Debates- Thursday, 3rd July, 2014

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Thursday, 3rd July, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I have my last ruling to render. 

Hon. Members, on 28th February, 2014, my office received letters of complaint from the hon. Minister of Justice, Mr Wynter M. Kabimba, SC., MP, and the hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gabriel Namulambe, MP, against the Opposition Members of Parliament present in the House on Wednesday, 26th and Thursday, 27th February, 2014. This was in connection with the gross disorderly conduct in the House on the said dates.

The letter of complaint by the hon. Minister of Justice reads as follows:


I refer to the above matter and, in particular, the gross disorderly conduct by the United Party for National Development (UPND) and Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) Members present in the House on Wednesday, 26th February, 2014. The disorderly and rowdy conduct of the Members prompted you, Mr Speaker, as presiding officer, to adjourn the business of the day.

The disorderly behaviour of the Members in question was not only demeaning to the Office of the Speaker, but also undermined the integrity, decorum and authority of the House in the eyes of the public. This is a situation, Mr Speaker, which calls for immediate remedial measures.

In view of the above, I hereby, submit that you, Mr Speaker, refer this complaint to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services of the House for consideration.

Yours faithfully
Mr Wynter M. Kabimba, ODS, SC.,

The letter of complaint by the hon. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs reads as follows:


I write to complain against the disorderly conduct by Members of the Opposition who on 26th and 27th February, 2014, continued to disrupt the proceedings of the House.

Sir, as Members of Parliament, we all swore to defend the current Constitution whose provisions are very clear on how to go or attend to matters affecting it.  The Opposition in this matter are demanding for a Constitution in an improper manner. They are supposed to help explain to the public the procedures in regard to the issues to do with the Constitution.  We have been wasting time listening to their confusion on the Floor of the House.

Mr Speaker, may I know why the said Members of Parliament cannot be cited for the breach of Section 25 (f) of Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia.

I am so disappointed with the behaviour that has been exhibited on the Floor of the House, a thing that has never been experienced in the House.  Worse still, despite your counsel on the provisions of Standing Order No. 70, the same Members still disobeyed you.

Sir, I really need your serious guidance as to why the Opposition Members cannot be cited for breach of the law stated above.

Yours faithfully,
Hon. Gabriel Namulambe, 
cc:      The Leader of Government Business in the House
        The Chief Whip.”

Further, the House will recall that on Friday, 28th February, 2014, the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Stephen Kampyongo, MP, raised a point of order in which he asked whether Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, MP, Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP, Prof. G. Lungwangwa, MP, and Ms C. Namugala, MP, were, as Members of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, in order to participate in the disorderly conduct that characterised the sittings of the House on the 26th and 27th February, 2014, and, therefore, whether it was in order for the hon. Members to continue serving on the Committee. As the two points of order raised similar issues, I have elected to deal with them in this one ruling consecutively.

Hon. Members, let me point out from the outset that, at the time the point of order was raised, Prof. G. Lungwangwa, MP, had resigned as Whip for the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), and was replaced by Mr K. Simbao, MP. The House will note that as a matter of parliamentary practice, the Whips of political parties represented in the House are invariably members of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services. This, therefore, means that Prof. G. Lungwangwa, MP, was appointed a member of the Committee by virtue of him being the Whip of the MMD.

Hence, since Prof. G. Lungwangwa, MP, had resigned at the time of the point of order, he was not a member of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services. Therefore, my ruling on the hon. Deputy Minister’s point of order on the participation of the members of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services in the disorderly conduct excludes Prof. G. Lungwangwa, MP.

I will now proceed to deal with the point of order raised by Hon. S. Kampyongo, MP, against the three members of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services, namely Mr J. J. Mwiimbu, MP, Ms C. Namugala, MP, and Mr G. G. Nkombo, MP.

Hon. Members, as this House is well aware, one of the chief functions of the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services is to assist me whenever appropriate or necessary to inquire into cases of alleged breaches of the privileges of the House. In this regard, as the guardian of your rights and privileges, the Committee ensures, on my behalf, that the rights and privileges of hon. Members and the House are protected and enjoyed to the fullest extent possible. This function is attested to by Standing Order 151 (5) and (6) which read:
“151. (5)     The Committee shall assist the Speaker with its advice on matters                              connected with the policy and administration of the library, privileges, etc.

          (6)           The Committee shall be the Privileges Committee of the House and shall    
consider all matters relating to the privileges of the Members.” 

It goes without saying that the conduct of the members of this special Committee both inside and outside the House ought to be exemplary and outstanding. I, therefore, witnessed, with a sense of shock, that the named members of the Committee were actively and overtly involved in the gross disorderly conduct in question. Their participation in the gross disorderly conduct was not only reprehensible, but also a total negation of their core and noble duty of protecting the rights and privileges of the House. By such behaviour or conduct, the named hon. Members rendered their role in advising me on matters of privilege obsolete. 

Hon. Members are reminded that the Speaker has authority to regulate debate and order in the House. In order to ensure order and decorum, the Speaker can do this singly or refer matters to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services. How, then, could such a Committee, whose members were involved in disorderly conduct, assist the Speaker in this noble task? Therefore, my ruling on the point of order is that the hon. Members were clearly out of order and such egregious misconduct should never be repeated in this House. 

In this regard, I sternly warn the named members of the Committee to, in future, desist from any form of flagrant and dishonourable conduct that diminishes the respect due to them as members of the Privileges Committee and of this honourable House. Granted that the concerned hon. Members are first offenders, …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: … and are, therefore, entitled to leniency, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: … I have been constrained to mete out stern punishment. 

In future, I will, however, not hesitate to impose stern sanctions against a member of a Committee who misconducts himself or herself in such a manner, including of course, the removal of such an hon. Member from serving on the Committee.

As regards the complaint against hon. Opposition Members of Parliament, I would like to begin addressing it by reminding the House of the origin of the gross disorderly conduct. Hon. Members will recall that the gross disorderly conduct complained of arose in the context of a ministerial statement on the Constitution-making process that was issued by the hon. Minister of Justice on Wednesday, 26th February, 2014. 

In response to the statement, the Opposition Members elected to conduct themselves in a gross disorderly manner by marching to the Table of the House and stood still in front of me demanding for the release of the Draft Constitution.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Despite my repeated pleas to the hon. Members to resume their seats, they defiantly continued with their gross disorderly conduct.  As a result, I was forced to adjourn the House to the following day, Thursday, 27th February, 2014.

When the House resumed its business on Thursday, 27th February, 2014, and was about to begin considering Questions for Oral Answer, the hon. Members again, for the second time, rose from their seats and made their way towards my Mace. 

Hon Members, in a bid to restore order and decorum in the House, I issued several orders instructing the hon. Members who were being grossly disorderly to resume their seats so that the House could transact business.  But alas, my orders were again defiantly disobeyed.  The hon. Members continued to stand in the walkway and to converse in a disorderly manner.

Hon Members, the verbatim record shows that I also ordered the hon. Members to walk out of the Chamber, as they had done in the past, if they pleased, as to not disrupt the proceedings of the House, but still they defied my order. As the hon. Members willfully persisted with their disorderly conduct and defied my orders, I was compelled to invoke the provisions of Standing Order 70 on disorderly conduct in the House and the procedure for naming a Member and consequently ordered the grossly disorderly hon. Members to leave the Chamber, but they still defiantly refused to do so. As a result of their persistent disorderly conduct, the proceedings of the House were again disrupted.

Hon. Members, I would like to remind you, that this House elected me as Speaker to head this branch of Government. As Speaker, one of my principal and critical functions is to preside over the proceedings of the House. In this regard, one of my core duties is to preserve order and decorum in the House. In order to preserve order and decorum of the House, the rules and convention of the House empower me to issue any such orders as are necessary for the smooth functioning of the House.  In this regard, hon. Members are expected, nay obliged to obey my orders. Therefore, the disobedience of my orders by the Opposition Members which resulted in the disruption of the proceedings of the House for two consecutive days constituted a grave breach of parliamentary privileges and contempt of the House. It was also a direct disregard or affront of my authority as Speaker.

Hon. Members, the disorderly conduct of the Opposition Members was not only a breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House as stipulated by parliamentary practice and procedure, but was also specifically a breach of Sections 19(c) and (d), 24 and 25(f) of the National Assembly, Powers and Privileges Act, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia.

Hon. Members, Section 19 states:

“Any person shall be guilty of an offence who –

(c)     causes an obstruction or disturbance within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber during a sitting of the Assembly or of a Committee thereof; and

(d)     shows disrespect in speech or manner towards the Speaker.” 

Section 24 states:

“ Any person who commits an offence who willfully and without lawful cause, fails to comply with, or contravenes, any order made under Section 7 or Section 10 or, who willfully fails to obey any other order of the Assembly whereby the Assembly is obstructed in the performance of its functions provided that no offence is committed under this Section unless the Speaker or an officer has drawn to the attention of the person concerned the fact that such failure or contravention is contrary to such order, and the person thereafter continues in such failure or contravention as aforesaid.”

Section 25 states:

“Any person who creates or joins in any disturbance which interrupts or is likely to interrupt the proceedings of the Assembly while it is sitting shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both.”

Hon. Members, furthermore, the disorderly conduct of the Opposition Members was an act of disobedience to the lawful orders to the extent that the hon. Members willfully disobeyed the law and my orders seemingly in a bid to make a political statement on the Constitution-making process. Be that as it may, their conduct also amounted to a criminal offence, in breach of Section 127 of the Penal Code which states:  

“Everyone who disobeys any order, warrant or command duly made, issued or given by any court, officer or a person acting in a public capacity and duly authorised in that behalf, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is liable, unless any other penalty or mode of proceedings is expressly prescribed in respect of such disobedience, to imprisonment for a period of two years.” 

Further, I would like to remind the House that our Standing Orders have their origins in Article 86(1) of the Constitution which empowers the National Assembly to regulate its internal proceedings.  The Standing Orders are also supplemented by Commonwealth parliamentary customs, traditions, conventions and practices. Hon. Members you will recall that at the commencement of this Parliament, all hon. Members took the oath of allegiance upon which they swore and affirmed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. It follows that by refusing to obey the rules of the House and my orders, the hon. Opposition Members were by extension also in breach of Article 86(1) of the Constitution and the Oath of Allegiance.

Hon. Members, my predecessors and I, have guided this House before that although certain national issues may be emotive, hon. Members must always restrain themselves from reprehensible conduct. It is in the utmost public interest to maintain the dignity and decorum of the House at all times as observed by well-known parliamentary authors in their book entitled, House of Commons, Procedure and Practice, 2000 Edition, at Page 503, where it is stated that: 

“Regardless of how dramatically our opinions may diverge or how passionately we hold to convictions that our political opponents do not share, civility must be respected in the House.” 

Hon. Members, while I recognise and appreciate that the Constitution-making process has always been a very emotive subject, it nonetheless calls for relentless dialogue and consensus building. Dialogue and consensus, are in my opinion, the twin pillars of any successful Constitution-making process, as opposed to the gross disorderly conduct and confrontational approach adopted, displayed or exhibited on the Floor of the House during the two days in question. In any event, the House has several legitimate parliamentary instruments an hon. Member may resort to for expression of a particular position.  The obstruction of parliamentary business is certainly not one such instrument available to the hon. Members by the rules of the House. The hon. Opposition Members should have, therefore, utilised one of the instruments available such as questions and Motions to hold the Government accountable. Instead, the hon. Opposition Members resorted to gross disorderly conduct. 

I, therefore, rule that to the extent the hon. Opposition Members: 

(a)    persistently and wilfully obstructed the House;  
(b)    persistently and wilfully refused to conform to the rules of debate and parliamentary etiquette; and
(c)    persistently and wilfully disregarded my authority as Speaker, 

they conducted themselves in a gross disorderly manner. The conduct of the hon. Opposition Members also not only undermined the integrity, dignity, decorum and the authority of the House, but also clearly demeaned my office as Speaker.  I want to reiterate to the hon. Members who participated in the gross disorderly conduct that their behaviour was not only a breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House under our rules and procedures, but also constituted a criminal offence under the provisions of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act referred to above, and Section 127 of the Penal Code which proscribes and criminalises the disobedience of a lawful order issued by a public officer, in this instance, the Speaker of the House, for which the Director of Public Prosecutions is at liberty to prosecute with the attendant which may lead to dire consequences on the part of the hon. Members of Parliament. 

In conclusion, let me caution the House that I am vested with adequate powers under our rules and procedures and, indeed, under the laws of the land to deal with misconduct of any nature and by any hon. Member.  Therefore, I hereby, sternly warn all the hon. Members that participated in the grossly disorderly conduct that, in future, I will not hesitate to invoke the relevant provisions of our rules, as well as the law, in order to preserve and protect the integrity, prestige, dignity and decorum of the House.

I thank you. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




The Minister of Foreign Affairs (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, it is my honour and privilege to report to the House that I was delegated by His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, to lead the Zambian delegation to the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) that was held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, from 26th to 27th January, 2014. The theme of the summit was “Agriculture and Food Security: Transforming Africa’s Agriculture for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods through Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”. 

I was accompanied to the summit by Mr Wilbur Simuusa, MP and Minister of Agriculture and Livestock; Mr Keith Mukata, MP and Deputy Minister of Justice; and Her Excellency Ms Susan Sikaneta, Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the AU and senior Government officials. 

All the fifty-four members-states of the AU were represented at the summit either by their Head of State and Government or representatives. The summit was preceded by the 25th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the AU. It comprised Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the AU member-states from 23rd to 24th June, 2014 and the 28th Ordinary Session of the Permanent Representatives Committee comprised permanent representatives accredited to the African Union from 20th to 21st June, 2014. 

Mr Speaker, apart from the AU Summit, His Excellency the President was represented at the 10th Commemorative Summit of AU Peace and Security Council, the Summit of the Committee of Ten on the United Nations (UN) Security Council Reforms and the Summit of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency (NEPAD) Orientation Committee, all of which were held on 25th June, 2014. The Zambian delegation also held bilateral meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Rwanda and Zimbabwe as well as the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa and the AU Commissioner on Peace and Security. 

Mr Speaker, this august House may wish to note that the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU was officially opened by His Excellency, Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and Chairperson of the AU for the year 2014. The Chairperson noted that while Africa had achieved numerous positive results in terms of economic growth, there was need to fast track economic growth, industrial development and investment and to tackle the challenges impeding the accelerated implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Programme (CAAP). He called for concerted efforts regarding the operationalisation of the African Mechanism for Peace and Security, noting that terrorism and extremism are threats to African economies.  

Mr Speaker, in her opening remarks, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission highlighted strategic initiatives such as increased public-private investment and partnership, embarking on irrigation projects, increased access to land and agricultural inputs and applied science and technology as critical to the transformation of agriculture. 

