Debates - Tuesday, 25th November, 2014

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Tuesday, 25th November, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






239. Mr Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    what the total indebtedness of Konkola Copper Mines (KCM)  Plc as of August, 2014 was;

(b)    when the above indebtedness would be cleared; and

(c)    why the mine had not been put under liquidation.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the total indebtedness of the KCM as of August, 2014, is US$1.5 billion, out of which US$600 million was related to short-term debt or liabilities while the remaining US$900 million was related to long-term debt or liabilities.

Sir, the indebtedness will be cleared as follows:

(a)    Bank term loans − these will be cleared in accordance with the repayment schedule in the terms of the loans that the KCM made in the agreement; 

(b)    Dividends − dividends payable. Liabilities and price participation will be settled as soon as the cash flow of the KCM improves; and 

(c)    Other short and long-term liabilities will be cleared as and when they fall due. 

Mr Chairperson, the company has not been put under liquidation because its business is not threatened to a point of requiring this measure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, what measures has the company put in place to ensure that it starts making profits which, in turn, can clear all this debt?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I think the issue of the KCM is a long legacy one that we have been dealing with. The Government, through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development as well as the Ministry of Finance, has been holding several meetings with colleagues at the KCM and a strategic plan for survival, including how to liquidate this debt, as enumerated, has been hatched. I am sure you can see that the company is progressing well.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to assure the House and the country at large, including workers across the Republic of Zambia, especially the KCM employees, that the Government is keenly watching the situation at the KCM. 

I thank you, Sir.


240. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a)    when Mukobeko Maximum Prison was last rehabilitated;

(b)    what the state of the prison was as of August, 2014; and

(c)    whether the Government had any plans to build another maximum prison.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of Mukobeko Maximum Prison is ongoing. Painting and renovation works have just been completed. Contracts will soon be signed for cell expansion and construction of two dormitory blocks of cells.

Sir, as of August, 2014, Mukobeko Maximum Prison was structurally good and fit to operate for the purposes it was built. However, it has, over time, become small to cope with the prison population. Its establishment capacity is 420, but it is currently accommodating 2,057 prisoners.

Mr Speaker, following the completion of Mwembeshi Maximum Prison, the Government plans to construct another maximum prison in Kabwe after completion of the construction of Kalabo and Monze prisons.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Pande: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, as the House may know, I rarely stand on points of order.

Mr Mbewe: Yes.

Mr Pande: Sir, I only do so when it is compelling and in national interest. The events that took place on 23rd November, this year, at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) make sad reading. This House and your Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services have continuously advised us to ensure that the media personnel operate in a secure environment, devoid of fear.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: Is the Government in order to remain quiet without coming to this House and explaining to the nation the circumstances that led to one of its Ministers, Hon. Kambwili, to harass, harangue, embarrass and call the staff at the ZNBC all sorts of names and thereby instilling a lot of fear in the media personnel to the extent of removing some of the news items which were supposed to have been broadcast at 2100 hours? The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting has, on several occasions, assured the nation that the journalists in the country would operate in a free environment. Is the Government in order to remain quiet and not explain whether or not that is now its position?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I will give the hon. Minister an opportunity to clarify that matter on Thursday, this week.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, what reformatory programmes are conducted at Mukobeko Maximum Prison, which is congested?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the reformatory programmes that are conducted are the same with other prisons, despite the congestion in the cells at this particular prison. The House may wish to know that we have joined the rest of the region in changing the way we look after our prisoners. We are trying to move away from the retribution way of incarceration to reformatory programmes. So, prison programmes are being improved and this is going along with the expansion of prison facilities that you have witnessed since this Government took over power.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, prisons countrywide are heavily congested. Does the Government have any serious plans to construct many open-air prisons across the country?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the hon. Member that congestion in prisons has been accumulating over the years. It is very unfortunate that our colleagues in the previous Government did not see the need to start expanding prison facilities. However, as you may have seen, we have opened a number of new facilities since we came into office. The hon. Minister was just opening a prison in Luwingu. Very soon, we shall open other prisons in Kalabo and Monze. We have also continued to improve the open-air prison facilities that we have countrywide so that we can put up dormitories to decongest them. This is because there is enough space in the old open-air prisons for expansion. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, in answering the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mwinilunga, the hon. Minister stated that the Government will construct another maximum prison in Kabwe. In what year is the commencement of works for this project scheduled for?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I ask the hon. Member to look in the Yellow Book on page 184, Programme 4012, Activity 220. There is a provision of K15,288,228 for the construction of prison facilities in 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the budget line quoted by the hon. Minister has not been approved by this House. So, how can that be an answer? Furthermore, following the response by the hon. Minister regarding building more maximum prisons, I am wondering when the ministry will review the ration programme for inmates. They work very hard, and yet their rations are so poor. 

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I am surprised that the hon. Member is not aware that the budget for the Ministry of Home Affairs has been approved. Maybe, he was not here on Friday when this House did this.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: I was here.

Dr Simbyakula: Were you? 


Dr Simbyakula: Well, if you were here, then, I am sorry because you should have known that my ministry’s budget has been approved. You must attend the sessions of the House.


Dr Simbyakula: Sir, we set up a milling plant in Kabwe in 2013. It is called Kalonga Milling Plant and the idea is to make prisons self-sufficient in terms of food supply. This year, an amount of K22 million was provided for in the Budget for the expansion of prison farms. So, we are trying to improve production of food to make our prisons self-sufficient. 

Sir, we must be attending Parliament sessions in order to ask sensible questions …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister.

Mr Simbyakula: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, congestion in our prisons is a real problem. According to statistics, our accommodation capacity is 6,000 inmates while the actual inmates go up to 18,000. This is about 250 per cent above capacity. Infrastructure development is a long-term measure. Therefore, what short and medium-term administrative measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that there is decongestion of our prisons so that we can, to some extent, prevent the spread of tuberculosis (TB) and the human immuno-deficiency virus/acquired immuno-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member would care to look at page 184 of the ministry’s budget, which was actually approved last Friday, he will find Programme 4078, Activity 007 – Rehabilitation of Prisons Facilities – K2,000,000. So, the Government has embarked on the expansion of cells in various prisons in order to address the problem of congestion. There is also the programme of parole and the President, from time to time, exercising his prerogative of mercy to release prisoners. If you recall, 900 prisoners were released as part of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations that just took place recently.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Home Affairs is continuously informing us that the Budget has been approved, and yet there has been no Act brought here to indicate its approval. What have been approved are mere allocations to ministries. Is he in order to imply and inform the House that the Budget has been approved?

Mr Speaker: We are in the process of considering the 2015 Budget. Of course, as you know, the ultimate act in that process is the enactment of the Appropriation Act.

The hon. Member for Nangoma may continue.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, how has Mwembeshi Maximum Prison helped to address congestion in other prisons such as Mukobeko?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the opening of Mwembeshi Maximum Prison went a long way in decongesting Mukobeko Maximum Prison almost by half. Otherwise, by now, Mukobeko would have been out of hand. So, it has really gone a long way in decongesting Mukobeko Maximum Prison.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


241. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when construction of the following, in Kalabo District, would commence:

(a)    ventilated improved pit-latrines (VIP) toilets at Chilele Primary School; and

    (b)    a classroom block and the VIP toilets at Yeta Community School.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the construction of the VIP toilets at Chilele Primary School commenced in 2014. 2, 900 bricks have already been molded and stones are on site. Construction of these targets will be completed by the end of 2014.

Mr Speaker, the construction of a classroom block at Yeta Community School is underway while the construction of the three VIP toilets has since been completed. It is expected that the construction of the classroom block will be completed by mid, 2015, which is next year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the response by the hon. Minister. However, I would like to find out from him whether he is sure that the funds allocated by the Government to the procurement of materials are sufficient to complete the project successfully. This is notwithstanding the fact that there has been a change in terms of proportions of cement and sand which has lead to the reduction of the number of blocks per pocket of cement.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, this project could have been completed sometime back, but the delay in the upfront contribution of material is what ultimately delayed the project a bit. However, the fact is that on the Government side, all the materials have already been procured and are on site. What remains is the completion of the project. Like I have already said that the VIP toilets are already completed. It is the construction of the classroom block which will be completed in the second quarter of 2015. Otherwise, all the materials are already on site.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether fifty years after our independence, he finds it prudent for us to continue constructing VIP toilets which are unsanitary and unhygienic.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, the VIP toilets where not there before. We looked at the hygienic aspect and that is how we decided to construct VIP toilets. As at present, if you go to certain schools, the ministry and other co-operating partners are now moving away from the construction of VIP toilets to ablution blocks where water and sanitation are being used.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister who the contractor constructing these VIP toilets is.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I need to consult. I may give the details at a later date.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, upfront materials seem to pose a great challenge throughout the country because communities do not have that capacity to provide materials in advance. Given this fact, is the ministry considering a change of policy in this regard?

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, one of the reasons the Government feels that there must be community participation is because the people will feel that they are part of the project. However, projects vary. When it comes to the construction of secondary schools, you will find that the community participation aspect is not there. This has always only applied to the construction of primary or community schools. In fact, the communities are eager to participate. So, when we talk about communities not having the capacity, it is not true.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


242. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the following bridges in Chief Kakoma’s area in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Chisanga River Bridge; and
    (b)    Lunga River Bridge.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, maintenance works on the Chisanga Bridge were carried out by the Road Development Agency (RDA) in August, 2014. Further, Messrs Inyatsi Roads Zambia Limited, the contractor carrying out the periodic maintenance works on the T4 Solwezi to Mwinilunga Road, will attend to any maintenance works that shall be required to be done on the bridge as it lies along the project length.

Mr Speaker, The rehabilitation of the Lunga River Bridge is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2015. The Lunga River Bridge is one of the bridges to be rehabilitated under the ACROW Bridge Programme in North-Western Province.

Mr Speaker, the tender for Consultancy Services for the design and construction supervision of ACROW Bridges in the North-Western Province closed on 20th June, 2014 and is currently under evaluation. It is expected that consultancy services contract will be signed in the fourth quarter of 2014 and works are expected to commence in the third quarter 2015, upon completion of the designs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, we are already in the rainy season in Mwinilunga. Therefore, may I know what temporal or short-term intervention the ministry intends to do on the Lunga Bridge on the Kakoma Road which is cut-off right now.

The Minister of Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, we appreciate the question that the hon. Member has asked. We did not know that the road was cut-off, but we will send our engineers to fix it so that it becomes passable. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, can we know when exactly these engineers will be sent.

Mr Mukanga: The engineers will be sent before the end of the year.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


243. Mr Mwila asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    how much money was owed to mining companies by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) in form of Value Added Tax (VAT) refunds on imported equipment, as of 30th August, 2014;

(b)    when the mining companies would be paid the VAT refunds; and 

(c)    whether the failure to pay VAT refunds to the mining companies on time had affected their operations.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, as at 30th August, 2014, a total of K1,709,657,678.77 was owed to mining companies in respect of the application of the VAT Rule 18. This amount includes not only VAT on imported equipment, but also all imports by mining companies.

Sir, it is important to note that mining companies do not pay import VAT on most of the mining equipment and machinery imported into the country as most of this equipment is imported under the VAT Deferment Scheme. This scheme enables mining companies to invest in the sector capital equipment, which is usually very expensive, by deferring the payment of import VAT at importation. The mines are, however, not allowed to claim the VAT deferred at importation when they make VAT refund claims.

Mr Speaker, as regards when the mining companies will be paid VAT refund, I wish to inform the august House that the ZRA has been refunding the mining companies as and when they satisfy the requirements of the law.

Sir, on the question of whether the failure to pay VAT refunds to mining companies on time has affected their operations, it is true that the failure by some mining companies to comply with the law for refunds to be made may have impacted on their operations as it is a cost.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, if the failure to pay VAT refunds has affected the operations of mining companies, what measures have been put in place to help them find alternatives?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the measure was outlined in the Budget when we said that we would streamline the VAT Rule 18 amicably and expeditiously. The amicable part is satisfied because we keep dialoguing with mining companies. However, the expedition part has been hampered by the mining companies’ taking some of the VAT refund cases to the courts of law. Now, when that happens, it constrains us and makes it difficult for us to expedite the adjustments to the VAT Rule 18. So, the ball is in the courts of the mining companies. We cannot effect the amendments to the VAT Rule 18 when they have decided to take the matter to court because we do not want to pre-empt the court process and weaken our defence.
Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, is there cash readily available for these refunds or they are to be made as and when the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) is funded?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, for those which are due, at the moment when the VAT Rule 18 has been streamlined, we will possibly remove the part which requires documentation from importers outside the jurisdiction of Zambia. The refunds will be made expeditiously. For the accumulated payments, that is a matter subject to discussion with the mining companies. In my view, it is morally binding for the Government to make the refunds when the requirements of the law with regard to the pertinent documentation have been satisfied. There may be other people in the Government who may feel differently.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, there are insinuations that the money might not be available even when the mining companies provide the necessary documentation. Could I find out whether there is a special account set aside to receive VAT refunds so that as soon as the documentation is made available, the money can be disbursed accordingly.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, if the provisions of the law are complied with, the Government will comply with its inescapable duty to effect the refunds.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the question was whether there is a special account in which these monies are put aside.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, we do not have those kinds of arrangements.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, in response to the previous question, the hon. Minister said that there is no special account for VAT. Therefore, I would like to find out from him whether there is a special provision in the books to make sure that this amount of money is indicated as owing.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, there is a requirement for the ZRA to effect VAT refund payments as they are due and upon compliance with the law. Refunds are being made in cases in which the exporter has fully complied with the requirement of the law even as we speak.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


244. Mr Miyutu asked the Minister Vice-President:

(a)    what measures the Government would take to alleviate the suffering of the young people in the new districts of the Western Province whose offers of employment were revoked; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to clear the unpaid emoluments for the months that the affected young people were in employment.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, the Government is identifying funded vacant positions to absorb the young people from the districts of the Western Province whose offers for employment were revoked.

In accordance with the Employment Act Cap. 268, Part IV, Section (20) and (21), the affected young people are entitled to their dues for the months they served. In this regard, they will be paid when funds are made available.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that these people will be paid when the funds will be available. Hon. Minister, when do you think those funds will be available? Today is 25th November, 2014, and those people’s employment was revoked about three months ago. Therefore, when do you hope to have these funds readily available for them?

 Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, we will try to follow up this issue because we have been receiving a lot of conflicting information. Some are claiming that they have not been paid, while others are saying they have been paid to a certain extent. Therefore, we are going to pay all the people who are supposed to be paid when the funds are available. I am sure that by the beginning of next year, 2015, we will make those payments.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, it is very painful to have somebody give you food when you are hungry, and before you eat it, he/she withdraws it. The people of the Western Province, particularly in the new districts, are very poor. Hon. Minister, can you give a good reason the people who are poor were employed and then were removed from the payroll? Is it because of the saying that those who have little will forfeit even the little that they have?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member is aware that the employment we are talking about was not done in accordance with the proper procedures because one procedure was omitted. However, since the staff in administration made a mistake, we deem these young people as employed and we are following-through this issue so that we do not disadvantage anyone. That is why we are saying that we are going to ensure that we get them redeployed elsewhere because they are already on the payroll.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s own words, an error was made when employing these young people. Consequently, the Government is going to lose a lot of money. Therefore, what will it do about those who ill-advised your Government and are making it lose a lot of money? Will they be punished?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I am sure that the Government will take action against the erring officers.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the cases of these young people who were employed by the Government and then dismissed shortly thereafter has happened in several districts in the Western Province. This implies that in each of these districts, somebody made an error. Can I find out whether these errors of employing people also occurred in other provinces in Zambia or it was just in the Western Province.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, since we are dealing with the Western Province, I do not have any other statistics for other places, but if the hon. Member will give me time, I will get those statistics and lay them on the Table.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the dismissed youths are on payroll. I am, therefore, left to wonder how they can be on the payroll when they are dismissed. Are they getting their salaries?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to read the statement, particularly part (b) of the answer, that was read. It says: 

“In accordance with the Employment Act Cap. 268 Part 4 Section (20) and (21), the affected persons are entitled to their dues for the months they served.”

In this regard, Sir, they will be paid when the funds are available.”

Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that they were on the payroll and they will be on the payroll up to the time they are paid. That means that they will get their dues for the period up to the time they were dismissed. A mistake was committed by somebody and because of that, these young people will be paid as though they were employed up to the time when they were told to leave their employment.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that he is sure that measures will be taken against the culprits who have caused this problem. He is only sure. He is not certain. May I know what administrative procedures have been instituted against these officers who made the error in order to ensure that there is certainty in penalising the officers concerned.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I am certain that disciplinary action will be taken. As for the measures that have been taken, so far, I need to get back to you when I have the answer so that I can give you the proper decisions that have been taken.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Kapeya): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to address this August House on my ministry’s budget estimates for 2015. Before I deliver my ministerial policy statement, I wish to join the hon. Members who have paid tribute to our beloved departed President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. May his soul rest in peace.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to state that the programmes being outlined are prioritised in line with Zambia’s Vision 2030, Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, Revised Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) and my ministry’s 2014-2016 Strategic Plan. As you are aware, the Government’s priority areas include the promotion of employment and job creation while focusing on rural development, targeting strategic investments in key areas of the economy such as agriculture, tourism, mining, energy, construction and manufacturing. 

The other area of focus, as we implement the budget for 2015, is human development through investments in social sectors such as health, education, water and sanitation and infrastructure development, as this will enhance the growth of the economy. 

Mr Chairperson, since most of these activities take place on land and other natural resources, it is extremely important that these resources are effectively and efficiently managed to support socio-economic development. It is for this reason that my ministry has set a very clear mission statement for itself which is: 

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

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, under Gazette Notice No. 183 of September, 2012, is mandated to perform the following portfolio functions: 

(a)    beaconing; 
(b)    cadastral survey; 
(c)    control of unauthorised settlements; 
(d)    environmental policy; 
(e)    environmental protection and pollution control; 
(f)    environmental research and training; 
(g)    forestry policy; forestry development and extension; 
(h)    land administration; land policy; 
(i)    land surveys and mapping; 
(j)    natural resources research and training; natural resources policy;
(k)    registration of land and Deeds; and 
(l)    integrated environmental management.

Therefore, the programmes in the 2015 Budget are aimed at achieving the ministry’s objective of improving land administration and promoting sustainable management of the environment and natural resources. This will automatically contribute towards a better Zambia for all through promotion of equitable access to land and sustainable utilisation of natural resources for future generations. 

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection has eight departments, namely: Human Resources and Administration; Lands and Deeds; Lands; Survey; Planning; Environment and Natural Resources Management; Forestry and Zambia Forestry College. 

In addition to the eight departments, the ministry supports three grant-aided institutions, namely: the Lands Tribunal; the Survey Control Board; and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). 

    Review of Performance in 2014

Mr Chairperson, in 2014, my ministry was allocated a total K324 million for programmes and personal emoluments. Of this amount, K232.7 million was from the Government while K91.2 million was from contributions from our co-operating partners. With the support that the ministry enjoyed from the House last year and the subsequent release of funds by the Ministry of Finance, the ministry has been able to execute the following programmes:

(a)    Policy Formulation and Development

Mr Chairperson, during the period under review, the ministry was able to work on the Forestry Policy which has since been approved by Cabinet. The Climate Change Policy is in its final stage of development. The drawing up of the Wetlands and the Land policies has also commenced. Further, my ministry has drafted the Forest and Customary Land Administration Bills which are currently being finalised by the Ministry of Justice. 

The Forest Bill will among other things provide for the participation of local communities, local authorities, traditional institutions, non-government organisations (NGOs), the private sector and other stakeholders in sustainable forest management. On the other hand, the Customary Land Administration Bill is currently undergoing consultation and is meant to streamline the administration of customary land. The Forest Bill will soon be tabled before this august House; 

(b)    Demarcation of District Boundaries

Mr Chairperson, during 2014, my ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, completed the narrative of the boundaries of all the newly-created districts. I am glad to report to this Committee that as a result thereof, all the district maps have been produced; 

(c)    National Tree Planting

Mr Chairperson, during the second phase of the National Tree Planting Season, 2013 – 2014, the ministry planted 549.8 hectares of exotic plantations in all the ten provinces. In addition, the Forest Department planted 318 hectares of indigenous tree species in the Western Province, using enrichment planning practices. 650 hectares of woodlots have also been planted in Southern, Luapula, Central and Eastern provinces, thereby bringing the total hectarage planted to1,517.8 hectares. 

(d)    National Land Audit and National Titling Programmes

Mr Chairperson, the National Land Audit Programme is a countrywide inventory of various uses of land in order to plan for its sustainable agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial developmental and other uses. The objective of the National Titling Programme, on the other hand, is to carry out a systematic registration of all properties and issue Certificates of Title. 

In the 2014 ministerial budget, this House appropriated a total of K100 million towards the National Land Audit and Titling Programmes. So far, the ministry has received a total of K44 million. This funding has enabled the ministry to commence the establishment of ground control points throughout the country and procure aerial photography and satellite imagery. Further, the ministry has procured Geographical Information System (GIS) software licences. So far, 30 out of 60 required users have been trained. In addition, my ministry has procured six sets of global positioning systems (GPS) equipment and six motor vehicles to be used for the establishment of the ground control points. 

(e) Cadastral Surveys and Mapping Services

During this year, the ministry has been undertaking surveys of plots countrywide in order to facilitate processing of certificates of title. As at 30th September, 2014, a total of 2,566 plots were surveyed countrywide, giving a breakdown as follows:

Province     Total

Lusaka Province     1,200

Copperbelt Province     540 

Eastern Province     713

Other Provinces     113

Sir, the ministry also carried out aerial photography and ground photo control activities to facilitate revision of district maps. These maps are used for various purposes, including economic planning. 

(f) Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System

Mr Chairperson, my ministry begun developing the new and robust Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS) in January, 2013. ZILMIS was launched on 31st July, 2013 and went live on 21st July, 2014, at the ministry’s headquarters.

Sir, currently, the system is being refined and rolled out to other provinces. Previously, the ministry was using a semi-automated information system which had major challenges as regards security, reliability, integrity and efficiency. ZILMIS has greatly improved revenue collection, land management and administration.

Issuance of Certificates of Title and Registration of Miscellaneous Documents 

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection has also continued to register various properties throughout the country. As at 30th September, 2014, 18,624 certificates of title and documents were registered. In an effort to take services closer to the people, the ministry will, in 2015, setup lands and deeds offices in Solwezi and Chipata.

Environment and Natural Resources

Sir, the ministry, through its statutory body, ZEMA, continued to regulate development activities in the country to ensure that they are in line with the environmental law and do not undermine our natural resource base. In addition, the ministry also embarked on reviewing our National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan of 1999 to bring it in line with the current development paradigm, align it to emerging sustainment development goals and also ensure it reflects global trends in participatory natural resources management. 

Mr Chairperson, during the period under review, the ministry continued co-ordinating the implementation of programmes and projects focused on environment and national resources, including one on improving management effectiveness of our protected areas, particularly in the Kafue and West Lunga National parks. 

Sir, during this period, the ministry upscale activities under the Integrated Management of Lake Tanganyika and its surrounding basin. This includes the promotion of lake basin catchment, protection and promoting of alternative livelihoods while the process of construction of a value-addition centre for communities is underway. The ministry also continued to create public awareness on prudent management and stewardship of our environment and natural resources.

Zambia Forestry College

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has revised the forestry curriculum and introduced two additional programmes which are Geo-Informatics and Natural Resources Management. It is expected that the college will implement the new curriculum in 2015. 

Sir, in conjunction with the Netherlands Development Organisation, the ministry trained 1,000 farmers from different provinces in bee-keeping. The college, in collaboration with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), working through community based natural resources management forums, trained sixteen people in community based natural resource management.  

Infrastructure Development

Mr Chairperson, in line with the Government’s focus on infrastructure development, the ministry embarked on the construction of the student library at Zambia Forestry College in Kitwe and the refurbishment of the customer service center at the Ndola office. 

Mr Mwale: Drink some water.

Mr Kapeya: Sir, the ministry has tendered for the refurbishment of the customer service center in Ndola and works are expected to commence before the end of the year, 2014. The ministry is also currently constructing an office block in Muchinga Province. 

Programmes for 2015

Mr Chairperson, the ministry’s budget allocation is K338.2 million out of which K31 million will be for personal emoluments and K226.1 million for recurrent departmental charges. The Government’s budget contribution is K257, 691,339 …

Mr Kapeya coughed.

Hon. Government Member: You need some water.

Mr Kapeya: … excuse me – while the donor component amounts to K80.5 million.

Mr Muchima: Water!

Mr Kapeya: From this allocation, the ministry intends to undertake the following major programmes …

Mr Muchima: Drink water!

Mr Kapeya drunk some water.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: You are running out of steam.

Mr Kapeya: From this allocation, the ministry intends to undertake the following major programmes:

(a)    The National Land Audit 

The Land Audit Programme has been provincially allocated K53.2 million in the 2015 Budget. The ministry will scale up activities under the programme. It will, in conjunction with the Central Statistical Office, commence the compilation of an inventory of land in Lusaka Province on a pilot basis;

(b)    The National Titling Programme

The National Titling Programme has been allocated K50.5 million. The ministry will pilot the programme in selected areas in the Southern, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces in 2015. Further, the ministry will partner with the private surveyors to survey properties in order to speed up the process of survey and ensure and the subsequent issuance of certificates of title to enhance security of tenure;

(c)    National Tree Planting

The National Tree Planting Programme has been provincially allocated K15 million in the 2015 Budget. Activities under this programme will focus on establishment of exotic tree plantations, generation of indigenous trees, cashew nut and fruit trees. The exercise will be concentrated in the Central, Luapula, Southern, Eastern and North-Western provinces;

(d) Land Development Fund (LDF)

The Provision for the Land Development Fund in 2015 is K28 million. This fund will be disbursed to local authorities, especially the newly-created districts, to enable them open to up new areas for development and subsequently, increase revenue collection. It is the intention of my ministry to ensure that plots are surveyed and serviced before allocation. We want to bring back the good old days when all the services were provided before the allocation of plots. This is the Patriotic Front (PF) Government; 

(e) International Boundaries

In 2015, the ministry intends to undertake boundary demarcations of the Zambia/Democratic Republic of Congo Border, the Zambia/Tanzania Border and the Zambia/Mozambique Border. An impact assessment and strategic observations will be carried out on the Zambia/Malawi Border. K7 million has been allocated for these activities; 

(f) Legislative Reforms

Under this programme, the Customary Land Administration Bill will be finalised and the 1995 Lands Act amended. Due to a number of reforms that are taking place in the sector, my ministry will consequently amend the Land Survey Act, Cap. 188 of the Laws of Zambia, the Lands and Deeds Registry Act, Cap. 185 and the Lands Act, Cap. 184 of the Laws of Zambia in order to harmonise all these pieces of legislation.

(g) Policy Formulation and Development

My ministry has set aside a total of K1,055,000 for policy formulation and development. The policies to be reviewed or developed in 2015 are the National Work Plans Policy, the National Policy on Environment and the National Land Policy. 

 (h) Infrastructure Development

In the 2015 Budget, a total of K6,850,000 has been provisionary set aside for infrastructure development. This will go towards the completion of the Zambia Forest College Library and construction of a 1 x 3 classroom block at the Zambia Forest College. Some offices, houses and research centres in selected districts will be rehabilitated. Under the Global Environment (GEF) facility, the ministry will maintain the roads leading to the Kafue National Park and the West Lunga National Park. A business centre to promote equal tourism in community conservancies will also be set up in Kafue National Park; and 

(i)    Operational of the Printing Place

A total of K4.1 million has been set aside for operations of the printing press in the 2015 Budget. This will cater for the printing of layout plans and various maps. The printing place can also be contracted by other organisations to carryout various printing jobs for which the ministry will charge and raise revenue. 

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to inform this august House that my ministry has begun putting in place measures to address the illegal harvest of indigenous trees such as the famous Mukula Tree and other species by illegal timber trade by recruiting forest rangers and appointing honorary forest rangers throughout the country. This is commencing in 2015 to enhance patrols of our forests. It is envisaged that with the introduction of this, there will be a sustainable decrease in the illegal timber harvesting trade and exportation. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of this august House to support the estimates for the programmes in the 2015 Budget for my ministry.

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Chairperson, on behalf of the people of Zambia, the people of Luena and, indeed, on my own behalf, I wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate on this important aspect of our economy. 

Mr Chairperson, just as a way of emphasis, I wish to reiterate the earlier sentiments on the economic importance of land. Land, as has been said before, is a factor of production. More so, it is our heritage and, therefore, it is very important to talk about it. When this topic comes on the Floor of this House, some of us feel attached to it because we see all the wrongs that are going on in our country with regards to the administration of this particular asset.

Mr Chairperson, first of all, I would like to deal with the issues concerning the National Land Audit. I think this is a very important aspect and it needed to be undertaken like yesterday. We want to know how much land is available and how much of it is still in foreign hands. Some of our citizens have acquired so much land for themselves, and yet there are Zambians out there who do not own land. 

Mr Chairperson, as regards the National Land Audit, I would like the ministry to take into account the issue of the ninety-nine year lease. This is an issue that I have raised on the Floor of this House before. My understanding is that it was the wisdom of our leaders, then, to give a ninety-nine year lease so that one particular family or person did not own land in perpetuity, like what we see in other countries. For example, if your grandfather was not one of those who joined in the scramble for land, then, the generations to come will never be land owners. 

