Debates - Wednesday, 9th July, 2014

Printer Friendly and PDF


Wednesday, 9th July, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






555. Mr Mutale (Kwacha) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a) when Ipusukilo Health Centre would be expanded; and

(b) when the health centre would begin to operate for 24 hours a day.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Mphande): Mr Speaker, currently, there are no immediate plans by Kitwe District Community Medical Office to expand Ipusukilo Clinic, as it was not provided for in the Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP) due to budgetary constraints.

Sir, Ipusukilo Clinic currently operates from 0700 hours to 1800 hours daily. It is also located approximately 4km from Buchi Main Clinic, which is operates on a twenty-four hour basis.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, …

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to raise this very important point of order. As I do so, I would like to rely on Articles 87 (2), 51, 38, 39 and 63 of the Constitution of Zambia. I further request your august Office to take judicial notice of the contents of the Articles to which I have referred.

Mr Speaker, while you were out of the country, I raised a point of order on His Honour the Vice-President about the Government’s failure to make a statement on the whereabouts of the President of the Republic of Zambia, His Excellency Mr Michael Sata. Thereafter, statements and rulings have been made on the Floor of this House pertaining to the same. Further, arising from what we have been told on the Floor of this House, last week, on Saturday, 5th July, 2014, there were press reports that suggested that His Excellency the President had come into the country on the evening of Friday, 4th July, 2014. Both the private and the Government media carried stories on the subject. However, a day later, the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting disputed the reports, claiming that His Excellency the President had not arrived in the country on Friday but, rather, on the evening of Saturday, 5th July,2014. He also went on to talk about the cessation of the hon. Minister of Justice, Mr Kabimba to act as President. He informed us that he was no longer acting because the President was in the country.

Mr Speaker, to add insult to injury, on Saturday, multitudes of the Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, went to the airport purporting to welcome His Excellency the President. Unfortunately, the one who disembarked from that plane was not His Excellency, but his son, Mulenga Sata.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, yesterday, on the Copperbelt, the Provincial Chairman was addressing party cadres and it was even aired on Muvi TV. The party cadres were chanting, “Sata fit, Sata fit.”

Mr Speaker, if you read the press in the last three weeks to date, everyday, there are issues speculating on the whereabouts and the health of the President. Comments have been made which are actually rendering the President to ridicule. Are we collectively in order as National Assembly and the Executive to allow a situation where the presidency is being ridiculed both nationally and internationally without clarifying issues and protecting the presidency? We are the leaders of this country and the people of this country look forward to us. Why should we allow statements that are not helpful to continue making the nation speculate on the whereabouts and the health of the President when there is the Executive in office? Are we in order to allow such a scenario to continue in this country? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order! I have listened very carefully to your point of order. Although it is a long and winding point of order and although it has referred to several provisions of the Constitution, as I understand it, it boils down or resolves itself into two factual questions namely, the whereabouts of the President and the state of health of the President. As regards the whereabouts of the President, you have rightly pointed out that there was an official communication from the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting confirming that the President was in the country and clarifying the date of his return. Therefore, I do not see any cause for continued speculation on the matter. Whether this speculation is taking place or not, as far I am concerned, is not relevant.

Hon. Back Benchers: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: What is important is that an official statement was issued by the relevant hon. Minister.

Coming to the health of the President, this has been the subject of points of order in the past and I have ruled on it. In my absence, the hon. Mr Deputy Speaker has equally ruled on the subject. Further, most recently, there was a question asked by the hon. Member for Muchinga during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time. Hon. Kunda’s question was followed up by another asked by the hon. Member for Keembe. In his answer, His Honour the Vice-President indicated that, insofar as that subject was concerned, all communication would be handled by State House. That is the current position. So, as and when the need arises, that communication will be made. Further, in an earlier ruling, I indicated that I would not compel anybody, especially not the hon. Member of Health, to make a statement on the matter. I have left that to his judgement. Additionally, I have also referred to the statement by His Excellency the President in which he publicly indicates that he considered this subject a matter of public interest and that he was healthy and working. There was also a point of order that was raised while I was not in the office and, again, the hon. Deputy Speaker informed the nation, through a response from the right, that the President was on a working holiday. That is all I can say about this matter.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, Kwacha has a large population and, in the night, our expectant mothers find it difficult to get to other clinics, which are in far-flung areas. When will the hon. Minister assist Kwacha Constituency to get health services to the people?

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, Kwacha Constituency has another clinic, Buchi, which operates twenty-four hours a day and is only 4km from Ipusukilo Clinic. So, Buchi Main Clinic will cater for Ipusukilo.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, in the 2013 Budget, there was some money meant for the expansion of clinics ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Mbewe: … some of which are in Chadiza. This money was released by the Ministry of Finance, but the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health did not disburse it to the districts. Where is that money?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, if the money was released by the Ministry of Finance and is at the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, then, we will release it to the districts where the expansion of the clinics will be done. So, if you want more information on that issue, you can follow it up with my ministry.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify if Buchi is in Kwacha Constituency. Secondly, taking into consideration the fact that Kwacha has the biggest population in Kitwe, and for the hon. Member of Parliament to request for a maternity wing at Ipusukilo, he means well for the people of the area, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, for the hon. Minister to tell the hon. Member …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Leave him.

Mr Speaker: No, it is not a question of leaving him. I have to guide him.

Mr Chishimba: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: I have not finished.

This is time for supplementary questions. If you want to furnish or update the hon. Minister with new information, you can do so in another forum. Put a specific question to her.

You may continue.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, when will the ministry build a maternity wing in Kwacha Constituency to end the movement of pregnant women at night?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, it is this Government’s policy to build maternity wings or clinics that operate on a twenty-four hour basis not farther than 5km from the target catchment area. The distance between Ipusukilo and Buchi Main health centres is 4km. Therefore, the people who go to Ipusukilo Health Centre can be referred to Buchi Health Centre. The Government has embarked on an on-going programme to build a lot of health centres, but that programme cannot be implemented overnight. So, Zambians need to be patient. We will deliver what they want.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, how will the people who live about 16km away from the health facilities, such as those in Chatente area, access them if they are not constructed in that area?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the country is lagging behind in infrastructure development. However, the Government is doing its best to build infrastructure in areas that do not have it. As I indicated in my response to an earlier question, Ipusukilo was not catered for in this year’s Budget. So, the people in that area should wait until, maybe, next year when a health centre will be constructed. There are too many rural areas that do not have these facilities. I think, the urban areas are in a better situation than the rural ones. As a Government, we are trying to make these facilities as accessible as we can. I only urge the hon. Members of Parliament and the general citizenry to be patient with us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, as Member of Parliament for Katombola, a rural constituency in Kazungula District, I want the hon. Minister to state, in no uncertain terms, what the distance between two health posts should be, as per Government policy. Is it 4km or 5km? 

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, it is 5km. However, the distance between Ipusukilo Health Centre and Buchi Health Centre is 4km.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, Zambia’s high maternal mortality rate is as a result of poor access to health facilities. Would the hon. Minister care to tell this House and, through it, the nation the Government’s long-term plans to ensure that expectant mothers have access to health facilities so as to reduce the high maternal mortality rate.

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, the cause of the high maternal mortality rate is not only inadequate infrastructure, but also the shortage of skilled midwives. Also, I am sure that the hon. Member knows that early marriages and child pregnancies are also a contributing factor. That said, the construction of 650 health posts will help the people access good health care. Furthermore, we are trying to make sure that the centres will be manned by trained workers. To this effect, in 2013, the Treasury gave us authority to recruit about 952 workers and we will recruit more. As a Government, we are committed to reducing the high maternal mortality rate and would like to see the involvement of the communities because we want everyone to be accountable and responsible for health issues in their communities.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


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

(a) what measures the Government had taken to improve conditions of service for teachers in Lukulu West Parliamentary Constituency;

(b) how many teachers’ houses were in the constituency;

(c) what plans the Government had to improve accommodation for teachers in the constituency; and

(d) what the total number of Government primary and secondary schools in the constituency was.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr P. Ngoma): Mr Speaker, the Government has made provisions for teachers in rural areas to receive the Remote and Rural Hardship Allowance on a monthly basis at 25 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, of their basic salaries.

Sir, there are thirty-three permanent and 124 temporary mud and grass-thatched houses in the constituency.  

Mr Speaker, the Government has released funds for the construction of two classrooms, two staff houses and four ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets at Lwee Primary School under the 2013 Infrastructure Development Plan (IDP). Also on course is the construction of Mitete Boarding Secondary School.

 Sir, the Government, through the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), has embarked on the construction of staff houses so that teachers have access to accommodation. The status of the project for respective schools is as follows:

School Project Status

Mitete staff houses completed

Lupui staff houses at roof level

Mbangweta block moulding

Sikunduko staff houses at gable level

Kashizhi staff houses completed

Mr Speaker, there are five registered community schools and thirty-one primary schools. Mitete Secondary School is still under construction while ‘Munyandoti’ and …

Mr Mutelo: Muyondoti!

Mr P. Ngoma:  ... Muyondoti and Kalulunda …

Mr Mutelo: Kakulunda.

Mr P. Ngoma: Muyondoti and Kakulunda have been suggested …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Lukulu West, this may be your question, but you are not at liberty to correct the hon. Minister while seated.


Mr P. Ngoma: … for upgrading to secondary school status.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I was just trying to help the hon. Minister pronounce the names correctly.

Mr Speaker: Yes, but you did so inappropriately.

Mr Mutelo: The names of the schools are Muyondoti, Kakulunda, Lupui and Sikunduko.


Mr Mutelo: Hon. Minister, you mentioned that there are thirty-three permanent and 124 temporary houses for teachers in the constituency. Are you saying that the ministry is responsible for the migration of teachers from rural to urban schools because of its failure to build proper houses? What measures are you putting in place to arrest the situation?

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, I have been to the hon. Member’s constituency and the situation is, indeed, not pleasing. However, the Government will upgrade or replace pole-and-mud structures with permanent ones and build VIP toilets. So, in time, we will deal with the shortage of accommodation for teachers that way. 

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that there are thirty-three permanent houses and thirty-one schools in Mitete, Lukulu West, which works out to an average of one house per school. Listening to him, I get the impression that the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is actually doing more than the ministry in improving school accommodation. When will the Government re-align its priorities, which we do not understand, to match those of the CDF, which clearly show that the people prefer to have more schools constructed than anything else?

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer was a tribute to all hon. Members in the House who have constituencies for the work they are doing in collaboration with the ministry regarding the expenditure of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) facility. We are most grateful.

Sir, the situation in Lukulu West is almost the same in all the rural constituencies. This means that the ministry is overwhelmed by the backlog in the construction of teacher’s houses. This is the reason the hon. Deputy Minister said that we have now adopted the strategy that, wherever a school or a classroom block is constructed, teacher’s houses should be built, too. We are also very mindful of the degree of need, particularly in rural areas, but the resource envelope being small, we are unable to make a dramatic impact on the construction of teachers’ houses. We encourage each district to build teacher’s houses from the funds that we send to them. Even at the district level, however, the amounts that we send are not sufficient. Suffice it to say that  we are mindful that there is this need and are working out measures that we think will help to solve the problem.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, why are we, in rural areas, expected to provide fully-furnished accommodation to the Chinese teachers who have been sent to teach Chinese to our pupils? May I know the Government’s policy on this subject.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, obviously, accommodation for Chinese teachers is not part of this question. Maybe, the reason is that the Chinese are providing a facility that we think we should encourage by providing them with the accommodation although that is still being discussed.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that the Government is taking some measures that have not been disclosed …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

 Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I am behind.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I would like to get the hon. Minister’s answer to the hon. Member for Chipata Central’s question very clearly. The hon. Minister did not come out very clearly. Is it true that Chinese is being taught in rural schools?

