapiri Mposhi By-elections, you made a lot of false promises which the hon. Member of Parliament for Kapiri Mposhi reminded you about. Why should people believe you now?


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, in Bemba, we say, Ichikwanka, bachimwena kumampalanya.

Mr Muntanga: Meaning what?

Dr Chilufya: What it means is that what will anchor you is pre-determined or you can tell by the ability to perform certain prior functions.

Mr Speaker, the Government has fulfilled all the promises it made in different parts of the country. The people of Kapiri Mposhi have received support in terms of infrastructure development and many other areas. So, there is no reason for the people of Kapiri Mposhi not to believe us when we say that we are going to build a drop-in centre. Plans for the construction of the drop-in centre are advanced. The project is being funded by our co-operating partners.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


207. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the construction of the 1 km access road from Lukulu Boma to the harbour on the Zambezi River would commence;

(b)    who the contractor for the project was;

(c)    what the cost of the project was;

(d)    what the time frame for the completion of the project was; and

(e)    what had caused the delay in commencing the project.

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the construction of the access road to the harbour will commence in the first quarter of 2016. The works will include the construction of a landing bay at the harbour.

Mr Speaker, the name of the contractor is Legendstone Limited and the project will cost K5,123,064.00.

Mr Speaker, the completion period for the remaining works on the project is five months.

Mr Speaker, there has been no delay in this project. Preliminary works commenced in the fourth quarter of 2014. We expect the actual works on the road and the landing bay to continue in the first quarter of 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, preliminary works began in the fourth quarter of 2014, but the hon. Minister is saying that works will commence in the first quarter of 2016. This is just a 1 km stretch of road. If preliminary works began in the fourth quarter of 2014, why are you still saying that works will commence in the first quarter of 2016?

Mr Muntanga: Two years.

Mr Mutelo: What assurance can you give that the landing bay will be constructed?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the assurance is that the contractor has been identified and funding has been provided for. That is enough assurance.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ntundu (Gwembe): Mr Speaker, from the hon. Deputy Minister’s response, there are a number of road projects that have been scheduled for the first quarter of 2016. I realise that the Gwembe/Chipepo Road is one of them. This was mentioned earlier on the Floor of this House.

Sir, when will the hon. Minister provide the House with the document on the road projects to be implemented so that we know how many will commence in the first quarter of 2016?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we have taken note of that request. Since the information is readily available, we shall provide it.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, Mitete will be heavily flooded in the first quarter of 2016. So, how will the road works be undertaken?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mutelo is smiling because we were in that area a few months ago. We are talking about the access road from the Boma to the Zambezi River. Mitete is on the other side of the Mighty Zambezi River.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, from experience, road works usually stall during the rainy season. The contractor is scheduled to be on site in the first quarter of 2016 which, without assumption, is in the rainy season. Will the contractor be present on paper or on the ground, practically?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, he will be on site both on paper and practically.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Whatever that means.


Mr Speaker: We can only see that you are communicating.


Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, this is a small project. Is the Government willing to take it up or not since it is in the Western Province?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, the policy of the Government is to have the actual works contracted to the private sector.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister promised the hon. Member that he would provide a schedule of the road works to be done. I also remember the hon. Minister mentioning on the Floor of this House that the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project had been revised. Will the revised schedule be circulated to the hon. Members of Parliament. If so, when will this be done?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, we request that we be allowed to circulate the said information in the first quarter of 20161 after the Budget for next year has been finalised.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of your Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs on the Audited Accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2013 for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 30th November, 2015.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in performing its duties, was guided by its terms of reference as set out in Standing Orders No. 157(2).  

Mr Speaker, in considering the Report of the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing on the Audited Accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2013, your Committee was constantly mindful of its role of ensuring that councils deliver quality services to local communities in an efficient and effective manner.

Sir, a total of forty local authorities were cited in the hon. Minister’s Report on the Audited Accounts of the Local Authorities for 2013. While there is a reduction in the number of local authorities cited and audit queries from the previous hon. Minister’s report, your Committee is still concerned about the failure by officers in various councils to adhere to the ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left.

Mr Mbewe: ... Local Authorities Financial Regulations of 1992.

Mr Speaker, it is quite disappointing that the guidelines pertaining to the management of public funds are still widely overlooked. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, whose responsibility is to supervise local authorities, to take stern disciplinary action against erring officers in order to ensure that laid-down guidelines and financial regulations are followed.

Sir, your Committee noted, with concern, the problem of inadequate and unqualified staff in councils. This has resulted in wrong procedures in the preparation of financial statements and poor record keeping, among others, being followed. Your Committee strongly urges the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to urgently correct this situation.

Sir, coupled with the problem of low staffing levels and unqualified staff is the transfer of officers from one council to the other. Your Committee noted that apart from the high rate of transfers of controlling officers in the councils, there is also the problem of transferring officers who are facing disciplinary action. This state of affairs has led to problems being transferred from one council to the other. Some of the transfers are carried out by the LGSC without consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Therefore, to ensure effective and efficient management of the councils, your Committee recommends that every promotion, transfer and dismissal be done in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, of major concern to your Committee is the debt owed by councils, especially in relation to statutory obligations. A number of councils, which were cited in the audit report, have not been remitting statutory dues to the various pension authorities. This is highly unacceptable, as this is a statutory requirement that must be adhered to. Therefore, your Committee urges all the councils to ensure that statutory obligations are remitted without fail.

Sir, in conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank all the Town Clerks, Council Secretaries, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and the Office of the Auditor-General for their co-operation during your Committee’s deliberations. Your Committee would also like to thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the services rendered during its work.

Finally, your Committee wishes to express its gratitude to you, Sir, for the guidance given to it during its deliberations.

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

Mr Speaker: Does the seconder wish to speak now or later?

Mrs Mazoka: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to second the Motion currently on the Floor of the House to adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs on the Audited Accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2013.

Sir, this is a very important Motion, and I thank the mover for ably highlighting the salient issues that are contained in your Committee’s report. As I second this Motion, I wish to bring out a few issues.

Mr Speaker, of major concern to your Committee is the debt owed by councils, especially in relation to statutory obligations. A number of councils, which were cited in the audit report, have not been remitting statutory dues to various statutory bodies such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA), and the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF). This is highly unacceptable because statutory requirements must be fulfilled. Your Committee urges local authorities to remit the statutory obligations as soon as they fall due.

Sir, your Committee noted that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is in the process of revising the guidelines for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). This is a welcome development. It is your Committee’s hope that the revised guidelines will help improve the utilisation of the CDF. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the ministry expedites the process in order to minimise delays in the implementation of CDF projects.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has observed, with dismay, the rampant loss of accounting documents by local authorities. Your Committee is of the view that the absence of strongrooms in local authorities has contributed to this situation. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that councils put up strongrooms for the safekeeping of documents. In addition, the provincial local government officers should ensure that councils prioritise the creation of strongrooms.

Sir, some councils cited the eroded revenue base as one of the contributing factors to some audit queries. This was attributed to the sharing ratio of local revenue collected from sources that belong to new councils despite being legally in the hands of the parent councils. New councils are given 90 per cent of the resources in order to capacitate them and quicken the process of their becoming self-sustainable, while parent councils retain 10 per cent for administration works. In view of this, your Committee urges the Government to clarify the policy on the sharing of local revenue between new and parent councils so as to ensure that the parties involved understand the policy well.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I wish to thank you on behalf of the members of your Committee, for allowing us to serve on your Committee. I further wish to thank the members of your Committee for giving me an opportunity to second this important Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor. I also thank the mover and seconder of the Motion.

Sir, councils are supposed to be engines of development. They are supposed to meet the aspirations of the people on a daily basis. They are also supposed to ensure that whatever resources come into their possession are properly accounted for and put to good use. Having read your Committee’s report, I wonder what the provincial local government officers do on a daily basis, considering the issues that have come out of the audit report of the Auditor-General. Each province has a provincial local government officer. Under him/her, are the provincial local government auditors. What do they do? What do the auditors, who are employed by the councils, do? Why do they wait for the Auditor-General to  bring to light the problems which the councils are faced with? When you look at the colossal sums of money which have not been accounted for in the councils, you will realise that the problem in the councils is not that of a lack of funds, but that of poor administration. Councils are inefficient because of poor administration and not a lack of funds. The people who manage the councils do not know what they are supposed to do. For instance, I know that a person may have a degree in accounting, but he/she may find it hard to deal with the type of accounting in councils because they have a specific accounting system. I do not know why people have not taken advantage of the existence of Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute. The funding for this institution is inadequate, yet it is very important for training officers in local government finance and administration.

In the past, people did not need a degree in order to work in the councils. Most people were certificate holders who had back-up training from the Local Government Training Institute at Chalimbana, yet there were minimal audit queries. I am speaking from experience because when I was council secretary, most members of staff, including the treasurer, were not degree holders, but certificate holders. There were no missing vouchers and staff ensured that they did what they were supposed to do every time.

Nowadays, officers employed by the Local Government Service Commission are sent to councils without orientation. As a result, they have problems because they learn the job whilst on the job. This has created problems. Worse still, councillors, especially those in the finance committee, are not well-versed in the procedures and financial regulations because of a lack of orientation when they are employed as councillors, particularly when they become members of the finance committee which scrutinises the operations of councils.  

Mr Speaker, I am cognisant of the fact that all hon. Members of Parliament are councillors. However, I do not know what the hon. Members’ input is in these issues. I take it that before the audit report is submitted to Parliament, it is brought before the council. Why do we not help the officials to trace the missing documents? There are audit committees in the councils. Why have we not co-opted competent people to look into some of the missing documents?

Mr Speaker, some councils have no copies of the financial regulations. All the documentation that is supposed to help the officers execute their duties effectively is not there. Consequently, it is business as usual. I put the blame on the provincial local government officers who are supposed to inspect the local authorities. What are they doing? Such bad reports on the performance of councils make sad reading. What do the people who are supposed to inspect the councils do? Are they able to produce reports on the performance of councils? Councils are supposed to discharge functions as provided for in the Local Government Act. However, the only services that most councils provide are the payment of salaries and writing minutes for councillors. They do not provide any other service to the communities which they are supposed to serve. For example, most of the money from the Local Government Equalisation Fund goes towards the payment of salaries. Is this what the fund is meant for? What are the communities benefiting from the fund?

Council officers take advantage of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Officers are of the view that the CDF should only be utilised to provide services to the people. Councils are there to serve communities. If councils are failing to perform, why create them? So, it is important that the performance of councils is monitored.

Mr Speaker, failure to remit statutory contributions to institutions like the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF) is punishment to retirees. When retirees follow up the payment of their terminal benefits with LASF, they find that there is no money. With the establishment of the Local Government Equalisation Fund, why can we not take stock of how much each council is supposed to remit, deduct it at source and pay directly to the statutory institutions? What happens is that when councils get the funds, they award themselves ‘bonuses’ through workshops. Why should it take Parliament to remind them that it is their responsibility to remit the statutory contributions? So, funds should be deducted at source.

Mr Speaker, I would like to suggest to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, whose ministry is responsible for the disbursement of the funds, to deduct the statutory contributions at source and remit to the statutory institutions. Otherwise, we are also contributing to the ‘killing’ of these institutions.

Mr Speaker, sometimes, it is unfair to blame the councils for the non-remittance of funds because they are over burdened. For example, just this week, seven officers have been transferred from Mpongwe District Council. This means that we need seven new officers to replace them. This being the case, the officers have to be paid settling-in allowances. The council is under pressure to pay settling-in allowances and salaries for Division IV officers. In order to avert a strike, councils are forced to divert funds that are supposed to be remitted to LASF. Why are there many officers being transferred at the same time? I think that there is something wrong.

Mr Speaker, most of the officers who have been transferred were recently employed by the Local Government Service Commission. Qualifications for certain positions in councils are prescribed in one of the statutory instrument (SI). Why are the qualifications not taken into account at the time of employment? Officers are transferred anyhow. Sometimes, someone has a qualification in administration or engineering, but is employed as a social worker.

The poor execution of functions in the local authorities is attributable to the misplacement of human resource by the Local Government Service Commission. I remember Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo saying that councils were as good as dead when she was Minister of Local Government and Housing. So, what measures have we put in place to resuscitate the local authorities?

