Debates- Wednesday, 16th July, 2014

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Wednesday, 16th July, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to acquaint the House with the presence in the Speaker’s Gallery of a delegation from the Parliament of Zimbabwe. The delegation is here to share best parliamentary practices and experiences, reforms and, generally, parliamentary diplomacy. In the spirit of good neighbourliness, they have also come to commiserate with their male counterparts from our Parliament, whom they won in a soccer match in Livingstone.


Mr Speaker: The delegation is led by Hon. Advocate Jacob Francis Mudenda, Speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The Hon. Mr Speaker is accompanied by the following hon. Members:

Hon. Innocent Gonese
Hon. Tambudzani Mohadi
Hon. Dexter Nduna
Hon. Martin Khumalo
Hon. Joyce Ndhlovu
Hon. James Makore
Hon. Margaret Matienga
Hon. Ambrose Mutinhiri

The delegation is accompanied by the following staff:

Mr Austin M. Zvoma, the Clerk of Parliament;
Mr Ndamuka Marimo;
Mr Frank Nyamahowa;
Mrs Theresa Kamvura;
Mrs Elizabeth Hove;
Mr Christian Ratsakatika;
Mr Tinos Madondo;
Ms Rumbidzai Chisango; and
Mr Pangani Munkombwe.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: On behalf of the National Assembly of Zambia, I wish to receive our distinguished guests and warmly welcome them in our midst.

I thank you.




601. Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a) when the water reticulation project in Kitwe would be completed and commissioned;

(b) what the cost of the project in the following constituencies was;

(i) Chimwemwe;

(ii) Kamfinsa;

(iii) Kwacha;

(iv) Nkana; and

(v) Wusakile; and

(c) who the contractor for the project at (b) was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, the US$63 million water reticulation project in Kitwe, which was launched on 28th June, 2012, is scheduled for completion and commissioning by 30th September, 2014. The project is, so far, 91 per cent complete.

Sir, the costs of the projects in the respective constituencies were as follows:

Constituency Project Cost (US$) Project Details

Chimwemwe 84,958.00 The project involves the rehabilitation of the water distribution network as well as the installation of water meters. The constituency will also benefit from the rehabilitation of the Bulangililo Water Treatment Plant

Kamfinsa 597,857.90 The project involves the rehabilitation of the Ndeke Distribution Centre. The constituency will also benefit from the works at Nkana East Water Treatment Plant and other related works

Kwacha 8,143,565.13 The project involves the expansion of the Nkana East Water Treatment Plant and rehabilitation of the Bulangililo Water Treatment Plant, Old Nkana East Water Treatment Plant, Nkana East Intake, Nkana East Raw Water Main, Nkana East Treated Water Main, 17th Avenue Water Distribution Centre and Kwacha Water Distribution Centre, and installation of 1,500 pre-paid meters

Nkana  496,185.04 The project involves the rehabilitation of the Mindolo Water Distribution Centre. The constituency will also benefit from works at the Nkana East Water Treatment Plant, Bulangililo Water Treatment Plant and other related works

Wusakile 533,148.00 The project involves the rehabilitation of Wusakile Water Distribution Centre. The constituency will also benefit from the Nkana East Water Treatment Plant and other related works amounting to US$7,498,037.13.

Mr Speaker, the project contractor is China Henan International Corporation Limited. The contractor for the Mindolo Sanitation Project is UNIK Construction Engineering (PTY) Limited.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, considering that Kitwe’s population is growing at a fast rate, does the hon. Minister think that the water reticulation system that is being put in place will be adequate for the city?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, I think that the money that has been invested in this project will suffice to help us service the growing population in Kitwe. The infrastructure there was dilapidated and obsolete. That is why, as a proactive Government, we have invested US$63 million so that we service the communities in Kitwe.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, who is funding the project?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the project is being funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ).

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mumba (Mambilima): Mr Speaker, water and sanitation go together. Some two weeks ago, I was in Kwacha Constituency and what I found there was appalling. There are no flushing toilets with running water. When will the ministry consider putting up such toilets in the constituency, Kwacha Township in particular?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, this project has not been completed. We will consider what the hon. Member has suggested when we get to that stage.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, was the US$63 million a loan or grant? Further, when was it contracted?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, it is a loan.

Sir, as I said in my earlier response, the project started on 28th June, 2012.

I thank you, Sir.


602. Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi) asked the Minister of Home Affairs:

(a) how many police officers were deployed at Paramount Chief Chitimukulu’s Palace and surrounding areas in Mungwi District from October, 2013, to January, 2014; and

(b) how much money was spent on the police operations under the following categories:

(i) fuel;

(ii) allowances for officers;

(iii) motor vehicle repairs; and

(iv) others.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Sir, with your indulgence, before I respond to the question, I would like to seize this opportunity, as the captain of your team, …


Mr Speaker: You have my indulgence.


Mr Kampyongo: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, and the Clerk of the National Assembly for facilitating the trip to Livingstone. I also thank His Royal Highness, Chief Mukuni, and all the people in Livingstone, …

Mr Sikazwe: Apologise.

Mr Kampyongo: … who turned out in large numbers to support us. However, I must say that the team manager on that day, Mr Munkombwe, the hon. Deputy Minister for the Southern Province, …


Mr Kampyongo: … was justified to petition you to make a diplomatic gesture to the team of our visitors. As he must have said, we did not realise that he has a brother among our visitors.


Mr Kampyongo: I, however, want to assure your counterpart that the diplomatic gesture will only last as short as it is supposed to. We will diplomatically withdraw it in the next encounter. I also thank my colleagues for the support they rendered to me, as their captain, in accepting the diplomatic gesture at the expense of the …

Hon. Members: Resign!

Mr Kampyongo: … torment we have suffered at the hands of our colleagues.

Thank you, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Let us have order, both on the left and right.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, getting back to the question, from October, 2013, to January, 2014, 219 officers were deployed at Chitimukulu Police Post and the surrounding areas of Mungwi District. It is worth noting that this number was not deployed at the same time, as officers were changed from time to time.

Sir, the amount of money spent on the operations was as follows:

Expenditure Amount (K)

Fuel 155,769.26

Allowances 235,852.00

Motor vehicle repairs 28,058.76

Fresh rations for officers 79,527.79

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I am very saddened that such a huge amount, in excess of K500 million …

Mr D. Mwila: No. It is K500,000.

Mr Mucheleka: I beg your pardon, K500,000 was spent on this unnecessary exercise, especially since there was no threat to the peace and security of the area.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lubansenshi, just a moment.

The information you sought has been supplied to you. Now, it is your opportunity to follow it up with a question, if need be. So, get to the question.

Mr Mucheleka: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance.

Sir, why did the Government find it necessary to spend such a huge sum of money, especially since there was no threat, whatsoever, to anybody’s safety? The exercise was unnecessary.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, the mandate of the Zambia Police Force is to maintain law and order. Whenever it is faced with some uncertainties, it is better that they err on the side of caution than to be sorry later when things go wrong. So, they deemed it necessary to enhance security in that area.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Those who are coming through, please, ask questions without prefaces and other appendages. Question means question.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, question.


Mr Speaker: Thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mbulakulima: Can the hon. Minister share with the House what really necessitated that exercise. What kind of threat did the Government react to in that area? Further, is it his view that this is a prudent way of spending public money?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the police assessed the prevailing situation and arrived at the conclusion that there was a need to enhance security in that place.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, are the security officers still in the area? Further, does the security threat that was feared still exists?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, there are currently twenty police officers at Chitimukulu Police Post as we speak.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister know that loyalty is actually earned and that the purpose for which the police officers were sent to our chief’s palace was to prohibit his installation as Chitimukulu? Is he also aware that the chief could still have been installed even without being in the palace?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the installation of a traditional leader is not the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Yes.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, when the hon. Minister saw this question, I want to assume that he enquired from the police what their assessment was so that he could tell us …

Mr Speaker: Is that a question?

Mr Hamudulu: It is a question, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Oh!

Mr Hamudulu: The question is: When you asked the police officers, if you did, and I would like to know why, if you did not, …


Mr Hamudulu: … what assessment was given to you that necessitated the deployment of the officers there?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I do not micro-manage the police. So, it was not necessary for me to request them to furnish me with those details.

I thank you, Sir.

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, this House wants to know how the Government spends our money. Hon. Minister, can you share with this House the security assessment that was made by the police? If you do not have it now, can you furnish us with it later?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, security information gathered by the police may, at times, be shared with the hon. Minister, but not always. They make assessments in their professional capacity and perform their duties. Our duty is to the provide policy guidance.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, …

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order not to answer my question?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: My question is simply: Can he provide information on that security assessment to this House?

Mr Speaker: I will make a ruling.

He said that, in some instances, information is shared, in others, it is not.

Hon. Government Members: And he knows.

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

Hon. Members: Ah!

Mr Speaker: The point of order is misplaced.


Mr Speaker: There is nobody who has spoken.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, …

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: Now, raise your point of order.

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, when the people on your left ask questions, they seek answers on behalf of the people. Is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to insinuate that he does not know what happens in his department ...


Mr Shakafuswa: … a department under his ministry, when, in fact, he was asked the question and could have found out what necessitated the police to go and surround our beloved Chitimukulu’s palace?

I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Katuba, just look at Question 602. Do you have it before you?

Mr Shakafuswa: Yes, Sir.

Mr Speaker: It is not asking why, but how many.

Mr Shakafuswa: It is for our information.


Mr Speaker: Just hold on, the Speaker is speaking.

The point of order was that when he received this question, the hon. Minister should have followed the question and established what had necessitated that action. If you want to raise a supplementary question, you are at liberty to do so. This is why it is inappropriate to raise points of order in this regard. If you have a follow-up question, just ask it. The hon. Minister is available.

Please, let the hon. Member for Liuwa pose his question.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I have indicated in this House before that there are security concerns in Liuwa because of bandits who come from Angola to that part of the country and, then, run back. In view of the fact that an hon. Member of Parliament in that party resigned because he felt that there were no genuine security reasons for sending the police there to surround the Chitimukulu’s palace, can the hon. Minister agree to withdraw the officers and spend the resources on the genuine security concerns in Liuwa?

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, after making an assessment, the Zambia Police Force will advise when it will be prudent to withdraw the officers from that area.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, in which constituency is Chief Chitimukulu’s palace located?


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, Chief Chitimukulu’s Palace is in Malole Constituency.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the establishment of the Zambia Police Force has a staff shortage of 26,000. This is the reason the Ministry of Home Affairs comes to this House to request funding to employ more police officers. Can the hon. Minister justify deploying over 200 police officers to one place and posting twenty to one police post?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Force currently has 17,000 officers, 4,000 more than this Government found it. We want to increase it to 27,000. So, it is short of 10,000 officers. As I said earlier, the police assessed the situation and saw the need to increase the number of officers in that area. I also said that when they make another assessment and advise us to reduce the number, we will act accordingly.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, this Government withdrew the recognition of Chief Mwamba and has gone ahead to deploy police officers at Chitimukulu’s Palace. What is it about the Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) that this Government is not comfortable with?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, the installation or recognition of traditional leaders is not the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The mandate of my ministry is to maintain law and order.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, colossal sums of money are being misused over this exercise, yet the hon. Minister does not know the reason the police officers were deployed. Is he certain that resources are not being abused by the Zambia Police Force?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I have indicated to the House that the police assess any given situation. Sometimes, they may share their assessments with the ministry, other times, they may not need to.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is telling us that it is better to err on the side of caution than to be sorry later. Is he telling the nation that …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, allow me to apologise to the hon. Member for Nalikwanda for disturbing his line of thought.

