Debates- Thursday, 12th December, 2013

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Thursday, 12th December, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection (Mr Kalaba): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to make a ministerial statement on the administration and management of customary land in the country to this august House.

Mr Speaker, land is a resource that is key to the development of any country. It is, therefore, vital that this resource is managed in a sustainable manner. It is also important to equitably distribute it so as to reduce poverty and promote harmony in the country.

Sir, as you may be aware, Zambia has a dual land tenure system, namely, customary and leasehold tenure, which is historical and dates back to the pre-Independence days. Customary tenure is an indigenous form of land holding that is generally communal in character, based on the traditional practices of each tribe or clan and is handed down from one generation to another. 

Sir, historically, customary tenure generally applied to reserves and trust land, and involved chiefs as custodians of tradition. On the other hand, leasehold tenure basically represents the system of land holding introduced by the Colonial Government and was applied to Crown land. Tenure is acquired by direct grant by the President, through the Commissioner of Lands, and is limited to a specified period, usually ninety-nine years. In 1995, the reserves and customary land were consolidated into customary land, which is estimated to consist about 94 per cent of the country’s total land mass. The remaining 6 per cent is State land. Therefore,  this country cannot develop if customary land is not well managed. 

Sir, Section 35 of the Lands Act, Cap 185 of the Laws of Zambia provides as follows: 

“All land in Zambia is vested in the President and shall be controlled and administrated by the President of Zambia for the common good of all the people of Zambia.”

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the measures I will outline are necessary in fulfilling the requirements of the law, whereby the President has to exercise control not only over State land, but also customary land.

Sir, Section 7 of the Lands Act, Cap 184 of the Laws of Zambia recognises the existence of customary tenure on which most people in rural communities anchor their livelihood. It is also a policy of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to promote pro-poor development, and to ensure that no Zambian is displaced from or unfairly treated over land acquired normally.

Mr Speaker, while it is true that there are a number of chiefdoms that have been working closely with the Government in protecting the best interests of their subjects, and the Government is grateful for that co-operation and support, it is equally true that there have been some cases in which our people have been exploited in land transactions that are inconsistent with the law.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I have been prompted to address this august House on the subject of customary land tenure because this form of tenure has been abused. It is important that this House is updated on the measures my ministry is putting in place so that hon. Members can, in turn, accordingly inform our people. The abuse has consisted of huge tracts of customary land being given away by traditional leaders to foreigners and some Zambians at the expense of the local people.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, customary tenure does not involve entering into leases, licences and other kinds of development agreements, yet that is becoming common in customary land areas, leading to the displacement of the vulnerable groups, who do not even benefit from the agreements. That is unacceptable and must stop forthwith.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the following are some of the ways in which customary tenure has been abused:

Displacement of Villagers and Local Communities

Sir, my office is currently overwhelmed by cases of Zambians, including women, youths and differently-abled persons, who are complaining of being displaced from their ancestral or family lands for the benefit of investors and the urban elite, contrary to the Kampala Convection on the Protection of Internally-Displaced Persons to which Zambia is party, and the pro-poor policies of the PF Government, which seek to promote the welfare of all vulnerable groups

Allocation of Huge Portions of Land without the Permission of the President

Mr Speaker, according to Land Circular Number One of 1985, 250ha is the maximum amount of land chiefs can recommend for allocation in their jurisdiction to an individual or entity.  However, there have been several cases in which this provision has been flouted. Therefore, my ministry will work to stop this unwelcome malpractice.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, there has been abuse of the land allocation process in some parts of the country by some headmen and chiefs, who are being approached secretly by land-seeking foreigners and, in some cases, Zambians, and are allocating portions of land in excess of 250ha. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the Government will not allow this abuse to be perpetuated by a few people at the expense of the majority of other Zambians.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Sir, the 250ha restriction applies to both customary land under customary tenure and customary land recommended for conversion to leasehold tenure.
Encroachments on Forest Reserves and Other Protected Areas 

Mr Speaker, there has been an increase in the number of forest reserves and protected areas that have been encroached on across the country, contrary to the Forest Act, Cap 199 of the Laws of Zambia. This has affected the sustainable management of forests and other protected areas, which are key to the development of this country. There are also some traditional leaders who are illegally sub-dividing and allocating land in protected areas.

Sir, the prudent administration of land and other natural resources requires the protection of the environment. There is a need to promote the sustainable use of land and other natural resources to curb land degradation and mitigate the effects of desertification and other climate change phenomena. 

Selling of Customary Land 

Mr Speaker, Section IV of the Lands Act, Cap 184 of the Laws of Zambia, provides that consideration in money is only payable to the President. This means that it is illegal for any other entity, including our chiefs or headmen, to charge any person trying to acquire customary land, whether Zambian or non-Zambian.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: It is not only illegal, but also an abuse of the system and a clear exploitation of innocent Zambians. In fact, the illegal selling benefits only the people selling the land and the rich, who can afford to pay the unregulated fees. This is also against the PF’s pro-poor bias.

Hon. Opposition Member: Question!

Illegal Fencing Off of Communal Grazing Land and Water Bodies

Mr Speaker, there has been a growing trend of people fencing off huge tracts of customary land, including communal grazing lands and water resources, thereby depriving villagers and other vulnerable groups access to these shared resources. This is unacceptable and contrary to the provisions of Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 1 of 2000 and the Fencing Act, Cap 190 of the Laws of Zambia, which I will lay on the Table of this House.  

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, to curb some of the vices in the allocation of customary land, the Government will, with immediate effect, effect the following measures:

(a)    in line with the directive by His Excellency the President during the Official Opening of the Second Session of the Eleventh National Assembly in September, 2011, to enhance the security of tenure for customary land, the Government will bring to this House the Customary Land Administration Bill, which will introduce a law relating to the alienation of customary land. Further, the Government will introduce strict measures to screen foreigners applying for customary land;
(b)    no land in excess of 250ha will be allowed to be sold in any of the chiefdoms. Further, I have, with immediate effect, directed the Office of the Commissioner of Lands and all councils countrywide to only process documents related to customary land when the laid-down procedures have been followed; 

(c)    finalisation of the Land Policy and review of related legislation;

(d)    institution of the Land Audit Commission this year, which will undertake a comprehensive land audit and generate statistics on land use and ownership;

(e)    introduction of measures to protect vulnerable groups in the communities, such as women, youths and the differently-abled; and

(f)    repossession of portions of customary land that were illegally allocated. 

Mr Speaker, I request the hon. Members of this august House to sensitise members of the public in their respective constituencies on the new measures the Government is introducing to protect their interest pertaining to customary land. As indicted earlier, people buying customary land without due regard to our laws and procedures must stop, and I call on Zambians to be vigilant and report all such abuses to my ministry. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, obviously, our measures will not affect Zambians and non-Zambians who will want to lawfully acquire customary land and villagers or families that already enjoy rights to respective pieces of customary land. Take note, Hon. Mwanza.


Mr Kalaba: Sir, let me also take this opportunity to remind this august House that I have been condemning illegal land allocation and grabbing that has been perpetrated in urban areas by political party cadres. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: I wish to reiterate the Government’s strong stance against the illegalities and warn that anyone engaging in such acts, irrespective of their political affiliation, will face the law. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I assure investors, both foreign and local, that those who acquire land legally will not be affected by these measures. In fact, I urge them to be comforted that the Government is working to remove illegalities and ensure that the rule of law is adhered to in land administration. 

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I re-state that land is the heritage of all Zambians, and its management and control must promote the welfare of all Zambians. 

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members: Ema statements aya!

Mr Mbewe: No questions.

Mr Speaker: Order!

I will determine whether there will be questions or not.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement made by the hon. Minister of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. 

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, let me put it on record that I sincerely appreciate the hon. Minister’s statement. If anything, it was long overdue. My question is: How soon will the customary land taken away from villagers be re-possessed by the State? 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as soon as it is practicable. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, I also commend the hon. Minister for an excellent response to your report on land administration, which was debated in the House this year and focused on customary land administration and the need for the Executive to address problems therein. However, I would like the hon. Minister to clarify to the House and the nation the proposed administrative structures for implementing the proposed policy measures. 

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the Government is working on the Zambia Integrated Land Management Information System (ZILMIS), Land Audit and Land Titling programmes, all of which will take place next year. 

  I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I am aware that some of the measures that the hon. Minister has announced today have been in place for a long time, but were not being enforced in certain aspects. So, what will the hon. Minister do to the chiefs who are in the forefront of allocating traditional land illegally?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, our position is that it is blind and it will be applied accordingly.

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, the acquisition of large tracts of land is not only done by foreigners, but also some greedy Zambians. When will the restrictions start because they have to have a starting point? Will those who applied a long time ago be exempted or not?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, as I said, the measures will apply when we commence the land audit.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda): I was almost giving up.

Sir, I thank the hon. Minister for that very elaborate statement. However, what is his immediate motivation for coming up with such a wonderful statement?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, members of the Committee on Lands and Agriculture will attest to the fact that Parliament has struggled with this issue for a long time. So, when the PF came into power, it prioritised the challenge and decided to tackle it aggressively and honestly.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the wonderful delivery of his Statement on land. However, I would like to ask the hon. Minister a specific question that relates to the land that was illegally allocated by a named chief in the North-Western Province in an area around Chisola Dam. What immediate remedial measures is the Government taking to protect the people who live on that land from being mistreated and to allow them to gainfully use it?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the issue that he has raised is being looked into by my ministry. It was being addressed even before I announced these measures.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister on his very eloquent statement. However, all the land in Zambia belongs to Zambians. I was very anxious to hear what the hon. Minister would say about ownership of land by foreigners. He said that this aspect would be scrutinised. Does that imply the introduction of an SI to bar foreigners from owning land? What measures will be effected because scrutinising is a standard procedure in the Ministry of Lands or any other ministry? Do you scrutinise paper work?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, my ministry is currently in the process of reviewing the Lands Act of 1995. As the Lands Act is reviewed, measures will be taken to curb any illegalities and shortfalls that might have arisen as a result of the Land Act of 1995, which might have been enacted in haste.

I thank you Sir.

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for that wonderful statement. However, I just need his guidance in instances when chiefs or headmen have given land illegally and the villagers are still complaining, but those who obtained the land have ended up having title deeds from the ministry. What should we do in such instances?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I urge the hon. Member to provide evidence to my ministry. As I said in my submission, we will repossess customary land which was given out illegally because our interest, as the Government, is to protect vulnerable Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has made a very good statement. He has indicated that the land which was given to foreigners will be re-assessed and grabbed. I want to find out, those …

Mr Speaker: He said, “re-possess,” not grab.


Mr Speaker: There is a distinction.

Mr Mbewe: Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Sir, the land will be re-possessed. However, on some of the land, massive investments have been made. What will happen to the investments or who will compensate the people after their land has been re-possessed?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I have said that this measure is targeted at new acquisitions, and that we would correct anomalies of the past.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, I would like to join the rest in congratulating the hon. Minister on that positive statement. 

Sir, the hon. Minister said that shared resources should be protected. However, there are instances when somebody has a piece of land under leasehold tenure, not customary law, and there is a stream nearby. The Ministry of Lands, when allocating the piece of land could have left some space between the farm and the stream, but some village headmen re-settled people between the farm and the stream. Then, the re-settled people try to prevent the land-owner from accessing the stream. What would you do in such a situation?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank Hon. Imenda for sharing that personal problem. I advise her to visit my office and tell me the details of that issue and I will firmly deal with it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, as we progress with the questions, let us try to focus on the policy issues. I know that we have many personal experiences …


Mr Speakers: … and encounters relating to land alienation. We could go on and on with those experiences but, for the time being, let us focus on the policy issues that have been announced by the hon. Minister of Lands.

Mr Chishimba (Kamfisa): Mr Speaker, that statement was long overdue because the issue of illegal land allocation was rampant in previous years. However, when will your ministry move in and de-gazette the Kamfisa Forest area and give it to the people, who have been troubled for too many years by being called illegal settlers.

Mr Speaker: I have just guided the House but, …


Mr Speaker: … immediately afterwards, we are still struggling with it.

Hon. Minister, maybe, you want to address the policy dimension of that intervention, if any.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I know that the area in question is Mwekera Forest Reserves and my ministry is aware of that problem. For the information of the House, my ministry has begun identifying idle land in all the ten provinces so that it is gazetted as forest reserves.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.{mospagebreak}

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the elaborate statement. 

Sir, is the ministry aware that there are so-called investors grabbing land in traditional areas, especially land belonging to women, claiming that they will build schools, hospitals and universities? What measures has the ministry put in place to stop this from happening.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, all of us seated here as Members of Parliament have the responsibility to take charge of and control the issues that are not right in our various constituencies. If there is one issue that you think is not going right in your constituencies, my ministry’s doors are open. My technocrats are taking down notes. So, you could see us so that we can see how far we can go in correcting it.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Policy issues, if any?

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, it almost lapsed. However, …


Ms Kalima: I rarely do this, but I congratulate the hon. Minister on the excellent statement. Sir, my question is on party cadres. He spoke about re-possessing illegally acquired customary land. What measures has the Government put in place to re-possess land taken over by cadres?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, you have seen how the PF Government has been working to restore normalcy in land alienation. As I said earlier, it does not matter what kind of regalia one puts on. The law is blind. So, if one breaks the law, they will be brought to book.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, indeed, that was quite an eloquently delivered speech.

Sir, the management of the forest reserves has been a problem, hence the encroachment that the hon. Minister referred to. What is the ministry doing to equip the district offices not only with the human resource, but also the other requirements and transport so that they can monitor the forestry reserves and prevent encroachments?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, my ministry is working with our co-operating partners to respond to that challenge.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, following the hon. Minister’s non-controversial statement, and taking into account Zambia’s rapid population growth, does he think that the 250ha permissible for traditional leaders to recommend for allocation is still too generous?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, my ministry is currently working to table the Customary Land Bill in this House, which hon. Members will have to scrutinise and input into before it goes to the President for him to assent it into law. I am sure that the Bill will have its own proposals that hon. Members of Parliament will have to deliberate on.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has done well. However, where do these measures leave the situations in which, in some areas, the chiefdoms have created some sort of co-operatives that lease land instead of the chief doing so? It is not an individual chief who leases the land, but some kind of a trust for the chiefdom. Will the co-operatives and trusts also face the wrath of the measures that have been instituted?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, well, I am not sure about the wrath that the hon. Member for Katombola is talking about. However, I have said that the new measures will interrogate everything and bring back normalcy in the way people acquire land.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has done well in his statement. However, these measures are like closing the stables after the horses have bolted.


Dr Kaingu: Hon. Minister, the situation in the Western Province is different from the one you have just told us about. There, we do not have title deeds for customary land, and that is perpetuating poverty among the people. What are you doing about that?

Mr Kalaba: First of all, I thank you for that compliment. However, it is important to know that all land in this country is vested in the President. The Western Province is not an exception. However, the Customary Bill that we will table …


Mr Speaker: Order, on my left!

If you have questions, please, ask them.

Mr Kalaba: Sir, the customary law that we want to enact will empower villagers like those in the Western, Southern, Luapula and other provinces of Zambia. We want the villagers in those areas to have title deeds so that we uplift their livelihoods.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chipungu (Rufunsa): Mr Speaker, thank you very much …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead the House by stating that land in this country is treated in the same manner throughout Zambia, including the Western Province, when he knows that, actually, under the law, the Western Province is an exception?

Dr Kaingu: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will clarify as he responds to the next question.

May the hon. Member of Parliament for Rufunsa continue, please.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for that good statement. In fact, this decision will give comfort to the people of Rufunsa, who are under pressure. I am sure that the technocrats he referred to will recall that I have been to their offices several times concerning one investor who has taken over 50,000ha of land.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Chipungu: They know about it.

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

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Sikazwe: Iwe ikala, the Speaker is speaking.

Mr Speaker: Just wait. The Speaker is speaking. 

Hon. Members, I have given guidance that you should confine yourselves to policy issues. There are many problems relating to land and many grievous ones for that matter, including the one you have referred to. It is very grievous. However, you should still address policy issues.

