Debates - Wednesday, 15th October, 2014

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Wednesday, 15th October, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: The House will recall that on Thursday, 2nd October, 2014, when it was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 109 on the Order Paper, and the Deputy Minister of Justice, Hon. K. Mukata, MP, had just given his response, the Member of Parliament for Keembe Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. Rev. Lt-Gen. R. Shikapwasha, requested the hon. Deputy Minister to lay his answer on the Table of the House in order to enable him study it further. The hon. Minister did not lay the response on the Table, whereupon the hon. Member for Keembe raised a point of order, seeking to find out whether the hon. Deputy Minister was in order not to lay the answer on the Table of the House when he requested him to do so.

As usual, in my immediate response, I reserved my ruling on the point of order to enable me study it. I have since studied it, and now render the following ruling:

Laying papers on the Table is a long-established practice, and is a matter which is ordinarily regulated by the rules of procedure. According to M. N. Kaul and S. L. Shakdher, on page 1014 of their book entitled, Practice and Procedure of Parliament, make the following observation:

“Papers are laid on the Table in order to provide authoritative facts and information to the House with a view to preparing ground for discussion pertaining to various matters.  Papers are so laid either in compliance with specific provisions contained in the Constitution, various central statutes and the rules of procedure, in pursuance of the directions issued by the Speaker from time to time or in pursuance of the recommendations of parliamentary committees and settled practices and conventions.”

I. C. Harris, on page 855 of his book entitled, House of Representatives Practice, postulates as follows:

 “In order to exercise effectively its responsibility to oversight the activities of the Executive Branch of Government, Parliament needs to be kept informed of the activities of Government ministries and departments, as well as statutory bodies under the control of the Executive. Thus, the presentation of documents and reports by ministers is very important to Parliament in fulfilling its critical role. It demonstrates the accountability of the Executive Branch of Government to Parliament and ultimately to society. Needless to mention that documents presented to the House are important primary sources of information from which a Member may draw in asking questions and in making useful contribution to debate. The presentation of documents to the House places it on the public records.”

Hon. Members, our Standing Orders, which prescribe the manner in which we conduct the Business of the House, do not provide for the laying of papers on the Table. However, where our Standing Orders are silent on a matter, Article 87 of the Constitution, as read together with Standing Order No. 215, permits this House to draw from the law and custom of the Parliament of England as well as the relevant practices in other Commonwealth Parliaments respectively. 

Erskine May, on pages 445 to 446 of his book entitled, Parliamentary Practice, 24th Edition, states as follows:

"A Minister of the Crown may not read or quote from a despatch or other State paper not before the House, unless he is prepared to lay it upon the Table. Similarly, it has been accepted that a document, which has been cited by a Minister, ought to be laid upon the Table of the House, if it can be done without injury to the public interest. A Minister who summarises a correspondence, but does not actually quote from it, is not bound to lay it upon the Table. "

Audrey O. Brien and Marc Bosc, in their book entitled, House of Commons, Procedure and Practice, 2nd Edition, postulate that a document quoted by a Minister in debate or in response to a question during Question Period must be tabled upon request.  Indeed, an hon. Minister is not at liberty to read and quote from a despatch or other State paper without being prepared to table it, if this can be done without prejudice to the public interest.

As Canadian Speaker Glen noted in a 1941 Ruling:

“… an hon. Member is not entitled to read from communications unless he is prepared to place them on the Table of the House. The principle upon which this is based is that where information is given to the House, the House is itself entitled to the same information as the hon. Member who may quote the document.”

Hon. Members may wish to note that the rules are slightly different in relation to Members of Parliament who are not Ministers.  M. N. Kaul and S. L. Shakdher state, on page 1021 of the same book I referred to above, that: 

“When such Member quotes from a paper or document, whether public or private, he/she may be asked to lay it on the Table. However, before laying the paper or document on the Table, the Member is required to submit the paper or document to the Speaker for perusal, and it is considered laid on the Table only after the Speaker has accorded permission to do so. But the Member is not allowed to lay on the Table private correspondence of another Member.” 

Hon. Members may further wish to know that any paper or document laid on the Table, must be duly authenticated by the hon. Minister or hon. Member concerned, thus taking full responsibility for its genuineness, correctness and authenticity. 

From the authorities I have cited above, it is manifest that unless a Minister or Member quotes from a document during his/her debate in the House, there is no requirement to table such a document. The requirement to table the document only arises when a Minister or Member quotes from it. This is done by raising a point of order. In addition, in the case of a Member who is not a Minister, the document can only be tabled with the approval of the Speaker.

This, hon. Members, has been the practice on laying of papers in the House. Based on this, my ruling is that the Deputy Minister of Justice, Hon. K. Mukata, MP, was in order not to lay on the Table of the House, the response to Question for Oral Answer No. 109 when he was requested to do so by the hon. Member for Keembe, as he did not quote from the document, but merely referred to it.

In any event, hon. Members should note that copies of the Ministers' responses to both Questions for Oral and Written Answer are supplied to our Table Office, which is the Journals and Legal Services Department. In addition, the verbatim responses are captured in our Hansard prepared by the Publications Department. A Minister's response to a question, therefore, is not a confidential document. It can be easily accessed from the Office of the Clerk and, above all, it forms part of the public record.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Members will recall that on Wednesday, 1st October, 2014, when the House was considering Question No. 92 on the Order Paper, asked by the Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. P. Mucheleka, and the Member of Parliament for Senga Hill Parliamentary Constituency, Hon. K. Simbao, was asking a supplementary question, the Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon. C. Kambwili, MP, raised a point of order. 

Hon Kambwili's point of order was a reaction to Hon. Mweetwa's point of order in which he stated that Hon. Kambwili, MP, had, during a live call-in discussion programme on the Lusaka Star Programme on UNZA Radio on the Student Bursary Scheme at the University of Zambia (UNZA), stated that the Government would do nothing about the non-awarding of bursaries to the numerous students who had been enrolled at UNZA.

In his point of order, Hon. Kambwili, MP, denied uttering the statement, suggesting that hon. Mr Mweetwa was misleading the House. Hon. Kambwili, MP, therefore, sought the Speaker's ruling on whether Hon. Mweetwa was in order to mislead the House.

In my immediate remarks, I stated that the point of order raised a contest on facts and, because I was not privy to the communications or material on which the allegations were based, I, accordingly, reserved my ruling. I wish to inform the House that my office has since obtained the audio recording of the call-in discussion programme from UNZA Radio and I had the opportunity to listen to it.  

Hon. Members, upon investigations, it has been revealed that in contributing to the discussion, Hon.  Kambwili uttered the following statements, amongst others:

“Running Government is not an easy thing. It is easily said, but it cannot be sustainable to pay, as he suggests, for every student who is in a boarding house according to the rates of the bursary. That is not possible. Doing that would mean that Government programmes like health and others would never run. How many students do we have at the university? If you multiplied that by the bursary amount, this would gobble almost half the Budget. The way forward is like what I said yesterday. Firstly, we should bring in the private sector to build accommodation. Secondly, we should build extra hostels to accommodate 4,000 students. To say that you will give bursaries according to the cost of accommodation is a dream that can never be achieved. The way forward is to introduce a revolving fund. Giving bursaries to all the students can never work anywhere in the world because it is unsustainable. We need to have programmes that are sustainable."

Hon. Members, it is clear that, in his contribution to the discussion, Hon. Kambwili suggested possible solutions or avenues, which he considered sustainable, to the bursary problem. Therefore, Mr Mweetwa’s statement that Hon. Kambwili said that the Government would do nothing about the current fiasco on bursaries at UNZA was not accurate.

Hon. Members, despite ruling on the point of order, I must hasten to state that the points of order raised by Mr Mweetwa, MP and Hon. Kambwili, MP, should not have been raised at all in this House, as they related to issues that arose outside the House and had no relation to the business before the House. 

I want to repeat what has been stated in this House many times before that matters that occur outside should not be brought to this House, but should remain and be concluded outside the House. I understand that the statements by Hon. Kambwili were made on a live call-in discussion programme on UNZA Radio. This being the case, Hon. Mweetwa had the opportunity to raise his views on Hon. Kambwili's statements during the programme. The hon. Member decided not to do so. Instead, he raised a point of order in this House which has led to a contest on facts whose material allegations I was not privy to. Hon. Members, this kind of situation presents difficulties for presiding officers to rule on.

I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to refrain from drawing the House into discussing matters that take place outside the House because presiding officers are not privy to such discussions. As a result of these points of order, we are compelled to go out to ascertain facts of those discussions which, at any rate, are not relevant to the Business of the House. In future, I will simply not entertain any point of order related to discussions outside the House.

I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




165. Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Kawambwa / Mulwe Road in Luapula Province would be tarred. 

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mwimba H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the upgrading to bituminous standard of 68 km of the Kawambwa/Mulwe Road in Luapula Province has been scheduled for 2017.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to know when the feasibility studies will commence. 

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the feasibility studies, detailed designs and preparation of the tender document for the Kawambwa/ Mulwe Road are some of the activities that have been included in the 2014 Road Sector Annual Work Plan. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, this is the shortest route to Kawambwa from Puta, Mununga or Kaputa. When will the road be improved upon in the interim as we wait for the tarring?

Mr Mwimba H. Malama: Mr Speaker, it would be important to go and check on the state of the road, collect data, and see what can be done in the interim. That is all I can say for now.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I read in one of the newspapers that – and I hope that the hon. Minister will confirm that – the ministry will no longer sign new road contracts. How, then, will the works on the Kawambwa/ Mulwe Road be carried out? 

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, I appreciate the question by the hon. Member for Chadiza. However, as you rightly ruled, issues from outside cannot be brought into this House. The House is currently considering the Budget. So, all the projects will be implemented when the Budget has been approved. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Anyway, I will circulate the ruling so that it is not misunderstood. 


Mr Speaker: As a matter of guidance, the hon. Member for Chadiza referred to some unspecified newspaper report, but did not quote it. He wanted to get more information from the hon. Minister on how he would reconcile what appears to be in the public domain with the response made by his deputy. That is what the hon. Member was seeking. 

Mr Mbewe indicated assent.

Mr Speaker: Therefore, please, hon. Minister, as we progress, get back to the issue and answer the question. 

