Debates - Thursday, 7th November, 2013

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Thursday, 7th November, 2013

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock (Mr Sichinga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to update this august House on the programmes, projects and activities being undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, which we consider to be of interest to hon. Members of this House.

Sir, I wish to address the House and the nation at large on the production of Compound-D fertiliser by the Nitrogen Chemicals of Zambia (NCZ), its handling and distribution to districts, procurement of seed and Urea fertiliser for the 2013/2014 Season, the 2013 maize purchase by the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and payment to the farmers, and the policy framework of our ministry.

Mr Speaker, the hon. Members of this Assembly will recall that, during the last session, I made a statement to this House on four topics, namely, the production of Compound-D fertiliser by the NCZ and its distribution to the districts, maize purchase and payments by the FRA, the implementation of the E-Voucher or card system and the co-operative societies registration update.  I now wish to update the House on these issues.

Production and Distribution of Compound-D Fertiliser

Mr Speaker, the Cabinet contracted the NCZ to manufacture and distribute Compound-D fertiliser to the districts. In that regard, I am delighted to inform the nation that, as of Saturday, 12th October, 2013, the company had produced 70,726 metric tonnes of the fertiliser ordered under the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP). The cost was K374.3 million. I also wish to report that the plant is now producing an additional 25,599 metric tonnes, which is earmarked for distribution to the ten districts originally under the E-Voucher System. Most of them are in the Southern and Central provinces. Ndola is one of them. By Monday, 4th November, 2013, the plant had produced 5,280 metric tonnes. The cost of the additional quantity is K135.5 million while the total order and cost will be 96,328 metric tonnes and K509.7 million, respectively, and the funding will come directly from the Treasury. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the hon. Minister of Finance for his generosity in providing these monies.

Mr Speaker, it is obvious from the statistics I have provided that the plant has performed exceptionally well. However, that was not all. By the same date, the company had also distributed 65,955 metric tonnes of fertiliser, representing 93.3 per cent of the total, to all the district centres in the country, except the ten I have already mentioned.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the distribution will go on until the entire 70,726 metric tonnes is distributed.

Sir, the decision by the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to recapitalise the NCZ and procure fertiliser for FISP from it has created 320 permanent jobs and increased the total workforce at the NCZ to 635 while 556 more jobs have been created in the ten provinces of our country. That gives a total NCZ labour force of 1,190, and that is what we mean when we talk about creating quality jobs for Zambians.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, this project has significantly improved the incomes of the workers and livelihoods of not only the people in Kafue Town, but also for those in the other districts where these jobs have been created.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, we plan to progressively move towards producing Urea, which is top-dressing fertiliser, locally by 2015. We hope that we will have made adequate progress by then.

Procurement of Seed for the 2013/2014 Agricultural Season

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, through FISP, will distribute 9,654.61 metric tonnes of seed for various crops, including maize, sorghum, rice, cotton and groundnuts, to small-scale farmers. The seed will be sourced from the various local seed suppliers by 15th November, 2013.

Procurement of Urea Fertiliser for the 2013/2014 Agricultural Season

Mr Speaker, this has been topical in the media in the past few weeks. Let me give the correct position, instead of the speculations.

Sir, in the past, Urea has been supplied by the private sector, who imported it mostly from Saudi Arabia, with all the attendant procurement and distribution problems. The average cost to the Government was above US$1,000 per metric tonne. Due to the procurement challenges, it was decided that direct importation by the Government would achieve two things, namely, reducing costs and avoiding various procurement impediments, such as the ones we experienced during the 2012/2013 Agricultural Season.

Mr Speaker, 50,000 metric tonnes of Urea has been imported from Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the main producers of the product in Saudi Arabia. The first consignment of 25,000 metric tonnes was received at the port of Dar-es-Salaam on 4th October, 2013, and transported by ten Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) trains into Zambia. The ship carrying the second consignment of 25,000 metric tonnes docked at the port of Dar-es-Salaam on 5th November, 2013. A lot of work is being done to bring the entire consignment into the country. As of Monday, 4th November, 2013, 8,965.81 metric tonnes of the fertiliser from the first consignment had been dispatched to Luapula, Muchinga and Central provinces. The reason for doing that was for us to enable the trains to return quickly and go back to Dar-Es-Salam to collect the rest of the consignment.

Mr Speaker, by procuring directly from Saudi Arabia, the Government has served no less than US$500 or the Kwacha equivalent per metric tonne, at 2,700 per metric tonne. The estimated total savings on the entire 50,000 metric tonnes is US$25 million, equivalent to K135 million. The saved money, if so decided by the Cabinet, could be used to extend agricultural input support to an additional 600,000 small-scale farmers who do not currently benefit from FISP. It could further be used to meet the cost of subsidising farmers’ contribution to the procurement of fertiliser, which has now been fixed at K100 per 50kg bag, and the provision of free 10kg of maize seed.

The 2013 Maize Grain Purchases by the Food Reserve Agency.

Mr Speaker, as of 21st October, 2013, the Ministry, through the FRA, which was mandated to purchase 500 metric tonnes of maize for the strategic grain reserves in 2013, had purchased 426,150 metric tonnes of maize grain valued at K554 million. In terms of funding for the 2013 Grain Marketing Season, the Treasury has, so far, released K900.2 million for the FRA to pay farmers and transporters, and meet other logistical costs. As of 31st October, 2013, K416 million had already been paid to the farmers, leaving a balance of K138.04 million. The payments are on-going and all outstanding liabilities could be honoured in a few days.

Hon. Opposition Members: Mmm!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the main objective of maintaining a strategic food reserve for, at least, five months is to ensure that, in case of any emergencies, the country will not starve.

Mr Speaker, regarding storage space, the FRA has in excess of 750,000 metric tonnes of secure storage capacity. That is more than adequate to secure both the 500,000 metric tonnes of maize currently being purchased and the estimated 10,500 metric tonnes that is expected to be the carry-over stock after we have met all the current export orders from our neighbouring countries. However, the storage space is not evenly distributed, hence a number of rural districts need additional secure storage, especially those with crop surpluses.

Mr Speaker, maintaining food reserves is done at a great cost to the country, as I have just indicated, in terms of the sums I have mentioned in relation to support for FISP and the FRA. Therefore, it is important that the quantity and quality of the reserves be maintained at the minimum requirement, but in a secure manner so that it is able to prevent food shortages during seasons when there is crop failure. That is why we have currently restricted the quantity of strategic reserves to 500,000 metric tonnes. The preference is to encourage the private sector, especially the millers, to procure adequate stocks of their own to ensure that they meet their customers’ needs throughout the year.

Policy Framework

Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock is aware of the fact that an enabling policy environment, which will contribute to increased agricultural production and productivity, is essential for the sector. Consequently, the National Agriculture Policy (NAP) has been revised to harmonise it with the PF Manifesto and address major gaps in it, particularly in light of the changing climate, and new developments in livestock and fisheries development and crop production, as well as the need to enhance productivity, research, agro processing, which is aimed at value addition, and extension service delivery.

Mr Speaker, the ministry’s policy goal is, “To promote an efficient, dynamic, competitive, sustainable and value-adding export-led agricultural sector that assures incomes to the small-scale farmers; to also ensure that we have sufficient food and nutritional security for all in the country, particularly the vulnerable rural households, while ensuring that the general competitiveness of the agricultural sector is maintained.”

 In that respect, the specific policy objectives are as follows:

(a) promoting the diversification of agricultural production and utilisation;

(b) increasing livestock production and productivity;

(c) promoting a sustainable increase in crop production and productivity;

(d) strengthening extension service delivery mechanisms;

(e) increasing capture and aquaculture fish production;

(f) improving efficiency of agro inputs and product markets; and

(g) increasing agricultural exports.

Mr Speaker, under the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), to further augment the operationalisation of the NAP, our ministry has developed the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP), which has been structured around four reinforcing themes, namely:

(a) sustainable land and water use and management;

(b) improving agricultural production and productivity in crops, livestock and fisheries;

(c) improving access to agricultural markets; and

(d) food and nutritional security.

The indicative budget for NAIP is K14.6 billion, equivalent to US$2.7 billion, spread over a five-year implementation period. Of that amount, K11.3 billion will be provided by the Government of the Republic of Zambia and some co-operating partners, leaving a financing gap of K3.3 billion or US$605 million. The ministry is aggressively mobilising resources to bridge that gap from both our development partners and the private sector.

Mr Speaker, so far, K168 million, equivalent to US$31 million, has been secured from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP).

Mr Speaker, allow me to highlight some of the programmes and projects that will be implemented in my ministry to address the various sub-sectoral requirements in the agricultural sector. They include the US$23 million irrigation project targeted at small-holder farmers in Lusaka and the Southern provinces, which is funded by the African Development Bank (ADB) and the Finnish and Zambian Governments. The Irrigation Development and Support Projects (IDSP) also supports investments in irrigation for small-scale farmers in Lusitu in Siavonga, Mwomboshi in Chibombo and Musakazhi in Mufulira districts. Its US$115 million budget is funded by the World Bank. 

The other project, Sir, is the Agriculture Development Support Project (ADSP), which is also financed by the World Bank and has been supporting the development of agribusiness, institutional capacity and infrastructure development. Its budget is US$37 million, it has been running since 2011 and will end in 2014.

In Luapula Province, Sir, the Programme for Luapula Agriculture and Rural Development (PLARD) has been supporting sustainable fisheries development, agriculture and agribusiness, and their policy and regulatory frameworks, with the support of the Government of Finland. Its budget is €10.4 million. The project targets small-scale farmers in the crops, livestock and fisheries sub-sectors.

Mr Speaker, the Rural Extension Service Capacity Advancement Project (RESCAP) has been working within the ministry to improve rural extension services delivery and targets farmers and staff in ten districts of the Northern, Western and Lusaka provinces. Its budget of K8.9 million is supported by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA). The project started in 2009 and will end in 2014.

Sir, the Small-holder Agribusiness Promotion Programme (SAPP) has been supporting business value chains among small-scale farmers in thirty districts countrywide, targeting 30,000 households. This project is supported by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), Sweden and Finland.

Another project, Sir, is the Livestock Infrastructure Support Project (LISP) funded by the ADB, which aims at developing livestock infrastructure in the Northern and Muchinga provinces.

Mr Speaker, the IFAD-funded Small-holder Livestock Improvement Project (SLIP) aims at eradicating livestock diseases like East Coast Fever and Contagious Bovine Pleuro-Pneumonia (CBPP) in the Eastern, Southern, Western, Northern and North-Western provinces.

Sir, the World Bank-funded Livestock Development and Animal Health (LDAH) Project aims at improving livestock production and productivity, through disease control, livestock services provision and pasture development, in the Western, North-Western, Southern, Eastern and Northern provinces.

Mr Speaker, I have provided the foregoing information to enable the hon. Members of this august House to be aware of the PF Government’s programmes and projects being implemented in their provinces and districts. Let it not be said by them that the Government did not empower them with this information.

Sir, let me end my statement by stating that the PF Government has put agricultural development at the centre of its economic development agenda.

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Sichinga: The policy aspiration of the PF Government in agriculture is clear. It is to deliberately allocate adequate resources to support key investment areas that will, in turn, spur the desire for growth in the sector.

Mr Muntanga: Question!

Mr Sichinga: If you choose not to listen, it is up to you.

I apologise.

Mr Speaker, the development of irrigation, research, livestock and fisheries, and improved extension services has important benefits for the rural poor and other vulnerable communities. The overall objective of the PF Government in fostering growth in agriculture is to increase the agricultural sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) of our country by more than half.

Mr Speaker, I thank you for allowing me to make this statement.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I just want to add that all hon. Members …

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: … are invited to the ministry for information on specific programmes in their districts. If they choose not to come, we will not be blamed.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear! Ema Ministers aba!

Mr Mushanga: That is Robert Sichinga.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members are now free to ask questions on points of clarification on the statement made by the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Minister say that some of the top-dressing fertiliser is still in Saudi Arabia and is yet to be loaded in ships. However, this is November. Would he care to indicate to us when the people of Liuwa should expect to receive their share.

Mr Muntanga: It has arrived.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, obviously, the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa did not listen to the whole statement. I said that the first shipment of 25,000 metric tonnes arrived on 4th October, 2013. I also said that the second ship had docked in Dar-es-Salaam on 5th November, 2013, and that the fertiliser was being transported into Zambia. I have given details of how much fertiliser has already been received in the country, how much is in transit and how much is being offloaded at the port.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the background to the closure of the NCZ was that it had became too costly to produce fertiliser locally due to a lack of raw materials, which were being imported from far-away countries. Would the hon. Minister tell us the cost at which we are now producing the fertiliser and the advantages to the country of doing so.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, maybe, before I respond to the last question, the hon. Member of Parliament for Liuwa asked when the fertiliser would be received in his constituency. Currently, what we have done is concentrate on Compound-D fertiliser, first, because we have some latitude until around end of December to distribute Urea. So, although Urea has been distributed to the northern parts of the country, we plan to receive and distribute all of it to the respective areas, including Liuwa, before December, 2013.

With regard to the cost of producing fertiliser locally, the figure that has been quoted by the NCZ is K540 per bag. So, it is certainly less costly to produce fertiliser locally.

Sorry, Sir, the cost is K540 per metric tonne. It is definitely also beneficial to produce the commodity locally because it creates employment, which is important not only for the people of Kafue, but also those elsewhere.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is a disaster.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mbewe: It is on this Floor that he said that farmers would be paid their money for supplying maize to the FRA by the end of October, 2013, but it is now November. For example, in Chadiza, the Government has started distributing fertiliser …

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Mbewe: Hon. Minister, since the farmers have not been paid for the maize they supplied, and you have started distributing fertiliser, how will they buy it without the money that you promised to pay them by October, 2013? Will you allow them to get fertiliser by presenting receipts?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I do not know how I am a disaster. I am very much alive and well, as you can see. There is no disaster on my side. Suffice it to say that the responsibility of the ministry is to ensure that programmes are put in place. Obviously, the way the Government works, and the hon. Member who has asked this question has been an hon. Deputy Minister in Government and knows this, is that the commitments that any hon. Minister makes are fulfilled subject to all things being equal. I made that commitment because that was our intention. I have also stated that the bulk of the payment has been made. Close to K1 billion has been paid while the settlement of the balance is on-going. I suggest that those with particular requirements will be known. As I said, we have extended the time to enable them to exchange their maize for inputs. We have also said that they can use their maize to pay. However, over and above that, if there are issues specifically pertaining to the hon. Member’s constituency, we should be informed so that we deal with them.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Speaker, farmers in Kalomo have already planted and the maize has started germinating, yet fertiliser has not been taken there. The hon. Minister has said that …

Mr Muchima: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, I sincerely apologise to my cousin for disrupting his line of thought. I rise on a very serious point of order.

Mr Chipungu: Remove your hands from your pockets.


Mr Muchima: Sir, I have been a Member of this House for seven years now and I know that we are not allowed to comment on any matter that is before the courts of law. According to Cap 12 of the Laws of Zambia: Powers and Privileges, people who are called to give evidence before your Committees are always reminded about their protection and the legal sanctions against the offence of deliberately misleading a Committee.

Mr Speaker, yesterday, on the evening news, there was an item on the Treasurer for Mwinilunga District Council, the council that I belonged to before Ikeleng’i became a district and a constituency. On 4th January, 2013, I was arrested by the PF Government and I am still appearing before the courts of law.

Hon. MMD Members: Aah, ah!

Hon. Opposition Member: Criminal!

Mr Muchima: Sir, that case, in which I was charged with abuse of authority of office, has not taken off, to date. The allegation was that I introduced a contractor to the Council Secretary.

Sir, in the news clip, yesterday, the Treasurer was testifying before a Committee and indicated that there were witnesses who had died and others who feared to testify in the case because they could be killed.


Mr Muchima: Sir, he also told the Committee that K720,000 was purported to have been paid to a company in Mwinilunga that is, actually, non-existent. The matter we are talking about was not reported to the police by the Mwinilunga District Council, but by one politician, who is a member ...

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member, your point of order is long-winded. Get to the point.

Mr Muchima: Mr Speaker, my point of order is: Is the Mwinilunga District Council Treasurer in order to mislead your Committee by distorting facts regarding what happened and comment on a matter that is in the courts of law and has not even taken off yet?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Mr Speaker: My short ruling is that you will also have the opportunity to appear before the Public Accounts Committee and clarify those matters.

