Debates - Thursday, 20th October, 2016

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Thursday, 20th October, 2016

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you will recall that yesterday, Wednesday, 19th October, 2016, a division was called on the vote on the Motion urging the Government to accelerate the implementation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). After the vote, the following results were announced:

Ayes – (38)

Noes – (75)

Abstention – (1)

However, an analysis of the division list has revealed that one hon. Member was inadvertently indicated as having voted both for and against the Motion. When contacted, the hon. Member clarified that he voted against the Motion. This means that the announced votes for the Motion were one vote more than the actual number of hon. Members who voted for the Motion. Therefore, the correct record is as follows:

Ayes – (37)

Noes – (75)

Abstention (1)

I have since directed the Clerk of the National Assembly to rectify the record accordingly.

Thank you.




The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify our current economic situation and set out an economic plan that will take us back to the levels of growth that our country needs to prosper.

Sir, due to external and domestic challenges, Zambia is experiencing slower growth in 2016 after a decade of accelerated progress. The external challenges relate to low international commodity prices and adverse weather linked to the El Niño phenomenon over the past two agricultural seasons. The domestic challenges include:

(a) the power crisis and high inflation, which have increased the cost of production for the private sector;

(b) policy reversals, which have adversely impacted on business planning, particularly in the mining sector; and

(c) the impact of growing expenditure pressures, which have exerted pressure on monetary policy, whose ability has been reduced. 

Mr Speaker, these factors have had a negative effect on the confidence of foreign and domestic investors, and participants in the financial market. Consequently, economic growth slowed to around 3 per cent in 2015 and is currently projected at just over 3 per cent for 2016. This is far below the 7 per cent rate required to reduce poverty and drive the country’s development. Further, the substantial tightening of monetary policy has not come without a cost, as tighter liquidity and the high cost of borrowing have weighed in on the private sector at a very difficult time, thereby threatening growth prospects. It is clear that the monetary policy would not have needed to be so tight if the fiscal policy had been less expansionary. In future, therefore, we need greater balance between the two and a more integrated approach in our policies so that we can be supportive of the private sector. That will enable our firms, farms and industries to create the much-needed jobs.

Sir, the external factors remain negative, as the value of our exports has fallen with global prices. Additionally, a trade deficit has emerged, as we import more than we export. This has put pressure on our external reserves, which have declined from US$3.9 billion, in July, 2015, to the current estimate of US$2.3 billion. The much-needed foreign exchange is flowing out of the country as a result of existing commitments, particularly those relating to subsidies with an external component. Fortunately, we have started dealing with this challenge through the subsidies.

Mr Speaker, the economic challenges we are facing are also reflected in the deterioration of public finances. In 2016, for example, the fiscal impact of the economic shocks has forced public expenditure upwards while revenues have fallen short of expectations. This has further widened the gap between the taxes we collect and what we must spend. This year, the fiscal deficit, when unpaid bills or arrears are included, is expected to reach 10 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). The key parts of the deficit include:
(a) a build up of arrears related to infrastructure development, particularly in the road sector;

(b) the Government expenditure on fuel;

(c) financing of emergency electricity imports to mitigate the impact of the power crisis; and

(d) above-Budget expenditure via the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP).

Mr Speaker, added to the pressures listed above are rising debt-servicing costs due to the depreciation of the kwacha and higher local interest rates.

Mr Speaker, while some of the shocks we are experiencing are external and, therefore, beyond our control, others can be managed through more consistent policy decisions. The imbalances clearly need to be urgently addressed in order to unlock faster growth and create the employment opportunities sought across the country. Therefore, the focus of our economic recovery programme will be to move from these imbalances to a more sustainable footing. Shifting from an expansionary fiscal stance to more sustainable public spending will be cardinal because it will improve our ability to respond to external challenges and provide the much-needed job opportunities and growth on the domestic front.

Sir, we are aware that the economic glitches are hitting the pockets of families, particularly the marginalised, who are unable to respond to these negative developments. To shorten this challenging period, the Government is determined to start addressing the economic imbalances through a home-grown economic recovery programme. With this recovery programme, the Government has taken responsibility for the hard work and decisions that lie ahead.

Mr Speaker, the economic recovery programme provides Zambians with solutions to the challenges they face. We will reach out for support, but the support will be limited to assistance in our economic recovery processes and policies. This is the reason we call the economic recovery programme ‘Zambia Plus’, meaning that all solutions will be determined by us while our external partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will constitute the ‘Plus’ as we engage them to assist the Zambian process.

The Recovery Plan

Sir, there are substantial costs associated with delayed action and that is why we launched our economic recovery plan with immediate effect. Our recovery plan has five pillars, the first of which involves strengthening tax policy and administration to improve revenue inflows, and shifting public expenditure back to affordable levels, as we cannot spend what we do not have. As a start, we will re-align the money spent on subsidies, which have been growing and have cost us over US$1 billion in 2016, with more productive areas. We will also better target our subsidies towards supporting the poorest of us.

Mr Speaker, the removal of subsidies can harm the poor, as they are the least able to adjust. To ensure that the poor are better protected, the Government will implement the second pillar, that is, increased budgetary allocation to social protection, including addressing the plight of pensioners.

Sir, to achieve higher impact from our spending, our resources must be safeguarded from wastage. The Government will, therefore, improve economic and fiscal governance under the third pillar, which involves strengthening regulations and laws to make them more punitive to abusers. This will ensure transparency in the way we arrive at economic and spending decisions.

Mr Speaker, budget credibility remains a big concern in this country, with some past deviations from the budget having been as high as 25 per cent. That cannot continue given that the discretionary budget is only around 2 per cent of domestic revenue. So, the fourth pillar will be centred on improving budget credibility, better planning, adherence to expenditure plans and improving the quality of Government expenditure

Mr Speaker, the fifth pillar will provide us with greater economic stability, which provides a better platform for economic growth and job creation. Without stability and market confidence, the private sector will not recover. Under this pillar, the Government will also put measures in place to unlock growth by targeting investments on sectors with binding constraints to growth.

Sir, on the investment side, enhancing energy and transport infrastructure remains key while on the policy side, we will prioritise efforts to reduce the cost of production and increase the ease of doing business. Improving access to credit, lowering lending rates and reducing inflation are key to this part of the recovery programme.

Mr Speaker, as part of the recovery programme, the Government will:

(a) prioritise the dismantling of arrears owed to contractors to help companies meet their obligations and sustain their operations;

(b) put in place measures to facilitate access to cheaper financing for small and medium enterprises (SME)s. As a start, we have accessed a US$50 million loan facility from the African Development Bank (ADB) to be lent to the SMEs; and

(c) put in place elaborate programmes for realising the vision of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to industrialise Zambia and turn it into an agricultural hub.

The IMF Programme

Mr Speaker, all the plans I have highlighted above will require strong domestic and external collaboration. International support on our negotiated terms will help us make the recovery a success. As a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), we welcome the institution’s financial and technical support, and we will discuss with the visiting IMF team how best IMF financing can help strengthen our economic recovery plan. This will be done with all our other co-operating partners.

Sir, the scope of IMF programmes goes beyond getting finance to inducing confidence and co-operation in external benefactors, such as the investor community and our co-operating partners, with our economic plan. The credibility of the IMF, as an independent appraiser, cannot be over-emphasised.

Mr Speaker, I wish to state that the Government has not yet held any detailed discussions with the IMF ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: ... or accepted any IMF preconditions.

Mr Lubinda interjected.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, our engagement with the IMF has changed considerably over the past decade. Thankfully, the days when the institution handed preconditions from Washington without due regard to a country’s peculiarities have made way for a better technical and collaborative partnership.

Sir, the IMF provides financial support to countries facing balance of payments difficulties. Therefore, we should not turn away from financial and technical assistance. Instead, we should take charge and fully utilise the support. An IMF team will come to assess our economic recovery programme this week and we expect it to return for programme discussions later. Let me assure the House that the Cabinet and the relevant stakeholders will be consulted before any final agreement is entered into. The final agreement, if there will be any, is expected to be signed in the first quarter of 2017.

Sir, I will soon present the 2017 Budget to this House in which I will elaborate the measures we plan to institute to ensure that stability and growth return to the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance’s statement has painted a gloomy picture of the economy of Zambia. That said, when the hon. Minister of Finance was in the Opposition with us, we used to advise the then hon. Minister of Finance and the Government that it was not prudent to borrow from the open market to finance developmental and other projects in this country. The response that we often got was that the Government had the prerogative over such decisions, and that the decisions to borrow were prudent and informed. Does the hon. Minister not agree that the recent borrowing has contributed to the financial malaise in which we are?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the conditions and factors responsible for the state of the economy are many. Among them, I have outlined the subsidies, power deficit and debt burden, which has grown over time and which has been contracted mostly on the open market.

Sir, debt-servicing has become a major challenge for this economy. However, we should not necessarily look back. Instead, let us look ahead …


Mr Mutati: …and ask ourselves the question: Given the state in which we are, how can we create solutions to the issues around inflation, the cost of money, stability of the exchange rates and growth so that we induce job creation?

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, I take my hat off to the hon. Minister’s statement, which has portrayed to us the harsh realities of life.

Sir, I am still on the issue of what we, on this side (left), call a debt trap that has been occasioned by block voting. The Government that the hon. Minister now serves has always used the arrogance of numbers to extend the debt ceiling even when we and the current hon. Minister of Finance cautioned that the problems that would result would not affect Patriotic Front (PF) members alone, but all of us. Indeed, I agree with him that we should now look forward because we cannot reverse what has already happened. However, is he able to pledge that he will be consultative in everything he will do, considering that he is now where the man who contracted the loans used to be, to ease the pain that will be occasioned by the actions of his predecessor on ordinary Zambians?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, to borrow what President Lungu said in his inaugural speech, we will continue to govern on the basis of collective wisdom. In this case, that means we and they making decisions together.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance’s statement has clarified our situation. My concern is about the hardships that will befall the people of Zambia, especially the vulnerable. In that respect, when will the Government reduce the price of fuel in the country? The information I got from some website shows that the price of fuel in Zambia is extremely high even in dollar terms. We are 104th out of 140 countries in the world and, at US$1.12 per litre, our fuel is the most expensive in the region. In other countries, fuel costs US$0.80 and below. So, clearly, there is something wrong with fuel pricing in Zambia and it has nothing to do with the economy.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, fuel is a critical component in the cost of living and we have admitted that it has particularly impacted negatively on the marginalised. One of the challenges we have in the fuel sector is its procurement and transportation through the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline and the Indeni Petroleum Refinery. As part of the reforms, we need to address these challenges critically. Only then can it positively impact on the lives of the people of Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kalila (Lukulu East): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance has catalogued the reasons our economy is currently on its knees. On the domestic front, one of the reasons he has given is that of policy inconsistencies and reversals of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. Could he specify the policies that have been particularly so harmful to this economy that it has brought us to this level, and tell us what he intends to do about it.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the economy is not on its knees. It still has a heartbeat.


Mr Mutati: When the heart is beating, it means that someone is alive.


Mr Mutati: Therefore, the economy is fundamentally alive, although it is not growing at the pace we would like it to grow.

Sir, in terms of policies, we have been very open, as a Government. We have seen that some of policy reversals, particularly in the mining sector, have negatively impacted on investment and production.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Miyanda (Mapatizya): Mr Speaker, it is now clear that all Zambians must tighten their belts for the imminent hardships.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes.

Mr Miyanda: However, the hon. Minister has made it clear that the President has a vision to take this country through a green revolution. With the weak economy and corruption that are obtaining in this country under this Government, how does the hon. Minister intend to achieve that vision?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, it is easy to be dramatic ...


Mr Kampyongo: Indeed.

Mr Mutati: ... in this House so that, instead of contributing to solutions that will move us ahead, we begin to finger-point.

Sir, we know that we have challenges in the agricultural sector, but the President has given us an hon. Minister of Agriculture who, in my assessment, is very passionate about dealing with the problems in the sector.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: The Government is confident that we will see a totally different agricultural sector in 2017.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Livune: Lubinda failed.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Can we avoid those running commentaries.

Hon. PF Member: Throw him out.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement. However, how will he address the poverty in the rural areas like Mporokoso and Ikeleng’i?

Hon. PF Member: Question!


Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) was in power, we saw an improvement in the economy and reduction in poverty levels. Today, the situation is the opposite. I have been to these ...

