Debates - Friday 18th July, 2014

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Friday 18th July, 2014

The House met at 0900 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, before I give the House some information about the business it will consider next week, please, allow me to apologise to the hon. Members that the House is unable to adjourn sine die today as I announced last Friday. I understand the inconvenience people have suffered with regard to their travel plans.

Sir, on Tuesday 22nd July, 2014, the Business of House will begin with Questions, if there will any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. The House will, then, deal with the Second Reading Stage of the following Bills:

(i) The Supplementary Appropriation 2012 Bill, NAB 2 of 2014; and
(ii) The Excess Expenditure Appropriation 2011 Bill, NAB 3 of 2014.

Sir, on Wednesday 23rd July, 2014, the Business of the House will begin with Questions, if there will be any. This will be followed by Presentation of Government Bills, if there will be any. Thereafter, the House will deal with Private Members’ Motion, if there will be any. Then the House will deal with the Committee Stage of the following Bills:

(i) The Supplementary Appropriation 2012 Bill, NAB 2 of 2014; and
(ii) The Excess Expenditure Appropriation 2011 Bill, NAB 3 of 2014.

Mr Speaker, on this day, sincerely saying, holding all variables constant, I intend to move a Motion to suspend the relevant Standing Orders to enable the House to complete all the business on the Order Paper and, thereafter, adjourn sine die.



Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, before he starts addressing today’s questions, I will allow His Honour the Vice-President to provide some information on outstanding questions from the preceding session of His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time.

We will not subtract any second …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … from today’s scheduled time for His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time.

Dr Kaingu: Long live.

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I am encouraged by the enthusiasm wafting across the Floor. Today, I will respond to some questions which required research. In order for more questions to be responded to, maybe, the recommendation that many people have made that we extend the His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time to one hour should be considered. This may be a better alternative.

Mr Speaker, during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time for the last two or three, Fridays, I indicated that I would come back to the House with responses to certain questions. I, wish, therefore, to take this opportunity to clarify six issues.

Hon. Mwewa, who is the Member of Parliament for Mwansabombwe Parliamentary Constituency, wanted to know what measures the Government had taken to ensure that the innocent lives of the Zambians …

Mr Speaker: Order, on the left.

Dr Scott: … who go to the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital are protected from those who are masquerading as doctors. This follows an incident in which one confident trickster managed to pose as a doctor at the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital.

Mr Speaker, the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital has adopted several security measures for entering and accessing the hospital in a move designed to make it safer. The hospital has established a security section consisting of ten guards paid by the Government. Additionally, the Government through the Ministry of Health, has contracted a private security firm (Armcor Security) to help beef up the security of the hospital with ten more guards on a twenty-four hour basis. Further, the Government has put measures in place to ensure that one armed Zambia Police Force Officer is stationed at the hospital on a twenty-four hour basis.

Sir, other security measures that are place in order to address, among others, threats posed by people masquerading as doctors; aggression against health workers by relatives to the patients; and the theft of medical equipment and property are the following:

(i) preventive patrols;

(ii) access controls;

(iii) incident investigations;

(iv) installation and procurement of both audio and visual equipment  which includes hand held radios and closed-circuit television (CCTV) equipment; and

(v) strict adherence to the rule of using employee/student identification cards.

  Sir, the security measures which are in place should be enough to ensure patient safety.

Sir, we always hears stories about people masquerading as doctors all over the world. Since this is a much more specialised form of crime, it is not possible for patients at the Levy Mwanawasa General Hospital to be 100 per cent safe. However, the measures which we have put in place will go some way towards policing the situation.

Hon. Mwiimbu, who is the Member of Parliament for Monze Central, wanted to know whether the Government has now lifted the ban on the exporting of mineral concentrates.

Mr Speaker, the questioner may wish to know that there has never been a ban on the exporting of ores and concentrates from Zambia. However, the ore and concentrate exports are subject to a 10 per cent export duty to promote value addition within the country and to discourage their export.

Mr Speaker, in 2013, Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 89 was issued to suspend the Export Duty. However, SI 89 of 2013 was revoked before it could be effected. Thus, there is no ban which exists on the exporting of ores and concentrates. All the exports are simply subjected to a 10 per cent export duty.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Namugala, who is the Member of Parliament for Mafinga, wanted to know what the Government had done with the money it received from the Malawian Government for the fuel it supplied to it. 

Mr Speaker, in April, 2012, during the funeral of the late Malawian President, Prof. Mbingu Wamutharika, the Zambian Government, through the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, instructed Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipelines Limited to send fuel to Malawi to help alleviate the problem of fuel supply in that country during the period of mourning. A total of 2,000 cubic metres of petrol was loaded from the Ndola Fuel Terminal and sent to Malawi from 15th April, 2012 to 2nd May, 2012. The total cost of the said fuel amounted to slightly over K14 million and was invoiced to the account of the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development. This must be rebased kwacha.

Sir, in its letter of 8th April, 2013, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development stated that the fuel supplied to Malawi had been paid for using the fuel subsidies accrued by the Ministry of Finance in May and August, 2012 and no other payments would be made for that fuel uplift. TAZAMA, has, therefore, resolved to treat this fuel uplift as the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development’s own consumption.

Sir, Hon. Mwamba, who is the Member of Parliament for Kasama Central, said in the House that he had pledged a K100,000 for the construction of a bus station in Kasama.

Sir, I wish to inform the House that the hon. Member of Parliament pledged to construct an ablution block at Location Market in 2013. That is what we can trace. Consequently, the council was informed that the hon. Member of Parliament released a sum of K50,000 to one of the Patriotic Front (PF) officials through the then Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Mwamba. The finances for the project were, therefore, not handled by the local authority except for their being involved in the monitoring of the actual works in conjunction with the Provincial Building Engineer’s Office. The ablution block is almost complete. The only works remaining are the fittings.

Sir, the hon. Member of Parliament also pledged to contribute towards the construction of a new modern bus station at Chikumanino in Central Kasama. The funds for the construction of the station are yet to be released by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing and no works have commenced yet.

Sir, Hon. Imenda, who is the Member of Parliament for Luena Parliamentary Constituency, wanted to know the morality of spending K6.5 million on the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Presidential Lodge in Kitwe. As I recall, she compared it to the possibility of expending the same money on projects in Luena. 
Sir, the House may wish to know that it is of paramount importance to have executive presidential lodges around the country to accommodate Presidents and other dignitaries from around the world. The Presidential Lodge in Kitwe was in a dilapidated state to the extent that there was a need to carry out rehabilitation works to the entire infrastructure to make it habitable for the Head of State.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication had a provision in the 2014 Budget for the rehabilitation of the Presidential Lodge in Kitwe. The bill of quantities (BoQ) obtained totaled K6.5 million. I have in this document, which I will lay on the Table, a detailed budget which I hope the hon. Member will take time to look at. I also have extra copies which I can give to the other hon. Members. The major refurbishments involve the replacement of the existing roof.

Mr Speaker, Hon. Mwamba, who is the Member of Parliament for Kasama Central, wanted to know the criteria which the Government used to allocate two universities to a single province when it was just cut off from the Northern Province.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that there was no set criteria which were used. You will recall that on 29th July, 1996, the Ministry of Home Affairs transferred the then Chinsali Combined Staff Training for Police to the Ministry of Education for it to be converted into a teachers’ training college. Later in 1998, the Ministry of Education started construction works at the site with a view to increasing space for accommodation as well as providing a library and lecture rooms in order to turn the place into a fully-fledged college. With the passage of time and in line with the development plans for the education sector, the college was earmarked for conversion into a university which was called Mulakupikwa University and was subsequently renamed as the Robert Kapasa Makasa University. With the coming of the PF into Government in 2011, a decision was made to honour the First Republican President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, by constructing a university at Lubwa Mission which is his birth place. The university was initially called Lubwa University, but it was suggested that it be named after the missionary who welcomed the Kaunda family when they first settled at Lubwa Mission from Malawi and this was a certain Paul Mushindo, hence the name that the university has now acquired. That is how Muchinga Province ended up with two universities.

Sir, let me hasten to state that the Government is committed to constructing, at least, a university in each of the ten provinces. Furthermore, no one will be restricted to go only to a university in his or her own province. So, students from Kasama may well end up at Paul Mushindo University.

Sir, with regard to the Budget for the Golden Jubilee Independence celebrations, the House may note that as a way of supplementing State funding, the Government, through the Zambia at Fifty Secretariat, is working with the private sector and the corporate world to increase the amount of money available. The activities for the celebrations from now onwards are contained in the schedule of activities that I will lay on the Table. This schedule will also be published in the print media so that those who are patient can go through it.

Secondly, the tentative estimated total cost for all activities including public and private spending is just over K106 million. The tentative estimated cost per province is K170,000. Hon. Members need to recall that in the Yellow Book, not only for the national celebrations, but for each province, there are budgetary allocations for Independence Day Celebrations every year. I am sure that if the hon. Members perused through their Yellow Books, they would find the entries which I am talking about. The celebrations this year will be larger in scale when compared to other years.

In terms of private sector participation and quasi-Government institutions, there are many that have donated in one way or another and these include the Zambia National Commercial Bank, Agriculture and Commercial Show Society of Zambia, University of Zambia, National Pension Scheme Authority, Zamsure Sports Complex and media houses. They are all donating in kind by way of allowing us to use their facilities and services. This has resulted in great servings for the Government with regard to hiring and paying for the facilities. We can update this information whenever the House requires it.

Sir, the cost benefit of the celebrations should be seen in light of the social benefits to communities, businesses, skills development, job creation and improvement of existing infrastructure. The celebrations will create income as well as job opportunities directly and indirectly through the supply of goods and services.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from His Honour the Vice-President what has become of Judge Chikopa and the final destiny of the three Judges.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, as I understand, the matter is still before the Supreme Court. Apart from that, I have no other detailed information.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the youth of the Western Province …

Dr Musokotwane: On a point of order Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I am trying to establish practice whereby during this session, I will not allow points of order.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the cameraman must move back.

Mr Speaker: Order!

You can send a note to the Clerk about such matters. She can deal with them.

Matters of that sort …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let us have some order.

Matters of that sort can be dealt with by the Clerk. There are ushers here. Just raise your hand, write a note and it will come down to the Clerk, who will then deal with your issue.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the youth of the Western Province …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Lubezhi: … have been subjected to yet another form of garrulous behavior. I would like to find out why the Government has dismissed 182 youth from the Western Province, some of whom were employed in the newly-created districts.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, maybe, my memory is playing tricks because I recall that this issue was raised and dealt with last week in the House. The point was that the people in charge of the recruitment of staff for the new districts exceeded Treasury authority. Thus, they found themselves in limbo. In other words, the new members of staff have not been paid, but have reported for work. That is the problem we are trying to deal with. Yesterday, I had a meeting in my office with the Permanent Secretary (PS) for the Western Province in a bid to come up with solutions to the problem.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, we are about to go on recess as announced by His Honour the Vice-President. In Chavuma, the pensioners have not been paid for more than six months. In addition, the floods have wrecked havoc and people’s fields have been washed away thereby leaving them with no food. When will the Government address these concerns so that when we go on recess, we can prepare for the fifty years of Zambia’s Independence celebrations as opposed to talking about pensioners’ income and food?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that was two questions. I need to carry out research regarding the one about unpaid pensions or retirement packages. I cannot pluck that information out of thin air. As far as the damage caused by floods and the shortage of food are concerned, as usual, the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) is always ready to discuss how such matters can be sorted out.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, last week, I asked His Honour the Vice-President to personally arrange for the Whips to visit the President and then report back to the hon. Members on the state of his health. What has been done about my request? His Honour the Vice-President said that he was going to get back to this House.