Continue, Hon. Muntanga.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that the ten districts that were supposed to get fertiliser on the E-Voucher Scheme did not have Compound-D fertiliser. Further, of the 25,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser required, only 5,000 tonnes was ready by Monday, 4th November, 2013. When will the farmers be availed with the rest of the fertiliser and seed? It is already late, and that is the disaster. In agriculture, there is no guesswork. We are talking about Compound-D fertiliser and the E-Voucher Scheme, which has failed. When will the fertiliser be distributed to the ten districts, including those in which there is high productivity?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the production of 25,599 metric tonnes of fertiliser is on-going and the fertiliser is currently being delivered. I expect the production to be completed in two to three weeks. Our target is to distribute the fertiliser to all the districts by 15th November, 2013. We are doing everything we can to expedite the process.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamudulu (Siavonga): Mr Speaker, in responding to Hon. Mbewe’s question, the hon. Minister said that his earlier assurance to pay farmers by the end of October, 2013, was on the condition that all things would be equal. Today, he has made yet another promise or assurance that all the farmers will be paid in a few days. Will this be the last time we are hearing an assurance to pay the farmers in a given time frame?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I am not in a position to promise that this will be the last time because there are many factors that are beyond the control of my office.

Mr Muntanga interjected.

Mr Sichinga: That is the plan that we have, Hon. Muntanga. Maybe, you should indicate so that you can be allowed to ask a question rather than asking from the Floor. We are doing what we can. There are issues to do with finances, which are not under my ministry’s control. Even in the Ministry of Finance, there are issues that are beyond the hon. Minister’s control. However, we are doing everything we can to pay our farmers on time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, in agriculture, we do not need theories. So, following what the hon. Minister has said, I politely ask him to step down on moral grounds because he has failed us and the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I will not step down on any moral grounds ...


Mr Speaker: Order!

 He is responding to the request.

Mr Sichinga: … because several other things that this Government has done at the right time must be considered in evaluating what is happening, including the creation of employment for the hon. Member’s relatives in Kafue. He knows that his relatives would not be employed if we had not done what we have done. I would also like to ask him whether he will resign because he has not brought development to his constituency. As soon as he resigns, I will also step down.

I thank you, Sir.


Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Sir, it is always disastrous when reality is considered to be an illusion. The hon. Minister indicated that K540 is sufficient to buy a tonne of fertiliser, and I would like him to revisit that point. Further, the purchase of the 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser was through a bank facility, according to the information that we have from Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited. If that information is incorrect, could the hon. Minister share with the House how much money was borrowed from Stanbic or any other bank to facilitate the importation of Urea fertiliser. Further, how much was paid to the known agents that assisted the Government to put the transaction together?

Mr Sichinga: Sir, let me take advantage of this question to correct the record. In fact, I was going to say this. The figure that I gave to the House earlier was incorrect. The cost of producing Compound-D fertiliser is K509.7 million and will be met by the Government. That translates into just over K7,270 per metric tonne. I wanted to make that correction. So, thank you for reminding me.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, coming to the issue of the 50,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, first and foremost, the hon. Member’s information is incorrect because the procurement was done by letters of credit from the Ministry of Finance. By the way, there were no agents of any kind, hence the savings. This was a direct transaction between the ministry and SABIC, which was also supplying our local agents. The money has been paid in full by the Treasury.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to ask this question. In echoing the …

Mr Habeenzu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Habeenzu: Mr Speaker, I rarely rise on points of order. However, when I advised the hon. Minister to step down on moral grounds, in his answer, he said that my relatives are employed at the NCZ. I would like him to name those relatives of mine who are employed …

Hon. Government Members: What is the point of order?

Mr Habeenzu: Mr Speaker, is he in order not to name my relatives who are employed by that company? I have many nephews, sons and brothers who just sit at home because of lacking jobs.

Mr Speaker: As the hon. Minister continues to respond to various questions, I will give him the opportunity to clarify the sense of his statement.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, I would like to echo the hon. Member for Chadiza’s words that the PF Government and the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, in particular, are a disaster. In answering a question, earlier, the hon. Minister stated that the Urea would be in the country in January, 2014. So, I pity the people of Zambia who entirely depend on agriculture …

Mr Speaker: What is the point of clarification that you seek?

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that the planting window is now and that, when the maize is at knee-height, people will need to apply the Urea? By the time it comes, in January, 2014, it will be irrelevant.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Sir, first of all, I did not say that the Urea will arrive in January, 2014, but that, as I spoke, more than 6,000 metric tonnes had already been distributed in some of the provinces. So, the hon. Member’s claims are invalid. I also said that the exercise was on-going. As the consignments come in, we will distribute them. However, as I said, we will concentrate on distributing Compound-D fertiliser, for now, before we move on to the top-dressing fertiliser, which is Urea. So, maybe, the hon. Member for Kasenengwa was too worried about her constituency to listen to what I was saying.

Sir, as regards the point of order by my relative from Chikankata seated there, I want to say that every Zambian who is employed at the NCZ is his relative. He is a Zambian. That is what I meant. Unless he decides that he is not related to any Zambian and gets a different nationality.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the hon. Minister why the Government …

Mr Miyutu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Miyutu: Mr Speaker, I have to calm my soul first.

Sir, the Government erred, last year, in distributing fertiliser by delaying the exercise.  In 2013, just when people were gaining the hope that, maybe, the fertiliser would be delivered on time, again, a similar thing has occurred. In fact, I am told that it is the worst performance by the Government in this exercise. Is the Government in order to err twice in two consecutive years?

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: My ruling is that these are the kinds of points of order that derail our business. If you have a question, ask it independently. That so-called point of order can be paraphrased into an appropriate follow-up question. That way, we will accommodate more questions. I am not supposed to speak as I am doing now. I am actually getting into your time, but you are the one who is unnecessarily dragging me into it. We have very limited time, and I gave this counsel yesterday. Do not use points of order to jump the queue and ask questions. I have a list here.


Mr Speaker: You just want to jump the queue by asking a question through a point of order. That is why I am tempted to ignore these points of order. You shout and I ignore. You do it again, I still ignore you and carry on because it is not a right to raise a point of order. It is a privilege, and I can ignore you without consequence.

Mr Hamusonde: Mr Speaker, why did the Government decide to start distributing fertiliser in October, when it is planting time? In other words, what caused the delay?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, planting takes place between 15th November and …

Hon. Opposition Members: No!

Mr Sichinga: … 15th December. That was the basis of our planning.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I have explained the issue of the ten districts that were supposed to be on a different programme in great detail. I also said that we have already distributed 65,955 tonnes of fertiliser, which represents 93 per cent, in the districts that were not on the E-Voucher Scheme. The hon. Members who are from the districts where we have already distributed the fertiliser can bear me witness. We are currently distributing fertiliser simultaneously with the seed in the districts. That is what I said.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Speaker, I recall that the hon. Minister, on the Floor of this House, cast aspersions on the management of the Fertiliser Support Programme (FSP) by the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and indicated that the failures of the MMD would never recur. In his opinion, is the performance of the PF in this programme not worse than that of the MMD?

Hon. Opposition Members: Yes.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, far from it, because I have repeatedly kept this House abreast with the progress of the programme at every stage. In fact, I did it so much that hon. Members complained that I was giving them too much information. It is right for me to come to this House and explain the exigencies in our programmes. As I have said before, it is your right to decide how much information is enough for you, and mine, as Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, to explain to you. That is what I have done. I have not kept information away from this House.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ng’onga (Kaputa): Mr Speaker, if I heard the hon. Minister correctly, in the previous Government’s purchases of fertiliser, this country was charged close to US$1,000 per metric tonne, and that the current purchase has saved the country some money. However, he has corrected the record and said that it was around US$700 per tonne. What could have been the reasons behind this country paying such a huge amount of money to the same company in the previous years?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, what happened is normal, as far as the private sector is concerned. Private companies do not work to make losses. They want to make profits, and that is exactly what happened in the past. Let me share this information with this House. Maybe, it will help. The purchase of a metric tonne of fertiliser from Saudi Arabia at free-on-board (FOB) was at US$383. We provided for additional costs, such as insurance, shipping, handling and transportation from the port to here. Even after we did that, our final cost was US$530 per metric tonne. That has saved us US$24 million. In fact, I think that the hon. Members on that side should applaud the Government …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: ... for this tremendous saving because, as I explained, there are around 1.5 million farmers in our country, but only 900,000 are supported under FISP. That means that 600,000 do not receive any kind of support. Surely, these savings will go a long way in correcting that and supporting the reduction of the contribution that farmers make towards the purchase of fertiliser. That should be something worth applauding. Furthermore, we flagged off the distribution of fertiliser on 26th June, 2013. That has never happened before. I am now telling you, hon. Member of Parliament for Monze Central, that this is what we did. The fertiliser was distributed, except for those districts that were supposed to be under the E-Voucher Project.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister mentioned that the savings from the purchases would be used to reduce the price of fertiliser, and I hope that it will come down from K100 to, maybe, K50 like it was before. However, my concern is about the people of Milenge and Milambo, in particular. The hon. Minister is aware that, out of all the constituencies in Luapula Province, thirteen that belong to the PF were given the Constituency Development Fund (CDF). Only one was not. This time around, the fertiliser for Milambo Block was grabbed and given to Mansa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Mbulakulima: The only district that has not received the fertiliser is Milenge, as expected. I am in possession of a letter from the Acting Provincial Agricultural Officer (PACO), which reads:

“We acknowledge that Milambo Block had requested for 1,922 bags at the time of distribution. It was, however, given 1,600. This resulted from the re-alignment of districts, specifically, the separation of Chembe District from Mansa. Mansa District did not submit accurate information on the beneficiaries. At the time of allocation, 322 packs were allocated to farmers within Chembe from Milambo Block.”

Mr Speaker, Chembe is not in Milenge. It is under Mansa.

Sir, there is a propensity to discriminate against the people of Milenge. I wrote to the hon. Minister, but it is now almost two weeks …

Mr Speaker: Order!

What is the question?

Mr Mbulakulima: Mr Speaker, the question is: When will I get a positive answer from the hon. Minister so that the people of Milambo can get their inputs?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, firstly, I would like to clarify one thing. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock has nothing to do with the CDF. Therefore, please, do not bring up the issue of the CDF in this discussion.

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, secondly, I took the trouble to invite the hon. Member to give me the details two weeks ago, and he wrote to me. I also took the trouble to sit down with him during tea break to explain to him that the division of the district is what was responsible for the changes. Therefore, for him to insinuate that this is discrimination against his people is unjustifiable. In fact, he has failed to deal with the issues that I had raised with him. I think that he has done this deliberately to cast aspersions on us. Nobody is being discriminated against. The information I have given comes from the districts.


Mr Sichinga: May I answer.

Mr Speaker: Those of you who – I can see you – have the propensity to debate whilst you are seated, must know that it is not allowed. It will not help you because you are not communicating with anybody, but rather just making communication difficult. If there is a grumble, stand up and grumble.

Continue, hon. Minister.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I also requested the hon. Member of Parliament to come to my office so that we could look at the original requirements of his constituency, …

Mr Mbulakulima interjected.

Mr Sichinga: … but he has not done so.

Mr Speaker, he wants us to have this exchange, but I do not think that this is a reasonable way of debating. I have given him the information and, since he has chosen to bring it to the Floor of the House, I will answer him on the Floor of the House. As far as we are concerned, there is no discrimination against any constituency or farming block at all. We want all the farmers to produce more so that the country can have food security.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Kaingu (Mwandi): Mr Speaker, my question is a rider to those asked by Hon. Mbewe and Hon. Hamudulu. It is clear that the FRA has failed the hon. Minister. So, what business sense is there in keeping it?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the FRA is doing a sterling job. As an agency of the Government, there is no way in which it has let us down. It works according to Government directives, budgets and frameworks. What we said earlier this year was that the private sector would be encouraged to purchase its own grain, and that is what has happened.

The FRA’s funding is budgeted for and approved by this House to ensure that we have food security. Currently, in accordance with the policy framework, we have 500,000 metric tonnes of stocks in the strategic reserves. Therefore, there is no reason for anyone to think that the FRA or any other institution has let us down. However, we agree that they can do better.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Mr Mpundu (Nchelenge): Mr Speaker, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister in order to mislead this House that the FRA has the requisite strategic maize reserves when his Deputy Minister, Hon. Monde, indicated in a statement to the nation when he was extending the maize purchasing exercise that there was a shortfall in the maize strategic reserve, and that it was the reason for the extension of the exercise?

Mr Speaker: The hon. Minister will consider that as he continues to answer questions. However, I am allowing this point of order with a great deal of reluctance because it could easily have been a follow-up question. If you could not ask a question because you have already asked another, you could have simply passed it to your colleague to ask it on your behalf. You are in politics and you belong to a political party. 

May the hon. Member for Nchelenge continue, please.

Mr Mpundu: Mr Speaker, how effective is PLARD in alleviating poverty in Luapula Province?

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, currently, we are reviewing the effectiveness of all the programmes, including PLARD. However, the manner in which the programmes are implemented makes it very difficult to evaluate them until they are at mid-point. So, I suggest that the hon. Member raises that as a new principal question. We will then answer it better.

Sir, in responding to the point of order, I saw that Hon. Mwiimbu came into the Chamber after I had already started my statement. So, he might have missed what I said on the point he has raised. For his benefit, and to avoid a repetition of the question, I will read out the figures again. Let me quote:

“During the 2013 Marketing Season, the ministry, through the FRA, was mandated to purchase 500,000 metric tonnes of maize for the strategic grain reserves. As at 31st October, 2013, 426,150 metric tonnes of maize grain valued at K554 million had been purchased.”

Mr Speaker, how have I misled the House?

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Ms Lubezhi (Namwala): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister, in answering …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Lubezhi: … the hon. Member of Parliament for Siavonga, who asked whether the promise that the FRA would pay all the farmers for their maize by a certain date was the last assurance he would give us over the payments to the farmers, said that there were issues beyond the control of his ministry and the hon. Minister of Finance. Could he tell us who, then, controls those factors beyond his control so that we ask that person when the farmers will be paid.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I think that all the hon. Members of this House know very well that Government revenues come from taxes. Depending on the manner and promptness with which the taxes are collected, we may or may not have all the resources at a given time. That is why I said that the exercise is on-going. I also said that there are things that are within my jurisdiction, as Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, and those that are within the jurisdiction of other ministries. Therefore, I rely on the other ministries to do their part well for me to also do mine. Each one of us has a role to play. There is no way of going around the Government’s institutional framework. We will take responsibility for those issues that are under our jurisdiction.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, the overall Government policy is to build the capacity of the private sector and, where the private sector is performing well, to facilitate improvement. Therefore, is the Government doing itself any favour by getting involved in the unsustainable programme of importing fertiliser? Can the hon. Minister confirm to this House and the nation that this programme will be sustained in the future so that the people of Zambia can still feel comfortable when the private sector pulls out of the exercise. Currently, the Government’s involvement is crowding the private sector out.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the hon. Member’s characterisation of this exercise as unsustainable is his opinion. However, it could not be farther from the truth. The Government has the responsibility to its people to cut its suit according to the cloth it has. It does not say that it will promote the private sector at any cost. For example, when the private sector wants to retrench our people, we will protect the citizens. When there is a need for the small-scale farmers to be protected, the Government will do that. When we need to reach more people, we will re-examine our policies. If necessary, the Government will take those measures. It is, obviously, necessary. Even in the future, if we discover that it is more beneficial for us to import fertiliser, we will do so and serve more people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao (Senga Hill): Mr Speaker, in the first statement that the hon. Minister made on the production of 70,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser at the NCZ, he said the Government had spent US$374 million. Now, he has changed and said that he was mistaken and, instead, that what was spent was US$591 million or somewhere around there. I just wonder where he had got the first figure from since he mentioned it with so much certainty.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, I have given two figures. For the benefit of the engineer, the hon. Member of Parliament for Senga Hill, let me do it again. The first 726,000 metric tonnes have been produced at US$374.3 million. Please, write it down.