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that all the projects that have been budgeted for will be funded. The roads in Kaoma Central Constituency, Kalumwange to be specific, appeared in the 2013 Budget, but have not been worked on. When will the Government work on the roads that were budgeted for in 2013?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, firstly, that is a new question. 

Secondly, the question by the hon. Member for Chadiza is based on hearsay. We shall issue a statement on that after this House has appropriated the Budget. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: It has been qualified as hearsay.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that a feasibility study would be conducted although the plan is to work on the road in 2017. Will the results of the study that is conducted in 2014 still be useful when the actual construction of the road starts three years later? 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that the road has been included in the Annual Work Plan for 2014 and that the feasibility study will be started and completed in 2016. Thereafter, we shall execute the works after including them in the 2017 Budget.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, how does the hon. Minister say that it is hearsay when the information is from the Secretary to the Treasury who allocates money to the ministry? 


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, since the Secretary to the Treasury has been mentioned in this matter, we shall cross-check with him. However, I can assure this House that once projects that are in the Budget have been agreed upon, we follow them up and implement them. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister said that any project that is in the Budget is implemented. The question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaoma Central is: How come the roads, which were in the 2013 Budget, have not been worked on?

Mr Speaker took a while to call upon the hon. Minister to respond. 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister. 


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, that still remains a new question. If the hon. Member wants more information specifically on the roads in Kaoma Central, then, she should submit a question and we shall respond accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The question by the hon. Member for Kaoma Central, if I got him right, was on specific roads. Is that correct?

Mr Antonio indicated assent.

Mr Speaker: The follow-up question, which should have been pursued independently, was a general question. That way, we run into difficulties. That is why I was somewhat hesitant to respond.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, is the money that was budgeted for that road still available? If it is, when will it be utilised since the year is coming to an end?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, that is the reason I was saying that the question should be put in writing so that we can give those details. It is difficult for me to tell whether or not the money was used because I need to investigate this and come up with an appropriate answer.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, may I get a specific answer from the hon. Minister as regards when a feasibility study on this road will be conducted.

Mr Speaker: Which road?


Mr Speaker: Specify the road, hon. Member. 

Mr Milambo: Mr Speaker, the one under discussion. 


Mr Milambo: The Kawambwa/Mulwe Road. 

Mr Speaker: I think he means the one which is the subject of the question. 

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I have already answered that question. The feasibility studies will start around 2015 and finish in 2016.

I thank you, Sir. 


166. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health what measures the Government was taking to improve adult literacy levels in the rural areas of Kalabo Central.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Mphande): Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, has developed functional literacy materials, covering environmental education, health education, entrepreneurship, civil education, numeracy and technology. The materials have been translated into seven major languages. They have since been delivered to Kalabo and delivery notes have been issued. 

Sir, the ministry is also training volunteer literacy instructors in Kalabo District on how to use the materials. So far, Kalabo District has identified 162 volunteers as instructors.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s response, I believe she is in a position to answer my next question. Now that the district has been supplied with the materials that she has stated, how many centres are operational?

Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, there are about sixteen active classes taking place in Kalabo District at the moment

I thank you, Sir.

Mr P. Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, is this programme being rolled out to all the districts?

Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, this is a country-wide programme, and it will definitely get to the hon.  Member’s district at the appropriate time.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, does the ministry have any plans to work with the Ministry of Education, Science, Voactional Training and Early Education to come up with syllabi that can put the students on this programme at the same level with those attending mainstream schools? 

Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, I think it would be prudent to do what the hon. Member of Parliament is suggesting. We will probably compare notes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, how many sub-centres are there in Kalabo District to enhance the sixteen centres that have been established?

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, I did not get the hon. Member’s question. Can he repeat it.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, how many sub-centres are there to monitor the sixteen centres that have been established for the literacy programme in Kalabo District?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the Department of Community Development has one community development officer and two assistants who are monitoring the sixteen centres.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in a position to name the sixteen centres?


Mr Speaker: That is a fair question. Is she in a position to do that?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, that is a new question.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: That is also an indirect answer.


Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister, in her response, stated that this programme will be rolled out to other parts of the country. When is this programme going to be introduced in Mazabuka District?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the programme is demand driven. The ministry is just distributing the materials. I think the programme will be introduced in Mazabuka District in March, 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. This is the time when I allow points of order ...

Mr Nkombo: I have seen, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: … but, sooner than later, they will not be available.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for allowing me to raise this point of order that I deem to be of great importance to the country. Just like rural health centres, clinics, especially those that are run by the Government, hospitals and schools fall in that category because they are also cost centres. 

Sir, my point of order is on the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. It has been necessitated by my preface that schools, especially those run by the Government, are cost centres that mostly rely on Government grants. For those of you who are celebrating the Golden Jubilee, I have a letter before me from the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) for Chilanga District. This letter is dated 7th October, 2014, and it is addressed to all the headteachers in Chilanga District. All the headteachers in Mazabuka have also received copies of the letter which reads as follows: 


“I am in receipt of a minute from the District Commissioner’s Office dated 3rd September, 2014, regarding the above matter.

“Schools have been requested to contribute towards the Jubilee Celebrations which will be held on 24th October, 2014. In view of this, you are requested to make a contribution of K300.000 (Three Hundred Kwacha). The deadline for the contribution is Friday, 10th October, 2014.

 “I thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

“Yours sincerely, 

“Ruth C. M. Phiri (Mrs)

Mr Speaker, this letter has been circulated to parents of some of the pupils who are already stressed and the Government is now asking for contributions from institutions which, ordinarily, they should be aiding by funding them. Is the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, therefore, in order to ask cost centres to contribute money for next week’s celebration? I seek your ruling on this matter.

Mr Nkombo laid the paper on the Table.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

My ruling is predictable and simple. File in a question …


Mr Speaker: … and I will process it urgently for the hon. Minister to respond accordingly. It is as simple as that. 

The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i may continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, there is a need to have a certain level of literacy in Zambia, especially among rural dwellers. Is there a syllabus that the providers of literacy classes follow for us to determine whether the terms of reference will be met?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister said that the functional literacy materials were launched a month ago and are being distributed. These are the materials that are used by the cadre that is conducting the lessons. The instructors are undergoing training at the moment. Some of them are volunteers who are already in employment while others are Grade 12 school leavers. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members:  Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, there was a functional literacy programme under the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government that was considered successful. The hon. Minister said that the programme would be rolled out to the rest of the country. It appears as if this is a completely new programme. Has the information from the UNIP Government been discarded for the ministry to start planning to roll out a programme that was already successful in Zambia?

Ms Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, there have been a lot of changes in the lives of people and technology. That is why we revised the teaching materials to be used in the schools. Therefore, we cannot continue using the materials that were used in the UNIP era. We have just continued from where the UNIP Government left because we want to scale up the programme and make sure that more people have access to literacy classes.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 


167. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    what measures the Government had taken to address the problem of counterfeit kwacha notes; and

(b)    what measures the Government had taken to sensitise rural communities on counterfeit notes in order to protect them from being swindled.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, it is a criminal offence to use counterfeit notes. Therefore, those found with them are liable to imprisonment. This is enough deterrence for people for people who engage in the production and use of counterfeit bank notes. Further, in designing the bank notes, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) incorporates sophisticated security features, especially on high value notes, as these are more susceptible to counterfeiting. 

Sir, the Government, through the BoZ, conducts regular sensitisation campaigns across the country on all the security features of genuine bank notes. This programme was especially visible during the time of rebasing the kwacha in 2012. The BoZ also provides literature that assists the public to know more about genuine bank notes. Large cash handlers are encouraged to use currency counting machines fitted with counterfeit detection technology.

Mr Speaker, further, the BoZ monitors both the quantity and quality of bank notes in circulation by ensuring that clean banknotes are in circulation and all intercepted counterfeit notes are removed from circulation.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, from the time the rebasing exercise ended, a lot of notes have been confiscated on account of them being counterfeit. Much as counterfeit money is valueless, would the hon. Minister know the value of the counterfeit notes that have been confiscated this far?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, putting a value on notes which are intercepted before they circulate widely is a futile exercise. I think we must commend the pertinent authorities for intercepting the fake notes expeditiously. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, after the rebasing of the kwacha, there was a complaint about the K2 notes, a copy of which I have before me, and can lay on the Table if I am allowed to. The counterfeit K2 note could not be differentiated from the genuine one. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what exactly has been done about the K2 note which can hardly be differentiated from the counterfeit one.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, that is a genuine question, and we shall take it on board.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister can see me now …

Mr Muchima: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: … because I can also see him. I am sure he will see me again before the end of the week.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: Sir, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the concentration is only on counterfeit kwacha notes and not other currencies like the United States (US) Dollar.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, we have concentrated on the kwacha because that is the tender note for Zambia although the US dollar is also in use. Therefore, when the fake dollar is in use, it is also quickly noticed and intercepted. However, the use of counterfeit notes is not a daily occurrence. Therefore, the few incidences may be exaggerated beyond permissible limits.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I would like to ask a hypothetical question. If one bought something from a reputable shop and later returned the item and asked for a refund, after getting the refund, he/she decides to buy an item from another shop, but finds a counterfeit kwacha note amongst the notes he/she got from the earlier shop, what would happen in such an instance? 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, it is very difficult to deal with issues which are speculative and do not revolve on specific circumstances.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, my question is similar to that by my sister here (pointing at Hon. Kalima). I would like to find out the measures the Government has put in place to protect the public from the use of counterfeit money which is in circulation, especially in Matero. 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the anchor for such things is just to have an alert public. We must commend our citizens for bringing issues of counterfeit notes to the attention of the pertinent authorities and remedial measures are promptly taken.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

168. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Youth and Sport why youths in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency did not benefit from the Youth Development Fund in 2012 and 2013.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango) (on behalf of the Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency did not benefit from the Youth Development Fund in 2012 because the Government, through the Provincial Technical Committee on the Youth Development Fund, did not receive any application from Sesheke for funding. In 2013, two applications were received from Sesheke, but only one met the selection criteria for the Youth Development Fund and was funded accordingly.    

Sir, to ensure that this scenario does not occur in future, the Ministry of Youth and Sport is ready to partner with any hon. Member of Parliament, including the hon. Member of Parliament for Sesheke, to help in sensitising the youth in various constituencies countrywide on how to prepare the Youth Development Fund application forms so as to meet the criteria for funding.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that only two applicants were funded out of the many applicants. What led to this?