Mr Chipungu: Mr Speaker, maybe, I do not have any other than to commend the hon. Minister for that statement. Perhaps, I could just request him to provide me with a copy of his statement, since we are rising tomorrow, so that I can use it to address my people when I go to the constituency at the weekend.

Mr Speaker: You could have easily approached the Clerk, …


Mr Speaker: … instead of the hon. Minister. This is a point of clarification.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, I did not want to congratulate the hon. Minister, but he has done well.


Mr Kunda: However, when will the Customary Bill be tabled in the House?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, the land policy is still being worked on. It will be tabled in this House at an appropriate time. 

Sir, in response to the point of order, Hon. Mwiimbu, a lawyer, should know, and I want to remind him, that Section 35 of the Lands Act reads:

    “All land in Zambia is vested in the President.”

Therefore, the Western Province is not an exception.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chisanga (Mkushi South): Mr Speaker, getting a title deed …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Chisanga: … from the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection has been a problem. Are there any plans to decentralise the system so that people from remote areas like Kalabo and Kaputa can acquire title deeds from the provincial centres?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question because it affords me the opportunity to state that we are currently working on de-centralising our issuance of land titles. Further, I have directed the officers in my ministry to ensure the acquisition of land titles does not take unnecessarily long. The process should not take more than two weeks so that the land can be used as collateral. The title gives the holder security of tenure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mweetwa (Choma Central): Sir, based on the hon. Minister’s interpretation of Section 3 of the Lands Act, is his ministry capable of demarcating land and issuing title deeds in the Western Province?

Mr Kalaba: Mr Speaker, there is only one law in this country, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kalaba: … and its enforcement does not exempt the Western Province. Even on the customary land that we are talking about …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Kalaba: I am speaking as a Minister. Even the customary land in the Western Province that we are talking about is subject to the provisions of the law.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.




218. Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    which companies were awarded contracts to supply about 42,000 tonnes of urea fertiliser for the 2013/2014 Farming Season;

(b)    what criteria were used in awarding the contracts to the companies;

(c)    why local companies with stocks of fertiliser were not contracted to supply the commodity; and

(d)    why the Eastern Province was omitted in the distribution of locally-sourced fertiliser.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, the ministry has not yet awarded contracts to any domestic company to supply urea fertiliser for the 2013/2014 Farming Season. I do not know where the hon. Member got her information from and how she knows what even the hon. Minister does not know. What I know is that we are in the process of procuring 41,985.5 metric tonnes of urea fertiliser and three bidders were recommended for award of the contract subject to verification of the availability of those stocks. The recommended companies are Nyiombo Investments Limited, Norwood Enterprises and Neria Enterprises.

Sir, the recommended bidders were identified in a bidding process that was limited to suppliers that had participated in the cancelled local tender for the supply and delivery of 17,765.5 metric tonnes. The rationale behind the limited tender was that the ministry had limited time to opt for an open tender because that would have required a lot more time. Further, authority was obtained from both the ministry’s Procurement Committee and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) to use the limited tender mode prior to activation of the process. The quantity to be procured locally was increased from 17,765.5 metric tonnes to 41,985.5 metric tonnes by the inclusion of the 24,599 metric tonnes that should have been supplied by the private sector under the E-Voucher or Card System.

Mr Speaker, the ministry is in the process of contracting the recommended local fertiliser suppliers and the contracts will be awarded immediately after the stock availability verification process has been completed. The quantities to be supplied by each of the three selected suppliers will depend on the results of the stock availability verification exercise. Should the verification exercise not confirm the availability of stocks, the necessary changes will be made to meet the needs of all the districts and provinces in the country.

Sir, the Eastern Province was not included in the distribution of the locally-sourced fertiliser because it is among the provinces whose requirements will be met from the 50,000 metric tonnes that had previously been procured from Saudi Arabia. Let me take this opportunity to clarify the procurement of the 50,000 metric tonnes of urea from Saudi Arabia, a substantial part of which has arrived either at Dar-es-Salaam or in the country. The shipments that have been received, so far, have been allocated to five provinces, which have received either all or part of their fertiliser requirements. The distribution has been as shown in the table below.
Province    Quantity (Metric Tonnes)    Percentage

    Allocated    Received

Eastern     17,114    826    5

Central    5,357    2,191.2    41

Luapula    5,670    5,670    100

Muchinga    5,892.9    5,892.9    100

Northern    8,922    2,975.82    33

Sir, as previously reported to the House, Muchinga, the Northern, Luapula and Central provinces have received a total of 17,244 metric tonnes from the first shipment offloaded at Dar-es-Salaam on 5th November, 2013. The second shipment, from which the Eastern, Southern, Western, North-Western, Copperbelt and Lusaka provinces and the Southern part of the Central Province will receive their allocation has now been offloaded.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, if the contract was not awarded, as the hon. Minister has said, why did the Government write to only three suppliers to verify the stocks instead of assessing the stocks of all the eight would-be suppliers? Why did it select the three suppliers first and, then, verify the stocks later? It is very clearly indicated on pages 18 and 19 of the tender document that the verification was supposed to be done before the tender was awarded.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, how did the hon. Member obtain her information to the effect that only three suppliers were considered?

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah, question!


Mr Sichinga: As I have indicated, the tender has not been awarded, but an evaluation has been initiated and selection done. The reason for the evaluation was to ensure that some preconditions for the award of the tender are met. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Katambo (Masaiti): Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister highlight to this august House …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, we passed a law in this House that protects whistleblowers from harassment by anybody. Therefore, is the hon. Minister in order to indirectly threaten the hon. Member who has asked the question on this issue for the benefit of members of the public?

Mr Speaker: Yes, we do have such a law, but I will not go in that direction. The subject document is a public document. So, in that regard, there is even no need to blow any whistle.


Mr Speaker: Even the hon. Minister has not suggested, in any way, that the hon. Member is a whistleblower. She simply filed a question and sought answers from the hon. Minister, who has duly, fairly and properly provided the answer. 

That is my ruling.

Mr Katambo: Mr Speaker, why has the stock verification taken so long to be concluded?

Mr Sichinga: Sir, firstly, in accordance with the laws of this country, hon. Ministers are not involved in the procurement processes. Secondly, to suggest that the process has taken too long means that there must be a lapse of time. However, I am not aware of that being the case. So, I am not able to respond to the question. Suffice it to say that, according to the process that has been reported to me, things have been done in an expeditious manner.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, why was the earlier floated local tender that the hon. Minister referred to cancelled?

Mr Sichinga: Sir, firstly, the conditions of the first tender had not taken into account the postponed implementation of the E-Voucher System, which needed to be included. It was understated by the quantities that would have been provided under the E-Voucher System. Therefore, it was necessary to expand the quantity so that it would accommodate all the national requirements.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, I think that the quantities given to the Northern Province, at 33 per cent of the total requirement, is dismal, taking into account …

Ms Kalima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to rise on a point of order. 

Sir, is the hon. Minister in order to threaten me when I have the right to speak? I say this because, after I raised the point order, the hon. Minister wrote to me and threatened me. I will submit the note to the Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services or, later, if I will be allowed, lay it on the Table as it is in the car right now. I have also heard from your right that I will be arrested. That is why I am prompted to rise on this point of order so that everyone might know. The hon. Minister has also followed me here to threaten me in the presence of witnesses, one of whom is Hon. Livune. 
I seek your serious ruling and I say this so that everybody may know.

Mr Speaker: My ruling is reserved. 

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, since the maize crop …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Simbao: ... in the Northern Province is already knee-high, how comfortable is the hon. Minister that the harvest in Northern Province will be good?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I have been to this House several times …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

If you need to consult, just walk out, do so and come back later.

Mr Sichinga: Sir, I have been to this House on several occasions to indicate our programme for the delivery of both basal and top-dressing fertiliser and seed. I have indicated that the delivery of urea fertiliser would be concluded by the end of December, 2013. That is what we still intend to do. I have also indicated that, apart from the 33 per cent that has been delivered to the Northern Province, more will be provided. As I am talking to you in this House, trucks and Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) trains are loading fertiliser to deliver to all the provinces beyond the Northern Province. The reason we started with those areas is that, as I indicated to this House in my previous submissions, they are in Zone 3 of our agro-ecological areas, which receive rain much earlier. The provinces in Zone 3 are the North-Western, Luapula and Muchinga. However, the Western part of the Northern Province also falls in this zone

Sir, I have explained to the House that there would be patches in rainfall activity this year. Therefore, some of our initial plans have been distorted. So, even for the Northern Province, we are delivering on schedule. I hope that 100 per cent of the requirements of the Northern and other provinces will have been delivered before the end of the month,

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, it is very unfortunate that only 5 per cent of our farmers in the Eastern Province have received fertiliser. When will the remaining 95 per cent get the commodity?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I think that I have answered that question.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mufalali (Senanga): Mr Speaker, on one hand, the hon. Minister says that he followed the limited bidders mode because he was in a hurry, on the other, he says he has not awarded any tenders. Why is he doing that?

Mr Sichinga: Sir, I have not said that I awarded tenders. I have just clarified that the hon. Minister does not award tenders.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, …

Mr L. J. Ngoma: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Sir, I am seated here, listening to the hon. Minister answer very adequately. However, the hon. Member of Parliament for Chipangali raised a question concerning the 95 per cent of farmers who have not received fertiliser in the Eastern Province, and the hon. Minister has said that he has answered the question already. To the best of my knowledge, he has not done that. I did not hear him say anything about the Eastern Province. 

Is he is order to duck that question?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, as you respond to the question from the hon. Member for Chadiza, at the risk of repetition, please, state what you stated concerning the subject of the point of order.

Hon. Member for Chadiza, please, continue.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, I was one of the Deputy Ministers in this ministry and I used to be called ‘Mr Bumper Harvest,’ and that was a true reflection of our success.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe: If the hon. Minister does not know, people call him ‘Mr Disaster’.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, what prompted him to order fertiliser from Saudi Arabia, leaving the local suppliers and, then, going back to contract the local suppliers he had initially avoided. 


Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, first of all, the former hon. Deputy Minister’s description of me is his opinion.


Mr Sichinga: I could also give my opinion of how he performed, but I will not do so. 

Sir, I indicated in an earlier response that the Eastern Province was allocated 17,114 metric tonnes of fertiliser, out of which 628 metric tonnes had already been delivered, and that, as I was speaking, trucks and trains were loading to deliver more fertiliser to five provinces, the Eastern Province included. So, I had already provided this information. 

Sir, I also indicated …

An hon. Member interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order!

You cannot proceed that way, hon. Member.

Hon. Minister, continue.

Mr Sichinga: … that we would have delivered all the urea fertiliser by the end of December, 2013. As regards Compound-D fertiliser, I will re-state what I have told this House for the hon. Member’s benefit. The Eastern Province was allocated 17,628.5 metric tonnes of basal-dressing fertiliser and the quantity that was delivered was 57.53 metric tonnes more than the allocated quantity. 

I thank you, Sir.


219. Mr Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    when the Government would commence the construction of the following infrastructure in the newly-created Chipili District:

(i)    the Civic Centre;

(ii)    high-cost houses; and

(iii)    council rest houses; and

(b)    what the timeframe for construction of the above infrastructure was.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr N. Banda: ... the ministry has already developed the concept designs for the basic infrastructure and is currently facilitating the development of the detailed working designs for the Civic Centre, high-cost houses and council rest houses for Chipili District.

Mr Speaker, the timeframe for the construction of the key municipal infrastructure will be determined by the duration of the procurement process. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, how much money has been provided …

Mr Mbewe: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mbewe: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock in order to avoid answering my question?

Mr Speaker: You see, that is the challenge we usually have when you have exhausted your options, but we still need to follow up questions. You begin to repeat questions. I do not know whether this is a question of statistics, and whether the hon. Minister has the statistics. You also want the hon. Minister to repeat the answers, meanwhile we have advanced to the next question. I am constrained from going back. 

That is my ruling.

Hon. Mwila, you may continue.

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, how much money has been budgeted for the exercise?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the ministry has budgeted for all the activities in the newly-created districts. The specific amounts for each district will be known after the bill of quantities have been processed.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


220. Mr Simbao (Senga Hill) asked the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock:

(a)    how much it cost Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) to produce 1kg of Compound-D fertiliser;

(b)    what the raw materials used in the manufacture of the fertiliser were;

(c)    whether the materials were available locally;     

(d)    what other products the NCZ manufactured; and 

(f)    whether the equipment at the plant was obsolete.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the current cost of producing Compound-D fertiliser by at the NCZ is K3.79 per kilogramme or K189.50 per 50 kg bag or K3,790, equivalent to US$689, per metric tonne, at current the exchange rates.

The following are the raw materials used in the manufacture of Compound-D fertiliser:

(a)    mono-ammonium Phosphate (MAP);

(b)    muriate of potash (MOP);

(c)    ammonium sulphate (Amsul);

(d)    gypsum (CaSO4);

(e)    filler; and 

(f)    coal.

Mr Speaker, MAP, Amsul and MOP are imported while the gypsum, filler and coal are sourced locally. However, there is potential to source MAP locally if the phosphate rock found mainly in the Eastern, Southern, Central and Muchinga provinces were exploited further while the rehabilitation of the ammonium and sulphuric acid plant at the NCZ facilitated the manufacture of Amsul.

Mr Speaker, apart from the production of various grades of compound fertilisers, namely, A, C, D, X, R, and V, the NCZ also produces the following products: 

(a)    anhydrous ammonia;

(b)    nitric acid;

(c)    sulphuric acid;

(d)    ammonium nitrate fertiliser;

(e)    explosive-grade ammonium nitrate;

(f)    carbon dioxide;

(g)    methanol;

(h)    aqueous ammonia;

(i)    battery acid; and 

(j)    battery water.

Mr Speaker, the equipment at the plant is old, but not obsolete. The Japanese-made Kobe Stream of the plant was commissioned at the plant on 20th May, 1970, while the German-made Kloner Stream of the plant was added later, on 20th October, 1981. In 2013, significant rehabilitation work was done at K74 million. The 2013 Budget, on page 451, Programme 3085 – Recapitalisation and Investments of Government Institutions, Activity 077 – Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia Limited Rehabilitation had a provision of K255 billion then, now K255 million after the currency re-basing. The 2014 Budget has allocated a further K1 million to the same activity for additional rehabilitation works on page 433. It is our plan to continue with these rehabilitations until the plant is more secure and the unit cost of production has been lowered further. The foregoing works included the rehabilitation of the ammonium nitrate plant, which produces the ammonium nitrate solution required in the production of explosives used on the mines. So far, the plant has been tested at 205 metric tonnes per day and has already produced 657 metric tonnes. Our long-term vision is to make the NCZ financially self-sufficient and profitable. We also want it to acquire modern equipment so that it is able to produce affordable fertiliser.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simbao: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s answer gives the impression that it is cheaper to produce fertiliser at the NCZ than to import it. If that is the case, what prompted the Government to raise the contribution of the poor peasant farmers to the Fertiliser Input Support Programme (FISP)?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the rehabilitation works at the NCZ were carried out this year, and the company only produces Compound-D fertiliser, not Urea, because it could not produce both during the year in which it was undergoing rehabilitation. So, Urea fertiliser had to be imported. That caused the cost to rise. 

Mr Speaker, let me use a cost simulation to indicate the differences between obtaining fertiliser locally and importing it to the hon. Member using a shipload of 25,000 metric tonnes. The cost of directly importing a tonne of Urea is US$523.7 while that of procuring it locally ranges between US$900 and US$1,079. The implied choice is obvious. 