I need your serious ruling.

 Mr Speaker: Order!

My short ruling is that the hon. Member for Chadiza should file in a question, then, I will give it to the hon. Minister. Thereafter, he will get a response.

The hon. Member for Ikeleng’i may continue.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, we have a critical situation in which teachers have even taken up classroom space for their accommodation. Can the hon. Minister come out very clearly on the measures that this Government is putting in place to rectify the situation. Further, when will the measures be effected? Why should you restrict yourselves to the upgrading the new schools and what will happen to the old ones?

Mr Speaker: Can the hon. Minister come out clearly in his usual manner.


Dr Phiri:  Mr Speaker, I will be even clearer now than ever before.

Sir, we were not sending enough money to the districts to deal with teachers’ housing problems. However, the hon. Members may have noticed that, from the 2014 allocations, we have disbursed 7 per cent of the money directly to the districts for, among other things, dealing with the teething problem of teachers’ accommodation. We hope to build on these allocations to all the districts so that we make some inroads into the solution of this problem.

Sir, we recognise how crucial a house is to a teacher because teachers without accommodation and those who rent in the villages may not be as motivated as those who have good accommodation. As a ministry that has the teachers’ interest at heart, we will do everything we can to alleviate their situation. However, this is not today’s problem because we inherited it. However, that should not be the reason we should fail to do something dramatic about it. We are committed to resolving the problem.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


557. Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West) asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a) why the construction of the maternity wing at Mumbeji Rural  Health Centre in Kabompo District had stalled;

(b) when the construction would be completed; and

(c) what measures had been taken to ensure timely completion of the project.

Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, the construction of a maternity annex at Mumbeji Rural Health Centre commenced under the 2012 Health Infrastructure Operationalisation Plan (HIOP), and K80,000 was released and used to purchase building materials and pay for the labour components needed to bring the project to the slab level.

Sir, construction will resume under the 2014 HIOP once the funds for rehabilitation and extension of health facilities are released by Ministry of Health.

Sir, the project has been budgeted for in the 2014 HIOP and it is expected that, once the funds have been released, it will be completed.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, as Kabompo District, we are aware that money was allocated, but it was later redirected by the ministry to pay a contractor for the construction of Chavuma District Hospital. To date, that money has not been refunded. My question is: Why was the money redirected? Further, why has it not been refunded to the project, which has been outstanding for more than five years now, can be completed?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we are committed to completing the maternity annex because it is very important for us. We are also committed to completing the other district hospitals because they are the ones to which we will be referring some of the complicated maternity cases.  Therefore, apart from the K80,000, more money will be released this year to help us to complete project.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, from the hon. Minister’s response, I am made to understand that this project has been included in the 2014 Infrastructure Operational Plan (HIOP) and that it will take be implemented as soon as funds have been released. As someone who is always interested in infrastructure development plans (IDPs), and in line with your guidance last week, is the hon. Minister able to share the plan with us so that we will not have to repeatedly ask questions on where or when some infrastructure will be built?

Mrs Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, we will do that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Member: When?

Mr Speaker: As soon as possible.



558. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a) how many livestock quarantine centres there were in the country;

(b) where the centres were located;

(c) when the centre under construction at the Luangwa Bridge would be completed; and

(d) when the centre would become operational.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, there are four international animal quarantine stations. Additionally, there are four checkpoints constructed under the Animal Disease-Free Zone (ADFZ), namely, Lusaka West, Kafue, Luangwa and Nkalamabwe each of which has a quarantine facility. So, the total number of quarantine facilities in the country is eight.

Sir, the four international quarantine centres are Simoonga Quarantine Station in Kazungula, the Southern Province; Lusaka Quarantine Station near Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, Lusaka; Chanida Quarantine Station in Katete, the Eastern Province; and Mwami Quarantine Station in Chipata, the Eastern Province.

Mr Speaker, the quarantine facility at the Luangwa Bridge is almost complete except for the lack of water facilities for the animals and staff. However, the process of laying pipes to draw water from the Luangwa River has commenced. Apart from the water works, there are also minor pending works involving the erection of a fence around the offices and a cross bar on the road to stop vehicles.

Sir, the quarantine facility will be operationalised when its construction has been completed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister not aware of the high cost at which those beautiful and important structures were built only for them to remain unused for many years? If he is, what is his ministry doing to operationalise the facility as soon as possible?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the Government attaches great importance to this project, as can be seen from the K851,449 that has already been spent on it. We have also sunk two dry boreholes at the same site and all these measures are aimed at ensuring that the centre is opened quickly. As I earlier said, we have also started laying pipes to tap water from the Luangwa River.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, the quarantine centres are very important. However, I see many promises missing in these services. Is there any deliberate programme to establish quarantine centres in all the ten provinces of this country as is the case with laboratories? A group of farmers lost animals in the Western Province.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, apart from the eight centres that I have mentioned, there are plans to set up many others in almost all the provinces. One of the immediate plans we have is to establish quarantine centres at all the permanent checkpoints, such as the ones in Kabwe, Mbala, Kasumbalesa, Nalusanga and Kasaya, to curb the spread of animal diseases.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, the answer given by the hon. Deputy Minister is factually inaccurate because Chanida is not in Katete, but in my constituency, Chadiza.

Mr Speaker: What is your question, hon. Member?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, having made that correction, I would like to know why the construction of the abattoir in Katete and the quarantine centre at Luangwa Bridge has taken long to be completed? Why are projects not being completed on time in the Eastern Province?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the quarantine centre at Chanida is complete and functional. So, to say that these projects are not completed is not correct. As for the quarantine centre at the Luangwa Bridge, I have just mentioned that the Government has spent K851,459 on ensuring that it is opened as soon as possible. So, the Government is committed to completing projects in the Eastern Province and in other parts of the country on time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: What about the location of Chanida? Is it in Katete?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, on that, I need to verify where, exactly, Chanida is. Suffice it to say that it is in the Eastern Province.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


559. Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development how much copper the country produced in 1991, 2004, 2011 and 2013, year by year.

The Deputy Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Musukwa): Mr Speaker, copper production in 1991, 2004, 2011 and 2014 was as follows:

Year Tonnes of Copper Produced

1991 366,627

2004 424,141

2011 667,604

2013 763,805

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, looking at the progressive increase in copper production, when do you think that we, as a country, will hit the 1 million tonne mark?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, as rightly noted by the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe, there has been a steady increase in the production of copper because of the many mining projects that we have been ramping up operations. As a Government, we envisage that we will hit the 1 million tonne mark by the end of 2014, as we have more mining operations ramping up. In fact, we envisage that we will produce in excess of 1.5 million tonnes by the end of 2015.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, by 2011, I think, there were projections that the annual mining output would have clocked 1 million metric tonnes by 2013. That has not happened. Would the hon. Minister agree that this is as result of the squabbles between the Government and mining companies? Some mining companies, First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Limited, for example, is diverting its investment from Zambia to Latin American states.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member of Parliament for Kalabo Central for that question.

Mr Speaker: No, it is Liuwa.

Mr Musukwa: Sorry, it is the hon. Member for Liuwa. It is a very difficult name, but we are learning to pronounce it.

Mr Speaker: You should learn like I did.


Mr Musukwa: Thank you, Mr Speaker. You have learnt fast.

Sir, there are no squabbles, whatsoever, between the Government and the mining companies as claimed by the hon. Member. I assure the hon. Member that we continue to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in all mining operations. This is a fact that was made clear by the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water of Development in his latest media statement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, to rephrase the previous questioner’s point, there is little or no investor confidence in Zambia as a destination for investment due to political instability. Can the hon. Minister confirm that. I am saying so because the copper output is not growing at the rate envisaged in 2011. The information at the ministry is that we should have exceeded 1 million metric tonnes of copper output by 2011, but we are nowhere near that mark.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, there is immense investor confidence in this country, and it can actually be seen. From the figures I have tabulated, we can see that mining output is increasing. For avoidance of doubt, let me read them again. In 2011, the output was 667,604 metric tonnes while in 2013 it was 763,805 metric tonnes. I am sure that the hon. Member for Mafinga, who is my aunt, ...

Mr Speaker: No, I do not want you to go that far.

Mr Musukwa: ... can easily see the increment in the two figures.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister shed light on why BHP Billiton Minerals Limited, a company that was quite serious with mining explorations in Zambia, left Zambia.

Mr Speaker: The problem with that question, hon. Member for Mumbwa, is that it is not a supplementary question, but a new one.

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, obviously, we are excited that the mining output is going up, year by year, according to the figures we have been given here.  Can the hon. Minister give us comfort by also telling us whether this increase has resulted in more benefits to ordinary Zambians.

Mr Yaluma’s microphone malfunctioned.

The Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development (Mr Yaluma): Mr Speaker, I have got a problem with my microphone. Therefore, I will just speak loudly.

Mr Speaker: No, it is not a question of just shouting. We record the debates here.

Mr Yaluma turned faced backwards to  use Mr Musukwa’s microphone.

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, indeed, there is no doubt that …



Mr Yaluma moved to the Back Bench.

Mr Speaker: He has taken remedial measures.


Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, as I was saying, indeed, the increase in annual production has tallied with increased earnings for Zambia in the sector, which entails that we are doing well, as a country. As to whether Zambia is benefiting, yes it is, but currently not to the extent that we would like to. It is a gradual movement and we are advocating for real benefits for Zambians beyond employment.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, I have learnt from the responses and questions that projected mining production should have hit the 1 million metric tonne mark by 2013. Just to draw you back, programmes such as the Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP) were based on such projections, which entailed that there would be more revenue for the Treasury. Now that we have not hit that mark, does it mean that our projected inflows to the Treasury under the SNDP will also be affected?

Mr Yaluma: Mr Speaker, I would like to make it a little bit easier for hon. Members to understand the issue at hand by stating that projections are made to help you move in the right direction. That was the intention for the projection of reaching the 1 million metric tonne mark in copper production by 2013. However, there are many factors that affect the achievement of targets along the way. Some of the factors are within our control while others are not. We are saying that the trend is currently very good because production is growing every year, which is a good indication that we will hit the 1 million metric tonnes mark. However, we want to produce even more than that, up to 1.5 million metric tonnes, like Hon. Musukwa said. So, we are on the right track to hit not 1 million, but 1.5 million metric tonnes in the next two years.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


560. Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when funds for the upgrading of Mapulanga Primary School in Luwingu District to a secondary school would be disbursed.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, Mapulanga Primary School is one of the twenty-two primary schools that have been earmarked for upgrading to a secondary school in Northern Province. The upgrading will begin as soon as the ministry receives money from the Treasury.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, indeed, this is one of the schools that have been earmarked for upgrading. However, the hon. Deputy Minister’s answer worries me because we are already into the second half of 2014. Have there been any efforts made to lobby the Ministry of Finance to release the funds to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, of course, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has held a number of meetings with the Ministry of Finance. As regards what Hon. Bwalya said, that this is July and we are remaining with only a few months before the end of the year, I am sure that we will get a positive response from our colleagues in the Ministry of Finance.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made reference to the twenty-two schools that have been earmarked for upgrading in the Northern Province and to the fact that they include Mapulanga Primary. In the same district, there are also Shimumbi and Luwingu Primary schools. Can he assure us that, as soon as the funds are disbursed by the Ministry of Finance, Mapulanga and the other twenty-one schools will certainly receive the money at the same time, not in a staggered manner, because we are in the third quarter of the year and the rains will start falling soon.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as Hon. Mucheleka is aware, we have a budget of K320 million for the upgrading of 220 primary schools into secondary schools. If the hon. Minister of Finance will release the whole amount at once, then, all the 220 earmarked primary schools will get their allocations. However, if disbursement by the Treasury will be piecemeal, then, the disbursement to the schools will follow the same format.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I think, the complaint that I hear from Lupososhi is the same most of us have. Primary schools which were intended for upgrading have remained unupgraded, those that were supposed to be completed, like Libonda Secondary, have remained uncompleted, including some primary schools that should have been completed two to three years ago, yet, if I recall well, we approved a huge amount of money for the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education in the current Budget. Where is that huge amount of money going when our high schools remain uncompleted and our primary schools unupgraded?

