Debates - Thursday, 21st April, 2016

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Thursday, 21st April, 2016

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






400. Mr I. Banda (Lumezi) asked the Minister of Local Government and Housing:

(a)    how many boreholes had been sunk in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency in 2015; and

(b)    how many boreholes were earmarked for sinking in 2016.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr N. Banda): Mr Speaker, in 2015, Lumezi District was allocated forty boreholes, out of which twenty-three have been drilled.

Sir, the number of boreholes earmarked for sinking in Lundazi District in 2016 is seventy-one, out of which seventeen will be sunk in Lumezi Constituency.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, does the Government pay full amounts to contractors who drill dry boreholes, that is, boreholes that do not yield water after they are drilled? If not, what percentage of the contract sum does the Government pay when the borehole does not yield water? Further, where does the remainder of the money go?

Mr N. Banda: Mr Speaker, the conditions on which contractors are engaged are specified in the contract document. So, when a contractor drills a dry borehole, the way forward is determined by what is stipulated in the contract.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Hamusonde (Nangoma): Mr Speaker, of the boreholes drilled in Lumezi, how many were drilled using the Constituency Development Funds (CDF)?

The Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mr Kampyongo): Mr Speaker, the boreholes were procured and allocated by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing. Therefore, none were sunk using the Constituency Development Funds (CDF).

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Mbewe (Chadiza): Mr Speaker, we have heard the number of boreholes drilled or earmarked for drilling in Lumezi, a constituency held by the Opposition. When allocating boreholes, does the hon. Minister consider whether the constituency is held by the Opposition or the Ruling Party?


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Member for that question.

Sir, when the Government allocates projects, such as the drilling boreholes, it does not segregate on the basis of differences in political representation. It does not matter whether the hon. Member of Parliament for the constituency is a member of the Ruling Party or the Opposition. Our responsibility is to look after all Zambians’ interests.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: We do not look at who voted for us and who did not. So, we implement projects wherever they are needed by our people.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Imenda (Luena): Mr Speaker, in Luena Constituency, some boreholes that have been sunk by the ministry do not have pumps. So, the people are not yet benefiting from them. I do not know when the pumps will be installed. However, that is not my question. My question is: Did the boreholes that were drilled in Lumezi Constituency suffer the same fate as those drilled in Luena, that is, of not having pumps?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I do not think that the situation is the same. Besides, I do not know which boreholes the hon. Member is referring to, which were drilled, but not equipped with pumps. Suffice it for me to say that the ministry ensures that the boreholes it procures are completely executed, and by that I mean that the operationalisation of a borehole, which includes its being equipped with a pump, is part of the contract. That partly answers the questions on the disparities in the costs of boreholes procured by the ministry and those procured by private individuals. We factor in a number a number of things when procuring these services. For example, if someone drills a dry borehole or fails to install a working pump, we consider the job not done because the borehole will not be operational. So, let me just assure the hon. Member that we will find out exactly what is obtaining in Luena. If we find that boreholes were drilled, but not equipped with pumps, we will make the contractor equip the boreholes so that water can be supplied.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mutelo (Lukulu West): Mr Speaker, of the forty boreholes that were allocated to Lumezi Constituency in 2015, only twenty-three were sunk, leaving a balance of seventeen. We have also been told that seventeen boreholes are earmarked for sinking in the same constituency in 2016. Does that number represent a new allocation or the balance from last year? I hope I have not spoken in parables. 

Mr Speaker: You have spoken in plain language.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, if the hon. Member followed the hon. Deputy Minister’s response, he should recall that the hon. Deputy Minister said that, in 2015, forty boreholes were allocated to Lundazi District, which has three other constituencies. Of the forty, twenty-three were drilled in Lumezi Constituency, which means that the balance could have been drilled in the two other constituencies. The seventeen boreholes to which the hon. Member has referred were allocated to the constituency in 2016, out of the seventy-one allocated to the entire district. That is the clarification.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muchima (Ikeleng’i): Mr Speaker, the Government has struggled with the issue of boreholes in Lumezi Constituency for some time now. Has the Government taken the trouble to find out whether the boreholes that were sunk are functional? I ask this because in Ikeleng’i, most of the boreholes have dried up and no follow-ups on their functionality have been made. So, what measures is the Government putting in place to ensure that the boreholes are functional and guaranteed?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the ministry cares to know whether the boreholes are operational. However, elected representatives of the people are also there to detect these problems. So, the hon. Member of Parliament, who is part of the local authority, the council, has the responsibility to ensure that the boreholes are operational. Where there are defects with which the local authority is not able to deal, he is free to inform the ministry and our technical team will be on hand to attend to the challenges. Additionally, we all have the responsibility to encourage our people to keep those important facilities in good working conditions.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Mtolo (Chipata Central): Mr Speaker, my heart bleeds when I hear the hon. Minister talking about boreholes in this House. Following the many questions that have been asked on this subject, would he not consider buying even just fifty drilling machines and sending, at least, five to each province for them to be used to drill boreholes as and when needed? Honestly speaking, it does not befit the hon. Minister to come to this House and talk about boreholes in this manner. Would he not consider decentralising that function?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, it is not ideal for us to be talking about how many boreholes have been sunk in Lundazi. That is why this Government has focused its efforts on facilitating the much-awaited implementation of the Decentralisation Policy. When that is done, some portfolio functions will be devolved to the local authorities. That is the only way we will be able to serve a larger number of our people and ensure that issues like those raised by Hon. Muchima, that is, the maintenance of boreholes are handled by the local authority, not the hon. Minister. Executing the functions from the centre has been a challenge. So, I cannot agree with Hon. Mtolo more. 

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Kalima (Kasenengwa): Mr Speaker, I have always lamented ...

Mr Mwiimbu: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order pursuant to Article 45 of the Constitution of Zambia, which concerns the electoral systems and processes in Zambia, and Article 229, which anchors the Electoral Commission of Zambia.

Sir, you may be aware that, of late, a number of stakeholders, ...

Mr Speaker: Sorry, to which Article did you refer?

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, Articles 45 and 229 of the Constitution of Zambia. 

Mr Speaker, recently, a number of stakeholders expressed concern over the impending printing of ballot papers by a Dubai-based company called Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing, indicating that the awarding of the tender by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has not been transparent. Fears have also been expressed on the possibility of the upcoming elections not being free and fair. As a result of those concerns, yesterday, the ECZ published a notice titled “Allegations Against the Electoral Commission of Zambia,” wherein it indicated that the process of awarding the contract was transparent and that Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company was the most competitive.

Mr Speaker, we have in our custody the list of bidders for the tender to print ballot papers for the ECZ.

Hon. PF Members: Ah!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Continue, hon. Member.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, according to the documentation I have, the Dubai-based company was not the most competitive bidder.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Its bid was one of the most expensive and more than twice more expensive than the lowest bid, which was from the South Africa-based company that printed the ballot papers used by the ECZ in previous elections.

Sir, there has not been any issue around the company that has been printing ballot papers for the ECZ …

Hon. PF Members: Munenu. 

Mr Mwiimbu: … and …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Please, resume your seat for a moment.

Mr Mwiimbu resumed his seat.

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members on the right, I would like to follow this point of order, but your murmuring makes it very difficult for me to do so. I, too, have a job to do here.

Continue, Hon. Mwiimbu.

Mr Mwiimbu: Mr Speaker, the point I was making is that, according to the documents I have in my custody, the bidder preferred by the ECZ was not the most competitive. 

Sir, allow me to present the evidence, bid by bid:

Bidder    Bidding Price (US$)

Renform    1,398,360

UniPrint    1,522,864

Fongda (AVIC)    1,956,057
Paarl media    2,125,891

Tall Security    2,875,689

Al Ghurair    3,101,000

Formeset    3,758,000

Government Printers    3,918,754

Sharemix    5,261,928

Smith and Ouzman    5,973,491

Fidelity Printers    6,969,667

Printfloor Pvt Ltd    9,104,949

Mr Speaker, as I indicated earlier, the bidding price of the company that has been printing ballot papers for the ECZ, and about whose work no stakeholder has raised any complaint, was less than half that of the bid of the Dubai-based company. Additionally, members of the public, opposition political parties and other stakeholders have raised concerns on this tender, particularly taking into account the manner in which the preferred bidder managed the printing of ballot papers for Uganda and other countries, which has always been questionable.

Mr Speaker, Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, who is the Leader of Government Business in this House, has not raised any issues that point to a failure on the part of the former printer of our ballot papers to do its job effectively, which would justify the ECZ’s decision to prefer a new and more expensive printer. This has made members of the public start doubting the credibility of the upcoming general elections and raised tension in this country. Members of the public and opposition political parties …


Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: … question the credibility of the process of printing ballot papers. There are elements of corruption and bias involved in this process.

Mr Sikazwe: Mwalila bwangu.

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu: Sir, is the Government in order not to comply with the provisions of Article 47 of the Constitution, which requires fairness in this country’s electoral process? 

I need your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. PF Members: Question!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Mr Mwiimbu laid the paper on the Table.            


Mr Speaker: My ruling is as follows: I have been following the events surrounding this issue. As the hon. Member has rightly indicated, the issue is in the public domain. It has been put there by both the print and electronic media. 

Based on the information in the public media and my recollection of how the matter has unfolded, there are two important points I wish to bring out. First and foremost, according to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), the consideration of the bids ends today. Procedurally, what is, then, expected is to see whether there will be an objection lodged with the ECZ by any of the interested parties or not. To sum up my first point, the process has not yet been concluded. Secondly, assuming that the process is concluded and, at some point, there are dissatisfied parties that raise a dispute, there are mechanisms for resolving such disputes, which can be done at two levels. The first level is through the courts of law. As you know, we have a procurement legal framework and our colleagues in the other branch of the Government, the Judiciary, have been mandated with the power to resolve such disputes. The second level is that of engaging the ECZ which, I believe, also has dispute resolution and stakeholder engagement mechanisms. 

Insofar as you have made reference to Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning, you have implicitly asked me to direct her to respond to your point of order. However, I also note that the legal framework of the ECZ makes it a corporate body with its own juristic existence. Further, we, the legislators, have said that body shall not receive directions from any person or authority.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: That provision was made by this House to guarantee the independence of the ECZ.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: So, it would be inappropriate, granted all that I have said, for me to try to secure a resolution of this matter on the Floor of this House. This is a very inappropriate place to resolve an issue of this nature because we would be judges in our own cause. So, there will be a contest that will be very difficult to resolve here. So, in a nutshell, let us give the ECZ an opportunity to complete the process. When the process has been completed, if there will be any dissatisfaction, as I pointed out earlier, there are two avenues of conflict resolution, namely engagement with the ECZ or seeking redress from the courts of law.

That is my ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kampyongo: Long live the Chair.

Ms Kalima: Mr Speaker, the cries on the other side indicate a defeatist attitude. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kalima: For me, it shows that this …


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear! 


Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Kasenengwa!

Ms Kalima: … Government is working. 


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Ms Kalima: Therefore, I have no question.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kasenengwa, what are you referring to?


Mr Speaker: Just a moment, hon. Members.

Hon. Member for Kasenengwa, what are you referring to?

Ms Kalima remained in her seat.


Mr Speaker: Hon. Member for Kasenengwa, I am giving you the Floor because I did not follow what you said.

Ms Kalima: The cries.

Mr Speaker: The cries?

Ms Kalima: Yes.

Mr Speaker: Which cries?

Ms Kalima: The cries over the boreholes, Sir.


Ms Kalima: I have no question, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Order!

Anyway, I was restraining myself.

Hon. Members, let us not be emotive, but disciplined. The hon. Member for Kasenengwa meant to ask a follow-up question to the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing’s answer. I know this is a very difficult subject, ...

Mr Sikazwe: Boreholes.

Mr Speaker: ... but, please, let us avoid what she did.


Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha (Keembe): Mr Speaker, we, in Keembe, are crying for boreholes, but it is not because we sense defeat.

Mr Mtolo: Hear, hear!

Bishop Lt-Gen. Shikapwasha: Mr Speaker, is it possible for the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing to bring to the House a schedule showing how many boreholes have been drilled in each constituency? I ask this because I do not see any borehole that has been dug in Keembe.

