Debates - Wednesday, 26th November, 2014

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Wednesday, 26th November, 2014 

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to present to this august House the 2014 Grade 7 examination results. The 2014 Grade 7 examination, as the nation is aware, was conducted from 13th to 17th October, 2014. The processing of the results has been completed within November, one month after the examination was conducted.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Dr Phiri: Sir, the selection of the 2015 Grade 8 pupils has also been completed. Parents and guardians will soon receive the acceptance letters for their children. This will make it possible for the Grade 8 entrants to report to their respective schools together with the rest of the non-examination classes in January, 2015.

Sir, you will have noted that in the three years of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, in which I have been privileged to be the hon. Minister responsible for education and skills training, this is the first time I have the honour to present Grade 7 examination results to this august House. The reason is simple. In the past, we took longer in processing the results, such that we were only ready in late December, at a time this House was in recess.

Sir, I wish, therefore, to commend the new Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) board and management for turning things around at the council. Working together with my ministry’s officials at all levels, they have shown outmost efficiency in processing the 2014 Grade 7 examination results. This has culminated into the early selection of the 2015 Grade 8 pupils.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, a total of 367,967 candidates entered for the 2014 Grade 7 examinations, of which 188,670 were boys and 179,297 girls. This represents a percentage increase of 4.46 per cent over the 352,266 candidates who entered for similar examinations in 2013. Of those who entered for the examinations, 332,953 candidates sat the 2014 examinations, of which 171,219 were boys and 161,734 were girls. This represents an increase of 6.16 per cent over the 312,443 candidates who sat for the 2013 Grade 7 examinations.

Sir, the increase in candidature is attributed, among other factors, to the ongoing expansion in classroom space. I wish to put on record the appreciation of the ministry’s management team for the inspiring guidance it received from the late President Michael Chilufya Sata, may his soul rest in peace. In memory of his leadership and passion for children and their education, the ministry will continue with the expansion of classroom space programme to ensure that more children have access to education in the coming years.

Mr Speaker, it was also observed during the 2014 Grade 7 examinations that there was a reduction in candidate absenteeism rates from 11.3 per cent in 2013 to 9.25 per cent in 2014. In absolute figures, a total of 35,014 candidates were absent from the examinations, of whom 17,451 were boys and 17,563 were girls. It is also gratifying to announce that all the ten provinces recorded a reduction in absenteeism, with the lowest rates recorded in the Southern Province. I hereby commend all the staff in the ministry at all levels and other  stakeholders that worked tirelessly to reduce absenteeism rates. I wish to encourage them to work even harder until absenteeism is completely wiped out.

Mr Speaker, I turn my attention to the performance of the candidates who sat for the examinations, which was as follows:

Category    Boys    Girls    Total

Division 1      32,635      29,492      62,127
Division 2      41,838      36,713      78,551
Division 3      30,070      27,817      57,887
Division 4      66,676      67,712    134,388

Total    171,219    161,734    332,953

Sir, a further analysis of the results showed that the proportions of candidates obtaining Division 1 and 2 increased by 0.25 per cent and 0.40 per cent respectively, while the proportion of candidates obtaining Division 4 reduced by 0.52 per cent over the 2013 results. The ascendance of learners from Division 4 to 3 and 2 is a signal that the education system is improving as it is a build-up on the marginal improvement recorded during the 2013 examinations.

Sir, this improvement in performance is attributed to the various interventions that the ministry and its stakeholders have put in place, in particular, the annual performance review meetings which have now been extended to the provincial and district levels and the Primary literacy Programme (PLP). The ministry shall implement the performance review meetings as an annual event and enhance its focus on ensuring that learners acquire early reading, writing and numeracy skills.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about the progression rates. Out of 332,953 candidates who sat for the 2014 Grade 7 examinations, a total of 299,710 candidates have been selected to Grade 8. Out of this number, 152,895 are boys and 146,725 are girls, bringing the national progression rate to 90.02 per cent from 89.36 per cent in 2013. The highest progression rate was recorded in the Western Province at 99.85 per cent, while the lowest progression rate was recorded in Lusaka Province at 75.14 per cent. Luapula Province recorded a 100 per cent progression rate for girls.

     Sir, the breakdown of progression rates by province is as follows

Province        Candidates             Number Selected        Progression Rate
Muchinga        18,822            15,521                82.46 per cent
Northern         22,552            20,673                91.67 per cent
Luapula        20,242            19,581                96.73 per cent
Southern         44,160            39,792                90.11 per cent
Eastern        32,172            30,643                95.25 per cent
Copperbelt        54,108            51,454                95.09 per cent
North-Western    19,400            18,784                96.82 per cent
Central         37,908            35,737                94.27 per cent
Western        19,087            19,058                99.85 per cent
Lusaka        64,502            48,467                75.14 per cent

Sir, I wish to reiterate that the Government is committed to the achievement of the Education for All and millennium development goals. In this regard, the ministry will continue to focus on infrastructure development to ensure that all learners are provided with the opportunity to complete, at least, nine years of education without hindrances. Further, the ministry will ensure that learning and teaching materials are procured and sent to schools. We shall also  make sure that quality teaching and learning is taking place by closely monitoring performance standards in all the provinces.

Mr Speaker, I wish to put it on record that the conduct of these examinations was incident free and the results have been released timely. There were no cases of examination malpractices reported. This record is attributed to the tireless efforts made by the ministry, the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) and all other stakeholders to ensure that the examinations were free of malpractices.

Sir, in conclusion, I wish to inform the House that, the schools across the country will begin to issue the 2014 Grade 7 composite examination results by Friday 28th November, 2014. However, parents, guardians and learners who wish to know the results before collecting their official statements of results from their schools may use the Short Message Service (SMS) Results Release System (SRRS) offered by the ECZ. The facility is currently only available to Zamtel subscribers. The opening day for the 2015 Grade 8 pupils is 12th January, 2015, with a grace period of up to 26th January, 2015.

Mr Speaker, allow me to lay on the table of this House a document for the perusal and analysis of the hon. Members of Parliament. The document will include highlights of among other things, the following:

(a)    performance according to learning areas;

(b)    performance by subject by gender; and

(c)    performance according to school type.

  Sir, the appendix of the document will show the district league, which indicates the level at which each district is in terms of achievement.

  Mr Speaker, I thank you.

  Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification regarding the ministerial statement which has been issued by the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, it is unprecedented for this Government to perform in the manner it has done. I wish to commend the hon. Minister for this.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, we now have a two thronged educational system in our country. How many children have progressed to basic and secondary schools, respectively?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the figures that I have given show the progression from Grade 7 to 8. I have indicated several times on the Floor of this House that this Government is working under certain limitations and possibilities. We cannot easily do away with basic schools. We have realised that we are constrained by the fact that space is limited at secondary school level as compared to the primary level. So, the figures indicate children going to both secondary and basic schools.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, although the absenteeism rate has shown a decline, it is still very high in my opinion. Does the ministry intend to carry a study to ascertain why we continue to experience high absenteeism during examinations when in normal circumstances it is supposed to be zero?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the normal standard should be zero. Therefore, questions to do absenteeism have continued to preoccupy our minds. We cannot apportion any single factor responsible for absenteeism to date. Some of the pupils who register to write examinations may not be available at the time the examinations are being written for various reasons. Amongst girls, as you know, early marriages are a key factor. However, I wish to state that there are other factors that are responsible for absenteeism. We cannot rule out the multiplicity of entries whereby people are transferred from one area to another and end up registering twice. 

Sir, the system is being combed for answers. The ECZ has taken it upon itself to carry out a study in this regard. We are awaiting the results of that study and, maybe, when that study indicates the major reasons, I will tell this House about them.

Mr Speaker: I thank you.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, the progression rate for Lusaka is very bad. I want to find out the reason the progression rate for Lusaka is at 75 per cent. I also want the hon. Minister to explain to me the difference between the failure and progression rates.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I indicated that Lusaka had 64,502 learners sitting for the exams. In terms of performance, Lusaka Province is rated number one. However, because of the big number of primary schools and smaller number of secondary schools, the secondary schools are unable to absorb each of the those 64,502 pupils. All the children who obtain Division 4 results progress to the next level because they would have fulfilled the requirements of the examinations. Those who have Division 4 results are not failures.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, I would like to commend the learners and the teachers for these good results. With this improved progression rate, how many of the learners at national level are actually going to be picked up by secondary schools considering the fact that they are not enough in the country?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I have availed copies of my speech to the hon. Members because I know that some hon. Members may have not been able to get what I was saying. For emphasis, let me repeat what I said. Out of the 332,953 candidates who sat for the examinations, 299, 710 have been selected to Grade 8. This is the number that I am announcing now, but in reality, as we open the thirty-nine schools which we have been working on after taking over power, the number of the learners who will have access to education at Grade 8 level will increase. Further, in rural areas, the head teachers usually have no option, but to add to the forty pupils needed per class. This is why we have more than forty pupils in a class in certain places. This is in an effort to try and help as many children as possible to stay in school.

 Sir, the figures which I read out are conservative. In reality, it is possible for all the pupils to be swallowed up by the system. However, what that causes to the system is another area for debate.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Member: Address it.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I missed what the hon. Minister said on the progression rate for the Copperbelt Province. As he stands to respond to my question, can he just indicate it to me.

Sir, is the hon. Minister saying that the performance in Lusaka Province has been poor because of the large number of pupils in the classrooms? Is he, therefore, implying that the progression rate favours provinces with a smaller population of pupils? I need this clarification.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member for Rufunsa might have noticed the contradiction in my report. Whilst Lusaka Province tops all the provinces in terms of performance, the number of children going to Grade 8 is less. In fact, it is the least. The explanation I gave is that there are too many primary schools in Lusaka. We did not do our home work to create space at secondary school level in Lusaka Province. This is the headache that the ministry has. We will see what we can do in the shortest term.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, there are Government schools, mission schools and private schools. Can the hon. Minister indicate to me which category of schools produced the best and the worst results?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the picture has not changed from last year. Like last year, the private schools top the list, mission aided schools are second, community schools are third and fourth and last are the Government schools.


Dr Phiri:  Mr Speaker, when you compare the results of community schools and Government schools, be mindful that many private schools use the community schools as examination centres. Therefore, this state of affairs might affect the performance of community schools. Even though that might be the case, let us not take away the credit that we must give to community schools. Maybe the untrained teachers in community schools work harder than our teachers. The results have given the impression that we need to do a little more to motivate our teachers. The Government has tried to motivate teachers by increasing their salaries to a reasonable amount. I hope that the teachers will repay the Government by working hard and producing results that we will be proud of in the years to come.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, can the hon. inform me and the nation as to whether the cut-off point for qualifying to Grade 8 was uniform throughout the country. If it was not, what  was the highest, and where was it lowest in terms of regions?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, at Grade 7 level, it is the availability of space that dictates the cut-off points because all children are sufficiently groomed to gain entrance into Grade 8. Therefore, it is space per province that guides the selection process. The divisions in which the different pupils fall is also part of the criteria used.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that it is Government’s desire to have pupils have education which is uninterrupted.  How does he hope to have education for pupils which is decent and uninterrupted, especially at Grade 8 and 9 levels, when pupils are supposed to pay to access this education?  Is the Government considering offering free education at up to Grade 9?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, earlier, I commended the passion which His Excellency the late President had for the education sector. He gave very categorical guidelines on the education sector. In fact, in the last days of his presidency, his focus was on children everywhere he went. He was interested to know whether the children had eaten, gone to school and so on and so forth. That is the legacy which we want to build on. 

Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto which guides this Government clearly states that it is the goal of the party to provide free education up to Grade 12. I am on record as having said in this House that that is our mission. That is our goal, especially for the rural children because that is the only way out of poverty for them. We know how parents struggle to raise money for their children’s school fees. I have explained before to this House that I wished that the whole Budget came to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education because it would make it possible for us to provide free education easily. 

Sir, the reality is that for a long time, we neglected the secondary school education. That is where we are pouring money now. The budget suggestions that are coming before you hon. Members of Parliament indicate that we have reserved K813 million for the expansion of facilities at the secondary school level. Is it not a shame to have 33,000 children failing to get into Grade 8 fifty years after Independence? We must become more committed to the lives of our children than we have been in the past. There is a cry to all of us in this House to increase the budget allocation to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education for the simple reason that there are children out there who need to get to the very top using Government funding. Let us increase the allocation if we can. 

I thank you, Sir.




246. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    when construction of Kasanjiku Mini-Hydro Power Project in the North-Western Province would be completed and commissioned;

(b)    what the construction timeframe of the project was; and 

(c)    who the prime beneficiaries of the project are.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, the construction of the Kasanjiku-Mini Hydro Power Project in the North-Western Province will be completed and commissioned by mid 2017.

