Debates - Friday, 26th September, 2014

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Friday, 26th September, 2014 

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I rise in accordance with your request to give the House an idea of the business it will consider next week. On Tuesday, 30th September, 2014, the Business of the House will commence with questions to hon. Ministers, if there will be any and this will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, resume debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

On Wednesday, 1st October, 2014, the Business of the House will begin with Questions to hon. Ministers. These will be followed by presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will consider Private Members’ Motions, if there will be any. The House will, then, continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

On Thursday, 2nd October, 2014, the Business of the House will commence with Questions to hon. Ministers. This will be followed by the presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Sir, on Friday, 3rd October, 2014, the Business of the House will begin with the Vice-President’s Question Time, if there will be any questions. This will be followed by questions to hon. Ministers, if there will be any. After that, the House will deal with presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Then, the House will continue with the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Address.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.



Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the price of a 25kg bag of mealie-meal is selling between K85 and K90 in Mongu and other parts of the Western Province. What measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the staple food is affordable to the majority of people?

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, the policy of this Government and that of the Government formed by the party of the questioner, which went out of fashion three years ago, is the same. Adequate quantities should lead to good market prices. The problem with Mongu, of course, is that it is a long way from the nearest maize growing area. The closest maize growing area to Mongu is Kaoma, which is not a particularly suitable area for maize, but does grow it anyway. Beyond that, Mongu needs to draw maize from Mumbwa. Therefore, the transport costs are possibly what are driving the retail price of mealie-meal up in the Western Province.

I will make an inquiry and give some added information next week, but I think once the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) starts to offload this large surplus of maize that is being grown and harvested this year, prices will fall. However, I think it is better that we get a table of the actual figures for last year and this year and make a precise analysis of what is happening.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the nation is aware that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia is in New York with a view of attending the United Nations (UN) Annual General Conference. From the time he went, he has not been able to address the conference. This morning, I read an article by the Associated Press that His Excellency the President is not very well and was attended to by doctors in his hotel room. This has caused anxiety amongst Zambians pertaining to the health status of our President. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the status of our President, who is in New York, is vis-à-vis his health.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the health of His Excellency the President is entirely normal this morning. Last night, I think The Guardian newspaper was the first to ring me. It had picked something up from the New York Times, which had picked up something from Newsweek, which had probably picked up something from The Zambian Watchdog, which the hon. Questioner likes to defend as an excellent example of journalistic art. I was, of course, very quick to ascertain the actual situation, which was that it was untrue that he had perished or died. Later on, we made further investigations and found out that he had not even received specialised or emergency medical treatment. So, that is the situation as it is obtaining this morning. 

Whether or not His Excellency the President chooses to make an address in a particular slot of the UN General Assembly is another matter which, of course, I am not expert in because I am not his aide-de-camp (ADC) or senior private secretary. I, however, know that at the General Assembly, you can be in attendance without necessarily having to speak unless you have something particular that you want to add to the world’s discourse. It is as simple as that.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, it is now three years since the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power. Could His Honour the Vice-President inform this House and the nation the major successes that it has made.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, he is entitled to ask any question.


Mr Speaker: No. Let us be clear about this.


Mr Speaker: Let us be clear about this. There is no editorial board here.


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, about six years ago, President Obama said:

 “I cannot achieve any more than I have already achieved. I have become the first black man to be President of the United States of America. What more can I do that can trample that when twenty years ago, nobody could imagine that that could happen.” 

So, it is difficult sometimes when you have achieved great things to achieve even greater ones. I will give a much edited version to the question.

Mr Mwila: Doctor Scott.

The Vice-President: We have, I think, cemented democracy in this country.


The Vice-President: Since Independence or including Independence, we have had three changes of Government that have been peaceful. They have been driven by the ballot box, that is apart from Malawi which I think stands more or less shoulder-to-shoulder with us in that …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: That is a very fair achievement for this end of the continent. In fact, if you take the whole continent into account, it is even a more firm achievement.

I know that hon. Members on the other side of the House like to imagine that there is some draconian regime in place. Name me one politician or hon. Member of Parliament who is in jail ...

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kalomo Central!

The Vice-President: … compared to your average country. Where is the state of emergency that we are supposedly governing under? It is not there. The Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) brought two states of emergency. The United Nationall Independence Party (UNIP) constantly governed under the state of emergency. Under the PF, there is no state of emergency. You go to the courts and they say …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: ... habeas corpus. Go, kabiyeni. They do not say …

Mr Speaker: What did you say, His Honour the Vice-President?

The Vice-President: Go, in Bemba. 

I was trying to explain to my own hon. Members what I was saying.

Mr Shakafuswa: Your own Bembas or hon. Bemba Members?


The Vice-President: Hon. Bemba Members. We can say pitani, yendani.


Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President, kindly take your seat.

Let us proceed orderly. We have very limited time and this time I am using is supposed to be used by you. Let us have some order. We know how we ought to conduct ourselves. I need not send reminders. If you have follow-up questions, please, ask them. We will recognise you. You cannot debate while seated, least of all make running comments.

You may not always agree in a democracy. That is its nature. We embraced it and must accept the ramifications.

His Honour the Vice-President may continue.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think nobody can dispute that we have launched a large physical infrastructure programme that covers roads, schools, universities, clinics and the Zambia Railway System that was leased out by the previous Government. In the process of doing that, we have not only made more prosperity reach more corners of the country, but we have also created jobs. 

Now that, of course, is not the be all and end all of the Governments functions, but it is a worthwhile achievement. If you wish to have proof of that, look at the election results ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … for the last six seats again. The Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) went in with five seats and the United Party for National Development (UPND) with one seat.

Mr Kapyanga: 4-2.

The Vice-President: The UPND came out with one seat, a different one. The MMD came out with only one seat and the PF with four seats. Since I campaigned for a total of fourteen days in those six elections, I assure you that the strongest argument was that the voters could …

Mr Mucheleka: Time

The Vice-President: … see with their eyes what was happening.

Mr Mwila: Take your time.

The Vice-President: I do not wish to take my time.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: I think the hon. Members of this House know for themselves what has been achieved and what still remains to be achieved. We have had the largest maize crop ever just this year which goes back to the most efficient distribution of inputs last year regardless…

Mr Mucheleka: You are wasting time.

Mr Mwila: Take your time.

The Vice-President: … whatever is said. People on the other side …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: … may ask why it has taken four months to pay farmers. However, the fact of the matter is that we only started accepting maize less than three months ago. How can we not have paid for four months?

So, if you take away the rhetoric, I think we are doing a fairly good job. I would not say a perfect job, but we have got two more years to do a perfect job.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mazoka (Pemba): Mr Speaker, in 2013, Mutukula School had a disaster where a 1 X 3 classroom block collapsed and I have consistently gone to the Office of His Honour the Vice-President to ask that something be done about this but, to date, nothing has been done. May I, therefore, find out from His Honour the Vice-President when something will be done about this because a lot of classes are not attending school. When rains come, these children do not go to school because there is no shelter.

The Vice-President: I thank the hon. Member for a fairly practical down to earth hon. Member of Parliament’s question and the answer is we know about it. We have it on the list with the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) and, as usual, they will be in my office this morning so she can also take it up in detail. We know about it and we are working on it.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, after making that wonderful decision to purchase extra maize in excess to what was budgeted for, when and how will the farmers be paid for this excess maize that the Government has purchased from the outlying areas?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I believe that question is coming up as an urgent question and is the first one on the list of questions to hon. Ministers. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock will respond to it.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the international community has just witnessed Scotland voting either to belong to the union or not. This process was done in a most civilized and democratic manner. Here at home, we have a similar situation. The people of Barotseland, nicknamed the Western Province, want to do the same, but your Government is behaving in a most barbaric and uncivilized manner by locking up the activists.

Mr Kapyanga: What is your question?

Dr Kaingu: Sir, when you compare and contrast the two situations, where do you find the difference?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it was an act of union between England and Scotland 300 years ago, following a war in which the English were beaten. For 300 years, they have been trading as United Kingdom, with Ireland and Wales added in. The whole thing was never any threat to security. There was never any underlying problem that might rear its head unlike other comparisons we can give such as South Sudan. Are you proud of the secession that Africa has managed to achieve there? That is a bloody civil war, indeed, and I think that many people are sorry that it was allowed to happen. 

The situation with the Western Province is not clear-cut. There is no former country there which had very clearly defined boundaries which joined together with another country, which situation we would have to reverse like it was done in Czechoslovakia where it was very clear that there were two historical countries in modern times that were put together in a sort of active union. It is a different matter.

However, Sir, the situation in the Western Province does not render itself under our Government any more than it did under the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Government or the United National Independence Party (UNIP) Government and, if there ever came another Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: It does not render itself to that kind of treatment. I think the questioner knows it and that is why he is nodding his head wisely.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu laughed.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, The Post Newspaper of Thursday, September 18th, 2014, carried a story on Page 3 headlined “Zambia, Africa’s Most Under-nourished Country.” This is based on a United Nations (UN) Report. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President the status of this particular statement. Additionally, are we that bad as a country as regards the nourishing of our citizens?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I took the experts to task on that issue the other day. A lot of nutritionists came to Lusaka to launch a special edition of the Institute for Development Studies which covers third world countries like ours. It is based in Brighton. 

Mr Speaker, the measure that is being referred to, which makes Zambia the second most poorly nourished country in the world, with the worst being Haiti, is based upon figures of total maize and cassava production. It makes estimates on sweet potato production and divides by the number of people in the country, exports and imports and says the lowest per capita intake of calories is Haiti and the next is Zambia. However, the nutritionists agreed with me that the figure is very suspect. The ranking is extremely suspect. 

For example, if the people in the Southern Province get a shortage of maize, they dig up and eat wild yams, but it never appears in anybody’s statistics or they milk the cattle and give the milk to their babies, but it does not appear in the statistics. I think it is just one of those anomalies of statistical ranking that has put Zambia there. It is not really an under-nourished country. I can find some much less well-nourished countries like the ones in the Horn of Africa at the moment. They all want to buy maize from us because we have a surplus and they have a distinct deficit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) wrote to your Government as regards the delimitation process. Therefore, when will your Government respond, especially that Kazungula is supposed to be a beneficiary of that delimitation?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as I understand it, it is all tied up with the Constitution-making process. If we are going to change the number of constituencies, there are two different things. The first is the actual number of constituencies which is expected to go up with the new Constitution. However, we will create problems if it goes up by much more than thirty or forty because, then, we will either be sitting in the galleries or we will have to move to a new House. 

The other one is that if people have been moving around so often that the constituencies get retained, but they get the borders adjusted where you take this and that polling district and move it from one constituency to another because people have moved in a similar way. That will be considered as part of the presentation of the run-up to the 2016 General Elections and the preparation of the voters’ roll. So, it will be taken into account automatically, but not for by-elections in the interim. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, there has been a lot of talk about the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) in the House, outside the House and in the media. Can His Honour the Vice-President comment on the future of the KCM?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, our Government’s view on the KCM is that it needs fresh capital injection. That is a business-like judgment that has been arrived at by our experts, consultants and advisers under the Ministry Mines, Energy and Water Development. 

Sir, we put the requirement to Vedanta as the major shareholder in the KCM − the hon. Minister will jab me in the ribs if I am not being correct, but I think I am being correct − that it needed to bring in some more capital so that we could re-capitalise the mine. It responded by saying that one of the shareholders in the KCM is the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holding (ZCCM-IH) and if it is going to put in more capital as Vedanta has been asked to, then, the ZCCM-IH also needs to put in more capital. The alternative would be for us to get a Vedanta guarantee and borrow from the banks in Zambia. 