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, indeed, the cries of the people of Keembe, as the hon. Member put it, do not mean defeat, but a need for boreholes. 

Mr Speaker, I do not think we can show hon. Members how the procurement and distribution of boreholes is done. What I am able to do, like we have done before, is circulate a chart showing the distribution of boreholes procured in a given year, constituency by constituency and district by district. I think that the cries can, then, be answered. 

Sir, on my sister, I think that her thought process was disturbed by the point of order. She meant to cry for a borehole and was saying that, at least, the Government is responding …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ah.

Mr Kampyongo: … to the …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Minister!

Please, do not put words in her mouth. Just concentrate on your ministerial task.


Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, it was the cry for boreholes that was repeated by hon. Member for Keembe, which he picked up from the hon. Member who had asked a question previously. So, I was just saying that our responsibility is to listen to the cries of the people and, resources permitting, respond to the cries and give our people sources of clean water.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Dr Musokotwane (Liuwa): Mr Speaker, in answering one of the questions, the hon. Minister indicated that the duty of the Government is to cater for everyone in the country without discrimination. Since the Government has allocated fourteen boreholes or more to Lumezi Constituency, when will it allocate even half of that number of boreholes to Liuwa?

Mr Kampyongo: Mr Speaker, I would have opted to restrict myself to the principal question, which is specific to Lundazi District, but let me just repeat what I said earlier. Yes, the responsibility of the Government is to look after its citizens without discrimination, and that is the basis on which we have apportioned development projects in this country. The evidence is there for all people to see. So, this is not mere rhetoric. My assurance to the hon. Member for Liuwa is that we have procured some boreholes and distributed them to all the provinces, including the Western Province, where Liuwa is. 

Sir, like I stated in my response to the question asked by the hon. Member for Keembe, we can avail the House a borehole distribution list. From the list, the hon. Member will be able to see how many boreholes will be sunk in his constituency. Let me take advantage of this question to inform the House that an African Development Bank (AfDB)-funded project to drill boreholes will be implemented in the Western Province. Some of the boreholes will be drilled in Liuwa. That is the assurance I would like to give to the hon. Member.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


401. Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda) asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    when Nakanyaa Health Centre in Nalikwanda Parliamentary Constituency would be provided with the following:

(i)    qualified staff;

(ii)    solar power; and 

(iii)    beds and linen; and

(b)    whether the Government had any plans to upgrade the health centre into a referral clinic for the constituency.

The Deputy Minister of Health (Dr Chilufya): Mr Speaker, Nakanyaa Health Centre, officially known as Nalikwanda Rural Health Centre, currently has the following qualified staff:

(a)    one midwife;

(b)    one nurse;

(c)    one clinical officer; and 

(d)    one environmental health technologist.

Mr Speaker, one staff house, the new Anti-retroviral Treatment (ART) Block and the Maternity Block currently have solar power and there are plans to extend the power to all the other structures.

Mr Speaker, as regards beds and linen, the health centre has a twelve in-patient bed capacity. Currently, it has eight beds and the province is in the process of distributing beds and linen to all the heath facilities, including Nalikwanda Rural Health Centre.

Sir, in view of the long distance from referral facilities, Nalikwanda Rural Health Centre is earmarked to be upgraded into a zonal referral facility. The District Health Office has already submitted a request for expansion of the staff establishment for the centre to be able to offer services commensurate with the proposed status.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Speaker: Next question.

Prof. Lungwangwa rose.

Mr Speaker: I am sorry, hon. Member for Nalikwanda. My sight was blocked by the camera, inadvertently, of course. 


Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister tell us the time frame ...

Mr Chilangwa: On a point of order, Sir.

Mr Speaker: Order!


Mr Speaker: Until further notice, I am not allowing points of order simply because there is a lot more business to be transacted on the Order Paper and there is more in the pipe line, particularly that which requires us to perform one of our traditional functions, that is, legislating, which requires sufficient time. We are already at the end of the second week.

Continue, hon. Member for Nalikwanda.

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, can the hon. Minister give us the time frame in which the facility will be upgraded?

Mr Speaker: Order!

Someone has left his or her microphone on.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, the upgrade is planned to be done before the end of 2016.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.


402. Mr Mutelo asked the Minister of Health:

(a)    whether any scientific research had been conducted in and outside Zambia to find a cure for HIV/AIDS;

(b)    if so, what the latest findings were; and

(c)    whether the research in Zambia was conducted in collaboration with herbal remedies, such as the Sondashi Formula.

Dr Chilufya: Mr Speaker, numerous studies to find a cure for human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) have been and are being undertaken by scientists all over the world. The studies being undertaken have focussed on clinical trials of adoptive immunotherapy (AIT), anti-inflammatory therapy, anti-retroviral therapy (ART), gene therapy (GT), stem cell transplants (SCT), therapeutic vaccines (TV), traditional medicines and treatment intensification strategies.

Mr Speaker, the latest findings are that there is still no known cure for HIV. However, ART can lead to the suppression of the HIV. Latest studies are biased towards investigating the effectiveness of therapeutic vaccines and other immune therapy strategies. 

Mr Speaker, the herbal remedy study using the Sondashi Formula (SF 2000) is currently being conducted by the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC) in Zambia. The Government, through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Higher Education, has procured some equipment required to conduct the study and the capsules of the SF 2000 that are supposed to be used in the observation study of healthy volunteers are now in the country. The observation studies are meant to, first of all, verify the safety of the remedy in a small number of healthy volunteers. Once that has been established, then, the formula will be tried among HIV-infected individuals.

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mutelo: Mr Speaker, when do we expect the capsules to be tried on those the hon. Minister has termed ‘those infected’? 

The Minister of Health (Dr Kasonde): Mr Speaker, the hon. Member is right to enquire into the extent to which we are applying the capsules that are now in the country, thanks to the excellent work of our colleagues in the Ministry of Higher Education. 

Sir, the procedure, as explained by the hon. Deputy Minister, is that, firstly, the capsules should be tried on volunteers who are not in need of treatment. That is as far as the experiment has gone. The remedy is available, but in my discussions with the Director of the Tropical Diseases Research Centre (TDRC), I was told that the centre is still recruiting volunteers.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Antonio (Kaoma Central): Mr Speaker, what will determine the research’s progress? Is it a predetermined time frame or the number of volunteers?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, the practice is to follow up from the beginning until the required number of subjects decided upon in a previous analysis of the minimum need of persons is attained. Therefore, in the initial stage, an analysis was made in which the initial number of subjects was decided. Those subjects must be found and subjected to the medication. The only point at which the process can be interrupted is when there is evidence that some harm is being done to any of the subjects. Otherwise, all the subjects must go through the study.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Ms Imenda: Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that we, Zambians, are making headways through our own research and product. Normally, the Western countries do not want an African country to make these kinds of advances in research and they fight tooth and nail to stop that from happening. Have there been any objections to or encouragement of this research either directly from the Western countries or indirectly through the World Health Organisation (WHO)?

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I know that the hon. Member is very fully acquainted with the procedures and practices of research and that she understands that there is always competition in research among scientists regardless of whether they are from the West, East, North or South. However, we have had no formal objection from any end of that spectrum. Therefore, there is no need for us to worry about protecting our scientists from competing with their fellow scientists. The science will ultimately be published and the world allowed to scrutinise and judge it. Whether it will be the Western countries that discover the cure or not, I think that the world should be prepared to welcome it in the interest of our patients. There should be no defence on the scientific front because science is universal.

I thank you, Sir. 

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, given how expensive research is, can the hon. Minister assure us that he will not come to the House and tell us that he has run short of money to continue the project because it would be a shame for us to discontinue the research mid-way due to a lack of resources. 

Dr Kasonde: Mr Speaker, I appreciate the hon. Member’s concerns about funding for the research. However, I think that he, as a former hon. Minister of Science and Technology, knows that, unfortunately, scientists the world over have to fight for funding for research. In this country, a recent review of funding for research reveals that, by far, the larger part of it is not contributed by us, but rather by various foreign donors. That might be an indication that the administrations before us, perhaps, paid less attention to scientific research. In that sense, it is good that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government has now invested in that area and it must continue to do so in the national interest. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


403. Mr I. Banda asked the Minister of Defence when the following roads in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency would be rehabilitated:

(a)    Chikomeni/Mwanya, to link Chief Mwanya’s Palace to the main road;

(b)    Mthilakubili/Chief Kazembe’s Palace, especially the portion from Njoka Community School to Chief Kazembe’s Palace; and

(c)    Lundazi/Chitungulu, from Lumimba to Chief Chitungulu’s Palace.  

The Deputy Minister of Defence (Mr Mulenga): Mr Speaker, the feeder roads in Lumezi Parliamentary Constituency, which are in Unit III, will be rehabilitated upon completion of the works in Units I and II. The House may wish to note that the hon. Minister for Eastern Province held a meeting with all ...

Mr Ntundu interjected.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member for Gwembe.

Continue, hon. Minister. 

Mr Mulenga: … the hon. Members of Parliament from the Eastern Province in which the roads were put into four units and a schedule of the works drawn. Currently, the Zambia National Service (ZNS) is rehabilitating roads in three constituencies, namely Chipangali, Chipata Central and Vubwi, which fall under Units I and II. The schedule submitted by the Provincial Administration is as follows: 

    Unit    Constituencies

I     Chipangali, Chipata Central, Kasenengwa and Luangeni

II    Vubwi, Chadiza, Milanzi and Mkaika

III    Lumezi, Lundazi, Chasefu and Malambo

IV    Nyimba, Kapoche, Petauke, Sinda and Msanzala. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr I. Banda: Mr Speaker, the three roads to the three chiefdoms are vital because they are the only means of reaching the chiefdoms, which is very difficult during the rainy season. So, they were prioritised during our caucus with the hon. Minister around November, 2016, but to date, they have not been worked on. So, the areas I mentioned are currently inaccessible. When will the Government help the people to be able to move between the Boma and the palaces? 

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, as the hon. Member has stated, accessibility is critical. However, I want to remind him that the role of the Ministry of Defence, through the Land Development Branch of the ZNS, is to facilitate. We follow whatever is agreed upon in the provinces. The Eastern Province gave us a prioritised list of constituencies and that is exactly what we will follow. So, if the roads in question were prioritised, then, we will work on them. I suggest that the hon. Member goes back to the provincial administration to raise this concern so that one set of equipment can be taken to his constituency. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mbulakulima (Chembe): Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has partly answered the question by stating that the ministry is not to blame. However, I am sure that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply will agree with me that most complaints about poor roads have been from remote areas, yet the hon. Minister’s answer shows that priority has been given to urban centres. For example, Unit 1 comprises Chipata, Luangeni, Kasenengwa and Chipangali, which are urban constituencies. Does the hon. Minister not think that it would have been prudent for the provincial administration to prioritise far-flung areas and move towards the towns, where the situation is less desperate? When you look at the question that the hon. Member for Lumezi asked, the people of Mwanya ―


Mr Mbulakulima: If you remember, last week ―

Hon. Members: Mwasunda!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mwasunda? 

Hon. Members: Yes!

Mr Mbulakulima: Mwanya. 


Mr Mbulakulima: Sir, last week, I stated that Yakobe Health Centre is not accessible to the people. So, is it not possible for the people of Mwanya …


Mr Mbulakulima: … to be helped, especially by the able hon. Deputy Minister of Defence. Is he not sympathetic to the people of Mwanya? 


Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, as I have already stated, the concern of the Government is to facilitate easy accessibility of the areas. That is why His Excellency the President came up with this important programme of opening up the rural areas. As Ministry of Defence, we have distributed about three sets of equipment to each province. So, I request the hon. Member of Parliament for Lumezi and the hon. Minister for Eastern Province to look into this matter so that our colleagues in Chief Mwanya …

Mr Mbulakulima: Exactly!


Mr Mulenga: … can benefit from this programme by having the roads that our colleague is crying for opened up.  

Mr Speaker, I thank you. 

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, the target of the programme to which the hon. Minister referred is to work on 10,000 km of roads in four years, that is, from 2016 to 2019. Does the Government still stand by that target or have we already fallen behind schedule like in the Link Zambia 8,000 Kilometre Road Project? Please, I need an assurance.