Mr Speaker, the actual construction is scheduled to start in the second quarter of the year 2015 and will take approximately two years to complete. 

Mr Speaker, the prime beneficiaries of the project are as follows: 

(a)    Luwi Hospital, which serves a population of about 23,000 people;

(b)    Ntambu Primary School;

(c)    Ntambu Secondary School;

(d)    Ntambu Local Court;

(e)    Ntambu Shopping Centre;

(f)    Ntambu Mission;

(g)    Ntambu Discipleship Training Centre;

(h)    St. Philip Parish;

(i)    St. Christopher Secondary School;

(j)    Chief Ntambu’s Palace;

(k)    Kayisumpa Primary School;

(l)    Kazozu Primary School;

(m)    Kazozu Rural Health Centre;

(n)    Chisengisengi Primary School;

(o)    Tomuyilunga Secondary school;

(p)    Tomuyilunga Rural Health Centre;

(q)    Nkenyauli Primary School;
(r)    Nkenyauli Shopping Centre; and

(s)    Chief Sailunga’s Palace.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) in December last year asked the people of Mwinilunga to construct a road leading to the venue for the groundbreaking ceremony when it was not ready to start the project. The road which the people constructed now has grass on it before the project can even start.  

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, as a ministry we apologise profusely for inconveniencing the people of Mwinilunga. It is true that there was supposed to be a groundbreaking ceremony, but because of the absence of the hon. Minister then, the ceremony did not take place. We are planning to do another groundbreaking ceremony. I would like to request, Hon. Katuka, as area Member of Parliament to apologise to the people on our behalf. 


Mr Zulu: Sir, as soon as we are ready, we will let the people know when the groundbreaking ceremony will take place.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just apologised to the people of Mwinilunga. Is he, however, considering sending money as payment to the people who will reconstruct this road? How will the people who will be working on the road use it now that it is more or less bushy? 

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, I expect the people to understand the apology which I have given. We need to work together with the people in order for the project to be implemented properly. 


Mr Zulu: Sir, I cannot promise that the people who will work on the road will be paid. All I can say for now is that this project will take off soon.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find how much the construction of the mini-hydro power station will cost.

Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, the construction of this project will cost US$10 million. This includes the procurement of a consultant. 

I thank you, Sir. 




   VOTE 44 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – K47,928,218).

(Consideration resumed)

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, when business was suspended yesterday, I was calling for the total revision of the Employment Act, Cap. 268 and the Industrial and Labour Relations Act, Cap. 269, and was about to move onto social security. 

Mr Chairperson, social security is a very important in any given society. I am talking about compensating the people for the income they lose at retirement. When we talk about this matter, three institutions come to mind: the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA); the Local Government Superannuation Fund; and the Public Service Pensions Fund. The hon. Minister has the obligation to ensure a smooth harmonisation of the operations of these institutions. In this industry, it is important to understand the principles of defined contributions and defined benefits. It is also important to know that some of these institutions are related to certain occupations while others are not. I wish to urge the hon. Minister to hasten the harmonization process. Some serious studies which have been conducted clearly indicate that it would be best for the operations of the institutions which I have talked about to be harmonised. 

Mr Chairperson, this ministry is extremely important because labour is one important component of production. Civil Service workers in certain districts go through a lot of hardships. The hardship they go through is evident when we look at the offices they operate from. The officers lack vehicles and are not motivated enough. I call upon the hon. Minister once again to seriously look into the welfare of these officers in certain districts. 

Mr Chairperson, hon. Minister talked about key issues in this sector. I cannot say much except to encourage him to promote social dialogue because it is the only way to bring sanity to the labour market. 

Sir, in conclusion, I want to talk about the high levels of unemployment in the country vis-à-vis the Statutory Instrument (SI) which has increased the retirement age to sixty-five. This is a serious assault to the future of the young people. This Government hates the youths. This is why it is increased the retirement age for workers. It is very unfair for the Government to extend the working period for people who are supposed to be retiring. Why should the Government extend the retirement age for workers who should be going to the villages to rest when there is so much unemployment in the country? I want to condemn the SI because I feel that it is disadvantaging young people who need to get employed. So, by increasing the retirement age, it means that young people can only be employed when the people occupying those offices have retired. I wish to urge the young people to work out their salvation because this PF Government has failed them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is headed by a man who was at one time a champion of workers’ rights. He even went up to the international arena. His policy statement was so sweet. He said he created 467,000 jobs without talking about the quality of the jobs. Perhaps, as he winds up, the hon. Minister will state the quality of these jobs.

Sir, secondly, in the saga with the nurses, surely, as a father and a conciliator, could it not have been better to forgive the nurses? This country is short of experienced nurses. The absence of nurses in health institutions will result in serious hardships, sometimes, even death. Is it too late for the hon. Minister to advise correctly that those nurses should be re-instated unconditionally?

Mr Chairperson, Mumbwa is one of the districts developing very fast. The hon. Minister talked about decentralisation. As I speak, there is no labour officer in my district. When we have problems, we have to go to either Kabwe or come to Lusaka. Surely, that is not a way to serve the hardworking employees in Mumbwa. Although the hon. Minister is caught up in the wage freeze debate, I hope he will expedite the recruitment of labour officers. If we talk about replacements, there are no labour officers to be replaced in his ministry. This wage freeze is unnecessary. Had the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security advised correctly on the need to be wise when awarding increments to workers, the wage freeze would have been avoided. I know that the Government has no control of the other environmental factors such as the cost of living. However, the Government can help cushion the workers against the high cost of living through negotiated increments. 

Sir, as the House knows, I am a man of very few words. So, the last point I have has to do with the announcement of the jobs which are said to have been created in different ministries. We are still waiting for to know more about the 300,000 jobs created in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts as announced on 23rd September, 2013. We were told that in two years time that ministry was going to create 300,000 jobs. The hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security has told this House that the Government had created 467,000 jobs. Are all these jobs that have been created purely just for civil servants who are now in permanent employment? If that is the case, why has he left out the other vital statistics? Perhaps he could care to explain.

Mr Chairperson, there are probably five million young people out there who are eligible for employment. So, when you talk about creating employment for 467,000, that is really a drop in the ocean. Is the hon. Minister liaising with the other ministries and sectors, which the PF Government has emphasised as being the focus for economic development? I say so because one would expect that the Government would create an environment for job creation in those ministries and sectors that it is focusing on.

Sir, my standing up to debate this allocation does not mean that I support the work which the ministry is doing. I am merely supporting the Vote, and I hope that is clear. More attention needs to be paid to the needs of young people. The hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has just announced the Grade 7 results. Soon, more young people will be churned out of training institutions. Is there a correlation between the work of the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education and the pace at which the Ministry of Labour and Social Security is creating employment? How much emphasis is the Government placing on agriculture, for instance? These are real questions that need answers, and not just to give us the sweet pronouncements which are short of implementation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank the hon. Members, particularly those who have debated in silence, as silence means consent. So, I am very grateful to all of them for their support. The hon. Member for Katombola, who is dreaming very well, which is very much allowed, said that shortly he will implement certain programmes. I am looking forward to seeing him in 2041 doing so.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Shamenda: Sir, since by then I would have retired, he can count on my support and guidance. I would like to state that what has contributed to the delay in having these pieces of legislation being brought to Parliament is because we have twelve pieces of legislation dealing with labour relations. So, we are breaking up those twelve pieces of legislation into five pieces. I do not think that is an easy job. We had a consultant who unfortunately fell sick and for a year, there was no activity which was taking place. As I indicated in my policy statement, I would like to report to this august House that the drafts are ready for the experts to look at. God willing, before the end of the next session of Parliament, most of these Bills will be brought to here. 

Sir, as I had indicated earlier, collapsing twelve pieces of legislation into five is not an easy task to carry out. As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, there are urgent issues which we promised to look at. These are issues of to do with casualisation and the termination of contracts without giving any proper reasons. This is against the norms of the international labour standards which require that people should be given reasons when their employment is terminated. There are issues regarding contractual labour which are linked to casualisation. This is where we have got employees who are given two year contracts for more than ten years. These are jobs which are supposed to be categorised as permanent. We are all aware that a person who is on contract has no access to credit. You cannot get a mortgage when you are not in permanent employment.  God willing, before the end of this session, we may ban casualisation. Employers will need to give reasons for terminating someone’s employment as well as restricting the number of terms one can be able to be given a contract. 

Sir, let me now talk about social security reforms. There has been a serious confusion in the social security system which has led to some of the schemes becoming bankrupt. That is why a lot of people have not been paid their benefits ten years after they have retired. I think something has got to be done about such situations. The previous administrations tried to do certain things in piecemeal manner. For us, we have decided to take the bull by its horns.

Mr Chairperson, we are looking at the average of the retirement age within the region and internationally. There are very few countries that have people who are retiring at fifty-five. We have a situation whereby we have had a lot of workers in the private sector and Civil Service, who, after attaining the age of fifty-five, they apply for contracts. We have got more people who are working on contracts than people who are on permanent basis. Why should we pretend that the retirement age is at fifty-five? I would like to assure this august House that we are discussing these issues with the stakeholders. If the retirement age may be at sixty-five, you can opt to retire at sixty. You will agree with me that retiring a doctor or a lawyer at fifty-five or sixty, honestly, will not be fair. We have a lot of skilled people who are just moving around, who can add value to this nation if they remained in employment. The best form of creating employment is to grow the economy. You do not do family planning …

The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, you are supposed to be winding up.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Chairperson, I would like to refer to the statement which was made by Hon. Brig-Gen. Chituwo that you do not control the population by killing the old ones so that the young ones can have space. All you need to do is to improve the health facilities. What we need is to create more jobs rather than looking forward for people to leave those jobs so that others can take over from them.

Sir, I think the issue of striking workers was debated adequately. We have discussed the issue to do with nurses with those who are representing them. I think even in this House, we have got rules. Indiscipline cannot be tolerated. What happened was inexcusable. The first ten days they went on strike, they were excused. In less than a month, they went for another strike which went on for about twenty-days, leaving the hospitals empty. I think in all fairness, the Government has been very understanding. Out of all the nurses who were dismissed, a good number of them have been re-instated. 

Mr Mbulakulima: How many?

Mr Shamenda: Sir, without giving actual figures, I still safely say that a majority of them have been reinstated after exculpating themselves. Discipline in any society or environment is very important. We are a listening Government. There are a lot of issues which have also been brought to our attention by a number of people. We are aware that we need to urgently attend to issues to do with social security and labour law reforms.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

VOTE 44/01 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Headquarters – K16,169,220).

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5003, Activity 023 – Training – K70,686 and Programme 5003, Activity 023 – Training – K152,278 on the same page. Why is that programme appearing twice?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Chairperson, for Programme 5003, Activity 008 – Long Term Training – K302,940 is meant to provide for …


Mr Mbulu: What Programme did you refer to?

Mr Chairperson: He is seeking clarification on Programme 5003 – Activity 023 – Training – K70,686 and on Programme 5003, Activity 023 – Training – K152,278. Why is that programme appearing twice?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Chairperson, Programme 5003, Activity 023 – Training – K70,686 is meant to provide funds for staff who will need training in the stand alone audit unit. The other programme is to specifically provide for staff that will be in the human resource management and development section.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 44/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.  

Vote 44/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 44/05 – (Ministry of Labour and Social Security – Planning and Research Department – K10,514,271).

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5030, Activity 168 – Labour Force Survey – K2,000,414. I would like to know the reason for the reduction in the allocation?

Mr Mbulu: Mr Chairperson, this programme has come to an end. We are simply winding up. That is why the allocation has drastically come down.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 44/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 44/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 34 − (Human Rights Commission – K15,424,805).

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Chairperson, I rise to present the policy statement and justification for the Estimates of Expenditure for the Human Rights Commission for 2015. The Human Rights Commission is a constitutional body established under Article 125 of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. The powers and functions of the commission are outlined in the Human Rights Commission Act No. 39 of 1996 and include the following:

(a)    to investigate any human rights violations;

(b)    to investigate mal-administration of justice;

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

(d)    to carry out continuing programmes of research, human rights education; and

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

Mr Chairperson, the commission also conducts public hearings at which human rights issues are considered. I am glad to inform the House that the commission continues to hold an A status rating awarded by the International Co-ordinating Committee for the National Human Rights Institution in compliance with international guidelines as provided in the principles relating to the functioning of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights, popularly referred to as the Paris Principles.

Mr Chairperson, in 2014, with the support from the Government of the Republic of Zambia and co-operating partners including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Save the Children, Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the commission has over the years focused on executing its statutory mandate. In addition to this, the commission directed its energies in a process of:

(a)    rethinking its strategic focus and structure;

(b)    developing of a strong performance management system;

(c)    strengthening its monitoring and evaluation system;

(d)    enhancing stakeholder interactions aimed at improving its interface with various stakeholders;

(e)    revising various in-house protocols aimed at assisting staff in executing the mandate of the commission;

(f)    developing of an on-line complaint submission system;

(g)    developing of an interactive platform for human rights violations reporting as a way of increasing access to the commission; and

(h)    rehabilitating the Human Rights Commission Head Office and provincial offices.