Most councils do not have valuation rolls. As a result, their income levels have dwindled. So, it is important that they come up with valuation rolls. It is good that His Excellency the President reduced the grain levy. However, the utilisation of these funds should be monitored.

Sir, there is a lot of dirt in big towns like Lusaka. What are we doing about the heaps of garbage all over Lusaka? How much revenue does the Lusaka City Council generate from property rates? Some big councils are culprits of the non-remittance of statutory contributions. There is a lack of supervision by provincial local government officers. Is it difficult for them to monitor the performance of councils by comparing the services they provide to the communities with the funds that are approved on the Floor of this House?

Mr Speaker, the local authorities are supposed to provide services to the people. We can establish as many local authorities as possible, but what benefits accrue to the people? In most cases, the answer is nothing because the performance of councils is not monitored. The buck stops at the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.
Sir, I like the young man who is the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

He is not a young man, but an hon. Member ...


Mr Livune: He is a youth.

Mr Speaker: ... and hon. Minister for that matter.

Mr Namulambe: Sir, let the youthful hon. Minister, who is also the National Youth Chairperson for our party, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe: ... keep the councils on their toes. Let the people know why councils exist by ensuring that they perform. We should ensure that qualifications for people to serve as councillors are improved. It is the lack of understanding of issues in the council that has led to what we are seeing today. If the calibre of councillors was high, they would be able to detect the problems in the councils before they are audited. The minimum qualifications for council employees should also be raised. Times have changed and we should not hide behind the curtain of human rights.

Mr Speaker, the level of understanding of a councillor should be high. We should not have councillors who second issues that they do not understand. Some officers are transferred or disciplined just because they are hated by some councillors. We should raise the qualifications for councillors so that they add value to the councils.

Sir, councillors are representatives of hon. Members of Parliament at ward level. So, if they cannot understand simple issues, then, why are they there?

Mr Speaker, sometimes, being ‘kind’ to the councils does not build them. Suspend a council if it is not performing. Let us not politicise these issues as what is important is the welfare of the people. If a council is not performing, suspend it. If it does not reform, dissolve it. It is very disheartening to read about councils failing to prepare receipts of payments, find vouchers and pay councillors’ allowances.

Sir, what are we doing to raise revenue for the local authorities? Although we have the Local Government Equalisation Fund, we need to take stock of the councils to look at their strengths and weakness. The equalisation fund should not be uniform because some councils are able to raise revenue while others have no means of raising revenue. When you are distributing grants to councils, make sure that those that are better off receive less. The grant for city councils and municipal councils is higher than that for district councils, yet they have more money. So, more money should be given to district councils.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the mover and seconder of the Motion. I will take a leaf from the mover and be as brief as he was.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: There is only one issue, which I would like to discuss, which has been raised by your Committee. This is the management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Sir, the issues that have been brought out in the report relate to what is generally obtaining in many councils across the country. There are delays in the procurement and release of funds. Some of this is caused by a lack of qualified staff. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has appealed to hon. Members of Parliament to ensure that the procurement process is done as quickly as possible. The delays are caused by the council administrations.

Mr Speaker, for instance, in my council, Kasempa, there is an issue which I have brought to the attention of the hon. Minister, and I know he is looking into it. It has taken almost seven months to procure one item. What can an hon. Member do when the excuse being given for the delay is that the council is seeking authority from the Attorney-General’s Office. However, there is no reference in the CDF guidelines on procurements being referred to the Attorney-General’s Office. I think there is something fishy going on. Why should the procurement of one item take six to seven months?

Mr Speaker, in your Committee’s report, Ndola City Council has raised a similar concern. Page 8 of your Committee’s report talks about the procurement process and late release of funds which have resulted in the lack of disbursement of funds and failure to account for them. This is due to the delay by the Ministry of Finance in releasing funds.

Mr Speaker, I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to revise the CDF guidelines which have been on the drawing board for some time now. His predecessor said that the guidelines would be brought to the House in the last sitting and we hope they will include a clear procurement procedure. Some councils believe that the ministry is supposed to approve projects that are implemented using the CDF. However, there is no provision for that in the guidelines. The guidelines are taken to the hon. Minister for him to countercheck and not to approve the projects. I hope the hon. Minister will look at the revised CDF guidelines urgently.

Sir, I would also like to suggest to the hon. Minister that we should take a leaf from our colleagues in Zimbabwe in regard to the disbursement of CDF. In Zimbabwe, big constituencies that are in rural areas do not get the same amount of CDF as those in urban areas. For example, with all due respect, whereas a constituency like Chawama, which is the smallest constituency in the country, has roads and schools, rural constituencies do not have enough schools, clinics, roads and bridges. Therefore, constituencies should not get the same amount of CDF. The needs of rural constituencies are not the same as those for urban constituencies. So, the hon. Minister should take that into consideration as he looks at the guidelines. He should remember that rural constituencies such as Kasempa, which is the biggest constituency of about 21,000 km² and is bigger than Swaziland and smaller than Malawi by only 1,000 km², cannot get the same amount of CDF as Chawama. I think that is not fair.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to talk about valuation rolls. Councils need valuation rolls, but they do not have adequate funds to come up with them. It may not be possible for rural councils and other councils to raise enough funds to have valuation rolls in place. Maybe, some special funds should be allocated to needy councils so that they can have valuation rolls to enable to raise revenue.

Mr Speaker, the issue of staffing is another concern in most councils in rural areas. There is inadequate qualified staff in rural councils. With that vibrant lady, who is the Chairperson of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), we hope to see change from what has been happening in the past. In the past, staff were transferred regardless of their qualifications. As a result, you had a Director of Works who had no idea of what he/she was supposed to be doing. He/she did not even know how to prepare a bill of quantities (BOQs). When this happens, the materials that are procured are of inferior quality and the communities refuse to accept them.
Sir, the other issue I would like the hon. Minister to look at is in regard to entrusting council staff with responsibility of procuring materials using the CDF. I think we must find a way of doing this properly. Previously, this was done by the community. Now that the procurement of materials has been transferred to the council, it is taking long.  

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Wa mvela, Kampyongo?

Mr Pande: For example, in the North-Western Province, if council officers want to procure materials, they will come all the way to Lusaka instead of procuring them from Solwezi. Sometimes, when they come to procure materials from Lusaka, they spend a week at a lodge and go back with materials of inferior quality. As a result, a lot of money from the CDF is spent on trips. I think the hon. Minister should look into these issues in order to streamline the operations of the CDF. Otherwise, I know that all my hon. Colleagues here want the best to come out of the CDF. For some of us, a lot of projects in our constituencies are implemented using the CDF. The credit does not go to the hon. Member of a particular constituency, but the Government. The people will say that it is the Government that is working.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister should ensure that some of the issues that I have raised are looked into. Councils should stop procuring materials because they waste resources and take long to procure materials. Taking six months to refer the procurement of items to the provincial centre and the Office of the Attorney-General should not be tolerated. I promised that I would be brief.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I will also attempt to be brief. I will begin my debate by supporting your Committee’s report. Having read this report from the first page to the last one, I have observed that it does not give solutions to the problems that have been elucidated herein. With due respect to your Committee, I think it would have done better if permanent solutions to the problems that are in this report were brought out. The most resounding challenge here is that of failure by councils to pay statutory contributions to the three named statutory bodies.

Sir, while that is true, I think that it is also true that most councils fail to pay monthly emoluments or salaries to their employees. One may want to ask how these councils operate. How do the workers manage to wake up in the morning every day to go to work when they are not paid their salaries? One can only imagine that there must be some initiatives that the council officers use to get by. There may be some underhand methods of making ends meet because you cannot go to work for eight months, yet you do not draw a salary.

Mr Speaker, as a legislative Assembly, we are collectively part of the problem that councils are faced with. Why I say so is that some time in the past, we enacted legislation here that protected councils from executing court judgments. I do not know what the thinking behind this was then, but I can only imagine that if this had not happened, most councils would have been insolvent. I can argue that councils are cosmetically alive because if they were left to operate in a corporate manner, they would have either been insolvent and closed or improved. It would be the end of one argument or the other. If they were left to operate as corporate bodies, they would have most likely improved.

Sir, we did the same damage to the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta Pipeline (TAZAMA) when we came up with new legislation that sought not to have judgment executed against defaulting councils. So, the judgment in the TAZAMA matter could not be executed.

Mr Speaker, the corporate world does not work like that because there ought to be a window through which the councils can sue on one hand and be sued on the other. If the council is sued for breaching a contract or defaulting payment, it is an exercise in futility because even if the judgment is in the plaintiff’s favour, it cannot be executed.

Sir, in view of this, how are councils expected to sharpen their operations when they cannot pay salaries, but are lumped with the excess responsibilities of paying councillors’ salaries, which is the most recent budget line that councils have to meet? In some councils, councillors have not been paid allowances because the councils are practically incapacitated.

Mr Speaker, councils can generate revenue through grants from the Local Government Equalisation Fund, licensing, ground and land rates and, market, crop, pole levies, levies and other levies, but they are not sufficient enough to enable the councils to conduct other activities.

Sir, I am sure you will appreciate that a long time ago, there was a fully-fledged department in the council called Liquor and Undertaking before the advent of commercial undertakers. This department was responsible for burials. It was also in charge of lighting and firefighting.

Mr Speaker, I would like to dwell a little on the issue of firefighting because I recall having a conversation with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing where I argued that there is a provision for councils, although I do not know whether this applies to both big and small councils, for twelve fire officers. I stand to be corrected.

Sir, in Mazabuka, there are twelve firemen, but no fire engine. The firemen are paid for doing nothing. When I went to see the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing soon after his appointment, I lamented the challenge of the bad stretch of the main road and that sometimes, trucks are involved in accidents and catch fire. We have also had experiences of buses catching fire and people rushing to the scene only to watch the fire or get some branches to try to quench it. What is the justification of having redundant officers on the establishment when there are no fire engines? This is a reflection of the management style of the current Government. I am sorry, but I have to say things as they are.

Mr Speaker, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left office, the establishment was empty because there were no fire engines. You cannot employ a driver without a vehicle. When I went to lobby for fire engines in Mazabuka, the hon. Minister said that they would try everything possible to get us one and I am still waiting. I am sure that someday, it is going to happen.

Sir, some of the responsibilities of councils include ensuring that there are water utilities. If I am not mistaken, nearly all councils are shareholders in water utility companies such as Southern Water and Sewerage Company Limited (SWASCO), the National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) or Lukanga Water & Sewerage Company Limited. As shareholders in water utility companies, councils should make sure that the companies sharpen up their act and provide water to the residents.

Mr Speaker, councils get their dividends from water utility companies. Most often, the money is used to solve the backlog of problems such as paying the women who sweep the streets, as vending has been legalised. How I wish we could take a leaf from some countries where it is a rare sight to see a piece of paper lying around on the street.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that in some jurisdictions in our neighbouring countries, it is a seldom sight to see litter even in the form of an abandoned piece of paper because the councils have inculcated a certain culture in their people.
Mr Speaker, three weeks ago, you sent me to Kenya, and Nairobi to be specific, and the only vending that I saw as I walked around the central business district of Nairobi was that of …


Mr Nkombo: … rose flowers, but that does not mean that there are no vendors in Kenya. Certain places have been alienated for venders to trade from comfortably. I think it would be helpful for the Patriotic Front Government (PF) and the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Kampyongo, to try to bite the bullet like his sister, the former Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo, attempted to do by creating order in terms of trading on the streets.

Sir, Hon. Prof. Nkandu Luo tried her best to put things in order with full force. We could see how deflated she was when someone who became a victim of his circumstances and was nearly lynched in Chipata said that Zambians had suffered for too long. Therefore, they would be allowed to trade anywhere. I want to congratulate Hon. Prof. Luo for attempting to take that bold decision.         