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the money approved by this august House for infrastructure development at in the secondary sub-sector was only K500 million. This august House and the public ought to know that we have about 118 secondary schools being constructed across the country. So, the K500 million is not enough to cater for all the 118 secondary schools. Further, the Ministry of Finance has been releasing that money to the projects piecemeal. In terms of Libonda Secondary School, where works have stalled, and to which Hon. Dr Musokotwane has referred, I was there less than a week ago and found that there was a problem with land. I have since provided feedback to the hon. Minister on how we can move forward with the project.

I thank you, Sir.


561. Mr Chitafu (Kafulafuta) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) how many desks were distributed to the schools in Kafulafuta Parliamentary Constituency in 2013;

(b) which schools benefited from the exercise;

(c) how many desks each school received; and

(d) if no desks were distributed to any school in the constituency, when the desks would be supplied.

Mr P. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, 140 desks were distributed in Kafulafuta Constituency in 2013.
Mr Speaker, the recipient primary schools were Chembo, Mumana, Nkambo and Nsungabukanda. The breakdown was as follows:

School Number of Desks Received

Chembo Primary School 40

Mumana Primary School 20

Nkambo Primary School 40

Nsungabukanda Primary School 40

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chitafu: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for that comforting answer. However, it is a fact that the desks are not enough. When will a similar exercise be undertaken again?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the distribution of desks is an on-going exercise that depends on the need of a given area. Let us know the schools in Kafulafuta District that lack desks and we will provide for them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister be kind enough to give us a distribution list for desks going to the various constituencies so that each constituency knows the number of desks it will receive.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member could be exaggerating the advice you gave earlier. We take it that he wants to know where the desks have gone. However, all I can say is that this has been a very successful programme ...

Dr Kaingu: Ah!

Dr Phiri: … from 2011 to date. It is not giving us any headaches. However, we are not suggesting that there is no longer any need for desks.

Mr Speaker, we will avail the distribution list although it will take a while for us to provide a complete one. However, I thank the hon. Member for the advice.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, does the ministry look at the resources it will actually get from the Ministry of Finance when budgeting? I ask this because our colleagues are talking about the infrastructure they are building, which will need desks. Do they take into consideration the availability of the resources? From the answers they are giving, one gets the impression that they have embarked on an ambitious construction programme, but have no resources to complete the structures and furnish them with desks.

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister was answering a question about the construction of secondary schools. The procurement and distribution of desks have their own allocation, and we are very confident that we do not have any problems in that regard.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is underestimating the situation in rural areas. In Mwandi, pupils sit on the floor because most of the schools do not have desks. I also heard him be very economical with the truth again when asked about classrooms. I wonder why they should embark on building new schools when the old ones are not furnished. Hon. Minister, when will you supply desks to all the schools in Mwandi?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the hon. Members should also be truthful. However, the truth can only emerge if they visit their constituencies. Speaking specifically about Mwandi Constituency, there has not been any report about pupils in any Government school sitting on the floor. We are not talking about community schools.

Dr Kaingu interjected.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwandi ...

Dr Phiri: In all the new schools that we are opening, there are no crises as far as furniture is concerned. So, I do not know where he is getting all these hallucinations about the children ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Phiri: Oh, pardon me, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, please, withdraw that statement. He is certainly not hallucinating.

Dr Phiri: I withdraw the statement whole-heartedly, Mr Speaker. I thought that we were outside talking to each other as friends.

Mr Speaker: You are on the Floor of the House.

Dr Phiri: Thank you for the reminder, Sir.

Sir, I can confirm that, in both the urban and rural areas, as far as school furniture is concerned, we almost have the situation under control. However, if there is a unique need in Mwandi, our advice is always that hon. Members liaise with the District Education Board Secretaries (DEBSs) and, if things do not get resolved at that level, the Provincial Education Officers (PEOs). Let us not exaggerate things because I think that we have done well in that regard.

Thank you, Sir.


562. Mr Chishimba asked the Minister Mines, Energy and Water Development:

(a) what the Government’s position on the sale of the Mukuba-Natwange housing units in Kamfinsa Parliamentary Constituency to sitting tenants was;

(b) whether the prices of the housing units would be reduced as promised by the previous administration; and

(c) when the issuance of title deeds to those who had paid the full purchase price would commence.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, from the outset, I would like to indicate that this should have been directed to the Ministry of Finance.  However, because we are a co-ordinated Government, we got the information from our colleagues.

Mr Speaker, in July, 2011, the Government undertook a commitment to pay the outstanding balance on the Mukuba-Natwange Housing Units in Kamfinsa Constituency on behalf of the 172 sitting tenants who had failed to pay the whole amount on their own under the terms given by Mukuba Pension Trust. The payments by the Government were meant to facilitate the completion of the sale process. In July, 2013, the Ministry of Finance made a part payment of K3 million, leaving a balance of K2,134,370.

Mr Speaker, the prices of the houses were fixed way back in 2006. The commencement of the process to liquidate the balance is indicative of our desire to keep the price as it is. The Government has already started the process of helping with the payments as stated above.

Mr Speaker, Mukuba Pension Trust commenced the issuance of title deeds to those who have completed paying for the houses in 2012. An advertisement by the trust for those who had paid in full to collect their title deeds was placed in the press in December, 2012. The issuance of title deeds is an on-going process and all those who meet the set conditions have been getting their title deeds.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, when will the balance of K2,134,370 be paid by the Government?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, once resources have been made available by the Ministry of Finance, we will see how best to liquidate this liability.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I hope that Hon. Chishimba is listening.

Mr Chishimba: Yama, ninshi nachita?

Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, you can see the good policies of the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). The decision to liquidate the debt on behalf of the sitting tenants was made in July, 2011, under this party, which believes in the empowerment of the people. In a Government of the people, for the people and by the people, is it not possible that you can emulate the MMD, which cares for the citizens, by coming up with some schemes to empower them, especially since those people have no means of paying for themselves because they are not in gainful employment? Do you have plans like those the MMD had?


Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, if Hon. Mbulakulima had cared to follow my answer attentively, he would have heard me say that the first payment by the Ministry of Finance, to the tune of K3 million, was paid in 2013, …

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: … and I am sure that he knows which Government was in place in 2013. It was the PF.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: So, this Government is committed to mitigating the suffering of our people in Kamfinsa. Once the resources have been made available, we will move fast to pay. In fact, the balance is smaller than what the PF Government paid in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, the world over, there are many schemes for empowering citizens to own shelter. This scheme in question is one in which the Government was buying houses directly for sitting tenants. What were the circumstances surrounding the decision for the Government to buy property for individuals? Further, is that kind of programme sustainable and replicable in other places?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, the Government is committed to ensuring that our citizens across the country have decent accommodation. This case relates to former miners who were living in houses that belonged to Mukuba Pension Trust under Mukuba Pension House, which was the pension scheme for the miners. In short, the houses were never the property of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH). They were the property of the pension house, and that is why, when there was this problem, the Government undertook to bridge the gap because the people concerned had not benefitted from an earlier scheme in which miners had been sold the houses in which they were living. To that effect, yes, the Government would like to embark on sustainable projects, especially with regard to housing, and that is why we have been engaging our people in Mukuba-Natwange with the involvement of our hardworking Member of Parliament, Hon. Moses Chishimba, to get the best benefit for them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, indeed, empowerment is a very good thing. When citizens own property, it gives them a peace of mind. However, the selling of a number of housing stocks has rendered those who are getting employment now to fend for their own accommodation. Does the ministry have any plan to build more housing stocks so that our children and grandchildren can find cheaper accommodation when they get employed?

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, like we have indicated already, as a Government, we would like to see mining houses and several other stakeholders provide decent accommodation to our people. So, we are encouraging mining houses to build houses for our workers, and that is already being done by Lumwana and Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), which is also building houses for its new employees, who are definitely stranded, like you have indicated. We are also encouraging our citizens to own property like houses.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister mention any other Government in the whole world that has built houses for its citizens.

Mr Musukwa: Mr Speaker, I know that our Doctor is highly learned and has extensively researched this subject. Therefore, he could have information on his fingertips on how people are building houses across the country. Indeed, there is no Government that I can refer to outright that has done that because governments look at the sustainability of projects and the large population. That is why we are encouraging our citizens across the Republic of Zambia and mining houses to build their own housing units. As a Government, our role is to create an enabling environment for that to happen, and that is what we are doing.

I thank you, Sir.


565. Mr Lufuma asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education when the pole and mud structures at the following schools in Kabompo would be replaced with modern classroom blocks:

(a) Chifuwe South;

(b) Chifuwe Minunga;

(c) Kafungo;

(d) Ndeco  at Nyachawa; and

(e) Kalyangandu.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, out of the five schools that have been mentioned, the ministry provided K480,000 for Ndeco  Primary School to build a 1 x 2 classroom block, two staff houses and four Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrines.

Mr Speaker, the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) and the Provincial Education Officer (PEO), in consultation with the community of Kabompo, will make an assessment on the way forward for the other four schools.

Mr Speaker, just like the hon. Minister said when he answered the question on Lukulu West, it is important for hon. Members of Parliament and the public to know that the ministry will continue upgrading pole-and-mud schools in a phased approach because the country still has a large number of schools constructed using poles and mud. Therefore, I request the hon. Member for Kabompo West, being a key stakeholder in infrastructure development in his constituency, to consult the DEBS so that, as we prepare the budget and the annual infrastructure work plan (AIWP) for 2015, some of the remaining schools can be considered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to rise on this very important point of order. I apologise to the hon. Member who was about to ask a follow-up question.

Mr Speaker, last week, you guided the House on the importance of making sure that questions that appear on the Order Paper are responded to, and that those who are supposed to ask questions make sure that they are either present in the House to ask their questions or delegate the responsibility to other hon. Members through the Chief Whips. So, are the two hon. Members, namely, the hon. Members for Mwinilunga and Chipili, respectively, in order to allow their questions to lapse when those who were supposed to answer their questions spent their energy and time on preparing the responses for the absent hon. Members and, through them, their people?

I seek your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Obviously, they cannot do that and still be in order. It goes without saying. However, on a serious note, I would like the Chief Whips, both from the right and the left, to assist me in this regard. They have a very special role to play in the corporate life of Parliaments. They are actually my allies in many ways. At least, they ought to be, and this is one area in which they should play a very cardinal role. There is a provision for delegation. In fact, in one instance, there was delegation, with the only unfortunate thing being that the delegate is also absent. I was notified that there was a delegate, and I do not think that this augers well. The Whips, I emphasise, have a role to play in the administration of this House. Those are not honorific or symbolic positions. They are functional.

The two hon. Members are out of order. That is my ruling.

Where were we?

Mr Lufuma: You were with me.

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Kabompo West may continue.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, if I may, I would like to correct the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education on his answer. He told this House that Ndeco  Primary School has been given K400,000 for the construction of 1 x 2 classroom blocks and some staff houses. While that information is true, it does not apply to Ndeco Primary School at Nyachawa. That information he gave is for Indeco Primary School. Can he, please, correct his record. That said, the communities at these schools, especially Chifuwe South, Chifuwe-Mununga and Kafungo have been promised, year after year, that the schools will be constructed, and the schools have even been included in infrastructure plans since 2010. However, no construction has taken place and the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) is now very afraid of going to the schools. She has been asked to go to the schools to explain why this Government has not built any classroom there, but she has shied away. So, the hon. Minister should assist the DEBS and the people …

Mr Speaker: What is the question?