Mr Speaker: Order!

A request was made and His Honour the Vice-President said he would take up the matter, so let him respond.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I have transmitted the request to State House and I am awaiting its response. As soon as I get the response, I will communicate it to the hon. Member of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, the state of our rural roads is a matter of serious concern. They are worse off today than they were in the 1970s and 1980s. I want to find out from His Honour the Vice-President, what the Government is doing to deal with the backlog with regard to the maintenance of roads in rural areas, especially that they are not covered under the Link Zambia 8000 km Road Project, which is heavily funded.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, there are rural roads works which are going on right now as we speak. We are doing what we can. The questioner has clearly stated that the backlog is huge.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is a joint venture between the Zambian Government and Tanzanian Government. Some media reports indicate that the Tanzanian Government intends to pull out from TAZARA. Can His Honour the Vice-President clarify that?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I read the same newspaper as Hon. Mwila this morning. There seems to be a misconception on one side. The Tanzanians appear to be saying that the operations of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority are no longer being managed jointly while the Zambian side does not understand things that way. We have to look into this matter. It is obviously a complicated matter because there are assets worth hundreds of millions of United States Dollars involved. There are hundreds of millions of dollars required in order to restore the TAZARA to its glory days. There are questions about whether TAZARA is even worth running as an internal railway in Zambia. It is a very complicated matter. I beg the hon. Member for Chipili to be patient with us as we try to get the full story.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the people of Liuwa have asked me to find out from His Honour the Vice-President why this Patriotic Front (PF) Government hates them so much because one, from the time it came into office, Libonda High School which was under construction has been abandoned, and two, suddenly, the pontoon on the Zambezi River at Libonda, which has been used for crossing into Liuwa since the 1980s, has now been withdrawn. Why does the Government hate the people of Libonda and Liuwa?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I presume that my hatred for the people of Liuwa is a figure of speech of some sort, or a rhetorical device because it is nowhere near my feelings for them. For what conceivable reason would anybody in this Government have that feeling? I had no advance warning about the question concerning the school. I have an enormous amount of information on the roads in the Western Province because a question was raised about them by an hon. Member, I think yesterday or the day before. I am certainly waiting to hear from the hon. Member in my office, when this session is over, what the issues are with regard to the school and the pontoon which has been withdrawn. We are ready to sit down with him to look into the issues he has raised so that we can correct any shortcomings.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, most of His Honour the Vice-President’s tours are associated with by-elections. He only tours areas where by-elections are imminent. I want to find out if at all His Honour the Vice-President has any programmes to tour a number of constituencies or districts, particularly, Rufunsa, which has been devastated by the indiscriminate cutting down of the Mukula tree.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, it is always useful to kill two or three birds with one stone.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Sir, is what Hon. Chipungu saying true? I was at the Lwindi Ceremony in Monze the other day. I understand that there will be a by-election somewhere in Monze at local Government level. In fact, I was in Monze with the hon. Members who are starring me in the face now, waiting for me to say the wrong thing.


The Vice-President: Sir, I attend a lot of traditional ceremonies because I take them as opportunities to kill two birds with one stone. I meet the chiefs from the area and, at the same time, look at developments taking place. We are not biased in our visits. However, I wish to tell him that if a by-election was arranged in Rufunsa, we would go there very quickly.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, there are some reports in our daily newspapers that the country is likely to import wheat this season. Why should we import wheat this season when the country has been enjoying a certain level of grain sufficiency in the past years?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Zambia like South Africa is one of the few countries in Africa which are normally self-sufficient in terms of wheat. The wheat industry was introduced to Zambia in about 1973/74 when the present hon. Minister of Finance was then the hon. Minister of Agriculture. The reasonable prices which were obtaining then helped the industry to grow.

Sir, unfortunately, what has happened in this last season is that too many dams have been built on wheat growing areas, especially in the Mkushi, largely by Zimbabwean farmers who have come into Zambia. The Department of Water Affairs does not seem to have done a good job of ensuring that the dams are widely spaced. Due to the poor rainfall which was experienced in the area last year, a lot of dams have not filled up. I think it is the same problem which occurred in the Southern Province. I actually know in detail of the concerns of the farmers in Mkushi. Electricity generation has also been affected because the dams which are near Mita Hills did not receive enough rainfall. The people in the Southern Provinces and places like Mkushi have had to reduce the hectarage for the growing of wheat this year. As of now, we are only suspecting that there will be a shortage of wheat in the country. If that happens, we will have to import some wheat. There is no other option.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, the distribution of fertiliser has already started. Is this an indication that before the onset of rains, fertiliser will be distributed countrywide?

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President, if you may speak closer to the microphone. There is a complaint on my left that you are not sufficiently audible.

The Vice-President: Am I audible now?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes, Sir!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is obviously the objective. Of course, there is always noise regarding the distribution of fertiliser because there is a bad habit in this country of well-connected people wanting more fertiliser to be sent to there districts. All the people seem to want to get more fertiliser than they are actually entitled to.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, last year, we were assured by the hon. Minister of Finance that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for this year would be disbursed in time and most likely, by the middle of the year. If it were not for the change of heart on the part of His Honour the Vice-President and the Government, we were going to adjourn today without the CDF being disbursed. When will the CDF for all the constituencies in the country be disbursed so that the developmental programmes are implemented before the end of the year?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I recommend that the questioner files in an emergency question for Tuesday or Wednesday next week so that he can get the response from the horse’s mouth. I hope the hon. Minister of Finance is not going to accuse me of insulting him.

Hon. Government Members: But you are the horse!


The Vice-President: Sir, it is the Ministry of Finance which is in charge of disbursing the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the roofs for Nyakuleng’a and Makondo schools were blown off by the rains. This issue has been reported in writing to His Honour the Vice-President’s Office. When are these schools going to be worked on?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I urge the hon. Member to go to my office here so that she can discuss the matter with the officials from the DMMU. They will be there within ten minutes time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has indicated the need to increase the number of constituencies from the current 150, and obviously, that will require an amendment to the Constitution. Does the Government intend to facilitate for the partial or piecemeal amendment of the Constitution to take care of this aspect or, perhaps, it will sooner than later, facilitate the enactment of a people-driven Constitution which is still in draft form and which it has, up to now, refused to release to the public?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, any ideal amendment to the Constitution must be people-driven. I do not know of any animal-driven amendments. I think the issue which Hon. Mucheleka referred to will be part and parcel of our Constitution reforms. I do not see it being handled in any other way since it is an integral part of the Constitution.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, where are we as a nation on the issue of establishing a national airline?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the matter is under consideration. The documents relating to the establishment of a national airline are yet to be considered by Cabinet. Therefore, I cannot comment further on the matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the people of Chikankata would like to know when their main road will be upgraded to bituminous standard.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not know when the works of the main road in Chikankata will be carried out. I urge hon. Members to, please, give me notice of such kind of specific questions so that I can prepare for them. I do not know the number of roads, taps, dams,  houses and schools which are found in different areas.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, Statutory Instrument (SI) 103 has brought the taxation of donations into effect. This matter has been contested against by donor organisations like the Catholic Church which has intimated that it will disrupt the provision of social services such as health and education to the poor. Given this fact, will the Government review this SI to enable the donor organisations and churches to continue providing the much-needed social services, especially to the poor?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, many of the donors, including the Catholic Church, have made representations over the matter. The ideas which have been collected are under active consideration. The purpose of that Statutory Instrument (SI) is to avoid bogus ─ I hope that is a parliamentary word ─ claims for tax rebates for expenditures that are not intended for the benefit of the poor.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, it has been a while since Mwandi was declared a district. I can testify to the fact that nothing is happing there. Can the Government consider supplying the District Commissioner and other officers with tents so that they can move to the site or simply degazzetting the district so that we return to the status quo?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I do not think he means the status quo ante. I do not think that you want to go to the status quo that existed before.

Sir, I understand that there is a District Commissioner who has been appointed for the district. I am sure if the hon. Member goes there after Wednesday, he will find plenty of action.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, I am grateful that I have caught your eye. I was even losing hope.


Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, when does the Government intend to re-open Kasaba Bay?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I was asked that question before today’s sitting began, but did not have the time to come up with an answer to it. I can give the answer to the questioner on Tuesday. I know it is an important question because people want to know whether the Northern Circuit is going to wake up at all.

Sir, I think it is easier for some of us to catch the Speaker’s eye because we are bigger.


The Vice-President: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I just want to assure hon. Members that may not share the same build as the hon. Member for Kasama Central that I am actually depending on a list being supplied to me by the Clerks-at-the-Table. This is a very popular session, hence, some of the recommendations that were debated forty-eight hours ago.

As I speak, I have a long list outside the 30 minutes. You can be sure that I am religiously following the list as it is being modelled by the Clerks-at-the-Table. There is very little I can do. I wish I could accommodate everybody, but, in the nature of things, I cannot.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, many districts were allocated telecommunication towers, but the people of Lukulu did not get any. We have been fighting for the Katunda/Lukulu Road for some time and are yet to receive a categorical answer as to when works on the road will begin.

Sir, are we, the people of Lukulu, not worthy of Government’s attention?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am a bit worried by the tendency of the people in certain parts of the Western Province to feel that they are neglected and hated.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

The Vice-President: Sir, we are developing the whole country in terms of communication and transport infrastructure. I think the questioner knows that.

Mr Kambwili: Vote wisely.

The Vice-President: Sir, he is free to talk to us about the specifics that are causing him trouble. The idea that there is a small part of the Western Province, such as Liuwa and Lukulu, which are somehow hated by this Government is artificial.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulomba (Magoye): Mr Speaker, chiefs throughout the country were given vehicles so that they could be mobile as they assist to govern the nation. However, most of the vehicles are non-runners. What measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the vehicles are put back on the road and the chiefs are mobile?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think the right direction is to pose that question to the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. I really do not have an answer in front of me for the questioner.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, in the minds of a lot of Zambians, …


Mr Mtolo: … it is clear that His Honour the Vice-President cannot be elected as President of Zambia because of the Parentage Clause. However, there is a bit of confusion as to whether he can be appointed to act as President.

Sir, can His Honour the Vice-President confirm whether he can act as President in the absence of the President.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, according to many lawyers’ opinions the answer is yes.

Hon. Government Members: Yes!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Do you want him to answer or not?