There is a notorious donchi kubeba market at the foot bridge near Kafue Roundabout. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing will do well, without taking into account political popularity, to restore order in the central business district (CBD) of Lusaka. He can allow people to earn their bread and butter by trading along Lumumba Road and we would support that. One day, Zambia will be like Haiti, and I am sure most of us have read about this country in South America. If we allow this to continue, we shall reach a point where people will put up tuntembas in front of State House and the situation will have gone completely out of control. Much as we appreciate that people need to earn a livelihood, we have a noble duty to ensure that there is order. There are many areas like the Lusaka Museum which tourists would like to visit. However, the amount of disorder resulting from the dislocation of the local Government is quite frightening.

Mr Speaker, I would now like to delve into your Committee’s recommendations. Paragraph 2 on Page 22 of your Committee’s report states:

“Of particular concern to your Committee is the issue of non-remittance of statutory obligations. Your Committee is also concerned about the levels and qualifications of staff in a number of councils.”

Sir, the report does not bring out the issue of unqualified employees in councils, apart from the firemen in Mazabuka who are on holiday because there is no fire engine. This is of major concern. However, let me focus on the issue of the non-remittance of statutory obligations. There is no way councils are going to comply with the legislation on the payment of statutory obligations or payment of suppliers of goods and services when they know that the court judgment will not be executed when they are taken to court. So, on behalf of the many Zambians who are supposed to benefit from the services of the local authorities, we should repeal that legislation so that people can sue the councils when they default because it is difficult to tell whether or not a council cannot genuinely meet its obligations.

However, councils prioritise certain activities, including their personal emoluments and academic advancement. In most councils, staff are allowed to upgrade their academic qualifications. While the money is being used to improve the human resource, statutory contributions and payments to providers of goods and services suffer because councils know that if they default, they can only be given a payment schedule because the suppliers cannot get bailiffs to seize their property in order for them to recover what they are owed. I appeal to the hon. Minister to consider repealing the part of legislation that protects councils from court judgment executions if they are to be called corporate bodies.

Mr Chairperson, I also think that there is a need to quickly operationalise the Markets and Bus Stations Act because it is currently moribund. Passing that piece of legislation was an exercise in futility. I would call this obtaining money by false pretences because we got paid for passing it, but failed to enact it. By operationalising the Markets and Bus Stations Act, the hon. Minister would resolve most of the issues that we are talking about because there would be an orderly manner of collecting levies from markets and bus stations. In view of the vending that has been allowed, people who trade from conventional markets refuse to pay levies because they know that those who trade from the street, for example, in front of Mazabuka Post Office, do not pay levies. In short, that is promoting anarchy. We should consider this matter non-partisan because that is why we passed a law that stipulates that vendors should vend in designated trading areas. Currently, they vend anywhere. If you went outside this House, you would find vendors. So, once we do that, I think we shall resolve that problem.

Sir, finally, I would like to talk about the valuation rolls which are another dormant source of revenue which most councils have failed to establish. However, I am glad to state that in Mazabuka District, we finalised the valuation roll a long time ago and are hopeful that very soon, we shall start earning money from property rates. I urge all hon. Members of Parliament to encourage officers in their councils to do the right thing by making sure that they have valuation rolls in place. Currently, we have a challenge of property owners paying less money to the councils. Therefore, we should establish the valuation rolls and penalise all those who do not abide by the Country and Town – what is it called?


Mr Speaker: Town and Country Planning Act.

Mr Nkombo: You know better, Sir, because of your background. I meant the Town and Country Planning Act.

Mr Speaker, people who construct beautiful structures, but do not pay ground rates should be penalised because they are disregarding the authority that the councils get from the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. That way, the Government will not have to worry about the Local Government Equalisation Fund. So, councils should be innovative enough to come up with activities that will enable them to generate revenue, bearing in mind that they must be audited.

Sir, I thank you for allowing me to debate and I support the report.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, in supporting the report of your Committee, I would like to state that somebody is not doing the right thing. The institutions that we have are there to serve a good purpose and improve the welfare of the people. However, in this country, institutions have become tuntembas. When we occupy certain positions, we are supposed to improve the welfare of the people. That is why we are remunerated. Over the years, most of the staff in councils and most Government agencies are there to serve personal interests and not that of the people that they are supposed to serve. The element of service to the people has completely disappeared. Those of us who are political office holders are told that, “After all, you politicians, come and go.” The moment we leave their offices, they say, “These politicians will leave office.” They use bad language against us.

Mr Speaker, we, the politicians, ‘are fired’ after five years, whereas council officers remain in office. There must be a system in place that will get local authority employees fired for not performing. That way, all of us would be subjected to some form of evaluation so that we are fired if we do not meet the people’s expectations. It is true that politicians come and go. If you go back fifteen years, you will realise that all of us in this House are new. There is no face in this House today that was here fifteen years ago. Membership in Parliament will continue changing while council officials remain in those comfortable positions. So, there must be a way of spewing out the non-performers from the local authority.

Sir, your Committee’s report simply talks about the issue of non-performance by council employees. So, there should be a way of dealing with poor or non-performing officers. We cannot talk about the same thing over and over again while our people suffer the lack of basic services. Councils are the frontline of service delivery for the Government. They are not only closer to the people, but are also a source of socio-economic data. If a donor or investor comes into the country, the first point of call is the council. That is a growth point. Therefore, it must be a centre of excellence. We cannot allow councils to continue under-performing when solutions are available. People cannot continue to suffer the consequences of non-performing councils because of a lack of political will.

Mr Speaker, the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) that is mentioned in your Committee’s report is abused. Honestly, how can we fail to administer K1.4 million which my daughter can do? We have failed to find a solution to the poor administration of the CDF. According to your Committee’s report, this money goes unspent in some councils. At one time, I told a council meeting that we must be ashamed of ourselves. We, the office-bearers, are neither executers nor implementers of the CDF. I was happy that there was an official from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing in that meeting.

Sir, we have been allowed to administer these funds, but council employees are failing us. For instance, it takes a year to build a classroom block because of engaging fake contractors. They take long to build a classroom block, yet they finish building their own houses within three to six months. So, what is so extraordinary about building a classroom block? The new hon. Minister has an enormous task ahead of him. If the hon. Minister has the right political will, he can crack the whip and ensure that councils begin to perform.

Mr Speaker, the ministry approves the budget at the beginning of the year. I have always said that the budget which you approve must be accompanied by a performance contract. If the officers do not meet the threshold, then, they should leave because they are not the only ones who can work in councils. You cannot keep liabilities in councils. Council officers do not perform not because they are not qualified for the job, but simply because of selfishness.

Sir, some of them do not perform because they know that they can get away with it. I know their qualifications because I attended the same school with some of them. How do you explain a situation where someone is able to perform in the bank but, when he moves to the council, he fails to perform? It is because there are no onerous demands for performance. I can tell you that when these people worked in the bank, they performed to expectation, would report for work on time and their accounts were in perfect order. However, the moment they moved to the council, the accounts are full of irregularities. When they leave the council to work in the bank or elsewhere, they are able to perform. This is because the Government has not put in place mechanisms of accountability. The Government has also not focused on individual performance. Instead of us talking about councils in general, we should focus on individuals. The system must cascade to individual performance. Sometimes, there could only be two people performing in an entire council. If 90 per cent of the people are not performing, we blame the council for it. We should not blame the whole council, but individuals.

Mr Speaker, councils are very important to us. When I was growing up in the village, I always looked forward to going to Monze. I thank God for the grain silos in Mongu, although I do not know when they were built. That is one area we learnt how to build a house from. Today, most towns in Zambia have grown beyond the planned parameters. All the towns in this country are surrounded by shanty compounds.

Mr Speaker, the major source of revenue for councils are property rates. So, if a country has a lot of informal structures, the council will not generate enough revenue from property rates. As a result, it will not be able to provide services such as maintaining the towns. Councils can only carry out valuation rolls on properties that are on paper. The majority of the properties in our towns today are not on title. Therefore, they do not qualify to be on valuation rolls. Councils are agents of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and planning authorities, yet they are unplanned themselves.

Sir, according to your Committee’s report, some council offices have no title deeds. In spite of them not having title deeds, they are still building. Councils process documents such as title deeds for people, but they do not have title deeds. So, what moral authority do they have to process title deeds for others when they do not know what a title deed looks like? They are encouraging informality. This country is informal. That is why, like I have said before, people look poor even when they are not.

Mr Speaker, out of interest, I went to the Kalingalinga, Kalikiliki and the area around the Natural Resources Development College (NRDC). From what I saw, all those places can be upgraded. If you provide papers for property owners in all those settlements, you would be shocked that they have all become instant millionaires. Once you have papers for a piece of land, you will find credible buyers. That is good for both the buyer and seller. People have been kept in ‘informality’. So, whatever properties they own are of no value.

Sir, Garden Compound is very near town. So, if the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection gave people papers for their pieces of land, you would see how the people who own land would become instant millionaires. I would rather get title for my little house in Garden Compound and sell it for K150,000 and go to the village a rich man than continue living in town with no money. The person who buys my house will construct a double storey building on the piece of land. So, it is a win-win situation. However, as long as people live on land that has no papers, they will die poor, and we shall keep thinking that they have been cursed. We can change the lives of people by coming up with small initiatives. You know that governance goes beyond management. It is also about enterprise. You must have a sixth sense, which is not common.

Mr Speaker, we have a programme for the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for districts. We need to extend the boundaries of towns so as to capture the so-called informal areas. That way, we can plan for roads. There are good structures being built in the area where this hon. Member comes from (pointing at Hon. Shakafuswa). Unfortunately, because of a lack of planning, some places have no provisions for roads. There is expensive infrastructure, yet there is no provision for service delivery. This is because the Government has not rolled out a template for planning. It should roll out a template for planning in all towns so that when one decides to sell a piece of land, the first thing they should do is go to the council that will make a sketch map for that piece of land. That way, people can sell their pieces of land in an orderly manner. The sketch maps will indicate where a road should be constructed and so on and so forth.

Sir, some people sell land anyhow. Others build anywhere. There are fences of wall being erected anyhow. So, when someone wants to put up a sewer system, they have to bring down the walls and compensate the people who put them up in the first place. That is all because of a lack of planning. You can do this the right way by meeting with the headmen and chiefs. If you want to alienate your land, go to the council to get a sketch map. When that is done, even the price for your piece of land will go up. So, it is a win-win situation.

This country’s economy is largely informal. We cannot continue to run an informal economy. An informal economy is also called a black economy. It is an economy that is not linked to modernity. This is why Zambia seems poor when we have so much potential to be rich. Until people start getting documentation for their assets, they will continue to be poor.

Mr Chairperson, why should a villager who owns 50 ha of land on the outskirts of Lusaka be subjected to queuing up for four bags of subsidised fertiliser? It is simply because the land has no title. If the land was on title, he/she could hive off 5 ha to sell and buy a tractor, fertiliser and other farming requirements. The land that people own can be used as leverage. Zambia’s population is not too big. Therefore, we can easily use the land to make our people prosperous. All the plans I mentioned earlier can be rolled out through the use of land.

Sir, since the urban areas are unplanned, even the countryside is starting to look ugly. This is because the rural areas are also coming up with unplanned urban settlements. This is evident in places like Monze, Mporokoso or Chama. As a child growing up in the village, I used to look forward to seeing the town. In the current scenario, however, what will happen to village children when they come to town and find disorganised settlements? They will go back and turn their villages into disorganised settlements.

Therefore, towns must be examples of excellence and good planning so that the villagers who visit them go back and copy what they have seen in town. At the moment, people in urban areas build anyhow. This problem has now spread to the whole country. Zambia has now become one of the most unplanned countries in the region. The only countries that could be worse than us are war-torn countries like Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Why should a country like Zambia, which has never experienced war, be so disorganised?

 Mr Chairperson, I urge my colleagues to drive from here to Kabwe and see what I am talking about. They should open their car windows in case their vehicles have tinted windows. We cannot allow our people to continue living like that. All that is required is a little funding for the local authorities to sort out this problem of unplanned settlements. In fact, we need to give the Ministry of Local Government and Housing more money because it is closer to the people.

Sir, if the plans I have talked about were rolled out, councils would become viable. The biggest revenue earner for councils are the rates on property. However, that can only happen if more properties have papers. In other words, let the people own land that has papers. Today, young Zambians and many other age groups are failing to find plots to build homes. This is in a country that has flat land and a small population.