Mr Lufuma: … at these respective schools.

Mr Speaker: What is the question, hon. Member?

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, my question is: Why has this Government continued to promise the communities or schools, but failed to deliver on its promises?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Why is the Government doing this to the poor people?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, the office of the DEBS for Kabompo has confirmed the status of the schools as explained by Hon. Lufuma. It has also told us that a little work has been done on the construction of ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets at Chifuwe South, Chifuwe-Mununga and Kafunga schools. With the help of a partner, two teachers’ houses have been built at Kalyangandu. That is commendable, but not enough.

Sir, to rescue the DEBS, I make an undertaking that we will implement the project using the 2014 Budget because the schools have been factored in the 2014 Annual Work Plan (AWP).


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Dr Phiri: When funds have been released this year, we will start the construction of the 1 x 3 classroom blocks.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, it is good that the hon. Minister has come to the rescue of the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) but, I think, that is dependent on the release of the money by the Ministry of Finance. Has the hon. Minister of Finance released the money?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I said that we will undertake the works as soon as the money has been released.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, realistically speaking, will the 2014 Infrastructure Operational Plan (IOP) be implemented, considering that we are already in June and, in most places, I am not too sure if even one brick has been laid ...

Mr Shakafuswa: We are in July.

Dr Kalila: ... Sorry, we are in July, actually, for this infrastructure all over the country?

Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, yes, we have a lot of hope that the project can be implemented considering that money was released as late as December, 2013. However, we do not think that the same will be the case this year. Our fingers, or is it toes now, are crossed.


Dr Phiri: Suffice it to say that we will disburse the money to the districts as soon as it has been released by the Treasury so that this important work is undertaken.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the Budget will be presented in September, and we have only about two months before that happens. Is the hon. Minister sure that the money from the 2014 Budget will be released?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister said that he was hopeful, …

Mr Shakafuswa: But December is not far from now!

Mr Speaker: … not sure.{mospagebreak}


566. Mr Ng’onga asked the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health:

(a) when Kaputa District Hospital was declared a district hospital;

(b) what the establishment for doctors at the hospital was;

(c) how many doctors there were at the hospital as of January, 2014;

(d) when the establishment for doctors would be filled; and

(e) when the hospital would be upgraded to a second-level hospital.

Mrs Mphande: Mr Speaker, Kaputa District Hospital was declared a district hospital in 2012.

Sir, the establishment of doctors at the hospitals is four, as shown below:
Designation Number of Positions

District Medical Officer 01

Medical Officer in-Charge 01

Senior Resident Medical Officer 02

Sir, as of January, 2014, the two positions of Senior Resident Medical Officer (SRMO) had been filled, the District Medical Officer (DMO) has been appointed and will be reporting for duty soon while the position of Medical Officer in-Charge (MOIC) is still vacant and will be filled after the identification of a suitable Resident Medical Officer (RMO) with more than two years of post-internship posting.

Sir, the hospital is still being upgraded to meet the standards of a district hospital.

I thank you, Sir.


567. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Vice-President:

(a) what the basic qualifications for the position of Permanent Secretary were;

(b) how many Permanent Secretaries there were currently in Government; and

(c) how many Permanent Secretaries possessed the basic qualifications.

The Vice-President’s microphone malfunctioned.

The Vice-President walked to the microphone in front of Mr Speaker, near the Mace.


The Vice-President (Dr Scott): So, I can preach from here?


Hon. Members: No, the other one.

Hon. Government Member: Still, how will they ask him follow-up questions?


The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the basic qualification for the position of Permanent Secretary (PS) is an ability to demonstrate high levels of the following competencies and attributes:

(a) strategic management;

(b) leadership;

(c) strong analytical, team building, problem-solving, inter-personal and adaptive skills; and

(d) maturity.

Sir, a post-graduate qualification is an added advantage.

Mr Speaker, there are currently forty-two PSs serving in various Government ministries and other institutions.

Mr Speaker, all the PSs have the requisite qualifications, competencies and attributes to perform assigned functions.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President walked away from the microphone.

Mr Speaker: There must be a microphone working somewhere.

Mr E. C. Lungu: This one is working.

Mr Speaker: His Honour the Vice-President, just take your time. We need to settle down.


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, in the past, we were told that, in order for one to hold the position of District Commissioner (DC), they had to be able to read, write and take orders. Today, we have heard the same thing concerning Permanent Secretaries (PSs). This is making education in Zambia irrelevant, as people will not fight for higher positions with their qualifications, and that …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the Government not frustrating the civil servants who are highly qualified, like His Honour the Vice-President by allowing them to be led by Grade 12 failures? Is this Government not causing discontent in the Civil Service?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I think that the highly educated and qualified questioner should bear in mind that Zambia overdoes it in making a religion out of education. Education might be a necessary or desirable attribute of a person, but going to university does not make you a more practical, intelligent or useful person. It is practical experience combined with some basic literacy which makes somebody a worthwhile employee. I employ people, but I do not insist that they have high qualifications. I judge them by their performance.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, how are candidates for the mentioned positions evaluated against the parameters, such as leadership, strategic management and the whole array that His Honour the Vice-President gave?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that is done on the basis of experience, again, on the part of the people who are appointing and recommending the people. It works the same way as it does in a village, a grain shed or a highly sophisticated mining company. You base things on experience and trust in the ability of the person to do the job. I fail to see anything mysterious about that.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I listened carefully to the interesting criteria that are used for appointing Permanent Secretaries by the Patriotic Front (PF). Does it matter what these qualifications are, taking into account that, for example, on average, the people posted to the Western Province have only been there for six or seven months? People seem to be replaced before they have the benefit of interacting with the people in the area and understanding what they are doing there. More specifically, how will these criteria, lofty as you may think them to be, help if you do not allow the people to settle down in the areas where they are posted to in order for them to understand what they are dealing with?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I wish that I had brought a spreadsheet or some similar device to show us how long people stayed in office and other things. The picture being painted by the questioner is one of very rapid movement on the part of all Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and similar people who get posted to the Western Province. If he will bring me a calendar to show me that what he has claimed is what has actually happened, then, I will take it up even during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time next week.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, when the Patriotic Front (PF) was in the Opposition, it demanded that the positions of District Commissioner (DC) and Permanent Secretary (PS) should be held by degree holders. Could the u-turn taken by the party on this matter be the reason it is failing to deliver because it is using ...

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Shakafuswa: Those of you who have never been to school can say, ‘Question’ …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I will start where I stopped.

Sir, before business was suspended, I was being jeered by hon. Members on your right who feel that a lack of education is an added advantage in this regime.


Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, most of the directors in the ministries hold Masters or higher degrees. Is there any hope that those people, who have risen through the ranks, will become Permanent Secretaries and apply their qualifications and the abilities that they have gained in their work, instead of giving the jobs to cadres who have run down the management system in this country?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, Hon. Shakafuswa has been honing his question during the fifteen-minute break that we have had. So, it is now a slightly different question.


The Vice-President: His assertion was that the Patriotic Front (PF) used to say that it wanted educated people in these positions. I could not remember which PF it was that had that policy. So, I quickly read on the Patriotic Front of Rwanda and the People’s Liberation Front of Palestine, but still have not found the allegation to be true in any of these places. However, saying that it is not necessary for a PS or a District Commissioner (DC) to have a certain advanced grade of education is not to suggest that we prefer uneducated people or that they are more employable than educated people. What we are saying is that the levels of formal education are not the only yardstick for judging the competence of people in real life management situations.

I thank you, Sir.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can His Honour the Vice-President who, based on his answers, has no respect for education, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: … tell us where the criteria he has told us about are written so that we can go and read them for ourselves?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, I will see if I can find the handbook on this subject and bring it to the House, after which I will slip the hon. Member a note so that he can ask this question again. I must say, in passing, that I resent being accused of having no respect for education. That is not the message that we are putting across. We are not saying that we have no respect. We should never forget that many wise and competent people have no education at all.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): Mr Speaker, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) set the requisite academic qualification for a Permanent Secretary (PS) at, at least, a Bachelor’s Degree, but the Vice-President is relegating that to just being an added advantage. There are insinuations that, for the Patriotic Front (PF), a degree is not necessary. Can His Honour the Vice-President confirm their sole aim is to appease cadres at the expense of the much-desired quality of service.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member has misconstrued what I have been saying. It is not true that our sole aim is to appease cadres. This Government is for the uneducated and the educated, the poor and the rich, and the unemployed and the employed. That is what we aim to be. We may, sometimes, go slightly off the track, but we are certainly on that track.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, we have been lamenting that the frequent reshuffling of Permanent Secretaries (PSs) is neither helping nor showing the manner in which we are supposed to manage our resources prudently. What steps are being taken to give confidence to our people that resources will be managed prudently by ensuring that there is, at least, a little continuity at the level of PSs, who are controlling officers?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s question is unrelated to the principal question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, I have always known Permanent Secretaries (PSs) to be the topmost civil servants who must be competent, and professionally and academically qualified so that even the hon. Ministers can rely on them. How does His Honour the Vice-President reconcile the two qualifications for the position of PS? The ill-qualified PSs, who can follow directives regardless of whether they are wrong or right, are different from those who are qualified and competent in some field that forms part of the ministry’s portfolio.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, in the context of the PS’s job, I do not really see that academic excellence is what is required. What is required is commitment to work, integrity and the ability to do arithmetic. Basically, what is required are the sterling virtues that we hope to find wherever we look amongst the many Zambians. It is not about saying, “Oh, he has a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Oxford.” That is not required.

I thank you, Sir.


569. Mr Mucheleka asked the Minister of Youth and Sport:

(a) what measures had been taken to monitor the usage of the Youth Development Fund (YDF);

(b) whether there were any success stories from the beneficiaries of the fund and, if so, what some of the success stories were; and

(c) how many jobs had been created from projects sponsored by the fund.

The Minister of Defence (Mr E. C. Lungu) on behalf of The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Youth and Sport monitors the usage and progress of all the Youth Development Fund (YDF) funded projects through the YDF national and provincial technical committees. Furthermore, all District Commissioners (DCs) are involved in ensuring that the youth who benefit from the fund use the resources properly.

Sir, the YDF has recorded many success stories of young people who have benefited from the fund, with a number of them being employers in their own right. The ministry will soon be running a thirteen-episode documentary on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) showcasing some of the success stories. Suffice it, for purposes of answering this question, to point out that in Mongu, for example, there is a group of youths who started with one taxi, but have now bought many more taxies, which they are operating under a club called Owners Transport Youth Club (OTYC). Still in Mongu, there is the classic case of a young lady who has set up a studio and created opportunities for her colleagues to record music and earn a living. There is also another classic project in Mpongwe, which involves leather production. The youths in that project process animal skins into leather products like shoes and belts. There are many projects being undertaken under this fund. So, I can only ask my colleagues to watch ZNBC TV 1 on Wednesday, 16th July, 2014, and see some of the cases. 

Mr Speaker, 700 youth groups and associates have benefited from this fund and created about 2,000 jobs from 2012 to date. This figure is a random estimate made in 2013.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has referred to the role that is played by the District Commissioners (DCs), and that is where the political undertones begin to creep into the programme. For instance, in Lubansenshi Constituency, there is a perception that the Youth Development Fund (YDF) is only available to Patriotic Front (PF) cadres mainly because it is administered through the DC’s office. Is it not possible to involve the constituency offices in the submission of the YDF project proposals so that, indeed, the funds are made to empower all the youths irrespective of their political affiliations?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport issued a statement on the Floor of this House in which he stressed the need for hon. Members of Parliament to get involved in this matter. All I can say is that, if there is a particular DC who is favouring Patriotic Front (PF) cadres, it is unfortunate because the goals of this fund cuts across political parties. With your participation, the perception will soon be brought to an end. So, I urge the hon. Member for Lubansenshi to take keen interest in what is happening in his constituency.