I think that it would have been better and it is now moving towards that situation. If we had taken option one and bitten the bullet and put the money in because what is happening is that the Vedanta guaranteed loan is taking liquidity out of our economy which is affecting agriculture, manufacturing and building. It would have been much more productive to have actual fresh money coming in. 

However, as long as the copper prices do not collapse through the floor, which they are not because they are rising and are still around K7,000, and we can resolve some of the essentially petty disputes about tax rebates and electricity prices, the KCM will be viable.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, the rate of road traffic accidents in this country and in Rufunsa in particular, has reached unprecedented levels. Almost every day, there is a vehicle or two involved in road traffic accidents. I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what the Government intends to do or if it has any plans to reduce the carnage on our roads.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I would like to consult with the people who have been charged with attending to that problem. However, we know that there are so many problems. For example, we bring in second-hand vehicles that are not properly road-tested and people buy driving licences without actually knowing how to drive. My daughter had to take a test three times in London because if they see a twenty-one-year old trying to get a driver’s licence, they put them through the most horrible exacting test to make sure that they really understand what they are doing. Here, it is a very casual thing. I think  …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

The Vice-President: I would suggest that the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication considers giving us a ministerial statement in this session on road safety because I agree that it is horrendous.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, my question is arising from the answer His Honour the Vice-President gave to the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipili. He said that his Government has strengthened democracy. Your Honour the Vice-President, the people of Petauke, Malambo and Mulobezi have had no representation in the House for over one year. What are you doing to strengthen democracy, especially in view of the fact that the former hon. Minister of Justice is not here? What are you doing to quickly have representation in the House for the people of Petauke, Malambo and Mulobezi?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I need your guidance. The matters of these seats are still in court. We expect, I think reasonably and without trying to put pressure on anybody, to have the judgments come out soon and it will be the same for the other seats, the ones that have just been run, in which case that matter will be over. However, I think the general point is that the wheels of justice in Zambia grind slow, but they grind exceedingly fine. This saying is actually from Britain. In Zambia, they could do with just a little bit of acceleration sometimes because the period of time that these areas have been without representation as she has mentioned, impairs democracy. I agree with her but, on the other hand, we have matters of principle to sort out. Therefore, I do not want to say anymore because I do not want to be in court and be asked why I am putting pressure. I am not putting pressure. I am just explaining the background.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I respect His Honour the Vice-President and I trust  …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima: … that he will tell the truth.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, for three years, we have not felt his presence in Ikeleng’i. We have seen him going to where there are by-elections and making promises. Today, let him be honest. When is he visiting Ikeleng’i to look at the road infrastructure and make promises to the people there like he made promises to the people in Zambezi West?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, let me say two things. First of all, I have been to Ikeleng’i in the last three years …

Mr Muchima: Doing what?

The Vice-President: … and I believe that was at Chief Kalombesha’s Ceremony. However, I am also waiting for an invitation from the hon. Member of Parliament. I have not received any invitation …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, am I supposed to find my invitation in the verbatim record?

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, can His Honour the Vice-President tell this House and the nation the future of hon. Members of Parliament over the Constituency Development Fund (CDF)? Do hon. Members of Parliament have a say over the CDF? I know very well that His Honour the Vice-President is also an hon. Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central and last time, he made a comment that he wants that CDF to be a general fund. What is he telling this House? Definitely, the reason for the genesis of that fund was to empower the hon. Members of Parliament. What is His Honour the Vice-President saying today?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the difficulty that we have with the CDF, which I mentioned in a discursive way at one evening at the Press Freedom Committee of The Post Newspaper, is that many people believe that the hon. Members of Parliament actually have direct control over the CDF because of the coincidence between an hon. Member of Parliament and the constituency. Therefore, many officials in local government take advantage of that to make the hon. Member of Parliament carry the cane while they abuse the funding. Therefore, we should do something to restructure it because, at the moment, we are all responsible, but have no power, if you like in that setup. Yes, I acknowledge that some of the members of the CDF Committee have to be nominated by the hon. Member of Parliament or, at least, be cleared by the hon. Member of Parliament. However, it is an unsatisfactory system and I would ask hon. Members to help us reform it and make head way with it. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, why has the programme for palm tree plots in Samfya and Luapula Province in general delayed?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think that it is the delay in the release of funding and I do not think it will last very long. We know about it. There is a contractor called Dolomite Contractors which is the main contractor up there and is waiting for its 10 per cent initial payment. I am sure it will happen in the next few weeks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima rose to ask a question.

Hon. Government Members: Sit down!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, it is extra time. I hope you give me the extra minutes …

Mr Mbulakulima resumed his seat




66. Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central) asked Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    when the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would complete paying farmers who supplied maize to it;

(b)    what had caused the delay in paying the farmers who were still owed money; and

(c)    what measures the FRA had taken to ensure that the remaining unpaid farmers were paid on time.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Kazabu): Mr Speaker, the FRA will finalise paying farmers who supplied maize to it as soon as funds are secured. Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is liaising with the Ministry of Finance on the matter.

Mr Speaker, the overwhelming and good response from farmers has caused the delay in paying the farmers. It should be noted that initially, the FRA had anticipated to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of strategic maize stock. However, in view of the bumper harvest, the attractive price offered, which is K70 per 50 kg bag, and the initial prompt payments to the farmers that delivered their maize to the depots, there has been overwhelming response from the farmers in selling their maize to the FRA. Further, the private sector has been offering lower prices than the K70 per 50 kg bag paid by the FRA. The amount anticipated to be paid for the strategic stock is K700 million. At the start of the marketing season, K231 million was already deposited in the bank in readiness to pay farmers and was paid promptly to farmers within one to two weeks of delivery of their maize to the depots, as promised.  

Mr Speaker, from a total of 1,225 satellite depots countrywide, the FRA has received 901,818 metric tonnes of white maize as at 19th September , 2014. The total value of this amount of maize is K1,262,545,620.

Sir, consultations are going on between the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, the FRA and the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the remaining farmers are paid promptly. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock came to this House and cast aspersions on the former Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government concerning the purchase of maize by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and assured the nation that the PF Government had all the resources and that any farmer who supplied maize to the FRA would be paid within fourteen days from the date of delivery. This was the assurance and this made the farmers to choose to supply their maize to the FRA instead of the private sector. 

Sir, would the hon. Minister, this morning, be in a position to apologise to the nation and the farmers for the misinformation and inconvenience in the maize purchasing programme?

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Members on your left needs to be very sincere and factual on this issue. As a friendly warning to my colleagues on your left, Sir, they risk becoming irrelevant to the farmers whom they claim to represent.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, out there, the farmer is appreciating the performance of the Government …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Simuusa: … in the agriculture sector. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the picture that hon. Members on your left are painting that farmers are not happy and, therefore, the Government should apologise is wrong and I wish to advise my colleagues to be relevant and truthful. 

Mr Speaker, the promise of making payments within fourteen days of delivery has been fulfilled, as the hon. Deputy Minister said in the response. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Simuusa: The answer was very clear. The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) told me that for the first time, and even before we started purchasing the maize, there was K231 million in the banks awaiting payment to farmers. This money was paid out promptly, within seven to fourteen days. 

Mr Mwale: No!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, I know that this is a very emotive subject but, please, exercise self-restraint. There is an opportunity to followup with questions. You cannot sit there and say, “No.” It is not allowed. 

Hon. Minister, you may continue. 

Mr Simuusa: I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, there are farmers who received their payments within fourteen days at the start of the season, as the answer was clearly read out. Owing to the prompt payment and the good response of the Government to the farmers, the FRA was overwhelmed. 

Sir, I officially opened the marketing season in the first week of July and His Honour the Vice-President mentioned this. Let us be truthful. The actual maize purchase started after the first week, around 6th or 7th July, and yet one of the hon. Members of your left said farmers have not been paid for four months. Which four months was he referring to when we started getting the maize after the first week of July? This is the aspect of truthfulness I am talking about. 

Sir, after the first week of July, and within three weeks, we had given the FRA a target of 500,000 metric tonnes as strategic stocks and because of the good response, this target was reached and even exceeded. To top it all, we had not even gone through the first three weeks of the season which is supposed to end at the end of September/October. So far, the FRA has received 901,819 metric tonnes and this is most likely to reach a million, which is double the target we gave the FRA. 

Mr Speaker, this shows that the farmers have confidence in the Government and the FRA. Besides this, it was very clear in the response that the price that the FRA is offering to the farmers is the best on the market and the hon. Member knows this. A call for an apology is, therefore, a misrepresentation to the farmers and this is why I am saying that my colleagues on your left should be factual or they run the risk of being irrelevant to the farmers they claim to represent. 

Mr Speaker, in terms of payment, the season is not yet over. Very soon, there will be a notification in the newspapers to announce the closing of the season. I would like to ask hon. Members to tell their farmers when the notice is published. They should not be left behind because there is a concern that the depots will close because they supply their maize. Hon. Members should, therefore, look out for the notice in the papers on Monday, next week, for the closing date so that they advise their farmers to bring the maize on time.  The season is not over yet and the farmers will be paid.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I think that I should also advise …

Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: There are no points of order during this particular segment. I want to allow as many questions as possible. 

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you may continue. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I also want to advise the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock. He should not think that he can warn us. 

Ms Kalima: Who is he?


Mr Muntanga: In any case, it serves him well to listen carefully. Farmers …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, the hon. Member for Kalomo Central is addressing the House, so we should listen to him. I can hear those running commentaries from far the back. I can get your comments from here. They are very loud and not permissible. I know that this is a very emotive subject, but self-restraint and self-discipline must be exercised. 

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, you may continue. 

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I would like to urge the hon. Minister to be humble. The fact is that farmers have not been paid. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Muntanga: It is also a fact that the maize price at the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is the best on the market, but that should not be used as an excuse to not pay the farmers. 

Mr Speaker, when he promised to pay the farmers within fourteen days upon delivery, I asked the hon. Minister whether he had agreed with the Ministry of Finance on the amounts of money. I advised him to be careful because the Ministry of Finance might not give him the money. 

The allocation in the 2014 Budget is K300 million, and yet the value of the crop purchased is K1 trillion. In the Budget, there is no allowance for payment and it is better for the hon. Minister to accept this. Hon. Minister, would you explain where you are going to get the money to pay the farmers because there is only K300 million allocated in the Budget? 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I would like to correct Hon. Muntanga. He said farmers have not been paid and this is why I said we should be factual and acknowledge certain details. The fact is that farmers have been paid K231 million out of the initial budget. Let us acknowledge this.  It is incorrect to say that farmers have not been paid.  We should be talking about how we are going to pay the remaining farmers. 

Mr Speaker, as a correction, Programme 1063, Activity 003 – Purchase and Storage of National Food Reserves – K1,013,330,695, is what is in the 2014 Budget. Hon. Member, check your Budget. 

Mr Speaker, we have the Budget and are sitting down with the Ministry of Finance to see how we can pay the remaining farmers. However, that is the budget and you can check for it in your Yellow Book. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! Ema Minister.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, you have guided us very well because this is a topical issue. I think you also know that I rarely lose my temper. I am very cool, but for the hon. Minister …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I have already guided on this subject. Hon. Member for Chembe, you may continue. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I need your help. The hon. Minister promised that people would be paid within two weeks and I stand here under pressure from the people of Milenge …


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, no one has made a name for being the chief heckler in Parliament.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, please, leave this business to me. 