Sir, in order to meet the cost of procuring the fertiliser, whether locally or imported, both the Government subsidy and the contribution of the farmers needed to be increased. Further, the original intention of FISP was to empower farmers and, after three years, graduate the beneficiaries. That has not been the case, and the cost of subsidising the programme has become a heavy burden on the Treasury. That is why the re-balancing of the contributions by the small-scale farmers and the Government had to be made.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mucheleka (Lubasenshi): Mr Speaker, will the Government continue subsidising the NCZ for some time? In other words, at what point does he expect the NCZ to break even and start using its own resources in its operations, instead of relying on Government subsidies every year?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, if the NCZ had been sufficiently re-capitalised, it would have been able to make a profit. However, there are huge overhead costs that have been carried over from the past when the plant was not fully operational. In fact, the plant was closed. As a result of that, and because the Government has not been able to take over the company’s liabilities, it has become necessary to subsidise it. In fact, the Treasury has been very generous this year in providing the resources for rehabilitations. That funding has shown, beyond any shadow of doubt, that we still have confidence in the viability of the plant although it is outdated. If re-capitalised, I am sure that the company would return to profitability within a short time. At this point, I do not have a strategic plan that can help me to come up with a timeframe for the company’s return to profitability. Doing that would require that the company be at a certain level of productivity over a given period, but that has not been the case in the past. If the hon. Member wishes, he may raise a question and, when we have done the calculations, we will provide the answer in the next seating.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I need a bonus answer form the hon. Minister because we are now dealing with a different question.

Mr Speaker, what has changed for the hon. Minister to go back to procuring fertiliser locally, a practice he had?

Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, are you able to answer that question?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, yes, I am prepared to give a bonus answer. In the first instance, the reason we decided to import was made on the basis of the cost considerations. Our budget for fertiliser is one of the highest costs for the Treasury. So, we had to cut our suit according to the cloth that we had. The amount that we had was not sufficient to meet the costs. Therefore, we needed to find ways to save costs, and we found that one of them was to buy directly from the producers to eliminate expenses on middlemen. Moreover, the presence of many local people with vested interests compromised the process of procuring fertiliser. Therefore, we consulted from outside, but we were late. Initially, we were offered only 25,000 metric tonnes by the producers but, after we persuaded them further, we were given 50,000 metric tonnes, which left us with a shortfall of just under 18,000 metric tonnes. As I indicated earlier, because of the failure of the E-Voucher System, there was an additional 24,599 metric tonnes shortfall, which the private sector was supposed to provide. Those two figures are responsible for the 42,000 metric tonnes total shortfall. 

Given the timeframe in which we had to procure the additional 42,000, it became necessary to consider local suppliers. This is the reason we went out to verify the availability of the stocks.

I thank you, Sir. 

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that a tonne of fertiliser produced locally is between US$900-1000 per metric tonne whilst the imported one is just over US500 per tonne. Where does the hon. Minister draw the confidence that this local production will ever match the price competitiveness of the imported ones, bearing in mind the fact that Zambian farmers do not want to be over-burdened with expensive fertiliser?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I think that we are talking at cross purposes here. Let me explain again. There are two types of fertiliser. One is Compound-D, which is the one that is locally produced, and is the one I was saying is produced at K3.9 per kg, K189.50 per 50 kg and K3,790, equivalent to US$689 per metric tonne. That fertiliser has nothing to do with the overseas procurements we have been talking about. In fact, as a result of the rehabilitations at the NCZ, this year, all the 97,000 metric tonnes of Compound-D fertiliser required in the nation is being provided locally at the prices I have mentioned. I hope I have clarified things so that we can close this matter.

Sir, on the other hand, top-dressing fertiliser is required in quantities almost equivalent to those for Compound-D, but the NCZ is not yet able to supply it because the plant is undergoing rehabilitation. The local procurement, not production, of Urea is what costs between US$900 and US$1,079 because we use middlemen who import from overseas manufacturers. What the Government has done, this time, is buy directly from the overseas manufacturers to cut costs. Our estimated cost of importing the fertiliser from Saudi Arabia is US$523.07, compared with the over US$1,000 required to obtain it locally. You do not have to be an accountant like me to understand that importing is more cost-effecive.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: We needed to save so that we could balance the requirements of the funding that we had and also the ability of the farmers to meet the cost. We hope that the price of Compound-D fertiliser will fall because we can produce it continuously and, because of that, the unit cost will fall. As for Urea, we are looking at the possibility of producing it locally in sufficient quantities to meet the 97,000 metric tonnes national requirement. If that will not be possible, we will continue to import from the cheapest sources possible for the benefit of our people. I hope, that clarifies the different issues relating to Compound-D or basal-dressing and Urea or top-dressing fertilisers, respectively.

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, considering that the equipment at the NCZ was installed in 1970 and 1981, which is a long time ago, is the hon. Minister sure that their maintenance will we keep the price of Compound-D fertiliser at a competitive level?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge that the plant is old. In fact, there are smaller more modern and portable plants. However, we are not yet able to afford them. Our immediate challenge is to meet the current needs. As I have said, we have demonstrated that the fertiliser can be provided at a competitive price. If Urea can be imported at US$523, then, producing it locally at US$689 would be fairly competitive. Apart from the price, the other benefits of producing locally include providing employment to our people, the use of our machinery and the avoidance of the logistical challenges hauling huge quantities of fertiliser from ports. Those benefits are not reflected in the figures I have provided. I think that we have done very well. In fact, I thought that we would be commended for our good performance, instead of being called a disaster, which we are not. We should be commended for succeeding where others failed. 

I thank you, Sir.    

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!




Mr Mwila (Chipili): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to scrutinise the Ministerial Appointment of Ambassador Edward Mutafela Lubinda, Mr Cleven Chibwe Katebe, Mr Arnold Kapelembi, Dr John Mubanga Mulwila, SC., Ms Inonge Susan Wambulawae, Mrs Joan Nkandu Chiwama Nkama and Mrs Ngoza Chibesakunda Nkwabilo to serve as directors of the Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Board for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly laid on the Table of the House on 10th December, 2013. 

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Pande (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Mr Mwila: Sir, in accordance with its terms of reference, your Committee scrutinised the appointment of the nominees as directors of the ZNBC Board. 

Mr Speaker, in its endeavour to ascertain the nominees’ professional and personal suitability to serve on the ZNBC Board, your Committee interacted with the relevant stakeholders and the appointing authority, who tendered written and oral submissions to it on the nominees. Further, your Committee interviewed the nominees and carefully scrutinised their Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Sir, this House will agree with your Committee that one primary mechanism of promoting independence and good corporate governance in a public service broadcaster is the institution of independent boards of directors. 

Mr Speaker, as the House is aware, Zambia’s sole public broadcaster, the ZNBC, has operated without a board since the ZNBC Act, Cap 154 of the Laws of Zambia, was amended in 2002. It is, therefore, pleasing to note that the board, which has the vital role of overseeing the management of ZNBC, has been appointed, and I think that the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting should be commended for that. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Sir, that is the reason the witnesses who appeared before your Committee welcomed the appointment of the board. However, the majority of the witnesses raised the several concerns indicated in your Committee’s report. Allow me to highlight some of the concerns.

Mr Speaker, most of the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee bemoaned the abolition of the Appointments Committee of the ZNBC by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (Amendment) Act, No. 20 of 2010. As this House is aware, prior to its amendment in 2002, the ZNBC Act provided for an Ad hoc Appointments Committee in Section 4. The role of the Appointments Committee was to nominate candidates from a cross section of the society, whom the Minister would appoint as board members who, in turn, would appoint the Director-General of the ZNBC. The stakeholders lamented that the abolition of the Appointments Committee has given unfettered powers to the Minister to singularly nominate the people to sit on the board. As a result, the principle of diffusing control over the ZNBC from the Government was compromised. The stakeholders argued that the purpose of the Appointments Committee was to spread control over the ZNBC out to a larger section of the Zambian society. In agreeing with these concerns, your Committee recommends the amendments of the ZNBC Act to provide for the Appointments Committee, as it was prior to the Act’s repeal in 2010.

Sir, your Committee further observes that Section 4 of the Act provides that the Minister nominates nine directors of the board. Regrettably, your Committee observes that only seven nominees were brought for ratification by this House, thereby, leaving two vacancies on the board. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the two vacancies be filled by an engineer and a person from a civil society organisation (CSO) dealing with media issues. Your Committee further recommends that the Minister promptly submits the two nominees to Parliament in the next meeting of the House so that the full board is instituted expeditiously.

Mr Speaker, furthermore, your Committee observes that it is an anomaly that the ZNBC Act does not provide for the Director-General to be an ex-officio member of the board. In that vein, your Committee urges an urgently amendment to the Act to rectify the anomaly.

Sir, your Committee views the board as a primary mechanism for promoting accountability of the ZNBC to the public, whose funds it relies on and whose right to know is the reason for its existence. In this regard, your Committee is satisfied that the board being ratified today will through its oversight role, assist the ZNBC to be responsive to the public’s needs and interests. In short, it is your Committee’s considered view that the board will contribute to the proper realisation of the objectives and strategy of the ZNBC as a public broadcaster, monitor its performance and ensure its compliance with legal and regulatory requirements in its operations.

Mr Speaker, with those words, your Committee urges the House to ratify the ministerial appointment of Ambassador Edward Mutafela Lubinda (Rtd), Mr Cleven Chibwe Katebe, Mr Arnold Kapelembi, Dr John Mubanga Mulwila, SC., Ms Inonge Susan Wambulawae, Mrs Joan Nkandu Chiwama Nkama and Mrs Ngoza Chibesakunda Nkwabilo to serve as Directors of the ZNCB Board.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, let me state that the members of your Committee are deeply indebted to you for appointing them on your Committee to undertake the important national duty of scrutinising the suitability of the nominees to serve as directors of our Public Service broadcaster, the ZNBC. Your Committee is further indebted to the witnesses who appeared before it and tendered oral and written submissions on the nominees. Last, but not the least, my gratitude also goes to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee during its deliberations.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Pande: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me the opportunity to second the important Motion to adopt the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Ministerial Appointments of the members of the ZNBC Board.

Sir, allow me to thank the mover of the Motion and the Chairperson of your Committee, Mr D. Mwila, MP, for the able manner in which he presided over your Committee’s deliberations and highlighted the pertinent issues raised in your Committee’s report. In seconding your Committee’s report, I will only comment on the issues that I feel deserve the Government’s urgent attention.

Sir, your Committee observes that the current Director-General of the ZNBC was appointed by the Government, contrary …

Hon. Government Members interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Pande: … to Section 17 of the ZNBC Act, which vests the power to appoint the Director-General in the board. In view of this, your Committee strongly implores the Government to promptly address the inconsistency as it might be a source of conflict in the operations of the board. Most of the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee feared that there was a strong invisible hand that tended to control the operations of the corporation. As a result, the ZNBC does not operate in the manner that it should, that is, as a public service broadcaster responsive to the interests and needs of all citizens. For example, journalists at the ZNBC often practise self-censorship and, ultimately, institutional censorship for fear of losing their jobs. 

Sir, I want to emphasise that the ZNBC is a national asset meant to be a mouth-piece for all citizens. Therefore, the corporation must rise to the platform. The challenge to the board is to fulfil its primary responsibility, which is to promote accountability, through its oversight role, in order to help transform the corporation into a true public broadcaster. The board should also ensure that the ZNBC operates independently to dispel the assertion that an invisible hand controls its operations.

Mr Speaker, the Director-General of the ZNBC also needs security of tenure of office. We hope that the Government can look into that. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee further observes that the qualification of commitment to fairness, freedom of expression, openness and accountability required for one to be appointed as a director of the board under Section 4 of the ZNBC Act are vague and difficult to assess. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Act be amended to provide for more specific and quantifiable qualifications.

Mr Speaker, I would also like the Government to look into the anomaly that your Committee has identified, which is that the ZNBC Board is ratified by Parliament while the supervising body, the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) Board, is appointed by the hon. Minister without the ratification by Parliament.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Pande: Mr Speaker, that law needs to be reviewed so that the board members of the supervising body are also ratified by Parliament.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Pande: In conclusion, Mr Speaker, I thank the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the invaluable support they rendered to your Committee during its proceedings. 

With those few remarks, I beg to second.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for the opportunity …

Mr Livune: Hammer!

Mr Belemu: … to debate. I wish to support the recommendations of the Committee ...

Hon. Opposition Member: Why?

Mr Belemu: ... because the appointment of the ZNBC Board has been long overdue.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, we have noted, with very serious concern, that most parastatals that qualify to have boards had their boards either dissolved unnecessarily or their appointment delayed. Therefore, it is in our interest, as a nation, that this board at the ZNBC be appointed.

Mr Livune: That is right.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, however, in supporting this Motion, I also wish to state that I do not understand why, out of the population that we currently have in the country, we can fail to find two people to fill all the nine positions provided for in the Act.

Mr Hamududu: They want to fuse in cadres.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, why has the Government failed to appoint two more members of the board out of about 12 million Zambians?


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is important that, when we choose to do something, we do it fully so that we convince others that we are doing it in good faith. Our guess is that the Government is reserving these two positions for people …

Hon. Opposition Member: PF cadres.

Mr Belemu: … whom they have not probably approved by virtue of what they want them to do. It is only right that the hon. Minister quickly brings the two remaining appointments to Parliament.

Mr Speaker, my second concern is …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was saying that the hon. Minister must accelerate the nominations of the two other appointees. Hon. Munkombwe, who was helping me to identify the two remaining appointees, has gone.


Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, we are still concerned about the levels of interference in the ZNBC’s operations. Our hope is that, now that a board is being appointed, that phenomenon will be a thing of the past. It is a serious concern for most of us, stakeholders. If the board does not change anything at the corporation, we will continue to have no confidence in the operations of the corporation. It is no longer a secret that members of the public have no confidence in the ZNBC and other public media institutions, namely, the Zambia Daily Mail and the Times of Zambia, because of their biased coverage and content. We hope that this board that is being proposed for ratification will rise to the challenge, operate professionally and insist that the ZNBC operates in a professional manner.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, we are tired of Government interference in the operations at the ZNBC. The same things that we used to see when we were babies in United National Independence Party (UNIP) Era have continued in as far as this public media is concerned. It has not raised the critical issues that are of interest to us, the public. You can still clearly predict what the order of the news will be like on any day. In a democracy, especially that we are being asked to ratify a board, it is unacceptable that we should have no other news whenever the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting, His Honour the Vice-President or His Excellency the President says something. We want to move forward, as a country. We do not request, but demand that the ZNBC rises to the occasion and operates as a public broadcaster because it is funded by the public.

Mr Speaker, on the matter of the Director-General not being an ex officio member of the ZNBC Board, I wish to depart from the Committee’s observation. My view is that we have destroyed boards by insisting that Permanent Secretaries and Directors, as the case may be, become part of them. Let the controlling officers concentrate on the management of the institutions and let the boards work independently of management. It is common sense in governance that the management provides a secretariat for these institutions. Some of the anomalies that we keep coming across, including in the Auditor-General’s Report, are in situations in which Permanent Secretaries are party to the wrong decisions of the boards.

Similarly, we cannot tie the Director-General to the activities of the board even if we made them full officials or ex officio members of the board. If you go into all parastatals that have had audit queries, you will realise that Permanent Secretaries sit on their boards. In some cases, you will find a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance on the boards of companies where there are queries and you wonder where they were when the mismanagement was perpetrated, especially that they are very senior Government officials. We need to move away from this tendency. 

Mr Livune: That is right. 

Mr Belemu: It does not help us, as a country.

Mr Speaker, your Committee also highlighted the appointment of the current Director-General of the ZNBC as well as the immediate past one. Again, we are highly concerned about the Executive’s dissolving of boards of management so it can have leeway to appoint Directors-General of institutions. 


Mr Belemu: Sir, why would anyone not want to follow the law and do the decent thing in accordance with good corporate governance practices? Why not allow boards of management to appoint members of management? Again, this is highly suspicious because we end up thinking that, probably, there is something secretive that you want these institutions to do. 

Mr Livune: That is right. 

Mr Belemu: I do not think that anyone would have missed the fact that the ZNBC needed a board to appoint various members of staff into management positions. However, if you go there, like in many other parastatals, you will find that many of the management teams were appointed when the board was not in place. That is a very serious concern. 

Mr Livune: Shame!

