Debates - Wednesday, 2nd July, 2014

Printer Friendly and PDF


Wednesday, 2nd July, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





539. Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a)    when the construction of Mukuba Mall in Kitwe would be completed;

(b)    what the total cost of the project was;

(c)    who the contractor for the project was;
(d)    how many jobs had been created during the construction process; and

(e)    how many jobs would be created when the mall was opened.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Unfortunately, the Question has lapsed.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Next Question. Hon. Member for Lubansenshi.

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, Question Number 540.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Mwila: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mucheleka: Ulimwaume, iwe.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of Parliament, we spend time researching for Questions so that the people who voted for us know that we are representing them.

Mr Speaker, the Government has not given a position on the Question which has been raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa in that the hon. Ministers who are supposed to answer the Question are not in the House.

Mr Speaker, I need your guidance on whether the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry is in order not to be in the House so that he can respond …

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwila: … to the Question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa. I need your very serious ruling on this matter.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga entered the Assembly Chamber.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

The Question has lapsed.

Mr Speaker: Order!

It is, indeed, correct that all the Questions are firstly asked in a representative capacity on behalf of your constituents on one hand and, on the other hand, they are also meant to hold the Government to account. Above all, the sittings are scheduled. We all know what time the meeting begins and when it ends. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that all of us, without exception, from the Hon. Mr Speaker down to the hon. Members of Parliament, come to the   House on time. We must be very religious about this. At least, I am. It is especially displeasing when the colleagues on the right are not able to respond when they have a number of options. Firstly, in any given ministry, there is the Cabinet Minister who is assisted by the Deputies. Assuming, for some reason, that the Cabinet Minister and the Deputies are not available, the convention also allows His Honour the Vice-President and any other hon. Minister to step-in in order to ensure that the Business of the House is not disrupted. To conclude, the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry was, of course, not in order not to be available at the time the Question was called. However, I do note that he is now in the House and I hope that he can, firstly, furnish the House with an explanation for his absence and, secondly, proceed to respond to the Question.

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, firstly, let me apologise most sincerely …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

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

Mr Speaker, yesterday, Hon. Livune found himself in a similar situation …

Mr Livune: And I was just here.

Mr Mwiimbu: … here. You allowed his Question to lapse, but he attempted to ask it later when you duly advised that you could not revisit your decision on account of procedure.

Mr Speaker, I know that this is a difficult situation for you. Will it now be procedural for you to rescind decisions which you have made on the Floor of this House, considering that those who have allowed the Question to lapse are supposed to be culpable? If there is another way of ensuring that corrective measures are taken, would it be prudent to postpone this Question to another day and not allow a situation where we are caught up in a procedural problem?

Mr Speaker: Order!

I hope my memory is not failing me, but I normally trust my memory, and I have trusted it for a long time.


Mr Speaker: I did not say anything about the hon. Member for Katombola yesterday. If you wish, you can take recourse to the verbatim record. I did not say anything. Yes, he walked in late. There were some murmurs in the House, but there was no indication. So, I went on with the business. I did not say anything.

So, the assertion by the hon. Member for Monze Central is not truthful. If I decided, as you are suggesting, on the basis of parity, that this Question should not be answered because the hon. Member for Katombola was late, he entered the Assembly Chamber, made some non-verbal communication, and the business continued. I think, in that regard, the people of Kamfinsa are the ones who will suffer the consequences.

In my ruling, I have invited the hon. Minister to furnish the House with an explanation. I think, occasioned, perhaps, by my training, having found myself in this state, and given the fact that Questions are directed at the Government, and that there is an investment made in responding to the Questions, I would like the hon. Minister to explain why we have found ourselves in this unfortunate situation. I think I deserve an explanation; the House deserves an explanation; and the people of Zambia deserve an explanation. 

This Question could easily be supplied in the Hansard. However, this would deprive you, especially the hon. Member for Kamfinsa, an opportunity to hold the Government to account. You see, if there are two wrongs, as the case seems to be, I do not think we should balance the scale on the basis that the two wrongs should be maintained even. 

That is my ruling in response to the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central, and I will still proceed to get an explanation from the hon. Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry. He should explain to me why we have found ourselves in this embarrassing state of affairs.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, firstly, let me unreservedly apologise to the Chair and the House for my late arrival in the House. Ordinarily, as the Chair is aware, the normal procedure is that the hon. Deputy Ministers respond to Questions. I was officiating at another Government function on the African Economic Report. This is what has led to my late arrival in the House.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Minister, please, take your seat. Before the hon. Minister proceeds any further, I would like to place it on record, and for the information of the House, that after yesterday’s proceedings, the hon. Member for Katombola was actually advised that the answer to his Question would be supplied to him, and that he would be entitled to ask a supplementary question to His Honour the Vice-President on Friday. That was communicated to the hon. Member for Katombola lest, as insinuated, I am accused of being partial in favour of one side of the House. This may not be known to you, but that is the fact of the matter. If you wish, you can consult the hon. Member for Katombola. 

Let us look at the justice of the matter. These Questions are elicited at a cost. Ultimately, the beneficiaries are the people of Zambia. However, it beholds on all of us. There are many of you who come in late and, worst still, leave before the appointed time. By the time we are through with our business this evening, many of you will not be here.

Hon. Opposition Members: We know them.

Mr Speaker: I do not want to belabour this point. We must all be disciplined. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.

May the hon. Minister continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, once again, let me tender my apology to the House. I will now respond to the Question by Hon. Chishimba, Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa.

Sir, Mukuba Mall is a private sector development which, at the time of initiation, was to build a 26,000 m³ mall which was due for completion in April, 2014. However, because of the demand from retailers, such as Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Edgars, for an increase in the size of their stores, the plans had to be revised and are now set at area size of 32,000 m³. The construction is scheduled to be completed a year later, in April, 2015.

Mr Speaker, the initial cost for the project was estimated at US$30 million. However, due to the increase in the size of the initial plan of the mall which was to be constructed, the estimated cost has now risen to US$60 million. 

Sir, the main contractor is a Zambian company called Thor Development Limited. The contractor has pledged to employ 1,500 Zambians in the construction phase. The project’s private promoters have pledged to employ an estimated 500 Zambians in permanent jobs upon completion of the construction of the mall. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, procedurally, Question 539 had lapsed and we moved to Question 540. Hon. Mucheleka stood to ask Question 540, but the House went back to Question 539. 

Sir, are we, as a House, procedurally, in order to start with Question 539, which lapsed, go to Question 540 and then back to Question 539? Are we in order, Sir? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Section Chairman.


Mr Speaker: Order!

I made my position clear in the ruling. On a balance, hon. Member for Lukulu West, and for the reasons that I have given, I would rather we go to Question 539 and, thereafter, proceed to Question 540. That is how we are going to proceed. Just like I explained, I went out of my way to indicate the special dispensation we have made for the hon. Member for Katombola. Let us face this, hon. Members, we are here, first and foremost, to serve the people of Zambia. In addition, I am responsible for the proceedings here. So, that is the way we are going to proceed. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, … 

Dr Kaingu rose. 

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing any further points of order until we have exhausted the Question. 

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, what is the Government policy on encouraging the setting up of manufacturing companies and supporting the existing ones that can start offering goods and services to the malls being constructed countrywide?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, that is not related to the main Question. However, I will provide a response. 

Sir, one of the concerns of the ministry has been the level of offtake of the local producers and the supermarkets, especially those operating in the malls and those that have got chain stores. In this regard, we are collaborating with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) which has a special unit which is promoting the production and offtake of local products and supermarkets. 

Mr Speaker, I will give an example of a case which might clarify issues for the hon. Member of Parliament for Kamfinsa which involved baby napkins. When one of the local producers had difficulties dealing with that matter, they came to our office and we allowed the ZDA to facilitate for that particular situation. However, we are also aware that there are other products, at the moment, which are being imported which could be obtained locally. We are in the process of identifying companies that are able to produce and supply to the supermarkets. So, we shall connect the private sector producers in the country to the supermarkets. 

Sir, in fact, a meeting is scheduled in my office next week to deal with this matter. All the operators in the malls have been invited to this meeting, and we shall let the House know what the outcome of that meeting will be in due course. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the shopping mall that is being constructed in Kitwe is expected to benefit the Zambian people. However, only foreigners can afford the rentals at the malls because they are beyond the capacity of most Zambian business people. Is there anything being done to ensure that Zambian business people are also be able to rent the shops when the mall has been finally completed? 

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, this has been acknowledged. One of the challenges of a free market economy is that the people who invest in the construction of malls expect a return on their investment. We do not have the policy of Government control on rentals at the moment. Therefore, people conduct business at the malls on the basis of their assessment of the business viability and exposure of their products. 

Sir, this is a matter that has been raised with my office several times. Indigenous Zambians have complained about the high rentals. However, when we have had meetings to discuss this matter, the property developers have said that they expect a return on their investment within a given period. Therefore, we are not in a position to dictate the rentals. Suffice it to say that we need a lot more malls to be developed because, then, there will be more space for local business people, particularly in the less expensive malls. Shopping malls like Manda Hill and Arcades, for example, are more expensive than Crossroads. In fact, as indicated in the answer, the amount to be spent on the construction of the mall will double. This means that those that have sought to occupy more space at the mall will have to pay more than the others. It is a problem that we shall attend to when the time comes. I have just highlighted the challenges that we have been faced with in dealing with this matter. 

I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    what challenges the Government had encountered in implementing the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign; and 

(b)    how the motor vehicles bought by the Government for the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign were being utilised.  

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kufuna): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House as follows:

(a)    currently, most local authorities do not have the capacity to sustain the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign; 

(b)    the lack of resources has hampered the smooth implementation of the campaign;
(c)     the use of inappropriate technology has been a challenge in this campaign; and

(d)    the negative attitude by the public over solid waste disposal has also been a challenge in this campaign.

Mr Speaker, in addressing this issue, my ministry, through the Department of Housing and Infrastructure Development (DHID), has established a Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) to give local authorities policy guidance on matters of solid waste collection.

Currently, the ministry is encouraging local authorities to work with key stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the private sector, through public awareness, to deal with the issue of garbage collection and general cleanliness of surroundings. 

Sir, most local authorities complained that the motor vehicles purchased for this purpose were not appropriate for waste collection. In the last one-and-a-half years, the Government has procured appropriate refuse collection trucks. The ministry has bought six refuse compactors and four skip loader trucks for refuse collection. The ministry has also bought 100 skip bins.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the answer …

Dr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, to avoid a similar precarious situation … 


Dr Kaingu: Where is this static noise coming from?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Mwandi, I have given you the Floor so that you can address me. Instead, you have elected to address a different audience altogether. 

Mr Livune: They are disturbing him, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Even if they are disturbing him, it is not his business to deal with them.


Mr Speaker: You may continue, hon. Member.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I am grateful.

Sir, to avoid a precarious situation like the one that happened a while ago, is it in order for this House to commence business without the presence of the Leader of Government Business in the House or without our knowing who the Leader of Government Business in the House is? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.


Mr Speaker: Order!

We normally get communication from the Office of His Honour the Vice-President whenever he is not able to attend to the Business of the House and, whenever he delegates his function as Leader of Government Business in the House to an hon. Minister, that communication is made to us. When I receive that communication, I invariably make an announcement to that effect. I mentioned earlier on that we should not belabour this issue. We are all required to be here throughout the proceedings. The proceedings begin at 1430 hours, and you are expected to be here before 1430 hours until the end of business. Today, the business is ending at 1915 hours.

If you want us to adopt a system where we are all present right through, let us debate that. We have an appropriate organ in place to take care of that, and that is the Standing Orders Committee. I can put a Motion to that effect. We can put that on the agenda so that we discuss it. You have got your representatives. I mentioned earlier on that as much as we are making these Points of Order, if we take a census at the end of our business today and the statistics will be different. I see these things every single day. Some hon. Members are notorious for that. Let us not dwell on that issue. Again, for the sake of economy of time, I will not entertain any further point of order on this subject and its entire complexion. Just in case you would like to pursue this line of debate, I will not respond to that point of order because we are not using the taxpayers’ money properly by dwelling on this issue. We are using taxpayers’ money as we sit here. Therefore, we must be serious about that. 

The hon. Member for Lubansenshi may continue.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister blamed the Zambian people over the issue of street vending and garbage disposal in Lusaka City as well as other towns. I would like him to clarify if it is actually the Patriotic Front (PF) Government that has encouraged street vending and the lack of proper garbage disposal. How does he reconcile the statement he made relating to the bad attitude of the Zambian people when it is the PF Government that has failed to clean up our cities and towns?

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, as the PF Government, we are not encouraging street vending or littering in the cities. Instead, we are looking for a consultant to work on the policy of solid waste collection since we have already worked on the Water and Sanitation Policy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, on a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am grateful to you for allowing me to raise this very important point of order which, to me, I feel is at the centre of the breach of the Constitution. 
Sir, Article 1(3) of the Constitution of this Republic reminds us as follows:

“This Constitution is the supreme law of Zambia and if any other law is inconsistent with     this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be void.”