Mr Mbulakulima: I am facing the Chair.

Mr Speaker: Yes.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I want you to help me and the nation to prove to the hon. Minister that people in Milenge, who supplied maize in July, this year, have not been paid to date and have been sleeping in Mansa. For him to try to triviliase the issue and say that we might be rendered irrelevant makes me feel like jumping on him …


Hon. Opposition Member: Even me.

Mr Speaker: I am sure you are saying that in a jest because that is not the way we transact business even if you are infuriated.


Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I feel very bad. Anyway, when does he think the people of Milenge, who supplied maize in July, this year, will be paid?

Mr Muntanga: Jump on him!

Mr Livune: I will help you jump on him.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, there is no need for the hon. Member to jump on me as I have got the answer. 

Sir, let me take this opportunity to correct the figures. It is a billion and not a trillion, so the actual value of the crop is K1.2 billion and the budget that I read is K1.01 billion, not trillion. This is because of the rebasing. I just thought I should make that correction. 

Mr Speaker, I have all the payments that were made. He is saying that there are farmers in Milenge who have not been paid since July, but the figures that I have here show that the farmers in Milenge who supplied maize to the FRA have been paid almost K800,000. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Simuusa: The assertion is that we have not paid anything since July and that is what upsets me because …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Simuusa: … I said that we should state facts. If you come to me and ask for the balance, then, we can talk, but if you come to me and say that we have not paid anything since July, it means that we have a different case. Farmers in Milenge have been paid and what is remaining is the balance.

I thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, the last time the hon. Minister made a statement on the Floor of this House concerning maize marketing, many hon. Members were concerned that he was being too optimistic about this exercise. We warned the hon. Minister that his predecessors had also come with that optimism which was very quickly thwarted. 

Mr Speaker, the value of the maize delivered to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA), so far, amounts to K1.2 billion and the hon. Minister says that K231 million has been paid. Clearly, the balance of what has not been paid is more than two thirds of the amount. The hon. Minister is being unfair by telling us that we are going to be irrelevant because we are not telling the truth. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Ms Namugala: The bulk of the farmers have not been paid and this is the fact.

Mr Speaker, if the hon. Minister claims that K1 billion was appropriated by this House, then, he needs to refresh my memory because I only recall K300 million that was appropriated. If there is K1 billion now, can the hon. Minister tell us where it has come from and why he is not paying the farmers since he already has the resources. 

Sir, I think in fairness to the hon. Members of Parliament, the hon. Minister should give us some credit for speaking on behalf of those who elected us to come to this House. We are telling the truth by saying that the bulk of the farmers have not been paid.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, hon. Members are free to check the figure I quoted in the Yellow Book. I said Programme 1063, Activity 003 – Purchase and Storage of National Food Reserves −  K1,013,330,695. They can check for the details there. Secondly, when the hon. Member for Mafinga talks about the optimism I have shown, I refer her to the fact that we, as the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, have prioritised agriculture and it is the sector that is going to drive this nation forward. 

Mr Speaker, as we speak, the excess and − okay, I do not want to be too hard on the hon. Member for Mafinga. We need to be creative if we are going to turn this nation around. Half of the maize that we are talking about, which is close to 1 million tonnes, is our strategic stock. I have requests on my table because of the grain deficit around us. Countries around us need grain that amounts to more than the 500,000 metric tonnes. 


Mr Speaker: Order! I am listening. 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I am answering the question and this is the creativity I was talking about. Maybe, this is why my colleagues in the previous Government failed to push the agriculture sector forward.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Sir, there is a deficit of grain in the region and the Government’s vision is for Zambia to be the grain basket of the Southern African Region and beyond.

Mr Speaker, the Government has begun an open border policy where grain is free to go out of the country …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Maybe, you were absent, Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. I mentioned that I am not allowing points of order in this segment. That was my ruling. 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the Government made it clear that there are markets for this extra grain outside of Zambia and we want it to be exported. I am calling for hon. Members of Parliament, the farmer unions and grain traders to realise that the Government has made the opportunity to take the grain outside. Some of the extra 500,000 tonnes will be offloaded locally, but most of it will go outside the country and we are going to earn the much-needed foreign exchange that we need in our country. That way, we will be able to balance.

However, having said that, the marketing season is not over. I call on all the farmers out there not to panic. The issue is in competent hands. The farmers will be paid their money. We are a responsible Government, a responsible ministry and also, we have a responsible hon. Minister …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Simuusa: … who will ensure that …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: … farmers are not abandoned. We are going to find a market for them and they will be paid a better price than what is being offered by the private sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, clearly, this is a question of great importance to the nation and the farmers and the hon. Minister made commitments and promises regarding payment. There is approximately K700 million outstanding to the farmers. Can the hon. Minister simplify it for the sake of the farmers instead of elaborating on initiatives of exports and open borders which will not be understood by the farmers in Lunte. When is the balance of K700 million that remains unpaid going to be paid? We need a simple response. We do not want to be rendered to consultation with the Ministry of Finance because this was anticipated. 

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the question was “(a) When the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) would complete paying farmers who supplied maize to it?” The answer that was supplied stated that the FRA would finalise paying farmers who supplied maize to it as soon as funds were secured.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, currently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is liaising with the Ministry of Finance on the matter. That is simple and straightforward. The farmers will be paid their money. The hon. Members of Parliament both on your right and left should just inform the farmers in their constituencies about this.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, a lot has actually been done on the maize purchasing …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: … and maize payments. I know within the crop purchasing, there are other crops that were put like rice which is very instrumental in Kaputa. What is happening on the payments or on the purchasing of rice in these other areas where people grow rice?


Mr Speaker: Order! The question which is on the Floor is with regards to maize and let us confine ourselves to that. 

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, may I know the extent to which the private sector participates in crop purchasing for purposes of reducing pressure on the Treasury?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I will still give a bonus answer on rice because I think that is important. As a Government, we operate a policy of crop diversification. 

Mr Speaker: Order! In light of what I said, it would be procedurally improper.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I thank you for that guidance.

Sir, the private sector is very free to purchase maize. In fact, the FRA is one of the smaller players in the grain purchasing or maize purchasing. The private sector, as a partner of the Government, should be involved in purchasing maize. Last year, the FRA failed to even meet the target of 500,000 metric tonnes that we gave it. It only managed 426,000 metric tonnes because the private sector mopped up all the maize. That is the liberty that the private sector has. We, as a Government, encourage the private sector to actually come on board and buy this maize. Like I said earlier, the borders are open and the private sector has an opportunity to actually get involved in the maize purchasing. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister insists that farmers are happy because they have been paid on time and that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has fulfilled its promise of paying the farmers within fourteen days after sale. The hon. Members here insist that our farmers are not happy because most of them have not been paid. Would the hon. Minister consider bringing a ministerial statement to show which districts have received this money and also show how much was paid to farmers in those districts? I think this will help us know which districts are happy and which ones are not.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, yes, I can promise that I will come with a ministerial statement to actually give details on maize marketing and all the numbers so that the hon. Members can appreciate where we are. Even as I say that farmers are happy, the maize marketing is not the only aspect. There are also other aspects. When I announced on behalf of the Government that we had a bumper harvest, there was a lot of controversy. Now, the hon. Members both on your right and left are admitting that there is a bumper harvest.


Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, when I announced on behalf of the nation that the maize price was K70, there was another controversy but, now, it is the best price on the market. 

Sir, fertiliser has already been delivered as I am talking. It is actually ready for collection. The seed is also being delivered. By this weekend, every district will have the seed and already the farmers are getting their seed. Some farmers were paid within fourteen days. When I say that the farmers out there appreciate the performance of the agriculture sector, I mean it. That is what I meant when I said that the hon. Members on your left will risk being irrelevant if they do not speak about what is happening on the ground and our performance which is being appreciated by the farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, it is saddening that the hon. Minister can be allowed by the Chair to continuously say that we, on your left side, risk becoming irrelevant.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, sit down. It is my discretion to decide what to allow or what not to allow. This is a form of debate. It is a discourse. Somebody earlier on, during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time, said that these people (right side) were barbaric. There was no problem about it. That is his assessment that you risk making yourself irrelevant. That is his opinion. Should I be censuring opinions that are expressed in a very robust manner? That is part of freedom of expression. The suggestion that the Chair is abrogating responsibility does not sit with the discipline of the House. You want freedom of expression and when it is expressed against you, you say there is a problem with the Chair. It is an opinion. You should respect opinions. I cannot censure that opinion because it may be correct or wrong. 

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister was responding to the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga’s question, he indicated that there was money for the farmers to be paid. When the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte asked a follow-up question, the hon. Minister stated that farmers shall be paid as and when money shall be sourced. I feel the hon. Minister is contradicting himself by saying one thing in one breath and saying the opposite thing in another breath.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, there is a difference between a budget and the actual funds available. I said that at the opening of the marketing season, we had actual funds in the bank, which is K231 million, available to pay the farmers before we collected one grain of maize. As the farmers brought the maize, they were paid promptly. The figure that I gave the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga is the budget which is in the Yellow Book and that is the budget which needs to be funded by the Ministry of Finance. That is the money that I am saying will be paid to the farmers when it is available.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, the people of the Eastern Province are absolutely worried about the current situation of non-payments. It is a fact that the majority of farmers have not been paid and the hon. Minister has agreed thereto. It is also a fact that the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) packs have been delivered and for people to collect these packs they need to pay for them. Meanwhile, the Government has not paid them. How do you expect them to get these packs? It is also a fact that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock changed the quantity to be purchased from 500,000 metric tonnes to unlimited stock for reasons which only the ministry knows best because, now, farmers have been left out of the planning.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, it is also a fact that in as much as the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mtolo: … can talk, he is not in control of funds. A lot of people here know that and we have been at that ministry. The person who should be giving us a statement is the hon. Minister of Finance. Why are we bothering the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock when the hon. Minister of Finance is seated here? Why should he give us a statement which will not be based on anything? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Sir, we need guidance here.

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, when is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, together with the hon. Minister of Finance, going to give us a statement so that we can educate our farmers on the content that will be contained therein?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, first of all, let me start by commending the hon. Member for acknowledging certain facts. I think that is the way we should move. He has acknowledged that the packs are in place and that is very good. However, the second fact about the quantity is questionable because the quantities are the same. In fact, another fact he did not acknowledge is that, compared to last year, we have reduced the amount the farmer will be paying for a pack. We managed to secure some savings and the farmer will pay even less for his/her pack ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: … and we should acknowledge this. We have also increased the number of beneficiaries. These are the facts which we should be acknowledging so that we can balance the equation. Farmers will pay for the packs which have been reduced in cost between the farming planting season which officially starts on 15th November, 2014 and runs up to 15th December, 2014 officially. At the moment, we are in September and that is why I called for the hon. Members and farmers to be patient. I indicated that last year, the FRA failed to meet its target of 500,000 metric tonnes and it only managed to get 426,000 metric tonnes. This year, we did not want to abandon our farmers because if we stopped at 500,000 metric tonnes, the so-called brief case businessmen would have offered K30 or K40 per 50kg bag of maize. As a responsible Government, we have gone beyond and collected close to a million tonnes from our farmers. I think that fact should also be acknowledged. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, this is September and we still have the whole of October and part of November. So, as a responsible Government, we will ensure that the farmers are paid and are able to collect the packs which were already delivered to all the districts.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister does not seem to have a heart of oneness and he does not seem to care for other farmers. He seems very happy that some farmers have been paid, while others have not been paid. I do not know if he does not understand that the unpaid farmers have different issues to sort out. At the moment, there are a number of children that have not gone back to school because their parents have not yet been paid. Before the hon. Minister is rendered irrelevant by the people and his Government, could he care to tell the farmers when exactly they will be paid rather than just say that they will be paid as soon as funds are available because these farmers are waiting to send their children to school.