Mr Sichinga: The second quantity of 25,599 metric tonnes has been produced at an additional cost of US$135.5 million. When you add US$374.3 million to US$135.5 million, it will give you US$509.7. That is how we arrived at that figure.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr I. Banda (Lumezi): Mr Speaker, I would like the hon. Minister to be very clear on why the Government started distributing Compound-D fertiliser and seed to small-scale farmers late when those inputs are produced locally. To make matters worse, it is difficult for transporters to deliver inputs to the doorsteps of the small-scale farmers in Lumezi Constituency, especially those in the valley.

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, for the benefit of the hon. Member, I was in Lumezi just over a month ago to look at the issue that he has raised. In areas where the roads are small or difficult to use, we will use smaller vehicles. We have distributed trucks and trailers to the districts. From the districts, we will use smaller vehicles. By the way, it is not just Lumezi which is affected, but also other constituencies, such as Mafinga.

Sir, the allegation that the areas are impossible to reach, currently, is an over-dramatisation of the situation.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ndalamei (Sikongo): Mr Speaker, indeed, the PF Government is a disaster.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Ndalamei: Mr Speaker, last Friday, His Honour the Vice-President told the nation that a bag of fertiliser would cost K130, but the hon. Minister of Agriculture and Livestock has just said that it will cost K100. Which of the two is the correct figure?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sichinga: Mr Speaker, the issues of subsidies is at two levels.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Sichinga: Let me clarify that to you. The first statement we made regarding the contribution that the Government would make was based on the average cost per bag. That figure was, initially, K100 per 50kg bag of fertiliser. However, when we looked at the actual cost of procuring at USD 1,000 per metric tonne, it was necessary for us to adjust the contribution by the farmers to K135.

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Sichinga: As a result of the savings that we have made, the price of K100 will be maintained.

I thank you, Sir.




170 Mr L. J. Ngoma (Sinda) asked the Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs:

(a) whether the ministry was aware that Chief Madzimawe of Chipata District had banned the hon. Member for Kasenengwa Parliamentary Constituency from visiting his chiefdom, which was part of the constituency;

(b) what circumstances led the chief to ban the hon. Member from visiting her constituency;

(c) whether chiefs had authority to ban any hon. Member of Parliament from visiting any part of the constituency;

(d) whether chiefs were aware that hon. Members of Parliament enjoyed absolute freedom of speech on the Floor of the House; and

(e) what measures had been taken to ensure that chiefs did not restrict hon. Members of Parliament from visiting their constituencies.

The Deputy Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Mr Taundi): Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs is not aware that Chief Madzimawe has banned the hon. Member of Parliament for Kasenengwa Constituency from visiting any part of her constituency.

Sir, the reasons for banning the hon. Member of Parliament are not known, as far as the ministry is concerned.

Sir, chiefs and hon. Members are encouraged to work together, as partners. When conflicts arise, it is my ministry’s interest …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mr Taundi: … to find an amicable solution to them.

Mr Speaker, the ministry has been working closely with chiefs on issues of partnerships and conflict resolution. Further, training programmes on leadership and team building have been arranged for chiefs in 2014.

Sir, the ministry is currently working on a code of ethics for all traditional leaders in Zambia.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr L. J. Ngoma: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has indicated that he is not aware of the conflict between the hon. Member and the chief, but that is very doubtful because this issue was in the public domain. I do not know whether he has purposefully opted to mislead this House. However, now that he is aware, the question still is: What are the circumstances that led to the hon. Member’s being banned? I am asking this question on the Floor of the House. He has been informed about the matter.

Mr Speaker: The Answer is that the ministry is not aware, …

Hon. Government Members: Yes.

Mr Speaker: … yet, in the follow-up question, you are still asking about the circumstances. Anyway, the hon. Minister may answer.

The Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs (Prof. Luo): Mr Speaker, as a ministry, we do not depend on newspaper articles or hearsay. We await formal communication from the chiefdoms. So, the ministry can only comment after it receives official communication.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lubinda (Kabwata): Mr Speaker, the forth part of this question reads:

“whether chiefs are aware that hon. Members of Parliament enjoy absolute freedom of speech on the Floor of the House”.

Sir, for the sake of clarity, do hon. Members of Parliament enjoy absolute freedom of speech on the Floor of the House?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, before I answer that question, I would re-state that we do not know what led to the ban. Whether it had something to do with the absolute freedom on the Floor of the House is not known.

Mr Speaker: What about the question from the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabwata?


Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I am being pushed to say what I should not say. I do not want to comment on whether there was any connection between her ban and absolute freedom of speech in the House. My personal views on how we, as leaders, should interact, is that, although we are given absolute freedom, the people out there expect us to interacting as partners and exhibit self-restraint on some issues.

I thank you.

Mr Kunda (Muchinga): Mr Speaker, what advice would the hon. Minister give to the chief …


Mr Speaker: Let the hon. Member complete his question. Do not pre-empt him.


Mr Kunda: ... if the hon. Member was banned from visiting the chiefdom?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, I advise the hon. Member of Parliament to travel to Kasenengwa and discuss with the chief. If she would like me to mediate, I would be glad to do that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, I heard the hon. Deputy Minister mention a code of conduct for chiefs. Have the chiefs been consulted over it?

Prof. Luo: Mr Speaker, in English, there is a difference between a code of conduct and a code of ethics. These are two totally different concepts. We said we are working on a code of ethics, and there is a process. These days, those of you who develop documents know that the way you develop any document is through participatory methods. The code of ethics, not code of conduct, will be developed in a participatory manner.

I thank you, Sir.


171. Mr Sianga (Sesheke) asked the Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication when the Government would construct roads to connect Sesheke Boma to the following areas.

(a) Imusho; and

(b) Lwampungu, via Senanga.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication (Mr M. H. Malama): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister for ‘Shesheke’ wants to know …

Hon. Members: Shesheke?


Mr M. H. Malama: I said ‘Sesheke’.

Mr Speaker: Whatever the case, hon. Minister, continue.


Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the Government has no immediate plans to construct roads to connect Sesheke Boma to Imusho and Lwampungu, via Senanga. The local authority in Sesheke is expected to prioritise the roads for inclusion in the Annual Work Plan.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Sianga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Minister aware that, after forty-nine years of Independence, the people of Imusho do not enjoy their rights, as citizens of Zambia? In short, they are cut-off from the road, radio and television, and mobile telephone networks and depend on Namibia for all these things. Is there any plan to assist the people of Sesheke, especially those living in Imusho, so that they enjoy their entitlements, as citizens?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, in the first place, I am not aware of what the hon. Member has said, and the reason is simple.


Mr Speaker: Order, on the left!

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, for example, if I asked the hon. Minister about a bridge in the village where I come from in Mfuwe, say, Kalufyanondo Crossing, and said that a bridge is required there, he might not know anything. That is why we always say that it is important for the local authorities to prioritise projects because that gives us an idea of what needs to be worked on. It is practically impossible for us to dream that there is a need for a road in some part of a given district. However, if the local authorities prioritise it, we will definitely do something because it is the responsibility of the Government of the day to serve the Zambian people.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister is aware that Imusho is on the fringes of Zambia and has been extremely disadvantaged since Independence. That being so, what steps will he take to impress upon the local authority to prioritise the road from Sesheke to Imusho?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, before I came to Parliament, today, I gave instructions to the Rural Roads Unit (RRU) in the province to find out the situation of this road. So, we will depend on the information that we will get.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, the hon. Ministers’ answers that they do not have information about situations on the ground is quite worrying. The Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication is not only in Lusaka, but countrywide. The hon. Minister is supposed to have people on the ground to feed him with the information on the ground, depending on the question that has been asked.

Mr Speaker: What is your question?

Mr Habeenzu: Sir, when the question was forwarded to the Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, why did the hon. Minister not find out what is obtaining in Imusho from the people on the ground?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, we have the information.

Hon. Opposition Member: He must resign.

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, the reason we could not work on that road …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Hon. Members, if you want to ask a follow-up question, you do so after he has finished responding. It is very simple.

Mr M. H. Malama: Sir, the reason we are not working on the road is that it is not a priority. We are working on the Machile Bridge because it was brought to our attention as a priority. Now that the road will be prioritised, we will look at it. I, therefore, advise the hon. Member to wait patiently. We will advise him on the route we will be taking on that issue.

I thank you, Sir.

MrNkombo(Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, initially, the hon. Minister indicated that he was unaware about Imusho and Lwampungu, via Senanga, Road. Later, he said that he has the information and that the road was not on the priority list. He further told us about the Machile Bridge, which is in Mulobezi Constituency. As the Government was designing the Link Zambia 8,000 Project, was Sesheke so obscure that it could not be seen on the map of Zambia?


Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, actually, nothing was hidden from us when we were looking at the Link Zambia 8,000 Project. Therefore, I cannot confirm that Sesheke is not part of the Link Zambia 8,000 Project.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Hon. Malama, you usually answer questions very well. I do not know what is happening today.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, Imusho is a very well-known place because of its serious hunger situation, and it was one of the places that were considered when we were building roads in Shang’ombo District. Further, the people of Imusho are connected to the other parts of the country by the road that leads to Sesheke. So, they need this road. Why, then, has the Government not included this road on its plan?

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Sir, …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr M. H. Malama: Mr Speaker, I cannot go to Imusho or Sesheke to look at their priorities. The local people are the ones who are supposed to do that …

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Mr M. H. Malama: … and submit their reasons for prioritising a road in that area. That is the procedure. So, it should not be for this ministry or the Government to think of constructing a road in Imusho when there could be an important bridge that needs to be urgently worked on.

I thank you, Sir.




Mr Speaker: We should have now proceeded to hear a Notice of Motion from the hon. Minister of Finance. However, I regret to inform the House that, according to the information received from the hon. Minister of Finance, there are some technical issues that need to be resolved before the Motion to resolve into Committee of Ways and Means can be considered by this House. Therefore, the Motion will be deferred to a later date to be advised. To that extent, I will now ask the Clerk to read the orders of the day.




(Debate resumed)

VOTE 08 – (Cabinet Office − Office of the President – K126,883,655,541).

The Vice President (Dr Scott): Mr Chairperson, when business was adjourned, yesterday, I had just told the House that the programmes for Cabinet Office in 2014 will be five. Allow me to outline them.

General Administration

Sir, this takes the lion’s share of the budget for Cabinet Office. Under this programme, the major activities to be undertaken include:

(a) Public Affairs and Summit Meetings: Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate the President’s local and foreign trips and hosting of and participation in both local and foreign summits and meetings, and maintain and operate the Presidential aircraft and motorcade to enable the President to discharge his executive functions;

(b) Support to Offices of Former Presidents: Cabinet Office will continue providing administrative and logistical support to the offices of the First and Fourth Presidents, as well as support services to the Second and Third Presidents’ families in accordance with the provisions of the Benefits of Former Presidents Act;

(c) Restructuring of Cabinet Office and Cabinet Business: Cabinet Office will be strengthened to ensure that it effectively and efficiently undertakes its oversight and co-ordination role by mapping and re-designing some work processes. To this effect, a dedicated Budget line has been created to enable Cabinet Office to respond to the emerging demands and changes in the environment. Further, a new division that will oversee all matters relating to remuneration across the Public Service will be created in 2014; and

(d) State Functions: Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate and organise State functions and commemoration of national events in order to enable the President to perform his ceremonial duties.

Support to Institutions

Sir, Cabinet Office will provide funding to the Government Communications Department in order to facilitate effective and secure communication between Cabinet Office and other strategic institutions.

Cabinet Meetings and Management of the Policy Process

Cabinet Office will continue to facilitate the conduct of Cabinet Meetings and co-ordinate the formulation of public policies, monitor and evaluate their implementation by Government ministries and institutions in order to realise the aspirations of the Patriotic Front (PF) Government. To enhance efficiency across the Public Service, Cabinet Office will co-ordinate the implementation of an E-Government system.

Strategic Planning, Re-structuring and Institutional Development

Cabinet office will continue to institutionalise strategic management in the Public Service. In this regard, comprehensive organisational or institutional assessments and organisation development will be undertaken in order to facilitate the effective re-structuring of ministries and institutions aimed at improving service delivery. Following the Cabinet’s approval and the subsequent launch of the Revised Decentralisation Policy, Cabinet Office will expedite the re-structuring of provincial and district administrations, and facilitate the implementation of new structures for city, municipal and district councils.

Performance Management Systems

To enhance the existing management systems and accountability of public officials and institutions, Cabinet Office will review and continue to roll out the existing performance management systems.

Mr Chairperson, from the foregoing, it is clear that Cabinet Office plays a pivotal and critical role in the management of the Public Service and the overall provision of policy direction to the nation.

Sir, the funds being requested in the 2014 estimates of expenditure will, therefore, be necessary to enable Cabinet Office to effectively execute its mandate. I, therefore, request the hon. Members of this august House to support these estimates.

Mr Chairperson, I thank you.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to debate on Cabinet Office. From the outset, I wish to inform my colleagues that I am a former Human Resource Practitioner, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: … and I think that, with that background, I can easily give advice to the Cabinet Office to help it to perform much more effectively in the areas that His Honour the Vice President has indicated.

Mr Chairperson, Cabinet Office is one institution in which we have witnessed a huge staff turnover, especially at the senior level. Mr Leslie Mbula, had served the Government of the Republic of Zambia for many years, and I have great respect for him. For purposes of my debate, the first, second and third Secretaries are Mr Mbula, Mr Kanganja and Mr Chibiliti, respectively. The current Secretary is, therefore, the fourth. This is not very good in ensuring stability at Cabinet Office. I would like to advise the PF Government to stick to the person that it feels is competent to run the affairs of the Civil Service.

Mr Chairperson, I also wish to state that Cabinet Office is the employer of all civil servants in this country, regardless of who and where they may be. In the recruitment of such staff, there are procedures that must be followed, which include ensuring that the person being appointed to the Civil Service for the first time has a letter of appointment. Bear in mind that the language of the letters of appointment differs.

Sir, I was very happy, today, when I read the letter of termination of contract of service for some of the employees at Konkola Copper Mines (KCM). It is a very good letter. This is the standard that we want the Secretary to the Cabinet to aim at. 


Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I am very worried about the work culture at Cabinet Office. I have never worked there, but I have worked in the private sector, where they want to make sure that someone is smart, like me. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: I am very smart.

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwanza: The private sector endeavours to ensure that the people in charge of running the affairs of an organisation are as smart as I am.

Mr Livune interjected.


Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I am very worried that some of the people who work at Cabinet Office are not smart at all.

Mr Muntanga: That is right.

Mr Mwanza: If a person is in charge of a particular department, he or she must be presentable because, if they are not, they will be clouding the thinking of the Zambian people. The people will question whether, indeed, they are looking at Cabinet Office and whether the people working there understand or even know what they are doing. Sir, it is important to ensure that high standards are inculcated in those who work at Cabinet Office.

Mr Livune: Or are workers of lififi. 

Mr Mwanza: It is very prestigious to work at Cabinet Office.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga interjected.


Mr Mwanza: When a person has a prestigious job, it must show. When you want to buy more, it must show.


Mr Mwanza: A person must be able to answer queries that come before him or her.

During my time as a civil servant in the teaching profession in Luapula Province, many years ago, …

Mr Livune: In Bahati!

Mr Mwanza: … we were told that we had to be smart.

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.




The Chairperson: Hon. Members, I would like to remind the House of the announcement I made last week that the Diabetic Association of Zambia (DAZ) will conduct free diabetes screening on hon. Members and staff tomorrow, 8th November, 2013, in Committee Room 5, from 0800 hours to 1600 hours.

Hon. Members, the early detection of the condition enhances its management and treatment. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members to take advantage of this free service and get tested. I further wish to thank DAZ for offering this service gratis.

Thank you.


The Chairperson: When business was suspended, the Committee of Supply on the Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the year 1st January to 31st December, 2014, was considering the general policy debate on VOTE 08 – Cabinet Office − Office of the President – K126,883,655,541, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West was debating.

Continue, Hon. Mwanza.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much, once more, …

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I rise on a very serious point of order that hinges on the security of the nation and our people in Lusaka.

Sir, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs in order to remain quiet and be in this House as though there is nothing serious that has happened in Lusaka? This afternoon, the two rival PF camps clashed in Chelston on their way to the Kenneth Kaunda International Aairport. There was serious fighting, and we understand that some lives have been lost, ….


Mr Mwiimbu: … and traffic and the people in Chelston disturbed.

Is this Government in order to remain quiet when people are being disturbed by the rivalry in the PF?


The Chairperson: Order!