The Vice-President: Sir, the issue is not a matter of any great practical importance. These days of the mobile phones, the Acting President is just a man who holds a mobile phone in Lusaka.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, floods have been a part of the Western Province for many years. However, from 1991, the floods became critical disasters. Despite this, the Government has neglected the dredging and clearing of canals.

Sir, we are in the month of July. When is the Government (pointing at the hon. Government Members) …

Mr Speaker: Mind your finger.


Mr Speaker: Decorum.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Hammer!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, when is the Government …

Mr Speaker: That is better.


Mr Miyutu: … going to facilitate the dredging of canals in 2014 so that we do not have disasters in the Western Province?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the drainage system on the Zambezi Flood Plains, around Mongu, is part of the enormous infrastructural and maintenance backlog that has been referred to already by the questioner. We intend to work on it because we know what needs to be done. It is just that we cannot spend every single dollar which we have to sort out the matter within a matter of months. I will provide the questioner a detailed specific answer at a later date.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, why is it that the Ministry of Finance has no hon. Deputy Minister? President Sata has made over 200 changes since 2011. Why is there no hon. Deputy Minister in the ministry of finance?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is the prerogative of the Head of State. I cannot answer such a question on his behalf.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I have been an hon. Member of Parliament since 2006 …

Mrs Masebo entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! 


Mr Mucheleka: CDF!

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, I was saying that I have been an hon. Member of Parliament since 2006. I worked with the late President Mwanawasa, may his soul rest in peace. I also worked with Mr Rupiah Banda, when he was President. Each of these years, the Leader of Government Business in the House has always been in the Chamber. Why does His Honour the Vice-President not want to sit in this House? I am saying so because immediately after this part of our deliberations, His Honour the Vice-President will go to his office.


The Vice-President: Sir, I think his memory fails him. I have sat on that side of the House since 2006. I remember all the previous Vice-Presidents frequently going to the same office which he is talking about. I have a fully equipped office with Secretaries, computers and all the necessary requirements. I meet many people in that same office. As I do that, I still make sure that the House has a quorum.  It is all a matter of how I choose to divide my working hours.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I will ask a question which has been asked before on the Floor of this House. I hope His Honour the Vice-President will give the House a proper answer. The Government has been very wasteful in the way it has been expending resources. When the Patriotic Front (PF) came into power, it set up a number of commissions of inquiry. When will the findings of the same commissions be released to the public?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, they will be released when Cabinet has reviewed and considered them. May I take this opportunity to welcome the hon. Member for Chongwe who is dressed like a likishi.

I thank you, Sir.




621. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) when the construction of Mununga Basic and Nabwalya Secondary Schools in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency would commence; and

(b) when the Government would send teachers to all the community schools in the constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the ministry had earmarked the construction of Nabwalya Boarding Secondary School in Mfuwe Parliamentary Constituency in 2011 at a contract sum of K32,182,294.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, however, the contractor did not move on site in time and, therefore, the contract was terminated. The ministry is currently awaiting a response from the Ministry of Justice for the project to be re-advertised.

Mr Speaker, Mununga Basic School is one of the twenty-two strategically located schools in Muchinga Province that has been planned for upgrading into a secondary school in 2014. The Government has gradually been upgrading community schools into regular schools. This year, four community schools in Mfuwe Constituency have been recommended for upgrading. Consequent to that, teachers will be deployed since the process is on-going.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I want to …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, arising from your ruling, I was unable to raise a point of order contemporaneously relating to the answer that was given by His Honour the Vice-President. His Honour the Vice-President, in response to a question I raised pertaining to the disbursement of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) for this year, stated that I should file an urgent question directed at the Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from you whether you are agreeing with His Honour the Vice-President that I should file an urgent question that will be on the Order Paper on Tuesday, next week. I need your serious ruling so that I can go and file that question as per the ruling of His Honour the Vice-President.

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President, as I understood him, supplied a number of options. He merely suggested that a question could be asked or that the information could be gathered directly from the hon. Minister of Finance and given to the hon. Members. Now that you have raised a point of order, I will …


Mr Speaker: … indicate the direction which this matter will take. On Tuesday, next week, His Honour the Vice-President, through the Clerk, will be given an opportunity to update the House and the nation at large when this fund will be disbursed in totality.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kaputa can continue.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, community schools are an integral part of our education system. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister when the teachers will be supplied to these community schools.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in my response, I said that the deployment of teachers to community schools is an on-going process. With regard to the community schools in Mfuwe, what we could do for now is just discuss the matter with the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). If there are excess teachers in other schools, we can deploy some to those community schools.

I thank you, Sir.


622. Mr Livune (Katombola) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when construction of science laboratories at the following secondary school in Kazungula District would commence:

(a) Musokotwane;

(b) Nyawa;

(c) Simango; and

(d) Mukuni.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of science laboratories at Musokotwane, Mukuni, Simango and Nyawa Secondary schools in Kazungula District will be undertaken when funds become available. However, in recognition of the absence of laboratories in schools, the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, last year, launched the distribution of mobile laboratories to all the provinces in Zambia. In this regard, the Southern Province will soon be receiving 100 laboratories to mitigate the absence of physical structures in our schools.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Hamudulu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, recently, Father Luonde, a known Patriotic Front (PF) member …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu: … and his counterpart, a Pastor who is visiting Zambia from Nigeria, made allegations in the public media that there are senior PF members who are harbouring ill intentions against our President.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Sure!

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, following that speculation, probably that is the reason our President has gone into hiding. According to the allegations which were carried by the public media, our President’s life is being threatened …


Mr Speaker: Let us have some Order!

Mr Hamudulu: … by his own party members.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, allow me to quote an article from The Post newspaper …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu: … of 17th July, 2014 on Page 9, titled “Some leaders in PF wishing Sata bad health – Fr Luonde”.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, the article states that:

“Fr Richard Luonde says some PF leaders are conniving with the Opposition political parties to discredit President Micheal Sata. The Kitwe based Anglican Priest said some evil people within PF wished the Head of State had bad health for their selfish reasons.”

Hon. Opposition Members: Who are those?

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, these are very serious allegations, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Hamudulu: … especially that they are coming from an insider in the PF.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Hamudulu: Sir, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to fail to institute investigations …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: … into such serious allegations so that our President can feel safe and …

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: … and come out of hiding …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: … and deal with so many pending issues such as the swearing in of the Attorney-General …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu: … and Solicitor-General. Is that hon. Minister there (pointing at the hon. Minister of Home Affairs) who is even leaving the chamber in order?

Dr Simbyakula left the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamudulu: Sir, I hope he is going to inform the police.


Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to sit in this House and remain quiet, as though all is well, when our President is being threatened by his own party members? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I have always said that we should be very judicious in selecting what matters to bring to this very dignified House. It does not matter where your source comes from. Your source is immaterial as far as this House is concerned. We live in a free country where people are free to peddle whatever they want to. That is part of freedom of expression. I do not think that it is my mandate or jurisdiction to begin dwelling on speculative matters.

First of all, I am not even aware that the President is in hiding as you are alleging because earlier on, I made a ruling that he is in the country. There was a request that was made by Hon. Muntanga that he wanted the Whips to visit the President. Of course, when that request was made, I am sure that the hon. Member must have had in mind a place where they would visit him anyway … 


Mr Speaker: … and the designated place is State House. How and when he conducts business is his portfolio are not subject to dictation by me or any other person. As a law-abiding citizen, if you feel there is a crime about to be committed, as defined by the Penal Code, you can, please, proceed to the nearest police station …


Hon. Opposition Members: Manda Hill.

Mr Speaker: … and prevent the commission of that crime.

In conclusion, I want to state that we should exercise judgement in what to bring here. I cannot prescribe a hard-and-fast rule. It is not possible. However, I expect us − as earnest national leaders − to exercise good judgement. We are using precious time which somebody is paying for. We should not be in the forefront of ridiculing this House.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That is my ruling.

Can the hon. Member for Katombola continue.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola complete his question.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education, …


Mr Livune: Sir, may I be protected from Hon. Muntanga and Hon. Jean Kapata.

Hon. Opposition Member: What have they done?

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has embarked on a programme to upgrade many basic schools into secondary schools. Science laboratories are a very serious component of the infrastructure required at all these schools. The hon. Minister’s response was that science laboratories will only be constructed when funds are available. I would like to know the ministry’s plan as regards the construction of science laboratories in these schools as opposed to giving us, in the rural areas, mediocre mobile science laboratories.

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, although the hon. Member has a point, he has exaggerated his description of the situation on the ground. Referring to the mobile science laboratories as being mediocre is not only sending a wrong message to our teachers, but is, in fact, also weakening the resolve of the ministry to provide quality education. I want to assure the hon. Member of Parliament for Katombola that the Choma Mobile Laboratory Centre has a very serious and ambitious programme to provide mobile laboratories. In fact, we supply four kits per school, knowing that somewhere, they are equivalent to a normal laboratory.

Sir, we call them laboratories because they can quickly be re-assembled for experiment purposes. If you took time to understand fully what these mobile laboratories are intended for, you would appreciate that in the meantime, before we can build permanent laboratories, these must be given an opportunity to play the role that they should.

Sir, we are targeting permanent laboratories in our schools and this is only a temporary measure that we thought we could put in place. All the 220 schools in Choma and Lusaka will be provided, temporarily, with laboratories.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Hon. Member for Chadiza, may I just counsel. You are free to raise a point of order, but I hope that it is not on a ruling because there is a procedure for doing that.


Mr Mbewe: Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in this House, hon. Members are supposed to receive answers that are authentic and truthful. I contemplated raising this point of order during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time, but I think that now is also a good time.

Sir, if I remember correctly, the hon. Member for Mafinga wanted to know whether the fuel which was given to Malawi was paid for by the Malawian Government. 


Mr Mbewe: His Honour the Vice-President responded that the Government of the Republic of Zambia had paid Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline Limited for that fuel.

Mr Speaker, I feel that the question was not adequately answered because Malawi still owes us money. Has it paid back this money?

Mr Speaker: If you followed His Honour the Vice-President’s response, he did not respond in a very simple manner. By simple, I mean that he provided a detailed explanation and the conclusion of his explanation was that it was treated as a donation.

So, the implication to draw from this is that the Malawian Government has not paid back any money to Zambia. To this extent, he has answered the question. He answered that it has been treated as a donation. In the context of a donation, money cannot be paid back.

I expect you, therefore, to have made that inference from the explanation which His Honour the Vice-President made. He may not have put it in so many words, but this is what he said. I would like to appeal to His Honour the Vice-President to give us an opportunity to circulate all his responses to hon. Members so that they can assimilate them.

The Vice-President indicated assent.

Mr Mwila: They should be circulated to Mbewe alone!

Mr Speaker: May the hon. Member for Nalikwanda proceed.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is right in his response by stating that mobile science laboratories were intended to be temporary measures on our route to the construction of permanent structures.

Mr Speaker, the laboratories were first launched by Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo when he was Minister of Education slightly over ten years ago. Is the ministry considering conducting a national assessment of this programme to ascertain its impact and effectiveness in the teaching of science in our schools?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I have no intention of getting honours from people who did extremely well in the past. Although we still have a lingering challenge of lacking laboratories even now, they still deserve to get some credit.