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I am getting concerned. Earlier, you asked a very clear question about Ikeleng’i and Mporokoso, and I expected you to end there, but you have now gone on to make a statement.

Mr Muchima: I am now coming to that, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: Please, ask your question.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, in Ikeleng’i, today, it is not easy to get on a bus because of very high fares.


Mr Muchima: It is also impossible to take a child to secondary school because of high school fees.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Muchima: It has become difficult even to buy food because the prices are very high. Given that the hon. Minister stated that there will be social protection, how will it be applied to ensure that the people do not die of hunger, as the current situation is critical? How will the hon. Minister  map it out to help the people to survive?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I know that my colleague is very passionate about Ikeleng’i, Lunte and Mporokoso. He is also very passionate about issues of poverty.

Sir, the Budget that we will present will focus on enhanced social protection, better targeting of the electronic voucher (e-Voucher) system, improvement in crop marketing and a number of issues that may not eliminate poverty, but will reduce its impact.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mbulakulima (Milenge): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his short, but comprehensive statement.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima: I have followed the statement vis-a-vis the five pillars of economic recovery.

Sir, one issue that worries me and, probably, the rest of the country is the plunder of public resources reported in the Auditor-General’s Report, which is done with impunity. How does the hon. Minister intend to arrest the misuse of public resources by public officers? Will he take ownership of the fight against corruption and make it the sixth path to economic recovery?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we are concerned about the reports in the Auditor-General’s Report, as it indicates wastage of public resources. In that regard, one of the steps we will take is the amendment of the Public Finance Act during the current meeting of Parliament to give it more teeth.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Dr Chanda (Bwana Mkubwa): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister talked about the country’s trade and Budget deficits. What is the Government doing about the trade deficit? Do we have plans of renegotiating some of the trade deals with our major trading partners like South Africa and China, considering that our current economy cannot sustain those trade deficits?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the answer to dealing with the trade deficit lies in increasing the productive capacity of the economy, not in renegotiating of trade agreements. That is why we have said, for example, that we should start adding value to our agricultural exports. We will articulate some of the measures we will effect in the agricultural sector to boost exports so that we start reversing the negative trade balance the country is experiencing.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chiteme (Nkana): Mr Speaker, could the hon. Minister shed more light on the policy reversals that we have made, and their effects on foreign trade, fiscal security and financial policy.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the Government is transparent and we have said that, particularly in the mining sector, the policies have had an impact on investment and production. Going forward, we will be consistent not only in the mining sector, but also in agriculture and all the other growth sectors of the economy.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbangweta (Nkeyema): Mr Speaker, on one of the pillars of economic recovery, the hon. Minister said that the Government would address the plight of the pensioners. Could he clarify that point by telling us the practical steps that he proposes to take on that issue? I am wondering because the Patriotic Front (PF) Government failed to address the plight of the pensioners when the economy was doing well.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member who has asked the question was once my boss and he …


Mr Mutati: … was one of the people who made the decision to send me to the United Kingdom (UK) to train as an accountant. I thank him for that.

Mr Speaker, the only practical step that we can take is to start dismantling the arrears owed to pensioners. That is what we will do.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kamboni (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance talked about public expenditure going up and his intention to lower it for the good of the economy. I wonder about that because what he has said is not what his Government is doing. For example, the proposed creation of four more ministries will cost a colossal sum of money, yet the proposed ministries could have been departments under existing ministries. Does the hon. Minister not see a contradiction in that?

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the number of hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers was, perhaps, in excess of seventy. Now, we are at thirty. Surely, that will save money.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Livune (Katombola): Mr Speaker, the Mwanawasa, Banda and Sata administrations all tried do away with subsidies on fuel. Now, it is President Edgar Lungu’s Government trying to do so. Could the hon. Minister tell the nation whether there is still an element of subsidisation in the current fuel price that might need to be removed in the future?


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Energy will issue a comprehensive statement on that matter. I do not want to pre-empt his statement.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for his statement in which he talked about a home-grown economic recovery programme hinged on five pillars. The fifth pillar of the plan is economic stability.

Sir, we are faced with a contracting economy and high production costs, yet the Government is driving the cost of production higher by removing the subsidies on fuel. That will have a multiplier effect and the prices of everything will go up very soon, believe it or not. At the same time, the hon. Minister says that inflation must be kept at the minimum in order to stabilise the economy.

Hon. Government Members: What is the question?

Mr Lufuma: You just listen.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, just resume your seat for a moment.

Mr Lufuma resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members on my right, you have no prerogative to intervene in that fashion.


Mr Speaker: Continue, Hon. Lufuma.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the limitation of the rate of inflation is intended to stabilise the economy. My question is: How will the Government keep the inflation rate under the lid and, at the same time, create inflationary pressures by removing the subsidies on fuel and, eventually, on electricity?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, there are many factors that determine the rate of inflation. One of the important ones is a tight monetary policy, which is driven by expenditure pressures. When you control your expenditure, as a Government, you relieve pressure from the monetary policy and reduce your reserve requirements. That, in turn, has a positive impact on interest rates and improves the rate of inflation.
I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Lubinda: Take him to night school.

Mr Kafwaya (Lunte): Mr Speaker, allow me to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for his very informative presentation.

Sir, the hon. Minister stated that we are currently experiencing a low economic growth rate of 3 per cent, which excited some people into thinking that the economic outlook is gloomy. I just want to tell such people that economic growth rates do not always reflect economic development. The two concepts are not mutually inclusive. However, my question to the hon. Minister is on the pillar of recovery that relates to taxation.

Sir, I am very happy to hear that the taxation policy is one of the pillars of the Government’s recovery plan. I read the 2015 Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) Report and noted, with concern, that in 2015, the mining sector only paid just over K400 million in taxes to this Government. A higher amount of just over K2 billion was paid as mineral royalty tax. However, I have been told that the mineral royalty tax rate has been reduced. Given that we have a mono economy that depends on copper mining, is the hon. Minister thinking of making the mining houses contribute more to the Treasury? Currently, we think that the mines contribute substantially to our Treasury when they do not.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I am relieved to see that I left Lunte Constituency in safe hands ...


Mr Lubinda: Not like Katombola.

Mr Mutati: ... and that its prospects will certainly be as bright as the contribution that my colleague has made.

Sir, the measures that we will implement in the Budget will show how we plan to practically begin to diversify the economy. As I indicated, as part of our recovery drive, we have already secured US$50 million to fund the SMEs, which are critical to job creation and economic growth. A lot more will be done next year. We have to start depending on our people for jobs. So, we have to start providing long-term and cost-effective credit to our people. We also have to enable our people to be innovative and contribute positively to economic growth.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chaatila (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has just informed this House that the Government is setting aside US$50 million to help boost the small and medium enterprises (SMEs). I believe that is in the form of loans. My question is: What is the Government doing to promote the micro entrepreneurs? I ask this question because the Government set up the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) primarily to boost the SMEs, whose performance we are not too sure of. My problem with our bailing out the SMEs all the time is that while doing so, we overlook the micro entrepreneurs. I come from a rural constituency where the majority of people, who are micro entrepreneurs, are always left out in such kind of development agendas.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I think that the practical starting point will be communication. The hon. Member needs to inform the people in his constituency about the availability of those funds through the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ). All that is required is for them to apply for the funds. So, nobody will be left behind. However, if you continue to sit in Parliament without informing your people about these opportunities, you will continue asking the same question. So, what you must do is take the information to your constituency.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chibanda (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, you had mentioned a list that you have not exhausted and I was on it.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

We do not proceed in that fashion.


Mr Speaker: You do not address the Chair in that manner. I have Clerks-at-the-Table and all you have to do is indicate and they will see you. We are still getting accustomed to the hon. Members and the constituencies they represent. So, it is taking us longer to give the Floor. If there will be any omission, please, bear with me.

Mr Chibanda: Mr Speaker, I am sorry for my breach of procedure.

Sir, the hon. Minister of Finance was quite elaborate in his statement. However, can he clarify the immediate measures that the Government has taken, some of which have resulted in the immediate removal of subsidies on fuel. Is he in a position to state whether more subsidy removals will be announced in his Budget Speech?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I indicated that I will deliver the Budget Speech, but I am not about to do that now.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Speaker, in 2008, Zambia experienced the calamity of losing a sitting President. Soon after that, we had elections. As if that was not enough, in 2014, we again, lost a sitting President and the country had a presidential by-election, which was followed by general elections a year later. Further, while we have been having the many elections, there has also been a drought that affected the southern part of this country. That drought worsened in 2015 due to climate change. All those events I have mentioned are beyond human control. My question is: Have those events so affected the economic parameters as to contribute to shaping the scenario in which we are today?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, indeed, we have had the misfortune of having five presidential elections in ten years. The impact of those elections on the economy has been significant and I think that is why, in the collective wisdom of Zambians, we amended the Constitution to reduce the frequency of elections.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kufakwandi (Sesheke): Mr Speaker, I am very happy that after a long time, the people of Zambia are being told the truth about how grave the economic situation of the country is.

Hon. Government Members: Volume!

Mr Kufakwandi: I am very grateful to the hon. Minister of Finance for telling Zambians the truth about the seriousness of the economic situation in the country.

Sir, in 2011, when the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left office, the poverty levels in the country were on the decline and there is documented evidence of that. So, I am not making it up. Today, the poverty levels have gone up to 60 per cent national average. In the rural areas, it is around 76 per cent. Given the fact that Zambia is a lower middle income country, the levels of poverty are not supposed to be this high. So, what will the Government do to bring the poverty levels down?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I think it is important that we continue to practise positive politics if we want to make a difference in the fortunes of the people of Zambia. Obviously, poverty remains a matter of great concern to us and we have indicated that some of the things we will do are to enhance social protection and better target FISP. A number of other measures will be announced in the 2017 Budget. After that, hon. Members will be able to debate the adequacy or otherwise of the measures.

I thank you, Mr Speaker. 

Mr Ngulube (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, in 1994, the Government closed the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), Kabwe Industrial Fabrics Company Limited (KIFCO), Central Growers Association, Tobacco Board of Zambia (TBZ) and other companies in Kabwe after the privatisation programme. Furthermore, most retirees and retrenchees in Kabwe, such as those who retired or were retrenched from the ZCCM in 1994, Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and KIFCO, have not been paid their pensions or terminal benefits to date. What measures are being put in place to resuscitate the economy of Kabwe?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, we are aware that Kabwe is an economically challenged town. I think that is one of the reasons efforts were made to open Mulungushi Textiles Limited and initiate out-grower schemes for cotton in the area. That is the beginning of the journey to addressing the economic conditions of Kabwe. We also know that Kabwe Industrial Fabrics Company Limited (KIFCO) is having difficulties that stem from a variety of business decisions. So, we are working with the Development Bank of Zambia (DBZ) to create a commercial solution to the fortunes of the company. We will also look at the broader economy of Kabwe. Further, some of the measures that we will announce in the 2017 Budget Address will be targeted at the dismantling of pension and terminal benefits that were not paid to our people after the closure of some companies.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chali (Nchanga): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister’s statement is quite elaborate and good. However, I would like to refer him to the symposium held on the Copperbelt by the Chamber of Mines of Zambia, in which he openly criticised the mining companies for not being truthful in their reporting of financial figures. He stated that the mines produced two different sets of reports. What interventions have we put in place to address that situation?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the concern of the Government has been with the inconsistencies in the figures, particularly production figures, reported. The reports prepared by the mining companies, the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) and Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development are all inconsistent, yet they all report on the same subject. So, we should have consistence in the reports on production in the mines. In that regard, we are now putting in place a system that will assist at the production level, through the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development. The Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) will also have officers at mine gates. That is the starting point because unless we know what we are producing, we cannot collect the correct amounts of tax. So, we will police production at the mines first, then, take the matter to the next level.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Ms Tambatamba (Kasempa): Mr Speaker, I am very thankful to the hon. Minister for that timely update to the nation on the state of our economy.

Sir, the measures he has just outlined to the House are likely to have implications for parastatals and other institutions that are very close to our hearts. What are the implications of the recovery measures on, for instance, the Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO) Limited and Zambia Telecommunications (ZAMTEL) Company Limited?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the two companies to which the hon. Member has referred operate in this economy and will, obviously, be impacted upon by the measures that I have announced. Going forward, the Government is looking at what must be done with the stock of parastatal companies that it still runs. It is too early, however, for me to be precise about what we will do.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kabanda (Serenje): Mr Speaker, I am taken aback by the fact that the debt that this country contracted was used to fund infrastructure development projects across the country.