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Minister, why were only two applicants considered?

 Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, I said that two clubs applied and only one was funded. It could be that the other club did not meet the criteria.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of this question and the answer provided by the hon. Minister to find out whether the ministry has reflected upon the proposal that I made during the last sitting that hon. Members of Parliament be involved in the application for funding so that youths apply through the constituency offices. That way, the capacity that is built in constituencies is used to assist the youths and when hon. Members come to this House, they would not ask questions such as: why did the youth of Kabwata, for example, not apply when actually it is the hon. Members of Parliament who should be giving the reasons they did not apply. Is this something that the Government has thought about? If so, could they kindly indicate that they will provide such guidelines during this sitting.

 Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, Hon. Lubinda’s concern is being considered. We will certainly inform the House how far we have gone with this.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.  

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the Youth Empowerment Fund continues to attract the attention of the hon. Minister of Finance year in and year out by way of including empowerment funds in our budget. I would like to find out whether the Ministry of Youth and Sport is convinced that in the present format the funds are being disbursed and used, there has been any sufficient impact in reducing youth unemployment.

 Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, somehow, this fund is working, as can be seen from the results on the ground.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, since the youth funds are channeled through the District Commissioner’s (DC) Office, what role can the hon. Member of Parliament play when everything is done by the DCs?

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, in most cases, the hon. Member of Parliament is the one who knows better what the youths need in various constituencies. The youths should apply for empowerment in consultation with their area Member of Parliament.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how much money is given to the youths in each province every year.

 Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, applications vary from club to club. So, I would not tell how much is supposed to be given to each club.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what difficulty the ministry is facing to decentralise the fund when the Government‘s policy is to devolve power to the rural parts of the country.

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, the management of this fund has already been decentralised. As the House may be aware, it is the DC’s Offices that are managing it.

 I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the fund has been decentralised and is being managed by the DCs. Lately, the hon. Minister has been seen going round the constituencies distributing cheques. Is there any particular reason the hon. Minister goes round to distribute cheques like he did in Kasenengwa?

Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, it is ceremonial for the hon. Minister to present cheques to the youths in order to motivate them.

 I thank you, Sir.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Ceremonial!


 Mr Speaker: Order!

 The hon. Minister is still responding. Is he through? My concern was that there were some interruptions while the hon. Minister was still responding.

 Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, this is a follow-up to Hon. Kalima’s question. 

Sir, when we talk about financial decentralisation, it entails that the funds are actually taken to the district and disbursed from there. That is what decentralisation is. Is it not true that the funds are held at the Ministry of Youth and Sport‘s Headquarters? If it is, is that decentralisation?

 Mr Mwango: Mr Speaker, it is true that the funds are held at the ministry’s headquarters. When the youths apply for funding through the DC’s Office, the funds are taken to the DC’s Office and are eventually given to the clubs in the district.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.


169. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    how much money was spent on the electrification of Mukululu Compound in Kabwe District;

(b)    how many households had so far been electrified; and

(c)    what the economic benefits of the project were.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Zulu): Mr Speaker, approximately US$1,000,000.00 was spent on the project. Eight hundred households have been connected so far. The economic benefits of the Makululu Electrification Project include the following:

(i)    dependence on charcoal and firewood as a source of energy is on the decline. This contributes to efforts in curbing deforestation;

(ii)    with the plan to connect power to the market, trading activities will be enhanced;

(iii)    water supply will be enhanced with the likelihood of more water kiosks opening around Makululu;

(iv)    the operations of some grinding mills in the township upon which some families depend for mealie meal, could be enhanced;

(v)    due to the proximity to Kabwe Town, more people are attracted to build in the compound. The economic value of the properties will go up due to availability of electricity supply;

(vi)    some makeshift housing structures are now being replaced with more permanent structures;

(vii)    security in the township has been enhanced; 

(viii)    the standard of education has improved due to extended hours of study for school- going children;

(ix)    power supply to public institutions has been enhanced; and

(x)    more jobs are being created due to increased economic activity and many other things.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister how much the connection fee was and if more houses are yet to be connected.

 Mr Zulu: Mr Speaker, I do not have that information at the moment, but I will come back to the House later with more information.

 I thank you, Sir. 


170. Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    what the total number of secondary schools under construction in Isoka District was; and

(b)    what criterion was used to name one of the schools after President Michael Chilufya Sata.

Mrs Kawandami: Bushe mulandu?

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, only one secondary school called Michael Chilufya Sata Boarding Secondary School is under construction in Isoka District.

Sir, there is no specific criterion that was used to arrive at the name. The community chose the name in appreciation of the developmental projects that His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata has initiated in the area.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I would like to know what the policy guidelines regarding the naming of public schools and institutions after present or past leaders are.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, naming institutions is the responsibility of the District Education Board Secretaries’ Offices in consultation with the communities. For example, in the constituency where Hon. Mwanza comes from, if the people think that he has been the longest serving Member of Parliament, they can decide to name a school or institution after him. So, there are no fixed rules relating to naming schools. We can either name them after natural features like lakes, rivers or eminent politicians in this country. It is up to the community to decide what name they want to give a particular institution. In the case the school in Isoka, the community decided to name it after the Republican President.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of this question, …

Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to rise on this point of order, particularly that it is the first one since my return from forced leave. Yesterday, there was a riot at the University of Zambia (UNZA). According to newspaper reports and online media, the reason for the protest was the reported closure of the Commonwealth Youth Centre and the resultant conflict between the students and the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport.

Is the Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon. Kambwili, or the ministry to be specific, in order not to inform the House why there is a riot at UNZA? We might end up losing a life at UNZA. Is he in order not to come and tell this House and the nation at large what the reason for the protest was and what measures the ministry has taken to ensure that the conflict is resolved?

 I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that ask the hon. Minister a question and I will forward it to him.

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, having heard from the hon. Minister that communities are the ones that actually have the responsibility of naming schools, I wonder how long it takes for the ministry to approve a name. A case in point is that in Chilenje, there are several schools bearing almost a similar name. One is called Chilenje Primary School, the other is called Chilenje South Primary School and another one was named by the District Education Board Secretary’s  (DEBS) Office as South of Chilenje South Primary School.


Mr Lubinda: Sir, that is a mouthful and a source of confusion. The community wrote to the and DEBS’ Office and copied the letter to their Member of Parliament, suggesting that the name be changed to Hill View Park.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Lubinda: Hon. Muntanga, a township, and not a school, is going to be named after Given Lubinda.


Mr Mbewe: Mahopo!

Mr Lubinda: Precisely.

Sir, this has taken more than a year now. Could I seek information from the hon. Minister on how long it should take before the request of the community is met.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, this should be done within reasonable time although it is very difficult for me to define reasonable time. However, I am sure it should not take too long. In the case of the school that Hon. Lubinda has talked about, we shall carry out our investigations and get back to him at an appropriate time.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


171. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when Solwezi Airport would be rehabilitated and expanded to cater for the increased traffic.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the Solwezi Airport runway was recently rehabilitated and extended to a length of 2.7 km in order to accommodate medium-sized aircraft; the size of a B737 or A319. Plans are also underway to construct a new terminal building and a fire appliance bay to cater for the increased number of aircraft.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to know if this Government has any plans of upgrading the airport to international standards because of the increase in traffic and the number of people connecting from Ndola to Solwezi instead of flying straight into Solwezi.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, if the number of aircraft increases to warrant the upgrading of that airport to international standards, we can do that. There is no problem.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the management of Kalumbila Mine find it very inconveniencing to travel to Solwezi and would also like to establish their own airport which will be bigger than the one in Solwezi. Since there is no alternative airport to the one in Solwezi, what would be your suggestion?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, if they make a request and we find it feasible, they can approach us and we shall respond accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that in view of the increasing number of cases of cattle rustling, this House urges the Government to stiffen the law relating to stock theft in order to enhance livestock farming.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded.

Mr Phiri (Mkaika): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, this Motion is non-controversial. Therefore, it deserves the support of both sides of the House. Livestock rustling affects pastoralist communities in the country and, sometimes, those across our borders. This has a negative effect of destabilising communities and undermining their normal livelihood, thereby contributing to increased poverty. Increasing the level of development in pastoral areas and formulation of appropriate policies will help in controlling the rustling menace.

Sir, livestock plays multiple roles in the lifestyle of pastoralists in Zambia, notably as a source of livelihood, it has socio-cultural and religious functions and it is an asset and security against risks. For example, livestock is the main source of food, that is, milk and meat. It is also the basis of tradition/social relations such as payment of dowry from the groom’s family to the bride’s family during marriage or compensation of injured parties in tribal feuds, it is symbol of prosperity and prestige, it is a store of wealth and security against drought, disease and other calamities.

Mr Speaker, your Committee on Agriculture, in its report for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, found that despite the fact that the livestock sector is of key economic importance with huge potential to contribute towards wealth creation and economic development of the country, the sector is faced with enormous challenges such as:

(a)    inadequate Government funding to the sector. In the Western Province and Kalabo in particular, several herds of cattle have died due to diseases like the Contagious Bovine Pleural-Pneumonia (CBPP);

(b)    livestock disease outbreak and poor disease control mechanisms;

(c)    poor supply of breeding stocks;

(d)    high costs of finance. All the categories in the livestock sector have faced challenges in accessing cheap and long-term financing. Financing has remained a challenge as the sector is considered risky;

(e)    poor infrastructure such as roads and lack of processing facilities such as abattoirs and milk collection centres, among others;

(f)    absence of input support;

(g)    inadequate and inappropriate research; and

(h)    poor extension support.

In addition, Sir, stakeholders have also highlighted cattle rustling as a big problem that has had a negative effect on cattle farmers.

Mr Speaker, the term cattle rustling is almost universally applied to designate the act of stealing cattle from a grazing herd, notwithstanding the motivation or contextual specifics. The basic understanding regarding contemporary cattle rustling in existing literature is that it is a form of livelihood crime motivated by both subsistence and commercial imperatives. In this regard, cattle rustlers are principally motivated by the criminal intent to expropriate grazing cattle for meat or sale. Cattle rustling is also largely motivated by the quest for primitive accumulation of capital and untaxed wealth. In this sense, cattle rustling can pass as a typical instance of organised crime.