Sir, once bitten, twice shy. We are aware that, in this country, when there were disturbances in Mongu and Limulunga, the Ministry of Home Affairs deployed police officers there longer than was necessary. The result of that deployment was that school children fell pregnant for the misplaced human resource that had no recreation. Is the hon. Minister, therefore, in order to continue skirting around a matter that is very important instead of just telling us when the ministry will recall those police officers so that our children in Malole do not fall pregnant?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The difficulty I have with that point of order is that it qualifies as a follow-up question that someone else should have asked.

The hon. Member for Nalikwanda may continue.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is telling us that it is better for the police to err on the side of caution than to be sorry later. Is he saying that our police operate on the basis of hypothetical conjectures, not verified facts?

Mr Mwila: Eba professor aba?

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the answer is no.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government always claims that it does not interfere with the installation of chiefs. Is the deployment of police officers around Chitimukulu’s palace not an infringement on the human rights of the Bemba people?

Mr Mwila: Tom and Jerry!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, I have repeatedly stated that the installation of traditional leaders is not the mandate of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Hon. Opposition Members: Human rights!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, the mandate of the ministry is to maintain law and order wherever and whenever we see a need to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


603. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Vice-President:

(a) what the results of the pilot study on the service delivery charters in selected Government ministries were; and

(b) whether the exercise would be replicated in the rest of the ministries and, if so, when.

The Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice-President (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, in 2012, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government, recognising the importance of re-orienting the focus of the Public Service from mere administration to people-driven service delivery, commissioned a study on the implementation of the service delivery charters (SDCs) in the Zambian Public Service. The study covered all institutions that had the developed the SDCs, namely:

(a) the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA);

(b) the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources;

(c) the Immigration Department;

(d) the Public Service Management Division;

(e) the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism;

(f) the Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship;

(g) the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development; and

(h) the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Sir, the purpose of the study was to determine to what extent the subject institutions had met the commitments contained in their charters. The results of the study revealed that the institutions had implemented their charters to varying degrees of success. PACRA, the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, and the Immigration Department had developed, launched and implemented their charters. The Public Service Management Division (PSMD), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, the Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock had developed their service delivery charters and reviewed their service delivery chains, but had not implemented them. The following are the specific comments on the implementation of the SDCs in the surveyed institutions:

Patent and Companies Registration Agency

Mr Speaker, the PACRA Headquarters is delivering its services in line with its charter. The agency has been able to achieve this by restructuring and computerising its work processes, which has drastically reduced the amount of time it takes to deliver services. The agency’s satellite offices, however, were not meeting the agreed service standards as consistently as the headquarters. The study found that, that was attributable to the fact that the satellite stations were still in the process of implementing the new service delivery system. It is expected that, when the next survey is conducted in the third quarter of 2014, the level of service delivery will be at high throughout the country.

Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural resources was the first line ministry to launch a service charter in 2007. Since then, the ministry has shown innovation in service delivery by opening a customer service centre that has eased the physical process of accessing services and freed up the operative staff in the back office, allowing them to process applications faster. However, the ability of the ministry to fully deliver on its charter has been hampered by the incomplete implementation of an appropriate computerised land registration system. At the time of the launch of the charter, the ministry was in the process of developing such a system with support from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) facility. However, this work was not completed. Notwithstanding the above, the ministry has managed to improve its service delivery timelines.

Sir, the ministry is also responsible for administering timber concession licences, which were formally under the SDC for the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. This charter could not be launched because the service delivery modalities changed midstream. Formally, the licences were administered by an administrative committee. However, over time, it became prudent to alter the mechanism. The ministry, at the time of the study, was finalising the modalities.

Immigration Department

Mr Speaker, like in the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs also introduced a customer service centre, which has also streamlined operations. The study found that the department was meeting its benchmarks on service delivery. The gains are largely attributed to the introduction of the service centre and modern security and risk management procedures.

Public Service Management Division

Mr Speaker, the PSMD developed its charter in 2009, but has not launched it as it is in the process of streamlining its service delivery processes. The delay in re-engineering the processes is attributed to the on-going Public Service human resource reforms, which are now approaching finalisation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism

Mr Speaker, at the time of the study, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism was responsible for administering the portion of the service delivery charter for the former Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources that related to tourism licences. That was not implemented because the issues related to timber licences in the charter where being handed over to a new administrative arrangement.

Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship

Mr Speaker, the Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship has re-engineered its work process and developed a service charter that is yet to be launched. The department has, however, rolled out its re-engineered work processes and is currently delivering services in accordance with the timelines stipulated in its charter. The department opted not to launch its charter in light of its digitisation of the National Registration Card (NRC). It is expected that service delivery times will be further reduced once the NRCs have been digitised. It will be then that the department will launch a new charter reflecting the new timelines.

Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development

Mr Speaker, at the time of the study, the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development had developed, but not launched its charter because of an amendment to the Mines and Minerals Act. In light of the amendment of the Act and the resultant changes in the licensing modalities, the ministry is in the process of developing streamlined service delivery chains that will form the basis for developing a new charter.

Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, at the time of the study, had just commenced implementation of its charter. Hence, no determination of its service delivery levels was made.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the future plans for rolling out the SDCs, the PF Government remains committed to improving the wellbeing of Zambians through the re-orientation of the Civil Service. In this regard, Cabinet Office is in the process of improving its charter monitoring capabilities to ensure that the challenges in the implementation of the SDCs are resolved within the calendar year. Further, in 2014, the SDCs will be developed and launched for nine institutions, including the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), Zambia Weights and Measures Agency (ZWMA) and Zambia Medicines Authority (ZMA).

Mr Speaker, the intention of the Government is to ensure that every public institution has an SDC, which will be a commitment by the Government to its people for service delivery levels and standards.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, service charters are meant to improve service delivery, and the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection started implementing its service charter in 2007. Would His Honour the Vice-President confirm that this service charter is serving its purpose in the ministry now?

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I think that the service charters were an experimental concept borrowed from elsewhere by the previous Government, and it is very clear from this report that, in some institutions, they have performed well but, in others, there are, one might use the word ‘excuses’, but there are reasons given for their having been ineffective. I think that I should point out that many institutions that run this country are not even compliant with the legal requirement to provide annual reports to Parliament, for example. They are a very elementary breakdown of the functioning of the institutions, and the whole question of how we manage them, as a country, is currently being reviewed by Cabinet Office.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, His Honour the Vice-President’s answer indicates that Cabinet Office will ensure that service delivery is achieved through the service charters.

What is he doing about the District Commissioners (DCs), whose terms of reference is to serve the public without discrimination but, today, what we see is that they …

Hon. Government Members: Is that a question?

Mr Muchima: Yes, it is a question.

What we see, today, is that they are only there to serve the politicians, mostly, the interest of the Patriotic Front (PF) by recruiting cadres to enhance PF politics. What service delivery do they render to the general public?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, we have wandered, somewhat, off the original question, which relates to some specific institutions that have, so far, developed charters. I do not think that the District Commissioner’s (DC’s) offices were ever intended to be part of this system. However, since the questioner has suggested, we will consider it.

I thank you, Sir.


604. Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a) when the ban on Zambian-registered aircraft flying into the European Union (EU) airspace was imposed;

(b) why the ban was imposed; and

(c) whether the ban had been lifted and, if so, when.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the European Union (EU) ban on Zambian-registered aircraft was imposed after the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit of February, 2009.

Sir, an audit was conducted on Zambia’s Civil Aviation by ICAO in early 2009 under the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP). After that audit, ninety-eight audit findings, including a significant safety concern, were recorded. The safety concern was what resulted in the ban on the Zambia-registered aircraft from entering the European airspace.

Mr Speaker, the safety concern related to Zambia’s failure to comply with the requirements and processes for the five-phase Air Operator Certification (AOC) in accordance with ICAO requirements. That led to Zambia being put on the ICAO Audit Results Review Board (ARRB) List. The EU, through the European Commission Parliament, on recommendation from the Air Safety Committee (ASC), put Zambia on the list of aircraft carriers not permitted to fly into Europe.

Sir, the EU operational ban has not yet been lifted, as it can only be lifted when we have established an effective oversight organisation that will assure the EU that we have the capacity to effectively regulate the aviation sector.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, what are the consequences of the ban on our nation, especially in terms of tourism promotion?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the ban has had a negative effective on our tourism industry. Most of our aircraft cannot go anywhere apart from within the region. Therefore, we are trying very hard to have it lifted.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that the concerns about our aviation system were actually detected back in 2009.  Now that we have seen an unprecedented number of air traffic accidents on Zambian soil, which have seen us suffer tragedies like the loss of our gallant Deputy Air Force Commander, not so long ago, who was flying a commercially-registered trainer plane, would the hon. Minister admit that there is something fundamentally wrong with either the equipment or the running of our civil aviation?

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, Zambia has one of the best airline safety records in this region. Yes, we have had a few accidents involving small planes, which is inevitable in almost every country, but our civilian planes, those that were Zambia Airways, for example, have never crashed.

Sir, in as far as Zambia Air Force (ZAF) is concerned, I cannot comment because I do not have the results of the Board of Inquiry (BoI) that was instituted to investigate accidents that have occurred among its aircraft. So, I am unable to say why it crashed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, what difficulties are we facing in satisfying the aviation requirements of the European Union (EU)?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, as a result of the ban, the Government has instituted the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Initially, it was merely a department of the ministry, but it is now an authority, which was one of the requirements of the EU. We have also appointed a board to run the CAA and are recruiting the relevant staff to service the board. Lastly, a circular will be issued to the EU in 2014.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala):  Mr Speaker, assuming that the plans to set up a national airline are serious, what will come first? Is it the establishment of a national airline or meeting the requirements of the European Union (EU)? I ask this because the national airline will need to fly to Europe like Zambia Airways used to do.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, currently, we are dealing with the CAA. When a national airline has been formed, there are various strategies that can be used to enable its aircraft to fly into Europe. We can partner with other airlines that have EU landing rights, for example. So, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

I cannot follow the hon. Minister here.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I was saying that … (Col. Kaunda resumed his seat)

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Sorry, hon. Minister. We were being disturbed here.

Please, continue.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the first point will be to ensure that the ban is lifted. After July, 2014, when we present our results to the EU, we hope to get positive results. However, just in case the airline is established before the lifting of the ban, we can partner with any reputable airline in the world on whose licence we can fly and land into Europe as Zambia Airways.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, what is the hon. Minister doing to ensure that the burden of our pilots and operators is reduced, other than concentrating on having the ban lifted by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)? Pilots who are trained in Zambia are subjected to sitting for examinations in South Africa because of the delays in the registration of aircraft in Zambia.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the certification of pilots has nothing to do with the banning of Zambian aircraft from going into Europe. They can get their licences if they want to and get jobs anywhere in the world.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister, in one of his responses, said that Zambia has one of the best air safety records. Would he not agree with me that the record he speaks of is non-existent because the aviation industry in Zambia is as good as dead?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I do not agree.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


605. Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) what measures the Government had taken to discourage child marriages among school-going children in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency; and

(b) whether the Government had engaged traditional leaders in programmes to combat child marriages, especially in rural areas countrywide.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, some of the interventions that the Government has put in place in Lukulu West to discourage child marriages among school-going children are the distribution of policy documents to schools in Lukulu West to enhance policy implementation, and School Re-entry Policy was among those documents; community sensitisation meetings on early marriages have been held; and village education communities (VEC) have been formed for the sole purpose of discouraging early marriages amongst school-going children.

