Debates - Thursday, 3rd December, 2015

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Thursday, 3rd December, 2015

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Agriculture (Mr Lubinda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for, once again, according me an opportunity to update the august House and the nation at large on the status of payments to farmers by the Government for the 2014/2015 Crop Marketing Season through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA).

Sir, the purchase of crops by the FRA commenced on 17th August, 2015, and ended on 31st October, 2015. The Government had initially targeted to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize and 2,100 metric tonnes of paddy rice. As I have stated before, the FRA entered the market late to allow the private sector to participate in maize purchasing and for the maize to attain the required 12.5 per cent moisture level. At the end of the marketing season, the FRA had purchased 596,193 metric tonnes of maize and 68.2 metric tonnes of paddy rice, against the target of 2,100 metric tonnes. That represented 32 per cent of the target. Last year, the FRA had purchased 1,031,303 metric tonnes of maize and 1,115 metric tonnes of paddy rice due to an overwhelming response from farmers, who had continued to deliver maize to FRA depots even after the agency had reached its target of 500,000 metric tonnes. Of the maize purchased by the agency this year, 321,377 metric tonnes were from the Northern regions, namely, Luapula, Muchinga, the Northern and the North-Western provinces, and that represented 54 per cent of the total and an increase of 24 per cent on the 30.3 per cent recorded in the 2013/2014 season. The country’s northern region falls under the third agro-ecological region, which is our high-rainfall belt. So, I urge our farmers in that region to increase their production, especially in view of the fact that the southern half of the country has experienced reduced rainfall due to climate change in recent years, and that the demand for maize in the sub-region will remain very high for some time to come.

Sir, I will lay a document showing the province-by-province purchases of maize and the funds disbursed on the Table.

Sir, the agency purchased the 68.2 metric tonnes of paddy rice from the North-Western and Western provinces. The reduction in the amount of rice purchased is attributed to the low price at which the FRA was buying rice, which was set at K60 per 40 kg bag, while the private sector had offered a better price. So, most farmers opted to sell to the private sector, and that is as it should be.

Mr Speaker, I am delighted to report that the Treasury has, to date, released K894,289,575 to pay farmers for the crop supplied to the agency. Of that amount, K646.8 million has already been paid to the farmers while K247.5 million is in the process of being disbursed to various districts by the FRA. This is a major achievement, …

Mr Bwalya: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: … considering that all this money was mobilised within a month after the closure of the marketing exercise on 31st October, 2015. So, on behalf of all the farmers who sold maize to the FRA, I thank His Excellency the President and the hon. Minister of Finance for releasing the money in such a timely manner.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the farmers in Kazungula have also received their payments.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: In the 2013/2014 Crop Marketing Season, the agency had, by 23rd November, 2014, only paid K461,798,720 of the money it owed farmers, leaving a balance of K982,039,480. The farmers were only paid in full in January, 2015. This year, all the farmers will be paid in full before the end of the year.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the FRA is ensuring the safety of the crops purchased by maintaining it well. To date, the agency has moved 99 per cent of the purchased crop to safety and the balance is being mopped up from remote locations using FRA trucks and dedicated local transporters.This shows that the agricultural sector in Zambia is improving, and that this Government is becoming more vibrant and steadfast in paying the farmers in good time, even if some people keep saying, “Question.”

Sir, once again, I commend our hardworking farmers and urge them to procure their inputs for this season in time. I also pray that the Almighty God will bless us with good rains during this season because it is only inadequate rain that can make us fail. Everything that can be done by us to ensure that our farmers are well positioned to feed our country will be done.

I thank you, Sir.

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

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister referred to the meagre 68.2 metric tonnes of rice bought by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) in the Western and North-Western provinces and said that is as it should be. Is he implying that rice growers in the two provinces will, henceforth, depend more on private buyers than on the FRA?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, what I said was that the reduction in the amount of rice purchased by the FRA was attributed to the low price at which the agency was purchasing the crop compared with the price at which the private sector was purchasing, consequently, the private sector bought the bulk of the rice. Our policy is to encourage the private sector to buy as much of all the agricultural commodities as possible, not only rice. So, we are very happy to see that the private sector is responding favourably by offering farmers better prices than the FRA.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, in trying to mitigate the escalating mealie meal prices, the Government, through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), has decided to offload some maize onto the market. I have also heard that the people of Kalabo and Shang’ombo districts are faced with hunger. Will the Government consider increasing the tonnage of maize for the strategic food reserves so that the country can have enough stocks to fall back on when we do not harvest sufficient crops due to unpredictable weather patterns? In that regard, is it also considering increasing the tonnage of maize that the FRA purchases for the strategic food reserves?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, let me put the record straight. More than 10,000 metric tonnes of maize is already in the Western Province. As late as Monday, 30th November, 2015, I checked the movement of that maize and confirmed that all the districts in the Western Province that need the crop were bound to receive it, some of it through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) under the Office of the Vice-President while some of it will be sold in the community. The only miller in the province, APG Milling, was also allocated part of the maize. So, if there are people in the Western Province who may be having a challenge accessing maize, I reiterate that they should get in touch with their District Commissioners (DCs) and so that they can access it from the DMMU. They can also access it from the community sales.

Sir, our 500,000 metric tonnes strategic reserves were arrived at after it was calculated that the time required to import maize in the event of a total crop failure in the country is three months and that the monthly consumption of maize in Zambia stands at 150,000 tonnes. So, for the three months it would take us to import maize, we would need a cover of 150,000 metric tonnes multiplied by three, which gives us 450,000 metric tonnes. If the monthly consumption increased to 200,000 metric tonnes, then, naturally, the strategic reserves would also be increased. For now, the 500,000 metric tonnes strategic reserve is sufficient.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, many farmers in Kazungula, Shibuyunji, Kalomo and many parts of this country have not yet been paid for the maize they sold to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), yet the hon. Minister has claimed that the farmers in Kazungula District have been paid. The people, who were created by the God in whom the hon. Minister believes, are suffering. When will the Government pay the farmers so that their livelihoods are improved?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I have stated that K646 million had already been paid to the farmers and that K247 million has been disbursed to various districts to pay the balance owed to farmers. If there are any farmers in Kazungula who were late in selling their maize to the FRA, they will be paid from the second disbursement.

Hon. UPND Member: Where?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, those who sold their maize early are the ones who were paid from the first disbursement. It is as simple as that. No one should ask me “Where?” because the money will not be disbursed through hon. Members of Parliament, …

Hon. Opposition Members:Aah!

Mr Lubinda: … but directly to banks.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Lubinda: Sir, if there is anyone here who would like to go and inform their farmers where the money will be paid from, they should know that farmers are paid through banks. So, to ask me “Where?” while seated is not fair. Everyone knows that the FRA sends money to banks.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Mpongwe’s question pre-empted mine. Nonetheless, I will ask it from another angel.

Sir, the figure of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize for our strategic reserves was arrived at a long time ago and many variables, such as the population, have changed over time. It was the change in the various socio-economic factors that have led to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) buying more maize than planned every year. That being the case, should we not review the quantity of our maize strategic food reserves?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, that is a very important question, and I would like to inform my hon. Colleague that, in the past, the FRA was buying in excess of 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. As I said, in the 2013/2014 Agricultural Marketing Season, it bought more than a 1 million metric tonnes. This year, however, we brought the purchase down to only 596,000 metric tonnes. In future, our intention is for the FRA to only buy the 500,000 metric tonnes strategic reserves and let the private sector buy the remainder. In fact, the FRA Act is very clear on the role of the agency, which does not include being the buyer of first resort, but of last resort. The agency is only meant to buy from far-flung areas where the private sector is not able to reach. Quite often, that is the reason we have bought more than 500,000 metric tonnes. For example, as I have indicated, this year, the agency bought more of its maize, about 373,000 metric tonnes, from the northern region of the country because the private sector is not very active there. The private sector has a lot of appetite for maize grown along the line of rail, mainly in the Mkushi area and the Southern Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I want the hon. Minister to know that the disbursement of money to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is not the same as farmers being paid. Even when he makes the money available, there is still a lot of work to be done before the farmers can be paid. Further, the hon. Minister acknowledged that there has been an increase of about 24 per cent or 300,000 metric tonnes in the production of maize in the northern part of the country. Could he tell the House what the effect of the delayed distribution of inputs was on the production of maize. In the last season, the distribution of fertiliser to the northern part of the country was done much earlier than in other areas. Further, there have been problems with the Electronic Vouchers (e-Vouchers) in the Southern Province and farmers have, to date, not been able to draw their fertiliser. Could the hon. Minister confirm that the drop in production in the Southern Province is due to the delayed distribution of inputs.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, to answer the first part of that question, which was in the form of a comment, I would like to remind the House what I stated in answering a question that was raised by someone who was debating while seated, I said that the money has been disbursed to all the districts and is in the banks. I did not say that the FRA went around and paid all the farmers because the farmers are paid through banks. However, as soon as the FRA has released the money to the banks, we expect the farmers to collect their money.

Sir, the increase in production in the northern part of the country should not, in any way, be attributed to the e-Voucher System. It is not fair at all to attribute the increase or decrease of production anywhere in the country to the e-Voucher System because the system is only being implemented this year. What I will attribute the decline of production in the Southern Province to is something beyond human control, namely, climate change. As Hon. Muntanga may know, the Southern Province has, over the years, been becoming drier and drier. With your permission, I will issue a statement on the e-Voucher System. So, if Hon. Muntanga would like to raise issues on that, he can do it then. For now, I just want to acknowledge the fact that it is well known that the northern part of Zambia, which receives more rainfall than the rest of the country, produces more maize than the other parts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, when will the farmers in Mumbwa, who paid Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) contributions last year, be given their fertilisers? They are saying that they have not got anything to date.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, the statement I just made is on FRApayments to farmers who supplied maize to it, not the distribution of fertiliser. If you permit me to issue a statement on fertiliser distribution, then, my colleague may ask that question. As I said last week, the hon. Member is a gentleman who sticks to the rules of the House, and I like to answer his questions appropriately. Therefore, I promise to answer his question when the appropriate subject is on the Floor.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, my concern is that some farmers have not actually received their money, yet they need to make deposits for the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). I have in mind those in the valley districts from Kazungula through Zimba to Gwembe. Would the hon. Minister not consider extending the payment period for making contributions to FISP in those areas?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I expressed my delight that we have managed to disburse all the money owed to our farmers before the end of the year, unlike in previous years. So, it is my hope, now that the money is in the banks, that all the farmers will be paid so that they can quickly make their contributions to the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). On extending the period in which contribution to FISP can be made, I assure my dear brother that there is no closing date for that process. As soon as the farmers get the money, they should go and make their contributions. Therefore, hon. Members should encourage the farmers in their areas to get their payments tomorrow and quickly make their contributions so that they can access their inputs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Sir, first of all, an error that I want to point out is that the 68.2 metric tonnes of rice purchased by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) are not 32 per cent, but 3.2 per cent of the targeted 2,100 metric tonnes. I believe that was a slip of the tongue, but I also believe that the nation should be told the correct information. Secondly, in one of his answers, the hon. Minister said that the FRA procures strategic reserves to ensure food security in the country. However, what modalities are in place in terms of selling the maize from the reserves? I ask this because it appears that some people who buy maize from the agency, in turn, try to sell it to millers at an inflated price. Who actually buys the maize from the FRA?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I am indebted to my colleague for the correction. It is true that I had a slip of the tongue. Probably, the lighting here is not good enough for my eyes.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, the figure is certainly 3.2 per cent. I think I missed the dot between the three and the two.

Sir, we announced, on the Floor of the House, the modalities that were put in place to ensure that the maize bought from the FRA is not abused. There is no incentive whatsoever for any person to buy maize from the agency and resell it to millers because all millers in Zambia have direct access to the FRA maize. I do not see any reason they would wait for another person to buy the maize and sell it to them at an inflated price instead of buying it at K85 from the FRA.

Sir, let me seize this opportunity to state that the price at which the FRA will release maize for community sales to vulnerable people and those who live far away from milling plants is K80 per 50kg bag, not K85, because the Government would like to ensure that our people are not exploited. We are aware that some traders may inflate the prices of mealie meal, especially in places that are not properly serviced by milling plants. For my hon. Colleaguein Chipata, there is a milling plant, but there are areas where people may not have milling plants, but have grinding mills. Please, liaise with the DC so that, with your approval, we shall release maize to those people at K80 per 50kg bag. Mr Edgar Lungu is determined to feed Zambians.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: I thank you, Sir.


The Minister of Higher Education (Dr Kaingu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this statement to the House. However, before I do so, allow me to continue to humble myself before the people of Zambia for the contributions I continue to receive after the loss of my lodge. I would like to add to the list of people who have helped me, so far, the Hon. Mr Speaker, my best friend Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo and my colleague, Hon. Dr John Phiri.

Mr Muntanga: Are you fundraising?

Dr Kaingu: Yes, I am fundraising.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, my statement is on the work that my ministry is undertaking in conjunction with other stakeholders in the area of herbal medicine research, specifically on the Sondashi Formula (SF 2000).

Mr Speaker, the research and development of the SF 2000 has continued, contrary to the public perception that the Government has abandoned it.

Mr Speaker, in 2000, Dr Sondashi announced that he had discovered …


Mr Speaker: Order, both on the left and right!

Dr Kaingu: … a cure for the human immuno-deficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and, in 2008, the Government, through the then hon. Minister of Science, Technology and Vocational Training, provided funds for the research and development of the formula. The evaluation, led by the late Dr Patrick Chikusu, may his soul rest in eternal peace, showed encouraging, but scientifically inconclusive signs. Dr Sondashi, the inventor, then, engaged the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa and the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)/Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) to validate his observations that the formula cured HIV/AIDS. NEPAD/SANBio, then, adopted the formula as its flagship project for research on herbal medicines under the Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). This research was under the stewardship of the CSIR, which was the IKS Node.

Sir, by October, 2010, NEPAD/SANBio had completed investigations covering the chemistry of potentially active ingredients in the formula, the laboratory-based efficacy (whether the medicine actually works) and the toxicology (whether it is poisonous to users]) studies. They, then, handed over a dossier of the results to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Vocational Training of the Republic of Zambia. Based on the encouraging observations from the laboratory investigations carried out under NEPAD/SANBio, Zambia was required to carry the mantle further by conducting two critical studies sequentially, namely, the human safety trial and efficacy in humans trial. In order to move the research work forward, the ministry appointed a steering committee comprising NEPAD/SANBio, the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (NISIR), and the CSIR. The other Zambian institutions in the steering committee were:

(a)    the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC);

(b)    the University of Zambia (UNZA);

(c)    the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council, commonly called the National AIDS Council (NAC);

(d)    the Directorate of Disease Surveillance, Control and Research (DSCR) of the Ministry of Health;

(e)    the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA);

(f)    The National Science and Technology Council (NSTC); and

(g)    the Directorate of Science and Technology, Ministry of Higher Education (DST).

Sir, this team was selected in line with the multi-sectorial nature of the research. There was a need for the team to always to keep in mind the end product of the research, hence the involvement of all parties from the beginning of the research.