Mr Phiri: Hear, hear!

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Mr Kabanda: Today, I wonder why we should apportion blame ‒


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Kabanda: I am on the Floor.

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, I think that ‒


Mr Kabanda resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: Continue, hon. Member. You just said that you were on the Floor. Why did you resume your seat?


Mr Kabanda: Mr Speaker, I think that all of us had a hand …

Mr Mwiimbu: No!

Mr Kabanda: … in the debt that this country contracted.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member for Serenje, please, continue.

Mr Kabanda: So, we should promote the principle of inclusiveness in debt management …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Kabanda: … so that everybody is carried on board and that there is cohesion. Be that as it may, could the hon. Minister advise us on what measures are being put in place to ensure that all the dissenting stakeholders, including the people of Dundumwezi, share in the responsibility of debt management in this country? I know that even in the economy …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Serenje.

I think that you have already asked your question.

Hon. UPND Members: Yes!

Mr Speaker: So, you risk answering your own question.

Hon. Minister, please, respond to that question.

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, that is a very good question indeed.

Hon. UPND Members: Ah!

Mr Mutati: In recognition of our collective responsibility over the affairs of the economy, after the presentation of the Budget, for the first time, we will have a public discussion in Dundumwezi at which we will explain our economic policies so that we can carry the people along.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Kasonso (Solwezi West): Mr Speaker, I commend the hon. Minister for being very honest with the people of Zambia on how he intends to deal with the economic malaise in which our country is.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonso: I am aware of many challenges in the fuel procurement chain. As the hon. Minister pointed out, the challenges are in the operations of the Indeni Oil Refinery and the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline, and the sources of our fuel. Not long ago, the former hon. Minister of Energy issued a very exciting statement to the effect that an oil deal had been signed between the Governments of Zambia and Saudi Arabia.

Mr Livune: Hear, hear!

Mr Kasonso: Has the hon. Minister engaged his counterpart in the Ministry of Energy to pursue that matter as possible solution to our high fuel prices?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, obviously, the economy is challenged, but it is not in a malaise.

Mr Speaker, my colleague, the hon. Minister of Energy, who has come to the table with a lot of energy and enthusiasm, will address the issues that the hon. Member has raised in a statement he will make later today.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Jamba (Mwembezhi): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You are speaking from the wrong place.

Hon. Member for Kanyama, please, ask your question.


Ms Phiri took the Floor.

Mr Livune: How come Kanyama is on the Floor?

Mr Speaker: I gave her the Floor.

Ms Phiri (Kanyama): Mr Speaker, taxation is one of the ways in which the nation boosts its revenues. Unfortunately, some people support criminals who do not honour their tax obligations.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Phiri: Further, some investors are given incentives for a particular period, but after the expiry of the agreed period, such companies change names and negotiate for new incentives. What is the hon. Minister’s comment?

Mr Sikazwe: Ema MPs, aba.

Mr Livune: Imwe, Ba Sikazwe, what is she talking about?

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Katombola!

My patience with you is fast running out.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, all societies have challenges in ensuring compliance with the law and compliance to incentives. What we are doing is strengthening the capacity of the ZRA to ensure compliance and bring all those who avoid paying tax to book. So, nobody will avoid paying tax.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Lihefu (Manyinga): Mr Speaker, what other innovations are on track that will help improve human fiscal through youth development in line with fiscal management?

Mr Mutati looked surprised.

Mr Speaker: Did you get the question, hon. Minister?

Mr Mutati: No, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Manyinga, please, repeat the question.

Mr Lihefu: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister state what other innovations are on track that will help improve human fiscal through youth development in line with fiscal management.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Minister, have you got the question now?

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I quite understand that this is a new session of Parliament.


Mr Mutati: Hopefully, as we proceed, we will begin to achieve some level of clarity in the way we represent the people who sent us here.

Mr Speaker, the fiscal, …

Mr Lubinda: The human fiscal.

Mr Mutati: … youth development, human development …


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

If the question is not comprehensible, then, we have to make progress. I will move on to the next question.


Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, I can only say that the youths will be taken care of by the various programmes run by the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development.

I thank you, Sir.

Mrs Jere (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Minister for the crystal clear statement that he has issued this afternoon.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Mrs Jere: Mr Speaker, we heard the hon. Minister clearly when he talked about dismantling arrears for contractors and pensioners, but I did not hear him say anything about arrears owed to civil servants. We have huge arrears of civil servants’ allowances, such as settling-in allowances, long service bonuses and excess leave allowances. Can he shed more light on that because I know that civil servants are listening to him and are interested in knowing what he has to say about their plight.

Mr Mutati:  Mr Speaker, our intention is to start dismantling the arrears we owe not only to the pensioners, but also to my hon. Colleague, who is a retired teacher.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: We will reduce the burden that the people are enduring and start the process as quickly as possible.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Energy (Mr Mabumba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to update the nation on the fuel price increment and shutdown of Indeni Petroleum Refinery.

Fuel Price Increments

Sir, in 2014, the Government decided to remove fuel subsidies in order to migrate to cost-reflective pricing of energy services and products. That was, in turn, meant to promote sustainable supply of petroleum products in the country and implied periodic adjustment of fuel prices. However, since 2014, we have adjusted the price of fuel four times. In other words, the Government has had to subsidise the fuel we import.

Sir, I want the hon. Members and the public at large to pay particular attention to what I am saying because some of the issues I will touch on have been mentioned by the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, in 2016, the Government’s payments for fuel subsidies have been US$89 million in the first quarter, US$72 million in the second quarter and US$57 million in the third quarter, bringing the total for the three quarters to over US$200 million. These levels of financial commitments have become an unsustainable burden on the Treasury.

Sir, in Zambia, the prices of fuel are determined by two key fundamentals to which some of my hon. Colleagues have referred. These are the price of oil on the international market and the exchange rate between the Zambian Kwacha to the United States (US) Dollar. The pump price of fuel was last reviewed in July, 2015, when the exchange rate was at K7.68 per US Dollar. Since then, the international oil prices have remained fairly stable, but the exchanged rate has been volatile and risen by over 30 per cent to the current rate of about K10 per the US Dollar.

Mr Speaker, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) uses the Cost-Plus Model in determining fuel prices. I hope all hon. Members, including Hon. Dr Musokotwane, are paying particular attention to this.


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

It is not necessary for you to go into that.


Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the Cost-Plus Model works on the principle that the final price of the petroleum product should cover all the costs in the supply chain management for both petroleum feedstock and imported petroleum products. Each petroleum feedstock received is reviewed and adjustments are effected if the changes in the computed price exceeds the 2.5 per cent trigger band. If the computed price is less than the trigger band, then, the prevailing price is maintained. Therefore, in line with the 2014 policy decision, the Government increased fuel prices on 14th October, 2016, as follows:

Product Old Price (K) New Price Differential (K) Differential (%)

Petrol  9.87 13.70  3.83 38.8

Diesel 8.59 11.40  2.81 32.7

Kerosene 6.12 8.03  1.91 31.2

Low Sulphur
Diesel 10.88 13.69 2.81 25.8

Mr Speaker, the increase in the prices of fuel means that we now have no subsidy on fuel and that any future upward or downward adjustments will be solely determined by the market fundamentals, mainly changes in international prices and the kwacha/US Dollar exchange rate. In order to avoid price shocks, fuel prices will be reviewed periodically in line with the market fundamentals. Since we receive new shipments of crude feedstock every forty-five days, the price reviews will accommodate that time interval.

Indeni Oil Refinery Annual Maintenance Shutdown

Mr Speaker, as you are aware, every year, Indeni Petroleum Refinery undergoes a scheduled maintenance shutdown. The shutdown is aimed at facilitating the maintenance and improvement of the refinery’s safety, reliability and regulatory compliance, and ensuring sustained product availability on the market.

Sir, the planned shutdown is from 19th October, to 30th November, 2016. However, depending on how the maintenance programme proceeds, some units of the refinery may start operations earlier than 30th November, 2016. Hon. Members may be aware that my ministry imports diesel and petrol to supplement the production at the refinery. Therefore, my ministry has put in place mechanisms to ensure that supply of fuel in the country will not be disrupted as a consequence of the shutdown. To this effect, we have procured enough fuel stocks to last the period of the shutdown and beyond.

Mr Speaker, our country’s consumption of petroleum products still stands at about 36 million litres of petrol, 66 million litres of diesel and 1.5 million litres of kerosene per month. Fifty (50) per cent of the petrol and diesel consumed is produced while the balance of 50 per cent is imported. As at 19th October, 2016, the country had the following stocks of the various fuels:

Fuel Type Stock Days

Petrol 34

Diesel 32

Kerosene 66

Aviation fuel (Jet A1) 47

Sir, during the shutdown, the oil marketing companies that sell jet fuel will import the product to supplement the available stock.

Sir, my ministry appeals to all consumers to go about their normal businesses without any anxiety or panic, as the country has enough fuel to last the period of the shutdown and beyond. As a Government, we remain fully committed to not only ensuring stable supply of fuel in the country, but also ensuring that the fuel costs as less as possible, subject to the market conditions. That will include collaborating with all oil producing countries, such as Saudi Arabia, through bilateral agreements.

I thank you, Mr Speaker, and may God bless everyone.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, you are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Energy.

Mr Ngulube: Mr Speaker, what benefits will accrue to the women, men and youths of Kabwe Central after the removal of fuel subsidies?

 Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, like Hon. Mutati has said, we need to embark on an economy recovery programme. If the hon. Member has been attentive to the proceedings of this House, he has heard many hon. Members, including his predecessor, talk about not having sufficient water supply, adequate schools and proper roads in their constituencies. Further, I have indicated that almost US$200 million has been spent on fuel subsidies in the last three quarters of this year. That colossal amount of money can be used to sponsor our women and youths in Kabwe through women’s programmes under the Ministry of Gender, and the Youth Development Fund, respectively. The money can also help to unlock the potential of our economy by re-aligning financing from consumption areas to productive areas.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, there is a perception among Zambians and the international community that this country is subsidising corruption through the procurement of oil by middlemen. What measures is the hon. Minister putting in place to eliminate the middlemen from the procurement of fuel, as they are distorting fuel pricing in this country?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not agree with what Hon. Jack Mwiimbu has said. However, the issue he has raised is one that my ministry has been discussing. In fact, it appears as though the hon. Member for Monze Central was part of the meeting we held on the subject.

Sir, it is true that my ministry has been perceived to be corrupt. However, it is not corrupt and I can attest to that.

Sir, there are no middlemen in the supply chain of our petroleum products. However, we have to buy the fuel from other people. So, we need suppliers to supply the fuel and those are not middlemen. We also need the TAZAMA Pipeline and other transporters to bring the product to Dar-es-Salaam and inland to Zambia. Therefore, the players in the supply chain who are sometimes called middlemen are not middlemen, per se, because they are essential to the process. Perhaps, we should ask how we can reform the supply chain management, as Hon. Mutati did. We need to reposition Indeni Oil Refinery and TAZAMA Pipeline so that the transportation of crude petroleum products is cost-effective. That is what will occupy me for as long as I remain in the Ministry of ‘Edu’ …


Mr Mabumba: … I beg your pardon, Ministry of Energy. I will try to make our procurement process more effective and transparent so that we remain accountable to the taxpaying Zambians.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: His former ministry is still running in his blood.


Mr Mulowa (Senanga): Mr Speaker, people are saying that the removal of fuel subsidies is a good move. If that is true, why did the Government reduce fuel prices shortly before the 2016 General Elections just to remove them completely a few weeks after the elections?


Hon. Government Members: Which elections?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as I said earlier, fuel prices are determined by both domestic and external factors like the exchange rates and the price of oil on the international market. So, when we reduced the prices in 2015, our exchange rate was at K7.68 to a US Dollar and the international market prices were favourable. That is why we made the decision to reduce our prices. Currently, the exchange rate is at K10 to a US Dollar. So, although the oil prices on the international market are still favourable, there is justification for the increase in fuel prices. Even on the entire supply chain management, the dynamics are not favourable. These are, therefore, not political, but economic decisions. We want to unlock the potential so that we can give your constituencies more money in the future.