Therefore, at the expiration of the ninety-nine year lease, the Government must have power to decide what to do with that land afterwards. I propose that it should take into account that ninety-nine year lease in the Land Audit. The Government should find out which leases are about to expire in the next ten to fifteen years and strengthen the law so that the person holding that lease should not have power to demarcate it and sell it at an exorbitant price to Zambians before the expiry date. This way, the Government will not find the land sold when it decides to move in.

Mr Chairperson, recently, we heard that the Leopards Hill and Chingwere burial sites are full and the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, whose hon. Minister is not even paying attention, …


Mr Mtolo: He is a presidential candidate.


Ms Imenda: … should find another burial site for the people of Lusaka. If there is no free land in Lusaka, the Government, through the law, should give notice to the owners of the leases which are about to expire so that it can legally repossess that land and redistribute it for settlements and other purposes because it holds this land in trust on behalf of the people. I am very particular about this issue of the leases.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the issue of the Lower Zambezi and the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). The issue at hand is whether that land should be used for mining or be preserved for wildlife and other conservation issues. 

Mr Chairperson, let me inform this House and the country at large about countries that want to exploit our natural resources. A country like Australia has a lot of minerals and the government of that country has quantified and evaluated for their minerals such as copper and gold which they preserve. However, while it has chosen to preserve its minerals, it is unfortunate that it wants to exploit our natural minerals until they are depleted, and only then will it turn to its mineral resources. Therefore, we should jealously guard our resources because they need to be preserved.

Mr Chairperson, ZEMA was mandated with a task of conducting an environmental impact assessment, but the Government stated that that type of activity should not take place. Who is the hon. Minister who decided to over-rule ZEMA and what was his interest in this matter when there is a professional agency which has been paid to carry out an impact assessment? I am very emphatic on this issue and the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should look at this issue very critically. All eyes are on you and if you do something to the contrary, we will raise eye-brows and the next Government will follow you.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear, MMD!

Dr Kaingu: We are coming back.

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about the issue of forest management. The hon. Minister stated that trees have been planted in some provinces and at a later stage he should give us the specific areas in which these trees have been replanted. This is because when I had gone to the Forestry Department in the Western Province and asked for the small trees so that they could be replanted in Luena, I was told that there was no vehicle to transport them so they had not replanted these trees anywhere and I was told that the local people of Luena could get those small trees. We are talking about poor people and the farthest part of my constituency is about 150 km from the Forestry Department, therefore, how can a poor person who does not have a vehicle, then, transport these small trees for them to be replanted? The hon. Minister is misleading us because civil servants have not planted trees anywhere and they are just receiving salaries. At one time, I was part of an audit delegation in transparency, therefore, he should tell us the areas in which trees have been planted because in Luena and other neighbouring areas …

Hon. Opposition Members: In Nalikwanda.

Ms Imenda … such as in Lukulu East, with which my constituency also shares a boundary, no trees have been planted. When civil servants tell him stories, he should have a way of verifying what he is told.

Mr Chairperson, I do not want to talk about the depletion of trees which is a very well-known fact and I hope that the Government can find a solution to that, but I will emphasise on tree planting. In Ethiopia, there are forests that are man-made with over 2,000,000 or 5,000,000 trees planted, but in Zambia, trees that were planted during the Kaunda era have been depleted and there are no efforts being made to replace them. The hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should seriously look into this matter and ensure that tree planting is not done by word of mouth, but that it is actually implemented. The Government should not only concentrate in urban areas where the hon. Minister, for instance, goes to Chongwe to plant a tree while the people gathered there ululate and it ends there, but it should also plant trees in rural areas. I want to see a forest in Luena because trees have been depleted there and we want our rosewood tree to be replanted so that it can be replaced.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Imenda: Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I beg to support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Vote and I thank the hon. Minister for that statement.

Sir, I am going to focus my debate on land and timber. With regard to land, I think the hon. Minister and the previous speaker made reference to the need to ensure that there is no unsustainable grabbing of land in the country.

I think, sometimes there is a fear that large chunks of land are being taken away and given to foreigners and there is a risk that, in the future, Zambians will have nothing. I share that concern about the need to prevent the unsustainable scramble for land.

Mr Chairperson, in the many years that I was in the Public Service, I travelled quite a lot and visited countries some of which opened my eyes to what happens when land is grabbed in large quantities. Here, in Zambia, we take it for granted that land is always available. For most of us here, if life becomes unbearable in the urban areas, we know that there is a permanent safety mechanism somewhere. You go back to find a piece of land where you cultivate and build a house, and that is almost guaranteed. I tend to think that anyone who fails to find a piece of land in Zambia, as of now, is perhaps not just making the effort.

Sir, in other countries, it is amazing. First of all, there is no village to go to where you get free land because every piece of land belongs to somebody. There is no piece of land where you can go to and say I am going to cut a tree to build a house. The tree that you want to cut is on a piece of land owned by somebody. So, if you cut a tree, somebody will just emerge and ask you why you are cutting their tree. In other words, unlike here where we can say this tree was given to us by God, in other countries, that is not the case. Similarly, you cannot go anywhere and say I am going to cut grass to thatch my house. The moment you touch that grass, somebody will say that grass is on their land, and so, if you are going to cut it, you must pay them. In Zambia, that kind of situation has not arisen yet. Therefore, we are actually lucky and, perhaps, sometimes even when we talk about the mineral endowment, I think the biggest endowment that we have is the land. 

Mr Chairperson, there is no other country that I know of which has such beautiful land, relatively empty and so on and so forth. So, I fully agree that in the management of land, we should avoid a situation whereby, one day, a Zambian will try and go to place A or place B to get a piece of land and there will be nothing. We have to avoid that.

However, we need to balance things up because, at the moment, we are talking about development. Development means you must build houses and factories. There must also be farms. There is no way out because development and land go hand-in-hand.

Mr Chairperson, this is where the Government has failed. Today, if anyone goes to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection or anywhere to ask for a piece of land where to set up a ranch, it will be a headache. However, if someone comes to say I want a piece of land to build a factory, the land will be availed. Zambia has plenty of empty land, but for you to get a piece of land on which to build a house, you go around in circles and this is squarely the Government’s fault.

Sir, the Government must put its books in order. I heard the hon. Minister talk about this computer system. There are a number of Zambians who are frustrated because they are unable to get a piece of land which is on title. I personally believe that the fear of land being grabbed is there, but the number one thing that is frustrating so many Zambians today is the inability to have access to land which they can develop. That is the biggest problem. So, I hope that as the Government plans, it will deal with this issue.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, many times, especially for people who want to follow the law, it takes years just to get a title certificate even just for a piece of land brought from someone else. We are told that this title is processed within three days for others. You recall that under the leadership of the late President Mwanawasa SC., he categorised your ministry as one of the most corrupt. He had very harsh words for your ministry.

Dr Kaingu: Stinkingly corrupt.

Dr Musokotwane: Stinkingly corrupt says Hon. Dr Kaingu. I do not believe that things have changed much and this frustration and disorganised settlements that you see in Lusaka are the direct consequences of the failure of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection in these agencies. People are looking for land, but the delivery system is not there. So, the people begin to grab and settle where they are not entitled to do so. So, this, for me, is a very serious problem, and I think your Government will seriously only be remembered if it is able to tackle this issue. 

Sir, let me now move on to the issue of timber.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I come from a province where timber is actually very important. Many people have a misconception about the Western Province. They think it is just a sandy desert, and yet it is one of the best forests in the country. If you go to places where they sell timber like Buseko Market, you will find that most of the traders there are from the Western Province. So, our province has a lot of potential for timber. This includes species like Mukwa, Rosewood and the timber that was used for making railway sleepers, the Tick, which is called Mukusi in Lozi. These are all from the Western Province.

Now, Mr Chairperson, the timber industry is very important in this world. It is worth billions of United States dollars. It also creates millions of jobs. What do we see here in Zambia? Even a country like South Africa, which is a semi-desert, has a bigger forestry industry than Zambia. All these papers that we use here come from South Africa. It is scandalous that we should be using paper manufactured in South Africa, a country that is a semi-desert. So, personally, I was disappointed to hear the hon. Minister say that the Government has planted about two million trees. This is a joke. When the Government talks about planting 100,000 hectares of timber, then, I will say that it is serious. There are vast places in this country which are empty or where the forests have been cleared. The Government cannot talk about 100 or 500 hectares. It must talk about 100,000, or 200,000 or even 1 million hectares. That way, the millions of jobs that we are talking about will come into being through planting and cutting trees and processing those tress into paper. You cannot plant a few trees at the Boma and then you say that you are doing something. You have not started.

Dr Kaingu: No.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, what it means is that the Government’s concept of this industry needs to change. What it is doing now is a joke. Now, let me touch on something that is dear to the people of the Western Province.

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

Dr Musokotwane: Forestry is important there. There are thousands of people employed to cut, prepare, transport and market tress. 

On the other hand, there are people who buy timber in Zambia such as furniture manufacturers. Thousands and thousands of people in this country depend on the timber industry for their livelihood.

Dr Kaingu: Yes. 

Dr Musokotwane: If we disturb that industry, we are actually throwing thousands of people out of jobs and children out of schools. Therefore, I am worried because the Government keeps banning and then allowing the timber industry to continue every now and then. How can you have an industry working like that? Does the Government not realise that doing that is actually playing with the livelihood of human beings who depend on this industry through jobs such cutting and transporting trees? What are our colleagues thinking about these people? Where should they get their livelihood from? 

Mr Chairperson, I think this is a matter that the Government does not understand. I have been told that the ban on the cutting of trees is because the trees are being depleted. I am sorry to say that I disagree with those who say that. First of all, this is because there is a misunderstanding on what trees are being depleted. The trees that are affected by deforestation are not those in the timber industry. When people in this industry cut-down trees, they are looking for specific species such as mukwa. These species are usually found 500m or 300 m apart. So, everything else in between is left alone. So, how can one say that the timber industry is responsible for deforestation?

Mr Speaker, furthermore, I know that according to regulations and practice of the timber industry, small trees are not to be cut-down. Those to be cut-down are supposed to be bigger than 30 cm in diameter. So, I get surprised to hear some colleagues here complaining about the cutting down of even the biggest trees. They must be cut-down, of course, because if not, the next thing is that they will fall down on their own, dry up and be eaten by ants. Where is their contribution to the economy in that case? So, we must cut-down even the biggest trees because if not, they will just end up as powder.

Mr Chairperson, I agree that there is deforestation taking place, but it is not  as a consequence of the timber industry. Therefore, the Government should leave the people in this industry alone. Deforestation is coming from, first of all, charcoal burners. In charcoal burning, you hardly ever select the trees to use. You just cut and clear everything. Secondly, deforestation is as a result of farming. We should keep in mind that our population is increasing. Therefore, when land is being cleared for farming, everything is cut-down.

Therefore, this Government is punishing innocent people, those who are getting their livelihood from the timber industry. We are blaming them for deforestation when the causers of deforestation are elsewhere.

Dr Kaingu: They are known.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, my plea is that this Government appreciates the value of the timber industry because the people in this industry help in the planting of more trees. So, we should leave them alone.

Thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Chairperson, I think we need to recognise that the ministry we are dealing with is one of those with abundant resources that can contribute to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This can only come about if there is prudent management of this ministry. This has to start with the appointment of the hon. Minister …

Mr Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was saying that we need to recognise the importance of this ministry because it has the potential to contribute to our GDP. Therefore, the cadre in this ministry should be picked on merit. This includes the hon. Minister, hon. Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and those who follow under them. They must be all of high caliber. If a person with political party cadre mentality is put there, he/she will not properly run this scientific and technical ministry. 

Mr Chairperson, when it comes to corruption, which my brother earlier talked about, we must note the saying that a fish starts rotting from the head. If there is corruption in this ministry, we have to look at how the head, the hon. Minister, fits in that scourge. The operations of this ministry are highly technical and, therefore, we need technocrats with settled minds.

Mr Kapeya interjected.

Mr Muchima: Hon. Minister, listen as I address you through the Chairperson.

We need intelligent minds in this ministry. If we are looking at creating employment, it is through this ministry.

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: This ministry is responsible for many things such as forestry, safaris and environmental protection. These are key areas for employment creation. On the other hand, there is goodwill from co-operating partners in working with this ministry. Even the hon. Minister of Finance has shown goodwill with regard to this ministry. However, has the management of the ministry shown the same goodwill? My answer is, no. This is because there is no concentration and officers spend too much time in meetings that do not yield anything. For files in that ministry to move, it is a hustle.

If persons like me, who is in the Opposition, have any issue to be sorted out by that ministry, you sweat blood, …

Mr Pande: Aah!

Mr Muchima: … what more with a villager? How does he get a Title Deed? Let me declare interest. I am a former Minister in that ministry.

Hon. Government Members: We know.

Mr Muchima: You should know. 

To deal with an issue concerning me, an Opposition Member of Parliament, in that ministry, is not easy. It is very difficult to meet that hard working commissioner. When you have an appointment with him, the moment you enter the office, the hon. Minister calls him. When he is about to meet you, he is called by the Permanent Secretary. Hon. Minister, you are there to serve the people, not to be served. You are supposed to be a servant of the people. If you bring efficiency there, that ministry can turn this economy around. Let me tell you how you turn the ministry around by equipping the Survey Department. This department should be given equipment such as vehicles, …

Dr Katema: Nishi tawabapele, iwe?

Mr Muchima: You decentralise according to the programmes there. You look at your policies. You change your Act. Today, there would be more money coming through that window. It is not the first time that we are hearing about the computerisation the hon. Minister talked about. This computerisation has been compromised. Since people are used to getting an income indirectly from somewhere, putting this equipment will not yield anything at all.

First and foremost, how have you organised your registry? Through you, Mr Chairperson, I want the hon. Ministry to listen. He is not listening.

Mr Kapeya: Iwe, akulanda fye. Ala!


Mr Muchima: The registry is key. The members of staff in that registry need to be motivated. You see the problem is this, for the file to move, you need to do something.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: I do not want to use the term attached to it. People are frustrated in chasing up their issues and in queuing up because of unnecessary meetings. Most of the people who are favoured are cadres. You need to be a Patriotic Front (PF) cadre in order to have access to land. My brother talked about ranching. Botswana depends on diamonds and on cattle ranching. In Zambia, we have plenty of rainfall and rivers, but we have no prudent minds to tap into these areas that can contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP). Today, if I applied for 10,000 hectares to open up a ranch, it will take fifteen years before a Title Deed for this land is released. Meanwhile, a white man with a kaputula, …


Mr Muchima: … a pair of shorts, coming from wherever he is, arrives today and a Title Deed will be released. I do not know how the counsels give out land. I would identify a piece of land in town and say I need it, but will never get a Title Deed for it. However, a few days later, you will find a Lebanese building on the said land.