Mr Speaker, overall, the prevalence of cattle rustling in Zambia, and Africa in general, has been associated with a number of predisposing and causative factors which include the following among others:

(a)    the worsening material/livelihood conditions of the herders arising from the repercussions of climate change and the attendant resource conflicts which compel criminal tendencies among the herders. Also pinpointed as a root cause of cattle thefts is joblessness and unemployment among the youth in a number of countries;

(b)    the proliferation of arms and ammunition in Africa has placed a large number of weaponry in the arms of criminal elements some of whom are perpetrators of cattle rustling;

(c)    terrorism and armed rebellion in Sub-Saharan Africa have promoted cattle rustling as a franchise dedicated to funding of group struggles;

(d)    the remoteness of grazing fields makes effective surveillance and policing of cattle herds problematic;

(e)    the itinerant pattern of grazing in Africa predisposes cattle rustling;

(f)    the absence of an effective legal framework for mandatory cattle identification and/or registration has obstructed the fight against cattle rustling;

(g)    the porous nature of interstate border lines in Africa makes trans-border cattle rustling conducive; and

(h)    the criminal impunity of the people arising from the apparent lethargy of the Government to deter crime through drastic penalties.

Mr Speaker, cattle rustling or raiding has been a major cause of concern among local farmers in the country who largely depend on animals for agriculture purposes. It is a crime that occurs with alarming frequency and has since caught the attention of stakeholders in agriculture as well as law enforcement agencies. It is of concern now because the number of incidents is on the increase. For purposes of this Motion, allow me to use statistics for the period 2005 to 2007.

Mr Speaker, stock theft is a high priority crime for the Southern Province in Zambia. According to data from the Zambia Police, reported cases increased by 13.5 per cent from 433 in 2006 to 501 in 2007. About 1,908 cases of stock theft were reported in 2005.

Mr Nkombo: Where?

Mr Miyutu: Of these, 692 went to court and 333 led to conviction. Some 1,227 cases remain unresolved and 285 are awaiting trial. 

Mr Sing’ombe: Southern Province.

Mr Miyutu: This is just in one part of this country. The theft of large herds of stock is a big problem in towns to the north of Livingstone and in the Western Province. In these cases, criminal groups use arms to ambush villages, drive the animals away and cross back and forth between Zambia and the neighbouring countries. This is very common in the Western Province.

Mr Lubinda: Karavina!

Mr Miyutu: Data from the Zambia Police indicates that most of the animals that are stolen are never recovered. They are normally driven far from their place of origin and sold to abattoirs. This indicates some level of organisation between local criminals at the point of origin, transport companies and criminals from outside towns or neighbouring countries.

Mr Speaker, stock theft is common in the Southern and Western provinces of Zambia because they are cattle rich areas and are near some of our neighbouring countries with which we share very porous borders. This crime is, therefore, transnational in nature, as animals are stolen across national boundaries. The thieves are thus mainly from our own region. The thieves steal animals from one country to the other through undesignated borders and sell them to traders and livestock breeders.

Mr Speaker, why should cattle rustling concern us and the country as a whole? Simply answered, cattle rustling is a hazard with a great potential to derail efforts of keeping hunger at bay and ensuring household food security in the country. The menace has the potential to weaken farming in the country in that many rural poor farmers use cattle to plough, weed, plant and, sometimes, harvest their farm produce. Cattle help them in their agriculture ventures. As such, cattle theft seriously undermines their farming ambitions. Cattle are very important even in terms of transport.

Mr Speaker, if you went to Kalabo, you would find that we use oxen and ox-carts to transport farm produce from Sikongo or Nyengo to the main market at Kalabo Boma. We use ox-carts on the Kalabo/Sikongo Road.

Sir, the House may also wish to note that cattle also serve as a major source of income for farmers. Many rural farmers are engaged in cattle business and, every year, they realise large sums of money that they use to support their families in the payment of school fees, purchase of clothing, and the provision of shelter, medicine and even food.

Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, appropriate and urgent for the Government to come up with pragmatic measures towards mitigating this national emergency. In this regard, I recommend the following:

(i)    promotion of community policing, especially motored patrol and surveillance in the major grazing areas. This strategy would aim at involving local communities in the prevention of stock theft which happens in the local neighbourhood. This strategy would work well with the police who, in turn, would encourage the formation of committees in various communities countrywide which will work hand in hand with the police to identify the perpetrators of the crime. The police would also deploy officers in these communities to extract basic information from them about other crimes;

(ii)    effective police patrols along the country’s borders to ward off cattle marauders operating across the boundaries. On the security front, it seems obvious that there has been inadequate policing in the country, particularly in remote villages. Not surprisingly, village communities in various parts of the country identify police units as one of the visible symbols of development in their areas. It is thus tempting to suggest that intensifying police and border controls would be the ideal solution to the problem of cattle rustling in places like Kalabo. However, as already highlighted, the crisis of stock theft goes beyond the more obvious and immediate security concerns to questions of poverty, unemployment and distribution of resources. While policing has a critical role to play, it is by far the only needed correction.

(iii)    stiffer penalty for the perpetrators of cattle rustling;

(iv)    involvement of herding communities in the fight against cattle rustlers by way of private public partnerships (PPP) of community policing; 

(v)    bilateral engagement with neighbouring States such as Angola, Botswana, Malawi and Namibia in an attempt to check trans-border dimensions of cattle rustling; and

(vi)     creation of cattle ranges and ranches for easy security of herds as well as effective regulation of grazing activities.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, cases of cattle rustling are on the increase, thus inflicting huge losses on farmers. One way in which the Government can help farmers is by applying stiffer punishment and laws against the perpetrators of the crime so as to correct the situation and deter would-be offenders.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: It is felt, among cattle rearing communities, that cattle rustlers have a lot of freedom …

Hon. UPND Member: Yes!

Mr Miyutu: … and that this has led to some of them acting like they are conducting a legitimate commercial business. Farmers are of the opinion that cattle rustlers must be dealt with severely as is the case with those who commit murder.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda laughed.

Mr Lubinda: Murder?

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, rearing cattle takes a lot of effort, initiative and sacrifice …

Mr Livune: That is right.

Mr Miyutu: … and there is great value in those animals. Therefore, those found wanting must be dealt with like murderers.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Currently, stock thefts are prosecuted under the Penal Code, Cap 87 of the Laws of Zambia as provided in Section 275 (2) that states:

“if the thing stolen is a bull, cow or ox, or the young of any such animal, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a period:-

(a)    in the case of first offence, of not less than five years and not exceeding 15 years;

(b)    in the case of subsequent offence, of not less than seven years and not exceeding fifteen years.”

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was highlighting the current provisions in the Penal Code as regards cattle rustling offenders. 

Sir, this notwithstanding, I propose that the punishment meted out to offenders be stiffened unlike what is provided for in the Act referred to above.

Mr Speaker, I recommend that those convicted for cattle rustling serve a sentence of not less than twenty years so as to put them away from the communities for a long time in order to allow the reproduction of animals.

Mr Speaker, in addition to stiffening the sentences that are handed to cattle rustlers, I also propose that bail conditions for suspects be made more stringent. I have observed, with concern, that when the suspects are on police bond or court-granted bail, they tend to plan and commit the same crimes. 

Therefore, I propose to the House that bond conditions for cattle rustlers include a cash payment of not less than K10,000, …

Hon. UPND Member: K50,000!

Mr Miyutu: … and, at least, five working sureties, depositing of travel documents with the court and obtaining of authority from the court before travelling out of its jurisdiction. 

Sir, these strict bail conditions will act as a form of punishment and deterrent to perpetrators of cattle rustling.

Mr Speaker, it is our position that consensus implementation of some of the aforementioned measures would go a long way in addressing the menace of cattle rustling in the country. The Government must appreciate the fact that cattle rustling is a serious national emergency and respond to it accordingly. I, therefore, seek the support of the whole House accordingly.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Phiri: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in seconding the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I humbly thank you for giving me the opportunity to second this important and non-controversial Motion. I would like to congratulate the mover of the Motion on his well-articulated speech. He has ably highlighted the fact that farming is the mainstay of the rural population of our country. It is important to note that farming, particularly cattle farming, is a major source of wealth.

Mr Speaker, most Zambian farmers are subsistence farmers, and a considerable number of them are engaged in cattle rearing. The selling of cattle and other livestock enables them to raise money to pay school fees, buy clothes, provide shelter as well as purchase food, medication and all other requirements. In addition, the mover of the Motion mentioned that cattle are used as a medium of exchange and is equal to money.

Mr Speaker, small-scale farmers in the country are experiencing various challenges in relation to their farming businesses. Besides the lack of veterinary services and other extension services, farmers are subjected to theft of their produce and stock. In recent times, the problem of cattle rustling or stock theft has been on the increase. The problem has rocked all areas of the country where animal rearing is practiced. It is a known fact that the vice is spreading rapidly. It is also a fact that the Government of the day is aware about the challenge posed by the problem of stock theft. However, it is sad to note that although the Government is aware of its negative effect on development, there is not much being done to contain the problem and its effects.

Mr Speaker, in March this year, a Provincial hon. Minister, during a visit to a constituency, was reported to have bemoaned the increasing cases of cattle rustling. The hon. Minister was reported to have conceded the fact that despite the increasing levels of theft, there has not been corresponding response to curb the problem. The hon. Minister cited inadequate infrastructure and low levels of police presence in the province as contributing factors to livestock theft. According to that hon. Minister and the local farmers, the problem of cattle rustling has taken a twist from local stock theft to smuggling of stolen cattle across borders. Some stolen cattle is exchanged for motor cycles and other goods when taken to a known neigbouring country. This is a very sad development and needs to be terminated forthwith.

Mr Speaker, the concern expressed by the hon. Minister referred to above is echoed by the Zambia Police Force. The Inspector-General of Police outlined some constraining factors that reduce police presence in herding communities. These include:

(a)    lack of mobility, as the police often have no reliable transport;

(b)    long distances covered by the victims to the nearest police stations; and

(c)    Zambia has large porous borders with neigbouring countries.

Mr Speaker, the fact that policing is a challenge in herding communities makes it imperative for the State to enforce stiffer penalties to immobilise the perpetrators and ward off potential cattle rustlers.

Mr Speaker, currently, penalties meted out on convicted cattle rustlers are rather mild. This, in my view, …


Mr Chipungu: Mwamvela imwe?

