Debates - Thursday, 19th June, 2014

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Thursday, 19th June, 2014

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]





Mr Speaker: I wish to inform the House that the football and netball games between the National Assembly of Zambia and the Parliament of Zimbabwe which were rescheduled during the last sitting of the House will now be held in Livingstone, the tourist capital, on Sunday, 13th July, 2014.

As hon. Members are aware, the games are in line with our continued efforts to enhance the bilateral and parliamentary relations as well as to accelerate relations between the hon. Members of the two Parliaments.

I, therefore, would like to call upon all the hon. Members to take these games seriously.  The training sessions for these games will commerce this Friday, 20th June, 2014, at 1500 hours at the Zamsure Sports Complex. The captains for the respective teams are Hon. Stephen Kampyongo and Hon. B. K. Kawandami for, of course, football and netball, respectively.

Hon. Members will, in due course, be advised about the logistics relating to this tournament.



Hon. Members, the first ruling relates to a point of order raised by the then Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Hon. H. Kalaba, against the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema.

Hon. Members will recall that on Tuesday, 4th March, 2014, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 387, the then Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Hon. Kalaba, raised the following point of order:

“Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. On Sunday, during the 1300 hours news, the leader of the United Party for National Development (UPND), Mr Hakainde Hichilema, encouraged the hon. Members of this august House, especially those belonging to his party to protest and bring disruptions to the Business of this House. Is the leader of an opposition political party who has never been a councillor in order to encourage hon. Members to come and disrupt the proceedings of this House?”

In my immediate remarks, I reserved my ruling so that I could study the point of order before I could render it.  I have since studied the point of order and I now render my ruling.

The statement complained of by Hon. Kalaba was allegedly a news item. However, the House may wish to note that since Hon. Kalaba did not disclose the specific radio or television station which broadcasted the news item, it was difficult to follow-up his point of order. Nonetheless, the investigations carried out by my office on the matter revealed that The Post newspaper of Monday, 3rd March, 2014, on page 4, carried an article entitled: “HH orders his MPs to continue being unruly in the House”, in which it was reported that Mr Hakainde Hichilema had directed his hon. Members of Parliament to continue their protests regarding the Constitution-making process in the House. The article read in part:

“And UPND Choma Member of Parliament, Conellius Mweetwa, says that the UPND Members of Parliament will follow religiously the instructions from the party leadership saying they are ready for any consequences.

“We, as the UPND leadership, have given express instructions to all our Members of Parliament to continue what they did on Wednesday and Thursday. We are asking all our councillors in the council chambers to emulate what the Members of Parliament are doing so that we take this fight to the local level, Hichilema said.”

The first issue raised by the point of order relates to an outsider influencing an hon. Member of the august House in the discharge of the hon. Member’s parliamentary functions.

Hon. Members, it is a trite principle of parliamentary procedures and practice that hon. Members of Parliament, as representatives of their constituents, are not bound by orders or instructions from any person. Instead, they are only bound by their conscience in performing their representative function.  It is for this reason that hon. Members are clothed by law with freedom of speech and debate in the House which enables them to speak candidly without any fear of any kind of coercion, undue or improper influence or, indeed repercussions from any quarter of society.

Erskine May, in his book entitled Parliamentary Practice, Twenty-Third Edition, on page 147, states as follows:

“Conduct not amounting to a direct attempt improperly to influence Members in the discharge of their duties, but having a tendency to impair their independence in the future performance of their duty may be treated as contempt.”

The second issue raised by the point of order is that of Mr Hakainde Hichilema expressly inciting the UPND Members to disobey lawful orders.

Hon. Members, during the gross disorderly conduct of the Opposition Members in the House on Thursday, 27th February, 2014, the House will recall that I invoked my powers under Standing Order 70 on naming a Member whose conduct was grossly disorderly, and consequently ordered the Opposition Members, whose conduct was grossly disorderly, to withdraw from the House.  The disorderly Members defiantly refused to obey my lawful order. 

By disobeying my order, the Opposition Members breached several provisions of the law.  First, sections 19 (c) and (d) and 24 of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia which provides as follows:

“19. Any person shall be guilty of an offence who –

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

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

Section 24 goes on to provide that:

“ Any person commits an offence who willfully and without lawful cause fails to comply with, or contravenes, any order made under Section 7 or 10, or who willfully fails to obey any other order of the Assembly whereby the Assembly is obstructed in the performance of its functions …”

By disobeying my lawful order, the Opposition Members also committed a criminal offence under section 127 of the Penal Code Act, Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia which states as follows:

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

Thus, Mr Hakainde Hichilema, by inciting the UPND Members to continue disobeying my lawful orders, could be found criminally liable under Section 23 of the Penal Code Act for counselling his hon. Members to commit the said criminal offence. Section 23 of the Penal Code states that:

“When a person counsels another to commit an offence, and an offence is actually committed after such counsel by the person to whom it is given, it is immaterial whether the offence actually committed is the same as that counselled or a different one or whether the offence is committed in the way counselled or in a different way, provided in either case that the facts constituting the offence actually committed are a probable consequence of carrying out the counsel. In either case, the person who gave the counsel is deemed to have counselled the other person to commit the offence actually committed by him.”

In terms of Section 21 (2) of the Penal Code, the offence of counselling another to commit an offence, in this regard, counselling to disobey a lawful order, carries the same punishment as that of the person who is actually committing the offence of disobeying lawful instructions i.e. imprisonment for two years.

Hon. Members, based on these authorities and provisions of the law, and to the extent that Mr Hakainde Hichilema did make the comments attributed to him in The Post newspaper, I find the instruction or counsel coming from him, especially as President of the UPND, to be a contempt of the House, because it, in my opinion, actually impaired and impeded the independence of the UPND Members of Parliament in the execution of their parliamentary duties.  Further, the instruction was also unlawful because it amounted to counselling the UPND Members to commit the criminal offence of disobeying a lawful order as they did in the House on Wednesday, 26th and Thursday, 27th February, 2014.

It is clear from the preceding provisions of the law that the transgressions committed by Mr Hakainde Hichilema are grave. I would, therefore, like to seize this opportunity to issue this timely warning to Mr Hakainde Hichilema and other leaders of political parties represented in the House, and the general public at large, that their comments relating to the business or matters of the House must be measured and made within the strict confines of the law and parliamentary practice and procedures or else they risk not only coming into contempt of the House, but also being liable to be prosecuted and eventually convicted of these criminal offences. 

  I thank you.

  Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Hon Members, the second ruling relates to a point of order raised by hon. Member for Chembe Parliamentary Constituency against what I dubbed as the PF women Members of Parliament.

Hon. Members will recall that on Friday, 28th February, 2014, during His Honour the Vice-President’s Question Time and the Hon. Member for Namwala Parliamentary Constituency, Ms M. Lubezhi, was on the Floor, the Hon. Member for Chembe Parliamentary Constituency raised the following point of order:
“Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order.  Yesterday, this House was sitting and, people out there were listening to our deliberations on Parliament Radio, which is a public radio.  I want to know whether those women of the PF seated across were in order to pass comments on Hon. Muntanga that they can jump on him and shit and urinate on him and make all sorts of comments when the radio was live to the general public. I would like Mr Speaker, to listen to yesterday’s verbatim proceedings.”

In my immediate remarks, I reserved my ruling indicating that I needed to carefully examine the point of order before I could rule on it.  I have since examined it and now render the ruling.

The hon. Member’s point of order was general in nature as it alleged that the female hon. Members belonging to the PF hurled insults at Hon. Muntanga. My office had recourse to the verbatim record of the proceedings of the House on the material day, which was Thursday, 27th February, 2014, to ascertain which female Members from the PF had, indeed, insulted Hon. Muntanga.

The investigation established that Hon. E. Banda, Deputy Minister of Gender and Child Development uttered the insulting words complained of, in the Bemba language…

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

 Mr Speaker: ... and as a running commentary, while seated, against Hon. Muntanga.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Regrettably, Hon. Members, the verbatim record also shows several other insulting statements against Hon. Muntanga and generally against the Opposition Members by Hon. E. Banda, and other female Members from the PF, namely Hon. B. K. Kawandami, Hon. J. Kapata and Hon. D. Kazunga.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, our rules on etiquette prohibit the use of insulting language against a fellow Member.  Hon. Members will recall that I have, on several occasions in the past guided the House extensively on this issue. A case in point is the ruling which I  made on 20th November, 2013, on a point of order which was raised by Hon. M Mutelo against the Minister of Youth and Sport, Hon. C. Kambwili.  In that ruling, I reminded hon. Members of the provisions of Rules 5 and 7 of Chapter 5 of the Members’ Handbook which provide important rules regarding parliamentary etiquette that hon. Members are expected to observe at all times in the House. 

I guided the House that its proceedings were based on a long-standing tradition of respect for the integrity of all hon. Members. Thus, the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House is strictly forbidden.  Personal attacks, insults and obscenities are equally prohibited. Hon. Members, uttering insults and obscenities against another hon. Member is not only irresponsible and intolerable, but also undermines the dignity and respect due to this House as a whole.

Once again, I urge those Members in the habit of such undignified behaviour in the House to immediately desist from doing so. Hon. Members, personal aspersions, unbecoming language, and insults do not augur well for the House. This is unacceptable and, if unbridled, will erode the public respect and confidence due to the National Assembly. As a presiding officer, I will not allow any hon. Member to bring this House into ridicule and disrepute.

Hon. Members, you are, again, reminded that the rules and procedures of the House are designed to ensure that you exercise your privilege of free speech with a good sense of judgment and taste. You should always be courteous in your language towards each other.

Hon. Members, the words uttered against Hon. Muntanga and other hon. Members of the Opposition, in general, are not only unprintable, but have certainly caused considerable embarrassment and disrespect to this august House. I, therefore, rule that those utterances were out of order and direct that they be expunged from the record of the parliamentary debates for Thursday, 27th February, 2014.

Furthermore, I wish to remind the erring hon. Members that they belong to a dignified House which demands of its hon. Members to behave in a manner that extols its dignity and integrity.  I do understand that the mood in the House at the material time may have evoked some excitement in some hon. Members, but that still did not justify those utterances. You and every hon. Member were bound to observe the rules of this House. However, since you are first offenders, let this serve as a timely warning. A repeat of such a breach in future will attract stiff penalties. So, I strongly advise these erring hon. Members to strictly abide by the rules of the House, henceforth.

I thank you.

Hon. Members, the third ruling relates to a point of order raised by the hon. Member for Chembe Parliamentary Constituency against The Post newspaper.

Hon. Members will recall that on Tuesday, 11th March, 2014, when the House was considering Question for Oral Answer No. 427 and the hon. Member for Kabwe Central Parliamentary Constituency, Mr James Kapyanga, MP, was raising a supplementary question, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chembe Parliamentary Constituency, Mr Mwansa Mbulakulima, raised a point of order. The focus of the point of order was the editorial comment of The Post of Friday, 7th March, 2014, with the headline, “Punish Unruly MPs”. The Hon. Member sought to know whether the editor of the newspaper was in order, to influence or instruct me as Mr Speaker, on disciplinary matters of the House given that I am supposed to act independently and impartially.  The Hon. Member further submitted that the editorial comment on the events in the House on Wednesday, 26th and Thursday, 27th February, 2014, brought the House into disrepute. In substantiating his argument, Mr Mbulakulima, MP, highlighted the seventh and the last paragraph of the editorial comment. The seventh paragraph reads as follows:

“The first signs of this Parliament’s indiscipline started when the Motion to remove Mr Rupiah Banda’s presidential immunity so that he could be investigated and prosecuted for corruption and other abuses of office was tabled in the House. The MMD and UPND Members of Parliament opposed this Motion, but knowing that the numbers were not in their favour, they became unruly. What they could not achieve through democratic means, they wanted to get through unruly conduct. But they failed.”

The last paragraph reads:

“What the opposition Members did deserves to be punished and must be punished.  A clear message needs to be sent that no indiscipline will be tolerated. It doesn’t make sense for one to belong to a parliament he or she does not respect or like.  Those who are not willing to respect the Standing Orders must leave. If they are not willing to leave on their own, they must be kicked out.”

Hon. Members, the other relevant excerpts from the editorial comment in question are as follows:

“We are increasingly seeing diminishing levels of discipline in our Parliament, in the House. This is more so from the opposition Members of Parliament. Their behaviour was so bad that the Speaker’s tolerance had to be stretched to the utmost. And seldom have we seen in this country such strength of character in a Speaker as that which was exhibited by Dr Patrick Matibini. But in this strength also lay a weakness. By tolerating that mischief, that unruly conduct, Dr Matibini opened a fissure that is today being exploited without respite by the same opposition Members of Parliament to disrupt that which they don’t like or think they cannot achieve through civil and obedient approaches. They got away with unruly conduct during the immunity Motion and they now believe that is the way business is conducted under Speaker Matibini.

Whoever violates our Parliament’s Standing Orders undermines the authority, integrity and prestige of our Parliament. Whoever violates the House’s rules of discipline disrupts order and should not be tolerated. If you don’t have the numbers in the House to carry out your decisions, that shouldn’t drive you to unruly behavior. The minority must not act against the decision of the majority through the unruly conduct that we have been witnessing of late. The Speaker should also not permit, as he has been doing so far, breaches of discipline in the House. Those who violate disciplinary codes deserve to be punished. And the punishment is for the good of the institution, for the collective good of everybody. If anarchy, unruliness, is allowed to rule the House, the end result will be disastrous, it will be veritable chaos.”

Hon. Members, in line with parliamentary practice and procedure, and the rule of natural justice which demands that a decision maker must give an opportunity to a person whose interests may be adversely affected by their decision, the opportunity to be heard, the National Assembly wrote to the Managing Editor of The Post requesting him to show cause why the National Assembly would not cite him for breach of Parliamentary Privileges and contempt of the House for publishing the editorial comment which was alleged to be derogatory to the Members and the House as a whole.

The Post newspaper responded through its advocates, Nchito & Nchito Advocates.

Firstly, The Post averred that the letter did not cite which provisions of the National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) Act, Chapter 12 of the Laws of Zambia the newspaper may have breached and, therefore, made it unable to defend itself against unparticularised allegations.

Secondly, the newspaper averred that any offences allegedly committed under the Act were to be tried by the court and not the National Assembly.

Thirdly, the newspaper’s lawyers argued that the Constitution of Zambia in Article 20 provided for freedom of expression which extended to freedom of the press. They further argued that the privileges of Parliament did not clothe Members of Parliament with cloistered virtue and that their public deliberations were neither infallible nor beyond criticism. They further challenged my office to indicate the specific legal provision allegedly breached by their client and the law that gives a Committee of Parliament power to summon persons for the purpose of punishment. The newspaper’s advocates, therefore, maintained that their client was not in breach of any law.

Hon. Members, the point of order raises two issues. The first issue is whether the editorial comment of The Post on the disorderly conduct of hon. Opposition Members on the material dates amounted to making disparaging statements against hon. Opposition Members and thereby bringing the House into disrepute contrary to the privileges of the House. The second issue is whether the statements in the editorial comment on me amounted to directing or influencing me in the performance of my duties. I will address each of the issues in turn.