Let me, once again, seize the opportunity to remind the House of when points of order are relevant. This has been repeatedly said in this and the previous House. There are three conditions that validate a point of order. Firstly, it can be raised on procedure, secondly, on decorum and, lastly, but not the least, relevance. In other words, is the point of order relevant to the subject under discussion?

Clearly, the point of order raised by the hon. Member for Monze Central, important as it is, does not meet any of the three conditions. In light of that, I request him to file a question.

The Chairperson: May the hon. Member of Parliament for Solwezi West continue.


Hon. UPND Members left the Assembly Chamber.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was paying growing tribute to the former Secretaries to the Cabinet and urging others to emulate their good service to the Republic of Zambia, which was commendable. I, however, also said that I was not happy with the work culture of various executives who work at Cabinet Office. Cabinet Office is a prestigious office. However, the work culture is such that it is rare for you to find officers attending to the waiting clients when you go there at 0800, when Government business is supposed to start. You will find jackets hanging in the office. ‘Mr Kupe’ they would say. Somebody has reported for work, but no one knows where he or she is. For Cabinet Office workers, these are things that must not be condoned because the Permanent Secretaries that supervise them would ensure that they follow a particular frame of work, which could include their work culture. In a majority of cases, we have been failed by Mr Kupe civil servants, who only put their jackets in the office and walk out. I think, that is not correct and must be checked.

Sir, while paying that glowing tribute, I would also like to add that the current Secretary to the Cabinet, who is a medical doctor, is, in my view, very professional. We need that kind of cross-breeding. You can be a medical doctor and provide an administrative service, which this man is doing very well for the betterment of our country, Zambia. He is non-partisan, and that is how it should be when you work at Cabinet office. However, I would like to state that one of the Permanent Secretaries at Cabinet Office is Mrs Velepi Mtonga, a good-looking lady with a lot of experience.

Hon Government Members: Question!


Mr Chairperson: Order, Hon. Mwanza!

Let us not debate individuals. You can just mention them and, then, quickly move on.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I am happy with the appointment of that person as Permanent Secretary, Establishment.

Mr Chairperson, my background is in human resource management (HRM), and I am well-grounded in it. Therefore, I want to use this platform to talk about the Zambia Institute of Human Resources Management (ZIHRM). Many times, when I acted as President of the ZIHRM, there were very few properly-trained and exposed Government HR practitioners …

Mr Kalaba: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Mulusa: A point of jealous.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kalaba: Mr Chairperson, thank you for the opportunity to raise this important point of order.

Sir, this House has got norms and regulations that guide it, one of which is that the Chair gives guidance on various issues during our debates. Are the United Party for National Development (UPND) hon. Members in order to walk out of this House simply because you made a decision that did not sit well with them? Are they in order to walk out at this critical moment when we are debating policy issues on Cabinet Office? Further, this is not the first time that they have done that.

Mr Chairperson, I need your serious ruling on this behaviour, which is now becoming a fad for the UPND.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

The Chairperson: Well, for us, Presiding Officers, the number of times people can walk out does not really matter. As long as the quorum is sustained, we go ahead. In this case, the quorum has been preserved. So, we can continue.

May the hon. Member continue.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, the practice of HRM is not very common in the Government Service. Therefore, I appeal to His Honour the Vice-President and the people that matter to ensure that anybody heading an HR department or section in the Government Service is a member of the ZIHRM, which offers training, feasibility studies, exposure programmes and workshops. Therefore, we expect Government officials performing the HRM role to be adequately trained by the ZIHRM. There is a fee involved. So, my further request is that, at least, the payment of subscription fees must be recommended or approved by the Cabinet to ensure HRM practitioners in the Government Service are more relevant to its needs.

Mr Chairperson, on a lighter note, many people think that I am a tribalist, but I am not. I am a simple civil servant of the people. My work career bears this out. I am married to a Bemba woman and I have no qualms about …


Mr Chairperson: Order, Mr Mwanza!

The more you go into describing yourself, the more you will go out of order.


Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I think that Cabinet Office is a shining example. If you work there, you must be proud to be a top civil servant. That requires you to be accurate, effective and know what you are doing because, if you do not, you will invite criticism and people will not like the Government of the day.

With those few remarks, Mr Chairperson, I beg to move.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mulusa (Solwezi Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this very important debate. From the outset, I must say that, listening to His Honour the Vice-President and the promises he was making, was music to my ears. Particularly interesting is the issue of E-governance and the reform that will be undertaken at Cabinet Office. I want to believe that Cabinet Office is at the epicentre of service delivery and any reforms in the positive direction must be welcomed.  However, I have a few suggestions to make to His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that Cabinet Office is further removed from the traditional way of doing things, from 1964 to date, without stepping back and asking ourselves questions, such as: Is it really necessary, for instance, to be vacating our offices to go and escort or welcome the President? I want to believe that it is extremely costly. Cabinet Office needs to do an analysis and see if we can strike a delicate balance between political expedience and the need to save as much money as possible to allocate to service delivery.

Mr Chairperson, I would really like to urge His Honour the Vice-President to ensure that performance management is introduced in our Civil Service. We need to ensure that all civil servants have key performance areas spelt out for them. All of them must have key performance indicators spelt out to them, including timings in the fiscal year when those deliverables must be achieved. When giving bonuses, we should not do it across the board. We need to have a scoring system so that ensures that only people who achieve above average on the key performance indicators in key performance areas agreed upon between a supervisor and a subordinate qualify to receive bonuses. That must start at the Cabinet level. The President must sign performance agreements with hon. Cabinet Ministers and Cabinet Ministers must, in turn, sign them with Permanent Secretaries, who must do the same with their directors and everybody else. When we do this, we will see an improvement in people reporting for work on time in our Civil Service. We will see efficiency and reward those who perform well. As a result, people will be happy that they have got a Civil Service.

Sir, the other point is that we need to outsource fleet management. The hon. Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication informed us that the Government has about 9,000 motor vehicles and thirty-five brands. I think, it is extremely costly for us to manage that kind of fleet. We need to change the way we remunerate our civil servants and stop buying vehicles, for instance, for Permanent Secretaries. Maybe, we can buy vehicles only for hon. Ministers and above. For Permanent Secretaries, we need to calculate how much we are spending on them by giving them utility and official vehicles and, then, give them all the other incentives. If the figure that we come up with is K150,000 per Permanent Secretary, including insurance, maintenance of vehicles and fuel, then, it would be better to give each Permanent Secretary K100,000 and let him or her do whatever he or she wants to do, and induce in a motor vehicle allowance. Then, the Permanent Secretary would approach a financial institution to get a car loan and buy a car to use in performing his duties. That way, we will see very few Government vehicles being damaged.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mulusa: Sir, if you go to the auctions, you will find a one-month old Government vehicle that overturned being sold for a song. We also have situations in which vehicles are taken to garages that are ripping the Government off. We could save a lot of money by being efficient.

Sir, this will also …

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, I am greatly indebted to you for allowing this point of order.

Sir, after having clearly reminded us on what constitutes a point of order, I wish to raise a point of order on an item of procedure and precedents of this House.

Sir, on 26th September, 2013, at 1500 hours when the Hon. Justice Patrick Matibini, SC., was in the Chair, I raised a point of order. Permit me to read it:

 “Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

 Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Speaker, I am compelled to rise on a point of order, but allow me first to apologise to Hon. Lufuma for the interruption.

Sir, just a few days ago, the hon. Minister responsible for Justice, through the public media, indicated that the levels of indiscipline in the Patriotic Front (PF) Party had escalated. Last month, at a meeting that was convened by PF Members at Northmead Secondary School, we saw, through the public media, violence, damage to public property and assault that led to bloodshed.

Sir, there were running battles between the Zambia Police and PF cadres, today, at a farm called Trishul in Kanyama, along Mumbwa Road, which leads to the Western Province, ...

Mr Ng’onga: When?

Mr Nkombo: Today, less than an hour ago.

The battles were a result of illegal demarcation, allocation and selling of privately-owned land. This resulted in a private property being damaged, in this case, Investrust Bank, and I am informed that a few arrests have been made.

Sir, going by the escalating indiscipline by people affiliated to the Ruling Party, is the hon. Minister of Home Affairs perfectly in order to sit quietly, jotting down notes, without informing this House what the Government intends to do in order to restore sanity in our country?”

The Hon. Justice Patrick Matibini, SC., ruled as follows:

“Mr Speaker: My ruling is that, earlier, I think it was yesterday or the day before, I had directed the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to issue a ministerial statement in connection with what are perceived to be unauthorised assemblies and processions. In light of the point of order raised by the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central, I further direct that, as the hon. Minister of Home Affairs issues that earlier statement that I directed, he should address simultaneously the question that the hon. Member of Parliament for Mazabuka Central has raised in his point of order.

That is my ruling.”

Sir, is this House perfectly in order to apply double standards? Not long ago, two PF members were attacked and they are now confirmed dead. I am also told that a few private properties have been burnt, tyres of motor vehicles are still burning on the Great East Road and people are afraid. Are we in order, therefore, to apply double standards in making these rulings where lives have been lost?

The Chairperson: It interests me when individuals want to challenge the ruling of the Chair through such kinds of points of order. The ruling was made by the Speaker at that time. I am in the Chair, now, and I have been in this Chair for twelve years. According to the rules of the House, points of order must be based on procedure in relation to what is being discussed at a particular time, not two weeks or five years ago; secondly, on decorum, again, in relation to the business at a particular point in time and, thirdly, on relevance. That is the ruling. There are no double standards.

Can the hon. Member continue, please.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Mufalali: People are dying.


The Chairperson: Can the hon. Member continue?

Mr Mulusa: I thank you, Mr Chairperson. May the Lord strengthen the families that have lost their beloved ones, and may the souls of those who have passed on rest in peace.

Sir, before the point of order was raised, ...

Mr Mwale: Request a minute of silence.


Mr Mulusa: No. He will curtail my debate. Let me just continue.

Sir, before the point of order was raised, I was explaining the benefits of the combination of reforming the way we pay our senior civil servants and outsourcing the fleet management. There will be two very important benefits in that. You will agree with me that the public sector is never a good cost and risk manager. The private sector is better at that. In this case, when we outsource our fleet management, we will see growth in entrepreneurship while, and when we change the way we remunerate our civil servants, we will contribute to maturing and strengthening of our financial sector. We will see the financial sector respond with various products to meet the demand for, for instance, funding of motor vehicles. I want to believe that, in Zambia, our financial sector is too underdeveloped, and agents like Cabinet Office can contribute to its development.

Sir, the reforms that I am proposing, in addition to what His Honour the Vice-President has indicated, will require training. So, Cabinet Office needs to provide the training guidelines. Let us do away with the training that requires our civil servants to go abroad and study for two or five years. Let us look for programmes that allow for block releases so that the service that we have employed them to provide, and for which we pay them when they are away for five years on training, will not be withdrawn from us. In this case, Cabinet Office can engage our local tertiary institutions to come up with training programmes to respond to the need for these reforms. If the tertiary institutions do not do that, other universities elsewhere in the world will take advantage of the opportunity and they will, again, take wealth out of Zambia to those institutions. We need to promote retention of wealth in our domestic economy as we undertake these reforms. I think that our country has suffered as a net giver to the rest of the world too much and for too long, rather than the other way round.

Sir, I also propose that we decentralise the hiring of civil servants. This business of hiring civil servants at Cabinet Office, where you have one Permanent Secretary in charge, and all the other departments do is receive staff, needs to change. I do not think that we can achieve job fit because, sometimes, you do not even know how these people get their jobs. The role of Cabinet Office should be that of a custodian of the structure of the Government or the Civil Service, meaning that it should be the one to approve applications for changes in the structure to increase it and hiring of new staff.

Mr Chairperson, lastly, I appeal to the President to be a father to all of us. We should all feel wanted and loved by the President. We have seen the retiring of very young Zambians, some of them as young as twenty-nine years. These are people who have just started work, have little children and may have committed themselves in many issues but, suddenly, we hear that they have been retired in national interest.

Sir, how can a retiree retire his own child? If the President is listening, I appeal to him to soften his heart and be a father of the nation so that, when he finishes his term and leaves office, we can all miss him, instead of rejoicing over his retirement. My heart bleeds when I look at the things that have been happening, such as the young man who was retired from the Zambian Mission in London simply because his father is now an hon. Member of Parliament. I know that young man and the way he works. I was with him in South Africa for a long time and he served this country well. He was transferred to London but, the moment his father was elected Member of Parliament for Solwezi East, he was recalled and retired. That is extremely painful. I wonder what damage this Government would have suffered had it allowed the young man to stay in his position. I appeal to the President to re-instate the young man. He just married and started raising a family.

Sir, with those few words, I wish to support His Honour the Vice-President and urge him to continue taking us on this good path of positive reform.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu rose.

Mr Muntanga: Are we not debating? Should we leave the House?

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I would like to thank both contributors to this debate. I do not think that there is much to clear up, except the allegation that members of staff at Cabinet Office tend to dress scruffily. They are there (pointing at Cabinet Office officials). I know that I am not supposed to refer to them, but I inspected them when business was suspended and they all looked very smart to me. I work in Cabinet Office. So, I know what happens there. Maybe, the hon. Member visits another building and thinks it is Cabinet Office.

Sir, with those few words, I would like to ask the House to support this Vote.

Vote 08/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/03 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/06 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/07 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

Vote 08/08 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 09 – (Teaching Service Commission – Office of the President – Headquarters –K8,167,808).

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for the opportunity to present this year’s Estimates of Expenditure for the Teaching Service Commission (TSC).

Sir, the TSC was established under Article 115(a) of the Service Commission Act, Cap 259. Section 13(b) and 21 of the same Act empowers the commission to make, with the consent of the President of the Republic of Zambia, regulations regarding its operational procedures and/or to confer powers or impose duties on any other, or authority of the Government for the purposes of discharging its functions. Once again, I must apologise for the inadequate punctuation in this policy statement. However, I am sure that you can manage.

Mr Chairperson, the specific functions of the commission are prescribed under Section 122 of the Service Commission Act as follows:

(a) to make appointments to any office in the Teaching Service;

(b) to make appointments on probation, confirmations in appointments, retirements and transfers;

(c) to exercise disciplinary control over the persons holding or acting in the established Teaching Service posts and remove any persons from such offices; and

(d) to conduct professional appraisals for teachers as well as to sensitise them on their rights and responsibilities.

Mr Chairperson, in 2013, the commission performed its functions on a budget of K5,814,065.74.

Sir, I now represent the 2014 Budget estimates for the TSC amounting to K8,167,803. These funds will support the portfolio function of the commission in our continued efforts to provide efficient and effective services to the teaching fraternity.

Mr Chairperson, I thank the House for that resounding expression of enthusiasm for the budget for this commission.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}

Vote 09/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 10 – (Police and Prisons Service Commission – Office of the President – K6,569,752).

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I thank you most sincerely for according me the opportunity to present next year’s estimates for the Police and Prisons Service Commission – Office of the President.

Sir, I wish to remind hon. Members of the House that the Police and Prisons Service Commission (PPSC) was established under Article 1231 of the Constitution of Zambia, as amended in 1996. Its mandate, composition and functions are outlined in the Commissions Act, Cap 259 of the Laws of Zambia. Its operations and jurisdiction are defined by the same Act and other rules and regulations that govern employment in the Zambian Public Service.

Sir, the mission statement of the commission is:

“To provide high quality service by upholding integrity of the service, through the application of powers vested in it by His Excellency the President without fear or favour, and cultivate rapport and partnership through the Police and Prisons Services in Zambia.”

Mr Chairperson, some of the functions of the PPSC are as follows:

(a) to carry out functions directed to it by His Excellency the President;

(b) to appoint persons to hold or act in office of the Zambia Police and Prisons Service;

(c) to admit officers to permanent and pensionable establishment in the Zambia Police Force and Zambia Prisons Service;

(d) to promote officers to higher ranks in the police and prisons service;

(e) to establish disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in such offices and to remove any persons from exercising the function of their offices in the police and prisons service;

(f) to review appeals submitted by officers against punishments imposed on them departmentally or by the responsible officers, as provided for under the Police and Prisons Service Commission Regulation No. 42;

(g) to decide on the requirements and normalise resignation of officers in the Zambia Police Force and Zambia Prisons Service;

(h) to consider the granting and distribution of pension benefits accruing to the deceased’s estates;

(i) to direct on the compensation of officers who die or get injured in accidents arising out of and in the course of duty; and

(j) to consider transfer of officers arising out of the exigencies of the service.