Mr Phiri: … may be the reason for the increase in the vice.

Mr Speaker, in my constituency, Mkaika, cattle rustling is increasing. According to the 2014 statistics for Katete, there were a total of twenty-seven stock thefts and only seventeen people were convicted. These figures show the significance of the problem of stock theft. However, the fact that only seventeen cases were met with punishment may well mean that the vice will continue to remain high in Katete.

Mr Speaker, cattle rustling …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Phiri: Mr Speaker, cattle rustling is a vice that needs to be addressed for the following reasons:

(i)    due to the low presence of police in herding communities, farmers are forced to spend nights outside to guard their cattle all night long. As we may be aware, this is not a healthy practice for the farmers;

(ii)    in July this year, the Zambia Police Force warned the public not to purchase meat from undesignated outlets because some of the cattle rustlers use poison to slaughter the animals. This method of slaughtering animals may be harmful to humans; and 

(iii)    the occurrence of stock theft may reduce investor confidence in the country. The ripple effect of this may result in unemployment and ultimately low family incomes.

Mr Speaker, these and other reasons debated by the mover should motivate key stakeholders, particularly the Government, to stamp out cattle rustlers in the country.

Mr Speaker, as I end my discourse, I would like to make a passionate plea to the Government to make special consideration of this Motion. I also make a plea to all hon. Members in this August House to support this non-controversial Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to contribute to this non-controversial debate. 

Mr Speaker, as someone from a rural constituency …

Hon. Opposition Members: Mm.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, continue. 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, as someone from a rural constituency …


Mr Shakafuswa: … I feel this Motion is very important to the people who depend on cattle for draught power, as a source of wealth and for transportation. 

Mr Speaker, taking care of cattle is not simple. What hurts me most is that most herds of cattle in rural areas have been depleted because of diseases. The hardworking people in rural areas go to pains to look for money to ensure that their cattle are dipped and injected with drugs only to have someone steal the fattened animals and sell them. I think that this is wrong. 

Sir, we are aware of steps which have been taken by the Government in relation to the theft of the Zambia Electricity Supply and Corporation (ZESCO) and Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Limited transmission equipment.


Mr Speaker: Order, on my left!

Mr Shakafuswa: The punishment given for such offences has been equated to that for treasonable offences.  Denying someone the means of livelihood is morally wrong. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance, in his Budget Presentation, talked about the increase of 23 per cent in agricultural output. This is because people are unable to cultivate their land. Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, most people do not cultivate their land using tractors. There are less than twenty tractors in the whole of Katuba Constituency. People depend on animal draught power, especially when they are preparing the land for the rainy season. 

Everyday in Katuba Constituency, an average of about thirty animals are reported stolen. I have raised concerns with the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, the Inspector-General of Police and the Commanding Officer, Lusaka Province, and nothing has been put on the ground. This has resulted in people sleeping in kraals with the animals.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Shakafuswa: It has resulted in the formation of neighbourhood watch teams. 

In my constituency, there is a widow who had eight children, six of whom were male. Unfortunately they are all dead, leaving only two ladies. She had six animals in her kraal and one night, there came some men who stole all her animals and slaughtered them 10 m away from her house. Fortunately, I was at my farm that time and when I heard about this incident, I went to see what had happened only to find the woman crying, rolling and covered in a pool of blood and innards of her animals. She was asking God what wrong she had done to Him. She was crying over her six dead children and the animals she had just lost while her female children kept bringing her grandchildren. The woman was asking how she was going to look after her family. I went into my kraal, got some animals and gave them to her.


Mr Belemu: Well done!

Mr Shakafuswa: The people were angered by this incident. Hon. Minister of Home Affairs, you must be aware that people are now taking the law into their own hands. The police in Katuba concentrate on manning roadblocks. The entire police station goes to man the roadblock because that is where the money is. We have begun to suspect that the police in Broomsfield and Kabangwe allow the cattle rustlers to pass through the roadblocks. When the police got to the scene with their guns, they were almost lynched. Had the area councillor not come to their rescue, the police officers could have been killed because the people were angry. 

We cannot have a police force that just goes after political opponents instead of policing the nation.  

Hon. Opposition Member: And owning cars. 

Mr Shakafuswa: You have the Mobile Police that can simply go into this area and set up mobile police stations. There is no need for transport. They just need to set up camp in designated areas. This crisis is not just in Katuba, but everywhere else. People are crying for services of the police because their wealth is being taken away.  

Mr Speaker, there is also a specialised group of thieves that is targeting pig farmers, and that the Government has to deal with. They mix tannic acid with pig mash which kills the pigs within five minutes.  

Mr Muntanga: Yes, they are poisoned. 

Mr Shakafuswa: The tannic acid permeates carcasses of pigs that are sold to unsuspecting consumers. Due to the Government’s inability to regulate street vending, people are buying very cheap meat products from the streets. Do you know what effect this will have on the economy? The bill for health will go up. You will have people suffering from ailments whose origins the doctors will not know. 

Mr Belemu: Ebola!

Mr Shakafuswa: The poison will have an effect on people’s health. 


Mr Shakafuswa: It is true that I am not a doctor. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, come back to the Motion. 

Prof. Luo: You are not a doctor!

Mr Shakafuswa: What do you mean I am not a doctor? 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, come back to the Motion and, please, address the Chair. 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, coming back to the Motion, animals are being slaughtered illegally. We are allowing animals that have been slaughtered in an illegal manner, and which are probably contaminated, on the market for human consumption. People who steal animals in the surrounding areas of Lusaka do not take them outside the country in exchange for bicycles. They slaughter them to be consumed by people in town. Someone can enjoy a T-bone which is contaminated ... 


Mr Shakafuswa: … and end up suffering from diseases whose origin we do not know. If you are saying that we should all be doctors, then we should take this as our responsibility and look at ways of curbing the vice.
Mr Speaker, Lusaka only has privately-owned abattoirs. As a result, livestock is ending up in compounds and cities unchecked. Cattle rustling can also be checked through legal slaughtering houses in areas that rear livestock. What is happening now is that people slaughter animals and sell to the butcheries. The meat can be certified safe for consumption when it is not. 

Mr Speaker, officers from the Office of the President should make sure that they regulate this. How can beef on the street be sold at K10 per kilogramme when the minimum price for beef is about K30 or K40 per kilogramme? 

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, take a seat for a moment. 

Let us be focused. The Motion from your colleague is that he would like the penalty relating to stock theft to be stiffened. It is a very short Motion. He wants the penalty to be increased. One of our rules of debate is relevance and avoidance of repetition. Let us be focused. I know all those are valued arguments but, whatever arguments we make must be related to the Motion as far as possible. When we start importing all manner of subjects
 into the Motion, we will lose focus. My task is to ensure that we remain focused.

You may continue. 

Mr Shakafuswa laughed.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, this is a laughable matter especially when it comes to the application of the law. We have had situations in Katuba where cattle rustlers have been arrested by the public, taken to the police and released on police bond. However, while they are appearing in court, they go and steal again to raise money to pay the lawyer and whoever else should be paid. Like the mover of the Motion said, this calls for review of bail conditions. 

Mr Speaker, there was an unfortunate incident in my constituency where cattle rustlers were arrested and were found with six beef carcasses. Unfortunately, an angry mob beat them to death and burnt them together with the carcasses. Later, it was discovered that two of the suspects who were killed had been released on police bond and were appearing in court for a similar case of theft in Katuba. 

Sir, as said by the mover, usually, the perpetrators of this crime are appearing in court for similar charges. Once they are set free, they go back and commit the same crime. We should review the bail conditions. If someone is appearing in court and there is a fresh charge against him/her, why is it that the judicial system is not informed that the person has committed a similar crime and is remanded in custody? 

Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion proposed a cash bail of K10,000, but cattle rustlers can afford to pay the K10,000. Therefore, let us increase it K25,000 with five working sureties so that the criminals know that depriving others of their livelihood is wrong. 


Ba Speaker, banivuta …


Mr Speaker: Are you through, hon. Member? 

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I thank you. 


Mr Muntanga: Banakusokoneza! 

Mr Shakafuswa: Banisokoneza!


Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I will be quite brief because I hear some colleagues behind me whispering that there is a football match. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: I will make some important points, but I will try to be brief. 

Sir, firstly, I would like to support the Motion on the Floor. However, I would like to start by putting the issue of cattle rustling in context …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Musokotwane: People who have grown up in urban areas or those who do not come from cattle-rearing areas probably do not appreciate …

Mr Livune interjected. 

Dr Musokotwane: … what it means for one to have his/her cattle stolen.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katombola, my patience is growing very thin; extremely thin. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I was saying that for people who do not rear cattle or those who live in areas where cattle are not stolen, this might sound like the theft of any other item. Cattle are a store of wealth. They are like a bank account. If somebody goes to your bank and withdraws money from your account without your knowledge, it would be considered a severe punishment to you the victim. 

Sir, similarly, when you go and steal cattle from people in the rural areas, you are punishing them. We have heard about the importance of cattle from those who have debated so far. We have heard that they are a store of wealth; they are used as draught power in terms of pulling ploughs; and they also provide milk. 

Mr Speaker, however, let me emphasise one other use of cattle. In the Western Province, for example, we hardly ever use artificial fertilisers. If you looked at the statistics of fertiliser distribution for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, you would find that very little fertiliser is delivered to the Western Province. This is because we use cattle dung to fertilise our fields. So, if your cattle is taken away, it means that you will have no fertiliser, there will be no milk, and your children are going to starve. 

Sir, those of us who come from the Barotse Plains have an additional use for cow dung. We use it as a fuel. We use cattle dung for cooking, whether it is nshima, fish or …

Hon. Opposition Member: Bucwala! 

Dr Musokotwane: … bucwala which is beer. The alternative is to go and get firewood which entails travelling …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, my point of order relates to something that is very painful to talk about, but it has to do with people’s lives. Five University of Zambia (UNZA) students have been arrested and charged with riotous behaviour while four police officers were injured during last night’s confrontation with the students.

Sir, we are talking about cattle rustlers and the measures the police officers should take, but my point of order is whether the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is in order to sit quietly enjoying the debate on cattle ‘wrestling’.


Mr Muntanga: Cattle wrestling?