Mr Speaker, we still have an enormous task of providing this facility on the ground. There is no need to carry out an assessment because one has already been done. It was from this assessment that we developed the idea of having mobile laboratories in the meantime. At the rate we are going, of constructing laboratories, we may not make it in time to push the quality of education upwards. I thank the hon. Member for the reminder, but he should rest assured that we are doing the best that we can, within the resource envelope, to provide the laboratory facilities.

 I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, science is taught even at basic school level. Hon. Minister, when are you going to supply mobile laboratories to basic schools in Mwandi because we want them?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I like people who ride on other people’s questions.


Dr Phiri: Sir, it will be difficult for me to provide an answer regarding Mwandi because it is not the same size with Kazungula. If the hon. Member has a specific demand for Mwandi, let us know so that we do a little research on his behalf and provide the answers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: We are going to conclude this question this way. I will let the hon. Member for Nangoma pose his question and he will be followed by the hon. Member for Kabompo West.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that even those schools with science laboratories lack sufficient materials for experiments?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, we are aware of that.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo west): Mr Speaker, tagging on the answer that the hon. Minister gave, I was of the view that the provision of mobile laboratories was to, apart from facilitate in terms of teaching, provide the secondary schools with examination numbers.

Sir, in my constituency this has not been done to date. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the provision of examination numbers for the schools with mobile laboratories will be made available.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is right. Apart from providing space for the sciences, the availability of laboratories is one of the conditions which the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ) requires for a school to be an examination centre.

Sir, in this case, we, as a ministry, do our best to provide these facilities in order to make as many schools as possible examination centres. This is an endeavour that we think we should continue to engage in until all schools are examination centres.

I thank you, Sir.


623. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Home Affairs when police posts would be constructed at the following locations in the North-Western Province to enhance security:

(a) Mumbeji, along the M8 Road; and

(b) Kayombo.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Chilangwa): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that Mumbeji and Kayombo need police posts. The two places have been earmarked for police posts during our ongoing infrastructure development programme which my ministry is scheduled to undertake.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has been too general in his answer.  May I find out from him whether the ministry has included the construction of the two police posts in its 2014 infrastructure development plan.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, as I indicated yesterday, the Zambian Police Force has a strategic plan for its operations from 2013 to 2018. The strategic plan will deal with all the issues related to the construction of police posts across the country.

Sir, like I said when responding to a similar question yesterday, I would like to invite the hon. Members of Parliament to our offices so that we can sit down and look into the issues which are of concern to them. This will help us to factor their general requirements into our plans.

   I thank you, Sir.

  Mrs Sayifwanda (Zambezi East): Mr Speaker, the question from Hon. Lufuma was very clear. Has the ministry planned for the two police posts in the 2014/15 Budget?

  Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, my answer was very clear. I said that we do have plans for the two police posts. I also asked my colleagues to visit the Ministry of Home Affairs so that they can help us to factor their requirements in our plans.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

  Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, time and again, the hon. Deputy Minister on the Floor has talked about the plans which his ministry has. Can the hon. Deputy Minister consider circulating their plan to all the hon. Members in this House so that some of these questions can stop coming up on the Floor of the House.

  Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, we will seriously consider that suggestion.

  I thank you, Sir.

  Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether the ministry includes the provision of furniture in the plans for the construction of police posts. In many cases, people are using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to cater for the provision of furniture for the police posts located in their areas. The people of Chilenje built a police post called Mary Mwango, which has not yet been commissioned because it lacks furniture. Have the needs of that police post been included in the strategic plan?

  Mr Chilangwa: Mr Speaker, yes, they have been included.

  I thank you, Sir.


 624. Mr Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communications:

(a) what the financial status of the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) was as of April, 2014

(b) how much profits the company made in 2013; and

(c) what the future plans of the company in terms of recapitalisation, were.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) made a loss after tax of K15,865,474. The ZRL made a net income of K41,186,000 as at December, 2013.

Sir, the ZRL is on course with the rehabilitation of its rolling stocks and railway infrastructure, which was initiated by the US$120 million grant from the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the rail tract from Livingstone to Chililabombwe is under rehabilitation by re-sleepering the sections with concrete sleepers, converting the tracking into a long, welded rail and replacing wooden and expired steel sleepers with concrete sleepers as well as ballasting. The train speeds after rehabilitation will be increased to an average of 80 kilometres per hour.

Sir, in terms of rolling stocks, 640 defective wagons and 13 defective locomotives have been earmarked for full rehabilitation using internal staff and contractors by December, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the ZRL intends to fully rehabilitate its railway infrastructure as well to procure more rolling stocks and locomotives such as 500 more wagons of various types and 10 locomotives.

Sir, the ZRL will link all the mines to its main rail line (production mining and processing plants) such as concentrators, refineries and smelters, which is a total distance of 97 km and the Chipata/Mchinji/Nacala corridors. The ZRL took over the operations of the Mulobezi Railway Line on 1st January, 2014.

 I thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, the ZRL faced a lot of financial problems. I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether the ZRL is more viable now than it was under the MMD.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, since this Government has foresight and love for the people of Zambia, it injected a lot money into the operations of the ZRL. Before that, our people were suffering and hardly any goods or passengers moved from one place to the other using the trains of the ZRL. Today, we have a rail line with a focus.

Sir, I personally travelled on a train from Livingstone to Mulobezi. It took us two days to reach Mulobezi. The House may wish to know that next week, we are commissioning brand new locomotives and wagons for Mulobezi Railway Line. Clearly, the ZRL has a future.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

  Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether Government will compel mining houses to use the rail mode of transport once the rehabilitation exercise is complete.

  Col. Kaunda: Sir, we are going to ensure that we give good services to our customers. It is the same service which will compel our customers to use our trains.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

  Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, at a time when a Government was proposing to allocate a huge amount of money to Zambia Railways Limited ….

  Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

  Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you for allowing me to raise this point of order, which I consider to be extremely pertinent to not only to us, who are representatives of others, but also to those who we represent. Let me also quickly apologise to the hon. Member for Liuwa for interrupting his question.

Sir, on 25th June, 2014, during the Questions for Oral Answer, under Question No. 505, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalomo Central, Hon. Request Muntanga, asked a question on my behalf because I was indisposed. The question was to ask His Honour the Vice-President:

(a) when the Constitution would be released to the public considering that the Government had admitted having received the Draft Constitution from the Technical Committee on Drafting the Zambian Constitution; and

(b) when the referendum to adopt the new Constitution was going to be held.

Sir, the response from the Government, as given by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kanchibiya, who is also the Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President was as follows:

“Mr Speaker, during the last session of the House, the hon. Minister of Justice stated that once the Draft Constitution is submitted to the Government, it would be dealt with in accordance with the legal framework provided for the enactment of the Constitution. Regarding the way forward on the Constitution-making process, I wish to inform this august House that the Ministry of Justice has prepared a Cabinet Memorandum in order to facilitate the submission of the Draft Constitution to Cabinet. The Draft Constitution shall be published once Cabinet approves its publication.”

Sir, the hon. Deputy Minister went on to say that:

“I wish to add that the hon. Minister of Justice will provide a comprehensive statement on this matter at an appropriate time.”

Mr Speaker, last Friday, His Honour the Vice-President, Hon. Dr Guy Scott, when outlining the Business of the House for this week, made an indication that all things being equal, we should have risen today to go to our constituencies. Unfortunately, today we have learnt that we may rise on Wednesday, next week.

   Sir, we all know very well that since 25th June, 2014, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has had a number of Cabinet meetings, the last one being last Monday. Is the hon. Minister of Justice, who is smiling at me at this juncture, in order to remain quiet and hibernate …

Mr Livune interjected

Mr Speaker: Order!

I can follow you, both voice language and meaning.


Mr Nkombo: ... without updating the House on the Constitution-making process within reasonable time as was promised by the Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President? Now that we only have two days left before we go to our constituencies, is the hon. Minister of Justice in order not to come and update us, as to when and how they intend to deal with this very uncontroversial matter of giving us a roadmap on the Constitution-making process so as to circumvent what could happen once again, namely the gross misconduct of hon. Members of Parliament as exhibited, unfortunately, in the last meeting?

Sir, I seek your ruling on this matter.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that, as we rise next week, His Honour the Vice-President will update the House on this subject. That is my ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Long live!

Mr Speaker: The Clerk will, of course, indicate which of the days, between Tuesday and Wednesday, will be most appropriate.

Hon. Opposition Members: Long live!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, before I was interrupted, I was saying that it was not long ago when the ZRL was planning to spend huge amounts of money which was given to it by the Government. It also planned to go to the market to raise US $1 billion. When the hon. Minister was asked whether there was a feasibility study for spending this colossal amount of money, he said that no study had been carried out. Does the ZRL now have a feasibility study for what it is planning to do or should we believe that as soon as the money which was given through the bond issuance finishes, then the railway company will be back on the rocks? Is there a feasibility study and a plan?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, unlike our colleagues who had nice Formula I roads, without plans and contracts, we are a very responsible Government. We have plans which will be followed to the letter.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, this Government gave Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) US$120 million from the Eurobond. Is the amount given sufficient to cover the intended infrastructure development, especially the railway line considering that from Livingstone to Mulobezi, the ZRL is giving us, the people of that area, a raw deal by using recycled material?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, running a railway company is an on-going exercise which never ends. We shall always need money. There is nothing like today, we have finished funding the company and everything will be fine. As we keep developing the operations of the company, money will be required. Money is never enough. We shall always need money to keep our railway company up and running.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the doing away with the concession between the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) and the Government of the Republic of Zambia was, indeed, a good move, which we supported. Considering that the RSZ had indicated it would seek litigation regarding the manner in which the concession was terminated, is the hon. Minister able to give us an update on the status of that particular separation?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I will need to carry out research on that issue. I would not want to give a half-baked answer. So, maybe, within next week, we shall give the exact position on that issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, following the hon. Minister’s confirmation that the Government had a business plan for Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) before the Eurobond money was given to the company, I would like to know when this House can have access to copies of that plan so that it can analyse the viability of the company.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr Mukanga): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to talk about the issue which Hon. Nkombo raised. The Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) has not gone for litigation because it has a weak point regarding what it did to the infrastructure of the railway line.

Coming to the issue of giving the plans to all hon. Members, I think what is important for them is to see whether our plans are working. If they have specific points where they would like to check, we are more than ready to give that information. However, we cannot just come and bring a bunch of documentation for the House to micromanage things.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Milambo (Mwembeshi): Mr Speaker, US$120 million was pumped into this company and the Government is yet to pump in more money. When is the Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) going to stand on its own?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, when it comes to operations, the Zambia Railways Limited stands on its own. The Government only pumps money in the company for recapitalisation purposes. To recapitalise, every company gets funds from the shareholders and, in this case, the shareholder is the Government.

Thank you, Sir.


625. Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma) asked the Minister of Home Affairs whether the Government had any plans to limit the number of churches in the country.


Mr Speaker: Order!