Mr Speaker, it might seem disheartening that, five years later, the safety trial, which was supposed to be the first of the two trials, is yet to be undertaken. I wish to inform the House that several factors impeded the progress of the project. The major one among them were:

(a)    an intellectual property rights (IPR) dispute that was only resolved in 2012. The main issue was how to share the intellectual property among the many players. This is still a contentious issue in research and development work, especially in research work that is financed by public funds;

(b)    delay in the manufacturing/production of capsules for the trial. The consortium partner, Medical Research Council of South Africa, which had the capacity to process crude SF 2000 and pack it into capsules, pulled out after the NEPAD/SANBio Project came to an end;

(c)    my ministry only released K800,000 out of the clinical trial budget of K2.4 million. That created some difficulties in the attempt to readjust the original budget; and

(d)    failure to find a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certified facility to produce capsules at an affordable price.

Mr Speaker, I am pleased to report that we have managed to overcome most of the hurdles and are now ready to conduct the safety trial. A South African company, Afriplex, has processed the SF 2000 and produced the 23,000 capsules required for trials.

Sir, the trial we are about to commence is only on the safety of the remedy. It is not designed to confirm whether the SF 2000 cures HIV/AIDS or not. So, it will be conducted on healthy males who will participate on a voluntary basis. The confidentiality and safety of our participants will be of paramount importance to all of us involved in this research work. The second trial, which the scientists call the efficacy trial, will be carried out later and will be designed to scientifically establish whether the SF 2000 works in humans or not.

Mr Speaker, I assure Zambians that the ministries of Higher Education, and Health are committed to facilitating the trials. In this regard, my ministry has acquired pilot-scale equipment for filling and polishing capsules for NISIR to support the research. The equipment will soon be installed and commissioned. We shall, thus, be able to locally produce capsules for research, which will definitely reduce the cost of conducting health research. My ministry and the Ministry of Health will work towards acquiring any other equipment that our scientists will require to establish a complete pilot production line for herbal medicines, such as the SF 2000.

Mr Speaker, finally, I pledge my Government’s support for science, technology and research. We recognise the fact that our country is unlikely to develop in a manner we want it to without science and technology. Therefore, it is our intention to work with all stakeholders in the advancement of science, technology and research, and to ensure that the result of our research is the advancement of the social and economic status of all Zambians and humanity at large.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Member:Ema doctor aba!


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

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. Indeed, this is the news that the nation has been waiting for, and I am hopeful that, sooner rather than later, Zambia will enter the annals of history as having contributed to scientific knowledge. My question is: How long will it take to complete the safety trial stage, all things being equal? I ask this because it is very important that we proceed to the second stage.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, our scientists have said that they hope to make an announcement to the people of Zambia by June, 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, will the safety trial be conducted directly on human beings or on animals?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the scientists have made it clear that they will conduct the safety trials, not clinical trials, on about forty-five healthy males. The clinical trials will be conducted after this stage.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question is: “Will the trials be conducted on humans?” There could be volunteers here. So, let us be specific for avoidance of doubt.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I talked about forty-five healthy male human beings.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, yesterday, when I asked why the Bio-Safety Authority (NBA) was not under the ministries responsible for food and animals, the hon. Minister’s response was that it was for learning purposes. The …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Namulambe: … SF 2000 trials and research should have been handled directly by the Ministry of Health. Why does his ministry not consider giving certain responsibilities to specialised line ministries that can handle certain technical issues more appropriately? For example, the Ministry of Health is better placed to handle the health-related issues in this project.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, what we are dealing with, at this juncture, is research on the SF 2000, and most research activities are undertaken by the Ministry of Higher Education ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left and right!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, almost all the national research institutions are in my ministry. However, on this case, we are working with the Ministry of Health. The Tropical Disease Research Centre (TDRC), which falls under the Ministry of Health, is part of the team carrying out the research. Once we have conclusive scientific results, we will, then, hand over the formula to the Ministry of Health.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I thank the ministry for conducting the research. However, the hon. Minister said that the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000) will be trialled on forty-five healthy males. Will the forty-five be the first human beings on whom the formula has been trailed or have there been other human beings, male or female? If there have been other trials, why is it necessary to conduct more? This stage of the research should have been about putting the formula into capsules. According to the hon. Minister of Health, people have just been putting the SF 2000 in their hands. Kubeyangafelamwalizoho.


Mr Speaker: He has interpreted that.

Dr Kaingu: Sir, there are many herbal medicines that work. Scientifically, it has been proven that about 80 per cent of our people in Africa still get assistance from herbalists. The innovator of the SF 2000, Dr Sondashi, claims that his formula can cure AIDS, and I am sure that he has a reason for making that claim. However, the ministry has embarked on packing the formula in capsules, which have not been tried on anybody yet. So, the forty-five male volunteers will be the first to take the safety test of the SF 2000, which is meant to establish whether the formula is not toxic to human beings. That trial will be done before June, 2016.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, human existence is a struggle of the mind. Clearly, the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000) is part of that struggle.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Sir, in health research, the safety and efficacy stages are the most critical, and they bring ethical questions to the fore. What is the Government doing to ensure that the guinea pigs, the forty-five healthy men in this first stage of the trial, are compensated should the formula prove to be toxic to them and endanger their lives?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I said that the forty-five males will be volunteers. I hope I will be able to pronounce the phrase well, in Latin, they say, “Volenti non fit injuria,” meaning, “To the willing person, injury is not done.”

Mr Speaker: Or voluntary assumption of risk.

Dr Kaingu: Yes, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Sir, I am sure that the hon. Professor understands the concept. So, the forty-five will not have any claim to compensation if anything goes wrong. However, we will make sure that the participants in the trials are healthy before we conduct the research.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Mulasikwanda (Mulobezi): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Higher Education aware that the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000) has already been administered on many Zambians? If he is aware, will those people who have been taking the formula be considered as guinea pigs, too, so that the trial sample is enlarged?

Dr Kaingu: Sir, whoever received the formula from Dr Sondashi should have been a patient. In this research, we will work with forty-five healthy males, not patients. The problem with our African medicine is that it has no dosage, as Hon. Mutelo said. You can take as much of it as you want. The formula we will use in the trials, on the other hand, will be in the form of capsules that will have a dosage.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, considering the high cost of research, who is funding this research project? Is there an external funder?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the Government will conduct the research and meet the cost.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000) is being used to treat people without having undergone trials, even though it was accepted for trials. Additionally, the hon. Minister said that the trials of the formula were delayed because of some dispute over intellectual property rights. Could he elaborate on that. Who wants to have property rights over the formula? Is it Dr Sondashi, the people who will manufacture the capsules or the Zambian Government, which is paying for the research?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, indeed, there was a dispute over the formula, as some people tried to claim it as their intellectual property. The main dispute, which was resolved in 2012, was on the sharing of the property among the main players, who included Dr Sondashi and the researchers.

Mr Speaker, the details are privileged information. However, I can say that the inventor, Dr Sondashi, is willing to relinquish his claim of ownership if paid. Once the Government has conclusive results, Dr Sondashi, being the good Zambian that he is, will hand over the formula to the Zambian people. After all, he will not be able to mass produce it even if he holds on to it.

Mr Speaker, I am glad to have released this privileged information on behalf of Dr Sondashi.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: It looks like more people are joining the dispute.


Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has done quite well in assisting …

Hon. Opposition Members:Aah!

Mr Mutale: … in this research. Does his ministry intend to set aside funds for research so that we can improve on the treatment of our people?

Mr Muntangainterjected.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member for Kalomo Central does not know that I am a researcher.

Mr Speaker, I am grateful to the hon. Member of Parliament for Kwacha for asking this question.

Sir, this Government will not sit on stupendous research, such as the one involving the SF 2000. Indeed, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Health and I are collaborating to help our researchers to discover more herbal medicines. We will work very hard to facilitate research and development of such remedies.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he said that the current phase of the research is intended to establish …

Mr Mumba: She looks like a Muslim.

Ms Imenda: … whether the drug has some negative side effects.

Mr Muntanga: Who is this one?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Imenda: Why did the researchers, …


Ms Imenda: … instead of looking for forty-five healthy …


Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, may I be protected? I am being harassed.

Mr Speaker: Please, proceed.


Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, with all due respect to the hon. Member for Luena, she has come here dressed like a Muslim, not a Member of Parliament. She is pretending to be a cross between a member of the Zion Church and an Ethiopian. Is she in order to run away from our dress code and bring something alien to this House?


Mr Speaker: Quite frankly, I do not feel competent to rule on that point of order. So, I will reserve the ruling so that I consult further.

Hon. Member for Luena, continue.


Ms Imenda: Sir, this is a traditional Ethiopian dress, not an Islamic one.

Mr Speaker, the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000) has already been tested on the sick. So, why is the Government reinventing the wheel by testing it for side effects on forty-five healthy males? Why not look for the effects in those who are already taking the drug?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, on a lighter note, I will not close my contribution book before I receive a contribution from the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, those who have been using the SF 2000 have not been taking it in the capsule form on which we are researching. Therefore, we cannot use them in the research.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I hope that we are taking note of the hon. Minister’s responses because this is the third time he has been asked a question concerning the decision not to use people who are already using the formula in this research. We are not distinguishing between the capsules and what the hon. Member for Lukulu West …

Hon. Members: Poison!

Mr Speaker: … referred to earlier.  

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I am concerned about the forty-five healthy male volunteers in the trials.

Mr Speaker, health workers discourage people from taking drugs unnecessarily. I remember that the late Dr Manda was critical of clinics that rushed into giving coartem, for instance, to people suspected ...

Ms Imendaleft the Assembly Chamber.


Mr Muntanga: Where is she going?

Mr Milambo: Where are you going?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, continue.

Mr Miyutu: … of having malaria.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, when the researchers opted to use the forty-five men, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Miyutu: … did they take into account the issue of resistance in case those men later get exposed to the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) and are prescribed the Sondashi Formula 2000 (SF 2000)?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, that is a very difficult question, and I must confess that I have no answer for it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Fair enough. The question is technical.

Mr Musonda (Kapiri Mposhi): Mr Speaker, what is the cost attached to the forty-five human volunteers’ involvement in the trials?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, the men are volunteers and, according to the information that we have, there will be no cost to us other than the capsules that they will take.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, although the question has already been asked, I will ask it again so that the hon. Minister can come out clearer. For avoidance of doubt, what exactly will the researchers look for in the healthy people?

Mr Speaker: If I have followed this debate well, the hon. Minister said that this is a safety trial. The safety of the formula is what will be tested. I do not know, maybe, the hon. Minister should repeat that.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, you are right. We will try to establish whether the drug is not poisonous.

Mr Pande: How?

Dr Kaingu: By administering it to the forty-five volunteers.


Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, why are there no females among the forty-five volunteers?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I am impressed by the gender sensitivity of the hon. Member of Parliament. What I have been told by the scientists is that when you test a man, you test one person, but when you test a woman, you risk testing two people, as you might test a woman who is expecting. That is the danger they are trying to avoid.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Sir, normally, the need to ensure that there is no room for error makes clinical trials very tedious and laborious.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Kalila: What I have understood is that the trials we are undertaking are in two phases, the first phase being the safety investigation. Thereafter, there will be ...

Mr Sikazwe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to rise on this point of order. As I am sure you know, I rarely rise on points of order.

Sir, yesterday, I got a diary and a calendar from the National Assembly, for which I am very thankful to you. However, when I went through the calendar, I noticed that it had photographs of Hon. Livune, ...

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Sikazwe: ... but without any indication that the hon. Member is the most troublesome man in this House, as he questions all the ideas on the Floor of this House. Is this House in order to have made that omission?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Speaker: That is a very difficult point of order. Firstly, I have not seen the calendar, secondly, I can only assume that there is no commentary accompanying the picture in question. However, on a serious note, I think that he is entitled to reflect the variety of membership that the House enjoys.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, before the point of order, I was asking a question relating to the timeline of the investigations, given the fact we are just getting into the first phase of the trial, which will seek to ascertain the safety of the drug. Thereafter, we will go into the efficacy trial. However, if I got the hon. Minister correctly, he indicated that the investigators are ready to make a major announcement as early as June, 2016, which is six or seven months from now. Can the hon. Minister go back to them to ascertain whether they meant what they said or they would like to revise the timeline, given the fact that this is a very serious undertaking. I think that six months is too short a time for such an undertaking.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, before I answer the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu East, let me address the question on people who have already been taking the SF 2000. As far as the ministry knows, nobody has come forward to tell us that they have taken the formula and that they have been cured by it. So, we cannot use people who have not come forward.

Sir, as for hon. Member for Lukulu East’s question, I am sure that our scientists want to come up with the results of the two tests as soon as possible. However, should they have difficulties, I am sure that they will let us know and we will inform the nation.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to make another statement, this time on the progress made in the implementation of the e-Voucher System under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) during the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season. This statement has been necessitated by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, Mr Gary Nkombo’s question to Her Honour the Vice-President on Friday, 27th November, 2015, regarding the same. The Government will take this opportunity to correct some misrepresentation made during the debate on the 2016 Budget. Otherwise, I would not have issued this statement. As most hon. Members will recall, I have issued several statements on the e-Voucher System in the recent past.  

Mr Speaker, during its implementation in the last twelve years, FISP has faced a number of challenges, including late delivery of inputs, difficulties in beneficiary targeting, limited number of participating fertiliser suppliers and a limited variety of inputs under the programme. In view of these challenges, and in order to help reinforce the Government policy of agricultural diversification, the Cabinet approved the piloting of the e-Voucher System in thirteen districts during the 2015/2016 Agricultural Season. The districts were carefully selected based on their relative advantages over others in terms of presence of agro dealers, better mobile communication network systems and a wide variety of farm enterprises run on smallholder farms. The programme is being implemented in collaboration with the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and targets 241,000 small-scale farmers under the e-Voucher System in the following districts:

(a)    Kalomo;

(b)    Choma;

(c)    Monze;

(d)    Mazabuka;

(e)    Chikankata;

(f)    Pemba;

(g)    Chongwe;

(h)    Mumbwa;

(i)    Chibombo;

(j)    Kabwe;

(k)    Kapiri Mposhi;

(l)    Ndola; and

(m)    Chisamba.

Mr Speaker, I am aware that the mentioned districts are high production areas in the country. Additionally, they are also the ones where there are very experienced farmers who are best suited for agricultural diversification. All the selected districts, with the exception of Ndola, are in the Southern half of the country, which is prone to drought conditions. The latest rainfall forecast of normal to below normal for that part of the country makes it even more imperative for the Government to promote agricultural diversification in the districts mentioned. I also wish to state that introduction of the e-Voucher System has not led to a reduction in the number of FISP beneficiaries as it has been claimed on the Floor of this House. During the 2014/2015 Farming Season, for example, Chongwe District was allocated 17,070 beneficiaries, but the district has been allocated 17,635 beneficiaries for the 2015/2016 Farming Season, which is not a reduction at all. In Monze District, 27,427 farmers benefited in the 2014/2015 Farming Season and the same number has been targeted in the 2015/2016 Farming Season. There, too, there has been no reduction whatsoever.

Sir, under the e-Voucher System, the participating farmers are given visa cards, which they use to buy crop, livestock and fisheries inputs of their choice from registered agro dealers. The cards are issued to individual farmers and are only activated for use after the farmers have paid their FISP farmer contribution.