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: One wonders how he got it. A Zambian has no clue, but councils are in place. They are supposed to serve the interest of a Zambian first. Here, in our country, you are serving the interests of foreigners ...

Mr Mbewe: Aah!

Mr Muchima: … because you want your pockets to be full. More money in the pockets …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … than serving the people. Hon. Minister, wake up …

Mr Mbewe: Get annoyed.

Mr Mwale: Wake up!

Mr Muchima: That is an important ministry. The Ministry of Finance has a soft heart for that ministry, but you are not moving.

Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: We are not seeing any change at all. We are left to wonder whether it is the officers in the ministry or the hon. Minister on the political side. You are frustrating people. We want the period within which title can be released to be shortened. The equipment is there and the money was released. What are you waiting for? Is it a change of policies?  Is it a change of the Act that you are waiting for? We want Zambians to find that ministry user friendly because, at the moment, it is not. Record keeping should be improved upon. I support this ministry because Sweden depends only on the forests and trees only, ...

Mr Pande: And Finland.

Mr Muchima: … but in Zambia, which is endowed with water, nothing is happening. The larger part of the population is unemployed when employment can be created through forestry. We have to recheck ourselves to ascertain what is wrong. This issue of giving cadres priority should stop. Every Zambian must be entitled to equal opportunity. That is why we need professionals. You should support professionals to do a better job. Do not interfere with their work with threats of being fired. You should stop storming offices, threatening civil servants and public officers.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: The Survey Department should be decentralised up to district level.

Mr Pande: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Muchima: They are capable of making their own money. You are talking of planting trees, but are not providing safe guards. What happens when there is a fire? Most of our trees are not safe during the dry season when wild fires burn trees everywhere. You are not putting measures in place. A muzungu, a Whiteman, those of us who were born before independence, had a mechanism that protected the trees from the village. When you ask the current hon. Minister, he only knows Mpika. He does not know Mwinilunga, not even Ikeleng’i. What sort of an hon. Minister are you? 


Mr Muchima: You should go to these areas and know the population of trees.


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, the Land Development Fund is critical, but it is being abused by councils because they are aware that the administration is sleeping. There is pretense through tenders here and there. Go and see where you are spending the money. Hon. Ministers occupying these offices, the councils are chewing the money and they are not delivering the services to the people. When we, as politicians step in, they accuse us of interfering and call for our arrests. They want that money to be stolen. We cannot allow this. The Government should never allow such a thing to happen. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: We want this policy to be implemented like yesterday. If there are any Acts to be changed, bring them, like yesterday, so that we change and make the ministry a user friendly one.

Mr Chairperson, this ministry has very educated staff and committed workers. However, when you have a poor driver, you are bound to have an accident.

Mr Mwale: Who is the driver there?

Mr Muchima: The driver is a political head.


Mr Muchima: We need prudent management. We want change. If the late President, Mwanawasa SC., may his soul rest in peace, saw something wrong in your ministry and it continued even after your coming in, then, you were not working. People voted for change. They want to see change everything. When hon. Ministers are replaced, people expect better administration.

Mr Chairperson, we are frustrated as a result of queuing. Young men in those offices cannot even answer a phone call. Even when they give you an appointment; it will not be attended to. They are in meetings all the time, especially if you do not stretch your hand. This should stop. Let us serve people. The priority should be to serve the poorest person. Call a file and identify where it is. This is a good ministry and when looked at seriously and examined it can contribute to the resource envelop.

Mr Kapeya: Signaled that the hon. Member’s time had run out.

Mr Muchima: Look at your time, Kapeya; you do not even have a watch.


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, we should encourage retention. When the ministry gets the money to be proactive, it needs the money. There should be money availed and the Ministry of Finance should pave way for this money to be availed. This way, the Commissioner of Lands will be able to travel to Ikeleng’i and elsewhere to see Jimbe. We have the potential, but this thing of pleading for money even for people who are well to do in life is what is causing corruption.

Mr Chairperson, I support this Vote, but while this ministry needs more money, I want to see prudent management of funds in this ministry so that it improves its delivery of service.

I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is a big ministry. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for the statement that he has brought to the House. Let me also thank my colleagues who have debated thus far. I have noted that they have concentrated on the issues of land. It is important that we protect our land, however, what is fundamental in this ministry is the issue of the environment. 

Mr Chairperson, if the environment is not managed properly, the consequences can reverse all the economic achievements that we have, so far, gained. This is a timely warning to this Government. I am grateful that when the hon. Minister spoke off-the-cuff, he said that he wants us to bring things back to where they were in the olden times. It is true, hon. Minister, that we are coming back to correct your mistakes.

Mr Kapeya: In the UNIP time.

The Chairperson: Hon. Minister, just listen. Do not engage him.

Dr Kaingu: Sir, the effects of climate change can ravage the eco-system on which most of our rural population depends. For us who are from rural constituencies, we will tell you that some of the fruits that we used to enjoy are no longer there; the grass that we used to cut to thatch our huts is almost difficult to find and the polls that we used to cut can no longer grow. It is very important that this Government pays a lot of attention to the environment. 

Mr Chairperson, I will not go in detail except to say that this is a timely warning that I am giving the Government should it be lucky to come back into power. All the achievements in infrastructure development such as the bridges and the roads can be washed away if we do not pay attention to the environment and, particularly, the effects of climate change.

Mr Chairperson, I was very surprised when I went to Protea Hotel in Chisamba and found a factory gashing out greenhouse gasses near Katuba. I could not understand how, after signing the Kyoto Protocol, almost ten years ago, we can still allow such development. In the Kyoto Protocol, it is very clear that we were going to embark on clean development mechanism. One wonders how we can authorise such development in Zambia after assenting to such a protocol. I want to warn the Government that if you do …

Pande: Warn them again.

Dr Kaingu: …  not pay attention – every time I look at the Chairperson, I realise that I should say if the Government does not …


Dr Kaingu: … pay attention to the environment, Mr Chairperson, we will have problems. My colleague, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, has talked about the forest industry. It can be wiped away if the effects of climate change are not mitigated. This is serious. For our marginalised people of the Western and Luapula provinces who live in severe poverty, the effects of climate change can exacerbate the poverty levels. 

Mr Chairperson, we have to be very careful, but I can see that the hon. Minister enjoys talking about land. You also have to be very careful with the eco-system. To demonstrate that this Government is not really interested in preserving the environment, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing answered a question on garbage about a month ago and he stood up and said that the Government had engaged a consultant to help in coming up with the modalities or mechanisms of disposing of garbage. How do you engage a consultant to dispose of garbage? 

Hon. Member: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: This is what we were told. I want to tell the Government that there is a form of garbage that is very serious. It is radioactive garbage because it has red mercury in it. For example, if I asked all of you in here if you can remember where the first cellular phone you owned is, I do not think that you will tell me. It has become garbage. That cellular phone has red mercury which is radioactive. There are many other materials in the garbage which is radioactive. Zambia is a signatory to the Basel Convention on the Control of Trans-boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal. Therefore, I do not understand why we can be so careless when it comes to disposing of garbage.

I want to warn the Government, again, that if it does not focus its attention on matters of the environment, the consequences are very serious. Mr Chairperson, the Government is lucky because Mr Rupiah Banda (RB) is coming back and we will correct issues. We, who crafted the policies on the environment, are coming back.
Hon. Pande: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: I was hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. I am coming back to correct your mistakes.

Hon. Government Members: Where? Where?

Dr Kaingu: We also used to ask the same questions.

Mr Mwila: Point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: Continue debating. 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, there are some people who have one megabyte of brain cells. It is not my problem if they do not hear what I am saying. Almost all the policies on the environment that the Government is trying to implement were crafted and implemented by me.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Kaingu: I am telling you the truth. Aah, what?


The Chairperson: Order!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, now I realise that they are not implementing anything.


Dr Kaingu: Sir, as I terminate my debate, I want to emphasise the fact that the environment is fundamental to us who are living now and to our future generations. Where we have a big problem, the Government must focus its attention.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Chairperson, now, I totally agree with my brother, Hon. Muchima, on the need to focus on a strong political head to run this ministry. 

There is what we call responsible tourism. Our tourists should be responsible, and when I say tourists, I am also referring to the local tourists. When you drive along our trunk roads, you will find an unbelievable amount of litter. We have this much litter because our lay-bys have been taken over by people who are selling fruits, water melons and all kinds of merchandise. Therefore, hon. Minister, after that timely warning by your colleague, Hon. Muchima, on the need to be more focused and clear minded, please, look into the environment.

Mr Chairperson, I reluctantly support the Vote.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Chairperson, this is an extremely important ministry and I rise to support the Vote with the following comments.

Mr Chairperson, can we all imagine a Zambia without land? That is almost unthinkable. I think that my colleague, Hon. Dr Simbyakula, the Minister of Home Affairs will agree with me when I say that in Latin, they say land is the sine qua non of Zambia. If we have no land, there is no Zambia. This means that land is an extremely important aspect of our lives and it must be given very serious attention at all levels because it is what defines us. However, we have not paid very serious attention to land. The Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources, and Environmental Protection has been the most unstable ministry in terms of political leadership. From 2006 to 2011, we had four hon. Ministers head this ministry under the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Government. On average, we can say that the ministry had a different hon. Minister every one year and probably three months. So far, since 2011, we have had three different hon. Ministers head this ministry in three years. That is an average of one hon. Minister every year. Clearly, with that kind of instability, it means that the ministry has suffered in political leadership, and that is the reason I think the ministry is still struggling with the land policy in the country. It has really not been given the necessary political leadership or guidance it ought to have. We would like to see this ministry become stable by stabilising the political head in it so that policy guidance can be given to the technocrats.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to delve a little on our forests. As my colleague, Hon. Dr Musokotwane, has stated, if serious attention is given to our forests, we can employ all the youth who are leaving our schools in this country. Zambia is blessed with a very good forest cover and very rich in various species of trees. However, since independence, we have not given very serious attention to this forest resource. There are many forest-based industries. At this point, let me give you an example from Kenya. In Kenya, there was a particular tree that was being cut-down extensively by a foreigner who was making a lot of money from exporting that particular tree. Later, it was discovered that that tree had a medicinal value and it was being used to make drugs for curing prostate cancer. We saw that tree when we went to Kenya, just a few weeks ago, and the Kenyan Government took measures instantly to protect that tree because of that medicinal value. Now, Kenya is not the only country in Africa that has such kind of trees. We have plenty of them here in Zambia. A very good example is the Devil’s Crow, which is a very good medicinal plant for curing arthritis. Of course, we know that a few months ago, people from other countries came here to get the Devil’s Crow from Shang’ombo to take back to their countries to make medicines out of it. 

Therefore, Mr Chairperson, our forests can actually trigger the development of pharmaceutical industries. They can trigger research into various uses of our different tree species and herbs. There are many other industries which can come out of our tree cover or forest cover. We have plenty of natural fruits found in our forests, which we can dry and sell to other parts of the world and make money. When you compare Zambia and South Africa, you will find that South Africa has millions of acres of plantations and here, we have little acres in terms of plantations, and yet we have plenty of land. How much attention have we given to the eco-tourism that the hon. Minister mentioned in his policy statement? When you go to Uganda, you will see very serious efforts being made to promote eco-tourism and here is where the technocrats are failing the country. The technocrats seated behind there are failing Mother Zambia. They have a lot of technical knowledge, but they are not sufficiently creative, imaginative and innovative to transform our forest cover into that kind of economic enterprise which can seriously change this country. They have not applied themselves sufficiently to transform our forest cover. This is why we would like this ministry to be stable. Hon. Ministers should stay at this ministry long enough for the sake of continuity in stability.

Mr Chairperson, if you have been an hon. Minister before …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir. 

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, I am grateful that you have allowed me to raise this extremely important point of order. Allow me also to apologise to the hon. Member on the Floor for disturbing his line of thought.  

Mr Chairperson, is Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa in order to say that these professionals, the civil servants, are not doing much when, in fact, it is the failure by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to motivate them? This Government has imposed a wage freeze and in the meantime expecting civil servants to perform to the satisfaction of Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa. Is he in order, Sir? 


The Chairperson: Order!

I thought that your point of order would be is the Hon. Professor Lungwangwa in order to be addressing the experts here. In that case, I would have said that he was not in order. This is why I always say that you should address the Chair at all times. That point of order you raised is somehow irrelevant. 

Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, you may continue. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, the stability of this ministry is cardinal. Anybody who has been an hon. Minister before knows that a good Minister understands the ministry and can work very well with his or her technocrats. The longer one stays in the ministry, the more beneficial it becomes to the nation. 
Clearly, the instability at the top in this ministry has not served Zambia well. We would like to see some stability so that those technocrats in various positions are properly guided so that the policies are clear for the good of the country. 

Mr Chairperson, we have stated this before in this House that we are being unfair to ourselves, as a nation, by allowing foreigners to come in and cut our trees. The licences for cutting this timber are being given by our officers in the ministry. How many Zambians are there in other countries cutting down timber as a business? This is an area in which we can take drastic steps and disallow foreigners from cutting  down timber in our forest cover. 

Mr Muchima: Correct!

Prof. Lungwangwa: If we did this, we would not be stepping on anybody’s toes. This would be in the interest of our people. Does it make for a foreigner to be given a licence to cut down timber covering 600 acres of land while a Zambian is given a 100 acre stretch only? Does it make sense? It does not make sense and these are the decisions which are being made in our offices. Can you go to another country, today, and ask for a licence to cut timber? Would they allow you? 

Mr Muchima: Never!

Prof. Lungwangwa: They will not allow you. Why are we doing it? Why are we being unfair to ourselves? Why we are being unkind to our own people? Can we stop it in the interest of our children.

Mr Muchima: Yes!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Can we stop it in the interest of posterity.    

Those foreigners who are cutting down our trees are doing so carelessly. We have seen pictures, videos and reports on what has happened to the Mukula Tree. The same is happening to Rosewood, Tick and other precious species in this country and here we are, as technocrats and officers, allowing the depletion of our valuable species. Some of those species are unique to Zambia alone. They can only be found in this country, and yet we are allowing foreigners to wantonly destroy this unique tree cover, which can serve a valuable purpose. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister to take drastic steps to stop this and the nation will be behind him. Stopping this totally unacceptable destruction of our forests is the legacy you could leave in this ministry. 

Mr Chairperson, if, for instance, you stood along the Mumbwa/Mongu/Lusaka Road, you would see many trucks transporting Rosewood and Mukwa logs to Lusaka. The people depleting our valuable trees in the western part of the country are not Zambians. This is unacceptable. Hon. Minister, you must stop it. My request is that the hon. Minister takes action to stop this with immediate effect. 

Mr Muchima: As a directive. 