Sir, other key speakers during the Official Opening of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government were His Excellency Mr Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and the host of the summit, His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, His Excellency Abdel Fattah El Sissi, the newly-elected President of the Arab Republic of Egypt and His Excellency Mr Mariano Rajoy Brey, President of Spain, who was the Guest of Honour. 

Sir, the House may wish to learn that during the proceedings of the Assembly, the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Guinea Bissau were welcomed back into the family of the AU, after nearly a year and two years, respectively, of their suspension from the activities of the AU. 

Mr Speaker, on the substantive issues of the summit, the House may wish to learn that the Assembly considered the AU Commission Report on Peace and Security, which highlighted a number of political situations on the continent. The Assembly, particularly, noted the positive developments in Madagascar, including the appointment of a new Prime Minister and the formation of a new Government. Also of commendation were the completion of the transition process and the restoration of constitutional order in Guinea Bissau, following presidential and legislative elections of April and May, 2014. Furthermore, the restoration of constitution order in Egypt, which is not only a key contributor of the AU Budget, but also a key trading partner of Zambia, was greatly welcomed by most countries, including Zambia. 

With regard to Somalia, the Assembly encouraged all Somali stakeholders to intensify their efforts in achieving national reconciliation, the formation of a cohesive federation and also the conduct of credible general elections in 2016. Despite the many challenges and conflicts that abound on the continent, the Assembly did take note of some of the successes scored with regard to intervention and mediation in conflicts on the continent from African countries such as progress achieved in the implementation of the framework agreement for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the region and the commendable and collaborative efforts of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, the stabilisation and consolidation of peace in Mali, under the leadership of the AU Chairperson, the President of Mauritania and the unrelented efforts of the inter-governmental authority regarding the situation in South Sudan. Indeed, challenges still remain in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Kenya and Nigeria where there are continued terrorist activities. Nevertheless, the House will be pleased to learn that Africa is slowly but surely coming of age with regards to addressing African challenges with African solutions. We, as Zambia, will continue to play our historical role in this process. 

Mr Speaker, the Assembly also considered the Report of the African Committee of Ten on UN Security Council Reforms and endorsed an outreach programme which would see the ten representative member-states, Zambia included, divide into five groups that would undertake visits to the capital cities of the UN Permanent Member Countries of the Security Council which is United States of America (USA), United Kingdom (UK) China, Russia and France. The programme is intended for Africa to reach out to the highest political levels of the five countries for the purpose of obtaining necessary political will in support of a common African position.   The House may wish to note that Zambia was paired with Uganda to lobby the People’s Republic of China and this shall be done as effectively and efficiently as possible. 

Member-states were also requested to include the issue of the reform of the Security Council among the priorities of their respective foreign policies when engaging with non-African countries and also to specifically include in their statements to the United Nations General Assembly debates they need to redress this historical injustice the continent continues to suffer. 

Mr Speaker, this august House will recall that at the January Summit last year, the commission was directed to pursue all its efforts in enlisting the inputs into the Agenda 2063 of all the Africans in the Diaspora and to engage member-states to submit their written inputs before the end of April, 2014. Unfortunately, by the time of the Malabo Summit, only five member-states, including Zambia, had made their submissions to the commission. The Assembly, therefore, agreed to an extended deadline of October, 2014, for all member-states to make their contributions in order for the final document of the Agenda 2063 to be adopted at the next summit scheduled for January, 2015. 

It may further be recalled that the 22nd Summit adopted the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and formed a High Level Committee, led by the Liberian President, Her Excellency Madame Ellen Sirleaf Johnson. The mandate of the committee was to sensitise and co-ordinate the activities of African leaders and members of the High Level Panel as well as build regional and inter-continental alliances on the Common African Position on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. 

The Liberian leader presented a progress report to the Assembly which recommends that the Secretariat of the High Level Committee, with the support of development partners come up with an advocacy and negotiation strategy to build alliances in order to ensure that African priorities identified in the Common African Position are reflected in the global Post 2015 Development Agenda. 

Mr Speaker, in receiving a report from the co-ordinator of the Committee of the African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change (CAHOSCC) from His Excellency President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Assembly underscored that there was an urgent need to ensure adequate means of implementation for African countries with regard to the Climate Change Convention. This could be achieved through the provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional finance as well as affordable development and the transfer of technology development and capacity building, adaptation and paying due attention to mitigation actions which would allow Africa space for sustainable development.

Mr Speaker, it is a known fact that Africa is the least emitter of carbon, but unfortunately, stands to lose the most. It is for this reason that we need to ensure that the continent speaks with one voice in the climate change negotiations, including at the forth coming Climate Change Summit to be held along the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September, 2014. In addition, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government wishes, through my colleague, the hon. Minister of Lands and Environment, Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, to ensure that Zambia adequately prepares for the 20th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change (COP 20) scheduled for the end of the year in Lima, Peru.

There are various global mechanisms in support of climate change, mitigation and adaptation measures which are at the disposal of developing countries. This administration is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that we take full advantage of these opportunities by fast-tracking the completion of the National Adaptation Plan and other such requirements that will enable Zambia to access and effectively utilise the available global resources.

Sir, the PF Manifesto is very clear on the critical role which women and the youth have in the development of the economy. As such, we will yield to the Assembly’s decision that calls for member-states to include the youth and women in the climate change agenda through the continued programmes put in place by CAHOSCC.

Mr Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that the Assembly also decided that the African Peer Review Mechanism (APMR) would be transformed into an integrated autonomous entity within the AU system. However, in order to streamline the continued effective operations of the APRM, the commission was mandated to work with its secretariat on the practical modalities that would be involved in the integration process since the APRM is a voluntary organisation of the AU Member States.

Mr Speaker, finally, this august House may wish to note that the Assembly agreed that the 24th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU would be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30th to 31st January, 2015. The theme for 2015 summit will be “Year of Women Empowerment and Development Towards African’s Agenda 2063”. My ministry will, therefore, be working very closely with its counterparts from the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, among others, to prepare for Zambia’s participation at the January Summit.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister enlighten the House on the position of the African Union (AU) with respect to its budget. For the first time in the history of the AU, its budget was debated at the Pan-African Parliament (PAP). It was observed that more than 80 per cent of the budget is donor supported. Within the African context, only five countries sustain the AU Budget.

Sir, we have very high sounding observations and resolutions which are not matched with resource commitments on the part of African countries. Could the hon. Minister enlighten the House on the position of the AU with regard to its financial resources?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the distinguished hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda for that question.

Sir, indeed, the AU Budget was discussed at PAP. It is high time that member-states funded the budget of the AU. As the hon. Member mentioned, about 75 per cent of the budget is donor funded and the remaining component is what is funded by member states. Generally, member states are beginning to feel that it will be difficult for the AU to own its programmes and plans, if it does not fund its operations.

Sir, the House may wish to know that the hon. Ministers of Finance met in Nigeria, Abuja in March, this year, to discuss the same issue. In fact, their report was inconclusive. Thus, we could not deliberate on it at the summit. We pushed the consideration of the report to the January Summit in order to allow the hon. Ministers of Finance to look for alternative sources of funding instead of our looking always outside the umbrella of the AU.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, it is sad that more than fifty years after the first countries were independent in Africa, the African Union (AU) is still just a talk shop.

Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Nalikwanda has said, the AU is not even able to mobilise internal resources for its programmes. Could the hon. Minister assure this House that the Heads of State and Government in Africa through the AU can, indeed, champion the cause of poor women and children in Zambia?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, when I was winding up the presentation of my ministerial statement, I indicated that the theme for next year’s summit is centered on issues to do with women. This underscores the fact that the African leaders are committed to the emancipation of the youths and women. During the last summit we had, the African leaders agreed that the role of the women is crucial to Africa’s development. If Africa has to develop, women have to be at the epicenter of the progress.

 Mr Speaker, Hon. Namugala kept on coming up with different gestures from her seat. I would like to tell her that the African leaders are very committed to efforts intended to uplift the living standards of the women on the continent. They are just not talking the talk. Sooner than later, Africa will begin seeing women being treated differently.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.   



544. Mr Mbewe (Chadiza) asked the Minister of Agriculture and livestock:

(a)    whether the Government was aware that tobacco farmers form different parts of the country had been stranded with their crop in Lusaka since April, 2014 because tobacco merchants had declined to purchase the crop from independent farmers;

(b)    why the tobacco merchants had declined to purchase the 2013/12014 crop from the affected farmers;

(c)    what assistance the Government would render to the farmers in terms of finding a market for them as a matter of urgency; and

(d)    what the future of tobacco farming in Zambia was.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, the Government is aware that at the start of the tobacco marketing season on 16th April, 2014, some farmers were stranded with their crop at the Lusaka Tobacco Floors. The hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock and other senior ministry officials visited the Lusaka Tobacco Floors, in May and witnessed for themselves, the situation on the ground.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, let us listen to the statement.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister held a discussion with the farmers and other stakeholders in order to get their views regarding the tobacco buying arrangements and challenges being faced. The situation was resolved and congestion cleared with the farmers returning to their respective areas.

Sir, the tobacco merchants have not declined to purchase tobacco. What the merchants informed the ministry is that they have prioritised the buying of tobacco from their sponsored farmers. They requested for time up to end of June to complete buying the tobacco from the sponsored farmers. Thereafter, attention will be given to self-sponsored farmers, otherwise known as independent farmers.

Mr Speaker, in addition to the commitments made by the tobacco merchants, the Government through the Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) has also engaged an independent tobacco merchant to come on board to purchase the crop. This merchant has since been issued with a buying licence.

Sir, given the worldwide campaign against tobacco, the future of tobacco farming in Zambia, will continue to face challenges in terms of marketing and pricing. The key strategy that the ministry is promoting is to encourage farmers to diversify into growing other cash crops. These crops include soya beans, ground nuts, beans, sunflower and cotton. However, in the short term, the demand for tobacco is favourable, especially for Zambian tobacco which is preferred due to its good aroma and flavour, making it suitable for blending purposes.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, in our language, we always refer to the Patriotic Front (PF) as paya farmer which means killing the farmer. The hon. Deputy Minister’s answer is not very clear because he kept on somersaulting. Could the hon. Minister indicate the exact date when the Government will start buying tobacco from independent farmers.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Simuusa): Mr Speaker, for a start, let me correct the hon. Member’s assertion. I am specifically talking about the present condition of the tobacco market. The hon. Member should follow what is happening in the tobacco market very closely. The Government, Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) and managers of the floors, have put in place measures to make sure that despite so much tobacco being grown, it will still be purchased. 

Sir, to be specific, let me take this opportunity to explain to the hon. Member and other hon. Members who may have questions that when the tobacco marketing season was opened, and I remember that I opened it in Chipata on 16th April, 2014, there were issues to do with the two groups of farmers who are the sponsored farmers and the non-sponsored farmers who are also known as independent farmers. The challenge, as outlined by the farmers themselves and the merchants, is that the independent farmers wanted their tobacco to be bought at the same time as the sponsored farmers. The merchants whom were buying the tobacco objected to that way of doing things saying those farmers who they sponsored would find a way of escaping from supplying tobacco to their sponsors. As a result, the merchants would lose out because they financed the farmers with fertiliser, seed and all the other requisites. What happens is that the sponsors buy the crop and once they have recovered their cost, any change is given back to the farmer. In that regard, the request was that all the sponsored tobacco be purchased and processed to avoid confusion in the marketing or buying of the tobacco. This way, when the independent buying starts, there would be no sponsored farmers “running away” or not owning up to their obligations to their sponsors. In this regard, a deadline was requested. There was a request that from April, to when the market opened, these months, May and June should be dedicated to buying all the tobacco from the sponsored farmers. As I am talking, tobacco from independent farmers has started being purchased.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, tobacco farmers have had to struggle to transport their tobacco from different provinces to Lusaka in search of buyers. This is why we now have people who are stranded here in Lusaka with their tobacco and without accommodation and food. What is the Government doing to encourage the companies that should be buying tobacco from independent farmers to go to the places where the farmers grow their tobacco so that they do not pass on the cost of transporting tobacco to the farmers?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, this is an issue which I addressed when the tobacco floors were opened. We have tobacco floors in all the tobacco growing areas in the country. The farmers are encouraged to take their tobacco to the floor nearest to them. For instance, in Chipata to be specific, we have merchants who are buying tobacco there. At the time I was in Chipata, we made it clear that we did not want farmers to transport their tobacco over long distances, looking for market. We did that to ensure that our farmers were not inconvenienced by transporting this crop and incurring associated costs. We urged the farmers to take their tobacco to the floors in their locality. I want to put it on record again that the farmers themselves refused, and insisted, especially where I was in the Eastern Province, saying they wanted to transport their tobacco to Lusaka because they felt that they would get a better price for their produce here than what they were getting in Chipata.

Mr Speaker, after consultations with my staff, we agreed to allow each famer to be free to move their tobacco wherever they thought they could sell it at a better price. So, it is not correct to say that farmers were forced to move their tobacco in search of a market. When I went to Chipata, they were not even allowed to move the tobacco because we have a floor in the area. So, at this point, it is up to the farmer to take his or her tobacco where he or she thinks there is a better price. However, I still urge the farmers to make use of the floors in their localities and take their tobacco there. As the Government, we are making sure that they get a fair price for their produce. Merchants had a habit of creating distortional forces in the market by ensuring that they paid faster for the tobacco which is bought from Lusaka, but delayed payments for other floors like Chipata, and I am on record as having told the merchants to stop that habit. 

  Sir, it was made clear to the merchants that such distortions in the market will not be allowed. For the sponsored farmers, I am aware that their sponsors give them transport and all the necessary requirements to transport their tobacco. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, the answers that are being given by the hon. Minister sound like knee-jerk reactions. They sound too operational. Maybe, this is partly because he has just recently moved to the ministry. When will the hon. Minister come to this House to give a serious visionary policy statement on what his Government is doing to develop the growing of high value crops such as tobacco by protecting their production and marketing systems? We have had too many maize and fertiliser statements and, therefore, are now looking forward to a statement on tobacco.

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I think the hon. Member is not well informed. I have been on the ground and know what is going on. He has referred to a knee-jerk reaction and what the Government’s policy is on this industry. I have already said that there has been an increase in tobacco production. In fact, this year, more tobacco has been grown than in the past. If this is a knee-jerk reaction, then I think the hon. Member should check his dictionary. 

Mr Speaker, I also said that in the sense of marketing and promoting the crop, the Government through the TBZ has this year engaged another independent buyer. This is a large-scale buyer that has come on board and has already been given a licence, in addition to other tobacco merchants that buy from our farmers. This is meant to ensure that before the end of the tobacco marketing season in November, all the tobacco will be mopped up. We have also created an enabling environment whereby some of the tobacco has been processed. We are allowing  tobacco to be exported and the farmers are making money in United States Dollars. 