Mr Livune: Yes, on cattle ‘wrestling’, when some students have been arrested. Is he in order to sit there allowing an hon. Minister from a different ministry to cause confusion in his ministry without him coming to this House to give us the position in relation to this matter? 

Is he in order, Sir? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: There are a lot of problems with that point of order. Firstly, you have been debating. Secondly, I cannot really fathom the issue. In case you have some questions for the hon. Minister, ask him because he is here to answer questions. However, there is a mechanism for asking those questions. If you invoke that mechanism, I will ensure that he responds to whatever concern you have. 

The hon. Member for Liuwa may continue.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, if you steal an animal from those of us in the rural areas, you are sentencing us to hunger; taking away our fuel, milk and bank accounts. This is why we are concerned about this issue. It is not joke.

Sir, cattle thieves are getting more sophisticated. I have a ranch somewhere near here and, last year, I lost animals through poisoning, as Hon. Shakafuswa described. When I got to the site where the animals were killed, all that I could see were bones. The flesh of the animals had been taken away. All this was happening when there was a police roadblock along Leopards Hill Road. One wonders where this meat is being taken.

Mr Speaker, the meat was transported in five or ten litre containers. They cut the meat in long strips and put it in containers. When they get to the police roadblock, the police will think that they are carrying water or paraffin and let them pass. 


Dr Musokotwane: Sir, cattle rustlers are getting sophisticated and are depriving people of their livelihoods. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to make a connection between this Motion and the work of the police. Of course, we want the criminals to be punished, but we also want to deter them from stealing by making sure that the police do their work. If the police do their work properly, the number of arrests will probably reduce because there will be a deterrent. So, the two are connected. Our first request, in Liuwa, is to have more police posts established. At the moment, there is only one police post at Libonda. You will not find a police post along the Luanginga River, in Salunda, Lola, Mushukulunda, all the way to Sikunde near the Angolan Border. You can travel for 120 km and will not find a police post.   

Mr Mutelo: Ni kwa Mitete!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, my brother is saying, “Ni kwa Mitete.” Under those circumstances, and given the fact that the prices of these beasts are very high in some neighbouring countries, this is very tempting for the thieves. We need, at least, three police posts in Liuwa for us to deter the thieves. 

Mr Speaker, I also agree with what Hon. Shakafuswa said. The way the police work nowadays is surprising. Gone are the days when the police would patrol farms and interrogate those carrying animals in their vehicles without permits. If you want to see the police, where do you find them? On the road. You begin to wonder whether there is a management system in the Zambia Police Force. As far as I know, the police are supposed to be like the Zambia Army and Zambia Air Force (ZAF) where everything works under command with clear management systems. These days, it looks like any police officer can decide to go on the road at any time. 

Sir, at the moment, police officers do not fight the crime that they are employed to fight. As I support this Motion, I am also wondering who is going to arrest the cattle rustlers. This can only be done if the police begin to work. In the end, I think we are going to encourage a system of retribution. The justice system for cattle rustling is going to move away from the hands of the Government to the people. You will be hearing about people slaughtering each other with spears. Those who practise witchcraft will resort to using witchcraft. 


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I believe that we need to do something to ensure that this important source of livelihood for our people is taken care of. 

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, on a lighter note, now that the people that my grandfather told me were responsible for collecting some of our cattle permanently have come here to confess and advocate for stiffer punishment, …


Mr Belemu: … I have no choice, but to support this Motion. 


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it has already been emphasised that for some of us that rear cattle, this has been a way of saving. Therefore, when you steal from others, you are depriving them of many things and this has an effect on their lives. Most importantly, the reason I am supporting this Motion, which is looking at stiffening the punishment for stock theft, is that from experience, I know that people that steal cattle rarely repent. Those of us that live in cattle-rearing areas actually know the families that commit such crimes generation after generation. If my cattle were stolen today, I would immediately have a suspect in mind. Therefore, the solution is for us to stiffen the punishment so that the thieves stay away from society for a long time. I know that once these people come out of prison, regardless of whether it is after one year, three years or five years, they will still go back to the same trend of stealing cattle. In fact, I do not think there will be any cattle rustlers in heaven because these people never reform.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, the solution is for us to punish them here on earth so that they suffer the consequences of stealing cattle. I have indicated that there is a lot of emotional value attached to cattle. Some people reach the highest levels of desperation once their animals are stolen and even worse when the particular suspect comes back to society within a short time. That increases the anguish or the suffering of the people that have lost their animals. 

Mr Speaker, my colleagues have indicated that cattle rustlers are becoming sophisticated, but I should add that they have also become a danger to human life. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Belemu: A number of people have been killed on account of their cattle. People will steal cattle and when they realise that they have been identified and there is a possibility of them being taken to court, they go back and kill the owners of the cattle. We have had incidences where weapons such as guns have been used on innocent people, including headmen, once the suspects know that they are potential witnesses in such a case. In this regard, it is only right that the penalties or the consequences of stealing cattle are stiffened.

Sir, the other reason I support this Motion is that we now have limited grazing areas and our cattle keep moving from one area to another. Therefore, our cattle are exposed to thieves. At times, due to these movements, animals are followed right to their grazing areas. Therefore, it is only right that the punishment is stiffened so that we minimise the risks that those of us that have invested in cattle face. Usually, cattle thieves use routes that we do not always use. In the process, even the transmission of cattle-related diseases is increased. They will move cattle from areas which they are ordinarily not allowed to move them from. Even when there is a ban in the movement of livestock, the criminals will choose to use routes that pass through certain areas. As a result, this increases the risk of diseases spreading in our areas. Again, the solution is to stiffen the penalties so that we minimise the transmission of diseases. In this case, I am talking about cattle diseases and not human diseases like the hon. Member for Katuba said. Animal diseases have increased largely because of livestock that is being moved illegally from one place to the other, including stolen ones. So, for us to control cattle diseases, there should serious consequences for those who move cattle illegally from one place to another. 
Mr Speaker, the capacity of the local people to police is very low. We have limited police services in our villages and constituencies in comparison to Government institutions. The disappointment is that when we go and report cattle thefts to the police, we are told to look for possible suspects on our own and take them to the police. The police and communities must perform their role. However, it appears that cattle thefts have been treated in a special way by the police. I know of families that have spent half of this year moving from one herd to another, from one area to another, and from one chiefdom to the next looking for their animals. Ordinarily, this is a job for the police and the State agencies.

Ms Imenda: Yes!

 Mr Belemu: However, for the people of Mbabala, it is different. They have to move from place to place looking for their cattle which have been stolen. The penalty, therefore, should be that once a thief has been caught, his punishment equals the measure or suffering of the people that go round looking for the thieves who, in most cases, are found in dangerous and far-away places.

Mr Speaker, the presence of abattoirs and ready markets for cattle has increased the levels of stock thefts. People only have to move short distances to sell the stolen carcasses. It is only right, therefore, that measures are taken in areas where there are abattoirs and where cattle are being sold, even if it is at properly-organised markets. 

Mr Speaker, we are aware that some of the buyers do not have a method of checking whether the animals that are being sold to them have been legally acquired or even bother to verify the ownership of the animals. By the time someone realises that his/her animals have been stolen, they would have already been sold or reached far-away places. In rare occasions, one can actually identify the brand mark of his/her animals and, by that time, they would have already lost.

Mr Speaker, without wasting a lot of time, I support this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I announce my arrival, …


Hon. Government Members: From where?

Mr Muntanga: … if the Hon. Speaker may allow me to.

Mr Speaker: I have allowed you to debate the Motion.

Mr Muntanga: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, in supporting the Motion, I was wondering the best way to treat it. We had asked the Government to stiffen the penalties and this request was granted when we had a minimum of two years and a maximum of seven-year sentences. This was later increased to five and fifteen years respectively. We hoped that with these sentences, cattle rustling would reduce. This Motion only shows that although we increased the sentences, the rustling has not reduced.  

Mr Speaker, there is a need to find a solution to the problem of cattle rustling. The mover of the Motion is right to talk about stiffening the penalties by not necessarily increasing the maximum sentence for cattle thieves, but by finding out what the problem is. 

Mr Speaker, one major problem that hon. Members who debated brought out is the policing aspect. At the moment, we should be talking about what to do about this problem. At the same time that we increased this penalty to fifteen years, the Southern Region had made Mazabuka the centre of the anti-cattle rustling squad. Any animal that left the Southern Province had to be first cleared in Mazabuka. This is no longer the case. This is because the officers who were given this responsibility became part of the cattle rustling squad.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I am saying this because, at one time, we witnessed this. Some animals were taken from a farm in Kalomo next to the farm of Hon. Evans. The animals were loaded on a truck and a veterinary officer and some police officers in Kalomo cleared the truck. In Mazabuka, the truck was also inspected. In Kafue, however, it was noticed that the transfer papers had different numbers to those on the animal tags. Despite this, the officers still cleared the truck. The officer at the Kafue Bridge, which is supposed to be the control check point, let the truck pass.  

I raised this issue with the Office of the President in Lusaka but, by that time, the animals had already reached an abattoir on Mungwi Road. By the time the officers got to the abattoir, the animals had already been slaughtered. This means that the chain of cattle rustling starts from where the animals are stolen to the slaughter house. There are many people who are involved. When we sentence the actual rustler who has stolen the animals and leave all the other people who are involved, we will not solve the problem because we do not have a measure to reduce their involvement. 

Mr Speaker, we have a lot of unlicensed butcheries in this country. We amended the law in this Parliament and the new law states that the burden of proof does not lie with the owner of the animal, but the rustler. That is the law that we passed in this House. It states that the one who is suspected to have stolen the animals should prove that those are his. That is French law and it is being used in cases of cattle theft.

Mr Speaker, before this law was passed, we had situations where the owner of the cattle had to struggle to prove that the animals were his by stating the colours of the coat. If the farmer did not mention the exact colours of his animals, the court would rule that the animals were not his. I know of a case in Monze that made a known rustler be acquitted because the owner of the animal forgot that his animal had a white patch on the head. Immediately the rustler was acquitted, the lawyer wanted his payment and the rustler gave him some animals as payment. However, the lawyer later found out that these, too, were stolen animals. The lawyer was disappointed because he was given stolen cattle. 