Mr Mulenga: Mr Speaker, we are on schedule and we still stand by the target to work on 10,000 km plus of feeder roads countrywide. The Rural Roads Unit (RRU) of the ZNS, which is well-equipped and has good engineers, has been given the task to work on all the roads.  

I thank you, Sir. 





The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Protection of Traditional Knowledge, Genetic Resources and Expressions of Folklore Bill, 2016. The object of the Bill is to:

(a)    provide for a transparent legal framework for the protection of, access to, and use of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore, which also guarantees the equitable sharing of benefits and effective participation of holders; 

(b)    recognise the spiritual, cultural, social, political and economic value of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore of holders; 

(c)    promote the preservation, wider application and development of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore; 

(d)    recognise, protect and support the inalienable rights of traditional communities, individuals and groups over their traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore; 

(e)    confer rights on traditional communities, individuals and groups, and promote the conservation and sustainable utilisation of the country’s bio-diversity; 

(f)    promote fair and equitable distribution of the benefits derived from the exploitation of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore and expressions of folklore; 

(g)    promote the use of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore for the benefit of traditional communities, the country and mankind in general; 

(h)    ensure that exploitation of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore takes place with the prior informed consent of a traditional community, individual or group; 

(i)    prevent the granting of patents based on traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expressions of folklore without prior informed consent of a traditional community, individual or group; 

(j)    give effect to the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) Swakopmund Protocol on the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Expressions of Folklore of 2010, the World Trade Organisation Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS) of 1994 and any other relevant international treaty or convention to which Zambia is a State party; and 

(k)    provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing. 

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Economic Affairs, Energy and Labour, which is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday, 4th May, 2016. 

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

Thank you. 


The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to present a Bill entitled the Superior Courts (Number of Judges) Bill, 2016. The object of the Bill is to:

(a)    provide the number of Judges for the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, Court of Appeal and High Court; 

(b)    repeal and replace the Supreme Court and High Court (Number of Judges) Act, 1976; and 

(c)    provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Speaker: The Bill stands referred to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs, which is required to submit its report on the Bill to the House by Wednesday, 27th April, 2016. 

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

Thank you. 




Mr Belemu (Mbabala): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply on the Report of the Auditor-General on the Government’s Measures to Reduce Road Traffic Accidents for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on Tuesday, 5th April, 2016. 

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded? 

Mr Chishimba (Kamfinsa): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion. 

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as contained in the Standing Orders, your Committee was tasked with the responsibility of considering the Report of the Auditor-General on the Government’s Measures to Reduce Road Traffic Accidents. Since hon. Members have your Committee’s report before them, I will restrict my debate to the salient issues contained therein.

Sir, in order to gain insight into the observations and recommendations of the Auditor-General’s Performance Audit Report, your Committee sought oral and written submissions from the relevant stakeholders. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee commends the Office of the Auditor-General for going beyond its traditional financial audits to include performance audit in its scope of work. It is, indeed, a step in the right direction. 

Mr Speaker, traffic accidents have become one of the most common causes of death and injury and, therefore, are a serious negative economic and social factor that must be addressed. In addition to the loss of human life and the personal suffering incurred, road traffic accidents are a burden to the community due to the cost of funerals, medical treatment, repair of damaged vehicles and administrative work occasioned.

Sir, it is evident that road traffic accident reporting has not been effective because of a lack of an accident information system. In light of this, the Auditor-General recommended that the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) establishes and maintains a data collection system called the Accident Information System, which is necessary to provide baseline data and monitor progress in reducing road traffic injuries and fatalities. The stakeholders who appeared before your Committee were also of the view that the value of an accident information system could not be over-emphasised. In view of this, your Committee recommends that the Accident Information System be established and maintained without any further delay. In addition, your Committee recommends that the system be jointly operated by the RTSA and the Zambia Police Force in order to allow the key players to have simultaneous access to real-time accident information.

Sir, the Auditor-General recommended that the RTSA and the Zambia Police Force strengthen their co-operation in providing precise and reliable statistics on road traffic accidents, and that they develop joint measures to enhance road safety. Most stakeholders also submitted that the current poor working relationship between the two institutions is affecting the development of such measures. Your Committee notes that, as required by the law, the first port of call when a road accident happens is the Zambia Police Force. So, there is no direct contact with the RTSA for either the motorists or accident victims. Therefore, the onus to record and maintain accurate records of road traffic accidents must be on the Zambia Police Force. However, notwithstanding the foregoing, the Road Traffic Act places a particular responsibility for road safety, incidence and causes of road traffic accidents on the agency. This is to enable the agency to measure the impact of its road safety interventions and help in the formulation of future road safety programmes. Your Committee, therefore, urges the Government to ensure that a standard road accident reporting procedure is established to ensure that the RTSA and the Zambia Police Force are accurately informed and reliable statistics maintained, including the analysis of the causes of accidents.

Mr Speaker, with regard to the improper erection of billboards on our roads, the Auditor-General recommended that all local authorities that allowed billboards that endangered the safety of road users be sanctioned and the billboards removed. The stakeholders also submitted that there was a need for the RTSA and the Road Development Agency (RDA) to step up their efforts in preventing the erection of billboards that endanger the safety of road users. In this regard, your Committee recommends that such billboards be removed despite the councils’ having running contracts with the billboard owners.

Sir, in conclusion, I record your Committee’s indebtedness and gratitude to you for according it the opportunity to scrutinise the Auditor-General’s Report on the Government’s Measures to Reduce Road Traffic Accidents. I also thank all the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee and contributed to the process of scrutinising the report. Further, I am indebted to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to your Committee.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

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

Mr Chishimba: Now, Mr Speaker.

Sir, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to second the Motion before the Floor of the House. Before I do so, however, let me convey my condolences to all the families who lost their loved ones in the recent road accidents. 

Sir, in seconding the Motion ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I will comment on a few points contained in your report. 

Sir, the Auditor-General recommends that the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) evaluates all road safety measures pertaining to education, publicity, road inspection and enforcement, including the publication of reports on the effectiveness of road safety operations conducted by the Zambia Police and RTSA traffic inspectors.

Mr Speaker, the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee stated that the RTSA is the lead agency in formulating and co-ordinating safety programmes to be implemented by all stakeholders in road safety. However, there appeared to be a lack of evaluation of the measures. The majority of motorists negatively perceived road safety operations due to the punitive approach portrayed by road inspectors and your Committee observes that the negative perception tends to hamper the positive intentions of such operations. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the agency evaluates its performance in the execution of its mandate and publishes the outcomes of the evaluation, which will help to improve awareness of the role, mandate and day-to-day activities of the RTSA.

Mr Speaker, another recommendation of the Auditor-General is that the Ministry of Transport and Communication prioritises the customisation and implementation of the Southern Africa Transport and Communication Commission (SATCC) Standards for road construction and maintenance. In this regard, the stakeholders who appeared before your Committee submitted that most roads that were being constructed did not meet the SATCC Standards, as they did not have walkways and cycle tracks, thereby endangering the lives of pedestrians and cyclists. Standards in construction and maintenance of roads are necessary in ensuring that the key features and safety elements for all classes of road users are not compromised. In view of the foregoing, your Committee recommends that the Government, through the RTSA, expedites the process of developing standards for urban roads.

Mr Speaker, I beg to second.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank the Chairperson of the Committee and the seconder for moving this Motion. My special gratitude goes to the Auditor-General’s Office, which has not restricted its work to auditing money, but has also taken an interest in programmes meant to protect the lives of our people. I have been affected personally because I lost my children in a road traffic accident. It is really devastating and traumatising to hear that the person you were talking to a few minutes earlier has died. 

Mr Speaker, basically, the accidents in Zambia are caused by people, especially the unlicensed drivers. Over-speeding has often been the cause of accidents. Rarely are accidents caused by mechanical faults. Mostly, they are caused by poor judgement on the part of the drivers. 

Sir, yes, from time to time, both the Zambia Police Force and Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) traffic officers patrol the roads and mount roadblocks. However, sometimes, we, the motorists, complain about the number of roadblocks, which are meant to guard against over-speeding motorists. Sometimes, motorists also do not ensure that their vehicles are roadworthy. There are many safety measures that we have instituted, but a general lack of adherence to them is a major cause of accidents. I am happy, for example, with the establishment of the Fast-Track Courts. I have attended one of the sessions at the Civic Centre and I was happy with the harsh penalties that are meted out against road traffic offenders. 

Sir, one of the reasons people do not observe road traffic regulations is that they obtain driving licences fraudulently. Some people do not know that there is a lot more to being a licensed driver than merely being able to move a vehicle from point A to point B. Nowadays, people are getting driving licences without being adequately examined by those responsible for doing that.  

Mr Speaker, back in the days I got my licence, it was mandatory to master and practice the ten basic rules of driving. Now, most of the drivers we see around do not even know anything about those rules. There are even some books on safe driving, such as Mathews Law, a small book that I think Hon. Muntanga has. People should read such books because our records on road accidents show that most have been caused by careless driving, and some people are careless on the road because they are not properly trained drivers. They have not even gone through the Highway Code for them to know the dos and don’ts of driving. Of course, there are also some measures that the Government should put in place to reduce road accidents, such as maintaining the roads, that is, putting up road signs ...


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Namulambe: … and markings, and keeping the roads in a good condition. Unfortunately, most drivers, including some hon. Members of Parliament of this House, do not even know what some of the road markings mean. 


Mr Namulambe: There was a time I was overtaken by a colleague on the road.

Mr Speaker: You are now debating your colleagues.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I am sorry. 

Sir, I do not really know what people rush for on the roads. Sometimes, they rush for a meeting when they can wake up early so that they have enough time to get to that meeting. Besides, it is better to arrive for a meeting late than end up being involved in an accident and miss the meeting altogether. So, I think that all the people who drive must be taught to exercise caution.

Sir, I agree that education should be an on-going process. So, RTSA officers should keep reminding us. Equally, cars must be thoroughly examined before they are certified road-worthy. 

Mr Speaker, through corruption, some people have obtained driving licences. I wonder how most of the mini bus drivers get their driving licences without even being tested. A person can be a bus conductor today and a licensed driver tomorrow and, if you ask him if he has gone through the Highway Code, he will say he did not. So, the measures are there, but how do we ensure that they are adhered to?  Sometimes, one can even wonder whether the measures are there because of the lack of adherence to them. In this regard, I ask that the Fast-Track Courts be established in all the districts so that all those who breach traffic regulations can be punished. That way, I think, we will minimise road accidents. 

Mr Speaker, I also suggest that traffic officers should not fine motorists whose vehicles are found not to be roadworthy at roadblocks and let them continue driving on our roads because merely fining the motorists is not enough. A motorist can be made to pay an Admission of Guilt Fine and be allowed to pass and, two minutes later, cause an accident. In that case, the one who would have caused that accident will be the one who was just interested in the fine.  At some roadblocks, you will even be told to talk to a traffic officer seated in a car parked somewhere, and that officer will tell you that, “If you go to court, you will pay K8,000. However, you can give me a smaller amount and I will allow you to go.” 

Mr Speaker, on Sunday, last week, some people from my constituency, Mpongwe, who were taking groundnuts to Kasumbalesa were stopped at Baluba Checkpoint and the driver was asked to pay K300 and four 50 kg bags of groundnuts, but no receipt was issued.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

 Mr Namulambe: So, I wonder how the bags of groundnuts were accounted for by the police. There is no milling plant in Mpongwe. So, my people, who grow maize and groundnuts, have to take their produce to Kasumbalesa. Who got those bags of groundnuts? The people who were fined had not committed any traffic offence, except that the co-operative vehicle they were using to transport the groundnuts had a black number. Is that an offence for which a person should pay K300 without getting a receipt? It is that kind of behaviour by our law enforcement officers that makes people evade roadblocks and opt to drive at night and, in the process, cause accidents. So, the Police Command should restore discipline in the force. In this regard, I appeal to the hon. Minister of Home Affairs to follow up the issue of my people, who were made to pay K300 and four bags of groundnuts without being issued a receipt. My people are still asking for their groundnuts to be returned.