Hon. Members, in his point of order, the hon. Member for Chembe brought out the fact that this House enjoys certain privileges and in particular the freedom of speech and debate in the House which enables hon. Members to speak freely in the House without fear of any legal process or intimidation from any quarter of society for what they say in the House.  In light of this privilege, the point of order seeks a determination to be made by me on whether the editorial comment of The Post newspaper on the conduct of hon. Opposition Members did amount to making disparaging statements against hon. Opposition Members of Parliament and thereby bringing the House into disrepute.

In its editorial, The Post newspaper expressed its opinion on the conduct of hon. Opposition Members in the House on the material dates.  Hon. Members, the decisions, actions or conduct of this House are, by virtue of the House being a public institution, neither infallible nor beyond criticism. Therefore, the National Assembly, as the highest representative body of the people, cannot escape or be free from public criticism. In fact, public scrutiny of the House and continuous monitoring and review of its actions and decisions enhances, in my opinion, makes it relevant to the democratic dispensation we so much cherish.

In this regard, The Post newspaper’s criticism was, therefore, an exercise of the press freedom which falls within the ambit of freedom of expression as guaranteed by Article 20 of our Constitution.

The House may further note that the press enjoys freedom to report on the proceedings of Parliament accurately and to comment on the deliberations of the House. However, I must hasten to add that such comments must fall within the parameters of the law. As I stated in another ruling, in which Hon. Nkombo, had complained against the Zambia Daily Mail newspaper, press freedom as guaranteed under Article 20 of the Constitution is not absolute, but subject to certain limitations such as the respect of the rights and liberties of other persons or citizens. This means that the exercise of press freedom places a responsibility on the media to take necessary measures to ensure that it does not, in its reporting, exceed the limitations provided by law.

In addition, while the language used in reporting on the National Assembly or criticising its actions and decisions may be forceful and, in some cases, vociferous in enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, it must neither contain attacks on hon.  Members on account of their conduct in Parliament nor be offensive or derogatory. Only then can the press claim to be performing its democratic role within the bounds of fair comments or justifiable criticism. In such circumstances, I urge The Post newspaper and other purveyors of news to ensure that their coverage and comments of parliamentary proceedings should always be measured and made within the strict confines of the law and parliamentary practice and procedures.

I will now address the second issue as to whether the remarks in the editorial comment directed at me amounted to instructing or influencing me in the performance of my duties. Let me begin by reminding the public and in particular The Post newspaper, that I am legally and procedurally reposited with the power to maintain order and discipline in this House, a function which I must exercise with independence, impartiality and without any influence, interference or control from any person or authority, no matter how strong their urge or temptation to do so may be.

Needless to state also that according to Section 19(a) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act “It is an offence for anybody to show disrespect in speech or manner towards the Speaker.”

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Therefore, The Post newspaper or any other person has no power or authority to direct the Speaker in the exercise of his/her functions in the House as he/she is guided only by the laws of the land and parliamentary practice and procedures of the House. Further, The Post and other stakeholders are especially warned about the offence of showing disrespect to the Speaker in speech or any other manner.

Hon. Members, the provisions of Sections 27 and 28(3) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act are clear on the powers of the National Assembly to either punish offenders for breach of its privileges and contempt of the House or refer the same to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for prosecution in the courts of law. 

Let me end my ruling by urging the public at large and, in particular, the media as a whole to get familiarised with the law, customs, traditions, practices and procedures of the House, as well as the rights, privileges and immunities of its hon. Members so as to avoid being punished by the House or prosecuted through the Office of the DPP for contempt of the House.
I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!




477. Mr Kapyanga (Kabwe Central) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a) whether the conference facilities at the Government Complex in Lusaka were fully utilised;

(b) how many events took place at the Complex from January, 2012 to December, 2013; and

(c) how much money was raised from the events.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Col. Kaunda): Mr Speaker, the conference facilities at the Government Complex in Lusaka are fully utilised depending upon the requests received for various bookings.

The number of events that took place at the Government Complex from January, 2012 to December, 2013 are as follows: 
         The year 2012
          Function                            Number

Weddings   104
Workshops/Seminars  412
Trade exhibitions    32
            International Conferences   02
            Total    550
 The year 2013
             Function                             Number 
           Weddings     63
           Workshops/Seminars  364
           Trade exhibitions    13
           International Conferences   04
           Total                          446

Mr Speaker, the money that was raised from these events amounted to K16, 848, 928.00 and is tabulated as follows:

 The year 2012
 The year 2013

Grand Total K16,848,250.00

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kapyanga: Mr Speaker, Kabwe District has continued hosting various important conferences and conventions of historical nature which are very important. These conventions and conferences have been held at the Mulungushi University. After some conferences or conventions, the university management has incurred a lot of costs in repairs to the institution.

Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that Kabwe Central is centrally located in Zambia. Does the Government have any intentions of constructing conference facilities in Kabwe?

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, as of now, there are no plans …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Col. Kaunda: … to construct any conference centre in Kabwe.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, the Government Complex has very good conferences rooms which have nice furniture. Is it the Government that is running these conference rooms or they have been leased out to private entities to maintain and run?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the complex is under the Hostels Board of Zambia which falls under my ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether his ministry has any plans to transfer the functions of managing conference facilities in the country to the Ministry of Tourism and Art considering that it is the one that deals with issues of entertainment so that it can have maximum use of the conference facilities.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, we have no intentions of doing that.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, may I find out from the hon. Minister, whether he is satisfied with the income that is coming from the activities at the Government Complex. In fact, last year, workers at the place went on strike because they had not been paid for some time.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, like any business, there is room for improvement. The employees who went on strike belong to our customers and not Government.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the statistics which the hon. Deputy Minister read out indicate that those who use the complex are either getting married or having domestic seminars and conferences.

Mr Speaker, we know that other countries have made huge amounts of money by hosting international conferences which, in our case, have been very few.

Sir, is the hon. Deputy Minister not worried that what appears to be the isolation of Zambia internationally and regionally is going to compromise the viability of that facility?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I cannot comment on matters related to the isolation which the hon. Member has talked about because such matters are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sir, in terms of our facilities, yes, there is always room for improvement. We have seen that other conference centres make more money than we do. It is our intention, when money is available, to build a superstructure in terms of conference facilities so that more people can come and visit us.

Thank you, Sir.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister the value which the complex has added to Government operations. How advantageous has it been to have short courses, workshops, seminars and conferences held at the Government Complex as opposed to lodges or other private hotels. Have we saved any money?

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, yes, if you compare our rates to those of lodges and hotels, you will notice that we are cheaper. We do encourage our ministries and spending agencies to use our conference facilities. I remember at one stage, the President directing that a seminar which was being held in Livingstone be transferred to the Government Complex.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, I agree with the hon. Member for Lupososhi that, the complex is a showpiece. I do remember that …

Mr Mwila: Ask, iwe!

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Chipungu: Yes, I am coming to the question, Mr Speaker.

Sir, some of us here contributed to the construction of that complex during the First Republic.

Mr. Belemu: Aah!

Mr Chipungu: Sir, I want to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister if there is any form of appreciation in one way or the other for such people.


Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, when the hon. Member comes to book a room for a conference, I will give him a discount.

I thank you, Sir.


Dr Kalila (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, conferencing and event management is a big business and even if there are no plans by the Government to transfer that function to the Ministry of Tourism and Art, I would like the hon. Deputy Minister to tell me whether he does not consider the suggestion by the hon. Member for Chongwe a progressive one which his Government should consider.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, I have already stated that conference management is a big business. It would be desirable for us, funds being available, to build a superstructure for a conference centre so that we can attract other international conferences to Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.


478. Mr Kunda (Muchinga) (on behalf of Mr Mbulakulima) (Chembe) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a) whether the Government had any plans to abolish the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) and, if so, when the plans would be effected; and

(b) if the programme would be retained, whether the Government had any plans to increase the number bags of fertiliser allocated to farmers.

The Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Monde): Mr Speaker, the Government has no intentions to abolish the FISP. Instead, the Government is working towards reforming it in order to develop more effective and sustainable mechanisms of implementing the programme, including the adequacy and modalities of support and the need of graduating the beneficiaries.

Mr Speaker, the Government will, in the 2014/2015 Agricultural Season, increase beneficiary small-scale farmers from the current 900,000 to 1,000,000. The Government has already increased the number of crops supported under the FISP to include sorghum and groundnuts in order to promote diversification and enable farmers to realise relatively higher production and profitability.

Mr Speaker, allow me to say also that there will be a comprehensive ministerial statement tomorrow by the hon. Minister on the issue. Hon. Members must attend tomorrow’s meeting.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: They should attend not only tomorrow but always.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister indicated that they have intentions of revising the FISP. That is a very encouraging statement. I would like to know what weaknesses they have observed in the current FISP in order to identify the areas of improvement.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, as you may be aware, this is a very big programme. Every year, we experience problems, firstly, in the enrollment of farmers. Secondly, we need to improve the modalities through which we execute the programme, one of which is the E-voucher system. We intend to make the FISP better than it has been over the years.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, does the Government consider the FISP to be a social or economic programme?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, FISP is not a social, but economic programme in the sense that it is through it that the small-scale farmers realise high yields such as the one the country is recording this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I rise on points of order when I am frustrated with the answers I get to my questions. My question was: “What are the challenges in the current form of the FISP?” The hon. Minister’s answer talked about enrolment and the E-voucher system which has not been implemented before on all the credit programmes for the farmers. I am aware that the E-Voucher system should have been a pilot project covering only ten districts in the last farming season. How, therefore, can he say it is a challenge even before it is implemented? Is he in order not to give me the answer that I asked for?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, as you continue to respond to questions, please, clarify that aspect of the point of order.

The hon. Member for Kaputa may continue.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, considering that the hon. Minister has indicated that the FISP will be reformed, I would like to find out how farmers can be able to graduate from a lima which entails two bags of fertiliser down and two bags of fertiliser up and one bag of seeds. How in hell can a farmer graduate from this? This is a consumptive quantity …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, please, withdraw the expression, “How in hell”.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the expression. I wanted to find out how a farmer can graduate from the consumptive quantity.

Mr Speaker: That is better.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, let me begin by responding to the concern raised in the point of order as you directed. Currently, we have slightly above 1.4 million farmers in the country and a big challenge is to identify them. As a Government, we are working towards ensuring that we identify the farmers properly. In the previous season, 900,000 farmers benefitted from the FISP. Our intention is to ensure that all small-scale farmers are supported by the Government through FISP.

Mr Speaker, the reason I mentioned the E-Voucher system is that it was intended to be a pilot programme in the previous season. However, our intention is to ensure that we use the system in the administration of the FISP. That is one of the serious things that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is working on to ensure that it properly handles the challenges it faces when administering the FISP.

Mr Speaker, as regards Hon. Ng’onga’s question on the graduation of farmers, I would like state that what we are currently giving our farmers is not much and would love to increase the benefits of the farmers through the FISP probably from half a lima to a hectare or more and increase the packs. However, resources are not available and, therefore, what we want to see is that those who have been receiving the FISP graduate so that we can enroll new farmers that have not benefited from this programme.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): Mr Speaker, …

Hon. Opposition Members: GBM! GBM!

Mr Mbewe: Hammer!


Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, it is in public domain that we are expecting a bumper harvest this year.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mwamba: I wanted to find out from the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock whether the Government has plans to purchase all the maize from all the farmers.

Mr Mwila: Tabakwete capacity. Nimwebo fye mwingashita, mudala.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, the amount of money for maize purchases for this year is budgeted for in the 2014 Budget. As a ministry, we are only going to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize. Even in the last season, we encouraged private partners such as grain traders and millers to purchase maize from farmers. You will recall that in the last marketing season, we failed to reach the target of purchasing 500,000 metric tonnes. We only managed to buy 426,000 metric tonnes. We have enough partners that are going to get the other maize stocks in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister mentioned the E-voucher system. Are we likely to see it being implemented this year?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, we are still making consultations and working out the modalities. It is not going to be implemented this year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, in response to the question by the hon. Member for Kaputa, the hon. Minister said that given the small quantity of support that the farmers are receiving, the Government hopes to graduate these farmers from this support. Is this graduation going to be based on farmers being empowered so that they can go on with the activities on their own or is the Government going to abandon them because the quantities of fertiliser and seed they are given now are not even enough for them to make any savings? After more than a decade of the FISP, how many farmers have graduated from the programme because they have recorded success and have been empowered? Is the FISP more of a social than an economic programme in so far as the farmers are concerned?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, this programme has been running for many years and I think that many people know this. So far, we have not graduated any farmer from the programme. Currently, we are checking whether we should graduate any farmers very soon or not. However, this programme was originally designed to eventually graduate the farmers from it. Therefore, when the Government sees that it has created capacity for the farmers, it will then start graduating them from the programme. These farmers are at different levels. In short, we are in the process of reforming this programme. When we come up with the full reformation programme, we shall deliver it to the nation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, it is obviously true that the FISP was politicised in the past. At the genesis, farmers were supposed to graduate from the FISP after three years, but this failed because it was seen as a vote-spinning method. I want to find out from the hon. Minister whether this time, we will be honest and tell the peasant farmers out there that after a certain period, they will be removed from the list of the FISP beneficiaries so that they can plan and be able to fend for themselves when that time comes.

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, that is the reformation which I am talking about. We are doing evaluations and when we are ready, we shall be able to announce the results of that evaluation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kunda: Mr Speaker, considering that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has failed miserably …

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Kunda: … to implement the FISP, can the hon. Deputy Minister assure the nation and this House whether they will be able to deal with FISP properly and adequately this year?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, if having an unprecedented bumper harvest is failing, …


Mr Monde: … then the PF has failed. However, we have never recorded a 3.3 million metric tonnes of maize harvest …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, as the Government, we have not failed to administer FISP properly. That is why we have managed to record bumper harvests.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mweetwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised. Is it procedural?

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, it is. I thank you for giving me this opportunity to raise this very serious point of order. I am compelled to do so given the dignity of this House, and that statements that are made here should be profoundly factual. Is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to mislead himself and attempt to mislead this House and the nation, at large, by stating that the expected bumper harvest, if at all it will take place, is as a result of the good implementation of the FISP …


Mr Mweetwa: … when, in fact, around the country, in many constituencies, let alone, in Choma, the inputs that farmers were supposed to receive have been kept for the next season?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes!

Mr Mweetwa: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister in order to try to politicise this matter when it is of grave concern to us hon. Members of Parliament who come from agriculture dependent constituencies, and, indeed, to the nation at large? Is he in order to politicise such a very serious national matter?

I need your serious ruling.

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

Mr Speaker: Order!

There is no ruling to be rendered as such, other than to note that this point of order is disqualified by the fact that the person who raised it has debated it. I asked him whether the point of order was on an issue related to procedure or otherwise before he raised it. I know that there is a convention that all that has to be stated on the Floor of the House must be truthful but, please, let us not use that as a guise to bring these unacceptable points of order on the Floor of the House  as an avenue to debate or challenge a statement. That is not the way to go. If you have a follow- up question, formulate it, and let the hon. Minister respond.