It is a question and it must be answered. It is quite odd, but it must be answered still.


The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the Government has no plans to limit the number of churches in the country as this would be in contravention of Article 19 of the Constitution of Zambia, which provides for the enjoyment of freedom of conscience, thought, religion, assembly and association. However, the Government, working with the church mother bodies, will only structure a regulatory framework to help in managing church activities.

Sir, the ministry has since made a lot of progress in as far as this regulatory framework is concerned. We are closely working with recognised church mother bodies such as:

(a) Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ);

(b) Apostles Council of Churches (ACC):

(c) Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ);

(d) Independent Churches of Zambia (ICOZ); and

(e) Episcopal Conference of Zambia (ZEC).

Mr Speaker, I would like thank the distinguished men and women of the Christian faith such as Rev. Susanna Matale of the CCZ, Bishop Mutunda, Rev. Pukuta Mwanza, Bishop Banda from the EFZ, Bishop Masupa of the ICOZ and Fr Cleophas Lungu from ZEC for the work they have done with regard to this regulatory framework.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Pande: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Let him complete the question.

Mr Hamusonde: Sir, we are aware that in most cases in this country, criminals and witchdoctors are from churches. What is the Government doing about such things in churches?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the concern of the hon. Member has also been that of the Government and church mother bodies that I have mentioned. The said regulatory framework is meant to take stock of who is doing what in our Christian community. I am sure that you have seen, of late, that we have arrested people even in churches for their criminal activities.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1045 hours until 1100 hours.

[MR DEPUTY SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, before the break, I had just started responding to a supplementary question posed by Hon. Hamusonde concerning those people that are masquerading as men and women of God when, in actual fact, they are involved in criminal activities. My response was that, indeed, that has been our concern and that of the church mother bodies that I mentioned in my earlier response. That is why we are coming up with a regulatory framework which should be able to take stock of who is doing what in the Christian community.

Sir, further, I said that, as the people from the Ministry of Home Affairs, who are charged with the responsibility of enforcing the law, we pursue criminal elements regardless of their status in society. I am sure you have seen, of late, that we have been able to effect some arrests even for people that were hiding in churches

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, does this not …

Mr Pande: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I had actually risen earlier on, but was advised to first allow the raiser of the question to finish making a follow-up. Is the hon. Member for Nangoma, Hon. Hamusonde, in order to raise a question regarding his perceived need to limit the number of churches instead of talking about the need to limit the number of bars and taverns? Is he in order to go in that direction when our country is a Christian nation? I seek your serious ruling.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Deputy Speaker: Well, he opted to go for churches and not bars. Thus, we will leave it at that.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, does what the hon. Minister has said also confirm what the Bible says that they will wear white robes, but inside they are wolves or hyenas?

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Sir, yes, that is correct.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated when coming up with the regulatory framework, the ministry has consulted the church mother bodies. I am aware that there so many churches that fall outside of those church mother bodies. Does he not think that it is also necessary to consult with those churches which include my church?

Hon. Members: Which one is it?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, we have tried to be as inclusive as we can and have managed to bring as many people on board as possible. The hon. Member would also wish to know that it is not only the church mother bodies that we are consulting. We are also going to the Islamic community because they equally need to have some regulatory framework as well. So, we have widely consulted and a lot of stakeholders are actually on board.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milambo: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that all of us here are Christians …

Mr Livune: Question.

Mr Milambo: … who use the same Bible. Why is that we have a lot of different churches?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, that question is based on assumptions. In my response, I cited Article 19 of the Constitution of Zambia which provides for the freedom of conscience, thought, religion, assembly and association. It is that law which we follow.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, how compliant are the churches as regards legislation on registration? Since, like Hon. Belemu said that there are so many churches around, it is important for the hon. Minister to give me comfort on how compliant the churches are with regard to the requirements for their registration.

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, this is the more reason we are trying to come up with regulatory framework so that the church mother bodies can assist in sensitising their members to register with the Registrar of Societies. The Registrar of Societies is there to ensure that the churches comply with the legislation on registration. All that office needs is the support of the hon. Members.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, in view of what is happening world over and especially in Africa, taking Nigeria, Kenya and Sudan as an examples where there are a lot of frictions and killings because of one religion fighting another, is this Government considering reviewing Article 19 of the Constitution of Zambia so that we limit the number of churches in the country and prevent what is most likely to happen if we encourage the co-existence of both Islam and Christianity?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, Article 19 of the Constitution of Zambia can only be amended if there is consensus in the country. It is not just the Government which should take the process forward. If the Zambians wish to go in that direction, so it shall be.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


626. Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a) what species of fish are found in the Western Province, particularly in the Zambezi and Lwanginga rivers and surrounding lakes;

(b) which species were commonly fished; and

(c) what the impact of the annual fish ban on increasing the fish stocks in the province had been.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, the upper Zambezi fishery which covers the entire Western Province area and the Zambezi River in particular has more than twenty-five common fish species. The most important ones are grouped as:
            Type                       Species 
 Barbell fish    3 
 Breams                      10   
 Silver cat fish     1 
 Characids     3 
 Minnows     2
 Bottle fish     1 
 Bulldog     1

Mr Speaker, the fish species that are commonly fished are the four types of breams, namely the three-spotted bream, red-breasted bream, green-headed bream and yellow belly bream. Others include tiger fish, bottle fish, clarias and barbell-fish.

Mr Speaker, it has been observed that the total amount of fish traded or transported out of the province and the number of traders involved in fish trade is always higher immediately after the fishing ban. Furthermore, catch assessment surveys conducted by the Department of Fisheries indicated high catch levels after the fishing ban.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I am concerned with the impact of the annual fishing ban with regard to increasing the fish stocks in the province since I live in Kalabo. My view is contrary to what the hon. Minister has stated. The observation is inaccurate that there is a reduction in the amount of fish which is caught in the province during the fish ban. What is the source of that response? Was the information gathered based on the amount of fish caught from the Zambezi and Lwanginga rivers, or from another source which I do not know?


Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, our response is based on the information which was made available to us by the Provincial Fisheries Officer and District Fisheries officers from the Western Province. It is also worth noting that different types of fish breed during the fishing ban period. It is clear that when there is a fishing ban, then the stocks in the rivers obviously go up.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, when there is a fishing ban in Zambia, there is no fishing ban in Namibia and yet we share the same Zambezi River. The rationale of having the fishing ban is to allow the fish to breed. Is it possible for the fish on the Zambian side to know that it should not go to the Namibian side because it will be fished even during the fishing ban period?


Mr Monde: Mr Speaker that is a very interesting point. The Government is trying its best to have agreements with neighbouring countries related to the development of the agriculture sector. We would not succeed in the eradication of certain diseases like the contagious bovine pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP) without the co-operation of our colleagues across the border because usually animals keep crossing it and may end up infecting each other. That is why we have agreements in place within the region for handling animal diseases. 

Sir, in any case, when you have a fishing ban on a particular side of the river, the fish does not move so fast to the other side. Thus, the stocks on the side which is under a fishing ban will increase.

I thank you, Sir.


627. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a) when the Government would ban the movement of heavy trucks and buses at night; and

(b) what immediate measures the Government had taken to reduce road traffic accidents.

  Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), is making wide stakeholder consultations whether to ban public service vehicles for goods and passengers from moving at night in order to curb road traffic crashes. The regulations notwithstanding, the outcome of the consultation may include prohibiting the movement of heavy goods and passenger vehicles at night.

Sir, RTSA is implementing the 2011 to 2020 United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety which has the following five pillars:

(i) road safety management;

(ii) road infrastructure;

(iii) safe motor vehicles; and

(iv)  road user behaviour.

Mr Speaker, the immediate measures the Government has taken to reduce road traffic accidents include:

(i) fast track courts for traffic offences in order to change bad road user attitudes;

(ii) engagement of other stakeholders including defence forces; and

(iii) enhanced sensitisation and publicity. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, we all know that there are some neighbouring countries that have banned the movement of heavy vehicles at night. Why has it taken Zambia so long to address this particular issue?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, by sheer coincidence, on Monday, we had a meeting with RTSA and found out that in 1996, there was a ban on the movement of buses and heavy vehicles at night. Our colleagues in the previous Government repealed that law and allowed buses to travel at night. So, we might bring back that law once people agree that we should do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, accidents are caused by so many different factors and not just by moving at night. These include the competence of drivers, the state of vehicles and roads as well as so many other factors. I notice these days that you hardly travel so much without encountering a roadblock. In certain cases, you meet three roadblocks within fifteen minutes. How is it possible that we have so many accidents when there are police officers manning roadblocks every so often? What are these police officers checking if they are failing to check the competence of the drivers and the state of the vehicles?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, issues to do with roadblocks fall under the Ministry of Home Affairs. I am sure that roadblocks deal with the security of the nation. A traffic checkpoint is the one that deals with vehicles.

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, this is a very important question. Lately, I have been seeing very long trucks on our roads. What is the allowed length of a truck on our roads?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I did not prepare for that question, but I can come and give the answer later.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that they want to ban night travel. May I find out from him whether there has been a study in the country to establish that most of the accidents are caused by vehicles that move at night or that is just speculation.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister did not say that we are going to ban the movement of buses or heavy vehicles at night. He just said that we might do so. We are trying to carry out consultations so that at the end of the day, we will be able to come up with the real issues causing accidents. Effecting a ban without consultations will not be a very good idea as some of the accidents, you will discover, happen during the day. So, we are trying to come up with comprehensive data which will give us a proper direction.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, you will agree that the movement of people either on buses or on trucks is for the purpose of economic activities. Will the banning of the movement of trucks and buses at night not impact negatively on Zambia’s economic activities, bearing in mind that Zambia is a very poor country and the neighbouring countries that have banned night movement of vehicles are probably rich?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to state that Zambia is not a poor country. It is a rich country which has resources which need to be managed properly.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukanga: Sir, we need to manage our resources properly for the benefit everyone in Zambia. We have not said that we are going to ban the movement of buses and heavy vehicles at night. All we have said is that we will carry out a consultative process which will determine which direction we are going to take. We will look at various issues which are at play and come up with a proper way of how we are going to resolve this issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I hope the hon. Minister agrees with me that …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Ask your question, hon. Member for Lubansenshi.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, from statistics, you will notice that night accidents occur within a certain stretch on the Great North Road.

Hon. Government Members: Which stretch?

Mr Mucheleka: Sir, they just …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Please, hon. Member for Lubansenshi, ask your question.

Mr Mucheleka: Sir, is it not possible for the hon. Minister to update this House on the progress which has been made regarding the construction of the dual carriageway between Livingstone and Ndola?

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I said that we are carrying out a consultative process. I think that once we do so, we will have enough information which will help us to establish exactly where the accidents are happening and what the causes are and which direction we will take. As regards the dual carriageway, I will come back to the House with information as to where we have reached. Once we finish the construction of the National Heroes Stadium, we will have an overpass in place which will later be connected to the dual carriageway.

I thank you, Sir.


628. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Justice when the following local courts in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a) Kakoma;

(b) Sailunga; and

(c) Kanongesha.