Hon. Government Members: Aah!

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I think that you have belaboured that point. Besides, there are other agencies that may be interested in those allegations with which you can pursue that issue.

You may continue.

Mr Namulambe: Mr Ba Speaker, nachilafwaya ati baumfwishe.


Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

 I did not get the latter part. Please, repeat your statement.

 Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, I was saying that I wanted the House to get me well and remember what I was saying. So, I could not say it in one sentence.

 Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

That is why I said that you have belaboured the point. Your debate is repetitive.

Please, continue.

 Mr Namulambe: Mr Speaker, we saw the RTSA swing into action and remove all the billboards on the Great East Road and one hon. Member asked Her Honour the Vice-President and Minister of Development Planning on the Floor of this House why that was being done, and she answered the question. However, a few weeks later, the billboards were re-erected. Why did the RTSA remove the billboards just for it to allow them to be re-erected? Some the billboards obstruct the drivers.

Mr Speaker, we need to see the road markings that indicate where to turn and when to overtake, among other things. These issues ought to be communicated to the relevant people to enable them to sensitise people on how to avoid road traffic accidents. Indeed, it is very saddening to lose many lives through road traffic accidents, which can be avoided. Each time I see an accident, my heart bleeds. So, we should always ensure that people who break road traffic rules are heavily punished. For this reason, I commend the magistrate who was handling cases at the Lusaka City Council (LCC) Fast-Track Court for his uncompromising stance. He punished all the offenders, and I hope that the RTSA will continue taking violators of road traffic rules to that courts regardless of who they are. Police officers should also not be more interested in fining traffic offenders than in taking them to the Fast-Track Courts in order to instil fear in would-be offenders and, thus, protect the lives of our people.

 Mr Speaker, with those words, I thank you.

 Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I join my hon. Colleagues in appreciating and supporting the report of your Committee.

 Sir, this Motion has been moved at a time when we have experienced horrific accidents. The accidents that happened a fortnight ago and many others that have happened in the past are still fresh in our minds. So, the Motion is a wake-up call to all of us. 

Mr Speaker, I also thank the Auditor-General for venturing into this area. I wish there were engineers on the team that did the audit because some of the aspects in the report have to do with road infrastructure in our country. 

Sir, a multi-sectoral approach is needed in dealing with issues of road accidents. Today, the transport sector in Zambia is thriving and meeting the needs of the people. As a country, we have done so well by liberalising the sector that the buses wait for people, not the other way round.
Mr Speaker, Zambia has the advantage of being a transit country with eight neighbours. So, there is a lot of criss-crossing to and from countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Malawi to access the big market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In short, for the other countries to access the market in the DRC, they have to pass through Zambia. Therefore, there are many mechanisms that we must put in place to make our roads safer.

Sir, the Inter-city Bus Terminus was one of the first and best in the region, excluding those in South Africa. In addition, people from Namibia, for example, can easily connect to Malawi through the Inter-city Bus Terminus in Lusaka. So, we have such a wonderful connectivity. Unfortunately, some facilities are lacking or inadequate on our roads. Our roads are also quite narrow and our towns look a bit unplanned. Sometimes, drivers get tired and need to rest. Therefore, an opportunity can arise from these deficiencies. For example, we must create parking facilities for trucks and buses. In Monze, we are pleased that a private investor has put up a wonderful bus stop at Road House. It must be the best on that road. However, we need more facilities where bus and truck drivers can stop, rest a bit and refresh. That is one way to avoid road traffic accidents. It is also an opportunity for job creation and business for young people because every town, from Livingstone to Lusaka, and everywhere else can have a big and well-paved truck port of, maybe, 5 ha. The Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission (CEEC) can provide finance to the youths and other business people. 

Mr Speaker, if you go to my town, Monze, or Mazabuka in the evening, you will find that the whole town is crowded, making it unsafe …


Mr Speaker: Order!

 Mr Hamududu: … even for the pedestrians and intra-district motorist to move. There is too much disorder in terms of parking because the trucks lack parking facilities.

Sir, the other issue I would like to talk about is that of over-speeding. When I drive to Monze every Friday, even if I drive at 100 km per hour, buses carrying people just overtake me as if I am stationary. So, we need to put speed limiters on those busses. A bus carrying sixty people should not drive at 120 km or faster. When I am driving at 110 km or 120 km per hour and a bus overtakes me, then, I do not know the speed at which the bus is moving. It must be extremely fast. I am not surprised that some buses whose names I do not want to mention have been involved in road traffic accidents. One of the causes is over-speeding. 

Mr Speaker, our roads are narrow and curvy, and it is very easy for motorists to lose control of their vehicles. So, speed limits must be mandatory. If it means legislating on the speed limits for big buses. We can just tune down the speedometers so that the drivers cannot go above a certain speed limit no matter how much pressure they apply on the accelerators. When people are a problem, we need to become mechanical. Otherwise, the accidents will continue to cause mayhem on our roads and kill people.

Sir, my other point is on the need for us to have proper infrastructure in place. For example, how can a big city like Lusaka not have a bypass? Before the city expanded, Lumumba Road was a bypass for trucks that did not have to stop over in Lusaka. So, the Government should have planned its infrastructure development projects well. All the other big cities need proper bypasses. For example, right at Shimabala, those who do not have any business in the Central Business District should not pass through there, but rather just branch off. So, we need a tube on the western and eastern sides of Lusaka so that we do not congest our roads. In the evening, there is too much congestion on the road leading to the Katuba Area. In Livingstone, there is supposed to be a bypass before one enters the city, which can, later, connect to the main road because the inner city should be reserved for smaller cars.

Mr Speaker, the issue of a lack of money should not arise because some of the bypasses can finance themselves. A bypass out of Livingstone, for example, can be used by people who would not mind paying some money to avoid congestion. Such roads can be built using the public-private partnership (PPP) mode. I know that we currently do not have enough money to roll out flamboyant infrastructure development projects because we have overspent. However, we can invite the private sector to build the bypasses using the build, operate and transfer (BOT) model. Later, the roads would finance themselves. So, let us sell these ideas to the people who have the money.

Sir, I feel that this report gives us an opportunity to do more than we are currently doing. It creates opportunities for us because in every problem, an opportunity arises. In Namibia’s current five-year development plan, there is a provision for a logistics sector. This is a new, but critical sector that can create jobs. The transportation of goods is now a sub-sector. We, equally, need to roll out infrastructure to facilitate this thriving sector that can create jobs, make our roads safer and earn our country money. We are currently losing income and lives due to accidents because people have to drive long distances without rest. So, these are all opportunities. Money is not a problem because this sector can finance itself.

Sir, with those few words, I support your report.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Prof. Lungwangwa (Nalikwanda): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate the report. In this regard, I commend the Chairperson of the Committee and the Auditor-General’s Office for taking keen interest in this very important problem.

Sir, what we are seeing on our roads is chaos, and I think that we must admit that fact. We must be frank and call a spade a spade. 

Sir, there are many dimensions to the chaotic road situation we have, in which the result has been accidents every now and then. Each one of us here has experienced the loss of the lives of our loved ones on our roads.

Mr Speaker, only last week, we put to …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Prof. Lungwangwa: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was about to say that all of us here have experienced the loss of loved ones. 

Sir, chaos is, indeed, the defining condition on our roads and that has led to the loss of our loved ones. Last week, we were putting to rest one of the best brains in this country, the first Executive Director of Golden Valley Agricultural Research (GART) in Chisamba who died in a road traffic accident. How unfortunate.

Mr Speaker, there are many factors that have contributed to the high rate of accidents on our roads, as my colleagues have already pointed out, but I think one of the outstanding ones relates to the extent to which our drivers are familiar with the Highway Code. I remember, several years ago, presenting a revised version of the Highway Code in this House, which we all approved. It is the one now guiding drivers on our roads. However, the question is: How many of our drivers are familiar with it? How many have even seen it or read it to be knowledgeable about the rules and guidelines of driving on our roads? Probably very few. 

Sir, maybe, it is high time we began to think differently. For example, firstly, we can translate the Highway Code into our local languages so that those who cannot read it in English can do so in their native languages. That might contribute to an interest in reading the booklet and understanding its provisions. Secondly, we can have audio or video versions of the Highway Code so that our people are able to listen and watch it instead of reading it. The technology I am talking about is cheap and simple to use. That is important, especially that we are now increasingly being driven by the information and communication technology (ICT). The print version of the Highway Code a big document and scary, and I do not think that it is used effectively enough in our driving schools to expose our would-be drivers to its dictates.

Sir, another aspect of chaos on our roads has to do with the type of vehicles we have on our roads. I think that many of us have seen very old vehicles, may be, from the 1950s, with defective tyres and lighting systems, carrying bags of charcoal. To a large extent, those vehicles are a threat to our lives, yet our traffic officers allow them on our roads. A few years ago, we had a debate in this country on the procurement of equipment for inspecting vehicles, which I think was placed at Mimosa. What has happened to that equipment? It is not being used effectively to inspect the mechanical state of our vehicles.

Mr Speaker, several years ago, I think, there was a programme to monitor speeds, especially of public service vehicles, on our roads called Highway Patrol and vehicles were bought to be used by our officers. Where are those vehicles that we do not see on the roads? They are probably being used to transport children to school every morning at the expense of our lives, which is unacceptable. Highway patrol is very important and most countries have highway patrol systems, yet we have abandoned it. Consequently, we see the situation about which Hon. Hamududu talked, that is, public service vehicles like buses carrying many lives being driven at very high speeds. Who can control that on our roads? That is the chaos I am talking about. When programmes that are important for national development or safety and saving lives are put in place, they must be sustained and even improved because they are for the good of all of us. So, we must pay very serious attention to them.

Mr Speaker, let us look at the way, for example, our mini bus drivers behave on our roads. What we see all over is chaos. They do not park in the right places and park anyhow, which is likely to cause accidents on our roads. Where are the traffic officers when all this is happening? Instead of controlling the chaos on our roads, they are more interested in getting pecuniary advantage from the situation. There are times when I drive into town and find a roadblock at 0800 hours or 0730 hours. That is unacceptable. How does someone set up a roadblock at a time when people are in a hurry to get to work? What is the impact of that on our productivity, as a nation? What is the interest of a police officer who does that instead of facilitating the smooth flow of traffic to enable people to get to their work places on time? That is the chaos I am talking about. These factors which, to some extent, are human, are responsible for the loss of lives on our roads. In the past, there was a requirement for long distance buses travelling at night to have two drivers to lessen driver fatigue during that journey. Is that requirement still in place? I may be wrong, but I do not think it is being enforced. As a nation, we should be open-minded and face the problems on our roads squarely. The more vehicles we have, the more the likelihood of more young people driving on our roads, and all these factors are clearly a danger to the lives of our people. So, we must face reality seriously.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Nkombo (Mazabuka Central): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. I just have one quick point to stress that I think your Committee missed. Nevertheless, your Committee has done a wonderful job and the Auditor-General’s recommendations are also very encouraging.

Sir, my father was a school headteacher, and I learnt how to drive in his car when I was still a young village boy. However, I had got the car keys without his authority and when he discovered that, he sat me down and gave me a booklet called the Highway Code and told me that if I wanted to drive, I needed to first read the book thoroughly. That book is, to me, what the Bible is to those who wish to be saved and go to heaven. Anyone who does not read the Highway Code will certainly be involved in road rage. In the preamble of the Highway Code, it is stated very explicitly that one must exercise patience when driving. If we could inculcate the spirit of patience in those learning to drive, we would drastically reduce road carnage. 

Secondly, Sir, I have known many people who went for driving lessons and were disqualified on ethical bases by the instructors and those who are charged with the responsibility of issuing drivers’ licences. A driver’s licence is similar to a gun licence. So, just like the issuer of a gun licence must ascertain the mental stability of the applicant before issuing the licence, those who issue road licences should ensure that a person is not temperamental before issuing him or her with a licence. 