Hon. UPND Members: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe (Mbala): Mr Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister of Energy for completely removing the subsidies on this sector of our economy because that money will help in some of the programmes that the hon. Minister of Finance has mentioned. I am also happy that the hon. Ministers of Finance and Energy are in sync regarding the need to rationalise our economy. 

Mr Speaker, almost all fuel imports into this country are done by the Government at the public expense, yet the oil marketing companies (OMCs) like Puma, Total and Engen get the bulk of the profit while the local businessmen operate as small dealers at the end of the chain. Does this hardworking and progressive Government ‒

Mr Livune: Question!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simfukwe: It is true.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Simfukwe: You heard the promises of the hon. Minister of Finance.

Mr Speaker, does this hardworking Patriotic Front (PF) Government intend to Zambianise the oil marketing process so that Zambians, not these international OMCs, can be empowered?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as we reform our supply chain management, we will bring in Zambian players. What Hon. Simfukwe said is true. Many Zambian players are just at the dealership level. So, we need to promote them so that they also become significant players in the supply chain. We have to look at how best to support the Zambianisation of the importation of fuel.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Kasonso: Mr Speaker, I am aware of the planned shutdown of Indeni Oil Refinery and how important it is. When will Zambia receive the oil from Saudi Arabia that was negotiated between the two Governments almost six months ago?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I know that people are talking about the Saudi Arabian deal on social media networks.

Sir, we are very grateful to our Saudi Arabian colleagues for entering into that bilateral agreement with our Government. However, the deal is only worth US$20 million, which cannot even buy a 90,000 metric tonne shipment of oil. However, it will supplement our fuel stocks and we may actually reduce the prices for a short period. We are still trying to conclude the deal, but it is not significant to the entire supply chain.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the fuel subsidies have been completely removed and that the prices of fuel will be determined by the variations in the foreign exchange rates. However, I did not hear him talk about uniform pricing. Will the prices be same for Lusaka and Ikeleng’i or will they vary?

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, in our supply chain, the uniformity of pump prices has been taken care of. So, the price of fuel will remain the same irrespective of location.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mung’andu (Chama South): Mr Speaker, how much of the subsidised fuel is used by the mines compared with what is used by the general public? I am asking this question because Hon. Mutati told us earlier how little the mines contribute to our Treasury and the people of Chama South are worried that the Government might be subsidising the mines instead of the people.

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, I do not have the figures. However, the mining sector and other industries are key consumers of our petroleum products. Some of you may recall that in 2013, we removed the subsidy on fuel partly because we thought it a bad idea to subsidise the rich at the expense of the ordinary people. Therefore, that move was a way of taking the money away from the rich and spending it on the poor, where it was needed the most.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Lufuma: Mr Speaker, the Government reported that it saved close to US$1 billion after removing the fuel subsidy. The citizens want to know how that money was used. Will the Government, for example, set up a special fund into which the money saved from the removal of the fuel subsidy will be deposited so that we can monitor its use to improve the status of the common man?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, when we removed the fuel subsidy around 2013, we stopped financing consumption and started financing production. My hon. Colleague is aware, for example, that this country embarked on a very expensive programme to open rural Zambia. That project, the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project, is one of those that benefited from the removal of the fuel subsidy.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, as I speak, almost 115 secondary schools are under construction, including one in Hon. Lufuma’s constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Health, Dr Chilufya, superintends over more than thirty district hospitals. The Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) in the Ministry of Agriculture, led by Hon. Dora Siliya, and the Social Cash Transfer (SCT) scheme also benefited from the savings made through the removal of the fuel subsidy. So, the benefits of the removal of the fuel subsidy are there for Zambians to see. I do not want to introduce politics here, but our motto was, “Sonta Epo Wabomba”, meaning, “Point at what you have done”.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabumba: In Zambia, what we have done is there for every individual to see. So, I assure my colleague that the money that will be saved will fund the SCT scheme, FISP and the on-going construction of roads, schools and universities.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, I am not sure whether I will be able to ask my question in the time that is available, but I will start ...

Mr Speaker: It is alright, hon. Member. You will continue after the break.

Dr Musokotwane: Mr Speaker, the hikes in fuel prices are not good for the Zambian economy because Zambian transporters will not be competitive ...

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that we should be careful to not be happy about the increases in the fuel price because they are bad for the Zambian economy. The new price of fuel is higher than the average price in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) by 38 per cent, which means that our truckers, hotel operators and airlines will not be competitive. My question is: Why is the ministry in a hurry to impose this onerous price on poor Zambians and the industry instead of lowering the price of fuel like everybody else in the region so that we can be competitive, grow our industries and create jobs for our young people? The measures taken by this Government will stifle our industries. Why is the Government misplacing its priorities?

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, in the short term, the things that Hon. Dr Musokotwane has talked about will happen. However, I think that he should look at the long-term perspective. The US$1 billion that will be saved from the removal of subsidies every year can be used to construct a new pipeline for finished petroleum products from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola. So, I think that the conversation we should have is on reforming our supply chain, in the long term, so that Zambia can get affordable petroleum products. That should be the long-term approach or strategic direction.

Madam Speaker, for now, our role, as a Government, is to continue explaining to the people of Zambia that the painful decision we have taken today is necessary for the improvement of their future economic prospects. In the future, we will unlock the rural areas in which constituencies like Hon. Dr Musokotwane’s are. If you ask him, he will tell you that we have built an expensive road in his region. That is an example of how we can divert money from consumption to production areas. The Mongu/Kalabo Road will unlock the potential of the Liuwa National Park.

Madam Speaker, I know this is a painful decision, but it will take Zambia in a different direction. We cannot continue to subsidise every sector. Where will we get the money? In the end, we will put too much stress on the already limited fiscal space of the Treasury.

Madam Speaker, I assure Hon. Dr Musokotwane that as long as I remain in the Ministry of Energy, we will transform the petroleum sub-sector.

I thank you, Madam.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Livune: Madam Speaker, I had asked the hon. Minister of Finance the question I am about to ask, but he informed me that the hon. Minister of Energy would address my concerns in this statement.

Madam Speaker, have oil and fuel subsidies been completely removed or will the hon. Minister come back to the House and talk about removing more subsidies later? Are the fuel prices now cost-reflective?

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, the current prices of petroleum products are cost-reflective relative to the exchange rate remaining at K10 to a US Dollar. If there will be any changes in the exchange rate and the prices of oil on the international market, then, the current prices will no longer be cost-reflective.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Kamboni: Madam Speaker, the price of fuel would still be cheaper even with the removal of subsidies if its procurement was efficient and corruption-free.

Mr Ngulube: Evidence!

Mr Kamboni: What more evidence do you need when the price of petrol is K13?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Please, ask your question.


Mr Kamboni: Mr Speaker, what practical measures is the Government taking to clean up the procurement process? Further, what will the new process be like?

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, like I said, it is very difficult to prove that there is corruption in the procurement process without someone providing evidence to that effect. As far as I am concerned, the procurement process complies with the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) guidelines. We float tenders, international companies bid and we choose the best bids.

Madam Speaker, for as long as we remain a landlocked country, the price of fuel will continue to be high because we cannot get rid of the trucks that transport fuel from Dar-es-Salaam into Zambia. To bring the fuel by road costs us US$200 per metric tonne while pumping crude oil from Dar-es-Salaam into Indeni Oil Refinery costs us US$54 per metric. So, it is clear that pumping crude oil through pipelines is cheaper. So, the long-term and sustainable options approaches to lowering costs in our petroleum sub-sector is either to allow the private sector to bring in fuel or for us to put up a new pipeline, which will be cost-effective. For as long as we remain with Indeni Oil Refinery, TAZAMA Pipeline, various transporters and a whole range of participants in the supply chain, the cost of fuel will not reduce.

Madam Speaker, I assure this august House that we will continue to reform our procurement processes so that we continue getting the best bidders. However, in the long term, we should think outside the box to come up with sustainable options in which we can invest.

I thank you, Madam.

Mr Ngulube: That is why we are here.

Mr Sampa (Kasama Central): Madam Speaker, as a nation, we have been talking about the Indeni Oil Refinery and the Tanzania-Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) Pipeline since time immemorial. What measures has the ministry put in place to attract investors to build new refineries and pipelines for all types of crude oil, such as that we can buy from Angola and Nigeria?

Mr Ngulube: You can come to Kabwe, there is land there.

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, let me provide some context.

Madam Speaker, the Indeni/TAZAMA system has a nameplate capacity of 1.1 million metric tonnes per annum. However, over the years, that capacity has dropped to about 800,000 metric tonnes due to the old age of the plant. That is against our projected demand of about 1.5 million metric tonnes, as of 2015, while the projection for 2030 is about 3.7 million metric tonnes. So, the Indeni/TAZAMA system cannot cope with the growth of the petroleum sector. That is why I keep saying that we have to think outside the box and try to transform the sub-sector. So, in the long term, we need to look at the possibility of engaging the private sector to partner with the Government in developing a new pipeline, either from Tanzania or Angola.

Thank you, Sir.

Ms Mwashingwele (Katuba): Madam Speaker, it seems that the hon. Minister does not realise that removing the subsidies on fuel is technically removing subsidies on all other products consumed by the people of this country. Why did the Government not do it gradually? What was done is like giving me the medicine for the whole prescription to take at once thinking that will make me well. Why did the Government not remove K1 or K2 at a time? Did the hon. Minister consider the poor people of Katuba when making this decision?

Mr Mabumba: Madam Speaker, we looked at the available implementation options, ...

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Mabumba: ... but it became clear that we needed a one-off removal.

Madam Speaker, given the US$200 million that we have already spent on subsidies even before the year has ended, how can we sink boreholes and build schools in Katuba? The hon. Member for Katuba asked for those things in her maiden speech to which I listened very attentively. So, we found it prudent to remove this subsidy on consumption so that we can start developing the constituencies that she and Hon. Jack Mwiimbu represent.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


The Minister of Higher Education (Prof. Luo): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to update the nation on the status of our newly constructed institution of higher learning, Robert Kapasa Makasa University, which was commissioned by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, on 28th July, 2016.

Madam Speaker, Robert Kapasa Makasa University was constructed at a cost of K159 million and has a bed capacity of 640. The infrastructure of the institution consists of the following:

(a) one double-storey library;

(b) four four-storey students’ hostels

(c) four double-storey lecture theatre blocks;

(d) two lecture theatres;

(e) fifteen staff houses; and

(f) one administration block.

Madam Speaker, the institution does not have all the buildings it requires because we decided to construct it in phases, as follows:

Phases Activities

I. Construction of fifteen staff houses

II. Construction of the library, lecture theatre, students’ hostels and administration block

III. External and auxiliary works, such as roads, power and water reticulation

Madam Speaker, Phase IV will add other vital structures to the institution.

Madam, if I may remind everybody, the construction works started in 2009 and, despite some delays, the project has been completed. The contractor was expected to leave the site by August, 2016, and, due to a number of factors, including the cost of establishing a fully-fledged university administration and the risk of vandalism after the contractor moved out, a decision was made to operationalise the university at the least cost. It was realised that the best option was to place the new university under an existing university to reduce operational costs and hasten the operationalisation of the institution. Consequently, the ministry had discussions with the two oldest public universities, the Copperbelt University (CBU) and the University of Zambia (UNZA), in which the two institutions were requested to submit proposals on the best way to run Robert Kapasa Makasa University as a faculty at the least cost to the Government, but in a sustainable manner. Of the two proposals submitted to the ministry, the one by the CBU was found to be the one that would meet the Government’s aspirations for enhanced development in the rural parts of our country through access to tertiary education..

Madam Speaker, after the CBU proposal was adopted, the ministry decided to open Robert Kapasa Makasa University as a faculty under the CBU. In other words, the institution will operate as a satellite campus of the CBU for a specified period of time. Thereafter, it will be weaned off after attaining operational stability. Consequently, in the interim, the CBU Council will also oversee the operations of the institution through its management, provide oversight on this institution. The CBU will also put in place a lean management structure to run the university cost-effectively.

Madam, in line with the vision of the university, programmes that focus on science and technology with a bias towards mainstreaming vocational and entrepreneurial education that emphasises the development of relevant practical skills will be introduced.

Madam Speaker, the hostels that have been constructed will accommodate only two students per cubicle to avoid lowering the standards of the university and prolong the structures’ life span. Therefore, only 640 boarders will be enrolled, but some day scholars will also be enrolled.