The hon. Member for Kaoma Central may continue.

Mr Antonio: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that in the 2014/2015 farming season, the number of fertiliser bags to be given under the FISP to farmers will be increased. In this season, the Government gave two bags of Urea, two bags of D Compound fertiliser and one bag of seeds. May I know the number of fertiliser bags they are going to give the farmers in the 2014/2015 farming season?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, in my answer, I said that we are going to increase the number of beneficiaries from 900,000 to 1,000,000.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Konga (Chavuma): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, on one hand, indicated that the Government intends to increase the number of beneficiaries from 900,000 to 1,000,000 but, at the same time, the amount of maize bought by the Government will remain at 500,000 metric tonnes. How does he hope to dispose all the surplus maize that is going to be grown by the increased number of farmers benefitting from the FISP?

Mr Monde: Mr Speaker, earlier, I said that the duty of buying maize is not only for the Government. In fact, the Government only buys maize for reserves.

   Sir, I also gave an example of last season where we had the private sector also buying. Therefore, we are partnering with the private sector, grain traders and millers to procure the maize which is going to be produced by farmers.

I thank you, Sir.


479. Mr Mwila asked the Vice-President:

(a) how many people had been employed by the Public Service Commission to be stationed in Chipili District;

(b) where the recruitment was conducted; and

(c) how many people had been employed from Chipili District.

The Deputy Minister in the Vice-President’s Office (Mr Mwango): Mr Speaker, the number of people employed to be stationed in Chipili District is fifty-six.

Sir, the recruitment was conducted at the Provincial Administration in Mansa, Luapula Province. The exact number of people employed from Chipili District is difficult to ascertain as the applicants from Luapula Province were using Mansa addresses. However, the number of the people employed from within Luapula Province is thirty-one. In addition, five classified daily employees were recruited by the Provincial Administration in Mansa, namely four drivers and one office orderly. It is the responsibility of the Provincial Administration to employ the classified daily employees.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, how did you arrive at a decision to recruit from Mansa, which is 65 km from Chipili? As a result, the people of Chipili could not manage to travel to Mansa. Can His Honour the Vice-President explain the rationale behind such a move so that I go and tell my people the reasoning behind what happened.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Vice-President (Dr Scott): Mr Speaker, I am not sure that what we said has the meaning that we actually recruited people from Mansa. The office of the recruitment agency was in Mansa. We employed people who may have been half or completely from Chipili. What we said is just that the addresses that they gave where Mansa addresses. At the moment, we cannot work out exactly where those who were employed came from.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, why has the Government failed to pay salaries for the daily classified employees in the new districts since October last year, including Chipili.

Mr Speaker: Order!

The problem with that question is that you have moved away from the Question which is about Chipili. However, if His Honour the Vice-President is able to respond to your question, I will give him the liberty to do so.

The Vice-President: No, Mr Speaker, I did not study the Sikongo situation …


The Vice-President: … when I was preparing the response to the question which is under consideration.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if all those who were recruited are now stationed in Chipili, and if they are, what offices they are occupying if the Government is not incurring expenses in renting houses.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, that seems to be a new question which I did not cover in my research.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, are the classified daily employees and drivers who were employed in Chipili receiving their monthly salaries or not?

The Vice-President: Mr Speaker, the situation is becoming embarrassing. The questions being asked are not on the track because they are not related to the original question. I have no idea whether those who are asking the questions are being paid to do so.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Understand His Honour the Vice-President when he says that he does not have certain information at hand.


480. Mr Ndalamei asked the Minister of Health:

(a) why construction of staff houses at Mabua and Mutala Health Posts in Sikongo Parliamentary Constituency had stalled; and

(b) when the project would be completed.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Shakafuswa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

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

Sir, we come to this House to ask questions on behalf of the people of Zambia who sent us here because they need the answers. Is His Honour the Vice-President in order to pretend to be ignorant of the situation on the ground when new districts were created in this country, but employees in those districts have not been paid from October last year? Is he in order to come and feign ignorance on these subjects? I seek your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: Order!

There is an observation which I made earlier on. However, perhaps now, I need to make a ruling. My understanding of His Honour the Vice-President’s response is that the information sought is not at hand. I said that earlier. I have said before that there is a certain type of information or data which, by its nature, cannot always be expected to be in possession of the hon. Ministers. I have also said before that they are not encyclopedic. So, if you want specific data, and not policy issues, outside the main question presented, I think the fair and most appropriate thing is to file in a question.

I note that some of you have been asking new questions, but still pressing for immediate answers. Let us be fair to each other.

Mr Mbewe: They are computers!

Mr Speaker: Well, the hon. Member for Chadiza is suggesting that they are computers. I am saying they are not.


Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the construction of staff houses at Mabua and Mutala Health Posts has delayed due to the depletion of funds initially allocated to the two projects. However, the Ministry of Health, in the fourth quarter of 2013, provided additional resources for the completion of the two projects to the tune of K50,000 for each project.

Sir, works could not start immediately because the area was water logged. However, contractors for both projects moved on site in May 2014, and works are in progress. These projects are being co-ordinated by the Provincial Health Office.

Mr Speaker, we expect both projects to be completed within a period of three months.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that despite the ministry having released additional funds, there is nothing happening at the construction sites for the two houses in Mabua and Mutala? If he is aware, what action is he going to take so that these houses are completed in time?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the information we have is that works are going on.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the hon. Deputy Minister stated that the contractors are on site. What are the names of those contractors?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, since the information being requested for by Hon. Miyutu is not part of the question, we do not have it here with us.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, Liuwa Constituency is next to Sikongo where …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Deputy Minister, who is answering questions on the Floor of the House in order to fail to categorically provide an answer to a question related to the contractors when it is him who said that two contractors where already on site? That information is not from a question. It came from him. How can he fail to tell us the names of the contractors? Is he in order to run away from a question?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: In another breath, I have said that when questions are posed, the hon. Ministers, like some already do, should anticipate certain information to be asked for. They should further get as much information around the question as they can possibly muster, especially information of a general nature. I am concerned about statistics, but information of a general nature would be useful to keep at hand just in case there is probing which appears to be unusual.

Further, candid responses are advisable. I am aware that some hon. Ministers have indicated, in some cases, that they do not have certain information and that they are willing to come back to the House with answers. I think that is honourable. There will be an occasion when you may not have all the information at hand and I do not see anything wrong in saying that the particular information is not at hand, but will be supplied later. Perhaps, that way, we might avoid a flurry of questions around the same subject.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I was saying that my constituency is near Sikongo where the construction of health posts began in 2011 and they have not been completed up to now. Is the hon. Minister aware that money was provided for the works? In spite of the extra funding that was provided, there is nothing happening in terms of completing these projects?

Sir, flooding is good for us because that is when we work and, therefore, that should not be an excuse. Is the hon. Minister aware that nothing is happening?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, information on Liuwa is not available and was not part of the question.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, it seems the hon. Minister is misleading this House. The hon. Member of Parliament for …

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

Ms Lubezhi(Namwala): … Sikongo wants to know what progress has been made with regard to the construction projects. Can the hon. Deputy Minister inform us the names of the contractors since he seems to know that there are contractors on the site?

Mr Speaker: I think, if we follow the discourse, we are past that stage and I made a ruling thereon.

Dr Kalila: Mr Speaker, I think this puts the House in a difficult situation. The hon. Member for Sikongo said that nothing is happening on the ground while the hon. Minister is saying that the contractors are on site. Who are we going to believe? Could the hon. Deputy Minister consider going back to get more details and then providing them to the House to inform us.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, we have infrastructure operation officers on the ground. The information which we have provided is what we were given by them. We will report to the House if there is any information that is variant. As at now, the information which we have provided is what we have.

I thank you, Sir.


481. Mr Mwila asked the Minister of Finance:

(a) how much money, in terms of internal and external loans, the Government contracted from January 2012 to December, 2013;

(b) what the effect of the loans on the economy are; and

(c) how much interest had accrued on the loans as of January, 2014.

The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Speaker, during the period January, 2012, to December, 2013, the Government contracted external loans amounting to US$800 million to finance the implementation of various Government programmes. In the same period, the Government contracted internal loans amounting to K22.62 billion through the issuance of Government securities. Of this amount, K9.11 billion was raised in 2012, while K13.52 billion was raised in 2013.

Sir, the proceeds of the external loans contracted have been channelled towards the implementation of infrastructure projects in key sectors such as agriculture, energy, transportation and communication. Investment in these key growth sectors has contributed to the overall growth of the Zambian economy. Internal loans contracted between January, 2012 and December, 2014, were used to finance programmes in the 2012 and 2013 budgets.

Mr Speaker, the Government made interest payments amounting to US$40.72 million on the amounts outstanding on the external loans contacted during the period January, 2012 and December, 2013. In the same period, the Government spent a total of K3.40 million on interest payments for domestic debt. Domestic interest payments amounting to K1.53 million and K1.87 million were made in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, with regards to external borrowing, did the Government borrow as approved by Parliament?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, when we have exhausted the limits set by Parliament, we come back to ask for higher ceilings. That is what we have done in the past. All the borrowing is within the limits set by Parliament.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, against the background of the limits given by Parliament for borrowing, what is the ministry doing to make sure that we do not borrow beyond the country’s capability to pay back?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, it is the Government’s policy to ensure that borrowing is kept at a minimum because servicing loans both externally and internally is very expensive. In fact, for internal borrowing, the effect of borrowing huge amounts results in pushing up the interest rates. In order for the Treasury instruments to be purchased, you are inclined to raise the interest rates substantially. Apart from overcrowding the space which should be occupied by the private sector borrowers, it also has the effect of pushing up the interest rates by the commercial banks. The Government’s intention is to limit the country’s borrowing. We do hope that there will be fewer demands for projects which are not already factored into the annual budgets.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I would like you to take judicial notice that the Zambian Kwacha against the United States Dollar is melting like butter in the Kalahari. What effect will such a situation have on the economy and the people of Zambia as the country repays its external loans?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the kwacha and all currencies move up and down constantly. Two weeks ago, the kwacha had reached levels which were very worrying because the decline in kwacha parity for a country which imports so much is very costly. Drastic falls in the value of the kwacha have the effect of sparking inflationary spirals. So, we are very mindful of issues to do with the parity of the kwacha. This is why measures have been taken to bring the kwacha to acceptable levels of exchange against the US Dollar.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, this Parliament did mandate the hon. Minister of Finance to  borrow money. Has he borrowed enough money to cater for the purchase of all the maize within the country so that the farmers can also benefit from the borrowing?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to say, “Good afternoon, Hon. GBM.”


Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the Government wants to avoid mass borrowing to finance maize purchases because it has a lot of risks including glaring irregularities. This is why the Government is limiting itself to only buying the strategic stock and leaving the rest of the maize purchases to the private sector, which is also a very good thing. I think that people who are very well positioned in the private sector are very happy that the Government is …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, before we went on a break, I was saying that the Government wants to limit its role in crop purchases. Buying crops, especially maize from the far-flung areas of our country is a very expensive process.  I think it is only good for the country if we can get a greater infusion of the private sector in that business. Private sector participation in crop purchasing can only have profoundly salutary effects.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, is this the reason the Government has conspicuously avoided announcing the floor price of maize up to now?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, my hon. Colleague, a very energetic and capable Minister, Hon. Simuusa, will be dealing with those matters in due course. It would be imprudent and inappropriate for me to pre-empty what he is supposed to say.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi: Mr Speaker, the Government has failed to generate revenue for current developmental expenditure, hence the borrowing. Does the hon. Minister not agree with me that this is a classic example of a debt trap?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, all the borrowing, both internal and external, are much within the debt sustainability threshold for the country. In fact, external borrowing as a proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has come down since we started using 2010 as the index year. We have all along been using 1994 as a base year for the computation of our GDP and related factors. Our borrowing is well within the acceptable borrowing thresholds.

Sir, in fact, if it was not for the emotions and politics in our country which sometimes tend to have a very low rationality content, it would have been wiser for us to have borrowed more money from external sources which have lower interest rates when compared to local ones.  The last loan we contracted externally had an interest of 8.5 per cent. We pay up to 18 per cent interest on loans sourced internally. Thus, it is more prudent for us to borrow externally. In fact, that way, we would have increased the foreign exchange inflow.

 Sir, I appreciate the legitimacy of the concerns by the hon. Member for Namwala. Reckless borrowing can be dangerous to the country because we would be mortgaging the interests of posterity. The Government is very mindful of that and shall stay within the reasonable parameters of borrowing so that it can avoid debt unsustainability.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo: Mr Speaker, actually my question is very close to the one my sister from Namwala raised. I really want to get comfort from the hon. Minister of Finance on where he hopes our economy to actually get money to pay back loans which we are accruing. I know he answered the question from Hon. Lubezhi ...

Mr Speaker: Are you suggesting that it is redundant?

Mr Mtolo: Sir, I think he should still answer my question. The money being borrowed is being invested in projects which are long-term in terms of productivity. With that in mind, where do we hope to get money to pay back the loans?

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, debt servicing is not a problem for us because our economy has kept on growing. For instance, next year, there will be more minerals produced and, therefore, there will be enhanced capacity for us to service the external borrowing which will not amount to more than $200 million anyway. A growing agriculture sector has also contributed to a growing economy. Previously, our export earnings comprised basically minerals, principally copper, but now the non-mineral exports which we call the non-traditional exports are increasing yearly and are contributing up to 33 per cent to our foreign exchange earnings. The economy will keep growing, especially, when we invest in areas like the power sector. Zambia, by next year, will be importing very sizable amounts of power which will be paid for in hard currency. So, the economy is growing and we are investing in its productive sectors. Investment in infrastructure is an essential stimulus to the growth of the economy. You cannot have agriculture and other economic activities booming without proper infrastructure in place.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Sir, our borrowing is very much contextualised. I know that the Hon. Member for Chipata Central is trying to protect the interests of generations yet to come. Together, we should exercise high levels of responsibility. Should the Government ever exceed the reasonable parameters of borrowing, this House I am sure will put it in check. The Opposition is there to ensure that the Government is accountable and does not impair the prospects for posterity.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!


Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, as explained to us, the borrowing that we are witnessing now is meant for infrastructure development. I would like to find out from the hon. Minister of Finance, whom I respect so much, what the effect of this borrowing …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised and I am supposing it is a procedural one. Let us see.


Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, I just want the record to be set straight. Is the hon. Minister on the Floor of the House in order to say that we shall be importing power when he meant exporting it because we produce a lot of it in Zambia?

Mr Speaker: I took that to be a slip of the tongue, but I will let the hon. Minister clarify that issue after the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i’s question.

Mr Muchima: … will be in the lives of the people of the North-Western Province, in particular, where the T5 International Jimbe Road has not been touched. There are actually boreholes on the road …

Hon. Government Members: Boreholes.