Sir, I think that the report should have emphasised the issue of reading the Highway Code. The easiest way to identify the people who did not acquire driving licences legitimately is to look at how they drive. In this regard, I wish there was a penalty for people who drive too slowly in a fast lane because those are the people who cause accidents. Many times, I have had difficulties understanding why some people drive in that manner and I have asked myself whether the person thinks they are driving into their yard. So, I think that we need some signage indicating that the inner lane is for over-taking only or something of that sort. That way, those who are not in a hurry will have to remain in the outer lane. What I am talking about sounds very trivial, but I can assure you that this is a great inconvenience. Even on a dual carriageway like the Ndola/Kitwe Road, people in the inner lane drive casually as though they are not going anywhere. That is a big source of concern. So, I think that the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) needs to put some road signs, not the billboards that one hon. Member talked about. The hon. Member, I think, did a fantastic job of stressing that the billboards are an obstruction to road users.

Sir, the Highway Code clearly states that one must look right, left and right again before one crosses the road. That is because vehicles move so fast that if a car is behind a billboard and a person just joins the road, he or she will be crashed to death. 

Sir, I come from a constituency that has been rocked by accidents that occur on the same spot for over twenty-five years. The spot in question is the famous Shoprite Junction, where trucks often lose control and ram into Shoprite. That is a very big source of worry. Over sixty lives have been lost, and many people injured or left permanently disabled at that spot during the period that I have mentioned. This Executive, which has been in power for the last five years, is aware of this problem, as we have repeatedly sung this song and sent condolences to the relatives of the deceased as a result of accidents on that spot. So, there is a need for us to be pro-active and make concerted efforts to modify the features of the spot in order to safeguard people’s lives.

Mr Speaker, finally, we have a challenge with Public Service Vehicles (PSV) drivers, particularly the mini bus drivers, not the drivers of larger buses about whom my colleague ably debated. Not long ago, a female police officer was knocked down in Munali area while on duty and almost died. That became a very big story in this country. The reasons for that incident could be multiple. What my colleague said concerning corruption on our roads is true. The accident at Munali could have been a result of the driver of that mini bus not being licensed and trying to avoid being discovered, thereby committing a very serious offence.

Sir, I am sorry to say this, but police officers are known to be extremely corrupt. I am sure we all agree that there should be a fine for contravening traffic rules. However, I think that the fines are probably too exorbitant. So, since people cannot afford to pay them due to limited disposal incomes, they either run away when they contravene a traffic rule or choose to pay on the spot when they are caught. In this regard, I think that we need to introduce a ticketing system for traffic fines. The Executive should think through this suggestion because it is the best way to go. Further, the public must be informed that fines are not to be paid on the road. Instead, the offenders will be given tickets to present at a designated office, where they can pay within a specified period of time and be issued receipts. When we do that, we will see order in the collection of traffic fines. 

Sir, currently, every child in the compounds longs to be a traffic officer’s son or daughter because it is only in those officers’ homes where the aroma of frying chicken can be smelt in the evening because traffic officers get money from offenders without issuing receipts. If the fine for an offence is K450, as the case is for failing to display an insurance disc, for example, the traffic officers just ask for K150, which they pocket and let the offender go. This has become a major source of income for the police. That is why when Dr Solomon Jere was the Inspector-General of Police, there was an altercation between him and the current head of the RTSA over the mandates of the two institutions in traffic management and road safety. I am sure we all remember that incident because it was right on Great East Road it occurred. In that argument, the RTSA head, Mr Soko, if my memory serves me right, clearly said that police officers were corrupt. In this regard, I think that we need to define, in no uncertain terms, the roles of the two institutions so that there can be harmony between them. However, the underlying point I want to make is that a ticketing system is a much more decent way for administering traffic fines. 

Mr Speaker, someone talked about speed limiters. I think, that is the way to go for every public service vehicle. In some jurisdictions, public buses are labelled “80 mph” or “80 kmph”, which mean 80 kilometres/miles per hour. If the driver of such a vehicle exceeds the limit, anyone can report it on a toll-free number. In this regard, I think it is important to note that there is nothing greater than life and that once it is lost, it cannot be recovered. 

Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to debate.

The Minister of Transport and Communication (Mr Simbao): Mr Speaker, I thank you most sincerely for giving me the opportunity to make brief remarks in acknowledgement of the observations and recommendations of the Committee on Communications, Transport, Works and Supply on the report of the Auditor-General on Government Measures to Reduce Road Traffic Accidents. Coincidentally, the Report has been presented to this august House at a time when we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in road accidents that have resulted in high fatalities. Therefore, the observations and recommendations of the Committee’s report are a clear testimony that we are faced with significant road safety challenges that require all stakeholders, including hon. Members of this House, to make concerted efforts in accelerating the implementation of measures aimed at reducing road traffic accidents.

Mr Speaker, I will soon inform this House on the measures that the Patriotic Front (PF) Government will implement in the immediate to medium term to curb road traffic accidents following the horrific accidents that have taken place in the recent past.

Sir, the Ministry of Transport and Communication is aware that although the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) and Zambia Police Force are the lead institutions in road safety, other stakeholders equally play a significant role in reducing road accidents. It is for this reason that my ministry developed a strategy aimed at introducing a holistic approach to road safety. This strategy is being implemented through a framework for co-ordinating all key stakeholders involved in road safety. Consequently, in 2014, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by eight key ministries and agencies to effectively co-ordinate efforts of key stakeholders involved in road safety. The MoU supports Zambia’s efforts to develop and strengthen institutional capacity for implementing programmes that will reduce road fatalities and injuries. The signatories to the MoU are the RTSA, Zambia Police Force, Ministry of Transport and Communication, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of General Education, the Lusaka City Council (LCC) and the Road Development Agency (RDA). In order to bring on board other key stakeholders, we wish to expand the scope of the MoU to include civil society organisations (CSO) involved in road safety.

Mr Speaker, although most traffic fatalities and injuries occur predominantly in the road sector, the Government will take a holistic approach to transport safety by ensuring that the safety programmes in all modes of transport, namely water, rail, air and road transport, are strengthened. In pursuit of that goal, we have established the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to strengthen aviation safety and are enhancing water patrols to enhance water transport safety.

Mr Speaker, I thank your Committee for undertaking a thorough analysis of the Government’s measures to reduce road traffic accidents. I note, with appreciation, that its methodology in executing the task was not confined to desk reviews, but included field visits meant to acquaint the Committee with the situation on the ground.  

Sir, I assure this House that the Ministry of Transport and Communication has taken note of the Committee’s observations and recommendations and that it will endeavour to incorporate the Committee’s observations and recommendations in its work plans and budgets to ensure an accelerated implementation of road safety programmes.

Mr Speaker, in response to other hon. Members’ contributions, I must say that it is saddening that we all seem to know what we need to do when driving on the road, yet we do the opposite. The statements made here today do not, in any way, indicate that there is anyone who gets behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle without knowing what is expected of him or her. Our problem is mainly complacency, and it is not just with the people we are talking about, but ourselves, too. For example, we see many people drive on the wrong side of the road, on the overtaking lane, without any reservations at all. People have just chosen not to follow the rules. Everyone who goes through a proper driving course is made to read the Highway Code, which has ten commandments, the third of which, I think, talks about being patient enough to hang back until you are sure that the situation is conducive before you do anything. Those who go through the training to drive public service (PSV) vehicles have additional lessons and rules that they are taught. So, it is not a question of somebody not having been given the necessary competence. We all know what to do. The problem is that we have just chosen to be negligent. 

Mr Speaker, I will report to the House the measures that we will take to curb road traffic accidents. One of them, I can say now, is the stamping of the licences of proven offenders and blacklisting of motorists who accumulate three stamps and confiscation of their licences.

Mr Mbewe: Hear, hear!

Mr Simbao: I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Belemu: Mr Speaker, I thank the hon. Members who debated the Motion because their contributions have certainly added value to the Committee’s report and raised issues that should be considered for action by the Executive in addition to the recommendations of your Committee’s report.

Sir, I agree with the other hon. Members that this report is being considered at a time when we have had serious road traffic accidents, and we send our sympathies to the families that have been affected, particularly those who lost loved ones in the accident that occurred in Central Province. This situation brings your Committee’s report closer to home. In this regard, I can only urge the Executive to take action on the recommendations of the Auditor-General and the important actionable suggestions of the hon. Members who debated.

Sir, in conclusion, allow me, once more, to thank my colleagues in the Committee, particularly for trusting me to chair the Committee during this session. It looks like, all things being equal, this will be the last report of your Committee. So, I can only wish the members of your Committee well, particularly in their life after 11th August, 2016. I also urge the House to adopt your Committee’s report.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Question put and agreed to.


Mr Hamududu (Bweengwa): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that this House do adopt the Report of the Committee on Estimates for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, laid on the Table of the House on 6th April, 2016.

Mr Speaker: Is the Motion seconded?

Mrs Mphande (Mkushi North): Mr Speaker, I beg to second the Motion.

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, in line with its terms of reference, as set out in the Standing Orders, your Committee studied the performance of Zambia’s balance of payments. In doing so, it interacted with several stakeholders, including the key institutions involved in the compilation of balance of payments statistics, such as the Bank of Zambia (BoZ); Ministry of Finance, including the Central Statistical Office (CSO); and the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.

Mr Speaker, empirical evidence points to the fact that the performance of the balance of payments in 2015 and the first quarter of 2016 has been unfavourable. This problem has been attributed to both external and domestic developments. It has been generally argued that the slowing down of the Chinese economy, the fall in copper prices, sharper-than-expected tightening of global financing conditions and a stronger dollar are the external challenges that have had a negative effect on Zambia’s economy. Domestically, the poor performance has mainly been attributed to over-expenditure, the energy crisis, which has adversely affected productivity, poor rainfall pattern and policy inconsistency, particularly with regard to the mining tax regime. Understandably, it is difficult for the Government to address challenges arising from external developments. However, your Committee is of the view that the Government can, within its limited means, mitigate the effects of global developments and correct the domestic challenges. To do so, it will need to implement urgent and targeted measures, both in the short and long term, to improve the performance of the balance of payments. 

Mr Speaker, let me highlight some of the recommendations of your Committee.
Freely Convertible Exchange Rate

Mr Speaker, your Committee is aware that one of the reasons that have led to the poor performance of the balance of payments is the sharp deterioration of the value of the kwacha against the United States (US) Dollar. However, it also notes that some countries have taken advantage of the fall in the value of their currencies to promote exports. The fall in the value of the kwacha has equally presented an opportunity for the country to promote exports. Regrettably, that opportunity has not been exploited. 

Sir, because we are overly dependent on imports, the depreciation of the kwacha has adversely affected the lives of ordinary Zambians. Further, your Committee is aware that the Central Bank has been implementing several policy measures, including the use of foreign reserves, ostensibly to arrest the free fall of our currency. However, your Committee is of the view that attempts to support the local currency through the use of foreign exchange reserves, while useful in the short term, can lead to a depletion of the foreign reserves, thereby making the economy vulnerable. Your Committee knows that BoZ has been implementing the measures to arrest the rapid depreciation of the kwacha to mitigate its adverse effect on ordinary Zambians in the short term. However, as a long-term measure, your Committee recommends that the Government continues with the implementation of a flexible exchange rate regime, which allows the demand for and supply of foreign exchange to determine the exchange rates, because doing so will enhance Zambia’s competitiveness and promote exports in the long run.

Fiscal Consolidation

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the continued deterioration of Zambia’s fiscal position, which is a result of increased external and domestic borrowing aimed at financing ambitious infrastructural projects, has unfavourable consequences on the performance of the balance of payments. Your Committee is aware that the increased domestic borrowing by the Government has the potential to crowd out the private sector because of the resultant prohibitive lending rates. External borrowing, on the other hand, has the potential to increase interest payments. The current interest payment on Zambia’s debt portfolio deprives the country of the resources needed to invest in programmes on poverty reduction, health and education. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government comes up with urgent and robust measures to contain the Budget deficit by raising more revenue and constraining expenditure, and reiterates its position that, in the short term, the Government should prioritise the completion of on-going infrastructural projects over the commencement of new ones. In addition, the Government should rationalise expenditure on unnecessary subsidies, such as those on fuel, electricity and maize. These measures should be accompanied by corresponding steps to broaden the tax base, such as the modernisation of the informal sector and enhancing tax collection efficiency through the application of information and communications technology (ICT) systems.