Mr Speaker, when the programme was launched on 12th October, 2015, the Government contribution per beneficiary farmer was K1,000 while the farmer contribution was K400. In view of the recent fertiliser price increases on a market, the Government has decided to increase its support to the farmers to K1,700 while the farmer contribution has remained at K400. This will bring the total value on the card to K2,100. This move will ensure that the beneficiary farmers under the e-Voucher System are not disadvantaged compared with those under the conventional FISP, and a K700 will be added to the accounts of all the farmers who paid their contribution and whose cards were activated before the raising of the Government contribution to K1,700. The process of activating the top-up amount commenced after the release of the whole Government contribution to the programme by the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, in order to ensure that farmers are supplied with genuine inputs, 202 agro dealers have been registered to participate in the programme through an open tender and are already giving the inputs to participating farmers in the participating districts. Unlike under the conventional FISP, in which the inputs are delivered to a few warehouses across the country, under the e-Voucher System, the agro dealers follow the farmers to their doorsteps to deliver the inputs of the farmer’s choice due to the competition created by the registration of more suppliers, which means that the farmers are free to buy inputs from any of the registered agro dealers nearest to them and the choice of inputs for farmers is broader.

Mr Speaker, following strict screening by the ministry, participating banks and the ZNFU, 229,644 farmers out of the targeted 241,000 had been selected to participate in the e-Voucher Programme, as of Tuesday, 2nd December, 2015. Of the verified names, 204,024 had been printed and delivered to the ministry and 182,389 cards had been issued to beneficiary farmers while the remaining 21,635 were still at the District Agriculture Co-ordinators’ (DACO) offices because the owners had not collected them. Forty-five thousand one hundred and ten (45,110) cards have, so far, been activated and their holders are already accessing inputs. As I have already stated, the activation of cards is dependent on farmers paying their contribution, which has been extremely slow. So, in order to address that, the ministry has instructed all the relevant DACOs to mobilise the farmers to urgently deposit their contributions so that their cards can be activated. The participating banks have also beefed up their capacity to process the card activation requests and the distribution of cards is expected to be completed by 10th December, 2015.

Mr Speaker, I reiterate that the small number of cards that have been activated, so far, has been due to the slow pace at which the farmers have been depositing their contributions. However, the pace is expected to sharply pick as more parts of the participating districts start receiving rain. For example, on 2nd December, 2015, alone, more than 20,000 cards were activated after rainfall activity compelled the farmers to rush and deposit their contributions. The farmers have always waited for rainfall activity to pick up in their districts before making their contributions even under the conventional FISP.

Mr Speaker, the Government is currently addressing the sudden rise in fertiliser prices and the reports of some farmers forgetting their pin codes. All the respective banks are working hard in providing new pin codes, especially for our illiterate farmers. The ministry is also ensuring that all the farmers who need assistance in using their cards get it from close relatives. I also wish to inform the House that the names of the beneficiaries in Kalomo, Kabwe, Pemba Chibombo, Monze and Kapiri Mposhi were submitted late, and that contributed to the balance of 13,099 cards that are yet to be collected from the banks. Additionally, as of 2nd December, 2015, 1,917 cards had not been collected after it was established that they were duplicates or belonged to deceased people.  

Sir, this Government is positive that the e-Voucher System is the right way to go in improving the delivery of Government input subsidies to our farmers. It is for this reason that I call upon all our farmers, registered agro dealers, traditional and civic leaders, Ministry of Agriculture staff and hon. Members of Parliament to support this programme and ensure its success. We have already got rid of ghost famers by introducing the e-Voucher system.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

 Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mweetwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to rise on a point of order. As you know, I only do so on issues that are excruciatingly important and extremely compelling.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Member who was on the Floor for disrupting her thoughts on the question she is about to ask.

Sir, last week, on Wednesday, 25th November, 2015, after the presentation of Bills Nos. 16 and 17, which were on amendments to the Constitution, the hon. Minister of Justice indicated that the Committee Stage of the Bills would be today. Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning also told this House and the nation, when announcing the business for this week, that the Bill would come up for second reading today. So, hon. Members were very anxious to see that item on today’s Order Paper and I am sure that many Zambians have tuned in to Parliament Radio to follow the proceedings on that subject.

Mr Speaker, while I am aware that the Government is at liberty to introduced a Bill at any time within this session, given the gravity of the matter and the expectations that have been raised among our citizens, is the Executive, through Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, who is comfortably seated and reading something I do not know, in order not to inform the nation on this important national issue?

I need your ruling, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: Of course, it is not possible for the hon. Member to know what Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning is reading from the way she is seated. Therefore, that comment was totally uncalled.


Mr Speaker: That aside, your point of order is valid, and I am equally concerned that we have not started considering the Committee Stage of the Bill as was indicated earlier by Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning. Nonetheless, the Clerks-at-the-Table have very actively engaged with your colleagues in the Executive on the matter. In fact, I also followed up on the issue today, and I have been assured that, all things being equal, the Bill will be on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week, to enable us to commence its consideration in Committee. That is the position. Of course, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning is here and I have discussed this matter with her in the course of today.

Mr Mweetwaindicated assent.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it gives me pride to take the stand on the Floor of this House and contribute to the debate on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Agriculture.

Sir, firstly, I congratulate the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, with pride, on increasing the number of electronic vouchers (e-Vouchers) from 1,400 to 2,001, which has empowered agro dealers and spread the income base to everyone. Probably, some hon. Members like my brother Levy have not seen that. So, they will say ‘Question!’

Mr Speaker, with the reduction in the dollar/kwacha exchange rate, we have seen the price for fertiliser go down. I congratulate the PF Government on that, too.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: That said, the hon. Minister of Agriculture has indicated that the e-Vouchers will be activated but, as of a few minutes ago, 889 farmers out of 923 in Mukonchi, Kapiri Mposhi, had made their contributions of K400, but their cards had not been activated. So, I would like the hon. Minister to tell the House what his ministry is still considering that has prevented it from activating the vouchers. Additionally, could he tell us when the vouchers will be activated because the fertilisers are in the warehouses of agro dealers waiting to be collected by the farmers when their vouchers are activated.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I indicated that the farmer’s contribution must be credited to their bank account before a card is activated. We know of cases in which famers have made payments to their co-operatives and farmers’ groups for transmission to the banks, but the money has not yet been credited to the accounts on account of the cards not having been activated. I also indicated that the participating banks have assured us that they have enhanced their capacity to speedily respond to requests for card activation. Unfortunately, there may be cases in which the accounts were credited, but the activation process was slow. Suffice it for me to assure the hon. Member that the Government is concerned about that and is certainly working on it to make sure that all the cards of farmers whose accounts have been credited with the contributions are activated speedily.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement gives us an understanding of what is happening on the ground. However, are there job creation benchmarks that the agro dealers involved in the implementation of the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher System) must meet so that the idea of the programme benefiting the citizens of our country is real, not just on paper?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I thank the hon. Member for his question and comments.

Sir, 202 agro dealers were selected to participate in this programme, and the information given to us by the ZNFU, with whom we are collaborating, and Musika Limited, which is in charge of training the agro dealers, is that in the short period of time since the start of the programme, the 202 agro dealers have created 2,800 jobs. Now that the rainy season is on and the agro dealers are actually going out to the far-flung areas to deliver inputs, we expect even more jobs to be created by them and the transporters.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the reasons for implementing the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System in the southern areas include low rainfall and the need to promote diversification. However, the e-Voucher System is based on the distribution of fertiliser, not other inputs. For example, the ministry is matching the price at which those who are not on the e-Voucher System buy fertiliser by topping up K700 on the e-Vouchers. Why did the ministry not consider other inputs, apart from fertiliser, so that there is actual diversification? As things stand, it is simply streamlining maize growing, which has been the bias of the programme from inception.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, Hon. Muntanga has, in the recent past, been knocking on my door, and I commend him for that. That is how hon. Members of Parliament should behave, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: … according to what Hon. Zimba taught us yesterday.

Mr Speaker, the equation of the amount of money on the e-Voucher System to the price of inputs given to farmers on the conventional FISP is done because we do not want the farmers on the conventional FISP to end up with higher value than that accessed through the e-Voucher System. We do not want to disadvantage either of the two categories of farmers. In fact, we would be more inclined to giving the farmers on the e-Voucher System higher value than those on the conventional FISP because the conventional FISP is more expensive to run.

Sir, had Hon. Muntanga responded to my invitation to go with me to Mbabala, …

Mr Muntanga: What was there?

Mr Lubinda: … where we launched the e-Voucher System, like the hon. Members of Parliament for Mumbwa, Kapiri Mposhi and Chisamba did, he would have known that the farmers on the system are not restricted to getting only maize or fertiliser. Some of the many agro dealers who were there are involved in the supply of drugs, not in maize production …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Lubinda: Sir, before business was suspended, I was responding to the follow-up question asked by Hon. Muntanga on why we are giving farmers on the e-Voucher System the same amount of money as that which is being accessed by farmers on the conventional FISP. His question was premised on the hon. Member’s fears that we may not successfully diversify our agricultural sector because of the bias of our programmes to maize production.

Sir, had Hon. Muntanga been gracious enough to attend the launch of the e-Voucher System in Mbabala, Southern Province, on 12th October, 2015, like thousands of other farmers from the Southern Province and hundreds from Kalomo, he would noticed that the agro dealers we are dealing with are not only those who supply inputs for maize production, but also those who supply inputs for livestock and fisheries production. We chose to continue with the same farmers who were on the FISP because we want to encourage them to move away from maize production to other crops, which is the essence of diversification. We hope that the farmers in the Southern Province will be supported by their hon. Members of Parliament so that they can access the inputs being provided through the e-Voucher System and position themselves for the drier seasons that lie ahead.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Lungu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister clearly stated that farmers who were supposed to benefit from the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System have been well covered, but some hon. Members of Parliament are saying that some of the farmers have been left out. Could he clearly tell this House and the nation at large what the correct position is?

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I emphasise that there is no farmer who was on the conventional FISP in 2013/2014 who has been left out of the e-Voucher System for 2015/2016, and I said that part of the reason I made this statement is to correct some misrepresentations.Some hon. Members came to Parliament and claimed that we had reduced the number of FISP beneficiary farmers, but nothing can be further from the truth than that. The truth is that not a single farmer was left out. The e-Voucher System has helped us to get rid of ghost farmers. That is all. We had targeted 241,000 farmers in the thirteen districts. However, when we asked the farmers to come and register for the e-Voucher System, we discovered that only 229,000 existed. The remaining 15,000 farmers were ghost farmers. So, I challenge all the hon. Members claiming that the number of farmers accessing inputs through the e-Voucher System in their constituencies has reduced to prove their claims because our records show otherwise. That claim was made by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chongwe Constituency, and I wish she was here. I deliberately researched the figures for her constituency and discovered that 17,070 farmers were targeted there in the 2013/2014 FISP while 17,635 have been targeted under the e-Voucher System. How, then, can anyone claim that we have reduced the number of beneficiaries of the scheme? We have tried, as much as possible, to maintain the same number of farmers and, in some cases, we have increased it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System is the way to go and I am very happy to hear that it is yielding good results. The world is changing and we must follow suit. However, I have a worry. Has the hon. Minister considered the fact that the K400 farmer contribution can be difficult to raise, especially in the villages, where even K10 is difficult to come by? Can the Government not work in reverse by deducting the contribution from the farmers’ package? For example, instead of crediting the farmers’ vouchers with K1,700, the Government can credit them with K1,300. That way, the poorer farmers can access the inputs without having to first pay the K400 deposit. Currently, the K400 deposit demanded indirectly segregates the economically unempowered.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Member recognises that the e-Voucher System is the way to go with agriculture. Activities are becoming more and more electronic the world over, and there is no reason for not making the agricultural sector in Zambia smart.

Sir, on the issue of the vulnerable farmers, let me remind my colleague and the House at large that the Government runs various programmes to mitigate that, one of which is the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme. There is also an agriculture-based programme targeting the poor under the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare called the Food Security Pack (FSP). FISP is an economic programme in which participation is meant for farmers with access to some resources. They must, at least, have 1 ha. We cannot open it to all and sundry, and not ask for a contribution from the beneficiaries because that would be effectively turning FISP into the FSP. We will insist on the participating farmers making their contribution. Actually, we should consider gradually reducing the value of the subsidy so that we gradually prepare the farmers to graduate from the programme. As I have said before, the design defect of this programme is that it does not prepare farmers to graduate, but rather makes the farmers dependent on it, which is not how things should be. Additionally, instead of encouraging me to reduce the amount that is actually made available to farmers, we should think of increasing it so that the farmers can cultivate sufficient hectarage from which they can harvest enough and make savings for the next season. That way, they can be weaned off the programme. That is the way to go.

Sir, I assure the hon. Member that, in the 2016/2017 Agricultural Season, under President Edgar Lungu, ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Lubinda: ... we will redesign the programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musonda: Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister comment on the claims that the Government abruptly, ...

Mr Muchima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I rarely rise on points of order.

Hon. Members: That is true.

Mr Muchima: However, I am compelled to do so because my concern requires urgent attention.

Sir, it is the duty of the Government to update hon. Members of Parliament and the country at large on any issue that affects the people in one way or another. Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning briefed us on the mobile voter registration exercise while the hon. Minister of Home Affairs also briefed us on the mobile issuance of national registration cards (NRCs), an issue that attracted a lot of attention and debate in this House. The two exercises have time frames. Unfortunately, in the North-Western Province, while the officers are ready to issue NRCs to the people, there are no cards. Is that Government in order not to update hon. Members and the public at large on the problems being faced in the issuance of NRCs and voter’s cards, and what should be done? Time is running out on the people who want to access NRCs.

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that we have had several ministerial statements on this subject and I have encouraged hon. Members to ask specific questions on the statements. Secondly and, perhaps, more importantly, I have asked hon. Members to engage the line ministry directly. I am not saying that you are not entitled to raise this issue, but you should be able to weigh the best course of action to take. That said, you are still at liberty, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, to file a question so that we can transmit it to your colleagues on my right so that they respond to that specific issue. We will process your question as quickly as we can, bearing in mind that, next week, we want to concentrate on the Bill on the Constitution.

Mr Musonda: Sir, before I was interrupted, I was asking the hon. Minister of Agriculture to comment on the claims that his ministry had abruptly introduced the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System and imposed it on Zambian farmers without sensitisation.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, when I invited all hon. Members of Parliament from the districts in which the e-Voucher System is being piloted to the launch of the programme in Mbabala, some shunned the event, but he attended it. Therefore, I thank him.

Sir, this programme is not being imposed on farmers. It is a Government initiative in which farmers are participating. The ministry, through its structures right down to the camp level, has been receiving a lot of positive feedback comments, especially from farmers. I was in Mukonchi not too long ago and the farmers there were very excited because the people who had, until recently, been cheating them out of their inputs are no longer able to do so, as the farmers are now accessing the inputs directly.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, I withdraw the word ‘cheat’.