The Deputy Minister of Justice (Mr Mukata): Mr Speaker, Kakoma Local Court will be considered for rebuilding in 2015, funds permitting since it is in such a state that it cannot be rehabilitated.

Sir, Sailunga Local Court was scheduled for rehabilitation in 2013. However, an assessment of works revealed that the court required reconstruction and not rehabilitation. Funds permitting, the court will be constructed in 2016. Kanongesha Local Court was rehabilitated in 2010 and the structure is in fairly good order.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I apologies to my friend for interrupting him.

Mr Speaker, I take very seriously any matters that come into this House. As an hon. Member of Parliament, I take to heart my duty to represent the people. You ruled earlier, Mr Deputy Speaker, that matters which are outside the House should not be brought inside. I also believe that active matters from here should not be taken outside this House. I know that an hon. Member was charged in this House for taking active matters from this House to the outside world.

Mr Speaker, when I asked His Honour the Vice-President whether he was in a position to facilitate a visit of the Whips to State House so that they could check on the President, he was kind enough to state that he would get back to us. My question was genuine because as a representative of the people, I have to listen to the concerns raised by them.

Ms Kapata: Question!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, if they do not listen to the people, that is not my problem. I listen to the people whom I represent without fearing even comments from Hon. Jean Kapata.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

What is your point of order?

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, other people have also commented on the health of the President. Is Hon. Munkombwe in order to have taken an issue that is awaiting a reply in this House by stating that – I know his hatred for Hakainde – …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Muntanga: … Haikande’s comments over the health of the President unsettle him? He further stated that there were people who wanted to visit the President at State House. I believe he was referring to the question which I posed to His Honour the Vice-President.

Mr Speaker, there is a long article in the newspaper about what Hon. Munkombwe said. I am just trying to make the story brief. Mr Munkombwe further stated that the other leaders were not commenting on the President’s health. He cited particularly the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) leader, Ms Nawakwi, Mr Chipimo and Brig-Gen. Miyanda as not having commented on the subject.

Mr Speaker, however, there is a press statement which has been issued by the FDD in which it states that:

“Sata’s continued game of hide and seek is the highest level of irresponsibility and a lack of courtesy and concern for his nation. With all these rumours and speculation about him, the only responsible thing for him to do is to hold a live national address to assure the nation that all is well and that the nation is not on auto pilot. Putting photoshoped pictures on facebook shows a lack of seriousness on his part as leader of the nation. I think this comedy is now getting out of hand. President Sata has to realise that he is in charge of a nation and its people. Therefore, he has to provide leadership and stop this now you see me, now you do not game. As Head of State in charge of the lives of all Zambians, it is totally unacceptable for him to be playing kabisa bisa.”

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do not know what kabisa bisa is.

Mr Speaker, the statement clearly shows that other leaders are commenting on this subject. My job as Member of Parliament is to ask the Government to normalise the situation. Is Hon. Munkombwe in order to show so much hatred …

Mr Nkombo: For one individual.

Mr Muntanga: … for one individual …

Mr Nkombo: And a group of people.

Mr Muntanga: … and a group of people?

Mr Speaker, is he in order to take the discussion of the issue in question outside the House?

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I will reserve my ruling for next time.

The person who was on the Floor before the point of order may continue.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Justice …

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Speak a little louder, hon. Member.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has told me that Kakoma Court will be constructed in 2015 or 2016, meaning that between now and 2016, nothing will be done. Does the Ministry of Justice expect to provide court services to the people in the area where the court is located under a tree for the next two years?

Mr Mukata: Mr Speaker, the deterioration of the infrastructure in question did not happen overnight. It is not a situation whereby a structure collapsed overnight. I think that we have had these conditions obtaining for quite some time. The root cause of this state of disrepair has been the lack of sustainable planning in terms of the building and maintenance of our courtrooms. We have over 500 local courtrooms across the length and breadth of the country. About three weeks ago, there was a list in a newspaper where we tabulated all the local courtrooms and the works that were being undertaken. The Government has to plan for such activities. We are not able to do as much as we want to because we have pressure to provide other services such as education and health. It will take a bit of time to do everything. The good thing is that we are on course despite operating under strenuous conditions.

I thank you, Sir.


629. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) when the construction of Chikenge Secondary School in Chief Kalunga’s area in Kabompo District would commence; and

(b) when the construction of three colleges of excellency in mathematics and science in the following provinces would commence:

(i) Eastern;

(ii) North-Western; and

(iii) Western.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the construction of Chikenge Secondary School in Chief Kalunga’s area in Kabompo District will commence when funds are available. The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is constructing Kayombo Boarding High School in Kabompo District and our focus is on the completion of that secondary school.

Mr Speaker, the construction of the three colleges of excellency in mathematics and science will commence as soon as the procurement processes have been completed this year. The procurement process is now at solicitation stage of the expression of interest. We are working in liaison with the co-operating partners, which are the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) Bank.

Mr Speaker, for the information of the House and the public, the three university colleges to be built are as follows:

(i) University College of Applied Art in Katete in the Eastern Province;

(ii) University College of Technology in Solwezi in the North-Western Province; and

(iii) University College of Mathematics and Science in Nalolo in the Western Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Notice of Motion.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I want to ask a follow-up question.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

You take long to ask, you want to me to wait for you?


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

I do not have to wait for you to ask a question.

Please, next time, do bear that in mind.

You can ask your follow-up question.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I apologies. As they say “Forgive them, Lord, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, in 2012, His Excellency the President, Michael Chilufya Sata, mentioned that there would be three colleges of mathematics and science. One of those colleges, according to his speech, was earmarked for construction in Kabompo West Constituency. I am surprised that the hon. Deputy Minister has mentioned places other than Kabompo as the areas where the construction of the three colleges will take place. When was this shift made?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, what Hon. Lufuma has stated is correct. At the stage when the announcement was made by the President, the discussions between the co-operating partners and the Government of the Republic of Zambia were still ongoing. The final decision was that there will be three university colleges in the country and one of them will be stationed in Solwezi in the North-Western Province.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, in the Budget for 2014, the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education said that the college to be constructed in the Western Province would be in Senanga District. Now they are saying it will be in Nalolo. What has necessitated that change?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, there are several factors that led to that. One of them is that Nalolo is just an appendage of Senanga. Secondly, Senanga has received, from the Ministry of Health, a facility for the training of nurses. Thus, in order to broaden the levels of development, this university college will now be situated at Nalolo.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2012, for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on Wednesday, 16th July, 2014.

Mr Deputy Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in accordance with its terms of reference, considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic of Zambia for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2012. Your Committee received both oral and written submissions from the controlling officers of ministries and institutions that were mentioned in the Report of the Auditor-General. The Secretary to the Treasury was also requested to comment on the expenditure of all the ministries and institutions. Your Committee also interacted with the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock regarding the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP).

Sir, your Committee undertook a local tour to selected infrastructural construction projects that were cited for various implementation challenges in Lusaka, Central, Muchinga, Luapula and Northern provinces. Your Committee also took a benchmarking foreign tour to the Parliament of Ghana in order to benefit from that country’s experiences of the Public Accounts Committee.

Mr Speaker, I wish to start by commending the Auditor-General for the professional manner in which she has continued to execute her mandate. The Auditor-General has, over the years, provided this House with unbiased and objective assessments on whether public resources are being responsibly and effectively managed to achieve desired results. We urge her to keep up her good work and congratulate her on the Doctorate which she has been awarded by the University of Lusaka based on the quality of her work.

Sir, your Committee is, however, concerned that in her current report, the Auditor-General is lamenting the inadequate staffing and financial constraints in her office. Your Committee is concerned because if this state of affairs is allowed to continue, both the quality and amount of work by that office will be negatively affected. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Executive to take concrete steps to address these two constraints.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has always bemoaned the weaknesses in internal controls in most ministries and spending agencies. Your Committee is concerned because despite the Finance Act No. 15 of 2004, providing for the formation of audit committees in all ministries, provinces and spending agencies, most of the audit committees have not been operational. The main reason for this lapse is that controlling officers who should spearhead the operations of the committees are often reluctant to do so.

Mr Speaker, we cannot allow this provision of the law to continue being ignored. Your Committee is, therefore, urging the Secretary to the Treasury to ensure that all audit committees are operational. We also appeal to hon. Ministers as heads of ministries to take interest in this matter and ensure that audit committees exist and are operational in their respective ministries.

Sir, your Committee acknowledges the importance FISP and believes that if well implemented, this programme can go a long in helping the country attain food security at household level. However, your Committee is concerned with the massive weaknesses in the implementation of the programme as highlighted in the audit report. Your Committee notes that hitherto, inputs have either been delivered late or in some cases are not delivered nor accounted for at all. Your Committee is further concerned that inputs are issued to unqualified co-operatives and beneficiaries in some cases. Further, in some cases, inputs are distributed without being acquitted by the beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, however, your Committee takes note of the hon. Minister’s assurance that measures will be taken to address the weaknesses in the programme. We, therefore, await to see the concrete steps in this regard.

Sir, allow me to talk about an issue concerning the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. Your Committee expresses dismay at the way the controlling officers have mismanaged the distribution of school desks. At the time of audit, it was revealed that thousands of desks delivered to schools in various parts of the country could either not be accounted for or had not been assembled and distributed to end users. For example, 11,520 desks meant for Kalulushi and Kitwe districts cannot be accounted for to date.

Sir, this is highly unacceptable, given that most schools in the country are still in dire need of desks. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the controlling officers to put their house in order and correct the various anomalies revealed in the distribution of desks.

Sir, let me end by commenting on the failure by the Executive to implement your recommendations.

Sir, the only way your Committee can be proactive is by highlighting good practices, pointing out areas that can be improved upon and providing recommendations on the possible remedial measures. Your Committee is, however, concerned that although the Treasury Minutes have been received on time, challenges have been received on getting feedback on the implementation of its recommendations. The reason we have been given by the Treasury is that controlling officers have simply not responded to the calls to provide updates. This is unacceptable and will not be allowed to continue. While in Ghana, your Committee learnt that in order to go round this problem, every ministry and spending agency is required to have a committee in place which looks at the implementation of the recommendations of the Public Accounts Committee pertaining to that respective entity.

Mr Speaker, in order to address this concern, your Committee has resolved that all controlling officers will now have to appear before your Committee to make submissions on outstanding issues in their ministries before addressing new queries. It is your Committee’s view that this will compel all cited institutions to respond to its recommendations.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk for the guidance you rendered to the Committee during the session. Let me also thank the Secretary to the Treasury and all controlling officers including their representatives who appeared before your Committee for their co-operation. The deliberations of your Committee could not have been ably concluded without the assistance of the Office of the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Controller for Internal Audit.

Mr Speaker, lastly, but not in any way the least, let me render my gratitude to the members of the Committee for their professionalism and hard work.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion to adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of the Republic for the Financial Year ended 31st December, 2012.