Performance-Based Management 

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the Government has had plans to implement Performance-Based Management System (PBMS) in the Public Service for a considerable period of time now. In fact, your previous Committee once visited the Republic of Rwanda, where it was impressed by the achievements that country had scored by implementing the PBMS a few years after the civil war. Your Committee is also aware that the Government has been piloting output-based budgeting (OBB) as a way of ensuring the attainment of clear outputs from its limited resources. However, your Committee is concerned that implementing OBB without mainstreaming the PBMS in the Public Sector might produce only limited benefits. Further, your Committee is aware that the full implementation of the PBMS has generally been frustrated by the rent-seeking behaviour of some public officers. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the PBMS be fully implemented and supported by the enactment of necessary legislation. Your Committee also recommends strong political will in implementing the PBMS in light of resistance by Government officials. In order to ensure transparency and accountability, all public officers should be compelled to sign performance based contracts (PBCs) that will clearly stipulate the sanctions for failure to achieve the set targets.

Export diversification

Mr Speaker, the economic challenges that Zambia has faced in the recent past have mainly been attributed to Zambia’s over-dependence on the export of minerals, especially copper. This has also been attributed to the failure by the Government to exploit the regional markets, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania. In this regard, the fall in copper prices, compounded by low global demand for the commodity, has made it a challenge for Zambia to raise adequate revenues and maintain favourable reserves. This has led to a loss of employment, particularly in the mining sector, which has scaled down operations by keeping them on care and maintenance or shutting them down altogether. In order to avoid such challenges in the future, your Committee recommends that the Government comes up with pragmatic and effective export diversification measures to make the economy resilient to external shocks. There is, therefore, a need for aggressive strategies to exploit the potential markets in the region instead of overly depending on the traditional export markets far away, such as China and Europe. While the markets overseas still remain important, evidence shows that there is considerable demand for maize meal, maize, cement, sugar and livestock products in the DRC, Malawi, Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. We have seen a clamouring for maize and mealie meal in the recent past. That is an opportunity that we can exploit to grow our economy. We must not view it as a problem. 


Mr Speaker, your Committee bemoans the failure by Zambia to add value to various export products, which has reduced the value of exports and promoted employment creation in the export markets. Further, finished products are less vulnerable to price fluctuations on the international market compared with exports in raw form. In this regard, your Committee recommends that the Government develops and rolls out robust industrialisation strategies that should take advantage of the comparative and competitive advantages of our country so as to enhance the value of our exports and create employment.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, your Committee is grateful to you for the guidance rendered during the session and appreciates the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation and input into its deliberations. Lastly, I extend your Committee’s appreciation to the Clerk of the National Assembly and her staff for the services rendered to the Committee during the session.

Mr Speaker, I beg to move.

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

Mrs Mphande: Now, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, in seconding the Motion to adopt the Report of the Committee on Estimates for the Fifth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly, which has been ably moved by the Chairperson of your Committee, I will only focus on the issues that were not covered in his statement.

Sir, as explained by the mover, your Committee was tasked to study the performance of Zambia’s balance of payments, which is basically a statistical summary of the transactions of residents of the economy with the rest of the world. Your Committee’s findings show that Zambia’s balance of payments for 2015 was unfavourable. According to the 2015 Bank of Zambia (BoZ) preliminary data, the current account deficit was expected to increase to US$946 million from the US$383 million registered in 2014. Additionally, exports were projected to decline by 2.7 per cent, largely due to lower copper, cobalt and non-traditional export earnings. On the import side, your Committee noted that imports of goods were projected to fall by 13.8 per cent to US$7,405 million in 2015 from the US$8,594 million recorded in 2014. 

Mr Speaker, the poor performance of the balance of payments I have just highlighted has largely been attributed to adverse global conditions like the fall in China’s growth, decline in copper prices and the depreciation of the kwacha. This situation has further been compounded by poor rainfall distribution arising from the El Niño weather conditions, which has negatively affected agricultural output and hydropower generation, which has, in turn, led to severe electricity rationing. Industrial output has declined on account of low capacity utilisation. 

Mr Speaker, it is gratifying to note that the Government, through BoZ, has implemented various measures to improve the performance of the balance of payments. It is further gratifying that the President announced austerity measures aimed at improving the balance of payments. For example, he deferred the establishment of a national airline to when the economy will be able to afford the high cost of implementing the project. He also announced that foreign travel by hon. Ministers, and Government and quasi-Government officials would be limited to essential meetings only and that the size of delegations would be restricted to the barest minimum. 

Mr Speaker, the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) is one of the key strategies that Zambia can effectively use to build infrastructure in light of declining access to non-concessional loans. The continued ascension of non-concessional loans has had serious consequences on the performance of the balance of payments through interest payments. In this regard, there is a need for the Government to refocus its attention on implementing PPP projects. In this regard, I commend the Government for taking some steps in that direction, as seen in the advertisements for the development of the Ndola/Kitwe Dual Carriageway, and six export routes, namely the Lusaka/Kapiri-Mposhi,, Kapiri-Mposhi/Nakonde, Chirundu/Kafue, Chingola/Jimbe via Solwezi and Chingola/Kasumbalesa and Livingstone/Kazungula road. The rehabilitation of these roads will unlock Zambia’s export potential to the regional markets, which will increase foreign exchange earnings and improve the balance of payments. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee knows that, through the Private Sector Development Programme (PSDP), some considerable efforts have been directed towards the improvement of the ease of doing business. In this regard, I urge the Government to continue implementing such strategies. Some of the measures that should be implemented are:

(a)    improvement of access to electricity;

(b)    simplification of the process of registering property;

(c)    protection of minority investors

(d)    facilitation of cross-border trade;

(e)    enforcement of contracts and resolution of solvency;

(f)    enhancement of policy stability;

(g)    improvement of transport infrastructure; and 

(h)    maintenance of fiscal discipline to ensure that public borrowing does not crowd out private investment. 

Mr Speaker, your Committee also notes that most products consumed in Zambia are imported, thereby putting a lot of pressure on the performance of the balance of payments. 

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to thank my fellow members of the Committee for affording me an opportunity to second the Motion. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Mr Mutati (Lunte): Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me this opportunity to debate. In doing so, I just want to make a few comments on three issues raised by the report that has been presented by the Chairperson of your Committee on Estimates and ably seconded by Hon. Mphande, which is on the deterioration in the balance of payments, particularly on the current account. 

Sir, we have heard that, as of the end of 2015, the deficit in the balance of payments was close to US$1 billion. In part, this is a consequence of the worsening trade deficit that is infusing itself in the worsening current account. The reasons for that have been articulated. 

Mr Speaker, the three issues I wish to discuss are policy, reliance on deficit financing and fiscal consolidation. 

Sir, policy consistency is a key driver of confidence in the economy which, in turn, drives investment. The output for this process is activity and growth in the economy. We have heard from the Chairperson of the Committee that policy inconsistency, particularly in the mining sector, has had very disruptive effects. For instance, in the last four years, we have had four changes in the mining tax regime and we are currently debating the fifth. This inconsistency creates uncertainty, which leads to the holding back of key investment in the mining sector. So, policy construction is not an experiment, but a fundamental activity that must be researched, compared with best practices and, then, implemented in consultation with industry. The various changes to our mining tax regime have impacted negatively on production. For example, we had estimated that by the end of 2015, production of copper would reach 1.5 million tonnes, but we will be lucky to produce 50 per cent of that estimate. If we had been consistent and boosted production, however, notwithstanding the low price of copper on the international market, we would have had, at least, some cushion on our current account. We have now learned a lesson. So, the next change we will make in the tax regime should hold and take root for, at least, three years so that investors can be confident in projecting their operations going. The key lesson we have learned from the impact of policy inconsistency has been very painful and I hope that this will be the last time we change the tax regime. 

Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister of Finance told this House that the Budget deficit, as of end of 2015, was approximately 8 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), the highest in many years. The effect of that high deficit is the drying out of liquidity in the financial sector. On the one hand, the drying out of liquidity means that the private sector, which is the engine of growth, is unable to perform at levels that will contribute to economic activity and, on the other, the high cost of money, which is approaching 40 per cent, is bad for the private sector. No matter what summations and arithmetic a private sector person can do, it will be very difficult for him or her to borrow at near 40 per cent and expect to generate sufficient income to repay the loan, let alone, survive and expand the business. As a result, the first call of business for the private sector every day is how to get by and negotiate with the banks to postpone the pressure to repay loans and the repossession of mortgages has now become the in-thing for the banking sector, which is detrimental to the survival of the private sector. Therefore, private sector growth has been shrinking. That is why, for the first time in many years, the hon. Minister of Finance has projected that our gross domestic product (GDP) for 2016 will not exceed 3 per cent. Given our 2.7 per cent population growth rate, this means that we are actually not growing, as a nation. 

Mr Speaker, the decisions driven mainly by fiscal expenditure over and above what is budgeted for are made by us, who run the Government. Last year, the extra expenditure approved by way of a supplementary budget was one-third of the approved Budget and, at this rate, there is absolutely no way we can grow the economy or add any relevance to what we are calling fiscal consolidation, which is our biggest challenge. That is my third point. 

Sir, the increase in the supplementary budget means that we have serious difficulties controlling expenditure, particularly the expenditure that is relevant to the growth of the economy. Instead of controlling expenditure, we are now accumulating colossal arrears in infrastructure development because the infrastructure that is being developed has been under-financed. If we take into account the arrears on infrastructure development projects, our deficit would be in excess of 10 to12 per cent. So, we are at a critical juncture in our endeavour to move the economy forward. I know that there have been attempts, on the monetary side, by the Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to rein in liquidity as a mechanism for controlling the exchange rate. However, this is a double-edged sword. Using foreign reserves to rein in the exchange rate is also a double-edged sword. The better option is fiscal consolidation. We need to review the projects we are implementing and, where possible, stop, defer or scale down some of them. That is the only way we will have a semblance of an economy that can achieve even the projected 3 per cent growth. 

Sir, only recently, the World Bank indicated that we might have difficulties attaining even the 3 per cent projected on account of deficits in power, fuel and maize. So, for this nation, 2016 will be a very difficult economic year. Already, there are indications that not a single parameter approved by this Parliament for 2016 will be met. For example, we had hoped that, in 2016, our inflation rate would remain within the single-digit range, that the exchange rate would be conservatively single digit and that the Budget deficit would not exceed 3 per cent. Already, however, we have failed on those parameters. Our deficit is above 3 per cent and the exchange rate has been fluctuating. Evidently, all the indicators of economic performance are negative.

Sir, I think that the Committee did a commendable job in pointing out these and recommending solutions on economic diversification. The Executive should implement the proposals that are implementable. For instance, we can diversify the economy in the tourism sector by expediting all the unfinished business in the sector. The Kasaba Bay, for instance, only needs incremental expenditure for it to be operationalised. That can become a priority. Our colleagues should ask themselves whether it is prudent for them to construct a huge airport in the bush in Ndola instead of completing the works on the Kasaba Bay so the country can begin to generate some revenue to drive the economy forward. Is it prudent, too, for them to, good as it might sound, invest in a hotel or shopping mall at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) instead of using that money to complete the remaining works at Nansanga Farming Block so that agriculture begins to make sense and drive the economy? So, as much as everything is important, there are things that must be done first before we get to the next level. 