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, with these remarks, I seek to support the Vote. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Kapeya: Mr Chairperson, on behalf of the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, let me thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated the budget of this ministry. Hon. Imenda, Hon. Dr Musokotwane and Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa, I thank you for your valuable contributions. Indeed, we have taken note of all that you have put forward in connection with land administration and control of our forests. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hmmn!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

VOTE 85/01 – Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection – Human Resource and Administration – K45,905,548).

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Unit 01, Programme 1001, Activity 140 – Support to the Office of the Deputy Minister (Lands) – K250,000 and Activity 147 – Support to the Office of the Deputy Minister (Forestry and Environment) – K250,000. I am not asking for definitions, but would like to find out what activities have remained static for us to have the same figures, this being an Activity-based Budget.  

Secondly, on the same page, Programme 1002, Activity 046 – Zambia international Trade Fair – K148,673. 


The Chairperson: Order, on the left!

Mr Mbulakulima: If there is an allocation of K148,678 for next year while there is no allocation for this year, how did we participate in the international trade fair? Which Vote was the money moved to?

Sir, lastly, Programme 1010, Activity 056 – Preparation of Books of Accounts in Provincial Centres – K234,737. There is an increase from K80,451, this year, to K234,737 for next year. How many provinces were covered this year and how many will be covered in next year? I am not asking for the purpose behind the increment, but what I want to know is how many provinces were covered.

Mr Mwanza: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Dr Mwali): Mr Speaker, Programme 1001, Activity 140 – Support for the Office of the Deputy Minister (Lands) – K250,000 and Activity 147 − Support for the Office of the Deputy Minister (Forestry and Environment) – K250,000, this allocation was maintained as a result of considering the Budget constraints.

Sir, Programme 1002, Activity 046 – Zambia international Trade Fair – K148,673 should be taken as a new activity for next year. Further, the increase under Programme 1010, Activity 056 – Preparation of Books of Accounts in Provincial Centres – K234,737, is due to the increase in the number of districts.

I thank you, Sir. 

Vote 85/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/02 – (Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection – Lands and Deeds Department – K4,971,932).

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1147, Activity 006 – Registration of Properties Livingstone Office (AIA) and Activity 014 – Registration of Properties Ndola Office (AIA) – K120,000. This year there is an allocation of K148,000 for the registration of offices in Livingstone and next year there is nothing while in Ndola there is an allocation of K150,000 for the registration of offices this year and K120,000  for next year, which is a marginal reduction.

Sir, what job was done in Livingstone which was not done in Ndola?

The Deputy Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Ching’imbu): Mr Chairperson, as regards Programme 1147, Activity 006 – Registration of Properties Livingstone Office (AIA), the Activity has been incorporated in Programme 1147, Activity 20 in the Lands and Deeds Department. 

I thank you, Sir.

The Chairperson: What about the other activity regarding Ndola, Activity 006 and Activity 014? You have only answered to Activity 006, but what about the one regarding Ndola?


The Chairperson: It is on the same page. Programme 014.

Mr Ching’imbu: Mr Chairperson, Programme 1147, Activity 014 – Registration of Properties Ndola Office (AIA) – K120,000, the provision is required to meet the cost of registering properties and other documents at the Ndola Office. The decrease is due to rationalisation of resources.

I thank you, Sir. 

Vote 85/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/03 – (Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection – Lands Department – K109,552,966).

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 1376, Activity 014 – Survey and Demarcation of Land for Commercial, Industrial and Other (AIA). Why was K5,707,000 budgeted for this year, but nothing has been budgeted for 2015?

Dr Mwali: Mr Chairperson, this Activity has been incorporated in Programme 1384, Activity 002 – Mapping and Surveying – K10,900,000

I thank you, Sir. 

Vote 85/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 85/08 – (Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection – Natural Resources and Environment Department – K65,049,551).

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Chairperson, I do not know where this belongs, but may I know where the money for protecting trees from fires …

The Chairperson: What page are you referring to?

Dr Musokotwane: I am referring to page 946.

The Chairperson: What programme?

Dr Musokotwane: Well, there is no programme specifically, but …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: … I am looking at the budget for environment protection and I have been looking for money to protect trees against fires, but I do not see it. Can the hon. Minister tell me where that money is?

Dr Mwali: Mr Chairperson, normally, that should come under the Forestry Department.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 85/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/09 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 85/10 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – K110,860,864).

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Dr Katema): Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you for according me this opportunity to present the policy statement in support of the 2015 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services. 

Mr Kapeya shook hands with Hon. Government Members. 


The Chairperson: Order! Hon. Minister, please, do not do that. You can congratulate each other from outside.


The Chairperson: Order! Continue, hon. Minister.

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, let me start by conveying my heartfelt condolences on the loss of our gallant and selfless leader, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. This country has lost a leader who was kind, May His Soul Rest in Peace.

Mr Chairperson, I, therefore, present the policy statement to celebrate the life of the leader who was passionate about ensuring that our people in all corners of this country have access to information. May I also congratulate the hon. Minister of Finance for the financial leadership that he has provided to us in the Government. The clear fiscal policy direction he has provided demonstrates the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s confidence in managing the affairs of this country.

Mr Chairperson, the theme of this year’s Budget, “Celebrating Our Golden Jubilee as One Zambia One Nation by Making Economic Independence a Reality for All” represents a significant and important direction for all of us. This year is special to us, as a nation, because we are celebrating fifty years of peace and stability. Therefore, besides consolidating economic growth and social justice, we should always endeavour to maintain and cherish the peace we have enjoyed since independence. 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry has the mandate to effectively provide news and information and interpret Government policies and facilitates development of the media sector for a well- informed citizenry. In order to fulfill this mandate, my ministry has a comprehensive policy framework which guides formulation of programmes and projects. Information remains a cross- cutting issue and, as such, it supports all developmental activities undertaken by other sectors of the economy. My ministry, therefore, continues to play a critical role of providing information to the public on Government activities and developmental programmes and projects. 

Mr Chairperson, my ministry is proposing an allocation of a total of K110,860,864 out of which, K45,650,844 is for digital migration, K9,512,492 is for the establishment of provincial broadcast stations, K16,222,749 is for personal emoluments, K11,609,620 for public media institutions support and grant, leaving a balance of K27,862,159 for other programmes. May I now apprise the House of the major successes the ministry has scored during the year and plans for the next year. In March, this year, the Government approved the Digital Migration Policy which provides guidance on migration from analogue to digital television broadcasting. 

Sir, in addition, the ministry has successfully installed and launched three dual cast television transmitters in Ndola, Kitwe and Chingola. With these three dual cast television transmitters, it means that the whole of the Copperbelt, Lusaka and surrounding areas have digital radio transmission systems and that at an appropriate time, these will be switched to digital broadcasting mode. The contractor is also on site implementing Phase I of the Digital Migration Project. The ministry has allocated K42 million for continued implementation of the project, K1.7 million for public awareness and K1.1 million for the operation of the Digital Television Project Committees. Further, the ministry has installed and launched five frequency modulation (FM) radio transmitters in Shang’ombo, Mulobezi, Shiwang’andu, Luwingu and Chilubi. These districts never had the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio coverage since independence, fifty years ago. However, now, the people of these districts have joined the rest of the country in celebrating the Golden Jubilee with both ZNBC Radio 1 and 2. Furthermore, the other six districts such as Chavuma, Kazembe, Mumbwa, Mufumbwe, Isoka and Luangwa will be installed with FM Radio transmitters before the end of 2014. 

Sir, in 2015, the ministry will continue with this project until the whole country is covered and K1 million has been allocated for the project. The ministry has fully operationalised the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) by appointing the board and recruitment of key personnel. This achievement concludes the process of establishing the IBA and an allocation of K9.7 million is proposed for 2015 for the operation of the authority. 

Mr Chairperson, I wish to inform this House that my ministry is on course in the establishment of provincial broadcasting stations, which will enable all citizens in rural areas to be kept abreast of all the developmental programmes taking place in their provinces. Most importantly, the provincial broadcasting stations will promote local content productions to showcase the country’s rich heritage as well as allow for inter-regional news and information exchanges. The project is being implemented in phases and, as I speak, the contractors are on site in Choma and Solwezi. 

The ministry will continue with these projects and an allocation of K9.5 million has been proved for in the 2015 Budget for this project proposal.

Mr Chairperson, the ministry recognises the serious challenges the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) offices face in the districts, especially inadequate office accommodation, lack of equipment and transport. To deal with these problems, my ministry has set aside some funds in the 2015 Budget to deal with these challenges. An amount of K3.7 million has been set aside for the procurement of mobile video vans, K1.5 million for procurement of equipment and inputs and K1.9 million for the construction of ZANIS offices as information centres in the new districts.

Mr Chairperson, I am happy to report that since September, 2013, my ministry has been providing local language newspapers. The ministry has also reviewed the project and is now in the process of restructuring the local language newspapers, taking into account the recommendations which have been made. Further, the ministry has fully installed the printing machines in Chipata and before the end of the first quarter of 2015, the Kasama Printing Press will be installed. These printing presses, when operational, will be used to print materials in local languages and many other informational materials.

Mr Chairperson, in an effort to strengthen the operations of the public media, support has been focused on revamping their operations through recapitalisation and operational support to allow for modernisation in their operations. In this regard, an amount of K1.3 million has been set aside in the 2015 Budget for public media support.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I wish to inform the House that my ministry has prioritised the implementation of the Digital Migration Project in 2015 that is why, at least, 40 per cent of the total budget has been allocated to the project. Arising from this decision, Hon. Members of this august House will notice the change in the budgetary allocation for some activities when compared to the 2014 Budget. I want to assure the hon. Members of this House that with the support of the officers in the ministry, I will ensure that the key programmes in the 2015 Budget are implemented efficiently and effectively and deliver on our commitments. I, therefore, urge all the hon. Members of the House to support my ministry’s budget.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate on this Vote and I would also like to thank the hon. Minister who is very cool although his colleagues are trying to take advantage of his calmness.


Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, information is power. Hon. Minister, you are a powerful hon. Minister because you hold information and …

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

Mr Pande: … do not be discouraged by those who believe that they are more powerful than you. However, I am disappointed with the appointing authorities in that it is one of the ministries with a very high number of turnover of hon. Ministers. On average, I think that every seven months, there is a new hon. Minister in this ministry and since the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power, there have been five hon. Ministers of Information and Broadcasting.

Dr Kaingu: Mmmh.

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, that is not good for that ministry, especially that Zambians have a number of expectations with regard to the laws such as the enactment of the Access to Information Bill. I think the hon. Minister did not mention how far this Bill has gone because, in the past, it has been promised that the Bill will come to the House by the end of the year. However, he did not say anything about that and when he winds up the debate on this Vote, he should indicate to the House whether this Bill will be brought to the House or not.

Mr Chairperson, I also expected the hon. Minister to talk about the IBA and the ratification of its board members. This is because your Committee had stated, in this House, that there was an anomaly because board members of the ZNBC are ratified by this House while the names of board members of the IBA, which is a superior body to the ZNBC, are not brought to this House for ratification. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister to tell us when this Bill will be brought to this House. I also expected the hon. Minister to talk about the issue of the Director-General of the ZNBC being an ex-official member of the board and this must clearly be spelt out in an Act.

Mr Chairperson, let me talk about the security of tenure of the Chief Executives of public houses. With what is currently obtaining and the threats that they receive, I do not see the security of tenure of these Chief Executives in these public media houses. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister to talk about the security of tenure for the Director-General at the ZNBC and the editors at the Times of Zambia and Zambia Daily Mail.

Mr Chairperson, let me now talk about the plight of the Times of Zambia. I have looked at the allocation to this ministry and I wonder whether this allocation will reduce the problems that the institution has been facing, for instance, workers have not been paid for a number of months. However, this institution belongs to the people of Zambia and they have given the Government the responsibility to manage this institution. Therefore, when certain individuals harass journalists in these institutions, Zambians should raise against such individuals. For instance, when Mr Kabinga Pande storms the Times of Zambia to harass some journalists, the people of Zambia should raise against him or any other person for doing that because it is not right …
Dr Kaingu: We know him.

Mr Pande … and those are public institutions.

Mr Chairperson, you have always guided that, as hon. Members, we must remain honourable whether we are in the House or outside the House. With that said, let me continue talking about the Times of Zambia. It was a leading paper in the country, but I doubt if it can claim to be so today. There is something amiss at the Times of Zambia and I blame the Government since the people of Zambia have given it the responsibility to manage this institution.

Hon. Minister, I trust that you are a humble person. You are usually very humble just like me. I am a humble person.


Mr Pande: Like I said, do not let anybody take advantage of your humility. Humility is not stupidity. Some people, …

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, the Times of Zambia has gone through a lot of problems, and while we expect the reporters to perform to their expectations because they are professionals, they are being tempted, which should not be the case. They have families to look after. So, hon. Minister, on behalf of the Times of Zambia as well as the people of Zambia, I am pleading that we sort out the problems at the Times of Zambia by finding resources for the newspaper. If we have, in the past, induced by-elections and found resources for these by-elections, why can we not find very little money to help the Times of Zambia come out of its problems? 

Mr Chairperson, let me re-emphasise the issue of the Access to Information Bill. I know that it could be because of the turnover of the ministers, and I do not know whether it is also the case at the Permanent Secretary level, but I understand that we now have another Permanent Secretary. However, that should not be an excuse because there is continuity in Government. The new Permanent Secretary is vibrant, and we expect this Bill to come before the end of this sitting. If it does not, then, that vibrancy that I accord him will be taken away from him.

Sir, the transmission of radio and television in the country is very erratic. I was glad to hear that some parts of this country are now able to receive the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) radio and television signals. I hope other areas such as Zambezi, Ikeleng’i, Nalikwanda and further parts of Kasempa will receive the transmission. What happens in Kasempa is that you can only listen to the ZNBC radio up to about 2000 hours. After that, the signal is lost. We do not know why that is so and we have been talking about this. So, the people are left with no choice, but to listen to the local community radio station, which is not the same as listening to their public broadcaster.

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, we would like to see this problem resolved. The Government should ensure that it extends the services to these areas that I have mentioned so that they too can have reception. Right now, the people in those areas are in the dark about what is going on in the country, and that is not fair. They are forced to listen to Radio Angola or Channel Africa in South Africa, which is not right.

With these very few remarks, I want to emphasise that the hon. Minister should not allow his colleagues to take advantage of his humility. Sort them, out.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. MMD Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the budget for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Before I proceed to substantively debate the budget, I would like to express my greatest disappointment pertaining to the conduct of the principal officer in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, the board chairperson of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) made a statement condemning the misconduct of certain hon. Ministers and individuals pertaining to the operations of the ZNBC. Members of the public and ourselves welcomed that particular comment from the board. Alas, today, the Permanent Secretary of this particular ministry has condemned the ZNBC Board of Directors and castigated them on not having the right to make those comments to members of the public as regards the misconduct of leaders in the Patriotic Front (PF).