Mr Speaker, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), through the Adolescent Reproductive Health Advocates (ARHA), which is a locally-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), has been advocating against early marriages. We also have women’s lobby groups, under the hospices of the District Administration Office, which have initiated a programme on Lukulu Community Radio Station to discuss of early marriages. This programme reaches even those in Lukulu West.

Mr Speaker, we have a multi-sectoral committee that comprises the Barotse Royal Establishment (BRE), the Victims Support Unit (VSU), the Judiciary, the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, the Department of Social Welfare and local NGOs, which discusses cross-cutting issues, such as early marriages and their prevention.

Sir, at the national level, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, in collaboration with other line ministries and stakeholders, held a symposium from 9th to 19th July, 2014, under the theme, ‘Let Girls Be Girls, Not Brides: Zero Tolerance to Child Marriages’. The purpose of the symposium was to galvanise a collection of leaders, and share experiences and information locally and internationally on how to end child marriages. Further, in 2013, the First Lady of the Republic of Zambia, Dr Christine Kaseba Sata, launched a campaign to end child marriages in Chipata, in Paramount Chief Mpezeni’s chiefdom. Subsequent launches were held in other chiefdoms.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister sure that the measures he has mentioned are applicable in Lukulu West to stop the girls from getting impregnated?

Sir, we saw in the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology that the houses in which the girls from Lukulu West are being kept …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Mr Mutelo: Are you sure that those things are applicable in Lukulu West?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the question was specific to Lukulu West and the answers that Hon. Mawumba gave …

Mr Mwila: Mabumba!

Dr Phiri: … Mabumba, were also specific to Lukulu West. The measures were found to be necessary from 2012 and intensified in 2013. Like any other issue, give the programmes time to see how they will impact on the problem. This problem is not only yours, hon. Member. We share the plight of our girl children in this country. So, let us wait and see whether the measures that we have put in place will yield the results that we desire for Lukulu West.

Sir, as we institute the interventions, the role of the hon. Member of Parliament is as critical as that of traditional leaders and other stakeholders. Therefore, I urge you to come on board with us, if you are not already, and see whether we can rescue the girl children.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, in relation to part (b) of Hon. Mutelo’s question, did the Government have an opportunity to consult the Paramount Chief of the Bemba people, the Chitimukulu, over this issue? If it did, what was his advice?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, Hon. Mutelo asked two basic questions. One was what measures had been taken to discourage child marriages, the second, which the hon. Member is referring to, was whether the Government had engaged traditional leaders in the programmes to combat child marriages, especially in the rural areas countrywide, and my answer was specific. We have instituted the interventions in Lukulu and hope that there will be a reduction in child marriages as a result of the measures we have put in place.

Sir, if the hon. Member for Monze Central would like us to get information specifically on Chitimukulu’s chiefdom, then, he is welcome to raise a new question.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the question raised by Hon. Mutelo is very specific, but encompasses the entire country.

Mr Shakafuswa: Read it.

Mr Mwiimbu: I assume that Paramount Chief Chitimukulu’s area is in Zambia, and that is the reason I raised this issue. Is the hon. Minister in order to dodge my question and state that the question related to Lukulu West only?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, as you respond to the question by the hon. Member for Namwala, take the point of order into account, in light of Question 605 (b).

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, is the Government considering distributing condoms in schools?


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the distribution of condoms has not been part of the ministry’s plan. However, if the hon. Member wants a detailed answer on that, then, she should file in a question.

Mr Speaker, as to whether the Government has engaged traditional leaders in the programmes to combat child marriages, especially in rural areas countrywide, what we said about Lukulu West is an example of what we are doing nationwide. However, we are only working with officially recognised and gazetted traditional leaders.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, I think that the question is specifically on whether Paramount Chief Chitimukulu was consulted.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, all recognised and gazetted chiefs are part of this programme.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a) what measures the Government had taken to stabilise the escalating prices of mealie meal; and

(b) whether the Government had any plans to promote the production of cassava, millet and sorghum as alternatives to the staple food, maize.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, in order to stabilise mealie meal prices, the Government will continue to support initiatives aimed at increasing farmers’ production and productivity. These measures include the continued promotion of the Farmer Input Support Programmes (FISP), the scaling-up of conservation farming and improved extension services delivery, and investment in irrigation. The goal of these initiatives is to increase maize production and productivity, which will increase the supply of the commodity and ultimately lead to stable mealie meal prices.

Sir, through its Crop Diversification Programme (CDP), the Government is promoting the growing of other crops, such as cassava, millet and sorghum, as alternative staple foods. Cassava plays an important role in food security and is cultivated in all the ten provinces of Zambia. However, most of the cassava produced is from five provinces of the country, namely, the Western, the North-Western, Luapula, the Northern and Muchinga. With regard to sorghum and millet, the Government, through FISP, is providing small-scale farmers with high-yielding sorghum varieties and fertiliser in order to increase their production and productivity. For the past two seasons, sorghum has been supported under the programme. The production of sorghum, as an alternative staple food crop to maize, is increasing among small-scale farmers. In addition, the Government, through the Zambia Agriculture Research Institute (ZARI), has developed improved sorghum and millet varieties under the Sorghum and Millet Breeding (SMB) programme and information about the varieties of sorghum and millet have been disseminated to the farmers. The farmers in drought-prone areas, in particular, are being advised to grow sorghum and millet due to their high drought-tolerance. Currently, sorghum varieties like Sima and Kuyuma, and millet varieties like Lubasi and Kaufela have been developed and are being grown by small-scale farmers.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, amongst the three crops that the hon. Minister has mentioned, cassava, on which the people of Kalabo depend heavily, has not received sufficient support from the Government. When will the Government directly support the production of cassava to sustain the lives of the people of Kalabo?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the Government has embarked on many programmes and projects with co-operating partners to promote cassava in various provinces. One of the programmes is called Smallholder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP), which has a got a US$22 million funding. Another is called Smallholder Productivity Promotion Programme (S3P), which is aimed at supporting agriculture and, in particular, the production of cassava. This programme is funded to the tune of about US$51.9 million by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), which is our co-operating partner. Those are some of the measures that the Government is undertaking to promote crop diversification.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, in Luena, the distribution of cassava cuttings is very haphazard? They are just dumped at Nang’oko School and people do not even know who is in charge of the distribution.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, we have District Agriculture Co-ordinators (DACOs) in charge of our programmes in every district. We run the cassava programme just like we do other crops, such as maize, sorghum, rice and millet. If what the hon. Member said is actually happening in Luena, we will get to the root cause. That is not supposed to be the case. If these cassava cuttings are just dumped, then, they are not being delivered. So, we will make a follow-up.

I thank you, Sir

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that one of the strategies to stabilise the prices of mealie meal is promoting increased production. Recently, we have listened to the song of a bumper harvest, which some of us cannot see anywhere. Most of the maize has been harvested. Can the hon. Minister reconcile the discrepancy of mealie meal prices rising in the midst of plenty.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, if you look at the findings of a recent Central Statistical Office (CSO) survey, you will see that, in fact, the prices of mealie meal have remained stable. We expect that to be the case until we get the lean period of the year, the hard times between December and March. I must also mention that, in fact, part of the reason the mealie meal price was going up was the lack of co-ordination between the stakeholders in the milling industry. Therefore, the Government is engaging them to keep the prices at moderate levels because we know that the law of demand and supply is supposed to apply in this case. We expect to harvest 3.5 million metric tonnes of maize, and that should, obviously, bring the prices down.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister feel that the maize price should be increased so that it matches the prices at which mealie meal is bought?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, obviously, there is a relationship between the price of maize and the price of mealie meal. That is why the Government has said that the only way the price of mealie meal will go down is for us to get high productivity for every hectare tilled by our farmers. Otherwise, a 50 kg bag of maize will be expensive, which will result in the price of mealie meal being high.

I thank you, Sir.


Hon. Back Benchers: Mulekeni umwaiche.

Mr Nkombo: What is, ‘‘Mulekeni umwaiche’’?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, just leave the control of the House to me. Your sole task is to ask questions.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I like the way the hon. Minister has answered, especially pertaining to the principle of demand and supply as a determinant of the price of maize. However, he has been silent on the aspect of the actual cost of production. With that in mind, can he tell me the significance of the so-called floor price, if the Government recognises the interface between demand and supply. Does the so-called floor price of maize have any bearing on the cost of the commodity?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the floor price is an average price. In fact, it is the minimum price at which the Government expects our farmers to sell their produce. We will not allow briefcase farmers or small-grain traders to buy the farmers’ produce at a lower cost. We will insist on our farmers selling their produce at that floor price.

Sir, the cost of production, obviously, affects the price of a bag of mealie meal. However, what we are saying is that if, for example, the price …


Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, ...


Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Monde: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, the cost of producing a 50 kg bag of maize will, obviously, affect the price of the produce.

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Monde: Yes. If you used to produce twenty 50 kg bags in a 1 ha, but you increase productivity to fifty bags from the same hectare, that will lower the cost because of the economies of scale. So, there is a relationship.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Back Benchers: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the issue of achieving a low price of mealie meal is a long process, but we are talking about the short term. Would the hon. Minister concede that the only way to lower the prices quickly is by re-introducing the subsidies?

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Ng’onga: His Honour the Vice-President, Dr Scott.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, with your indulgence, I will respond to that question.

Mr Speaker: Yes, please, proceed.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, if you want to make both the Zambian consumers and producers the happiest in the world, you will have to re-introduce the subsidy. However, that will mean that, for example, Zambians sending their children to school will be unhappy because they will have to pay high school fees and motorists will be unhappy to drive on bad roads. We have made it clear that we want to achieve a balance that is as free from subsidies as possible. There are subsidies in the price of fertiliser, and in the cost of transporting and storing grains through the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). However, we are trying to keep them reasonable so that matters are satisfactory for everybody.

Sir, with regard to the floor price, we tried to get rid of it in 1991 when the hon. Minister who has been answering had just been born and Hon. Gary Nkombo was still quite young.


Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.


Hon. Government Members: Ikala panshi.

The Vice-President: However, it proved to be a kind of psychology impossibility to get rid of the Government price.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: That was His Honour the Vice-President speaking.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock controls the price …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, you have encultured us to be cotemporaneous in raising points of order.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I want to put it on record that His Honour the Vice-President and I were officemates for a considerable number of years on the Fourth Floor of Bata House, here, in Lusaka. Is he in order to belittle me …


Mr Nkombo: … by calling me a young person when, more than twenty years ago, he and I shared an office as colleagues?


Mr Speaker: In view of the peculiarity of the facts, I think, I will be very slow to say that he is out of order. However, I recognise that you have in the past made the same statement that he was your officemate. I think it was said in jest.


Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock is sitting on strategic reserves of millions of bags of maize and can control the price of maize because he has the power over that maize. Is the Government comfortable and sleeping soundly when the price of mealie meal is at K70?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think, we are reasonably satisfied. We monitor, both in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and in the Vice-President’s Office, the price of mealie meal in many localities. We do it in tandem with the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (JCTR) because we think that there is a certain element of quality in their recording that is sometimes better than the Government system. Currently, the mealie meal price has not been going up. In fact, we have had modest price reductions in various shops. We are monitoring to see how things turn out in the next month or two. Incidentally, for the questioner’s benefit, the actual minimum food basket cost in Lusaka for the last twelve months has moved by only 1 per cent up. So, the prices have been very stable, contrary to the allegations made now and then on this subject.

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a) what the benefits of the ‘golden share’ held by the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) in mining companies were;

(b) how much money was paid to the ZCCM−IH as dividends by the mining companies from 2011 to 2013, year by year; and

(c) which companies did not pay the dividends during the period at (b) above.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) does not hold golden shares in any mining house. Golden shares in mining houses are held by the Government of the Republic of Zambia as provided for in the Shareholding Agreements and Articles of Association, through the hon. Minister of Finance or his nominee.

Mr Speaker, the benefit of the Government holding golden shares in mining companies is that they are a means of protecting national interests, as they provide for special voting rights and power to veto other shares on specific issues of national importance. Unfortunately, they do not confer the right to participate in the capital or profits of the company. However, in the event that the company wound up, the Government would be entitled to a portion of the capital.

Mr Speaker, like I indicated, the ZCCM-IH owns ordinary, not golden, shares in mining houses, and received K518.77 million as dividends from 2011 to 2013, broken down as follows:

Company ZCCM-IH Dividends for Year Ended (K’million) 
 (%) March 2011 March 2012  March 2013

Chibuluma 15.0 5.9 28.48 15.20
Mines Plc
Mopani 10.0 – – 5.25 
Copper Mines 
Kansanshi 20.0 131.46 15.37 196.69
Mining Plc

Konkola 20.6 – 23.63  82.59
Mines Plc 

NFC Africa 15.0 14.19 – – 
Mining Plc
Totals 151.55 67.48 299.74
Mr Speaker, K54.5 million out of the K82.59 million from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is still outstanding.

Sir, the following mining companies did not pay dividends during the period under review:

Company ZCCM-IH Percentage Shareholding

Albidon 0.98

Chambishi Metals Plc 10.00

CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines Plc 15.00

Maamba Collieries Limited 35.00

Lubambe Copper Mine Limited 20.00

Ndola Lime Company Limited 100.00

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister submitted that K518.77 million was received as dividends from 2011 to 2013. How was that money spent?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, some of the money was used to recapitalise the operations of the ZCCM-IH, but most of it went to the General Treasury.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, mining companies are supposed to give back to the local communities and/or authorities in the areas in which they operate. Hon. Minister, how much of that money was paid back to the communities in line with the Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2008?

Mr Speaker: That strikes me as a new question. However, hon. Minister, you may respond.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, it is a new question. However, the ministry has a bonus answer.

Sir, indeed, the mining houses have a corporate social responsibility to communities in which they operate. However, the money we are talking about is dividend or shareholders’ money.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, why is the K54.5 million from Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) still outstanding? Further, what is the ministry doing about it?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the KCM declared the dividends, but only in part, as indicated in the schedule. There is a balance that the company has undertaken to settle. The House may be aware that the KCM has been undergoing some difficulties in the last couple of months, and the ministry is consulting on how to keep it afloat. That is what has led to the accumulation of the balance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister stated that Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) has been undergoing some problems. However, the Chairperson of the company has publicly stated that it is making huge profits. Can the hon. Minister reconcile the two positions.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, indeed, the Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) has been facing very tough economic times. The pronouncements made by the Chairperson of Vedanta Group of Companies, Mr Anil Agarwal, are currently being reviewed from the legal point of view. Apart from that, a committee has been set up to look into the matter. As for now, we are unable to say anything more on the subject.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, still on Mr Anil Agwarl’s shocking revelations of how much money the KCM is making out of this economy through mining activities, can the hon. Minister give me some comfort about the amount of confidence that the Government has in the authenticity of the profit and loss accounts that mining houses provide. We have known, from way back, that even Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) has been providing falsified profit information. This was revealed by a forensic audit. How much confidence can the hon. Minister instill in me that those dividends that the companies are declaring at the end of each financial year are authentic?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, like I said, Mr Agarwal’s statement was made outside the mandate given to us in looking into the operations of the KCM. Let me inform the House that two serious audits were conducted. One was commissioned by the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) and investigated the accounts of three companies, namely, Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), Kansanshi Mine and the KCM. We conducted the second, which involved a further scrutiny of the operations and books of the companies. We are not saying that there could not be any dubious acts. There could be some and we are still pursuing this issue to ensure that we seal all possible gaps that may lead to tax evasion or any other perceived ill acts.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, we appreciate the steps that the Government is taking to seal the various gaps that may exist in the system. Does the ministry have the necessary expertise to do that, given the fact that, the world over, multinational corporations engage in economic ventures solely in order to enrich themselves?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I advise the hon. Member to have confidence in us, Zambians, because we have the relevant skills. If he says that there are no skills, then, we are not even supposed to sit here and represent our people, as hon. Members of Parliament.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.   

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, now that the forensic audit for Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is completed, when will it be made public?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, we have already made it public and are continuing to do so. All those who want more clarity on it, please, come forward so that we repeat the things we have been saying.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Rev. Lieut-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, on one hand, the hon. Minister is trying to comfort us, on the other, the Chairperson of the Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) is boasting about the huge profits being made out of Zambia. Could the hon. Minister reconcile the two positions and tell us whether our mines are safe or, indeed, the huge profits are going out of the country.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, the amount bragged about by Mr Agarwal is a lot of money. So, if at all it is being made, it should be seen somewhere in the books, but it is not. However, we are pursuing that issue.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, indeed, it is good that the ministry has made the report on Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) audit public. However, when will it be brought to Parliament so that hon. Members of Parliament can ask the necessary and important questions on the matter?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was answering a follow-up question by Hon. Mwale. However, I would like to state that there is a question that has been filed in with our office, which is due tomorrow. The answer to that question will tackle the hon. Member’s question in a more detailed manner. Therefore, I seek the House’s indulgence to answer Hon. Mwale’s supplementary question tomorrow.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

I thank you, Sir.


608. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) whether the Government was aware about the overcrowding in the only girls’ dormitory at Kabompo Secondary School;

(b) if so, when the situation would be rectified; and

(c) when new ablution blocks would be constructed at the school to avoid an outbreak of diseases.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Government is aware of the overcrowding in the only girls’ dormitory at Kabompo Secondary School. That situation is being resolve, through the re-opening of a dormitory that was converted into a classroom to accommodate the girls at the school. Further, the ministry plans to upgrade Mumbeji and Pokola schools into day secondary schools. This measure is expected to decongest Kabompo Secondary School. Funding permitting, the Government will also consider the construction of additional dormitories at Kabompo Secondary School.

Mr Speaker, the construction of new ablution blocks at Kabompo Secondary School will be included in future infrastructure development plans (IDPs). However, the school has been encouraged to continue upholding high levels of hygiene to prevent disease outbreaks.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Sir, I thank the hon. Minister for that elaborate answer. However, allow me to seek clarification on one or two issues.

Mr Speaker, we are indebted to the Government for its intention to upgrade both Pokola and Mumbeji into secondary schools, although we are also aware that the project will take very long. So, while the ministry is encouraging the girl child to go to school, it is, at the same time, discouraging her by not providing the necessary facilities. Could the hon. Minister reconcile the two. How do you hope to encourage the girl child in Kabompo to go to school, reach higher heights and become doctors like yourselves if you do not provide the necessary facilities?

I beg an answer from the hon. Minister.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Government wants every girl child to go to school. In fact, when you look at the parity ratios between the boys and girls, they are very encouraging. However, specifically in Kabompo, like I said, the Government plans to upgrade Pokola and Mumbeji schools. In addition to that, there is a new boarding secondary school being constructed in the district and is nearing completion. So, as far as we are concerned, the Government is doing its level best. These schools will soon be completed. We are only waiting for the Ministry of Finance to release the funds for the upgrading of the 220 primary schools into day secondary schools. Once that has been done, Pokola and Mumbeji will be upgraded so that the girl child can have access to education.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, why does a small project like the construction of an ablution block have to be postponed or await the construction of other schools whose construction will require huge sums of money? Why is the ministry failing to build an ablution block?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as we have repeatedly said on the Floor of this House, the challenge has been budget constraints. For example, the bulk of the infrastructure funds that the ministry receives currently go to the completion of the eighty-three secondary schools across currently being built across the country. So, once the on-going projects have been completed, the ministry will have some funds with which to rehabilitate some school infrastructure. We expect many of these projects to be completed, probably, by the second quarter of next year.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


609. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health whether persons with disabilities in Kaputa District, especially the blind, had access to empowerment funds administered by the ministry.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Ms Kazunga): Mr Speaker, persons with disabilities in Kaputa District, including the blind, have access to all empowerment funds administered by the ministry. For example, Mowa Centre for the Blind received empowerment funds from the ministry amounting to K40,000 for the procurement of carpentry tools to help kick-start a carpentry workshop.

Sir, during the 2013/2014 Farming Season, persons with disabilities in Kaputa District also accessed the Food Security Packs (FSPs). Seven accessed wetland farming inputs while twenty-five accessed rain-fed farming inputs. In addition, Kaputa District is one of the districts that benefits from the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS). In 2013, 186 persons with disabilities were on the SCTs. Eighty were male while 105 were female. This year, during the scaling up of the programme, 277 persons with disabilities were added to the SCTS. Of that number, 145 were males while 132 were females. In total, there were 462 persons with disabilities on the scheme as at 30th June, 2014. Kindly note that this data is not desegregated by any nature of disability, but includes blind persons within the district.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chansa (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, is there any reliable programme aimed at sensitising people with disabilities on how to access the empowerment funds?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, certainly, yes. That is why we have the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD), which registers disabled persons. The ZAPD has offices in all the districts and sub-centre offices manned by officers who live in the same communities as the disabled people. The community also helps the persons with disabilities in the registration process.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, is it possible for the ministry to give us information from all the districts regarding persons with disabilities who should be accessing the Social Cash Transfer Scheme (SCTS) funds? I say so because this is an issue with which most of us have been struggling. So, is the ministry able to avail this information to all the constituencies or districts so that we are aware of what is happening and can see what role we can play in identifying and sensitising the concerned persons with disabilities in our constituencies?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for expressing interest in this issue. We are on top of things. So, we can avail the information that has been requested for.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, this Government has exacerbated the problem of disability in this country by laying off all the disabled persons who were working on farms and failing to compensate them very well. What will it do with them?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, as far as I know, we laid off those persons who were eligible for retirement and they were given their pensions, as stipulated in their conditions of service. So, I do not know which other group the hon. Member is talking about.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, I would like to take advantage of the response given by the hon. Deputy Minister concerning a project for the disabled in Kaputa to find out the process, …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I do not seem to understand what the hon. Deputy Minister means by stating that the Government retired all those who were eligible for retirement. Some of the people were as young as twenty-five years old. So, what is the retirement age in this country?