Further, Sir, Article 1(4) states that:

“This Constitution shall bind all persons in the Republic of Zambia and all Legislative, Executive and Judicial organs of the State at all levels.”

Mr Speaker, I am also aware that under the Doctrine of the Separation of Powers, there is limited and permissible interference from one arm of the Government to the other, hence my point of order.

Sir, in November, last year, three parliamentary constituency seats, namely Malambo, Petauke and Mulobezi were nullified. I would like to invite the House to Article 67(1) of the Constitution which addresses the vacancy of the Office of an hon. Member of Parliament as follows:

“When a vacancy occurs in the seat of a member of the National Assembly as a result of death or resignation of the member or by virtue of Article 71, – which I shall not endeavour to read now assuming that all hon. Members have read the Constitution – a by-election shall be held within ninety days after the occurrence of the vacancy.”

Sir, it is clear that these three seats that I mentioned earlier, including many others that have been nullified after the three seats have had their constituents disadvantaged in that they have been deprived of representation owing to the fact that certain subsidiary laws in the Electoral Act, which is subservient to the Constitution, may have been breached.

Mr Speaker, in Article 71 of the Constitution, there are provisions that disqualify one from running a parliamentary candidate. When I interrogated all these Articles, I did not see any that could have warranted the nullification of the seats that I have mentioned, inter alia, Zambezi West, Vubwi, Solwezi Central, Kasenengwa and Mkushi South. In view of this, is the Executive, who I know for a fact has had a hand in delaying the by-elections by their application … 

Hon. Government Members: Question.

Mr Nkombo: ... to be joined …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo: … in the High Court case that will determine the fate of the seats? It is on record that Hon. Kabimba, SC., applied to be joined in a matter that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) was sued. Is the Executive, together with the Judiciary, in order to breach the Constitution with impunity by not allowing the by-elections to take place within the prescribed time of ninety days from the time the seats were declared vacant?

Mr Speaker, I seek your impartial ruling on this matter like you always conduct your business.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Speaker: Well, I think you have rightly prefaced your point of order by acknowledging that the constitutional democracy that we practice also imports the Doctrine of Separation of Powers. I agree with you that each branch is assigned separate principal functions by the Constitution. The principal function of the legislature, for instance, is to legislate, approve the Budget and, also, internally, for the left to hold the right to account. The matter that you have referred to, to a very large extent, falls within the purview of the Judicial Branch of the Government.

Your argument or submission is that, perhaps, when you consider Article 71 of the Constitution, there is no basis upon which the matters that you have referred to can be properly canvassed. Let me also take judicial notice of the fact that as the law prescribes, this matter was originated in the High Court. You are also right to the extent that you have stated that the Secretary-General of the Patriotic Front (PF) joined the proceedings and there was a ruling that was issued by the High Court on that score. 

However, at the end of the day, it is also a notorious fact that this matter has found its way into the Supreme Court where it is reposed at the moment. There are men and women there who are trained and employed to adjudicate. Again, on the basis of the doctrine that you have referred to, it would be highly improper for me, even if I wore the other cap that I wear as a Judge, to start making pronouncements on those questions. I cannot do that. I cannot do that even if I am in this Chair of Speaker in this branch of the Government.

 Now, whatever the motivation was for the Secretary-General of the PF to join the proceedings, quite frankly, it is not for me to comment on, whether proper or otherwise. So, the net effect of my ruling is that I have no jurisdiction, as Speaker, to adjudicate, least pronounce, on those questions. They are technical questions, but that is not my business. It is not my constitutional business, if I may qualify that. 

The law is there, but it is not for me to pronounce on. I defined the parameters in my previous ruling. For avoidance of doubt, I said that we need to respect these roles when it comes to interpretation. I cannot make a ruling because if I did, I would be interfering with the work of that branch of the Government. 

Therefore, the only thing we can do is wait and hope that sooner rather that later the other branch of the Government, the Judiciary, will provide guidance on these questions. This matter is in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. I do appreciate, as Head of this Branch of the Government, the implication of these cases but, quite frankly, I am as helpless as the hon. Member for Mazabuka Central. 

That is my ruling. 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah! 

Shame on you.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Chadiza, you may continue. 

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I want to put it on record that the Ministry of Local Government and Housing has a very good Minister. Hon. Minister, you are very good because you do not come late to the House and allow questions to lapse. 


Mr Mbewe: You are a good hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister what the appropriate vehicles for garbage collection are, when they will be bought and whether they will be distributed to all the districts in the country.

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, the appropriate vehicles are compactors and skip loaders which we have already started buying. So far, we have bought ten which have already been distributed to some of the councils. This is an on-going programme. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker (speaking in a hoarse voice), I unreservedly apologise for my bad voice. 


Hon. Members: Why?

Mr Katambo: Sir, the hon. Minister said that the Government had no capacity to implement the “Keep Zambia Clean Campaign and Healthy” Campaign and that the public’s negative attitude towards cleanliness had also contributed to this. 

The then Local Government and Housing Minister, Hon. Prof. Luo, had said that those buying from street vendors would be charged a certain fee. How much money has been raised from that exercise to enable the Government to capacitate local councils …

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Katambo: … so that they can implement the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign?

Mr Speaker: Your colleague has a bad voice. So, let him finish his question. Sympathise with him. Hon. Minister, you may respond. 


Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, we are not charging any fee at the moment. All we are doing is sensitising the community about the importance of keeping our environment clean. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister …

Mr Mtolo: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I actually rise on a point of procedure. 

Mr Speaker, I sat here and listened to your able ruling. I feel more hopeless than I did before you made your ruling. 


Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out whether it is procedural for us to sit here, as one arm of the Government, and continue with our business when your hon. Members are being ‘depleted’ by another arm of the Government, which is not following the Constitution, as ably elucidated.  

Is it procedural for us to continue sitting in this manner when hon. Members are getting ‘depleted’ one by one, resulting in them feeling ‘hopelessness’? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mtolo: Sir, I am terribly stressed and need your serious guidance on this procedure. Where do we run to as Members of Parliament if the Judiciary and the Executive are busy harassing us? 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Quite frankly, all those questions that you have raised have already been covered by the ruling. Just take time and go through the transcript when it is ready. I think that I have made myself clear. I am unable to make myself clearer than that. 

Hon. Member for Chipili, you may continue.  

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether the ministry has taken any steps to find out how many vehicles are working at the moment. 

Mr Kufuna: Mr Speaker, I think that the hon. Member is referring to the vehicles for the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign. There are some vehicles that are being used as utility vehicles in some of the councils and for solid waste removal in other councils. However, I do not know the exact number.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, it is said that cleanliness is next to godliness. In his response, the hon. Minister indicated that one of the challenges this programme is faced with is the lack of resources. 

Mr Speaker, the “Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy” Campaign was mainstreamed, meaning that every sector ministry, Government department, the private sector and individual households were expected to budget for and implement this programme on its own. What is the ministry doing to ensure that sector ministries and Government departments budget for this programme on their own so that the problem of resources does not arise?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Chenda): Mr Speaker, our duty is to sensitise members of the public and lobby for their support in keeping the environment clean. As for the respective ministries, I think that it is up to them to ensure that they make budgetary provisions to keep their environments clean and hygienic.

We do not have the capacity to instruct ministries, the private sector or individual households to comply with our desires. Our duty is to highlight the dangers of keeping our environment unclean and unhygienic, and this is what we are doing.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, we have heard that the vehicles that were bought …


Mr Kapyanga: … were not appropriate.  

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised (assumming Hon. Kapyanga had risen on a point of order). 


Mr Kapyanga: I am sorry, Sir. Question No. 541.


Mr Speaker: Wow! 

I was taken aback. 



541. Mr Kapyanga asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a)    when Mpima Prisons Primary School would be electrified considering that the school was very close to the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) power lines;

(b)    what had caused the delay in electrifying the school; and

(c)    what measures the Government had put in place to ensure that all schools countrywide were electrified to enable them to introduce computer lessons in line with the new school curriculum.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that the school got a quotation from ZESCO last year, amounting to K86,935,67.


Mr Speaker: Order, both on the left and right! 

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I will repeat my response.

Sir, I wish to inform the House that the school got a quotation from ZESCO last year, amounting to K86,935.67. It has also been reported that the school has submitted for Constituency Development Fund (CDF) funding to electrify the school.

Sir, the delay in electrifying Mpima Prisons Primary School has been caused by budgetary constraints. 

Mr Speaker, the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has been supporting the grid extensions and installation of solar panels at some of the schools that are not electrified.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Livune: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, my point of order is motivated by the behaviour of our colleagues on your right.

Sir, when Hon. Mtolo raised a point of order on our colleagues who are not in the House for reasons best known to those responsible, especially the Executive and Judiciary, there was jubilation on your right. This is the behaviour of people who belong to two organs of the State. In the morning, they are in the Executive, which is responsible for inflicting pain on your hon. Members who are absent in this House and, in the evening, they come here and pretend they are with us.


Mr Livune: Mr Speaker, are the hon. Members on your right in order to celebrate the absence of your hon. Members who are not in this House as a result of the by-elections which cannot be conducted? I need your serious ruling.

Mr Speaker: Order!

My short ruling is that, maybe, I am not very perceptive but, quite frankly, I did not see any celebration or jubilation. 

Let us continue with our business.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Science, Vocational Training and Early Education talked about REA being involved in the electrification of schools. I would like to find out whether the ministry is aware that in certain instances, REA has reduced the scope of work and left out some schools which are supposed to be electrified and are on the same line where the grid is. Why are some schools being skipped? Is the hon. Minister aware that such things are happening? If the ministry is aware, what is it doing to ensure that the schools that are within a distance of 100 m from the grid are connected?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for the information that the hon. Member has provided. As a ministry, we will be consulting REA to chart the way forward.

 I thank you, Sir.


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

(a)    when the Government would construct staff houses at Mufuli-Wa-Njamba Rural Health Post in Kabompo West Parliamentary Constituency which was constructed by co-operating partners; and

(b)    why it had taken long for the Government to construct the houses.

The Deputy Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Mrs Mpande): Mr Speaker, I wish to inform the House that Mufuli-Wa-Njamba Health Post was constructed by the Presbyterian Church, and the scope of work included the construction of a health post and one staff house. The project was handed over to the Government in 2012. However, the staff house that was part of the project collapsed.

In 2013, the Kabompo Community District Health Office engaged the same church organisation to assist in building another house and the Church showed willingness to support the works, but it has not committed any resources to the project yet.

Early in 2014, the Community District Health Office engaged the local community leadership over the same and a formal request was made to Kabompo District Council to consider this project in the 2014 CDF. However, the local authority has indicated that the project will be considered in the 2015 CDF Plan.

Mr Speaker, to ensure that this structure is constructed, the Ministry of Health shall consider the construction of housing at Mufuli-Wa-Njamba Health Post in the 2015 Health Infrastructure Operation Plan to mitigate any possible failure by the two stakeholders referred to.

Sir, the Government is committed to improving the housing situation at Mufuli-Wa-Njamba Health Post and, with resources permitting, the construction of staff houses will be undertaken in the 2015 Health Infrastructure Operation Plan.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I would like to appreciate the answer that has been given by the hon. Minister. However, I must say that this health post has been in existence for a long time. Accordingly, as area Member of Parliament, I had a tête-à-tête with the concerned church. The Church informed me that they had a cordial attente with the Government that would take up the challenge to build the staff house. I am, therefore, wondering why it has taken long for the Government to take affirmative action.

The Minister of Community Development, Mother and Child Health (Dr Katema): Mr Speaker, as the hon. Deputy Minister has highlighted, in the first instance, the Church had undertaken to do the construction. It was only after the Government saw that there had been delays in the commitment of funds by the co-operating partners that it undertook to put the construction of the house in the 2015 CDF Budget, which the council has agreed to, or is putting it in the plan for the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, the church is the co-operating partner in the construction of this structure which it handed over to the Government. The area hon. Member of Parliament is saying that there is a requirement to build this house using the CDF which has not been released yet. Is the plan to build this house in the 2015 Infrastructure Development Plan or not?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, I mentioned that it is in the strategic plan so that if it cannot be constructed using the CDF, then, it will still be constructed using the Government funding through the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Lubinda: Aah!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I am raising this point of order procedurally. Yesterday, the hon. Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development, in response to Question No. 536, clearly stated as follows:

“Mr Speaker, ZESCO Limited had a challenge with the supply of materials and spares such as poles and other overhead line construction materials. However, a solution to these challenges has been found. The utility has signed annual running contracts with suppliers to ensure a steady flow of materials. Currently, 300 poles have been delivered to Kalabo and 200 more poles are to be delivered in the course of the year.”

Mr Speaker, there is only one Kalabo ...