Mr Chairperson, during 2013, the commission was allocated K4,276,580. Amongst other activities, the commission toured four provinces, namely, Muchinga, the Northern, Lusaka and the Eastern. During these tours, the commission had the opportunity to visit all police posts and open-air prisons.

Sir, the commission did not just process confirmations and appointments, retirements, disciplinary cases, resignations, transfers, promotions, upgrading and re-instatements, but was also concerned about the environment and conditions under which police and prisons officers serve. Whilst at base, the PPSC continued to process cases in respect of the two sister institutions, namely, the Zambia Police Force and Zambia Prisons Service, respectively.

Mr Chairperson, next year’s budget for the commission is K6,569,752, and the commission would like to undertake tours to the other provinces, which were not visited in the current year, in order to attend to human resource cases for officers in the police and prisons services.

Mr Chairperson, in conclusion, I earnestly appeal to hon. Members of the House to support the 2014 Estimates of Expenditure for the PPSC.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Lufuma (Kabompo West): Mr Chairperson, I will concentrate my debate on the prisons.

Sir, as we all know, prisons are old institutions, as old as mankind.

Mr Mwiimbu: On a procedural point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, I recall you guiding that, as we debated the PPSC, we would also debate the Zambia Police Head. Now, how will we proceed and debate, according to the procedure of this House? As you have rightly indicated, you have been in this House for twelve years. I have also been in this House for twelve years, …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: … and we have debated the two Votes together because they are related. So, how will we debate them separately, despite their having similar issues?

The Chairperson: Well, I do agree with that point of order because my initial understanding was that we would debate the two items together. However, I am guided that, in this particular case, it will not be the hon. Minister of Home Affairs covering both Votes. In situations in which we covered those items together, it was one person who delivered the policy statement for both Votes. However, in this case, I am advised that the Vote for the PPSC would be presented by His Honour the Vice-President and the one on the police by the hon. Minister of Home Affairs. That is how we have been advised to proceed.

May the hon. Member for Kabompo West continue.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, before the point of order was raised, I was saying that prisons are a very old institution that has existed as long as man, himself. In fact, as long as man makes laws and wishes to live in an orderly fashion, it is inevitable that prisons will exist. We were told, when we visited one of the prisons, that all of us, including hon. Members of Parliament and Presidents, former or serving, are potential prison inmates. That should inspire us to ensure that prisons are kept in as good a condition as possible. Unfortunately, they have continued to receive very little attention. Even in this Budget, they have received the least allocation.

Mr Chairperson, since we are potential inmates and can go to prison any time, …

Mr Muntanga: On a point of procedure, Sir.

The Chairperson: Order!

A point of procedure is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, I seek your guidance on a procedural matter, since you have been here for twelve or thirteen years. I have also been here for that long, and we have been debating.

Mr Nkombo: Same league.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, every year, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Police have been presented together for debate on the Order Paper. This time, however, the Order Paper, only has the PPSC and the Zambia Police. I am confused. How will we drag the Ministry of Home Affairs to the Zambia Police when it is not on the Order Paper? How will we approach it when get to that stage?

The Chairperson: I was consulting while you were speaking. So, I did not get your question. Please, repeat it.

Mr Muntanga repeated the question.

The Chairperson: The twelve years experience is that we follow what is on the Order Paper. In this case, there is nothing about the Ministry of Home Affairs. There is only the PPSC and Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs. The one you are talking about is not there. I suppose that the one for Home Affairs will come later.

Mr Muntanga: I disagree.

The Chairperson: Well, that is what it means. I cannot introduce something that does not appear on the Order Paper. I am also advised that Vote 11 – Zambia Police – Ministry of Home Affairs, will come under Vote 15, which is not on the Order Paper. For convenience, it will be discussed when it appears on the Order Paper. For now, we will follow what is on the Order Paper. 

Your Honour, … No, Hon. Lufuma, please, continue.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for calling me, “Your Honour.” Maybe, I will be, one day.

The Chairperson: Order!

You are honourable.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, the prison facilities are in such a state of dilapidation that, once you are sent there, people wonder whether you can come out in intact. You will, most likely, be dead. Therefore, the Government needs to do something about these institutions.

Mr Namulambe: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, is the hon. Member of Parliament for Kabompo West in order to continue debating the condition of prisons when the Vote under discussion is the commission, which deals with the appointment and promotion of police officers and prison warders and similar matters? Is he in order to continue debating buildings when the functions of the commission are totally different?

The Chairperson: The debate is on the PPSC, and I want to believe that matters in the prisons come under the purview of the commission.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, my point of order …

Mr Muntanga: How can he speak again?


Mr Namulambe: Mr Chairperson, I was clarifying …

The Chairperson: Order!

From what is being said on my left and in that point of order, there is a problem in the way the items have been put on the Order Paper. That is the impression I have. In light of this problem we have, I suspend business for five minutes. However, do not go out. I will consult quickly.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Business was suspended from 1722 hours until 1728 hours.

[THE CHAIRPERSON in the Chair]

The Chairperson: Order!

I suspended business for five minutes for consultations. The decision reached is that we continue with the debate on the PPSC, which is responsible for recruitment, promotions and conditions of service for staff. We will defer consideration of Vote 11, which is for the Zambia Police, and discuss it together with Vote 15, which is for the Ministry of Home Affairs. Let us not talk about buildings and such things. Those will come under the Zambia Police Vote.

Please, continue, Hon. Lufuma.

Mr Lufuma: Mr Chairperson, following your ruling, I do not know whether I should continue because I was discussing conditions …

Mr Chairperson: Are you discussing conditions?

Mr Lufuma: Yes, conditions of the Prisons Service. Can I continue on that note? Otherwise, I cannot continue because I will not discuss staff. Certainly, not.

Mr Chairperson: In that case, you will debate tomorrow. Who is ready to discuss the PPSC?

Mr Muntanga (Kalomo Central): Mr Chairperson, there is an increase in the allocation to the PPSC which is, however, not enough.

Sir, the PPSC is supposed to look after the welfare of the police and prisons officers. Are the officers being given proper accommodation? It is common to see officers living in deplorable conditions. When we toured Mongu, I saw a police officer’s house which had a crack so big that one could push a hand through it. When will the commission start taking proper care of officers?

Sir, we have employed many young men, and it is these improper conditions that force officers to misbehave. The salaries that police officers get are not ones that an officer who protects His Honour the Vice-President from morning till evening should get. If people try to steal from the house of His Honour the Vice-President, a police officer will have to judge whether to risk his life for a K1,200 per night or allow the thieves to steal.

Mr Speaker, the commission must get serious. There is the culture of expecting officers to follow orders unquestioningly. However, we have come to a point at which we are transforming the police from a force into a service in line with the requirements of our democratic political dispensation. The time the police was a typical force, we had officers behaving in ways that were unacceptable. What we are saying is that we should give the commission more money to cover the whole the country.

Sir, the other thing is that, due to a lack of adequate funds, members of the commission do not sit regularly. They are more or less like part-time and, because of that, it takes time to discipline officers. For example, if an officer has been caught stealing, the cases have to be sent to the commission for action to be taken. No wonder, the hon. Minister for the Eastern Province found it difficult to have police officers arrested for stealing money. They had to find out whether it was proper to arrest them and the Commanding Officer had to inform the PPSC. Meanwhile, the officers continued working. Eventually, they are transferred to other areas where their actions are not known. These are the things that derail the realisation of what is considered good behaviour for police officers.

Mr Chairperson, the commission is supposed to look at all the departments because they are different. For example, the uniform of the Zambia Police is improving while that for the Prisons Service is still not good. Sometimes, one wonders what sort of school the prison warders go to, which is different from the one police officers go to because of the difference in uniforms. Why do we treat them differently?

Sir, if we had a way, we would have increased this budget because these commissions are doing a good job. We will need to know how the senior officers – and that is how selfish they are – make sure that they are not only in good houses, but also have transport and better uniforms. However, junior officers have no transport and their uniforms are tattered. As for the boots, they are all different. There used to be boots for police officers, but not anymore because I have seen some officers in canvas shoes. They are not disciplined, and you cannot say that we have a smart police force. That needs to be checked. Although the police has got mechanisms for checking this, the conditions under which the officers work should be the responsibility of the PPSC. However, the K6 billion that it has been allocated is not enough to improve the conditions of service and fund recruitments for the whole country.

Sir, on recruitments, I do not know whether His Honour the Vice-President was referring to strangers that he has identified in the House. If there are any, I want to tell them that we do not want selective employment. There was a recruitment exercise that took place in Livingstone and the hundreds of young men and women who wanted to be employed were told to take part in the race. After that, a certain number of them were chosen. However, they were not interviewed. Instead, some young men and women who did not even take part in the running were called and recruited.

Mr Speaker, the commission is letting us down. It should not allow situations like that or allow itself to be dictated to on whom they should employ. It should not allow anything and anybody to be employed and, as a result, the police force ends up with people with corrupt morals. It ends up with thieves. If you pick people from the streets, who know how to steal, and employ them as police officers because they are your cadres, what do you expect?

Sir, in the past, the police commission considered even the height of potential recruits. If you were not of my height, you could not join the police force. You were able to tell police officers by their stature, even when they were not in uniform. Even when they wore the uniform, it fitted them well. If you went to London, you would notice police officers just by their way of marching. Here, however, the commission is employing anything.

Mr Livune: What about Kampyongo?


Mr Nkombo: Four feet tall.

Mr Muntanga: There are some police officers who are shorter than one foot in height.


Mr Nkombo: Kampyongo.

Mr Muntanga: What have you done to the standards in the police force, you, commissioners?

The Chairperson: Hon, Muntanga, can you address the Chair.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, if I became the President of Zambia tomorrow, and you brought me a one-and-half-foot police officer to protect me, surely, how can he cover me? Who would cover whom?


Mr Muntanga: Employ people …


Mr Muntanga: Someone is saying God forbid that I become President, but the same was said before Mr Sata became President. The First Republican President had said that Mr Sata was not fit to be President. However, today, the two are friends.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I have heard you say, “God forbid,” but that statement was said by your …

Mr Nkombo: Panji’s father.

Mr Muntanga: … yes, my friends father. Do not rule that possibility out.

Mr Nkombo: Today, he is Mr Sata’s bodyguard.


Mr Muntanga: We are telling the commission not to drop the standards. I have seen people who do not qualify taken for paramilitary training.

Mr Nkombo: Start with hon. Ministers.

Mr Muntanga: There are officers who are shorter than the guns that they carry, ...


Mr Muntanga: … and others who literally lean on one side as they walk. Why do you allow standards to fall to such levels?

Sir, we ask the PPSC to go back to the basics, test the potential recruits …

Hon. Opposition Member: Or people like GBM.

Mr Muntanga: … and, this time, look at their qualifications because the people on the streets nowadays have become sophisticated. If you recruit people who are not qualified, you cannot teach them. All of this is a result of the commission in your office, Your Honour, the Vice-President.


Mr Muntanga: He is there (pointing at His Honor the Vice-President).

Hon. Opposition Member: He is writing.

Mr Muntanga: I hope that he is listening so that he tells these strangers in the House that we want to go back to the situation in which we had officers who fitted their jobs.

Mr Nkombo: He is writing the obituary.

Mr Muntanga: Their conditions should be looked at, too. Officers used to have many benefits. They used to buy beer at subsidised prices from the police clubs. They had many good things. People who became hon. Ministers of Home Affairs began to drink too much ...


Mr Muntanga: … because, when they went to the police club, alcohol was nearly free. These days, that is no more. People want to treat police officers like civilians.

Mr Kampyongo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Nkombo: You have to stand up to raise a point of order.

Mr Muntanga: Is he standing up?


The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for allowing me to raise this point of order on the hon. Member, who is, so far, debating so well.

Sir, is he in order to start drawing the hon. Minister into his debate …

Hon. Opposition Members: Which hon. Minister?

Mr Kampyongo: … and continue discriminating against the majority of citizens whose stature is not equal to his?


Mr Kampyongo: Further, is he in order to compare the stature of Zambian citizens with that of people in other countries?

I seek your serious ruling because our citizens need these jobs, and we cannot punish them for their size.

The Chairperson: The serious ruling is that he is comparing what happened in the past with what is happening currently. So, I think that, to that extent, he is in order.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, that is what I am talking about. For instance, it would take two people the size of the hon. Minister who just spoke to cover me. That is the problem.


Mr Muntanga: If he went to London, the police there would not see him. They would just assume that he is all legs.


The Chairperson: Order!

Why are you going into that now? That is why, sometimes, we get the impression that we do not have much to say. Can you stick to the subject.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, the commission should go back to the basics and recruit the right people, not only in terms of height, but also qualifications. It is also a question of intelligence, integrity and physique. All these things must be considered. Sometimes, even the background of a potential recruit was assessed to determine whether they were prone to stealing.

Mr Muntanga: When my neighbour and I were being arrested (pointing at Hon. Nkombo), …

Mr Nkombo: I am your nephew.

Mr Muntanga: … yes, my nephew.

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Muntanga: Sit down.


The Chairperson: No, no point of order. I will not allow that.


Mr Muntanga: When the police officers were trying to manhandle me for refusing to put my hands behind my back, but pulled them to the front, they fell and thought that I wanted to kill them.


Mr Muntanga: I could see that the real problem was the difference between my physical power and theirs. I did not use physique that much. Anybody’s height and power increases when you want to use it. However, I opt to use my brains more than my physique. So, we want a situation in which police officers are physically able to do their jobs. However, the majority of police officers are short and all that they can do is ask for favours on our roads. That is the problem.

Mr Livune: Ni chekeleko.

Mr Muntanga: This causes corruption levels to rise because you have people who do not trust themselves in what they do.

Mr Nkombo rose.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Chairperson, as he sits down, I support the Motion.

Thank you, Sir.


The Chairperson: Your point of order has been overtaken by events, Hon. Nkombo.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I am worried because the previous speaker was ten times my size. I am small in stature, but I have a lot of stuff in my head.


The Chairperson: Do not discuss yourselves.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I will debate on two aspects. One is the need to improve the conditions of service ...

Mr Nkombo: On a point of order, Mr Chairperson.

The Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Nkombo: Sir, I beg you to understand my emotion and intellect. This point of order should, by no means, be taken to mean that I am ignoring your rulings. It is of a very urgent nature.

Sir, with regard to the fight we referred to in Chelston, as I speak to you, now, at Inter-City Bus Terminus, people are injuring themselves terribly.

The Chairperson: Order!

Please, let us not go back to what we have already discussed. Even then, I said that you should file in a question of an urgent nature. Once you do that, it will be on tomorrow’s Order Paper. If it is just an ordinary question, it will be put on the Order Paper within seven days.


The Chairperson: They will not come to Parliament. Continue, Hon. Mwanza.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate today. I will restrict myself to three topics, namely, the need to improve the conditions of service for prison warders and police officers, who are called constables; the recruitment process; and the appointment policy that the commission must introduce.

Mr Chairperson, as you know, Solwezi West hosts an open-air prison, and I have noted, with concern, that the conditions in Kyangozhi Prison are terrible. None of the very smart hon. Members of Parliament here can stay there. I think that it is high time that the prison officers took a keen interest in knowing where their members of staff live because I definitely cannot live in that area or environment. Kyangozhi Open-Air Prison is dilapidated. I do not even know when it was last considered by the Government or whether His Honour the Vice-President or any of the leaders in the ministry has ever been there. It is a sorry sight, and I think that what I see in Kyangozhi reflects the situation everywhere, whether in Mporokoso or Mumbwa, where there are open-air prisons. What I urge the Government to do is ensure that the prison commissioners take it upon themselves not only to look at the remand prison in Kabwe, but also at the conditions of service for officers in those open-air prisons.

Sir, my second concern relates to the prisons service. As, I said, I was a teacher in Luapula Province many years ago and I am happy that someone I have known since those days sits on the PPSC. I would like to take this opportunity to ask that person to champion the ideals of professionalism that he was taught at school in the commission and ensure that the Zambia Prisons Service operates more efficiently. Today, the commissioners are nominated by the President. However, I would like to see a situation whereby the commissioners are subjected to interviews and all the normal recruitment procedures that we follow everywhere else. We should not get retired people from Siavonga, Kyangozhi and Mwense and group them together into a commission. That, I think, is wrong.