Sir, let me also take advantage of this opportunity to point out that, in fact, it is not only the DCs who assess, approve and disburse funds to YDF projects. Local oversight institutions like the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Office of the President (OP) are also involved in monitoring and ensuring that there is fair play in the way the funds are allocated and distributed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, supposing an application form has not passed through the District Commissioner’s (DC) office, but goes straight to the province where final consideration is done, would that be acceptable?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Youth and Sport brought the Youth Development Fund Operational Guidelines to the Floor of this House, which clearly stipulates how the fund can be accessed by the various youth groups. I urge the hon. Member to read that document again.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the Acting hon. Minister of Youth and Sport will agree with me that we saw the rewriting of football history yesterday. There was a turning point in that Brazil was butchered by a seven-one score line.

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, it was not only too heavy, but also embarrassing to the game of football.

Mr Nkombo: It was netball.


Mr Mbulakulima: What a story! Back to the Youth Development Fund (YDF), the people of Milenge have many projects …

Mr Livune: Even those in Kazungula.

Mr Mbulakulima: … and the dear hon. Member of Parliament has been appealing to the provincial headquarters in Luapula in vain. Is there any possibility of sending a technical team to Milenge to help the poor people in that area?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament has a passion for football and just wanted to bring in the subject of Brazil having been massacred. Coming to the substance of his question, the guidelines that I talked about stipulate how projects can be evaluated and application forms appraised. In fact, this office has provided copies of application forms in every district. It is there that the intended beneficiaries will submit all the requisite documents, including project proposals, that will be evaluated for possible financial support. I am sure that, if the people of Milenge have access to their hon. Member of Parliament, he will take them to the DC and other offices where the forms can be accessed. I have already stated that we, Members of Parliament, must get involved so that our youths in Milenge can benefit. If there are problems there, let us know the office that failed to help you.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, he is advising hon. Members of Parliament to be involved in the process of disbursing the Youth Development Fund (YDF). I am also aware that, under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), there is a specific role for an hon. Member of Parliament to play. If the ministry deems it fit for hon. Members of Parliament to participate in this process, why is there no provision for such a specific role for the hon. Member of Parliament to play in the dispensation of the (YDF)?

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, the doors of the ministry are not closed to hon. Members of Parliament, particularly on matters that have a bearing on their constituencies. I do not think that any hon. Member of Parliament who has keen interest in the administration of the YDF has been turned away by the various offices concerned. I know that, in Lusaka, for example, I do not have an office in Chawama, but the people there know where to find me when they want to submit the forms, which we process through the office of the DC. However, if any hon. Member of Parliament is encountering snags in his quest to access or know what is happening in the administration of the fund, they should lodge in complaints against the erring DCs with the ministry so that matters can be followed up. Otherwise, we cannot make a blanket statement here condemning all the DCs or hon. Members of Parliament. All we are saying is that, please, gentlemen and ladies, it is your responsibility to get involved. If you want us to provide a legal framework for your participation, the ministry can consider it. However, I know that some of you even fail to attend council meetings because you are always busy. So, invariably, you are not there during the evaluation of projects.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: Mr Speaker, whereas it is appreciated that ad hoc arrangements can be made to see the hon. Ministers in their offices, could he not consider having a specific role for the hon. Members of Parliament to play in the YDF guidelines just like we have in the utilisation of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) even if those are not the best either. I did not get the hon. Minister’s answer clearly when Hon. Mwiimbu asked a similar question. So, I just want to be clear on whether there can be a written provision for the hon. Members’ involvement even before the legal framework has been provided.

Mr E. C. Lungu: Mr Speaker, I would like to believe that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa’s question is the same as the one asked by Hon. Jack Mwiimbu. In answer to both, the Youth Development Fund Operational Guidelines has been circulated in the House. If that document is inadequate, it is up to you, as stakeholders, to suggest improvements to it so that you can evaluate the applications with the technocrats, if you are able to do so. The problem is that some of you do not even have time to visit your constituencies or attend council meetings because you are too busy. However, we will take your positive ideas on board.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}




Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 3rd July, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, during the session under review, your Committee considered two topical issues, namely, judicial reforms in the justice system in Zambia and the enforcement of the law relating to violence and harassment against women and girls in Zambia. Further, your Committee undertook a local tour in relation to the two topics and considered the Action-Taken Report on the report of your previous Committee for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, allow me to briefly highlight some of the salient issues that emerged during your Committee’s deliberations.

Judicial Reforms in the Justice System in Zambia

Mr Speaker, in undertaking this study, your Committee sought to better understand the reasons behind the increasing calls for judicial reforms. It came to your Committee’s attention that there is currently no specific policy or legal framework within which reforms in the Judiciary can be undertaken. However, the Judiciary was implementing some regulatory reforms aimed at streamlining the procedures for the delivery of justice. These included the recruitment of research advocates, the computerisation of the Judiciary’s operations, review of the civil procedure and the training of judicial officers, especially at the lower levels. Your Committee notes that these regulatory reforms, while welcome, fall far short of resolving the serious challenges that our country’s judicial system faces, and that comprehensive reforms ought to be undertaken without delay. The challenges include delayed judgments, perceived corruption, lack of financial autonomy, inadequate funding, lack of transparency and poor enforcement of the Judicial Code of Conduct.

Sir, your Committee is aware that most of the recommendations for judicial reforms hinge on Constitutional reforms. This means that most of the key proposals on judicial and legal reforms cannot be undertaken if the Constitutional reform process is not successfully concluded. Your Committee, therefore, calls upon the Government to expeditiously facilitate the conclusion of the Constitutional review process and, by implication, the judicial reform process. The judicial reform process, like the Constitutional review process, should be transparent and take into account the views of stakeholders, especially with regard to critical issues like the appointment procedures for judicial officers, security of tenure and remuneration.

Sir, your Committee is concerned that, currently, the Judiciary in Zambia is not institutionally and financially autonomous because of the institutional framework in which it exists and operates. The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is linked to the Public Service Commission and can hardly be said to be an autonomous institution. More importantly, the budget of the Judiciary is subjected to ceilings and arbitrary reductions by the Ministry of Finance, just like any other Government ministry’s budget. In these circumstances, it would be folly to expect meaningful reforms to be undertaken without addressing the financial aspects that impact heavily on the efficiency of the judicial system. Your Committee is also concerned that the disbursement of funds to the Judiciary is not only erratic, but funds are also not released as allocated in the Budget. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary be firmly established to enhance its independence.

Mr Speaker, closely related to the issue of financing the Judiciary is the physical state of judicial infrastructure countrywide. Your Committee observes that the Judiciary has continued to operate in pre-Independence buildings that are too small and not conducive for the dispensation of justice. In addition, most of the buildings are in a dilapidated state due to age and a lack of maintenance, which also affects relatively new facilities like the Lusaka Magistrates Court Complex. Further, your Committee found that the judges’ and magistrates chambers are practically non-existent. It is disheartening to note that the offices occupied by the judges and magistrates are, in most cases, too small and do not even afford their occupants the privacy that is necessary in their line of work. The Judiciary has improvised by displacing clerical and secretarial staff and giving the office space to judges and magistrates, which has resulted in clerical and secretarial staff being crammed into small spaces not fit to be called offices. This compromises not only their comfort, but also the confidentiality and quality of their work. Most importantly, your Committee observes that there is a critical shortage of court rooms at all the facilities visited, both at High Court and Subordinate Court levels. In this regard, judicial officers are forced to share court rooms, which contributes to delays in disposing of cases.

Your Committee also notes that the Judiciary has serious challenges in terms of storage space or archives for old records, resulting in unnecessary losses of documents. At the Supreme Court in Lusaka, the offices occupied by the adjudicators are also used for storing case records, which is unacceptable. Due to the challenges of inadequate infrastructure, the High Court only sits as a circuit court in places where it has no permanent presence, which happens about once every month, and this has a negative effect on the dispensation of justice in the country, as evidenced by the backlog of cases in the High Court and congestion in prisons.

Mr Speaker, additionally, your Committee is very disappointed to note that the design of the court facilities visited did not take into account the plight of the differently-abled people. Equally not readily available are exhibit rooms and facilities that are appropriate for juvenile offenders and witnesses. In light of the foregoing findings, your Committee implores the Government to urgently embark on a special infrastructure development programme for the Judiciary to enable the institution to construct adequate and appropriate juvenile justice facilities, facilities for child witnesses, exhibit rooms, court rooms, and judges’ and magistrates’ chambers. Ideally, the programme should be aimed at, among other things, ensuring that the institution is represented, at least, at the provincial level by resident judges and, generally, to take judicial services closer to the public.

Sir, your Committee noted that another major challenge in the operations of the Judiciary is that the subordinate courts have limited sentencing jurisdiction in criminal matters. In cases where the stipulated sentence exceeds the limit of a specific court, the record has to be sent to the High Court after conviction for confirmation and sentencing. This tends to cause delays and clogging in the High Court, especially with the current increase in the levels of sexual offences whose minimum sentences are in excess of the jurisdiction of the subordinate courts. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee agrees with the submissions from stakeholders that in the discourse on judicial independence and judicial reforms, magistrates are often overlooked, the focus being only on judicial officers serving on the higher benches. However, magistrates play a crucial role in the entire judicial system, given that they handle the bulk of the criminal cases and make other key decisions. Magistrates’ courts are also the places where the most impoverished, powerless and defenceless in society can access justice. In this vein, therefore, your committee calls upon the Government to urgently revise the Judges (Conditions of Service) Act, Cap 277 of the Laws of Zambia, so as to provide for magistrates’ conditions of service, which should be commensurate with the qualifications and level of responsibility carried by a particular magistrate. Further, your Committee recommends that the JSC seriously revisits the issue of the career progression of magistrates general. In particular, the issue of long-serving magistrates who are not qualified advocates should be revisited with a view to opening up a route for them to progress beyond the level of Magistrate Class I in their careers. Further, your Committee calls upon the JSC to consider qualified serving magistrates for elevation to the higher bench in order to avoid frustrations among them. This is not to say that advocates from the private sector should not be considered, but normal career progression for officers in the Judiciary should be paramount. Nevertheless, your Committee reiterates that all recommendations for promotion to the higher bench must remain merit-based.

Enforcement of the Law Relating to Violence and Harassment against Women and Girls in Zambia

Mr Speaker, in Zambia, various pieces of legislation contain a litany of offences related to violence and harassment against women and girls. Despite these laws being in place, anecdotal evidence suggests that violence and harassment against women and girls is on the increase in Zambia.

Mr Speaker, the legal framework that deals with Acts of violence and harassment towards women and girls in Zambia is varied and was strengthened in 2011, when the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act, Number 1 of 2011 was enacted. This piece of legislation is aimed at providing protection for victims of gender-based violence by removing them from abusive situations, counselling, rehabilitating them and ensuring that they do not return to the abusive situation. This law also provides for the creation of an Anti-Gender-Based Violence Committee and Anti-Gender-Based Violence Trust Fund.

Sir, your Committee notes that Zambia is signatory to various regional and international human rights instruments aimed at safeguarding the rights and welfare of women and children. These include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in African and the African Charter on the Welfare and Rights of the Child. Your Committee is pleased to note that Zambia has shown commitment to achieving zero-tolerance for gender-based violence and harassment by embarking on the process of domesticating CEDAW, developing the National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence (NAPGBV) (2008-2013) and setting up a Child Labour Unit under the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, which co-ordinates efforts to eliminate child labour and sexual exploitation.