Sir, those who were abusing the conventional mode of administering FISP are no longer able to do so because the e-Vouchers empower the farmers to have more control over the process. I was also in Kalomo, where I met some farmers who were very excited about this programme. Only yesterday, I got telephone calls from farmers in Mazabuka who were equally excited about the programme. So, I assure my colleague that this programme is not an imposition. Additionally, all the farmers are being sensitised on the programme, both during registration and activation of cards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, there is no contestation whatsoever on the merits of the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. However, just to assist the hon. Minister to stop being a cry baby about those who did not attend the launch of the e-Voucher System, …


Mr Speaker: Order, at the back!

Mr Nkombo: … it is also true that the Business of this House takes precedence over all other activities for hon. Members. On the day of the launch, we had two engagements …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, he has been treading on us for not attending that launch. Therefore, allow me …

Mr Speaker: No, I am speaking. You have referred to the rules of the House and I am also referring to one of those rules. What we are doing is asking questions on points of clarification. So, if you have a question, put it to the hon. Minister.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I have done my calculations and figured out that the registration process of the e-Voucher System has had an 18 per cent success rate, this far. Out of 229,000 cards, only 45,000 have been activated, which translates into about 18 or 20 per cent. Following the hon. Minister’s statement earlier today that the Government had just disbursed the money for paying farmers who supplied maize to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), would he not agree that this is the reason for the high failure rate? I call it a failure rate because had the farmers been paid earlier than today, the number of those who would have registered for the e-Voucher System would obviously have been higher than 45,000. The hon. Minister actually said that now that the money had been disbursed, he wanted farmers to pay their Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) contributions so that their e-Vouchers can be activated.

Sir, we are aware that Infotech Business Solutions Limited was the one that should have been awarded the tender to design the e-Voucher Programme in the open tender. However, without any reason being given, the tender was awarded to another company whose services probably cost the ministry five times more than the K13 million for which Infotech Business Solutions Limited was asking.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I am sure it is very clear to my colleague that the target we are talking about is a moving one. If we are to evaluate this programme, we should do so next year, after we have seen the harvest. Only then will we be able to ask how many of the targeted farmers actually accessed the inputs. I indicated, for example, that on 2nd December, 2015, a day after it had rained, 20,000 farmers paid their FISP contributions and their cards were activated. I am very hopeful that as we get deeper into the rainy season, more farmers will make their contributions and activate their cards.

Sir, it is not at all correct that delayed payments to farmers were the reason for their not being able to contribute to FISP. I have the number of farmers who delivered maize to the FRA and it shows that in the Southern Province, the total is only 11,000, of which, I emphasise, some have already been paid. Maybe, only 20 per cent, probably 2,000, are yet to be paid, yet there are more than 30,000 farmers on the e-Voucher System in the Southern Province. It is not all of them who are owed money by the FRA. So, I appeal to my dear colleague, when he goes to Mazabuka, to use the community radio to encourage farmers to make their contributions so that their cards can be activated. We would like the people of the Southern Province to diversify their agriculture. FISP is not only for fertiliser, but also for many other agricultural inputs, such as those for livestock and fisheries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the hon. Member referred to another matter in his comment, which I allowed him to do.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I did not comment on that because it is totally alien to the subject of my statement. I have no knowledge of that, but I am sure that if he submits a question, I can task the officers in the ministry to provide, through me, an appropriate response to this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System is only being piloted in places along the line of rail. Since the programme will be evaluated next year, as the hon. Minister has said, how accurate will the results be when many other districts in the country, such as Chadiza, Vubwi and Mitete, have been left out? What was the rationale in choosing towns along the line of rail?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question.

Sir, we will evaluate the success of the programme in the districts in which it is being piloted. It is actually good that some parts of the country are not on the system because those will be the yardstick for measuring the performance of the system.

Sir, I indicated that in selecting participating districts, we looked at the state of the relevant infrastructure. For instance, we selected Mumbwa because of the infrastructure that exists there. Next year, places like Chipata, which have relatively good infrastructure, will be among the first to be included on the programme, and I am sure that, after Chipata, Chadiza will be next in line.

Sir, my hon. Colleague has told me several times that he wishes Chadiza was among the districts in which the system is being piloted.

Mr Mbewe: Zoona!

Mr Lubinda: I assure him that we mean business and that, with the support of all stakeholders, we will roll out the programme to the whole country, which, I am sure, will reveal more ghost farmers who were illegally benefiting from taxpayers’ money through the conventional FISP.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System has been problematic from its inception. I am aware that even the President of the Republic of Zambia has complained about its implementation, especially in Central Province.

Mr Speaker, I have just come back from Monze where, as of Monday, 30th November, 2015, none of the farmers on the e-Voucher System had been able to access inputs, and they have been complaining. This being the rainy season, if the farmers do not access inputs in time, we will have more food security problems in the country next year than we currently do. So, what measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to actually address the problematic issues?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu issued a stern warning to Agriculture Extension Officers who were resisting the introduction of the e-Voucher System. At no time did he say that the system was problematic, and I do not think it is fair for anyone to put words in his mouth. President Edgar Lungu has a lot of confidence in the system and is determined to make sure that it works. So, the impression that the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central is trying to create, that the system has been criticised by the Head of State, is not correct. Additionally, my statement was very clear on Monze, Kalomo and Kapiri Mposhi being some of the districts in which farmers delayed in responding to the programme, including just registering. I also mentioned that the e-Vouchers can only be activated after the accounts of the card holders have been credited with the farmer’s contribution. When answering the question from Hon. Kalima on farmers in Mukonchi, I indicated that some of the farmers may have given their money to their co-operatives to deposit, but the money has not yet been credited to the accounts of the holders of the e-Vouchers. That is why their cards have not yet been activated.

Sir, I appeal to my good friend to participate in this programme not by discouraging farmers, but by assisting the Government to encourage them to make their contributions. Optimism is a virtue. I got a report about Hon. Muntanga having a meeting with farmers over the weekend in which he encouraged them to pay their contributions on Monday, 30th November, 2015, and inform him if the cards are not activated so that he can follow up the case with my office. I hope that Hon. Jack Mwiimbu will be as optimist and supportive as that so that, together, we can provide the much-needed inputs to our farmers. It is my concern, as it is his, that the rains are here, but some farmers have not accessed their inputs. Let us, together, make the system work. Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, be optimistic.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. However, I would like him to know that the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System has been received with mixed feelings. However, I know that the system is helping us. How much does he think the Government will save as it reduces abuses in the input distribution programme? For example, the Government will no longer be involved in transporting fertilisers, as it has engaged private suppliers to deliver the inputs. So, how much stress will be removed from the ministry?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that very important question.

Sir, firstly, we have already removed 15,000 ghost farmers from the programme. If you multiply that with the K1,700 we give to every farmer, you will get close to K27 million. That is how much we have already saved by piloting the project among 241,000 farmers. We could make even bigger savings if we roll out the programme countrywide because we could rid the programme of hundreds of thousands of ghost farmers. Secondly, the system is dependent on the participation of agro dealers, as the Government no longer delivers inputs to farmers. So, we have passed that cost to the private sector, and that is a big saving on the part of the Government. Thirdly, the programme strengthens the private sector’s capacity to take on the responsibility of providing inputs to our farmers, which is the way to go if we are to grow our agricultural sector. Our agricultural sector cannot continue to be controlled and run from Mulungushi House. Instead, it must be run where the farmers are, that is, in Kazungula, Kapiri Mposhi and Mpika, for example.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mumba (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, have there been any incidences of people trying to cheat through the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System and …

Mr Speaker: Please, substitute the word ‘cheat’.

Mr Mumba: Sorry, Sir. I substitute that word with ‘pilfering’.

Sir, have there been any incidences of pilfering by any person involved in the e-Voucher System? If so, do they try to do it?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, remember that there was an earlier question on how much stress the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System has relieve you of. Have you been relieved of stress?

Mr Lubinda laughed.

Mr Speaker: You did not respond to that. Please, do respond in the process of answering the current question.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, indeed, a lot of stress has been removed from the Ministry of Agriculture and the hon. Minister, in particular. Starting next year, there will be no reason whatsoever for the Government to procure fertiliser. We will leave that to the private sector, which will certainly reduce my stress and whoever my successors will be. The ministry will be freed from having to come to Parliament and lobby for money to buy Urea and pay for D-Compound fertiliser, and run around the country to checking on which fertiliser is caked and which is not. It will certainly reduce the stress. It will also free our extension officers from running around checking on fertiliser to doing what they are supposed to do, which is provide extension services to our farmers.

Hon. Mumba, my dear brother, yes, no system will ever be completely insulated from people who are not straightforward. So, this system, too, has been tested. Some people have tried to register in two different places.


Mr Lubinda: For example, they would register in Mukonchi and elsewhere. Fortunately, the register is centralised. So, during verification, such people were eliminated. I have also mentioned that 1,917 cards were rejected on the basis that the names and photographs of some applicants did not match. Some people who have gone to our DACOs with e-Vouchers that they have claimed to have belonged to deceased people and asked that the vouchers be registered in the name of wives or children of the deceased, but we have refused to allow that to happen. So, yes, some people have tried to abuse the system, but it has been designed in such a way that allows us to detect and eliminate abuses.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. I think that the young man is doing very well.

Mr Speaker: I discourage those kinds of addresses.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I am sorry.

Sir, the young hon. Minister is doing very well.

Mr Speaker: Just say ‘the hon. Minister’. It is that simple.


Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is doing very well, so far.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: However, Chongwe and Rufunsa have never been considered separate in crop production. Most programmes have been split between the two districts because they were once one. Now that Rufunsa is a separate district, I was disappointed that the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System was not extended to it when it is, for practical agricultural purposes, part of Chongwe. When, therefore, will the system be extended to Rufunsa?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I like the interest that has been registered by the hon. Member.

Sir, we intend to roll out the e-Voucher System as quickly as we can. Rufunsa is, indeed, part of Chongwe and the agro dealers in Chongwe can easily go into Rufunsa. Like I said, the farmers do not have to go to Chongwe or Lusaka because the agro dealers will reach the people in Rufunsa, especially with the Patriotic Front (PF) Government investing in road infrastructure to open up the countryside. The roads being worked on in Rufunsa will facilitate the implementation of the e-Voucher System in the district. So, I assure the hon. Member that, with the kind of support we are receiving from him, we will achieve our goal. I also hope that our sister in Chongwe will also be positive so that the farmers in her constituency do not shun this programme.

Mr Chipungu: She is.

Mr Lubinda: We certainly shall include Rufunsa in the coming season.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I see a lot of joy among the agro dealers and want to know their financial benefit in percentage terms, and what the Government is doing to protect the poor farmers from being exploited by agro dealers who may take advantage of the remoteness of some locations.

Mr Speaker: I just wonder what your source of discernment is.


Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, pressure makes diamonds and competition creates value. Now that we are allowing the private sector to take part in the distribution and selling of agro inputs, more people are investing in agro dealership. As a result, the quality of service will improve and the cost will reduce, which will be to the benefit of the farmer and, ultimately, the citizen. I have also lamented the high cost of production and low productivity in Zambia before. My hope is that this process will reduce on the cost of production.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr W. Banda (Milanzi): Mr Speaker, input suppliers like Omnia and Zambia Fertiliser are supplying inputs directly to the farmers, hence disadvantaging the small agro dealers. What is the Government doing to protect the small agro dealers?

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, we advertised a public tender to which many agro dealers responded and we selected some to take part in the e-Voucher System. The two that my colleague has referred to are among the 202 we selected.

Sir, we will not do anything to protect any particular agro dealer because we would like them to go out and weather the competition by providing the best service to the farmers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




208. Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    what led to the violent disruption of a live radio programme called “The Political Hour” on Breeze FM Radio Station in Chipata District on 29th November, 2015, around  1030 hours;

(b)    who the alleged perpetrators of the violent disruption of the programme were;

(c)    what action had been taken against the alleged perpetrators of the violence; and

(d)    what measures the Government was taking to protect the property and personnel at private radio stations countrywide from similar attacks.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the information we have received is that some unknown people ...

Hon. Opposition Members:Aah!

Col. Kaunda: ... in Chipata did not want the phone-in radio programme featuring the Secretary-General of the Rainbow Party, Mr Wynter  Kabimba, SC., to be aired by the radio station.

Mr Speaker, the perpetrators of the violent disruption of the programme are not yet known and investigations into the matter are still ongoing.


Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, no action has been taken, as none of the perpetrators has been identified yet.

Sir, in order to protect property and personnel at radio stations and other public institutions countrywide from similar attacks, the Government, through the Zambia Police, has intensified patrols around radio stations and intelligence gathering. The Government is also appealing to managers of privately-owned radio stations to notify the police whenever they plan to host high-profile personalities for them to be provided with adequate security.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer has left parts (a), (b) and (c) of my question hanging. So, I will follow up on his response to part (d).

Sir, we all know that we are heading towards a time of heightened political activity, and this absolutely unpalatable and unacceptable incident is a very good indicator of what we should expect countrywide. Will the Government consider stationing police officers at all private radio stations so that we can be protected.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, that has been considered. However, there is a cost to stationing police officers at the radio stations. We station police officers at banks and other high-value properties whose owners pay for the service. Otherwise, it is a good idea that we can look into.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, having served this country as diplomat number one, beside the President, one of the things I used to take pride in was the peace in Zambia. Now, I am very worried about the violence that I see in this country. Why do these investigations take too long? We have had these events in various parts of this country and, each time the hon. Minister takes the Floor to answer questions on them, he says the cases are still under investigations and that the culprits are unknown. Why should we continue on this worrying route? We do not want to turn Zambia into a violent State. So, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that investigations into such cases do not take unnecessarily long to be concluded? We know that they can be done within a shorter period. Chipata is not a big place where people can take months to investigate an incident.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Mwila): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that the people who attacked the radio station are not known. That is the reason the investigations have been instituted. Once investigations have been completed, we will inform the nation.

Sir, when the Secretary-General of the Rainbow Party, Mr Wynter Kabimba, SC., went to Chipata to feature on the radio station, he did not inform the police. So, the police did not know what was happening. In fact, as I speak, the owner of the radio station has not reported the case to the police.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kazabu (Nkana): Mr Speaker, we have learnt that Breeze FM Radio Station is close to a police station. Given that context, how could the attack take place under the nose of the police? Further, why does the police appear not to know what happened in the vicinity of its station?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the information I have is that the radio station is about 2 km away from the police station and that the police did not know about the programme. That is the reason it has been very difficult for the police to arrest the culprits. However, investigations are ongoing.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not worried about the way peace is deteriorating in this country? His answer to these violent incidents is, “We do not know”, yet he knows that these incidents involve Patriotic Front (PF) members. We have photographs and videos showing PF cadres clad in party attire attacking Breeze FM Radio Station. The hon. Minister’s answers are very casual. Why has he taken that route?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, my answers are not casual. It is the job of the police to investigate all incidences of lawlessness so that the culprits are brought to book. In this case, that is what the police is doing.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, I am aware that the Government is worried about these incidences of violence, just as much as all the citizens. Does the hon. Minister not attribute the violence to a lack of decisiveness on the part of law enforcement officers and the weak penalties slapped on perpetrators?

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, this issue concerns all of us here. The Patriotic Front (PF) ...