Sir, in carrying out its promotion mandate of the respect for human rights, the commission continued with its information, education and training programmes through:

(a)    stakeholder outreach and dialogue meetings on bail/bond;

(b)    criminalisation of torture;

(c)    meetings with traditional leaders on various human rights;

(d)    the media and human rights workshops;

(e)    dialogue on the Public Order Act with law enforcement officers; 

(f)    children’s rights trainings; and

(g)    general human rights education.

Sir, under its protection mandate, the commission has continued to provide legal services and investigated a number of human rights violations, the majority of which concerned labour related issues, illegal land occupation, unlawful detention and child defilement and neglect. It equally undertook visits to places of detention which included reformatory schools. The continued conditions in prisons and police stations remain a great concern for the commission. Of greater concern is the plight of vulnerable groups including children who come in conflict with the law, pregnant women, the disabled and mentally challenged. It must be noted that inadequate resources sometimes resulted in the commission’s inability to carry out comprehensive investigations leading to the inconclusive closure of matters.

Sir, the observance and assessment of human rights was monitored through:

(a)    the annual state of human rights report;

(b)    the development of a framework for monitoring the implementation of recommendations; and

(c)    development of a human rights monitoring framework with other stakeholders.

Sir, the challenges during the year included inadequate funding, inadequate staffing, inadequate office space and transport. For the year 2015, the Human Rights Commission has been allocated a total amount of K15,424,802 to enable it execute its mandate. In the year 2015, the commission will consolidate on the successes of 2014. Through its Investigations and Legal Services Department, it will continue to:

(a)    conduct investigations throughout the country on reported cases of human rights violations;

(b)    visit places of detention, these being prisons and police cells and mental institutions, orphanages and places of reformation; and
(c)    lobby various actors in the justice sector on matters related to human rights in the context of the law.

Sir, under its Information Education Department, the commission will also continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders in raising general human rights awareness through various mediums. In particular, the commission will continue to implement its community outreach programme as a way of reaching populations living in remote parts of the country which have limited access to information and communication technology. Important areas of sensitisation will include the criminalisation of torture, human rights and business, economic and social rights, civil and political rights and pre-trial detention release mechanisms. We shall also focus on issues to do with women, children, juveniles and the disabled.

Mr Chairperson, in the area of observance and assessment of human rights, I am glad to inform the House that the commission will continue to publish its state of the human rights report. The state of the human rights report provides observations on the human rights situation in Zambia based on research conducted over a year. In addition to this, the commission will test its monitoring framework on the universal periodic review taking into account the fact that Zambia comes up for review in 2015. This tool is intended to encourage proactive action when implementing the recommendations accepted by the Zambian Government in 2012.

Sir, in conclusion, I wish to inform the House that the commission in 2015 will embark on the important task of reviewing the Human Rights Commission Act that is in dire need of amendments in further enhancing the capacity of the commission to deliver on its mandate. The commission will continue to strengthen its presence in the five provinces outside Lusaka where it has offices. The provincial offices have proved valuable to the work of the commission as they have brought its services closer to the rural communities.

Mr Chairperson, finally, I would urge this august House to support the estimates for the commission as presented in the 2015 Budget.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the budget for the Human Rights Commission.

Sir, the Human Rights Commission is a very important institution which plays a role in the monitoring of the observance of human rights in our country. This institution should be supported by every well-meaning Zambian. The job which it does …

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: … affects all of us. 

Mr Chairperson, the Human Rights Commission does not seem to have the powers required for it to implement certain things.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Sir, as a result of this, the people who work for the commission have not been able to apply themselves fully. Their powers are limited to the extent that they can only make recommendations on issues to do with human rights violations. They have no powers beyond that. We as a country need to capacitate the commission so that it can have the necessary powers  to do its job properly.

Sir, it is also true that the Human Rights Commission has had no commissioner for some time. That has rendered it toothless because certain decisions cannot be made by directors and other members of staff. I appeal to the Government to expedite the appointment of the commissioner so that the commission can be able to operate at full capacity.

Mr Chairperson, the Human Rights Commission is not adequately funded. As a result, the commission is not able to make follow-ups in order to ensure that the recommendations that it made have been acted upon. 

Sir, I take cognisance of the fact that the commission is present in a number of provincial headquarter. That is not good enough because we need to have the operations of the commission decentralised so that it can reach the districts and attend to issues on the spot. We are now relying on investigations that are carried out a month or a year after an event has taken place. Even when the officers from commission start the investigations, they often run out of funding before completing them. 

Mr Chairperson, we need to beef up the commission and hopefully increase funding to it in order to enable the director and her staff to perform effectively. 

With these few remarks, I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, I am in support of this Vote. There is an allocation of K15,743,722 for this year and an allocation of K15,424,805 for next year. This is indeed inadequate funding. You cannot expect the commission to achieve anything serious when it is not well funded. Why have we decided to reduce the allocation to the commission when we have inadequate personnel and infrastructure as a result of inadequate funding?

Mr Chairperson, human rights are important. A result of us not funding the commission is that the rural people will not even know about its existence. 

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, the commission fails to reach rural areas to sensitise people on their rights because of inadequate funding. I do not know why we, who live in rural areas, are hated so much. The bulk of this funding will probably only be concentrated on programmes intended for urban areas.

Sir, next year they are planning to have community outreach programmes. The question is: Are they going to reach Washishi? However, with this allocation, I doubt if the people in Washishi can be sensitised about their basic human rights. 

Mr Chairperson, it is not good for us to be continuously discriminated against. I doubt if this is the case in urban places. Do people in urban areas hold stakeholder meetings where unruly behaviour by cadres is the order of the day? In rural areas we have tolerated so much injustice. Maybe it is because people in these areas are not sensitised. I would like to plead with the hon. Minister to improve funding to this commission so that people are told about their rights. If not, those in prisons will continue living under life-threatening prison conditions and think it is the normal way of living when it is not.

Mr Chairperson, it is like the Government has not taken steps to push this commission to sensitise people on their rights. It has also not taken steps to even prosecute or punish officials who commit human rights abuses. Due to poor funding to this commission, officials of the commission can easily be corrupted. How do we expect officers in this commission to resist the temptation of being corrupted when pursing cases involving a lot of money? A person being investigated can easily dangle a carrot or what I would call a Sumo biscuit, for them to hide files. Such a situation allows human rights abuses to continue increasing. This renders the commission toothless. 

Sir, in conclusion, I wish to appeal to the Government to ensure that rural people are also sensitised about their human rights.

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

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, in supporting the Vote of this very important commission, I have a few observations to make. First of all, I would like to adopt Hon. Chungu Bwalya’s and Hon. Mutelo’s debates as my own. I would like to note that Zambia has acceded to many international conventions and protocols. However, I wish to state that there is quite a number conventions and protocols which we have not domesticated. 
Mr Chairperson, if we do not domesticate certain protocols and conventions that we have acceded to, it means we are denying various human rights to our people. Therefore, I want to urge the hon. Minister of Justice to assist this commission to expedite its work. 

Mr Chairperson, Zambia is a developing country which predominantly has a young population. With the high levels of poverty in this country, children are very vulnerable because they have to compete at family, community and regional levels for resources.

Mr Chairperson, the Executive needs to help the commission to fulfill its function of ensuring that people enjoy their rights to education and health as, for instance, enshrined in the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC). There are conventions which meet the basic needs of our people in terms of human rights.

Mr Chairperson, if adequate funding of this institution is a problem, we shall continue to lament on the violation of human rights. We need this commission to have the muscle to not only carry out inspections, but to also see to it that there is feedback to this House, in the form of its annual reports.

Mr Chairperson, just because we are in a privileged position, it is wrong to think that our human rights may not be violated. The bottom line is that as long as we are human beings, sooner or later, some overzealous person with authority may violate our human rights. Therefore, we need the commission to be able to investigate and name those in authority that are violators of human rights. 

Mr Chairperson, we cannot state that we are a proper democracy. Democracy has to basically, among many other things, depend on the observance of human rights of particularly those who are marginalised. As mentioned earlier, these are usually women, children and persons living with disabilities in our communities. So we need a strong commission that will assist the Executive to carry on the duties of providing that which is required for such persons.

Mr Chairperson, my other point with regard to this commission, as has been alluded to earlier, is that I think we need to review the law on human rights.  Just like the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC), the commission has limited powers and therefore, fails to bring the cases it takes on to a conclusion. The commission needs to be given a little bit more power other than just being a recommender to other government organs, which may choose to take action or not.  

Mr Chairperson, I support this allocation, though it is definitely inadequate. Those of us who are in leadership need to realise that there is need for us to look after those who are vulnerable and marginalised at both personal and institutional levels.

Mr Chairperson, on 20th January, 2015 we shall be going to vote in the presidential elections. The right to vote is a fundamental political right. There will be rains during that period. I hope the Electoral Commission of Zambia has enough resources to make sure that nobody fails to vote as result of the rains. By doing so, we shall be promoting the basic fundamental political rights which are important to the strengthening of democracy.

Mr Chairperson, the Executive would make its work much easier by strengthening oversight institutions like this one.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to add my voice in supporting the allocation which we are looking at. 

Sir, I would like to start my discourse by taking cognisance of the fact that, the respect, promotion and protection of human rights is the fourth leg of the rule of law which anchors on the growth of democracy. It is from that premise that, as we discuss funding to the Human Rights Commission, I would like to state at this very stage that, in a country that is purportedly talking about growing its democracy, we should not have the luxury, to bring budgets that are underfunded for very important institutions of democracy. Yet, there is plenty of money to waste on meaningless by-elections created by that Patriotic Front (PF) administration.

Hon. Government Members: Ah! Iwe!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, the Human Rights Commission is a watchdog institution in the respect for, promotion and indeed protection of human rights, hence the need to fund it adequately. There should not have been a better time than now to scale up funding to the Human Rights Commission, when we have had three years of being under the brutal PF Government. The PF is a Government which has no respect for the rule of law. It respects the rule of man to an extent that our lives under the PF administration have consistently been that of living under shadows of threats. Fortunately, we are going for elections on 20th January, 2015, to remove that PF out of power.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, in discussing the vote for the Human Rights Commission, I would like to bemoan the state of human rights in this country because we are at a stage when the people of Zambia sometimes find it difficult to believe whether they are in Zambia or are in some other neighbouring country where, human rights violations and abuses are the order of the day.

Mr Chairperson, this brings me to the point of discussing the …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, when we were going for break, I had just started to bemoan the state of the human rights situation in this country. To buttress the point, I would like to draw a few examples of from recent occurrences. 

Sir, we have seen unprecedented attacks on media personnel. Press freedom and freedom of expression which are human rights, under that Patriotic Front (PF) Administration, have come under severe threat. Not too long ago, PF hooligans and thugs were sponsored by that PF administration, to go and attack The Post employees for exposing what the newspaper believed the citizens were entitled to know.

Mr Livune: Sure!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, now, as we talk about improving the situation of the funding for the Human Rights Commission, the premises should be that, first of all, those who are temporally wielding state power, should believe in the rule of law. They should believe in the respect, promotion and protection of human rights. If they do not, how do we then, even if we funded the Human Rights Commission, ensure the enjoyment of rights? To make matters worse, those in Government did not condemn the diabolical attack on The Post because they are the sponsors of that lawlessness.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, we have seen an increase in the excessive, arbitrary and brutal use of force by the police in the last three years of the PF Government. Not too long ago, during the by-election in Solwezi, I was apprehended together with members of the party I belong to, the United Party for National Development (UPND), for doing nothing, but conducting a peaceful campaign. The four young people I was with, who were identified to have come from Choma, were beaten badly and tear gassed in their mouths and eyes for the reason that they were residents of Choma yet found campaigning in Solwezi. I am a Member of Parliament for Choma and I went with them. This is the state of our human rights situation in this country. 

Sir, recently, we saw the brutal assault of police on students who were unarmed and harmless at the University of Zambia (UNZA) … 

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: … to an extent that as we speak, one of the students is still in critical condition at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) with a broken arm and leg.

Mr Livune: Shame!

Mr Shakafuswa: The commission did nothing.

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, the PF administration is quiet about that matter as though everything which happened was normal.

Mr Shakafuswa: The commission did nothing.

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, I would like to credit the commission because it spoke about that issue, but was speaking to deaf ears. How can they listen to outsiders if they cannot listen to advice from amongst themselves? 