Mr Miyutu: … District, one of whose constituencies I represent. So, I believe that this is the only Kalabo I know of. Based on that, is the hon. Minister in order to tell this House that 300 poles have been delivered to Kalabo when only 120 poles have been delivered? He knows that the question has not been effectively answered and the problem has not been solved. Is he in order to give this House an incorrect answer?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kalabo Central, the problem is that you are drawing us back to yesterday. I have ruled before on when points of order of that sort ought to be made. I suspect that you may have gathered this information after the proceedings yesterday. Of course, there are other ways of following up such state of affairs, including by filing in another question. You file in another question and I have said we will speedily process it as an urgent question so that these issues are clarified. I think I have explained the logic of this. This information is from ZESCO. Assuming the information that the ministry got was also wrong, in light of what you have said, they would also need time to go back to ZESCO and verify by saying, “You supplied us this information, but the hon. Member for Kalabo Central is saying this and the other.” 

Beyond this, I have repeatedly urged you to engage with the Executive. You are partners in development. So, do not fear these offices. You can walk there and say, “this is the information you gave me yesterday, but this is the information I have just received from the constituency, can we reconcile the two pieces of information?” 

Which way do you expect the Speaker to make a ruling?


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

Mr Lubinda: Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that all the hon. Members of this House use the CDF where they know that the Government may not necessarily have the capacity. In this case, where the hon. Minister has indicated that the construction at Kabompo Hospital or Clinic is on the plan for 2015 for the ministry, and given the fact that the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo West has a lot of respect and regard for the hon. Minister who has made that undertaking, would the hon. Minister not simply say to him that they must not bother about planning for the CDF to be utilised for that project because it will be undertaken by the Government in 2015. This way, the CDF would then be used for other areas of need for the people of Kabompo West.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, it is not as if there was no house at the health post. The house was there except that it collapsed. The local people saw it fit to quickly replace the building. That was the reason they approached the council, through the District Community Health Office, to advance it some money through the CDF. However, I have mentioned that whichever comes first, there is no harm in the hon. Member of Parliament building a house using the CDF or through the ministry. This is only one house and there are a lot of workers who will require houses at the health post. So, I have made an undertaking to put it in the plan. However, if at all you require another house, you can go ahead and build it.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, in his response, the hon. Minister said that the community had approached the council to advance it some money. According to my financial understanding, the word advance means the money will be reimbursed. Is the hon. Minister, then, telling us that the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health will reimburse the money if the hon. Member of Parliament uses the CDF?

Dr Katema: Mr Speaker, the community requested for some money to build the house. I would like to advise the hon. Member who asked the question that not all of us here are accountants and so we all cannot use financial terminology. If I use medical terminology, she might also not understand it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.



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

(a)    how many schools in Kaputa District would be upgraded from primary to secondary school;

(b)    whether there was any primary school in the Kaputa Central Business District that would be upgraded to a secondary school; and

(c)    if not, whether the Government would consider upgrading one of the schools in the area to a secondary school.

 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, there are three primary schools that will be upgraded into secondary schools in Kaputa, namely Kalaba, Kasepa and Kasongole. There is no school that has been upgraded or is being upgraded for now in the Central Business District of Kaputa because, at the moment, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education is building Kaputa Boarding Secondary School which is nearing completion. Earlier this year, the hon. Minister, Dr John Phiri, visited the school to partially open it. So, at least, that location has been catered for. 

The District Education Board Secretary (DEBS), in consultation with other stakeholders, will make an assessment as to whether it would be appropriate to open another school within the Central Business District of Kaputa. I would like to encourage the hon. Member of Parliament to consult with the DEBS Office in Kaputa.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali: Why is Kaputa Boarding Secondary School partially opened? What does this actually mean? Is there no danger to the students who go to the school while the construction is going on?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in my earlier response, I said that there is Kaputa Boarding Secondary School which is nearing completion. There are some structures there like classrooms which are completed and the local leadership requested the ministry to grant the school authority to start using the classrooms. That is what I meant by the school being partially opened.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, what is the specific time frame for the upgrading of the three primary schools into secondary schools?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as hon. Members of your august House are aware, the upgrading or transformation of the primary schools into day secondary schools has been budgeted for in 2014. Therefore, our expectation is that when the money is released by the Ministry of Finance, the targets that were set in terms of additional structures at the schools to be upgraded are for this year. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, in his own wisdom, does the hon. Minister find the upgrading of schools better than building new ones? I think this is now disadvantaging the primary school pupils. So, does he think it is appropriate to take that route?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in my view, it is an appropriate policy direction and I am sure the hon. Minister will refer to this later today when we consider the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology. 

However, I would like to tell Hon. Mbewe that this system has helped many children who were not able to access our secondary sub-sector wherever we have travelled. Recently, I was in Shang’ombo and the nearest school in the area is 192 km away. Consequently, many of the children are not able to access the school. Ever since we opened Shang’ombo Day Secondary School and Natukoma Secondary School, the children in Shang’ombo are able to access secondary school education. 

So, it is the right policy direction. As long as we are able to build additional structures, we are not going to displace any children. Even the hon. Minister here has said that the transformation process is going to be phased.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House urges the Government to immediately take measures to halt the cutting down of the mukula and other tree species which are threatened with extinction.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, firstly, please, allow me to highlight the importance of trees, which we all know, to be the wellbeing of communities and people in general. For many years, trees have furnished us with many of life’s essentials, namely food and oxygen. They have also provided additional necessities such as shelter, medicine and tools. Their value has continued to increase and more of their benefits are being discovered as their role expands to satisfy the needs created by our modern lifestyles. Some of the values of trees include the following:

Community and Social Value

Mr Speaker, trees are an important part of every community. Our streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined up with trees that create a peaceful and pleasing environment. Trees increase the quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings. We gather under the cool shade that they provide during outdoor activities with family and friends. Many neighbourhoods also have old trees that serve as historic landmarks and are a pride to the town. Using trees in cities to deflect the sunlight reduces the heat island effect caused by pavements and commercial buildings. 

Ecological and Environmental Value

Sir, animals get a lot of benefits from trees. Many animals eat leaves for nourishment. Flowers are also eaten by various animals while nectar is a favourite of birds, bats and many insects. Animals also eat much of the same fruit that we enjoy. This process helps disperse seeds over long distances.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, furthermore, hundreds of living creatures call trees their home. 

Commercial Value

Mr Speaker, trees have supported and sustained life throughout mankind’s existence. They have a wide variety of practical and commercial uses. Wood was the first fuel and is still used for cooking and heating by about half of the world’s population. Trees provide timber for construction, furniture manufacturing, tools, sporting equipment and thousands of household items. Wood pulp is also used to make paper.

Mr Speaker, the importance of trees and their conservation cannot be over emphasised. The indiscriminate cutting down of trees, including trees which are threatened with extinction, is of great concern not only to Rufunsa District, but also the rest of the country. About seventy per cent of the charcoal used in Lusaka comes from Rufunsa. Each day, we see over twenty trucks loaded with charcoal entering Lusaka.

Sir, there are different species and uses of trees. As such, the type of a tree determines its use. Thus one such tree that stands out as the most prized shrub due to its medicinal properties and multi-purpose use in the timber industry is the mukula tree which is found in seven provinces of Zambia, namely Luapula, Northern, Muchinga, Eastern, Lusaka, Central and Southern provinces. It is restricted to hilly escarpment areas such as Muchinga and the Zambezi Escarpment.

Mr Speaker, the established uses of the mukula tree include the following: 

(a)    production of:

(i)    high value furniture;
(ii)    high value ornaments and curios;
(iii)    high grade parquet;
(iv)    dark red or maroon dyes;

(b)     several medicinal uses; and

(c)    cultural use as a facial powder.
Mr Speaker, in terms of the values of the exports, the mukula tree was less known before 2013. As such, its export value is yet to be established. However, going by its demand, the country is losing a lot of money through uncontrolled harvesting. I know that it has joined the other many trees being exported all over the world. 

Mr Speaker, timber from Zambia is exported to a number of countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), People’s Republic of China, South Africa, Namibia and many others. 

Mr Speaker, in terms of the policy on the production of endangered tree species, the Forest Act Cap 199 Part 4 Section 25 of the Laws of Zambia requires the hon. Minister to declare any tree a protected tree. 

Mr Speaker, despite these legal provisions by the Government, many parts of the country continue to experience massive tree cutting which has got dire consequences on the environment and economy. What is worrying is that villagers are cutting even the small trees. This means that sooner or later, most species of trees will be extinct. For instance, recently, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, tried to intervene in this matter in Rufunsa but, unfortunately, she faced resistance from those who are involved in the business of cutting and selling trees. Some of the logs that were impounded and put in the custody of the Zambia Police went missing the following morning.

Mr Speaker, allow me to mention that there are a number of factors that have exacerbated the indiscriminate cutting of the mukula and other species of trees around the country, some of which are as follows:

(i)    the abolition of forest rangers and guards which has lead to the shortage of human resource for the Forestry Department to adequately police the gazetted forests.

Mr Speaker, following the Public Sector reform Programme of 1997, several key divisions in the department were abolished including the phasing out of the position of forest ranger and forest guard. This cadre of officers was critical in the enforcement of the Forest Act; and

(ii)    the weak policy and legal framework – the Forests Act of 1973 was repealed and replaced with the Forests Act of 1999 which, unfortunately, has never been operationalised. One of the key features of the 1999 Forests Act was the transformation of the Forestry Department into the Zambia Forestry Commission. Currently, the forestry sector is still operating under the 1973 Forests Act. 

Mr Speaker, it is important, therefore, to note that the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection informed the House on 25th June, 2014 that a new legal framework that cures the deficiencies of the 1973 Act and non-operationalisation of the 1999 Forests Act would be brought to the House this year. The House was further informed that one of the expected outcomes of the review of the Acts is the enhanced human capacity to monitor and regulate the forestry sector and enable the country to maximise the benefits of this important resource.

Mr Speaker, this is a welcome pronouncement but, in view of the many assurances the PF Government has made, matched with very little action, the protection of endangered species of trees cannot be guaranteed. There still exists many loopholes within the system as evidenced by the massive cutting down of trees around the country. If this is not checked sooner or later, the country stands to lose immensely.

Mr Speaker, the important decision in our country should be based on the careful cost and benefit analysis of options. This should apply even to the abundant forests that we have. The value of trees and plants in urban centres is often overlooked. This is despite the fact that trees are significant and are increasingly a valued asset of the environment. Scientists have measured the tremendous returns that trees provide for people in communities. Therefore, adequate resources for both planning and management of a green Zambia is necessary if our country wishes to optimise the value and benefits of our trees. We cannot, however, benefit from the trees that we possess with the current policies and laws. 

Mr Speaker, if we do not curb the massive cutting down of the mukula tree and other species, the country might witness mass killings of our people by those in desperate need of this tree. The country might further witness massive destruction of the forest which, ultimately, will affect the wellbeing of our people as all life depends on trees.

Furthermore, Sir, tree cutting has become a very dangerous exercise for those involved. Workers have to move heavy weights and use tools such as axes, coupled with uneven and, sometimes, steep or unstable terrain. This poses a great risk to the people as it sometimes results in injury and death. 

Mr Speaker, only this morning, we were burying a young man in Rufunsa District who died yesterday after falling off a moving IFA truck. A number of deaths that are reported in Rufunsa are associated with tree cutting.

Sir, I, therefore, urge the Government to move in and halt the cutting down of the mukula and other trees that are threatened with extinction. In fact, the Government must stop issuing licences and declare this scourge a national disaster.

Mr Speaker, to halt this exercise, the Government must consider the use of the army and not the police.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mr Mutelo: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to second the Motion on preserving endangered tree species.

Sir, allow me, in the first instance, to thank the mover of the Motion, Hon. Kenneth Chipungu, Member of Parliament for Rufunsa Constituency, for ably moving this non-controversial Motion. It is non-controversial because forestry is of importance to the nation and its benefit to the people cuts across generations. When one tree is cut down today, the negative impact is not only on the present generation, but the future generation as well. 

Mr Speaker, it is estimated that Zambia is losing 250,000 to 300,000 hectares of forest per year. This is out of the approximated total of 50 million hectares of forest that the country has. This scenario tells us that …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I ‘were’ saying that …

Hon. Members: ‘I were’?


Mr Mutelo: … this scenario, that is, at the  rate we are losing trees, tells us that in about 160 years from now, there will be no forest in Zambia at the rate we are losing trees. What this means is that the benefits we are deriving from the forests today will be no more. 

Sir, just imagine the following:

(i)    no meaningful agriculture due to soil erosion and, therefore, no food;


Hon. Government Member: Question.

Mr Mutelo: You may question now because there are forests. Let the forests go, and there will be no food.