Mr Speaker:Continue, hon. Minister. I will deal with that problem.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, PF, the United Party for National Development (UPND), the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and other political parties are all involved. So, it is important for all of us, as leaders, to discourage our party cadres from engaging in violence. We, the elderly people, are the ones who use the youths to perpetrate violent activities. Our role, as a ministry, is to maintain law and order. So, if a report of violence is made to the police, the police has to investigate it so that the culprits are brought to book.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the more we continue with the “unknown” syndrome, the more we will have this problem. United Party for National Development (UPND) members were attacked on the Copperbelt and, now, Rainbow Party members have been attacked in Chipata, and all the hon. Minister can say is that unknown people did it. Does he not think that the ‘unknown’ people are Patriotic Front (PF) cadres? The PF is a violent party. First, its cadres attacked UPND members, then, they attacked Rainbow Party members in Chipata. Very soon, they will attack Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) members. Why does the hon. Minister continue hiding behind the “unknown people” statement?


Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I will not jump to any conclusions. Additionally, the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West is being selective because he has not listed all the incidences of violence in the last six months. There was an incident in Mulobezi in which the UPND members attacked ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Do not interject in that fashion.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, UPND members attacked the Secretary-General of the PF. In another incident, PF members on the Copperbelt attacked the UPND President, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Lukulu West is aware that the culprits were arrested and are appearing in court. The third incident involved suspected PF cadres who attacked the UPND office in Cha ChaCha, on which we have said that investigations have been instituted. The reason that attack happened is that the UPND did not inform the police. Equally, in the incidence in Chipata, Mr Wynter Kabimba, SC., did not inform the police that he would be in Chipata. The police is committed to ensuring that ...

Mr Nkombo: Question!

Mr Speaker:Continue, hon. Minister.


Mr Speaker: Just continue.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we are committed to ensuring that all the perpetrators of violence are brought to book.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the programme was disrupted because some people did not like what Mr Wynter Kabimba, SC., was saying. Is he implying that when people on radio say things that we do not like, we should disrupt the programme?

Mr Speaker: I do not think that I can allow the hon. Minister to answer such a question. Hon. Member for Mumbwa, you may ask your question.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, since when did we have to notify the police when we move around this country? What is happening now is a new phenomenon. In the past, we could appear on any programme on any radio station without anything of this nature happening. As political parties, should we not consider this as a wakeup call to educate our cadres to be tolerant of divergent viewpoints? I ask for an answer from the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker: That is why I did not allow the previous question.

Hon. Minister, you may respond.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo is right. All political parties have to discourage their members, particularly the cadres, from getting involved in violent activities. We are headed for elections and it is important that we refrain from violence.

I thank you, Sir.


209. Mr Mufalali asked the Minister of General Education:

(a)    how many retired teachers had not been paid their terminal benefits, as of 30th September, 2015, countrywide;

(b)    of the number above, how many had not been paid repatriation allowances;

(c)    what the total amount due was, in terms of:

(i)    repatriation allowances;

(ii)    leave travel benefits; and

(iii)    terminal benefits; and

(d)    what the cause of the delay in paying the retired teachers was.

The Deputy Minister of General Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, as of 30th September, 2015, there were 12,551 retired teachers who had not been paid their terminal benefits, countrywide.

Sir, of the 12,551 retired teachers, 8,146 had not been paid their repatriation allowances.

Mr Speaker, the amounts of unpaid allowances are repatriation allowances at K25,784,382.56, leave travel benefits at K34,984,258.58 and terminal benefits at K250,877,924.57.

Sir, the delay in paying retired teachers has been due to financial constraints in the ministry. However, to demonstrate its commitment to dismantling the arrears, the Government has been allocating money to that activity. For example, in 2013, K18 million was allocated to the activity. This amount was increased to K45 million in 2014.

Mr ‘Skipper’, the increase from K18 million to K45 million …

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker!

Mr Mabumba: … demonstrates our commitment as Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, how long have the arrears been outstanding?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I cannot give a specific answer, but I can say that the outstanding amounts date back to the time before the Patriotic Front (PF) Government came into power.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the Employment Act stipulates that an employee must leave with his or her retirement cheque at the time of separation. Otherwise, he or she must be retained on the payroll. Are the retired teachers who have not yet been paid their benefits still on the Government payroll?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, they are not on the Government payroll.

Sir, there are two distinct benefits paid to retired teachers. One of them is the pension, which is paid by the pension fund. There are other benefits that are paid to teachers on retirement, but the substantial one is the pension, which is paid upon their being cleared in their respective provinces.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe):  Mr Speaker, I got worried when the hon. Minister referred to you as “Mr Skipper.”


Mr Speaker: It was a slip of the tongue. I heard it, but ignored it because I am not a footballer.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, the figures that the hon. Minister mentioned in response to part (c) of the question makes one sad because most of the retired teachers still occupy institutional houses, thereby compounding the accommodation crisis in the education sector. Can the Government not consider prioritising the payment of arrears owed to the retirees, who are no longer on the Government payroll and are almost destitute, so that the arrears do not accumulate further? Those former teachers are suffering and losing weight in …

Mr Speaker: I think that you have made your point.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I apologise for the slip of my tongue.

Sir, retired teachers are supposed to vacate institutional houses upon receiving the repatriation allowance regardless of other benefits that may still be owed to them, and we are committed to dismantling the K25,784,382.56 repatriation allowance areas so that the retired teachers can vacate the institutional houses. We are also committed to paying off the K250,877,924.57 that Hon. Namulambe alluded to. However, the fulfilling of our commitment is dependent on our resource envelope. So, suffice it for me to assure this august House that following the major pension reforms and graduated retirement age for civil servants, the ministry will have a window in which the attrition rate will remain stagnant and the Government will only be paying off the arrears over the next few years. So, it will have some breathing space in which to dismantle the arrears.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, some retired teachers come from far-away places like Mwinilunga and spend nights here, in Lusaka, waiting for their money. Is the hon. Minister considering refunding them for the money they spend on transport?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, transport refunds.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the payment of terminal benefits has been decentralised to the district level. So, our retirees are not supposed to travel to Lusaka for their benefits.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, there is a very practice in the District Education Board Secretaries’ (DEBS)Offices. When they receive the allowances like repatriation allowance, they resort to piecemeal payments. For example, instead of giving a retired teacher K5,000, if that is still the amount, they give him or her K200. How much time will it take for such a teacher to be repatriated at that rate? Does the Government not see that as harming the teachers more?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, according to the information I have, the circumstances the hon. Member has referred to are very exceptional. Normally, if a person is owed K5,000 as repatriation allowance, that amount is paid in full, unless the retiree enters into negotiations with his or her respective District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) to that effect, depending on the financial challenges that he or she might have.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, less than two months ago, a very similar question was asked regarding retired head teachers, to which the then hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr Kaingu, responded that most teachers run away from being given their repatriation cheques. Do they still do that?


The Minister of General Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, we will conduct a research to find out whether they still run away. However, the information in the ministry does not indicate that they do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, when the ministry pays repatriation allowances in instalments, what is it really solving? A teacher can only leave an institutional house and create accommodation space for another teacher if he or she is paid in full?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the decision on how much money is paid towards a teacher’s benefits is dependent on the availability of funds. For example, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that K18,109,843 and K45,655,303 were allocated to the dismantling of personnel arrears in the 2013 and 2014 Budgets, respectively. Those amounts were drops in the ocean compared with the huge amounts owed to our teachers. In fact, talking about the huge sums in arrears, in one of the daily papers, His Excellency the President is quoted telling union leaders in Mkushi yesterday that the failure to pay some teachers their allowances is a scandal. Indeed, it is because many teachers look forward to the day when they could be honourably discharged from service. The President also promised to engage the two hon. Ministers responsible for education to work out ways of expeditiously resolving the issue. I only hope that will come to fruition, as that is a little window of hope for our teachers because this challenge will not be solved by the small annual allocations.

I thank you, Sir.


210.    Prof. Willombe (Mporokoso) asked the Minister of Works and Supply:

(a)    when the construction of the Kasama/Mporokoso Road would be completed; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in completing the project.

The Deputy Minister of Works and Supply (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, the construction of the Kasama/Mporokoso Road is scheduled to be completed by March, 2016.

Sir, the delay in completing the road has been caused by changes in the scope of works, which resulted in additional time being given to the contractor.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member ...

Mr Mbewe: Hammer!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza, do not make that behaviour customary because it could be visited with sanctions.


Prof. Willombe: Sir, I just came back from my constituency, where I learnt that the contractor engaged to work on the Kasama/Mporokoso Road is now also carrying out maintenance works on the Mporokoso/Kawambwa Road. Does that mean that the contract now includes upgrading the other road to bituminous standard, too?

Dr Mwali: Mr Speaker, that is a new question, but I will answer it still.

Sir, the Prof. is right. There was a variation to the contract that included the stretch in question in the scope of works.

I thank you, Sir.


211.    Mr Mutelo asked the Vice-President:

(a)    how many Parliamentary by-elections were held from September, 2011, to September, 2015;

(b)    how many by-elections were caused by the nullification of election results; and

(c)    how much money had been spent on by-elections during the period at (a).

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Bwalya): Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has held thirty-five parliamentary by-elections between September, 2011, and September, 2015.

Sir, of the by-elections held between September, 2011, and September, 2015, seventeen were caused by the nullification of election results by the courts of law.

Sir, as at 30th September, 2015, the ECZ had spent K376,948,753 on by-elections in the specified period.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, has there been another time in the history of this country when we had such a high number of by-elections over corresponding periods of time?

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the number might be higher or lower, I am not sure. Suffice it for me to state that there were valid reasons that caused this number of by-elections.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister just said that K376,948,753 has been spent on the by-elections. Considering the amount of money that the Government spends on the fuel, upkeep and other allowances for hon. Ministers who go out to campaign for the Ruling Party before by-elections, would it be correct to conclude that the money that was spent is actually higher than what has been mentioned by the hon. Deputy Minister?

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, the law clearly stipulates that only the President can use public resources during election time. The hon. Ministers and hon. Members of Parliament who are members of the ruling party cannot. So, any hon. Ministers or hon. Deputy Ministers who want to join the campaigns in any area where there is a by-election have to use their private vehicle and fuel. Therefore, that expense cannot be part of the figure I have given.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Just for the record, the privileges extend to the Vice-President.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, what caused the nullification of seats by this Government? If it was corruption, how many of the perpetrators were convicted?

Mr Speaker: I am reluctant to allow the hon. Minister to answer that question. However, if he has that information, he can provide it.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I do not have the information on the judgment on my fingertips. Therefore, I cannot tell the hon. Member why the seats were nullified.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the number of nullified seats is big and it might even rise. Are there any petitions still before the courts of law? The Vice-President’s Office should be worried about incurring further expenses related to by-elections.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I do not have the entire court record with me. Therefore, I am not able to tell whether there are other petitions still before the courts of law. All I know is that the Kasama Central Seat is still vacant, although not as a result of a petition.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that there are many reasons that precipitated the nullification of the seats. I am sure he will agree that the legislatures of some countries have only about forty elected Members of Parliament. During the last sitting of this House, we did not have more than five by-elections. Now that he is in the Executive, in his view, is the situation not solemn?


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, in terms of the money that has been spent, what the people involved go through and all other grievances, morality included, does he think that it was necessary for the country to have gone through these by-elections?

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, this is a Constitutional matter. By-elections are provided for in the laws of this country. Whoever is not happy with the manner in which an election has been conducted has the right to seek redress through the courts of law. As to whether we should continue on this path, that is something that we need to decide on as we debate the current Constitution Bill. Perhaps, we can put mechanisms in place to reduce the number of by-elections, although some of them are unavoidable because they are caused by death.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, almost all the hon. Members whose seats were nullified by the courts are back in this House, which makes a mockery of the entire process. Looking at that and the fact that each of the by-elections cost us, on average, K11 million, excluding the costs that Hon. Dr Musokotwane mentioned, which can easily escalate the total expenditure to about K20 million per by-election, is the Executive not considering passing a subordinate law, which does not require Constitutional debates, to curtail this wasteful expenditure? As the hon. Minister has stated, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) should be equipped with better laws to proactively tackle the issues that lead to petitions.

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, we have dwelled on the expenditure side of by-elections without focusing on what causes the by-elections, especially the issues of corruption in elections. I think that it is high time the country considered addressing corruption in elections. We do realise how expensive it is to conduct elections. We also realise that we waste time on by-elections, but this is a Constitutional requirement that the country has to satisfy.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning has just said that holding by-elections is a Constitutional requirement that the Government has to fulfil. However, we are talking about K377 million spent by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) by-elections. We know that seventeen by-elections were caused by nullification of election results by the courts of law, two by death and sixteen were induced by this Government when it told hon. Members of Parliament to resign from their parties and re-contest their seats on the Patriotic Front (PF) ticket. Would she not agree with me that the PF Government is very reckless?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, the use of the word ‘reckless’ by the hon. Member is uncalled for. The by-elections were not held because of the PF having induced hon. Members of Parliament to join it. That is far from it.

Mr Speaker, some of the by-elections were held …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: … due to the fact that the courts of law ruled in favour of the petitioners because of the malpractices that took place during the elections. I have said that as hon. Members of Parliament, we should worry about how we conduct ourselves during elections. Now that we have an opportunity to review our Constitution, perhaps, it is time for us to make changes to it so that we do not have to become conditioned to having continuous by-elections.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West):  Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning says that we should look at the core cause of by-elections and she inevitably cites corruption as main the cause. If that is the case, why has her Government continued to adopt those whose elections were nullified on account of their having engaged in corruption? Why has her party continued adopting such people, most of whom have been re-elected to this House?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: Mr Speaker, all the political parties are guilty of adopting candidates who have been implicated in court cases involving corruption.


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning: That phenomenon should not be seen to be unique to the PF. It is, therefore, important that we examine ourselves and our collective conscience to determine whether we, as political parties, are doing the right thing or otherwise.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


212. Mr Mbewe asked the Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development when the training in project proposal writing would be extended to the youths in rural areas.

The Deputy Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development (Mr Chitotela): Mr Speaker, the Government, working with other stakeholders, has been running tailor-made training programmes in entrepreneurship and business proposal writing in nineteen youth resource centres across the country, some of which are in rural areas. Therefore, I urge the hon. Member to encourage the youths to participate whenever those programmes are conducted in his constituency.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I do not know where the youth resource centres where they teach project proposal writing are because I doubt if there is any youth who has attended such a course from my constituency. Does the hon. Minister not think that many youth groups misuse the money they receive because they fail to come up with viable business proposals? Does he not think that this is one way of losing money?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform Hon. Allan Divide Mbewe that the ministry has a youth resource centre in Lundazi, which is part of the Eastern Province. Additionally, before the youths are given funding, the ministry conducts pre-session training in which it teaches them the basics of entrepreneurship, such as book keeping and financial managements. We also conducted a training session in Ndola, to which we invited all town clerks, council secretaries and District Commissioners (DCs) in order for them to become agents of the ministry in the various districts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, indeed, project proposal writing and project management are taught in youth skills training centres. However, the nineteen centres may not be able to accommodate the number of youths who need such training in order to be able to write good business proposals and access funding. Would it not be prudent for the ministry to run such programmes through the Provincial Youth Development Officers in the districts and invite interested youth groups to be given trained, instead of waiting long for the opportunity to enrol into the nineteen centres, whose programmes may not meet their needs?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, that is a good suggestion and the ministry might consider it.