Hon. Government Members: Is that a point of order?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, sorry. Is the hon. Minister in order to say that she has retired people who are aged between twenty and thirty years old?

Mr Speaker: If the hon. Minister is able to clarify, she may do so when she responds to the hon. Member for Kabwata’s question.

Proceed, Hon. Lubinda.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, what procedure should the disabled people’s groups follow to access the empowerment funds? I ask this because four groups for disabled in the constituency that I represent have, over the last three years, failed to acquire any support from the ministry.

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, there is a deliberate policy at my ministry to favour the disabled in accessing the SCTS. So, it is easy for them to access it if they come forward. As regards other empowerment funds, I do not think that there is any discrimination. So, the hon. Member of Parliament can come forward with information regarding the groups he mentioned so that we can make follow ups.

Sir, on the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Mwandi, I am unable to give an answer now. However, I will investigate the matter further. What I know is what I have told the House.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwandi, if you so wish, you are at liberty to raise a specific question that we can pass to the hon. Minister so that we put this matter to rest.

Dr Kaingu indicated assent.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, Kabwata Constituency is less than 10 km from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.


Mr Miyutu: It is less than 10 km …

Mr Speaker: Just ignore the interjections and continue with your question.

Mr Miyutu: Sir, why has the ministry failed to locate and identify those groups which have failed to access the empowerment funds for three years, like the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata has said, …

Mr Lubinda: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Sir, I deliberately waited for the question to be posed before I could raise the point of order.

Sir, is the hon. Minister in order to deny the people of Kabwata Constituency an answer to the question on the process that they ought to follow for them to access the fund? It is not that I want to present them at the ministry, but could the hon. Minister kindly give us the procedure.

Is she in order not to state what the procedure is?

Mr Speaker: In a way, the question and point of order coincide.

Please, clarify, hon. Minister.

Ms Kazunga: Sir, the ministry does not have a department that identifies beneficiaries. The beneficiaries access the funds when they come to the ministry. If they feel that they are in need of such services, they can come to the ministry and we will be able to assist them. In terms of the process, they have to start by going to our district offices where they find the District Community Development Officer (DCDO) and forward their proposal. They should be in a group of, at least, ten people. In their proposal, they must indicate their needs, for example, sewing machines, and the quotations for the needs. They must also be registered as a club because we empower the clubs through the Registrar of Societies, not the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA).

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Some light has been shed.

Hon. Opposition Members: It is not enough.

Mr Speaker: It is still light.


Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, some light has been shed, but not enough of it. Is it possible for the hon. Minister to give us …

Mr Munkombwe interjected.


Mr Lufuma: … a document that explains the procedure so that we are in no doubt at all?

Ms Kazunga: Mr Speaker, our offices are on Sadzu Road. The hon. Member can come there and access the information on the rules of how people can be able to access these funds.

Thank you, Sir.


610. Mr Mbulakulima asked the Minister of Finance:

(a) how much money the country had in the form of foreign reserves as of 31st December, 1991;

(b) what the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) was in 1991; and

(c) what the country’s inflation rate was in 1991.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, on 31st December, 1991, the country had US$58.91 million in foreign reserves. It should be remembered that the amount was in the 1991 currency value. Normally, for this question to make sense, this figure should be converted to current currency values, but that has not been asked for.

Sir, Zambia’s GDP in 1991 was K2,370.5 billion in un-rebased currency.

Mr Speaker, the country’s inflation rate in 1991 was 97.7 per cent, which was effectively 100 per cent.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the value of the United States (US) Dollar has remained very constant from 1991 to date. I am looking at US$58.9 million in 1991 and US$2.6 billion in 2011, and the inflation rate of over 90 per cent in 1991 while the 2011 inflation rate was a single digit. In his own view as His Honour the Vice-President of this country, would he accept the notion that his Government took over an empty Treasury? If he does, what does he call a full Treasury?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I am a little bit baffled. The Government that took over in 1991, which is where the figures I mentioned date back to, was that of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD).


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Vice-President: I was there, as the interlocutor has correctly pointed out. I think that it is a fair statement that the MMD inherited fairly empty coffers in 1991. As for when ‘my Government’, meaning the Patriotic Front (PF), took over in 2011, the figures are not here or anywhere near here. So, I cannot really give a reliable answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, maybe, I could ask a similar question to the one that has just been asked, but differently.

Sir, the hon. Members of this Government …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I sincerely apologise to Hon. Dr Musokotwane, who was on the Floor, for interrupting his debate.

Sir, is His Honour the Vice-President of the current Government in order to dispute the fact that the Government that came into power in 1991 was ‘his’ when he was an hon. Minister in the same Government? Why should he be surprised by that statement?

I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: The problem is that the hon. Member for Katombola is himself out of order …


Mr Speaker: … because he is not following the proceedings.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President made it abundantly clear that he was part of that Government. So, I find this point of order baffling.


Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, members of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government have said it before that they took over a country that had been run down economically.

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: They said that they took over empty coffers. The question to His Honour the Vice-President is: If an administration took over the reins of a country with inflation at 97 per cent and handed it over to another administration with the inflation rate at 7.6 per cent and took over the reins of the country with foreign reserves at US$58 million, which translated into about US$ 80 million if you factored in the inflation rate, but left them at US$2.6 billion, would you still agree with those members of your Government who said that the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) ruined the economy?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, this is a very strange debate because we are being asked to produce figures from 1991, but not those for 2011. These are shots from the heap of the former hon. Minister of Finance, …

Mr Kambwili: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: … who is now claiming various values obtaining in 2011. At no time do I recall anybody ever saying that we had taken over a country with empty coffers.


Mr Speaker: Order!

You cannot debate while seated. You are not allowed.

The Vice-President: Sir, what I will say is that we took over a country that had high levels of unemployment and no long-term financing interest rates and loan terms. It was also incapacitated in terms of growth relative to what it could achieve. That is all I can say in the absence of figures.

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 Management of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Grants to Local Authorities 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 14th July, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Zimba (Chama North): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in accordance with the terms of reference, your Committee considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Grants to Local Authorities for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2012. Your Committee also considered both oral and written submissions from the Controlling Officer in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, who appeared with Clerks of councils or council secretaries from all local authorities cited in the audit report. It further requested the Secretary to the Treasury to comment on the issues raised in the audit report. Finally, your Committee also interacted with the Chairperson of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to appreciate the disciplinary process in the local authorities.

Mr Speaker, let me start by acknowledging the excellent work that the Auditor-General and her staff have continued to undertake in ensuring that there is transparency and accountability of public funds in the country. As your Committee, we would like to assure the nation that we will remain supportive of this important office. We will support all measures aimed at ensuring that the credibility of this institution is not diminished in any way.

Mr Speaker, from the outset, I wish to inform this House that your Committee attaches great importance to the CDF because it believes that, although the CDF does not take up a big proportion of the National Budget, it is still significant enough to facilitate appreciable levels of improvements in the lives of the people at the grassroots. However, serious questions remain unanswered about how effectively we are using the funds and whether we get good value for the funds. Sadly, your Committee has to report that all is not well with the administration of the CDF. As the Auditor-General’s Report has demonstrated, local authorities are failing to administer the funds in accordance with the CDF Guidelines. There is a persistent failure by local authorities to be above board, an issue that should immediately be addressed. In short, the CDF is being mismanaged and wasted, and it is time to bring this misuse to an end.

Mr Speaker, there are many Zambians who believe that the local Government system is there to take development to the grassroots and improve the livelihoods of the people in rural areas. The revelations that most local authorities are mismanaging the CDF are, therefore, disheartening. It is disturbing that, instead of being agents of development, as envisaged by the Local Government Act, local authorities are increasingly turning into dens of mismanagement and, in some cases, breeding grounds for corruption. I call upon all stakeholders, including traditional leaders, community leaders, the media, civil society organisations (CSOs) and the general public, to begin to ask questions and demand explanations about how funds are managed when projects have not been delivered. The mismanagement of funds should no longer be condoned by our people.

Sir, in its previous report, your Committee mentioned the interference by some sections of the political leadership in the work of council officials, especially during the procurement of projects. Your Committee is sad to report that the Auditor-General has, again, reported this problematic behaviour by some political leaders.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Who?

Mr Mwale: Examples of such interference are cited in your report, Sir. Such cases border on abuse of authority and, whenever issues of abuse of authority have been reported, your Committee has recommended that the cases be reported to the investigative wings for appropriate action.

Sir, let me take this opportunity to appeal to all leaders, including hon. Members of Parliament and councillors, to always practice restraint and ensure that the public interest remains central to their work.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: The relevant officials should be left to implement projects.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is also concerned that, while the CDF amount has been increasing steadily, there have been no corresponding efforts to enhance the capacity of the council workers who handle the funds and procurement involved. Let me illustrate my point by citing largely failed attempts by some local authorities to procure second-hand earth-moving equipment. As hon. Members may be aware, during the period under review, eight councils approved a total amount of K14.8 billion for the procurement of second-hand earth-moving equipment and, as of December, 2013, amounts totalling K12 billion had been paid to the suppliers. Your Committee is concerned that some equipment ordered and paid for has not been supplied while, in some cases, those supplied were defective. For example, Choma, Kalomo and Kazungula councils paid a supplier called Techmiya Commercials K1.3 billion, K2.4 billion and K529 million, respectively, without following tender procedures and the equipment has not been delivered.

Mr Shakafuswa: Livune.

Mr Mwale: It is not hon. Members of Parliament who procure for councils.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, continue with your report.

Mr Mwale: It is the management we are talking about.

Sir, your Committee is of the view that, as the CDF is increased and the councils are venturing into procurement of complex equipment, corresponding measures need to be put in place for its effective management. Capacities need to be built not only for the councils to follow procurement procedures, but also to maintain such equipment. Let me move on to another worrisome practice in the implementation of the CDF, which is the late disbursement of the funds by the Treasury.

Sir, your Committee considers the timely disbursement of the CDF a critical success factor. When it is lacking, there is a lot of uncertainty in the implementation of projects. During the period under review, funds were only disbursed to most constituencies late in the year, around November, and that had such a seriously negative impact on the implementation of projects that amounts totalling K41.14 billion remained unspent at the time of audit. Your Committee is of the view that many councils will fail to utilise the funds in the year it is meant to be spent if this is not addressed. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Executive, through the Secretary to the Treasury, to come up with concrete measures to ensure that the funds are disbursed in good time.

Sir, let me also talk about the worrisome trend that your Committee has noticed. Many councils make irregular payments by spending the funds on projects that are not eligible to be funded under the CDF. Ten billion four hundred million (K10.4 billion) was irregularly spent in this manner. For example, your Committee found that some councils used the CDF to pay allowances to councillors and officers or buy furniture for their offices and council chambers at the expense of implementing development projects, which was in conflict with the CDF Guidelines. This is unacceptable and should no longer be tolerated. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that, in all cases in which irregular payments were made as a result of the council’s failure to follow the CDF Guidelines, the money be reimbursed into the CDF accounts by the erring councils and the managements strongly cautioned to desist from doing that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance rendered to your Committee during the session. I also thank the Secretary to the Treasury, the Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Local Government and Housing, and the Chairperson of the LGSC for appearing before your Committee. The deliberations of your Committee could also not have been ably concluded without the assistance of the Office of the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Controller for Internal Audits. Lastly, but not in any way the least, I am indebted to the members of your Committee for their professionalism and dedication to work.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lubinda: Good work, Chairperson. Ema Chairperson aba!