Mr Speaker, I think that we have learnt some lessons, particularly in the last five years, that must inform the changes that we need to make, as a country. Some of the changes we need to make are very difficult. In this regard, it has been suggested that the Government brings in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to clean up this economy. However, the responsibility to do that is ours. We cannot go in the bath tub and expect someone else to clean us. A person might pass us the soap, but we will have to do the scrubbing. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: We have the primary responsibility of steering the wheel and bearing all the necessary pain. This economy can be cleaned up. All these programmes like the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) are foreign, ...
Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: ... yet the Chairperson of your Committee is no less competent than those Harvard boys that come from the IMF. As a nation, all we need to do is pool our intellectual resources and do what needs to be done.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Sometimes, I get the sense that we have enough untapped capability, diversity and substance to meet the challenges that confront us, if only we can pool our intellectual resources without looking at where someone comes from and where he is affiliated. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: We need to get to a stage where it does not matter where one belongs, provided one can add value to the table and change the economy for the benefit of that poor man on the street. That is how we can move forward. The poor man on the street should be able to buy mealie meal at less than K100. That is what matters. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: Mr Speaker, the balance of payment also concerns policy consistency in the management of the agricultural sector. Sometimes, it is not even what one does, but what one says that matters more. We cannot afford a situation in which the hon. Minister and Permanent Secretary for the same ministry issue conflicting statements. There must be co-ordination in management. People can quarrel in the board rooms, but when they come out, they should speak a consistent language. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: That is how an economy is run. The contradictions are confusing the investors, who are now not sure what to expect and who is in control. 

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mutati: There must be certainty of who controls a particular sector and how they move forward. 

Sir, as I already stated, the Chairperson of the Committee on Estimates has done a thorough job and given us the ideas. However, for a very long time, our disease has been the non-implementation of such very clever ideas. Hopefully, this year, we will pool the human resource into one basket and say that we have only one Zambia for which we must live. For once, let us all contribute the little that we can in order to bring about a change that will benefit Zambia. 
I thank you, Sir.  

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa (Katuba): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me the opportunity to debate this Motion. I also thank the Chairperson and members of your Committee for the thorough job they have done in considering the balance of payments situation. I am also grateful to the hon. Member for Lunte for his very educative and insightful views on what should be done, and agree with him that the problems that this country has experienced in the last five years have to be faced realistically and looked at from the Zambian perspective.

Sir, we have had a deteriorating balance of payments, which is unfavourable to us, and we all know the reasons.

Mr Antonio: Tell them!

Mr Shakafuswa: Maybe, we, as a nation, have not positioned ourselves to be able to withstand external shocks or even for internal ones. Our planning, over the years, has not proactively responded to future conditions. 

Mr Speaker, we have a very ambitious economy, and the hon. Member of Parliament for Lunte has talked about fiscal consolidation. In order for us to have meaningful fiscal consolidation, as he said, we have to control our expenditure which, in Zambia, is heavily influenced by politics. For example, we want to fight poverty and we know that about 65 per cent of our economy is rural based. We also know that it will be very difficult for us to eradicate poverty if we do not develop the rural economies. For instance, the price of mealie meal in our neighbouring countries ranges from K300 to K400. So, our farmers should have exploited those good prices and exported maize and mealie meal to those countries, but we constrain them because we do not want the price of mealie meal in Zambia to be very high. Thus, politics fixed the price of mealie meal at below K100. So, we have prevented the rural areas from becoming rich. 

Mr Antonio: Tell them!

Mr Shakafuswa: We forget that if we allowed our farmers to sell their maize at the good prices that the current demand makes possible, they would have an incentive to increase their production and, as a result, the price of mealie meal would bring itself to equilibrium. That can only happen through the economies of scale, not politically-motivated price controls. 

Mr Hamududu: Exactly.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, we are here politicking about the price of mealie meal being below K100, but the producer of maize wants money to feed his family. Even the agricultural subsidies about which we complain are on consumption, not production. When will we realise that we cannot continue to ask the people in the rural areas to produce cheap maize for those in the urban areas to consume? The people in the urban areas have to find a way of compensating those of us in the rural areas because we also want wealth. Why should they buy maize cheaply when the cost of production is very high? So, as we politicise the price of maize, let us take into consideration the fact that the producers of the maize have a market in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Zimbabwe and Malawi that is ready to buy their maize at a higher price.  

Sir, we always expect the Government to invest in this and that, but other economies have thrived on private entrepreneurship. In most economies, banks thrive on people’s savings. In Zambia, however, most of us do not save money and those who have made money in this economy take it outside the country, where it helps to build other countries. So, our banking institutions have to look for money from elsewhere to lend and invest. Therefore, our problem is not only the lack of Government investment, but also the lack of involvement in economic activities by Zambians while some few who are involved in economic activities save their earnings in offshore accounts where it helps the other countries to develop while earning interest of as low as 3 per cent, like it is in some European countries. Some Zambians own mansions outside the country instead of investing in their country, yet they expect the Government to invest in infrastructure development and tourism. The economic diversification we have been talking about needs investment. One cannot just wake up and decide to diversify into other fields. Looking at our budgetary constraints, where will the resources to invest come from? It must come from private entrepreneurship, which is very limited in Zambia. The Government can gives guarantees, but the bulk of investments have to come from private participants.

Sir, to be honest with you, as Hon. Mutati said, the future does not hold much hope. Look at the outlook on international economies. Brazil is in a recession, South Africa is almost in a recession and the Chinese are now trying to boost their local market, and will not buy commodities from us in the foreseeable future. So, no magicians will bring relief to this country. They are fake.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Antonio: Question!

Mr Shakafuswa: Which magician will tell the Chinese to come and buy our copper at a given price or ask God to give us more rainfall?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Some magicians claim that we are importing electricity because we drained water from the Kariba Dam due to suspected cracks. That is a fake magician. If the Kariba Dam developed cracks and we did not check them, but allowed water to accumulate to full capacity, it would burst and killed all the people in its wake. Then, the people would have asked why the Government did not drain the water and check the cracks. 

Fake magicians!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, the truth of the matter is that we have had low rainfall. The Lozi people will confirm that they have not commemorated the Kuomboka Ceremony for four years for the same reason, but some people still want to put the blame on the Government. 

Mr Speaker, Zambia, a Christian nation, prayed for rain on 18th October, 2015, and God answered our prayers by giving us more rainfall than the other areas in the region. 

Ms Kapata: Yes!

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: When some magicians asked us not to pray, they had hoped for a drought that they could blame on the Government.


Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Let us be realistic, as Zambians.

Sir, I like what Hon. Mutati said. Indeed, we are endowed with resources. Look at the likes of Hamududu. He is a brilliant fella.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

Mr Hamududu is not a fella, but an Hon. Member of this House.


Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, he is a brilliant hon. Member and a son of this soil who can actively participate in eradicating most of the problems that we are facing, but he cannot provide his services in that regard because ...

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: ... of partisan political interests. If he did, he would be sanctioned by his party.


Mr Shakafuswa: That is the kind of politics we practise. We always want to be the ones seen to do things. We have the ‘either us or no one’ mentality, which is not in the interest of the country because Zambia cannot be developed by only one political party. We will only develop by practising inclusive governance in which all Zambians can find a role to play in solving the problems of this country. No person or region in this country is endowed with all the knowledge. I am an economist and accountant. That is all I know. However, other people know agriculture, law and health. The I-know-it-all attitude is typical of fake magicians. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, the habit of saying, “It cannot work unless I am there” is not good. Time moves on. We started with the late Anderson Mazoka in 2000, …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!


Mr Speaker: I have been quite liberal, but I have to ask you to refocus on issues. You were doing well at the beginning. Please, do not be influenced by the current political season.


Mr Shakafuswa: Sir, thank you for your guidance.

Mr Speaker, what I am trying to say is that the solutions to our problems have to come from all Zambians. We may belong to different political parties, but we have to come together and find a way of solving our problems. We know where we have gone wrong, hence our ability to stand and say, we went wrong because of policy inconsistencies. We have also learnt the lessons. We cannot say, “Unless I am the Managing Director of that company, I will not offer any solutions.” If one does that, the company will keep going down and by the time one becomes Managing Director, it will take one another ten years to turn things around. So, he or she will be blamed by the people and he or she will finally regret not having been part of the solution before the situation became too difficult to resolve. 

Mr Speaker, our politics, today, is such that we want to worsen things. The balance of payment has worsened because we spend K250 billion a month to import electricity. As a result, we are subsidising fuel because of the depreciation of the Zambian Kwacha, and all this expenditure is not planned for and cannot be brought into fiscal consolidation because we have an expansionary economic policy. So, what we should expect from politicians is for them to tell Zambians to tighten their belts. To my surprise, we want to import electricity at 18 cents per unit and sell it at 6 cents per unit. When we suggest that we make the tariffs cost-reflective, they opposed the idea.

Mr Shakafuswa’s voice cracked.


Hon. Member: Drink some water.

Mr Shakafuswa drank water.


Mr Shakafuswa: Ndalumba. That means “Thank you.” 

Sir, the Government has said that electricity consumers should pay cost-reflective tariffs, but some people are saying that will hurt Zambians, forgetting that their three geysers and air-conditioners are on all the time. If you go to Europe, you will find that the development that is there is because people know how to save. They keep their geysers on for only about thirty minutes while, here, most of us do not even know where the switch for the geyser is. So, someone somewhere is paying for electricity which is wasted at the expense of helping our children, rehabilitating the roads on which we are supposed to drive and buy medicine for hospitals. That is happening because of the backward politics that we have in this country, the ‘I have to be there’ kind of politics. Why can we not all be there? If we put the brains in this House together, we cannot fail to solve the problems we are facing. Why should we spend all the time politicking and positioning ourselves to be where others are? Why do we think that other people must be removed from their positions so that we replace them? We could, instead, help them do things well so that by the time we replace them, everything will be in good order, thereby making our work easier.  

Mr Speaker, the people of Zambia are not …

Mr Antonio: They are not happy!

Mr Shakafuswa: ... ready to be taken for a ride. Even as I speak, they look through us and see our shortcomings. That we have subjected them to poverty because of our politics does not mean that they are not wise. Actually, they are wiser than most of us in this House because we spend too much time fighting. Instead of being united, we just think about politics. Those who are in the Opposition think that their job is to oppose everything, not knowing that we have to come together, especially during times like this, when the country is on its knees. We need to be able to run an agenda together and remove political affiliation so that we move this country forward.

Mr Speaker, I am Jonas Shakafuswa and I am Zambian.

Mr Speaker: You have now started debating yourself.


Mr Shakafuswa: I am the Member of Parliament for Katuba and I will stand for the Zambian cause. I will, therefore, help in uplifting the economy of this country and work with anyone who wants to do the same regardless of whether they share my region and background or not. I just want us to find solutions to our country’s problems. 

Sir, with those very few words, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

The Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Mrs Mwanakatwe) (on behalf of the Minister of Finance (Mr Chikwanda)): Mr Speaker, I thank you for appointing such a very vibrant Committee which, I believe, has undertaken a thorough review and examination of the estimates and excess expenditure appropriation. The Committee considered this subject important, as can clearly be seen from its recommendations and the robust composition of the witnesses summoned. I have been very encouraged by the level of detail in the various recommendations of your Committee.

Sir, I assure the House that this Government is very committed to prudently managing its limited resources, managing our economy, and continuously improving the business and investment climate. In this regard, the well-intended recommendations made have been well noted. I am pleased that they catered for all the issues that I believe will help us move forward. I also assure this House that the Government is already implementing some of the recommendations in some way or the other and will continue to do so. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mrs Mwanakatwe: Mr Speaker, our resolve is to do the following: 

(a)    diversify the economy; 

(b)    exploit regional economic groupings, such as the Southern African Development Committee (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); 

(c)    add value in the various value chains we are currently tackling; 

(d)    create jobs and industrialise; and 

(e)    prudently manage this economy without using magic.

Mr Speaker, these are challenging times, but I believe that we will steer this economy to better times ahead. That is why when I listened as those who debated today made in-depth analyses of the challenges we face, as a country, and raise very thought-provoking points, I believe, too, that only Zambians can manage Zambia without magic. 

Sir, I thank the Chairperson and members of the Committee for a job well done. 

I thank you, Sir. 

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Hamududu: Mr Speaker, allow me to thank all the members of your Committee for their co-operation during the session of your Committee and for giving me the rare privilege of chairing it. I am very grateful for that. I also thank all those who have debated this Motion. Listening to Hon. Mutati gave us hope and the desire to listen on and on. He said, “It can be done”, and it cannot be put better than that. We all know what to do, but we lack a national platform for progress. We are a country that seems to be at war with itself. We are not victims of any external aggression.