Mr Speaker, the problem of cattle rustling is serious. Therefore, the Government should not undermine it. This issue should be handled seriously. In Kenya, there are rustling squads that raid tribes and get their cattle but, when they are caught, they severely punished for their involvement. In Botswana, there are fenced areas where animals are kept. When an animal is found loitering, the chiefs have powers to put it in what they call cattle pounds for a minimum of three years. If the owner does not claim the animal, there is a fee charged for each day that the animal is in custody. If the animal is not redeemed, it becomes State property.

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, it is said that cattle only belong to a section of society. The Government has not accepted that cattle are an asset just like other properties. 

Sir, whenever there is an increase in castle rustling, the only solution we talk about is stiffening the penalties. Cattle rustlers have now stopped carrying whole carcasses because they know that they can easily be caught. So, what they are doing now is to get your animal, skin it and get the meat only. Hon. Dr Musokotwane mentioned that some cattle thieves carry the meat in plastic containers. In the Southern Province, they use a different method to transport the meat. They put the meat in sacks and carry it in taxis. Sometimes, they carry the meat on buses to butcheries in Lusaka. If one claims that the meat is from his/her animal, there will be a dispute as to where the animal in question came from. 

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we do not consider cattle to be valuable. I own cattle and they are in a kraal. If, for example, one animal goes out of the kraal and is hit by a motorist whose car is insured, the law says that, as the owner of the animal, I should have the car repaired. In this case, the law is unfair to the owner of the animal. As long as the animals are in a kraal, and there is a road sign alerting motorists of the existence of animals ahead, it is only wise for the motorists to be careful when driving along that area. In any case, if the car is insured, the insurance company should take care of the repairs. 

Sir, I have heard some people in the background saying that they do not mind. This is so because they do not own cattle. So, this does not concern them. They are only interested in eating meat. If anyone thinks that cattle rearing is a serious business, he/she should consider this Motion serious and make sure that the police, butcheries and abattoirs do the right thing. 

Sir, the hon. Member has brought this Motion before the House so that the whole House can think about and appreciate how important cattle rearing is. The Government should realise that if the punishment for cattle theft is stiffened, the problem might not be solved. It is common knowledge that if you kill somebody, you will also be killed, but have people stopped killing each other? They have not stopped and will look for every excuse to come clean. Just like cattle rustlers, they do not mind being arrested because they know that when they go to jail, they will serve a five-year term, come out of jail and continue with the cattle rustling. 

Mr Speaker, Tongas will go back to their traditional way of rearing cattle because, when they use their tradition way of rearing cattle, no one can steal them. If you steal or kill the animal, two days later, you will also die the same way you killed the animal.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, that might not be the best option because these days, animals are reared in large number for the benefit of the whole country. The Motion is only asking the Government to look at this problem and consider what the police can do about it. Those who read newspapers know that hundreds of animals have been stolen. It pains to know that the police do not help those who have lost their animals to look for them. However, they are quick to pick out a flat or finished tyre at a roadblock because they can charge the motorist for that.

 Sir, my appeal is that we should review the penalty, but also look at the chain of movement of cattle. If the police are involved in the castle rustling, we should not be lenient with them. It takes several months or years for us to have new police officers in Kalomo but, immediately we have an officer from another station coming to Kalomo as Chief Investigations Officer (CIO), within two months, he will own cattle and will be looking for a farm.


 Mr Muntanga: This happens because they are involved in this vice. After some investigations, you will hear that he has been involved in cattle rustling. Some officers go to the extent of using other people’s cattle as proof of ownership. Sometimes, they take the case to court for defamation of character. The penalties for cattle theft are not that stiff. Therefore, I would like to appeal to the Government that there should be no bail for cattle rustling offences. This will deter castle rustlers. 

Sir, when someone is granted bail, he will go and steal more animals and give some to the officers who assisted him to come out. When they are caught, the officer is transferred from that station. If you ask if any action has been taken against the police officer, you are told that it takes long to charge a police officer. Where else do you expect farmers to go? Therefore, our appeal to the Government is that it should look at this issue in totality. We have played our part by informing you together with your agencies.
Mr Speaker, the Government has sent police officers to Kalomo who do not have the heart for the farmers. Sometimes, we end up with officers who are criminals. If, for example, you send a police officer to Kalomo who was involved in cattle rustling before, he/she will find it easy to steal. So, let us look at this problem seriously. We should also ensure that abattoirs are registered. People that have the responsibility of inspecting animals and carcasses should ensure that they are certified fit for human consumption. If that does not happen, people will end up eating contaminated meat. These are not mere threats.

Sir, recently, there was a case relating to imported meat products that was contaminated with substances used to embalm bodies and people consumed this meat until it was brought to the attention of the public. We should not be careless when it comes to issues related to food.

Sir, this Motion is merely asking the Government to be more serious about stock theft and livestock farming.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I will ask the last person from my left before I move onto the Government to respond. 

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this chance to contribute to the debate on the Motion on the Floor of the House.

 Sir, I promise that I will be very brief because most of the issues I wanted to raise have been debated by those who spoke earlier.

Mr Speaker, I will begin my discourse by referring to a phrase that I am sure all of us has have heard, and that is, “Prevention is better than cure”.

Sir, while I support the Motion wholeheartedly, I would like to say that you can stiffen the punishment, but it can only be meted out to those who have been caught. So, I would like to centre my debate on the measures that should be taken in order to catch the cattle rustlers.

Sir, I would also like to talk about how important cattle rearing is to some communities. I will illustrate how important this business venture is. If you walk into a meeting where pastoralists are in attendance, you should take note of the people who speak in that meeting, and how much respect they receive from the audience. This might sound simple, but I tell you, colleagues, that it shows how important it is for some of us to own cattle. When you stand up in to talk in a meeting, people ask, “How many head of cattle does he own?” If you own a few, you will be asked sit down.

Mr Muntanga: You have no animals.

Mr Hamudulu: Owning cattle raises one’s status in society. 

Mr Speaker, because of the importance that is attached to owning cattle, you can imagine the pain and anguish that is experienced by those who lose even just one animal. I think it is from that background that the Motion was moved. 

Sir, let me now talk about what I think should be done in order to catch the culprits. There is a need to retrain police officers. Due to the frequency and sophistication of these cases, sometimes, we may blame the police officers when they are not adequately prepared to handle such cases. Just like we have specialised units in the police to deal with traffic offences, I think it is high time we had police officers specifically trained to deal with cases related to cattle rustling.

Mr Speaker, at the roadblocks, police officers only concentrate on the indicators and brakes of the vehicle and the status of the vehicle and not what it is carrying. So, we cannot blame such an officer because his focus is on the vehicle and, probably, the passengers of the vehicle. That is why, sometimes, illegal immigrants are caught because of the presence of immigration officers at roadblocks. In view of this, we should have a specialised unit in the Police Force that is going to deal with cattle rustling. Of course, there may not be best practices elsewhere that we can learn from. Why not be the first ones to introduce this? We can study the cases and develop our own best practices to adequately prepare police officers to deal with cases of cattle rustling.

Mr Speaker, I promised to be brief. So, in conclusion, I would like to make an earnest appeal to those in charge of developing the curriculum for police officers to consider including methods of combating this crime in the curriculum. In my language, there is a saying that goes, mano alazwa mukasumbwa. This means you can learn something even from a person you least expect to learn something from. So, for this curriculum to be developed, go to the villages and talk to the people. Find out from the villagers how they have managed to catch cattle rustlers. From there, you can develop some best practices.

Sir, with those few words, I wish to support the Motion, and I thank you.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, I want to start by thanking the mover of the Motion, Hon. Miyutu from Kalabo Central Parliamentary Constituency. Incidentally, I also come from there. So, I can buttress some of the issues he has raised, whether true or not. I will also refer to the issue of cattle rustling being rampant in the Western Province that Hon. Muntanga has raised. However, I will pre-case my discourse with an excerpt from a certain gentlemen who lives in Texas and was once a victim of cattle rustling. You know, people in Texas keep a lot of cattle. This is what he said, “If a man does not fear God, and does not put much premium on his name, there is not much that will deter him from stealing.” So, I think the issue of morality rather than legislation, is quite critical even amongst ourselves as a citizenry.

Mr Speaker, let me now delve into the issue and the substantive elements of the law as regards stock theft. Section 265 of the Penal Code provides for theft in general terms. Section 272 provides the general penalty for theft, but the point to note relating to this section is that the penalty for the offence of theft is imprisonment for a maximum of five years, unless some other penalty is provided. I had to refer to this particular section because, then, I would like to compare it with the section which deals with stock theft, which is Section 275 and, as indicated, the sanctions in terms of the penalties are quite succinct.

Sir, for a first offender, the sentence is between five years and fifteen years without an option of a fine. For a second offender, the minimum sentence is seven years to fifteen years without an option of a fine. So, you will see that whereas it relates to other acts of theft, there are much less stringent in terms of penalties unlike in the case of stock theft.

Sir, the offence provides for custodial sentences without an option of a fine. Besides the specific offence of stock theft, the law does not exclusively or restrictively provide for stock theft alone, but other ancillary offences. For example, Section 21 of the Penal Code deals with principle offenders. So, whereas one person may be caught in the act, the law will still go and interrogate and find out how many people were involved. So, that is another section that is intended to reduce the number of people that are involved in these activities. Section 22 of the Penal Code also criminalises the prosecution of a common intention by two or more persons.

Mr Speaker, Section 23 of the Act also provides for the offence of counseling the commission of an offence, including stock theft. So, if there are gurus giving information to young people on how best to go and steal because, as you have heard, this is a specialised field, they can also be caught up in the net because they are counselors.

Further, in addition to the criminalisation of the offence of stock theft itself, the law also criminalises laundering and use of the proceeds generated from the offence of theft under the Prohibition and Prevention of Money Laundering Act No. 14 of 2001. In addition, the forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act No. 19 of 2010 provides for non-conviction based forfeiture of proceeds of crime, including proceeds from stock theft.

Therefore, Mr Speaker, in summing up, I submit that the provisions of the law relating to stock theft are adequate, including the sanctions. The courts have also successfully dealt with matters relating to stock theft. We have a couple of authorities here on this subject.

Mr Speaker, may I submit that there are, however, many other measures or interventions which, perhaps, will be more effective in deterring the commission of this offence beyond stiffer penalties which, in many instances, have not reduced the rate of crime, but have seen an increase in some situations. Hon. Muntanga was really on target when he mentioned that tougher penalties may not necessarily reduce the escalation in offences.