Sir, from the time the Permanent Secretary of this ministry was appointed to that position, he has been making very unpalatable and unacceptable comments on issues of information in this nation. Immediately he was appointed, he directed that political parties must appoint one individual to make statements on behalf of political parties. Who is he to speak on behalf of the political parties?

Mr Mbewe: Mulekeni ayende.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, he has no right to direct us, as political parties, on how to conduct our affairs. As long as we abide by the laws of this country, no individual should be giving us directives on how we handle matters of information pertaining to our political parties. If his intention is to protect a particular grouping within the PF, he should go to the PF and discuss those issues there. 

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

He should go to the PF Convention.

Mr Mwiimbu: He should not bring the PF fights in the public domain. Why should he appear to be used by one grouping within the PF? 

Mr Ntundu: The cartel.

Mr Mwiimbu: Why should he bring those fights to us?

Hon. UPND Member: Which grouping?

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, it has nothing to do with us. He must operate professionally, and that is what we expect him to do.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we are in an election period. This period of campaigning is governed by an Electoral Code of Conduct. Therefore, we expect Government officers to abide by the Electoral Code of Conduct. The media personnel should not be intimidated so that they do not cover a particular party or grouping. It is the right of every individual in this country to propagate their views pertaining to the election process. Every one of us has a right to sale our manifestos to members of the public. Is the reason this particular individual was transferred to frustrate all of us?

Hon. Government Member: No.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we cannot allow that. We have a right to information.

Mr Ntundu: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, we have a right, as individuals and as political parties, to be covered by any, …

The Chairperson: Order!

I do not like the discussions hon. Members are carrying out while seated. You are making it difficult for us to hear the person on the Floor. Could you, please, give him the opportunity to be heard. 

You may continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, all of us have the right to be covered by the public media. We are the ones who are funding the public media. We are the ones who are going o approve the Budget for these media organisations that are owned by the Government. We have every right, like any other political party or individual, to be covered by it. 

Mr Chairperson, it is in that light that I condemn the despicable conduct of one individual, an hon. Member of this House, who intimidated and humiliated officers at the ZNBC.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame, shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, it is unfortunate that officers at the ZNBC could be directed to remove content of news items …

Mr Mwila: Mululumbule.


The Chairperson: Order!

It is this kind of behaviour that, sometimes, forces me to send you out. You know that I become extremely disappointed by such conduct.

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, such conduct violates the Ministerial Code of Conduct.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, our colleagues on your right are lucky that no one, and I am not asking anyone to petition against them, has written to the Chief Justice to complain against them. If that happened, they can even lose their seats in this House. The violation of the Ministerial Code of Conduct is an abuse of authority and power.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, as leaders, we should lead by example. We should not humiliate and abuse our public officials who are supposed to be doing their work as per their job description. It is neither fair nor appropriate. We are all aware that the mood in the nation is not appropriate.

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central in order not to mention the person he is talking about? I am lost and speculating whether it is me he is talking about.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


The Chairperson: Hon. Member for Chipili, you know our rules. Therefore, I do not know why you want him to disregard our own rules. We are not supposed to debate ourselves. So, he is perfectly in order.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am not going to mention the name, …

The Chairperson: No, you should not.

Mr Mwiimbu: … but he is a presidential candidate …

Mr Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … in a particular party that is promoting indiscipline in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I was making a point that we are in an election period and, as such, we expect the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting to be impartial. I am pleading with him to provide guidance to all institutions under his domain by ensuring that there is fair coverage for all the players in the political process.

Mr Chairperson, we have noticed, with concern, that there is also one particular grouping among our friends on your right who are being projected as being on the right side of governance in the PF political party. It is not fair. We are also aware that those in the PF are hacking and brutalising each other. Information must be given …

The Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mwiimbu!


Mr Chairperson: You have veered off the main subject. Come back to the budget for the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting because, now, you are dwelling on the wrangles in that grouping.

You may continue. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, all I am saying is that our friends in the Ruling Party should not be hiding the information on who is perpetuating this violence. They should be naming the individuals who are causing anarchy in the country. The public media has told us that six PF cadres were hacked yesterday. Therefore, we are appealing to our friends to tell us who is doing this.


Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, the PF cadres who came from the Southern Province yesterday were hacked with pangas by colleagues’ in the party on your right. The media carried this story …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I have been listening quietly and following the debate of the hon. Member. However, is he in order to defy your ruling by discussing political matters of the PF instead of focusing on the Vote on the Floor? I seek your serious ruling.

The Chairperson: The serious ruling is that after I had made that correction, he cleverly brought it in through discussing the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. So, it was difficult for me to rule him out of order.

The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I am merely appealing to the media to expose those who are causing anarchy and havoc in this nation. All of us have been enjoying peace. We have been preaching and proudly informing the world that Zambia is a peaceful nation. This so-called peaceful nation is no longer peaceful. I was giving an example of innocent people who were driven from the Southern Province to attend a conference only to be hacked with pangas before even reaching the conference.


Mr Mwiimbu: This was done under the instruction of a certain faction of a certain political party, which Hon. Kampyongo is reminding me not to mention, but it is the PF.


Mr Mwiimbu: We should not allow that.

Mr Ng’onga: Question.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, we are all looking forward to holding very peaceful presidential by-elections. Therefore, we are appealing to our colleagues in the media to ensure that the perpetrators of violence are exposed. I appeal to Hon. Kampyongo that when he reads about these matters in the press, he should take action, even if the perpetrators belong to his political party, for the sake of this country.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate on the Vote of this ministry. I take the debate of Hon. Kabinga Pande and Hon. Mwiimbu as my own.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Sir, I want to lace their debates with a few points that I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister. The first one is that in the hon. Minister’s discourse this afternoon, he did not mention what is going to be the future of Printech Zambia Limited Company. He left it out completely. It is an organisation that is under his ministry and requires to be taken into a certain direction in order for the workers that are waiting to receive their monies to be paid or the company should be liquidated.

The other issue that the hon. Minister left hanging is the one on digital migration. He spoke about it a little, but I am sure the nation would like to know whether Zambia is going to meet the final deadline of digital migration for all the countries in the world. It is also necessary for the poor people out there to know how they are going to access the digital signal through the set top boxes that he mentioned in one of his discourses in this august House. For many poor people that will not access that signal, it is going to be very difficult and confusing if the ministry does not spell out how they should access it and how much the set top boxes are going to cost the people of Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, as regards digital migration, it is also necessary to deal with issues that you have dealt with in Luapula. For example, those in Luapula can now receive the signal, but that programme, as I have heard it from you, is one that can only work if you are left in office.

Dr Kaingu: Umm!

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: You should continue to go district by district for everybody else to receive the Frequency Modulation (FM) signal in order for our people to listen to the news like Hon. Kabinga Pande was saying. It is necessary for our people not to be listening to outside broadcasting from Angola or South Africa. The issue of FM radio transmitters being positioned in strategic places to benefit our people is important. This matter was also talked about by the previous minister. That programme should come through. We have not heard how the Government will deal with this to completely cover the whole country.

Yes, indeed, we are going towards elections and this ministry is important, especially when it comes to issues of fair reporting which must be done for all the political parties. Zambia is at cross roads. We have just lost a wonderful President and we are now in a position to move forward in unity. Your ministry, hon. Minister, is an important ministry to bring about unity.

Dr Kaingu: Correct.

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Even with the Permanent Secretary who has been transferred to this ministry, it is necessary to put in place mechanisms to unite the country rather than to divide it.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Chairperson, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, I am compelled to debate this Vote. This ministry is key to every citizen in this country. We depend on communication. It is communication that, even in class, makes us get educated. Before I go further, I should congratulate and thank Dr. Mulwila for the action he has taken to explain the indiscipline that is being displayed by senior members of the Government.

Mr Mtolo: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: The Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is a public institution. Money from a tax payer is what funds it. It is not for the PF Party. I think, today, people have realised that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was mature. It lost power and handed over smoothly.

Mr Mbulakulima: Even the succession is peaceful

Mr Muchima: The MMD protected its civil servants. It protected journalists. Today, look at this Government. With the demise of our lovely President, there is a lot of anguish …

Mr Pande: Confusion!

Mr Muchima: … and threats. How can a controlling officer, a Permanent Secretary, who knows the rules of the Civil Service threaten people? Whose interest is he serving? It is annoying. I do not know how the world is looking at us. Is this the caliber of people that we should name to be Cabinet Ministers? It is below par.

Mr Mwanza: Totally.

Mr Muchima: We should respect the interest of our people. We should have dignified people in these senior Government positions. We have our own fights in the political arena, but we do not go that far. When you are fighting with your wife, you do not end up beating up your children. They have no idea why you are fighting.


Mr Pande: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: That institution does not belong to the Patriotic Front (PF). If the PF wants, let it have its own broadcaster. However, the ZNBC is a Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) institution. It is no wonder that some of us have been arrested before for the same offences that are being committed by the people in the PF and there was publicity everywhere, and yet they are never arrested. We went to prison for abuse of authority, when there was no case at all, but the PF are being protected. Why? Where are the police? Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, you have work to do. See to it that someone who committed an offence is arrested.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: If it was done to me, why can it not be done to another hon. Minister?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: We need to see if the Government is fair. The People of Zambia are watching.

Mr Mutelo: Hanjika!

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting needs to tell the world and Zambia, in particular, about these evils that are happening in our country. We need to protect the journalists. When things are done correctly, they talk about you, but the information moves very slowly. However, when you tell a lie or commit an offense, the information flies. We want you to help us ignite that fire by putting petrol to it. We need condemnation of that act to come from the hon. Minister. We thank Zambians for having remained peaceful during this transition. Do not provoke a situation that is calm. The people of Zambia are waiting to make a decision, but what is happening? The hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, we need the television signal in Ikeleng’i so that people can see what is happening so that they can make a right choice on which leader to choose. Out of the ten candidates in the PF, out of one candidate in United Party for National Development (UPND), out of the three or two candidates in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and out of one in other political parties, allow the people to choose freely.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: Stop interfering. We need communication. Look at the Daily Mail or the Times of Zambia. To support what Hon. Kabinga Pande and other speakers have said, these institutions are as good as dead and finished. Why? It is due to political interference. They are not running as business entities. Even when you look at the quality of the paper they use, one can tell that they are finished. The Post newspaper and Daily Nation, which just came on the scene, seem to be improving and growing, but the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia are sinking because of Government political interference. Stop it. If they are not performing, scrap them for they are just wasting our money.

In developed countries, they do not campaign on bicycles, motor vehicles and canoes. No. They use television, print and electronic media. They just go to the broadcasting institutions, but how can Muchima campaign in Ikeleng’i where there is no television or radio signal. Meanwhile, you said the MMD was being removed from power so that there could be television signal everywhere ...

Dr Kaingu: Umm!

Mr Muchima: … even in Shang’ombo. My brother, the hon. Deputy Minister, is there celebrating, but there is nothing.


Mr Muchima: You are being misguided and misinformed. Out of 8,000 km of road works, only 215 km have been worked on. Then, he says there is massive development. Look at the huge debt contracted. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left behind US$800, 000 million credit, and yet today it is US$4.7 million. Everywhere, people started saying and doing all sorts of things all in the name of campaigning. It is wrong. We need to interpret these issues properly so that people understand what is going on.

Mr Pande: Hanjika!

Mr Muchima: The presence  of the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in these newly-created districts is important, but how it reports has been modified. That is why the newspapers are not selling. It is one of the reasons people do not want to listen to certain media houses because they are being stage managed by the Government. The Government directs them on what to report. That is not what is expected fifty years after Independence. Give them the freedom to say anything they want. It is for this reason that we want that Bill to come to this House.

Mr Chairperson, information is required for awareness. Things like Ebola, cholera and contamination of rivers by the mines are the things that we need to help the Government to deal with, but it is wasting time politicking. In fact, we need this Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) to have teeth to deal with issues that are affecting mankind. The Government should show us that it can do better. What has happened …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was commending Dr Mulwila, the ZNBC Board Chairperson, for the action he took. It is a brave one. We are not going to tolerate anybody who will threaten him. This Parliament will protect the board chairperson and his staff because the ZNBC is a Government institution and not a political one. We need to have direct access to it. So what if Maduma is Tonga? Does the Government only want a certain tribe to work at the ZNBC? That is how tribal wars are brought to countries. This is one Zambia and one nation. This issue of tribe will bring chaos in this country. There is no tribe that is superior to others. 

Mr Chairperson, it has been said that Mr Hakainde Hichilema (HH) is tribal, but it is some hon. Ministers who are storming the ZNBC and talking on tribal lines. Were the cameras bought for tribal promotion? Those cameras are to promote issues, inform people for the record and to prompt action. They are to cover the whole country for people to know how they are being governed and what is going on, but you start talking on tribal lines meanwhile you have been championing the agenda of certain people being more tribal, and yet that is what you are displaying. That is nonsense.


Mr Muchima: Nonsense! No Zambian can accept that.

The Deputy Chairperson: May you substitute that word with an appropriate one.

You may continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Chairperson, I withdraw it in a hurry. This is unacceptable behaviour …

The Deputy Chairperson: That is better.

Mr Muchima: … for this country after fifty years. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: We should learn from leaders who were in the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era like the hon. Minister of Finance who is well contented. Wherever things are happening, you cannot see him take sides. This is maturity. We should learn from our elders. Zambians are waiting to see the action that this Government will take against those people. We are waiting. You should not delay.

Mr Chairperson, when Mr Joseph Mulyata was Deputy Minister for the Southern Province, he was charged with abuse of authority of office for merely helping Mr Mwamba (GBM) get back his bus which was impounded. This is a clear case of abuse. We need it to be followed up. We need this ministry to be protected because it is the custodian of information. No wonder we, in the Opposition, are not being covered. The Ruling Party is the only one which is covered all the time. One good thing is that it shows how bad the leaders in the PF are. When we tried to cover the deliberations of the Public Accounts Committee, which was telling the truth, it was condemned. Now, individuals are being allowed to abuse Government machinery. This is not acceptable in this country.

Mr Chairperson, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is important. In 2015, we want television and radio signal in Ikeleng’i, Chama and other areas. 

Mr Pande: In Kasempa

Mr Muchima: We want signals in Kasempa and Zambezi West and not just end at promises during by-elections, and yet nothing happens thereafter. In 2015, we will be watching. There are elections in 2015 and 2016. The Government will account for its actions.

Mr Chairperson, I support the Vote for this ministry. However, it should do the correct thing. We are waiting for action to be taken against those erring hon. Ministers, and especially civil servants. We need them to be canned.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, I equally stand on the Floor of the House to join my colleagues who strongly condemned this despicable action on the part of an hon. Cabinet Minister. As a Cabinet Minister, you ought to be exemplary wherever you are because you are looked at in very high esteem. You represent the highest office in the land and, therefore, it is totally unacceptable for a Cabinet Minister to storm a news room and insult professionals. This is unethical and should not be tolerated. 