Mr Muchima: … which you can draw water from. You cannot even go to that place. Even the hon. Minister of the North-Western Province has never visited Jimbe because he knows that the road is impassable. When are the people of the North-Western Province going to benefit from the money which the country keeps borrowing?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Mr Speaker, the North-Western Province is producing a lot of minerals. There will be minerals even beyond copper such as nickel. Thus, it is only fair that we build infrastructure in that province which is making such a significant contribution to the growth of our economy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chikwanda: Sir, I never referred to power imports. I said that I think next year, we shall be exporting significant amounts of power to the neighbouring country through which we shall earn substantial amounts of foreign exchange.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


482. Mr Katuka (Mwinilunga) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication:

(a) who the contractor for the North-West Rail Project was; and

(b) what support the Government was providing to ensure the project is successful.

Col. Kaunda: Mr Speaker, the North-West Rail Company Limited with its international investors have finalised the detailed engineering designs and are now concluding the process of identifying the optimum combination of international and local contractors to construct the railway line.

Sir, this is a privately initiated and funded project. The Government is supporting in a number of ways in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and North- West Railways Limited which are:
(a) facilitate as required to ensure that the swift construction and operation of the Chingola to Lumwana Railway Line and its further extension to the Angolan Border by helping to obtain the various licences required and linking the project to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Transport Master Plan;

(b) acquire land needed for the project in line with the Land Acquisition Act; and

(c) participate in the drafting of the development agreement.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I wish to thank the hon. Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing for the answer which he has provided.

Sir, Luwingu District Council has a very weak revenue base and, therefore, has difficulties to pay salaries, especially for those that are in Grade 4 and above. It is because of that reason that I would like to find out from the hon. Deputy Minister whether they are special concessions which are given to the councils that are not able to raise revenue locally to meet this particular expenditure.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Tembo): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. Member for that follow-up question.

Sir, it is not only Luwingu District Council which is facing such problems. Therefore, what we have done as a ministry is to dialogue with the Ministry of Finance so that we can identify the local authorities which have low revenue bases so that we can help them.

 I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, in the last few weeks …

Ms Imenda: On a point of order, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

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

Mr Speaker, it is the responsibility of the Central Government to provide equitable development to all parts of Zambia. In one of my debates to do with the Constituency Development Fund (CDF), I pleaded that the rural constituencies should be given a larger CDF than those in urban areas. This is because rural areas have had no fair share of the development cake.

Sir, I have a letter which I wrote to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development stating that I have planned certain projects for the CDF during this tenure of office because Luena Constituency has school infrastructure made out of mud, no hospitals, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, I would have liked to allow you to complete your point of order, but I have already got a sense of the direction. Firstly, it is long and winding. The other thing is that these are the type of issues that are best prosecuted in the form of a question. It is a classical one. Procedure is procedure. Procedural points of order which I am encouraging should be based on the rules of the House and not on substantive issues like the one you are raising.

 You can imagine if everybody had to raise all sorts of problems, we would not be able to do business. I do not why questions seem to be unattractive. Is it because they are done behind the scenes where there are no cameras or radio and so on and so forth?

I have said this before that unless Zambia is on fire, points of order must be grave and compelling especially those that require immediate attention by your colleagues on the right. You can use questions for these mundane matters. You can imagine how much time I am already expending explaining these points over and over again. I also do not know how many circulars we have issued and yet, we seem to be hitting against the wall. Therefore, if you tempt us to cut all points of order even when Zambia will be on fire, we will not be able to allow a point of order. That is a problem. Therefore, hon. Members, let us exercise judgment on this subject.

I think I have belaboured this point from day one of our sittings. If you have a substantive issue or evidence, a problem or a question to put to your colleagues, reduce it to form of a question. We will not stop you from asking questions. If your issue is urgent, there is still a provision under our rules. We are able to access urgent questions and to ensure that your colleagues equally respond to them urgently. They also have a sense of judgement. We cannot go on dealing with mundane matters. Quite frankly, we are wasting time. Therefore, I am afraid. I have made my assessment that this is not a procedural point of order.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr. Speaker, Luwingu District and, Lubansenshi Constituency, in particular, where the local authority is situated has, in the last few weeks, been visited by several hon. Ministers and they have all been promising the local authority that very soon, it will receive  grants from the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.

Responding to that concern, the hon. Minister said that he does not know when the funds in the form of grants will be given to the local authority. I would like the hon. Minister to reconcile the answer he has given and those assurances that have been made in Luwingu by several hon. Ministers that have visited the area that the local authority will be receiving its grants very soon.

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I would like to put it clearly that the ministry has about six grants which it provides to all local authorities. The first grants, is for restructuring, the second is the recurrent grant, the third is a grant in lieu of rates, the fourth is from mineral royalties, the fifth one is a capital grant and the last one is the CDF grant.

Sir, as regards to the hon. Member’s question, Luwingu has received about K400,000 and that amount is from the restructuring grants, which is meant for the payment of all retirees. As far as we are concerned, we have released grants.

Sir, what I said in my statement was that when we receive the allocation from the Ministry of Finance, we will still consider releasing more grants especially the grant in lieu of rates. We have already done the calculations because valuations have already been undertaken.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mutelo (Lukuku West):  Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister whether Mitete is among those districts with a low revenue base.

 Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, I have been to Mitete. It is among those districts that are supposed be considered as having a low revenue base.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, I want to thank the hon. Deputy Minister for that good answer. Is Mwandi among the districts which is being considered as having a low revenue base?


Mr Speaker: Hon. Deputy Minister, I sense that you may have a series of similar questions. So, I will have to decide whether I will continue. You may answer that particular question.

Mr Tembo: Mr Speaker, according to our survey, all the local authorities, especially those that are situated in rural areas, will be considered for more funding.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


484. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education:

(a) what Government policy on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) was;

(b) why the Government had allowed the importation of GMO products such as corn flakes, polony and tinned beans; and

(c) what other GMO foods and stockfeed have been allowed on the Zambian Market.


Mr Speaker: Why do a lot of people seem surprised?


The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Prof. Willombe): Mr Speaker, the Government policy on the GMOs is enshrined in the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy of 2003. The policy is operationalised and enforced through the Biosafety Act No. 10 of 2007. The policy is to guide the judicious use and regulation of modern biotechnology for the sustainable development of the nation with minimum risks to human and animal health as well as the environment, including Zambia’s biological diversity.

The National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has not authorised any importation of the GMOs or any product made out of such materials either as food or feed into the country as no application for such had been received.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, most of these foodstuffs are found in the major supermarkets in the country. So, what is the Government doing to protect the Zambians who are consuming these GMO foods?

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, if there are any, the NBA together with other Government agencies have inspectors going round confiscating and destroying them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Deputy Minister has indicated that GMOs have not been permitted into the country, may I know how many entry points in Zambia have biotech laboratories for screening foodstuffs as they enter the country.

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, we have, at Chirundu, Nakonde and Kazungula borders, detectors which enable us to make sure that any foodstuffs with GMOs are confiscated and destroyed.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, apart from confiscating and destroying the GMO foodstuffs, are there any punitive measures that have been meted out upon those who are importing them? I am of the view that the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education cannot handle this matter alone. It has to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock as well as the Ministry of Health.

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, in fact, the NBA is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Health to attend to such matters.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Matafwali (Bangweulu): Mr Speaker, a number of countries surrounding Zambia have actually revisited this issue of the GMOs and this has led to increased productivity, especially in the agriculture sector. Taking that into account, is the Government considering revisiting this particular issue?

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, we have to be very cautious in doing all these things. That is my answer.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, to avoid the hon. Deputy Minister repeating himself, I would like to, …

Mr Mufalali: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of Order is raised.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order not to answer the question by the hon. Member of Parliament for Siavonga, Hon. Hamudulu, who asked him about the biotech laboratories in the border areas or entry points? Is he in order to refer to scanners as biotech laboratories?


Mr Speaker: I will give an opportunity to the hon. Deputy Minister to clarify that point as he responds to the question from the hon. Member for Kaputa.

Prof. Willombe rose.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Deputy Minister, you wait. There is a question first.

Prof. Willombe resumed his seat.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Before the point of order was raised, I was saying that I wanted to ride on a question by Hon. Matafwali on the need for a review. This policy, as the hon. Minister indicated, became moot in 2003. Then, it was launched in 2007 and now we are in 2014. Since then, there has been a lot of new scientific material in the industry which could be beneficial to this country. Is the Government considering reviewing this policy so that the country can benefit from the latest technologies?

Prof. Willombe: Mr Speaker, in the first instance, we do not have a biotech laboratory in the country at the moment and we have …


Mr Speaker: Let him complete his answer.

Prof. Willombe: Sir, we do have a food and drug analysis laboratory in Chilanga. At the borders, we only have detectors …


Prof. Willombe: Retire who?


Prof. Willombe resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: There is a pending question from the hon. Member for Kaputa.

The Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, …


Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Deputy Minister respond, please.

Mr Mabumba: Sir, let me just try to give some additional information. What the Government of Zambia has done in terms of providing a mechanism for the biotechnology concept in this country is first of all to provide a policy in 2003 as well as legislation in 2007. So, the legislation and policy provide for the importation, exportation, development and research in as far as biotechnology is concerned.

Sir, however, as a country, and I think this is what Hon. Prof. Willombe was trying to say, we have to be judicious in the application of this concept or technology. We have to exercise precautionary measures because of the effects that biotechnology might have on our people, animals and the environment in general.

So, Mr Speaker, the platform for handling the GMO-related issues has been provided by the Government through the relevant legislation. Companies or individuals that want to deal in biotechnology can go through the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) to apply for the importation or application of any biotechnology in this country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


485. Mr Katuka asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when bridges would be constructed across Chisanga and Mujila rivers on the road from Chief Kakoma’s area to the newly constructed Kambimba Border Post in Mwinilunga Parliamentary Constituency.

Col. Kaunda: Sir, I seek your leave for me to comment on Hon. Hamusonde’s observation on the Blue Lagoon …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Col. Kaunda: Sir, I was asking that I take leave to give Mr Hamusonde an answer on his observation on Question No. 438 for 17th June, 2014.

Mr Speaker: The question at hand is No. 485 from the hon. Member for Mwinilunga.

Col. Kaunda: Yes, Sir, but on 17th June, 2014, Hon. Hamusonde made an observation and we promised to give him an answer today. So, I am seeking leave to do so before I answer Question 485.

Mr Speaker: The question you need to respond to, as far as my Order Paper is concerned, is 485.

Col. Kaunda: Thank you, Sir.

The bridges in question are part of the feeder road bridges in the North-Western Province earmarked for construction in 2015 under the projects to be undertaken by ACROW Corporation. However, as an interim measure, the Road Development Agency (RDA) regional manager’s office in consultation with the local roads authority have planned to request for emergency funds to work on the stream crossings on the Kakoma to Kambimba road to make the road accessible in the rainy season using Force Account.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mutelo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mutelo: Sir, was the hon. Deputy Minister in order to say that there is no GMO testing laboratory in the country and later on say there is one in Chilanga? He even went further and said “Get out”.

Mr Speaker: You know, the difficulty I have is that this is coming well after the hon. Deputy Minister has completed his response and you know our standard on that score.

Mr Katuka: Mr Speaker, when will this interim intervention on these two bridges likely to take place?

Col. Kaunda: Sir, the responsibility of taking care of the roads in rural areas is under the local roads authorities. When the issue which Hon. Katuka is referring to came to our attention, this morning, we gave instructions to the local RDA manager to liaise with his colleagues in the local road authority so that as soon as they are ready, they can begin making the bridges. As of now, I cannot give Hon. Katuka a timetable.

Thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication has given the same assurance on other bridges that were supposed to be rehabilitated by the RDA. These assurances have not been fulfilled. Therefore, what is the difference with this assurance being given by the hon. Deputy Minister?

Col. Kaunda: Sir, it would be helpful if the hon. Member could give us an example of which bridges we have given assurances on, that we have not fulfilled them.

Thank you, Sir.


486. Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa) asked the Minister of Health:

(a) when funds for the construction of Ndeke Village Hospital in Kitwe would be released;

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

(c) who the contractor for the project was; and

(d) what the time-frame for the project was.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the upgrading of Ndeke Village Hospital in Kitwe already has funding of K1.7 million available and an additional allocation of K500,000 in the 2014 Ministry of Health Infrastructure Operational Plan has been made. The cost estimate for the project is K7.2 million. The contractor is Reymond Construction Limited and the project may take about eighteen months.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chishimba: Mr Speaker, now that the hon. Deputy Minister has announced who the contractor to undertake the project is, when will this contractor move on site to start works on the hospital?

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the groundbreaking ceremony has been planned for end of July, 2014.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Estimates for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 3rd June, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded.

Mr Chabala (Kankoyo): Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, your Committee studied the implementation of fiscal decentralisation and performance based management in the Public Service and the roll out of Integrated Financial Management System (IFMIS) in the ministries, provinces and spending agencies. It also conducted Public hearings on fiscal decentralisation in Chipata, Mongu and Solwezi. Allow me to highlight key features of the report of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, fiscal decentralisation is a component of the broader framework of decentralisation. This means, therefore, that the delay in the full implementation of decentralisation in Zambia has a direct effect on fiscal decentralisation. Your Committee is concerned that the implementation of decentralisation and by extension fiscal decentralisation has taken longer than is necessary. This is mainly attributed to the lack of political will from decision makers at Central Government level.

Sir, with the launch of the Revised Decentralisation Policy by the Government in 2013, the public expected remarkable progress by now.

Sir, your Committee notes that, revenue bases of local authorities have been eroded over time by overriding policy directives from the Central Government. For example, the directive to sell council houses, mass retirements of council workers, centralisation of some tax collections at the behest of the Central Government in the early 1990s and the subsequent abolition of local authority revenue raising initiatives such as the removal of crop level recently.

Mr Speaker, such actions have undermined local authority budgetary powers through the erosion of revenue sources and has affected negatively service delivery and orderly development of councils across the country.

Sir, the above-mentioned actions of the Central Government in the early 1990s have had long adverse effects on the financial viability of local authorities such as huge indebtedness. Mainly pension arrears for retirees occasioned by those mass retirements in the early 1990s form a major bulk of the indebtedness.

Sir, your Committee strongly recommends that the central Government bails out the councils off the historical debt so that the councils can have appropriate fiscal space to carry out their mandates.

Mr Speaker, for fiscal decentralisation to become a reality, there is the need for a Central Government to cede some power for collection and use of highly localised tax types. For example, motor vehicle road licences should be handled by the local authorities in order to boost local revenue for improved service delivery such as better road maintenance within local authorities.

Sir, the reported financial irregularities in local authorities should not be an excuse for the slow pace of fiscal decentralisation as accountability mechanisms have been undermined by the Central Government’s heavy handedness on council operations. For example, the management staff in local authorities are being appointed centrally by the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), thus eroding the accountability of these officers to local councils who are supposed to be the rightful employers.

Sir, these actions of the Central Government through the unilateral recruitment and placement of council management staff in councils without due regard to the skills gaps in councils by the LGSC, are tantamount to remote controlling council operations by people detached from local realities. This undermines financial discipline and service delivery as most council management staff feel shielded by the commission even when it is clear that their performance is far below the expectations of the local rate payers and councils.

Mr Speaker, for fiscal decentralisation to work, there is a need to promote localised accountability systems so that local leadership takes full control as expected of them from the people who chose them to carry out the mandate.