Sir, other measures were the setting up of the Victim Support Unit (VSU) in 1994 in the Zambia Police Force to deal with, among other issues, property grabbing, spouse battering and sexual abuse. Further, the Sex Crimes Unit (SCU) was established in 2006 within the VSU to deal with cases of sexual assault, defilement and rape. In addition, the Police Public Complaints Authority (PPCA) was established with the mandate to address complaints of abuse of authority, unlawful detentions, brutality, torture, unprofessional conduct, death in custody and debt collection by police officers. Zambia has also set up the Inter-ministerial Committee on Trafficking under the Ministry of Home Affairs, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

If you want to converse, just take a walk outside the Chamber. Otherwise, we want to listen to what the hon. Member has to say.

You may continue, Hon. Mwiimbu.

Mr Mwiimbu: … whose mandate is to respond to the problem of human trafficking and sensitise the public against engaging in trafficking. Further, the Zambian Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) was established with the mandate to promote and protect human rights, which include the rights of women and girls.

Mr Speaker, your Committee learnt that, while Zambia had enacted progressive laws to address violence and harassment against women and girls, there are still some gaps in the legal framework, some of which are enumerated as follows:

(a) the Constitution contains a crowbar clause, Article 23 (4) (c) and (d), which allows for the implementation of Customary Law with respect to marriage, divorce and inheritance, among others. These are areas that are permissive to acts of violence and harassment against women and girls;

(b) although  Section 137 A (1) of the Penal Code (Amendment) Act, No. 15 of 2005 provides for the offence of sexual harassment, the offence is only against children and, therefore, does not apply to sexual harassment against women, thereby making the law ineffective because the majority of people found in the workplace are adults, not children;

(c) most of the regional and international human rights instruments relating to women’s rights that Zambia has signed and ratified have not yet been domesticated into National Laws. This means that the progressive provisions they contain cannot be applied. Therefore, they do not actually offer the protection that is inherent in them to women and girls in Zambia; and

(d) the process of amending the Penal Code after enactment of the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No. 1 of 2011 is on-going. This means that there are some provisions in the Act that do not have offences in the Penal Code.

Mr Speaker, some stakeholders informed your Committee that the under-representation of women in political structures is also a contributory factor to the high levels of violence and harassment against women and girls. It was noted that, although women made up more than half of the voting population, they had been consistently under-represented in political institutions and had limited say in the formulation of public policy. Gender-blind policies in many spheres have directly or indirectly discriminated against women while socio-cultural attitudes held by the voting public stereotyped women as being incapable of undertaking challenging leadership roles. Technical and financial constraints also usually placed women at a grater disadvantage than men during election time while the masculinised nature of the political environment, often characterised by corruption, violence and intimidation, also works to disadvantage of women. These are just a few of the challenges listed in your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, these challenges must be expeditiously dealt with by the Government in order to ensure that perpetrators of violence against women and girls are met with the full force of the law. Your Committee’s report contends that it is unacceptable for the Government to fail to fully implement these important laws that have been passed by this august House. Your Committee’s report contains some useful recommendations, which the Government will do well to adopt.

Mr Speaker, may I end by taking this opportunity to pay tribute to you, for your invaluable guidance to your Committee during the session. I also place on record your Committee’s gratitude to the Clerk of the National Assembly of Zambia and her staff for the excellent technical and administrative support provided to it throughout its deliberations. Further, I thank all the stakeholders who made both oral and written submissions to your Committee. Finally, I also thank all my colleagues for the competent manner in which they dealt with all the issues that were brought to them by your office.

Sir, I beg to move.

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

Mr Mushanga: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to second this important Motion. Firstly, I wish to pay tribute to the mover of the Motion for the professional manner in which he guided the deliberations of your Committee during the session. Without much ado, let me now go straight to the pertinent issues that your Committee encountered during its work.

Sir, some of the stakeholders that appeared before your Committee argued that, despite the Judiciary being one of the three arms of the Government, and the provisions in the Constitution regarding its independence, in practice, it is treated as if it were just another department of the Executive without any real independence. It is important that such perceptions are dispelled, through concrete action and reform, so that the confidence of the public in the Judiciary is restored without undue delay. The Judiciary is facing very serious challenges, some of which have been highlighted by the mover of the Motion. Allow me to add one critical issue that the Judiciary is facing, which is a lack of access by judicial officers to current amendments to the law, which means that courts do not have up-to-date statutes. Although the Judiciary has been making deliberate efforts to ensure that the Supreme Court, the High Court and the Subordinate Courts in urban areas have access to the latest amendments to the law, this remains a challenge for courts in remote areas.

Sir, with regard to the topic of enforcement on the law relating to violence and harassment against women and girls in Zambia, let me first focus on the role of traditional leaders in this matter.

Mr Speaker, Customary Law has a huge influence on the lives of the majority of Zambians, especially in the area of marriage, divorce and inheritance. Traditional authorities, who include chiefs, headmen and traditional court officers, are considered custodians of Customary Law and play a significant role in the administration of justice, especially in rural areas where the only courts that exist are traditional and local courts that administer Customary Law. Therefore, traditional leaders still wield a lot of power and authority.

Mr Speaker, another key stakeholder in the enforcement of the law on violence and harassment against women and girls in Zambia are the law enforcement agencies, such as the police, which can encourage members of the public to report violence against women and children, and publicise the subject of violence against women and children through the media. Further, the police have a duty to effectively investigate all suspected cases of violence against women and girls in, to conduct all investigations in a manner that respects the rights and needs of each woman without needlessly adding to the existing burden experienced by the victim, to take action to support and protect all victims of crime, prevent crime, maintain public order and enforce laws.

Sir, your Committee notes that, as part of the law enforcement process, the courts also have a duty to ensure the quick dispensation of justice when cases of gender-based violence (GBV) are brought before them. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government engages the Judiciary to speed up the establishment of special fast-track courts specifically to deal with cases of GBV, …

Mr Mwamba entered the Assembly Chamber

Hon. Opposition Members: GBM!

Mr Mushanga: … possibly, on selected days of the week so that such cases can be disposed of quickly.

Mr Speaker, in light of the above observation, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government steps up the training of law enforcement officers on how to deal effectively with violence against women and girls. In the same vein, state prosecutors and other service providers involved in GBV case management, including health personnel, court staff, community services and social welfare officers, and magistrates should be trained in how to handle cases of GBV.

Sir, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government urgently engages both print and electronic media to raise awareness of GBV, not only as a public health issue, but as a human rights one as well. Additionally, the Government should expedite the operationalisation of the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No. 1 of 2011. Your Committee further calls for the operationalisation of the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Fund so that victims of GBV can start benefitting from the fund. In the same vein, your Committee reiterates that the relevant ministries must move expeditiously to establish shelters across the country for GBV survivors.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to urge the Government to domesticate into National Laws, the international and regional human rights instruments that Zambia has signed and ratified. In this regard, your Committee is of the view that a clear roadmap and time frame should be set for the domestication of any such instruments once signed and ratified. Your Committee implores the Government to take concrete measures to address the challenges highlighted in its report for the good of the people of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Motion to adopt the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs. I commend your Committee for this thorough report, which has delved into the two very important areas of judicial reforms and gender-based violence (GBV).

Mr Speaker, on the issue of judicial reforms, I note, with sadness, the stakeholders’ concerns about the Judiciary’s lack of operational independence. We all know that, if the Judiciary is not independent, public confidence in the institution will be weakened and we will all, then, be at the mercy of the powerful and mighty.

Mr Speaker, because of a lack of independence, the Judiciary is, sometimes, seen to deliberately withhold the dispensation of justice by delaying the delivery of judgments. When you look at Page 7 of your Committee’s report, you will note, sadly, that poor funding to the Judiciary is one of the causes of the delayed delivery of judgments. You will note, especially where it says that the funding problems are, sometimes, to the extent that there is no stationery to be used in finalising cases that have already been tried by the courts. The report also states that, sometimes, the situation gets so bad that judicial officers dip into their pockets to buy stationery on which to write judgments. Now, if the situation gets to this state, how can there be any way in which the public can truly believe that people will get fair judgments and justice?

Mr Speaker, when you have a Government in power like we do, you expect it to uphold the independence of the Judiciary by ensuring that it is adequately funded. If the Judiciary will fail to buy paper to write judgments on, where is the Government? Where, then, is the justice? How can justice be dispensed? It is not only shameful, but also very sad that our courts can fail to have paper on which to write judgments.

Mr Speaker, I also note in the report of your Committee the plight of the magistrates, in particular, the poor accommodation arrangements for them. On Page 25, your Committee’s report says that your Committee was informed that the decision to pay rentals for magistrates, rather than give them housing allowances, had led to a situation in which they were, sometimes, evicted from their houses. There has been a situation in which an Army General appearing before the courts had his case adjourned because the magistrate had been evicted from his/her house. How can we say that the Judiciary is independent and that the people must have confidence in it if we cannot even accommodate our magistrates well? How can we even fight corruption when our magistrates are being evicted? How can we truly say that we are fighting corruption when we make our magistrates and judicial officers vulnerable and place them at the mercy of the powerful and wealthy?

Mr Speaker, having dealt with the issue of the Judiciary, I now want to talk about the poor or non-enforcement of the law relating to violence and harassment against women and girls in Zambia.

Sir, the Chairperson of your Committee has belaboured the point that there is, to some extent, sufficient legislation to deal with issues of GBV. However, such cases are still on the increase. So, the question to ask is: Why is it that the sentencing of people to fifteen or twenty years’ imprisonment is not working as a deterrent? There are still so many more people that are committing GBV. Sometimes, you cannot even call the sexual molestation of children as defilement, but just damaging of babies and children.

Dr Musokotwane: Including cows.

Ms Namugala: Including cows, Hon. Dr Musokotwane says.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as a society, we should ask what it is in our traditions that is making our men become monsters and beasts that you cannot trust with children, let alone their wives.

Sir, I want to conclude this particular issue by asking why our men continuously abuse women, girls and babies. Is it because there is not enough research done to make us understand what goes on in the mind of a sixty-year old man who decides that a baby is sexually attractive? Have we done enough research to find out whether, maybe, instead of condemning the offenders, we give them some counselling and get to understand why they do these things? The law, alone, is not enough. I am aware that, in some countries, there are counselling services where people get to explain these issues. Cases of men beating their wives so badly that the women end up in hospitals or dead are very serious and require societies like ours to start asking many questions. What is the problem? Are our men able to manage their anger? Are our men able to put themselves in the positions of the women they batter? If our men are not able to manage their anger, are they only abusing their wives or are they abusing other people as well. It might be that they are abusing other people in the workplaces, their own children and strangers whom they meet. We have not done enough, even as the Government, to counsel our people. Those who are seen as offenders need to be counselled, too. It is not just the victims who should be counselled. Yes, the victims need to be counselled but, until we deal with the offenders and get to the root cause of this escalating problem, it will not go away.

Mr Speaker, in rural areas, you will find a man giving away his thirteen-year old daughter to a seventy-year old man and say that she is ready for marriage, ...

Mr Pande: Sure!


Ms Namugala: … but she is just a child. Due to our traditional setting, we have no common understanding of what a child is. A child here, in Lusaka, is a woman to be married off in Mafinga until we come up with a common understanding and definition of who a child is. We should deal with the dual legal framework that we have so that a child in Statutory Law is a child in Customary Law, too.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, as a Government, we also need to do what is required to allow the courts to dispense justice. Many are the times when an offender is taken to court, but the parents struggle to prove the age of the child because, in most of our rural areas, and even here, in the urban settings, the children have no birth certificates. It is left up to the Judge, Magistrate or even the offender to say whether the alleged victim is a woman ready for marriage or a mere child.