(ii)    very poor rainfall pattern, meaning that there will be no food security since we are largely dependent on rain-fed agriculture;

(iii)    no more natural habitat since all wild trees will be gone and the survival of wild animals will be almost impossible;

(iv)    all the carbon that is trapped in the forest and the forest soils will be gone and the oxidation of this carbon shall yield a huge quantity of carbon dioxide which will be added to the atmosphere, leading to further global warming; and
(v)    most of the trees that are of economic, social and environmental value will be no more. 

Sir, there are many tree species in Zambia which are of economic, social and environmental significance. One of them is the mukula found in about seven provinces as ably indicated by the mover of the Motion. Others include the mukwa, ndale, the African blackwood, the Zambezi teak, muzauli or rosewood.

Mr Speaker, these trees are on high demand in other countries. As a result, a number of foreign nationals in Zambia have joined hands with some people to indiscriminately cut down the trees for both legal and illegal export to the countries in need. What is disheartening is that these people will go to any length to make sure that they get the trees they want and do not care whether the trees will be there tomorrow or not. On the other hand, our Government does not seem to care much about what is happening.

Hon. Government Members: Question.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, let me reiterate that God has given us plenty of natural resources, trees included, and we have the responsibility to protect them. We have, however, allowed our natural resources to be taken to enrich others while we wallow in abject poverty either due to a lack of knowledge, bad laws or being shortsighted. 

Therefore, Sir, this Motion is meant to enlighten us and save not only the endangered trees or natural resources, but also us, the owners. We have all the brains in various fields. We have scientists, engineers, doctors, researchers, lawyers, Judges, to mention but a few, but why do we suffer? The answer is simple. It is because we are enemies of ourselves and our natural resources. The day that these natural resources will all go to the foreigners, is the day that we will remember them.

Mr Speaker, it is the duty of this House to ensure that when the Executive seems to be falling short of what is expected of it, …

Mr Mwaliteta: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mutelo: … it is duly reminded and urged to take appropriate measures. This is why we have brought this Motion to the House, urging the Patriotic Front Government to take measures to halt the cutting down of tree species that are threatened with extinction with immediate effect. God has endowed this country with a lot of natural resources, but we are allowing foreigners and selfish individuals to deplete them at will. Lifa zaluna zaicelwa kimaiba a nakayembe.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, that means that our wealth is being ‘eaten’ by those who are not the owners, the maiba a nakayembe.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, what will become of our grandchildren and the generations to come if we do not act decisively? I think that the time to act is now.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, as I second this non-controversial Motion, allow me to say that Zambians are the owners of all the natural resources in this country. They own all the trees and natural resources within the boundary of their land. As their representatives, we should make sure that whatever benefits are derived from the trees, trickle down to all Zambians regardless of their tribe. We cannot sit here idly and watch selfish individuals enrich themselves out of our God-given natural resources. 

This Motion, Sir, urges the Government to halt the cutting down of tree species with immediate effect. This will save our lives and roads. There are truckloads of rosewood passing through the Katunda/Lukulu Road. The foreigners cut down our trees and damage our roads, leaving us impoverished. Our wellbeing and the potential of being exporters depend on our natural resources. All that we need to do is add value to the natural resources. As I second this non-controversial Motion, I urge the Government to immediately halt the cutting down of trees that are being depleted.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the mover of the Motion and the seconder for ably seconding the Motion. 

Mr Speaker, I would also like to thank you for allowing this very important Motion which borders on our environment. 

Mr Speaker, the importance of this Motion cannot be overemphasised. In supporting the Motion, may I remind this House about the need to ensure that our laws, which have not been reviewed for a long time, are reviewed so that we can be in tandem with international standards when it comes to environmental protection.

Mr Speaker, I think that the laws or Acts that pertain to forestry, land and other natural resources need to be overhauled so that we can protect our natural resources. The investors that are coming to harvest our trees are doing so because our laws are not able to control some of them and they are doing as they want. 
Mr Speaker, there is also indiscriminate cutting down of essential tree species in Senanga. Rosewood, for instance, is being cut down even in villages. Therefore, the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should ensure that this Motion is supported so that we stop the indiscriminate cutting down of trees. 

Sir, in the past, we used to see the indiscriminate cutting down of trees in forests but, now, people are cutting trees on the roadside and even in villages. This shows that the law is unable to stop this vice. This Motion is important because it will help protect the environment since the system has collapsed and we need to start all over again. 

Mr Speaker, a lot of attention has been paid to animals. Unlike trees, I think animals have gotten their fair share of attention. It is important to understand that some of the trees that are being cut indiscriminately such as the teak, rosewood and other species require a specific process for them to germinate. Research has indicated that elephants are supposed to be involved for teak to grow. However, I do not see some of these trees lasting, seeing as the population of elephants is decreasing. Elephants used to move freely … 

Mr Mwaliteta: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Speaker, it is on record that a chief ran away because of the issue of the mukula tree and some people are appearing before the courts of law because of the efforts the Government is making to prevent the cutting down of the mukula tree. 

Sir, is the mover of the Motion in order to bring this Motion when the Government is doing everything possible to prevent the cutting down of the mukula trees? I need your serious ruling. 


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left! 

There is only one Speaker. There would be chaos if there was more than one Speaker.

Are you through? 

Mr Mwaliteta: Yes, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Well, the point of order is misplaced. I indicated that sooner than later, I will allow the right to respond, and it is at that opportunity that you will debate. You do not debate through a point of order. That is trite. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Member for Senanga may continue.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, this Motion is very important because it borders on issues of life and death. So, people must take it seriously because the environment is affected and we might end up having famines like we have seen in other countries. 

Sir, I was talking about the role elephants play in the growth of some trees. The absence of elephants in certain areas … 


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Mufalali: … will affect the propagation of some trees. Some trees are where they are because of elephants. The seeds of the trees had to pass through the elephants for them to germinate. 

Mr Speaker, the loss of 250 to 300 hectares of land per year is something that should cause concern to any right thinking citizen. The loss of 300 hectares … 

Hon. Opposition Member: 300,000.

Mr Mufalali: … 300,000 hectares of forest being lost every year is a very serious matter. The hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection should support this Motion and ensure that we have a policy that will help us protect our environment. 

Mr Speaker, we must put proper structures in place. Our governance system allowed chiefs and headmen to be involved in the protection of the environment. However, the statements being made by some of our leaders need to be corrected. If the role of headmen and chiefs is undermined, then, we will not make progress regarding the indiscriminate cutting down of trees. 

Sir, if an Acting President can say that the chiefs have no right to land … 

Mr Speaker: Order!

You know that it is an established practice that we do not debate ourselves. Confine yourself to the policy issues, measures and so on and so forth. 

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, I was saying that the policy should be clear and we should not undermine the role of chiefs, headmen and all the other people involved in ensuring that our environment is protected. Some of the statements that have been made by certain political leaders are discouraging because we need to protect our traditional leaders and ensure that they play a role in the governance system of our natural resources. 

Sir, there is a need to ensure that policies that protect the environment are put in place and the laws that have been obsolete some of which have not been reviewed or repealed for the past twenty years are revisited. We should also ensure that the trained forest rangers that were laid off are reinstated and that we have a mechanism of replacing the tress that we cut down. 

Mr Speaker, I do not see why the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection exists if we cannot come up with policies to protect the environment. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: Those who are intending to debate further, please, try to bring new perspectives to the debate and to avoid repetition. If a matter has been debated, then, do not dwell on it. Try to bring different perspectives to the debate. 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I stand to support the Motion urging the Government to quickly come up with interventions that will address the current wanton destruction of rare species of trees in this country. 

Mr Speaker, this Motion complements your report which was debated at length last week and overwhelmingly adopted by the House. The issues are similar. There was general consensus on the need to have our forests protected and measures taken to do so. 

Mr Speaker, we have a problem, as a nation, today. In fact, one might call it a disease which I can term ‘monomania’. This means people who are pre-occupied with doing one thing. In this case, we have a group of people in our midst, today, who are obsessed with destroying our forest cover and rare species. We have indigenous species which are only unique to Zambia, and are currently endangered. We see hundreds of trucks on our roads carrying logs of endangered indigenous species. This is destructive to the nation. Indeed, urgent measures must be taken by our colleagues who are in the Executive to ensure that this is brought to a stop.

Mr Speaker, those who have debated have indentified the species which, to a large extent, are only unique to us, as a nation. We have species such as the rosewood, mukula, mwande, muzauli  and mukuwa. Clearly, these rare species can form the basis for our industrial development, medicinal industries, furniture industries and many other industries. They can be a basis for employment of our youths. That being the value of the resources that we have as a nation, it is important that our colleagues in the Executive immediately undertake research to ascertain the state of our rare tree species such as mukula and other species in our forests. Where do we stand now? How much destruction has been effected? That research should be able to inform the nation and give us the knowledge as to how destructive the current obliteration of our rare species has been. 

Sir, apart from research, it is important that the law be enforced and empowers the hon. Minister to declare certain rare species as protected species. It should be within the law. Clearly, it will serve the nation well. If the hon. Minister, on the basis of the information available, came up with a statement, saying, “These rare tree species, from henceforth, are protected species,” that would be in the interest of the nation. 

Mr Speaker, it is within the hon. Minister’s policy prerogative to actually make a policy statement to the effect that henceforth, it will only be Zambians who will do the logging in our forests.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa: I do not think that there is any Zambian elsewhere in the world who is logging. Why should we be so open to others who have no feelings for our rare species? Let the Zambians do it. Anybody else should not be allowed to do that. This will create employment for our youths and poor communities in the rural areas. 

Sir, should also be community sensitisation. Last week, the report of your Committee mentioned the fact that communities must participate in the protection of our forests. Let the communities be the guard of their resources in light of the low human resource capacity and the lack of facilities like transport in the ministry today. Let the ministry vigorously embark upon a countrywide sensitisation programme of the communities and assure the communities that they are protected by the Government for them to be the guards of their resources. These measures are very important and I am sure they will go a long way in ensuring that the current unacceptable destruction of our rare tree species, which are God given, is brought to a stop. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear! 

Mr Mutelo: Quality.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me an opportunity to join my many colleagues who wish to urge the Government to immediately take measures to halt the cutting down of the mukula and other tree species which are threatened with extinction. 

Mr Speaker, I am greatly fascinated by the debate of all my colleagues who have spoken, especially that I come from a constituency that is heavily affected by this very sad state of affairs. Hon. Members will recall that only yesterday around 2000 hours, there was a news item on the District Commissioner in Mulobezi who was urging the Government to quickly move in and do something about the way our forests are being decimated by the illegal loggers and, indeed, some members of the community who have joined the foray of cutting down trees. 

Sir, when you listen to the debates of most hon. Members of Parliament, you will discover that there appears to be a problem with the way we, African governments, manage our resources. It is a question of failing to take ownership of our natural resources. This state of affairs is not only seen in the way we manage our forests, but also in the way we manage our mineral resources. Firstly, we either do not use them sustainably or we let the foreigners have a field day. 

Mr Speaker, this is a non-partisan issue and, I think, as policy makers, it is high time we began to take the ownership of our resources because these resources, as we all know, are the only gateway way to economic development which will eventually trickle down to our citizens. 

Sir, the importance of our forests has already been buttressed. In fact, the importance of our forests is basic high school science. In the interest of time, let me confine myself to merely some policy pronouncements which were made in the past, but have not been matched with any action in trying to control this very sad state of affairs.

Mr Speaker, to lose 250,000 to 300,000 hectares of our forest reserves every year is a crisis of unimaginable proportion. I think we should rise above this. For once, we should stop this sad state of affairs which, if unchecked and uncontrolled, will merely lead this country into becoming another desert, especially for those of us who are in the Western Province which is already semi arid and semi desert.

Sir, hon. Members will recall that somewhere around 2012, my good friend, Hon. Simuusa, who, by then, was the hon. Minister responsible for land and used to seat over there, (pointing at the hon. Government Members’ side) although I have noticed that he is slowly changing seats and I hope he will not end up sitting next to Hon. Muntanga, …


Dr Kalila: … in realising this problem of the wanton destruction of our forests, made one policy pronouncement which I personally congratulated him on. He put a moratorium or stop to the timber business. We all congratulated him and we thought that within the period of that moratorium, we would see policy reform, changes in terms of guidelines and in the way we manage our timber and, generally, we expected that the moratorium would last much longer or, at least, for five years.  Alas, within a year or maybe slightly over that, the ban was lifted. In fact, the scale of logging now has been a huge gash on our citizens, the illegal loggers, as well as the commercial ones whom I am told are licensed and, particularly, the Chinese. 

Mr Speaker, as one of the debaters has said, I do not think that our people are able to effectively compete with the commercial loggers who are cutting trees on a large scale. Therefore, I would like to know why that moratorium was lifted within a short time. Coming from an area that is affected, I would also like to know what was done within that time when there was a timber ban to improve the situation, the guidelines that were put in place and the policy change that was made. I think Hon. Mutelo was right when he said that, sometimes, our colleagues from the Executive make pronouncements which they do not follow up with action. However, let me add that this appears to be the problem of most African governments. I feel we should change this and begin to manage our wealth and resources effectively.