Mr Belemu: I want to recommend to this board that it reviews employment contracts of some the members of the management teams because they were appointed single-handedly and, in some cases, more for political rather than management reasons. 

Mr Livune: That is right.

Mr Belemu: The board we are discussing falls under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Again, we are very concerned about the running and performance of this ministry vis-à-vis the boards of management. One area of serious concern is our lack of preparation to implement digital migration. In comparison with the rest of the region, no matter how much the Government wants to comfort itself, we are among the least prepared for digital migration. Our hope is that the new board will infuse a bit of sense of urgency into that process. 

Sir, many national broadcasters in the region, which are the equivalent of the ZNBC, are miles ahead of the ZNBC, and the excuse is that the ministry is yet to issue a tender or do this and that. Other national broadcasters in the region have started the process of migrating without much investment from the Government. We hope that the ZNBC will rise to the occasion and begin the process of digital migration. The Namibian national broadcaster is far ahead of the ZNBC. It even guides the Government on what should be done on some issues. Meanwhile, our ZNBC here is idly waiting for the Government to do everything for it. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Belemu: Worse still, the corporation cannot even do things that are in its power to do, such as sensitising members of the public on what digital migration entails and what has been done, so far, yet passing information is part of its job. Instead, it wastes time covering politicians who fight or carry coffins of people who are not dead. We wonder what the actual problem is because it is not helping us. So, what if you covered people carrying twenty coffins on the ZNBC? We would rather be given information that is relevant to us. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I am informed that this Government has moved away from empty promises to empty coffins. 


Mr Belemu: We want the ZNBC to rise to the occasion. The board should tell us how it intends to move on the issue of digital migration and come up with a clear roadmap, which members of the public must be informed about. In any case, the ZNBC is a medium for passing information to members of the public.  

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: We are also concerned, like I indicated earlier, about the high levels of interference by politicians. More often than not, even a Government spokesperson is no longer a spokesperson, as such, but a Patriotic Front (PF) spokesperson. 

Mr Livune: Cadreism!

Mr Belemu: They spend time answering to issues of in-fighting in the PF, which are non-issues to us. Let them continue fighting. It is to our benefit. 


Mr Belemu: The ZNBC should tell us about things that are of national interest. 

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: We would rather the ZNBC rises up now that a board has been appointed, which is important for the country, not for the PF alone. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee also referred to the Appointments Committee’s role in the appointment of the board. I want to reiterate what the Committee says, which is that the Appointments Committee, subsequent to the revision of the relevant law, should be ratified by Parliament, and that its role must be to appoint the board, not to pursue other interests.

Mr Speaker, we have had a number of interesting scenarios relating to the behaviour of some of the members of the managements of public institutions under this ministry, who want to believe that they are the alpha and omega of policy making. I urge the boards to end that and control their management teams. If this is done, we will justifiably say that we have a public broadcaster. Currently, we have no right to that claim. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: It is not for the hon. Minister or anybody else’s, but the nation’s benefit. If the hon. Minister ignores what we are saying now, tomorrow, he must not cry when his Government is forced into the Opposition in 2016. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Its members may as well begin to prepare the kind of national broadcaster that they will want to see when they will be in the Opposition because their days as the Ruling Party are very limited. 

Hon. UPND Members: Numbered.

Mr Livune: That is right!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, it is in the interest of this nation that we have a professional public broadcaster. No flowery language will change our opinion of what goes on at the ZNBC, the Times of Zambia and the Zambia Daily Mail. When we wake up tomorrow, what we will hear and watch on the ZNBC radio and television channels or read in the papers is what will change our opinion. For now, this broadcaster is just a political tool even though we have agreed to appoint a board. A board must be appointed for this political tool. If the Government wants us to co-operate with it in the future, it must do what is right for this nation. 

Mr Speaker, I thought that, for once in my life, I should support these people. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mucheleka (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the debate on your Committee’s report.

Mr Speaker, in supporting the recommendations of your Committee, I want to appreciate the role of the hon. Minister in line with the Act, which is that of appointing or recommending the names of people to sit on the ZNBC Board for parliamentary ratification. There is, however, something to be said. 

Sir, yes, the action has come belatedly, but what is important now is to appreciate that we will finally have a board at the ZNBC.

Mr Speaker, talking about the public broadcaster, personally, I have failed to comprehend what that means. I always try to look at what I term as a real public broadcaster, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), where you see and really appreciate the role of a public broadcaster. Ours, if anything, is actually not a public broadcaster, but a State-sponsored broadcaster. Yes, it is funded by taxpayers, but does the public really have a stake in it?

Hon. Opposition Members: No.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, in my view, the answer is, no. I would like to see a situation where there is less political interference. The interference does not start with what goes on at the ZNBC on a daily basis, but with the appointment of the board of directors. Who are these people? What criteria have been used to select them? You will see that most of those names are basically being recommended based on political patronage. This is why we have a problem in this country. We need to change the manner in which we appoint board of directors in most of the parastatal bodies, including the ZNBC. We need to have a clear criterion as opposed to going out fishing and bringing cadres and, then, thinking that they will promote good corporate governance.

Mr Mufalali: Shame!

Mr Mucheleka: The role of the boards is to provide oversight and checks and balances to ensure that their managements are accountable. If you have board members who have been appointed based on political patronage, what value do they add to the institution? For the last two years or so, I have been watching the ZNBC but, honestly, I have not seen anything that has dramatically changed compared with what we experienced under the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD). If anything, in my view, it has even got worse. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: Apart from the removal of that programme by Chanda Chiimba, everything else has remained the same. When you look at the news content and coverage, it is like in this country there is only one political party. In a democratic political dispensation, such as ours, you must be able to cover everyone. You do not just use the ZNBC for State propaganda.

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

Mr Mucheleka: If that is what you intend to do, then, free the air waves. Although I appreciate the role that the ZNBC plays, in this era of information and communication technology (ICT), there is very little that is hidden. People will still find out from other sources. Why do you not just free the media? The PF, in its manifesto, indicated that it would give licences to other media houses. What has happened? That is another broken promise. That is why, as we support the appointment of the board of directors at the ZNBC, we want to also see ourselves change with the times. In this era of ICTs, whether you like it or not, people will still find other sources of information. So, you are better off just freeing the media and ensuring that, if need be, apart from the ZNBC, you also give licences to those media houses you promised.

Mr Speaker, I appreciate a few things that have happened here and there with regard to programming, but I still think that the ZNBC can be more innovative. When it comes to issues of covering events, one tends to think that the mentality and the mindset in this country are still deep-rooted in the One-party State. That is clearly manifested through the media.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Mucheleka: The media plays a very critical role in disseminating information, entertaining and even educating people. In educating people, you also need to show what everyone is doing, instead of just showing cadres, as somebody said, displaying empty coffins. We are not interested in seeing that. We would rather see other people covered.  We are all newsmakers.

Mr Kalaba: Ba Mucheleka, where?

Mr Mucheleka: News is not only made by those in the Ruling Party. 

Mr Mbulakulima: Tell them.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, there is a very important point that Hon. Belemu raised, which is that of digital migration. How prepared are we? Within the Southern African Development Community (SADC), many countries are making progress and even have timeframes. We want to see how the hon. Minister of Information and Broadcasting will provide leadership, given the fact that he now has a board at the ZNBC. We hope that they will be able to work together and urgently move the institution forward.

Mr Speaker, in concluding my remarks, I want to repeat my appeal to the hon. Minister that this era is different from what we are used to. In future, think of reforming some of the laws so that even the manner in which you appoint boards of directors changes. You must appoint those who have proven experience in the media industry. I appreciate that there is a need to have diverse views even on the board but, as much as possible, we must have people who will add value. In doing that, you may need to ask organisations to appoint people to the boards who will add value and change perceptions instead of looking at individuals. Currently, the perception is that nothing has changed at the ZNBC. Yes, we have seen new faces and there is an innovative Director-General, but even he needs to be supported by a well-functioning board and management team. In terms of going forward, that is what we should do.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Miyutu (Kalabo Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to add my voice in support of the report of your Committee. 

Mr Speaker, for the sake of my constituency, I want these members who have been appointed to the board to know that there is Kalabo.


Mr Mufalali: They must know.

Mr Miyutu: Sir, I tried to make some simple calculation here. From 1991 to 2013, is almost twenty-two years but, to some people, these twenty-two years are like one year. It has been twenty-two years of multi-partism, not the One-party State. 

Sir, in the name of the ZNBC, ‘National’ includes Kalabo, …


Mr Miyutu: … Kabompo, …

Mr Lufumu: Yes.

Mr Miyutu: … Chadiza, …

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: … and Nakonde. That is national. However, the reality is different.

Mr Livune:  Kazungula, too, mwana.

Mr Miyutu: What we see in this board is a replication of a political party and, often, it is the Ruling Party that is replicated.

Hon. Opposition Members: The PF!

Mr Miyutu: The party that is in power …

Hon. Member: ‘In rule’ is bad English!.


Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, before some people are ruled out of order, they should rule themselves out of order.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, concentrate on your debate. Deciding who is in order or otherwise is my function.


Mr Miyutu: Sir, we want a board that will enable the ZNBC to accommodate all the Zambians. Whenever one watches the ZNBC, one would only see a clip of some rural area if an hon. Minister is visiting it. 

Mr Livune: Or when there is a by-election.

Mr Miyutu: You will never see what is happening in Kalabo, Shang’ombo or Lundazi unless an hon. Minister goes there.


Mr Miyutu: That is not being fair. 

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: It is not fair.

Hon. Opposition Members: Tell them!

Mr Miyutu: Nowadays, they call it a public broadcaster. Who says it is?


Mr Livune: That is just PF propaganda.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, the board that is being put in place should avoid being turned into a tool for propagating the ideas of a given political party.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: We should not shut our televisions because we are bored of hearing the same words by the same faces of the same names.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, people pay the K3 Television Levy, which comes from their own effort. Who told you that they are happy to see those faces and hear stories of the same people with the same structure? Let us change.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: Sir, my appeal to this Government is for it to make a credible change so that we know that it is now the PF, not MMD, in power.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: We want that change.

Mr Speaker, hon. Members on your right have travelled and even watch Cable News Network (CNN), the BBC and Sky News. When one watches the BBC, one would not know which country it originates from. There is no focusing on the Prime Minister of that country because it is a public media. They even capture a rural part in Africa …


Mr Miyutu: … without any Minister visiting. Why can the ZNBC not do the same? That is what we are waiting to see. The day we shall see a remote part shown on television without a visit of a political or Government leader, then we shall give the Government, at least, half a plus.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: What is half a plus?


Mr Miyutu: Not a full one, Mr Speaker.


Mr Miyutu: Then, it will show that, at least, we are moving towards developing the public media.

Mr Speaker, we cannot spend time sitting here to approve a board that will work for a political party.

Mr Mufalali: Hear, hear!

Mr Miyutu: I do not know how some people are. I, for one, God the Almighty did not make me like that. I would not allow myself to propagate ideas that are contrary to my job description.

Hon. Opposition Members: The best is to resign.

Mr Miyutu: They should know that the time we are spending here is not ours, but for the people of Zambia. The people of Zambia will have to appreciate good fruits from this board. However, it will be the opposite. We shall be seeing only pangas on television every day.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Pangas.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, this country has good things that are not shown on television. Instead, some people want us to see pangas. We are not interested in the pangas. We want those hidden things in Kaputa, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Ng’onga!

Mr Miyutu: … and Mufumbwe. We want to see how Zambia has grown. Even as we talk about poverty, we should not only read about it in the papers, but also on the ZNBC Television.

Ms Lubezhi: Yes!

Mr Miyutu: Sir, that is the only point that I had to put forward so that these people who are chosen to be on this board, I wished they were here …


Mr Speaker: Who?

Mr Miyutu: The nominees, Mr Speaker.


Mr Speaker: They are listening.


Mr Miyutu: … so that they could know that they are not there for a political party.

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


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me the opportunity to debate the Motion on the Floor of the House.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Bwalya: Sir, the ZNBC is a very important institution that should be able to contribute to the development of this nation, especially with regard to the dissemination of information to the Zambian people to enable them to make informed decisions. It is this institution that, if not well-managed, can also mislead the nation because of its wide coverage.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Bwalya: Therefore, the board members who are taking over this huge responsibility must know that they are carrying the entire nation on their shoulders. What they do and how they manage this institution will either make or break this peaceful country. 

Mr Speaker, much has been said, and I want to believe that the gallant men and women who have been nominated for appointment to those positions are well vested with the functions of a board. However, I want to concentrate on issues of equipment. 

Sir, this board is taking over an institution that is ill-equipped and requires a lot of equipment for it to be able to cover Kalabo, Lupososhi and many other rural areas. It is the equipment that has actually crippled this institution. As a country, we need to work together to provide the necessary equipment for this institution to deliver to our expectations. We do not have outside broadcasting equipment. So, for us to know what is happening in Kasama, it has to take a number of days. If we want to know what is obtaining in Mongu, we have to wait for so many hours. We want live coverage of events. If we have to do that, as a country, we need equipment and human resource. Therefore, the board must develop a roadmap that will see it working with the Ministry of Finance to raise the necessary resources to equip the ZNBC, and that point brings me to the issue of the provincial media houses that are being established. These will also become white elephants if we do not do something in terms of equipping them. The ZNBC plays a very pivotal role in keeping the country abreast of what is happening locally and internationally.

Mr Speaker, our radio and TV reception is another issue that the board needs to look at. In rural areas, the radio reception is either very poor or non-existent. The TV reception is even worse. So, we need to speed up the acquisition of transmitters so that they can be installed in rural areas and the people of Lupososhi in Luwingu District and, indeed, those from Mangango can enjoy the same fruits that the people in Lusaka and along the line rail are enjoying.

Sir, once positioned and maintained, the transmitters will enable Parliament Radio to reach far-flung areas. I know that the ZNBC and Parliament Radio work in collaboration. However, they cannot expand the coverage until the radio reception in various rural areas has been worked on. So, this will be a welcome activity, and I urge the in-coming board to look at this issue very seriously and prioritise …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr Bwalya: … rural areas so that we can enjoy the fruits of the public broadcaster.

Sir, the other aspect that the board has to pay attention to and ensure that it is maintained is good governance. The boards need what I may call a helicopter view. It needs to look at the operations of the ZNBC and provide oversight. There is the ‘Hands in, nose out’ or ‘Nose in, nose out’ concept, meaning that the management should be allowed to work professionally and do the job that it is trained to do. The board should provide the necessary supervision and give policy guidance to the ZBNC. The nation is watching and the appointment of this board is long overdue and has been talked about on the Floor of this House. 

Sir, we thank the hon. Minister for finally appointing the board. However, the board must also know that it has the role of ensuring that the Access to Information Bill is brought to this House. The board is part of the media. So, must ensure that the ministry brings this Bill to this House and enables the people of Zambia access to information.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting (Mr Kapeya): Mr Speaker, thank you for affording me this opportunity to wind up debate on the appointment of the ZNBC Board. The ratification of the board today, indeed, will mark a big day for the media fraternity. It is a day that the PF Government, under the able leadership of His Excellency the President, …

Hon. Opposition Members interjected.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kapeya: … Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has scored yet another first on something that has eluded Zambia since 2002.

Hon. PF Back-Bencher: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the Chairperson of your Committee that scrutinised the nominees and pay special tribute to the entire Committee and each individual member for the job well done. As Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, we say thank you so much.

Sir, allow me also to put it on record that this Eleventh National Assembly will go down in the history of this Parliament and Zambia, as a country, as having ushered in the long-awaited ZNBC Board, which the people have been yearning for since 2002.

Mr Speaker, as the ministry in charge of information and broadcasting services, we are very proud to have appointed the ZBNC Board, brought it to Parliament and seen it through the whole ratification process. Indeed, as everybody knows, the issue was supposed to be tabled in 2002, but that failed for reasons that could be better explained by our colleagues who were in charge of the State’s affairs then.

Sir, the PF Government ensured that the process moved forward until today when we are witnessing a big change in the running of the ZNBC. This is on account of our collective beliefs that the ZNBC needs a board for it to operate effectively and in line with the law. 