Madam Speaker, in order to optimise the use of the available infrastructure in the short term, the CBU Management will make arrangements to start running the following programmes:

(a) Bachelor of Science in Agro Forestry;

(b) Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture;

(c) Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management;

(d) Bachelor of Science in  Animal Science; and

(e) Bachelor of Science in Information and Communication Technology with Education.

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to report to this august House that the institution was opened on 20th September, 2016, and will be able to contribute to poverty reduction and wealth creation for the local communities through:

(a) training of the local communities in sustainable crop production, aquaculture and livestock production through outreach programmes;

(b) conducting of research and undertaking of community outreach programmes aimed at enhancing the supply of crop seedlings, fish fingerlings and livestock to the local communities and, thereby increasing agricultural potential and output from the community;

(c) having a deliberate policy to empower the local community by outsourcing university cleaning, security and other services to the community co-operatives.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement issued by the hon. Minister of Higher Education.

Mr Ngulube: Madam Speaker, are there any plans to link Robert Kapasa Makasa University to the universities in my constituency, such as Kwame Nkrumah and Mulungushi, so that those institutions can also tap into some of the courses that have been introduced, such as the Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Aquaculture?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, as I earlier mentioned, what we are implementing at Robert Kapasa Makasa University is a stop-gap measure. Kwame Nkrumah and Mulungushi universities are at liberty to enter into co-operation agreements with other universities if they believe that they can benefit from them. That is allowed in university education. However, the ministry would rather develop other areas at Kwame Nkrumah and Mulungushi universities because of the depleted skills sets in this country.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Speaker, is the university operational? Are the students actually learning? I did not get her clearly on that.

My main question, however, is: How has the manpower ...

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member! You are allowed only one question at a time.

Hon. PF Members: One question!

Mr Livune: Question!

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, in that case, my question is: How has the issue of manpower been dealt with, considering that it is a challenge even in existing universities? What has the Government done to ensure that the university has the appropriately qualified staff and lecturers?

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister of Higher Education, you may take into account the other point she raised on whether the university is operational or not.

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, I said that the university was opened on 21st September, 2016. We are now into October, 2016. So, it is operational.

Madam Speaker, my Permanent Secretary was recently at the university to create an environment in which students and lecturers appreciate that universities and other institutions of higher learning are not supposed to be political battlegrounds, but institutions in which the intellectuals of the country, the crème de la crème, are supposed to contribute to the needs of the country and advise the Government on some of the issues that confront us. That is what universities are for, not rioting.

Madam Speaker, the problem of inadequate human capital is a very serious problem in this country. That is the reason we asked the Copperbelt University (CBU) to initially support the operations of the institution.

Madam, let me take advantage of the hon. Member’s question to inform this august House that the ministry is working hard to respond to the human resource crisis in the country. That is why, in my last statement to this august House, I said that we had replaced the Bursaries Committee with the Human Resource Development Division (HRDD) in our ministry. That will enable us to fast-track the training of our people.

Madam, we will partner with everybody with a contribution to make to our institutions. We will invite existing universities in the world to come and take over some of our institutions and contribute to human resource development in Zambia.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mukosa (Chinsali): Madam Speaker, the people of Chinsali are very happy with the Patriotic Front (PF) Government for opening the university.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mukosa: However, the university has no water and electricity. What is the ministry doing about that?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, the problems in water supply are not peculiar to the Robert Kapasa Makasa University, but affects the whole Muchinga Province too, which has a lot of iron ore. In fact, if you dig a well, you will find that the water is mostly brown. However, the Chambeshi Water and Sewerage Company is working with my ministry to rectify the situation, and the solution might include the expansion of the dam in Chinsali, from which enough water might be piped into the university.

Madam Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Chibanda: Madam Speaker, the hon. Minister said that the new university is actually a faculty of the CBU. What measures has the ministry put in place to ensure that the management problems that have existed at the CBU for a long time do not spill over to the new university?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, yes, we experienced many management problems at the CBU. However, when someone is good, he or she is good and must be given the accolades. I think that the current Vice-Chancellor of the Copperbelt University (CBU) is an iron man and he has everything under control. At one point, there was an uprising against him because he introduced systems thinking in that university. We would like the Robert Kapasa Makasa University to benefit from his charisma and capacity.

Mr Ngulube: Hear, hear!

Ms Phiri: Madam Speaker, all our friends are talking about universities in their constituencies. I do not know whether the Government is considering building more universities. If it is, will one be built in Kanyama Constituency?


Hon. Members: Soweto University!

Hon. PF Member: Ema MP, aba!

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, I am sure it was meant to be a light moment. However, let me take advantage of it to inform this august House that tertiary education should be looked at in a holistic manner. This country might have many universities, yet still not prosper because we need a combination of levels of education to develop the skills that are required in the country. In that regard, my ministry will complete the universities that it is currently constructing. However, we would like to also focus on developing artisan skills because we need them. Even when people finish their studies for university degrees, they need somewhere to do their practicals. Let me elaborate. You may have people qualify in agricultural theory, but without practical skills. So, we want to introduce a system similar to that found in medical schools where, after qualifying as a doctor, you do practicals in all the disciplines of medicine, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, surgery, paediatrics and internal medicine, for some time before you are given a practicing licence. So, we should start building institutions where our university students can gain practical skills for a year after leaving the universities. That way, they will be worth calling specialists in their disciplines.

Madam Speaker, most of our children are not able to be employed because they are told that they have no experience. That is because of the structure of our education. So, we want them to have the opportunity of getting the needed experience. Furthermore, we cannot continue hiring bricklayers and carpenters from across our borders. We do not even have trained musicians, and actors and actresses in Zambia. So, we would like to introduce courses in the performing arts so that we can have a broader base of study choices for the people of this country.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kampyongo: Umvela, Livune? 

Mr Muchima: Madam Speaker, I congratulate my colleagues in Chinsali on having that university. I wish we could have one also in the North-Western Province. That aside, the existing universities, including the Copperbelt University (CBU), have had serious financial challenges that have led to protests here and there. Has the hon. Minister liaised with the hon. Minister of Finance on our capacity to meet the increased demand for resources? Are there adequate to finance the operations of that institution?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, we are introducing new thinking to universities. There is nowhere in the world, even in the richest countries like the United States of America (USA), where a university or college is financed 100 per cent by the Government. So, I have challenged the managements of all the universities to change even the way they employ people in the universities. In other countries, universities employ both lecturers and researchers. The function of the lecturers is to teach. They may also conduct some research for their professional advancement. However, it is the researchers who raise money and compete for grants all over the world. There are grants that are advertised day in and day out, and our lecturers and researchers should compete for them. That is how money is raised in institutions of higher learning. Furthermore, the universities should offer all the consultancy work in this country. For example, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where I studied, provided consultancy services to the Department for International Development (DFID) on health programmes. Why should Zambia not give all its research and consultancy contracts to universities? For instance, census and population studies can be conducted by some university, which would be paid to do so.  The universities can, then, design policies that reserve, say, 50 per cent of all the earnings from consultancy work for the running of the university. The other 50 per cent can go to the staff that generated the money. So, we intend to reform our education sector and run the universities in a competitive manner like it is done all over the world. In Zambia, there is a laissez-faire attitude.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kundoti (Luena): Madam Speaker, the Patriotic Front (PF) Government promised the people of the Western Province a university at Namushakendi.

Mr Sikazwe: Question!

Mr Kundoti: When will that university be made available to them?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, the way the hon. Member of Parliament has asked his question seems to imply that I will carry a university on my head and take it to the Western Province.


Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, the President of this Republic announced that the university will be constructed and I assure the hon. Member that the university will be built. However, as I said, building a university is extremely expensive. Further, we have to follow procedures and processes. Suffice it for me to say that the university will eventually be built.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kabanda: Madam Speaker, I congratulate the hon. Minister on having devised home-grown solutions to the problems facing our universities. In that regard, could she tell us what measures she has put in place to make the universities self-sustaining in terms of food production? As she rightly pointed out, we cannot continue financing the universities through grants. For example, Malcolm Moffat College of Education (MMCE) in Serenje is able to produce its own mealie meal and relish and, in the next two or three years, it might not require any grant from the Government.

Hon. UPND Members: Aah!

Ms Katuta: Are you sure?

Mr Kabanda: It might even be able to pay its lecturers.  

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Kabanda: Those are the ideas that we should inculcate into other universities so that they do not ask for book allowances day in and day out.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Hon. Minister, would you like to respond to that? The hon. Minister seems to have merely made a comment.

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, my quick analysis of the colleges in this country reveals that Malcolm Moffat College of Education (MMCE) is one of the few colleges that are being run properly.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Nkhuwa (Chingola): Madam Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister talk about the construction of hostels and classrooms, but not about the construction of sport facilities. I feel that an institution of higher learning needs sport facilities so that the students and lecturers are kept busy during the weekends. Otherwise, some people may have to drive to Lusaka to play a round of golf. Does the ministry have any plans of introducing sporting activities in the university and all the others?

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member of Parliament has raised a very important point and I assure him that sport will be part of the university activities. Furthermore, I look forward to having a college for training people in professional sport so that we add value to that sector. We need to look at all these things as professions so that we can encourage people to go into them and excel. Our friends in Nigeria and Ghana now produce films and we can do likewise.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Mung’andu: Madam Speaker, what measures has the ministry put in place to encourage universities, including Robert Kapasa Makasa University, to run as a business? For example, the University of Zambia (UNZA) had a good programme known as Zamlink, which was a product of the university’s Computer Centre. Unfortunately, the university lost that programme. The institution also had a parallel programme offering legal studies, but later scrapped it off. The University of Lusaka (UNILUS) took advantage of the vacuum created and started offering law courses. Today, many hon. Members, including the hon. Member for Ikeleng’i, know what tort law is because of institutions like UNILUS.

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, one of the things the ministry will do is amend the University Act as soon as possible. For example, in its current form, the Act provides for representation on the council. On that representation, we have, for example, an hon. Member of Parliament as a member of the university council, and we saw that in the last five years, one of the members of the university council was always associated with riots. So, we intend to change that so that among the people representing us on the council will be people from the private sector who can help us move our universities forward. That will be done because university education gives is there to train people to think intellectually. However, it is also a business. The reason we are having all these issues in the universities is that the representation on the council is not correct.

I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Mr Kaziya (Matero): Madam Speaker, what is our Government doing to improve the standards in our universities so that they can be competitive on the international stage? Currently, they are not among the top ten universities in Africa.

Prof. Luo: Madam Speaker, indeed, we have a lot of work to do to raise the standards and competitiveness of our institutions of higher learning to international levels. In that regard, we have the Higher Education Authority (HEA) whose mandate is to ensure that our institutions meet the desired standards of education. However, my gut feeling is that when that epidemic of opening institutions broke out, it did not find the necessary legal framework in the Higher Educational Act. So, when we amend that Act, these are some of the things that we will address. For example, we will prescribe the kind of buildings that can be used as college or university premises and the minimum requirements in terms of the lecturers who should teach in the institutions. Furthermore, I mentioned that we will create partnerships with other universities around the world. That improves quality because it facilitates cross fertilisation. That is how we will improve the standards.

Madam Speaker, you will recall that at one time, Edith Cowan University (ECU), a renowned Australian university, came to Zambia. Unfortunately, it had to be closed down because the people who were working with it could not perform to the required standards. In some universities, you cannot be enrolled as a student if you do not have the required qualifications regardless of who you are. However, we saw mediocrity in that institution whereby, as long as one had some title, one could find oneself pursuing a Master’s Degree programme. That will not happen during my tenure of office.
I thank you, Madam Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!





The Minister of Finance (Mr Mutati): Madam Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Securities Bill, 2016.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Estimates. The Committee is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Tuesday, 8th November, 2016.

Hon. Members who wish to make submissions on the Bill are free to do so within the programme of work of the Committee.




(Debate Resumed)

Mrs Chinyama (Kafue): Madam Speaker, thank you for allowing me to continue with my maiden speech.

Madam, yesterday, after leaving the House, I took time to reflect on the matter on which you guided me, which related to issues concerning the former hon. Member of Parliament for Kafue Constituency. I am much obliged to your guidance. However, ...

Hon. Government Members: Iwe!

Mrs Chinyama: ... on behalf of the people of Kafue, I earnestly and humbly appeal to the powers that be to look ...

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Mrs Chinyama: ... into the plight of that colleague and others detained under similar circumstances. That said, allow me to continue talking about Kafue.