Sir, there was another policy pronouncement that was made on the Floor of this House and I think it was in the Budget Speech. I do not remember the exact figures, but something to the effect that several dozens, if not thousands of forest rangers were going to be recruited and money was provided for that exercise. I thought that was a progressive move because one of the problems of this timber value chain is the lack of effective policing. Someone can easily go to any forest and cut as many trees as he/she wishes and if he/she has the capacity, hire a truck, reach their destination and sell that timber without any form of hindrance whatsoever. Where a hindrance comes in from the police, he/she would still be able to go round that hindrance by way of what is well known in this country and that is giving something to the people who man these places. I do not want to mention their names. This has obviously contributed to the unsustainable use of our timber resource. So, I would also like to find out from the hon. Minister responsible for lands now how many forest rangers, three years down the line, have been recruited because this House approved an amount of money for that exercise. If we did not do that, why do we make pronouncements that we are not able to act on?

Ms Imenda: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, Hon. Simuusa once referred to trees as green gold. Indeed, I agreed with him at that time because they are green gold. 

Mr Nkombo: Go to Finland.

Dr Kalila: Sir, if you went to Finland, as someone has said, it is a marvel to watch how they look after their forests and how green the country is. I think it is also a leading country in making money out of the forest which it conserves. However, if Zambia is failing to manage its copper resources, it will fail to even manage its trees. One wonders what, as policy makers, we are going to manage sustainably and properly. 


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, this a very important subject and we, both on this side and the other side, should not gloss over it. For once, let us do something about the trees. It is a very simple thing to do and all it requires is a very well-thought out and clearly spelt out policy and legal environment which will ensure that the timber business or, indeed, any other business related to forests is well-spelt out. 

Sir, in concluding my debate, I would like to urge the hon. Minister responsible for lands, Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, whom I know and is my friend, to put an end to this wanton destruction of our forests both for charcoal burning and, indeed, illegal forest exports by firstly bringing back that timber moratorium which was, unfortunately, short-lived. I think that one or two years is a short time to deal with matters of forest destruction. These forests or African hard woods for that matter take a long time to mature. So, if you put a two-year ban, I do not think that you will achieve the meaningful purpose. I think that the first step should be to bring back that moratorium. 

Mr Speaker, during this moratorium, it will be easy to take note of who is doing what, including the research that Hon. Prof. Lungwangwa has talked about, of all our forest species that are endangered and, especially on how this commercial business is conducted in terms of licensing and strengthening the law to ensure that our species are protected and well defined and  the timber business is only for the purpose of value addition and not necessarily for export purposes.

Sir, it is also important that we expedite the process of recruiting forest rangers because the police alone have failed. In fact, we know that the police always fail in this country.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, finally, it is important to have stiff penalties in this policy reform for those that flout the regulations. The timber business should benefit our people unlike what is happening currently in my constituency, which is one of the biggest suppliers of the African hardwoods, and where the poverty levels, as my colleague has stated, are increasing and our people are not benefitting in any way. How can that be and how can we fail to deal with what I consider to be a simple problem?

Sir, with these few words, I hope that these views will be taken into consideration.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on this very important Motion that is on the Floor of the House. From the outset, I would like to congratulate the mover and seconder of this Motion because it is timely and also because, at the moment, Zambia is losing almost all its forests unless urgent steps are taken.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the effort that the Patriotic Front Government has made. For example, I recall the then hon. Minister launching a tree-planting campaign in my constituency as one of the measures. I am also aware of other programmes that the Government has put in place. However, even with the measures that the Government has put in place, this country is still at crossroads with regard to the extent of the deforestation being experienced at the moment. 

Mr Speaker, I would like to take the words of the last two hon. Members who spoke as my own. The suggestions that they have put forward to the Government are very important and I think that it would help if the Executive took them into account. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, I want to speak of my own experience as Member of Parliament for Chongwe. Hon. Minister, I hope that my experiences can be taken into consideration.  

Mr Speaker, one hon. Member said that his constituency is affected by the cutting of trees. I want to state that my constituency is no longer affected because there are no trees in Chongwe District to cut. 


Mrs Masebo: Almost all the trees in Chongwe Constituency have been cut down. This has badly affected us because we no longer get the rains that we used to. While most areas are celebrating bumper harvests, Chongwe District, which has always been either the second or third highest producer of agricultural products cannot boast of such. This is one of the negative effects that tree cutting has had in the area. I fear that this may well affect the whole country unless we take drastic measures to stop deforestation. 

Mr Speaker, it is the Zambian people who are cutting down the trees and not the Chinese investors or other foreigners. Our people are being used to cut these trees for obvious economic reasons. For instance, I am aware that they are being paid K200 to go in and cut down the trees for the Chinese. The Chinese do not have the time to go and cut the trees themselves. 


Mrs Masebo: If the Chinese have started going in to cut down the trees, as the some hon. Members are saying, then we are in big trouble. 

Mr Speaker, last week, someone from Chipata told me that a truck carrying timber was impounded and the timber was auctioned off. The Chinese, who I am told are interested in the timber, managed to buy it used the same receipt to have more timber cut and exported it. This means that there is a problem with the method of auctioning the timber which is being impounded. It was suggested that I ask the hon. Minister to ensure that the trucks that are impounded get forfeited to the State so that the truckers who allow their vehicles to ferry illegal timber get scared. It was pointed out that auctioning the timber and letting the people go scot-free was not solving the problem. 

Sir, the point was that the Government should just ban the cutting down of timber for a period so that we put in place legislation that can actually help the country and regulate the cutting down of trees in terms of what trees they must cut. As it is, they are just cutting anyhow and everywhere. 

Mr Speaker, the other problem is poor management of natural resources, especially forests and wildlife. There cannot be wildlife without forests. If we are not going to have trees, we are not going to have animals. One hon. Member talked about employing more forest rangers. However, I am aware that there is an employment freeze this year. Maybe, the hon. Minister will manage to employ forest rangers before the end of this year in this particular sector. 

Sir, in the past, the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) officers who protect our wildlife were also tasked to protect trees. However, since this function has been taken back to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the ministry is looking to employ separate officers to go into the same forest to look after trees only and leave the ZAWA officers to look after the elephants and lions. 


Mrs Masebo: As a Government that has problems of resources, it would help if the two ministries worked together and used the ZAWA officers to look after both the trees and wildlife. This way, the two ministries can work together and complement each other. 

Sir, from my little experience, what is happening now is that when the wildlife officers from ZAWA are on the ground, they are not concerned about the tree cutting. In the past, when they tried to do that, they were told that it is not their job and so they should stop interfering. Therefore, they have turned a blind eye and allowed people to go into the forest to cut trees. In view of this, there is a need for the two hon. Ministers to look at this issue and work out an effective modality of protecting both resources, and that will cut down on costs. 

Mr Speaker, the other problem we have, as a country, is the issue of ownership of natural resources. This problem does not apply to timber alone, but also to mineral resources and wildlife. The business of natural resources is not really in our hands, but we come here, as hon. Members, and complain about it. Most of the time, we say things that we really do not want to implement. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Masebo: This is true not only for the people that are in Government, but also those in the Opposition because when those that are in the Executive try to implement the policy of favouring Zambians, other people will not appreciate it. 

Mr Speaker, as a country, let us move away from politicking all the time. We should instead try to work together as leaders and empower our people. Let us do that. We should not be looking at who is involved or which party they belong to, but look at each other as one. We talk about the empowerment of Zambians, and yet when people try to do that, those who are used by the foreigners try to destroy them and we forget what we say when we are here.

Sir, for example, in other countries, including those in the region, you will not find a foreigner owning natural resources because they belong to the indigenous people. Investors should only come and do things that we are unable to do for ourselves. They should bring things like money and other resources that we do not have, and not come here and own the whole forest within two days and start cutting down trees, and call themselves investors. The so-called investors should not be given game management areas because these are natural resources and can, therefore, not be referred to as investment. These are some of the things that Zambians can do even if they do not have education. For issues of wildlife, cutting of trees or digging minerals, someone does not need a degree. It would be better to give such businesses to the Zambians so that when the so-called investors come, they partner with Zambians so that our contribution will be the mining licence, game management area or forest.

Sir, the person who comes from abroad will bring hard currency like dollars and his/her expertise which I, as a local, do not have. 


Mrs Masebo: I do not like using big words when I am speaking in Parliament. I would rather use simple language because, that way, the people in Chongwe and Zambia in general will follow my debate better. Therefore, when I talk about the cutting down of trees and a ban, I just mean just that. I do not use big words like my brother over there …

Mr Speaker: Order!

The hon. Member for Chongwe has gone into diction, which is not part of the Motion.

You may continue.

Mrs Masebo: Mr Speaker, it is because I am being given words to use by my learned friends on your left.

Sir, the other point I wanted to make was in regard to awareness and campaigns. In my view, I feel that bringing this Motion is part of a campaign tool. We are speaking to our people, speaking among ourselves and educating and learning from each other. Therefore, the more we talk about this vice and its dangers to our economy and to the sustainability of our environment and our natural resources, the more awareness we provide because some of the people who cut down trees do not know the bad effects of what they are doing. To them, it is a source of livelihood. Therefore, the more we talk about it, the more it will help.

Sir, I would also like to assure the hon. Members on your left that we will not behave like what used to happen in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy days when I was part of the Executive. When a Motion was brought to the House, regardless of how good it was, it was shot down. At least, I am happy that the PF Government supports good Motions whether they are from the Opposition or not. This is one Motion that is non-controversial and it should, therefore, be supported. We should also continue to talk about it as a way of sensitising our people on the negative effect tree cutting has on the environment. As for farmers in Chongwe, I would like to advise them that the more trees they will cut downin the next decade, the more they will not be able to grow their maize.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

 Hon. Member, I appreciate that this is a very interesting Motion or subject that is developmental in nature, but today is Wednesday and we have a short evening. Therefore, it is time for me to give an opportunity to the right to respond.

The Minister of Youth and Sport (Mr Kambwili): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me an opportunity to say a few words on the Motion on the Floor. Suffice it to state that from the outset, I support the Motion because it is non-controversial. As a responsible Government, wherever there is a need to improve on whatever we are doing, we should accept criticism.

Mr Speaker, the issue of deforestation is a very emotive and serious one. If not well handled, it can bring a lot of problems to the nation. We have all seen that the rainfall pattern has changed in the past ten years.

Sir, I remember very well that we used to have the first rains on Independence Day, 24th of October every year but, now, the rains come towards the end of November. This is the effect of deforestation.

Mr Speaker, let me say that the problems that we have, as Africans and as Zambians in particular, is that we want to talk the talk and not walk the talk. We know what has caused this disforestation in the last four years, and yet we do not want to go to the root cause of the problem. Instead, we want to deal with the offshoots. That is where we have gone wrong.

Sir, I was in Mulobezi early this year. To my surprise, I met four Chinese nationals in a thick forest where there was no house at all. When I asked my driver what they were doing, he said that, maybe, they were building a school or some infrastructure. Then, a few metres away, we met a truck full of timber and then my driver said that the Chinese might have come for timber.

Mr Speaker, we all know that this timber is going to China. We also know that the Chinese are the ones who are making the local people cut down the trees. Why can we not approach the Chinese Ambassador and make a proposal to work together and resolve this problem. If we kill the market then, we are going to make a stop to all this deforestation, especially in the Western Province. The problem is that we know that we have been infested by Chinese loggers, and yet we do not want to talk to the Chinese but, instead, want to blame our own people for the logging. We also know that the poverty levels are very high and our people will do anything for survival. Therefore, we need to go to the root cause of this problem and engage the Chinese Government. 

Mr Speaker, what I have observed is that when a Zambian is arrested for the vices of deforestation, he/she will remain in prison until heavens come down. When a Chinese is arrested in the morning, he/she is released by afternoon. Therefore, as long as these things continue happening, we are not going to fight this vice. We need to get to the bottom of the problem.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kambwili: I know that, as a Government, we are doing a lot, but I think we need to nip the vice in the bud and get to bottom of the cause. We all know the cause. Therefore, we should not pretend.

 Sir, when some of us, hon. Members of Parliament, are coming to Parliament, we meet these trucks, but we see them go through the roadblocks. As an hon. Member of Parliament, you cannot go back to the police and ask whether a truck has papers. Most often, most of the trucks that pass through the roadblocks do not have the papers. We know that our people are saying that police officers have turned roadblocks into automated teller machines (ATMs) and that they will tell their wives to prepare a kettle of tea because they are going to the ATM to withdraw some money to buy bread. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: We know about these things, but we seem not to be doing anything to correct the situation.

Mr Speaker, my debate today is to advise my fellow hon. Ministers and all of us in Government that it is high time we fought this vice from the root cause.

With these few words, I thank you.