Mr Speaker, let me go back to talking about Texas in the United States of America (USA). We come from the Wild West, the Western Province. So, those in the Wild West in Texas are our cousins. For instance, the USA, which is renowned for ranching, experienced a 40 per cent increase in stock theft soon after toughening the penalties against rustlers. Richard Hartley, who chairs the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Texas in San Antonio, said that this goes to show that tougher sentencing does not generally serve as a deterrent on the rustlers even when the penalty is death. 

In the olden days in Texas, the penalty for the offence of cattle rustling was actually instant hanging, but people still went on to engage in the crime. For instance, the maximum sentence for cattle rustling in the USA is up to ten years. It was increased in 2009 from two to ten years, but this has not reduced the crime rate.

Mr Speaker, in terms of monitoring or curbing thefts, in Zambia, we have the Police Anti-theft Unit. I am saying this in reference to Hon. Hamudulu who mentioned that, perhaps, we need to have a police unit specifically for cattle rustling. I think what should be interrogated here are issues of whether some of these units need strengthening. Some of these departments, especially this unit, need to be supported by our people and, if effectively used, they could weigh in towards the reduction of theft. 

Mr Speaker, in terms of best practices, it is important for cattle owners to adequately brand their animals. I recall Hon. Muntanga referring to the story of a gentleman who went to court, but could not identify his animals. That is very unfortunate. I cannot see how the Government could legislate to give powers of identification to an individual. It is not uncommon in court proceedings for complainants to admit that they could not identify their animals, which has led to acquittals. 

I have a judgment on a cross border case between Zambia and Botswana, our brothers in the Commonwealth. This is a case where somebody was acquitted because the owners of the animals could only identify fifteen out of thirty. Unfortunately, the fifteen he could not identify were the ones the accused had stolen. 

Mr Speaker, in my opinion, failure to brand animals by the owners enhances the appetite for the people who steal because they know that you cannot even identify your own animals. If you are able to brand your animals, they are discouraged from stealing from you. In Botswana, livestock owners have gone as far as putting tracking devices on cattle. Yes, it is expensive but, this would be a deterrent even for a very confident thief. So, that is what we should look at rather than providing harsher punishment for theft of animals.

Mr Speaker, the other issue I would like to talk is that of data collection. For instance, the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) should strengthen district associations in communities. We have to note that rearing livestock is a private issue. I think we need to see more engagement of private citizens, that is, owners of cattle especially, banding together in co-operatives. 

Sir, we are communal by nature and know that cattle share grazing grounds such as plains. These are expansive or wide areas. Honestly, how much territory can an overzealous person or platoon of police officers cover? How many police officers would be expected to cover, for example, 3,000 km² of land? 

On the other hand, I think the theft of livestock occurs within our communities and families. Hon. Dr Kaingu is not here, but he is aware that in Mabumbu, Mwandi Constituency, those who are stealing cattle are celebrated people. The public even knows when they have stolen because as soon as an animal goes missing, there is economic revival in their corner of the village.


Mr Mukata: However, what do we do as communities to deter these people? So, I think let us go back and address this issue from the communal set up. That should be the starting point. I agree with Hon. Muntanga that we need to investigate and go deeper into the problem associated with cattle rustling. 

Mr Speaker, there was mention of cross border theft. Yes, it is true that most of our cattle, especially those from the Western Province, finds their way into Namibia. I have just seen a judgment where two Zambians, unfortunately from Mwandi area, were given maximum sentences in Namibia for going into that country to sell animals. So, you will notice that there are collaborative efforts between countries. There is also the Kavango/Zambezi Frontiers Conservation Commission that deals with regional issues on domestic and wild animals relating to poaching and so on and so forth. So, this commission will deal with the issue Hon. Miyutu has raised as well as the transfer of animal diseases and so on and so forth. 

Mr Speaker, perhaps, what we need to do is to understand the operations of these units. We need to work with the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and police officers in our areas and be part and parcel of the processes of curbing cattle rustling. The Government is doing everything possible in terms of regional collaboration.

Mr Speaker, I will end on that point, but would like to emphasise the issue of co-operatives and data collection. I also agree with the issue raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mbabala on statistics and branding. We need to give information on animals to abattoirs in a given area. We even need to computerise our abattoirs so that when somebody takes animals for sale to a particular abattoir, it is easy to tell where the animals have come from. These are some of the interventions or suggestions that I can think of from the top of my head. I think this is what Hon. Muntanga was, perhaps, referring to because much of this theft occurs within our communities. Therefore, the onus is on us to deal with it.

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I will say the legislation is adequate. I do not think there is any need for us to stiffen punishment because we have sufficient punishment. Rather, let us deal with the mindset of our people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to wind up debate on behalf of the Executive. From the outset, I would like to commend the mover of the Motion, Hon. Miyutu, for coming up with this very important topic of protecting our livestock. In the same vein, I would also like to thank all the hon. Members on both sides of the House who have contributed to the debate on the Floor.

Mr Speaker, the issue at hand relates to the sentencing regime with respect to stock theft in our country. The sentencing regime in the criminal justice systems in most jurisdictions the world over is based on three basic principles, namely retribution, rehabilitation and deterrence.

Mr Speaker, retribution rests on the notion that if a person has knowingly done wrong, he/she deserves to be punished. That is to say, the offender must be adequately punished for the offence. 
Adequate punishment simply means a sentence which is proportional to the gravity of the offence.

Sir, rehabilitation involves offering an offender help to overcome the problems which he/she faces, thereby, attempting to make it easier for him/her to avoid future offending. 

As for deterrence, Mr Speaker, which the Motion is seeking to achieve, it is the use of punishment to warn the offender and other people of the consequences of such future criminal behaviour. Deterrence can either be specific or general. Specific deterrence is concerned with punishing an offender in the expectation that he/she will not offend again. General deterrence, on the other hand, is related to the possibility that people in general will be deterred from committing crime by the threat of punishment if they are caught.

Mr Speaker, what the Motion on the Floor is seeking to achieve is to increase the severity of the sentence for stock theft in Zambia in order to deter cattle rustlers and potential cattle thieves from committing the offence of stock theft. 

Mr Speaker, advocates of deterrence assume that potential offenders weigh up the rewards and risks associated with crime. 

Sir, there is no empirical evidence showing that deterrence actually works to dissuade others from offending. In other words, there is no basis for inferring that increasing the severity of sentences is generally capable of enhancing deterrent effects.

Mr Speaker, there are many crimogenic factors. By that I mean that there are many underlying causes of criminal behaviour which, for lack of time, I do not want to go into and bore this House talking about criminology except to say that in Zambia, Section 275 of the Penal Code makes s for penalties against stock theft. It provides a minimum sentence of imprisonment of not less than five years for a first offender, with a maximum of fifteen years and a minimum of seven years for a second or subsequent offender, but not exceeding fifteen years.

Mr Speaker, I have, before me, statistics relating to the incidents of stock theft for the last four years, that is 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

Mr Speaker, we on your right hand side are in full agreement with the hon. Member for Liuwa and the hon. Member for Kalomo Central that there is a problem of cattle rustling in Zambia. However, the solution does not lie in the sentencing regime. In our view, the current sentencing regime is adequate, meaning that the sentence, as prescribed in Section 275 of the Penal Code, is proportional to the gravity of stock theft.

In fact Sir, before coming to the House, we did some benchmarking of stock theft legislation in Namibia and Botswana. In Botswana, the minimum sentence for a first offender is a prison term of five years with a maximum of ten years. For a second or subsequent offender, the minimum sentence is a seven-year term, just like here, but not exceeding fourteen years. As I said, this is similar to our laws. In the Namibian Stock Theft Act of 1990, the law gives discretion to the courts to decide what an appropriate jail term in each individual case ought to be. In 2004, the Namibian Stock Theft Act was amended. Just like Hon. Miyutu has suggested, it was amended to increase the minimum sentence to twenty years for a first offender and to thirty years minimum sentence for a second and subsequent offender, but that amendment was declared unconstitutional in 2011. So, they are back to square one. In Namibia, the current law gives discretion to the courts to decide although there is a minimum of two years prison term.

Mr Speaker, our Government recognises the critical importance of livestock in our agricultural agenda. As I have stated, the problem of stock theft does not lie in increasing the severity of the sentencing regime or, indeed, in stiffer bail conditions. In our view, bail conditions should be left to the discretion of the courts. Rather, as Hon. Muntanga, Hon. Dr. Musokotwane and my good friend, hon. Member for Siavonga, Hon. Hamudulu, suggested, the solution lies in appropriate preventive measures, better police presence and policing methods. 

Mr Speaker, I am happy to inform this august House that this Government is rapidly increasing the number of police officers. When we formed Government in 2011, we found the police strength at 13, 000. After three years in office and the recent pass-out parade which I officiated at last Thursday where 435 officers graduated, the police strength is now at 17,724.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Tomorrow, I will be officiating at the Geoffrey Mukuma Training School in Kafue where the paramilitary are trained, and another 355 police officers will be graduating.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: That will bring the total number of police officers in Zambia to 18,079.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: In agreeing with Hon. Hamudulu from Siavonga, we are working on exposing police officers to a wide range of in-service courses. It is critical that our officers are constantly trained and introduced not only to new investigative techniques, but also new technologies and scientific innovations so as to enhance their capacity to better comprehend and combat crime, including stock theft more effectively.

Sir, we sympathise with Hon. Miyutu because this is a very important topic. However, we do not agree that we should, at this stage, start to increase or stiffen the sentencing regime. What we intend to do, like most of our colleagues have proposed and we entirely agree with, is to come up with other solutions such as the preventive measures that were suggested.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the gesture to allow me to move this Motion in this House. As Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central, where there are a lot of cattle, I feel that I have done my part. When a parent bears a girl child, for example, and she reaches maturity and gets married, as a parent, you would have done your job.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: So, I have come to this House and delivered the views and suggestions of the people of Kalabo and other parts of the country.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I appreciate the well wishers and contributions of all the debaters to this Motion. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Question that this House urges the Government to stiffen the law relating to stock theft in order to enhance livestock farming put and negatived.
Mr Speaker: Order!


The Minister Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1916 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 16th October, 2014.