Mr Speaker, one of the strengths of the Public Accounts Committee is the fact that it uncovers cases of fraud and weakness in policy. It is our role, therefore, to ensure that the general public is satisfied that the taxes and charges they pay are collected efficiently and fairly and, above all, spent wisely. I, therefore, wish to reiterate your Committee’s commitment to this task.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that there are major issues highlighted across all heads of expenditure. Your Committee collected an immense amount of valuable evidence which it reported unanimously and then made many practical recommendations which will, by and large, require policy changes or shifts.

Sir, the mover of this Motion has ably articulated the views of your Committee on this Motion and I shall, therefore, only comment on a few issues that require emphasis.

Mr Speaker, let me firstly address the issue of failure to follow procurement procedures. Your Committee’s findings were that there is a huge disparity between K4.6 billion in 2011 and K121.4 billion in 2012. Your Committee lamentably regrets this huge disparity as it is a cancer that would require a holistic approach to cure completely without any further delay.

Sir, allow me to cite a few examples. The then Ministry of Labour, Youth and Sport irregularly entered into various contracts involving K113 billion without authority from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA). In this regard, it is not possible to ascertain the basis on which the contracts were awarded. Your Committee is of the view that such irregularities are reported to law enforcement agencies expeditiously, as it is saddening that the officers who abrogate the procedures go scot free and in some instances, are even transferred from one ministry or spending agency to another. In fact, in some cases, these officers even get promoted. Your Committee regards transfers as problems that, therefore, need to be brought to an end without any further delay.

Sir, another example, involves the Ministry of Local Government and Housing were an amount totalling K404 billion was paid to the East African Gateway Logistics (Z) Limited, a company in Tanzania, to facilitate for the clearance of twenty-six firetenders donated by the Promotion of Japanese Diplomacy.

Mr Speaker, it is shocking to learn that the supplier was engaged by the Tanzanian Port Authority on behalf of the Zambian Government without the knowledge of the ministry owing to the fact that the equipment had overstayed at the port of discharge in Tanzania.

Sir, your Committee is greatly concerned about how the equipment arrived at Dar-es-Salaam Port without the knowledge of the officers responsible at the ministry as it is common knowledge that upon the importation of goods, a Bill of Lading and other shipment documents are usually received earlier by the client (or final recipient) before the arrival of goods. It is evident that there was laxity by the officers at the ministry. This necessitated the Tanzanian Port Authority to engage a clearing agent on their behalf which transaction was highly irregular.

Sir, your Committee is, therefore, of the view that stern disciplinary action must be instituted to deal with erring officers for causing such an anomaly in order to serve as a deterrent to other officers. The other issue is the growing trend of the non-submission of expenditure returns by the ministries. Your Committee had learnt with great surprise that there is an increase from K27 Billion in 2011 to K107 billion in 2012 of this irregularity. One example of this irregularity was in the Ministry of Lands, Energy and Water Development. This ministry disbursed amounts totalling K99 billion to the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) for various projects and operations. However, there were no expenditure returns submitted to the ministry showing how the funds were utilised and this is certainly unacceptable. Your Committee lamentably regrets this irregularity and urges the Government to ensure that strict sanctions and disciplinary action are instituted against erring officers.

Mr Speaker, let me also touch on another issue regarding overpayments. Your Committee is sad to note that there is a huge increase in overpayments from K6 billion in 2011 to K206 billion in 2012. Your Committee lamentably regrets this huge disparity as it is now evident that officers are adept in weakening systems to their advantage. This is too much money and it should not be allowed to continue due to the fact that there is so much poverty in this country.

Sir, one case that your Committee dealt with was for the Zambian Mission abroad in Moscow. The former ambassador was paid an extra-accreditation allowance of US$800 in August and US$1,000 in December when the maximum he was entitled to get under the mission was US$550. It is further noted in this transaction that the ambassador only presented credentials to two countries which meant that he was only entitled to US$100. The whole transaction resulted in an overpayment of US$1,700 which was paid to him over and above what was due to him. It is shocking to learn that the money has not yet been recovered.

In addition, Sir, contrary to Financial Regulation Nos. 44 and 45, another officer was paid education allowance in excess of his entitlements by amounts totalling K30 million under this same mission during the period, May 2012 to February, 2013. This was in respect of one of the dependants who was not approved to accompany the officer at the Government’s expense because there was no adoption order to render the child as adopted as required by the existing regulations.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is of the view that the punishment for such irregularities be stiffened to deter officers from perpetuating the vice. Additionally, the controlling officer is urged to ensure internal controls are strengthened in all missions to curb the recurrence of such intended overpayments. Your Committee also further urges the controlling officer to recover all the overpaid funds without any further delay.

Mr Speaker, let me also state that we must all guard against what I may call organised financial malpractices. In foreign missions, we have too many cadres and unqualified people …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: … who have occupied these positions and are using those positions to loot the resources that belong to the Zambian people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, your Committee is concerned whenever it comes across tendencies that suggest collusion between staff and supervising officers. One such instance is the anomaly unearthed by the Auditor-General at the Ministry of Justice. In this particular case, your Committee is shocked to learn how a total amount of K1.2 billion was paid to twenty three officers as meal allowances for days ranging from 375 to 1,838 days. Your Committee is at a loss to understand how the number of days claimed by each officer exceeded the 365 days available in a year.

In fact, Sir, meal allowances were even paid to seven officers who were on leave during the period the works were undertaken.

Hon. Opposition Member: Aah!

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, on this matter, let me just take this opportunity to appeal to all citizens that are privileged to serve in controlling offices to do so with honour. They must at all times strive to serve with integrity and be true custodians of public resources.

Sir, the Ministry of Justice is such an important player with regard to promoting corporate good governance and is supposed to take the lead in strengthening good governance and yet this report has revealed that it has been a major culprit in weakening other governing institutions.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to join the mover of the Motion of the Committee in thanking you, Mr Speaker, for according us the opportunity to serve on this important Committee. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for affording me this opportunity to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, may I start by thanking the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee for ably moving the Motion and the seconder for the manner in which he  seconded it.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication on the Floor of the House earlier said that Zambia is not a poor country and that its main problem lies in the way its resources are used.

Mr Speaker, every year, the Ministry of Finance goes out of its way to look for money to run the affairs of this country through the National Budget. At the end of each year, we tend to question where the budgeted for expenditure goes. It is unfortunate that the Auditor-General’s Report has revealed a gruesome picture of the open thefts of resources which are supposed to benefit the people of Zambia. We have seen army commanders and other personnel serving sentences in the past for dipping their fingers in State coffers or irregularly giving advantages to their friends and relatives.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we have seen the Patriotic Front (PF) Government showing its resolve and eagerness to take its political opponents to court for very trivial offences. This has led to the country’s meagre resources being abused.

Sir, as I refer to the Auditor-General’s Report and the Report of the Public Accounts Committee, I will give an example of what happened in the Ministry of Defence. In 2012, the Ministry of Defence gave a contract to Trade Supply Limited to supply 123 second-hand motor vehicles at a contract cost of $1,813,400. We need to find out who the owner of the company is. This contract specified that the vehicles had to have a mileage of 50,000 km or less and the vehicle model had to between 2005 to 2008. When the Ministry of Defence or, indeed, other Government ministries are acquiring vehicles, they come in duty free. This contracted amount was higher than what it would ideally cost an individual to order a 2005/2008 car model. The price at which the Ministry of Defence bought the Mark IIs and Toyota Crowns, was more than it would cost an individual to buy a car through the Internet even after paying duty and other import-related costs and yet the vehicles were supposed to come into the country duty free. Instead of passing the benefits of the duty free facility to the Republic of Zambia, through the Ministry of Defence, this supplier, supplied the vehicles and pocketed money which was supposed to be paid as duty.

Mr Speaker, a lot of people have been complaining that it is difficult to get business from the Government. This is because there is a lot of connivance involved. I have given a good example of how people connive to steal money from the Government without getting arrested. Such matters need to be investigated and the culprits brought to book. The culprits also need to pay back the money they stole from the Government. In this House, we hear hon. Ministers crying that they cannot do certain things because there are no funds.

Sir, I do not know whether it is the hon. Ministers or the controlling officers who are misusing public funds. However, the bottom line is that whoever is misusing this money has to be brought to book.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the supplier of the motor vehicles which I referred to earlier received a down payment of 50 per cent when what was authorised by the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) was only 25 per cent. This means that the supplier used Government funds to bring in the vehicles and even enjoyed the duty free facility. The money which the Government spends belongs to the Zambian people.

As all that is happening, Sir, the people in Katuba cannot have their children in school because there are no school places. The children are dying because their parents cannot afford medicines and here is a case of someone milking a whole Ministry of Defence, a security wing.

Mr Speaker, I know that most of the culprits are cadres whom the Patriotic Front (PF) Government is paying for their loyalty. Use PF money to pay cadres and not public funds. This money does not belong to the PF or the United Party for National Development (UPND). It belongs to the people of Zambia and they want accountability.

Mr Speaker, every ministry has been cited in the Auditor-General’s Report as having cases. People in the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) regime were dragged to court for abuse and that should not end there. We want to see the offenders in 2011 and 2012 being dragged to court to be prosecuted. For those who need to pay back to the Government of the Republic of Zambia, hon. Minister of Finance, make sure that they do just that.

Mr Speaker, my uncle’s hair is reducing in an effort to look for money for this country.


Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, we need to help him to relax by ensuring that the ministries are run properly.

Mr Speaker, this country deserves the best. However, we are having a lot of cases involving shortcuts. Let me give some people a friendly warning. When you come to this House to serve the people, do not serve yourselves because there is no hiding under this sun. Those of you who are in a hurry to acquire wealth must work hard. I am not just talking about those people who are in this House. I am also talking about public servants in the Civil Service. If you want to acquire wealth, work hard within your means. Do not admire your friends who have done other things. You may not be as lucky as they are. For those of you who are dipping your hands in public coffers, the law will catch up with you and the person to enjoy will be your lawyer.


Mr Shakafuswa: The lawyer will first finish all the money you stole then come for your house and when he finds nothing, get your wife.


Mr Shakafuswa: This is just a friendly warning.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I stand to support your Committees’ report …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Simbao: … as well as commend the mover and the seconder for a job well done. 

Mr Speaker, when I read through this report, I felt very sad because I do not know what we should do to help our fellow Zambians work as expected. This report gives me the impression that the officers that we have running our organisations are not up to the task. Everything in this report points to the controlling officers who are our Permanent Secretaries.

Mr Speaker, I think that, maybe, we should separate the Permanent Secretaries from the controlling officers because of what His Honour the Vice-President said last time when he stated that there were no specific education qualifications for Permanent Secretaries. Probably, most of them are finding themselves in this very difficult situation of how to handle finances. The Government should probably look at separating these two roles. Maybe, we can have a separate controlling officer who is a full professional and not a cadre.

Mr Speaker, the amount under ‘unaccounted for funds’ in this report is staggering. I forgot to ask the chairperson whether the amounts shown in the report are rebased or not. I take it that they are not rebased because of the huge figures and because this report is for 2012.