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

Mr Zimba: Now, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to second this Motion.

Sir, the mover of the Motion has ably articulated the views of your Committee on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and Grants to the Local Authorities for the Financial Year Ended 31st December, 2012. I will, therefore, only comment on one or two issues that require emphasis for the sake of the House’s further understanding.

Sir, your Committee observed that there were major issues raised in all the councils and collected an immense amount of valuable evidence and reported unanimously, making many excellent practical recommendations, some of which may require policy changes.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has found that there is a clear absence of synergy in the planning and implementation of projects in some councils. There were cases in which the same projects that had been approved for implementation under the CDF were also budgeted for under some ministries or co-operating partners. There is also evidence of some councils having failed to consult experts from line ministries despite their not having experts in the project fields. They felt that they could implement projects that were above their technical expertise. Some projects had even been initiated without the involvement of parent ministries, and your Committee finds that very unhealthy. Such inefficiencies should never occur because they lead to shoddy works or projects being funded and initiated, but not completed. Your Committee strongly urges all councils to improve the co-ordination of projects among all stakeholders in the districts to curb this serious irregularity.

Sir, another area of concern is that some councils flout the CDF Guidelines in respect of the meeting of administrative costs. Your Committee observes that, for no apparent reason or because they are intent on involving themselves in fraudulent activities, some councils decided to use more than the K20,000 that is legally authorised for administrative costs without getting the necessary authority, a trend that, I believe, will cause the CDF to be abused if not halted, and that will be costly for the nation. Consequently, your Committee urges the controlling officers to strongly caution all the erring councils. They also have to be subjected to some heavy punishment.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, when cautioned, not punished, some people do not learn any lesson. They will continue flouting the regulations and we will continue losing popularity for non-implementation of projects.

Mr Speaker, the previous report of the Auditor-General on the CDF lamented the failure by councils to avail documents in support of payments made by council officials, especially the accounts staff. If councils are failing to avail documents, how are they making payments for our CDF money? This is a clear indication of problems in the management of finances in the councils. This is resulting in fraudulent activities in the administration of the CDF.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: That is your money.

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, that is our money.


Mr Zimba: It is not my money alone, but our money.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, the CDF was introduced in the spirit of giving hon. Members of Parliament influence on developmental projects in their constituencies. This was intended for projects that did not require long procurement processes.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: So, if councils abuse this fund, I, as the Member of Parliament, will be in problems because projects will not be implemented. As a result, we may not have a Parliament in the future …


Mr Zimba: … because people …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. I think that I went out …


Mr Speaker: I think that you have overstepped your boundaries.

Get back to your script.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, what I meant is that this behaviour by the councils might lead to hon. Members of Parliament losing their seats without genuine reasons. I would find it difficult to accept people losing confidence in my leadership and voting me out because of the council’s abuse of the CDF.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, such people must be subjected to very serious disciplinary action. If nothing happens to the erring officers, the controlling officers should be aware that they could be the ones to be disciplined.

Mr Speaker, the non-availability of supporting documents makes it very difficult for auditors to scrutinise the validity of payments made in the councils.

Mr Mwamba interjected.

Hon. Member: Do you want to raise a point of order?


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, this is a very serious breach of financial regulations because no worker should make a payment following his whims. We have laid-down financial regulations that have to be strictly followed. Therefore, your Committee strongly urges the controlling officers to report all erring principal officers, council secretaries, town clerks or even mayors, to the relevant authorities for disciplinary action. When this is done, it will deter those who will preside over the funds in the future from abusing them. If no action will be taken, we will have a rubber-stamp Parliament.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, we are the ones who approve the funds that people are abusing without being disciplined. We may boycott passing the Budget one day if this continues.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, ...

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I thank you. I totally agree now …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, pause.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, your task is to second the Motion. If you deviate from your script, you may start making some inaccurate statements, for instance, suggesting that a mayor is a principal officer. Therefore, please, in keeping with the tradition, confine yourself to the script in your hands and your task will be made easy. That is the practice. Do not extend your platform. Follow your script and give other hon. Members the opportunity to debate, too. Today is Wednesday, by the way, and the House adjourns at 1915 hours. Therefore, you are not being fair to your colleagues by taking too much of the House’s time.

You may continue.

Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the valuable guidance. That is why you are there. Sometimes, we have to be guided because we lose sight of the time.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, let me continue.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I totally agree with the mover of this Motion when he says that the increasing amount of the CDF must be accompanied by measures to build the capacity of council officers to manage it. It is very important.

Mr Mwamba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Zimba: I am continuing.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, we need council officers who can manage the procurement and accounting processes.

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some specific cases that indicate malpractice. These are the indications now.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, I have in mind the Chibombo District Council management, which signed a contract …

Mr Mwamba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Zimba: … with Eyewitness Solutions to supply a second-hand grader, but decided to cancel the contract and enter into a new one with the same company to supply a new grader. This is a highlight and you should get it clearly.

Mr Speaker, the details are that, on 18th March, 2013, Chibombo District Council terminated the contract for the supply of a second-hand grader despite having paid an initial sum of K142,500, and entered into a new contract for a new grader at K780,000 with a delivery period of five weeks. The following day, 19th March, 2013, an additional K247,500 was paid to the supplier as advance payment, bringing the total paid to K390,000. This is very serious.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, the swiftness of the changes and payments made on the contracts could suggest that there was something fishy, especially because the contract ran into problems after the supplier failed to deliver within the new contract period. Later, your Committee learnt, the council’s lawyer entered into a consent agreement with the supplier’s lawyers for the latter to refund the former the whole amount with interest. Your Committee is, however, saddened that only K25,000 has been refunded to date, …

Hon. Members: Aah!

Mr Zimba: … leaving a balance of K365,000. One wonders why it has taken Eyewitness Solutions this long to refund an amount that was not utilised for its intended purpose. Your Committee finds this irregularity highly unacceptable and calls for serious investigations to be instituted.

Mr Speaker, another case, still on the issue of irregular payments, is the Kazungula District Council management, …

Hon. Government Members: Livune!


Mr Zimba: … which paid a contract sum of K528,798,000 to a company called Techmiya Commercial Limited …

Mr Mushanga: Techmiya?

Mr Zimba: … in six instalments on the same day. Listen to this one. I am now finalising.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: Sir, the controlling officer claimed to your Committee that the anomaly resulted from the officers’ ignorance about financial regulations that require payments above K100,000,000 to be made using the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) system. This is also unacceptable.


Mr Zimba: I am finalising; do not worry.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, the controlling officer is particularly urged to ensure that officers are adequately capacitated to handle public funds in accordance with the laid-down financial regulations. I also urge various stakeholders to be on the lookout for acts that seem to be motivated by ill intentions so that, together, we can harmoniously fight this ever-increasing trend.

Mr Speaker, the CDF and grants to local authorities have been growing steadily over the past years and I have no doubt that this will continue to be the case. There is, therefore, a growing need to strengthen controls over its administration.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Zimba: I am now finalising.


Mr Zimba: Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, …


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

Sir, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice to those in support of the Report of the Public Accounts Committee pertaining to the issue of …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Miyutu: … the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and grants to councils.

Mr Speaker, the CDF is meant for developmental activities in the various constituencies in this country, but it has turned out to be a personal resource for council officers. The amount of money allocated to the CDF has steadily been rising, but there is no corresponding rise in developmental activities, meaning that the CDF disappears before it reaches its intended targets.

Sir, hon. Members of Parliament find it difficult to deliver development to their constituencies using the CDF. The Constituency Development Committee (CDC), which is the CDF committee at the local level is always overlooked by council officials. Sometimes, council officers make payments, as stated by the mover and seconder of the Motion, without the consent of the CDC and, when the CDC asks about it, no credible response is given. In short, if this continues, the CDF will turn out to be a waste of resources and of no value to the people in constituencies. The issues that the CDF is supposed to address are not being addressed because money is being spent on projects that are either not completed or do not materialise at all.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, secondly, there is a lack of monitoring of CDF projects. The K20,000 allocated to councils for administrative purposes is not used to monitor the projects. Therefore, contractors do not work according to their schedule, but at their own pace because there is nobody to monitor their performance. We spend a lot of time, as hon. Members, doing the work that councils should be doing, which means the K20,000 becomes money for the council officers’ personal use and does not have a bearing on the completion of the projects. The lack of monitoring also results in the late certification of projects, which should call for further funding. Instead of funding projects in phases, council officers opt to give money to the contractors without certifying the projects. Money is paid, but there is no progress in the projects. When you check on the project, you find nothing has changed, yet the money has been used. This is another problem that we find with the CDF in the councils. Sometimes, I wonder if the council officers are all from one stock because they behave in the same way. One officer after the other will do the same as if they went to the same school. Councils in this country have not helped in the development of this country.

Mr Speaker, if the CDF is given to these credible hon. Members of Parliament and put to good use, it can develop this country. However, the council officers, wherever they are, …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I apologise to the hon. Member on the Floor for disrupting the flow of his thought.

Sir, I am very worried. Is the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing in order to be absent from the House when we are discussing important issues that fall under his ministry?

Mr Chenda entered the Chamber.
Mr Speaker: My short ruling is that, when you started raising your point of order, of course, he was not in the House for whatever reason. However, you can see for yourself that he is now here.


Mr Speaker: He is present. Besides that, the two hon. Deputy Ministers of Local Government and Housing and the hon. Minister of Finance are also present. Hon. Members walk in and out of the Chamber. Many of you do so constantly and I cannot be investigating where you are going and why ...


Mr Speaker: … for obvious reasons. I do not want to go further than that.


Mr Speaker: The hon. Member on the Floor may continue.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, there is a lack of proper documentation in the councils. At times, when we want to know how some payments have been made, the principal officers invite the accounting officers to bring that information but, most of the time, the accounting staff fail to do so, which is an indication that the money was not prudently used. The council officers should bear in mind that CDF is for the development of the constituencies. Even if the councils do not receive their grants, it is still not justifiable for them to divert the CDF to programmes other than those it is meant to finance.

Mr Speaker, there are times when auditors visit the councils and mistakes are uncovered, but people are not punished. That surprises me. What usually happens is that the culprits are merely transferred. However, is a transfer a punitive measure? You just shift the fish from one lake to another.


Mr Miyutu: Is that a form of punishment? These problems will never come to an end if people are not punished for the offences they commit so that others can also learn from that. If people know that when they misuse the CDF they will only be transferred to other offices, abuses will never end. When power is given, let us use it positively and productively. Salt is slightly bitter, but we put it in relish to improve the taste.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, punishment is bad, but it must be used to correct unwanted behaviour. If you fear to punish, then you cannot be a leader.

Mr Livune: That is right!

Mr Miyutu: Sir, it is stated that a parent who does not cane his child hates the child. Equally, leaders who do not punish offenders are not good leaders. When money is given for boreholes to be sunk, but nothing gets done and all that happens is that some people get transferred, will the transfer sink the boreholes? Where will you get the money to sink the boreholes? Will the money be refunded?

Mr Speaker, some councils fail to pursue contractors who fail to complete their works. Maybe, this is because the councils have no capacity to do so, be it financially or technically. The offenders are not even taken to court. So, will they learn anything? All they know is that whatever they do, the councils will not do anything to them.