Mr Chairperson, we read in the papers, over the weekend, that the same hon. Cabinet Minister caused a fracas at the Government complex and I am made to understand that the police are investigating him. What kind of behaviour is this? 


Prof. Lungwangwa: This is unacceptable.

Mr Chairperson, assuming that this hon. Minister, who is also aspiring to be our Head of State, ascends to that position, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … how will the media be treated? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: How shall we be treated as ordinary citizens of this land?


Prof. Lungwangwa: We would like the media to have a critical look at such kind of leaders. They are showing the example of what this country can become if they were to assume the instruments of power and that, definitely, cannot be tolerated. The media should condemn that kind of action in the strongest terms possible. It is in your right, as media professionals, to condemn such kind of behaviour.

Mr Chairperson, having said that, I would like to focus a little more on the Digital Migration Programme. All those who have attended the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Conference at different times are all aware that the world has entered the information age. This is an age in which knowledge will be the driving force in all that we say and do.

Clearly, digital migration will be very important in transforming our lives, just like the internet has transformed our lives over the last twenty years. I think that most of us do not realise that the internet only came into being twenty years ago, but look at the transformation it has made in our lives. Digital migration will equally do the same by bringing into orbit everybody in our society into the information age. That being the case, I expected the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to have shaken the nation. It has not shaken the nation hard enough. It should have informed all of us about what is coming as a result of digital migration. Digital migration will shake our lives. It will transform our lives, and you, the hon. Minister, should have been the flag carrier of the digital migration process. We should have been listening to the debates about the process in the media through newspapers, television and radio. We should have been informed, as a nation, on the digital migration process because it will transform our lives. 

Mr Chairperson, for example, the content of television is definitely going to change. We would like to hear how putting up transmission towers in the provinces will transform the content of television and transmission, and how that will eventually create a nation that is innovative, creative and imaginative, and how the youth graduating from the universities and colleges will be challenged to look at digital migration as an opportunity to do things differently or creatively and innovatively. We would have loved to hear how digital migration will challenge us to look inwardly in our own culture to bring about content for transmission which is relevant to the lives of our people. This will definitely be a new experience to all of us and the hon. Minister should have challenged us to be part of the process. We needed to hear from this ministry how this digital migration will be a transforming experience for all of us. 

Sir, equally, we would like to hear from the ministry how the public-private partnerships (PPP) will feature in the whole digital migration process. What will be the role of the private sector in the whole transmission process? Will there be private sector investments in the communication process? Give us that information and carry the nation with you so that we can all take a big leap forward into the digital migration process. I am sure that you have heard this from the ITU. This is what is expected of us by the world, and we would like to hear more about this from our local media. 

Mr Chairperson, the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) is a public broadcasting institution. Clearly, what is going on there does not reflect our aspirations, as a country, in terms of building a one Zambia, one nation. We are a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country and the ZNBC must reflect that multi-ethnicity and multi-cultural status. That is the richness of our country. Do not promote one ethnic group. Do not promote a mono-culture nation because we are not a mono-culture nation.

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Prof. Lungwangwa: We are a multi-cultural nation. When you go to South Africa, look at the beauty of listening to various radio programmes in different languages and watching television and seeing how all the different ethnic groups are promoted on the national broadcasting channels. 

Dr Kaingu: Even in Parliament. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, that is how it should be. When you promote one cultural group, you are promoting what is called cultural hegemony or ethnic hegemony or colonisation of one ethnic group by others. That is not acceptable. When we tune in to listen to the general service, whether it is on ZNBC Radio One or Radio Two, those young ladies and gentlemen who are transmitting information should play music from different parts of this country …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … because that is what makes our culture rich. Do not promote music from just one group. You are not promoting the “One Zambia, One Nation” slogan when you promote music from one ethnic group.

Mr Chairperson, let me give you an example of our eagle. That eagle you see symbolising our nation has a lot of lessons to be drawn from it, but I will only give you one. There are about ten characteristics of an eagle, but I will only give you one. When an eagle grows older, its feathers start coming off and new feathers come on. Why does that happen? The older you become, the higher your likelihood of getting rid of bad habits. Leaders must get rid of bad habits as they mature. A country must get rid of bad habits as it progresses or becomes older. We are now fifty years old and, clearly, we need new feathers, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … including new leadership to propel the country in a certain direction. We need new ideas and that is why an eagle has a lot of lessons for us, including leadership of the country. Even in relation to institutions that we have such as the ZNBC, we now expect them to take on new feathers as we go into the next fifty years of our development. Bad habits must be gotten rid of. We should promote national unity and identity. We should promote the pride that comes with being Zambian.

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Chairperson, that pride must flow in our veins and arteries. We want to see better ways of managing our country so that all of us begin to feel that, indeed, we are one Zambia, one nation, regardless of whether we are from Kalabo, Kaputa, Chama, Lundazi, Kasempa and any other area. We are a common people and our diversity is our strength. Our cultures must be looked at as equal for the good of Zambia. Uniting the different cultures should be the role of the ZNBC.

Mr Chairperson, seriously thinking, the media knows that to be is to be mentioned and not to be mentioned is not to be. This means that, in political circles, every political leader wants to be mentioned and wants to be heard. This is because if you are not heard or mentioned, you are as good as dead. It is, therefore, the media’s responsibility to give ample opportunity to every political voice to be heard for the good of the nation. This is the bottom line of politics and democracy. 

Walter Veer said:

“I may not agree with what you want to say, but I will defend your right to say it because your right to say it is your right.” 

Mr Chairperson, the media should open its avenues to all of us and not just the Ruling Party. The media is not for the Ruling Party alone, but for all of us. We all have a stake in it and we should all have our voices projected in it.  

Mr Chairperson, with these few remarks, I beg to support.

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank all the hon. Members who have debated and supported this Vote with their various contributions. I would like to assure Hon. Pande that the Government, through my ministry, is actually as eager as he is to bring the Access to Information Bill and the Ministry of Justice is preparing the final draft. 

I would like to highlight to him that the delay could have probably been due to the fact that in order to harmonise the Access to Information Bill, we needed to look at various legislation which, unfortunately, are not domiciled in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, but sit under different ministries. My ministry took advantage of the window through which the Justice and Legal Reforms Commission is looking at different laws so that we can harmonise and come up with a Bill which will not antagonise other Bills sitting under different ministries. 

I can assure you that this Government has the heart of the media institutions at heart. 

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mulenga: Wachilala!

Dr Katema: This is enshrined under the Zambia National Broadcasting and Corporation Act, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Act and many other different Acts under which different media institutions fall. The channel of communication between the Government and these institutions is highlighted in black and white. 

Mr Chairperson, I would also like to assure Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa that the Government is on course and is in the process of building provincial television stations in Solwezi and Choma. Funds for these first two stations were already appropriated in the previous budget. These provincial television stations will broadcast local content. It will be an opportunity for us to showcase the different traditions and cultures and interchange of cultures between provinces and the country at large. 

Mr Chairperson, we are on course with the Digital Migration Programme. I mentioned in the policy statement on where we started from and where we are. I am proposing to this House to approve the funds allocated to put in this budget so that we can move forward. You can rest assured that we are on course. I would like to thank all the people who have contributed to this Vote and who have supported it actively. We have taken on board all the suggestions and comments made. 

I thank you, Sir. 

VOTE 26/01 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting – Human Resources and Administration – K14,377,943). 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, I would like to make a few observations, but first I want to say that I do not need definitions, but actual answers. 

Sir, may I have clarification on Unit 02, Programme 5002, Activity 007 – Labour Day Celebration – K12,080. This figure has reduced from K52,080. What activities will not be performed, taking into account that this is an Activity-based Budget? 

Secondly, I seek clarification on Programme 5075, Activity 004 – Services to the Permanent Secretary – K250,000. I know what this is intended for, however, for 2015, there is K250,000. Currently, which Vote is being used since there is nothing here? 

Lastly, …

The Deputy Chairperson: No. You are limited to two.  

Mr Mbulakulima: I will come back. 

The Deputy Chairperson: Hon. Minister, you may respond. 

The Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Njeulu): Mr Chairperson, the deduction on Programme 5002, Activity 007 – Labour Day Celebration – K12,080 is due to the reduced number of displays and exhibitions. 

Sir, Programme 5075, Activity 004 – Services to the Permanent Secretary – K250,000 is a new activity that has been created and is budgeted for separately for hon. Ministers and Permanent Secretaries. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5075, Activity 002 – Services to Minister – K290,062, Activity 003 – Services to Deputy Minister – K250,250 and Activity 004 – Services to the Permanent Secretary – K250,000. Why is it that there was no allocation for services to the Permanent Secretary this year, but there is an allocation of K250,000 for next year? Further, why has the allocation to the hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers drastically reduced? Is it because people are not coming back?

Hon. Government Members: Coming where?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, …

Hon. Opposition Member: Njeulu is not coming back.


Mr Njeulu: … the reduction is due to fact that there is only one Deputy Minister as compared to the previous arrangement.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, you must help us.

Sir, may I have clarification on Unit 03, Programme 5031, Activity 054 – Procurement of Hologram – K151,620 and Programme 5050, Activity 002 – Conducting Copyright Raids – K676,752. I observe that under the procurement of holograms, the figures dropped drastically from K790,000 to K151,620 while on the conducting of copy right raids the amount has moved from K349, 492 to K676,752. How do you reconcile this contradiction?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, under Unit 03, Programme 5031, Activity 054 – Procurement of Hologram – K151,620, the reduction is due to the reduced number of holograms to be procured because some are still in stock. As regards, Programme 5050, Activity 002 – Conducting Copyright Raids – K676,752, the increase is due to the increased frequency of raids to be conducted in order to enforce the implementation of the hologram.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may have clarification on Programme 5009, Activity 006 – Monitoring Revenue Collections – K70,573. The last answer I got for a reduction was that it was due to a reduced number of hon. Deputy Ministers, what about now? You had and allocation of K186,000 for this year, but it has reduced to K70,573.

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, under Programme 5009, Activity 006 – Monitoring Revenue Collections – K70,573, the reduction is due to the reduced number of monitoring tours by strengthening internal control of collecting centres. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Vote 26/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates. 

VOTE 26/02 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Zambia News and Information Services – K20,561,273).

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5068, Activity 002 – Mobile Video Shows in Rural Areas – K596,116. There was an allocation of K645,748 for this year, but the allocation for next year has reduced to K596,116. What has caused the reduction? Is it because there are certain areas which will not …

The Deputy Chairperson: You have asked you question, hon. Member.

Mr Miyutu: Sir, may I also have clarification on Programme 5031, Activity 011 – Procurement of Equipment and Inputs – K1,532,985. This year, there was an allocation of K3,277,352, but the allocation for next year has reduced to K1,532,985. What has caused the reduction?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, on Programme 5068, Activity 002 – Mobile Video Shows in Rural Areas – K596,116, the reduction is due to the decentralisation of the Activity to the provinces and districts. Under Programme 5031, Activity 011 – Procurement of Equipment and Inputs – K1,532,985, the reduction is due to the reduced number of equipment to be procured, having procured, at least one camera for each district in 2014. We are only going to buy a few cameras in 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5002, Activity 011 – Public Functions and Ceremonies – K16,333 and Activity 062 – Youth Day Celebrations – K3,557. Public functions and ceremonies have been allocated K16,333 while the Youth Day has got K3,557. I know that you are neither the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs nor the Ministry of Youth and Sport, however, what is the rational of having allocated more money to ceremonies than you have to the young people?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, this ministry cuts across other ministries as well because we give information on the activities of all the projects and programmes of the Government across the country. That is the reason we have to budget even for activities happening in other ministries.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5032, Activity 003 – Distribution of Newspapers – K51,799. There is an allocation of K233,580 for this year and a reduction to K51,799 for next year. What has caused the reduction? Does it mean that the distribution of newspapers, even when we need them in Washishi, will reduce?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, instead of the department using its own transport, the ministry has sub-contracted a distributor. Therefore, we are going to make a lot of savings due to this arrangement.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson:  You can ask the last question, Hon. Mbulakulima.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Chairperson, especially considering that the hon. Minister did not answer my previous question …

Mr Sikazwe: Question!

Mr Mbulakulima: Question, Sikazwe!

The Deputy Chairperson: Proceed or else, I cut you off.

Mr Mbulakulima: … may I have clarification on Unit 07, Programme 5013, Activity 002, Field Production – K254,466 and Activity 046, Production of TV Programmes – K88,378. Why is the production of television programmes being allocated less money in comparison to field production?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, this is due to the reduction in field activities by the department at headquarters. This will be relaying on the provincial offices and district offices. On the production of television programmes, there is also a deduction. This is because we are going to realign the programmes and we will be focusing on news channel programmes under Programme 5032, Activity 011, Government TV News Channels – K574,000.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 26/02 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26/03 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Planning and Information – K61, 911,141).

Mr Miyutu: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5000, Activity 002, Salaries Division II – K95,160. In 2014, there was an allocation of K292,289, therefore, why do we have this great reduction?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, the reduction is due to some positions being upgraded and moved to Division I.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5134, Activity 010, Quarter Budget Performance Review – K11,840. May I know who reviews this Budget and why we are paying this money. Is it not for people who are already salaried?

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, the activity involves the undertaking of quarterly Budget performance and expenditure meetings.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5029, Activity 007, Parliamentary Sessions. In 2014, there was an allocation of K42,000, but in 2015, there is no allocation. Does it mean that there will be no Parliamentary Sessions?

Mr Njeulu: Mr Chairperson, the sitting allowances have actually been removed and that is why there is no allocation for that. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, I feel that my question was not answered.

The Deputy Chairperson: Put the question.

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme on Programme 5134, Activity 010, Quarter Budget Performance Review – K11,840. May I know who reviews this Budget and why we are paying this money. Is it not for people who are already salaried?

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, review meetings cost money. Even when there is a meeting in the villages, …

Mr Livune: Question!

Dr Katema: …you do buy some munkoyo for people to drink. This costs money. Even when Hon. Livune is called for a meeting in the amphitheater, I believe he requests for some money.

I thank you, Sir.


Vote 26/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 26/04 – (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services – Press and Media Development – K14,010,507).

Mr Pande: Mr Chairperson, may I have clarification on Programme 5004, Activity 029, Times of Zambia – K603,680. In 2014, there was an allocation K560,000. May I know if this amount includes the indebtedness of Times of Zambia.

The Deputy Chairperson: A simple answer is sought!