Mr Mwale: They are not.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, if the figures are not rebased, then the amount under ‘unaccounted for funds is K34 billion. One wonders how the Permanent Secretaries would allow a situation like this to occur. How can they allow such colossal funds to be unaccounted for? In some areas, probably after having heard that the Auditor-General’s Office was visiting them, they tried to see where they went wrong and accounted for some figures. However, a big amount still remains outstanding or unaccounted for. So, one really wonders how competent our Permanent Secretaries are in this particular area. I would strongly urge the Government to look at separating these two roles.

Mr Speaker, under the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Tourism in the report, there is K999 million unaccounted for. The reason given, which does not hold water, was that combining and later separating these two ministries created this problem. The reason does not sell because there is no way anyone can miss such a huge amount of money just because of this movement. Someone somewhere decided to hide the figures. Under the same ministry, there is a further K1,519,000,000 unaccounted for. Again, the reasons given are the same.

Sir, under the Ministry of Health, K4,718,000,000 was unaccounted for under drugs and medical supplies. When you look at their records, you will find they recovered about K3 billion, but K1,657,000,000 still went unaccounted for. This amount is too huge to remain unaccounted for.

Sir, in the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, K3,723,000,000 was unaccounted for. In the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, K2,869,000,000 was unaccounted. This is the situation in most of the ministries. This is a very serious situation that we are looking at.

Mr Speaker, I believe that these occurrences repeat themselves almost every year. It looks like we are not making any improvements. How can a Permanent Secretary approve the expenditure of colossal sums of money which he or she can later not account for? The Government must spend a lot of time to look at what must be done to address such issues.

Sir, this kind of picture is also found in provinces with the Southern Province having something like K1.9 billion unaccounted for. Luapula is somewhere in the range of K1.2 million. This seems to be the same story for almost every Government spending wing. I have seen something like fifty-seven different areas that are reporting unaccounted for funds. So, this is a very serious problem that needs to be addressed.

Mr Speaker, another unfortunate area is unretired imprest. Unfortunately again, this seems to be on the rise. According to the Committee’s report, the total unretired imprest is K25 billion with the biggest amount being for the Mission in Addis Ababa which is K5.897 billion. This is followed by the Ministry of Health with K4.416 billion unaccounted for. How can that be a problem because when people travel, they always should remember that they are required to push in their returns when they get back to base? However, it seems that in our case, they decide not to do that. On the other hand, the Permanent Secretary decides to remain quiet such that it has to wait for the Auditor-General to pick it up. How can we allow such a situation to continue?

Mr Speaker, I think that our Permanent Secretaries are not competent for their jobs. Therefore, the question which was forwarded to His Honour the Vice-President should have been taken seriously because we have seen this problem in our Permanent Secretaries. We need to come up with a way forward to make them become competent. Figures just on two items alone amount to about K60 billion. There are also other items that have been reported in this report. According to the Chairperson of this Committee, K3.2 trillion was abused and all this is on the heads of the Permanent Secretaries and not anyone else because they are the controlling officers.

Mr Speaker, like I said, when I read this report, I felt very sad. The hon. Minister of Finance is trying his best to find money for the country and yet the people handling the money do not seem to care about how it is used. This is not encouraging the hon. Minister of Finance to do more. Wasting K3.2 trillion in one year is too much. For me, even wasting K1 is a lot of money. This money must be used to work for the people. The report of your Committee gives us a very sad picture of what is happening in the country. I hope that the next report will not be a third of this. It should be something insignificant.

Sir, I appeal to the hon. Minister of Finance to ensure that all accounts personnel in the Government ministries or departments are employed through his ministry. The hon. Minister must find a way of either installing a controlling officer in each ministry apart from the Permanent Secretary whom he can control.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the Motion on the Floor.

Sir, from the outset, I would like to support the report of your Committee and the content that the report has.

Mr Speaker, this report makes very sad debating year in, year out. It contains the type of questions and issues which have been raised from the time I joined Parliament. We have had the same issues coming up year in, year out. Therefore, it makes very sad reading because it appears that we are not doing anything different from our predecessors. It is, therefore, time that we looked at various issues and saw how best we can address them.

Sir, I want to start my debate on Page 5 of your report, where there are issues about the failure to collect taxes, outstanding mineral royalties and failure to honour agreements. When appearing before your Committee, the Secretary to the Treasury stated that:

“Tax Arrears had remained outstanding mainly due to taxpayers facing liquidity problems.

He further noted that:

“In some cases that taxpayers had objected and appealed against the debt while others could not be traced due to changes in their addresses.”

Mr Speaker, in my view, the Secretary to the Treasury is being honest because if somebody has appealed, his hands are tied. Therefore, he cannot pursue further that particular organisation in order to collect that particular revenue. The question that begs an answer is: What is the Revenue Appeals Tribunal there for? I am given to understand that the Revenue Appeals Tribunal was dissolved. Has it been constituted? If it has not been constituted, what is the way forward so that these people who have appealed against their assessments could have a platform through which they can air their views? If the tribunal is still there, I think it is only right that the cases before it are speeded up so that those who are appealed can be either told to pay what they owe Government or get cleared.

Mr Speaker, the other aspect connected to that is the fact that perhaps for some outstanding revenue, we can consider extending an amnesty to certain establishments. Maybe, we should completely do away with the outstanding arrears so that we can embark on a complete review of the entire tax regime and make the taxes friendly and easy to comply with.

Mr Speaker, normally, we know that people do not like paying taxes. If that kind of attitude is coupled with difficult conditions and tax regimes, people will obviously find an excuse. So, we need to make our tax regime friendly.       

Mr Speaker, we know that, currently, the middle class is overburdened with taxes and it is this middle class that drives the growth of the economy and, indeed, the generation of employment.

Mr Speaker, there was an issue regarding the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and that is raised in your report on page 25. FISP has been with us for a long time and it appears that, up to now, we still have not gotten the art correctly. Should this be subjected to a forensic audit, just like we did to the operations of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) so that we can get the actual position on the ground and direct the resources to value addition?

Sir, we have been grappling with FISP for years. Maybe, we need to carry out an in-depth analysis of this particular programme so that the intended target can get the help. Some people have become rich using this FISP. That is because they have found loopholes and are able to make money out of it. My proposal is that, perhaps, we need to do a lot in ensuring that we do an in-depth analysis of the programme.

Mr Speaker, the issues in the report to do with missing documents and unaccounted for expenditure also caught my eye. I was asking myself whether these are issues to do with the experience and qualifications which the accountants have. I found out that it may not be so. I think, an issue that requires a lot of attention is the induction of the accountants. When we recruit accountants, are they well inducted so that they are abreast with the Public Finance Act as well as the Financial Regulations of 2006? As accountants, we come from different cultures. For instance, the private sector has different ways of looking at internal controls while the public service has an Act. Whereas in the private sector, it is easy to change the internal controls, in the Public Service however, it is very difficult to deal with the standing orders and to change the laws that are stipulated in the Public Finance Act. So, I wish to suggest that, maybe, we need to look at the induction of the accountants at the point of entry or when recruiting them.

Mr Speaker, the other issue connected to that is the position of the Accountant-General in the structure. I have spoken on this issue before, when I debated your report previously. I stated that the Accountant-General’s position needs to be looked at very seriously. I also proposed that if it is possible, we should make it a constitutional office so that it can have powers to control the different accountants in various ministries. I think that if we do not do that, we will continue with such kind of problems. If we do not, it will be very difficult for this Accountant-General to do a good job. Why is the person even called Accountant-General anyway, if he or she is not able to exert his pressure on other accountants in other ministries? Let us look at enhancing the authority of this position so that the occupant can have the constitutional powers to bring his/her colleagues in line with the Public Finance Act.

Sir, the filing of documents is a skill, which if I recall, in the olden days, was taught during the time we were doing Centralised Accounting and Billings (CABS) in the finance field, and I am pretty sure that Hon. Mutati will agree with me. This is a very basic requirement that every accountant is supposed to know. It includes filing, taking care of documents and in general, it is usually called record keeping. So, I find it very difficult to comprehend a situation where the Auditor-General could go and discover that some documents are missing. Late banking and the missing of deposit slips are things that we can easily address and be on top of and prevent them from appearing in the Public Accounts Committee’s reports.

Mr Speaker, I also find it difficult to comprehend the issues which made the Zambia Army get cited in the report. As I do this, it is like I am questioning the culture in the disciplined field. The Zambia Army, Zambia Police Force (ZP) and Zambia National Service (ZNS) are called discipline fields. Is this an issue of culture where the procurement officer is told to right turn and they obey without question or award this contract to this particular person, and they do that without asking? So, maybe, we need a transformation within the security service so that we educate them that this is a profession and they do not need to just agree to what they have been commanded to do by the Army Commander. I want to believe that a trained procurement officer or an accountant will not be able to award certain contracts without referring to the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) Act.

Mr Speaker, there is a need for transformation in the discipline fields such as the Zambia Army.

With those few words, I want, on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency, to submit that we have to find a way of ensuring that we account for every single ngwee so that we can finally have good school and health infrastructure in our quest to bring health services closer to the people of Lupososhi Constituency.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a few very brief comments. The findings and observations of your Committee’s report are beyond reproach and well-meaning. The task for the Government is to keep on tightening the control systems and, where possible, stiffen the sanctions against indiscretions and all sorts of fraudulent actions. We must all learn to develop a culture of regarding public resources as being sacrosanct to the point where they should not be subject to any abuse.

Sir, we have listened to the submissions of especially those who are very well versed in these matters like the hon. Member for Lupososhi, Mr Bwalya. I think he should be turning up more often at our ministry to try to help us. I am sure he has a very good rapport with his friends in the accounting profession, especially the Accountant-General.

Mr Speaker, as one hon. Member of Parliament observed, all the accountants that go to the various ministries, provinces and spending agencies are sent from the Office of the Accountant-General. However, as I have said, it is just a question of making sure that, …


Mr Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Chikwanda: … the control systems are intact and offer a disincentive to the people who are not honest and that when they are caught after having breached the rules and regulations, there is appropriate punishment.

Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee for its excellent work. It is good to see that in Parliament, on both sides of the House, we are unanimous on putting an end to these abuses because our country’s development is impaired if the resources meant for development are diverted by selfish individuals.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Members who have debated this Motion. All of them have supported the Committee’s report and we are so encouraged by that. Indeed, the abuse of K3.2 trillion in one financial year is really an unfortunate situation. This is how much was involved in audit queries, which translates to 15 per cent of the 2012 Budget.

Sir, we are encouraged to hear the response from the hon. Minister that, indeed, we need to move at a good rate to try to ensure that we put deterrent measures in place to ensure that people do not repeat the mistakes they have been making. What we await to see from the hon. Minister is a new set of financial regulations through amendments to the current legislation so that the laws are stiffened. We are so grateful for the support of the House and I thank the hon. Minister for the response that he has given.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.




The Zambia Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Bill, 2014

Report adopted.

Third Reading, on Tuesday, 22nd July, 2014.




The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1239 hours until 1430 hours on Tuesday, 22nd July, 2014.