Mr Speaker, during the public hearings in Chipata, Mongu and Solwezi, your Committee was impressed to hear innovative suggestions from local residents on how councils could raise revenue within their local jurisdiction to enhance service delivery. However, the implementation of such initiatives is hampered by prescriptive Central Government directives on operations of councils, denying councils positive financial turn-around and self-sustainability possibilities where such opportunities exist, and there are many among the councils in this country.

Mr Speaker, in light of this, your Committee urges the Central Government to desist from interfering with the operations of councils because it is counterproductive. Various stakeholders who appeared before your Committee complained about the shortage of relevant skills needed to drive fiscal decentralisation in the local authorities. This is chiefly so because of the LGSC employing staff that does not meet the work requirements of councils and without even consulting councils in the employment process.

Mr Speaker, the newly recruited staff through the LGSC have not been satisfactory because most of them do not have appropriate skills or are not qualified at all. This raises concern about the credibility of the selection process and the role of the LGSC in this regard.

Sir, in light of these challenges and the fact that the commission appears to be in conflict with the tenets of decentralisation, your Committee urges the Government to seriously reconsider the role of the LGSC.

Mr Speaker, as regards performance-based management in the Public Service, the Government reported that Cabinet Office has been implementing some form of performance based management incentives through monetary and promotion terms.

Sir, experience has shown that despite the reported existence of a performance-based management approach in the Public Service, budget implementation and service delivery are far below public expectation.

Sir, your Committee recommends that the Government comes up with a result-oriented performance management system in the Public Service if better budget implementation and improved service delivery were to be realised so that the benefits of our growing economy translate into improved living standards of all our people across the country. Performance-based management should ideally cascade to a level of performance contracts for individual public service workers. It is high time that the principle of shape up or sheep out began to apply in the Public Service for the efficient and effective economic use of public resources for the common good of our society.

Mr Speaker, it is the expectation of your Committee that the Executive arm of the Government will take into due considerations the suggestions made in the report.

Sir, your Committee wishes to thank you for the opportunity to serve on this Committee and consider this topical report. Secondly, we want to thank the witnesses that appeared before your Committee for their valuable input and lastly but not the least, the Office of the Clerk for their technical and secretarial services to the Committee.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Chabala (Kankoyo): Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion that has been ably moved by the Chairperson of the Committee, I wish to highlight a few issues that he may not have touched on.

Mr Speaker, your Committee observes that there is no legislation governing performance-based management in Zambia. It is aware that the legitimacy for the reforms is weakened in the absence of a legal framework resulting in low compliance levels as responsible officers were not held accountable.

Sir, your Committee, therefore, recommends that necessary legislation on performance-based management should be presented to Parliament for enactment. This will give the reforms the necessary environment for operation and compliance at all levels.

Mr Speaker, during its interaction with various stakeholders, your Committee was informed that there are limited skills to move the implementation of performance based management forward. Your Committee was also informed that there is limited political will in this regard. Therefore, it strongly urges the Government to institute a robust training programme for public officers to bring them up to speed with the tenets of performance-based management. It also urges the Government to prioritise the implementation of performance-based management.

Sir, as regards the implementation of IFMIS, your Committee observes that it is an excellent tool for effective budget implementation. However, the view of the Committee is that it lacks proper monitoring to make it function to its full capacity. Therefore, it implores the Government to set up a high level governance structure that will champion and oversee the implementation of the system and compel users to fully utilise it.

Sir, you may wish to note that much of the Annual Budget is already being implemented through IFMIS. This should make it easy to roll out the programme to all ministries, provinces and spending agencies. As a Committee, we are concerned that its full implementation is taking long.

Mr Speaker, in this regard, the programme should be urgently rolled out to the rest of the ministries, provinces and spending agencies as a matter of urgency.

Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the poor network connectivity of IFMIS, thereby delaying the implementation process. Your Committee is aware that the successful implementation of IFMIS depends, by and large, on the speed of the network connectivity and, as such, its continuous failure defeats its very purpose of enhancing efficiency. Therefore, your Committee recommends that the Government should seriously invest in improving the network connectivity of the IFMIS Programme.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is aware of the assurance on the Floor of the House regarding the presentation of the Planning and Budgeting Bill to Parliament. As your Committee has recommended in the past, this piece of legislation will provide for a consultative, transparent and accountable Budget process, thereby instilling ownership in the people of Zambia. Further it provides for the establishment of the Budget Office at Parliament which will be able to unpack the Budget for hon. Members of Parliament, thereby enhance their oversight function. Your Committee is aware that the National Planning and Budgeting Policy was recently approved by Cabinet. This policy is a precursor to the passing of the law.

Sir, in this regard, your Committee seriously urges the Government to present this very important piece of legislation to Parliament for enactment.

In conclusion, I wish to thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me the chance to serve on this very important Committee. I also wish to thank the members of the Committee for giving me this rare chance to second the Motion.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Masebo (Chongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to debate this very important report of your Committee. Firstly, I would like to commend your Committee for a job well done. However, I would like to make very brief comments on the report of your Committee on an issue that has been there for many years now.

Sir, I have sat in this House and many a time, when problems besetting our local authorities are debated, we seem to always miss the point as to what may be the problem. We normally concentrate on the politics of the problems and miss the point such that we do not focus to understand what should be the solutions in resolving some of the problems facing our local authorities in this country.

Mr Speaker, for example, presenting its findings, the Chairperson of the Committee attributed the problems facing local authorities to the decisions of the 1990s. He gave an example of the massive premature retirements which gave rise to huge bills for councils to pay off resulting in outstanding benefits which the Government at the time did not fully release.

Mr Speaker, I want to use this example because, as one of the leaders during that period, I am aware that successive Governments that took over local authorities tried to release finances through the Ministry of Finance to clear off outstanding benefits to the extent that fifty-four councils were given money with the exception of city councils, namely Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe and Livingstone. Livingstone was supported by the donor community, working with the Government, to clear outstanding debts.

Mr Speaker, what has been happening over the last decade is that false returns are always sent to the Government of the day as being outstanding arrears. In some cases, there is connivance in local authorities and you find that a list is sent to the ministry and resources are sent, but these outstanding benefits are not cleared.

Sir, therefore, for your Committee to come on the Floor of this House and state that there are outstanding debts that were caused by decisions made in 1992 is not true. Those debts were cleared. What we have now could be new issues that we must be looking at instead of talking about things that happened that time and were resolved and make them look as though they are still in effect and the Government must continue to release money to the councils.

Mr Speaker, the point I am making is that it is important for the Government and, indeed, this House to have clear information so that when recommendations are made, the Government of the day can make the right decisions. Otherwise, we will be losing resources which will be going towards things other than what is being discussed here.

Mr Speaker, the other issue of my concern is decentralisation. Again, many times, I hear people say that the establishment of the LGSC is not decentralisation, but concentration and takes power back to the centre. In fact, that is not correct. The fact that the Government of the day has created a commission to employ workers for councils does not mean that power has been taken away from the councils. It simply means that the Government realises that certain councils may not have the capacity to employ qualified staff.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mrs Masebo: Sir, even hon. Members of Parliament who are also members of the councils will vouch for the fact that at the time when councils were employing workers, it was difficult for them to get qualified staff for skilled positions like accountants and so on and so forth. When it came to employing a town clerk or council secretary, we had issues where a council employed a wrong person and did not follow the rules or the qualifications that a person needed in order to be employed. Therefore, in my view disbanding the LGSC and then allowing the councils to employ their own staff is not the answer to the problem. If the commission is making mistakes, we should correct it and not disband it. In any case, for decentralisation to take effect, the Government needs to help councils to get qualified staff, and the LGSC can effectively do that. If those working for the commission are making a mistake by employing relatives or being tribal in giving employment, that is a different matter. I think that the Government must put stringent rules and regulations in place which the commission must follow.

Sir, we have other service commissions like the Teaching Service Commission and Public Service Commission which employ people. It is not true that because somebody has been employed by the Public Service Commission, then that person cannot be disciplined. The rules are very clear. As regards to matters of discipline, the council can institute disciplinary measures against an erring officer and make recommendations to the Public Service Commission. If a council has made correct recommendations against an officer based on genuine information, I do not see how the Public Service Commission can refuse to discipline that person. I think that sometimes, we like to have too much power for ourselves. We want to have the power to employ because we think that that is the best way we can also employ our relatives and friends. Let us learn to develop the institutions that we have put in place. For instance, in countries where decentralisation has taken effect, you will find that in some cases, they have a public service commission that has been given rules and guidelines on how to employ staff for councils. It is easier to move somebody who is good from Lusaka City Council to Chongwe so that he can help Chongwe, just as it is easy to transfer somebody from Chongwe to a smaller, new district. It is cheaper and more effective to do things that way. I think that the problem in this regard, has to do with how the Public Service Commission is performing its functions. It is not that the Public Service Commission is a problem. I refuse to accept that point.

Mr Speaker, I also want to touch on issues to do with the revenue for the councils. It has always been said that councils must be allowed to come up with their own charges. Yes, they could do that, but that idea must not be cast in stone because the hon. Members of Parliament here will recall that when councils had the power to fix their own fees and taxes, we had a lot of complaints from the communities because staff in councils could just wake up one morning and decide to increase their salaries and hence introduce a dog levy, coughing levy and so on and so forth. The people were suffering because of that behavior by councils and there was nobody to help them. Therefore, I think that it is necessary that the Central Government regulates matters of taxation. The issue here should be the matter of sharing resources that the Central Government is collecting. Let the Central Government share the resources which it collects equitably, especially taking into account that there are districts that are new and which are giving us more resources and so on and so forth. My view is that allowing these councils to charge whatever they want as a means of raising revenue is not the answer to the revenue problems in councils. The answer lies in looking into a formula of sharing resources between the Central Government, Provincial Government, and the Local Government system.

Mr Speaker, finally, I think that we need to begin to understand what the real issues besieging our councils are and how we can address them.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me an opportunity to add a word to this well-researched and presented report of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, on behalf of the people of Lupososhi Constituency, I have taken note of what is contained in this report. I wish to start from page 3 of your report, especially where it talks about the challenges facing the effective implementation of physical decentralisation in Zambia …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!

A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I thank you and I apologies to my cousin who had just started debating for interrupting him.

Mr Speaker, today, has been a very good day, where you have given very authentic and powerful decisions this afternoon …

Hon. Opposition Members: Rulings!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, your rulings were very good. I want to recall what happened yesterday. You gave a very good ruling concerning the point of order raised by the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport who has fled. He is not in the House.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, you gave a very good ruling yesterday on the point of order which was raised by the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport, to the effect that he should release a list of clubs which benefited from the money released from his ministry.  We were supposed to have received the list of clubs which benefited from the money which was released through his ministry yesterday. However, by the end of yesterday, there was nothing given by the hon. Minister, and today, it is 1751 hours and there is still nothing from the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport.  Is he in order to flee the House instead of facing us and giving us what we requested for?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Well, you are right …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

You are right to say that yesterday, I directed the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport to ensure that by the close of the day, yesterday, the relevant document should be made available. I must also mention that the information in question was volunteered. It was not at the behest of Mr Speaker as such. Having made the voluntary undertaking, especially on the Floor of the House, it was only proper and befitting that the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport abides by his own undertaking.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

That is what is expected. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass. However, it is something that has also been exercising my mind even as recently as this afternoon. As we have been progressing with all this business, this matter has been actively pursued and checked. The information that reached me, at least, one hour ago, is that about this time, and I say this very advisedly, because there was a specified time period, again, given quietly to me this evening that it will be done. Therefore, it is my earnest hope that, indeed, finally, the document will be made available this evening.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

I think that that is as far as I can go. I can only conclude by appealing to hon. Members that when you make undertakings of this sort, it is just proper and fair, especially when nobody has compelled you, to honour your word. However, I am very optimistic and hope that my optimism is not misplaced …


Mr Speaker: … that this will be done before we rise. That is as far as I can go.


Mr Speaker: There is no agreement.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Speaker, I was saying I will begin my debate on page 3 of your report, especially the part that talks about the challenges facing the effective implementation of fiscal decentralisation in Zambia.

Sir, part (b) of that particular page talks about limited human resource capacity among council staff. This is quite true, but along with that is the attitude problem found in the employees of various district councils. This has caused the delay in the implementation of the …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Bwalya: … Decentralisation Policy. What has also compounded that is the fact that the workshops that are conducted have ended up being mere talking shops and have not added value to the people attending them. We are spending money on people and yet we are not enhancing their capacities and abilities to embrace fiscal decentralisation. It is my hope that this will change in order for the country to progress.

Mr Speaker, page 4 of your report talks about the LGSC which has led the recruitment of staff in the councils with inadequate skills. This is a very serious observation. We should look at the commissioners themselves. We should try to review the skills mix of the commissioners. We could be talking about the lower calibre of members of staff that have been employed as the problem and yet the issue lies with the composition of the commissioners themselves. Do we have a clear array of skills in those people that are sitting on the interviewing panels to get the human resource to post in various councils? We need to look at that issue and address it.

Sir, related to the LGSC is the expectation gap. It appears that Zambians expect too much from the LGSC and yet there has not been a deliberate step to explain the roles and responsibilities of the commission. We expect the LGSC to give us what may not be enshrined in their terms of reference. I appeal to the appointing authority to ask the LGSC to explain what it is expected to do.

Mr Speaker, pages 6 and 7 of your report talks about political interference and political will. It is important to note that politicians must establish a climate of trust. This climate cannot come into being by accident. It calls for a lot of collaboration, interaction and dissemination of information.

Sir, I would like to put on record the fact that we must distinguish between interference and advice. For example, like Hon. Masebo mentioned earlier, if a levy is introduced for the specific purpose of garbage collection and the people complain that they do not receive the service despite the council collecting the levy, is it not right that I go to the council and find out why money is being collected while the service is not being delivered? It is not interference for me to advise the council to discontinue the levy if it is not able to provide the service. Our role is to ensure that what the Zambian people are paying for is delivered to them.
  Sir, even as the council engages in ways and means to raise revenue, it has certain responsibilities to the citizens who voted for us. The role of a politician is to advise in order for the maintenance of social balance and equity amongst the citizenry whom they represent

Mr Speaker, political will is there. I think a politician can only go as far as launching the Decentralisation Policy which, in itself, shows political will. We leave it then to the technocrats to ensure that this political will is translated into action.

Ms Lubezhi: Question!

Mr Bwalya: Sir, there have been a lot of pronouncements regarding decentralisation and the devolution of power. I want to emphasise the fact that we need decentralisation to take root. We must accept the fact that we have done what needs to be done as politicians.

Mr Speaker, page eight of your report talks about the dismantling of the debt which the local authorities have. This is very cardinal because it will unlock a lot of opportunities and will have a positive impact on the economy. If all these institutions and bodies who are owed by various district councils are paid, it is possible that there will be a multiplier effect. What this means is that, for instance, the Local Authority Superannuation Fund (LASF) may be able to pay off those who have not been paid and they may also be able to construct other housing units in rural areas to raise funds. That will contribute towards the growth of the economy.