Mr Chairperson, under the leadership of the PF administration, we have also seen an attempt to completely stop citizens from enjoying their civil and political rights. In this country, even where a court order is given for a political party to hold a political rally we have seen the PF administration unleash police officers to disrupt the rally in numbers bigger than what was required to police the event. Now, it is not surprising because we had told the people of Zambia that voting for the PF is voting for trouble. You can see that now they are busy fighting amongst themselves.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, instead of mourning their President, they are busy fighting each other. They are forming cartels and cliques and putting the integrity of the nation at stake.

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, we have seen the extent to which those in the PF can go in their attempt to violet the civil and political rights of innocent citizens. We saw the uncalled for arrests of the President of the UPND and hon. Members of Parliament of the UPND in Livingstone for no probable and reasonable cause. We saw the arrest of Dr Nevers Mumba on trumped up charges for simply visiting chiefs.

Mr Chairperson, Mr Hichilema launched his presidential campaign on Sunday, and the PF does not have a candidate because its members are busy fighting as every Jim and Jack thinks he can lead this country. Mr Hichilema has hit the road running. Today, he was supposed to fly with a chopper into Kabwe, but has been stopped from doing so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Muchima: Shame!

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, what type of Government is this? It is no wonder people are saying chabwino bayende.


The Deputy Chairperson: What does that mean?

Mr Mweetwa: Let them go.


Mr Mweetwa: Sir, though, unfortunately coincidental, the passing on of our President, Mr Michael Sata, is a blessing in disguise to allow this country to have a fresh start.

Hon Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mumba: Infwa yamuntu at blessing in disguise?


Mr Mweetwa: Mr Chairperson, we cannot continue to live under a second form of colonialism where we are being oppressed and colonised by our own brothers and sisters under the guise of the Public Order Act and other relevant legal instruments. When the members of the   PF administration were campaigning to come to power, one of the things they spoke about was the improvement in the protection of human rights and the foundation of such a promise was that they would amend the Public Order Act. However, true to what we had told the people that the bunch of politicians in the PF could not be trusted, they u-turned 360 degrees.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member, substitute the word ‘bunch’ with an appropriate word.

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, I substitute the word ‘bunch’ with “a group of political bandits.”


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! 

Hon. Member, that is even worse. 

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, I also wanted to quickly touch on what I …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Substitute the phrase ‘political bandits’ with something appropriate. 

Mr Mweetwa: Sir, I substitute ‘political bandits’ with ‘a group of unreliable and untrustworthy political leaders.’

 Sir, I want to talk about what I think could be the way forward. What I have seen in this country is that the Human Rights Commission, in actual sense, is limited in the scope of work it can undertake and how far it can go. Mainly, it can only go as far as condemning a particular incident. Is it not time that we began to learn from other institutions in neighbouring countries as to how they are running this particular department of the Government? Is it not time we learnt from what is happening in Uganda where the Human Rights Commission of Uganda has a court specifically charged with the responsibility of trying human rights violations the same way we have a fast track court trying those who engage in drunken driving. 

Sir, I would propose that it is time we began to inquire in the possibilities of having a fast track court to look at violations of human rights in this country because we have seen that those in the PF administration have actively persecuted the leaders of the Opposition knowing very well that there are legal avenues they can rely on so that they are not made to pay for their sinful acts. For instance, when people are charged and arrested on trumped up political charges, the Government, at its own convenience, comes up and withdraws the cases under nolle prosequi. 

  Mr Chairperson, finally, I would have expected that in the three years of the PF administration, we could by now have started to think about the decentralisation of the operations of the commission. Last year, when I was debating, I spoke about the need to fund the commission in order to meet the requirements of its establishment. This year, I expected the hon. Minister to come and report that we have actually met those targets. I doubt if the commission exists at provincial and district levels yet this is where massive human rights violations are taking place. The citizens whose rights are so violated are unaware that there are avenues for redress available to them in the Constitution.  

  Sir, I would like to remind the PF that by refusing to give the people of Zambia a Constitution, it is actually ignoring the social and cultural rights that citizens are supposed to enjoy.

   Mr Chairperson, I thank you. 

  Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to windup debate. I would like to thank Hon. Chungu, Hon. Mutelo, and Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo for debating issues and not being political. I appreciate Hon. Mweetwa’s debate, but wish to state that we are aware that currently, the commission has no commissioners. Everything is being done to ensure that commissioners are appointed to lead this constitutional body. 

Sir, Parliament will soon be looking at the names of the suggested commissioners for ratification. The Government is aware of the need to enhance the powers of the commission. This can only be done through a consultative process. That is why our budget for 2015 has put much emphasis on reorganising the structure of the institution after extensive consultations. A lot of issues that have been raised by the hon. Members will be taken into consideration as we move forward. I would like to state that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government was voted for by the people of Zambia. They voted for us because they saw that we were the only credible party that would bring development to the country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, they voted for the late President Michael Chilufya Sata and all of us.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I think that it is important that when leaders lose elections for three, four or five times, to resign.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we will help some of them to resign because on 20th January 2015, the PF will come with its President here.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I am a boxing fan. What normally happens in the boxing ring is that first they announce the challenger and then the champion at last. That is what the PF is going to be, a champion. We are the champions. We have allowed others to start campaigning first. However, they will soon discover that we are more popular than they think. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, a few years ago, I was seated where the Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members are sitting, and then I moved to where the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) hon. Members are sitting.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ten years?

Mr Mukanga: Sir, I have been in Parliament for that long. The PF is delivering to the people of Zambia. We are doing all we can to resolve some of the human rights issues which have been raised by some of the hon. Members in their debates.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we have set up open prisons. We are also looking at sensitising the people about bail or bond. When the MMD was in power, the prisoners continued to swell in terms of numbers. What we are trying to do is to reduce the number of prisoners. This will help to bring sanity in the way our prisoners are kept. Therefore, whether you like the name of the party or not, the PF will continue to be in power because it is very popular. The people like it because of the development it has brought to this country. It is no longer just a party issuing statements about certain theories. The people in Kaputa are able to see a road which has been built by the PF Government. The people in the Southern Province are able to see the Bottom Road and the Niko Road in Monze. Therefore, those hon. Members of Parliament who have nothing to show for their time in power should just pack their bags and go because the PF will continue to be in power.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

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

VOTE 27 – (Public Service Management Division – K854,888,046).

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is in the Office of the President and is charged with the overall responsibility of human resource management in the Public Service. The mandate of the division is derived from the Gazette Notice No. 183 of 2012 on portfolio and statutory functions of the Government ministries and departments. The specific portfolio functions of the division include public service management, human resource management and development, and strategic and performance management. Its mission statement is: To provide strategic policy direction and leadership in the management of human resources in the Public Service for enhanced service delivery.

Mr Chairperson, with the 2014 budget, the division executed a number of programmes as follows: 

(a)    embarked on staff recruitment and placement in the newly created districts in order to bring service delivery  closer to the people and facilitate employment creation;

(b)    the division continued the roll-out of the Performance Management Package (PMP) aimed at facilitating the implementation of the performance-related pay as well as to build capacity in  ministries, provinces,  and other spending agencies (MPASAs) to effectively implement PMP in line with the human resources management reforms;

(c)    commenced the process of harmonising the staff file numbering systems  in the Civil Service which will entail changing the current numbering system  in the Public Service registries  so as to align it with the payroll management system and enhance service delivery;

(d)    undertook the monitoring and evaluation of human resource practices and procedures in provinces aimed at building capacity to better position them  to undertake  the functions that will be delegated through the human resource management reforms;

(e)    facilitated the review of the Public Service Training and Development Policy;

(f)    continued to further decentralise the management  of the payroll  to the initial sixteen districts in order to ensure that payroll is efficiently managed;

(g)    facilitated the separation of Public Service employees who were retired upon attainment of the statutory retirement age and other types of retirement. In addition, the division facilitated the processing of disciplinary cases to ensure that maximum discipline was attained  in line with the disciplinary code and procedures  for handling  offences in the Public Service;

(h)    undertook the Job Evaluation and Re-Grading Exercise (JERG) for the local authorities and the Health Professions Council of Zambia (HPCZ). The division also facilitated the rationalisation and harmonisation of salaries and conditions of service  for grant aided and other public institutions; and

(i)    facilitated negotiations between the Government and the ten Public Service unions to review salaries and conditions of service for Public Service employees. The negotiations were successfully concluded between the Agricultural Technical and Professional Staff Union of Zambia (ATPSUZ) and the Government. The process of negotiating with the other unions is on-going.

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, the division will continue to provide strategic policy direction and leadership in the management of human resources in order to have a competent, motivated and professional Public Service. To attain this, the division will focus on the areas which I shall now talk about.

Performance Management 

The division will intensify the roll-out of the PMP for enhanced productivity.

Pay Policy

The division will continue to implement the Pay Policy by rationalising and harmonising salaries and conditions of service for grant aided institutions and other public institutions. The division will also continue to work with stakeholders to ensure that legislation is put in place to pave way for the establishment of an institution that will oversee and provide guidance on remuneration in the Public Service. The division will also continue to address distortions in the Civil Service salary structure.

Recruitment in the Public Service

The division will finalise the review and development of recruitment and placement guidelines and manuals which shall be distributed for use in the operationalisation of the decentralisation process.

Human Resource Development

The division will undertake further decentalisation of the training  and development function and build necessary capacity in Government institutions.

Records Management

The division will ensure that the harmonised staff file numbering system is implemented by all ministries and provinces. This will entail that the division will initiate the digitisation of documentation on all staff and subject files in the Public Service so as to improve the storage and retrieval system in Government institutions.

Payroll Management
The division will facilitate upgrading of the Payroll Management and Establishment Control System (PMEC) which has outlived its life span in order to ensure the continuity of its effectiveness and usage. The division will also ensure that salaries are processed timely according to the approved conditions of service and budget. Further, the PMEC system will be decentralised to twenty-five districts bringing the total districts covered to forty-one;

Human Resource Planning 

The division will scale-up the implementation of the human resource planning framework by institutionalising it in Government ministries and institutions.

    Monitoring and Evaluation 

The division will intensify its monitoring and evaluation as well as capacity building visits to ensure compliance to human resource policies and guidelines. 

    Terms and Conditions of Service

The division will continue to facilitate negotiations with the ten Public Service Unions for improved salaries and conditions of service for Public Service employees as well as maintain dialogue with key stakeholders. 

    HIV/AIDS Programme

The division will continue to co-ordinate and implement the HIV/AIDS strategy for the Public Service in order to manage the epidemic. 

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I urge this august House to support the programmes and budget that the division has proposed in 2015 which stands at K854,888,046. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Chairperson, this division that we are considering now is an important one. I think that everyone now is aware that our Civil Service is not performing to the expectations of the people in the country. This is not because the civil servants are incompetent or not talented. I think that the problem has been the way the Civil Service has been managed. 

Sir, the hon. Minister, in his statement declared that this division provides strategic direction. There is no strategy at all it has been using in its operations because the reforms have failed to produce the results that we expected to make the Civil Service deliver. It is the same thing with a car. You can have all the new parts but if they are not properly framed the car will not perform to your expectations. This is why I put a caveat that there is nothing necessarily wrong with individual civil servants. The strategic direction that is being given by those who manage it is what is at fault.  

Sir, I think that Cabinet Office is by and large to blame for the lack of development in our country because it runs a Civil Service that is not professional. We need to rebuild a career Civil Service that performs and delivers. The hon. Minister of Finance has for instance proposed that we begin to improve the budgeting system in the output-based management direction. This is a progressive move which must be augmented by performance systems in the Civil Service. We therefore need to focus on the human being working therein. I am not talking about performance contracts that are incentivised by pay. The fact that you are employed should be incentive enough. If you are employed as a civil servant, you must deliver because you are being paid a salary. I think that the performance system that they are trying to implement is not producing the results. 

Mr Chairperson, your Committee was privileged to visit Rwanda. People always ask me why I like to give examples of that country. I do not support everything that happens in Rwanda. However, there one thing which we can learn from there. Rwanda has put up one of the best performance based systems in Africa where all the civil servants are tied to a performance contract. At the end of the year, the workers are evaluated and if they do not reach the 70 per cent threshold, they pack their bags and go. 

Sir, for a very long time a few non-performing civil servants have brought a bad name to the service. Those in Government need to put this system in place so that they are not seen to hire or fire their friends. People must stay in their jobs based on performance. Whether they greet those in power or not is not the issue. They are employed to perform their duties diligently. The hon. Minister of Finance has doubled the budget in the last three years without any positive results being registered. The indicators are not improving. Poverty levels are still pathetic and the infrastructure is just as bad. We have enough legislation to support real development and order in this country. 