Sir, when responding to Hon. Mbewe’s follow-up question, I stated that the ministry invited the DCs, council secretaries, town clerks and the district planners to a training session in order for them to become the agents of the ministry in the various districts. That will, of course, enhance the efforts of the Provincial Youth Co-ordinators we will send to the various districts to run the programmes.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the youths in Chadiza should access the training in Lundazi, a long distance for which some youths may not have the money for transport. How far has the ministry gone in establishing the centres in each district?

Mr Chitotela: Mr Speaker, we have developed a plan on how we will proceed in constructing a modern youth resource centre in each district. The plan is just awaiting the approval of the ministry. After it is approved, we shall make it available to this House for the information of all hon. Members of Parliament. Depending on the funding from the hon. Ministry of Finance and all things being equal, we intend to establish the centres by 2022.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


213. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when the construction  of Mitete Police Station would commence;

(b)    what the cause of the delay in commencing the project was;

(c)    what the time frame for completing the project was; and

(d)    what the name of the contractor was.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the construction of Mitete Police Station will commence when a successful bidder is selected for the project.

Sir, the Government advertised the construction of Mitete Police Station, two medium-cost houses and eight low-cost houses. However, there was no successful bidder, hence the delay. The Government has since re-tendered the project and the evaluation of bids has already been done. The selection of the successful bidder will soon be done.

Mr Speaker, the time frame will be known after the selection of the successful bidder.

Sir, part (d) of the question falls off because no contractor has been selectedyet.

Sir, I thank you.   

Mr Mutelo: Sir, when will the selecting of the successful bidder be done? The hon. Deputy Minister says it will be soon, but how soon? Police posts are being constructed in all the new districts apart from Mitete. We want Mitete to also be a heaven on earth.

Mr Speaker: The question is complete.

Col. Kaunda: Sir, it is not the fault of the Government that the police station is not being constructed. We advertised the tender, but there was no successful bidder. We cannot forcibly take people to Mitete to build the police station.

I thank you, Sir.





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)

The Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was about to mention the new secondary schools that have been constructed in Lusaka.

Sir, so far, ten new secondary schools have been constructed, with minor works remaining before completion. These are:

(a)    Nyumba Yanga;

(b)    Lilayi;

(c)    Rufunsa;

(d)    Luangwa;

(e)    Mwembeshi;

(f)    Twin Palm; and

(g)    Chikupi.

All these schools have been opened.


The Chairperson: Order, on my left!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, Margaret Mwachiyeya Secondary School, which was named after Hon. Masebo’smother, …

Mr Namulambe: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: … and Third Baptist School are still under construction and should be completed in 2016. In addition, additional infrastructure has been built at two public universities in Chalimbana and Palabana in Chongwe District. At Chalimbana University, ten staff houses have been completed, but the lecture theatre and hostels have remained at sub-structure level since 2013. There has been progress at Palabana University, with twelve staff houses completed and two hostels currently being plastered. The administration block is at the sub-structure level while the lecture theatres are at the excavation level. Erratic funding has been the major challenge.

Sir, let me now talk about the agricultural sector.

Sir, Lusaka Province registered 77,626 Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) beneficiaries in the 2014/2015 Agricultural Season, compared with 65,936 beneficiaries in the 2013/2014 Season. With the introduction of the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System in Chongwe in the 2015/2016 Farming Season, the province is expected to contribute even more to the food security of Zambia, which is one of two countries that have enough staple food for its citizens in the Southern African Region. This outlook for the province is in spite of maize production having declined from 148,291 metric tonnes in the 2013/2014 Farming Season to 96,333 metric tonnes in the 2014/2015 Season, mainly on account of poor rainfall.

Mr Chairperson, let me now respond to some of the issues raised by Hon. Chipungu and Hon. Masebo, although they are not in the House.

Sir, Hon. Chipungu complained that there were only two health posts instead of eleven in Rufunsa. It is true that the list of health posts indicated was eleven but, after scrutiny of the national requirements, the number was brought down to two. The Government is committed to constructing those two health posts in Rufunsa.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwaliteta: Sir, Hon. Chipungu also said that nothing has been done on the Shikabeta/Kanyonje Bridge. The good news is that works on the bridge are almost complete and the contractor will hand it over in the next ten days. I will invite him to accompany me to the handover of the bridge. Hon. Chipungu also complained about poor service from the mobile communication tower in Shikabeta, which covers a 3 km radius. The good news is that the Zambia Information and Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA) will erect another tower near Shikabeta Palace, which will provide a wider coverage. As regards the road along the Lower Luangwa, I am sure that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply took note of that. I am also sure that the Road Development Agency (RDA) is aware that the road needs to be worked on. On his suggestion that the Provincial Headquarters for Lusaka be relocated to Rufunsa, all I can say is that it is a prerogative of the President to decide. So, I cannot comment further.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Masebo raised the issue of the e-Voucher System and complained that the programme disadvantaged the farmers in her constituency, as fewer of them were benefiting under the e-Voucher System than under the conventional FISP. This claim is not accurate. Actually, 17,635 small-scale farmers and co-operatives were targeted to receive the FISP packs in the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 Farming Seasons. The reason the number of beneficiaries seemed to have reduced in the 2015/2016 Season is that the number of beneficiaries was previously based on the number of FISP packs issued, which was 19,910 and that was interpreted as 19,910 farmers when that was not the case. The actual number of farmers who received the packs was 17,635. This season, only the e-Vouchers are being considered, not the number of packs to give the farmers, and about 14,000 e-Vouchers have, so far, been issued in Chongwe while 2,083 are pending collection either because the farmers had registered their children who do not have national registration cards (NRCs) or they, themselves, are not in possession of NRCs. One thousand three hundred (1,300) more e-Vouchers are still being awaited from BancABC.

Sir, the farmers who have not yet received their inputs and have to cover long distances in search of a registered agro dealer are doing so because they did not pay their K400 contribution in good time.

Sir, Hon. Masebo also expressed concern about the allegation that Palabana University will be relocated to Mazabuka, where there is no infrastructure, especially for staff accommodation. She further stated that about 500 ha of the institution’s land being shared with the private sector. The truth is that we have no plans to move Palabana University to Mazabuka or anywhere else. If there are such plans, the province has not been informed of them. As far as the province knows, it will remain in Chongwe.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was saying that Palabana University will remain in Lusaka Province.

Sir, another issue raised by Hon. Masebo was that of the high death rate at Chongwe District Hospital. Let me say that most of the deaths recorded at the hospital are human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)-related. The deaths are mostly attributed to the failure by relatives to take the patients to the hospital. Chongwe District has also recorded a very high number of cases of poisoning.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Masebo also raised the issue of violence in Lusaka Province. As politicians, we need to seriously look into this issue because the violence she talked about is a result of the way we, politicians, conduct ourselves. What has been happening is that while all of us are here working, some of our colleagues are busy holding rallies in our constituencies. They get police permits to hold rallies as if there is no President or as if there is a power vacuum, yet the President is governing the country. We need to carefully look into this anomaly. All campaigns must only start after Parliament is dissolved.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livuneinterjected.

Mr Mwaliteta: Even you (pointing at Hon. Livune), people are busy campaigning in Katombola, your constituency. So, the premature campaigns must be stopped if we want the violence to stop. Hon. Members are surprised and irritated that some people are busy campaigning in their constituencies when there is no leadership vacuum and Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu is in State House. That is what Hon. Mbulakulima was complaining about.

Sir, in conclusion, if the Opposition underrates the performance of the PF, it will be doing that at its own peril. The PF has done a lot in Lusaka Province. If you drive to Chilenje right now, you will get there in about five minutes because of the good roads. So, we are happy with the loan that we acquired from China. Avic International Limited has done a lot in Lusaka Province. So, I assure you that there is no constituency in Lusaka Province that will be won by the Opposition in 2015. We have secured our votes.

With these few remarks, I support the budget for Lusaka Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for Muchinga Province (Mr Mwimba H. Malama): Sir, let me start by thanking you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote for Muchinga Province. I will be very brief because our colleagues on your left have decided to ignore the development that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has brought in this country.

Mr Chairperson, from the time I was appointed Deputy Minister for Muchinga Province, I have been ready to defend the interests of the province.

Sir, I thank the three hon. Members of Parliament who have debated the Vote for Muchinga Province for bringing out very important issues and educating some of our colleagues. The hon. Members are Mr Kapeya, Mr Sichula and Mr January Zimba.

Sir, I hope we heard Hon. Kapeya correctly when he talked about Chama District being a heaven on earth. He did not say that the whole of Muchinga Province is heaven on earth.

Mr Chairperson, Muchinga Province is the poorest of the ten provinces of Zambia. It is just that we know how to appreciate what is done for us. We have seen more development in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government than in past administrations. That is why Hon. Kapeya said that the people of Muchinga Province are grateful.

Sir, we should not forget that the PF has only been in power for four years. This is the fifth year. Obviously, none of us in this House is young. So, we have seen what the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) did in this country, and any sensible person should be able to compare the state of this country under the three political parties that have ruled it. The reason all hon. Member who rise to debate talk about roads and infrastructure is that they have seen what the PF has done.

Mr Chairperson, a good number of hon. Members on your left who debated compared the development in their constituencies with that in Muchinga Province, which was not necessary. People must be grateful. I will talk about two provinces because I heard some hon. Members from the Southern Province compare the development taking place in their province with what is happening in Muchinga Province.It is good that I worked in the Ministry of Works and Supply because I got to know very well how development has been distributed among the provinces and can state that the PF is very fair.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: I am speaking from experience, having served in this Government. If we had concentrated only on developing the areas where we had emerged victorious in the last election, namely, Luapula, Muchinga, the Northern, Lusaka and Copperbelt provinces, we would have divided this nation. We also won the support of the masses in the Eastern Province and are grateful for that support. Therefore, we could also have taken development to that province as a way of thanking the people for their support. However, that is not what we have done, and I will prove my case.

Mr Livune: Just read your speech.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, I am responding to what the hon. Members of Parliament on your left were saying.


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, even if we had concentrated on developing only the provinces I have mentioned, we would still win next year’s general elections.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: We all know the sizes of the population of these provinces compared with the other regions of the country.

Mr Chairperson, if we compare the Southern Province with Muchinga Province without bias, in terms of development, we will see that the former has actually benefited more than the latter. I will demonstrate how. There has been so much talk about the Robert Makasa University in Muchinga Province. However, that university was started during the UNIP Government. Nobody can argue with me on this because I was at Kenneth Kaunda Secondary School in Chinsali and I know that the university was initially meant to be a police college or something similar, but the project was later abandoned. When the MMD came into power, it restarted the project after realising that the site was strategic. However, the MMD could not finish the project because it lost power to the PF and the PF, which is a progressive Government, continued from where the MMD left the project ...

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: … and we have now completed it. Therefore, I wonder why some people say that the PF has taken a lot of development to Muchinga Province.

Mr Chisopa: Tell them!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: If some people want to prove that what I am talking about is true, they can go and see some of the uncompleted buildings on the site that were started by UNIP. So, it is not correct to say that the PF Government has built two universities in one village of Muchinga Province. The only university that the PF started in the province is the one at Lubwa Mission, which is still at the slab level. There has not been much progress on that project. I am, therefore, worried about the way we are debating these matters in this House because we are not being honest, as leaders ...

Mr Mwenya: Hammer!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: … and that is actually contributing to the divisions in this nation, which is not good for our people. When the people on your left debate, they paint a very bad picture for the people, which is not good. I must state that those who think that money from the mines in the North-Western Province is being used to develop Muchinga Province are wrong. If that is the case, then, part of that money is also being used to develop the Southern Province.

Sir, as I stand here, I am still waiting for my good President to declare a new district in Mpika because the district is too big and has a huge population. Further, since the PF came into office, it has only declared one new district in Muchinga Province, which is Shiwang’andu, yet there have been quite a number of new districts declared in the Southern Province, but our colleagues from that province do not want to appreciate that.


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, I am saying this without any tribal inclinations because my wife comes from the Southern Province. I have no reason whatsoever to be biased against that province, and I want to make that very clear. All the development projects being implemented in Muchinga Province are being replicated in the Southern Province.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: I do not think that anyone can challenge me on that score because the building of provincial headquarters is being done in both Muchinga and the Southern provinces. In fact, it is good that we are debating next year’s estimates of expenditure for the provinces because we have an opportunity to compare the allocations to each province. In 2016, Muchinga Province has been allocated K50,625,853 only and I ask my counterparts to mention the allocations to the other provinces when they wind up debate for their provinces. We will, then, see whether our colleagues in the Opposition, who represent our beloved brothers and sisters in the country, were telling the truth.

Mr Chairperson, it is wrong to say that a lot of money has been allocated to Muchinga Province and it pains me to hear that.

Sir, let me talk about some road projects in the province so that we have a clearer picture of what is being done there.  

Sir, we have just started …

Mr Masumba:Namulandabwinosana. Nwenikonamenshi.

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Thank you very much. I will do so.


Mr Mwimba H. Malama drank some water.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Sir, I want my brothers and sisters in this House to understand me very well because I mean well.

Sir, I am very worried about the manner in which we conduct our politics in this House because it is really misleading the people. I can only imagine what our colleagues say when they go to their constituencies. I cannot just explain it.

 Mr Chairperson, we are working on the Mpika/Mfuwe Road, which connects Mpika District to the Eastern Province and will not only benefit the people of Mpika District because it will provide a shorter route for people travelling from Luapula to the Eastern Province. They will no longer have to come to Lusaka whenever they want to go to the Eastern Province.

Sir, all the roads the PF Government is working on are very important. We do not just dream up projects. Therefore, it is unfortunate that some people say that money collected from the North-Western Province is going to Muchinga Province. I recall very well what Prof. Lungwangwa stated here, but I do not even know why he brought up the Mongu/Kalabo Road and compared it with the Great North Road, which was built so long ago that I cannot even remember exactly when. We all know that the construction of the Great North Road was a result of Zambia being blocked from the Southern Rhodesia and South Africa from transporting its goods through routes to the south of the region some years back. We also know that the Mongu/Kalabo Road was started by the MMD Government. If the PF Government was irresponsible, it could have used the very high cost of the project to justify abandoning it. Instead, it even changed the design to give the best to the people of the Western Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, I just wanted to clarify issues. I know that some people are saying that they have not seen any bituminous road in their districts. The situation is the same even in Muchinga Province. I have not seen any bituminous road in Nakonde, which is a town in Muchinga Province. If all the money from North-Western Province was going to Muchinga Province, we could have worked on all the roads in Nakonde.

Mr Mulenga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: So, let us be factual when we debate on the Floor of the House because, I can assure you, it is not what we say here that will make us to be re-elected. No! It is what we do in our constituencies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, that is why I said I will not debate for long. The people of Zambia are able to see what the PF Government has done in four years.