Mr Speaker, on page 13 of your report, there are issues regarding IFMIS which is a very good system that needs to be implemented. The transformation that has been referred to in your report must be supported. My question for now is: Are we prepared to put mechanisms in place to ensure that we maintain this particular programme? We are very good at procuring, constructing and installing, but the problem comes in at ensuring that we maintain that which we have acquired. Usually, we end up discarding good things.

Sir, I would like to appeal to those responsible to ensure that they invest correctly and qualitatively into the maintenance of IFMIS so that it can produce the required results.

I thank you, Sir. {mospagebreak}

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for this opportunity to contribute to the debate and want to start off by thanking the Committee for the excellent work that they have done.

Mr Speaker, I support the recommendations which have been made by the Committee. My contribution this afternoon is about a number of issues that will clarify matters further.

Sir, the aspect of fiscal decentralisation is with regard to the issue of taking money from the centre to the periphery, so to speak. When you do that, obviously, you are giving a chance to the people in the periphery to fund their priorities accordingly. Now, are we very clear about which periphery we are talking about? Periphery can mean the provinces, districts or councils. Which one of these are we talking about? My point is that, if we talk about decentralisation loosely without being very clear, we risk taking centralisation for example, from Lusaka to Choma. The complaints that people in the rural areas have about Lusaka will be shifted from Lusaka to places such as Choma, Solwezi or Mongu. The frustrations of the people on the ground will continue. Therefore, we must be very careful. If we are going to decentralise, let us take the bold step of taking the money down to the level where the people are.

Mr Speaker, I will illustrate my point by looking at an aspect of decentralisation that has taken place so far, which is the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).  I am happy the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing is here so that he can listen to some of my lamentations. My experience with CDF has convinced me more than ever before that there is a danger in taking away centralisation from Lusaka. In this particular case, the centralisation will now sit in the council. As I speak, some of the projects that we funded in 2012 and 2013 are still stuck at the council level.  Some of us received the CDF in December, 2013 but, to date, June, 2014, we are still at the tendering stage. The money is still stuck at council level. The centralisation has moved from Lusaka to the council and nothing is happening.

Mr Speaker, with the experience that I have had with the CDF, I think that when we are talking about money for primary schools, we should not give that money to the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education. That money should be directed to the schools. What I am saying is not just for councils, but for Government departments at local level as well. 

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, most of the CDF is used for schools and clinics and it should not be given to the councils. Let me tell you what is happening. When this money is given to the councils, the council staff will insist that they will procure the building materials such as doors, iron sheets, nails and paint for all the schools. For example, in Kalabo, the council is very small and has low capacity. How can a council with about ten to fifteen members of staff manage to buy building materials for about 100 schools? I am saying so because most of the schools are allocated small amounts of money for building materials. Even if these council members of staff were to be very efficient, I do not think they would manage to buy those building materials for 100 schools. Is that possible?

Sir, this is one of the reasons, today, the CDF-funded projects are not progressing. The hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing should help us change the procedures for the CDF. The councils can receive the money, but should then send it to the schools and the clinics. After all, the people who man these schools are headmasters. The headmasters are senior Government officials. If they steal the money, you will know how to deal with them in the Public Service. How can a council look after 100 schools?

Mr Speaker, when it was time to buy some of the building materials for schools in Liuwa, the headmasters from the communities asked if they could accompany the council officers to buy those materials, but they refused saying that they were going to buy everything because that was what the regulations stated. These officers went to Mongu and were accommodated in hotels where they spent a lot of money. The community preferred to do it themselves because they would even sacrifice not to sleep in the hotels in order to save the money for schools. You will find that when the councils want to be involved in buying these building materials, they would want to misuse the money. In so doing, the schools will not be completed. The people of Liuwa are very frustrated. I do not know about other constituencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Same!

Ms Lubezhi: Even Namwala!

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, the money is being distributed, but it is not working accordingly because of the centralisation which has been moved from Lusaka to the councils. 

Dr Kaingu: Mulamu, do you have a constituency?

Dr Musokotwane: Sir, as I conclude, I would like to say that you should take fiscal centralisation to the people. Those days, for example, in Uganda, if money was sent to a school or a clinic, there was a poster stuck in the communities saying that particular school had received so much money for construction and chalk. People knew what was happening. That is what centralisation means.

Mr Speaker, with these few words, I hope the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing who is a very good hon. Minister, has listened to what I have said and that he is going to change the procedures.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity to debate on this report. I also want to thank the Committee through its Chairperson, who moved this Motion and the seconder. One of my weaknesses is that I normally call a spade a spade.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, before we continue with our business, I would like to inform you that my office has since received the information which the hon. Minister of Youth and Sport undertook to supply yesterday. It is now in my possession.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga: Ema Minister.

Mr Speaker: Therefore, you can be assured that tomorrow morning, you should have the information in your pigeonholes. So this effectively brings this matter to a happy close.


Mr Muntanga entered the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I now feel safe to welcome Hon. Muntanga who has just arrived.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, before we went for the break, I had just thanked you for the opportunity to debate this report. I also thanked the mover and the seconder together with the entire Committee for the candid manner which they produced this report. I think, to begin with, it is wise to accept that we have a problem which requires to be attended to regarding fiscal decentralisation and also the lack of capacity in our local authorities.

 Mr Speaker, in agreeing with both the mover and the secorder and, maybe, touching a little on my sister, Hon. Masebo’s debate, who discounted the issue of what may have happened in the past, I believe that in order to shape the future, you need to recognise the present and the past because the actions that we make today have consequential ramifications to how we shall live our lives tomorrow.

Sir, the report has clearly indicated the position. It has stated that there has been the significant erosion of financial capacity in our local authorities that were caused, by and large, by the decisions that were made a long time ago and also decisions that are being made today. I will just quickly give the reasons in brief as to what led us to the malaise we find ourselves in today. I call it malaise because I will demonstrate towards the end of my discourse that we are truly in a difficult situation.

Mr Speaker, it is said that in the years 1992, 1993 and 1996, there were withdrawals of Government grants to councils. It is also said that there were also withdrawals of the licensing of motor vehicles and transfer fees from the councils and lastly that there was a directive to sell council pool houses. I think these three actions have a direct bearing on how the councils are faring today. The selling of council houses was politically motivated and stripped council’s of their capacity to raise revenue. We are fortunate that those who were there, but, probably serving in different capacities are still here with us, including the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing whom, I think, at that time was a Town Clerk, a very senior member of the local authorities.

Sir, houses were sold at K10. I want you to imagine, together with the House how long one would talk even on a local call using talk time for K10. That is the cost that we chose to sell those pool houses without thinking about replenishing them. So, there was no aforethought of how to fill this gap while empowering very few citizens.


Mr Speaker: Let us have order, please.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, the situation I think was exacerbated by also another act which is the formation of the water utilities. I am sure that you will recall that the provision of water facilities was under the jurisdiction of local councils. They used to bill clients for usage of water so it came in as revenue.

Mr Speaker, there is also the huge and massive arbitrary retirement of those people, men and women, who I think took a lot of time to acquire expertise in running local authorities. This was in the 1990’s. Unfortunately, the trend seems to be going on because of what one may call retribution. When Governments change, there is this preponderance of retiring people without thinking about the ramifications of the expenditure to be incurred at the expense of the development agenda for the whole country.

Sir, I want the House to be reminded that councils before were given leverage of initiative within each jurisdiction and they had what we called crop levy. The crop levy was abolished by the former Government and unfortunately the current Government has upheld that decision. The people who advocated for the removal of the crop levy were not even people in the co-operatives that we know. They were traders and millers.

Sir, before the crop levy was moved away from the books of the revenues of Mazabuka Municipal Council, we used to get an excess of K2 billion those days or K2 million in today’s currency from cane levy from one client, the Zambia Sugar Company. We used to get mineral levy from Abidon Mine. We used to get fish levy from people who sell fish and we used to get pool levy. Today, the councils have been completely crippled with these erratic provisions of grants from Central Government to a point where what was very remote to Mazabuka Council namely failure to pay workers on a monthly basis has now become like Christmas which is a traditional event that comes from time to time. I think that the issue of decentralisation does help with efficacy and accountability.

Mr Speaker, let me touch on the debate by Hon. Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane. I agree and disagree a little with the few things that he raised. On the issue of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and, indeed, in any other line ministry’s provision of goods and services, the problem normally lies in procurement. I think that hon. Members of Parliament should be allowed to have the leverage to peep into what goes on in procurement. Many a time and our colleagues on your right, Sir, know, now that they are in Government, that the moment these suppliers see a Government tender …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Nkombo: The moment …

Mr Speaker: Just a moment, Hon. Nkombo.

There are a lot of conversations going on, making it difficult even for me to follow this debate. We are here to listen to what everybody here has to say.

You may continue.

Mr Nkombo: I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that the problem normally lies in procurement. It is no wonder that the world-over people who have studied procurement are generally better arranged economically than most of us who have not.

I think that there should be a way in which we can be assisted to peep into procurements or be assisted with a committee of people that, when hon. Members identify the CDF projects and hand over to procurement departments, must confer with buyers and make sure that the prices that have been put are representative of the actual market prices. It is very common, especially when supplying the Central Government for suppliers to triple their prices saying “ni va Boma” meaning it belongs to the Government.

Mr Speaker, if we can expend our efforts on finding a solution to this common problem, I am sure we can find the answer. As a Member of Parliament, it is my utmost desire to see to it that service delivery is done efficiently because at the end of the day, I will spend less energy campaigning to come back to this House. Many times, our people ask about bad roads and unavailable markets. I want to demonstrate that the interface between Central Government and local government is part of the problem.

Mr Speaker, today, we have a lot of women who sweep the streets. Our colleagues on your right, Sir, think that they have created employment for these ladies who do sanitary work. I think that it is practically difficult to police the actual numbers of those women who clean the streets, especially that councils have been permitted to lose revenue by the Patriotic Front’s policy of legitimatising street vending.

By its nature, street vending, especially of perishables, promotes filth. I want to challenge anyone to refute this statement. Therefore, the policy interface of the PF of allowing people to trade anywhere then employ these women to clean even chibuku empty packets stuffed with human waste has not achieved anything. What would you have achieved at the end of the day?

I was speaking with the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing at some point and I told him that we can work together in this area. I think that only someone who has lost his or her mind can castigate a person for wanting to put order in the trading arrangement today. This issue of saying our people must trade anywhere has also contributed to further diminishing the capacity of the councils because they cannot go and collect market levies because all the markteers have left Nakadoli and all other conventional markets to go and sell in front of civic centres. When we try to stop them from doing this, they respond by saying “ba Kabimba balandile ati kuti twashitisha”, meaning Mr Kabimba, SC. said we can sell anywhere.


Mr Nkombo: So, who is promoting the dislocation of these councils? The same man who is doing this is a seasoned local government officer. He was a town clerk of the biggest city in Zambia. At the time he was town clerk, there was no filth here. So why does he want to disadvantage the officers who came after him?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, the concern I am having is that you are now debating a colleague.

Mr Nkombo: I withdraw my statements, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: I think that we have recognised the problem. In my opening remarks on this subject, I assured Hon. Chenda that we should work together on bringing sanity to the issue of trading.

Mr Mwamba: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Mwamba: Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me this point of order. I would like to find out, Sir, whether Hon. Muntanga is in order to come into this honourable House clad in a psychedelic shirt and tie? I need your serious ruling.


Mr Speaker: My ruling is simple. I have seen his attire and I do not think it fits the psychedelic description by any standards. 

Hon. Member for Mazabuka Central, you may proceed.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I have two quick interventions.

I want to talk about the LGSC as a bottleneck, and not its existence per se. I did not hear the mover of the Motion say that we should abolish this commission. However, my lady friend, Hon. Masebo, kept talking about the public service commission. I want to intimate that there are definite irregularities in the manner that the LGSC is functioning.

This country is huge but, today, a council cannot discipline an erring officer. It has to refer whatever misdemeanor that the officer has committed to the commission. To me, this is red tape and it is going backwards on decentralisation. This is a fact. 

Sir, she also touched on the issue tribalism in the LGSC and I got excited because I have the statistics. I want to challenge the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to bring the names of all chief officers in the council and then I will demonstrate to her that there is a tribal inclination in the appointment of the LGSC.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Nkombo: You can question all you want, but the names will tell where they come from. This is a fact.

Sir, the LGSC has lumbered us, in Mazabuka, with twelve fire tenders when we do not have properly functioning fire engines. I am told that this is the trend countrywide as the PF’s way of saying they have created jobs. The fire officers who came to Mazabuka, and who live in a place called Lusumpuko Hall, wake up to just eat nshima and sleep. In any case, when fires break, there is so much inadequacy we normally ask Zambia Sugar to come and help us.

So, what is with the idea of protecting people who are just creating more overheads on already impoverished councils? What is the reason? With regard to the LGSC whilst we know there is an establishment, we cannot say that one size fits all. You have deployed twelve fire officers to Mazabuka, twelve to Shibuyunji, twelve to Kazungula, and everywhere else simply because you want to give your party affiliates jobs. 

Hon. UPND Member: Grade 12s.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I am aware of one council that has not paid its workers for more than eight months. If you asked me a question as to why these people go to work, I would tell you that they have another method that they have derived of making their ends meet. I can guarantee you that what is happening is detrimental to the existence of the councils. It simply means that they are doing wrong things.

Sir, before, the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left, it did us a disfavor, which the PF has continued to do. When a certain piece of legislation was brought to this House, Hon. Mukanga and I disagreed that local councils should not have immunity from the enforcement of court judgments. Councils are corporate bodies and therefore, they should function as such. It is for that reason that there is impunity. It is because they know that even if I obtain a court judgment against them, it is not enforceable. So, how do you improve under such circumstances?  Just how do you do it? People must learn that the way I can sue Hon. Professor Luo, the same way she is also able to sue me. I therefore, think that we need to arrive at a balanced justice system.

Sir, today, councils continue to do things with impunity because they know that even if you taken them to court, the judgment will be delivered, but there will be no enforcement. To me that …

Prof. Luo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: It was just an example, ba nkashi yandi.

Mr Speaker: Order!

She will still raise a point of order.

Mr Nkombo: You have not been awarded a point of order.

Mr Speaker: Order!

She has been awarded a point of order.


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for according me this opportunity to raise a point of order on my young brother and I am doing it with a lot pain.

Sir, is he in order to bring me into his debate when I am sitting so comfortably enjoying his debate?

Mr Speaker: Order!

My ruling is simply that the reference was quite innocuous. He was just exemplifying as opposed to debating you as such. I know that we do not allow these references, but I think it was innocuous.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, let me just touch on two quick points.

Sir, as the seconder of the Motion said, we have had no legal framework for the developmental and budgetary structures such as the Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee (PDCC), District Development Co-ordinating Committee (DDCC) and the defunct Resident Development Committee (RDC). The abolishment of the RDC has created some problems that we all ought to recognise. I would, therefore, like to urge the hon. Minister to revisit that area, call members around the table and see what advantages and disadvantages we have suffered or gained as a result of the abolition of those RDCS.