Mr Speaker, I mentioned last time that when I was in Chipata, I had the privilege to see a small-scale farmer that had 16,000 kg of tobacco from 16 hectares. On average, his price was about US$3 to US$4 per kg. Simple mathematics will tell you that this small-scale farmer was going to get a minimum of US$48,000 for all of his tobacco. That opened my eyes to how much some of the small-scale farmers were making in this industry. Now, if the hon. Minister thinks that this Government is not assisting and empowering the Zambian farmer, like I said, then he should go and check what is happening in the industry on the ground. The Government is going to support all the farmers who grow tobacco in order to ensure that they get value for their crop.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, most of the tobacco merchants that the hon. Minister is talking about are very well known. The biggest problem that we are having is that …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mtolo: Sir, the difference between the local and export prices is quite high. What is the Government doing to stabilise this disparity? There is a need for some kind of stabilisation fund to be put in place to protect our farmers. For the tobacco farmers, it is purely subjective selling. Someone just looks at the tobacco and gives any price to this poor farmer, depending on how the merchant has woken up. What is the Government doing to protect the farmers?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, I have on the Floor of this House addressed the issues related with the pricing of tobacco. I think the hon. Member has answered his own question. The pricing of tobacco is okay. The problem is agreeing on how to classify the tobacco.

Mr Speaker, I mentioned that the price varies from about US$5 per kg for the so-called high grade tobacco to about 20¢, for the lowly classified tobacco. Where the challenge is, and I am glad the hon. Member has identified it, is agreeing on the correct classification of the tobacco. 

Sir, due to the the conflict arising between the farmers and merchants on the classification, the ministry has said that, at any transaction, there should be five people. What used to happen was that farmers would just leave their tobacco in the hands of the merchants for classification purposes. After the papers had been done and the farmers came for payment, there was always a dispute on the classification and amount to be paid. So, now, at every transaction, there should be, the farmer, merchant, floor manager, regulator (TBZ representative) and an independent arbitrator to make sure that the buyer and seller agree on a classification amicably. Thereafter, the transaction takes place. There will be no one after that to quarrel that the classification was not correctly made. So, that is what we have put in place. I have instructed all floor managers to ensure that at any transaction, the five people are present.

I thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, arising from the hon. Minister’s statement, it appears to me that the marketing of tobacco is not only complex, but chaotic. Zambia is party to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). What specific measures has the hon. Minister undertaken to implement the statement by the secretariat of the FCTC of encouraging farmers to diversify from tobacco?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, the marketing of tobacco is not chaotic. One thing I am learning is that where there is a lot of money, there are a lot of interest groups and obviously each one of them will try to protect its interests. What is clear is that there is money to be made in the tobacco industry. That is why the demand is still high and there are a lot of players in it.

Mr Speaker, yes, we are a signatory to conventions on the control of tobacco for health reasons. That is why in our response we said that going forward, the future of tobacco will obviously face challenges because of the controls and worldwide campaigns to reduce the smoking of tobacco. That is why even in the response, we said that we are encouraging our farmers to go into food production. For example, we are encouraging our farmers to grow maize through the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), under which tobacco production does not qualify. We are giving fertiliser and all the other inputs to maize farmers. We are also not participating in the buying of tobacco, as is the case with food crops. 

Sir, we are giving incentives for growing other crops so that the value that comes from tobacco, and I must admit that it is quite high, can be realised from other crops. We are letting our farmers know this so that they are aware of the challenges that this crop will face in future, going by the campaigns worldwide against tobacco. Therefore, it may be necessary for them to look at other avenues.

Mr Speaker, apart from that, our Ministry of Health is very active in the campaigns against tobacco. In fact, it is the custodian of the protocols on health to do with tobacco.


Mr Speaker: Order on the left!

Mr Simuusa: Sir, the Government is active and hardworking on issues to do with smoking. I think that the massage is loud and clear. It is now just a question of waking up and weighing our options.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Namugala (Mafinga): Mr Speaker, for as long as there is a demand for it, our farmers should be encouraged to make money from the growing of tobacco. However, it appears that the merchants are abusing our independent farmers. I think that the Government is not doing as much to protect the independent farmers of tobacco as it is doing for those who grow maize by being the buyer of last resort. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister, when the Government is going to come up with measures to become a buyer of last resort for other high value crops. Who is this new merchant and how much tobacco is he going to buy?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question. We have observed that in the marketing and selling of tobacco, there are different groups seeking to protect their interests. This has created a situation where certain players want to create an uneven ground or take advantage of the situation. 

Mr Speaker, we have had meetings, where we have said, as a Government, we shall work to ensure that there is a level playing field for all the merchants and famers.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, we shall not allow anyone to create an uneven playing field. We are now deliberately bringing in independent buyers because when you only have buyers who are sponsors, they will dictate how business should be conducted. That independent buyer is Lillian from China. It is a very big buyer. We are confident that the independent buyer we have engaged, together with the merchants, will buy all the tobacco by the end of the year.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Musukwa: ema Minister aya.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, in the likely event that the merchants and the new kid on the block fail to buy all the tobacco from the independent farmers, what is the Government’s Plan B?

Mr Simuusa: Mr Speaker, looking at the current demand for tobacco, I am very confident that all of it will be bought. If that does not happen, …


Mr Simuusa: … we have other options which I do not want to discuss now because we have not yet reached the situation which the hon. Member has described. 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Musukwa: Hear, hear!


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

(a)    when Bulangililo Health Centre in Kwacha Parliamentary Constituency would begin to operate for twenty-four hours a day;

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to construct a maternity wing at the Health Centre;

(c)    if so, what the estimated cost of constructing the wing was;

(d)    when the construction would commence; and

(e)    if there are no plans, why.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Mphande): Mr Speaker, the critical shortage of medical personnel in Kitwe District is of great concern to the ministry. The ministry has since directed some clinics to open twenty-four hours and some up to 1600 hours every day. The ministry will ensure that those which open twenty-four hours a day are distributed evenly.  

Sir, the Bulangililo Health Centre does not have adequate staff to enable it to operate for twenty-four hours a day. Therefore, there is a need for the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health to expand the establishment register and deploy more staff to the facility. The Government is committed to providing funds for the construction of a maternity annex at Bulangililo Health Centre in the 2015 to 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget.

Mr Speaker, the Government currently does not have plans to construct a maternity block as Bulangililo is within the 5 km radius to Chimwemwe and Buchi Main health centres which have fully functional maternity wards. Additionally, the Chimwemwe Health Centre Maternity Block has been transformed into an ultra modern large maternity block. The Government is also currently constructing maternity blocks at Mulenga and Mindolo 1 health centres.

Sir, furthermore, the Government has already tendered for the construction of Ndeke Village Hospital. The Government has to complete these projects before considering other health projects in the city.

Sir, the Lions Club has shown interest to contribute to the community of Bulangililo and is willing to construct a maternity annex at Bulangililo Health Centre. We have since availed them with a plan and the bill of quantities (BoQ) for the project.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, our expectant mothers are not able to walk long distances to Chimwemwe and Mulenga compounds in the night for their own safety. Thus, this causes most of the times, loss of lives. Why can we not look at plans to make it possible for Bulangililo Health Centre to have a maternity wing which operates twenty-four hours a day?

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Dr Katema) on behalf of the Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, we have responded that, in the meantime, there are health centres which can cater for our mothers which are within 5 km of Bulangililo. Suffice to say that, we have budgeted for the construction of a maternity annex at Bulangililo Health Centre in the 2015 to 2017 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Budget. As we speak, the Lions Club has agreed to assist in building a maternity annex at Bulangililo Health Centre. We have since availed the plan and the bill of quantities (BoQ). 

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I recall that in 2012, the hon. Member of Parliament for Kwacha brought to the attention of the House the fact that Bulangililo Health Centre needed a maternity wing that would operate twenty-four hours, seven days a week. The health centre in Kwacha Constituency services a population of over 150,000 people. May I find out from the hon. Minister why the assurance which was given to the hon. Member of Parliament for Kwacha on the Floor of the House has not been fulfilled to date.

Mr Mucheleka: Ulimwauma, iwe. Mwabafye babili na Mwila.

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the assurance is still valid. We have stated that we will build the maternity annex with the help of the co-operating partner, the Lions Club. We will not totally depend upon the co-operating partner because the responsibility squarely falls in our lap as the Government. If our co-operating partner does not fulfil the promise, we will do it through the 2015/2017 Budget MTEF.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, as regards the twenty-four hours a day operation of this clinic, the hon. Deputy Minister indicated that the ministry intends to expand on the establishment for the clinic. Will the problem continue until 2017 seeing as we are going for elections in 2016?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, election or no election, we have mentioned that we are going to build a maternity annex either through our partners or ourselves which works twenty-four hours a day.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe) asked the Minister of Finance:

(a)    what the kwacha to the US dollar rate was at the time of the introduction of the Bank of Zambia (Monitoring of Balance of Payments) Regulations, SI No. 32 of 2013; and 

(b)    what positive effects the implementation of these regulations had on the Zambian Kwacha.  

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 32 of 2013 was effected on 16th May, 2013, and on that date, the exchange rate of the kwacha against the United States Dollar was ZMW 5.328/USD.

Mr Speaker, the SI No. 32 of 2013 was repealed and replaced with the Bank of Zambia (Monitoring Balance of Payment) Regulations SI No. 55 of 2013 which was effected on 1st July, 2013.

Mr Speaker, the primary objects of both SIs was to enhance the quality of the Balance of Payments (BoP) Statistics. Under these regulations, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) was to monitor in-flows and out-flows of foreign exchange and other international transactions relevant to the BoP statistics.

Mr Speaker, since the implementation of the regulations, it had been observed that companies were increasingly becoming more transparent in their disclosures and reporting cross-border transactions with improved statistics. Through that, it was expected that BoZ would enhance its understanding of foreign exchange flows and subsequently inform our monetary policy interventions. However, challenges such as limitations regarding the timely provision of data related to export and import flows and market sentiments and perception which are more difficult to quantify necessitated the immediate revocation of SI No. 55 in order to allow for further consultations.

Mr Speaker, as a way forward, the Government will engage in wide consultations with other stakeholders on this important economic policy and will, accordingly, also consult the hon. Member for Chembe.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I was told by Hon. Mbewe that in Nigeria, the theme is “Bring Back Our Children” while today, in the Opposition, it is “Bring Back Our Victoria and Other Hon. Members of Parliament.”


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, the Government has been going back and forth on the SIs. The exchange rate was at K5.3528/USD when they revoked the SI No. 32. There was a slight improvement with the introduction of the SI No. 55. They have now repealed SI No. 55 with the exchange rate seemingly not stabilising. 

Sir, was the revocation of the SIs necessary? Was it not just done as a result of political pressure? What improvement has the revocation of SI No. 55 brought?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, firstly, currencies are not strengthened by administrative vehicles. The strengthening or weakening of a currency is a function of the state of the economy. The kwacha will strengthen progressively as the economy improves.

Mr Speaker, as regards the revocation, when there is a measure undertaken by the Government and there is considerable and widespread disenchantment, it is only fair that it listens to those views. That is why I have emphasised the need for consultations. We shall consult before we can, again, embark on measures like that and, if some hon. Members of Parliament like Hon. Mbulakulima, who are very resourceful on ideas have something to say, the Government is prepared to listen to them. The Government is not a chiefdom or a personal-to-holder matter. These are public institutions and, therefore, amenable to advice and counsel from all the stakeholders, including hon. Members of Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Chikwanda for President!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I am happy that the hon. Minister of Finance always emphasises that he is open to good advice. That is a positive way to go. 

Sir, some hon. Ministers have been saying that donor aid coming into Zambia has strings attached to it. I remember that a lot of donors, through the Joint Assistance Programme for Zambia, usually aligned good governance to their donations. Can the hon. Minister say that the withholding of donor aid has also had an effect on the current situation in the country vis-a-vis the Zambian kwacha to the US Dollar rate?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, all forms of aid have strings attached to them. Even the votes which the hon. Member for Katuba was given by the constituents in Katuba have strings attached to them. No donor will give you money without conditions. However, such discussions are becoming increasingly irrelevant because our reliance on external subventions or charity from fiery gods has become a decreasing function of time. We have been reducing dependence on outside benefactors. Therefore, the hon. Member should rest be assured that we do not think that external assistance or going round and begging for money from the international community should be a permanent feature of our national life. We should increasingly live on our own resources.
I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Simfukwe: Mr Speaker, the foreign ownership of businesses in Zambia such as the mines, and other lucrative investments in this country, including those in construction, has been listed as one of the key reasons why the kwacha is weak.

Mr Speaker, does the hon. Minister of Finance have any plans to bring legislation to this House that will curtail the foreign ownership of businesses in Zambia? 

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the hon. member is right with the sentiment that foreign participation in our economy is too expensive. When foreigners participate in our economy, they take out all the money they make in this country. However, the Government cannot decree that there should only be Zambian participation in businesses. It is up to Zambians to do that themselves. At the moment, Zambian participation in the economy is close to zero. That is very embarrassing. Even where the Government makes efforts to try to help Zambians by, for instance, supporting local contractors to construct a road or school, you will find that the works are usually abandoned. It is not the responsibility of the Government to manufacture entrepreneurs. Let us do whatever we can to encourage entrepreneurship. Even some of the better intellectually-equipped and able-bodied people should perhaps start businesses instead of coming to Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, I must frankly say that I am glad that the hon. Minister has admitted that there is a need for the Government to consult in order to arrest this situation of the weak kwacha.

Mr Speaker, why does the listening Government, as the hon. Minister has described it, just listen to the voices in the wilderness, instead of taking advantage of the large number of financial and economic experts in the country by mobilising a taskforce of such individuals so that it can assist the ministry in addressing this situation? It seems that the Government just listens to people who write on social media and those who shout through radio and television.

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member’s sentiments that we should listen to the many experts that we have in the country. At the Ministry of Finance, we do that as a matter of routine. Yesterday, I had a very long meeting with the representatives of the Zambia Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ZACCI), Economic Association of Zambia (EAZ) and Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA). We will continue dialoging with such individuals. We listen to all the expertise that is available in our country. However, instead of studying situations carefully and having facts at their disposal, some of our local experts place sentiments before facts.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]


547. Mr Mwila asked the Minister of Gender and Child Development:

(a)    how many children were living on the streets of Lusaka and Kitwe as of December, 2013;

(b)    what measures the Government had taken to reduce the number of street children; and

(c)    how much money was required to be spent on the exercise in order to have all the children removed from the streets.

The Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Banda): Mr Speaker, according to the 2013 Annual Report of the Child Protection Unit, the number of children on the streets of Lusaka and Kitwe as of December, 2013 was 707, broken down as follows:
   Town         No of Children            Boys                Girls
Lusaka    509    465    44
Kitwe    198    153    45
Total    707    618    89

Mr Speaker, the Government has put in place interventions targeting households and communities meant to provide support to orphans and other vulnerable children including street children. I shall now talk about the interventions. 

     Formation of Child Protection Committees

  These committees have been formed in all provinces. Their main function is to identify and mobilise children living on the streets, and integrating them back into their families and communities. Children without any family connection are referred to institutions of care for appropriate interventions. These committees are multi-sectoral in nature and comprise of line Government ministries, civil society organisations, co-operating partners and community based organisations.

       Provision of Grants to Childcare Institutions

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development supports institutions dealing with children countrywide through grants on a monthly basis. These institutions provide shelter, food, clothing, counselling, education support and health care, among other things, to vulnerable children under custody, including those removed from the streets. 

Provision of Skills Training to Vulnerable Children 

Mr Speaker, the Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sport, is implementing the skills training programme at Kitwe and Chiwoko Zambian National Service camps targeting vulnerable children. The skills training includes courses such as brick laying, carpentry, automotive mechanics, agriculture, catering, and shoe making. Through these courses, the children are empowered to be productive and self-reliant. 

Family Livelihood Support Programme

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development, working in collaboration with other Government ministries and civil society organisations in districts, has also embarked on the process of empowering parents and guardians of households where street children are coming from through training and the provision of start-up capital for income-generating activities. Some of the income-generating activities include tailoring, running of small businesses such as restaurants and small grocery shops. To date, families have been empowered in Lusaka, Kabwe, Kitwe, Livingstone, Chipata, Kasama, Ndola and Mansa to start income-generating activities so that they become self-sustaining in terms of looking after their children. 

Public welfare Assistance Scheme

Mr Speaker, this is a Government welfare assistance intervention designed to offer social assistance or support to the most vulnerable, poor and destitute in the country. The scheme falls under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. 

Social Cash Transfer Scheme

Mr Speaker, this is a joint initiative of the Government and co-operating partners. The scheme falls under the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. Under this programme, vulnerable households are given monthly allowances which they use to purchase basic necessities such as cooking oil and mealie-meal. With time, they engage in activities such as the rearing of cattle, goats and chickens. This helps them to move out of poverty as they are able to generate extra income for sustenance. 

Women Economic Empowerment

Mr Speaker, under this programme, the Government provides equipment and nominal start-up capital for women groups, especially in rural areas. Through this programme, women are empowered to engage in income-generating activities for them to be able to provide for their families. These activities include poultry production, vegetable growing and goat rearing. 

Sir, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development has an allocation of K4,224,163 in the 2014 Budget for the implementation of the child protection programmes countrywide. Under this programme, activities include identification and mobilisation of children on the streets, re-integration into families and communities, empowerment of families where children are coming from and the capacity building of identified children’s centres. 

Mr Speaker, for the ministry to effectively implement this programme, an estimated amount of K80 million would be required if all the children were to be removed from the streets. The estimate is just for the removal and returning of these children to families and communities. However, there is still a lot to be considered from the casual effects of streetism such as inadequate educational facilities, household vulnerability, inadequate places of safety for neglected and abused children and the strengthening of monitoring mechanisms. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, we are being inconvenienced by street kids who are begging on our streets. Seeing as the Governmnet has set aside K4 million in the Budget, do we expect to see no children in the streets by 2016? 

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I mentioned in my answer that what is in the Budget is about K4 million, but what we need to remove these children from the streets is K80 million. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, we debated heavily two days ago on the issue of street vendors which has kept growing over the years. The problem of street kids has grown just as that of street vending. Does the ministry responsible have a time frame in which we should expect to see children off the streets? These children pose a danger to society. 

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, I might cheat if I were to start talking about the time frame. 


Mrs Banda: Sir, I want to be very frank and straightforward …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Please, withdraw the word ‘cheat’. 

Mrs Banda: I withdraw the word, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Find a suitable substitute. 

Mrs Banda: Sir, I do not want to mislead the House. I have mentioned the need for K80 million for this problem to be solved. If hon. Members of Parliament support our budget, the problem will be sorted out.  Without the support of the hon. Members, sorting out this problem will be difficult. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwewa (Mwansabombwe): Mr Speaker, how many children have been integrated back into their families and the community? 

Mrs Banda: Mr Speaker, we would need time to put together the details the hon. Member is looking for on a year by year basis because the question does not specify which year is being referred to. If a question was to be posed, then, we would be able to provide the exact figures. 

I thank you, Sir

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I have realised that political parties or governments have a problem of not looking at the things that were done in the past. Anyone who is sincere would agree that during the time of Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) when Hon. Namugala and Hon. Dr Kaingu were there, we almost did away with all the street kids. 

Hon. MMD Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Pande: Sir, those who are sincere agree with what I am saying. We never used to see girls begging in the streets. The problem of children being on the streets has also grown because the Government has chosen to allow street vending. 


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister ready to go into the files to see what methods were used by the previous Government to reach a level where the problem of children being on streets was almost eliminated? 


Mr Speaker: Order!

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Speaker, the issue of streetism is not new to Zambia. In the early 1990s, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government went on a wholesale spree to privatise industries, a lot of people lost their jobs and a lot of families were made destitute. As a result, their children ended up on the streets. In addition to that, there came the advent of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) which reinforced the situation of destitution in families, but this Government …

Mr Mbulakulima: Is it history?

Mrs Wina: Yes, it is history…

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chembe, those are unacceptable running commentaries. You know how best things are done.

 The hon. Minister may continue, please.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, this Government has taken measures to intervene in the situation. Through different interventions, we have made considerable progress in removing children from the streets. As of now, there are fewer children on the streets. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Ma Ministers aba!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, as Chairperson of the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender and Child Affairs, I would like to find out the measures the Government has taken to ensure that this issue that has been discussed on the Floor of this House several times is addressed. I also want to find out whether the Government is aware that the issue of street children is a security matter. We are all aware, as she has indicated that this issue started in the 1990s and most of those who were street children then …

Mr Speaker: Order! 

I thought you posed your question, hon. Member.

Mr Mwiimbu: Yes, I will, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: You have already posed your question. You said, “Are you aware that this is security matter?”

Mr Mufalali: Another one!


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, those who were children in the 1990s and even part of the year 2000 are now adults. Has the Government conducted research to establish where these people are and if they can be connected to the crime syndicates which are in the country?

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, there are officials that mobilise children to be picked up from the streets. There is a committee comprised of security wings such as the police as well as officials from the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, the Ministry of Gender and Child Development and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Once these children have been picked up, we always try to identify the families where they come from. Once those families have been identified, they are taken through programmes, through which they are trained in some skills, and given a small grant to start a small business which can help them to raise some money for their needs and to ensure that the children go to school. Of course, there are situations whereby some children go back. 

Mr Speaker, I agree that some of the children have grown on the streets. Some have even married on the street. Where this situation occurs, we have taken the girl to Nsokwe House in Ndola and the baby is taken to Jesus Cares Ministries for care and support. This has happened in one or two cases. So, definitely, we have statistics on those that have been rescued from the streets. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, whichever party is in power should be aware of the fact that children do not belong on the streets. Children should be in homes and schools. Any responsible Government will ensure that there is political will to remove the children off the streets. Can the hon. Minister indicate whether she thinks there is enough political will at the highest level to remove children from the streets and take them to safety? I am saying so because when you look at the budgetary allocation of …

Mr Mbulakulima: The deficit!

Ms Namugala: Sir, the deficit of K76 million is so huge that there is no way that the programme to remove children off the streets can be properly handled. This is in view of the fact that these hon. Ministers are driving beautiful and expensive vehicles. 

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Ms Namugala: Sir, they are living comfortable lives at the expense of our children who are giving birth on the streets. 


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga, you have already presented a very specific question. Unfortunately, you have gone beyond that to now begin debating your colleagues. Why not allow the hon. Minister to respond to your question? I presume you are done, hon. Member. 

Ms Namugala: No, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Can you conclude your question.

Ms Namugala: Mr Speaker, it is immoral for this Government to continue handling matters the way it is doing when our children are spending nights in the cold on the streets.

Mrs Wina: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mafinga is very right in saying that the issue of street children is a national one. I will not respond to the other insinuations about the vehicles. 

Mr Speaker, definitely, the budget is inadequate for the ministry to remove all the children off the streets. That is why the Government is working in collaboration with the co-operating partners to intensify its work regarding the street children. Definitely, political will is there. Sometimes, it takes an hon. Minister to go round the streets at night just to check on these children. We will see what we can do to help them get re-integrated in the families or be able to send them back to school.

I thank you, Sir. 


548. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Home Affairs when the Immigration Department in Mwinilunga District would be provided with transport.

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, there is a provision in this year’s ministry’s budget under Vote 15/05 for the procurement of some motor vehicles for the Immigration Department. The tender process has since commenced and we are hopeful that before the end of the year, the vehicles will have been supplied. Once the vehicles are procured, the transport needs of the Mwinilunga Immigration Office will be considered.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, the primary function of the Immigration Department is to regulate the entry, stay and exit of foreigners for the security of this country. I would like to find out how the officers in Mwinilunga are currently operating for the safety of this country.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge my dear colleague’s passion for the department he once served under. He has clearly stated the portfolio functions of this very important department. We are aware that the department’s operations have been crippled due to inadequate transport. That is the reason the Government saw it prudent to provide some funds in this year’s budget to try to address the challenges our officers in places such as Mwinilunga are facing.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


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

(a)    when Kaputa Secondary School would begin to operate as a boarding school;

(b)    how many Grades 8 and 10 pupils had been enrolled at the school;

(c)    how many pupils the school would accommodate once completed; and

(d)    how many pupils the boarding facility would accommodate.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, Kaputa Secondary School will begin to operate as a boarding school as soon as it has been fully completed. The total number of Grade 8 pupils is forty-eight. The total number of Grade 10 pupils is 353. Upon completion, the total number of pupils the school is expected to accommodate, both in the morning and afternoon is 1,200. The total number of pupils in the boarding school will be 352.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, the construction of this school started in 2008 and we are now in 2014. I would like the hon. Minister to state when the construction of this school will be completed.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, Kaputa Secondary School is amongst the eighty-three plus secondary schools which are under construction in this country. The completion of the works depends on the budget allocation to the ministry. So, as long as we continue receiving funds from the Ministry of Finance, we will be able to complete these projects. Even though I cannot state the specific time-frame, I can still state that the construction of the school is nearing completion. Therefore, depending on the availability of funds, the construction of the school might be completed before the end of this year or early next year.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 23rd June, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Pande: Sir, in accordance with Standing Order No. 157(1) and the programme of work for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, your Committee considered the topical issue: “Media Ethics in Zambia”.

Mr Speaker, the background of this inquiry is that the media in Zambia has on several occasions been taken to court for publishing stories and statements that border on defamation, innuendos, lack of objectivity and unverified facts among others issues. It is in this vein, that your Committee was compelled to undertake a study on media ethics in Zambia.

Sir, as you may already be aware, ethics are important in all aspects of public life and the media is no exception. This is because both the print and electronic media have the capacity to influence society’s opinion on various issues in the public domain …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Pande: … as the citizenry tend to believe information published by media houses. Therefore, when media practitioners perform their work unprofessionally, their products can be potentially harmful to individuals, organisations, societies and the nation, at large. This is why adherence to media ethics cannot be overemphasised.

Mr Speaker, premised on the above, your Committee interacted with various stakeholders who tendered both written and oral submissions before it. In the quest to familiarise itself with what is prevailing on the ground regarding media ethics, your Committee toured selected public, commercial and faith-based media houses in Lusaka, Copperbelt and Luapula provinces. Your Committee also held a public hearing in Luapula Province.

Sir, considering that hon. Members are privy to the contents of your Committee’s report, I shall endeavour to highlight only a few salient issues.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes with concern that a media policy which should serve as a major source of guidance for standards in the media profession has not been formulated and implemented. Arising from this, your Committee recommends that the Government immediately formulates a media policy which will guide the operations of the media. Your Committee further regrets to report that the country is operating under pieces of legislation that are restrictive on the operations of the traditional media such as limited access to information. Therefore, members of the public have resorted to using unethical on-line publications which are providing them with information that is perceived to be withheld by the traditional media. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Executive arm of the Government must ensure that Zambian media laws that impede media freedom are reviewed in order to bring them in line with current media trends that are anchored on a free media. 

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that while the establishment of the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) is key for media ethics adherence, the regulatory body has just been established and needs legal backing for it to be strengthened and supported. Further, membership to the regulatory body is on a voluntary basis thereby allowing some media institutions to choose whether to be affiliated to it or not. 

Sir, in view of the foregoing, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government strengthens ZAMEC by giving it a legal backing and compelling all media bodies and independent journalists to subscribe to it. Further, all subscribers to the regulatory body must be compelled to make financial contributions to sustain its operations. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee also observes that there is some interference in the selection of the content to be broadcast and published by owners of public and private media houses. It is in this vein that your Committee recommends, as a matter of urgency, that the Government must amend the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Acts which should re-instate the Appointments Committee that was repealed in 2010. 

Sir, your Committee notes that the absence of the Appointments Committee has given a lot of power to the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services to nominate the names of the people to sit on the ZNBC and IBA Boards. This, in your Committee’s view, has eluded the principle of diffusing Government control over ZNBC and the need for private broadcast media houses to be regulated by an independent body. In addition, the IBA Board should be ratified by Parliament bearing in mind that the ZBNC Board is ratified by Parliament. Furthermore, the Government and private media owners are strongly being urged to refrain from interfering in the content of the news to be broadcast. 

Mr Speaker, you may wish to note that a hungry journalist is a threat to national security. Regrettably, your Committee observes that …


Mr Speaker: Order on my right!.

Mr Pande: … most media institutions have financial challenges which affect their ability to reasonably remunerate their staff. As a result, adherence to media ethics is compromised as some practitioners depend on news sources for their logistics. It is in this regard that your Committee recommends that the Government monitors private and public media houses to ensure that journalists are adequately remunerated in order to motivate and encourage them to discharge their duties professionally. Your Committee further strongly urges journalists to uphold high moral standards in order not to be enticed with incentives that will compromise their ethical standards. 

Sir, your Committee further observes that proper collaboration between training institutions and the media industry is lacking. Students in training institutions are more equipped in the theoretical and not the practical aspects of ethics. The Government must, therefore, ensure that journalism training institutions work closely with media houses in order for students to have hands-on experience and to fully understand how ethics come into play when they go into practice.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also urges the Executive arm of the Government to address the outstanding issues that have been raised in the Action-Taken Report for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. 