Sir, we must also ensure that the recruitment of officers is transparent. Transparency should not only be sought in the political arena. It must also prevail in the PPSC.

Sir, I would also like to talk about the recruitment policy of constables and prison warders in Kabwe or Lilayi. What I have seen is very sad. Most of the people who are recruited are relatives of senior people in the PPSC and none of us are consulted on this issue. What should be borne in mind is that these are Government institutions. Our children would like to make careers in that area. Let us not have schemes whereby police officers who retire in a particular area write to the Inspector-General (IG) to ask that their children take up their places as they retire. That is incorrect. I have never done that, and it must stop.

Sir, the recruitment problem cuts across the Zambia Prisons Service and other institutions of the land. Like my colleague said, people are invited for interviews and told to assemble in Solwezi. The next day, they are told to run a bit to get the momentum. After running, they discover that the people who are eventually picked were not even among those who were taken for the run. This practice must stop. Therefore, I challenge the commissioners to familiarise themselves with these anomalies in the recruitment process. We are not recruiting qualified people. The advertisement can talk about people with Grade 12 certificates, but those recruited will be servants of officers in the camp. The prisons officers and the commissioners must play a decisive role in ensuring that only relevantly-qualified people are recruited. The recruits must also be from all the tribes in Zambia. It should not be the preserve of Kaondes or any other tribe.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, on a point of order!

The Chairperson: A point of procedure is raised.

Mr Mufalali: Mr Chairperson, is this House procedurally in order to switch off the radio when points of order are being raised? This just happened when Hon. Garry Nkombo was raising a point of order.

I seek your serious ruling, Sir.{mospagebreak}

The Chairperson: It must have been a technical fault. I did not know that that is what happened. Our colleagues who work in the studio should ensure that the radio is on all the time. That is important. In fact, I can now confide in you that I also got a note here telling me that, when consulting, I should be switching the microphone off because my consultations are heard on radio. Really, I think that it is important that the radio is on all the time.

Can Hon. Mwanza continue.

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I think that it is important, in the final analysis, to state that we want to see carrier police and prisons officers who are trained in an appropriate environment. The Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication must take a leading role in ensuring that the training we get at Lilayi is comparable to that offered at the University of Zambia (UNZA). We worry about the lack of adequate students hostels, but none of us is worried about the fact that the people at the open-air prison in Kyangozhi live in dilapidated places. Last weekend, I went to the Builders’ Brigade. It is very near here in Lusaka, and I found that the accommodation there is terrible. You cannot believe that officers who are trained at Lilayi are accommodated there.  We must make a deliberate effort to ensure that infrastructure is developed in these areas because that is where our children are and we want them to offer good services to the people.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I support the Motion.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu (Monze Central): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate the Vote for the PPSC. However, allow me to state that I will debate with a heavy heart.

Mr Chairperson, the sad scenario obtaining in the country with regard to lawlessness and disorder is as a result of a lack of adequate supervision of the police by the PPSC.

Mr Muntanga: That is right.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, if there was professionalism in the Zambia Police Force, which is supervised by the PPSC, what happened today in Chelston …

Mr Nkombo: It is happening now.

Mr Mwiimbu: … whereby we have lost a number of our dear brothers and sisters, would not have happened. What has happened and is currently still happening at the Inter-city Bus Terminus would not have happened. The commission is a moribund organisation.

Mr Muntanga: Oh, oh!

Mr Mwiimbu: It has no teeth to supervise the Zambia Police Force. According to the law, the commission is supposed to superintend over the Zambia Police Force, look at the conditions of service and ensure that there is professionalism. However, that is not being done. As a result of the lack of professionalism in the Zambia Police Force, it has failed to control cadres in Zambia and, …

Hon. Opposition Members: PF cadres.

Mr Mwiimbu:  … as a result, a number of our people are now living in fear.

Mr Chairperson, if you went to the Inter-city Bus Terminus, right now, you would find that there is chaos. Why should we allow the situation to degenerate to such a level because of rival groups in the PF? This is endangering the lives of our people, yet the Zambia Police Force is failing to control cadres. If I had my way, I would have disbanded the PPSC. It has no power. Police and prisons officers are appointed and promoted by police officers. What is the role of the commission? It has failed us. I even shudder to think of what will happen as we approach 2016 if we have started losing lives over intra-party rivalries. The people in Lusaka are not safe as they travel to various destinations because the Zambia Police Force has failed to control the situation. Its officers seek permission from party cadres to do certain things because of a lack of professionalism.

Mr Chairperson, we are all responsible for this malaise in the Zambia Police Force but, more so, the leaders on your right, who have a duty to preserve law and order. His Honour the Vice-President has the responsibility to ensure that this commission promotes professionalism in the Zambia Police Force. However, he has failed us on that. We just used to hear of party cadres killing each other in other countries, but that is now happening in Zambia. I can even see that the faces of my colleagues on your right are solemn. They are all mourning and shuddering at the thought of what is happening in this country. They have the responsibility to look after the Zambian people, but they are not doing anything.


The Chairperson: Order!

Please, there is only one person on the Floor.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, they are abdicating their responsibility. It is their duty. Who thought that, today, as the President was officiating at the international airport, we would lose lives just because there is failure on the part of the security wings to superintend over security matters. We know who is responsible for promoting these party cadres to promote hooliganism. We, the innocent, are suffering because of the failure of the people on your right side.

Mr Chairperson, we are the leaders in this country. If we have no authority to ensure that there is peace in this country, let us resign.

Mr Livune: Yes.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, why should we allow lawlessness in this country? You have always said that it is the Opposition that promotes hooliganism during the by-elections, but it has now come out that it is those people on your right …

Mr Muntanga: They are criminals.

Mr Mwiimbu: However, instead of fighting us, they are now killing each other. Those who have died are our relatives and we had the duty to promote them. Why should we …

Mr Muntanga: They are murderers.

Mr Mwiimbu: … keep quite as if all is well and there is no leadership in this country.

Mr Nkombo: It is a shame.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, this commission has failed us. The colleagues on your right have also failed us.

Mr Chairperson, mark my words, if those who have died are from one rival camp, there will be retaliation and more people will die as a result of what has happened. Actually, we are told that cadres are marching, looking for some of you.


Mr Mwiimbu: You will sleep in this House.


Mr Nkombo: Yes, you will sleep in Parliament.

The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Muntanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Chairperson: No, I am not allowing any more points of order.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr …

The Chairperson: Order!

So far, I have followed the link between the failure that you perceive to be on the part of the commission and what is happening. However, you are dwelling too much on what has happened today. Can you continue debating while focusing on the PPSC.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, this commission must be allowed to perform its duties by ensuring that only responsible officers hold positions in the Zambia Police Force and in the Zambia Prisons Service. We have noted a situation whereby some members of the public who want to visit prisons are denied that chance because of a lack of professionalism on the part of prison officers. Why should we allow that? We have to ensure that fearless men and women of integrity and who are able to defend the law are appointed to this commission. We cannot allow this country to degenerate into lawlessness.

Mr Muntanga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Chairperson, unfortunately, I cannot run because I only have one hand.

Mr Muntanga: You can use the legs, Sir.

Mr Mwiimbu: I will try to use the legs when running away, but they will spare me because I am speaking on their behalf. However, let us ensure that we do not allow this country to degenerate into lawlessness. We only have one Zambia. We have always enjoyed peace. However, for the last two years, we have not had peace. Whenever there is a by-election, … 


The Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: … we witness violence. Police officers are vulnerable and have no power to act because some of them lack professionalism because they were not promoted or recruited on merit.  

Sir, we are also aware that this commission does not recruit police officers. They are recruited directly by the Zambia Police Force. Prison officers are also recruited directly by the Zambia Prisons Service.


Mr Mwiimbu: We should allow this commission to do its duties diligently. I wish that we had combined this Vote with the one for the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is unfortunate that I cannot go that far. I want to, once again, plead with you not to destroy this country. If you want to do so, go elsewhere.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwiimbu: This country is ours, and we want peace in it.

I thank you, Sir.

The Vice-President: Mr Chairperson, I thank everyone who has debated the Motion.

Sir, the last speaker was very passionate and eloquent. It is, however, very difficult to enter into a conversation on something that is still unfolding and on which I have no police report. Therefore, he will have to wait and raise it as a point of order in due course, as I am sure he will.
Mr Chairperson, many of the commissions are sitting with only about K6 million or K7 million to do the work in ten provinces and nearly 100 districts. It is not enough and we know that, but we have to accept it. I do take the point about raising the standards and looking at whether we can take the contributions up and put the police force in the hands of a responsible commission. We inherited many dysfunctional systems in this country and are trying to get them to work.

Mr Chairperson, I beg to move that this Vote be approved by the House.

I thank you, Sir.

Vote 10/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

VOTE 04 – (Ministry of Gender and Child Development – K35,281,288).

The Minister of Gender and Child Development (Mrs Wina): Mr Chairperson, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to deliver the policy statement on the 2014 Budget Estimates for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development to this honourable House.

Sir, I thank His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, and the …

Mr Muntanga: For what?

Mrs Wina: … PF Government for demonstrating progressive political will and commitment to gender equality and empowerment of women as well as the development of children in our country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, before I go into specific areas of this policy statement, let me bring out the real picture of the nature of development in Zambia since Independence, from a gender perspective. I would like, therefore, to urge the House to bear with me if my opening statement will be long.

Sir, it is important for this House to appreciate that development has been and still is heavily skewed towards benefiting men as opposed to women and children. To justify this statement, let me draw your attention to the poverty levels recorded in the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, which shows that, like in the previous decades, poverty affects women more than men. More female-headed households are more poverty-stricken than male-headed households.

Sir, in the leadership and political arena, the Gender Status Report of 2011 indicates that women contributed only 14.4 per cent of Parliamentarians, with a further drop to 11.6 per cent in the same year. Further, statistics from the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) indicate that, in 2011, 106 women were adopted by various political parties to contest as parliamentary candidates out of 709, representing only 14.95 per cent. Out of the 106 female candidates, only twenty-two were elected as legislators in the 150-seat Parliament.

Mr Chairperson, going back in history, it is clear that women have not had a fair share of elected positions, rising from only five Parliamentarians in 1964 to twenty-two, out of 150 in 2006. That represents a movement from 6.67 per cent to 14 per cent in over forty years, from 1964 to 2006. The low levels of female representation in Parliament can be attributed to many factors, including the low nomination of women by political parties at various levels. 

Mr Chairperson, do we need to wait another forty years for an additional twenty-two women to be hon. Members of this House?

Mr Muntanga: Yes.

Mrs Wina: I do not think so because doing that would further sink the lives of women and children into abject poverty.

Mr Chairperson, gender goes beyond increasing women’s participation. It is about bringing the experiences, knowledge and interests of women and men to the development agenda. That is the equity and equality that the women of Zambia are asking for because this is a matter of social justice.

Mr Chairperson, the agricultural sector is key to the development of this country. About 72 per cent of Zambians derive their livelihood from agriculture, out of which 65 per cent are women. Evidence indicates that women play a critical role in sustaining a productive agricultural sector by providing about 70 per cent of the labour force. It is also widely agreed that agriculture has remained a priority sector for fostering sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction. However, the recent assessment of the Farmer Input Support Programme (FISP) reveals that, between 2005 …

The Chairperson: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, before business was suspended, I was discussing the issue of women in agriculture and I pointed out that, an analysis of FISP reveals that, between 2005 and 2009, only 35.58 per cent of women benefitted from the programme. This low performance is compounded by inadequate access to and control over productive resources, such as land, credit services, compared to men. In the case of land, there are no significant positive results recorded by local authorities despite the commendable action by the Ministry of Lands, Environment and Natural Resources, through Administrative Circular Number ML/101/1 of 2009, instructing all councils to allocate 30 per cent of all land to women. To compound the matter further, women have not fully benefited from the customary land tenure system due to the patriarchal traditional belief that men are the only heads of households and bread winners, hence, land ownership is vested in men, leaving women with no real power over land.

In the area of business, Sir, sadly, the same picture emerges. Women are only on the fringes of enterprise and the economic system of our country. It is common to see shops across the country with names like ‘Hamanjanji and Sons,’ ‘Mutesa and Sons,’ ‘Mubita and Sons,’ but there is no sign that says ‘Mundia and Daughters,’ ...


Mrs Wina: ... despite the immense contribution of women and girls to the success of those same family businesses. The question is: Where are the benefits for women and girls in and around such family businesses? The list goes on with women and girls just on the periphery of family, community and national development, day after day. A further analysis of female participation in other spheres of life will reveal a similar picture of their being sidelined in national development.

Mr Chairperson, what I have said before this House is part of a systematic story that undermines the potential contribution of women to national development. Consequently, this also relegates their partners and children to continuous abject poverty and underdevelopment. However, this is only, but a tip of the developmental challenge in the country that has the potential to get out of control if not addressed, not in the years to come, but now because we, in this House, have not adequately used our power given by the people of Zambia to turn a new, positive and promising page focusing on women and children in our own constituencies and through the Budget debates in sessions like this one.

Mr Chairperson, if in our debates, today, we decide not to pay attention to what I have said before you, then, our people in the various constituencies across the country, whose plight we continue to ignore, will judge us harshly

Mr Chairperson, on a positive note, we can all see the leading role that His Excellency, Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, has played by appointing women to high roles of responsibilities. This noble act has changed the work culture and beliefs in male-dominated professions and sectors. It is working in the Judiciary, the Zambia Police Force, the financial and banking sector and the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, where some women are leaders. This example must be emulated and continued at all levels where we have opportunities to bring men and women to serve the country, based on applicable competencies and experience.

Sir, if we make the right decisions regarding the 2014 Budget, today and beyond, the people of Zambia will, one day, say that the Eleventh Session of the National Assembly of the Zambian Parliament had men and women who, without fear or favour, made bold decisions and did their job of speaking for the masses so well that the livelihoods, particularly of women and children, in the villages, towns and cities were improved.

Mr Chairperson, let me, once again, remind this House that the people of Zambia, especially women and children, who bear the largest scars of poverty, are watching and listening to our debates and the decisions we generate therefrom. I have laid the foundation of my statement knowing too well the constraints that the Treasury has in meeting the many needs of the country, but it is the movement of funds within this basket or resource envelop that is at the heart of my statement. Let me take this opportunity to congratulate Hon. Alexander Chikwanda, MP, the Minister of Finance, on presenting a focused and pragmatic Budget designed to set the wheel of change …

Hon Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: … in the right direction …

Mr Livune: Question!

Mrs Wina: … towards increasing prosperity, through job and wealth creation, for a better Zambia.

Mr Chairperson, I mentioned when I presented last year’s budget estimates for my ministry in 2013 that the focus would be on putting in place structures for service delivery, following the creation of the ministry, as established by Gazette No. 183 of March, 2012. I wish to report to this august House that Cabinet Office has approved the proposed organisational structure and the Strategic Plan 2013 to 2016 ministry. Therefore, in the Yellow Book, you will notice changes in the names of departments, from pages 14 to 33, reflecting the strategic direction of the ministry.

Mr Ng’onga: Hear, hear!

Mrs Wina: It is against this background that my ministry is focusing on ensuring that there is sufficient capacity in terms of human, financial and material resources to implement programmes and activities designed to respond to the mandate of the ministry and serve the people of Zambia, right down to the grassroots, thereby contributing to job and wealth creation, and ensuring that the rights of men, women and children are advanced at all levels of society.

Mr Chairperson, in order to undertake this mammoth task, the vision of my ministry is:

“A nation where there is gender equity, equality and full realisation of children’s rights for sustainable development.”

My ministry is determined to realise this vision by:

(a) ensuring that development and job and wealth creation opportunities are increased enhanced using social and economic empowerment, and gender mainstreaming of programmes in all sectors by co-ordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the National Gender Policy;

(b) ensuring that the rights of our children to survival, development and protection are realised, through the co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the National Child Policy;

(c) ensuring that the children on the streets are rehabilitated, through a systematic skills training and family empowerment approach rather than forced removal, as this has proved ineffective over the past years;

(d) ensuring that the provisions of statutory functions embedded in the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act, No. 1 of 2011, the Matrimonial Causes Act, No. 20 of 2007, the Affiliation and Maintenance Act, Chapter 52, of the Laws of Zambia as well as the Legitimacy Act are fully implemented and adhered to;

(e) focusing on planning, monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of gender equality and child development programmes in order to facilitate the development and implementation of appropriate interventions across sectors;

(f) increased public and community awareness campaigns using the mass media, popular theatre and new technologies, including media tools targeting our youths and adults, who are active in this area; and

(g) enhancing the human and financial capacity to mobilise and administer programmes, and implement the mandate of the ministry in an efficient and effective manner.