Hon. Opposition Members: Irrelevant Minister.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, let me assure the hon. Member for Kasenengwa that we are a very caring Government. We feel the farmer’s plight and listen when the farmer speaks. That is why, as a Government, we increased the price of a bag of maize so that there could be more money in the pockets of the farmers.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, when the farmers are paid shortly, we will have the happiest farmers in the region because, as a Government, we will have paid them even more than what is being offered to them by the private sector. I will not even beat about the bush because the private sector has offered to buy a bag of maize from them at K40 or K50, but they will be getting good money from the FRA. So, we care for our farmers and let me assure the hon. Member that I know the farmers will be very appreciative of what the Government is doing and will be paid promptly.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members indicated.

Mr Speaker: We will begin winding down.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, a reasonable hon. Minister would apologise for any discomfort caused to the people, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: … in this case, the farmers. It is a fact that many farmers have not been paid in the fourteen days yardstick mentioned. I want the hon. Minister to be categorical and state whether fourteen days is still a yardstick between supply and the time to receive the payment by the farmers.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I think I have already answered that question and I said that those farmers who supplied their maize early were paid promptly, within fourteen days. However, we have been overwhelmed by the good response from the farmers because of the confidence they have in this Government. So, this Government now needs to adjust to now address this situation that has arisen from the good and overwhelming response.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: I thank you, Mr Speaker.


67. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development:

(a)    what gender-related programmes aimed at empowering Zambian people were being implemented by the Government;

(b)    why women were mainly targeted in the gender empowerment programmes;

(c)    whether there were any programmes being implemented which targeted aged men; and

(d)    if none, when the Government planned to introduce specific empowerment programmes for aged men.

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, the Government, through various ministries and other spending agencies, is implementing a number of gender-related programmes and activities aimed at empowering the Zambian people. Some of these fall under different ministries and they include programmes I will now outline.

Sir, there is the implementation of the Public Welfare Assistance Scheme (PWAS) programmes in all the districts and the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCT). In 2012, the PWAS Programme assisted 86,114 incapacitated households to meet their basic needs. Of this total, 46 per cent were male while 54 per cent were female. This was in recognition of the fact that women-headed households are more prone to extreme poverty. Similarly, the Social Cash Transfer Scheme covered more female beneficiaries at 82 per cent of the total compared to 18 per cent males in the same period.

Sir, in order to promote inclusive growth and social justice, the Government has been promoting rural financing mechanisms through the opening up of banking facilities in rural areas and the provision of loans to public officials in far-flung areas. This, coupled with security of tenure of land for people in rural areas, aims to stimulate the rural economy, and subsequently leads to poverty reduction. It is hoped that security of tenure for rural areas coupled with access to affordable financial services will help them stimulate the rural economy which is critical in promoting our inclusive and participatory national development agenda.

Mr Speaker, the Economic Empowerment Funds for women have been established under the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. The empowerment funds aim to facilitate the provision of energy saving technology, training for women entrepreneurs and start-up capital. The Government has, so far, provided food processing equipment, treadle pumps and irrigation systems and solar dryers and trained women entrepreneurs countrywide as part of the empowerment programme for women.

Sir, under the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC), established through the enactment of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Act No. 9 of 2006, the Commission, in its 2013 fund, endeavoured to allocate, at least, 30 per cent of the fund to women and 40 per cent of the total fund to the youth. In 2013, more women applied for micro finance projects compared to other categories with 499 (39 per cent) of micro finance applicants being women. Out of a total of 1,420 approved projects for financing, 388 projects were for the youths, 528 for women and 505 for other categories, that is, men and the disabled.

Mr Speaker, the Government commenced the implementation of a Pilot Programme for Climate Resilience (PPCR) meant to strengthen climate resilience in the Kafue and Barotse basins. The programme is centered on three core components, namely:

(a)    participatory adaptation;

(b)    climate resilience infrastructure; and

(c)    strategic programme support.

One of the core objectives of this programme is to assist communities in highly vulnerable areas, targeting groups such as women, youths and the aged to identify their own climate change adaptation options.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the reviewed National Forestry Policy, is promoting the participatory forest management of men and women in which local communities and various stakeholders and the private sector are considered active participants in the change process.

Sir, the Government realises that women’s representation in decision-making is cardinal for socio-economic development. In this regard, the Government is implementing measures to ensure increased female representation. These include:

(a)    ratification of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on gender and development in September, 2012;

(b)    facilitation of training of local government, Parliamentary and presidential female candidates through civil society organisations like the Women’s Lobby;

(c)    development of a Public Service Training Policy which addresses gender imbalances in terms of career progression;

(d)    provision of training to women; and

(e)    conducting advocacy campaigns on the importance of increasing the number of women in decision-making positions in the public and private institutions.

Mr Speaker, the Government introduced a bursary scheme to support Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVET) learners from low income families and other marginalised groups. The scheme has the incentive of 30 per cent quota reserved for female admission. It has accorded students from low income families and other marginalised groups an opportunity to acquire TEVET skills. A total of 1,712 female students have benefitted from the scheme from 2007. 

Sir, under the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, the Government introduced student loans for all students in public tertiary institutions. This has changed the course of the education system in Zambia. This was introduced with the aim of reducing vulnerability. A total of 1,352 females and 1,971 males benefitted from the student loan facility in 2012. In 2013, 1,658 females and 2,352 males benefitted from the student loan facility. All the students who have, so far, benefitted were admitted to the country’s highest public institutions of learning.

Mr Speaker, the Government has introduced fee quotas where the female students are enrolled at a reduced fee structure. This has contributed to the increased female student enrolment in TEVET. Further, the Government has re-introduced skills training in formal education from Grade 8 with two equally weighted streams of skills and academic to form a two-tier education system. This policy shift will not only focus on the impartation of academic qualifications, but also on TEVET qualifications, starting from Grade 8. This initiative is aimed at equipping marginalised groups with skills to enable them to access either formal or informal productive employment upon completion of secondary school in the event that they are not absorbed into higher education. This is also aimed at empowering the youth and other marginalised groups …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mrs Banda: … to enable them to contribute to national development through increased productivity and economic participation.

Sir, in order to make quality reproductive and other health services more accessible to women and men, the Government, in collaboration with development partners and non-governmental organsiations (NGO), has been implementing the following measures:

(a)    training and recruiting more qualified health personnel and increased supervised deliveries which will, in turn, ensure effective management of complications related to child birth;

(b)    continued provision of mobile health services, which has made it possible to reach communities in out laying areas where health infrastructure is absent or is insufficient. These services have made it possible to reach the rural women who are the most vulnerable group living in extreme poverty;

(c)    approval of reproductive health policy, which also encourages male participation in reproductive health;

(d)    implementation of the human resource strategic plan which aims at retaining personnel in the health sector;

(e)    awareness campaigns on violence against women;

(f)    removal of user fees in rural areas in order to increase access to health services, particularly for women and children;

(g)    introduction of midwives training in general nursing schools to increase the number of health care providers in maternal health care;

(h)    combating malaria through the Roll Back malaria Campaign which is aimed at ensuring that, at least, 60 per cent of all pregnant women, especially those carrying the first pregnancy, have access to chemoprophylaxis;

(i)    establishment of family planning, safe motherhood and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of the human immuno-deficiency virus (HIV) programmes and expansion of maternity wards within health centres and hospitals;

(j)    capacity building for Traditional Birth Attendants and community health workers to reduce the high maternal mortality rates;

(k)    expansion of youth-friendly corners that encourage girls to seek health care;

(l)    empowerment of adolescents with adequate information and education regarding reproductive health as a way of developing their capacity to make informed decisions; and

(m)    constituting a gender management team of the Ministry of Health to provide leadership and guidance for gender mainstreaming countrywide in the health sector.

Mr Speaker, the Government has continued to use the gender focal point system in line ministries, spending agencies, provinces and districts in order to build the capacity of the focal point persons and make them more effective. Training in gender analysis and mainstreaming, including gender responsive budgeting, is being undertaken to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of programmes. A sector wide monitoring and evaluation plan has been developed with clear indicators set across all critical sectors. This plan provides a framework for preparing an annual gender status report.

The Government has maintained and enhanced a good relationship with the civil society organisations through regular joint meetings and field visits to monitor programmes. In particular, collaborative efforts have increased with the women’s Non-Governmental Organisations Co-ordinating Council (NGOCC). For instance, multi-sector committees are in place across sectors whose main function is to oversee the implementation of the national development plans. 

Further, another specialised committee is in place to support the Government in implementing the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act 1 of 2011. Parliament, through its Select Committees, supports programme implementation by invoking its oversight role to ensure that the Executive wing of Government and other stakeholders implement commitments on gender and child development. This is to ensure increased coverage of stakeholders, accountability for gender equity, child development and empowerment of women.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Banda: In line with the National Gender Policy, which defines the aspirations of the Government as regards the gender equality status in the country, the Government is promoting gender mainstreaming as a means to equitable and sustainable social, economic, political and cultural development. Gender equality denotes that women should have the same opportunities in life as men, including the ability to participate in the public sphere. It, therefore, goes without doubt that women are mostly targeted in the gender empowerment programmes as they have lagged behind in the development agenda of the country for some time now.

Mr Speaker, there are no programmes being implemented, specifically, targeting aged men. However, the women economic empowerment programme target both men and women of all ages. In most of the women clubs, there are also men although they are not supposed to take a lead in the running of the clubs.

Sir, there is no urgent need to introduce specific Government programmes for the aged men in the Ministry of Gender and Child Development as the Government is already doing this through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health under the Social Cash Transfer Programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, when is the Ministry of Gender and Child Development going to decentralise the empowerment programmes to districts as has been done by its counterpart ministry, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health?

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, it has also been our wish to decentralise the programmes, but we are still working on the structures. I think after everything has been done, we will decentralise. The only problem which we have at the moment is that we only have provincial officials who are operating in different provinces. We do not have people at the districts. That is why it has become very difficult for us to decentralise. We, however, are using District Commissioners (DCs) to carry out what we need to do in the districts. The forms from the Ministry of Gender and Child Development can be obtained from the DCs’ offices or district administrative officers.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, when aid is given to Africa, it is in the form of equipment because most of the time, funds are misappropriated. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister why her ministry has changed from giving equipment to these women groupings to giving funds.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we are still giving equipment and not funds.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, in the hon. Minister’s long answer, I heard something like the mobile hospitals are doing very well in assisting women. At the time of purchasing those mobile hospitals, there was heavy condemnation from our colleagues on the other side when they were here. I want her to confirm that the idea of purchasing the mobile hospitals was very brilliant.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I think on the issue of mobile hospitals, that can be a question directed at the Ministry of Health. It would be in a better position to answer that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimba H. Malama interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you are an hon. Minister and it is a special position.