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, the indebtedness of the institution is being dealt with by the board in consultation with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Finance through Secretary to the Treasury.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Chairperson, I seek clarification on Programme 5005, Activity 336, Independent Broadcasting Authority – K9,700,000. How sure are we that this authority …


Mr Mutelo: …will be independent next year?

Dr Katema: Mr Chairperson, this is an independent broadcasting authority and, as of now, that is the money which is intended for it to carry out its functions.

I thank you, Mr Chairperson.

Vote 26/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

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

The Minister of Labour and Social Security (Mr Shamenda): Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I wish to join the hon. Members of this House and the rest of the country in expressing deepest condolences to the first family and the people of the Republic of Zambia on the passing on of His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, the President of the Republic of Zambia. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Sir, I wish to thank you for according me an opportunity to deliver the policy statement in support of the 2015 Estimates of Expenditure for my ministry. The policy statement is in two parts. The first part looks at the performance of the ministry during the first three years of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, as a tribute to our late President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. The second part outlines the policy focus for the ministry for 2015. In the three years that the PF has been in the Government, it introduced a number of policy and structural reforms, as espoused in it party manifesto, aimed at addressing the various challenges that the labour market is faced with.

Mr Chairperson, today, I am pleased to inform this House that my ministry posted a number of successes on many of the reforms it introduced as it made strides towards the realisation of its vision of a productive labour market anchored on employment, equity and social justice.

Mr Chairperson, when we, as the PF, assumed office in September, 2011, we found that the previous Government had approved a K19 million 2012 Budget for the Ministry of Labour and Security. Our Government increased the budgetary allocation to the ministry to K36.8 million in 2013 and further to K42.5 million in 2014. The continued increment in the budgetary allocation underscores the importance that our Government attaches to the ministry and the employment and labour sector. Notwithstanding the increments, the budgetary allocation falls short of the amount required for the ministry to fulfill its mandate.

Sir, in line with our promise to review the labour legislation, I wish to inform this House that the Labour Law Reforms Process is so advanced that we will be introducing the Bills in the next session of the National Assembly. I also wish to inform this august House that we have fast tracked a partial amendment of the Employment Act Cap. 268 of the Laws of Zambia specifically dealing with casualisation, which we shall bring to this august House hopefully during this session. I am happy that we have made tremendous strides in this process, but at the same time, I am also sad that our mentor will not be around to see the fruits of the labour law reforms.

Mr Chairperson, closely related to the Labour Law Reforms are the social security reforms. The adoption of the wider social protection policy provides a platform for a reinvigoration of related issues, among them social security. The ministry, therefore, embarked on the comprehensive social security reforms to ensure a modernised social security system that adequately addresses the plight of the retirees. The reforms will also put in place measures to ensure the long-term financial sustainability of pension systems. The new social security system shall progressively develop mechanisms for extending coverage to the informal sector and take account the diversity and complexity of the informal sector players by targeting specific groups and providing benefit packages suitable for such groups.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shamenda: Mr Chairperson, I am happy to inform this august House that in October, this year, Zambia successfully hosted the Seventh East and Central Africa Social Security Association (ECAASA) Social Protection Policy Makers Conference whose theme was “Extending Social Security Coverage” under the auspices of the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). The conference was attended by hon. Ministers, hon. Members of Parliament and other policy-makers and high ranking officials from the region and, indeed, from within Zambia.

Sir, through issuance of the Statutory Instrument No. 1 of 2014, the Government lifted the exemptions that the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) enjoyed by not contributing to the National Pension Scheme Authority (NAPSA). The exemption had the danger of excluding some categories of employees such as those that are engaged on short-term contractual basis from social security coverage. The lifting of the exemption also led to the fair and equal treatment of investors by the Government and was meant to motivate compliance to the National Pension Scheme Act by other employers.

Mr Chairperson, in line with the PF’s motto of putting more money in the pockets of the people, the Government adjusted the minimum wage upwards, in 2012, to ensure that its people were paid decent wages. The Government, through the introduction of the single spine salary structure in the public sector, adjusted the salaries of all public sector workers upwards, such that the lowest paid worker, for the first time in the history of this country, got above K3,000 per month. In addition, the Government effectively abolished casualisation in the public sector by upgrading all classified daily employers …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

We note that the quorum has collapsed, so we will ring the bell for five minutes.

Business was suspended from 1929 hours until 1932 hours.


The Deputy Chairperson: Now that we have a quorum, hon. Minister, you may continue.

Mr Shamenda: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that the Government, through the introduction of the single spine salary structure in the public sector, adjusted the salaries of all public sector workers upwards such that the lowest paid worker got above K3,000 per month. In addition, the Government effectively abolished casualisation in the public sector by upgrading all classified daily employees to permanent and pensionable workers.

Mr Chairperson, between October, 2011 and October, 2014, a total of 457,595 jobs were created in various sectors of the economy. It is clear that the Government is well on course in achieving one of its short to medium term macro-economic objectives of creating one million formal jobs by the end of 2015. In the same period, the Government managed to carry out two comprehensive national labour force surveys. The first one was conducted in 2012. In order to stay current with the ever-evolving situation in the labour market, we have embarked on another survey and the report will be produced in 2015.

Sir, the creation of new districts and infrastructure development by our late President necessitated the ministry to take labour service closer to our people. The ministry opened field offices in the newly-created districts and the Government employed fifty-eight labour officers and inspectors between 2013 and 2014, in addition to the fifty-four officers before. This was a boost in the capacity of the ministry to conduct regular labour inspections and enhance enforcement of the labour laws.

In addition, the Government re-introduced public employment exchange services in all the provincial centres of the country as well as launched an online job’s portal to complement the public employment exchange services.

Mr Chairperson, our late President helped strengthen the ties between the Government and International Labour Organisation (ILO) by unreservedly accepting an invitation to address the International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland in 2012. It must be noted that the ILO Director-General, Mr Guy Ryder, visited Zambia the following year. This has helped strengthen our relationship with the ILO, which is critical as we are jointly implementing the Decent Work Agenda in Zambia. 

Subsequently, the ILO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Chuma, has visited Zambia three times. As I am speaking, he is in the country in order to enhance the collaborative efforts for accelerating the implementation of the Decent Work Agenda in Zambia and Africa at large.

Mr Chairperson, I must hasten to mention that in the three years that I have led the ministry, social dialogue has been enhanced and industrial relations have become harmonious than before. Tripartite consultative labour council meetings were held regularly and continue to be an important forum for discourse on issues relating to labour and manpower development in Zambia. 

The ministry undertook to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to social dialogue by visiting all the social partners this year. This move has led to the increased confidence in the Government by social partners in terms of commitment to exploiting social dialogue mechanisms.

Mr Chairperson, all the successes I have highlighted were possible because of the resolve and dedication to reform the labour sector by our late President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. He may be gone, but his vision is still alive, as he was able to show us the way and teach us how to drive the wheels of development for this great country. We are, therefore, obliged to push on and hard to realise the aspirations he had for this country, which he loved so much.

Mr Chairperson, I now turn to our policy focus for 2015. My ministry fully supports the policy pronouncement, as contained in the inspiring speech by His Excellency the late President, on the occasion of the Official Opening of this Session of Parliament and also in the 2015 Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Chairperson, the budgetary allocation to my ministry has been increased from K42.55 million, in 2014, to K47.92 million, in 2015, reflecting an increase of 12.6 per cent. With the given resources, my ministry intends to prioritise the following programmes:

(a)    Strengthening Capacity to Achieve Decent Work. 

One of the major challenges facing the Ministry of Labour and Social Security has been inadequate capacity for effective labour administration. The inadequate capacity is in terms of human resource and equipment. The ministry has insufficient number of vehicles. In addition, labour and factory inspectors are inadequate to cover the whole country. This is due to expansion in economic activities and the subsequent increase in the number of work places to be inspected.

Therefore, there is a need to strengthen the provincial offices by upgrading the structures for them to adequately deal with labour matters so that our headquarters can concentrate on providing policy guidance. 

In view of the above, provision has been made, in the 2015 Budget, for the recruitment of three Assistant Labour Commissioners and seven Principal Labour Officers. Provinces with higher economic activities will be headed by Assistant Labour Commissioners while the rest of provinces will be headed by Principal Labour Officers.

Provision has also been made for the recruitment of eight additional Senior Factory Inspectors in the provinces.

Mr Chairperson, I am happy to inform this House that budgetary support to labour inspections has been increased from K2.35 million, in 2014, to K3.99 million in 2015, reflecting an increase of 70 per cent. This is a testimony of the Government’s resolve to ensure enforcement and adherence to the labour laws by employers countrywide;

(b)    Reforms

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, we will undertake to complete the Labour Law Reforms Process.

The Labour Law Reforms Process involves amending all pieces of legislation related to employment and industrial relations. The reforms are intended to entrench fundamental rights at workplaces thereby upholding human values that are vital in improving workers’ social and economic lives.

As a first step in this reform process, instructions for the repeal and replacement of the Employment Act have been forwarded to a team of draft persons. In addition, a Bill entitled the Zambia Institute of Human Resource has been drafted and availed to the stakeholders.

Mr Chairperson, we also intend to complete the Social Security Reforms in 2015. The Government is reforming the social security sub-sector in order to improve the lives of the pensioners and beneficiaries. The reforms will also bring about mechanisms aimed at the extension of the social security coverage to the informal sector.

Mr Chairperson, I wish to inform this House that the ministry finished the Technical Report on the Social Security Reforms, drafted and finalised the Communication Strategy and commenced drafting of the legal framework for the Reformed Social Security System.

Sir, prior to submitting the Bill to Parliament, the social partners and the general public will need to be sensitised to create awareness, understanding and acceptance of the reforms;

(c)    Labour Market Information Management

Mr Chairperson, my ministry will develop and implement a Management Information System (MIS) in 2015. The system will provide a platform for improved decision making and efficiency in the labour market.

Mr Chairperson, employment creation and improved standards of living is currently a top priority for the Government. In this regard, the Government is making significant efforts to deliver on this priority through implementing developmental programmes. These important initiatives require parallel efforts to monitor and evaluate the number and quality of jobs that are being created in our country.

Mr Chairperson, in 2015, the ministry plans to increase efforts to take stock of the achievements of the current Government in employment creation. 

Further, the ministry will complete undertaking the 2014 Labour Force Survey in order to provide information on key labour market indicators.

Mr Chairperson, we undertook preparations for the Skills Survey in 2014. This is because of the need to gather information on both the demand for and supply of skills in the country. This programme will continue in 2015 and will assist in identifying the nature of the skills mismatch in the country and thereby aid in the designing of deliberate policies to help reduce the skills mismatch; 

(d)    Policy Development

Mr Chairperson, the ministry has commenced the process of revising the National Employment and Labour Market Policy in order to incorporate provisions of the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto, the Industrialisation and Job Creation Strategy and the Revised Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP). One of the central issues to be addressed by the policy will be the articulation of strategies for employment creation. In 2015, we will undertake to complete the review process;  

(e)    Employment Promotion

Mr Chairperson, you may wish to note that, in 2014, the ministry has been implementing support activities to improve the provision of public employment exchange services in all the provinces. These involved the provision of computers and installation of the local area networks. In 2015, we shall continue with this programme by providing training to labour officers, engaging with the public to popularise the service, among other activities. Our plan is to link this service to the online jobs portal so that job seekers can access information on employment prospects even without visiting our offices.

Mr Chairperson, in order to increase the chances of employability, particularly among the inexperienced young students or graduates from our higher institutions of learning, in 2015, we will undertake to implement the internship and apprenticeship programme in order to provide a platform where the graduates and students will be given an opportunity to gain work place experience through attachments in various companies; and

(f)    Productivity Promotion

Mr Chairperson, one of the areas in which the ministry wished to impact is the issue of labour productivity. The ministry will continue to play an influencing role in changing the mindset and work culture in Zambia beginning with the Public Service. In 2014, we have done a lot of groundwork pertaining to the development of systems and tools for productivity measurement and improvement. In 2014, our intention is to implement efforts aimed at operationalising the productivity centre as well as the systems and tools developed in order for us to deliver tangible results, particularly in the Public Service and sectors targeted under the industrialisation and job creation strategy.

Mr Chairperson, I would like to conclude by stating that we are obliged to realise the aspirations of our late President who was eager to see an efficient and effective labour market that contributes to increased productivity and inclusive economic growth. I, therefore, implore hon. Members of this august House to support my ministry’s 2015 Estimates of Expenditure in order for us to continue with the policies and programmes to realise our vision of a productive labour market anchored on employment, equity and social justice.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I must state that I support this budget suffice it to make a few comments.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister has stated that there is a portion of the Employment Act and fast-tracked its revision. It is important that these issues of harmonising the laws are given sufficient time and an amount of urgency be attached to the process. Since we came in this House, the issue of labour reforms has been sung on the Floor of this House, and I think that the idea of us dealing with it in piecemeal will not help. We need to deal with all the contentious issues completely, especially those in the Employment Act Cap. 268, and not pay partial attention. 

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister and I have had a lot of issues regarding this piece of legislation even in our previous lives, away from this House. Many workers out there are looking forward to a messiah to resolve these issues. The hon. Minister has been in the Government for three years, and a messiah is yet to come. I may be that messiah in the next few months.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Livune: Mr Chairperson, the workers are …


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!

Mr Livune: I am waiting for these colleagues to start listening to me.

Mr Chairperson, the Employment Act Cap. 268 and 269 have issues that need attention. The Employment Act Cap.  269, Section 78 gives the right of the worker to strike, but it is met with a lot of hindrances. I think that it is important to let the market decide on some of these issues. There is no way a worker would want to strike if the people on the negotiating table have favourable ideas. A strike is the last weapon that the worker has at his disposal. I have seen the hon. Minister struggle to tell employers to reinstate workers many times. These strikes are a result of workers not being happy with the terms and conditions of employment. I think that it is not good to let these labour issues continue. We must let these issues be dealt with in the market within the provisions of the law. 

The law should provide the safeguards, but it should not be an infringement. Today in Zambia, it is almost impossible to start a legal strike. Most of the strikes are illegal because there is no way the employer and the employee will agree to a strike. Therefore, I feel that these labour law reforms are very important. The workers needed us to have completed these labour law reforms yesterday. We have almost a year to go before 2016. What will the hon. Minster have to show for his time in Government, which the workers will appreciate? The hon. Minister may only have a month remaining to be in the Government, but Parliament will always be there. Therefore, it is important that he owns up to his promises on reforming the labour laws.

Mr Chairperson, let me quickly move to the issue of social security. Again, the issue of social security has been discussed on the Floor of this House time and again. It is important that it is given attention and concluded in the shortest possible time. I heard the hon. Minister say that this issue would be attended to in 2015. I hope that that will happen. However, it is important for me to state that in the social security category, we must also remember the genesis of these labour law reforms. It is very important to appreciate the work that has been done …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)
The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 1430 hours on Wednesday, 26th November, 2014