Sir, the board members presented to this House are men and women of great experience and character. They will not only ensure that the ZNBC operates in a transparent and accountable manner, but also turn the institution around to operate as a business. The nominees represent a cross section of society. Therefore, I am more than confident that the board will operate in the public interest and deliver on the core mandate of the corporation.

Mr Speaker, let me turn to the hon. Members who debated. First of all, I commend Hon. David Mwila, the mover of the Motion and the seconder Hon. Kabinga Pande. I am very grateful to them. Hon. Belemu, the Member of Parliament for Mbabala Parliamentary Constituency, …

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: … thank you very much, especially that you have supported the good job done by the PF for the first time.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Kapeya: I hope and trust that, from today, you will continue in this same direction.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Born again!

Mr Kapeya: Indeed, you are getting wiser. Sometimes, I fail to understand the position by Hon. Patrick Mucheleka, Member of Parliament for Lubansenshi, on the Motion because, in one breath, he says that the ZNBC has not improved since the PF took over the running of the State and, on the other, that the ZBNC has really improved its programming.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Kapeya: So, I failed to understand the direction he is heading to.

Sir, I agree with Hon. Miyutu of Kalabo Central. Indeed, a big change has come today. This big change we are talking about, which the hon. Member really wanted, is the appointment of the ZNBC board. So, I thank Hon. Miyutu for acknowledging this change. I would also like to thank Hon. Bwalya of Lupososhi Constituency. I wish all hon. Members in this House were like him.


Mr Speaker: That is as far as you can go, hon. Minister. Otherwise, we will begin debating ourselves.


Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, Hon. Bwalya talked about provincial studios. Indeed, those are being established. He also talked about the poor radio reception in rural areas and, indeed, that is the current state of affairs. However, as hon. Members are aware, the ZNBC has started installing frequency modulation (FM) transmitters for Radio One and Two to improve radio signal. This is also being done for TV signals. As hon. Members are aware, we are heading towards digital migration, which will improve the ZNBC TV signal.

Sir, I thank you and all the hon. Members who debated the Motion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwila: Mr Speaker, I just want to thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have contributed to the Motion on the Floor, namely, Hon. Belemu from Mbabala, Hon. Mucheleka from Lubansenshi, Hon. Miyutu from Kalabo Central and Hon. Bwalya from Lupososhi. I also thank all the other hon. Members of Parliament for the overwhelming support of your Committee’s report.

Thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Mwale (Chipangali): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Grants to Local Authorities for the Years up to 2011, for the Third Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 9th December, 2013.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, your Committee, in accordance with its terms of reference, considered the Report of the Auditor-General on the Management of Constituency Development Funds (CDF) and Grants to Local Authorities. The audit, as you are aware, covered only one ministry, that of Local Government and Housing.

Mr Speaker, let me state, from the outset, that both the audit process carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General and the work of PAC are not a witch-hunt targeted at any particular grouping or individuals. However, it should be viewed and interpreted as a realisation of our parliamentary democracy that entails that the Executive is held accountable for the way it spends public funds appropriated by this House.

Sir, since hon. Members of Parliament are integral players in the local government system, it is their responsibility to ensure proper utilisation of funds. This is the only way the hopes of citizens to lead a decent life will be realised. In this regard, your Committee urges the House to give full support to this report.

Mr Speaker, a review of the performance of the local government sector in the management of the CDF and grants has highlighted a number of issues related to weak accountability mechanisms leading to financial irregularities. I have no doubt that all hon. Members have read the report and I shall, therefore, only comment on a few key issues.

Sir, the first matter that caught the attention of your Committee is the ever-increasing trend of unsupported payments and unaccounted for stores. A total of K7.7 million and K5.1 million in respect of unsupported payments and unaccounted for stores, respectively, were reported in the period under review. Further, your Committee is saddened by the failure to explain the circumstances that led to this state of affairs, including the failure to take any disciplinary action. It, therefore, feels that there is a need for a holistic approach to curb this vice. The Secretary to the Treasury is particularly urged to aggressively address the matter by ensuring that matters are clarified during the audit process as not doing so paints a bad picture of the Treasury.

Mr Speaker, the other issue is the ever-growing trend of irregularities in the procurement process in the local authorities. Your Committee is saddened that councils choose to go against the procedures and guidelines which guide the procurement of goods, works and services. Let me cite a few examples. Allow me to refer you to the procurement of second-hand ambulances meant for Mwansabombwe and Pambashe constituencies by Kawambwa District Council.

Sir, the council chose to abrogate the laid-down procedures and single-sourced three second hand ambulances at very exorbitant costs in the range of K220,000 and K275,000 each without obtaining a ‘no objection’ in both cases from the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA). In addition, the council defied the existing payment system by splitting payments into three instalments to circumvent the prevailing procedure. In both cases, your Committee was surprised to learn that quotations for the supply of new ambulances were compared with those for second-hand ones, which is …


Mr Speaker: Order! 

There is a traditional way of responding to these matters. You cannot introduce new formats. It is not acceptable.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, in both cases, your Committee was surprised to learn that quotations for supplying of new ambulances were compared with those for second-hand, which is highly irregular. This is unacceptable and should not be left unpunished.

 Mr Speaker, it is further worrying that the number of councils that are abrogating procurement guidelines has also been increasing over the years. Your Committee is of the view that the main reason for this state of affairs is the failure by the controlling officers and council managements to take appropriate action to curb this vice. In this regard, your Committee urges the controlling officer to strongly caution and constantly remind the town clerks and council secretaries to strictly follow the laid-down procedures. Your Committee further recommends that all cases of financial impropriety be promptly reported to the law enforcement agencies so that they can be dealt with expeditiously when evidence is still available.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, let me also touch on the issue of misapplication of funds. During the period under review, K8.3 million was misapplied to activities that were unrelated to the CDF’s intended use. Your Committee is concerned that, in most cases, funds meant for poverty reduction and other CDF projects have been varied and applied on expenses of a recurrent nature, which is not only in breach of financial regulations, but also has a negative effect on developmental efforts. This failure is denying our citizens the much-needed opportunity to improve their livelihoods and must, therefore, not be tolerated. 

Sir, in Mungwi District Council alone, K229,000 was misapplied on activities not related to the CDF, such as payment of allowances and accommodation for councillors attending workshops. Surely, this is unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue. I am glad that the hon. Minister is attentively listening. Your Committee, therefore, strongly urges the Government to take stringent measures to curb this malpractice.

Sir, your Committee observes that grants are not released to local authorities in a timely manner by the Treasury. The Treasury is, therefore, urged to rectify this anomaly to avoid tempting councils to dip into the CDF, and the controlling officer is particularly urged to caution the councils that are in the habit of varying funds without seeking the prior approval of the ministry.

Mr Speaker, some councils failed to spend colossal sums of money during the period under review. A total of K70 million of the CDF was not spent in the 2011 financial year. What is more worrying is that new allocations were sent to all these councils. The rationale of disbursing additional funds by the controlling officer to councils that failed to account for the previous allocation is highly questionable and acceptable.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Sir, your Committee urges the controlling officer to institute disciplinary action against the erring officers at the ministry for failing to adhere to financial regulations, and the council officers for failing to administer funds within the given year, hence depriving the citizens of the much-needed benefits. 

Mr Speaker, let me also touch on another issue that is equally cardinal in the utilisation of the CDF, namely, the lack of capacity in the local authorities. Your Committee is greatly concerned as this challenge featured in almost all councils that were audited. Your Committee is further concerned that even the supervising ministry is equally incapacitated, especially in its Accounts Department. If this problem is not urgently addressed, most councils will continue experiencing the problems of a failure to supervise works, poor management of projects, unsupported payments and misplacing or, in some cases, outright losing of accounts and stores documents. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to enhance capacity in these councils by organising orientation training in accounting procedures for the existing staff as well as increasing staff levels through the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC).

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, allow me to state that, in his submission, the Secretary to the Treasury stated that the Local Authority Act No. 22 of 1991 and the Local Authority’s Financial Regulations of 1992 had been included as part of the statutes to be harmonised in a bid to ensure strict adherence to all laid-down procedures. Your Committee is encouraged because this will improve service delivery to the people and promote good corporate governance practices. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Secretary to the Treasury to ensure that this is expeditiously done. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee has observed that there have been half-hearted attempts to discipline erring officers a few days before controlling officers’ appearance before your Committee and, in some cases, defence mechanisms have been employed and noted. This is unacceptable. Your Committee feels that it is time for us to re-think and re-state the relationship between Parliament and the Executive rather than responding defensively. The Public Service should use this as an opportunity to deliver better public services with better value. In this regard, I wish to make an earnest appeal to the Government, particularly the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, not to lose this opportunity to make a difference in the accountability over public resources in our country. The controlling officers, town clerks and council secretaries, need to acknowledge that we live in a world where everybody wants greater transparency and accountability.

Sir, we are a nation of laws, not of men. We, therefore, urge the controlling officers, town clerks and council secretaries not to bow down to political pressure in the execution of their duties, but rather observe financial regulations to the letter. 

Sir, let me conclude by thanking you and the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the guidance rendered to your Committee. Let me also thank the Secretary to the Treasury and the controlling officers and their delegations that appeared before your Committee, for their co-operation. The deliberations of your Committee could not have been ably concluded without the assistance of the Office of the Auditor-General, the Accountant-General and the Controller of Internal Audit.

Mr Speaker, lastly but not least, let me show my gratitude to members of your Committee for their professionalism and the tenacity they displayed in carrying out their duties. 

Sir, I recommend this report to the House.
Mr Speaker, I beg to move.    

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Mucheleka: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, I stand to second the Motion moved by the Chairperson of your Committee. I feel deeply the importance of the occasion on which I submit myself.

Sir, the mover of the Motion has ably articulated the views of the Committee on this Motion and I shall, therefore, only make a few comments on other issues that caught your Committee’s attention. 

Mr Speaker, let me start by stating that public resources must be safeguarded at all times, and that the responsibility of ensuring that this is done lies squarely on the Government of the day. However, the Government’s performance entirely depends on the quality of decisions made by the officers entrusted with the responsibility of regulating the finances and ensuring that procedures are adhered to during their administrative and leadership duties.

Mr Speaker, let me firstly discuss matters to do with the turnover and orientation of controlling officers, town clerks and council secretaries. 

Sir, during the inquiries, your Committee observed that there is a high turnover of presiding officers in the councils, which has given rise to irregularities in the sector. Further, offending officers are transferred to other councils within the system, leaving the problems they caused behind. This is unacceptable, and your Committee regards it as a transfer of problems from one council to another. Your Committee is of the view that erring officers must stay and be disciplined at one station so that the change intended in them is observed in the same environment. The Government and, particularly, the appointing authority, the LGSC, are urged to ensure that controlling officers work in one station for a considerable period to provide for continuity in the management of institutions. Your Committee further urges the Government to orient new officers expeditiously and thoroughly before they are assigned their duties.

Mr Speaker, another issue that attracted the attention of your Committee was the ever-increasing problem of irregular payments made by the councils. In the period under review, K1.1 million was irregularly paid, mostly to suppliers, as advance payments before contracts were fully executed. Allow me to cite a few examples of these irregularities at Chama District Council. Contrary to the CDF Guideline No. 12, which restricts the advance payable on an unexecuted project to a maximum of 15 per cent of the contract price, thirty days after the award of the contract, Chama District Council paid K263.2 million, now equivalent to K263,200, representing 60 per cent of the contract price, to one contractor. Further, another contractor was paid K192 million or K192,000 in the current currency, representing 71 per cent of the contract sum. What is more worrying is the fact that the contractors in both cases had not even executed the contracts by the end of the following year. It is further worrying to your Committee that, in some cases, this council made payments to third parties, which is highly irregular.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is of the view that all such irregularities must be expeditiously reported to the law enforcement agencies in order to curb recurrences. Your Committee further recommends stern disciplinary action against the erring officers in order to deter others.

Mr Speaker, your Committee is also concerned with the issue of liquidity in the councils. During the inquiries, we heard of instances when councils failed to remit statutory obligations in respect of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and contributions to Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (LASF), the National Pension Scheme Authority and the Workers Compensation Fund (WCF), and delayed in paying retirees the packages simply because the Treasury was slow in releasing funds. In other cases, some staff worked without pay for a number of months while waiting for money to be released.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Let there be order on the left.

Mr Mucheleka: Mr Speaker, it was evident to your Committee that there is an urgent need for a co-ordinated approach by the Treasury, particularly in relation to funding. In this regard, your Committee recommends that all councils move towards the adoption of long-term income generation and also ensure that, before existing funds or grants run out, income from these endeavours can be relied upon to meet operational costs. Your Committee welcomes the proposal by the Central Government to ensure that statutory obligations are paid directly, but it wants to encourage the Secretary to the Treasury to send enough funding to the councils to enable them to dismantle their respective outstanding obligations.

Mr Speaker, finally, let me register your Committee’s disappointment at the failure of the controlling officers to respond adequately to matters during the inquiries. The councils failed to respond to the issues raised. This situation should not be allowed to continue because it undermines the oversight role of your Committee and, indeed, the House. However, your Committee is consoled by the assurances made by the Secretary to the Treasury when he appeared before it, that he would move a team of officers under the leadership of the Deputy Accountant-General to control the prevailing situation at the councils. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Secretary to the Treasury to keep his word to enhance monitoring of the performance of the councils in order to prevent laxity in their work. Your Committee will keep this matter in view in its future work.

Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the House for the attention it has paid to my debate and the patience with which it has listened to me. I thank your office and that of the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the support rendered to your Committee. 

In conclusion, I sincerely embrace the sentiments of the Chairperson of your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to debate this Motion.

Sir, less than six months ago, there was a report in this House by your Committee on Local Government and Housing, which dealt with the Auditor-General’s Report on Local Authorities, and the issues that were raised in that report are similar to the ones that have been raised in the report we are considering. In other words, we are not making any progress. Therefore, I will raise some issues to which we should pay attention.

Mr Speaker, I think that we all agree that the situation depicted in the report tabled by your Committee on Local Governance, Housing and Chiefs’ Affairs, and this one, which has been tabled by the Public Accounts Committee, leaves much to be desired. I hope that we will be able to make progress on these issues. 

Sir, the issues that have been raised are within our means to resolve, and they can be resolved. I want to bring a different angle to these issues. What we see here are symptoms of a deep-seated problem. What we must invest in is the investigation of the causes of these irregularities. I think that we are tinkering around the symptoms. Let us go to the causes, which are known, and I will attempt to indicate some of them. To continue speaking about the symptoms while ignoring the causes just makes us sound like a broken record that continues to jam on the same spot.

Mr Speaker, it is not the inadequacy of the regulations or guidelines that causes officers to err in these councils. The people are the problem. I have sat in council meetings for seven years now, and I know that council workers are more or less qualified, with some of them having the same qualifications as ours while others are even more qualified than some of us here. So, this problem is largely a result of deliberate human error. A lack of integrity or pure theft perpetrated by individuals in the councils is the problem, and we know the people who work in our councils. 

Sir, at the end of the day, these councils operate under a certain environment. The Central Government has a very strong, overbearing hand on the councils, and that hand is not helping. It is the environment under which local councils operate that is the problem. Our Central Government is to blame for the continuing irregularities in councils.

Mr Speaker, our people have been crying to the Government to give them control over their lives through decentralisation. Give the people the power. Today, the officials who are misbehaving know that they are not answerable to the councils, but to one or two people in Lusaka. When they are confronted on the irregularities, they just laugh at us. They do not even respect the ward councillors at the local level. Later, I will raise an issue concerning councillors. This country has a mini-parliament at the local level, the district council, which has oversight and representative functions. 

Mr Speaker, I asked His Honour the Vice-President a question on the remuneration of councillors. How can you expect them to be volunteers when we are not? They play an oversight role over the operations of councils while we are here. Therefore, they deserve monthly remuneration. They are not rich enough to do their work for free. There is no volunteer in the world. Even foreign volunteers get some allowances. So, we need to review the local governance system. The Member of Parliament is not alone in proving oversight on council operations. He is assisted by councillors, who are always on the ground providing oversight at local level. 