Continue, hon. Member for Ikeleng’i.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, before the Gender Department became a ministry, it was under the Vice-President’s Office for a long time. I wonder why its presence is more pronounced in urban areas and during elections, especially by-elections. When is this ministry going to be present in places in which it is needed most, where there are old people and women who are suffering like in Ikeleng’i? It needs to come to such places and flash out those cheques and equipment which it distributes during by-elections.

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, looking at the way we have been giving out the empowerment equipment, we have not concentrated only in urban areas. We have also been going out into the rural areas. If I may just mention, we are trying to look at various provinces. At the moment, we are concentrating on the North-Western, Western, Southern and Eastern provinces. So, immediately we are through with these provinces, we will go to other provinces. 

We have picked on these four provinces because they submitted their applications late but, at the moment, we have applications from there. Therefore, that is why we are also looking at them. However, we were in certain provinces before them, but we still go back because this has been an ongoing programme.

I thank you, Sir.


68. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Government would facilitate the construction of communication towers in the following areas in Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency:

(a)    Munyukwa;

(b)    Mtwalo;

(c)    Khulikuli; and

(d)    Elijah.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the areas under Chasefu Parliamentary Constituency, which include Munyukwa, Mtwalo, Khulikuli and Elijah, will be considered during the surveys for construction of communication towers in Phase II which is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2015.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}


69. Mr Mushanga (Bwacha) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    how much money was allocated to Kabwe District for street lighting from 2011 to 2013, year by year; and

(b)    of the allocated funds, how much was spent in Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform this august House that a total of K500,000.00 for street lighting was allocated to Kabwe Municipal Council as follows:

Year Amuont     Allocated

2011    Nil
2012    500,000.00 
2013    Nil

Mr Speaker, of the allocated funds, K67,000 was spent on Bwacha Parliamentary Constituency on Ngungu/Chimanimani Road.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, I want to find out when the ministry will allocate more funds for street lighting in Kabwe District, especially Bwacha Constituency.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, when we disbursed money in 2012 to councils for street lighting, there are some district councils which were left out and did not receive these funds. It was our wish to have given funds to all councils at that time, but they were not available. Therefore, this time around, when funds will be available, we would like to give those district councils that did not receive funds for equity’s sake.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, street lighting is a good thing because it not only helps in ensuring security, but also beautifies an area. My concern is the quality of this street lighting at the time of installation. Some of these lights only work for a month and, thereafter, they no longer work. May I find out from the hon. Minister what monitoring mechanisms are in place to ensure that these monies are used and that the quality of installation is good.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure that the monies are put to good use and that the implementation of these projects is done properly.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you for this chance to raise this point of order. In today’s The Post Newspaper, the headline reads, “Scott lays bare plot to ‘host’ him.”

Mr Mwila: To host?

Mr Speaker: Did you say to host him?


Mr Mbewe: To oust. My pronunciation is dependent on where I come from.


Mr Mpundu: Do not insult the Easterners.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, page two of The Post Newspaper for today reads, “Dr Guy Scott says there is a plot to oust him …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.


[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, an article on page two of The Post Newspaper for today reads, “Dr Guy Scott says there is a plot to oust him from Vice-Presidency of the Republic of Zambia and from the Vice-Presidency of the ruling Patriotic Front. Speaking to journalists at his Parliament office yesterday, Vice-President Scott said some cadres had been mobilised to demonstrate against him in the way they used to be set on Wynter Kabimba, but they changed their minds at the last minute after the police got wind of it.”

Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President is the Vice-President of the whole Zambia and he is my friend …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Mwila: Tom and Jerry.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order, are you in order (pointing at the Front Bench) to remain silent when a dear and close friend is being haunted at the back? Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order …

Mr Mwaliteta: How many orders do you have?

Mr Mbewe: … to not indicate to this House how safe His Honour the Vice-President is in the midst of the PF cadres?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Bafuna kumupaya muzungu.

Mr Deputy Speaker: The serious ruling is that we will leave that to the internal politics of the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, I just learnt that some districts were given K500 so I am requesting a bonus answer. When are the other districts that did not receive this amount going to receive it as Kaoma only received K200?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, this is an on-going programme. The districts that did not receive it will receive it and a top up will be made for those that received less.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, on 13th December, 2012, K250,000 was approved for street lighting in Nchelenge but, to date, such an amount has not been disbursed. May I know why this has been so.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the question that we are answering is on Kabwe. If the hon. Member wants to know about his constituency, he can file a question.

I thank you, Sir.


70. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education what measures the Government was taking to improve the supply and distribution of teaching materials to schools in Kalabo District in order to make teaching more effective.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, the district always delivers teaching and learning materials to schools when they are available. For terms one and two of 2014, the district delivered Grade 1 pupils’ books and teachers’ handbooks to all schools in the district. All registered community schools have also received two trunks each of teaching aids and learning materials. The process will be undertaken on a continuous basis when teaching and learning materials are available to ensure teaching and learning is effective.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, unless I did not hear the hon. Minister correctly, in his response, he said that two trucks of learning materials have been delivered to schools. Let us assume they are trucks and each school received those two trucks of teaching materials, including Kalabo Central where I am the Member of Parliament, I want to find out where the schools could have hidden those materials such that they are not availed to the schools’ management and the pupils do not access them. I need that clarification.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, it is trunks and not trucks. To answer his question, these trunks, according to the information that we have, have been distributed to schools. 

Mr Speaker, in the past, community schools were run by particular communities. However, since the Patriotic Front (PF) Government took over, community schools are run by the Government. This means that the number of schools that are run by the Government has grown. So far, as a ministry, we have tried by all means to ensure that all schools, including community schools, are given the necessary materials for pupils and teachers to use.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s response that Kalabo Central schools and many others have received two trunks each of learning materials, I would like him to state whether they are intending to do this or these school materials have already been delivered. If they have been delivered, when did this happen because they are not yet in most schools? I need a clarification.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, these books have already been distributed. They have already been taken to all primary schools and this includes community schools, as they are now called primary schools.

Hon. Government Member: Under the PF.

Mr P. Ngoma: Yes. This is a continuous exercise. It means that those schools which have not received the materials will still receive them in future.

I thank you, Sir.


72. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when the construction of two health posts in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency would commence; and 

(b)    what the estimated cost of the project was.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, the construction of two health posts, Luampungu and Mazaba in Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency, is being worked on as part of the national programme to establish 650 health posts in the country. The construction is currently being undertaken by Mega Engineering.

Mr Speaker, the establishment cost per health centre is different per site and, therefore, it is not possible to give an exact cost of constructing the health post in each constituency. However, the country may wish to note that the composite cost is estimated to be US$18,387,160 for 195 health posts in the Western, Southern and Lusaka provinces. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, whilst I appreciate the hon. Minister’s response, I think that he has not answered the question. The question is: When will these projects commence? He has only said that they are being undertaken by Mega Engineering. However, when will the construction of these health posts start?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the contractor has mobilised in the Western Province. The exact schedule is available. He has 195 health posts for the three provinces. However, as regards when he will be in a specific constituency, I do not have that information.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


73. Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a)    what the physical condition of Kariba Dam was as of July, 2014;

(b)    whether there was a need for any rehabilitation; and

(c)    if so, what the estimated cost of rehabilitation was.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, the physical condition of the dam as at July, 2014, was sound. That is to say, the dam body and foundation were and are in good condition except for the secondary concrete of the upstream spillway facility. However, the safety of the dam is at risk as indicated by the monitored performance parameters as follows:

(a)    Stability of the Plunge Pool

The passage of floods, which is the spilling, has scoured the immediate area downstream of the gate, creating a pool that is 80 m deep. The shape of the pool  causes turbulence which causes erosion along zones of weak rock towards the foundation of the dam; and

(b)    Passage of the Floods 

The operation of the flood gates is inhibited by deterioration of the secondary concrete and the steel built in parts of the upstream sluice opening. Mr Speaker, Kariba Dam suffers from alkali aggregate reaction which is concrete swelling. This is a reaction between the alkali in the cement and silica in the aggregates. 

Mr Speaker, yes, there is a need for rehabilitation which is, firstly, to prevent erosion towards the dam foundations. The profile of the plunge pool has to be changed through excavations on the sides and downstream slope. Secondly, the upstream slope cannot be excavated, but protected by a concrete mattress anchored to bedrock to protect the weak zones against erosion. The excavation will increase the volume of the plunge pool which will increase its ability to dissipate the energy of the spilling water jets which currently cause the erosion. In simple terms, the larger volume will cushion the pool against erosion. To this end, designs for the required remedial measures for the passage of floods have been completed. The remedial measures will comprise replacement and enforcement of secondary concrete and replacement of the steel built in parts and fabrication and installation of emergency gates that can be used to stop water loss in the event of a gate jamming in the open position.

Mr Speaker, the total cost of rehabilitation works is estimated at about US$294 million and this will cover for the reshaping or excavation of the plunge pool which will cost about US$100 million. Secondly, the rehabilitation works on the passage of floods are expected to cost about US$194 million.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, this facility …

Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this time to raise this point of order.

Mr Speaker, I am raising this point of order in reference to the question I posed to the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. The question was:

“ … to ask the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education what measures the Government was taking to improve the supply and distribution of teaching materials to schools in Kalabo District in order to make teaching more effective.”

Mr Speaker, to this question, the hon. Minister responded that the Government had supplied teaching materials contained in two trunks to each of the schools in the district.

Mr Speaker, after inquiry, it has been found out that these two trunks were not taken to each of the schools in the district. The hon. Minister stated that the two trunks were given to each school in the district, but they were only given to community schools. 

Mr Speaker, therefore, is the hon. Minister in order not to answer this question as it stands? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I think that it is high time we begun getting used to our own rules. You see, once we begin to bend the rules, then, we will not proceed. The rules are very clear. Points of order must be made, to use other people’s word, contemporaneously. That point of order has come after two more questions have been asked. I think that valid as the question may be, we cannot sustain it. I think that it is high time we practised abiding by our rules.

The hon. Member may continue.

Mr Matafwali: Mr Speaker, this facility forms the backbone of the economic and industrial base for not only our nation, but our neighbour, Zimbabwe. Why do we not put a routine maintenance programme for the facility?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, there are two things when we do maintenance. There is condition maintenance and preventive maintenance. Condition maintenance is done when you see something deteriorating or some fault has occurred such as a crack. Preventive maintenance is planned. At a certain period, you have to do some maintenance. Here, preventive maintenance has been done always as scheduled. This problem is arising from a fault in the concrete and, to allay your fears, let me say that Kariba Dam is not collapsing tomorrow. Kariba Dam will be there tomorrow, performing the way it is designed to perform. It will go on for even eight years. However, we are saying that this fault will cause a lot of problems in the future because it will be deteriorating as we go on. Therefore, we need to arrest the situation. That is why we are going to rectify the problem. The problem has not arisen from A lack of maintenance at all.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, beyond the rehabilitation that the hon. Minister has elaborated on and also given the energy deficiency in Zambia and in the region, are there any plans to increase the storage capacity of Kariba Dam in order to address the energy deficiency?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, at the moment, the generation capacity for both the north and the south banks can still be expanded with the available water as it is. Currently, the south bank is already increasing the generation capacity. An additional generation of 360 MW was just done without an increase of the water available. Therefore, there is sufficient water even for the future to grow our capacity at Kariba North Bank and South Bank.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, arising from the response that the hon. Minister has given on the north and south bank, am I given to understand, hon. Minister, that we still have shares in the south bank? That was the first power generation station that was put up at the time when the Kariba Dam was constructed. Do we still have our share of electricity and what is the status of our share of electricity produced in the south bank? Is it for export?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I do not think that we have any shares in the south bank. Remember that we have been asking Zimbabwe to pay us what it owed us as regards the Central African Power Corporation (CAPCO). When we split, all the assets were sold and what we got was what was due to us from the previous setup. Therefore, the monies we are pulling from CAPCO were what was owed to Zambia. They have now paid the entire principal debt owed to Zambia, which is about US$70 million with regard to the joint ownership of the asset. Currently, we do not have anything in that. 