Sir, may I conclude by taking this opportunity to thank you for the guidance that you provided to your Committee during the Session. I also wish to thank all the stakeholders who appeared before it. Allow me also to thank the Members for their co-operation and input into the work of your Committee. Lastly, but not least, let me thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the unwavering support they rendered to your Committee. 

Mr Speaker, I beg to move. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mwila: Now, Sir. 

Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me the opportunity to second this important Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Information and Broadcasting Services which is on the Floor of the House. In seconding the Motion so eloquently moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to comment on a few points as contained in your Committee’s Report. 

Mr Speaker, information communication technologies (ICTs) in journalism are becoming increasingly important. Regrettably, media institutions have not invested much in on on-line media training. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government revises the current journalism and mass communication curriculum, taking into account the concept of the on-line media, in order to address the emerging demands of the profession and tackle issues of unethical on-line publications. 

Sir, your Committee regrets to observe that members of the public have been subjected to all manners of unprofessional journalism due to the absence of a clear channel of communication where their complaints against unethical reporting can be directed. Premised on this, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government ensures that all media houses establish an in-house office of the ombudsman to handle complaints from the readers and the public. Ombudsmen should, among other responsibilities, make sure that the media houses adhere to their code of ethics …


Mr Speaker: Let us have order on both my right and left. There are too many conversations. Continue. 

Mr Mwila: … as they execute their work. 

I thank you, Sir, because this is very important. 


Mr Mwila:  Sir, further, media houses must run adverts to sensitise members of the public on the importance of these offices and their right to complain. 

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to note that some media houses, especially upcoming private community media houses, have not developed editorial guidelines or codes of conduct. Your Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government ensures that emerging media institutions have a code of conduct prior to the issuance of operating licences. 

Your Committee further observes that there is interference in the operations of reporters and senior managers in public institutions. As a result, they cannot perform their duties as expected because of fear of losing employment. 

Your Committee undertook a tour and this issue of interference came out prominently. In this regard, your Committee strongly recommends that the Government ensures that media houses as well as journalists operate independently without fear of losing employment or broadcasting licences. The Government should also put in place punitive measures that will deter Government officials from threatening journalists and media houses. 

Mr Speaker, I want to reiterate my point. The Government should also put in place punitive measures that will deter Government officials from threatening journalists and media houses. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Sir, this is also one matter that came out prominently on out tour.  

In conclusion, let me take this opportunity to thank you for your guidance. I further wish to thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invaluable support they rendered to your Committee during its deliberations. 

Mr Speaker, with these few remarks, I beg to second. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order. 

Mr Speaker, is Hon. Dr. Kaingu in order to purport to be a Cabinet Minister in this House and sit quietly without consulting anyone in that row. Is he in order to mislead all of us that he is a Cabinet Minister? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is that I have not received any communication justifying his presence where he is seated. As you have rightly pointed out, he is alone where he is seated. If the hon. Member was talking to a colleague, I would understand he is seated there. You also know that the House is arranged in a very specific manner. This is why we have a left on one hand and a right on the other hand. He is certainly not in order to continue sitting where he is.

Dr Kaingu left the Front Bench and went back to his seat.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me an opportunity to debate and, contribute to the Motion on the Floor. I support the report which is before us.

Mr Speaker, you report brings out a lot of interesting issues that border on media ethics and indeed, the profession of journalism. 

Sir, I find it befitting that there has been an attempt to try to define the media ethics. However, I find it difficult to get a clear-cut definition of ethics, especially coming from the background that we have of about seventy-three ethnic groupings. I would have loved a situation where we could have a specific Zambian definition as regards media ethics because what is right in one setting of the community in our country may not be right in another. On Page 6 of your report, there is a lamentation as regards the new pictures that certain media houses carry.

Sir, are we looking at things from the religious or political point of view. I also wish to state that people from the entertainment world look at pictures differently from the clergy.

Mr Speaker, indeed, we have had pictures in our media which are not very good as stipulated in your report. The pictures I am talking about have actually raised a lot of questions and sleepless nights in certain circles. Why is it that we have gone in this direction? I want to refer to Page 15 of the report which talks about what the Committee found out when it toured The Post.{mospagebreak}

Sir, on that page, there is a paragraph which states:

“The Media was the mirror of society because it showed people what was happening, palatable or unpalatable. If people did not like what they are seeing, they should not shoot the messengers, but go and deal with the issues.”

Mr Speaker, that is timely advice for us to focus on the problem. It is not the picture that should be a problem or the person who has taken it who should be crucified. We should look at what caused the people in the picture to dress in a particular manner. Is it because they want to earn a living? If it is, what should we do in order to discourage such kind of a thing?

Mr Mbulakulima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order.

Mr Speaker, you have been guiding that all of us who are supposed to be in this House. It is our duty to be present at this important meeting. I am a very concerned Member of Parliament that after you chased Hon. Dr. Kaingu from where he was seated, the number of Cabinet Ministers has reduced. It is as if he was covering them from fire. Are the Cabinet Ministers in order not to attend to the important matters in this House? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: First of all, I would like to clarify that I did not chase Hon. Dr. Kaingu.


Mr Speaker: I simply wondered, as the hon. Member for Monze Central pointed out, why he was seated where he was. I did not make any directive. He made his own judgment afterwards to leave.


On a serious note, it is quite surprising that a particular portion of the Front Bench is as bare as it is. I know a few hon. Ministers who have indicated officially to my office as being absent on official duties. I have a list in my office which also includes some hon. Members on my left as well. If my memory serves me right, at the beginning of our business this afternoon, we had more hon. Members on the Front Bench than we are witnessing now. I earnestly hope that in the absence of the Chief Whip and the Deputy Chief Whip, His Honour the Vice-President is listening to this point of order and will ensure that this state of affairs is actually averted.

Sir, I agree with the hon. Member for Chembe that we should always be present. Unless, there is a good reason for being absent, especially on account of being engaged in other business outside the country. The unsatisfactory state of affairs is a source of concern to me because the business we are transacting now was preceded by a lot of travel as well as engagements with institutions and public at a cost. It is, therefore, important that these issues are deliberated upon by both the left and the right because most of these issues, ultimately, are directed towards the colleagues on the right. At the end of the day, our deliberations should culminate into an Action-Taken Report. I hope we can see a change in this state of affairs. It is unfortunate, to say the very least.

Hon. Member, you may continue.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that it is a timely warning and advising that we should look at the actual problem. Why is such dressing coming up? Is it an issue of earning a living? If so, what can we, as a country, do to stop that? Is it an issue of moral decay? If so, why? Is it because of the poverty levels in the country? So, it is true that we should not look at the effects, but the real causes of why certain things are happening.

Mr Speaker, as citizens and parents, we should also ask ourselves what our contribution is, especially concerning our children’s dress code. The dressing that we see in the youth, our own children, is very worrying. You find that someone’s underwear is completely outside and the trousers is almost in the knees, and that is slowly getting on the streets of Zambia. While the mirror, which is the media is exposing that, as leaders and the Government, charged with the responsibility of looking after the affairs of this country, we should begin to look at the root causes and see how best we can address that problem.

Sir, the other aspect that was brought out on Page 13 of your report is the fact that:

“Your Committee was informed that on-line media houses were of no fixed abode and this gave them leeway to abrogate ethical conduct as they could not be called upon to clarify their stories.”

  Mr Speaker, that is equally a very serious issue that we need to deal with. Are there no best practices outside the country? Are there no countries that have dealt with this issue? Is it not possible for us to learn urgently from the developed countries before this becomes a very big problem? For me, it is possible that we can find a solution quickly before this issue gets out of hand and then we fail to address it.

Sir, on Page 11 of your Committee’s report, your Committee was, again, informed of a very worrying issue that I thought I should comment on, on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency. The report states that:

“Your Committee further heard that sometimes media houses failed to act professionally due to threats of withdrawal of broadcasting licences. This was the reason why sayings like ‘Throw your ethics outside the window and follow what the owners of the company want’ had been coined.”

Mr Speaker, such harsh sanctions usually lead to the decay and erosion of professionalism and failure to follow ethics. We should talk about sanctions that should be imposed on culprits and bring them to book instead of embarking on a total withdrawal of the broadcasting licences. So, we should find means and ways to arrest those who do not follow the laid-down rules and regulations in their professions as opposed to getting the media house closed down just because one or two journalists did not follow that which is stated.

Sir, the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) which has just been formed and is in its infancy stage is advocating for a legal framework that will compel media houses to be members. This organisation should earn its trust and we should not bring about laws that will be against the freedom of choice. There are a number of institutions or regulatory institutions that have been formed by Acts of Parliament, but the membership is still voluntary. Institutions such as Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) do not compel people to join them. If you are an accountant, you have a choice of either being a member of ZICA or not. The only difference is that if you are not a member, and then you get caught up in an illegal activity, you will not be protected by that particular institution. So, my proposal is that let us allow ZAMEC to earn its trust and be able to attract membership to its institution. That way, those journalists who do not want to join the organisation can still operate freely without feeling that they have an obligation to do so.

Mr Speaker, with this very brief contribution, I want to thank you.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, in the first place, I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion for the wonderful report. The media is an important tool to the country, if used appropriately. The media, which is the pen, can build and it can also destroy. Information should be used for certain purposes such as records, action and various activities for people to understand what is happening. However, in Zambia that is different. We have issues which are supposed to be brought to the attention of the Government and leaders, which are shoved aside. The media is used for blackmail. When a leader is alleged to have committed an offence, he is locked up in police cells and that will make headlines everywhere. The whole country will know about it, but when you are cleared of the allegations and you are discharged, the media will not even be there. They will not even apologise for denting your character. That kind of reporting is negative because the media is supposed to cover everybody. At one point in time, there was a newspaper that was pro-Opposition and it covered it extremely well. Today, that newspaper has changed and it is now pro-Government. We have issues in this nation, especially in the rural areas that need to be brought to the attention of the Government. We need to uncover washed away bridges, the suffering of the people and the poverty levels that we are talking about, but these are never brought to the attention of the Government. All cameras are just used to cover matebeto because an hon. Minister is there as has been stated in your Committee’s report. These cameras should go to the people in the villages so that the attention of the Government is drawn to such areas.

Sir, we have, …

Mr Mumba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mumba: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member debating in order to gesticulate while debating with his left hand in his pocket?

Mr Speaker: I have in the past addressed this issue. Although it is not cast in a specific rule, I think it is generally accepted that when you are addressing an august gathering like this one, it is not advisable to place your limbs in your pockets.


Mr Speaker: Limbs, yes.


Mr Speaker: There is just a certain negative aura that it transmits. If we do it elsewhere, well, probably there will be nothing wrong, but certainly not in a gathering of this sort. I think we need to give respect to the honourable Men and Women seated around here. I was equally anxious about that as well. So, yes, to that extent, the hon. Member was not in order. I know, for some people, it is a very difficult thing to practice acting otherwise, but you just have to train yourself. You come off more positively when you remove those limbs from the pockets.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I was saying the media is supposed to be used for specific purposes such as informing the nation …

Mr Muchima touched his pockets.


Mr Muchima: … and attracting the attention of the authority for it to take action. What is happening at the moment is totally against media ethics. The reason I say this is very simple. The Government media houses are meant to cover every leader. This includes opposition political party leaders, councillors and village headmen. This is the only way to bring out issues that require action or attention. However, what is happening is that the cameras of the public media only go where hon. Ministers are. They are never where they are needed by other members of society. Why do I say so? Time and again, those of us from the rural parts of the country have talked about bad roads, washed away bridges and dilapidated infrastructure in our areas. All this is supposed to be disclosed by the public media.  However, this only comes to the attention of the Government when an hon. Minister travels to the area. 

Mr Speaker, another issue that the report of your Committee has talked about is interference. This is very common for community radio stations, especially by cadres in rural areas. They are interfering too much. When an hon. Opposition Member wants to communicate with the people in a given area and the message seems to hint on certain activities which do not please the Ruling Party, orders are given by cadres for electricity to be shut down so that the people are not communicated to. I can give examples of such situations that have happened. 

Mr Speaker, this is wrong. According to our Constitution, we have got freedom of expression. The way we are talking here is the same way we should communicate to the people when we go out there. Cadres should stop interfering with the operations of the radio stations. I urge the hon. Minister and other colleagues to let people express themselves freely. That is how we can communicate to the Government for it to take action.

Sir, what is happening in this country is that the pen is being used to blackmail people and champion personal agendas, which is not supposed to be the case. I concur with the other debater who said that we need to be advanced. We need to move from one stage to another where we respect each other’s privacy. We have gone too deep. As long as you are an opposition party member, you are an enemy. This is not the way the media is supposed to be used. We need the media to cover the whole country and disclose what is hidden in rural areas such as poverty levels and so on and so forth. 

Sir, at the moment, we even know what items will be in Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation’s main news before it even comes on. It is always about the President, His Honour the Vice-President, Secretary-General of the Ruling Party and so on and so forth. This is even making private stations become important when, in actual fact, the public media is supposed to be dominant because it uses taxpayers’ money. Its coverage is supposed to be very wide and all inclusive. Unfortunately, the ZNBC is only for hon. Ministers. 

Mr Speaker, for a change, especially after having been in Opposition and talked about restrictions, the Patriotic Front (PF) should let the media be open to everyone. That is why at the moment, the public media cannot even make any money because it has been restricted to only cover our colleagues on your right. It is restricted to Government activities only when it is supposed to be a source of money. If it was used to cover any activity, people will be ready to pay for various media services. At the moment, the Government media is always broke because our colleagues are not opening it up to the general public. 

Mr Speaker, I just wanted to add my voice to this Motion by stating that let us advance in our thinking. Let us move away from archaic behaviour to modern ways of treating each other equally. The pen should be used to describe the bad and good on hon. Ministers and hon. Opposition Members alike. It should not be used as a means of suppressing the Opposition. Therefore, the media should change for the better and become informative to the nation.

With these few words, I thank you, Sir.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, my ministry has noted the findings of the report of your Committee. I would like to update the House by stating that my ministry has already prepared the Draft Information and Media Policy. This draft has been circulated to all stakeholders and we are waiting for their comments so that the policy can be presented to Cabinet for approval.

Mr Speaker, on the observation regarding pieces of laws that are deemed to be restrictive on the operations of the media, I wish to update the House that the ministry is currently engaged in dialogue with stakeholders. We would like to know what is wrong with these pieces of law so that a right direction can be taken.

On the observation that there was need for the re-instatement of the Appointments Committee in the Independent Broadcasting Authority and Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation Acts, my ministry does not see any need for the Appointments Committee, but supports the provision that the nominees should be ratified by Parliament. In that regard, therefore, the ministry will be making proposals for amendment of the Independent Broadcasting Authority Act to provide for the ratification of the nominees by Parliament.