Sir, to me, those structures were a linkage between the communities and the administration of the local authorities. For example, in Mazabuka, we have a location called Ndeke or Zambia or commonly known as Makalanguzu where only the strong survive.


Mr Nkombo: Sir, I want to confirm to the hon. Minister that even after the abolition of the RDC, we still remained with this committee to assist us in this area because the whole committee operates on one Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) meter. Therefore, they have to contribute money in order to pay ZESCO because they are in Makalanguzu.


Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, this Government must look at that. If you cannot call it the RDC, call it something else. Otherwise, in my view, that particular structure is extremely important for the council to work better.

Sir, finally, the bureaucracy that surrounds the Land Development Fund which was introduced by the MMD and, again, upheld by the PF has not helped us because councils have now been given circulars that they cannot develop new areas unless they are authourised to do so. I think that is not decentralisation.

Finally, I would want to give a word of thanks to you, Sir, and the movers. To the hon. Minister, I wish to state that this should not be a talking shop. Please, get all of us with small minds and big minds together so that we can make this country successful.

 I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, you will note that we have another Motion and we barely have sixty minutes or so left. Therefore, for that reason, I will call upon the hon. Member for Bweengwa to wind up.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, in winding up debate, I want to thank the members of the committee which has been a wonderful team with a team spirit. If we can translate that to the national level, we can score successes.

Sir, I also want to thank those that have contributed to this debate, my dear sister and hon. Member for Chongwe. The hon. Member for Chongwe and I are brainboxers and I enjoy that game with her. I also want to thank Hon. Members like Dr Musokotwane, Mr Bwalya and Mr Nkombo.

Hon. Members: Which game are you referring to?

Mr Hamududu: Brainboxing.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, in winding up this debate, let me say that after Independence, the councils were quite viable and, therefore, you cannot tell me that at fifty years, we cannot run councils at local level. There is enough evidence that these councils can be viable. Most of us sit in different councils. If we can just re-orient ourselves to a developmental and entrepreneural approach in the management of these councils, they can still be viable. In Monze, we have formed a committee and we are very sure that we can actually put on the table a turn-around strategy to make Monze Council financially viable in one year. To do that, we need the support of the Central Government.

Sir, in winding up the debate, I want to say that the issues raised in this report are quite significant and we are available as a Committee to discuss the issues with the relevant ministry. We also have a lot of submissions from the people on the ground. The issues which we have discussed here are submissions of stakeholders and not our own views.

Sir, I would like to appeal to this House to unanimously adopt this report.

 I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 13th June, 2014.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mwamba (Kasama Central): I beg to second the Motion, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

   Mr Hamudulu: Mr Speaker, at the beginning of the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, your Committee agreed:

(a) to consider the Action-Taken Report on the Executive’s responses to recommendations of your previous Committee;

(b) to consider two topical issues namely:

(i) monitoring job creation in Zambia; and

(ii) electricity generation and accessibility in Zambia; and

(c) to undertake tours in relation to the topical issues listed above.

Mr Speaker, the report that is before the House is the final output of your Committee after carrying out the mentioned activities. It is my belief that hon. Members of this august House have thoroughly read the report. Therefore, I will not go through the laborious process of mentioning every detail contained therein.

Sir, let me begin by talking about the Action-Taken Report. The Executive has responded to all the observations and recommendations of your previous Committee. I commend the Executive for upholding this established parliamentary practice. However, there were a number of responses that were too general and vague, resulting in matters remaining outstanding. An example of such responses is:

“… the ministry is still revising the public debt management procedures manually subject to public sector reforms.”

Sir, this was said without stating time frames. The accountability process is flexible. Therefore, if the Executive is under the reasonable resolve that it is unable to implement a recommendation of your Committee, either wholly or in part, all that is needed is for it to justify the reasons for that. In short, it is important to be very clear and specific in the responses to facilitate the conclusion of matters.

Mr Speaker, let me now move to the two topical issues. I will begin with the topic: “Monitoring job creation in Zambia.”

Sir, your Committee has found out that Zambia has a mechanism for collecting social and economic data. This mechanism can be used to monitor job creation. The Census and Statistics Act of 1964 mandates the Central Statistical Office (CSO) to collect, compile and disseminate official statistics. For labour-related statistics, the CSO carries out this function in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. As can be noted in the report, the mechanism can generate employment statistics segregated by sex, sector and residence. The trends in the number of jobs created over a period of time can also be determined.

Mr Speaker, the mechanism comprises a number of data collecting methods. These include the following:

(a) surveys such as the labour force and living conditions monitoring surveys;

(b) the census of population and housing;

(c) employment and earnings inquiry; and

(d) administrative records which are obtained from institutions such as the Zambia Revenue Authority and pensions schemes.

Sir, unfortunately, most of the data collecting methods, with the exception of the census of population and housing are not conducted at regular intervals. For example, labour force and living monitoring surveys are ideally supposed to be conducted every two years, but this has not been the case. Between 1986 and 2012, only four labour force surveys were conducted. Similarly, six living conditions monitoring surveys were conducted between 1996 and 2010. In between the surveys, the CSO conducts the employment and earnings inquiries on a quarterly basis every year. However, these inquiries have limitations in that they only cover the formal sector. They are also not comprehensive enough due to the absence of dynamic establishment registers. As is the case with the other mentioned surveys, they are not regularly conducted because of funding constraints.

Mr Speaker, this affects the availability of latest statistics on employment. To explain this a bit further, the latest statistics being quoted in Zambia are based on the 2012 Labour Force Survey. As earlier mentioned, this survey is supposed to be conducted every two years. In the strictest sense, the information is already outdated as a new survey is supposed to be conducted in 2014. This has a bearing on the applicability of the information in the planning process.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes the adoption of the National Statistics Development Strategy by Cabinet which is intended to address the challenges of the current system of collecting and compiling statistical information. This includes resource challenges such as human resource, equipment and finances.

Sir, as the strategy is being implemented, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labour and Social Security should ensure that a proper legal framework is put in place, which should include the revision of the Census and Statistics Acts of 1964 and the Employment Act, which the majority of the witnesses contended were outdated.

Mr Speaker, let me briefly comment on the number and quality of jobs. As can be noted in the report, in the period 2008 to 2013, the overall growth rate in employment, both formal and informal was 19.4 per cent. This translates to over 200,000 jobs per annum, and appears impressive for a developing country like ours. However, when you get down to the details, the situation tells a different story. The 2012 Labour Force Survey shows that of all the employed persons in Zambia, estimated at 5.5 million, only 11.4 per cent or 625,000 are in formal employment. 88.6 per cent or 4.9 million are in the informal sector.

Mr Speaker, one of the key characteristics of decent work is entitlement to some form of social security. This means, therefore, that, in Zambia, it is not a secret that social security schemes only cover workers in the formal sector. This means that the majority of the employed in Zambia do not have decent jobs, going by the given description of a decent job.

Sir, if the creation of jobs is to meaningfully contribute to poverty reduction, the Government needs to intensify its efforts that are aimed at increasing the number of formal jobs created in the private and public sectors. According to the 2012 Labour Force Survey, on average, 28,000 formal jobs are created per annum.

There is, however, a need to enhance the capacity of district labour offices so that they can ensure that decent jobs are created. Currently, the district labour offices lack capacity in terms of staff numbers, transport and other operational tools. This has resulted in their failure to regularly carry out inspections. For example, the Copperbelt labour offices in the period January to March, 2014 were only able to carry, out on average, thirty-three inspections per month against a target of 180.

Sir, let me move to the next topical issue which is electricity generation and accessibility. The best description of the current electricity supply situation is that we are barely managing. The country is faced with a three-core challenge of insufficient generation capacity, inadequate transmission infrastructure and an aging distribution network.

Sir although the current installed electricity generation capacity is about 2,000 MW, the available power is less than the demand which results in the current deficits estimated at between 250 to 300 MW. Your Committee is, however, pleased with the number of projects under implementation that are aimed at increasing the generation capacity. After the commissioning of the current projects, the country will have a surplus, but this will be short-lived considering that the growth of demand for power is estimated to be between 150 to 200 MW per annum.

Sir, electricity after generation has to be transmitted. The national power grid is not extensive enough. It mostly covers mining areas and other industrial and commercial centres. These areas account for about 68 per cent of the national electricity consumption.

The limited coverage of the transmission network has been the contributing factor to the low national access to electricity which is about 22 per cent. In rural areas, access to electricity is about 5 per cent. Furthermore, due to a lack of investment, the transmission network is constrained and results in losses of up to 7 per cent of electricity that is transmitted. Similarly, the distribution network has aged and results in losses of up to 15 per cent which is quite significant for a country that is grappling with power shortages.

Mr Speaker, Zambia has found itself in this situation because of a lack of investment in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. Your Committee is, therefore, recommending that the Executive sustains or even increases the current momentum of investing in the electricity sub-sector.

Sir, the amount of investment required up to 2020 is estimated to be US$5 billion. This is huge for a resource-constrained country like ours. The Executive should, therefore, attract more private sector investment in the electricity supply industry. The private sector has already shown its ability to contribute to the development of the electricity sub-sector. The Lunsemfwa Hydropower Company has plans to increase its generation capacity to 500 MW from the current 56 MW. The Copper Energy Corporation (CEC) has plans to develop generation units in the Luapula River Basin with an estimated output of 800 MW.

Sir, in order to attract more private investment, the Executive needs to address some of the challenges that investors have faced. Some of these include the following:

(a) electricity tariffs that are deemed not to be cost reflective. As a result of this, the few private investors prefer to enter into bulk purchase agreements with the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO). They, therefore, avoid investing in transmission and distribution infrastructure because of the high risk of failure to recoup their investments;

(b) most sites for hydropower projects are situated in rural areas where road infrastructure is poor. This has resulted in some of the current projects facing challenges in transporting heavy and fragile equipment;

(c) limited access to power transmission infrastructure on an open access basis;

(d) undue delays in obtaining investment permits, title to land, water rights and environmental consents that are critical in securing financing; and

(e) reduced intake of water in some reservoirs due to competing needs with other industries upstream. One of the affected private companies in this regard is the Lunsemfwa Hydropower Company.

Mr Speaker, let me conclude my debate on ZESCO and Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). ZESCO is the biggest player in the electricity supply industry at all levels; that is, generation, transmission and distribution. Due to its dominance, most of the issues that have been made reference to here are directly and indirectly linked to ZESCO. Having one huge publicly-owned vertically-integrated company carries with it benefits and challenges.

Sir, it is beneficial in that the State has leverage to steer the company in the direction that is in line with national development priorities. However, as experience has shown, the State has been struggling to mobilise recapitalisation funds for ZESCO to expand its generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. Further, it has been argued that having such a giant in the industry can be a disincentive to private investors.

It is, therefore, important for the Government, and in this regard, we are referring to the Executive, to ensure that ZESCO is used as a catalyst to spur further development in the electricity supply industry. However, for this to happen, there are some tough questions that have to be answered. For example, should ZESCO continue to be a vertically-integrated company or it needs to be de-merged or unbundled.

Sir, the CEC has presented new opportunities to Zambia by becoming an international player in the electricity supply industry through the CEC Africa. The company has multi-million dollar electricity supply projects in West Africa. Every Zambian needs to be proud of this development.

Although the Government is a minority shareholder, through the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines-Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH), CEC is resident in Zambia and listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LuSE). The Government needs to fully exploit these opportunities and ensure that Zambia benefits through electricity supply infrastructure development.

Mr Speaker, let me end my debate by thanking you, the Clerk and staff of the National Assembly and all the witnesses for having made it possible for your Committee to successfully conclude its programme of work.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

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

Mr Mwamba: Now, Sir.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion urging this House to adopt the Report of the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly.

Sir, the mover of the Motion, who is also the able Chairperson of the Committee to which I belong, has highlighted the key issues that are discussed in the report.

Sir, my debate in this case will be restricted to a few other issues that are also contained in the report.

Sir, the hon. Members of the Executive have made a number of pronouncements on job creation. These have mainly been on the number of jobs that have been created since the year 2011 when the current administration assumed power.

Mr Speaker, as the mover stated, there are, indeed, jobs that have been created and continue to be created. However, monitoring job creation goes beyond mere figures. One of the social challenges that Zambia faces is high poverty levels currently affecting over 60 per cent of the Zambian population. It is, therefore, important to ensure that every job that is created is decent and sustainable.

Sir, during its interaction with the witnesses, your Committee was informed that the Government ensures that jobs created are decent and sustainable through the enforcement of labour laws that protect workers’ rights at work as well as ensures the provision of social protection, a safe health working environment and promote social dialogue. The enforcement of the laws, your Committee heard, is done through labour inspections.

Sir, what your Committee observed on the ground, during its labour local tour is different. The district labour offices lack the capacity to enforce labour laws as well as to collect, analyse and compile labour statistics. For example, the Ndola District Labour Office that your Committee visited does not have the following:

(i) the full complement of staff. Only 52 per cent of the required professional staff are employed. To compound the situation, there are no labour inspectors employed yet despite their being provided for in the staff establishment;

(ii) adequate transport; and

(iii) operating tools like computers, including communication tools such as internet, landlines and post office boxes.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is, therefore, recommending that the Ministry of Labour and Social Security begins to build the capacity of its district labour offices as they have an important role to play in monitoring job creation. Your Committee is expecting that the 2015 budget estimates of the ministry will include capacity building funding for district labour offices.

Mr Speaker, the mover of the Motion made mention of the different methods of data collection. Your Committee has observed that there is a difference in the way employment is measured in the Labour Force Survey and the Living Conditions Monitoring Survey.

Sir, the formal employment figure under the Labour Force Survey tends to be lower because a person is considered to be formally employed if they are entitled to, among other things, social security. The Living Conditions Monitoring Survey tends to show a higher figure because non-regular workers are taken into account as long as they are employed by a formalised entity. The Committee is recommending that the definitions of employment be harmonised since the two methods are supposed to be complimentary.

Mr Speaker, let me now briefly touch on the topic of electricity generation and accessibility. The Government has made significant progress in reducing the power deficit that the country is grappling with. It was further reassuring to read in one of the daily papers on Wednesday, 18th June 2014, that the national power output will be increased by 600 MW by the end of 2014.

Sir, the private sector is also actively playing its role in the electricity supply industry. However, your Committee was informed of peculiar clauses in some of the power purchasing agreements that the private investors have entered into with ZESCO management. These include capacity payment requirements and off-take arrangements in which ZESCO will have to make certain fixed payments based on the generation capacity of the power plants regardless of whether or not power is generated and delivered to it. According to witnesses, in the event that there is a hydrological event such as a drought which can result in low water availability, the power plant would be entitled to recover the capacity charge directly from the Government.

Sir, I think, as a country, we have enough experience on the losses in terms of revenue collection owing to generous incentives that we grant investors. Examples in the mining industry abound.We certainly need the investment, but do we have to go to the extent of putting at risk our already meagre public resources? The answer is no.