Mr Chairperson, we can enact a law that stipulates that every household should own a title deed. If we have 14 million people in this country and there are about three to five people in every household, we would have, at least, 3 million households. It is possible to give, at least, one land title to each household. Those who have the means can have fifteen titles. Every Zambian household deserves to have in their home something called a title deed with a seal.

Sir, we need to remove the people from the yoke of poverty that we have put them in. We should not blame the colonialists for our current circumstances because they had a better plan for this country than us. The problems we are faced with as, a country, are due to poverty of the mind. We have poor thinking.  

Mr Chairperson, the plans I have talked about should not be thought of as dreams. They are doable things that can be achieved in six months. We can upgrade all the unplanned areas in this period. We can easily subdivide Lusaka into sub-municipalities. I have mentioned this at another forum before. We can have Lusaka central, south gate somewhere in Shimabala, north gate in Katuba, east gate somewhere in Chongwe, west gate and so on and so forth. When we do that, we shall take service delivery and planning nearer to the people.

Sir, why do people have to travel all the way from Situmbeko to Lusaka to obtain a small public document? In South Africa, Johannesburg has sub-municipalities such as Randburg and Sandton. Therefore, Lusaka District must be subdivided so that the city remains a catchment area.

Prof. Luo interjected.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, even Kigali is subdivided into municipalities. If the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing wants to go to Kigali, I can accompany him and pay for my travel costs.


Mr Hamududu: He can see how he can actually …

Mr Speaker: You mean you will pay for the hon. Minister?

Mr Hamududu: I will pay for myself and he will pay for himself.


Mr Hamududu: However, if the Government wants to pay for both of us, we shall have to travel in economy class on the plane. It is very unfortunate that leaders want to travel in business class when their people cannot even afford a meal. These are some of the things that we must put austerity measures on. All of us in here must go back to travelling in economy class. Why should we sit in business class when there is so much poverty in our country? Until we deal with the poverty, we cannot enjoy such luxuries. So, we should travel in economy class.


Mr Hamududu: Yes, it must start from here. Sir, if you send me anywhere, please, book me an economy class seat. I have made my declaration because I think what is happening is immoral.

Mr Speaker: The Clerk is here.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, please. I, Highvie Hamududu, hon. Member of Parliament for Bweengwa, cannot travel in business class to South Africa. So, please, remove me from such luxury. I want to see someone else put up their hand and make that declaration.


Mr Chitotela put up his hand.

Mr Hamududu: I can see only one hon. Member.

Mr Speaker, I want to conclude …

Mr Shakafuswa interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, in conclusion, I think these issues are simply indications of poor management and the solution is simple. For example, as leaders, it is not our job to teach public officers how to prepare simple books of accounts. We need to have performance thresholds in all the Government departments. The Public Service is not a university or college. Those who are employed should have already been trained. Therefore, things such as poorly-written reports should not be tolerated.

Sir, I wish to emphasise that all councils must be on title. All that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing needs to do is issue a circular, informing all the councils that they must start the process within six months. After all, it is the councils that start the process of issuing title deeds before the documents are sent to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection from the councils.

Sir, the process of addressing the challenges in the performance of councils must have a time frame. The ministry should not just say it will address these matters. It needs to be definitive on when these issues will be addressed. For goodness sake, why should we have outdated valuation rolls, non-preparation of financial statements and unspent funds? If the people employed in the council cannot perform such basic functions, why are they in those jobs?

Mr Chairperson, at one time, I visited my village in Bweengwa, Monze District. When I got there, I had a meeting with the people and the council secretary was in attendance. I informed the people that the classroom block they were seeing was being built using the CDF. The money had been approved and was in an account at the Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO) branch near the post office. I pointed at the council secretary and said, “This man is failing to deliver.” I chastised him in front of the people. I also told the people that he was letting us down. As hon. Members, those are the issues we must not tolerate.

Sir, I, therefore, urge my friend, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, to have a time frame for achieving that plan. He should shape up or ship out. There are many Zambians on the streets who can perform. People need jobs and investors want land. You cannot even find parking space for trucks in town. If, for example, a certain portion of land was designated for parking trucks, young people can be employed to manage such places. At the moment, people just park anywhere in town. I urge my colleagues to go and see what happens in town at night. There is a simple solution to such matters.

Mr Muntanga: Even in Monze.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, the problem is everywhere. People park anyhow. As I have stated, a 2 ha piece of land can be allocated on the highway out of town so that young people can put up a facility for parking vehicles and earn money from parking fees. This country has many avenues of employment creation. Let us be creative and innovative. We cannot let our people continue to suffer.

Sir, the new hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has an opportunity to deal with many vices in the local authorities. In fact, he can save us the trouble of having to deal with the same issues in your Committee’s next report. I do not want us to talk about the lack of title deeds, misapplication of grants and unspent money again. If local authorities are failing to spend money, how can the hon. Minister walk with his head high and claim to be normal?


Mr Hamududu: Our people want services.

Sir, with these few words, I thank you.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank the mover and seconder of the Motion. The local authorities are the nerve centre of the Central Government. Therefore, they should be the starting point …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Muchima: … for decentralisation. I have listened to my colleagues who debated before me, and all of them have complained about the performance of councils. This means that the problem is widespread. If the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing wants to do a good job, there should be performance audits for councils. Performance auditing means following the trail from the starting point up to the end so that you trace where the problem is. The hon. Minister should find out whether the problem is at the ministry or local authorities. He has to determine whether all councils are the same or different and, if they are different, why.


Certainly, you cannot compare Lusaka City Council with Ikeleng’i District Council. The calibre of councillors at the Lusaka City Council is high. The Town Clerk cannot play around because of the calibre of councillors, like the Lubindas of today, at that council. When you go to the council in Ikeleng’i and look at the calibre of councillors, my Lord, …

Mr Pande: The Muchimas.

Mr Muchima: The Muchimas are isolated and live …

Mr Speaker: Now, you are debating yourself.

Mr Muchima: I withdraw that statement, Sir. I was just giving an example.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that we should move to another level. Councils use taxpayers’ money. So, they are supposed to add value to the country. However, we have had Government after Government, but have not seen the value of councils. When an hon. Member of Parliament wants to add value to a council, he is fought. The reason is very simple. Council officials are appointed on political lines. Council secretaries help in the management of elections. As such, they want to appease the hon. Minister and the political party in power instead of being answerable to the people.

Mr Speaker, councils are supposed to be answerable to the people on the ground for they are their masters, but we have made them answerable to the hon. Minister. Local Government officers at provincial headquarters have heaps of guidelines which change every day. This way of doing things should change. Hon. Members of Parliament are councillors. As councillors, hon. Members of Parliament are the bridge between councils and Parliament, including you, hon. Minister. However, that is not the case.

Mr Speaker, when you are from the Opposition, you are a hindrance or enemy of the councils. All those guidelines are meant to hinder the performance of hon. Members of Parliament. Like someone said here, hon. Minister, you are still young and fresh. So, bring in fresh ideas. Let us try to change the way things are done. I would ask those in authority to allow you, hon. Minister, to go to Britain or South Africa and see how councils operate there. You can be there for, at least, a week and learn how to run councils. Maybe, you can come and change the mindset of your officials here in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, we have talked about the allowances for councillors. Some councils have no capacity to pay allowances, yet we see council secretaries travelling to Lusaka every day. We are told that they are called by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) or to perform other Government functions. The people who invite the council secretaries do not send money for their transport and per diem. They use money from the council to make those trips. Hon. Minister, issue a circular with immediate effect so that if the ECZ invites council secretaries, it should send money or reimburse the council upon return if they use money from the council. As it is, the Local Government Equalisation Fund is being misused because that’s the money they use for their travel every now and then. Council secretaries are never in their offices due to the frequent trips. They are forever in Lusaka. What they come to do here, nobody knows. We are planning for elections every now and then. Let the money come from the elections office and from whoever is inviting them to come to Lusaka. They should not tamper with the money which is supposed to build a bridge or put up a roof.

Mr Speaker, when we complain about the lack of money for development projects here, we are told to use the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which the Government has not provided. Where is the CDF for 2015 and 2014? When we say a roof has been blown off, we are always told to use the CDF. When we ask you to increase the CDF, you say that the Government is unable to do so, yet you refer to its use all the time CDF. Where is it? Increase the amount of CDF and let its disbursement be consistent. Allow us to use the CDF to emergencies in our constituencies. However, you have delayed the disbursement of the CDF. Today is 2nd December, 2015. We are left with twenty-eight days before we enter another year, yet the CDF is nowhere to be seen. Hon. Minister, where is your effectiveness?

Mr Milambo: Where is the money?

Mr Ndalamei: They are a broke Government.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, according to the CDF guidelines, some contracts are supposed to be exclusively for local people. However, you have brought in conditions that make it difficult for local people to access certain contracts or supply materials for projects. You advertise for contractors to the whole country when there are local contractors. We see contractors from Kitwe or Livingstone travel all the way to Ikeleng’i to build a 1x2 classroom block.

Mr Mbewe: Mm!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, this means that the contractors have connections with council officials. Decentralisation means power to the people. Let us award contracts for projects in Ikeleng’i to local contractors because we have builders and carpenters who were trained at Kaleni Mission School in Ikeleng’i which was built before most of us here were born. The mission school is still there. In the past, there were no guidelines from anywhere. We have a situation where an item, which is supposed to cost a small amount, costs more due to tender issues and what have you. That is a conduit for theft. People steal through the same procedures. We see envelopes exchanging hands. Thieving takes place through people trying to get contracts. Prices are exaggerated and people are protected by the guidelines and tender procedures.

Mr Speaker, give us power to do what pleases us at local level. The CDF is supposed to empower the local people in Ikeleng’i. There are councillors who should decide on who should be awarded contracts and why. I have never seen minutes of council meetings sent to Solwezi or Lusaka and replies on the issues raised during council motions. The minutes are written as a formality and stored away. Nobody looks at them thereafter. Hon. Minister, as mentioned by Hon. Nkombo, for us to increase the tax base, there is a need to have order in the local authorities. People make a lot of money in this country through tuntembas and what have you, but there is no order.
Sir, who is in charge of the Intercity Bus Terminus? It is the cadres. In the past, it was the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) cadres but, today, it is the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres.

Mr Pande: Tomorrow, it will be the UPND.

Mr Muchima: Tomorrow, it will be another group of cadres. This trend should stop. Remove the cadres from the bus station because they are harassing travellers. Why should they have more power than you, hon. Minister? Do you cherish that situation? Bus stations are built using taxpayers’ money. So they are for everyone who is travelling. As for you, hon. Minister, you can drive or fly directly to wherever you are going, but the majority of people have to go through the bus stations. People are harassed whenever they use the Intercity Bus Terminus. The cost of travelling is becoming too high because of the indiscipline at the bus stations. If there was order, Lusaka City Council would be collecting a lot of revenue from the bus station, but most of the money goes into people’s pockets.

Mr Speaker, at Soweto Market, K5 million goes into circulation every day. I have some business at that market. So, I know what goes on there. I know the amount of money that goes into circulation from that market every day but, because there is no order, there is political hooliganism there. The council cannot collect levies. We use the cadres for political expediency instead of collecting revenue to provide services to the people. Councils collect land rates, yet they cannot provide garbage bins to households. That is why I have asked the hon. Minister to go to Britain or South Africa to see how councils are run there.

A person like me who comes from Ikeleng’i does not appreciate the relevance of a council. When council workers are paid, I feel as though the money is going to waste because I do not see what they do. Bridges are washed away and roofs blown off every now and then. We fight with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Vice-President’s Office all the time over small issues which the council is supposed to attend to. For some problems, we are supposed to use the CDF and attend to them quickly. It can only be power to the people when they are able to make decisions.

Mr Speaker, I am not saying that cadres should not be appointed to certain positions, but that they should be qualified people who understand issues. The local people must be considered for certain positions before importing people from other places.  The locals must not be sidelined.

Mr Speaker, in most cases, councils are rubber stamps because the calibre of most councillors is too low. They do not understand most of the responsibilities they have been tasked with. They are asked to endorse decisions. This should come to an end.