Sir, sometimes we think that the Parliamentary Constituency Office and our Professional Assistants are the solution, but they are not. That is just an office for hon. Members of Parliament to dump their books in.


Mr Hamududu: The capacitation should be targeted at the councillor. When I go to Nkemba Ward, I go to the councillor, and that is where the capacitation must go as well. The councillors do not even have transport, and council officials have seen this loophole. Half of the year, Members of Parliament are here at Parliament. So, they cannot provide oversight, and council officers are free to do their own things. There are irregularities in all our councils here, except, maybe, for Kabwata Constituency because my friend, the hon. Member of Parliament is very particular and always there because his constituency is on the way to his house.


Mr Hamududu: However, if we were to undertake an audit, we would find irregularities in all our councils. 


Mr Hamududu: Yes! Even when it comes to the CDF, all of us here …

Hon. Government Member: Question!

Mr Hamududu: Yes! We can ask for an audit if you do not believe. Let us capacitate oversight at council level. Our tools there are the ward councillors. In many countries, ward councillors are well remunerated and they help to identify problems before they get out of hand.

Mr Speaker, my elder brothers and I recently decided to purchase a grader in Monze, and the council wanted us to buy second-hand graders because it was of the opinion that new ones were too expensive. It wanted to cut costs and buy other equipment. However, we rejected the idea. We told them that we would not use Government money to buy second-hand graders. So, we bought a brand new grader at K1.7 million.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: It is a 140 K Caterpillar grader from Barlow World. You can go and check it. The council had suggested that we buy from the United Kingdom (UK) because they have semi-new equipment there. Who told the council that there is new equipment in the UK? They just paint old equipment to make it look new. 


Mr Hamududu: If we had followed the council’s counsel, we could have bought damaged equipment. 

Mr Speaker, we, as politicians, should put pressure on the councils, but for the right purposes. 

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: You cannot say that we must leave councils alone and avoid applying political pressure on them. We are elected to use political pressure for the good of our communities. I told my colleagues that I was coming to Lusaka to get specifications for a brand new grader of a known brand. If you go to Monze today, you will find the grader there. 

Mr Speaker, right now, we are here and the council is failing to operate the grader. It has failed to employ an operator, and the reason is not that the council does not know where to find people who can operate that equipment but, rather, that there is inadequate oversight. At the local level, things are not being done. We must know that ward councillors are our equal partners in providing oversight on the operations of the councils. The biggest disservice we have done our country has been the failure to appreciate local government and ward councillors.

Sir, we could have known some of the petty things in our constituencies a little earlier. However, when councillors go to the office to report problems, they are looked down upon and chased away and told that they are just volunteers and that cannot even afford the return fare to their villages. They are also offered bribes and asked how they can provide oversight without money?


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, the LGSC is doing us a very big disfavour by denying us the power to fire council officers. When the Bill to constitute the LGSC was tabled, and the PF was in the Opposition, we had all agreed not to support it. However, now that the PF is in power, it is happy to let the status quo continue. We do not seem to respect consistency in this country. In the next sitting, we will go to the library and compile the debates of my colleagues on the other side. This hypocrisy must stop.

Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, we agreed to amend that Act so that power goes to the people. We are not happy with these irregularities. The Central Government has taken the power away from the people and it is the one that should be blamed. It is the one that is allowing council employees to misbehave because they report to it, rendering us irrelevant to the equation.

Sir, this country must put a premium on merit. I went to the office of the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon Kabanshi who, I think, is a good person, …

Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Speaker: By saying, ‘Question,’ you are debating her character. 


Mr Speaker: On a light note.


Mr Hamududu: … and we thought we were making progress. The issue I raised was that we should focus on the individuals in council offices. One way to do that and identify misbehaving individuals is to use performance-based appraisal systems so that we put the culprits under the spotlight. 

Mr Speaker, the key performance indicators should be clearly spelt, including that of financial management. For example, it can be stated that an officer who goes above a particular threshold of financial irregularities has fired himself or herself. That can be put in the employment contract. I have suggested to the hon. Minister that she gets a few people to assist her to put that the system in place if her ministry has failed to implement it. However, she should not get them from Europe because Europe is incomparable with us. Rather, she should get them from Rwanda. I just came back from Ghana where I heard someone say that they make very good laws and regulations in Uganda only for them to be implemented in Rwanda.


Mr Hamududu: Zambia also has very good ideas, but they are being implemented elsewhere. If the hon. Minister can, let her go to Rwanda for a week or so to learn how to implement that system, which is not very difficult to put in place, but easily weeds out the dead wood. You do not need to fire people because those who fail to deliver will fire themselves. People must be in their jobs on account of merit, performance and ability to meet the aspirations of the people. I do not know why the Government has delayed to implement performance-based systems.

Mr Speaker, in the industrial jurisdiction, the President signs a contract with the Executive Mayor, the Executive Mayor signs a contract with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the council and it cascades according to the secretarial duties to the last person, including the police. For example, the police will get crime statistics and ask the Officers-in-Charge what resources they need to reduce the crime rate to a certain percentage. If the police officers are given the resources, but fail to meet the target, they are removed from their positions. We want to see results. Do not just employ people for the sake of it. People must go to work to deliver.

Sir, I have seen people make a fuss over people coming late for work but, for me, that is not the issue. For me, it is about what you have managed to achieve within a day. There are people who report for work at 06:00 hours just to read newspapers. 

Hon. Opposition Member: Ministers.

Mr Hamududu: Our concerns should be about the mandate and indicators we have been given. Are we delivering? I was impressed to find a CEO knocking off at 22:00 hours in some council because he had to meet the targets. That council was the most performing of all that I have visited and, because of that, it has managed to construct a new civic centre from local sources of revenue. However, in Lusaka, people look to the Government to construct even a 1km stretch of road. You have destroyed the local capacity of councils to run municipal affairs. Today, the municipalities are becoming dirtier. Even just to collect garbage, you want to involve the President. How can the President be involved in cleaning a town? Give us the power to hire and fire so that we stop condemning or blaming the President. In Monze, we are ready to do that. We already have a template that we can implement. If you empower us, you will see Monze shine. The district is dirty because of the Central Government to which council workers report. How can a small town like that be dirty? You are even failing to slash the grass.

Hon. Government Member interjected.

Mr Hamududu: What is that? 

Mr Speaker: Continue addressing me, Hon. Hamududu.


Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, my friend is disturbing me. Let us have the friendship outside this House.

Sir, another issue in this report is that of unspent funds at the end of the year. That query is not really supposed to go to the local authorities, but to the Government. If you release the CDF in November, how can you talk about unspent funds? How can you spend money in three months? The absorption capacity at the local level is quite low. I can actually defend CEOs of our councils on this one. Already, you have caused a query because that money cannot be absorbed. I want to tell the hon. Ministers of Finance and Local Government and Housing that the CDF is less than 1 per cent of the Budget. Surely, how can you fail to release 1 per cent in the first quarter? We need more time to implement. You can even release that money in January. Just sell one Treasury Bill and disburse the money if there is no money currently. 

Sir, how come you can find money for other things, such as the trips? We want our CDF so that we reduce those queries. When you implement in a shorter time, the irregularities can arise even when you are efficient. Hon. Minister, I can see you are nodding. So, release the next CDF in the first quarter. Some component of self-help projects comes from the local people and that is labour. However, my people in Bweengwa have nothing to do with community projects because they are currently in their fields. I encouraged them to leave the projects so that they could go and grow food for their families. Even if you release money now, nothing will happen because people are in the fields. They cannot bring materials upfront. Please, let us address that issue. 

Finally, Sir, I want to tell the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing that it is important to strengthen the local government system because that is where the people are. This country is highly centralised. No wonder, in this country, in the next few years, 50 per cent of the people will live in urban areas. We are even failing to work on simple rural roads. Some of the officials we have in Lusaka are becoming very rude. They want us to beg the Road Development Agency (RDA) to work on the roads. That money belongs to the people of Zambia. Please, send the money to the councils and work will be done. How do you expect us to be pleading for you to work on our roads when those officials get paid from public money? How do we beg from the officials we employed? Why should we beg them to work on our roads? If you send the money for rural roads to the council, we will be able to work on those simple roads. 

Sir, during Dr Kaunda’s rule, every year, roads were paved, yet our Budget was smaller then. This time, there is more money, but there is equally more confusion. Money is not the problem. The issue is human error and you should weed it out.  

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

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

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to the debate on the Auditor-General’s Report on the Management of the Constituency Development Fund and Grants to Local Authorities for the Financial Years up to 2011. 

Mr Speaker, accountability is key management. I can see in this report that accountability should be coupled with capacity. On page 27, there is the issue of timeframes in which the projects are implemented. You will note that it takes long basically because of the inadequate capacity of the council. It also compromises the accountability because the council does not have the capacity and, if the project takes too long, it becomes very difficult for them to monitor. In the process, a lot of things go wrong. Therefore, I would like to urge the councils to enhance their capacity, just like the previous speaker mentioned.

Mr Speaker, I would like to also comment on the interference in CDF projects. We have had a lot of interference from the councils in projects. They have been trying to dictate to us what projects we should implement and what equipment should be bought. For example, in Kasenengwa, during my predecessor’s tenure, we were made to buy a grader which, to date, has just been used by the council. That grader was bought by Chipata Central, Kasenengwa and Chipangali but, to date, none of the constituencies has been able to use it. We would like to see a change. If the equipment is for the constituency, it should be used by that constituency.

Sir, the Chairperson of PAC emphasised the need for accountability. On page 12 of the report, there is mention of corruption, for example, in the case of Mwansabombwe. It states that the hon. Member of Parliament interfered and gave instructions. I do not want to read this part because I want to use my time prudently.  At the end it says: 

“Your Committee expresses concern with the manner the procurement procedures and payment systems were abrogated by all players in this transaction. Your Committee, therefore, urges the controlling officer to immediately report the matter to the investigative wings for further investigation and possible prosecution. Your Committee awaits a progress report on this matter.”

Sir, it is stated that the case had already been reported to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). We would like to know how far this case has gone. The PF Government states that it is pro-poor and allergic to corruption. The President, actually, indicated that he is allergic to corruption. However, an allergy is seen from a reaction. If you are allergic to a particular food, you will have something like a rash. Even in corruption, we need to see a reaction, which has not happened, so far. 

Sir, on page 11 of your report, on Pambashe Constituency, there is an admission of guilt by the hon. Minister, who appeared before the Committee. Actually, he accepted having taken part in what happened and apologised. Later, we can see the Auditor-General calling on the hon. Minister to pay back. The question is: Why is the Auditor- General calling on the hon. Ministers to pay back? Is it right? What has changed?  

Mr Speaker, I recall that, under the Mwanawasa Government, there was an hon. Minister from the Southern Province who was dropped for stopping a bus at a weighbridge. Later, the former Minister of Transport and Communication was also asked to step down and a tribunal was set up to investigate him. However, in the PF Government, and no amount of intimidation will deter me, even a mere request to have a tribunal established to investigate an hon. Minister is not accepted. The PF Government claims to fight corruption, but also says that an hon. Minister should not be investigated.

Mr Speaker, your Committee has exposed the wrongdoings of some hon. Members and, as leaders, we should condemn this. I want to be the first person to condemn this type of corruption. We have the mandate to serve the people, not to take advantage of the disadvantaged. I expect to see a reaction from the PF Government. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it was in this House that the immunity of the immediate past President was stripped and the PF Members wanted him to be investigated. In addition to that, the PF Members also called for MMD Members to resign and to be investigated. They argued that, if the MMD Members were innocent, the court would prove them so.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, if, indeed, this Government is pro-poor and is fighting corruption, let justice prevail in this country.

Hon. Opposition Members: Bauze.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it should not be for your sake or my mine, but for the sake of the Zambian people, especially the young, who are the future generation.

Mr Speaker, it is a shame that we, as leaders, …

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, you are too close to the microphone. So, the communication is being distorted.

Ms Kalima: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I had been told that I was too far from the microphone.


Mr Speaker: No. You have to strike a balance.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer, hammer!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, it is very upsetting because, if anything happens to one hon. Member, I will be included. There is a Bemba adage that, “Nga walya ulubalala lumo, ilyo lumo luntu lwabola, kufwisa shonse,” meaning that, if you eat one rotten groundnut, you will have to spit all the groundnuts that were in your mouth because you will not be able to select the rotten one. So, it is upsetting to know that one of us is able to do such a thing because, even in a family …

Hon. Opposition Members: Two.

Ms Kalima: … two, actually.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, even in a family, when one member is a prostitute, they will say “ulupwa lwamahule,” meaning that is a family of prostitutes. 


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, that is why we should all condemn this. Leaders are supposed to protect the people.

Mr Speaker, as I conclude, I just want to say that, as hon. Members of Parliament, we should join the civil society to call for the resignation of the hon. Members of Pambashe and Mwansabombwe Constituencies. 

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Thank you, Mr Speaker, for according me the opportunity to debate the Auditor General’s Report …


Mr Speaker: Let us have some order, please.

Mr Mwiimbu: … that was considered by your Committee.

Mr Speaker, as I debate this Motion, I would like to refer all of us to Article 121 (4) of the Constitution of Zambia. For easy reference, I would like to read this particular provision which states that:

“The Auditor-General shall, not later than twelve months after the end of each financial year, submit a report on the accounts referred to in paragraph (c) of Clause (2) in respect of that financial year to the President who shall, not later than seven days after the first sitting of the next National Assembly after the receipt of such a report, cause it to be laid before the National Assembly.”   

Mr Speaker, the Auditor-General is an officer of this House and the reports that are prepared and tabled before this House are reports of this House. Therefore, the report that is under consideration is not the Auditor-General’s. It has now become a report of your Committee, which is supposed to be debated and adopted by this House.

Mr Speaker, as per the procedure of this House, before a report of your Committee is considered, debated and adopted by the House, no member can divulge the contents of that report. 

Hon. Opposition Member: That is right.

Mr Mwiimbu: No member can start threatening your witnesses.

Mr Hamududu: No.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, in this light, your witness who appeared before your Committee has been threatened by certain hon. Members of this House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is unprocedural, unusual and unparliamentary. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: It is the duty of this House, Mr Speaker, to protect the witnesses who appear before your Committee. It is also incumbent upon it to stand up and defend the Auditor-General, who is vulnerable. She is merely performing the functions that have been conferred on her by the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, it is not fair for anyone in this House or outside it to threaten the Auditor-General pertaining to a report that has not yet been considered by this House.


Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, it is also the responsibility of this House to ensure that, once the report of your Committee is adopted, the resolutions are carried out by the Executive. It is not prudent for anyone, in particular, those in the Executive, …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, just before business was suspended, I was saying that the Auditor-General needs the protection of the House …

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and that we should be seen to be protecting your witnesses who appear before your Committees. 

Mr Speaker, I also advise that, if there is anyone who is aggrieved, there is a procedure for taking up the matter after a parliamentary report has been adopted by the House. Even those who would want to take action against the Auditor-General must be informed that the Auditor-General is a public officer. So, if they want to sue anyone, they should sue the Attorney-General, ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: … not the Auditor-General. 

Mr Speaker, it is also interesting to note that the Auditor-General is appointed by the Republican President and anyone who questions the authority of the Auditor-General questions the authority of the appointing authority. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: I, therefore, would like to advise those who want to impinge on the authority of the Auditor-General to desist from such conduct. 

Mr Speaker, I also want to adopt the submissions of my brother, Hon. Hamududu, pertaining to the LGSC. 

Sir, this is not the first time that we have had the LGSC in this country. We had it, but it was abolished because of the same reasons we are raising now. I also recall that the then hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, who is the current President of the Republic of Zambia, was vehemently opposed the commission. 

Mr L. J. Ngoma: On a point of order, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised. 

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, we are dealing with a very important matter concerning the CDF under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Is Hon. Keith Mukata in order to go and disturb Mrs Kabanshi, the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, which will cause her not to concentrate and respond appropriately when her time …

Mr Mukata wagged his forefinger at Mr L. J. Ngoma.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Look at what he is doing, Sir. 