 Hon. Members:  Hear, hear!   

The Deputy Minister of Home Affairs (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to make a few comments on this issue of deforestation on behalf of my hon. Minister.

Sir, I would like to commend the two hon. Members who moved and seconded the Motion, more importantly that the hon. Members are from areas which are heavily affected by deforestation. In the Motion, which is non-controversial, they have highlighted the importance of preserving the natural capital, in this case, our forests.

Sir, I have decided to make a few contributions because our ministry has been playing an active role in trying to help the situation.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would have liked to hear, …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

Hon. Members on the left, let the hon. Minister debate freely.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, I would have liked to hear what both the mover of the Motion and the seconder are doing in their respective areas in sensitising the people because they are the people’s representatives. If we play the blame game, this issue will be with us for a long time to come, and I will tell you why. I will borrow the debate of Hon. Masebo.

Hon. Opposition Members: Kambwili.

Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, the timber is from areas and communities where our own people live. I will tell you that the investigations that we have carried out are such that, …


Mr Kampyongo: Shut up!

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: No. 

Hon. Minister, sit down. I think it is very clear, so far, that there is consensus on this Motion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Speaker: I do not have any evidence to the contrary and do not think that we should proceed in that manner. We do not communicate to colleagues in that fashion. I would urge you, hon. Minister, to withdraw that utterance. It is unparliamentary.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I withdraw it, but I also seek your protection from the hecklers.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, you have heard me on more than one occasion, whilst you have been debating, urging the hon. Members on the left to allow you to debate. I know that this is a very exiting debate, but let us give the hon. Minister a chance to debate, lest you put him under pressure to begin reacting the way he did. That is because of the pressure you are exerting on him.

Hon. Opposition Members: Is it?

Mr Speaker: Yes, it is. Just listen to him in silence. He is entitled to debate. He does not have to say what you expect him to say. You see, that is what freedom of expression is all about. You express your views. He should not express what you want to hear or suggest which hon. Member or debate he should adopt. That is not freedom. You are restricting him. So, let him finish his debate as peacefully as possible. 

Hon. Minister, you may continue.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I was saying that if we do not face the realities, we will not be able to deal with this issue. Our investigations have actually revealed that some of our traditional leaders in these areas write letters of recommendation that are taken to the local forestry offices in the districts for them to issue certificates for logging. Once that is done, there is no control on how many logs a particular person is supposed to cut from the forest. Like Hon. Masebo said, …


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, continue.

Mr Kampyongo: … people in the local communities are the ones who are supporting these illegalities. If hon. Members from the affected areas cannot play a role, I do not know how they expect the Government to deal with the problem. They want to play it safe by bringing the Motion here so that the Government can do something about it. However, the moment we take drastic measures, they will just say it is the Government that is doing this and then their people will say the Government is depriving us of an income from cutting down trees. Like Hon. Kambwili said, these people think they are earning a livelihood from the illegalities. So, my appeal is to the hon. Members who come from the affected areas to be proactive and sensitise the people they represent on the need to preserve this natural capital. If the people realise the importance of preserving these forests, it will be easier for the Government to implement and put in place all the measures that our colleagues are asking us to put in place. In the absence of that, can you imagine the Government going to talk to some of the chiefs who are engaged in these activities without the support of the hon. Members of Parliament from these areas? The chiefs will not listen to us.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kampyongo: That is true. I am an elected hon. Member of Parliament and I know when I go to engage, …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Nkombo: Who is not elected?

Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I know what I am talking about. There is no need for them to play it safe by only appealing to the Government. They must also play an active role.

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing any more points of order. Hon. Minister, please, continue.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, there is no need for them to abdicate this responsibility. We, together with them, must find solutions. They should not sit back and think we are going to find solutions without them playing a role.

Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is doing something to try to revive the Forestry Department so that it can start dealing with these matters. However, I want to assure him that, as Ministry of Home Affairs, we shall work with his ministry as it works out the long-term measures of dealing with this situation. As Hon. Masebo said, we do not need to politick. This situation requires everyone to be on board. We have been overstretched and we have to deploy, …


Hon. Opposition Members: You can resign.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, give your colleague time to debate. Hon. Minister, continue.

Mr Kampyongo: Sir, we have been overstretched, and so we have to send officers …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Kampyongo: … on operations at our expense when we know that the citizens, …

Mr Sing’ombe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: I am not allowing any points of order.

Hon. Minister, continue.

Mr Kampyongo: … can protect their natural resources. 

Sir, I am happy that the issue of imposing a ban is coming from our dear colleagues. This will really help us because it is not necessary for us to send police officers to the affected areas. It is like someone who steals his/her property, gives it away and then requests the police to go and protect him/her.

Si, the people who are allowing trees to be cut down are the owners. Why should the Government be asked to go and protect private property? What we are saying is that people must realise that it is important to protect their property …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Kampyongo stopped debating.

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Minister. I am protecting you even from points of order.

Mr Kampyongo: Thank you so much, Sir.

Sir, in conclusion, I would like to assure the hon. Member for Rufunsa that we do not need the Zambia Army to come and deal with this situation. Hon. Members should be the starting point. All that the Government needs to do is to supplement their efforts. They should start being proactive by engaging members of the public because our electorate respects and listens to them. We will then support the measures they are going to put in place. 

As regards the issue of the ban that has been talked about, I would request the hon. Minister to consider looking into it so that we can take stock of what is happening on the ground before the resumption of the next sitting of Parliament. By the time the next sitting resumes, we would have put measures in place to ensure that all that are allowed to cut timber are doing it in a more regulated and well-managed manner.

Sir, with these remarks, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, let me also greatly appreciate the concerns raised regarding the protection of our valuable indigenous tree species in this country. The issues raised in this House show how much hon. Members of Parliament value our natural resources, particularly the forests. Most importantly, let me say that the Patriotic Front Government is happy that the entire House has joined the war that the PF Government commenced immediately after taking over the running of the country.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: In fact, the issue of deforestation has not started now, but a long time ago, as mentioned by Hon. Masebo. It started more than twenty-five years ago, but we do not understand why our colleagues in the previous regimes never bothered to ensure that they preserved the forests.


Mr Kapeya: Therefore, I am thankful to the PF Government for having seen the importance of preserving our forests.

Sir, the Government recognises the important role the forests, particular indigenous trees, play in the lives of people. The Government is also aware of the socio-economic values of trees, especially in supporting the livelihoods of our rural population by being a source of energy and food, hence contributing to poverty reduction. It is for these and other reasons that the PF Government, through my ministry, immediately after taking control of the State, decided to pay attention to the protection of trees, as they contribute to poverty reduction as well as job and wealth creation.

However, Mr Speaker, the Government has observed, with great concern, the sudden increase in unsustainable harvesting of various indigenous tree species in all parts of the country. This has been attributed to the increase in demand for timber by emerging economies in the Far East. As such, indigenous trees such as mukula, mukwa, rosewood, Zambezi teak, popularly known as mukusi as well as the devil’s claw, which are of high value, have been indiscriminately cut and harvested by both local and foreign individuals or companies and exported contrary to the Laws of Zambia which prohibit the export of unprocessed timber.

Sir, if this trend continues, Zambia will witness the depletion of these trees as well as the turning of the country into a desert. Further, the unsustainable cutting down and harvesting of the trees reduces their capacity as carbon sinks and thus contributes to climate change. It is, therefore, gratifying that the Government is already putting in place stringent measures that will ensure the sustainable utilisation of our indigenous trees and plants.

Mr Speaker, the Government, through my ministry, and with support from the Ministry of Justice, is in the process of finalising the Forest Bill which will soon be tabled before this House. In addition, the Government is in the process of finalising the formulation of the National Forestry Policy that will enhance forest ecosystem conservation and sustainable utilisation of forests with the full participation of local communities and the private sector. The policy will also improve local community livelihood and subsequently reduce poverty levels, particularly for rural communities.

Mr Speaker, apart from putting in place the policy and legal framework to protect our trees and forests, the Government is currently developing a national strategy to reduce deforestation and degradation. The strategy is expected to outline the key elements to address the drivers of deforestation. In addition, the strategy will make sure that there are routine inspections in timber yards. Following inspections of stations for illegal timber traders, some people have been picked up by the police and prosecuted. 

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) has started scanning containers to check whether the timber being exported has been legally procured and is of the required standard as stipulated by the Laws of Zambia. I, therefore, urge the general public not to get involved in illegal harvesting and trading of timber.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I wish to urge hon. Members of this House to continue showing interest in the management of our natural resources and sensitise communities in their constituencies on the importance of conserving our indigenous tree species. The Government is committed to ensuring that the forest resources are preserved for current and future generations and continuing to supportthe livelihoods of our people. 

Mr Speaker, I also call upon all Zambians to support the Government in its efforts to protect our forests, especially our indigenous tree species. If measures are not taken to save endangered tree species, the country risks experiencing the depletion and extinction of some high value indigenous tree species.

Mr Speaker, I concur with the hon. Deputy Minister of Home Affairs that it is our duty, as hon. Members of Parliament, to sensitise the Zambian people who have elected us in our constituencies about looking after our forests. We should not keep depending on copper which will not be there one day. Our next best natural resource is the forest.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Minister for his presentation and all my colleagues that have debated so well on this Motion. 

Mr Speaker, just a small comment I would like to direct to my colleague, Hon. Kampyongo. If the police can do what it did in …

Mr Kampyongo: Where?


Mr Chipungu: … Chibolya, for sure, there will be sanity in Rufunsa. If you are seated here, you will not know what is happening. The best thing to do is to go there. You are a Minister so go there and see the situation on the ground. I have been all over. I have been to see the District Commissioner, the Provincial Permanent Secretary …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Rufunsa, your role is to wind up the debate.


Mr Chipungu: I want to answer the hon. Minister.

Mr Speaker: No. It is to wind up the debate.


Mr Speaker: Just wind up.

Mr Chipungu: Oh! 

Thank you very much, Mr Speaker.

Question put and agreed to.


Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Education, Science and Technology, 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 Mushanga (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker: Seconded by the hon. Member for Bwacha.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, in accordance with the programme of work, your Committee considered, as its topical issue, “the Structure of the Zambian Education System: from Basic to High School, Primary to Secondary; Opportunities and Challenges”. In addition, your Committee also considered vernacular as a medium of instruction in schools from Grades 1 to 4 and the newly introduced two-pathway curriculum in secondary schools.

Mr Speaker, considering that hon. Members have read your Committee’s report, I hope, and have it before them, I will just highlight a few issues contained therein.

Mr Speaker, the background to this inquiry is that the 1977 Education Reforms saw the birth of basic education which was premised on a twofold rationale of:

(a)    enabling pupils to attain a standard of functional education which would equip them to live productively in society and to posses occupational competence in a skill or in a group of skills in the event that they did not proceed beyond Grade 9; and

(b)    allowing pupils to grow two years older before they would have to fend for themselves in the world of work if they did not continue with full-time school or training.

Mr Speaker, this was a shift from the seven-five-four structure, denoting seven years of primary education; five years of secondary education; and four years of university education to first degree level, to a nine-three-four structure, meaning nine years of primary education; three years high school; and four years first degree university education. 

Mr Speaker, in keeping with the Patriotic Front Manifesto for 2011 to 2016, on the education sector which says as follows:

“In order to raise educational standards, the PF shall phase out basic education and reintroduce a conventional early education, primary, secondary and tertiary education system,” 

the Government embarked on the implementation of this pronouncement, reverting to the old system.

Mr Speaker, in light of the above, your Committee undertook an inquiry into this shift by holding consultations with various stakeholders and undertaking a local tour, during which it also conducted public hearings in Lusaka, Mumbwa, Lukulu, Solwezi, Zambezi and Ndola.

Mr Speaker, arising from the consultations and the tour, your Committee learnt that there was no new policy and legal framework to support this shift. This is because the Education Act still maintains the old structure of basic to high school and the only available official policy framework that refers to the education structure is the “Educating our Future of 1996” which also still provides the basic to high school structure. These two documents have not yet been revised and or amended to regulate the change. To this extent, this shift is illegal and your Committee recommends that the Government quickly legalises the changes by amending the Education Act and revising the Education Policy Document.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is of the view that if the legal framework and policy are revised and the shift is well implemented, it can bring back the lost quality in the education sector. Whereas the basic school system promoted access, at least, up to Grade 9, it compromised quality, as the basic schools did not have the necessary infrastructure such as laboratories and other specialised rooms and materials to accommodate junior secondary classes. 

Further, Sir, most of the teachers who taught in basic schools were not qualified for the grades they were seconded to teach. The biggest advantage for the new system is that it allows secondary schools to nurture their pupils over a period of five years, as opposed to inheriting them from basic and other schools only to be with them for three years. 

Sir, mission schools have continued to do better than Government schools in both discipline and performance in examinations because they have maintained the old structure.