Mr Speaker, service charges for plots must translate into good service delivery as can be seen in a certain area in Lusaka East which is well serviced. I do not want to go into the details of this area, but this is the standard we would like to see everywhere.

Hon. UPND Member: Just mention it!
Mr Muchima: It is State Lodge. This is the standard we want for the service charges that we pay. Each settlement must have a road and power line. The surroundings must be cleared, but this is not the case in most councils. People pay service charges, but the councils do nothing.

Mr Speaker, we should consider relocating the people of Chibolya and Chaisa that are closer to the city centre and sell the plots in order to beautify the city. We should get into a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement to find an area like the one you are trying to find for miners who are being retrenched and build houses for them. The sale of the plots in Chibolya and Chaisa can generate revenue for the Government. Currently, the town centre is surrounded by compounds.  

Mr Speaker, the standard of infrastructure that is put up in the rural parts of the country using the CDF is too low. We should have value for money. However, the problem is that nobody seems to care. We seem to pay people indirectly for helping us politically.

Sir, we always say that there is a lot of corruption in councils. Why is this so? I am happy that your Committee’s report has brought out a lot of malpractices and anomalies.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is young and, the world is always biased towards young blood. He needs to prove that he can change things. I will be shocked if he will stand there and try to defend the wrongs that have been pointed out. His coming into office should make a difference because youths are associated with innovation and brilliance. We want him to change the way councils operate. We want him to change the behaviour in markets and bus stops where most Zambians are being harassed.

Mr Speaker, the value of the council should be appreciated. Why do we have councils in place? In Parliament, we represent the electorate. Let the councils also provide services to the people.

Mr Speaker, all the constituencies are given the same amount of CDF. There are road works everywhere in Lusaka. In Ikeleng’i, a mere bridge or a roof for K74,000 cannot be worked on, but you are giving equal amounts of CDF. I was glad when the hon. Minister of Finance said, at one time, that some variations would be made. I have been waiting for this to be effected. However, we are now approaching the close of the year, but I have not seen this variation in the 2016 Budget that we are discussing.

Mr Speaker, the poorest councils like Muyombe, Mafinga, Ikeleng’i, Chama, Shang’ombo and Mitete should receive more CDF. Councils like Lusaka City, have various sources of revenue. If anything, poor councils depend on the CDF.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Shibuyunji.

Mr Muchima: Yes. I know about Shibuyunji.

Mr Muchima: I urge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance whether he listened to what hon. Muchima said.

Mr Speaker: He is here.


Mr Muchima: He should remind him about what he had promised. He should change things before we approve this Budget. We shall say, “Halleluiah, Hon. Kampyongo is now a new Minister.” However, knowing Hon. Kampyongo as much as I do, he will stand up to defend wrong things.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, I do not think ...

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I withdraw my remarks.

Mr Speaker: Yes. It is not fair to accuse him in that fashion.

Mr Muchima: I suspect that he will do so, Sir.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to admit that there is a problem somewhere for all these hon. Members of Parliament to complain in the same fashion. When the PF was in the Opposition, it used to talk like this. Therefore, it should make a difference now that it is in power. Anyway, they should wait until there is a change of Government. Then, there will be a real difference.


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to support the report of your Committee. In doing so, I would like to emphasise a point which has been raised by the hon. Members of Parliament that development can only be seen through proper service delivery by local authorities because they are the ones closest to the people. If we ensure that services are delivered to the people effectively and efficiently, we will see change come to this country.

Mr Speaker, we have spoken about decentralisation over and over again, but we resist it because we feel that if we gave power to the local authorities, we would have no power. On the contrary, we would gain something in return. When decentralisation is implemented, councils will be able to generate more revenue. For example, we can have all the car owners in Chibombo District ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

May I have order on both the left and right.

Mr Shakafuswa: ... pay motor vehicle tax through Chibombo District Council so that the council can get a commission from the money raised. Let us give local authorities leverage to raise money by being State agents. This way, local authorities will be able to generate revenue. We have talked about local authorities not being able pay statutory obligations and provide many other services. I think that the Government should find ways and means of empowering the councils.

Mr Speaker, there is one other important issue I would like to talk about concerning councils. I have noticed that many of our relatives go to clinics and hospitals ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, there are too many conversations, thus making it very difficult for me to follow the debate. You have a choice to converse outside.

Continue, hon. Member for Katuba.

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, many people go to the hospital because they are not feeling okay. However, when the doctors conduct tests on them, they are told that there is nothing wrong with them. Is there an epidemic which we are not aware of? What is going on? Hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, it is within your ambit to find out why this is happening. Today, health departments in local councils do not work as they should. I have seen a situation where an animal fell sick and the owners gave it antibiotics to try to save it. Before the antibiotics could work, the animal died and the carcass dressed for the market. The antibiotics were still active in that carcass. So, people who are not sick, and do not need antibiotics consume antibiotics through the meat that is sold at the markets. The councils are not regulating the people who are selling chickens. We do not know what the producers of the chickens are adding to their feed and what medications they are giving them. In order to prevent mortalities, some poultry farmers inject their chickens with antibiotics. As a result, people consume antibiotics unknowingly every day. I am not a medical doctor, but I can make assumptions. We have reached a level where some antibiotics cannot work in humans because they have developed some resistance to them. We should have recourse to medical opinion. This can be contained at local level. The Government should employ the right staff in councils because that is going to be a good investment. This will reduce on the medical expenses incurred by the Government and for service delivery so that people can be healthier. Some chickens are ready for consumption in three weeks. When they are brought to the market in the morning, they look big, but they shrink by evening. What boosters are the chickens being given? Are the boosters ...


Mr Shakafuswa: What I am talking about is a reality.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: I think that now you are scared. So, you will stop eating meat and chickens.

Mr Speaker, our friends, the Chinese, bring big chickens to the market in the morning, but the chickens shrink by evening. The Zambians who sell chickens will tell you not to buy chickens from the Chinese.

Hon. Members: What about Hybrid Poultry Farm Zambia Ltd?

Mr Shakafuswa: Chickens from Hybrid Poultry Farm Zambia Ltd are safe for consumption. By 1500 hours, the chickens from the Chinese shrink to the normal size. Are you sure we are giving Zambians the right food? I know that some hon. Ministers like Hon. Mwale like Chinese chickens. My brother, very soon, ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, withdraw those remarks.

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, I withdraw the remarks.

We should invest more in our councils so that we can have the expertise to deal with such issues. We have committed ourselves to implementing decentralisation so that we can take services to the people. Sometimes, we feel that we do not have the resources to provide services. Other times, we contract loans which do not have a bearing on the people.

Mr Speaker, I travelled to Uganda with Hon. Dora Siliya at one time. She was my partner in Uganda.

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Shakafuswa: We found out that Uganda got a loan from the World Bank and used the money to get people from shanties to sell their plots to business entities at market value. As a result, Uganda has been transformed. Where there used to be shanties, there are cities. As Hon. Hamududu said, the Government should give the people in shanty compounds real value for their plots by encouraging them to move elsewhere. When that happens, they can move to Katuba. They can buy, maybe, a 5 acre piece of land for half the value of the land they would have sold. They will be able to farm and live better lives than the lives they led in town. This issue needs Government intervention. Your Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning should plan for such things. How can we make our people live better lives? How can we make them healthier? The Ministry of Development Planning is supposed to supervise the other ministries in this regard. It is supposed to check whether the other ministries are on course and whether they are meeting their obligations. If they are not, the Ministry of Development Planning is supposed to find out what has gone wrong in the ministries. The Government has got all the instruments needed to create change at its fingertips. The Government makes good pronouncements. However, it should also walk the talk. We are capable of doing the right things at the right time.

Mr Speaker, there is a problem relating to the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing has come up with stringent CDF guidelines. Previously, I would wake up and say that I want to build a school in my constituency using the CDF, and I would hire a retired contractor. The Ministry of Local Government and Housing would only ask for a quotation from the contractor. Most of the buildings that were built then are still standing to date. Now, the ministry is saying that the contractor needs to have a grade seven certification from the National Council for Construction (NCC). We could build a school with community participation with K50,000. Now, it costs K250,000 to construct the same type of school because of the inefficiency of municipalities. We know that we can negotiate with a local bricklayer to help us build a structure at a cheaper cost, but the new CDF guidelines stipulate that we have to advertise projects. The guidelines have made it expensive for us to put up infrastructure using the CDF. It takes about three months for the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to award a contract. Further, since the Government cannot pay the contractor the whole amount, he will take six or eight months to mobilise. All this time, the money will be lying in the account only for the Government to tell us that because we have outstanding balances, we will not be given the 2015 Constituency Development Fund CDF.  


Mr Shakafuswa: When line ministries have balances, the Ministry of Finance allocates additional money for other projects. However, we are told that councils cannot be given additional money for the delivery of services because of the outstanding balances. In most areas, people have only benefited from the CDF. Most projects in my constituency, Katuba, have been undertaken using the CDF.

Mr Mufalali: It is the same everywhere!

Mr Shakafuswa: Apart from the electrification of Kalile, all the projects were undertaken using the CDF. However, I am now constrained because of your guidelines. My appeal is that as you revise the guidelines for the CDF, you should come up with an easier way of delivering services to the people.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: You have brought inefficiency and corruption. Communities used to participate in the procurement process. They used to bring quotations for approval and payments. Now, you have introduced the procurement committee, which is a cost on its own.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: We could buy materials from the source. Six metres of a rib channel used to cost K180,000. When a contractor goes to buy the same size rib channel, he will say that he bought it at K380,000. This money can be of service to the people. So, through your ingenuity, you have brought inefficiency. Resources are lost at the expense of the people who need them.

In reviewing the CDF guidelines, consider taking the management of projects back to the people. There are some political connotations in not letting the Member of Parliament and councillors be in-charge. They can also be in-charge if you teach them to be responsible. If they misuse that authority, the law will visit them.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Have them arrested. We want to use the CDF to meet the needs of the poorest of the poor. We need change.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Milambo: You are debating very well.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, as Hon. Hamududu said, we have made it difficult for council officers to be answerable to the council. At the moment, they are answerable to the Local Government Service Commission. As a result, we have created monsters. Previously, erring officers were disciplined at local level. If an officer did something wrong, he/she was dealt with there and then.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: In most ministries, when an officer errs, he/she is transferred to another ministry. That way, you transfer burdens. At local level, however, we were able to take disciplinary measures to stop the misuse of resources or the non-performance of officers.

As you review the guidelines and the Local Government Act, give the powers to discipline erring officers back to the councils. There are officers who cannot be supervised by councillors simply because they do not want to. As a result, the people are suffering because of the delayed delivery of services. Do you think that the people will blame the Member of Parliament for the non-delivery of services? When services are not delivered, the people blame the Government for it.
Mr Speaker, this can be a win-win partnership.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: This win-win partnership has to be enhanced.

Hon. Muchima mentioned one issue that the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is aware of and which I have discussed with one of the senior hon. Ministers. The Markets and Bus Stations Act has to be enacted to the letter. I am happy that Hon. Gary Nkombo commended one sister of mine who had attempted to employ the Act to the letter. I think we should revisit that decision because by now, we should have the political will to do it. You need to go back and toe that line.

Mr Speaker, you should see the kind of money the thugs at bus stations make which, perhaps, is shared with these ‘guys’.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, who are you referring to us as thugs?

Mr Shakafuswa: They share the money with the people in authority.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: These people make about K30,000 per day in collections, especially at the Intercity Bus Terminus and other bus stations in town. This is money which is supposed to be collected by local councils.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hon. Lubinda was talking. Maybe, he is one of the beneficiaries.


Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, can you withdraw that statement?

Mr Shakafuswa: I withdraw it, Sir.

Mr Speaker: It is a very serious accusation.

Mr Shakafuswa: I withdraw it. Hon. Lubinda, I was joking.

Mr Shakafuswa: The problem is that you do not take jokes nowadays.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, let us be careful with the kind of statements that we make.

Mr Shakafuswa: I sincerely apologise to Hon. Lubinda for that remark and ….

Mr Speaker: This is a public forum.

Mr Shakafuswa: … I withdraw it unconditionally.