Mr Speaker, what resulted from this is the Zambezi Water Authority, which is jointly owned by Zambia and Zimbabwe. This re-born entity is looking at new power stations like Batoka. We are jointly trying to put up two power stations, one on the Zimbabwean side and the other on the Zambian side with a capacity of 800 MW for each country.

I thank you, Sir. 


74. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing: 

(a)    whether the Government had any plans of developing a consolidated sector development plan;

(b)    whether the Government had a time frame for the devolution of sector functions to local authorities; and

(c)    if so, what the timeframe was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the Government has presently developed a Decentralisation Implementation Plan (DIP) in order to provide an overall roadmap for the decentralisation process. The DIP includes a consolidated outline of the planned devolution process for all earmarked functions and provides details such as intended time frames (phases) and performance indicators. As the devolution proceeds, the Government will update the relevant sections of the DIP into a Consolidated Sector Devolution Plan based on the performance data from actual implementation. 

Mr Speaker, the Government has planned that sector devolution commences in 2015. The devolution of functions to councils will proceed in a phased approach with the first phase scheduled to include agriculture extension, primary health care, primary education, community development, physical planning, disaster management and mitigation and the human immuno-deficiency virus/ acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). The second phase is anticipated to commence in 2016 and will include functions whose sector devolution plans will be finalised in 2015. 

Sir, the devolution process is scheduled to commence in June, 2015, and reach conclusion in 2019. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, our local authorities are in dire straits. As a result, there are high levels of poverty on the basis that most of the local authorities are non-functional. What I would like to find out from the hon. Minister is something that His Excellency the President mentioned in his speech when he opened Parliament. When will the Local Government Equalisation Fund take effect so that the local authorities, to some extent, improve service delivery in the various districts, particularly, in rural areas like Luwingu District Council, where some of us come from? 

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, the Equalisation Fund is expected to come into effect as soon as the 2015 Budget is approved. Without pre-empting what will be contained in the hon. Minister of Finance’s Budget Speech, it will be one of the major items. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, I would like to know whether the Decentralisation Secretariat has moved to Cabinet Office.

Mr Chenda: Mr Speaker, it is still at the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, but will be moved to Cabinet Office with effect from 1st October, 2014. 

I thank you, Sir.


76. Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when Chilimba and Kanyongoloka Clinics in Rufunsa District would be officially opened; and

(b)    what had caused the delay in opening the clinics to the public.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, Kanyongoloka and Chilimba Health Posts in Rufunsa District will be officially opened by November, 2014, and March, 2015 respectively, upon the completion of the construction of the two health posts. 

Mr Speaker, construction of Chilimba Health Post commenced in 2010 under the programme to construct 125 health posts through community contribution. The Government procured all the materials for these works as well as provided funds to pay for labour based on a contract understanding that the community would contribute sand, stones, and blocks. However, the challenge was that the community did not make this contribution of the required material. In 2014, the Government has provided funds for the completion of the health post. 

Mr Speaker, Kanyongoloka Health Post, also known as Mukonka Health Post, was started under community initiative by a white farmer who later passed on in a road traffic accident. However, the Government has engaged the community in order to complete the construction of the clinic.  

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister in what way the community has been engaged.

Dr Chilufya: Through our district health management team, other stakeholders of the community have been engaged in order to find a way of completing the construction of this health post.

I thank you, Sir.




The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the following hon. Members of Parliament do constitute the Public Accounts Committee for the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly:

Mr V. Mwale, MP
Mr M. Mbulakulima, MP
Mr J. Zimba, MP
Ms M. G. Imenda, MP
Mr P. M. Mucheleka, MP
Mr C. Matafwali, MP
Mr C. Mweetwa, MP
Mr A. C. Milambo, MP
Ms C. Namugala, MP

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, let me begin by commending the previous Public Accounts Committee under the leadership of the Member for Chipangali Constituency, Hon. Vincent Mwale, MP. I know that the Committee worked tirelessly to complete all the business that came before it and I wish to commend the hon. Members of the Committee for the hard work and for having performed with distinction and commitment.

Sir, in this vein, I have no doubt that the Members that I am proposing today to constitute the Public Accounts Committee will not disappoint the nation and this House, but they will carry on with the good work of the previous Committee and, perhaps, even do better.

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, the work of the Public Accounts Committee has not only generated a lot of interest in the nation, but has also been seen to be the main tool for ensuring that public resources are prudently utilised and in strictest conformity with the provision of the Public Finance Act. It is, therefore, important that the House supports this Motion to entrench and consolidate the culture of accountability of public resources. 

Mr Speaker, when I last moved a similar Motion, I mentioned that out Government remained committed to serving its people and ensuring that the quality of their lives improved by ensuring corrupt-free local and Central Government establishments. This remains our main focus and I hope that the House will remain supportive of this important issue and cause.

Sir, to demonstrate our commitment to good governance, the Government has embarked on the implementation of the Public Financial Management Reform Programme in order to promote a sound public financial management system as a means to provide the core areas of good governance in a democratic and modern State. 

Mr Speaker, the reform programme is intended to ensure that resources are allocated to sectors in line with the Government’s social and economic policy intentions to focus on a rapid and sustainable economic growth that would result in significant reduction in poverty levels. The Public Financial Management Reform Programme will provide the framework for the efficient and effective use of public resources for the delivery of public services to the citizens and ensure that the resources provided are accounted for in a transparent manner. 

Sir, the Government has been implementing Public Financial Management Reforms since 2000 and these include:

(a)    the introduction of medium to long-term national planning and formulation of the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework to provide medium-term perspective to planning and budgeting; 

(b)    change in the Budget presentation, in 2009, to bring forward the timing of the Budget Cycle;

(c)    the introduction of the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS);

(d)    the enactment of the Public Procurement Act of 2008, which replaced the Zambia National Tender Board Act, has created the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) which has decentralised its functions to procurement entities in ministries, provinces and spending agencies while retaining an oversight role;

(e)    decentralisation of the Office of the Auditor-General to all provinces leading to an increase in audit coverage; and 

(f)    increased public participation in parliamentary business through construction of larger committee rooms equipped with modern public address systems to accommodate a large number of members of the public. 

Mr Speaker, despite these achievements, much more still needs to be done in the area of public financial management and, therefore, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government attaches great importance to public financial management and has embarked on a number of reforms that will focus on the following areas:

(a)    continuing to strengthen cash management and implementation of IFMIS; 

(b)    formulating planning and budget legislation to ensure an all-inclusive, transparent and participative budget process that addresses the development needs of the country;

(c)    ensuring that internal controls are strengthened to reduce wastage, pilferage and misappropriation;

(d)    restructuring and building the capacity of the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to effectively and efficiently play its oversight role; and 

(e)    building the capacity of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) to efficiently and effectively collect tax revenue from all the sectors of the economy.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, last year, I announced before this august House that the Government would review the Public Finance Act and the financial regulations in order to address the weaknesses that have been identified by stakeholders. I wish to inform this House that a consultant has been engaged, with the assistance of the World Bank, to review all the statutes that govern public finance. 

Sir, in short, we have resolved, as a Government, to focus on improving efficiency in order to reduce wastage of public resources so that the existing resources are used in a more transparent and accountable manner. We shall ensure that any action or conduct that will be at variance with this position is severely punished. 

Mr Speaker, let me comment on the weakness identified in the management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Sir, in line with the announcement by His Excellency the President in his Speech before this House that my colleague, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, and I should work to develop an effective mechanism of ensuring a predictable, stable and sustainable source of funds for local delivery of services by establishing the Local Government Equalization Fund to provide a solid base for further devolution, I wish to state that we are actively pursuing this course of action. 

Mr Speaker, let me comment briefly on the constitution of this Committee. As you may note from the list, this Committee is composed of representatives from all political parties represented in this House, including the independent hon. Members of Parliament. You may also note that the Committee has considerable gender balance as opposed to most other Committees, despite the unfortunate low representation of females in this House which is approximately at 13 per cent. Thus, it should be noted that female representation on the Public Accounts Committee is, at least, 22 per cent. 

Mr Speaker, after all this has been said, may I, once more, request the hon. Members of this august House to support this straight forward Motion on the Floor. 

I wish the Public Accounts Committee and this august House a very successful session. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to comment on the composition of the Public Accounts Committee and I will be very brief. I want to commend this Committee for the manner in which it carried out business last year. I want to particularly single out its Chairperson, for the courageous manner in which he conducted business. 

Sir, what is also important to note is that this Committee is fundamental to the usage of national resources. Looking at its composition, it is very good. I just want to use this opportunity on the introduction of this Committee to bring to the House my observation on how the Committees are constituted. There are some hon. Members in this House who have served in only one Committee for a long time, like the Member of Parliament for Nangoma, Hon. Hamusonde, while others have served in two to three Committees. It is in my opinion that when you constitute these Committees, you must offer opportunities for hon. Members to serve in other Committees, particularly those who have been in one Committee for three years. For example, if one Member was in two Committees last year, the following year, such a Member should be in one Committee and the one who was in one Committee should be in two or three Committees. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, otherwise, then, you are not offering us an opportunity to learn. I want to just ride on the introduction of this Committee to bring up this anomaly. 

With those few words, I would like to support the Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I will also be brief because this is a straight forward exercise. We need a Public Accounts Committee to be a watchdog.

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

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I apologise to Hon. Dr Musokotwane for interrupting his debate. My point of order is very brief. Since the beginning of this whole week and at the expense of being repetitive and, as one of your Whips, I have continuously been concerned with the absence of the Front Bench. If you imagine for one minute that the hon. Minister of Finance was not presenting this Motion, what would have been left of the Front Bench, save for Hon. Fackson Shamenda? 


Mr Nkombo: Sir, is the Government in order not to heed to the Chair’s advice to attend Parliamentary proceedings? Are the hon. Members of the Front Bench in order to continue ignoring your counsel with impunity instead of being present so that the sentiments that are coming from your left hand side can be received by them so that when the time for them to respond to your hon. Members’ concerns on the President’s State of the National Address comes, they can do it with full information? Collectively, are we in order to continue doing business without the Executive wing of Government, Sir?

Mr Deputy Speaker: That is a pertinent point of order. I think that, as has been rightly pointed out, we have repeatedly said that we should be in the House to discuss these important matters. All the same, I have information that the Hon. Mr Speaker is discussing that issue with His Honour the Vice-President in his office and I hope that they can take it up. 

Can the hon. Member for Liuwa continue.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that we definitely need a watchdog, as a people’s representative, to ensure that public funds are properly managed. As you may be aware, a government is a single biggest expender of money in an economy. The Government expenditure constitutes roughly about a quarter of the economy. There is no other entity in the economy that has such a higher concentration of financial resources in its hands. Therefore, the way it spends is of importance not just to the tax payers, but to the good conduct of the economy. 