Mr Speaker, as Hon. Mutati has ably put it, it is our hope that we will move forward. Experience has shown that there is no one who has a monopoly of wisdom. Therefore, we can only be stronger together.

Sir, I thank the hon. Member for Katuba for his insights, although they were mixed with excesses. I also thank the hon. Minister of Trade, Commerce and Industry for the summary. I hope we can begin to walk the talk because Zambians have been suffering for too long, yet the solutions are there and accessible, and the poverty, lack of development, unfavourable balance of payments, the weakening of the kwacha and all the attendant effects can easily be addressed. What is missing is action.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.  

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

 Question put and agreed to. 





The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the Bill be read the second time.

Sir, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016 establishes a number of service commissions and that has necessitated a repeal of the Service Commissions Act, Cap 259 of the Laws of Zambia to give effect to the provisions of Part XVIII of the Constitution of Zambia and govern the composition, functions, operations and financial management of all service commissions with the exception of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which will be governed by a separate statute. The purpose of the Service Commissions Bill, 2016, is, therefore, to bring the law on service commissions into conformity with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act. To be specific, the objects of the Bill are to:

(a)    provide for a principled and value-based decentralised human resource management system for the Public Service;

(b)    provide for the composition and functions of the Judicial Service Commission, Civil Service Commission (JSC), Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Zambia Correctional Services Commission (ZCSC), Zambia Police Service Commission (ZPSC) and the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC);

(c)    provide for the establishment of human resource management committees in Government institutions; and

(d)    repeal and replace the Service Commissions Act of 1991 and to repeal Part 10 of the Local Government Act of 1991.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, in accordance with its terms of reference, as provided in the Standing Orders, your Committee was tasked with the responsibility of scrutinising the Service Commissions Bill (N.A.B. No. 2 of 2016). In order to acquaint itself with the ramifications of the Bill, your Committee sought both written and oral submissions from the stakeholders and had very informative interactions with them.

Mr Speaker, the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, No. 2 of 2016 necessitated the enactment of legislation to give effect to the provisions of Part XVIII of the Constitution, which establishes a number of service commissions. The proposed Service Commissions Act will govern the composition, functions, operations and financial management of all service commissions with the exception of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which will be governed by a separate statute. The purpose of the Service Commissions Bill, therefore, is to bring the law on service commissions into conformity with the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act.

Sir, the Bill is progressive except for a few concerns that your Committee has noted.

Mr Speaker, your Committee notes that the Bill seeks to amalgamate all service commissions under one piece of legislation. However, your Committee feels that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) should have its own enabling law. The Judiciary is an independent arm of the Government and, in conforming to the doctrine of the separation of powers, the laws regulating the three arms of the Government must be separate. This position was consistent with the proposal for a separate piece of legislation to govern the legislature, that is, the Parliamentary Service Bill, No. 4 of 2016. In light of that, your Committee recommends that the Bill be amended to remove the provisions related to the JSC. Your Committee further recommends that a separate piece of legislation be enacted to govern the JSC. 

Mr Speaker, another issue of concern to your Committee relates to Clause 5(1)(a) of the Bill, which provides for the Chairperson of the JSC to be appointed by the President and be a person who holds, qualifies to hold or has held a high judicial office. In this regard, the argument put forward by the stakeholders was that the Chief Justice has always been the Chairperson of the JSC, which is common practice in the Commonwealth. It is, therefore, difficult to appreciate the reasons for the break …  

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, before business was suspended, I was saying that it is difficult to appreciate the reasons for the break from the long-standing practice of the Chief Justice being the Chairperson of the JSC. Your Committee can only speculate on the motivations for the proposed change. In light of this, your Committee recommends that the Chief Justice be the Chairperson of the JSC. As the Head of the Judiciary, the Chief Justice should not be excluded, in principle and practice, from making decisions on judicial and non-judicial staff that run the Judiciary in the name of the Chief Justice. 

Mr Speaker, the Committee expects that this Bill will be supported by the House, as it is non-contentious.

Sir, in conclusion, I wish, on behalf of the members of your Committee, to express our gratitude to you for granting us the opportunity to scrutinise the Service Commissions Bill (N.A.B. No. 2 of 2016). I also thank the Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly for the support rendered to your Committee throughout its deliberations. Finally, your Committee is indebted to all the witnesses who appeared before it for their co-operation in providing the necessary submissions.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Brig-Gen. Dr Chituwo (Mumbwa): Mr Speaker, in supporting your Committee’s report, I want to commend your Committee’s work and make a few comments on the observations in the report. Let me start by commenting on the justification for the recommendation to separate the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from the other service commissions. 

Sir, the Constitution is very clear on the autonomy of the three arms of the Government. Even during the formulation of the Constitution, we belaboured the need to have this provision. In corollary with that separation of the three arms of the Government, we have established the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC). It is just logical that the commission for another arm of the Government, the JSC, be governed by a separate Bill. If the Executive cannot accept that, maybe, we should consider administering the JSC under the Judicature Act, which provides for the overall administration of the Judiciary.

Sir, let me also comment on the provision for the appointment of the Chairperson of the JSC. I think it is well known that His Excellency the President is Chairperson of the Cabinet while the Hon. Mr Speaker is the Chairperson of the PSC. Therefore, why should the Chairperson of the JSC be someone other than the Chief Justice? So, your Committee’s recommendation is valid and should be taken on board so that there is neatness in the governance of our country.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Mr Namulambe (Mpongwe): Mr Speaker, I thank the Committee for the good report. In supporting the report, I adopt the words of my elder brother, the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa, as my own. 

Sir, in augmenting what the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa said, let me refer to Section 5 of the Bill, which clearly states who can be members of the other commissions, which all fall under the Executive, such as the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) or Zambia Police Service Commission (ZPSC). It is specified that they will have a chairperson, vice-chairperson and five other members who will all be appointed by the President. However, that is not the case with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). So, I agree with the Committee that the Chairperson of the JSC should be the Chief Justice because if, for instance, a junior member of the Bar is appointed chairperson and becomes responsible for the affairs of …


Mr Speaker: Order, on the right!

Mr Namulambe: … his or her seniors, it would cause problems in the legal fraternity. So, the chairperson should be the Chief Justice and the JSC must be independent of the other service commissions. In addition, in the appointment of the members of the service commissions, that is, the chairperson, vice chairperson and five other members, it is not just a question of considering eminent qualified people in the country regardless of their professional qualifications. Rather, it is about appointing people who are knowledgeable of the commission’s line of work because we do not want to end up having very qualified people appointed to wrong commissions where they will make wrong decisions. For instance, my experience is in the Local Government Service. So, I know that the members of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) must be qualified to handle administrative matters in the Local Government Service. People who may be appointed anyhow will forget some of the things that they are supposed to follow up and put in place.

Mr Speaker, to justify my emphasis on the need to appoint people whose qualifications are relevant to the work of the commissions to which they are appointed, let me give an example. In the recent past, the LGSC has fired about thirteen principal officers using the Local Administration Act, that is, the Conditions of Service of 1996, when the powers to dismiss officers rests with the council. This happened because some people in that commission are qualified, but misplaced. So, once we separate the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), let us only appoint qualified people who understand the portfolio functions of the other service commissions in which they will serve. Otherwise, the members of the commissions may seem incompetent and end up making wrong decisions. We also do not want the Government to lose money because of people making wrong decisions. For example, if all the principal officers who have been fired by the LGSC take their cases to court, as a local government practitioner, I can assure them that they will win because the commission did not use its authority properly. How can someone authenticate some issues using social media when the service regulations and conditions of service are very clear? Some time back, I deliberately asked a question on this issue on the Floor of this House and, in his response, the Minister was very categorical on the need to follow the laid-down procedures. 

Mr Speaker, I also request the hon. Minister of Justice to heed your Committee’s recommendation for a separate Bill to be presented for the JSC. When you look at the way this Bill is framed, it is very different from the others. So, what more can I say? Even if I may not be liked by some hon. Members, I know that what I am saying is right and should be liked because it makes sense.

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

I do not think that you should go that way.


Mr Speaker: You have debated adequately and properly, but you are now repeating yourself and worrying about your standing. What about the report?


Mr Namulambe: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for your guidance. 

Sir, I was just trying to make the point that the JSC should be separated from the other service commissions, which fall under the Executive arm of the Government. The other service commissions fall under ministries, which are part of the Executive. So, let us separate these commissions, like the hon. Member of Parliament for Mumbwa said earlier. There are three arms of the Government, namely the Judiciary, …

Mr Speaker: Order, hon. Member!

You are repeating yourself again. You have already made your point loud and clear. 

Hon. Government Members: Yes!

Mr Namulambe: Eee, baumfwikeshe, ba Speaker.


Ms Kapata: Ati banani?

Mr Namulambe: Sir, Part VIII of our Constitution requires the Judiciary to be independent of the other two arms of the Government. So, let us make the JSC independent, too.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Speaker, let me begin by thanking the mover of this Motion, the seconder and all the hon. Members who have debated it. 

Sir, we have taken note of the observations and recommendations made by the Committee and those who have debated, and we shall move the necessary amendments at an appropriate time.

I thank you, Sir.

Question put and agreed to and the Bill read a second time.

Committed to a committee of the Whole House.

Committee, on Wednesday, 27th April, 2016.





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

CLAUSE 5 – (Clerk of National Assembly)

The Minister of Justice (Dr Simbyakula): Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 5, on page 7:

(a)    In line 8
by the deletion of the word “Speaker” and the substitution therefor of the word “Commission”; and

(b)    In line 10
by the insertion of the word “Commission” immediately after the words “Parliamentary Service”.

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 5, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 6 – (Qualifications of Clerk)

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 6, on page 7, in line 24, by the insertion of the word “not” immediately after the words “Parliamentary Service.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 6, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 7, 8, 9 and 10 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 11 − (Composition of Commission)

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 11, on page 9:

(a)    in line 9, by the deletion of the words “National Assembly” and the substitution therefor of the word “Speaker”;

(b)    in lines 11 and 14, by the deletion of the words “of Parliament” immediately after the word “members”;

(c)    after line 18, by the deletion of the following sub-sections:

“(3) a member of the Commission shall, subject to the other provisions of this Act, hold office for a term of five years.

“(4) where the office of a member becomes vacant before expiry of the term of office, the member appointed to fill the vacancy shall hold office only for the unexpired part of the term.”

(d)     in line 21, by the deletion of sub-section (2)(e) and the substitution therefor of sub-section (1)(e)”; and by the deletion of the comma and the substitution therefor of a colon;

(e)     in line 22, by the insertion of “(i)” immediately before the words “on the revocation”;

(f)     in line 25, by the deletion of the full stop and the substitution therefor of a semi-colon and the word “or”;

(g)     after line 25, by the insertion of the following new paragraph:

“(ii) upon resigning, by notice in writing to the Speaker.”; and

(h)     in line 19, by the renumbering of sub-section (3) as sub-section (5).

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 11, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 25 – (Regulations)

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 25, on page 13, in line 28, by the deletion of the words “Minister may, on the recommendation of the Commission,” and the substitution therefor of the words “Commission may.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 25, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (Powers and Privileges) (Amendment) BILL, 2016

Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 9 – (Amendment of Section 11)

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 9, on page 5, in lines 34 to 36, by the deletion of the words “if the person does not reside within eight kilometres of the place of attendance specified in the summons” and the comma after the word summons.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 9, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

CLAUSE 21 – (Repeal and Replacement of Section 8)

Dr Simbyakula: Mr Chairperson, I beg to move an amendment in Clause 21, on page 8, in lines 15 and 16, by the deletion of the words “such period as the Assembly determines” and the substitution therefor of the words “a period not exceeding thirty days.”

Amendment agreed to. Clause amended accordingly.

Clause 21, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 22 and 23 ordered to stand part of the Bill.



[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]

The following Bills were reported to the House as having passed through Committee with amendments:

The Parliamentary Service Bill, 2016

The National Assembly (Powers and Privileges) (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Report Stages on Friday, 22nd April, 2016.



The Minister of Works and Supply, Chief Whip, and Acting Leader of Government Business in the House (Mr Mukanga): Sir, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1903 hours until 0900 hours on Friday, 22nd April, 2016.