Sir, the people of Kalabo are crying because projects there are not being completed and the erring contractors are not being brought to book. I, therefore, urge those in leadership to put credible people in offices. We should also use the rules and regulations to punish the people who misuse the CDF for the sake of those in the rural areas.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I urge the Government not to always release the CDF in the last seconds before the whistle.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, there are twelve months in a year, but the money is only released in the last week of December. This money is not for the hon. Members of Parliament, but for the masses out there. In this House, we are only 158, but the CDF is for the roughly 13 million Zambians. Therefore, let us be quick in distributing it. It is already July, but there is not even a rumour about the disbursement of the CDF for the current year.


Mr Miyutu: We do not even know whether the CDF for 2014 will be released, yet people are waiting for it. Just like the seconder said, the people who are feeling the pinch are the hon. Members of Parliament. I would, therefore, urge the Government to be quick in releasing this money because we want to use it to develop our constituencies.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I commend the mover of the Motion for ably presenting the report of your Committee to the House and the seconder for the passionate manner in which he debated the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I think that we should realise that, as we sit in this House as members of the Legislature and part of the Government, we should also be party to the development of this country. I think that, as Members of Parliament, who are actually senior members of our councils, we should not set a bad example. We should not be the ones to be cited for misappropriation of funds in our councils. We should, instead, show leadership and guide our councils in doing the right things. We should not even come here to lament the failures of our councils but, rather, come here to ensure that we get the value for our Constituency Development Fund (CDF) money. If we just leave it to the councils’ controlling officers to mess around with the money, which is meant …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Can you substitute the word ‘mess’ with an appropriate one.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, if we allow the officers to misuse the money, which is meant to improve, in a little way, the lives of our people, then, we will have ourselves to blame.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, I want to take ownership. I come from Chibombo District Council, which wants to be a model council. I have had meetings with the Ministry of Home Affairs, which has assured me that it will arrest the people who were responsible for the missing K390,000. I think, these are lessons that should be learnt. We should not allow our officers to misuse colossal sums of money. The K390,000  can do a lot for our people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we should not sit back and allow people to enrich themselves with taxpayers’ money. I think it is wrong. We should correct all the wrongs, not only with regard to the issue of CDF, but also in the ministries. When the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) cites cases of malpractice, we should bring the culprits to book.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the most unfortunate thing is that most contracts are given to relatives ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Shakafuswa: ... and, when the Law enforcement agencies want to do their work, the senior people in the Government come in to mediate.

Sir, this money does not belong to us politicians or to any political party, but to the people of Zambia. They are the owners of the money. We might have the privilege of sitting here to administer the funds, but that does not give us ownership of them. This company called Zambia has shareholders, who are the people of Zambia, who are responsible for appointing managers. That is why we have an electoral system that ushers in managers. When we win elections, we are temporarily appointed managers. Unfortunately, some of us think that we can be there forever. It does not work that way. If you do not manage the resources well, the shareholders can relieve you of your duties. So, when we come here, it is not that the heavens have opened and we must amass wealth. When the owners call on that money, you will find that even the little that you have amassed will not help you because the lawyers will clean it up. At the end of the day, they will even come to get your house. So, the bottom line is that, as Members of Parliament, we have the responsibility to account for this money.

Mr Speaker, I like you every day because, whenever we come into this House, we start with a prayer.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I hope that hon. Members of Parliament are Christians and that they listen to the prayer that we recite every day in this House because we are here …

Hon. Government Member: Amen!

Mr Shakafuswa: … to alleviate the suffering of those who have entrusted us with this power to be here. It is a privilege.

Mr Nkombo: Pastor Shaka.


Mr Shakafuswa: So, we should honour the trust of the people of Zambia by being trustworthy.

Sir, the CDF is a very important programme. Much as the guidelines are there, they should not be static. I urge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to review them continuously. Here is an example of how the CDF has taken development to my constituency. In my constituency, if someone is keeping chickens, goats or cattle, they will have to sleep outside in order to protect their animals. However, this is not necessarily because people steal. Maybe, it is a sign that we, the leaders, are failing to do our work. Sometimes, we say that the police are not doing their work because they do not arrest the culprits, but what have we done to uplift the lives of the youths in our communities? Our youths do not have recreational facilities and, as a result, they start stealing and drinking, and we hear of cases of early pregnancies. So, in my constituency, we started a sports development programme using the CDF. I am proud to say that Katuba has produced a national team player. Rainford Kalaba is a product of our sports development programme in Katuba.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the police and I discovered that, when we engaged the youths in sporting activities like netball and football for girls and boys, respectively, the theft of chickens, …


Mr Shakafuswa: … goats and cattle reduced.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, there are no sporting activities in our primary schools because the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education does not give schools enough money for sports equipment. However, we can use the CDF to promote sport. Most of our children in schools may not do very well academically, but extra-curricular activities like sports, sometimes, help them to excel in life. Football is currently the highest paying sport in the world. There have been player transfers involving £100 million. If a percentage of that money had to come to our country, it would go a long way in developing sports. So, I urge the hon. Minister to use the CDF for sports development. For example, in Katuba, I want to produce another Lionel Messi who will one day help us to qualify to the World Cup. I will write to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to allow us to replicate the sports development programme in my constituency in other constituencies. I have noticed that hon. Members use their meagre personal resources to sponsor sports development in their areas.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, that is not good enough. We should be allowed to use the CDF to sponsor prizes, but this should be audited. Let us use the CDF to buy balls.

Hon. Opposition Members: To buy balls?


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, let us use the CDF to buy footballs.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, let us also use the CDF to create recreation facilities so that, as we work, we will know that our kids are playing football and, by the time they finish their games, they will be tired. That way, we will be able to maintain discipline in our society and in our youths.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I want to tell the hon. Minister that there are positive ways in which we can take positive development to our people. We have talked about youth empowerment. Some of the money that we give to youth and women’s clubs is not bearing fruit. I am happy because the National Assembly Football Team has also identified Katuba as a poaching ground and the coaches come to scout for potential players. That is what used to happen with the national team. My mbuyas from the North-Western Province, like Kajiya, who were living in the bush, were brought into town and became stars.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, my passion is for us to change. As Members of Parliament, …

Mr Lufuma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member of Parliament, who is debating very well on the Floor of this House, in order to call people from the North-Western Province Bushmen?


Mr Speaker: I did not hear the hon. Member say ‘Bushmen’. He said people were taken from the bush. The word “Bushmen” has a different meaning altogether.

Hon. Member, please, continue.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I used that example to show that we can actually bring the best out of our people. There are some people who have not been to school, but whose talent can be tapped for their transformation into useful citizens of this country. People can be transformed and admired the world over, like Kalusha Bwalya, who was a product of mining soccer development.  Nowadays, most of the mining businesses are not doing much in corporate social responsibility.


Mr Shakafuswa: We should not ignore this component because it can bring the best out of our people. Hon. Minister of Finance, it might even contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) of this country.

Mr Speaker, the CDF might be a small component, but we, especially the Opposition, need to show our substance in the way we handle it. Let us show the Government that we can take charge of our councils and ensure that the next report does not have the abuses cited in the current report. Let us also ensure that the projects that we recommend in our CDF committees are supervised and that they come to fruition. This will give a lot of confidence to the many doubting Thomases in the Government. We need to show them that we are able to supervise projects on their behalf. Most of the projects fail because of a lack of supervision. If hon. Members of Parliament get involved in the supervision of projects in their constituencies, they will be the eyes of the Government and show the people that it is working.

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

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: I need to move to the centre of the House for the sake of balance. I have allowed two debaters, so far.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Here, Sir.

Mr Speaker: That is not the centre. I will allow the hon. Member for Nalikwanda.


Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to support your report. I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion for the elucidation of the issues that the Committee came across.

Mr Speaker, in the interest of colleagues who have not been in the House for a long time, let me throw a few figures around. When some of us came to this House in 2006, we found the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) at K60,000. It rose slightly over the years to about K200,000, then to K750,000 and, now, it is at K1.3 million.

Mr Speaker, the CDF is money that goes to our constituencies. In rural constituencies, which some of us represent, this money is very important because it procures banana boats to assist our children to cross various dangerous river points safely. It is little, but it can assist our …


Mr Speaker: Order, on my right!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … poor villagers in the rural areas to have rural health centres where they can go to access health services. It is money we use to expand …


Mr Speaker: Order!

The consultations on my right are rather loud.

Hon. Member, you may continue.

Prof. Lungwangwa: … and improve classroom facilities in our areas. This is also money we use to construct feeder roads and police posts for our people where there are no such facilities.

Mr Speaker, if you go to some constituencies in rural areas, you will find some of this infrastructure in place, and the people are happy. Clearly, when those in charge of the funds do not manage them efficiently, honestly and diligently, there is cause to worry. The questions, as your Committee pointed out, are: What is really going on? What is the problem? The bottom line in your report is that the glaring mismanagement of the CDF by local authorities is an indication of the breakdown in the system. If the financial regulations are in place, as, indeed, they are, they ought to be respected, observed and followed religiously. However, this is not happening. The question is: Why?

Sir, when the CDF Guidelines are in place and understood by those managing the funds, but are not being followed, especially in matters of procurement, then there is a crisis. Councils want to do their own procurement, but this process is so delayed that, eventually, they are not able to pay their staff.  Why is the system not delivering the services efficiently?  What is the problem?

Mr Speaker, if the staff who are supposed to manage the CDF, people with various skills and competencies, are in place, but the services are not delivered and the projects that are supposed to be funded using the CDF are not implemented in time, the questions to ask are: Why? What is really going on here?

Mr Speaker, as your report has indicated, the monitoring mechanism is in place. We have the Auditor-General and staff who go round to see how things are going on and reports are written. Therefore, if the recommendations of the Auditor-General are not followed and those who are identified as culprits are not brought to book, we need to find out what the problem really is. As your report has indicated, all these are indicative of the breakdown of the system, and that is where the problem is. If the system is breaking down, the hon. Minister and His Honour the Vice-President should be very worried. As he sits here, listening to our observations and critical assessment of what is happening, he should be concerned together with his colleagues because financial regulations and guidelines are not being followed. This is the challenge of political leadership.

Mr Speaker, your report tells us that, over the years, using the CDF as an indicator of how our system is operating, we can see a system breakdown. This is where our colleagues in the Executive arm of the Government must take the challenge and fix the bolts and nuts of the system, which require paying attention to how the staff are delivering, how the regulations and guidelines are being followed and how the entire legal framework of the system is being followed. Further, the punitive mechanisms ought to be effected. The report is telling us that the Executive must fix the system because it is breaking down. Our people, the poor, the children, the youth and the women, are being disadvantaged by the mismanagement of the CDF by the local authorities, and this is unacceptable.

Sir, it is not our fault, as hon. Members of Parliament, but the fault of the system, which is currently under the Executive. They must rise to the occasion and fix the system.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to commend your Committee on this well-done report.  I can see that many issues have been brought out.

Mr Speaker, your Committee did not only look at problems relating to the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), but also those related to grants to local authorities.

Mr Speaker, you will note that, on Page 34 of your report, there are the Auditor-General’s comments and, on Page 29, there are issues specifically related to the CDF and grants to local authorities

Mr Kambwili interjected.