Madam Speaker, when the House adjourned yesterday, I was saying that historically, Kafue was an industrial hub that hosted many industries, including the defunct Kafue Textiles Zambia (KTZ) Limited, Bata Tannery, Kafue Chemicals and Nkwazi Manufacturing Company. Those industries provided employment to the people of Kafue. Today, the town only boasts of the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ) and the recently established Universal Mining and Chemicals Industry. Unfortunately, the two companies face grave challenges and have not been operating to optimal levels. For instance, Universal Mining and Chemicals Industry should have been operating on a twenty-four basis daily only operates for eight hours due to load shedding. That means reduced production, which has forced the company to lay off its workforce, as it currently produces only about 4,000 tonnes of steel per month. That is just about a third of what it used to produce when it was in full operation before the current energy crisis. Further, both companies face competition from imported products because the Government has not put in place deliberate measures to protect the local market and that has resulted in high levels of unemployment and poverty in our once vibrant town. During President Lungu’s last visit to the town, before there was contention, he promised that the Government would quickly look into the energy crisis. Seeing as Universal Mining and Chemicals Industry is one of the few surviving industries in Kafue, we ask the Government to consider exempting it and, maybe, the NCZ from load-shedding because of their strategic nature. Currently, the NCZ is supposed to be at peak production because of the need to supply fertilisers for the coming farming season. However, it faces many challenges and we cannot talk about real improvement if that measure is not put in place.

Madam Speaker, I call upon the Government to expedite ‒

Mr Mutale interjected.

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, let me just go back to what I was saying, which is that the NCZ should be adequately supported to improve its production levels so as to boost agriculture. As I indicated last week in this House, the workers in the company were only paid their September, 2016, salaries last week. That is just an indication of the challenges that the company is facing, and it is not a good indicator.

Madam Speaker, I am glad that the hon. Minister of Agriculture is in the House today to hear my appeal. When she presented her last ministerial statement, I expressed my concerns over the fact that among the very varied strategies for improving agriculture that she considered, she did not talk about the NCZ and what the Government would do about the company’s situation.

Madam Speaker, I call upon the Government to expedite the development of the industrialisation policy so that sustainable jobs can be created for our people in Kafue and elsewhere. That way, the creation of 1 million jobs through the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) will not remain a political pipe dream. We cannot afford to remain a consumer of goods produced by other countries, thereby creating jobs in other countries.

Madam Speaker, the pronouncements about making Kafue an iron and steel economic zone as well as a spillover city for Lusaka have been received with mixed feelings by the people of Kafue. Some of the local people have welcomed the pronouncements, although they are anxious to know how they will be capacitated to become active players in the whole matrix of the proposed developments. On the issue of a spillover city, some locals think that to be contrary to the priorities of the town. I have just elaborated the issue of the NCZ, which is, really, the hub of economic activity in Kafue. So, some people have asked why resources should be invested in extending Lusaka into Kafue instead of in revamping the NCZ by putting up a new plant or replacing some obsolete  equipment.

Madam, several pronouncements have been made on the plan to make Kafue a municipal council and the people in the district have been in suspense as to when that will be done. So, before policy pronouncements are made, there is a need to develop time-bound implementation plans so that there is enhanced accountability.

Madam Speaker, as a country, we have looked at agriculture as a potential sector to which we can diversify our economy away from copper mining, and Kafue has huge potential in that sector which, if fully exploited, can significantly boost Zambia’s food basket. So, as we seek to make agriculture one of our economic mainstays, I challenge the Government to demonstrate its commitment to agricultural development by dealing with some of the problems faced by our key industries, such as the NCZ, about which I have already talked, so that the company can meet our requirements in fertiliser. That way, we will not only boost our local manufacturing industry because we want to industrialise, but we will also create jobs, like I mentioned earlier.

Madam Speaker, the people of Chiawa in my constituency have suffered deprivation of food on account of climate conditions. When people talk about hunger, as it was done in a recent debate, I wish they could go to my constituency and see the reality of hunger in Chiawa.

Mr Mutale: Awe!

Mrs Chinyama: Year in and year out, our people there have depended on handouts from the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) yet, when you visit the area, there are some people who have settled there and are engaged in very impressive agricultural activities. Those are the activities that will help our people to be self-sufficient in food production if the Government deploys the right technology and technical support to the area. The poverty situation in Chiawa is further exacerbated by the Government’s failure to resolve human-animal conflicts.

Madam Speaker, Kafue has had limited education facilities, especially at the tertiary level. The district is not host to any Government tertiary education institution. No wonder, there is the anxiety I talked about earlier. Even if public administrative offices went to Kafue, …

Mr Ngulube interjected.

Mrs Chinyama: … the people there know that they do have not had the training required to occupy those offices due to the absence of tertiary education institutions in the area. They know that educated people from elsewhere will work in those offices while the people of Kafue watch. Equally, there is a challenge in the secondary education sub-sector because of limited schools in the area. For example, to mitigate the shortage of space in secondary schools, the Government has had to transform some primary schools into secondary schools, which simply transferred some of the pressure that existed in the secondary education sector to the primary education sector. There have been very few Government primary schools in the district. So, there is a need for the Government to plan adequately for the construction of and provision of essential services in health and education institutions. A case in point is Chikupi Day Secondary School, which has been under construction in my constituency for over five years now.

Mr Ngulube: Only?

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, the hon. Member for Kabwe Central should not distract me because if the United Party for National Development (UPND) was in power, such projects would be completed in thirty-six months. That is what our party manifesto says ...

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mrs Chinyama: … and we do not have a problem with our colleagues borrowing from it.


Mrs Chinyama: The point here is that the Government needs to review the mechanism for funding capital projects so that they are completed in reasonable time.

Madam Speaker, like everywhere else, the health sector in Kafue faces the challenge of understaffing, and I heard the hon. Minister of Health talk about the recruitment of workers in the sector. I hope that the numbers will be sufficient to reverse the understaffing in the constituency because most of our rural health posts have very limited personnel. They are, thus, forced to only operate during the day when it is desirous that they provide a twenty-four-hour service because some serious medical conditions require the immediate attention of health personnel.

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, the town of Kafue is renowned for its Kafue River yet, paradoxically, water has remained a luxury to the people of the district due to the poor reticulation system.

Mr Ngulube: Says who?

Mrs Chinyama coughed.

Madam Speaker, it seems that my PF colleagues do not want me to speak today.


Mrs Chinyama: May I, please, drink some water.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mrs Chinyama drank some water.

Mr Kambita: Stop the time.

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, the potential of the fishing industry in Kafue is equally untapped, yet it can be a source of employment for many of our people and a way of mitigating the dwindling fish stocks in the Kafue River.

Mr Ngulube: Question!

Mrs Chinyama: The status of the Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) undertaking to support fish farming and beef production in Kafue is unknown.

Mr Ngulube: Where?

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, due to its proximity to Lusaka, Kafue has experienced the pressure of high demand for land and its people face the threat of internal displacement because of the inefficient land delivery system that seems to favour the rich from other towns at the expense of indigenous people of Kafue. With the plans to make Kafue a spillover city, it is desirable that the people of the district draw benefits rather than disadvantages. Currently, there is an unresolved land issue involving the people of Mpande, who were displaced from the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ).

Mr Ngulube: By whom?

Mrs Chinyama: Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that Zambia has never had a coherent land policy since …


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Your time has run out.

Mrs Chinyama: Ah!

No, Madam.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Mr Mwamba (Lubansenshi): Madam Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the Motion of Thanks to His Excellency the President of our great nation, the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and to deliver my maiden speech to this august House.

Madam Speaker, allow me to congratulate you, the hon. Mr Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker on your recent election to your positions in this respected House. With humility, I can only say to you that the responsibility placed upon your shoulders is enormous and challenging, but I am comforted by my confidence in your capabilities and ability to rise above the challenges with less difficulty as you guide the affairs of this House diligently and in an impartial manner.

Madam Speaker, allow me to sincerely thank and congratulate His Excellency the undisputed President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … a great, but humble son of Africa in general and …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … Zambia in particular, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … and leader of the mighty Patriotic Front (PF), for delivering such a brilliant and inspiring policy speech to this House.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: I congratulate him and Her Honour the Vice-president, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … on their victory in the 11th August, 2016, General Elections.

Madam Speaker, I owe my being here to His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu for seeing it fit to adopt me as his candidate for the Lubansenshi Constituency Parliamentary Seat in the last elections. This is a great honour to me and I will forever cherish it. Thank you very much, your Excellency.

Madam Speaker, I thank the former PF Secretary-General, Mr Davies Chama, and the PF Central Committee, for adopting me out of so many people who applied. I can only imagine how difficult it was to arrive at such a decision, but with God’s guidance, they settled for me. Again, I thank them. May I also, at this point, thank Father Frank Bwalya for the spiritual and material support he gave me during the campaign period.

Madam, I also extend my gratitude to Mr Mfula, the PF Northern Province Chairperson, and his team for the fatherly and considerate approach to issues and for adopting me.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: God will reward them abundantly.

Madam Speaker, allow me to thank the district and constituency teams for considering me for adoption when there were many people who had applied for the same. I pledge not to let them down.

Madam, I also thank my campaign team, which was headed by Mrs Chanshi, and all the officials in all the wards, branches and sections of Lubansenshi Constituency. Without their campaign efforts, my victory was not guaranteed. I further ask them to continue organising our party with the same vigour that they exhibited during the campaigns.

Madam Speaker, I also extend my profound gratitude to the two Chiefs in the constituency, Their Royal Highnesses Chief Chipalo and Senior Chief Shimumbi, and their subjects for unanimously supporting and voting for me on 11th August, 2016. Without their support, my aspiration to foster development in Lubansenshi would not have a chance to be realised. I further pay my tribute to all the gallant men and women of Lubansenshi for voting for President Lungu and me in overwhelming numbers. My promise to them is that I do not have anything with which to repay their support, except to work to take development where they are.

Madam Speaker, it is also my duty to congratulate the newly appointed Cabinet Ministers, including Hon. Chitotela and the former party Secretary-General, Mr Davies Mwila. I also congratulate all my fellow hon. Members of Parliament, both elected and nominated. To them, I can only say that our people in the respective constituencies expect us to discharge our duties with humility, dignity and distinction. Most importantly, we must remember that we have been sent here to represent our people. We have not come here on our own accord. Therefore, let us debate issues that matter most to the people of our constituencies.

In concluding my salutations, Madam Speaker, I thank the Church; my wife, Chanda; and my children for enduring my absence from home for three months when I was on the campaigns trail. They inspired me to campaign extra hard, as I feared letting them down if I lost.

Madam Speaker, let me now comment on His Excellency the President’s Speech delivered to this August House on 30th September, 2016.

Madam, the speech was not an ordinary one, but one that spelt the policy direction to how we should move our economy from its current heavy dependence on copper mining to agriculture, livestock and fisheries, tourism and other sectors. It also showed that the Government of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has the political will to transform the economy of this country into one that will eradicate poverty in the country.

Madam, I agree with the President that copper, on which the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) heavily depends, is a wasting asset. In the same vein, I agree with him that we urgently need to move away from completely depending on copper and open up other economic sectors.

Madam Speaker, when the people of Lubansenshi listened to His Excellency the President’s Speech, they got excited because they are farmers and they know that once the economy is diversified, they will benefit. Their hope, therefore, is to see more money put into the agricultural sector so that Farmers Training Centres (FTCs) are revived and operationalised to the level they functioned during Former President, Dr Kaunda’s rule. New centres should also be constructed so that they provide skills to the people of Lubansenshi. That will, in turn, lead to high productivity in Luwingu.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: I, therefore, call on the Ministry of Agriculture to quickly complete the construction of the FTC in Lubansenshi Constituency, which has remained incomplete for a long time now. The people of Lubansenshi want the institution to be completed so that they can start learning skills in farming and raise the proportion of developed human capital.

Madam Speaker, when we talk about diversification, the emphasis should not only be on agriculture, and fisheries and livestock, but also on other sectors. Once we make diversification the common denominator in all the sectors of the economy, emancipation from the dependence on copper will be achieved. For example, if the education curriculum at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels is reviewed and made to expose the learners to other sectors of the economy, it will be more meaningful. Currently, the learners only get academic learning, yet they also need practical skills. Therefore, it is important for us to provide holistic education so that it creates linkages to tourism, and teach the practical aspects of the various disciplines of knowledge. That is how we can achieve our diversification goal. We also need to expose learners to integration management.