Mr Speaker: This is a public forum and we are broadcasting across the length and breadth of the country.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Shakafuswa: Hon. Lubinda, I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me.

All I was saying is that we should be aware of the areas we can raise revenue from. The people who pocket the money have not invested anything in the bus stations and markets. The money can be channelled towards service delivery. In my view, you can win this battle by disbanding most of the groups.

All that remains to be established is the fundraising aspect. Who are they fundraising for? Are they fundraising for the party? If so, what is the Secretary-General of the party saying and what is the money being used for? This money, which is fraudulently obtained, is supposed to be channelled to the Government. One day, someone will be made accountable for this money.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make some comments on the Motion ably moved by Hon. Mbewe and seconded by Hon. Mazoka to adopt the Report of the Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs Affairs, on the audited accounts of Local Authorities for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2013.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank Hon. Namulambe, Hon. Kabinga Pande, Hon. Nkombo, Hon. Hamududu, Hon. Muchima and Hon. Shakafuswa for their contributions to the debate on the Motion. The Chairperson of your Committee raised a number of issues. However, I know that hon. Members have taken time to go through the report and have noted that the controlling officer from my ministry, the Permanent Secretary, and his team gave adequate responses to some of the issues that were raised. However, I will add on to what he said as I respond to some of the issues that have been raised by the hon. Members.
Sir, the Chairperson of your Committee cited a number of issues, one of which was the failure by council officers to adhere to the laid-down financial guidelines. As a ministry, we have taken note of the this and are putting measures in place to ensure that measures are put in place through capacity building in the officers that will be sent to manage the councils as we decentralise the functions of governance. Further, we are also appealing to hon. Members of Parliament, as they are part of the Local Government system, to play a role by ensuring that there is accountability at all times.

Mr Speaker, the issue of unqualified staff was also raised and has been acknowledged. At the moment, the Local Government Service Commission and the Public Service Management Division are conducting a comprehensive staff audit to ensure that councils are given qualified manpower with the required competences to manage the portfolios that will be assigned to them. We are dealing with this matter to ensure that the process of decentralisation is not hampered.

Sir, with regard to the transfer of staff, we have requested the Local Government Service Commission to work hand in hand with the controlling officer at the ministry and his management team to ensure that staff movement is done in tandem so that the ‘left hand knows what the right hand is doing’.

Mr Speaker, one of the critical issues raised by the Chairperson of your Committee is the failure by councils to pay statutory obligations to various institutions. This is a challenge. To solve this problem, we have started by sensitising the principal officers and management staff. I know that the Local Government had a forum two weeks ago that brought together town clerks, council secretaries and district commissioners. In addition, institutions such as the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA) were invited to share information with the officers to make them appreciate the need to pay statutory obligations and how they should work with these institutions where they have challenges to make sure that they do not default and lag behind. The seconder of the Motion also talked about the need to pay statutory obligations.

Sir, I indicated to the House when I delivered the policy statement for my ministry that I was going to present the proposed guidelines to the House on the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). I know that you have given me a spot tomorrow to circulate the guidelines so that hon. Members of Parliament can be given an opportunity to scrutinise them and make comments and we come up with a consolidated report by next week and refine the guidelines. As hon. Member of Parliament, I have my own opinions on certain issues that are in the guidelines, but I want us to collectively agree on certain matters such as the composition of the CDF Committee. The committee has tried to increase the scope of projects that should be funded from the CDF. The proposed guidelines will be circulated tomorrow and we would like to have submissions before the end of next week so that my ministry can have ample time to consolidate the document.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the seconder of the Motion also talked about the issue of the loss of important accounting documents and that of most councils not having storage facilities such as strongrooms. In response to this issue, the controlling officer for the ministry indicated that councils will be committed to applying some of the funds coming from the Local Government Equalisation Fund for capital projects. They can use some funds to put up storage facilities so that we do not have the excuse of officers misplacing documents.

Sir, there is also the issue of sharing revenue between main councils and councils that are being hived off. For example, the hiving off of Shiwang’andu from Chinsali has been a challenge. Going forward, we shall try to harmonise issues. I know that one of the things that is done when separating is to share movable assets and a few other assets, but the revenue that has to help the new council to start afresh is the major challenge. We are trying to see how we can solve that problem.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Namulambe asked about the role of provincial local government officers in supervising principle officers. Provincial local government officers are the representatives of the controlling officers at provincial level and they need to pull up their socks to ensure that they supervise principal officers so that they can correct them when they make mistakes instead of waiting for your Committee from Parliament to go and identify these challenges.

Sir, he also talked about the Chalimbana Local Government Training Institute. That is a very important institution which we are trying to capacitate by providing infrastructure. We are lucky that there are co-operating partners, such as the German Government, that have come on board to try to finance the institution. This is the best time because we are talking about capacitating councils by having qualified personnel. Recently, I launched a modern dormitory which has been constructed to provide an environment that is suitable for adult learners.

Mr Speaker, an issue was raised on the payment of salaries from the Local Government Equalisation Fund. As things stand, it is illegal to apportion money from the Local Government Equalisation Fund. Very soon, I will present a Bill to amend part of the Act so that we can allow funds from the Local Government Equalisation Fund to be used to pay salaries. As it is, there is no provision for this but, because this fund is meant to build capacity and ensure that councils start operating sustainably, I will bring a Bill to Parliament which hon. Members of Parliament should support.

The hon. Members also talked about contributions to the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF). This has been a challenge in the past, but we have negotiated with the Ministry of Finance to start deducting this money.

Sir, the issues that Hon. Pande raised regarding the CDF and procurement process are going to be addressed. When the guidelines are brought here, we shall have an opportunity to address them.   

Mr Speaker, the issue of valuation rolls is equally important. For councils that have no capacity to engage surveyors to develop valuation rolls, we have requested the Valuation Department under my ministry, which also performs this responsibility, to see how it can help councils develop valuation rolls through concessions. Starting next year, it will help councils that are in need. Councils that have the capacity to develop valuation rolls will be encouraged to do so.

Sir, Hon. Nkombo talked about the salaries of staff in councils. It must be noted that even before the creation of the Local Government Equalisation Fund, the payment of salaries for officers in divisions I to III had already been taken up by the Government. So, the payment of salaries has not been a challenge. Councils have been given room to generate revenue for ward development activities because that is their responsibility.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Nkombo also talked about the recruitment of fire officers. It must be appreciated that these people are not only trained to fight fire, but are also rescue officers. So, they do not just deal with firefighting. For instance, they are there to help when there is a road traffic accident or when people are trapped in toilets.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, as the Government, we are committed to the provision of rescue services. The ministry has made progress with the procurement of fire equipment for firefighters.

Sir, Hon. Muchima raised a number of issues, but I will pick one that I shall combine with what Hon. Nkombo talked about. This is the issue of the street vendors. No one takes pleasure in seeing people trading in certain environments. As the ministry, we are not going to confront the vendors because we know that we are dealing with human beings who need to earn a living. Instead, we shall systematically identify pieces of land where we can put up some sanitary facilities and proper shelters so as to clear people from the street. We are not going to chase them like dogs. We are equally unhappy with the status quo. Every time you go to Lumumba Road, you wonder what would happen if a truck loaded with cargo tipped over. That would be disastrous. So, we are committed to ensuring that we do something about this.  

Mr Speaker, as regards the management of bus stations and markets, this is one issue I am going to face head on. I can assure the hon. Members that I am not one of those people who appease people for nothing. What is legal, is legal. Anyone who commits an illegality must be treated accordingly. So, I do not think it is an issue that we should politicise. This is an issue that I am going to deal with appropriately.

Mr Speaker, I would also like to assure the hon. Members that we shall take up some of the suggestions and make sure that councils start performing to the expectation of the people. These are institutions that are closer to the people who deserve much better services from them.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, on behalf of the members of your Committee, I would like to thank the hon. Minister and all the hon. Members who have debated very well. I would also like to thank those who have not debated, but have contributed silently like the hon. Minister of Finance. I noticed that he nodded whenever a member talked about the CDF.  


Mr Mbewe: Sir, I feel this is an encouragement to your Committee. This has also given me hope that the hon. Minister of Finance might release the CDF before the House rises.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.




VOTE 88 – (Muchinga Province – K50,625,853),  Vote 90 – (Lusaka Province – K60,533,931), Vote 91 – (Copperbelt Province – K68,773,031), Vote 92 – (Central Province – K64,656,749), Vote 93  – (Northern Province  – K63,924,668), Vote 94 – (Western Province – K69,401,741), Vote 95 – (Eastern Province – K61,063,176), Vote 96 – (Luapula Province – K60,771,073), Vote 97 – (North-Western Province – K59,303,719) and Vote 98 – (Southern Province – K80,642,037).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Kasandwe (Bangweulu): Mr Chairperson, as I stated last evening, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has continued to provide development in various parts of the country, especially Luapula Province. It is undisputable that a number of developmental projects have taken place in the province. Yesterday, I stated that out of the many developmental projects that are taking place in the province, the modernisation of Mansa General Hospital will benefit the entire province.

Sir, some hon. Members of Parliament have said that some provinces are ‘heaven on earth’. However, looking at the projects that have taken place in my province, and Bangweulu in particular, it cannot be said to be ‘heaven on earth’.

Mr Chairperson, some of us are excited simply because we are seeing most of the developmental projects for the first time ...
 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: … in many years. For instance, if a man has been married for ten years and has no child, when the wife tells him that she is expecting a child, the man will be excited ...

 Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!

 Mr Kasandwe: … as compared to a man who has been married for the same period and has five children. He will not be as excited because he has experienced fatherhood before. Likewise, for the first time, the PF Government has tried to bring services closer to the people.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasandwe: Mr Chairperson, the PF is not responsible for hon. Members who have chosen not to see the development that is taking place in the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Kasandwe: Sir, yesterday, I said that I have had an opportunity to visit 134 of the 150 constituencies between 2012 and 2014. Therefore, I have seen what is going on in most parts of the country. However, I will limit my debate to Luapula Province.

Mr Chairperson, a number of township roads in the districts are being worked on. The streets have been lit and district hospitals built. Although the PF has successfully implemented a number of developmental projects in the district, there are a few projects that still have to be implemented. For instance, the road, which is very close to my heart although it is not in my constituency, is Kapalala because when this road has been worked on, it will improve the lives of the people in Bangweulu. Kapalala Road connects Ndola and Samfya. Milenge is about 280 km to Mansa and 134 km to Minsundu, Ndola. From Minsundu, Ndola, to Bangweulu and Samfya it is about 160 km. Therefore, as we plan for Luapula Province, this road should be considered because this is an important economic road in the province, as it will reduce the distances that we cover in order to deliver services to the people.


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Kasandwe: Sir, another area that we need to work on is the establishment of a fisheries school in Luapula Province. As debated yesterday, the headquarters for the Department of Fisheries are in Chilanga where there are only a few fish ponds. Luapula Province has been endowed with natural water bodies where the headquarters could be relocated and a hatchery for fingerlings established. These are some of the projects that are supposed to be considered as the province plans ahead. We should also look at the possibility of establishing marine and tourism schools. These are some of the areas where we feel that the hon. Minister for the province could apply himself and ensure that some of the projects are implemented in order to bring services closer to the people and create employment for young people.

 Mr Chairperson, I thank you.   

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula (Nakonde): Mr Chairperson, the people of Muchinga Province are happy with the development that is taking place in the province. It is for this reason that the senior hon. Member of Parliament, Mr Kapeya, said that Muchinga Province is ‘heaven on earth’.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Chair, as the other hon. Member said, the road to Nabwalya Chiombo is being graded and those who are condemning …

 The Chairperson: Order!

 Hon. Sichula, the other time, I heard one hon. Member say add the word “person” to the word “Chair”.


Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that those who are condemning the reference of Muchinga to ‘heaven on earth’, ‘Chair’, have …


Mr Sichula: … acquired plots along the road to Nabwalya. This goes to show that this is an important road that they have also benefitted from.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: So, ‘Chair’, …


Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, that part of the country is “one Zambia, one Nation” because even hon. Members from the Opposition own farms in the area. This means that we are one.