Mr Speaker, your Committee urges the Government to ensure that enough secondary schools, which must also be well equipped, are built throughout the country. It also recommends that care be taken to ensure that the boarding schools which will be built are accessible to the pupils in those localities so that they are not just a preserve of their urban counterparts who may be more able to afford the fees, transport and other schools costs.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that, as a result of the shift, there will be a big demand on infrastructure and materials because when the schools which are now being transformed into secondary schools became high schools, they gave away most of the stocks of books for junior grades to basic schools. The reversal, therefore, means that these schools have to start restocking for those grades, which will not be an easy task. The scenario is the same for primary schools being transformed into secondary schools. 

Sir, as a matter of fact, the construction of more secondary schools and provision of teaching and learning materials should have preceded the transformation.

Your Committee, therefore, recommends that the Government embarks on a vigorous exercise of providing teaching and learning materials to all schools. Otherwise, this change will not yield the intended results.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also undertook local tours during which it conducted public hearings. Your Committee found that the many changes taking place at the same time in the education sector were causing anxiety and one wonders how effective they will be. At the time this structure is being changed, two other major changes are also introduced, namely change in the curriculum and the medium of instruction from Grades 1 to 4. This has not just overwhelmed the implementers, but also the general public.

 Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommends that in order to bring everyone, particularly the implementers and parents on board, the Government conducts countrywide awareness campaigns on these matters. It is better late than never.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is uncomfortable with the instability in the education sector because each successive Government has changed the education system and is wondering whether there will be continuity should a new Government come into power. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government puts in place an education policy that can be embraced by any Government without effecting major changes to it.

Mr Speaker, another contentious issue that needs serious attention is the introduction of vernacular languages as a medium of instruction from Grades 1 to 4. Whereas it is important to educate our children in our local languages, the restriction of the medium of instruction to only seven official vernacular languages has created problems because these languages are not necessarily the language of play in all the zones they have been designated to be used. 

Your Committee recommends that if the Government is serious about the promotion of literacy through the use of vernacular languages, more of them should be promoted to official status and, teaching and learning materials in those languages should consequently be introduced. This may sound as an expensive venture, but it is a worthwhile one. Your Committee further recommends that as more languages are promoted, teachers should also be trained in those languages. 

Mr Speaker, the issue of language is even more serious in the North-Western Province which has three of the seven current official languages. Zambezi, particularly where there is a conflict on the use of Lunda and Luvale on the eastern and western banks, is a special case which needs serious and urgent attention. 

Your Committee recommends that in order to avert a crisis in Zambezi District, the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Language Zoning Policy, which stipulates that Lunda shall be used in the east and Luvale in the west, be implemented just as it has been in the rest of the North-Western Province.

Mrs Sayifwanda: Hear, hear!

Dr Kalila: In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the guidance and support rendered to your Committee during its deliberations in this session. I also wish to thank the members of your Committee for their co-operation and dedication to duty without which nothing much could have been achieved. Lastly, but not the least, I would like to extend my thanks to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during its business in this session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Member: Quality speech.

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

Mr Mushanga: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I wish to make a few comments on just a few issues raised in your Committee’s Report.

Mr Speaker, one of the challenges the new education structure in Zambia is faced with is the non-availability of fully-trained teachers and their deployment. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the policy shift be accompanied by an effective and rigorous review of the Teacher Training, Recruitment, Deployment and Motivation Policy. This will call for improved and appropriate investment in teacher education at colleges of education and universities in this country.

 Mr Speaker, this is practically essential, considering the change in the curriculum. As matters stand, there is a serious disconnection between the school curriculum and that of teachers’ training institutions. Whereas schools will be expected to offer a two-pathway curriculum, there are no teachers to adequately handle these subjects and prepare the pupils accordingly.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, your Committee, therefore, recommends that the shift be extended to teacher training institutions as well.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: In addition, tertiary institutions to absorb students pursuing the vocational pathway should be established. Otherwise, it will be a dead-end. This has been the case with Industrial Arts and Home Economics where we have had no universities offering degrees. This has resulted in those wanting to pursue studies in these subjects having to go to universities outside this country and it has not been easy or cheap for the students.

Mr Speaker, during the tour, your Committee found that schools such as Kabulonga Girls, Mumbwa and Kaoma secondary schools, which were started in the 1960s, were in a serious state of disrepair and needed urgent attention.

Hon. Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: I am sure that the situation is the same with all other schools in this country that were built around the same time. Your Committee, therefore, recommends that even before the Government embarks on the construction of new secondary schools around the country, it rehabilitates the old ones. 

Mr Speaker, one of the reasons the Western Province has recorded the highest number of school girl pregnancies is that there are not enough places in secondary schools around their villages. The boys and girls, therefore, resort to renting houses in the surrounding villages, sometimes in very close proximity to each other, but without anyone to watch over them. This puts the girls under severe pressure from their peers and men around them.

Your Committee, therefore, recommends that more secondary schools be built in the Western Province where the option of weekly boarding is the only one available. Your Committee also recommends that village headmen be requested to provide or build such houses near elderly persons who should act as caretakers. This is what the people in Dipilata School in Zambezi East have done …

Ms Sayifwanda: Hear, hear!

Mr Mushanga: … and it seems to be working.

Mr Speaker, lastly, I would like to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the manner …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.{mospagebreak}

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mushanga: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to wind up my debate. As I conclude, allow me to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the manner in which he presided over the business of your Committee and the members for their co-operation and dedication to duty.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to thank your Committee for such an elaborate report. It has dealt with the issues of our current concern and, for the first time, I will be very brief and will use just half of the slot.

Mr Speaker, we already have a serious backlog in our education system in this country. When you travel around the country, you will see basically, a lost generation, a generation that has never acquired skills because of shortage of classroom space and teachers.

Ms Lubezhi: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to see the country beyond our constituencies through your Committee’s tour around the country. For example, we went to Nkamba Bay on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Along the way, I could not believe that the young people I saw were fellow citizens whose future has been shattered. They have been reduced to being fishermen. Even in my constituency in the fishing camps on the Kafue South Bank, you will see a lost generation. We have a serious backlog in our education system in this country. Therefore, we cannot afford to create more problems that have been ably identified by your Committee. I will dwell on two or three of these problems.

Mr Speaker, the first one is the abolition of basic schools. I think that at the time when the powers that be realised that we had such a big backlog, they fine-tuned the education system to make sure that as many children as possible could reach basic school level, and education was made available up to Grade 9 at local level. The direction we should take now should be to localise our education system. By now, we should have ensured, as much as possible, that our local schools right in our villages are able to provide education up to secondary level. 

Therefore, even a school in Banakayila, Hamangaba or my constituency can offer education up to secondary school level. You must not lose the gains that were made by your predecessors. 

Sir, I think you did not think this reversal through as you have done with many other issues. You were excited when you came into power, but now that you have learnt the art, go back to the drawing board and try to undo some of the moves that you have made that are injurious to education provision in this country. We need a proper transition. It is not possible now …  

Hon. Opposition Member: Phased-out approach. 

Mr Hamududu: … to have a phased-out approach, like my friend is saying. 

Sir, to admit that you have made a mistake is a sign of strength. I say sorry, but that does not make me a weak person. Look at me. I am not as humble as I look. 


Mr Hamududu: Saying sorry is a sign of humility and wisdom. Why not admit your faults and try to work on them? It is an important thing to do and people will respect you. 

Mr Speaker, the use of using local languages as a medium of instruction between Grades 1 and 4 needs to be reviewed. Yes, there was a double-thronged approach before where English and local languages were used to meet the needs of the students, and your report has revealed that the children learn easier in their language of play, but that was not considered. 

Sir, the efficacy of using a local language for teaching is proven elsewhere, but you must look at our situation. It is fifty years since Independence and the train has gone too far for things to begin to be undone. For example, Botswana began using the local language from the very beginning. Botswana is a mono tribe country so even in Parliament you can choose whether to speak in Sitswana or English. However, we have a tree and you cannot bend a tree that has already grown because it will break. You are breaking the education system. You cannot introduce the use of local languages as a medium of instruction and make it compulsory. 

Mr Speaker, the Zambian people have mingled and moved from one area to the other and this so-called tribalism is just for selfish politicians. The Zambian people are one. How do you say, “What you see is what is there” in Bemba? Chintu mwene. 


Mr Hamududu: So, what you see is what is there and what you found is what is there. Chintu chintumwene ... 

Hon. Government Members: Aah!


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, let me highlight the practical problems with this issue. I can guess that someone dictated this to you. You never sat in your party caucus to debate this issue. We must move away from the system of doing whatever you are told. We respect the Presidency, but when instructions are given that are not feasible, you should tell him what is actually happening on the ground instead of just following the instructions. When he turns, you turn and when he jumps, you jump … 


Mr Hamududu: You should ask him, “Why should I jump, Sir?” 

Hon. Government Members: Question.


Mr Speaker: Order! 

He is debating. 

Mr Hamududu: If you are told to roll to Arcades, would you do it? No, you tell him that you would rather walk or drive there. Some instructions should be declined respectfully. 

Sir, let me tell you the practical reality. My wife was trained as a teacher and went to Mufulira and some people from the Northern Province went to David Livingstone Teachers College. They all have different backgrounds, but what you are doing is balkanising the country. Teachers are now asking for transfers to go back to their provinces of origin. 


Mr Hamudulu: Yes. 


Mr Hamududu: I literally mimic all languages, including my own language. My father was a teacher and he spoke to me in English and I am satisfied with it. I think there is nothing wrong with me having learnt English as a medium of communication. Do you see any defect here?

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Hamududu: So, that issue of saying that children must learn in their local languages after fifty years cannot work, just as the report has revealed. It will not be a weakness for you to come back to the House and tell us that you are sorry you did not look at the ramifications of these pronouncements which you never debated. I have got friends in the Patriotic Front who told me that you did not have a party caucus neither did you discuss this issue in a Cabinet meeting. It was just dictated. It never went through a thought process. You just got a theory from a wrong setting. This is a wrong setting. Zambia has got this tribal architecture and you need to be sensitive to that. 

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, even if you want to go that route, there are not enough books for that. There are no materials or transitional arrangements, and yet you said this should start immediately. The teachers also need to be retrained to serve for the mass transfers which cannot even be compared to the way birds move. I do not know where you will find the money for the transfers of teachers. I have a nephew who is a teacher in Mansa. He told me that he was posted to Mansa near Democratic Republic of Congo, and I told him that it was Zambia, and that he should go. Now, you want him to come back to Habanyula. 


Hamududu: Do you have the money to do that? If you keep them there, they will not teach their children properly. By the way, there were already languages being taught in school as subjects. That is enough. For example, I learnt Tonga as a subject up to Grade 7. It was enough for me to communicate with my mother. 

Mr Speaker, in Korea where local languages are used, even their cellukar phones are localised. Koreans started technological development a long time ago. Are your cell phones in Tonga, Nyanja or Lozi?


Mr Hamududu: Sir, at the moment, Korea uses their technology to teach in schools. Do you have the money to localise technology? Do not make our children go backwards. The train has already left. The train never waits for you. 


Mr Hamududu: Once it starts off, you will have to follow it. If you do not catch it at Mapepe, for instance, you will have to drive to Lusaka. If it finds cattle or a vehicle along the way, it will just run over them. The train has already left. So, you cannot start changing things fifty years down the line. For you to bring back the train, you will spend all the resources you have, and we will lose the gains we have made.

With these few words, for the sake of time, I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, I just want to dovetail on what Hon. Hamududu has said. Sometimes, I really wonder why this Government puts itself in problems.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, according to the report, this programme was supposed to have been introduced by this Government within the three years of being in office. Is the hon. Minister able to do that now? You are exerting unnecessary pressure on the hon. Minister of Finance. It is clear that the Government is broke. 

Mr Kambwili: Question.

Dr Kaingu: It has failed to raise resources through the fiscal policy. It has had to borrow. Now, are you going to borrow for this programme? 

Mr Speaker, having said that, I would like to move on to what I think is fundamental to my debate. Our education is too academic and that is what is giving problems to our youths. We are concentrating too much on theories, concepts and principles instead of actually looking at the ways and means of turning the youths into human resources.

Mr Speaker, there are three types of education systems. Firstly, there is the formal education which, I think, the hon. Minister is concentrating on. Secondly, there is the non-formal education which we get through the workshops and seminars. Thirdly, there is the informal education that is the one someone gets from the time he/she is born up to the time he/she dies. There are so many people who are trained through informal education, but are not being put to good use. Hon. Daniel Mukombwe is one of them.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, to me, the man deserves a PhD because he has excelled.

Mr Speaker: Now you are debating …

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I withdraw my statement.


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, Rudolf Steiner came up with a principle of pedagogy. Pedagogy is training people both in cognitive theories and sustainability. I heard the hon. Minister mention pedagogy, but he is not doing anything about it. Pedagogy is what we have borrowed as psychomotor to train the children in both …

Hon. Members: What is psychomotor?