Mr Mwaliteta: Yes!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, if, by accident, our colleagues on your left took over power, I would be anxious to see if they would manage to do what we have done in four years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: They would confess that we have done quite a lot.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: We declared only one new district in Muchinga Province. Mafinga District was created by the MMD Government, but we could not abandon it. As a responsible Government, we resolved to build infrastructure in the district, and that is what we are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Look at how many districts we have created in the Southern Province. If we were looking at who voted for whom, we could have not created Pemba, Zimba, Chirundu and Chikankata. All the districts I have mentioned are being developed using money collected by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) under the PF Government, which is under the leadership of Ba Lungu.

Mr Mwenya: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: If we were not a responsible Government, we would have created new districts in places where we win elections. However, we are too responsible to do that.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, we are being forced to say these things because, like they say, when somebody tells his or her side of the story in court people will think that he or she is the right party until the other party also tells its side. Then, the people listening may realise that the first party …

Mr Mulenga: Was a liar.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: … was misleading …


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: … the court.


Mr Mwimba H. Malama: It is the same with the situation in this House.

Mr Mubukwanu: Hammer!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: We are responding to what our colleagues in the Opposition have said.

Mr Mwenya: Hammer!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: So, if they want us not to respond this way, they should avoid bringing up certain issues to this House. We have done well and, where I come from, we know how to appreciate. That is the reason Hon. Kapeya said it is like heaven on earth. It does not mean that all is rosy in Muchinga. We have many problems. I do not even have where to sleep in Muchinga, but I go there to work because if those people who fought for Independence in 1964 had prioritised luxury, all of them could have gone to the United Kingdom (UK) where luxury was then. However, they camped in undeveloped areas in order to build this nation. They sacrificed and contributed to the building of the University of Zambia (UNZA), and that is what we are doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, in short, this nation is under-developed from Katombola in the Southern Province to Nakonde in Muchinga Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Sir, the finger-pointing is a sheer waste of time because we know that there are many things to be done in Lundazi but, surely, it is only God who can speak things into existence like He did when creating this earth. He said, “Let there be a river,” and a river appeared. No human being can do that. A human being must physically work to produce results, and that is what the PF Government is doing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, how can our colleagues on your left start dismantling this Government when it has performed wonders in only four years?

Hon. Government Members: Go on.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Surely, let us give credit where it is due.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, I hope my message is very clear.


The Chairperson: Order!

I am becoming inpatient with those of you who think you can make running commentaries while seated and be left scot-free. I could surprise you in seconds.


The Chairperson: So, you better behave.


The Chairperson: Let there be order.

Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Chairperson, allow me to quickly indicate what this Government has used this year’s budget on. We are doing quite a lot. So, I will just list them. Somebody on your left wanted me to start reading earlier, but I am a politician. So, I have to speak before I read.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Sir, the first phase of the construction of Robert Makasa University has been completed and awaits commissioning by the Government. I think that I have clarified issues on this project.

Sir, the construction of forty houses for civil servants in Chinsali is almost complete, with only final touches remaining. We are constructing houses for civil servants in Chinsali because we know that we will have many civil servants in the district. We are also building thirty houses for civil servants in Chinsali, which have reached the wall plate level. These projects are in phases. We have also constructed ten houses for civil servants in Shiwang’andu. The houses have been occupied. As the House can see, we only built ten houses in Shiwang’andu, which would not be the case if the picture that is painted in the debates in this House of all the money going to Muchinga Province was correct. Clearly, we cannot work like that.

Mr Chairperson, we are also constructing one six-storey office block in Chinsali, which has been roofed and internal partitions are currently being worked on. In short, we are making final touches to the building. We are also constructing a four-storey office block in Chinsali, which has reached the fourth floor level. Additionally, we have constructed the District Administration Block in Shiwang’andu, which is now occupied.

Sir, the construction of the Provincial hon. Minister’s and the Permanent Secretary’s official residences has reached an advanced stage, with both houses roofed and only final touches remaining. As I stated earlier, I do not even have accommodation in Muchinga Province, yet I have to work there as Provincial Minister. Those who have been to Chinsali know that it used to be the remotest district, so to speak.

Mr Mulenga: ‘Poorest’.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: The poorest, so to say. In fact, when Hon. Mufalali and Hon. Brig. Gen. Dr Chituwo paid me a courtesy call in Chinsali, they saw the poor state of the district and complained a lot because they had used the Chama/Mafinga/Isoka/Chinsali route and had had a number of breakdowns on the way because of the poor state of the roads.

Sir, there are quite a number of projects that we are implementing in this country, including the construction of clinics in all the constituencies. There are also quite a number of issues that we intend to look into for which we appeal for the support of our friends. We want to complete all the on-going projects in Chinsali, Mafinga and Shiwang’andu.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: We also want to explore the tourism potential of Muchinga Province. Those who have been to the province will agree with me that putting up just a little infrastructure would attract many tourists there.

Mr Chairperson, currently, we are receiving applications and allocating land to those who want to be resettled. So, we are also looking at the development of resettlement schemes using this year’s budget.

Sir, the province also intends to establish a sports school of excellence in Chinsali, which will develop our talented youths into world-class sportsmen and women. The youths will also simultaneously take academic courses. This process will begin by the establishment of a sports complex whose construction is likely to begin before the end of this year.

Sir, Muchinga Province has many challenges like any other province in this country. I have laboured to correct the impression that Hon. Kapeya created, that the province is a heaven on earth. He merely meant to appreciate what the Government has done, so far. Someone can look at my tall brother-in-law, who is seated somewhere in this House, and decide to consider him short, nothing that people can say will change that person’s opinion of my brother-in-law. That is the route some of our colleagues have decided to take. We have a number of challenges, but what gives hope to the people of Muchinga is that this is a Government that has demonstrated its commitment to developing this country within four years.  I, therefore, appeal to my colleagues to support this noble cause.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you.

The Chairperson: By way of guidance, ...

Some hon. Provincial Ministersindicated.

The Chairperson: Please, resume your seats. I am still talking.

Hon. Members, as much as we appreciate your desire to be emphatic in your debates, please, avoid repetition. Once you have made your point, move on to the next one.

The Deputy Minister for Southern Province (Mr Mubukwanu): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to wind up the debate on Vote 19, which is for the Southern Province.

Sir, allow me to thank the three hon. Members who debated this Vote on behalf of their colleagues from the province. These are Hon. Engineer Mooya, Member of Parliament for Moomba, Hon. Request Muntanga, Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central and Hon. Gary Nkombo, Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Chairperson, I will start by responding to the major issues raised by my colleagues and conclude by highlighting the key Government interventions in the province.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Engineer Mooya’s debate was, as usual, very brief, to the point and objective, and I deeply appreciate his style of debate. In his debate, he requested the Government to consider implementing a project similar to the Lusaka 400 Kilometre Road Project (L 400) and the Copperbelt 400 Kilometre Road Project (C 400) in the Southern Province. The Government takes note of that, but would like to remind him and the people of the Southern Province that Livingstone was the first city in which road construction projects were implemented in preparation for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Conference.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: So, most roads in Livingstone were upgraded to bituminous standard. Additionally, a modern intercity bus terminus was built, the Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula International Airport was upgraded and an ultra-modern multi-storey market was constructed, to mention but a few.

Sir, nearly all the township roads in Monze and Choma have been upgraded to bituminous standard. Hon. Mwiimbu, who has been Member of Parliament for Monze Central for many years, was not able to have the roads worked on until the Patriotic Front (PF) got into Government. So, I am sure that he deeply appreciates this intervention. I also commissioned the roads in Mazabuka not too long ago in the company of the area hon. Member of Parliament.

Sir, on the issue of feeder roads, which was also raised by Hon. Mooya, I would like to inform the people of Southern Province that the sector will continue to receive critical attention after His Excellency President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, moved the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) to the Zambia National Service (ZNS). In that regard, I wish to state that the Southern Province has already received its share of the earth-moving equipment bought by the Government.

Sir, I leave the issue of designs and drainages that Hon. Mooya spoke about to the engineers but, of course, with the assurance that we shall continuously monitor the projects so that quality is not compromised.

Sir, the Kafue Mazabuka Road is one of the key areas of concern that the hon. Member raised on the Floor of the House in his debate. I would also like to assure him and the people of this great province that these road works are currently being procured and that once the procurement processes are completed, the province and the nation will be informed accordingly.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Mooya also spoke about chiefs’ palaces and I am glad that he appreciated this Government’s decision to construct palaces for Their Royal Highnesses. On this matter, I am glad to inform you and this House at large that all contracts for the three palaces in the first phase have been awarded. While still on this matter, I also wish to caution all the successful bidders to avoid doing any shoddy works.  

Mr Speaker, the issue of dams drying up is a very legitimate concern to this Government as well, as its effect on the livelihoods of the people and the livestock in the region is very negative. Allow me to state, for the record, that the drying up of the dams is a result of the effects of climate change that we are currently experiencing. We can build a million dams but, as long as we do not collectively put measures in place to mitigate climate change, all of them will still dry up. So, I appeal to the hon. Members of Parliament, Their Royal Highnesses, religious leaders and all Government institutions in the Southern Province to consider planting trees as a matter of urgency because failure to do so will seriously compromise the future generations’ ability to lead normal lives. As we speak, most of the Southern Province is a semi desert. That said, I assure this House that the Government has resources to construct dams and dip tanks in some selected areas. Actually, we had commenced the procurement of ninety-six dip tanks for the province. Unfortunately, at the valuation stage, it was discovered that all the local bidders had attached fake audited financial reports to their bids. As a result, all were disqualified and the process has to restart.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga, Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central also ...


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister! Please, pause for a moment.

I think that Hon. Livune and the hon. Ministers are not listening. The problem of consulting when you are apart is that you speak louder than you should. So, Hon. Livune, if you want to consult the hon. hon. Minister of Higher Education, get nearer to him and consult quietly.

You may continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mubukwanu: Sir, Hon. Muntanga bemoaned the same issues I had addressed earlier. He also raised the subject of agriculture and dwelt a bit on the issue of the Electronic Voucher (e-Voucher) System. This afternoon, the hon. Minister of Agriculture made a statement to this House on that subject. However, for purposes of my debate, I also wish to indicate that His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Lungu, graciously launched the e-Voucher System in Mbabala with a view to underscoring the Government’s commitment to this innovation as we move to diversifying our economy. The e-Voucher System is targeted at 241,000 farmers. As has already been said, this system is different from the conventional Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). To date, 2,800 jobs have been created as a result of the implementation of this system. The system has also empowered farmers with the option of getting inputs according to their needs, unlike under the traditional FISP, which only offered fertiliser and seed. It is worth noting that six of the thirteen districts in which the system is being piloted are in the Southern Province. These are Kalomo, Choma, Monze, Mazabuka, Chikankata and Pemba. The province was also chosen as the launch area for the project because the Government is aware that the province has traditionally been an agricultural area and that, consequently, it has many experienced farmers who would add value to this pilot project and help it to succeed. Therefore, I thank the hon. Minister of Agriculture for choosing the province to host the national launch of the programme.

Hon. Minister, we are very grateful to you.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Muntanga also talked about the issuance of national registration cards (NRCs) and the mobile voter registration exercise. This was a Government programme aimed at safeguarding the rights of our citizens in that part of the country. Unfortunately, I think that some politicians politicised it. However, allow me to report to the House that the Government had initially targeted to issue about 120,000 NRCs in the Southern Province and that the projection has been surpassed. As I speak, 160,593 NRCs have been issued. Additionally, the Government was gracious enough to extend the exercise beyond the stipulated time in places like Kalomo and Monze.

Sir, on the issue of the solar hammer mills, Hon. Muntanga’s concern was that the province should receive its fair share so that its people can also have access to cheaper mealie meal. The reason His Excellency the President made the decision to buy the hammer mills was to provide people across the country with affordable mealie meal.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Nkombo was the last to debate the Vote for the province. I attentively followed his debate and I feel that he did not use his minutes to fully raise the concerns of the people of Mazabuka and the province at large.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: Sir, during his debate, the hon. Member concentrated on politicking and referred to the PF as a cursed Government.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: I think that is very regrettable, and I believe that it almost amounts to hate speech.

Sir, the hon. Member also spoke about the commissioning of the Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project by His Excellency the President in Chikankata District this past weekend and said that the entire PF Government drove to Chikankata to just witness the re-commissioning of that project. On the contrary, only three hon. Ministers attended the function, namely, the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development,the hon. Deputy Minister at State House, Mr Mulenga Sata,and me, the host Minister. So, His Excellency the President was not accompanied by a large delegation.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about some key Government interventions in the Southern Province since the PF came into power.

Sir, for your information, of all the ten provinces of the country, the Southern Province got the largest allocation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: This year, we have been allocated K80,642,037, followed by the Copperbelt Province, which has been allocated only K68,773,031. Further, the Southern Province topped the list when the Ministry of Health allocated ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: ... ambulances to provinces. We received eighteen ambulances, followed by Luapula Province, which got only fifteen and the Northern Province, which got twelve. Still in the health sector, there are four district hospitals under construction at various stages of completion in Munyumbwe, Kazungula, Kalomo and Namwala. In addition, the rehabilitation and extension of Choma General Hospital has been completed. The PF Government also upgraded Livingstone General Hospital to a Central Hospital. In this regard, I want the people of the Southern Province to know that the Livingstone Central Hospital is the most modernised in the country ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: ... and that it has a world-class Renal Unit.  

Mr Chairperson, out of the 650 health posts that the PF Government is currently constructing across the country, ninety-nine are in the Southern Province.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: Sir, for the benefit of the questioner, the hon. Member for Kazungula Parliamentary Constituency, I will repeat that. Out of the 560 health posts that the Government is constructing, ninety-nine are in the Southern Province, ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: ... and that is the highest number of health posts any province has received.

Mr Chairperson, I also want to indicate that the first Medical Stores Limited (MSL) Hub in the country is situated in Choma, the Headquarters of the Southern Province. These hubs are aimed at improving the drug supply management chain in the country.

Mr Chairperson the construction of the provincial headquarters is about 85 percent complete. The six-storey Administration Block and sixty-two staff houses are almost complete. This confirms my colleague from Muchinga’s lament that only thirty staff houses have been built in his province, compared with Choma’s sixty-two.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: The houses are near completion and, hopefully, by the first quarter of 2016, we should be able to occupy them.

Mr Chairperson, construction projects are also underway in the new districts. It is a pity that the time available is not adequate for me to enumerate all of them. However, let me mention that the 930 m Kazungula Bridge, is under construction at a cost US$163 million.


Mr Chishimba:Tawalandilenapopa bridge,iwe.

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Chairperson, I need your protection. I am talking about development in Kazungula, but the area hon. Member is intimidating me with signs.


The Chairperson: Just ignore him.


Mr Mubukwanu: Most obliged, Sir.

Mr Chairperson, the bridge, which will have driveways in either direction and a railway track in the middle, is a project of significant value to this region and comes with one-stop border facilities on either side of the river.

Sir, the Bottom Road is one project that had eluded the people of the Southern Province for many years until the PF Government came into power. As we speak, the road, which has opened up the area to economic activities, is receiving very good attention. I also wish to acknowledge that the works on the Monze/Niko Road are also progressing very well. These are some of the major roads often talked about on the Floor of this House. So, it is very important that I appeal to my colleagues, the hon. Members of Parliament from the Southern Province, to give credit where it is due.  