Mr Chairperson, over the weekend take some time to drive to Kabwe. You will see a number of ugly stations after ten miles. What kind of development is that when we have the Town and Country Planning Act? People must build within the confines of the law so that there is order. There are shanty towns everywhere because some civil servants have gone to sleep. This office must begin to provide the right strategic direction. I think that the performance system that has been put in place is not working. This has now negatively affected the operations of the lower organs of the Government such as councils. I was in Monze this morning meeting council officials. I could not believe the confusion that was there. I stayed there for two hours and nothing was happening. 

Hon. UPND Members: PF cadres!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, the council employees just kept going around the offices. They are so incompetent. I have told the people at the ministry to move those council employees and replace them with other people. 


Mr Hamududu: Sir, we are asking for an increased Constituency Development Fund (CDF) when some councils are failing to spend K1.3 million. We must rethink the way the CDF is administered. This fund can only best be utilised when the systems of managing it are improved. There has been a suggestion that the budget approval process for the councils should be linked to a system which will make it possible for their performance to be evaluated before a new allocation is approved. 

Sir, the hon. Minister told us that the wage bill has gone above the desirable threshold meaning that we are basically approving a budget to finance personal emoluments. The Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is the one that is supposed to help other ministries to ensure that they ring fence funds for development and not just to pay a few people’s wages. 

Mr Chairperson, those in the Civil Service have become so crafty to the extent that they know how to hide certain expenditure. You will clearly see the personal emoluments are at 52 per cent. Then hidden in other budget lines are travelling allowances and all sorts of allowances. In the end, no development is trickling down to the grass roots because of the weak performance system that we have in place. Certain civil servants only exist to simply draw salaries and not to produce anything. This is why year in and year out there are all these irregularities. How can people who have no clear outputs specified produce anything? They are just there to do anything they want. If outputs were very clear and there was a performance based system in place, we would see people beginning to produce because they are highly qualified. This division, headed by the Secretary to the Cabinet, must begin to be strategic in approach otherwise we will be approving this growing budget without any development because of a very weak conveyor belt, which is the Civil Service. 

Sir, those heading quasi Government institutions and parastatals have runaway conditions of service because of a weak Civil Service. You will be shocked to hear today that they get by far better pay than hon. Members of Parliament. I am not, however, campaigning for salaries for hon. Members of Parliament.  


Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, look at the buildings that these bodies which have been formed, such as the Zambia Information Communication Technology Authority (ZICTA), are operating from. A regulator like the Energy Regulations Board (ERB) can be in the building which it occupies, and the Government says that there is no money for development. This is because of a weak Civil Service. If we had sharp Permanent Secretaries, they would not allow these agencies to be misusing all the money meant for development. Do all the hon. Members know where the offices for ZICTA are? Its offices are at the former American Embassy building. That is bigger than the Office of the Vice-President. The ERB can even operate in one room with all the boards of directors and yet it is in that big building. Do hon. Members know how much the board members get as sitting allowance? If you sit on three boards, you will be home and dry, and you are asking where the money for development is.

Sir, public funds have been trapped in funny structures. So, where is the strategic direction that the hon. Minister was talking about? I can tell you that if we form Government, which we will do on 20th January, 2015, we will first move into that division. We will appoint an appropriate Secretary to the Cabinet to clean up and restructure the Civil Service. Thereafter, we will move to quasi-Government institutions and parastatals. Under the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA), we have seen national parks closing up. An example is the Lochniver National park, with all its good conditions. When ZAWA was a department, we had better managed national parks. So, because of the week Civil Service, we thought the solution was to turn it into a quasi-Government institution. Those quasi-Government institutions have been draining the blood of this country over the years. Now they have even gone to the bone marrow and the country is just moving as a very thin structure.

Mr Chairperson, we created these quasi-Government institutions because of having inefficient Governments. In a properly performing Civil Service, you do not need these quasi regulators or institutions. That is where the money for development has been trapped. We thought that since the Civil Service was not performing, creating such bodies was the answer. Ordinarily, those must be departments in ministries run by the normal civil servants. The ministries have Permanent Secretaries and directors. So, why create quasi-Government institutions whose employees get so much money and earn more than the President of this country? We must not create detours that are so costly. We must use the main road, which is the Civil Service and it must be made to work. Cadres must not be employed as Permanent Secretaries. The Permanent Secretaries must be groomed from within the system. Putting cadres at the top is demotivating younger professionals in the Civil Service. How do you bring in a Grade 12 cadre to be a Permanent Secretary? How can a diploma holder be a Permanent Secretary?

Mr Muntanga: Grade 2.

Mr Hamududu: Yes, you said it. Is it not? What do you expect from the professionals? They switch off. Many bright professionals have switched off. Let them see room for promotions. When we form Government on 20th January, 2015, we shall promote Permanent Secretaries from within the Civil Service.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, I think, I will be one of the senior officials in that new Government. So, the civil servants can actually start smiling because they will be promoted from within and can aspire to be directors and Permanent Secretaries. We will not impose cadres because there are enough tasks for them. We will give them loans to rear cattle and run shops. We will not chase street vendors from the streets. We shall instead modernise street vending. We will put up stands,…


Mr Hamududu: Yes. They will make money there. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we will not demolish the shanty compounds. We shall just pave their roads and modernise them by putting electricity and water.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Kalingalinga, Kalikiliki, Mandevu, Kamanga, John Laing,…


The Deputy Chairperson: Order on my right!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we shall make sure that all the compounds have formal structures. We will appoint a Civil Service that will be equal to the task, starting with those at the PSMD. For now, I support this Vote because we are basically voting for an amount that we will use in the restructured PSMD that will deliver. We will send a few civil servants to Rwanda for a week for them to go and learn that country’s system. Rwanda has the best run Civil Service, and there is a report to that effect. There is a report which was put together by our Committee which talks about Rwanda’s civil service, which will help the new Government. If I will sit in the Front Bench, we will start from day one, and within a few months, you will see a professional, motivated and delivering Civil Service.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear.

Mr Hamududu: Sir, in the one and half years that we will be in power, people will see change to a point where in 2016, we will not campaign because the people will just say nafuti nafuti. The United Party for National Development (UPND) Government with partners from MMD and others who will come from there (pointing at hon. PF Members).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we will make a unity or coalition Government comprising all progressive forces from the PF, MMD and the UPND.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Hamududu: Yes. When you came back from your conference,…

The Deputy Chairperson: Address the Chair.

Mr Hamududu: … there was an opportunity created for us. The door is open. We want to make a coalition Government with all those who are willing to be part of it so that we can restructure the Civil Service. That way, we will have civil servants who will be happy to work in the Civil Service. They will be well paid and delivering and assured of being promoted and getting scholarships. For the civil servants listening, I want to say that 20th January, 2015 is not very far. We are ready to provide leadership.

Sir, with these few words, I want to say that I support this Vote because it is important for us to deliver on what we are saying. As UPND and our partners, we are ready.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, let me enhance the debate of Hon. Hamududu. He is triple H which stands for Highvie Humbulo Hamududu.

Sir, the Public Service Management Division (PSMD) is the key to the country’s development. When you have no key, you cannot drive your vehicle. The Civil Service looks at the PSMD as the mother and an integral part or the heart. For those who do know, my name means heart. For the PSMD to operate effectively, the professionals should be given room to think on their own. However, the problem is that there is a cancer, which Hon. Hamududu has been talking about. The problem is appointing people who do not qualify to take up jobs in the Civil Service. Incompetent relatives to those in power are promoted at the expense of those who work hard. The time I worked as a civil servant, I could be posted to Mbala without any favour. My promotion would come without me knowing anybody. What I knew is that by working hard, you would be promoted. However, today, to be promoted, you must have an uncle in some top position. You must have ba yama …

Mr Mufalali: In PF.

Mr Muchima: …  in the Patriotic Front (PF) leadership.

Hon. MMD Member: Shame.

Mr Muchima: Sir, human resource should not have colour, and a Zambian should be a Zambian. I thank the first President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda for the “One Zambia One Nation” motto which created a positive mindset in Zambians. However, what is happening today, where people can storm the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) and start being tribal in their talk is not just unfortunate, but also wrong. 

Sir, human resource in the Civil Service is critical. The movement of that file and how you look after it and manage the information contained therein is critical to the development of the nation. When I was working in the Civil Service, I would call for a file and it would not take more than thirty minutes for it to be brought. However, today, it takes you months to look for a file. Somebody has to travel from Kaputa to Lusaka to chase after a salary advance. That person will be in Lusaka for weeks because the file cannot be traced because the person who was working on the file could have gone on maternity leave, travelled to Kaputa, gone to watch football or gone to attend to political party matters. The system is broken. We are not supposed to depend on the temperament people who are in these offices. We should make sure that the system is running on its own. Whether Muchima is there or not, the system should be running. That is why there should be the Director, the Deputy Director and the Assistant Director. These should be people who know their work.

Sir, the other day, I talked about the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. If you go there today to look for your file, you would not find it. This is why it is important to have people who qualify for their jobs and understand their work. We have to change our mindset. We should stop taking hangovers from home to the offices. When you are in the office, you should enjoy your work. If you are a Clerk, you should enjoy writing letters. If you are an office orderly, you should sweep happily. You should enjoy your work. Even when you are serving somebody a cup of tea, you should be happy. Whites used to promote people based on their diligence. Today, that is not the case.  

Sir, if you go to advanced countries, you will find that people respect time and appointments. In our country, that is not the case. If you have an appointment with someone, you will find that when they see you, they will even walk away. We should change the system. If we make an appointment for 0830 hours, it must be that time. If you come a minute late, you should forget about it. Someone else will be attended to then. That should be the system. Those in top positions should not look at the face of the person or the name when making promotions. People change names deliberately to fit in. For example, if the Tongas formed the Government, a person like Elijah Muchima would change his name to Elijah Hamuchima just for the sake of getting what he wants quickly. If the Bembas formed Government, the same person will become Chileshe. That is why you will find that names such as Phiri and Mubanga are common. These people might not have had these names when they were young.  This is just for convenience’s sake. 


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, all the economists are the same. Why should we have an economist at the Bank of Zambia (BOZ) getting K90,000 per month and one in Civil Service getting K3,000 when they have been to the same university? We are frustrating our own people. Let us motivate them. At least, if one is getting K70,000 for one reason or another, let the other one get K65,000. There should not be a very big difference. 

Mr Simbao: That is why they steal.

Mr Muchima: Sir, that is why they steal. You will find that the Governor of BOZ gets K120,000 and the hon. Minister is getting K12,000. When they meet you on the street, they will say, “Yes, Sir!”


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, when they go into the bar, they will offer you champagne or anything you want to drink. You will be looked after well. You cannot control a person who is superior in terms of the pocket.


Mr Muchima: Sir, the PF made a decision recently to move the classified daily employees (CDEs) to the Civil Service. These are people who were enjoying their gratuity after five or ten years. They were even building houses. However, now, they are failing to do such things because it is not clear where they belong.  They have not even received their letters. Others were remaining with about two months to get their money but now, nothing is happening. I urge the Public Service to make a decision concerning this issue as soon as possible. If you want to hide money from politicians, put it in the book. I am saying so because politicians do not read. You can control them even if they do not want to be controlled. Politicians do not want to listen to the professionals even when their decisions should be professional. They should attend to matters starting from the bottom going upwards and not the opposite. Even when it comes to speeches, they should listen to the professionals. 

Sir, most of the offices today are manned by graduates and therefore, we expect efficiency, effectiveness and time management. Today, that is not the case. Yesterday, I was lamenting about the queues which are at the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.  If you are a PF cadre, you will easily go in and do whatever you want. If you are from the Opposition, I am sorry, it will take you time to go in. For example, if I committed the same offence with the person from the PF, I will be arrested immediately and he will not. They would still be studying his case or sending him to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). All those are wrong decisions made by the Government. We are all equal. It seems that there are different laws for people belonging to the PF and the Opposition. Why is it like that? Did I apply to be born in Zambia? This is our country. Those in the PF came into power to be better than the Government which was there previously. They should do things better than those who were in the previous Government. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, they are totally going to the opposite direction. How can you be shooting the opposite direction from where the animal is?  

Mr Ndalamei: Reverse gear!

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about the wage freeze. I have heard stories that negotiations are on-going. The wage freeze will cost that PF Government.

Dr Kaingu: When!

Mr Muchima: Aah! There is a date.


Mr Muchima: Sir, the appointments of the District Commissioners (DCs) into office is also another issue. In colonial days, a DC was a very important person. He was an agent of development but today, they appoint carders as DCs. When such DCs see Hon. Muchima from the Opposition, they automatically label him as an enemy. If I call the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) about an issue to do with a particular school, in the evening, he will be told by the DC that he is supporting the Opposition. 

Dr Kaingu: Shame!

Mr Muchima: Shame indeed! When you are put in an office, you should bring everyone on board. Hon. Lungu, when you become a President of this country, everyone should become your friend. 