Mr Speaker, all in all, the ministry will study the recommendations by your Committee and some of them will be addressed through the Information and Media Policy, which is currently being worked on and others will follow the normal processes.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all those who have debated, especially Hon. Bwalya and Hon. Muchima. I also want to appreciate the revelation by the hon. Minister that dialogue on the Draft Information and Media Policy is progressing well. I would like to state that we need a time frame for the process. We should not take too long. Let it be fast tracked, if that can be done, because it is a concern. We would like these media houses to adhere to ethics.

Mr Speaker, as for the re-instatement of the Appointments Committee, it is the desire of many stakeholders that this be brought back. In conclusion, we would like the Zambia Media Council (ZAMEC) to be supported by legal backing. This will be good for its existence. After it has been established with legal backing, then it can formulate its own rules and regulations for members to follow which will not be interfered with.

Mr Speaker, thank you very for the support by the House.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Question put and agreed to.


Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Delegated Legislation for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 23rd June, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mutale (Kwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, allow me to inform the House that during its meetings, your Committee on Delegated Legislation was informed that the Executive issued 121 Statutory Instruments (SIs) in 2013. Of these, your Committee received and considered 114 SIs. This was a huge improvement because we have previously considered an average of forty Statutory Instruments per session out of over one hundred that are issued on an annual basis.

Sir, your Committee scrutinised and considered the SIs that were referred to it in accordance with its mandate under the Standing Orders. In this regard, your Committee’s report contains findings and recommendations on each of the SIs considered.

Further, in its quest to deepen its understanding of the implementation of various SIs, your Committee undertook visits to various places in Lusaka, Kabwe, Ndola, Kitwe, Mufulira and Solwezi districts. The tour was a fact-finding mission to assess the extent of implementation, achievements and challenges relating to various SIs. In addition, as part of its tour, your Committee followed up the implementation of Statutory Instrument No. 47 of 2012, the Minimum Wages and Conditions of Employment, Shop Workers Amendment Order of 2012 and Statutory Instrument No. 64 of 2012, the Liquor Licensing Permitted Hours Regulation.

Sir, your Committee also considered the responses contained in the Action-Taken Report on its Report for the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly and made further recommendations.

Mr Speaker, allow me now to briefly apprise this august House of a few of the highlights of your Committee’s deliberations during the session

Statutory Instrument No. 34 of 2013, the Chiefs Withdraw of Recognition Number 2 of 2013.

Sir, your Committee was informed that the withdrawal of recognition of Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala was based on the fact that, the recognition order was signed by His Honour the Vice-President. This is contrary to the provisions of Section 3 of the Chiefs Act which vests the power to recognise Chiefs in the President. In addition, your Committee learnt that the traditional selection process by the electoral college of the Bemba Royal Establishment was properly done and Mr Sosala was properly selected to ascend to the throne as Senior Chief Mwamba. Suffice to say that, prior to the withdrawal of the recognition, there was no consultation undertaken whatsoever with any stakeholders.

Sir, further, your Committee heard that neither the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs nor the House of Chiefs had received any complaint with regard to this recognition from any interested parties. As it is within the discretion of the President to recognise or not to recognise a person as a Chief, it was not clear to your Committee whether the Government will now initiate the corrective procedure for the recognition of Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala as Chief Mwamba. 

Arising from the foregoing, your Committee, while noting that the SI has been made in compliance with the powers contained in Section 4 of Chief’s Act Chapter 287 of the Laws of Zambia, earnestly implores all public officials to ensure the strict adherence to the provisions of the law in such matters by ensuring that the only office which is by law vested with the power to recognise Chiefs is the one that issues SIs in order to avoid errors such as this one which have the potential to create serious misunderstandings. In the case at hand, Mr Speaker, the SI should have been issued by the President and not His Honour the Vice-President as was the case.

Sir, further, your Committee implores the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to follow up this matter and ensure that a correct SI is issued without delay to avoid a vacuum in the Bemba traditional hierarchy. 

Statutory Instrument No. 106 of 2013: The Kwame Nkrumah University (Declaration) Order

Mr Speaker, your Committee was informed that this SI declared the former Kwame Nkrumah College a university. The new university was expected to focus on the training of teachers of social sciences for secondary schools. In 2010, the country had about 885 teachers with degree qualifications in social sciences out of the required 6,508 creating a shortfall of 5,623. It was anticipated, therefore, that this measure would enable Kwame Nkrumah University to substantially increase the capacity for the production of teachers of social sciences at secondary school level in the country. It was expected that once fully operational, the university would produce 12,400 teachers in four years. In this light, the SI is a welcome development.

Mr Speaker, the above notwithstanding, during its visit to Kwame Nkrumah University, your Committee learnt that the institution was facing a number of challenges during this transitional period such as the inadequate number of lecturers, a lack of transport, insufficient books and research materials, a shortage of appropriate furniture and inadequate and erratic internet connectivity. 

Sir, the problems were compounded by the fact that the Council of Kwame Nkrumah University was yet to be appointed despite the institution being declared a university. As a result, the management team was still led by a principal. The establishment of the institution and conditions of service for staff has remained as if it were still a college and not a university. Even the Government funding to the university was still at the level of a college and not that of a university. Consequently, the university was unable to recruit full-time staff and depended on part-time lecturers to fill the gap.

Mr Speaker, another critical challenge facing the institution was inadequate infrastructure. The existing infrastructure at the institution was inadequate to say the least. There was inadequate space for library users, a dearth of residential accommodation for the teaching staff of the university, most of whom were living in rented houses, inadequate laboratory facilities, classrooms and student residential accommodation. 

Sir, your Committee was also concerned to note that the university had no recreation facilities at all. I must hasten to add, in this regard, that apart from transferring the infrastructure of the former Pan-African Institute for the Development of East and Southern Africa (PAID-ESA) to Kwame Nkrumah University, the Government had commenced various infrastructure expansion projects at the university which would see new structures coming up, including classrooms laboratories, libraries and student residencies at the university. However, at the time of your Committee’s visit, works on these projects had stalled since January 2014, as the contractor had not been paid.

Sir, your Committee was happy to note, in this vein, that the university had adequate land for the ongoing and future infrastructure expansion programmes and strongly recommended that the Government comes up with a long-term infrastructure development plan.

Mr Speaker, your Committee was happy to note during the tour that the Kwame Nkrumah University is being run by Zambians and is being run in a very professional manner.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: So far, degree programmes have been developed in collaboration with the University of Zambia. Your Committee commends the management and staff of the newly declared university for the impressive levels of dedication and patriotism exhibited in the face of numerous challenges. In this regard, your Committee is of the view that the Government must urgently develop and publicise a roadmap for the full transformation of Kwame Nkrumah College into a university.

Sir, your Committee, therefore, calls upon the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, Vocational Training and Early Education to expedite the appointment of a university council and, once appointed, to assist it resolve all the operational challenges facing the university.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Sir, the Government should also ensure that funding to the institution is improved to a level befitting a university. As regards infrastructure development, your Committee recommends that the Government urgently provides funding for the completion of the projects which have stalled at the institution in order to make the environment and the university conducive to university education.

Statutory Instrument No. 108 of 2013: The Mukuba University (Declaration) Order, 2013

Sir, as regards this SI, your Committee expressed concern over the use of the name Mukuba University which was already in use by a private institution registered under the Companies Act, Chapter 388 of the Laws of Zambia in February, 2011. Your Committee’s concern arose from the fact that the use of the same name by two universities might create confusion in the minds of the members of the public both within and outside Zambia who may have dealings with the two institutions. This is despite assurances by the Secretary to the Cabinet that there was no likelihood of confusion of the institutions and that the name Mukuba was not reserved for exclusive use in terms of Section 38 of the Companies Act. 

Your Committee notes that the private entity was registered long before the promulgation of this SI. Additionally, the declaration of Mukuba University was done by an SI which did not require clearance of the name by the Registrar, hence the issue of name clearance is not applicable in this case.

Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, reiterates that it is of a considered opinion that the possibility of confusion arising out of the use of the same name by the two institutions in the same line of business is very high. In fact, your Committee takes the strong view that the existence of two institutions by the name of Mukuba University is not desirable, particularly in light of the fact that a university is an organisation which has international character and may even enjoy accreditation at international level. Therefore, there should be no doubt as to the identity, credibility or standing of the institution from which a graduate obtains his or her qualification.

So, it is absolutely necessary for such institutions to have clearly distinct names. In light of the foregoing, the Committee implores the Government to urgently revisit the issue of the name Mukuba University by the two institutions with a view to resolving the matter amicably.

Statutory Instrument No. 103 of 2013: The Customs and Excise (Public Organisation) (Refund or Remission) (Amendment).

Mr Speaker, your Committee noted that there were concerns that the implementation of this SI may negatively impact on the operations of some charity organisations which were providing critical services to the poorest of the poor in the country to whom the Government was not able to provide those services. In this regard, your Committee, in its quest to inquire further into the matter met representatives of some key beneficiaries of the customs and excise remission scheme. These include church bodies and some non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Your Committee also met the Acting Secretary to the Treasury. During its interactions with the representatives of the key beneficiary organisations, your Committee was informed that this measure, the effect of which was to remove certain important items from enjoying exemptions from customs duty, would have a negative impact on the operations of the public benefit organisations affected. The lifting of these tax exemptions would ultimately negatively affect the ordinary Zambian because it would make it harder for these organisations to assist the needy communities. In short, withdrawal of such tax incentives would push up operational costs for the organisations concerned and hence, they would also push up the cost of programme implementation and impede the service provision to the grassroots, especially women and children who are often not able to access critical Government services.

Mr Speaker, it was contended that the Government should have instead worked on strengthening the tax management mechanism in order to prevent any abuse of these exemptions. The stakeholders submitted that there was a need for further debate on tax matters in a more consultative manner. The creation of a broader tax base should be the ultimate goal and this should be focused on all sectors. For example, submissions were made on the need to review the tax holidays provided to multi-national corporations, especially those operating in the mining sector. The stakeholders, therefore, submitted that it was not fair for the Government to affect this measure while allowing multi-national companies to enjoy substantial incentives that facilitated abnormal profits which they repatriated to their countries of origin.

Mr Speaker, during its meeting with the Acting Secretary to the Treasury, your Committee heard that prior to the promulgation of the SI, the Government had been losing significant amounts of revenue without commensurate benefits in terms of services to the poor by the concerned organisations. He added that the Government was currently reviewing all the tax incentives and those that were expiring were not being renewed in a bid to increase the domestic revenue yield. The taxes collected from these efforts would not only contribute to sustainable economic growth, but would also be channeled towards the social protection budget which had so far been increased considerably in order to improve direct service provision by the Government. He further stated that the Government was specifically reviewing mining sector taxation in order to make some necessary improvements to the fiscal landscape in that regard. He further explained that the genuine public organisations could still access remissions and rebates on customs duty under the provisions of Regulations 88 and 89 of SI No. 54 of 2000. However, these regulations required that such a public benefit organisation must enter into an agreement with the hon. Minister of Finance in which agreement the public benefit organisation would disclose the nature of its operations, services it offered to the public and the geographical spread of its operations. The agreement would also enable the hon. Minister to monitor the operations of the public benefit organisation in order to ensure that all public benefit organisations who enjoyed the remission and rebates actually provided the services that they claimed to be providing in the agreement. He added that the Government favoured this arrangement because it enabled the Government to know which areas required Government services more than others, and which areas were being serviced by the public benefit organisations. This arrangement also facilitated planning and resource mobilisation by the Government. He called upon all genuine and well- meaning public benefit organisations to take advantage of the tax relief provided under SI No. 54 of 2000. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the amendment is a fair measure in light of the challenges faced by the Government in the implementation of the public benefit organisation tax relief scheme. Your Committee further notes that genuine public benefit organisations can still enjoy tax relief under the provisions of SI No. 54 of 2000, and that they should be encouraged to take advantage of those provisions in order to continue providing the needed services to the public in a cost-effective manner. This notwithstanding, your Committee notes that there is a need for the Government and the Ministry of Finance in particular, to be consultative in the manner that they promulgate legislation, and to clearly explain such policy shifts to the public in a timely manner to avoid misunderstandings.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, may I take this opportunity to call upon the Government to take keen interest in the findings and recommendations as contained in your Committee’s report so that appropriate action is taken on these matters in the interest of the development of our country.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I wish to extend the gratitude of your Committee to you for your guidance throughout the session. Further gratitude goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the support rendered to your Committee in the work. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and provided information to us without which your Committee’s report would not have been complete.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mutale: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion, let me begin by paying tribute to the mover of the Motion, your Committee’s Chairperson for the competent manner in which she steered the work of your Committee throughout the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Mr Speaker, I now wish to draw the attention of the House to the few pertinent issues which your Committee encountered during its work. 

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mutale: Mr Speaker, in relation to Statutory Instrument No. 18 of 2013, the Zambia National Service (Combat Uniform) Regulations, 2013, your Committee notes that the Statutory Instrument (SI) which has been issued is in line with the provisions of Section 50 National Service Act, Chapter 121 of the Laws of Zambia. However, your Committee notes that the old combat uniform is still in use and recommends that the hon. Minister of Defence ensures that the SI is implemented and the old uniform is completely withdrawn.

Sir, another important issue that your Committee came across in the course of its work was Statutory Instrument No. 57 of 2013: The Information and Communication Technologies (Access) Regulations. Your Committee notes that this measure creates a regulatory framework which will ensure that the incidents of the unnecessary duplications of telecommunications infrastructure is minimised or completely eliminated so that economic advantages derived from the sharing of facilities are harnessed for the overall benefit of information and communication technologies (ICT) stakeholders. Further, this framework will enable the Government to promote competition through equal access granted to the installations and facilities of operators on mutually agreed terms. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee feels that this measure is well intended in that the Government seeks to enhance access to telecommunication services countrywide by facilitating the provision of these services in un-served and underserviced areas. However, your Committee notes that Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) may face challenges in enforcing this SI, particularly since some mobile operators have sold their infrastructure to third parties who are not regulated by ZICTA under the Act for the purpose of access, interconnection and co-location, while others are in the process of doing so.

Sir, in order to foster the success of the infrastructure sharing process, your Committee, therefore, recommends that ZICTA increases its involvement in the process of infrastructure development. It is prudent for the ICT regulator to consider coming up with a regulatory framework that will bring all those who own ICT infrastructure under its regulation in order to facilitate the enforcement of the SI. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee also considered Statutory Instrument No. 14 of 2013: The Juveniles (Approved School Establishment) Notice. Your Committee is happy to note that Insakwe Probation Hostel, which has faced challenges in its operations as it only accommodated probation offenders, has since been declared an approved school. Previously, the Insakwe Probation Hostel could, by law, only admit female juvenile offenders with a probation order from the courts. In this regard, it has been difficult to accommodate female probationers at the Insakwe Probation Hostel because the institution was not gazetted as a Government institution providing probation services. As a result, the courts would order the female juveniles to undergo community service rehabilitation despite the gravity of the offence due to a lack of an institution that could accommodate such juveniles. 