Mr Speaker, since we are in a situation in which the existing power plants must operate at their optimum level, there is a need to ensure that any identifiable risk is properly managed. Your Committee is, therefore, concerned with the continued presence of the weed on the Kafue River known as water hyacinth. This is a major challenge that the Kafue Gorge Power Station is facing. The Kafue Gorge Power Station is one of the country’s major power stations with an installed generation capacity of 990 MW. There is a need for the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to rid the river of this weed. Your Committee is also calling for the involvement of other stakeholders such as the fertiliser manufacturing plant in Kafue and sugar manufacturing company in Mazabuka whose effluent has been said to exacerbate the problem.

Mr Speaker, I wish to end by thanking you and the Clerk of the National Assembly for the invaluable support you rendered to us, as a Committee, in carrying out our mandate.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I would like to make a significant contribution to the debate on the Floor. In the first place, I would like to thank the mover and the seconder of the Motion. I think the entire Committee did a good job to come up with the report that we are considering now.

Mr Speaker, a major part of my presentation will concern itself with general electricity generation and accessibility in Zambia. I want to relate my debate to what is happening in North-Western Province, Solwezi West Constituency, in particular. First of all, I must admit that there have been some statements made by the Government to indicate that there will be power in Kalumbila. Earlier pronouncements with regard to the availability of electricity in Lumwana have been fulfilled and I thank the Government for that. However, I would like to say that this is just a camouflage.  What is happening in the North-Western Province is that we are seeing electricity pylons, but the local people have no access to power. They have nothing.Likewise, in Lumwana, where First Quantum made some arrangement to have power taken, particularly the road that goes to Muchima’s area. That is not good. To be specific, there is no power in the Kabitaka Hills in Solwezi where I live. Kabitaka Hills is a very important project for ZESCO. Power is just being connected for the bazungus at Kansanshi and Lumwana.

  Mr Speaker: What does that mean? Who are the bazungus?

  Mr Mwanza: Sir, I am referring to the people who have come to invest in Kansanshi and Kalumbila. The local black people like me do not have access to electricity, but are able to see pylons pass over them.  This is not correct. ZESCO must ensure that the people that have come to invest in this country and the local ones have access to power because you can only develop as a country if there is electricity for everyone. Unfortunately, in the North-Western Province, although we are so much talked about, we have no power to talk about, especially in the area in Solwezi where I live. It is only now that the Government is thinking of electrifying three districts.

  Mr Speaker, I wish to urge ZESCO to immediately ensure that the local people have access to electricity. By local people, I do not mean the headman and those who are capable of electrifying their homes. However, there is a tendency by ZESCO to only take power to bazungus. This is rampant in Solwezi and must stop.

  Mr Speaker, with these remarks, I thank you.

  Mr Livune: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

  Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I think that this report is too important for me to remain silent. I want to thank the mover, the seconder and the Committee for this wonderful report. I think that it is one of the most comprehensive reports ever on employment. I will confine myself to the issue of employment.

  Mr Speaker, the statistics that have been brought to this House by this Committee are an eye opener. Employment in a developing country like Zambia is a connection between economic growth and poverty. There is evidence here that because of low employment levels, poverty is high in this country. The most effective way of fighting poverty is to increase employment.  If there is one thing that the poor people have, it is their labour. Therefore, if you want to deal with poverty and inequality, you have to create employment.

  Mr Speaker, in the last ten years, this economy has been growing above 5 per cent which is actually above the Southern African Development Community (SADC) average. However, the level of employment is quite low and, therefore, poverty is high. According to the statistics of the 2012 Labour Survey Report, out of the reported employment of five million Zambians, about four million are employed in the informal sector and about 600,000 in the formal sector. There is another problem. The economy is moving from formality to informality. You know that the informal sector is called the black economy. The economy is becoming darker and darker. It is why when you move around, you see a country regressing. There is no pride in informal employment. This is a misnomer.

  Mr Speaker, there are other statistics apart from the poverty levels which attest to the fact that when employment levels are lower, there will be high poverty despite the economy growing. Therefore, if you want to deal with poverty, you have to create employment. I am going to suggest a few options for creating employment which are very simple. As a result of leaning towards the black economy, using gini co-efficiency, you will notice that the inequalities in this country are growing. A few people are living well while the majority are living in squalor.

  Mr Speaker, this high gini co-efficiency of 0.6 is as a result of many people working in the informal sector which has no security, poor wages and jobs that are seasonal and unreliable. This is a very bad picture. This is a dying population. It is a regressing population. We must do everything within our powers to reverse this. It is even shameful to report such high levels of informal employment.

  Sir, the growth that we have been experiencing has been very paradoxical. We have a growing economy. If someone is reading about Zambia’s micro-economic indicators somewhere in New York, he will think that the living standards of the people in this country are reasonable. However, when one comes here, he or she sees the complete opposite. The living standards are lower than a country with moderate economic growth. This growth, Sir, is called jobless growth, rootless growth because it is not rooted in the people. It is called ruthless growth. It is also called futureless growth because, at one time, this growth will boomerang as it is not rooted in the people. It is temporary. It is from an enclave economy which is dependent on activities such as mining. Once mining is over, you become the poorest country. This country can become one of the poorest countries on earth, for example, when mining grinds to a halt. It is possible that mining can grind to a halt due to commodity crisis or depletion of the minerals.

  Sir, we should focus on employment creation and to do that, we need to re-orient the economy from an enclave base. The economy must not grow from a very small sector. It must be broad based and inclusive. I am not calling for nationalisation. The State must play a strategic developmental role. There is evidence of countries that have created employment by re-orienting the role of the State. I am going to give a few examples here.

  Mr Speaker, we need to grow the formal sector. The formal sector is a sector that is linked to the global economy. It is a sector that produces goods that are accessible to the international market where the prices are good. The informal sector is detached from the global economy. Therefore, this economy is not enjoying the benefits of globalisation because most of the people are in the informal sector.

Mr Speaker, someone invited me for a workshop and asked me to present a paper. The workshop was looking at ways to tax the informal sector. I wondered why they could gather to talk about taxing the informal sector instead of formalising it. That should be the approach. It is possible to formalise the informal sector with the information and communication technologies (ICTs) available. The people in the informal sector must be registered. It is now easy to register companies. Marketeers and everybody else in the informal sector can be registered and become formal business owners. There are many benefits for being in the formal sector, for instance, you get to be recognised and can access credit. Therefore, our efforts should be pushed towards broadening the formal sector and not reporting huge figures from the informal sector.

Mr Speaker, let me give a few examples. Our approach of attracting foreign investment in this country is wrong approach. What has been reported is that this year, we have foreign direct investment (FDI) of US$4 billion. Having that amount of investment is not an issue. The issue is the makeup of the FDI. The foreign investors who come here must come and fit into our development model. Therefore, our friends at the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) need to be re-oriented. We need to create development models where these foreign investors can come and fit in so that this investment can create employment and reduce poverty and income inequality. I once told people that even though Zambia is a Christian nation, there is more evil in this country than christianity. There is nothing Christian about this poverty.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, there is so much evil in this country. When you go to Arcades Shopping Mall, you would think that you are in Sandown but, when you just drive 500 metres away, you will see people living in squalor in a Christian nation. There is nothing Christian about this country. There is so much evil. This is evil. People have been pushed to a black economy and you are doing nothing about it.

Mr Speaker, let me give examples from the agriculture sector, which has the highest potential in the short run to create jobs. I heard that there is a Chinese company that is to come up with a sugar cane plantation in the North-Western Province. Having that investment is not an issue. The Chinese investors will make money for themselves. However, we need to create a framework so that this investment is linked to the people. In Mazabuka, for example, the Kaleya Smallholder Outgrower Scheme is a testimony of how you can include the people in foreign investment. There should be no farming scheme given to investors which is not linked to local producers. We need to have an anchor farm, for example, in Sha’ngombo around the 5,000 hectares given to an investor. The 5,000 hectares given to the investor should be surrounded by 15,000 hectares belonging small-holder farmers. The small-holder farmers should grow sugarcanes at the standard of this main investor and supply it to him. That way, you will have linked the small holder farmers to the global economy. You should not just say that you are producing sugar in Sha’ngombo. That is not an issue. The issue is that the living standards of our people should be uplifted.

Sir, we have many monopolies growing in the country. There is one company that is engaged in production, wholesaling and retailing. It is killing everybody downstream and upstream. The Zambia Competition Commission (ZCC) must move to stop this. In dairy farming, for example, Parmalat Zambia Limited is doing very well and yesterday, I attended a workshop where the company made a presentation. Farmers produce the milk and Parmalat Zambia Limited buys from them. However, if the company goes into keeping dairy animals, it will have killed the farmers. One company that you have given a big piece of land comprises of infesters and not investors because they have taken away the space of our people. There is a big farm for soya beans production, and it is not linked to the local people. This company is making so much money from soya beans farming, and yet people around that area are so poor. That is not investment. They are ripping off this country’s precious resources. Therefore, going forward, anyone who wants to invest must link his investment to the local people so that they can supply him with some raw material. The job of the Government is to provide extension services for the people to meet the criteria to supply to this investor who is linked to the global market.

Mr Speaker, let me now talk about issues to do with public-private partnerships (PPPs). The previous Government …

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Hamududu: … said that it wanted to construct a road from Leopards Hill to Chiwaya using the PPP. It wanted an investor to construct the road, make some money over the years before handing it over to the State. Sadly, the same Government decided to use precious money for the education of the people to construct the road. That was a wrong decision.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, if the private sector handles road projects through the PPP, it will need to employ some people to maintain the roads. This means that a good number of workers will be in employment for a long period of time.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, instead of using your own money to build an airport, why not let the private sector do it? That is the reason the Government is running out of money. The fiscal space has been eroded. Even the US$1 billion we borrowed will be a drop in the ocean as it will be used for just bills for road projects. Many road projects are stalling. The private sector should be brought in for some key projects. Do you need to use your own money to build an airport? No.

Sir, for example, there is a road in Chirundu which is used a lot by investors. Works on that road should have been carried out by the private sector. That way, the jobs which would be created would be better than the jobs which the Government is claiming to have created through the road construction projects. The jobs the Government claims to have been creating on the roads last for only one year but, through PPP projects, more jobs will be secured as the people employed will stay longer on the projects before they hand over to the Government.

Mr Speaker, we also need to look at issues to do with value addition. We can create employment through value addition and these are simple things. The United Party for National Development (UPND) can change this country in three years.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, I can give you examples regarding issues to do with value addition. Take maize, for instance, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, if you …

Mr Muntanga: That is the problem.

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we should enhance production subsidies such as the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP), which I believe in. There is a difference between a consumption subsidy and a production one. Sometimes people misunderstand my thoughts on such issues. We must cover enough farmers with the production subsidies in order to produce enough maize and no grain must leave the country without any value being added to it. Let us export mealie-meal and stockfeed. That way, we will be creating jobs in the milling industry. Unfortunately, this country exports maize in grain form. These are the weakness we have. As a result, we are creating jobs in other countries.

Sir, in Monze, there are progressive old men who were against Shoprite and Spar, …

Mr Muntanga: Monze Arcades.

Mr Hamududu: Sir, I am also an investor.

Sir, these shopping chains must be linked to our development model when they come here. They should be restricted to importing what is not produced here so that we can have co-operatives in Lusaka West providing them with tomatoes and cabbages. The chain stores should begin to buy things locally. In Kenya, the people have refused to allow the shopping chains to operate in that country as they are just exploitation channels. They are creating and securing markets for South African farmers. The stores sell cabbages from South Africa. This is a mockery. We have better vegetables in this country which are non-genetically modified (non-GMO). The ZDA, which is responsible for crafting our investment models, must link the chain stores to our local businesses. 

Sir, the people in Monze are crying for Shoprite and Spar without knowing that it will kill the market for that woman selling at the market. That old lady who is feeding her family by selling cabbages will have no more business. That way, poverty will be entrenched in this country.

Mr Speaker, let these supermarket chains come and buy from the local producers. Since we, the Zambian people who are buying from those shops, eat Zambian cabbages and tomatoes, why should they brings in South African products? People will continue laughing at us if we do not put an end to that.

Sir, I have been interacting with these people. I worked with South Africans for nine years before I came here and I know how they laugh at this country. This country is so open. It is like a house which is so open that visitors can even enter the bedrooms.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, the production of vegetables is a bedroom issue.

Hon. Opposition Member: Yes!

Mr Hamududu: Sir, we should meet in the sitting room. We must protect our people. Our people’s markets have been encroached upon by wrong products. Now there are reports of the GMO foods in these shops and yet we can actually produce our own products. Can this country not make cornflakes? Let those investors come and buy our local maize and make cornflakes so that we put them in Shoprite. These economic models that have come in this country are not good. That is why during the United National Independence Party (UNIP) era, there were more jobs because we had localised production and we were buying our own things. By the way, the shortage of things in the 1990s was not a bad idea. It was a way of propping up local production. I was happy to drink trarino made of pineapples from Mwinilunga. There were jobs then. To my surprise, today, people are so excited to drink a fanta. There was no fanta then. What is fanta?


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, if we go to the Western Province, every farmer can have an orchard. You should bring anchor investors there and let the investors buy from these farmers. The job of the Government is to provide extension services and infrastructure. During, the Committee’s tour, we travelled to the Eastern Province which is like Canaan. This country is blessed.

Mr Muntanga: Canaan?

Mr Hamududu: Sir, this country is a land of milk and honey. The problem is that we have delayed to do the right things.


Mr Hamududu: Sir, it is good that people are beginning to listen to our arguments because we can quickly change this country.

Sir, I cannot complete this debate without talking about education which is actually so important. The biggest investment you can make in the long run to create sustainable jobs and deal with the informal sector is education. Once you educate the people, they will not want to be found in the informal sector. Therefore, free education for all our people, at least, up to secondary school should not be a compromise. I can show you that we can provide free education and produce a knowledge-based economy. Countries such as Cuba, South Korea and Finland have been able to do that. I always give an example of Samsung whose quarterly net profit is bigger than our national budget. Samsung started as a grocery shop, but because of the availability of skills, it expanded. I was privileged in 2008 to visit South Korea. I was amazed with the attitude of the children. Let us invest in the long-term initiatives. If we want sustainable formal jobs, we must never compromise any efforts intended to invest in our people. According to research, that is the single most important intervention.

Sir, the possibilities for employment creation in Zambia are immense, but appropriate actions are missing. I think if jobs are not created by those who are in Government, then they must pack and give our other people the chance to govern this country.  We can do it.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, first of all, let me acknowledge, with gratitude, the Committee’s work and, in particular, the selection that they made on the subject matter. Let me congratulate Hon. Hamudulu and Hon. Mwamba on a very well-documented report. In fact, one is delighted in the sense that we are all singing from the same hymn sheet. In fact, it is like they have read the PF Manifesto and understood its implementation.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, let us just say that …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: … the main issues that are before us all in the House and the Government is to address not only the issue of employment creation, but also wealth creation. It is necessary that these go hand in hand. We will then have the usual profile as to who does it, who is doing it and how we will do it. I think that is what we should be discussing here. Therefore, what we have seen in here are two major requirements…

Mr Speaker: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The House adjourned at 1955 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 20th June, 2014.