Mr Ndalamei: He should not be a President!

Mr Muchima: Sir, in China, war can erupt by just tampering with one individual. Machetes should not be used to harm people from the Opposition. I do not know where we leave our thinking when we come to this House. I do not know why we ignore all these things. Let us change. We should learn to love everyone. What we have seen in these few days should not happen.  

Sir, I was Provincial Minister of the Southern Province when it was full of the Opposition hon. Members. Those people loved me and I still love them. 

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Please, come back!

Mr Muchima: Sir, I do not love the DCs who are in office today ...


Mr Muchima: …because they are busy politicking. Today, they are not even doing Government work. They are always out of the office campaigning for the PF. Why are we wasting money? Such people should be fired by the PSMD. The problem is that this division has no teeth. It does not even know what is happening. 

Sir, the PSMD should put in place performance policies which enhance efficiency. It should tell the people in those offices to be drinking tea before coming for work. They irritate me so much with their behaviour. You can be on the bench waiting when they are busy talking on the phone. They would be saying, “Mulikwisa? Namufika ku Chingola?” That is wasting people’s time. Let us account for time. The language that is used in these offices should be English. They should not be like my cousins who when President Mwanawasa became President begun to speak the kuli bonesha language and the moment he died even that language died.


Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.


Mr Muchima: Sir, when Muchima becomes President of this country, he will promote a common language. This is why he weighs the tribe of the person to back in a presidential election. God is mighty …

Mr Mbulakulima: Tell them mwana.

Mr Muchima: … and will make them pay heavily for all the sins that they are committing. They are putting up roads in places where there is no economic value instead of working on the Chingola/Solwezi Road and the road that connects Jimbe to Angola. My brother who is charge of the ministry which works on the roads is married to a lady from the North-Western Province.


Mr Muchima: Sir, how will his child visit the place in future? He should not make us hate such a child.


Mr Muchima: Sir, we have a right to get angry when we see bad things happening. Mushala was bitter because of such behaviour. We are lucky that God has given us a date for the presidential elections which is 20th January, 2015. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: … today is a very sad day …

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: … for all the Public Service workers of this country because they live in misery.

Mr Chairperson, the issue of the retirement age for civil servants has been contentious because the workers of this country have been against its revision. Through the Public Service Management Division (PSMD), the Government of the Republic of Zambia has come up with an amendment to the laws of this country, whereby a civil servant who was supposed to retire at the age of fifty-five will now be required to retire at the age of sixty-five.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, that law further states that those who want to retire early must have served for thirty-five years and they must seek permission from the President for them to retire.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the same Government has been telling us that the Civil Service is in problems. How are they going to control the Civil Service if they are not going to allow the civil servants to retire? It, therefore, means that the Civil Service will continue being in problems according to their opinion. There will be no recruitment in the Civil Service because all the positions are already filled. Most of the civil servants who reside in Chawama are wailing because of the harm that has been inflicted on them by the PF Government.

Mr Ntundu: Will they be alive to eat their benefits?

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has added another fifteen years to those who were remaining with only a few months and expected to retire at the age of fifty-five. That is what they have done by virtue of this Statutory Instrument No. 63 of 2014 which was signed on 19th November, 2014, by Dr Guy Scott.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, we thank him for inflicting so much misery on the workers of this country.

Dr Kaingu: Dr Guy Scott.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, we are aware that the late President resisted signing this Statutory Instrument.

Mr Shakafuswa: Aha!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, however, those who have remained in the PF and are aspiring to lead this country do not care for the civil servants. I urge the civil servants to inflict pain on the PF leadership on 20th January, 2015 …


Mr Mwiimbu: … because it has inflicted misery on them. The same PF leadership has produced a report pertaining to the life span of a Zambian. According to that report, the life span of a Zambian is not more than forty-five years. It, therefore, follows that they do not expect the Zambian workers to be retiring because they are requiring them to retire at the age of sixty-five exceeding their life expectancy of forty-five.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, that is the first harm. The second one is the wage freeze. Through this same division, those in the PF are telling the civil servants that they should continue working until they are unable to walk.

Mr Phiri: Like them.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, in addition to the misery of the retirement age, those in the PF have gone ahead to increase the retirement age.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I have a petition from the Zambian workers. They have resolved that when those hon. Members who are in Lusaka attempt to stand as a Members of Parliament after losing presidency, they will lose again.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, the workers are annoyed and there is no way the Government can continue to be mistreated. They have been denied a decent wage for a long time.

Mr Chairperson, never in the history of this country have I witnessed such a brutal regime like the PF Government.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the United National Independence Party (UNIP) and Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Governments always cared for the workers.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, they knew that without the workers, the wheels of the Government could not move.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the PF Government does not care for the workers of this country. The other day when I was in Chilanga, I realised that the majority of the workers in Lusaka have migrated to that place because that is where they have found cheap accommodation. They told me that they will teach those who will aspire for leadership a lesson whenever there will be a by-election in Chilanga.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: The Vote we are debating is the Public Service Management Division (PSMD).

Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am very principled such that I have never been bought by a political party to serve in the interest of a party I do not belong to.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the Government of the Republic of Zambia has allowed a situation whereby, despite the advice of the Civil Service, hon. Members of Parliament who do not belong to a party in Government can serve in that Government. As a result, there is a conflict of interest and these members are always voting against the political parties that brought them to Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, those who are unprincipled always shout without debating. 

Mr Chairperson, I support the arguments raised by my colleagues that the failure to perform by our officials in the Civil Service is as a result of the appointments of unqualified persons to be controlling officers and Permanent Secretaries.

Mr Ndalamei: Yes!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, we have witnessed situations whereby Permanent Secretaries have are appointed without taking their qualifications into account. We are not surprised that the PF Government does not consider issues to do with qualifications. 

Hon. Government Member: They do!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, His Honor the Vice-President told us that the position of Permanent Secretary does not need qualifications. He said that all it needed was a good person. That is the policy of the PF. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, as a result of that pronouncement, there are Permanent Secretaries who even read newspapers upside down …


Mr Mwiimbu: … and are unable to advise the Government. The only qualification they hold is being members of the PF. The cost to the Government of such occurrences is high. They will pay the price on 20th January, 2015.

Mr Simbao: They are aware.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, I am about to wind up. I have been passing through Government offices trying to find out their problems. When extending their hands to give me …

Hon. Opposition Member: A sign.

Mr Mwiimbu: … handshakes, they have been showing me the symbol of a political party that is coming into power.


Mr Mukata: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, they know that we shall look after them and improve their conditions of service. 


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, those who are not on this side and joined the Government without out …

Hon. Opposition Member: Our blessings.

Mr Mwiimbu: … our blessings will not be with us on that side (pointing at the Government side). We know them.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Chairperson, I am not as eloquent as those who have spoken before me, but I would like to look at the Civil Service in a different light. I have heard that the Civil Service is politicised and I can bear witness to that, but will not go into examples. What I would like to reflect upon is the inbreeding in the Civil Service.

Dr Kaingu: Incest.


Mr Simbao: Sir, the Civil Service can be considered as the Government itself because politicians can be viewed as the icing on the cake. That is why politicians come and go, but the base still remains. It is unfortunate that the performance of our Civil Service seems to have gotten worse within the last three years. I believe that this is as a result of inbreeding. 

Sir, it is important that we discuss the problems facing the Civil Service so its performance can improve. I believe that poor performance by the Civil Service is as a result of the management division. I say so because people who join the Civil Service as graduates probably come with the drive to do something for the country. However, as they stay in the Civil Service and see the manipulation of those who are in power in relation to who gets promoted they become frustrated. 

Mr Chairperson, civil servants are not being trained to the levels where they should be. Things in the Civil Service seem to be the way that they were in the private sector a long time ago. Companies that were operated by foreigners used to deny people to go for training because they claimed that employment was based on the fact that the employees were already trained. It seems that we do not want our civil servants to go out and improve their skills, or bring people from outside the country to help them improve their skills. This has made it very difficult for our Civil Servants to improve their service delivery.

Sir, I once went to work in Thailand and I was very surprised to see how many companies employed foreigners. I used to think that the few white people that we have in our country are too many. Thailand is a country which is quite developed and yet it has brought in quite a number of expatriates to improve the performance of its people. However, that is not all. If you read the book on Singapore “From Third World to First World”, …

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: … you will see that most of those Singaporeans are sent outside to go and train for as long as five years and then they return to help the Government manage the country. Our civil servants are not given that opportunity mostly because of jealousy. It seems people must belong to the Ruling Party to be given that opportunity. Those who are given that opportunity come back worse than they were before because they did not deserve it. 

Mr Chairperson, the PSMD must base its decisions on merit. If the people that appoint us to positions in the Civil Service do not like our decisions, then let us declare our interest and leave.

Sir, there is no Civil Servant who is standing out there with pride because even those who are promoted know that they are not promoted on merit. Now that there might be a change of Government they know that they will go.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Sir, we are just going in circles. It is not good for the country because the civil servants are in fear of what will happen after 20th January, 2015. However, if promotions were based on merit then any elections should not be a source of worry for civil servants. This situation has been created by the PSMD. If it recruited people on merit, governments would come and go, but the Civil Service would continue performing well. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the PSMD to ensure that it recruits officers on merit after the 20th January, 2015, by-election. If not, this institution will be disbanded after the 2016 General Elections. Even promotions in the Civil Service should be based on merit. There should be no biasness of any kind. Let us send people for proper training so that they can come and uplift the standards in this country.

Mr Chairperson, if we do so, the Government will continue performing well, irrespective of who is in power and this business of saying my government or whatever will cease because civil servants will not care who is in office. This is the case with governments in developed countries. There is continuity in government programmes regardless of the change of regime. New officers just see how different they can perform the same tasks. Therefore, it is wrong to claim that you have started something new when it was started by somebody else.

Dr Kaingu: Can you imagine.


Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, it is the PSMD that can create a difference in the Civil Service. So I ask the PSMD to relook at the Civil Service once again, especially after 20th January, 2015. We need to review the qualifications and experience of civil servants and see what we can do for these people so that they work for this country.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Dr Kaingu: Well done.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank Hon. Hamududu, Hon. Muchima, Hon. Mwiimbu and Hon. Dr Simbao for what they have shared.

Hon. PF Members: He is not Dr Simbao.

Mr Mukanga: He is not Dr Simbao? Okay, Mr Simbao.

Dr Kaingu interjected.

Mr Mukanga: Sir, however, I would like to state that I think most of the things that they have talked about are already being done by us. The strategic policy they talked about is being reviewed and will soon be rolled out. The poor performance of councils was mentioned. I want to state that hon. Members of Parliament also have a role in ensuring that councils carry out their duties properly. So if councils are not performing in our areas, we should look at ourselves and see what we can do about it. That is why the people out there should choose hon. Members of Parliaments and councilors of high caliber in order to change things.


Mr Mukanga: Mr Chairperson, this Government is trying to create a civil service that will be very effective and efficient. We have looked at a lot of issues and we are trying to ensure that we improve the way we operate so that we bring in efficiencies to enable us to use the technologies that we have. We want to use electronics now to keep our records. We also want to ensure that we decentralise operations so that there is more effective decision-making. Even time-keeping will be observed easily because the employees now will know that if somebody comes in late, the boss will have power to deal with that issue promptly. 

Mr Chairperson, as regards the suggestion to fire District Commissioners (DCs) after the elections, that is too bad because it is not the procedure. We need their experience. I think on 20th January, 2015, we are not going to experiment. National leadership should not be based on job on training or try and error. It is only for those with proven success. This is why we will retain office after the coming by-election. We have proven that we capable and have the stamina to move this country forward.

Mr Sikazwe: Viva Nevers!

Mr Mukanga: Yes, we know that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) played its part when it was in power. However, since its performance was not satisfactory, the people asked it to step aside and we came into power. 

Mr Mwale interjected.

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we have done so well in the last three years. Everybody is talking about the PF. Our performance is equal to none and we are addressing every detail. 

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we have even addressed the issue of the retirement age. We are a listening Government and have been hearing what the civil servants have been saying about the retirement age. This is a pro-poor Government and we are putting things in place. We are trying to harmonise salaries and other conditions of service so that we improve things for all civil servants. Issues such as comparing what a hon. Minister gets to a chief executive officer will be a thing of the past. The PF is action orientated and that is why the people out, when some hon. Members are talking and think that they are making a point, are just laughing because they have seen what we are doing.


Mr Mukanga: Sir, they have seen the schools, hospitals, roads, clinics and health posts and are just wondering whether some people are debating from a point of bitterness.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, hon. Members should not debate from a point of bitterness. We need to appreciate and give credit where it is due. After 20th January, 2015, the PF will have its presidential candidate sitting in State House (pointing at Mr Lungu).
Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, some people who will lose the Presidential bid should just retire from politics.  Why should they continue after losing five or six times? We do not need that. If a person fails to win elections five times, it is better he/she steps down and lets other people take over.