Mr L. J. Ngoma: Just look at him, Sir. 

Is he in order to behave the way he is behaving?

Mr Speaker: I cannot suppose that just because the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance is seated next to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, he is necessarily disturbing her. There is no basis on which I can make such a ruling. On the contrary, I may even surmise that they are consulting so that she gives a more meaningful response to all these issues that you are raising. 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Monze Central, you may proceed. 

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, this is not the first time that we have had a body responsible for the appointment and disciplining of officers in the Local Government Service. We had ...

Mr Mukata walked back to his seat while wagging his forefinger at hon. Opposition Members. 


Mr Speaker: Order, on my left!

I can barely hear the hon. Member for Monze Central because you are drowning him. 

Continue, Hon. Mwiimbu.

Mr Mwiimbu: We had the commission, but it was abolished on the same premises that we are making today; that it was a hindrance to the progression of the local government system in this country. It was argued that the power of councils to discipline workers and manage local authorities was diminished by the creation of the commission. The same arguments have arisen today. The issues that are being raised by your Committee are a result of the failure of the local authorities to superintend over staff matters in local authorities.

Hon. UPND Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: We have noticed, with concern, that council officers currently have no allegiance, whatsoever, to councillors. When I talk of councillors, I am collectively referring to elected councillors and hon. Members of Parliaments. All of us are councillors in our various jurisdictions. Currently, no council has authority to discipline or supervise officers. As a result, there is low performance by council officers. I would like to recommend to the hon. Minister that, if she does not want to dissolve the LGSC, she recommends a review of the relevant laws so that councils are given the power to discipline officers who are found wanting. 

Sir, the LGSC must be given the power to hear only disciplinary matters. In this way, you will install discipline in local authorities. I have noted, with concern, that, lately, even levels of revenue generation in councils have gone down. Officers actually feel that they are not duty-bound to make money for the local authorities they work for, believing instead that the hon. Minister of Finance has the duty to find the money and pay their salaries. They do not care whether services are being provided or not. When that Government came up with the LGSC, it made a very serious omission. It undertook to …

Mr Kambwili: It is not this Government, but the MMD.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, when I say ‘that Government,’ it should be assumed that any Government that comes into power assumes the responsibility of the previous one.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: There was a commitment that it would continue paying salaries for the workers in local authorities. As a result, there is inertia. Most of the local authorities are now not able to raise money to pay salaries and provide services because of the decision we made. I am not against the Government providing funding to local authorities. I do not know of any country that allows local authorities to stand on their own. However, there are procedures and rules pertaining to financing of the local government service. Unfortunately, we have been negligent in the handling of the local government service.

Mr Speaker, I have noted that the report that highlights the omission in the local authorities refers mostly to officers, not Members of Parliament. Very few, if any, Members of Parliament have been cited because Members of Parliament are not concerned with the actual handling of CDF money. That is the responsibility of officers.

Mr Kambwili: Why are they called area representatives?

Mr Mwiimbu: I appeal, Mr Speaker, that we become very bold and make amends to the omissions that were created if we have to move this process forward. As my brother indicated, my colleagues on your right and I were strongly opposed to the creation of the LGSC. 

Mr Speaker, I have no problem with the LGSC being given the power to transfer workers, but I am against its powers recruit and appoint officers in the Local Government Service. We need to clothe the local authorities with power to enforce discipline. We do not want the indiscipline that is obtaining in the Central Government to be transferred to the Local Government Service.

Mr C. Bwalya: Question!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I also want to agree that the local authorities should be given the power to manage local matters that affect the daily lives of people. It is not proper for the Minister to approve a project of constructing toilets in Kalabo.

Mr Livune: Shame!

Mr Mwiimbu: As a result of the requirement that has been initiated by the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing, …

Dr Kaingu: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: ... that all projects in the constituencies be approved by the hon. Minister, there have been delays in the implementation of projects. That requirement is not even in the guidelines. It was made by way of a circular by one hon. Minister who wanted to be a super Minister of Local Government and Housing. 

Mr Livune: Who is she?

Mr Mwiimbu: As a result, the whole country is suffering. Why should we allow a situation where one individual wants to be a supper Minister in Government? Why should we allow one individual to assume powers of other authorities in this country. It is not correct. I am aware of certain constituencies whose projects have not been approved by the Minister of Local Government and Housing for more than three years.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Mwiimbu: Yet when it comes to submitting returns, the same ministry wants to start accusing those constituencies of not working according to the guidelines that have been given. Mr Speaker, it is not correct. I would like to appeal to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to ensure that, that obnoxious letter is withdrawn.


Mr Livune: Obnoxious

Mr Mwiimbu: It is not in the interest of anyone.

Mr Livune: No.

Mr Mwiimbu: Fortunately, that hon. Minister whom I am referring to is no longer in that ministry. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Who is she?

Mr Mwiimbu: I am told that the hon. Minister is also suffering as a result of the letter that was generated by her ...


Mr Mwiimbu: … because she is not an appointed Member of Parliament. Mr Speaker, with those few remarks, …

Mr Livune: Continue.

Mr Mwiimbu: … I would like to urge all of us to impress on the hon. Minister, who is listening very attentively, to withdraw that letter, and amend the Local Government Service Commission Act to ensure that local authorities have the power to superintend over officers in their various councils.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: We have been on this Motion for quite a while now, and I am sure we are aware that tomorrow is our last day. Of course, we have a provision for suspension of Standing Orders, but we also do not want to keep you here till late in the night …

Hon. Opposition Members: It is alright.

Mr Speaker: … because we may not pay …


Mr Speaker: … sufficient concentration. As a result, we have to expedite our business and, in doing so, I will allow the hon. Member for Solwezi West ...

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: ... to debate before the hon. Minister.


Mr Mwanza: Thank you very much for giving the opportunity …

Mr Livune: Long live, Sir.

Mr Mwanza: ... to debate the Motion on the Floor. 

Mr Livune: For the thieves.

Mr Mwanza: In the first place Mr Speaker, I want to pay growing tribute to our Auditor- General …

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … I think the Auditor-General is a brave civil servant.

Mr Livune: That is right.

Mr Mwanza: These are the civil servants that we want as Zambians.

Mr Livune: Certainly.

Mr Mwanza: This lady has been very candid.

Mr Livune: Hear! May God bless her.

Mr Mwanza: The issue involving civil servants and politicians’ involvement in the abuse of the CDF is a very clear one and she has particularly named …

Mr Livune: Yes, the thieves.

Mr Mwanza: … the two persons that are involved.

Mr Speaker: Before you continue, hon. Member, just take your seat.

I know the amount of interest this debated has excited, but it should not excite us to a point where we begin flouting our rules, including and especially, making running commentaries. I can follow them from here. You may pretend to disengage like you are not involved in those commentaries, but I know who is doing that.


Mr Speaker: I am trying to avoid constant interventions because I want progress to be made. So, listen in silence so that we make progress.

May the hon. Member debating continue.

Mr Mwanza: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. 

Sir, with regard to the subject on the Motion, I was trying to say that I would like to salute the Auditor-General for the manner in which she has handled this matter. I also wish to thank the Chairperson of your Committee for the manner in which he has presented your report to Parliament.

Allow me, Mr Speaker, to make some brief comments about the report. Firstly, it has been alleged, especially on the manner it has been submitted, that some of us, Members of Parliament, have had some interest in ensuring that certain projects are met. Now, this is a breach of our conditions and guidelines as I know them. Anyone who wants an exemplary usage of the CDF should go to Solwezi West where we do not allow such things.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: A Member of Parliament never exerts pressure on any project.

Mr Speaker, I would like to say that I am very disappointed, as I turn to page 11 of the report, and support what the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa said. I would like to adopt her words as mine because I think that she was equally candid. My appeal to the House is that, as we consider this report, we should ensure that the two members of the Executive who have been mentioned are suspended pending investigations.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: The investigations should deal with the disappearance of funds. It is important to realise that hon. Members of Parliament can only succeed if the CDF is utilised properly. If it is not, there will be no chance to develop rural areas. I am a Member of Parliament representing a rural area. So, I am concerned and passionate about the usage of the CDF. Any disappearance of the CDF is unacceptable and must not be tolerated by the House.

Mr Belemu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, I am a man of few words. I just wish to repeat that the two officials must resign and the Government must ensure that this is done. Once that is done, it will serve as a lesson to all of us. At the same time, I would like to appeal to the LGSC to respect councillors. In councils, councillors are the employers. Therefore, they must be respected. There is a growing tendency by council officers to frustrate the work of councillors.

In my conclusion, Sir, I would like to say that the two officers must be suspended …


Mr Speaker: Now you are repeating yourself.


The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Kabanshi): Mr Speaker, thank you very much for affording me this opportunity to wind up the debate on the Motion on the Floor of this House.

Sir, firstly, I thank all the hon. Members of Parliament who have debated this Motion and the Chairperson and members of your Committee doing a good job of bringing out all the gray areas. 

Mr Speaker, these gray areas are real and widespread in all the local authorities, where we are all councillors. So, I would like to remind the hon. Members of this House that they are also part of those irregularities that are happening in the councils.

Hon. Opposition Members: Question! How?

Mrs Kabanshi: However, I would like to urge …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Kabanshi: … all the Members of this House, Mr Speaker, to work with the management of the councils in order for us to improve the performance of these councils.

Sir, there is a lot happening on the Government’s side. We are discussing the issues of an allowance for the councillors because we know that councillors and councils are the closest governance system to the community, hence, we would like to see them perform. 

Mr Speaker, when we came into power, the councils that we found were run down. They were in up to fifty-six months of salary arrears. Now, we are almost up to date. So, I would like to praise this hardworking Government …

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mrs Kabanshi: … under the leadership of His Excellency the President, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mrs Kabanshi: … for its commitment to taking development to the people. We will implement the Decentralisation Policy, which will sort out the issue of mismanagement of funds because the budgets, implementation of the projects and everything else will be done at the local level. So, we are committed to taking care of these issues.

Sir, I would like to comment on two things, firstly, on the disciplining of council workers and the employment. 

Mr Speaker, in my ministry, I do not discipline my workers, but report them to the relevant authority, the Public Service Commission (PSC). Council workers are also civil servants. So, they are supposed to be disciplined by the LGSC. Therefore, I would like to urge the councillors to report officers who are found wanting to the LGSC.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Why?

Mrs Kabanshi: If it means firing them, they will be fired by the LGSC. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central mentioned the issue of the Auditor-General being attacked by the hon. Members who have got cases. In all fairness, it is important that the hon. Member puts proper context to the issue by indicating that the Auditor-General was the first one to announce all these things to the public. The hon. Members of Parliament were just reacting to what she had said. 


Mrs Kabanshi: We are not supporting what these hon. Members did, but we must clarify that they were just reacting to what the Auditor-General had brought to the public.

Mr Speaker, the other issue that I would like to talk about …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mrs Kabanshi: … is that we are all in this together.

Hon. Opposition Members: We are not!

Mrs Kabanshi: The problems that are in these councils, Mr Speaker, have been there for a very long time. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Kabanshi: Therefore, we need to work together to solve them. As a Government, we are committed to working with the people on the left to solve these problems. We are putting our house in order by building capacity in the workers of the councils and funding them. Even next year, we will devolve more funds to the local level.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kabanshi: Mr Speaker, once again, I thank all the hon. Members who contributed to this report. They should keep it up. Their concerns have been noted and we will work on them.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to wind up this Motion. In doing so, I thank all the hon. Members who have debated on the Motion. I have seen that it has been supported by all Members who have debated it. So, there is no need for me to name them.

Mr Speaker, I am also pleased to see the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing stand up to respond to the issues that were raised by hon. Members. It is commendable, and this is what I talked about the other day. It gives us the comfort that there will be some reaction to the issues that have been raised in this House. We must remember that, sixty days after adopting this report, the Executive is expected to come back and respond to all the matters and tell us the action that it will have taken. So, we want you to go further and respond to each item when we come back to this House.

Mr Speaker, in winding up, may I, again, pay tribute to the Office of the Auditor-General. For eleven years, we have had a very strong Auditor-General in this country, and we have never seen people insult her in the manner that she is being insulted now. People have called her stupid, incompetent and all sorts of names in a daily tabloid. Some of us, who benefit from the reports generated by her feel injured.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwale: Sir, this should not be done by members of the Executive. It is unacceptable. Members of the Executive should protect that office. That is why we keep calling for reforms and saying that that office must fall under Parliament. The Auditor-General’s Office is being abused now because it falls under the Executive. I do not want to open debate on this matter. However, we must protect the Office of the Auditor-General and all members who appeared before your Committee, including the council secretaries who gave evidence on what has emerged in your report. I know that this report will be adopted.

Sir, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Speaker: Order!






Clauses, 1, 2 and 3 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

THE VALUE ADDED TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2013


Mr Mucheleka left his seat to go and seat with hon. PF Back Benchers.

The Chairperson: Order!

We are conducting Business so, could we, please, have order on my left.

Mr Mucheleka resumed his seat.

The Chairperson: Order, on my right!

What is happening?

Hon. PF Back Benchers: It is Hon. Mucheleka.

The Chairperson: People must learn to behave. We are being disorderly.

Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.


Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.


The Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Appendix 3, on pages 10 to 18, by the deletion of the Ninth Schedule and the substitution therefor of the following Schedule:
Amendment agreed to. 

Schedule amended accordingly.

Schedule, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.


Clauses 1, 2, 3 and 4, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.

THE INCOME TAX (Amendment) BILL, 2013

Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Schedule ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Title agreed to.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee without amendments:

The Property Transfer Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2013

The Value Added Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2013

The Zambia Development Agency (Amendment) Bill, 2013

The Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 2013

Third Readings, on Friday, 13th December, 2013.

The following Bill was reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendment:

The Customs and Excise (Amendment) Bill, 2013

Report Stage on Friday, 13th December, 2013.

___________ {mospagebreak}



Vote 88 – (Office of the President – Muchinga Province – K44,628,942), Vote 90 – (Office of the President – Lusaka Province – K71,735,283), Vote 91 – (Office of the President – Copperbelt Province – K86,543,109), Vote 92 – (Office of the President – Central Province – K71,183,670), Vote 93 – (Office of the President – Northern Province – K88,641,594), Vote 94 – (Office of the President – Western Province – K71,469,364), Vote 95 – (Office of the President – Eastern Province – K78,183,138), Vote 96 – (Office of the President – Luapula Province – K70,266,728), Vote 97 – (Office of the President – North-Western Province – K72,498,449) and Vote 98 (Office of the President – Southern Province – K95,327,161).

(Consideration resumed)

The Deputy Minister for Western Province (Ms Limata): Mr Chairperson, before the House adjourned yesterday, I was talking about the issues in the Western Province and responding to the three hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province who had debated. 

Mr Chairperson, let me begin by talking about fisheries. We have allocated K800,000 to empower small-scale fish farmers. For water and sanitation, we have allocated K300,000 to make sure that the people of the Western Province can drink clean water.

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: Mr Chairperson, in the budget for the agricultural sector in 2014, we will promote over 40,000 small-scale farmers, who are expected to benefit from the outgrowers scheme for cashew nuts. So, 10,000 factory jobs are expected to be created. My provincial administration has provided K150,000 in the 2014 Budget for cashew nut production.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, the hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province talked about roads in the province. I know very well that we have only two sets of road equipment, which is not enough for the province. I agree with them, but I must add that we will go far with that set of equipment.  We will improve the standard of our roads in the province. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: Mr Chairperson, in our 2014 Budget, we have provided K250,000 towards the construction of crossing points and K206,000 for the drilling of more boreholes in the Kalumwange Resettlement Scheme.

Mr Chairperson, yesterday, the hon. Member for Kalabo Central talked about the issue of canal transport. He was even pointing. I agree with you. Again, we have given K1,700,000 to support …

Hon. Opposition Member: Only?

Ms Limata:  Do not say, “Only”. You are not even from the Western Province. 