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Chairperson, whether the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola likes it or not, the people of the Southern Province appreciate the difference being made in their lives and I have no doubt that, come 2016, they will demonstrate their appreciation by voting the PF back into Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mubukwanu: Mr Chairperson, allow me to share some programmes we have prioritised for 2016. I have categorised the priorities in thematic areas of infrastructure development, tourism development and development of the agricultural sector.

Sir, under infrastructure development, this Government will strive to complete all the projects currently ongoing for the benefit of our people. We do hope that the development of new districts will be expedited so that Government services can be accessed without much difficulty.

Mr Chairperson in the tourism sector, we will continue to maintain the cultural village, promote arts and tourism, and the Arts Festival. As you are aware, the Southern Province is home to the tourist capital of Zambia, Livingstone. So, we, as the provincial administration, will scale up initiatives to put Livingstone in its rightful place on the tourism map as we diversify our economy.

Sir, under the agriculture and livestock sectors, we will continue with cattle restocking, supporting crop production and productivity, and livestock disease control. There are several other cross-cutting issues that we will also take on board, such as the human immuno-deficiency virus and human immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and gender mainstreaming. Of course, employment creation and poverty reduction still remain a part of our priorities for 2016. Under this sector, we will support youth, child and sports development; tourism; social welfare; and community development.

Mr Chairperson, let me end by eliciting support for the provincial budget and, more importantly, for the good leadership of President Edgar Lungu, on behalf of the people of Southern Province.

Mr Chairperson, with those few remarks, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister for North-Western Province (Mr Kafwaya): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving this opportunity to wind up the debate  on the Vote for the North-Western Province.

Mr Chairperson, I thank Hon. Teddy Kasonso of Solwezi West, Hon Muchima of Ikeleng’i and …

Mr Sikazwe: They are not even here.

Mr Kafwaya: … and Hon. Lufuma for their contribution. I will respond to their debates even if they are not here. However, before I do that, let me thank His Excellency the President for giving me the opportunity to serve in his Government and contribute to changing the face of the North-Western Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, I am eager to talk about the North-Western Province because I feel that it has now become a playground for politics instead of issues that can help us to develop.

Mr Chairperson, from the time that Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu became President of the Republic, he has concentrated a lot of effort on developing the North-Western Province. I think that everyone is aware that His Excellency the President has been to the province more than five times in an effort to identify the problems therein and solutions to the development challenges of the province. In all fairness, we have to acknowledge that he is the first President of the Republic to have done that. So, I expected the hon. Members of Parliament from the province to show some appreciation. If a Head of State visits your province, it means that he is concerned about the welfare of its people. When I was appointed Provincial Minister, I was among the few people he invited to accompany him to Angola, together with the hon. Ministers of Works and Supply, and Foreign Affairs. One of the issues that His Excellency the President talked about was the connection of the North-Western Province to the Benguela Railway Line, which will promote farming in the region. We are aware that the people of Ikeleng’i are good pineapple farmers. So, we are trying to connect the province to other countries like Angola so that we can export not only the pineapples, but also our copper. It is unfortunate that our friends, the hon. Members of Parliament from the province, have not taken note of this. In life, it is very important to show appreciation. We are all human beings and we deserve to be appreciated so that we are motivated to do more.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, that is why I said that we should not take the province as a political playground. Some people simply want to turn a blind eye to what the Government is doing in the province.

Sir, Hon. Kasonso said that the province is a hell on earth. That is very unfair. I will mention the projects that have been implemented in the province. In this regard, we have to understand that there is always a starting point. When you start something, you cannot expect to see results the same day. All of us have been to school. Unfortunately, sometimes, even people who have been to school understand things in a way that is surprising. How can anyone expect the Solwezi/Chingola Road to be completed in a day?

Mr Chairperson, I am an accountant by profession. So, maybe, the civil engineers among us can guide us. I have never seen a road completed in a month. So, it will take time for us to complete building the road. Therefore, my appeal is that we should not mislead people, but give them hope instead.

Sir, Hon. Kasonso talked about the Solwezi/Chingola, Mwinilunga/Jimbe, Kasempa/Kaoma and Solwezi township roads. It seems we, human beings, have small memories.


Mr Kafwaya: I am a man who stands by my principles. In the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, more than seven Cabinet Ministers hailed from the province. So, we had control of the Cabinet and could have proposed the projects that we are talking about now.The Solwezi/Chingola did not become bad in the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. In 2004, when I was still in university, the road was already in a bad state and people knew this. In fact, the then hon. Minister of Works and Supply hailed from the province and should have ensured that it was worked on. It is very unfair to blame the PF Government or President Lungu because that road should have been worked on a long time ago.

Mr Mwamba: Well spoken.

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, when the President was elected into office in January, 2015, he visited our province in May and promised that he would return to launch the construction of the Solwezi/Chingola Road. He fulfilled his promise within two weeks of making it and three contractors were engaged to work on the road, and the works are progressing well. I go to the province often because I am interested in seeing what is happening on that road. If you go there now, you will find that the contractor has even started working on the stone base. I encourage hon. Members of Parliament from the province to visit their constituencies because they are not in touch with what is on the ground.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Otherwise, they will be surprised by the changes that are taking place there. Some hon. Members do not even know that there is a new shopping mall being built in Solwezi and they will be surprised when they go there and find it.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: It is important that we do not mislead people.

Sir, some people want to use politics to divide the youth, but we are not going to allow ourselves to be divided ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: ... because we know that the North-Western Province is a part of this country and that we are One Zambia, One Nation.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Kasonso mentioned that there was no money for the Government to construct the Solwezi/Chingola Road. In fact, the Government has already spent more than K188 million on the road. So, we should ask for information if we do not have it instead of mixing politics with developmental issues.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Some politicians are good at talking, but they have done nothing in their constituencies. However, I will stand my ground and refuse to be intimidated by anyone because I know that I am here to serve the people of Zambian.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, the President assured the people of Ikeleng’i District that he would find a contractor to work on the Mwinilunga/Jimbe Road because we understand its economic value. The problem is that we think that the Government just prints money when the truth is that we only have one source of money, as a nation. So, we cannot implement all the projects at the same time. People should be patient with the Government and see what we can do.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, we already have a contractor for the Mwinilunga/Jimbe Road and Road Development Agency (RDA) staff are in Solwezi doing due diligence on the contractor. The Government will spend more than US$105 million to construct the road.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: My office has this information and the door is always open to the hon. Members from that province to seek any information they need to speak from an informed perspective. We do not want a repeat of what happened, when an hon. Member claimed that Lumwana District Hospital hadnot been electrified when, in fact, it had been electrified. We are here to represent the people of Zambia. So, the levels of our debates should be different from those of the people on the streets.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Member for Solwezi East is aware of what the Government is doing in Mushindamo District. In January, I went to Mushindamo and Kipushi border posts. The road is in a bad state, but the Government has already spent K1.4 million on temporary repairs because we cannot make all the roads reach bituminous standard at the same time. I escorted the President to Mushindamo Girls Technical School where he met chiefs and teachers, and promised to electrify the border post and the schools along the border. As we speak, the Government is spending K30 million on electrifying the border post and secondary schools. The project is expected to be completed by February, 2016.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, in Solwezi East, a contractor is working on electrifying the school at Kingovwa under Rural Electrification Authority (REA). All these projects are being implemented in the North-Western Province. So, we may have had a bad start, but things are moving in the right direction.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, in Hon. Kasonso’s constituency, and I am not attacking him, but painting the true picture of what is on the ground, there is a contractor working on the road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga, and I know that our colleagues who went there for campaigns drove on the road. The Government has already worked on about 90 km from Solwezi to somewhere near Mwinilunga.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, the road that goes to Kasempa also had many potholes, but the Government has worked on them and Hon. Pande has managed to drive on the road on his way to Kasempa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: The project contractor was China Geo-Engineering Corporation.

Mr Pande rose.


Mr Pande resumed his seat.

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Members of Parliament, chiefs and the people of the province have been talking about the creation of new districts. There has also been the call for Manyama to be declared a district. However, when the President officially opened the current session of this House, he declared two new districts, namely, Kalumbila and Mushindamo, yet even the people who were asking for that have not shown their appreciation. All they do is criticise the Government. I fail to understand that because we are just misleading the people. Personally, I appreciate the two new districts that we have been given and I know that all well-meaning people of the North-Western Province appreciate them too.

Sir, I want to inform our colleagues from the North-Western Province that, as the Provincial Administration, we have already started making arrangements and preparations on what needs to be done because we know that we cannot build a house without a foundation. We know that there are many projects in Ikeleng’i and Manyinga districts, and a lot of infrastructure is being developed in all these places, but we cannot complete all the projects in a year or two. We have to give time to the contractors to complete their work.

Sir, some of the unfinished projects in the province are due to the failure by contractors to complete them. Therefore, I advise contractors to complete the projects on time when awarded contracts. As a Government, we will continue working. Currently, we are thinking of where we can build a technical school in Kalumbila District and a hospital in Mushindamo District because that is our responsibility.  

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, I know that the construction of the Mutanda/Chavuma Road was started by the MMD Government, but it was completed by the PF Government. We have to appreciate that because, sometimes, projects are abandoned by the contractors, especially if they were started by different people.   

Sir, the Government is also constructing secondary schools in the North-Western Province, namely, Mushindamo Girls Technical Secondary School, Kanyama Technical Secondary School, Kayombo Secondary School in Kabompo District and Chavuma Secondary School. We are also building a district hospital in Chavuma. If we estimate the cost of the projects I am talking about, I think it will be more than K200 million. So, we will not be swayed by those who are politicking. We are not here today for us to be here tomorrow because it is only God who knows our destination.

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: We are here today, but we may not be here tomorrow. What is important is for us to do is work as a team so that we can move forward, as a nation.

Sir, we are also working on township roads in Solwezi, Kasempa, Chavuma and Zambezi districts. I was in Kasempa on Sunday and I was told that the hon. Member for Kasempa was there to supervise the works on the township roads in that district. While he was there, he told the people that he was working with the Government to ensure that the roads were worked on in time. I, therefore, thank him for that.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, what we have started will change the face of the North-Western Province. For the first time, we will have township roads in our province. The hon. Member for KabompoWest said that there is nothing happening there, yet Mabele Bridge was constructed there by the Disaster and Mitigation Management Unit (DMMU). I think that the hon. Member can only claim that the Government has done nothing in his district if he got the money to work on that bridge from somewhere else. If he got it from the Government, then, it is the Government that is performing.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, it is a pity that Hon. Mabumba is not in the House. I remember when the Government wanted to upgrade Pokola Primary School into a secondary school. I think that the Government spent about K475,000 to build a classroom block at the school. There was even a time when Hon. Mabumba, Hon. Lufuma and I went to meet the community there because it was alleged that the money allocated to the school had almost been diverted to another site. We managed to sort the problem out. As I speak, the construction of the school has started.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: I think it has even been completed. Let us be factual in what we say because I think …


The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

I know you are capable of talking even for two hours.


The Chairperson: So, can you start moving towards your conclusion.

Mr Kafwaya: Yes, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Wind up!

Mr Kafwaya: You want me to wind up? I am talking like this because there was too much politics in the debate on the Vote for the North-Western Province. We are the leaders of this country and I know that we still have a future, although I know that some people have been praying for me to lose the elections in 2016.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Let me tell them that I am not scared of anything or anyone. I also assure them that what we have achieved today with His Excellency the President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will be seen by the people tomorrow. Whether I am in this House or not, the people will always remember our time and what the PF Government did for the people of North-Western Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, I will be ready to even sacrifice myself for development. If we fight while our friends are eating, we will be wasting time. We will not achieve anything if we allow our province to become a political playground. Some people are intimidated even just to ask for help from the Government for development in their constituencies. Will we live like that because of politics? The elections will be in 2016 and that is when I will think about political issues. If God wills it, you will see me bounce back into this House. Therefore, let us not talk about politics, but about development and help our people to move to a different level.

Sir, in my constituency, we have also started constructing three bridges and we are being assisted by the DMMU. At least, we have some crossing points. The Chairperson for the United Party for National Development (UPND) also crosses on the same bridges.


Mr Kafwaya: Even the people who went to the North-Western Province for the campaigns used the bridges.

Sir, I know that the service that I am doing is not only for the North-Western Province, but also for all Zambians because we are part of this country.

Sir, we are also constructing an alternative bridge at a cost K5.5 million to help the people in the North-Western Province move easily. If we want to count the projects that the PF Government is implementing, we will spend the whole day. What is important is to understand that we are One Zambia, One Nation.

 Mr Livune: Question!

 Mr Kafwaya: Therefore, let us speak the same language in order for us to promote unity. If we want to lobby, please, let us use the correct channels, not through fighting, which can end up dividing this nation. We are scaring the young people. Now we hear that some parts of Zambia should belong to some tribes, which is misleading to the people.

Mr Chairperson, the Provincial Permanent Secretary and the entire team are committed to providing the services and taking development to the province. We are also trying, by all means, to work with the contractors working on different projects so that we can expedite the projects being implemented in the province. We also have a breeding centre in Mwinilunga, from which the local people are already benefiting. In 1993, the late President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, signed in a log book at Mwinilunga District Hospital, where he promised the people of Mwinilunga that when he became the Republican President, he would construct a hospital for the local people. As I speak, the Government is in the process of constructing the hospital and the tendering process has reached an advanced stage. The papers are already with the Attorney-General. Once the whole process is completed, the construction of the hospital will commence.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: Sir, we will also construct another hospital in Kabwiku, Mwinilunga District. The developments that I am talking about will be seen in the province and I know that people will appreciate them because it is difficult to believe if people have not seen. However, when our people see, they will believe what we are talking about.

Mr Chairperson, the solar milling plant.

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

We have only three minutes to go. Therefore, you have to wind up.

Mr Kafwaya: Hear, hear! Okay.


Mr Chairperson, Solwezi West was one of the first beneficiaries of the first four solar hammer mills that His Excellency the President talked about. As I speak, we have a solar hammer mill at Kanang’a. We are just waiting for commissioning.

Sir, the Government is also connecting the province to the National Grid and the contractor is already on site.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kafwaya: I do not know why my colleagues are failing to see what is happening in that area when they go there.

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Chairperson, after having listened to this eloquent debate by the hon. Minister for the North-Western Province, in which he has highlighted all the important development projects being implemented in the North-Western Province, is Hon. Lufuma  who, yesterday, dramatised things and coined the slogan ‘One Zambia, One side’ in order not to apologise for misleading the House and the nation?

I seek your serious ruling on this matter.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: The serious ruling is that the hon. Member is here and he has listened.


The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, please, wind up your eloquent debate.


Mr Kafwaya: Mr Chairperson, the Government is connecting the North-Western Province to the electricity national grid. As I speak, …

The Chairperson: Order!

This is a rare situation, in which the Chairperson has to stop the hon. Minister’s debate.


The Chairperson: I would have called upon the hon. Minister for Central Province to debate but, since it is time up, he will debate tomorrow.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The Hose adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 on Friday, 4th December, 2015.