Mr Mwale: General Kanene.

Ms Namugala: The Government needs to put measures in place very quickly to ensure that, if children cannot have birth certificates, at least, they should have birth records. Wherever a child is born, as soon as that child is able to go to a health facility, a birth record should be issued so that, if the child is defiled or molested, the age is defined.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, women who get battered by the husbands ...

Mr Mbulakulima: What about men who get battered?

Ms Namugala: The Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act of 2011 provides ... I see the hon. Members are very quiet because they do not see anything wrong with beating their wives.


Mr Speaker: No, no, no, hon. Member. You have been debating very eloquently, so far.


Mr Speaker: I mean, she has been very eloquent. However, I do not think that it should now become a matter of levelling accusations ...

Hon. Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: … against hon. Members. Certainly not.

Continue debating the same way you had done before now. Silence does not always mean complicity.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, that did not extend to the Chair,...


Ms Namugala: … but just the hon. Members.


Mr Speaker: It does not make a difference.


Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act of 2011provides for shelters for abused women because it is clearly understood that, if a husband is abusive, the first thing you do is to take the woman away from the abusive environment. Unfortunately, there are only two shelters available for that purpose.

Mr Muntanga: Aah!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, we also know that, within that law, there was a provision for a fund to be created to assist women who are economically vulnerable for them to be able to fend for themselves away from the abusive environment. Unfortunately, that has not been actualised.

Mr Speaker, I want to lament, before I sit down, the lack of a fast-track court where GBV matters can be dealt with quickly so that victims do not wait for three or four years before a matter is concluded.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I urge the Government to establish child-friendly courts very quickly so that child witnesses can comfortably testify in the courts.

Sir, when abused women go to court, whether after they have been raped or otherwise, they have to explicitly recount what happened and how it happened

Mr Muntanga: Hmm.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, that discourages women from seeking justice because they do not want to get paraded and explain whether it was in the dark at night or during daytime when they were raped, and how it was.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, do not assist her.


Mr Speaker: Let her just debate on her own.

Continue, hon. Member for Mafinga.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I was …

Mr Mwale: Osakamba vamu bedroom.

Ms Namugala: … indicating that the courts need to be more sensitive so that they do not require near-explicit demonstrations of what happened in cases of sexual violence and rape.

Mr Speaker, lastly, through you, I ask the hon. Members of Parliament to, just for once, think about that young girl, woman or elderly woman in their constituency who could suffer GBV just because she was born a woman, as if being born a woman is a crime. Women are only physically weaker, but they are stronger in many areas.


Mr Mwamba: You know the areas better.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, having said that, I ask, through you, that hon. Members of Parliament be a bit more serious about this very serious matter of GBV.

With those remarks, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate the report of your Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Maters and Child Affairs. To begin with, I must also congratulate the mover and the seconder of this report.

Sir, I have looked through the salient points that this report brings out and I have arrived at some conclusions.

Sir, it is depressing that, at Page 6, your report indicates clearly the mutilation of the doctrine of the Separation of Powers in the Westminster model of democracy that this country adopted. I realise that, the world over, the Executive wing of the Government enjoys a certain amount of power above that of the Legislature and the Judiciary, for lack of a better term, probably because it is the one that controls the finances of a country. Item (f) on Page 6 tells us that the Judiciary is viewed as just a department of the Executive by some quarters of our society. This, to me, is how dictatorships hijack political dispensations. Bringing the argument closer to home, the witnesses who indicated that their opinion was that the Judiciary was simply perceived to be a wing or a department of the Executive may have been right because we have seen a certain level of manipulation of the Judiciary, whether real or perceived. We have also seen the manipulation of this wing of the Government, the Legislature, whether perceived or actual. I think that it is for the public to judge. Let me stress the fact that this is how dictators are actually made.

Sir, because power is so sweet, if you do not manage the doctrine of the Separation of Powers, you may actually lose sight of good governance practices and only realise that you were actually a dictator after your time has ended. Dictators have come and gone. None has lived in perpetuity. There comes a time when they just fizzle out or crash. Some of them, whom I can give as examples, were found in manholes. They ended up in such situations because of their propensity to manipulate systems and think that they are still holding on to power even when it has slipped through their fingers. In Bemba, they say, ‘‘Mwine musunga talamba minwe.’’

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: This is a very dangerous proverb, which means that, if the soup or broth you are serving is yours, it does not matter how dirty your fingers are. You can dip your dirty fingers into the soup and lick them as much as you like, throwing all concerns about hygiene to the wind while demanding that those who want to partake of the soup with you must use clean spoons.

Mr Muntanga: Who taught you these things?


Mr Nkombo: Sir, this Bemba adage is with regard to the way I perceive things.

Mr Speaker: Can we have some order. Let us not be excited.

Mr Nkombo: In the report, Sir, the mover indicated very clearly that the on-going Constitution review process is key to judicial reforms. It is no wonder that, even in his opening remarks, he was very clear when he said that, when PF came onto the scene and took the corridors of power, it embarked on what seemed to have been a very innocent and decent process of judicial reforms. However, in the absence of any written-down policy and legal framework, as your report states, the process was left to the whims of those Hon. Namugala referred to as the strong and powerful.

Sir, there is a danger in not creating a framework that is legally recognised because circumstances differ not only from person to person, but also from day to day and time to time. So, it is always good to insist that the process protects the outcome of whatever you do so that you can have reference points. The fact that there is absolutely no legal framework in the so-called judicial reforms is discomforting.

Sir, the judicial reforms began under Mr Sebastian Zulu, SC., the then hon. Minister of Justice, if I remember correctly. Now, with my elder brother here, …

Mr Muntanga: Which one?

Mr Nkombo: … the current hon. Minister of Justice, the process is on-going, but here we are and the report says that there is absolutely no policy or legal framework within which his ministry can be guided on how to move the process. The hitch or setback that we suffer is in the process that the PF has, itself, been ignoring, in my view, again, with impunity, yet it began the reforms on its own volition. We have been told clearly in this report that the judicial reforms risk failing because they, by and large, hinge on the results of what may come in the final Constitution of this Republic. So, whatever reforms that they may be making may be an exercise in futility and, like I said earlier, be subject to the whims or desires of the strong and powerful.

 Sir, time is ticking every second of every minute of every hour of every day and, like I said earlier, circumstances change. They are like quick silver. The only thing that is static in real life and in people’s circumstances is change. Here we are being told that, as it is, the Judiciary, as a wing of the Government, does not have autonomy. Why? The answer is that it is not sufficiently funded. For as long as they will continue going with a begging bow to the Ministry of Finance through the Ministry of Justice, just like this wing of the Government, its autonomy, which will help us actualise the doctrine of the Separation of Powers, will remain a dream.

Sir, I think that, we and the Executive, collectively, have what it takes to apply reasonable and necessary pressure on the Judiciary to do the right thing so that posterity can judge us fairly after we are gone. What I am trying to say is that the Executive must start the process of giving the Judiciary meaningful autonomy. In my language, we say that, ‘‘Inswii italikila kumutwe kubola,’’

Hon. UPND Member: Ehe!

Mr Nkombo: … meaning that fish begins rotting from the head.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: With no reference to any particular individual, Sir, the judicial reforms should have started right at the top.

Mr Muntanga: It is rotten!

Mr Nkombo: This Constitution, this document that I am holding in my hands, Sir, (raised the document in his hands) gives specific and clear requirements for the person who sits at the top of that institution. We have been battling here, as have other people through the courts of law, to challenge the legitimacy of the individual who sits at the helm of that wing of the Government. It is not a secret. I want to say that, going by this statement on Page 6 of the report, the Executive wing of the Government actually does have a certain amount of influence on what goes on in the Judiciary. There are so many qualified men and women in this country who are fit to occupy the highest office in the Judiciary. As a people, we have been busy fighting verbally and going to court on a matter that is very straightforward. If there are no sectional interests that must be served, it is only prudent that those of you who hold the instruments of power begin to move the processes in the right direction so that, even as you transfer a magistrate, engage a private lawyer to serve at the High Court or promote High Court Judges to the Supreme Court, everybody will be satisfied that you are meeting the dictates of this Constitution. There are submissions by witnesses in this report that make reference to the extent to which the people’s confidence in the Judiciary is being eroded. Why is it so? Why have we and the Executive allowed ourselves to bring the name of the Judiciary to ridicule?

Mr Speaker, let me give an example. In spite of the dictates of this Constitution, this PF Government wanted to sneak in one honourable lady to be ratified as Chief Justice of this country. It took your Committee to stop the process because the provision on the age of the Chief Justice is very clear in the Constitution. Yes, you can say that it is okay to have her in that position because she is only acting. That is fair. However, this Constitution, on Page 61, under Article (96), says:

“Any person appointed under Article 93 to act as a judge of the Supreme Court shall continue to act for that period of that person’s appointment or, if no such period is specified, until his appointment is revoked by the President.”

Mr Speaker, I want to put it to you that this provision was interpreted in the Supreme Court in the cases of Judges Sakala and Chitengi. So, how on earth do you expect people whom you impose on systems of the grand law to work to satisfy the expectations of the broader society, not your whims and desires? This is where we need to do some introspection. Those of you who are in the corridors of power at this moment should think through the contributions. You can make …


Mr Nkombo: You can murmur and do whatever you want, but the point is that you must think through …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Just concentrate on your debate and forget about the reactions of your colleagues.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, they must think through these things.

Sir, I have living examples to give. Having been in this House for eight years now, I can tell you that my colleagues on your right and I used to give free counsel to the colleagues I am now with here. However, that counsel from the PF was hypocritical because its members are now worse than these people were …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … in terms of …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You, being a Whip, know very well that we do not debate ourselves. So far, you have been avoiding that line. So, keep it that way. We do not debate ourselves.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I treasure your counsel.

Mr Speaker, the PF Government is worse than the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was.

Mr Livune: That is right.

Ms Namugala: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I rarely stand on points of order. However, is this hon. Member who was debating in order to compare the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government with the Patriotic Front (PF) Government when the people of Zambia regret having voted us out of power?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: My serious ruling is that the hon. Member who was debating should avoid debating hon. Members of this House. The nomenclature used does not matter. Even if you launder it through reference to political parties, there are members behind the parties. You can place the veil on those parties and confine yourself to issues.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, with due respect, I take your counsel, but I want to stress the point that the current political dispensation is much worse than the previous one. In recent times, we have seen – probably this is the reason the Leader of Government Business in the House has told us that we do not need to go to school. I need to be educated because the much-awaited judgment from the Supreme Court on the case of our colleagues who were once in this House and have now left, is out. We have heard that this matter will be taken back to the High Court. I do not know whether it is being appealed from the Supreme Court to a lower court. I need to be educated on that, even if His Honour the Vice-President has said that he does not need to educate anyone. Probably, the manner in which the people in the Judiciary have been awarded the jobs …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Nkombo: … is synonymous with what His Honour the Vice-President spoke about. He said that we do not need people who understand issues and are academically strong.

Mr Speaker, I know that people struggle to make it to the bar and become magistrates or High Court Judges from the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE). However, today, we have been told that, for a person to become a Permanent Secretary (PS), they just need to be able to read and write. I need a lecture on that, and I want to make a specific request to the hon. Minister of Justice to educate me on how an appeal can be made from the Supreme Court to a lower court. What are we trying to achieve by that? We are one people, for goodness’ sake. Those people in the Judiciary are just like us. We are brothers and sisters.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, we should stick to creating a framework that will be respected by all, and one that we will use to reform the Judiciary regardless of which party will be in power because parties come into power and go. We should do this so that the reforms can stand the test of time and allow my grandchildren and those of the person occupying the office of the hon. Minister of Justice today to stand up in 2050 and say that we had men and women who cast a law into stone by providing the correct environment in which this society allowed its generation to live through to eternity. My plea is that the Executive should do some serious introspection and come out of the Hollywood mentality. They are behaving like they are acting in a Chuck Norris film.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, they are behaving like they are in the movie, “Missing in Action.” They should come down to earth and understand that those people who voted them to that side of the House want to see results. The results that they require to see are those that will promote a society that will be balanced forever so that, when the United Party for National Development (UNPD) comes into power, it will not have to change anything.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Nkombo: We want to just start governing without having to look at the whims of Hon. Gary Nkombo or what Hon. Wynter Kabimba, SC., did. We want to come into the Government and continue from where they will have stopped. That is what continuity is all about.