‘Chair’, hon. Members who condemn this Government have about 80 per cent of their relatives settled in Nkanchibiya Resettlement.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: ‘Chair’, it is good that …


Mr Sichula: Sir, it is good that this Government has taken development to that area because it is assisting …

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member who is telling us that his constituency is ‘heaven on earth’ in order to disregard your fatherly guidance and continue referring to you as ‘Chair, Chair, Chair’, almost instigating that I  should come and sit on you.

Is he in order, Sir?


The Chairperson: Order!

How can you sit on me? I would prefer to have somebody else sitting on me.

Can Hon. Sichula take that point of order into consideration.


Mr Sichula: Sir, I am sorry for bringing you into my debate.

Mr Chairperson, the “One Zambia, One Nation” motto is still alive. The people who condemn this Government have settled in that area and are able to transport their produce to the markets using the same road.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: ‘Chair’, …


Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, some hon. Colleagues like to politicise issues.

Sir, let me now come to the issues that have made us appreciate the PF Government, …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was about to talk about the Nakonde/Mbala Road. All the previous governments failed to work on this road, but the PF Government has completed 80 per cent of it.

Mr Sichone: Yes!

Dr Lungu: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, this road will connect Nakonde to the Great Lakes Region and will create opportunities for youths in Nakonde and Mbala. So, people should learn to appreciate. I recall a certain hon. Provincial Minister showing appreciation for the construction of the Bottom Road in the Southern Province by the PF Government but, to my dismay, he changed suddenly during the by-elections.


Mr Sichula: So, ‘Chair’ …


Mr Sichula: So, Mr Chairperson, we should all learn to appreciate.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: Ushitasha, mwana wa ndoshi.

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister promised the people of Nakonde that the contractor for the Nakonde/Mbala Road will also work on the township roads. So, I hope that will be done so that the people can benefit from the roads.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, let me talk about school infrastructure.


Mr Sichula: The people of Nakonde are happy because all the four schools which were earmarked for upgrading into secondary schools have been worked on and it is the only district which has had schools upgraded.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: So, Hon. Livune’s sisters can be employed as teachers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, my concern is mainly on Donald Siwale School. I am appealing to the hon. Minister to ensure that this school is funded so that it can be completed in good time. That way, pupils from distant places can access education.

Sir, water reticulation in Nakonde has been a challenge for some time now. We used to drink unclean water in the past. However, since the PF came into power, ...

Hon. Government Member: There is hope.

Mr Sichula: ... – not hope –, the provision of clean water has improved by 75 per cent. So, we are happy that Nakonde is also becoming ‘heaven on earth’.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, I wish to appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to give us authority to establish a water utility company because Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company (CWSC) has been a letdown to Muchinga Province. To be sincere, districts in Muchinga are the ones that have kept this company alive because they pay the water fees. So, I would like to request the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to facilitate the creation of a provincial water utility company for Muchinga Province.
Sir, since there are no perennial rivers in Nakonde and Isoka, I wish to appeal to the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and CWSC to think outside the box and find ways of harvesting the water that is flowing from Chambeshi River and re-routing it to the districts where the commodity is needed most. Nakonde shares the border with Tanzania. So, if this water is channelled there, we will be able to export some of it to Tanzania and earn foreign exchange.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Sir, that is my appeal to the Government.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichula: Mr Chairperson, Zambia is a unitary nation.

Mr Chairperson, all the health posts allocated to Nakonde District are currently at slab level. We are just waiting for the super structure which we know will be worked on. We also have the district hospital, which is in the last phase of construction. This hospital was opened because the other one could not cater for the growing population. So, the hon. Minister should expedite the construction of this facility and ensure that all the required equipment is supplied. Currently, the equipment being used at the hospital is inadequate. As a province, we also need a referral hospital. So, when you hear us say that there are all these constructions projects in Muchinga Province, do not start raising points of order, asking why the Government is only taking development to Muchinga Province.


Mr Sichula: Sir, we need these facilities in Muchinga Province as much as the other districts and provinces. With these few remarks, ...

Hon. Government Members: Continue.

Mr Sichula: … I support the Vote for Muchinga Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Chairperson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the estimates of expenditure for Muchinga Province. This province is very important to me because I hail from there.


Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, this House is the place to lobby for anything that we want to be done in our constituencies. We should not politicise development. Those who politicise issues of development lose out.


Mr Zimba: It is the fault of hon. Members of Parliament if projects that have been allocated resources in the Budget that is passed in this House are not implemented in their provinces.

Mr Lubinda interjected.


Mr Zimba: I want to challenge my colleagues who have been complaining about the lack of development in their areas. Some people say Muchinga Province is ‘heaven on earth’ because of the development that is taking place there. However, this is because hon. Members of Parliament from Muchinga Province are united.

Mr Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: We have not taken advantage of the fact that our party is in power. Nothing can happen if hon. Members do not make an effort. Despite the country’s financial constraints, development depends on how forceful hon. Members are in demanding for projects. After the National Budget has been passed here, we cannot expect the hon. Minister of Finance to go round the provinces distributing money for projects. That cannot happen. After the Budget has been passed, it is the responsibility of hon. Members to follow up on the release of the money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Tell them!

Mr Livune: Everyone?

Mr Zimba: Therefore, we have to be forceful in demanding for the money to be released.


Mr Zimba: That is how Muchinga Province has seen development. I remember how much pressure the late President Sata used to receive from hon. Members of Parliament from Muchinga Province. They always demanded to see him.

Mr Mulenga: Especially me.

Mr Zimba: President Lungu also receives a lot of pressure from the same group. I know that hon. Members from the Northern Province also went to see the President over development in the province. If we do not make an effort, what are we going to tell the people? People always blame the Government if projects are not implemented. They believe that as the final authority, the President should instruct hon. Ministers to do their job.


Mr Zimba: However, I think that hon. Members of Parliament have to lobby for projects. We should not just sit in Parliament and enjoy tea at break time. That is not enough.


Mr Zimba: So, in Muchinga Province, we …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.


The Chairperson: Order!

A point of order is raised.
Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to raise a point of order. I enjoy listening to the debates of Hon. Zimba. He is one of my favourite debaters in this House. However, is he in order to tell this House that we must all line up at State House to look for development? Is it not the job of every hon. Minister to deliver development according to the Budget in the various provinces? We cannot all queue up at State House to ask for development from President Lungu. In fact, not all of us want to go to State House.

I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

The Chairperson: I think the serious ruling I can make is that the point the hon. Member is advancing is that we have to lobby the Government for development. You do not necessarily need to go to State House, but you can also go to the Ministry of Finance and other arms of Government. So, the hon. Member is in order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, as hon. Members of Parliament from one province, go and sit down and look at the budget for your province (lifting the Yellow Book). Find one Member from your province who is forceful enough to push for projects.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: That is how we should work as representatives of the people.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Landa, bomfwe

Mr Zimba: For the people of Chama North to see that tarmac road …

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: … which, when they look at they think it is oil coming from the ground without anybody having dug the ground, ...


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: ... it was because of the boldness of the hon. Members of Parliament from Muchinga Province. Hon. Mulenga and the Provincial Minister then, Hon. Malozo, were very forceful on the Government. They told the Government, “We want the Chama/Matumbo to be worked on. We promised the people that the road will be constructed.” That is how development comes about.

Mr Lubinda: Yoboya, mwanagwa!

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, I am trying to point out the duty of a representative. In my home, I know I am the one who is supposed to buy mealie meal. If I do not buy the mealie meal, and my wife does not lobby me for it, is it going to come from heaven?

Mr Mvunga: No!

Mr Zimba: She must lobby me for it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Zimba: I know it is my obligation, but if she does not lobby me, I might spend the money on other things.

Mr Mwila: Yes!


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: We need a focused leadership …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: … that can make the Government feel the pressure of our presence here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: I told the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing yesterday that the Chibabe/Lualizi Road needed attention.

Mr Lubinda: Eh!

Mr Zimba: I have been failing to visit that ward because the people shout at me for not having the road worked on. Now, the Minister of Justice has cleared the contract because of my forcefulness.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: As regards the Chama/Chifunda Road, I lobbied my elder brother, the Doctor here (pointing at Hon. Dr Lungu).

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: We want the roads to be worked on.

Dr Lungu: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: People may think that things come on a silver platter simply because we are in the Government. When I visit some offices, people say ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: “He has come, he has come,” but I do not stop until something is done.


Mr Zimba: That is when I come to sit here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: That is what the role of a representative is.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: That is how we have managed to take development to Muchinga.

Mr Mvunga: Mwapulika?

Mr Zimba: It is not miraculous.

Mr Mwamba: It is not through magic.

Mr Zimba: No bridge or road will come from heaven.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: It comes from fellow human beings and we have to interact.

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Take advantage of the Government in office to lobby it for development.
Mr Mwila: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: When are you going to confront them? For us, we confront the Government. The other time, I confronted the hon. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and told him that people from my constituency had called to complain about fertiliser which was as hard as a stone.


Mr Zimba: He said that the fertiliser was okay and that he would talk to the chief. The hon. Deputy Minister talked to the chief in person and the chief is very happy now.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: It takes a representative to lobby the Government for development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: If I see that something is wrong at the time of debating the Budget, I stand up and say we shall not pass the budget until Muchinga is given enough money.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: You can do the same if you think the allocation for your province is not enough. When you are united as leaders, you stand for a common good. We can say, “Hon. Minister of Finance, why have you allocated little money to, maybe, the Ministry of Health. People are going to die.” We can refuse to pass the Budget until the figures are changed. That is how we lobby at provincial level. If you know that the allocations are not enough, you have to stand on the Floor of the House and protest to the hon. Minister of Finance. Now, you want to complain after the Budget has been passed.

Mr Lubinda: Mwanawakwithu!

Mr Zimba: Why did you pass it?


Mr Lubinda: Ba palile!

Mr Zimba: How can we pass the Budget and complain thereafter? I know that the allocation for Muchinga is enough. Let me tell you how we operate in Muchinga.

You can ask the Permanent Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Works and Supply how we used to ‘grill’ him in the Provincial Co-ordinating Committee meetings. We told him to be careful with the way developmental projects were being implemented, and that if he was not, he risked us being voted out of office. We also told him that if that happened, we would make sure that he was out of his ‘chair’.


Mr Zimba: We would also tell him that he was appointed by the President to implement projects and that if he was just sitting in his office, we would also tell the President that he was not capable of performing. This is how we lobby for project implementation. So, the PS knows that hon. Members of Parliament from Muchinga Province are united.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Hon. Malozo Sichone was the Minister for the province then and he was in the forefront of warning the PS.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Zimba: He is the one who lobbied the PS on our behalf and we supported him. The function of the Minister for the province is to lobby the Government for any development that is needed in the province and ensure that the Budget and all the projects are implemented for the hon. Members’ good. If hon. Members let the Ministers for the provinces sit in their offices, take tea and chat, nothing would happen.

Mr Mwale: Nyengo yamara.

Mr Zimba: That is how governments are voted out of office, ayi?


Mr Zimba: They are voted out of office for sitting idly. I do not know whether or not the word idle is parliamentary.

Hon. Government Members: Nyengo yamara!

Mr Chairperson: Order!

Mr Zimba: We do not support such things.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about education infrastructure in Muchinga Province.

Mr Kambwili: Nyengo yamara!

Mr Zimba: There is still a lot of time.


Mr Zimba: I toured Muchinga Province under the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). I saw a lot of projects that are taking place in the province. The Patriotic (PF) found some of the projects when it came into power. The projects were initiated by our colleagues. However, funding was problematic because they initiated more projects than they could finance. So, contractors abandoned the projects. However, when this Government came into power, the zeal to implement them was evident. It was able to resuscitate the projects and finance them again. This time, all the projects are running. For example, there are projects for the construction of two day schools in Mpika, a boarding school in Isoka, Shiwale Boarding School in my constituency, Matumbo Boarding School in Shiwang’andu and a day secondary school in Nakonde which was abandoned, but contractors are back on site. All these projects are running because we are united. Where we see a problem, we work on it.