Madam Speaker, the President spoke on several important issues, but let me end by commenting on law and order.

Madam, during and shortly after the 2016 General Elections, we witnessed ugly scenes of political violence. That should not be allowed to recur. The worst violence and violations of human rights occurred in Choma District, where people were beaten and wounded, and had their shelters and belongings burnt. Those perceived to be non-indigenous to the area were chased away because they supported and voted for the PF. That was very unfortunate because all of us have the right to vote for a candidate of our choice. That is what democracy is all about. We voted for Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu because we saw that he was the best person to lead Zambia.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Mwamba: Madam, the people of Lubansenshi have said that they have learnt a lesson …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Madam.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Hon. Member, you will remember that guidance has been given to the effect that no point of order will be granted in this segment.

You may continue, Hon. Mwamba.

 Mr Ngulube: Hammer!

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, the people of Lubansenshi have said that they have learnt a lesson from the actions of the United Party for National Development (UPND), and that they will never be forced to vote for a violent party and a tribal leader.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lubansenshi!

Can you retract the statement that you have just made in reference to the United Party for National Development (UPND).


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, thank you for your guidance. I retract that statement.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, the people of Lubansenshi have said that they have learnt a lesson from the actions of violent opposition political parties.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Lubansenshi!

If you do not get away from that path, I will curtail your debate. Can you, please, stay away from accusing political parties of one thing or the other in this House.

Please, continue, but not on your current path.

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, I thank you for that advice.

Madam: Madam Speaker, I would like to ask all those living in denial to accept Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as the President of the Republic of Zambia …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … because he is the people’s choice.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: They should know that there will be no election until 2021.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: We must know that the dictates of democracy favour the majority ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … as the case was in the last election. The majority of voters wanted Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu as their President and they still want him.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Who am I to say no to the voice of the majority?

Madam Speaker, Lubansenshi Constituency is a rural constituency 1,200 km from here and it is part of Luwingu District, which is in the Northern Province. It is 165 km west of Kasama Town, the headquarters of the Northern Province and is home to mainly subsistence farmers of maize, cassava, millet, sorghum, beans and groundnuts.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: The constituency has only one big river, the Luena River, that transverses it. To the eastern part of the constituency, there is the Lubansenshi River, which marks the boundary with Lunte Constituency, while the Lupososhi River in the western part marks the boundary with Lupososhi Constituency.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, Lubansenshi Constituency has had problems in the area of development for a long time now, beginning in 2006, when the former hon. Member of Parliament in the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) Government, Mr Andrew Mulenga, left the constituency. Mr Lazarous Chota, the first PF Member of Parliament, followed Hon. Mulenga. Unfortunately, Hon. Chota could not take development to the constituency because the MMD was not willing to work with him.

Hon. Opposition Member: Is he still alive?

Mr Mwamba: Yes, he is alive.

Madam Speaker, my development agenda for Lubansenshi Constituency will not be divorced from that of the Patriotic Front (PF) Manifesto and the direction provided by the speech given by His Excellency the President ...

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: … of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, to this House.

Madam Speaker, the President’s priorities are to secure unprecedented diversified development through the creation of linkages in education, agriculture, health, social protection, sports and decentralisation, among other sectors. Let me apply myself to these sectors, beginning with gender and child development.

Madam Speaker, my office will endeavour to promote all facets of gender and child development in Lubansenshi Constituency. Gender-based violence (GBV), child pregnancies and early marriages will not be tolerated in my constituency.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: In that regard, I call upon all the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), such as the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Zambia (FAWEZA), the Zambia Women’s Lobby Group (ZWLG) and the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), which promote women’s and children’s rights, more especially for the girl child, to come on board in Lubansenshi.

Hon. Opposition Member interjected.

Mr Mwamba: Nothing like that.


Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, Lubansenshi Constituency is a major contributor to our food security. As such, I appeal to the Ministry of Agriculture to help us to develop the Masonde Farming Block. The area needs water.

Mr Speaker, I have assured the people of Lubansenshi that their ‒


Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwamba: Madam Speaker, I have assured the people of Lubansenshi that this practical and listening Government of His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu will attend to their concerns.

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

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge (Lukashya): Madam Speaker, thank you for according me this opportunity to present my maiden speech to this august House.

Madam Speaker, I congratulate His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, and his former running mate, Her Honour the Vice-President, Mrs Inonge Mutukwa Wina, Boma Wina, if I may call her that, …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: …on winning the 2016 Presidential Elections.

Madam, I also congratulate the Speaker of the National Assembly, Hon. Dr Patrick Matibini, SC, you and the Second Deputy Speaker, Hon. Mwimba Malama, on your election to their distinguished positions.

Madam, I heartily congratulate my fellow hon. Members of Parliament on their hard-earned victories. Our being here reflects the confidence that our respective electorates have in us, and I hope that we will not let them down.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Madam Speaker, on behalf of my electorate, I convey my deepest condolences to the family of the late Hon. Request Muntanga, may his soul rest in eternal peace.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Further, allow me to thank Mr Speaker, and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mrs Mwinga, and her team for the warm welcome they gave us during our induction week. As you may be aware, visiting the National Assembly for the first time can be overwhelming.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Madam Speaker, let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who made it possible for me to become a Member of Parliament. Specifically, I thank my father, Professor Lupando Munkonge;  …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: ... my mother, Mrs Theresa Musenge Munkonge; my brother, Lupando Munkonge; and the rest of my family and friends. I also thank members of my campaign team, Ba Malama, Ba Fumandiwe, Ba Mwamba, our elders, Patrick, Lameck, Alan, Bashi Mpundu and Bana Mpundu, Ba Chairlady and the team of youth foot soldiers comprising Ken, Chishimba, Longa, Sikazwe, Simeon and Lucas.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: And Hon. Alfrida Kansembe!

Mr Munkonge: Being a member of the other BRE, the Bemba Royal Establishment, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: … I have to acknowledge and appreciate the moral support given to me by the Mwine Lubemba, His Royal Highness Paramount Chief Chitimukulu Kanyanta Manga II.

Mr Tembo: Of the Bemba people.

Mr Munkonge: Ifwe, we do not recognise anybody else.

Madam Speaker, let me also thank the Chiefs in whose area Lukashya Constituency is, namely Chief Mwamba; Chief Nkole Mfumu; Chief Munkonge; our Queen Mother, Chieftainess Chanda Mukulu; Chieftainess Kasonde Chisuna; and Chieftainess Mumbi Mfumu. May I take advantage of this opportunity to mention that it is long overdue for the Bemba Chieftainesses to be accorded full recognition by the Government, as they have legitimate positions in the BRE.

Madam Speaker, if there are people I have unjustifiably failed to acknowledge, I apologise to them and hasten to say that their contribution to my cause will forever be appreciated.

Madam Speaker, I come to this august House as the Independent Member of Parliament for Lukashya Constituency. My constituency is in Kasama District in the Northern Province and shares its boundaries with Lunte, Lubansenshi, Kanchibiya, Shiwang’andu, Malole and Kasama Central constituencies. The constituency is one of the largest in the Northern Province and is home to approximately 10 per cent of all the registered voters in the Northern Province, of whom 21,000 voted for President Lungu even though we had a voter turnout of less than 50 per cent.

Madam Speaker, as I highlight the challenges faced by the people of Lukashya Constituency, I must state that I appreciate the difficulty that any person would face in trying to develop a country of this magnitude with limited resources. It cannot be easy.

Madam Speaker, Lukashya Constituency has the worst road network in Kasama District. Ours is a greedy-elder-brother-versus-little-brother kind of situation, as the urban part of Lukashya Constituency borders Kasama Central.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: The consequence of that is that all the urban roads are in Kasama Central while the more populated, but less affluent areas of Chiba, Chishipula, Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) and Luyeye are left in dire need of good roads. The road network becomes even more deplorable once you go into the rural part of the constituency, where most of the roads are maintained by the locals and, therefore, do not meet the barest of standard. We have roads that need urgent attention as the rainy season approaches because they become impassable.

Madam Deputy Speaker, some of the roads that need attention are the Location/TAZARA) Road; the Nkole Mfumu/Mulobola/Ntumpa/Chombo Road, which can act as a ring road for people wishing to go to Luwingu from Chinsali without going to Kasama first; the Kasonde/Chisuna Road; the Lualuo/Chiba Road; and the Mulanshi/Mumbi Mfumu Road. At the end of Mulanshi/Mumbi Mfumu Road, there is a bridge being constructed, and that highlights one of the basic problems we face in our approach to development. How can we build a bridge without a proper road leading to it? That reduces the economic value of the bridge.

Madam Speaker, the population of Lukashya is growing, resulting in a greater demand for basic services, such as schools, colleges and universities. The large size of the constituency also means that there is a need for many schools to be closer to the communities. Consequently, the communities, using their meagre resources, have been building community schools, but they struggle to pay the untrained community teachers who are in the schools. Further, the trained teachers who are willing to work in the community schools are not put on the Government payroll. Therefore, they do not go to those community schools. Additionally, some of the community schools are in locations so remote that teachers will face the challenges of a poor road network, and a lack of running water, communication network and a lack of electricity even before meeting the pupils. It is not surprising, therefore, that trained teachers are few in those schools and even the most intelligent pupil has a very slim chance of obtaining a full Grade 12 Certificate. I have also noticed, with dismay, the new trend of declaring primary schools upgraded secondary schools without construction of new classroom blocks. The end result is that pupils spend less time in class in order to share the classrooms. We also have stories of school projects being started, but not finished. Two cases in point are Ntumpa and Musa secondary schools. After investing a lot of resources in constructing them, they have become white elephants. I further propose that Lukashya Trades Training Institute be upgraded to a university, as it has the basic infrastructure in place and abundant land for any necessary expansion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Madam Speaker, the people who suffer more from having inadequate health delivery systems are the women and children. Sometimes, under-five clinics are conducted under trees while some of the facilities used as labour wards are so bad that prospective mothers prefer to deliver in their homes or in the bush. Perhaps, we can build structures that need not be classified as health centres, but rather as health shelters to give some semblance of decency to health service delivery in the area. During the campaigns, it was painful for me to see the poor state of the health infrastructure and the inadequate medical staff. Therefore, I urge the hon. Minister of Health to take a very serious inspection tour of my constituency. The constituency is also in need of a district hospital, and I propose that it be situated at Nkole Mfumu Village so that it can provide medical services to Chumba, Musowa and Chibundu wards, which are quite distant from Kasama and the neighbouring constituencies of Shiwang’andu and Kanchibiya. I also propose that Kasama General Hospital be upgraded to a central hospital so that it can provide all specialist services to the people of the Northern Province.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Madam Speaker, in principle, the constituency has abundant water, but its urban areas are in dire need of piped water. Boreholes and hand pumps are there. However, the rampant use of pit latrines and lack of a sewer system in the area will lead to contamination of the water consumed by people in the future. In the interim, more boreholes are needed, as the population can only grow bigger with increased urbanisation, yet our water utility company cannot initiate projects necessary to enhance water supply from its meagre resources. So, for the rural-based members of my constituency, the challenge remains that of sinking and maintaining boreholes. On rare occasions, some boreholes have become dry, thanks to climate change, I am sure.

Madam Speaker, the economic mainstay of the people in the rural parts of my constituency is agriculture, mostly the growing of maize, although we also grow soya beans, beans, sunflower, cassava and pumpkins. We also produce mangoes, bananas and guavas. However, the biggest challenge to agricultural production in the constituency is the cost of transportation. Given the poor state of the roads, transporting agricultural products is very expensive. We should also entertain alternative farming methods like conservation and organic farming, which may reduce on the use of fertiliser and give our soils a longer usage span. The chitemene system of farming practised in my area still remains the main cause of deforestation and I am curious to know why the animal stocking and restocking is done in some parts of Zambia, but not in others. The people of Lukashya Constituency can also benefit from keeping livestock.

Madam Speaker, the rural part of my constituency has no concerns about load-shedding because there is no electricity supply in the area and that affects our ability to attract professionals and investors into the constituency. I, therefore, urge the Government, through the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), to electrify the area.