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, of course, you know what I am talking about. Psychomotor is the transfer of skills from the head to the hands. In fact, we have the 3H Principle. It states that not only should the youths or the children get knowledge in the head, but they must also have the ability to transfer that knowledge to the hands and the heart, which is emotional and physical intelligence. So, John Ruskin also came up with the same principal of the 3Hs and that was not all. 

Mr Speaker, those who read will know that when Booker T. Washington was actually trying to impact knowledge … 


Dr Kaingu: There is too much noise.


Mr Speaker: I will protect you.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, Booker T. Washington, in his autobiography entitled Up from Slavery, proved to us that it is not enough to only have cognitive knowledge, but there is also a need to transfer knowledge to the hands and the heart. In fact, today, we are slaves of poverty. Until we are able to transfer knowledge from our heads to our hands, we will have problems. 

Mr Speaker, let me give an example. When I was young, I joined the Zambia Air Force (ZAF) and I was trained in radio communication.

Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha: Hear, hear!

Dr Kaingu: Of course Hon. Lt-Gen. Rev. Shikapwasha can attest to that. 


Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, when we came out of that college, we were able to compete favourably against the products of the Zambia Police (ZP) and Zambia Air Services Training Institute (ZASTI). In fact, by the time Zambia Airways was closing, it was already overtaken by ZAF because the ZAF training transferred knowledge from the head to the hands and the heart. 

So, Sir, I appeal to the hon. Minister to transform his education system from just theory. Let me put across a metaphor to you. If your ministry was a factory, would you be happy with the products that you are putting out on the street? In fact, some of your products would expire whilst on the shelf.


Dr Kaingu: In this case, I am talking about the youths who are out there. What are you going to do about them? I think what is important is to repack and rebrand the product. This is what is fundamental at the moment. As much as we can talk about what is contained in the report, hon. Minister, you need to refocus your attention because unemployment is a time bomb. This is a timely warning.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to debate. 

Sir, I have read your Committee’s report and the issues that your Committee has brought out. They have made valid observations and put forward important recommendations that need to be considered by the Executive as well as all of us here who are particular about the role that education plays in human and economic development and poverty reduction. 

Mr Speaker, as your Committee’s report has brought out, the shift in education delivery was rushed through, resulting in a number of challenges. There is a huge divide between urban and rural schools. It is probably true that this shift has not had any negative impact on the urban schools because the infrastructure appears to be in place. However, the impact on the rural schools has been negative. 

Mr Speaker, I want to give an example of my constituency. Between Lubansenshi and Lupososhi constituencies, there are almost 100 schools. We were told that beginning this year, only three schools, Luwingu, Shimumbi and Mapulanga, out of the almost 100 schools, would be upgraded to secondary schools. This is a challenge. Our children will not be able to find places in these three schools because the infrastructure is not sufficient. 

Sir, the report has also brought out the fact that the teachers were not prepared for this rapid change. This imposed change has left almost everyone behind; learners and teachers alike. Who else will be disadvantaged? Let us ensure that over time, we prepare all stakeholders, that is, the learners and teachers. This will take time, as it cannot be done abruptly. If you do this abruptly, you will not prepare adequately for the required infrastructure and teaching aids. 

Mr Speaker, I am emphasising the impact on the rural child. With inadequate infrastructure, our children will not be able to excel. These children may try to progress to secondary school, but it will not be possible because of the limited number of places. Even their transition to tertiary education will not be easy because the initial preparation was very poor. They will not be able to compete with children from urban areas. So, they will be left behind. In the process, this will perpetuate rural poverty. 

Most of us in this House are escapees of rural poverty. Basically, what has made us escape poverty is our education. Therefore, education can be referred to as the best equaliser in life. 

Sir, at the moment, there is a system that is leaving behind the majority of our people. especially in the rural areas. How, then, are we going to ensure that we bring them to a level where they will begin to compete for places in the tertiary institutions as well as take up leadership positions in society? Instead, you are confining them to perpetual poverty.

Sir, the other issue I would like to touch on is the funding to the education sector. The Auditor-General’s Report has revealed that the Ministry of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education is one of the ministries that has faced serious challenges. The 2012 Auditor-General’s Report revealed that this ministry had over forty queries and most of them were based on the issue of poor procurement and workmanship such that even when you are making these shifts, you will find that the financial resources that are supposed to be used to fast track this process are not having an impact because part of that money is subject to misapplication, abuse or corruption. That, in itself, is contributing to the delay in the transformation.

Mr Speaker, it is, therefore, important that at this stage, the ministry looks at the issues that have been brought out in your report so that over time, perhaps, we can take steps to prepare our system.

Mr Speaker, with your permission, let me just talk about how the education sector is very important. You cannot change such a system by merely making reference to the party manifesto. It is important for this ministry to take time to see whatever is contained in the Patriotic Front Manifesto.  The linkage to serious policy formulation and eventual legal framework takes time. It cannot be done within a year. It is for this reason that we are whole heartedly advising that the concerns raised in your report are considered.

Sir, let me quickly come to the issue of the use of local languages in schools. I do not think that there is any need, at this stage, for us to quarrellover the issue of local languages as a medium of instruction in our schools. It is something that can be done, but is important to do it cautiously. For instance, we should try to avoid what has taken place in Zambezi East where one school has to use one of the local languages amid all these opposing views. In my view this, perhaps, should have taken a lot of time to implement because it needed detailed research and study in terms of what local language should be used and in which area.

Sir, it is true that in this era and age, we must not be talking about advancing the use of local languages because what we are doing is entrenching and institutionalising regionalism. By doing that, we are saying that the children from the Northern Province and all the people in that province, for instance, should not go to Livingstone Teachers Training College, Mongu or Eastern Province. Instead, they must be confined to a particular region. Ultimately, that will have a negative effect on the “One Zambia, One Nation” that we are trying to rebuild.

Of course, I agree that it is important to preserve our local languages by making our children learn in the local languages. It is, therefore, important that when it comes to issues at national level and those of policy formulation, we have to be very careful.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to make a passionate appeal to the hon. Minister of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education to seriously look at the issue of local languages. It is not something that should divide us, but something we should agree upon based on a very detailed study. With these remarks, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to debate this Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

 Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to support this very important report of your Committee on behalf of the people of Kaputa.

Sir, I will start my debate by stating some important principles which have been highlighted in your Committee’s report. One of the principles is the serious commitment that the education sector needs to get from both the politicians and those that have been entrusted with the sector. 

The other principle is that every child should have access to good education. Education should be for all. The other important principle is that there is a desire for quality education at all levels. Premised on these, I would like to say that even in your report, it has been indicated that it is this desire to have quality education for all that has prompted this policy shift.

Mr Speaker, in the old education system, some children in the rural areas progressed from Grade 1 to 9 and finally to Grade 12 through the basic education system. Whenever interviews for jobs or training were conducted in places like Kasama, pupils from rural areas like Kaputa, who wanted to attain formal training, did not do well in the interviews. If there were ten or twelve children interviewed, only one passed the interview. The reason the rural children failed was not because they were dull, but because of the seeming disparity between the basic education in the urban and rural areas. The education system for children in urban areas was more advanced than that for children in rural areas. The children from rural areas just progressed to higher grades without being tested. The education system in rural areas focused on quantity and not quality education. What we want is quality and balanced education for children both in the rural and urban areas. When this is done, children from Kaputa will be able to compete favourably with children from urban schools like Lusaka.

Mr Speaker, this shift is actually a very desirable thing as it will improve the education sector. People in developing countries must be able to take risks and face challenges. When there is a big change, those who are cowards will always remain behind. Only people who are brave step out of the box and succeed. Your report has highlighted some challenges. So, how do we tackle these challenges? The decision to have quality education for all, whether these children are in rural or urban areas, is a bold step. As we move towards achieving this goal of quality education for all, we will face some challenges. Now, the question to the hon. Minister and everybody who is involved is: How will we resolve or tackle these challenges?

Mr Speaker, your Committee toured an area in Ndola and, in its report, reported that at a public hearing held there, it was observed that:

“Most of the stakeholders welcomed the shift, saying that the structure the Government was reverting to was what had helped missions and other grant-aided schools, which stuck to it, to produce good results and maintain discipline.”

Mr Speaker, the report is basically talking about the systems that persons like myself and others went through. My initial education was in the village. I think the system equipped me well enough to be able to compete at every level of the education system, including Form 5 and university. I was able to compete well because my early education had taught me how to give the required answer. So, this decision to shift from English to a familiar language in schools should not scare people.

Mr Speaker, what I mean is that this must now allow people to think of how to come out and find solutions to the problems that will arise as a result of this change. We all agree that there are certain programmes that are now being introduced in a rushed fashion. This is, however, because of trying to find immediate answers to certain challenges.  For example, we want to quickly deal with the problem of having very few secondary schools that can absorb many school-going children. 

Therefore, Sir, I commend the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education for taking bold decisions. If the said secondary schools are to be built this year, let us, please, not procrastinate. With the funds that are available, we should immediately erect these institutions so that they are available for use. By 2015, most children must be absorbed in the secondary schools. So, I am not scared or worried about this because I know that it will actually bring good results.

Mr Speaker, this brings me back to the issue of teaching in local languages. Again, this is not a new thing. During my school days, and probably even at the time my father went to school, we learnt in the local languages. I started learning English in Grade 7 or thereabout. 


Mr Ng’onga: So, we literary had a language of instruction other than English. Today, I stand out proudly in this country because I am able to speak both English and my local language.


Mr Speaker: Order, order!

Mr Ng’onga: In view of this, I would like my child to also be able to learn both languages. If you come to Kaputa and ask the people, including teachers, about this change, they will tell you that they are all happy about it because the children are able to understand the familiar language in school. What is happening in one part of the country should not be a policy measure for the whole country. What matters is the balance. We must be able to say this is what should be done and this is what we are able to do.

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

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I would like to take this opportunity to thank your Committee for a job well done. I think this is a very critical report. I would also like to thank the mover and seconder of the Motion for moving the Motion in a very good manner. Now, coming to the Motion, I would like to debate one topic that has been covered in the report. From the outset, I would like to take the debates of Hon. Hamududu and Hon. Mucheleka on the language issue as my own.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, I think it is very important to realise that even if we did things in a certain way such as learning in a local language from Grades 1 to 7 and, thereafter, in English, it does not mean that we have to go back to that way of learning. Things have changed. Education has evolved and we have to move with contemporary times. So, we cannot go back to that system again. 

Mr Speaker, the ideology of “One Zambia, One Nation” was borne outof trying to get rid of regionalism and tribalism. Tribalism was perpetuated by colonialism. As a result, we wanted to ensure that we are one and united, as Zambians, so that we move together in unison towards development.

If you relate this local language issue to Zambezi, which is critical, we have to look into the history of Zambezi in the North-Western Province. Yes, Lunda is one of the seven local official languages as well as Luvale but, in the history of Zambezi, there has been a lot of tribal conflicts because of this.

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Lufuma: As politicians, if you want people in Zambezi to start fighting again because of the language, you go ahead and advocate for what you are advocating for at the moment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Hanjika.

Mr Lufuma: As politicians, we have to be serious about this issue. It is politicians who perpetuate tribalism in Zambezi. I heard someone here, saying, olo, for example. Olo, for what? Are you happy because people are fighting? You should not be happy because people are fighting.

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

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, if hon. Members could recall, this is the first point of order I am raising on this Floor.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Sayifwanda: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member who is debating in order to debate in such a manner. He does not come from Zambezi, but Kabompo. For sure, the whole nation is not happy about what happened in Zambezi. The hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has stated on the Floor of the House that the Government is following the language zoning system. Zambezi West will use Luvale and Zambezi East will use Lunda. This issue has been a burden on my shoulders as Member of Parliament for Zambezi East. Now, when there is that statement by the hon. Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, should I not be happy? Is he really in order to cite my debate in this House …

Mr Mufalali: As hollow.

Ms Sayifwanda: … and create more confusion in Zambezi?

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: There are two aspects here. The aspect that refers to the substantive issue or discourse about the situation in Zambezi cannot be subject of a point of order in the manner in which the point of order has been raised because that was a form of debate. Debating the pros and cons as it were, of taking a particular action, but to the extent that the hon. Member for Kabompo West found it odd that an expression, whose context I cannot remember, but I simply asked what the meaning of olo was at the material point. I was advised that olo means happy. I cannot remember the subject at hand but, just like the hon. Member for Lukulu West referred to his local language earlier on and also interpreted it, no offence was taken. So, to the extent that the hon Member for Kabompo West seems to place reservation on the use of the word olo even after it was explained, I think he is not in order.

Look, when we debate these issues, we may have different positions, but I do not think it is appropriate or correct to personalise them because that took a form of condemnation over that position. I am afraid I have to stop here because the time now is 1915 hours.

That is my ruling.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



The Minister of Home Affairs and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Dr Simbyakula): Sir, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1917 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday 3rd July, 2014.