Mr Chairperson, if we had not lobbied the Governemnt for the universities that people are referring to, nothing would have happened because the hon. Minister of Finance would have thought that the people of Muchinga Province are comfortable. However, we ‘provoked’ him to finance our projects and here we are now with two universities in the province. You have to lobby the Government for projects. This is what you are here for.

Mr Kambwili interjected.

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, another important issue that I would like to talk about is …

The Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, your debate is being interfered with. Hon. Kambwili wants to show that he knows Tumbuka, …


The Chairperson: … but this is not the time for local languages. Let us speak the official language.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Works and Supply can attest to how we have been fighting with him over the Chinsali/Nakonde Road. We even follow him to the Chief Whip’s Office at Parliament and asked to have an audience with him. We asked what was happening with the road because it is a very important road. A lot of revenue is generated from Nakonde and we wonder how such a road can be abandoned. We talk in a way that sometimes our language becomes very bitter, but we do not care.

We want what has been budgeted for here to be given to the people. This money is not ours. We are just representatives of the people. If you think this is our money, you will end up being arrested some day.


Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, this money is for the people. I have lamented the poor state of urban roads in Nakonde for some time. Nakonde collects enough revenue, but the roads in the district are in a pathetic state. People are annoyed that the PF Government is not doing anything about the issue of roads when we have debated it here many times. If people vote against us next year, are we going to say that it is the Opposition which has encouraged them to do so? They will vote against us because we have not done what we are supposed to do for them. We, the hon. Members of Parliament, lobby the Governemnt for all these things to be done. That is why Muchinga is now ‘heaven on earth’. Now, I am lobbying the Government to work on the bridges and the Chama/Matumbo Road. In Chama, there are tarmac roads everywhere because of my ‘provocation’.


Mr Zimba: Sir, at one time, I said that if the Government did not work on the roads in Chama North, I would tell the people of Chama North that this Government is not okay.

Hon. Government Member: Nyengo yamara!

Mr Zimba: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Finance appreciated what I was saying, and now there are tarmac roads all over Chama North. Hon. Members should lobby the Government for development in their provinces. They should sit down with the Permanent Secretary (PS) and hon. Ministers for Provinces to discuss developmental issues in the provinces before it is too late.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: When it time for campaigns, they will not struggle to convince the people because they willhave given them what they want.

Sir, with these few remarks, I support the Vote for Muchinga Province. These estimates of expenditure will help us to continue from where we left in terms of development.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I wish to say that I support the budget for the Office of the President, Central Province.

Sir, Zambia is for all Zambians, and the budget for development should include all Zambians, and not just one portion of the country. I would like to put it on record that I am grateful to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and his Cabinet for bringing development to this country.

Mr Chairperson, I am being tempted to state what developments have taken place in Central Province because some people are saying that there is nothing happening. I will not be selfish by talking about my constituency first. Instead, I will go district by district in Central Province.
Sir, five years ago, I used the112 km Lusaka/Mongu Road to Itezhi-tezhi and it took me five hours to get to Itezhi-tezhi. That road is now being rehabilitated to bituminous standard. All the chiefdoms in Itezhi-tezhi now have mobile communication network. The people can now make phone calls any time. In addition, there is a complete water reticulation system in Itezhi-tezhi. Even Chibolya Compound has piped water. Surely, is that not development brought about by the Patriotic Front (PF)?

Mr Chairperson, over twenty 1x2 classroom blocks have been built using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Itezhi-tezhi. A modern market has been constructed using state-of-the-art equipment. The Itezhi-tezhi hydropower station is about to be commissioned. These are some of the developments that are taking place in Itezhi-tezhi.

In  Mumbwa, township roads are being worked on.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: I heard someone say that nothing was happening there. The PF Government has constructed new offices for the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare. All this is development taking place under the PF Government.


Mr Musonda: There is a newly constructed hospital in Mumbwa.

Mr Chishimba: Tabafishiba ba Chituwo!

Mr Mutale: Tabayako ba mudala!

Mr Musonda: The Government has also facilitated …

Mr Mushanga: Opobali ba mudala?

Mr Chishimba: Tabalipo!

Mr Musonda: … a huge farming concession under Chief Kaindu to Amatheon Agri Zambia that has employed close to 2,000 Zambians. Is that not development in Mumbwa?
Mr Chishimba: Bushe ba MP balifishiba?

Mr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, the Nambala/Munda Road in Mumbwa has been rehabilitated.

Moving on to Chibombo, the PF Government has constructed the first ever local court. Further, a police station is under construction in Chibombo District. A trauma centre is being constructed at Liteta because of the many accidents along the Great North Road.

Mr Chairperson, the upgrading of the Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road to bituminous standard is almost complete. The upgrading of this road, which most us are aware of, started before 2010. Nothing was done about this road until the PF came into power. Further, Kabila School has been electrified.

Mr Chairperson, in Bemba, there is a saying that goes, “Umwana ushenda, …

Mr Mushanga: Atasha wishi ukunwa!


Mr Musonda: This means that if you do not travel, you will think that you are better than the others.  

In Kabwe, the township roads are being worked on. Everyone can see the development. Kabwe Town was an eyesore. There were a lot of big potholes on the roads, but now it is very beautiful. Makululu, which is the biggest compound in the country, now has a secondary school.  

Mr Chairperson, health posts are being constructed in Kabwe. The clinical officer training centre is also being constructed. The hostels for nurses have been rehabilitated. Students’ hostels, a library and lecture rooms have been constructed at Kwame Nkrumah University.

Mr Chairperson, the old bus station in Kabwe is being rehabilitated. In addition, feeder roads are being worked on.

Mr Mushanga: It is ‘heaven on earth’!


Mr Musonda: I know that it is ‘heaven on earth’. The council in Kabwe has bought earth moving equipment like graders using the CDF.

Mr Chairperson, Mahatma Gandhi Clinic in Kabwe has been rehabilitated. The road at the entrance of Kabwe from Lusaka is being expanded. Those of you who go in that direction to your constituencies have seen how the road is being expanded.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mushanga: Under Mushanga and Kapyanga!


Mr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, there is a lot of infrastructure development going on at Mulungushi University, which lies between Kabwe and Kapiri Mposhi. Hostels for students, the library and other offices are being constructed.

In Mkushi, 20 km of township roads have been upgraded to bituminous standard and streetlights have been put up. For the first time, there will soon be a general hospital in Mkushi.

Mr Chishimba: Sure?

Mr Musonda: Yes.

Mr Chishimba: Fyonse ifyo?

Mr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, the feeder roads from town to Chiefs Chitina and Mulungwe have been worked on. A bridge has also been constructed on Chibebwe River to connect the township to Itala Compound.

Mr Chishimba: Well done!

Mr Musonda: In Mutuka Ward, the construction of a school will be completed soon.


Mr Mumba: Inshita ilebutuka!

Mr Musonda: Time is running.


Mr Chansa: Endesheni, mudala!

Mr Musonda: Other projects include the construction of a mortuary at Masansa, 31.2 km of township roads in Serenje, Muchinda Secondary School, a police camp with fifty-six housing units, police station, district hospital and the installation of street lights. In Chitambo, additional infrastructure has been put up at the school of nursing. Mukando Boarding School has been built and the road between Chansa and the mission hospital has been worked on.

Sir, coming to my constituency, Kapiri Mposhi, I may not be able to complete the list of developmental projects due to time. Firstly, I am very indebted to the Government for turning Ngabwe into a district.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: What it entails is that development is being taken to Ngabwe. It used to take us six hours to travel from Kabwe to Ngabwe District, but now I can get there in two-and-a-half hours. Other projects include the construction of houses for police officers, the District Commissioner’s Office, the post office, the police station and I have been assured that very soon we are going to have a bridge over the Kafue River to connect Chiefs Ngabwe and Mukubwe.

Sir, the Kapiri Mposhi Township roads are a marvel. There are street lights and traffic lights at the junction of the Great North Road.

Mr Chishimba: For the first time.

Mr Musonda: There is a modern weigh bridge which generates a lot of revenue. There are modern scanners for the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) at the weigh bridge and school infrastructure and clinics have been constructed using the CDF.

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba: Yambile kwisa?

Mr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, the road from Kabwe via Mulungushi across Lunsemfwa River to Luano, Mansansa, Mukushi and from Masansa to Mupula, which is under the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project is going to be worked on. Currently, a bridge is being constructed on the Lunsemfwa River. There was a pontoon before and there has been no bridge across that river from the time God created the earth. All this is happening under the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mumba: Shoprite!

Mr Musonda: Sir, I am also grateful to the PF Government and the hon. Minister of Agriculture for the introduction of the e-Voucher System which has been ‘received with both hands’ in Kapiri Mposhi.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: So far, 26,000 farmers have benefitted from the system and the people I have spoken to, so far, have said that they are happy with the system. This system will be extended to other parts of the country. Those who are demonising it benefitted from the dubious activities that have since been curtailed. So, they feel they have been deprived of an income.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: The e-Voucher System should be supported.

Mr Chairperson, I want to echo the words of Hon. Zimba who said that we should lobby the Government for development. The mornings are free so that we can go to the Government offices to lobby for support. Not everything will be brought to us in this House. So, it is up to us, hon. Members of Parliament, to lobby for development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Sir, we, in the PF, shall continue to work with the Government and lobby it for development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Chairperson, when this Budget has been approved, I would like to urge the hon. Ministers to expect us at their offices. As backbenchers, we shall knock at their doors. We shall check what has been approved and follow it up. Like Hon. Zimba said, we will make sure that the projects that have been approved are implemented.

Mr Chairperson, with those very few remarks, …

Hon. Members: Continue!

Mr Musonda: … I support this Vote on behalf of Central Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: We are only left with one hon. Member from Lusaka Province to take the Floor. Since I cannot see anybody indicating, we will now move onto Provincial Ministers.

Hon. Provincial Ministers indicated.

The Chairperson: I am the one who should decide who to speak first.


Mr Mwaliteta: Bachimona ba boss!


The Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Chairperson, I want to thank Hon. Chipungu and Hon. Masebo for their contributions to the debate …

Mr Mwila interrupted.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister of Home Affairs!

Mr Mwaliteta: … on this Vote. The hon. Members have raised a lot of important issues. I will, therefore, start by saying that in Lusaka Province, we committed to delivering efficient and effective services. We shall continue to work towards reducing poverty, creating jobs, and making our economy grow in order to achieve sustainable development in line with the Revised Sixth National Development Plan. For 2016, the allocation for Lusaka Province is K60,533,931 …


The Chairperson: Order!

The hon. Deputy Ministers who are seated next to the person debating and conversing loudly might disturb his line of thought. Please, I need silence from you people now. Failure to comply will see you out of the Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Sir, I was saying that the 2016 Budget for Lusaka Province is K60,533,931, as compared to the 2015 Budget which was K78,233,842. The reduction is mainly as a result of the function of Rural Roads Unit (RRU) which has been moved to the Zambia National Service (ZNS).

Sir, under the Ministry of Health, Hon. Chipungu talked about the 650 clinics. I just want to say that the ministry upgraded about five clinics in Lusaka District to the level of hospital so as to decongest the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and other bigger health centres. These are Kanyama, Chawama, Matero, Chilenje and Chipata clinics. For Kanyama South Clinic, the contract was terminated after the contractor abandoned the works upon roofing the clinic. We are awaiting the next stage of tendering.

Mr Chairperson, for Chilenje and Matero clinics, the projects are expected to be completed in May, 2016. There are only minor works which are supposed to be undertaken. For Chawama Clinic, some minor works are being carried out on the operating theatre which is undergoing minor renovations. The maternity wing is operational.

Sir, thirty-five health posts were allocated to Lusaka Province as follows:

District            No. of Health Posts

Lusaka District             15

Luangwa                       5

Kafue                           3

Chongwe                      2

Rufunsa                       1

Chilanga                      2

Chirundu                     1

Shibuyunji                   0

Mr Chairperson, fourteen of the health posts have been completed. However, there are challenges with land identification. Stakeholders in wards such as Kalikiliki, Lubwa, Malata and Kamwala South have been given a directive to resolve this matter within fourteen days, failure to which the allocation can be given to other constituencies which have enough space.

Mr Chairperson, with regard to education, I am glad that Hon. Masebo appreciated the fact that …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 3rd December, 2015