Mrs Masebo: Hon. Kambwili, please.

Mr Speaker, the report specifically looks at the challenges in the administration of the funds. I note that most of the comments by hon. Members have been only on the CDF. So, in my debate, I would like us not to only look at the CDF, but also other grants from the Treasury that go to the council.

Sir, I submit that all the problems that we see in the administration of the CDF are also found in the administration of grants to local authorities. I also want to submit that the observations and recommendations by your Committee should have also taken into account the problems that councils face in relation to the management of the grants to councils because, in my view, the CDF is also like a grant, except that it is specifically for communities within our constituencies to use on project whilst the grants are also for projects, but not specifically to the communities.

Mr Speaker, the real problem is not so much the lack of capacity at the local authorities, but that the CDF is looked at as political money that is directly administered by politicians, namely, hon. Members of Parliament. The mismanagement of the CDF was even worse in the early 1990s than it is now because it was perceived as pocket money for hon. Members of Parliament or a resource to be used for campaigns. Of course, over the decades, we have seen an improvement because successive Governments have tried to improve the usage of these public funds. However, although the management of the fund has improved, principal officers and their staff at the local level still have an inherent laissez-faire attitude towards the management of the CDF because of the history and background of the fund’s establishment.

Mr Speaker, if you look at the report, you will discover that there is more abuse of the CDF than the grants that the Central Government gives to the councils. Therefore, it is a question of how the CDF is perceived.

Sir, I want to submit, as one of the recommendations, that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing should begin to review the whole concept of the CDF; how it is being channelled to the councils and its purpose, especially that now that the CDF is much more than all the grants that go to the councils. It is even more than the councils’ total budgets. Therefore, it is a lot of money and it really requires serious management. I, therefore, wish to submit that the Ministry of Finance, taking into account the Decentralisation Policy, should make this money part of the District Development Fund (DDF), which is for projects other than those under the CDF. I know that this is a very unpopular recommendation that will not receive support from most hon. Members of Parliament for various reasons.{mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Prof. Luo and Mrs Kabanshi entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Members: Order!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was proposing to the Executive that there is more mismanagement of the CDF than the grants, yet the players are the same. I was, therefore, submitting that the problem was that there is a feeling that the CDF has some political inclination and people in the councils do not take this money seriously. I was also submitting that the Executive might wish to consider making the CDF part of the grants. It can still be called the CDF, but the management of the fund should be the same as the way grants are managed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mrs Masebo: I know that this is very unpopular, but it is a fact.

Sir, the other point that I want to make on this report is that there seems to be some misunderstanding. If you noticed, on Page 7 of your Committee’s report, under Unspent Funds, it is stated that:

“The controlling officer submitted that failure to spend funds in fifty-eight constituencies was mainly due to the late disbursement of the funds from the Central Government, which was compounded by delayed procurement processes at the district level. The controlling officer stated that, going forward, the ministry had engaged the Ministry of Finance to ensure that the CDF were released in the first quarter of the year.”

Mr Speaker, it is clear that the issue here is that the Treasury releases the funds late. When he appeared before your Committee, the Secretary to the Treasury made the following comments on Page 5 of your Committee’s report under ‘Submission by the Secretary to the Treasury’:

“In response to matters raised in the Audit Report, the Secretary to the Treasury acknowledged that the funds released from the Treasury, through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, were being mismanaged by the local authorities. He explained that, in view of the glaring irregularities on the management of the Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Grants to Local Authorities, the Treasury would, effective 1st May, 2014, take the measures outlined below: …”

Mr Speaker, the measures by the Secretary to the Treasury are as follows:

“Funds relating to the CDF and grants to local authorities would be transmitted directly to local authorities’ accounts through the Treasury Single Account maintained at the Bank of Zambia.’’

He also says that

‘‘CDF funds would only be drawn by local authorities upon fulfilment of all the contractual obligations in accordance with the prevailing CDF Guidelines. The Treasury would only disburse the CDF funds to the accounts of the local authorities upon submission of the required documentation, such as certificates of completion of works. The amount released would be equivalent to the amount supported by documentation plus 10 per cent contingency.”

Mr Speaker, you can see that this is not the answer to the problems of mismanagement of the CDF. In fact, my view is that the proposed measures would actually just worsen the whole process. The report goes further to state that:

“The Secretary to the Treasury also submitted that, in addition to the above measures, a unit would be established under the Office of the Accountant-General to monitor all the CDF bank accounts and, currently using the existing service level agreements (SLA) between the Treasury and commercial banks, twenty-three Constituency Development Funds accounts had been brought on board”.

Mr Speaker, you can see that the problem is late release of resources, yet the proposed answer is that, before money is released, you have to provide documentation on works that have been completed. That cannot be the answer, especially when it relates to issues of the CDF because CDF projects are supposed to be community-based and in different sectors.

Mr Speaker, one of the hon. Members of Parliament, I think that it is the one for Katuba, was talking about buying of footballs and other sports equipment using the CDF. I want to submit that the CDF Guidelines have not changed since 2008, but I stand to be corrected. They are still the same. If you look at those guidelines, all sectors have been captured, including sport, which is an important activity.

Sir, clearly, we can see that, even after many decades of implementing this programme and increasing the monies under the fund, its management and even understanding has not improved. Therefore, my view is that, now that the money has increased to K1.3 million per constituency, it would only help us if it became part of the formal grants given to councils.


Mrs Masebo: Maybe, what we need is to have smaller CDF allocations meant for micro projects for communities because what we are actually doing now is running a parallel government under a vote called the CDF. This is not working well because we are now involved in building schools, which is supposed to be done by sector ministries like the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. Even the police are now telling us to work with them in building police posts. Therefore, the Central Government is abrogating its functions by wanting the CDF under hon. Members of Parliament to be used on State functions. I think that, in the long run, there will just be wastage of resources. That is my honest view from my little experience with CDF funds.

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this very important point of order on the hon. Member, who is debating very well. However, is she in order not to appreciate the fact that, actually, what the police is trying to do is partner with hon. Members of Parliament by taking police services down to the communities where hon. Members can appreciate their presence. This is meant for the hon. Members to feel that the little development that they take into the communities is protected. That is the reason the police and the Ministry of Home Affairs are saying that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is Government money and, therefore, we should come together and put up little infrastructures where our police can operate from. Is she in order to say that now the Ministry of Home Affairs is abdicating its responsibilities?

I seek your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Well, that is really not a point of order. I know that we have very limited time. So, it was just a way of debating. Therefore, my ruling is that the point of order is misplaced.

Continue, Hon. Masebo, as you wind up your debate.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, as I wind up, my simple point is that the CDF is State money meant to improve the living standards of our people. Clearly, listening to the stories coming from the constituencies, things are not looking any better. In fact, hon. Members of Parliament are ending up in trouble for nothing. The CDF is just creating problems for us. My view is that we start following the Decentralisation Policy, which requires us to have one district plan for the projects we want. Therefore, we must have one district fund, which must come from the Ministry of Finance, for all the projects, and the processes and implementation must be the same. The current haphazard way of spending Government resources is just creating more problems for us. We are not getting good value for the CDF.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Government will pay serious attention to the submissions of your Committee. It is important that, as a nation, we all move together and purposefully to try to arrest some of the slippages in the administration of the meagre resources that are disbursed for the development of our country.

Sir, the observations of your Committee are supported. Of course, some of the debaters, apart from the mover of the Motion, have been a bit excessive in their submissions but, basically, the recommendations should totally and unreservedly be taken on board by the Government because the rampant misuse of public resources must be stopped by our collective action. On the part of the ministry, we are trying everything we can to raise the capacity and probity of the officers deployed throughout the country by the Office of the Accountant-General. We also want to strengthen the functions of internal control and audit so that some of the problems are nipped in the bud rather than wait until the Auditor-General comes to report them as omissions and offences that have already taken place and money has already been wasted. Even if you can succeed, through the slow machinery of the Government, to prosecute the culprits, the money will have been misused and, most likely, be irretrievable.

Mr Speaker, to cut a long story short, the Government supports the recommendations of your diligent Committee and we will work together with it to minimise the scams that are becoming more pervasive. The slippages should be a concern of every responsible citizen of this country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to wind up the debate on this Motion.

Sir, let me begin by thanking your Committee for the detailed and analytical study of the matter at hand. I must also thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated this Motion. We have listened very attentively and taken notes on your concerns, which we shall seriously consider.

Mr Speaker, over the years, the management of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and grants to local authorities has been dogged by the many problems that have been highlighted in your report. These need to be addressed if the impact of the funds is to be felt.

Arising from the Committee’s findings, it is evident, Mr Speaker, that the issues highlighted in your report must be attended to. The House may seek comfort in the fact that we are revising the CDF Guidelines to make them more user-friendly and deal with the issues of red tape so that the role of the hon. Members of Parliament is very conspicuous.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: This calls for responsibility on the part of hon. Members of Parliament. They are senior councillors and are supposed to provide leadership in their respective local authorities. They should ensure that the projects approved are in accordance with the set guidelines and that the money is properly spent and accounted for.

Sir, we are also concerned about the lack of separation of responsibilities between the councils and the programmes. The council is the funder and, in some cases, the consultant, the designer, executor and the procurer. This means that there are no internal checks and controls.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chenda: Obviously, this has compromised accountability of the programme.

Sir, we are contemplating introducing not only financial controls, but technical ones as well because the quality of some of the works that have been done leave much to be desired.

Mr Speaker, the shortage of qualified staff at the local level has been raised in the report. I must say that the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) has done well in posting competent and professional staff to councils that have had serious personnel inadequacies. For example, the LGSC has posted procurement officers to most councils where there were none. We hope that this will improve the capacity for procurement.

Mr Speaker, my ministry will also scale up its monitoring role on local authorities to enhance transparency and accountability. In this regard, the ministry has issued several circulars, finance and audit manuals, and dispatch manuals that will enable the councils to better manage resources.

Mr Speaker, there was a statement by my former neighbour when I used to sit on other side of the House that systems have broken down. No, systems have not broken down. They are in place, although there have been some challenges here and there. We are in control of the situation. I must also mention that there are no sacred cows in as far as checking the abuse of public funds is concerned. This House knows that there are some members of the public, council officers and even people at higher levels, including in this House, who have been found wanting, prosecuted and convicted. So, we will ensure that the good hand of the law touches all those found wanting for abuse public funds.

Mr Speaker, let me, once again, thank your Committee and assure this august House that we will take its recommendations seriously and ensure that we get better value for the CDF.

With those few words, I thank you, Mr Speaker.
Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank the House for the interest that it has shown in the Motion. For the first time in a long time, we have seen many hon. Members of Parliament want to debate a Motion of the PAC. This is as it should be. We must all put our heads together if we are to achieve high levels of accountability in this country.

Mr Speaker, what is even more critical is how the Executive will implement the recommendations of this Committee once adopted today. We can continue having this problem by not punishing the perpetrators or we can decide to stop it by implementing the resolutions of this Committee. In that regard, I thank the hon. Minister of Finance for showing the political will to do something to stop the abuse. However, we want to see that political will actualise in action. I also thank everyone who has debated the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.

Mr Speaker: Order!


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

Question put and agreed to.


¬¬¬The House adjourned at 1853 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 17th July, 2014.