Mr Speaker, I also note that there is an intention to move on the issue of decentralisation, which by logical extension, would mean that we should see more and more money going to rural places, particularly, the councils. This can be done either by the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) by providing more money to it or through some other mechanisms. I think that is most welcome. As more money goes to the rural areas, the job of the watchdog is to be more important because in rural places, projects and expenditures tend to be quite small. There are many low volume individual transactions.  In so doing, the work of the auditors is going to be stretched and they will have more individual cases when they come to report. This is obviously going to keep our Public Accounts Committee very busy. I have no doubt, whatsoever, that these hon. Members that the hon. Minster has proposed are going to stand up to their task. They did very well last year and I believe that they will do a lot this coming year. 

Mr Speaker, the issues of financial transgressions remain both within the Central Government and in the quasi-Government institutions. I hope that as the new Committee takes over, it will not just be focusing at ministries and the councils, as I just mentioned, but that it will also pay particular attention to what is happening in publicly owned companies. In this respect, I have a glaring example of transgression on Page 9 of The Daily Nation Newspaper dated 25th September, 2014. 

Mr Speaker, as you can see, we have this very expensive advertisement (lifting The Daily Nation Newspaper) in this newspaper. This advertisement has taken almost the whole page and the expenditure is by the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), which was given a huge amount of money, US$120 million, for rehabilitation. In this advertisement, the ZRL is congratulating the PF.     

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, these are the sort of things, of course, among the many that we talk about in terms of transgressions and abuse of public resources. There is nothing wrong for the Managing Director (MD) or anybody else to take money out of their pockets to congratulate the PF, but when it is public money used to do that, it becomes a problem and …

Dr Kaingu: Borrowed money.

Dr Musokotwane: … I hope that this is one of the cases that the Public Accounts Committee is going to take up.

Mr Speaker, I said I was going to be very brief and so, as I end, I wish this Committee a lot of success as it watches over the resources of our country. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Musokotwane laid the paper on the Table.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Sir, I will be very brief as I support Hon. Dr Kaingu, Member of Parliament for Mwandi, … 

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … because what he has stated on the Floor of the House is correct. I think there must be a deliberate policy to ensure that all hon. Members are afforded an opportunity to serve in various Committees. I have been a Member of only one Committee for the past …

Dr Kaingu: Aah!

Mr Mwanza: … three years, but there are hon. Members of Parliament here who are serving in three or four Committees which, in my view, is not right. I think something must be done to ensure that this is corrected.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, first and foremost, I think I would like to pay tribute to this Committee which actually makes Parliament very proud. I would like to make particular recognition of the Chairperson, Hon. Mwale, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: … who I think, on behalf of the Committee, has managed the deliberations very well and without fear and favour.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, having said that, I would also like to say that other Committees should take a leaf from this Committee which has actually propagated itself very well as if the other Committees do not exist. So, I think those people who will serve as Chairpersons for the various Committees should be strong. This is the only time that Parliament can show its oversight function on the Executive. 

Mr Speaker, secondly, whilst the Committee makes very good evaluations, we do not see the effective action taken on the erring officials and Parliament is not informed about it. I would like the Ministry of Finance to take this very seriously because as hon. Members of Parliament, we would like to know what follow-up actions are instituted on officials who are cited as erring in these reports, especially the Public Accounts Committee Report. 

Mr Chairperson, it has been a while …

Mr Speaker: Address me as the Speaker and not the Chairperson.

Mr Mtolo: I am so sorry, Mr Speaker, please, accept my sincere apology.

Sir, I would like to urge the hon. Minister of Finance to come up with policies of strengthening the weaknesses …


Mr Mtolo: … and financial regulations in the ministry. For example, on matters of imprest, I think for a long time, we have urged that if someone does not retire his/her imprest, it should simply be treated as theft and the person should be taken to the police so that fear can be instilled in people. The issues of weak record keeping should also be strengthened.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I would like to urge this House that the good practice that we saw of live broadcast …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: … of these deliberations should be encouraged and be made policy.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, this actually helps the Executive because when certain officials are taken to task, it actually absorbs the Ministry of Finance from being castigated as being weak. So, it is actually to the advantage of the Executive when these issues are broadcast live. I want to strongly urge the Ministry of Finance to actually be the one to promote the live broadcast because this will show that the Government is working.

Mr Speaker, with those very few remarks, I would like to support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, my task is very simple and it is just to express my unfettered gratitude to the hon. Members of Parliament for supporting the Motion and for the good advice they rendered in good faith. We shall take all their views and concerns on board and I have paid particular attention to the views of my predecessors which I always cherish.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to. 


(Debate resumed)

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to the debate on this Motion. From the outset, let me join my colleagues in congratulating the hon. Members of Parliament who have been elected. Let me start by congratulating …

Ms Sayifwanda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, this group seated here (pointing at hon. MMD Members) was once that side. I remember when I joined Cabinet, our then President, who is now late, and may his soul rest in peace, who was concerned about the Zambians’ wellbeing used to guide us, as Cabinet, never to miss sessions such as the President’s Speech and the Budget Address as they are very important meetings. Is it in order for this House to continue debating when some hon. Ministers, Cabinet and hon. Deputy Ministers are absent from the House? There are only two Cabinet Ministers present in this House. Is it really in order for us to continue with this very important Motion when the policy makers are not here? I have already stated that not even hon. Deputy Ministers for some ministries are in the House.

Sir, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A similar point of order was raised by the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central Parliamentary Constituency. In my ruling, I stated that, that was a pertinent point of order and that it is important for us to be in the House. I also indicated that as of that time, the Hon. Mr Speaker was having a discussion with His Honour the Vice-President on the same issue. So, a ruling has already been made and it is important that we should be available. However, we have a quorum and so, we can continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I sincerely concur with the observation that has been made by my colleagues on your left and it is my considered view that, perhaps, I should halt my debate because we will not talk to ourselves.

I thank you, Sir.

Some Hon. Opposition Members left the Assembly Chamber.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I rise to debate the President’s Speech. We have taken note of your advice. I would like to begin by congratulating the newly-elected hon. Members of the House and urge them to pay particular attention to the debates as they flow. I would also like to advise my younger brother, Hon. Lyambai Lingweshi. For those who do not know, Lyambai Lingweshi means the Zambezi River Tigers, and I hope that he will behave like a tiger in the House in the interest of the people of Mangango Parliamentary Constituency. Let me remind him that in that area where he comes from, they have a saying which goes like, “Tambula mukweto muncheto kulihihili,” which means watch out because not everybody is honest or can be trusted. So, I hope he will take note of that, especially where he is.

Mr Speaker, the presentation of the President’s Speech is an extremely important event and I have been following all President’s Speeches since 1972 when I was a first year student at the University of Zambia. In those years as undergraduates, we used to pay very close attention because that was the source of the policy direction of the country. Both the lecturers and the students were very particular and we used to listen attentively to the speeches that were given in the House.

Sir, I know that, maybe, one day, one of us will be president of this country and I think that it is very important that we remind each other what it means to be a president. Every President has a descriptor. There is a term that describes him or her. For example, the late President of South Africa, Mr Nelson Mandela, may his soul rest in peace, can be described as a reconciliator. He reconciled South Africa. Our own first President can be described as an egalitarian, as he wanted to see equality of opportunities for all citizens. The late President, Dr Chiluba, may his soul rest in peace, was a strong believer in liberalisation. We watched him on television saying that he believed strongly in liberalisation. Indeed, he did. The late President, Dr Mwanawasa, SC. believed very strongly in order. He believed in the orderliness of things and governance. That is why those of us who served with him in Government can attest to the fact that there was order. There was no way an hon. Cabinet Minister could miss a session like this, as is happening now. If you did, you would be disciplined. That is order. That is why he even took the country to the earlier activity that we used to undertake of national planning and he revived that. He revived it because it was extremely important in the order of things. President Banda believed, very strongly in harmony. Things must be harmonious, I think as part of his diplomatic background.

Mr Speaker, I have been reflecting very seriously on our President today. How can we describe him? In my own understanding, I think we can describe him as a President who strongly believes in populism. However, to a large extent, everybody who aspires to be president must look for a descriptor of who he/she is. I am sure you can hear it from some people who are in the Opposition and aspire to be president. Some say if I become president, I will bring morality in politics. Others say I will be a good manager and so on and so forth. So, when the President comes here to address the nation, it is his heart, mind and character that is being displayed. It is through this that we can see the policy exposition that is being enunciated in the House.

Sir, the question, therefore, is how should we understand the address that was given to us through these written documents, not verbally, of His Excellency the President? My understanding is that these two volumes of documents are more of the documentation of the performance of the PF Government in the last three years and less of policy exposition to guide the nation. This is very clear on page five of Volume II, where it states that:

“In my address this morning, I will highlight the performance and achievements of the Government since 2011 …”

That is exactly what this address is all about. the problem which arises is that the Address is short of acknowledging what was said in the past, especially in the President’s first Address to this House where he said that there would be continuity of various development projects that the Patriotic Front (PF) found in 2011. It was stated very clearly and strongly in the first Address of His Excellency to the House. He went further to say that the PF Government would adhere very strongly to the Vision 2030 and Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP).

Mr Speaker, there is no mention of those three aspects in this fourth Address of the President. Instead, an impression has been given that the PF Government has done wonders in terms of performance on various projects. I have done some research and I think it is important that we put the record straight in terms of what we have read in these two volumes of the President’s Speech. 

Mr Speaker, I will elaborate in terms of how things were in 2011. In the area of health in 2011, the PF took over Government and found forty-three district hospitals at various levels of construction. There was also on-going upgrading of five clinics in Lusaka and 650 health clinics were to be funded by an Indian loan to the tune of US$50 million. This was already negotiated for.

Hon. Government Members: Question!{mospagebreak}

Prof. Lungwangwa: There was upgrading of one clinic to district hospital level in Ndola, 164 community mode health posts, rehabilitation of the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) wards, construction of Cancer Hospital wards, rehabilitation of Kitwe Central Hospital and upgrading of Mazabuka Hospital from a district to general health centre. This is how things were in 2011. This is what the PF found in terms of projects in the area of health.

Mr Speaker, in the area of energy, the PF found a situation whereby there were extension works going on at Kariba North Bank, Kafue Gorge, Itezhi-tezhi Power Station, Lunzua Power Station in Mbala and Lusuwashi in Serenje and the Ndola Energy Project of 50 MW. The Ruling Party also found the upgrading of the transmission grid from Kafue North Power Station to Kafue West, Lusuwashi Power Station to the Eastern Province, Victoria Falls Power Station to Leopards Hill, and the Maamba Collieries Energy Project. This was in addition to the construction of fuel depots in Lusaka, Mongu and Kasama. These are the projects our colleagues across found on the ground in 2011.

Mr Speaker, in the area of road infrastructure, the PF found works on the Kasama/Luwingu Road completed. Mutanda/Chavuma Road was under construction. Mongu/Kalabo Road was under construction. Senanga/Sesheke Road was under construction. Kasama/Mporokoso Road was under construction. Mbala/Nakonde Road was under construction. Kasama/Mbesuma Road was under construction. Isoka/Muyombe Road was under construction.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Chipata/Lundazi Road was under construction and, of course, the procurement of funds was made for the Kalabo/Sikongo Road.