Sir, the significance of this SI is that having been changed into an approved school, the institution will be utilised to full capacity to provide correctional services such as counselling, skills training and formal education to enhance social developments not only for female probationers, but to all female juvenile offenders as approved in Section 75 of the Juveniles Act, Chapter 53 of the Laws of Zambia.

Mr Speaker, further, since female juvenile offenders are usually the most vulnerable to abuse, the establishment of this approved school for female offenders will provide special treatment and care relevant to their sex. It is hoped that this SI will facilitate the provision of the improved correctional services to female juvenile offenders and consequently foster a reduction in juvenile delinquency. 

Mr Speaker, as regards to SI No. 51, which is aimed at reducing the excise duty on clear beer made from cassava, your Committee learnt that there is currently no institution or company engaged in the production of clear beer from cassava. It came to the attention of your Committee that this measure has been taken following the presentation by one large clear beer producer which had indicated that it intended to commence production of clear beer from cassava. 

Sir, according to officials from the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, this company is in the process of organising itself and was, by the end of 2014, anticipated to commence the production of clear beer from cassava.

Mr Speaker, in light of the foregoing, your Committee is concerned over the fact that the Government could introduce such a measure at the behest of a single operator, who is not even ready to commence production, and for the benefit of a single product. Your Committee further notes that this SI appears to ignore the other cassava products which can enhance the cassava value chain if properly harnessed and supported. 

Sir, your Committee recommends that the reach of the SI be broadened to cover other cassava products such as inter alia, bread, biscuits, glue and industrial starch. This should be done through a transparent and consultative process spearheaded by the Government. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee visited Sub-Sahara Gemstone Exchange (SGE), Chambishi Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ) and Lumwana MFEZ pursuant to SI No. 94 of 2013. Your Committee noted with concern that while the MFEZs could be the hub around which Zambia’s manufacturing industry could be built as they would bring international expertise and experience for the development of the sector, the investors in the MFEZs had some challenges in attracting investors to set up in the MFEZs. Happily, however, many of these challenges could be resolved by the Government.

For example, your Committee was informed that the intention behind the creation of the Ndola Industrial Park was to create a ‘Gem City’ which would encompass the full gemstone value chain from polishing and cutting to jewelry manufacturing as well as to providing a platform for local gemstone product trading. 

Sir, however, your Committee learnt that it appears that there had been a policy shift on this matter as some equipment procured for gemstone processing had since been removed from the industrial park by private operators who were supposed to run the gemstone processing operation, hence the ambitious gemstone exchange project had stalled and local gemstone trading was being undertaken in Lusaka. In any case, the promoters of the industrial park were trying to set up an oil refinery with a 1,800 km pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola. As this was envisaged to be a crude oil refinery, it was expected to create both primary and secondary industries which would ultimately create about 18,000 jobs from construction to operation phases and lead to the development of the multiplicity of related upstream and downstream industries. 

Sir, your Committee notes the ambitious plans of the promoters of the projects envisaged in the Industrial Park. Your Committee recommends that the Government should take keen interest in the operations of the industrial park and render necessary support to the projects therein, in the interest of national development. For example, rather than a multiplicity of ministries dealing with various applications by the developers, an inter-ministerial committee could be set up to deal with various issues simultaneously and expeditiously. 

Sir, during the visit to the Chambishi MFEZ, your Committee learnt that over the last six years, some considerable progress had been made, but much more still needed to be done. The MFEZ had forty-two companies on its register, but only twenty-eight were operational. Of the twenty-eight companies that were operational, some of them, such as the banks did not hold MFEZ certificates, but could still operate with MFEZ incentives. According to the developers of this MFEZ, there was need for stability in Government policy and legislation governing the MFEZs because frequent changes tended to undermine the international marketing efforts and ultimately, investors’ confidence. There was also a need for enhanced Government support to the operators in the MFEZ. For example, currently, there was an issue whereby the Chambishi and Kalulushi local authorities were demanding …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mutale: … huge sums in property rates from the developers of the MFEZ. The operators of the MFEZ recognised that these demands were included in the law, but felt that the developers’ investment should be taken into consideration, especially that there was a need for the promoters of the MFEZ to realise a return on their investment. In this vein, it was highlighted that the MFEZ had invested heavily in the provision of certain utilities such as water and roads. These costs should ideally have been borne by the Government and the local authorities. There was also a call for the revision of the qualifications for incentives in the MFEZ in order to encourage even smaller investors who did not necessarily qualify under the currently legislation to set up and operate in the MFEZ.

Sir, your Committee notes the concerns by the developers and calls upon the Ministry of Local Government and Housing to assist in resolving the issue of property rates in the MFEZ. Your Committee also agrees with the developers as regards to the need for stability in the policy and legislative framework governing the MFEZs and implores the Government to take serious note of this concern as it undertakes policy and legislative reviews. Your Committee further, calls upon the Government to consider revising the US$500,000 investment threshold for qualification of the MFEZ incentives downwards.

Mr Speaker, your Committee met the representatives of Lumwana Property Development Company (LPDC) which is the licence holder for the Lumwana MFEZ. During the interaction, your Committee learnt that the MFEZ licence was obtained by the initial shareholders of Lumwana Mine known as Equinox. Following the acquisition of Equinox’s shareholding in Lumwana Mine by Barrick Gold, the new shareholders had different views, particularly with regard to the physical location of the MFEZ within the mine area. The land on which the MFEZ sat was held under title by Lumwana Mine. This had, therefore, posed a challenge in the sense that most investors who wished to invest in the MFEZ were unwilling to commit huge finances without security of tenure to the land. Additionally, Barrick Gold was also not keen to have other big manufacturing operations within the mining area as it would further complicate the security arrangements in the mine areas and perhaps raise issues regarding the usage of utilities such as water and electricity. As a result of this apparent deadlock, there had been no progress in terms of the flow of investment into the MFEZ.

Your Committee was, however, happy to note that the development of Lumwana Integrated Development Plan (IDP) by the Government through the local authority had offered a resolution to the problem of developing a manufacturing hub in the areas as a considerate piece of land had been reserved for the MFEZ. This land was outside the Lumwana Mine area, but still close enough to the mine to encourage the growth of a manufacturing industry related to the mine’s operations. The representatives of the LPDC stated that there were a lot of smaller investors who had expressed interest in investing in the MFEZ, but they could not meet the US$500,000 threshold which is prescribed under the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) Act. It stated that while the reasoning behind the threshold was well understood, there was a need to revise it in  light of the need to attract more investors to enter the MFEZ.

Sir, your Committee commends the Government for quickly taking the initiative to create another MFEZ in the immediate vicinity of the Lumwana Mine in order to promote economic growth and emancipation of the people of the area. Your Committee calls for expeditious processing of all issues relating to the IDP so that the investments can begin to flow into Lumwana area via the MFEZ.

Mr Speaker, your Committee undertook visits to some Shoprite stores in the quest of following up on the implementation of Statutory Instrument No. 47 of 2012. 


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Mutale: Sir, during the tour, your Committee also met the hon. Minister of Labour and Social Security to seek further clarity as regards the compliance levels of Shoprite Zambia with this SI. 

Mr Speaker, in this regard, I beg to second.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I will be very brief in my submissions in support of the Report by the Committee of Delegated Legislation that was ably moved by Hon. Lubezhi and seconded by Hon. Mutale. In my debate, I would like to express my disappointment pertaining to the conduct of the Government vis-à-vis, the gallant son of the soil, Mr Henry Kanyanta Sosala. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, this eminent son of the soil has suffered double tragedy at the hands of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Mr Sosala, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Sosala the King!

Mr Mwiimbu: … the King of the Bemba Kingdom, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … is being punished by the PF Government for no fault of his own. According to the report of your Commitee, the omission pertaining to his recognition was occasioned by the Government, deliberately for that matter. The omission was made by the Office of the Vice-President whom they are saying had no power at the time to recognise the traditional leader. We have been informed that the due process of installing this particular Chief was followed, but the omission was on the part of the Government. Why punish the Chief who did not offend the Government in any way?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, just pause for a moment.

 You are disturbing him. He does not need any help. Like your colleagues on the right, you should just listen. There is no need for those running commentaries. Those who will make the next attempt to engage in that practice are scheduled to leave immediately.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I am saying that the due processes of installation and selection were followed by BashiLubemba. That point has been ignored by the Government. 

Mr Miyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, as a result of an error of omission by the Government, they decided to dethrone him as if he is the one who made a mistake.

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for granting me this point of order. I stand to be corrected. I listened very attentively to the presentation by the mover of the Motion, the hon. Member of Parliament for Namwala. I think the omission which she talked about regarding Senior Chief Mwamba was based on the fact that his appointment was signed by the Vice-President instead of the President contrary to the provisions of the law. Is the hon. Member debating in order then to shift the blame onto this Government when this is an historical issue which the Movement for Multi-party for Democracy (MMD) left?

Hon. MMD Members: Question!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, is he in order to debate in that fashion?

Hon. MMD Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, the problem is that you are debating through that point of order. Secondly, as is the practice always, I will give you an opportunity to respond. So, if you need to clarify these issues, please, take note of them as they are being raised. I always discourage point of order which are aimed at debating or forestalling debate by another colleague. Yes, indeed, understandably, some debates may not be accurate. However, that is why we are here to debate. So, if you feel there is a misrepresentation or some inaccurate assertion of whatever nature, I will give you the right opportunity to respond.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, what I know in this country is that there is a Government in place at every given time and that Government is not named by a party or after a party. The Government belongs to the Zambian people. I am saying that the Zambian Government then made an omission … 

Mr Miyanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … by recognising Senior Chief Mwamba through the Vice-President. I am stating that the PF Government should have made a correction rather than withdrawing the recognition after five years of Senior Chief Mwamba having been on the throne. I am saying that it was not his fault. It was the fault of the Government. To add salt to injury, the dethroned Senior Chief Mwamba who has been installed by the BashiLubemba as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu has not been recognised by the Government implying that he is a nonentity when he has rights which should be protected by the Government. If they did not want him to be the Paramount Chief, why did they also remove his recognition as Senior Chief Mwamba? They are punishing an individual twice for an offence which he has not committed against the Government. In all the two situations, the traditions of the Bemba people had been dully followed. Why have such vindictiveness against this senior citizen of the Republic of Zambia?  

Mr Speaker, I would like to implore the Government to redress the situation involving Senior Chief Sosala who is now the Paramount Chief of the Bembas. He has not offended anybody. We should not take personal issues into the public domain. If they have issues, they should sort them out with the ones who installed him and not himself as an individual. I hope that the Government has listened and will redress the situation.

Sir, the other SI that I would like to briefly comment on is the one to do with the councillors’ allowances. I appreciate the fact that the Government has increased the allowances for councillors in our various jurisdictions. However, it should take note of the point that most of the councils have failed to honour these allowances due to financial constraints. I am appealing to the Government to provide the requisite funds in order for councils in various districts to honour these allowances. We should not be seen to be mocking our councillors who are working hard on our behalf when we are here. Most of the councillors in various councils have had no privilege of being paid these allowances. I appeal to the Government to provide funding to councils for the purpose of paying the councillors. With those few remarks, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to provide my support to the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to support the Motion. Firstly, I would like to commend the Chairperson of the Committee and seconder for presenting the report in a well-articulated manner. Statutory Instruments are delegated laws which the hon. Ministers use quite often which are only referred to Parliament when they are in effect. So, what has come out of your report is quite interesting. When the issue of the Paramount Chief of the Bembas came up to this House, there were no clear reasons as to why he was removed from his position. We were told that there were no minutes regarding his installation. We are now being told that the reason he was removed as Senior Chief Mwamba is because he was recognised by the Vice-President.  Honestly, if someone had to be in the shoes of Senior Chief Mwamba, he/she would also not know that it is wrong to be recognised by the Vice-President. Since the Patriotic Front (PF) had seen it right to correct the situation, I was of the opinion that it would do the right thing. Now that the chief has been installed by the BashiLubemba, the Government should do the right thing and recognise him. 

Mr Speaker, we met this same Paramount Chief extensively campaigning for the PF when he was Senior Chief Mwamba …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Muntanga: … before it came into Government. 

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Kalomo Central, please, sit down for a moment. 


Mr Speaker: We are debating the report on delegated legislation here and not individuals in the fashion you are proceeding. That is the first point. 

Secondly, the hon. Member for Monze Central addressed that issue at length. You know that one of our rules of debate is avoidance of repetition. I mentioned yesterday that when debating, try to bring a fresh perspective to any debate as opposed to being repetitious. If not for our rules, we could go on debating this issue the whole night. 

You may continue. 

Mr Muntanga: I thank you, Sir. I cherish your advice about not being repetitious because there is too much repetition in this House. 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, I want to implore the Government to consult before effecting various Statutory Instruments (SIs). Some of these instruments have become a source of embarrassment for the Government because one day, they are issued and the next, they are withdrawn because people have argued and challenged it about non-consultation. 

Sir, these delegated legislative powers given to hon. Ministers should not be abused. When you effect a particular SI, it becomes law. There are so many pieces of legislation, through SIs, that are not actually applicable. They have not been applied because either they are inconsistent with the existing law or something wrong has been done. 

Sir, with your kind statement, I can debate throughout the night.

Laughter {mospagebreak}

Mr Muntanga: Sir, it is an on-going concern that the recognition of another chief will be withdrawn by the Government if we do not control the way we issue these SIs. I want to appeal to the Government to, for once, do the correct thing. It should give us confidence that what it comes up with, without Parliament’s involvement, covers the concerns of everybody. 

Recently, Sir, there was an SI concerning the externalisation of the United States of American Dollar. There were contradictions and debates about it here. At the end of the day, the President had to intervene and withdraw that instrument. I wonder how they come up with the SIs. Do they even consult each other within Cabinet? Surely, does it have to take the intervention of the Head of State for an SI to be cancelled? This shows that as long as hon. Ministers do not want to take a certain direction, they will continue to effect laws which are not in the best interest of the country. 

Sir, we still have other pieces of legislation such as the SI 33 which has given us problems. All we are saying is that delegated legislation should be utilised properly. Some of them are not even brought up when they are required. For example, there is the Tobacco Levy Act which has become defunct. The hon. Minister has been asked to put in place an SI to increase the tax charged on tobacco by the farmers and still, there is nothing to that effect. There is just an understanding to charge them 1 per cent of what they make. There is no law to back this up. So, if farmers tomorrow organise themselves and refuse to pay, do not say that they have been organised by Hon. Muntanga. 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, we have kept on requesting for this particular payment to be backed by the law. I am aware of the hon. Minister’s problem. He cannot put such an SI in place because there is a standing Act of Parliament which must be repealed. The Act states that Tobacco Levy shall be charged in a way that is unpractical. I am now appealing to the hon. Minister to do the correct thing. The Act must be repealed and an SI put in place so that various charges match up to the required law. If we use that SIs properly, we can properly govern the country.  