Mr Mukanga: Sir, I will be campaigning like others. I am telling the people of Zambia that this time around we need experienced leaders. Zambia is for all Zambians and we need to ensure that the PF, which has done beyond what everybody expected, continues with the legacy of Mr Michael Chilufya Sata.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we are the people with the mandate and have a vision. How can the people change such a thing? They will never change. I can assure you that on that day we will be back here, but some of our friends will not come back.

Thank you very much, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 27/01 – (Public Service Management − Administration – K818,990,552).

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment under 01 Human Resources and Administration Unit, Programme 3005 − Grants to Institutions – Operational by the insertion of Activity 011 – National School of Government – K1,000,000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on page 463, Programme 3084, Activity 025 – Procurement Management – K310,000. Why is there such a huge increment from K90,000 for 2014.?

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango): Mr Chairperson, this provision is required to cater for tender evaluation, sensitisation of heads of departments and personnel in the division of procurement on procedures and guidelines. The increase is due to the decentralisation of the procurement functions to spending agencies from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA).

Vote 27/01, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 27/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 27/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 27/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

Vote 27/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates

VOTE 27/06 – (Public Service Management Division – PMEC Support Services Department – K12, 591,031).

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move the following amendment: Under 02 Technical Support Services Unit, Programme: 3070 Payroll Management and Establishment Control, Activity 018 PMEC System Decentralisation; by deletion of K1, 950,000 and substitution thereof of K950, 000.

Amendment agreed to. Vote amended accordingly.

Vote 27/06, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Estimates

VOTE 18 – (Judiciary – Headquarters – K361, 774,078).

The Minister of Defence and Justice (Mr E. C. Lungu): Mr Chairperson, thank you for affording me this opportunity to share with this honourable House, the Government’s policy on the Judiciary. It is my conviction that this policy will have a positive bearing on this critical institution. The Judiciary being one of the three arms of the Government draws its mandate from Article 91 of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia. The mandate entails the administration of justice through the interpretation of the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia, promotion of the rule of law and upholding democratic principles.

The mission statement of the Judiciary is “to provide effective and efficient administration of justice accessible to all people in Zambia through impartial and timely adjudication without fear or favour.”

Mr Chairperson, in the recent past, the Judiciary embarked in its continued mission of administering justice in accordance with the Strategic Plan for the period 2009 to 2013 and the objective of the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) 2012 – 2014. In terms of past performance, the Judiciary addressed a number of programmes among them, court sessions, court circuiting, general administration, in addition to the construction and rehabilitation of new buildings.

Mr Chairperson, in the 2015 budget, the Judiciary has made a number of major provisions and I am confident that what has been planned for during this midterm expenditure period will be realised. This includes restructuring by creating administrative structures at provincial and district levels in order to enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

Sir, the Judiciary will further address the cardinal issues of personnel emoluments and the revision of terms and conditions of service in order to improve staff morale and motivation, completion of construction works and rehabilitation of court buildings in order to improve the working environment, capacity building in order to develop human resource and the provision of research materials so that adjudicators are kept abreast with the latest trends in adjudication.

Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary is continuing with the computerisation of its operations, training of real time court reporters and has employed more research advocates in order to improve on its disposal rate of cases. Programmes aimed at improved access to justice by the majority of the citizens will be undertaken. These will include: intensifying court circuiting in areas without resident adjudicators, the computerisation of the operations of the Judiciary will further enhance access to justice and increasing the staff establishment to meet the competing demands for judicial services.

Sir, the Judiciary will continue to prioritise the improvement of its infrastructure. Particular emphasis will be placed on construction and completion of court buildings as well as the rehabilitation of court buildings; and construction and rehabilitation of staff houses in rural and remote areas.

Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary shall decentralise its administrative function to provinces and districts in order to facilitate speedy delivery of services to the public. This will entail the creation of administrative positions at provincial and district levels. The Judiciary shall embark on capacity building programmes in order to develop its human resource. This shall also entail the development of a training policy, capacity building strategy and undertaking of training needs analysis. Further, performance management systems shall be developed for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the employees. The Judiciary in its efforts to ensure that it is abreast with latest trends in adjudication shall improve the provision of relevant statutes and literature to the judges and the magistrates. This shall ultimately lead to an improvement in the quality of judgments.

Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary shall review its current revenue collection methods and aim at introducing systems that minimise contact between court personnel and the litigants. The objective is to minimise corrupt tendencies that are associated with physical handling of cash and maximise on revenue earned.

Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary shall, in line with the Integrated Competitive Total Remuneration Strategy of 2012-2022, introduce measures aimed at the retention of staff. Such measures shall include the review of the current terms and conditions of service. The Judiciary shall procure gowns for judges and uniforms for court officers in order to conform to the dress code for the courts.

Sir, in conclusion, the Judiciary will endeavor to continue upholding justice and the rule of law, asserting its independence and autonomy, providing equal access to justice for all people, ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of judicial resources and maintaining a zero tolerance approach to corruption. It is my desire that the 2015 budget for the Judiciary will be fully supported. 

Sir, based on the foregoing, I request this august House to support this budget to make the Judiciary more efficient and effective.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to add a word and support the vote.

Mr Chairperson, I was listening attentively to the speech by the hon. Minister of Justice.

Hon. Members: Judiciary.

Mr Miyutu: Sir, the question is: Is this the same ministry under which local courts fall? The answer is yes.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, the delivery of justice is at all levels, be it at the Supreme Court, High Court, Subordinate Court or local court. They are all courts of law. There must be prudent delivery of justice. I am, particularly, concerned about the local courts. Are the staff of the local courts being offered continuous training? Are local court officers in deep rural areas accorded the chance to go for training? 

Mr Chairperson, the Government should be sincere with all of its employees. It should not approach issues in a discriminatory manner. I have heard the hon. Minister state something to do with maximising revenue. So, the interest is in the revenue and not the welfare of the collectors of this revenue. The accommodation of the few who are working in local courts in the rural areas is very bad. You cannot imagine that they are Government workers. 

Mr Chairperson, when we prepare Budgets, we should not centre our interests on High Courts, Supreme Court and Subordinate Courts only. If that is so, then they should create another facility or institution that is going to take care of local courts. The few who are there are not being catered for well. There are many vacancies. How many local courts are operating? If you go to a local court in a rural area, there is only a court messenger and no presiding court justice or court clerk. In certain places, you only find a court messenger and he draws a salary. For what? 


Mr Miyutu: Sir, people are made to trek long journeys to get their cases cleared elsewhere. This has been going on as if there is no Government. Let them open their hearts and consider people in the deep rural areas. We know that they do not like those areas. I do not even need to be told that they are just interested in the money. This is what I have heard from the hon. Minister. 

Sir, the rural areas have a lot of people. It is not all cases that go to the High Court or the Supreme Court. Many cases end up in local courts. So, they must take care of the local courts and provide good services. The positions of local court presiding justices and court clerks are vacant in many local courts. I request the Government to fill the vacancies so that people stop walking long distances in search of justice.

Sir, we are now counting fifty years of long journeys as if it has been fifty years of the absence of a Government. We should not get pleased when things are not done. Pleasure must arise when work is done. Justice is not delivered and cases continue pending in rural areas. The few that are working in rural local courts in rural areas are not well accommodated.

Mr Chairperson, I think that the hon. Minister has heard everything that I have said.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I want to say a few words about the Judiciary and might not talk about the Ministry of Justice. Since the advent of multi-partism, I have never seen the Judiciary so rattled as what has happened in the time of the PF administration. I only saw this kind of thing under the one-party state when even judges where worried if they did not do what was expected by those who were in power. Any country that lacks a good Judiciary is as good as finished.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that I have never seen the Judiciary so rattled ever since multi-partism started. The Judiciary has become so rattled such that many interest groups want it to be disbanded. That is very frightening because any country that lacks a good Judiciary is basically a dead country. It is very difficult to trust the Judiciary at this point. We saw this during the time many petitions over the by-elections were presented to the Judiciary, when one arm of the Judiciary would find the case not favourable for one person, but the other arm of the Judiciary would go and override the earlier decision. Therefore, it brought about a lot of confusion in the minds of people as to which part of the Judiciary to believe. This will go down in history as a time when the Judiciary was so confused. We hope that with the new Government that will be ushered into power on 20th January, 2015, the Judiciary will return the respect that it had before. 

Sir, the Judiciary in all forward-looking countries is independent. It is completely independent because all of its citizens know that they can stand before the magistrates or the Supreme Court judges at any time. Therefore, it is better to make the Judiciary independent before you become the victims of an unfair ruling. I hope that the Judiciary can become independent after 20th January, 2015. 

Sir, I want to make some suggestions. I hope that the suggestions will be taken into account by whoever will take up the Government after 20th January, 2015.  I know that the suggestions might be very difficult to implement. 

Hon. MMD Members: It is us.

Mr Simbao: Sir, I am told that it is us the MMD party members that are coming into the Government. 

Mr Chairperson, for us to really maintain the separation of powers amongst the three arms of Government, I am proposing that the positions of Chief Justice and Mr Speaker be subjected to elections at the same time that the position for Republican President is up for elections. There is no way that we can maintain the separation of these three arms of the Government when the positions in one arm are appointed by one person. That is not fair. That is why there is very little respect for the Judiciary.  The Judiciary is a very important arm of the Government and we must give it the respect that it deserves. Therefore, I am proposing that the position of the Chief Justice and the Mr Speaker in the House must be subjected to elections like the position of Republican President.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I propose that …


Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, some people who are talking do not even have a voice.


Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order!

You have a voice, but you are responding to the wrong people. Address these people through the Chairperson. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I hear some people croaking. 

Mr Chairperson, I propose that whoever is going to be the President should set up a small committee of three people comprised of himself, the Chief Justice and Mr Speaker. That committee should be able to meet like the Cabinet meets so that the three of them can recognise the fact that they are at par and share information not on the basis of one being senior to the others, but on the basis of mutual respect for the three arms of the Government. 

Mr Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Let us guide each other. You are not submitting to a constitution review commission. We are debating the Vote for the Judiciary.  Therefore, with that guidance, you may please start afresh. You may continue.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: Mr Chairperson, I am glad that you have allowed me to put forward what I wanted to put forward. Let me now get to the other issues.

Mr Chairperson, the local courts in my constituency are completely damaged. There are no proper buildings for the local courts. At the time we were in the Government, there was a programme in place through which we planned to construct new buildings for local courts.  The former hon. Minister of Justice had a programme in place through which he had planned to work on the three local courts in my constituency. It seems that programme has been put aside.  My friend who debated before me said that the people in his constituency have the opportunity to travel long distances to go and have their court cases heard in other places. However, in my constituency, there is no where people can go to for their cases to be heard.  In my constituency, all the cases, except murder cases are ruled upon traditionally. The people really hate that and feel like they are not being treated fairly. They feel that there are certain issues or cases that must go to a Government court houses. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister of Justice to once again look at the programme that once existed in his ministry for rehabilitating the rural local court buildings.

Mr Chairperson, there is one local court that was constructed at a place called Nondo. Unfortunately, this local court has not been opened because apparently the Judiciary has not yet found anyone who can work as a local court justice. I, therefore, would like to request the hon. Minister of Justice to seriously look again at my constituency. Why is it that it is only my constituency where they do not want to bring justice in the manner it must be administered through the local courts? Why are they doing this to Senga Hill Constituency? 

Mr Chairperson, even when there is infrastructure they have refused to appoint local court justices for my area. So in one area I do not have the local court buildings and in another I have a building but no justices. As a result of this, the crime rate in my constituency has escalated and I do not know how else it can be brought down if the hon. Minister of Justice does not do what I am asking him to. 

Sir, even though I have just spoken about my constituency, I am alive to the fact that it is the same in many other constituencies, especially those in the hands of the Opposition. For one reason or the other they have been left out of the programme to construct new court buildings. I know that people on you right, Sir, will stand up and say that their local court buildings have been done and this is expected. However, we in the Opposition are asking: Why not in our areas? What have we done wrong for this Government to refuse or fail to provide justice?

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, justice is the bedrock for any society to function equitably. I would like to state that I do support this vote and I took a few notes from the discourse of the hon. Minister of Justice as he was describing the policy of his ministry vis-à-vis, the operations of the Judiciary. 

Sir, I would like to congratulate the Judiciary, one of the three wings of the Government, for having endured excruciating and anguishing pain at the hands of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Since the PF took the reins of power, it is fact that funding to the Judiciary has been at its lowest. Figures do not lie and whoever wishes to challenge this statement can meet me outside. This is an informed debate that I am trying to give before this House. 