Mr Livune: That’s right.

Mr Nkombo: I want you to look through what I have said. If anything that I have said sounds abusive, then, know that it was not my intention. What I …

Hon. Opposition Member: No gender-based violence (GBV)?

Mr Nkombo: I will not talk about GBV.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker gave the Floor to Mrs Banda.

Microphones malfunctioned.

Mr Shakafuswa: Nafipena mudala.

Mr Speaker: There is something wrong with the microphones on this side of the House. There is another one there.

Mr Sing’ombe: Come this side.

Mr Muntanga: Come here.


The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee for the wonderful report it produced.

Sir, I assure the House that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development has noted the issues that have been mentioned, and I will comment on some of them.

Mr Speaker, on the issue of training law enforcement officers who deal with gender-based violence (GBV) cases, including prosecutors and the police, the ministry has already been providing such training. The ministry further takes note of the recommendation to update the syllabus.

Mrs Banda’s microphones malfunctioned.

Mr Speaker: We seem to be facing technical difficulties. I will suspend business until after the break to allow our technicians to work on the microphones.

Business was suspended from 1806 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was commenting on the concerns of your Committee on gender matters and saying that the ministry takes note of the recommendation to update the syllabus for training of law enforcement officers. In this regard, the ministry will engage training providers to ensure that gender is mainstreamed in their curricular. 

Sir, the ministry, in collaboration with its partners, is continuously sourcing funds to address the challenges of transport and other necessary equipment. The Government has, so far, handed over seven vehicles to seven districts and forensic equipment to the Victim Support Unit (VSU) for their operations.

Mr Speaker, on the development of networks with stakeholders in the fight against GBV, the ministry has developed a Joint Gender Programme (JGP) on GBV with the United Nations (UN) System aimed at creating linkages and networks to share information and complement each other in the quest to achieve the common goal of eliminating harassment and violence against women and girls. Further, under the same programme, the local courts and customary justice sectors will be covered.

Sir, regarding measures to establish safety centres for victims of GBV countrywide, the Government already has a programme to do that. In addition, three one-stop centres have been established in order to prevent further trauma by survivors of GBV.

Mr Speaker, the Government is already undertaking a mapping exercise of service providers in order to improve their accessibility around the country.

Mr Speaker, on the need to engage both print and electronic media to raise awareness on Gender Based Violence (GBV), the Committee may wish to know that the ministry has been undertaking both print and electronic media awareness-raising campaigns against GBV, and the exercise is on-going.

Sir, the rules of court, as required under Section 40 of the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act, No. 1 of 2011, have been formulated by the ministry and are awaiting final approval by the Office of the Chief Justice.

Mr Speaker, on the operationalisation of the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Fund, the Committee may wish to know that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development has developed guidelines for accessing the fund. Further, the ministry will engage the Ministry of Finance to ensure that funds and other resources will be made available.

Sir, the Committee may wish to know that the ministry has set up two pilot fast-track courts in Kabwe and Lusaka to particularly deal with cases of GBV.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the enforcement of the law relating to violence and harassment against women and girls, the Committee may wish to know that the ministry has commissioned a baseline study with co-operating partners to determine the extent and nature of GBV.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion. From the outset, I wish to commend the Chairperson of your Committee for his edifying presentation of the Motion and the seconder for his brilliant debate.

Sir, the Judiciary is the mirror of our society and, therefore, it behoves on all of us to keep it clean so that it reflects the Zambia that we all yearn for. However, as your Committee has observed, the Judiciary does, indeed, face serious challenges mentioned in its report. These challenges include issues of access to justice and the justice delivery system.

Mr Speaker, I wish to seize this opportunity to commend the men and women in the Judiciary for their hard work in spite of the difficult challenges that they face and the poor work environment in which they operate. The Patriotic Front (PF) Government is conversant with these challenges and saw the need for not only judicial reforms, but a comprehensive reform of the whole justice delivery system. This is because there are many actors involved in the justice delivery system, not just the Judiciary. This is why the Government has constituted the Legal and Justice Reforms Commission (LJRC) consisting of various stakeholders. We wish to address all facets of the justice delivery system. Just to illustrate the issue of delayed judgments or adjournments, let me give an example of a criminal case. An accused person might fail to appear before court because the truck that was supposed to take him or her from the remand prison to the court has broken down. As I speak, cases are not taking off somewhere in Kitwe because the truck that transports accused persons from Kamfinsa Prison to various courts in the town has broken down. This is the issue we are currently grappling with at the Ministry of Home Affairs. So, you cannot blame the Judiciary in that sense. The police also have a role to play because they are the ones mandated to deliver accused persons to court.

Mr Speaker, the population of Zambia has grown. So, the case load has increased. However, the court infrastructure has not kept pace. As a result, access to justice has been compromised. In our manifesto, we pledged to construct a High Court in each provincial capital and a magistrates’ court in every district, and we intend to do just that in order to bring justice closer to the people.

Sir, the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) is in the process of establishing the Office of the District Attorney (DA) in each district in Zambia. As you all know, a DA is simply the head of prosecutions in a district. This is being done progressively as we embark on court infrastructure development. Further, the Legal and Justice Reforms Commission (LJRC) will address the issues of limited jurisdiction of subordinate courts in both criminal and civil matters that your Committee referred to.

Sir, your Committee touched on the question of conditions of service for judicial officers on the lower bench, namely, magistrates and local court justices. The PF Government wants judicial officers to enjoy their work because we know, for a fact, that any worker who enjoys his or her work invariably does it well. Therefore, we will make it possible for them to enjoy their work by improving their conditions of service as well as the work environment.

Sir, let me now turn to the issue of enforcement of the law relating to violence and harassment against women and girls in Zambia.

Sir, an old adage says that, ‘‘Charity begins at home.’’ Most of the gender-based violence (GBV) cases start from homes. Alfred W. Adler, a psychotherapist, once said that children learn from their parents or the community in which they live. Therefore, if a boy-child sees his father assaulting his mother everyday, that child will grow up believing that it is socially acceptable to assault women. Similarly, a girl-child who sees her mother being so submissive as to fail to report assault cases to the police will also grow up believing that it is alright to be chastised by a husband and the vicious cycle of GBV will go on. We may make beautiful laws, but the cases occur in homes. The onus is, therefore, on us to sensitise our people to report cases of GBV to the police.

Sir, there are also some traditions in society in which it is believed that a man who does not chastise a woman once in a while does not love her. Can you imagine a man coming home and, instead of showing love to the spouse by hugging her or pecking her cheek, rains blows on her?


Dr Simbyakula: Is that a sign love?


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, those practices must be discarded henceforth. Therefore, all of us, leaders, should ask other leaders, such as headmen or chiefs in the traditional setting, to sensitise our people in the villages against GBV. If we do that, we will be taking a step towards addressing the problem.

Mr Speaker, on our part, as the Ministry of Home Affairs and other stakeholders, we are in the process of establishing one-stop GBV facilities where you will find a police officer, a health practitioner and counsellors to deal with victims of GBV and sexual offences. There is already one in Mpika and Kasama. We will roll these victim-friendly facilities out all over Zambia.

Sir, we are also in the process of establishing a forensic laboratory that will go a long way in collecting evidence of GBV and sexual offences speedily. Currently, we have been sending blood samples and semen outside the country to determine the perpetrators. Therefore, this needs the support of hon. Members on both your left and your right. This battle is not just to be waged by the Government alone. It involves all of us because it is a societal problem.

Mr Mwale interjected.

Dr Simbyakula: Iwe, Mwale!


Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to assure the mover of the Motion that we have taken note of the recommendations of your report and will address them seriously because they make a lot of sense and will address most of these problems that have been raised.

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

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all hon. Members of Parliament who have supported our Motion, in particular, Hon. Nkombo and Hon. Namugala. Further, I would like to thank most sincerely the hon. Minister of Home Affairs, who has responded on behalf of Government on matters concerning the Judiciary and the Ministry of Home Affairs for the well-thought out and humble responses to our report. I thank all of them most sincerely. I also thank Hon. Esther Banda for the positive and comprehensive manner in which she has responded to a number of the issues we raised. Last, but not the least, I thank all hon. Members of this House for the overwhelming support they have rendered to your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

 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): Sir, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1851 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 10th July, 2014.



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

(a) what progress had been made in the establishment of the Department of Air Services of the Zambia Police Force; and

(b) whether the Zambia Police Force had already recruited pilots for the service.

The Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, in 2013, feasibility studies were conducted by technical experts from the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) in collaboration with senior police officers, which led to the securing of a place to be used as a helipad at the Lilayi Police College. Further, my ministry has commenced negotiations with one of the co-operating partners for the supply of the equipment.

Mr Speaker, the Zambia Police Force is being restructured to modernise and enhance its operations. The restructuring will include the establishment of an Air Wing. The Ministry of Defence and ZAF, in particular, will assist in the provision of pilots and other technical staff during the formative stage of the operations of the Police Air Wing.

I thank you, Sir.


564. Mr Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

(a) what the progress on digital migration was;

(b) whether the target for completing the process by 2015 would be met; and

(c) how much money had been spent on the exercise as of April, 2014.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, the Government has made a lot of progress regarding the implementation of the Digital Migration project. On 10th March, 2014, the Cabinet approved the Digital Migration Policy (DMP), which was launched on 16th May, 2014.

Sir, the implementation of the project is in three phases. Phase I covers the area from Chililabombwe to Livingstone, Phase II covers the provincial centres outside the line of rail and Phase III covers the rest of the country. The implementation of the first phase will start very soon because its tender process is now complete.

Mr Speaker, digital migration is a process and Zambia, like many other African countries, has is still committed to achieving the 17th June, 2015, deadline. In this regard, the Government will ensure that the implementation of the project is done in a manner that will facilitate smooth migration. The first phase of the project will take eight months and the ministry is making all the necessary arrangements to ensure that the other two phases will be implemented concurrently, starting later this year.

Mr Speaker, K3,813,450 was allocated for digital migration in the 2014 Budget for operationalisation of the Task Force and creation of public awareness. As of April, 2014, the ministry had received K229,334 towards the operations of the Task Force. From that amount, K180,556 was spent mainly on advertising the tender for Phase I, evaluation of the tender, and launching of the DMP.

I thank you, Sir.


568. Mr Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) how many ambulances were recently procured and distributed countrywide;

(b) how much money was spent on the procurement of the ambulances; and

(c) what criteria were used in the distribution of the ambulances.

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, the Government has procured 207 ambulances. Of these, 160 basic life support ambulances were procured and distributed while forty-two advanced life support ambulances were procured, but are yet to be delivered by the supplier. Five mini-ambulances were also procured.

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Health has spent approximately K142,345,060 on the procurement of the 207 ambulances  and this is broken down as follows:

Ambulance Type Number Amount (K)

Basic life support 160 7,834,400

Advanced life support 42 64,510,660

Mini ambulances 5 1,226,400

Mr Speaker, the Government’s policy is that ambulances will be distributed to district medical offices for lower health facilities, such as health centres, and hospitals.

I thank you, Sir.