Ms Limata: The total Budget for the Western Province, which we are going to share with all hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province, is K71,469,364. It is our first time to receive such an amount of money in the Western Province. As for me, I am proud.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: Mr Chairperson, it is our hope that most infrastructure projects will be supported by the line ministries, and that such support will be rendered on time since our implementation period is limited and we are in a hurry to develop the country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: We shall remain committed to ensuring that all the developmental projects in the Western Province are implemented in time. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Ms Limata: Finally, I wish to appeal to the Government that being the largest and the poorest, my province should be supported.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: Mr Chairperson, I wish to end my submissions by thanking the Government …

Mr Livune: Question!

Ms Limata: … and its co-operating partners, who have continued to render their unconditional support to the people of the Western Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Limata: Mr Chairperson, I have heard the majority of my friends from the Western Province. Can we work together. My office is open for you, instead of coming here to make noise.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Order!

Ms Limata: Come and see me in my office ... 

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

Ms Limata:  … so that we improve the standards …

The Chairperson: Order, hon. Minister!

Please, we do not come here to make noise. We come here to convince each other. So, please, withdraw that statement and say something else.

Ms Limata: I thank you, Mr Speaker. What I want to ask from all hon. Members of Parliament from the Western Province is that we work together so that we improve the face of the province because we have heard that it is the poorest province. Can we change the face of the Western Province so that, come 2016, all of us come back here.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

The Deputy Minister for Lusaka Province (Mr Kosamu): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to wind up the debate on the Budget for Lusaka Province. 

Mr Chairperson, from the outset, allow me to thank all hon. Members of Parliament …


The Chairperson: Order! 

The hon. Minister is on the Floor.

Mr Kosamu: ... who debated in support of the 2014 Budget for Lusaka Province. More especially, let me pay special tribute to Hon. Chipungu, Member of Parliament for Rufunsa, who debated very well. I would like to assure him that the Lusaka Provincial Administration is ready to work with hon. Members of Parliament and everyone regardless of their political affiliation because, after all, development benefits everyone.

Mr Chairperson, the 2014 Budget for the province reflects the Patriotic Front (PF) Government’s resolve to develop the urban and, especially, rural areas of Lusaka, which seemingly need more attention. The province has been allocated K71,735,283, out of which K37,776,706 is for personal emoluments and K33,958,577 is for recurrent departmental charges, of which about 67 per cent of non-personal emolument is for poverty reduction-related programmes.

Mr Chairperson, in order to achieve these aspirations, the province has embarked on developmental projects and programmes in the following areas:

Road Infrastructure Development

Mr Chairperson, it is, indeed, gratifying that the province has greatly benefited from the Link Zambia 8,000 and Link Lusaka 400 programmes, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kosamu: ... particularly the most recent ground-breaking ceremony by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata. The first phase of construction of the long-awaited Lusaka Ring Roads Project will see the construction of 14.6km of roads in and around the city. The roads will link the south-eastern areas of Lusaka to the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone and Kafue Road. Lusaka Province has already started benefiting from this project in that motorists and passengers are spending less time on the roads. Similarly, the province will benefit from the Link Zambia 8,000Km Road Project. The Lusaka/Leopards Hill Road via Chiawa to Chirundu District is being upgraded. Further, there will be a network that will provide a link to Kasisi, Chipembi, Chalimbana and Palabana, among other areas. There will also be another connection from Chongwe River to Luangwa Bridge in Rufunsa District.

Mr Chairperson, the D145 Luangwa Road is now being upgraded to bituminous status. This important road link underscores the PF Government’s desire and determination to develop infrastructure in Lusaka Province, particularly roads in the rural areas. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

General Public Services

Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank the Ministry of Finance for having given us due consideration by including the newly-created districts in the 2014 Budget. To this extent, some of their royal highnesses have responded favourably by freeing land for development. For instance, in Rufunsa, about 9,500ha of land has been given to the Government by His Royal Highness, Chief Mpashya, for the development of the township. However, development in some of these areas is being hampered by unsettled border demarcations, which has resulted in wrangles between and among chiefdoms. It is my earnest hope that these will be resolved sooner than later for the sake of progress and development.

Social Protection

Mr Chairperson, I am honoured that my province will, this time around, benefit from the scaling up of the Social Cash Transfer Scheme in 2014, and two districts, namely, Lusaka and Luangwa, will be covered by the scheme initially targeting households that have a member with a disability of some kind.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chairperson, let me respond to some of the issues which were raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Rufunsa, Hon. Chipungu. Let me now address some of these issues as follows:

Road Infrastructure Development

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Chipungu was concerned about the roads in his constituency, and that there was a lack of funds for Chomba, Chipeketi and the road connecting to Mkushi via Shikabeta, all of which are off the Great East Road. Allow me to inform the hon. Member that the provincial administration has acquired specialised equipment to improve the road infrastructure not only in Rufunsa, but also in the entire province. Further, we allocated K3.9 million for the procurement of other specialised equipment in the 2014 Budget. In Rufunsa Constituency, specifically, the following roads have been earmarked to be worked on in 2014: Chomba, Shikabeta, Chakonga/Mani, Itope/Munyenta, Chipako, Chipeketi and Kamwesha roads. In addition, K8 million has been set aside to cater for all other remaining roads in the province. 

On the issue of chiefs and traditional affairs, the provincial administration will work closely with the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs to ensure that the welfare of their royal highnesses is looked into. To this effect, the provincial administration in Lusaka has established a Department of Chiefs Affairs, whose main mandate will be to co-ordinate development in these areas.

Mr Chairperson, regarding the issue of water, the provincial administration is and will continue to work with the Department of Water Affairs under the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Water Development to improve water reticulation. This is an on-going programme.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I wish to assure the hon. Member for Rufunsa that the police post at Luangwa Bridge will soon be fully functional and officers will be deployed there. In conclusion, I would like to assure the hon. Member that we will continue to involve all stakeholders during the Budget preparation process, through our Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committee (PDCC) meetings, which is the main forum used to discuss development matters.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chairperson, I wish to thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Central Province (Mr Mwaliteta): Mr Chairperson, I thank you and the three hon. Members of Parliament from the Central Province who debated. These are Hon. Kampyanga for Kabwe Central, Hon. Mushanga for Bwacha and Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr. Chituwo for Mumbwa constituencies.

Mr Chairperson, I want to quickly respond to the issues Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr. Chituwo raised, that of Game Management Area (GMA) 14, where our relatives from Kalomo have encroached on. I want to assure him that this matter is receiving active attention from the provincial administration and from the Ministry of Tourism and Art. We will work together to resettle those people to other places. I also want to commend you for the manner in which you debated. You brought out real issues, which the provincial administration will really look into and ensure that they are addressed.

Mr Chairperson, the Mukobeko/Ngabwe Bridge and the roads mentioned, such as the Mumbwa/Kasempa Road, are already under the Link Zambia 8,000 Project. However, there is another issue that you raised, and that is the need for a mothers’ shelter at the hospital. I was very touched when you talked about it. I want to assure you that, from the time you debated this issue, we sent people there to build the mothers’ shelter at the hospital. When you go there tomorrow, you will find that the contractor has started roofing the mothers’ shelter at the hospital.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, the vision of the Central Province is:

“To attain a sufficient level of social and diversified economic development that promotes human development …


The Chairperson: Order!

Let there be order on both my left and right.

Mr Mwaliteta: … through equitable and efficient delivery of goods and services, by 2030.”

Given the central location and comparative advantage of the province, our aspiration is to become the hub of development activities in the country.”

Mr Chairperson, our Budgetary allocation for 2014 …


The Chairperson: Order!

I am sure that, if there were other people here, and I am sure that they are here, they will be surprised at what is happening. Why are we failing to heed the call for order? You can consult, but you should not drown out the person debating.

You can continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mwaliteta cleared his throat.


Mr Mwaliteta: It is because of my cigarettes.


Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, the 2014 Budget allocation to the province stands at K71,183,670, out of which K36,926,861 is for personal emoluments, K12,570,809 is for recurrent departmental charges and K21,686,000 is for developmental programmes. Out of the K21,686,000, K18,000,000 is for rural roads development and procurement of additional earth-moving machines. The balance of K3,686,000 will be for other development programmes.

Mr Chairperson, the PF Government promised to develop infrastructure for the provision of social and economic services to our people in the Central Province.

Mr Chairperson, in the 2013 Fiscal Year, the province performed very well in implementing developmental programmes, especially socio-economic infrastructure development. I am glad to report on the progress and developments planned to be undertaken in the province.

Sir, under the education sector, which Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo and the other hon. Members talked about, seven secondary schools were made operational in 2013, five are still under construction and three yet to be constructed have just been handed over to contractors who are on sight. Construction of additional infrastructure, especially student hostels and learning facilities, at Mulungushi University and Nkrumah University College of Education have continued. 

Mr Chairperson, under the health sector, Phase Two of the construction of Serenje District Hospital is 90 per cent complete while Mkushi District Hospital is at 60 per cent.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: Four health posts have been completed and another four are still under construction. An Intensive Care Unit has also been opened at Kabwe General Hospital while a Trauma Unit is being established.

Sir, under roads development, the tarring of the 50km Landless Corner/Mumbwa Road has reached 17 per cent completion while the tarring of 34.37km of the Kabwe/Kapiri urban roads is 65 per cent complete. These include the tarring of the main road leading to Makululu Compound, which has not been tarred since Independence, yet it is the second largest compound in Africa, as rightly observed by the hon. Member for Bwacha.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: A contract has been awarded for the tarring of the Mumbwa Junction/Itezhi-tezhi Road, which will commence next year. This is good news for the Itezhi-tezhi hon. Member of Parliament.

Mr Chairperson, the Lusaka/Ndola Dual-Carriage Way is undergoing feasibility studies while the tarring of the Itezhi-tezhi/Dundumwezi Road and the Itezhi-tezhi/Namwala Road is also undergoing feasibility studies. This project will be undertaken under the Pilot Project for Climate Resilience, Phase Two, with the support of the African Development Bank (ADB). 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwaliteta: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) is expected to be signed between the co-operating partner and the Zambian Government on 18th December, 2013, and the project is to be launched in January, 2014. 

Sir, under energy, the Itezhi-tezhi Hydropower Plant is being constructed and is to be completed by December, 2015. The good news for Muchinga Constituency is that investors to construct the Muchinga Hydropower Plant on the confluence of the Mkushi and Lusemfwa rivers have been found. Currently, a social and environmental impact assessment is being undertaken …


The Chairperson: Order!

I try to ignore my extreme right, but I am failing. There is something wrong with the people on my extreme right at the back from where Ba Sikazwe is.


The Chairperson: There is a lot of noise. Can we, please, have order.

Mr Mwaliteta: Mr Chairperson, I was saying that investors have been found to construct Muchinga Hydropower Plant on the confluence of the Mkushi and Lunsemfwa rivers. Currently, a social and environmental impact assessment is being undertaken and is expected to be completed by March 2014. Once fully completed, the two hydropower plants will produce 450Mw and contribute to lighting up Zambia. This is not a joke. An investor to re-open the Broken Hill Mine in Kabwe has also been found, and this will create more jobs in Kabwe. The mining activities will commence as soon as the social and environmental impact assessment report is approved by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). 

Sir, these development projects have created jobs for our people in the province and many more are expected to be employed in 2014 and beyond. In the four newly-created districts, which were created by the wise man, His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, about 166 jobs have been created and officers have been deployed and have reported.

Mr Chairperson, allow me, once more, to thank the hon. Members for supporting the Central Province Budget, especially in the manner Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo debated. We should continue to debate in a civil manner in this House so that we move together as a country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister for Luapula Province (Brig-Gen. Kapaya): Mr Chairperson, let me start by thanking all the hon. Members of Parliament from Luapula Province for the maximum support they give me when it comes to development. I would also like to thank the three hon. Members of Parliament who debated on the Motion. The hon. Members are Hon. Mwila, Hon. Mwansa Mbulakulima and Hon. Mumba. They raised many issues on road infrastructure, schools, the construction of the university, the hospitals, feeder roads, energy, the creation of new districts, the Luena Farming Block, Kawambwa Tea Company and many other issues. Another issue that was talked about was the whereabouts of the money meant for feeder roads in 2010/2011.

Mr Chairperson, let me assure the hon. Members that, as a Government, we have take keen interest in the welfare of our people. Hon. Mwansa Mbulakulima, we will share the little cake on the plate equally with no discrimination.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Kapaya: Please, feel free to co-operate with us and come to our offices, as you always do, so we can share ideas. 

Sir, we, as a province, have a vision, a mission and a goal, which give direction to the development process in our province. The vision of Luapula Province is to have a poverty-free province by 2030 while our mission is to effectively and efficiently promote and co-ordinate sustainable development in the province in order …


The Chairperson: Order, on my left!

Brig-Gen. Kapaya: … to ensure quality and timely service delivery to the community in a transparent, accountable and equitable manner. Our goal is to achieve increased and equitable access to quality socio-economic services in the province in order to promote a high standard of living.

Mr Chairperson, during the 2014/2016 Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (MTERF) period, development in the province will be guided by various policies and reforms to be implemented in various sectors. Notable among them will be the implementation of the Decentralisation Policy, which will play a key role in accelerating development in the province. 

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Kapaya: The province will place high priority on infrastructure development and other programmes that will accelerate poverty reduction and enhance economic growth. Deliberate strategies will be put in place to exploit the huge potential in tourism, mining, agriculture, forestry and natural resource management. Expansion of the rubber plantation will also be prioritised.

Sir, for 2013, K51 million was allocated to the province, of which, as at 31st August, 2013, K25 million had been released. It is hoped that the funds budgeted for the rest of the year will be released accordingly. The implementation of programmes for 2013 is still on-going and some of the major achievements made, as at 31st August, 2013, included the flowing: 

(a)    K130 million of forest revenue has been collected and 11.5 tonnes of honey produced. In addition, 321,000 assorted tree seedlings and 25,000 rubber tree seedlings have been raised. A tractor to accelerate the expansion of plantations has been procured; 

(b)    ten boreholes have been drilled and a dam rehabilitated;

(c)    a hundred stands, twenty farms and thirty lots have been surveyed;

(d)    60km of roads have been rehabilitated and 60km of bush cleared in readiness for road construction;

(e)    225 plots were demarcated and 23km of road stamping and patching was one;

(f)    thirty-eight youths have been trained in entrepreneurship while twenty-seven have been trained in leadership;

(g)    the province has done a comprehensive documentation of all tourist sites for tourism promotion. Brochures, calendars and DVDs have been produced and exhibited at major trade fairs and shows, including the United Nations World Tourism General Assembly (UNWTO-GA). 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Kapaya: Mr Chairperson, regarding infrastructure, a shelter comprising basic facilities, such as a ticket office, take-away shop, sitting arena, and male and female ablutions, have been constructed at Mumbuluma Falls. The construction of the cultural village has started with the completion of the initial structure, which is the dancing arena. 

Major Programmes for 2014

Sir, in 2014, the province’s intention is to undertake some major programmes. It will complete all on-going infrastructure projects in the re-settlement schemes, tourism sites and other areas as well as production of promotion materials on tourism to market the province. We will continue with the rehabilitation of rural roads as well as dredging of water canals. Preparation of a development plan for our newly-created districts will continue to ensure development in these districts. 

Mr Chairperson, other programmes earmarked for implementation in 2014 include water resource management, plantation establishment, forest protection and training of communities, including the youth, in bee-keeping, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. In addition, monitoring and evaluation will be enhanced to strengthen execution and programme implementation. These programmes will be implemented through the 2014 Provincial Budget, which has been increased by K18,454,472, representing an increase of 26 per cent from 2013. Of this, K12 million has been allocated to personal emoluments as a result of the improvement in the conditions of service for Public Service workers, K5.6 million has entirely gone to the rural roads development and other poverty reduction programmes. The province will, therefore, require the entire K70,266,728 that has been allocated in 2014.

Sir, I earnestly require the House …

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)


The House adjourned at 1956 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 13th December, 2014.