Sir, only 20 per cent of the requirements of the Judiciary have been awarded to this very important arm of the Government. I heard the hon. Minister say that they wish to computerise the operations of the Judiciary.  I was surprised when I heard him say this because the delivery system of justice in this country remains extremely inadequate. Justice delayed is justice denied, as matter of fact. What I expected the hon. Minister of Justice to say today is that they will try as much as possible to put high courts in all provincial centres. This is because as it is today, there are only five high courts in the whole country, namely: Livingstone; Lusaka; Kabwe; Kitwe; and Ndola. 

Sir, the stress that comes alongside people seeking justice or redress to the high court is extremely burdensome. Those who live for instance in Chama, Zambezi, Isoka, Muyombe and other far off places are subjected to go and look for justice in Kabwe, Ndola or Kitwe. Hon. Minister, it would have been more prudent for you to actually say that you are going to build a high court in Kasama. As a matter of fact PF has made the courts playing grounds. This is where they go to vakacha or cheza or chat. 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I will demonstrate that they were there a few days ago and their lawyer was even beaten up. This is a hallowed place and so it must be given the respect that it deserves. I expected them to build high courts in Kasama, Mansa, Chipata, Mongu and Solwezi so that the justice delivery system starts to function properly. 

Sir, if one comes from Chavuma to seek legal redress and if the matter is referred to the high court, that person has to go to Kitwe. There is no fresh air that the PF brought to this country in this realm and it is shocking for me to hear the hon. Minister talking about computers. You do not need those computers. Build high courts so that the justice delivery system can start functioning properly. 

Sir, I have talked funding to the Judiciary. This may come as a surprise, but it is true that funding to the Judiciary is still managed through the Ministry of Finance. The affairs of the Judiciary, in terms of human resource, are still under the Public Service Management Division (PSMD). Where is the autonomy of the Judiciary if Cabinet Office still has a heavy hand in the affairs of its employees? 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, it is true that the employees of the Judiciary are under the PSMD. I am glad that Parliament, the third wing of the Government, appears to have a semblance of autonomy. I want to borrow the words of Hon. Simbao when he questioned the independence of the Judiciary. Indeed where is their Independence if when they ask for X amount of funding they are given 20 per cent of it or less? Not only do you give them 20 per cent or less, sometimes the funding is erratic. Not only is the funding erratic, they have a backlog of payments to retirees and former employees of the Judiciary. I did say earlier that figures do not lie. 

Sir, I did some research regarding what I am talking about. Whoever is uncomfortable with the statement I am about to make can see me outside. The Judiciary owes retirees in the excess of K90 billion and the hon. Minister is telling me he wants to buy computers. Let us follow what Maslow’s Law of the hierarchy of needs propagates. I want to argue again that some people will receive this money posthumously. Where is your pride if you can wake up and sign a Statutory Instrument (SI), in the face of this backlog of K90 billion, to increase the retirement age to sixty-five? Why do you want to give this burden to generations after us? Why should they be the ones to deal with the issue of debt to retirees? I want to argue also that even those who are sitting in their offices today and are due for retirement will not be alive in fifteen years’ time.  So now why do we not make a law that all retirement packages shall be paid posthumously? Only the children to the retirees will be collecting the benefits. We can try an exercise, at tea time, with those of who are above fifty-five years to see how much energy they have. They do not have much energy left in them, and yet they want people who are moribund to continue working. If you have not prepared for your future after fifty-five, I want to tell you that you will never prepare yourself. You are a barrier to those young fresh Zambians who have come out of institutions of higher learning ready and fresh to get into the industry. This also applies to the Judiciary. I think there is need for the hon. Minister to understand that the Judiciary is supposed to be treated as a hallowed place.

Sir, I hope the Ministry of Finance can assist the Ministry of Justice before 20th January, 2015, to clear the K90 billion owed to retirees so that those who will take up office after 20th January, 2015 can start on a clean slate and not inherit these humongous problems that have been caused by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government within a period of only three years. The way the PF has played their game, in terms of handling money, has put us in debt which is nearly equivalent to what the old man Dr Kenneth Kaunda left with us after ruling us for twenty-seven years.

Mr Chairperson, the dignity that goes with our justices, magistrates to be specific, and maybe the local court justices, has been stripped off them by the PF Government. It is now normal  to find that a magistrate has been evicted from his house for failing to pay rentals. These are people who are supposed to be secluded from society and shielded from elements that the hon. Minister spoke about in his policy statement. Now, if a magistrate is sleeping outside in the rain and I come to him with some sort of shelter or a rain coat, he will be compromised.

Sir, at this point in time, the hon. Minister of Justice stands at a crossroad. He may either be out of the system and move to this side of the House after 20th January, 2015 or he may be at the top. Given those permutations, I would like to urge him to reflect on what I have said. The PF should stop governing like it is playing a game of ping pong or aka red naka black or dice. There is need for serious introspection. As I support this particular Vote, which is a constitutional requirement, I want the hon. Minister to reflect on these words that I have said.

Sir, in conclusion, we, the Tonga people say inswi italikila ku mutwi kubola.

The Deputy Chairperson: Meaning?

Mr Nkombo: Sir, this literally means that if you want to see how fresh the fish is, you must check the gills because that is where it starts going bad from. I was shocked to hear our First Lady being accused of bundling our late President’s clothes in bed sheets. A statement, defending the First Lady, was issued by a family member by the name of Chibesakunda, who said it was actually the late President’s family that decided to take that route because it was tradition. That family member also said the person who took photographs of the said clothes and brought them in public domain had evil intentions. 

Sir, my point is that, that unlocked my mind on why the current Chief Justice has been occupying that office illegally. People have been talking about a family forest and I can see clearly now because this family spokesperson is a Chibesakunda. So, I understand that that was the reason our late President could not make a move to do the right thing and excuse the person who is holding that office, which is, …

Prof. Luo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson, thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. As I raise this point of order, I want to declare interest that I am a niece to the family that is being discussed. Is the hon. Member in order to bring the family in disrepute when he does not even understand the connection between the person who made those allegations, just like I am sure there are many other Nkombos. Secondly, does the hon. Member of Parliament know the credentials of the said Acting Chief Justice, which very few people have? She was the first woman lawyer with a master’s degree which other people do not have.

The Deputy Chairperson: Make your point of order, hon. Member.

Prof. Luo: No. This thing has been going on for too long.

The Deputy Chairperson: Make your point of order so that I rule.

Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson I hope this is the last time that the Acting Chief Justice will be discussed in this House when she is not here to defend herself. I say so because this House says that you cannot talk about people who cannot defend themselves. I want to say that I hate it when hon. Members talk about people who cannot defend themselves. Is Hon. Nkombo in order to bring the name of the Chief Justice into disrepute?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Notwithstanding the fact that you have sufficiently debated your point of order, I will still give guidance. It is accepted in our rules that hon. Members should, as far as possible, desist from debating people who are not in the House on account of the fact that those people are unable to defend themselves. So, to that extent, the hon. Member veered off course. May the hon. Member now come on course bearing that ruling into account.

Mr Nkombo: With pleasure, Sir. I have nothing personal against the Chief Justice. The Judiciary is headed by a human being. There is a court case right now that is challenging whether the person who is in the Office of the Chief Justice qualifies to be there. I have no hard feeling against the Chief Justice.

The Deputy Chairperson: Now, if the case is in court, you know the rules. We do not debate cases that are in court. So, with that ruling, please could you continue with your debate.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, our job, through the courtesy of the Zambian people, if they vote our party president into power on 20th January, 2015, will be to remove her from that position. We will ask the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) to withdraw the court case, and I know that Parliament enjoys unique powers to discuss certain issues. So, we, on 23rd January, 2015, courtesy of the Zambian people, will remove the lady from the office which she presently occupies. 


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Member, I think my ruling was very clear and unambiguous. Let us, by all means, desist from debating people who are outside. I think that is very clear and I hope you will abide by the ruling.

Mr Nkombo: Sure Sir. When we come into Government, we are going to clean that office so that Zambians can have a breath of fresh air.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this time to add my voice to the debate which is currently on the Floor. I do not want to waste a lot of time for the hon. Members of Parliament who are here. I will only talk about two key points. 

Sir, the first one has to do with the Office of the Acting Chief Justice. The incoming President must clean up that office. The person who is occupying that office has been there for three years in an acting basis. That is illegal. Why should a civil servant act for three years? That question needs to be answered.

Sir, secondly, I want to agree with Hon. Nkombo …

Mr Nkombo: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … that we should clean up that office when we come into office because it would appear that it is an office where foreigners ... 

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.  

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, the rules of debate are very clear and my point of order is on the Minister of Tourism and Arts, Hon. Jean  Kapata … 

Ms Kapata: Aah!

Mr Nkombo: …who has been running commentaries. She is disturbing my ears, when I want to listen to the debate by the hon. Member for Solwezi West, who is making a point for the Zambian people to hear. Is she in order to do that?

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that from my vantage position, I can clearly see the hon. Minister you are referring to and did not see her opening her mouth when the hon. Member was debating. Continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I wish to say that there is a problem at Ministry of Justice and things are not well.

Mr Livune: The Judiciary!

Mr Mwanza: Sir, sorry, I mean the Judiciary.


Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, the Judiciary is in shambles because we have been rotating the same people in certain positions for a long time. I was shocked to hear that the Malawian Judge Lovemore Chikopa was coming here to discuss issues concerning the discipline of the Judges. This man is a High Court Judge. I am not a lawyer, but I think we have superb lawyers in this country who can attend to such matters. We do not need the expertise of a foreigner. The Judiciary entertained that. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government was responsible for this and we are saying, “Enough is enough.” With no bitterness in me, I wish to state that the Judiciary is rotten.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I will straight away talk about issues to do with Mitete District. In Mitete, we have five local courts, but only two are operating.

Mr Chisopa: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Chisopa: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member for Solwezi West in order to say that the Judiciary rotten? 

I need your serious ruling, Mr Chairperson.

The Deputy Chairperson: The serious ruling is that we do not know whether he is correct or not, but that is his opinion.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mutelo: Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr Chairperson, we have five local courts in Mitete, but only the Nyawa and Litondo local courts are operational. We only have a presiding officer and clerk for the two local courts. The Namboma, Lutebwe and Lupoye local courts are not operational, but some civil servants claim to work for these local courts and are on payroll. This has been happening for so many years now. The people of these areas now have to travel about 200 km to reach Mwandi Local Court in Lukulu. This is discrimination. I hope that the Government has taken note of this concern and will, therefore, find a solution to this problem. The people in some rural areas use traditional courts. The village headmen who preside over these cases are not paid anything. Sometimes, there are arguments that emerge between the traditional rulers and the presiding officers of the local courts. Therefore there is need to harmonise these two modes of administering justice. The local court also acts as a police station in Mitete. Lawlessness is the order of the day in the area because there is no police station. As I speak, a person who was stabbed is lying in cold blood. Many people in the rural areas do not have access to justice.

Mr Chairperson, we have three arms of Government in Zambia. Under the Executive, we have the Acting President and under the Judiciary we have the Acting Chief Justice. It is only the Legislature where the person heading the institution it is not in an acting capacity. That is what is currently obtaining in Zambia. The Acting Chief Justice has been acting for three years. When people criticize us for doing the wrong thing, let us own up. 
Mr Nkombo: Yes!

Mr Mutelo: Sir, the problem in Zambia is that people do not like it when they are criticised for doing the wrong thing. How can you tolerate a wrong for three years?


Mr Mutelo: Sir, in certain places, local courts exist and people are getting paid, but no work is being done. There are who people who are drawing salaries without doing any work at Lupuwi, Namboma and Lutumbu local courts, where they are said to be working. People are receiving money for doing nothing. This is very normal in Zambia.

Sir, we need to put our house in order. We have tolerated a lot of cadreism in Zambia and this is going to eat the nation.


Mr Nkombo: On 20th January.

Mr Mutelo: Sir, the First Republican President said that the weapon you use to kill others will be used to kill you. If the Judiciary is not put in order then it will destroy this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank my colleagues who have contributed to the debate which is currently on the Floor of the House. I wish to urge my colleagues not lose sight of the fact that most of the problems which they talked about are historical in nature and that in the three years that we have been in power, we have been grappling to see how quickly we can sort them out. 

Sir, I would like to point out that the distribution of resources is highly competed for by many of priority areas. As the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we attach great priority to the operations of the Judiciary. Even though that is the case, we still cannot manage to sort out all the challenges which are faced by the Judiciary at once. Suffice to say that, I have taken on board all the well-meaning contributions by my colleagues and will ensure that we move forward in improving the quality of service delivery by the Judiciary.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 18/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 18/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 18/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 18/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

Vote 18/05 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress Reported)

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 27th November 2014.