Mr Speaker, these were the projects which the PF Government found on the ground and they are documented. The reason some of them are saying, “Question,” is that they do not read.

Mr Mwila: No read. 

Prof. Lungwangwa: They do not even know the documents. So, the question, then, becomes …

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

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichone: Mr Speaker, are the hon. Members of Parliament from the United Party for National Development (UPND) in order to come here and slot in their cards so that they can draw an allowance at the expense of the country’s tax payers and leave the House when we are debating a very serious Motion which is the President’s Address to this House? All of them have left except for one.

Are they in order, Mr Speaker? I need your serious ruling on this matter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: We will continue saying the same thing that it is important that when we are debating these issues, we have a responsibility, as representatives of our people, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! A point of order has been raised and so I am responding.

I am saying that we have repeatedly said that it is important that we, as representatives of the people, be in the House to represent the interests of our people. Really, we will be repeating now and then. The rule we have set for the House is that when there is a quorum, we can proceed with the Business of the House and we have a quorum. So, I think that while we appeal to hon. Members of Parliament to be in the House, we will continue with business.

May the hon. Member for Nalikwanda, continue.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, I was referring to the various roads which were on the ground when the PF Government came into office. 


Prof. Lungwangwa: Yes, Mbesuma/Kasama Road. The question, therefore, is what this talk about Link Zambia 8,000 km Road Project is. What is it? These were projects which were on the ground and the PF Government found them on the ground.


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, and the Bottom Road too. In the area of education, I know that there were eighty-three secondary schools at various levels of construction.

Mr Chitotela: Exactly where, in Pambashe?

Prof. Lungwangwa: Various levels of construction.

Hon. PF Members: Where?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order! I think it is not in order that hon. Members should ask questions while seated. We are displaying bad behaviour. I think that if you have a point to make, you indicate. Once the hon. Member on the Floor is through, you can then offer a counter argument, but it is bad behaviour to make running commentaries while you are seated. I am particularly talking about my colleagues on the right.

The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, even the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has acknowledged, in this House, that it found eighty-three secondary schools at various levels of construction. For those who are questioning where these schools were being constructed, information is there in the hon. Minister’s policy statement of last year. These schools include institutions like Robert Kapasa Makasa, which was Mulakupikwa, where I personally went to inspect and made recommendations to Cabinet that it should be turned into a university. The recommendation was accepted and construction started. Therefore, these are projects which were found on the ground.

Mr Speaker, so the question becomes: What really is this Speech about? In short, it is, indeed, an acknowledgement of the work that was initiated by the previous Government and what the PF has done is continue the work and complete some of it with the money that, in some cases, was already sourced.

Hon. PF Members: Aah!

Prof. Lungwangwa: Therefore, Mr Speaker, this indicates clearly to us that in the President’s Speech, there is almost nothing that the PF has initiated, but has continued with the projects which were initiated by the previous Government.

Mr Speaker, His Excellency the President should have given credit to that like he acknowledged in 2011 when he came to address us. That is leadership. This being the case, the question becomes: What are we confronted with in terms of leadership? From the policy point of view, the nation is confronted with a leadership of our colleagues which is high on policy pronouncements and very low and inconsistent on implementation.

 For example, Sir, we have had very high sounding policy pronouncements on the Constitution, but very inconsistent on implementation; very high sounding policy on decentralisation, but on the ground, nothing is taking place; very high pronouncements in terms of employment of qualified personnel at the level of District Commissioners (DCs) but, on the ground, we have cadres who are running districts; very high pronouncements on the formation of districts but, so far and as His Excellency the President has acknowledged, there are only five areas where infrastructure development is taking place.

Mr Speaker, we have very high pronouncements such as the 220 secondary schools to be upgraded, but, as the hon. Deputy Minister told us two days ago, nothing has been done so far; very high pronouncements in terms of support to farmers such as eight bags of basal fertiliser and eight bags of top dressing. However, on the ground, only two bags of basal fertiliser are being given. These are very high policy pronouncements and the implementation is almost non-existent. 

Mr Speaker, this is the problem the nation has found itself in because we have the challenge of populism and this does not help in policy direction. This is the crisis that Zambia has found itself in today. It is the crisis of populist policy pronouncements which, to a large extent, skates around certain critical issues which are dear to the nation and creates a gap between the national aspirations of their citizens and expectations from the Government. This is our predicament as a nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mumba (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President’s Speech which was delivered in this august House during the opening of the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the seven newly-elected hon. Members who have come to join this august House. Congratulations to them all.

Mr Speaker, in my view, the President’s Speech was in tandem with the Patriotic Front (PF) pro-poor manifesto. His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has been following this manifesto religiously and deserves the support of all well-meaning Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, it is crystal clear that the lives of many of our people have been and continue to be transformed. I, therefore, have no doubt in my mind that what His Excellency the President outlined in his Speech shall be achieved.

Mr Speaker, on education, I should start by giving credit to the PF Government for introducing formal learning at pre-school level throughout the country. I should attest to this one. The primary school in the village in my constituency, where I did Grade 1 up to Grade 4, has a pre-school teacher as I am talking to you. This is really helping the little ones. As they grow up, they will be able to know some of the things that their colleagues who go to nurseries in the urban areas are able to know. I should also take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education for deploying early childhood education teachers even to the remote parts of our country. 

Mr Speaker, Mambilima Constituency has been without a secondary school for a very long time. At the moment, there are two secondary schools in this constituency and these are Kashiba and Mutima Secondary schools.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Nakumwandi.

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, this simply shows that this Government is trying to assist the people who used to suffer a lot in terms of covering long distances in accessing secondary school education. However, I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Education, Science, and Vocational Training and Early Education to consider putting up a co-education boarding school in Katuta/Kampemba Chiefdom, which is within Mambilima Constituency, where we do not have any secondary school.  

Sir, the House may also wish to know that out of the twenty-four schools that are in Mambilima Constituency, twenty-two are electrified. It is during the tenure of office of the PF Government that we have had this kind of development. Most of the schools in my constituency were not electrified. Currently, there are only two schools which are not electrified. One is Ifumampelo Primary School, which has just been completed, and the other one is under construction. Otherwise, we can safely say that most of the schools have been electrified and the teachers and parents alike are very happy about this development.

Mr Mwila: Very happy with the PF Government.

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, all the credit goes to the PF Government.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, similarly, there used to be clinics in my constituency which were not electrified. Out of four clinics, only one clinic, which is Kashiba Rural Health Centre, had electricity. At the moment, the other three clinics which were not electrified have been electrified now and the medical personnel that is supposed to serve our people in this constituency is now able to stay in those areas because there is electricity. What we are enjoying in the urban areas, they are able to enjoy …

Mr Mwila: In the rural areas.

Mr Mumba: … in the rural areas. 

Mr Speaker, this is no mean achievement at all and I give credit to our President, His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, and the various ministries that have come to our aid.

Mr Speaker, there is a hospital in my constituency known as Mambilima Mission Hospital. During the three years that the Patriotic Front (PF) has been in power, this hospital has grown. It now has a modern nine body mortuary unit ... 

Mr Mwila: Yes!

Mr Mumba: … which is really helping a lot in terms preserving bodies while mourners wait for their relatives to join in mourning their beloved. This is the only mortuary unit between Mansa to Mambilima, a distance of 100 km. The next mortuary unit is in Mbereshi. The PF Government is the one which has put up this facility that is working very well in serving the people by lessening the burdens that they face.  

Mr Speaker, a lot of laundry and medical equipment has been delivered to this hospital, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba: … during the reign of the PF Government. 

With regard to medical personnel, there are people who are able to attend to our people as they go to seek medical attention where we had shortages intially. 

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, there is also a steady flow of drugs. I want to state that it is a situation of continuous improvement in the PF era. 

Mr Speaker, coming to the issue of mobility, my constituency used to have one ambulance. Through our initiative, as councillors and using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), we acquired another one. The Government, then, gave us another and the constituency now has three ambulances. 

Mr Mwila: Hear, hear!

M r Mumba: This is how this party is working. 

Mr Speaker, this has greatly helped to reduce the burden that our mothers and parents alike used to face during emergency situations. 

Sir, the construction of Mwense District Hospital has reached an advanced stage. Quite alright, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) left this project, but the money was just being misapplied. However when you go to this hospital now, you will find that it is almost complete and people will soon use it thereby decongesting Mambilima Mission Hospital. 

Mr Speaker, in my language we say, “ushitasha, mwana wa ndoshi,” …


Mr Mumba: … meaning, only a son or daughter of a wizard or a witch will not appreciate what the PF has done in the last three years.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Bwekeshapo!

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, on energy, steady and adequate power supply remains a challenge for the people of Luapula Province. 

Mr Kunda, Ms Chungu and Mr Konga left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Mutale: Bafuma!

Mr Mumba: I, therefore, appeal to the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development to engage with the would-be developers of various sites that have been identified along the Luapula and Kalungwishi rivers. These sites include: Mumbotuta, Mambilima and Kabwelume in Kawambwa District. 

Mr Mwila: Pwisheni.

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, I am sure that once these projects have been implemented, the hydro power projects shall provide the much-needed jobs and contribute to the reduction in poverty. 

Mr Speaker, I can continue talking, but the point that I am trying to drive at is that the party, which is currently ruling, the PF, and its President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has really done a lot for the people of Zambia and will continue delivering. Come 2016 and thereafter, this party will continue delivering. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn. 


The House adjourned at 1240 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 30th September, 2014.{mospagebreak}



71. Ms Kansembe (Lukashya) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the following bridges in Lukashya Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Mumbi Mfumu, Mabula and Lukashya in Kapongolo Ward;

(b)    Mukanga and Lubushi in Lusenga Ward; and

(c)    Mukanga and Luanyina in Mukanga Ward.

The Minister of Transport, Works Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation of the Mumbi Mfumu Bridge in Kapongolo Ward is expected to commence within the fourth quarter of 2014 after the on-going procurement process, which is at the evaluation stage, is completed.

Mr Speaker, the Road Development Agency (RDA) has received requests for the rehabilitation of the Mabula and Lukashya Bridges, but funds are not available for the rehabilitation. The bridges will be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, the RDA has received requests for the rehabilitation of the Mukanga and Lubushi bridges in Lusenga Ward, but funds are not available for the rehabilitation. The bridges will be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, the RDA has received requests for the rehabilitation of the Mukanga and Luanyina bridges in the Lusenga Ward, but funds are not available for the rehabilitation. The bridges will be considered for inclusion in the 2016 Road Sector Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


75. Mr Mwila asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    how many new ambulances were distributed to Luapula Province between January, 2013 and August, 2014;

(b)    how the new ambulances were distributed among the districts of Luapula Province;

(c)    what criterion was used in the distribution of the ambulances; and

(d)    whether the distribution of the ambulances was done equitably.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, Luapula Province received twenty-eight ambulances between January, 2013 and August, 2014. Two types of ambulances were distributed among the districts of Luapula Province namely, basic Life Support Ambulances and Advanced Life Support Ambulances and these were distributed as follows:

District         No. of Ambulances

Chiengi        2
Kawambwa (01 DHMT, 01    
Kawambwa District Hospital and 01 Mushota)    3
Mwense (01 Lukwesa, 02 Mwense DHMT,
And 02 Mambilima)        5
Mwansabombwe        2
Chipili        2
Chembe        2
Mansa         4
Samfya         3
Lunga        1
Nchelenge        1

Total         25