Sir, the SIs which your able Chairperson of your Committee mentioned give us good reading of how we can abuse the law. I want to appeal to the Government to do the correct thing. It should rule this country based on the Ten Commandments. 


Mr Muntanga: Sir, I want the Government to do the right thing so that it will not be judged harshly using the same Ten Commandments as a result of devilish actions. That will not be proper. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

The Minister of Home Affairs (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond on behalf of the Executive. From the outset, I wish to pay tribute to your Committee, so ably chaired by Hon. Lubezhi, for a very incisive report that this august House is considering this evening. 

Sir, let me also commend all the hon. Members that have contributed to the Motion on the Floor. I am sure that those hon. Members in the House who read your Committee’s report will have noted that out of all the 114 SIs that your Committee scrutinised, almost all of them were found by your Committee to have been issued in accordance with the relevant enabling legislation. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Sir, in fact, Paragraph 4 of Standing Order No. 154, which sets out the functions of your Committee, states that if after scrutiny of a particular SI your Committee forms an opinion that the particular SI should be revoked, wholly or in part, your Committee can so recommend that to this august House. 

Mr Speaker, I am happy to note that there is no such recommendation to revoke any SI in this report. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, Hear!

Dr Simbyakula: None at all. 

Sir, this compliance with the law is not by accident. Unlike in some other jurisdictions, all SIs in Zambia, regardless of the initiating line ministry are finalised and drafted by highly qualified lawyers in the Office of the Attorney-General, known as the Parliamentary Legal Counsel. These lawyers painstakingly scrutinise each and every SI to ensure that the powers to make such subsidiary legislation, as delegated by Parliament, through various enabling pieces of legislation, are properly exercised by those persons or authorities who have been so delegated to do so.  

Mr Speaker, be that as it may,  as a Government, we have duly taken note of the observations and recommendations made by your Committee and the hon. Members who have debated on the Motion with respect to the implementation of the SIs.

Sir, we will take the recommendations and observations into account as we go about implementing the SIs in order to serve our masters who are the Zambian people who put us into our positions.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank all those who debated audibly and inaudibly in support of our report. I would also like to thank all the Committee members for the support they gave me during my tenure of office as a Chairperson, including the staff from the Clerk’s Office.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


(Debate resumed)

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you yet again for giving me the opportunity to continue with my debate that commenced yesterday.

Sir, please, allow me to take this opportunity to apologise to my sister, Hon. Sara Sayifwanda … 


Mr Lufuma: … regarding an exclamation I used which in the local language basically means happiness. 

Ms Sayifwanda indicated assent.

Mr Speaker: Order! 

Before you continue, I would like to commend you for that very honourable gesture.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: You are making an apology at your own behest.

 You may continue, please.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: I am most obliged, and I thank you for that commendation.

Mr Speaker, I want to say that I definitely agree with most of the findings of your Committee. However, there is a small caveat regarding the recommendations which I want to put on record pertaining to the introduction of the local language curriculum and the zoning that follows to operationalise the concept or the policy.

 Mr Speaker, just like I said yesterday, allow me to take the debates of Hon. Hamududu and Hon. Mucheleka as my own. I disagree with the introduction of local languages in our curriculum and the zoning thereof, pertaining to Zambezi District.

Sir, why you might ask? Basically, my reasons are premised on the historical facts in this particular district. If you all recall, this district has been dogged with a lot of tribal strife and friction from time immemorial. Actually, from the time of the settlement of the Lunda and Luvale, coming from Congo through Angola to Zambezi itself, there has been conflict after conflict premised basically on tribal lines. This was not helped by the introduction or the coming in of the colonial masters whose political economy encouraged the divide and rule sort of policy that they projected. That was exemplified by the introduction or the naming of that upper Zambezi region into what was called Baluvale District. You can imagine what attrition this caused in this area because it was singling out one tribe in so naming the area. That was one of the ways which was used by the colonial master to divide and rule the people in the area.

Sir, it was followed up in 1948 by the introduction of primary education which was sponsored by the Colonial Government which insisted that the pupils in the schools be taught in the local language and the zoning thereof was carried out. Therefore, the zoning between the Lunda and the Luvale areas was implemented then. This act, in 1949 culminated into widespread violence so much that there was a lot of burning of houses, crops, assault and hunger followed because of colonial masters. This continued and moved to great heights in terms of friction between the two languages in question, that is, Lunda and Luvale.

  Sir, in 1994, the District Commissioner (DC), because the situation went out of hand, declared a state of emergency and this was only resolved with the understanding that Luvale and Lunda were the two languages that would be used in these primary schools. That is how the issue of zoning was resolved. Surprisingly, in 2014, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education came up with the same policy which was instituted by our colonial masters. This is the exact policy that we are bringing back, and the people of Zambezi have already gone through the problems it brought up. Now, we can only imagine what will happen because history is there and it should teach us. We should look back and know that if we introduced this same system, the end results would be disastrous. There may be butchering of people in that area. So, it requires that this Government handles this issue carefully. It is imperative that we, as politicians and the Government, handle this issue with care, lest we be accused of encouraging the same conflicts that the colonial masters encouraged at that time, which had devastating effects on the welfare of the people including the economy.

Mr Speaker, the question is whether this is what we want to get from the introduction of this policy. The answer is no, and because it is no, the current President His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, in his wisdom, actually directed the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education to introduce a dual language system in Zambezi District. This directive should be supported. President Sata has been around since the colonial days. He has been in United National Independence Party (UNIP), Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) and now he is in the Patriotic Front (PF). He knows it all. He knows what effect this type of policy can have on the people of Zambezi.

Sir, with that directive, neither the Luvale nor the Lunda will be disadvantaged, and this is what we want in this country. We do not want conflict. This is a Solomon type of wisdom. This Solomon type of wisdom must be supported by all peace-loving Zambians. Notwithstanding this, the zonal demarcation that we are encouraging as a policy and a language only serves, in my opinion, to enhance regionalism, tribalism and unnecessary and unsolicited conflict. Therefore, it is inimical to the general welfare of the people of Zambezi. So, because it is inimical, it is, in my opinion, a policy that has been misconceived and will be misapplied. It is archaic, outdated, highly divisive and is anchored on feudalism.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, certainly, because of all these factors, it is inimical and an antidote to the economic development of this area. As leaders, we need policies that foster unity, peace and harmony. However, this policy is far from doing that. If we do not put in place policies that promote peace and unity, we risk having a similar position or condition that pertains to or that happened in Rwanda where the Hutus and Tutsis were at each other’s throats. There are many more examples. If you go to Iraq right now, there is a tribal war between the Sunni and the Shiites. In the Sudan, the same thing is happening as well as in Ukraine. So, it is incumbent upon this Government, individuals and leaders, whether circular or religious, to carefully ensure that policies that we put in place are those that encourage peace and unity.

Sir, if this is so difficult for this Government to implement, we might as well consider simply using English in our schools, which is a common denominator and nobody will complain. In Tanzania, the common denominator, although some people might think it is a vernacular language, is Swahili. It is not owned by any of the tribes, and this is what fosters harmony and unity. I beg this PF Government to, please, consider the proposal or implement the directive that has been given by the President because it is in the best interest of all.

Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Dr Phiri): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity you have given me to contribute to the Motion. First of all, allow me to record my appreciation for the comprehensive and thought-provoking report on education, science and technology which your able Committee, that you appointed on 26th September, 2013, has presented to this Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly. I thank the Committee that was ably chaired by Hon. Dr Kalila for the hard work.

Mr Speaker, the report has come up with a number of observations and recommendations which the ministry has appreciated and which my two Permanent Secretaries are studying and will respond to in detail, and give the response to the Committee at a later stage.

Sir, allow me to emphasise, though, that this report looked at the structure of the Zambian education system as regards the shift from the basic high school arrangement to the primary/secondary schools system. It also looked at the opportunities and challenges that the change may have created and what ought to be done. This being quite a comprehensive paper, I can only say that it is better understood if it is read comprehensively and digested so that the thrust of the paper’s content will be more focused. Discussing issues in isolation may not be ideal and I want to assure the Committee that we greatly value this document.

Mr Speaker, there are a few immediate observations that I want to parade, and it is very important that I do so. Firstly, I wish to take this opportunity to inform the House that the work to review the 2011 Education Act as well as the 1996 National Policy on Education started in 2012 and has reached an advanced stage. The report has indicated that due to the absence of policy, there may have been some confusion on the implementation modalities, especially the shift in the structure of the education system. Yes, confusions may surface, but it has been forestalled because the ministry in collaboration with its stakeholders and partners adopted the National Implementation Framework (NIF) for the education sector for the period 2011 to 2015. 

Sir, though this is not enough, it is a strategy which articulates how the transformation of the education system is being handled. So, we are not completely doing things haphazardly. Let me remind the House, as the hon. Member of Parliament for Kaputa did, that both mission and private schools defied the 1996 Policy as well as the 2011 Education Act without being penalised.

Secondly, let me report that there was a discrepancy between the school curriculum and the teacher training curriculum, when I launched the new school curriculum in January, 2014. A plan on its implementation has been adopted since then and rolled out to all schools. Simultaneously the teacher training curriculum has been reviewed.

Sir, thirdly, there is likely to be no confusion in the setting of examinations and certification of candidates in the two-tier system, which is the main thrust of the new curriculum. The two-tier system, meaning academic and vocational pathways due to the existence of different examination bodies, the Examination Council of Zambia (ECZ) and Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA). This is unlikely to create any confusion. Both the ECZ and TEVETA fall under my ministry. There is now harmony in terms of planning, examining and certifying under the two-tier system.

Sir, I appreciate the findings of the Committee during its tours of schools and the recommendations it has made on the need to improve infrastructure in schools. Indeed, infrastructure remains an area targeted by the ministry and with the Committee’s support, we will continue to lobby for more resources for infrastructure development in our education system.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members may want to know that there is an urgent need for us to resolve the access challenges at secondary school level. The number of children not accessing Grade 8 and 10 places in our schools is very worrying. After our indabas in the provinces, it became apparent that we need to have an out-of-the-box thinking arrangement. This is why the ministry wanted to create the 220 secondary schools by upgrading strategically located basic schools. This is all meant to increase enrolment at the Grade 8 and 10 secondary school levels. 

Sir, the budgeted for funds will go straight to the Provincial Education Officers (PEOs) and District Education Board Secretaries (DEBS). I implore the hon. Members to use their status to supervise this rescue operation for our boys and girls who ordinarily would not have had access to school. The numbers are large; 174,000 at Grade 9 do not go anywhere and 23,000 at Grade 7 do not access Grade 8. This is a very worrying situation which the ministry has to attend to.

Mr Speaker, let me dispel the notions presented by some hon. Members of Parliament who debated on this report with regard to the language of instruction from Grade 1 to 4. You will recall that I gave an elaborate ministerial statement on this issue. I had hoped that the statement which I made would be read and analysed. 

Unfortunately, in this House, I have heard that the whole issue of language of instruction is nothing, but a scheme driven by His Excellency the President to impose a super language on Zambia. I have also heard that this new scheme is not working and, therefore, teachers are upset about it and want English to come back. Let me remind this House why a local language of instruction in Grade 1 up to 4 has been preferred. In doing this, let me ooze the expertise of Dr Matafwali of the University of Zambia (UNZA) who stated:

“The new language policy where the local language is promoted in the first four years of schooling is timely for Zambia. This is a progressive pedagogical move. Learning in the local language provides a language buffer which acts as a tool kit upon which children rely on to benefit from classroom instructions. However, there is a need to consider introducing more local languages in the curriculum as this will provide many children an opportunity to be taught in a familiar language. There is also a need to invest in the production of teaching and learning materials in the local languages and in the training of teachers.”

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Dr Phiri: Sir, I cannot concur with her more. This is the direction that the ministry is taking. Teachers have been trained and teaching and learning materials have been and are being produced by the once defunct Zambia Education Publishing House (ZEPH), now a vibrant printer of all our textbooks from Grade 1 to 4. In the process, this institution has made money once again and jobs have been created. I urge hon. Members of Parliament to visit its production centre. 

Mr Speaker, I want to commend the reconciliatory spirit between the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo West and Hon. Sayifwanda, the Zambezi East hon. Member of Parliament. Let it spread because it is the only way out of this limbo. I urge hon. Members of Parliament …

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Dr Phiri: Hon. Muntanga, you will be happy to listen to this.

Sir, I urge hon. Members of Parliament not to use the Zambezi District language wrangle as an example of failure by the Government on language policy. This is a unique and very isolated language wrangle between two ethnic groups in one district. I am grateful to hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo West for his presentation. Let me also pay tribute to Hon. Sayifwanda for her role in all this. Without discussing the details, because the details as you have heard are contained in the Presidential directive and I cannot defy my own President, but what I must say is that I regret that at the time Hon. Nkombo asked a question regarding the language policy on the Floor of this House, I was out of the country.

Mr Nkombo: Gallivanting.

Dr Phiri: Sir, my technocrats prepared a report which was read by hon. Deputy Minister L. P. Ngoma here, which completely ignored the letter from the President. Had I been here, I would have said that. I hope hon. Members understand that there is a historical background for the Zambezi District language wrangle and one cannot reach any suitable solution …

Rev. Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: On a point of order, Sir.


Dr Phiri: I am closing this, naiwe mudala, iwe.


Dr Phiri: Iwe, nkala pansi. Reverend?


Dr Phiri: Mr Speaker, I was begging this House to give us an opportunity in Government. I have reconstituted the District Education Board for Zambezi. It is with this board that we would like to work out a way forward, which will not disadvantage anybody at all. I can only state that after I meet this board, I will tell the nation through this august House the direction that we must take. I vow to handle this matter amicably, knowing that this is a serious situation which we hope all stakeholders in the district will help us resolve.

Mr Speaker, a more robust analysis from the ministry, as I indicated, will be given to your Committee on all the matters raised. Once again, I thank the Committee for the report and all hon. Members of Parliament who debated in support of it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank most sincerely all hon. Members of Parliament that have taken a keen interest in the very important Motion which we have been debating. In concluding, I would also like to urge the Government not to take a defensive position on this matter which, as you have seen, is not only emotive, but also has the potential to throw our education sector into disarray. I also want to thank you, Mr Speaker, and the staff from the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for assisting the Committee in its work. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


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

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1943 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 4th July, 2014.