Sir, the Planning and Information Department is at 7.7 per cent while Gender Rights and Protection Department is at 6.83 per cent.

Mr Chairperson, let me now address specific programmes.

Accelerating Economic and Gender Mainstreaming

Sir, accelerating economic and gender mainstreaming requires allocating resources that will create impact among men, women, boys and girls. In 2013, Parliament appropriated funds for the economic empowerment of women with the main objective of supporting economic activities for job and wealth creation in the country. As active participants in this programme, you are aware of the positive impact this has made …

Mr Muntanga: You are very selfish.

Mrs Wina: You will be active from next year, hon. Member.

… in this regard, the ministry would have appreciated a significant increase but, due to budgetary constraints, only K12,256,351 has been provided for in the 2014 Budget Estimates. To underscore the importance of this programme, I wish to echo the words of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, made during the commemoration of the International Day of the Rural Women, held on 15th October, 2013:

“Empowering rural women is crucial for ending hunger and poverty. By denying women rights and opportunities, we deny their children and societies a better future. This is why the United Nations recently launched a programme to empower rural women and enhance food security.”

I am aware, Mr Chairperson, that all Parliamentarians, perhaps, excepting a few, know the ministry’s offices and officers. Owing to the appreciation of this programme, I invite all of you to the ministry. I urge you to also take the same interest or even more in other programmes in the ministry, beyond hammer mills, rice polishers, oil expellers, ox ploughs, sewing and knitting machines, and grants.

Sir, in 2014, it is the intention of my ministry to modify the approach of implementing this programme, given the feedback received and lessons learnt over the past few years.

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

The engagement of stakeholders in the process of gender mainstreaming and the implementation of various programmes is key to the performance of the ministry. You will notice that all the departments have specific activities designed to monitor and evaluate the impact of our work. This is the engine of the ministry with respect to co-ordinating activities at the national, provincial and district levels by establishing effective linkages with various sectors, through Gender Focal Point Persons (GFPP) in line ministries as well as using the Provincial Development Co-ordinating Committees (PDCC) and District Development Co-ordinating Committees (DDCC). It is for this reason that significant resources have been channelled to this activity, arising from reductions in activities like events. This is reflected in the budget for monitoring and evaluation, which has risen from K128,000 to K410,295.

Mainstreaming Gender into National Policies

Mr Chairperson, in September, 2013, Cabinet ratified the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development. In addition, the Ministry is currently drafting a Bill to domesticate the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in line with the PF Manifesto. These instruments need to be harmonised with national policies and laws. In line with the 2014 Budget co-circular, gender budgeting is being strengthened in all sectors. I am happy that the Ministry of Finance directed all ministries, provinces and spending agencies to include a GFPP on their budget preparation teams for 2014 to ensure that all budgets brought before this House have a provision for gender issues, not just commemoration of the International Women’s Day and Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. I, therefore, urge all hon. Members of this House to look into the entire Budget for the execution of this directive from the Ministry of Finance. In view of that, a significant increase, from K120,000 to K278,210, in Programme 3155 under Vote 04/06, Activity 702 is intended to spearhead this process.

Sir, on gender-based violence, the ministry is co-ordinating the implementation of the national action plan on gender-based violence, thereby, enhancing co-ordination in tackling the problem.  In addition, the ministry continued to facilitate the implementation of the National Action Plan on Women, Girls and HIV/AIDS and the Anti-Gender-Based Violence Act No. 1 of 2011. Further, it is the vision of the ministry to commemorate the Sixteen Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in communities, with countrywide pre-launch campaigns starting on Saturday, 23rd November, 2014. These campaigns will focus on the active participation of men alongside women, under the theme, “One Zambia, One Nation Against Gender-Based Violence.” In line with the 50th Golden Jubilee celebrations of Zambia’s Independence, I implore you all to join the nation in the fight against gender-based violence in our society.

Grants to Institutions

Mr Chairperson, my ministry, through the Child Development Department, runs Chikumbi and Mufulira Street Children’s Homes and supports children’s homes run by other organisations. As such, the ministry will continue providing grants to institutions that support orphans and vulnerable children, especially street children. The reduction of the allocation, from K1,040 in 2013 to K704 in 2014 will be compensated for by support from our co-operating partners.

Child Protection

Sir, as was the case in 2013, the ministry will continue with activities designed to protect children, especially those on the streets. Apart from removing children from the streets, it will also engage and empower the families where such children come from. Already, it has started engaging families in Livingstone, Lusaka and Kabwe. In 2014, the funds provided for this purpose under Vote 04/05 is K3,988, compared with K4,224.163 in 2013. The deficit will be supplemented by support from co-operating partners.

Human Resource and Administration

Mr Chairperson, I have outlined a number of programmes that will move the ministry towards achieving its goals in 2014. However, as a new ministry with an organisational structure designed to function like any other, there is a need for human resource and logistical support services. In this regard, the Budget Estimate for Vote 04/01 has proportionally increased from K8,556 to K9,422,072 to accommodate additional staff, through payroll transfers. The increase in office administration is mainly due to the need to ensure that Constitutional obligations are met as and when they are due. The Budget has also provided for the dismantling of arrears in separation packages, in line with instructions in the 2014 Budget co-circular. In addition, the need to comply with financial and audit requirements has seen an increase in the need for capacity building, for which K500,000 has been provided to cater for related travel, accommodation and logistical costs.

Mr Chairperson, the 2014 Budget Estimate for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development is K35,281,288 compared to K35,249,689 in 2013. This represents a marginal adjustment of K31,000, and an increase of 9 per cent.

Sir, this Budget has been formulated to ensure equitable implementation of gender and child development programmes across the country in order to contribute to the attainment of job and wealth creation, as guided by the PF Manifesto.

I thank you, Sir, for allowing me to address this House on behalf of the women and men, girls and boys of Zambia. I also appeal to hon. Members of this august House to support the proposed 2014 Budget Estimate under my ministry because gender and children’s issues are critical to national development.

Sir, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu (Bwengwa): Mr Chairperson, I rise to support the Vote for the ministry of Gender and Child Development. From the outset, I want to say that, in my view, this Ministry should play the role of adviser and policy monitoring regarding mainstreaming of gender and child development because most of these issues are cross-cutting. I will demonstrate this later.

Sir, this Ministry must remain lean because its job is not really to deliver goods per se, but to monitor how the Government system is mainstreaming gender and child development. There are ministries of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; Health; Community Development, Mother and Child Health; and Youth and Sport, which have programmes for women and children. So, this ministry must remain lean because it is not supposed to be implementing programmes per se.

Sir, in her policy statement, the hon. Minister has talked about agriculture. That is one sector in which issues of gender imbalances must be addressed. That is why there is no need for us to have too many ministries. It also confirms the issue of a bloated Government that we always talk about. The number of ministries must be reduced while the programmes on the ground must be increased. We will not empower women by having too many ministries. Even this ministry must remain lean.

Mr Chairperson, in fact, in some other jurisdictions, this function is a department in the Office of the President. That gives it more clout in mainstreaming issues of gender equality. It is not the job of this ministry to deliver the actual gender or child development goods and services. Its job is to see whether the Government is addressing the issues of gender imbalances. The work of this ministry is more or less inter-ministerial co-ordination on the aspects of gender and child development. I agree with the hon. Minister that women and children bear the heaviest burden of poverty. The statistics are there to show. Therefore, it is very important that we address the inherent imbalances between men and women so that the poverty burden on women and children is reduced.

Sir, on statistics, the Zambia National Education Coalition (ZANEC), for example, gave a despicable figure on teenage pregnancies. There were 20,000 school teenage pregnancies in the recent past, meaning that the future of these children has been cut short. There are many strategies we can use to empower women to reduce gender imbalance and secure the future of our children. The greatest weapon against this vice known worldwide is education. Therefore, this ministry must be in the forefront of those advocating for free pre-school, primary, secondary and post-secondary skills education for our people. In the long run, that is the best known intervention for reducing gender imbalances. The girl child must be in school for free. If we do not educate our children, I think that the cost will be bigger in the long term. It is cheaper for us to spend money to educate all our children now.

Mr Chairperson, educating the girl child, as a way of reducing gender imbalances, in the long run, has the effect of increasing the possibilities of the girl of earning better wages. That girl will stay in school for longer and, therefore, not have children while still young. As a result, her fertility level will go down. The consequence of our girl children having fewer children will be that the dependency ratio will be low and people will begin to save. That is what we call harnessing demographic dividends. As my uncle always says, over 70 per cent of the population of this country is now made up of young people. This is what we call the youth bulge. This huge number of children, if not addressed, will cause a crisis. However, if we do what I am suggesting, we can benefit from demographic dividends. The best method is to keep children in school longer. I will discuss the short-term issues later.

Mr Chairperson, the fertility rate in this country is too high, and this is exploitative to the woman. In this country, we are bedevilled by many diseases and a short lifespan. By the way, research shows that men die earlier than women, leaving a huge burden on the women.


Mr Hamududu: Yes, women have to take care of eight or ten children on their own. We must move away from that.

Sir, the examples abound. The Asian Tigers educated their girl children and, eventually, the number of children per woman reduced and the women had higher earnings because they were educated. Due to that, they could save and, eventually, the economies at the macro level began to benefit from the savings of working women contrary to when women just depended on handouts. So, going forward, we need girl children to have fewer children. My wonderful mother, who had only gone up to Grade 2, had eight children, but life was easier then. We all went to university. However, times have changed. The fertility rate in this country must be managed so that we do not experience a population explosion. Already, these days, you can go into town and easily have a rally. You just need to have some money and, in a short time, you will have a big rally because there are too many unemployed young people. That resource must be harnessed so that we begin to benefit from it. If we do not, we will have a crisis. The news we heard today is just an example of what an army of unemployed youths can do. Anyone can use them.

Sir, to attain the Vision 2030 in the next fifteen years, we must envision a country that has lower fertility rates because, currently, things are unmanageable, and we cannot continue like that. Zambia has the highest fertility rate in the world and, without any accompanying improvement in the living conditions of our people, that becomes a serious problem. We must move very quickly on it.

Mr Chairperson, on FISP, I would like to say that most of our people depend on agriculture and, of course, women are the majority in that respect. Our statistics show that 51 per cent of the Zambian population are women while about 49 per cent are men. Therefore, FISP must target more women. We can even give equal quantities to either sex. There are even suggestions to make FISP a social protection programme. If we did that, we can improve the lot of our women and welfare of many children. After all, women are more important for child survival than even men. This evening, you will see more men on the streets than women. Women will be at home trying to see what the children will eat. Some men even go home and pretend to be drunk because they know that they did not buy food, but a woman will do everything possible to feed the children. Therefore, the empowerment of women is imperative. It is straightforward. If that is done, you will even see food production going up. After all, women are more careful with resources. They are not excited about driving a Mercedes Benz from little earnings. They are more responsible. I know this from my mother, who was very responsible despite not being educated. She managed to educate a young man, me. I am a fine young man, am I not? 

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Hamududu: My wonderful mother only reached Grade 2, but I hope that she is listening to the radio.

Mr Muntanga interjected.


Mr Hamududu: They will tell her.

Mr Chairperson, another point I want to make is the issue of women representation. In this regard, I think that the emphasis must not be so much on women representation at the higher levels. The issues are at the grassroots level. Of course, reaching 50 per cent female representation in Parliament will be an achievement. However, that is not the real issue. The real problem is the programmes at the grassroots level, like what we have said on FISP. Women must be the majority beneficiaries of this programme. For example, if we have 50 per cent women in here, then what? After all, I am man, but I am here championing gender balancing. So, that is not the real issue. Of course, I support the drive to have more women in Parliament, and women must take advantage of the Constitution review process to advocate for that. Actually, they should have been very active in suggesting the way forward on this process. Other countries have given us examples. Women must come here through competitive elections, not a party list like we are trying to suggest. We want women with legitimacy.

Sir, what has been done in other countries is that special seats are reserved for women. If you want seventy-five women in Parliament, for instance, and you are 150, you just say that two constituencies should produce one woman Parliamentarian, for example, Mazabuka Central and Monze Central, the ballots for the two seats would have that special seat to be contested solely by women. Women should not just be brought here by political parties because they would not even champion women’s issues then. Therefore, we use special seats that are elective. Women should not just come here simply because they dance better in their political parties.

Mr Chairperson, the last point I want to raise is that, while we currently have a few micro projects, …

Mr Muntanga: Can that one dance (pointing at Prof. Luo)?

Mr Hamududu: … you have micro projects …

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

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Muntanga: Can Ngoshe Mukote dance?

Prof. Luo: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for according me the opportunity to raise this point of order.

Sir, is the hon. Member of Parliament, who I thought was debating very well, in order to demean women in his debate? We are trying to elevate the dignity of women, but he is relegating us to dancing.

I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

The serious ruling is that the hon. Member, who has debated very well, so far, should take that into account as he continues.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, even some men dance …


Mr Hamududu: … and they are given good positions. We also do not want men who dance a lot for them to come on the party list. We want those who champion causes. I hope I have corrected that.

Mr Chairperson, finally, the micro projects that are being implemented currently must be fairly distributed and need-driven.

Mr Muntanga: Yes.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Chairperson, the issue of asking hon. Members of Parliament to pick hammer mills must not arise. An hon. Member of Parliament must not come near the actual implementation of projects. Our job is oversight. Take the hammer mills to the districts. You know the political structures, such as the wards, the constituencies, the districts and the provinces that exist to channel development efforts. Just go to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and get the data on the number of structures. Get information on the number of constituencies and wards we have and do your tabulation. After that, take the resources to the district. It is as simple as that. In doing that, however, let us distribute some of these women’s projects and resources fairly.

Sir, it is also important to have focal points. I know that you have focal points in your districts. Our women can suggest things. For example, this evening, I received a call from my councillor in Kiemba Ward. The women there want a borehole because they want to go into vegetable gardening to improve their nutrition. Therefore, we want to bring that application so that you go and drill a borehole. Do not just buy hammer mills because a hammer mill might not be the solution. Therefore, we want targeted funding to all the political structures of our country, not a situation where an hon. Member of Parliament has to come to your office. As you sit in your office, you know the geographical boundaries of our country. You must know the number of wards and constituencies, whether they are in Chifunabuli, Mpulungu, Bweengwa, Katombola, Sikongo, Chavuma, Solwezi, Sesheke, Chikankata or Vubwi. You have that information. We are approving this Budget in order to empower you to do that. You should not only give things to an hon. Member of Parliament who comes to your office because that is not right. Our job is not to continue disturbing you in your offices, but to check whether the things have arrived at the grassroots. Some of us have very little time in Lusaka because we stay in our constituencies. I live in Monze, not here. So, my job is to see if what you promised has reached the grassroots.

Mr Chairperson, with these few words, I support the Vote of my auntie’s ministry.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Chairperson, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to debate the Motion.

Sir, I would like to say that I have no option, but to support this ministry’s budget, except for the fact that, when I look at the figures in this book, an increase of 0.09 per cent from last year gives me the impression that we are in the business-as-usual mode, just like it was in the last Budget Cycle.

Mr Chairperson, the hon. Minister made a few pronouncements which I would like to react to. One of the pronouncements on which she was quite emphatic was the fact that we have a problem in the area of street children. She actually stated that we needed to find better ways of keeping our children out of the street. That sounds, to me, like a very decent pronouncement. However, sometimes, it is important to apply what is called benevolent dictatorship in order to solve a problem.

Sir, for years, the problem of street children has grown exponentially, and it is because of the approach that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development appears to be adopting. I want to argue vehemently that not all the children on the streets are living off the wall. Some have homes where they come from and, if you engage them correctly, they will tell you that both their parents are still alive. Therefore, this is a social problem that emanates from another source, which is poverty.