Madam Speaker, in the current age, communication is very important because it is an integral component in the facilitation of development. Unfortunately, Lukashya Constituency has large areas where there is no modern way of communication. Since the profit-motivated private sector cannot install communication towers because of concerns about the profitability of investing in the area, I implore the Government to step in and erect communication towers that can be rented out to private communication companies. The communication situation is so bad that I cannot even begin to discuss television services.

Madam Speaker, my wish list is long, but I will end here in order to dedicate a little time to the President’s Speech for the Official Opening of the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly, on 30th September, 2016.

Madam Speaker, I thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, for being the only Republican President who has ever set foot in Lukashya Constituency, ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: ... so far, and particularly in Ntumpa, which falls under His Royal Highness Senior Chief Nkole Mfumu. It is regrettable that he was not given the opportunity to meet Senior Chief Nkole Mfumu but, at least, he has an idea of life in that part of our constituency.

Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech touched on all the pertinent issues, and highlighted the objectives and possible solutions to the challenges the country is facing. I will comment on a few issues that I consider close to my heart.

Madam Speaker, we need to find ways of better managing our water resources. In the future, wars will be fought over this natural resource.

Madam Speaker, the last form of energy that should be considered in Zambia is nuclear energy. I know that there are scientists who argue that it is now relatively safe to use it but, from a layman’s perspective, I think that we should first exhaust our hydro, solar, thermal and wind power generation potential before we consider the nuclear energy option. I am a fan of hydro power because it comes with the benefit of storing large volumes of water and their related industries of fishing and tourism. In the future, the stored water might have more value than oil. If we can build a pipe line from Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania to Ndola, Zambia, we might as well pump water to dams or reservoirs that can allow for the optimal use of hydro power plants like Kafue Gorge and Kariba.

Madam Speaker, the President’s Speech raised fears in me on issues that plague the country, such as corruption, a vice that is best avoided because it has no place in our society. However, let us not use it to stifle entrepreneurship. It is the Government’s responsibility to enrich as many people in Zambia as possible. In Zambia, corruption is, on face value, a preserve of Zambians. However, let us ask ourselves why it is so difficult for us to pay local contractors, yet the foreign contractors are paid on time. That is what forces the local contractors to resort to all sorts of strategies to obtain payments for work already done.

Madam Speaker, on tribalism, my view is that the ordinary Zambian is just interested in enjoying an above-average existence. We, the politicians, are the ones guilty of playing the tribal card through innuendoes and, sometimes, openly, just for political expediency. Given that the majority of Zambians are youths, we should not plant the seed of tribalism in their minds, as doing that will be as bad as throwing away the baby with the bath water. What will be good about ruling an ungovernable society?

Madam Speaker, it has taken educated Zambians to bring this nation to the brink of disaster. Normally, one plus one is two, but our professionals have defied common sense and cannot talk straight. Thus, they have misled the majority of Zambians with their biased use of their high qualifications. I beg all well-meaning Zambians to put Zambia first.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munkonge: Madam Speaker, I was happy to see the dates 2021 and 2063 in the President’s Speech as activity benchmarks or time frames for activities. We need to think and plan for the future, and I only hope that Hon. Mawere will not want to still be the hon. Minister of Youth, Sport and Child Development in 2063.

Hon. Member: He will be dead by then.

Madam Speaker, with those few words, I thank you again.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Madam Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak this afternoon. I can already see the security officer coming to tell ...


Dr Musokotwane: ... you to order me to keep quiet.

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Please, debate.

Dr Musokotwane: As I deliver this maiden speech, ...

Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order!
Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, before business was suspended, I had just started with my maiden speech. Allow me to continue.

Madam Speaker, as I deliver this maiden speech, I thank the people of Liuwa for bringing me back to this House. This is the second time that they have honoured me by asking me to represent them in this House.

Madam, the people of Liuwa were very wise ...

Mr Mwiimbu: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: ... in voting for my party, the United Party for National Development (UPND), ...

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: ... as did most of the Western Province. For voting for us and showing that wisdom in their choice, we say thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I pledge to not fail them. As their mouthpiece, I will deliver their messages to the Government regardless of how sweet or bitter the messages will be. That is my responsibility.

Madam Speaker, it is in order that I congratulate you, the Speaker and the Second Deputy Speaker on your election to preside over the Business of this House. I wish you well. However, at the same time, please, be mindful that we are very expectant that you will take care of the interests of both the left and the right in a fair manner as you preside over the Business of the House.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I further congratulate all my fellow hon. Members on making it to this House. It was not an easy feat. However, I think we should move away from the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type of mindset. In this respect, I want to pay respect to those of our colleagues who are no longer here with us. Some of them did very commendable work when they were here. In that regard, I also want to remind all of us that the rule of the game is that you are here today and out tomorrow. We are all, without exception, destined for that. So, it is only fair that the colleagues who are no longer here with us be remembered and commended for the good work that they did when they were with us. In this respect, permit me to specifically recognise two people I think served with distinction when they were here. The first is Hon. Highvie Hamududu.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: Most of us who were here with him accorded him respect because each time he stood up to debate, we could see that he was a Zambian with a good mind. We were often amazed at how positively he contributed to debates on issues affecting his country. I also miss Hon. Request Muntanga, a man who was big in everything. His feet, hands, head and mind were all big and when he rose to debate, he spoke his mind bravely. In fact, whenever there was a matter on the Floor, it could not really be considered to have been concluded unless one heard what Hon. Muntanga had to say about it because he was just that good. I am sure there are many other former hon. Members who deserve a similar commendation but, unfortunately, I do not have the time to recognise all of them. My apologies to such. 

Madam Speaker, before I debate the President’s Speech, let me follow the age-old custom of hon. Members saying something about their constituencies in their maiden speeches even though it does not really accomplish anything. We always say what we need in our constituencies, but where does that take us? Mostly, it just ends right here, on the Floor of the House. It is mere rhetoric. It is high time that changed. We are here as representatives of the people. So, the Government must listen to what we say. Apart from that, it is also important that the Government acts on all the statements made in the House. Otherwise, what is the use of our being here? I will return to this issue very shortly so that I make a practical suggestion on how we can move away from the practice of making mere rhetoric. I hope that my suggestion will be accepted.

Madam Speaker, the first challenge that we have in Liuwa is hunger. Most of the areas in the Western Province are sandy. So, even when there is only a little delay in rainfall activity or there is a minor drought, we have an agricultural disaster because sandy soils do not preserve moisture. Be that as it may, the province has plenty of water. So, what we need to figure out is how to assist our people to use the water near them to irrigate their crops and significantly reduce hunger in the area. Unfortunately, the issue of irrigation has been a talking point for too long. The water is there. So, the Government needs to assist people by providing them with technologies for irrigating their fields.

Madam Speaker, Liuwa has a big natural resource, namely the Liuwa National Park. Unfortunately, the usual issue of human-animal conflict has set in. The wild animals are eating our potatoes, rice and cassava, and are getting fat while we are becoming thin. 


Dr Musokotwane: The tragedy is that as the animals are getting fat, we cannot even kill them for consumption because if we do, we get arrested.


Dr Musokotwane: I, therefore, urge this Government to construct even gravel roads leading to the park in order to convince us that there are other ways of deriving livelihoods from animals other than killing them for food. Those with a Western mentality should convince us that we can make money out of animals. In that regard, we need to construct roads leading to the park so that our young people can get jobs.

Madam Speaker, the third issue is that of pending infrastructure projects in Liuwa. In the last five years, I have been crying about the lack of schools in my constituency. I do not know how many times I spoke about Libonda High School in this House. That school is remaining with only a little work before it is completed. We need to simply carry on from where the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) left off and complete the school. In the last five years of this Government, the construction of the school was abandoned. Additionally, the classroom blocks at Lukena Basic School are in a bad state and we have not seen even a brick added to the structures at Mushukula, Loke and Namweti heath centres since the MMD left office. I, therefore, urge this Government to help us complete those structures. We also need communication towers in Liuwa, Lola and Siluwe.

Madam Speaker, let me also talk about service delivery, especially in the education sector, where we have many schools where three teachers teach all the classes from Grade 1 to Grade 9. This is one thing about which I spoken consistently in this House. Further, how can children learn without books, teachers, blackboards and chalk? The learning environment in Liuwa and many other parts of the country is worse than it was forty-seven years when I was last in primary school. Instead of improving, they are getting worse.

Madam Speaker, Hon. Kampyongo should also make sure that police posts are constructed in Liuwa not for his officers to arrest us, but for them to deal with the cattle rustlers who are terrorising that area.

Madam Speaker, I spoke about the need to shift from the ‘business as usual’ paradigm. I, therefore, urge the hon. Minister of Finance to release the 2016 Constituency Development Fund (CDF), which was promised to us early this year, but not released. We were, then, told that it would be released in March, 2016. We urge the Government to release that money so that as we adjourn sine die, hon. Members on both sides of the House can go back to their constituencies to build schools and clinics.

Madam Speaker, let me now turn to the President’s Speech.

Madam Speaker, I was not in the House when the President officially opened the First Session of the Twelfth National Assembly. However, I listened to it on radio under a mango tree. Therefore, I am familiar with everything that was said.

Mr Ngulube: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, the President talked about the need to improve the economy and I agree with him on that. When you look at the suffering that our people are going through today, it is just overwhelming but, as if that was not bad enough, we have just increased the prices of fuel to make them the highest in the region. We are also about to increase electricity tariffs. Further, I am sure that that the price of mealie meal will go up this year. I doubt whether a bag of mealie meal in Lusaka will sell for less than K150. That is suffering for Zambians to endure.


Dr Musokotwane: My key concern about the President’s Speech, however, is that he missed the opportunity to address what I think is the burning issue in Zambia today. As Opposition Members of Parliament, we are like the child we read about in The Emperor’s New Clothes who, when everyone else was saying, “Ah, the emperor’s new clothes are very nice”, said, in his innocence, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all.” This means that our important role, as hon. Members of Parliament, is to say the things that we are not willing to say; the things that we want to push under the carpet. That is our job.

Madam Speaker, the burning issue that I think the President should have addressed is that, today, Zambia is more divided than ever before. Somebody posted a map on social media that plotted the areas where the PF and UPND won. That map should that the political divide basically corresponded with the geographical divide between the then North-Eastern Rhodesia and North-Western Rhodesia.

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: That means we have gone back to 1911, when there was North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. As you look at this House, the hon. Members on your right are basically the descendants of the North-Eastern Rhodesians.

Hon. Government Members: Question!


Dr Musokotwane: On your left are the descendants of the North-Western Rhodesians, with a few exceptions, of course. What we expected from the President’s Speech, therefore, was a message to move us from 1911 to 2016; a message to unite Zambia.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane:  Madam Speaker, there is a serious crack in the Zambian society, and we know that only three things can happen to a crack: it can remain as it is, it can be mended or it can widen. I, therefore, urge the Government to mend this crack. Otherwise, those in the Executive will start going to some of these provinces in vehicles with tinted windows so that they are not seen because they will be feeling uncomfortable.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!

Look at the way we are seated here.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members!

Let us maintain order.

Continue, Hon. Dr Musokotwane.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, I have three suggestions of how we can mend the crack that has emerged in the Zambian society. The first one is for the PF to stop the discriminatory development agenda it has followed during its last tenure of office.


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, taking the example of the North-Western Province, how could the PF expect to ever win in that province when it did nothing there for the last five years?


Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, mending the crack means that this Government must stop being discriminatory in its development efforts.


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Members on my right!

The hon. Ministers will have the chance to respond.

You may continue, hon. Member.

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, in the aftermath of the elections, there were further divisions. We have seen the worst administered election in the history of this country.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Musokotwane: People have been killed and injured, and ballots cast for the Opposition have had to be retrieved from dust bins.

Mr Kampyongo: Question!


Dr Musokotwane: If we really wanted to build this country together, I expected the Government to say something about that very poorly administered election because a poorly administered election cannot be a catalyst for national unity.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Member: Question!

Dr Musokotwane: Madam Speaker, there have been prayers for national unity, and that is good because I do not believe that we can leave this issue to the courts alone. It is too complex for the courts to solve. So, we need Parliament, civil society organisations (CSO) and the Church to talk about how we can unite the country.

Madam Speaker, as regards those prayers, ...

Hon. PF Member: Question!


Dr Musokotwane: ... God, Himself, says, “ If anyone says, ‘I love God’, and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.”


Madam First Deputy Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Your time has run out.


The Vice-President (Mrs Wina): Madam Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1853 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 21st October, 2016.