Mr Chairperson, today, some parents send their children onto the street to beg. So, for the hon. Minister to indicate that to forcefully take them out of the street might be an outdated method – I was waiting attentively for her to spell out the alternative plan that her ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health, has to eliminate the problem of children living on the street. In her budget, she has some provisions for domesticating SADC protocols on children, and that sounds very good. As I said in my debate earlier this afternoon, sometimes, it is good never to treat reality as an illusion. The children we see on the streets and at traffic lights are getting younger and younger. I would like to ask her to engage Hon. Catherine Namugala, who once headed the then Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare and was on the verge of removing all children from our streets and almost succeeded.

Mr Mwale: She managed.

Mr Nkombo: Mr Chairperson, she nearly managed. If we adopt the approach that the PF has taken, I am afraid, we will now institutionalise the issue of children living on the street. Coupled with its policy of allowing people to trade anywhere, it will be difficult for one to tell who is on the street to beg and who is there for other purposes. Therefore, I would like the hon. Minister to assist me to understand what other means she thinks she has for taking children from the street when winding this debate up. I saw that there is some funding that has gone towards funding some orphanages. That is fine. However, in my view, seeing that the Budgetary provisions are extremely limited, she should have pushed the hon. Minister of Finance for a bit more for her to make the homes of street children a bit more attractive so that children can go there and, maybe, learn a trade of some kind.

Mr Chairperson, when Hon. Namugala was in charge of the Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, she was very clear that it would be an offence for anyone to be found giving alms. I think that the hon. Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs understand the consequences. There were billboards that were erected, which asked Zambians not to give alms. I think that the PF might have removed them now. That action of stopping to give alms, alone, is detrimental because, half the time, we think with our hearts rather than our heads, that we must provide for the needy today, not knowing that we are entrenching their position to continue begging. In the long term, you will actually be destroying that person rather than helping them.

Sir, on women, the hon. Minister talked about the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which was a good pronouncement. On Programme 3158, Activities 001– Facilitate Domestication of the CEDAW Provisions. Last year, there was K281 million. According to this, there is nothing for this year, yet at Programme 3158, Activity 700 – Co-ordinate the Process of Domesticating the CEDAW, the Government has repeated the same Activity and K53 million has been allocated. This sounds okay because we are trying to be in tandem with other countries when it comes to domesticating the SADC protocols on the rights of the child. However, there is little money that has been put here for that purpose. To me, over 365 days, you will probably just gloss over this issue. When we ask you to give us results in the monitoring and evaluation of the successes of the programme, it might be difficult for you because you have very little resources.

Sir, no money has been allocated towards early marriages awareness in the Yellow Book. It is generally known that one of the biggest challenges in this country, especially in the rural areas, for some of us who represent rural or peri-urban areas, is that of early marriages. It is a thorn in the flesh. Because of poverty, it has been seen as a means of survival by parents. They usher under-aged children into marriages to get dowry. They will also gauge. If you are in a family of six where three are boys and three are girls, they would rather take the three boys to school and let the three girls do household chores with the view that they will marry somebody one day.

Mr Chairperson, I think that there is a need for the hon. Minister to put deliberate programmes in place at the local Government level to sensitise people that it is criminal to allow children below a certain age to be married. In our society, probably because of the food that we eat, children get to puberty much ahead of time and, the moment they do so, parents think, because of limited education, that they can just usher them into marriages and that would solve their problems. Some of them are even forced into polygamous marriages.

Sir, my young cousin here, Hon. Hamududu, talked about his mother, who is my aunt. Although she did not go beyond Grade 2, she managed to raise a fine person. I wish to inform the hon. Minister, and I stand very tall, today, that my own mother, who, probably, is the hon. Minister’s age, at seventy-two, …


Mr Nkombo: … managed to get a degree at the Zambia Open University (ZAOU) as a way to strengthen herself. I think that we should try to emulate certain good practices. Education, like Hon. Hamududu said, is a very important tool for self-empowerment, sometimes, much more important than material wealth because it provides the best self-defence. My seventy-two-year-old mother, from her very humble beginning, as a primary school teacher, managed to go through the schooling system and, last month, got a Bachelor of Arts in Education (B.A.Ed.). I think that the ministry should promote programmes like that to empower women who are determined to empower themselves because the trickle-down effects on those around them will surely be meaningful.

Sir, the issue of women’s representation in important decision-making positions is also a subject that I would like to touch on, especially as a person charged with the responsibility of looking after the interests and aspirations of other people.

Sir, coming to Parliament should not be seen as a mainstay. I agree with Hon. Hamududu that certain seats must be left for the womenfolk to compete at ward and constituency levels because history has shown us that women, because of their nature, that is, the way God created them, as the weaker sex, compared to men, will easily withdraw when push comes to shove.

Mr Lungu: Are you sure?

Mr Nkombo: I am very sure about that. That is why only extremely tough women like Hon. Kapata are here.


Mr Livune: Question!


Mr Nkombo: Extremely tough.

Mr Chairperson, an average woman cannot come to this place under our prevailing circumstances. Just the contemplation of what happened today, which culminated into a loss of life, the politics of dormant human beings, scares off women. I am sure, that is topical today in homesteads, where people are saying, “Mwabaona ma politicians,” meaning, “Have you seen how the politicians behave.” Unfortunately, this particular matter, a sad one as a matter of fact, concerns the rank and file of the Ruling Party. Women withdraw the moment they see pangas like those seen at the Chelston Water Tank, and say that politicians are bad. When they hear that Hon. Muntanga has been arrested, they conclude that politics are bad and withdraw.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mwanza (Solwezi West): Mr Chairperson, I thank you very much …

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I am happy to be given this opportunity to debate …


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, the two presentations from my colleagues are sufficient for this debate. However, allow me to mention the aspect of distribution of resources in the Ministry of Gender and Development. This is an area of great concern. Yours and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are typical examples of what we are talking about. You are only concerned with PF-linked institutions.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: When we started the programme of gender and development, there was Hon. Sayifwanda from the MMD. In fact, this is an MMD programme started during the rule of the late Dr Levy Mwanawasa, SC., may his soul rest in peace, and its first hon. Minister was Mrs Banda. Today, I am alarmed to say that the hammer mills, polishers and other things are just going to PF-held constituencies.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwanza: I will give Mongu as an example. There are seventeen constituencies in the Western Province, of which only two constituencies were given hammer mills, the hon. Minister’s and Hon. Mubukwanu’s.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Hon. Government Members: Question!

Mr Mwanza: What is that?

Mr Livune: It is witchcraft!

Mr Mwanza: That is discrimination of the highest order. In the North-Western Province, I have not seen any of those things in Solwezi West Constituency.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

I am interested in hearing about her distribution patter.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: The distribution was not even, Mr Chairperson. Only her constituency and that of Hon. Mubukwanu, which is Mongu Central, got that equipment.


Mr Mwanza: What does that mean? There are seventeen other constituencies shared between the UPND and the MMD. You are a Pastor and an Elder in the church …

Hon. Opposition Members: Which one?

Mr Mwanza: That lady (pointing at Mrs Wina).

Hon. Opposition Members: Aah!


Mr Mwanza: She is a Pastor and woman of God. So, I do not want those things to be happening, Mr Chairperson.

Mr Ng’onga and Mrs Kawandami rose.

Mr Mwanza: The truth is that the Ministry of Gender and Child Development …

Mr Ng’onga: On a point of order, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Sit down!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Ng’onga: Mr Chairperson, I thank you for, yet again, giving me the opportunity to raise a point of order.

Mr Chairperson, you have guided, time and again, about debating ourselves in this Chamber and the consequences thereof. Is the hon. Member who is debating in order to single out and mention hon. Ministers by name and what they do outside the House? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: To the extent that names of individual hon. Ministers were drawn into the debate, he is not in order.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Speaker: However, the general debate on distribution of resources was in order. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mwanza: Mr Chairperson, I do not want to be derailed on the point of the distribution pattern. I want the country to know that the PF Government is not fair in the distribution of this equipment through the Ministry of Gender and Development. What does it mean when, out of seventeen, only two PF-controlled constituencies benefit? It is discrimination, which began with the CDF, and I will talk about the CDF at later stage because its disbursement is also discriminatory. It is wrong and the Government must improve on that.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Chairperson, in supporting this Vote, I have a few observations to make.

Sir, the first observation is that, before it became a ministry, Gender and Child Development was a division in His Honour the Vice-President’s Office. It took the Opposition and a unilateral decision by the President, as a gift to this nation, for the ministry to be created.

Sir, my problem with this ministry is implementation. We have this Zambian child who is being looked after by the Ministry of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education in areas that are not exclusively about education because education is more than just about being able to read and write. We also have the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, which also focuses on the child and has the structures and trained staff in community mobilisation. One can further look at the welfare of the child, from the perspective of the Ministry of Health, in the areas of health education, and, in combination with the Ministry of Education, Science Vocational Training and Early Education, in school feeding programmes. Another ministry that has a component of children’s interest is that of Youth and Sport, which deals with a child who is, perhaps, in transition, but still a child. When we come into the area of early marriages, we have the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs, which has programmes targeting traditional leaders. There must be some change somewhere. We should allow these ministries to do what they do best. In agreeing with Hon. Hamududu, the ministry should be there merely for co-ordination, and monitoring and evaluation of programmes in line ministries.

Sir, why should the Ministry of Gender and Child Development take hammer mills or crushing machines? I am not sure if the hon. Minister left any of those things in Mumbwa as they passed through on their way to Nalolo.

Mr Nkombo: There is no PF in Mumbwa.

Mr Muntanga: How can they?

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo: If the ministry were to work with the other ministries, then, life would be much easier. All it would have to do is monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the programmes. When we come to annual reports, we will have the same components being reported upon by all the ministries I have mentioned. There will be too much duplication. We cannot gain expertise by doing the same things over and over.

Mr Chairperson, I a member of the Parliamentary Caucus on the Child and we see a number of partners that have concern for the welfare of the child, such as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This is another dimension that the ministry can co-ordinate.

Sir, having lamented the issue of duplicity, I would like to state that this ministry must not be seen as a feminist institution, and I think that the hon. Minister touched on that. The issue of just concentrating on the girl child should stop. What about the boy child? They must both be taken into account. What we should be looking at is what makes the girl child drop out of school at Grade 7. However, they should both be encouraged. Otherwise, you will go into reverse with the boy child.

Mr Chairperson, the last point I want to indicate is that of leadership, which cannot be developed in one sex in isolation. Leadership must be provided to both the boy child and girl child, and the family must be responsible for that. If the boy child is allowed to go and play football while the girl child is made to wash dishes, then, we will be sowing the seed for the toiling of one while the other develops in other spheres. The family is key in ensuring that positive values are assimilated by a child from the early stages. Once that is done, I would like to believe that the issue of being timid for the majority of our girls can end, and they can compete favourably with boys.

Sir, when I was on that side (right), as Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, I was impressed that in the University of Zambia (UNZA), School of Agriculture and School of Engineering, we had almost equal representation for boys and girls in each. That is something that we must encourage. The problem lies at the lower level. It is there that we must harness the activities between the Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. By the way, there is a component on child affairs in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security as well. One can ask whether these people or programmes talk to each other? I am sure that if they were harmonised, they would put across a formidable programme that would be much more effective.

Mr Speaker, I support this programme, but with those observations that the hon. Minister needs to look at.

I thank you, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Mr ‘Walya.’


The Deputy Chairperson: I have a problem in pronouncing his name.

Mr Bwalya (Lupososhi): Mr Chairperson, I appreciate your mother-tongue interference.


Mr Bwalya: Mr Chairperson, from the outset, I want to support the Vote for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. I have very few issues to raise because quite a number of them have already been raised. Therefore, I will not belabour them. I also want to adopt Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo’s sentiments on the education of the girl child and the boy child.

Mr Chairperson, I want to talk about the cost involved in maintaining the women’s clubs that are being run by these very poor women in society. There are so many women’s clubs that have been formed in this Republic. Year in, year out, they are required by the Registrar of Societies to submit returns and renew their certificates, there is a problem because they do not access Government funding. That has contributed to the rising poverty levels in the rural areas, especially because the women put the monies together and pay K250 to register their clubs and start waiting for Government funding. I want to believe that what I am saying will also be noted by the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health because the procedures that are supposed to be followed to access this funding are not simplified and decentralised. Therefore, it is very difficult for the poor woman out there to access funding.

Mr Chairperson, I heard Hon. Hamududu say that the Member of Parliament should be nowhere near the distribution of these funds and resources. Yes, I agree with him but, in some rural settings, such as Lupososhi Constituency, the only redeemer whom the people know is the hon. Member of Parliament. That is the only person that can deliver their documents to the ministry headquarters. I want to appeal to the hon. Minister to simplify these procedures and, even more importantly, decentralise services to the district level. We know that there is gender mainstreaming in various ministries, but it goes without saying that the ministry should have a presence, if possible, at the district level. That will enable the rural women to go to the district office and access all the services. We are using various ministries, some of which do not even understand the role of the Ministry of Gender and Child Development. As we implement the 2014 Budget, I want to appeal that the sensitisation that the hon. Minister mentioned in her policy statement should be seriously considered and implemented so that it helps rural women to have access to funding.

Mr Chairperson, the other issue that I want to talk about is that of grants to child care organisations. These organisations are doing the commendable job of looking after vulnerable and orphaned children, a responsibility which is supposed to be the Government’s. They need to be supported so that they can provide quality care for the children that are under their care. However, care must be taken. There are some organisations and individuals who are enriching themselves on the plight of vulnerable children. They have amassed a lot of wealth by pretending to be orphanages. We need to intensify inspections as we implement the 2014 Budget and ensure that the Government has clear guidelines on who should run child care institutions.

Sir, I know that the Juveniles Act has many provisions that are supposed to be followed by each child care organisation, but some of the organisations do work that leaves much to be desired. They are using children to enrich themselves and, in the process, expose the children to suffering. Eventually, the children grow up and reproduce delinquent children who will not contribute to the development of this country. So, that needs to be taken care of by the ministry.

Sir, the issue of education was also mentioned. Indeed, as you educate a woman, you educate the whole nation. I also want to touch very briefly on the issue of basic business management skills. This is lacking in most women. Some of the hammer mills and machinery just cause trouble and confusion in the community because the women’s clubs are not properly sensitised on the use and usage of the machinery they receive. So, it is my appeal to the ministry that sensitisation and education of women before they even apply for these things is enhanced so that they know that all is there for their own good. They also need to be taught that those interventions can take them out of poverty by enabling them to generate income and be able to send their children to school.

Mr Chairperson, with those few words, I thank you.

Mrs Wina: Mr Chairperson, I thank all the hon. Members who have contributed to the debate on this Vote. I would like specifically, to refer to Hon. Hamududu’s remarks regarding the nature or structure of the Ministry of Gender and Child Development.

Indeed, Sir, the structure is very visible. Currently, we are not at the district level, but we use our partners at the province and district levels to implement some of our programmes. This is because we realise that our job is that of policy formulation, implementation and monitoring. In addition to that, it should be known to hon. Members of this House that gender is a cross-cutting issue. There are gender issues in the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock; Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection; Health; Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education; and in most of the other ministries. So, we collaborate with our colleagues in the various ministries and Government departments, and monitor their implementation of gender polices. Our job is literally everywhere where there are Government programmes because we want the programmes, projects and plans to be gender responsive.

Mr Chairperson, Hon. Nkombo was very concerned about what new methodologies we are using in reaching out to the street children since some of them have parents, yet they are found on the street. Our ministry has decided on a programme in which we will engage the parents. Once we pick the street children up, we will interrogate them and find out where they came from and follow that up by visiting their families. Depending on the status of those families, we will try to empower them so that the children can be kept at home. For those children who are older than fifteen years, we are collaborating with the Ministry of Youth and Sport so that they are taken over by that ministry. So, there is a lot of collaboration between the various ministries and the Ministry of Gender and Child Development on the protection of children and issues of gender mainstreaming. Hon. Brig-Gen. Dr. Chituwo wondered whether there was effective inter-ministerial communication on gender and child development issues. I want to inform him that there usually is. We find ourselves not duplicating our activities, but enhancing each other’s work.

Mr Chairperson, I thank the contributors to this Motion, once again, and beg to move.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. PF Members: Hear, hear!

Vote 04/01 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.
Vote 04/04 ordered to stand part of the Estimates.

The Chairperson: Order!

(Debate adjourned)



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

(Progress reported)

The House adjourned at 1957 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 8th November, 2013.